Kanye West comes through with funny and sometimes absurd lyrics on "The Life of Pablo."
Last Thursday, Kanye West introduced The Life of Pablo to the world through a sold-out listening party / fashion show hybrid at Madison Square Garden. The event was unlike anything that's ever happened before: a collision of fashion and music to a caliber that had before been unfathomable. Listening parties don't take place in arenas, and neither do fashion shows for that matter.
2015 has truly been a landmark year for hip-hop. There have been countless quality album releases from rappers all over, impressive music videos, and the emergence of a new crop of rappers. The ambition and attention to detail on this year’s releases, exemplified by their authoring emcees is indicative of a current renaissance in hip-hop.
Were artists scared to drop this week because of Drake? We did get a healthy serving of VERY HOTTTTT records, but nothing quite as earth-shattering as Beyonce last weekend, and now, Drake today. The Staff Picks playlist could have very well been comprised of Drake and Beyonce alone, if only their records were readily available on Soundcloud.
The interlude has always been an opportunity for an artist to switch up the vibe of their album and transition from one style to another. Sometimes they're musical, sometimes they're a humorous skit (or not so much) thrown in for comic relief. Hip Hop albums have had interludes for a long time, but they're transformed slightly during this current generation of the genre.
As a 17-year-old just beginning to make waves in the rap game, Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott didn't have the same life as most kids his age. He wasn't thinking about graduating high school to attend a university or enter the work force. As a matter of fact, before he even graduated high school he had formed a collective with classmates that would come to be known as Pro Era.
The remix. It can mean a lot of things. Today it usually means a trap or house DJ took a tune and chopped it up for the dance-floor, but there was a time in hip-hop where the remix was an opportunity to invite old friends and make new ones over a celebrated beat.
Almost all the tracks on The Life of Pablo are great.
Drugs and rap have been pretty synonymous since the 90s, but recently there's been an influx of rappers talkin' about harder drugs than the chronic. Chance the Rapper's Acid Rap tape was perhaps the most illicit example of an ongoing trend that's taking place amongst the newer artists.
For someone who's been in the game since 1999, Royce Da 5'9" has had a hard time getting his full life story down on wax. His first five albums were more than enough to show his considerable rapping abilities, but were recorded when he was still a precariously functioning alcoholic, known to down a liter and a half of Patron per day.
This week's chart is all about Prince. The icon had a profound impact on hip hop music in many ways, influencing your favorite rapper without a doubt. His impact touched pretty much everyone who makes music, and those who enjoy music were going back into his catalogue quite a bit too.
Kanye West doesn't tweet all that often, but when he does... Ooh boy, you're gonna want to grab some popcorn. We were reminded of this today when dude went for Wiz Khalifa's neck, giving him a list of 17 (?!) commandments/reasons he's inferior to Mr. West.
More so than any weekend since If You're Reading This It's Too Late dropped, the last few days have belonged to Drake. Between premiering his "Energy" video, debuting his and OVO's Beats 1 radio show, sharing three new features/remixes and hinting at his new album's release date, the 6 God had us on high alert all weekend.
After taking a break over the holidays/daze, we've returned with Staff Picks in all it's playlist glory. Although music in general slowed down over the holiday season, things seem to be picking back up this week, as is reflected in the Staff Picks playlist.
"The sophomore album is one of the most treacherous obstacles for any rapper," said G-Eazy in his recent HNHH interview. "I dug as deep as I could until I was literally drained of inspiration."
Over the years many rappers have ventured into acting and usually watching them act on the big screen is excruciating or downright funny. But sometimes there are rare gems where that rapper surprises you and goes beyond expectations to show off a stellar performance.
Whether you've been listening to Thundercat for years or just now hearing his name mentioned alongside Kendrick Lamar's, there is an undeniable mystique about this bassist / singer virtuoso. Born Stephen Bruner in Los Angeles, Thundercat is currently making serious waves in the worlds of hip hop, jazz, R&B, and funk.
Lil Wayne didn't get the nickname "Mixtape Weezy" for nothing. Over the course of hip-hop history, very few artists have used the art of the mixtape to their advantage as well as Weezy F. It's helped to blow up the likes of Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Rocky and even Drake over the past decade, but Wayne's 13 mixtapes came when he was already a star.
Of all of Lil Wayne's post-Hot Boys frequent collaborators, 2 Chainz was the best choice to tap for a joint album. Who else fits so effortlessly alongside him? Like Father Like Son is certainly an underrated relic of the past, but you'd be hard-pressed to convince anyone that Birdman could ever hang with Weezy lyrically, at any point in either of their careers.
Atlanta's hotbed of talent has birthed a ton of huge artists in the past five years. Amongst them is London on da Track, a twenty-four year old ATLien who has provided beats for the likes of Waka Flocka Flame, Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, and many more. You probably know him best for his work with Young Thug, who has been his go-to collaborator for the better part of his career.
In a sea of melodic Southern rappers defined by their contradictions, Kevin Gates easily stands out as the most extreme.
It was nineteen years ago today that Tupac Shakur's life was taken too soon. The rap world would never be the same, and the community really felt the loss.
The first two installments of Young Thug's Slime Season series arrived a little over a month apart last fall, providing a good display of both Thugger's speed in the studio and his versatility.
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.
Skepta is finally getting some recognition in the U.S., thanks to co-signs from rap's two biggest stars, Drake and Kanye West. Yeezy brought him out, and publicly thanked him, during his "All Day" performance, and Drake used one of his lines, and also thanked him, on his latest mixtape.
Mixtape Corner is a place where we take a closer look at some of the mixtape releases that weren't necessarily big enough to garner a review, but still deserve your attention.Curren$y & The Alchemist- The Carrollton Heist
There are some tracks you can listen to on repeat, for days on end, and you'll never get tired of hearing it. A track as a whole has many elements that come into play which gives it that timeless feel, including the rapper, the lyrics and the production.
J. Cole has come a long way from rapping about how to get up off the sideline. Three albums in, with 2014 Forest Hills Drive, the “God” is home. The Fayetteville, North Carolina native composed an honest, nostalgic album without any apologies. Cole typically plays it safe, straddling the fence of a conscious rapper who can still create commercial hits and enjoy a good romp in the bed.
It was yet another big week on Instagram. PartyNextDoor got in the studio with with Noah Shebib, 50 Cent posed with the dude who got pistol whipped by Rick Ross, and Kehlani, Kylie Jenner, Beyonce, and Karrueche were up to their usual bag of tricks. And more! Take a look at some of the best hip hop Instagram posts of the week after the jump.
The #FutureHive has proved that internet hype can very much inspire actual album sales, as DS2 soars to number one, giving Hendrix not only his first number one, but doubling the sales of Honest.
We are in the midst of a mini-Nina Simone revival. Netflix recently released a documentary on the singer's life called "What Happened, Miss Simone?" and Nina Revisited...A Tribute to Nina Simone, featuring covers from Lauryn Hill, Jazmine Sullivan, Common, Usher, Mary J. Blige, and more, might change the compilation album game forever when it drops on July 10.