We take a look at some instrumental hip-hop albums you should add to your collection.
Beats. For most fans of rap music, they're just the background for the "real" action: the lyrics. To others, they can make or break a track completely. And to some, beats are music all by themselves.
What's Ab-Soul been up to in the past two years? Since releasing his third studio album, These Days.., in June 2014, the TDE rapper has been unusually quiet, only dropping two tracks that he had stashed in the vault ("47 Bars" and "House Of Sin"), appearing on one other TDE release (Jay Rock's "Vice City" posse cut), and remaining very quiet about future projects.
Whether you're feeling mad, or high, or anxious, or sexy, or you just got paid, or you wanna turn up, or get inspired, or well, anything, HotNewHipHop has you covered. Just in time for the weekend, whatever your plans may be, we've got music for every situation and/or mood. We like our readers to feel supported and understood, and nothing is more effective than music.
You may find it hard to believe that Macklemore was once a ramshamble everyman. But it’s true. Ever since he dropped his debut album The Language of My World in 2005, Macklemore has presented himself as an earnest, funny, knucklehead regular white kid from beautiful, rainy, blunt-tastic Seattle. (Full disclosure: I am also a white guy from Seattle.)
The lives of rappers are in the spotlight daily, allowing the public to constantly observe what these rappers are up to. Whether they are topping the charts, or involved in a media frenzy, the public is always in the know.
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The marriage between rap and R&B is hitting a stride, creatively speaking. Thanks to the likes of Fetty Wap and Drake (who actually co-signed the up-and-comer eariler this year), the blurred line between the two genres is increasingly difficult to define.
Unfamiliar with Post Malone? Well it's time to get acquainted. The Dallas singing rapper just signed a contract with Republic Records based largely in part off the stunning success of his breakout record, "White Iverson," which now has over 30 million plays on soundcloud. Malone is white, but he doesn't play basketball.
Though undeniably potent, a Drake/Future collab isn't a 100% natural fit on paper given their differing rapping styles. That said, they share a lavish and deeply enviable lifestyle, in which they routinely make it rain monsoons at Magic City, eat at 3-star Michelin restaurants, fly in private jets, and have sex with hordes of beautiful women.
Around the time the Graduation came out, I developed a philosophy for media consumption that I called the “Kanye rule.” Its premise was simple: judge art only for the contents within, not for the extraneous actions of the artist.
A Drake co-sign will put you on the map, straight up. It's happened for many artists over the past half-decade or so. The Weeknd was only brought into the mainstream spotlight when Drake appeared on his sophomore mixtape Thursday.
Drake officially kicked off his Views from the 6 campaign on Saturday by premiering "Summer Sixteen" on OVO Sound Radio. Not fifteen minutes later, Meek Mill responded by releasing his surprise EP 4/4 Part 2, which contained a brand new Drake diss track called "War Pain."
B-sides, bonus tracks, and outtakes are usually released to show us the sides of artists that we don't get on their standard commercial projects.
As one of the most significant rappers of the past decade, for better or worse, Kid Cudi's stamp on the genre has been inescapable. I mean, lets face it, Kanye's last 3 albums have not only featured that man in some right, but they've also had Cudi's fingerprints all over.
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.
What's with the Jamaican patois in Drake's If You're Reading This, It's Too Late? Why is he going all cha-cha in the "Hotline Bling" music video? It seems that our boy Drizzy has caught a small case of the Caribbean fever, so to speak, because he's nodding to the culture everywhere these days.
Part of the rapper lifestyle means lots of travelling, lots of fans and/or groupies, and hardly any time to settle down and wife up. Thus it may not come as a surprise that rapper seeds often get sprinkled across the states, and often times, they've got multiple baby mamas.
Rappers have probably never had more influence on American culture than they do now. Drake coins slang words that eventually become recognized by Webster, and Obama addresses Kanye West's presidential candidacy. Jeezy's "My President" became not just a hood anthem, but a nationally imperative hip hop track that is forever preserved alongside Obama's run into presidency.
Say what you will about the effect that the internet (more specifically, social media) has had on our everyday lives, but as a tool of discovery, it's changing lives every day. Especially for musicians who don't hail from hub cities with built-in networks of industry personnel, a simple Soundcloud account can end up being a golden ticket.
After kicking off the first HNHH Staff Picks playlist last Friday, we're back again today with round two. This week we had a pretty solid showing of singles on the song's list almost every day, and there were definitely quite a few VERY HOTTTTT records, so it's safe to say we had a lot to choose from.
Releasing three mixtapes over the course of six months is no easy task; dropping three that are celebrated by critics and fans alike is almost unthinkable.
With Drake's "Hotline Bling" recently becoming his biggest hit to date, the rapper seems to have mastered the art of the standalone single.
There's a lot going on behind the scenes that isn't readily apparent from listening to a song. Though sometimes, a simple investigation of writing credits can tell you a lot.
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.
When Young Thug's Barter 6 came out, there was a bunch of beats produced by a dude named Wheezy. One couldn't help but to wonder if it was a part of the Lil Wayne worship that gave the album its name, or if it was more clever trolling in a burgeoning beef, or just a total coincidence. We're at least pretty sure that it was the latter.
With Lil Uzi Vert's glo up comes another, hand-in-hand, and that one belongs to Maaly Raw. We're slowly becoming familiar with Maaly Raw's tag, which will likely become a household item, not so unlike Metro Boomin's tag, within the next year.
Almost all the tracks on The Life of Pablo are great.
Bryan "Birdman" Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams founded Cash Money Records over twenty years ago. New Orleans rap collective the Hot Boys were one of Cash Money's earliest successes, which has since turned into perhaps the flashiest label of them all. In 2005, former Hot Boy Lil Wayne created his own CMR imprint, Young Money Entertainment.
What most music fans don’t know is that a major record label deal is not guaranteed change in your pocket. A recording contract is essentially a legal agreement which allows the record label to exploit an artist’s work through recorded material. This includes the album’s release, promotion, marketing, sales… you name it.
During a recent interview with Larry King, Mac Miller stated that GO:OD AM -- his major label debut under Warner Bros. -- was intended to be a departure from the "darker and sad" vibes of his previous record, Watching Movies with the Sound Off. GOD:DAMN. Mac was right on the money.