9th Wonder Helps Rank Kendrick Lamar’s Best Verses on ‘Everyday Struggle’

On today's Everyday Struggle, legendary producer 9th Wonder joins Joe Budden, DJ Akademiks, and Nadeska to talk about a wide variety of rap news, including Kendrick Lamar's best verses, some commentary on Bow Wow's latest fuckery, and much more. The crew also break down Migos saying they plan to be around for 20 years and if music charts matter these days.

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Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Damn’ Has Spent 25 Consecutive Weeks in the Billboard 200 Top 10

A few days after Kendrick Lamar released Damn back in April, the Compton rapper was projected to not only debut at No. 1, but also move close to half a million equivalent album units first week. The end result was the top slot on the Billboard 200 chart and 603,000 units moved. That moment was a sign of his impending chart dominance this year.

In the Billboard 200 chart week ending Oct. 5, Kendrick reached another career achievement: Damn has spent 25 consecutive weeks in the top 10. That's nearly half of the entire year. No matter how you slice it, it's an impressive feat.

Here's what makes it more impressive. In a year where albums have been released from Ed Sheeran, Drake, and Katy Perry—three artists who have made the Billboard charts home their entire career—only Damn and Sheeran's ​÷ have spent 25 or more weeks on the Billboard 200 chart. Sheeran has tallied up 27 weeks, but his longest streak is 20. 

And if we're talking streaks, Damn spent 21 straight weeks in the top five; Sheeran's ÷ topped out at nine weeks.

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The last rapper to spend 25 or more weeks in the top 10 was Drake with his 2016 release Views. That album lasted 35 weeks in the top 10, with a streak of 30 (May 21-Dec. 10).

Back in July, Billboard unveiled Nielsen Music's mid-year report for top-performing albums based on overall equivalent album units, and Damn led the way with 1,772,000 units. That total is now around the 2.3 million mark based on recent reports, which means Kendrick Lamar is still the front-runner.

There's a possibility Taylor Swift could swoop in the last two months of 2017 and snatch the crown with her sixth studio album Reputation (due out Nov. 10), but for now King Kendrick reigns supreme.

Check out a week-to-week rank and figure breakdown of Damn below.

Week        Rank    Figure
April 20    No. 1    603,000
April 27    No. 1    239,000
May 4        No. 1    173,000
May 11      No. 3    134,000
May 18      No. 3    117,000
May 25      No. 2    98,000
June 1        No. 2    84,000
June 8        No. 2    73,000
June 15      No. 2    69,000
June 22      No. 3    70,000
June 29      No. 3    59,000
July 6         No. 3    56,000
July 13       No. 3    54,000
July 20       No. 2    56,000
July 27       No. 5    48,000
Aug. 3        No. 2    47,000
Aug. 10      No. 1    47,000
Aug. 17      No. 2    43,000
Aug. 24      No. 3    41,000
Aug. 31      No. 5    45,000
Sept. 7       No. 4    40,000
Sept. 14     No. 8    35,000
Sept. 21     No. 4    34,000
Sept. 28     No. 8    34,000
Oct. 5         No. 9    34,000

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Travis Scott’s ‘AstroWorld’ Tour Will Feature Amusement Park Rides

Travis Scott, music's leading inciter of punk rock riots, has been in a plethora of headlines over the past few days. But all of them have nothing to do with his music, which is bigger and more ubiquitous than ever. In a new interview with Rolling Stone's Jonah Weiner, Scott—during multiple chats backstage on his recent tour with Kendrick Lamar—offered a slice of insight into his current creative process.

Scott has been working on new music while on the road, something that's clearly invigorated him. “Just chillin', recording,” Scott said of his current approach to cutting new tracks. “Formulating a story, the picture I'm trying to paint. It's fun making music on the road. I got a whole studio bus.”

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Scott's forthcoming AstroWorld, which still doesn' have a release date, takes its name from a now-closed amusement park Scott frequented when he lived in Texas. “It had a Dungeon Drop, Greezed Lightnin', Superman,” Scott said. “It was a way of life—fantasies, imagination.” For the eventual AstroWorld tour, Scott is planning to bring the amusement park vibe with him by literally surrounding himself with actual rides. “I don't know why it hasn't been done already—I think people just don't do shit,” he said. “Who makes stages these days that are cool?”

Elsewhere on the new music front, Scott has plenty of tracks already in the bag with Quavo. During a Migos interview with Montreality last week, Quavo—at around the 2:22 mark in the video below—said the joint album should drop soon. “We've been making a whole bunch of records; we got a lot of records together right now, we've probably got like 20 records, we just need to get some time and just sort 'em out,” he said.

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Colin Tilley: From College Dropout to Directing This Generation’s Craziest Music Videos | The Culture

If you're talking about music videos, then you're talking about Colin Tilley. Growing up in the Bay Area, Colin Tilley went from college dropout to an award-winning music video director.

Having helmed videos for everyone from Rihanna to Lil B to Lil Wayne to Kendrick Lamar, Colin's growth has been immense, allowing him to helm videos for a generation of musical artists. As he begins to break into feature films, Complex's own Jinx connects with him to learn more about his journey and what has made him so successful. 

Check out the full interview above and subscribe to Complex on YouTube to catch every episode of The Culture.

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Police Shut Down XXXTentacion’s Free Tampa Show After Thousands of Fans Showed Up

Say what you will about XXXTentacion's theatrics, but the Florida native has certainly built up a diehard following in a short period of time. They might be a little too obsessed with his music, in fact, because a crowd outside one of his shows took over a town on Saturday night.

The rapper was all set to play a free show at the Orpheum, a small venue that hosts smaller, independent acts in Tampa, Florida. Leading into the performance, XXX shared excitement with his followers on Instagram, promising a party when he arrived to the venue.

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Image via Instagram/@xxxtentacion

But when he arrived on the scene, it turned out the show had been cancelled, and in follow-up videos, XXX expressed his frustration with the cancellation after driving a good distance just to perform.

Tampa, my deepest apologies. I drove all the way down here, I drove four hours just to basically have the show cancelled on me. Apparently because it was over capacity, there [were] at least 3,000-4,000 of you outside, the venue could only support 750. As far as the new free show, I'm going to try and get a free show going, but that was the only venue that wanted to work with me. So just bear with me, I'm going to do my best to work this out. But for now the show is cancelled, NOT due to my choice, it was just the venue and the fire marshal said we could not do the show.

XXX's fans did not respond well to being told there would be no show. The large crowd outside the venue chanted XXX's name while waiting outside in the hope something would change, voicing their displeasure over the situation.

Further video from the scene shows chaos, with multiple cop cars surrounding the area and people fleeing in several different directions. But even after reports of tear gas usage came from the area, a loyal group of followers stood near the venue, chanting his name and covering parts of their faces with the collars of their shirts.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, at least one officer on the scene was armed with a bean-bag shotgun to deal with the crowd. XXXTentacion acknowledged this and other means of crowd control in another apology on his Instagram story on Sunday.

“For the inconvenience as of last night, for anyone that was pepper sprayed, for anyone that was shot with the rubber bullets, my apologies,” he said. “I would never try to put your children in a situation like that. My deepest, sincerest apologies.”

The rapper offered no visual proof of this, but he also claimed that a group of rowdy fans damaged the mirror on his BMW while he was in the process of leaving the venue.

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Image via Instagram/@xxxtentacion

Moments like these underscore why it's important for XXXTentacion to consider the consequences of what he does ahead of time. Maybe he's not the thoughtless goon some of his critics would paint him as, but a few of his publicity stunts have crossed into some scary territory. If he showed the poise he did handling this scene all the time, there's almost no doubt his rep would improve. And that'd be a good thing, because he's already getting love for his music from artists as high up the chain as Kendrick Lamar.

His fans clearly adore him, so hopefully XXXTentacion can help channel that passion and push his diehards in a positive direction.

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Watch Kendrick Lamar Perform “DNA” and “Humble” to Open 2017 VMAs

Kendrick Lamar made the jump from critical darling to household name in 2017, and it was only right that he got to punctuate that rise by kicking off the 2017 VMAs.

Bundled in a winter coat and rocking a red durag, Kendrick kicked in the door to start the show, opening the VMAs with two cuts from Damn, “DNA” and “Humble.” It was quite the spectacle, with stuntmen climbing up a burning rope ladder in the background while Kendrick continued spitting bars.

The rise of Kendrick's star was matched by the amount of nominations he received, with his eight VMA nominations leading the pack heading into the evening. But his focus wasn't a selfish one, and a point of focus for the rap star was on his TDE label mate, SZA, who he believed should be named Best New Artist.

“I watched her slave over and over to make a masterpiece that not only represents her, but represents women all over the world,” he said of her new album, Ctrl. “Something that we all can feel. It touched so many different spaces and connected with so many people. There’s nothing much more I can say — she needs to win.”

You can watch his performance from the 2017 VMAs up top.

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Ice-T and Soledad O’Brien to Host Fox’s ‘Who Shot Biggie & Tupac?’

Friday, Fox announced an upcoming two-hour special to explore the deaths of slain rappers 2Pac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. Rapper, author, actor, and director Ice-T will co-host Who Shot Biggie & Tupac? along with Emmy Award-winning journalist and author Soledad O’Brien, as the show takes a deeper look into what amounted to cold cases during at least two police investigations and one FBI probe.

Shakur died on September 13, 1996 after being targeted in a drive-by shooting on the Las Vegas Strip. The Notorious B.I.G.—born Christopher Wallace—was similarly killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997. The former friends and collaborators turned rivals remain linked some 20 years after both were killed.

Fox’s choice to cover the two iconic rappers is a curious one, given how Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera and other of Fox’s news pundits have previously criticized hip-hop music and culture.

“This is why I say that Hip Hop has done more damage to young African Americans than racism in recent years,” Rivera said, during a critique of Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 BET Awards performance.

The special will also reportedly feature what is being billed as the first on-air “reunion” between Lil’ Cease and E.D.I. Mean—one-time protégés of B.I.G. and Shakur as respective members of Junior M.A.F.I.A. and The Outlawz. Doug E. Fresh, Funkmaster Flex and Suge Knight are also set to appear.

Shakur’s case remains unsolved, with conspiracy theories abounding. In April of 2008, the Los Angeles Times retracted a story by Chuck Phillips insinuating Sean Combs orchestrated the 1994 Quad Studios attack on Shakur.

“The Times has since concluded that the FBI reports were fabricated and that some of the other sources relied on—including the person Philips previously believed to be the ‘confidential source’ cited in the FBI reports—do not support major elements of the story,” the retraction read.

Former LAPD captain Kevin McClure shut down a task force investigating B.I.G.’s murder in 2010 noting a lack of results.

“We kept pounding the doors on the same cold leads,” McClure told the Los Angeles Times in March. “The shooter is most likely dead. You cannot ask him who paid him. We don’t know who gave the money.”

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J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar’s Joint Album Will Probably Never Come Out

Don’t hold your breath for that rumored J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar album. Terrence “Punch” Henderson said the collaboration isn’t likely to drop. Ever.

On Friday night, a Twitter user asked the TDE co-president about the highly anticipated project’s expected release date. Unfortunately, Punch shattered many fans’ hopes with a two-word response: “probably never.”

Rumors of a K. Dot and Cole collaborative project have been circulating for years. They drew excitement again when they remixed each other's songs: Cole took “Alright,” and Kendrick took “A Tale of Two Citiez” for Black Friday in November 2015. Nearly a full year later, during a December 2016 interview on The Breakfast Club, TDE artist Ab-Soul confirmed the album was in fact real, but he refused to go into detail.

“I can’t speak on that. I wish I could,” Soul said before revealing he submitted a verse for the project. “I’m saying these guys move like the Mob. You never know with these guys. I just hope they use my verse. They just need to use my verse.”

Charlamagne The God asked for further confirmation: “But there is a Kendrick-Cole album?”

“They got it. They got something in the works,” Soul responded. “They’ve been working on that motherfucker for a while.”

Shortly after the interview, The Fader reached out to Soul for more information about the album. The 30-year-old, however, neither confirmed nor denied the project’s existence, simply writing: “It's a myth” *joker smile*.”

So is the Kendrick-Cole project sitting in a vault? Was it ever completed? Did they even begin recording? As of now, it all remains a big ol' mystery. And judging by Punch's recent tweet, it'll probably stay that way. 

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