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Hip-Hop And The Grammys: It’s Complicated

On the Recording Academy’s Up-and-Down Relationship with Rap     The scent of weed wafting its way down the hall to my room from Andre3000’s neighboring after party cements the night in my mind like it was yesterday. Andre had reason to celebrate: it was 2004, and Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below had just won what is generally considered to be the top prize on “Music’s Biggest Night”—the Grammy Award for album of the year. I remember the night, and that smell of success, like it was yesterday. But it was hardly yesterday, was it? It’s the most oft-mentioned, ongoing streak of embarrassment for the Grammys, but it must be repeated annually until it’s broken: it has been fifteen years since that Outkast win, and no rap project since has reached the Grammy summit. Plenty of worthy LP’s have been nominated, but all have come up short, including exceptional  releases by Lil Wayne, Drake, Jay-Z and—three times each, Eminem, Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar. That’s fifteen years, mind you, in which hip-hop has only solidified its place as contemporary culture’s preeminent sound and style. What can you say? Fool me once…but fool me fifteen times? The 61st Grammy Awards will take …

The Day After The Verdict – [MC Tree]

Chicago native MC Tree is making his return to our website today with his brand new thought provoking record titled “The Day After The Verdict”. When it comes to straight lyrical ability not many can go bar for bar with MC Tree, he never wastes a bar and he tends to improve any record that he jumps on. The main topic throughout this record are essentially his thoughts the day after the verdict of ex Chicago police officer & murder Jason Van Dyke for shooting Lawuan McDonald sixteen times, and MC Tree truly poured out his soul and you can hear it in the conviction in his voice. Along with the release of this new offering MC Tree left us with some words adding: “one day after convicted child killer and ex chicago cop jason van dyke was sentenced to 81 months for the murder of 16 year old laquan mcdonald. i felt compelled to express my feelings in a song last night.. i was heated to say the least, although this was the first time in the history of chicago that a chicago cop was convicted of wrongful murder on the job, which in itself is a great achievement …

Forget It – [Jute$]

Little Spotify tip for you… Any song you come across and have even a mild interest in… save it. At times, you’ll feel a little cluttered, but it’s worth it when you throw it on shuffle and rediscover something dope. That’s exactly what happened to me with Jute$. On my way to do a write-up, I re-stumbled upon his irresistibly catchy effort, “Either Way”. Entranced by those vocals, and eager to share it here on the pages of Lyrical Lemonade, I did a quick search to see if he had anything new; sure enough, just a few hours old, there was “Forget It.” Tackling the bitter-end of a relationship, “Forget It” is considerably less vibrant, than the shuffle-discovered, “Either Way” yet Jute$ sugary, syrupy vocals still engine the effort. His voice really jumps out atop the atmospheric production from Xtravulous to draw you in. Considering the theme and the feel of the track, that is no small feat. There’s definitely a sneaky power to his light, pop-laced vocals that stick with you. Moral of the story, save every song you come across and you’ll have some amazing artist waiting which, hopefully, now includes Jute$.

Beamlight – [Jay Prince]

When I see Sango’s name attached to something, I can’t press play fast enough. A longtime fan of the producer, I’m usually expecting something with tremendous bounce and color, which is why Jay Prince’s sinister new effort “Beamlight” caught me off guard (in the best possible way). Here, Sango joins forces with Savon, combining knifing snares and subdued keys that work together to create track’s callous feel. It’s the perfect canvas for Jay Prince to paint a picture of the challenging, unforgiving environment he comes from and his determination to rise above. From top to bottom– from the beat, to Prince’s calculated approach, to the striking, black-and-white visuals– “Beamlight” is so effective in its minimalism. It’s not easy to create such a powerful effort with such a bare-bones approach, but Prince nailed it. “Beamlight” can be found on Prince’s forthcoming project, the Mourning EP, set to drop on January 25th.

Conn3ct3d – [Wifisfuneral] & [Robb Bank$]

Late last week Florida leaders Wifisfuneral & Robb Bank$ connected (no pun intended) for a brand new project titled “Conn3ct3d“, and it’s nothing you want to miss out on. You can feel the infectious energy that they each bring in the introductory record “Save A Hoe” with their saucy flows & extraordinary vibes , and they kept up that feeling for the entire eleven tracks provided. The way that these two blended together throughout this tape was impressive to say the least, you would think that these two were apart of a duo due to their unmatched chemistry. Take a few minutes of your day to get in tune with arguably the hottest project you will hear this month!

Nights Like This – [Kehlani] x [Ty Dolla $ign]

A couple of hours ago Kehlani blessed her massive fan base with a brand new offering titled “Nights Like This” featuring Ty Dolla $ign. 2019 is looking to be a huge year for Kehlani because many of us are expecting her to release her first album since her debut project SweetSexySavage that dropped back in 2017, and this new single is a promising start for the fans! I don’t think it’s possible for Kehlani to make a bad record, she’s constantly whipping up solid jams one after another and this new joint is certainly no disappointment! Check out her brand new single below via Soundcloud and if you like it be sure to share it with a friend.

TOP 50 CHICAGO PROJECTS OF 2018

While Chicago has been known as a reputable city in hip-hop for numerous years now, this revered position has not arrived without the constant innovation and hard work of the artists that so faithfully represent the prowess of their home city. It is these artists that we have to credit for this respected reputation, and we here at Lyrical Lemonade try to honor this in every way possible by constantly bringing new Chicago acts into our headlines here on our website. That said, 2018 has been yet another fantastic year for Chicago music, so we went ahead and compiled a list of our “Top 50 Chicago Projects” of the year. This now marks the third year that we have been putting out this list, and we believe that it’s safe to say this year’s list might just be the most solid one from top to bottom that we’ve seen yet. Thank you to our terrific writing staff for all of the hard work they have put in this year, I will be linking their socials below so be sure to contact them about getting featured on the website in the future. Seamus Fay • Mike Del Ro • Sam Morrison • …

Watch 21 Savage’s New Interview on the Breakfast Club

Fresh off of the release of his brand new album, i am > i was, the whole music world is talking about 21 Savage right now. His latest project was, without a doubt, the star’s finest work to date, and justly so, 21 made sure he talked about its creation in his new interview alongside the Breakfast Club. Speaking on subjects including loyalty, Atlanta, fatherhood, trust, being himself, the current climate of rap, and much more, this video is filled with gems that fans are sure to love and learn from. 21 Savage is maturing into the artist that we’ve always known him to be capable of being, and it’s a refreshing sight to see. That said, click play on the interview below and if you haven’t already, stream i am > i was at the link below!

i am > i was – [21 Savage]

Well, he didn’t forget this time. Two weeks after the initially-announced release date of his new album, 21 Savage has finally let loose the project, and it’s everything we hoped it would be and more. Spanning fifteen tracks, the body of work has vibes for everyone alongside features from the likes of Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and more. Without a doubt, i am > i was ensures a star-studded experience, and 21’s display of artistic maturity is a reassuring sign for both fans new and old. There’s a lot to dive in to in this one, and we’re sure to have it on repeat for weeks to come. Make sure you don’t forget 21 Savage on your year-end lists. Listen to the new album below!

Aw Sh*t – [Joey Purp]

A couple days ago Savemoney leader Joey Purp blessed his growing fan base with a brand new music video for “Aw Sh*t”. This record was off of his well received album “QUARTERTHING” that dropped a few months ago and it became a fan favorite quickly, so it was only a matter of time until we got this new music video and I must say they really outdid themselves with this great visual! You will see a ton of familiar faces in this visual, as they executed an interesting concept to make this song even more addicting! Take a few minutes of your day and check out this brand new music video below! Photo by @Khavon.shots