Guest verses have always been a part of hip-hop, but they’ve grown in popularity over the years for a number of reasons: they put new talent in people’s ears, they keep established rappers sharp, and they keep the slightly gladiatorial element of competition between performers alive in an era when freestyle battle raps are seen as slightly antiquated. The right featured guest can turn a single into a smash—but it can also backfire if that rapper outshines the song’s main artist. But when that does happen, the results can be pretty magical. Here are 10 notable examples of guest rappers appearing on other rappers’ songs—and completely blowing them away. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Nicki Minaj (1-10 of 120)
Nicki Minaj wasn’t at the BBC Radio 1 Teen Awards Sunday night to help Ariana Grande out in her performance of “Bang Bang,” so Grande took matters into her own hands and capably rapped Minaj’s verse herself.
Grande, Minaj, and Jessie J released “Bang Bang” in July, and the track soon became one of the most popular of the summer, peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. A music video featuring the three dancing in various locales debuted in August, and the trio opened this year’s MTV Video Music Awards with a performance of the song. READ FULL STORY
Fans won’t have to wait much longer for the female version of Jay Z’s The Blueprint, apparently: Nicki Minaj announced Tuesday that her new album, The Pinkprint, is coming out Nov. 24.
“Jay had his Blueprint albums and that’s what I feel like this album’s gonna be,” Minaj told BBC Radio 1Xtra’s DJ Semtex. “I really feel like this album will be like a Blueprint for female rappers to come, so that alone should tell you how confident I am about the music.” READ FULL STORY
In the nine months since Beyoncé dropped her self-titled album on an unsuspecting world, the track “Flawless” has grown from one of the more enjoyable surprises in a thoroughly surprising album–a quasi-manifesto that synthesizes diva-level self-appreciation and blunt real talk about female existence in a patriarchal world, delivered with an instantly memorable hook–into a cultural behemoth. The word “flawless” (or, better yet, “#flawless”) condenses everything that Beyoncé and her featured guest, award-winning Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, talks about in the song down into two syllables that somehow contain an entire philosophy of self-love and self-actualization. No wonder it’s been inescapable all year.
Despite the song’s popularity, Bey and her label haven’t released it as an official single. Or maybe it’s because of that popularity–when something grows so big in such an organic way, giving it a traditional professional marketing push could end up ruining a good thing. Either way, the song whose title is emblazoned on most Beyoncé merch is officially just an album cut.
As predicted, Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” debuted at number one on the Hot 100 this week after racking up over 500 thousand copies sold and 50 million YouTube plays since it dropped 10 days ago, not to mention the fact that it’s dominating pop radio. Swift’s also number one on Billboard‘s new Artist 100 chart, which combines performance across the Hot 100, the Billboard 200 album chart, and the Internet-centric Social 50 chart.
Also as expected, Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” is sitting right below it, having leapt from number 39 after the release of its thoroughly surreal and deeply salacious video. Despite the fact that “Anaconda”‘s visual has blasted “Shake” out of the water in terms of virality, Nicki’s only at number three on the Artist 100, right behind Wiz Khalifa.
Right after Nicki Minaj, Jessie J, and Ariana Grande opened Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards with a performance of “Bang Bang,” MTV premiered the trio’s wardrobe malfunction-free video for the song online.
The video begins with men ogling at Jessie J as she exits a car, but she pays it no mind and enlists female onlookers to join her in showing off their Cadillac-like booties. Meanwhile, Grande twirls around in a Miami-chic bedroom, applies makeup, and belts into a megaphone—A-plus on the multitasking, Grande.
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How many rhinestones were on Ariana Grande’s Barbarella-call-girl onesie? How bouncy is her ponytail? How freaked out was the PA who had to man the censor button during Nicki Minaj’s NC-17 celebration of snakes and a special kind of salad?
These and many more questions came to us during an opening medley that featured Grande performing “Break Free” direct from space (kind of), Nicki Minaj not using her previously scheduled reptile muses during the Sir Mix-a-Lot-sampling “Anaconda,” and Jessie J looking sane and moderately amused during “Bang Bang,” while Grande strutted in yet another future onesie and Minaj clutched at her decency when a wardrobe quick-change wasn’t quick enough.
But you tell us, readers, what did you think of the VMAs opener?
One of the perks of being an artist who spent their youth pushing hard against every boundary you encountered is that years later, when the rest of the world catches up, you basically have a free pass to coast as much as you damn well please while you cash in on your hard-earned reputation. Few such artists take as much advantage of that unwritten rule as Juicy J, who’s spent most of his time since “Bandz A Make Her Dance” reignited his career recording guest verses that have given new meaning to the phrase “phoning it in” and often leave the listener under the impression that Juicy didn’t even listen to the rest of the song before jumping in the booth, dropping a quick 16, and grabbing a check on his way back out the door.
For all the uninspiring but presumably lucrative features he’s spat recently, Juicy possesses much of the skill that he displayed during his zeitgeist-rattling run with Three 6 Mafia, which he shows off a little more than usual on his new single “Low.” The reasons why aren’t hard to discern: by inviting Nicki Minaj, Young Thug, and Lil Bibby–three of the biggest talents in the game right now–on as guests he couldn’t take a chance trying to get by on cruise control.
On Monday, when Taylor Swift unveiled her new single in front of a select group of Swifties (and an untold number of viewers watching it on webstream), she did so with the casual confidence of someone with a large enough and devoted enough fan base to ensure it a No. 1 spot. And according to Billboard, “Shake It Off” very well may debut at the top of the Hot 100 next week, finally knocking Magic!’s strangely resilient “Rude” out of the place it’s held since mid-July. She’ll face some heavy competition when she gets there, though—much of it from female artists. Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea have basically owned the chart for the entire summer. Between the two of them they currently have five out of the top 10 songs in the country, including their team-up “Problem.”
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