Golden State Warriors shooting guard Nick Young and one-time platinum pop artist Iggy Azaleasplit over a year ago. The pair infamously called off their engagement roughly six months after a teammate filmed Young admitting he’d cheated on Iggy multiple times. Young reportedly corroborated his own admissions by impregnating his ex while still with Iggy. None of the above stopped Young from throwing some shade at his former fiancé via Instagram Friday night.
A post shared by Nick Young (@swaggyp1) on Dec 8, 2017 at 8:41pm PST
Young posted a picture of himself next to his new teammate Andre Iguodala with the caption “My I.G.G.Y.”
The rather obvious joke here is that Young now rolls with the 2015 NBA Finals MVP and two-time champion who is sometimes referred to as “Iggy” and not the Iggy who is an Australian rapper that has repeatedly been accused of being a culture vulture.
D’Angelo Russell—who filmed Young’s cheating admissions without his knowledge while he and Young were playing for the Lakers—has since been traded to the Brooklyn Nets. Meanwhile, Young became a free agent this summer and signed with the Warriors, who are prohibitive favorites to win the NBA title this season. And Azalea’s sophomore album Digital Distortion has yet to see a release date after Iggy took to Twitter in July to announce Def Jam wouldn’t be releasing any more singles from the project.
My album isn't canceled, it's just not having another single. It's still being released.
Given that Azalea said she had a psychotic breakdown and allegedly caught Young cheating with his ex-girlfriend (who he reportedly went on to have a child with), this might be a good time for Young to fall back on the IG slander.
The 13-track record has almost as many guest appearances as it does songs. Get ready for drop-ins by Diddy, 2 Chainz, Tory Lanez, Rick Ross, Kodak Black, Trey Songz and more. Then of course, there’s an eagerly awaited collaboration with Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole called “American Dream.”
Jury’s still out on how big Cole and Kendrick’s contributions are, but we’re definitely on team #fullverseplease.
Fans have been keeping their fingers crossed for a Cole/Kendrick joint album for like… ever, but this summer TDE co-president Terrence “Punch” Henderson crushed our dreams, tweeting that the record would “probably never” happen. Ouch. That being said, “American Dream” may be fans’ next-best-thing.
Pat “The Manager” Corcoran and Chance the Rapper, two self-taught kids from Chicago, set the bar for what independent artists can achieve, but it didn't come easy. In our new episode of Blueprint with Complex's Editor-in-Chief Noah Callahan-Bever, Pat explains how the two met, the backlash around the release of Coloring Book, and the one thing that threatened their independence.
Chance and Pat's decision to roll with Apple Music for the release of Coloring Book was met with some criticism as people believed it changed their narrative of being independent. Pat disagrees with that stance, and also explains why they went with Apple. “We wanted to put the project in the hands of someone who was going to take the project seriously, who understood Chance, who would love the music and would be a champion for that music,” he says around the 32:50 mark. “We took all the meetings and the phone calls. We spoke with everyone: Tidal, SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple Music, even smaller streaming services like Audiomack. It was sort of like taking meetings as a high school all-star athlete and going to different colleges and seeing who's gonna care about us the most and who's going to help put us in the right position to win and succeed and have a great career in the majors. At the end of the day we went with the company that believed in Chance most… it wasn't about the money. It was about the people inside that building.”
Pat also details the pushback they received from Def Jam when securing features from Kanye West, Justin Bieber, and more for Coloring Book. “It took the wind out of my sails when the first thing I heard from the Def Jam CEO was, 'No way… not gonna happen. No way in fucking hell.'”
“Those were tough conversations to have, especially with being so close to the Kanye camp,” Pat adds.
Mixtapes have an iconic status in hip-hop. Their roots lie in the bootleg tapes of early rap groups’ rehearsals and performances, impromptu recordings that felt about as commercially viable as taking audio of your family barbecue and passing the resulting tape around the neighborhood. The medium took a big step forward when DJs Brucie B and Ron G began to elevate the form, releasing must-listen “blend tapes.” DJs were soon competing to be the first to get songs fresh out of the studio (often by less-than-honest means), or become the exclusive purveyor of the latest freestyle. From there it was off to the races.
By the early 2000s, this DJ-centric model was butting up against a more artist-centric take on the form, popularized by 50 Cent and G-Unit. In order to build a buzz, the crew (and countless other rappers in their wake) began taking instrumentals from pretty much everywhere—already-popular songs included and encouraged—and rapping over them. The result was a new kind of mixtape, that sat on the shelf at your local mixtape spot (R.I.P. to Burkina) next to the earlier tapes.
Of course, not long after, the internet came for the retail mixtape game the way it came for the rest of the music industry. Suddenly the same legally dubious mixtapes were spread to a huge audience, often for free or for the cost of your email address, through sites like DatPiff and Live Mixtapes.
Liberating mixtapes from their physical form led to an expanding of the concept as well. Suddenly artists like Drake were making fully-fledged debut statements of purpose with barely a stolen beat. Then you had The Weeknd and Chance The Rapper demonstrating that, if you had a great album to your name, released it for free and called it a mixtape you, too, could have a meteoric rise.
Today, the majority of projects that artists call mixtapes are indistinguishable from albums in nearly every regard. Original production, as opposed to freestyles over existing songs? Check. High-profile features? Check. Released by a major label? Check. Put up for sale, rather than released for free? Thanks to subscription streaming services, check, check, and double-check.
The question that remains, is why does everyone from ASAP Ferg to Drake to Chance to Dave East seem so desperate to call their albums anything but “albums?” At first glance, it seems absurd. A few weeks ago, rapper Dave East released a project on Def Jam that he called an EP. It’s 13 tracks long and runs for over 40 minutes—even by the flexible standards of the EP, that looks a lot like an album. Just last month, ASAP Ferg put out Still Striving, ostensibly a mixtape, despite the fact that it was put out by RCA and contained top-billed features by, among others, Snoop, Rick Ross, and Migos.
The problem appears to be simple: “Album” is a word that comes with heavy expectations. They’ve been around since the late 1940s, and pioneered by people like Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, and Stevie Wonder. You have a favorite album by your favorite artist. We still have all-night debates about the greatest album—whether Illmatic is better than Only Built 4 Cuban Linx or Ready to Die, or which Jay Z album is the greatest (even Hov himself has jumped into that one). Albums are important. They’re supposed to capture something about our time, about the way we live our lives. They should be statements about the artist.
“I feel like, [a mixtape] is more artistic freedom,” Ferg said in a recent interview with The Breakfast Club. “An album is so serious. With Always Strive and Prosper, my last album, it was so serious about my trials and tribulations, how I became A$AP Ferg, jobs I had before, all of that shit, but this mixtape was basically like an open door policy where I had, like, all my friends come and we just made music and had fun. It was, like, not so serious. We just wanted an excuse to party on the song.”
Dave East had similar thoughts. He told Billboard that he was saving his important stories, the ones with “super-detailed and specific moments,” for his album. “I don’t think it’s album time yet,” he said.
If an artist’s album sells poorly, speculation begins almost immediately. What happened? Did they choose the wrong single? Are they past their prime? On the other hand, sales expectations for a mixtape are lessened, because it’s not a full-on artistic statement. It’s just messing around, having some fun—even if that “fun” is promoted by the same billion-dollar corporation that releases those erstwhile (hopefully) blockbuster albums next time around.
Calling a project a “mixtape,” “EP,” “playlist,” or, hell, a “project”—anything but an “album”—sends a signal to fans and the press to bring a different set of expectations, and to lower the pressure a little bit. No wonder it’s such a common move. With such an easy out available, it’s a wonder people release albums at all.
“Get Throwed” is a landmark song for Houston rap music, and means much more beyond being a massive single off Bun B's first solo album, Trill. After UGK linked up with Jay Z on 2000's “Big Pimpin,” they were catapulted to a new level of fame, so Jay coming back and returning the favor with a feature only felt right.
But there's apparently a little bit more history to the song than we knew. During a new interview on the Rap Radar Podcast, Bun B confessed that Jay's appearance wasn't as innocent as it may have seemed on first glance. The Houston legend says Jay was clapping at someone on “Get Throwed,” and it sounds like it may have been someone close to him.
“If you listen to 'Get Throwed,' to Jay's verse—to some people it's going to be clearer than others—but there were shots fired in bars 8-12, and there were more shots from bars 12-16,” Bun B explains. “This was before [Nas]. This was more internal. You go back and listen to it, that's the only clue I'm going to give you.”
There are only 15 bars in Jay's verse, so we'll have to assume Bun meant 12-15 in his claim. But this begs the question: who the hell was Jay firing at on “Get Throwed,” and why? First, let's parse through the actual lyrics in question, starting from bar eight.
The competition is none, they deceased to exist
Let it breathe a little bit
He's off his rocker, he's a lil schiz'
Throwed like a football, Hov' used to cook raw
Now I got the game sewn like granny's good shawl
Pshaw, y'all niggas want war
Y'all got it backwards, y'all should want raw
Y'all should want more
The timeline suggested by Bun makes it really difficult to tell. Though “Get Throwed” came out in 2005, Bun claims this is something that came “before” his beef with Nas. What that means is anyone's guess; is Bun referring to how far Jay's relationship with the person goes back, or the period in which Jay was angered enough to pen these bars?
Things only really started to pick up between Jay and Nas around the turn of the century, but they had been trading subliminal shots for a lot of the mid-to-late 1990's. If Jay's animosity for someone in his crew goes back that far, it has to be someone real close. Either that, or Bun doesn't have the best grasp of the timeline, but he's the narrator here, so we gotta roll with it a little bit.
Here are a few of the strongest candidates.
I know, I know, Bun insists this is not about Nas. But you have to raise the question any time a Jay diss from that time period is mentioned, and it's not totally unfounded.
It's unclear whether the line about being a “lil schiz'” (short for schizophrenic) is referring to Jay himself or the person in question, but duplicity is something Jay attacked Nas hard for during their infamous battle. He referenced it briefly on “Takeover,” when he told the story about showing Nas his first Tec-9, but went even further on the title track of Blueprint 2. “Is it 'Oochie Wally Wally' or is it 'One Mic'? Is it 'Black Girl Lost' or shorty owe you for ice?”
The reference to “war” was also a trademark of his beef with the Queensbridge native. “If you want war then it's war it's gon' be,” he said on the BP2 intro, and he told the “little soldier” he wasn't ready for war on “Takeover.” There's a lot of circumstantial evidence suggesting Nas is the party in question.
But we'll take Bun's word for it on this one, and besides, by 2006 the two rappers were linking up for a song on Hip Hop Is Dead, the infamous “Black Republicans.” I doubt they'd be working together a year after “Get Throwed” if the battle was still raging on.
Here's a candidate that would appear to fit all the criteria for a good target. Dame Dash and Jay have a long and storied history together, having partnered with Kareem “Biggs” Burke to launch Roc-A-Fella Records in 1996, and nothing can build resentment like the passage of time. As Bun mentioned, this was allegedly an internal struggle, and given how influential Dame and Jay's voices were in any internal Roc-A-Fella conversations, there's no doubt they had some serious battles over the years.
During the mid-2000s, as the Roc's star started to rise, Jay and Dame began to clash even more, eventually leading to their separation as business partners. In interviews about their split conducted in the years since, other members of the Roc have admitted that Dame got a little too big for his britches. Consider what Beanie Sigel said in 2012.
“Dame was spending a lot of company money, going on a lot of trips and to other business ventures, robbing Peter to pay Paul,” he said. “Taking money from outta here and trying to build a brand and stuff, without consulting with his partners. That's what sort of really brought demise to Roc-A-Fella.”
When Dame did take his talents elsewhere, he started up a completely new venture, Roc4Life (which would eventually become Dame Dash Music Group), and tried to undercut Jay by taking some of his talent. That would explain Jay referring to multiple people wanting war in his verse; the shade was directed at Dame, but it also hints at the artists flocking with him to a new label.
Of course, there's one group in particular the two parties had a massive conflict over.
Cam'ron and the Diplomats
This is the answer that probably makes the most sense. Killa Cam and the gang coming to Roc-A-Fella in the first place was primarily orchestrated by Dash, a childhood friend of Cam'ron, and Jay was never really on the inside track of that relationship.
Though the partnership was successful and led to Cam's Come Home With Me going platinum on Roc-A-Fella, there was never a proper level of trust between all parties. Jim Jones and Dash accused Jay of stealing the beat that would become “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” during a studio session in 2001, claiming the track was originally promised to Cam'ron. To make matters worse, Jay was in Europe and out of the loop when Dame Dash announced at a 2002 listening party that Cam'ron would be promoted to Vice President of Roc-A-Fella; Jay denied the promotion over the phone, and it was all downhill from there.
As it relates to “Get Throwed,” the bars seen up top can probably be seen as a shot at the Diplomats and Dame Dash simultaneously. Dame went off and did his own thing starting in 2004 following the sale of Roc-A-Fella to Def Jam, and he brought his friends along with him. Saying “y'all should want more” could be taken as a hint to Cam'ron, Jim Jones, and Juelz Santana that they were getting fucked over in whatever deal they had with Dash. Since Jay had worked with Dash for the majority of his career up until that point, he probably had an inkling of what they were in for.
Cam's first real shots at Jay didn't come until 2006 when he dropped “You Gotta Love It,” so Jay coming through with the subliminal in '05 may have been enough to prompt a full-scale attack from Cam and Co. later on. And if we're interpreting Cam's first Jay diss as a response to the bars on “Get Throwed,” there's even a not-so-subtle hint to back it up at the end of “You Gotta Love It.” Throwing the war line back at Jay, Cam apologizes to Beyoncé for what's about to go down with her man: “I'm sorry B, but I want a war.”
The real answer to the “Get Throwed” question is that it's probably intended to mock Dash, the Diplomats, and anyone else who was planning to team up with them in order to undermine Jay. The Diplomats were never really known as the most stable set of personalities in the world, so the schizophrenic nod could also be a nod to their eccentric, colorful (in Cam's case, literally colorful) personalities, which are either a flaw or a feature depending on how you feel about their music.
We'll probably never know if that's the answer for sure, because Jay doesn't do a whole lot of talking about old beef these days. But all signs point in this direction, so for now, it's what we'll choose to believe.
“The kid lost the stems to the beat. It had some samples in the original from a film. I recreated some of the stems enough to patch up the beat and remove the samples. I was gonna recreate the whole beat then I found a way to keep it. Major labels don’t play with samples not being cleared The song would never have come out or cleared legal at Def Jam. If that’s nothing, then he’s right.
“He should have better file management skills if he works at an electronics repair shop.
“He should get facts straight before he speaks on my name. I let the claim go because I have better shit to do than fight with people over BS. Hope he enjoys the bread and appreciates what I did to help him make $$. That’s about it. Menace, put some respek on my name.
“And thank god Mike Dean removed your samples, youngin. Should throw me a few points from his pocket my way, but I am doing ok with or without the “Panda” bread.
“P.S. He should also thank Plain Pat (the best A&R in the world and my favorite co-producer) who made us (G.O.O.D. Music) all aware of “Panda” in the first place.”
Original story is below.
Desiigner’s 2015 debut single “Panda” catapulted the rapper into hip-hop stardom. The track dominated the airwaves, earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance, topped the Billboard charts, and was sampled by Kanye West. It was the kind of introduction many rappers dream of; however, the mastermind behind the “Panda” beat hasn’t received the same success. In fact, he claims he’s still waiting on payment.
“There was a situation with Future putting [an infringement] claim in because apparently, he said that ‘Panda’ sounded like ‘Fuck Up Some Commas.’ So we were just about to see the checks but there’s been a lot of delays so we won’t see anything until next year anyway,” Menace said. “Not only [Future], Mike Dean, Kanye West’s producer, he put a claim in as well saying that he did something to the beat and he never did. I don’t think we’ll see a check until probably next year. Right now, it’s just going through negotiations. The problem is that once someone puts a claim in, it just stops everything.” A representative for Future denied Menace's claims, saying that they are “not true.”
“God gave him a blessing, but he gave me a blessing too. I ain't gonna doubt the man's music. He make beautiful music too. Music is made every day,” he said. “Big ups to him, big ups to Future. I actually like Future’s music. I like his music, you feel me. I’m not a hater or a critic on him, you know, I do me. God bless him, God bless me.”
Any day that starts with an immediately-regarded-as-classic Kanye West story is a good day. On the latest episode of ItsTheReal's A Waste of Time podcast, Rory Farrell spoke with Eric and Jeff Rosenthal about his days as a Def Jam intern during West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasyera. According to Rory, the original vision for what is widely considered West's greatest album—which Rory said was first entitled Donda's Boy—was quite different than the critically acclaimed final product.
“I was in meetings that interns were not supposed to be in,” Rory recalled. Months ahead of the release of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, for example, West showed up at the Def Jam offices with a special request. “No one had seen him,” Rory said. “He shows up out of nowhere at the Def Jam offices like Lupe and Nas trying to get their albums out, in a full suit. He has, I want to say it was Don C's son but don't quote me, a child dressed identical to him, carrying his Louis Vuitton bag. Comes in and is throwing a fit at how shitty everyone is dressed. So he says, 'I'm not doing business today until everyone is in a suit.'”
Ahead of West’s return the following day, everyone in the office was scrambling to find black suits. When West arrived, the aforementioned child opened up the Louis bag, tossed a blanket over the conference table, and poured West “either white wine or water” into a medieval wine glass. “Kanye says, 'I'm parched, we can begin now,'” Rory said.
West then played the office My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which was then entitled Donda's Boy. “The idea was that it was going to be 10 tracks, and each track was going to be 10 minutes,” Rory said. “'Runaway' was 20 minutes long. Pusha wasn't on it. Kanye was singing for 15 minutes of it at the end.” The bonus track “See Me Now,” Rory added, had no Beyoncé on the hook at the time. Eventual single “All of the Lights” was also featureless. “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy but it was just Kanye West,” Rory said. “And it was amazing.”
Listen to the full podcast below. The West stories start at around the 42-minute mark.
Shortly after multiple outlets started picking up Rory's stories, legendary producer Mike Dean appeared to question their validity on Twitter. Dean, of course, has worked closely with West since his 2007 album Graduation:
Plain Pat, who previously worked as West's manager and was integral to his early successes, also questioned the alleged alternate title. “News to me,” he said, marking his first tweet in nearly six months.
Logic makes a huge splash on the Billboard 200 chart with his new album Everybody. His third studio release debuts at No. 1, moving 247,000 album-equivalent units. A majority of that was in traditional sales (196,000).
By comparison, Logic's debut album, Under Pressure, bowed at No. 4 in its first week with 72,000 album-equivalent units sold. His sophomore release, 2015's The Incredible True Story, moved 135,000 units in its first week. He's nearly doubled up in album units at each release. It'll be interesting to see what his next (and final album) will do in terms of sales.
Complex's latest cover star spoke about the inspiration behind Everybody. “When I started creating this album two years ago, it was before my other album was even out,” he said. “I was writing, and it just so happened that a lot of the subject matter I’m discussing on this album, which is the fight for equality of every man, woman, and child regardless of race, religion, color, creed, and sexual orientation—because I believe that we are born equal, but we are not treated equally—I’m just here to say, 'Just be a good person, and really respect others.'”
In July, Logic is set to embark on Everybody's Tour with Joey Badass and Big Lenbo. Tickets for the 29-date trek will be available Tuesday, May 16.
You can watch Logic's Complex video cover story with Neil deGrasse Tyson here.
Reddit user “BliIxy” took a more scholarly approach, by studying the 44-page booklet that comes with limited edition physical copies of Everybody, and posting his findings on Reddit’s /HipHopHeads forum. The result is a rather plausible theory about the title of Logic’s final album.
“In the limited edition booklet for Everybody there is a letter at the end and a hidden message that says: ‘To decipher the letter, read every 8th and 5th word,’” BliIxy wrote. “The code says: ‘For the real fans reading this hidden message my next album will be called Ultra 85, and it will be the conclusion to his saga.’”