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Can you have a number one album without stirring up controversy?

All you rappers take note: if you want a number one album, you may want to get busted trying to buy some illegal firearms. Just kidding, but not really.

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last two weeks or too preoccupied with when Common’s going to drop his long awaited album, you’d probably know that T.I. is living up to his alter-ego and is the KING of the charts, after moving close to 600,000 units of his album Paper Trail.

Of course it goes with out saying that T-I-P’s record was highly anticipated due to the fact that right before he started working on the record, he was looking at some serious jail time because of his run in with the law, who caught him trying to arm a small army with some serious weapons. But, it all actually worked for T.I. Kinda like it worked out for 50 getting shot nine times and Kanye West almost buying the farm after he got into that car accident that made him look like the fourth friend for Alvin & the Chipmunks.

See the pattern here? Three of the biggest selling rap artists in the world all had to overcome getting shot, not knowing how to drive, or trying to build a small militia to ensure that their records sold well.

Of course, you’re probably thinking “What about Lil’ Wayne?” Weezy F. Baby didn’t have to overcome that many steps – but he did convince enough people that the Carter 3 was going to be his last album, simply because they thought he was going to kick the bucket because of the lean he drinks. Think of it like the same way painters make way more for their art after they’re dead.

Could these be the new marketing plans to ensure that rappers will successfully chart at the coveted number one spot? If so, then Jay may have to build a space ship. There probably isn’t a rap album that’s been more anticipated than that record, so it’s clearly easy to say that there’s going to need to be some sort of “event” to build the album. Then again, we’re talking about Jay-Z here and the last thing he ever needs is any hype to promote an album.

What do you guys think? Do rappers need to do a massive “event” before their albums drop or can they just sail on their skills?


You think with the decline of the music industry and the continued growth of video games, rappers would become digital (No RZA).

From GTA IV to pretty much any racing game out, hip-hop tracks have become the soundbed for many a franchise video game. But with the exception of 50 Cent’s “Bulletproof” and Wu-Tang Clan’s “Shaolin Style,” few rappers have taken the reigns on the digital franchise and made themselves playable.

Here’s some games I’d definitely be down to play.


Yay Area rapper E-40 delivers the ultimate racing game as players barrel through East Oakland in souped-up scrapers sitting on 22’s. Midway through the race, players have to hop out and dance around their whips. Think of it as Midnight Club meets Dance Dance Revolution.

Financial Times

Actually, I don’t think I’d be down to the play this one, but given Jay-Z’s influence in the rap world, he of all people needs a video game. Similar to Jay’s corporate rap steez, Financial Times is like a virtual Monopoly game, only with less appeal, just like rapping about your standings on the Forbes list.

Alien Vs. Predator Vs. Lil Wayne

You and Weezy are not the same, he is a Martian.

How hardbody would this game be? Sure the AVP movies were terrible, but imagine Lil’ Wayne channeling his “Phone Home” persona and bucking shots at both these space monsters. He could be like an intergalactic rapping bounty hunter.

The only thing that would make this game doper would be in Nintendo brought back the Zap gun.

Color Me Pretty

My little sister told me that there’s an online network of Flash video games where girls dress up virtual characters. Given Kanye West’s penchant for playing dress up and always wanting to look pretty, this game would be a great fit for him, don’t you think?

World of Wu-Tang
I know what you’re thinking; Wu-Tang already had a game. Well some people say that cucumbers taste better pickled, so there’s that.

Given the amount of people in the Clan plus the Killer-B team affiliates and the Wu’s love of all things surreal, there’s no reason that they couldn’t pull off a massive role-playing game based in Shaolin. Couple that with all of the Wu’s signature slang editorial out in the world and you’ve got a video game that people will be playing until they catch a coronary from lack of sleep.

Saigon Rising

If you’ve ever played Ninja Gaiden, then Saigon’s legacy should be a no brainer. Just give the Yardfather some throwing stars and a sword and watch him slice and dice his way into the record industry, only be to shafted throughout. Kind of like how every time you beat an installation of Ninja Gaiden, the ending is always messed up and you’re mad at yourself for even playing the game in the first place.

Gooch over at Scratch/XXLmag.com recently posted the top ten best beats of all time, and like pretty much everyone in the comments section, I had to disagree. Don’t get me wrong – Gooch’s list is on point, but the beauty of hip-hop is that you can always build upon what’s been laid down.

But that’s a whole other post…

So here are my picks for the top 10 best beats in hip-hop.

10. “A Milli” by Lil Wayne, produced by Bangladesh. I know what you’re thinking. There’s no way that this beat is even top 100, but think about it like this; what beat in the last 10 years has had rappers AND R&B singers dropping freestyles like they did with “A Milli”?

9. “The P Is Free” by Boogie Down Productions, produced by Scott La Rock. “The P Is Free” remains one of the most organic crossovers in the history of hip-hop/reggae. The booming drums and bass knock even until this day.

8. “New York State of Mind” by Nas, produced by DJ Premier. This is, hands down, one of the grittiest, hardest beats ever to be rhymed upon. The baseline is infectious and Primo’s signature drop in drum patterns and scratches make this a must rhyme for any emcee coming out of NY.

7. “Eight Steps to Perfection” by Company Flow, produced by El-P. This is the cipher track. Thugs and backpackers can agree that no college hip-hop showcase is complete without a session over this stripped-down beat.

6. “Eye for an Eye” by Mobb Deep, produced by Havoc. Probably because this came out of Queens like “New York State of Mind,” M-O-B-B’s rough and rugged track is one of the best rap records to trade rhymes to.

5. “The Symphony” by Juice Crew, produced by Marley Marl. If the piano riff doesn’t get you, then the booming drums definitely will. Someone needs to do a Symphony 2008 with rappers who just want to flex their lyrical skills.

4. “Microphone Fiend” by Rakim, produced by Eric B. It’s one half funky, the other half hard hitting. Ra’s definitely one of the greatest to ever grab a mic and this beat brought out the beast in him. M.O.P. catches extra points for flipping the end drums for the mixtape cut, “Put it in the Air.”

3. Straight Outta Compton by N.W.A., produced by Dr. Dre & DJ Yella. The first time I heard this track I thought the walls wear coming down. I played the tape so many times that it snapped.

2. “I Gotcha Opin” by Black Moon, produced by Da Beatminerz. A lot of producers talk about neck snapping beats. This one doesn’t even need to do the talking-it gets the job done.

1. “Triumph” by Wu-Tang Clan, produced by The RZA. Any beat that nine of the best emcees (of their time) can rock over has to claim the number one spot. If you listen closely, you can hear the subtle echoes, off kilter drum patterns, and insane amount of layers that RZA created.



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May 2018
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