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.
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
Jussie Smollett has been formally charged in the case of him allegedly staging an attack and reporting it to police as a hate crime. The incident happened in Chicago on January 29, 2019 and the “Empire” star was later outed by two brothers who claim that were paid by Smollett to stage the attack. After his arrest and release, he has been adamant that his story is true. Video footage courtesy of Daily Mail.
Riding high of her recent Grammy win for Hip Hop Album of the Year, Cardi B still has music on the charts. Collaborating with Bruno Mars once again is a no brainer after the success of the single “Finesse (Remix)” tore up the charts. The musical chemistry between the two is undeniable and it shows once again with the current chart climbing single “Please Me”. Following up the songs successful reception with a visual is only the right thing to do and here it is. #PRESSPLAY