The Writer's Block

News and Reviews from Marcus J. Moore

"If You’re Dead! explores the afterlife, the gospel-infused ‘Coronus, the Terminator’ is its most glorious moment—the song that plays when the angels come for your soul.” — Marcus J. Moore, Pitchfork

Five years ago, Diamond District helped define the DMV hip-hop scene. Are people still listening? My full cover story for this week’s Washington City Paper.

Five years ago, Diamond District helped define the DMV hip-hop scene. Are people still listening? My full cover story for this week’s Washington City Paper.

"It’s been five years since the Diamond District released its stellar debut album, In the Ruff, an astute depiction of young black Washington. 
Out now, ‘First Step’ is the triumphant first single from the Diamond District’s new album, March on Washington. It marks a striking return for the locally revered trio and recalls the boom-bap aesthetic that made In the Ruff so gritty.” — Marcus J. Moore, Washington City Paper

"It’s been five years since the Diamond District released its stellar debut album, In the Ruff, an astute depiction of young black Washington. 

Out now, ‘First Step’ is the triumphant first single from the Diamond District’s new album, March on Washington. It marks a striking return for the locally revered trio and recalls the boom-bap aesthetic that made In the Ruff so gritty.” — Marcus J. Moore, Washington City Paper

(Photo credit: Josh Sisk)
"There’s an underlying sincerity to the rapper that you instantly feel. So it doesn’t matter if he rhymes about having sex in a bathroom stall, remaining forthright or the effects of karma, it’s clear that his words come from a very real place.” —- Marcus J. Moore, Washington Post

(Photo credit: Josh Sisk)

"There’s an underlying sincerity to the rapper that you instantly feel. So it doesn’t matter if he rhymes about having sex in a bathroom stall, remaining forthright or the effects of karma, it’s clear that his words come from a very real place.” —- Marcus J. Moore, Washington Post

"Take the essential elements of gangsta rap: the plainspoken narratives, throbbing bass lines and West Coast sheen. Pack it with today’s trap music, a little dancehall reggae and Afrika Bambaataa’s planet-rocking electro-funk. 
Crumple it into a ball and fling it to Mars. That’s Shabazz Palaces.” — Marcus J. Moore, Washington Post

"Take the essential elements of gangsta rap: the plainspoken narratives, throbbing bass lines and West Coast sheen. Pack it with today’s trap music, a little dancehall reggae and Afrika Bambaataa’s planet-rocking electro-funk. 

Crumple it into a ball and fling it to Mars. That’s Shabazz Palaces.” — Marcus J. Moore, Washington Post

(Photo credit: Yue Wu/Washington Post)
Aug. 22 is “Chuck Brown Day” in Washington, D.C. For the Washington Post, I wrote a *full* feature on Chuck Brown's new album, his iconic legacy and what's next for the go-go community.

(Photo credit: Yue Wu/Washington Post)

Aug. 22 is “Chuck Brown Day” in Washington, D.C. For the Washington Post, I wrote a *full* feature on Chuck Brown's new album, his iconic legacy and what's next for the go-go community.

Photo credit: Sharon Esquivel
“We just hope people love the new album, and are inspired by it in some way or another. It’s all about love and we want to inspire that community-wise. We’re all together.” — Paris Strother of KING, Washington City Paper

Photo credit: Sharon Esquivel

We just hope people love the new album, and are inspired by it in some way or another. It’s all about love and we want to inspire that community-wise. We’re all together.” — Paris Strother of KING, Washington City Paper

Smooth Soul Picnic

D’Angelo to Flying Lotus. Bibio to J Dilla.

For songza, I curated an expansive playlist of warm, mid-tempo gems that work for your next dinner party or cookout. 

"Rock Konducta Pt. 2 doesn’t have the immediate impact of Pt. 1, but it’s still rewarding. Much like his other output, Pt. 2 shows that Madlib has never lost his love of crate digging, even after the countless projects he’s released over the years. He’s still ambitious, just as restless and refuses to clean up his sound.” — Marcus J. Moore, HipHopDX

"Rock Konducta Pt. 2 doesn’t have the immediate impact of Pt. 1, but it’s still rewarding. Much like his other output, Pt. 2 shows that Madlib has never lost his love of crate digging, even after the countless projects he’s released over the years. He’s still ambitious, just as restless and refuses to clean up his sound.” — Marcus J. Moore, HipHopDX