January 27, 2017 brought the arrival of the Migos album Culture. Aided by a hit single in “Bad and Boujee” and a timely shout out from Donald Glover, the project gave the Atlanta trio their first No. 1 album with 131,000 equivalent album units sold during its first week of release. Now there are strong indicators Quavo, Takeoff and Offset are gearing up for a repeat.
An attendee captured footage from what appears to be Future’s Nobody’s Safe tour stop in Mountain View, California. During the set, Quavo could clearly be heard chanting, “Culture II dropping soon.”
Migos wit a lil freestyle at the end of bad and boujee and hint at “Culture 2” Quavo says culture 2 comin soon😱💯💯💯 pic.twitter.com/Exb11Mwaad
The choice to release another album would be a somewhat curious one, as Culture singles “Bad and Boujee,” “Slippery” and “T-Shirt” currently occupy spots on Billboard magazine’s “Hot 100” chart. Katy Perry’s “Bon Appetit,” Calvin Harris’ “Slide” and Lil Yachty’s “Peek A Boo” also feature Migos, while Quavo and Offset can be found as featured artists on singles ranging from Gucci Mane’s “Met Gala” to 2 Chainz’s “Good Drank.”
Though a lot of the rap world has been happy to throw dirt on the New York hip-hop scene, Joey Badass continues to carve out his lane within the city's storied history. After coming up through the underground and breaking through with projects like 1999, Badass has since established himself as one of the foremost lyricists in the game on recent projects like All-Amerikkkan Badass.
The 22-year-old rapper walks a fine line between paying homage to the old guard of rap while still staying relevant and fresh in today's scene. Badass sat down with the Everyday Struggle crew on Monday, and talked about a bunch of topics, from the stagnation of New York radio, Amber Rose, and much more. Here's what we learned from the interview.
Joey feels New York radio was slow to recognize him.
The DJs in New York City have a lot of cultural gravitas, and though the streaming era has changed how we hear new music for the first time, Badass noted that he felt unsupported by local radio when he was on the come up.
“There are many ways I could have been more supported,” said Badass. “The world recognized me before my home did. They should have jumped right on it. I was young, I didn’t know how to establish relationships and keep them.”
He takes (some) responsibility for not nurturing relationships early.
Despite how he feels on the radio front, Badass admitted he's partially responsible for his own predicament. Still, he continued to emphasize that people outside his hometown were happy to show love early on compared to his hometown.
“I didn’t realize I was burning a bridge by not communicating,” he said. “I think radio should never be late on local artists. I’m from here, I’m one of the few touring globally. Just me and [ASAP] Rocky … L.A., they've always supported me. I'm getting more love from L.A. than my own town.”
Joey spent a lot of money making All-Amerikkkan Badass, but he doesn't regret it.
Fans like to focus on how much an album sold or how much profit is being made from a tour, but few people think about what it takes to put together an album. Badass highlighted the cost of putting together his latest project, but he told Everyday Struggle it's not a concern for him.
“This is probably the most expensive album,” he said. “I probably spent like, I want to say a quarter [million]. It was definitely worth it, every cent.”
Joey thinks most hip-hop beef is lame.
After Remy Ma put Nicki Minaj on the Summer Jam screen, the Everyday Struggle crew had to talk about their long, drawn-out beef. But the young rapper claims he doesn't really pay any mind to that sort of thing, because he has a preference for settling the score through competitive freestyle instead of trading songs back-and-forth.
“Don't care about that beef shit,” he said. “I prefer sparring. Hip-hop beef is not going back and forth with tracks.”
He thinks you should respect hip-hop's youth movement.
The Everyday Struggle crew has had dust ups with some of the younger rappers in the game—what up, Lil Yachty—but Badass thinks a whole lot of people are underselling just how big some of the kids on the rise are right now.
“Playboi Carti has the whole youth in his hand,” he said. Badass went on to defend Yachty, and accused Budden of downplaying the movement behind him. “You just don't want him to be happy. He might not be a star in two years, [but] he's a mega star right now.”
DJ Carnage is a name equally respected in dance and hip-hop circles. He's an established name on the live festival circuit, even starting his own, RARE, in Orlando. That's where he met Young Thug, and the two linked up for an EP that's coming soon. Carnage's other upcoming collaborations are no less impressive—Lil Yachty, Migos, and Meek Mill are among those who have recently blessed a Carnage beat, and the results are massive.
Those tracks are on the way, but when DJ Carnage stopped by the offices, we wanted to talk about the here and now. For the latest episode of Trending Topics, we asked the artist about that Thug EP, the many talents of Donald Glover, and what it takes to enjoy a festival the right way. Watch Carnage's Trending Topics above, and check out last week's cut with Ryan Hemsworth below.
We're barely a week into the release of Lil Yachty's debut studio album, Teenage Emotions. One of the more controversial moments from it is the “cello” line off “Peek-A-Boo,” which Yachty blamed on his A&R, because he “listened to that song many times, and he allowed me to say that.” Yachty then said he “thought Squidward played the cello,” and acknowledged that he fucked up.
During his recent stop at Hot 97 for Ebro in the Morning, Ebro brought up the cello line, and Rosenberg revealed a piece of an off-air conversation that he had with Yachty about the cello line, saying that “people said to him, 'You could just say a cello was a nickname for a dick,'” but Yachty kept it a thousand, admitting to Rosenberg, “No, I actually thought it was a woodwind instrument.'” This specific part begins at the nine-minute mark.
Yachty point blank said, “My A&R told me, I could say it's like a big dick,” but he figured it made more sense “to just tell the truth.” Although now he admits that “was the wrong idea, the wrong thing to do.”
This expanded into a huge conversation about some of the most confusing lyrics in hip-hop, but if you're here for more Yachty-specific talk, make sure you check out Yachty's short list of foods he actually digs (which includes pizza, corn dogs, and sugary soda), as well as talk about what he actually does since he doesn't hit the club or get drunk or high (spoiler alert: he usually just shops, plays video games, and gets cozy with the fairer sex). Yachty also talks about his recent visit on Everyday Struggle and going toe-to-toe with Joe Budden. You can check that out at the 13:14 mark.
Lil Yachty takes a huge step forward in his career with the release of his debut studio album Teenage Emotions. But what got us to this point? How did Lil Yachty become the phenomenon that everybody's talking about? Here are some of the high points of his journey to stardom.
January 2014: Yachty shares his first IG post
Yachty is nothing if not a master of social media. He currently has nearly three million Instagram followers, and gained much of his following via IG and other social media platforms. But it all started on Jan. 8, 2014 (175 weeks ago, in Instagram terms), when he posted this BRE (Before the Red hair Era) photo.
August 2014: He drops his first song on SoundCloud
Yachty didn't really break through until late 2015 (more on that later), but he had plenty of music before then. While some argue that his debut track was “Bitter Sweet,” the very first track he posted on SoundCloud on Aug. 10, 2014 was the confusingly-spelled “I Got the Baag.” Check it below.
Summer 2015: Yachty moves to NYC
In the summer of 2015, not long after adopting his nickname and nautical-themed style, the teenager formerly known as Miles McCollum moved to New York City with one simple plan: meet famous people. As someone with an eye on the fashion and streetwear worlds, Yachty wanted to meet and impress people like “fashion influencer” Luka Sabbat. “They're the cool kids all the kids listen to,” Yachty told Rolling Stone. “It was strategic. They helped my name build.”
August 2015: Busted for credit card fraud
While back in Georgia that same summer, Yachty and a 21-year-old friend named Clarence Logan were busted at a mall with over three dozen fake credit cards between them. They were charged with forgery, fraud, and counterfeiting, and Yachty was let go on $11,000 bail.
December 2015: “One Night” used in popular comedy video
Yachty's first big break arguably came at the very end of 2015, when his song “One Night” was used in a comedy video by Caleon Fox called “When Bae Hits You With That 'So What Are We?'” Almost immediately, YouTube commenters started asking what the song used in the skit was.
February 2016: Yachty models at Yeezy Season 3 show
Yachty released his debut mixtape Lil Boatin the weeks after the Kanye show. The project proved the teenage rapper had a unique style that went beyond his social media presence.
April 2016: Collaborates with D.R.A.M. on “Broccoli”
April 6 was the release date for the hit collaboration with D.R.A.M., “Broccoli.”
May 2016: Works on Chance the Rapper's 'Coloring Book'
Chance the Rapper's Coloring Book featured Yachty alongside Young Thug on the track “Mixtape.”
June 2016: Yachty Spits a Hot 97 Freestyle
That June, Lil Yachtyappeared on NYC radio station Hot 97 with Ebro Darden. When asked if he was a rapper, he said, “No. I don't know.” And then, as if to prove his point, he wiped out during a freestyle.
The back-and-forth with Darden and Hot 97 continued, with Yachty releasing a song aimed at them in July. He then joined Ebro again on the latter's Beats 1 show in November for something resembling a reconciliation.
Yachty's nautical fascination finally pays off when he's asked to model a collaboration between Urban Outfitters and Nautica.
November 2016: Yachty disses Biggie, Pt. 2
During an appearance on Pitchfork's “Over/Under” series, Yachty refers to Biggie as “overrated.” He quickly apologizes.
December 2016: Links with Kyle for “iSpy”
Towards the end of 2016, Yachty teams up with Kyle to release “iSpy.”
February 2017: Getting that Target money
Yachty has never been one to shy away from endorsements (“endorsement money is huge,” he noted in a 2016 New York Times profile). So it was no surprise that he did an ad for Target. What was a surprise was a) it was a collaboration with Carly Rae Jepsen and b) it featured a remake of Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock's 1988 classic “It Takes Two.”
March 2017: Named one of Forbes' 'Cash Princes'
Yachty's newfound commercial and financial success is celebrated by Forbes, who names him one of the magazine's Cash Princes alongside Desiigner, D.R.A.M., Noname, and others. That same month, he teams with Nautica for a second collection.
It will be interesting to see where Lil Yachty takes his career from here. Man cannot live on controversy and cool hair alone, so we'll be looking forward to seeing what happens when he becomes a little more established and no longer has to defend his every move against criticism from rap purists. What will Lil Yachty be like in a world where he's not constantly battling for acceptance—a world where, perhaps, there may even be a teenager or two rebelling against him? Whatever happens, we'll be listening.
In 2013, three friends—Sean Wotherspoon, Chris Russow, and Luke Fracher—opened Round Two, a small boutique that specialized in vintage clothing, in Richmond, Virginia. Four years later, they’ve expanded to a second location in Los Angeles and become one of the best stores around.
“I always wanted to do well, and thought we were going to kill it, but I had no idea it was going to be the worldwide thing it has become,” Fracher says now.
Round Two initially started as a website with the same name. Russow and Wotherspoon used roundtwovintage.com as a platform to sell their thrifted vintage gear and sneakers. At the time, they operated their business out of a storage unit they filled with racks of clothing. They didn’t start looking into opening a store until months later. Fracher, who became friends with Wotherspoon because of shared interests in vintage and streetwear, reached out to Wotherspoon to help him sell his old Polo and Air Jordans.
The opportunity to open a brick and mortar came when a spot a couple blocks from the VCU campus opened up on Broad Street in Richmond, a 15-mile stretch that’s home to a lot of the retail shops in the city. The rent was affordable, so they jumped at the chance. “It was cheaper to run the store,” says Fracher. “So we were like, might as well try it.” The shop became the go-to spot for all of the local sneakerheads and vintage and streetwear collectors. “When I first moved to Richmond, there was a lot of cool boutiques, probably like four or five, but they all closed during the Recession,” Fracher adds. “We filled a void.”
In October 2015, Round Two opened its second location in L.A., between Fairfax Avenue and La Brea Avenue, and instantly saw success. There were roughly 100 people lined up outside of the shop during the grand opening. “I think it really popped because we had a great location, and the right people found out about us,” Round Two’s director of marketing, Justin Esposito, says.
Round Two found their niche in L.A.’s market selling a mix of vintage gear, streetwear, and sneakers. “I don't remember a time where I haven't been out at night or out at a spot where I didn’t see someone rocking a piece from our store,” says Esposito.
Their collection of vintage gear—including the Polo NASA jackets that can fetch between $2,000 and $3,000, and hundreds of ‘90s rap T-shirts—and rare streetwear pieces like Supreme box logo tees have attracted some of the biggest names in hip-hop and fashion today. ASAP Rocky, Playboi Carti, Travis Scott, Lil Yachty, Kendall Jenner, ASAP Ferg, and Virgil Abloh are all fans. “Every time I’m not here I tell everybody in the world about this store,” Yachty has said in an episode of Round Two’s YouTube series, which they started in April 2015.
Even Tommy Hilfiger has stopped by Round Two. “Tommy Hilfiger was in Round Two buying every single piece of Tommy Hilfiger ‘cause he wanted to build an archive for himself,” Esposito recalls with a laugh. “He said he forgot to do it in the ‘90s. That's insane.”
Round Two’s founders credit their YouTube channel as the main reason for their rapid growth. Close to 95,000 subscribers tune in to get a look at their day-to-days and a behind the scenes look at what happens at their shops. They feature the staff buying, selling, and trading products, cameos from celebrity shoppers, and the staff in short skits that appear around halfway through each episode. The videos are around 50 minutes on average, but the lengthy presentation seems to have paid off for them. “I was hesitant and pushed back a little bit [at first],” Fracher says about Round Two’s YouTube channel, “but I'm obviously very fuckin' happy that we did it.”
In 2015, the shop also made noise when Wotherspoon posted photos of himself on Instagram dipping the highly-coveted Supreme x Air Jordan 5 in red paint. “We really noticed a spike in people coming to the store and discovering us for the first time after that happened,” says Esposito.
YouTube channel aside, they also credit Theophilus London, ASAP Bari, and Ian Connor for helping spread the word about Round Two. “[They] all came to the shop frequently the first summer we were open,” Esposito says. “Those three dudes kinda helped us set the tone for the store. They did a lot for the Round Two community.”
This past January, Round Two hosted pop-up shops in London and Paris during fashion week that they curated with some of their best vintage pieces. Both temporary stores were a success. “The first day in London we had a five-hour line,” says Fracher. “It was crazier than the Supreme line.” The pop-ups introduced them to a new audience and helped them get their foot in the high-fashion world, which they think is finally starting to accept the vintage and streetwear cultures. “It was cool being around that, and having brand new people really be into our room and what we’re doing,” says Esposito.
As their brand recognition continues to grow, Round Two aims to expand their reach. In addition to its two L.A. brick and mortars, Round Two now also has an appointment-only store on the block called The Gallery, where they carry their rarest and most expensive pieces, including original “Banned” Air Jordan 1s. This summer, they’ll be opening their first New York location, following the successful week-long pop-up shop at vintage boutique Procell they hosted in December 2016.
“We’re working towards preserving the culture permanently,” Esposito says. “I think Round Two is just going to get bigger and better.”
Waka Flocka joined the new school vs. old school debate this weekend when he commented on a meme that featured Lil Uzi Vert and Nas. The image had the words “Your Hip Hop” and “My Hip Hop” written above the artists, respectively; however, it appears Waka had an issue with Uzi’s description.
As pointed out by HotNewHipHop, the 30-year-old rapper claimed Uzi doesn’t fit in the genre, and that his style is more rock and roll than anything else.
“This post ain’t bool @liluzivert is Rock not HipHop!,” Waka wrote in the now-deleted message. “This generation has #Logic #Jcole #Meek #KDot etc. let my era just be great!!!! Side note rock artist always been edge. #ImJustTakeUp4HipHop & #TheseStreets #TheseYoungNiggasUp Big old Facts #BigHomieFlock #BigDawgBigDawg.”
A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on May 14, 2017 at 4:24pm PDT
We’re not sure if the “Money Longer” artist would be insulted by Waka’s comments; after all, he is a self-proclaimed rock star who’s had plenty of rock star moments, so he might embrace the comparison. But is he OK with being excluded from the hip-hop realm?
Uzi and many other new school rappers like Lil Yachty and Kodak Black have been frequently called out for failing to adhere to the more traditional sounds and styles of hip-hop. Uzi doesn’t seem too fazed by the criticism, and has attempted to lift up his fellow new-school rappers by reminding them “the old must die.”