Test your knowledge on Compton's rap history.
Compton has long been a creative hub for rap music, from late 80s and early 90s acts like N.W.A. and DJ Quik repping the region, to more recent exports like The Game, YG, and Kendrick Lamar.
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.
Other than some resurfacing beefs (between Young Thug and The Game, and Rick Ross and Birdman, respectively) and the beginning of what is sure to be another drawn-out, highly-publicized Kanye West album rollout, it was a relatively quiet week, especially as far as full-length releases went.
With all of the Atlanta rappers that have come up in the past few years has come an equally exciting influx of Atlanta producers. Amongst them are FKi, a duo comprised of 1st Down and Sauce Lord Rich who graduated from the prestigious Full Sail University. Since then, they have worked with the likes of Ludacris, Waka Flocka Flame, Ty Dolla $ign, Tyga, 2 Chainz, Wiz Khalifa, and many more.
Rap and R&B stars were flexing as much as ever this week, and while we usually see a beef or two spring up on Instagram, this cycle (for the most part) kept things pretty positive. Despited the fact he still hasn't made an account (that we know about, at least) Kanye West was all over the 'Gram over the last few days, taking som pics with 2 Chainz, Yo Gotti, Pusha T, and French Montana.
The week is almost over, and with that, comes our Staff Picks playlist. This past week wasn't so heavy on the mixtapes/albums (although French Montana did make a splash with Wave Gods), as it was on the songs/news.
Rome Fortune, usually as prolific as anyone in his home city of Atlanta, slowed down in preparation for the release of his debut album, Jerome Raheem Fortune, which arrived today on Fool's Gold Records, the Brooklyn-based independent label that has long mitigated the divide between genres, especially hip-hop and electronic.
Remember, as recently as a few months ago, when we all were all speculating on the inevitable decline of Cash Money? Then, Wayne and Birdman partied together on New Year's, and earlier today, Mannie Fresh put out a collab between himself, Lil Wayne, Juvenile, and even Baby, and damn, that 9th ward sound is alive and hot as ever.
About ten years ago, it seemed like Lupe Fiasco was going to be the next great force in hip hop music. In 2006 he released the great Food & Liquor, and followed it up in '07 with the equally awesome The Cool. Lupe had a little bit of a difficult time following that one, and it didn't help that Atlantic Records was skeptical of releasing the album for fear of commercial appeal.
More so than any rapping ability, swagginess, or A&R masterminding, the ability to collaborate with a wide range of artists and dabble in various sounds without once straying from his distinct vocal style has been French Montana's greatest strength.
Anderson Hernandez grew up in Washington Heights, an area in New York City he says no one has ever come from before. After putting in a short time as an emcee, Hernandez fell in live with producing and never looked back.
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.
As we continue to revel in the the season that is Yeezy, it's hard to not consider Kanye West’s body of work as a whole as nothing short of amazing.
Mixtape Corner is a place where we take a closer look at some of the mixtape releases that weren't necessarily big enough to garner a review, but still deserve your attention.Curren$y & The Alchemist- The Carrollton Heist
In two months, Desiigner has gone from virtual unknown, just another anonymous rapper, looking to gain any sort of foothold, to internet sensation. His breakout hit "Panda" has garnered 3.7 million plays on SoundCloud. It has earned him a record deal with G.O.O.D. Music and two appearances on Kanye West's The Life of Pablo.
Seven minutes and thirty-four seconds is a long time to spend watching a video, even if that video is Rihanna's "Work" feat. Drake. Which is why we've identified the 20+ best moments from the video and transformed them into GIFs for your viewing pleasure.
"Just download Lyft, they are bigger in presence out here" -- Lil Dicky, "Pillow Talking" ***
After the Kanye-inspired chaos of last week, the past seven days have been relatively tame in the rap world, with the twin titans of last weekend (TLOP and the substantially less interesting Grammy awards) still dominating the conversation.
Of all the talent to come out of Atlanta, Georgia over the past five years, Rome Fortune is one of the more unique artists. He's collaborated on multiple tracks with both fellow ATLien OG Maco and British electronica mastermind Four Tet. With a few mixtapes and a handful of EPs, Rome Fortune is one of the freshest talents in the game.
It was another busy week on rap Instagram, as last weekend proved a big weekend for flexing, between, All-Star Weekend, both Drake and Kendrick Lamar being presented with keys to their respective cities, and of course, the Grammys.
As soon as the "If Young Metro don't trust you, I'ma shoot you" drop appeared in the middle of Kanye's MSG performance last week, an audible "Damn..." came from the crowd seated in the theater with me. 'A Ye and Future song?!', we all asked ourselves, struggling to calculate just how many flame emojis we'd have to use when describing the track to those who missed the listening session.
If you thought the Kanye West craze would die down after a week, you were extremely wrong. The Life of Pablo is still very much a trending topic, no matter how sick you are of reports on it (and equally, we're getting a bit tired of the constant updates of will it/won't it come out).
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 and Snoop Dogg have put on events for the battle scene and at this rate things can only continue to expand.
In his acclaimed movie "8 Mile," Eminem's character, Rabbit, (ultimately based on Eminem) is showcased as an absolute beast at freestyle rapping. Everyone who saw the movie surely remembers when Rabbit went in over Mobb Deep's "Shook Ones Pt. II" beat and absolutely roasted Papa Doc.
Around the time the Graduation came out, I developed a philosophy for media consumption that I called the “Kanye rule.” Its premise was simple: judge art only for the contents within, not for the extraneous actions of the artist.
What makes Kendrick Lamar such a great performer? His everyman aesthetic makes him relatable. His spiritual conviction that makes him appear possessed gives his performances the feeling of a religious ritual. His live band is fuego. And, bars.
The Billboard Chart saw a new number one this week in the form of Future, whose album EVOL is currently the top-selling album in the country. Apparently rolling it out on DJ Khaled's radio show wasn't such a bad idea, as the record has sold nearly 100k in its first week. Making way for Future's climb to the top is Rihanna, who slipped from #1 to #3 this week.
Dun Deal is the guy behind the breakout hits of both Young Thug and Migos. It’s been three years ago since “Stoner” and “Hannah Montana” both appeared on the third edition of the compilation mixtape series put together by DJ Spinz' Hoodrich Production Group, with which Dun Deal is still affiliated.
Last night, industry elites gathered in the Staples Center for "music's biggest night," the 58th Grammy Awards. Year after year, the relevancy of the award show gets brought into question, though not necessarily its entertainment value.
When Jacquees signed to Cash Money Records in October 2014, many onlookers worried that Cash Money CEO Birdman would exploit Jacquees' vocal talents and strip him of everything that made him a budding star -- his carefree demeanor, bright smile, and modelesque good looks.