The string of impressive tracks that she’s released online over the past two years have established Kitty as an adept if controversial rapper (at least among people who can’t stand it when women make rap songs). But with her new EP Frostbite, she’s moved into more of a dance-pop space that sounds sort of like Britney Spears getting stoned and falling down a Tumblr rabbit hole. Her latest single, “Second Life,” is basically a chill-out techno song by an apparently brony-affiliated producer named PinkiePieSwear given a drum ‘n’ bass remix by Anamanaguchi’s Ary Warnaar, topped by Kitty’s now-trademark hypnotic vocals.
Tag: Hip-Hop/Rap (1-10 of 949)
Rick Ross on chanting 2 Live Crew on the playground -- and the first time he fell in love with a stripper
Rick Ross has developed a musical signature built on louche bombast and cinematic drama. His latest album, the recently-released Hood Billionaire, maintains the high standards to which all bosses must aspire.
But what artists, songs, and albums helped form the Ross perspective? EW caught up with the Bawse for a conversation about his musical development, his rap obsessions, and his plan for the most badass funeral in hip-hop history. READ FULL STORY
Last night Time Inc. chief content officer Norm Pearlstine hosted a screening at the Time-Life building of the new documentary Nas: Time is Illmatic, followed by a conversation between Nas and venture capitalist and unlikely rap fan Ben Horowitz. The film recounts the rapper’s rise to fame with his earth-shaking 1994 debut, Illmatic, from his childhood in Queensbridge through Illmatic‘s runaway success, and examines the ways it still reverberates through hip-hop culture.
After the movie Nas took the stage with Horowitz, where he admitted that he wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about the film project at first, but warmed to the idea over time. He also revealed some candid thoughts on stardom (“You never really get used to it, but there are worse things that can happen”), being compared to Walt Whitman (“It kind of goes over my head”), and whether or not he still thinks hip-hop is dead (“The spirit is still alive, but things need to die so new things can take over”).
Nas: Time is Illmatic is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video, and Vudu, and it airs tonights at 9 p.m. on Showtime.
The thing about Nicki Minaj’s “Only” is that it’s a weird single. There’s the beat, which takes the trend for minimalist rap beats to such an extreme that parts of the song are practically a cappella. And there’s the complicated interplay between Nicki and her guest stars and Young Money labelmates Drake and Lil Wayne, which twists the usual pop-song sexual dynamics into kinky new shapes with a passing resemblance to the dominatrix-slave relationship. And then there’s all the strangeness that the song has acquired since it was released at the end of October, including its seemingly Nazi-themed animated lyric video and the guest star Chris Brown’s very messy, very public breakup with girlfriend Karrueche Tran for apparently Drake-related reasons.
“Weird,” then, is a fitting theme of the official live-action “Only” video, which is piled high with music video shorthand for bizarreness. Here’s a bunch of injured dudes in wheelchairs! There’s Chris Brown in the kind of creepy colored contacts that juggalos love! Dominatrixes! Eyes Wide Shut masks! Superfluous metal shelving!
The other thing about “Only” is that it’s straight fire, and even if the video tries a little too hard to seem “edgy,” it also has Nicki propped up majestically on a pair of crazy heels doing Nicki things. So it still gets an A.
With all the headlines Wiz Khalifa’s breakup with Amber Rose generated, it can be easy to forget that he also released one of the biggest rap albums of the year, not to mention one of the songs most likely to make you want to cause property damage in the club. Next Friday’s episode of Guitar Center Sessions at 9 p.m. on DirecTV’s Audience channel puts the focus firmly on Wiz’s music with a full-band performance of some of his greatest hits so far.
We have an early look at the syrupy, synth-heavy rendition of “The Sleaze.” Break out your official Taylor Gang G-Pen and enjoy.
Last year on the set of their upcoming political-assassination-themed buddy movie The Interview, Seth Rogen and James Franco were inspired to create a shot-for-shot remake of Kanye’s Kim Kardashian-starring “Bound 2″ video that ended up somehow going more viral than the original itself. Among the clip’s many fans was Kanye himself.
He liked it so much, in fact, that he went and played Seth Rogen the entire follow-up to his Yeezus album, making Rogen one of the people on earth who’ve heard the album, an exclusive and seemingly randomly assembled group that includes rapper Theophilus London and about 20 people at a Fashion Week party, although he might be the only one who’s actually had the album rapped directly to him by the artist himself.
According to an upcoming Rolling Stone profile:
Shortly after his and James Franco’s parody of the rapper’s “Bound 2″ video—”Bound 3,” in which the actor played the role of topless Kim Kardashian—West cornered Rogen at a New York hotel and invited him to his limo van for a listening session with a twist. “There’s no lyrics, only beats,” Rogen said. “So he raps the whole album, and after each song, he stops it, like, ‘So what do you think?’ We were in the van for two hours!”
With Marina Abramović having a big pop-culture moment right now, it wouldn’t be super surprising if Kanye takes the one-on-one performance concept on the road.
There’s no shortage of Next Big Things in rap right now, but 19-year-old Tunji Ige is starting to rapidly pull away from the rest of the pack. After putting himself on the map with a well-timed collaboration with rising hip-hop eccentrics iLoveMakonnen and Michael Christmas, last week Ige released The Love Project, a full-length full of dark and moody post-Drake vibes whose luxurious build quality belie the fact that they were recorded in his dorm room.
The album’s latest single is “The Love Project (Ooh Ooh).” Its brand-new video turns up the song’s alienated and insomniac feel by sending Ige out to wander the deserted streets and empty bodegas of late-night Brooklyn.
Some musicians treat their yet-to-be-released material like state secrets, keeping them on encrypted hard drives guarded by a security detail and threatening to sue into oblivion anyone who leaks them. Then you have Timbaland, who just premiered a song with one of the most sought-after artists in all of pop music through a video selfie.
On Saturday, the superstar producer posted a YouTube video of him singing along to a new track called “UFO” featuring Andre 3000 and Chicago singer Tink, who’s become Timbaland’s latest muse (and whose Winter’s Diary 2 mixtape was one of 2014’s best R&B releases). Three Stacks’ verse sounds pretty great, and will probably sound even better when there’s a version without Tim rapping over it.
“UFO” follows Timbaland’s debut of his Tink-assisted Rick Ross and Jay Z collab “Movin’ Bass” that he premiered on a Chicago hip-hop station’s morning show last month.
Earlier this week, the Wu-Tang Clan released A Better Tomorrow—its first group effort since 2007 and its sixth LP overall since 1993’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). While the album is, in many ways, a return to form, it swaps out the grimy claustrophobia of 36 Chambers for spacious sonics that help to underline how far the group’s grown over the years.
No member has come farther than the group’s producer and de facto leader RZA, who’s turned his love of movies into a successful multifaceted film career—along with developing a side hustle as a semi-professional philosopher. During a break at a video shoot, Bobby Digital sat down for a haircut and a quick chat with EW about the new Wu record—and why the original 1954 version of Sabrina was his favorite movie of the year.
DJ Khaled occupies a unique position in the pop world. While he’s spent decades working as a DJ, producer, rapper, and radio personality, he’s best known simply for his ability to bring together the biggest rappers in the world for platinum posse cuts with his name topping the credits, even if his main contribution to the track is a bunch of super-enthusiastic ad libs. It’s industry flex elevated to a legitimate art form, and a reflection of a lifetime spent on grinding in the Miami rap scene.
With “Hold You Down,” his first real attempt at adapting his formula for R&B (featuring Jeremih, Future, August Alsina, and Chris Brown on vocals), wedged firmly in the Hot 100 and a new headphone line about to drop, Khaled got on the phone with EW to talk about his superhuman hustle.
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