A selection of horribly photoshopped mixtape covers.
Mixtapes have long been effective for staying grounded in the modern landscape of hip-hop. Borrowing popular beats and enlisting a roster of peers for guest verses are mainstay mechanisms for sustaining relevancy in the rap game. Another pillar of the mixtape hustle is the project's original (debatable) cover art, a historically adventurous creative expression.
2014 was a relatively quiet year for music. It almost felt like the first half of the year was dedicated to the remnants of 2013 (so we had Young Thug continue to blow up, all the Drake leftovers) and the second half was a build up to next year (we received no Lil Wayne or Kendrick Lamar album, etc). Nonetheless, the year is ending on a high note, with albums from J.
When hip hop 'It' couple Jay Z and Beyonce recently showed up courtside at the Brooklyn Nets vs. Miami Heat game amidst major controversies. the buzz of the pairs appearance was carried around swiftly.
Big Sean has always been a gifted wordsmith. Puns, metaphors, similes--you name it. On occasion, though, he's been guilty of reaching: "ass-quake, ass-tate, ass-tray..." He's better than that. And on Dark Sky Paradise he proves it. Lyrically, this is Sean's deepest work, but he doesn't ditch the wordplay games. In fact, some of these bars are his wittiest ever.
Forget mixtapes and albums, some of the hottest verses in hip hop come right from the offices of Hot 97 via Funkmaster Flex's famous freestyle sessions. Whether artists go right off the dome, kick something they plan on using later, or a combination of both, rappers always bring their A-game for Flex.
When Young Thug's on the mic, any topic's fair game. He'll reference kids movies and famous gangs side-by-side, name-drop close friends who are unknown to the rest of the world, and arrive at conclusions in the most roundabout ways possible (who else orders "boneless chicken like an egg"?).
The hottest beats is a misnomer for this list of 20 productions that shaped the commercial sound of hip-hop culture in 2014. Of all the thousands of tracks produced each year under the umbrella of hip-hop, we could only honor a select few as standing above the crowd.
Take a deep breathe of that cool, fresh air. Summer came, and it was awesome, but it's time for fall and all the wonderful things that come with it. Sure, hoodie season and Halloween come to mind, but to keep it real, we're more stoked on new music and huge tours from some of our favorite artists.
Rick Ross's last couple albums have left something to be desired. With Black Dollar coming out this Thursday, hope springs eternal that he'll regain his peak form. Despite his pear-induced weight loss, Ross is about to turn 40 years old, potentially on the downslope of his rap career and in need of boost.
It’s taken Macklemore and Ryan Lewis a little over three years to finish their sophomore album, This Unruly Mess I’ve Made. By contrast, Drake has released three albums, Kendrick Lamar two, and Gucci Mane more than a lifetime’s amount. Yet, when you can create an unheard of level of success like The Heist did, there’s no need to rush.
As Drake said after he concluded his first interview with Nardwuar, a Canadian man who rocks a tartan hat and calls himself the "Human Serviette," "this guy is a legend." There's really no better way to put it: this guy's interviewed everyone from Nirvana to N*E*R*D, and always seems to unearth facts that no other interviewer in the game can.
Besides V-Day, there is another reason we decided to create this list. Yup, we're talking about that "Trap Queen" by Fetty Wap. Translation: this track is a shout-out to your bomb ass female. Straight out of New Jersey, Fetty touches on the three most important things in life: money, your crib, and your girl. In fact, this applies to almost every gangsta rapper out there.
When dissecting a massive catalog such as Hov's to rank his best verses, you really have to break it up. It would be like ranking the Top 10 sports cars ever made, you'd have to go by decade to make it more feasible. So we've decided to tackle everything Tha God MC has done post-retirement, Kingdom Come and forward to the present.
Right now, Fetty Wap's "Trap Queen" sits at #3 on the charts, behind Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again" and Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk." We're gonna go ahead and call it the number #1 hip-hop song in the country. Sorry Wiz & Charlie Puth--touching tribute, but it belongs on the pop charts.
Last year was amazing for hip hop. There were new sounds popping up all over the country and no shortage of albums, mixtapes, and projects to feast your ears on. From the West Coast renaissance to Atlanta's overall dominance, 2015 was awesome, straight up.
Rappers name-drop celebrities all the time. Whether making comparisons about their own skills, referencing films, weaving together careful similes, or just being thirsty, MCs have been shouting out other pop culture entities for as long as we can remember. What's much more uncommon is the celebrities in question hearing the shout outs, and then responding.
Lil Uzi Vert is a young artist out of Philadelphia that has had a huge 2015. He's worked with the likes of Cardo, DJ Drama, A$AP Ferg, Metro Boomin and more. If you don't know him, it's a good time to get acquainted.
Kendrick Lamar is gearing up to release the sequel to his debut good kid, m.A.A.d city, as you well know. With the release of the untitled album’s first single (or rather "statement") “i” this Tuesday putting everyone in a frenzy, it’s only a matter of time until we get the full product.
Back in April, the Migos dudes made headlines when they were arrested outside of a concert that took place at Georgia Southern University. Along with themselves, twelve members of their crew went down for having marijuana and firearms.
While anticipation grows for A$AP Rocky's second album's release, At.Long.Last.ASAP (A.L.L.A), Rocky has been up to a lot more than just rapping. Since the release of Long.Live.ASAP in 2013, Rocky has been on hiatus, at least, from the rapsphere. Even before he dropped his debut album, he started experimenting in the business of fashion.
Advancements of the infinite tool that is the Internet have made collaborating among musicians exponentially easier. Gone are the days where it was nearly impossible to create music without musicians being in the same studio at the same time. Now artists and producers are able to collaborate despite being in different parts of the country, or even across the globe.
Tupac Shakur's influence can't really be measured by any sort of numbers. Sure, he's had five #1 albums and countless singles, but his impact goes deeper than that; it even goes deeper than rap.
Nicki Minaj's third album, The Pinkprint, dropped a few weeks back, so we thought we'd go ahead and compile the best rap references to the female beast. And damn were there a lot. Dropping Nicki Minaj's name in a song seems to be a thing. Of course, not all of the references were about Nicki specifically.
What qualifies an underrated song? What defines a classic album? Who makes the rules? These are all important questions as we approach our good-natured discussion.
With the swift rise of Detroit’s DeJ Loaf, one would wonder what other talent the Motor City is harboring. Many dope artists, who have garnered mainstream success have hailed from Detroit, such as J. Dilla, Big Sean, Eminem, Danny Brown, Kid Rock, Angel Haze, Madonna, Slum Village and a few others. But the overnight success of DeJ Loaf has made her rise very interesting to watch.
Last year, we examined the ever-changing definition of "beef" in hip hop, observing how inter-artist disputes have increasingly unfolded online and perhaps become more petty since the term was coined in the '90s. That's held true in 2015, as we've seen more than a few Twitter or Instagram-based disputes play out in the year's first six months.
Drums are to a rap song what shoes are to an outfit. Even the flyest of threads are rendered whack if paired with white Asics. Conversely, a tuxedo T-shirt and basketball shorts has great potential, if paired with Griffey high tops.
The holidaze are finally here, and instead of waking up and giddily running to the tree like we did on Christmas morning, we lethargically roll over and smoke trees, and go down the lazy river that is 4/20.
As the most popular female rapper since... basically ever, Nicki Minaj faces more than her fair share of hurdles in the media.
As summer draws to a close and all the kids are back at school, it's a great time to reminisce about all the fun that was had and great music that came out. Last week we tackled the best mixtapes of the summer, but that doesn't tell the whole story.