Posts in Category: Hip-hip music

Should Hip-Hop Artists Attend the Grammys?

In the wake of the Grammys last weekend, many hip-hop artists were left wondering whether or not attending the ceremony was in their best interest. Although the award ceremony has nominated plenty of hip-hop albums in the past—and both Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar were strong contenders this year—winning the ultimate prize has proven to be practically impossible for rap albums. In fact, it has been over a decade since this has occurred.

Of course, there have been many notable albums that have been snubbed. In 2005, Kanye West’s iconic College Dropout was one of them. Leaving a bad taste in the rapper’s mouth, this stunning defeat is believed to have prompted some of his outspoken criticism of award shows in general.

This year, it was Bruno Mars’ dance album that captivated the Grammy voters’ love, prompting it to soar high and capture Best Album of the Year. For those who praised Kendrick Lamar’s 2017 album as a project that resonated with the challenging political times, this was seen as yet another stunning loss that was consistent with the unlucky pattern for hip-hop albums. Many in the community mused as to whether or not it was worth it for hip-hop and R&B artists to attend the Grammys.

However, the show did capture more than its fair share of meme-worthy moments. One involved Blue Ivy, the daughter of Jay-Z and singer Beyonce. When her parents started to clap, the six-year-old promptly shut them down, perhaps proving that parents are just embarrassing in general—even if they are award-winning stars!

Nicki Minaj and Quavo Drop a New Single!

Nicki Minaj and Quavo are at it again! After the recent hit single, “Motorsport,” both superstars have come together for another fire collaboration that can possibly heat up the charts, titled, “She For Keeps.”

In this video, both are basically doing a reenactment for the movie Grease. The colorful setting and the outstanding visuals are definitely a sight to see. In fact, the new video is already out and available to be viewed on most major outlets.

Both are actually working on new albums. Of course, Quavo is 1/3 of the rap group Migos, who are always bringing fresh new flavor to our ears. Nicki Minaj is set to release a new album this year as well.

Nicki Minaj is known for her over the top flair and high fashion. This video is no different. Nicki is sporting multi-colored hair and a colorful outfit that definitely meets the eye. Quavo is also quite charming and adds an additional spark to the video, not to mention its catchy hook and well written verses.

Quavo’s lyrical delivery combined with Nicki’s wordplay makes for a very interesting video and song to listen to. This video was an unexpected drop, but we are so happy that the drop occurred, because we can’t get enough of this powerful duo. As soon as he hear the word Nicki Minaj and Quavo, we know it’s time to start bobbing our heads!

Thank you for delivering such high quality video performances to watch, it really adds to the excitement of our days! Thank you Nick and Quavo!!

Hip-hop and RNB Triumph in the Music Industry

The music business has currently been mentioned to have a high power like never before. Nielsen Music recently announced its annual mid-year report on how the music industry had been performing throughout the year. By 2017, statistics revealed that Ed Sheraan’s song, “The Shape of You,” and Kendrick Lamar’s song, “Damn,” are among the most popular tracks. Th report also revealed that for the first time since Nelsen started measuring music performance in the United States, rock and pop music no longer top the charts. Instead, R&B and hip-hop have remained triumphant for the past five years.

According to the news report, 25.1 percent of the American citizens listen to R&B and hip-hop while 23 percent listen to rock and pop music. However, rock music tops the list in album sales claiming a 40 percent of the album sales in the country. Although that percentage may not represent the actual numbers of Americans consuming music, R&B and hip-hop continue its dominance in the music industry. Besides, Hip-hop and R&B have the highest percentage of streaming services. Among the top streams in 2017 is a song by Bruno Mars, “That’s What I Like,” which is a blend of pop and R&B.

As names such as Drake and The Weekend continue to gain reputation in music and hit singles, the number of total songs streamed online will continue to rise. The music landscape has changed tremendously over the past few years with internet streams altering the way music is consumed. News further reveal that over the last seven years, artists are crafting a complete album experience that is more interesting and with music that must be heard as a cohesive unit. Among the top of the chart are Kanye West’s album named “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” and Kendrick Lamar’s album, “Good Kid.”

Large Percentage of Forbes Top 20 List Includes Hip Hop Moguls

The popular, recently published Forbes Magazine Top 20 list of the highest paid individuals in the United States revealed that a high percentage of wealthiest Americans work in the hip hop industry. Forbes publishes a list of the highest grossing Americans each year, along with a short description of the business endeavors that have made the individual wealthy. In this year’s edition, hip hop and r and b singers, rappers, producers, music makers, media relations experts, and label heads were all represented. This news is befitting in light of the new revelation that the hip hop genre has recently surpassed the rock genre in the categories of retail sales and influence.

Included in Forbes’ list of the wealthiest Americans were rapper and fashion designer Sean Carter (Jay Z), Sean Combs (P. Diddy), Aubrey Graham (Drake) and Beyonce Knowles. These artists brought in more than 4 billion dollars combined and are a large influence in the hip hop and r and b industry. Although several other notable hip hop artists were included in the Forbes list of wealthy Americans, a look at the business lives of these individuals in particular can reveal new and important ways that the hip hop industry has expanded within the last decade.

Sean Carter, Sean Combs, Aubrey Graham, and Beyonce Knowels have all surpassed other artists in their field and have successfully commercialized their personal brands. Each of these artists has signed a major deal with large advertising campaigns, with Sean Carter representing Budweiser, Aubrey Graham representing Coca Cola’s Sprite, Beyonce Knowles representing Pepsi, and Sean Combs representing Nike. The fact that large advertisers are now seeking out hip hop stars to represent their companies represents the amount of influence that hip hop artists have gained in the commercial marketing world and suggests a positive trend in the future.

J. Cole’s New Documentary About Life In The South

Rapper J. Cole has made a documentary called “J. Cole: 4 Your Eyez Only.” I wonder why Cole decided to include a misspelling in the title of his documentary. Although this might be seen as a kind of homage to urban films like “Boyz In Da Hood,” using this type of spelling certainly seems a bit stale and contrived in 2017. That said, this documentary is receiving rave reviews from those in the know. According to people with intimate knowledge of this film, J. Cole’s documentary explores serious issues such as race relations, economic inequality and social justice. In this film, J. Cole explores what it means to grow up as an African-American in the American South. In particular, J. Cole’s documentary explores the reality of economic suffering and institutionalized injustice in African-American life. Cole argues that ingrained racial attitudes deeply affect how African-Americans interact with police and the justice system.

In his documentary film, which was directed by Scott Lazer, J. Cole explores African-American life in post-Katrina Baton Rouge and Ferguson, Missouri. Overall, the film seems like an interesting presentation. However, I hope Cole doesn’t make the common mistake of being too pessimistic about the future of race relations in this nation. As a nation, we need to solve a lot of problems before all members of society can feel equally appreciated and valued. Nevertheless, I strongly feel that there is a lot of hope for the United States. I hope that J. Cole and all commentators balance the grim realities of now with the boundless promise of tomorrow.

The Tussle for Supremacy between Hip-hop and R&B

As an integral part of culture, music genres borrow heavily from one another. In this case, the history of hip-hop has largely been about absorbing and conquering the other genres. In fact, there is no genre that has dissolved others in a greater scale in the music industry the way hip-hop has done.

 

Taking Over the Music Scene

 

At first, hip-hop sampled the elder genres and this provides the intellectual justification for its place in the legacy of soul genre, where it eventually pushed soul music to the fringes. Later on, hip-hip music gave birth to its own crop of singers, characterized by smooth-edged tough talking who softened the samples, while they addressed simpatico themes. Eventually, these rappers did away with middlemen and started inputting melodies into their own verses.

 

A Fierce Backlash

 

Interestingly, former hip-hop artistes such as Drake have been instrumental in stopping the genre from overriding others. In his transition to R&B, Drake has invariably softens the blow that Hip-Hop had dealt the genre. In this way, R&B has refused to take hip-hop’s infiltration without a fight. In particular, the male R&B singers are devising new approaches for invigorating the genre.

 

For a long time, the success of Robert Kelly’s music was based on his infusion of hip-hop attitudes into R& Blues. His new album that was recently released titled The Buffet sold poorly. R Kelly complained that black audiences were no longer supporting his music. While that could be true, R Kelly’s strategy overlooks the current crucial trends. For one, the lovers of R&B are presently better off served by hip-hop instead of R&B and that he too is not the standard bearer that he previously was.

 

As generation of musician emerge so will the genres of music continue to fuse while other new ones emerge. Hip-hop may not have lost its luster but then its influence is undoubtedly at test.

 

 

The Tussle for Supremacy between Hip-hop and R&B

As an integral part of culture, music genres borrow heavily from one another. In this case, the history of hip-hop has largely been about absorbing and conquering the other genres. In fact, there is no genre that has dissolved others in a greater scale in the music industry the way hip-hop has done.

 

Taking Over the Music Scene

 

At first, hip-hop sampled the elder genres and this provides the intellectual justification for its place in the legacy of soul genre, where it eventually pushed soul music to the fringes. Later on, hip-hip music gave birth to its own crop of singers, characterized by smooth-edged tough talking who softened the samples, while they addressed simpatico themes. Eventually, these rappers did away with middlemen and started inputting melodies into their own verses.

 

A Fierce Backlash

 

Interestingly, former hip-hop artistes such as Drake have been instrumental in stopping the genre from overriding others. In his transition to R&B, Drake has invariably softens the blow that Hip-Hop had dealt the genre. In this way, R&B has refused to take hip-hop’s infiltration without a fight. In particular, the male R&B singers are devising new approaches for invigorating the genre.

 

For a long time, the success of Robert Kelly’s music was based on his infusion of hip-hop attitudes into R& Blues. His new album that was recently released titled The Buffet sold poorly. R Kelly complained that black audiences were no longer supporting his music. While that could be true, R Kelly’s strategy overlooks the current crucial trends. For one, the lovers of R&B are presently better off served by hip-hop instead of R&B and that he too is not the standard bearer that he previously was.

 

As generation of musician emerge so will the genres of music continue to fuse while other new ones emerge. Hip-hop may not have lost its luster but then its influence is undoubtedly at test.

Worldstar’s Founder Dies at Age 43

Worldstar Hiphop has been a staple in the hip-hop industry since its inception back in 2005. Sadly, its founder and CEO, Lee “Q” O’Denat, passed away at age 43 due to heart attack while asleep on January 23. The site started as a platform to promote underground mixtapes, but grew to show music videos, fight videos and other outlandish footage. Though Worldstar faced criticism for a lot of the videos they posted, no one can deny the impact Q had on the community.

 

In an interview with New York Times back in 2015, Q said, “Hip-hop is for the sex, the drugs, the violence, the beefs, the culture…. That’s the competitiveness of hip-hop, so I felt like the site needed to be R-rated.” Thus his site reflected exactly what he dreamed. After all the success he saw, MTV2 is set to have tv series based off the site called “World Star TV,” which will be a sketch comedy debuting on February 3.

 

Q’s death has been felt throughout out the world of hip-hop with many taking to Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms expressing their condolences to his friends and family. Charlamange Tha God, host of New York’s radio show, “The Breakfast Club,” said on Instagram: “RIP to my guy Q@worldstar we got some years in. Great, Great, Great Dude!!!!!! One of those moments where you don’t cry because it’s over, you smile because it happened. SMH. Brother was already up but he had some phenomenal things cooking.”

 

Q will surely be missed, but remembered as the great entrepreneur and pioneer he was.

 

A$AP Mob Rise To Prominence Through Television

Recently, hip-hop group A$AP Mob performed “Cuckoo’s Nest” on the “Late Show,” a television program that regularly features performances from up-and-coming hip-hop acts. This group first came to prominence due to the success of A$AP Rocky, the group member who has achieved the most critical and commercial acclaim so far.

 

In this television performance, A$AP Mob demonstrated a fertile collective imagination and plenty of old-fashioned rhyming skills. The quirky performance featured a sensibility reminiscent of “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” the early Jack Nicholson film set in a mental hospital. If this Harlem group’s latest songs are any guide, this collective has a good chance of establishing a huge fan base. Hopefully, the band will become known as more than an A$AP Rocky side project. Each one of these artists is talented enough to succeed through a full-fledged solo career. Groups like A$AP Mob demonstrate that hip-hop is far from a spent art form. With all of the diversity of the English language at their command, conscious rappers will continue to create profound art into the indefinite future.

 

It’s no secret that tumultuous political changes roiled the political landscape in 2016. Though troubling in many respects, the divisiveness of this nation’s political scene may provide fertile ground for self-expression through music. Though A$AP Mob songs always feature plenty of humorous lines, this group certainly has the potential to play a vital role in the serious debates that are emerging in this nation’s cultural life. It should prove interesting to watch this group evolve and develop over the course of the next four years.

 

DJ Khaled: Major Key Was Major

Although DJ Khaled has been around for a long time, it seemed as if the hip-hop impresario was always somehow on the periphery of the music industry. As of 2017, this is no longer the case. Now that he has managed to finally break out with his hit album Major Key in 2016, the husky rapper and producer is now a household name. Of course, it probably didn’t hurt that some of Khaled’s famous friends starred on several of the tracks.

 

Perhaps the most famous was “For Free”, a collaboration with rapper Drake, who is always popular with the ladies and mused about his prowess in the upbeat track. “I Got the Keys” was yet another hit that music fans truly loved, and it was perhaps this song that cemented DJ Khaled’s status as more than just a meme.

 

All in all, it was truly a remarkable year for DJ Khaled, who also achieved some personal milestones as well. His longtime girlfriend gave birth to his son, and Khaled was able to muse about his newfound fatherhood on late-night talk shows. With his combination of musical talent, a distinctive look and a decent sense of humor, it seems as if we will continue to hear from Khaled in the years to come. Few people seem to possess a similar sense of the hip-hop industry; Khaled’s ability to sense trends is truly unmatched and revolutionary. If his 2016 was any indication, it seems as if this burly icon will churn out even more hits in the coming months.