Profiling Dr. Dre's billion dollar moves, business or otherwise, over the past five years.
"How nigga? My last album was The Chronic." Sure, it took Dre almost seven years to follow up his classic debut with another album, but along the way, he became one of the industry's biggest moguls. He discovered Slim Shady and built an empire around him with Aftermath (and Shady) Records.
As the most popular female rapper since... basically ever, Nicki Minaj faces more than her fair share of hurdles in the media.
There's a certain dilemma rappers face when they finally break out of the underground, releasing mixtape after mixtape (which provides them with no financial compensation): how do you expand your newfound fanbase without neglecting the loyal supporters who were there with you from the beginning?
Earl Sweatshirt’s I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Get Outside is a short and moody album. It also happens to be a very focused, quality listen, and possibly the best output we’ve received from the California native. Through bummed-out stoned raps and shoegazing beats, Earl proves to be one of the most talented, albeit depressed, rappers in the game.
2012’s Don’t Be S.A.F.E. flew under the radar for the hip-hop masses. Aside from smash hits “Female$ Welcomed” and “All Gold Everything”, nobody quite knew the true identity of Trinidad James. Many eyebrows were raised when James inked a deal with Def Jam worth $2 million. Skeptics argued that he would be a one-hit wonder, and fail to live up to expectations.
The A$AP Mob isn’t really a mob, you know. “Mob” denotes unruliness, panic, chaos and lawlessness in an unorganized mass. Nothing could be farther from what this Harlem collective actually is, because the so-called “mob” has a leader.
Tupac Shakur's influence can't really be measured by any sort of numbers. Sure, he's had five #1 albums and countless singles, but his impact goes deeper than that; it even goes deeper than rap.
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.
You'd have to be hiding under a rock to not hear these words at some point over the summer: "I'm like 'hey, what's up, hello'Seen yo pretty ass soon as you came in the doorI just wanna chill, got a sack for us to rollMarried to the money, introduced her to my stoveShowed her how to whip it, now she remixin' for low"
R&B will always hold a special place in our hearts. If not for R&B, that first crush, love, kiss, or more might be that much less special. The fact is, today's R&B is a bit different than our parent's R&B. Nowadays, Hip-Hop culture permeates R&B records, and the music is generally more raw, rugged, and edgy-- however, it is still important to all of our lives and ears.
The Weeknd dropped his highly anticipated second studio album this past Friday. After a long year of straight success, headlining music festivals like Coachella and riding the top of the charts, Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd really shows us another side of himself with his latest project, Beauty Behind The Madness.
In many ways, the early 2000s belonged to Ludacris. Within that time, the rapper was able to cross multiple platforms, making palatable music for varying tastes tinged with his trademark Dirty South sound. He would drop cheeky hit after cheeky hit, with a self serious flow delivered through a cheshire grin - and we all loved him for it.
After a near-decade of hustling, Curren$y has finally landed his prominent role in the rap scene. It wasn’t easy work, but anyone who has watched the New Orleans-native go from Lil Wayne’s sidekick to stoner rap’s most consistent contributor will tell you that much.
In the 90s and early 2000s, smoking marijuana was largely unaccepted and taboo. There was talk that weed was "dangerous," and despite debates and research showing that it was actually safe, and had possible healing properties, it remained banned in every US state.
Not a lot of people can captivate their listeners in the realm of R&B anymore. Do you remember when Mary J. Blige soulfully wowed us on Jay Z’s “Can’t Knock The Hustle”? Do you remember when Jamie Foxx channeled his inner Ray Charles on Kanye West’s “Gold Digger”? Times like that were special.
One month into 2016, and a whole lot of crazy shit has taken place in the hip-hop world.
It's a Cole Winter. The rapper surprised us when he announced his new album 2014 Forest Hills Drive in late November, and released the album shortly thereafter. J. Cole stripped the album release of all things unnecessary, from endless promo interviews where the same subjects are broached again and again, to excessive bonus records, to the expected listening sessions with industry insiders.
2013 saw many breakout stars. From Chance The Rapper, to Jhene Aiko, to Rich Homie Quan, it was more difficult than ever to predict who would rise to fame at any given moment. 2014 will likely be no different, but we've organized a few artists who could very well have big breaks this year. Some are more visible than others, but all of them have the potential to make a splash in the rap game.
Since it's evolution from the late 1980s, hip-hop music has gone from strength to strength. Nothing tells the story of this success better than seeing the facts by numbers. We often hear about first week album sales, and then there's always Forbes annual break-down of the wealthiest celebrities, but after that, we forget about it.
Mac Miller is almost done with his third studio album. "It's coming," he said earlier this month.
While emcees and rappers are mostly lauded for their lyrical capability, there’s something astonishing about having voice control, diversified delivery and for whatever reason, having a voice that stands out.
Before we get to sharing the bulk of our "best of" lists with you this year, it's time to highlight 2015's biggest surprises and success stories. The fifteen artists we've chosen for our breakout list seem even more diverse than those on last year's list, with different genres, voices, opinions, and even countries being represented here.
Immediately following Touchdown 2 Cause Hell’s introductory “Get Em Boosie”-- the aptly titled dizzying turn up track that unleashes Boosie Badazz loose on the rap game once again-- the bellows of an approaching storm crackles with doom. It’s an ominous sound byte, seeing as Lil Boosie has acted as the chief ambassador of Post-Katrina Louisiana gangster rap.
Fetty Wap's self-titled debut album officially drops tomorrow but as of midnight you can stream it on NPR. Fetty has already dropped several songs that appear on the album, including four official singles -- "Trap Queen," "679," "My Way," & "Again." But at 20 tracks in length, the album has plenty more to offer.
It’s taken Macklemore and Ryan Lewis a little over three years to finish their sophomore album, This Unruly Mess I’ve Made. By contrast, Drake has released three albums, Kendrick Lamar two, and Gucci Mane more than a lifetime’s amount. Yet, when you can create an unheard of level of success like The Heist did, there’s no need to rush.
Rap culture has been linked with drugs for the better part of its lifespan. Rising alongside the crack epidemic in the 80s, the music was synonymous with the inner-city struggles, and at the time that meant crack cocaine. As the 90s hit, there were more drug-dealing raps that hit the mainstream from the likes of Raekwon, Notorious B.I.G., and Jay Z.
To say Hopsin's third album is long overdue is like saying FEMA's response to Hurricane Katrina was slightly delayed. It's been three years since he dropped his critically acclaimed sophomore album Raw. Since then, he's toured the country extensively and landed a spot on XXL's 2013 Freshman list.
Tory Lanez is a 22 year old with a super-bright future ahead of him. Features with Meek Mill, Rick Ross, French Montanta, and The Game might prove that much, but thirteen mixtapes and a recent EP alongside super-producer squad Wedidit certainly drive the point home.
Fabolous is planning to take fans back to the '90s with his upcoming album The Young OG Project, due out on Christmas day. With the '90s era of hip-hop sitting heavy in his mind, we got Loso to reel off his top five reasons on why he loves the '90s.
Dom Kennedy has been working hard since his rise to prominence in 2008. Releasing 7 mixtapes, 2 albums and a bunch of features, Dom may just be the most prolific West Coast rapper in recent history.