Tag : rap

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Drake Shares Tribute To Canadian Singer Gord Downie

Canada is mourning the loss rock icon Gord Downie — the face and voice Canadian hall--fame band The Tragically Hip. Downie passed away Wednesday (October 18) from an aggressive and incurable form brain cancer called glioblastoma.

Along with countless others, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Toronto-born rapper Drake shared a tribute to the rocker his Instagram account.

“Rest In Peace legend … you will be forever treasured by this country and missed by the world,” he wrote in the caption the photo. The image was taken during the May 5 Toronto Raptors playf loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers when Downie approached Drizzy during half-time.

Public Enemy front-man Chuck D also paid respect to Downie on Twitter, which was met with respect and admiration from many Canadian fans.

Downie was diagnosed back in 2015 after suffering a seizure. The Tragically Hip then embarked on a final tour, which ended with an epic sold-out final concert in their hometown Kingston, Ontario.

“Gord knew this day was coming – his response was to spend this precious time as he always had – making music, making memories and expressing deep gratitude to his family and friends for a life well lived,” read an ficial the statement on the band’s website.

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HipHopDX sends condolences to Gord Downie’s family, friends and fans.

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Young Dolph Is Selling Bulletproof Flak Jackets To Promote New Album

Young Dolph is revving up his promotional efforts ahead the release his new project, Thinking Out Loud.

The self-described “King Memphis” has unveiled his new line Thinking Out Loud-themed merchandise. It includes an $85 bulletpro flak jacket, a clear nod to last month’s Hollywood shooting incident that left Dolph with multiple gunshot wounds.

Young Dolph Is Selling Bulletpro Flak Jackets To Promote New Album

The jacket comes with a disclaimer that reads, “This item is solely the plate carrier vest, MOLLE plates sold separately.” In other words, the jacket isn’t actually bulletpro.

Elsewhere, Dolph is selling vinyl, cassette tapes and CD copies his new album, as well as Thinking Out Loud-themed t-shirts, hoodies and bandanas.

Dolph’s upcoming LP features 10 tracks with guest appearances from D.R.A.M., Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz and Ty Dolla $ign. On Wednesday (October 18), he also released a new video for the album’s single, “Believe Me,” which was partially filmed during his hospital stay.

To browse Dolph’s full range Thinking Out Loud merchandise, visit the rapper’s ficial store website.

Thinking Out Loud is expected to arrive on Friday (October 20).

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Every Hip-Hop Artist With Over 1 Million Monthly Spotify Listeners

In March, Spotify reached the 50 million paid subscriber plateau. Along with their unpaid user base, the most popular streaming platform in the world currently boasts over 100 million active users. Though a vast number hip-hop fans prefer competing subscription services like Apple Music (because its exclusives) and TIDAL (because Jay Z) over Spotify, not to mention free options like Audiomack and SoundCloud, Spotify will likely remain the king the streaming castle for the foreseeable future. 

Spotify owes its success to a number factors, most notably a clean user interface and an expansive music library—save for most Jay Z's catalog, along with Dr. Dre and a handful others—but its music curation, millions playlists and daily updated charts are undoubtedly what has helped the platform grow over time while retaining its user base.

One chart that doesn't exist, though, is a ranked list all artists by monthly listeners, which is one the several metrics, along with total plays and plays by country, that is made available to the public. (It's important to note that neither Apple Music nor TIDAL discloses artist, song or album analytics to their paying customers.)

For several years now, people have been asking Spotify to deliver a chart that provides an up-to-the-minute ranking artists by their total monthly listeners, but to date, they have only fered Top 200 and Viral 50 charts, which users can filter by country and date.

That changes today.

Below you will find a list every hip-hop artist—as well as a number R&B artists whose sound and image are synonymous with hip-hop—that currently has over 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify, along with their top streamed song on the platform.

To make your browsing experience more friendly, we have separated artists into four tiers based on their total monthly listeners: "We Gonna Make It" (1 to 4.9M), "FuckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt" (5 to 9.9M), "Kinda Like a Big Deal" (10 to 19.9M) and, finally, "I Got The Keys" (20M+). 

While running through the list, it's important to keep four things in mind:

1. If your favorite artist doesn't appear, it's because they do not currently (as May 19, 2017) have over 1 million monthly listeners. Upset? Get to streaming.
2. Artists like Jay Z (7.9M), Beyoncé (17.1M) and Dr. Dre (6.2M) have not made their entire catalog available on Spotify because their stakes in competing streaming services. If they did, however, their monthly listener totals would be higher.
3. We're confident we found every single artist that meets our minimum criteria standard—at least 1 million monthly listeners—but there's a strong likelihood we did miss a few artists. We will update accordingly moving forward, we promise.
4. This is a fun exercise. Please keep this in mind as these numbers are constantly updating.

And here we go...

"I Got The Keys" (20M+)

38M        Drake (“One Dance” - 1.2B)
31M        Kendrick Lamar (“HUMBLE.” - 217M)
29M        Nicki Minaj (“Only” - 180M)
28M        The Weeknd (“Can’t Feel My Face” - 703M)
27M        Future (“Low Life” - 271M)
26M        Ty Dolla $ign (“Swalla” - 157M)
25M        Rihanna (“Work” - 674M)
24M        DJ Khaled (“For Free” - 118M)
20M        Kanye West (“FourFiveSeconds” - 380M)
20M        G-Eazy (“Me, Myself & I” - 600M)

"Kinda Like a Big Deal" (10 to 19.9M)

19M        Pitbull (“Timber” - 430M)
17M        Beyonce (“Halo” - 280M)
17M        Eminem (“Lose Yourself” - 351M)
17M        Wiz Khalifa (“See You Again” - 648M)
15M        Lil Wayne (“A Milli” - 105M)
15M        Big Sean (“Bounce Back” - 210M)
15M        Kehlani (“Gangsta” - 82M)
14M        Chris Brown ("Five More Hours" - 326M)
14M        Migos (“Bad and Boujee” - 280M)
13.9M      Post Malone (“White Iverson” - 276M)
13.8M      French Montana (“No Shopping” - 63M)
13.3M      Lil Uzi Vert (“XO Tour Llif3” - 106M)
13.1M      Khalid (“Location” - 154M)
13.0M      KYLE (“iSpy” - 223M)
12.4M      Travis Scott (“Antidote” - 193M)
12.3M      Rae Sremmurd (“Black Beatles” - 383M)
11.7M      Logic (“1-800-273-8255” - 29M)
10.9M      Machine Gun Kelly (“Bad Things” - 247M)
10.5M      J. Cole (“No Role Modelz” - 307M)
10.4M      Gucci Mane (“Both” - 59M)
10.1M      Young Thug (“pick up the phone” - 154M)
10.0M      Kodak Black (“Tunnel Vision” - 109M)
10.0M      Desiigner (“Panda” - 590M)

"FuckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt" (5 to 9.9M)

9.8M        2 Chainz (“Watch Out” - 75M)
9.1M        D.R.A.M. (“Broccoli” - 343M)
9.1M        Wale (“My PYT” - 57M)
8.7M        Snoop Dogg (“Young, Wild & Free” - 298M)
8.7M        Childish Gambino (“Redbone” - 125M)
8.7M        Chance The Rapper (“No Problem” - 172M)
8.5M        Jeremih (“Don’t Tell ‘Em” - 191M)
8.5M        Ne-Yo ("Time Our Lives" - 376M)
8.3M        PARTYNEXTDOOR (“Run Up” - 169M)
8.0M        Notorious B.I.G (“Hypnotize” - 130M)
8.0M        Frank Ocean (“Thinkin Bout You” - 192M)
7.9M        Jay Z (“Niggas in Paris” - 351M)
7.8M        50 Cent (“In Da Club” - 169M)
7.7M        Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (“Thrift Shop” - 358M)
7.5M        Tyga (“Ayo” - 243M)
7.5M        Fetty Wap (“Trap Queen” - 522M)
7.1M        ASAP Rocky (“Fucking Problems” - 244M)
7.1M        Mike WiLL Made-It (“23” - 99M)
7.0M        Outkast (“Hey Ya!” - 214M)
7.0M        Trey Songz ("Slow Motion" - 162M)
6.9M        Bryson Tiller (“Don’t” - 279M)
6.9M        Kid Ink (“Promise” - 103M)
6.8M        Rick Ross (“Purple Lamborghini” - 116M)
6.7M        A Boogie Wit da Hoodie (“My Shit” - 57M)
6.3M        Kid Cudi (“Pursuit Happiness” - 157M)
6.2M        B.o.B (“Airplanes” - 122M)
6.2M        Russ (“What They Want” - 97M)
6.2M        Dr. Dre (“The Next Episode” - 185M)
6.2M        Meek Mill (“All Eyes on You” - 156M)
6.0M        Lil Yachty (“One Night” - 99M)
5.9M        T.I. (“Whatever You Like” - 92M)
5.8M        2Pac (“Ambitionz Az A Ridah” - 83M)
5.8M        Sage The Gemini ("Now and Later" - 155M)
5.7M        Yo Gotti (“Down in the DM” - 100M)
5.7M        ScHoolboy Q (“Man the Year” - 115M)
5.6M        YG (“My N*gga” - 122M) “FDT” doesn’t show up in Popular]
5.6M        Joey Badass (“Devastated” - 75M)
5.5M        21 Savage (“X” - 162M)
5.5M        Mac Miller (“Donald Trump” - 114M)
5.5M        XXXTentacion (“Look At Me!” - 63M)
5.4M        NAV (“Some Way” - 30M)
5.2M        Fat Joe ("All The Way Up" - 105M)
5.1M        Metro Boomin (“X” - 162M)
5.0M        The Game (“100” - 66M)
5.0M        A$AP Ferg (“Work (Remix)” - 99M)
5.0M        Tinie Tempah (“Girls Like” - 168M)

"We Gonna Make It" (1 to 4.9M)

4.8M        Tory Lanez (“LUV” - 159M)
4.8M        Kevin Gates (“2 Phones” - 154M)
4.7M        Busta Rhymes (“Don’t Cha” - 73M)
4.7M        Aminé (“Caroline” - 217M)
4.6M        Lil Jon (“Turn Down For What” - 256M)
4.6M        Madeintyo (“Uber Everywhere” - 109M)
4.6M        T-Pain (“Buy U A Drank” - 74M)
4.2M        DMX (“X Gon Give It To You” - 124M)
4.2M        Lupe Fiasco (“The Show Goes On” - 65M)
4.1M        6LACK (“PRBLMS” - 47M)
4.1M        Stormzy ("Shut Up" - 52M)
4.1M        Juicy J (“Bandz a Make Her Dance” - 55M)
4.1M        Ludacris (“My Chick Bad” - 31M)
4.1M        Playboi Carti (“wokeuplikethis” - 15M)
4.1M        Miguel (“Adorn” - 99M)
4.1M        DJ Mustard ("In My Room" - 110M)
4.0M        Pusha T (“Trouble on My Mind” - 31M)
4.0M        PnB Rock (“Selfish” - 66M)
3.8M        Ayo & Teo ("Rolex" - 62M)
3.8M        Omarion ("Post To Be" - 182M)
3.7M        Rob $tone ("Chill Bill" - 194M)
3.7M        Waka Flocka Flame (“No Hands” - 98M)
3.5M        Roy Woods (“Drama” - 62M)
3.5M        Remy Ma ("All The Way Up" - 105M)
3.4M        will.i.am (“Scream & Shout” - 198M)
3.4M        Diddy (“Ill Be Missing You - 3.4M)
3.4M        Rich Homie Quan (“Flex (Ooh, Ooh, Ooh)” - 161M)
3.3M        Missy Elliott (“Get Your Freak On” - 53M)
3.2M        Tee Grizzley ("First Day Out" - 31M)
3.1M        YFN Lucci (“Key to the Streets” - 36M)
3.1M        ASAP Mob (“Yamborgini High” - 33M)
3.0M        Nas (“If I Ruled The World” - 47M)
3.0M        Ice Cube (“It Was a Good Day” - 90M)
3.0M        O.T. Genasis (“Cut It” - 107M)
3.0M        SZA (“Childs Play” - 28M)
2.9M        Soulja Boy (“Crank That” - 74M)
2.9M        Young Money (“Trophies” - 88M)
2.7M        Jidenna (“Classic Man” - 109M)
2.7M        Jeezy (“Put On” - 54M)
2.7M        N.W.A (“Straight Outta Compton” - 79M)
2.7M        August Alsina ("I Luve This Shit" - 48M)
2.6M        GoldLink (“Crew” - 14M)
2.6M        Jhené Aiko (“The Worst” - 67M)
2.5M        Young M.A ("OOOUUU" - 112M)
2.4M        Ja Rule (“Always on Time” - 42M)
2.4M        Lil Dicky (“Save Dat Money” - 94M)
2.4M        Fabolous (“Into You” - 22M)
2.4M        Young Dolph (“Play Wit Yo Bitch” - 4M)
2.4M        ILoveMakonnen (“Tuesday” - 116M)
2.3M        Big Boi (“Shutterbugg” - 10M)
2.2M        Chief Keef (“Love Sosa” - 51M)
2.1M        Ugly God ("Water" - 54M)
2.1M        Fort Minor (“Remember The Name” - 146M)
2.1M        A Tribe Called Quest (“Can I Kick It?” - 44M)
2.1M        Ying Yang Twins (“Get Low” - 85M)
2.1M        K Camp (“Comfortable” - 55M)
2.0M        DJ Drama (“Wishing” - 44M)
2.0M        Tech N9ne (“Hood Go Crazy” - 33M)
2.0M        Wu-Tang Clan (“C.R.E.A.M.” - 52M)
2.0M        Nebu Kiniza ("Gassed Up" - 53M)
1.9M        Lil' Kim (“Lady Marmalade” - 58M)
1.9M        Vic Mensa (“U Mad” - 33M)
1.8M        Anderson .Paak (“Am I Wrong” - 19M)
1.8M        Lloyd Banks (“You Don’t Know” - 46M)
1.8M        Tyler, The Creator (“Yonkers” - 54M)
1.8M        Dae Dae ("What U Mean" 36M)
1.7M        E-40 (“Choices (Yup)” - 31M)
1.7M        Warren G (“Regulate” - 84M)
1.7M        Denzel Curry (“Ultimate” - 62M)
1.7M        Lloyd ("You" - 23M)
1.6M        The Roots ("The Seed 2.0" - 39M) 
1.6M        Bobby Shmurda (“Hot N*gga” - 134M)
1.6M        Eve (“Let Me Blow Ya Mind” - 59M)
1.6M        Yelawolf (“Till Its Gone” - 54M)
1.6M        Vince Staples (“Norf Norf” - 30M)
1.6M        Action Bronson ("Baby Blue" - 48M)
1.5M        Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony (“Tha Crossroads” - 31M)
1.5M        Mobb Deep (“Shock Ones Pt. II” - 47M)
1.5M        Eazy-E (“Real Muthaphuckin G’s - 22M)
1.5M        Hoodie Allen (“No Interruption” - 52M)
1.5M        Common (“Glory” - 26M)
1.5M        Lil Durk (“Like Me” - 25M)
1.5M        Isaiah Rashad (“Free Lunch” - 12M)
1.5M        Skizzy Mars - ("Do You There" - 15M)
1.5M        dvsn (“Hallucinations” - 26M)
1.5M        BJ The Chicago Kid (“Turnin’ Me Up” - 17M)
1.5M        NF ("Grindin" - 19M)
1.4M        Skepta ("Shutdown" - 35M)
1.4M        Twista (“Slow Jamz” - 20M)
1.4M        Bankroll Fresh (“Walked In” - 46M)
1.4M        Ab-Soul (“Illuminate” - 13M)
1.4M        DeJ Loaf (“Back Up” - 77M)
1.4M        Eric Bellinger ("Valet" - 59M)
1.3M        Mike Stud ("These Days" - 24M)
1.3M        D12 (“My Band” - 27M)
1.3M        Rich Gang (“Lifestyle” - 93M)
1.3M        Method Man (“Da Rockwilder” - 26M)
1.3M        Cam’ron (“Hey Ma” - 33M)
1.3M        Ace Hood (“Bugatti” - 56M)
1.3M        Majid Jordan (“My Love” - 22M)
1.2M        Rich Chigga ("Dat $tick" - 26M)
1.2M        LL Cool J (“Doin It” - 21M)
1.2M        Run The Jewels (“Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)” - 20M)
1.2M        Mos Def (“Ms. Fat Booty” - 35M)
1.2M        Syd (“YOU’RE THE ONE” - 9M)
1.2M        Ray J ("Sexy Can I" - 28M)
1.1M        Three 6 Mafia (“Stay Fly” - 17M)
1.1M        Bow Wow (“Shortie Like Mine” - 15M)
1.1M        Chingy (“Right Thurr” - 25M)
1.1M        Hopsin (“Ill Mind Hopsin 5” - 30M)
1.1M        Earl Sweatshirt (“Chum” - 27M)
1.1M        Lil Pump ("Flex Like Ouu" - 5M)
1.1M        Lecrae ("All I Need Is You" - 15M)
1.0M        Andy Mineo ("You Can't Stop Me" - 25M)
1.0M        Q-Tip (“A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” - 101M)
1.0M        Smino (“blkswn” - 2M)
1.0M        Freddie Gibbs (“Crushed Glass” - 810K)
1.0M        Dave East (“Wrote My Way Out” - 5.4M)
1.0M        Bad Meets Evil (“Lighters” - 57M)
1.0M        Danny Brown (“Grown Up” - 24M)
1.0M        Mick Jenkins (“Jazz” - 15M)
1.0M        Juvenile (“Back That Azz Up” - 22M)
1.0M        Plies (“Ran Off On The Plug Twice” - 21M)

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Bahamadia’s Phone-Produced “Dialed Up 2” Project Is Off The Hook

Philadelphia, PA – Since stepping out with her critically acclaimed debut, Kollage, in 1996, Philly native Bahamadia has established herself among the upper echelon  Hip Hop artists. From her work with the celebrated Lyricist Lounge series to collaborations with The Roots, the late Guru and Erykah Badu, she’s been a bright spot for female MCs.

Serving as the sequel to 2013’s Dialed Up, the B-Girl Records founder is back with Dialed Up 2, which — just like the first volume — was crafted entirely on her cell phone. For this round, Camp Lo’s Geechi Suede, Zion I, Kev Brown, Prozack Turner, Fat Nice, Groove Da Moast, Rasco and Dave Ghetto all make appearances. It came together as organically as possible.

“Various artist buddies and supporters were just down,” Bahamadia tells HipHopDX. “They liked my beat post on my social media, so I reached out and everyone featured on Dialed Up 2] came through pronto.”

“I believe in making music with those who see the vision and connect with it,” she adds. “Creating is spiritual to me, so making] it happen was unforced, like all things that are meant to be.”

It’s hard to believe the 12-minute mix was created so easily on a phone, but her innovative approach was entirely her idea, a testament to her unwavering artistic vision.

“I was] just being creative and became inspired to take a practical approach utilizing new media tools for music making mainly because I have found an ideal space to get ideas for my work to randomly,” she says.

As she continues helming her B-Girl Records imprint, she’s also putting the finishing touches on her long-awaited fourth studio album, HERE, which is expected to arrive sometime in 2018. It would serve as her first ficial album since 2006’s Good Rap Music. 

Bahamadia’s mission is still focused on delivering that pure boom-bap Hip Hop that she started churning out over two decades ago. At the same time, she’s intent on making more female voices heard.

“We need to bring back balance between women and men, and authentic Hip Hop artists and entrepreneurs,” she says. “The thing is … we here!”

Bahamadia’s Phone-Produced “Dialed Up 2” Project Is Off The Hook

 

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Kid Cudi Said My Writing is Worthless, So I Wrote About It

It's Friday night. I'm sitting in a circle  friends discussing the comments Kid Cudi made surrounding the state hip-hop. (What do you do with your Friday nights?) A few hours earlier, I wrote an article on the subject that wouldn’t be published until Monday, and I decided to pre-trial my opinion.

As much as I thought about what I had written, not once did I believe the article would reach Kid Cudi, and it was almost unimaginable that he'd respond. He’s pretty famous, million-plus followers on Twitter, and probably a plate full business to deal with to start the week.

Fast forward to Monday, the article is out and I’m on the way to my parent's house to give my mom a ride up the street. I check my phone and notice a Twitter notification with a mention from Kid Cudi. Admittedly, I’m excited; he’s acknowledging the article and potentially has something to say.

My excitement turned to a surreal shock when I read the message: 

Kid Cudi Said My Writing is Worthless, So I Wrote About It

I didn’t know what to say. Do I hit him with a meme? A gif? If there's a protocol here, I don't know it. I decided to be respectful and say, “I disagree, but thank you for sharing your 'opinion'.”

I RT’d his comment, so immediately, my followers are beginning to lose their shit. For some reason, I thought that would be the end our conversation.

To my surprise, Scott had more to say. “Like I said, your words hold no weight here. Not anywhere on this planet. Know this about yourself,” he tweeted.

When it comes to my craft, I’ve never been so disrespected. Kid Cudi wrote that. Kid Cudi. The voice all the lonely, depressed and outcast kids told me I’m worthless. This is the same guy that made A Kid Name Cudi and Man on the Moon, two tapes that I held dear because their impact during my high school years. I watched his come up, cheered for his success, and supported his releases.

What was I supposed to say? I honestly had no idea.

Before walking out the door I replied, “Words are my medium. So again, I completely disagree. I’ll continue to use them to get my point across.

I RT’d his second message before getting on the road. My phone is face down, shaking enough to be diagnosed with Parkinson's. Twitter is going crazy, my text messages are filling up, but mom is in the passenger and would have a heart attack if I attempted to text and drive. My mind is racing faster than the traffic, trying to comprehend why he was so obviously irate. Maybe I wouldn’t have been shocked if the piece was slanderous; an attempt to get a rise out him for pageviews, but that wasn’t the case. I was sincere in my rebuttal, and yet my thoughts were met with belittlement and utter disrespect.

By the time I had dropped f my mom, Cudi had deleted the tweets. I can only guess this wasn’t the “message” he wants hip-hop to receive.

Well, I heard it loud and clear. 

His message is that my words are meaningless. His message is that his fame makes him omnipotent and his opinion shouldn’t be questioned by a “sideline nigga.” I was such a fan his come up story, but that was when I was a just a listener and he was just an artist. Now I feel like his music is ruined for me. I can’t separate the man from the musician; he just took a giant shit on my art form, my self-expression.   

I’ve always been pretty fearless with what I choose to write, my fingers are moved by passion, not by name or stature. Now, though, I see how a reaction like this can change a writer's outlook. Especially in the age social media, when the barriers between writer and artist are so small (case in point), writers can prit by getting on the artist's good side, keeping them in a positive light, and reaping the benefits. I couldn’t do it, not without feeling dirty and vile. I’m not for sale, no amount RTs or pageviews can change that.

The relationship rappers have with writers has been more like a dysfunctional marriage for a long time. The closer a writer and rapper are the more they will love you when the words are in their favor, but the moment you write something displeasing, it’s a sign disloyalty. You become a Brutus, and they react accordingly.

After reading articles like, “Irate Rappers Give Journalists A Combat Beat” and “Mad Rappers: Wale, Complex and the History Violence in Hip-Hop Journalism,” it gave me a glimpse at how unpredictable the publishing a story can be. This was before social media and before artists could email in all-caps and send out their frustrations. We see more dialogue now because the digital platforms that connect us, but a few petty words on Twitter are nothing compared to having an irate rapper in your face, challenging you on your perspective, or beating you for it. This was certainly not that.

But who wants to feel like their opinion is being held at gunpoint? As a writer, you’re cheating yourself and your readers if you decide to be biased for the sake relationships and comfortability. If a piece is written without being disrespectful to the artist's craft, that artist doesn't have to agree, but they do have to respect the writer's craft the same.

I understand that trolls exist and artists could be on edge because how much negativity they receive every day, verbal or otherwise. Same with bloggers who will write pieces to ruffle feathers in hopes a traffic increase; they’re playing in oil while smoking cigarettes. Honestly, not every submission will be met with acclaim, not every review will be five mics and not every thought piece will shine your shit and pamper your ideals. But in the current climate integrity is being strangled; the pressure saying something honest with potential backlash, and saying something outlandish for the hope backlash, will only continue adding issues upon the issues.

As I told Kid Cudi, my words are my medium, and I’ll continue to use them to get my point across. No one is here to stroke egos or babysit feelings; we are here to deliver our perspectives and further discussions that surround the genre and culture that we love so much. 

My only vow to rappers and readers is that my mind is open, my ears are open, and my words are honest. No tweet, amount money or famous relationship will change that, and I know my fellow DJBooth brethren all carry the same sentiment.

By Yoh, AKA I’m G.O.O.D., aka @Yoh31

Like this article? DJBooth is committed to quality music journalism, never clickbait. You can join us by downloading our app or following us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Prodigy, J Dilla & Kid Cudi Highlight Record Store Day’s Black Friday Releases

Prodigy, J Dilla and Kid Cudi are among a number Hip Hop artists to feature on Record Store Day’s list upcoming releases for Black Friday (November 24).

A picture disc release Prodigy’s 2000 solo single “Keep It Thoro” is one two releases from the late Mobb Deep rapper. There will also be a 2-LP release P’s debut solo album, H.N.I.C.

A two-volume collection music from J Dilla will be released on limited color vinyl (V. 1 on green and V. 2 on purple) through Yancey Media Group. A portion the proceeds will go directly to Dilla’s two daughters, whose priles grace the album covers.

Kid Cudi’s most recent album, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’, will also have its own 2-LP release.

Elsewhere, Three 6 Mafia’s Chpt. 2: World Domination will be available on vinyl for the first time ever in celebration the project’s 20th anniversary.

Danger Mouse’s collaboration with Run the Jewels and Big Boi, “Chase Me,” will be released on 12” vinyl. The cut, from the Baby Driver soundtrack, will have a limited release just 2,000 copies.

Record Store Day’s Black Friday event takes place on November 24.

An overview this year’s Hip Hop ferings from the event is below, in artist/title/label/format order.

Record Store Day Exclusive Release

Danger Mouse feat. Run The Jewels and Big Boi – “Chase Me” – Columbia Records – 12” Vinyl

DMC – Back From The Dead: The Legend Lives – Brookvale Records – 12” Vinyl

Prodigy – Keep It Thoro – Legacy Records – 12” Picture Disc

Record Store Day Limited Run / Regional Focus Release

Latyrx – The Album: 20th Anniversary DLX – Real People – 2 X LP

Three 6 Mafia – Chpt 2: World Domination – Get On Down – 2 X LP

Record Store Day First Release

Insane Clown Posse – The Great Milenko: 20th Anniversary Edition – Psychopathic Records – 2 X LP

J Dilla – J Dilla’s Delights V. 1 – Yancey Media Group – LP

J Dilla – J Dilla’s Delights V. 2 – Yancey Media Group – LP

Kid Cudi – Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ – Republic – 2 X LP

Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz – Kings Crunk (15th Anniversary Double Platinum Vinyl Edition) – TVT Records – 2 X LP

Murs – 3:16 The 9th Edition – Emipre/Murs 316 – LP

The Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize – Bad Boy Records – 12” Vinyl

Sean Price – Refrigerator P – Coalmine Records – 10” Vinyl

Prodigy – H.N.I.C. – Get on Down – 2 X LP

Snoop Dogg – Neva Left – EMPIRE/Doggystyle Records – 2 X LP

Tyga – The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty – EMPIRE/Last Kings Music – LP

Non-Exclusive Records (Also Due Out Black Friday)

Madvillain – Four Tet Remixes 12” EP

MF Doom – Special Herbs 5 Cassette Box Set

To view the full list upcoming releases for Black Friday, visit Record Store Day.

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The Insane Story of How Pimp C Hated the “Big Pimpin” Beat, Refused to Travel for Video Shoot

This is easily one my favorite rap stories, one I've been telling for years, but have yet to see it just straight up typed out. So today I'm setting out to be the change I wish to see in the world. The short version is that Pimp C disliked the "Big Pimpin" beat so much he initially refused to rap on it and then no-showed on the video shoot. Here's the long version. 

Close followers  Pimp's story have known that he wasn't exactly jumping at the chance to work on "Big Pimpin for a while." As he told MTV way back in 2005:  

But that's only scratching the surface the story. Here's the complete story, as told by Bun B on the now dearly-departed "Hype Men" podcast I was involved in back in the day: 

  • JAY-Z, coming f his 5x Platinum Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life album, calls Bun B out the blue, but Bun at first hangs up on him, believing it's a prank call. Jay calls back again, convinces Bun it's really him and says there's a song for his upcoming album he wants UGK on.  
  • Right f the bat, Pimp is unimpressed. He was originally supposed to be on Jay's "Just a Week Ago" but Pimp refused to fly to New York City to record it. If JAY-Z wanted him on the song so bad, let Jay fly to Houston, and so the song never happened. Pimp moved for no man. 
  • Bun convinces Pimp to at least give the song a listen, but when the tapes arrive in the mail—yes, tapes, this was way before email—Pimp's adamant. Fuck that. There's no way he's rapping on such a weird beat.
  • Bun's not about to let the opportunity pass, so he flies to New York, gets a taste  Roc-A-Fella at its peak, records his verse and then slowly but surely wears Pimp down and convinces him to get on the song, if only as a favor to him. Pimp relents, but on one condition—he's only giving Jay eight bars. Not a word more. "I said that's cool, eight bars, no problem, just get on the fucking record," said Bun. "This song's gonna be a big deal. He sent it his verse] back to me and I listened....eight bars. I just rapped for something like 20 bars trying to out rap Jay Z, and this motherfucker just did it in eight bars."
  • "Things U Do" with Mariah Carey was initially supposed to be the big lead single f Vol. 3, but when that song fails to catch on Jay and Dame decide to change plans and give "Big Pimpin" the full single treatment. Plans for a huge video shoot in Trinidad with Hype Williams get underway.
  • Bun B misses his first flight and arrives at the video shoot in Trinidad a little late, expecting to see Pimp already there. Nope. Pimp has once again refused to leave Houston. Hype Williams can't believe Pimp would actually bail on the video shoot so keeps trying to convince him to come. It doesn't work, though, and they leave Trinidad with a massive video for a massive single that has exactly and precisely zero seconds Pimp C in it. 
  • New plan. They find a mansion and beach in the U.S. that looks vaguely "tropical" enough to pass for Trinidad and this time Pimp C shows up for the shoot. 

So with all that in mind, I want you to watch the "Big Pimpin" video again. Fair warning, you're going to have a Matrix moment. As many times as I had watched that video before I heard the full story, it never even occurred to me to wonder why Pimp's verse is so short, why the video changes locations, and why Pimp C is the only rapper to do his verse in that second location.

Prepare to have your mind blown...

The real takeaway here is that Pimp C was the greatest. He dictated the terms his life, his way, and wouldn't move an inch even for some the most famous and wealthy rappers on the planet. Long live the pimp.

Bonus: For more Pimp C goodness, pick up a copy "Sweet Jones: Pimp C's Trill Life Story" by author Julia Beverly.

Like this article? DJBooth is committed to quality music journalism, never clickbait. You can join us by downloading our app or following us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Wiley Feels Guilty Over Rival Dizzee Rascal’s 2003 Stabbing

Wiley and Dizzee Rascal are among the top stars in the Grime genre, but the United Kingdom rappers have not been friends for over 14 years due to a stabbing incident in 2003. Wiley, speaking at an awards ceremony this week, said he feels a bit guilt over what happened to his rival and doesn’t see reconciliation in the pair’s future.

The Sun exclusively reports:

Wiley hopes to make amends with Dizzee Rascal but that bridge is still under construction it appears.

Photo: WENN.com

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It Is Not Okay to Listen to Accused Serial Rapist R. Kelly

June 14, 2008, Robert Kelly shudders a sigh relief and walks out a Cook County courthouse a free man, cleared multiple child pornography charges in a trial that lasted six years. Look at him, armored in an expensive suit carefully chosen for the way its deep blue threads convey a calm and assertive innocence, look at him waving to supporters, one whom tells a reporter, "I just wish they leave the Kells alone." His face is the face a man who had his invincibility challenged and then reaffirmed, a man who would emerge from his trial by fire not only unscathed but strengthened. 

Now stop looking at Robert Kelly because Robert Kelly is a rich and powerful man and rich and powerful men can command our attention any time they choose. Instead, let your mind's eye wander over that linoleum drenched courthouse and into the city Chicago, into the home the girl who was on the tape that brought Robert Kelly to trial, the girl who at 14-years-old was raped and then had the videotape her rape played and replayed and analyzed and dissected, brutal frame by brutal frame, for a jury disbelieving strangers. Don't look away because she is not a rich and powerful man, and those who are not rich and powerful men rarely receive our attention. If only for a moment, give her your attention. 

It's been some thirteen years now since R. Kelly was first charged with child pornography possession, and since his acquittal we've settled into a drudgingly predictable pattern in which every few years the spotlight fades and then brightens again on the "stomach-churning" sexual assault allegations R. Kelly has faced, after which we see a wave intellectualized articles about separating great art from the sometimes terrible people who make great art, after which absolutely nothing happens, largely because the media's insistence on reframing R. Kelly's alleged systematic, repeated rape children as a question about art. 

"Is It Okay to Listen to R. Kelly?" asked Vulture in a recent article, making sure to credit him as a "musical genius" first and foremost before writing that he's been accused "awful things." And when we do that, when we insist on including R. Kelly's genius and music into our thinking about the things R. Kelly has been accused , it gives us a welcome escape hatch, it allows our attention to shift away from the path human devastation R. Kelly has left in his wake, away from the very real damage done to very real human beings, and into the land ideas and intellectual debate and cultural analysis, a land where it's far easier to continue to support R. Kelly because is it okay to listen to R. Kelly? If it's even a question it must be.

Ignorance is an excuse, although the weakest one, and one I know well. For years I gleefully bought and memorized R. Kelly albums, turned up the "Ignition (Remix)" when it came on the radio, wrote multiple articles about "Trapped in the Closet" alone. I knew Kelly had been charged with a sex crime, but in my mind, that trial had largely been reduced to a Chappelle Show skit, a reduction which conveniently allowed me to freely laugh at "Sex Kitchen." I'm now ashamed to admit that it never once crossed my mind that there was a child, an actual child with a name and a family and a favorite TV show, at the center those charges. And then, about two years ago, I actually took the time to read the "stomach-churning" sexual assault allegations against Kelly and suddenly I saw the very real children involved and I saw their parents putting on a brave face for their children but crying behind closed doors and I saw Kelly, unrepentant and untouched, and I was nauseated. So since that day I haven't listened to a single R. Kelly song or watched a single R. Kelly video or written a single word about R. Kelly, until now, because knowing what I now knew, how could it possibly be okay to listen to R. Kelly?

The litany allegations against Kelly, a litany that extends far beyond his one well-publicized trial, aren't classified, aren't hidden, many them are matters public record and easily accessed by anyone willing to look for them. So I have looked for them, because the stories young black women rarely demand our attention, particularly when placed against the stories rich and powerful men. Here are those stories...      

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  • Kelly met Aaliyah when she was 12-years-old and then married her when she was 15, he was 28 at the time. He falsified marriage documents stating that she was 18, the marriage was later annulled and Aaliyah signed an NDA nondisclosure agreement] preventing her from speaking about Kelly and their relationship. Barry Hankerson, Aaliyah's uncle and Kelly's then manager, writes a letter to Kelly's attorney in an attempt to get Kelly psychiatric help for his "compulsion to pursue underage girls." 
It Is Not Okay to Listen to Accused Serial Rapist R. Kelly
  • Tiffany Hawkins sues Kelly, alleging that beginning when she was 15-years-old he repeatedly had group sex with her and other underage girls.
  • Patrice Jones sues Kelly, alleging that beginning when she was 16-years-old Kelly had sex with her repeatedly, impregnated her at 17 and then forced her to have an abortion. According to Jones' lawyer, "That abortion haunts her to this day. She’s under psychological care now. It’s changed her life.” 
  • Tracy Sampson sues Kelly, alleging that Kelly began having sex with her when she was a 17-year-old intern at Epic Records and that Kelly impregnated her. 
  • Chicago prosecutors charge Kelly with 21 counts child pornography centered around a tape that purportedly shows Kelly having sex with, and urinating on, his goddaughter, who was 14-years-old at the time. According to Jim DeRogatis, the Chicago-Sun Times reporter who covered the trial and wrote several stories investigating Kelly's alleged abuses, "You watch the video for which he was indicted and there is the disembodied look the rape victim. He orders her to call him Daddy. He urinates in her mouth and instructs her at great length on how to position herself to receive his 'gift.' It's a rape that you're watching." Kelly is acquitted after his attorneys successfully argue that the tape could have been manipulated to make the man in it look like Kelly.
It Is Not Okay to Listen to Accused Serial Rapist R. Kelly
  • During the trial, Lisa Van Allen testifies that she began having sex with Kelly when she was 17-years-old and had participated in group sex along with the 14-year-old girl in the tape. In her testimony, Allen also says that she once broke down crying during a taped sexual encounter and Kelly became angry because the footage was now useless. “He couldn’t watch that, he couldn’t do anything with that,” she said.  
  • Kelly is arrested in Miami on 16 additional charges child pornography, authorities claim they found multiple photos nude, underage girls and photos Kelly "involved in sexual conduct with the female minor" while searching his residence. The charges are dismissed because the search warrant was deemed to be invalid.
  • An unnamed young woman alleges in a more than one-hundred page lawsuit that when she was 14-years-old Kelly discovered her at a Chicago school, Kenwood Academy, and began to have sex with her along with other underage girls he recruited from the school, giving them sneakers and other gifts. She says she's "scarred" by the experience and later attempts to kill herself by slitting her wrists.
  • In 2004 another sex tape leaks and the woman in that tape, Deleon Richards, says that she began having sex with Kelly a decade earlier when she was a teenager.
  • According to DeRogatis, there have been "Dozens girls - not one, not two, dozens - with harrowing lawsuits," all which have been settled by Kelly. DeRogatis also recounts that he also routinely fields calls from other women who say they can't sleep because they're haunted by Kelly's sexual abuse them as a teenager. It's important to note that all the examples above, dozens examples, only include women who went as far as filing lawsuits against Kelly. There are also reportedly several other examples in which Kelly settled with women before a lawsuit was filed, and droves other women allegedly abused by Kelly who never pursued any action against him. For example, a woman told the Chicago Sun-Times that Kelly began having sex with her when she was 17 after they met at a video shoot, another said she was involved in group sex along Hawkins, another said she was one the other girls from Kenwood Academy whom Kelly routinely had sex with, and Chicago area police twice investigated Kelly for completely separate incidents than the incident he was eventually charged for, but dropped those charges when the women declined to press charges. 
  • Kelly's longtime publicist, Regina Daniels, abruptly quit saying that Kelly has "crossed a line" by having sex with their then college-age daughter, who Kelly had known since she was seven.  
  • Kelly’s brother, Carey Kelly, alleges that Kelly attempted to get him to say he was the one in the sex tape, which he refused to do. He also alleges that he was routinely asked to find girls who "looked underage" at Kelly's shows and get their phone numbers.  
  • Demetrius Smith, Kelly’s longtime friend and personal assistant, publishes a memoir, The Man Behind the Man, in which he writes that: “Underage girls had proven to be Kelly’s] weakness. He was obsessed. Sickly addicted."

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When we read about R. Kelly's career and the allegations surrounding him we ten see words like "complicated" thrown around, except there's nothing complicated about our relationship to R. Kelly's continuing career at all. It's exceedingly straightforward, at least once you've seen the full scope and horrific weight the sum allegations brought against him. You can choose to believe that those dozens women, Tiffany Hawkins and Patrice Jones and Tracy Sampson and Lisa Van Allen and Deleon Richards and the girl who slit her wrists in a failed attempt to kill herself and all the broken, anonymous women who never sued and have called Jim DeRogatis simply because they need someone who will believe them, are all liars, all them, in which case you can listen to Kelly's music without burden. Or you have to believe that R. Kelly is a serial rapist who routinely preys on children. It really is that uncomplicated, there is no gray area, no middle ground, no haze. And if you believe that R. Kelly has done nauseatingly terrible things to children and you still choose to buy his albums and attend his concerts and listen to his music, then you're choosing to support a serial rapist. It's exceedingly straightforward. 

The complication comes not with R. Kelly himself but with our own lives. None us have any actual relationship with Robert Sylvester Kelly, and so it would be strikingly easy to cut him from our lives, except through his music he's permanently embedded into our most valued possession, our memories. We hear "I Believe I Can Fly" and think about Space Jam and remember our childhoods, we hear "I'm A Flirt" and remember how impossibly good our freshmen year crush looked that night at that house party, we hear "Happy People" and remember dancing with our aunt at our cousin's wedding and what his music means to us because it was playing while we were with the people who mean something to us and in the places that mean something to us. I remember driving down Harvard Ave. one November night, parking and then literally running into my friend's apartment to tell her about this incredibly strange and amazing....song?...they'd just played on the radio, "Trapped in the Closet." Of all the thousands hours my life I've forgotten, I still remember that hour. Our memories are sacred spaces, and so, course, we fight to protect them, wrap them in layer after layer denial and intentional ignorance if necessary to keep them pure and untarnished by the ten crushing truths we learn later. 

And so we tell ourselves that R. Kelly has never been convicted in court as if we truly believe that the justice system is a perfect reflection actual guilt and innocence. And so with each allegation, we concoct an explanation, most likely one provided by Kelly for us until the sheer volume allegations and explanations defy any logic. And so we tell ourselves that R. Kelly is a genius, detour into intellectual debates about the lines between the art and an artist's personal life as if any amount genius can be equivalent to the pain a raped child. As if you would ever look one those abused women in the eyes, women who could be your daughter or sister or mother or friend, and say, "But he makes great music." We all perform these mental contortions to avoid confronting hard truths so we can continue to live our lives in comfort, especially out fear being guilty by association, myself included in more ways than I can count, but here, in this specific case, with all these dozens  women who have said Kelly abused them, it really shouldn't be that difficult to place their pain in front our own entertainment. 

Shattering the sanctity our musical memories, our heroes, is a painful, difficult business, but I've found one force stronger than even our resistance to change - compassion. It's easy to ignore the allegations against Kelly when they're presented as ideas, a thing to be debated and thought about and questioned, it's nearly impossible to ignore them when you see those women as real, actual humans. As I write this my two daughters are sleeping and it's not hard to imagine them in the place Tiffany Hawkins and Patrice Jones, those fears come quick and devastatingly sharp to parents. I imagine them telling me they were raped, I imagine finding them with their wrists slit. I imagine them telling me who raped them, and then I imagine that man walking free out a courtroom, shuddering a sigh relief armored in an expensive suit carefully chosen for the way its deep blue threads convey a calm and assertive innocence. I imagine that man going on to gather fame and adoration and money and it's not hard to imagine because I know it's some father's reality and now I'm on the verge tears and deciding that I'll sleep in my daughter's room tonight so I can know she's protected and safe. 

If I could make you see their face when you look at Kelly, if I could make you hear their voice instead Kelly's when you listen to his music, I would, because they're all I see and hear now, and if their names are one day more well known than his, then there might be something like justice.

It is not okay to listen to R. Kelly.

Like this article? DJBooth is committed to quality music journalism, never clickbait. You can join us by downloading our app or following us on Facebook or Twitter.

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