Behold! The body part being compared to the self-comparing rapper

Hits of the Brits

Next week's Brit Awards include a category commemorating the most memorable performance of the show's past 30 years, writes Elisa Bray

The Red Bull Music Academy's talented Mr Hudson

With Red Bull Music Academy taking over London this month, one former participant explains how it took him from the job centre to laying tracks in Hawaii with Kanye West...

Talib Kweli, Indigo2, London

Most rappers want to tell you about where they are from, but few can take you there as completely as this compact performer from Brooklyn. One highlight of a rare European appearance is a zingy run through hip-hop classics and familiar samples. Talib Kweli freestyles over them all as if at a block party in a New York project.

Tom Sutcliffe: Time to have confidence in the future

The great aphorist Ambrose Bierce defined an aphorism as "pre-digested wisdom" in his Devil's Dictionary – a blankly unaphoristic definition which contains more than a hint of self-criticism. He was right to be suspicious, with the memorability and neatness of aphorisms so often seducing us into forgetting everything that contradicts them. But sometimes you encounter an aphoristic phrasing of an idea that requires you to do all the digesting, so neatly does it encapsulate a much larger thought.

Album: Eminem, Relapse: Refill (Polydor)

With album sales declining as a result of the cherry-picking tendencies fostered by downloading, you might have thought a logical response would be to trim away the extraneous fat that albums developed during the compact disc era, and return to something like the all-killer, no-filler approach of the vinyl era: a slim portfolio of excellence, rather than a bagful of odds, sods and obvious outtakes.

Album: 30 Seconds to Mars, This Is War (Virgin)

Without anyone noticing,30STM are suddenlyarena-sized. It hasn'tharmed the LA trio'sascent, of course, thattheir lead singer is Hollywoodhunk Jared Leto.Were this not the case,it's questionable whetherthey would have risenabove the emo/alt-rockpack. The headlinegrabberhere is "Hurricane",featuring beatsfrom Kanye West, but therest resembles a fakerandmore airbrushedNickelback. Leto's entrylevelnihilisms and fauxgrungewail will have youwondering if Kurt Cobaindied for this

Mos Def, The Forum, London

Hip-hop has evolved so much in the past decade that it's hard to tell what makes the definitive rap fan. At one end of the spectrum, you have the rowdy types, who'll happily chew off their legs for the opportunity to pump their fists to the euphoric triumph of MOP's "Ante Up". Then there's the new rap intelligentsia, motivated to wax lyrical about social injustice and the politics of love then reel off their various sexual exploits as if they've been knocking back jars of Viagra. At one point, Mos Def pleased both varieties, offering his weighty rap roots and enlightened persona which validated him as one of the performers who could sing or do anything he pleased. Major label defiance? His rock project The Jack Johnson band. Alternative income stream? The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Moral relapse? "Drunk and Hot Girls" with Kanye West.

Album: Mr Hudson, Straight No Chaser (Mercury)

His executive producer Kanye West has been quoted as saying: "I believe Mr Hudson has the potential to be bigger than me, to be one of the most important artists of his generation", which sounds uncharacteristically generous of the thunder-stealing stage-jumper.

Kanye West and Lady Gaga's North American tour cancelled

A U.S. and Canada tour by Kanye West and Lady Gaga has been canceled with no reason given just weeks after the rap star came under public fire for humiliating country star Taylor Swift at an awards ceremony.

First Night: Jay-Z, Roundhouse, London

Hova swaggers into the mainstream

Album: Jay-Z, The Blueprint 3 (Atlantic)

His main subject may still be himself, but Jay-Z tackles it here with a renewed vigour and freshness.

Baratunde Thurston: To call Congressman Wilson racist is wrong. He is just a jackass

To use a term recently repopularised by our President when referencing Kanye West's antics at the MTV Video Music Awards, Congressman Joe Wilson is a jackass.

Twitter drama after Barack Obama calls Kanye West a 'jackass'

President Barack Obama's candid thoughts about rapper Kanye West are provoking a debate over standards of journalism in the Twitter age.

Kanye West stuns MTV ceremony with on-stage attack on Taylor Swift

With his preppy clothing and middle-class background, he was supposed to be the acceptable face of an artistic genre tarnished by its long association with guns, drugs and attitude. Instead, Kanye West finds himself cast as hip-hop's latest pantomime villain.

Jay-Z - The very best in the business

He's a rapper, an entrepreneur and a mentor and, as his 13th album hits shelves, Jay-Z is still breaking the mould. By Matilda Egere-Cooper
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