Your monthly recap of what went down in the hip-hop industry.
The rap industry moves quick, and September was no exception. We saw the hip hop culture bleed into New York's Fashion Week, most notably when Kanye West debuted some new music at his Yeezy Season 2 show. We also got surprise releases by the likes of T.I., Drake and Future, and long-awaited releases by Travis $cott, Young Thug, and Mac Miller.
Last week belonged to Drake and Future, and while their numbers didn't live up to the inflated projections, they still managed to keep Lana Del Rey, Mac Miller, and the persistent Beauty Behind The Madness out of the top spot.
"It's funny how wasn't nobody interested'Til the night I almost killed myself in Lexus" - Kanye West, "Last Call"
Say what you will about the effect that the internet (more specifically, social media) has had on our everyday lives, but as a tool of discovery, it's changing lives every day. Especially for musicians who don't hail from hub cities with built-in networks of industry personnel, a simple Soundcloud account can end up being a golden ticket.
Just when you thought Future and Drake would be the year's most unlikely duo, an announcement came in about a forthcoming joint tape from the world's most recognizable drill rapper and a pop/reggae artist whose last top ten hit dropped in 2009.
Rapper Fetty Wap has to be one of the biggest sensations to come out in the last few years, right behind the likes of Bobby Shmurda (remember him??). His recent debut album is loaded with a selection of hits culled from his mixtapes, as well as more than a handful of new gems.
If you're unfamiliar with Metro Boomin, then honestly where have you been? By now, he should be a name almost synonymous with Future, and plenty of other Atlanta rappers. And if you somehow you weren't familiar BEFORE Drake and Future dropped What A Time to Be Alive, well then, by now, you definitely, definitely should be, as Drizzy and Future shouted out the producer through out.
Earlier this year we’ve done Classic Rotations pieces on Outkast’s Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik and ATLiens, and today we’re bringing you a reflection piece on Outkast’s third album, Aquemini. The 1998 follow-up to ATLiens was recorded in Atlanta and features a sound along those lines.
Lil Herb's long-awaited mixtape, Ballin' Like I'm Kobe, arrives today. From what we've heard, it aims to match the incredible artistry we heard on Welcome to Fazoland and Pistol P Project. Last night, to properly anticipate the release, Herb shared a new track, "Gang In This Bitch," with his closest collaborator, Lil Bibby.
Top 10s are only exciting when they actually change. For a while, that wasn't happening. Luckily, our Top 100 is getting more exciting each week, as we move further and further away from the incessant Drake domination. Let's get to it. 10) The Game ft. Diddy - Standing On Ferraris
It's obvious at this point that Young Thug is rap's most eccentric character. He sounds like no one else, flows like no one else, and dresses like no one else. But the allure of Thug's weirdness isn't simply that he's different. It's that he's creating a world that's impossible to resist. Every one of his quirks makes up the alien being that is Young Thug.
In the past year, Willie Maxwell, best known to the world as the one-eyed rapper Fetty Wap, has had one of the most monumental rises in rap in the past few years. Despite being a relative newcomer, the Patterson, NJ-based rapper's debut single "Trap Queen" has become a phenomenal smash hit, the kind that most rappers don't achieve in the ever-segmented radio of the 21st century.
Today, September 28, officially marks the 2nd annual celebration of Durag History Week, perhaps the most important holiday ever created by Twitter. Today, unless you're LL Cool J, the durag is a relic of a bygone era, and in many ways, a better, less serious time.
The Game has taken on a new reality show that mirrors Flavor Flav's "Flavor of Love" with VH1. The TV show, which The Game previously spoke about the show on HOT 97, revealing the motive behind it ($$, unsurprisingly). What's interesting about this show is that each girl is picked by one of The Game's friends.
The Underachievers are one of Brooklyn's up-and-coming rap groups. They're most recent album Evermore: The Art of Duality was just released this past Friday, and might just be the duo's best work to date.
There is much we can learn from rap Instagram, much to read between the lines as rappers attempt to craft their image without pesky publicists looking over their shoulder. This week was an eclectic one in the hip hop world. Karrueche posted some hot pics, Plies dispensed a few pearls of wisdom, Boosie was usual wacky self, and Freddie Gibbs rode a horse.
The first day of Fall has come and went, and with that, we're slowly but surely getting to all those things we we're excited about, from the expected like GO:OD AM and the premiere of "Empire," to the unexpected like What A Time To Be Alive.
Across the span of just a couple years, 23 year-old Mac Miller (born Malcolm McCormick) has come a long way. From the original “Easy Mac” rapper, to his acceptance and popularity into mainstream rap, Mac Miller has climbed through the dark tunnels of fame and excess, still intact enough to share his stories with the world.
For a while there, in the mid-2000s, 50 Cent was the most visible hip hop star in the country. To this day, he's the only rapper that my 86-year-old grandma can name. Such was his prominence that if you were writing a script for a television show or movie and needed shorthand for "a gangster rapper who everyone knows," odds are you'd pick him.
Last month we revisited Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's classic album E. 1999 Eternal as a part of our Classic Rotation series. Today we're giving the Cleveland rap group some more love for a throwback Thursday.
Yesterday, Meek Mill previewed a bunch of new music off his upcoming mixtape Dreamchasers 4, the fourth instalment in the fan-favorite series. If there's one thing Meek does well, it's creating a banger, and all the records he previewed appeared to be right up that alley.
Fetty Wap's self-titled debut album officially drops tomorrow but as of midnight you can stream it on NPR. Fetty has already dropped several songs that appear on the album, including four official singles -- "Trap Queen," "679," "My Way," & "Again." But at 20 tracks in length, the album has plenty more to offer.
Yesterday, The Game surprised us all by announcing that his long-awaited sequel to 2005's The Documentary would span two discs and 38 tracks. Unless you're a ride-or-die Game fan, this news may come as a disappointment.
What a Time to Be Alive has finally resonated on our ears. The ten-song effort is a testament to many things: the prominence of the dark, druggy, Atlanta trap sound; Future's work ethic; Drake's diversity. The album is one of the more surprising releases in recent history, and recent history has almost exclusively boasted albums that were (at least trying to be) a surprise.
In the past year, the formidable 808 Mafia production team has seen its three most prominent members splinter off to take on more solo work, which in turn has made them all household names. Tarentino now has Future's "March Madness" and Waka Flocka Flame's bombastic new track "Workin" under his belt, both of which are easily strong enough to become his calling cards in the future.
In terms of rappers from different area codes that join forces for a mixtape, Drake and Future are one of the strangest pairs we've seen in a minute.
Young Thug is easily one of, if not the most, interesting artist in hip-hop at this moment. The Atlanta born rapper has been all over the hip-hop headlines these past 12 months, for a variety of reasons; some good and some not so good. The latter referring to his oddly constructed "beefs" with the likes of Lil Wayne, The Game, Rich Homie Quan and most recently Plies.
Jay Rock's 90059 was fire as fuck. That's what the readers of HNHH believe, anyways. Sales numbers did not reflect the album's flammability, but those of you who copped it have no doubt gotten to know it quite well.
Drake and Future successfully created a moment with What A Time To Be Alive, successfully dodging leaks and getting rap fans everywhere tuned in to a a good old-fashioned radio show. Of course, the main difference with doing this in 2015 is the project could instantly be discussed on a major scale, with fans everywhere tweeting out lyrics as they happened.
Drake didn't get the top spot, but he once again proved why it's foolish to ever count him out. Let's get to it... 10) 2 Chainz - No Off Dayz 2 Chainz and Zaytoven sounded like a can't-miss proposition. The combination of trap's clown prince and it's beatmaking king undoubtedly drew the HNHH masses to this song, but Tity Boi didn't hold up his end.