News

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
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015