href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 10, 2021Streeter Lecka / BIG3, Getty Images

It looks like we will be getting DMX's posthumous album before the end of the month.

On Monday (May 10), one month after X's passing, the rapper's label Def Jam announced via Twitter that the Yonkers, N.Y. MC's last album, Exodus, is coming out on May 28. "The legacy continues. EXODUS 5/28," the tweet simply reads. A photo of the rapper is attached. DMX's Instagram account also confirmed the news with the same photo and caption.

Swizz Beatz will be executive producing the LP. “My brother X was one of the most pure and rare souls I’ve ever met," Swizzy said in a statement. "He lived his life dedicated to his family and music. Most of all, he was generous with his giving and loved his fans beyond measure. This album, X couldn’t wait for his fans all around the world to hear and show just how much he valued each and every single person that has supported him unconditionally.”

This will be DMX's eighth solo studio album. He spent a lot of time last year in Nashville, Tenn. completing the project before his untimely death. Last summer, he revealed it was coming soon. Earlier this year, he revealed details of the offering, his first official release since 2012's Undisputed, during an interview on the Drink Champs Podcast. "I got uh, Griselda boys, Pop Smoke," X said about the forthcoming LP. "That's what type of new I'm doing."

X reunited with Def Jam, his first major label home, in 2019 and has been prepping this project since then. Sadly, DMX died on April 9, following a week-long battler on life-support after suffering a heart attack on April 2 at his home.

A public memorial was held for the beloved rapper at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y on April 24 that was attended by thousands. He was laid to rest the following day after a private ceremony.

See DMX's Most Inspirational Lyrics

Filed Under: DMXCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 10, 2021Kevin Mazur, Getty Images

J. Cole is turning his hoop dreams into a reality.

On Monday (May 10), ESPN reported Cole is ready to suit up for Rwanda Patriots BBC for the inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League. According to the report, Cole arrived in Rwanda over the weekend and his signing is expected to be made official on Thursday (April 13). Cole will have his first game on Sunday (May 16) against the Nigeria River Hoopers.

Local Rwandan news outlet The New Times shared video of Cole in Rwanda in what appears to be a gym on their Twitter account.

XXL has reached out to J. Cole's reps for confirmation.

J. Cole played high school basketball Terry Sanford High School in North Carolina in the early 2000s before walking on at St. John's University. He ultimately chose hip-hop but played heavy on hoop themes on early projects like his debut album, Cole World: The Sideline Story and The Warm Up.

More recently, speculation has been swirling that Cole wanted to get back on the court. Last August, Cole appeared in Puma commercial where he seemed to be training. Master P, who narrated the commercial, later said Cole was training for a shot at the NBA. "When I talked to J. Cole, he was like, 'You know, big dog you did it. What do you think I would have to do to make it happen?'," said P, who made the pre-season squads for the Toronto Raptors and Charlotte Hornets in the late 1990s. The same month, the Detroit Pistons offered the 36-year-old Dreamville rapper a tryout.

The basketball news comes as Cole is just a few days away from releasing his sixth solo studio album, The Off-Season.

See How Many Days It’s Been Since Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Travis Scott and More Dropped an Album

Filed Under: J. ColeCategories: News


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

Lil Pump flipped out after having the windows busted out on two of his cars including his Rolls Royce Cullinan.

On Sunday (May 9), while most people were enjoying Mother's Day, the South Florida rapper hopped on Instagram to share news of the crime. "Bro. Im'a catch you," a heated Pump said in the clip, showing off the rear windows busted out on two white SUVs in his driveway. Pump went on to threaten violence against the perpetrators. "Whoever did this, I'ma catch you and I'ma blow your brains out, bitch. I'ma catch your ass, little nigga. Little bum ass bitch. Step foot in my yard again. I want you to step foot in my yard. I'ma be up for three days straight. Come in this bitch. I fucking dare you. That's a free body for me."

Pump's plan would not be a smart one. Even Florida's controversial Stand-Your-Ground law does not allow an individual to shoot and kill someone for committing a property crime. He ended the video by saying, "Y'all really that broke that you riding around breaking into people's cars? Bitch, when I catch you, I'ma break your fucking face."

Lil Pump has been quiet on the music side, recently. But that hasn't stopped him from going viral. Late last year, he made the headlines for giving support to then President Trump during his re-election campaign. He later showed up and spoke at a Trump rally. A month later, Pump raised eyebrows for dissing Eminem.

Pump has recently been seen rocking acrylic nails, which has drawn ire of rappers like BlocBoy JB and Kodak Black. Kodak even called out his fellow Floridian for the stunt.

See the Origin Stories of Names of Rappers From the SoundCloud Era

Filed Under: Lil PumpCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 10, 2021Prince Williams, Getty Images

UPDATE:
After Lil Baby deleted his initial Instagram post teasing the release date for his album with Lil Durk, the Quality Control rapper re-uploaded the quasi-announcement on Monday afternoon (May 10). This time, Durk has also shared the same post with a similar caption. "The voice of the hero’s may28th what y’all think….. @lilbaby," Durk teased.

See both posts below.

ORIGINAL STORY:
Lil Baby and Lil Durk's new joint project, Voice of the Heroes, might be dropping this month.

Baby and Durkio, two of the hottest young rappers in the game right now, have been teasing the highly anticipated offering for months. On Sunday (May 9), Baby appeared to let the cat out of the bag as to the release date for the new album.

"How does Voice of the Heroes dropping on May 28 sound?" he captioned a series of photos of the duo, adding Durk's handle plus head exploding and fire emojis. However, a short time later, the Atlanta rapper took down the post. So it is unclear if the date is official.

LilBaby via Instagram

Lil Baby first confirmed the joint project with Durk back in March. "Me and [Lil] Durk been locked in every night," the 4 Pockets Full CEO shared with MTV. "God damn, that's the new one. We coming. Me and [Lil] Durk dropping an album, fa sho."

"When it comes to that street shit, the streets is like, we the voices and the heroes of this shit," he added, expounding on the title. "You know what I'm saying? Kids look at us like heroes. I know they look at me like one and [Lil] Durk, too. That nigga been holding it down for a minute."

The My Turn rapper talked about the sound of the project saying, "We got songs where we're just bars, we got songs where…you know, the vibe. We got songs with other people that's just remakes of other songs. It's gon' be one of the craziest albums to ever come out."

The duo have collaborated several times, most recently on DJ Khaled's Khaled Khaled album on the track "Every Chance I Get." This would be Lil Baby's first release since My Turn in 2020. Durk put out Loyal Bros. label compilation back in March.

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

Filed Under: Lil Baby, Lil DurkCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 9, 2021Robyn Beck, Getty Images

DJ Khaled can add another (No.) one to his list of musical accomplishments.

The energetic record producer nabbed his third No. 1 album on Sunday (May 9), according to Billboard's recently released Billboard 200 chart top 10. Billboard reports the We The Best boss' 12th studio album, Khaled Khaled, recorded 93,000 equivalent album sales during its first week out. That tally includes 3,000 traditional album sales.

The new album goes with Major Key (2016) and Grateful (2017) as the three Khaled LPs to reach the top spot on Billboard and his fifth top five debut along with Father of Asahd (No. 2), Kiss the Ring (No. 4) and We the Best Forever (No. 5). Khaled Khaled features a star-studded cast of Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Nas, DaBaby, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Megan Thee Stallion, Rick Ross, Post Malone, Migos, Meek Mill and more.

Khaled appeared on the recent XXL magazine digital cover where he talked about crafting records so many artists. “I mean, the way I make my records, you know, I start off with the production, the music, the beat. It’s me and my team crafting it up or sometimes it come from somebody I love like Tay Keith or something, you nah I’m sayin’?" Khaled said. "What I do with that, I make sure the music is right. The beat gotta be right. It gotta speak to me in different levels and different languages and different vibes. And then from there, some records, I like to come up with just some ideas just to spark other ideas up."

Epic Records

Other hip-hop artists in the top 10 on this week's Billboard 200 chart include MoneyBagg Yo (A Gangsta's Pain, No. 2), Young Stoner Life (Slime Language 2, No. 5), Rod Wave (SoulFly, No. 6), Pop Smoke (Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon, No. 8) and The Weeknd (The Highlights, No. 9).

N-Less Entertainment / Interscope RecordsYoung Stoner Life RecordsAlamo RecordsVictor Victor WorldwideThe Weeknd XO / RepublicSee Photos From DJ Khaled’s XXL Magazine Digital Cover StoryPeep DJ Khaled’s XXL magazine digital cover and watch the full interview here.Filed Under: DJ KhaledCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 9, 2021Valery Hache, Getty Images

50 Cent recently moved to Houston and he's already making waves in the Lone Star State.

On May 8, the rap mogul's Le Chemin du Roi champagne won Best of Show in the 2021 Houston Livestock and Rodeo Reserve Grand Champion's International Wine Competition, reports H-Town's ABC13. "When they told me I won, I almost fainted. I was really excited," Fif said about the win. "I am very proud of this."

50 also celebrated his win for the Reserve Grand Champion honor on Instagram. "They told me everybody who’s somebody in Houston is at the @rodeohouston I won reserve grand champion best in show," he captioned a photo of himself with a custom trophy saddle he took home.

"Yes i get that saddle and its beautifully hand crafted .I mean you have to get you one ‍♂️it’s just amazing," he captioned another post noting his win.

The annual competition attracted over 2,600 entries from 18 different countries this year, according to officials. The event also features a wine auction, during which two couples purchased 50's bubbly for $160,000.

50 debuted Le Chemin du Roi line in 2018, following his split with Effen Vodka. The champagne has won awards before including taking home gold in the 2020 San Diego International Wine and Spirits Challenge.

50 seems to be content hobnobbing in Houston after announcing his relocation to the nation's fifth largest city last week via a Twitter. post. "I Love NY, but i live in Houston now i’ll explain later," he captioned some screenshots about a new television series he is working on titled Confessions of a Crime Queen. He will also be executive producing a series based on the life of Cyntoia Brown, who was sentenced to 51 years in prison on Dec. 6, 2018, for murdering a man who solicited her for sex when she was 16. In January of 2019, Brown's sentence was commuted to 15 years plus 10 years of supervised parole. Brown was released from prison on Aug. 7, 2019.

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

Filed Under: 50 CentCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 8, 2021AB via Instagram

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver and moonlighting rapper, Antonio Brown, is getting dragged after video surfaced of him working out with hip-hop pariah 6ix9ine.

Video surfaced of the two working out on Friday (May 7) via Brown's Instagram page. According to TMZ, the Super Bowl-winning wideout invited Tekashi to his football training facility in Miami. In the clips, the two run routes against each other, with Brown mostly embarrassing the Brooklyn rapper-federal informant.

In the comments of the post, fellow athletes Chad Ochocino and J.R. Smith showed their displeasure, with Chad posting two crying emojis and Swish simply putting the comment, "Bruh…"

Former NFL quarterback Terrelle Pryor added, "Damn AB."

Rapper DoeBoy posted, "C'mon gang you tripping," in the comments.

AB via Instagram

Brown has been getting roasted on Twitter for associating with Tekashi, too. "Antonio Brown playing football with 6ix9ine [rat] ass," one person tweeted after seeing the video. Others were confused why Brown would associate with 6ix9ine. "Why is AB messing around with tekashi kn the first place?" a puzzled Twitter user pondered.

Brown and 6ix9ine are definitely two entertainers who move to the beat of their own drum. Since Brown has a rap career he is trying to get started, it wouldn't be too surprising to see the two collaborating on music in the future.

6ix9ine has been spending a lot of time in Florida, recently. He performed his first live show since being released from prison in Orlando, Fla. last month.

See more Twitter tweets from people reacting to AB working with 6ix9ine below.

These Tone-Deaf Hip-Hop Moments Prove Rappers Can Get Hit With Serious Backlash

Filed Under: 6ix9ine, Antonio BrownCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 8, 2021Johnny Nunez., Getty Images

More details continue to come in surrounding the February 2020 killing of Brooklyn, N.Y. rapper Pop Smoke.

According to new testimony from a detective involved in the case, Pop, born Bashar Jackson, was fatally shot by a 15-year-old who was one of the five people arrested in connection with the rapper's slaying, which occurred following a home invasion, reports New York Daily News.

On Friday (May 7), LAPD Det. Carlos Camacho testified during a preliminary hearing for suspect, Corey Walker, 20, that the unnamed 15-year-old defendant admitted to pulling the trigger during a recorded interview with a cellmate last May at a juvenile detention center. “[The teen] admitted that he shot the victim three times with a Baretta 9 [mm.],” Camacho told the court.

“They got into a fight, and he shot him three times,” Camacho said the interview reveals. “He said he shot him on the back. He said that when the individuals got inside, the suspects confronted [Pop Smoke], who was in the shower naked.”

Camacho also testified that Walker admitted his role in the slaying as well to an informant who was placed in his cell following his July 2020 arrest. “He said that when the individuals got inside, the suspects confronted [Pop Smoke], who was in the shower naked,” Camacho testified.

Walker was recorded telling the informant they wore ski masks and commanded the rapper to take off his jewelry. Pop reportedly initially started to comply, to which the intruders told him "Thank you." However, according to Walker, the rapper then fought back. He rushed robbers but was pistol whipped before being shot by the 15-year-old. They were only able to make off with one of Pop's expensive watches, which they later sold for $2,000, investigators say.

During the hearing, Walker's defense attorney, Christopher Darden, argued for murder charges against his client to be dropped, saying Walker only drove the car to the home and was not directly involved with the robbery or killing. Judge H. Clay Jacke II denied Darden’s request and Walker pleaded not guilty. Walker is due back in court for rearrangement on June 3.

The new testimony from Det. Camacho aligns with new details revealed during testimony on Thursday (May 6), from LAPD detective Christian Carrasco. He relayed statements from a woman who was in an adjacent room at the home at the time of the shooting. The woman claims the intruders breached the home through a second-floor balcony, put a gun to her head and told her "Shut the fuck up. Do you want to die?"

"She heard a struggle coming from the shower area and heard Mr. Jackson screaming," Detective Carrasco said. "Mr. Jackson ran out of the bathroom and then she heard a loud pop and [heard] Mr. Jackson fall to the ground." Carrasco also testified the woman said two of the intruders kicked Pop after he was shot.

The individuals involved in the crime had no connection to the rapper and reportedly saw his address on a social media post when they decided to try and rob him on Feb. 19, 2020 around 4 a.m. Police initially had very few leads in the case. Six months later, Walker, Keandre Rodgers, Jaquan Murphy and two minors whose names are being withheld because they were underage at the time were arrested and are being charged with the murder and robbery. Walker and Rodgers could face the death penalty or life in prison if found guilty or murder.

XXL has reached out to the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office for a comment.

See Rappers We've Lost in 2020

Filed Under: Pop SmokeCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: May 7, 2021Scott Dudelson, Getty Images

Pop Smoke's older brother, Obasi Jackson, has spoken out on the new details regarding the rapper's murder that have emerged from the preliminary hearing for one of Pop's alleged killers.

On Friday afternoon (May 7), Obasi shared a photo of a typed message on his Instagram page, which reads, "Somethings not right about this case! The info not matching and ppl moving crazy. Bashar on God we getting to the bottom of it I'm sorry da real wasn't with you. I'm sorry you said niggas would shoot back and they didn't. I'm sorry you thought nighas would fight for you and they're not even doing that in death. It seems you were more valuable alive. Everybody gets mad when I speak up cause it threatens [their] position in this gang shit. Since you been away pop, people's love have been M.I.A."

Pop Smoke's brother's social media post comes after reports surfaced online that the day Pop was a victim of a deadly home invasion in February of 2020, he was kicked after being shot. The lauded rapper was lying on the ground at the time when the intruders began kicking him.

Two LAPD detectives reportedly testified in court on Thursday (May 6) during the preliminary hearing for Corey Walker, 20, who was among the five people arrested last July in connection with Pop's murder.

One of the detectives spoke with a woman, who was at the home on Feb. 19, 2020, when the tragic shooting took place, and shared the accounts the woman told authorities that day.

The detective testified in court that the intruders entered the Hollywood Hills home from the second floor balcony while Pop Smoke was in the shower. The woman was in the bedroom, which was connected to the bathroom Pop was in.

After Pop was shot, the investigator said the rapper got up and ran down the stairs. The detective then said the woman heard additional shots fired and called for actor Mike Dee, who was also reportedly at the home, to call for help.

An Infinity car that was spotted on the surveillance camera, presumably outside of the home, was also traced back to Corey Walker, who along with Keandre Rodgers, is facing the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Three other individuals, Jaquan Murphy and two unnamed minors, were also arrested in connection with the Brooklyn drill rapper's tragic death.

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

Filed Under: Obasi Jackson, Pop SmokeCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/robbyseabrookiii/” rel=”author” title=”Robby Seabrook III”>Robby Seabrook IIIPublished: May 7, 2021

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 Trippie Redd ("Miss The Rage" featuring Playboi Carti), Don Toliver ("What You Need") and Isaiah Rashad ("Lay Wit Ya" featuring Duke Deuce) and more. See you next week!

  • “Interlude”J. Cole
  • “5’5″Toosii featuring Mulatto
  • “Miss The Rage”Trippie Redd featuring Playboi Carti
  • “Lay Wit Ya”Isaiah Rashad featuring Duke Deuce
  • “What You Need”Don Toliver
  • “All 10″Kuttem Reese featuring Chief Keef
  • “In My Feelings”Tee Grizzley featuring Quavo and Young Dolph
  • “Woman”Little Simz featuring Cleo Sol
  • “Hello Baby”Young M.A. featuring Fivio Foreign
  • “Back On Evergreen”Lil Poppa
  • “Walkin'”Yung Mal featuring Pooh Shiesty
  • “Thumbin'”Kash Doll
  • “Perfect Timing”Mozzy and YG featuring Blxst

See How Much It’ll Cost to Get a Verse From Your Favorite RapperAny guesses on dollar amounts before you look?Filed Under: Bangers, Blxst, Chief Keef, Cleo Sol, Don Toliver, Duke Deuce, Fivio Foreign, Isaiah Rashad, J. Cole, Kash Doll, Kuttem Reese, Lil Poppa, little simz, mozzy, Mulatto, Playboi Carti, Pooh Shiesty, Quavo, Tee Grizzley, The List, Toosii, Trippie Redd, YG, Young Dolph, Young M.A, Yung MalCategories: New Music


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: May 7, 2021Scott Dudelson, Getty Images

The Game is the latest rhymer to share his list of his top favorite rappers.

On Thursday (May 6), the Compton rapper tweeted his top 10 rappers, who are still living. He wrote, "My top ten best rappers alive list in order (Not including myself) 1. Jay-Z 2. NAS 3. Lil Wayne 4. Eminem 5. Kendrick [Lamar] 6. Snoop Dogg 7. Drake 8. Andre 3000 9. J. Cole 10. Lil Baby (And by the way, I’ll go bar for bar with anybody on this list)."

Many people weighed in on Game's list of revered rhymers and also the sentiment that he said he can go "bar for bar" with any of the artists he named.

One person tweeted, "I like this list, I would only take off Em. Almost everyone on this list has influenced hip hop. Em doesn’t add anything to hip hop. Been overrated his whole career."

Another typed, "Lil Baby [laughing emoji] where Kxng Crooked, Ransom, Benny The Butcher, these three I named are 1000% better than Lil Baby. Shit Crook the best lyricist in the west at this moment."

A third person said, "Would take out Snoop Dogg and Lil Baby for Kanye and Lupe, but everything else is solid."

A couple of the rappers on The Game's list have shared their own top MCs list in the past.

In May of last year, Drake shared his top five favorite rhymers: Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., Andre 3000 and O.V.O. Hush aka Young Tony.

The following month, Eminem revealed his greatest rappers of all list, naming: Lil Wayne, Tupac Shakur, Royce 5'9", Jay-Z, Redman, Treach of Naughty by Nature, Kool G. Rap, The Notorious B.I.G., Kxng Crooked, LL Cool J, Nas, Joyner Lucas, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, André 3000, Rakim and Big Daddy Kane.

In August of 2020, Snoop offered his list as well. He said via Instagram: Slick Rick, Ice Cube, LL Cool J, KRS-One, Rakim, Run from Run-DMC, Big Daddy Kane, Ice-T and Too $hort. Prior to Snoop Dogg speaking on his favorite rhymers, he noted that Em isn't included. Snoop explained that Eminem can't par up to rappers from the 1980s.

See more reactions to The Game's top 10 rappers below.

See How Much It’ll Cost to Get a Verse From Your Favorite RapperAny guesses on dollar amounts before you look?Filed Under: Andre 3000, Drake, Eminem, J. Cole, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Baby, Lil Wayne, nas, Snoop Dogg, The GameCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: May 7, 2021Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images

Nearly a year after five individuals were arrested in connection with the murder of Pop Smoke, one of Pop's alleged killers has had a preliminary court hearing, in which new developments in the case were shared.

According to a report from the New York Daily News on Thursday (May 6), LAPD detective Christian Carrasco testified during the hearing for 20-year-old Corey Walker. Walker is one of the three adults who were charged in connection to the beloved rhymer's killing. The identities of the two others have not been revealed, presumably because they are minors. This hearing will dictate whether or not Walker will go to trial.

The detective said on the witness stand that masked men entered the Hollywood Hills home Pop Smoke was staying at back in February of 2020 through the second-story balcony. At the time of the intrusion, the Brooklyn rapper was showering.

One of the men allegedly put a black semiautomatic gun to the forehead of a woman who was in Pop's bedroom at the time. The bedroom was apparently adjacent to the bathroom Pop Smoke was in.

The detective said the armed individual told the woman, "Shut the fuck up. Do you want to die?"

The investigator went on to say that the woman, who was with Pop Smoke the night he was tragically killed, spoke to law enforcement following the fatal shooting incident.

"She heard a struggle coming from the shower area and heard Mr. Jackson screaming," Detective Carrasco said. "Mr. Jackson ran out of the bathroom and then she heard a loud pop and [heard] Mr. Jackson fall to the ground."

Referring to the woman's account of what happened the night of Feb. 19, 2020, the detective added, "Two other individuals began to kick him."

Pop Smoke's mother was reportedly in the court room during the hearing and appeared to be visibly upset after the testimonial was shared about her son being kicked after he was shot.

The investigator continued, saying Pop Smoke got up and ran downstairs. "She hears two more pops. She follows Mr. Jackson, sees him on the ground and screams for Michael (Durodola) to call 911."

Actor Michael Durdola, a.k.a Mike Dee, was reportedly at the home with Pop Smoke that night as well.

The woman claims that the intruders took Pop's "large gold watch" and other jewelry before leaving the home.

Another LAPD officer testified and revealed that the Infinity vehicle caught on surveillance camera, presumably outside of the home, that transported the suspects was traced back to Corey Walker.

Detective Frank Flores claims that Walker had bought the car from the seller and was stopped in it for a reason unrelated to Pop Smoke's killing.

The other suspects are Keandre Rodgers, Jaquan Murphy and the aforementioned minors. Walker and Rodgers both face the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The minors, who were ages 15 and 17 when they were arrested last July, were each charged with one count of murder and one count of robbery. Murphy was charged with attempted murder.

Pop had been shot in the torso and according to the Daily News report, doctors attempted to perform a major surgery called a "left thoracotomy." The rapper, however, suffered a "rapid" decline in his health and doctors were unable to save him.

As previously reported, the men broke into the Los Angeles-area home around 4 a.m., wearing ski masks. Two of the men reportedly fired numerous shots, striking the rapper.

Prior to the home invasion, Pop accidentally showed the address of his location via social media while sharing images of gifts he had received. Police reported last July that they didn't think the alleged killers knew Pop. Instead, law enforcement felt the accused murders got Pop's address when he unintentionally posted it online.

Pop Smoke was only 20 years old when he was shot and killed.

Although Pop is no longer here in the physical, his music lives on and his debut album, Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon, has amassed major success. The effort landed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart and has remained on there for 43 weeks.

XXL has reached out to the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office and a rep for Pop Smoke's estate for a comment.

See 19 Rappers Who Were Shot While They Were in the Spotlight

Filed Under: Pop SmokeCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/zoejohnson/” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: May 7, 2021Noah Graham, Getty Images

50 Cent is back to trolling his longtime rival, Floyd Mayweather.

On Thursday (May 6), following the now-viral press conference where internet personality Jake Paul and Floyd Mayweather got into a physical altercation while advertising Mayweather's upcoming fight on June 6 with Jake's brother Logan Paul, 50 Cent offered comments about the event. The 45-year-old rapper clowned the undefeated boxer for seemingly getting punked by the YouTube star while simultaneously commenting on Mayweather's lack of a fresh haircut at the media event.

"👀WTF going on, on champ head 😆I heard he had his pubic hairs put on his face. Lol #bransoncognac#lecheminduroi," Fif wrote in the caption of a photo from the press conference.

Floyd is seen rocking a scruffy and grown-out haircut and beard in the image 50 shared.

According to TMZ Sports yesterday, the heated exchange apparently stems from Mayweather calling the Paul brothers "fake fighters" and saying that he'd fight both of them in the same night. As mentioned, the June showdown between the formerly retired boxer and Logan Paul will take place at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

50 Cent has made similar comments about Floyd's beard in the past. "LMAO," 50 wrote in a post back in January, including three laughing emojis. He continued, "He took hair from his ass and put it on his face. LOL WTF is really going on Champ?"

The same day Fif offered his comments on Floyd's appearance, the 44-year-old professional fighter and Jake Paul came to blows after Paul snatched Floyd's hat from his head during the press conference. Floyd immediately flew into a rage and allegedly punched Jake Paul in the face. The YouTuber, however, insists he was hit by one of Floyd's security guards.

Jake Paul later taunted Floyd by getting the words "gotcha hat" tattooed on his shin, along with an image of a cap.

50's latest diss is one of many issued by the rapper to Floyd Mayweather. The two entertainers have a long history of throwing shade back-and-forth and their feud has lasted for nearly a decade.

Back in February, Floyd Mayweather confirmed he would be interested in fighting 50 Cent in an exhibition boxing match at the end of 2021. 50 Cent later spoke about the potential fight between the two men and declined the offer.

In case you missed the altercation between Floyd Mayweather and Jake Paul, check it out below.

See Wild Rap Beefs That'll Probably Never Be Resolved

Filed Under: 50 Cent, Floyd Mayweather, Jake PaulCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/zoejohnson/” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: May 7, 2021South Coast Music Group/Capitol Records / 300 Entertainment / Quando Rondo LLC/Never Broke Again LLC/Atlantic

Another week is coming to a close and some new music has arrived to help kick off the weekend.

It's been a little while since Tee Grizzley dropped a project, but he's bringing it with his new album, Built for Whatever. The 19-track offering was first announced on April 29 and is the follow-up to Grizzley's 2020 mixtape, The Smartest. The rapper, with a signature Detroit-sounding flow, released the LP's first single, "Never Bend Never Fold" featuring G Herbo, last month. Tee Grizzley's new album contains additional guest appearances from Lil Durk, Quavo, Young Dolph, Big Sean, the late King Von and Grizzley's younger brother, Baby Grizzley.

Syracuse, N.Y.-born and North Carolina-based rapper Toosii delivers his new album, Thank You for Believing, as well. Despite a minor album delay, the effort has 13 bangers featuring bars from DaBaby, 2020 XXL Freshman Mulatto and Key Glock. The rapper-crooner unleashed his first joint from the album, the R&B-tinged track "Back Together," on April 1. The visual arrived the following day. Weeks later, he released "What It Cost." Toosii, who has amassed success with his hits "Red Lights," "Love Cycle" and more, is following up his 2020 offerings Poetic Pain and Platinum Heart.

Quando Rondo returns with his sophomore album, Still Taking Risks. The Savannah, Ga. rhymer has been in headlines recently for his connection to King Von's murder and the fallout due to it. Today, he aims to focus back on music. The new album features 18 songs including the previously-released single "End of Story," on which Quando appears to address the killing of King Von. The new album follows Rondo's debut, QPac, which came out last January.

See more releases from Jay Critch, Joey Trap, Kuttem Reese, Lil Poppa and more below.

  • Built for WhateverTee Grizzley300 Entertainment
  • Thank You for BelievingToosiiSouth Coast Music Group / Capital Records
  • Still Taking RisksQuando RondoQuando Rondo LLC/ Never Broke Again LLC/ Atlantic Records Group
  • Kutt Dat BoyKuttem ReeseRepublic Records / 448 Music Group / CKN
  • TY4FWMAllBlackPlayrunner Association / Empire
  • Blessed, I GuessLil PoppaRule #1/ Interscope
  • Just Say You Don’t CareNight LovellG59 Records
  • Final HomeLil WestNomad Records / Republic
  • No Hard FeelingsMBNelMuddy Boyz / Empire
  • Critch TapeJay CritchTalk Money Ent.
  • ProfessionalJoey TrapYung Rich Squad / Pvtl Projects
  • AprilPapooseHonorable Records
  • Super What?Czarface and MF DoomSilver Age
  • Return to SenderMelvoni Epic Records / Sony Music Entertainment

See the Best Hip-Hop Albums Created by One Producer

Filed Under: AllBlack, Bangers, Czarface, Jay Critch, joey trap, Kuttem Reese, Lil Poppa, lil west, MBNel, Melvoni, MF Doom, Night Lovell, Papoose, Quando Rondo, Tee Grizzley, ToosiiCategories: Music, New Music, News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: May 7, 2021Jesse D. Garrabrant / NBAE, Getty Images

Nearly a year ago, J. Cole released his two-song stimulus package, Lewis Street, which contained tracks "The Climb Back" and "Lion King on Ice." Since then, fans have been yearning for new Cole and it's finally here.

On Friday (May 7), the Dreamville Records founder delivered a new single called "Interlude." The offering is the first joint to arrive from Cole's upcoming album The Off-Season, due to arrive on May 14.

The new song is produced by T-Minus, Cole and Tommy Parker, and finds Jermaine coming out hard with a melodious flow over the sample-driven track. "I be comin' in peace, but fuck me, best beware/The others is shit deep, under covers creep," Cole flows. "This Southern heat make unbearable summers/Just last week seen your momma weep/Crying 'cause she don't wanna bury your brother/The blood leaks while the EMT's gotta carry hеr baby like surrogate mothers."

The offering is just over two minutes long and serves as a proper intro on what to expect next week.

J. Cole announced on Thursday afternoon (May 6) that he'd be dropping the record despite expressing sentiments that he initially wanted to release the entire album at once. "Told myself I would drop the album all at once," he tweeted. "Sometimes you gotta say fuck it tho. New song tonight. 12 o’clock. “i n t e r l u d e” from The Off-Season."

The Fayetteville, N.C. rapper officially revealed the release date for the LP on Tuesday (May 4), writing in an Instagram post, "My new album The Off-Season available 5/14. Just know this was years in the making."

The upload included an image of the cover artwork for The Off-Season.

Prior to J. Cole confirming the album's arrival date, there had been numerous hints that he'd be releasing a project, including a photo of the rapper in the studio and Cole revealing that he had "just rode through the city to The Off-Season."

The album was initially referred to as a mixtape when it was first announced in December of 2020. At the time, Cole posted an image of a checklist on a notebook page, which had The Off-Season arriving prior to The Fall Off album. His label's Revenge of the Dreams 3 compilation album had already been crossed out and the list also had a line that said "It's a Boy," potentially suggesting that J. Cole might have a child on the way.

Here's to receiving a teaser from The Off-Season a week early. Check out J. Cole's "Interlude" below.

See 36 Surprising Facts About J. Cole

Filed Under: Bangers, J. ColeCategories: Music, New Music, News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: May 6, 2021RMG News

Chris Brown's 32nd birthday celebration, which was also on Cinco de Mayo, ended abruptly after neighbors filed a noise complaint.

According to a report from TMZ on Thursday (May 6), the LAPD shut down Breezy's festivities at his San Fernando Valley, Calif. home early this morning at around 2 a.m. Apparently, law enforcement received a disturbance call about loud music and improperly parked cars near the singer's home.

A rep for the LAPD confirmed the noise complaint and crowd dispersal with XXL this afternoon. The rep said, "Officers responded to a loud noise call in the 19600 block of Citrus Ridge and disperse a large crowd. No incidents reported."

The outlet claims that when police arrived at the home, officers spoke with Chris Brown's security. The music was turned down, but that resulted in the party actually ending. The cops also estimated that there were between 400 and 500 people in attendance at the function.

In video footage obtained by TMZ, a fleet of LAPD cars and trucks are seen outside of Chris Brown's home, in addition to numerous luxury vehicles like Mercedes Benz's and Range Rover trucks trying to make their way out of Breezy's neighborhood. Some of the cars parked illegally were ticketed.

There was a helicopter hovering over the premises as well.

Apparently, due to prior incidents that have transpired at the Slime & B artist's home, four police cars and a supervisor were sent to Breezy's residence following the noise disturbance call.

Previous incidents that happened at his home includes police doing a welfare check at Breezy's mansion in 2019 after he revealed his address online while feuding with Offset and his home being searched in 2016 and law enforcement discovering guns and drugs.

Check out the video footage of police shutting down Chris Brown's party below.

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

Filed Under: Chris BrownCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: May 6, 2021Jack McKain

Some of XXXTentacion's unreleased music will be available soon through an NFTs (non-fungible tokens) sale.

On Thursday (May 6), it was announced that XXX's estate, run by his mother Cleopatra Bernard, and his manager, Solomon Sounds, have partnered with Yellowheart to release never-before-heard songs from the late rhymer through an exclusive NFTs collection. Yellowheart is a non-fungible tokens marketplace for music and ticketing, which accepts cryptocurrency and credit card payments.

The cover artwork for the unreleased tracks were designed by Stephen Bliss, the artist and illustrator responsible for the Grand Theft Auto video game artwork. GTA was also XXX's favorite game.

The collection also contains unseen footage from X's 2017 Revenge tour.

The NFTs sale begins on May 10 at 12 p.m. EST and ends on May 15.

Yellowheart will be offering proceeds from the former 2017 XXL Freshman's NFTs collection to the XXXFoundation, a nonprofit that XXXTentacion's mom and manager launched following his passing.

Josh Katz, founder and CEO of Yellowheart, said in a statement, "As a company driven by fans and artists, our mission is to partner with musicians to create meaningful and impactful collections through a sustainable NFT minting system that is better for the environment. This is why partnering with XXXTentacion’s team for this drop to pay homage to his footprint on the history of hip-hop, as well as continue his work giving back through the XXXFoundation, was a no brainer."

Katz also told Rolling Stone in a report published today that there will be five songs included in XXXTentacion's NFTs drop. “Although they were all big on SoundCloud, we never had the opportunity to monetize them or bring them off platform,” Yellowheart's founder reveals. "Some of these songs aren’t even on his SoundCloud page anymore. There are just the remnants of them being reposted. These were the songs that built his career and led up to the explosion he had."

The XXXTentacion collection, organized by Yellowheart, comes nearly three years after the rapper was shot and killed in Florida outside of a motorcycle shop. He was 20 years old.

The beloved artist joins a number of other rappers who have benefitted from the NFTs wave such as Jeezy, Curren$y, A$AP Rocky, Eminem and more.

Check out the visual announcement for XXX's exclusive NFTs collection below.

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

Filed Under: XXXTentacionCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: May 6, 2021Paras Griffin, Getty Images

Foogiano will be behind bars for a while after allegedly removing his government-issued ankle monitor and leaving it on the side of the road last December.

According to a report from the Athens Banner-Herald on Tuesday (May 4), a judge in Georgia's Greene County Superior Court sentenced the 1017 Records artist to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty on Monday (May 3) to removing the ankle GPS device.

Music executive and Authentic Empire founder Boomman tweeted about Foogiano's prison sentence earlier this week on May 3. He wrote, "Green County Just Gave @FoogianoDaMayor 5 years for cutting an ankle monitor for a gun charge that wasn’t his and was claimed by some one else this is beyond crazy 😥 we have to do something about this!"

Foogiano also alluded to the sentencing via Instagram, sharing a post featuring a black-and-yellow sign reading, "Free Foo," and had a caption that read, "All my friends, family and supporters make this your profile pic 'while I’m gone.'"

Meek Mill called for Foo's freedom on May 3 as well, writing, "Free foogiano ….. don’t try to kill that man whole career about tryna protect his self years ago!"

Following Foogiano, born Kwame Brown, "melting off" the device, according to the Courier Journal back in March, he was on the run for about three months until he was arrested by a U.S. Marshal's Office task force in Memphis on March 11. Foogiano was apparently in the city attending memorial services for the brother of Pooh Shiesty, who is also signed to Gucci Mane's 1017 Records. When arrested, Foogiano was hit with a fugitive of justice without a warrant charge.

The Gutta Baby rapper had been ordered to wear an ankle monitor and was required to stay in his home state of Georgia after being taken into custody for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in Barrow County, Ga. on Dec. 6, 2020. The rhymer's December of 2020 arrest stems from a Barrow County sheriff's deputy pulling over Foogiano's vehicle for a faulty break light and overly dark-tinted windows. Although the rapper wasn't driving a vehicle, when questioned about the firearm that was recovered from the car, Foogiano reportedly told the officer "he is a famous rapper and must have a gun because rappers get shot."

Foogiano is a convicted felon and is prohibited from carrying a firearm. He was already on probation for a prior burglary conviction, so this offense was a violation of his probation.

Police also reportedly smelled marijuana when searching the vehicle and found a large amount of money. Three other individuals were also in the car, including the driver who had a gun, but was licensed to carry. All three people were let go.

Foogiano was released from jail a little over a week later after appearing in Greene County Superior Court and satisfying a $50,000 cash bond.

XXL has reached out to the Greene County Superior Court, Foogiano's attorney and a rep for the rapper for a comment on this matter.

See 22 Hip-Hop-Related Police Raids

Filed Under: FoogianoCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: May 5, 2021Paras Griffin, Getty Images

G Herbo has been hit with another charge in connection to his ongoing 2020 federal fraud case.

According to court documents obtained by XXL on Wednesday (May 5), Herbo, born Herbert Wright III, has been charged with lying to the feds during a voluntary interview with a U.S. special agent and a special agent for the FBI in 2018.

The legal document, which was filed on Tuesday (May 4) in the United States District Court District of Massachusetts, includes information that on or about Nov. 24, 2018, the Chicago rapper "knowingly and willfully made the following materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements and representations in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the Government of the United States, that is, during a voluntary interview with a Special Agent of the United States Secret Service and a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

Prior reports claim that Antonio Strong is a music promoter and manager that G Herbo is well-acquainted with. Strong is also alleged to be the "ringleader" of the $1.5 million fraud scheme, according to a Dec. 2, 2020 report in the Chicago Tribune.

Additionally, G Herbo is being accused of claiming that he "never worked with or was assisted by Antonio Strong," never provided Strong with money, nor did he receive anything valuable from Strong or have a direct relationship with him.

The court claims that contrary to what Herbo says, he has known Strong since at least 2016, and has worked with and been assisted by him, has given Strong money, received expensive items from Strong like private jet charters, luxury accommodations and exotic car rentals, and has had direct communication with Strong via phone conversations, text messages and Instagram direct messages.

The initial 14-count indictment for the federal fraud case includes G Herbo, Strong, who also goes by T-Glo, Southside Chicago rapper Joseph "Joe Rodeo" Williams and alleged co-conspirators Steven Hayes Jr., Demario Sorrells and Terrence Bender.

Last September, G Herbo was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, two counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of forfeiture. The case, however, wasn't unsealed until December of last year.

The PTSD rapper allegedly used false identities over a four-year period to cover the expenses of over $1 million worth of trips on private jets, limousine rides, exotic car rentals and a vacation at a villa in Jamaica. He also reportedly purchased two designer puppies in Michigan in 2017.

Herbo appeared for a remote hearing on Dec. 9, 2020, in which he was released on bail under a series of conditions enforced by the United States District Court, Central District of California, allowing him to travel to New York and New Jersey to visit his child. This information indicated that G Herbo's girlfriend, Taina Williams, is pregnant. Williams confirmed her pregnancy online sometime after. The couple celebrated their baby shower over the weekend.

Although G Herbo has not spoken publicly about this most recent charge, he did share a tweet bringing awareness to National Silence the Shame Day. He wrote, "TODAY IS NATIONAL SILENCE THE SHAME DAY. JOIN ME AND RAISE AWARENESS FOR @SILENCETHSHAME IN SUPPORT OF THEIR MUSIC AND MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS."

XXL has reached out to a rep for G Herbo and his attorney for a statement on this matter.

See Photos of Every XXL Freshman Ever Inducted Into the Freshman Class Over the Years

Filed Under: G HerboCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/robbyseabrookiii/” rel=”author” title=”Robby Seabrook III”>Robby Seabrook IIIPublished: May 5, 2021Nasser Boulaich

Kenny Mason is one of the newest names to emerge out of Atlanta's underground hip-hop scene, and he did it in the heart of the pandemic. His official debut project, Angelic Hoodrat, dropped last April, buoyed by the popularity of his song "Hit," an inside look at the rush of pulling off scams. He flexes multiple flows, a bit of singing and jubilance on the track. "And it look like a few bands/What the fuck?/I ain't never had cash/Now I'm up/Having this shit on smash/That's what's up," he raps on the knocking Julien Earle-produced banger.

At nearly 8 million Spotify streams now, it's Kenny's most popular song that also explains his ethos. He's a lyrically adept MC with a control within his flows that comes from putting time into his craft. Kenny walks the line between wanting to survive and also trying to make the right decisions—two focuses that don't always align. When it comes to music he creates, he also dives into a genre-bending style of rap mixed with the sounds of 1990's punk and grunge. "43," "Play Ball" and "Partments" showcase this avenue. Then he get backs to his hip-hop roots with ardent rhymes on "Firestarter," "Angels Calling // My Dad" and "4 Ever."

The rising artist discovered his talent for rapping as a 12-year-old, writing his own rhymes to deal with all of the time he spent alone as a child. He moved often and his father was a cross-country truck driver. Still keeping his new hobby to himself at 14, he began to realize he was better than the other kids at school who rapped and took it much more seriously. Soon after, three huge turning points occurred: He impressed a pretty girl at his high school with his bars, his teacher told him he could become a rapper if he worked hard and he saw a Kid Cudi interview in which the Ohio rapper shared that he decided to be an artist at 14, knowing he'd need 10 years to really become skilled. Taking this as a sign, Kenny made the same choice, and never looked back.

His time in high school included a music technology class, where he learned the invaluable skill of recording himself. After finishing with school, he and a few of his friends decided they wanted to build a studio. They pooled their money together over the years and built one. Kenny used this time to sharpen his rapping and mixing abilities while throwing himself into Atlanta's competitive underground rap scene. After numerous projects that are now deleted, Kenny grew into the rapper that the world was introduced to on Angelic Hoodrat in 2020. Here he is a year later, on the precipice of taking another huge next step in his career with a new release, Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut. The effort was initially supposed to be a deluxe edition of Angelic Hoodrat, but instead, Kenny released 12 new songs.

Get to know Atlanta's next up in this week's edition of XXL's The Break.

Age: 26

Hometown: Atlanta

I grew up listening to: "My dad used to play a whole lot of Tupac Shakur and shit like that. He played that so much that I knew them songs like the back of my hand. But as far as like a person on my own, who I like was a first real fanatic of, was Lil Wayne. That 'Go DJ' shit dropped and that was my favorite song. I always asked my stepmama to turn that song up in the car. When I played video games, like Tony Hawk Pro Skater, I would play them games so much that I would know the songs they play in the background. And I'd be looking ’em up on YouTube, and that sent me down a rabbit hole of finding more alternative rock artists."

My style’s been compared to: "Early in the beginning, Lil Wayne. People have definitely said Kendrick Lamar. I always feel good when folks say I sound like certain rock bands that I don't sound nothing like; I'm making rock music and that's the first band they think of. I appreciate all of it. And they're great artists too. It's a good kind of pressure."

I’m going to blow up because: "If it feels right to me. I don't really do much questioning. It's just a lot of mechanisms that could cause you to overthink and overact or underact. I appreciate anybody listening, that got something to say. But I also can't take what they say personally, good or bad. It'll throw me off; I have to feel something."

What’s your most slept-on song, and why?: "I feel like the whole first project [Angelic Hoodrat]. I don't wanna say slept on. The whole point of [the new album], Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut, is to bring the new people back to the first project. That's why it's the same title. I feel like more people can have the opportunity to hear it. Most folks been talking about the first album ’cause I know they ain't really hear it yet."

My standout records to date have been: "'Hit' as far as views and stuff like that. I love that, that's fine. I think some of the most important songs are like 'Angelic Hoodrat' and 'Firestarter.' Those two songs are kinda like sister songs to me ’cause they have the same feeling. They just really explain a lot about my life. Truth be told, I feel like views and shit like that can be deceiving. How much people really like a song; I'll know the answer to that once we go on the road and we do these shows. It's hard for me to gauge from just being at home. That's how I knew 'Hit' was gon' be fye before it even dropped; folks knew the words before it was even out."

My standout moments to date have been: "Performing. I've had some real fye shows and that's always gon' be the most important thing to me—performing in front of new people every time. I ain't got no awards or nothin' yet. I ain't met an idol of mine yet. That would be great. But there is nothing more important than being in front of those folks and sharing that connection with them live. That's when I've felt the most rewarded as an artist."

Most people don’t know: "I'm vegan. It happened during the pandemic, I just stopped eating meat. My homegirl, she pushed me to do it. She was just like 'It's gon' be better for your body, your health, the environment.' And then I watched all these documentaries, and it made me mad. It started off with me doing it once a week until I only ate meat twice a week, and now it's just like 'Bro, fuck that shit.' I feel great. I got way more energy. It's way easier to work out, like a body makeover, for real."

I’m going to be the next: "Kenny Mason. I ain't gon' be like nobody."

Follow Kenny Mason on SoundCloud and Instagram.

Standouts:

"Hit"

"Angelic Hoodrat"

"Much Money" featuring Freddie Gibbs

Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut

See the Most Memorable Lyrics From Rappers Under 25

Filed Under: Feature, Kenny Mason, The BreakCategories: The Break


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: May 5, 2021Noel Vasquez / Kevin Winter, Getty Images (2)

Drake said it best on his 2014 cut, "0 to 100 / The Catch Up," when he spit the bar, "Know yourself, know your worth." Rappers have clearly been taking heed to the seven-year-old lyric when it comes to how much they'll charge for a verse. Of course, the amount ranges based on skill, tenure, whether or not the artist is in high demand and the list goes on. Either way, a number of your favorite hip-hop artists have named their price and it's a pretty penny. Brace yourselves and your wallets.

Back in February, DaBaby revealed that it'll cost six figures to get him on a record—$300,000 to be exact. Then, on a snippet from an unreleased track that the rapper shared via Instagram on April 22, he said it'll cost $250,000 for a verse. So, it's safe to say the range is probably between the latter and the former, but no less than $250,000. Either way, Baby's price has clearly gone up. How much? Well, in 2019, he said during an L.A. Leakers interview on Power 106 that a feature from him will be at least $100,000. This all came after the success of the Charlotte, N.C. rhymer's Baby on Baby album, which houses the former XXL Freshman's hit record, "Suge."

Baby notes that the rap game is one in which you have to pay to play. He's also unbothered by those who might be a little perplexed by or just oppose his price for a verse. "I don’t give a fuck if they get offended or not because I use to pay to play," he said during that L.A. Leakers interview. "You just gotta respect the game, man."

Amid the pandemic, other rappers such a Lil Baby shared his price for a feature, too. In June of last year, the Quality Control Music artist shared via Twitter that his price is also in the six-figure range: no less than $100,000. At first, the 4 Pockets Full head honcho said his feature price was a firm $100,000. Then, he let it be known not to short change him because he'd actually be offended if he was offered anything less.

Take a look below to find out the prices other rappers are charging for a verse over the years.

See How Much It’ll Cost to Get a Verse From Your Favorite RapperAny guesses on dollar amounts before you look?Filed Under: 2 Chainz, DaBaby, Galleries, Gallery, Lil Baby, Polo G, promoCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/sowmya/” rel=”author” title=”Sowmya Krishnamurthy”>Sowmya KrishnamurthyPublished: May 5, 2021Shaquille Kokumo

Show & Prove
Interview: Sowmya Krishnamurthy
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

Milwaukee is known for its breweries, cheese curds and NBA basketball star Giannis “Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo, but hip-hop has struggled to escape its city limits to make it on the big stage. Lakeyah, a native of the Wisconsin city, wants to change that. “I aspire to be the biggest artist in the world,” she affirms. The 20-year-old rapper-singer has always had grand aspirations beyond her hometown. “I never saw myself doing anything else besides being an artist,” she conveys. That dogged determination catapulted Lakeyah to joining Quality Control Music in 2020—home of superstars like Lil Baby, Migos and City Girls. “‘Hold on. It’s something different about this girl,’” remembers Pierre “P” Thomas, CEO of Quality Control Music, when he first stumbled upon her Instagram in October of 2019. “She just had so much passion.”

Lakeyah’s journey from the Midwest to one of rap’s most exciting record labels didn’t happen overnight. The artist, who formerly performed under the name Lakeyah Danaee, was shy and reserved while growing up. She remembers being bookish, loving to read and do poetry slams. In high school, she used her diary and iPhone Notes app as her creative outlets. She listened to artists like Nicki Minaj, Lauryn Hill and Tee Grizzley, but making music didn’t enter her purview until 2016’s “So Gone” challenge—based on singer Monica’s 2003 lovelorn song of the same name—arrived. The internet challenge, which featured artists such as Chance The Rapper and NBA star Damian Lillard flipping the track, was the perfect way for the high schooler to flex her skills. In her clip, the fresh-faced teenager raps—while in braces—from her bedroom. “That was one of my first viral moments,” she remembers.

Viral fame became her driver as she released content on YouTube and Vine. By the time she dropped 2018’s “Fucked Up Love Story”— which she says was inspired by R. Kelly’s 2005 sonic saga “Trapped in the Closet”—her flow was more confident and the views went up. Bold-faced names like Rod Wave and singer Tank took notice as did people in her immediate orbit. “It really was a creative moment,” Lakeyah reflects. “That’s when people started knowing me around my city… People were my mom’s age coming up to me like, ‘Oh my God, you’re so talented.”’

She was also briefly in a local girl group called BTM that disbanded. In the aftermath, Lakeyah needed to take the reins of her own career. She graduated high school and moved to Atlanta in 2019 in hopes of signing to Quality Control Music. It was her singular vision to join the QC roster. “I always liked studying the artists,” she explains. “I watched all the documentaries, the interviews and it just seemed like they always put so much into the artists that they signed.” This goal was bolstered by a 2018 trip to Atlanta’s Trap Music Museum. “I saw their little [exhibit] in there and I’m like, This is who I really want to be signed to, and that’s what I was working towards ever since.”

Despite those affirmations, nothing manifested at first. Trying to get the attention of QC’s P with a barrage of Instagram direct messages proved futile. “It’s thousands in my DM every day,” P says. “It’s hard for me to actually comb through all those different artists sending their music.” Lakeyah was down in Atlanta but not out. “It definitely was hard,” she admits. “Being 18, down here by myself with my partner and just trying to figure things out.”

It was her love of freestyling that aligned the stars. She jumped on JT’s “First Day Out” in early 2020—not once but twice, after someone alleged that she had copied their style— and that’s when P’s ears perked up. “I went to my DM and I think she had been DMing me for like, months,” he recalls. A back-and-forth ensued and when Lil Baby cosigned her remix to his song “We Paid,” that sealed the deal. In July of 2020, Lakeyah signed to Quality Control Music.

But there was no time for popping bottles. Signing a record deal during a global pandemic and lockdown meant no fanfare, touring or partying. “When I signed it was straight to work,” the artist maintains. “I believe like, the first night that me and P actually met, he said ‘I want to see your recording process’ and I’ve been recording ever since that night.”

Being holed up in the studio has paid off. In December of 2020, she released her Times Up mixtape, which includes the standout “Big FlexHer” featuring 42 Dugg. The stuntin’ anthem is a fitting introduction to the rap game. “I feel like I’m up now, fuck all that I’m up next/A bitch gon’ really have to iron me to say that I’m pressed (Yessir)/And it’s my last time sayin’ I’m the G.O.A.T. around this muthafucka (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)/And in my eyes, I’m the coldest ’round this muthafucka,” she raps on the track. The video for the song has over 2 million YouTube views. “Female Goat,” a girl power collaboration with label mates City Girls, made a bigger splash and racked up over 4.6 million YouTube views.

She calls the first mixtape an appetizer with the main course, In Due Time, which dropped in April. At press time, both Lakeyah and P are vague about details—he promises a club banger with Gucci Mane—for now. “They’ll see that this is about the grind,” she expresses. “Like, I’ve been working nonstop on music.” P highlights her dexterity, not just as a singer and rapper, but also thematically. “She’s not just stuck on one subject,” he adds. “She’s very open with talking about relationships, with love life, heartbreak. She can talk about club shit or some self-empowerment women shit. She’s diverse.”

Candor and being open, personally, often turns into fodder and gossip—especially for female artists—and Lakeyah being a lesbian has become an unwanted focal point. She doesn’t hide who she is or her partner, but she wants the music to define her narrative—not her personal life. “I just think it’s kind of weird that people even care about artists’ sexualities,” she asserts. “As an artist, it’s really about the music. It’s about what I bring to the world. My personal life is my personal life.”

With In Due Time out now, Lakeyah encourages fans to be open-minded about her journey. “I don’t want people to try to box me into who I am,” she says. “The details of my life, of who I really am, is going to come into my music and, you know, people are going to love me or hate me.”

Check out more from XXL’s Spring 2021 issue including Cardi B's cover story, how rappers are legally making money from the cannabis boom and the social justice that comes with itSnowfall's Damson Idris on how hip-hop impacted his life, A$AP Ferg reflects on the making of his Always Strive and Prosper album, Shelley F.K.A. DRAM talks about his comeback, Trippie Redd speaks on how Playboi Carti and Lil Uzi Vert helped change hip-hop, Show & Prove with 42 Dugg and more.

See Cardi B's Photo Shoot in XXL Magazine's Spring 2021 Issue

Filed Under: 42 Dugg, Feature, Lakeyah, Lil BabyCategories: News, XXL Magazine


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/zoejohnson/” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: May 5, 2021Brian Ach, Getty Images

Travis Scott fans are not feeling the rapper's Astroworld festival prices for this year's festivities and they're making their feelings known.

On Wednesday (May 5), tickets for Travis Scott's third annual Astroworld festival went on sale at 10:00 a.m. CT, nearly doubling from the $179 price point in 2019. This year, access to the event started at $300 plus $65 in fees for the two-day general admission tickets. The two-day Stargazing VIP passes were $725 plus a $69 fee and the top tier tickets, the two-day No Bystander VIP ticket, were $1,000 with a $78 fee. All tickets are currently sold out.

Prospective festival-goers noticed the upcharge and hopped on Twitter to express their feelings about the payment increase.

"2 tickets to astroworld after tax comes out to 733$ I almost clicked submit/confirm then I thought about my kids and clothes I could spend that money on I gotta fire Travis Scott playlist anyways," one Twitter user wrote.

"The Astroworld experience ain't worth no 300 bucks, lmao. VIP is over 1000. That shit better come with a lap dance from Kylie, cause holy shit that's ridiculous," another person typed.

While fans were pissed about the ticket prices, La Flame's fete managed to sell out in less than 60 minutes. Some social media users even went on Twitter to resell their tickets at a higher price than the $300 general admission cost.

Travis' Astroworld festival pays homage to the Six Flags in Houston, which closed in October of 2005. The rhymer initially announced he would be reviving the theme park to incorporate a musical element in 2018.

Astroworld fest is set to take place on Nov. 5-6 in the rapper's hometown of Houston. The lineup has yet to be announced, but given the past acts like Gunna, Trippie Redd, Young Thug and more, it's pretty much guaranteed to be fire. Scott has, however, been confirmed as the festival’s headlining performer.

See more fans' comments about the Astroworld festival prices below.

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

Filed Under: Travi$ Scott, Travis $cottCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: May 5, 2021Prince Williams, Wireimage

Meek Mill is officially a part of the Dogecoin stock wave.

On Tuesday (May 4), the Philadelphia rapper shared via his Instagram Story that he has purchased $50,000 worth of Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that has recently skyrocketed in value. When Meek cashed out on his cryptocurrency, Doge had a value of $0.541058. This means he had $92,411 in Dogecoin at the time of his purchase.

Meek Mill captioned his IG Story post: "I just grabbed some doge birds too much money moving for me lol," followed by several praying hand emojis.

meekmill via Instagram

He also tweeted yesterday afternoon, "I just grabbed some doge I’m tired of missing out."

Meek appears to have first shared his interest in stocks and cryptocurrency back in January, tweeting, "I need everybody that rock wit me to learn about stocks and crypto currency!!!!!! ASAP!!!!!!"

According to a report from Market Watch this week, Dogecoin, the meme cryptocurrency that is associated with an Shiba Inu dog and gained popularity from Tesla founder Elon Musk's cosign, has increased more than 14,000 percent in 2021. Thus, the cryptocurrency is now one of the top 10 digital assets. Nasdaq even named Dogecoin one of the cryptocurrencies to watch back in March.

Stocks and cryptocurrency has been a hot topic in hip-hop lately.

In January of this year, Ja Rule called out Robinhood, a stock trading app, after the app began to put forth stipulations that prohibited users from purchasing certain stocks. This all stemmed from Reddit users buying Gamestop stocks, which caused the stock to increase drastically. The video game retailer had announced numerous store closures last year.

Ja's qualm with Robinhood's decision was the app attempting to prevent people from buying or trading the stock, which had become extremely valuable, prohibiting investors or stock purchasers from making a ton of money.

Stocks and cryptocurrency are pretty much a big deal. Don't sleep.

See 10 Rappers’ Purchases That Broke the Bank

Filed Under: Meek MillCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: May 5, 2021Travis Shinn Photography for XXL

Every rapper has their list of favorites and Trippie Redd has shared his top five rhymers.

During an interview for XXL magazine's Spring 2021 issue, on stands now, Trippie Redd names a range of hip-hop artists from the 1990's Atlanta rap scene to SoundCloud-era rappers that have attributed to the artist Trippie is today.

"Aight, [Lil] Wayne, Drake… I’ma just say everything I really listen to," Trippie says. "Like, the most music I’ve ever listened to from an artist… These gotta be my favorites because I clearly listen to them more than everybody else. So, Wayne, Drake, I gotta put André [3000] in there. [Lil] Uzi [Vert] and [Playboi] Carti. I listen to they shit a lot."

The rhymer, who just announced his new song "Miss The Rage," out this Friday (May 7), continues, explaining both Uzi and Carti's impact on him.

"Listening to Uzi’s shit back in 2015-16, that shit was different," Trippie tells. "And Carti, at that time. They was on some other shit for the young niggas. They did some crazy shit for us. They really opened doors for us to do a lot of shit that we do.You know, the niggas from the SoundCloud era might not say it too much, but definitely, they some of the G.O.A.T.s from our era."

The former 2018 XXL Freshman adds that he has these top picks of rappers that influence him because these artists openly embrace change and go against the grain.

"They made change OK," the "Excitement" rapper explains. "Change is OK in every aspect because of them artists. Wayne kicked if off with the face tatts and the grills. Them niggas kicked down the door on some whole other shit. Just being completely different. Just like André 3000 was weird. He was different, too. He’s a great guy, though. Wayne, too."

And as for Trippie Redd's three favorite albums? Two projects from Weezy F. Baby and one by the late XXXTentacion.

"People gonna hate me, but… [Tha] Carter III and [Tha] Carter IV. Carter IV crazy," he shares. "And, when you run Carter III then run Carter IV, you like, What the fuck?! Crazy, I can’t live without those two albums. And, I’m not gonna lie… ? [album], the shit that X did. That’s one of my favorite projects hands down because of the versatility and how he just masters doing everything on the scoreboard."

Trippie's recent conversation with XXL comes a few months after the eclectic rapper got into his rock music bag and dropped his 14-track Neon Shark vs. Pegasus (Deluxe – Presented by Travis Barker) album with Blink-182's drummer Travis Barker. The long-awaited album arrived on Feb. 19. It's also the follow-up to Trippie Redd's 2020 effort, Pegasus.

Check out more from XXL’s Spring 2021 issue including Cardi B's cover story, how rappers are legally making money from the cannabis boom and the social justice that comes with itSnowfall's Damson Idris on how hip-hop impacted his life, A$AP Ferg reflects on the making of his Always Strive and Prosper album, Shelley F.K.A. DRAM talks about his comeback, Waka Flocka Flame checks in with us and gives an update on his Flockaveli 2 album in What's Happenin' and more.

See Photos From Trippie Redd's XXL Magazine Spring 2021 Issue Interview

Filed Under: Andre 3000, Drake, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Wayne, Playboi Carti, Trippie ReddCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: May 4, 2021Jerod Harris, Getty Images for Republic Records

Birdman has offered an inside look into how much money his record label, Cash Money Records, makes by owning various artists' masters.

During an interview on media personality Wallo's podcast, Where's Wallo, on April 30, the New Orleans-bred record executive explains how much he profits from his current and former Cash Money Records artists' music catalogs.

"We license the music," Birdman revealed. "I just started letting people sample my shit. So yeah, it’s a gang of ways you can make money with your masters. We generate $20 [million] to $30 million a year just on our masters."

Over the course of the label's existence, a number of rappers have been signed to Cash Money Records such as Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Tyga and more. Wayne, however, officially left the label in 2018, after settling a lawsuit with Cash Money while Drizzy parted ways the following year.

Nonetheless, several rhymers throughout the years have called out Baby for his mishandled business dealings and contractual agreements.

In 2017, Cash Money Records was reportedly sued for withholding Drake's profits.

Lil Wayne is also among the rappers who have been disgruntled with the label and, at one point, had a very public dispute with Birdman and Cash Money Records over the delay of his Tha Carter V album.

After several album release date delays for the fifth installment of Weezy's Tha Carter series, Wayne tweeted in December of 2014, "I am a prisoner and so is my creativity   Again,I am truly sorry and I don't blame ya if ya fed up with waiting 4 me & this album. But thk u."

The following year, Lil Wayne sued Cash Money Records for $51 million, claiming that the label and its CEO, Birdman, violated his deal and owed Wayne millions of dollars for stalling the release of his album.

An eight-figure settlement was made between Weezy F. Baby and Cash Money Records in June of 2018. Months later, on Sept. 28, 2018, Wayne dropped Tha Carter V. That same year, Lil Wayne was also released from the label.

Rick Ross even called out Baby's alleged treatment of Cash Money artists back in 2017, on the song "Idols Become Rivals." "Catholic record labels, niggas gettin’ raped, boy/Birdman’s a priest, moans in his synagogue," Rozay raps on the diss track.

Regardless of Birdman's history with his artists, that didn't stop him from sharing information on how much he's been making from them. Check out the conversation below. Baby speaks on the millions he makes from his rappers' masters around the 7:40-mark.

See 10 Rappers Who Took Credit for Accomplishments They Didn't Really Earn

Filed Under: BirdmanCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/biancatorres/” rel=”author” title=”Bianca Torres”>Bianca TorresPublished: May 4, 2021Travis Shinn Photography for XXL

More To The Story
Now a multiplatinum-selling rapper, Trippie Redd has come a long way from his SoundCloud days. He’s experienced life’s highs with the lows, and giving up isn’t an option.
Interview: Bianca Torres
Images: Travis Shinn
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

Trippie Redd misses the rage. He considers himself an “in-the-field” rapper, so living in a pandemic this past year and being unable to tour have been challenging for the 21-year-old artist. However, Trippie, born Michael Lamar White II, is in a good place right now. It’s Feb. 24, 2021, five days after the wild artist dropped his first rock album, Pegasus: Neon Shark vs Pegasus Presented By Travis Barker (Deluxe), which serves as the deluxe edition of his 2020 Pegasus LP and was executive produced by Travis Barker, a much-celebrated drummer in the rock industry. Donning red dreads, a blue tank top and a red fitted hat with a godfather-type blunt, Trippie, a Canton, Ohio-raised, Los Angeles-based rhymer Zooms with XXL from the West Coast and speaks about feeling pleased with his latest release and cooking up the next one on the way.

As a multiplatinum-selling rapper—Trippie has four double-platinum songs, eight platinum and 17 gold, plus four gold projects—he thrives as a live performer. That’s how the “Love Scars” artist built his success starting in 2016, interacting with his supporters face-to-face, being open about his emotions and making relatable music—three albums, including 2019’s No. 1 Billboard 200-charting A Love Letter to You 4, and four mixtapes worth. He’s gone from being an opening act on Travis Scott’s Astroworld Tour to headlining his own. Since he’s been “locked away” in the house with his four dogs and two cats because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trippie’s been making more heat in the studio, readying himself for the day he can get back on the stage.

While he awaits the moment he can say “Big 14” to a roaring crowd, here, Trippie discusses his top five favorite rappers of all time, weird sandwiches he ate as a child, coping with loss, Lil Uzi Vert and Playboi Carti being the new pioneers of change in hip-hop and more.

XXL: How are you today?

Trippie Redd: Good. I was mad as fuck, for real, ’cause I was supposed to see my car today. But, the guy is on some weird shit, talking ’bout, “Ain’t nobody in the place today.” I’ve been waiting for my car for like, five months.

Travis Shinn Photography for XXL

What’s going on with your car?

Nothin’, I was just getting it customized. I had ordered like, special rims. I ordered a Porsche spoiler. I got a CA Corvette. I just be customizing it and shit. Putting the wrap on… It was all white. I made it all chrome red and I put a wide-body kit on it. It’s the first CA Corvette to be wide-body.

You dropped your rock album, Neon Shark vs Pegasus, in February. What made you have Travis Barker executive produce it?

I mean, Travis Barker, he like the G.O.A.T. in the rock world/hip-hop space, you feel me? I just wanted to go specifically in the realm and really do that shit. I sat back and watched X[XXTentacion] do it. I went straight to where he went.

A couple of rappers went the rock route. Are there any that you look up to?

Kid Cudi and Lil Wayne. I definitely listened to their projects and studied and really was just taking game from what they had been doing. I wanted to do it completely different from them, but at the same time I wanted to get some inspiration from them.

You were recently in the studio with Ski Mask The Slump God. Do you guys have a collab coming?

Yeah, he’s supposed to be on my next album.

Is that the Trip at Night album?

Yeah.

Trip at Night, is that something you’re gonna drop this year?

Hopefully. I’m focused on dropping songs right now.

On social media, you post about missing the rage. What exactly is the rage?

Shit, I been locked away. I’m one of them people that’s at the festivals, I come out going crazy out the rips. I’m ready to get back to my stage presence. I’m tired of this shit. I’m tired of sitting in the house ’cause that’s all I been doing.

With all the COVID shit going on, I was just in my creative space making music that I really fucked with. But, at the same time, I’m making music that I really feel like was bigger than the last shit I just dropped, you feel me? It got to the point where I was like, I should drop this shit. Then I was like, you know what? I’ma give them Pegasus. It already done leaked and all that extra shit, but fuck it, I’ma give it to them. And keep this other shit.

Is that the biggest adjustment you’ve had to make during the pandemic? Not doing live shows?

Yeah, I call myself a “in-the-field” rapper, which means like, I really be out here. I really be going to all the festivals, all the shit that people just pop out to. So, without that being around or going on, I just be trying to keep up with everything that’s been going on. I’m ready to get the fuck back out and do my job.

You write Dipset as a caption for your Instagram posts when it comes to Juice Wrld and XXXTentacion. What does Dipset mean to you?

That’s how I felt being around my boys, you feel me? All that Dipset shit. And, one of my favorite Chief Keef songs is called “Dipset.” It got that at the beginning of the song, “Dipset, Dipset, Dipset.”

You’ve lost fellow rappers X, Juice Wrld and Fredo Santana. How do you cope with all that at such a young age?

I only got into rapping because my brother rapped and he died. He had passed away in a car accident. Just watching him like, record, make music, just come home with new songs and shit, was always just amazing to me. Like, I’ll sit right there and listen to everything he just did… I thought that shit was just one of the firest things in the world.

Even just knowing I dealt with that at a young age… I was like 9, 10, but that’s what really got me rapping for real was me losing him. I knew I was gonna experience loss down the line, but I never knew, like, it was gonna hit that hard. I didn’t think it was gonna be like that.

Shit bothers me, kinda. But I just, like, smoke and think about them, make music and just try to make it seem like…they live in my head. They alive to me, shit. I can’t lose every moment I had with them. I didn’t lose that, so I don’t look at it like no loss. My brothers [are] just resting.

What advice can you give to the younger generation on how to cope with loss? We lose people to drugs or street violence, now we have COVID−19.

From a personal perspective when it comes to loss, it’s just like, I put all my energy into doing everything in my power to impress those that are not here instead of impressing those that are here. Would my brothers fuck with this?

I deal with it by keeping them in my head and just not letting go. They can ultimately help you drive to get to where you need to get, feel me? I just feel like I can’t give up. They wouldn’t want me to give up. They didn’t want to give up. If they was here they wouldn’t have gave up at all. Everybody that I done lost, from friends to family, brothers, whatever. I just try to put them all on my back.

I just lost my great-grandma not too long ago. Like, two months ago and she was the sweetest person I ever met in my life, no cap. She made me the weirdest sandwich one time ’cause I wanted it.

What sandwich was it?

I used to make her toast the bread, put butter on it and put mayonnaise and put peanut butter on it and then put a piece of turkey or ham. It was just me being on some little kid fat shit. She used to really make me the sandwich. She always brought it up to me every time I used to see her, since I had blew up and shit. Now, I think about that shit like, Damn, I might have to eat one of them sandwiches.

Lil Wayne is one of your favorite rappers. He’s featured on your song “Hell Rain.” How does it feel to have a feature from a rapper you used to look up to?

Honestly, that was like the biggest moments of my life. I actually did the song before I made the song with Lil Wayne. I had did two to three songs with Lil Wayne before then. And, I never really put them out.

Travis Shinn Photography for XXL

Who are your top five rappers of all time?

Aight, Wayne, Drake… I’ma just say everything I really listen to. Like, the most music I’ve ever listened to from an artist… These gotta be my favorites because I clearly listen to them more than everybody else. So, Wayne, Drake, I gotta put André [3000] in there. [Lil] Uzi [Vert] and [Playboi] Carti. I listen to they shit a lot.

Listening to Uzi’s shit back in 2015-16, that shit was different. And Carti, at that time. They was on some other shit for the young niggas. They did some crazy shit for us. They really opened doors for us to do a lot of shit that we do.You know, the niggas from the SoundCloud era might not say it too much, but definitely, they some of the G.O.A.T.s from our era.

They made it permissible to not look or sound like a typical rapper.

They made change OK. Change is OK in every aspect because of them artists. Wayne kicked if off with the face tatts and the grills. Them niggas kicked down the door on some whole other shit. Just being completely different. Just like André 3000 was weird. He was different, too. He’s a great guy, though. Wayne, too.

Do you have three favorite rap albums of all time?

People gonna hate me, but… [Tha] Carter III and [Tha] Carter IV. Carter IV crazy. And, when you run Carter III then run Carter IV, you like, What the fuck?! Crazy, I can’t live without those two albums. And, I’m not gonna lie… ? [album], the shit that X did. That’s one of my favorite projects hands down because of the versatility and how he just masters doing everything on the scoreboard.

So, are you gonna drop A Love Letter to You 5?

Ain’t nobody broke my heart yet.

OK, you need a heartbreak to drop it.

I’m just fuckin’ with ya. I’m definitely working on love music as well as turnt up, “miss the rage”-type shit, but that’s later. I’ma drop the turnt shit first. I be dropping so much love shit, I’m like, let me take a break from love. I only did one album that had nothing to do with love and that was Life’s a Trip. Only one song on there had something to do with love and that was like, the last song.

Do you have your own label yet?

Yeah, but I haven’t like, it’s about to be put together. Like, by the end of the year, I’ll have it set up to where it’s supposed to be. I find a lot of great artists. I really done seen a lot of great artists just strive from nothing to being one of the biggest rappers in the game.

I got people from where I’m from, Canton, Ohio, and Ohio in general that I feel like are amazing artists and I wanna put them on. Miyah [Lynnae, my artist] not from there, but she’s just hard. And, someone from Ohio recommended her to me, so that’s why I even…feel me? She’s super dope. We just have to mold her into the right type of artist. She needs to find herself. That’s what she’s working on.

Do you have a name for your label?

Might be called August, for real, what it’s probably gonna be called. But, I might call it something else. I don’t know.

We’ve seen some pictures surface of your old Facebook page. What was Trippie like as a kid?

I seen a lot of shit. I went through a lot of shit, like, to see all of my older cousins get out of jail… Just the process of my dad being in jail the whole time as a kid… I had to take them visits to jail like every other fuckin’ week. That shit was crazy, just seeing that. I really loved video games as a kid, too. And hanging out with people that liked Pokémon, shit like that. I would steal people’s Pokémon cards and shit. As a kid, this was one of my favorite things to listen to and I didn’t even know I was listening to it [holds up a CD of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill].

What’s your ultimate goal in life?

I don’t really got no ultimate goal. I just wanna improve and get better. I don’t really got too much on my mind to do, musically. Anything in music I wanna accomplish fo’ sho but it’s not my life goal. Be happy, you know? Live my life the way I want to.

Travis Shinn Photography for XXL

Check out more from XXL’s Spring 2021 issue including Cardi B's cover story, how rappers are legally making money from the cannabis boom and the social justice that comes with itSnowfall's Damson Idris on how hip-hop impacted his life, A$AP Ferg reflects on the making of his Always Strive and Prosper album, Shelley F.K.A. DRAM talks about his comeback and more.

See Cardi B's Photo Shoot in XXL Magazine's Spring 2021 Issue

Filed Under: Feature, Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, Trippie Redd, XXL MagazineCategories: News, XXL Magazine


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/peterberry/” rel=”author” title=”Peter A. Berry”>Peter A. BerryPublished: May 4, 2021CMG

Show & Prove
Words: Peter A. Berry
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

If it hadn't been for a flawed justice system, 42 Dugg the rapper might not exist. While behind bars for carjacking and felony firearms charges he caught at age 15, Dugg wrote his first raps in solitary confinement after getting into a fight with an inmate. A mix of boredom and instinct powered his initial forays into the genre. “I just wanted to get my story out,” he says, reclining in a chair in XXL’s New York office on a cold February afternoon. Four years after his prison release, Dugg’s terse street tales have made him a 26-year-old burgeoning rap star with a feature on a Billboard Hot 100 top 10 single, a joint record deal with Lil Baby and Yo Gotti, and nothing but time and opportunity to become the biggest new rap star Detroit’s seen in a decade.

Since 2017, Dugg, born Dion Marquise Hayes on the East Side of Detroit, has used melody, a piercing voice and street narratives with no filter to transition from young felon to his city’s next up. After building buzz with his first two mixtapes, 2018’s 11241 Wayburn and 2019’s Young and Turnt, the rapper announced his arrival with standout guest appearances on Lil Baby’s 2020 singles “Grace” and “We Paid.” The former, a three-minute-and-23-second track filled with somber reminiscences and street philosophies framed as scripture, peaked at No. 48 on the Billboard Hot 100. This became Dugg’s first song to land on the chart. The latter, a classical back-and-forth rhyme session with plenty of quotables for endless Instagram captions, peaked at No. 10 last summer. By the time he joined Lil Baby to perform the song as the opening act at the 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards, the legend of 42 Dugg was unfolding in front of the world.

Decades before he landed an awards show performance, picking up a mic wasn’t necessarily in the picture for Dugg. Raised by his mother and grandmother, the self-described class clown grew up in an area of Detroit where crime was normalized, and fistfights and carjackings were often seen as funnier than they were unfortunate. Dugg’s primary concerns were partying, getting fresh, skating and gambling. He was popular in high school, but soon found himself getting into a lot of trouble.

In October of 2010, just a month shy of his 16th birthday, Dugg’s street ways got the best of him. He was arrested for carjacking and gun possession. Since Dugg was out on bond for a firearm charge at the time of this arrest, he was charged as an adult for the new arrest, but he was only 15. In June of 2011, he began serving a prison sentence that would stretch six years—he claims they got the wrong person for carjacking. To make the days go faster, Dugg would read magazines and even got his GED. After getting into a fight with an inmate and being forced into solitary confinement, Dugg, then 20, made rap his newest pastime. He says his first rhymes were bad, but by his second time in the hole, his flow was more developed and his raps were sharper.

Once he was a free man in 2017, Dugg teamed up with his cousin Kato to record Dugg’s first songs. Dugg, who says Jeezy and Yo Gotti are his favorite rappers, started generating buzz when he dropped his debut mixtape, 11241 Wayburn, in July of 2018. The project earned thousands of SoundCloud streams and by the end of 2018, he was on the rise. That same year, fellow Detroit artist Tee Grizzley took Dugg to shoot dice with Lil Baby in Los Angeles. One day after the hangout session, Baby called Dugg, rapping the lyrics to one of Dugg’s songs. Baby offered to sign Dugg to his 4 Pockets Full Inc. label. Soon, Yo Gotti also got hip to the movement, and by early 2019, Dugg had signed to both Gotti’s CMG Records and 4PF.

With a voice that’s scratchy and strained, Dugg’s music can vacillate between emotional and menacing, his delivery can be melodically slurred or deadpanned and his sound fits at the intersection of Detroit street rap and the melodic warbles of Atlanta. Like Lil Baby and Yo Gotti, Dugg’s bars are filled with details that can only come from experience. On “We Paid,” he unloads punchy bars filled with survival logistics. “You might get a little melody or you might get some laid-back stunting, or he might give some real aggressive shit,” says Detroit producer Helluva, who produced Dugg’s “Dog Food.” “He’s always been a respected and feared street dude. So, when he says something on a track, niggas know he means business.”

While he’s positioned himself for stardom, Dugg hasn’t been able to avoid issues with the law. Three years after being released from prison, Dugg was arrested for a federal firearms charge in March of 2020 after police obtained video of Dugg using a gun at an Atlanta shooting range in November of 2019. Dugg was not allowed to possess a firearm due to his 2010 arrest.

Freedom came once more, but Dugg was once again arrested in August of 2020. This time, it was for fleeing from police during a traffic stop in Oakland County, Mich. He was released that same month. Now, he’s required to wear an ankle monitor. Both cases are still open. “It just makes me very aware of my spot, you know?” says the rapper, optimistic about his chances. “So, I don’t want to throw shit away.”

With his fate still up in the air, Dugg, who released his latest project Young & Turnt 2 in March of 2020, and the deluxe version last June, looks to happier aspects of the future. This year, he wants to push his record label to new heights and in five years, he hopes to have $100 million. More immediate plans include unloading new music that should only build his momentum. He says both Gotti and Baby have told him to take music seriously. There was a time he didn’t and considered quitting. Now, for the father of a 2-year-old boy, there’s more at stake, including people he won’t let down, like his jailed homies.

“They said, ‘Keep going,’” Dugg tells. “‘We living through you.’”

Check out more from XXL’s Spring 2021 issue including Cardi B's cover story, how rappers are legally making money from the cannabis boom and the social justice that comes with itSnowfall's Damson Idris on how hip-hop impacted his life, A$AP Ferg reflects on the making of his Always Strive and Prosper album, Shelley F.K.A. DRAM talks about his comeback, Waka Flocka Flame checks in with us and gives an update on his Flockaveli 2 album in What's Happenin' and more.

See Cardi B's Photo Shoot in XXL Magazine's Spring 2021 Issue

Filed Under: 42 Dugg, Feature, XXL MagazineCategories: News, XXL Magazine


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/zoejohnson/” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: May 4, 2021Prince Williams, WireImage

Lil Yachty is making good on his promise to deliver a gender-inclusive nail polish.

On Monday (May 3), Lil Yachty announced his nail polish line, Crete, will be launching on May 21 in a post shared on Instagram. "I'd like to introduce my new nail paint line @crete__co …. FIRST COLOR DROP MAY 21. 4 ALL GENDERS. FOR YOU, NOT THEM!," the 23-year-old "Oprah's Bank Account" rapper wrote in the caption.

In December of 2020, TMZ caught up with Lil Yachty at Los Angeles International Airport. There, the rapper showed his support for Trevor Wilkinson, a 17-year-old male-presenting student at Clyde High School in West Texas, who was punished with in-school suspension (ISS) for wearing nail polish in school in November of last year.

Yachty expressed how Wilkinson being placed in ISS for expressing himself with nail art was wrong. "Why do we still have barriers?," he started. "If somebody wants to express themselves and it's not harming anyone or bringing anybody down they should be allowed to do so. I don't see the purpose."

While speaking with the outlet, the Atlanta rapper also announced that he'll be dropping his own line of polish. "I've been in development working on my own nail paint," Yachty revealed. "It's called Crete."

Long before the Quality Control Music artist decided to create his line of nail paint, the rhymer has worn nail polish and shown his love for nail art. Fans who are looking to get Lil Yachty's Crete nail polish can sign up here to get early access to Yachty's nail polish line.

See Every XXL Freshman Cover Since 2007

Filed Under: Lil YachtyCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: May 4, 2021Jason Koerner, Getty Images

Diddy is arguably one of the kings of name changes, but this time, it looks like the adjustment was officially done on paper.

On Monday (May 3), Diddy, who was once called Puff Daddy, Puffy, Puff and P. Diddy, but was born Sean John Combs, shared via Instagram a photo copy of what appears to be a legal document altering his given middle name from John to Love. The name-changing decree, which is dated for Nov. 21, 2020, is signed—presumably by a judge—and indicates the court's approval of the change. The Bad Boy Records CEO now legally goes by Sean Love Combs.

He captioned the IG post, "Imma need y’all to take me seriously on this one!!!"

This conversation stems from Puffy sharing a copy of his new Florida driver's license, which dons his new name as well. The ID also reveals that Puff is a resident of Miami Beach's lavish and gated Star Island community.

An apparent celebratory moment for the hip-hop pioneer, Diddy expressed his excitement for his new government-issued ID. "Look what I just got in the mail today… 🖤💫✨⚡️IT’S OFFICIAL!!! WELCOME TO THE LOVE ERA," he wrote alongside the photo of the license.

Back in November of 2017, Diddy revealed to the world he made a decision to change his name on his 48th birthday.

In a video posted to social media on Nov. 4, 2017, Puff said, "Ayo, what's up y'all? I have some very serious serious news. I been praying on this and I decided… I know it's risky and it could come off as corny to some people. Like, yo… I decided to change my name again. I'm just not who I am before. I'm something different. So my new name is Love a.k.a. Brother Love. I will not be answering to Puffy, Diddy, Puff Daddy or any of my other monikers, but Love or Brother Love. OK?"

The post's caption read, "I decided to change my name again! My new name is LOVE aka Brother Love. #TakeDat."

Long story short, put some respect on Diddy's new legal moniker.

Here's the Ultimate Guide to Rappers With Acronyms in Their Name

Filed Under: DiddyCategories: News