HNHH selects our Hottest 50 songs of 2014.
As one of the most anticipated segments of the #HOTNEW14 end-of-year rollout, HNHH is pleased to present our top 50 songs of the year. As always, you're gonna have to do some scrolling to find out the #1 hottest record. Whatever your thoughts on 2014's hip-hop landscape, there was a lot going on and a lot to keep track of. Rappers started singing and singers started rapping.
Grills have been a part of hip hop culture for some time. From Flava Flav to A$AP Rocky, and of course Nelly and Paul Wall's famous ode, we're not likely to see this trend dying anytime soon. Take a look through our gallery of the various rappers and R&B singers who have donned fronts, including Jay Z, Big Sean, Rihanna, and more!
Slinging crack rock, popping glocks, and smacking hoes is not the way to keep it gangsta. In the words of Stic.man of the hip-hop duo Dead Prez, "HEALTHY IS THE NEW GANGSTA." True happiness can be achieved through knowledge, proper nutrition, fitness, and meditation; not guns and drugs.
Summer is about to be in session. University students wrapped up their final days a month or two ago, and high school students followed suit around two weeks ago. For those high school students in their last year, this inevitably means prom and all the things that go with it: limousines, parents taking photos, getting fancy, friends, and general debauchery as the night progresses.
Drizzy Drake is not doubt one of the biggest hip hop artists in present day. His albums have moved millions of units and he has sold out shows all the around the world. But one thing that you should know about the star is that he's also a pretty funny guy.
Today was dominated by excitement for the return of G.O.O.D. Fridays, or at least, a new Kanye West song, per Kim Kardashian's tweet. She didn't say outright that the G.O.O.D. Friday series would be returning full force, but that's obviously what we gathered from it.
Chris Brown joined the impressive list of artists releasing new music this past holiday weekend with his surprise mixtape, Before the Party.If you were like me on Black Friday, you were still near-comatose with a Thanksgiving Hangover, your stomach pushed to its limit with eating.
For one reason or another, Big Sean has yet to achieve that "classic album" status that's so sought after in hip-hop.
When most people think of rap and hip-hop, they often only reference American artists. They’re given most of the credit when it comes to claiming the genre as their own and being responsible for its evolution, in some ways, rightly so, after all, New York was hip-hop's birthing place.
The beauty of a cypher is that it gathers artists from different walks of life and allows them to share their fortes. In a hip-hop cypher, competitors and spectators alike gather to hear some of the hardest bars around. The nicest emcee goes home with the respect of onlookers and a metaphorical prize that comes with murdering everything on sight.
Gucci Mane has been sculpting talent, and promoting new artists since the beginning his career, but it's only over the last couple of years that he's been recognized as a great A&R.
This year, it became increasingly difficult to discern the difference between mixtapes and albums. When the year's bestselling rap release (Drake's If You're Reading This, It's Too Late) was announced as a "mixtape" but was immediately sold on iTunes, the waters become a little murky for everyone.
There is hope yet for #AubRih.
Coming up with the right supporting beats and melody in a hip-hop track can be extremely challenging. Not to mention the time and effort it takes to make an original beat. In this day and age, artists often borrow music from other songs and build off it, to create a new and unique beat-- obviously, this is called sampling.
Drake and Future successfully created a moment with What A Time To Be Alive, successfully dodging leaks and getting rap fans everywhere tuned in to a a good old-fashioned radio show. Of course, the main difference with doing this in 2015 is the project could instantly be discussed on a major scale, with fans everywhere tweeting out lyrics as they happened.
The Oliver El Khatib-Drake-Noah "40" Shebib triumvirate dropped a quartet of bombs during Saturday's episode of OVO Sound Radio: PND's "No Feelings" feat. Travi$ Scott and Drake's "Hotline Bling (Cha Cha Remix)," "Right Hand," & "Charged Up."
Cash Money don Birdman was recently hit with a $200,000 lawsuit by producer DVLP, who claims he was never paid for his work on Lil Wayne's music and music by other Cash Money artists. Despite assurances of "I'm getting yu paid" and "I'm working with yu fam," Birdman never delivered the goods.
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.
"The sophomore album is one of the most treacherous obstacles for any rapper," said G-Eazy in his recent HNHH interview. "I dug as deep as I could until I was literally drained of inspiration."
Rappers are generally hit-or-miss in the concert setting. Some MCs can really rock a crowd while others are notorious for being sloppy, tardy, or brief with their shows. If you've been to a solid handful of rap shows, you've definitely been kept waiting around for an obnoxious amount of time waiting for an MC to show up, only to have him phone in a handful of songs and split.
Mixtapes are like opinions. Everyone has one, but not all of them matter.
The Grammys are coming right up, and we'll have the pleasure of watching Iggy Azealia, Common, Eminem, Childish Gambino, Schoolboy Q or Wiz Khalifa take home an award for the 'Best Rap Album.' In the past, the Grammys have picked some albums that had everyone scratching their head, but they've also got it right a few times. We're going to focus on those instances with this list.
Lean is by no means a new craze in hip-hop. Since the early days of DJ Screw, promethazine mixed with codeine and Sprite has been the recipe for many southern classics. Though purple drank originated in Houston, it has slurred its way into Atlanta, New Orleans, and just about every other hip-hop metropolis in the country.
As we know, Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino's rap career has been one defined by its unexpected moves. These include, but are certainly not limited to, putting "30 Rock" pal Tina Fey on the same track as Alley Boy, tapping a Swedish composer as his go-to collaborator, and packaging his last album with a 72-page screenplay.
Selfies are now a worldwide phenomenon. Yes, turning the camera on yourself has become an extremely popular act of our generation. Whether it's to show off your new look, a dope location or just to share your current emotion. We love selfies.
Rap is the most competitive genre in music. For decades, artists reveled in competition because they wanted to prove that they were elite. Whenever a rapper elected to feature his or her peer on a track, both sides were trying to out-duel the other, simply for competitive reasons. Artists knew that for years to come, fans would debate about who outperformed who.
When used properly, ad-libs can really accelerate the popularity of an artist. Just ask Big Sean or 2 Chainz. These between-the-lines phrases are designed to hype up listeners, adding extra energy to their verses. Ad-libs tend to be funny, serious, or flat-out ridiculous. Recently, acts like Migos have taken ad-libs to the next level.
Rappers have extremely demanding work schedules, especially the successful ones. With all the time they need to prioritize towards writing music, recording, performing and engaging in press interviews, a lot of them just simply use the time to rest and unwind. However, some of them find extra time to pick up truly unique and worthwhile hobbies.
Drake's "Energy" music video just hit Apple Music, giving them an exclusive that'll further propel them ahead of their competitor TIDAL. On top of the "Energy" visuals, off the much-lauded If You're Reading This It's Too Late, Drizzy unleashed another exclusive, a collaboration with Majid Jordan, through Beats 1.
This year we've seen several notable rappers lock down a lady lover, either by an engagement, a baby or both. This past year brought on engagements between Future and Ciara, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, Macklemore and his girl Tricia Davis, plus Big Sean & Naya Rivera-- to name a few.