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NPR’s Microphone Check is an essential hip-hop podcast. Hosted by Frannie Kelley and A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad, the show is more slow-paced and laid back compared to, say, Juan Epstein or The Combat Jack Show, but that can often make for more open and insightful conversation.

With his Illmatic 20th Anniversary celebrations in full swing, Nas guested on the latest episode of Microphone Check to reflect on his two decade-and-counting career in rap and much more. The legendary Queensbridge MC talked about the making of Illmatic, his love for A Tribe Called Quest, rap’s new generation and still feeling “charged” after 20 years. Nas also revealed he’s been working with No I.D., Timbaland on Swizz Beatz on his Life Is Good follow-up.

Set aside the next 75 minutes to soak up knowledge from a true OG.

Listen to the interview below…



Wiz Khalifa took some time off to visit Chelsea Lately on Tuesday night. Filling in for host Chelsea Handler, comedian T.J. Miller and Khalifa spoke on his “Under the Influence of Music” summer tour, everything and anything about weed, and being from Pittsburgh contributing to his extreme work ethic.

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Like Currensy, Action Bronson is one hard working pothead. As we continue on in his Adventures in South Africa, the Flushing giant came across one of New York City’s oldest tricks, the “chocolate dime bag.” Now, to the unsuspecting smoker, it seems great. For 10 bucks, you get well over of a gram (1 gram of HQ weed is $20) of smoke, it smells like Hershey kisses and these joyful bags can be found just about every borough of New York City. However, upon further inspection you will find a large amount of stems, seeds and dense buds with a very low THC count. In Cali: they call it stress, ATL: midgrade, and elsewhere: shwagg. But because he is a true New Yorker, Bronsolini took time to salute and smoke his trusty dimes after scooping 4 in Capetown.

Watch the clip below…



Iggy Azalea celebrated the release of her debut album The New Classic on Tuesday by appearing on Good Morning America. The blonde bombshell turned the Times Square studio into her own classroom, recreating the look from her latest video “Fancy.” With a special appearance from Charli XCX, the two performed their latest single on live television.

The Aussie-native later spoke her debut already hitting No. 1 on iTunes, growing up in Australia, and the heavy rap influence in her life. Available now, stream The New Classic in full here.

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It was a busy day for Nicki Minaj on Monday. The rapper-turned-actress stepped out to the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, California for the movie premiere of The Other Woman, which hits theatres on April 25. Wearing a skin-tight Alexander McQueen dress, Nicki posed on the red carpet along her fellow co-stars Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton, and Taylor Kinney.

In the romantic comedy, Minaj plays the role of Diaz’s sassy assistant Lydia at a law firm. Hours later it was off to the movie premiere after party at The W Hotel, where Nicki changed into a Jean Paul Gaultier dress fitting for the spring season. The night was special as she caught up with her “besties” from performance arts school at LaGuardia High.

Earlier in the day, Queens, NY-native caught up with Lance Bass and Tracey Edmonds during press interviews.

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As an avid hater of “Super Bass” and “Starships” (what up, Rosenberg), it’s refreshing to see Nicki Minaj back to killing the game while not looking like a real-life Princess Peach. The YMCMB Queen has enjoyed a return to form on her ferocious new efforts, “Lookin’ Ass” and “Chi-Raq“, while flaunting her au natural look all over Instagram these past few months.

Speaking to MTV while promoting her upcoming film, The Other Woman, Nicki explains that natural look is simply her “coming full circle,” while her forthcoming LP, The Pink Print, marks a return to her hip-hop roots. That wasn’t necessarily a conscious decision, though, as she’s planning to release a new song in the next week or so that is nothing like “Lookin’ Ass” or “Chi-Raq.”

Wait, so does that mean we’ve got another “Super Bass” or “Starships” to suffer through? “Hell no,” she laughed. Amen to that.

Watch the interview after the jump…



This past Saturday was definitely a proud day for hip-hop. On one hand we all celebrated the release of Nas’ game-changing debut album, Illmatic. However, it was also the anniversary of Guru’s untimely death in 2010. Gone but never forgotten, his contributions to hip-hop with his partner DJ Premier will never die. In his honor, our friends at Egotripland posted an unforgettable episode of Tim Westwood’s show from April. 19, 1991. This show features Gang Starr. RIP Guru.

Listen to the episode below…



Returning to the NBA Playoffs for the first-time in five years, the Toronto Raptors opened their first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday afternoon. Sitting front and center at the game was Raptors Global Ambassador, Drake. Going into the third quarter, Drizzy sat with Canada’s TSN broadcast team during the game, where he took the time to mention former Brooklyn Nets minority owner, and fellow rapper JAY Z.

This [Raptors] is the people’s team. Jay is somewhere eating a fondue plate…’s our time, we got to keep it competitive,” said Drake, who Jay recently responded to on Jay Electronica’s “We Made It” freestyle for his comments in GQ Magazine.

The full video can be viewed over at TSN, but below you can check out a fan-captured clip.

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Coming off a strong debut mixtape, Welcome to Fazoland, Chicago’s Lil’ Herb caught the ears of the masses when Nicki Minaj surprised her fans with a new collaboration with the kid. Dubbed “Chi-Raq,” the gritty record features Nicki Minaj using Herb’s flow, and it definitely put the young’n on the map. Recently, VIBE caught up with the newcomer to discuss his biggest look to date.

And obviously, your new collaboration with Nicki Minaj “Chi-Raq” was your biggest look yet. Did she hit you up directly? How did that even happened?
It’s crazy, man. She hit me up and reached out to me. I was in the studio recording at probably like 1:00 AM. We really didn’t even know if they were serious but they followed up and wanted to fly me out the next day. But I was tied up at the time so I went like a week later. She cool people, though, down to earth and she real comfortable with me.

I couldn’t believe it when I heard her using your flow. Honestly, have other artists reached out after Nicki?
[Laughs] Yeah, I’m just talking to other artists now. I did a song with Common for his album. I might do some stuff with Rich Homie Quan. I’m open to people, whoever want to work with me.

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Cam’Ron appears on the cover of Mass Appeal‘s 54th issue, which hits newsstands later this month. Aside from the fact that it features Cam, which is obviously amazing, the cover features the trippy artwork of Todd James (aka REAS), the graffiti and art legend who conceptualized Miley Cyrus’ smoked-out VMA performance with teddy bears last year.

In the cover story with Sacha Jenkins, Killa Cam speaks on the various projects he has coming this year, taste in fashion, his cape line, the chances of doing a reality show, the V Magazine shoot with girlfriend JuJu, and the new wave of rappers from Harlem. Check out some excerpts and go behind-the-scenes of Cam’s shoot, including an appearance from Dame Dash below.

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