We look back on Future's finest mixtape tracks.
Since releasing his sophomore album, Honest, about a year ago, Future has been on a mixtape tear, sharing Monster last fall and the back-to-back heaters Beast Mode and 56 Nights this year.
Earl Sweatshirt’s I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Get Outside is a short and moody album. It also happens to be a very focused, quality listen, and possibly the best output we’ve received from the California native. Through bummed-out stoned raps and shoegazing beats, Earl proves to be one of the most talented, albeit depressed, rappers in the game.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version turns 20 today. Rap music’s most eccentric figure isn’t here to celebrate the occasion, but he did leave behind a phenomenal LP during his time here on earth.
Big L is legendary for a few reasons. His punchlines, his freestyles, and his legendary album Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous are the basis to his influence.
"How nigga? My last album was The Chronic." Sure, it took Dre almost seven years to follow up his classic debut with another album, but along the way, he became one of the industry's biggest moguls. He discovered Slim Shady and built an empire around him with Aftermath (and Shady) Records.
South Beach, Miami. A popular partying destination for anyone with money to blow, rappers included. Situated inside the famous Fontainebleau Hotel, LIV has emerged as Miami's premiere club for the rich and famous. When celebrities get together, though, it's not always fun and games, even with the paparazzi looming outside.
OVO Sound is a label founded by Drake, Noah "40" Shebib, and Oliver El-Khatib in 2012. The label consists of Drake and in-house producers 40, Boi-1da, T-Minus, Mike Zombie. PartyNextDoor, Majid Jordan, ILoveMakonnen and OB O'Brien are also affiliated with the crew.
The Roots are the greatest hip hop band of all time, hands down. From the streets of Philadelphia to late night TV, they have conquered each and every stage they've graced over their twenty-eighty year career. Questlove is a cultural icon, an authority on hip hop, accomplished author, a real-deal DJ, and elite drummer.
Punchlines are one of the most effective tools in hip-hop, and throughout his career, Ludacris has proved himself a master of them. While perfectly capable of turning his lyrics to more serious subjects (peep "Runaway" for that), Luda has become known for his ability to perfectly set up a joke with a preceding line and then knock it down with one witty bar.
We're very excited today to debut our first-ever digital cover story, with Mr. Wonderful himself, Action Bronson.
Before he was a Grammy-nominated, OVO-signed sensation, iLoveMakonnen was grinding on the mixtape circuit, never sacrificing his weirdness for power plays. Starting in 2012, his Drink More Water series has been a consistent source of otherworldly jams, and with volume five arriving at the end of the month, we're looking back at highlights from the first four.
This Monday, Action Bronson dropped his madcap, adventurous debut album Mr. Wonderful. Although it was a little less sample-driven than his prior mixtapes, its live instrumentation was still often based around skeletons of existing songs taken from far-flung genres, as is Bam Bam's habit.
Action Bronson’s new album is a bid to be considered the funniest man in hip hop. A week after Kendrick Lamar’s album has the entire culture debating race, politics, and society, Mr. Wonderful reminds us that sometimes rap can also be about wicked-funny punch lines and ridiculous one-liners as much as it can attempt to impact culture itself.
As is obvious from the multiple "who??" comments that still somehow show up on pretty much everything we post about Tink, many of you still need to get familiar with one of hip-hop's most talented young stars.
Dame Dash has the twittersphere on a roll right now, thanks to the #TweetLikeDameDash hashtag. It all stemmed from Dame's interview with The Breakfast Club, where he went on this nonsensical tirade about how real men don't have bosses. It came with a whole bunch of other caveats for all the #RealMen out there. Take note, men: Real men don't talk about other men.
With every XXL Freshman Class, there's bound to be MCs included who will eventually flop-- that's just the nature of trying to predict who will break out in the sea of up-and-coming rappers. Since the magazine began the now-prestigious list back in 2008, we've seen several former Freshmen fall off, so we've selected ten that we feel didn't live up to their potential.
When Earl Sweatshirt was just 15, he was rapping about raping nuns and slitting wrists, so it's hard to imagine his lyrics getting any more demented than that. But on his new album, I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside, they do, albeit in a more subtle, depressing way.
As a former gourmet chef of Albanian and Jewish descent who raps over a Tracy Chapman guitar riff at most of his shows, Action Bronson has always been a unique presence in hip-hop. Never has this been more pronounced, though, than at last week’s South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.
Here it is, the once-a-week look at the tracks toward the top of our charts that you need to know about. Keep in mind that these tracks are culled from the very top of our Top 100 and, by their very nature, lean toward more popular artists. This week's selection finds recent cuts from Wale, Ludacris, Kirko Bangz, T-Pain and more.
As Drake said after he concluded his first interview with Nardwuar, a Canadian man who rocks a tartan hat and calls himself the "Human Serviette," "this guy is a legend." There's really no better way to put it: this guy's interviewed everyone from Nirvana to N*E*R*D, and always seems to unearth facts that no other interviewer in the game can.
If you follow us on Instagram and Twitter, you've likely already seen more than a few moments from SXSW which we documented on social media. Incase you aren't all up on our socials, we're recapping the two showcases we sponsored and our other adventures at South By right here.
Auto-tune was something of a taboo in rap, for some it may always be, but for the most part, it's been accepted as a common songwriting tool.
"Playing with your parts hopping in and out the friendzone..." Father really ain’t shit, y'all. He went on tour, dropped this chill ass 12-track album appropriately titled Who's Gonna Get Fucked First? on the interwebs last week, and did not run any of this by me...'cause we were totes besties back in two years from now.
Ty Dolla $ign's ascent to hook master and forefather of RnBass has been a gradual one, to the point that the first time hearing him on record could vary drastically from person to person. The truth is, you could have been hearing Ty's voice and not have even known it, his writing voice that is.
The hype for ASAP Rocky's second album continues to grow, but Flacko's been less forthcoming than most artists when it comes to details. We don't know any of ALLA's rap features, though we know it will feature R&B genre bender FKA Twigs and Swedish pop singer Lykke Li. We also know one of Rocky's main producers, Clams Casino, will be back--and, for now, that's enough to keep us going.
The cover to Action Bronson's new album, Mr. Wonderful, shows an illustration of Bronson spread-eagle perched atop a golden staircase. It's inspired by a scene from the 1988 American kung-fu film Bloodsport, in which the main character sits in the same pose overlooking Hong Kong as he prepares for battle. Indeed, much of Mr. Wonderful is inspired by cinema.
Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly seems to be the new standard bearer for provocative Hip Hop music and its titillating subtext. Found in the underbelly of the Compton bred MC’s verses and choruses are messages varying from infuriating to inspirational - from seductive to scornful.
Skepta is a grime MC from North London. For those who don't know, grime is a form of hip-hop that emerged from the English club scene in the early 2000s. MCs who would hype up the crowd during UK Garage eventually started seeing more and more love when they rhymed. One bar turned to two, two bars turned to eight, and before you know it these MCs were making music based around them.
Isn't it crazy how some rappers just refuse to retire? Take Jay Z for example, he retired about a decade ago and that lasted all of no time at all. It's hard to put down something you truly love, and even though rap is a young man's sport, this list is dedicated to those who hardly age.
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