by (@emilyexton)

Was 1994 The Best Year In Hip-Hop? A Look At Classic Albums Turning 20

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After 20 years in the public eye, Nas has been everywhere from the Grammy Awards to Billy on the Street. His most recent achievement, however, is something not even he or his family could have dreamed of. After the National’s Matt Berninger and his brother Tom opened the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival with Mistaken For Strangers, the Queens-born rapper took center stage at this year’s fest with his documentary Time Is Illmatic. The film pays tribute to the acclaimed artist and his breakthrough album, Illmatic, 20 years after its release. Who knew Robert De Niro was such a big music fan?

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by (@megsokay)

Bach & Roll: 10 Modern Songs Written By Classical Composers

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If you’re one of those people who swears that they hate classical music, you may want to sit down because you’ve probably been listening to classical music this whole time without knowing it.

Sure, everyone uses the same finite number of chord progressions in pop music (many of which can be traced back to Bach), but it also turns out that some of your favorite hit songs, indie pop gems and classic standards aren’t modern at all. They were ripped off. Your favorite graduation song is Pachelbel‘s “Canon in D Major,” one of Elvis Presley‘s greatest hits is actually a sappy 18th century ballad and Robin Thicke‘s real breakthrough song, “When I Get You Alone,” is Beethoven‘s Fifth.

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What We Learned From J.Cole’s Born Sinner

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J.Cole doesn’t walk in the room like he’s a star. The way he moves you can tell he has an affinity for struggle. The struggle keeps him grounded in the southern soil of North Carolina. And although he’s overcome much of what plagued his upbringing, he never wants to forget it. The I’m-still-Jermaine-with-the-chipped-tooth humbleness is what makes it impossible for people to not want him to win. Read more…

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Grammys 2013: Breaking Down Some Of The Lesser Known Categories

Grammy Award Trophies

All week long here on VH1 Tuner, we’ve been outlining the 2013 Grammys favorites in the four major categories: Best New Artist, Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Album Of The Year. With tomorrow night’s broadcast of the 55th Annual Grammy Awards just over 24 hours away, we thought we’d take a look at some incredibly compelling races in some of the lesser known categories: Best Rap Song, Best Rap ALbum, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Album Notes.

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