André Lauren Benjamin, better known by his stage name André 3000, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and dancer best known for being part of hip hop duo Outkast alongside fellow rapper Big Boi. As an actor, Benjamin has made appearances in a number of TV series and films, including Families, The Shield, Be Cool, Semi-Pro, Four Brothers, the lead role of Jimi Hendrix in All Is by My Side. In addition to music and acting, Benjamin has been an entrepreneur. In the spring of 2008, he launched, he has been an advocate for animal rights. He is known for his work on the Cartoon Network animated series Class of 3000. In 2013, Complex included Benjamin on its list of the 10 best rappers of the 2000s. In 2015, Billboard included Benjamin on its list of the 10 Greatest Rappers of All Time. Benjamin was born in Atlanta, the only child of Sharon Benjamin-Hodo, a single mother who sold real estate and Lawrence Harvey Walker, a collections agent. Growing up in Atlanta, East Point and Bankhead, Georgia, he attended Sarah Smith Elementary School, Sutton Middle School, Northside High School and Tri-Cities High School.
In high school, Benjamin met Antwan "Big Boi" Patton. Benjamin and Patton teamed up to form Outkast. Shortly after graduating from high school, Outkast was signed to the Atlanta-based LaFace label and released their debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, in 1994. Buoyed by the success of the single "Player's Ball", the album went platinum by the end of the year and Outkast was named Best New Rap Group of the Year at the 1995 Source Awards. On their next two albums, ATLiens and Aquemini, Outkast experimented with their sound by adding elements of trip hop and jungle; the albums were influenced by a return to traditional black music genres, funk being the prime example. With their portrayal of themselves as out-of-place extraterrestrials in ATLiens, "the funkadelic and unfamiliar, weird, or eccentric persona projected by André 3000 creates the chance to transcend the more pronounced characterizations of gangstas and pimps so assumed by black men rap artists." Outkast's distinctive southern "player" style is combined with these Afrofuturistic elements to create a new, unique space for their brand of rap within popular culture.
Benjamin's lyrics, in particular, took on a more surreal, space-age tinge. Within the time of his second and third albums, Benjamin took up guitar, a relationship with singer Erykah Badu. Outkast's fourth album, introduced Benjamin's new alias André 3000 and increased the group's crossover appeal with the single "Ms. Jackson", which hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100; the song was written in the aftermath of Benjamin's breakup with Badu and was a fictionalized account of the disintegration of their relationship. In 2002, Outkast released a greatest hits album, Big Boi and Dre Present... OutKast which contained three new tracks. One track, "The Whole World", won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Group; that year, Benjamin participated in the Dungeon Family group album, which saw a number of prominent Atlanta-based hip-hop groups combine into a supergroup. In 2002, André 3000 was referenced on the song "Till I Collapse" by Eminem, who considered him one of the best rappers ever. In 2003, Outkast released Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, a double album which highlighted the differences in the musical styles of the group's two members.
Benjamin's half of the album, The Love Below, garnered the most attention from mainstream audiences, with the popular singles "Hey Ya!" and "Roses". The album's fourth single and video, "Prototype", was released shortly after. Big Boi's Speakerboxxx spawned the number-one hit "The Way You Move" and the successful "Ghetto Musick"; the Love Below was, unlike Speakerboxxx, an exercise in funk and alternative music, featuring sung vocals from Benjamin. Rolling Stone compared Benjamin to "an indie-rock Little Richard" on Outkast's 2003 Number 1 international hit "Hey Ya!" and declared the hit one of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, In 2006, Outkast released their sixth album as a group, Idlewild. The album served as a soundtrack to the group's musical film Idlewild; the film centered on life in a 1930s setting and the album took influences from music of that era blues. Benjamin had a few rapped verses on the album, including on the first single "Mighty O", but stuck with singing as he had on The Love Below.
The album postponed the release of the theatrical Idlewild, as Andre 3000 and Big Boi were concentrated more on the production of the music than the movie. In an odd turn of events, the movie was finished before the album was, because of that, the movie was postponed about a year; this was because the crew of Outkast and its associates' had developed the idea of creating a movie before the release of one of their early albums, Aquemini. Thus, when it came time to collaborate as a group on the movie, they had most of the details worked out, including a script, as stated by Andre 3000 himself in an interview he had conducted with Billboard in 2006. In January 2014, it was announced that Outkast would be reuniting to celebrate their 20th anniversary by performing at more than 40 festivals worldwide during the spring/summer of 2014, beginning with a headline spot at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California in April. Benjamin returned to rapping after a hiatus from the genre.
Appearing on various remixes, including: "Wal
In the music industry, a single is a type of release a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song, released separately from an album, although it also appears on an album; these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released. Despite being referred to as a single, singles can include up to as many as three tracks; the biggest digital music distributor, iTunes Store, accepts as many as three tracks less than ten minutes each as a single, as does popular music player Spotify. Any more than three tracks on a musical release or thirty minutes in total running time is either an extended play or, if over six tracks long, an album; when mainstream music was purchased via vinyl records, singles would be released double-sided.
That is to say, they were released with an A-side and B-side, on which two singles would be released, one on each side. Moreover, only the most popular songs from a released album would be released as a single. In more contemporary forms of music consumption, artists release most, if not all, of the tracks on an album as singles; the basic specifications of the music single were set in the late 19th century, when the gramophone record began to supersede phonograph cylinders in commercially produced musical recordings. Gramophone discs were manufactured in several sizes. By about 1910, the 10-inch, 78 rpm shellac disc had become the most used format; the inherent technical limitations of the gramophone disc defined the standard format for commercial recordings in the early 20th century. The crude disc-cutting techniques of the time and the thickness of the needles used on record players limited the number of grooves per inch that could be inscribed on the disc surface, a high rotation speed was necessary to achieve acceptable recording and playback fidelity.
78 rpm was chosen as the standard because of the introduction of the electrically powered, synchronous turntable motor in 1925, which ran at 3600 rpm with a 46:1 gear ratio, resulting in a rotation speed of 78.26 rpm. With these factors applied to the 10-inch format and performers tailored their output to fit the new medium; the 3-minute single remained the standard into the 1960s, when the availability of microgroove recording and improved mastering techniques enabled recording artists to increase the duration of their recorded songs. The breakthrough came with Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone". Although CBS tried to make the record more "radio friendly" by cutting the performance into halves, separating them between the two sides of the vinyl disc, both Dylan and his fans demanded that the full six-minute take be placed on one side, that radio stations play the song in its entirety; as digital downloading and audio streaming have become more prevalent, it has become possible for every track on an album to be available separately.
The concept of a single for an album has been retained as an identification of a more promoted or more popular song within an album collection. The demand for music downloads skyrocketed after the launch of Apple's iTunes Store in January 2001 and the creation of portable music and digital audio players such as the iPod. In September 1997, with the release of Duran Duran's "Electric Barbarella" for paid downloads, Capitol Records became the first major label to sell a digital single from a well-known artist. Geffen Records released Aerosmith's "Head First" digitally for free. In 2004, Recording Industry Association of America introduced digital single certification due to significant sales of digital formats, with Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" becoming RIAA's first platinum digital single. In 2013, RIAA incorporated on-demand streams into the digital single certification. Single sales in the United Kingdom reached an all-time low in January 2005, as the popularity of the compact disc was overtaken by the then-unofficial medium of the music download.
Recognizing this, On 17 April 2005, Official UK Singles Chart added the download format to the existing format of physical CD singles. Gnarls Barkley was the first act to reach No.1 on this chart through downloads alone in April 2006, for their debut single "Crazy", released physically the following week. On 1 January 2007 digital downloads became eligible from the point of release, without the need for an accompanying physical. Sales improved in the following years, reaching a record high in 2008 that still proceeded to be overtaken in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Singles have been issued in various formats, including 7-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch vinyl discs. Other, less common, formats include singles on Digital Compact Cassette, DVD, LD, as well as many non-standard sizes of vinyl disc; the most common form of the vinyl single is the 45 or 7-inch. The names are derived from its play speed, 45 rpm, the standard diameter, 7 inches; the 7-inch 45 rpm record was released 31 March 1949 by RCA Victor as a smaller, more durable and higher-fidelity replacement for the 78 rpm shellac discs.
The first 45
Outkast was an American hip hop duo formed in 1992 in East Point, composed of Atlanta-based rappers André "André 3000" Benjamin and Antwan "Big Boi" Patton. The duo achieved both critical acclaim and commercial success from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, helping to popularize Southern hip hop while experimenting with diverse genres such as funk, psychedelia and techno. Benjamin and Patton formed the group as high school students in 1992. Outkast released their debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik in 1994, which gained popularity after the single "Player's Ball" reached number one on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart. With successive releases including ATLiens and Aquemini, the duo further developed their sound, experimenting with a variety of styles and achieving commercial success. In 2000, Outkast released the critically acclaimed Stankonia, which included the singles "Ms. Jackson" and "B. O. B." In September 2003, the duo released the double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, which featured the number one singles "Hey Ya!" and "The Way You Move."
The album would win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America. Outkast next released the soundtrack for the 2006 musical film Idlewild, which they starred in. In 2007, the duo went on hiatus and both members have since pursued solo careers. In 2014, Outkast reunited to celebrate their 20th anniversary by performing at more than 40 festivals worldwide, beginning at the Coachella Festival in April; the duo is one of the most successful hip-hop groups of all time. Between six studio albums and a greatest hits release, Outkast has sold over 25 million records. Meanwhile, they have garnered widespread critical acclaim, with publications such as Rolling Stone and Pitchfork Media listing albums such as Aquemini and Stankonia among the best of their era. Benjamin and Patton met in 1992 at the Lenox Square shopping mall when they were both sixteen years old; the two attended Tri-Cities High School. During school and Patton participated in rap battles in the cafeteria.
Benjamin's parents were divorced and he was living with his father. Meanwhile, Patton had to move with six sisters from Savannah to Atlanta. Benjamin and Patton teamed up and were pursued by Organized Noize, a group of local producers who would make hits for TLC; the duo wanted to be called "2 Shades Deep" or "The Misfits", but because those names were taken they decided to use "OutKast" based on finding "outcast" as synonym for "misfit" in a dictionary. OutKast, Organized Noize, schoolmates Goodie Mob formed the nucleus of the Dungeon Family organization. OutKast signed to L. A, and Babyface imprint prior to graduation which would become LaFace Records in 1992, becoming the label's first hip hop act and making their first appearance on the remix of labelmate TLC's "What About Your Friends". During the holiday season of 1993, they released their first single, "Player's Ball"; the song's funky style, much of it accomplished with live instrumentation, was a hit with audiences. "Player's Ball" hit number-one on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart.'Player's Ball' topped the R&B charts for six weeks.
Their debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, was issued on April 26, 1994. This initial effort is credited with laying the foundation for southern hip hop and is considered a classic by many; every track on Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik was produced by Organized Noize and featured other members of the Dungeon Family. Follow-up singles included the title track and "Git Up Git Out", a politically charged collaboration with Goodie Mob, sampled by Macy Gray for her 1999 hit "Do Something." On this early material, both André and Big Boi contrast lyrical content reflecting the lifestyles of pimps and gangsters with politically conscious material commenting on the status of African Americans in the South. OutKast won Best New Rap Group at the Source Awards in 1995. Within the mess, the East Coast - West Coast feud, André came up on stage followed by boos from the crowd and said, "But it's like this though, I'm tired of them closed minded folks, it's like we gotta demo tape but don't nobody want to hear it.
But it's like this: the South got something to say, that's all I got to say." As eloquently stated by rapper T. I. "Outkast, period. Outkast. That's; that was the first time when people began to take Southern rap seriously." In the same year, the group contributed "Benz or a Beamer" to the popular New Jersey Drive soundtrack. After Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik was certified platinum, LaFace Records gave OutKast more creative control and advanced money for their follow-up album, which they recorded from 1995 to 1996; the duo took the opportunity to recreate their image. On a trip to Jamaica with producer Mr. DJ, the two decided to abandon their cornrow hairstyles in favor of a more natural aesthetic, vowing to stop combing their hair. Dungeon Family member Big Rube observed an increase in the duo's confidence after returning from their first tour, remarking, "They started understanding the power they had in their music, they started showing a swagger that certain artists have—the ones that are stars."
The two became more accustomed to playing live Big Boi, André 3000 changed his lifestyle, as he adopted a more eccentric fashion sense, became a vegetarian, stopped smoking marijuana. The members underwent changes in their personal lives.
An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded music were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78-rpm records collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album. Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have focused on CD and MP3 formats; the audio cassette was a format used alongside vinyl from the 1970s into the first decade of the 2000s. An album may be recorded in a recording studio, in a concert venue, at home, in the field, or a mix of places; the time frame for recording an album varies between a few hours to several years. This process requires several takes with different parts recorded separately, brought or "mixed" together. Recordings that are done in one take without overdubbing are termed "live" when done in a studio. Studios are built to absorb sound, eliminating reverberation, so as to assist in mixing different takes. Recordings, including live, may contain sound effects, voice adjustments, etc..
With modern recording technology, musicians can be recorded in separate rooms or at separate times while listening to the other parts using headphones. Album covers and liner notes are used, sometimes additional information is provided, such as analysis of the recording, lyrics or librettos; the term "album" was applied to a collection of various items housed in a book format. In musical usage the word was used for collections of short pieces of printed music from the early nineteenth century. Collections of related 78rpm records were bundled in book-like albums; when long-playing records were introduced, a collection of pieces on a single record was called an album. An album, in ancient Rome, was a board chalked or painted white, on which decrees and other public notices were inscribed in black, it was from this that in medieval and modern times album came to denote a book of blank pages in which verses, sketches and the like are collected. Which in turn led to the modern meaning of an album as a collection of audio recordings issued as a single item.
In the early nineteenth century "album" was used in the titles of some classical music sets, such as Schumann's Album for the Young Opus 68, a set of 43 short pieces. When 78rpm records came out, the popular 10-inch disc could only hold about three minutes of sound per side, so all popular recordings were limited to around three minutes in length. Classical-music and spoken-word items were released on the longer 12-inch 78s, about 4–5 minutes per side. For example, in 1924, George Gershwin recorded a drastically shortened version of the seventeen-minute Rhapsody in Blue with Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, it ran for 8m 59s. Deutsche Grammophon had produced an album for its complete recording of the opera Carmen in 1908. German record company Odeon released the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky in 1909 on 4 double-sided discs in a specially designed package; this practice of issuing albums does not seem to have been taken up by other record companies for many years. By about 1910, bound collections of empty sleeves with a paperboard or leather cover, similar to a photograph album, were sold as record albums that customers could use to store their records.
These albums came in both 12-inch sizes. The covers of these bound books were wider and taller than the records inside, allowing the record album to be placed on a shelf upright, like a book, suspending the fragile records above the shelf and protecting them. In the 1930s, record companies began issuing collections of 78 rpm records by one performer or of one type of music in specially assembled albums with artwork on the front cover and liner notes on the back or inside cover. Most albums included three or four records, with two sides each, making six or eight compositions per album; the 12-inch LP record, or 33 1⁄3 rpm microgroove vinyl record, is a gramophone record format introduced by Columbia Records in 1948. A single LP record had the same or similar number of tunes as a typical album of 78s, it was adopted by the record industry as a standard format for the "album". Apart from minor refinements and the important addition of stereophonic sound capability, it has remained the standard format for vinyl albums.
The term "album" was extended to other recording media such as Compact audio cassette, compact disc, MiniDisc, digital albums, as they were introduced. As part of a trend of shifting sales in the music industry, some observers feel that the early 21st century experienced the death of the album. While an album may contain as many or as few tracks as required, in the United States, The Recording Academy's rules for Grammy Awards state that an album must comprise a minimum total playing time of 15 minutes with at least five distinct tracks or a minimum total playing time of 30 minutes with no minimum track requirement. In the United Kingdom, the criteria for the UK Albums Chart is that a recording counts as an "album" i
Idlewild Blue (Don'tchu Worry 'Bout Me)
"Idlewild Blue" is the third single released from hip-hop duo OutKast's sixth studio album and the first from the album, sung by André 3000. Andre plays the guitar for the song, using the standard 12-bar blues; the song tells the story of a character wishing to gain his independence by leaving the familiarity of his family and town. The video shows Andre and the band playing in an old house during a thunder storm, with people dancing around him; the building fills with rain water, by the end of the video, everything in the house is underwater. Because of the proximity in which the video was filmed, some viewers interpret the video to be a visual allusion to the New Orleans flooding following Hurricane Katrina, while others think the water represents the "blues" that can flood over someone's life; the end of the video features a text that reads, "Dedicated to all those tryin' to stay afloat." CD single"Idlewild Blue" – 3:24 "She Lives in My Lap" – 4:29Promo"Idlewild Blue" – 3:24 "Idlewild Blue" – 3:24 "Idlewild Blue" – 3:24
Blues is a music genre and musical form, originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1870s by African Americans from roots in African musical traditions, African-American work songs and the folk music of white Americans of European heritage. Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and rhymed simple narrative ballads; the blues form, ubiquitous in jazz and blues and rock and roll, is characterized by the call-and-response pattern, the blues scale and specific chord progressions, of which the twelve-bar blues is the most common. Blue notes thirds or fifths flattened in pitch, are an essential part of the sound. Blues shuffles or walking bass reinforce the trance-like rhythm and form a repetitive effect known as the groove. Blues as a genre is characterized by its lyrics, bass lines, instrumentation. Early traditional blues verses consisted of a single line repeated four times, it was only in the first decades of the 20th century that the most common current structure became standard: the AAB pattern, consisting of a line sung over the four first bars, its repetition over the next four, a longer concluding line over the last bars.
Early blues took the form of a loose narrative relating the racial discrimination and other challenges experienced by African-Americans. Many elements, such as the call-and-response format and the use of blue notes, can be traced back to the music of Africa; the origins of the blues are closely related to the religious music of the Afro-American community, the spirituals. The first appearance of the blues is dated to after the ending of slavery and the development of juke joints, it is associated with the newly acquired freedom of the former slaves. Chroniclers began to report about blues music at the dawn of the 20th century; the first publication of blues sheet music was in 1908. Blues has since evolved from unaccompanied vocal music and oral traditions of slaves into a wide variety of styles and subgenres. Blues subgenres include country blues, such as Delta blues and Piedmont blues, as well as urban blues styles such as Chicago blues and West Coast blues. World War II marked the transition from acoustic to electric blues and the progressive opening of blues music to a wider audience white listeners.
In the 1960s and 1970s, a hybrid form called blues rock developed, which blended blues styles with rock music. The term Blues may have come from "blue devils", meaning sadness; the phrase blue devils may have been derived from Britain in the 1600s, when the term referred to the "intense visual hallucinations that can accompany severe alcohol withdrawal". As time went on, the phrase lost the reference to devils, "it came to mean a state of agitation or depression." By the 1800s in the United States, the term blues was associated with drinking alcohol, a meaning which survives in the phrase blue law, which prohibits the sale of alcohol on Sunday. Though the use of the phrase in African-American music may be older, it has been attested to in print since 1912, when Hart Wand's "Dallas Blues" became the first copyrighted blues composition. In lyrics the phrase is used to describe a depressed mood, it is in this sense of a sad state of mind that one of the earliest recorded references to "the blues" was written by Charlotte Forten aged 25, in her diary on December 14, 1862.
She was a free-born black from Pennsylvania, working as a schoolteacher in South Carolina, instructing both slaves and freedmen, wrote that she "came home with the blues" because she felt lonesome and pitied herself. She overcame her depression and noted a number of songs, such as Poor Rosy, that were popular among the slaves. Although she admitted being unable to describe the manner of singing she heard, Forten wrote that the songs "can't be sung without a full heart and a troubled spirit", conditions that have inspired countless blues songs; the lyrics of early traditional blues verses often consisted of a single line repeated four times. It was only in the first decades of the 20th century that the most common current structure became standard: the so-called "AAB" pattern, consisting of a line sung over the four first bars, its repetition over the next four, a longer concluding line over the last bars. Two of the first published blues songs, "Dallas Blues" and "Saint Louis Blues", were 12-bar blues with the AAB lyric structure.
W. C. Handy wrote; the lines are sung following a pattern closer to rhythmic talk than to a melody. Early blues took the form of a loose narrative. African-American singers voiced his or her "personal woes in a world of harsh reality: a lost love, the cruelty of police officers, oppression at the hands of white folk, hard times"; this melancholy has led to the suggestion of an Igbo origin for blues because of the reputation the Igbo had throughout plantations in the Americas for their melancholic music and outlook on life when they were enslaved. The lyrics relate troubles experienced within African American society. For instance Blind Lemon Jefferson's "Rising High Water Blues" tells of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927: "Backwater rising, Southern peoples can't make no time I said, backwater rising, Southern peoples can't make no time And I can't get no hearing from that Memphis girl of mine."Although the blues gained an association with misery and oppression, the lyrics could be humorous and raunchy: "Rebecca, get your big legs off of me, Rebecca, get your big legs off of m
Robert Thomas Christgau is an American essayist and music journalist. One of the earliest professional rock critics, he spent 37 years as the chief music critic and senior editor for The Village Voice, during which time he created and oversaw the annual Pazz & Jop poll, he has covered popular music for Esquire, Newsday, Rolling Stone, Billboard, NPR, MSN Music, was a visiting arts teacher at New York University. Christgau is known for his terse, letter-graded capsule album reviews, first published in his "Consumer Guide" columns during his tenure at The Village Voice from 1969 to 2006, he has authored three books based on those columns, including Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies and Christgau's Record Guide: The'80s, along with two collections of essays. He continued writing reviews in this format for MSN Music and Noisey—Vice's music section—where they are published in his "Expert Witness" column. Christgau was born in Greenwich Village and grew up in Queens, the son of a fireman.
He has said he became a rock and roll fan when disc jockey Alan Freed moved to the city in 1954. After attending a public school in New York City, he left New York for four years to attend Dartmouth College, graduating in 1962 with a B. A. in English. While at college his musical interests turned to jazz, but he returned to rock after moving back to New York. Christgau has said that Miles Davis' 1960 album Sketches of Spain initiated in him "one phase of the disillusionment with jazz that resulted in my return to rock and roll", he was influenced by New Journalism writers such as Gay Talese and Tom Wolfe. "My ambitions when I went into journalism were always, to an extent, literary", Christgau said. Christgau wrote short stories, before giving up fiction in 1964 to become a sportswriter, a police reporter for the Newark Star-Ledger, he became a freelance writer after a story he wrote about the death of a woman in New Jersey was published by New York magazine. Christgau was among the first dedicated rock critics.
He was asked to take over the dormant music column at Esquire, which he began writing in June 1967. After Esquire discontinued the column, Christgau moved to The Village Voice in 1969, he worked as a college professor. From early on in his emergence as a critic, Christgau was conscious of his lack of formal knowledge of music. In a 1968 piece he commented: I don't know anything about music, which ought to be a damaging admission but isn't... The fact is that pop writers in general shy away from such arcana as key signature and beats to the measure... I used to confide my worries about this to friends in the record industry, they didn't know anything about music either. The technical stuff didn't matter, I was told. You just gotta dig it. In early 1972, he accepted a full-time job as music critic for Newsday. Christgau returned to the Village Voice in 1974 as music editor, he remained there until August 2006, when he was fired shortly after the paper's acquisition by New Times Media. Two months Christgau became a contributing editor at Rolling Stone.
Late in 2007, Christgau was fired by Rolling Stone, although he continued to work for the magazine for another three months. Starting with the March 2008 issue, he joined Blender, where he was listed as "senior critic" for three issues and "contributing editor". Christgau had been a regular contributor to Blender, he continued to write for Blender until the magazine ceased publication in March 2009. In 1987, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of "Folklore and Popular Culture" to study the history of popular music. Christgau has written for Playboy and Creem, he appears about the Replacements. He taught during the formative years of the California Institute of the Arts; as of 2007, he was an adjunct professor in the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at New York University. In August 2013, Christgau revealed in an article written for Barnes & Noble's website that he is writing a memoir. On July 15, 2014, Christgau debuted a monthly column on Billboard's website. Christgau is best known for his "Consumer Guide" columns, which have been published more-or-less monthly since July 10, 1969, in the Village Voice, as well as a brief period in Creem.
In its original format, the "Consumer Guide" consisted of 18 to 20 single-paragraph album reviews, each of, given a letter grade ranging from A+ to E−. These reviews were collected and extensively revised in a three-volume book series, the first of, published in 1981 as Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. In his original grading system from 1969 to 1990, albums were given a grade ranging from A+ to E-. Under this system, Christgau considered a B+ or higher to be a personal recommendation, he noted. In 1990, Christgau changed the format of the "Consumer Guide" to focus more on the albums. B+ records that Christgau deemed "unworthy of a full review" were given brief comments and star marks ranging from three down to one, denoting an honorable mention", records which Christgau believed may be of interest to their own target audience. Lesser albums were filed under categories such as "Neither" and "Duds" (which indicated bad records and were listed without fur