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Tag: Hip-Hop/Rap (61-70 of 845)

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

Miley Cyrus goes wild at school in Mike Will Made It's '23' video: Watch it here

The ’90s gave birth to Miley Cyrus, and now she’s returning the favor by paying homage to the decade of Cross Colors and Saved by the Bell.

In the new Mike Will Made It clip for “23,” Cyrus parades around a high school wearing “sexy” Chicago Bulls jerseys and  vintage Jordans while making references to Naughty By Nature and MC Hammer. She smokes cigarettes, graffitis the bathroom, and generally runs amok.

Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa, and Zack Morris also join in on the shenanigans, all at the chagrin of the uptight school principal Mr. Belding. Just kidding! Partly.

It’s also reminiscent of another ’90s classic, Master P’s “Make ‘Em Say Uhh!” video. Take a look below: READ FULL STORY

Drake talks Kendrick Lamar's controversial 'Control' verse: 'It was a moment'

When it comes to grabbing the title for the best rapper alive, Drake is more concerned about consistency, not “moments.”

On the promotional run for his album Nothing Was The Same, the Canadian rapper stopped by New York University’s Skirball Center on Sunday for an interview with rap journalist Elliot Wilson as a part of the CRWN live interview series presented by Myspace where he addressed a myriad of topics including his thoughts on Lamar’s now-infamous verse on Big Sean’s “Control.”

“That verse, he’s giving people moments,” Drake said. “That verse was a moment to talk about. He didn’t come in there on some wild, ‘I’m in New York, f**k everybody.’ I almost wish he had come in there on that shit because I kind of lost a little bit of respect for the sentiment of the verse.’ If it’s really ‘fuck everybody’ then it needs to be ‘fuck everybody.’ It can’t just be halfway.”

Apparently, his views on the verse have changed some since he spoke to Billboard about the topic in August, but Drake says he’s way past the lyrical banter and is focused on other aspects of Lamar’s work now:

“Are you listening to it now? At this point?” Drake asked about the “Control” verse. “I can’t wait to see what he does because now it’s time to show and prove consistency. It’s been, like, one album. Consistency is make more than one album. I look forward to seeing what he does. He’s super f**king talented. When it comes to competition, I’m more worried about consistency, about bodies of work. I’m talking about hit records, that’s Kanye West. He’s always going to be the guy who’s trying to out think and out-do. That’s my guy that I aspire to surpass.”

MySpace will premiere Drake’s CRWN interview with Elliot Wilson in three installments starting this Wednesday.

Azealia Banks cyber attacks Lady Gaga over 'Red Flame' theft

Azealia Banks—who, we’ll remind you, still has yet to release her oft-delayed debut LP Broke With Expensive Taste—has decided to go back on the offensive with Lady Gaga. 

In a series of tweets, Banks took Gaga to task for jacking the song “Red Flame.” “Make sure u let them know where u got the title for red flame from. U stole that from the demo I sent u,” she said in a (since deleted) tweet at Gaga. “You can have it. Plenty more where that came from. Seriously. . . This one is free. Next time I’m charging.”

There are a handful of problems with this. First, it’s unclear whether or not Banks is upset that Gaga took the song “Red Flame” wholesale (was that supposed to be the collaboration between Banks and Gaga that she jettisoned from ARTPOP?) or if she’s just bummed that she’s using the title “Red Flame” (which makes even less sense, considering the ARTPOP track list has yet to be completed and Broke With Expensive Taste doesn’t contain a song with that name). Gaga did not respond to the tweets, and as mentioned, the initial message was deleted from Banks’ Twitter feed.

This isn’t the first time Banks has gotten up in Gaga’s cyber-business. Following Gaga’s show-opening, seashell-centric performance at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, Banks took umbrage with Gaga’s adoption of mermaid couture, a non-trend that Banks has claimed as her own. (Was that the reason Gaga abandoned The Little Mermaid in favor of The Wizard of Oz?)

The saddest thing about this whole exchange? As a punctuation mark on her latest Twitter outburst, Banks tweeted, “Team Katy,” as though anybody on the Internet was still talking about the chart showdown between Katy Perry and Lady Gaga in the 2013 Fall Diva Wars. Doesn’t Banks know that the real cyber juice comes from writing about Miley Cyrus?

Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP will be released on November 8. Azealia Banks’ Broke With Expensive Taste will be out eventually, probably.

The 2 Chainz cookbook is here, and it is spectacular

Yesterday saw the release of the new album by 2 Chainz. It’s called B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time, and like the former Tity Boi’s first album Based on a T.R.U. Story, it has some exceptional production and a handful of inspired verses.

Chainz, like Nicki Minaj, is an ideal guest artist: Absolutely stellar at one minute, somewhat exhausting at four. Still, “Mainstream Ratchet” is as big a banger as you could hope for in 2013.

Of course, if this music thing doesn’t work out for Mr. Chainz, he can always fall back on his culinary skills. Anybody who follows Chainz on Instagram knows that the man is obsessed with a good meal, and he has decided to let you into his eating world: The deluxe edition of Me Time features a cook book, with each recipe lining up with one of the songs on the album.

Like “Beautiful Pain”? You should make his fried chicken. Hungry for some smoky kale greens? You’ll want to crank up “Black Unicorn.”The recipes all sound pretty delicious, and are relatively easy to execute. Many of them call for healthy dollops of “Me Time Sauce,” a tangy combination of mayonnaise, Old Bay, barbecue sauce, dijon mustard, and lemon juice.

The first step in making Me Time Sauce is, “Go to the mall, spend a handful of racks on a new outfit for the night.” The second? “Get a manicure and a pedicure.” Next? “Spend some more ‘Me Time’ at the house, catching up on old seasons of The Wire.” 

Awesome advice like that is all over the Me Time cook book. Want to start making his garlicky green beans? “Call Fergie, invite her to watch a movie on Netflix. Once she accepts, start making green beans.” If you’re making Chainz mango salsa, the first step is to “Position yourself in a room surrounded by a handful of TVs playing SportsCenter with the sound off.” And once you’re done making his basic fried chicken, “Plate chicken for yourself, sit at the head of your dining room table and eat the chicken while you sing along to ‘Beautiful Pain.’”

It’s a delight, and also a shrewd move for 2 Chainz. After all, the deluxe editions of physical albums usually only contain a few extra tracks, which are available on iTunes anyway. Will the cook book draw more people into actual music stores to buy physical copies of Me Time?

A$AP Rocky apologizes for VMA weirdness with Jason Collins

With all the twerking and *NSYNC reuniting going on at the MTV Video Music Awards, it was easy to overlook one of the stranger moments of the night.

During the introduction of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ performance of “Same Love,” A$AP Rocky took the stage with openly gay NBA player Jason Collins. Before throwing to Macklemore, Collins talked about his decision to come out, how it matched up with his grandmother’s work with the civil rights movement, and how stars like Macklemore were standing up for gay rights.

Once he was done, Rocky spoke up, and his delivery was… awkward. After plugging cohort A$AP Ferg’s new album Trap Lord, he stumbled through his introduction of Macklemore. “This next artist is a good friend of mine,” Rocky said. “He stands up for everything he believe in as far as everybody being equal—color, homosexuality.” After that, Rocky’s gestures and the look on his face seemed to say that he didn’t realize he was even in the shot, and the whole thing generally felt uncomfortable.

“I’m mad that my facial expressions was like that because I’m not homophobic at all, and that whole thing just came off real homophobic,” Rocky told The Stashed. “I didn’t really notice it until I got home and saw it. I apologize to Jason for that, because people was laughing and s—, and you know… I really don’t think that’s funny. I saw they were making all the memes and pictures and making fun of him. There’s people out there that think I was doing that to be funny, and truthfully I got gay people in my family.”

He also noted that he was unsure what MTV was going for with the pairing. “I don’t give a f— if you gay or you not, I just found it odd that MTV wanted to stand me next to this n—- when they are talking about gay people, that’s all. You know what I’m saying?” Presumably they wanted Macklemore’s biggest TV performance yet to get the endorsement of a New York-based chart-topping rapper, so Rocky should feel good about being the gatekeeper for hip-hop cred.

What did you think of A$AP Rocky’s moment with Jason Collins at the VMAs? Did it seem odd to you, or were you too traumatized by foam fingers to notice?

Kanye West makes surprise appearance on 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon' -- PHOTO

Looking at the photo above, you’re probably thinking the same thing we are: How has this not already happened?! But it’s true. Kanye West made his very first appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tonight, performing his song “Bound 2″ off his latest album Yeezus. 
READ FULL STORY

Iggy Azalea's quirky charisma on full display in 'Change Your Life' video -- Watch it here

If Iggy Azalea, the Australian-born rapper-model, really wanted our attention today—September 9, 2013, the day Miley Cyrus licked a sledgehammer (and a bunch of other videos came out)—she would’ve had T.I. wear the pasties.

Instead, the video for “Change Your Life” entered the fray with Azalea emerging from a pool in bright-red nipple lids (not to mention lounging on a diving board in a nominally SFW gold chain mail top), and T.I. neglecting only a tie.

Still, this is a good time to check in with a potential new pop star who’s hard to locate in the current firmament. Is she a pugnacious rapper, like Nicki Minaj? A utility provocateur, like Miley? The Lana Del Rey of rap (whatever that means, beyond pure amazingness)?

READ FULL STORY

Macklemore dresses up as 'Mackle Jackson' for new 'White Walls' video: Watch it here

Go West — er, South — young duo!

The Seattle indie-rap twosome Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have trade in their Pacific Northwest home for the Wild West in their new video for “White Walls,” the Cadillac-loving Heist track featuring ScHoolboy Q and Hollis.

The (mostly) desert-set clip features not only the likes of A$AP Rocky, Trinidad James, Wiz Khalifa, Big Boi, DJ Drama, and fellow Seattleite Sir Mix-a-Lot, but also a matador-costumed Macklemore going under the handle ‘Mackle Jackson.’ Hint hint.

Take a look at the busy, Caddy-filled video below:

READ FULL STORY

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