By Hillary Crosley, with additional reporting by Jayson Rodriguez
According to rapper J.Cole's Dream Villan website, Friday (November 12) is the delivery date for his highly-anticipated Friday Night Lights mixtape.
"Ya'll get some sleep. Tomorrow gonna be a beautiful day," the North Carolina MC tweeted early Friday morning.
"Where dis damn J.Cole mixtape at?" asked @DLU102.
Friday Night Lights is a precursor to his as-yet-untitled major label debut that will come in 2011 via RocNation. On Thursday, Cole released the cut "In The Morning" featuring himself and Drake from the mixtape and set the Internet a buzz. Read More...
The saga continues.
On Friday (Novmeber 12), from Dubai, Kanye West tweeted that he'd canceled his upcoming "Today" show performance. The MC wrote that he'd backed out "for obvious reasons."
"I'm so happy the world got to see just a small piece of 'the set up,' " tweeted Kanye. "This is just a small slice of the day to day bullsh-- that goes on that helps to precipitate the idea that I'm such an asshole ... cause when I don't perform oh noooow I'm the one that's crazy or a jerk!"
The Chicago MC went to on say that he's got "love" for Matt Lauer and the "Today" show. We imagine that the latter are probably rejoicing for the ratings boost this rapper-morning show spat has no doubt garnered.
Earlier this week, RapFix asked experts whether they thought West was right to apologize to George W. Bush. Read More...
By Hillary Crosley, with additional reporting by Sway Calloway
During his "RapFix Live" visit on Thursday (November 11), Lloyd Banks revealed three new songs from his upcoming LP The Hunger For More 2—and saved one, "Father Time," just for RapFix.
The track was originally scheduled to debut during the show, but we ran out of time. Then Sway talked the G-Unit MC into saving one exclusive preview just for us. Beginning with a heavy bass, "Father Time" is accented with rhythmic strings that build anticipation for Banks' verse.
"They see me moving, they want me to stop drop, off the face of earth but, I'ma make it pop hot," raps Banks. "These n----s are not, now watch me take my spot/Got money got power got respect, baby I just want hope ... Time's on my side." Read More...
By Alvin Blanco
Huey Newton was trending on Twitter on Wednesday (November 10). But all of the chatter surrounded Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y’s latest collaboration titled “Huey Newton,” not about the legacy of the late Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.
Well, at least Wiz and Curren$y are making their fans aware of Newton’s exploits as a community organizer and activist in song, right? Wrong. A listen to “Huey Newton” reveals its connection with the famed leader begins and ends with the song’s title. Still, to a degree, African-American history will always be intertwined with rap history.
A cursory look at Newton’s story reveals him to be one of history’s most profound figures. In 1966, Newton, along with Bobby Seale, founded the Black Panther Party, assuming the role of Minister of Defense. While most of the attention is given to its members donning black leather jackets and toting shotguns while promoting Black Power, the civil rights group were so much more. Ending police brutality, free healthcare, better housing—all of which resonate in 2010—are just a fraction of the militant group’s goals and ambitions.
Elsewhere, other rappers versed on Newton’s exploits name check the icon in song, here are a few of RapFix's favorites.
The Song: 2Pac “Changes,” from his Greatest Hits LP
The Lyrics: Tupac raps, “First ship 'em dope and let 'em deal to brothers/Give 'em guns step back watch 'em kill each other/It's time to fight back that's what Huey said/Two shots in the dark now Huey's dead.”
A son of a Panther (Afeni Shakur) himself, Tupac refers to what the Black Panther Party is most known for; their endorsement of taking up arms (they organized armed neighborhood patrols) to keep an eye on what they saw as corrupt and racist police forces. Read More...
By Hillary Crosley, with additional reporting by Sway Calloway
G-Unit MC Lloyd Banks is sitting on our "RapFix Live" couch right now and Sway's asking him questions sent by you, the fans. Did you submit yours?
We're streaming "RapFix Live" with Banks here on RapFix and MTV.com so keep those questions coming throughout the show via Twitter to @MTVRapFix or upload your video inquiries to Your.MTV.com. We're looking for the hashtags #rapfixlive, so start it up!
Here are a few questions that have already rolled in, were you included? *checks timeline*
"Ask Banks what does he think of these pre-written freestyles nowadays?" asked @zuluking2010.
"Yea, how about the next album, when is it coming out?" wrote @Malcolm_siya14. Read More...
By Kathy Iandoli
Nicki Minaj’s debut album Pink Friday hits shelves in just over one week, however snippets from the highly-anticipated LP have already reached the web.
With songs like “Your Love," “Check It Out," “Right Thru Me” and “Roman’s Revenge" released on schedule, Nicki's camp has done quite a good job at keeping Pink Friday remaining tracks under wraps. So when 30-second snippets of the LP's tracklisting leaked on Wednesday (November 10), the response was voracious.
“Hearing the snippets @NickiMinaj’s Pink Friday just made my day/week/month,” tweeted one fan @kaykay_ox.
“Cannot f---ing wait til Pink Friday comes out! These snippets are f---ing unreal! There’s not one I don’t like,” added @MissKelliBaby.
Despite the fact that Nicki's leaks are only teasers, the bits pull back the curtain on how the LP will sound. Boasting a combination of punchy bars over pop-driven production, coupled with spurts of singing and overall weirdness, it appears that Pink Friday sounds just like some Barbie fans hoped it would. Read More...
By Hillary Crosley, with reporting by Rahman Dukes
Lloyd Banks will appear on "RapFix Live" Thursday (November 11) at 4 p.m. ET to chat with Sway. During the show, Banks will share details on his upcoming LP The Hunger For More 2, as well as premiere a new song and video clips of him working that aren't available anywhere else. Tune in here on RapFix and MTV.com where we'll be streaming the show all the way live.
As usual, we're taking questions from fans, like you, via Twitter at @MTVRapFix as well as video inquiries uploaded to Your.MTV.com. This is your chance to ask the Queens native whatever you'd like about his upcoming album The Hunger For More 2, including how it feels to record with Kanye West after 50 Cent, some would say, bullied the G.O.O.D. MC during their Graduation vs. Curtis head-to-head in 2007.
Now, with both Lloyd Banks' The Hunger For More 2 and Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy on the way the week of Thanksgiving, it's difficult to know which of their collaborations are on which album. However, "Start It Up" featuring a catchy video game-esque beat, along with guest appearances by Swizz Beatz, Ryan Leslie and 'Ye, is definitely on Banks' forthcoming LP. Read More...
by Paul Cantor
Shyne’s musical output may have slowed down, but that hasn't stopped the MC from furthering his religious practices.
In October, Shyne penned a journal for Rapfix, documenting his trip to Israel, writing “I just got off the plane and I'm standing in the center of the universe. I waited my whole life to be in the land of Moses, Joseph and a guy by the name of King David ... I remembered last year I was locked in the Feds for 23 hours on the Jewish new year Rosh Hashanah. In those dark days, making kiddush with a half a cup of Kedem grape juice saying "Shana Tova" with shackled hands and feet on a bus during Yom Kippur and fasting for 30 hours, I said 'Next year I'll be in Jerusalem.' "
The rapper, who changed his named to Moses Levi while he was still in prison, is living life now as an Orthodox Jew. It’s a far cry from the rap lifestyle trappings most artists typically embrace, especially ones who’ve just been released from prison (see: Lil Wayne) but it’s not nearly as stringent as it might seem. Read More...
By Paul Cantor
Jay-Z has launched a new website to promote his forthcoming greatest hits LP, The Hits Collection, which is due in stores on November 22.
It’s a pretty snazzy web offering, all things considered. Upon visiting the URL, jayzhitscollection.com, you’re greeted by the sound of “Empire State Of Mind” and taken to a main page where you can access different eras in Hov’s career.
There’s “The Beginning” (1989-1998); “Marcy To Madison Square” (1999-2003); “Corporate Takeover” (2004-2007); and finally “I Run The Map” (2008-present). Clicking each tab brings the user to a different page with photos and quotes from Jay-Z lyrics that correspond to that particular era. There are other goodies, like videos and milestones from each respective era. Read More...
By Chris Yuscavage
Eminem knows how to steal a show.
Don't believe it? Just take a listen to "Roman's Revenge," the latest leak from Nicki Minaj's debut album, Pink Friday, and see Em's talent for yourself. Although Nicki runs through a range of different voices, drops some pretty impressive bars and even takes a few subliminal shots at a certain female rapper, the Detroit MC still manages to rap circles around the Harajuku Barbie by tapping his Slim Shady alter ego.
"Yeah, look who's back again, bitch keep actin' as if you have the passion as I have/Yeah right, still hungry, my ass/You ass d---- had gastric bypass," he raps.
Ouch. Em's made verses like this a habit throughout his career. Though he's earned the respect of the mainstream audience with his solo albums, he's earned the respect of his peers by competing toe-to-toe on songs and spitting spectacular guest verses. In honor of his latest, and the fact that Keyshia Cole wants to work with him—'Love The Way You Lie III"?—RapFix collected 10 of his best guest verses through the years. Take look at Slim Shady as he steps into the spotlight.
The Song: Missy Elliott's "Busa Rhyme," from 1999's Da Real World
The Show-Stealing Lines: "I'm bringin' you rap singers two middle fingers/I'll flip you off in French, then translate it in English/Then I'ma vanish off the face of the planet and come back speakin' so much Spanish, Pun can't even understand it"
The Reaction: Um, did he really just say that?!? At the height of the Slim Shady era, Em teamed up with Missy for her Da Real World album and dropped a bunch of bars that were, quite simply, out of this world. Read More...