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Tag: Hip-Hop/Rap (91-100 of 883)

Eminem defends gay slurs: 'I think people know my personal stance on things'

Eminem’s new album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 comes out tomorrow, and in the lead-up to its release, there have essentially been two conversations happening. The first is obvious: Is MMLP2 any good? (EW’s Nick Catucci is conflicted.) But the second is a bit more complicated: In 2013, what’s the deal with Eminem still using gay slurs, especially on the single “Rap God”?

In that song, Eminem takes down rivals with the lines “Little gay-looking boy / So gay I can barely say it with a straight face-looking boy” and “You f–s think it’s all a game ’til I walk a flock of flames.” Those lines have both widespread controversy and confusion, considering Slim Shady has constantly had to walk back his stance on homosexuals.

He attempted to clear everything up in the pages of Rolling Stone this week: “I don’t know how to say this without saying it how I’ve said it a million times,” he told the magazine. “But that word, those kind of words, when I came up battle-rappin’ or whatever, I never really equated those words . . .”

At that point, the writer helps him along. “To mean homosexual?” he asks.  READ FULL STORY

Spike Jonze previews this Sunday's YouTube Music Awards, featuring Eminem, Lady Gaga, and Arcade Fire

Director Spike Jonze has had a busy 2013: He produced Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (currently the number one movie in the country), his next directorial effort Her is set to roll out at Christmas, and this Sunday, he’ll oversee the first ever YouTube Music Awards.

The show, which celebrates both high-octane stars and viral upstarts, will beam live from New York City’s Pier 36 and will feature performances by Eminem, Lady Gaga, and Arcade Fire. The whole thing will be hosted by Jason Schwartzman and Reggie Watts and will air live (naturally) on YouTube beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern on Sunday.

But what will the show actually look like, and how will it differentiate itself from the other music award shows crowding the calendar? Jonze spoke to EW about the process of putting it together, the goals for the evening, and more.

Entertainment Weekly: How long have you been working on this show? How did you get involved?
Spike Jonze: About six months ago, YouTube approached Vice and I about creating and producing their first music awards. It seemed like such a natural thing both for them and for me. I’ve always loved YouTube and the idea that anyone can make something and put it up. There’s no gatekeeper anymore—someone can just be creative and share it.

We came up with the idea that this night should be all about making things. So we’re giving awards to people who made things this year, but we’re also trying to make the whole awards show feel like a YouTube video. It’s about being creative and making things, and one of the main parts of that is we’re making live music videos with these artists, and as opposed to artists performing on a stage to an audience, though there might be some of that too if that’s the idea. It’s more about making these live videos in front of and with the audience that is there.

So will the artists be performing in full-scripted, narrative-type videos?
Some of them will be more straightforward performance videos, but some will be more conceptual. READ FULL STORY

Eminem's 'Marshall Mathers LP2,' streaming now -- Is this a new, self-aware Slim Shady?

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Eminem wouldn’t be Eminem—or Slim Shady, or Marshall Mathers—if he didn’t allot some of his whizbang rhymes to homophobic slurs and misogynistic fantasies. “Rap God,” a single from his eighth album in which he belittles unnamed rivals as “fags” and “gay,” kicked up the latest in a long line of debates about his compulsion to attack women and gay men.

But on The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (which is streaming now on iTunes, ahead of its Nov. 5 sale date), the 41-year-old works his me-or-my-demons shell game more furiously than ever. On the seven-minute-plus opener “Bad Guy,” he imagines his own commeuppance, as the brother of his old stalker character “Stan” kidnaps Em to avenge his late sibling. Facing death, Marshall hears his “lack of a conscience”: “I’m the bullies you hate, that you became/With every faggot you slaughtered/Coming back on ya, every woman you insult/That, with the double standard you had when it comes to your daughters.”

READ FULL STORY

Eminem drops Rihanna-assisted 'The Monster': Hear it here

Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 doesn’t arrive until next Tuesday, but we’ve already heard the intense “Survival,” the throwback banger “Berzerk,” and the battle-ready “Rap God.” Now comes the Rihanna reunion “The Monster,” which just arrived on the Internet.

RiRi previously appeared, of course, on Em’s chart-topping single “Love the Way You Lie” back in 2010, and he returned the favor by lending “Love the Way You Lie (Part II)” to her Loud album that same year. Mr. Mathers also dropped in on Rihanna’s “Numb,” from her 2012 release Unapologetic. 

“The Monster” has a slightly jumpier tempo than the pair’s other collaborations, but it still finds Rihanna playing the songbird sounding-board to Em’s weary confessional rhyme spitter. It doesn’t have the same sort of chart-topping grandeur that “Love the Way You Lie” had, but it does sound like the most radio-read crossover track we’ve heard from The Marshall Mathers LP 2 thus far.

You can buy “The Monster” on iTunes starting at midnight; until then, listen below: READ FULL STORY

Check out Darryl 'DMC' McDaniels' new comic book -- EXCLUSIVE

Back in July, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels — one third of legendary hip-hop trio Run DMC — launched Darryl Makes Comics, a new comic book company.

Not only is DMC the CEO, but he’s also the protagonist of the new DMC comic, which is just about to premiere. The book finds McDaniels making the transition from rapper to superhero — just as he did when he made his way from Darryl to DMC.

It’s the long-awaited kickoff of a passion project for McDaniels. “This production is first and foremost respectable and legitimate to comic-book culture,” he told Entertainment Weekly back in July. “The same things DC and Marvel did, the same stories and passion is what this is first. My comic-book passion has always been there, but I never pursued it; but I didn’t want to be a hip-hop dude trying to do a hip-hop comic book.”

Check out the exclusive EW premiere of the first few pages of DMC below.  READ FULL STORY

Eminem reveals 'Marshall Mathers LP 2' tracklist: Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, more to guest

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Kendrick Lamar! Rihanna! That one guy from fun.!

All those characters will be featured on Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2, he revealed today. Em also dropped new cover art and the full tracklist for the upcoming effort, due out Nov. 5.

As expected, the previously released video-game song “Survival” and the retro single “Berzerk” both made it onto the record. His old pal Rihanna shows up on a number called “The Monster,” as does his other lady-friend Skylar Grey, who’s listed on a song titled “Asshole.”

Perhaps most notably, fellow Dr. Dre protege Kendrick Lamar guests on something called “Love Game,” a collaboration that’s destined to break the rap-internet when it leaks. And randomly, fun.’s Nate Ruess — a person who sort of seems like someone Em would’ve mocked in his “The Real Slim Shady” days — pops up on the second-to-last track “Headlights.”

Mercifully, MMLP2 contains only one skit.

In keeping with the Detroit-tough theme, the album’s lineup shows up on the back cover art of a condemned-building notice issued by his bankrupt hometown (see above). The very not-bankrupt Dr. Dre and Rick Rubin, who serve as the album’s executive producers, are touted prominently as well. It’s all meant to complement the front cover that he tweeted out last month, featuring an updated image of his childhood house — the same one that appeared on the original Marshall Mathers LP back in 2000.

Check out the full tracklist below:

READ FULL STORY

Eminem drops video for video-game song 'Survival': Watch it here

Hey, remember before how before Eminem dropped the Rick Rubin-produced Top 10 single “Berzerk,” he also released a song for the Call of Duty: Ghosts soundtrack?

Sure you do — “Survival” was the first new Eminem song you’d heard in a long time, so it surely has a special place in your 2013 diary entries. Now the track’s got a video as well, and it’s all you’d expect: grittiness, graffiti-ness, and video game-iness, all in one clip.

Check it out below:

READ FULL STORY

Pusha T, the Last Great Gangsta Rapper

How gangsta is Pusha T? So gangsta that on his first official solo album, the killer My Name Is My Name, the marvelously menacing Virginia rapper includes a soaring inspirational anthem, “Hold On”—and invites the profoundly unsentimental Rick Ross to join him on it. (Though “[you] couldn’t fathom my wealth/Build a school in Ethiopia/should enroll there myself” may be Ross’s most civic-minded statement yet.) He’s so gangsta that he calls a song that features Chris Brown “Sweet Serenade.” He’s so gangsta that he has Jeezy, a relic of the peak-thug era, rap on “No Regrets.”

Pusha—one half of the sadly dormant coke rap duo Clipse, prolific mixtape and guest rapper and member of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music—sums himself up this way on “No Regrets”: “Nowadays I sell hope/what, you rather I sell dope?/What I sell is a lifestyle/naked bitches on sailboats.” That’s “hope” the way Rick Ross can understand it. Pusha remains a deadpan, do-it-to-death thug whose self-awareness never undermines his drug-dealer fairy tales.

Which makes him an exception among the great rappers with recent albums. Danny Brown, who just released the terrific Old, uses meanness as just another one of his masks. Drake surrenders to complexity—he’s tougher on Nothing Was the Same, but still like a boyfriend who’s needy at home and aloof around your friends. On Doris, Earl Sweatshirt is utterly—and engrossingly—cerebral. And then there are the A$APs: image jockey Rocky and the inspiringly weird Ferg. Pusha may be the last gangsta standing—not an anachronistic monolith, but a living, snarling monument to hardcore hip hop.

READ FULL STORY

Lauryn Hill leaves jail, puts out new track 'Consumerism': Hear it here

It seems like only yesterday legendary (and legendarily nutty) rapper Lauryn Hill went to jail for tax evasion, though it’s safe to assume that the three months that have elapsed since she was booked has moved significantly slower for her.

Regardless, she’s a free woman today, and she has used her time inside usefully in the form of new music. A day ahead of her release from the minimum security complex in Danbury, Connecticut, Hill unleashed a new track via her official Tumblr called “Consumerism.”

The tune was recorded before she went away and was mixed while she was serving her sentence. “We did our best to eek out a mix via verbal and emailed direction, thanks to the crew of surrogate ears on the other side,” Hill explained on Tumblr.

“Consumerism” is a natural extension of “Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix),” which Hill released just before she reported to prison. It’s got the same rapid-fire cadence and jittery production, with Hill spitting out a lightning-quick series of “isms.”

It’s the first of a series of songs that will appear under the header Letters From Exile. “Letters From Exile is material written from a certain space, in a certain place,” Hill wrote. “I felt the need to discuss the underlying socio-political, cultural paradigm as I saw it.”

Listen to the song below: READ FULL STORY

Justin Timberlake, Jay Z, and the long legacy of album sequels

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

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