Hip-Hop’s Most Important Moments In The Last 40 Years

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We’ve officially wrapped up a big year for the genre we all love– new albums from Jay Z, Kanye West, Pusha T, Mac Miller, Drake, Juicy J (and the list goes on), only made 2013 that much sweeter. Mix in a new-found competition brought on by, you guessed it, “Control,” and all the free mixtapes we’ve received in 2013, and this past year was definitely a good one. Apart from the usual rap antics, 2013 was significant as it marked 40 years since hip-hop’s inception, starting out in the Bronx borough of New York City and spreading across the world. Now that we entered a new year, we’ve decided to take a look back at some of the biggest moments throughout the last four decades of hip-hop.

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Kanye West Talks Yeezus, Fatherhood & More During Rare Interview

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Kanye West very rarely gives interview these days, but the Chicago emcee spoke in-depth with the New York Times recently. Veteran reporter Jon Caramanica got extensive time with the reclusive rap star at Rick Rubin’s Malibu studio during the final days of the making of Yeezus. The G.O.O.D. Music leader discussed numerous topics including his music career, his view on the Grammys, the Taylor Swift interruption, his legacy, and more.

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Diggy Simmons Releases Exceptional Debut Album

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Dated: Monday – March 26, 2012


Diggy Simmons has hip-hop in his blood.

His father is Joseph Simmons, aka Rev Run, a member of Run-DMC and one of the biggest hip-hop artists in music history, and Diggy’s uncle is Russell Simmons, one of the biggest hip-hop moguls in the music business. With these genes, he’s seemingly destined for greatness.

But Diggy did not simply ride the coattails of his elders’ successes; with ambition and talent, he has shown that he can stand on his own.

Diggy started a blog, “Life of the Jet Setter,” which helped him create his own fan base known as “jetsetters.” He posted his freestyle over the Nas track “Made You Look,” catching the attention of hip-hop listeners everywhere and prompting Kanye West to re-post the video on his blog.

Despite the pressure of big-name artist cosigns, debut hype and the family name, Diggy steps up to the plate, with Unexpected Arrival delivering one of the most bold albums any 17-year-old rapper could.

Diggy puts this confidence on display right away on the early tracks of the album. He officially announces his arrival on the track “Hello World,” full of stadium-sounding drums and a distorted voice yelling strongly “I’m here, and I’m here to stay” on the hook.

Simmons continues this show of swagger and confidence with “88,” in which he raps about rising to fame and fortune that could be traced back to 1988 even though he wasn’t born yet. Jadakiss brings his signature gritty rapping style to the song as well, describing his own life and financial success in 1988 when he was just 13 years old, ending his verse saying, “I’m still spending money that’s 24 years old.”

This confidence comes through especially on songs focused on girls, and none does this better than the lead single, “Do It Like You,” featuring singer Jeremih.

Diggy raps to his dream girl about how she leaves everyone else in the dust with the way she carries herself. He even lets out a bit of a serenade when he sings, “You’re such boss but carry yourself like a lady / The baddest out ya crew and that is not up for debating.” Though Diggy acknowledges that it seems “every rapper only wants that sexual healing / Marvin Gaye,” he makes a pretty convincing argument that he wants her for much more than that.

Lyrically, Unexpected Arrival has its share of songs that allow Diggy to simply flow over pretty good beats. “Tom Edison” has an up-tempo rhythm that incorporates rock music, such as electric guitar and drums.

Here, Diggy drops lines specifically intended for his critics, telling them “All you do is talk a good game like Bob Costas.” Similarly, he puts his wordplay abilities on display with lines like “On a scale of one through 10, I come after nine / You half of mine, so that makes you a Jackson Five.”

Diggy’s background is a prominent theme throughout the album, but he specifically focuses on this during the song “Unforgivable Blackness.”

Though the beat has a very cheesy “everyone come together” feel to it, Diggy raps about unity, about all black people being equally black, whether you come from an inner-city neighborhood or a wealthy family.

The first lines of the track are quite possibly its strongest lyrics as Diggy raps, “They wanna take away my black card ’cause I got a black card / Say I don’t rap hard ’cause I don’t act hard / But if I act hard, they would say that’s odd / And they would still hate, man, I don’t get that part.” Here, Diggy’s thorough and logical rap exemplifies just how intelligent and well-spoken he already is, despite his young age.

For such a young rapper to put out an album like Unexpected Arrival, Diggy should be more than satisfied with his work. Though the album seems to cater to a younger demographic at times, Diggy proves that age is nothing but a number for him when it comes to being able to put together a solid rap album. At only 17 years old, there is no doubt that Diggy will continue to improve in every musical aspect.

Though his arrival might not have been as unexpected as his peers, he has arrived, nonetheless.

Ice-T’s Rap Documentary

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Date: Monday – January 30, 2012



The Indomina Group has acquired worldwide rights to Ice-T’s documentary “Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap,” the company said Sunday.

The sales price was not disclosed.

In the performance movie, Ice-T travels across the country, working with Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Caz, Nas, Mos Def, Eminem, Chuck D, KRS-One, Run-DMC, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg.

The movie, which Ice-T directed with Andy Baybutt, is a personal story of the music that saved Ice-T’s life.

“Something From Nothing” shows the craft and skill of rap and explores what goes on inside the minds of the genre’s legends.

“The Art of Rap is a perfect fit for Indomina,” the company’s vice chairman and CEO, Jasbinder Singh Mann, said in a statement. “A masterfully crafted, superbly riveting and star studded film about rap that only Ice-T could deliver. This is a film that shares the same DNA as Indomina and speaks directly to our core audience. We’re thrilled to have ‘Art of Rap’ on our theatrical release slate and eager to give audiences around the world the opportunity discover this brilliant film.”

Indomina plans a theatrical release in North America this summer.

Mann launched the Indomina Group in 2008. The company operates in Los Angeles and the Dominican Republic.

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Young Jeezy, DJ Drama Reunite On The Real Is Back

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With his oft-delayed fourth solo album, TM 103, in label limbo, Young Jeezy took it back to basics and reunited with DJ Drama on his latest mixtape, The Real Is Back.

Jeezy and Drama together, that’s a clear win-win, man,” Drama told Mixtape Daily. “N—as gonna stop actin’ like we ain’t built this. You like our style, you watch our style, we still own our style.”

As self-serving as his boasts may seem, Drama and Jeezy are credited with popularizing a unique brand of trap music that has dominated Southern rap since the early 2000s. At first, the rap/DJ tandem were inseparable, starting with their 2004 tape Tha Streetz Iz Watchin’ and their 2005 classic Trap or Die. A rift then started to grow between the two, but in December 2009 Jeezy appeared on Drama’s “Gangsta Grillz Radio” show on Atlanta’s 107.9 and they buried the hatchet.

Now the duo are back to work, returning to grace on The Real Is Back. “Me and Drama had a couple of conversations. When I came through the station, we chopped it up. We was talkin’ about doin’ another tape because we had so much history as far as The Streets Is Watching, Trap or Die, the list goes on and on,” Jeezy said. “It just was time, the streets needed it. So I had to get in the studio, had to do my whole one, two thing. As usual, he was on point.”


The tape is filled with street-centered anthems like the kinetic “How U Want It.” The track features a menacing instrumental on which Jeezy employs his patented slow flow and trap-raps. “How you want it, hard or soft/ Get ‘em in, get ‘em off,” the Snowman spits.

Lil Wayne appears on “Ballin’,” while Fabolous helps out on “Rollin’.” Still, Jeezy keeps his ear to the street and also collaborates with underground ATL spitter Alley Boy as well as CTE’s new signee Freddie Gibbs on “Run DMC” and “Do It for You.” There are no attempts at big radio singles here, just hard-edged street-hop.

“We invented the wheel when it comes to that type of music and that type of tape so we just did what we did,” Jeezy said of his reunion with Drama. “I felt like I wanted to take it back to what I do. Young Jeezy, nothing else. I’m not trying to sell this to nobody, I’m trying to do what I did in the beginning: go hard.”

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