Yasiin Bey established himself long before he took on that moniker. Let's look in to Mos Def's early classics.
2013 was undoubtedly a great year for rap music. If you are a die-hard hip-hop head, you are probably praying that 2014 will continue along the same lines, if not one-up 2013. Now that we're examining some of the releases lined up for this year, the chances look good.
It's easy to draw comparisons between Detroit's up-and-coming emcee Kid Vishis and his older brother Royce Da 5'9''; both emcees did grow up in the same home, with the same parents, in the same house after all. But don't let their similar backgrounds get you to thinking they're the same.
Danny Brown has completely exploded in the hip-hop world over the past few years, since his humble beginnings as a Detroit mixtape rapper.
Although Hannukah went down early this year, Christmas is still right around the corner. With that in mind, we've decided to help you pick out your gifts (or perhaps you'll just add something to your wishlist!) this year with a Holiday Gift Guide perfect for the hip-hop head.
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.
Take note, aspiring rappers - if you create a single that's both catchy and infectious enough to catch the ear of the mainstream, you could be thrust into the limelight sooner than you think (establishing connections doesn't hurt, either).
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.
As a member of the Cool Kids, Sir Michael Rocks helped pioneer the current “cool kid” rap and fashion swag, since borrowed by a number of your favorite artists. They were the next big thing, even featured in a nationally aired Rhapsody commercial, with future star Sara Bareilles.
Atmosphere have a lengthy history within the underground rap scene, and while they've never quite made it to mainstream stardom (there is probably a reason: they don't want too), they've developed large and loyal underground following. The duo, individually known as Slug and Ant, released their debut album Overcast!, then with another member by the name of Spawn, in 1997.
The Marshall Mathers LP dropped in 2000 and became the fastest selling solo album of all time, influencing a whole generation of artists with its unique and in-depth look into the bizarre world of Eminem. The album was sandwiched in between Slim Shady LP and The Eminem Show – two other classic albums that are every bit as influential today as they were a decade ago.
It has clearly been a tough year for rappers when it comes to love. In 2014, we saw some very long-term relationships, marriages and short flings sadly come to an end, some of which were really unexpected.
Today Tupac would have been 43. Tragically, Shakur's life was cut short at the age of just 25 after being shot in Las Vegas. Years on, Tupac is still treasured as a legend in hip hop for his outstanding discography clocking up 11 album and 44 singles.
Chaining days have always been a great ritual in hip-hop. So much so, that Kanye West made it the grande finale of his music video for "Through The Wire", his first major single. Last night bossman Jay Z of ROCNATION presented J. Cole with an original Roc-A-Fella chain. A sign of respect and gift for the 29th birthday of the rapper. Do you remember who else has a Roc-A-Fella chain?
Back in October we decided to comb through the interwebs and provide you with a gallery of twenty vintage photos of some of your favorite rap legends together. The gallery included throwback photos of Tupac with Snoop Dogg, Jay Z with Diddy and Aaliyah, Lil Kim and Left Eye, Eminem with Timbaland, Missy Elliott and Aaliyah and many more, making for quite the viewing experience.
Mixtapes have long been effective for staying grounded in the modern landscape of hip-hop. Borrowing popular beats and enlisting a roster of peers for guest verses are mainstay mechanisms for sustaining relevancy in the rap game. Another pillar of the mixtape hustle is the project's original (debatable) cover art, a historically adventurous creative expression.
Lloyd Banks released his anticipated mixtape, V6, last week, proving once again that he can hold his own solo. Although the G-Unit member has reportedly not spoken to 50 Cent in almost a year, it seems he doesn't need too. This last release was stronger than Fif's previous release. This is Banks' second project in the past eight months, following Cold Corner 2 in November, which
When Young Money released their We Are Young Money album four years ago, they were undeniably the hottest team in hip-hop. Lil Wayne's army was young and hungry, as artists like Tyga and Nicki Minaj had yet to develop into superstars. Veterans such as Mystikal and Busta Rhymes have since joined the Young Money militia, though have failed to make a lasting impact with the group.
For rappers, having a dope ride is more than just a mode of transportation. Yes, it does mean no more riding the bus. But purchasing a brand new whip is symbolic of their rise to the top. Bugattis, Chevrolet Impalas, Aston Martins, and more luxury vehicles come with a hefty pricetag. If you can afford it, you’re probably living the life.
Lloyd Banks' pedigree as an ill emcee speaks for itself at this point. During G-Unit’s active days, Banks was widely considered the best pure spitter in the group. Very little has changed in that regard; if anything Banks' career since the early 2000s has distinguished him as one of the most technically savvy rappers out. F.N.O. (Failure's No Option) only makes it easier to argue the case.
T.I. is a legend at this point. For nearly 20 years he has been blessing the mic with verses of the hustle, the struggle, roads to success and pimpin'. He's a rapper, actor, convicted felon and one of the south's most heralded artists.
In the competition between the same-day release rappers Juicy J and Big Sean Juicy J appears to be taking the lead, although Sean debuted stronger than Juicy initially. Not to say they both haven't fallen quite a few spots-- they have. However Juicy J's fan base remains more persistent that Sean Don, with Stay Trippy selling another 21k at #15 and Hall Of Fame selling only 18k at #24.
Soooo, I was assigned an article about tracing the origin of a lot of the flows in hip hop to different regions around the country. Originally, I thought that would be fairly easy to do, and to a certain extent it is, but the article really went in a different direction the more research I was doing.
Last week we saw r'n'b/pop take over the Billboard 200, and this week we finally see the return of rap to some of the top spots within the Billboard 200. Impressively, G-Eazy's third studio album comes in highest this week nabbing the #3 spot.
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