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The Ultimate Drake Album: A Twisted Love Story

FOREWORD In the history of the hip-hop industry, there has never been a more dominant artist than Aubrey “Drake” Graham. The 33 year-old superstar has undergone several re-inventions over the years, much to the delight of his ever-growing fanbase. As much as we have seen him progress, however, the substance in his music carries one glaring constant – heartbreak. It’s no secret that Drake is the master of the introspective love song, and as much as it probably pains him to have to go through experiences that inspire these records, the music has continued to serve as salvation for distraught fans everywhere.  At this point, we owe Drake for giving us all this incredible music at the expense of his own emotional distress. My first thought in paying homage was to curate a carefully-selected 100-song playlist of all his best music. Quickly, I realized that: 1) it’s an impossibly subjective task to narrow down his 100 “best” records, and 2) a playlist that deep is sure to oversaturate the respect we’re trying to pay in this instance. So I took a different approach. I thought to myself, ‘what would Drake appreciate the most from the perspective of a long-time fan? …

Our 50 Favorite Joey Bada$$ Songs

Every once in a blue moon, an artist will come by in hip-hop that bridges the ever-dividing gap between the new and the old – someone who embodies the best of both, and someone that everyone can agree on. Joey Bada$$ and the Pro Era crew were just that when they first came out. Employing a 90s-influenced style and a classic aesthetic that inspired a generation of artists in New York and beyond, Pro Era had the technical skill and “pure hip-hop” lyricism that one would expect from a 90s act, while they also possessed a sense for style, sound, and group comradery that resonated with current-day listeners. It was an incredible marriage of innovation and influence that came from a crew of artists talented and wise beyond their years, spearheaded by none other than Joey Bada$$: an artist now with several undeniable classics to his name, all the way from pure-as-it-gets hip-hop tracks to high-flying, radio-ready anthems. Frankly, Joey Bada$$ has done it all, and his still-growing contributions to hip-hop – aesthetically, lyrically, sonically, and otherwise – are not to be underestimated. Not often do we get a talent of Joey’s caliber that fans of any age can get behind, …

Watch Eminem on Hotboxin’ With Mike Tyson

Eminem is one of the GOATs and a living legend in the hip-hop community, and Mike Tyson is also the GOAT in his own right, so when two living legends sit down for a great conversation like this one, it’s only right that you give them your utmost attention. You will find these guys talking about several subjects including how he got started making music, being inspired by LL Cool J & Run DMC, The Hip Hop Shop in Detroit, J. Dilla and Slum Village, losing to MC Juice in a rap battle back in the day in Ohio, how he first got in tune with Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, how proud he is of his daughter Hailie, Mike being a part of the “Godzilla” music video directed by Lyrical Lemonade’s own Cole Bennett, Em sparring with his buddies as a youth, working with Jay-Z, Mike’s appearance in The Hangover, Eminem’s his greatest accomplishment and he even asked Mike a handful of questions about his fighting days. This is by far the best Eminem interview that I have ever watched, Mike and Eben brought out the best in him, hopefully we get the part two soon but for the …

Watch Wale’s latest interview with Joe Budden on “Pull Up”

In this music industry, we speak time and time again about the rappers who have the skill set to be one of the top players, yet still feel under appreciated. For me, that artist is Wale. Having first made his debut in the era alongside Drake, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar and Big Sean, Wale was someone who stood toe to toe with all of these artists and was still able to shine bright regardless. I covered Wale’s album last year Wow…That’s Crazy here on the site and despite it being one of his best bodies of work, he still feels that he can do more. Wale as of late, still feels as if something is missing in his career, and he sits down with Joe Budden for his interview series “Pull Up” to add some clarification to some of the conversation revolving around his name. Joe Budden has become one of the most unique conversationalists that we currently have in the music industry. The way he really taps into the artists mind and really get some of those non-traditional answers out of these artists, really makes for some pretty compelling content and leaves all viewers very informed on whoever he happens …

1/16 – [Dreamville] x [Ari Lennox] x [EARTHGANG]

It would be extremely difficult when speaking about rap groups that had a better year than Dreamvillehas had last year. Dropping possibly one of the biggest collaborative projects in Hip Hop history Revenge of the Dreamers III, the controlled chaos that J. Cole was able to create, it delivered an energy that has been unmatched to this day. It was around this time last year (January 2019) where the recording sessions for the album took place–and out of the 142 songs recorded, only 18 were selected. There were rumors about a deluxe edition dropping–and by the looks of it, that may be happening pretty soon. Dreamville dropped a pack consisting of two songs: “Buss It” by Ari Lennox and “Still Up” by EARTHGANG feat. Reason. “Buss It” is one of the solo cuts that Ari Lennox was working on that didn’t make the official cut for the album. We first caught glimpse of this song during the Revenge Documentary (around the 15:00 mark) and many fans assumed that since it didn’t make the album, that it would Gian a placement on Ari’s sophomore project whenever she begins working on it. This song is simply a seductive cut about intimate attractions between Ari and a …

ChaseTheMoney [Interview]: Chasing Money & More Success In 2020 And The Years To Follow

Cover Art: Griff Amongst the realm of producers, there are many contributing to the massive and ever-growing population of amazing music being made. However, it takes pure talent to be crowned alongside the ones who will shine the brightest, thrive the longest, and be solidified as one of the greatest to ever grace a track with their immaculate instrumentation. Often so, people speak about who the pioneers are as far as who’s running the rap game, and who’s killing the production game. Back in August of 2019, I wrote an article about the producers who were behind the sound of the current climate of music, and one of the easiest picks was St. Louis native ChaseTheMoney. By now, you should all be familiar with the sound that he has been creating, the trends he has been setting, and the everlasting music that has been released in the last few years. Even if you haven’t seen what he looks like, you have to have heard his catchy “Chase the money, chase the money!” producer tag provided by Chicago’s own Valee. Throughout his career, he’s been able to collaborate with a wide array of artists such as Ski Mask The Slump God, …

The Current State of Rap: Are We In Need Of A New Sound?

As we are approaching the end of not only the year of 2019, but the end of an entire decade–it’s around this time where we sit back and reflect on everything that has been going on in the grand scheme of things. We start to discuss who the hottest new artist is, who had the best run, who was the most consistent–so on and so forth. As of late, there has been a lot of talk in the industry about the current state of hip hop. Everything from where we’ve been, where we’re at currently, and where we will be in the future to come. With all the talk about Grammy nominations and awards show snubs, it sparked a thought in my mind about the current state of hip hop. As I sat and reflected on the industry, it posed the question to me–are we in desperate need of a new sound? Seeing as rap has been the most dominant genre not only on the Billboard charts, but culturally in the past five years or so, there have been a vast array of hot takes and opinions about the current state of rap, and what we need in order to …

A Conversation with DJ Premier: One Of The Best Yet

DJ Premier is a pioneer of hip-hop and an absolute living legend, he has accomplished an astonishing amount in his career and just about a month ago he released his latest masterpiece, a brand new Gang Starr album titled One Of The Best Yet. I grew up a huge fan of Gang Starr in my adolescent years as I am sure many of the people reading this did as well, so when I first head about this new album I was in complete shock, partially because their last album prior to this came out way back in 2003 and also because it has been nearly a decade since the passing of the legendary emcee Guru who made up of one half of the group. This was the first time in his career that DJ Premier had to piece together an album without Guru by his side helping him compose it, he had previously recorded verses that we anywhere from 10-20 years old and he somehow managed to craft it into a tremendous + memorable body of work. Needless to say, when I got the opportunity to interview one of my idols and someone who I have studied like DJ Premier, …

Revisit the Deluxe Version of Young Thug’s Critically Acclaimed Album ‘So Much Fun’

When So Much Fun was released back in August, it by far was one of the most anticipated albums to release this year. The project we received blew a lot of peoples minds with how great it was–sonically and performance wise. The album was eligible for Gold certification only two short months after release, stayed in the Top 20 on Billboard every single week since its release, and even obtained one grammy nomination for “The London” with Travis Scott & J. Cole–why the album was not submitted for any other categories, we do not know. To see Young Thug after so many years and so many projects finally release his official debut album, it was an amazing thing to see and hear after listening to him for so long. So Much Fun has been in my regular rotation ever since it was released and I can honestly say I listen to it at least every week. On top of that, I can definitively say that this is my album of the year. All of my original thoughts and stances still remain the same, which you can read my original review of the album here. Young Thug is back to close out the year with …

Smino: Still Building

Photo by Pooneh Ghana / Red Bull Content Pool On November 23rd, coordinated by Red Bull Music Festival, Smino played for a sold-out crowd at Thalia Hall in Chicago. A few days prior, he was nominated for his first Grammy Award in light of his contributions to the renowned Revenge of the Dreamers III. A few months before that, Smino offered a standout performance on Chance The Rapper’s highly-anticipated album, The Big Day. And before that, the St. Louis mainstay embarked on the 33-stop Hoopti Tour, directly after releasing his critically-acclaimed album, NOIR.  2019 has been busy for Smino. And tiring, probably. But on November 23rd, the wear and tear of a restless year, bounded by success, refused to be seen. Entering the stage with the same effortless cool that swept across his introductory album, blkswn, Smino won the night before it even started. The show was just a victory lap. You see, at one point in his life, Smino moved from St. Louis to Chicago without a dime. He slept on the floor of a cramped recording booth, convinced that at some point or another, Plan A would pay off. In front of an exhilarated Thalia Hall, I was …