A weekly look at the performance of r'n'b and hip-hop albums on the Billboard 200.
There's some new talent in the Billboard 200 this week, with PARTYNEXTDOOR, Rae Sremmurd, and Atmosphere all holding it down with debuts in the top 25.
The City of Los Angeles, and the rest of us on social media, are celebrating Kobe Bryant Day today, 8/24. The City Council has officially declared that 8/24, a nod to both numbers that Kobe wore during his 20-year Lakers tenure, will be a day to honor The Black Mamba's accomplishments on the court as well as his philanthropy in youth sports and homelessness in the LA community.
In terms of chronological, autobiographical narratives, albums don't get more focused than Tory Lanez's I Told You. The Toronto singer/rapper's commercial debut recounts pivotal events in his rise from a 16-year-old kicked out of his grandmother's home in 2008, to an Interscope-signed star, through both skits and song lyrics.
With last Friday's release of his debut album I Told You, 24-year-old Tory Lanez has arrived at a crossroads after years of expanding his following and evolving his sound.
September is a little over a week away but Nike and Jordan Brand still have some sneaker releases to get off in August, including a Nike Basketball Collection dedicated to the Summer months.
Marc E. Bassy radiates Cali. Rocking an overgrown but expertly quiffed hairdo and a tie-dye Eagles shirt, he clearly descends from a tribe of “Groovy People,” which is the title of his new EP. He’d probably thrive in the San Francisco hippie heyday that brought his parents together.
Frank Ocean first revealed himself as a generational songwriting talent on his 2011 debut nostalgia, ULTRA, then emerged as a full-blown star on the strength of the 2012's Channel Orange, which amounted to a series of vignettes about wealth, drugs, friendship, and love.
Last week was a funny one for album delays. On one hand, Frank Ocean delivered not only his first, but also his second album since 2012's Channel Orange, but on the other, we didn't get the projects that we'd been expecting from French Montana, Young Thug, and Travis Scott. The lord giveth and he taketh away, I suppose.
Along with his bro Michael Christmas, Cousin Stizz is leading a new generation of Boston rappers to the promised land. Between his 2015 debut mixtape Suffolk County and its follow up MONDA, Stizz has put together a rock-solid catalog of music that is helping him take his talents from Dorchester's Field's Corner to the rest of the country and beyond.
WWE SummerSlam will kick off this Sunday, August 21st from the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn and the wrestling fans who double as sneakerheads will have plenty to keep their eyes on. From the top of the company right down to the wrestlers taking bumps in the ring, the footwear of the WWE employees has never been more popping than it is right now.
Fingers crossed that Jeffery will drop on August 26, as Lyor Cohen has hinted, but at this point, we won't hold our breath. In the meantime, Thug has assuaged his fans with the release of "Elton," a collaboration with the great Wyclef Jean.
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, Snoop Dogg, and Drake have put on events for the battle scene and at this rate things can only continue to expand.
Whether you like him or not, Drake and his music has had a distinct sound, feel, vibe or lane, whatever you want to call it. And when an artist who sound like him emerges (e.g. Kirko Bangz, Tory Lanez, Bryson Tiller), instantly Drake becomes measured against them as some sort of standard.
Jesus had Paul. Han Solo had Chewbacca. And Zaytoven has Cassius Jay.
Most Danny Brown fans got hooked around XXX ("Monopoly"!), but in truth Brown lived a full rap career before XXX ever came out. Between 2003 and 2010 he put together an eleven-project run that culminated in his 2010 free album The Hybrid.
Last night, two U.S.' Olympic swimmers, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz, were pulled off a flight by Rio Police as part of an investigation regarding their claims that they were robbed at gunpoint by a group of men posing as cops.
Last week we had a new #1 album in the form of DJ Khaled's Major Key. This week, Major Key has been dethroned by newcomer Suicide Squad: The Album. Drake, who was at #1 for two months straight, sticks around at #2 as Khaled drops to #7.
When Rae Sremmurd emerged with "No Flex Zone" about two and a half years ago, they sounded like the newest and youngest thing on the block.
In terms of the calendar, summer is winding down, but someone forgot to tell that to the rap game. We've only seen things heat up in the past week, with SremmLife 2 providing more than enough turn up fuel for the next few weeks, and P3 reminding us to squeeze every last bit of fun out of summer flings before cuffing season arrives.
September is shaping up to be the biggest month on Donald Glover/Childish Gambino's career. "Atlanta," the show he conceived, wrote, produced, and starred in," will debut on FX on September 6th. He has also promised the live unveiling of a new album called Pharos.
Art imitates life; life imitates art. That's a theory first proposed by Aristotle, suggesting the fluid two-way street between culture and day-to-day life. Were Migos the first to dab, or were they just a nationally-influential platform for a hyper-regional craze that started before they got wind of it?
New music Friday brought us two more big-time albums with PartyNextDoor's P3 and Rae Sremmurd's SremmLife 2. The Sremm brothers were kind enough to welcome us to their LA abode to get the inside scoop on the inspiration behind their sophomore album. Read about our experiences with the hedonistic duo in our latest Digital Cover story.
During the beginning stages of recording his sophomore album, YG had a falling out with his longtime collaborator DJ Mustard, who produced the majority of his game-changing debut album, My Krazy Life. He quickly began searching for talents to fill the void.
A while back we previewed a collection of Hip-Hop album inspired basketball jerseys, designed by Patso Dimitrov the man behind this collection of Air Jordan signatures x classic 90s rap albums. Drawing on inspiration from iconic albums like The Low End Theory, The Chronic and Illmatic, Patso delivered on a handful of timeless Air Jordan silhouettes including 1-7, 11 and 14.
There has been no shortage of dope sneaker releases this Summer, including this upcoming weekend which will see the return of the "Indiglo" Air Jordan XIV. In fact, the month of August is loaded as it is but that's not with this is about.
There's not really a better duo than the vibrant and seemingly perma-youthful boys of Rae Sremmurd to help usher you into a new school year with their sophomore album, SremmLife 2. While it was originally intended to be a mid-summer release, it feels very appropriate as a soon-to-be fall release, and it'll likely take you through many a high school/college party.
With the announcement that Travis Scott will be getting his own show on Beats 1 Radio show, it's clear that Apple is not slowing down in handing out airtime to rappers. Travis joins artists like Drake, DJ Khaled, Pharrell, and eventually, Chance The Rapper (last we heard at least), on the network, and it's got us thinking about who else would be a good fit.
This past Monday marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Sean Price.
Young Thug had a very strong 2015, delivering Barter 6, Slime Season 1, and Slime Season 2, a cohesive collection of projects the converted more casual fans into stans. His 2016 has been a little more scattered, with I'm Up and Slime Season 3 supplying many bangers, but not as strong as an album experience. Jeffery seems like the project that will bring everything together this year.
DJ Khaled has plenty of reason to celebrate this week. Khaled earned his first #1 debut with his ninth studio album Major Key-- obviously all that Snapchatting paid off. The record rides high on collaborations with everyone from Jay Z to YG, Kendrick Lamar to Future, although Khaled probably has more than enough star power by himself at this point.