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Tag: Hip-Hop/Rap (31-40 of 923)

Get familiar with the summer's two biggest dance crazes

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If you don’t spend much time listening to independently produced regional rap music, you’d be forgiven for thinking that songs that spawn particular dance crazes died out somewhere around the time Fat Joe reimagined the dance-song format as a PSA against dancing itself. In fact, the form remains alive—even healthy—in generally isolated pockets of black youth culture. It may not be generating the kind of globe-sweeping phenomena as the Twist or the Macarena, but recent virally popular dances like the Nae Nae and the Cooking Dance have found some measure of mainstream traction, thanks in large part to professional athletes.

Over the summer, two such crazes have taken off from two opposite coasts. At the end of June, 20-year-old rapper Bobby Shmurda blew up out of East Flatbush, Brooklyn, to dominate the rap zeitgeist with his song “Hot N–,” which gives an East Coast spin to Chicago drill music. He possesses the kind of ineffable rock star charisma that makes him captivating even when he turns his back to his audience (showing shades of Jim Morrison). In the video, he deploys a move called the Shmoney Dance, which his GS9 crew co-hort Rowdy Rebbel first introduced to the world through its titular song back in February (though few noticed at the time). Since then, Shmurda has signed a deal with Epic Records, made a rather enthusiastic fan of Lil Wayne, and turned the Shmoney Dance into the latest celebrity fad.


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Q&A: T-Pain is plotting his comeback

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All the way back in 2008, just three years after T-Pain’s Rapper Ternt Sanga made him into a radio-dominating superstar, you could see the writing on the wall for the rapper. No one could see it clearer than T-Pain himself: His trademark Auto-Tuned vocals went from a bracingly futuristic sonic innovation to an overused cliché in a matter of months. (He at least got a couple of good jokes about it into his “Karaoke” video.) When his sonically and thematically scattered 2011 album Revolver failed to turn things around, it seemed like his career might be coming to an end.

The pride of Tallahassee, Fla., spent his time since then refocusing and rebuilding his brand. Late last year he released a DJ Mustard-produced single, “Up Down (Do This All Day)” that quietly climbed nearly halfway up the Hot 100, and a video for the song that featured him sans dreadlocks and top hat, which had defined much of his visual identity. (He kept the outlandish sunglasses.) Over the past few months, T-Pain has been releasing more of the songs that he’s recorded since Revolver—there are hundredsincluding a couple, “Look Like Him” and “Monotone,” that combine the darkly throbbing synthesizer sounds that have been bubbling up out of the underground club scene. They feature bracingly self-critical lyrics, revealing that the guy who made warbling robot voices into a radio-devouring phenomenon hasn’t stopped innovating.

His latest single, “Drankin’ Patna,” is a return to the joyful hedonism and bouncing strip club beats of his early hits, and it serves as a potent reminder of exactly what the pop world was missing during his time away. In the midst of his Drankin’ Patna tour, and somewhere in the process of finishing up his fifth solo album, tentatively entitled Stoicville: The Phoenix, he spoke to EW about where he’s been and where he’s going.

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Hear Mono/Poly's hazy new trip-hop track 'Empyrean'

 Producer Charles Dickerson, a.k.a. Mono/Poly, is a member of L.A.’s massively influential avant-hip-hop crew Brainfeeder whose cosmic beats have made fans out of Erykah Badu and members of Radiohead. On Aug. 26, he’ll release his third album, Golden Skies, which exemplifies Brainfeeder’s reputation for blending classic rap, soul, jazz, and funk into a warm, organic whole that sounds both intensely futuristic and deeply retro at the same time somehow.

Golden Skies features a number of guests, including Mendee Ichikawa of the group Free Moral Agents, who provides vocals on the track “Empyrean.” Working together, the pair conjures up a hazy trip-hop vibe with twinkling, detuned synthesizers that sound like interstellar communications from a group of very stoned aliens. You can preorder the album here. READ FULL STORY

Watch A$AP Rocky hang out at Kathy Griffin's house in a NSFW scene from new Noisey doc here -- EXCLUSIVE

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The upcoming A$AP Rocky documentary SVDDXNLY is not short on celebrity cameos: There be Snoop; there be Macklemore; there be Drake and Rihanna and Schoolboy Q and Big Sean and Bun B and Chris Brown and Wiz Khalifa and Jeremy Scott and Glee‘s Naya Rivera looking like she took a real wrong left turn at the Glendale Galleria.

But the hour-long film’s maximum bonkers moment may be the footage of Rocky’s visit to the Los Angeles home of actress/comedian/Bravolebrity Kathy Griffin, in which two famous people arrive as strangers and leave as death-wish friends, and A$AP learns many new things about sex, secret handshakes, and how to light a very expensive fireplace from the future.

Click below to watch what happened when A$AP met Kathy –it’s just like when Harry Met Sally, but with 87% more hand job jokes. (Again, this clip is not NSFW): READ FULL STORY

Nicki Minaj's 'Anaconda' sneaks online

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Nicki Minaj has been spending the summer casually stealing songs out from under everyone, from virally popular underground rappers to chart-topping pop starlets. For her latest and most audacious trick, she’s flipped Sir Mix-A-Lot’s enduring classic “Baby Got Back” into “Anaconda,” a swan dive back into the gleeful raunchiness of her early mixtape days.

A very, very low quality rip of the song leaked online last night (it’ll be officially released on August 5)—and while it may sound terrible, you can at least hear Nicki turning the tables on Mix-A-Lot’s original, taking on the role of the big-bootied girl who actually wields the power in the situation. She also makes some comparisons between the male anatomy and certain famously phallic French architectural landmarks. With its unbridled lewdness, the song doesn’t seem likely to become a standard at wedding receptions in the foreseeable future—but you probably could have said the same thing about “Baby Got Back” in 1992. READ FULL STORY

Behind the scenes at Danny Brown's 'Smokin' & Drinkin' video shoot

Wednesday night in a Greenpoint apartment, the air was thick with weed smoke. All of the furniture in the living room was shoved into one corner, while in the kitchen, a group of partially undressed young people milled around with drinks in their hands. Rap songs played out of a small guitar amp on the floor. It looked like a house party, aside from the lighting rigs and the large camera dolly in the middle of the room.

In actuality, it was the video shoot for Detroit rapper Danny Brown’s A-Trak-produced “Smokin’ & Drinkin'” off last year’s album, Old. “The way I’ve been explaining it to people,” says director Alan Del Rio Ortiz, “is like a house party, but in a dream. So there’s a lot of strange lighting and strange camera movements going on. We have Froot Loops everywhere. The hardest thing was really the logistics of getting a really crazy party going with people who’ve never met each other.” READ FULL STORY

That rapper vocabulary chart is getting its own poster

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Remember the guy who did a data analysis on a bunch of rappers’ lyrics to figure out which one’s work uses the largest vocabulary? The one that drew about equal amounts of respect and ire from rap fans, inspiring some of the geekier ones to debate anew whether the size of an MC’s vocabulary necessarily has any bearing on how good a rapper they are?

That guy, a coder and designer named Matt Daniels, has teamed up with another bunch of data-loving designers at Pop Chart Lab, which in the past has made gorgeous infographics about everything from superpowers to fictional beers. Together they’ve assembled the Hip-Hop Flow Chart, which arranges the information in a visually pleasing way with illustrated portraits of each rapper in the survey. They’ve also color-coded the artists by where they hail from, giving the rap geeks who argued over the original chart a bonus subject to fight about. (Click the image above to preview the whole thing.)

The poster’s officially being released August 5, but it’s available for pre-order now.

The 5 very best things about DMX's amusement park video

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Being a DMX fan has been kind of tough for the past, oh, 13 years or so, what with his arrests, lawsuits, and assorted personal issues overshadowing (often by quite a bit) his musical accomplishments since approximately “Who We Be.” If you have any genuine love for the man, just seeing his name pop up in the news can be distressing, especially if there’s video involved.

Occasionally, though, X will still prove himself capable of bringing pure joy, untainted by gross schadenfreude, into the world. And this video of him riding an amusement park ride that shoots people almost 400 feet into the air at high speed is one of those moments.


Nearly every second of the video offers another reason why it’s the best thing in the world. Here are the top five highlights:

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Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj team up for the fiery 'Bang Bang'

If you notice your computer or smartphone running hot recently, it may be because the internet is currently on fire after the release of “Bang Bang,” an en fuego team-up between Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, and British pop star Jessie J. Written and produced by much of the creative team behind Grande’s “Problem,” including Swedish pop warlock Max Martin, “Bang Bang” is a floor-shaking pileup of soulful horn stabs and detuned kick drums. It sounds like the hyperactive love child of Amy Winehouse and DJ Mustard with a three-way battle between the vocalists to see who can go the hardest. It’s tempting to call the contest for Nicki just on general principle—bonus points for her “Queen Nicki dominant, prominent” line—but Grande’s performance, which feels like she’s determined to jump through your headphones and physically tackle your eardrums, offers some serious competition. READ FULL STORY

Azealia Banks releases first single since splitting from label

Rapper Azealia Banks has spent more time over the past couple years starting Internet beefs than putting out music, but after her recent split with Universal Music Group she seems to be turning that around. Yesterday she released her first new song as a lead artist in nearly a year, and she didn’t insult anyone on Twitter in the process.

“Heavy Metal and Reflective,” which she’s released through her own label Azealia Banks Records, is an odd choice as both a comeback single and a declaration of independence. The rumbling rave-trap beat by producer Lil Internet—the Beyoncé video director who inspired the seapunk aesthetic that Banks has been accused of ripping off in the past—is sufficiently banging, but Banks approaches it with a low-key, conversational flow that doesn’t do much to suggest a take-no-prisoners rapper who’s just been let off her label-imposed chain. READ FULL STORY

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