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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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links