By Chris Yuscavage
In case you've gotten caught up in the hustle and bustle that is the holiday season, here's a friendly reminder from RapFix: 2010 is almost over!
That's right. In less than one week, we'll be ripping our 2010 Rosa Acosta calendars off the wall — what? Don't judge us! — and ringing in another new year that'll (hopefully!) be just as good, if not even better than this year. From the emergence of Drake and the newfound fame of Nicki Minaj to the reappearance of Eminem and the wild and wacky world of Kanye West, we've got to admit that 2010 was one of the better years in recent memory in terms of hip-hop music.
But that's not to say that everything was on point this year. Because while we certainly enjoyed most of what went on with rap music, there are a number of things that we hope rappers leave behind when the Snooki-ball drops on New Year's Eve. If the rappers out there are still looking to get us a gift, do a little addition by subtraction and make us happy by leaving these 10 trends behind in 2010. Thanks in advance!
1. Releasing your songs on specific days of the week
Why It Needs To Go: Because everyone isn't Kanye West! Initially, the G.O.O.D. Music founder created "G.O.O.D. Friday" to build up anticipation for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by dropping one new track every week. But other rappers soon latched onto the trend and before we knew it, Read More...
By Chris Yuscavage
It's official: Drake and J. Cole are BFFs!
OK, not really. But the two upstart MCs have certainly been spending an awfully lot of time together over the course of the last month. In November, the pair collaborated on "In The Morning," a track off Cole's Friday Night Lights mixtape, that featured Drizzy and Cole rapping about early morning encounters with females. Last weekend, Cole brought Drake out on stage to perform the track during a tour stop in Drizzy's hometown of Toronto. The two just announced that they are set to go out on tour together next month in the UK. And recently, Cole told RESPECT magazine that the duo is already talking about collaborating on another track, possibly for Cole's as-yet-untitled debut album or Drake's sophomore set, Take Care.
If another Drake/ J. Cole collaboration actually comes to fruition on either project, great. Drake and Cole have already been crowned by many as the torchbearers for the new generation of rap (the next Jay-Z and Nas, eh?) so they should definitely continue working together well into the future. We just hope they take a slightly different approach on their next project. Because while we enjoyed "In The Morning," we know these two have the potential to do something even better. To help get them moving in the right direction, RapFix came up with 10 different song suggestions Drake and Cole should think about using when they get back into the studio together. What do you say, fellas? Read More...
By Anslem Samuel
Ever since "Wild Style" was released in 1983, rappers have been on a quest to cross-pollinate both hip-hop and Hollywood. While most start off behind the mic before jumping in front of the camera, Toronto’s own Drake initiated his limelight journey as the wheelchair-bound Jimmy Brooks on Canadian TV series "Degrassi: The Next Generation." Having blossomed into one of rap’s biggest acts, Drake appears to be going back to his roots, as rumors have him reportedly dating Oscar-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson.
History has shown that the hip-hop ladies man has a penchant for writing about the women in his life (i.e. admitted references to Rihanna on "Fireworks"), so chances are Taraji could get a subliminal shout out sooner or later — if she hasn't already. While we'll have to see if that comes to pass, there are a host of other rappers that have name-dropped hot actresses. In fact, here’s a batch of Hollywood beauties referenced on record, complete with a Halle Berry ranking system ‘cause she’s fine. Word to Hurricane Chris.
Not only is she mentioned on five rap songs (Obie Trice's "Hoodrats," Game's "Wouldn’t Get Far," Playaz Circle’s "Paper Chaser," Joe Budden’s "Stuntin’ " and Tay Dizm’s "Dream Girl") she had an entire lawsuit introduced in her (dis)honor. With basketball season here and Miami being such a hot spot, we see plenty of verses in her future referencing Dwayne Wade and Lebron James.
Ranking: 3 Halle heads
By Chris Yuscavage
Where does the time go?
It feels like just yesterday we were talking about all of the rap-related things that we were thankful for this year at the Thanksgiving table. Now, we're just a few short days away from Christmas. And while we've bought something nice for the significant others in our lives, scooped up a couple things for our closest friends and made sure that all of our Moms (and Dads!) will be taken care of on Christmas morning, there are still a few folks we need to shop for. Like Drake! And Lil Wayne! And Eminem! And Jay-Z! And ... good grief, how much time do we have again?
But seriously: Our favorite rappers have given us hit singles, free mixtapes and viral videos to keep us entertained all year long. So, we have to give them something this holiday season, right? In the spirit of Christmas, RapFix decided to sit down and make a list of the 23 things we're giving 23 of our favorite MCs of 2010. After all, 'tis the season. Read More...
By Chris Yuscavage
If Sheek Louch was trying to stir up controversy with his new album, Donnie G: Don Gorilla, he succeeded. And he didn't need to say a word.
Before you even open the packaging on Sheek's album, which hits stores on December 8, you'll notice that the Yonkers, N.Y. rapper has, through the power of Photoshop, been transformed into a gorilla on the cover. The photo, which Sheek helped create, is supposed to pay homage to the "Silverback Gorilla" moniker that he adopted a few years ago. But it's also got some folks feeling uneasy because of the racial undertones involved with portraying a black man as a gorilla. "I'm black," Sheek said in a DrJays.com interview last month, "so I get it."
For his part, Sheek has chalked the controversy up as free publicity and moved forward without paying too much mind to his critics. And, like it or not, that might be the best move. In the past, there have been a number of rap album covers that have stirred up similar types of controversy and it hasn't always been a bad thing for the artists behind them. To show you what we mean, RapFix gathered a collection of 10 more controversial rap albums to show how the extra press ultimately helped. Don't judge these albums by their covers. Read More...
By Chris Yuscavage
Your worst nightmare just came true: The-Dream has reportedly agreed to help Kim Kardashian record an album. According to Ciara, who talked with MTV News last week, Ray J's former jumpoff has already held several private recording sessions with The-Dream in 2010 and is looking to release a full-length album in 2011. "I know that she recorded," Ciara said, "but it's under lock and key what they're doing."
Now, we know what you're wondering: "How the hell does this affect me? I came here to read about the Eminem and Lil Wayne "SNL" concert, not this (content edited for our younger audience)!" But, listen up, because this news actually does affect you. If Ms. Kardashian is recording an album — and recording it with The-Dream, no less — you just know there are a handful of MCs lining up to lay guest vocals for the project, right? And with all the bank that girl is pulling in, you know they're doing it with a smile on their face, too. But, who is actually going to make the final cut? Well, by pulling a few strings (thanks, Kris Humphries!), RapFix was able to get the exclusive scoop.* Thank us later.
Kim Kardashian x Kanye West
Is Kim really about to give birth to Kanye's baby?!? No, but she is about to give birth to the strangest Kanye West collaboration since the time he jumped on Madonna's "Beat Goes On." Get excited! Read More...
By Chris Yuscavage
Eminem and Lil Wayne did it.
The duo took the stage on the set of "Saturday Night Live" this weekend and when they were finished, the pair left it better off than when they started. After teaming up at the top of the show to perform their collaborative hit, "No Love," alongside a full band, the lethal combination split up at the end of the show for the second half of their production with Em performing his rock-influenced hit, "Won't Back Down" before giving Wayne control of the stage, who wowed us with his performance of "6 Foot 7 Foot." Not bad, fellas — not bad at all.
Now, it's time to capitalize on that success. Despite the fact that Em and Wayne are widely considered to be two of the greatest rappers of all-time, they haven't collaborated on material together nearly enough. But with their recent "SNL" performance behind us, we hope they'll reconsider that decision. To help them along, RapFix came up with a list of seven things the MCs can do to build on their "SNL" success. Hey, guys, all we want for Christmas is ...
1. An Eminem-Lil Wayne collaborative LP!
The first thing that came to our minds after seeing Em and Wayne perform was "Why haven't these guys recorded more songs together?" Read More...
By Chris Yuscavage
You can't say hip-hop hasn't been well-represented during the fall 2010 season of "Saturday Night Live."
Thanks to all of the fourth quarter rap releases this year, there have been a handful of rappers who have appeared on "SNL" over the course of the last few months. In early October, Kanye West handled the musical duties at the start of the season — performing his hits "Power" and "Runaway" and, in true Kanye fashion, breaking 36 years of tradition by changing the traditionally-black "SNL" stage to a bright all-white background. Two weeks ago, Diddy jumped at the chance to appear on "SNL," performing alongside his group Dirty Money and making an appearance in a skit alongside the legendary Robert DeNiro. And both of those acts helped other rappers get onto the show as well, with 'Ye bringing Clipse's Pusha T on stage with him and Diddy inviting Swizz Beatz out to perform.
But apparently, SNL has saved the best for last. This weekend, Eminem is set to take SNL stage alongside Lil Wayne to perform their collaborative hit, "No Love," from Em's album Recovery. And while just getting these two on stage to perform together in front of the nation on "SNL" should be enough, this moment should be truly special. So RapFix came up with a list of six things Em and Weezy should do to steal the "SNL" spotlight this weekend. If they do even just one of these things, expect them to get plenty of love. Read More...
By D.L. Chandler
Don’t call it a comeback, Weezy was only gone one year.
But Lil Wayne's newest song "6 Foot 7 Foot" — the first single from his upcoming Tha Carter IV opus — is a strong reintroduction from one of the best in the game. The rapper himself called the track "a very tall record" but here are five reasons RapFix thinks "6 Foot 7 Foot" is the perfect song for the Wayne to release right now.
1. It’s a Quiet Fourth Quarter
While everybody’s winding down from the Nicki Minaj-Kanye West LP whirlwind and crafting year-end lists, no MC is really releasing anything outside of Soulja Boy's The DeAndre Way, T.I.'s No Mercy and Diddy’s Last Train To Paris — which we're live-blogging. This is a perfect wake-up call to let the world know that Weezy is back.
2. Reuniting with "A Milli" Producer Bangladesh
Bangladesh gave Wayne one of his most coveted (and remixed) tracks with "A Milli." After his success with Lil Wayne, Bangladesh made hits for pop stars like Beyoncé ("Diva") but it's great to see Bang back in the studio with Weezy. Not to mention the track blends perfectly with Weezy and Young Money signee Cory Gunz's blistering rhymes. Read More...
By Chris Yuscavage
Despite the international pop success he enjoyed during his lifetime, Michael Jackson was never afraid to jump on a song with a rapper.
He called Jay-Z to appear on "You Rock My World," the first single from his 2001 album, Invincible. He lent his backup vocals to Hov's single, "Girls, Girls, Girls" from 2001's The Blueprint and joined him on stage at Hot 97's Summer Jam in June 2001. And as far back as 1995, he embraced hip-hop by asking Notorious B.I.G. to drop a verse on "This Time Around" for his ninth studio album, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1.
So it's no surprise that, in spite of his untimely death, the King of Pop's first official posthumous album, Michael, features a collaboration with rapper 50 Cent on "Monster" — a song that 50 loftily describes as "the 2010 version of Thriller." Though the two never actually got to meet, Fif recently explained that MJ reached out to him to talk about the two doing work together shortly before passing away. "I didn't have the opportunity to physically be in the Michael Jackson's presence," he told MTV News. "But my DJ, Whoo Kid, he had the opportunity to actually meet Mike, because he was interested in working with me and he said that he had something he wanted me to actually hear, a song he created. He thought it would be perfect for us to collaborate on." Read More...