It's the first thing that greets your eye when you're shopping for music. It sums up in one image an album's content, message, or theme. Time and time again, rappers miss an opportunity to make a great first impression. Here are 10 rap album cover clichés we could do without.
Album cover © UMG
If you like your hip-hop blunt, blonde or robo-voiced, you're in for a beautiful week. This week's lineup includes Asher Roth, Iggy Azalea and Future.
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Pictures of Chance the Rapper lying in a hospital bed has been circulating on the Internet. What happened to the Chicago rapper?
Chance canceled his Coachella set for the closing evening and was hospitalized for an undisclosed illness. A rep for Chance, whose real name is Chancelor Bennett, says he was feeling sick and was unable to perform.
Are you ready for the Mr. and Mrs. Carter World Tour? OK, I'm not sure they're actually going to call it that, but they should. Anywho, word on the street is that hip-hop's royal couple is about to embark on a 20-stadium U.S. tour.
A US Weekly source says that rehearsals could start as early as May. Blue Ivy's parents have made songs together but they've never toured together. This would be their first.
Sometimes, I sit and wonder why the Internet exists. And then I see a Vine of a llama prancing merrily across pasture to the tune of DMX's "Party Up." This Vine is why the Internet exists. It's so good it makes my foot tingle.
Hit the link below and be sure to equip the sound for optimum entertainment. Happy Easter up in here.
(Photo © Scott Gries/Getty)
The tech industry has a diversity issue. Nas is doing his best to help narrow the diversity gap. He recently teamed up with General Assembly, the New York City private vocational school for programming and engineering, to offer opportunities in tech to young blacks and Latinos. Through his Queensbridge Venture Partners, Nas joins Google, Microsoft, and Hirepurpose as the first contributors to fund the program.
According to Betabeat, each donor is tasked with a specific target demographic. Google will offer scholarships to women, Hirepurpose and Microsoft will sponsor veterans and Nas' QueensBridge Venture Partners will fund African-Americans and Latinos.
"Education, careers and opportunities in technology should not be limited to any one demographic," says Nas. "And I'm happy to support minorities who will see doors open to them as a result of participation in this program."
(Photo © Andrew H. Walker/Getty)
Whether kicking a story backwards or channeling a gun or a prison cell, Nas can make any concept song sound like a movie. Here are Nas' 10 best concept songs.
Nas is a battle-tested rapper. He's traded insults with Biggie, 2Pac and Jay Z, among others. As we mark the 20th anniversary of Illmatic, Nas paused to reflect on some of his verbal wars. QB's finest looked back at his relationship with his peers in a recent interview with HuffPo Live.
Here's what Nas had to say about Biggie:
"It was competitiveness. On the second album [It Was Written] I had to kind of like respond a little to certain lines [from Biggie about me] ... just to keep each other on our toes."
Nas is referring to "The Message," which contains subliminal shots at Biggie.
"Big wasn't the guy who was bitter, he pushed you, he challenged you. He made you feel like you had to rise up or get out. He wouldn't sit back around and be talking about you and be mad at you or jealous. If he had an envy in him, it's because he always had to have that top spot, and that is what being the best is all about. I miss him today because he was a class act with that."
"He passed the day before my birthday. I was gonna meet him in Vegas and it rained in Vegas when he passed. It was a trip."
On Jay Z:
"See people forget how amazing and powerful rap music is," he recalls. "If hip hop pushed you into the ring with each other, you either swing or go down."
Nas. Rakim. KRS One. Kanye West. It's an emcee's dream session. Take a trip down memory lane and relive the star-studded "Better Than I've Ever Been/Classic."
The cover of Nas' 2012 album Life is Good shows a solemn Nas clutching a green dress. It resembles the same dress Nas' ex-wife Kelis wore on their wedding day. But Kelis recently weighed in to explain exactly what Nas is clutching on that cover.