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Tag: Hip-Hop/Rap (91-100 of 929)

Puff Daddy returns with 'Big Homie': Hear it here!

Hot off the heels of re-christening himself Puff Daddy, the man born Sean Combs (also known as Diddy, P. Diddy, Puffy, Shiny Suit Man, One of Dave Chappelle’s Best Impressions, and that guy who is always on top of the Forbes Richest Musicians List despite not making very much music) has a new single called “Big Homie.” It was supposed to drop on Monday, but the streets couldn’t wait, as they say.

“Big Homie” features French Montana and Rick Ross, and the latter is clearly the biggest influence on Puff’s current sound: It’s big, it’s badass-sounding, and it leans into that signature monster plod. But while Ross’ penchant for rapping just behind the beat always sounds like a conscious decision (not even the power of rhythm can move the Bawse), Puff just sounds slightly inept (which is a pretty accurate description of his career-long rhyme style). Everybody is going hard, but by surrounding himself with high-impact blasters in Montana and Ross, Puff highlights the oomph his rapping has always lacked.

Still, “Big Homie” is a reasonable enough return to form for Puff Daddy that it should spark plenty of curiosity for his upcoming album MMM. And props to him for that line “The only one that’s topping Forbes/I’m getting lonely.” Listen to “Big Homie” below.

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West Coast rap rises again: YG, Sage the Gemini, Schoolboy Q, and more

Twenty years ago this spring, Warren G released Regulate…G Funk Era, a triple-platinum album that helped enshrine the louche, laid-back sound of West Coast  hip-hop—“funked out with a gangsta twist,” as his homey Nate Dogg put it. But that era soon fizzled, and after Tupac was killed in ’96, the California scene met with a different funk: years-long commercial doldrums. Only the Game, a  Dr. Dre protégé whose three No. 1 albums are thick with early-to-mid-’90s nostalgia, broke through in the meantime. But the gin-and-juice hangover finally seems to be lifting, as gritty California rappers sidestep or reinvent G-funk and barge back into the mainstream.

Earlier this month, South Central L.A. rapper Schoolboy Q went to No. 1 with his shadowy, ferocious third album, Oxymoron. As the resident gangsta in the Black Hippy collective led by Kendrick Lamar—last year’s most obsessed-over rapper—Q brings a sharp new ambivalence to Tupac’s idea of the thug life. He raps not only about dealing Oxycontin  but also about becoming addicted to Xanax, Percocet, and Valium. On the harrowing “Prescription/Oxymoron,” he even splices in a recording of his young daughter trying to wake him from a drug stupor.

If the dazzling shape-shifter Kendrick is on L.A.’s frontier, the gruff, brutally honest Schoolboy Q represents the West Coast’s uncompromising core. “Real Crippy since I hopped off the swing” is how he sums up his early gang links on “The Purge,” which deliberately teams him with ’90s California notable Kurupt and Odd Future’s Tyler, the Creator (whose crew remains more underground, breakout R&B star Frank Ocean aside). Still, Q doesn’t take himself too seriously: On “Studio,” Oxymoron’s wry love song, he skips the sex “metaphors” and explicitly mimics what else he can do with his tongue.

When YG (pictured)—a Compton upstart with a rugged major-label debut, My Krazy Life, and a long simmering top 20 single, “My Hitta”—reveals his romantic side, he’s no less blunt or amusing. “Do It to Ya” borrows its pillow talk from the playground, and its convivial groove from “Let’s Play House” by Tha Dogg Pound. YG’s less evolved than Schoolboy Q, who guests on Krazy along with Kendrick and big names including Drake and Jeezy, his mentor. But he’s a vivid, unflappable MC, bolstered by key L.A. producer DJ Mustard, the buoyant minimalist who also worked up Tyga’s 2011 smash “Rack City.” If there’s a Compton sound right now, this is it.

The Bay Area’s just as crucial to West Coast hip-hop, of course. 100s, a permed pimp-rap revivalist from Berkeley, pays tribute to Too $hort on the silky, slightly ridiculous mixtape Ivry. But the region’s latest star is the 21-year-old rapper-producer Sage the Gemini. Remember Me, his club-tailored major-label bow, shores up his two radio smashes, the stripped-down twerk anthems “Red Nose” and “Gas Pedal,” with a stream of pulsing beats and drowsy vocals. “I’m trying to keep this here alive,” he raps, calling himself “the Bay’s respirator” on the (actually pretty great) Justin Bieber remix of “Gas Pedal.” But  this isn’t thug life support. The California rap contingent has birthed a whole new era.

Rihanna and Eminem announce a 'Monster' summer tour

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RiRi and Eminem will be rocking stadiums together this summer for The Monster Tour, named for their single off The Marshall Mathers LP2. Here’s that moment, in case you forgot: READ FULL STORY

This radio station's been playing Nelly's 'Hot in Herre' on a loop... since Friday

How hot can it possibly get?

A radio station in San Fransisco has been playing Nelly’s 2002 hit “Hot in Herre” on an endless loop since Friday afternoon. And not because a DJ has gone insane: The loop is part of a publicity stunt. Monday night, the Univision-owned Latino Mix 105.7 is relaunching as Hot 105.7, RadioInsights.com reports. Once the switch happens, the Nelly flashback will stop.

The “Hot In Herre” loop has inspired the hashtag #Nelly1057, which Nelly himself has naturally jumped on.

If you’re not in the Bay area, never fear; put a band-aid on your face and relive 2002 below: READ FULL STORY

SXSW: Rick Ross takes a victory lap, 2 Chainz closes out the weekend

The Syracuse hardcore band Perfect Pussy won the lion’s share of SXSW’s cool-kid attention. Destruction Unit put on some of the week’s most raucous shows. Bigger bands (well, relatively) like Speedy Ortiz, Cloud Nothings, Parquet Courts, and F—ed Up went above and beyond to put on a slew of killer parties.

But who cares about that crap, because Rick Ross has the No. 1 album in the country!!!! Did you know that Rick Ross has the No. 1 album in the country? If you didn’t, he and his hype man at the Fader Fort last night made sure to remind everyone over and over. And over.

As has been the trend for a few years now, Big Rap turned SXSW into its own game. The festival’s closing night drove that point home: Ross celebrated his chart-topping new record Mastermind by headlining Fader, A$AP Mob and Mobb Deep capped their own busy weeks at 1100 Warehouse, and 2 Chainz took over a showcase at Brazos Hall.

Clearly, it was a rap-heavy schedule, and that’s not even counting Jay And Kanye’s Samsung event Wednesday night or the shows by Future, Pusha T, Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, B.o.B., Nas, and, um, Ludacris.

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SXSW Saturday: Phantogram, and the end of a very weird week

After a long few days of indie rock, mixtape rap, pop stars playing small, and smoked meat, it was time to put a bow on the annual South By Southwest festival.

The schedule for Saturday night was strange. In the past, Saturday night shows have always been the biggest, but this year, a number of bands had already left town, and with the likes of Lady Gaga, Coldplay, and Kendrick Lamar having wrapped their high-profile performances, it left a hodgepodge of mid-level indie and hip-hop to send everyone off.

Enter Phantogram, an excellent computer-pop combo whose new album Voices gently nudges their sound towards an even wider audience than the one that picked up on their first buzz-band moment several years ago. Like an overwhelming number of the acts booked at SXSW, they are big enough to get booked on late-night TV but not quite big enough to be played on pop radio or fill larger venues. For a band like Phantogram, a solid showing at SXSW could mean an elevation to that next level. READ FULL STORY

J.Lo's 'I Luh Ya Papi' turns the tables on rap videos: Watch it here

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Sick of all the under-dressed ladies that rappers like to have decorating their sets like sexy lawn ornaments? So is Jennifer Lopez.

That’s why she decided to put men in tiny bikini bottoms, slather them in oil and perch them around the pool. No, I’m not (just) describing her home life: It’s J. Lo’s new music video!

On American Idol Thursday night, Lopez unveiled her video for “I Luh Ya Papi” — a clip that turns the tables on rap video stereotypes. And it’s pretty glorious. At one point she’s on a yacht, pouring champagne in some guy’s Speedo. This isn’t exactly moving us past the sexual objectification of music videos, but it sure is fun to watch:

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Jay Z and Kanye West bring the throne to SXSW

Back in 2011 and 2012, super friends Jay Z and Kanye West took their epic Watch the Throne tour everywhere from Paris to Vancouver. Even New Jersey got a two-night stand. One place they skipped, though? Austin, Texas.

That changed last night, when Jay and ‘Ye took over the Austin Music Hall for Samsung’s big SXSW party. Needless to say, people were excited; even Tyler, the Creator, who had a showcase of his own to play later that night, could be seen wilding out in the middle of the young crowd and, inevitably, inspiring a flood of Samsung-sponsored selfies from the fans around him. (Sadly, Tyler’s scheduled 1 a.m. showcase at Mohawk would end up being marred by tragedy.)

So did the Throne live up to the hype? Without a doubt. Sure, the concept and set-list was more or less a facsimile of the official tour — the rappers dueled from atop opposing glowing cubes amid a spastic laser show, before eventually taking the actual stage together and tag-teaming in and out for solo mini-sets — but that didn’t stop everyone from losing themselves during the two-hour blowout. And both Jay and Kanye have put out a bunch of new music since they last convened onstage: Hova had his (also Samsung-aided) Magna Carta Holy Grail, while West had his Yeezus masterpiece, plus the Cruel Summer comp he released under the G.O.O.D. Music banner.

But since the notes on my phone are roughly 85% exclamation points, it might be best to break it down by the numbers: READ FULL STORY

Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q plant their flags at iTunes Festival at SXSW

It’s a testament to Kendrick Lamar’s industry power right now that Apple essentially gave him and his crew an entire evening to themselves on the second night of the inaugural iTunes Festival at SXSW.

Lamar’s crew/label conglomerate Top Dawg Entertainment filled ever nook of the evening’s festivities, from the three booked acts to the guest stars. Though not necessarily on the same scale, it conjured up memories of Kurt Cobain curating an entire main stage day at the 1992 Reading Festival—a huge cultural entity acknowledging the overwhelming impact of a single star.

Of course, Lamar wouldn’t have arrived at this point if he wasn’t a stellar live performer, and he brought the same kind of energy and execution in Austin that he brought during his run as one of the top festival stars of last summer. He did most of those shows with a band, but on Wednesday night he was backed only by a DJ, and the narrowing of the sound made his material feel more claustrophobic in some ways. He benefits from that kind of intensity though: READ FULL STORY

SXSW Music 2014: 20 acts to see

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The annual South By Southwest festival/conference/conventio-con is underway, with the music getting started in earnest on Tuesday and rolling headlong through Saturday night.

This year’s event has its share of big name visitors: Lady Gaga will be delivering the keynote address and performing, and the likes of Coldplay, Kendrick Lamar, Soundgarden, and Pitbull will be headlining a series of shows as part of the iTunes Festival.

But SXSW was originally designed as a showcase for new music, a place where baby bands could get their first big taste of exposure and where those artists who were about to break finally actually broke. EW will be on the ground covering acts both big and small, including these 20 on-the-cusp artists we’re going out of our way to check out.

Temples: Throwback psychedelia is hard to do, but this British quartet blends just the right amount of crushing beauty and off-kilter left turns.

Angel Olsen: In the grand tradition of PJ Harvey, Olsen marries muscular guitar with her delicate warble for blow-away blasts of folk-rock and power blues.

Perfect Pussy: Despite their censor-baiting name (and what honestly seems like a pretty standard-issue fuzz-punk sound), there’s a lot of buzz on this Syracuse foursome.

Sleepy Kitty: For fans of Sleigh Bells — but sub in post-grunge jangle for noisecore.

Cloud Nothings: Noisy Cleveland-based anarchists nearly made it big with their exceptional 2012 album Attack on Memory. Could the bigger, badder, forthcoming Here and Nowhere Else put them over the top?

Vertical Scratchers: Ultra-fuzzy indie jangle care of a pair of blissed out Californians.

SKATERS: Four New Yorkers who split the difference between driving punk surges and carefully-curated sonic tapestries, all wrapped in a whatever-man sneer.

ScHoolboy Q: Sure, he topped the charts with his latest album OxyMoron, but the top lieutenant in Kendrick Lamar’s army is ready to take the next step into household name-ness.

Chet Faker: The Australian’s downtempo bedroom R&B that would swerve dangerously into the cheese lane were it not for bearded mastermind Nick Murphy’s convincingly syrupy baritone.

You Blew It!: Don’t look now, but an emo revival is about to kick into gear, and this Orlando-based combo are the finest purveyors of the new pollution.

Oh Honey: Nothing but positive jams for this strummy, soulful Brooklyn duo. Like Matt & Kim with better production values.

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