Posts Tagged ‘Rappers’

Eminem’s ‘Lucky You’ Video Sends A Message To Young Rappers: He’s Watching

Since dropping his ninth album, Kamikaze, out of the blue in late August, Eminem’s been in the news a lot. Most of the headlines stem from the rapper’s ongoing beefs with everyone from Joe Budden to Machine Gun Kelly, but it appears Em is now turning the focus back on promoting his new project. After outrunning his critics in the eerie video for “Fall,” Em now finds himself stalked by copycats in the vid for the Joyner Lucas-featuring “Lucky You,” released on Thursday (September 13). (And no, they’re not the bleached Slim Shady clones from the 2000 VMAs… though that would’ve been pretty great.)

The inspiration behind the vid is pretty straightforward: Eminem inspired an entire generation of MCs, and he believes they shamelessly and deliberately copy his every move. The video takes that concept literally, as hordes of hooded, red-eyed men imitate him and Lucas as they rap on top of wrecked cars in a run-down town. Em and Lucas proceed to have some fun with it, making their imitators dab, hump the air, and hop on one foot while patting their heads. Lightheartedness aside, however, it’s clear Em is sending a message to the hip-hop world: They may be watching his every move, but he’s watching them, too.

Though Kamikaze has sparked countless debates about the return of Slim Shady, the album still sold enough to deliver the ninth No. 1 album of Eminem’s career. Maybe this was the revival fans were waiting for.

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Nicki Minaj Has Turned Your Favorite Rappers Into Puppets In ‘Barbie Dreams’ Video

The summer of Nicki Minaj continues. Fresh off a contentious weekend with Cardi B — one that apparently culminated in Cardi throwing a shoe at her — Nicki took to her Queen Radio show yesterday to both address the incident and reveal that a video for “Barbie Dreams” was about to drop.

Then the “Barbie Dreams” video did drop. But who knew it would feature some of the biggest rappers of the 2000s rendered in puppet form?

It makes sense, in a way: Nicki spends the song deconstructing why everyone from Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Drake, her own ex-fiancé Meek Mill, Quavo, Rae Sremmurd, and more either can or cannot get with her. (Spoiler: None can.) Weezy, DJ Khaled, Tekashi69, and more get turned into puppets as Nicki raps the song in a series of staggering wig and costume changes.

The “Barbie Dreams” clip was directed by storied auteur Hype Williams. Right when the beat changes for Nicki to deliver her fierce last verse, the puppets wisely all disappear, leaving the rapper alone at the center of her own creation.

This new video comes just a few days after Nicki popped up in the visual for the alternate version of K-pop group BTS’s “Idol,” rocking similarly colorful and striking hair choices.

If you’re keeping track at home, this one marks two puppet-centric rap videos in two weeks, if you count Kanye and Lil Pump’s surreal fantasy “I Love It” as an at least puppet-adjacent visual.

Check out “Barbie Dreams” above, and make sure you tune into the next episode of Queen Radio. They seem to just keep getting wilder.

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Chance The Rapper’s Next Philanthropy Mission Is About Making Sure Everyone Gets A ‘Chance At Greatness’

Chance the Rapper might not be releasing an album this week, contrary to previous reports. The confusion was warranted considering that his interview with the Chicago Tribune teased that a new project was arriving “in time for the Special Olympics” — the 50th Anniversary concert of which he is producing and headlining on Saturday (July 21).

However, the update isn’t all bad news. During the discussion, the “Forever Always” rapper did describe in a very inspirational manner why his commitment to supporting the Special Olympics is important.

“I haven’t done as much work as possible with the intellectual and physical disabilities community,” Chance detailed. “But overall we’ve been about access, just trying to make sure everyone is given their chance at greatness. And greatness isn’t something segregated. When I looked into the history of the Special Olympics, that it started here 50 years ago and how many [Special Olympics] athletes we have in Chicago — 7,000 — I felt we should be a part of it.”

During the interview, Chance also opened up about the challenges of collaborating with artists in the major label system when you’re independent.

“Music has value,” he continued. “I put my music out there for free because I wanted people to see and notice it as a beacon for what I’m doing, in terms of how unorthodox I wanted my approach and my delivery of each piece of music to be… The bigger concern for artists now is navigating the legal issues of owning your music, your publishing, your distribution. It has been difficult for me to release music with artists who work with the majors. A lot of stuff I’ve worked on hasn’t come out since Coloring Book because it’s hard.”

Hopefully the labels back off of Chance because we need that Kanye West-produced seven-song album.

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Meek Mill’s Powerful ‘Stay Woke’ Performance Doubled As A Tribute To Two Fallen Rappers

Since his release, Meek Mill has been on a quest to fight for criminal justice reform. Last night (June 24), the Philadelphia rapper took the battle one step further with the moving debut of his new song “Stay Woke” featuring Miguel at the 2018 BET Awards.

Mill began the performance rapping in a Philadelphia street as chaos unfolds around him. Over the course of the four-minute song, police officers arrest a group of black men in the street, a stray bullet kills a young girl, and Meek is surrounded by incarcerated men of color.

One of the most striking features of Mill’s performance was his wardrobe. The “1942 Flows” rapper was clad in a hoodie that paid tribute to XXXTentacion and Jimmy Wopo, two rappers that were both killed on last week (June 18). The lyrics of the song also shed light on Mill’s thoughts about hip-hop’s current generation. Meek starts the second verse off rapping, “Picture me ten years younger with some tats on my face / Taking a bunch of Xannys with the strap on my waist / Pointing at the camera like mama ain’t teach me manners.” He goes on to state that he “can’t judge” rappers like X and Wopo, but is merely trying to “understand them.”

Ever since Meek was released from prison, he’s been vocal about the injustice and inequities that first put him in the system and the decade-plus fight to get him out. In an interview with Lester Holt of Dateline NBC, Mill was direct about his current predicament.

“I don’t feel free, Mill said. “I ain’t feel free since I caught this case at the age of 19. I’m 30 now.”

Unfortunately, Judge Genece Brinkley did not immediately grant Meek and his attorneys a new trial after they presented evidence questioning the credibility of one of the officer’s involved in his original arrest, reports Billboard. The judge stated that she would rule in “due time.”

Listen to “Stay Woke” below.

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J. Cole Calls SoundCloud Rappers ‘Exaggerated Versions Of Black Stereotypes’

J. Cole didn’t pull any punches on “1985 (Intro To ‘The Fall Off’)”. The KOD closer finds the Fayetteville rapper taking shots at anonymous rappers who glorify stereotypical portrayals of African-Americans. Many people think Cole’s subliminals are for Lil Pump or Smokepurpp. However, in a new Vulture profile, Cole reveals his critique is meant for a variety of people.

“It’s really a ‘shoe fits’ situation — several people can wear that shoe,” Cole said. “Why you yelling at your show? You must feel attacked in some kind of way, must feel offended, and if you feel offended, then that means something rings true, something struck a chord. That’s cool with me. That’s all I ever want to do.”

Cole made a more pointed statement later in the interview about the caricatures many SoundCloud rappers paint of the black community.

“If you exclude the top three rappers in the game, the most popping rappers all are exaggerated versions of black stereotypes,” the Kids on Drugs rapper continued. “Extremely tatted up. Colorful hair. Flamboyant. Brand names. It’s caricatures, and still the dominant representation of black people, on the most popular entertainment format for black people, period.”

On “1985,” Cole describes why he believes a white audience wants to see negative portrayals of black and brown artists.

But have you ever thought about your impact?
These white kids love that you don’t give a fuck
‘Cause that’s exactly what’s expected when your skin black
They wanna see you dab, they wanna see you pop a pill
They wanna see you tatted from your face to your heels
And somewhere deep down, fuck it, I gotta keep it real
They wanna be black and think your song is how it feels

Recently, Cole has released two videos from KOD — “A.T.M.” and “Kevin’s Heart.” Both songs see the Dreamville rapper taking a close look at the addictive qualities of money, sex, and drugs. It’s safe to say Cole has a message to tell and he isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

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How Chance the Rapper’s Life Became Perfect – GQ, September 2016

How Chance the Rapper’s Life Became Perfect – GQ, September 2016

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