A selection of slept-on projects from last year that are still worthy of a download.
Last Sunday (May 17), tragedy struck the hip-hop world as Chinx, FKA Chinx Drugz, was shot and killed in his home borough of Queens, NY. Chinx was hitting his stride in 2015, preparing to release his debut album. He left behind a young family and countless friends in the rap world who had helped put him on a path toward a promising career.
In terms of sales, hip hop albums did not do very well this year. As of press time, J. Cole is the only rapper with a gold album this year, and he just sneaked into the fourth quarter with a surprise release. Most of this boils down to a simple lack of "event" albums.
They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, but not everyone is flattered when Weird Al Yankovic decides to make their hit song into a caricature. The 54-year-old funny man has spent the better part of three decades taking some of pop’s biggest hits and making them into parodies that touch on subjects ranging from television to tattoos to trash day.
Hailing from Gary, Indiana, Freddie Gibbs moved to Los Angeles in 2006 after he signed to Interscope Records. Things didn't work out with Interscope and Gibbs inked a deal with Young Jeezy's CTE label. Things didn't work out there either, but with the help of Madlib, Freddie Gibbs was on the tip of everyone's tongue last year, and founded his own imprint, ESGN.
For the better part of the past three years, "trap" has referred to much more than the music of Young Jeezy, T.I., Gucci Mane, etc. Beats like Baauer's "Harlem Shake" and RL Grime's remix to Kanye West's "Mercy" have ignited dance-floors and festivals using the same label to describe their sound.
When it comes to establishing yourself as a superstar hip hop producer, branding is everything. Unlike the MCs and vocalists these people work with, gaining exposure can prove a much more difficult task when most of your work remains behind the scenes.
We've officially wrapped up a big year for the genre we all love-- new albums from Jay Z, Kanye West, Pusha T, Mac Miller, Drake, Juicy J (and the list goes on), only made 2013 that much sweeter. Mix in a new-found competition brought on by, you guessed it, "Control," and all the free mixtapes we've received in 2013, and this past year was definitely a good one.
Most people know of the male heavyweights in hip-hop who have inhabited the streets and hoods of hip-hop's birthing place, New York City, since the onsets of their careers. They constantly make references to their stomping grounds in their tracks, paying homage to their homies through shout outs, making sure they never take for granted where they came from.
50 Cent has been through so much beef, you could probably dedicate a book to the fights he has picked. Throughout his career, he has never been shy to give his honest opinion about fellow rappers. He has mastered the art of the diss song and pretty much wears the crown for being the king at feuding. His moves to out battle his rivals have been smart, conniving and sometimes just plain deep.
The Save Money crew is still pretty young to the rap game, but if the successes of members Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa are any indicator (both MCs have appeared on the new XXL Freshmen 2014 cover) it won’t take long for them to become a household name.
Jay Electronica is a strange cat. The New Orleans-born MC now resides in London, where very few rappers decide to claim home.
By now, you all don't need an introduction to Amber Rose. Like it or not, she's a big deal in hip-hop. The former stripper turned video girl first caught the eye of Kanye West in Ludacris' "What Them Girls Like" video, and the two soon began a relationship that lasted almost two years. After 'Ye, she moved on to Wiz Khalifa, whom she married two years later.
Last week was a great one to be a hip-hop fan, but a bad one to be a record label executive. To Pimp A Butterfly has some considering it a classic already, and we have a new Earl Sweatshirt album to look forward to next week. Sony and Interscope may have gotten put on blast, but it's OK: Chris Brown's off probation.
Miguel isn't the most prolific artist in R&B, but he's one of the most inimitable. As he's become an undeniable fashion icon and sex-symbol, he's still managed to evolve his sound with each subsequent record, sounding like the second-coming of Prince-- less dancey, but more sexy.
Grills have been a part of hip hop culture for some time. From Flava Flav to A$AP Rocky, and of course Nelly and Paul Wall's famous ode, we're not likely to see this trend dying anytime soon. Take a look through our gallery of the various rappers and R&B singers who have donned fronts, including Jay Z, Big Sean, Rihanna, and more!
6 Things We Learned From Kendrick Lamar's Interview With Flying Lotus Apr 10, 2015 at 02:01pm 18,269 Views
The day Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly came out, Flying Lotus took to twitter to let us know some inside information on the LP. It turns out that FlyLo was helping Kendrick with the visual portion for his opening slot on the "Yeezus" Tour, and, at the same time, he gave the MC a folder full of beats to mess with for TPAB.
In case you're stuck in an Ebola quarantine and didn't hear the news, Drizzy let loose a collection of 3 new songs to get everybody ready for his upcoming Views From The 6 album earlier this week. As with any Drake release, it definitely disrupted the game and immediately shifted all focus back to the YMCMB/OVO artist.
The history of rap and rock collaborations goes back to the year 1986 when Run DMC, considered one of the most influential hip-hop groups of all time, released their own version of the Aerosmith track “Walk This Way.” This song paved the way for hip-hop’s ascent in being accepted into the realm of pop, rock and other forms of mainstream music.
Even though Tech N9ne has spent years cranking out a series of collaboration albums, he couldn’t resist inviting his (wildly talented) rapping friends to join in on the fun on his latest album, Special Effects. Most of the album's 25 tracks include features from some very familiar faces.
How did this week go? Not great. By another miracle of the justice system, Darren Wilson got away with murdering Michael Brown; a grand jury decided to not indict him. To put this in perspective, you need to be beyond reasonable doubt to prove a defendant is guilty. An indictment only requires suspicion. That jury didn't find suspicion with Brown suffering multiple shots.
Vic Mensa is barely old enough to drink, but that hasn't stopped this 21-year-old MC from livin' the life. After touring with Disclosure earlier this year, Mensa's popularity has been on the steady rise.
Whether they're teaming up against Drake on Hot 97 or popping bottles together in the club, Chris Brown and Tyga have had quite the bromance going for a number of years now.
Producers are generally the ones responsible for hot sound and trends, but they are often outshone by the more visible artists in front of them. HNHH is taking the opportunity to shed light on some of the most innovative and and prolific beatmakers in the game right now.
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