Some of these friendships may surprise you.
The elite class of athletes and musicians share much in common -- wealth, fame, a central role in popular culture. So it should not come as a surprise that there is, generally speaking, a great mutual respect between rappers and athletes. Sometimes this respect engenders friendship. Sometimes it engenders rappers and athletes throwing each other alley-oops... on and off the court.
With four new albums in the top 5, the Billboard 200 shifted considerably this week. Kanye West takes the #1 spot as Billboard finally tallies up his streams and sales, after the rapper made the The Life of Pablo available on all streaming platforms, meanwhile, Big Sean & Jhene Aiko's Twenty88 project lands impressively at the #5 spot.
Tonight's Jazz/Lakers game will mark the end of an era as the door closes on one of the most dominant careers in NBA history. In the 20 years Kobe Bryant's been in the league, he's shattered records, led some of the strongest squads of the 21st Century, and won five championships, making it clear that he'll be voted into the Hall Of Fame as soon as humanly possible.
If you want to understand Statik Selektah in a nutshell, look no further than the first 20 seconds of his 2014 song “Carry On.” The first words you hear are sampled from AZ’s verse on Nas’ 1994 “Life’s a Bitch”: “Others such as myself are tryna carry on tradition.”
A Drake co-sign will put you on the map, straight up. It's happened for many artists over the past half-decade or so. The Weeknd was only brought into the mainstream spotlight when Drake appeared on his sophomore mixtape Thursday.
L.A. based songwriters Dante and Drew -- together known as THEY. -- delivered one of the most pleasant surprises of 2015 when they released Nu Religion, their debut EP and "soundtrack to not giving a fuck.” The 3-track project featured a refreshing, raw blend of R&B, rock, pop, & and hip-hop and earned THEY. a spot opening for Bryson Tiller on the “Trapsoul” tour.
When Kanye West appears on stage, anything can happen. Whether it be robbing the mic from a teenage girl in order to praise Beyonce's greatness, ferociously screaming for almost a minute straight during a performance of "Touch the Sky" (concluding with his abrupt exit and mic drop), and even announcing a forthcoming run for the White House, we think we've seen it all.
Fame and exotic pets go hand-in-hand. Just ask King George I, who ruled England in the early 18th century, who kept a pet human. Rappers are no different. While many rappers like to keep it down-to-earth w dogs, some prefer to ball out and domesticate animals you've never even heard of like endangered saber-toothed manta rays.
On last week's edition of Top Tracks, Drake locked down the highest two spots with new leaks, and appeared once more as a guest on PartyNextDoor's "Come And See Me," which landed at number eight. If you thought that was impressive, wait til you see this week's. The 6 God controls half of this week's list, despite the fact that all versions that appear on here are unofficial leaks.
Little is known about dvsn, but the Canadian R&B duo have been one of the hottest topics on the internet as of late. Their album Sept. 5th was released last Friday to critical acclaim, making their four-letter name a trending topic amongst music lovers worldwide.
Once again, there was a lot going on on Instagram this week.
Friday, need I say more? It's been a pretty tame Friday new-music-wise, but our homie Tory Lanez shook things up with the premiere of his A$AP Ferg collaboration "Line Up The Flex." While some focus on a potential diss to Drake, we're focusing on just how great this record will be for the Friday turn-up.
"I look at my life like something you should be able to paint," Childish Gambino said in a 2015 interview on the TODAY Show. Given his eccentric tendencies as both an artist and a celebrity, he is more likely referring to the sort of highly abstract work of a Rothko then the pre-ordained compositions of your little cousin's color-by-numbers book.
Harry Fraud has stayed in the same part of Brooklyn his entire life. “I ran around Gowanus when it was word of mouth the mob was dumpin’ bodies here,” he says with a hint of sarcasm. Fraud’s studio is situated in a relatively industrial patch of a neighborhood that has seen a real estate boom in recent years.
When's the last time you heard it like this? You may still bump Pusha T on the daily (No Malice too, no shade there), but there was something extremely special about the chemistry between Push and his brother No Malice. Taking that one level deeper, the chemistry between those two bros and The Neptunes was equally undeniable.
Last year's Dark Sky Paradise was a big step up for Big Sean. He culled his finest crop of beats yet, finessed natural-sounding collabs out of some of the biggest artists around, and most importantly, finally let go of his goofiest lyrical impulses in favor of more mature songwriting that still didn't sacrifice any of his characteristic charm.
It's April 6th, and time for another edition of our Charts Don't Lie series. This week, we see a couple new records begin to chart, in the form of K. Michelle's More Issues Than Vogue and Young Thug's Slime Season 3. The two releases land at #2 and #7 respectfully. It's worth noting that Zayn's solo debut Mind of Mine snagged the #1 spot for its debut on the Billboard 200.
With Drake's "Hotline Bling" recently becoming his biggest hit to date, the rapper seems to have mastered the art of the standalone single.
Somewhere along the way, mainstream R&B's relationship with sex changed. It's still a central theme in the vast majority of the genre, but the offhand, casual way in which it's usually referenced these days stands in sharp contrast with the reverence it was awarded up until the mid-2000s.
I've never seen a rapper with as much leftover energy after an all-day press run as ManMan Savage. Considering his high-intensity brand of street music -- the heavy metal aggression of last year's "Takin Shots," quite possibly the heaviest tune ever released on the eclectic Brooklyn label Fool's Gold -- this shouldn't have been surprising.
The pitcher's mound is a stage, a very different stage from the one rappers and singers are accustomed to standing upon. The ceremonial first pitch is ostensibly a celebration, and throwing the ball 60 feet in a particular direction may not seem like much of a challenge. But much can go wrong.
Social media can be a dangerous place for the rich and famous. Not only can you severely damage your reputation with your own posts on Twitter and Instagram, but you also have to worry about what others might share about you on their own profiles. Hooking up with people becomes a lot easier and a lot more difficult when you reach a certain level of success.
Although they haven't rapped on a track with each other since 2009's "Forever," Drake and Kanye West are usually placed side-by-side in the upper echelon of hip hop's current stars, the ones who have the potential to "break the internet" when they drop surprise material.
Joey Fatts is a California rapper who has been gaining recognition in recent years as the West Coast continues to experience its renaissance. He's close with man-of-the-moment Vince Staples, who Fatts has collaborated with multiple times over the years, most recently on "Farrakhan" off the latest project I'll Call You Tomorrow.
You can get a good sense of what's going on in hip-hop by simply scrolling through the right Instagram accounts, and you can certainly learn a lot from clicking through our gallery of the best moments from the 'Gram this week. Amber Rose just launched her MuvaMojis app, which is said to have earned $4 million in its opening week, and to celebrate, she posed with an IRL version of one of her n
This week has proved to be pretty eventful when it comes to song releases. There was actually a lot to choose from when it came time to compile our weekly Staff Picks playlist, and we're expecting the commenters to call us out on any and all oversights. There were Drake leaks. There was a Weeknd remix of Bryson Tiller. There was a G-Eazy remix. There was a 50 Cent remix.
It's been a minute, as we continue to immerse ourselves into the digital cover initiative, but we're back today with another stand-out cover, this time featuring iLoveMakonnen. The Atlanta artist, who may or may not be still signed to OVO (it's really hard to tell), recently released Drink More Water 6.
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.
The '90s is a decade that becomes more legendary with time. The magical aura that surrounds Led Zeppelin IV or Ziggy Stardust begins to surround albums like Illmatic and Reasonable Doubt. In the case of '90s hip hop, cover art was a vital piece of any album's identity, and many artists created images that would be as recognizable as their beats and lyrics, if not more so.
Madlib is one of the great hip hop producers of the modern age. His dedication to music, whether it be jazz, soul, R&B, funk, world or hip hop, is second-to-none. If you've ever given one of his mixes a listen, you'll know that he has deep cuts for days. And if you're a big fan of his beats, you know that he is capable of flipping obscure samples into infectious, *very rare* instrumentals.