10 HNHH Pitches For 2015 XXL Freshman
    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.
    Most Anticipated Albums Of 2015
    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.
    Charts Don't Lie: May 9
    This wasn't a very exciting week for rap on the charts. Over the last couple cycles we've seen the same albums slowly descending, with Drake being the only record to have a second wind in recent weeks. We did see Kehlani's debut this week, taking a page from Drizzy and Young Thug's playbook and putting her "mixtape" on iTunes.
    Charts Don't Lie: May 16
    We saw two notable debuts on this week's charts, and they tell very different stories. The first comes from underground hero, Tech N9ne, who managed to have his biggest sales week ever, coming in at number 4. Meanwhile, Ciara, who has both a hit and major label backing, only earned a number 17 debut.
    The Road To Jay Electronica's "Act II: Patents Of Nobility"
    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.
    Charts Don't Lie: May 2nd
    While Yelawolf managed a big debut this week, topping his previous album peak of 27 by hitting number 3 on the Billboard 200, rap lost a fair bit of ground. While Wale started off strong with a number one debut, he's fallen 10 or more spots every subsequent week, coming in this cycle at 31. Young Thug is also having a pretty rough time, failing to make the top 20 last week, and now falling to 44.
    Top Tracks: April 27 - May 3
    After a new set of artists entered the Top 10 of our Top 100 chart, we're tracking how they're maintaining this week. King Los finally hit #1 with his recent single, while DeJ Loaf's remix falls back a bit, and more. Check out the past week's Top 10 songs on the HNHH Top 100 below. 10) K Camp feat Fetty Wap – 1Hunnid
    Kevin Gates Talks Prison, Depression & Choosing Music Over Street Life
    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.
    Top Tracks: April 20- April 26
    Last week was a game changer at the top of the Top 100. After a few weeks of relative consistency, the Top Ten was washed out in a wave of new music. Keep track of how those songs are doing below. 10) The Game ft. Dej Loaf – Ryda
    Poetic License: The Art Of Writing
    Poetic license is not a new concept. The idea of poetic license can be traced back to the Greco-Roman classical era and is derived from the Latin words, 'poeta' ('maker') and 'licentia' ('to be permitted,' 'liberty'). The concept was encouraged by a Greek philosopher by the name of Aristotle (maybe you've heard of this dude?).
    Major Money: Rappers Who Signed Million-Dollar Deals
    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.
    What’s New In Battle Rap (May 15)
    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.
    Rap By Numbers: A Break Down Of Hip-Hop Sales & More
    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.
    RIP Nate Dogg: A Look Into The Work Of The Hook King
    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.
    Rap Industry Recap: April
    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.
    Charts Don’t Lie: March 15
    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.
    21 Rappers That Were Influenced By Nas' "Illmatic"
    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.
    Charts Don’t Lie: December 21
    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.
    Underrated Audio: May 14-20
    This week we bring to you only four cuts that fit the title. Although it seems like more and more music is dropping as we enter the summer months, not every thing is a stand out. These songs didn't necessarily get a lot of love from our viewers, so here we are giving them the second go-round in Underrated Audio.
    Watch A Knicks Game With Spike Lee Courtside For $10K
    Legendary director of “He Got Game,” “Do The Right Thing,” “Clockers,” “Inside Man,” and much more, Spike Lee is raising funds for his next film through Kickstarter and offering some nice incentives to those that can contribute to his project.  There are several incentives at various levels, but the basketball-related ones include:  for $500 you will get a call from Spike and ta
    What’s New In Battle Rap (May 1)
    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.
    Charts Don't Lie: April 25
    This week we saw debuts from both Tyler, The Creator, and Young Thug. Neither artist is known to play on mainstream radio (though Thug gets a fair share of rap radio play), but each has a pretty supportive fanbase.
    Top Tracks: April 13 - April 19
    Here’s a countdown of what HotNewHipHop readers we’re listening to the most this week, according to our Top 100 chart. 10) Flying Lotus ft. Kendrick Lamar - Eyes Above K-Dot collaborated with free-jazz beatsmith and all-around musical madman Flying Lotus on FlyLo’s latest album You’re Dead! with the frantic track “Never Catch Me.”
    The Cash Money Timeline
    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.
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