Our picks for the 20 best mixtapes of 2015.
This year, it became increasingly difficult to discern the difference between mixtapes and albums. When the year's bestselling rap release (Drake's If You're Reading This, It's Too Late) was announced as a "mixtape" but was immediately sold on iTunes, the waters become a little murky for everyone.
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.
Christmas: a day to spend time with the family, open presents, and watch the NBA. Christmas -- pronounced "Chrima" if you're Plies -- has produced numerous classic albums, namely "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "The Jackson' 5 Christmas Album" that provide a nice break from the traditional canon of Christmas music.
Listening to Chris Brown records is a bit more involved an activity than ingesting your average pop album. Listeners are required to constantly do mental arithmetic, weighing variables like catchiness and artistic merit to determine if their need to listen > the knowledge that Chris Brown has done some heinous things and your listens are enabling him, albeit in a very small way.
Pusha T has been in the game for quite some time, and he's basically had two lives as a rapper; first with his brother (No) Malice as part of the highly rated yet underground duo Clipse, and then, in present day, a second spurt as a solo artist under the G.O.O.D. Music umbrella.
Back in July we threw it back to Fabolous 2001-2005 gems, and today we're taking a look at the second half of that decade. By compiling tracks from 2006-2010, we've revisited releases like From Nothin' To Somethin' and Loso's Way, albums that helped to solidify Fabo's legacy as one of the great New York rappers of the post-B.I.G. era.
Sometimes, first reactions are wildly off the mark, and that was the case with me upon hearing the first few leaks from Pusha T's Darkest Before Dawn. Regardless of the production or other lyrics on "Untouchable" and "M.F.T.R.," I couldn't shake the fact that Pusha Ton was still rapping about cocaine.
We're long past the East/West rivalries of the '90s, but place isn't as irrelevant in modern hip hop as some would have you think. Sure, sounds and styles fly more freely between area codes than they used to, but they're more often than not traceable to a specific time and location where certain tempos, slang, and flows bear traces of local history in their DNA.
The Golden Era of cover art likely ended with the rise of CDs. But even with the Golden Age of CDs behind us, cover art still plays a vital role in the listener's consumption of music. Along with the album title, it serves as a sort of opening salvo or prelude that sets the tone for the music itself, and it is often the last image that remains in the listener's mind. It is the face of the music.
On Friday, Pusha T dropped off the prelude to his highly anticipated album, King Push. Although acting as a warm-up album, Darkest Before Dawn is about as dope of an album as any rapper could wish for.
The songs that received the most attention last week in our Hot 100. 10. Tory Lanez Feat. Nyce - Traphouse Tory Lanez brought back Fargo Fridays with a melodic banger in which he closes the doors of his traphouse to all females who don't understand the rules of the game. We gonna get that debut album in 2016? 9. YG Feat. Mozzy - City Mad (Prod. by P-Lo)
It's holiday season, and that means it's time to start rolling out the year-end lists. There was almost too much good music to handle, as notable releases week after week meant that only the hottest tracks were able to attain a shelf-life of longer than a couple of months.
Majid Jordan sounds like one name, but the Canadian production team is actually a duo: Majid Al Maskati and Jordan Ullman.
There is much we can learn from rap Instagram, much to read between the lines as rappers attempt to craft their image without pesky publicists looking over their shoulder. This week, Kevin Hart met Dabbing Santa, Plies announced his retirement, and Amber Rose showed off her new tattoo. And more! Take a look at some of the best hip hop Instagram posts of the week after the jump.
If there's one New Year's resolution that every hip hop fan should adopt for 2016, it's to stop using the term "conscious rap." The catch-all name for political, non-materialistic, socially conscious, or in recent years, "woke" hip hop has been attached to some truly great music, from Grandmaster Flash's "The Message" to Kendrick Lamar's most recent album, and countless other important c
We received three kinda-big mixtapes earlier this week, from Wiz Khalifa, Lil Durk and Juicy J; and Pusha T and Chris Brown made sure we ended the week on high note with new albums from either artists. However the week wasn't none too crazy when it comes to singles, although Ferg made a splash with "New Level," it hasn't made it's way on to SoundCloud yet.
2015 was a pretty phenomenal year for music. After the relatively dry 2014, we thought it was a drought, but the overwhelming amount of material made making our year-end list both very easy and very difficult.
This week, we got the third and perhaps final installment of Wiz Khalifa's Cabin Fever mixtape series, which began all the way back in February 2011. Released before the major label Rolling Papers, the first edition presented a very new and startling persona for the once laid-back and amicable rapper: Trap Wiz.
Pusha T has been a trending topic over the past months for a number of reasons. He was recently named G.O.O.D. Music's president, and with the release of his sophomore solo album coming tomorrow, he's been trickling out new material that has been pure flame emojis. Of course, Pusha is hardly a newcomer to this rap thing.
This week we had a bunch of high profile releases, some of which fared better than others. G-Eazy led the pack with an impressive placement at number 5, while Rozay followed close behind at 6.
Drums are to a rap song what shoes are to an outfit. Even the flyest of threads are rendered whack if paired with white Asics. Conversely, a tuxedo T-shirt and basketball shorts has great potential, if paired with Griffey high tops.
Wiz Khalifa surprised fans today with the release of Cabin Fever 3. The two previous Cabin Fevers mixtapes were dope, so we were definitely excited to hear what Wiz had in store for the third instalment. Based off initial impressions, it seems he came through on this one.
"Betcha Rozay never ever heard no shit like this," Denzel Curry rapped earlier this year on his track "Lord Vader Kush II," contrasting his own trippy sound with the in-your-face pomp of his hometown's biggest rap export. Since the mid-2000s, Miami has produced two of rap's loudest voices in Rick Ross and DJ Khaled, as well as their more traditionally-minded signees Ace Hood and Gunplay.
We're quickly approaching the holidays, which means the year-end lists are in full effect. While many of us are looking back at the abundance of great music that's dropped over the past 50 weeks, some of our favorite rappers are showing no signs of showing down. Shortly after dropping his Black Friday remix package with Kendrick Lamar, J.
President Obama recently made headlines when he announced that his favorite song from the year was Kendrick Lamar's "How Much A Dollar Cost?" If there's one year-end list you want to be on, it's the President's.
Ratking are one of New York City's hottest acts, combining alternative hip hop with the classic style that put the Big Apple on the map so many years ago. The trio consists of MCs Wiki and Hak along with producer/MC Sporting Life. They've released a successful album last year in So It Goes, and Wiki just released his debut solo album titled Lil Me.
As one of the most significant rappers of the past decade, for better or worse, Kid Cudi's stamp on the genre has been inescapable. I mean, lets face it, Kanye's last 3 albums have not only featured that man in some right, but they've also had Cudi's fingerprints all over.
There is much we can learn from rap Instagram, much to read between the lines as rappers attempt to craft their image without pesky publicists looking over their shoulder. Take a look at some of the best hip hop Instagram posts of the week after the jump.
Kid Cudi has been a bit of a WTF story over the past few years. Mr. Rager exploded onto the scene with a couple of mixtapes and a couple solid albums, some that people may even call classics of the 2010 era. He caught the attention of Kanye West and Jay Z while appealing to the indie crowd with MGMT samples. At one point, he was destined to be the next greatest thing in rap music.
Rick Ross has made a career off directly opposing the idea of rap as reality, painting gangster tales with strokes so broad and bold that the final product seemed exaggerated even before we learned of his past as a corrections officer.