Is the platinum album in hip-hop long gone, or will it make a return in 2015?
Back in October, many industry insiders were surprised by the early sales estimates for T.I.'s most recent album, Paperwork. After a day of sales, forecasts had the album selling roughly 70,000 units in its opening week.
Welcome to the final Top Tracks of 2014. For the new readers, TTOTW is our weekly rundown of what's new and notable at the top of our charts.
In terms of sales, hip hop albums did not do very well this year. As of press time, J. Cole is the only rapper with a gold album this year, and he just sneaked into the fourth quarter with a surprise release. Most of this boils down to a simple lack of "event" albums.
Here is a remix to ring in the New Year with. Chi Duly is a NYC producer and DJ notable for remixing artists like The Weeknd and Justin Timeberlake. He's been bubbling on the internet since 2012 when he released a 30 minute mix of Weeknd records, Balloons of Haus.
New year's is here, and thus begins the annual ritual. A few trips to the liquor store to grab the bottle. Texting and calling friends to find out where the turn-up is at. Going crazy enough to celebrate the end of one year, while trying to not screw yourself already for the next 365 days. Rinse and repeat a year later.
We are approaching the end of the #HOTNEW14 roll out and year-end round up. Mixtapes are an essential part of the rap game and the mixtape game is stronger than ever, thanks to the accessibility the internet provides, as well as rappers giving zero fucks when it comes to industry politics, and putting out some of their best work for free. We can't shake our heads at that.
Mr. Carmack remains a bit of an enigma despite all of the recent success. One of the undoubtable beat-makers of this generation, Carmack hails form Hawaii, which isn't exactly a hotbed for music production.
Nicki Minaj dominates the charts this week, although, there is one artist she isn't able to dominate: you guessed it, Taylor Swift. No matter, Nicki outdid sales projections with her first week on shelves, after moving a sold 244,00 units; basically 100k more than we expected. Magic? Or did Cash Money snatch up 100k copies? We'll let you be the judge.
So that does it. This is the final 140 Bars Or Less of the year. While many were shedding melancholic tears at the year's final days and others totally checked out because of holiday festivities, the news kept coming in to give a fitting end to one of the most divisive years in recent memory.
R&B will always hold a special place in our hearts. If not for R&B, that first crush, love, kiss, or more might be that much less special. The fact is, today's R&B is a bit different than our parent's R&B. Nowadays, Hip-Hop culture permeates R&B records, and the music is generally more raw, rugged, and edgy-- however, it is still important to all of our lives and ears.
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 many ways, it's surprising that we're still doing a list like this in 2014, as we've reached a point where music has, almost, gone entirely digital. No one's actually buying physical albums, but we still see album artwork with each release, and we certainly had some compelling examples in 2014.
Christmas might be over, but the holiday spirit is still alive and well, and let's hope it stay that way for a bit. We've seen rappers give to those who are less fortunate over the holidays, but yesterday, it was all about family and friends. Some of our favorite artists gave us a peak inside their home and their celebrations on Christmas day by sharing photos and video on Instagram.
Christmas is finally here and no doubt you’ve already finished your shopping. You left a few very important people off your shopping list, however. Namely, your favorite rappers. They’ve done nothing but provide us with great music and be good little girls and boys (GS9 excepted) all year. And yet you stiffed ‘em.
The first Luca Brasi Story, released last February, put Kevin Gates on the map. Soon after, he quietly inked a partnership with Atlantic and a management deal with Young Money. He put out another excellent mixtape, Stranger Than Fiction, months later, and he’s had a similar 2014 in terms of output: two mixtapes, both excellent.
We're a day away from Christmas, which means you have been subjected to the same five Christmas songs for the last 90 days. Mariah is a national treasure, but if we have to hear "All I Want For Christmas Is You" again, we'll go to her Bel Air home and drop off all the dogs that have spent the last two decades panicking to Daydream. We know that some of you are with us.
Here it is, our weekly rundown of what's new and notable at the top of our charts. Please keep in mind that Top Tracks highlights a hand-picked assortment of the most popular songs on our charts. These are songs that generated a lot of interest and still deserve a second look or a deeper consideration. For tracks that deserve more love than they got, go check out Underrated Audio.
Yesterday Lil Wayne showed off several new tattoos, all of which were on his face.
After giving everyone a positive spin with the Hottest Songs of 2014, we're getting brutally honest and critical today with the Most Disappointing Projects of 2014. Following 2013’s parade of ridiculously good albums, it was hard to keep pace and not get left behind from the jump. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened with some of the releases of 2014.
Ludacris is a veteran in the game. Lyrics, beats, hit songs, a unique style; over his 10-plus year career he has obviously shown why he has been one of the most respected and successful stars in hip hop.
As one of the most anticipated segments of the #HOTNEW14 end-of-year rollout, HNHH is pleased to present our top 50 songs of the year. As always, you're gonna have to do some scrolling to find out the #1 hottest record. Whatever your thoughts on 2014's hip-hop landscape, there was a lot going on and a lot to keep track of. Rappers started singing and singers started rapping.
Rap and jail time have had a close relationship ever since the Fat Boys rhymed about doing time for holding up a pizza place. Unfortunately, prison bids have stymied many promising careers over rap music's history. For every Tupac "out on bail, fresh outta jail, California dreamin'" there's five rap stars whose careers never recovered after doing time.
It's a Cole Winter. The rapper surprised us when he announced his new album 2014 Forest Hills Drive in late November, and released the album shortly thereafter. J. Cole stripped the album release of all things unnecessary, from endless promo interviews where the same subjects are broached again and again, to excessive bonus records, to the expected listening sessions with industry insiders.
Music videos have always been an integral part of hip-hop. Whether it’s shots of the neighborhoods that birthed some of the world’s biggest stars, or the spoils that come with commercial victories, the visuals are a crucial component to solidifying artistic expression.
Have you ever scrolled through Instagram and instantly bursted into uncontrollable laughter? Raised your eyebrow? Scratched your head? Instantly smiled? Thought, "Damn. That's dope."? Stared at your phone? Did an instant repost? HNHH is sure you've answered yes to at least one of those questions.
After 14 years of waiting, D’Angelo’s surprise album Black Messiah had every right to be the R&B/Soul equivalent of Guns & Roses' Chinese Democracy - a creaky mess that was done no favors by the weight of fan expectations. But that’s not what happened.
To say a lot of stuff happened this week would be a complete understatement. So we won't and will just give you a short recap. For one, we're living in a world where there's a new D'Angelo album. Secondly, we may soon live in a world where Bobby Shmurda is behind bars. In less epochal/apocalyptic news, Nicki Minaj and J. Cole are having a moment after their recent album releases.
After a few listens to Nicki Minaj's latest album, The Pinkprint, it is pretty clear that, to a certain extent, she does pay attention to critics. Her last album, 2012's Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, was universally panned in reviews for being disjointed, gimmicky and lackluster, among other things.
Bobby Shmurda and various GS9 crew members were picked up by police on Wednesday, December 17th, while recording at Quad studios in NYC. At the time, it was unclear just how serious (and how many) charges the were against the burgeoning rapper and his affiliates. Shmurda had been arrested earlier this year, but that was extremely minor in comparison.
With the rise of social media, we can only wonder if artists would have the balls to say the things they say via Instagram and/or Twitter in real ass life. The social media age has made it all too easy for artists and the average person alike to throw shade whenever they please, and then, when things get a bit rough, hit 'delete.' Fortunately, most of the time, we catch it.