The drill life is dangerous.
With its blunt illustrations of the dangers of life growing in inner city Chicago, drill music has had a powerful influence shaping the sound of hip hop over the course of the last half-decade. Many of the genre's purveyors are active themselves in gang life, and as such some have been killed at an extremely young age.
The members of Wu-Tang Clan have always made songs that sort of play out like the soundtrack for some NYC-meets-Tokyo urban Kung Fu flick, but with 12 Reasons To Die II, Ghostface and company take the concept record route to develop a fine-tuned project.
50 Cent filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy this morning was one of the most unexpected turn of events of the year. Even with his $5 million payment to Rick Ross' baby mama last week, 50 seemed to have an unlimited supply of cash between his rap career winnings, minority stake in Vitamin Water (sold to Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion in 2007), and current spread of business enterprises.
More so than any weekend since If You're Reading This It's Too Late dropped, the last few days have belonged to Drake. Between premiering his "Energy" video, debuting his and OVO's Beats 1 radio show, sharing three new features/remixes and hinting at his new album's release date, the 6 God had us on high alert all weekend.
After a few weeks of relative inactivity on the charts, this was a very exciting cycle for debuts. The biggest story, of course, is Meek Mill's miraculous 250k entry into the charts, giving him the 3rd biggest rap sales week this year (behind only Drake and Kendrick Lamar). Miguel pulled in at number two with his third studio album, WILDHEART, while Vince Staples made a more modest entry at 39.
While the response to Lil Wayne’s Free Weezy Album has been polarizing, detractors and fans of the album alike have no problem admitting that Tunechi’s ability to artfully string together some sick verbiage is still intact. With or without auto-tune, the New Orleans emcee is a master of the simile, always dependable when it comes to dropping bars that drop our jaws.
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.
Whether you've been listening to Thundercat for years or just now hearing his name mentioned alongside Kendrick Lamar's, there is an undeniable mystique about this bassist / singer virtuoso. Born Stephen Bruner in Los Angeles, Thundercat is currently making serious waves in the worlds of hip hop, jazz, R&B, and funk.
Does social media inherently make everyone more petty? That's the question that this edition of "140 Bars" begs, what with "beef" translating to snarky subs more and more these days. With a few exceptions-- all coming from the more successful artists on this list-- this week's tweets are salty, so better hope you're hydrated.
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.
Drake's "Energy" music video just hit Apple Music, giving them an exclusive that'll further propel them ahead of their competitor TIDAL. On top of the "Energy" visuals, off the much-lauded If You're Reading This It's Too Late, Drizzy unleashed another exclusive, a collaboration with Majid Jordan, through Beats 1.
It'll be almost exactly two years since the release of Kiss Land when The Weeknd's second proper studio album, Beauty Behind The Madness, hits stores, and much has changed in the world of Abel Tesfaye.
After taking a one-week hiatus last week, we're back again with another round of Staff Picks from the HNHH team.
After dominating the majority of the most recent millennium, Free Weezy Album marks Lil Wayne's first foray into generating music without the safety net of the Cash Money Records machine that helped make him. More than that, it’s Weezy’s first opportunity to air a slew of infamous grievances, whether it be his fallout with Birdman or new beefs.
At first glance, the title of Meek Mill's new album seemed to be a sign of the music that was to come.
You may know 50 Cent from a variety of movies. You may know him for his ventures in the businesses of boxing, energy drinks, or clothing. But if you're like us, you know him for his early 2000s rap bangers.
For those of you late in the game, after premiering this past winter at Sundance, the documentary “Fresh Dressed” is now available to the public. Directed by Sacha Jenkins, the film is an incredibly dope example of the multifaceted culture that is, hip-hop. The film maps the history of hip-hop in connection to fashion, all within the evolving framework of the Black community.
There are very few artists who rebound from a disappointing sophomore slump, and even fewer who do so solely on the back of mixtapes. Future's Honest, released in 2013, wasn't even a flop-- it spawned his most successful single to date, featured Andre 3000 and had some very solid deep cuts-- but it pales in comparison to what the Freebandz rapper has accomplished in its wake.
It all seemed like fantastic, luxurious, one-percent-y fun and games during the initial TIDAL press conference. Music mogul Sean “Jay-Z” Carter’s launched his rebranding of the year-old streaming service he had recently acquired by strutting out stars of meteoric magnitude, both young and old, shuffled out like battling champions in a proverbial game of thrones.
Vince Staples' Summertime '06 is making quite the impression on the hip-hop scene. While it's being called an instant West Coast classic, the double LP also works as a geography lesson on Vince's neighborhood in North Side Long Beach, California.
Even if you don't recognize his name, you can't miss TM88. His beats under the 808 Mafia umbrella are unavoidable at this point, first fueling the South's recent reinvention of trap music, then appearing on projects by everyone from Meek Mill to Machine Gun Kelly.
Not surprisingly, the Top 10 for the week of July 4th was largely music that would sound good out of an outdoor sound system. Not a sad song in the bunch. Let’s get to it. 10) French Montana ft. Lil Wayne & Rick Ross - Lose It (Gucci Mane)
We are in the midst of a mini-Nina Simone revival. Netflix recently released a documentary on the singer's life called "What Happened, Miss Simone?" and Nina Revisited...A Tribute to Nina Simone, featuring covers from Lauryn Hill, Jazmine Sullivan, Common, Usher, Mary J. Blige, and more, might change the compilation album game forever when it drops on July 10.
Lil Wayne fans are familiar with his associative, stream of consciousness, lean-induced lyrical style, which lends itself to lots of punchlines and pop culture references. It has been well-documented that he records lyrics on his portable microphone and never writes them down.
The only true debut in this week's charts came from King Los' God Money War. While the pre-cursor to Los' upcoming official debut managed to move 7,357 units (8,331 with streams), it only came in at number 67.
When "Harlem Shake" played soundtrack to thousands of viral videos, Harry Rodrigues was just as surprised as the rest of us. He hadn't even cleared the samples to monetize the track, he was merely making some dance music in hopes to move bodies in the club.
While Voodoo is often considered D’Angelo’s magnum opus, Brown Sugar is not a record that should easily be forgotten. The R&B star’s debut LP melted the worlds of hip hop and soul in a way that hadn’t ever happened before, paving the way for that crossover to thrive until present day.
I first saw Vince Staples through his baby picture, the artwork to his breakout mixtape, Shyne Coldchain Vol. 1, was floating down my Tumblr feed in 2011. However, it wasn’t until I was listening to Earl Sweatshirt’s Doris, that I was blown away listening to Vince completely slaughter the outro of “Hive,” and from there on anything else I heard him on.
Whew! We got a lot of great music in the past week. Miguel's WILDHEART, Vince Staples' Summertime '06, King Los' God, Money, War, Meek Mill's Dreams Worth More Than Money, Tory Lanez's Cruel Intentions, Gucci Mane's Trapology, a pair of dope tapes from Problem, and too many dope tracks to count.
Ex-Cash Money rapper, Tyga, is not one to shy away from the glitz and glam of the good life, and his latest effort, The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty, is chock-full of bourgeois bars.