In this week's Top 10, we countdown the best Funk Flex freestyle sessions ever, because our list game is kinda serious outchea. Who you mad at? Us or yourself?
Forget mixtapes and albums, some of the hottest verses in hip hop come right from the offices of Hot 97 via Funkmaster Flex's famous freestyle sessions. Whether artists go right off the dome, kick something they plan on using later, or a combination of both, rappers always bring their A-game for Flex.
Anderson .Paak has had a huge year. He was one of the unique voices of Dr. Dre's Compton album, sure, but he's also released a number of his own tracks along with being featured alongside some of the biggest names in the business. His ability to transcend traditional rapping/singing techniques to create a unique voice of his own has made him a go-to as of late.
They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, but not everyone is flattered when Weird Al Yankovic decides to make their hit song into a caricature. The 54-year-old funny man has spent the better part of three decades taking some of pop’s biggest hits and making them into parodies that touch on subjects ranging from television to tattoos to trash day.
Last year, there’s no question that the West had it locked. Acclaimed albums by Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, Jay Rock, Ty Dolla $ign and The Game proved that the left coast can build off the momentum established by the legends – like Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, NWA, Nate Dogg, etc. – and continue to release quality music that stretches the boundaries of hip hop at large.
For the better part of the past three years, "trap" has referred to much more than the music of Young Jeezy, T.I., Gucci Mane, etc. Beats like Baauer's "Harlem Shake" and RL Grime's remix to Kanye West's "Mercy" have ignited dance-floors and festivals using the same label to describe their sound.
The first Luca Brasi Story, released last February, put Kevin Gates on the map. Soon after, he quietly inked a partnership with Atlantic and a management deal with Young Money. He put out another excellent mixtape, Stranger Than Fiction, months later, and he’s had a similar 2014 in terms of output: two mixtapes, both excellent.
Now that 2015 is underway, we have plenty of good music to look forward too, when it comes to both mixtapes (just peep our Upcoming section) and albums. Even in this one-listen-then-on-to-the-next generation, it's still appropriate to bump music that dropped last year, right? Especially because some projects didn't get as much as love as the quality of said projects deserve.
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.
"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.
Big Sean has always been a gifted wordsmith. Puns, metaphors, similes--you name it. On occasion, though, he's been guilty of reaching: "ass-quake, ass-tate, ass-tray..." He's better than that. And on Dark Sky Paradise he proves it. Lyrically, this is Sean's deepest work, but he doesn't ditch the wordplay games. In fact, some of these bars are his wittiest ever.
It takes a village to make an album. Dr. Dre was the executive producer, bossman, and visionary behind Compton, and he had at his disposal a team of some of the best hip hop producers money could buy, including Dem Jointz, DJ Dahi, and entire crew of Aftermath in-house artists.
The tidal wave of Drake that has washed over the Top 10 is finally, thankfully receding. Much like low tide, a lingering stench of Drizzy still remains, but at least there are no more songs in the Top 10 twice. Let’s get to it. 10) MPA Duke ft. Travi$ Scott - On My Vibe
Despite Migos' Yung Rich Nation being the Atlanta rap trio's debut studio album, they're hardly rookies. A plethora of acclaimed mixtapes, BET Award Nominations and superstar collaborations are under their belt. And so for emcees Quavo, Offeset and Takeoff, their first album has epectations other first timers might.
I think it’s safe to say that Rich Homie Quan and Young Thug have emerged as one of the best duos in rap. Granted, they might not be as lyrically enticing as Jay Z and Kanye, but they both exude passion. Prior to their rift, they were untouchable. Their immaculate chemistry wasn’t something to ignore.
Raury has had a huge 2014. In addition to turning the ripe age of 18, the artist garnered the attention of Andre 3000 and found a place on beat-maker SBTRKT's sophomore album.
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.
Fifteen years of Shady Records represents an unusual time for rap music, transitioning out of the shiny suit era and into a bubble featuring new names. Aside from D12 and Obie Trice releases, the label’s existence was mostly tied to Eminem signing a certain Queens MC.
It's been a while since we've done a Samples Of The Week, but when we have one of the most sample-heavy albums in recent memory on the docket this week, it's too good to pass up. A$AP Rocky's lengthy A.L.L.A. contains samples on over half of its tracks, and today we're here to break down every single one.
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.
Slim Jesus is going viral. His video "Drill Time," released on August 18, had humble beginnings, garnering a touch under 3,000 YouTube views in its first two weeks of life. It gained some modest traction the first week of September, and now it has absolutely exploded, skyrocketing from less than 15,000 views to over 600,000 in the last 24 hours.
Majid Jordan sounds like one name, but the Canadian production team is actually a duo: Majid Al Maskati and Jordan Ullman.
We're noticing a pattern here.
In the age of the internet it seems everybody can be a rapper, or at least make a feeble attempt at so doing. It may seem hard to find real talent with the game cluttered by generic, wanna-be, or insignificant rappers.
What a Time to Be Alive has finally resonated on our ears. The ten-song effort is a testament to many things: the prominence of the dark, druggy, Atlanta trap sound; Future's work ethic; Drake's diversity. The album is one of the more surprising releases in recent history, and recent history has almost exclusively boasted albums that were (at least trying to be) a surprise.
With a box office record to its name thanks to millions and millions earned, "Straight Out of Compton" -- the NWA biopic -- has set Hollywood on fire. It comes as no surprise that the film industry is now looking in to the history of hip-hop to tell more stories on the silver screen.
Drake and Future successfully created a moment with What A Time To Be Alive, successfully dodging leaks and getting rap fans everywhere tuned in to a a good old-fashioned radio show. Of course, the main difference with doing this in 2015 is the project could instantly be discussed on a major scale, with fans everywhere tweeting out lyrics as they happened.
Yesterday we tried out our first-ever quiz on the site, a la Buzzfeed, to find out how well you consumed Kendrick Lamar's new album To Pimp A Butterfly upon first listen.
Drake's "Energy" music video just hit Apple Music, giving them an exclusive that'll further propel them ahead of their competitor TIDAL. On top of the "Energy" visuals, off the much-lauded If You're Reading This It's Too Late, Drizzy unleashed another exclusive, a collaboration with Majid Jordan, through Beats 1.
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.
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.