Posts in Category: Hip-hip music

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.

 

The Frenetic, Fantastic Energy of Missy

One of the longest awaited albums in 2016 was that of Missy Elliott. When she released “WTF (Where They From)”, it was as if the entire hip-hop world erupted with happiness. After all, this was a woman who had dominated the rap scene for almost a decade. Her absence had been noted frequently—and fans had missed the quirky musings and brilliant phrasing of one of the best artists in the game.

 

If Missy seems as if she is from a different era, perhaps it’s because she is. And, in her case, this is a very good thing. After working with notable artists such as Aaliyah and Timbaland, there isn’t much else that this woman could do to claim her rightful place as hip-hop royalty. However, when it comes to Missy, she barely seems as if she even needs to try. Her flow is always tight, and it has never sounded better than it did in 2016. With rapid-fire responses and her always sensational style, Missy Elliott has proved once again why she always deserves a seat at the head of the hip-hop table.

 

After all, there is a reason why this gifted female rapper has worked with so many legends in her time. She is an absolute legend in her own right, and no one can take this away from her. In the history books of hip-hop, Missy will always be known for her wit, showmanship and ability to collaborate so well with some of the best people in the business. She is the rare kind of artist who always brings out the best in others, even when she is making some of the most innovative tracks around. If there was one good thing about 2016, it was the fact that Missy Elliott once again graced us with her talent.

 

Drake takes the Throne

2016 was a really big year for artist Drake. It seemed like you couldn’t go more than a few days without hearing some news about Drake’s latest record. The record, which goes by the title of Oh My Klub, has produced some very exciting news for Drake. Over the past year, Drake has broken or tied roughly TEN RECORDS! In a single year, that’s an amazing amount in and of itself. Of course, no one can really question Drake’s relevance lately. After all, the man has been on the playing field since his acting days back during Degrassi. But even after 2016 was over, he couldn’t help but slap on one more record to the list, just to really stand out from the crowd, and this time he had a little help.

 

The news was just released that Drake and Future’s latest tour, Summer Sixteen grossed $84.3 Million dollars last year! While this is impressive in and of itself, what makes it more impressive was that it managed to take the top slot and become the highest grossing Hip-Hop tour of the year. It’s previous holders Jay-Z and Kanye West, managed to score about $75 Million with their tour, Watch the Throne, which is no small feat, even for two of the biggest names in the business. In light of this, it seems that Drake really took the top spot as 2016’s biggest artist in the genre.

 

Of course, this is just the latest record to join the others he took last year. Alongside the highest grossing tour, he tied with 50 Cent on his record of heading both the Billboard 100 AND 200 boards at once. He also beat out Justin Bieber as the most streamed artist EVER on Spotify, and Michael Jackson’s record for the most nominations at the AMA awards as well, by about 2 Million Nominations! Well done Drake, people are looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings you.

 

Drake Continues to Be Drake with His New Music Video, “Sneakin'”

Drake and 21 Savage are holding onto Halloween for just a tad longer with their new music video, Sneakin’. Reminiscent of horror faux documentaries, the video contains shoddy quality that was anything but unintentional. Elsewhere in the video, Drake depicts why he is such a controversial rapper to most.

 

Sporting his new Ferrari that was actually a birthday present from 21 Savage this past year, Drake makes it a point to flash what the industry has given him, including furs, gold, and diamonds. Though plenty of fans admire items such as these and believe that Drake has earned them, others who have always been on the fence when it comes to the artist are slowly but surely losing more respect for him simply because they believe his overall talent is slipping. The video also shows Drake in a pool with multiple females who are demonstrating their dance moves.

 

Of course, the music itself is not necessarily terrible, but the true emphasis here is placed on the video, a trend that has swept the industry for the past decade. Essentially, artists are attempting to hold their videos to a more meaningful accord. Drake and 21 Savage certainly tried with this one, but viewers cannot depict the message being demonstrated with this one. Perhaps it is just another attempt at Drake conveying that he does not care what anybody thinks of him.

 

Gucci Mane and Future Releases New Mix Tape For Fans

It is always exciting to hear about two exceptionally talented hip-hop artists working together on a new project. In this case, Gucci Mane and Future decided it was time for them to smash the industry with a new mix tape. They completed recording “Free Bricks 2” in less than twenty-fours before releasing it to their devoted fans.

 

Free Bricks 2: Zone 6 Edition is expected to make huge waves within the next few days. This is the sequel to their first mix tape. Free Bricks was released in 2011. By many accounts, Free Bricks was a smashing success for two of the most recognizable rappers today. This is the main reason why Gucci and Future decided to work on a sequel.

 

The songs on the new album will feature six hot songs that were recorded in Atlanta, Georgia. Gucci Mane stated that the recording went well, and he is excited about giving the world a chance to hear some of his hottest work. Gucci Mane also stated that Future was surprised at how they were able to complete the project within one day.

 

Gucci decided to give anxious fans a sneak peek of the mix tape on Twitter. It is easy for anyone to see that Gucci and Future are optimistic about raising the bar for the mix tape sector in hip-hop. Free Bricks 2 may become one of the best mix tapes released in 2016.