Rocky and Jacobson team up against Questlove and Black Thought for a ‘Tonight Show’ showdown.
Shady’s back. And he has more words for Donald Trump.
During this year's BET Hip Hop Awards, Eminem returned to the highly-anticipated cypher showcase, where he unleashed a 4-minute freestyle that took aim at POTUS. The NFL protests, hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, and the border wall were just some of the topics Em touched on.
“But we better give Obama props, ’cause what we got in office now is a kamikaze that’ll probably cause a nuclear holocaust/And while the drama pops, and he waits for shit to quiet down/He’ll just gas his plane up and fly around until the bombing stops,” Eminem rapped. “Intensity’s heightened, tensions are rising/Trump, when it comes to giving a shit, you’re as stingy as I am/Except when it comes to having the balls to go against me, you hide ’em/’Cause you don't got the fuckin’ nuts, like an empty asylum.”
He also had a message for his fans who also supported Trump:
“Any fan of mine who’s a supporter of his, I’m drawing in the sand a line: You’re either for or against/And if you can’t decide who you like more and you’re split on who you should stand beside, I’ll do it for you with this: Fuck you.”
Additionally, Eminem put a fist in the air at one point and gave Colin Kaepernick a shout-out. Kaepernick acknowledged it by directing a tweet at Eminem a short time later.
You can watch the full freestyle above.
The Detroit rapper participated in the annual freestyle battle back in 2009, with Mos Def and Black Thought. He returned in 2011 for the Shady 2.0 Cypher alongside Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf, Joe Budden, Crooked I, Royce Da 5’9”, and Joell Ortiz.
Eminem’s participation tonight has fueled rumors surrounding an upcoming project release. His long-awaited studio album has been teased since last year; however, speculation has surged within the last week after Shady Records producer Denaun Porter announced the album was officially completed. Though he later took back the statement, claiming he was simply trolling fans, HITS Daily Double reported Em’s next album will drop Nov. 17. Eminem’s camp has yet to confirm this.
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On today's Everyday Struggle, Joe Budden, DJ Akademiks, and Nadeska run through the day of rap news, including Lil B beefing with Post Malone, Nelly getting accused of rape, and Young Thug's weird apology video to his fiancée Jerrika Karlae. The crew also break down a recent Black Thought and Method Man freestyle.
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This will be a historic night for Jay Z and the world of hip hop.
On Thursday night, Hov will become the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. But before the induction ceremony kicked off, he made sure to give a shout out to all the artists who have inspired him over the years.
Jay shared a list of names in a series of tweets, showing love to everyone from Chuck D and Ice Cube to Drake and Meek Mill to Future and Lil Wayne. It was a varied bunch that included rap godfathers like Grandmaster Caz and Melle Mel; Golden Age icons such as Rakim, Queen Latifah, and Kool G. Rap (not for nothing did Hov once declare, “Hearing me rap is like hearing G. Rap in his prime”); former mentors Jaz-O and Big Daddy Kane; his contemporaries like Scarface, Redman, Pharoahe Monch, Black Thought, Andre 3000, and the late great Big L; and more, including many new artists who will undoubtedly be thrilled at their inclusion.
And showing that he was in a particularly welcoming mood, Jay even included some people he had beefed with over the years: Jaz-O, Cam'ron, Nas, and Joe Budden. He also makes reference to dimly remembered, long-ago battles against GZA and Busta Rhymes, well before anyone involved was famous.
You can check out the full list in the posts below.
He concluded the tweet storm with the following thanks:
And then, one last batch of names.
Okay, two (or three):
And then he thanked Obama and released a short movie—a video message from the former president to the crowd at the induction ceremony.
You can see the speech below.
In the speech, Obama called Jay “a friend of mine.” “I'd like to think Mr. Carter and I understand each other. Nobody who met us as younger men would have expected us to be where we are today… We know what it's like not to come from much… And so we try to prop open those doors of opportunities so it's a little easier for those who come up behind us… Jay and I are also fools for our daughters, although he's going to have me beat once those two twins show up. And, let's face it, we both have wives who are significantly more popular than we are.”
Obama then talked about how he was a longtime fan of Jay's work, and got in a slight dig at his successor: “I'm pretty sure I'm still the only president to listen to Jay Z's music in the Oval Office,” he said.
Even after the release of the induction speech, Jay kept the names coming.
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2016 was supposed to have been the crazy year for music; 2017 was supposed to be a break. But here we are, halfway through the year, and it feels like rap music is exploding. Many of the best MCs under 40—Kendrick, Future, and Drake—have released full-lengths, and no matter what you hear from the shrinking, fearful cohort decrying the rise of “mumble rap,” hip-hop is as filled with great rapping as it's ever been. This list is the peak of the year so far, the 10 verses that commanded attention, prompted multiple rewinds mid-bar, and had us quoting lines for months on ends (honorable mention to Giggs' verse on “KMT,” which fulfilled the last qualification, if nothing else). One caveat: The list couldn't be made up entirely of Kendrick verses. Here are the best verses of 2017, so far.
Black Thought, “Who Want It”
Best line: “Otis used to sing how we should try a little tenderness/But they ultra envious, crazy disingenuous like/Who need a enemy if that's what type of friend you is?”
“I got the wordplay of Wallace, work ethic of Shakur, I was sent into the future with a message from the Moors.” Black Thought doesn’t ease into verses as much as kick in the door with them, going from zero to one hunnid instantly—then keeps the intensity all the way up, bar after bar, with internal rhymes and references flowing by so fast—”I got plans, I’m taking my revenge like Roxanne/My man swam here from Mississippi, goddamn”—you’re rewinding to the start of the first verse before the second even starts. David Banner brings it too—it is his song, after all—but you might never get that far. —Russ Bengtson
Joey Badass, “Amerrikkan Idol”
Best Line: “So turn the kid raps loud, I'm about to spazz out/Watch out, another n**** runnin' in the White House”
The first verse on “AmeriKKKan Idol,” the last track on Joey Badass’s All-Amerikkkan Badass lasts nearly two minutes on its own, building to a crescendo around the minute-and-a-half mark—”Got a message for the world and I won't back out/So turn the kid raps loud, I'm about to spazz out/Watch out, another n**** runnin' in the White House”—before trailing off in frustration before the chorus kicks in. When the title of your album is a nod to one of Ice Cube’s best, you’d better bring it. With this anti-white supremacy lyrical assault—”Media's got this whole thing tainted, that's all fact/Feedin' you lies like this whole thing wasn't built on our backs”—he does exactly that. —Russ Bengtson
Future, “Might As Well”
Best Line:“You will never know what I was in”
We all know that Future's life has had its valleys and peaks. But on “Might As Well” he spends less time romanticizing his rough time in the streets or providing flamboyant accounts of gluttony—instead he hopscotches over the Tarantino production, paralleling his tough past with his prosperous present.
Due in equal parts to his clear delivery, illustrative lyrics, and self-awareness he manages to poetically portray a rags to riches story, devoid of fantasy or Mafioso cliché. In its place are bars that are honest and relatable. —Brandon 'Jinx' Jenkins
Rick Ross, “Idols Become Rivals”
Best Line: “Last request, can all producers please get paid?”
Man, Rozay sounds so disappointed in how Birdman handles business and his words hit even harder over a beat flip of Jay Z and Beanie’s deadbeat-dad ethering, “Where Have You Been.” Birdman has been, for the most part, quiet since this track dropped. We hope he can find it in his heart to make amends with the people he hurt over the years. Still can’t get over how the Boss felt when he found out the watches were fake and the cars were rented, smfh. —Angel Diaz
Offset, “Met Gala”
Best Line: “Get to the top and we blew the ladder up”
It's always exciting when a recent real-life flex is flipped into a song. Offset and his Migos family storming the Met Gala just a few weeks ago was a major moment on the timeline, a nice example in a half-year full of them of just how far the Migos have come and how glorious it is to watch them shine. To hear Offset, on a track with Gucci Mane, wax poetic about it so soon after feels like breaking the fourth wall, like he read our tweets about posing with Celine Dion and said, “Yeah, I can't believe it either.” Except, with Offset, it just becomes a brilliant new shortcut for flexing. How good is life? It's Met-Gala-invitation good. —Frazier Tharpe
Remy Ma, “Shether”
Best Line: “And to be the Queen of Rap, you gotta actually rap”
Nicki Minaj hasn’t been able to get anything to stick since Remy Ma released “Shether.” It's not the greatest song but as a verse—well, it didn’t shake up the game for an entire weekend for nothing (and 48 hours on Twitter is the equivalent of like nine human years). —Angel Diaz
Kendrick Lamar, “DNA”
Best Line: “You mothafuckas can't tell me nothin/I'd rather die than to listen to you/My DNA not for imitation/Your DNA an abomination”
The second verse of “DNA” feels like a cathartic explosion of that side of Kendrick that we all want to see. The side that took the wheel on Big Sean's “Control,” who snapped during his BET Cypher Freestyle in 2013, and resurfaced most recently on the “The Heart Part IV.”
On “DNA” he's boisterous and superhuman, successfully distancing himself from further from his would-be peers. You can’t be him. He’s the Neo in hip-hop’s matrix. He’s dodging bullets and pulling triggers at the same damn time.
It's such an insane display, Mike Will had to build the beat around Kendrick's words—nothing else in his library could accommodate the barrage (and Mike is known for his massive library). This is rap as Olympic sport, but it doesn't sacrifice content for the sake of remarkable form. The verse is full of striking images (“Beach inside the window, peekin' out the window/Baby in the pool, godfather goals” and quotables (“You ain't sick enough to pull it on yourself”).
All while Rick James cries out for marijuana. —Brandon Jenkins and Ross Scarano
Drake, “Do Not Disturb”
Best Line: They don't know they got to be faster than me to get to me/No one's done it successfully
“Stylin though.” A simple and catchy opening, the sort of line Drake excels at. The casual confidence in those two words is appealing; if you saw it on the rack you’d want to try it on—it’s plain, but you think you’d look great in it. Then back home, you find it doesn’t work as well as you wanted.
Relatability is overrated beyonds its ability to lure the listener in. It doesn’t keep butts in seats. At this point, is anyone still listening to Drake because they think their life is like his, that their struggles are similar? It’s the ghost of a feeling you occasionally glimpse but at this point we’re here for the Drake show, for his logo splashed on the sound a la mode and the rare peek behind the curtain at what his true life. That’s what “Do Not Disturb” gives you. “Stylin though/Dissin but got pictures with me smilin though.” The line is a revolving door—you think you’re in only to be spun back out to the sidewalk to spectate. He’s very good at what he does, you should pay attention. Wait for the summary. —Ross Scarano
Young Thug, “Sacrifices”
Best Line: “Growing up, I was a running back/You never made me ran once (goddamn)/I got shot, sweat started running/That shit was red like Hunt (ketchup)”
The Young Thug that emerges about halfway into “Sacrifices,” the demure posse cut on Drake’s More Life, is one we haven’t seen before. Thug’s rapping is typically elemental, it defies categorization; explaining what Thug rapping sounds like describing the weather. On “Sacrifices,” though, Thug sounds different. Sober, surgically precise storytelling. It’s such a different flow than what fans are used to hearing that it’s tough to capture how strikingly weird the language is before Thug explodes into a Technicolor croon—the Thug we’re used to, and still thrilled by. He reins it in, later, capitalizing this new, darting rapping with his inextricably melody-laced, throaty delivery. The end result is formless impressionism, a completely new delivery from a new breed of rapper that works about as well as it sounds. It’s a triumph but, because it’s Thug, it’s impossible to say if we’ll ever hear a verse quite like it ever again. —Brendan Klinkenberg
Kendrick Lamar, “Duckworth”
Best Line: “Because if Anthony killed Ducky, Top Dawg could be servin' life/While I grew up without a father and die in a gunfight”
Just when you think you've seen all of K-Dot's tricks, know all of the major tentpoles of his story, this motherfucker goes and ends an already impressive album by putting his entire life into a Sliding Doors, cosmic context via the intertwined biographies of the two most important men in his life. A grand destiny fulfilled that could've easily been another banal and wasted life tossed about by the caprices of cause and effect. A tale this cinematic and unbelievably true needs John Williams on the score—9th Wonder provided the web and Kenny spun it like he was Homer delivering a myth from the heavens. Best verse on the best album of the year. —Frazier Tharpe
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