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Music

Here Are 10 of New York City’s Most Iconic Music Venues

New York City is known as the city that never sleeps. Music and entertainment play a major role in keeping one of the greatest cities in the world up at night. No music lover’s visit to New York City could be complete without catching a show at one of the city’s most iconic music venues. New York is home to some of the most prestigious and historic music venues in the world. With everything from jazz clubs to rock venues, there’s something for everyone. 

Like the saying goes, if you can make it here you can make it anywhere. Ranging from the world’s biggest pop stars to local karaoke kings and queens, many people have found their voice on stages located throughout NYC’s five boroughs. 

Synonymous with its vibrant music scene, NYC is one of the most exciting places in the world for live music. Many of NYC’s venues have their own unique history and have been cemented into the history books. Here is a list of some of the most iconic music venues of all time in NYC.

CBGB

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Opened: 1973 – 2006

Established in 1973, CBGB continued to play an important role in New York City’s musical landscape until it was closed in 2006. Located on the Lower East Side, CBGB was originally intended to be a country, blues club and bluegrass. The venue, however, would eventually go on to be considered a mecca for the punk and new wave movements. Although it closed its doors in 2006, its legacy continues to live on as one of the most important music venues in the history of New York City.

The Apollo Theater

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Opened: 1914

No list of iconic New York music venues would be complete without The Apollo Theater. The Harlem establishment has been a hot spot for live music for more than a century. Throughout its long history, the landmark has hosted everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to James Brown to Jay-Z. If you’re wondering if the Apollo is still one of the best places to see live music in New York City, just know that Drake is scheduled to perform there next month.

Copacabana

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Opened: 1940 

Copacabana was unlike any other nightclub in New York City. Over the course of several decades, it was known as one of the city’s premier spots for live music. In its heyday, Copacabana was the place to be seen. It was a place where celebrities, socialites and everyday New Yorkers would rub shoulders with each other. The likes of Dean Martin, Marvin Gaye and so many other elite performers performed at Copa’s OG location, while Goodfellas, Carlito’s Way, One Night in Miami and several other well-known films were filmed at the Brazilian-flavored club that will forever be remembered for its glitz and glam.

S.O.B.s

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Opened: 1982

S.O.B.s, aka, Sound of Brazil, was the brainchild of Larry Gold, who in the early 1980s opened the live music venue with the intent of “exposing the musical wealth and heritage of the Afro-Latino Diaspora to as many people as possible.” … Although Gold’s vision for S.O.B.s was clear, the legendary venue would later become a staple in hip-hop. Now a go-to stage for emerging superstars, S.O.B.s’ intimate setting has been tapped by Chief Keef, Drake, DMX, Kanye West and others.

Blue Note Jazz Club

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Opened: 1981

Positioned in the heart of NYC’s Greenwich Village neighborhood, the Blue Note Jazz Club is one of the most famous jazz clubs in the world. For more than 40 years, it was the go-to spot for live jazz and unforgettable performances. It has hosted some of the world’s most renowned musicians, including Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughn, Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente and John Coltrane. The legendary venue’s presence has not only been felt in New York City, but also in locations around the world. Blue Note also has set up shop in major cities such as Hawaii, Tokyo, Shanghai, Milan and Beijing.

Madison Square Garden

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Opened: 1968

Madison Square Garden has been coined everything from the Mecca of Basketball to the world’s most famous arena. For generations, Madison Square Garden has maintained its status as a go-to venue for live concerts in New York City. With its rich history, The Garden has been the home for some of the most iconic concerts of all time. On top of being a great venue for witnessing live music, MSG is also home to the NBA’s New York Knicks, the WNBA’s New York Liberty and NHL’s New York Rangers. Madison Square Garden continues to be a top tier destination for sports and entertainment.

Webster Hall

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Opened: 1886

Another New York City landmark, Webster Hall has been considered to be one of the first modern nightclubs. The nightclub and concert venue remains an important part of New York City’s musical history for a few reasons. Webster Hall, which opened in the late 1880s was modernized towards the end of the 2010s.

Yankee Stadium

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The Roxy

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Cotton Club

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The Cotton Club reigned supreme in Harlem from 1923 to 1940. Its legendary lineup of iconic performers included Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Cab Calloway, Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie and many, many others.

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Music

If You’ve Been Outside this Summer, You’ve Heard of Ice Spice

If you’ve been outside this summer, then you’ve probably heard of Ice Spice. The emerging female rapper is a Drill artist from the Bronx that’s been taking the streets of New York by storm with her viral hit “Munch (Feelin’ U).” The track with close to 7 million plays on Spotify can be found on top playlists, is being played in clubs, performed at festivals and has inspired a bunch of captions on social media.

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Over the course of the last few months, the 22-year-old has received co-signs from mega stars like Drake and Cardi B. Ice Spice has joined the ranks of Kay Flock, B-Lovee, Sha Ek and others as one of the most buzzed about rappers to emerge from the Bronx drill scene in recent years. But who is she exactly? What’s her story? What is it about her that has made her one of the most talked about rappers of the moment? 

Before the Bronx upstart was making a name for herself with her music, she was making her way through NYC. The half-Dominican and half-Black artist grew up in the Fordham Road section of the Bronx. When discussing her childhood neighborhood, she’s said, “It made me, for real. I deadass wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for Fordham.” 

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The daughter of an aspiring rapper, Ice Spice had creative aspirations of her own. She reportedly dreamed of being an actress or athlete and was into poetry in elementary school. She attended high school in Yonkers, which isn’t too far from the borough she was bred in. 

While in high school, the artist whose birth name is Isis took up the alias, Ice Spice. “My whole family calls me Ice. Everybody calls me Ice and Spice just rhymed with it,” she unveiled to No Jumper. “I came up with it freshman year and I just kept it.” 

A fan of rap G.O.A.T.s like Nicki Minaj and Drake, Ice Spice was first inspired to make music after she heard New York Drill forefathers Sheff G and the late, great Pop Smoke. Sheff G’s cult-classic, “No Suburban” was the first NY-based Drill track she had ever heard. And by the time Pop Smoke started to rise the ranks, she knew one thing: she wanted to make Drill music.

Ice Spice officially started making music in the spring of 2021. She recorded her first song in March of that year. It was called “Bully” and it marked the start of her creative partnership with Bronx producer Riot. Riot produced her breakthrough single, “Munch (Feelin’ U).” “I feel like it’s just best to lock in with a producer and build your own sound because —no shade but everybody be getting beats off of YouTube,” she said while on the On The Radar podcast. 

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Around the time she dropped “No Clarity”— which now has over 90,000 listens on Soundcloud— towards the end of 2021, she was starting to get more and more attention. On separate occasions, Syracuse, NY rapper Toosii and Brooklyn Drill’s Dusty Locane brought Ice out during their respective shows to perform. 

In 2022, she turned things up. She dropped a few more buzz tracks titled, “Name of Love” and “Euphoric.” She then appeared on On The Radar and things got even hotter. Her On The Radar freestyle caught the attention of Drake, who quickly shouted her out. He also flew her out to Toronto. The two were spotted at a concert together. 

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“I feel like finally— I know I’ve only been rapping for a year, but I know I’m nice, so now that people are actually tuning in and taking it more serious, it feels good,” she said when discussing her newfound fame and success. 

Ice Spice isn’t the only person that thinks she’s nice. With 2,270,098 monthly listeners on Spotify alone and at least five songs with more than 100,000 listens, it’s evident that there are a lot of people feeling her and her music. In the words of a legendary Bronx rap star, Fat Joe, “Yesterday’s price is not today’s price.” Ice allegedly now demands upwards of $15,000 per performance, since having her breakthrough moments this summer.

From hanging with Drake and Cardi B to performing at Rolling Loud Toronto, Ice Spice is having a moment. Regardless of what you think of Drill music, it’s difficult to deny that “Munch (Feelin’ U)” is a bop. According to the new artist, fans and followers of hers can expect to hear an EP from her before the end of the year. Stay on the lookout for more Ice Spice.

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Music

Is Anthony Fantano Really the Internet’s Busiest Music Nerd?

Anthony Fantano, the self-proclaimed Internet’s Busiest Music Nerd has officially become one of Drake’s biggest critics. The music reviewing Youtuber’s critiques of the “No Friends in the Industry” rapper finally warranted a response from the superstar. After Fantano posted a video claiming that Drake slid in his DMs to share a vegan cookie recipe, Drizzy decided to show receipts. 

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Drake took to IG Stories to unveil what he really said to Fantano. “Your existence is a light 1,” wrote the Honestly, Nevermind artist. “And the 1 is cause you are alive. And cause you somehow wifed a Black girl. I’m feeling a light to decent 1 on your existence.” 

Instagram

Prior to being one of Drake’s top opps, Fantano was known mostly for his takes on music. He delivers straight-forward reviews that don’t necessarily dig deep into the content of albums, mixtapes and eps, but that says just enough. He’s become known for his trademark review rating scale where he rates albums on a scale of 1 to 10, which Drake referenced in his clapback. With over 2.63 million subscribers on YouTube and just under 700,000 followers on Instagram, he has amassed a large audience that trusts his views. 

For over a decade, the man behind The Needle Drop has been offering his thoughts and opinions on music releases ranging across genres, including rock, alternative, r&b and of course hip-hop. This year alone, he’s rated everything from Kilo Kush’s American Gurl to Kid Rock’s Bad Reputation, with his reviews of Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers (2.2 million views) and Jack Harlow’s Come Home The Kids Miss You (1 million views) being the most watched.   

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“I didn’t know it would become this popular when I started,” he admitted to Spin Magazine in 2016. In that same interview he also expressed that “intimacy and interaction between YouTube creators and their audiences” is what inspired Fantano, who studied journalism in college to start vlogging in the first place.  

Back in the mid-2000s Anthony Fantano was a music director at a college radio station in his hometown of Connecticut. Soon after, in 2007, he started blogging with The Needle Drop. A couple of years later he stepped out from behind the pen and in front of the camera and transitioned into doing video reviews with The Needle Drop Youtube channel. Memphis-based artist Jay Reatard is said to be the first artist he covered when he began video blogging. 

In 2011, he started going extra hard with his The Needle Drop channel. That’s when he started focusing on developing the channel on a full-time basis. He also launched the Youtube page thatistheplan around this time. On it he reviewed memes. 

YouTube

Since his humble beginnings, he has grown his brand into an empire. He’s even hosted a The Needle Drop tour that touched down in major cities throughout the country. He’s been praised as one of the most successful and well-known music critics in recent years by the likes of Spin Magazine, the New York Times and other major outlets, and has written for the Washington Post and others. 

Anthony Fantano may not always be liked by the artists he critiques, but that hasn’t stopped his fans from appreciating his willingness to speak openly and honestly about the music that he listens to. The Connecticut native has gained notoriety and built a following as a result of his brutally honest music reviews. If you want to learn about new music or are just interested in hearing someone’s opinion on a trending artist’s project check out The Needle Drop.

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Music

Canadian Artist Boslen is Finding His Voice While Pushing Boundaries

Over the summer, Drake had “the most important night” of his life. The night didn’t feature any record-breaking moments or the release of any new game-changing music. It did, however, feature appearances from some of our most known and unknown neighbors to the north. During his October World Weekend festival, Drake paid homage to some of  the most influential Canadian artists, including Nelly Furtado, Kardinall Offishall, Choclair, Maestro Fresh Wes and others.

Canada, which has given us the likes of Drizzy, Weeknd and Justin Beiber, has lowkey been a hotbed for talented artists for a minute. A Canadian artist on the rise, looking to add his name to the long list of international superstars from the North is Boslen.

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The 23-year old from Chilliwack, BC has been making waves with his music over the last few years. The experimental rapper has been steadily developing his eclectic style by being influenced by iconic creatives such as Kid Cudi, Jay-Z and Salvador Dalí, the world renowned surrealist artist. 

Tapping into the music he grew up with, as well as the vibes of his surroundings, he blends hip-hop, r&b and the mood of a place like Vancouver —which he calls home — to deliver his sound. “I felt so like confined within an 808 and a sample that loops that I was like, but where’s the progression of this? Where am I bringing audiences?”, says the Canadian artist. 

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The results of his musical explorations have been projects such as Motionless and Motionless II, the Black Lotus EP, his Capitol Records debut DUSK to DAWN and more recently a seven-song EP, called Gonzo.

Refusing to be confined into any boxes, Boslen knows the sky’s the limit. When asked what’s next for him he responds, “Honestly, just breaking outside of music. Like, I want to get into architecture. I want to get into fashion. I want to do more designing. But most importantly, I want to just enjoy life, man.”

On pushing boundaries with music

I feel like somebody’s not doing something and I feel like I can do it, so I’m gonna do it. I feel like that’s what motivates me and pushes me. I feel like I have a lot of things to say, man. Another thing is that I feel like there’s so many kids out there that don’t have a voice that don’t have a platform. I feel like if you don’t use your platform or your abilities to help or inspire then true artistic integrity will be lost.

On finding his own voice

I’d be lying. If I said it was easy.  I think a lot of artists cap like it just come so naturally. Like, no, not at all. I’m a human bro. Like I’m 23-years-old. I’m still trying to discover who I am. You know? The process is never ending. In life, you’ll continue to face ups and downs and you learn from them. It’s like a career on its own. I feel like that’s the best part about music. It’s not only the shows or like the recording process or any of that, but it is really like a battle against yourself.

On who he was listening to growing up

Kid Cudi. Wiz Khalifa. Hopsin. A lot of Akon [laughs]. “Smacked That” was probably my favorite Akon song. Going into my teens and my later teens, A$AP Rocky. I listened to so many artists. My mom listened to Marilyn Manson. We listened to Johnny Cash. So it was a lot of, you know, conflicting sounds in my household. My sisters used to listen to like Green Day, Avril Lavigne, just so many sounds. So for me as a kid I had to find my own identity and musical tastes.

On connecting with Kid Cudi’s music

He touched a point in my life. He was saying things that I felt like not a lot of people were going through besides me. And I wanted to do this thing for kids that I grew up in areas where maybe they felt alone or maybe wanted to feel empowerment. 

On who lyrically inspires him

I think Jay-Z right now. How he talks about truth. I really resonate with that and like how when he raps. It’s not rapping, he’s really having a conversation with the listener and I feel like that’s so authentic. I feel like I just started getting into that now with like a song like “Scars,” where it’s just more of a conversational type of standpoint and it’s like therapeutic in a way. A lot of people I’ve been playing inspiration from lately. I’ve been trying to go back to artists like Kanye West, Beyonce, 070 Shake.

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On what helped curate the vibes on ‘Gonzo’

It wasn’t even like musicians or anything like that. It was more like philosophers. I remember it was last Christmas. I came back home and I was dealing with some like personal issues, you know, those frustrations. And for some reason that pushed me to look further than music. I started with Aristotle and I went to Socrates and I went to Plato and then I found Salvador Dali. I was fascinated by his creative process. Dali was a big inspiration.

On the music scene in Vancouver

The culture’s very rich, but it’s still very early and I think we’re still trying to grow it. It’s a more moody sound. It’s not hard-hitting trap or like easy, repetitive samples. I think right now it’s definitely at a stage where it matches the weather where it’s very bipolar.

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Music

20 of the Biggest First-Week Sales in Hip-Hop History

In hip-hop, bragging rights hold a lot of weight. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that rappers like to boast about their albums having huge first-week sales. “Get ya brakes tweaked, I sold what your whole album sold in my first week,” Jay-Z once rapped on his lethal diss record “Takeover.”

First-week sales weren’t always a big deal, but by the time hip-hop started to dominate the charts there became an increased interest in the amount of records a particular album sold within its opening week. 

Eminem is the reigning king of opening week sales. With the release of his sophomore album The Marshall Mathers LP, the “Rap God” smashed records for the biggest first-week sales in hip-hop. The album sold a whopping 1.7 million copies in seven days. One of the highest selling artists of all time, Em is responsible for six of the top 20 biggest first-weeks in history. His 2002 album, The Eminem Show is second on the list. Even his movie soundtracks sold a shitload of copies. 

Eminem’s protege, 50 Cent was also a big seller in his musical prime. His debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ to this day, has the biggest opening week for a debut rap album. He avoided the sophomore slump when his second album shattered records by moving over 1.1 million in only four days. First-week sales were such a big deal for 50 that he even battled Kanye West for supremacy in 2007. And although he lost to Ye, he still managed to sell just under 700k within a week’s time. 

The other Best Rapper Alive, Lil Wayne was also one of the top-selling artists during his peak. He did a milli in a week with 2008’s Carter III and almost did it again with the fourth installment in his Carter series.  

Drake, who was crowned the artist of the decade, is a G.O.A.T. due to his impact, hit songs and of course, records sold. Even though his most recent album Honestly, Nevermind barely did over 200k in its opening week, his previous album Certified Lover Boy, moved 600k in the same amount of time, and that was with only a week of promotion and without the release of any lead singles. His 2018 album, Scorpion did even better. And the album before that, Views crossed the million mark.  

DMX, Hov and The Notorious B.I.G. have also sold a bunch of records in a week’s span. But which of their albums have had some of the biggest first-week sales of all time? Here are 20 albums with the biggest first-week sales in hip-hop history.

1. The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
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Artist: Eminem

Sold: 1,760,000

Lead Singles: “The Real Slim Shady”

2. The Eminem Show (2004)
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Artist: Eminem

Sold: 1,322,000

Lead Singles: “Without Me”

3. The Massacre (2005)
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Artist: 50 Cent

Sold: 1,140,000

Lead Singles: “Disco Inferno” & “Candy Shop”

4. Views (2016)
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Artist: Drake

Sold: 1,075,000

Lead Singles: “Hotline Bling,” “One Dance” & “Pop Style”

5. Tha Carter IlI (2008)
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Artist: Lil Wayne

Sold: 1,006,000

Lead Singles: “Lollipop” & “A Milli”

6. Tha Carter IV (2011)
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Artist: Lil Wayne

Sold: 964,000

Lead Singles: “6 Foot 7 Foot,”  “John,”  “How to Love” & “She Will”

7. Graduation (2007)
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Artist: Kanye West

Sold: 957,000

Lead Singles: “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” & “Stronger”

8. Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2003)
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Artist: 50 Cent

Sold: 872,000

Lead Singles: “In da Club”

9. Late Registration (2005)
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Artist: Kanye West

Sold: 860,000

Lead Singles: “Diamonds from Sierra Leone”& “Gold Digger”

10. Doggystyle (1993)
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Artist: Snoop Dogg

Sold: 803,000

Lead Singles: “Who Am I? (What’s My Name?)”

11. The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (2013)
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Artist: Eminem

Sold: 792,000

Lead Singles: “Berzerk,” “Survival,” “Rap God” & “The Monster”

12. Scorpion (2018)
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Artist: Drake

Sold: 749,000

Lead Singles: “God’s Plan,” “Nice for What” & “I’m Upset”

13. Recovery (2010)
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Artist: Eminem

Sold: 741,000

Lead Singles: “Not Afraid”

14. Nellyville (2002)
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Artist: Nelly

Sold: 714,000

Lead Singles: “Hot in Herre”

15. Encore (2004)
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Artist: Eminem

Sold: 710,000

Lead Singles: “Just Lose It” & “Mosh”

16. 8 Mile Soundtrack (2002)
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Artist: Eminem

Sold: 702,000

Lead Singles: “Lose Yourself”

17. ..And Then There Was X (1999)
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Artist: DMX

Sold: 698,000

Lead Singles: “What’s My Name”

18. Curtis (2007)
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Artist: 50 Cent

Sold: 697,000

Lead Singles: “Amusement Park,” “Straight To The Bank,” “I Get Money” & “Ayo Technology”

19. Life After Death (1997)
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Artist: The Notorious B.I.G.

Sold: 690,000

Lead Singles: “Hypnotize”

20. Kingdom Come (2006)
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Artist: Jay-Z 

Sold: 680,000

Lead Singles: “Show Me What You Got”

Categories
Music

These Are the 20 Best Nicki Minaj Videos

Nicki Minaj is a G.O.A.T. Hands down. She’s one of hip-hop’s all time greatest lyricists, one of the genre’s biggest hit-makers and one of the most successful rappers of all time. Her influence is undeniable. She’s basically in a league of her own. 

Her music videos are a big part of why millions and millions of people adore her. Throughout the course of her reign as a queen of rap, she has been one of the most consistent when it comes to delivering dope visuals. Even the videos she’s delivered for her not-so-great songs are unforgettable, in a good way (Think “Massive Attack”). Her video game is so on point that at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, she’ll become one of only 34 artists to receive MTV’s Video Vanguard Award. 

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According to MTV, the gold-plated trophy is awarded to “artists for their outstanding contributions and profound impact on music video and popular culture.” The Video Vanguard Award is only given to artists with a legendary lineup of music videos. Prior to Minaj, iconic acts such as Missy Elliott, Rihanna, Kanye West, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, LL Cool J, Michael Jackson (who the award is now named after) and others have been recipients of the coveted accolade. 

Whether you’re a fan of Nicki Minaj or not, there’s no denying that many of her visuals fall within must-see territory. If we’re talking about fire Nicki music videos, there’s a lot to choose from. There are the classics like “Your Love” and “Super Bass,” as well as more recent joints such as “Do We Have a Problem?”


It’ll be nearly impossible to pick Nicki’s best video, so we saved ourselves some frustration and instead compiled a list of her top music videos. These are the 20 best Nicki Minaj Videos.

“Your Love”
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Year released: 2010

Album: Pink Friday

According to Nicki, she wanted to “tell a love story” with the video for her breakthrough hit. “It’s just kinda liking a guy, where he’s not really for you to like — the forbidden fruit,” she said. “And me and this other girl happen to like him and we go to war.”

“Super Bass”
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Year released: 2010

Album: Pink Friday

Colorful, fun, and catchy, the “Super Bass” video is everything you would expect in a video for a huge pop song.

“Did It On ‘Em”
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Year released: 2010

Album: Pink Friday

This video features behind-the-scenes footage and clips of Nicki performing during the I Am Still Music Tour.

“Moment 4 Life” featuring Drake
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Year released: 2010

Album: Pink Friday

The video for the Grammy nominated single was fresh out of a fairy tale.

“The Creep” featuring Nicki Minaj & John Waters
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Year released: 2011

Album: Turtleneck & Chain

Nicki is caught creeping in a locker for her collab with the Lonely Island boys.

“Stupid Hoe”
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Year released: 2012

Album: Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded

“Stupid Hoe” is perhaps one of Minaj’s most controversial videos. The explicit video features Minaj calling out her haters.

“Starships”
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Year released: 2012

Album: Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded

“Starships” is another popular video from Minaj. The video features Minaj dancing on a beach in an energetic and fun atmosphere.

“Right by My Side”
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Year released: 2012

Album: Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded

Nas appears as Nicki Minaj’s love interest in this video.

“The Boys” featuring Cassie
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Year released: 2012

Album: Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up

“Lookin Ass”
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Year released: 2014

Album: Young Money: Rise of an Empire

“Anaconda”
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Year released: 2014

Album: The Pinkprint

“Only” featuring Drake, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown
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Year released: 2014

Album: The Pinkprint

“Feeling Myself” featuring Beyoncé
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Year released: 2015

Album: The Pinkprint

“Chun-Li”
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Year released: 2018

Album: Queen

“Barbie Dreams”
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Year released: 2018

Album: Queen

“Fefe” 6ix9ine featuring Nicki Minaj and Murda Beatz
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Year released: 2018

Album: Dummy Boy

6ix9ine and Nicki Minaj’s hit song peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is certified 8x platinum.

“Megatron”
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Year released: 2019

Album: N/A

Nicki brings the basement bashment vibes in the video for her reggae-sampling hit.

“Do We Have a Problem?” featuring Lil Baby
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Year released: 2019

Album: N/A

Nicki links up with Lil Baby to make a movie.

“We Go Up” featuring Fivio Foriegn
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Year released: 2022

Album: N/A

Nicki gets sturdy in the video for her collaboration with Fivio Foreign.

“Super Freaky Girl”
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Year released: 2022

Album: N/A

Step into the metaverse with Ms. Minaj.

Categories
Music

The 12 Best Drake Outros, Ranked

Being Drake is cool, but, sometimes, it isn’t. At the end of 10 of his 12 albums, Drake has delivered a personal State of the Union, summarizing the spoils of victory and the snakes and charlatans that lurk in the shadows. The flows are conversational and uninterrupted; the beats are unadorned with any musical flourishes beyond drums and a swirling, muffled vocal sample; the vibes are aspirationally cinematic with the lacquered climate-controlled energy of a BMW commercial—he is Drake, the Ultimate Rapping Machine. 

Despite the silly grandiosity of these songs, these Drake outros have also offered some of the most incisive and clear-eyed rapping of his career; this charisma and technical mastery is what separates Drake from the scores of other rappers who are attempting to be the next Drake. With Drake’s most recent album closer “Jimmy Cooks” emerging as a song of the summer, here are all of the Drake outros, ranked

12. March 14
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I’m not owned, I’m not owned, Drake continues to insist as he slowly shrinks and transforms into a corn cob. As the anchor of Scorpion, “March 14” sounds like a retconned closer that was hastily made in response to Pusha T’s revelation that Drake had a secret child. Until this point, Drake had always projected an imperial mafioso vibe but here he most resembles a third-act Henry Hill here, panickedly looking over his shoulder as he scrambles to fix the unfixable.

11. Thank Me Now
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While a major part of Drake’s success has been defined by his  consistency, Thank Me Later represents the cautious first steps of a rapper still finding his voice. As such, “Thank Me Now” (and Thank Me Later at large) sounds like an artifact of a long-gone era. Namely, the song is sabotaged by garish synths that blare in the background like lightsabers. Still, Drake sounds confident amidst the cacophony, signaling what was to come. 

10. Congratulations
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Long before they embraced stunt sampling choices on “Way 2 Sexy” or “Nice For What,” Drake and 40 flipped Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” on “Congratulations.” In their hands, “Viva La Vida” morphs from a swaying arena into a triumphant beat with the syncopated violins forming the song’s foundation. To be sure, it’s a gimmick, but it’s a clever one, providing early evidence of Drake’s ability to seamlessly insert himself in a variety of sounds and contexts.

9. The Remorse
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On its own, “The Remorse” is perfectly pleasant enough. Within Drake’s larger oeuvre, it’s indicative of the sad fact that he’s running out of things to say. Released in 2021, “The Remorse” is seemingly the 90th time that Drake morosely talked about how loyal 40 and Chubbs and CJ have been to him. Seriously, does anybody need to be regaled with more tales about how people doubted Drake before he made them eat crow?

8. 30 for 30 Freestyle
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This is perfectly replacement-level Drake. It’s fine, good even, but not altogether that remarkable or memorable; the beat is spare and Drake is compelling as usual. As Drake’s only solo song on What A Time To Be Alive (his 2015 collaborative project with Future), 30 for 30 Freestyle is a contemplative end to a raucous project. In it, Drake plays the hits—score-settling, braggadocio, bottle-service wracked with ennui, you know, Drake stuff. 

7. War
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The last song on Drake’s 2020 compilation Dark Lane Demo Tapes, War is part of the lineage of Drake outros in a literal sense more than a figurative one. Accordingly, War exists without the external pressures and neuroses that encumber Drake’s other outros. It’s not some mission statement or declaration or treatise of the isolation of having more houses than friends or whatever; it’s simply the last song on an album rather one of his capital-o Drake outros.

Originally released in conjunction with the Top Boy series on Netflix, “War” is Drake’s version of a British drill song, even enlisting UK mainstay AXL Beats for production. Even if Drake sounds more London, Ontario than London, England, he raps with such momentum that it absolves the reverse Eliza Doolittle-ness of him trying to put on a very specific kind of accent. 

6. Views
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Perhaps the ur-Drake song, Views is equal parts great and self-indulgent. It’s pure Drake myth-making—incredibly specific and aggrieved bragging layered over a rich, sample-driven beat.

5. Jimmy Cooks
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By virtue of being the sole traditional rap song on Drake’s house-ish Honestly, Nevermind, “Jimmy Cooks” is a welcome reminder that Jimmy can still indeed cook. With 21 Savage riding shotgun, Drake atypically ending the project on a high-energy, Memphis-flavored banger.

4. The Ride
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Take Care is one of Drake’s best albums, so it tracks that “The Ride” is one of Drake’s best outros. Whereas most of Drake’s outros are full of bombast and boasting, “The Ride” is one of Drake’s last truly vulnerable songs before he became hardened by fame. 

3. Paris Morton Music / Pound Cake
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The beat has launched 1000 freestyles. Similarly, Jay Z adds instant gravitas. The second collaboration between Drake and Jay Z, “Paris Morton Music / Pound Cake” marked Drake’s arrival as a universally respected rapper in addition to being a pop megastar.  

2. Do Not Disturb
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On the More Life ender, Drake makes a typical Drake outro, but better. Chiefly, a winding Snoh Aalegra sample gives the song shape and a strong vocal counterbalance to Drake’s typically sharp raps.

1. 6pm in New York
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Here, Drake is at the peak of his powers. He takes fire at Tyga and throws subliminals at Kanye West, Jay Z and Kendrick Lamar. By this point, his unyielding commercial dominance had made him untouchable—and, even better, he backed it up with his music. 

Categories
Music

A Mother’s Day Playlist for All of the Best Moms Ever!

Don’t get it twisted, rappers know how to love, especially when it comes to their mothers. The phrase I’ll always love my mama, resonates with many of hip-hop’s finest. They can be extra affectionate when it pertains to the women that birthed them and their loved ones.

Rappers have given credit to the superwomen in their lives for being caregivers and bill-payers, as well as for nurturing and inspiring them. Throughout their careers, artists from Kanye West to Drake to Jay-Z to Lil B have rapped about the values their mothers have instilled in them and how those values have helped them become the bosses they are today.

Rap stars have created loving mother-themed songs showing the appreciation they have for the most important women in their lives. 2 Chainz, Ghostface Killah, Rick Ross, YG and so many other rappers have shown gratitude for the life lessons and the tough love they’ve received from their mothers with heartfelt songs.

It’s Mother’s Day! In honor of this very special occasion, ONE37pm put together a playlist for all of the amazing moms out there. To pay homage to these lovely ladies we’ve selected songs that celebrate motherhood and all that it entails. This very special playlist consists of some of our favorite hip-hop tracks that show love to Mommy dearest.

Whether the moms in your life are rap fans or not, this collection of songs has something for them. It features well-known classics from 2Pac and Ghostface Killah, as well as more recent tracks from 21 Savage, Kanye West, and Big Sean. There are songs to dance to as well as tracks that could make the moms in your life tear up. Celebrate the best moms ever this Mother’s Day by showering them with love and by also checking out this playlist we’ve put together for them. 

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Categories
Music

15 of Our Favorite Met Gala-Inspired Rap Lyrics

It’s that time of year again. It’s the first Monday in May, which means the Met Gala is once again upon us. This year the hotly anticipated gala officially returns to its normally scheduled programming. As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the annual event, also known as the Costume Institute Gala, was placed on hold in 2020, while last year’s downsized version took place in September during New York Fashion Week.

The Met’s 2022 theme is In America: An Anthology of Fashion. It’s the second half of the Costume Institute’s two-part exhibition dedicated to American fashion, which began with 2021’s In America: A Lexicon of Fashion. For this year’s Met festivities, Hollywood A-Listers Regina King, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are holding down the co-hosting duties.

The Met Gala raises funds that benefit programs and exhibitions sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. It also gives celebs a reason to pop out in some of the most unique and eye-catching outfits. With nicknames like the Super Bowl of fashion and fashion’s biggest night out, the Met Gala is arguably the biggest night in fashion. Famous faces from all walks of entertainment come together in celebration of the opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s yearly fashion exhibition. It’s a big deal not only for the fashion world, but for the world of hip-hop as well.

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Nowadays, hip-hop heavyweights are permanent fixtures on the Met’s red carpet and at the after-party. The likes of Ye, Megan Thee Stallion, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Cardi B, A$AP Rocky, Diddy, Migos, JAY-Z and many, many others have made their presence felt at the Met Gala. So it should come as no surprise that the Met Gala has been the subject of quite a few rap songs and lyrics. The star-studded affair has inspired some dope bars, as well as some not-so-dope lyrics. The gala has been mentioned by rap stars who have attended and popular artists who haven’t been lucky enough to strut their stuff at the event. In honor of the 2022 Met Gala, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite Met Gala raps.

“I was that n*gga locked up in the cell and they treated me like I was normal/Thankin’ the Lord for them blessings I just left the Met Gala dressin’ up formal.” -Offset on Gucci Mane’s “Met Gala” (2017)
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“It’s easy to slip, don’t want you to fall/Walk in with the drip, that Met Gala Ball” — Gunna on “Met Gala” (2020)
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“You can’t even get on my guest list/They want me to go to the Met Gala/I want a Percocet and a gallon/That Actavis, Hi-Tech it don’t matter” — Future on Drake’s “Grammys” (2016)
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“Met Gala, 42/but I fuck ’em like I’m 22/Macking and hanging that’s all I do” — Nas on The Weeknd’s “Tell your Friends (Met Gala Remix)”
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“Attitude, gotta holla/She caught me slippin’, dressin’ like the Met Gala” — 24hrs & PnB Rock on “Met Gala” (2018)
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“I had to give her a new nickname/Designer call us Met Gala Gang” — Quavo on“Champagne Rose” (2018)
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“Watch how I drip when I hit that Met Gala/Codeine I sip with my lip, don’t get splattered” — Gunna on “Drip Or Drown [Remix]” (2018)
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“Saint Laurent boots on Gucci saddles, Met Gala/ dab capital, abracadabra” — Quavo on Migos’ “Too Hotty” (2017)
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“I’m a great example, great sex haver/In-shape for the Met Gala” — Kevin Gates on “Kung Fu” (2018)
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“Red bottoms on, I’m at Met Gala” — Young Thug on “Daddy’s Birthday” (2017)
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“They was losin’ they mind when I hit the Met Gala/Tail so long, it dragged 30 minutes after” — Cardi B on “Bet It” (2021)
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“Spend a quarter million on a coupe, guess what?/MET Gala, hunnid for the suit, bless us” — Rick Ross on Russ’ “Guess What” (2020)
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“A vet stylin’ in Met Gala/tuna salad from La Scala” — Nas on “White Label” (2018)
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“I brought a Hollywood bitch to Club Crucial/I was at the Met Gala with my shooter” — 21 Savage on “Runnin’” (2020)
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“I missed the Met Gala, eatin’ linguine with the best scallops/I knew we was the best before I met Khaled” — Dave East on “Bad Boy On Death Row” (2016)
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Categories
Music

DJ Khaled and Drake’s Top Collaborations, Ranked

DJ Khaled is a multifaceted entertainer. He’s a DJ’s, a producer, a record executive, an undisputed hitmaker, he’s groomed platinum artists and is amazing at promoting the hell out of stuff he’s attached to. The Grammy Award winner also has a knack for collaborating with Drake. The We The Best mogul has been telling us that he’s the best for a minute now. So it’s only right that he teams up with the crème de la crème. The duo have been linking up for more than a decade and it seems like they have more music on the way.

Khaled, who recently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, teased an upcoming track with Drizzy. In a video posted to his Instagram story, Khaled can be heard saying, “They didn’t believe in us. Drake did.” The social clip was accompanied by a caption that read, “#DRAKEDID ! Vocals been in !!!! ALBUM MODE !”

Khaled’s last album, Khaled Khaled dropped in 2021. Led by two solo Drake joints it became his third album to top the Billboard 200. While we wait to see what these two cook up next, let’s look back at DJ Khaled and Drake’s top collaborations from the past.

7. “Fed Up” – DJ Khaled featuring Usher, Drake, Young Jeezy and Rick Ross
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Released: 2009

Album: Victory

“Fed Up” was the first official link up between DJ Khaled and Drake. It’s probably also their most forgettable collaboration to date. Although this The Runners-produced track features an all-star cast it just didn’t hit like their follow ups.

6. “To the Max” – DJ Khaled featuring Drake
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Released: 2017

Album: Grateful

DJ Khaled’s 2017 album, Grateful, featured a few huge records. Top 10 hits like “I’m the One,” “Wild Thoughts” and “Shining” overshadowed every other song featured on the album, even the Drake song, “To the Max.” One of the least successful collabs between the dynamic duo, “To the Max” only peaked at 53 on the Billboard Hot 100. The experimental track is still a banger however.

5. “Greece” – DJ Khaled featuring Drake
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Released: 2020

Album: Khaled Khaled

“Greece” was first heard when it leaked along with a bunch of other Drake tracks in 2020. The platinum single was an international hit. It charted in the top 10 in several countries, including the US, Canada, New Zealand and Belgium, topping the singles chart in Greece. A dope record, “Greece” just doesn’t compete with Khaled and Drizzy’s best joints.

4. “Popstar” – DJ Khaled featuring Drake
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Released: 2020

Album: Khaled Khaled

Ever so often Drake really goes off on a track, and “Popstar” definitely falls into that category. 6 God with his spicy flow and boastful lyrics floats over the production crafted by one of his go-to producers, OZ. Popstar Justin Bieber stars in the music video that was just as entertaining as the song, which is certified 3x platinum.

3. “For Free” – DJ Khaled featuring Drake
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Released: 2016

Album: Major Key

Both DJ Khaled and Drake were on top of the world in 2016. Drizzy dropped one of his biggest albums, VIEWS and Khaled had a career resurgence off the strength of him being him. The two joined forces for the first single to Khaled’s ninth album, Major Key. “For Free” samples and references several cult classics, including Too Short’s “Blow the Whistle,” Akinyele’s “Fuck Me For Free” and Kendrick Lamar’s “For Free? (Interlude).”

2. “No New Friends” – DJ Khaled featuring Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne
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Released: 2013

Album: Suffering from Success

Gang, gang, gang! “No New Friends” was an ode to all of the day-ones out there. The song was initially a remix to Drake’s “Started From The Bottom” and featured contributions from Future. Produced by Boi-1da, Vinylz and Noah “40” Shebib, the final version of No New Friends” became Khaled’s sixth Top 40 hit.

1. “I’m on One” – DJ Khaled featuring Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne
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Released: 2011

Album: We the Best Forever

 “I’m on One” helped set the tone for summer 2011. Drake, Ross and Wayne had three of the most anticipated albums at the time of this track’s release and it lived up to all of the hype that they built up. The Grammy nominated single peaked in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.