We keep you up to date on everything going on in battle rap.
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, Snoop Dogg, and Drake have put on events for the battle scene and at this rate things can only continue to expand.
What a tumultuous last few days it's been. Reports of Prince's sudden passing rocked us on Thursday, but then hours later we got a new A$AP Ferg album. About 48 hours after that, Lemonade arrived, effectively shutting down everything else on the internet at the time.
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 Billboard 200 Chart shifted considerably over the past week, leaving artists like Tank in the dust as the likes of Rihanna and Kevin Gates rose to take the #1 and #2 positions, respectively. Rihanna's album, which debuted at #27 last week, claimed the #1 position we all expected it to have.
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.
If you've been watching the charts over the last few years, you'll know that rap isn't dominating the Hot 100, and many of the songs that do make their way to the number one spot might no necessarily represent the genre all that well. Looking back at all the prior rap #1s on the Hot 100, this trend moves in waves.
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."
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.
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 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 #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.
Since it's evolution from the late 1980s, hip-hop music has gone from strength to strength. Nothing tells the story of this success better than seeing the facts by numbers. We often hear about first week album sales, and then there's always Forbes annual break-down of the wealthiest celebrities, but after that, we forget about it.
Kevin Gates, a New Orleans, Baton Rouge native, had a tough time leaving the street life alone to focus completely on his music. It's a feat he seems to have finally accomplished though, but his troubled past is still well-documented in his lyrics. If you aren't familiar with the rapper's discography, which includes the stand-out album Stranger Than Fiction, we're about to make you familiar.
OVO Sound is a label founded by Drake, Noah "40" Shebib, and Oliver El-Khatib in 2012. The label consists of Drake and in-house producers 40, Boi-1da, T-Minus, Mike Zombie. PartyNextDoor, Majid Jordan, ILoveMakonnen and OB O'Brien are also affiliated with the crew.
While next week should be more exciting, the last round of rap sales were pretty lacklustre. With ASAP Rocky's album dropping to number 12, it's the first week in some time with no hip hop or R&B in the top ten. The LPs we've seen selling all year are still hanging in, with Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Kendrick Lamar all continuing to sell. Meanwhile, J.
After a mini-lull in the hip-hop game, shit really got lit this week, especially last night at midnight, when Young Thug finally released Slime Season 3. Though it's only comprised of eight tracks, it's easily one of the year's hottest front-to-back listens. And three of those tracks have been snagged for this week's Staff Picks playlist.
The first-week sales numbers for Chris Brown's Royalty are in, and though Breezy's seventh album performed even better than was expected -- selling 184,000 units -- it did not top the charts. In fact, for the week ending Dec. 24, Royalty made its debut at No. 3, behind Justin Bieber's Purpose, released on Nov. 13, and Adele's 25, which remains at No.
It's April 6th, and time for another edition of our Charts Don't Lie series. This week, we see a couple new records begin to chart, in the form of K. Michelle's More Issues Than Vogue and Young Thug's Slime Season 3. The two releases land at #2 and #7 respectfully. It's worth noting that Zayn's solo debut Mind of Mine snagged the #1 spot for its debut on the Billboard 200.
With four new albums in the top 5, the Billboard 200 shifted considerably this week. Kanye West takes the #1 spot as Billboard finally tallies up his streams and sales, after the rapper made the The Life of Pablo available on all streaming platforms, meanwhile, Big Sean & Jhene Aiko's Twenty88 project lands impressively at the #5 spot.
The much anticipated Drake & Future collaboration project What A Time To Be Alive dropped over the weekend, specifically, last night at 8 PM EST. Like the rest of the world, we couldn't wait to get our hands on it and delve deep.
Illmatic turns 21 years old today, and since we can't buy it a drink, we've decided to take a look at 21 rappers who were influenced directly by the album. We did some digging to find quotes, interviews, lyrics, and examples of artists praising Nas' debut album, a record that changed hip hop forever.
The appearance of a brand new #1 and #2 album on the Billboard 200 this past week means that Kanye West's The Life of Pablo was booted from the top spot down to #4 overall. Rihanna came in just behind him at #5, marking the second of two urban albums in the top 10 this week.
It seems like the tide in the rap game has finally slowed down a bit, after all the theatrics surrounding the release of Kanye West's The Life of Pablo (which is still being amended) and, then, the surprise release of a masterful compilation of outtakes from Kendrick Lamar. Still, on a song-by-song basis, the genre continues to bring us more quality than we can handle.
With a couple of debuts in the top 5, it was a great week for hip-hop on the Billboard 200. Kendrick Lamar gets crowned with the No. 1 spot with his surprise album, untitled unmastered., a compilation of eight tracks that didn't quite fit onto To Pimp a Butterfly.
Each year around the beginning of March, artists begin sending in pitches to XXL, hoping to wind up on the magazine’s highly-coveted Freshmen list. Thus far, we’ve seen Lil Herb, Bishop Nehru, Fat Trel, and a few others try to convince us they have what it takes to grace the cover along with eleven of their peers, each turning in a short video clip to the publication.
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.
Last week was definitely dominated by SXSW, with most of the rap world seeming like they were down in Austin either to perform, kick it with some of their equals in the game, or announce mixtapes in creative ways.
"It's funny how wasn't nobody interested'Til the night I almost killed myself in Lexus" - Kanye West, "Last Call"
This week was pretty monumental. Of course, the sudden passing of Prince rocked the hip-hop world (and accompanying blogosphere) quite a bit, and many, fans and celebrities alike, are still in shock. Apart from that unfortunate news (and his wasn't the only death we reported on this week), we also had some pretty 'WTF' moments, like Birdman's Breakfast Club interview two-minute
There's never been anybody to do it quite like Kanye West. Even when he busted out onto the scene with "Through The Wire" in 2003, it was clear that he'd be a superstar. It wasn't clear, however, that he'd have arguably the biggest impact on pop culture of any rapper, ever.