A peak into the endless influence of Nas' "Illmatic."
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.
2014 is over and done with, and we the hip-hop community are moving onto greater endeavors. After an overall mediocre year for rap albums, 2015 is destined to be different. Hip-hop's biggest names are all scheduled to release albums this year, and the timing could not be more right. Today, who better than Rae Sremmurd to kick off the new year of releases with their debut album, Sremm Life.
Back in October, many industry insiders were surprised by the early sales estimates for T.I.'s most recent album, Paperwork. After a day of sales, forecasts had the album selling roughly 70,000 units in its opening week.
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.
While there were a couple of debuts this week, the top 2 albums were not able to be unseated. Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly is still sitting comfortably atop the charts, while the Empire soundtrack trails not-so-far behind. Both Action Bronson and Earl Sweatshirt had their opening weeks, with Bronsolino edging out his Odd Future competitor by a good 5 spots on the Billboard 200.
Business moves quick, and that's no exception for the rap world. From the hottest new signings, to movie deals, to album pushbacks, the industry is constantly in motion. It can be hard to keep up with at times, so we've consolidated all of the must-hear information from the past month, all in one place.
This week we’re seeing a new entry with G-Unit’s The Beast Is G-Unit EP hitting the charts. Although it moved under 20k opening week, we doubt the Unit is too upset.
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.
The biggest story from last week's charts is far-and-away Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly, which hit iTunes a week earlier than expected, which seems to have benefitted the LP, despite a rocky start to the release.
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 Talks Prison, Depression & Choosing Music Over Street Life Sep 19, 2013 at 01:38pm 32,874 Views
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.
It's a Cole Winter. The rapper surprised us when he announced his new album 2014 Forest Hills Drive in late November, and released the album shortly thereafter. J. Cole stripped the album release of all things unnecessary, from endless promo interviews where the same subjects are broached again and again, to excessive bonus records, to the expected listening sessions with industry insiders.
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.
Eminem's new album, Marshall Mathers LP 2, officially hits stores tomorrow. The lead singles he's dropped thus far have left fans with opposing views-- some stand by their fierce support of Em, while others wish the old drug-addled rapper would return.
The story of two brothers who came from nothing, from a city far off the hip-hop radar, and built an empire. But they didn’t do it alone. Brothers Bryan “Baby” Williams (who we now know as Birdman), age 22, and Ronald “Slim” Williams, age 24, wanted to get out of their projects and build a better life for their family and friends in Magnolia and the surrounding Wards.
Some might say Suge Knight isn't having the best year, and it's only just begun. The co-founder of Death Row Records started off 2015 with a murder charge to his name, not to mention, he's suffering from a few medical issues stemming from 2014's shooting.
On March 15, 2011, Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, who we know better as Nate Dogg, passed away from complications of multiple strokes. He left behind a body of work that includes the best hooks rap has ever seen.
This week on Charts Don't Lie we see the Christmas spirit in effect, as Mariah Carey's 1994 album Merry Christmas soars back up the charts. We're also seeing a relatively quick decent for the MMG boss Rick Ross, and a relatively low debut for his counterpart Omarion. Wu-Tang Clan arrive on the charts with A Better Tomorrow receiving around 25k streams and sales, although they get one-upped by Ms.
Long viewed as an art form mired in chauvinism and bravado, hip hop is in the midst of ‘gender-fication’ with an upheaval in how we view, listen, and consume the music. Talking about your glock while holding your cock, is no longer limited to male rappers.
Obviously the biggest topic of this week's Charts is Drizzy Drake. The rapper utilized the surprise release tactic that we've seen several artists find success with over the last year or two, and it definitely paid off for him as well.
We now have the numbers for what was a monumental week in rap history, with Kanye West, J. Cole and Mac Miller all dropping their respective albums on June 18th. And Kelly Rowland.
Vinylz Talks About Creation Of J. Cole's "Tale Of 2 Citiez" & Big Sean's "Blessings" Feb 5, 2015 at 12:25pm 19,632 Views
Vinylz already had a pretty big 2014, but he's setting himself up to have an even bigger 2015. You probably saw the name Vinylz in 2014, or at least you might recognize it, but you probably aren't super familiar with who he is a producer. His frequent collaborator though, Boi-1da, is definitely a name you know a thing or two about.
This past week proved to be a big one for hip-hop. Definitely a week to be remembered, with three big rap albums (and one r'n'b album) all dropping on the same day (and every one knows this date by now)-- June 18. While Kanye West, J. Cole and Mac Miller had the spotlight for the majority of the week, that's not to say there weren't some dope releases from other artists.
This week Drake is knocked from his pedestal ever so slightly, as Big Sean's new album Dark Sky Paradise is ushered in at #1. Drake moves to #4, which still isn't a bad look, considering he's above rivals Chris Brown and Tyga. Fan of a Fan didn't move as much as you might expect two mainstream stars to sell-- with just over 50k in pure sales opening week.
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