The Rap Up: Week of December 30, 2013

Rap Up

The Week In Music:
Late last week, hip hop artist Doe B. was shot and killed in Alabama at Centennial Hill Bar & Grill. An Alabama native and emcee signed to T.I.’s Hustle Gang label, Doe B. was one of eight people in total who were victims of the gunfire at Centennial (six others were wounded, one other person was killed). This week, Doe (born Glenn Thomas) and his unfortunate killing have made the news once again as a suspect has been arrested after turning himself in, and faces two counts of capital murder. Thomas’ killing is one of several unfortunate incidents of its kind which have occurred in recent times, and serves as a reminder that the hip hop community still has issues that need solutions. Thomas was a mere 22 years old.
For the third week in a row, Beyoncé’s self-titled visual album claimed the top spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart. After releasing an additional video last week, it seems as though the R&B queen has an unstoppable momentum attached to her at the moment. It will be interesting to see how Beyoncé’s latest controversy with NASA over the sampling of The Challenger space shuttle tragedy (which resulted in the deaths of seven astronauts in 1986 and is sampled on “XO” from the new album) will affect her stock in the near future.
Finally, international artist MIA announced that she is no longer involved with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation management. After signing with the management team in mid-2012, her Matangi album was all but shelved until about a month ago. The split comes after a noted rift between the two entities, as MIA has previously alluded to both abandoning her team and needing Kickstarter in the future. It will be interesting to see where the multi-faceted artist’s career goes from here, with her number one dance/electronic album Matangi recently released and her being under new management.

The News:
Justin Timberlake sold the most albums in 2013, while Robin Thicke had the biggest hit
KISS to play first ever outdoor hockey game in LA’s Dodger Stadium
New cryptocurrency named after Kanye West set to launch
Eve and billionaire fashion designer Maximillion Cooper now engaged
New Bruce Springsteen album High Hopes arrives early on Amazon

Alicia Keys and Blackberry no longer partners in business

The Tunes:
Drake – “Trophies”
A$AP Ferg – “Hood Pope” (Video)
Timothy Bloom – “Stand In The Way (Of My Love)”
Nicki Minaj – “Boss A** B****” (Remix) (ft. PTAF)
Vampire Weekend – “Step” Remix (ft. Heems & Despot of Das Racist & Danny Brown)
Audio Push – “Tis The Season” (ft. Joey Bada$$) (Video)
Angel Haze – Dirty Gold (Album)

The Charts:
Hot 100: Eminem – “The Monster” (ft. Rihanna)
Radio: Eminem – “The Monster” (ft. Rihanna)
Digital: Pitbull – “Timber” (ft. Ke$ha)*
200: Beyoncé – Beyoncé
R&B/Hip Hop: Beyoncé – Beyoncé
Rock: Lorde – Pure Heroine
Independent: Garth Brooks – Blame It On My Roots

The Bonus Track:
Meek Mill & 2 Chainz Give Back, Chance The Rapper Gets His

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The Rap Up: Week of June 11, 2012

This Week In Music:
The line up for the annual Lollapalooza Festival was announced this week. Set to take place in Grant Park, Illinois from August 3-5, this year’s festival will be headlined by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Black Keys, Black Sabbath, and Jack White. Other acts include The Weeknd, Passion Pit, Frank Ocean, Wale, Florence & The Machine, Justice, J. Cole, Santigold, Childish Gambino, and many more. Lollapalooza is celebrating 20 years of successful festivals, and hope to make this year’s show the best yet.
In more controversial news, Chris Brown and Drake were apparently involved in an altercation at a night club in New York. The artists and their entourages were both in different areas of the V.I.P. section of the club. Although there are several accounts of what caused the disruption, many speculate that it was rooted in the pre-existing tension between the two artists concerning their relationships with pop singer Rihanna. The two entourages came to blows, with bottles even being thrown amongst the groups. Considerable damage was done to the club, and a handful of people were left with serious injuries (not including the gash on Brown’s chin). No arrests were made at the scene, as neither artist was present when police responded to an emergency call.
This week also saw several noteworthy releases. R&B singer Frank Ocean released “Pyramids”, which is apparently the first offering from his new project channel ORANGE. Alternative band Passion Pit drop their sophomore album’s second single, “I’ll Be Alright”. Singer Usher also released his heavily-anticipated seventh album, Looking 4 Myself. Also, Brooklyn emcee Joey Bada$$’s long-awaited mixtape 1999 came out to widespread internet acclaim. Rounding off the week, Kansas rapper XV released Popular Culture, his latest project.

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