Rap/Hip-Hop

10 Emerging Stars That Grabbed Our Attention In 2014

December 20th, 2014 3:00pm EST
David Oyelowo
The sun may soon be setting on 2014, but for 10 entertainers—that made us sing, dance, cry and think in those 365 days—their celebrity status has rose. Below are stars we couldn’t help but take notice of in 2014 and are anxious to see what’s next for them in the New Year.

David Oyelowo- Breakout Actor

The British-bred actor was a scene stealer in Lee Daniel’s “The Butler” playing opposite Forrest Whittaker and Oprah Winfrey. Reteaming with the media mogul in “Selma,” the spotlight is mostly on him as he channels Martin Luther King Jr. and it’s not going unrecognized as he’s already nabbed...
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J. Cole Debuts Big On Billboard 200

December 18th, 2014 10:21am EST
J. Cole Forest Hills Drive
For J. Cole, the number one spot is a familiar one. For the third time in his career, J. Cole sits atop the Billboard 200. This time, he earns the largest sales of his career as 2014 Forest Hills Drive sold a robust 354,000 copies. Translated to the Billboard 200’s new formula of ‘units’, J. Cole’s latest impacted 375,000. Even more remarkable about J. Cole’s numbers is the lack of a single to drive album sales – “Apparently” was issued upon the album’s release as a single. Initially, the album was forecasted to sell more than 300,000 copies.

So with the debut of J. Cole, Taylor Swif...
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J. Cole Is Fiery On ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive’

December 16th, 2014 3:12pm EST
J. Cole Forest Hills Drive
Sometimes the best musicians don’t receive the recognition that they should – call it the ‘underrated bug.’ For rapper J. Cole, being underrated seems to be his middle name. Sure, he’s racked up two number one albums, but the über talented rapper still feels less heralded than some of his contemporaries. 2014 Forest Hills Drive, much like previous effort, Born Sinner, exemplifies why J. Cole ranks among the best in the game.

Following the mysterious “Intro,” “January 28th” finds Cole is on autopilot – cocky and confident from the jump. “The real is back, the 'ville is back,” Cole spi...
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10 Must Hear ‘Traditional’ Christmas Carols

December 15th, 2014 7:41pm EST
10 Must Hear ‘Traditional’ Christmas Carols
It’s not called “the most wonderful time of the year” for nothing! With the holiday season ago – the hustle and bustle – what better to enjoy the season than some must-hear traditional carols? Sure, not every musician sticks to the formula on this list (cough* Justin Bieber), but regardless, all ten performances are definitely ‘something’ if nothing else.

1) Pentatonix featuring Tori Kelly, “Winter Wonderland/ Don’t Worry Be Happy” (That's Christmas To Me, 2014)

Call this a two-for-one, and who doesn’t like a two-for-one? Pentatonix slaughter (in a good way) this rendition of “Winter W...
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Nicki Minaj’s ‘The Pinkprint’ Leads Albums to Check Out

December 15th, 2014 11:36am EST
Nicki Minaj’s ‘The Pinkprint’ Leads Albums to Check Out: This We
As the fourth quarter nears its close, fewer albums of note arrive for consumers to partake of. Few artists/labels are brave enough to release big-time albums in a time where Christmas album sales inflate and the select few albums with staying power dominate sales. While the releases have slowed, Nicki Minaj’s The Pinkprint leads five other albums to check out this week.

1) Nicki Minaj, The Pinkprint (Republic)

After being delayed, Nicki Minaj finally releases her highly anticipated The Pinkprint. After a so-so start with tame single “Pills N Potion,” Minaj turned up the heat and ...
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Early Grammy Predictions: Who Will Win?

December 14th, 2014 11:00am EST
Early Grammy Predictions: Who Wins Album, Record And Song Of The
Now that the burning questions have been answered – those Grammy nominations of course – more burning questions loom on the horizon. What are these questions? Well, it’s who wins album of the year, record of the year, song of the year, and best new artist. Sure, there are plenty of categories within the Grammys, but none are more coveted and hyped than the ‘big four.’ Here are early prediction for album, record, and song of the year, as well as best new artist.

Album of the Year:

Nominees: Morning Phase, Beck; Beyoncé, Beyoncé; X, Ed Sheeran; In The Lonely Hour, Sam Smith; Girl, P...
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Donald Glover Stars In New FX Series

December 14th, 2014 9:10am EST
Donald Glover Stars In New FX Series 'Atlanta'
Donald Glover has signed on to star in the a new series for FX called "Atlanta."

Glover is best known for his role as Troy Barnes in "Community."

The series will center on Glover as a rising rap star in Atlanta, Georgia and his cousin, as they try to become successful in the music industry.

The actor will also act as an executive producer on the series alongside Paul Simms and Dianne McGunigle. He will also write the first episode.

Glover's character will be named Earnest Marks, according to Deadline, a college dropout who decides to pursue a career in rap music.

"Donald Glover is a un...
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Taylor Swift Still Tops On Billboard

December 11th, 2014 10:59am EST
Taylor Swift
The Billboard 200 may be completely revamped, but Taylor Swift’s constant stay atop the chart regardless of changes is unsurprising. After three consecutive weeks, a week in the runner-up slot, and last week’s return to the top, Swift now sits at five weeks at #1. Baller status – yep, definitely – she’s a playmaker. Overall, including overall “consumption” to quote the new chart language, Swift’s impact was 274,000. Again, only a portion of that were sales, specifically 230,000 copies. Regardless of technicalities, Swift rules.

But enough about Taylor, what about the newbies to th...
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J. Cole Leads Albums to Check Out: This Week In Music

December 10th, 2014 8:00am EST
J. Cole performs at Made In America concert in Philadelphia Phil
Who has dominated the fall (musically)? Taylor Swift has dominated the fall. While her dominance continues onward towards Christmas, the week of December 9 does have some notable new efforts dropping. The biggest album to watch is one few know little about – J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive. Can Cole put some pressure on Taylor Swift? It’s possible as he put some pressure on Kanye West in 2013. Cole does indeed lead albums to check out this week, which also includes Carrie Underwood’s greatest hits compilation.

1) J. Cole, 2014 Forest Hills Drive (Columbia)

J. Cole gives rap fans ...
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57th Grammy Awards Nominations: Reactions, Snubs and Surprises

December 8th, 2014 2:13pm EST
Reactions To The 57th Annual Grammy Awards Nominations
Think of the Grammys as a musician’s Super Bowl – it’s kind of a big deal. On Friday, December 5, the 57th Annual Grammy Awards nominees were revealed to the world. After much speculation, here’s some thoughts on some of the bigger nominations. These aren’t predictions – just thoughts on deservingness, snubs, and surprises.

Record of the Year:

“Fancy,” Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX

“Chandelier,” Sia

“Stay With Me,” Sam Smith

“Shake It Off,” Taylor Swift

“All About That Bass,” Meghan Trainor

Ultimately, the nominations for record of the year are solid. Snubbed is Pharrell Wi...
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