Born in Brooklyn, New York, Caramanica received his bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1997, after which he did PhD work at Goldsmiths, University of London. He then published articles in various magazines and newspapers, including Rolling Stone and Spin, before becoming a senior contributing writer for XXL. In 2006, he left XXL to become the music editor for Vibe, a position he held until leaving the magazine in 2008. He began working for the New York Times in 2010, after previously having freelanced for the paper. He also hosts the music podcast Popcast.
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