href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: April 14, 2021beel0ove via Instagram

Usher had folks on the internet either in stitches or scratching their heads after rumors surfaced online that he paid some strippers in Las Vegas with fake money donning his face this week. 21 Savage and Chris Brown were among those amused by the R&B singer's fake bucks, which were printed in denominations of $1, $20 and $100 bills.

On Tuesday (April 13), both 21 and Breezy shared photos of themselves jokingly flexing with the faux cash.

"Y’all ain’t the only ones gettin that usher money," the Atlanta rhymer captioned an image of himself doing the signature money spread.

Meanwhile, Breezy posted a picture on his Instagram Story of a $20 bill with Ursha Baby's face in place of former President Andrew Jackson, who is printed on the actual bill. On the image, Chris Brown typed, "When I say the boy got his own money… Da boy got his own money." The Slime & B artist also tagged Usher in his post.

chrisbrownofficial via Instagram

Turns out, despite rumors that Usher allegedly paid a few dancers at Sapphire Las Vegas Gentlemen's Club in fake money, his team is debunking the hearsay. According to a report from TMZ on Monday (April 12), someone from the Georgia native's team left the fake cash on the stage as a joke, but also to promote his upcoming Las Vegas residency.

The outlet also claims that not only did Usher spend thousands on the exotic dancers at the club, but he also indulged in bottle service and supposedly tipped the staff at the club handsomely.

Reports of Usher dropping fake bills at the strip club apparently stems from an Instagram user named @beel0ove. The unnamed woman posted images of the money on her Instagram Story and posed the question: "Ladies what would you do if you danced all night for usher and he threw this??"

The woman wrote in another social media post, "& the money does not have a trade in value what so ever! Lmao don't y'all think he should be blasted on social media for this shit?" While she didn't tag Usher in the post, it can be presumed that the woman was referring to the Hard II Love singer and was alluding to his fake moola.

XXL has reached out to Sapphire Las Vegas Gentlemen's Club for a comment on this matter.

See 10 Rappers’ Purchases That Broke the Bank

Filed Under: 21 Savage, Chris Brown, UsherCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/robbyseabrookiii/” rel=”author” title=”Robby Seabrook III”>Robby Seabrook IIIPublished: April 14, 2021Gunner Stahl

Bankroll Freddie hasn't been rapping very long, but it's already paying dividends.

The Arkansas native decided to jump into rap in 2017. Two years later, he got the radar of Quality Control Music cofounder Pierre "P" Thomas thanks to Bankroll Freddie's spin on City Girls' #ActUpChallenge. After the two men got in contact, a trip to Los Angeles to meet with and play music for P left Freddie feeling inspired as he headed home to Arkansas. In June of 2019, "Drip Like This" arrived, solidifying Freddie's place in the game as a rapper with potential. "Cost a lil' money, get your drip like this/Icebox drip on my wrist/Walk up in the club and I drip on a bitch," Freddie rhymes on the track, which has over 15 million Spotify streams to date.

The remix video featuring Young Dolph and Lil Baby dropped that same year, and now has been viewed over 45 million times on YouTube. With the success of the song, Freddie officially joined QC in 2019, and released his first project, From Trap to Rap, in early 2020. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic's hold on the music industry last year, the rising rhymer didn't have the opportunity to perform that release the way he would've liked, so he got back to work.

In that time frame, Bankroll Freddie completed his latest project, Big Bank, in April of last year. He waited until the timing was right and chose to drop it a year later. The album arrived earlier this month, featuring songs like "Pop It" featuring Megan Thee Stallion, the Gucci Mane-assisted "Rinky Dinky" and "Dope Talk" featuring 2 Chainz and Young Scooter, among others. With the world starting to open up in light of the pandemic, along with vaccinations becoming available for COVID-19, Freddie now has the new opportunity to take his music all over the country. His Bandplay-produced single "Pop It" featuring Megan Thee Stallion is the perfect reintroduction.

With both Freddie and Meg rapping about the money they get and their dealings with the opposite sex, the track is perfect for the clubs. "Catch us a vibe, yeah, she matchin' my energy (yeah)/She a lil' hood, I think she's from Tennessee (On God)/Booty so big, could of thought she from Texas (Texas)/She got the peach, could of thought she from Georgia/That pussy so wet, well, take me to Florida (Ooh)/I kinda adored her, so I Dior'd her/Let's hit up Lenox and blow us a quarter, yeah (Quarter)," he rhymes. In the two weeks since its release, the video has racked up over 3 million YouTube views.

Fresh off the release of Big Bank, XXL caught up with Bankroll Freddie for this week's edition of The Break.

Age: 26

Hometown: Helena, Ark.

I grew up listening to: "Yo Gotti, Three 6 Mafia, Project Pat, Cash Money, No Limit."

My style’s been compared to: "A lot of people say I sound like myself. Me, I don't think I sound too much like nobody, but I got a lot of comparisons to [Young] Dolph."

I’m going to blow up because: "Nothin' but success, man, all the way to the top. Keep on workin', keep on getting better. I'm tryna be one of the top dog's this year."

What’s your most slept-on song, and why?: "I feel like a lot of stuff I did slept on. Probably because ain't too many people heard me. I'm a new face to the world. A lot of people may not have heard my new stuff, my old stuff. It's more about putting it out there, put it in they face."

My standout records to date have been: "A lot of people know 'Drip Like Dis,' 'Rich Off Grass,' 'Back End' with MoneyBagg Yo, songs like that. Couple songs from the first tape. But this song I got right now, 'Pop It' with Megan Thee Stallion, that's gon' be a big song. We did a million in a day on YouTube. We workin'."

My standout moments to date have been: "I met Diddy. I been around him like four, five times. He just shouted me on his page. 'Yo, Freddie got next!' He just supported me. [I met him at] the Stripper Bowl in Miami last year. i got videos and everything. That was pretty lit."

Most people don’t know: "I can cook. I'm from Arkansas. A lot of people think I'm from Atlanta."

I’m going to be the next: "One on top!"

Follow Bankroll Freddie on SoundCloud and Instagram.

Standouts:

"Drip Like Dis (Remix)" featuring Lil Baby and Young Dolph

"Rich Off Grass"

"Pop It" featuring Megan Thee Stallion

"Active"

Big Bank

See 20 Ways in Which Rappers Schooled Us About Life

Filed Under: Bankroll Freddie, Feature, The BreakCategories: News, The Break


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/zoejohnson/” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: April 14, 2021Theo Wargo, Getty Images

In the wake of DMX's passing, the fallen rapper has seen an increase in his music streams.

According to a Billboard report on Monday (April 12), the publication announced that the rapper's streams have increased 928 percent in the U.S. since his death was announced on April 9. Records from MRC Data, a data company providing music sales statistics, indicate the It's Dark and Hell Is Hot artist's music received 75.7 million audio and visual streams on April 9 and 10, resulting in a 928 percent increase in contrast to the 7.36 million streams he acquired on April 7 and 8. DMX's death was officially announced on April 9.

On April 9 and 10, X's "Ruff Ryder's Anthem" accumulated 9.59 million daily streams and is up by 973 percent while “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” received 5.79 million and went up by 900 percent, as stated by MRC. “Slippin’” and “Party Up (In Here)” also garnered 5.52 and 5.20 million streams, respectively. Other chart-topping hits from the legendary rapper saw exponential streaming growth as well. Together, all the fan engagement tallies to a three-figure increase in daily listens for the MC.

The increase in DMX's streams began on April 3, when news broke that the 50-year-old rapper had suffered an alleged overdose that resulted in a heart attack. The New York native's daily streams were projected to be in the 700,000 to 1 million streams-range prior to the incident. However, on April 3, streams began to rise between 3 million and 4 million daily listeners before more than doubling a week later.

Along with the streams, DMX’s The Best Of album reentered the Billboard 200 chart, snagging the No. 73 spot this week.

Rest in peace, DMX.

See DMX's Most Inspirational Lyrics

Filed Under: DMXCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: April 14, 2021Frazer Harrison, Getty Images for The Recording Academy

An investment Nas made nearly 10 years ago could be bringing him millions of dollars today (April 14).

According to a report from Yahoo! Finance on Monday (April 12), a number of people—including Nas—who made early investments in Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, will be seeing a sizable return in their investment as Coinbase was officially listed Nasdaq on Wednesday and is now able to be traded.

In 2013, Nas' investment firm, QueensBridge Venture Partners, got involved in Coinbase's Series B round. At this time, the exchange platform was valued at around $143 million. And now, Coinbase is expected to surpass a valuation of $100 billion when placed on Nasdaq's stock list.

While the exact amount that Nas' investment company put into Coinbase at the time is unclear, Esco's manager and partner at QueensBridge, Anthony Saleh, told CNBC in a 2016 interview that their firm has made investments between $100,000 and $500,000 in companies including Coinbase, Robinhood, Lyft and Dropbox.

After dividing QueensBridge's investment range of $100,000 to $500,000 by Coinbase's Series B share price at the time, which was $1.00676, the lauded rhymer's firm could now own between 99,329 and 496,642 in shares, according to Coindesk. This means the firm would have shares anywhere between $34.76 million and $173.8 million.

The King's Disease rapper confirmed during an interview with The Breakfast Club in August of 2020 that Coinbase was one of his first investments.

"Coinbase was a big one," he said. "That was one of the ones I was real proud of."

Coindesk additionally reports that the value of Coinbase could increase to $43.7 million and $218.5 million, respectively. However, this is contingent upon the cryptocurrency exchange platform sharing trade at investment bank DA Davidson's new price target of $440, which rose from $195 after Q1 earnings.

Back in 2018, it was rumored that Nas could have potentially earned $40 million from his investment in the door bell company, Ring.

XXL has reached out to a rep for Nas for a comment.

See Wildly Expensive Hip-Hop Songs Based on Prices of Luxury Items Mentioned

Filed Under: nasCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: April 14, 2021Will Heath, Getty Images

In 10 years, Kendrick Lamar has become one of the rap game’s crown holders. The elusive MC has one of the most solid bodies of work in hip-hop, with four acclaimed solo studio albums, his last being the 2017 Grammy Award-winning LP, DAMN., which feels like it came out a decade ago. With each album, Kendrick proves his mettle as one of the most versatile and though-provoking orators the genre has seen. His knack for picking production that fits him to a T is uncanny. In his four-year absence from music, Kendrick Lamar type beats have been popping up on YouTube as fledgling producers try to capture the Compton, Calif. rapper’s musical essence.

Kendrick as an artist is a chameleon, able to seamlessly adapt to different production palettes. Section.80, his 2011 debut album, was an unheralded tour de force. Darker in tone, K-Dot delivered flawless flows just as easily on songs like the syrupy Sounwave-produced “A.D.H.D” and the frantic horn-driven soundscape on “Rigamortus,” a Willie B creation.

On 2012's good kid, M.A.A.D. city, Kendrick once again proved he was up to task with a wide spectrum of production ranging from the action movie scene score vibes of “Backseat Freestyle,” produced by Hit-Boy to more dulcet tones like “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” produced by Sounwave; “Swimming Pools (Drank),” produced by T-Minus; and “Poetic Justice,” produced by Scoop DeVille. While airy, mid-tempo joints are his bag–which has been the excuse for his detractors to call his music boring–Kung Fu Kenny is a versatile hit-maker.

His third studio LP, To Pimp a Butterfly in 2015, saw a swing in a new direction. The cerebral project is fused with plush jazz and funk samples, which play on the overall tone of the album. “King Kunta,” produced by Sounwave, is a punchy edict, with progressing chords and a familiar James Brown sample, while the Rahki-produced “i” follows a similar soul-filled vein. The crown jewel and Grammy Award-winning anthem, “Alright,” features lively percussion and a memorable saxophone serenade handpicked by Pharrell and Sounwave.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning DAMN. showed another sonic evolution while sticking to the script. He successfully taps into trap with the bombastic “Humble.,” produced by Mike WiLL Made-It and Pluss.

Kendrick may step out onto a new lane on his forthcoming fifth album as there were rumors in 2019 that this LP will be rock-influenced.

With nearly half a decade without a new LP from the future rap Hall of Famer, fans have been waiting for a new K-Dot project to boost the rap landscape like a stimulus check. That hasn’t stopped rising producers from formulating tracks via YouTube fit for the rapper based on his past production choices.

While we patiently wait for Kendrick’s return from his four-year sabbatical, lose yourself in several solid Kendrick Lamar types beats we've curated from YouTube below.

See the 14 Most Elusive Rappers on the Internet

Filed Under: Kendrick LamarCategories: Type Beats


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: April 13, 2021Lil Tjay via YouTube

Lil Tjay teamed up with Offset and Moneybagg Yo for his buzzing new joint "Run It Up," which appears on his recently released sophomore album, Destined 2 Win.

The Josh Petruccio-produced track showcases the three artists rhyming about blowing a bag on the lavish material items the rap star lifestyle often offers, such as foreign cars and blinged-out jewelry. The platinum-selling Bronx native has also dropped a visual for the record, which features both ’Set and Bagg, and arrived on the same day as the LP, April 2.

Take a look below to find the lyrics to Lil Tjay's "Run It Up" featuring Offset and Moneybagg Yo.

INTRO: Lil Tjay
I just like the sound of it
Grr, ooh, ooh, boom
Grr, boom

VERSE 1: Lil Tjay 
Y'all do not know me, I shoot like I'm Kobe
That boy really tough on his doley though
I keep a Drac', ain't no OVO
I ain't for nothing, just check my portfolio
Really come from a block where they bang, bang
Protect that Glock, oh, this Glock ain't no goalie, bro
Say you ’bout what you claim and then show me though
One in the head, you gon' die tryna toe to toe
Trench kid, no fucks, gotta run it up
If you thinkin' I'ma lose then you dumb as fuck
Pop out, drippin' diamonds, ooh, Bentley buttercup
Youngest out my city, keep it smooth just to sum it up
No security, you see me but that Glock spit
Youngest nigga doin' it, that's why I pop shit
VVS's drippin' water, it's like a mosh pit
Really not shit but I'm movin' like I'm hot shit
Legal money comin' in, I started off robbin'
True to evеrything I did, there's really no flagin'
All my shit been goin' up, lil' nigga, no dodgin'
And I'ma keep on comin' with thе heat, I'm hoggin'
Trench kid, glitter on the piece, stop sobbin'
Why them niggas hatin'? It defeats my noggin
If that ain't really your beef, stop sidin'
Say you tryna run in these streets, stop hidin', huh
Run it up, run it up, run it up (Run it up)
Niggas broke ’cause they be on that funny stuff (Broke)
Richard Mille, my wrist be on—(Ooh)
I done came way too far, I can't fuck it up
I got niggas that die by the gang, gang (Gang)
Stupid, be honest, you fuck with us (Hey)
Hearin' no one can slide, I be clutchin' up (Bah)
Know the haters mad, they got enough of us (Ooh)

CHORUS: Lil Tjay and Offset
Run it up, run it up, run it up, run it up (Woo, woo)
Run it up, run it up, run it up (Woo, woo, run it up)
Run it up, run it up, run it up, run it up
Run it up, run it up, run it up (Oh)
I just stack up that money, I run it up (Racks)
Give a fuck ’bout who love me, I run it up (Ooh)
What the fuck they gon' tell me? My money up (Woo, woo)
Run it up, run it up, run it up, run it up (Woo, woo)

VERSE 2: Offset
Double up (Double), run it up
Lamborghini with the bubble guts (Woo)
Got them bands and I'm flexin', hold my muscle up (Flex)
I'ma stand on the business when it's time to fuck (Stand on it)
I get paper in the morning when I'm wakin' up (Wake up)
Make my bitch get your bitch, come and fuck on us (Fuck on)
Make a hit with that switch, now my opps are dust (Grrah)
Put my racks in a wad, I was growin' rust (Racks)
Diamond chain get to swangin', they know it's us (Woo)
They know it's me (Know it's me)
Pinky ring get to singin' like Jodeci (Woo)
Double R and it came with a notary (Notary)
I see stars, I'm a star like it's ’posed to be (Stars)
I pop bars, only way I can go to sleep (Fall asleep)
When my gang needed me, bought a hunnid tees (Gang)
Put the Patek on, my wrist a masterpiece (Patek)
Put some diamonds on her and some double C (Hey)
Fuck these niggas, I'm up (Up)
Kickin' my shit like I won the World Cup (Kick it)
Start from the tip, baby, suck (Woo)
Beat that shit down, baby girl need a crutch (Crutch)
Hunnids keep comin', you know that's a must
If you talkin' money then we can discuss (Woo)

CHORUS: Lil Tjay and MoneyBagg Yo
Run it up, run it up, run it up, run it up
Run it up, run it up, uh, ooh
Run it up, run it up, run it up, run it up
Run it up, run it up, run it up
Run it up, run it up, run it up, run it up
Run it up, run it up, run it up
I just stack up that money, I run it up
Give a fuck ’bout who love me, I run it up
What the fuck they gon' tell me? My money up
Run it up, run it up, run it up, run it up (Go)

VERSE 3: MoneyBagg Yo
I been runnin' that money up, puttin' on (Go)
Ain't no end to this trend, it’s a marathon (Go)
Different breed, I might bust down a herringbone (Look)
Board a flight with them racks in my carry-on
Talkin' ’bout money, you know who to call (Bad)
It look like a riot, I fucked up the mall (Woah)
She diggin', have me and my whole circle, boss (Gang)
Gave me some top through my Ethika draws (Uh)
Earrings 150, I'm thuggin', I'm hood
I lock the screw back and put erasers on ’em (Ghetto)
Wide body Daytona, bending the corner
Them hitters ain't renters, the tag Arizona
Ain't get no diploma (No)
Shot dice for the J's, the freshest dude in the schoolhouse (Turn up for)
You ain't gangster, you went, took the smooth route (Been a ho)
Ran it up, now my pockets look too stout
Never enough, man, I gotta go get some more
Sold enough gas to go buy me a Texaco (Good petrol)
Now I'm on the charts, I'm runnin' up streams
My niggas still got what you need though (Go)
Built my name from the ground, I ain't have no help (No)
It's just me versus me, beefin' with myself (Bad)
It was time I woke ’em up, they overslept (Get up)
Run it up, run it up, still ain't out of breath (Go)

CHORUS: Lil Tjay
Run it up, run it up, run it up, run it up
Run it up, run it up, run it up
Run it up, run it up, run it up, run it up
Run it up, run it up, run it up
I just stack up that money, I run it up
Give a fuck ’bout who love me, I run it up
What the fuck they gon' tell me? My money up
Run it up, run it up, run it up, run it up

Watch the video for Lil Tjay's "Run It Up."

See the Most Memorable Lyrics From Rappers Under 25

Filed Under: Lil Tjay, MoneyBagg Yo, OffsetCategories: Music


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: April 13, 2021Lil Nas X via YouTube

Lil Nas X's record label is addressing claims the Georgia rapper recently made regarding his new single, "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," possibly being removed from streaming services tomorrow (April 14).

On Tuesday (April 13), Columbia Records released a statement via Twitter, which said, "Thanks for all your comments regarding @LilNasX 'Montero (Call Me By Your Name),' It’s unfortunately out of our control but we are doing everything possible to keep the song up on streaming services. We will keep you up to date as we hear more. Thank you for understanding."

Meanwhile, Billboard reported this afternoon that the song won't be removed from music services.

The label's statement comes hours after Lil Nas X informed fans of the uncertainty surrounding his hit single being available to be streamed as of tomorrow. Though he didn't offer any concrete reasons as to why the track could be removed from music platforms, Nas X did suggest fans screen record the track from YouTube as a backup plan.

"Not even joking. everybody stream call me by your name hard today because it may no longer be available tomorrow and there's nothing i can really do about it. thanks for all the support tho!," Lil Nas X wrote in his initial tweet this morning.

In a follow-up message, he typed, "Everybody screen record the audio/video on youtube so you will have the song in your gallery worst case scenario."

Since the song's arrival on March 26, there has been a great deal of controversy pertaining to the music video's Satan-inspired subject matter. Lil Nas X's visual was called out by both Joyner Lucas and Sada Baby.

The reworked Nike Air Max 97 sneaker, which was created by MSCHF Product Studio, Inc. and worn by Lil Nas X in his music video, also received pushback from the sneaker giant. Presumably because of the Satanic design elements on the shoe.

Six hundred and sixty-six of pairs of the "Satan Shoes" were available for sale, but after Nike filed a lawsuit against the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based art company and later settled, the sneakers were ordered to be removed from circulation.

Lil Nas X's "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" has achieved success despite the background noise surrounding the record and its accompanying music video. So much that the effort debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 5.

See Every Hip-Hop Song Certified Diamond in Music History

Filed Under: Lil Nas XCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/trentfitzgerald/” rel=”author” title=”Trent Fitzgerald”>Trent FitzgeraldPublished: April 13, 2021Steven Ferdman, Getty Images / Scott Dudelson, Getty Images for Coachella / Steve Jennings, FilmMagic

Rappers can teach us a lot about life. Whether it's through their personality, music career or business moves, there are plenty of artists that have taught fans how to be successful in hip-hop that wasn't done before.

Travis Scott has proved that brand loyalty pays off in big dividends. His connection with his fans (a.k.a. ragers) makes him the ultimate brand ambassador. From his Astroworld Tour to just showing up for a pop-up event, his supporters go wild and faithfully buy up anything he's promoting—Playstation consoles, his Cacti drink and McDonald's merch, to name a few. The Cactus Jack leader taught us all that rage is key any time any place.

Other artists simply school everyone with their personalities. J. Cole is one of the most respected MCs and producers in the game, but he doesn't want to be put on a pedestal. On various songs in his catalog, the North Carolina rhymer often urges fans to love themselves and not look for external things to make them feel good. "No such thing as a life that's better than yours (Love yourz)," he raps on "Love Yourz."

When it comes to Juice Wrld, he built a whole legion of fans known as the 999 family after sharing his ethos of turning the negative aspects in life into positivity. “999 represents taking whatever ill, whatever bad situation, whatever struggle you’re going through and turning it into something positive to push yourself forward,” Juice Wrld told Sway during an MTV interview in 2018, explaining that he flipped the number 666, a sign used to signify the Devil.

Meanwhile, rap superstar Megan Thee Stallion has shown the world that being a hot girl is for everyone, no matter the gender. She's fearless when it comes to her sexuality and womanhood, and reps the hot girl lifestyle to the fullest. Additionally, fellow rapper Cardi B has allowed her unapologetic personality and outspokenness to help teach fans to be true to themselves.

As far as getting to the money, artists like Jay-Z have spit game on the business side of hip-hop. The rap veteran has been able to maneuver in the corporate world and show there's money to be made outside of rocking the mic. One of his most recent endeavors is infiltrating the cannabis space as Chief Visionary Officer of The Parent Company, an organization on a mission to become the most impactful cannabis company in the world, and founder of MONOGRAM, a cannabis line. Meanwhile, Kendrick Lamar has taught us all that an artist can be a cultural force in hip-hop and beyond even though he hasn't been in the spotlight for a couple of years. Command the culture in your sleep.

Whether in music or through their business or just showcasing their human side, rappers have been dropping gems that goes beyond beats and rhymes. So XXL highlights 20 ways in which rappers schooled us about life. It's much deeper than rap. Check it out below.

See 20 Ways in Which Rappers Schooled Us About Life

Filed Under: Cardi B, DaBaby, Drake, Feature, Freddie Gibbs, Galleries, Gallery, J. Cole, Jay-Z, juice wrld, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Lauryn Hill, Lil Baby, Lil Kim, Lil Uzi Vert, Megan Thee Stallion, nas, Nicki Minaj, Notorious B.I.G., Pop Smoke, The Notorious B.I.G., Travi$ Scott, Westside GunnCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/zoejohnson/” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: April 13, 2021Lil Nas X via YouTube

After Nike settled their lawsuit with MSCHF Product Studio, Inc., which created the Satan-inspired sneakers for Lil Nas X by using Nike's original Air Max 97 design to help promote his latest single and video, "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," the rapper is claiming the controversial song may be leaving streaming services for good.

On Tuesday (April 13), Lil Nas X made a startling announcement to fans by claiming "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" could disappear from music platforms like Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal at some point tomorrow (April 14).

"Not even joking. everybody stream call me by your name hard today because it may no longer be available tomorrow and there's nothing i can really do about it. thanks for all the support tho!" he shared on Twitter.

The "Old Town Road" rapper later followed up the tweet by explaining how fans could take measures to ensure they still have access to the track if it is removed from streaming platforms. "Everybody screen record the audio/video on youtube so you will have the song in your gallery worst case scenario," he continued.

Within the two brief tweets, the rapper did not mention why the song was possibly being removed. However, fans have started to report that the song is no longer available for them. One fan shared a screenshot on Twitter, showing an error message that said, "Looks Like 'Montero (Call Me By Your Name)' is no longer available."

The Lil Nas X supporter captioned the tweet, "He’s being so serious they actually took it down."

However, the song is still available to be played on platforms like Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal.

The 22-year-old melodic rhymer's track has been shrouded in controversy for the satanic subject matter and homoerotic undertones used to create the video. Rappers like Sada Baby and Joyner Lucas have publicly spoken out against the visual for Lil Nas X's new single, but the "Panini" rapper continues to stand behind the art he created.

See the Many Times Rappers' Social Media Accounts Were Suspended

Filed Under: Lil Nas XCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: April 13, 2021Araya Diaz, Getty Images / Prince Williams, Wireimage

First, Boosie BadAzz was mistaken for Flavor Flav at the airport. And now, the Public Enemy cofounder is speaking out on folks saying he looks like the Baton Rouge, La. rhymer too, but Flav is pretty much over the look-alike comments.

On Monday night (April 12), Flavor Flav shared a video via Instagram from the Las Vegas Strip, in which he denounces that he favors Boosie BadAzz and calls for the comparisons to end.

"Ayo. Check one, two," the giant clock-wearing MC begins. "This is Flavor Flav on Las Vegas Boulevard. Live, baby. Ayo, this shit is getting out of fucking hand right now, man. You know what I'm saying? Muthafuckas is coming up to me, calling me Lil Boosie on purpose. 'Hey Lil Boosie, how you doing? Oh, Flavor Flav.' I don't look like no Lil muthafuckin' Boosie. Aight?"

Flavor Flav continues, obviously fed up. "Boosie, look what the fuck you done started, son," he shares. "You got everybody calling me you now. I don't look like Lil Boosie. I look like Flavor muthafuckin' Flav. So y'all get it right, aight? Word up, G. Boosie ain't got the stats that I got. Boosie only got the stats that he got. So y'all remember that shit. I'm Flavor muthafuckin' Flav not Lil Boosie."

A little over a week ago, Boosie BadAzz hopped on IG Live and vented about a woman in the airport telling him that he resembles Flavor Flav. He was clearly bothered by the comment.

"I was just in the fucking airport, lady come talking ’bout, 'Flavor Flav!' I don't look like no damn Flavor Flav. I look like Boosie," the Louisiana rapper exclaimed.

Boosie didn't think the comparison was funny, either. Instead, he presumed that the woman confused him with the Flavor of Love star because of the red sunglasses Boosie was wearing at the time.

"That's why I don't where these damn red glasses," the Goat Talk 2 artist added. "Fuck. Got me fucked up early this morning. Too early for this shit. 'Flavor Flav!' I kept fucking walking. Flav, you can't fuck with me, man. Talking ’bout I look like Flavor Flav."

For the sake of both Boosie BadAzz and Flavor Flav, let's hope people stop confusing them.

In case you missed Boosie's IG Live, take a look below.

See Wild Rap Beefs That'll Probably Never Be Resolved

Filed Under: boosie badazz, Flavor FlavCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/zoejohnson/” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: April 12, 2021Polo G via YouTube

Polo G's "Rapstar" was a long time coming, and now that it's here, his fans can't get enough.

The Einer Bankz and Synco-produced ukulele-laced trap beat is the 22-year-old rapper's most recent offering, in which he raps about fame, fortune, success and relationships. The track made its debut on streaming platforms on April 9 and will likely appear on the 2020 XXL Freshman's highly anticipated Hall of Fame project.

On "Rapstar," the Chicago native delivers a tight, melodic flow. The new cut, which garnered over 13 million views on YouTube in a matter of days, is also an indication that Polo G's next album will be highly anticipated going by those numbers.

Check out the lyrics to Polo G's new single "Rapstar" below.

INTRO
Shout-out my nigga, Synco

CHORUS
Uh (Tuned up), copped a BMW, new deposit, I picked up another bag
Like fuck it, I'ma count while I'm in it
I hear planes flyin', crowds screamin', money counters, chains clangin'
Shit, I guess that's how it sound when you winnin'
I ain't jokin', do it sound like I'm kiddin'?
I been makin' like 2,000 a minute
So high up through the clouds, I was swimmin'
I'm probably gon' drown when I'm in it
I bet she gon' get loud when I'm in it
And we might have a child when I'm finished

VERSE 1
Uh, I won't love a ho, after we fuck, she can't get near me
Only bitch I give a conversation to is Siri
My pants Amiri, yes, I'm winnin', clearly
I'm the chosen one, seen my potential, so they fear me
Lately I've been prayin', God, I wonder, can you hear me?
Thinkin' ’bout the old me, I swear I miss you dearly
Stay down ’til you come up, I've been stickin' to that theory
Every day a battle, I'm exhausted and I'm weary
Make sure I smile in public, when alone, my eyes teary
I fought through it all, but that shit hurt me severely
I've been gettin' high to hide behind my insecurities
Takin' different pills, but I know it ain't gon'—

CHORUS
Uh, copped a BMW, new deposit, I picked up another bag
Like fuck it, I'ma count while I'm in it
I hear planes flyin', crowds screamin', money counters, chains clangin'
Shit, I guess that's how it sound when you winnin'
I ain't jokin', do it sound like I'm kiddin'?
I been makin' like 2,000 a minute
So high up through the clouds, I was swimmin'
I'm probably gon' drown when I'm in it
I bet she gon' get loud when I'm in it (Uh, uh)
And we might have a child when I'm finished

VERSE 2
They say I'm ’Pac rebirth, never put out a weak verse
Homicides when we lurk, I'ma step ’til my feet hurt
Weren't puttin' them streets first
White tees turned burgundy T-shirts
Lookin' for somethin' real, he stuck in a deep search
Anxiety killin' me, I just want to leave Earth
When they ask if I'm OK, it just make everything seem worse
Try and explain your feelings, sound like something you rehearsed
Stabbed me in my back with a clean smirk
Lookin' so deep into your eyes, I can read your thoughts, so
Shut the fuck…, I mean, please don't talk
I done been through too much and I don't need another loss
Put that on every war scar for every battle I fought

CHORUS
Uh, copped a BMW, new deposit, I picked up another bag
Like fuck it, I'ma count while I'm in it
I hear planes flyin', crowds screamin', money counters, chains clangin'
Shit, I guess that's how it sound when you winnin'
I ain't jokin', do it sound like I'm kiddin'?
I been makin' like 2,000 a minute
So high up through the clouds, I was swimmin'
I'm probably gon' drown when I'm in it
I bet she gon' get loud when I'm in it
And we might have a child when I'm finished

OUTRO
When I'm finished, when I'm finished

Watch Polo G's "Rapstar" video below.

Meet the 2020 XXL Freshman Class

Filed Under: Polo GCategories: Music


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: April 12, 2021Quando Rondo via YouTube / King Von via YouTube

Quando Rondo is sharing details of what happened on Nov. 6, 2020, the night King Von was tragically shot and killed in Atlanta.

In the first installment of a multiple-part interview with The Breakfast Club radio host Angela Yee, which premiered on Quando's official YouTube channel today (April 12), the Savannah, Ga. rapper told his side of the story of the physical altercation between his and King Von's respective crews that resulted in gunfire.

"I walked to the car, I tell my brother, I say, ‘It’s this amount to park right here,’” the Diary of a Lost Child rhymer tells Yee, referring to Timothy "Lul Timm" Leeks, who was charged with the murder of King Von. “I said, ‘I’m not going in the club. Find you a lil female or whatever, cuz. I'm like, 'You got 15 minutes, cuz. Then I’m dipping. We ’bout to go to the house.'"

Quando Rondo then doubles down on reports that claimed he was sleeping in a car prior to the shooting taking place outside of Monaco Hookah Lounge last year.

"My brother said … Lul Timm told me, he said 'Lil bruh, I'm not ’bout to let you sit in no car and go to sleep,'" Quando explains. "I'm ’bout to sit in here and roll up.' I'm like, 'All right, bet.' Now, I'm about to stand by the other individual that I came with. I'm going to stand by his car until they park. Soon as they park right here, ’cause we gon' park right here next to this car, ’cause this is a $250,000 car. I'ma stand right here ’til they get right here. Soon as they do that, I'ma get in the back seat and I'ma go to sleep. I'm with my day one, my main mans. I can do this. One thing about him, he gone protect me, with anything, which anybody should do."

The rapper continues with his recollection of events. "In my mind, I’m just thinking regular in reality like you would think," Quando says. "I’m ’bout to let these people walk past me. I’m not ’bout to try and go through these people or nothing like that. I’m thinking these were some regular individuals … So I’m letting this group come by. Next thing you know, a nigga hit me … I lie to you not. It’s like I had an out-of-body experience."

Shortly after the shooting took place around 3 a.m. on Nov. 6, 2020, numerous reports surfaced online offering information surrounding the incident. One particular report claimed that Quando was asleep in a car outside of the downtown Atlanta hookah lounge and woke up to Von's crew outside of the vehicle. Quando exited the car and was later reportedly approached by King Von who, according to sources, allegedly acted as an aggressor that night. Lil Tumm subsequently shot King Von.

Sources also said that Quando Rondo and his crew were acting in self-defense. Additional reports noted that Quando was not under investigation for the "Took Her to the O" rapper's death since he did not shoot him. Following Lul Timm's arrest for King Von's murder, the case was closed.

On Nov. 7, 2020, Lul Timm was charged with King Von's murder. However, he wasn't booked into Fulton County Jail until Nov. 19, 2020, because he was hospitalized due to injuries he sustained the night of the shooting. Lul Timm was released on $100,000 bond last month.

Elsewhere in Quando's interview with Angela Yee, the Georgua native also claims he didn't know there was tension between himself and Lil Durk, a close friend of King Von's and the head of Only The Family, the indie label Von was signed to before his tragic death.

"From my understandment, I had a relationship with…big bro," Quando says. "Not wanna say his name. You know who I'm talking about. The dude that was on my album. It was all love with us, from my understanding."

Durk appears on "Safest" on Quando's QPac album.

The release of Quando Rondo's six-minute interview with Angela Yee comes days after he seemingly dissed King Von during a virtual performance on April 3.

"He got caught without that pole and now that bitch-ass nigga gone … I'll piss on his grave," Quando said, presumably referring to Von.

Check out part one of Quando Rondo's conversation with Angela Yee, titled "November 6th (Interview Pt. 1)," below.

See Rappers We Lost in the 2010s

Filed Under: King Von, Quando RondoCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/zoejohnson/” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: April 12, 2021Scott Dudelson, Getty Images

Travis Scott's journey through the music industry has opened many channels for the rapper to achieve success. After earning a No. 3 position on the Billboard 200 with his debut album, Rodeo, in 2015, the Houston native rightfully achieved No. 1 status when his 2016 LP, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, debuted at the top of the 200 chart in September of that year. His 2018 album, Astroworld, was another significant milestone in his career after arriving at the No. 1 spot and spending more than 130 weeks on the chart. The three-in-one production showcased on the Drake and Swae Lee-assisted "Sicko Mode" highlighted how a song didn't have to stick to one formula to become a No. 1 hit. The Hit-Boy, OZ, Tay Keith, Cubeatz and Rogét Chahayed-produced track secured two 2019 Grammy Award nominations, adding to the rhymer's reputation for making quality songs and beats. His catalog has made him an inspiration for aspiring producers crafting Travis Scott type beats.

Three years since Astroworld and "Sicko Mode," La Flame has been non-stop. The 29-year-old rapper's most recent song releases have debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, continuing Travis' string of hits. The Kid Cudi collab "The Scotts" is a mid-tempo ode featuring electrifying synths, booming bass and an alarming blip that stays consistent throughout. Dot Da Genius, Plain Pat and Take a Daytrip are to thank for the production. Shortly after its arrival, both Travis and Cudi saw their hard work pay off, securing the No. 1 slot on the Billboard Hot 100, one week after its release on March 4, 2020.

That same year, the Cactus Jack founder earned his second No. 1 song in one calendar year with "Franchise" featuring Young Thug and M.I.A. in October of 2020. Chase B crafted the distorted bass banger.

Before that, Travis' "Highest in the Room" also landed at No. 1 in 2019. Mike Dean, OZ and Nik D are responsible for the flamenco-inspired trap beats, pounding kick drums and a spicy 808 signature that adds depth to the creation. "She fill my mind up with ideas/I'm the highest in the room," the rapper croons as ad-libs fold into the production, rounding out the track.

The kind of beats Travis Scott often relies on are full of the kind of rage-inducing energy that is showcased at his concerts. Moody synths, atmospheric production and beat drops are just some of the things you'll find. Go all the way back to 2013's "Upper Echelon" to feel the activity of the beat build up to rattling hi hats on Anthony Kilhoffer's production. 2014's "Mamacita" featuring Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan finds Travis, Metro Boomin and DJ Dahi sampling the guitar intro on Bobby Bland's (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right" throughout the booming track. 2015's "3500" with 2 Chainz and Future is more of a twinkling effort crafted by Travis, Mike Dean, Metro Boomin and Mano. Dean, Zaytoven and Allen Ritter shine on the variety of keys displayed on this one.

Mike Dean is the beatsmith who's worked on many of Travis' early hits, whether it's been adding to the production by way of guitars or keys or doing the engineering. Songs like "Biebs in the Trap," produced by Nav; "Pick Up The Phone" with Young Thug, coproduced by Vinylz, Frank Dukes, Allen Ritter and Dean; and "Goosebumps" featuring Kendrick Lamar, coproduced by Cardo and Cubeatz, all include Dean's magic touch. Every track features lighthearted hums led by slow instrumental intros before grandiose, stacked drums overpower the beat, leaving rowdy heart-pumping production in its wake.

With Travis Scott's steady stream of singles climbing to the top of Billboard Hot 100, aspiring producers have begun crafting production similar to his sound. Check out the latest Travis Scott type beats below.

See the Ways Not to Fumble the Bag According to Travis Scott

Filed Under: Travi$ ScottCategories: Type Beats


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: April 12, 2021Miami-Dade Police Department

YNW Bortlen, friend of YNW Melly and co-defendant in the Florida rapper's double murder case stemming from the 2018 deaths of YNW Sakchaser and YNW Juvy, has been arrested after violating the terms of his pre-trial release.

According to documents obtained by XXL today (April 12), Bortlen, born Cortlen Henry, was arrested and booked by the Miami-Dade Police Department on April 8 after an out-of-county warrant had been issued for Bortlen's arrest.

Bortlen and Melly were both arrested by the Miramar Police Department back in 2019, in connection to their alleged involvement in the murders of affiliates YNW Juvy and YNW Sakchaser. Bortlen was charged at the time with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of accessory in the killings. YNW Melly and YNW Bortlen were accused by police of staging the murders as a drive-by shooting.

According to Bortlen's April 8 arrest affidavit, he was deemed a fugitive and wanted in Broward County, Fla. He is also being held in Miami without bond.

In May of 2020, YNW Bortlen was granted $90,000 bond and placed on house arrest. However, based on his Affidavit for Failure to Comply, dated for April 5, Bortlen was given permission to leave his residence for work on March 27 and was later tracked to a private residence and King of Diamonds strip club in Miami. The following day, on March 28, the 21-year-old rapper was also permitted to leave his home for work, but was tracked to Playhouse Gentleman's Club and G5 Gentleman's Club—both venues are strip clubs in the Miami area.

Bortlen visiting strip clubs in Miami, a clear violation of his pre-trial release, prompted the warrant to be issued, which resulted in his bond being revoked. The warrant document notes that Bortlen—referred to as the defendant—had not "properly conducted himself" and "violated the conditions of his release."

Although YNW Bortlen was initially granted bond last summer, YNW Melly was not. Despite Melly claiming to have tested positive for the coronavirus in April of last year, he was not released early and remains behind bars in Florida.

A little over a month after Bortlen was released, he dropped the track "Been Thru" with an accompanying visual.

XXL has reached out to the Miramar Police Department, the Miami-Dade Police Department, the Broward County Sheriff's Office and YNW Bortlen's attorney for a comment on this matter.

See 22 Hip-Hop-Related Police Raids

Filed Under: YNW Bortlen, YNW MellyCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/xxlstaff/” rel=”author” title=”XXL Staff”>XXL StaffPublished: April 12, 2021Jerry Carnation

Following family disputes with XXXTentacion's living relatives over the estate he left behind, XXX's half brother claims his access to the "Sad!" rapper's mausoleum has been revoked.

On Saturday (April 10), X's half brother, Corey Pack, shared a video of himself trying to enter XXXTentacion's mausoleum on the anniversary of the rhymer's death last year. However, as the video continues, Corey realizes his key does not work, saying, "Locked me out the whole mausoleum."

Corey, who appears on "Corey's Intro" from X's posthumous 2019 project, XXXTentacion Presents: Members Only, Vol. 4, explains in the video's caption how spending time at the crypt allowed him to feel closer to his brother.

"I was contemplating for almost a year now on posting this video. i never bring any of my problems to others nor others online," Corey's statement begins. "But ive learned wen u don't tell others how ya feelin or watchu goin through u only hurt urself. it jus gets me fuked up and enraged wen they luv to use my brothers name n say they do shit for em. but stop his lil brother, my best friend, someone that i look up to since we was in diapers, someone i talked to everyday and was wit 24/7 from goin inside HIS  mausoleum n seein bruh. i was there almost every day fa 2 years. wen i felt like life got tooo krazy or overwhelming id go thea n jus sit wit bruh. it was sum where i felt like it was my sanctuary where id kould let my emotions out n the only one that saw dem all was bruh. this was prolly the most low down grimey shit that ive ever encountered."

As the caption continues, Corey explains that this video took place on the second anniversary of XXXTentacion's death in 2020. X's half brother also gave some insight into issues he's been experiencing with people who were close to the late rapper since X's passing nearly three years ago.

"But in the midst of all da bullshit n fuckery that's gone on fa almost 3 years ik bruh watching in ways that i kould never see wit my own two eyes," Corey says. "So i wanna use this moment as testament, that it'll always get wicked b4 the light ever starts to shine. to me i already lost everything, im jus tryna be something for the ones that feel like they lost it all too. always stand on watchu believe in even if it means yu gotta go to the furthest extent. never slience ya truth bc it's gonna kome out regardless. they will hate cha fa believing in urself. you know yu doin sum right wen they go to extremes to see ya suffer. (they changed the locks on me on the 2 years anniversary of my brothers passing) LUV51."

Corey Pack losing access to XXXTentacion's resting place apparently came about a week after a lawsuit was filed by Corey's mother—on her son's behalf—accusing X's mother, Cleopatra Bernard, of stealing millions from the late rapper's estate. The court documents, which were filed in Broward County Court on June 11, 2020, showed that Bernard transferred over $11 million in assets allegedly belonging to Corey to herself.

The two-year anniversary of XXXTentacion's death was on June 18, 2020. XXXTentacion, born Jahseh Onfroy, was shot and killed on June 18, 2018, in Deerfield Beach, Fla.

See 11 of the Best Posthumous Hip-Hop Albums,
Ranked

Filed Under: XXXTentacionCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/robbyseabrookiii/” rel=”author” title=”Robby Seabrook III”>Robby Seabrook IIIPublished: April 12, 2021Prince Williams, WireImage (2) / Burak Cingi, Redferns

Having a hit song isn't easy. If the stars align and a breakout smash happens for a rapper, the pressure is on to create another after the first wave of success. As an artist, especially in a fast-moving genre like hip-hop, coming up with another Billboard Hot 100 hit that proves they aren't a flash-in-the-pan becomes the mission. Every rapper that entered the game with a big song doesn't always end up following up with some fire though, but those that are highlighted here managed to drop a follow-up track that showed they were here to stay.

Modern hip-hop has quite a few stories in which a rapper had a song that took off to a certain level, then their follow-up track launched them to the moon. Lil Baby's first big single was 2017's "My Dawg," which was strong its in own right. A year later, he was on everyone's radar, and that buzz turned into Drake jumping onto Baby's single "Yes Indeed." That 2018 song in particular was the No. 6 song in the country that summer, and is currently six-times platinum—a truly impressive mark.

This is similar to how things played out for Travis Scott, who had a hit in June of 2015 with "3500" featuring Future and 2 Chainz, but just a month later dropped "Antidote," the song that put him on the road to superstardom. "Antidote" climbed to No. 16 on the Hot 100 that year.

For Lil Uzi Vert, when he dropped "Money Longer" in 2016, even if his fans didn't have their paper as stacked as he did, they were still shouting "Money got longer, speaker got louder, car got faster" right along with him. That track earned a No. 54 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, and he followed that one right up with "You Was Right," another banger that year about regretting taking a woman home for the night. Uzi just continued to level up, landing at No. 40 in early 2017.

Lil Baby, Travis Scott and Lil Uzi Vert were known artists at the time their earlier singles released, but those follow-up songs legitimized them in a different way. They proved they had a legit track record for making songs that resonated with the people and it showed on the charts. Each of their respective follow-up tracks climbed higher on the Hot 100 and proved they had more hits in their bags.

In addition to those artists, follow-up songs from Megan Thee Stallion, Kendrick Lamar, Future and more have climbed higher heights than the tracks that came before them. These rappers proved their follow-up hip-hop songs were legit after making a hit. Look out for your favorites below.

  • “Yes Indeed”Lil Baby featuring Drake

    In the early parts of Lil Baby's career, he was a respected street rapper that picked up a grassroots following. He was the new face down at the Quality Control Music ranch in 2017. His July of 2017 song "My Dawg" was what got him on most people's radars, and as a result, the track went platinum. That didn't come close to preparing his fans and even himself for the heights of his next huge single,"Yes Indeed," which came in May of 2018. Rapping alongside Drake and more than holding his own, "Yes Indeed" peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is currently six-times platinum.

  • “Antidote”Travis Scott featuring Future and 2 Chainz

    Travis Scott's "3500" featuring Future and 2 Chainz was released in June of 2015 and went gold two years later. This was the start of his mainstream success. A song that is remembered for eliciting the rage, all parties involved rapping well and its length at 7 minutes and 42 seconds, "3500" gives a peek into what Travis' sound would eventually evolve into. That same year, his next hit was "Antidote," which was tremendous for his career. The track dropped in July of 2015, and peaked at No. 16 on the Hot 100. The catchy, well-written chorus really helped kick off what's been an illustrious career for the Houston native, and gave him a four-times platinum record in the process.

  • “You Was Right”Lil Uzi Vert

    Lil Uzi Vert has had consistent growth throughout his career, and when things started rolling, they never stopped. His 2016 single "Money Longer" was his first hit, falling just outside the top 50 on the Hot 100 at No. 54. The track also went double platinum. Also in 2016, his next hit came in the sounds of "You Was Right," which landed right at No. 40 and also went double platinum. This was the start of a hot streak that hasn't slowed up for Uzi.

  • “Successful”Drake featuring Trey Songz

    When Drake took the leap from underground rapper to big name to watch in 2009 with his mixtape So Far Gone, it felt like he'd be around for a while and he did just that. The project's sweet-talking lead single "Best I Ever Had," which eventually became the No. 2 song in the country, was a smash hit and changed Drake's entire career trajectory. The next song that took off for Drizzy in 2009 was "Successful" featuring Trey Songz (and on some versions, Lil Wayne). This platinum-selling effort was also on So Far Gone, and it peaked at No. 17 on the Hot 100.

  • “Cash Shit”Megan Thee Stallion featuring DaBaby

    Megan Thee Stallion originally released her song "Big Ole Freak" on her 2018 mixtape Tina Snow, but the song really took off in early 2019, which set it on the road to going platinum. Her next big song was huge; the inescapable "Cash Shit," which teamed an already hot Megan with DaBaby, who was taking off at the same time as she was. The third single from Meg's 2019 mixtape Fever, the song was certified double platinum and peaked at No. 36 on the Hot 100. It remains one of Meg's most popular songs to date.

  • “Bartier Cardi”Cardi B featuring 21 Savage

    When an artist comes through the door with a single as immense as Cardi B's recently certified diamond "Bodak Yellow" was, it can be hard to maintain that kind of momentum. "Bodak Yellow" dropped in June of 2017, and dominated the summer of that year. Cardi came back with her 21 Savage-assisted single "Bartier Cardi" in December of 2017, and ran it up again, hitting No. 14 on the Hot 100 and going triple platinum with it.

  • “Baby Sitter”DaBaby featuring Offset

    DaBaby's early success came via his rapping talent, unique flows and his willingness to have fun. "Suge" and its equally ridiculous video took him to the top, as evident by the March 2019 song hitting No. 7 on the Hot 100 and being certified double platinum. DaBaby's second single, "Baby Sitter" with Offset, arrived in summer of 2019, and peaked at No. 59. Not a bad way to kick off a career at all with the gold-selling follow-up.

  • “One Call”Gunna

    After making his major chart splash with "Drip Too Hard," a September of 2018 collab with his good friend Lil Baby that leapt to No. 4 on the Hot 100 and was certified seven-times platinum, Gunna's buzz was through the roof. His next successful single after that was the early 2019 track "One Call," which was totally different from "Drip Too Hard" vibes-wise, but helped him earn a No. 56 spot on the Hot 100 by himself. The song went gold and proved that Gunna was a viable solo act.

  • “Best Friend”Young Thug

    Young Thug is an enigmatic rapper whose off-kilter flows and slanguage made him somewhat of a nice artist. In early 2014, "Stoner" was Thugger's first hit song, and it went gold. His next big hit was in November of 2015, when he dropped "Best Friend," a viral sensation that showed off a more polished Young Thug, an act who now understood how to use his personality and skill to appeal to the masses. "Best Friend" peaked at No. 45 on the Hot 100 and went double platinum.

  • “Fight Night”Migos

    After "Versace" and its Drake remix in 2013 kicked the door open for the Georgia trio Migos, they caught an even bigger hit with the endlessly catchy "Fight Night" in 2014. Sporting a hook you'll never forget and strong verses from all three members Quavo, Offset and Takeoff, "Fight Night" added to Migos' longevity in the game; the No. 69 peak position on the Hot 100 and gold plaque they got for this effort would become one of many.

  • “Poetic Justice”Kendrick Lamar featuring Drake

    Kendrick Lamar's first hit was 2012's "Swimming Pools (Drank)," a club song that was really a push-back against the trappings of drinking alcohol. That song peaked at No. 17 on the Hot 100, and is now certified four-times platinum. His follow-up smash came in 2013, by way of "Poetic Justice," where he and future rival Drake waxed poetic (no pun) about their dream girl. This one landed at No. 26 on the Hot 100, and reached double platinum status.

  • “Cuban Links”Rod Wave featuring Kevin Gates

    Rod Wave scored his first smash in May of 2019, when he dropped his anthemic single "Heart On Ice," which went on to become a top 25 song in the country and attain double platinum certification. He followed that up with his single "Cuban Links" featuring Kevin Gates, which was a perfect match of styles between the duo; this single went gold and earned a No. 92 placement on the Hot 100 in December of 2019.

  • “3 Headed Goat”Lil Durk featuring Lil Baby and Polo G

    Lil Durk's staying power was never predicated on hits, but on his ability to relate to his fan base, along with his versatility. Though he was already in the game for roughly five years, his first hit was 2018's platinum-selling "Home Body" with Gunna and TK Kravitz. The sexually charged love song was a different look for an artist who started out in Chicago's drill scene. Durk's next one was 2020's "3 Headed Goat," an outright bar fest featuring Durk, Lil Baby and fellow Chicagoan Polo G. That song peaked at No. 43 on the Hot 100.

  • “Can’t Get Enough”J. Cole featuring Trey Songz

    J. Cole entered hip-hop as a serious rapper who had something of a built-in understanding on how to create a hit song. "Work Out," his first hit in 2011, had a very specific bounce to it, and the world caught on as it reached No. 13 on the Hot 100 and went double platinum. In that same year, he got another one with "Can't Get Enough" featuring Trey Songz, which went platinum and fell just outside the top 50 on the songs chart. Cole perfected the ability to make tracks about women and dating that didn't feel cheap or forced while also not losing the respect he built for himself as a talented MC along the way.

  • “Turn On The Lights”Future

    Future was making noise underground, but he got his first plaque for a song of his own with "Magic," a mixtape track that saw T.I. added to it for its official release in 2011. The next year, the Future we know and love began to form when he dropped "Turn On The Lights," on which he showed off his chops as a lovelorn trap singer. That song hit the No. 50 spot on the Hot 100 chart and went double platinum, and is still one of his most memorable early tracks.

  • “No Type”Rae Sremmurd

    Rae Sremmurd's 2014 debut single was "No Flex Zone," and the sibling duo took off from there; the song went double platinum. Their very next single, 2014's "No Type," centered on their taste in women, and was even bigger, becoming the No. 16 song in the country and currently being certified four-times platinum.

  • “Start Wit Me”Roddy Ricch featuring Gunna

    Roddy Ricch's anthemic 2018 banger "Die Young" was the song that helped him break through to the mainstream and got him a double platinum plaque. The next year, his single "Start Wit Me" featuring his close friend Gunna helped to further bolster his name, going platinum and landing at No. 56 on the Hot 100.

  • “Amen”Meek Mill featuring Drake

    Meek Mill's "Ima Boss" was like the Kool-Aid Man kicking down the wall and busting into a house; he made his presence felt in 2011 with the song, bolstered by a great Rick Ross verse. The track peaked at No. 51 on the Hot 100 and went platinum. Meek's next hit was "Amen" in 2012, on which he collabed with his friend (who hadn't turned to his foe just yet) Drake. That effort went gold, and charted just a few spots lower than "Ima Boss" at No. 57.

  • “Outside Today”YoungBoy Never Broke Again

    YoungBoy Never Broke Again's 2017 single "No Smoke" is a somber song full of threats, and it caught on amongst his core fan base to the tune of it going triple platinum over time. The next year, "Outside Today" peaked at No. 31 on the Hot 100, and went double platinum, solidifying his ability to craft bangers that climbed the charts.

  • “Man of The Year”ScHoolboy Q

    ScHoolboy Q is a talented rapper in addition to being one of the best personalities in hip-hop. He showed off both of these qualities in 2013 alongside Kendrick Lamar on the track "Collard Greens," Q's first hit, which spent eight weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, earned a No. 92 spot and also went double platinum. Later that year, the TDE member would drop his next single "Man of The Year," a banger that climbed even higher to 62 on the chart and raked in double platinum status as well.

See 21 Hip-Hop Projects That Fans Were Really Excited About But Never Happened

Filed Under: 21 Savage, Cardi B, DaBaby, Drake, Future, Gunna, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Kevin Gates, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Lil Uzi Vert, Meek Mill, Megan Thee Stallion, Migos, Offset, Polo G, promo, Rae Sremmurd, rod wave, Roddy Ricch, ScHoolboy Q, Travi$ Scott, Trey Songz, Young Thug, YoungBoy Never Broke AgainCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: April 11, 2021John McCoy, Getty Images

Soulja Boy won’t rest until Hall of Fame level respect is put on his name.

With nearly 15 years in the game, millions of records and ringtones sold, and an undeniable claim of being one of, if not, the first artist to capitalize off YouTube when it was itself a fledgling phenomenon in the early 2000s, the “Crank Dat” rapper has several notches under his belt. While some rappers let their work speak for itself, Drako is not one to be silent about his accomplishments, whether they're in his head or actual fact.

SB is not averse to making bold, sometimes unverifiable claims. Like the time in 2019 when he alleged he was hand-delivered the first ever iPhone from Apple CEO Steve Jobs himself on the set of the "Crank Dat" video shoot in 2007. “He walked up to me with the first ever iPhone in a box,” Soulja Boy said in an interview with BET. “He give me the phone. I take the phone out the box. I grab the phone, and within like two seconds of me grabbing the phone, it fell out my hand and broke to pieces. The first ever iPhone, bruh.”

And, let’s not forget about the time in 2016, when he claimed to have inked a $400 million deal. Then there was the moment he was reportedly caught in a lie about purchasing a $55 million jet for his 21st birthday.

This year, the now Cali-based rapper has been taking it up a notch. In the past four months, he's made some wild claims including bullish statements about his impact on fashion, technology and even Drake’s career. At this point, its hard to tell whether Big Drako, who recently inked a new deal with Virgin Music, is trolling, delusional or really rap’s version of Elon Musk.

Here are seven things Soulja Boy has taken credit for in 2021 alone.

  • Claim: Soulja Boy Came Up With the Idea of Apple’s FaceTimeJan. 17, 2021

    Back in January, Big Soulja got on Instagram Live to proclaim he came up with the idea of the Apple visual phone call feature FaceTime. The boast followed a tweet he sent out earlier in the day, which read, "Kiss me thru the phone hit different now huh."

    "I came out with ["Kiss Me Through the Phone"] before FaceTime. So, let's talk about that," Soulja said on IG Live. "Stop acting like I ain't the G.O.A.T. Real G.O.A.T. status."

    The Verdict: Big Soulja may have a point here. His hit single "Kiss Me Through the Phone" came out a full two years before Apple debuted its FaceTime feature in 2010.

  • Claim: Soulja Boy Was the First Rapper to Sell a TweetMarch 8, 2021

    As strange as it may sound, buying tweets with NFTs (nonfungible tokens) is a thing. Just two days after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey put his first-ever tweet on the bidding block on March 6, and before it sold for 1,630.58 ether, a cryptocurrency, Soulja claimed he was first hip-hop artist to jugg a Tweet. "1st rapper to sell a tweet," Soujla posted on March 8.

    Verdict: The "first" is hard to verify, but Soulja did jump on board very early in the game, reportedly selling an autographed tweet for $1,288, a couple days after auctioning tweets as NFTs became possible.

  • Claim: Soulja Boy Is Responsible for One of Drake’s “Miss Me” BarsMarch 17, 2021

    Soulja made it well-known that he feels like Drake swagger-jacked Soulja's line from the 2007 song “Whats Hannenin’” for Drizzy’s own hit 2010 song “Miss Me” with Lil Wayne. He reiterated his feelings in March after Drake praised Bow Wow for being the blueprint. "That nigga drake is hilarious. Dude stole my whole bar then thanked bow wow," SB posted on Twitter.

    Verdict: Well, the lines sound pretty close to us. The cadence and the flow are there. This might be another win for Drako.

  • Claim: Soulja Boy Is the First Rapper on YouTubeApril 3, 2021

    Soulja Boy's masterful finesse of YouTube is well-documented. But, on April 3, he claimed to be the first rapper to ever appear on the video sharing site. "I was the 1st rapper on YouTube. Ever. In life. In history," the rapper tweeted.

    Verdict: SB definitely changed the game with his use of YouTube and opened the door for other rappers to do the same. But first-ever? Ever? Ever? This one is hard to verify in a timely fashion. However, going by sheer odds, we are going to say this is an exaggeration.

  • Claim: Soulja Boy Is the First Rapper on TwitchApril 3, 2021

    The Twitch service, touted as "the world's leading live streaming platform for gamers," has been live since 2011, though its popularity has risen in recent years. Big Soulja claimed he was there since day one, before any rapper in the world. "I was the 1st rapper on twitch," he posted on Twitter in April.

    Verdict: Unverifiable.

  • Claim: Soulja Boy Popularized the Bathing Ape BrandApril 7, 2021

    Bathing Ape became a popular streetwear brand right after the turn of the century. And it's all thanks to Soulja Boy? He believes so. "I made these niggaz wanna wear BAPE," he typed on Twitter in April.

    Verdict: Maybe for some demographic this is true, but overall that's a negative. Pharrell Williams is hip-hop's de facto father of the colorful brand, which he, along with the Clipse, helped popularize in the States years before SB was cranking out anything.

  • Claim: Soulja Boy Popularized the Jordan V Raging Bull SneakerApril 10, 2021

    The Jordan V Raging Bull sneaker got a rerelease on April 10 and Soulja Boy made sure to note that he had a pair when they were originally released in 2009. According to the rapper, he's the Pied Piper for sneakerheads worldwide. "I made niggaz want the raging bulls," he tweeted on the rerelease date.

    Verdict: Michael Jordan doesn't need anyone to help push his shoes. The hype beasts do it for him.

See the Most Memorable Lyrics From Rappers Under 25

Filed Under: Feature, Soulja Boy, The ListCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: April 11, 2021Saturday Night Live via YouTube

Kid Cudi's musical performance on Saturday Night Live on April 10 featured a visual tribute to late grunge king Kurt Cobain.

Cudi was the music guest on the latest episode of the long-running sketch comedy show, where he performed two cuts off his latest album, Man on the Moon III: The Chosen, including "Sad People" and "Tequila Shots." For his performance of "Sad People," the Ohio rapper donned a spaghetti strap floral dress made by Virgil Abloh's famed Off-White imprint. The choice of wardrobe was a nod to the Nirvana front man who was famously pictured wearing a similar dress.

During his second performance of "Tequila Shots," Cudder wore a similar green sweater to the one Cobain wore during Nirvana's performance on MTV Unplugged on Nov. 18, 1993. Under it, Cudi wore a shirt that featured the face of late comedian Chris Farley. Cobain died on April 5, 1994 from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound following a years long struggle with mental issues and drug dependence. Farley, a former actor on SNL, died from a drug overdose at the age of 33 in December 1997.

Cudi has talked openly about his own struggles with suicide in the past. Some people saw Cudi's move as a silent statement about suicide prevention. "Kid Cudi pulling the ultimate Kurt Cobain tribute on #SNL on the week of this death," one person wrote on Twitter. "@KidCudi all about love and suicide prevention and awareness!!!"

Cudi also participated in a skit on the episode entitled "Weird Little Flute" where the rapper and comedians Chris Redd and Pete Davidson posed as new era hip-hop artists who jokingly rhyme about the flute sound that has been abundant in rap music recently. See the hilarious sketch below.

See Proof That Manifestation Really Works for Rappers

Filed Under: Kid Cudi, kurt cobainCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: April 10, 2021NorfBoy55 via YouTube

After 21 years behind bars, former No Limit rapper Mac will be coming home soon.

On Friday (April 9), Nola.com reported the 43-year-old rapper, born McKinley Phipps Jr., has been granted clemency by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. Despite being granted clemency, which allows a governor or president to pardon a person or commute their sentence, Mac will have to stay put until his June 22 parole hearing where he will be given a release date. “We are approaching the finish line to securing Mac’s freedom,” Mac's wife Angelique Phipps said in a statement. “We are grateful to Governor John Bel Edwards for granting his clemency and to those who have supported him along the way.”

XXL has reached out to Mac's PR team and the Louisiana governor's office for comment.

Mac was originally arrested in 2000 and charged with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of 19-year-old Barron C. Victor, Jr. Mac and his family proclaimed his innocence in the ordeal, saying he only broke up a fight that lead to the shooting of Victor, which occurred at Club Mercedes in Sidell, on Feb. 21, 2000. In September 2001, Mac was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 30 years to life in prison.

A new investigation into the case in 2014 revealed Mac may be innocent after Mac's defense team brought forth evidence that another man reportedly confessed to the crime and a witness said they were coaxed into naming the former 504 Boy as the shooter. In 2016, prosecutors in the case were accused of hiding evidence. Mac filed for clemency later that year but was ultimately denied.

A ray of hope came in February of this year when the Louisiana Board of Pardons and Committee on Parole agreed that Mac should receive immediate parole eligibility.

See 21 Hip-Hop Projects That Fans Were Really Excited About But Never Happened

Filed Under: MacCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: April 10, 2021DawsonKal via Instagram

Black Rob is currently in the hospital suffering from an undisclosed ailment.

On Saturday (April 10), a startling video surfaced of the rapper lying in a hospital bed looking unwell. In the clip, he gives a vague update on his health status. "What's up, man. What's going on," he starts. "I don't know what the pain is…the pain is crazy, man. It's helping me out, though. It's making me realize, I have a lot to go on, man."

Rob appears to be holding back pain as he struggles to speak, but takes time to offer some kind words to the late DMX who died on Friday (April 9) after suffering a heart attack last week. "I feel everything about X," Rob responded when asked how he feels about X's passing. "X, one love, positive. Big love to X."

The video was posted by entertainment manager Kal Dawson. He captioned the clip, "Yall keep the hip hop Legendary Black Rob in your prayers I just went to go see him and he asked me to put this up he said he has a story to tell and qant to get on @drinkchamps but keep him in yall prayers."

The clip has gone viral and received much attention from concerned fans on social media. "You might see a video of Black Rob come across your timeline soon. I wasn’t ready for it," one person posted on Twitter. "So much to process. I’m giving Twitter a rest for the night. Everybody please continue to take care of yourselves physically and mentally."

"Prayers up for Black Rob," rap journalist Tony M. Centeno typed. "Hopefully he recovers from whatever is ailing him. We can’t use lose another one."

It is unclear why the former Bad Boy artist, who is most well known for his 2000 hit single "Whoa!," is in the hospital. Back in 2013, he suffered a stroke in his sleep. After bouncing back, he spoke with XXL about the recovery process in 2015. "After I had my stroke, I had to re-memorize all my shit, all my lyrics," he said. "I didn’t know them. So that right there was the biggest challenge. Years. That took years, man. I been fucking with this shit, struggling with this, with my baby moms, for years. It took me one year to deal with all this shit, stressing. Then it took me one year to memorize everything I had. Now I’m back, I don’t feel no pain," he added.

Up until March of this year, the 52-year-old Harlem, N.Y. native was still performing and hosting events. XXL has reached out to Kal Dawson for comment on Black Rob's condition.

See more Twitter reactions from hip-hop fans concerned about Black Rob's health below.

See DMX's Most Inspirational Lyrics

Filed Under: Black RobCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/georgettetheboombox-com/” rel=”author” title=”Georgette Cline”>Georgette ClinePublished: April 9, 2021Jerod Harris, WireImage

While many artists are multifaceted, DMX truly lived up to that descriptor for his adroit abilities across music and film. From his start in the game in the early 1990s, he was lauded for his gruff delivery, which was incomparable at the time. The rapper's signature "grrrs" and growls became synonymous with his music—he truly was the big dog in every sense of those words.

Songs like "Born Loser" and "Make a Move" were early indicators that Dark Man X from Yonkers, N.Y. was the rapper on the rise to watch. Before he dropped his official debut album, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, in 1998, the MC was a featured artist on tracks such as LL Cool J's "4, 3, 2, 1" in 1997, boosting his appeal and making his star shine brighter ahead of his own project.

No. 1 albums were commonplace for DMX, who had plenty of them during his nearly 30-year-career in hip-hop. It's Dark and Hell Is Hot marked his first LP to top the Billboard 200 chart in 1998. The Sheek Louch-assisted "Get at Me Dog," "How's It Goin' Down" featuring Faith Evans and "Ruff Ryders' Anthem" were just a few of the songs that catapulted the effort to No. 1. He successfully accomplished this feat four more times in his musical legacy, an accolade that many rappers both before and after him did not achieve.

Aside from his mastery in music, X was an exceptional actor. He proved that rappers could expand their horizons and become limitless when it came to their potential. One of his most recognizable roles is playing the character Tommy in Belly alongside Nas in 1998, a pivotal year in DMX's career.

These are just a few of the momentous occasions in DMX's life as an artist. As the hip-hop community and beyond mourns the death of this extraordinary talent following the announcement today (April 9) of his passing at 50 years old, XXL highlights DMX's greatest career moments. R.I.P. X.

  • Kills His Verse on LL Cool J’s “4, 3, 2, 1”

    DMX proved he could hang with the best of them when he appeared on LL Cool J's 1997 posse cut "4, 3, 2, 1," also featuring Method Man, Redman, Canibus and Master P.  "Where we at? Do you value your life as much as your possessions?/Don't be a stupid nigga, learn a lesson," he raps on his verse. "I'm gon' get you either way, and it's better to live/Let me get what's between your sock, ’cause it's better to give/Than receive, believe what I say when I tell you/Don't make me put you somewhere where nobody'll smell you." X was playing no games on this record.

  • Shows Up on The LOX’s “Money, Power & Respect”

    Fellow Yonkers, N.Y. natives The LOX welcomed DMX and Lil' Kim to join them on their 1998 classic track "Money, Power & Respect." The banger features the Queen Bee on the hook and a grisly verse from Earl Simmons. "This ain't no fuckin' game, what, you think I'm playin'?/’Til you layin' somewhere in the junkyard decayin'/Moms at home prayin' that you comin' home, but you not/’Cause you sittin' up in the trunk, startin' to rot/And hell is hot, I know because I'm here now, baby," X raps.

  • Shows & Proves With First Major Label Single “Get at Me Dog”

    First impressions are everything and DMX rose to the occasion when he dropped his first major label single as a Def Jam Recordings artist. "Get at Me Dog" featuring Sheek Louch, the lead single from his It's Dark and Hell Is Hot album in 1998, went on to score a No. 39 position on the Billboard Hot 100 that year. The song, produced by Dame Grease and P.K., is full of the rhymer's signature growls and boastful bars. "And when it's on, we transform like Optimus Prime/I'll form the head, roll out, let's make it happen," he raps, letting the opps know it's on.

  • Inspires Those Struggling on “Slippin'”

    One of DMX's most personal odes is his Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood hit "Slippin'." Released in 1998, the track is X at his most candid, rapping about hitting rock bottom with no filter. "Group homes and institutions, prepare my ass for jail/They put me in a situation, forcin' me to be a man/When I was just learnin' to stand without a helpin' hand." The gold-certified song is a testament to persevering through the struggle and getting back on your feet to "tear shit up."

  • It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot Goes No. 1

    An album hitting No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart is a dream for most artists in the game. DMX accomplished that goal on his first time out with his debut album, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, in May of 1998. "Ruff Ryders' Anthem," the storytelling ode "How's It Goin' Down" featuring Faith Evans, the Sheek Louch-assisted "Get at Me Dog" and the exploratory "Stop Being Greedy" were the singles that pushed X to the top of the charts. "Damien" showcased the art of duality in both his voice and inner demons. This classic album has been certified four-times platinum.

  • Brings Ruff Ryders Movement to the Masses

    Founded by Joaquin "Waah" Dean and his brother and sister, Darin "Dee" Dean and Chivon Dean, respectively, the Ruff Ryders Entertainment label was home to rappers DMX, Eve, The LOX, Swizz Beatz, Drag-On and more over the years. The label first began as a management company, handling the careers of X and The LOX before expanding to a full-fledged company signing talent. As DMX's stock soared, so did the the Ruff Ryders movement, which was heavily branded in music videos, the streets via the biker clubs that were formed and on clothing.

    Most notably, X named a song after the collective, his 1998 track "Ruff Ryders' Anthem." A premier party record, the anthemic chant of "Stop, drop, shut ’em down, open up shop/Oh, no, that's how Ruff Ryders roll," makes anyone rapping along feel like an honorary member. X's "Ruff Ryders' Anthem" made it to No. 93 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1998, cementing its place in the mainstream hip-hop spotlight.

  • Stars in Belly

    1998 was a major year for DMX. On top of dropping two albums, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, he also starred in the hip-hop cult classic Belly alongside Nas. X's role as Tommy was positioned as a lifelong friend of Sincere, played by Nas. The street life was their forte, but Tommy dove deeper into the mix, resulting in the film's wild ending.

    Acting proved to be one of the skills the rapper truly excelled at. Along with Belly, X landed roles in 2000's Romeo Must Die, which also starred Aaliyah, the 2001 action film Exit Wounds and more than 15 other movies.

  • Links With Jay-Z for “Money, Cash, Hoes”

    Despite whatever differences Hov and X had back in the day, one thing they did very well together was make stellar music. The two reportedly had a face-off in a Bronx pool hall in 1994 that allegedly led DMX to have some ill feelings toward the Brooklyn native. “X hated Jay because it was the one battle that he said it wasn’t absolutely sure in everyone’s mind that he won,” Irv Gotti said in an MTV News interview in 2011.

    But a collab still emerged four years after that moment in 1994. Their lyrical chemistry is most certainly executed well on their 1998 linkup "Money, Cash, Hoes," which appears on Jay-Z's third studio album, Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life. The Swizz Beatz-produced track finds X serving up a verse with plenty of canine references and bold bars.

    "Fucking with a mad man in a bad mood/Is like fucking with a mad dog that wasn't fed food/And the only thing that's stopping him is you (What!)/So the only thing that he'll be dropping is you (What!)/Chopping in two (Come on!)/Then he drop it to Clue, and the response from the street: This is one dog that loves raw meat (Woo!)," X delivers.

  • Debuts Two No. 1 Albums in One Calendar Year

    Scoring a No.1 album these days is way easier in comparison to 1998. Streaming runs up the numbers in 2021, but back then, physical copies were the way to land at the top of the charts, which DMX did not once, but twice 23 years ago. When the Yonkers-bred rapper debuted with It's Dark and Hell Is Hot in May of 1998, the effort landed at No. 1. Then he did it again with Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood when the last Billboard 200 chart was released in December of that year. The victory was a landmark moment for an artist at that time, and solidified his reign as one of rap's greatest MCs.

  • Forms Murder Inc. With Jay-Z and Ja Rule

    DMX, Jay-Z and Ja Rule formed the rap group Murder Inc. at the behest of Irv Gotti in the late 1990s, giving rap fans something to look forward to when it came to elite lyricism and grimy bars. The trio dropped two singles during their time together: "Murdergram" and "It's Murda." Though short-lived due to alleged tensions between X and Hov, the rap group's formation even if only for a little while showcased what could have been if these New York rappers chose to see it all the way through.

    XXL

  • Joins Hard Knock Life Tour

    During his peak, DMX linked with Jay-Z for the Hard Knock Life Tour in 1999. The performance trek reportedly brought in gross profits that totaled $18 million for all involved, which included Method Man, Redman, Ja Rule, Beanie Sigel and Amil alongside Hov and X. While footage of that time is hard to come by, the 2000 documentary Backstage provides an inside look to what was going on both onstage and behind the scenes of one of the greatest tours in hip-hop history.

  • Performs at Woodstock 1999

    When Woodstock had its inaugural festival in 1969, hip-hop being part of the festivities wasn't even a thought since the genre was born four years later in 1973. Thirty years after that first event, Woodstock ’99, which took place July 22–25 that year, welcomed a diverse array of artists to the stage including DMX.

    When X hit the stage to perform for a crowd of reportedly more than 200,000 people, he was decked out in a short-sleeve red button-down shirt, grey tank top, red overalls with the Ruff Ryders logo and red Timberland boots. By the time he started rapping songs like "Ruff Ryders' Anthem" and "Stop Being Greedy," the MC ditched the shirt and had the fans in the palm of his hand. Some artists have a tough time commanding an audience of a massive size such as this, but this seasoned vet had everyone rapping along with him word for word.

  • Wins Best Rap/Hip-Hop Artist at 2000 American Music Awards

    X scored a few Grammy Award nominations during his time in hip-hop. …And Then There Was X landed a Best Rap Album nom in 2001, and "Party Up (Up in Here)" earned a Best Rap Solo Performance that same year. Then in 2002, he got another Best Rap Solo Performance nom for "Who We Be." Though he never won a Grammy Award in his career, he did come home a winner at the 2000 American Music Awards when he won Best Rap/Hip-Hop Artist, besting Jay-Z and Juvenile. He received the top honor a second time in 2001.

  • Earns Five Consecutive No. 1 Albums

    After coming in the game with his debut album, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, in 1998, and earning a No. 1 position on the Billboard 200 chart in June of that year, X scored another chart-topping LP with his sophomore effort, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, when the last Billboard 200 chart was released in 1998. Two projects landing at the top spot in one year makes DMX in an elite class of MCs. He went on to earn three more consecutive No. 1 albums throughout his career with 1999's … And Then There Was X, 2001's The Great Depression and 2003's Grand Champ. In total, the esteemed MC has five No. 1 albums to his name.

  • Creates Plenty of Hits With R&B Stars

    DMX had a knack for showcasing vulnerability in his lyrics that resonated with the masses. The music was his diary, and he had no qualms about sharing both the good and bad in his life with his listener. While he had plenty of anthem-quality rap bangers in his catalog, the tracks he made with some of R&B's most revered artists at the time were special.

    "How's It Goin' Down" featuring Faith Evans climbed to No. 79 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1998. The mid-tempo groove has less bark and bite from X as he tells the story of a shorty who's creepin' on her man with the rapper while Faith's seraphic vocals complete the track.

    Then there's his 2000 collaboration with Aaliyah on her track "Come Back in One Piece," one of the singles from the Romeo Must Die soundtrack for the film they both starred in. On the song, X admits he's a "dog for life," but keeps it true, and Aaliyah's warm vocals feature her looking out for X and giving him the OK to hang with his dogs as long as he makes a promise to "make it back in one piece."

    That same year, the MC connected with Sisqó for "What These Bitches Want," one of several songs that earned X a top 50 position on the Billboard Hot 100. This track came in at No. 49. The famed effort is most notable for all the women X names on the track: "There was Brenda, Latisha (Uh), Linda, Felicia (OK)/Dawn, LeShaun, Inez and Alicia (Ooh)/Teresa, Monica, Sharon, Nicki (Uh-huh)/Lisa, Veronica, Karen, Vicky (Damn)/Cookie, well, I met her in a ice cream parlor (Right)/Tonya, Diane, Lori and Carla (OK)/Marina (Uh), Selena (Uh), Katrina (Uh), Sabrina (Uh)/About three Kims (What?), LaToya and Tina (Woo)/Shelley, Bridget, Cathy, Rasheeda (Uh-huh)/Kelly, Nicole, Angel, Juanita (Damn)/Stacy, Tracy, Ronna and Ronda (What?)/Donna, Yolanda (What?), Tawana and Wanda (What?)," the rapper lists out on the Nokio the N-Tity-produced song as Sisqó belts out lines like "Tell me what you want from me."

  • “Party Up (Up in Here)” Becomes the Ultimate Party Anthem

    Twenty-one years ago, DMX crafted the ultimate party anthem with "Party Up (Up in Here)" in 2000. One of the 18 tracks on the MC's third album, … And Then There Was X, the song climbed to No. 27 on Billboard Hot 100 in 2000, becoming the highest-charting track of his career. "Y'all gon' make me lose my mind/Up in here, up in here/Y'all gon' make me go all out/Up in here, up in here," DMX barks on the hook of this Swizz Beatz-produced master class in how to make a party rockin' record.

  • Makes Prayer in Music More Mainstream

    Religion and faith are controversial topics on any given day, so when adding music into the music, it can be a firestorm for the critics. However, DMX seamlessly weaved his love for God into his lyrics and brought listeners to church with him with every bar he uttered. "I'm God's child," he said during an Instagram Live session last year. "We all are."

    On his 2006 song "Lord Give Me a Sign," the closer on his Year of the Dog…Again album, he opens with words from the Bible. "In the name of Jesus (Spread the word)/'No weapon formed against me shall prosper (Preach)/And every turn that rise against my judgment, thou shalt condemn' (Preach, preach)/Lord, give me a sign/For this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord (Preach)/'And their righteousness is of me,' said the Lord (Preach)/Amen," he says.

    Prayer and faith were ever-present in all of DMX's albums from the start. He made the religious act in music more mainstream as he became a hip-hop icon ruling the charts.

  • Covers Countless Magazines

    In his prime, there wasn't a magazine cover that didn't feature DMX. The New York rapper was the go-to artist for the poignant music he made and barriers he broke (along with quite a few rules, too). When it comes to XXL, the rapper was on the cover six times, proving just how important his artistry and legacy was to hip-hop.

    XXL

See DMX's Most Inspirational Lyrics

Filed Under: DMX, promoCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/zoejohnson/” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: April 9, 2021UMG

42 Dugg and Roddy Ricch's "4 Da Gang" is a hip-hop and rock and roll-infused masterpiece.

The newest joint from the two rappers was released on April 2 and samples the rock band Scorpions' 1982 single, "No One Like You." The TayTayMadeIt production strips the 39-year-old rock anthem to its heavy guitar string core before adding trap drums to fill out the entire track. On the new bop, Roddy and Dugg rhyme about all the lavish things in life—cars, jewelry and women.

On Feb. 21, "The Box" rapper and 42 Dugg were spotted filming a music video in Atlanta that was later interrupted by gunfire. It isn't confirmed that the visual being recorded at the time was for "4 Da Gang." However, it's plausible. Nonetheless, neither of the rhymers were harmed despite two other people sustaining injuries during the shooting incident and OMB Peezy being arrested for his alleged connection to the crime.

Check out the lyrics to "4 Da Gang" below.

INTRO: 42 Dugg
You
I can't wait for the nights with you
I imagine the things we'll do

VERSE 1: 42 Dugg
Ain't nothin' plain on me, nigga, four chains on me
I ain't trippin' ’bout that ho, nigga, she came on me
I got a bitch from the West, she'll suck a nigga soul
Bitch from the East, she'll fuck a nigga dawgs
Still playin' with that raw even though I got a deal
Had to get up out the city, I just got a nigga killed
Pause, I'm lyin', kinda, still sippin' out the Fanta
OxyContin and Opanas, I want four-two for each
Niggas upped Lou for free, that's my nigga, come and kick it
Mister still'll serve the city, I'm the reason it's some chicken
Why the fuck you in the kitchen tryna turn one?
Daire quit pullin' on the blender ’fore you burn somе
Baby say she want a real nigga, but she don't gеt it
Why you ain't never up at night? I told you I been sippin'
Still go harder for my niggas, wish I could bring you back
Turntest in the city, white lows, blue flags
Know I keep two flags on bang
I just dropped a Urus for the gang
Catch me in the city, young nigga, four chains
Signed to CMG, still in the dope game
I don't swipe propane, really got it out the mud
Big 4 Gang, catch me ridin' with the thugs
And I got it on my own, ain't nobody helped me
Remain humble, sell crack to dope fiends
You can't "Lil' bro" me, bitch, I really got a check
42 in this shit, I be really on that
Put the city on my back, still remember hard times
2018 was the year my dawg died

CHORUS: 42 Dugg & Roddy Ricch
Pull up in frog eyes, yeah nigga, we winning
Amiris on low, if not wheat Timbs
Me and 42 pullin' up, twin Bentleys
Peanut butter seats, all my windows tinted
Know I keep two flags on bang
I just dropped a Urus for the gang
Tied from the D to LA
Always keep it a hunnid K

VERSE 2: Roddy Ricch
Number one nigga, but they're never gon' admit it
I was doin' 200 in the ’Rari and got a ticket
Every time they see me, they say they ain't seen me in a minute
Probably fuckin' on your bitches, probably runnin' up the digits
Forgiato wheels, both lanes
Floor mats say a nigga name
Interrogation, feds tried to put us on the board, never identified
All my niggas always gettin' dough, it's always chicken time
I got niggas in the box, gon' call me collect
I got model bitches that be tryna call me for sex
And you know what they say, "If it ain't directed, then don't respect it"
You see ’em out in public, they gon' act like they never said it
I see by the C-side, I throw it up two times
And your nigga got a gangster card, he bought it off Groupon
One of the young niggas that be gettin' love in the city
From the hub to the dub in the tub, fuck with me

CHORUS: 42 Dugg & Roddy Ricch
Pull up in frog eyes, yeah nigga, we winning
Amiris on low, if not wheat Timbs
Me and 42 pullin' up, twin Bentleys
Peanut butter seats, all my windows tinted
Know I keep two flags on bang
I just dropped a Urus for the gang
Tied from the D to LA
Always keep it a hunnid K

Listen to Roddy Ricch and 42 Dugg's "4 Da Gang" below.

See 17 of the Best Rap Record Label Compilation Albums

Filed Under: 42 Dugg, Roddy RicchCategories: Music


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: April 9, 2021Kevin Winter, Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Young Thug's contributions to the rap game are longstanding and undeniable. The Atlanta-bred rhymer has also seamlessly expanded his musical palette over the years and its evident in the offerings he's released. But of course, one thing to notice is the innovation and diversity within his beat selection throughout his career, easily setting him apart from the rest. As a result, many producers on the rise experiment with Thug's sound, which can also be referred to as Young Thug type beats.

Last year, amid the coronavirus pandemic, Thugger released a joint effort with Chris Brown called Slime & B. Essentially a surprise album that arrived on C. Breezy's 31st birthday—May 5, 2020—the LP offered an ideal juxtaposition of ATL trap sounds and Brown's quintessential R&B feels. "Go Crazy," produced by Said Aznou, Dounia Aznou, Johnny Kelvin, Kaniel Castaneda and Cameron Devaun Murphy, quickly became the theme song for a viral choreographed dance and resulted in a hit song. The track kicks off with mid-range vocal harmonies that mellow out over a mid-tempo boom bass, lo-fi ticking sounds and faint 808 synths.

In 2019, the Young Stoner Life Records CEO dropped his debut album, So Much Fun. The lead single from the effort, "The London" featuring J. Cole and Travis Scott, has a lullaby-esque appeal with dominant, pulsating bass along with ascending piano keys crafted by T-Minus. Then, there's the Gunna-assisted "Hot," musically constructed by Wheezy, on which the ATL-bred rappers float over moderate woodwind instruments. Another vastly different sound on the album is the Wheezy and Nick Mira-produced "Just How It Is," full of mostly warm, well-rounded guitar strums, low ticks and soft bass.

Young Thug's beat selection is oftentimes explorative and can't be pinpointed to one particular instrument, vibe or tempo—similar to his style and personality. So it makes sense. Back in 2018, Thug dropped his mixtape, Beautiful Thugger Girls. The intro track, "Family Don't Matter" featuring Millie Go Lightly and produced by Wheezy and Rex Kudo, has a country music feel with steady guitar strums. The strings are matched with defiant drums, though. On the Billboard Hitmakers and BLSSD-produced "Relationship" featuring Auto-Tune melodies from Future, the 808 synths are gradual, adding a subtle but necessary element to the simplistic drums that sometimes shift to a double-time speed.

While it wouldn't be wise to associate predictability with Young Thug, fans and music listeners can typically expect him to provide feel good music. That's a fact at this point. Despite Thug pushing the hip-hop envelope by wearing a dress on the cover art for his 2016 mixtape Jeffery—titled after his given first name—Thugger offers an array of euphonious joints along with elevated trap rap combined with alluring landscapes. The Quavo and Travis Scott-assisted "Pick Up the Phone," flawlessly formulated by Allen Ritter, Frank Dukes, Maneesh Bidaye, Mick Schultz, Mike Dean, and Vinylz, offers energetic 808-based grooves with some frantic piano keys in the backdrop.

Young Thug has mastered melding nonconventional sounds with Auto-Tune and conjoining those sonics with genres other than trap rap like R&B and even country. When it comes to the beats he uses, it's a tough act to follow for those aiming to mimic his sound. However, that hasn't stopped beatmakers from trying. Take a look below to find some Young Thug type beats that have been crafted by aspiring producers.

See the Best Hip-Hop Albums Created by One Producer

Filed Under: Young ThugCategories: Type Beats


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/robbyseabrookiii/” rel=”author” title=”Robby Seabrook III”>Robby Seabrook IIIPublished: April 9, 2021Scott Dudelson / Emma McIntyre / Prince Williams, Getty Images (2) , Wireimage

Week in and week out, there are plenty of brand new rap songs, no matter the time of year. It can be really difficult to stay aware of what's out and also what's hot, so XXL decided to make things much easier for you. Instead of sorting out nearly everything that released this week, we've narrowed it down to strictly the best of the week, saving you plenty of time.

Expect to see selections from the established stars, the next wave of new talent, the up-and-comers and everyone else in between. If your song is fire enough to beat the competition, it'll take one of the weekly spots. You can trust us on this one; follow our lead and you'll never get laughed off of the aux cord again. Your friends will finally trust you with playlists; it'll be wonderful. In addition to that, you can check back every week for the latest and greatest tracks. You'll always have somewhere to turn to each week, being sure to find some songs you'll dig.

Enjoy this week's list, featuring new songs from Doja Cat ("Kiss Me More" featuring SZA), Polo G ("Rapstar") and Rich Homie Quan ("Daily Bread") and more. See you next week!

  • “Kiss Me More”Doja Cat featuring SZA
  • “Rapstar”Polo G
  • “Daily Bread”Rich Homie Quan
  • “Single For The Summer”G Perico
  • “From The Bottom”Lakeyah
  • “Uncle Charlie”Kevo Muney
  • “Bankroll”Brockhampton featuring A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg
  • “Up The Sco”Icewear Vezzo and Lil Durk
  • “Might Not Like It”KenTheMan
  • “BadAss”ZillaKami featuring Lil Uzi Vert
  • “Hunnid Or Better”Lil Eazzy featuring Bizzy Banks
  • “Burnout”Chynna
  • “Don’t Want Me To Win”Kid Ink

See the Most Memorable Lyrics From Rappers Under 25

Filed Under: A$AP Ferg, A$AP Rocky, Bangers, Bizzy Banks, Brockhampton, Chynna, Doja Cat, G Perico, Icewear Vezzo, KenTheMan, Kevo Muney, Kid Ink, Lakeyah, Lil Durk, Lil Eazzyy, Lil Uzi Vert, Polo G, rich homie quan, SZA, The List, ZillaKamiCategories: New Music


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/kemethigh/” rel=”author” title=”Kemet High”>Kemet HighPublished: April 9, 2021Kevin Winter, Getty Images for Live Nation

In a rough, rugged voice, one of the most unique in rap history, DMX painted his songs with brutal lines about his troubled upbringing and the effects it had on him as an adult. Over his three decades in hip-hop, he amassed millions of fans who gravitated to his vulnerability and filmic storytelling. The lauded rapper's tribulations often took the forefront, but paired evenly with them were X’s words of faith.

One thing about DMX is that he always nurtured his relationship with God. Though he embraced the darkness, he often thanked the man upstairs for providing a light for him to follow out of it. As he became one of the most successful rappers in the world during his peak, the fallen legend, whose death at the age of 50 was announced today (April 9), recognized that the divine creator purposely amplified his voice to feed the people principal messages. And that’s exactly what he did on each album and song he delivered.

On “Ready to Meet Him,” featured on The Dog’s 1998 sophomore album, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, he encourages his listeners to stay up through the low moments. "No matter how hard it rains, withstand the pain," he spits prophetically. Likewise, his therapy session on wax “Slippin’,” on the same project, finds X offering words on knowing that there’s always a purpose in having life, even if it isn’t visible. "See, to live is to suffer but to survive/Well, that's to find meaning in the suffering,” the Yonkers, N.Y.-bred MC notes. True words.

Though today DMX’s passing has been revealed, his message will live on through the expressions he left throughout his celebrated platinum-selling albums—many of which went No. 1 on the Billboard 200—and hundreds of songs. In light of his legacy, XXL highlights DMX's most inspirational lyrics from his songs that can be applied on a daily basis. Long live DMX. The message shall never fade.

See DMX's Most Inspirational Lyrics

Filed Under: DMX, Feature, Galleries, GalleryCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/zoejohnson/” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: April 9, 2021Mark Davis, Getty Images for Coachella

Hip-hop is hurting today following the news of DMX's death.

On Friday (April 9), DMX's team shared a statement with XXL from the family of the beloved veteran rhymer, confirming DMX has died at the age of 50 years old after suffering an alleged overdose that led to a heart attack on April 2.

"We are deeply saddened to announce today that our loved one, DMX, birth name of Earl Simmons, passed away at 50-years-old at White Plains Hospital with his family by his side after being placed on life support for the past few days. Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end," a portion of the statement reads.

A number of members from the rap community are memorializing DMX and his contributions to hip-hop via social media.

Swizz Beatz, DMX's close friend and frequent collaborator, shared a message via social media shortly after the news of X's passing was announced. Swizzy wrote: "I’m truly beyond devastated !!!!!! But I’m so happy my brother is no longer in pain . I watched him take everyone’s pain and make it his own 🙏🏽 I send my love and support to his entire family 🙏🏽 My brother we will never let them forget your name and you will live forever F.A.M.E🌹 Long live King DMX THE GREAT AKAmy brother 4 Life Earl Simmons 🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊 Damn Dog."

Eve, who was once signed to the same Ruff Ryders Entertainment label that X once called home, penned a heartfelt goodbye to her former labelmate: "#mydog I know that you are in the place of peace you deserve. I will be forever grateful to have known you. You were one of the most special people I have ever met. Full of Humour,talent,wisdom and love and most of all loyalty. This world has lost a REAL ONE but the heavens have gained an ANGEL. May you Rest 🙏🏾🕊💔😔 #rip #dmx #ruffrydersfamily."

Fat Joe, who also had a long history with X, said his final goodbyes on Instagram. In his message, the Bronx rapper reminisced on their come-up together. "The DOG i tried to down play it and remain positive. We’ve been in this game for a while you’ve always wore your heart on your sleeve, it hasn’t been an easy journey for you but that’s what makes you X. We love you my brother I’m so sorry for the family’s lost this is one of the most saddest days in Hip Hop. God bless you X your music will live forever and we’ll never forget you or the impact you’ve had in the game. New York let’s stand the fuck up for DMX 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 @therealswizzz @ruffryders @thelox RIP X," Joe wrote.

According to a report from TMZ yesterday, the lauded rapper underwent a number of tests on Wednesday (April 6) to determine if there had been an improvement in his brain functionality after X's brain was reportedly deprived of oxygen for nearly 30 minutes on April 2. However, it was later revealed that DMX hadn’t regained any brain function since being admitted into the hospital.

A vigil was also recently held for X on April 4 outside of White Plains Hospital where he had been in ICU and on life support. Fans along with members of the Ruff Ryders Motorcycle Club paid homage to DMX by playing some of his music outside of the hospital.

On April 3, reports emerged on the internet that the 50-year-old MC suffered a near-fatal drug overdose one day prior, leaving him in "grave condition." As details continued to surface online, X was confirmed to be on life support in a "vegetative state."

Shortly after, there were conflicting reports, which claimed that the rapper, born Earl Simmons, was breathing on his own after his attorney, Murray Richman, spoke with New York City's PIX11 News. "He's [DMX] been taken off the life support system, he's breathing on his own," the lawyer claimed. Richman later recanted his statements to Rolling Stone, revealing that he had been given the wrong information.

X's battle with drug addiction has been documented throughout his adult life. In 2019, the New York native checked himself into a drug rehabilitation program. Most recently, DMX began prepping fans for his next studio album after years of silence. According to X, the late Pop Smoke is among features from the most recent class of rappers who will appear on DMX's forthcoming LP.

See more reactions to the passing of rap legend DMX below.

NasChance The RapperJeezyT.I.Sheek LouchStyles PBusta RhymesRedmanTimbalandEarthgangDJ KhaledLecraeStatik SelektahAkonMystikalObie TriceBoi-1daMainoMethod ManDave EastFoxy BrownLudacrisNonameIDKJuicy JMoneybagg YoFivio Foreign

See DMX's Most Inspirational Lyrics

Filed Under: Akon, Boi-1da, Busta Rhymes, Chance The Rapper, Dave East, DJ Khaled, DMX, EarthGang, eve, Fat Joe, Fivio Foreign, foxy brown, IDK, ILoveMakonnen, jeezy, Juicy J, Ludacris, Method Man, MoneyBagg Yo, Mystikal, nas, Noname, Obie Trice, Redman, sheek louch, Statik Selektah, Swizz Beatz, T.I., TimbalandCategories: News

DMX Dead at 50


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: April 9, 2021Kevin Winter, Getty Images for Live Nation

UPDATE (April 9):

Def Jam Recordings, the record label DMX was signed to at various times throughout his career, has released a statement on his passing following the news on April 9. The rapper was set to drop a new album with the label before his death.

"Def Jam Recordings and the extended Def Jam family of artists, executives and employees are deeply and profoundly saddened by the loss of our brother Earl 'DMX' Simmons," the statement reads. "DMX was a brilliant artist and an inspiration to millions around the world. His message of triumph over struggle, his search for the light out of darkness, his pursuit of truth and grace brought us closer to our own humanity. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those who loved him and were touched by him. DMX was nothing less than a giant. His legend will live on forever."

ORIGINAL STORY:

DMX has died at the age of 50.

The influential rapper's death was announced on Friday (April 9) after reportedly suffering an overdose that resulted in a heart attack on April 2, XXL has confirmed.

X's team shared a statement with XXL this morning: "We are deeply saddened to announce today that our loved one, DMX, birth name of Earl Simmons, passed away at 50-years-old at White Plains Hospital with his family by his side after being placed on life support for the past few days. Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever. We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized."

Prior to news surfacing online of X's passing, TMZ reported that the rapper underwent brain functionality tests on Wednesday (April 7) to determine if there had been any improvement in his brain activity following his reported overdose nearly a week ago. However, the outlet revealed Thursday (April 8) that there weren't any changes to DMX's brain.

News first broke of X being in bad health on April 3, when the alleged overdose was first reported by TMZ. According to their report, the overdose allegedly occurred at X's New York home around 11 p.m. He was then rushed to a hospital in White Plains, N.Y. where he was admitted to the ICU. At the time, sources said the rapper may be "brain dead" or in a "vegetative state." Doctors reportedly said his prognosis was bleak.

After initially hearing about DMX's health concerns, many rappers hopped on social media with prayers and words of support. Rick Ross was the first rapper to send well wishes to X and then others like Swizz Beatz, Eminem, Kid Cudi, Snoop Dogg and Busta Rhymes followed. A ray of hope came when X's lawyer, Murray Richman, told New York City's PIX11 News that X had been taken off life support and was breathing on his own in the afternoon on April 3. However, Murray later admitted he was given wrong information on the MC's upgraded health status.

Following news that DMX's family was flying in to be by his side, a rep for the Def Jam artist released a statement. "Last night Earl 'DMX' Simmons was rushed to the hospital after collapsing at home. At this time he remains in ICU in critical condition," the statement read. "Earl has been a warrior his entire life. This situation represents yet another road he must conquer. The Simmons Family appreciates the overwhelming outpouring of heartfelt love, encouragement, support and prayers for Earl. Earl is someone whose life and music have been a source of inspiration and strength to so many people around the world. It is reassuring to see his fans return that same passion and energy to him during his time of need."

Sadly, X was unable to pull through. He is survived by a reported 15 children.

DMX, born Earl Simmons, had a much-publicized battle with drug addiction throughout his entire career, which he spoke and rapped openly about. Considered one of the most influential rappers of the late 1990s and 2000s, DMX breathed new life into the rap game when he released his debut album, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, in 1998, spearheaded by hit singles like "Get at Me Dog," Ruff Ryders' Anthem" and "Stop Being Greedy." He followed up the same year with his sophomore effort, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, and became the first artist to put out two platinum albums in a year. He would go on to release eight solo studio LPs in total as well as delving into acting with major roles in films like Belly, Romeo Must Die and Exit Wounds.

Throughout his career, X struggled to balance fame and staying on the right path. He had been arrested on many occasions in the past two decades, and served a one-year jail stint for tax evasion, for which he was released in 2019. In September of 2019, he signed a new recording contract with Def Jam, reuniting with his first major label home. A month later, he entered into a drug rehabilitation facility. In August of 2020, he announced he was working on his first album since 2015's Redemption of the Beast with frequent collaborator Swizz Beatz.

Always remembered for his gruff style, strong spirituality and uncanny personality, DMX will truly be missed.

See DMX's Most Inspirational Lyrics

Filed Under: DMXCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: April 9, 2021MSCHF / Lil Nas X via YouTube

Lil Nas X's "Satan Shoes," in collaboration with Brooklyn, N.Y.-based art company MSCHF Product Studio, Inc., resulted in a lawsuit from Nike over Nas X's reworked Nike Air Max 97 sneaker. However, all is well as a settlement has been made regarding the controversial shoe, which appears in the rapper's "Montero (Call Me by Your Name)" music video.

According to an article published on Business Insider on Friday (April 9), Nike has settled with MSCHF for an "undisclosed amount." The monetary agreement stems from a legal filing the shoe giant made last week, accusing the company of deceiving consumers into thinking Nike approved of the sneaker when it was customized by Lil Nas X and MSCHF, who has modified other sneakers in prior years, particularly the "Jesus Shoes" that came out back in 2019.

Nike has reportedly affirmed in reports that they were in no way involved with the making of the sneaker, which sparked controversy because of its Satanic features such as the Bible scripture from Luke 10:18: "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." The sneaker was also being sold for $1,018 and contains a drop of blood, a bronze pentagram and an inverted cross. There were 666 pairs available as well. However, although the shoe is no longer in production, there are over 100 pairs available via eBay ranging between $3,000 and $20,000.

Regarding the "Satan Shoes," MSCHF's attorney told XXL in a statement: "MSCHF intended to comment on the absurdity of the collaboration culture practiced by some brands, and about the perniciousness of intolerance. The 666 shoes (665 of which were already sold and shipped to collectors before the temporary restraining order hearing last week) were individually-numbered works of art that will continue to represent the ideals of equality and inclusion wherever they are displayed. The artistic messages MSCHF hoped to share with these shoes were also powerfully communicated through Lil Nas X’s music video 'Montero (Call Me By Your Name).'"

The attorney adds that Nike's lawsuit against MSCHF "dramatically amplified" the mission of the collaboration, which was to display "artistic expression."

A rep for Nike told XXL regarding the settlement: "As part of the settlement, Nike has asked MSCHF, and MSCHF has agreed, to initiate a voluntary recall to buy back any Satan Shoes and Jesus Shoes for their original retail prices, in order to remove them from circulation.
If any purchasers were confused, or if they otherwise want to return their shoes, they may do so for a full refund. Purchasers who choose not to return their shoes and later encounter a product issue, defect, or health concern should contact MSCHF, not Nike. The parties are pleased to put this dispute behind them."

Following the lawsuit, MSCHF's attorney says the company will now focus on "new artistic and expressive projects."

XXL has also reached out to a rep for Lil Nas X for comment.

See the Times Rappers Faced Backlash for Wild Things They Said in 2020

Filed Under: Lil Nas X, NikeCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: April 9, 2021Question Everything Inc /RCA / Tha Alumni / H$M Music / Empire

The week is coming to an end and while the weekend is something to look forward to, so are the new music efforts arriving today (April 8) from some of your favorite artists.

Kid Ink hasn't delivered a new album in about five years, but needless to say, he's back. The former 2012 XXL Freshman offers his new LP, Alive. Prior to the album's arrival, the Los Angeles-born rhymer offered the ISM-produced single "Red Light" with a lo-fi sound infused with his laid-back, West Coast melodies. Kid Ink's last project, Full Speed, came out in January of 2015, and featured his hit "Body Language" with Usher and Tinashe. A few years later, he unleashed the Missed Calls EP with appearances from Saweetie, Lil Wayne and more. Kid Ink has had music in the tuck for a while, and has returned with new heat.

L.A.-based hip-hop boyband Brockhampton serves up their signature harmonious vibes on their latest album, Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine, a clear labor of love. Group member Kevin Abstract, who also leads the crew, told the U.K.'s The Guardian in an interview last month that the collective recorded the album three times to get their final product, which arrives today. The LP, which according to Abstract is one of two to arrive this year, but will also be Brockhampton's last project ever, was also teased with two singles: "Buzzcut" featuring Danny Brown and "Count on Me" with A$AP Rocky and SoGoneSoFlexy. Before the arrival of their latest effort, the band, which consists of 13 vocalists, producers and visual artists, delivered a series of singles in January of this year that were crafted during the coronavirus quarantine, released under the name Technical Difficulties and made available via YouTube.

The late Mo3 was tragically shot and killed in Dallas in November of 2020, and although he is no longer here in the physical, his music lives on. Shottaz 4 Eva, a posthumous album from the Texas-bred rapper-crooner, also arrives tonight and contains tales of his street life delivered through his soulful sounds. The 12-track album features appearances from Boosie BadAzz, whom Mo3 collaborated with frequently prior to his tragic passing, Foogiano, YFN Lucci and more. Last year, Mo3 dropped a joint project with Boosie called BadAzz Mo3. Before this, he offered Shottaz 3.0, which features Mo3's hit single "Everybody," later remixed to feature Boosie.

See more new releases below from Lakeyah, G PericoSauce Walka and more.

  • AliveKid InkTha Alumni
  • Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine BrockhamptonQuestion Everything Inc. / RCA Records
  • Shottaz 4EvaMo3H&M Music / Empire
  • No Love in L.A.G PericoPerico’s Innerprize
  • Turquoise TornadoRiff Raff and YelawolfMillion Dollar Mullet Music / Slumerican Records
  • Valentine’s SonCharlie HeatHouse of 99
  • Loyalty Over Royalty (Deluxe)CJWarner Records
  • In Due TimeLakeyah Quality Control Music / Universal Music Group
  • Negro (Deluxe)Pink SiifuField Left
  • Birdz Hunt Snakes Sauce Walka The Sauce Familia / Create Music Group
  • Sauce TrainnSauce Walka and El TrainnThe Sauce Familia / Create Music Group
  • Sauce R&BSauce WalkaThe Sauce Familia / Create Music Group
  • God of TexasSauce WalkaThe Sauce Familia / Create Music Group
  • Out the DarkTrev RichFull Circle Records
  • Seat at the TableDJ Drewski1801 Records
  • Troubadour of Troubled SoulsStruggle JenningsAngels and Outlaws
  • Aura IIIElhaeMotown Records

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Filed Under: Bangers, Brockhampton, Charlie Heat, CJ, DJ Drewski, El Trainn, Elhae, G Perico, Kid Ink, Lakeyah, Mo3, Pink Siifu, Riff Raff, Sauce Walka, Struggle Jennings, Trev Rich, YelawolfCategories: Music, New Music, News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/zoejohnson/” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: April 8, 2021Jason Koerner, Getty Images

Diddy is not receiving a warm reception from social media users after writing a letter demanding corporate America pay Black folks properly.

On Thursday (April 8), Sean "Diddy" Combs and his company, Revolt TV, shared a letter the music executive wrote to General Motors (GM) demanding the vehicle manufacturer invest their advertising revenue in Black-owned media companies and support Black communities financially.

"We demand that Corporate America reinvest an equitable percentage of what you take from our community back into our community. If the Black community represents 15 percent of your revenue, Black-owned media should receive at least 15 percent of the advertising spend," Diddy wrote.

Elsewhere in the letter, Puffy explained how the Black community contributes more than a trillion dollars to GM's annual revenue, despite continuously being "economically undervalued."

"It’s disrespectful that Black-owned media companies only represent 1 percent of the total advertising market. It’s disrespectful that distributors refuse to carry Black-owned media brands in an era where our impact and influence is undeniable," Diddy continued. "It’s disrespectful that the same community that represents 14 percent of the population and spends over $1.4 trillion annually is still the most economically undervalued and underserved at every level. To repeat, $1.4 TRILLION ANNUALLY! The Almighty Black Dollar!"

While Diddy's letter about investing in the Black community and paying people of color their worth was the right message, Twitter did not deem him the appropriate messenger. On multiple occasions, the 51-year-old rapper-producer has been accused of exploiting Black talent for his benefit.

In January of 2020, Mase—who signed to Puffy's Bad Boy Records imprint in the 1990s—called out Puff for his less than honorable business practices after Diddy made similar statements suggesting the Grammy committee doesn't respect Black music.

"Your past business practices knowingly has continued purposely starved your artist and been extremely unfair to the very same artist that helped u obtain that Icon Award on the iconic Bad Boy label," Mase wrote in an Instagram caption. "For example, u still got my publishing from 24 years ago in which u gave me $20k. Which makes me never want to work w/ u as any artist wouldn't after u know someone is robbing you & tarnishing your name when u don't want to comply w/ his horrendous business model."

Like Mase, who accused Diddy of being hypocritical once before, Twitter users hopped down Diddy's throat to point out the inconsistencies in his open letter.

"Diddy… about a 150 million away from being a BILLIONAIRE diddy is shaming white corporations for a capitalist business model he almost completely replicated," Noname noted. "Abolish the black capitalist industrial complex."

Another Twitter user chimed in, writing, "Diddy continues to get on a soapbox to address issues and systems that he's benefitting from to this day. I don't understand why continues to voluntarily make himself look like a fool, but I digress!"

Check out the other tweets criticizing Diddy's recent comments about corporate America properly compensating the Black community and Black-owned businesses below.

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Filed Under: DiddyCategories: News