Oliver Wang

Oliver Wang is a music writer, scholar, and DJ based in California. Since 1994, he's written on popular music, culture, race, and America for outlets such as NPR, Vibe, Wax Poetics, Scratch, The Village Voice, SF Bay Guardian, and LA Weekly.

Wang begins work as an assistant professor in sociology at Long Beach State this fall; He also hosts the renowned audioblog soul-sides.com. For more information, visit o-dub.com.

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The Record
9:53 am
Thu September 20, 2012

The Purple Tape: Only Built 4 Collectors

The Purple Tape: Raekwon's 1995 album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... was originally released on a limited-edition purple cassette that became a collector's item.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:09 pm

The Beatles had "The White Album." Prince's long-time work-in-progress became dubbed "The Black Album." Rapper Raekwon had "The Purple Tape," one the most storied cassettes in hip-hop history.

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Music Reviews
1:58 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Two Attempts To Turn Summer Platinum Into Fall Gold

Carly Rae Jepsen and the cover of Kanye West's latest album, Cruel Summer.
Vanessa Heins Courtesy of Universal Music Group

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:47 am

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Music Reviews
2:33 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Fat Boys: A Hip-Hop Novelty Act Strikes Back

The Fat Boys in 1990. Left to right: Damon "Kool Rock-Ski" Wimbley, Darren "Buff Love" Robinson and Mark "Prince Markie Dee" Morales.
Ebet Roberts Redferns

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 9:33 am

Before there was Heavy D, Chubb Rock or The Notorious B.I.G., there were the Fat Boys: Prince Markie Dee, Kool Rock-Ski and Buff Love, a.k.a. The Human Beat Box.

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All Songs Considered Blog
4:39 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Dad Builds A Recording Studio, Sons Make A (Lost) Classic

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 4:01 pm

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Music Reviews
2:52 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

'Personal Space': Relics From Synth Soul's Early Days

Electronic soul artist Jeff Phelps with his synthesizers.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 6:44 pm

Early synthesizers were supposed to imitate or re-create other existing sounds, but as anyone can tell you, they mostly sounded like synthesizers. That distinctive whine and wheeze captivated all manner of pop artists, from prog-rockers to classical composers to soul musicians. However, back then, synthesizers were so expensive and bulky, you needed a major-label budget and an entire studio wall to install them.

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