Rap/Hip-Hop

2014's Biggest Breakthrough Musicians

December 7th, 2014 11:00am EST
Biggest Breakthrough Musicians Of 2014
Some succeed and some don’t. It’s a very simplistic statement, but a true one that’s applicable to any number of things. In the case of musicians in 2014, whether it’s fair or not, some crashed and burned, while others excelled. Excelling doesn’t mean that the respective musician sold a lot of albums (few did), but it does mean these artists established their brand, making a name for themselves. Here are the biggest breakthrough musicians of 2014.

1) Iggy Azalea

Don’t we all wish we could’ve had as “Fancy” a year as Iggy? Nicki Minaj can throw all the shade she wants, but one fem...
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Taylor Swift Rules The ‘New’ Billboard 200

December 4th, 2014 12:11pm EST
Taylor Swift
Out with the old and in with the new. The Billboard 200 has changed its charting formula that doesn’t just solely include albums sales, but also streaming and digital tracks. It’s definitely a contrast, but also makes complete sense given the current music climate. The days where it just comes down to album sales and nothing more are simply done – look at albums sales in 2014 alone. Still, the good old Nielsen Soundscan tabulates the sales via the Top Album Sales Chart.

But enough technicalities – time to jump right into the Billboard 200 – new or old. The holder of the number one sp...
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Mary J. Blige Leads Albums To Check Out: This Week in Music

December 2nd, 2014 9:56am EST
Mary J. Blige
Back in 2005, one of the holiday season’s smartest album releases was Mary J. Blige’s The Breakthrough. The Breakthrough is considered to be one of the preeminent R&B albums of 00s, no questions asked. Besides its savvy R&B IQ, why was the release so smart? The reason is because it ended up selling 727,000 copies to debut commandingly at #1. Blige has never surpassed or matched those numbers again, but one has to think that she’s a frontrunner among new releases this week with The London Sessions.

1) Mary J. Blige, The London Sessions (Capitol)

The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary J....
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Review: 8 Takeaways From Rick Ross' 'Hood Billionaire'

December 1st, 2014 4:15pm EST
Rick Ross Hood Billionaire
Rick Ross did something that few artists were brave enough to do in 2014 – release two studio albums. Yep, everyone should be dropping his or her jaws. After dropping a fifth number one album in Mastermind earlier in 2014, he issues Hood Billionaire. Maybe Ross just wanted to flex his ‘boss-ness.’ Regardless, he has given the hip-hop world more to listen, analyze, and of course critique. After listening and analyzing Ross’ latest, here are eight takeaways.

1) Ross attempts to be conceptual

Give Ross some credit (the key word being some). To an extent, it seems on Hood Billionai...
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One Direction Score Fourth Number One Album With ‘Four’

November 27th, 2014 9:03am EST
One Direction Score Fourth Number One Album With ‘Four’: This We
'Tis the season where album sales are elevated and the music industry breathes a sigh of relief – until the deadness of January that is. While there have been few victory laps (besides Taylor Swift’s 1989), the numbers are stronger than earlier in 2014. That said, reliable chart-topper One Direction scored a fourth number one album with Four. Although 1D got it done, there is a ‘but’ to the scenario.

Four landed at a familiar spot for 1D, but did so in somewhat underwhelming fashion. Sure the 387,000 copies the British-Irish boy band moved is exceptional, but falls below both prognostic...
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Do The AMAs Foreshadow Potential Grammy Nominees?

November 26th, 2014 12:20pm EST
Do The American Music Awards Foreshadow Potential Grammy Nominee
The AMAs are truly a popularity contest. The music fans select winners, which is a stark difference from the more prestigious Grammys. Often a gripe of music fans and critics alike are the sometimes odd, ‘out of touch’ choices by the Recording Academy. One that comes to mind is how Macklemore & Ryan Lewis cleaned up the rap categories, yet arguably the more transcendent artist, Kendrick Lamar, when home empty handed.

That said it could be argued both the AMAs and the Grammys have tremendous pros and bothersome cons. Even given the contrasts between both music awards show, the AMAs do...
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Iggy Azalea Celebrates Newfound Fame On ‘Reclassified’

November 25th, 2014 11:50am EST
Review: Iggy Azalea Celebrates Newfound Fame On ‘Reclassified’
“What’s a world with no I-G-G in this b*tch?” In 2014, the music industry without Australian rapper Iggy Azalea definitely would be less interesting, so Iggy has a point here. After releasing The New Classic to surprising success thanks to exceptional singles in “Fancy” and “Black Widow,” Azalea seeks to keep her ‘star’ rising and visible to the world on Reclassified. Reclassified is a compilation mixing hits and highlights from her breakout debut, along with new material.

Reclassified opens confidently with newbie “We In This B*tch,” where Azalea proudly spits, “Now let’s reflect on wh...
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Beyonce & Rick Ross Lead Albums To Check Out

November 24th, 2014 1:00pm EST
Beyonce & Rick Ross Lead Albums To Check Out: This Week in Music
Finally, an article that doesn’t mention the staying power of Taylor Swift’s 1989 – Oops! To quote Kanye West, “No one man should have all that power…” Then throw in that fourth studio album by those British-Irish heartthrobs One Direction who are forecast for a big debut, its ‘fourth’ number one.

Regardless, this week in music has some interesting offerings, dropping off-cycle on Monday, November 24. There are some old and some new on the list, as this seems to be the week of the reissue and the compilation – looking at you ‘Yoncé! That said Rick Ross sneaks in with another studio album...
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8 Fun Facts About The American Music Awards

November 23rd, 2014 1:00pm EST
8 Fun Facts About The American Music Awards
The Academy Awards…The Daytime Emmy Awards… The Golden Globes…The Grammys… The American Music Awards…There is so many different awards shows for so many different things! With so many to keep up with, one needs a guide – some facts – to differentiate between shows. While The American Music Awards (AMAs) – are one of the more visible music awards shows, just how much and how well does one know the AMAs? Pro or amateur, here are some interesting facts about the AMAs.

1) In The Beginning…

While a great Biblical reference feels right here to replace the ellipses, the talk here is about the...
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Music And Television Superstars That Came From Boy Bands

November 22nd, 2014 7:00pm EST
9 Music And Television Superstars That Came From Boy Bands
Most boy bands follow a distinct formula. They are brought together by a rich music producer of sorts and taught to sing, dance synchronically and of course, use a multitude of hair products. After progressively releasing three popular albums, they need to "take a break" and soon, their break becomes a longstanding hiatus. Eventually they reunite for a big comeback show, but their fans have moved on and they disappear into the sunset again.

Very few music superstars are able to break out of the boy band mold and make it big in the world of music. A select few become music legends. These 9 ...
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