Hip Hop General

Kendrick and Drake Straight Run The Charts

Kendrick and Drake have both dropped projects recently.

To Pimp A Butterfly and If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late have both set the pace for hip hop in 2015, selling a bunch of copies (with Drake selling more) and getting mad positive reviews (with Kendrick’s being more positive.) As of right now, on the iTunes hip hop/rap charts, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late is at number 1 and To Pimp A Butterfly is number 3 (with Yelawolf’s Love Story in between.) Those aren’t the only albums of theirs that are doing alright though. Let’s scope how their domination is going.


1/8 of the top 56

Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too LateSo Drake has 4 albums in the top 56 (with Take Care, Nothing Was The Same and Thank Me Later being the other ones) and Kendrick has 3 (with good kid, m.A.A.d. city and Section 80 being the others.) If 56 sounds like a random number, I just picked it because that’s where Section 80 is right now. Anyways, that makes 7 albums out of 56 by just two rappers, which comes to 1/8 of the first 56 albums on the charts. That shit’s crazy, especially considering that most of those albums came out a few years ago. It just really goes to show that they’re not just trendy but got staying power too.

It also says a lot about their fans. For one, it says that they’re really good about buying instead of pirating music, and they’re really good at recommending Drake and Kendrick shit to other people. Then, the new fans probably instantly buy all the old albums right away cause they like the sound, and it’s an endless cycle. As long as people keep buying the more recent shit, the older shit will indirectly stay on the charts because of that. Soon, 8% might seem small for Kendrick or Drake.

Don’t forget Kanye, who might just top Kendrick

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A ButterflyThen we can talk Kanye too. Kanye’s got College Dropout, Late Registration and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in the top 56, meaning that there’s 10 albums between the 3 rappers in the top 56 of the iTunes charts. I just didn’t put Kanye in because his 2015 offering hasn’t hit us yet, so he doesn’t have anything in the top 5 or anything right now, but we can expect that shit soon. Will Kanye’s shit be better than To Pimp A Butterfly? We can only wait and see.


Just wanted to let y’all know.

I was just scoping the iTunes hip hop charts and noticed a lot of older Drake and Kendrick shit on there, so I decided to start counting. I thought that this was interesting because, especially when you include Kanye, these are pretty veteran rappers by this point. So the young guns are coming up and folks are gonna talk about them, but the current kings are still running shit, no question.


Spit Talking

Chance the Rapper is Dropping Surf Soon

Y’all ready for a free album soon?

Apparently Chance announced at a concert that Surf, his next album with The Social Experiment, is dropping within the week. Just like Acid Rap, it’s gonna be free, so you won’t have any possible excuse not to cop that shit. Regardless, you can count on our review being up quick in case you got a real busy life or some shit. Also, it seems like announcing new albums at concerts is what’s hot on the streets, considering what Nas just did. Anyways, let’s quickly get hype cause we don’t even got that much time.


Donnie Trumpet

Donnie Trumpet - Donnie TrumpetSo Chance is making it a point that he’s touring with The Social Experiment, not just himself, and that it’ll be a Social Experiment album, not just a Chance album. It’s also supposedly gonna highlight Donnie Trumpet (their trumpet player, if you couldn’t guess), who was also a big part of Kids These Days with Vic Mensa. Donnie Trumpet also has his own EP, Donnie Trumpet (listen to it free here), which has one Chance feature and a bunch of Vic features, so you really gotta go scope it if you haven’t yet, then be excited for what he’s gonna do on Surf.

Free

Chance the Rapper - Acid RapChance is following what he did with Acid Rap, which is releasing a full album for free and then making cash on tours and merch (not to mention a track with Justin Bieber.) This is real dope, because then fans can get all his music for free and he can grow his fan base way quicker. He’s also got ways to make money though, which A) he deserves for putting out good shit and B) is necessary for him to keep making doper and doper music, so I cosign that shit. Way before If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, folks were dropping full albums as mixtapes (but actually keeping them free, as they should be), and launching their careers that way. It’s worked for Chance better than anyone else.


Chance knows what he’s doing.

In case anyone out there (somehow) slept on Acid Rap, Surf is gonna be another opportunity for Chance to get a few million more fans and keep making a name for himself. You also gotta love responding to all the piracy in music by just dropping the shit for free and trusting your shit to be good enough that people will want to pay to see you live. If we know anything about Chance, it’ll be ambitious but real musical, and above all way doper than a free project should be.


Spit Talking

Season of Nasir is Dropping This Summer

Nas’s new album is coming soon.

It’ll be his 11th album (11th!) and his first since 2012. We know it’s gonna be called Season of Nasir, and it’s not a surprise or anything but it’s nice to get something close to a date. Nas said it was dropping this summer at a concert, but we don’t have an actual date or anything. Regardless, it means we’re getting a new album from one of the dopest rappers in just a few months. It’s never too early to start getting hype.


Life is Good

Nas - Life is GoodSo this is gonna be Nas’s first album in 3 years, and like Life is Good, it’s gonna drop in the summer. That worked real well for Life is Good, from the bangers to the more laid back tracks, cause Nas just generally sounds like he’s rapping about the summer most of the time. Illmatic dropped in April 1994, but it was pretty close to the summer and it’s got that vibe. It Was Written dropped in the summer, but Stillmatic and God’s Son dropped in December, so maybe I’m just full of shit.

Anyways, Life is Good is one of Nas’s dopest albums, and he really goes as hard as ever on some of the tracks, like World’s An Addiction, Loco-Motive, Queen’s Story and Accident Murderers. If you’re not sure whether or not Nas has still got it, you obviously haven’t listened to Life is Good, cause if anything he’s gotten quicker, not to mention even smarter. This is a good sign for Season of Nasir, cause he’s not just dropping some trash to keep making cash but actually working on dope music.

Season of Nasir

Nas

Photo: starpulse.com

Anyways, I don’t think Nas was just chilling 2 and a half years then one day decided to start making an album again. He might not have been working on this shit for 3 straight years or anything, but I bet he’s been thinking on these tracks for a while. Nas is one of the greatest, and he proved on his last album that he can not only still rap, but he can go even harder now than he did when he was 20. The second this shit becomes available on iTunes to preorder, I’ma drop the cash for it then come here to give y’all the heads up.


It’s gonna be dope.

Nas consistently puts out dope albums, and his last one, Life is Good, was even better than most of his shit. This gives us reason to think Season of Nasir is gonna be real dope, just cause Nas can definitely still bring it. I’ma be waiting on this shit hard until the summer, so good thing we’re close.


Spit Talking

Scope The Freddie Gibbs Pronto Video

Remember Pronto?

You know, Pronto, that short EP that Freddie Gibbs dropped as a surprise a few weeks ago. It was only 3 tracks, but it was a mad dope 12 minutes the whole way through, with Gangsta Gibbs keeping it chill but also reminding folks that he still runs this shit. Anyways, he dropped a video for Pronto, the first track from the EP which represents it pretty well. Let’s check it out.

Watch Freddie Gibbs – Pronto Video


Pronto

Freddie Gibbs - ProntoLet me just talk about Pronto the EP real quick first, cause I don’t see enough about it out there. I think it was a great way for Gibbs to put himself back in people’s heads as one of the best without having to release a full album less than a year after his last one. Especially with how entertainment is being delivered in smaller and smaller doses, from social media to video clips, there’s nothing wrong with putting out a solid 3 track EP as a surprise to the fans. More rappers gotta do things like this. More than anything though, all the tracks are dope and Gibbs holds it down on all of them, so it’s not like he just put out some tracks but he put out some fire.

The video

Freddie Gibbs - Pronto VideoAs for the video, it matches the track (and the EP) real well. It’s black and white but real high quality, which makes sense considering Freddie Gibbs’s consistent but excellent flow. The theme of the video is a lot of snakes, either by themselves, wrapped around Gangsta Gibbs or crawling around him in a bathtub. It makes sense for the grimy, dark feel of the track, and they got some real good shots in there of the snakes. The choice to focus on the snakes leads to some questions, though.

Freddie Gibbs - Pronto VideoIs Gibbs saying he’s surrounded by snakes nowadays? Is he saying he’s the king of the snakes? Did he just think that they made sense for the feel of the track and the video? Regardless, it’s got people talking, and that’s the ultimate goal of dropping new music or videos, because it’s all about the hustle. For now, might as well just enjoy the dope shots they got for the video and Gangsta Gibbs’s mad dope flow.


Scope it, then scope Pronto.

If you haven’t yet, go watch Pronto right now. Once you’ve done that, you might as well go on and buy Pronto because it’s a cheap way to buff up your music library. Gibbs has done it again, and I really just can’t wait for his next album, whenever it comes.


Spit Talking

Target Versus Tyler, The Creator

Cherry Bomb dropped a bit ago.

Tyler, the Creator dropped his most recent album, Cherry Bomb, about 2 weeks ago and it’s been tearing up the charts since. The digital version came out first, and the CD release came after. Target isn’t too happy about that, so they’re not gonna sell Cherry Bomb at their stores. Tyler tweeted this out because he wasn’t happy, but ultimately said oh well. That’s about right.


It’s 2015

Tyler, The Creator - Cherry BombAs Tyler put it, this is ridiculous because it’s 2015. Especially when it comes to hip hop, the amount of albums that are sold digitally are a big percentage of the sales numbers. It’s also getting more and more common for the digital version to come out before the physical version, whether it’s a surprise early release or not. It’s obviously not just Tyler, cause they did this to Beyonce too with her last album. Considering they did it to fucking Beyonce, you know they’re out of their minds. But seriously, it’s not even like it’s taking away sales.

People either only buy digital, or they only buy physical, or they get both digital and physical copies of their favorite shit. They don’t really directly compete with each other. I mean, it’s not like someone who was going to buy the Cherry Bomb CD decided not to when it dropped early on iTunes. That type of person probably just bought the digital version (or just waited), and then went and bought the CD. I just really can’t see Target losing money because of it, so it makes me think it’s on some petty shit, where Target feels slighted that they weren’t in on the release from the beginning.

Deal with it

Target CD

Photo: says.com

If Target really wants to set themselves up as the spot to get new albums, they should stop bitching and just make it the smart choice to buy CDs from Target rather than anywehere else. Whether it’s through the release of exclusive tracks, album artwork, or extras (like posters or handwritten lyrics), there are plenty of ways to give a retailer an advantage that isn’t based on the time of release. In the future, instead of complaining about this shit, Target should make themselves the place to pick up dope new music.


Anyways, Tyler will be alright.

Cherry Bomb is tearing up the charts, and even though the opinions about it vary, people are praising Tyler for his boldness and creativity. These have always been his strong suits, and it’s dope to see how many real different-sounding albums he’s made considering he’s still so young. Whether or not Target sells his CDs, he’ll live.


Spit Talking

DJ Premier Joining VH1’s The Breaks

Lemme tell y’all about The Breaks.

VH1 is making a hip hop show called The Breaks, from the dude who made The Wire. It’s gonna be about the rise of the business side of hip hop in New York in the early ’90s. You know, the golden age of hip hop and shit. Anyways, DJ Premier (AKA the legend behind Illmatic, Ready to Die, Black on Both Sides and so, so many more) is gonna be the executive music producer for the show. I mean, considering that he personally made a lot of the music from that era, they really couldn’t have gotten anyone better. Let’s get hyped.


The Breaks

VH1

Photo: broadwayworld.com

So the show’s gonna follow three friends trynna make it in the business. This is right when hip hop was going mainstream and blowing up all over the country (and the world), and the business was blowing up right along with it. It’s gonna come out late fall, and they’re saying that if it does well in the ratings VH1 will probably make another full-fledged hip hop series, so I guess that means it’ll be more of a mini-series, or just one season or something. I’ll take whatever I can get though, and with Premier it should do real well.

It’s apparently based on a book called The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop by Dan Charnas, so it’s looking like it’s gonna be a lot about the business side and maybe less about the music. Then again, it would be impossible to make a series about the business of hip hop without having any of the dope music in it, and that’s where Premier comes in. Let’s see why this was such a genius move to bring him in.

DJ Premier

DJ Premier

Photo: beatstars.com

Again, dude actually made a lot of the classics in the ’90s, and worked with a lot of the old legends. He also has a little experience with the business side of hip hop himself (I mean, considering how big he got), so he can practically be a historical accuracy advisor for the show too. Most importantly though, Premier guarantees that at least some of the focus on The Breaks will be on the music itself, and since it’s Premier you know it’s gonna be the shit. You really gotta watch this shit once it comes out for the soundtrack if nothing else.


Get hyped.

We’ve got The Get Down and Russell Simmons’s musical coming soon, and now we’re getting The Breaks. It’s a hell of a time to be a hip hop head right now, not just for the music but for the shows too. Stay tuned here at Spit Talking for updates on The Breaks and any other dope shows/movies/musicals we might be getting.


Spit Talking

Blackalicious – Imani Vol. 1 on PledgeMusic

Blackalicious is coming out with a new album!

It’ll be their first in 10 years, and if you’re a Blackalicious fan you’ve been waiting about 9 of those years for the next album. It’s finally coming, and they’re turning to crowdfunding to help pay the costs of doing business. Check out their PledgeMusic page to see the dope rewards you can get and then drop some money to help make their dream (and my dream and their audience’s dreams) come true. Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel are some of the best in the game, and even though hip hop’s been real dope recently we could always use a new Blackalicious album.


Imani Vol. 1

Blackalicious - Imani Vol. 1The album will be called Imani Vol. 1, and it’ll be their 4th full album and their 1st since 2005’s The Craft. It’s already about 20% funded, even though there’s still almost a full 2 months left in the funding period. It’s good that it looks like it’ll be funded pretty quick, because it’s supposed to drop on August 14, 2015. The “Volume 1” also actually means something, because according to Gift of Gab this is the first album of a trilogy that will be released over the next 2 years. In other words, Blackalicious is coming back with a fucking bang, not just returning to making albums after 10 years but hitting it hard. Thank the lord, because 3 albums from the genius minds of Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel can make sure these other rappers don’t get lazy.

Rewards

If the idea of a new Blackalicious album (somehow) isn’t enough to make you immediately pull out your wallet, well the rewards you can get will probably change your mind. For just $10, you can essentially pre-order the digital version of the album, and you get behind-the-scenes access to them making the project (You get these two things for donating anything over $10 too.) This right here is already a dope deal, because that’s how much the album will probably cost anyways, so you might as well chip in to the funding beforehand then just have your digital download waiting for you in August. For $25 you get a signed CD and for $40 a signed vinyl, and you can get dope signed posters and musical equipment, along with a day in the studio with Xcel. The rewards are getting snatched up pretty quick too, which is no surprise considering how dope Blackalicious is.

Supporting dope music

Blackalicious PledgeMusicFinally, if you don’t really care about any of the rewards and you aren’t that hype about the album, you should really support Blackalicious if you’re at all a fan of hip hop. These dudes are straight legends, and it’s a damn shame that labels don’t throw money at them to make whatever the fuck they want. They make real interesting hip hop while staying true to the genre, and a new album from them could really raise the level of competition we got going in hip hop right now. And as we all know (I mean, we saw what happened with Kendrick’s Control verse), competition is the best possible thing for hip hop. Throw in a few bucks, help out some hip hop legends along with their fans and help the general state of the game.


Chip in.

If you got a little bit of extra dough, throw it in to help out Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel. I know for some of y’all you gotta wait till payday tomorrow (like me), but the best thing to do with the first $10 of that direct deposit is pre-ordering what’s sure to be a dope album. Hit up PledgeMusic and fund some real dope hip hop.


Spit Talking

Latest Hip Hop News: From Vic to Drizzy

As always, shit’s been going down in hip hop.

From rappers signing with labels to CDs being released, some shit you might wanna know about has gone down in the last few days. This week we got news from Vic Mensa, who’s been up-and-coming for a few years now, and we also got some news from Drake, who’s about as established as you can be. Here at Spit Talking, we think it’s all important, regardless of album sales numbers. Anyways, let’s catch up with some of the latest hip hop news.


Vic Mensa signs to Roc Nation

Vic Mensa - U Mad (feat. Kanye West)So after a good few years as a pretty famous unsigned rapper, Vic is taking his talents to the next level and signing with Roc Nation. In case you didn’t know, Roc Nation is Jay-Z’s record label/management company, and they manage a few different artists and release a few albums here and there (including J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive), so this is a pretty big deal for Vic. Let’s hope this gives him the freedom/resources to keep making dope music and keep testing the boundaries of hip hop.

An immediate effect of Vic Mensa signing with Roc Nation is that U Mad, Vic’s single featuring Kanye West which hit youtube a few weeks ago is now on iTunes! So if you wanna support a rapper who’s been killing it for a while but still hasn’t completely blown up nationally, hit up U Mad on iTunes and send Vic a little love. I mean, it’s got Kanye on it so you know you’re gonna like that shit.

U Mad (feat. Kanye West) - Single - Vic Mensa

If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late

Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too LateDrake’s mixtape (but it’s really more of a full album), If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late tore up the digital download charts right when it dropped, I think selling half a million copies in the first weekend or the first week or something. Well, Drake´s ready to add to that number, because now you can buy a physical copy of the album. Cop the CD if you wanna bump that shit in your car (especially Know Something) or if you just wanna keep the album laying around your house to freak people out with the artwork. Either reason works.

If You're Reading This It's Too Late [Explicit]


Good shit, Vic and Drake.

Vic Mensa is gearing up to take over the world and Drake is continuing to dominate the game in any way he can. We live in a golden age of hip hop, considering that so many different rappers can exist without directly competing with each other, yet they’re all still hungry to hit the top. If you’re a hip hop fan, it’s a good time to just sit back and watch (and listen.)


Spit Talking

J. Cole – Wet Dreamz Video – Mad Funny

Wet Dreamz is J. Cole’s newest video.

And folks, I know it’s early (or at least kind of early considering it isn’t even Summer yet), but we might have the best video of 2015 on our hands. J. Cole didn’t go for any singles or features on this album, but he’s hit the videos hard, with Wet Dreamz making 4 after No Role Models, Apparently and G.O.M.D. This one is easily the best of the bunch, even though the others are pretty dope too. Let’s see why this video is so genius.

Watch J. Cole – Wet Dreamz Video


Puppy Love

J. Cole - Wet Dreamz VideoSo for a track about young love, J. Cole took pretty much the perfect angle and just framed it from the perspective of two dogs (and by extension, their owners.) It’s the perfect backdrop for the track, and it works pretty much perfectly. Even better, it’s fucking hilarious because the dogs are well-trained but also real cute. It also shows that Cole doesn’t take himself too seriously, which is always good but especially considering that some people think he does take himself too seriously. For the folks out there who don’t like J. Cole, your opinion might change at least a little with this video.

More videos should be like this one. J. Cole’s face is only in it for like 5 seconds at the very beginning, and it’s all about the dogs. Some videos try to be funny but also keep the same general format as other videos (with dude rapping in front of the camera most of the time), but this one just goes all out for the comedy. I was laughing my ass off the whole time, and a lot of work clearly went into making it perfectly.

Cole’s killing it

J. Cole - Wet Dreamz VideoJ. Cole has shown that he’s only getting better at rapping/making hip hop in general, but his videos have been killing it recently too. Cole’s trying to tell folks how to make albums (considering he tweeted “stop serving trash” to other rappers after 2014 Forest Hills Drive dropped), and he’s trying to lead by example when it comes to videos too. I don’t know whether or not he’s the king like he claims to be, but he’s definitely acting like it and just doing shit his way.


What you think?

Try and find me a better hip hop music video than Wet Dreamz. If you do, please comment here with a link. Anyways, in the meantime I’ll just be over here kicking it and watching this shit on repeat, so I gotta go get my popcorn ready.

Watch J. Cole – Wet Dreamz Video


Spit Talking

Gucci Mane X Diplo is Coming Soon

Guwop is still behind bars.

But if we know anything about Gucci, we know that he can still write, spit and drop bars from a cell. He’s been releasing a lot of shit recently (as usual), but his next shit is gonna be a collab with Diplo. Gucci tweeted that it was gonna be an EDM album, but Diplo responded that it would not be. Anyways, let’s see what it might be all about.


Release date?

So there isn’t an album title or artwork or a genre or really anything at all yet, but considering how much shit both of these dudes work on, we can probably expect it to come out soon. Guwop will keep us posted on twitter, because dude just puts everything out there on twitter, which is dope. And as usual, as soon as twitter finds out about it you can expect it to be here on Spit Talking (cause y’all know we don’t sleep.)

What might the sound be like?

Gucci Diplo album twitterWell, at first it seemed like it would be EDM before Diplo said that ain’t true, and I’m personally glad cause I wanna hear something real dope. Diplo (and a few other producers) worked with Snoop Dogg on Reincarnation, which was a change of scenery for both Snoop and Diplo, and it was actually pretty dope. If they can get an equally solid but unique sound of whatever genre they’re going for on the album, it’ll probably be dope. On the other hand, it might just be a bunch of different genres because they can both jump around, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see for when it comes out.

Other news

In other hip hop news, it looks like Big Sean and Ariana Grande are breaking up. Dag, we didn’t even get one collab album out of that. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t wanna hear that shit either. Anyways, looks like the biggest (legal — sorry Tyga) age gulf between young folks in hip hop is over for now. Let’s hope we at least get a real dope Big Sean album out of this shit.


Looking forward to that guwop.

Again, stay tuned here at Spit Talking for news about this Guwop X Diplo album because I got my ear to the ground. On the other hand, if you hear anything through the grapevine make sure to let ya boy know. Thanks for reading!


Spit Talking