By Vanessa Denis
Lloyd Banks dubbed his movement Blue Fridays months back and made free music available to his fans leading up to the release of his album The Hunger For More 2. With the release of HFM2 on Monday, the question whether he'll continue to release new music on Fridays has been a hot topic.
"As far as the Blue Fridays go, I'm gonna keep going up until the last Friday," Banks explained. "So maybe Black Friday, I'll stop there, but that's just that phase. I'll go into a whole new series."
The Blue Fridays shall continue but, with a new series title, a decision that should keep him a topic of rap discussions and continue to solidify his return to the rap game.
The Punch Line King started Blue Fridays as a form of promotion for HFM2, his comeback album since his sophomore Rotten Apple, release with G-Unit/Interscope back in 2006.
By Jocelyn Vena
Now that she's managed to crossover into the world of hip-hop, La Roux's front woman, Elly Jackson, admits that she has one good reason why artists like Dr. Dre, Kanye West and L.E.P. Bogus Boys are getting on the La Roux bandwagon. And, she admits it has a lot to do with her songs' titles.
"I think it's because our songs are called 'In For The Kill and 'Bulletproof,' " Jackson laughed to MTV News. "A lot of kids in the UK, they see it as not kind of in the way it was supposed to be meant, which is great [and] which I what songs are supposed to be about kind of people making them into their own thing. But obviously the tracks are about hope and going and doing something great for your self and a lot of kids in the U.K. were like, 'it's quite ghetto,' and I was like, 'It's not supposed to be ghetto,' but I like that about it." Read More...
By Chris Yuscavage
For Nicki Minaj, there is no comparison.
When Billboard proclaimed her the "First Lady (Gaga) of Hip-Hop" last week, Nicki Minaj jumped on her Twitter account immediately to refute the comparison.
"I didn't 'borrow a page' out of anyone's book," she tweeted, before adding "It's ok 2 give everyone their individual props. No need to lump them all into 1. Undermines the work I've put in."
That's all well and good but, in a way, Nicki should have been flattered to be compared to one of the biggest pop stars in the world right now. With Lady Gaga recently nominated for the TIME Person of the Year award, it's actually a good thing for Nicki to be in the same category as her, especially given that she's a new artist and Pink Friday is her first project. She must be doing something right in the eyes of fans and critics.
We also happen to agree with the comparison. To show you why, RapFix gathered a list of the 10 reasons that Nicki Minaj is the second coming of Lady Gaga. No need to get your (pink leopard?) panties in a bunch, Barbies. This is one comparison Nicki can use to her advantage.
1. She has a rabid core fan base that are extremely loyal
It's wrong to insinuate that Nicki used the same exact approach to gain fans—or "Barbz" as she calls them—as Gaga. But they've certainly gotten the same result. Miss Minaj has gained much of her popularity by getting a rabid fan base behind her and letting them do some of her promotional work for her. Like Gaga, she's put her career into the fans' hands and let them mold her into a superstar. Just like a real-life Barbie doll. Read More...
By Alvin Blanco
Kanye West is perfect. We’re not talking about his media savvy or predilection for egotism, but rather the critical reception to his new album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, known affectionately as MBDTF, which hit shelves on Monday (November 22). To date a number of reputable publications have given Yeezy’s 5th album perfect scores, including XXL magazine (an XXL rating), Rolling Stone (a 5 star rating) and Pitchfork (a 10/10 rating).
While critical acclaim for MBDTF has been ubiquitous, has it gotten a bit overzealous?
“This is definitely one of the most complete albums, in any genre, recently,” says Jesse Serwer, a freelance music journalist (Time Out New York, Village Voice). “But some people—and I'm talking more about critics than regular listeners here—might be overstating its brilliance. I've heard some say that this is a perfect album, or that they'd like to give it a higher rating than their rating systems allow for. I think these folks need to chill for a few months and divorce themselves from the back story and the hype ... I'm pretty sure when they do that, they will be a little more measured in their enthusiasm.”
The Kanye media machine has been in full effect, raising the anticipation for the album to a yellow fever in the Amazon jungle pitch via strategic leaks, interviews and appearances. Some say the media has simply bought into the hype before properly digesting the work. Read More...
By Chris Yuscavage
In rap, like Hollywood, sequels are rarely better than the originals.
Fat Joe's 2009 album, Jealous Ones Still Envy 2 (J.O.S.E. 2), couldn't hold a candle to the 2001 J.O.S.E. effort that helped introduce Joey Crack to the mainstream. Ghostface Killah's 2006 album, More Fish, sounds like a compilation of all the tracks gutted from Ghost's other 2006 LP, Fishscale. And, please, don't even begin to get us started on Jay-Z's 2002 double-disc, The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse!
But every now and then, an artist manages to create an album sequel that lives up to its name. Case in point: Lloyd Banks' new album, H.F.M.2 (Hunger For More 2). More than six years after dropping his 2004 debut, The Hunger For More, the G-Unit soldier has crafted a solid album that showcases lyrics that sound just as hungry as when his career began. With that in mind, RapFix decided to take a look back at 10 other rap album sequels. Nothing beats an original—but these came damn close.
The Artist: Raekwon
The Original Album: 1995's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...
The Sequel: 2009's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II
It sure took the Chef long enough to cook up a second helping of his classic debut. But once we heard what he was serving, we had to admit that it was worth the wait. The only drawback? You can blame Rae for Busta Rhymes' Extinction Level Event 2, Redman's Muddy Waters 2, AZ's Doe or Die 2 and all the other rappers slapping the number "2" on the end of their classic album titles in order to try and reclaim their place amongst hip-hop's elite. Read More...
Nicki Minaj is the topic of plenty of conversations these days, with the release of her debut album, Pink Friday, her ongoing feud with Lil' Kim and the release of her MTV documentary “My Time Now” around the corner.
In “My Time Now” the star femcee’s life is revealed with more candid insight than she’s ever shared. The Lil Wayne protégé let cameras trail her for months and after a screening at the 1515 offices last week, hip-hop media members and bloggers came away impressed with what they learned about the Head Barbie in Charge.
“I feel like it’s a great look to see her actual creative side, how she actually sits down and focuses,” Bossip’s Jemel Asbury said of the clips featuring Nicki in the studio sessions. Read More...
By Kathy Iandoli
It was bound to happen. After politely evading questions about Lil' Kim's comments, Nicki Minaj finally attacked the issue head on Friday (November 19).
“She just really jumped out the window,” Nicki said of Kim's comments on New York's Hot 97 radio station during an interview. “You gotta be careful when you pick fights. That’s what I’ve learned in this business; you just never know. I think people get me mistaken for a real Barbie. They forget where I’m from, and if I have to revert back, I can and I will. So don’t play with me.”
During a chat on "The Wendy Williams Show" last week, Barbie lightly spoke about her rival but didn't name anyone explicitly.
"They know who I’m talking about. That’s the thing … when you put out records, only the guilty ones feel like you’re talking about them," Nicki told Williams. "If you have nothing to worry about, if you never came out saying stuff, if you never came out saying your ungrateful bullcrap, then you wouldn’t worry about it." Read More...
By Hillary Crosley, with additional reporting by Matt Elias
When Lloyd Banks stopped by "RapFix Live" a few weeks ago, he mentioned something many rap fans wanted to hear—Kanye West and 50 Cent would most likely collaborate. However, when MTV News caught up with Fif on the set of "Down on Me," his song with Jeremih, the G-Unit general had his own news to share.
"Lloyd Banks' next single 'I Don't Deserve You,' " said 50 Cent. "It's serious."
The female-friendly track features Jeremih who called the song something "to cruise to."
Banks shared several tracks from his new LP, HFM2 (Hunger For More 2), which hit shelves on Monday (November 22), during his "RapFix Live" chat with Sway. After introducing "Take Em To War" featuring Tony Yayo and "Sooner Or Later (Die 1 Day)" featuring Raekwon, Sway convinced the MC to debut another cut, "Father Time," right here on RapFix. According to 50, this Banks album is a flag in the ground for the MC in some ways. Read More...
By Steven Roberts
Now that the world is beginning to—officially and legally—see the brilliance that is Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, I thought RapFix could take a look at one of the many (read: all) stand-out tracks from the record. There is no shortage of features on MBDTF (because I’m not spelling that out again), but the album doesn’t feel like it’s littered with them. Each guest appearance only adds to the track it's included on like an additional instrument, and I don’t think this is any more evident than on "All of the Lights."
The song boasts 11 features from the likes of Elton John, Alicia Keys, Fergie and Rihanna, and some how ... it works.
When media originally reported on how many features the song included, I wondered how long the track would be and how all of those guests would work. Was John Legend going to sing after Rihanna? Was Fergie going first? Was Ryan Leslie going to sing or just play the piano along with Sir Elton and Ms. Keys. Is Cudi going to sing or rap? Read More...
By Chris Yuscavage
Want to hear something funny?
Well, don't look hear. We're all business today. But if you're in the mood to chuckle, try checking Kanye West's latest album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. On "Blame Game," a track featuring John Legend on the hook, another special guest makes an appearance: Chris Rock. After Kanye drops a couple verses about the aftermath of a relationship gone wrong (Hm ... are you listening, Amber?!), Rock drops some funny punchlines, adding an exclamation to Kanye's message of heartbreak.
This particular tactic isn't new to the rap game. Rather than try and be funny themselves, there are plenty of rappers who have turned to comedians to appear on their albums in order to inject a comedy routine into the mix. In honor of Chris Rock's latest appearance—and in honor of the fact that he's also reportedly narrating Busta Rhymes's entire next album—RapFix gathered a group of 10 comedians who have appeared on rap albums in the past. No joke: these guys provided some of the best laugh tracks we've ever heard.
The Comedian: Cedric the Entertainer
The Appearance: On Kanye West's 2004 debut, The College Dropout
The Result: Does 'Ye have a thing for comedians? Why, yes he does. (Hint: This isn't the only comedian to appear on a Kanye album on this list). Big Ced did his thing on the Chicago MC's album by playing the role of an administrator at a school. And, boy, do we wish we went to that school growing up. Read More...