Craig McLean

As seen in…

Archive

So Solid Crew: swaggering to the top of the charts

August 2001: They’ve been banged up, shot at, knifed, adored, ripped off, sampled and mobbed. There’s 30 of them and the youngest is eight. They’ve brought mob rule to the charts and rebuilt pop for the 21st century. This is So Solid Crew: get UR streets on to the future sound of young Britain.

Archive

Godspeed you black emperor!

Black History Month: It's September 1999. He is Napoleon in Pumas. In LA, he brokers peace for Biggie and Tupac. In London, he buys champagne for 700 friends. In Paris, he parties with George Lucas. And back in New York, there are the Spanish and rock markets to conquer… Has Puff Daddy come to save hip-hop, or to bury it?

Music

A reassuring chat with Chuck D

If ever there’s a time to call up Chuck D, it’s in this burning trash can of a moment. The leader of legendary rap group Public Enemy is as politically and socially conscious as ever on the eve of their 15th studio album, What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down?.

Culture

Queer eye for the literary high

Shuggie Bain is a Glasgow-set tale of crumbling families, ruinous addiction and blossoming sexuality. It’s also the Booker-longlisted best book of the summer. Its author, New York-based Scotsman Douglas Stuart, explains his hard road to publication, both on and off-the-page.

Music

Jarv Is… emerging from lockdown with a new band

Jarvis Cocker has been a frankly towering figure in British music for almost 30 years, and not just ’cause he’s tall. Now the one-time Pulp man is back with new band Jarv Is… and a brilliant debut album – one whose lyrics are eerily of the moment. All together now: “This is one nation under a roof…”

Music

Hinds are back, just in time

With new album The Prettiest Curse, the effervescent Madrid band gift us a much-needed indie-rock holiday. They had no choice: “We’re Spaniards – we love the summer and we love the heat.”

Music

Wolf Alice’s Joff Oddie on his folk music food bank fundraiser

The Mercury-winning band's guitarist spent his down time post-tour volunteering at a north London food bank. Now he’s releasing an album of folk instrumentals to raise money and awareness. We speak to him, and to centre manager Abi Odujoko, about the scourge of food poverty – and how it’s immeasurably worse now.

Culture

White Lines: clubbed to death

From the man who brought us Money Heist and the people who made The Crown comes an Ibiza-set thriller – a Netflix series involving a party snake, a white peacock, a dead DJ, big tunes and, of course, drugs. Hoover up White Lines for the Med-for-it holiday you won’t be getting this year.

Music

At home with The Streets

Mike Skinner shows us round his lovely front room, and round his first new album in almost a decade: None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive. Where’s he been? “All artists are really quite away with the fairies,” he explains. “which is a good thing.”

Music

Richard Russell’s life in 19 totemic tracks

As the founder of XL – the British record label that brought us The Prodigy, Dizzee Rascal, Adele, The White Stripes, Tyler, The Creator and more – releases his new multi-artist album under the name Everything Is Recorded and publishes his memoir, we take you on a wild ride through 30 years of groundbreaking music.

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