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Tag: Hip-Hop/Rap (1-10 of 190)

PopWatch Confessional: 'Summertime' is still my summertime jam

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DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince’s “Summertime” is a ridiculously obvious choice for a summertime jam, but that’s not really an issue as far as I’m concerned. Summer jams are about sharing moments with the people around you and basking in pure, unexamined pop pleasure. Overthinking things runs counter to the whole concept, as do the kind of status anxieties that often lie behind the desire to show off one’s knowledge of obscure music or ability to think outside the box.

“Summertime” is an obvious choice in the same way that margaritas are an obvious choice for a summertime beverage: because they’re so perfectly designed for it that arguing about it is pointless. You could strip “Summertime” of its title and “summer-summer-summertime” hook and it would still be incredibly well-suited to playing at a backyard barbecue, or poolside, or in a borrowed convertible. The song’s tempo (just a couple BPM slower than it seems like it should be), the lackadaisically ascending synth line lifted from Kool & the Gang’s “Summer Madness,” and Will Smith’s low-key flow all suggest warm weather that’s just too nice for you to want to waste it on trivial matters like staying on top of the beat. He could have been rapping about the economy or the situation in the Middle East and the song would still read as intensely summery. READ FULL STORY

'Holler If Ya Hear Me': Hear three songs from the Tupac musical -- EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE

Holler If Ya Hear Me, the Broadway musical based on the music of late rap legend Tupac Shakur, begins previews next week. The show reinterprets a handful of Tupac’s biggest songs, from the sweetly confessional “Dear Mama” to the rousing player’s anthem “I Get Around.” The cast, a healthy mix of Broadway vets and newcomers, have recorded the show’s nearly two dozen songs, and EW is pleased to premiere three of those songs.  READ FULL STORY

Oh, just Coolio crashing a college party and singing 'Gangsta's Paradise' -- VIDEO

Is Coolio the new Bill Murray?

These English college students would answer “yes.” Earlier this week, University of Central Lancashire attendee Olivia Johnson-Aley ran into the rapper, who offered to cook for her and her housemates the following night. According to Johnson-Aley, “that’s exactly what happened” — and partway through the night, she and her pals “decided to take a break from the cooking and have a jam session.” Clearly, too much television watching got her chasing dreams — but in this case, those dreams came true.

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Here's what Jay-Z's elderly subway pal thinks of 'Magna Carta Holy Grail' -- VIDEO

New York, New York — it’s a hell of a town! Mind your own business on the R train, and you might just find yourself seated next to a famous musician en route to his final concert at the brand-new Barclays Center — though there’s a chance you may not know that musician’s name.

But since their chance encounter last fall, Ellen Grossman — a “nice old lady” who’s also a fairly famous artist in her own right — has gotten a little more familiar with the work of that friendly young man she met on the subway, a.k.a. Jay-Z.

So naturally, MTV invited her to share her thoughts on her pal Hova’s new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail — and naturally, the resulting video is about as charming as could be. “It sounds like he’s really going deep into his heart and into fatherhood and even the meaning of fame,” Grossman said in her initial analysis. “The money’s nice, but there’s life beyond that, that he’s exploring. I picked that up from the papers but I felt it in the man too, when I met him. That he had a depth to him.”

For more of Grossman’s thoughts — as well as some truly GIF-worthy footage of her in enormous headphones — check out the full video below. You can come dancing with us anytime, Ellen.

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Kanye West 'Yeezus' lyric or Lucille Bluth quote? Take our quiz!

Kanye West loves comparing himself to great talents — Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, even Jesus H. Christ. But if you really listen to Yeezus‘s endlessly quotable “I Am a God” — subtle, ‘Ye — you’ll realize that West’s true kindred spirit is none other than Lucille Bluth.

Think about it. If Arrested Development‘s matriarch ever deigned to write a rap song, don’t you think she, too, would spend the duration commanding a subordinate to “hurry up with my damn massage” and “in a French-ass restaurant/hurry up with my damn croissants”? Like Kanye, she’s a wealthy narcissist well-versed in the language of Swaghili; like Lucille, Kanye probably thinks a single banana costs $10.

And the similarities go beyond “I Am a God.” Look deeper into the wilds of Yeezus, and you’ll find even more lines that could have come straight from Lucille’s patrician mouth. Try to guess which of these 14 sentences are Kanye lyrics, and which are quotes from Arrested Development — figuring out the answers may be trickier than you think.
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The unbearable narcissism (and 'complete awesomeness') of Kanye's big 'Yeezus' interview

mind can even digest and understand” — but her inflated sense of self-regard has nothing on her pal Kanye West, who compares himself variously to Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Rick Owens, Walt Disney Henry Ford, and Anna Wintour in a new 4,600-word interview with the New York Times. At one point, West even says that he and he alone is the nucleus of all society.

This shouldn’t exactly come as a shock; after all, the guy did name his new album Yeezus. And perhaps more importantly, West is hyper-aware of the vital role arrogance plays in his “brand”: “The idea of Kanye and vanity are like, synonymous,” he tells the Times during a brief moment of self-awareness.

That being said, the interview really is a breathtaking study in the art of narcissism — regardless of whether it’s utterly serious or at least partially manufactured. Prepare yourself for the breakfast of champions, e.g. reading the piece’s seven most egomaniacal quotes — as well as one that may just endear the guy to you after all.

On hard work, maturity, and never, ever holding a grudge:
“I was on the junior [basketball] team when I was a freshman, that’s how good I was. But I wasn’t on my eighth-grade team, because some coach — some Grammy, some reviewer, some fashion person, some blah blah blah — they’re all the same as that coach[...]I’m letting it out on everybody who doesn’t want to give me my credit.”

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Sean 'Diddy' Combs tops Forbes' list of wealthiest hip-hop artists

“It’s all about the Benjamins, baby,” Sean “Diddy” Combs proclaimed in 1997 on his debut album, back when he was known as Puff Daddy. He rapped about wanting to be a “shot-caller,” and, well, now he definitely has enough Benjamins to call the shots.

Today Forbes reported who the world’s five wealthiest hip-hop artists are, and Combs topped the list with an estimated net worth of $580 million. The rapper-actor-producer-entrepreneur also was number one on the list last year, when his net worth was a reported $550 million.

Forbes reports that a good chuck of his wealth comes from non-musical ventures, like his deal with Diageo’s Ciroc vodka brand, which supplies the rapper with eight-figure annual payouts.

Read on to see who else rounds out the list: READ FULL STORY

Jimmy Fallon and Carrie Underwood transform rap songs into country ballads -- VIDEO

I’ll bet you didn’t know that in the ’90s, Jimmy Fallon and Carrie Underwood performed together as singing duo Jim Carrie. (Carrie looked very grown-up for her age, considering she was born in 1983.) The two double-handedly invented a new genre: country-rap, or c’rap. Their country-fried takes on classics like “Straight Outta Compton” (which, in this iteration, is about a “crazy mother-effer named Ice Cube, from the gang called Fellas With Attitude”) and “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” will have your toes tapping and your eyes watering. Who knew that “The Humpty Dance” would sound so moving as a ballad?

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Lil Wayne croons 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' at Giants-Cardinals playoff -- VIDEO

Weezy may not be a human being, but he sure sings like one — and not one with a particularly strong voice. The rapper took to the field at San Francisco’s AT&T Park last night, cheering on the home team with an endearingly off-key rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Though Lil Wayne is originally from New Orleans, he does have a connection to the Boys from the Bay — he’s friends with Giants second baseman Ryan Theriot, another Louisiana native.

So what if he wasn’t exactly Whitney at Super Bowl XXV? What matters is that Wayne had a good time:

Judge for yourself by watching below.

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MC Gwyneth Paltrow and DJ Jazzy Cameron Diaz rap for Chelsea Handler -- VIDEO

Having successfully conquered the fields of film, lifestyle blogging, Glee guest starring, cookbookery, and fake country music, Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow has set her sights on another career: rap artist. She and pal Cameron Diaz — make that DJ Jazzy Cameron Diaz — teamed up to perform a rap song in honor of their friend Chelsea Handler, whose talk show will be broadcast from a new studio starting next week. If you like these guys already, you’ll find it charming. If you don’t, well, here’s some ammunition for you:

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