The label that put New Orleans on the map. An empire, not always without dissent, that’s been releasing platinum records for 15 straight years.
The story of two brothers who came from nothing, from a city far off the hip-hop radar, and built an empire. But they didn’t do it alone. Brothers Bryan “Baby” Williams (who we now know as Birdman), age 22, and Ronald “Slim” Williams, age 24, wanted to get out of their projects and build a better life for their family and friends in Magnolia and the surrounding Wards.
What qualifies an underrated song? What defines a classic album? Who makes the rules? These are all important questions as we approach our good-natured discussion.
Music fans rejoiced when news broke that Royce Da 5'9" and DJ Premier were teaming up to create PRhyme, a rapper-producer duo as well as the title of their debut album together. With Royce's undeniable wordplay and Premier's adaptation of music from Adrian Younge's catalog and signature scratches, hip-hop enthusiasts are in for a treat, when the album drops on December 9th.
A weird thing happens when an artist gets signed to a major label. It seems, no matter how talented they are, no matter how much their fans are willing to support, debut albums almost always come up short. There have been exceptions, of course. (Logic's Under Pressure being the most recent example.) But, more often than not, the curse of a major label signing is very real.
Kanye West has been juggling a lot as of late. He’s been raising his fashion-forward and absolutely adorable daughter, tearing down numerous Fashion Week shows, designing his capsule collection for adidas and putting the finishing touches on his as-of-yet untitled seventh solo album.
BADBADNOTGOOD is a jazz trio of young guys who met in 2010 while attending Humber Music College in Toronto, Ontario. Matthew Tavares, Alexander Sowinski, and Chester Hansen uploaded to YouTube their version of an Odd Future song "The Odd Future Sessions Part 1" and it went viral thanks to help of Tyler, The Creator (who became a fan after hearing the track).
Heat In These Streets will give you the low-down on choice rappers putting on for a specific city and advancing the sound of hip-hop at the same time. For the first edition, we profile rappers making noise for Atlanta, a current hot-bed for auto-tuned, unique (sometimes weird), and creative rappers. Let us know if there is a city you'd like to see up next.
For some reason or another, my timeline has recently been bombarded with a ton of Tweets and Instagram posts claiming that the Migos are better than The Beatles. As most logical rap fans can attest, there are definitely better ways to champion the trio as leaders of this new school in rap than to compare them with arguably the greatest group in the history of popular music.
It was 15 years ago today that Dr. Dre released 2001, his 20-track, star-studded, cinematic LP. “It's a movie, with different varieties of situations. So you've got buildups, touching moments, aggressive moments…It's got everything that a movie needs,” Dre said of the album.
While Taylor Swift's 1989 takeover of the charts continues, many of our r'n'b and hip-hop artists have been pushed down. Teyana Taylor actually finds herself the highest-up, debuting at #19, with her G.O.O.D. album VII. The album made a solid enough debut, moving 16,000 copies opening week, while Azealia Banks followed further behind with her own debut album Broke With Expensive Taste.
Rap’s early origins, if we are being historically correct, were partially nurtured by punk and new wave, coming out of rebellious Manhattan kids (and those influenced by the music coming out of the area).
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.
Underrated Audio aims to provide you with some dope looks from the last seven days that flew under most peoples' radars. While they may have received front-page placement on HNHH, they didn't get as many views as they deserve, so we shine a little more light on them right here.
Did the Internet break? No, but we certainly got a lot of things to tweet about just because of the power of one ass. Kim Kardashian's booty was displayed in its full, majesty force — along with other lady parts — on the latest Paper Magazine cover. If you haven't heard or seen it, our condolences: You're dead and you've spent the past few days in Twitter-less limbo.
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.
The most interesting hip-hop event of the year has been the meteoric rise of Bobby Shmurda, brought on with the Jahlil Beats-produced “Hot Nigga,” the most surprising single in recent history. The accompanying, and now-ubiquitous, Shmoney Dance, choreography actually invented in 2013, has taken over all media mediums, to include white bread TV anchors jamming out.
If you don't jump around when "Party Up" comes on, you're no friend of mine. At the real clubs, DMX's 90s singles still get spun on repeat. The fact remains he's one of the best selling rap artists of all time. His first three records, two in '98 and one in '99, went 4x, 3x, and 5x platinum respectively. His first two album covers depicted him covered in blood.
When hip-hop began, samples were all that DJs and producers had to construct instrumental tracks with. They'd dig through crates of vinyl trying to find isolated drum breaks, melodies or vocals that they could repurpose for use in hip-hop music. Today, sampling has become less common, but a choice sample can still push a track from lukewarm to hot faster than you can say "uh-huh honey".
Nas' first four albums famously wore portraits of the MC in a different light. He was a kid on Illmatic. He was an adult on It Was Written. He was a pharaoh on I Am... He was Nostradamus on Nastradamus.
Sports and hip hop often go hand in hand. Rappers not only love to make sports analogies and references as frequently as possible, but they always show allegiance to their team/sport of choice often representing the city they are from.
HotNewHipHop's On The Come Up series profiles rising stars in the rap game that show strong promise and the will to succeed. Most of the time, they're new to the site but deserve some shine. We will profile artists ranging from those in the deep underground to artists just about to bubble up into the mainstream that you may have missed.
As a teenager, Ro Ransom went by the moniker Nero. Although his talent for rhyming was evident even back then, it's hard to know who exactly you are or who you will become when you're just a 15 or 16-year old kid. You're not legally an adult. You're still asking your parents for permission, being forced to do so in certain situations. You're still living in your mom's house.
We first heard from the young Harlemite in 2008 when she released her first single, “Google Me,” from her debut project, a mixtape titled From a Planet Called Harlem. The Jazze Pha-produced single sank low on the Billboard charts and left Teyana Taylor with something to prove.
"Gypsy Woman" was originally a house hit written by Crystal Waters and released in 1991. The Phili native's 90s hit (which was originally written for another artist) peaked at number 8 on Billboard Hot 100 shortly after Waters' record label decided she should keep the song for herself.
Slinging crack rock, popping glocks, and smacking hoes is not the way to keep it gangsta. In the words of Stic.man of the hip-hop duo Dead Prez, "HEALTHY IS THE NEW GANGSTA." True happiness can be achieved through knowledge, proper nutrition, fitness, and meditation; not guns and drugs.
The drought of music from the A$AP Mob family came to end recently when A$AP Rocky put out a new single "Multiply." With the visual treatment for the song, we were granted a sneak peek at what is presumably his next single, "Pretty Flacko 2." Given how much of a banger the first "Pretty Flacko" was, anticipation began to build immediately, and grew exponentially when Rocky performed the single
OVO Sound started off as the baby of Drake, Noah '40' Shebib and Oliver El-Khatib. The crew is steadily growing as the label continues to sign new talent. Those bleeding OVO blood each have an important role to play in their success.
Terrence Thornton, better known as Pusha T, was one half of the group Clipse and enjoyed a ton of success in hip-hop in the early 2000s along with his brother Malice, who made up the other half of the duo. After Malice took a step back from Music, Pusha T took the opportunity to explore the solo lane and put out music on his own.
In the late 80s, a few cousins got together to form a little rap crew in Brooklyn, New York. Robert Diggs, Gary Grice and Russel Jones, better known as Rza, Gza and Ol' Dirty Bastard respectively, had no idea what kind of world-changing journey they were about to embark on. They were simply teenagers who enjoyed kung fu, hip-hop and probably a little weed smoke.
This week something quite significant went down on the Billboard 200, albeit it's outside of the genre of hip-hop. Taylor Swift basically broke the mold and sold over 1 million copies of her new album, 1989, in turn giving her the highest sales in one week since 2002. That's twelve years ago.