How Elliott Wilson Co-Created ego trip, Built XXL, and Conquered Digital Hip Hop Media | Blueprint

Elliott Wilson has helmed the most respected hip-hop publications, from ego trip to XXL to the Source

In our new episode of Blueprint with Complex's Editor-in-Chief Noah Callahan-Bever, Wilson takes us on his journey from his early journalistic influences to a tense standoff with Benzino as editor-in-chief of XXL to reinventing himself as the founder of Rap Radar and his newest job, editorial director of hip-hop culture and content for Tidal.

Watch the full interview above and subscribe to Complex to catch upcoming episodes of Blueprint 

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Vince Staples Addresses Eminem’s Trump Freestyle (UPDATE)

UPDATED 10/14/17 2:20 p.m. ET: Vince Staples wasn’t done. Hours after he explained his criticism of Eminem’s BET Hip Hop Awards freestyle, the Long Beach rapper returned to Twitter to answer more questions on the matter.

Staples reiterated that his problem wasn’t necessarily with Eminem; it was with the people who applauded the “trash” freestyle. He spoke about his respect for the Detroit rapper, but insisted his bars received more praise then they deserved. Staples said he believed this was a result of white privilege, which many Shady fans fail to acknowledge. 

Read the original story below.

Vince Staples is entitled to his own opinion. One in particular, where he weighs in on Eminem’s Trump freestyle at this year’s BET Hip Hop Awards, might have been taken out of context. At least, according to him.

Pitchfork ran a story this evening with the headline “Vince Staples Calls Eminem’s Trump Freestyle ‘Trash.” In the piece, Staples is quoted from his appearance at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art for the publication’s In Sight Out series. He says Em’s freestyle was “trash” and that “he can do better.”

He later explained if he were to rap those same lines, he wouldn’t of have the same impact. “If I said, ‘This is for Colin/Ball up a fist/And keep it balled up/Like Donald the bitch,’ they would be like, ‘Get this ni**a out of here.’”

Vince did share what he actually liked about the freestyle. “My favorite thing about the Eminem freestyle is the wall of dark-skinned black people behind him,” he said. “That was great.”

Shortly after the piece was published, Staples went on Twitter to clarify his words and said it was all in good fun.

In other Vince Staples news, he shared a new freestyle over YBN Nahmir's “Rubbin Off The Paint” on his Beats 1 radio show, which you can listen below.

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Playboi Carti Teases Collab Mixtape With Lil Uzi Vert

If Lil Uzi Vert wants to drop new music every single day for the foreseeable future, I would support this wholeheartedly. Luv Is Rage 2 is a triumph, and is practically begging for a relatively immediate follow-up. So why not hit us with a Playboi Carti collab project?

In a Snapchat post over the weekend, Carti appeared to confirm that something with Uzi is afoot.

uzi carti damned
Image via Snapchat

The image itself shows punk icons Captain Sensible and Dave Vanian, from the decades-strong U.K. band The Damned. Carti's caption, as XXL and others have pointed out, includes digits referencing Uzi's 1600 Philly block and Carti's 2900 Atlanta block.

Shouted fuck yeahs aside, no official announcement regarding an Uzi x Carti collab tape has been made. Still, it would be downright cruel to share a post including both the word “tape” and an image of such an iconic duo only to fall short of releasing a full-blown project together. Fingers crossed as fuck.

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Over the weekend, Uzi teased a sequel to his 2016 mixtape Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World. In an Instagram clip, Uzi teased a new track with the caption “Just A Vibe💨🚷 ….👨🏾‍🎤vs🌏2® ? 🙄.” Sadly, Marilyn Manson was not seen or heard in the clip.

 

A post shared by 16 (@liluzivert) on Sep 15, 2017 at 9:51pm PDT

Uzi's debut album, Luv Is Rage 2, made Uzi a full-fledged star of unfuckwithable stature. The album opened at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and garnered largely enthusiastic reviews from critics. If all subsequent teased projects come to pass, we'll soon be getting something with Carti, Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World 2, and a freestyle rock album that will possibly feature some input from Manson.

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It Sounds Like Lonzo Ball Is Taking This Rap Thing Pretty Seriously

Los Angeles Lakers' Lonzo Ball is set to drop new music soon. Ball, who's made headlines recently with his 21 Savage and Jay Z comparisons, opened up about his musical ambitions in a new interview with XXL. Ball discussed his early musical influences, the importance of Lil Wayne, and his future plans.

As a kid, Ball revealed, he listened to “a lot” of 50 Cent and DMX. “Those were probably the two main rappers I was listening to when I was young, but my favorite rapper has always been Lil Wayne,” Ball said. As for why Weezy stands tallest among his influences, Ball said he feels the Young Money boss has remained consistent with his output. “Lyrically, he's definitely one of my favorites to do it,” he said. “I need him to be free so he could put that other album out for me, but he's already put a lot towards the game.” Ball credits his father, a devoted 2Pac fan, for introducing him to music.

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As for his plans to follow his debut single “Melo Ball 1,” Ball revealed he's currently working on new music. In fact, the next Lonzo Ball release will be backed by the family-owned Big Baller Music Group. “I won't be able to to do so since I'm focused on the NBA season ahead, but definitely one of my dad's close people that he works with will handle the record label,” Ball said. So far, Ball hasn't enlisted any guests for the mystery project.

Ball also noted what he's been listening to the most recently, including 21 Savage's Issa Album and Lil Uzi Vert's Luv Is Rage 2. Check out the full interview here.

Ball turned a few purists' heads earlier this month with his Nas comments. Nas, however, apparently has no idea who Lonzo Ball even is.

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Joe Budden and DJ Akademiks Debate Whether or Not Eminem’s Longtime Manager Can Save Def Jam on ‘Everyday Struggle’

On today's #EverydayStruggle, Joe Budden, DJ Akademiks, and Nadeska ran through the day of news, which included Paul Rosenberg's move to save Def Jam Records, Lil Yachty calling out the XXL cyphers, and French Montana not knowing who produced his biggest hit ever. Later, the crew dove into Akademiks' Twitch game before dissecting Lloyd Banks' career. To wrap, the gang ran through some quick hits before answering a bunch of fan tweets. 

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Lil Uzi Vert’s Longtime Producer Claims Album Is ‘Basically Done’

In what may seem like an eternity, but has actually been less than a year, Lil Uzi fans have been waiting patiently for the release of Luv is Rage 2. The wait began when Uzi dropped the following tweet this past November:

Over the following months he continued to tease the project, though there was never a definite release date. Keep 'em guessing:

But while the artist was implying release day was around the corner, conflicting information came from producer Don Cannon. In April, he said during a livestream, “If you didn't hear, Luv Is Rage [2] is not dropping no time soon. It's not going to be a long time from now, but not within this month. We still working on the album. It's a process.”

Then, just a few days ago, five new songs made their way onto SoundCloud, though Uzi denied they were off the album:

Reps who we reached out to said the project would come out this fall—so that's apparently what “coming soon” means. While “fall” is kind of broad, and not exactly official, on Thursday it was reported that Maaly Raw, a 22-year-old producer who'd been with Uzi since 2014, told XXL that the coveted project is “about 90% finished right now.”

“It's basically done,” the producer said. “I guess we're just working on extra songs trying to perfect it.” He also added that Atlantic Records had set a deadline for the final version, though he didn't state specifically when that deadline was.

“We’ll be in the studio from 2 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day. We basically sleep there,” he said about their current recording sessions. “Uzi works fast, real fast. I’ll pull up a beat, he’ll do it. He’ll hop right up and wanna work on the next one right after that. It just be like that, all day.”

Finally, Maaly said that the album is a “classic,” and though he's biased, that statement is certain to wind up fans more. “Everything [Uzi] been doing, he just elevated it, that’s all,” he said. “Different sounds—the way I’m comin’ on it, I’m comin’ different. Some of the stuff on [Luv Is Rage 2], people not expecting from me, so that’s gonna be exciting when you hear it.” Hmmm, seems like “when you hear it” is the key phrase there.

Until more specifics are provided, fall will have to suffice. But “90 percent finished” seems like a step in the right direction.

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21 Savage Announces Release Date for Debut Album ‘Issa’

21 Savage has announced the release date for his long-awaited debut album, Issa. The album will come out July 7, per a post on 21 Savage's Instagram account.

 

Issa not a single 7-7-17

A post shared by Saint Laurent Don (@21savage) on Jun 29, 2017 at 3:08pm PDT

The 24-year-old Atlanta rapper has been on the come-up for the past couple years. He really broke through in 2016, the year he was named to XXL's Freshman Class. 

In July of last year, he released a joint EP, Savage Mode, with Atlanta producer Metro Boomin. His single “X” off that EP, featuring Future, went platinum. Last year, he also made the cover of Fader.

Savage has two mixtapes, The Slaughter Tape and Slaughter King, both released in 2015, but Issa (a play on “it's a”) will mark his first album.

Savage recently wrapped up the 29-date Issa Tour, which featured Young M.A., Tee Grizzley, and Young Nudy. 

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Louis Vuitton Finally Announces First Pop-Up Shop for Supreme Collaboration

Louis Vuitton finally announced the first pop-up shop for their long-awaited Supreme collaboration Wednesday. The first Louis Vuitton x Supreme shop will open in Sydney, Australia this Friday:

“No New York City men's conversation is complete without Supreme,” Kim Jones, Louis Vuitton style director, said in a press release after the house's Fall/Winter show in Paris in January.​ According to XXL, the pop-up shop is expected to remain in service through July 13.

Additional pop-up locations are expected to be announced. In May, an attempt at opening one in New York City hit a wall when all 32 members of Manhattan's Community Board No. 2 voted to reject the proposal for a location at 25 Bond St. Fashionista reported that several Bond St. residents showed up to a public hearing to express their “strong disapproval” of the shop. Additionally, Supreme reportedly failed to present a management plan for handling such a high amount of customers.

“The applicant presented no plan as to where these 1000+ customers would use the bathroom while waiting hours upon hours in the line,” the Board said.

The Supreme x Louis Vuitton collection includes a skate deck, a box logo tee, bags, and (so much) more.

 

A post shared by YOON (@yoon_ambush) on Jan 19, 2017 at 6:47am PST

Good luck at the pop-ups.

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Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks Have Publicly Put an End to Their Beef

It appears that Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks have put an end to their nearly six-year-long feud with one another.

The truce may have come to fruition after Iggy extended an olive branch to Banks via a lengthy message posted on Snapchat. “I just want to say FYI, re: A. Banks. Call me crazy but girl, I don’t hate you. I don’t know you to hate you,” she wrote. “I believe you may want to meet me in person so you can steal a lock of my hair and cast a spell hoping I die (lol) I don’t agree with many of your opinions but honestly, at times I empathize with you as a creative Gemini woman. I wish you had spoken to me before deciding I was out to get you when we first came on the scene, but that’s also typical Gemini reaction shit (I get it). As a 27 year old adult woman just know: I wish you well from one human to another and joke collaboration or not as adults we should move past trivial beef with strangers.” Azalea also posted a video, expressing a desire to speak with Azealia and “at least come to an understanding.” 

In an interview with XXL, Azealia seemed open to the idea of talking with Iggy, leaving the door open for both sides to squash their beef. “I think a true reconciliation can happen once there is some acknowledgment of what hip-hop has been trying to tell her. I still don’t think she quite understands the effect her racial privilege and the socio-economic leverage that comes with it has on a marginalized group of women’s culture. Race aside, this is also a women’s issue. I hope that there will be a chance for us to have an open discussion about this, as I feel America and the world could really benefit from some candid discourse between two public figures about the world’s biggest sickness: racism. I wish for women of the future to be able to refer to this moment in women’s culture as an example of what can happen when people take time to understand.”

On Friday, Banks posted a note on Instagram where she listed off a number of requests, which includes releasing “this Iggy collab.” 

 

I'm going to need 121 strong red roosters to make this happen. (A girl can dream though 🤣)

A post shared by Azealia Banks (@azealiabanks) on Jun 22, 2017 at 9:56am PDT

Does this mean their feud is done for good? This potential collab seems to hint at that. 

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Producer Claims Future Filed Copyright Claim Over Desiigner’s “Panda” (UPDATE)

UPDATED 6/20/17 10:30 a.m. ET: Mike Dean has sent in the following statement to XXL:

“The kid lost the stems to the beat. It had some samples in the original from a film. I recreated some of the stems enough to patch up the beat and remove the samples. I was gonna recreate the whole beat then I found a way to keep it. Major labels don’t play with samples not being cleared The song would never have come out or cleared legal at Def Jam. If that’s nothing, then he’s right.

“He should have better file management skills if he works at an electronics repair shop.

“He should get facts straight before he speaks on my name. I let the claim go because I have better shit to do than fight with people over BS. Hope he enjoys the bread and appreciates what I did to help him make $$. That’s about it. Menace, put some respek on my name.

“And thank god Mike Dean removed your samples, youngin. Should throw me a few points from his pocket my way, but I am doing ok with or without the “Panda” bread.

“P.S. He should also thank Plain Pat (the best A&R in the world and my favorite co-producer) who made us (G.O.O.D. Music) all aware of “Panda” in the first place.”

Original story is below.

Desiigner’s 2015 debut single “Panda” catapulted the rapper into hip-hop stardom. The track dominated the airwaves, earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance, topped the Billboard charts, and was sampled by Kanye West. It was the kind of introduction many rappers dream of; however, the mastermind behind the “Panda” beat hasn’t received the same success. In fact, he claims he’s still waiting on payment.

In a recent interview with DJBooth, 23-year-old Menace said he hasn’t been fully compensated for producing “Panda” due to a legal claim filed by Future.

“There was a situation with Future putting [an infringement] claim in because apparently, he said that ‘Panda’ sounded like ‘Fuck Up Some Commas.’ So we were just about to see the checks but there’s been a lot of delays so we won’t see anything until next year anyway,” Menace said. “Not only [Future], Mike Dean, Kanye West’s producer, he put a claim in as well saying that he did something to the beat and he never did. I don’t think we’ll see a check until probably next year. Right now, it’s just going through negotiations. The problem is that once someone puts a claim in, it just stops everything.”  A representative for Future denied Menace's claims, saying that they are “not true.”

People have been comparing Desiigner to Future for some time now, pointing to similarities in their rap styles. During a 2016 interview with Complex, Desiigner shared his thoughts about the comparisons, insisting he had no beef with Atlanta rapper.  

“God gave him a blessing, but he gave me a blessing too. I ain't gonna doubt the man's music. He make beautiful music too. Music is made every day,” he said. “Big ups to him, big ups to Future. I actually like Future’s music. I like his music, you feel me. I’m not a hater or a critic on him, you know, I do me. God bless him, God bless me.”

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