We count down the 25 hottest music videos of 2015.
The music video is making a comeback, in a big way. More and more, we are seeing artists take the time (and the money) to invest in a visual that is truly a piece of art, or at least, a piece of cinematic creativity. This year proved to be an eventful one when it comes to hip-hop and r'n'b music videos.
Eminem's lengthy career has been littered with various endeavors, but the projects he attaches himself too always seem to make sense-- he's not out here making frivolous moves just 'cause. From producing for select artists, to forming his own label Shady Records, to working on movies like "8 Mile," it's usually something that hits home for Em.
Rappers definitely like to live an extravagant lifestyle, at least, they like to talk about living an extravagant lifestyle. While the average rapper doesn't have several millions to drop on a crib, the rappers on this list have put in a lot of work and racked up a lot of bills because of it. They're REALLY living that lifestyle.
Few names have taken the hip-hop world by storm like ILoveMakonnen has in the last few months. A buzz-worthy mixtape artist came to mainstream fame after signing to Drake's OVO Sound label, along with having Drizzy blessing his single "Tuesday" with a verse. ILoveMakonnen's career hasn't been the same since, and Tuesdays at the club have been going up ever since.
There's a lot going on behind the scenes that isn't readily apparent from listening to a song. Though sometimes, a simple investigation of writing credits can tell you a lot.
Over the last few years, the hip-hop producer has taken a huge step into the spotlight. With their credits often being seen in the song title, and their tag placed at the beginning of their tracks, they've become hard to miss.
Yesterday, Wiz Khalifa previewed a collaboration with TM88 of 808 Mafia that will appear on Rolling Papers 2, the sequel to his 2011 album Rolling Papers. There's no word yet on when RP2 will arrive, but Wiz has released four songs in the past six weeks and they all bode well: Mike Will-produced "Burn Slow," "No Social Media" feat.
The great thing about artists in hip hop, is that you can you pretty much trust that most of the time they will be real, even when they are being broadcasted live around the world. Outspoken and honest at the best of times, hip hop is genre which prides itself on bringing on competition and delivering the truth.
Rappers have probably never had more influence on American culture than they do now. Drake coins slang words that eventually become recognized by Webster, and Obama addresses Kanye West's presidential candidacy. Jeezy's "My President" became not just a hood anthem, but a nationally imperative hip hop track that is forever preserved alongside Obama's run into presidency.
Terrence Thornton, better known as Pusha T, was one half of the group Clipse and enjoyed a ton of success in hip-hop in the early 2000s along with his brother Malice, who made up the other half of the duo. After Malice took a step back from Music, Pusha T took the opportunity to explore the solo lane and put out music on his own.
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.
Born and raised in Philly, DJ Drama has made a name for himself in the hip hop game over the years. While his career set sail after becoming the official DJ for T.I., he has played a crucial role in the onset of mixtapes in the rap world. The Golden Mixtape Era, which started about ten years ago, is now stronger than ever.
By dropping his newest mixtape Black Dollar, Rick Ross added another great addition to his line of releases, album and mixtapes alike. It always seems to be that mixtapes hit harder than albums (remember Rich Forever?), but let's divert our attention back to Ross' albums for a minute.
Before all of the bad press, the head tattoos, and the kiss with Lil Wayne, Birdman was just Bryan Williams. Born in New Orleans in 1969, the rapper first made waves in the mainstream with Mannie Fresh as the duo Big Tymers.
Rap Instagram in 2015 was an unrelenting barrage of big butts, extravagant displays of wealth, #squadpics, and occasionally White House visits. And more!
The hottest beats is a misnomer for this list of 20 productions that shaped the commercial sound of hip-hop culture in 2014. Of all the thousands of tracks produced each year under the umbrella of hip-hop, we could only honor a select few as standing above the crowd.
While little is really known about the movements of DONDA and their relationship to hip-hop, it is apparent that through a recent string of album art designs that they are fixed on bringing 'art' back to hip-hop music.
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.
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.
Young Thug's Barter 6 has been surrounded by controversy ever since the would-be title, Tha Carter 6, was revealed, and finally leading up to its ultimate release on April 16th. Now that it’s finally here at long last, listeners around the world are scanning it for possible lashes at other emcees, hard bars, and bangers.
Auto-tune was something of a taboo in rap, for some it may always be, but for the most part, it's been accepted as a common songwriting tool.
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.
This morning, OVO's PartyNextDoor came out of nowhere with a new track called "Kehlani's Freestyle." Although unexpected, the move isn't out of the ordinary for PND, who has somewhat of a habit of sharing one-off tracks on a whim.
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.
Mixtape Weezy-- somewhat of a legendary title that continues to be cited as the rapper's hungriest and most engaging form. With the release of Dedication 5, the discussion about this particular brand of Wayne was rampant once again. Was Mixtape Weezy back? or was D5 just more of the same recycled punchlines we've been hearing from his last few releases?
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.
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.
Each year around the beginning of March, artists begin sending in pitches to XXL, hoping to wind up on the magazine’s highly-coveted Freshmen list. Thus far, we’ve seen Lil Herb, Bishop Nehru, Fat Trel, and a few others try to convince us they have what it takes to grace the cover along with eleven of their peers, each turning in a short video clip to the publication.
As Drake said after he concluded his first interview with Nardwuar, a Canadian man who rocks a tartan hat and calls himself the "Human Serviette," "this guy is a legend." There's really no better way to put it: this guy's interviewed everyone from Nirvana to N*E*R*D, and always seems to unearth facts that no other interviewer in the game can.