Producer J. Reid Says Nicki Minaj ‘Went Crazy’ Freestyling “Barbie Tingz”

As we now know, Nicki Minaj's deleted countdown was indeed a setup for the release of her singles “Chun-Li” and “Barbie Tingz.” And helping her stealthily create and drop those singles was up-and-coming Atlanta producer J. Reid.

Reid, whose resume is sure to get a big boost, did an interview with XXL where he shared details about what went on behind the scenes. He first managed to link up with Nicki when a partner of his, Brinx Billions, was working on a song with her. When Nicki asked who made the beat, it was J. Reid, and she made short work of flying him out to Miami.

“She was just like, 'I love your music. You're talented, I'm just trying to put some stuff together.' So I was like, 'I'm ready.' From that, it's just been ballgame. Coming back and forth, going in and out of town, working at home and showing out,” Reid said, revealing he made 15 different beats for “Barbie Tingz” but it only took hearing two of them for Nicki's inspiration to kick in.

“I played one beat, [then] I played the second beat and she was like, 'Stop, pull it up, I'm about to go in.' I'm like, 'This is crazy. Is she really finna go rap on my beat, like, freestyle?!' And went crazy,” said Reid. He described feeling “enlightened” watching Minaj's creative process. 

Reid was also grateful the rap vet was able to explain what kind of beat she was looking for, something many artists can't do, he says. He attributes her level-headed approach to having some time to herself, not churning out albums. The whole process, Reid said, happened in an instant. “So it just came together like that. Two days later, I flew back home. She was like, 'Yo, this song is so hard. I'm about to shoot the video.'”

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When it came to producing “Chun-Li,” the process was pretty similar. Reid flew to California to finish mixing and mastering “Barbie Tingz,” and Nicki asked to hear some more beats. She gave Reid a little taste of some bars so he could get a sense of the vibe, and the two went back in to shuffle through about 13 beats before making the final selection. “The format is the exact same. She went in [the recording booth], started rapping, came out, arranged it, went back in, finished it,” Reid said.

It looks like Miss Minaj is finally back on her grind, and ready to defend her throne. Read the full interview with J. Reid over at XXL.

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Lil Yachty Claims He Can Rap Better Than 75% of His Hip-Hop Peers

Lil Yachty, along with some of his rap peers, believes he can out rap most of the newcomers in hip-hop.

The revelation came about when Miami rapper Smokepurpp brought the subject to light via social media. “Bro this nigga @lilyachty sooo underrated,” he tweeted. “this nigga deadass got bars and people overlook him smh, definitely top 10 rn NO CAP.” Yachty replied to the statement with his own co-sign. “real underdog bruh, I can prolly out rap 75% of the new generation but n***as sleep on me,” he replied. “Plus i ain’t got nothing to prove brother.”

Yachty doubled down on his statements when That Boy A.B. questions his lyricism, stating “you don't got bars cuzzo lol”

Lil Uzi Vert stepped into the conversation to back Yachty up.

Lil Yachty has often been challenged about the quality of his rhymes (most notably by The Breakfast Club host Charlamagne, who called him the “poster child for wack rappers” during an interview). However, it appears that Lil Boat has been working overtime to prove his doubters wrong.

Smokepurpp told XXL that Yachty blew him away during the making of their collaboration “Do Not Disturb.”

“He just freestyled that shit. Like 10 minutes, he was done with that shit. I was like, “I'm not gon' lie, his recording process, that shit is fire because he literally goes in a freestyle and it's like nothing to him. People don't give Yachty the credit that he deserves. He actually snaps. He actually says shit, he be coming with the metaphors and n***as don't give him credit for that. In my opinion, he's a good rapper—one of the best rappers out right now.”

Back in March, Yachty dropped Lil Boat 2, which boasted guest appearances by Quavo (“Talk to Me Nice”), Trippie Redd (“66”), Tee Grizzley (“Get Money Bros”), 2 Chainz (“Oops”), YoungBoy Never Broke Again (“NBA Youngboat”), and many more. The album was a sharp departure from the bubbly, more upbeat vibe of his debut album Teenage Emotions.

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Beyoncé Has Reportedly Increased Number of Coachella Dancers From About 12 to 100

Beyoncé is a headliner at Coachella this year after canceling her scheduled 2017 appearance because of her pregnancy. With two more perfect Carter-Knowles beings in the world, Beyoncé is ready for the huge California music festival on April 13…well, not quite ready, it seems. TMZ reports that Bey allegedly increased the number of her backup dancers from “about a dozen to 100” just one week before her first performance at the festival. That’s quite a jump.

Anonymous sources told TMZ that Beyoncé felt the need to “[up] her game” for the performance, which is apparently why she sprung for the XXL backup dancer package. These sources also claim that Bey’s rehearsals have since moved to a much larger studio, though we didn’t know how big the old one was to begin with. It's been previously reported that Bey has been having 11-hour rehearsals in a secret, high-profile L.A. studio that is being patrolled by no less than seven security guards. It’s apparently so secret, in fact, that not even executives at her own record company know exactly what she and her team are up to.

The one thing that is definitely very easy to believe is that all of the dancers involved in her performance, whether it’s a dozen or over 100, have signed non-disclosure agreements. That part just feels right.

Reportedly, Beyoncé feels like she needs to “shock and awe” at the performance, especially since it’s been hyped for an extra-long time. Then again, that could just mean that she and her team have had all that extra time to plan a truly magnificent performance. Nevertheless, Beyoncé’s Coachella stage will reportedly have “all the fixings of an epic performance” including lights and visuals.

Beyoncé does have a pretty good track record with awe-inspiring performances, so chances are her set next week won't disappoint. The real question is: Will she perform any new music

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50 Cent Co-Signs Tekashi As King of NYC, Tory Lanez Beef, Freshmen List Rigged?

On today’s #EverydayStruggle, DJ Akademiks, Nadeska, Wayno, and Star broke down the day of rap news, including Tekashi questioning if the XXL list is rigged, 50 Cent co-signing 69 as the King of NYC, new Future & Nas, and much more

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Nav Disses XXL Freshmen List, Logic a Hip-Hop Outsider?, New Lil Dicky Video | Everyday Struggle

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On today’s #EverydayStruggle, Wayno, DJ Akademiks, Star, and Nadeska debate the day’s hottest hip-hop topics, including Nav dissing XXL over the Freshmen List, Lil Dicky’s new music video, whether or not Logic is an outsider, and much more. 

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YoungBoy Never Broke Again’s Debut Album Pushed Back to April

It was supposed to be a big week for YoungBoy Never Broke Again. Back in January, the 18-year-old Baton Rouge rapper announced his debut album, Until Death Call My Name, would officially drop on March 2. The day came and went, with no project in sight, which left fans wondering: What the hell happened?

As pointed out by XXL magazine, the highly anticipated album has been pushed back to April 27, as shown on the iTunes pre-order link.

There’s no word on why exactly the project was delayed; however, it’s safe to assume that it has something to do with YoungBoy’s mounting legal troubles.

Earlier this week, it was reported that the rapper had been extradited to Ware County Jail in Georgia, where he will face charges of felony kidnapping and aggravated assault. The charges stem from a recent incident in which the rapper was captured on camera throwing his girlfriend to the ground in a hotel hallway before dragging her back into his room.

His girlfriend, Jania Jackson, denied that YoungBoy attacked her, and insisted they were “just playing” around.

“Kidnapped? Fuck no,” she said on Periscope after YoungBoy’s arrest. “Has he ever put his hands on me? Fuck no.”

She reiterated her denial in a new track she previewed on social media:

A judge has ordered YoungBoy to remain behind bars without any bail. His probation review hearing is scheduled for May 18.

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Blac Youngsta Joins the Show to Talk No XXL Cover, Instagram Stunting, Money Moves + More | Everyday Struggle

On today’s #EverydayStruggle, Blac Youngsta joins DJ Akademiks, STAR, and Nadeska to talk about hustling outside the rap game, not wanting to be on the XXL cover, past beefs, and much more. 

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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.

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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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