Juicy J returns with more of the same on "Blue Dream & Lean 2."
In the era of Yeezus Christ and King Kendrick, it's easy to fall into the mindset that every hip-hop album should be an experiment in pushing hip-hop forward. Every track should ooze with idealism and what's new. This feeling goes double for mixtapes. Freed from the binds of needing to make something that is commercially viable, rappers are able to let their wildest experiments roam.
Obviously the biggest topic of this week's Charts is Drizzy Drake. The rapper utilized the surprise release tactic that we've seen several artists find success with over the last year or two, and it definitely paid off for him as well.
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.
Hype Williams may have only directed four videos in 2014, but that doesn't mean we can't all remember a time when every dope hip-hop video seemed to have Hype's fingerprints on it. Countless legendary MCs collaborated with Hype Williams, including the likes of Jay Z, Notorious B.I.G., Nas, Busta Rhymes and A Tribe Called Quest, and also R&B stars like Blackstreet, Aaliyah, Usher and Mary J.
Things turned down a few notches after last week, which isn't a bad thing considering how crazy that week was. Kanye West returned to The Breakfast Club, and that was pretty much the biggest thing. We're still on the look out for his album and Big Sean's Dark Sky Paradise. Until their drop (or next week), check out 140 Bars Or Less.
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.
With a wealth of new music, including two collaborations with Paul McCartney, surfacing in conjunction with the release of his "Yeezy: Season 1" line with adidas, Kanye West has been back in the spotlight and bigger than ever.
With an unexpectedly sample-heavy release from Drake blowing up your newsfeeds all week, we have a wealth of tracks to pick from for Samples Of The Week. We could've easily devoted this entire thing to If You're Reading This It's Too Late, but we thought we'd spare you another feature article on Drake. Still, one or two songs from the tape are included on here.
This week, Chief Keef caused a stir by releasing two tracks with Andy Milonakis, a comedian who'd formerly rapped alongside RiFF RAFF and Dirt Nasty in the group Three Loco. The man who came up as the poster boy for Chicago's violent drill scene was chilling out a bit and embracing humor with these tracks, or so it seemed.
Talib Kweli is one of Brooklyn's many great MCs. In 1998 he linked up with fellow Brooklynite Mos Def for the lone Black Star LP, a record that is still influencing rappers today.
On 2009's "Successful," a young Drake rapped, "Diss me, you’ll never hear a reply for it," creating somewhat of a mission statement for his career from there on out. In a way, those words were accurate, as Drizzy rarely (if ever) calls out anyone by name in his music, but more accurately, he's become known as the king of the sneak diss, the sultan of the subliminal shot.
The rap game is all about your aesthetic. What you do, how you do it, how you look and how you market yourself are all a massive factor in a successful career. Some rappers take their aesthetic to the next level, creating something completely unique out of their brand.
If it weren't for the weird for-pay nature of Drake's new "mixtape" then all five of these tracks would come from the 6 God. That's not to say the rest of the week was terrible. Our Top 100 chart contained a number of notable tracks.
Cash Money is an indisputable empire, and at the helm, sits Birdman--and, behind the scenes, his brother Slim. In its nearly 25 years of existence, Cash Money has become one of the most successful hip-hop labels of all-time, though many of its living legends look back on their Cash Money days with disdain. When Cash Money and Young Money joined forces, the empire looked to be unstoppable.
Were it not for Juicy J, "ratchet" would not be nearly as popular a term as it currently is.
Ne-Yo has been topping charts since the early 2000s when we we're all dancing in school gymnasiums to his first breakout hit "So Sick". His latest album, Non-Fiction featured the track, "Coming With You," a song that has become huge overseas.Blonde is a UK production duo comprised of Adam Englefeld and Jake Manson. The two have been remixing hip hop tracks and turning them house.
We know you're probably sick of all the year-end lists from last year, but we're already in the second month of 2015, and we're hypothesizing who will get their big break in the coming months. This time last year, Bobby Shmurda came across a particularly fiery Jahlil Beats production on YouTube. Months later, iLoveMakonnen would see Drake remixing his song on Instagram.
You may not agree with everything Kanye West says--in fact, it would be worrisome if you did--but you can't deny his omnipotence as a tastemaker. If Kanye says it's hot, it's hot. Many of today's household names were once unknowns, and thanks to Yeezy, we can now enjoy their them in their full spotlight. The Grammy's prime nemesis has won more Awards than anyone his age--21 total.
Hailing from Gary, Indiana, Freddie Gibbs moved to Los Angeles in 2006 after he signed to Interscope Records. Things didn't work out with Interscope and Gibbs inked a deal with Young Jeezy's CTE label. Things didn't work out there either, but with the help of Madlib, Freddie Gibbs was on the tip of everyone's tongue last year, and founded his own imprint, ESGN.
Kid Ink's sophomore effort hit the Billboard 200 this week, although it didn't perform quite as well as his debut My Own Lane. My Own Lane pushed 50,000 copies out opening week, which was deemed a strong release, especially for an independently-signed rapper's debut.
The Weeknd rose up as a largely anonymous kid from Toronto who released three epic mixtapes in 2011. March, August and December each held a release date for this dude who was mixing sounds of electronica, hip-hop, dubstep, R&B, downtempo and soul in a way that had never been done before.Well, it worked.
Because so many people are out in the streets flexin' and doing it for the gram, hip hop artists included, it was only right that HNHH decided to bring a new feature, "28 Grams: Hip Hop Instagram Recap".
Besides V-Day, there is another reason we decided to create this list. Yup, we're talking about that "Trap Queen" by Fetty Wap. Translation: this track is a shout-out to your bomb ass female. Straight out of New Jersey, Fetty touches on the three most important things in life: money, your crib, and your girl. In fact, this applies to almost every gangsta rapper out there.
Drake broke the Internet two nights ago by unexpectedly releasing his brand new mixtape If You're Reading This It's Too Late. It looks like Drake did the cover art himself, writing out the mixtape title in all caps above the signature 6-God prayer hands. He also included, in the same all caps chicken scratch, a very extensive list of thank yous to the people who helped him complete the project.
Now that we've spent the day listening to Drake's new album If You're Reading This It's Too Late and thoroughly dissecting it, we're presenting you with an informative graphic that breaks down the album into simple mathematics.
The Fugees second album, The Score, has garnered a significant amount of critical acclaim over the years. The LP turns 19 today, February 13th 2015, and we wanted to take a look back at the record’s creation, influence, and above all: music.
This was hard. This was really hard. Mostly because we love all of Kanye West's albums. They've each played a unique role in the progression of hip-hop (and music in general), each pushing the boundaries of his sound and offering something new to the table.However it's fun to really dissect a great artist's work, and Kanye's is no different.
When the world was first introduced to Jaden and Willow Smith, the children of celebrity power couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, they seemed pretty normal for famous kids.
MF DOOM is one of the most interesting figures in rap music. The metal-masked villain has remained prominent in the underground rap world for over 20 years now, and his unique brand of flavor is enjoyed by critics, MCs and fans alike.
Last week we featured some of the game's heaviest hitters on Samples Of The Week, with Action Bronson and The Alchemist getting jiggy over a classic drum break and Drake once again paying homage to country music star George Strait.