08June

Hot 97 Summer Jam 2016: An Unexpected Night

Posted by - Mark Elibert

This past weekend New York City radio station, Hot 97, held their annual Summer Jam concert at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. However what was supposed to be an epic day turned out to be lackluster to say the least. Hot 97 had a huge day planned for the biggest hip hop show on the planet. The festival stage had Chance the Rapper, Tory Lanez, Desiigner, Post Malone and more set to perform. As for the main stage Future, G.O.O.D Music, DJ Khaled, A$AP Mob, Terror Squad, Bryson Tiller, Young Thug and more were also set to perform. With a stunning line up like these how could it have gone wrong?

The day was marred by terrible weather as forecasts predicted torrential rainfall and severe thunderstorms. The predictions were spot on as the rainfall wasted no time putting a wrench in Hot 97’s plans. The rain caused Hot 97 and MetLife Stadium to delay the start of the festivities and it wasn’t a short delay. Trains and buses at Port Authority in New York City weren’t bringing fans to MetLife as no means of transportation was cleared to leave due to the weather. As the weather got worse the start of the show seemed nonexistent. People were checking their newsfeeds and contacting friends already at the stadium to find out that the festival stage was canceled entirely. To make matters worse buses at Port Authority were not leaving until 7:30, a good four and a half hours past the start of the festival stage.

As time slowly passed Hot 97 released a statement saying that Summer Jam would start at exactly 9:30 PM, three hours after the original start time. Buses and trains rolled out at 7:30 and the show was under way, of course with some major changes. To go along with the cancellation of the festival stage, Hot 97 removed Tinashe, Young Thug, and Kid Ink from the main stage. The removals made sense as Hot 97 had to work with the time constraints they were given. To make up for those three key losses Hot 97 had Maino open up the show with Uncle Murda and 2 Milly as guests. After their performance the best part of the night occurred.

To everyone’s surprise G.O.O.D Music’s logo appeared on the screen and the stage turned 180 degrees to show 6 people standing in a line. Pusha T, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, Travis Scott, Desiigner and special guest Kanye West revealed themselves to a raucous crowd and got right to business wasting no time performing their hits. The key part of G.O.O.D Music’s set was when it was Desiigner’s turn to perform his smash hit “Panda”. As Kanye and his brothers performed “Father Stretch My Hands, Part 2” Kanye stopped his song and told Desiigner to get into the spotlight and perform the original. As the entire crowd was clapping in unison, Desiigner showed off his trademark energy as the beat for “Panda” dropped causing pandemonium inside MetLife stadium. Desiigner had MetLife stadium in the palm of his hand as Kanye stood in the background smiling from ear to ear like a proud mentor.

The next performer to grace the stage was R&B crooner Bryson Tiller. He performed songs off his debut album Trapsoul and even brought out Fabolous to perform several songs off his own mixtape Summertime Shootout. Funkmaster Flex followed Bryson Tiller’s performance with his trademark turntable mix and introduced the Bronx collective Terror Squad. The Terror Squad had the audience bumping to their hits and even brought out Joe, Ashanti and French Montana to the stage. Once they performed their smash single “All The Way Up” as well as parts of the official remix, everything went downhill from there.

After Terror Squad got off stage a brawl broke out in the floor seats that sent chairs flying and the crowd running all over the floor of the stadium. State troopers quickly got to the scene to assess the situation and the house lights were turned on for the rest of the night, effectively sucking out any energy that was produced by the previous acts. What should have taken only a couple of minutes felt like it took hours as MetLife security, Hot 97 personnel and law enforcement were figuring what was going on and what was the best move going forward. Funkmaster Flex got back on the turntables to ease the crowd during the wait but crowd already grew restless. Flex’s set wasn’t all that impressive either as the records he were cutting were played at an annoyingly high volume that distorted the sound.

Once everything was settled A$AP Mob took the stage to a weary crowd. Normally A$AP Mob’s sets are full of energy but nothing they could do would get the crowd off it’s feet, thanks to the overdrawn delay that happened before their set. They were only able to perform 4 songs which didn’t seem too fair. Of course the show must go on so they went through their set and thanked the crowd despite their lack of energy. Up next was DJ Khaled who also did his best to get the crowd moving. He brought out Mavado, MOP, Busta Rhymes, Yo Gotti, The Lox, OT Genasis, Kent Jones and Rick Ross. The crowd started to wake up with Khaled’s set but it was short lived as Hot 97 pulled the plug on his whole set and the entire show telling everyone to get home safely. Once everyone realized what had happened the entire arena was filled with boo’s and some more fights broke out at the concession stands. What started out so strong ended horribly for Hot 97.

Now it’s understandable that Hot 97 had to work with whatever time they had due to the rain, but it could have been executed better. First things first Future, the main headliner, didn’t even get to see the stage due to time constraints. Future could’ve gotten on the stage if Hot 97 played their cards right. Maino’s show opener went on longer than it should have and didn’t really make sense since he hasn’t really made any noise the last couple years. It seemed the show that was put on wasn’t planned as the order of artists didn’t really make sense either. How does Maino precede G.O.O.D Music who then precedes Bryson Tiller who was followed by Terror Squad? The lineup didn’t mix well.

For the brawl that transpired in the crowd nothing can be done about that, but why did it take so long to get everything resolved? Of course you want to make sure everything is ok and everyone is safe but looking at the scene, the state troopers seemed to be just standing in the middle not really investigating anything. Also why were the house lights still on if the ok was given by law enforcement and Hot 97? The lights that stayed on removed any energy and hype that remained within the crowd. It was a different show once the brawl broke out. Another issue with the show was the quick and sudden ending to the night where Khaled’s mic was turned off and a video played on the screen telling everyone to get home safely. Why wasn’t there an announcement saying what had happened or an apology given that didn’t feel like usual corporate banter?

A day that was supposed to be fun and exciting ended up being mediocre and uninviting. Maybe it’s time for Hot 97 to rethink the plans for Summer Jam as it seems every year something happens like the riot that happened outside the stadium last year. It’s rained 6 years in a row at Summer Jam, maybe its time to move it indoors so that this doesn’t happen again. What else needs to happen to force Hot 97 to shake up Summer Jam so that for once it’s a successful show? It’s not being said that a hip hop concert is too much of a problem, but why is it that Summer Jam has several issues that other hip hop concerts/festivals rarely see? Summer Jam’s popularity was built on rap beefs and that has spilled onto the crowd where it’s come to the point that going to the show raises a lot of red flags among people. Although the weather plays a huge part in what happened Sunday, the mismanagement on Hot 97’s part also gets a huge chunk of the blame.

It might just be that time to give Summer Jam a rest. It’s starting to feel like its not worth the trouble anymore.

22May

Bad Boy Reunion Concert: A Stroll Down Memory Lane

Posted by - Mark Elibert

The weekend that hip hop fans have been waiting for finally arrived in Brooklyn this past weekend as Puff Daddy and The Family shut down the Barclays Arena two nights in a row with the Bad Boy reunion tour. The first night of the tour was incredible as not only the billed artists performed but Brooklyn was treated to several special guests including Nas, Rick Ross, Jay Z and more. While it looked seemingly impossible to raise the bar any higher than they did Friday night, Puff and the fam turned it up an extra notch for the second show.

The buzz around the arena was at a fever pitch as nearly everyone in attendance were anxiously waiting for the show to begin. Puff started the show an hour after it was supposed to begin but the Bad Boy family more than made up for it. The night was filled with nostalgia as all the hits from the golden era of Bad Boy had the Barclays Arena jumping. Puffy, Ma$e, Faith Evans, Total, Lil’ Kim, Carl Thomas and 112 all performed their hits but nothing was more satisfying than the surprises that were in store for Brooklyn Saturday night.

The first surprise of the night came from Busta Rhymes as he joined Puffy and performed his electric verse off “Victory”. The Lox, who wasn’t even on the bill for the second night, came out to a raucous crowd and performed several of their hits. DMX, accompanied by Swizz Beatz, absolutely destroyed the stage with his trademark energy and shouted Biggie as one of his inspirations in the middle of his set. Lil’ Kim decided to keep it strictly Brooklyn for her set and brought out Brooklyn natives Desiigner and Fabolous to light the stage up even more. Mary J. Blige, who also wasn’t on the bill for the night, came out and had the entire arena singing in unison to her hits.

The biggest surprise of the night however came from someone no one had in mind at all. Shyne, in front of an ancient pyramid in Belize, appeared on a large screen on stage via satellite and the crowd went absolutely nuts. He performed his hit “Bad Boyz” with Puff as the hype man and the Barclays was in full turn up mode. It was a moment you had to be there to experience and it was one of, if not the best highlight of the night.

As the concert came to a close, the entire Bad Boy family came on stage to rock out to several of Biggie’s hits. What was at first a reunion concert turned into one big birthday party for the late Notorious B.I.G. Balloons and confetti fell all around the Barclays and the Bad Boy family along with the audience took it all in as the Barclays felt like the 1990s all over again. If you missed out this weekend don’t worry as the Bad Boy family is set to take the reunion show on tour later this year. Check out some footage below courtesy of Revolt TV!

28April

Drake: 6 God or 6 Man?

Posted by - Mark Elibert

Once every several years there is a hip hop artist that is so high up on top of the mountain that they’re basically untouchable. That artist is so popular that other artists can’t compete with the top dog. The 80’s had LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim and others. The 90’s had Biggie, Tupac, Jay Z and Nas. The 2000s had Eminem, 50 Cent and Lil Wayne. All of these artists that were mentioned at one time in their careers were on top of the mountain and left a lasting mark on the hip hop genre. In this current era of hip hop the top dog is arguably Drake and his spot on the top of this mountain seems certain…for now.

Now a lot of you may think that Drake isn’t the best or the top dog out  now but look at his career up to this point and see if you still think that. Before his Young Money days Drake was one of the most sought after rappers looking for a label. His mixtapes were well-received especially his critically acclaimed So Far Gone. He collaborated with some of hip hop’s best, most notably Lil’ Wayne. His work with Wayne led to his signing with Cash Money/Young Money and led to his rise to the top of the hip hop mountain. His debut album Thank Me Later was highly anticipated and gave Drake his first number one album.

Drake, post-Thank Me Later, was flexing his features muscle as he was lending unforgettable verses to some of the biggest records in hip hop at the time. When it was time to release his second album Take Care, Drake was already at the forefront of hip hop’s elite. Take Care became Drake’s magnum opus as it won him a Grammy and several accolades. Drake continued his takeover by once again being featured on several classic hip hop tracks and found his own imprint, OVO Sound. From that point on, Drake’s career really took off.

His guest verses became legendary and so sought after that all the songs that were being released sounded like Drake featuring Drake, as he said on “5 AM in Toronto”. His artists under his OVO Sound imprint were buzzing with their own projects, he had a short-lived beef with the respected lyricist Common (which he won) and engaged in several subliminal beefs with the likes of Kanye, Jay Z, and Kendrick Lamar. Kanye himself said the only reason Watch The Throne was made was because he and Jay felt they needed to compete with Drake as his career was quickly catching up to theirs. At this point in his career anything that Drake did caused the hip hop world to stop and take in whatever it was he was doing.

His third studio album, Nothing Was The Same, was another success. It earned Drake his third number 1 album, his third platinum selling album and his third Grammy nominated album all in the span of three albums. Let that sink in for a moment. By this time Drake had the most number 1 records on Billboards R&B/Hip-Hop chart and it continued to grow from there. By February 2015 Drake released If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and What A Time To Be Alive with Future in September 2015, giving Drake two more certified platinum albums. He even found time to ruin Meek Mill’s career in between those two projects. Now it’s time for Drake’s fourth studio album Views and this will be his most important release to date.

Views will either make or break Drake’s career. The reason for that is because Drake has put himself on such a high pedestal that the people want a classic, groundbreaking album from him. He’s broken records, proved his doubters wrong, and put a city that no one talks about on his back but people still want more from him. He first announced Views back in 2014 on “0-100/The Catch Up” and Drake was working on basically everything but the album. The only thing that we heard regarding Views was a few leaked tracks in mid-2015 and a few billboards posted up around Toronto regarding the 6 god.

2016 came and we were unofficially in Drizzy season. To go along with the several billboards hung up in Toronto, Drake’s Instagram was filled with pictures from his time in the studio with his producer Noah “40” Shebib giving us insight that he was finally working on the album. Despite this people weren’t satisfied with what was given to them. “Summer Sixteen”, “Pop Style”, and “One Dance” all dropped which are probably going to show up on Views and people still had something to say about how long it’s taking for Views to see the light of day. All this hype surrounding Views will either make or break Drake.

As stated earlier Drake is at the top of the hip hop mountain today. He hasn’t shied away from being the top dog either as he’s mentioned it on several songs over the years. When you have this status in the game you can’t release something that’s lukewarm or mediocre. Just look at Jay Z coming out of retirement and releasing Kingdom Come and how his career slightly went down hill after that release. If Drake were to release anything remotely close to average his status as the top dog will go to another hip hop elite.

Of course Drake’s stature in the genre is solidified. He’s apart of hip hop’s elite but being considered a legend is something that will be tested with Views. If it’s a success Drake will have another reason to detract his doubters and remain at the top of the hip hop mountain. If it’s lackluster the Drake haters will continue to deny his star status and have a field day with what they see in their eyes as Drake coming up short. Regardless of how you feel about him, Drake knows how to make headlines and gets people talking. We’re only a couple hours away from Views and the hype surrounding the album is incredible. Is he really the 6 god or is he just a 6 man? Whether it’s a great album or a bad album it’s going to get people talking. We just have to wait and see tonight exactly how we’re going to be talking about this album.

 

25February

Chris Brown: The Best Thing Since Michael Jackson

Posted by - Mark Elibert

It’s been quite a long time since we lost the great Michael Jackson, 7 years to be exact. When he was alive and still to this day, there has been no other artist quite like Michael. His dancing skills were unparalleled, his vocal skills were exceptional and his performances were legendary. There were many who tried to imitate but could never duplicate the King of Pop. Let this be known that there will never be another Michael Jackson, however there is one person that is the closest thing we have to the great and that one person is Chris Brown.

Now before you jump the gun and think that this article is stating that Chris Brown is the next Michael Jackson relax it’s not. It’s an article that focuses on the similarities that both Chris and Michael share and proof that out of all the musicians in pop, r&b, and hip hop, Chris is the closest thing we have to Michael Jackson. Michael inspired so many artists that he’s become the blueprint on being a great entertainer. Usher, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Madonna and many more followed in the footsteps of the icon in order to be the best at what they do. However no one embodied the King of Pop in their personal and artistic life more than Chris Brown.

At the time of his first album Chris Brown was an emerging star growing up in front of our eyes. His album was a hit, female fans were loving him, male fans were singing along with him and America loved him. Michael broke out of the Jackson 5 spotlight and quickly paved his own path rising to super stardom. Off The Wall, despite it being his fifth studio album, was the album that caused Michael’s star to grow into what it has become today.  Females couldn’t get enough of him, men were jamming along to his music and no one could ever look at Michael negatively.

Michael’s knack for making a hit song was something that was truly special. Starting with the Jackson 5, Michael’s ability to craft a hit with whoever he was in the studio with was something that not many could achieve. As a solo artist his work with Quincy Jones has gone down as one of the great one-two punches in music history. Nearly everything that was released by Michael’s crew were a bonafide hits and chart toppers.

Chris Brown’s ability to make a hit song is special as well. Chris is able to dab in nearly any genre and create a hit. His writing skills are very impressive and whether it be hip hop, rap, R&B, or EDM, Chris has a song in each of these genres that has found a spot on the Billboard charts. When an artist is able to step out of their main genre and create quality music in another, it shows how musically inclined they are. Michael and Chris have done this effortlessly.

Ever since he was a child dancing was Michael’s thing. If you remember Michael out shined his brothers at every live performance of their hit song “Dancing Machine”. With the arrival of his record breaking album Thriller, Michael showed his unmatched dancing ability. He took numerous dances from inner city breakdancers and revolutionized them. At Motown 25, Michael debuted the moonwalk, a dance that would become his trademark move and would become synonymous with his name. His dancing became so iconic that there was a time that MC Hammer, another great dancer, challenged Michael to a dance-off. From “Billie Jean”, “Bad”, “Smooth Criminal” and many more, Michael gave it all in his dancing.

Throughout the years a lot of people tried to channel their inner Michael when it came to dancing. From boy/girlbands to solo artists who danced, each and every one of them used Michael as inspiration but few came close to matching those skills. Those few really showcased their amazing dancing ability but one stands out from all the rest. Honorable mention goes to Usher because at one time he was holding down the spot of the premier dancer and entertainer of his era. But now that he’s well past his prime someone else has taken that spot.

Chris Brown is by far the best dancer we’ve seen since Michael. With all due respect to those who came before him none of them would be able to stand toe to toe with Michael and probably give him a run for his money. When Chris Brown dances he makes the most difficult moves look incredibly easy. Just look at his music videos for proof. He also has a knack for taking the popular dances at the time and making it look much cooler than it already was. He can take just about any song, dance his ass off and we all just look in awe. Who could forget his touching tribute to Michael Jackson at the 2010 BET Awards where he hit every one of Michael’s moves to a tee even mimicking his stage presence. By far that tribute is the best Michael Jackson tribute you will ever see. Chris has said before that Michael is his biggest inspiration and he’s the only artist that has really shown it.

Another thing that both Michael and Chris share are how controversial their lives are. Michael’s life was full of controversy. His father constantly abused him and his brothers when they were younger. In the late 80’s many people thought he was weird for wanting to purchase the skeleton of The Elephant Man. Rumors were spreading about how he slept in a hyperbaric chamber in order to keep his youthful appearance. The several plastic surgeries he had to change his appearance and lets not forget the biggest controversial moment of his life being the child abuse allegations in the early 90’s and early 2000’s. All of these moments put a negative light on Michael and a lot of people turned their back on him.

Chris’ life is nothing short of controversial. He witnessed his mother go through domestic violence at a young age. He lost his virginity at the age of 8. He threw a chair out of window after appearing on Good Morning America and we all haven’t forgotten that one night in the car he had with Rihanna. The turning point of Chris’ career was his abuse towards Rihanna and by that time a lot of people turned their back on Chris. The media had a field day with Chris and he didn’t handle it in the best way possible.

Both Chris and Michael’s careers changed due to their controversies. Michael shed his bubblegum pop heartthrob image and reinvented himself taking on a bad boy persona. He even released an album that personified his bad boy image, 1987’s Bad. After the release of his album Graffiti, Chris’ image began to change as well. He added many tattoos to his body and portrayed behavior we wouldn’t catch him doing when he first jumped to the scene like smoking weed and speaking without a filter. The teenage heartthrob had turned into the radical, standoffish ticking time bomb. Whether you hated them or loved them you were paying attention to everything these two were doing.

Now of course Chris’ legacy in music will never come close to Michael’s legacy and there’s a reason for that. At the time Michael was the only person who really infused pop, r&b, hip hop and several other genres to create a sound that people never heard before. He was the only person to redefine what it meant to put on a show for the fans. He was the only person to really take his music and showcase it on an international stage. Today anyone can do what the next artist is doing and make it look good. Michael’s era and Chris’ era are two very different times. The music industry today is not what it was when Michael was running the show. But despite the two very different lasting legacies, the work ethic, ear for music and love for their fans are synonymous with each other.

So it’s up to you if you agree or disagree with this article. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. You may think Chris has nothing on Michael or that Chris is the next Michael. But one thing is for sure history is known to repeat itself. Even though he may not be or never will be there, Chris is the closest thing to Michael. With this current time that we’re in, you can’t deny that Chris Brown is this generations Michael Jackson.

29December

Top Ten Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2015

Posted by - Mark Elibert

2015 was a magical year for hip-hop. From the seasoned vets to the fresh rookies, most of the releases this year made 2014 forgettable and left us wondering what was to come in 2016. The amount of work that artists put out in 2015 was incredible so it’s only right that we include an honorable mention section. Seriously, there was so many projects this year that it was difficult picking out only ten albums that really left their mark on the genre. So check out this list for the top 10 best albums of hip-hop in 2015 and if you feel we left something out or want to voice your opinion leave a message in the comments below!

Honorable mention: Pusha T – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude, Young Thug – The Barter 6, Tyler, the Creator – Cherry Bomb, Action Bronson – Mr. Wonderful, Joey Bada$$ – B4.Da.$$, Meek Mill – Dreams Worth More Than Money, Jay Rock – 90059, Dr. Dre – Compton, Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment – Surf, Travis Scott – Rodeo 

10.) Big Sean – Dark Sky Paradise

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After years of mediocrity, Big Sean got the formula right for his third studio album when he enlisted the help of several big name artists in DJ Mustard, Kanye West, Drake, Mike WiLL Made It and more. His first number one album spawned the hits “I Don’t F**K With You”, “Blessings”, and “One Man Can Change The World” and certified Sean’s spot as one of the genres best MC’s. Despite his past as the nonsensical, fun-loving rapper, this is his most personal work to date.

9.) The Game – The Documentary 2 & 2.5

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Ever since The Game’s first album his career was very intriguing. He had several high profile beefs and several albums and mixtape that many thought the Compton MC lost his sight. But one thing remained with The Game, he never changed what or who he was. The Documentary 2 and 2.5 is a double disc album that is an ode to The Game’s current status amongst his peers. The album features a plethora of who’s who in hip hop that are straight from the West Coast (Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, YG, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg and more). Even when most people thought he was out, The Game was saving this moment for this exact album.

8.) Vince Staples – Summertime ’06

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It’s a known fact in hip-hop that if you want a guaranteed classic you make an album about your upbringing. The same model that The Notorious BIG, Kendrick Lamar and many others followed is exactly what Vince Staples did with Summertime ’06. The album features production by Clams Casino, No I.D., DJ Dahi and more. It’s a very ambitious take on Staples’ dark past. Each narrative whether it be running from the police, racial profiling or gang banging, Staples’ persona draws in demanding us to listen to all of it.

7.) Lupe Fiasco – Tetsuo & Youth

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One of the most polarizing figures in hip-hop always manages to releases album the proves to us that if he’s not the best lyricist in the game he’s one of the best. Tetsuo & Youth showed us a side of Lupe that we haven’t seen since his second studio album The Cool. Lupe has always been one to never be afraid to voice his opinions and even though he may be wrong, he’s always one step ahead of all of us. Tetsuo & Youth features the same sharp, confusing and dizzying trademark lyrics of Lupe and it’s a huge step away from the turn up/lit era that we are currently in.

6.) Fetty Wap – Fetty Wap

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A lot of people thought Fetty Wap would be a one hit wonder. After “Trap Queen” every one quickly wrote him off. But “My Way” featuring Drake dropped soon after, then “679”, then “Again” and so on and so forth. Fetty really took the country by storm and absolutely no one saw it coming. His first three singles cemented his status as hip-hop’s resident rapping crooner and his album showcased exactly what he brings to the genre. Fetty’s knack for creating hit records isn’t seen in many artists and his album is full of nothing but hits. Each song you hear you probably heard on the radio already. Say what you want about him but Fetty has found his spot.

5.) Rae Sremmurd – SremmLife

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Much like Fetty Wap no one saw Rae Sremmurd’s success coming. After “No Flex Zone” people wrote them off as well, then “No Type” dropped and “Throw Sum Mo” and the rest was history. No one in hip hop today embodies the turn up/lit era more than Rae Sremmurd does. Their debut album, which dropped at the top of 2015, is a fun, bright, dancing good time and that’s what the core of hip-hop is, having fun. With excellent production from Mike WiLL Made It, the brothers flow on the beats effortlessly and keep their level at 100, never going below that for the duration of the album.

4.) A$AP Rocky – At.Long.Last.A$AP

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Many people wondered what happened to Pretty Flacko during his two year hiatus. All we heard from him were features and a canceled A$AP Mob album. Then out of nowhere he dropped “Multiply” and “LPFJ2” which left many anticipating his second album. Even with the passing of A$AP Yams, A$AP Rocky never stopped and when A.L.L.A dropped it wasn’t your typical hip-hop album. The album was filled with psychedelic raps with influences from sixties rock icons that worked so well with Rocky’s aesthetic. It wasn’t anything that we’ve heard before and it marked the return of the A$AP Mob.

3.) Future – DS2

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What else can be said about Future’s 2015? The man dropped 3 mixtapes, a collaborative album with Drake and a full length studio album. All that and he’s still not done with even more projects for 2016. DS2 is filled with club bangers and street anthems that discuss Future’s bouts with drugs, women, sex and loneliness. But despite all that it sounds like you’re turning up at the club. Futures past work up to his last album before DS2, Honest, is a distant memory. DS2 is a fresh start into Future’s world and we see who he really is accompanied by the lavish life and the personal demons that eat him up and we’re all here listening to it all.

2.) Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late

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Despite allegations of a ghostwriter Drake shut the hip-hop world down with IYRTITL. The 17-track album dropped unexpectedly as a prelude to his next highly anticipated studio album Views From The 6 and it was nothing short of pure heat. Drake reminded us that he not only knows how to make hit records but can lay down several quotable bars. No one was safe from exes to haters to doubters to his own label mate Tyga, everyone got served a little something on this album. Admit it, everyone said they were running through something with their woes.

1.) Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

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One of the blackest albums ever made was one of the best albums of the year as well. With no promotion or any type of media presence, Kendrick created a body of work that was pure music. A mix of funk, hip-hop and jazz TPAB showcases Kendrick’s evolution as an artist. He tackled sociopolitical issues in the world today as well as battling with his self-identity. It was an album that we all needed as Kendrick attacked everything that clouds our judgment and keeps us from being pure human beings. Following in the steps of the late Tupac Shakur, Kendrick has made himself the voice of this current generation.

24November

Jay Z Signs Belly of XO to Roc Nation

Posted by - Mark Elibert

Adding more fuel to the Roc Nation fire, Jay Z has just signed Canadian rapper Belly who hails from The Weeknd’s XO crew. If you don’t know Belly had a run with his mixtape Up For Days in 2015 and has worked on his XO imprint with The Weeknd. The signing is big as we will see Belly’s debut on Roc Nation sometime in 2016. Head over to Billboard to read the full news on Belly’s signing.

24November

Rick Ross – Crocodile Python [Audio]

Posted by - Mark Elibert

With his Black Market LP coming right around the corner, Rick Ross decided to bless us with a single straight off the LP. “Crocodile Python” features production from Jahlil Beats and Ross flexing his lyrical muscles. Check out the Black Market LP December 4th and listen to the track below!

11November

Jeezy – Round Here [Video]

Posted by - Mark Elibert

As we get closer and closer to Jeezy’s sixth studio LP Church In These Streets, Jeezy decided to drop us off with a video for “Round Here”. In the video Jeezy gives us a tour of his native Atlanta. Check out the video below!

11November

Ty Dolla $ign – Violent [Video]

Posted by - Mark Elibert

Ty Dolla $ign welcomes his fans and newcomers to his crazy life on the road. In his new video “Violent” Ty shows everyone the mayhem and wild shenanigans he gets into on tour and shows several NSFW images and visuals to coincide with the video. Free TC drops this Friday. Check out the video below!

11November

G-Eazy & A$AP Ferg Announce When It’s Dark Out Tour

Posted by - Mark Elibert

In support of G-Eazy’s upcoming album When It’s Dark Out, G-Eazy and A$AP Ferg have joined forces and announced the When It’s Dark Out tour. The tour which features 40 stops in both the states and overseas kicks off on January 6th in Portland, Oregon and ends May 26th in London, England. Check out the tour dates below!

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