Revisit some of Wale's best tracks from 2005-2009.
That Wale is signed to Maybach Music Group, the gaudiest label in all the land, belies his humble origins as a first-generation Nigerian-American whose bold, lyrical, heavily go-go-flavored style bridged the gap between backpacker and radio rap and became an instant sensation in his native Washington D.C.
As cool as rappers may seem to you now, there was a time when your favorite spitter was in high school, and as dope as they may have seen themselves, we're certain that each one of them dealt with some serious haters. We're gonna take you on a tour of 20 rapper yearbook photos, an expansion of our previous list.
The Game's fallout with 50 Cent shortly after the release of The Documentary in 2005 led him to release not one, not two, but dozens of diss tracks against 50 and G-Unit. While Game has taken shots at other rappers -- and non-rappers ("I'd kick David Beckham's ass on any given day") -- roughly 97% percent of his diss tracks have attempted to humiliate and emasculate G-Unit.
In the Atlanta-dominated Southern rap scene, Tennessee's Isaiah Rashad represents a refreshing alternative, a rapper stylish, witty, and passionate who is unflinching in his portrayal of his own personal struggles with depression, money, fame, drugs, family, and the universal human burden of simply being alive.
In 1997, a 20-year-old 2 Chainz, then known as Tity Boi, formed a rap duo Playaz Circle with his friend Dolla Boy. They released their debut album United We Stand, United We Fall, which is now virtually unavailable online. (You can buy the physical copy for $299.99 (plus shipping)).
A new report has suggested that Lil Wayne is in sole possession of Tha Carter V masters, which he is withholding from his label, Cash Money, until they pay him what he is owed. It's the latest development in an ongoing battle between Wayne and Cash Money founder, Birdman, who Weezy has accused of holding out on payments (he's also far from the first to make such a claim).
A fifth of a century after his death, the conversation rages on - is 2pac the greatest rapper of all time? Was his flow as good as Biggie's? Did he really weave words as intricately as Nas?
In terms of an artist gaining direct access to his or her fans, there's no better social media platform than Snapchat. Indeed, the app has caused artists to blur the line between their public and private personas.
You might not know his name, but you've heard his sensuous sax soaring over tracks by Kendrick Lamar, YG, and other top-tier Los Angeles rappers. Or you saw him as the caged bird, shrieking and squawking on his horn from behind bars in Lamar's stupendous 2016 Grammy performance.
Travis Scott has always made his fondness for drugs a central feature of his music, but Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight might be his druggiest project yet, as far as sheer amount of references. He and the various featured artists mention everything from crack to DMT, and today, we've catalogued every pertinent lyric.
Wiz Khalifa was 16-year-old student at Pittsburgh's Taylor Allderdice High School when he attracted the attention of Rostrum Records president Benjy Grinberg. Over the course of the next several years, he would develop a massive grassroots following that culminated in the release of the landmark mixtape Kush & OJ and breakout smash "Black and Yellow" in 2010.
Nicki Minaj broke a lengthy hiatus a week ago by showing up next to Ariana Grande in the outrageously sexy “Side to Side” video.
Born Rodriquez Jacquees Broadnax, Jacquees was discovered in 9th grade after an unprecedented run of Atlanta school talent show dominance. He has since developed into a teen heartthrob with his mixture of '90s R&B, modern rap flows, and panty-melting falsetto.
Travis Scott's debut album, last year's Rodeo, was packed with guest features, coming from the likes of Quavo, Future, Chief Keef, Justin Bieber, and more. In a time when it seems like most stars of his caliber are keeping the guest spots to a minimum, Scott has remained intent on maintaining a collaborative mindset.
Nipsey Hussle's Slauson Boy Vol. 2 mixtape arrived two weeks ago and eleven years after his debut mixtape Slauson Boy Vol. 1. Now 31 years of age, Nipsey is no longer the swaggering Snoop Dogg disciple of yore.
If you were to believe everything you read these days, you'd probably be under the impression that Young Thug is an indecipherable, "post-verbal" rapper. However, anyone who's spent time with Thug's music should know the man has a way with words, and not giving them the proper attention would be downright silly.
About a week and a half ago, Tory Lanez put out I Told You, an album more devoted to an autobiographical through-narrative than any other we've heard this year.
The VMAs are known for their spectacle. From Kanye's infamous interruption to Nicki's "Miley, what's good?" there's always something to talk about at the end of the night. As far as controversies go, this year's event was pretty clean of beef or provocation, but on the whole, it was one of the more consistent shows in recent years.
Late last night, after a few delays as well as a number of different and increasingly confusing tracklists, 300 Entertainment finally released Young Thug's third project of the year: No, My Name Is Jeffery.
"I miss the sweet Kanye, chop up the beats Kanye" - Kanye *** Now a titanic figure in American music, Kanye West first made inroads into the music industry as a producer for Roc-a-Fella records. His talents on the MPC were so immense that he only got his record deal as a rapper so that they label could have access to his production.
In terms of chronological, autobiographical narratives, albums don't get more focused than Tory Lanez's I Told You. The Toronto singer/rapper's commercial debut recounts pivotal events in his rise from a 16-year-old kicked out of his grandmother's home in 2008, to an Interscope-signed star, through both skits and song lyrics.
Frank Ocean first revealed himself as a generational songwriting talent on his 2011 debut nostalgia, ULTRA, then emerged as a full-blown star on the strength of the 2012's Channel Orange, which amounted to a series of vignettes about wealth, drugs, friendship, and love.
Along with his bro Michael Christmas, Cousin Stizz is leading a new generation of Boston rappers to the promised land. Between his 2015 debut mixtape Suffolk County and its follow up MONDA, Stizz has put together a rock-solid catalog of music that is helping him take his talents from Dorchester's Field's Corner to the rest of the country and beyond.
Fingers crossed that Jeffery will drop on August 26, as Lyor Cohen has hinted, but at this point, we won't hold our breath. In the meantime, Thug has assuaged his fans with the release of "Elton," a collaboration with the great Wyclef Jean.
Most Danny Brown fans got hooked around XXX ("Monopoly"!), but in truth Brown lived a full rap career before XXX ever came out. Between 2003 and 2010 he put together an eleven-project run that culminated in his 2010 free album The Hybrid.
September is shaping up to be the biggest month on Donald Glover/Childish Gambino's career. "Atlanta," the show he conceived, wrote, produced, and starred in," will debut on FX on September 6th. He has also promised the live unveiling of a new album called Pharos.
Art imitates life; life imitates art. That's a theory first proposed by Aristotle, suggesting the fluid two-way street between culture and day-to-day life. Were Migos the first to dab, or were they just a nationally-influential platform for a hyper-regional craze that started before they got wind of it?
With the announcement that Travis Scott will be getting his own show on Beats 1 Radio show, it's clear that Apple is not slowing down in handing out airtime to rappers. Travis joins artists like Drake, DJ Khaled, Pharrell, and eventually, Chance The Rapper (last we heard at least), on the network, and it's got us thinking about who else would be a good fit.
This past Monday marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Sean Price.
Young Thug had a very strong 2015, delivering Barter 6, Slime Season 1, and Slime Season 2, a cohesive collection of projects the converted more casual fans into stans. His 2016 has been a little more scattered, with I'm Up and Slime Season 3 supplying many bangers, but not as strong as an album experience. Jeffery seems like the project that will bring everything together this year.