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Tag: Hip-Hop/Rap (91-100 of 844)

Album sales: J. Cole rises to No. 1, outsells Kanye West

When no one was watching, J. Cole stole the throne: The Roc Nation rapper’s Born Sinner has not only crept up to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, but it’s also outselling Kanye West’s Yeezus.

J. Cole’s latest first charted three weeks ago, where it debuted at No. 2 behind West. But Sinnger has since taken advantage of a relatively slow month in music (remember, Wale was the last week’s No. 1) and become the rare album to top the chart without debuting there. As Soundscan reports, the album sold 58,000 copies in the last frame, which Billboard points out is “the sixth-smallest sales week for the top-selling album in the SoundScan era.” Still, that brings its total sales to 439,000, while Yeezus – which debuted the same day and currently sits at No. 3 — has only mustered 431,000 in sales to date.

Meanwhile, stuck in the middle of all this is Wale’s The Gifted, which fell from the top spot to No. 2, with 50,000. Of course, all these rappers will have to clear the way for Jay-Z, whose Magna Carta Holy Grail will register next week. Current projections have that landing in the 350-400,000 range, even though everyone knows it’s already platinum anyway.

M.I.A. finds more controversy, this time with her label over her documentary -- watch the trailer here

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Musically, M.I.A. has lived up to her name — at least as it pertains to her forever-delayed new album Matangi.

The album has been bumped from a number of planned release dates, and at the moment it doesn’t have a place on the calendar. Which is strange, especially considering she’s a critically-beloved artist who had two major culture-jamming singles in “Paper Planes” and “Bad Girls.”

But it seems as though the delay may be because she’s on the outs with her label, Roc Nation (who, according to M.I.A., do not approve of positive jams). Along with Matangi, M.I.A. has been working on a documentary about her life with director Steve Loveridge.

The doc has been similarly delayed, and over the weekend Loveridge put up a five minute teaser for the flick on his Tumblr. YouTube pulled the video based on a copyright claim that came from the label; shortly thereafter, Loveridge published this vividly worded e-mail exchange between himself and a representative from Roc Nation.

The teaser was re-uploaded to Vimeo, and you can watch it below.  READ FULL STORY

Willow Smith returns with 'Summer Fling' video: Watch it here

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While father Will and brother Jaden were off hanging with giant bird creatures and making choices about fear, Willow Smith got back to the business of her supposedly on-hiatus singing career.

Even though she’s only 12 years old and has yet to put out an album, Smith has already one legitimate hit (2010′s “Whip My Hair,” which peaked at no. 11 on the Hot 100) and several lesser singles (“21st Century Girl,” the Nicki Minaj-featuring “Fireball,” “I Am Me”).

Now, after dipping her toe in again with January’s “Sugar and Spice,”  she’s back with “Summer Fling.” The track, released under the name Melodic Chaotic (a duo consisting of Smith and a producer named MVSIC), is all Drake vibes and robo-bleats, and the video is full of questionable hair choices and trampolines. Watch it below.  READ FULL STORY

Jay-Z's 'Magna Carta Holy Grail': What do you think?

As noted, Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail has been unleashed on Samsung users, and already went platinum before anybody heard a single note.

Of course, because we live in the future, the album was fully available to non-Samsung users moments after the clock struck midnight. There will be a full, in-depth review of Magna Carta Holy Grail on the Music Mix and in next week’s issue of the magazine, but upon first listen, the thing that really jumps out is how impeccable the production sounds. Timbaland, Pharrell, and Swizz Beatz have all brought their individual A games, and it helps prop up some lyrical moments that occasionally feel phoned in (a judgment levied against Jigga over his last few releases).

But what do you think of Magna Carta Holy Grail? How does it stack up against other Jay-Z albums, and how does it compare with other hip-hop albums in 2013? Sound off about your evolving opinions on Magna Carta below.

EW's Fourth of July 2013 playlist: Stream our Spotify playlist here

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Beers! Burgers! Boats! Babes! Bros! Blurred Lines!

That’s right, it’s Fourth of July eve, which means it’s time to get yo’ jubilee on. And to help celebrate the U.S. of A.’s 237th HBD, we’ve put together the ultimate Independence Day playlist to blast at your backyard/rooftop/beach party.

After combing through this year’s choicest summer jams, we’ve recruited a select team of songs from the likes of Kanye, Disclosure, Vampire Weekend, Joey Bada$$ and more — plus a few evergreen oldie-but-goodies. (And before you look askance at foreigners like Disclosure and Daft Punk making our list, remember that America is all about inclusion! Except for “Blurred Lines”; we actually left that one off.)

So, with the power vested in us by Spotify, we hereby present you with our official Fourth of July 2013 playlist. Stream responsibly!

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Album sales: Wale tops chart, Kanye West sees 'Yeezus' fall big

Perhaps it’s fitting that during the Fourth of July holiday, the chart’s top album hails from our nation’s capital: D.C. rapper Wale snagged his first ever No. 1 this week with The Gifted, which debuted with 158,000 in sales.

And while that marks a career-high chart position for the wordy rhymesman, it’s actually a slip sales-wise from his last effort, 2011′s Ambition, which sold 164,000 when it landed at No. 2 in its debut week.

Speaking of slips: last week’s chart-topper, Kanye West’s Yeezus, suffered a steep drop, falling to No. 3 with 65,000 — an 80% drop. As the number-crunchers at Billboard report, all the previous No. 1 albums this year experienced a second-week drop of 69% on average.

And according to Soundscan, Yeezus‘ fall is the fourth-biggest since the service started keeping records in 1991. (The record, if you’re curious, belongs to Madonna’s MDNA, which fell 87% percent after its debut week last year.)

READ FULL STORY

Robin Thicke drops new single 'Give It 2 U': Hear it here

Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” is still the no. 1 song in the country—it’s about to spend its fourth week at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. But the Thicke Express stops for nobody, which is why he’s gone ahead and dropped the second single from his forthcoming Blurred Lines

The song, “Give It 2 U,” is produced by Dr. Luke and features Kendrick Lamar, and like most every Thicke track, it’s dance-ready and a little bit filthy: READ FULL STORY

Jay-Z inspires RIAA to change certification stance

Even though we have yet to hear note one from Jay-Z’s new album Magna Carta Holy Grail, it’s already become one of the most controversial albums of 2013 — at least from a business standpoint.

Starting this Thursday, July 4, owners of Samsung phones will get first crack at Magna Carta Holy Grail. The first one million Samsung users will be claiming their free copies of the album, which led to an interesting question: Does that mean that Magna Carta Holy Grail is already platinum, even though it’s not even on sale yet?

The definitive answer is: yes and no. Yesterday, the RIAA announced that it will start counting digital sales towards Gold and Platinum certification right away, rather than wait the traditional 30 days after an album’s release. The old rule was in place to account for returns on unsold merchandise (Gold and Platinum certifications are based on copies shipped to stores, not copies sold). But because you can’t return an iTunes download, the organization has decided to amend its policy—just in time to certify Magna Carta Holy Grail.

“Not only do we believe it’s sensible and logical to align digital album rules with those we have maintained for digital singles since the program’s inception, we also consider today’s move in line with our larger efforts to modernize the G&P Program to reflect the new music marketplace,” the RIAA’s Liz Kennedy said in a press release. “The reality is that how fans consume music is changing, the music business is changing as labels and artists partner with a breathtaking array of new technology services, and the industry’s premier award recognizing artists’ commercial achievement should similarly keep pace.”

Since Samsung already pre-purchased one million digital downloads of Magna Carta Holy Grail, it will be eligible for platinum certification immediately. However, the chart-keepers at Billboard will still not be recognizing those sales of the album on its weekly charts. READ FULL STORY

New video round-up: Pink finds 'True Love' with Lily Allen, Ciara and Nicki Minaj drop it low on 'I'm Out'

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A good rule for children at the pool is “always swim with a buddy.” Replace the word “swim” with “booty pop” and “violently cut carrots,” and you have the new videos from Ciara feat. Nicki Minaj and Pink feat. Lily Allen, respectively.

Pink’s “True Love” finds the singer cavorting about with husband Carey Hart and daughter Willow. There are also some flashy psychedelic colors, footage of her trapeze act from her last tour, and track collaborator Lily Allen whipping up a smoothie full of rage (and fiber!). Check out the flashy clip below.
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Kanye West's 'Yeezus' tops chart, though he doesn't beat his own sales record

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Looks like Kanye West’s no-radio strategy has paid off: Yeezus has landed on the top of the Billboard albums chart, with 327,000 copies sold in its debut week.

For some historical context, that’s the biggest week for a rap album since 2011, when Drake moved 631,000 units of Take Care.

As for West’s own discography, Yeezus marks the rapper’s sixth consecutive album (Watch the Throne included) to premiere at No. 1; only his very first album, 2004′s The College Dropout, debuted outside the top spot (it bowed at No. 2). It’s also his lowest selling debut week: his last solo record, the 2010 opus My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, topped the chart with 496,000 in its first week.

Still, Yeezus‘ performance was strong enough to make it the year’s third-highest sales week for an album, bested only by Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience (968,000) and Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories (339,000).

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