href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: January 23, 2021Jamie McCarthy / Josh Hedges, Getty Images (2)

UPDATE (1/23):

It turns out, the viral clip that surfaced of Em appearing to call out Dana White was part of the Detroit rapper's new video for "Higher." Slim debuted the video for the song that is being used to promote UFC 257 on Saturday (Jan. 23). In the visual, Eminem prepares for a faux fight. White makes a cameo on a mock edition of SportsCenter and shoots down Em's chances of winning, which leads to the viral clip that circulated the internet a couple days prior.

Check out Eminem's new "Higher" video below.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Eminem didn't hold any punches during a recent interview with UFC President Dana White.

Slim and White were on ESPN on Thursday (Jan. 21) to talk about the upcoming UFC 257 event, which features the return of Conor McGregor to the octagon for a re-match against Dustin Poirier. Eminem's song, "Higher" is being used in promotions of the big event.

During their SportsCenter talk, Em seemingly took a jab at White, who has been at the helm of the UFC for nearly two decades. "The best part about your opinion is that it doesn't matter," Em told White during a clip of their back-and-forth. "If every fighter you have listened to your opinion when you doubted them, we wouldn't have a fucking league," he added while White looked on awkwardly.

The clip went viral after being shared by UFC heavyweight Brandan Schaub on Twitter, who simply captioned the snippet, "WTF."

Dana White was questioned about the incident by MMA Junkie reporter Farah Hannoun on Friday (Jan. 22). "Why do you ask?" he replied. Ever the businessman, he added a tease to the situation. "Yea, there's something going on. You'll have to wait and see," White added.

Curiously, the full interview has yet to surface, leaving people to speculate about what happened on social media.

"That small Eminem clip is probably promo for his Higher music video, knowing it's also featured on McGregor Vs Poirier fight as promo," one Twitter user surmised. "Of course people talking shit about Em based on a 10-sec clip that 'taking shots' at Dana White."

"Lol thank you @Eminem for saying and backing what a lot of fighters are afraid to say about @danawhite and @ufc," someone else commented.

See reactions from Eminem appearing to take a swipe at Dana White below.

See 50 Facts About Eminem

Filed Under: dana white, EminemCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: January 23, 2021@theinfamousjc

Today, Jan. 23, would have been XXXTentacion's 23rd birthday. Many people are celebrating the late rapper's life including his mother, Cleopatra Bernard, who shared a heartfelt message to him on Instagram.

The post features a photo of a shirtless XXX performing. "Happy Birthday 23 on the 23rd we never miss the signs you show us," Bernard typed out in the caption. "Doing our best to continue everything you started, I love you beyond words ❤️ see you in the next life."

It's been almost three years since the promising rapper was shot and killed in Deerfield Beach, Fla. following an apparent robbery outside a motorsports dealer. The four men accused committing the crime, Trayvon Newsome, Robert Allen, Michael Boatwright and Dedrick Williams, were arrested a short time later and are currently still awaiting trial for their alleged roles in the murder, which sent shock waves throughout the hip-hop community.

Since his death, XXX's team has released two posthumous projects in Skins (2018) and Bad Vibes Forever (2019). Most recently, fans have been getting their XXX fix via alternate means including covers and isolated vocals. Last October, Bernard floated out the idea of possibly using an XXX hologram for a live show, similar to the ones used for Tupac Shakur and more recently Pop Smoke. "How would you guys feel about recreating at least part of his energy with a hologram?" she asked during a Q&A online.

There have also been reports that an official documentary about the controversial rapper is being worked on.

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

Filed Under: XXXTentacionCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: January 23, 2021Bertrand Rindoff Petroff, Getty Images

The head of Pop Smoke's label recently confirmed more posthumous music will be coming from the late Brooklyn rapper.

On Friday (Jan 22.), Steven Victor, head of Victor Victor Worldwide, posted a photo of an apparent sock collaboration with Human Made on Instagram. However, in the comments, people wanted to know about new music from Pop. "New Pop coming?" one IG user queried. SV confirmed the question, responding, "yes."

Elsewhere in the comment section, another person got more specific. "Clear pop’s verses, especially for fredo x young adz x pop smoke 🔥," the person commented. This too got a response from Victor who noted, "cleared coming soon 🔜."

StevenVictor via InstagramStevenVictor via Instagram

Pop Smoke was shot and killed last February during an apparent home invasion in Los Angeles. His debut album, Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon, came out in July and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album has remained on the chart for 28 weeks and currently sits at No. 3 over six months after its release. The album bonus track "Dior" has been nominated for a Grammy award for Best Rap Performance.

Victor has been vocal about feeling Pop deserved more recognition from the Grammys. "How does he not get nominated for Album of the Year or Rap Album of the Year or Best New Artist?" Victor questioned during an interview with GQ last November. "This is his only chance to get nominated for these awards. So to me, the Grammys is cap. I don’t know who’s making these decisions."

Along with new music, Pop is set to make his acting debut in the film, Boogie, which is set to debut on March 15.

See Rappers We've Lost in 2020

Filed Under: Pop Smoke, Steven VictorCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/peterberry/” rel=”author” title=”Peter A. Berry”>Peter A. BerryPublished: January 22, 2021Miles Snow

Production Credit
LilJuMadeDaBeat
Words: Peter A. Berry
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

LilJuMadeDaBeat is on the rise. Over the last few years, the Dallas producer has built a name for himself producing some of Megan Thee Stallion’s biggest hits, including “Big Ole Freak” and the DaBaby-featured “Cash Shit.” Most recently, Ju, who’s also crafted beats for the likes of 2 Chainz and Gucci Mane, produced tracks like “Do It on the Tip” featuring City Girls and “Body,” two standouts from Megan’s debut album, Good News. The latter track has just debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, giving them both their best debut to date. Phoning in to XXL, Ju speaks about working with Megan, “Body” and more.

How long have you and Megan Thee Stallion been working together?

I was the main producer at 1501 [Certified Entertainment], the label that she signed to with 300 [Entertainment]. They probably signed Megan, maybe November or December 2018, and shit, wasn’t nobody locking in with her. So I just locked in with her. That was December 2018. It’s been nowhere but up.

Why do you think you guys work so well together?

We just both are passionate about music. People be worrying about the money. I knew that was going to come. I eat, sleep and breathe beats and she eat, sleep and breathe rapping.

We was both taking it super serious. Not saying I wrote any raps or anything, but when we [are] making songs, she don’t have no problem. She’s open to what I say and asks [for] my advice.

Did you know that “Body” was going to be a big song?

I honestly did, ’cause I sent Megan a beat, she called me back super, super, super, super excited. She don’t be excited. I’m not gon’ say she don’t get excited about my beats, but this one particular beat, she called me like, “Oh my gosh, this is perfect!” She called me and was like, “I want a beat with sex sounds in there” or like, “Orgasm sounds in it.”

I made the beat probably in 15 to 20 minutes, sent it back to her. She was like, “Oh my God, this is perfect!” Then when she sent me the song back, I couldn’t wait because I’m like, I know girls are going to twerk to this as soon as it come on. It got my tag on there. It’s a twerk song. Soon as they hear it, it’s going to go crazy.

Where does “Body” rank for you in terms of songs you produced for Megan? Do you think that is the No. 1 track?

“Big Ole Freak” is No. 1 one because that’s our first song together that went crazy. [“Big Ole Freak” is] her first song on the radio, my first song on the radio, her first song on the Billboard [chart], my first song on the Billboard [chart]. That song helped me get my deal. “Body” [is] probably two or three. You probably put “Cash Shit” in there. I say “Body” is probably No. 3, but if “Body” goes No. 1, then I’m going to move that to No. 1.

Check out more from XXL’s Winter 2020 issue including our DaBaby cover story, an introduction to DaBaby's Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment label roster, an interview with South Coast Music Group founder Arnold Taylor, who discovered and signed DaBaby, one of King Von's last interviews, how the coronavirus changed hip-hop, we catch up with Flipp Dinero in What's Happenin', we talk to Rico Nasty about rediscovering who she is as an artist, Marshmello talks about the rappers he wants to work with in Hip-Hop Junkie, Show & Proves with The Kid Laroi and Flo Milli, we take a closer look at how music gets leaked and more.

See Photos of XXL Magazine's Winter 2020 Cover Shoot With DaBaby

Filed Under: LilJuMadeDaBeat, Megan Thee StallionCategories: News, XXL Magazine


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/robbyseabrookiii/” rel=”author” title=”Robby Seabrook III”>Robby Seabrook IIIPublished: January 22, 2021Aaron J. Thornton / Paras Griffin, Getty Images (3)

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 Young Dolph ("Scotch"), BRS Kash ("Throat Baby (Go Baby) Remix" featuring DaBaby and City Girls), Duke Deuce ("Soldiers Steppin") and more. See you next week!

  • “Soldiers Steppin”Duke Deuce
  • “Throat Baby (Remix)”BRS Kash featuring DaBaby and City Girls
  • “Scotch”Young Dolph
  • “Ghetto Love Birds”Yung Bleu
  • “Street Paranoia”G Perico
  • “Let It Breathe”Joey Bada$$
  • “Unintelligible”Jasiah featuring Nascar Aloe
  • “Die 4 U”Erick The Architect featuring Sophie Faith and Linden Jay
  • “No More Parties”Coi Leray
  • “Re-Route”Funk Flex and Rowdy Rebel
  • “I Cannot Love You”Mario Judah
  • “61st to 64th”Lil Zay Osama
  • “Real Trappas”Peewee Longway and Cassius Jay featuring HoodRich Pablo Juan and Wicced

See the Most Anticipated Hip-Hop Albums of 2021

Filed Under: Bangers, BRS Kash, Cassius Jay, City Girls, Coi Leray, DaBaby, Duke Deuce, funk flex, Hoodrich Pablo Juan, jasiah, Joey Bada$$, King Von, Lil Zay Osama, Mario Judah, Nascar Aloe, peewee longway, PnB Rock, Rowdy Rebel, The List, Wicced, Young Dolph, Yung BleuCategories: New Music


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: January 22, 2021Scott Dudelson, Getty Images

After Kodak Black received a commutation of his prison sentence by former President Trump earlier this week, the Florida rapper has officially been released from prison.

According to the Bureau of Prisons inmate database, Kodak was released from USP Thompson federal prison in Illinois on Wednesday (Jan. 20). Following his official release, his attorney, Bradford Cohen, has offered an update on the 23-year-old rhymer's current status.

"He is out and has been out. His plans are to decompress for a period and take it all in. He is appreciative to the president and his team for giving him this chance," Cohen told XXL on Friday (Jan. 22).

Bureau of Prisons

The "Zeze" artist was serving a 46-month sentence for falsifying documents in order to obtain a firearm back in May of 2019. He isn't in the clear just yet, though. Kodak is still being sought after by prosecutors in South Carolina for his 2016 rape case.

 

Kodak Black being released from federal custody comes about two weeks after reports surfaced online that Trump was considering pardoning Kodak and Lil Wayne. Before this, Kodak said he'd donate $1 million to charity if he was pardoned and his wish was granted a couple of months later.

On Wednesday (Jan. 20), the White House announced that Kodak was among 70 other people who had their prison sentences commuted before Trump officially bid the Oval Office farewell.

After news of Kodak Black's shortened sentence became public knowledge, he expressed his gratitude for the former president via social media.

"I Want To Thank The President @realDonaldTrump For His Commitment To Justice Reform And Shortening My Sentence," he wrote on Twitter. "I Also Want To Thank Everyone For Their Support And Love. It Means More Than You Will Ever Know. I Want To Continue Giving Back, Learning And Growing. @DanScavino."

Shortly after his sentence was commuted, Kodak reportedly dropped his lawsuit against the Bureau of Prisons for alleged abuse he suffered while serving time at United States Penitentiary, Big Sandy in Kentucky. The lawsuit claimed guards beat up Kodak, tortured him and placed him in four-point restraints for hours on end with no access to a bathroom.

According to the BOP, the accusations were denied. Officials claimed Kodak needed to be restrained for being violent and spit on a prison guard.

As previously stated, although Kodak is off the hook for his federal firearms charge, he is still facing his criminal sexual conduct charge from 2016. Trump's commutation of prison sentences doesn't impact state cases. Prosecutors in Florence, S.C., which is where Kodak Black is accused of sexually assaulting an "adult-age high school student" at a hotel after a 2016 concert, are looking to move forward with the case and want to "aggressively" prosecute the rapper.

See the Best Debut Hip-Hop Albums of All Time

Filed Under: Kodak BlackCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: January 22, 2021Marcus Ingram, Getty Images

Soulja Boy has reportedly been sued by his former assistant, who claims he raped her during the time she spent as his employee.

A woman, who has identified herself as "Jane Doe," filed a legal complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court against the Atlanta-bred rapper on Thursday (Jan. 21), claiming that he raped her, held her hostage, subjected her to a hostile work environment and did not pay her wages that she earned.

The woman, who began working for the 30-year-old artist around December of 2018, also alleges that Soulja expected her to be readily available at all times to cook, clean, chauffeur and perform personal assistant duties. Soulja Boy agreed to compensate the woman $500 a week for her services, which reportedly required her undivided attention—20 hours a day, seven days a week.

After working with Soulja Boy, born DeAndre Cortez Way, for less than a month, the anonymous woman claims that she began to receive "unsolicited photos of his penis." The filing notes that they established a brief consensual relationship, which ultimately turned violent.

Around Jan. 23, 2019, the woman says Soulja subjected her to periods of jealousy and uncontrolled rage. She also claims the "Kiss Me Through the Phone" rhymer kicked, body slammed and punched her—including repeatedly in the head on 10 separate occasions—and also threatened to physically harm her. The woman shared one instance in which she was punched in the head so hard that she lost consciousness.

Soulja Boy would allegedly "become enraged" if the woman received comments on her Instagram page or if her phone rang. He also allegedly threatened her and said, "I should have killed you."

The woman alleges that in February of 2019, Soulja sexually assaulted her for the first time. After this incident took place, she says the hip-hop artist expressed remorse and offered her $1,000. However, the alleged abuse continued and included the woman being inappropriately touched by him on her body and her pants being forcefully removed. She accuses Soulja Boy of raping her. This abuse allegedly happened on numerous occasions and sometimes twice in one day.

The unnamed former assistant said when she attempted to leave, Soulja Boy locked her in her room for three days "without hot water" until she no longer wished to leave.

In August of last year, the woman claims she was attacked so hard that she "thought she was going to die." After she regained consciousness while on the lawn outside of his home, the woman fled without taking any of her belongings.

In September or October of 2020, the woman alleges she was raped again by Soulja Boy when she came to retrieve her property. She reportedly returned to the home with law enforcement, but was denied entry. The woman says she left without taking her personal belongings. She also says she wasn't paid for the 18 months that she worked for Soulja Boy.

Neama Rahmani, the woman's attorney, said in a statement, "Way’s treatment of our client, as an employee and as a person who deserves respect, has traumatized and filled her with fear. His abuse imprisoned her physically, mentally and emotionally. When she mustered the courage to flee, he impoverished her. His exploitation severely hampered our client’s ability to re-establish herself in the workplace and in society. We believe he should be held accountable."

The lawsuit was filed a year-and-a-half after Soulja Boy was released from jail nearly five months early in 2019, after being placed behind bars for probation violation. This is also the second time Soulja Boy has been sued in a year's time. In January of 2020, the rapper was sued by a woman for assault, battery and false imprisonment stemming from a 2019 incident in which she accuses him and a personal assistant of wrapping her in duct tape in his home for nearly six hours after she wanted to leave.

XXL has reached out to the Los Angeles Superior Court, the woman's attorney and Soulja Boy for a comment on this matter.

These Managers, an A&R, Touring Rep, Video Director and Publicist Explain How Coronavirus Changed Hip-Hop

Filed Under: Soulja BoyCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/kemethigh/” rel=”author” title=”Kemet High”>Kemet HighPublished: January 22, 2021Jason LaVeris / Gabe Ginsberg / Prince Williams, Getty Images (3)

If you're not careful, a voicemail you leave on someone's phone might end up on a rapper's project one day. For decades now, rappers have been utilizing the audio messages as project intros, outros, interludes and skits—remember Eminem's hilarious "Ken Kaniff – Skit"? As evidenced on songs like Chance The Rapper’s Acid Rap closer “Good Ass Outro,” released in 2013, some voicemails are personal and sugared. But on the contrary, others are just outright comedy.

The first obvious example comes from the Kendrick Lamar’s debut album, good kid m.A.A.d city. After an immaculate storytelling performance, the LP's intro “Sherane a.k.a. Master Splinter's Daughter” concludes with a voicemail from K-Dot’s mom. On the recording, she begs Kendrick for her car back so that she can go pick up the food stamps. His dad also makes a drunken appearance, but pops was only worried about actual dominoes—not the pizza chain.

A lot of these funny, inbox fillers come from mistresses, girlfriends, boyfriends, thirsting fans and everything in between. Though we shouldn’t laugh at their pain, what adds a level of humor is the fact that people are so willing to pour their heart out into the void. Drake’s 2019 Care Package cut “How About Now” features a prime example of this. On the record, a girl memorably claims that Drizzy dashed her “away like a cyattie” and “cheesed” her, which if you're not from Toronto, means she got played like a set of piano keys.

Dr. Dre gets busy with the interpolated answering machine notes, too. Among his best is the voicemail housed on “Fuck You,” off the 1999 sophomore album, 2001. The way said woman goes from calm to crying on a song that finds Dre and the team wanting nothing more than sex is wild.

There are plenty of voicemails in the game that will make you laugh even more once you hear the song its associated with. And it's even more of a reminder to hang up before the beep so you don't become victim on a song one day. Today, XXL some of the funniest voicemails on hip-hop songs. Check them out below.

  • “Sherane a.k.a. Master Splinter’s Daughter”Kendrick Lamar
  • “How About Now”Drake
  • “Fuck You”Dr. Dre Featuring Snoop Dogg and Devin The Dude
  • “One More Chance”The Notorious B.I.G.
  • “One Goal”Joey Fatts Featuring Vince Staples
  • “Dressed Like Rappers”Isaiah Rashad
  • “The Dude”Devin The Dude
  • “The Maestro”Beastie Boys
  • “Ballet”Smino Featuring Bari
  • “Hood Politics”Kendrick Lamar

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

Filed Under: Beastie Boys, Devin The Dude, Dr. Dre, Drake, Feature, Isaiah Rashad, Joey Fatts, Kendrick Lamar, Royce Da 5′ 9″, Smino, The List, The Notorious B.I.gCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/zoejohnson/” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: January 22, 2021Erick The Architect / MPA Band Camp Group/Empire / Perico’s Innerprize LLC

It's Friday (Jan. 22), and that means two things –– you've made it through another week and new projects from your favorite rappers are here. However, despite the internet's insistent rumors, Drizzy Drake isn't one of them.

Atlanta native Peewee Longway and producer Cassius Jay unleash their latest project Longway Sinatra 2 via MPA Bandcamp and Empire. The new release is the sequel to the duo's 2016 mixtape. The previously released singles "Pink Salmon" and "Anxious" appear on the 36-year-old rapper's new drop as well as guest vocals from Blac Youngsta, Lil Baby, Lil Yachty and more. Altogether, the release contains 17 Southern bangers.

Brooklyn's own Erick The Architect of the Flatbush Zombies releases a solo project that displays his talents as a stand-alone artist outside of his role in the New York City-based rap collective. This time around, the rhymer drops an EP titled Future Proof. Erick, who also functions as Flatbush Zombies' fearless record producer, continues to perfect his craft of rapping over beats expertly created by himself and others for the project.

G Perico of South Central, L.A. delivers his second project of 2021. Following the release of his six-song EP, Free, which arrived on Jan. 8, Percio follows up with Welcome to the Land. Prior to the arrival of Percio's latest project, he announced the effort on Twitter, writing, "I’m droppin another project next week WELCOME 2 THE LAND!!!" The new project has nine songs and is produced entirely by 420 Tiesto.

From the East coast to the West coast, hip-hop begins to pick up steam in the first quarter of 2021. Check out some other projects by Young Dolph, BRS Kash and more below.

  • Longway Sinatra 2Peewee Longway and Cassius JayMPA Bandcamp Music Group / Empire
  • Future Proof EPErick The ArchitectErick The Architect
  • Welcome to the LandG PericoPerico’s Innerprize LLC
  • Kash OnlyBRS KashA Team Litty / LVRN / Interscope Records
  • A Magnificent Day for an ExorcismTh1rt3en & Pharoahe MonchFat Beats Records
  • Rich Slave DeluxeYoung DolphPaper Route Empire
  • Lyrics to Go, Vol. 2Kota The FriendFLTBYS LLC

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

Filed Under: Bangers, BRS Kash, Cassius Jay, erick the architect, G Percio, KOTA The Friend, peewee longway, Th1rt3en, Young DolphCategories: Music, New Music, News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: January 21, 2021Brian Ach / Gregory Shamus, Getty Images (2)

Beefing in the rap world isn't a foreign concept. It's actually something that happens more often than it probably should and the root of the issues sometimes ends up forgotten. Either way, from the inception of hip-hop, rappers have bumped heads in song wars and out in the street. While some rhymers have extended olive branches to hash things out, others have proven that they have very little desire to rectify any issues they may have with their peers.

Typically, rap beefs don't extend beyond disses on tracks and jabs via social media. This year, rap fans saw a reconciliation that they likely never imagined would happen. Gucci Mane and Jeezy had been rivals since the early 2000s, after things went south over their 2005 track "Icy." After dishing out diss after diss, Gucci killed one of Jeezy's affiliates, Pookie Loc, during a home invasion in 2005. Pookie, who was signed to Jeezy's Corporate Thugs Entertainment record label, was shot and killed by Guwop in self-defense. Gucci did do time for the killing, but charges against him were dropped in 2006, after prosecutors determined the case had insufficient evidence. The smog was thick between Gucci Mane and Jeezy, but a Verzuz battle in November of 2020 formed an unexpected unity between the veteran Georgia rappers.

However, unlike the minted southern veteran rhymers, reconciliations between rappers like Pusha-T and Drake, YG and 6ix9ine, and Eminem and Machine Gun Kelly doesn't seem as promising.

Pusha and Drizzy have fired lyrical missiles at one another for years, but things came to a fiery head back in 2018. The two rhymers had a face-off that involved accusing Drake of wearing blackface and revealing to the world that he has a son. Although there hasn't been much said from neither King Push nor the 6 God regarding the other rapper, that doesn't necessarily mean that all is forgiven. In fact, it doesn't seem like a white flag will be waved any time soon.

YG and 6ix9ine's beef stems from the Compton-bred rapper's feelings about upholding the street's code—which basically means no snitching. By now, it's widely known that 6ix9ine testified in court while on trial for his federal racketeering and firearms case. Tekashi, who has boasted about singing like a canary, also got on YG's bad side with his habitual social media trolling antics. Very heated words have been exchanged and it's unlikely that either of the two men will extend an olive branch.

Then there's Em and MGK, who have been going at each others' necks ever since the Cleveland artist inappropriately mentioned Eminem's daughter, Hailie, on Twitter. No one wins when the family feuds, but there's also no win when you bring up a rapper's daughter. From this, it has been diss records galore between Slim and Kelly. It's safe to say that the likelihood of Eminem considering this beef water under the bridge is pretty farfetched at this point.

Unlike Jeezy and Gucci Mane, many rappers are completely fine with having bad blood with one another and XXL looks back at a number of rap beefs and the chances of a reconciliation. We're using a scale of one to five—one being least likely this beef will be squashed and five being extremely possible. Check out Rap Beefs That'll Probably Never Be Resolved below.

See Rap Beefs That'll Probably Never Be Resolved

Filed Under: 50 Cent, 6ix9ine, Drake, Eminem, Feature, Freddie Gibbs, French Montana, Galleries, Gallery, ja rule, jeezy, Kanye West, Lil Kim, Machine Gun Kelly, Nicki Minaj, Pusha T, Royca Da 5’9″, Yelawolf, yfn lucci, YG, young thugCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: January 21, 2021Jackson County Detention Center

42 Dugg and DaBaby have banded together to cover the bond for a Kansas, City, Mo. woman who allegedly killed her brother's suspected murderer.

On Wednesday (Jan. 20), 42 Dugg offered up $20,000 to go towards Tityana Coppage's bond after she was arrested and jailed for tracking down the man who murdered her younger brother and allegedly killed him herself.

In a social media post shared by SayCheeseTV about the woman being charged with second degree murder and being held on $200,000 bond, Dugg wrote in the comment section, "I got the 20 thousand if they can get her out on ten percent tell her people get with me."

Dugg later shared a text conversation, which looks like it could be with Lil Baby who is over the 4 Pockets Full (4PF) label that the Detroit rhymer is signed to. In the exchange, a person saved as "Baby" offers what appears to be $10,000 for someone willing to sign the woman's bond.

"An I got 10 fir [sic] some body willing to sign the bond," a portion of the text thread reads. Dugg appears to be confirming that Baby is referring to Coppage, to which the Atlanta rapper replies, "Hell yeah."

Dugg then wrote back, "Ok I'm tryna see if I can get in touch with her people."

42_dugggg via Instagram

DaBaby offered up some of his own money as well. The Blame It on Baby rapper shared an Instagram story post about 42 Dugg trying to help cover Coppage's bond and volunteered to match the amount Dugg said he would pay—$20,000. "@42_Dugggg I match u a dub," Baby caption his IG story post.

42_dugggg via Instagram

Yella Beezy says he'll put up $20,000 as well. "I got 20k on it," the Dallas-bred rhymer wrote in SayCheeseTV's comment section yesterday.

saycheesetv via Instagram

According to a report from CBS affiliate KCTV 5, Tityana Coppage, 21, is currently behind bars at the Jackson County Detention Center in Kansas, City, Mo. after allegedly killing the man who took her younger brother's life earlier this month. On Jan. 10, Coppage's 16-year-old brother, Jason Ugwuh, was shot and killed in their hometown.

The outlet reports that on Jan. 13, Coppage shot her brother's suspected killer in a parking lot. The victim's brother transported him a short distance after the shooting before stopping in the street to seek help. The man, who was shot in the chest and leg, succumbed to his injuries as medics worked to save him.

Police reportedly used witnesses and surveillance footage to track down the black Ford Escape used in the shooting incident and to also find Coppage to speak with her. She is said to have admitted to reaching out to her brother's suspected killer in hopes that he and her brother's father would reach some sort of agreement before things turned deadly.

Coppage also reportedly admitted to having an exchange of gunfire with her brother's alleged killer, but described the account as an act of self-defense. She claims in a probable cause affidavit that her vehicle was shot at first before she fired off shots. Investigators also took a look at her phone and saw that she texted a contact saved in the phone as "Auntie" and asked for .45 caliber bullets. She wrote in the text, "LOL I sued to many on bro."

Coppage also texted her deceased brother's phone and said, "Sent a [expletive] to my brother I owe em that body."

Forensics and ballistics examination also determined the gun recovered from Coppage was the firearm used in the shooting.

The news outlet also reports that back in 2016, Coppage suffered two tragic losses with the deaths of her 8-year-old brother and 9-year-old cousin. The two boys were shot and killed in their home while they were sleeping after someone fired shots into the house.

See 22 Hip-Hop-Related Police Raids

Filed Under: 42 Dugg, DaBabyCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/zoejohnson/” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: January 21, 2021Rich Fury, Getty Images for Visible

Megan Thee Stallion has responded to unconfirmed reports that the felony assault charge against Tory Lanez in connection to their shooting incident over the summer has been dropped.

On Thursday (Jan. 21), Megan Thee Stallion spoke on rumors suggesting that she dropped charges against Tory after confirming last year that the Toronto artist is responsible for the gunshot wounds she sustained on the back of her feet in July of 2020. In a tweet shared by the 25-year-old rhymer, Megan proposed that the latest rumors surrounding the case was yet another ploy to derail the upcoming trial.

"AT THIS POINT IM GETTING ANNOYED ! STOP BELIEVING EVERYTHING YOU READ ON THE MF INTERNET. Imagine how I feel waking every day seeing people LIE and turn my trauma into a joke ? That whole team figures out ways to create doubt with my story every week and the media eats it up" she wrote on Twitter.

The report apparently stems from a tweet from a blog named FuciousTv.  Their social media post said, "According to the #LosAngeles County Superior Court website, the charges against #ToryLanez in the July 2020 incident have been or dropped. The website indicates that there are no upcoming trial dates after the hearing that was held yesterday. Story developing."

In a follow-up tweet, the blog said that there was a clerical error on the Los Angeles County Superior Court's website.

XXL has reached out to a rep for the Los Angeles County Superior Court for a comment on this matter.

In the same thread of tweets from the Houston native, Megan—without mentioning any names—suggested that Tory Lanez is an abuser, who shot her last year. She also stood her ground in clarifying that their court date was only postponed due to the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden, which took place on Tuesday (Jan. 20).

"Y’all can’t tell when shit fake news? Y’all still don’t see an ABUSER picking with me ? The first court date got pushed back bc of the inauguration but I can’t wait until the MF FACTS come out !," Megan continued. "Bitch you shot me AND MY STORY NOT CHANGING AND BITCH YOU GOING TO JAIL"

Megan went on to mention how she has been labeled a villain for speaking out against her alleged abuse. "How tf I get shot now I’m the worlds biggest mf villain !? All y’all pussy ass niggas and pick me ass hoes GONE EAT YO MF WORDS," she wrote.

She also wrote: "Y’all so believe black women and protect black women online BUT WHEN I LITERALLY SAY I GOT SHOT ITS CONFUSING."

Hot Girl Meg later opened up about the trauma she's been battling coupled with the impact of losing both of her parents.

Joe Coscarelli, a music reporter with The New York Times, also confirmed the reports are false. Despite the fallacious claims that Meg decided to drop the charges filed against Tory by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, the rumor later grew legs after social media began commenting on the reports. In a tweet shared by Coscarelli, he says the case is ongoing and that the next court date is set for mid-February.

"A rep for Tory Lanez says it is NOT TRUE that charges against him in the Megan Thee Stallion shooting were dropped: “The blog that posted this info is wrong. I assume the docket hasn't been updated … The next hearing date is in mid-February.," he shared.

Tory Lanez pleaded not guilty to felony assault and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle back in November. He was hit with the charges in October of 2020. Tory, who wasn't physically present at the arraignment and made an appearance by phone, was ordered to surrender any guns in his possession and had a bail set at $190,000. A protective order was also put in place, enforcing that Tory stay at least 100 yards away from Megan.

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

Filed Under: Megan Thee Stallion, Tory LanezCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: January 21, 2021Nicholas Hunt, Getty Images for TIDAL

Kodak Black may have been among the 70 people to receive a commutation on his prison sentence for his federal weapons charge courtesy of former President Donald Trump, but his South Carolina sexual assault case is somewhat in limbo.

According to a report from TMZ on Thursday (Jan. 21), Kodak was indicted in Florence, S.C., where the incident took place in 2016, and prosecutors are looking to move forward once the Florida rapper agrees to a plea deal or the case goes to trial.

Ed Clements, the 12th Circuit Solicitor in Florence County, S.C., reportedly told the outlet that the 2016 case has been impacted by COVID-19. Jury trials have been suspended and court dates have not been scheduled. However, prosecutors still desire to "aggressively" go after Kodak.

Trump's recent commutation of the rhymer's 46-month prison sentence for falsifying documents in order to obtain a firearm has no bearings on cases that are in state court, such as the 23-year-old Kodak Black's South Carolina assault case.

As previously reported, Kodak Black, born Dieuson Octave but who goes by Bill K. Kapri after legally changing his name in 2018, has been accused of raping a woman on Feb. 7, 2016. The accusations Kodak is currently facing include pinning down and biting "an adult-age high school student" in a hotel room following a concert, according to the Associated Press. He reportedly bit the alleged victim's neck and right breast.

Kodak was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct. His trial was set for 2019, but has since been pushed back. There is no court date set at this time.

Back in 2016, South Carolina's Florence County Sheriff's spokesman Major Michael Nunn said in a statement, "According to investigators, on or about February 7, 2016, Octave is alleged to have engaged in the sexual battery of the victim at a hotel located at 2120 West Lucas Street, Florence, SC."

Beattie Ashmore, who is Kodak Black's legal counsel in South Carolina, told TMZ in a statement, "Aggressively prosecute? It’s been four years. That speaks volumes. Kodak was on bond and on tour for two years before his federal case even began. Ed’s a very fine and experienced prosecutor and I look forward to once again speaking with him about this case. It’s been awhile."

XXL has contacted Kodak Black's legal team for a comment.

See Rappers Showing Support for President Trump in 2020

Filed Under: Kodak BlackCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/zoejohnson/” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: January 20, 2021Rich Fury / Drew Angerer, Getty Images (2)

Kodak Black sends his gratitude to the former President of the United States, Donald Trump

On Wednesday (January 20), Kodak Black sent out a thank you on Twitter to Donald Trump for commuting his four-year prison sentence stemming from the rapper's arrest in May of 2019 that took place during the Rolling Loud Miami Festival that year. 

"I Want To Thank The President  @realDonaldTrump For His Commitment To Justice Reform And Shortening My Sentence," the Twitter post on social media began.

As the tweet continued, Kodak went on to thank his lawyer and supporters for believing in him.  

"I Also Want To Thank Everyone For Their Support And Love. It Means More Than You Will Ever Know. I Want To Continue Giving Back, Learning And Growing. @DanScavino." 

Daniel Scavino, Jr. is a political adviser who served in the Trump administration as White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications from 2019 to 2021 and Director of Social Media from 2017 to 2021.

According to Reuters, on Jan. 19, the former 45th president issued several presidential pardons to Kodak Black and Lil Wayne.

Kodak's release date is currently scheduled for Nov. 11, 2022, with the possibility that he could be released to a halfway house as early as this year.

While Kodak's sentence is being commuted, he is still facing charges for sexual assault. "According to investigators, on or about February 7, 2016, Octave is alleged to have engaged in the sexual battery of the victim at a hotel located at 2120 West Lucas Street, Florence, SC," South Carolina's Florence County Sheriff's spokesman Major Michael Nunn said in a statement in August of 2016." The trial was set to begin in 2019, but no new date has been set for the trial. 

See Rappers Showing Support for President Trump in 2020

Filed Under: Donald Trump, Kodak BlackCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/peterberry/” rel=”author” title=”Peter A. Berry”>Peter A. BerryPublished: January 20, 2021Vaughn Ridley, Getty Images

The wait for Drake's forthcoming Certified Lover Boy album is going to continue longer than fans expected.

On Wednesday night (Jan. 20), the 6ix God used his Instagram account to tell the world that his new LP—the one he said he'd be dropping this month—won't be arriving at any point in January.

"I was planning to release my album this month but between surgery and rehab my energy has been dedicated to recovery," Drake wrote in a post on his IG story. "I'm blessed to be back on my feet feeling great and focused on the album, but CLB won't be dropping in January. I'm looking forward to sharing it with you all in 2021."

@champagnepapi via Instagram

Drake had originally said his new album would be coming last summer, but after that didn't materialize, he changed course. This past fall, he said he'd be dropping the album in January, but now that won't happen.

Besides the first single, the Lil Durk-assisted "Laugh Now Cry Later," not too much is known about Drizzy's forthcoming LP. However, he did offer up a take on how his fans would feel about the project.

In an Instagram exchange with his father Dennis Graham, Drake said he thought people would hate on his new project.

"They hated on views just like they will CLB but it's music to evolve to," Drizzy said to his dad, who was telling the rapper about how much he liked Drizzy's Views album.

People will have to just wait and see.

See Every Drake Project Ranked

Filed Under: DrakeCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/peterberry/” rel=”author” title=”Peter A. Berry”>Peter A. BerryPublished: January 20, 2021Amanda Bynes via YouTube

Amanda Bynes made a name for herself as an actor onTV shows All That, The Amanda Show and a bunch of big-screen movies, but now she's dipped into the world of rap.

On Wednesday (Jan. 20), Bynes used her Instagram account to unload "Diamonds," a rap song featuring herself and another artist by the name of Precise. You can listen to the song below.

On the track, Amanda raps for just over 10 seconds and she doesn't really bother rhyming, though that's not necessarily a requirement. "Diamonds, diamonds on my neck, on my wrist," raps Bynes, who previously uploaded a video of herself rapping the lyrics to A$AP Rocky's Testing album song "Forever" to Instagram last June.

Needless to say, Bynes' new verse is pretty unexpected. There's no word on whether there's a longer version of the 1-minute song or if she's recording more tracks. Fans will just have to wait and see.

The last time Bynes' name intersected with rap culture on a major scale was back in 2013. That was the year there were reports that Waka Flocka Flame was producing a rap album she was making. That's also when she tweeted that she wanted Drake to "murder" her vagina. In a 2017 interview years later, she said she was on drugs at the time. In the same discussion, she confirmed that she'd been sober for three years.

Although she rose to fame as an actor, she's since become a fashion designer. Salute to Bynes for trying new things.

See 25 of the Best Illustrated Hip-Hop Album and Mixtape Covers of All Time

Filed Under: amanda bynes, BangersCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: January 20, 2021D. Clemons

Let the Beat Build
Kash Johns, Founder and CEO of Winners Circle Worldwide Publishing & Management.
Words: Aleia Woods
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

Kash Johns hit the music scene fervently in the 2000s, getting production placements with Harlem’s own Dipset. His experience with the New York City-bred collective helped to develop his keen interest in the music business. Johns later dove headfirst into publishing and began developing the next generation of producers, artists and songwriters. In 2015, Winners Circle Publishing, administered by global publisher Warner/Chappell, was born and has since served as a vehicle for individuals who have a hunger for and desire to thrive in the behind-the-scenes roles of creating music. The roster currently boasts Sterl Gotti, YNF Cappo, Pooh Beatz, Smash David and songwriter London Jae as their clients/signees plus more. Here, Johns shares some knowledge.

XXL: What are some of the particular qualities that you look for in a producer?

Kash Johns: Work ethic. Your willingness to go the extra mile. Doing more than whoever’s in the room. With us, in-house, we call it sharpening swords. It’s like sharpening swords, sharpening your skills. So, if you’re not pushing your skill set to the maximum, then you’re not gonna get the results that you really want. And, coming from a publishing background, I educate all my clients to understand the business portion of the publishing so that they can see if you’re a producer, if these [are] the types of records, and these are what these records do and this is what it’s going to pay you out. So, you gotta look long-term.

In your expert opinion, what would you say makes a hot producer right now?

It’s one that’s able to make any type of music… So, anybody coming up, it’s important to be able to get into those rooms, be able to know how to engineer, know how to arrange records, know what’s melodic, know to gain the trust of the artist.

What are some of the biggest songs that some of your producers have right now?

We did the “What’s Poppin” with Jack Harlow. We did DaBaby’s “Suge.” We did “The Voice” that came out with [Lil] Durk—last one that just came out. We’re on the Megan Thee Stallion [Good News Deluxe] project. We did the Dave East single [“Sexual”] featuring Chris Brown. We was on the NBA YoungBoy [“Boom”]. We had the Tory Lanez one [“Friends Become Strangers”]. Oh, and we did “My Window” with Lil Wayne.

How do you measure success for your producers? The platinum plaques, the gold plaques, that type of recognition people definitely care about.

I ask them… Each one of my producers, we call it, “How do you want your movie to be seen?” So, they tell me how they wanna see their movie at the end and then that’s how we measure their success from that point.

Check out more from XXL’s Winter 2020 issue including our DaBaby cover story, an introduction to DaBaby's Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment label roster, an interview with South Coast Music Group founder Arnold Taylor, who discovered and signed DaBaby, one of King Von's last interviews, how the coronavirus changed hip-hop, we catch up with Flipp Dinero in What's Happenin', we talk to Rico Nasty about rediscovering who she is as an artist, Marshmello talks about the rappers he wants to work with in Hip-Hop Junkie, Show & Proves with The Kid Laroi and Flo Milli, we take a closer look at how music gets leaked and more.

See Photos of XXL Magazine's Winter 2020 Cover Shoot With DaBaby

Filed Under: Chris Brown, DaBaby, Dipset, Feature, Jack Harlow, Kash Johns, Lil Durk, promo, The Diplomats, XXL MagazineCategories: News, XXL Magazine


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/robbyseabrookiii/” rel=”author” title=”Robby Seabrook III”>Robby Seabrook IIIPublished: January 20, 2021Bruce Toolkit

Things can happen quickly in hip-hop, and few artists know that as well as Dallas native Erica Banks, who's experiencing massive success with her streaming smash "Buss It."

At 12, she was a talented young poet, winning school contests by reciting her own work. By her freshman year of high school, she transitioned into rap, influenced to do so by her friends and the way the culture permeates through the youth. She rhymed at lunch and wrote her bars down in her free time. Once she got to college, she took her talents to a studio in her sophomore year at Texas A&M Commerce in 2018. Then a nursing student, she dropped out that same year to focus on rap, which her parents were none too happy about.

However, these days, they are much happier with their daughter's decision considering she's a 1501 Certified Entertainment/Warner Records artist with six projects under her belt. Her eponymous mixtape, released in June of 2020, houses "Buss It," one of the most viral songs of the last few weeks. The thumping, SGT J-produced track is racking up close to a million streams a day on Spotify and has a social media challenge, aptly titled #BussItChallenge, attached to it. The challenge kicked off on TikTok, where it now has over 2.5 million video creations.

Before her current rise to fame, Erica Banks signed to 1501 Certified Entertainment in April of 2019, after catching the attention of label CEO Carl Crawford when she played "Buss It" for him during an Instagram Live session. Since the signing made her label mates with the Houston Hottie Megan Thee Stallion—and the much-publicized label dispute between Meg and Crawford is still ongoing—Banks was compared to Megan immediately. The success of "Buss It" has helped quiet any criticisms. Now, Erica has a hit to her name that is all her own.

The song, which samples Nelly's 2002, two-times platinum-selling track "Hot In Herre," feels like a modern strip club classic. Originally released in February of 2019, "Buss It" gradually increased in streams and YouTube views, but it took a leap in late 2020 and early 2021, thanks to the #BussItChallenge. Mostly done by women, the challenge involves the participant appearing dressed down then changing into a fancier outfit and twerking to "Buss It" after the switch happens. The challenge caught on quickly, and now has celebrities like actresses Tracee Ellis Ross and Gabrielle Union-Wade, singer Monica and more involved. "Buss It" currently has over 15 million Spotify streams and 5 million YouTube views.

Now a Warner Records artist as of two weeks ago, it's the perfect time for Erica Banks to chat with XXL for this week's edition of The Break.

Age: 22

Hometown: Dallas

I grew up listening to: "I grew up listening to a lot of Young Money. So Nicki Minaj, Drake, Lil Wayne, Lil Twist. I was coming up in that era, so I was a big Young Money fan."

My style’s been compared to: People have compared me to, of course, Meg Thee Stallion. People have compared me to Lil' Kim, or they say new age Lil' Kim rather. I've heard Diamond from Crime Mob. And yeah, it'd probably be those three that I hear a lot.

I’m going to blow up because: I know just from seeing 'Buss It' doing what it's doing that I'm going to have a very long run. And I say that because 'Buss It' is not my best work at all, whatsoever. And then I don't only rap, I do a little R&B, I do a little singing here and there. I can do some pop. I actually love pop music. So hip-hop is not my only lane either. And I tell people that all the time. So, just me knowing on the inside that 'Buss It' is not my best work, not even close, is just like, well, I wonder what the unreleased music can do."

What’s your most slept-on song, and why?: "At this point, no. If you would've asked me that two weeks ago, I would've said, 'Yes.' Yeah. Before the TikTok situation [with 'Buss It,'] yes. I actually made Spotify's most slept on songs of 2020 list. So, at least people know that, too. So, at this point, I say it's no longer slept-on. People are starting to wake up and realize that it is what it is. But two weeks ago, yeah, I would definitely say it was a slept-on song."

My standout records to date have been: "['Buss It.'] I think it's the sample that gets everybody. Because that's personally what got me when I heard the beat. So, we all know that song. We all know the 'Hot In Herre,' Nelly song, so, I think that is what attracts people to it. And then you put the drums and the 2020 sound on it and it gives you a nice little cool spin. So, I definitely think it's the sample.

"I personally did not like the song when I first made it and I wasn't even going to put it out for a long time. I didn't even put a second verse on it. But then my friends and my producers were like, 'Oh no. You just put it out. It's hard.' Now it was my best performing song when I did put it out. So, after that happened, I was like, OK, maybe it might do something. But before I put it out, I just didn't know."

My standout moments to date have been: "This. This. TikTok. It's the biggest moment of my life right now. I'm seeing celebrities do it, I'm seeing actresses do it, I'm seeing people I watch on TV do it, which is crazy to me. So, that's what it is for me. And just seeing people that I look up to do my challenge to my song. Even Nelly posted his girlfriend doing it, which is crazy. So seeing that is just like, yeah, this is that big moment for me."

Most people don’t know: "Well, a lot of people don't know that I sing. Everybody right now that's looking at 'Buss It' don't know that I sing. They will probably never think it because they just know me as the 'Buss It' girl right now. So, you really only know that I sing if you just are really a fan and you've been tuned in and you've been following me. So, I would say that, because if I tell them right now that I sing, they'll probably be like, 'What?'"

I’m going to be the next: "Legend."

Follow Erica Banks on SoundCloud and Instagram.

Standouts:

"Buss It"

"Toot That" featuring Beatking

"All of These Hoes"

Erica Banks

See 20 Surprising Facts About Hip-Hop Songs That Went No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Over Last 20 Years

Filed Under: Erica Banks, Feature, The BreakCategories: News, The Break


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/kemethigh/” rel=”author” title=”Kemet High”>Kemet HighPublished: January 20, 2021Suzi Pratt / Jason Koerner / Rich Fury / Jason Koerner, Getty Images (4)

Good ad-libs make a song that more memorable in hip-hop. Nowadays, the improvisations often steal the attention away from the actual bars and in rap music, fans live for those wild moments where the right delivery of one repeated word can have a more lasting impact than a whole 16. If you’ve ever seen footage of rappers actually recording their ad-libs, you know how fascinating the process can be to witness.

Playboi Carti’s ad-libs are clear standouts, especially from the SoundCloud era. As evidenced on songs like Chief Keef’s “Uh Uh,” released in 2018 on Mansion Musick, the infant voice used to utter the word “What?!” has the undeniable ability to elevate the quality of the song. It’s energetic, and so is Carti when he delivers it.

Lil Uzi Vert can relate. The Philly rapper’s “Yeah” is a simple yet effective maneuver that balances the line-by-line slashes on tracks like “Myron,” housed on the 2020 release of Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World 2. While it’s often loud in volume, you’d be surprised to see that Uzi lays down that signature sound with a still body. Similar to DaBaby's deliver of his deep-voiced "Yeah, yeah."

Elsewhere, Waka Flocka Flame'’s “Bow!” is legendary in the trap sphere. Listen to "No Hands" if you need a refresher. Waka's ad-libs are abrasive and alarming in all of the right ways. And another reason why songs like Yo Gotti’s 2010 smash "Blow Your Ass Off" featuring Waka, Zed Zilla and Starlito slaps so hard. It sounds as if every time Waka lays one down, he’s geeked up in the studio. We can cosign the accuracy of that notion.

Watching a recording of these ad-libs is often rare. Some of the only evidence comes from songs that have yet to be released. But XXL was able to track down 18 examples from your favorite rappers to prove that the process will forever be entertaining. Check them out below.

  • Waka Flocka FlameSong: Yo Gotti’s “Blow Your Ass Off” Featuring Zed Zilla, Starlito and Waka Flocka Flame
  • Playboi CartiSong: Chief Keef’s “Uh Uh” Featuring Playboi Carti
  • Lil Uzi VertSong: “Myron”
  • DaBabySong: Unknown
  • Juice WrldSong: “Slide”
  • Famous DexSong: “Don’t Trip”
  • Lil TeccaSong: “Red Light, Green Light”
  • Gucci ManeSong: Unknown
  • Rich The KidSong: “New Wave” Featuring Famous Dex
  • Fetty WapSong: Unknown
  • Pop SmokeSong: “Yea Yea”
  • DesiignerSong: Jim Jones’ “Finesse” Featuring Rich Homie Quan, Desiigner and A$AP Ferg
  • Chief KeefSong: “Finally Rich”
  • GunnaSong: Unknown
  • DMXSong: “6 Foot 7 Foot (Freestyle)”
  • T.I.Song: Meek Mill’s “Rose Red (Remix)” Featuring Vado, T.I. and Rick Ross
  • Lil KeedSong: Unkown
  • Travis ScottSong: “Nightcrawler” Featuring Chief Keef and Swae Lee

See the Most Anticipated Hip-Hop Albums of 2021

Filed Under: Chief Keef, DaBaby, Desiigner, DMX, Famous Dex, Feature, Fetty Wap, Gucci Mane, Gunna, juice wrld, Lil Keed, Lil Tecca, Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, Pop Smoke, Rich The Kid, T.I., The List, Travi$ Scott, Waka Flocka FlameCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/peterberry/” rel=”author” title=”Peter A. Berry”>Peter A. BerryPublished: January 20, 2021Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images

Don't look now, but DJ Khaled and Fat Joe have just become the latest hip-hop artists to join the OnlyFans wave.

Last night (Jan. 19), the two launched a joint page on the platform, which has been joined by a bunch of rappers in the hip-hop community over the last year. Underneath the banner for their page, they lay out their mission for the page.

"[W]elcome to the LIGHT – the page for fans to get exclusive motivational and inspirational content, where we will be guiding fans to "the light" while sharing uplifting insights and behind-the-scenes of our personal lives," reads the message.

DJ Khaled announced their OnlyFans page last night by uploading a video to Instagram of himself and Joe playing basketball.

OnlyFans is a content platform that allows people to upload content and have fans pay to subscribe to their work. Other artists who've created OnlyFans accounts include Cardi B, Tyga, Rico Nasty, Blueface and more.

Joe and Khaled have been a team since the Terror Squad days, so it's cool to see them link up for this latest venture as well. They both shared links to the OnlyFans page in the bio section of their Instagram accounts. At the moment, it costs $20 a month to follow them. So if you want an even more intense dose of Khaled's catchphrases or Joey Crack's classic rap stories, you might want to check this out.

See Rappers With an OnlyFans Account

Filed Under: DJ Khaled, Fat JoeCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/xxlstaff/” rel=”author” title=”XXL Staff”>XXL StaffPublished: January 20, 2021@akademiks via Instagram

6ix9ine has just been involved in a confrontation that ended with a man being punched in the face.

On Tuesday evening (Jan. 19), footage of a man who appears to confront 6ix9ine at a paintball park surfaced on the internet. In the clip, the man calls 6ix9ine, whose rainbow hair is now brown, a rat. In the next clip, the man gets punched by someone who appears to be a member of Tekashi's crew. For his part, 6ix9ine isn't filmed saying anything. You can watch at the bottom of this post.

Miami-based reporter Andy Slater reported that a senior law enforcement official said Miami police were investigating 6ix9ine for being in a "possible strong-armed robbery." In a subsequent tweet, Slater said the incident took place at a Miami paintball shooting range and that police sources determined that the man accusing 6ix9ine of a crime made up most of the story. 6ix9ine was reportedly cleared of any wrongdoing.

"SLATER SCOOP: Rapper Tekashi69 is under investigation by Miami police after being involved in a possible strong-armed robbery, a senior law enforcement official tells me. The incident happened within the past hour," Slater tweeted.

"UPDATE: After an investigation, the alleged victim made up most of his story, police sources tell me. The incident, which did involve Tekashi69, took place at a paintball shooting range in Miami. The rapper has been cleared of any wrongdoing," Slater added as an update on Twitter.

This report represents the first time that news has included 6ix9ine possibly faced any additional law enforcement scrutiny since he was let off house arrest back in August of 2020. The rapper, who was sentenced to two years in prison in December of 2019, after he cut a deal with the federal government, pled guilty to federal racketeering charges and testified against his former Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods associates, was released from prison and put on home confinement after being granted compassionate release by a judge last April. He was granted the release into house arrest because it was determined that his asthma would be exacerbated if he were to contract the coronavirus.

XXL has reached out to the Miami Police Department and reps for 6ix9ine for comment.

Here’s What Rappers Looked Like Before Their Face Tattoos

Filed Under: 6ix9ineCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: January 20, 2021Prince Williams / Mandel Ngan, Getty Images (2)

UPDATE (Jan. 20):

The White House has issued a statement on Lil Wayne receiving a full pardon from President Donald Trump.

Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. – President Trump granted a full pardon to Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., also known as “Lil Wayne.”  Mr. Carter pled guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, owing to a conviction over 10 years ago.  Brett Berish of Sovereign Brands, who supports a pardon for Mr. Carter, describes him as “trustworthy, kind-hearted and generous.”  Mr. Carter has exhibited this generosity through commitment to a variety of charities, including donations to research hospitals and a host of foodbanks.  Deion Sanders, who also wrote in support of this pardon, calls Mr. Wayne “a provider for his family, a friend to many, a man of faith, a natural giver to the less fortunate, a waymaker, [and] a game changer.”

Lil Wayne was among the 73 people President Trump pardoned. Trump also commuted the sentences of 70 others.

UPDATE (Jan. 20):  

Bradford Cohen, who is the attorney for both Kodak Black and Lil Wayne, confirmed the pardons with XXL. "President Trump and his administration have been tireless advocates on behalf of the African-American community," Cohen said in a statement. "These pardons is [sic] a perfect example of this administration following up on its reforms and commitments. Thank you to President Trump for his advocacy and dedication to justice reform."

ORIGINAL STORY: 

In one of his final flexes as POTUS, President Trump has given clemency to Lil Wayne.

Following reports the Young Money rapper would be on the final list of people to be pardoned, Trump revealed some of his list of pardons on Tuesday (Jan. 19), his final day in office, and Wayne was among the number of people who will have their federal charges or sentences absolved. Wayne was awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to a federal firearms charge in December of 2020, but he will now be exonerated.

According to Reuters, Lil Wayne and Kodak Black, both with federal weapons offenses, received presidential pardons as well as former White House aide Steve Bannon and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was serving a 28-year prison term on corruption charges.

The pardon of Lil Wayne may seem like a surprise to some but looks like it may have been a couple months in the making. Last October, just a week before the 2020 presidential election, Tunechi gave a big cosign to the incumbent presidential candidate via Twitter. "Just had a great meeting with @realdonaldtrump @potus besides what he’s done so far with criminal reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership," Wayne captioned a photo of himself with a smiling Trump. He listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done."

While the endorsement drew the ire of many in the hip-hop community, it definitely seemed to put Wayne in Trump's good graces. "[Lil Wayne] wanted a meeting," Trump later said of their interaction. "He's a really nice guy. Really an activist in a very positive way. And he asked for a meeting and we had the meeting. And, as you saw, the meeting went very well."

Despite the cosign from Wayne and other rappers like Lil Pump, Trump failed to win the election. However, it appears Weezy's endorsement may have been enough to get assistance from the lame duck president.

XXL has reached out to Lil Wayne's team for commen

See Rappers Showing Support for President Trump in 2020

Filed Under: Donald Trump, Lil WayneCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: January 20, 2021Johnny Nunez / Brendan Smialowski, Getty Images (2)

UPDATE (Jan. 20):

The White House has released a statement on the commutation of Kodak Black's prison sentence by President Trump. Kodak was among the 73 individuals that were granted pardons and another 70 individuals that had commuted sentences.

"Bill K. Kapri – President Trump granted a commutation to Bill Kapri, more commonly known as Kodak Black. Kodak Black is a prominent artist and community leader. This commutation is supported by numerous religious leaders, including Pastor Darrell Scott and Rabbi Schneur Kaplan. Additional supporters include Bernie Kerik, Hunter Pollack, Gucci Mane, Lil Pump, Lil Yachty, Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens, Jack Brewer formerly of the National Football League, and numerous other notable community leaders. Kodak Black was sentenced to 46 months in prison for making a false statement on a Federal document. He has served nearly half of his sentence. Before his conviction and after reaching success as a recording artist, Kodak Black became deeply involved in numerous philanthropic efforts. In fact, he has committed to supporting a variety of charitable efforts, such as providing educational resources to students and families of fallen law enforcement officers and the underprivileged. In addition to these efforts, he has paid for the notebooks of school children, provided funding and supplies to daycare centers, provided food for the hungry, and annually provides for underprivileged children during Christmas. Most recently while still incarcerated, Kodak Black donated $50,000 to David Portnoy’s Barstool Fund, which provides funds to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Kodak Black’s only request was that his donation go toward restaurants in his hometown."

UPDATE (Jan. 20):

Bradford Cohen, who is the attorney for both Kodak Black and Lil Wayne, confirmed the pardons with XXL. "President Trump and his administration have been tireless advocates on behalf of the African-American community," Cohen said in a statement. "These pardons is [sic] a perfect example of this administration following up on its reforms and commitments. Thank you to President Trump for his advocacy and dedication to justice reform."

ORIGINAL STORY:

Kodak Black will be a free man very soon, thanks to soon-to-be former President Donald Trump.

On Trump's final full day in office on Tuesday (Jan. 19), the lame duck president issued several presidential pardons, which included Kodak Black and Lil Wayne, reports Reuters.

Kodak is serving a nearly four-year prison sentence on a federal firearms charge stemming from his May 2019 arrest prior to the Rolling Loud Miami Festival. Kodak's release date had been slated for Nov. 11, 2022, with the possibility that he could be released to a halfway house as early as this year. Now, via pardon, he is eligible to be released immediately and will be fully exonerated in this particular case.

Kodak, who has reportedly had a rough go in prison including allegations of abuse by staff, has not been shy about requesting help from No. 45. Last April, he requested an in-prison meeting with Trump. "Tell Donald Trump to pull-up on me, I got a brilliant idea," Kodak wrote on Instagram. "I thought of something back in Miami but I dismissed it ['cause] I be thinking I b crazy sometimes. This shit keep following me tho! This ain't got nothing to do with my wrongful conviction, come see me I got my corona mask on."

In September, he directly asked for Trump's help in getting released via his lawyer. In a final attempt, in November, Kodak offered to donate $1 million to charity if Trump would use his presidential power to pardon him before he left office. Last week, reports surfaced Kodak might be on Trump's list of people to be pardoned. Publicly, Trump never responded to the South Florida rapper's pleas, but it looks like his requests were heard.

Aside from the federal weapons offenses that he was pardoned for, Kodak Black faces another legal battle stemming from 2016. The rapper, born Dieuson Octave but changed his name to Bill K. Kapri in 2018, is accused of raping a woman on Feb. 7, 2016. The accusations against him include pinning down and biting the alleged victim, described as "an adult-age high school student," in addition to rape while in a hotel in Florence, S.C.

"According to investigators, on or about February 7, 2016, Octave is alleged to have engaged in the sexual battery of the victim at a hotel located at 2120 West Lucas Street, Florence, SC," South Carolina's Florence County Sheriff's spokesman Major Michael Nunn said in a statement in August of 2016.

A trial was scheduled for spring 2019, but has since been continued. No new date has been set.

XXL has reached out to Kodak Black's lawyer for comment.

See Rappers Showing Support for President Trump in 2020

Filed Under: Donald Trump, Kodak BlackCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/peterberry/” rel=”author” title=”Peter A. Berry”>Peter A. BerryPublished: January 19, 2021Frederic J. Brown / Saul Loeb, Getty Images (2)

UPDATE (Jan. 20):

The White House has released a statement on the commutation of Michael "Harry O" Harris' remaining prison sentence.

Michael Harris: President Trump commuted the sentence of Michael Harris. Mr. Harris is a 59 year old who has served 30 years of a 25 year to life sentence for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Mr. Harris has had an exemplary prison record for three decades. He is a former entrepreneur and has mentored and taught fellow prisoners how to start and run businesses. He has completed courses towards business and journalism degrees. Upon his release, Mr. Harris will have a meaningful place of employment and housing with the support of his family.

Trump has pardoned 73 people and commuted the sentences of 70 others.

ORIGINAL STORY:

One day after it was reported that Snoop Dogg was trying to get President Trump to pardon Death Row Records cofounder Michael "Harry O" Harris, it looks like Snoop's efforts paid off.

On Tuesday evening (Jan. 19), the New York Post reported Trump had commuted Harris' sentence. Harris was originally set to be released from prison in 2028, after being convicted of attempted murder and cocaine trafficking over 30 years ago, but now he's apparently set to be released, if he hasn't already left Federal Correctional Institution, Lompoc walls in California.

In an email to Weldon Angelos, a former music producer who had his own drug sentence commuted by Trump last year, Harris expressed his gratitude.

“Thank God," reads the email from Harris. "God is great. It feels like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders.”

Angelos gives credit to Trump's adviser and daughter, Ivanka Trump, someone he says wouldn't take no for an answer.

Speaking with The Daily Beast for a report published yesterday, Angelos, who'd previously produced for Snoop Dogg, said Snoop was the one who brought Harris' case to his attention. From there, Angelos contacted Alice Johnson, who had her prison sentence commuted by Trump back in 2018. After that, Johnson said she's contacted people in the White House to set this whole event in motion.

Harris helped found Death Row Records by giving Suge Knight seed money to form the label back in the early 1990s. Snoop, who's called out President Trump supporters on a few occasions, was signed to Death Row through most of the 1990s.

See the Current Status of Every Murdered Rapper's Case

Filed Under: Michael “Harry O” Harris, Snoop DoggCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/peterberry/” rel=”author” title=”Peter A. Berry”>Peter A. BerryPublished: January 19, 2021Lars Niki, Getty Images

Two weeks after it was reported that they'd be getting a divorce, a new report claims that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have taken another step toward making it official.

According to a Monday (Jan. 18) report from People, Kanye and Kim have stopped going to marriage counseling. Their source says that the Yeezus artist is talking to divorce lawyers this week.

This news surfaces two weeks after a source from Page Six claimed that Kim herself was working with famed divorce lawyer Laura Wasser. If the latest report is true, it looks like Kanye and Kim K's decision to legally split is a mutual one. Speaking with the outlet for their report on the reportedly impending divorce, one source said it's come to this because of Kim's personal growth.

"Now this divorce is happening because Kim has grown up a lot," the insider said. "She is serious about taking the bar exam and becoming a lawyer, she is serious about her prison reform campaign. Meanwhile, Kanye is talking about running for president and saying other crazy shit, and she’s just had enough of it.”

While Kim and Kanye have reportedly had some marital issues, they've apparently been amicable enough.

"They have been living separately, with Kanye spending his time in Wyoming while Kim is in Calabassas with the kids," a source told XXL. "They are amicable and fully aligned when it comes to the kids. There is no drama or contentious relationship at all between Kanye and the extended family which NY Post falsely reported."

Kim and Kanye were married in May 2014. Together, they have four children named North, Saint, Chicago and Psalm.

XXL has reached out to reps for Kanye and Kim for comment.

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

Filed Under: Kanye West, kim kardashianCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/xxlstaff/” rel=”author” title=”XXL Staff”>XXL StaffPublished: January 19, 2021Prince Williams, Wireimage

Hate It or Love It
Leaks have moved from burned CDs to buried chat rooms, but one constant remains: for rappers, they're a blessing and curse.
Words: Stacy-Ann Ellis
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

“Whoever got his songs better sell ’em now before they end up on the album. I’m buying btw.”

This was one of the first responses in an eight-page Leakth.is megathread dedicated to Pop Smoke’s posthumous debut album, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, the effort bookending the slain Brooklyn rapper’s legacy. Leakth.is touts itself as “the best music leaks forum on the web.” Another Pop Smoke fan on the forum wrote, “Im conflicted…I dont wanna fuck up his release so I’ll probably leak 1 song, then sell the rest after his album (whatever didnt get dropped).” This was May 14, 2020, a full month before the project’s original due date of June 12. By the time the album finally dropped on July 3—it was pushed back out of respect for America’s long-delayed race reckoning—these fans would have already heard it and begun petitioning for the next artist’s music in the vault.

Branndannart

At this point, leaked music has become unavoidable, and hip-hop has almost exclusively bore the brunt of it. Think about it: How often do we hear about leaked music in rock, pop, country or R&B? Cameron Capers, an Arista Records A&R, Blackwax management company cofounder and former Parkwood Entertainment employee, notes how structural differences in pop and country minimize the occurrence of leaks. “The producers and writers, they have small communities, and if you’re not in that community, they don’t really let a lot of new people in,” he says. “Whereas hip-hop and rap has always been a culture that’s inclusive of everyone, and everyone feels like they can be a part of it.” And more hands working on rap records equals more open doors for the goods to get out.

Few heavy hitters in hip-hop have been spared from leak culture. Eminem rushed writing sessions for his 2004 album Encore after he experienced leaks during the recording process, and Lil Wayne admitted albums like 2008’s Tha Carter III spread after leaving his CDs playing in the car. Kanye West famously lashed out at the internet when “Lost in the World” and “All of the Lights” from his 2010 album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, escaped the vault. ’Ye had previously endured a months-early leak of his 2004 debut album, The College Dropout. In May of this year, Drake made use of a moment when he dropped Dark Lane Demo Tapes, a 14-song compilation of old leaked songs and SoundCloud loosies. However, the last couple years have been particularly unforgiving for the newest crop of powerhouse rap stars. Artists like Juice Wrld, Young Thug, Playboi Carti, Lil Uzi Vert and 6ix9ine, among others, have felt it harder than most.

rileytaugor via Twitter

6ix9ine delayed his 2018 debut studio album, Dummy Boy, after he was arrested on racketeering and firearms charges on Nov. 18, 2018, but less than a week later, the entire 13-track project surfaced online. His team ended up dropping the album a few days later as a result of the leak. Last year, over 30 unreleased Young Thug songs, including features with Future, Gunna, Big Sean and Offset leaked online. Just one month after Juice Wrld’s tragic death in 2019, about 26 of his unreleased songs were posted to SoundCloud under the username 999 WRLD without his estate’s consent. Juice continues to be one of the new-gen rappers most heavily affected by leaks since his popularity increased.

Matt Winkelmeyer, Getty Images

Before Lil Uzi Vert’s long-awaited Eternal Atake arrived on March 6, 2020, a string of 2019 leaks, mixed with label drama stemming back to 2018, delayed the album by nearly a year. And when it comes to Playboi Carti, his fans will likely know many of the verses on his long-awaited Whole Lotta Red album before it even drops because the leaks of his songs are rampant. “How the fuck y’all niggas know that song?” he quipped at The Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash in Chicago in 2019, after performing a new song called “Neon.”

Their leak streak makes sense. “Those are all prolific artists in terms of recording a lot,” offers Justin Grant, Director of Digital Marketing at Atlantic Records. “They are always in the studio and creating at a really high rate, so there’s just more material out there in general that can be leaked.” But how does coveted material, thought to be guarded by labels, teams and the artists themselves, actually get in the hands of faceless strangers?

The first time Smokepurpp got hacked was in 2016, when someone with his phone number, government name and the address linked to his phone called T-Mobile to request a SIM card. SIM swapping, hacked emails and devices, and website security breaches are some of the most common ways sealed songs make their way onto fans’ phones. “If somebody knows that I have, like, a really special song, they know they can’t hack me, but they’ll probably try to hack somebody’s phone who I hang out with and get the song from there,” he said in June on XXL’s Hip-Hop Moments of Clarity podcast, as if it’s an unstated rite of passage. “You know how it goes.” It’s something every artist must seemingly go through at least once.

Record labels, rappers and their teams have made efforts to increase the security of their sessions. Preventive measures like previewing music for potential business partners over the phone versus Dropbox, no longer storing songs as voice notes, getting files directly after a recording session, and requesting that unfamiliar engineers delete their copy can help. But sometimes it’s not about the security; it’s about the circle. “There’s times where a producer is in a session with an artist and it just comes down to them not being a very good person, having access to those files and then putting them up for sale online,” Grant shares. “Then you see that random kid in Wyoming, like, ‘Yo, I got all of these unreleased tracks.’” Rappers often roll with robust entourages, so it’s hard to tell who is keeping an artist’s work close to the chest, and who’s looking to put extra money in their pocket.

According to Cameron Capers, whose producers he enlists have created music for Cardi B, Lil Nas X, Juice Wrld, Bryson Tiller, Cordae and more, having mix-and-match recording sessions complicates things. “Most of those artists make tons of music in different studios, and I don’t know if there’s a streamlined process for the way they create,” he maintains. “A lot of them want to go to the studio and let out what they need to let out.”

R.I.P. to the days of stockpiling bootleg CDs and buggy pirating programs like LimeWire and Napster. Nowadays, finding leaks can be as simple as a quick Google search and download link. For low hanging fruit, there are small scale operations such as TikTok, Twitter or Instagram accounts like RareRapLeaks, which gained nearly 9,000 followers in its first six months. The page, which was started on Dec. 8, 2019, the very same day of Juice Wrld’s passing, has over 17,000 followers now. “This account grew fast,” says the 18-year-old creator of RareRapLeaks, who has withheld their name, via an Instagram DM. “My first post was Juice Wrld and YNW Melly’s ‘Suicidal.’” According to the RareRapLeaks creator, the followers on the account clamored after all leaks related to JuiceWrld, Lil Uzi Vert and Playboi Carti. “There was a snippet out at the time and I posted it with zero followers and it gained a lot of views.” Instagram accounts like this link out to spreadsheets and Google Drives with organized folders and a barrage of songs to cherry-pick from if you have the patience to scroll through. However, these harmless offerings are not for sale.

Dig a little deeper and you’ll find Reddit threads, Leakth.is forums and servers on Discord, a group-chatting app popular in the gaming community. Here, not only do people trade and talk about swiped music, but it’s also where they sell them. “The songs that are being sold for money are exclusive songs, meaning no one else has them,” says the owner of the RareTrackz Instagram account, who wished to remain anonymous. The account now boasts more than 85,000 followers. “If it’s a track by an artist with a big audience, it will be expensive. The full song isn’t out at that point, so people will group-buy the song for it to leak in its entirety, which is when it gets posted. Trades happen where exclusive (not leaked) tracks are traded. Private buys are another, where someone will buy a song and vault it, to keep something of value to themself.” Group-buys in this situation are the act of users coming together to collectively pay for the leak of the song with their combined purchasing power.

Conversations about acquiring new leaks start in the forums, but transactions happen on the servers, so you have to work a little harder. Leakth.is and Discord both require accounts to view leak threads, but it’s not enough just to have them. Accounts must be active and engaged on the platform’s discussion boards—reacting to posts and leaving at least 25 published messages—to unlock the Marketplace, which houses the Verified and Unverified Selling/Trading, Groupbuy and Buyer’s Bay forums. Song verifications, for anything worth over $200, are vetted through six administrators, moderators and “middlemen” with different claims of expertise. And after going through the process of group-buys for unreleased Drake and Don Toliver cuts ourselves (for research purposes only), it’s clear that lots of internal thought has gone into finding ways to keep scammers out as the leaks—and sales attached to them—come in.

Here’s an example: Toliver’s “High No More,” a three-minute, 12-second song circulating the internet this year, gets posted in the Group-buy forum, priced at $475. A quick click in the thread provides an invite into a Discord server with 23 other interested buyers, where the seller, moderator and administrator are present to facilitate a fair purchase. Discord servers are a lot like Slack channels. There are chats for information and how-tos, announcements, song verification snippets, general chatter, making pledges and monitoring payment. The pledge chat is where users will promise the amount they’ll contribute towards a buy (numbers ranged from $5 to $150) before the ask amount is met and payments open up. After pledging, it’s a waiting game to hit the target. Sellers can lower the cost if they’re not confident they’ll hit the goal. When $395 out of the $475 is pledged, the seller directs buyers to a now-opened payment channel, where the receiving account info is shared. Most transactions are handled with cryptocurrency—Venmo, Cash App, Bitcoin—but some accommodating mods may greenlight a Paypal payment. Screenshots of money transfers go to the unlocked Payment Screen Shot channel (which all disappear minutes later for security). Once all funds are in and buyers migrate to the Paid Chat channel, the moderator shares a download link to the full Don Toliver song.

Then there are higher profile buys. Drake’s “Stay Down” featuring a Busta Rhymes verse and J Dilla production will obviously have a steeper going rate—$1,025. Pledges made it to $500 within two days, but facilitators, seemingly nervous about hitting the goal, started taking payments at $700, more than $300 away from the goal. Big buyers nudge users to join a $5 train, upping their pledges to hurry things along. There are “pay up” tagging sprees and offers to spot those who don’t have it. By the end of it, the desired amount is overpaid by $20, and the song is released straight into a general Leakth.is thread for the masses to download and enjoy for free.

Harmony Gerber, Getty Images

There’s an undeniable thrill to leaking music for both buyers and suppliers, a thirst to gain followers, clout, the right to say “First!” or collect a piece of music history. But, all this thrill-seeking is a pain in the ass for the teams who have to chase the unauthorized work after it’s out.

The takedown process usually starts once the artist’s management contacts the label. Most labels have internal services, legal and content protection teams dedicated to pulling down illegally posted material. They’ll do things like rope in RIAA to report piracy and put out copyright notices like a DMCA to remove links from websites, then utilize fingerprint blocking on YouTube and SoundCloud to automatically prevent future uploads. Removing a leak is one thing; finding its origin is another. From experience, that path seldom bears fruit. “It’s a lot of work to trace it, so it’s usually only really pursued if it’s a really high-profile song or a high-profile feature,” Grant reveals. “Nobody ever seems to actually know the source. There’s a few select examples of when we’ve found the exact person who’s leaking the music. Cool, it was this person in the studio or this person’s friend, but it’s never been easy to trace the source of the leak.”

While leaks have proven to boost numbers in some instances, those illegally posted to streaming services can rob artists of their earnings. According to Rolling Stone, Lil Mosey’s then-unreleased “Blueberry Faygo’’ was uploaded to Spotify in December of 2019, at least eight times under different users and titles (“Blueberry Fweigo,” then “Blueberry Fejgo,” “Blueberry Fergo,” “Burberry Faygo,” “Blueberry Fanta”). Not only did the miscredited song top Spotify’s U.S. Viral 50 chart—which tracks the fastest-growing songs on the platform—but it also garnered at least 22 million initial streams in January 2020, none of which went towards Mosey’s name (or his pocket). He officially uploaded the song on his own account a month later and at press time, the real “Blueberry Faygo” has been streamed over 612 million times.

“If the music has been released by another entity and you want it taken down and properly released under your name, in a lot of cases, you may not be able to get those streams back,” explains Mike Hamilton, Director of Commerce for Epic Records, who works directly with streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon and Pandora when it comes to rolling out an artist’s song or project. “That’s the case where you absolutely are impacting this artist’s livelihood.”

Young fans think they’re just taking opportunities for income from wealthy artists and the labels that back them, but they’re not the only ones who suffer. Leakers ruin revenue and advancement opportunities for producers and songwriters, too, who often get the short end of the stick. “The artists can still go tour and make money on that song,” Capers stresses, “but everyone else who’s involved with the song creatively can’t make money if you’re selling it illegally.”

As inconvenient and frustrating as leaks can be, it’s quietly understood that they’re not always bad news. The buzz around leaks, especially when they’re close to release dates, prepares fans for the new material and makes work for their marketing teams a lot easier. “For somebody like Playboi Carti, who hasn’t put out a body of work in a really long time, but stays relevant…it keeps their name out there without him actually having to drive the conversation,” Grant states.

In July of 2020, a video began circulating on the internet in which producer Jetsonmade talks with a buyer who’s offering $17,000 in Bitcoin for Playboi Carti’s unreleased music. The buyer plays a snippet of a song for the producer, who tells the man he doesn’t have that track but does have access to another one. After receiving both backlash and excitement from eager fans wanting the rapper’s new music online, Jetsonmade denied that he was allegedly selling any of Carti’s songs. “Dat video y’all keep posting is CAP,” he wrote on his Instagram Story. “i was definitely trolling.”

jetsonmade via Instagram

“From a marketing perspective, sometimes I almost expect a leak,” a major label product manager, who has asked to remain anonymous, says over the phone. She uses leaks as opportunities to confirm or deny rumors about features and release dates. “It’s really just getting ahead of the curve for us and advising artists on having that strategy and plan in case there is a leak.” But whether labels have a handle on them or not, leaked songs force artists to make major, and sometimes unfair, decisions about the fate of their work.

Back to Smokepurpp, one of the rare artists who’s been open to speaking on this topic overall. The Florida native knows firsthand how much leaks damage opportunities. His song “No Problem” featuring Kanye West was originally meant to appear on his 2019 debut studio album, Deadstar 2, which leaked several times before its release date. However, the track never made the final cut. Purpp says that Kanye’s camp chalked it up to a change in artistic direction—the song’s explicit content negated ’Ye’s Christian pivot—but Purpp feels the leak put the nail in the coffin. “I’m not gonna lie, I was kinda sad about it because Kanye is one of my favorite artists,” he admits wistfully. “Having a song with Kanye was like a huge milestone for me. For somebody to just leak it, it kinda hurt me a little bit.”

Timothy Norris, WireImage

In a Leakth.is discussion thread, a curious user polls the room: Leaks you wouldn’t mind being released. He offers up his picks first: “Ghost” by Trippie Redd; “Molly,” “Neon” and “Headshot” by Playboi Carti; “Fast and the Furious” by Young Thug and Offset. But overwhelmingly, the sentiment is that once a song gets leaked, it should be scrapped. Period. “If it’s leaked, never release it. Fuck we want it out for when a brand new song can have its spot instead?” a now-banned user spits. “I’m completely against leaked songs getting released,” says another.

Dissenting voices weigh in. “That’s like rewarding leakers with new music, lol. If you leak music and listen to it, that’s on you and you’re not entitled to any new songs,” one user counters. “People want songs to leak that are confirmed to be on an album…,” another adds, “than [sic] they complain if the song still ends up being on there.”

The exchange is proof that, to a degree, leakers are aware of how much taking and demanding music they feel entitled to as stans stings the very artists they love. “There’s a weird relationship in that the artists would not be where they are without their fan base,” Hamilton conveys. “Some of them succumb to the pressure of, ‘We have to rush this out because my fans are hitting me about it.’ But these are still artists. You have to give them the opportunity to create on their own time.”

A fact that should be respected.

Check out more from XXL’s Winter 2020 issue including our DaBaby cover story, an introduction to DaBaby's Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment label roster, an interview with South Coast Music Group founder Arnold Taylor, who discovered and signed DaBaby, one of King Von's last interviews, how the coronavirus changed hip-hop, and more.

See Photos of XXL Magazine's Winter 2020 Cover Shoot With DaBaby

Filed Under: Feature, juice wrld, Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, Pop Smoke, Smokepurpp, XXL MagazineCategories: News, XXL Magazine


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/peterberry/” rel=”author” title=”Peter A. Berry”>Peter A. BerryPublished: January 19, 2021Scott Gries, Getty Images

The one who strikes first doesn't always walk away with the W. That's a lesson the rap world has learned through years of rappers' clapback songs crushing the diss tracks from the enemies they're responding to.

Sometimes, the rap clapback plays out exactly as you thought it would. When Nas unloaded his Hov-dissing track "Stillmatic Freestyle" after Jay-Z called him out at Hot 97's 2001 Summer Jam, he had to know Hov had more heat coming his way. By the time Jay-Z's The Blueprint album dropped that September, the rapper had delivered a ferocious blow everyone should've expected. That blow was "Takeover," which, despite what a lot of fans had to say about Nas' subsequent diss "Ether" being better, was by far the best record in that historic back-and-forth.

In other instances, the response diss track comes from places fans never expected. When Ice Cube used his guest verse on Mack 10's 1995 song "Westside Slaughterhouse" to diss Common, it's hard to imagine he knew the fury Com would strike back with the following year on the scathing reply "The Bitch in Yoo."

As is the case with most diss songs, the artist who manages to be the most incisive and outright disrespectful usually takes home the win. Sometimes, one rapper will fire off a minor diss on a low-key track that isn't even about beef only to have the person they name-drop or allude to come back to empty a full clip through a whole diss song.

Now, it's time to look at some epic diss tracks that were better than the ones they responded to. Full disclosure: Tupac Shakur's "Hit ’Em Up" won't be on this list. The song, which was released after The Notorious B.I.G. dropped "Who Shot Ya"—the New York rapper recorded the track months before Tupac was shot, doesn't respond to a particular diss track since Biggie's effort wasn't a diss track in the first place. Still, there are plenty of other epic clapbacks to address.

Today, XXL takes a look at diss songs that were better than the ones they responded to. Peep the list below to see which diss tracks made the cut.

  • Jay-Z’s “Takeover” Response to Nas’ “Stillmatic Freestyle”

    Jay-Z and Nas' feud had been steadily brewing since the mid-1990s, but it didn't really explode until Jay-Z previewed his The Blueprint song, "Takeover," at Hot 97's 2001 Summer Jam concert. Concluding the moment, Hov shouted the lyrics, "Ask Nas, he don't want it with Hov," and from there the beef was officially on. But, he either didn't record or didn't perform the actual Nas diss portion of the song that would appear on the final track when The Blueprint was released that September.

    Following the preview of "Takeover," which was not officially released yet, Nas responded with his "Stillmatic Freestyle"—a Hov diss—the same month as the 2001 Summer Jam. The diss had some quotable bars, but it simply couldn't live up to the yet-to-be-released full version of "Takeover."

    Once "Takeover" officially dropped, it was clear that Hov had the upper hand. An exercise in concision, "Takeover" contextualized all of Nas' perceived shortcomings, namely the idea that the Queens rapper had only dropped mediocre albums since unloading Illmatic seven years beforehand.

    "You've been in this 10, I've been in it five; smarten up, Nas/Four albums in 10 years, nigga? I could divide/That's one every… let's say two, two of them shits was doo/One was 'Nah…,' the other was Illmatic/That's a one-hot-album-every-10-year average," Hov raps on the casually vicious track.

    Jay-Z's "Takeover"

    Nas' "Stillmatic Freestyle"

  • Eminem’s “Quitter/Hit ’Em Up Freestyle”Response to Everlast’s “Whitey’s Revenge”

    Back in 2000, Everlast threw some shots at Eminem on his Em diss "Whitey's Revenge." Somewhat predictably, though, Em ended up taking the W when he delivered his response.

    The whole thing started when Everlast spit a bar that Em interpreted to be about his daughter Hailie on Dilated Peoples' 2000 song "Ear Drums Pop (Remix)." In a 2020 interview on Talib Kweli's The People's Party podcast, Everlast explained that he was actually referring to Halley's Comet and not Em's daughter on the song, but Em didn't take it that way and dissed him on "I Remember." From there, the House of Pain rapper unloaded "Whitey Ford's Revenge," a diss record with verbal jabs that would be more remembered if they weren't directed at Em.

    For Eminem's response, "Quitter/Hit 'Em Up Freestyle," he makes fun of Everlast's comparatively low record sales.

    Using tight rhyme schemes and some quippy wordplay, Em raps, "I knew you was jealous from the day that I met you/I upset you, ’cause I get respect, I bet you/I'm even liked better by your niece and nephew/And now you hate Fred because Lethal left you/Peckerwood mad ’cause his record went wood/No respect in the hood, fled to his neck of the woods."

    While Everlast let some shots off, Em emptied a full clip.

    Eminem's "Quitter/Hit ’Em Up Freestyle"

    Everlast's "Whitey's Revenge"

  • Pusha-T’s “The Story of Adidon”Response to Drake’s “Duppy Freestyle”

    The battle between Pusha-T and Drake got very nasty fast in 2018, and both artists got some bars off. In the end, Push was the victor.

    The overt part of their beef started when Pusha called out Drake for ghostwriting allegations on "Infrared," a cut from Push's Daytona album, which dropped on May 25, 2018. Less than one full day later, Drizzy responded with "Duppy Freestyle," a track on which he name-dropped Pusha's fiancée, and from there, Push dropped arguably the most consequential diss song in rap history.

    Four days after Drizzy unloaded "Duppy Freestyle," Push released "The Story of Adidon," a Drake diss on which he announces the existence of Drizzy's son Adonis and accuses the 6 God of being a deadbeat father.

    "You are hiding a child, let that boy come home/Deadbeat muthafucka playin' border patrol," Pusha raps. Sheesh.

    Pusha-T's "The Story of Adidon"

    Drake's "Duppy Freestyle"

  • Ice Cube’s “No Vaseline” Response to N.W.A’s “Message to B.A.”

    Dissing the person that wrote the majority of your biggest songs is never a great idea, and that's something that N.W.A learned the hard way after throwing some shots at former member Ice Cube on a skit from their Niggaz4Life album. On their 1991 cut "Message to B.A.," Dr. Dre calls Cube, who left the group because of a financial dispute with Jerry Heller and Eazy-E, a "punk muthafucka" and MC Ren says they'll sodomize him with a broomstick. Yikes.

    In response, Ice Cube unloaded the 1991 song "No Vaseline," a vicious diss track that alludes to him penning Eazy-E's rhymes, puts down Dr. Dre's rapping ability and insults N.W.A's manager Jerry Heller.

    "Yella Boy's on your team, so you're losing/Ayo, Dre, stick to producing/Calling me Arnold, but you been a dick/Eazy-E saw your ass and went in it quick," Cube spits.

    With incisive insults, some laugh-out-loud-funny wordplay and a ferocious delivery, "No Vaseline" left no doubt about who'd won the rap battle. N.W.A never responded to the song.

    Ice Cube's "No Vaseline"

    N.W.A's "Message to B.A."

  • LL Cool J’s “The Ripper Strikes Back” Response to Canibus’ “Second Round KO”

    Back in 1997, Canibus appeared as a guest on LL Cool J's "4, 3, 2, 1," which also features Method Man, Redman and DMX. ’Bus was on the song until LL heard his verse, and was offended by Canibus rapping, "L, is that a mic on your arm? Let me borrow that." So, LL had it removed and added his own lyrics to the song taking subliminal jabs at Canibus. After that, Canibus fired back with "Second Round K.O."

    For the track, Canibus paints LL as someone who's got popularity, but not credibility as a lyricist. LL's response put that notion into the ground.

    In 1998, LL Cool J returned fire with "The Ripper Strikes Back," a track on which he raps with aggression and technical precision that matches 'Bus.

    "Forty-nine pounds and tryin' to be a mobster/Run around town with the Bob Marley impostors/Ask Canibus, he ain't understanding this/’Cause 99 percent of his fans don't exist," LL raps on a song that feels like irrefutable proof he could go bar for bar with anyone.

    While "Second Round K.O." definitely has some high points, LL managed to take home this win.

    LL Cool J's "The Ripper Strikes Back"

    Canibus' "Second Round K.O."

  • Jadakiss’ “Checkmate” Response to 50 Cent’s “Piggy Bank”

    Before he was terrorizing rappers on Instagram, 50 Cent was getting after them on wax, and if you paid attention to his career, you know he left a trail of bodies in his wake. One artist who managed to survive, and even thrive after catching lyrical strays from Fif was Jadakiss, who actually out-did the G-Unit boss in their back-and-forth.

    It all started when 50 Cent clowned Jada on "Piggy Bank," a 2005 song that took aim at Jada, Fat Joe, Nas, Ja Rule and multiple others. Fif dissed Joey Crack and Jada for collaborating with Ja Rule on "New York" while the two Queens rappers were embroiled in beef. Hilariously, 50, in a faux Def Jam Vendetta-esque video game clip he made for the "Piggy Bank" video, had Kiss' character look like a chubby Ninja Turtle. Still, Jada had the last laugh.

    After 50 dropped "Piggy Bank," Jada dropped "Checkmate," one of the very best clapbacks in rap history. For the track, an exercise in concision and rhyme technique, he says 50 has the worst flow in G-Unit, references the rumors about Fif being a snitch and even finds a way to make fun of him for blowing up after being shot nine times. "Since when has it become cool to get shot and not shoot back?" Jadakiss raps. Ouch.

    By honing in on virtually every anti-50 narrative, referencing Fif's friends and business ventures ("You should just sell clothes and sneakers"), Jada created the impression that he knew his nemesis inside and out. The result was one of the rare times Fif was on the losing end of a rap beef.

    Jadakiss' "Checkmate"

    50 Cent's "Piggy Bank"

  • Dr. Dre’s “Fuck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)”Response to Tim Dog’s “Fuck Compton”

    Thirty years ago, Tim Dog was doing some old-fashioned player hating, and in doing so, he earned himself a few name-drops on one of the greatest diss tracks of all time.

    The whole saga began when the New York City rapper dropped "Fuck Compton," a 1991 song that targeted Compton rappers Eazy-E, Dr. Dre and the rest of N.W.A. during a moment when those acts were dominating rap. Zeroing in on Dre, Tim Dog made some comments about Dre's alleged assault of reporter Dee Barnes. "Dre, beatin' on Dee from 'Pump it Up!'?/Step to the Dog and get fucked up," he rapped.

    N.W.A never responded as a group, but on Dr. Dre's 1992 single "Fuck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)," Snoop Dogg aims some verbal jabs at Tim (including some homophobic bars about Tim's mother) after Dre throws bars at Eazy-E.

    "But fuck your mama, I'm talking about you and me/Toe to toe, Tim M-U-T/Your bark was loud, but your bite wasn't vicious/And them rhymes you were kickin' were quite bootylicious," Snoop raps, before insulting Tim one more time as the song ends.

    Dre and Snoop's track is most famous for going at Eazy, but because there's a whole verse dedicated to Tim, it makes the cut.

    Dr. Dre's "Fuck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)"

    Tim Dog's "Fuck Compton"

  • The Game’s “Pest Control” Response to Meek Mill’s “Ooouuu (Remix)”

    Although the beef's been squashed since Meek was released from prison for parole violation-related charges in April of 2018, the beef between The Game and Meek Mill was real, and Game took home a win.

    During their 2016 back-and-forth in September of that year, Game accused Meek of telling Los Angeles police that Game had something to do with the June 2016 robbery of singer Sean Kingston and let loose a diss track called "92 Bars." That same month, Meek teamed up with Omelly and Beanie Sigel for a Game diss over the beat for Young M.A's breakout single "Ooouuu." On the track, Meek claims that Game used to be a stripper and says that Game backed down in a beef with Young Thug. Game responded with "Pest Control," a diss track over the same beat.

    For the song, Game bashes Meek for allegedly having a role in jumping Quentin Miller—a man Meek claimed ghostwrote some Drake songs. Game also says Meek ducked the rap fade from Drizzy.

    "You jumped Quentin Miller and now you don't scrap/It was time to go at Drizzy and now you don't rap," Game spit.

    With a few one-liners aimed at Beanie Sigel for good measure, Game definitely had the best diss song in this mini feud.

    The Game's "Pest Control"

    Meek Mill's "Ooouuu (Remix)"

  • Ludacris’ Verse on Young Buck’s “Stomp”Response to T.I.’s Verse on Young Buck’s “Stomp”

    Young Buck found himself in an interesting situation when he was putting together one particular song for his 2004 debut album, Straight Outta Cashville. For "Stomp," he grabbed Georgia rappers T.I. and Ludacris for guest verses, and both of them fired disses at each other.

    The issue started after Luda heard Tip's verse, which uses a pun on Luda's name: "Real niggas see the difference ’tween you and this/Me getting beat down? That's ludicrous!"

    The bar is a reference to video footage from I-20—an artist on Luda's Disturbing Tha Peace label—in which someone gets beat up. The person was wearing a shirt T.I. thought had the words Trap Muzik on it, which is the title of Tip's second major label album.

    After Luda heard T.I.'s verse, he recorded his own filled with less subtle jabs at Tip, referencing a lyric from T.I.'s 2003 single "Rubberband Man" and Tip's rap name for the most quotable diss of the battle: "So pimpin', be easy; quit catching feelings/’Cause you worth a couple hundred grand, and I'm worth millions/Nobody's thinking ’bout you, plus, your beef ain't legit/So please, stay off the T-I-P of my [dick]."

    With a more focused attack, Luda took this one.

    Ludacris' Verse on Young Buck's "Stomp"

    T.I.'s Verse on Young Buck's "Stomp"

  • Boogie Down Productions’ “The Bridge Is Over”Response to MC Shan’s “Kill That Noise”

    The battle between Boogie Down Productions and MC Shan started over a potential misunderstanding, but it ended in a win for BDP.

    The whole saga kicked off when MC Shan spit some lyrics on the 1985 track "The Bridge," which BDP's KRS-One interpreted as a claim that it was Queens, not the Bronx, that created hip-hop. BDP responded with a song called "South Bronx," a 1986 track that bashed Shan for his lyrics about Queensbridge. From there, Shan hit back with the 1987 track "Kill That Noise," and then KRS and BDP came through with a death blow.

    Released ahead of the release of BDP's Criminal Minded album in 1987, "The Bridge Is Over" is one of the most legendary battle songs of all time. The track includes barbs at Juice Crew members MC Shan, Marley Marl, Roxanne Shante and others, and features a catchy hook and a piano loop that generates excitement every time it pops up. "I say, the bridge is over, the bridge is over, biddy bye-bye" remains as catchy as ever 34 years after the song's release. KRS-One and BDP definitely hold this win.

    Boogie Down Productions' "The Bridge Is Over"

    MC Shan's "Kill That Noise"

  • Common’s “The Bitch in Yoo”Response to Ice Cube’s Verse on “Westside Slaughterhouse”

    Common is many things, but he'll never truly be thought of as a battle rapper. That doesn't mean he doesn't have it in him, though. That's a lesson Ice Cube learned during their beef in the mid-1990s.

    It all started when Common appeared to throw some shots at the West Coast rapper on the 1994 single "I Used to Love H.E.R." On that song, Common describes hip-hop as being an ex-girlfriend, and in one set of lyrics, he appears to blame the West Coast for rap's transition to gangsta rap.

    "Now Black music is Black music and it's all good/I wasn't salty she was with the boys in the hood," rapped Com, who also explicitly mentions the West Coast hip-hop explosion as well. The "boys in the hood" reference was believed to be a reference to Cube, who played the role of Doughboy in the 1991 film, Boyz n the Hood.

    A little over a year after Com dropped "I Used to Love H.E.R.," Cube responded with a verse on Mack 10's "Westside Slaughterhouse." On the song, Cube takes a not-so-thinly veiled shot at Common.

    "Used to love her, mad ’cause we fucked her/Pussy-whipped bitch with no Common Sense," Cube spit.

    In 1996, Com clapped back with "The Bitch in Yoo." For the track, Common calls Cube a fake Muslim and roasts him for using too many George Clinton samples. What stands out most is the way Com completely abandons that pacifist side in his music that he'd become famous.

    "Now what the fuck I look like dissing a whole coast?/You ain't made shit dope since AmeriKKKa's Most," Common raps.

    While Cube got some incisive lines in there, Common's ferocious and arguably unexpected approach gives him the upper hand here, though both songs are dope.

    Common's "The Bitch in Yoo"

    Ice Cube's Verse on Mack 10's "Westside Slaughterhouse"

  • Company Flow’s “Linda Tripp” Response to Sole’s “Dear Elpee”

    For this beef, Sole thought he had one when he called out then-Company Flow member El-P, but the current Run The Jewels member ended up having the best and last laugh.

    In 1999, Sole struck first with "Dear Elpee," a song on which he accuses El-P of trying to have Sole blackballed from the music industry and using big words he doesn't understand. "Your ego system's frail, with a spoon I could dissect it/Sounding like Corky got his nubs on a Webster's Dictionary," Sole raps on the track.

    That same year, El-P and Company hit back hard with "Linda Tripp," a diss track aimed at Sole that actually includes a recorded phone call between El-P and Sole. In the conversation, Sole gives props to El-P and Company Flow and says he doesn't want beef. With that bit of vulnerability injected into the very beginning of the song, the stage was set for a vicious takedown, and El-P delivered.

    "You little, lying muthafucka, you know you kiss my ass/And then you try to [DJ scratch of lyrics saying 'Change up the past']/Who fell into their own hiri kiri kit when they lied to themselves/Self-abuse by selling lies self-destructive," El-P raps, basically calling Sole a groupie.

    El-P is not the one.

    Company Flow's "Linda Tripp"

    Sole's "Dear Elpee"

  • G-Eazy’s “Bad Boy”Response to Machine Gun Kelly’s “Funk Flex Freestyle”

    Back in 2018, Machine Gun Kelly used a Funkmaster Flex freestyle to throw some verbal darts at G-Eazy, and Gerald responded with an epic takedown that doesn't get as much praise as it should. For the freestyle, which premiered in August of 2018, MGK claims he had sex with G-Eazy's girlfriend—MGK doesn't say the woman's name, but G-Eazy was dating singer Halsey at the time—and that Eazy was trying to take his look.

    "Let's just keep it G/Only Eazy I fuck with is E/I seen he died his hair and got a hanging earring/I fucked his girl, now he look like me, this shit overbearing/How dare him, I dare him/Don’t think about comparing/Man turn that frat rap off, I’m getting sick of hearing."

    For "Bad Boy," which was G-Eazy's response that was released the same day MGK's freestyle dropped, Gerald hits MGK with bits of facts and a whole lot of pettiness.

    "I headline arenas, and all of my shits go platinum/You never seen a plaque and your last shit did 30,000/It's not a competition, I'd hurt you if I start bragging/Irrelevant in culture, no one gives a fuck about him/You got both of my numbers, all this time, you never called the boy/I'm headlining, heard you opening up for Fall Out Boy."

    These two have since squashed their beef, but when it was on, it's safe to say Gerald collected the win.

    G-Eazy's "Bad Boy"

    Machine Gun Kelly's Funkmaster Flex Freestyle

  • Ma$e’s “The Oracle”Response to Cam’ron’s “It’s Killa”

    In 2017, Cam'ron threw some shots Ma$e's way, and what Cam got in return was an even more vicious diss.

    This back and forth all started when Cam dropped his song "It's Killa" in November of 2017. On the song, Cam recounts a time he says he protected Ma$e from the boyfriend of a girl Ma$e was sleeping with. He also threatens to harm his fellow Harlem rapper.

    "I ain't give a damn, yeah, Cam I was gung-ho/Got this nigga home and he passed me a hundo ($100 dollars?!)/Told him straight up I ain't feeling him/Let me curve this nigga ’fore I end up killing him," Cam rapped on the track.

    Ma$e responded with the 2017 diss "The Oracle," an outright diss track that reminded the rap world why he became a legend. For the track, he unloads allegations of snitching and pokes fun at Cam for getting shot in Washington, D.C.

    "Tax know you as the nigga that snitched on the Roc/D.C. crips only know you the nigga they shot," Ma$e rapped before claiming that Cam had sex with his own sister.

    Cam came out strong, but ultimately, his diss wasn't as Ma$e-dedicated and he didn't offer up as many quotable bars, so Ma$e grabbed the W here.

    Ma$e's "The Oracle"

    Cam'ron's "It's Killa"

  • Drake’s “Duppy Freestyle”Response to Pusha-T’s “Infrared”

    Although it's somewhat lost in the mix because Pusha-T had the best moment of their entire battle, Drake initially had the best diss track in their open war of words.

    After Push joked about Drake and ghostwriting rumors on Pusha's 2018 Daytona track "Infrared," Drake responded the same day with "Duppy Freestyle," a song that calls Pusha-T's street credibility into question and bashes Kanye West. The Toronto rapper also makes time to reference an autographed mic he got that Clipse signed years ago.

    "Man, you might've sold to college kids for Nike and Mercedes/But you act like you sold drugs for Escobar in the ’80s/I had a microphone of yours, but then the signature faded/I think that pretty much resembles what's been happening lately," Drake raps on the track.

    While Pusha-T's "The Story of Adidon" was the best song in their beef, Drizzy's "Duppy Freestyle," with its more focused lyrics, was a better diss than "Infrared."

    Drake's "Duppy Freestyle"

    Pusha-T's "Infrared"

  • Dame D.O.L.L.A.’s “Reign Reign Go Away”Response to Shaquille O’Neill’s “The Originator”

    The saga of Dame D.O.L.L.A. and Shaquille O'Neal's rap beef is a story of playful jabs and over-the-top claims. Ultimately, though, Dame was victorious. It all started in 2019, when Dame admitted that he thought he made better rap songs than Shaq, who kicked off his own rap career in the 1990s. Dame made the comment during a September 2019 episode of The Joe Budden Podcast.

    From there, Shaq dropped his Dame diss track "The Originator," which looked to discredit Dame's accomplishments as a ballplayer and a rapper. About two weeks later, Dame responded with "Reign Reign Go Away," which is a reference to Shaq's third studio album titled Can't Stop the Reign.

    "He say he the G.O.A.T., I come for his body/Platinum ’cause he bought the copies/Should've just passed me the torch/I got no remorse, I beat him like Rocky/I fill the tank up with Diesel," raps Dame, referencing Shaq's nickname, Shaq Diesel.

    The two went back-and-forth and both got some hilarious bars off, but ultimately, Dame got the better of the NBA legend.

    Dame D.O.L.L.A.'s "Reign Reign Go Away"

    Shaquille O'Neal's "The Originator"

  • Eminem’s “Killshot”Response to Machine Gun Kelly’s “Rap Devil”

    While Machine Gun Kelly definitely took round No. 1 in their rap beef with "Rap Devil" in 2018, Eminem's response, "Killshot," was even better despite some contrarian takes saying otherwise.

    For "Rap Devil," MGK made fun of Em for being 46 on and for "Killshot," Em really just used his commercial success and cultural legacy to belittle Kelly.

    On "Killshot," Em raps, "What do you know? Oops/Know your facts before you come at me, lil' goof/Luxury, oh, you broke, bitch?/Yeah, I had enough money in ’02/To burn it in front of you, ho/Younger me? No, you the wack me, it's funny but so true/I'd rather be 80-year-old me than 20-year-old you/’Til I'm hitting old age/Still can fill a whole page with a 10-year-old's rag/Got more fans than you in your own city, lil' kiddy, go play/Feel like I'm babysitting Lil Tay."

    While MGK's song was more concise, Em's was a little more based in reality and its high points were a little higher. Still, this was a surprisingly dope battle.

    Eminem's "Killshot"

    Machine Gun Kelly's "Rap Devil"

  • Machine Gun Kelly’s “Rap Devil”Response to Eminem’s “Not Alike”

    Eminem wasn't happy with some lyrics he thought Machine Gun Kelly directed at him on a guest verse for Tech N9ne's 2018 song "No Reason (The Mosh Pit Song)," so he responded with his Royce 5'9"-featured song "Not Alike," released on Em's Kamikaze album in 2018. Surprisingly, though, MGK delivered a response that made him the victor of round No. 1.

    Released in September of 2018, just days after Em's MGK shade made waves on the internet, MGK's "Rap Devil" was a big deal. The song, the title for which is a clever flip of Em's self-prescribed rap moniker "Rap God," is one on which Kelly makes Em look like a geek who memorizes the dictionary but does little else.

    "Homie, we get it, we know that you're the greatest rapper alive/Fucking dweeb, all you do is read the dictionary and stay inside/Fuck 'Rap God,' I'm the rap devil/Coming bare-faced with a black shovel," Kelly raps.

    The track earned MGK the W in this round, but Em would show him he had more in the chamber a few months later.

    Machine Gun Kelly's "Rap Devil"

    Eminem's "Not Alike"

  • Eminem, 50 Cent and Busta Rhymes’ “Hail Mary” Response to Ja Rule’s “Loose Change”

    At the peak of their beef in April of 2003, Ja Rule dropped "Loose Change," a song on which he disses 50 and name-drops Eminem's daughter Hailie. That set the stage for Em to clap back in a major way.

    That same month, Eminem returned with 50 Cent and Busta Rhymes for a freestyle over Tupac Shakur's "Hail Mary" instrumental. For the track, Em and 50 adopt the flow and rhyme pattern Tupac used for the classic 1996 song.

    On the song, 50 delivered the most vicious barb.

    "Lil' nigga named Ja think he live like me/Talkin' ’bout he left the hospital, took nine like me/You live in fantasies, nigga, I reject your deposit/When your lil' sweet ass gon' come out of the closet?/Now he wondering why DMX blowed him out/Next time grown folks talkin', bitch, close your mouth," 50 rapped.

    Ja got some bars off, but in the end, this was too much to overcome.

    Eminem, 50 Cent and Busta Rhymes' "Hail Mary"

    Ja Rule's "Loose Change"

  • Capone-N-Noreaga’s “L.A., L.A.” Response to Dogg Pound’s “New York, New York”

    According to Kurupt, Dogg Pound's "New York, New York" was meant to be a tribute to NYC, but after someone shot at them while they were on set for the N.Y. video shoot, Snoop included a scene where he kicked over some towers. Capone-N-Noreaga weren't happy with the 1995 song and video, so they struck back with "L.A., L.A."

    For their song, which also features Mobb Deep, Capone-N-Noreaga used essentially the same beat as "New York, New York." But for the video, they made things much more personal by kidnapping Dogg Pound members and throwing them over an NYC bridge.

    While none of these songs have explicit disses toward the other artists, "L.A., L.A." gets the edge because of its boldness and the even more insulting video.

    Dogg Pound's "New York, New York"

    Capone-N-Noreaga's "L.A., L.A."

See the Most Anticipated Hip-Hop Albums of 2021

Filed Under: 50 Cent, Boogie Down Productions, Busta Rhymes, Cam’rom, Canibus, Common, Company Flow, Damian Lillard, Dr. Dre, Drake, El-P, Eminem, Everlast, Feature, ja rule, Jadakiss, Jay-Z, LL Cool J, Ludacris, Machine Gun Kelly, Mase, MC Shan, N.W.A, nas, Pusha T, Shaquille O’Neal, Snoop Dogg, Sole, T.I., The Game, The ListCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/sowmya/” rel=”author” title=”Sowmya Krishnamurthy”>Sowmya KrishnamurthyPublished: January 19, 2021Jeff Kowalsky / Chris DELMAS / AFP, Getty Images (2)

The 2020 United States presidential election—the showdown between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden—is one for the history books. On Nov. 3, over 80 million Americans voted for Biden—the most for any candidate—and earned the Democrat 306 electoral votes for the win. For Biden, it was restoration for the soul of the country after division and embitterment. But after ballots were countedand in some states, recounted—Trump and his true believers refuted the results, citing fake news and tinfoil hat theories about fraud.

It’s a cliffhanger; the nation remains on tenterhooks as Trump refuses to take his L.
The election also divided hip-hop. As expected, candidates enlisted rappers to reach millennials, Gen-Z and people of color. Less expected, Kanye West running as a third-party candidate on a wacky, new platform. Some artists went against the grain for Trump, despite criticisms that they were in a “sunken place”, and others were cancelled (almost) for their beliefs. The election was anything but politics as we know them.

Rap The Vote

Politicians seek celebrities to rock the youth vote from Bill Clinton playing the sax on The Arsenio Hall Show to Barack Obama’s bromance with Jay-Z. Bernie Sanders’ progressive values resonated with rappers as did Kamala Harris being the first Black and South Asian candidate. In 2020, artists like Killer Mike and Chuck D cosigned Sanders with rallies and appearances. Harris made several plays to connect with hip-hop; in February of 2019, she shouted out Tupac and Snoop Dogg on The Breakfast Club and in September of 2020, she dropped by Verzuz and wore Timberlands on the campaign trail.

Arguably, the most high-profile rapper playing politics was Cardi B. In 2018, she endorsed Sanders, saying, “Vote for Daddy Bernie, bitch” and in August of 2019, she met with then 77-year-old Vermont senator at a nail salon for an odd-couple conversation on healthcare, police brutality and the economy. In August of 2020, she held no punches in a sit down with Joe Biden about COVID-19 saying. “Tell me the truth, the hard-core truth.”

Funny, likeable and boasting her own Cinderella journey, Cardi B has become a favorite among Democrats. Sanders went so far as to encourage her having a future in politics, saying, “It would be great.” Cardi, always keeping people talking, entertained the idea: "I think I want to be a politician. I really love government even tho I don't agree with Goverment [sic],” she tweeted.

Stump for Trump

There was a time when Donald Trump was a friend of hip-hop. An ostentatious businessman with a knack for self-aggrandizement, he schmoozed with celebrity pals like Diddy and Jay-Z and got name-checked in raps. But as a politician, his “Make America Great Again” rallying cry, racist rhetoric and socially-regressive policies—especially in light of Black Lives Matter, an immigration crisis and global pandemic—are as far from hip-hop’s ethos. DaBaby posted a “Fuck yall” to the Trump camp in September. Offset got into an altercation with rowdy Trump supporters the next month and Rich The Kid claimed Trump tried to woo him for a rally, rejecting the idea because he “ain’t no sell out.”

But not all rappers shied away from the candidate who felt called himself the “least racist person”—while refusing to denounce White supremacy. The love fest crystallized in October of 2018, when Kanye West, wearing a red MAGA hat, ranted about his adoration for Trump at the White House, despite his haters. “You know, they tried to scare me to not wear this hat — my own friends. But this hat, it gives me, it gives me power, in a way,” he said. Many wanted to “cancel” West but that didn’t deter Lil Wayne, and Lil Pump and possibly 50 Cent from joining the MAGA team; Wayne shouted out Trump’s record on criminal justice reform, Pump, who Trump mistakenly called “Lil Pimp” at a rally, lauded him for bringing home the troops and 50 simply wanted lower taxes. The latter rescinded his endorsement this past October.

It’s not surprising that wealthy rappers favored Trump’s lower taxes and generous business incentives. His branding as a change-maker resonated, too. On Instagram, Waka Flocka Flame suggested Trump was a better president than Barack Obama while Chance The Rapper tweeted, “Black people don’t have to be democrats.” Chance, who supported Kanye West for president initially, later distanced himself when Trump shouted out Chance on Twitter.

realdonaldtrump via Twitter

Perhaps more than any politician, Trump knows the importance of making celebrities feel important and offers political clout. In October of 2020, Ice Cube said he worked with Trump’s campaign on his Platinum Plan to help Black voters. The rapper could not or just did not explain what his plan was—and how it differed from Biden—but he seemed genuinely proud of having a direct line to the Oval Office. As West had gushed to Trump about his MAGA hat, “It made me feel like Superman. You made a Superman.”

It’s My Party

Kanye West was Trump’s biggest hip-hop supporter until ’Ye decided to run himself. “We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States!” he announced on July 4, 2020. The Birthday Party, Kanye’s political party, which loosely combines West’s ego with his brand of Christianity, was more self-serving than serious policy. West had grandiose ideas, such as using Black Panther as a blueprint for governance and putting Tesla head Elon Musk in charge of the space program.

Unfortunately, West didn’t have much time for his own party. Aside from a chaotic rally in South Carolina that ended what appeared to be a breakdown, ’Ye was distracted by other creative endeavors and himself. Some pundits posited that his run—which got incidentally help from Republican operatives—was merely a pawn to siphon off votes from Biden. And what was this interest in politics? West admitted that he had never voted before—he would eventually vote for himself in this election—and spent the campaign bragging about being a billionaire, evangelizing Yeezy and hanging out in Wyoming.

Sean “Diddy” Combs, who made “Vote or Die” ubiquitous in 2004, flipped the script by telling Black citizens to “hold their vote hostage” this go around. This garnered criticism that the mogul was socially irresponsible. He endorsed Biden and then formed his Our Black Party in October of 2020. Diddy called it “one of the boldest movements” but like The Birthday Party, it was heavy on branding and light on policy. Aside from general proclamations, it was unclear how this party would accomplish its goals.

Whether it was a serious attempt at change or some elaborate living art piece, Kanye West ultimately appeared on 12 ballots and received 60,000 votes. He was also on the California ballot as a vice president option for the American Independent Party, but not as a write-in for president. All things considered, it’s an impressive feat that got hip-hop in the political arena and it’s not unlikely that it will be attempted again—maybe by West or someone else.

If this election taught us anything, it’s that hip-hop in politics is unpredictable. Party lines are blurred. An artist’s past allegiances don’t predicate the future. Rappers no longer want to just fight the power, they want to be it. There’s no one way to get the rap vote, but everyone wants it.

See Rappers Showing Support for President Trump in 2020

Filed Under: 50 Cent, Cardi B, Chance The Rapper, Donald Trump, Feature, Joe Biden, Kanye West, Lil Pump, Lil Wayne, OffsetCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/zoejohnson/” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: January 19, 2021Focus Features via YouTube

Fans finally get to have a better look at Pop Smoke's posthumous acting debut in the first trailer of the new movie Boogie.

On Tuesday (Jan. 19), the first trailer of the movie Boogie starring Pop Smoke and actor Taylor Takahashi was posted on YouTube. The film follows Alfred "Boogie" Chin, a Chinese-American basketball player who struggles to balance his immigrant family's expectations and dreams of being an NBA player. Along the way, Pop Smoke's character and Boogie cross paths, creating undeniable tension as the two battle to be the best.

The Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon rapper's role as a b-ball prodigy is not far from his real life. During one of his final interviews with XXL for the Show & Prove column in 2020, Pop explained how he relocated to the suburbs of Philadelphia to enroll in Rocktop Academy, a prep school with the sole purpose of getting students college basketball scholarships. Unfortunately, a heart murmur cut Pop's basketball career short and he returned to Canarsie, Brooklyn, where he ruled the New York music scene with an iron fist.

The flick, which was filmed before Pop's passing on Feb. 19, 2020, is set to debut March 5, 2021, with Eddie Huang making his directorial debut. Huang's 2013 memoir, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir, inspired the ABC TV show of the same name.

In June, Huang spoke with The New York Times about working with Pop in the New York City streets to make the film possible. “He gave me a thousand percent," Huang said of the rapper. "They were tough 16-hour days, overnights, and he shot five overnights in a row. Kids were coming on the bridge to watch us shoot the scenes. We would play Pop’s record. All our actors, the extras, the kids on the bridge watching us shoot scenes, everyone was doing the Woo dance. It was pretty special.”

Watch Pop Smoke show off his acting chops in the Boogie trailer below.

See 7 Movie Roles That Rappers Turned Down

Filed Under: Pop SmokeCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/peterberry/” rel=”author” title=”Peter A. Berry”>Peter A. BerryPublished: January 19, 2021Frazer Harrison / Drew Angerer, Getty Images (2)

Snoop Dogg's had some harsh words for President Trump in the past, but that apparently doesn't mean he's against working with him to get his people free.

According to a Monday (Jan. 18) report from The Daily Beast, Snoop is working with two activists to get purported Death Row Records cofounder 59-year-old Michael "Harry-O" Harris pardoned and released from California's Federal Corrections Institute Lompoc after he was convicted of kidnapping and attempted murder charges in 1988. Last year, Harris requested a compassionate release after being infected with the coronavirus, but he was denied.

Harris is reportedly the person who offered the seed money to found Suge Knight and Dr. Dre's Death Row Records in the early 1990s. Snoop was signed to the label in the 1990s.

The Trump administration as already pardoned someone Snoop knows. Weldon Angelos, a former music producer who's produced for the likes of Snoop and more, was pardoned by Trump last month. He was originally sentenced to 55 years in prison for selling $350 worth of weed to an undercover officer back in 2004. Angelos says Snoop is someone who helped get Harris' case attention from Trump. From there, Angelos contacted criminal justice reform advocate Alice Johnson, who had her prison sentence commuted by Trump back in 2018.

“Snoop brought this case to me, and I brought Alice Johnson on board to help it with me, and she brought it to the West Wing,” Angelos says. “In the past, the president has given her the ability to select cases. And she doesn’t get [clemency for] all of them… But with Mr. Harris, she is not taking no for an answer.”

Johnson tells the outlet that she's spoken to President Trump, his advisor and daughter, Ivanka Trump and Senior Adviser Jared Kushner about pardoning Harris. During a conference call with Snoop, Angelos and Johnson, Johnson reportedly asked Snoop if Harris had a history of being violent behind bars. Snoop responded by saying no and that Harris had been a "pillar of the community." Johnson says Snoop also told her to tell Trump that he appreciated the work he'd done in getting people released from prison even if Harris ultimately wasn't released.

In the past, Snoop has never minced words when it comes to criticizing the president. In June of 2020, he posted a video of himself dropping the F-bomb aimed at Trump on social media. Back in September of 2018, Snoop insulted Kanye West for supporting the president.

This report arrived just a day ahead of Trump's last full day in office, which is today. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn into their new roles tomorrow.

XXL has reached out to reps for Snoop and the White House for comment.

See 26 Rappers Who've Turned Their Love for Weed Into a Business

Filed Under: Donald Trump, President Trump, Snoop DoggCategories: News