#TBT: The Weeknd
It's been just over five years since Abel Tesfaye released his debut mixtape House of Balloons. The influential release didn't just set the stage for the career of one of pop's most iconic modern voices. It altered the landscape of modern music, period. Ever since HoB there have been a number of artists who borrow something from The Weeknd's style, and it's a case of "often imitated, never duplicated," as the Toronto singer remains at the top of the game he created.
Kanye West, Jay Z, & Kendrick Lamar Attended Kobe Bryant's Final Game
Rappers and hip hop moguls shelled out as much as 40 grand to witness Kobe Bryant's final game in person. And it was worth it. Kobe dropped 60 points, including the Lakers last 15 points of the game, and hit the game-winning jumper with 31 seconds to play.
14 Artists That Drake Co-Signed
A Drake co-sign will put you on the map, straight up. It's happened for many artists over the past half-decade or so. The Weeknd was only brought into the mainstream spotlight when Drake appeared on his sophomore mixtape Thursday. Migos stock skyrocketed after Drizzy jumped on "Versace." Even the likes of dancehall star Popcaan has been able to crossover into the American mainstream after garnering attention from Drake.
The Weeknd, Drake & Fetty Wap Lead Billboard Music Award Nominations
The Billboard Music Awards take place next month in Las Vegas, but ahead of the big event, we get to find out this year's nominees. Ciara and Ludacris, who will be hosting the award show this year as we reported on last week, made their way to Good Morning America today to announce this year's nominations in some of the BMA's most notable categories. They were joined by Ice Cube and Common, who happened to be on the show promoting the new "Barbershop" film.
28 Grams: Hip-Hop Instagram Recap (April 9)
Once again, there was a lot going on on Instagram this week. After telling Ellen that she didn't like to put herself in "relationship" categories, Nicki Minaj still kept it real with Meek Mill, who is till under house arrest, by posting up a selfie with the rapper she's been "hanging out" with a lot lately, while Ellen photoshopped herself into one of Minaj's more memorable IG posts from the last little while.
Charts Don't Lie: April 6
It's April 6th, and time for another edition of our Charts Don't Lie series. This week, we see a couple new records begin to chart, in the form of K. Michelle's More Issues Than Vogue and Young Thug's Slime Season 3. The two releases land at #2 and #7 respectfully. It's worth noting that Zayn's solo debut Mind of Mine snagged the #1 spot for its debut on the Billboard 200.
Top Tracks: March 28 - April 3
Although they haven't rapped on a track with each other since 2009's "Forever," Drake and Kanye West are usually placed side-by-side in the upper echelon of hip hop's current stars, the ones who have the potential to "break the internet" when they drop surprise material.
Staff Picks Playlist (April 1)
This week has proved to be pretty eventful when it comes to song releases. There was actually a lot to choose from when it came time to compile our weekly Staff Picks playlist, and we're expecting the commenters to call us out on any and all oversights. There were Drake leaks. There was a Weeknd remix of Bryson Tiller. There was a G-Eazy remix. There was a 50 Cent remix. There was a Lil Wayne remix. There was a Wavy Wednesday cut. There was a Lupe Fiasco freestyle. That's just the tip of the iceberg.
The Weeknd Will No Longer Support Rihanna On "Anti" Tour
Rihanna's ANTI Tour is already underway, and from the looks of it, things have been going really well so far. Unfortunately, the tour hit its first minor snag today, with the announcement that The Weeknd would no longer be opening for the singer on the European leg of the tour. "Due to some unforeseen changes with upcoming projects, The Weeknd will no longer be joining Rihanna on her upcoming international Anti World Tour," read a statement from Live Nation issued to FADER.
The 10 Best R&B/Rap Covers Of Classic Songs
Searching "rap covers" online is like walking into a minefield of acoustic guitars and webcams, leftovers from a war that began with Ben Folds' famous version of Dr. Dre's "Bitches Ain't Shit." An earnest-sounding white dude with a guitar and an angelic backing choir singing things like "Lick on these nuts and suck the dick" was (believe it or not) novel at some point, but now that approach has been beaten to death. Last year, for example, a ten year old covered "Trap Queen."
The Weeknd Hints At Starting A "New Chapter"
Since he started promoting Beauty Behind The Madness, The Weeknd has been referring to the various phases of his career as "chapters," releasing a teaser for the LP with the title "Chapter 3," and at one point matching these phases to projects in his bio (Chapter 1: Trilogy, Chapter 2: Kiss Land... etc.).With this is mind, Abel's latest tweet is a little more interesting than it might seem at first glance.
28 Grams: Hip-Hop Instagram Recap (March 12)
As usual, there was a lot going on in the world of rap this week, and it was evident on Instagram. First off, Kim Kardashian started a whole dialogue on slut-shaming and empowerment by posting a censored nude selfie taken in her bathroom mirror. It caused a few women to speak out against Kim's choice, but more importantly it found many fellow celebrities supporting her, including Amber Rose, who suggested Kim speak out about slut-shaming at her SlutWalk event next year.
Charts Don't Lie: March 9
With the appearance of a brand new #1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, each and every hip hop release highlighted below slipped over the past week, with the exception of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who debuted at #4. That's a pretty wild trend to see: Rihanna went from #2 to #3, The Weeknd went from #6 to #12, Kevin Gates went from #9 to #13, so on and so forth.
Future & The Weeknd Shoot Music Video For “Low Life”
Well it looks like we’re going to get a music video for Future & The Weeknd’s hit collab “Low Life” soon. On Tuesday, the two superstars took to their respective snapchat stories to share some footage while on set.
Charts Don't Lie: March 2
With Adele taking the #1 spot again this week, the top-selling album in the country alludes the hip hop industry. It wasn't a total loss though, however, as Rihanna jumps from #3 to #2 with her newest record ANTI. Does Rihanna have what it takes to beat out Adele next week? Time will tell...
Lil B Apologizes For Dissing The Weeknd
Lil B confused pretty much everyone when he decided to take a shot at The Weeknd on his track, "4 The Record," very matter-of-factly stating "Fuck The Weeknd".
5 Artists Who Used Anonymity To Blow Up
The Internet, especially with the proliferation of social media, has changed the music industry in a drastic way. Artists can act as their own A&Rs, and though its common for one's management to seize control of his or her Twitter account, there's much less of a middleman between the brand an artist seeks to project and the one that fans receive.
Hip-Hop Reacts To The 88th Academy Awards
Around 34 million people tuned into the 88th Academy Awards last night, marking an 8-year low for the prestigious award show. Many attribute the ratings dip to the controversy surrounding the lack of diversity within this year's class of nominees and the resulting Oscars So White protest.
Charts Don't Lie: February 24
Following the Grammys there was a surge that gave hip hop artists a boost in sales. For example, Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly jumped up from #60 to #16 after crushing it at the award show. The Weeknd also jumped from #12 back into the top 10, landing at #6 for his post-Grammy week on the charts.
Lauryn Hill's Team Claims She Never Confirmed Grammy Performance
Lauryn Hill wasn't able to perform at the 2016 Grammys, but according to her team, the fact that she didn't make the ceremony shouldn't have been a news item in the first place, as the performance was always up in the air.