21. HONORABLE MENTION
Call it early MTV revisited, but Sean “Diddy” Combs brought back the time when music videos made up the majority of programming with the October launch of Revolt TV network, a new 24-hour multi-platform, multi-genre channel designed to showcase videos, news, interviews, original programming and performances in the name of one thing: music. It’s too early to tell what the future holds for Revolt. All that’s known now is that Diddy did something major as a representative of hip-hop. The fact that Revolt is up and running is a testament in itself that the future looks to be an interesting one for the culture and other genres. In 2014, let’s hope for an upwardly mobile Revolt to set things right for artists looking to express themselves without being confined to what others want and music fans who want their favourite artists in their intended form, raw and uncut.
20. RIHANNA AND TEYANA TAYLOR ENGAGE IN TWITTER BEEF (229,510 Views)
Things may have seemed rosy between Rihanna and Teyanna Taylor in the past, but the two were anything but chummy in September after Ri-Ri ignited a war against Taylor on Twitter. The beef reportedly stemmed from Rihanna making fun of an Instagram video of Taylor singing Anita Baker’s “Caught Up in the Rapture,” which was posted on Taylor’s IG account. To taunt Taylor, Rihanna posted a video of her male stylist singing the same song while dressed up as Taylor. From there, it was on as the singers went back and forth with insult after insult. As a result, Taylor’s business relationship with Adidas fizzled along with a sneaker Taylor was planning to release on Black Friday. No reason has been released for why Rihanna fired the initially shot, but it’s safe to say Rihanna and her former friend won’t be exchanging Christmas gifts (Adidas-related or otherwise) anytime soon.
If anyone has had a life-changing 2013, it’s Miley Cyrus. The former Disney child star effectively killed any semblance to her TV alter ego Hannah Montana by engaging in all types of #worstbehavior. The most noticeable example is Cyrus ascension into hip-hop with collaborations with Snoop Dogg (“Ashtrays and Heartbreaks), will.i.am (“Fall Down”), Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J (Mike WILL Made It’s “23,” which she rapped and sang on), Lil Twist (“Twerk”) and Future (“Real and True”), among others. And let’s not forget that infamous performance with Robin Thicke at this year’s VMA’s where she single-handly introduced twerking to the mainstream. You know you’ve done something when Jay Z mentions you on a track. Not to mention Kanye West has given her his co-sign, and enlisted her for a remix of "Black Skinhead" which we have yet to hear. While most of the rap game seemed to welcome Miley with open arms (fans, on the other hand, not so much), Danny Brown was one of the few who made it known what he thought about her, and the MCs who co-sign her antics. "I think anybody doing that just trying to eat. Ain't no nigga worried about their own music worried about her.Kendrick Lamar is not trying to do no song with Miley Cyrus. It's just like this, man. It's like the little white girl in the hood that might get you a plug on some pills or some shit. You gonna be nice to her to get your plug or whatever you need to get. They trying to eat," Danny said.
Who knew constant twerking with your tongue out could take you so far, ha?
The mixtape game got quite the helping hand when Jay Z backed Nipsey Hussle’s Crenshaw mixtape by purchasing 100 copies of the product in October. The West Coast rhymesayer, made some of his own #newrules when he announced he'd be selling Crenshaw for $100 a copy, which resulted in a cool payday. For those who had doubts, Jay even went so far as posting a stack of Crenshaw CDs on his Life + Times blog (with the caption #NewRules, of course). Needless to say, Hussle was humbled by the purchase, which he said was sparked through a Twitter DM he received from a respected hip-hop journalist.
If we know anything about Kanye West, we know that the man is never short of having the utmost confidence in himself, his music and those he has love for. He didn't disappoint in this aspect when, after releasing a new album, Yeezus he proclaimed that the second verse of one of the songs (“New Slaves”) is “the best rap verse of all time.” That proclamation alone is enough to ignite endless debates and that’s exactly what Mr. West wanted to do, and did, when he tweeted it in July. No matter what you thought, the fact is that Kanye once again had you thinking and talking about him. End of story. (Oh yeah, we did named that verse the third Hottest Verse of 2013).
16. CHRIS BROWN ARRESTED FOR FELONY ASSAULT (80,035 Views)
Chris Brown’s 2013 has been an up and down one, to say the least. Although he dropped new music (“Fine China,” “Don’t Think They Know” feat. Aaliyah), “Love More” feat. Nicki Minaj, X Files mixtape), Breezy could not escape a shadow of legal trouble. Rather than include every single Breezy incident on this list (there would be plenty), we've opted to sum it up with this one news article, which resulted in his rehab stint, and many of his recent troubles. In November the singer was arrested for allegedly assaulting a man outside the W hotel. Brown was later charged with felony assault and was scheduled for a hearing on the incident, which occurred after he hosted a Howard University homecoming party at The Park at Fourteenth nightclub. As it stands now, Chris' probation has been revoked because of this incident, and another hearing will be held in February to decide whether or not the r'n'b singer should serve time.
Mister Cee may have DJ’d for Big Daddy Kane and helped Biggie Smalls achieve legendary status, but his icon status was not enough to eclipse past indiscretions with prostitutes in 2011 or a present day encounter with a transsexual prostitute September. The fallout from the latter incident resulted in Cee issuing his resignation on-air from Hot 97 after 20 years of service in order to take care of his personal issues. However, after admitting to the allegations (he's maintained he's not gay though), he decided to return to Hot 97.
14. KANYE WEST ADDS SWAY TO LIST OF RANT VICTIMS (109,156 Views)
What day in 2013 would be complete with a rant from Kanye to the? From Jimmy Kimmel to Justin Timberlake to Nike, West made as much noise with his rants as he did with his music. So much so that he’s even used his concerts as platforms for airing his feelings on who or whatever he has on his mind at the time. In December, Sway Calloway was on the receiving end of West’s ire after asking why he couldn’t “empower himself” regarding his fashion line. Although Sway set the record straight on what happened, the incident went down as another Kanye outburst, for better or worse, and resulted in plenty of memes using 'Ye's "YOU AIN'T GOT THE ANSWERS, SWAY!!!" line.
With constant headlines centering on his antics outside of the recording studio, Chief Keef seems to be the rapper a lot of people love to hate. And this year was no different as the Chicago rapper found himself in legal trouble over child support, not performing at shows, marijuana use and violating his probation. Not to mention the brief beef with Katy Perry and social media flirting with Lady Gaga. However, Keef showed a rare side in January when he broke down and cried in court after being sentenced to 60 days in juvenile detention. Despite his emotional request for another chance, the judge showed no mercy and sentenced the young entertainer as such.
As Drake, Nicki Minaj and, of course, Lil Wayne have proven, Young Money is a force to be reckoned with. They seem to be constantly expanding their roster, whether taking on older acts like Busta Rhymes or upcoming pop stars like Austin Mahone. So when news dropped this past year of the label signing West Coast rap icon Game, people had things to say-- some good and some bad. As it turned out, things weren’t as official as the two rappers made it seem. In a recent interview with Civil TV, Game stated that he hasn’t signed with YMCMB yet, but is in “constant talks” with the label.
While some dismiss Lil Wayne’s music (Pusha T), there are others who stand ready to obtain any form of new music from the rapper. Need proof? Look no further than Tunechi’s latest mixtape, Dedication 5, which drew a lot of anticipation from fans and a 36-hour delay before it’s official release on September 1st. The delay had you guys checking the site (and the news article) constantly. According to Wayne’s camp, the delay was due to the rapper putting the finishing touches on the project. Needless to say, Weezy supporters quickly gobbled up Dedication 5, when it finally dropped in the early hours of the morning, but nonetheless the long-ass wait for the tape still proved to be a disappointment to many fans.
10. RAY J REMINDS KANYE WHO HIT FIRST (128,789 Views)
Ray J and Kanye West don’t seem to have much in common other than Kim Kardashian. While Brandy’s little brother brought Kim to the masses with that sex tape, it’s Ye who currently occupies her time with their ever-developing relationship. Nevertheless, Ray J decided to relive that infamous moment in time when he dropped his single “I Hit First” in April. The singer not only took shots at his former lover and her current man, there was also a music video with a Kim K lookalike. Despite all this, Ray J says he was not trying to start war with the song, which he labeled as being “about a concept.” Although the song and video drew some attention, Kanye got the last laugh in September with a diss to Ray J on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” Ray J may have hit first, but the final hit belonged to Yeezy. Case closed.
As any Wu-Tang Clan fans knows, this year marked the 20th anniversary of the group’s classic debut Enter the 36 Chambers. And while respect is due to that release, it was the title of the Wu’s double disc follow-up that caught the attention of Drake. Drake’s “Wu-Tang Forever” song was, in the eyes of rap heads, either a sign of respect to a legendary collective or a misguided track that contained nothing related to the Clan. Nevertheless, the Wu did respond as they came to Drake’s defense over flak he received for the track. And while reports surfaced of Drake getting the Clan back together to record a “Wu-Tang Forever” remix, one Clansmen who won’t be a part of the collaboration is Inspectah Deck, who took back his initial support of the song upon hearing it for himself and expressed that the song should not be titled “Wu-Tang Forever.”
8. LIL BOOSIE IS COMING HOME SOONER THAN YOU THINK (104,286 Views)
Most rappers get to enjoy the fruits of their labor, but Lil Boosie spent the year behind bars waiting to taste freedom. So much so that he’s reportedly already been writing raps and making plans to hit the studio and tour after he’s released. In September, Rolling Stone journalist Jeff Weiss confirmed that Boosie would be out in four to five months, which turned out to be incorrect. Reports later surfaced of the rapper being released on August 18, 2014. However, Boosie’s brother/manager has revealed that the rap star could be released as early as February 2014. Either way, it looks like Boosie’s return is set for next year.
Rappers have always said things that were controversial. The only difference between Rick Ross and all the other MCs is he got caught, and paid a hefty price for his verse on Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O.” The rapper’s reference to putting molly in a girl’s drink and having sex with her did not sit well with Reebok. Amid protests and a petition that collected 72,000 signatures, Reebok dropped Ross as a spokesman. Despite the failed relationship, the MMG boss continued to show love by supporting and wearing the brand. God forgives and apparently the Bawse does too when it comes to his favorite shoe brand.
6. CHRIS BROWN KICKS OFF THE NEW YEAR WITH FRANK OCEAN BRAWL (84,684 Views)
The year got off to a bad start for Chris Brown and Frank Ocean as the dislike between them reached a physical level when a brawl took place in January 2013. According to TMZ, the altercation happened at Westlake Studio in L.A. As he tried to leave, Brown was blocked by Ocean and his people. Reports say that as he got out to shake Ocean’s hand, one of Ocean’s people stepped in and attacked Brown. The attack became full blown once one of Brown’s people attacked the man who attacked Breezy. And the rest they say is another chapter in the Chris Brown Chronicles, resulting in many a lawsuit (specifically from Frank Ocean's cousin).
5. JAY Z ANNOUNCES "MCHG" & #NEWRULES (65,975 Views)
As if we needed another reason for calling Jay Z a major mover and shaker in the hip-hop industry. In between working and touring with Justin Timberlake, the lyricist/businessman spent the year changing the game with the release of his latest opus, Magna Carta Holy Grail. Jigga made the announcement via a commercial during Game 5 of the NBA Finals. One million Samsung users were able to get the album for free 72 hours before everybody else via a specialized app on July 4th.
The ambitious plan was ultimately met with opposition after Billboard initially decided to not count the 1 million copies of the album that Samsung purchased. However, in the end, #newrules prevailed, as they decided to change the rules for H-O-V, as the album was certified platinum upon its release. In addition, the company’s Magna Carta app caught the eye of the advocacy group EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center), which called for an investigation of the app by the Federal Trade Commission in light of it invading the privacy of users with access to personal information. ATL rapper/Samsung user Killer Mike, who admitted to passing on downloading the album after discovering what information was needed, echoed the same sentiment.
4. LIL WAYNE ATTRACTS REAL MIAMI HEAT WITH BASKETALL TEAM BEEF
Beef with other rappers is nothing new to Lil Wayne, but when the beef involves a whole sports team and an entire city, well, that’s something completely new. Upon blasting the Miami Heat for kicking him out of their game with the LA Lakers for reportedly threatening a fan, Weezy took his frustrations on the team out during a performance at the NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston. In addition to leading a "Fuck the NBA," "Fuck the Miami Heat," "Fuck LeBron" and "Fuck 'she Wade" chants, the Young Money rhymesayer also claimed he had sex with Chris Bosh's wife.
Apparently, Wayne’s comments opened the eyes of Miami’s representatives Trick Daddy, Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell and Mr. 305 Pitbull, who released “Welcome to Dade County,” a diss tracked aimed right at Weezy F. Although Wayne initially said he would not apologize, he later changed his mind with an apology to the city of Miami for his comments, and he addressed Uncle Luke’s letter and Pitbull’s diss track. All this resulted in quite a few news articles, which rounded up a ton of views, as you can see below.
-Lil Wayne Goes Off On Miami Heat, Says He "Fucked Chris Bosh's Wife" (102,288 Views)
3. GUCCI MANE REMAINS TURNED UP ALL YEAR LONG
The world according to Gucci Mane is truly a complicated one. From his many encounters with the law, to burning bridges and then apologizing for putting his fellow artists on blast, to his ongoing feud with former friend Waka Flocka Flame, Gucci’s escapades were numerous, to say the least in 2013. All this and he managed to put out an album (Trap House III) with another one on the way (The State vs. Radric Davis II: The Caged Bird Sings) and four mixtapes (Free Bricks 2 with Young Scooter, Trap Back 2, EastAtlantaMemphis with Young Dolph and Diary of a Trap God). On top of all that, Gucci even managed to find time for acting with his film debut in this summer’s “Spring Breakers.” The question is what can Gucci Mane possibly do in 2014 that he hasn’t done or undone this year? We may never know for sure, but sure enough we’ll be watching. See a full list of his antics, which earned him the #3 spot on our Top News Stories, below.
-Waka Flocka On Gucci Mane: "Who Is That? He Don’t Exist To Me" (17,755 Views)
2. MEEK MILL’S DREAMCHASERS ARTIST LIL SNUPE SHOT DEAD (450,521 Views)
Tragedy struck once again in the hip-hop community this year as we said goodbye to Three 6 Mafia’s Lord Infamous, former No Limit soldier Mr. Magic, Greek rapper Killah P, Kriss Kross member Chris “Mack Daddy” Kelly and Lil Snupe, an artist on Meek Mill’s Dreamchasers record label. Snupe, who celebrated his 18th birthday seven days before his death, was shot twice in the chest in June at the Maplewood apartment complex in Winnfield, Louisiana. According to reports, the cause of the death was over a bet made on a video game. A warrant was later issued for the suspect, identified as 36-year-old Tony D. Holden. Holden was charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery and illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after turning himself in four days after being on the run from authorities.
To all the families of the rappers we lost in 2013, we at HNHH offer our condolences.
1. KENDRICK LAMAR'S “CONTROL” VERSE DROPS, RAPPERS LOSE CONTROL
One verse. Just one verse. That’s all it took for Kendrick Lamar to inject some new life into the game of hip-hop. And it wasn’t even his song. Lamar’s much-publicized verse came from “Control,” a leftover track off Big Sean’s Hall of Fame album. Although, Sean and Jay Electronica had stellar verses of their own, it was the Compton lyricist who stole the show with crowning himself the “King of New York.” If that didn’t raise your eyebrow, then Lamar calling out 11 of the hottest rappers out now surely got your attention. It surely got the attention those MCs, and others who weren't mentioned, to either weigh in on the verse or release direct (or indirect) responses to it. While some rappers took the verse as a diss, Lamar stated that the verse was actually rhymed in the true spirit of rap, which was to ignite competition among rappers to come with their A-game while putting them on notice as to what to expect when getting in the booth with K-Dot. There was even a rumoured altercation between Diddy and Lamar over the verse to add to all the drama.
No matter what you thought about the verse, the reality is that Lamar had the verse of the year with his aggressive flow on “Control.” To complement what he said as well as touch on all the talk surrounding his verse, Lamar took it a step further when he joined his TDE brethren for another standout freestyle at the BET Hip-Hop Awards cypher. No doubt, hip-hop was alive and well in 2013. Now comes the aftermath and what happens when Lamar goes from being the hunter to being the hunted. Stay tuned…
-Nas Comments On Kendrick Lamar's "King Of New York" Declaration (185,043 Views)
-Fabolous Addresses Kendrick Lamar's "Control" Verse (79,155 Views)
-Kendrick Lamar Speaks On J. Cole's "Control" Response (82,576 Views)
-Erykah Badu Encourages Drake To Respond To Kendrick Lamar's Diss (109,730 Views)
-Rappers React To Kendrick Lamar's Verse On "Control" (249,705 Views)
From Miley to Gucci to Jay and Kendrick, we have you covered with the biggest news stories of 2013.
2013. What a year. There was a bit of the old, with veterans making major moves in front of and behind the mic, as well as keeping their relationship with law enforcement afloat. A bit of the new, with a host of MC’s coming to kicking off their rookie year as well as some leaving us all too soon. A bit of the unexpected, with former child stars bringing a freaky dance to the mainstream and a single verse putting a host of rappers on edge. Mix in people paying homage to the trailblazers before them and some proclamations of what region is running this rap ish and the year was complete.
So with no more delay, we at HNHH are presenting the 20 Top News Stories Of 2013. The following stories were ranked not only according to the views they received on the site but as well as their overall impact on hip-hop. Enjoy!