Bottom of the Map

“Hit him with the blue steel,” rapper Phonté says conspiratorially to his cohorts, Rapper Big Pooh and 9th Wonder. Rest easy, though. The only shots letting off here—on the steps of Chidley Hall dormitory on the Durham, N.C., campus of North Carolina Central University—are the ones being taken by a nearby photographer. “One, 2, 3...,” Tay counts off as the three turn their heads toward the camera, Zoolander-inspired “blue steel stares” affixed to their grills. The shutter clicks, and the fellas fall out laughing, their faux-male-model moment immortalized. Loose and relaxed, the members of the hip-hop trio Little Brother have every ...

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I’m a King

The elevator stops on 29, but it’s the wrong floor. It’s actually the right floor, just not the intended destination. A healthy-looking sister in a ...

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October 2005

COVER STORY Heard ’em say He just might be the most feared and respected man in the world today. Suge Knight is a free man accused of ...

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Star In You

Up in the northern parts of Mississippi, buildings seem to spring fully formed from the earth. You won’t find them amid the strip-malls, where supermarkets, ...

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Get Ya Game Up

It’s hot. Eighty-eight degrees at 6 p.m. hot. Jim Jones—independent recording artist, Dip Set capo and all-around renaissance thug—is Uptown. Harlem. A barely furnished apartment ...

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Big Boy Game

It’s a sweltering June Sunday, and the world-renowned epicenter of sensory overload known as Times Square is characteristically abuzz with energy. “The Naked Cowboy,” a ...

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September 2005

COVER STORY big boy game He’s troublesome like 2Pac. Cocky as Jay-Z. Fiery as Eminem. And wants to be bigger than Biggie. 50 Cent’s new nemesis, ...

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Gotta Find a Way

“You can’t get in such a huge vehicle like this and just expect it to fucking work for you all the way through.” Gene “Malice” Thornton ...

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The Growth

New York, we have a problem. Up from Texas for an impromptu promotional run, Paul Wall, a.k.a. the People’s Champ, is currently seated inside one ...

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