Good For Hip Hop

russell simmons rick rubin

With Def Jam celebrating its 30th birthday this year, Noisey sat down the label’s fabled co-founders for a special edition of their “Back & Forth” series. In part one of four, Rick and Russell cosy up on a couch as they reflect on some of the early records that defined Def Jam, including T La Rock and Jazzy Jay’s “It’s Yours” and LL Cool J’s “I Can’t Live Without My Radio.” But for all their impact and success over the last three decades, Def Jam’s original ambitions were charmingly humble, says Rick: “If we sold enough 12 inches to make another 12 inch, that was the whole goal.”

UPDATE: Parts 2 and 3 added.

Watch below…



Bun B took to the baseball mound on Tuesday night, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the Houston Astros vs. Cleveland Indians matchup at Minute Maid Park. The rapper-writer-professor was on hand to promote and debut his collaborative set of hats with New Era. The Port Arthur-native and New Era teamed up for a limited run of hats, featuring a blend of the Astros classic retro colors and a new design that represents the pride of Houstonians. The Trill OG’s logo is also featured on the side of the baseball cap.

“The Astros star and specifically the old school color scheme with the white, orange and red is what most people recognize Houston by, and we’re happy to represent it,” said Bun B. “I love it, I’m happy the team went back to it and we understand what that means not just to Houston, but to baseball fans in general. It’s good to see the team representing that and the organization being proud to go back to those days of glory.”

Fat Joe was also in attendance on Tuesday night to support Bun B, covering the event for MTV2′s Off the Bat. Available now, the caps can be purchased at the Houston Astros Team Store, Academy Sports + Outdoors and online at


kanye west australia

By now we’ve all seen Kanye West scream at the top of his lungs about how he’s the next Steve Jobs or Walt Disney, but his mid-show speech in Brisbane, Australia last night was… different. Amidst controversy surrounding a recent wheelchair incident (recap: he asked every member of the audience to stand up, and after confusion surrounding two handicapped fans he didn’t realize were unable to stand, the show continued), Mr. West hit back at the media for unnecessarily sensationalizing the story and intentionally slandering his character.

The interlude almost felt like a casual conversation between Kanye and the crowd as he vented his frustration with reading biased reports about himself, at one point pleading, “take a step back for a second and look at this: I’m a married Christian man with a family.” However, perhaps Ye’s most powerful statement came when he asked the audience, “How many people here ever heard one of my songs on their way to work or they heard it and it made them feel better?” And as “Spaceships” instantly enters our minds, we’re reminded that Kanye, the kid from Chicago who made music to help us get through our shitty day, is still in there somewhere behind that diamond-encrusted mask.

Watch below…



20 years ago today The Notorious B.I.G. released one of hip-hop’s most celebrated albums to date. Even with the grisly title, fans from all over the world flocked to Ready to Die. Biggie’s lyrics on this LP made you feel you like were standing right next to B.I.G. on St. James, slangin’ crills.

In his honor, DJ Mister Cee and Funk Flex put together an incredible mix of B.I.G. classics, rare songs, interviews, mixtape cuts and more. All day we’ll be celebrating the life of the true King of New York.

Listen to the mix below and check out HOT97′s Biggie tribute video below…



Pharrell may have condemned his In My Mind phase as having “no purpose,” but we’re sure nobody would mind seeing him revisit his N*E*R*D days — and that might just be a reality. According to Mass Appeal, both Pharrell and Shay Haley hinted at new N*E*R*D music during P’s performance at the iTunes Festival in London last night.

Read more below…


diddy bad boy

Bad Boy’s reign at the top may have been short like a leprechaun, but there’s no denying the impact Puff Daddy and the Family had during the mid-late ’90s. With Biggie’s Ready to Die celebrating its 20th birthday this week, GQ have compiled an oral history of Bad Boy Entertainment, speaking to many of the key players involved in the label’s rise from street rap staples to shiny suit-rocking radio killas.

With input from Bad Boy artists and producers such as Ma$e, Jadakiss and Easy Mo Bee, as well as industry figures like Russell Simmons, Andre Harrell and Jessica Rosenblum — and not forgetting Sean Combs himself — the piece provides a comprehensive history lesson on the label’s early success, Puffy’s unparalleled (yet sometimes insufferable) hustle, and life after BIG for the notorious label.

Check out an excerpt below…



Atlanta has some serious history in hip-hop. While most 90′ rap accolades usually go to the West and East Coast, the state of Georgia has been supporting the culture since the beginning. Granted it took some time for ATL to find its true voice, but when it did, nothing was the same.

From Kilo Ali to Outkast, the South has been curating local talent since before any record exec would even fly out to Atlanta for a meeting. Jermaine Dupri says even when So So Def blew up, he would still have to pay for MTV’s travel expenses to get some press coverage. On VH1′s ATL: The Untold Story Of Atlanta’s Rise In The Rap Game, the world gets a serious history lesson on Georgia’s impact on hip-hop and pop culture.

Continue after the jump……


biggie ready to die

Ready to Die, the seminal debut LP from The Notorious B.I.G., becomes the latest rap album to turn 20 later this month. To celebrate, The Bishop gallery in Brooklyn is hosting an art exhibition called “The Only Christopher We Acknowledge Is Wallace,” curated by DJ Clark Kent. Of course, Clark Kent used to work with BIG and introduced him to Jay-Z back in ’96, so he’s the perfect man for the job.

The exhibition takes place on September 20 at 916 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn.

DJ Clark Kent On Juan Epstein
Danny Brown & DJ Clark Kent Star in adidas Top Ten Campaign
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The 2013 BET Awards

Celebs are just like us….in that, when it comes to personal relationships, we’re all a mess. Sure it’s easy to judge Ciara and Future on the unceremonious cancellation of their wedding engagement just 3 months after the birth of their son, Future Jr.. But it’s safe to say there’s been many a relationship ruined by the pressures of new parenthood (even though, technically, it’s not like this is new for Future). And…it’s also pretty often that exes reunite after the thrill of singledom wears off, or maybe you start thinking about your ex moving on without you.

In the case of Ciara and Future…TMZ reports (which likely means they were given a strategically placed tip by the couple’s reps) that the singer and sing-rapper are back together, living in the same house again, in an effort to do what’s best for Baby Future.


chance the rapper kanye west

Remember when Chance The Rapper told the world “Kanye likes Acid Rap“? It was a tweet that excited both Kanye’s fans and his own, but it turned out it was simply a case of wishful thinking on Chano’s part as he later admitted to GQ UK, “I have no idea what Kanye thinks of Acid Rap or even if he’s even ever heard of me — but what if he did? I tweeted it just to fuck with the world — but it’s fucked up the world because people started believing a little white lie.”

Well, more than a year later, Chance finally got to meet his idol at Jay Z’s Made In America Festival on Sunday, where they were both performing. Needless to say, he was pretty thrilled:

Anyone who knows me knows how big of a moment this was for me. I’ve been his biggest fan since 04 and I’m pretty sure I’m still his #1 fan. Thanks to J for hookin it up. Thanks to Gizmo for all the good luck yesterday. #IMetKanye

[Via Instagram]

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