If you haven’t heard “Old Town Road”, a hip hop /country music collaboration between Atlanta newcomer Lil Nas X & country music veteran Billy Ray Cyrus (yeah…Miley Cyrus’ father), you must have been under a rock. Not only has it been on the top of the Billboard 100 chart, it made it to number 19 on the Hot Country Songs chart before being removed because “it does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version.” (Billboard Magazine) Originally going viral from a challenge on the popular social media music app Tik Tok, the song took off and Cyrus officially jumped on as an official collaborator.
Having made millions bounce to his “country rap” sound, Lil Nas X delivers an official video for the hit record. The video boasts features from Chris Rock, Vince Staples, Diplo, & more. #PRESSPLAY to view it , share it, and leave a comment with your thoughts.
DJ Khaled has the knack for putting together some of the greatest collaborations that hip hop has to offer over the last decade. His latest album, “Father of Asad”, released recently offers what has been expected of Khaled…. more pairings of today’s best talent mixed with legends of the culture.
The first single from the release, “Higher”, is a collaboration between John Legend and the late Nipsey Hussle. Filmed in Los Angeles, this is said to be the last music video that Nipsey appeared in before his untimely demise in March. #themarathoncontiunes #pressplay
Stream DJ Khlaed – “Father of Asad” below, courtesy of Spotify.
The Diplomats aka Dipset made an impact on the hip hop culture in the early 2000s with the release of their first album “Diplomatic Immunity”. With the soundscape provided by the production of the Heatmakerz and a relentless mixtape grind that provided street anthems, Dipset’s movement spanned beyond their native Harlem, NYC. From fashion (most notable, front man Cam’ron’s obsession with the color pink) to sound, the Dips cannot be denied when mentioning influential rap acts.
Over the years, the Diplomats faced ups and downs. With beefs that were internal as much as external, they continued to pump out bangers as solo acts as much as they did as a unit. Jim Jones would arise to be successful rapper, Cam’ron continued to push his career and film ventures, Juelz Santana faced label & legal issues, and Freekey Zekey began to become more active in creating music. Being the four core members of the movement, they did push other members of their collective to become acts of their own. After a very public split between Cam’ron and Jim Jones, the group seemed to be over as all members began to push their own agendas.
After years of little to no communication, cooler heads prevailed and Dipset reunited and released the album “Diplomatic Ties”. Promising a documentary to accompany the album, they have finally delivered. “Diplomatic Ties” (Documentary) covers the history of the group and the legacy that they created.
Rapper YG is not afraid to express himself through his art. The Compton, CA emcee has a knack for creating music that reflects the thoughts of the people in the ghettos of the United States (an example is his infamous Nipsey Hussle featured track “FDT”) and expressing in a way that hits the target dead on. YG’s music is also driven by hooks that are as energetic as the compositions they are recorded over.
His recent release and visual, “Stop Snitchin”, does not deviate from this formula. Even though the record comes across as a call to action for violation of one the most coveted codes of the street, the visual flips the script and takes a look at “snitchin” in a historic aspect. #PRESSPLAY
Hailing from Detroit, Kash Doll has made waves for herself in the hip hop game. She broke through to the spotlight by making videos of herself rapping on social media. Her reach was so effective that she was contacted by Chief Keef, Drake and Rihanna. After dropping viral videos (for example, her remix to Tinashe’s “2 On”), she landed a feature with Big Sean on Metro Boomin’s track “So Good” and struck a 25 million plus viewership for her single “For Everybody”.
After dropping a mixtape (“Brat Mail”) and an EP (“The Vault”) last year, she is gearing up for a debut album release on Republic Records. Following up the open reception of her single “Ice Me Out” (which also has a remix featuring 2 Chainz), she has released a video for her song “Hustla”. The song is a story telling rhyme about a stripper named Kelly who goes through quite an ordeal and must rely on her hustler mentality to stay afloat. #PRESSPLAY
One of hip hop’s most acclaimed bodies of work, Nas’ debut album “Illmatic” just recently hit the 25 year mark. With many of rap’s top tier artists from past to present citing the 10 track project as one of their inspirations to emcee, “Illmatic” has truly stood the test time and can be considered a classic. On it’s 20 year anniversary, Nas performed the entire album with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the performance video and live audio was released last year to consumers.
With the 25th anniversary passing recently, Nas celebrated NYC with his team at a pop up titled “Illmatic XXV: Memory Lane”. He spoke with hip hop journalist and Queens native Shaheem Reid about his outlook on the milestone. Also present was long time collaborator and comrade AZ, who was the only feature on the album.
To also bring the moment full circle, Mass Appeal spoke with some of the “architects of Illmatic”. These people were either involved directly or indirectly with the album’s creation and release. These include producers like DJ Premier, DJ LES, & Large Professor. Also included are Nas’ brother Jungle (from The Bravehearts), journalist Miss Info, A&R Faith Newman, and more. Click the playlist below to see there stories of how “Illmatic” came to be what it is today……A HIP HOP CLASSIC.
Veteran hip hop artist Tech N9ne and his Strange Music team just don’t stop! With one of the busiest tour schedules and a roster of artists that continue to consistently drop music, there’s no wonder that Tech N9ne is considered the biggest independent hip hop artist in the world. With the release of his new album, “N9NA”, he has just delivered what is his 21st solo studio album. His career is one that has suffered many downs and ups, but Tech keeps coming.
Leading his album off is his visual to the song “Like I Ain’t”. The lyrics find the Kansas City emcee spitting about some of his many accomplishments and collaborations in music during his 20 plus year run. Name dropping some of the culture’s elite breed of rappers, Tech ensures that he is still going to do his thing “like he ain’t never” do any of it. There’s a difference in being hungry and thirsty. With all the success he has, seems that Tech N9ne is still hungry. #PRESSPLAY
Kerry Lathan had just come from prison when he was shot on March 31st, 2019. He was standing next to Nipsey Hussle, who was killed as they stood in front of Hussle’s Marathon Clothing Store in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles. Lathan was arrested and has been in county jail since the shooting due to his parole prohibiting him from being around known gang members (It is widely known that Nipsey was affiliated with the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips). However, the Department of Corrections has dropped the case and Lathan has been released. #PRESSPLAY
Watch the official Music Video: Offset – “Clout” ft. Cardi B
As 1/3 of chart topping rap group The Migos, Offset has seen his share of shine and being in the headlines. One of the most recent headlines was the release of his solo debut, “Father of 4”. With great critical reception, Offset continues to push the momentum of the album with release of the single featuring his real life wife, hip hop’s current leading lady Cardi B. Though it is far from their first collaboration (refer to “Lick” on Cardi B’s “Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 2” mixtape), Offset and Cardi mix in perfectly over tracks rolling piano riff and 808 heavy drums. Addressing the subject of “clout chasing”, the duo takes those willing to “Do Anything For Clout” to task.
With the loss of hip hop artist/community activist Nipsey Hussle, the hip hop community and the community of South Central Los Angeles has felt the aftershock. However, the mourning of his passing has bought on the spirit of unity and positive activity. One of the most notable so far has been the Gang Unity March that took place in LA and convened at The Marathon Clothing Store, Nipsey’s clothing store located on Crenshaw and Slauson in the Crenshaw District. It is the also the site of Nipsey’s fatal shooting that took him from this life on Mrach 31st, 2019.
Streets TV (also known as StreetGangs.Com) was on the scene to cover the event. Street TV has been researching and documenting street organizations in Los Angeles for years and is repsected among prominent members of these organizations. Check the newly released footage above as the speak with members of the Rolling 60s Neighborhood Crips and the Eight Tray Gangster Crips , who have been sworn enemies for over 30 years. On this day, none were at odds and the untiy was shown. Members of other organizations (Bloods, Brims, Pirus, Crips) were also in attendance. Video Credit: StreetTV.Net (Click the link below to visit on YouTube) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcHPFwv4YFLehTMkkxSAyHg