Get acquainted with Key!
Atlanta-based Key! has been making waves since 2009, when him and Curtis Williams founded Two-9. Through mixtapes and records , both with the group and solo, Key! has been working hard to make a name for himself in the always-competitive hip hop world.
This was Straight Outta Compton's week, and the sales reflect it. Dr. Dre's long-awaited third studio album made an impressive number one debut, becoming the third best rap sales week of 2015 behind Drake and Kendrick Lamar.
Baewatch was in full effect this week on Instagram thanks to Beyonce and Kehlani. There were other, lesser highlights -- E-40's "Slurricane" line of adult beverages continues to expand its sphere of influence, a couple rappers dare to go against lean culture, & Funk Volume challenges all other labels to a $500,000 rap battle.
Rappers are generally hit-or-miss in the concert setting. Some MCs can really rock a crowd while others are notorious for being sloppy, tardy, or brief with their shows. If you've been to a solid handful of rap shows, you've definitely been kept waiting around for an obnoxious amount of time waiting for an MC to show up, only to have him phone in a handful of songs and split.
We didn't have as many big singles drop this week, with the top end of our Top 100 list still dominated by tracks released in weeks past, but we got plenty of good under-the-radar stuff you might have missed the first time around. This week's staff picks playlist isn't entirely composed of underrated tracks (see: the fist song on the list), but it's got its fair share of newcomers and upstarts.
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.
Breakout Chicago emcee Mick Jenkins raps, “With perfect pitch, I’m screaming free my niggas/ polished and purposeful, he’s producing pristine pictures.” These rhymes-- which open “P’s & Q’s,” the eighth track off Jenkins’ latest effort, Wave[s]-- encapsulate both the ethos of this nine track EP, and one of its major shortcomings.
Bronx MC Fat Joe celebrated his 45th birthday yesterday, and today we tip our cap by giving him the throwback treatment. One of the great Latin rappers of all time, Joe helped to break down the boundaries of color and ethnicity and open doors for his people in hip hop.
Rap has an long-running obsession with food. Even "Rapper's Delight' couldn't resist speaking about grub, and when Wonder Mike dropped these words on the eighth verse of the pinnacle track, it opened up a lane that hasn't shut down since... "I mean the macaroni's soggy, the peas are mushed, and the chicken tastes like wood"
It's 2015 and grime is buzzing. One of the genres leading MCs, Skepta, is releasing fire new tracks every other week, and popping up everywhere from New York City's MoMA PS1 party to Drake's OVOFest. His recent remix of Jamie XX's "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)" is nothing short of 2015 pop gold.
At this point in the Trap-A-Velli mixtape series (and this point in the unkillable career of 2 Chainz) we definitely know what to expect from any new releases.
Have you ever been listening to a hip-hop album from top to bottom and realized that every word, every beat and every cadence is an almost perfect representation of the city you're from? Have you ever taken a step back and noticed how much an album "sounds" like a very distinct place? That is the power of hip-hop albums; they serve as city soundtracks.
Lil B celebrated his 26th birthday today by appearing on MSNBC to discuss Bernie Sanders and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. That Lil B was extended such an invitation testifies to his cultural influence.
Drake's reign is collapsing. Let's get to it. 10) Omelly - Back To Back Freestyle (AR-AB Diss) The Meek-Drake beef has already cooled into near non-existence, but that hasn’t stopped the foot soldiers of OVO and Dreamchasers from joining in.
Cash Money don Birdman was recently hit with a $200,000 lawsuit by producer DVLP, who claims he was never paid for his work on Lil Wayne's music and music by other Cash Money artists. Despite assurances of "I'm getting yu paid" and "I'm working with yu fam," Birdman never delivered the goods.
At a 90059 listening party in LA over the weekend, Jay Rock revealed that the album would feature a brand new Black Hippy posse cut called "Vice City." There hasn't been such a collaboration since 2013's "U.O.E.N.O.
Amir Obè is a fresh voice in hip hop. Taking on the melodic, ethereal sound that has been spearheaded by Drake, Obè is poised to be one of the big names in a world that continues to embrace that sound.
This weekly feature provides you with some of the most-fire yet least-viewed records that we featured on the homepage this past week. Whether they were simply overlooked because the artist name was not familiar, or perhaps they just weren't seen at all, we want to give them a second chance at your iTunes here.
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, as Diddy headed to the strip clip, Talib Kweli put on a free concert in St.
Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella made up one of the most important rap acts of all time, but if you've seen the new biopic, Straight Outta Compton, you know they all had very strong individual personalities.
The Drake/Meek Mill beef finally seemed to cool off this week, with outlying events like Kendrick Lamar's subs at Drizzy on Compton and Meek taking down his diss track for copyright reasons seeming like the last gasps of action we'll get for a while. Instead, all eyes were on South Central L.A., a region that hasn't been that popping outside of YG for a minute, due to Dr.
We're almost mid-August, which basically means summer is almost over. As the summer months wind down, we're beginning to anticipate a few upcoming album releases; more than just a few actually. The Weeknd, Young Thug, Ty Dolla $ign, Travi$ Scott and Mac Miller are just some of the rappers prepping anticipated albums for early Fall/end of Summer release.
It seems as though it is always the short-lived groups that incite the most influence in their respective genres. Between 1965 and 1970, squeaky clean rock-and-roll music was changed forever by The Beatles who, in a five-year span, took over all of pop culture-- changing it forever.
People-- even the ones who disliked Yeezus-- really want to hear Kanye West's new album. Obviously, that much can be inferred from the fact that he's simultaneously our generation's most respected and most controversial hip hop artist, but beyond that, fans are taking pretty desperate measures to hear new music from him.
Bun B and Pimp C are two of Texas rap's biggest names. When they blessed the beat together as UGK, they were unstoppable. Formed in 1987, the Underground Kings released six LPs of original music along with many more EPs, mixtapes, and big-time features, including spots on Jay Z's "Big Pimpin'" and Three 6 Mafia's "Sippin' on Some Syrup."
New York City is the birthplace of hip hop. Well, the Bronx is, to be even more specific. Since its inception in the 1970s, hip hop has spread all over the world to become a dominating genre of music.
Wild-eyed, hair pulled into a topknot and toting a hammer, Hefna Gwap is the unmistakable focal point of his "Pill Machine" video. Released last month, it was our first introduction to the Atlanta-via-Palo Alto rapper, who raps of "making pills just to pay the bills" while outfitting himself with latex gloves and a dust mask.
For over fifteen years fans of Dr. Dre awaited the follow-up to 2001. Detox was rumored to drop basically every year that followed, but was ultimately sidelined as Dre turned his attention to Eminem and 50 Cent, and later, the success of Beats headphones.
Drake loves to play tastemaker, especially when he's broadcasting the up and coming sounds of his hometown for all of the hip hop world to hear. Social media and now OVO Sound radio are his primary platforms for spotlighting promising Toronto artists.
Drake’s dominance has started to slip. While Drizzy’s obviously still around-- it wouldn’t be the Top 10 without him-- we’ve moved away from the ridiculous all-OVO, all-the-time charts of last week. Let’s get to the Top 10 entries on our Top 100. 10) Mac Miller - 100 Grandkids