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2017 was a year of breakout stars: Cardi B, 21 Savage, XXXTentacion, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Pump and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie all went from 0 to 100.  Of course some familiar faces continued to reign, like Migos, Future, Drake, Gucci Mane and Kendrick Lamar.  It was also a year of interesting collaborations: Pharrell had Rihanna try her hand at rapping, Jay-Z and No I.D. threw it back to the Blueprint era, and Calvin Harris competed with DJ Khaled to see who could have the most features on an album.  Overall, a super eclectic and exciting year in hip-hop!

Tracklist: Read the rest of this entry »

For this week’s #TBT mix we’re taking it back to 94…
As you know The Rub has finally brought back the History of Hip Hop series. Our next mix is 2014 so let’s take a look at that golden era 20 years before that shaped it all. So many absolute classics in one year, and with over 100k plays on Mixcloud it’s obvious these sounds are still as important as ever.

Download: History of Hip-Hop 1994 (Mixed by DJ Ayres)

Tracklist after the jump!

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There’s an argument to be made that 2012 was one of the greatest years in hip-hop. The Rub’s History of Hip Hop 2012 mix argues the case forcefully, with wall to wall bangers in a plethora of regional styles.

LA’s DJ Mustard produced approximately 99.9% of the songs on hip-hop & R&B radio, and Kendrick Lamar dropped a masterpiece of an LP. Future, Macklemore, and Trinidad James blew up, Big Sean, Meek Mill and 2 Chainz had monster radio records, and Kanye’s G.O.O.D. music compilation kept him on the airwaves (alongside Jay-Z and Pusha T). NOLA bounce saw a big resurgence: Nicky Da B went from local artist to international sensation with “Express Yourself,” and the “Triggaman” beat found its way into big club singles by T.I. & Lil Wayne, Trina and Meek Mill among others. ATL-style hip-hop trap and EDM-style trap began to play nice together, and DJs like Bauuer, Diplo, Lunice & Hudson Mohawke, RL Grime and Cashmere Cat all had big hybrid hip-hop-R&B-EDM-trap records. The Bay area scene also produced a bunch of hits, especially HBK Gang. Throw in a NY renaissance – French Montana, Nicki Minaj, ASAP Mob, Action Bronson, El-P, etc – and you’ve got yourself a banner year for hip-hop.

Listen to all of 33 of The Rub’s History mixes, from 1979 to 2012, at

DOWNLOAD The Rub – Hip Hop History 2012

Tracklist: Read the rest of this entry »

As The Rub’s History of Hip Hop mix series moves into the teens, the range of styles ever widens, touching on everything from classic soul samples to weird dubstep beats. (Watch The Throne had both.) Drake, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross were featured on everything; Juicy J. was putting out mixtapes at an astonishing rate, and Meek Mill had a couple of career-defining hits. J. Cole, Big Sean, Future, A$AP Mob, Odd Future and the Black Hippy crew were the new kids on the block, and Kreayshawn and YC were the year’s biggest one hit wonders. In R&B, both The Weeknd and Frank Ocean debuted in 2011. All told, it’s a pretty incredible year to revisit!

So enjoy this blast from the recent past, and remember you can catch up on all of The Rub History of Hip Hop mixes (1979 – 2011) at

DOWNLOAD The Rub – Hip Hop History 2011

Tracklist: Read the rest of this entry »

The next movie in our Hip-Hop History Movie Series with Alamo Drafthouse is Fade To Black. Set against Jay-Z’s 2003 sold out concert at Madison Square Garden (and threatened final performance before retirement), FADE TO BLACK explores Jay’s career, creative process, and the making of “The Black Album”, interspersed with performance of so many of his bangers – “Hard Knock Life”, “Crazy in Love”, etc. – thrown in. Includes cameos from Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, P Diddy, Common, Dame Dash, Missy Elliott, Funkmaster Flex, Slick Rick, R. Kelly, Q-Tip, Usher, Rick Rubin,?uestlove, Timbaland, Kanye, Pharrell, Just Blaze, Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel, Freeway, and Ghostface.

Join us after the movie in House of Wax for a special set of all Jay-Z songs to celebrate his birthday two days before!


Fans of The Rub’s History of Hip Hop series have been asking for new episodes since 2009, and your dreams have finally been fulfilled! We pick up right where we left off, and we’ll be dropping another year every month until we’re caught up.

2010 was dominated by a few big stars – Young Money’s Nicki Minaj, Drake and Lil Wayne were on the radio and in clubs nonstop, along with huge hits by Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa, and Kanye. Yelawolf, Big K.R.I.T. and J. Cole were the hot up-and-comers. It was Ludacris and Jeezy’s last really stellar year, and we also got surprising comeback singles from Dipset, Lloyd Banks, Nas and Big Boi. And 2010 was a great year for producers, including Lex Luger, AraabMuzik, Clams Casino, Stargate and of course Kanye West and Swizz Beats.

So enjoy this blast from the recent past, and remember you can catch up on all of The Rub History of Hip Hop mixes (1979 – 2010) at

DOWNLOAD The Rub – Hip Hop History 2010

Tracklist: Read the rest of this entry »

History of Hip-Hop

As we get closer to celebrating the 14th 17th anniversary of The Rub, it’s always a time to reflect. And as our (mostly) weekly TBT section focuses on that exact notion, we’ll be reminiscing about some of the larger projects we’ve been a part of in the coming weeks. First up is our History of Hip-Hop series we did with our friends over at Brooklyn Radio. This extensive mix series looks back at some of the greatest Hip-Hop and Rap tunes of every year from 1979 all the way up until 2009, celebrating 3 decades of the music that’s been so influential to us and the rest of the world. Check out just a few favorites below. And feel free to take some time and revisit the interview with Brooklyn Radio that was done when the series was completed as well!

Get em all here:

On Thursday, November 8, we’ll be continuing our movie series at Alamo Drafthouse with 8 Mile.

How did Eminem not become a movie star? That’s the question fans and critics alike are still asking, since 8 MILE a semi-autobiographical drama that marked the rapper’s first lead role, was a major success and even won a best original song Oscar for its electrifying theme, “Lose Yourself.”

As Jimmy Smith Jr., known to friends and family as “Rabbit,” Eminem projects rough-edged charisma and an almost palpable intensity. While the role has a fairly narrow emotional range — most of the time, Rabbit is either quietly steaming or venting — it’s demanding because Rabbit is in every scene of the film. That’s an enormous burden to put on an inexperienced actor, but Eminem never appears overwhelmed by it.

The star is fortunate to have excellent support from Mekhi Phifer, Evan Jones and a bedraggled-looking Kim Basinger, as well as from director Curtis Hanson (L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, WONDER BOYS), who knows how to put an unexpected kick into an otherwise straightforward scene. The streets of Detroit also play a key role and it’s doubtful the Chamber of Commerce used 8 MILE to attract newcomers to town: Production designer Philip Messina portrays the Motor City as a Godforsaken wasteland of rusty cars, peeling paint, cracked asphalt and torched houses.

The screenplay by Scott Silver positions Rabbit as the successor to Tony Manero of SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and, perhaps more directly, Prince’s The Kid in PURPLE RAIN. Rabbit works a mind-numbing job at a stamping plant and spends his spare time working on sharpening up his rhyming skills for weekly “battles” at clubs like The Shelter. After a falling-out with girlfriend Janeane (Taryn Manning), Rabbit unwillingly moves back in with his woebegone mother Stephanie (Basinger), who lives in a trailer with a pre-school-aged daughter and an out-of-whack boyfriend (Michael Shannon) who turns out to be one of Rabbit’s former classmates from high school.

Bad luck and lack of resources combine to give Rabbit a full inventory of frustrations and insecurities that he must learn to channel into his writing. One of the most fascinating bits in 8 MILE shows Rabbit listening to a tape of a rhythm track and trying to put together a rap. The lyrics come to him in bits and pieces, leaving gaps that he’ll have to fill with something he hasn’t thought of yet. It’s a superb illustration of the agonizing creative process, in which inspirations and ideas have to be processed and translated into words.

When Rabbit finally conjures up the courage to face down his enemies in a war of words, it’s every bit as exciting as John Travolta’s dance floor moves in FEVER or Prince’s climactic numbers in RAIN. All of the young man’s experiences are boiled down into a red-hot stream of street poetry that’s raw, hilarious and lethal. (James Sanford)

After the screening, join us for a special DJ inspired by the movie at the House of Wax!


Our next Hip-Hop Movie Series is CB4 and it’s coming up on October 11!

A 1993 comedy following a fictional hip-hop group, CB4 is a parody of N.W.A. and gangsta rap of the era. Written by Chris Rock and Nelson George, CB4 features a stellar cast, including Halle Berry, Eazy-E, Ice-T, Ice Cube, Flavor Flav, Shaquille O’Neal, Charlie Murphy, Isaac Hayes, Phil Hartman, Chris Elliot, and the Butthole Surfers. Also includes music from CB4 (voiced by Kool Moe Dee, Daddy-O, and Hi-C), Public Enemy, KRS-One, and the Beastie Boys.

After the screening, join us for a special DJ inspired by the movie at the House of Wax!


Our next movie showing is Juice and it’s coming up quick on September 6th!

Few movies so perfectly capture early 1990s New York City as JUICE, the 1992 directoral debut of Ernest R. Dickerson — long-time cinematographer for Spike Lee. JUICE stars Tupac Shakur and Omar Epps and features cameos from Samuel L. Jackson, Queen Latifah, Oran “Juice” Jones, Ed Lover, Dr. Dre, Fab 5 Freddy, Donald Faison, Treach, Kool DJ Red Alert, Special Ed. It also has one of the single best soundtracks of any hip-hop movie, including joints by Naughty by Nature, Eric B. & Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Too $hort, EPMD, Salt-n-Pepa, Cypress Hill, Son of Bazerk, Brand New Heavies & N’Dea Davenport, and Teddy Riley.

After the screening, join us for a special DJ set of 90’s New York Hip-Hop at the House of Wax!