Presenting HNHH's Hottest 50 Songs of 2015.
It's holiday season, and that means it's time to start rolling out the year-end lists. There was almost too much good music to handle, as notable releases week after week meant that only the hottest tracks were able to attain a shelf-life of longer than a couple of months.
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.
We've given you the deep cuts and we've given you the singles, but what about those features? As one of the most notorious hip hop artists ever, Kanye West has done it all. And that includes a boatload of features.
Lil Wayne didn't get the nickname "Mixtape Weezy" for nothing. Over the course of hip-hop history, very few artists have used the art of the mixtape to their advantage as well as Weezy F. It's helped to blow up the likes of Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Rocky and even Drake over the past decade, but Wayne's 13 mixtapes came when he was already a star.
We know you're probably sick of all the year-end lists from last year, but we're already in the second month of 2015, and we're hypothesizing who will get their big break in the coming months. This time last year, Bobby Shmurda came across a particularly fiery Jahlil Beats production on YouTube. Months later, iLoveMakonnen would see Drake remixing his song on Instagram.
As a 17-year-old just beginning to make waves in the rap game, Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott didn't have the same life as most kids his age. He wasn't thinking about graduating high school to attend a university or enter the work force. As a matter of fact, before he even graduated high school he had formed a collective with classmates that would come to be known as Pro Era.
Atlanta's hotbed of talent has birthed a ton of huge artists in the past five years. Amongst them is London on da Track, a twenty-four year old ATLien who has provided beats for the likes of Waka Flocka Flame, Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, and many more. You probably know him best for his work with Young Thug, who has been his go-to collaborator for the better part of his career.
Chance The Rapper and Lil B's collection of freestyles was released two days ago, for free. Chalk-full of positive moments from both MCs, the tracks are more proof that these are two role models hip hop could definitely use.
We are in the midst of a mini-Nina Simone revival. Netflix recently released a documentary on the singer's life called "What Happened, Miss Simone?" and Nina Revisited...A Tribute to Nina Simone, featuring covers from Lauryn Hill, Jazmine Sullivan, Common, Usher, Mary J. Blige, and more, might change the compilation album game forever when it drops on July 10.
"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."
With the rise of digital music, decline of music sales, and mass growth and adoption of social networks and blogs, we have seen the playing field become leveled. With that has come fewer major label releases and a lion share of independent releases.
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.
Yesterday, we learned that Kendrick Lamar fulfilled a wish he's had ever since the "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe" remix ("In the White House with a mink/Running through that bitch like it's my house," although he didn't seem to be wearing any fur at the time), paying a visit to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave as a guest of one of his biggest fans, President Obama.
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.
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.
Rappers from all over the United States are popping up, showing off their talents and making a name for themselves in their cities of choice. Whether it's Brooklyn, Chicago, Los Angeles or Miami, there are young emcees repping each region. These are some of the main areas inhabited by rappers, or areas one would expect.
Today marks nineteen years since The Notorious B.I.G. released his second and final album Life After Death. The album featured some of the biggest stars in rap music of the time - Jay Z, R. Kelly, The LOX, Bone Thugs, Lil Kim, etc. - on huge tracks that have since become legendary.
It seems like nearly every week when we do our 'Essentials' piece, it's on an upcoming Atlanta outfit. That's just the way hip hop seems to be in 2016, where the dirty south hub has been birthing rising talent for the better half of the past decade.
Many emcees are noted for their serious, aggrandized personas so it becomes easy to forget that for the most part, Hip Hop is about fun and many rappers use their verses to tell some jokes (isn't that why they call them punch lines?).
Last night was a memorable one for hip-hop heads. Thanks to LeBron, TDE let loose a project of Kendrick Lamar album throwaways, which is sounding better than just about any album since the one they didn't make it onto.
Ty Dolla $ign's ascent to hook master and forefather of RnBass has been a gradual one, to the point that the first time hearing him on record could vary drastically from person to person. The truth is, you could have been hearing Ty's voice and not have even known it, his writing voice that is.
Reaching peak visibility during Kanye West's inescapable "G.O.O.D. Fridays" series that served as a prelude to 2010's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, G.O.O.D. Music has since become one of the most revered labels in hip hop.
Kanye West doesn't tweet all that often, but when he does... Ooh boy, you're gonna want to grab some popcorn. We were reminded of this today when dude went for Wiz Khalifa's neck, giving him a list of 17 (?!) commandments/reasons he's inferior to Mr. West.
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.
This past weekend, the rap world suffered yet another senseless tragedy with the murder of Bankroll Fresh. Hopefully the frequency of the loathsome killings of promising young talents will not dilute the legacy of any one of hip-hop's fallen stars.
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.
What do 2dopeboyz, Bruno Mars and Kendall Jenner all have in common? They've all been dissed by Tyler, The Creator at some point during his career. Following the Coachella show in which he dissed that aforementioned member of the Kardashian brood, the Odd Future lightning rod dropped Cherry Bomb, and along with its music came a whole host of additional insults.
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.
I don't know where you were when the sad wars hit, but if Yung Lean and his Sad Boy affiliates ushered in an era where 15-year-old Swedish kids crying over pokemon cards, clad in North Face, are spawning articles in swanky East Coast outlets, now seems like the time to honor the tradition of hip-hop tear jerkers that broke your heart but didn't actually make you cry that one time.
Searching "rap covers" online is like walking into a minefield of acoustic guitars and webcams, leftovers from a war that began with Ben Folds' famous version of Dr.