One of the most popular and critically-acclaimed album albums in hip-hop history, “The Score”, was released 22 years ago today. The 1996 album was the sophomore effort from the Fugees, a legendary group that featured Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, and Pras Michael, who all went on to highly successful solo careers after the group’s break up. “The Score” followed the Fugees’ debut album, “Blunted on Reality”.
While their first album did come some with some success, the groups sophomore effort catapulted them to unforeseen stardom. Some say the success was too much to handle to the group, leading to tensions between the three that led to their break up. The album’s lyricism really stuck out in the genre of hip-hop during a time when “gangsta rap” ruled the airwaves. It was a starkly East Coast sounding album in a period where the Billboard charts were dominated by artists from the West Coast.
Wyclef and Lauryn certainly saw more post-group success than their counterpart, Pras Michael. “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” was Hill’s solo debut. The album was released in 1999 and came with both industry and critical success. Some of the songs on the album are still in rotation today. Wyclef released some very popular solo albums on his own and has even taken a stab at the political realm with an unsuccessful bid to be president of Haiti in 2010.
“The Score” is certainly one of the most important hip-hop albums in history. Unfortunately, it would prove to the be group’s last release. There have been rumors that the group will one day reunite, but none have come to fruition thus far.
The Atlanta rap group ‘Migos’ have chronicled the wild times that accompanied the success of their debut album, ‘Culture’, in a documentary that was released on Tidal.
In the film, the album, which reached number one on Billboard charts, is identified as the catalyst for what would become known as ‘Migos Mania.’ Kevin Lee, who runs the label started by the rap trio along with partner Pierre Thomas explains that the documentary was actually released exactly one year ago. Lee goes on to say that he, his partner, and the group were well aware of the quality of music they were producing but are admittedly a little shocked at the hysteria surrounding them since the release of ‘Culture.’
The album to date has sold two million copies in addition to the sale of five million singles from the album.
A large part of the filming of the documentary took place during a promotional tour in New York in 2017. The group visited Hot 97 while in New York and were christened by radio host Peter Rosenberg as the ‘hottest In the game.’
The group was later filmed while being honored by New York University. During their talk at the university, the group discussed the origin of their careers and gave insight into the cadences that have become the group’s signatures in their raps.
The evening ended with the group giving a performance before a sold-out crowd in Manhattan at the Highline Ballroom.
Thomas hints on the documentary that the group will not necessarily confine themselves to the rap game and are looking to expand their scope in future projects. Music from the Migos is not ‘for one group,’ Thomas explains before teasing with the prospects of the Migos making a rock album in the future.
As for now, the group released Culture II at the end of January and it seems that ‘Migo Mania’ will continue for the foreseeable future.
Sunday’s Grammy Awards were a big win for Bruno Mars and Kendrick Lamar, who carried home a combined total of 12 awards. The Hawaiian R&B vocalist snagged almost all of the coveted top awards at the Grammys, with the exception of Best New Artist, which was awarded to Alessia Cara. Meanwhile, Lamar carried home five trophies, including all four awards in the rap category.
Bruno Mars was a surprise winner this year, beating out Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z and Childish Gambino for the prestigious General awards. Mars’ “24K Magic” ultimately earned more votes from members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) than Lamar’s “Humble” and last year’s ubiquitous hit, “Despacito”. 24K Magic won both Album of the Year and best R&B Album. Additionally, the title track won Record of the Year. Mars also carried home the Song of the Year, Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance for “That’s What I Like”, the album’s catchy ode to strawberry champagne and romance.
Jay-Z was projected to win big at the 60th Grammy Awards, but ended up falling short. Despite receiving eight nominations for his critically acclaimed 4:44 album, he failed to win in any categories. Kendrick Lamar’s Damn was widely expected to carry home Album of the Year, but was eclipsed by 24K Magic. He wasn’t the only artist to lose out. Khalid, No I.D. and SZA received five Grammy nominations apiece, but were also snubbed by Grammy voters. Childish Gambino was up for Album of the Year and Record of the Year, but only received one trophy for Best Traditional R&B Performance for his “Redbone”.
The Grammys battled low ratings this year and faced some criticism for giving top awards to pop music produced mainly by men. Despite critical acclaim, hip-hop albums by Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z were largely snubbed. Also, while the performances at the Grammys focused on the Time’s Up movement, Alessia Cara was the only woman to win a major award.
Hip-hop duo Run the Jewels has recently risen to prominence with a focus on politically charged lyrics and energetic instrumentals. Their unique call-and-response style and lively shows have garnered a large audience. The duo has been explicit in their criticism of President Trump’s administration and the state of the American government in general. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, they went so far as to support Jay Z after the rapper was attacked by the President on Twitter.
Specifically, Trump criticized Jay after the latter asserted that Mr. Trump was ignoring the lived reality of Black American poverty. Trump argued that black unemployment is at the lowest levels ever recorded, claiming that Jay-Z was ignorant of his policies. President Trump’s short tenure has been plagued by dismally low approval ratings. The former reality star and real estate mogul has frequently used social media to call out pop culture figures who have doubted his leadership as head of the executive branch.
El-P of Run the Jewels contested that Donald Trump is weaponizing statistics and sidestepping the real issues. His creative partner Killer Mike complimented Jay, calling him “the coolest rapper alive” and pointing to the severe socioeconomic issues that still exist for African-Americans living in the Trump era.
In a genre infamous for its Hatfield-and-McCoy-style feuds, it is still bizarre for a sitting president to openly address the comments of a hip-hop artist. It appears that Jay Z and Run the Jewels have become new components of the ongoing culture wars.
The 2018 Grammys featured a jaw-dropping opening with hip-hop superstar Kendrick Lamar performing a political montage of popular songs from his latest album ‘Damn.’ The young rapper recruited rockers Bono and The Edge from U2 for a powerful piece that led viewers dancing and singing along.
Comedian Dave Chapelle, who would later go on to win his own award for Best Comedy Album, appeared in interludes during Lamar’s performance. An American flag and dancing soldiers lit up the stage for the controversial rapper’s performance.
The crowd cheered with a performance featuring a woman playing drums to “King’s Dead” by Jay Rock who later orchestrated a dramatic dance routine with the rapper himself. Not shy of the theatrics, viewers and audience alike seemed thrilled at the energetic performance rivalling previous year’s acts.
Lamar received several awards this year ultimately losing to Bruno Mars for Album of the Year. Forever humble as his hit track proclaims, he accepted each trophy with thanks to his producers and family. Donning his signature trench coat, the rapper invited collaborators such as Rihanna to share in his success.
This unexpected show was followed by powerful medleys from artists such as Kesha and Pink with their own take on recent news in the music worlds. While the entirety of the performance was prefaced with a message as the show being a satire, critics criticized Lamar for his blunt honesty and outspoken message.
Through theatrics and a driven performance, Lamar started the 2018 Grammys out with a bang. The outcome of the event was set on fire by the opening act and Kendrick Lamar failed to disappoint as the opener. The multiple Grammy winning artist certainly has something new in store for next year.
Jay-Z is a league entirely of his own. The Brooklyn born and bred lyricist has effortlessly oscillated between international chart topping pop-star and the most-highly respected representative of one of America’s greatest musical folk arts. Nonetheless, he moves without missing a beat and maintains unquestionable integrity and an ability to continue to grow as an artist that truly none of his peers have been able to match. Jay-Z has somehow remained relevant in a genre that is known for too often dismissing the voices of elders. Despite being nearly half-a-century old, rap fans continue to celebrate his latest work.
Jay-Z has elevated the hip-hop genre and operates in a musical state similar to the late Jonny Cash. He is the one rapper of his generation that could have a hit and tour the world into old age. His artistry demonstrates to a new generation, how to better oneself and to age gracefully. This has not been lost on critics around the world. 4:44, his latest work is on most of 2017’s best albums lists. Across the pond 4:44 was recognized by the BBC, Your text to link…, featured next to Father John Misty and the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. This is an artist breaking all the rules, 4:44 is as good an album as he’s released.
Jay-Z’s 4:44 transcends hip-hop, simultaneously elevating the entire culture. It is significant, intellectual, and endlessly compelling. His pen is always precise, but here, Jay-Z is contemplative and vulnerable. He tackles issues like fatherhood, infidelity, and the nature of poverty. He’s transparent, he doesn’t hide behind material things. 4:44 is still in rotation in 2018, and people show no sign of disinterest. At the age of 48, Jay-Z released the best rap album of the year and could easily make another.
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!!
Debut Albums. Often times, they can set the stage for an artists whole career. Because of this, it is quite important to ensure that the artists knocks it out of the park with their debut album. Unfortunately, Lil Yachty did the opposite, and he knows it.
Yachty was quoted saying that when he released the album he thought it was great. “I thought that s*** was fire,” Yachty said, “Then the sales came back and it did 44,000 first week and I was devastated and so confused, I worked so hard.”. Lil Yachtys album was not well received by his fans, and with the real number being 46,000 units sold it came in below par on the charts. The “One Night” rapper blamed the unsuccessful album on himself for trying out different styles. “But I disconnected with my fans because I tried to do this other stuff, you know? These records were good but they weren’t what I started with.” said Yachty.
Another thing that played part in the album flopping was its lack of radio singles. In this day and age one of the main ways to boost your numbers is to have a song on the radio, and none of Lil Yachtys made the cut. For someone who’s come up was navigated by successful radio singles, Yachty really missed the mark with this one.
Luckily Yachty says that the album Lil Boat 2 is done. Surely since he can identify what was wrong with this album he’ll get it right on the next one, right? We’ll have to wait and see. Check out the full interview here, and be sure to stay on the lookout for that Lil Boat 2.
Lil Yachty is an American recording artist and entrepreneur. Born August 23,1996 in Mableton, Georgia, Lil Yachty has managed his share of fame through the release of his 2016 projects “Summer Songs 2” and “Lil Boat.” His most recent project didn’t do so well. His debut album, “Teenage Emotions” was released in 2017, and sold less than 50,000 copies in its first week. In a recent discussion, with Interview Magazine, Yachty explained his frustration and disappointment with the first-week numbers. According to Lil Yachty, he felt as if he disconnected with his fans because he wasn’t making the music they usually would expect from him. Many times in the music industry, this one thing alone affects the success of musical compositions. A disconnect between the artist and the listener often creates a rift that is often is hard to shake off. Luckily for Yachty, he understands the importance of this, which has allowed him to regain a lot of that momentum he entered the industry with. His joint venture deal with Quality Control Music and Capitol Records has increased his brand tremendously, as he has locked in endorsements with Sprite and Nautica, which is his favorite clothing line. Destined to prove to the world that he is here for the long-term, Yachty has recently featured on chart-topping songs with the industry’s elite. He is now currently gearing for the release of his sophomore album, “Lil Boat 2,” which he confirmed is done via an Instagram live post to his fans. Stay tuned for all Lil Yachty has to offer this year.
The songstress Cassie is out with another hit. Her new single, “Don’t Play It Safe,” is set to make a debut today.
She is far from playing it safe in this new video. The video includes visuals of animals, like lions and tigers. The beautiful singer and her captivating voice are both showcased in the new video.
Cassie is best known for her song “Me and You,” which made the billboard charts. She has since taken a break from the music industry, to focus on more business related pursuits. However, she is not back, with new music, and fans cannot wait to hear what else she has in store.
Cassie has recently been noted to talk about her new album. She is working with fresh producers that are experienced in producing a unique quality and high sound. Cassie is excited about the new landscape that she is embarking on, and we heard the new single as well.
She has been featured on social media and on other outlets, promoting her new single.
“Don’t Play It Safe,” is a new opportunity for fans to get in touch with Cassie and the raw talent that she has offered since she hit the ground running as a new artist.
If you would like to see the video and its spectacular arrangement, please click here.
Cassie has been spotted celebrating the release of her new single, with gal pals, in Hollywood, CA. The singer is not only known for her fantastic pipes, but also for her elegant style. Of course, she looked amazing as usual!
Congratulations Cassie! We wish you all the success for your new single!