Posts in Category: Music Industry

Recent News Article About Rap and R&B Music and Album Reviews

N.E.R.D is back on the scene with a new track with Rihanna called “Lemon”. Many hip hop fans have been looking forward to seeing this act hit the stage again. In this hot collaboration, Rihanna shows that she knows how to get down on a funky hip hop track. This may lead to N.E.R.D. helping Rihanna come out with a hip hop album.

Kendrick Lamar continues to rock the microphone in the hip hop world. NERD dropped their new single “Don’t Don’t Do It”. Fortunately, this hot single features one of the hottest hip hop artists around today. This track was influenced by the talented Pharrell.

The overall sound of this new song has a unique texture and vibe that can capture your attention with ease. The track starts off with a laid back beat and smooth lyrics written by Frank Ocean. The track suddenly switches to a hard beat as Pharell says, “Don’t Do It.” It’s also important to note that there are guitar strings and hard-hitting drums in the background.

At the top of the song, Kendrick blesses the track with his platinum voice. It’s easy to see that Kendrick has no problem with blending in with the song and hitting his stride. Kendrick managed to hit 100 bars on the track within a matter of seconds. How many rappers can say they can hit 100 bars on a track within seconds?

The sky continues to be the limit for these talented music stars. Hopefully, they will continue to entertain us with their flair and voices.

Jay-Z is Still Focused

The weight of a marriage can crush anyone when the pieces fall apart for a normal working-class couple. This may be elevated a thousand times over for people like Jay-Z and Beyonce that are in the spotlight. As a musician, however, Jay-Z found an outlet in his music. He was able to present a whole new way for people to look at what he was going through, and this is all neatly packaged in his “4:44” album.

Jay-Z has taken a lot of big steps to keep his private business private, but after his wife released an album that was almost autobiographical for this year. Jay-Z felt compelled to bring things full circle with his album. Both of these are grammy-nominated albums, and it appears that Jay Z is opening up even more about how many of these songs have been made. People were expecting Kanye West to arrive on production, but West is more of a side story that Jay-Z comments on and not a producer.

The production is not the same for Timberland, Just Blaze or Kanye West production from the past, but people will instantly recognize this album as something that they are familiar with.

Jay-Z creates more crafty storytelling moments here, and he presents a lot of issues about race in America in addition to the relationship issues that he touches on. Jay-Z takes on a lot of subjects on an album that is less than 60 minutes in length. He is building a strong end of the road type of body of work as he inches towards 50 years old.

Many people may have assumed that she had nothing else left to contribute to rap, but these songs show that Jay-Z is just as focused and even more aware of his surroundings right now.

How Jay-Z Returned to Rap Game

Jay-Z has returned to rap game with a very interesting album. The “4:44” album has proven to be a critically acclaimed work from Jay-Z that examines his personal life and things that he has experienced as he transitions from a young rapper with drug tells to an older mogul that is now a husband and a father.

Jay Z hits deep as he goes over things like infidelity, trust issues and other issues that have occurred in his life in recent years. He really gives consumers of his music a great perspective on how he has grown as an artist and a person. He is nominated for Grammys for album of the year, and it appears that he is one of the best contenders when it comes to these type of awards even though he is older than a lot of his competition. Jay-Z have proven over the years that he is consistent, and this is another point where he is getting accolades for his work.

There is a strong amount of interest in this album even though it is one of the shortest albums that Jay-Z has created. He worked closely with Kanye West mentor No ID to bring this album to life.

There is a great backline story from producer No ID about how he did not initially even want to work on this album. He has created a masterpiece when it comes to instrumental loops and samples, but it was a hard road to conceptualize what tracks would actually make the album. No ID actually put together as many as 500 Beats. Jay-Z would have to sort through tons of beats that were already created by this album.
Jay-Z considered many beats.

“4:44” album is something of a classic when one considers his catalog.

Kendrick Lamar Cites UFO Sighting as Child in Recent Howard Stern Interview

Kendrick Lamar, the noted Emcee behind hits like ‘Humble,’ and ‘I,’ and considered by many Hip-Hop Heads to be one of the greatest of all time, stopped by the Howard Stern on the 12th of December to talk shop, personal life, and his seven Grammy nominations. No doubt blessed when it comes to lyrical wordplay, Kendrick described an encounter with another celestial force on the Stern show. Listeners were surprised to learn that Lamar reports being witness to a UFO over Compton when he was around six years old. No one believes him, Lamar says, but he doesn’t care, and remains adamant about the encounter.

This isn’t the first time Lamar has spoken of the UFO sighting, even going so far as to offer details on the sighting in another interview with Jo Jo Wright in 2014. Lamar told Jo Jo at the time that one day when he was around six years old he and his mother were on their balcony in Compton when he looked up and observed what he calls ‘a dart’ flash quickly across the sky. The rapper says his mother didn’t see the quick unidentified object burst across the sky, and jokes that she still doesn’t believe him to this day.

In the same interview, Lamar says he’s seen ghosts and spirits as well, but doesn’t elaborate. As far as his UFO sighting though, Kendrick says it changed him and made him believe there is something more out there. On Howard Stern, co-host Robin Quivers joked perhaps Lamar had been abducted to which the rapper playfully responded he probably did, and said aliens probably gave him the energy to make his music. You can read a write up on Lamar’s original interview with Jo Jo Wright here: a High Snobriety report on the recent Howard Stern interview here:

2017 Best Hip Hop and R & B Albums

2016 was a great year for R&B and hip-hop, thanks to remarkable albums from Beyoncé (Lemonade), Frank Ocean (Blonde), and Chance the Rapper (Coloring Book). With 2017 coming to a close, here is a list of the albums that have made a mark in the minds of listeners:

Kendrick Lamar (Damn)

Damn by Kendrick Lamar provides listeners with 55 minutes of stunning, exhilarating, and thrilling artistry. This being his 3rd label release, Kendrick comes out as unpredictable, introspective, and very honest. Each song is different, representing a unique world. But they can all be interwoven to depict a man committed to his fight against vices and his continued search for God.

Drake (More Life)

In More Life, Drake delivers a playlist that is not only well polished but one that stands out due to its all-star production. With this release, Drake chose to ditch the traditional album format, instead choosing to go with something that helps him deliver a more carefree attitude. The playlist does not take itself seriously in any way, which enables it delivers a standout performance. More Life is also a clear step up from all his past efforts.

Rick Ross (Rather You Than Me)

“Rather You Than Me” is Rick Ross’s 9th studio album. Rick Ross delivers refreshing honesty using his lyricism throughout the album. But it also strikes a balance between his traditional Mafioso imagery and the luxury boasts while also delivering cleaver lyrics all through. He has used his experience in the rap game to repackage the album in a manner that helps him portray his strengths in a project that embodies all the qualities that have him the rapper he is today.

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.”

Eminem’s New Album Officially Announced

The long wait is over for Eminem fans across the world. The rapper’s highly anticipated ninth album, revealed today as Revival, is set to release on December 15, 2017. As with many of his other projects, Eminem elected to keep the name and release date of this album under wraps for as long as possible.

The mystery was officially unraveled today on Twitter when Dr. Dre broke the news just after lunch. Dre posted what looked like a standard medicine commercial for a product known as Revival — but the commercial does a 180 about half-way in. The unnamed actor reveals that “Revival” is not really a medicine, but is the name of Eminem’s much-discussed new album. This was the final piece of an overall silly marketing campaign led by Dr. Dre and Aftermath Records.

Since early July, Eminem fans have tried connecting strange messages regarding the album on social media. Despite the fun marketing ploy, Eminem has remained active in front of the media for other reasons, too. Earlier this month, Eminem and Skylar Grey opened the EMA awards with the new single “Walk on Water.” Not long before that, the rapper went viral with a brutal freestyle that pointed the finger at all of his fans that support Trump.

All politics aside, Eminem’s first album in almost five years is coming out next month. This is a big deal for hip-hop and the music industry at large. One of the bestselling artists of all time is vying for his billboard revival.

Big Boi of Outkast Is Adjusting to the Current Music Industry Reality

Big Boi of Outkast has been active in the rap industry since 1991. In the decades since he’s seen a lot of changes in how musicians make music and how fans consume it. Consumers now expect nearly instant releases and access to songs right away. In the past, the musicians had much more time to perfect their albums before release.

Big Boi recently dropped the release “Boomiverse, ” and he’s staying active to stay relevant with fans. The album contains lots of guest appearances by other rappers and boasts a futuristic theme. Big Boi, whose real name is Antwan André Patton, is staying with the times regarding music trends.

Digital Music Downloads Are Driving Sales

He recently said that he knows the days of platinum-selling albums are long over. Musicians these days must embrace technology or face obsolescence. He now thinks that music must be an immersive medium for people to engage.

Patton says he doesn’t plan on turning into a musician who “microwaves” songs and pushes them out quickly, Instead, he plans on sticking with his winning formula of taking two to three years to produce albums of a high caliber. Even though the music does not pull in as much money as it did in the past, the performer says it builds the brand. Patton remains active with touring and merchandising and said he continues to find a real passion for making music.

Patton’s partner, Andre “3000” Benjamin is making less music these days and is focusing more on his acting career. Big Boi has released three solo albums this decade and is promoting his new animated video for “In The South.”