Drake's eight-year hangout session on the Billboard Hot 100 came to an end this week, but Drake is already looking ahead to the next chart challenge.
The OVO Sound co-founder was missing from the Hot 100 this week for the first time since “Best I Ever Had” hit the charts back in 2009. All told, Drake spent a whopping 431 consecutive weeks on the Hot 100. TMZbothered Drake outside the Tao restaurant in Los Angeles Wednesday night, ultimately eliciting a three-word response to the news.
“I need 500,” Drake said, narrowly making it inside his vehicle before he had to suffer through the paparazzo's dripping-with-cringe follow-up question of “So what's next, Dancing With the Stars?”
Drake, by a substantial margin, currently boasts the most consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 since the chart's debut in 1958. The rest of the top ten includes Lil Wayne (326 weeks), Rihanna (216), Nicki Minaj (207), Jay Z (159), Katy Perry (139), and more.
This latest feat is far from the first time a Billboard record has been smashed by Drake. With the release of Views in 2016, he claimed 20 spots on the Hot 100. That record held until the release of this year's More Life, at which point Drake bested himself with 24 simultaneous chart appearances.
Drake's most recent solo single was “Signs,” which premiered back in June during Louis Vuitton's Paris Fashion Week show as part of an OVO Sound-curated playlist created for the line's Spring/Summer 2018 menswear reveal.
Last week, IRL troll Martin Shkreli was found guilty on three counts of fraud and conspiracy, resulting in a possible 20-year sentence in prison. I initially hoped this conviction would mean that he'd stop fucking with the hip-hop scene… and I might've jinxed things, as he's totally now just turning on stuff like the $2 million Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time In Shaolin during interviews.
Apparently, there's a YouTube account called “Best of Martin Shkreli” that archives Shkreli's livestreams. One of them features almost an hour of Shkreli being interviewed, and at about 48 minutes in, Shkreli just presses play on Once Upon and lets it rock for the last 10 minutes of the interview. Shkreli brought up his purchasing of the album, calling it a “donation.”
“I donated $2 million to Wu-Tang,” he said. “I got a mixtape in return, it was a wonderful investment. I view it as a donation. People might see that as splurging. I don’t think there are many people in the world who have patronized hip-hop to the extent I have.” Not sure if this is more of Shkreli's trollery, but you have to wonder how far some hip-hop fans would go if they had the funds Shkreli had from his hedge-fund fuckery.
That isn't the only rap album Shkreli is holding onto, though. D.C. reporter Alex Pfeiffer shared some info on Twitter recently about how Lil Wayne's Carter V landed in Shkreli's possession. “I'll always remember how Shkreli told me he got the Carter 5,” Pfeiffer tweeted. “Wayne sold his Bugatti and left the CD in there..new owner sold it to shkreli.” Back in December 2016, Shkreli told DJ Akademiks that he believed the “sale” of Carter V was legal. “Criminal law? Forget it,” Shkreli said. “But [in terms of] civil law, I don’t believe that Lil Wayne could sue me. I don’t believe Birdman can sue me. I don’t think Universal could sue me. It’s a legal sale.”
This May, almost six months later, Wayne's legal team threatened to sue Shkreli if he played any more tracks from Carter V—but I'm sleep.
You can hear that, along with the three other songs, below. They are “Loyalty,” featuring Gudda Gudda and HoodyBaby and produced by ChefBoy'RT@; “Mula Gang” featuring Jay Jones, HoodyBaby, and Euro and produced by R!O, Kamo, and Kaliphat; and “Fireworks” featuring Young Jeezy and produced by Mike Will Made-It.
The “Magnolia” freestyle finds Wayne in a reflective mood, looking back on his arrest and incarceration and even paying homage to long-departed New Orleans rap legend Soulja Slim. He also hints (again) at a potential release for his new album, and mentions his recently announced alignment with Roc Nation. “Wait for Carter V to drop,” he rhymes at the end of the track. “It's the Roc.”
Wayne put out an Instagram message explaining that he was giving out the tracks for free to thank his fans.
“Im STILL trying to fight for my Independence but today Im saying Fuk it and giving all my fans some new music!” he wrote. “Thanks for being there and patiently waiting while I endure this fight.”
We've shared the best songs, albums, and verses of 2017 so far, but one category we've yet to highlight this year is the rap collaboration. Historically speaking, these records rise to the top when we look back at pivotal performances in years past. Think “Believe Me,” “Otis,” “Pick Up the Phone,” “Cartoon & Cereal.” No need to list off the artists involved; these moments speak for themselves.
There's a good chance a rap collab or two in 2017 joins that pantheon of greatness. With July marking the halfway point, here's a rundown of the best rap collaborations this year has had to offer.
Drake f/ 2 Chainz and Young Thug “Sacrifices”
Whenever Drake and 2 Chainz link up on a track, it's guaranteed to make waves. That said, “Sacrifices” truly takes off thanks to Young Thug's inclusion. Surprisingly enough, this song counts as Drake and Thug's first proper collaboration, and the trio of rappers don't disappoint with slick rhymes on how they finessed their situations into something better.
Wale f/ Lil Wayne “Running Back”
Wale and Lil Wayne have a history of flipping sportsreferences and metaphors throughout their careers, so it should come as no surprise that they continue it on a record called “Running Back.” The song showcases their chemistry together, along with playful lyricism that makes “Running Back” an enjoyable listen.
Playboi Carti f/ Lil Uzi Vert “Woke Up Like This”
Playboi Carti only recently started to gain national recognition through “Magnolia” and his self-titled debut project, but if you ask the ATL rapper he's already got imitators in the game. “Woke Up Like This” embodies this narrative, where Carti and Lil Uzi Vert call out those who are jacking their style. Carti and Uzi Vert have linked up a handful of times in the past, and “Woke Up Like This” is their best collaboration yet.
Kodak Black f/ Jeezy “Feeling Like”
“Feeling Like” is a deep cut off Kodak Black's Painting Pictures that details the struggles of making it out of the streets and having a target on your back even when that takes place. It's a sobering performance that shows how well Kodak and Jeezy match up, with the younger act providing his concerns in real time while the veteran ATL native keeps his success in perspective.
DJ Khaled f/ Chance the Rapper, Quavo, Lil Wayne, and Justin Bieber “I’m the One”
It may have took 10 albums, but DJ Khaled finally secured his first No. 1 single with “I'm the One.” And to his credit, he put together a lineup that was tailor-made to hit the top of the charts, with Justin Bieber handling hook duties and Chance the Rapper, Quavo, and Lil Wayne delivering their animated bars over a sugar-coated melody. Respect the process.
Rap music has a long, long history of taking inspiration from rock-n-roll. There are highlights like Run DMC’s cover of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” and low points like Lil Wayne’s “rock” album Rebirththat might come to mind. There is no shortage of links between the two genres musically.
But recently, we have seen more and more rappers taking cues from the rock-star lifestyle and look, not just the music. Acts like Travis Scott, Playboi Carti, and even Migos have added subtle and not-so-subtle rock flourishes to their already eclectic personas and musical style. However, the 2017 rapper who seems to have taken the most cues from rock-n-roll has to be Lil Uzi Vert.
Whether it is his highly regarded single “XO Tour Liife”(which is tagged as alternative rock on Soundcloud), insane stage dives at live shows, or even posting videos online of himself jamming out to Paramore in the car, the 22-year-old has made it crystal clear that he is inspired by rockers of the past and present.
Most of all, he’s doing his best to look the part. His constant, unapologetic blurring of the traditional lines between men’s and women’s fashion can definitely be credited to rockers like David Bowie or Iggy Pop. These artists helped pioneer rock’s androgynous style, wearing makeup and skin-tight leathers and embracing more feminine movements in their performances.
A post shared by Lougotcash (@lougotcash) on May 13, 2017 at 12:20pm PDT
Earlier this year, Uzi was roasted by the masses for rocking what has now become an infamous fit. Up-and-coming New York rapper Lou Got Cash posted a photo on his Instagram alongside Uzi, who was donning a low neck, distressed sweater from Faith Connexion, a spiked choker and a Goyard purse-looking satchel, and the internet’s floodgates opened, questioning his masculinity and his place within the rap community.
How did he react? Like any rock-star would. This past May, he showed up to the the Billboard Music Awards in a $2,400 women’s Valentino white see-through blouse, telling the haters during his interview with Sway Calloway, “They never felt these fabrics before.” No matter what he wears, Uzi just simply doesn’t give a fuck what you think about it.
For a lot of Uzi’s inspirations, look no further than Marilyn Manson. Uzi has declared his fandom for Manson numerous times. Perhaps the most blatant instance of this was during an interview with Nardwuar back in 2016: “At age 27, I will leave this Earth for this man right here—the Pale Emperor,” said Uzi, referring to a Manson tour poster Nardwuar gave him.
Manson has always been a style icon in his own right. His all-black goth wardrobe, accented with leather whenever possible, and makeup were a uniform for rebellious teens in the late ‘90s. Manson left a mark on high fashion too: He appeared in a campaign for YSL back in 2013 and performed at Stella McCartney’s Pre-Fall show in 2016. More recently, Manson’s style legacy lived on with 2016’s rocker tee trend, as the likes of Justin Bieber, Kylie Jenner, and, of course, Uzi have all been seen rocking his old merch.
A post shared by IF & Co. (@ifandco) on Apr 16, 2017 at 7:39pm PDT
But Uzi is someone who takes this inspirations further—rocking an old tour T-shirt isn’t enough. He’s repeatedly said that he was inspired to get his first set of platinum grills when he saw Manson donning a pair in his “Dope Show”music video. And check out his own custom Ben Baller chain—an iced-out, spiked choker chain with a blinged-out Marilyn Manson face pendant.
The chain is a perfect example of what Uzi has been able to do with his fashion. He’s takes clear inspiration from the rock-star aesthetics of the past, while adding a fresh hip-hop spin to the equation. He is stepping away from the traditional idea of what a rapper is supposed to dress like, perhaps more than we’ve ever seen before.
It is this self confidence and nonconformity that have allowed Uzi to make his style more than just a sideshow. He said it best in a 2016 interview with Global Grind: “I am a rock-star. I am rage.”
DJ Khaled’s Grateful album has officially rolled out on streaming services, just an hour after the 41-year-old artist presented the project on We the Best Radio.
The early premiere was a nice surprise for fans who’ve been waiting on the 23-track album since Khaled announced it back in February. Since then, we’ve received a handful of singles off the star-studded project, such as “Shining” with Beyoncé and Jay Z, “I'm the One” featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne, as well as “Wild Thoughts” with Rihanna and Bryson Tiller.
The rest of the album will include guest appearances by everyone from Alicia Keys and Nicki Minaj to Nas and Travis Scott to Drake and Calvin Harris. Khaled’s infant son Asahd also landed a credit as executive producer.
“He is credited as executive producer, and his attorney has his points and royalties, everything,” Khaled explained during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! “Listening to the songs, going over the business part of it, [deciding] if the vocals are right, if the beats are right, if the energy’s right. When he [rocks and grins], those are smash hit records, when he [looks deep in thought], that’s the real serious records but hits with substance.”
Grateful is now available to stream on Apple Music and can be purchased on iTunes. To celebrate the project's release, Khaled also dropped a video for the album's intro, “I'm So Grateful.”
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.
Thank you to all the people that have inspired me . Rakim KANE KRS chuck cube Jaz Em Andre Nas big PAC cole kendrick chance jayE ..wait,
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.
Wait . Slick fucking Rick . Pimp C and bun . Wow . I just realized how many fresh people the culture has . Big Sean . Sauce money .