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 17, 2014

Rap Up

This Week In Music:

Outkast performing over a decade ago. (Credit to

Outkast performing over a decade ago. (Credit to Joe Goldberg)

Just a week after being announced as the headliner of the 2014 Coachella Festival lineup, legendary hip hop group Outkast has announced an official comeback tour for the upcoming year. In honor of their first album, Southernplayalisticadillacmusik, reaching its 20 year anniversary, the Atlanta duo will embark on a tour of at least 40 festival shows throughout the year. This news is incredibly exciting for fans of the group, who have been anxiously awaiting new material and performances for over five years now. Fans should stay tuned to the official Outkast facebook, where the announcement was made, for future updates.

Juicy J on stage. (Credit to

Juicy J on stage. (Credit to Jay West)

In other news, rapper Juicy J (formerly of Memphis rap group Three 6 Mafia) awarded a $50,000 scholarship to one lucky female college student. Usually deemed as a good deed, the scholarship became the subject of controversy due to the award’s supposed requirements. Juicy J originally announced the scholarship back in the summer of 2013 as a scholarship for “twerking”, a dance that involves the explicit movement of the female body which has recently been brought to the mainstream by artists like Miley Cyrus. While fans have argued that Juicy J implied that the fund would go to the candidate who could twerk the best in a video that was sent to him, the rapper never officially listed twerking as a requirement needed to win the scholarship. The Listening Magazine congratulates the winner, Zaire Holmes, and acknowledges Juicy J for honoring his word.

Kanye West

Kanye West (Credit to Tyler Curtis)

Justin Beiber (Credit to

Justin Bieber

Finally, two of the biggest superstars in the music industry are in hot water with the police this week for separate incidents. First, rapper/producer Kanye West is under police investigation after reportedly being involved in an altercation with an 18-year-old. Taking place in a Beverly Hills chiropractor’s office, Kanye reportedly attacked the man after he called Kanye’s fiancée Kim Kardashian a “n****r lover”. In other news, pop sensation Justin Bieber came under the scope of Los Angeles police after being the suspect of the egging of a house neighboring his own. The 19-year-old superstar had his home searched following the incident, and one of Bieber’s friends was arrested for possession of cocaine which was found in his home. Details on both incidents are still being relayed to press sources, and will be interesting to hear about in the coming days.

The News:
Jhene Aiko announces May release date for Souled Out
Pharrell secures Oscar nomination for “Happy”
Mac Miller announces departure from Rostrum Records
Ciara and Future announce pregnancy
Drake releases new Saturday Night Live promotion videos
Rick Ross’ Mastermind receives new release date
Native Tongues TV series to feature Q-Tip, Jonah Hill, and Leonardo DiCaprio
Method Man reveals artwork for new mixtape titled The Meth Lab

The Tunes:
The Cool Kids – “Computer School” / “Chop” (ft. HBK Gang)
Shakira – “Can’t Remember To Forget You” (ft. Rihanna)
Isaiah Rashad – “RIP Kevin Miller”
Childish Gambino – “The Worst Guys” (ft. Chance The Rapper) [Video]
August Alsina – “Make It Home” (ft. Jeezy)
Ty Dolla $ign – “Paranoid” (Remix) (ft. Trey Songz, French Montana, & DJ Mustard)
Trae The Truth – “Wid It” (ft. Problem & Freddie Gibbs)
Danny Brown – “Side B (Dope Song)” [Video]
Mister Cee’s Aaliyah Birthday Tribute Mix
Kenneth Whalum – “Away” (ft. Big K.R.I.T.)
Marsha Ambrosius – “Dear Tremaine”

The Charts:
Hot 100: Pitbull – “Timber” (ft. Ke$ha)
Radio: Eminem – “The Monster” (ft. Rihanna)
Digital: Katy Perry – “Dark Horse” (ft. Juicy J)*
200: “Frozen” Soundtrack
R&B: Beyoncé – Beyoncé
Rap: Kid Ink – My Own Lane*
Rock: Lorde – Pure Heroine
Independent: Garth Brooks – Blame It On My Roots
*Indicates New Entry

The Bonus Tracks:
Nas, and Hip Hop, at… Harvard?!

The Rap Up: Week of December 23, 2013

The Listening Magazine is back, once again, to let you know about the hottest news and music to come out of this week!

Rap Up

This Week In Music:
The minds behind the immensely popular Rap Genius lyrics website are in hot water this week after attempting to “hack” or “bypass” Google servers in the quest for new viewership. Rap Genius co-founder Mahbod Moghadam attempted to gain this viewership by partnering with pre-existing blogs and essentially using them to link-build, a genius sneaky move for the website that would result in massive traffic. Google, however, was made aware of these actions and subsequently punished Rap Genius by moving their results off of the front page of the Google search engine. If the plan would have come to fruition, Rap Genius would be the extreme beneficiary of a database of Justin Bieber’s lyrics. Continue reading

The Rap Up: Week of February 13, 2012

Weee’re baaack! This week in music:
Iconic vocalist Whitney Houston passed away on Saturday, February 11th at the age of 48. CNN reported that the famed singer was found dead by her bodyguard in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Houston’s passing came as a complete shock to the world, and comes on the heels of the deaths of African-American music icons Etta James and Don Cornelius. Houston sold over 170 million albums and singles over the span of her career, and touched the lives of countless fans around the world. With her passing on the eve of the Grammy Awards, it was expected that the show would be altered in order to honor the fallen legend.
The 54th Annual Grammy Awards took place on Sunday, February 12 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The awards were hosted by LL Cool J, marking the show’s first official host in seven years. The show featured performances from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Chris Brown, and Jennifer Hudson. The biggest winners of the night included Adele (6)., Foo Fighters (5), and Kanye West (4). Tributes were given for fallen icons Whitney Houston and Etta James, both of whom had passed away within the last month.

News:
First pictures of Jay-Z & Beyonce’s daughter Blue Ivy hit the internet
Bonnaroo Festival releases its lineup for 2012
Nicki Minaj, Mary J. Blige set to perform for NBA All-Star Game
Cee-Lo announces the return of Goodie Mob; new solo effort
Common ends lyrical feud with Drake

Releases:
V-Day releases from Raheem DeVaughn, Usher, Damian Marley, Yelawolf, etc.
Nicki Minaj releases new single “Starships” from her forthcoming album
Former White Stripes front man Jack White drops video for his solo album’s lead single
Chris Brown releases self-directed video for new lead single “Turn The Music Up”
Childish Gambino gives CAMP’s second single, “Heartbeat”, the visual treatment

The Rap Up: January 20, 2012

This week in music:
If you visited sites such as Wikipedia or Google on Wednesday, you noticed the protests of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The proposed act (which was scheduled to be voted upon next week) would essentially give the U.S. Attorney General the power to cut ad dollars and search engine indexing while censoring the internet tremendously in the process. Seeing as the internet is a huge part of the music industry today, it is imperative that we are all knowledgeable on the subject and fight to protect our first amendment right to freedom of speech. The protest was tremendously successful, as it seemingly swayed many House voters into opposition of the bill and postponed the voting process.
Legendary songstress Etta James passed away Friday morning at the age of 73. The sultry blues vocalist died of complications due to leukemia, which she was diagnosed with in 2010. Known most for her song “At Last”, she will be remembered along with the countless others who we have lost recently. Kings Of Leon drummer Nathan Followill commented, “RIP Etta James, one of the greatest voices of all time,” a sentiment we can all agree with. James was survived by her husband and two sons, who were at her bedside when she passed.
The Paid Dues Independent Hip Hop Festival announced its lineup of artists for 2012 on Thursday. Hosted by LA artist MURS, the seventh annual Paid Dues festival will take place on April 7th at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, CA. The show will be headlined by the legendary group Wu-Tang Clan, who will be joined by other teeming groups such as Odd Future, Living Legends, Hieroglyphics, and Dipset. Also among the fray are Kendrick Lamar and DJ Quik. This year’s show is stacked and should live up to the quality we have come to expect from the festival.

News:
Brandy and Monica announce the release date of their new duet “It All Belongs To Me”
The Mars Volta announces new album, Nocturniquet, to be released March 27th
Odd Future announces March 20th release date for debut album
Barack Obama shouts out Janelle Monae during speech; calls her “incredibly talented”
Kid Cudi and Dot Da Genius push back WZRD album to February 28th

Releases:
Santigold drops “Big Mouth”, lead single from her Master Of My Make Believer album
Estelle releases a video for “Thank You”, a single from her forthcoming All Of Me album
Dizzee Rascal reissues his 2003 Mercury Prize award-winning debut Boy In Da Corner
De La Soul returns without Maseo to release new music as duo First Serve
Compton emcee Schoolboy Q releases his debut album Habits & Contradictions
K’Naan enlists Nas‘ help for the lead single from his More Beautiful Than Silence EP
Big K.R.I.T. drops a collaboration with 8Ball & MJG; gives release date for 4evaNaDay
Theophilus London drops “Last Night (LVRS Anthem)”, single for Lovers Holiday II
North Carolina female emcee Rapsody releases “ABC” music video