A look at Drake's large collection of loose tracks.
With Drake's "Hotline Bling" recently becoming his biggest hit to date, the rapper seems to have mastered the art of the standalone single.
In two months, Desiigner has gone from virtual unknown, just another anonymous rapper, looking to gain any sort of foothold, to internet sensation. His breakout hit "Panda" has garnered 3.7 million plays on SoundCloud. It has earned him a record deal with G.O.O.D. Music and two appearances on Kanye West's The Life of Pablo.
We, the editors of HNHH, put our heads together this afternoon and picked the 10 artists we deemed most deserving of the 2016 XXL Freshman cover. Tough choices were made. Digital fists of fury were thrown on the HNHH editor email thread. But we feel good about our list. Our list is rock fucking solid.
A Drake co-sign will put you on the map, straight up. It's happened for many artists over the past half-decade or so. The Weeknd was only brought into the mainstream spotlight when Drake appeared on his sophomore mixtape Thursday.
"I look at my life like something you should be able to paint," Childish Gambino said in a 2015 interview on the TODAY Show. Given his eccentric tendencies as both an artist and a celebrity, he is more likely referring to the sort of highly abstract work of a Rothko then the pre-ordained compositions of your little cousin's color-by-numbers book.
The elite class of athletes and musicians share much in common -- wealth, fame, a central role in popular culture. So it should not come as a surprise that there is, generally speaking, a great mutual respect between rappers and athletes. Sometimes this respect engenders friendship. Sometimes it engenders rappers and athletes throwing each other alley-oops... on and off the court.
Social media can be a dangerous place for the rich and famous. Not only can you severely damage your reputation with your own posts on Twitter and Instagram, but you also have to worry about what others might share about you on their own profiles. Hooking up with people becomes a lot easier and a lot more difficult when you reach a certain level of success.
When Kanye West appears on stage, anything can happen. Whether it be robbing the mic from a teenage girl in order to praise Beyonce's greatness, ferociously screaming for almost a minute straight during a performance of "Touch the Sky" (concluding with his abrupt exit and mic drop), and even announcing a forthcoming run for the White House, we think we've seen it all.
Drugs and rap have been pretty synonymous since the 90s, but recently there's been an influx of rappers talkin' about harder drugs than the chronic. Chance the Rapper's Acid Rap tape was perhaps the most illicit example of an ongoing trend that's taking place amongst the newer artists.
What would hip hop even look like if we lived in a world where Prince never existed? It'd be much less colorful and funky, I"m sure, and some of its most vibrant artists would never have had the courage to step out of the box were it not for one of the weirdest artists of all time.
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.
If you've been watching the charts over the last few years, you'll know that rap isn't dominating the Hot 100, and many of the songs that do make their way to the number one spot might no necessarily represent the genre all that well. Looking back at all the prior rap #1s on the Hot 100, this trend moves in waves.
It's been a fast year for OVO so far, beginning with Drake's "Summer Sixteen." All eyes were directed toward Views from the 6, which is, finally, set to arrive next month.
The '90s is a decade that becomes more legendary with time. The magical aura that surrounds Led Zeppelin IV or Ziggy Stardust begins to surround albums like Illmatic and Reasonable Doubt. In the case of '90s hip hop, cover art was a vital piece of any album's identity, and many artists created images that would be as recognizable as their beats and lyrics, if not more so.
The twenty-year-old Kehlani has been doing music since she was barely a teenager, and since then has become a rising star in the pop world. In 2014, she released the mixtape Cloud 19, and followed it up last year with You Should Be Here. She was even nominated for a Grammy this year for Best Urban Contemporary Album, but ultimately lost out to The Weeknd.
Whether he's shaming Mac Miller for drug use, trying to convince Post Malone's girlfriend that she'll eventually be cheated on, or doing everything in his power to upend Young Thug's career, Charlamagne Tha God knows how to get under rappers' skin.
When Young Thug's Barter 6 came out, there was a bunch of beats produced by a dude named Wheezy. One couldn't help but to wonder if it was a part of the Lil Wayne worship that gave the album its name, or if it was more clever trolling in a burgeoning beef, or just a total coincidence. We're at least pretty sure that it was the latter.
Over its 50 year lifespan, the NFL's championship game has done a better job than any other sporting event of attracting viewers who have little to no interest in the sport.
Desiigner's "Panda" is currently the No. 2 song in the country. It's a song that took him a year and a half to make, and one that he's proud of. When performing his breakout hit, the 19-year-old can be seen sweating, screaming, dabbing maniacally, and, as of last weekend, puking.
One down, one to go. The first half of Coachella is now over with, and weekend #2 is gonna have to bring a helluva lot of surprises if it wishes to live up to this past weekend. As has been the case in recent years, hip-hop has already been a major part of the lineup. Fans who stormed the grounds to see A$AP Rocky's headlining show were treated to superstar cameos from ScHoolboy Q and Kanye West.
In the world of rap, “raunchy music video” is almost always code for “ass-shaking fiesta.” Thus, when narrowing down this list from 30+ videos to 10, I was forced to take multiple criteria into consideration. Is the song any good? Was it popular?
Although they haven't rapped on a track with each other since 2009's "Forever," Drake and Kanye West are usually placed side-by-side in the upper echelon of hip hop's current stars, the ones who have the potential to "break the internet" when they drop surprise material.
Hip-hop dance crazes have become a huge part of our American mainstream culture. These dances, like the “Shmoney Dance” and the “Wobble” have gone viral due to sites like YouTube, Vine and Vimeo streaming artists’ videos containing them.
Any time an event album like Beyoncé's LEMONADE comes around, the writing credits usually get picked apart pretty quickly.
With Lil Uzi Vert's glo up comes another, hand-in-hand, and that one belongs to Maaly Raw. We're slowly becoming familiar with Maaly Raw's tag, which will likely become a household item, not so unlike Metro Boomin's tag, within the next year.
Kodak Black is the best high-school rapper in the country. The 18-year-old from Pompano Beach, Florida also happens to be one of a few young artists on Drake's radar.
It's been just over five years since Abel Tesfaye released his debut mixtape House of Balloons. The influential release didn't just set the stage for the career of one of pop's most iconic modern voices. It altered the landscape of modern music, period.
Standing 5'5" and skinny as a rail, Connor is not your typical model ("I'm literally shaped like a 10 year old boy"). Indeed, the 22-year-old also moonlights as a creative consultant, fashion guru, social media maven, member of A$AP Mob, roommate of Fredo Santana.
Drugs are everywhere in hip-hop. Whether they're mentioned on the radio, seen in music videos, or smuggled into concerts, drugs are pretty much unavoidable in the genre. Weed, lean, pills, coke, booze, shrooms, you name it, dope's not to hard to find. Many rappers, like Juicy J or Lil Wayne, have made it clear in their music that they love getting fucked up.
As one of the biggest producers and pop stars of recent history, Skrillex has been able to lend his production work to a load of big names. Chance The Rapper, Damian Marley, 2 Chainz, Justin Bieber, and Ellie Goulding are just a handful of the artists that Sonny Moore has been able to work with since his skyrocketing to fame.