Kanye Subbing Jay? Nicki Minaj Feeling Pressure? Eminem Ruining His Legacy? | Everyday Struggle

On today’s #EverydayStruggle, music industry veteran Wayno joined DJ Akademiks, Star, and Nadeska to run through the day of rap news, including thoughts on Kanye and Jay Z’s relationship, Nicki Minaj leaving social media, Eminem’s legacy, and much more. 

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Azealia Banks Reveals Massive Label Deal: ‘I Have a Home Again’

After being without a major label home since 2015, rapper Azealia Banks recently revealed that she signed a brand new million dollar deal with Toronto-based eOne Music.

“I HAVE A HOME AGAIN… I’m crying,” she wrote in her Instagram caption, expressing her gratitude for the opportunity to make music with a label again. “Thank you guys so freaking much you don’t know how much this means to me,” tagging eOne and its VP of A&R, William Robillard-Cole.

While Banks is undoubtedly talented, she's consistently been in the news more for her behavior on- and offline than for her music. From inflammatory tweets, bizarre live stream rants, and famous feuds with everyone from Iggy Azalea and Cardi B to Pharrell and Remy Ma, the Harlem rapper's music has been sitting on the back burner since 2016. Just a few days ago, she shared a preview of a new song that will likely end up her upcoming project Fantasea II: The Second Wave, reportedly dropping in March.

With the FII release date fast approaching, Banks has already chosen “Anna Wintour” as its first single. Snippets of the track have been floating around since last year, but she now wants to revamp it with features from Nicki Minaj and everyone's favorite Spice Girl, Mel B.

Banks parted ways with her last label, Prospect Park Records, in 2015 and would go on to release her Slay-Z mixtape independently, so we may have to wait and see how this new partnership pans out.

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Nicki Minaj and Nas Have Reportedly Broken Up Before Even Confirming They Were Dating

Nicki Minaj and Nas never even confirmed that they were dating, but TMZ is already reporting that they’ve called it quits. And if you heard any of the recent rumors that Nicki was pregnant, well, the site also reports that those were fake.

There have been conflicting rumors about when (and if) the two rappers started dating. A source told E! News back in September of that the two had been an item since May 2017, but TMZ puts the beginning of their love affair at June.

In any case, the two enjoyed flirting with the media’s attention and provoked many a headline. The two have definitely been pictured hanging out at several points throughout 2017. This past December, Nas called Nicki “the Queen of New York” when wishing her a happy birthday, and also called her “Shorty” in another Instagram post in September. In addition, the two were practically inseparable during Nas’ 44th birthday party in NYC the same month.

Nicki even revealed the two had “sleepovers” during an appearance on The Ellen Show. The two never confirmed anything, and could have easily been laughing at the rabid speculation after seeing photos of two friends being supportive. But then again, Nicki did break up with Meek Mill in January, and the relationship would have been a blessed union between two of New York's most celebrated rappers. 

TMZ claims the two are committed to not trash-talking each other, but aren’t looking to remain friends either. The cause for the split came down to the fact that the two live too far apart from each other, and the two rappers also have multiple businesses to juggle on the side. Nas has his record label and multiple venues of his chicken and waffles restaurant, Sweet Chick. Nicki, on the other hand, has been teasing an album for months now and also has other business ventures on the side.

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New Yorkers Weigh In On Their Favorite Rap Beefs of 2017

How do you end an incredible year for rap music? By talking about beef.

Rap beefs in 2017 ran the gamut from hilarity to curiosity. Remy Ma came out of nowhere with “ShETHER,” challenging Nicki Minaj and her status in the game. Young Dolph and Yo Gotti, two Memphis heavyweights, have moved past their beef and thankfully so; it escalated to Dolph getting shot earlier this year. And for East Coast rap heads, the idea of Cam’ron and Mase exchanging diss tracks in 2017 is a dream match-up come true.

More recently, there have been tensions brewing between former friends XXXTentacion and Ski Mask the Slump God. Azealia Banks is always out here doing the most on social media and reigniting beefs. Then there’s Drake and Meek Mill, but the 6 God decided to officially end their feud in a freestyle over Jay-Z’s “Family Feud.” Just when you think the year will start off calm and friendly, rappers always seem to have something to settle.

So, which one was your favorite? We asked New Yorkers to tell us theirs and you’ll be surprised to hear some of their answers.

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Here’s a List Albums We’re Still Waiting On in 2018

2017 was a banner year for hip-hop. Fans got projects from their favorite legends (Jay Z, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Big Boi, Gucci Mane) and new legends (Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Lil B, Vince Staples, Rapsody), as well as got introduced to a slew of upcoming artists that are looking to make an impact in 2018. Yet, even with such an abundance of music to choose from, we’re still waiting on albums by the likes of Pusha T, Earl Sweatshirt, Travis Scott, The Internet, and much more.

In regards to Earl, he has promised new music in 2018, which is good news for people who have been anticipating a follow-up to his 2015 output, I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside. Travis Scott and Quavo gave us an early Christmas present with Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho, but Scott’s AstroWorld  and a Quavo solo project will likely be the most-talked about albums of the New Year. Finally, after months of singles and killer verses over some popular songs, Nicki Minaj is poised to remind everyone why she’s one of the greatest MCs and a pop force with her new album.

Certainly there’s plenty of more albums we’re anticipating, but here’s a list of albums that we need right now.

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Fat Joe Joins for Cam vs Mase, Artist Advice, Label Drama + More | Everyday Struggle

On today’s #EverydayStruggle, the legendary Fat Joe joins DJ Akademiks and Nadeska to talk about everything going on in his life, including his new music and role in Spike Lee’s new Netflix series, “She’s Gotta Have It.” Joe also talked about the Cam’ron vs Mase beef and Remy Ma’s ongoing issues with Nicki Minaj. 

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Nicki Minaj’s Deleted ‘Great Time to be a White Rapper’ Instagram Post Sparks Controversy

Nicki Minaj posted a pretty nondescript screen capture of the iTunes top 10 charting Hip Hop/Rap songs Saturday night. But it wasn’t the chart itself that got people talking so much as Nicki’s commentary on the melanin deficiency of the artists on the chart. 

“It’s a great time to be a white rapper in America huh?” Nicki wrote in the caption of her now-deleted post. “These are the top 10 rap songs on US iTunes. S/O to Em & Post. Two of my faves. Congrats to Em on his new album. #Motorsport put dat thing in sport.”

The chart has since been updated, but you can pretty easily read between the lines and see what Nicki was referencing. Of the 10 songs listed, Migos’ “Motorsport” and N.E.R.D.’s “Lemon” are the only two performed by artists that self-identify as black. 

Nicki wasn’t saying anything that hasn’t already been said about race in rap (or other genres perceived as predominately black) by the likes of Solange, Azealia Banks or even Eminem himself. Defending Post Malone in such a discussion seemed like a curious choice.

It’s possible Nicki considered an Instagram caption wasn’t the best place to try and have a nuanced discussion about race, privilege and music because she ended up updating her caption.

“Update blocking all u sensitive dick riders,” Nicki further wrote. “It IS a great time to be a white rapper in America. I wanna sign one for my new label. U know anyone? I spk my mthafkn mind n if u don’t like it gtfo my page dick rida! Y’all can never wait to ride the Queen dick! Sensitive ass ig thugs. Gtfoh.”

That post was followed by a clip of J. Cole’s 2014 interview with Angie Martinez, where Cole also discussed the perception versus reality of genres of music traditionally performed by black artists.

“Whenever a black woman speaks on ANYTHING she’s labeled as “mad” “angry” “bitter,” Nicki wrote in a similarly lengthy caption. “I’m on 4 songs on the Billboard Hot 100. I’m blessed & highly favored thx to my amazing fans.”

Before the posts were deleted, Nicki captioned that she was posting “on new developments within the music industry.” There’s plenty of historical context and data to disprove the theory of white artists gaining increased popularity in predominately black spaces isn’t a new development, but that’s somewhat of a moot point now because Nicki’s posts have been deleted.

Much like Nicki’s infamous “What’s good, Miley?” moment and the multiple subs thrown at Iggy Azalea, this might lead to some substantive dialogue beyond an Instagram caption. 

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21 Savage Calls Out ‘OG Rappers’ Criticizing the New Generation

21 Savage has something to say to anyone who spends their time criticizing younger artists. In a note shared to Twitter Tuesday afternoon, 21—who popped up on the “Krippy Kush” remix with Nicki Minaj just hours earlier—wondered aloud why “OG rappers” are judging the new wave and its subject matter instead of celebrating the fact that rap is now widely recognized as the music industry's dominant genre.

“Why do so many of these 'Og Rappers' judge the new generation?” 21 said. “They say we make drug user music like making drug selling music is better what's the difference? What about the fact that rap is the number one genre of music right now none of y'all acknowledge that [sic].”

21 also urged these critics to stop using younger artists as “the scapegoat,” as their music is merely “a reflection of what's going in our community.”

Read 21's full note below.

Though Savage didn't name anyone in particular, his words may have in part been a response to veteran rapper Skillz, who shared this on Twitter a few days ago:

Annoyingly, every genre of music goes through this cycle. A few loud voices of the old guard, perhaps feeling threatened by the rise of young talent whose music they aren't allowing themselves to understand out of spite, lament the supposed ending of some golden era. Meanwhile, younger listeners and artists argue they are in the middle of a golden era of their own. Then those younger listeners and artists get older, and inevitably a few of them will make the same mistakes as the old guard they railed so hard against years before. The key is to avoid all of that nonsense by keeping your mind open to new sounds.

Catch 21 Savage delivering something fresh on the Numb the Pain Tour, which next hits the Joy Theater in New Orleans Nov. 21. 

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K. Michelle Joins for Label Drama

On today’s #EverydayStruggle, the multi-talented K. Michelle joins DJ Akademiks and Nadeska to talk everything from her label drama, new album, Nicki Minaj, and much more. Of course, Joe Budden just had to crash the party. 

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Nicki Minaj and Future Were in Talks to Release a Collaborative Mixtape

A Nicki Minaj x Future mixtape almost happened.

In her recent cover feature for Paper magazine, the Pinkprint rapper spoke about the possibility of recording a Watch the Thronetype project. Nicki said her fans constantly express their wishes for a Beyoncé joint album, but insists those dreams are “far-fetched because usually artists are in such different places in their personal lives and career lives that it's hard to make that work.”

“I even at one point was about to do a mixtape with Future recently, [but] with me working on my album and with him doing other projects—and he thought we should be in the same place at one point to really vibe—it was hard, 'cause he was on tour and I was in the studio [and the timing didn't work],” she explained. “So even when you like an artist and you respect their work, it's very hard to make those types of ideas come to fruition, but when they do come together like the Jay and Kanye [Watch the Throne project], then it's magic for sure.”

Another big topic of conversation was Nicki’s die-hard fans, aka #TheKingdom. The rapper said she is, and has always been, very interactive with her following. She credits them for keeping her motivated and inspired, which is why she decided to pay some of her fans’ college tuition and loans back in May.

“I have a loyal fan base who never leaves. And all they do is motivate me and believe in me and fight for me,” she said. “So anything that even seems negative has only made me even more of a magical unicorn. I feel this year I have never been stronger, I have all my super powers back. I've never felt this powerful, as a woman, as an emcee—I've never felt this invincible.”

You can read the full feature, in which Nicki also discusses her spirituality and her acting career, at Paper magazine’s website. Unfortunately, she refused to reveal any new details about her highly anticipated fourth studio album, as she wants it to be a surprise.

“I really don't have much to say about the album other than it's great and I'm excited about it,” she said. 

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