Blogospheric Conditions – Spring’s Cautious Arrival

Here in the northeast, the vernal equinox has been somewhat disappointing, as we’re still seeing overnight lows in the 20s and snow/sleet storms. But forget all that. After the jump, the best reads from around the rap bloggasfear.

Politicking With Shabazz Palaces and Open Mike Eagle – Jeff Weiss covers their shows at SXSW and asserts that both continue the long tradition of socially conscious rap while innovating on it.

Looking At Hip Hop 1.0 – Bill Adler discusses the history of the non-graffiti visual media side of hip hop.

the legend of curly’s gold – donelanguage discusses the recent solo output of Black C (RBL Posse), an examplar of growing old gracefully in hip hop.

Behind The Two Faces Of The White Rapper – Brandon Soderberg explains why hedonistic frat-rap won’t outlast the honest, self-aware, and thoughtful artistry of rappers like Rittz and Yelawolf.

THE JJ ABRAMS-ICATION OF MUSIC ON THE WEB – Gardner speaks on Tumblr, young folks, the rupture of generic boundaries, marketing and the future of music.

New Rap Music – Noz discusses recent tracks by E-40, Freestyle Fellowship, Pusha T and others.

Hollywood BASIC: BASIC beats sampler – The Unheard provides some history on the ill-fated, unusual Disney-owned subsidiary helmed by David “Funken” Klein that put out records from a range of artists only possibly in the 90s, from Organized Konfusion to Queen. He includes a download link to a compilation of “a cross section of bizarre interludes including angry messages from members of Lifers Group, Rick Rubin singing badly, someone getting really pissed off about Milli Vanilli and lots of other oddities.”

Rainbow Noise > OFWGKTA – The inimitable Dom Passantino takes a humorous but respectful look at a pretty amazing video/song by a group of openly homosexual rappers.

Ya Gonna Need a Posse, a Mosse Or More – Werner Von Wallenrod digs deep into the down and dirty underground rap vinyl from Jersey.

It All Started After The Roc Raida Show… – Ming-Tzu wonders whether the inclination to preserve hip hop culture is naive, or worse yet, exploitative and intrusive.

Raekwon’s latest opens 37th chamber – This isn’t a perfect piece of writing, but Connor O’Neill’s review of Raekwon’s latest album is the most incisive one that I’ve read yet. Keep in mind that it was written for a college newspaper’s website. Disclosure: this article links to TROY, but only to a poll I created out of boredom and don’t really care much about.

Now that I’m sober you ain’t that fine – Ian Cohen tackles instant macaroni and cheese, Lupe Fiasco, the pitfalls of self-professed “conscious rap,” Nate Dogg, and a host of other topics.

Rap Confessions, Vol. 1 – Fat Joe… – mobdeen defends his appreciation of Fat Joe’s music.

Free Lil Boosie’s Lyrics! Rap On Trial, Again – Brandon Soderberg reports on the misguided and tactically stupid attempts of law enforcement officials to use Lil’ Boosie’s lyrics against him as evidence for very serious charges.