Toronto wins big in this mid-March edition of Top Tracks.
Last week was definitely dominated by SXSW, with most of the rap world seeming like they were down in Austin either to perform, kick it with some of their equals in the game, or announce mixtapes in creative ways.
March 15 & March 16
Allan Kingdom, a 22-year-old rapper from St.
Perhaps trying to match Kim Kardashian’s nude selfie from last week, Amber Rose freed the nipple in a censored Instagram post (she shared an uncensored version of the photo on Twitter). Rita Ora also got in on the shirtless action, as she shared some scantily clad photos of herself during her shoot for a lingerie brand.
It seems like the tide in the rap game has finally slowed down a bit, after all the theatrics surrounding the release of Kanye West's The Life of Pablo (which is still being amended) and, then, the surprise release of a masterful compilation of outtakes from Kendrick Lamar. Still, on a song-by-song basis, the genre continues to bring us more quality than we can handle.
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.
Battle rap is quickly growing as a culture. What was almost completely relegated to street corners and Youtube a few years ago has garnered national recognition, more tv programming, Pay-Per-View events, and other attention of the mainstream media. Hip Hop icons like Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and Drake have put on events for the battle scene and at this rate things can only continue to expand.
Not a lot of rappers can hold a candle next to Eminem. For nearly 20 years, he built himself a reputation for being a diabolical lyricist. Only a few have been able to square up to Marshall toe-to-toe without crashing and burning. Of those few, one hails from Em's own hometown: Royce Da 5'9".
As one of the great emcees of all time, Nas has released 11 studio albums over the course of his career. His debut, Illmatic, is almost unanimously considered one of greatest rap records ever made. Upon hearing any one of the album's 10 tracks, "classic" is the first that comes to mind.
With a couple of debuts in the top 5, it was a great week for hip-hop on the Billboard 200. Kendrick Lamar gets crowned with the No. 1 spot with his surprise album, untitled unmastered., a compilation of eight tracks that didn't quite fit onto To Pimp a Butterfly.
When Wiz Khalifa dropped Kush & Orange Juice, college kids around the country decided to skip class, load up the bong and start the day off like Wiz starts his mixtape: with some "Waken Baken." That entire project was made for an early afternoon with a tall glass of Tropicana and some greenery.
Since debuting in 2008, XXL's annual Freshman Class feature has had its fair share of questionable choices (such as Kidd Kidd appearing a full eight years after we first heard him on "Mrs. Officer") and flops, not to mention numerous omissions of rappers who've gone onto stardom.
After the excitement of new projects from Kevin Gates, Future, Young Thug, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, French Montana, and Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz, we seem to have hit a bit of a lull three months into 2016. Views From The 6 is (hopefully) in sight for April, and A$AP Ferg and ILoveMakonnen both should have new material out in the next few weeks, but March is definitely looking like a d
The murder of Bankroll Fresh has inspired heartfelt tributes from artists like 2 Chainz and Metro Boomin. We enlisted 40 Oz Van to pay homage with a playlist of his favorite Bankroll tracks.
Roy Woods is one of OVO Sound's youngest stars. Born in 1996, with the name Denzel Spencer, Woods came up in Ontario where he thrived as a football player. Ball wasn't life though, not for Woods, and ultimately he turned to music...good thing for us.
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.
When it's been an extra long week, chances are you haven't been able to peep all the new music that has dropped over the past seven days. A few months into 2016, and the ever-fruitful genre of hip-hop continues to supply the goods, week after week.
Aaliyah Dana Haughton passed away on August 25, 2001, and her legacy still lives on a decade and a half later. She has influenced countless artists, from Drake to Rihanna, with her fantastic body of work.
B-sides, bonus tracks, and outtakes are usually released to show us the sides of artists that we don't get on their standard commercial projects.
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.
It's been 19 years to the day since legendary Brooklyn rapper The Notorious B.I.G. was shot and killed in Los Angeles, and his influence in rap is still felt as strongly as ever. While many rap fans know Biggie's catalogue front-to-back, there are still a lot of interesting tidbits about the rapper that the average listener doesn't know.Today, we're sharing a quiz on Biggie.
Of all of Lil Wayne's post-Hot Boys frequent collaborators, 2 Chainz was the best choice to tap for a joint album. Who else fits so effortlessly alongside him? Like Father Like Son is certainly an underrated relic of the past, but you'd be hard-pressed to convince anyone that Birdman could ever hang with Weezy lyrically, at any point in either of their careers.
1994 was a ground-breaking year for hip hop music. 1994 is to hip hop what 1969 is to psychedelic rock or what 1977 is to disco. 1994 was the year in which hip hop exploded from the underground onto the mainstream. Looking back, Illmatic and Ready To Die dominate the historical landscape, and obscure lesser-known but still-classic albums from artists like O.C., Warren G and Gang Starr.
Almost all the tracks on The Life of Pablo are great.
This past weekend, the rap world suffered yet another senseless tragedy with the murder of Bankroll Fresh. Hopefully the frequency of the loathsome killings of promising young talents will not dilute the legacy of any one of hip-hop's fallen stars.
We got an extra day of February this year, and while there aren't quite as many brand new tracks on that week's top ten list as the one that preceded it, we still got over 50% turnover.
Memphis isn't necessarily a hot-bed for hip hop, but it's had its moments. Three 6 Mafia came from Memphis, as did 8 Ball & MJG.
There's no question that Bernie Sanders is the hip hop community's choice for president. As he continues to fight for the democratic party's nomination, we've decided to compile Senator Sanders' most hip hop moments.
Lots of exciting stuff going down on Instagram this week. First off, we got an update on ALL of the upcoming TDE releases, and surprisingly, it was Kendrick's album that came through first (though it seems Q, Isaiah, Sza, and Soulo aren't far behind).
You may find it hard to believe that Macklemore was once a ramshamble everyman. But it’s true. Ever since he dropped his debut album The Language of My World in 2005, Macklemore has presented himself as an earnest, funny, knucklehead regular white kid from beautiful, rainy, blunt-tastic Seattle. (Full disclosure: I am also a white guy from Seattle.)