Tha Carter IV, And Why LIL WAYNE vs. JAY-Z Needs To Happen…

So Lil Wayne’s highly anticipated (and routinely delayed) Tha Carter IV leaked onto the internets earlier this week. And it’s pretty damn good. But thus far, all anyone can talk about is that Jay-Z diss.

Confused? Well, it all started in a 2009 interview where Birdman declared that Lil Wayne is a better rapper than Jay-Z because he “do the most and make the most money.” Perhaps you’ll recall Jigga’s response earlier this year on the song “H.A.M.”:

“Like these rappers rap about all the shit that I do daily/I’m like really, half a billi, nigga, really you got Baby money/ Keep it real with niggas, niggas ain’t got my lady money.”

Clearly, Wayne was not impressed with Jay’s not-so-sublte double entrendre. And that brings us to C4’s most controversial track, “It’s Good.” “It’s Good” is essentially a traditional, solid slab of hardcore Hip Hop, opening with a flawless verse from Jadakiss. Drake does his best to keep up before Wayne hits the ground running with a closing verse.

Then he says this:

“Talkin’ bout baby money?/I got your baby money/Kidnap your bitch, get that ‘how much you love your lady’ money”

This is a clear and direct jab at Jay-Z (and Beyonce, technically haha).

THE WEEKND Continues To Astound With New Mixtape "THURSDAY"

Our prayers were answered yesterday, people.

Last night, Toronto-based R&B mystery man The Weeknd unleashed his brand new mixtape Thursday.  You can follow the link below to snag the free download.

Things have changed drastically for The Weeknd (real name Abel Tesfaye) since the release of his first tape House Of Balloons earlier this year. For one thing, there was absolutely no pressure. But since then, House of Balloons has been the most positively-reviewed album of the year thus far. Tesfaye now releases his follow-up to an audience hungry for another dose of a dark, haunted and debauched majesty that we now come to expect (i.e. demand) from The Weeknd.

And our hero does not disappoint.

WATCH THE THRONE, And Why Jay-Z and Mitt Romney Have A LOT In Common

Mitt Romney and Jay-Z have a lot in common.

Like Jay-Z, whose widely considered to be the most influential and important figure in Hip Hop today, Mitt Romney is currently the front runner for the Republican Presidential Nomination. In fact, like Jay-Z, he’s been the de facto “front runner” in the race for a while now.

And like Jay-Z, Mitt Romney continues to hold onto this position for no good reason at all. And probably won’t be holding onto it for long.

Is Nicki Minaj In An Abusive Relationship?

These days, it seems like all Nicki Minaj does is win, win, win.

Pink Friday is still selling like hot cakes, “Super Bass” is currently the number 3 song on the Hot 100 chart, and (by most accounts) she nailed her supporting slot on Britney Spears’ massively successful Femme Fatale Tour. Even today, news broke that Nicki has signed on to provide vocals for a character in the upcoming animated flick “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” alongside Jennifer Lopez, Joy Behar and Young Money cohort Drake.

Nicki Minaj is the definition of a rising star right now. And that’s only made the persistent rumors regarding a violent, July 12th confrontation with (alleged) boyfriend Safaree all the more disturbing and distressing.

Nicki has denied repeatedly that any abuse occurred. But a 9-1-1 tape that leaked yesterday tells a very different story.

The Era-Defining Legacy of Amy Winehouse

At this stage in the game, it’s really impossible to know the true nature of Amy Winehouse’s legacy. This kind of thing becomes clear with time and distance.
 
It might be easy to compare her with other beloved singers that left us too soon, like Billie Holiday or Sam Cooke. And perhaps we’ll position her alongside her cohorts in the 27 Club, like Janis Joplin or Kurt Cobain. To be clear, I’m almost certain Amy will be looked upon with similar admiration and awe; her voice, style and songwriting were unmatched by anyone else of her generation.
 
But its important to recognize that we experienced Amy in a very different way. There are no youtube videos of Kurt Cobain shooting up heroin. There is very little footage of Jim Morrison’s many disastrous concert meltdowns. Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix had more than a few nights out on the town drunk and high. But the paparazzi didn’t follow their every move, and random onlookers weren’t armed with camera phones in the late 60’s. 
 
Yes, Amy Winehouse’s legacy will be very different from theirs because her many highs and lows were witnessed en masse, in real time, via. youtube, tabloids and blogs. We saw practically every moment of it. For better or for worse. And though it may be difficult to admit, there is just no way this won’t influence the way we perceive her life and work.

Jay-Z and Kanye's Out-Of-Touch, Wealth-Obsessed, Culturally-Irrelevant "Otis"

A couple days ago, Jay-Z and Kanye West unleashed their new single “Otis” upon the internets. Set to a fairly inventive (if awkward) sample from Otis Redding’s classic “Try A Little Tenderness,” Jay and Ye trade bars about money, wealth and….umm, money.

The song is really, really bad.

Now don’t get it twisted. The very idea of a Jay-Z-Kanye West joint album makes me all giddy and warm inside like any other Hip Hop (or Pop) fan. But if this “luxury rap” style is going to define Watch The Throne, Yeezy and Jigga might reemerge from their luxurious, million-dollar mansions in the sky to find themselves irrelevant to a culture founded on its ability to resonate with the common man.

My Favorite Albums of 2011 (SO FAR)

We’re a little over halfway through 2011, and we’ve already been blessed with some incredible music. And while we still have albums from Drake, Jay-Z and Kanye, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and (possibly) OutKast to look forward to, allow me to give you a quick rundown of my top 5 albums of 2011 thus far.

Pick these records up if you haven’t already, and let us in on some of your personal faves below.

Does It Matter If Beyonce's 4 Flops?

Beyonce’s phenomenal new album 4 was released this past Tuesday to great critical acclaim, receiving an aggregate score of 72 on Metacritic.com.

Village Voice said “Beyonce’s art is delivery, and 4 is a gorgeous frame for her voice at its absolute best.” Meanwhile, the BBC proclaimed “Beyoncé slips from flirty to fragile to fabulous, and is in terrific voice throughout, reminding us that when she opens up there’s no-one else in the game.” And even the ever-thorny, hipsterrific Pitchfork Media thinks Beyonce’s the shit, explaining “The lion’s share of the album–along with its excellent deluxe tracks–has one of the world’s biggest stars exploring her talent in ways few could’ve predicted …”

So why is 4 already being called a flop? And should that matter?

An Open Letter To Chris Brown

Dear Chris Brown,

I get it. The public eye isn’t always fun. People watch every move you make. They scrutinize your every word.

You’re only 22 years old. Everyone makes mistakes. I get it.

But here’s the problem. Back in February of 2009, you left your then-girlfriend Rihanna bloodied and beaten on the side of the road.

That was a really, really big mistake, Chris. On many levels.

The Enduring Power of Tupac Shakur

Yesterday was Tupac Shakur’s 40th birthday. And though it has been 15 years since his untimely death, the continued fascination and adoration he conjures amongst black youth (and the world, at large) is a testament to an iconic, albeit brief career that truly transcended mere beats and rhymes. Subversive, contradictory and brutally honest, Tupac’s music told the story of the young black male coming of age in the 1990’s. It is a dichotomous story; one where an appreciation for unity and consciousness within the Black community collides with capitalistic ambition and the attainment of an American dream, by any means necessary. His work spoke truth to a racist, capitalistic power structure, while at the same time attempting to usurp and dominate that structure with its own values and tools.

And that’s what made Tupac’s music so powerful and dangerous.