By Paul Cantor
As MTV News previously reported, Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday leaked last week, but the album officially hit shelves on Monday (November 22). So far everyone has an opinion on the project and reviews are mixed.
“Nicki Minaj is rapping her ass off on the Em, Ye, and Drake collabs," tweeted Noah Callahan-Bever (@N_C_B), Editor in chief of Complex magazine. "Not really debatable.”
Elsewhere, some seem let down by the album, perhaps expecting more of a comprehensive hip-hop sound, instead of crossover-infused pop rap. Rap critics have been particularly bearish.
“Pink Friday is total let down. I wish Nicki would've made just one rap album before becoming Fergie,” wrote Andrew “Noz” Nosnitsky (@noz) of popular rap blog CBRap.com. Read More...
By Chris Yuscavage
Unlike some of Twista's lightning-fast rhymes, the message behind a new documentary put together by the motormouthed MC comes across loud and clear: Enough is enough.
Though he just released his eighth album, The Perfect Storm, last week, the Chicago-bred rapper is already looking forward to his next project—a flick called Mr. Immortality: The Life and Times of Twista that will hit the streets December 7 and feature Twista reflecting back on his career and taking a closer look at the violence that has plagued his hometown over the course of the last few years.
"Our city is in trouble right now with 52 people shot in one weekend in July alone," he says at one point during the documentary. "In April, there were even talks about having the National Guard come out and take to our streets...It's hard for a lot of people out there right now and nobody can help make it easier for Chicago's neighborhoods except for the people who live in it."
The Windy City rapper goes on to cite other specific stats about the increased violence in the city and also calls on his hometown to unite in order to "make it safer for the older people who's been living in these neighborhoods for years."
Directed by Vlad Yudin—the same guy who put together a documentary about Big Punisher's career back in 2008 called Big Pun: The Legacy—the video will also examine how Twista went from earning a spot on the local Chicago rap scene in the early 1990s to landing in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1992 as the world's fastest MC to later enjoying commercial success alongside fellow Chi-Town rhymers Kanye West and Common. But the brunt of the 90-minute documentary will be spent analyzing the violent culture that exists in Chicago and talking about what needs to be done in order to end it.
"It's never too late to take back our streets," he says at one point. "And when we do, it's gonna only make it easier for everybody."
In other words, he's had enough. Who's with him?
By Steven Roberts
One of the dope things about "RapFix Live" is that artists get to interact with their fans and those fans get the chance to shoot questions at their favorite MCs. Sure, Twitter provides a similar opportunity, but does Twitter bring you Sway and a big comfy couch? This past Thursday's episode proved that point when a high-profile "fan" tweeted in to ask a question.
During Sway's interview with Pusha T and CyHi The Prynce (who appeared via Skype), Bun B tweeted @mtv news to ask CyHi how he met his mentor, DJ Greg Street.
"Wow that's Bun B? Shouts out to Bun B, CyHi said. "Mama I made it!"
"To me, Greg Street is an angel," Cy responded. "I was actually in a group and, you know, the situation didn't go through so I started doing my solo thing. One night, I was in the club and I came on to perform and people said I messed the vibe up in the club."
CyHi said Street took him under his wing and showed him around the Atlanta music scene, helping him to build the skills that would eventually get him noticed by Kanye West.
"He said, 'I'm going to be your DJ, I'm going to do everything for you, because I f--- with you. I f---ed with you when you were in the group.' He took me to King Plow [one night], and I opened up for Pusha T and the Clipse and Yelawolf, and the crowd just accepted me so much better there."
There you have it, Bun.
By Steven Roberts
While Big Sean isn't the most recognizable name on the G.O.O.D. Music roster, don't sleep on the kid. Sean has amassed quite the following and can probably pack plenty of venues around the country. So when he Skype'd into this week's episode of "Rapfix Live," host Sway wanted to know when they could expect his long-awaited debut album.
"It's definitely coming out early next year. We're just been fine-tuning it," Big Sean said. "I've been making sure to keep music virally out because I know how important that is. That's how I got my whole buzz. We just dropped that mixtape with Billionaire Boys Club and Don Cannon, and we're about to drop a tagless version of that probably about the next couple of weeks. The album is going to be crazy."
Sean was coy about what the first single would be, but said he plans to release it at the top of the year. He didn't shy away from the topic of his feature on Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, however. Sean turns up on an updated version of "See Me Now," and he was more than happy to name-drop. Read More...
By D.L. Chandler
According to the new video from Atlanta-based rapper CyHi The Prynce, the G.O.O.D. Music signee is most definitely living, in a word, wonderful.
The Prynce’s latest mixtape Royal Flush gets some video love from director Decatur Dan, who applies sunny visuals to the aptly named “Living Wonderful.”
According to the director’s blog, the video was shot on location in Miami and the slick braggadocio from the Kanye West protégé is smoothed out by the images of CyHi and his entourage living it up in paradise.
Opening the video are quick shots of the MC peering over his apparent kingdom, flashy jewels, private chefs and a mansion fit for "MTV Cribs." Cut scenes of the Georgia talent chatting up an exotic beauty fit perfectly alongside the first verse and the theme of ascension that continues with the celebratory hook. Cy shares the glory with his crew, who are shown in several shots enjoying the high life with the ATL wordsmith. Read More...
By Chris Yuscavage
Tired of seeing Jay-Z in the news yet?
Over the course of the last week, he's literally been everywhere thanks to a wild press tour for his new book, "Decoded," that's seen him answer questions asked by everyone from MTV News to Jon Stewart. He's covered a range of topics, too—talking up the importance of rap music, revealing things about his own upbringing and even defending frequent collaborator Kanye West on a number of occasions.
In case you've missed it—or in case you just don't have the time to listen to 300 Jay-Z interviews (just kidding, Jay!)—RapFix decided to decode 10 of Hov's top sound bytes from his press tour. Listen up.
What He Said: "No disrespect to Nas, but if you look back, it wasn't 'Ether' the song, it was 'Ether' the record. If you take away the beat, it's a really dope record but my overall everything was better."
Who He Said It To: Hot 97's DJ Cipha Sounds and Rosenberg
What We Learned From It: Jay still feels like "Takeover" ethered the diss track Nas directed at him way back in 2001. Do we agree? Ehn, it depends who you ask. Either way, it's clear that nearly a decade after Hov and Nas feuded on record, the winner still isn't completely unanimous. Read More...
By Hillary Crosley, with reporting by Sway Calloway
Does the lyric ‘It’s going down, basement’ sound familiar? How about ‘I shut ‘em down, Onyx’? Those two lines are from Nicki Minaj and Drake respectively, but the Toronto MC credited to style of the rhyme to G.O.O.D. Music’s Detroit native.
"To be honest, that flow, you can trace it back to like … I trace it back to Big Sean," Drake told Allhiphop earlier this year. "That’s the first guy I heard utilize that flow throughout the duration of a verse. I’ll give him that credit. I think Kanye got it from him."
MTV News' Sway asked the Sean about Drake's nod during "RapFix Live" on Thursday (November 18) with Pusha T and CyHi The Prynce.
"I think I was the first person to use it in that context," said Big Sean. "Drake gave me the credit for it, which he didn't have to do, he gets the real g award for that one. " Read More...
Before Rick Ross, Trick Daddy held the title of the King of Miami.
Now the rapper, born Maurice Young, will release a memoir, entitled "Magic City: Trials Of A Native Son," detailing his life growing up steps away from South Florida's most popular strip. With the help of author Peter Bailey, the book hit shelves on November 16 and Trick's given RapFix an exclusive excerpt from the third chapter, "Bang Bang Bang."
"Scoop didn’t take a liking to being interrupted, but when the first gunshot cracked the night air, everything
went silent. A random gunshot on a Saturday in Liberty City was not out of the ordinary, but tonight, the sound ricocheted in our psyche.
On the weekend, kids in the Beans were up to all kinds of mischief. Who really cared that someone took to blowing someone’s head off on a Saturday in our neck of the woods? Still, it was too early to be hanging on the corner of Sixty-second Street and Twelfth Parkway to pelt the customers with bottles as they drove in for the product. We usually did that when the sun went down. Back then, the only white people we saw were the ones who cruised the parkway on weekends to cop some weed or blow before heading back to the suburbs in southwest Miami-Dade and anywhere else they felt was as far away as possible from Negroes.
When another shot rang out everyone spilled outside. Read More...
By Hillary Crosley, with additional reporting by Sway Calloway
This afternoon, we're live with G.O.O.D. Music's MC Pusha T on "RapFix Live," hosted by the one and only MTV News veteran, Sway. The show goes live at 4 p.m. ET right here on RapFix and MTV.com. Did you send in your questions?
We're taking questions for Pusha from fans, just like you, via Twitter at @MTVRapFix as well as video inquiries uploaded to Your.MTV.com. This is your chance to ask the Virginia native, and whomever else may appear—no, we're still not outwardly spilling the beans—whatever you'd like about working with Kanye West, recording in a lavish Hawaiian studio and whether 'Ye supplies all of those suits.
Thursday will be Push's first appearance on "RapFix Live" with Sway. He follows Lloyd Banks, Nicki Minaj, Busta Rhymes, Fabolous, Fat Joe and Wiz Khalifa who were also guests.
Just after the VMAs in Los Angeles, MTV News caught up with Push about his label home. Read More...
By Jayson Rodriguez, with additional reporting by Steven Roberts
Cee Lo Green is moving backwards.
The urban author of songs like soul-piercing "Crazy" is taking it back to the early days of his career and reclaiming his MC namesake after continuously being mistaken for Gnarls Barkley.
“I think that there were very genuine and general concerns with building the brand of Cee Lo Green,” the Atlanta lyricist told MTV News. “Because Gnarls Barkley didn’t do that, it built the Gnarls Barkley brand. I’ve even seen a few Twitter messages saying, 'Why did Gnarls Barkley change his name to Cee Lo Green?' But you know, understandably, there’s that kind of disconnect. So in terms of executive decisions, it was about starting from scratch and making sure that the brand we launched was seen in the right light, finally. “ Read More...