We take a look at some instrumental hip-hop albums you should add to your collection.
Gucci Mane has released nine projects this year. We don't have to check-- that's more than any other rapper. He also happens to be in prison. Last year, he released 14 projects from the pen, making a cool $1.3 million, and he's on pace to topple those numbers this year.
With every XXL Freshman Class, there's bound to be MCs included who will eventually flop-- that's just the nature of trying to predict who will break out in the sea of up-and-coming rappers. Since the magazine began the now-prestigious list back in 2008, we've seen several former Freshmen fall off, so we've selected ten that we feel didn't live up to their potential.
Over the years, Rick Ross has made his way from a Slip-n-Slide Records artist to an empirical kingpin. How did he do it? Well, there's a lot of moves you could attribute to his success, but basically, he did it by putting out good music.
While anticipation grows for A$AP Rocky's second album's release, At.Long.Last.ASAP (A.L.L.A), Rocky has been up to a lot more than just rapping. Since the release of Long.Live.ASAP in 2013, Rocky has been on hiatus, at least, from the rapsphere. Even before he dropped his debut album, he started experimenting in the business of fashion.
Lean is by no means a new craze in hip-hop. Since the early days of DJ Screw, promethazine mixed with codeine and Sprite has been the recipe for many southern classics. Though purple drank originated in Houston, it has slurred its way into Atlanta, New Orleans, and just about every other hip-hop metropolis in the country.
With the rise of social media, we can only wonder if artists would have the balls to say the things they say via Instagram and/or Twitter in real ass life. The social media age has made it all too easy for artists and the average person alike to throw shade whenever they please, and then, when things get a bit rough, hit 'delete.' Fortunately, most of the time, we catch it.
Christopher George Latore Wallace, otherwise known as The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls, was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Brooklyn on May 21, 1972. He grew up as an only child in the Clinton Hill area to his parents Voletta Wallace, a Jamaican preschool teacher, and George Latore, a welder and Jamaican politician.
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.
With A$AP Rocky debuting the new track "M's" just hours ago, excitement for his upcoming album has never been higher. A few weeks ago, we got a title, A.L.L.A. (At. Long.La$t.A$AP), and then a potential release date, so we're in the full-swing of what was once called the "album release cycle," before Beyoncé upended that shit in December 2013.
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.
Ranking Meek Mill's top five freestyles-- a futile task, really. Most every one of his tracks is a freestyle. He never writes down his lyrics, and though most rappers make said claim these days, with Meek, we really believe it. His denial of the pen and pad isn't merely a show of pride-- freestyling, in the truest sense of the word, is when Meek is at his absolute best.
When you closes your eyes and thinks about hip-hop, it’s safe to assume you are not envisioning David Letterman.
It's written in hip-hop lore: The story of a Detroit kid who fought severe personal poverty in hip-hop's battle underground, all the way to mainstream dominance. There's arguably been no other hip-hop star that's reached the level of cultural omnipresence that Eminem has at the turn of the millennium. He was hip-hop's greatest hopes and society's biggest fears all in one.
Depending on when you were born, you might see as Ice Cube as one of two people. The first one, for our younger readers, is the lovable character from "Barber Shop," "Are We There Yet?" or "21 Jump Street." For our older audience, it's probably the angry gangster rapper who was a member of N.W.A. and released The Predator.
The Weeknd rose up as a largely anonymous kid from Toronto who released three epic mixtapes in 2011. March, August and December each held a release date for this dude who was mixing sounds of electronica, hip-hop, dubstep, R&B, downtempo and soul in a way that had never been done before.Well, it worked.
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.
If Def Jam taught us anything, it's to respect the DJ. The DJ is responsible for the perpetuation of the art form that is hip-hop. Without DJs, there'd be no medium for the streets and masses to access the music they crave.
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.
So, this TIDAL “hi-fidelity music streaming” thing is actually happening. Not formally acquainted? Well, allow me to introduce you.
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.
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.
Meet Houston's T-Wayne, Brick Squad Monopoly's next-up. If you haven't heard "Nasty Freestyle" yet, you will soon. Wayne's breakout hit just debuted at #43 on the charts, and it has the potential to go way up. Wayne's got jokes, with more toilet references than even that other Wayne, but he's also got skills, and we suspect this won't be his last viral sensation.
Today, we take enjoyment from the misery of others.
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?
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