Scarface's new album dissects a midlife crisis.
Despite his notoriety as a pioneer of Southern rap music and lyrical depth, Scarface remains low-key with his legendary status. And reasonably so. There’s a lot going on in the mind of the 44-year-old Geto Boy.
We've officially wrapped up a big year for the genre we all love-- new albums from Jay Z, Kanye West, Pusha T, Mac Miller, Drake, Juicy J (and the list goes on), only made 2013 that much sweeter. Mix in a new-found competition brought on by, you guessed it, "Control," and all the free mixtapes we've received in 2013, and this past year was definitely a good one.
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.
Eminem is undoubtedly one of the best rappers of this generation, but his ability to freestyle it pretty untestable as well. His rhymes are intricate, complex, and sometimes just plain crazy. This list shows off Shady’s rare ability to spit off the cuff. Whether it has been in a group or rapping solo on a beat, the rapper embodies the art of freestyling.
Once again, there was a lot going on on Instagram this week.
2015 was the year of the sprawling L.A. album, with Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, and The Game all releasing projects steeped in the city's musical history and constructed in collaborative sessions with its talents, new and old.
The murder of Bankroll Fresh has inspired heartfelt tributes from artists like 2 Chainz and Metro Boomin. We enlisted 40 Oz Van to pay homage with a playlist of his favorite Bankroll tracks.
The hottest beats is a misnomer for this list of 20 productions that shaped the commercial sound of hip-hop culture in 2014. Of all the thousands of tracks produced each year under the umbrella of hip-hop, we could only honor a select few as standing above the crowd.
The top tracks lists of the last few weeks got a little stale, with some songs (Drake's "Summer Sixteen," Travi$ Scott's "Uber Everywhere" remix, Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz's "Gotta Lotta") appearing week after week without much in the way of competition showing up to unseat them. Well, that changes this week, where the top nine tracks on the site are all newcomers.
A straight shot up I94, and almost 300 miles from Detroit, Chicago’s drill scene is currently making waves for the Midwest.The city that is currently more known for its violence than its wind, beautiful architecture and tasty signature deep dish pizza has captured the attention of America’s hip hop community.
Jay Electronica is now 38 years old. It's been nearly eight years since his first mixtape surfaced on the web, nearly five years since he signed with Roc Nation, and nearly four years since he claimed his debut album was finished. Album delays are commonplace these days, but four years? We heard a version of "Shiny Suit Theory" days after Jay E.
When Wiz Khalifa dropped Kush & Orange Juice, college kids around the country decided to skip class, load up the bong and start the day off like Wiz starts his mixtape: with some "Waken Baken." That entire project was made for an early afternoon with a tall glass of Tropicana and some greenery.
The history of rap and rock collaborations goes back to the year 1986 when Run DMC, considered one of the most influential hip-hop groups of all time, released their own version of the Aerosmith track “Walk This Way.” This song paved the way for hip-hop’s ascent in being accepted into the realm of pop, rock and other forms of mainstream music.
Over the last few years, the hip-hop producer has taken a huge step into the spotlight. With their credits often being seen in the song title, and their tag placed at the beginning of their tracks, they've become hard to miss.
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.
The Game is a man of contradictions. His long-awaited follow-up to 2005's The Documentary begins with the Compton rapper hopping out of his car to bust some heads, and ends with a cheery hook sung by will.i.am and Fergie that sounds like it belongs in a Mary Kate & Ashley movie set in Los Angeles.
"Tall men come down to my height when I hit 'em in the body." -Jack Dempsey The rap game may be dominated by rappers of average height, but some of its biggest stars fall well below that margin.
Drake broke the Internet two nights ago by unexpectedly releasing his brand new mixtape If You're Reading This It's Too Late. It looks like Drake did the cover art himself, writing out the mixtape title in all caps above the signature 6-God prayer hands. He also included, in the same all caps chicken scratch, a very extensive list of thank yous to the people who helped him complete the project.
Back in the day there was Elvis, and Elvis was sexually provocative. Then there was The Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. Then there was Michael Jackson, and what he was doing was real sexual. Then there was the 90s, when music and culture became seriously risqué, comparatively speaking.
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.
I first saw Vince Staples through his baby picture, the artwork to his breakout mixtape, Shyne Coldchain Vol. 1, was floating down my Tumblr feed in 2011. However, it wasn’t until I was listening to Earl Sweatshirt’s Doris, that I was blown away listening to Vince completely slaughter the outro of “Hive,” and from there on anything else I heard him on.
If you're unfamiliar with Metro Boomin, then honestly where have you been? By now, he should be a name almost synonymous with Future, and plenty of other Atlanta rappers. And if you somehow you weren't familiar BEFORE Drake and Future dropped What A Time to Be Alive, well then, by now, you definitely, definitely should be, as Drizzy and Future shouted out the producer through out.
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.
Mixtapes are like opinions. Everyone has one, but not all of them matter.
The singing equivalent of Jay Electronica? Hardly. Some grandiose, Detox-style statement? Nah. The Chinese Democracy of R&B? Bruh.
Recently, we felt our childhood selves get pimp slapped back to reality with the forthcoming allegations that MTV's "Pimp My Ride" is guilty of deceiving both its viewers and contestants. The monitors on the back of each headrest rarely worked, high-tech contraptions were added just for TV, and contestant reactions were exaggerated.
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.
Most people know of the male heavyweights in hip-hop who have inhabited the streets and hoods of hip-hop's birthing place, New York City, since the onsets of their careers. They constantly make references to their stomping grounds in their tracks, paying homage to their homies through shout outs, making sure they never take for granted where they came from.
Skepta is a grime MC from North London. For those who don't know, grime is a form of hip-hop that emerged from the English club scene in the early 2000s. MCs who would hype up the crowd during UK Garage eventually started seeing more and more love when they rhymed. One bar turned to two, two bars turned to eight, and before you know it these MCs were making music based around them.
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.