In the past year, we've seen so many rappers go from SoundCloud sensations to mainstream newcomers. It feels like an entirely new wave, but how many of these artists are going to last? That's still to be seen, but one thing is becoming increasingly clear: Ski Mask The Slump God is here to stay. He's been making all the right moves while dropping quality music, and it's paying off.
As we learn more about the group of artists first classified as “SoundCloud rappers,” the title feels increasingly inadequate. Smokepurpp is the latest South Florida phenom to break big, recently signing with Alamo Records and landing features from Chief Keef, Travis Scott, and D.R.A.M. for his Deadstar release.
Now that he's fully in the public eye, we wanted to see what Smokepurpp was thinking about during his rise—so we took a trip in Twitter's time machine and asked the Miami rapper what was going through his head when he forgot what a chicken was.
Watch the latest episode of Trending Topics above, and listen to Deadstar below.
Catch Smokepurpp live on the Pigeons & Planes stage at ComplexCon, which goes down November 4 and 5 in Long Beach, California. Tickets are on sale now.
Injury Reserve don't take themselves too seriously. Ritchie With a T, one of the two MCs in this rap trio, is trying to work out if he can float in the pool on a pink inflatable ring while we conduct the interview for this video. Unfortunately, he's sinking. In the end Parker Corey, the group's producer, and rapper Stepa J. Groggs decide to sit either side of a partially submerged Ritchie.
We're at Injury Reserve's base on a quiet, pine tree lined street in Pasadena, California, their new home since moving from Phoenix, Arizona earlier this year. After seeing success with two independently released projects (Live From the Dentist's Office and Floss) they decided a change of scenery was in order. Their new EP Drive It Like It's Stolen was recorded at this house, and it tackles themes like isolation and loneliness (“North Pole”) as well as having some straight up bangers (“See You Sweat”). Quite simply, it's their best work yet, and it's out September 29.
We spent a day with Injury Reserve go-karting, hiking, and enjoying the pool to get to know one of the most exciting rising acts in rap. Watch what happened above.
Catch Injury Reserve live on the Pigeons & Planes stage at ComplexCon, which goes down November 4 and 5 in Long Beach, California. Day time expo tickets allow entry into the event from 11am-7pm, and include access to the P&P stage, marketplace, and panels. They are on sale now at ComplexCon.com/tickets.
California rapper and singer Yung Pinch doesn’t come from the usual music hot spots like Los Angeles or the Bay Area—instead Pinch is from Huntington Beach, a city south of L.A. that’s better known for surfing and sunshine than rap music. That isn't stopping his rise though.
With a melodic style, sticky hooks, and lots of beach references, Yung Pinch is rising fast and racking up millions of plays. His consistency is also playing a part, as he has been cranking out tracks on his SoundCloud at an impressive pace. Yung Pinch just came off tour with SOB x RBE and OMB Peezy, and he has a lot of momentum going into the second half of 2017. Get familiar with our video above
In the newest episode of Pigeons & Planes' What Had Happened Was, Atlanta producer Zaytoven recounts a musical collaboration that unfortunately never came to fruition.
Zaytoven explains how a studio session in Atlanta with Gucci Mane quickly escalated after a prank was played on the unsuspecting rapper. Having fun is great and all but if you learn anything from the video, it’s that you should know when playing too much, is well, too much. Check out the hilarious video above to see what exactly went down. Hint: It involves flour.
Luckily, it seems like Gucci was able to get past the incident as the pair have since worked together. If you missed it, check outZaytoven and Gucci Mane do a stripped down set for NPR’s Tiny Desk performance series.
Gucci released his latest album The Return of East Atlanta Santa, his tenth studio outing, back in December of 2016. The album boasted features from Drake, Travis Scott, Bryson Tiller and production from Metro Boomin, Southside, Mike Will Made It, Murda Beatz, Zaytoven, and others. Gucci will also be hitting the road alongside The Weeknd for his Legend of the Fall Tour.
What Had Happened Was premieres every Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. ET on P&P.
On Meek Mill’s newly released album Wins & Losses, it seemed the rapper took the high road by avoiding any obvious disses directed at Drake. However, there’s a hidden verse that suggests any beef between the rappers is far from squashed.
As pointed out by DJ Akademiks, the clean version of Meek’s “1942 Flows” is about 30 seconds longer than the dirty version, and includes extra lines that sound a lot like Drake disses.
Heard they say I talk about my Rollies too much/But them flows you be using sounding stolen too much/500 on my neck, they say I’m glowing too much/Had to block that little bitch because she be blowing me up/You be doing too much, you only looking for attention/Swagger jacking, jacking niggas swag, that’s extentious/Came in the culture like a vulture, now you’re winning/But this is the beginning, double M the emblem. For real.
In the first couple of lines, Meek seems to reference lyrics in Drake’s More Life cut “Lose You,” in which Drizzy raps: “All you did was write the book on garbage-ass Rollies.” The line was believed to be a shot at Meek.
Toward the end of the verse, the Philadelphia rapper calls out the unnamed target for being a “swagger jacker” as well as a culture vulture. He also uses the word “extentious,” which may be a play on XXXTentacion’s name. In case you forgot, many people accused Drake of copying X’s “Look At Me” flow and using it on “KMT.” X has also posted a series of tweets blasting Drake for “biting” his and other artists’ styles: “I’m not the first nigga he bit, nor will I be the last […] money don’t buy you respect.”
Lorde's new album Melodrama is around the corner (coming June 16), and we're here for it. The lead-up singles “Perfect Places,”“Liability,” and “Green Light” have been strong, and she seems more inspired than ever. Since the release of her chart-topping single “Royals” in 2013, Lorde's growth has been explosive. She's now one of the most popular artists in the world, but instead of morphing into your stereotypical pop star, Lorde has held onto her individuality and integrity, and that still comes across clearly in the music she makes.
It may have seemed like it all came out of nowhere, but Lorde was working at her career from an early age, and she grinded it out in New Zealand for years before her big breakthrough moment. In our latest P&P Update, we take a look back at some of the steps Lorde took in order to get where she is today.
We've done two video features called Numbers on the Board now (watch them here and here), where we take a look at a rising artist who's putting up huge numbers. It's an interesting time for new music, because we see more and more artists take off and build serious followings without any help from radio or media outlets. Seemingly out of nowhere, underground artists surface with built-in audiences and millions of streams.
For our latest Numbers on the Board, we wanted to focus on New Jersey-born, Atlanta-based rapper Russ. He's still a new artist to a lot of casual music fans, but he's been releasing music for years, selling out shows all over the world, and racking up tens of millions of streams. We reached out to Russ for a comment, but his response wasn't what we expected. He pointed out to us that he's sent us dozens of emails over the years and we've never his music, and wrote to us: “My quote is, blogs don't matter.”
It wasn't the response we hoped for, but it started an interesting conversation, and we realized that there's a lot of truth to what Russ is saying. So we made a video about it. You can watch it above, and subscribe to Pigeons & Planes on YouTube for more news, music, and conversations.
Ta'East first caught our attention in 2015 with the horror movie strings and fiery rapping of “WithTheShit,” and he took his time to make sure his debut EP Okay, I'm Readywas a true reflection of his ambition as an artist before releasing it in December of 2016. Okay, I'm Ready, produced by close friend and collaborator Cairo Meyerson, shows off the kind of versatility that should translate well into a debut album—Ta'East can go in and flex over booming production or slow things down and get reflective over more traditional hip-hop beats.
Cosigned by heavy hitters like Virgil, Benji B, and No I.D., Ta'East enters 2017 with momentum on his side. We headed down to Oceanside, California, near San Diego, to see where it all began and talk about what's next for the rising star.