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Culture Gaming

The 20 Most Memorable Video Game Rap Lyrics

Your favorite MCs do a lot of things in their leisure time. They tend to roll up & smoke some trees, get into some passionate debates over random topics with the whole entourage, indulge in some sports-based activities, etc. 

Another hobby most rappers indulge in is most definitely video games – that’s pretty evident considering the abundance of lyrics from the best wordsmiths that just so happen to be about the best consoles, characters, games, etc. On the regular, a clever bar about gaming will come across your headphones and force you to push the rewind button to catch it once more. And there are even those cool instances where a rapper will dedicate an entire song to their game of choice. It’s safe to say that the rappers we bang out of our speakers on a daily basis love to hand out L’s in the very same games we play for hours on end.

We went into our memory banks and did our Google’s to find the most memorable rap lyrics that are all about showing love to gaming as a whole.

1. Bazooka Tooth, zoo-keep the paper route with janky funds and favors/Cradled by twelve empty Zelda heart containers

Aesop Rock, “Babies With Guns”

2. Crack mothers, crack babies, and AIDS patients/Youngbloods can’t spell but they could rock you in PlayStation

Mos Def, “Mathematics”

3. I’m PS4 in HD and the screen is plasma/You’re Atari 2600 with a weak adapter

Joell Ortiz, “Slaughterhouse”

4. Attention all haters, get off your boy’s d**k/Tell your b***h to come here, she can play with my joystick/Up up down down left right left right B, A, B, A, Start/Now tear it apart

Saigon, “Get Busy”

5. Rival Schools, Batsu, purchase you ought to/It came with one free CD, it’s like I bought two/I hope they make part two for Dreamcast/’Cause games I seen in mags, you won’t believe they have…./Yeah, I’ll admit that PlayStation improve/Come visit feudal Japan with me and Tenchu/Bushido Blade II with swordplay so accurate/Mega Man Legends, but I had to buy a map for it

Del The Funky Homosapien, “Proto Culture”

6. I’m sorry like Atari who’s the cousin to Coleco/Vision, caught a RICO, back on the streets like Chico

Andre 3000, “Skew It On The Bar-B”

7. Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis/When I was dead broke, man, I couldn’t picture this

Notorious B.I.G., “Juicy”

8. Battlin’ me is hazardous to health/So put a quarter in ya ass ’cause you played yourself

Big Daddy Kane, “The Symphony”

9. I can’t sleep like a child on Christmas Eve/Like a tender head girl in a shop gettin’ a weave/Like a woman in labor about to produce the seed/Or Method Man with PlayStation and an ounce of weed

RZA, “Insomnia”

10. Or better yet a Terminator, like Arnold Schwarzenegger/Try to play me out like as if my name was Sega

Everlast, “Jump Around”

11. I had dreams that I would blow like a Nintendo Cartridge

Anderson.Paak, “Without You”

12. I tell the cash get over here, it’s like I’m Scorpion on Mortal Kombat

A-Reece, “To The Top Please”

13. Pass me the pork roll, don’t really walk anymore/Ever since I invented a gun that shoots portals

Seth Sentry, “Reservoir Dogs”

14. All got expensive cars, won’t allow a jacker to see me/I ride with bananas and shells like Mario and Luigi

Chamillionaire, “The Game Gonna Cost a Fee”

15. Came a long way from extension cords in the window/Borrow neighbor’s power just to plug up the Nintendo

Danny Brown, “30”

16. I heard that she wanna go and party, she wanna go and party/N***a, don’t approach her with that Atari/N***a, that ain’t good game, homie, sorry

Kendrick Lamar, “Poetic Justice”

17. Hey look, my homies told me back when I was playing my Nintendo/To stay away from windows, cause bullets, they tend to hit those/My mama told when I got the PSone/To skip the BS and lead us or be as numb/As every other brother throwing up colors in my community/I knew better, but couldn’t do better but then I grew to be

Lecrae, “Daywalkers”

18. Ayo, I cop power pellets (and y’all call ’em bricks)/I make little dots (and y’all chop rocks to flip)/Before Junior, they had me out on a chas /Running from these ghost monsters y’all calling the jakes/All I do is stack loot, run around and eat fruit/And harass these lady cops named Pinky and Sue/My whole life been a maze in a chase/Can’t keep still without these monsters on my back invadin’ my space/I got two hitmen that’ll bury you brothers/They rule the underworld, you know ’em as the Mario brothers/Straight cannons, and won’t hesitate to shoot ya/And they stay goin’ to war with that Latin King Koopa/I got a worker named Frogger, when I say jump he leap/A highway boy who be runnin’ the streets/With that package, dodgin’ through traffic that’s narrow/And my n***a Donkey Kong bringin’ weed in by the barrels

Beanie Sigel, “Mac Man”

19. F**k your gun talk, play ‘No Doubt’, you ‘Gwen’ ‘don’t speak’/You ain’t shooting nothing but air, you Nintendo Wii

Rock (Boot Camp Clik), “BK All Day”

20. My new b***h, call her my PS3/You? Your b***h’s p***y, call it my Xbox

Royce da 5′9”, “Airplanes Freestyle”

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Culture Music

The Best Kanye West Albums, Ranked

No matter which way you feel about him personally, you can’t help but agree with this unanimous statement – Kanye West is simply a beast behind the boards. 

When he steps into any studio, an amalgamation of incredible sounds will form under his watchful eyes and ears to create a soundscape like no other. The man is responsible for producing some of the greatest beats the world has ever laid witness to for the GOATs such as Jay-Z, Common, Brandy, and so much more. 

His beat-making mastery is legendary, but so is his lyrical deftness and strong ability to put together an unforgettable body of work on one album. Since 2004, Yeezy has dropped solo projects that have either stood the test of time or been relegated to a forgettable footnote in his storied career. This writer in particular has listened to all of Kanye’s LPs from front to back for an assignment that I’m sure will elicit some “passionate” responses. 

In my humble opinion, these are all of Kanye West’s albums ranked from worst to best.

9. ‘Jesus is King’

I commend Kanye for finding a newfound appreciation for non-secular music. He’s certainly been through a lot during his star-making run and has been stricken mentally by the ills that come with the price of fame. I was super excited to hear what he managed to cook up for this project that was focused on showing love to the heavens above.

Sadly, however, I came away largely unsatisfied with what this album has to offer. Jesus is King certainly puts forth a powerful and positive message, but the actual execution leaves a lot to be desired. “Every Hour” and “Follow God” are this album’s standout tracks, while everything else disappoints due to a mix of mediocre production and unimpressive wordplay. Even the cover for this album clues you into just how uninspired it ends up being. Let’s all hope Kanye comes correct the next time he decides to honor the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

8. ‘Ye’

Ye isn’t remembered too fondly and I can certainly understand why – at the time of this album’s release, Yeezy was given a lot of slack for its questionable lyrics. Plus the public perception of the man himself wasn’t exactly the most positive. Even with all that being said, I still enjoyed this shockingly short compilation of tracks. “Ghost Town,” “No Mistakes” and “Yikes” go extra hard, while “Wouldn’t Leave” and “Violent Crimes” both offer more soothing listens that impressed me way more than I originally thought they would.

“I Thought About Killing You” is a pretty dark verbal look into Kanye’s innermost struggles, but its overall message has a way of pulling me in for a full listen every time it comes on. Ye’s relatively short run time when compared to Kanye’s other full projects holds it back from being higher on this list, however.

7. ‘808s & Heartbreak’

808s & Heartbreak is one of those left-turn albums that completely caught me off guard when it dropped. Here I was expecting Good Ass Job and what I got instead was an R&B-centric compilation full of introspective cuts. And for the most part, I enjoy what’s on offer here. “Say You Will,” “Heartless,” “Amazing,” and “RoboCop” have and always will enrapture me every time I hear them.

This is one of those Kanye LPs that switched things up to a major degree and ended up succeeding in the end. I might not be the biggest fan of some of the other tracks on this album, but I’ll always commend Kanye for going in a completely different direction with 808s & Heartbreak. The fact that it influenced an entire generation of artists that came after him can’t be understated.

6. ‘Yeezus’

Yeezus is one of Kanye’s most braggadocious albums. And what makes that so is his choice of bars and the electronic music influences that can be heard over most of this project’s outlandish beats. When this album hits, it hits extra hard. “New Slaves,” “Blood on the Leaves, ” and “Black Skinhead” stands out as the most impactful tunes on this album.

That’s because the production backing those songs gives them that stadium status, which paints them as the types of tunes that would make a concert venue full of fans lose their collective minds. Yeezus certainly has a lot going for it thanks to the fact that it showcases a point in time where Kanye went all-in on hard-hitting electronic soundscapes. What keeps this one from being placed higher, you ask? “Hold My Liquor.” Yeah, never really enjoyed that track too much.

5. ‘The Life of Pablo’

I’ll never forget how convoluted the rollout for this album was. Kanye’s a perfectionist, so it wasn’t all that surprising to find out that he continued playing around with the mastering of its tracks even after release. When I finally got to listen to the final version of The Life of Pablo, I was thankful for Yeezy’s decision to make it sound as crisp as possible.

What’s so funny about this album to me is the fact that Kanye refers to it as a gospel album – it certainly comes off a lot better than Jesus is King, if you ask me (please don’t smite me for that comment, whoever’s up there.) This album’s high quality just can’t be denied – “Ultralight Beam, “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1,” ”Waves,” and “Real Friends” are the best confirmations of that statement. I find myself going back to this album on the regular just so I can hear “I Love Kanye” and reminisce over all the commendable traits he reflects on all over that short yet still effective track. The Life of Pablo may run a bit long, but I enjoy most of my time spent with it.

4. ‘The College Dropout’

I can remember being one of those kids in high school that blasted “Slow Jamz” at annoyingly high volume levels for all my friends to hear during rides back home on the train. That single took over my world and still holds a special place in my heart. The same can be said for The College Dropout as a whole. This is a hell of a debut for Kanye that captured my imagination due to its incredible production and college student struggle bars (which I came to experience later on in life).

The College Dropout stuck to a central concept and reflected the best/worst parts of that experience from front to back. “All Falls Down,” “Spaceship,” “Jesus Walks,” and “Get Em High” are my favorite joints off this LP. And I even got a kick out of all the skits littered throughout this super-strong debut album. This was a hell of a sendoff for Roc-A-Fella’s storied run on top.

3. ‘Late Registration’

It’s something about the cover for Late Registration that hits me right in the soul every time I see it. The instantly recognizable bear mascot that accompanied Kanye’s first three releases comes through those college doors and looks deathly afraid of whatever’s coming next. Thankfully, what follows is an album that shows Kanye leveling up on his production and lyrical dexterity.

Another aspect of this album that really sticks with me is its features – Kanye rubbed shoulders with legends such as Jay-Z, Nas, Cam’ron, Lupe Fiasco, and even Maroon 5’s Adam Levine for this amazing follow-up to The College Dropout. “Heard ‘Em Say,” “Touch the Sky,” “Gold Digger,” and “Drive Slow” are some of Kanye’s greatest songs. And thankfully, those and a whole bunch of his other top-tier tunes are strewn all over this album. Late Registration is well-deserving of its classic Kanye album classification.

2. ‘Graduation’

From the very first chords that kick off “Good Morning” right up until the heartfelt dedication to Jay-Z that is “Big Brother,” Graduation excels as a championship victory that solidifies Kanye’s placing among the GOATs. Every song on this album has a purpose that was greatly fulfilled – “Champion,” “Everything I Am,” ”Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” and “Flashing Lights” are the types of tracks that could get a deeply introspective thesis paper dedicated to them.

Kanye was definitely at the height of his career for this album and easily thrashed 50 Cent during their album release rivalry. Even “Drunk and Hot Girls” has a bit of merit to it (which I still recognize as one of Graduation’s weakest tracks). The great stuff that’s on tap here still slaps and the art that comes with this album’s cover is God-tier. Graduation is simply amazing.

1. ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’

“Dark Fantasy.” “Gorgeous.” “Power.” “So Appalled.” Those four tracks alone would already guarantee this album’s legendary status. But My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy has a collection of other tracks that push it to the top as Kanye’s greatest album of all time. The beats that are heard here are next level – Kanye, No I.D., and even RZA constructed the types of productions that hit you right in your soul.

Besides this album’s prodigious array of beats, it also features some of the best hip-hop/R&B posse cuts I’ve ever heard. “Monster,” “All of the Lights, and “See Me Now” brings together some of music’s biggest artists for audio celebrations. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy easily takes the top spot as Kanye’s magnum opus. Now lemme head off to watch those super dope visuals for “Runaway” real quick…

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Culture Music

The 10 Verzuz Battles We’re Dying to See

It all started with a friendly beat battle between hip-hop/R&B super producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland. Once viewers got a taste of what the Verzuz concept could offer, they began fantasizing over which battles they’d like to see next.

Sensing a game-changing opportunity on their hands, Swizz and Timbo pooled their finances and industry contacts together to turn the Verzuz concept into an ongoing webcast series. Ever since then, we’ve had the pleasure of watching musical legends play their best songs, drop a few verbal gems about life as a whole, and provide some cool backstories behind the songs that make us jump out of our seats as soon we hear the first note. RZA vs. DJ Premier, Erykah Badu vs. Jill Scott, Bounty Killer vs. Beenie Man, and Teddy Riley vs. Babyface definitely stand out as some of the greatest Verzuz virtual concerts thus far. And judging by the future slate of battles, everyone can expect to be treated to even more memorable faceoffs throughout the remainder of 2021.

Even though Swizz and Timbo clearly know what they’re doing, we still have a few suggestions for dream Verzuz scenarios that we’re sure music aficionados would love to see. If any of the 10 battles listed below came to fruition, the excitement would be through the roof and the celebratory atmosphere attached to the Verzuz brand would hit another level.

10. Boogie Down Productions vs. Public Enemy
Verzuz / ONE37pm

Biggest Song Clash: “The Bridge is Over” vs. “Fight The Power”

It’s about time we got a soundclash between two 80s hip-hop/rap staples. And the two candidates that would make for such a hot contest are Boogie Down Productions and Public Enemy. Both groups are held to the highest standards of their genre due to their history of delivering raps that reflected their political and social activism efforts. Getting KRS-One and Chuck D in a room together would simply be a dream come true. Plus the sight of them being joined by D-Nice, Flavor Flav, and the rest of the associated acts that came from Public Enemy would also be an incredible sight to see. This fantasy battle would be the ultimate blast of nostalgia for 80s hip-hop heads everywhere.

9. Rakim vs. Big Daddy Kane
Verzuz / ONE37pm

Biggest Song Clash: “I Ain’t No Joke” vs. “Set It Off”

Rakim and Big Daddy Kane are regarded as two of the finest MCs of all time. The way they ride a beat is inspirational and their signature flows have influenced countless rappers since. To see these two greats grab a microphone and remind everyone just who the illest is would be awe-inspiring. Rakim and Kane have so many classic songs in their respective catalogs that could finish off any lesser artists. But imagine just how neck and neck it would be to see them bring out their biggest musical guns against each other in the ultimate test of lyrical skill. Somehow someway, this battle needs to be booked as soon as possible.

8. Missy Elliot vs. Busta Rhymes
Verzuz / ONE37pm

Biggest Song Clash: “Get Ur Freak On” vs. “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See

Busta Rhymes certainly talked a big game when presented with the possibility of hopping into a Verzuz battle. We’d love to see him back up all those braggadocious statements by getting in the ring with someone that has a library of hits that can keep up with his classic bangers. We think Missy Elliot would make for an amazing wildcard opponent in that regard. Both Busta and Missy are known for delivering visual tour de forces in the form of music videos, plus their energy levels would be through the roof if they ever got to sit in the same room together onscreen. This Verzuz battle would pretty much be a party full of good vibes, great music, and that “get out of your seat” energy hip-hop heads embrace so much when their favorite jams come on.

7. Mariah Carey vs. Janet Jackson
Verzuz / ONE37pm

Biggest Song Clash: “Fantasy” vs. “Escapade”

We thought long and hard about this one. Since Mary J. Blige made it clear that she doesn’t want to participate in a Verzuz battle, we racked our brains over who’d be the next best option for someone of Mariah Carey’s caliber. And the name that immediately came to mind was Janet Jackson, who’s definitely another R&B songstress that’d be hard to beat. Both Janet and Mariah have endured throughout the many different periods of their genres and stayed relevant throughout them all. This battle would be an incredible showcase of both women’s long-lasting legacies and give new/old fans alike a warm evening full of classic R&B ballads.

6. Justin Timberlake vs. Usher
Verzuz / ONE37pm

Biggest Song Clash: “Cry Me A River” vs. “U Got It Bad”

This Verzuz battle scenario gets us super excited since it’d be the ultimate battle of R&B pretty boys. Judging by the massive lineup of memorable songs both men are responsible for, this battle would likely go over its allotted time (which would totally be fine, by the way). You could put the entirety of Usher’s “Confessions” album against everything featured on Justin Timberlake’s “Justified” LP and we’d be more than satisfied. But both of these R&B legends have a wide swath of smash hits that aren’t associated with those two incredible albums, which means this Verzuz battle would easily captivate an entire generation of 90s and 2000s babies.

5. Eve vs. Lil’ Kim
Verzuz / ONE37pm

Biggest Song Clash: “Let Me Blow Your Mind” vs. “Queen B***h”

It’s become quite clear that a lot of our favorite female MCs from back in the day don’t exactly send each other Christmas cards every year. The beefs that have taken place among hip-hop queens such as Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown, Nicki Minaj, Remy Ma, and others have made the prospect of a Verzuz battle between that group of ladies virtually impossible. But there’s one beef that’s seemingly been cleared up on both sides and it’s the one that transpired between Lil’ Kim and Eve. If Swizz and Timbo can work magic as they’ve done before, we think it’d be wise for them to get those two femme fatales a room together to battle it out for lady MC supremacy. Both Kim and Eve have a ton of singles to their credit and some memorable features that would instantly remind folks of just how strong they were during their championship runs.

4. Jay-Z vs. Nas
Verzuz / ONE37pm

Biggest Song Clash: “Can’t Knock The Hustle” vs. “The World is Yours”

The heavens would open up, traffic would stop dead in its tracks, and hip-hop heads everywhere would shed a single thug tear if this Verzuz battle was ever officially announced. The impossibility rate of this iconic faceoff is too damn high, but we’re going to will it into existence anyway. Jay-Z vs. Nas was a very real thing at one point and it’s still held up as one of the most unforgettable beefs of all time. But now both men have grown up and made amends for their past transgressions against each other. We’d lose our ish if both of those legendary rappers hit the stage together at a live venue of some kind and pitted their best songs and features against each other for the world to see. And having it all capped off with a captivating performance of “Black Republican” would warm our cold hearts.

3. Pete Rock vs. 9th Wonder
Verzuz / ONE37pm

Biggest Song Clash: “T.R.O.Y.” vs. “Lovin’ It”

Let’s take a trip to the land of fantasy beat battles real quick. When you think of incredible boom-bap rap beatsmiths, two names should immediately spring to mind – Pete Rock and 9th Wonder. During their respective eras, both producers provided both mainstream and underground acts with some of the hardest audio soundscapes anyone has ever heard. Now imagine if they stood across from each other and got into a beat brawl to end them all. Pete has nuclear missiles like “Shut ‘Em Down,” “Straighten It Out,” and “The World is Yours” in his arsenal, while 9th can counteract with bangers such as “Threat,” “Slow Down,” and “Let It Go.” The headbanging and neck-breaking would be off the charts for this one.

2. Dr. Dre vs. Puff Daddy
Verzuz / ONE37pm

Biggest Song Clash: “Still D.R.E.” vs. “It’s All About The Benjamins”

During a recent Breakfast Club interview, Swizz noted that an instance of technical difficulties scared the legendary Dr. Dre from possibly participating in a future Verzuz battle. But we hope Dre will someday reconsider and throw his hat into the ring for a battle with his biggest rival on the East Coast. A battle between Dre and Puff Daddy would make our musical dreams come true. Dre has a ton of iconic beats under his belt and that same sentiment applies to Diddy – it’d be so hard to decide the winner between songs such as “Gin and Juice” vs. “Big Poppa” and “California Love” vs. “Juicy.” Then you have to factor in the classic songs Dre and Diddy performed on themselves, which would lift this Verzuz battle to a whole ‘nother level.

1. Pharrell & The Neptunes vs. Kanye West
Verzuz / ONE37pm

Biggest Song Clash: “Grindin’” vs. “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)”

This. Needs. To. Go. DOWN! Pharrell & The Neptunes have most likely produced your favorite artists’ best songs. And it goes without saying that Kanye West is responsible for creating some of the greatest beats for that same collective of top-tier artists. We’d plop down for three or even four hours to watch both sides get in the studio for the livest Verzuz battle of all time. Just imagine the moment where Pharrell & The Neptunes and Yeezy pull off a round with their best Jay-Z songs – “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)” vs. “Lucifer” would blow our minds immensely. Factor in the hit singles that both producers hopped on themselves and you have a near-limitless array of amazing bangers to enjoy. This is the Verzuz battle of all Verzuz battles and we hope Swizz and Timbo can make it a reality before we leave this plane of existence.

Categories
Culture Music

The 20 Hardest Wrestling References In Hip-Hop History

Hip-Hop and wrestling are practically the perfect marriage of severe trash-talking, grandiose proclamations, and a whole lot of outlandish fashion fits. Pusha T, Wale, Flatbush Zombies, Smoke DZA, Action Bronson, etc. regularly hop on the mic to verbalize their love for the athletes that go hard in the squared circle. And before them, notable MCs such as LL Cool J and Jadakiss also made sure to drop a few bars about the very best in professional wrestling. There’s a whole bunch of memorable bars out there that truly get a Road Warrior pop out of us every time they blast through our headphones. We’ve got 20 of the very best ones from some of the greatest (and most slept on) rappers that know a thing or two about the letters WWF/E, WCW, and other premier wrestling companies.

1. When Bret Hart meet Brett Favre/A sharp shooter well exceeding any figure four/You see my figure more or less stick some more

Wale, “Beautiful Bliss”

2. Yeah, but I ain’t stuntin’ these hoes/I been pimpin’ since Hulk Hogan was nWo/Yeah, I’m wild, Drizzy tough, and the Kid vicious/The three horseman, we just need Sid Vicious

Lil Wayne, “Stunt Hard”

3. In high school I was voted the most Ted DiBiase-est/Also the most slept on, cause my Ted DiBiase-ness

Lupe Fiasco, “The One”

4. Cuz I was down before the hype like Dusty Rhodes and Bob Backlund/Bruno Sammartino, Stan Staziak/Now The Rock and Stone Cold are my favorite maniacs/The top rooster pluckin’, chickens when I’m cluckin’/WWF stands for When and Where we F*****

LL Cool J f/ Redman, Method Man, & DMX, “Fuhgidabowdit”

5. Looky here, it’s just the way the cookie tear/Prepare to get hurt and mangled like Kurt Angle, rookie year

Madvillain, “Great Day”

6. We the kind that supply the rock like Chris Paul/The same kind that aim 9s, insane conscience/And then we get rid of the rock like Dwayne Johnson

Royce da 5’9”, I’m Me Freestyle

7. Had my n****s down so I’m screaming f**k the law/Monday night wrestling, I’m so f*****g raw

Meek Mill, Pandemonium

8. Go hard like Iverson playin’ with hurt ankles/Plus, wrestle the topic from a different Kurt Angle!

Talib Kweli, In The Mood

9. But when we at them red carpet affairs, aw man/My baby break necks like The Honky Tonk Man (woo!)

Joell Ortiz, Talkin’ About You (Ladies)

10. I had to stash near the boiler/Night time playing the moon, a Houston Oiler/Brought the raw to ya/Had this diesel fiend tying up both his arms, Ultimate Warrior

Fred the Godson, Doves Fly

11. The cycle is Shawn Michaels, heartbreak/And yeah I like you, but not enough to wife you

Asher Roth, Be By Myself

12. I Jake the Snake ‘em, DDT ‘em in mausoleums

Run The Jewels, Blockbuster Night Pt.1

13. Attack like a savage cat/Undertaker, this the casket match/Paul Bearer bring the urn out/They won’t win til we quit, we don’t burn out

Smoke DZA, Hearses

14. I’m CM Punk with that mic y’all/She go to sleep cause my pipe bomb

Wale, Razor Freestyle (Bad Guy)

15. We dedicated to cats that’s been thuggin’/Vinnie Paz got more hoes then Jim Duggan

Vinnie Paz, Blood Runs Cold

16. Monday night with the RAW, I’m Vince McMahon with a beat/Power-slamming them hammers, I get you handled for free (Uh)

Rick Ross, I Am Your Leader

17. I am like Randy Savage on acid/That’s very vibrant and classic

Meechy Darko (Flatbush Zombies), MRAZ

18. I served ‘em up while I Bill Goldberged the blunt

Sir Michael Rocks, Banco Populair

19. I hop off the top rope and chop you in the throat/Come through like Sting all black with a bat/Then I drop you like Goldberg right on your back/You know styling and profiling like Ric Flair dressed me/Sort of like Kidman, all the chicks think I’m sexy

Jadakiss, Pay Per View

20. Disrespect the clique, and oh, you know they ain’t got far to go/That’s when I grab em by the neck, hit ’em with that RKO/Outta nowhere, I’m on my viper s***/Might just have to resurrect the dead and bring back Piper’s pit/Cause’ we about to teach the industry a strange lesson/Just when they think they found the answer, we change the question

Murs, Strangeulation II Cypher V

Categories
Culture Music

Listen to Juicy J and NLE Choppa’s New Single, ‘Load It Up’

Juicy J and NLE Choppa’s new collab is much more than just a traditional single. The track from the two Memphis rappers releases alongside a line of merch from Juicy’s cannabis venture, Asterisk (a brand which he and Gary Vee partnered up for) as well as a new strain available at MMD Dispensaries.

The first verse of the hook starts, “Juicy J the GOAT.” And the Juiceman doesn’t lie. The single and corresponding merch/cannabis strain are releasing today, but we’ll have to wait until next week to see the cinematic video the two rappers put together off this track. The video depicts Juicy J, a weed aficionado perhaps unlike any on earth, vibing amid lush cannabis plants and rolling up some of the strikingly designed Asterisk flowers.

Asterisk

The new strain will be available at MMD Dispensaries beginning today. Titled, “Mystic Potion,” the Juicy J signature strain is an Indica-leaning bud, which creates a happy, creative, euphoric high with a calm heavy body relaxation to relieve pain and stress. The flower is grown by the folks over at Cream of the Crop Gardens, and the quality of the big, dense nugs is immediately apparent visually. 

Asterisk

All the merch for the strain /single release was designed by Cody Hudson and will be available here. The song, the video, and the merch all make you want to do one thing: load it up. 

Categories
Culture Music

Nas’ “King’s Disease” is the Perfect Late Summer Anthem

The Year is 1994. The City is Crown Heights, and a young man by the name of Nasir Jones has just released his debut studio album ‘Illmatic’. An Instant Hip Hop classic, it was clear very early on that “Nas” was going to be a force to reckon with in the music industry for a long time. Now here we are in the year 2020. An unusual year that has seen us craving music and entertainment much more than what we are typically used to, and yet again Nas has managed to surprise us. On August 21st, 26 years after his debut, Nas dropped his twelfth studio album entitled ‘King’s Disease.’ For those that don’t know, King’s Disease refers to Gout. A nasty infection that comes from excessively eating foods that are rich. When you think of Nas’s catalogue, nasty, rich, and infectious are exactly the words that come to mind.

While ‘King’s Disease’ is definitely modern in its approach, Nas doesn’t stray away from the sound and lyrical content that’s made him Rap Royalty. With witty puns and word play along with top notch production from Hit-Boy, and features from A$AP Ferg, Big Sean, and Lil Durk to name a few, critics are already calling it one of the best albums of the year. As usual, Nas also stands alone on tracks such as ‘27 Summers’ and ‘Blue Benz.’ Another unique feature of the album is the length of the tracks. Many of the songs are about two minutes long, and the album itself is only 38 minutes all together. Short and Sweet, but gets the job done. 


As we round out the summer, ‘Kings Disease’ is the perfect anthem for those I-75 drives, or late night rides out around the city, and Nas once again drops an album that shifts the industry, while still remaining culturally relevant after 30 years in the game.

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Culture Music

Quinn Talks TikTok, Managing Yung Baby Tate and Not Being a Dick

On this week’s episode of our podcast Monday to Monday, Mike speaks with Yung Baby Tate’s manager, Quinn (@Q1hunnid). He wears a lot of different hats (“I do a little bit of a lot”) and provides immense insight into the machinations of the contemporary music landscape, while also highlighting some tips for managers and producers. They discuss Yung Baby Tate’s rise on TikTok, Quinn’s journey as a manager and some of the artists he’s most excited about right now.

In the past year or so, TikTok has become a major new avenue for disseminating an artist’s new music. Quinn discusses Yung Baby Tate’s collaboration with Ashnikko, “STUPID,” which went viral on the platform late last year. It’s a totally new way of distributing music. On the record’s continuous high-streaming numbers to this day, Quinn tells Mike: “I think that shows some of the power of, like if you have TikTok success with a legitimately strong record, the staying power of that.” He adds: “Shoutout to TikTok.”

Quinn does a lot of different work with a lot of different artists, and so, naturally, Mike has to ask him what he’s been most excited about. He lists a ton of up and comers, citing IGIR Woodiee and Tahj Keeton (“it’s very, like, industrial rap”), and many of the artists he works with through his work at StreamCut, including Mulatto, Light Skin Keisha, Saucy Santana and SahBabii.

Mike goes on to ask Quinn to share some advice for either managers or those communicating with managers to get their work seen. “Trying to find yourself a mentor is going to be very impactful,” is one of the first gems he drops, before adding that it’s important to “Legitimately value all the relationships that you meet along the way.” He also includes the importance of being kind and making good impressions, telling Mike, “People remember when you’re a dick.”

Quinn and Mike spend some time near the end of the interview discussing the importance of forming strong relationships with the people he represents/works with. “I want to like you and really believe in your music,” he says, before expanding: “No one wants to deal with the bullshit that you have to deal with as a manager at times if they don’t like the person they’re doing it for.” It’s of course about the music, but it’s also about creating strong bonds with those around you.


If you loved this episode and want to hear Mike chat with more artists, managers and producers, make sure to check out last week’s episode, when he spoke with rapper Glockstar Dimi.

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Culture Music

Glockstar Dimi on Upstate New York, Fashion and ( G ) Corp

On this week’s episode of our podcast Monday to Monday, we speak with emerging rapper/fashion mogul Glockstar Dimi. Dimi and Mike discuss the New York state rapper’s recent single with Richie Souf and his last project, LOADIN(G)… Dimi got his start in hip-hop through fashion, and maintains its importance in cultivating a successful presence in the rap space. The duo covers a ton of ground in this interview before letting guests in for a Q and A, in which Dimi discusses the importance of fashion, being from upstate and how he embeds emotion in his music.

Early in the interview, Mike asks Dimi when he first knew that music could be a career. “When my friends started bumping my music. Like when my friends really started taking my music seriously,” he responds. This emphasis on his friends’ opinions comes up a lot throughout the interview, because if his friends enjoy the music, that suggests the world will as well. Dimi also shares some stories about when folks first started bumping his songs.

They go on to address the rapper’s recording process, something he has been fleshing out for the past year or so. “When I record, I want the song to come out the first time, like how I hear it. I don’t wanna keep recording it over and over and over,” he says. Recording LOADIN(G)… helped him develop this process, encouraging him to record things the right way on the first take.

Responding to a question from a fan, Dimi discusses his collective ( G ) Corp and how he perceives the future of the group. “We make clothes, music. I got producers, we got people that build tech, photographers, stylists. It’s just like a creative lab,” he says. He continues, saying: “I wanna make something more than a fashion house, like if you could put a fashion house and Apple in one thing.” It’s certainly an ambitious undertaking, but with Dimi at the helm, it’s well within reach.

Mike asks Dimi about his upbringing in upstate New York and early commitment to fashion. Although he was partially raised in NYC, Dimi still claims upstate as home. “I’m from upstate. I grew up here. I got my bumps and bruises here. I got my heartbroken here. I got a hit out here. Everything that ever happened to me, happened upstate,” he says, and adds: “Upstate, when you come here, there’s so much culture that people don’t know about.” The upstate scene is relatively unknown compared to the city scene, and thus he feels a responsibility to ride for his home. On his genesis in the fashion world he also has interesting advice. “I was fashion first. If you not fashion first, it’s not really gonna work for you,” he says. Part of Dimi’s success can be attributed to his commitment to looking fly, a commitment that many artists overlook.

They close the interview with a discussion of the emotional quality of Dimi’s music. “I just want people to be able to feel what I’m talking about… You could talk about a whole bunch of shit, but if it’s not relatable to people bro, people not gonna gravitate towards it. So I always try and make sure my music’s relatable,” he says. This emotional relatability is part of what makes Dimi’s music so raw and so enjoyable.


If you loved this episode and want to hear more of Mike and the gang talking with artists, producers and managers, make sure to check out last week’s episode, when he spoke with 2KBABY’s manager, Danny Hajj.

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Danny Hajj Talks Producing for 2KBABY and the Importance of Passion

In this week’s episode of our podcast, Monday to Monday, Mike Boyd speaks with producer/manager Danny Hajj, a frequent collaborator of 2KBABY’s. As both a producer and manager, Hajj has worn many hats, and thus provides unique insight into the hip-hop landscape. They address his past as a classical pianist, how he determines the right people to work with and the dissolving boundaries between popular genres in 2020.

Early on in the episode, Hajj spends a bit of time answering questions about the ever-evolving landscape of hip-hop in 2020. A fan asks Hajj about the importance of playing an instrument, and although Danny’s a classically trained pianist, he doesn’t emphasize needing to play a traditional instrument. “I think that’s what’s really cool to see in, you know the way music is made today. It’s like, it’s actually less instrumentation and more digital,” he says. He also chats with multiple fans about the blurring boundaries between hip-hop and other genres of popular music. “Hip-hop, now, I think is becoming pop,” he says. 


Throughout a lot of the interview and his interactions with fans, Hajj emphasizes the importance of both putting together and executing a game plan. “It’s one thing to have a product, it’s another thing to make sure that that product is put in front of people,” he says, before adding, “It’s just about executing your game plan.” This ethos has driven his managerial style with 2KBABY and is responsible for a lot of the young rapper’s success.

Later in the stream, YC—who co-manages 2KBABY with Danny—jumps on to chat. He and Hajj discuss how it feels to see all of their hard work paying off. “That is like the greatest feeling you ever can have,” YC says, and Hajj adds: “When you see it from the ground up, you really feel like you manifested everything that you put together. And that’s the coolest thing. Because you know you start seeing the dots connect.” They’re both so proud of the work they’ve put out and how far they’ve come, and it’s really amazing to watch them discuss. 

Near the end of the episode, Hajj discusses some of the qualifications he looks for in people he works with. He drops a couple of absolute dimes. “It’s not about working with the biggest names, it’s about working with the most passionate people that want to help us bring our visions to life,” he says. He follows that quote by putting it even more beautifully: “It’s about that hunger. Judge somebody on what they strive to achieve, not what they’ve already achieved.”


If you loved this episode and want to hear Mike (and the fans) chop it up with more artists, producers and managers, make sure to check out last week’s episode when he spoke to entertainment consultant Ximena Acosta.

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Ximena Acosta Talks Natanael Cano’s Latest Album and Working with Bad Bunny

On this week’s episode of our podcast, Monday to Monday, Mike Boyd speaks with Ximena Acosta, an entertainment strategy and communications consultant who works with a wide range of Spanish-speaking artists. She works closely with Rancho Humilde, the brand which reps up-and-coming superstar Natanael Cano. Mike and Ximena cover a ton of ground in this interview, addressing everything from the current political climate to the way Nata’s music has evolved. It’s a goldmine of helpful advice, tender moments and incredible stories.

Acosta opens the interview with an amazing quote about her genesis in the music industry:  “I’ve always said that you don’t pick to be in the music business, the music business picks you.” She goes on to discuss how she became involved with Daddy Yankee’s public relations in the mid-2000s. She was asked to help do PR for an event featuring Yankee pumping gas (as an homage to his hit, “Gasolina”), and says of her decision to help: “If you don’t know how to do something, always say yes.” 

It’s difficult to name a Spanish language artist that Ximena has not worked with. She tells Mike a really cute story about Nata and Bad Bunny’s collab, when Bunny surprised Nata in the studio to record his verse. “Bunny made a really good point, he’s like, ‘It’s all about all of us supporting each other. We gotta break the barriers of like, Latin Pop or Reggaeton or Trap, it’s like… It’s music in Spanish.’ That’s what, to me, it is. It’s music in Spanish. It’s music in our language. Whether… whatever genre it is, it’s all badass,” she says of the experience with Bunny. And this growing conflation between the genres has been a core part of Nata’s success, as he’s become a bit of a cross-genre hitmaker, producing corridos, reggaeton tracks and, most recently, a trap album. 


A lot of the guests who hop on the stream to ask questions are curious about Nata’s strategy for creating collaborations. Throughout all her answers, Ximena emphasizes the organic nature of these collabs. Speaking of Nata, she says: “I think a big part of his thing is being so connected with your passion that your instinct becomes your best friend. You just innately know in which direction to take it.” This instinctual artistry has allowed Nata to make hits in a wide range of genres with a ton of different collaborators.

One of the greatest things about the interview is Ximena’s amazing energy and her wonderful rapport with Mike. She has such a nice perspective on her work and her legacy, telling Mike: “I dream in like forty years to be sitting by a fire telling all the kids that I was super cool back in the days and I worked in the music business and have all these stories. Because at the end of the day, that’s all we have left.” All we have are our stories, and Ximena does an incredible job of helping artists tell theirs while simultaneously writing hers. 

She concludes the interview with a few pearls of advice. On Nata’s ability to cross between genres, she says: “We’re the only ones that set limits on ourselves. You put the fence around you. The world doesn’t put fences around you unless you allow them to.” Although she’s speaking about Nata’s music specifically, the advice is wide-reaching for all creators. 

Ximena’s final piece of advice needs no introduction:

Ximena Acosta

Be you. Find you […] Do it because you love it. And do it because it makes you happy.

If you loved this interview with Ximena (as I certainly did) and want to hear more of Mike interviewing music industry insiders, make sure to check out last week’s episode, when he interviewed rapper/singer, T:me.