Continuing our Top 10 series, this week we look at artists that avoided sophomore slumps and gave us classics during the 2000s.
In music we tend to glorify the debut album, always craving the newest and shiniest thing out. The downside of that is usually we're slightly disappointed in the follow up sophomore album, possibly what led to the phenomenon known as the "sophomore slump".
Following up last week's Top 10 of rappers who were bodied on their own shit, we're moving on to Yeezy's production. Expect a new Top 10 list each Monday going forward, and if there's a subject you want us to tackle shout it out in the comments.
You might be thinking "Here we go, yet another dissection into the enigma that is Young Thug." But that's just the thing with Thugger.
What's beef? Well, whatever it is, it sure has changed over the years. Beef is what ultimately lead to the murders of two contenders for 'best rapper ever.' In 2015, beef consists mostly of Twitter smack-talk and occasionally a diss track or two.
Unfortunately, a fair amount of talented hip-hop artists have passed away over the years. There's no easy way around it, but fame and fortune sometimes take the ultimate toll on an individual. We've seen it happen all too often over the years, and just today, we found out about the passing of an underground MC Pumpkinhead.
For as long as hip hop has been a part of popular culture, it has been one of the more interactive genres in music. But while most MCs like to make the crowd a part of the show, fans sometimes go to far in trying to get close to their favorite artist. Whether they're heckling or showing love, the stage has always been an "Enter at your own risk" zone.
After dropping No Label 2 and Rich Nigga Timeline last year, Migos have spent the months leading up to YRN The Album sharing their music in a more haphazard, less organized fashion. Plenty of this is due to album delays (and consequently Offset's continued presence in jail), as well as the usual leaks that have plagued patrons of various Atlanta studios this year.
While she may have had her doubters at certain points, its clear from last night's Summer Jam performance that Nicki Minaj is one of the most exciting voices in the rap game right now. While the Young Money rapper has had her share of incredible solo tracks, she also tends to bring a particularly great energy to features.
What's worse than beef with a longtime rival? Beef with someone who's much closer to you-- say, on the same label. As record labels are founded and organized, above all, to make money, any illusions of camaraderie or a "family" are erased as soon as it becomes clear that not every signee sees eye-to-eye, which (let's face it) happens quite a bit.
Rap is traditionally a young man's sport. Generally speaking, the 'greatest albums of all time' were put out by youngsters. As rappers age, their albums usually become duller than the early work they're best known for. Almost every rapper has fallen victim to this trend.
HNHH is here to soundtrack your Valentine's day (and night). We've assembled the steamiest baby making jams we could find into a list that's sure to set the mood right. With tracks from R. Kelly, The-Dream, Drake, Beyonce, The Weeknd, Jeremih, and Aaliyah, this playlist is guaranteed to get things in motion with the wifey. So light some candles, burn some incense, and remember the profound
Young Thug is officially one of the most polarizing figures in the rap game. He's making headlines multiple times a week, releasing tons of music, and whether you love him or hate him, you probably have an opinion. Few dudes have come up to be this prominent, this quick.
More than perhaps anyone else this decade, Terius Nash (AKA The-Dream) has been R&B's go-to behind-the-scenes man. Although his solo career has attracted a ravenous, cultish following, The-Dream's biggest smash hits (and paychecks) have come courtesy of his songwriting. He's penned tracks for Rihanna, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Mary J.
When sampling, producers usually try to find obscure and/or rare source material to draw from, both because they don't want listeners to associate their final product with a song they already know, and because they'd likely to avoid copyright issues. But sometimes, out-of-the-box ideas will come to fruition, and lead producers to sample from well-known, but unexpected places.
Lil Wayne fans are familiar with his associative, stream of consciousness, lean-induced lyrical style, which lends itself to lots of punchlines and pop culture references. It has been well-documented that he records lyrics on his portable microphone and never writes them down.
At the beginning of November we did a list that comprised of 9 Creative Rappers You Should Know About. Today we're following up that list with 7 Creative Producers You Should Know About. Producers lack credit across the boards, but they are essential in creating a song, and not just a 'song' but a dope song.
When you blow up in the hip hop game, it's your responsibility to use your shine to put on some younger cats. Dreamville is J. Cole's way of doing just that. After founding the music collective, Cole has grown the talented roster of MCs to include Bas, Omen, and Cozz, along with awesome producers like Cedric Brown, Ron Gilmore, Elite and more.
Celebrities, including rappers, have been inking endorsements deals with companies since the dawn of advertising. Hip hop music is more popular and marketable to the mainstream now than ever before, so these kinds of deals are on the rise.
Everyone was tuned in last night to the Super Bowl XLVIII, as the Seattle Seahawks seemed to easily beat the Denver Broncos, making many fans either extremely frustrated or extremely happy, depending on which side you were on. Although the Broncos managed to score some points in the latter half of the game, it was by no means enough to catch up to the Seahawks, who by that time were far ahead.
Young Thug's Barter 6 won't sit well with the RapGenius generation. Looking for deeper meaning behind each one of his multisyllabic yelps is missing the point. Thugger is mostly style over substance, and sometimes that style lies in complete lack of substance.
The 90s are often referred to as rap's golden era, and while rappers of all types will continue to pay tribute to the decade, Drake definitely takes it to the next level. Drizzy's love affair with the 90s can be traced to all facets of his artistic output, from his music, to his videos, to his "interesting" fashion choices.
We know that The Weeknd is not considered hip hop, but you can't escape Kiss Land as a great production piece. The Weeknd is known to be one of the new faces of R&B and Drake's go-to guy for an R&B feature.
Kanye West has been juggling a lot as of late. He’s been raising his fashion-forward and absolutely adorable daughter, tearing down numerous Fashion Week shows, designing his capsule collection for adidas and putting the finishing touches on his as-of-yet untitled seventh solo album.
Although fashion has always been a part of hip-hop culture, it's been taken to a new level in recent years thanks to artists such as A$AP Rocky, Kanye West, Pharrell, 2 Chainz and Danny Brown. Love it or hate it, more and more of your favorite emcees are becoming acutely fashion conscious, both in and outside the genre.
While the response to Lil Wayne’s Free Weezy Album has been polarizing, detractors and fans of the album alike have no problem admitting that Tunechi’s ability to artfully string together some sick verbiage is still intact. With or without auto-tune, the New Orleans emcee is a master of the simile, always dependable when it comes to dropping bars that drop our jaws.
In an Atlanta currently populated with colorful stars such as Migos, Rich Homie Quan, Young Thug and Rome Fortune, Peewee Longway tends to slip under the radar. He's not as prolific as his peers, has yet to score a big radio hit and had the misfortune of being signed to 1017 Records just as Gucci Mane went away to prison, all of which make him less visible to the public.
The long weekend festivities haven't ended just yet, with many people, rappers included, planning to barbecue and relax for their extra day off. A lot of hip-hop artists have sent out tweets and social postings in remembrance of fallen soldiers and those currently fighting for the U.S., and these same artists have updated us with what they've been doing all weekend.
The interlude has always been an opportunity for an artist to switch up the vibe of their album and transition from one style to another. Sometimes they're musical, sometimes they're a humorous skit (or not so much) thrown in for comic relief. Hip Hop albums have had interludes for a long time, but they're transformed slightly during this current generation of the genre.
Gucci Mane has released nine projects this year. We don't have to check-- that's more than any other rapper. He also happens to be in prison. Last year, he released 14 projects from the pen, making a cool $1.3 million, and he's on pace to topple those numbers this year.
Ever since Beyonce’s eponymous album took the world, and subsequently the internet, by storm, the concept of the surprise release has been a trend that a wide span of artists have adopted. From David Bowie to Kanye West, the unexpected drop has proven to be beneficial for a buzzworthy artist to make a big splash. Not just a splash, either.