Big Sean and Jhené Aiko both underperform on "TWENTY88."
Last year's Dark Sky Paradise was a big step up for Big Sean. He culled his finest crop of beats yet, finessed natural-sounding collabs out of some of the biggest artists around, and most importantly, finally let go of his goofiest lyrical impulses in favor of more mature songwriting that still didn't sacrifice any of his characteristic charm.
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.
With Drake's "Hotline Bling" recently becoming his biggest hit to date, the rapper seems to have mastered the art of the standalone single.
Somewhere along the way, mainstream R&B's relationship with sex changed. It's still a central theme in the vast majority of the genre, but the offhand, casual way in which it's usually referenced these days stands in sharp contrast with the reverence it was awarded up until the mid-2000s.
I've never seen a rapper with as much leftover energy after an all-day press run as ManMan Savage. Considering his high-intensity brand of street music -- the heavy metal aggression of last year's "Takin Shots," quite possibly the heaviest tune ever released on the eclectic Brooklyn label Fool's Gold -- this shouldn't have been surprising.
The pitcher's mound is a stage, a very different stage from the one rappers and singers are accustomed to standing upon. The ceremonial first pitch is ostensibly a celebration, and throwing the ball 60 feet in a particular direction may not seem like much of a challenge. But much can go wrong.
Social media can be a dangerous place for the rich and famous. Not only can you severely damage your reputation with your own posts on Twitter and Instagram, but you also have to worry about what others might share about you on their own profiles. Hooking up with people becomes a lot easier and a lot more difficult when you reach a certain level of success.
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.
Joey Fatts is a California rapper who has been gaining recognition in recent years as the West Coast continues to experience its renaissance. He's close with man-of-the-moment Vince Staples, who Fatts has collaborated with multiple times over the years, most recently on "Farrakhan" off the latest project I'll Call You Tomorrow.
You can get a good sense of what's going on in hip-hop by simply scrolling through the right Instagram accounts, and you can certainly learn a lot from clicking through our gallery of the best moments from the 'Gram this week. Amber Rose just launched her MuvaMojis app, which is said to have earned $4 million in its opening week, and to celebrate, she posed with an IRL version of one of her n
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.
It's been a minute, as we continue to immerse ourselves into the digital cover initiative, but we're back today with another stand-out cover, this time featuring iLoveMakonnen. The Atlanta artist, who may or may not be still signed to OVO (it's really hard to tell), recently released Drink More Water 6.
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.
The '90s is a decade that becomes more legendary with time. The magical aura that surrounds Led Zeppelin IV or Ziggy Stardust begins to surround albums like Illmatic and Reasonable Doubt. In the case of '90s hip hop, cover art was a vital piece of any album's identity, and many artists created images that would be as recognizable as their beats and lyrics, if not more so.
Madlib is one of the great hip hop producers of the modern age. His dedication to music, whether it be jazz, soul, R&B, funk, world or hip hop, is second-to-none. If you've ever given one of his mixes a listen, you'll know that he has deep cuts for days. And if you're a big fan of his beats, you know that he is capable of flipping obscure samples into infectious, *very rare* instrumentals.
The Billboard 200 looks real familiar this week, with only one new hip hop release debuting, and very little changing elsewhere on the charts. Rihanna goes from #1 to #3 with her ANTI record, and pretty much everyone else follows her lead by slipping down the charts. Kendrick slides most notably by going from #5 to #16 with his untitled unmastered.
2015 sometimes felt like one long coronation of Metro Boomin as hip hop's new production king. In the midst of all the (well-deserved!) Metro hullabaloo, DJ Dahi was quietly putting together a career year for himself.
The first two installments of Young Thug's Slime Season series arrived a little over a month apart last fall, providing a good display of both Thugger's speed in the studio and his versatility.
It just takes one. Tate Kobang was completely unknown outside the city limits of Baltimore last April when he released his remix of "Bank Rolls", a local hit by Tim Trees from 2000, to promote his latest mixtape. The remix caught fire in the city. It was a hit! Within a matter of weeks, Kobang had signed a deal with 300 Ent.
Since the genre's beginnings, rappers have had tumultuous relations with police. As there has been a renewed focus on police brutality over the past couple of years -- specifically with regard to the black community, it's clear that police relations with rappers, even of the most successful variety, have not improved either.
Back in December, I wrote about an album that really threw open the floodgates for Southern rap. If OutKast made people take the region more seriously, Lil Wayne’s “Best rapper alive” proclamation on Tha Carter II showed us that it could be home to GOATs and kings.
The top tracks lists of the last few weeks got a little stale, with some songs (Drake's "Summer Sixteen," Travi$ Scott's "Uber Everywhere" remix, Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz's "Gotta Lotta") appearing week after week without much in the way of competition showing up to unseat them. Well, that changes this week, where the top nine tracks on the site are all newcomers.
While we were at SXSW, we caught up with some of the artists we've been supporting since Day One, Tory Lanez obviously among them.
It seems like nearly every week when we do our 'Essentials' piece, it's on an upcoming Atlanta outfit. That's just the way hip hop seems to be in 2016, where the dirty south hub has been birthing rising talent for the better half of the past decade.
Like many others who grew up long after the Native Tongues era of NY rap, my first exposure to a young Busta Rhymes came on A Tribe Called Quest’s bombastic single “Scenario.” The Low End Theory closing track featured Rhymes’ group Leaders Of The New School (who along with Tribe, De La Soul, Black Sheep, and Jungle Brothers formed the NT collective) in a cypher-esque sequen
The Instagram flex is perfected when you can get two legendary people in one photo, especially if they're a surprising combination.
After a mini-lull in the hip-hop game, shit really got lit this week, especially last night at midnight, when Young Thug finally released Slime Season 3. Though it's only comprised of eight tracks, it's easily one of the year's hottest front-to-back listens. And three of those tracks have been snagged for this week's Staff Picks playlist.
Today marks nineteen years since The Notorious B.I.G. released his second and final album Life After Death. The album featured some of the biggest stars in rap music of the time - Jay Z, R. Kelly, The LOX, Bone Thugs, Lil Kim, etc. - on huge tracks that have since become legendary.
What's Ab-Soul been up to in the past two years? Since releasing his third studio album, These Days.., in June 2014, the TDE rapper has been unusually quiet, only dropping two tracks that he had stashed in the vault ("47 Bars" and "House Of Sin"), appearing on one other TDE release (Jay Rock's "Vice City" posse cut), and remaining very quiet about future projects.
We're back, with more goodness from SXSW. Exclusive interviews from our trip down South will continue to roll out in the forthcoming week, but to follow up our trip recap and photo diary, we've got some special Polaroids to be 100% accurate these are actually Fuji Instaxs, but you get the idea.