These were our favorite R&B projects of the year.
R&B will always hold a special place in our hearts. If not for R&B, that first crush, love, kiss, or more might be that much less special. The fact is, today's R&B is a bit different than our parent's R&B. Nowadays, Hip-Hop culture permeates R&B records, and the music is generally more raw, rugged, and edgy-- however, it is still important to all of our lives and ears.
In the 90s and early 2000s, smoking marijuana was largely unaccepted and taboo. There was talk that weed was "dangerous," and despite debates and research showing that it was actually safe, and had possible healing properties, it remained banned in every US state.
Not a lot of people can captivate their listeners in the realm of R&B anymore. Do you remember when Mary J. Blige soulfully wowed us on Jay Z’s “Can’t Knock The Hustle”? Do you remember when Jamie Foxx channeled his inner Ray Charles on Kanye West’s “Gold Digger”? Times like that were special.
2013 saw many breakout stars. From Chance The Rapper, to Jhene Aiko, to Rich Homie Quan, it was more difficult than ever to predict who would rise to fame at any given moment. 2014 will likely be no different, but we've organized a few artists who could very well have big breaks this year. Some are more visible than others, but all of them have the potential to make a splash in the rap game.
While emcees and rappers are mostly lauded for their lyrical capability, there’s something astonishing about having voice control, diversified delivery and for whatever reason, having a voice that stands out.
Before we get to sharing the bulk of our "best of" lists with you this year, it's time to highlight 2015's biggest surprises and success stories. The fifteen artists we've chosen for our breakout list seem even more diverse than those on last year's list, with different genres, voices, opinions, and even countries being represented here.
Fetty Wap's self-titled debut album officially drops tomorrow but as of midnight you can stream it on NPR. Fetty has already dropped several songs that appear on the album, including four official singles -- "Trap Queen," "679," "My Way," & "Again." But at 20 tracks in length, the album has plenty more to offer.
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.
Fabolous is planning to take fans back to the '90s with his upcoming album The Young OG Project, due out on Christmas day. With the '90s era of hip-hop sitting heavy in his mind, we got Loso to reel off his top five reasons on why he loves the '90s.
Dom Kennedy has been working hard since his rise to prominence in 2008. Releasing 7 mixtapes, 2 albums and a bunch of features, Dom may just be the most prolific West Coast rapper in recent history.
Tory Lanez is a 22 year old with a super-bright future ahead of him. Features with Meek Mill, Rick Ross, French Montanta, and The Game might prove that much, but thirteen mixtapes and a recent EP alongside super-producer squad Wedidit certainly drive the point home.
Along with Beliebers, Barbz, Directioners and the Rihanna Navy, Beyoncé's "Beyhive" are some of the most devoted fans in all of music. Today, those more inclined to listen to Future similarly nicknamed themselves the #FutureHive.
Although it doesn’t yet have a release date, Kid Cudi’s Speedin’ Bullet To Heaven seems like it could arrive any day now. Back on the Fourth of July, Cudder said the album was 98% done, and with the first single (“Confused”) dropping last week, we’re now officially in #CudderSeason.
Dr. Dre's Compton has hit most hip hop-lovers speakers by this point, and one of the most defining characteristics of the album are the largely unknown artists that make up the features.
Things have changed since the days of Yo! MTV Raps. As professional camera gear becomes cheaper and more accessible, and with the free marketing potential of YouTube, more and more artists are producing quality music videos. They don’t necessarily need a budget of millions or major label support to put out dope visuals anymore.
This week, we got the third and perhaps final installment of Wiz Khalifa's Cabin Fever mixtape series, which began all the way back in February 2011. Released before the major label Rolling Papers, the first edition presented a very new and startling persona for the once laid-back and amicable rapper: Trap Wiz.
Jaden Smith, Will Smith's seventeen year old son, has a very impressive resume for someone his age. The Pursuit of Happyness co-star has kept busy in both the movie and music industries over the years, opting to take full advantage of his genetics and connections as opposed to fitting with with 'normal' kids.
Ex-Cash Money rapper, Tyga, is not one to shy away from the glitz and glam of the good life, and his latest effort, The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty, is chock-full of bourgeois bars.
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.
Migos Thuggin, Coke Zoo, Party At 8, Whip It... What a time to be a joint mixtape, right? The past few weeks have seen a ton of collaborative project announcements, not the least of which was Drake and Future's chart-topping WATTBA. What's to blame for this flurry of artistic partnerships?
Yesterday, Wiz Khalifa previewed a collaboration with TM88 of 808 Mafia that will appear on Rolling Papers 2, the sequel to his 2011 album Rolling Papers. There's no word yet on when RP2 will arrive, but Wiz has released four songs in the past six weeks and they all bode well: Mike Will-produced "Burn Slow," "No Social Media" feat.
Isn't it crazy how some rappers just refuse to retire? Take Jay Z for example, he retired about a decade ago and that lasted all of no time at all. It's hard to put down something you truly love, and even though rap is a young man's sport, this list is dedicated to those who hardly age.
It has clearly been a tough year for rappers when it comes to love. In 2014, we saw some very long-term relationships, marriages and short flings sadly come to an end, some of which were really unexpected.
Travi$ Scott has become one of the most must-see performers in rap, because of his electric stage presence and because he is always on the verge of a doing something anarchic or belligerent. Scott's inner beast, La Flame, is a force to be reckoned with, and he himself cannot always contain the beast.
Vic Mensa is barely old enough to drink, but that hasn't stopped this 21-year-old MC from livin' the life. After touring with Disclosure earlier this year, Mensa's popularity has been on the steady rise.
It’s often said “the grass is always greener on the other side." Hell, Ludacris has a track named after the phrase. Maybe that’s why it seems as though everyone in Hollywood wants to be in the music industry and everybody in the music industry wants to be in Hollywood (I mean, Luda of all people would understand).
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.
Art is often a collaborative process. Hip-hop is no exception. You know that feeling you get when two of your favorite artists work together? It’s amazing, right? We need to pursue that feeling. Some people were just meant to work together, and sometimes they need us to remind them of this. Today we’re going through a list of collaboration albums that we, as a hip-hop community, need.
Yesterday, we learned that Donald Glover might not be calling himself Childish Gambino for much longer. As that's the only rap name we know him by, this came as a bit of a shock, but it's far from the first surprising move of his career.
Like with any break-up, when it first occurs the fresh wound stings, but as time passes we learn to accept fate. Over the past few decades, exceptional hip-hop groups have come and gone. Some of them stopped producing music together due to nasty feuds, lawsuits and others decided to split because they knew their music had run its course.