An introduction to SBTRKT.
Future's DS2 album just dropped, and you probably spent all weekend taking in the rap/R&B hybrid in. If you paid attention, in any capacity, you probably noticed the drug references peppered in just about each and every song. Of course, lean is what gave the album its title, but there is tons of coke, molly, weed, and prescription pills in these tracks.
Atlanta-based Key! has been making waves since 2009, when him and Curtis Williams founded Two-9. Through mixtapes and records , both with the group and solo, Key! has been working hard to make a name for himself in the always-competitive hip hop world.
Since the defection and lawsuit of former right-hand man Lil Wayne at the top of 2015, Birdman has been taking one L after another. He has few if any reputed allies left, and evidence strongly suggests that neither Nicki Minaj nor Drake will be returning to Cash Money once their contracts expire.
Before Kendrick Lamar raised the bar with good kid, m.A.A.d city, Kanye West walked with Jesus, and the deadly East-West Coast rivalry, there was a young kid observing life and crime through his project window.
Ghostface Killah goes by many names: Ghostdini, Iron Man, Tony Starks, Pretty Tone and any slang-derivative of 'em is pretty much fair game. Despite the identity crisis, Ghost has always been reliable for putting out quality music.
The art of rapping started off in the form of spoken word and poetry, but you don't hear a lot of "poetry" in modern-day popular rap. This could be for a multitude of reasons. For starters, the club doesn't want to put you to sleep. And Neither does the radio. For whatever reason, songs that make you think don't seem to have wheels in 2015. But that's okay though, 'cause we got you.
"Progress can only come from those rare giants among men, each giant calling to his brother through the desolate intervals of time." -Nietzsche, 'Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks'
Bun B and Pimp C are two of Texas rap's biggest names. When they blessed the beat together as UGK, they were unstoppable. Formed in 1987, the Underground Kings released six LPs of original music along with many more EPs, mixtapes, and big-time features, including spots on Jay Z's "Big Pimpin'" and Three 6 Mafia's "Sippin' on Some Syrup."
King Louie speaks the truth: “They say you can make it anywhere, if you make it in Chicago.” The city notoriously known as Chiraq has been long overshadowed by gang violence, and those fortunate enough to make it out the trap are considered heroes. You know the statistics; Chicago has more murders than the war in Iraq. To cope with the violence, the city’s youth created drill music.
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.
We're in midst of a major shift in hip-hop right now, where rappers are taking matters into their own hands. Major labels like Interscope, Def Jam, and Atlantic Records seem to be having less control over their artists. The tide is changing, and the result is a mainly positive one. Fans are receiving music how they want, when they want, from their favorite artists without the major-label hassle.
Today, we take enjoyment from the misery of others.
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.
Back in the 80s, things were a lot different. Hip hop was just getting its start, and it was a whole lot more PG-rated than it is today. Then, along came a few dudes named the 2 Live Crew, who would change things forever with their raucous brand of hip hop.
Whether you've been listening to Thundercat for years or just now hearing his name mentioned alongside Kendrick Lamar's, there is an undeniable mystique about this bassist / singer virtuoso. Born Stephen Bruner in Los Angeles, Thundercat is currently making serious waves in the worlds of hip hop, jazz, R&B, and funk.
On 2009's "Successful," a young Drake rapped, "Diss me, you’ll never hear a reply for it," creating somewhat of a mission statement for his career from there on out. In a way, those words were accurate, as Drizzy rarely (if ever) calls out anyone by name in his music, but more accurately, he's become known as the king of the sneak diss, the sultan of the subliminal shot.
Although Lil Wayne seems to be very M.I.A. as of late (apart from being featured on a few random tracks here and there) there is hope of new Lil Wayne material on the way. And what's more, it'll be off Tha Carter V.
Avoiding a sophomore slump is a hard task; avoiding one after your debut album was crowned as the rap album of the year by many publications is even harder.
Whether we know him as the infamous 2 Chainz, Tity Boi or one half of Playaz Circle, the rapper has written some of the funniest and sometimes plain ridiculous lines in hip hop. His fans can’t help but memorize and shout out his outrageous quotables, something which is beginning to characterize Tity 2 Necklace.
2015 has truly been a landmark year for hip-hop. There have been countless quality album releases from rappers all over, impressive music videos, and the emergence of a new crop of rappers. The ambition and attention to detail on this year’s releases, exemplified by their authoring emcees is indicative of a current renaissance in hip-hop.
For those of you late in the game, after premiering this past winter at Sundance, the documentary “Fresh Dressed” is now available to the public. Directed by Sacha Jenkins, the film is an incredibly dope example of the multifaceted culture that is, hip-hop. The film maps the history of hip-hop in connection to fashion, all within the evolving framework of the Black community.
Over the years many rappers have ventured into acting and usually watching them act on the big screen is excruciating or downright funny. But sometimes there are rare gems where that rapper surprises you and goes beyond expectations to show off a stellar performance.
When the world was first introduced to Jaden and Willow Smith, the children of celebrity power couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, they seemed pretty normal for famous kids.
By now, we all know Frank Ocean best as the Odd Future member who's peeled off and had arguably the most successful solo career of the whole crew. A ton of that is thanks to his solo material, with Channel Orange especially garnering a ton of positive reception, but Ocean's also made his mark on the R&B game as a guest vocalist and writer.
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