Guest verses have always been a part of hip-hop, but they’ve grown in popularity over the years for a number of reasons: they put new talent in people’s ears, they keep established rappers sharp, and they keep the slightly gladiatorial element of competition between performers alive in an era when freestyle battle raps are seen as slightly antiquated. The right featured guest can turn a single into a smash—but it can also backfire if that rapper outshines the song’s main artist. But when that does happen, the results can be pretty magical. Here are 10 notable examples of guest rappers appearing on other rappers’ songs—and completely blowing them away. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Dr. Dre (1-10 of 35)
Guess who’s getting his money right?
After weeks of rumors, Apple has finally come clean with the announcement that it will acquire Beats headphones manufacturer Beats Electronics, as well as “the critically acclaimed subscription streaming music service Beats Music,” for a total of about $3 billion, making this Apple’s largest takeover deal ever. And no, the company didn’t forget about Dre: Both Beats cofounders, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, will join the tech giant as a result of the sale.
“I’ve always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple,” said Jimmy Iovine. “The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple’s unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple’s deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is something special.” (You’ll have to read between the lines to find the dollar signs.) READ FULL STORY
This week saw the early streaming release of Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience — 2 of 2 – you can listen to the whole thing in its entirety over at iTunes right now (and then read the official EW review).
2 of 2 is the sequel to March’s The 20/20 Experience, Timberlake’s long-awaited return to pop music. It’s also the latest in a relatively recent phenomenon: The album sequel. (Add Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 coming in November, to the list.) If movies can do it, why can’t the music world?
With these releases in mind, it’s time to look back at the best examples of album sequels. They don’t all work (in fact, a lot of them do not—be wary of rappers returning to old titles that weren’t that good in the first place), but these are the 10 best, in no particular order.
Jay Z, Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life
Jigga has had two different sets of sequels, but his In My Lifetime series is consistently stronger than those albums that contain the title The Blueprint (the original Blueprint is a stone-cold classic, but its two follow-ups are bloated and inconsistent). Vol. 2 was the album that found Jay crossing over into pop territory, as the Annie-sampling single “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” gave Jay his first jolt of mainstream popularity—which he has ridden into his status as one of our premiere music stars.
Dr. Dre, 2001
The long-awaited, unofficial sequel to Dre’s landmark solo debut The Chronic (in some circles, it’s still called Chronic 2001, it’s long-rumored working title) hits just as hard as its predecessor and features a handful of tracks (including “What’s the Difference?” and especially “The Next Episode”) that sounded instantly timeless—and have remained so. READ FULL STORY
Poor Rick Ross. This week, somebody filled one of his cars with bullet holes, and now a pair of songwriters are taking aim at his wallet.
Ross, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, producer Jake One, and Universal Music Group (the company that houses Ross’ label) have all collectively been sued by Clara Shepherd Warrick and Jimmy Lee Weary, the pair of songwriters responsible for 1976’s “I’m So Grateful (Keep In Touch).” Why would they file such a suit? Because according to papers filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the parties responsible for the God Forgives, I Don’t single “3 Kings” did not properly clear the sample of “I’m So Grateful (Keep In Touch)” around which that song is built. Weary is credited as a co-writer, but the pair says they have not been properly compensated nor did they grant permission for the sample’s use.
Not only do the pair object to the use of their sample, but also to the context in which it was presented. “The video [for ‘3 Kings’] includes very graphic depictions of drug use, vulgarity, nudity, gun violence, criminal conduct, actions demeaning to women, and many other items that are certainly inconsistent with Plaintiffs’ wishes for how Plaintiffs’ song would be portrayed,” the lawsuit said.
The suit is well-timed for maximum exposure, as Ross’ God Forgives, I Don’t is up for Best Rap Album at this Sunday’s Grammy Awards. Jay-Z is also among the most-honored artists, with six nominations.
Give a listen to “3 Kings” and “I’m So Grateful (Keep In Touch)” below. It’s pretty clear the sample is there (no one seems to be denying this), and it’s doubly strange that Weary received a writing credit but apparently no compensation (and Warrick got no notice at all). READ FULL STORY
Looks like acclaimed headphones salesman Dr. Dre just found yet another way to distract us from his eternally unfinished Detox album. “Hey, look over there — it’s Tupac!”
“It’s great,” the Chronic rapper-producer said of the Tupac Shakur hologram he and Snoop Dogg unveiled during their headline performance at Coachella last weekend. “It came out perfect. We’re gonna have a good time with it.”
“I think everybody’s in love with it right now,” he continued. “We’re having fun.”
Of course, all eyez will be on the virtual rapper at this Sunday’s Coachella redux, but the big question still remains: Will Dre be taking Tupac 3000 on the road this summer?
“Thinking about it,” Dre confirmed, while adding that nothing was final yet. The 47-year-old rap star also mentioned that he’s “working on some new and different things for the future” and even hinted that similar holograms of Jimi Hendrix and Marvin Gaye could one day stalk the land as well.
If nothing else, Dr. Dre as movie producer can turn this premise into an amazing horror movie.
Check out Dre’s remarks to TMZ in the video below:
Tupac's hologram was developed by Oscar-winning effects people, cost a ton of money, has a Twitter account
For a lot of hip-hop fans, Tupac Shakur never really died.
Some legitimately believed that, like Elvis before him, Shakur actually faked his own death to duck out of the spotlight. For others, tracks like “California Love” and “I Get Around” simply lend him a less literal kind of immortality.
Of course, that was before the man himself “materialized” on stage at the closing night of the first weekend of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and stole the entire Coachella conversation. “Tupac hologram” almost instantly became one of the most-searched phrases on the Internet, and now more information is emerging about the exceptionally weird technological trick pulled off by headliners Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the hologram was crafted by the Digital Domain Media Group, the visual effects house co-founded by James Cameron and responsible for cutting-edge film tricks in movies like Titanic, Tron: Legacy, the Transformers series, Real Steel, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. READ FULL STORY
Who didn’t Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg trot out to close the Coachella Festival on Sunday night? The full retinue was a veritable Hip Hop Hall of Fame: 50 Cent, Eminem, Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar, Kurupt, Warren G, Nate Dogg (via montage tribute), a two-story LED projection of Frank Sinatra, and a Tupac Shakur hologram. All that was missing was gin and juice gratis for every audience member.
Of course, the West has never been shy to throw up the “W” and the Dogg and Doc delivered a bell-ringing performance to please the hometown crowd. Backed by a full band, the set list was both party-to-go and paean to the last two decades of gangsta rap. After all, when Andre Young dropped The Chronic 20 years ago, the genre retained its marine blue menace and instilled fear into the hearts of sweater-clad suburban parents. Today, Dr. Dre is a gangsta eminence grise and savvy headphone entrepreneur. Meanwhile his one-time sidekick Snoop Dogg has starred in movies, television shows, and leased his star wattage to more products than Ron Popeil.
We’ll have the full run-down of ups and downs from the final day of the first weekend of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival shortly, but the biggest news from Sunday night’s festivities was Tupac Shakur’s return to the stage.
Though the legendary rapper was murdered in 1996, Shakur stole Sunday night’s weekend-closing set by Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg. Appearing as a hologram (as previously rumored), Shakur (or rather, his pixel-mongering image) materialized for the purpose of filling in his verse on “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” as well as taking a solo on “Hail Mary.”
It was a pretty impressive bit of scene-stealing, if only because that stage also saw drop-ins from superstars like Eminem, Wiz Khalifa, and 50 Cent. Check out Tupac’s ghost performing “Hail Mary” and “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” below. READ FULL STORY
It’s April, and that means that it’s time to head to the desert for this year’s Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (or simply Coachella, if you’re nasty). This year’s festival takes place over two separate weekends. Starting today, the lineup will run through Sunday, and then next Friday (April 20), the same lineup will do it again.
This year’s top-liners include Radiohead, the Black Keys, Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg, Bon Iver, At the Drive-In, Florence + the Machine, Pulp, and a ton of dance-music folk like Swedish House Mafia and AVICII. If you’re headed out to the desert or are just curious about the first big event of the summer festival season, here are the five questions that most need answering.
Is Eminem going to crash another party like he did at SXSW? READ FULL STORY
Dr. Dre’s Aftermath imprint has two hotly anticipated albums in the works — his own 4evaNaDay-delayed Detox and newcomer Kendrick Lamar’s major-label debut. “The Recipe” combines the best of both worlds.
Lamar, the rising star of California’s buzzy Black Hippy collective, went on L.A.’s Power 106 this morning to bow the Dre-assisted track, which will serve as the lead single off his upcoming debut. (Alternately, Dre’s Detox is supposed to include a Lamar cameo, but who knows when we’ll hear that.)
Produced by Scoop Deville, the six-minute slow rider is a thoroughly West Coast affair, with the two Compton rappers highlighting what they consider to be the ingredients to Southern Cali’s greatness: “women, weed, and weather.”
Give the track a spin below and let us know if you agree with all the hype surrounding the West Coast’s post-Game comeback.
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