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Photo Credit: Matthew Yoscary

Brooklyn-via-Maryland rapper Oddisee, 35, is leaving a real estate meeting when I call him for our interview. The rapper born Amir Mohamed el Khalifa is considering investing in houses throughout Brooklyn over a handful of years to create non-music-based revenue streams.

Throughout his 10-plus year recording and performing career,Oddisee and his worldly perspective and live-band hip-hop sound have bred an everyman relatability that grounds projects like 2017’s The Iceberg and 2020’s Odd Cure, his latest EP, out today.

Created over eight weeks — two of which he spent in self-isolation in his Brooklyn studio — Odd Cure is an attempt at navigating the looming anxieties of a global pandemic in the broadest sense. …

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Photo Credit: Jake Franssen (@thejakefranssen)

There’s a very particular life I was meant to have. I was meant to meet a nice Jewish boy, get engaged in a flurry, and move to a delicate home in the ‘burbs, not too far from my parents, and live a quiet existence with a child, a beautiful yard, and no second thoughts. I was meant to be a sweet Russian-Jewish girl, one who works in speech pathology or the pharmaceutical world, like all the other sweet Russian-Jewish girls I know.

But I was none of these things. I am gay — I met a nice Jewish girl, though — and I live in the city, and I don’t have a yard, and I couldn’t be further from my parents both in mental schema and physical distance. But, as Frank Ocean writes on his Blonde opus, “Seigfried,” “I’m not brave,” I’m merely living for myself. …

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Photo Credit: Interscope Records

On the day Juice WRLD’s first posthumous album, Legends Never Die, released, it was pouring in Philadelphia. It’s hard not to imagine the sky weeping — tears of anguish or joy; I couldn’t tell you — in honor of the late Chicago rapper, hitmaker, and certified lifesaver. Juice WRLD’s music dealt in heartbreak and depression, addiction and overcoming. He gave his fans hope. He was hip-hop’s radiant light.

Juice WRLD was only 21 when he passed, but it felt as if his music had been in our general consciousness for far longer. He felt seasoned in his approach — just watch his hour-long freestyles. With Juice, every performance was a smash; every lyric a chance to reach out to a fan and touch them in a way they may have never been before. …



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