The Rap Up: Week of February 7, 2014

Rap Up

This Week In Music:
The past few weeks in music have offered a ton of newsworthy material. One of the most talked about happenings occurred during the 54th annual Grammy Awards, which saw the controversial awarding of independent artist Macklemore over hip hop favorite Kendrick Lamar in the Best Rap Album category. Kendrick’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, considered a modern day classic by most, lost to Macklemore’s album The Heist (which was a joint project with Ryan Lewis). Although Macklemore’s album contained both hit records and extremely socially-conscious subject matter (including pro-gay messages), many felt that Kendrick Lamar was “robbed”, as GKMC was the standout project from 2012 in the eyes of the hip hop community. Macklemore even went as far as to agree that Kendrick should have won, texting the emcee immediately after the awards show.

The News:
Jay-Z sued as a part of lawsuit against the NBA for the Nets’ trademark
Justin Bieber’s plane detained on the suspicion of marijuana
DMX’s potential boxing bout with George Zimmerman canceled
The Cure announce their 14th studio album
Rick Ross releases tracklist for upcoming album Mastermind
TDE confirms Ab-Soul to be the next 2014 offering
Timbaland alludes to new Jodeci album in the works
Toronto mayor declares Bob Marley Day
Slaughterhouse announce new battle rap reality television show
MURS signs to Tech N9ne’s Strange Music

The Tunes:
Major Lazer – Aerosol Can (ft. Pharrell)
Justin Bieber – Confident (ft. Chance The Rapper) [Video]
St. Vincent – Prince Johnny
Broken Bells – Leave It Alone
Kelis – Jerk Ribs
Future – Move That Dope (ft. Pharrell, Pusha T, & Casino)
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Robes (ft. Earl Sweatshirt & Domo Genesis)
Jennifer Lopez – Same Girl [Video]
The Foreign Exchange – Better (ft. Eric Roberson & Shana Tucker) [Video]
Isaiah Rashad – Soliloquy [Video] | Menthol (ft. Jean Deaux)
Ratking – Canal

The Charts:
Hot 100: Katy Perry – “Dark Horse” (ft. Juicy J)
Radio: One Republic – “Counting Stars”
Digital: Katy Perry – “Dark Horse” (ft. Juicy J)
200: Frozen – Original Soundtrack
R&B: Beyoncé – Beyoncé
Rap: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist
Rock: Lorde – Pure Heroine
Independent: Of Mice & Men – Restoring Force
*Indicates New Entry

The Bonus Tracks:
Noisey goes to Chiraq, and a $5 million violin gets taken

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The Rap Up | Week of January 24, 2014

Rap Up

This Week In Music:

Justin Bieber's mug shot after being arrested for DUI. (Credit to Miami Police Department)

Justin Bieber’s mug shot after being arrested for DUI. (Credit to Miami Police Department)

As of late, Justin Bieber’s knack for hit-making has been paralleled only by his ability to make headlines for controversial topics. In the latest of these headlines, the 19-year-old was arrested in Miami for driving under the influence, resisting arrest, and driving with a suspended license. The arrest came after the pop star reportedly was involved in a drag race with fellow musician and friend Khalil Sharief. The race saw both artists travelling at speeds twice the amount of the speed limit in a residential area of Miami. Continue reading

The Listening Magazine’s Favorite Artists of 2013

Favorite Artists of 2013

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…

Well, this isn’t entirely true. In reality, your parents are somewhere attempting to shatter the world record for the least amount of noise made while wrapping presents. Your younger siblings are probably huddled around the family room television watching The Grinch, waiting to catch the elusive Saint Nick and deliver his snicker doodles alongside his glass of milk. For fear of being annoyed by the young ones, your relatives are poking around every room other than the guest room in search of nothing in particular. And you? Well, you could’ve been anywhere in the world, but you’re here with us. And we appreciate that. To show you how thankful we are, The Listening presents our list of our favorite artists of the year 2013. Whether you are looking for your latest music fix, grasping for midnight-hour stocking stuffer ideas, or biding your time until the gifts are unwrapped, we’ve got you covered.

Continue reading

The Genesis of “Exodus”: The History Between Lil Wayne & Pusha T

What’s beef? Apparently, beef is when emcees address one another through subliminal disses and indiscreet tweets. For those who have been paying attention to hip hop news lately, rappers Lil Wayne and Pusha T have officially heated up the summer by sparking the latest case of rap beef. Each of the artists has released songs aimed at the other in the past, and it seems as though a large-scaled back and forth is on the horizon. However, the beef itself is nothing new. The issues between the two artists, while never becoming a headline, have existed for several years now. Seeing as though a lyrical battle is sure to ensue, it’s appropriate that The Listening Magazine takes you back in time to detail the origins of Lil Wayne versus Pusha T.
The history between Lil Wayne and Pusha T was not always filled with tension between the two artists. In fact, the artists and their affiliates worked together on multiple occasions. In 2002, Pusha T and his brother Malice (known collectively as Clipse) released their debut studio album Lord Willin’ on the Star Trak record label. The lead single from that album, “Grindin’”, became a hit and was the song that allowed the group to break through into the mainstream. Fans of the Clipse’s first album know that the remix of this classic record features none other than Lil Wayne and Cash Money counterpart Birdman. In the same year, Birdman (then known as Baby the #1 Stunna) released his debut album as a solo artist. The Clipse were featured on “What Happened To That Boy”, one of the album’s singles. At this point in time, it seemed as though both camps supported one another thoroughly and were on good terms.
Now fast forward to 2006. Lil Wayne is the self-proclaimed “best rapper alive” and Clipse are gearing up to release their long-awaited and oft-delayed sophomore album Hell Hath No Fury. At this time in his career, Wayne began to shift his style in terms of his music and his image. One of these changes was the addition of BAPE, a clothing line which the Clipse (as well as producer Pharrell Williams) were infamous for wearing, to his wardrobe. Wayne can be seen wearing BAPE apparrel on the cover of Vibe Magazine, as well as in his video for “Hustler Musik”. Coincidentally (or maybe not so much), the first single from Hell Hath No Fury was titled “Mr. Me Too” and was centered on people who copy the styles of others. In an interview with Complex Magazine, Wayne stated that he felt the Clipse single was about him and proceeded to attack the group and their affiliates. This marked the beginning of the tension between the two parties.
In the next couple years, the Clipse would go on to talk about the beef in interviews with radio stations and publications to express their views. This expression later found its way onto records. On the Re-Up Gang‘s We Got It For Cheap Volume 3 (2008), Pusha rapped “Lil’ nigga flows, but his metaphors boring, don’t make me turn daddy’s little girl to orphan, that would mean I’d have to kill Baby like abortion”. At this juncture, the group had clearly thrown shots at Wayne and Cash Money Records. However, with the Cash Money label experiencing tremendous amounts of success, the shots went largely unanswered and the Clipse went on to eventually disown the beef entirely.
In 2011, the issues between the two artists began to bubble back to the surface once again. While Pusha T went as far as to congratulate Wayne on being freed after his prison stint in Riker’s Island, he took issue with Wayne’s protégé, Drake. As quiet as it’s kept, Drake has thrown some subliminal shots of his own towards people close to Pusha. The Canadian emcee hinted in an interview that Kanye West and Jay-Z‘s Watch The Throne album was a concept that Wayne and he came up with first. Also, Drake rapped “the throne is for the taking” on DJ Khaled’s “I’m On One”, possibly referring to Kanye and Jay. Now a member of Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music label, Pusha has appeared to respond with countless subliminal shots in a myriad of tracks he’s released since 2011 (including “Don’t F**k With Me”, in which Pusha raps “the swag don’t match the sweaters”). An admitted Clipse fan, Drake has yet to engage with Pusha to this point.
Pusha’s most recent subliminal attack came this week is in the form of “Exodus 23:1”, which is supposedly a single from his upcoming G.O.O.D. Music debut. The song features lyrics, some more specifically catered than others, which are directed at the Young Money conglomerate (including Drake and affiliate The Weeknd). Appearing to be fed up with Pusha’s attacks, Lil Wayne tweeted “F*k Pusha T and anybody that love em” from his @LilTunechi account on Thursday. The tweet would eventually become the opening line in “Goulish”, a song aimed at the younger half of the Clipse. Malice, Pusha’s partner in rhyme, tweeted that he was unconcerned about anyone that had problems with his younger brother. Likewise, Pusha’s label mate Kid Cudi tweeted that he loved Pusha T, and welcomed any oncoming controversy.
With the storied beef between Lil Wayne and Pusha T approaching its presumed climax, there are several questions hip hop fans are anxious to have answered. Will Pusha respond to Wayne’s attack? Will Drake engage in the confrontation? With affiliated parties involving themselves, will this become Young Money versus G.O.O.D. Music? Or will the beef simply die out on a whimper? Whatever the case, this feud is sure to have fans on the edges of their seats in anticipation of what is to come. From the looks of it, it’s going to be a cruel summer…