Frank Ocean has penned tracks for some R&B elites.
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.
The world of hip-hop is affiliated with glamour, partying, money and fun! It’s no wonder why so many rappers flock to the industry each year. But only the rappers that make it big get to enjoy these activities. There are tons of rappers in the game but only a select few make it stardom, to the point where everyone knows their names.
Last year, Waka Flocka Flame seemed to be more focused on bar-for-bar lyricism than bellowing on top of gargantuan trap beats, releasing the ironically-titled I Can't Rap Vol. 1 last summer as a culmination of a freestyle series.
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.
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.
With the swift rise of Detroit’s DeJ Loaf, one would wonder what other talent the Motor City is harboring. Many dope artists, who have garnered mainstream success have hailed from Detroit, such as J. Dilla, Big Sean, Eminem, Danny Brown, Kid Rock, Angel Haze, Madonna, Slum Village and a few others. But the overnight success of DeJ Loaf has made her rise very interesting to watch.
With yesterday's news from A$AP Yams that the Mob's debut album was officially scrapped, the only positive news was the promise of new music. Yams tweeted that while the compilation album was cancelled, we'd get a mixtape in October from A$AP Nast as well as a new album later this year from Rocky. So we can't be that mad, right?
Rap has an long-running obsession with food. Even "Rapper's Delight' couldn't resist speaking about grub, and when Wonder Mike dropped these words on the eighth verse of the pinnacle track, it opened up a lane that hasn't shut down since... "I mean the macaroni's soggy, the peas are mushed, and the chicken tastes like wood"
Reality television shows became popular after the launch of MTV’s The Real World in 1992. Then came the wildly well liked Survivor and Big Brother, and from then on reality tv has been infiltrating our televisions sets.
Scrolling through the comments on a Young Thug Instagram post is an experience like no other, even in an age when being able to hide behind a computer screen has made disparaging trolls out of nearly all of us.
Throughout all the Meek Mill vs. Drake beef, the real winner might just be Quentin Miller. The young rapper / songwriter had his name come to the attention of fans, artists, Twitter, and media all after Meek Mill accused Drake of stealing Miller's lines.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gucci Mane has been sculpting talent, and promoting new artists since the beginning his career, but it's only over the last couple of years that he's been recognized as a great A&R.
Fame and exotic pets go hand-in-hand. Just ask King George I, who ruled England in the early 18th century, who kept a pet human. Rappers are no different. While many rappers like to keep it down-to-earth w dogs, some prefer to ball out and domesticate animals you've never even heard of like endangered saber-toothed manta rays.
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.
Grills have been a part of hip hop culture for some time. From Flava Flav to A$AP Rocky, and of course Nelly and Paul Wall's famous ode, we're not likely to see this trend dying anytime soon. Take a look through our gallery of the various rappers and R&B singers who have donned fronts, including Jay Z, Big Sean, Rihanna, and more!
The remix. It can mean a lot of things. Today it usually means a trap or house DJ took a tune and chopped it up for the dance-floor, but there was a time in hip-hop where the remix was an opportunity to invite old friends and make new ones over a celebrated beat.
It seems like nearly every week when we do our 'Essentials' piece, it's on an upcoming Atlanta outfit. That's just the way hip hop seems to be in 2016, where the dirty south hub has been birthing rising talent for the better half of the past decade.
There are some tracks you can listen to on repeat, for days on end, and you'll never get tired of hearing it. A track as a whole has many elements that come into play which gives it that timeless feel, including the rapper, the lyrics and the production.
Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly seems to be the new standard bearer for provocative Hip Hop music and its titillating subtext. Found in the underbelly of the Compton bred MC’s verses and choruses are messages varying from infuriating to inspirational - from seductive to scornful.
Today marks nineteen years since The Notorious B.I.G. released his second and final album Life After Death. The album featured some of the biggest stars in rap music of the time - Jay Z, R. Kelly, The LOX, Bone Thugs, Lil Kim, etc. - on huge tracks that have since become legendary.
Although fashion has always been a part of hip-hop culture, it's been taken to a new level in recent years thanks to artists such as A$AP Rocky, Kanye West, Pharrell, 2 Chainz and Danny Brown. Love it or hate it, more and more of your favorite emcees are becoming acutely fashion conscious, both in and outside the genre.
It would seem like a no brainer, rap and advertising belong together, but the ad industry didn't always recognize what hip-hop could really do for marketing. This all changed in the 1980s. Each side began realizing what the other could for them. Rappers could help boost sales, and rappers could, of course make money.
It's a sad day when you lose one of the great MCs to ever do it. Malik Isaac Taylor, known to us as Phife Dawg, was an essential part of the golden era of hip hop, lending his voice to classic records alongside Q-Tip in A Tribe Called Quest.
Rappers are not only given a talent to create stunning lyrical masterpieces, but often times, they've also survived incredibly rough upbringings and dangerous circumstances. While some document their story and their struggle in song, there are often plenty of details overlooked, which is why getting a biography on your favorite rapper is usually pretty exciting.
Before we get to sharing the bulk of our "best of" lists with you this year, it's time to highlight 2015's biggest surprises and success stories. The fifteen artists we've chosen for our breakout list seem even more diverse than those on last year's list, with different genres, voices, opinions, and even countries being represented here.