Good For Hip Hop


de la soul

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of their seminal debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul is making their entire catalog available for free for 25 hours. That’s right: from 11am EST today until noon Saturday, you can download all of the group’s albums on their website for free 99.

“It’s about allowing our fans who have been looking and trying to get a hold of our music to have access to it,” Posdnuous told Rolling Stone. “Its been too long where our fans haven’t had access to everything. This is our way of showing them how much we love them.”

One you’ve completed your De La collection, expect to hear a ton of new music from the three Plugs. They’ll be dropping singles from their upcoming album, You’re Welcome, over the next few weeks, as well as releasing the Pete Rock and DJ Premier-produced Preemium Soul on the Rocks EP next month.

Related:
New Video: De La Soul “Get Away”
De La Soul Perform with The Roots on ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’
De La Soul, DJ Premier, Pete Rock & More to Perform at Dilla Day Detroit 2014

cnn-rapfix

Back in 2013, Capone-N-Noreaga announced their reunion and revealed they were working on new material. Since then not much has been heard from the two Queens natives, until their appearance on MTV’s RapFix Live on Wednesday afternoon. The rap duo are back and are releasing a new EP titled War In One Night.

We did a whole EP in one night. When [Capone] told me he was ready, I wasn’t ready, then I hit him said, ‘You ready?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ So I did the whole EP, I sent it to him, then he sent me back he whole EP,” says N.O.R.E. to MTV’s Sway.

Expect War In One Night to arrive in March, it’ll be CNN’s first project together since 2010′s The War Report 2: Report the War album.

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Cam’ron and his wifey JuJu made their runway debut, closing out the Mark McNairy Autumn/Winter 2014 fashion show today at the Eyebeam Gallery in NYC. Last year, Cam and JuJu joined me to watch the McNairy Show, where Pusha T was a guest model. This year, they were the stars of the show.

We already posted photos of Cam walking in his Dipset x McNairy custom-made capes, but now you can watch it yourself! We caught video of Cam’s finale, as well as sneak peeks from the celebratory scene backstage where Cam and Juju hung out with Dame Dash, Jim Jones, Smoke DZA, Mark McNairy, RMH’s Raquel Horn, Angie Martinez, Cipha Sounds, Victor Cruz, Ronnie Fieg, and the whole McNairy/BPMW team.

Watch #KillaCapeSeason set it off…
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kanye west college dropout

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of The College Dropout today, Complex’s Editor-in-Chief Noah Callahan-Bever has raided the Yeezy vaults and unearthed this previously unpublished interview from the summer of 2002 — before the car crash, before “Through the Wire” and before Kanye West was Kanye West. Even then, it was clear Ye was brimming with self-confidence, like how he told Jay Z he should put him on his first Blueprint 2 single. We also get to read about the time he traded his first Jesus Piece for No I.D.’s SP1200, why he called his album The College Dropout, and the moment Dame Dash knew he should sign Kanye West to Roc-A-Fella.

Then [Jay Z] got this other song that the Neptunes produced. I was like, “Yo, man. I know you going to laugh when I say this but you need to let me rap on your first single, right?” [Laughs.]

How’d that go over?
The song was already complete, he wouldn’t let nobody — not Cam, not Beans, nobody was rapping on this shit. Not Michael Jackson. No one. I was like, “Let me rap. Because I’m really finna surprise y’all how big of an artist I’m finna be. Y’all gon’ be like ‘Damn, don’t he do beats too?’”

Read more quotes from the interview, plus Kanye’s statement about The College Dropout below…

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kanye west old footage

Shouts to Erika for killing it with The College Dropout 10th anniversary coverage over on Billboard. In addition to putting together an oral history of Kanye’s debut album, featuring insight and commentary from 26 collaborators including Dame Dash and No I.D., Erika also sat down with Coodie Simmons and Chike Oza, two directors who worked with Ye early on, to show us some never-before-seen footage from The College Dropout era.

As Coodie and Chike walk us through the old clips, we get to see Kanye rapping “Never Let Me Down” for Pharrell in the studio (and Pharrell’s priceless reaction), almost getting into a fight with an angry rapper and having the wires cut out of his mouth following his car accident. Don’t miss the prophetic moment at the end where Kanye says in a speech, “the only reason I make tracks at this point is to have enough money to pay for my t-shirts.”

Head on over to Billboard to read Coodie and Chike’s additional commentary on Kanye’s College Dropout music videos.

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yung lenox 10

Yung Lenox (which has to be the coolest non-rapper rap name ever) will impress you for two reasons: a) he’s seven-years-old and is really effing good at art; b) he draws classic hip-hop album covers and portraits and clearly has better taste than any seven-year-old alive. The child prodigy and self-proclaimed “Lego enthusiast” has been making noise for a few months now, even hosting his very own art show, “Parental Advisory,” at Seattle’s Alive & Well last August. But if, like us, you’re new to Lenox’s talents, peruse some of his incredible pieces below and prepare to be wowed.

You can also purchase some of Yung Lenox’s prints over on his online store.

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combat jack ted talk

Organizations giving the right people the platform to represent this culture we call hip-hop is underrated (shots fired). Attorney-turned-editor-turned-podcast host/online personality Reggie Ossé, aka Combat Jack, is one of the most knowledgable and respected guys in the game, and he shared just a fraction of his key insight during a recent TED talk he was invited to do. From seeing slang words like “chill out” permeate pop culture and constantly feeling like an “outsider” despite growing up around the birth of hip-hop, Jack throws out plenty of knowledge darts on the (r)evolution of hip-hop — both the good and the bad.

Peep game below…

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nas illmatic xx

As we all know, April 19, 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of undoubtedly one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time: Nas’ Illmatic. Today, Mr. Jones has revealed his plans to honor his seminal debut album.

On April 15 — four days before its birthday — Nas will release a double-disc edition titled Illmatic XX, which includes a remastered version of the original album, plus rare remixes, an unreleased song (“I’m a Villain”) and a never-before-heard freestyle on The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show from ’93. Illmatic XX is available to pre-order on iTunes now.

Nas will accompany the album by releasing a documentary later this year called Time Is Illmatic. The feature-length film “delves into the making of Illmatic; the social conditions that created it; and the music legacy passed down from Nas’ Mississippi-born father and celebrated jazz musician, Olu Dara.”

What’s more, Nas will also be touring the U.S. and performing Illmatic in its entirety. The tour kicks off this spring with performances at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Coachella. The full schedule will be announced soon.

Check out the Illmatic XX tracklisting below…

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cipha-sounds-vibe

This past Friday was a special night in New York City. For one night only, Funkmaster Flex, Cipha Sounds and Big Kap brought back the Big Apple’s legendary hip-hop nightclub, The Tunnel. Hosted at BB Kings, Flex and the Big Dawgs brought out NYC’s finest to resurrect that raw hip-hop energy. Mack Wilds, Maino, French Montana, Chinx, Q-Tip, Troy Ave, Ghostface Killah, Joey Bada$$, Busta Rhymes, Smoke DZA, Vado, Raekwon, Jim Jones, Joe Budden, Cam’ron, Bodega Bamz, Buckshot and more were all on the bill.

Watch the video recap below…

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Once hip-hop’s baddest bully, it looks like 50 Cent is keen on righting his wrongs in 2014. After burying the hatchet with Fat Joe on the recently released “Free Again,” Curtis Jackson has reunited with more old foes: Jadakiss and Styles P. Almost a decade after beefing with The LOX, 50 shared a photo of himself in the studio with Kiss and Ghost working on his upcoming project, Animal Ambition. Who knows? Maybe a Young Buck or The Game collaboration could be up next! (Let’s not push our luck).

Animal Ambition on the way. It’s getting ready to get CRAZY#smsaudio

Related:
New Music: 50 Cent “This Is Murder, Not Music”
New Video: SZA Feat. 50 Cent “Teen Spirit (Remix)”
New Music: DJ Kay Slay Feat. Fat Joe & 50 Cent “Free Again”
50 Cent Speaks On Kendrick Lamar & New Album ‘Animal Ambition’

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