Two ends of the rap spectrum

Updated: January 19, 2010, 12:20 PM ET
By Paul Shirley | Special to ESPN.com

If nothing else, I've learned this about the world of music: Like small business owners and Hollywood agents, bands don't work during the holidays. As such, by the time my family had finished tiding its collective yule, my cache of music was as depleted as a UN rice truck after six hours in a Sudanese refugee camp.

Instead of forcing my way into a discussion of bands I haven't yet fully digested (hello, Neon Indian), I took a different tack. On various recommendations, I procured ...

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