href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/trentfitzgerald/” rel=”author” title=”Trent Fitzgerald”>Trent FitzgeraldPublished: July 30, 2021Jason Koerner, Getty Images

Aside from DaBaby's controversial performance, something else terribly happened to another rapper at the 2021 Rolling Loud Miami Festival.

On Monday (July 26), up-and-coming rapper Dess Dior announced on her Twitter account that she has tested positive for COVID-19 following her performance at Rolling Loud on Friday (July 23). She also urged anyone who was in close contact with her to get tested immediately.

"Update: I tested positive for Covid & everybody who's been in contact with me should go get tested asap," she tweeted.

Initially, the Georgia rapper was feeling terrible on Sunday (July 25) and wasn't sure if she contracted COVID or not.

"I'm sick af in soooooo much pain rn," Dior wrote on her Twitter page, adding a pleading face emoji. She then tweeted, "I don't think I have Covid but ima get tested to be safe."

According to a Miami Herald report, published on Friday (July 30), festival-goers were not required to provide proof of vaccination and masks were not mandatory per local and state laws but were encouraged. However, pop-up COVID-19 testing sites and vaccination tables were available at the festival.

On the Rolling Loud website it states that "safety is of paramount concern" for the organizers and "encourage all attendees to wear masks as not wearing masks consistently and correctly, can increase risk of being infected with COVID-19."

Meanwhile, Dior shared on her Instagram Story on Wednesday (July 28) her health issues following her COVID diagnosis.

"So other than me being congested, I got pressure on my eyes a little bit, it's not as bad as it was," she says in a since-deleted post. "I'm not nauseous like I was. I couldn't hold down anything. I'm starting to eat a little more. I did lose my taste [but] it could be worse. The best part about it, I'm not dying, I'm not on my death bed."

We want to wish Dess Dior a speedy and healthy recovery. Check out a clip of her performance at Rolling Loud below.

See the 2021 XXL Freshman ClassWelcome 42 DuggIann DiorCoi LerayPooh ShiestyFlo MilliMorrayRubi RoseBlxstToosiiLakeyah and DDG to the 2021 XXL Freshman Class.Filed Under: Dess DiorCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/robbyseabrookiii/” rel=”author” title=”Robby Seabrook III”>Robby Seabrook IIIPublished: July 30, 2021Jerritt Clark / Prince Williams, Wireimage (2), Getty Images

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 Key Glock ("Bandaid" with Snupe Bandz), Maxo Kream ("Local Joker"), Dave East ("60 For The Lawyer" with Harry Fraud) and more. See you next week.

  • “Bandaid”Paper Route Empire, Key Glock, Snupe Bandz
  • “Local Joker”Maxo Kream
  • “60 For The Lawyer”Dave East & Harry Fraud
  • “Chad”Isaiah Rashad featuring YGTUT
  • “Spin Music”Toosii featuring Fivio Foreign
  • “Bellator”Skepta
  • “Trenches (Remix)”Morray featuring Polo G
  • “Frosty”ZillaKami
  • “Not Just Anybody”Jacquees featuring Future
  • “At Will”G-Eazy featuring EST Gee
  • “Like A Pro”Kash Doll featuring Juicy J
  • “Prada”Rich The Kid
  • “Mrs. Bubblegum”Tyga

See Best Hip-Hop Projects of 2021 So FarWhat’s your favorite hip-hop project of 2021 so far?Filed Under: Bangers, Dave East, EST Gee, Fivio Foreign, Future, G-Eazy, Harry Fraud, Isaiah Rashad, Jacquees, Juicy J, Kash Doll, Key Glock, Maxo Kream, Morray, Paper Route Empire, Polo G, Rich The Kid, Skepta, Snupe Bandz, The List, Toosii, tyga, YGTUT, ZillaKamiCategories: New Music, News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: July 30, 2021Rich Fury, Getty Images

DaBaby is firing back at the artists who have chastised him over the insensitive comments he made during his Rolling Loud Miami performance this past weekend, which offended people with HIV, AIDS, the LGBTQ community and more.

After facing heat from collaborator Dua Lipa, Demi Lovato, Elton John, Questlove and most recently Madonna, Baby went on his Instagram Story last night (July 29) to call out those who have condemned him for his remarks, which the rapper apologized for at one point.

"I got da Hold nigga," he wrote, including a laughing emoji. "Y'all niggas lame & burnt tf out tryna use the LGBT community to make a comeback. The LGBT community don't need y'all nigga, y'all need them."

dababy via Instagram

Alongside DaBaby's caption was a screenshot from his new video, "Giving What It's Supposed to Give." The image features the rapper in an orange jail jumpsuit, holding onto a thick Cuban link chain on his neck while he's in handcuffs, presumably the metaphorical connection to the words written in Baby's IG post.

During DaBaby's Rolling Loud performance last Sunday (July 25), he said to the crowd: "If you didn't show up today with HIV, AIDS, any of them deadly sexual transmitted diseases that'll make you die in two to three weeks, put your cell phone light in the air. Ladies, if your pussy smells like water, put a cell phone light in the air. Fellas, if you ain't suckin' dick in the parking lot, put your cell phone lights in the air."

The following day, Baby attempted to defend his comments. However, on Tuesday (July 27), he offered an apology via Twitter.

He wrote: "Anybody who done ever been effected by AIDS/HIV y’all got the right to be upset, what I said was insensitive even though I have no intentions on offending anybody. So my apologies. But the LGBT community… I ain’t trippin on y’all, do you. y’all business is y’all business."

Since DaBaby's apology, he has received support from a couple of his peers: T.I. and Boosie BadAzz. Tip called for equal treatment of DaBaby and Lil Nas X, who is openly gay, while Boosie defended Baby, belittled Nas X and referred to him as a homophobic slur.

See the Many Times Rappers’ Social Media Accounts Were SuspendedFiled Under: DaBabyCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: July 30, 2021Andrew Lipovsky / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal / Bennett Raglin, Getty Images (2)

Legendary pop star Madonna is the latest artist to call out DaBaby for his anti-gay comments during his Rolling Loud Miami Festival performance this past weekend.

On Thursday evening (July 29), Madonna shared the clip from DaBaby's July 25 RL set via Instagram where he made insensitive remarks regarding HIV, AIDs and also offended gay men and women with bodily odors.

In the lengthy caption for the post, the Queen of Pop condemned the North Carolina rapper's statements.

Madonna wrote: "A message to DaBaby – if you’re going to make hateful remarks to the LGBTQ+ community about HIV/AIDS then know your facts: After decades of hard won scientific research—there are now life saving medicines available to children born with HIV, to people who contract HIV through blood transfusions, dirty needles or exchange of bodily fluids. These new ARV’s can keep a person with AIDS alive for the rest of their lives!!! AID’s is not transmitted by standing next to someone in a crowd."

She then corrected the rhymer, who suggested that people with AIDS can die within a timespan of two to three weeks. The singer continued: "I want to put my cellphone lighter up and pray for your ignorance, No one dies of AIDS in 2 or 3 weeks anymore. Thank God 🙏. And your sexist remarks about Ladies who’s pussies need to smell like water only encourage more discrimination against women who fight daily against the oppression of living under the constraints of the Male Gaze."

Madonna later accused DaBaby of being a contributor to the world's divide.

She added: "People like you are the reason we are still living in a world divided by fear All Human beings should be treated with dignity and respect regardless of race, gender, sexual preference or religious beliefs. AMEN. @dababy."

Madonna joins Dua Lipa, Elton John, Demi Lovato and Questlove in deploring DaBaby's recent statements, which the rapper attempted to defend, but later apologized for.

On the contrary, he's received support from T.I. and Boosie BadAzz.

These Tone-Deaf Hip-Hop Moments Prove Rappers Can Get Hit With Serious BacklashFiled Under: DaBaby, MadonnaCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/xxlstaff/” rel=”author” title=”XXL Staff”>XXL StaffPublished: July 30, 2021Noel Vasquez, Getty Images / Scott Legato, Getty Images

DaBaby is going toe-to-toe with Questlove after being put on blast by Quest amid Baby currently facing massive criticism over his recent homophobic and sexist remarks.

The "Rockstar" rapper responded to Questlove in a series of Instagram Stories Thursday night (July 29). "I ain't even tryna be funny when I say… I do not know who dis nigga is dawg," he wrote. "And I do not care ’bout losing you as a fan my boy lol @questlove. You or any other nigga who wanna play follow the leader. This superstar was a fan of is stand up nigga, yeen never seen one of these huh?."

On Wednesday (July 28), Questlove made a statement on Instagram condemning DaBaby for his homophobic comments during the North Carolina rapper's set at Rolling Loud Miami this past weekend. The Roots cofounder posted a screenshot that showed a list of artists—The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, The Isley Brothers, Rihanna, Sade, Megan Thee Stallion, DaBaby, Hiatus Kaiyote, Sault—but Baby's name was scribbled out.

"I was hypothetically asked if I was curating an updated version of #SummerOfSoul who would be my acts? I gave my dream list," Quest wrote. "And now I’m updating my list—because it’s 2021 and fuck the bullshit. I’m especially not here for any savagery (if you’re lost: Google the idiocy of the crossed out)."

DaBaby posted two more IG Story posts last night after his direct response to Quest. "These niggas really think they gone influence people to stop fuckin w/ the influence," he wrote on the next slide. "They go crazy bout what I say not yall. I got the influence and the nuts nigga. Y'all niggas cheerleaders."

This all comes after numerous artists have come out against DaBaby, including Dua Lipa and Elton John, among others. Baby initially defended his comments, but doubled down and has since continued to do so.

dababy via Instagramdababy via Instagramdababy via InstagramThese Tone-Deaf Hip-Hop Moments Prove Rappers Can Get Hit With Serious BacklashFiled Under: DaBaby, QuestloveCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: July 30, 2021Boy Better Know / Paper Route EMPIRE / Top Dawg Entertainment

It's the last two days of July and as we shift into August, a number of rappers are dropping off some new music to get us through the weekend before the month closes out.

Memphis' own Young Dolph delivers Paper Route Illuminati, a compilation album from his independent label, Paper Route Empire. The label's first-ever collective effort contains appearances from their growing roster including Key Glock, Big Moochie Grape, Kenny Muney, PRE's First Lady Joddy Badass and newest signees Snupe Bandz, PaperRoute Woo and Big Unc. Along with the announcement of the album, which was made earlier this month, Dolph released the single "Blu Boyz."

In the spring 2021 issue of XXL magazine, Dolph expressed his excitement for the compilation. "I really think this tape that I’m finna put out, this compilation tape where everybody is on it just because it’s a mixture, and a variety of a lot of different moods and a lot of different artists," he said. "You got the female on there [Joddy Badass]. She’s the first female I signed. I waited a long time to sign a female and just felt like a special moment, a special time. You got everybody on there bringing their creativity to the project and make the project what it is." Paper Route Illuminati arrives after the March release of Dum and Dummer 2, a collaborative effort between Young Dolph and Glock.

Straight from across The Pond, Skepta drops his latest EP, All In. The five-song offering comes with guest appearances from Kid Cudi, reggaeton superstar J Balvin and TeeZee. The British rapper shared the news of his new music on Sunday (July 25) via Instagram. Back in March, Skepta purportedly hinted at putting his mic up, writing in an IG Story post, "I have one more song with Bando & L's that we recorded in 2020, after we drop that I'm out.." Skepta's EP is proof he's not done with the rap game for good. His hometown, The U.S. and other international fans get a few new joints to rock out to since his return.

Another release arriving tonight comes from Top Dawg Entertainment signee Isaiah Rashad, who drops his first album in five years. Following The Sun's Tirade in 2016, Isaiah delivers The House Is Burning. The “Headshots (4r Da Locals)”-led effort includes Duke Deuce, Smino, 6lack, TDE labelmates Jay Rock and SZA, and much more. In addition to the new music, Isaiah will be hitting the road for his 42-city tour, Lil Sunny’s Awesome Vacation, kicking off in Boston on Sept. 8 and wrapping up in his hometown of Chattanooga, Tenn. on Nov. 9.

Find other new music below from the likes of Dave East, Tink, Bri Steves and more.

  • Paper Route IlluminatiYoung DolphPaper Route / Empire
  • All InSkeptaBoy Better Know
  • The House Is BurningIsaiah RashadTop Dawg Entertainment
  • Thank You for Believing: The Manifestation ToosiiSouth Coast Music Group / Capitol Records
  • HOFFADave East and Harry FraudFTD/ SRFSCHL, LLC / MASS APPEAL
  • VaniceCookiee KawaiiThe Cookie Jar / Empire
  • Bobby Tarantino IIILogicDef Jam Records
  • TBHBri StevesAtlantic Records
  • Heat of the MomentTinkWinter’s Diary / WD Records / Empire
  • Big DracoSoulja BoySODMG Records
  • F*ck Love 3+: Over YouThe Kid LaroiColumbia

See Best Hip-Hop Projects of 2021 So FarWhat’s your favorite hip-hop project of 2021 so far?Filed Under: Bangers, Bri Steves, Cookiee Kawaii, Dave East, Harry Fraud, Isaiah Rashad, Logic, Skepta, Soulja Boy, The Kid Laroi, Tink, Toosii, Young DolphCategories: Music, New Music, News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: July 29, 2021Amy Sussman / Rich Fury, Getty Images (2)

Questlove isn't here for DaBaby's recent homophobic comments made during the Billion Dollar Baby Ent. CEO's Rolling Loud performance in Miami on Sunday (July 25).

In an Instagram post The Roots cofounder shared last night (July 28), Quest listed off the names of a number of artists: The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, The Isley Brothers, Rihanna, Sade, Megan Thee Stallion, DaBaby, Hiatus Kaiyote, Sault. However, DaBaby's name is crossed out.

For the caption, Questlove typed: "I was hypothetically asked if I was curating an updated version of #SummerOfSoul who would be my acts? I gave my dream list."

He continued: "And now I’m updating my list ——because it’s 2021 & fuck the bullshit. I’m especially not here for any savagery (if you’re lost: Google the idiocy of the crossed out). I’m not trine be all performative smurf & create a social flogging or start some click bait headlines. That’s missing the point. But right is right & his actions are wrong. Somebody Gotta say it: Homophobia/Transphobia/Xenophobia/Misogyny/Racism——this should go w/o saying is morally wrong."

The Philadelphia native went on to tell why he waited to speak publicly on the situation, saying that it's because he doesn't know DaBaby personally.

"But 'that was fucked up' & wrong," Quest wrote. "I had to say something. Again I’m not doing this for 'what do you want a cookie bro w your 'love ye one another' posts?——-black people already have a code about publicly criticizing so I’ll admit i was slow to do this because I mean he don’t know me from Adam. So this will prolly get marked as 'old hater' territory. But man…..that shit was not cool at all."

Questlove also spoke on instances where he decided against voicing his opinion.

He added, "I dunno man—-maybe I’m turning into a grump: barely said anything about Rih in ‘06 (lemme mind my business), looked the other way w ol bol & that MaGa Hat (he going thru thangs let him work it out)——don’t even get me started on half of my rap heroes damn near becoming f*x news talking points w their russian bot reposts & misinformation on all things facts."

Questlove denouncing DaBaby comes after pop stars Dua Lipa, Demi Lovato and rock icon Elton John all spoke against Baby's homophobic statements via social media posts this week.

After defending his own comments on Monday (July 26), the North Carolina rapper issued an apology for his remarks, which targeted people with HIV, AIDS, gay men and women.

See Best Hip-Hop Projects of 2021 So FarWhat’s your favorite hip-hop project of 2021 so far?Filed Under: DaBaby, QuestloveCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/biancatorres/” rel=”author” title=”Bianca Torres”>Bianca TorresPublished: July 29, 2021Steve Ferdman

Plus 1
Interview: Bianca Torres
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

The music business is a grind. Industry heavyweight Shawn “Tubby” Holiday is the master of it. Holiday got his start in 2000, as a member of Bad Boy Records’ street team and has been climbing the ladder ever since. The Brooklyn native held gigs as SVP of A&R at RCA Records, SVP of Urban A&R at Interscope Records and, most recently, as the co-head of Columbia Records Music. Over the years, Tubby worked with artists such as 50 Cent, T.I., Lil Nas X, Pharrell Williams, 24kGoldn and many more. After eight years at Columbia, Shawn recently joined forces with famed music moguls Irving and Jeffrey Azoff and will be leading the launch of a new record label and publishing branch under The Azoff Company. Tubby’s also managing Roddy Ricch under the Azoff’s Full Stop Management. The industry vet talks about the importance of perseverance, what makes a hit record and qualities to look for when signing an artist.

On How To Pick An Artist To Sign

The first thing I ask myself is, “Would I pay to see this artist perform?” And, if you get that kind of vibe or energy from the artist when you’re watching them or listening to their music, if they give me that kind of feeling, I feel like that’s a “must” sign.

On What Makes A Hit Record

The object of the game is to be more right than wrong. Songs that win Grammys have those hooks that are very catchy and memorable. So, if you have a song that has an undeniable hook, verses are good, too. Some of the biggest songs that won Grammys in rap, those hooks always stood out.

On Obtaining Longevity in The Industry

These younger executives hit something out of the park early. It doesn’t mean they know enough about the business. I would tell people do your homework. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint race. You want longevity. I wouldn’t take no for an answer. I use myself as an example. I was trying to get into the music game and I was an overweight kid that went by the nickname of Tubby. Not many people would take that serious. But, I worked hard to get the respect.

Check out more from XXL’s Summer 2021 issue including our Freshman Class cover interviews with 42 Dugg, Iann Dior, Coi Leray, Pooh Shiesty, Flo Milli, Morray, Rubi Rose, Blxst, Toosii, Lakeyah and DDG, producer Nick Mira's thoughts on producing the beats for the Freshman Class, an in-depth conversation with Ski Mask The Slump God about his comeback this year, Moneybagg Yo's candid discussion about his new music, family and indie label, a look at what the 2020 XXL Freshman Class has been up to since last year, Doin' Lines with Jack Harlow, Lil Tecca speaking on what to expect from his upcoming We Love You Tecca 2 album, music video director Cole Bennett gives an inside look at his Lyrical Lemonade empire, Cordae talks about his upcoming album, From 10 in-demand hip-hop jewelers' stories of creating rap stars' icy works of art, and more.

See the 2021 XXL Freshman ClassWelcome 42 DuggIann DiorCoi LerayPooh ShiestyFlo MilliMorrayRubi RoseBlxstToosiiLakeyah and DDG to the 2021 XXL Freshman Class.Filed Under: 24KGoldn, 50 Cent, Feature, Lil Nas X, Pharrell, Roddy Ricch, Shawn Holiday, T.I., XXL MagazineCategories: News, XXL Magazine


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/trentfitzgerald/” rel=”author” title=”Trent Fitzgerald”>Trent FitzgeraldPublished: July 29, 2021Bennett Raglin / Nicholas Hunt / Kevin Winter, Getty Images (3)

Lil Nas X recently responded to former NBA player Nick Young, a.k.a Swaggy P, who defended Boosie BadAzz after Boosie went on a homophobic rant against the “Old Town Road” rapper.

On Tuesday (July 29), Nas X replied to a fan on his Twitter account who shared a screenshot of Nick’s comment on Hollywood Unlocked's Instagram post about Boosie reacting to people canceling DaBaby for his homophobic comments during Baby's Rolling Loud set in Miami last Sunday (July 26). The post features a clip of the Baton Rouge, La. artist's anti-gay rant over Nas X’s announcement that he will perform naked at the upcoming 2021 MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 12.

In the comment section, Nick wrote, "Facts" and "Freedom of speech" to seemingly suggest that Boosie has a right to say homophobic comments to another person.

In response to Swaggy P, Nas X wrote in a now-deleted tweet, “A nigga saying he will ‘beat my fggot ass’ is not what we what we meant by freedom of speech.”

In other words, Swaggy appears to be insinuating that hate speech fall under the same umbrella as freedom of speech.

Yesterday (July 28), Boosie expressed that he felt it was disrespectful by the Grammy Award-winning rapper claiming that he plans to perform naked onstage at the VMAs. Boosie then suggested that he would physically harm Nas X if he were to perform nude in front of him at the award ceremony.

"If I'm at the awards and he go up there naked I'm gon' drag his ass offstage and beat his ass," said Boosie during a livestream.

Nas X has been pushing back on several artists who seemingly object to his music videos and performances. And while T.I. said that he commends Nas X for living his truth, Tip also backed DaBaby's homophobic rant and recently said that he thinks the gay community is bullying rappers.

Lil Nas X doesn't mention anyone directly, it appears he may have responded to Tip's initial remarks about him as well as Boosie's on Wednesday.

"I’m starting to think you niggas gay too cuz yall stay on my dick," Nas X tweeted on his Twitter account. "Some of y’all not even mad that i’m gay, some of y’all mad that i’m gay and still succeeding."

No matter what anyone says, Lil Nas X is moving forward with his music and performances.

These Tone-Deaf Hip-Hop Moments Prove Rappers Can Get Hit With Serious BacklashFiled Under: Lil Nas X, Nick YoungCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/xxlstaff/” rel=”author” title=”XXL Staff”>XXL StaffPublished: July 29, 2021Carlos “Kaito” Araujo

The Pressure
In just three years, Cordae has received cosigns from revered hip-hop legends and earned two Grammy Award nominations. Now, he’s set to drop one of the most anticipated projects of his career. Can he deliver on the hype?
Words: Keith Murphy
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

When meeting up with one of hip-hop’s most buzzworthy young artists via Zoom, since pandemic life is still very real, the last thing one would expect is a random tutorial on the importance of skincare. And yet, that’s what the slightly cherubic-faced rapper Cordae is doing from his well-manicured Beverly Hills, Calif. home on a mild April day. “This is going to sound bourgeoisie,” he muses with a self-deprecating disclaimer, alluding to an early morning appointment he admits to being late to, “but I went to a dermatologist because I was breaking out. I’ve never been to [a dermatologist] before.”

However, as with most conversations with the Suitland, Md. native, a pedestrian discussion can quickly take a deeper turn. “I’m in a blessed position that I don’t take for granted and I thank God for it every day, just to have access to the information,” Cordae confides. “And, to just have access to the awareness of people who know things like eating healthy, taking care of your body, drinking water and staying in shape and things of that nature. Even though we are in the information age, it’s even more fruitful when you have people around you [to help].”

It’s clear that Cordae Dunston, 23, is still getting acclimated to life as rap’s soon-to-be golden child. Talk about pressure. The standout former member of the internet rap collective Young Boss Niggas, comprised of YBN Nahmir and YBN Almighty Jay, dropped his introspective debut album, The Lost Boy, in 2019. Formerly known as YBN Cordae, he was promptly hailed as hip-hop’s next great lyricist. That hyperbolic prediction was anchored by fearless ambition, witty wordplay and heart-on-the-sleeve storytelling of an old soul who seemed like he had just walked straight out of a 1990’s rhyme cypher with lyrical stalwarts Nas, André 3000, Lauryn Hill and Jay-Z.

“I know myself far too well to be a stranger to pain/Despite it all, we remainin’ the same, I’m just changin’ the game,” Cordae delivers on 2019’s “Bad Idea” featuring Chance The Rapper, which samples Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway’s “Be Real Black for Me” and Gil Scott-Heron’s “Home Is Where the Hatred Is.”

Since making his introduction in the game in 2018, with his signing to Art@War, a partnership between entertainment lawyer James McMillan and Rap-A-Lot CEO James Prince, via a joint venture with Atlantic Records, Cordae has been on a steady ascent. His encounter with iconic producer Dr. Dre, who invited the rising rapper to collaborate on music that same year, proved the rising artist was one to watch. A year later, he earned two 2019 Grammy Award nominations: Best Rap Album for The Lost Boy and Best Rap Song for “Bad Idea.” He also found himself fielding comparisons to Compton native and Pulitzer Prize music winner Kendrick Lamar. Plus, Eminem lauded Cordae as “dope” in a 2020 Variety interview. He also landed three gold songs—“Have Mercy,” “RNP” featuring Anderson .Paak and “Kung Fu”—and a gold mixtape, YBN: The Mixtape with YBN Nahmir and YBN Almighty Jay.

“Moments like that I know it’s nothing but God,” he recalls of the mind-blowing, 16-hour recording session with Dre, arguably hip-hop’s most storied conductor. “I just give him all the glory, man, and thank him in advance for whatever is about to come.”

Going from being raised by a 15-year-old mother in a North Carolina trailer park to kicking back in a California mansion and breaking bread with rap royalty has a way of humbling you. “Me and my mom grew up together,” Cordae says. “She was always the best mom…You’ll never hear me rap about missing a meal. We may have not had cable or WiFi, but our lights weren’t ever cut off. We never got evicted. She just made it happen… Even now, my mom is a real one. I remember when I first got signed [to Art@War/Atlantic Records] in 2018, when I first came upon a large sum of money, I sent my mom like, a big wire. And my mom was like, ‘Did you pay your taxes?’ She’s real gangster all the way.”

Everything about Cordae’s early career highlight reel seems set up for superstardom, from his cameo in Coca-Cola’s memorable 2020 Super Bowl ad headlined by actor Jonah Hill and film directing god Martin Scorsese to his head-turning, two-year romance with top ranked tennis global phenom Naomi Osaka, who is now the highest paid sportswoman, earning a reported $55 million.

Yet, Cordae hasn’t had much time to soak it all in. He’s too busy finishing up his much-anticipated sophomore LP, From A Bird’s Eye View. In late April, a day before this conversation, Cordae was working on tracks in Santa Monica from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. He admits dealing with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic has turned him into a bit of a recluse, but he had to get a change of scenery. “I went to Windmark Studios yesterday because I’ve been in the house recording,” he shares. “It takes a lot for me to leave the house because I have everything here I need within the crib.”

Carlos “Kaito” Araujo

Cordae describes the new album as “bassline heavy,” a sound he admits was cultivated from months of diving into the catalogs of soul singer Bill Withers, blues legend Muddy Waters and music icon Stevie Wonder, who Cordae gleefully name-drops as one of the contributors on From A Bird’s Eye View. Additional credits include The Lost Boy producer Kid Culture as well as fellow producers Jake One and Terrace Martin, who oversaw the sweeping jazz-inflected production of Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 critically hailed To Pimp a Butterfly album. “And I have Raphael Saadiq doing a bit of production, too,” Cordae adds. “I feel like his first album was beautiful…Cordae did his thing,” conveys Martin, who first bonded with the MC in 2018, after hearing his acclaimed J. Cole response song “Old Niggas.” “But when I hear him on that mic now, he sounds like a young prophet talking, man. And he’s not preaching at you. He’s talking with you.”

The veteran saxophonist and respected West Coast hip-hop producer says Cordae’s gifts go beyond music. “I just took Cordae over to Herbie Hancock’s house,” Martin recalls when he introduced him to the legendary jazz pianist. “Herbie loves Cordae and Cordae loves Herbie. It was deep seeing this 20-something young man hold his own in a conversation with a giant music icon who is 81 years old. A lot of these muthafuckas can’t hold a conversation with Herbie Hancock.”

A new album means he’s excited about getting back out on the road and touring. However, Cordae is on the fence when asked if he intends on receiving a COVID-19 shot. “I’m probably not going to get the vaccine,” he admits. “I don’t know. They may hit us with some shit like you can’t travel the world, you can’t do shows unless you get the vaccine.”

Yet, he is less forthcoming when asked about guest features on From A Bird’s Eye View. “I want to wait until they all clear…’til the paperwork is done,” a hesitant Cordae explains. “I look at music as a canvas. Who can add that palette? Just like with Anderson [.Paak]. I knew his voice would be perfect for ‘RNP.’ I knew his color palette is one of a kind.”

Working on a much-anticipated follow-up LP is hard enough, but for the wildly ambitious Cordae—who in 2018 told XXL that his goal was “to be the greatest artist of my generation,” a year before being inducted into the 2019 XXL Freshman Class—it’s quite natural to ponder if the young man is placing needless pressure on himself with oversized Kanye West-sized expectations. Cordae isn’t backing down.

“I have to go into the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame,” he maintains. “I would love to have an EGOT… I want to be the biggest, most influential artist. That’s my ultimate goal. The next artist in 2035 is going to say Cordae inspired them.”

Part of Cordae’s appeal is his reputation as a generational bridge builder. It’s certainly in the DNA of his Just Until…. EP, a four-song pack he released in April “to test the temperature.” Seeing respected 1990’s boom-bap innovator and A Tribe Called Quest front man Q-Tip on “More Life” and modern-day, southern rap archetype Young Thug on “Wassup,” all in the same lineup, is esthetically jarring, but Cordae dismisses any notion of pandering gestures.

“Throughout this quarantine, Q-Tip has been one of my mentors,” he expresses of his bond with the 51-year-old hip-hop legend he met through producer Statik Selektah. “And Young Thug is really the same way…We got a couple of other joints together, but a lot of times we just be in the studio just kicking it and chopping it up. It’s always real love…Fuck a song, bro. Thug is really my homie.”

Cordae, who grew up a Lil Wayne fan, was first introduced to the music of Rakim, Nas and The Notorious B.I.G. by his father. By 15, he was already pursuing a rap career, releasing the mixtapes Anxiety in 2014, I’m So Anxious in 2016, and I’m So Anonymous in 2017. He tried college, but dropped out of Towson University in Maryland in 2018. A year earlier, Cordae had met YBN’s Nahmir and Almighty Jay during an online game of Grand Theft Auto. They kept in touch and he eventually joined the YBN rap crew in L.A., dropping his first single "My Name Is” in 2018, a flip of Slim Shady’s 1999 off-the-wall classic.

Despite his old head spirit, Cordae is still plugged in with his rap peers. Last year, he recruited melodic platinum spitter Roddy Ricch for his victory lap one-off single “Gifted.” “Shit, nigga, this the shit that I asked for, remember last year I was mad poor,” Cordae recalled of his turbulent come up on the mid-tempo jam. “Seen my mama cry over homicides, now she down to fly, she got a passport.”

Yes, life has been good for Cordae, but his ongoing journey to headline status hasn’t been without its stumbles. Last August, YBN Nahmir fired off a tweet announcing the breakup of the trio. “They left this YBN shit in the gutter,” the YBN founder said in a post, seemingly placing blame on members Cordae and Almighty Jay. “Remember that. I’ll turn it up myself. #ybnNAHMIR.”

Some fans instantly zeroed in on Cordae’s solo stardom as a possible reason for the YBN’s implosion. However, Cordae claimed that the group simply grew apart. In March, Jay went further and accused YBN’s manager and lawyer James McMillan of alleged questionable business dealings regarding trademarks, a possible catalyst for the clique’s demise. McMillan denied any shady trademark issues. “It’s not uncommon to trademark the name at the very beginning when we’re pouring resources into it to make value,” McMillan told XXL. “We trademark a name to protect it for them because if we hadn’t, anybody could trademark it and we’d be chasing the name trying to get it back, or have to change the name.”

Cordae reveals he is still on great terms with his former YBN brothers. “I asked for Nahmir’s blessing because I wouldn’t be able to live with myself and sleep if I didn’t get his blessing,” he explains of his departure. “I can’t be out here preaching ownership to these kids if me, Nahmir and Jay were building this brand that we don’t have ownership in…I was just at Nahmir’s 21st birthday party. Jay is one of my closest homies. I talk to [him] a couple times a week a minimum…I can only speak about those cats in the highest level of admiration and love.”

Then there’s the pushback Cordae received when lyrics bragging about his relationship with Naomi Osaka on his recent single “More Life” featuring Q-Tip hit social media. “My girl a tennis star, you niggas out here marryin’ hoes,” he boasted. While some fans on Twitter applauded the line, others felt it was misogynistic.

“I didn’t really think too much about it,” downplays Cordae of the controversial line. “I play [Naomi] my music. She be hearing my music before it comes out…I didn’t think it would be this at all.”

Obviously, Cordae is still learning the terrain, and his growth is apparent. The budding social activist—who was arrested last year in Louisville, Ky. while protesting the killing of Breonna Taylor by police—lights up when he points to James Baldwin’s 1963 book, The Fire Next Time, a landmark dissection of racial injustice in America during the early Civil Rights movement, as being a prominent inspiration on his songwriting for his From A Bird’s Eye View album.

When Cordae speaks about crafting his impending opus, due this summer, it’s clear that there’s an anxiousness underneath it all. “It’s always scary when I release an album because you are injecting your entire heart, your feelings, your deepest most transparent, vulnerable moments…for others to judge and listen,” he confesses. “But when I’m on this road and these kids start talking to me and telling me how my music helped them through very dark spaces within their lives, that makes me know that this is my calling.”

Carlos “Kaito” Araujo

Check out more from XXL’s Summer 2021 issue including our Freshman Class cover interviews with 42 Dugg, Iann Dior, Coi Leray, Pooh Shiesty, Flo Milli, Morray, Rubi Rose, Blxst, Toosii, Lakeyah and DDG, producer Nick Mira's thoughts on producing the beats for the Freshman Class, an in-depth conversation with Ski Mask The Slump God about his comeback this year, Moneybagg Yo's candid discussion about his new music, family and indie label, a look at what the 2020 XXL Freshman Class has been up to since last year, Doin' Lines with Jack Harlow, Lil Tecca speaking on what to expect from his upcoming We Love You Tecca 2 album, music video director Cole Bennett gives an inside look at his Lyrical Lemonade empire, 10 in-demand hip-hop jewelers' stories of creating rap stars' icy works of art, and more.

See the 2021 XXL Freshman ClassWelcome 42 DuggIann DiorCoi LerayPooh ShiestyFlo MilliMorrayRubi RoseBlxstToosiiLakeyah and DDG to the 2021 XXL Freshman Class.Filed Under: Feature, XXL Magazine, YBN CordaeCategories: News, XXL Magazine


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: July 29, 2021Jerritt Clark, Getty Images

T.I. has added more legs the conversation sparked by DaBaby's homophobic comments made during the North Carolina rapper's Rolling Loud Festival performance in Miami this past weekend.

On Wednesday (July 28), Tip went on Instagram Live to explain that he feels the gay community is bullying rappers and prohibiting his peers from speaking freely at their shows, which he feels should be a "safe space."

"Everyone up in arms and upset about what DaBaby said," the rapper-reality TV star began. "Now, I understand people saying that they feel it's insensitive. I think you guys have to understand that onstage is not the place that rappers go to be sensitive and soothe everybody's feelings."

He continued: "It's a place to go to have a good time. I thought we kind of let our hair down and disqualified the BS because if we ’posed to not trip if we see White people saying nigga singing along with the song, how is we held to such a high standard of morality?."

Tip then spoke on his belief that rappers' freedom of speech while performing appears to have been taken away.

"Just to be honest," he expressed. "So, it seemed like it was a safe place and it's all done in fun. That's what I thought. If that is the case, why do words cause such a visceral reaction that will lead to someone trying to attack, villainize, demonize, crucify, condemn."

T.I. added: "That shit is…Now you bullying. We all stood up on behalf of gays and lesbians and people in the gay community because we thought it was some bullshit for y'all to have to be bullied. But I don't think any of us did that to feel like you would now have the authority to come and bully us."

T.I. and Boosie BadAzz have both been social media trending topics this week after defending DaBaby, who made comments on the RL stage on July 25, offending people with HIV, AIDS, gay men and also women.

Tip initially only saw a need for equal treatment of DaBaby while bringing Lil Nas X into the conversation. The Atlanta rhymer suggested that if the actions of Nas X, who has proudly displayed his homosexuality in his music videos and award show performances, can be openly embraced, so should Baby's.

Boosie, on the other hand, shared his thoughts on the situation via a homophobic slur-laced rant.

DaBaby has since apologized via Twitter and dropped a new video for his song "Giving What It's Supposed to Give," which he claims in an IG post "coincidentally" addresses the controversial topics he's been linked to over the last week.

Check out T.I.'s livestream, in which he said rappers are being bullied by the gay community, below.

See Hip-Hop Albums Turning 10 in 2021Ten years ago, some of the most important hip-hop albums debuted.Filed Under: DaBaby, T.I.Categories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/robbyseabrookiii/” rel=”author” title=”Robby Seabrook III”>Robby Seabrook IIIPublished: July 28, 2021@kdxcreative

For someone who's been in hip-hop for a short amount of time, 17-year-old Louisiana rapper SSGKobe has made some big waves both in and out of genre. He started making music in 2018, spurred by two friends who were known as the local cool kids. Wanting that same level of love and admiration, the aspiring rapper learned how to record from them when he was 14. He started posting his music on SoundCloud, dropping "Wyd ?" in the summer of 2019, a mid-tempo, guitar-driven song about protecting himself from enemies that he released while still in high school. Before the year was done, SSG Kobe released projct x in the fall, a five-track effort featuring his sing-song hooks and melodic rhymes.

With just one year of rapping under his belt, the music SSG Kobe was releasing got him on the radar of various record labels. He started to rack up streams left and right, and even caught the attention of Zack Bia, a Hollywood DJ, party promoter and founder of Field Trip Records. The rising rhymer linked with Bia as a creative partner for his forthcoming release.

SSGKobe, whose rap moniker stands for "Super Saiyan God," inspired by Dragon Ball Z, went on a run starting in early 2021. In February, model Bella Hadid posted in her Instagram story a snippet of an unreleased song titled "Tired of Me," giving her more than 38 million followers a preview of his new music. That look was followed by Kobe dropping "Thrax" (over 6.6 million Spotify streams and a TikTok hit early on) a few days later in February, "Calabasas" featuring $not (8.7 million Spotify streams) in March and his official debut EP, KO. in late April. Bia's label served as the creative partner for the project. Now, the week-old track "MIA" is closing in on 2 million Spotify streams and YouTube views—the Cole Bennett-directed video features Kobe in an homage to The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Last month, SSGKobe became a major label artist after signing to Columbia Records. He also graced the stage for the biggest performance of his career thus far at the Rolling Loud Miami festival last week. Everything is coming together for this self-proclaimed Harry Potter fan.

Catching up with XXL via phone, SSGKobe is this week's focus of The Break.

Age: 17

Hometown: Centerville, La.

I grew up listening to: "Before rap, I was listening to a lot of pop music. I would probably say, rap-wise, Chief Keef, Kevin Gates, Lil Wayne, that group. It was new, and I just never heard it before, so I liked it."

My style’s been compared to: "X[XXTentacion], and for my voice, Calboy. Calboy for my voice, music-wise, X."

I’m going to blow up because: "People coming up to me saying I helped them with things they was going through. Just like hearing all the positive feedback, and also seeing me grow, all of that together."

What’s your most slept-on song, and why?: I don't think I have a slept-on song. I feel like I haven't even shown what I really can do. A lotta people think I'm just a trend rapper ’cause I'm new, but I'm definitely here to stay and I have a lot of great music. I don't have an underrated song out, but music, when it comes out, it's gonna be good."

My standout records to date have been: "'Thrax,' 'MIA' and 'Calabasas.' These songs came out, drop after drop. I think 'Thrax' came first, then 'Calabasas,' now 'MIA.' So, it's like every drop, I get bigger."

My standout moments to date have been: "Being able to perform at Rolling Loud. It was good. I'm looking forward to the other ones, too, the Cali and New York."

Most people don’t know: "I'm a big Harry Potter fan. I don't know if people know that. Ever since I was young, I was reading books a lot. So, I just saw and I always wanted to be that kid in school, who like, read the biggest books. 'My book was bigger than yours!' So, I kinda just found it, and it was one of the biggest books in the library. So, I read it, and I just got interested, it was just so cool. Then I just read all the books. Then I found out they had movies. So, I saw the movies."

I’m going to be the next: "GOAT."

Follow SSGKobe on SoundCloud and Instagram.

Standouts:

"Wyd ?"

"Calabasas" featuring $not

"MIA"

KO.

See Best Hip-Hop Projects of 2021 So FarWhat’s your favorite hip-hop project of 2021 so far?Filed Under: Feature, SSGKobe, The BreakCategories: News, The Break


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/trentfitzgerald/” rel=”author” title=”Trent Fitzgerald”>Trent FitzgeraldPublished: July 28, 2021Paras Griffin, Getty Images / Prince Williams, Wireimage / Phillip Faraone, Getty Images

Boosie BadAzz is the latest rapper facing backlash for defending DaBaby’s homophobic remarks made during DaBaby's set at the 2021 Rolling Loud Festival in Miami on Sunday night (July 25).

On Wednesday (July 28), Boosie went on Instagram Live to rant about his displeasure of people canceling DaBaby for his homophobic remarks, but not Lil Nas X, who tweeted on July 24 that himself and Jack Harlow will perform their collaborative song "Industry Baby" naked at this year's MTV Video Music Awards for charity. The award show airs on Sept. 12.

"If I was DaBaby, I'll tell them fuck y'all," Boosie BadAzz says. "Lucky I couldn't be DaBaby, I'll tell them fuck y'all bitches. ’Cause he [DaBaby] said something about some shit."

Boosie continues his rant stating, "[Lil Nas X] and them they want to perform naked for charity. Bruh, they don't tell him nothin'. They shouldn't be pickin' sides."

"That's the most disrespectful muthafucka in the world he said that he gonna get naked onstage," he adds. "They got kids watchin' that shit. Niggas be taking it too far and shit."

Boosie then went on to call Lil Nas X several homophobic slurs and suggests that Nas X perform oral sex on IG Live, if he wants to go viral. In other clips, the 38-year-old rhymer continues to speak against Lil Nas X's sexuality. "Ain't nobody with that gay ass shit in the world, bruh," Boosie expresses.

Boosie wasn't finished with his rant. In another video, taken from his IG Live, the Baton Rouge, La. native continues to voice his outrage over Nas X's announcement that he will perform naked at the MTV VMAs.

"Everybody not with their nephew sucking dick," the Louisana rapper tells. "Everybody is not with that shit. You can't put that shit on everybody and expect it to be cool."

"Nas X said he gonna perform naked on stage for charity," he continues. "You don't fuck with him like you fuck with [DaBaby]. Be even sided, mane. Be even sided."

Boosie then asks, "You don't feel that's disrespectful gon' dance naked? You don't think that's disrespect[ful] in front of boys who are tryin' to be straight? It's totally disrespect[ful]. Totally disrespect[ful]."

The Goat Talk 3 creator then suggests that he would physically harm Nas X, if the "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" artist were to perform nude while Boosie is in attendance at the award ceremony.

"If I'm at the awards and he go up there naked I'm gon' drag his ass offstage and beat his ass," Boosie BadAzz states.

Boosie follows T.I. who also defended DaBaby yesterday (July 27) and compared the North Carolina rapper's remarks to Nas X's unapologetic music videos and performances. "If Lil Nas X can kick his shit in peace… so should dababy," Tip wrote in the comment section of a The Shade Room post regarding DaBaby's controversial remarks. T.I. also included an emoji of a man shrugging his shoulders and the hashtag #equality.

Several music artists have spoken out to denounce DaBaby's homophobic comments. This morning, rock icon Sir Elton John issued a statement via Twitter, which reads in part: "We've been shocked to read about the HIV misinformation and homophobic statements made at a recent DaBaby show. This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic."

"Homophobic and HIV mistruths have no place in our society and industry and as musicians, we must spread compassion and love for the most marginalized people in our communities. A musician’s job is to bring people together," Elton John adds.

While Nas X doesn't mention anyone directly, it appears he may have responded to Boosie and Tip's comments on his Twitter account.

"I’m starting to think you niggas gay too cuz yall stay on my dick," Lil Nas X tweeted this afternoon. "Some of y’all not even mad that i’m gay, some of y’all mad that i’m gay and still succeeding."

Lil Nas X is standing his ground.

See the Many Times Rappers’ Social Media Accounts Were SuspendedFiled Under: Boosie Badazz, DaBaby, Lil Nas XCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: July 28, 2021Jason Koerner, Getty Images

DaBaby is facing major backlash following the homophobic statements he made during his Rolling Loud Miami Festival performance over the weekend, which he attempted to defend earlier this week.

Legendary British artist Sir Elton John spoke out against DaBaby's insensitive statements, which targets individuals with HIV and AIDS as well as gay men and more, via social media this morning (July 28), writing, "We've been shocked to read about the HIV misinformation and homophobic statements made at a recent DaBaby show. This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic."

John went on to offer some facts about the sexually transmitted disease.

"HIV has affected over 70 million people globally: men, women, children and the most vulnerable people in our communities," he continues. "In America, a gay black man has a 50 percent lifetime chance of contracting HIV. Stigma and shame around HIV and homosexuality is a huge driver of this vulnerability. We need to break down the myths and judgements and not fuel these. You can live a long and healthy life with HIV. Treatment is so advanced that with one pill a day, HIV can become undetectable in your body so you can’t pass it onto other people."

Elton John adds, "Homophobic and HIV mistruths have no place in our society and industry and as musicians, we must spread compassion and love for the most marginalized people in our communities. A musician’s job is to bring people together."

Singer Demi Lovato chimed in on the conversation as well. She reposted an upload shared by Matt Bernstein, a gay makeup artist and photographer, which features an image of a chest with the words "HIV IS NOT A GAY DISEASE" written in what appears to be red lipstick. The post also contains video clips from DaBaby's performance where he offended many people, including the LGBTQ community.

In Demi's caption, she encourages her followers to listen to the original version of Dua Lipa's "Levitating," sans DaBaby.

The former Disney Channel star came out as pansexual back in March.

Pop star Dua Lipa, whose hit record "Levitating" featuring DaBaby is holding strong on the charts, was among the first celebrities to speak out against the statements made by the Charlotte, N.C. rhymer.

"I’m surprised and horrified at DaBaby’s comments," she wrote on Tuesday (July 25). "I really don’t recognize this as the person I worked with. I know my fans know where my heart lies and that I stand 100 percent with the LGBTQ community. We need to come together to fight the stigma and ignorance around HIV/AIDS."

The Billion Dollar Baby Ent. CEO has addressed his Rolling Loud statements on two occasions. On his IG Story earlier this week, DaBaby attempted to defend his homophobic remarks.

"I said if you don't got AIDS, put a cell phone light up," he said in the video. "I said if you ain't suckin' dick in the parking lot, put your cell phone lights up. So I can drop my next song. I wasn't going on no rant. That's called a call to action. That's what that's called ’cause I'm a live performer, I'm the best live performer. I'm the live show killer. You interact with your fans, you get what I'm saying? Look, all the lights went up, gay, straight. You wanna know why? ’Cause even my gay fans don't got fuckin' AIDS, stupid ass niggas."

Baby went on to say: "They don't got AIDS. My gay fans, they take care of they self. They ain't going for that. They ain't no nasty gay niggas, you know what I'm saying? They ain't no junkies, you know what I'm saying? On the street. The hell you talking ’bout, nigga? Then I said, if ain't suck dick in the Rolling Loud parking lot, put your cell phone light up. You know what my gay fans did? Put that muthafuckin' light up, nigga. ’Cause my gay fans, they ain't going for that. They got class, nigga. They ain't suckin' no dick in no parking lot. Nigga, you gotta get a room, nigga. A good one. Five star hotel for them nights or goddamn… Yeah, you gotta wait ’til niggas go to the crib."

Last night (July 28), DaBaby offered an apology for his offensive comments.

"I tell fans to put a cellphone light in the air y’all start a million man March," he said in an initial tweet. "I told you y’all digested that wrong but I ain’t gone lie I’m impressed. Now show this same amount of support when a racist cop kill one of our black ass…YA NOT."

He then spoke to individuals who have HIV and AIDS, and the LGBTQ community directly in a follow-up message.

"Anybody who done ever been effected by AIDS/HIV y’all got the right to be upset, what I said was insensitive even though I have no intentions on offending anybody," Baby typed. "So my apologies. But the LGBT community… I ain’t trippin on y’all, do you. y’all business is y’all business."

The rapper added: "& for any brands, networks, or artists that like to profit off of black rappers influence on the culture, without understanding it or having the patience to deal with what comes with the position we play in our culture. Keep yo money next time us “NIGGAS” human too. #GodBless."

In addition to the aforementioned artists who have vocalized their disapproval of DaBaby's comments, BoohooMan, a clothing company that Baby recently did a collaboration with, has parted ways with the rapper as well.

"BoohooMAN condemn the use of homophobic language and confirm we will no longer be working with DaBaby," the statement begins. "Diversity and inclusion are part of the boohoo Groups DNA and we pride ourselves on representing the diverse customers we serve across the globe."

The company concludes their statement, saying, "We stand by and support the LGBTQ+ community, and do not tolerate any hate speech or discrimination in any form."

As far as the rap community goes, though, T.I. recently backed DaBaby via social media.

See the Many Times Rappers’ Social Media Accounts Were SuspendedFiled Under: DaBaby, Demi Lovato, Elton JohnCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/kemethigh/” rel=”author” title=”Kemet High”>Kemet HighPublished: July 28, 2021Chris Brown Entertainment / Gangsta Grillz, 101 Distribution, Pharrell, CTE / Def Jam Recordings, MMG / Warner Records Inc., The Real University / Two Gun Gang, Street Executives / Aphilliates Music Group

DJ Drama started plotting on his hip-hop legacy when he was a teenager in high school, with two turntables and a mixer at his mother’s house. Hearing the sounds of famous mixtape hosts like DJ Clue blast out of car speakers pushed the Philadelphia native to cement his own movement via what started off in 2004, as a Southern series called Gangsta Grillz—a term he got from simply playing around with words.

He continued to hustle song compilations at colleges, clubs and concerts, eventually upping the quality by tagging in hosts like Lil Jon, who then crafted the "Gangsta Griiii-zilllz" drop heard on Drama's fourth installation of the series. By the time the DJ Sense-assisted Gangsta Grillz 6, hosted by Killer Mike, Bone Crusher and David Banner, was freed, Drama noticed that he was succeeding in building an actual brand.

“I remember going to the bootlegger spot, this was when [50 Cent's] Get Rich or Die Tryin’ came out. And I seen like, an enormous abundance of Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and I seen an enormous abundance of Gangsta Grillz 6. I was like, Oh I made it. My shit is out here, not even thinking about how much money they was making compared to the amount I was making. But I was excited that I was getting bootlegged at the time,” he tells XXL.

Word of mouth in the streets made his series a revered culture stamp, with artists like Gucci Mane, Jeezy, T.I., Fabolous and plenty more expressing how they wanted in. For decades, Drama capitalized off that and made a name for himself by assuming the role as a main host who would pair their sounds with quotable, prophecy-like lines that were recorded in his Walker Street studio in Atlanta where the game-changing raid went down.

“Coming from a mixtape background and mixtape culture, the era before me, when the DJs spoke on the tapes, they would do a lot of store shout-outs…," adds Drama. "So, I tried to attack it from a different approach where it wasn't just about me shouting someone out or talking about the stores that were buying my tapes. It was more about actually adding something, adding a depth to the music and that was my bells and my whistles, my little sermons that I was giving."

Folahanmi Olawole

The Generation Now cofounder finds inspiration from all over, whether that be personal things he's going through or what he sees when he steps outside the crib. Sometimes he writes things down and sometimes he freestyles. But either way, fans have always applauded how potent his talk game is. In fact, Drama says, “Anybody who doesn't think that the shit I be saying is not immaculately incredible are out their fucking mind.”

Nearly two decades and over 150 Gangsta Grillz mixtapes later, he's still keeping that same energy and most recently teamed up with Tyler, The Creator for the rapper's Call Me If You Get Lost album, released in late June. The 16-track effort debuted as the No. 1 album in the country in July. “It was kind of wild because [Don] Cannon even put it into perspective for me, just thinking about the origins of Gangsta Grillz and my modest mixtape humble beginnings," he says of the chart-topping effort. "And you know, hustling mixtapes for five dollars a pop or just starting Gangsta Grillz and creating a name. 18 or 19 years later, for it to be part of a No. 1 album is incredible. It's really full circle. It was a dope moment."

“I think it's been a long time since a lot of people have heard a project sound like that," the self-proclaimed mixtape president elaborates. "It's very reminiscent of my early tapes or the tapes of the heyday, like the [Lil] Wayne and the Pharrell. I just think the way Tyler attacked it was very creative. As much as it may feel like a mixtape, it still feels like an album in a lot of ways when you navigate through it. I think what makes it different is the nostalgia of if that's reminiscent of that time and space where mixtapes were prevalent.”

On the grounds of his past and the recent success with Tyler, DJ Drama hopped on Zoom with XXL to narrow down his top 10 Gangsta Grillz projects of all time from the catalog. In his own words, below you’ll find the ranking, rationale for each selection and memories from the recording process.

Disclaimer: “For all of the abundance of artists and tapes that did not get mentioned, I love you to death," DJ Drama says. "This was off the top of the head. It was an any-given-Sunday type of situation. So, whether it's fucking Tyga, [Lil] Durk, Lil Baby, Little Brother, Jim Jones, Cam'ron, so many that I've worked on that did not get mentioned but are a part of the Gangsta Grillz family and legacy that are definitely crucial. So for those of you who are not familiar, please do your research and go find out about all of the amazing Gangsta Grillz mixtapes that are out there.”

DJ Drama Ranks His Top 10 Gangsta Grillz Projects What’s your favorite DJ Drama <em>Gangsta Grillz</em> project?Filed Under: 2 Chainz, Chris Brown, DJ Drama, Feature, Galleries, Gallery, Gangsta Grillz, Gucci Mane, jeezy, Jeremih, Lil Wayne, Meek Mill, Pharrell, T.I.Categories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/trentfitzgerald/” rel=”author” title=”Trent Fitzgerald”>Trent FitzgeraldPublished: July 28, 2021Kevin Mazur, Getty Images

Kanye West has made himself at home at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

On Monday night (July 27), Yeezy hopped on his Instagram page and shared a photo of his new sleeping quarters at the downtown ATL stadium. The pic shows a makeshift bed in the right corner with a white quilted cover and a pillow along with a mini-locker containing a few clothing items on hangers.

There's also a TV and a huge digital clock overhead on the wall. On the floor is an empty suitcase with more clothes neatly folded beside it. There are several pairs of Yeezy sneakers from Adidas, including the orange Yeezy 1020 boot-like kicks he wore during his Donda listening party last week.

Kanye captioned the photo, "How the best things are done. No distractions."

Overall, ’Ye's bedroom almost resembles what a single dorm room looks like at a university or college.

This photo comes as Kanye is reportedly wrapping up the recording of his Donda project, which is set for release on Aug. 6.

According to Page Six yesterday, Kanye has been holed up in a "private space inside the building" away from civilians. An insider told the outlet there's a suite in the building with an official stadium placard outside the door that reads, "Donda Studio at Mercedes-Benz Stadium."

Kanye's manager, John Monopoly, shared an image of the placard, seemingly confirming that ’Ye does have a temporary residency at the arena while he wraps up his highly anticipated effort.

It's unclear how long the rapper-producer will be making the 71,000-seat stadium his home, but we presume that he'll be there until the album is completed.

Last Thursday (July 22), Kanye treated fans to a huge listening event of the Donda album with assurance the project would arrive on Friday (July 23). But alas, it didn't happened, and it was later announced that the LP will hopefully drop on Aug. 6.

Nevertheless, one of the biggest highlight at the event was when Yeezy previewed a new track featuring Jay-Z, in which Hov teased a potential follow-up to their 2011 collaborative effort, Watch the Throne.

The new album is expected to feature guest appearances from Travis Scott, Lil Baby, Pusha-T and hopefully the reunion track with Jay-Z.

Here Are Some of the Highest Paid Rappers of 2020Filed Under: Kanye WestCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: July 28, 2021Johnny Nunez / Alexander Tamargo, Getty Images (2)

Tory Lanez and Megan Thee Stallion's alleged shooting incident from last summer has yet to be resolved legally. However, she was granted a restraining order from the Toronto native last year, which he may have violated this past weekend.

According to a report from TMZ on Wednesday (July 28), when Tory hit the 2021 Rolling Loud Miami Festival stage on Sunday (July 25) to join DaBaby to perform their track "Skat," Meg was apparently still backstage. In October of 2020, three months after Tory allegedly shot the Houston rapper in the back of the foot in the Hollywood Hills section of Los Angeles, the Canadian artist was reportedly ordered to stay at least 100 yards away from Megan and turn in any guns that he owns.

This presumably means that the stage and the backstage area at a venue is less than the court-ordered 100 yards apart in distance.

A source confirmed the TMZ report to XXL.

 

Megan's team also claims that the former 2019 XXL Freshman is upset that Tory, who wasn't on the bill for the festival, made an appearance altogether. On top of that, DaBaby performed after Meg on the same stage and did their collab "Cry Baby" before bringing out Tory Lanez. After Tory exited the stage, Baby did "Cash Shit," the other joint effort he has with Megan Thee Stallion.

The gossip outlet notes that the Miami Police Department as well as the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office were both notified of Tory Lanez possibly violating the protective order Megan Thee Stallion has against him.

Sources close to Tory, on the other hand, claim that he never saw Megan nor did he get physically close to her.

Just last month, Megan Thee Stallion and DaBaby exchanged words via Twitter regarding DaBaby's apparent support for Tory after the North Carolina-bred rhymer reportedly liked a tweet that joked about Meg and Tory's shooting incident.

Megan's boyfriend, rapper Pardison Fontaine, chimed in shortly after, coming for DaBaby as well.

Back in January, Tory Lanez requested to modify the conditions of the restraining order in the felony assault case from the July of 2020 shooting incident, which prohibits him from speaking on the legal matter.

It's unclear when Tory's next court date in this case will be.

XXL has reached out to the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, the Miami Gardens Police Department and reps for Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez for a statement.

These Tone-Deaf Hip-Hop Moments Prove Rappers Can Get Hit With Serious BacklashFiled Under: Megan Thee Stallion, Tory LanezCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: July 27, 2021Andrew Burton, Getty Images

The United States Government has sold the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album that convicted former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli once owned to pay off Shkreli's debts.

According to legal documents obtained by XXL on Tuesday (July 27), Shkreli was ordered to forfeit $7.4 million in assets after being found guilty of securities fraud back in 2018 after obtaining the manufacturing license for the drug Daraprim and inflating the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill. He was later sentenced to seven years in prison.

Shkreli's forfeited assets includes his copy of Wu-Tang's Once Upon a Time in Shaolin album, which he purchased for $2 million and is the only copy to exist.

The document also notes that "proceeds from the sale of the album will be applied to satisfy the outstanding balance owed" on Martin Shkreli's " Forfeiture Money Judgment." Additionally, the doc adds, "The contract of sale contains a confidentiality provision that protects information relating to the buyer and price."

Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, spoke of the sale of Shkreli's Once Upon a Time in Shaolin: "Through the diligent and persistent efforts of this Office and its law enforcement partners, Shkreli has been held accountable and paid the price for lying and stealing from investors to enrich himself.  With today’s sale of this one-of-a-kind album, his payment of the forfeiture is now complete."

According to a report from NBC News this afternoon, the 31-song album is stored in a "hand-carved nickel-sliver box," accompanied by a "174-page leather-bound manuscript printed on gilded Fedrigoni Marina parchment."

Martin Shkreli purchased the Wu-Tang Clan album via an auction and sold it on Paddle8 on Nov. 24, 2015. The LP sold on eBay for over $1 million in 2017.

See 15 Rappers With the Best Gimmicks of All TimeFiled Under: Martin Shkreli, Wu-Tang ClanCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/trentfitzgerald/” rel=”author” title=”Trent Fitzgerald”>Trent FitzgeraldPublished: July 27, 2021Prince Williams, WireImage

Boosie BadAzz wants his Instagram account back, mane.

On Tuesday (July 27), the Baton Rouge, La. artist jumped on his Instagram account and called out Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram, who explained in an interview with Power 105's The Breakfast Club earlier this morning that Boosie’s page was removed last summer because of violations against the platform's nudity policy.

“How the hell my Instagram was took ’cause of nudity, it was took ’cause of fuckin’ racism, that’s why it was took,” Boosie asserts in a response video. The controversial rhymer claims the woman who posed nude with him in a photo last year had emojis covering her body parts. He also adds that the woman's IG page was restored three to four days later while his account has not been reinstated. "Tell Charlamagne tha God the truth," he adds. "Tell the truth. Tell the fuckin' truth."

In another video, Boosie pleads with Mosseri to restore his official Boosie Instagram page, which has millions of followers. His current IG, @boosienewig, has follower count of 1.2 million.

"Adam Mosseri can you give me my page back?" he asks. "Y'all gave her her page back, can you give me my page back? Before that my page was never taken away from me. You done gave everybody their page back, give me another chance. Give me my official Boosie page back with my 10.5 million followers so I can help feed my family some more."

Boosie continues, "Do y'all think about the hurt that y'all cause people's family when y'all take their page and you give somebody else their page back who don't have no followers back. You should give me my page back."

"The community wanna see me, mane," he concludes, adding, "Y'all want to see all of the people y'all love. The community wanna see, mane. Official Boosie, mane."

After posting videos on his IG account, Boosie went on his IG Story to share his thoughts on why he believes Mosseri allows Kim Kardashian and Ariana Grande to presumedly show nudity on their IG accounts.

Addressing DJ Envy, who asked Mosseri why Kim K. and Ariana allegedly gets away with nudity on their platforms, Boosie claims that the head of Instagram wants to sleep with them.

"DJ Envy you are right, he wouldn't do it to Kim K., he wouldn't do it to Ariana Grande, you want to know why," he states. "'Cause he has dreams of messing' with them. He got dreams of laying down with them, that's why."

"He has dreams of being sexually related to them," he further adds.

Finally, Boosie posted a video asking Charlamagne Tha God, DJ Envy and Angela Yee, the hosts of The Breakfast Club, to fly him to New York City so he can speak his piece about his ongoing Instagram situation and to promote his latest project, Goat Talk 3.

"My album just dropped, I need to talk about lot of shit, fly me in, mane," he tells. "They talkin' over me right now. I need that platform. Fly me in, nigga."

It looks like Boosie BadAzz's issues with Instagram are far from over. To be continued.

You can watch the full interview with Adam Mosseri on The Breakfast Club below.

See the Many Times Rappers’ Social Media Accounts Were SuspendedFiled Under: Boosie BadazzCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/xxlstaff/” rel=”author” title=”XXL Staff”>XXL StaffPublished: July 27, 2021Johnny Dang & Co. Media Team / Jacob & Co. / Jewelry Unlimited

All The Shine
Hip-hop's most in-demand jewelers tell the stories behind working with rap stars to create icy works of art that are completely unmatched.
Words: William Ketchum
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

Jewelry in hip-hop may not be as important as beats, rhymes and graffiti, but it can be just as powerful as a tool of self-expression. Whether it’s the huge gold ropes that Run-DMC wore in the 1980s, Ghostface Killah’s golden eagle bracelet from the 1990s or Gucci Mane’s Bart Simpson pendant in the 2000s, bling has always been a status symbol in hip-hop. Even before Cash Money Records popularized the term. Iced-out jewelry allows rappers to boast of their success, show off their personality, rep their crew or celebrate a monumental occasion. They also use their necklaces, bracelets, rings, grills and earrings to stunt on each other, add another forum for friendly competition or even show love to a comrade by getting a custom piece made as a gift.

For fans, seeing rappers’ jewelry brings back fond memories of the moments and personalities in hip-hop that make the genre special. Slick Rick’s extensive pile of gold ropes prompts nostalgia for hip-hop’s golden era. The esteemed Roc-A-Fella Records chain is still a point of pride for younger acts who are able to get their hands on one, even if the label disintegrated years ago. 50 Cent’s spinning G-Unit medallion flashes back to one of rap’s most dominant runs ever. Cam’ron’s battery-powered globe is as obsequious as his rap style, and Travis Scott’s Astroworld pendant matches the whimsical, expansive nature of his music.

Behind each memorable work of art is a jeweler willing to push the bounds of creativity, stone-setting and technology—all to make the world stop when their client walks into a room or posts on Instagram. XXL spoke to 10 of the most in-demand jewelers in the industry from companies including Jacob & Co., Johnny Dang & Co., Icebox, Jason of Beverly Hills, Pristine Jewelers, Avianne & Co. Jewelers, Jewelry Unlimited, Kilani Jewellery, Greg Yüna, and Johnny’s Custom Jewelry to get stories behind their hip-hop masterpieces.—William Ketchum

See 10 of Hip-Hop’s Most In-Demand JewelersWho’s your favorite hip-hop jeweler?

Check out more from XXL’s Summer 2021 issue including our Freshman Class cover interviews with 42 Dugg, Iann Dior, Coi Leray, Pooh Shiesty, Flo Milli, Morray, Rubi Rose, Blxst, Toosii, Lakeyah and DDG, producer Nick Mira's thoughts on producing the beats for the Freshman Class, an in-depth conversation with Ski Mask The Slump God about his comeback this year, Moneybagg Yo's candid discussion about his new music, family and indie label, a look at what the 2020 XXL Freshman Class has been up to since last year, Doin' Lines with Jack Harlow, Lil Tecca speaking on what to expect from his upcoming We Love You Tecca 2 album, music video director Cole Bennett gives an inside look at his Lyrical Lemonade empire, and more.

See the 2021 XXL Freshman ClassWelcome 42 DuggIann DiorCoi LerayPooh ShiestyFlo MilliMorrayRubi RoseBlxstToosiiLakeyah and DDG to the 2021 XXL Freshman Class.Filed Under: Biz Markie, Blueface, Bobby Shmurda, Boosie Badazz, Coi Leray, DaBaby, DJ Khaled, Drake, Fabolous, Feature, Galleries, Gallery, Gucci Mane, Gunna, Kodak Black, Lil Baby, SAINt JHN, The Notorious B.I.G., Travi$ Scott, XXL Magazine, Young ThugCategories: News, XXL Magazine


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/trentfitzgerald/” rel=”author” title=”Trent Fitzgerald”>Trent FitzgeraldPublished: July 27, 2021wakaflocka via TikTok

Waka Flocka Flame is now Waka Flocka Farmer.

On Monday (July 26), the Atlanta rhymer shared two clips on his TikTok account of his beginning stages of becoming a farmer.

In the first video, Waka displays bundles of hay with which he feeds to his cows. He also shows himself leaving the Home Depot after a successful shopping trip. Finally, Waka looks into the camera and says, “I told myself I’mma learn how to farm, bruh.” He captioned the video, “Just a good o day,” adding an upside-down smiling emoji.

@wakaflockaJust a good o day ##wakaflockaflame♬ original sound – Waka Flocka

In the second clip, we actually see Waka Flocka getting dirty on his farm. The former Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta star, dressed in black overalls, is working on what appears to be his property as he revs up the lawnmower to cut the grass. He also breaks out the weed whacker to tackle those pesky weeds. Finally, Waka breaks up the soil with a hoe before he starts planting seeds for his tomato garden.

@wakaflocka
Man nature so beautiful ##eachoneteachone i’ll takeoff what y’all call celebrity life… Materials and everything that I got to show y’all
♬ original sound – Waka Flocka

"Man nature so beautiful,” he wrote in the caption, including the hashtag #eachoneteachone. “I’ll takeoff what y’all call celebrity life… Materials and everything that I got to show y’all."

We are not sure if Waka is leaving the rap community for the farming life, but it looks as if the Brick Squad leader has found himself a new hobby.

As far as music, it's been nine years and counting since Waka dropped a full-length studio album. His last project was Fans, Friends & Family in 2012. However, the rapper delivered his Salute Me or Shoot Me 7 mixtape last May.

Nevertheless, it's good to see Waka Flocka Flame getting in touch with nature.

See What the 2020 XXL Freshman Class Has Been Up ToWhich 2020 XXL Freshman is your favorite?Filed Under: Waka Flocka FlameCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: July 27, 2021Young Nudy LLC / Galactic Records/Republic Records / Atlantic

This summer is flying by. With August basically closing things out, there's still more fire coming to get us through the heat wave.

Lil Tecca returns with the sequel to his debut mixtape in the form of his sophomore album, We Love You Tecca 2. The LP is set to drop on Aug. 6, and will feature guest appearances from Lil Yachty, Gunna and more. Tecca is coming off a four-times platinum single in his breakout song, "Ransom," and the success of his 2020 debut album, Virgo World, which peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 chart. The 18-year-old rhymer took a different approach with his third official release, which is spearheaded by the single "Money on Me." "I would say [We Love You Tecca 2] is different from both of them," Tecca recently told XXL. "Not music-wise. I’m not making no crazy country music or something, but I would say the process was different. Just the energy was different. It feels really natural. It feels really concentrated and focused. It’s definitely a vision. We’re not just lost in the sauce. There’s a vision."

East Atlanta's own Young Nudy is already doubling up in 2021. Following the release of his May mixtape DR. EV4L, which features appearances from 21 Savage, G Herbo and more, Nudy is dropping his latest project, Rich Shooter, on Aug. 4. Two days after the album release, Nudy will be embarking on the 10-city DR. EV4L vs Rich Shooter Tour, hitting up locations such as Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia and Boston.

Shoreline Mafia's OhGeesy will step out of the shadow of the disband group to release his solo album, Geezyworld, at the end of the month. The Los Angeles rapper's debut LP is set to come out on Aug. 27. The 11-track release will feature DaBaby, YG and others, and contains the latest single "Secret Service."

Check out other projects from $uicideBoy$, Homeboy Sandman and more dropping in August below.

See August 2021 New Music ReleasesNew music dropping this month.Filed Under: Aurora Anthony, Blu, boldy james, dame dolla, Galleries, Gallery, Homeboy Sandman, Lil Tecca, Mickey Factz, Nottz, OhGeesy, Pink Siifu, suicideboys, The Alchemist, Young NudyCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: July 27, 2021Bryan Steffy, Getty Images for Drai’s Nightclub

Rick Ross might be the biggest boss who owns a fleet of luxurious cars, but he recently admitted some news that might shock his fans about his driver's license.

In a video that began circulating online on Tuesday (July 27), Rozay reveals that he's in the process of getting his license to push his many whips.

"You own 100 cars and don't have a driver's license," he shares. "But more importantly, I'm filling everything for my driver's license and they ask me, 'Are you an organ donor?' And you know what I said? 'Damn.' If something was to happen to me and they looked inside of me and saw how good my heart was."

Ross adds: "Don't let me die just to take my good heart."

Earlier this month, Rick Ross teased his car collection, showing off his old school vehicles, also informing fans that he owns the whips and that they aren't "loaners."

Last December, the Maybach Music Group CEO made an appearance on the I Am Athlete podcast and revealed that he has 100 cars. However, he also explained being able to afford such a hefty car collection.

"It's people that question me every day," the Miami native said at the time."'Rozay you got 100 cars?' Yeah I do. And I got 400 acres, yeah I do. But guess what? Somebody just paid me $20,000 to put five of the cars in the front of something just to take some pictures for two hours."

Ross has made it known that he flosses and lives a luxurious lifestyle, but he has a frugal side as well. For example, the millionaire mows his own 200-plus acre lawn to save money. Yes, that's correct. The celebrity face of Wingstop bought his own John Deer tractor to get the job done.

Maybe Rick Ross should launch a financial education course of some sort to help put others up on game.

See 10 Rappers’ Purchases That Broke the Bank

Filed Under: Rick RossCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: July 26, 2021Rich Fury, Getty Images

DaBaby is in even more hot water after making an attempt at damage control to clarify the homophobic statements he made during his 2021 Rolling Loud performance in Miami over the weekend.

After trending on Twitter for several hours on Monday (July 26), DaBaby hopped on his Instagram Story to offer some clarity pertaining to the comments he made onstage during his festival set last night (July 25) in Miami in reference to individuals with HIV, AIDs, other sexually transmitted diseases, gay men and more.

"’Cause regardless of what you muthafuckas talking about, how the internet done twisted up my muthafuckin' words, me and all my fans at the show, the gay ones and the straight ones, we turned the fuck up," Baby said in the multi-video explanation. "I'm talking ’bout my boy that was at the front of the stage, left, over there by where I jumped at. Ask ’em. He got clips all on his shit. The whole night, he was recording. We was turnt the whole night. My boy had the crop top on, front row. He out there in that jungle, in that water. Yeah, he out there. He standing on the rail, goddamn cuttin’ up. Word…I saw him. I'm rapping the bitches with him. Yeah, the hell y'all talking ’bout. Shut the fuck up."

He continued: "You niggas that wasn't at the show, the show was for niggas that paid money and took the time out they life to come enjoy the show. Not you muthafuckas watching it on the internet, at the crib. No niggas, get your tickets and come fuck with the live show killer."

DaBaby then addressed the comments he made about individuals with AIDs and homosexual men at the live show.

"I said if you don't got AIDs, put a cell phone light up," he reiterated. "I said if you ain't suckin' dick in the parking lot, put your cell phone lights up. So I can drop my next song. I wasn't going on no rant. That's called a call to action. That's what that's called ’cause I'm a live performer, I'm the best live performer. I'm the live show killer. You interact with your fans, you get what I'm saying? Look, all the lights went up, gay, straight. You wanna know why? ’Cause even my gay fans don't got fuckin' AIDs, stupid ass niggas."

Baby continued: "They don't got AIDs. My gay fans, they take care of they self. They ain't going for that. They ain't no nasty gay niggas, you know what I'm saying? They ain't no junkies, you know what I'm saying? On the street. The hell you talking ’bout, nigga? Then I said, if ain't suck dick in the Rolling Loud parking lot, put your cell phone light up. You know what my gay fans did? Put that muthafuckin' light up, nigga. ’Cause my gay fans, they ain't going for that. They got class, nigga. They ain't suckin' no dick in no parking lot. Nigga, you gotta get a room, nigga. A good one. Five star hotel for them nights or goddamn… Yeah, you gotta wait ’til niggas go to the crib."

In a separate IG Story, the "Ball If I Want To" rapper said, "If they a fan a me, they on some big dog. We ain't just going for nothing. Even my gay fans got standards. Y'all niggas trippin'. Y'all bringing negative attention and energy upon y'all selves and the ones that's doing it, is people who didn't even attend the show."

As previously reported, towards the end of DaBaby's RL set, he told the audience: "If you didn't show up today with HIV, AIDs, any of them deadly sexual transmitted diseases that'll make you die in two to three weeks, put your cell phone light in the air. Ladies, if your pussy smells like water, put a cell phone light in the air. Fellas, if you ain't suckin' dick in the parking lot, put your cell phone lights in the air."

The rapper, who was defended by T.I. via Instagram earlier today, has since been trending on Twitter. This incident comes hours after video began circulating online of DaBaby ducking a shoe being thrown at him while performing during the annual festival.

Check out DaBaby explaining his remarks from his Rolling Loud set below.

Take a look below to find reactions to DaBaby's homophobic comments.

These Tone-Deaf Hip-Hop Moments Prove Rappers Can Get Hit With Serious BacklashFiled Under: DaBabyCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: July 26, 2021Raymond Hall, GC Images / Prince Williams, Wireimage / Bennett Raglin, Getty Images for BET

T.I. is catching heat online after defending homophobic comments DaBaby made during Baby's Rolling Loud Festival set in Miami Sunday night (July 25), while also comparing the Charlotte, N.C. rapper's remarks to Lil Nas X's unapologetic music videos and performances.

Earlier this afternoon (July 26), Tip opined on a clip from DaBaby's performance last night, which The Shade Room shared on their Instagram page.

"If Lil Nas X can kick his shit in peace… so should dababy," he said, including an emoji of a man shrugging his shoulders. T.I. closed out the comment with the hashtag #equality.

Tip quickly caught flak via social media for his stance on DaBaby's homophobic rhetoric, which was said during the same performance where Baby was seen dodging a shoe that was thrown at him onstage.

One person said: "Y’all confusing freedom of speech with respect. Just because you have a right to say something doesn’t mean you should. Have some respect for people and speak positivity not negativity. Plain and simple."

kballa07 via Instagram

Another wrote, "Its literally not the same, one is bein their unapologetic self and not harmin no one in the process and the other is spewin hate. this comparison yall keep on tryin to make between the two artist is not the drag yall think it is."

_slimeyc via Instagram

T.I. hopped on Instagram Live hours later to expound on his IG comment.

"Ain't nothing in the world gon' make me hate nobody just because they do something different in the bedroom than I do," Tip began. "Ain't none of my business. Ain't none of my business. Zero. I don't give a damn what you're doing."

The rapper-reality TV star went on to say: "I got a lot of respect for muthafuckas like Lil Nas X and muthafuckas like Frank Ocean. Muthafuckas who step out there and live their truth. Honest with themselves. You dig? A lot of you muthafuckas out there hiding your truth."

In a separate portion of the livestream, T.I. speaks on homophobia, denouncing that he categorizes himself as such.

"You can't make nobody homophobic," he tells. "Just because I am proud of what I am don't make me hate what you are, period. Ain't no way to tangle or twist that. Ain't no hate. Ain't no hate in that, bruh."

He then compares Lil Nas X's prior videos and award show performances to Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's headline-making video for their joint track "WAP."

"For instance, the Lil Nas X shit, the performances and videos," he explains. "Man, I got a lot of respect for bruh because like I said, he had the courage to live his truth, but that shit ain't for me. It just ain't for me. I ain't got no business looking at it… And I don't want my children seeing it either because their minds haven't developed to a place where they can wraps their minds around those types of experiences and those types of visual presentations. And know how to sort it out within their perception. You dig?."

Tip adds: "And I actually feel the same way about the 'WAP' video. I actually enjoy the 'WAP' video a little bit better, but I still feel the same way. It's the same the same thing. But if you gon' have the 'WAP' video, you gon' damn sure have the Lil Nas X video. And if you gon' have the Lil Nas X video and him living his truth, you gon' damn sure have people like DaBaby who gon' speak they truth and it ain't none wrong with none of it."

As for DaBaby's controversial remarks, the rhymer said while on Rolling Loud's main stage last night: "If you didn't show up today with HIV, AIDs, any of them deadly sexual transmitted diseases that'll make you die in two to three weeks, put your cell phone light in the air. Ladies, if your pussy smells like water, put a cell phone light in the air. Fellas, if you ain't suckin' dick in the parking lot, put your cell phone lights in the air."

Lil Nas X has sparked many conversations stemming from his music videos. Back in April, the openly gay rapper received disapproving remarks from many, including members of the hip-hop community such as Joyner Lucas and Sada Baby, regarding his "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" video, which contains homoerotic undertones and shows Nas X giving Satan a lap.

Nas X's 2021 BET Awards performance was also a trending topic as he closed out his show exchanging a kiss with one of his male backup dancers.

In Lil Nas X's latest visual, "Industry Baby" featuring Jack Harlow, he takes a similar approach in the risqué video, displaying nude men in the prison-themed clip. Nas X responded to comments over the weekend, which accused him of failing to fight for gay rights, but instead claimed that he's "marketing the sexual irresponsibility that's causing young men to die from AIDS."

Nas X said: "Y’all be silent as hell when niggas dedicate their entire music catalogue to rapping about sleeping with multiple women. but when i do anything remotely sexual i’m 'being sexually irresponsible' & 'causing more men to die from aids' y’all hate gay ppl and don’t hide it."

While there have been endless conversations surrounding homophobia and homosexuality in hip-hop, tons of folks online feel that T.I. defending DaBaby and comparing Baby's comments to Lil Nas X's music videos and award show performances is off-base and that the two topics have no correlation.

See more reactions to Tip's comments below.

See Reactions to T.I. Defending DaBaby’s Homophobic CommentsFiled Under: DaBaby, Lil Nas X, T.I.Categories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/georgettetheboombox-com/” rel=”author” title=”Georgette Cline”>Georgette ClinePublished: July 26, 2021James Baxter

The Bigger Picture
Cole Bennett has become the foremost music video director for a new generation of rap stars, all while the game’s lauded vets hit his line. As his Lyrical Lemonade empire flourishes, the pursuit of happiness reigns supreme.
Words: Georgette Cline
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

Cole Bennett can finally say he made it, and a tweet from Kid Cudi at 2 a.m. set it off. Nearly 10 years after Bennett launched his Lyrical Lemonade multimedia company in 2013, the lauded music video director’s dream came true when Cudi requested that Bennett direct a video for him. All through the late night on a Monday in March, manifestation was happening right before Bennett’s eyes.

In 2018, he tweeted, “Kid cudi is my favorite artist of all time.” A seventh grade Bennett “fell in love with” the Ohio-bred rapper’s 2008 mixtape, A Kid Named Cudi. Then, at the end of 2020, Bennett wrote on Twitter, “The day I work with cudi will be the day I will be able to truly say I made it.” Over the years, Bennett tried contacting the Ohio-bred rapper and even tweeted him directly to no avail. Finally, words became reality when Cudi sent the tweet five months ago that would ultimately kick off a working relationship with Bennett to create a visual for “Tequila Shots,” featured on Cudi’s 2020 album, Man on the Moon III: The Chosen.

“I didn’t even go to bed that night,” Bennett, 25, recalls of the moment he saw Cudi’s message, as he sits inside his Chicago headquarters via Zoom. “And I was just so excited and to be working on something off of a Man on the Moon III, which, you know, Man on the Moon I and II, like such big parts of my life… And it does make me realize manifestation is a very real thing and the world works in wonderful ways when you just speak it into existence.”

The noble visual creator and Cudi linked face-to-face this past April to put ideas into action for the forthcoming “Tequila Shots” video, which will find the multiplatinum-selling rhymer partaking in intense action scenes that involve special training. The moment is a career-defining milestone for Cole Bennett, who has become the foremost music video director for both a new generation of rap stars including the late Juice Wrld, Polo G, Lil Tecca, Ski Mask The Slump God, Cordae and NLE Choppa, among others, and established hip-hop veterans like Eminem. Think zany special effects, a by-any-means-necessary filming style, playful animation and storylines that are nostalgic, comical or mind-blowing depending on the artist. A self-proclaimed “big kid at heart,” that energy permeates Bennett’s work.

Cole Bennett’s growing Lyrical Lemonade empire houses a well-respected YouTube channel with around 18 million subscribers and almost 400 videos, ranging from rappers’ official music videos to interviews with rising artists and yearly reels flexing Bennett’s directorial chops. It’s become the go-to spot for new music discovery. A media outlet, merch, live events business that includes the Summer Smash festival, fulfillment company, a lemonade beverage, his Chicago H.Q. nicknamed “The Space,” partnerships with Jordan Brand and a trademarked animated figure called Lenny have also attributed to Bennett’s company’s accomplishments up until this point. The sweet taste of success all started with a love for hip-hop and a blog.

After being introduced to 50 Cent and his music by one of Bennett’s older sisters, a 7-year-old Bennett convinced his mother to take him to the store to buy him the rapper’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ album. She raised three children as a single mom once his father died by suicide when he was 2. “I think that’s where my work ethic comes from,” expresses the Plano, Ill. native, who cites Rick Rubin as a mentor and regularly feels inspired by their meetings. “I got to see my mom work literally three jobs.”

As the years progressed, Bennett became a huge fan of Lil Wayne. Then he got put on to Gucci Mane, Shawty Lo, Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, Kid Cudi and Chance The Rapper, the latter of which led Bennett into discovering more artists in the Chicago rap scene and “getting to where I’m at now” with his passion for video.

“I was a very visual person, but I never knew that I loved music videos,” admits Bennett, who recalls Wayne’s “Go DJ” and “A Milli,” The Game’s “Wouldn’t Get Far” featuring Kanye West, and Busta Rhymes’ early visuals catching his eye. “I always had this idea since I was super young of what it would look like if I made a music video. I was 8, and was like, if I did a music video, it looked like this and it would be like a Nike Air Force One… It would be on a white backdrop and like the Nike sign would just, the color of it would change with the beat.” Bennett’s “just do it” attitude toward creative ideas has trailed him throughout his life.

Kevin Maya

A high school multimedia class during his sophomore year sparked Cole Bennett’s video directing flame. At the time, he was in tune with the underground Chicago rap scene after listening to Chance, Vic Mensa and Alex Wiley, and wanted to start making videos for artists. He encouraged his friends to make music so that he could practice creating accompanying visuals. A year later, as a high school junior, Bennett launched the Lyrical Lemonade blog to showcase his love for Chi-Town hip-hop. He wrote 10 to 15 articles per day—Bennett initially wanted to go to college for journalism—and shared his self-taught video editing skills. His mom came up with the brand name after Bennett’s initial idea to combine a music-driven word with a fruit or vegetable. The first video on the Lyrical Lemonade YouTube channel—after Bennett deleted the first five—is Bnova’s “Call of the Wild,” which Bennett crafted by using shots of nature, fireworks, the city of Chicago’s famed skyline and insects that pulse on screen to the producer’s beat.

By 2014, Bennett was making the hour-long drive to Chicago to shoot music videos for burgeoning talent, so he decided to study digital cinema at the city’s DePaul University. Early on, Bennett filmed clips for artists who paid him $20 and did interviews for Lyrical Lemonade in his dorm room between classes. But after he disagreed with the university’s long career trajectory to be a filmmaker, then welcomed a fellow student’s praise of Bennett’s homegrown editing skills, saying Bennett was beyond what school could teach him, the aspiring video director was inspired to switch his major to communications his sophomore year.

Bennett’s first big break as a music video director came in 2016, when he filmed Chi-Town rapper Famous Dex’s “Hit ’Em Wit It” video. Shot in the basement of Dex’s Inglewood home, the final visual features Bennett’s colorful animation outlining Dex’s face and body movements as the artist and his friends dance around the crib and flash lots of cash. “Without Dex, I really don’t know where I would be,” Bennett admits. “He really helped allow people to see my vision and we got to make something beautiful together.” The Lyrical Lemonade channel had roughly 120 videos before “Hit ’Em Wit It,” now at over 20 million YouTube views, took off on the internet.

“He a smart guy, he has a great and cool vision and I love him and that’s my brother,” Dex says of the friendship. “Cole’s the best. That’s why we work good together.”

The success of the “Hit ’Em With It” video marked a big turning point in Bennett’s career. Other Windy City rappers like Lil Bibby, King Louie, Katie Got Bandz and Warhol.ss started hitting up Cole to collaborate. Smokepurpp and Xavier Wulf hit his line, too. Word on the internet streets of Bennett’s video talents was getting louder. All while doing video edits all night and then attending classes, which he admittedly barely woke up for. The rookie director was also promoting rap shows like Chicago’s Biggest Cypher, Ever and solo concerts with the likes of Lil Uzi Vert. Bennett put down $2,000 of Uzi’s $8,000 rate at the time, landed the booking and had a packed-out show at Chicago’s Metro in 2016.

At that point, Bennett had to choose: college or Lyrical Lemonade. He wrote out a short list of goals for Lyrical Lemonade, achieved them and dropped out of DePaul University in 2016. “I accomplished all of them and I just never looked back since.” A wise choice considering he’s racked up more than 7 billion video views total and received several BET Awards nominations so far. Though there are downsides to the job. Bennett once spent 200 hours editing a Migos video that never saw the light of day.

One good thing to come of Bennett’s college experience is meeting Sal Tarantino, Lyrical Lemonade’s executive producer. The 25-year-old Waukesha, Wisc. native was Bennett’s roommate at DePaul, where Tarantino studied finance and real estate. When Bennett’s Lyrical Lemonade email inbox started to get too overwhelming, he enlisted Tarantino for help, and the rest is history. Tarantino is currently one of 12 employees at Lyrical Lemonade and known Bennett for six years. He takes on any job necessary at the company: administrative work, booking video shoots, creating invoices, coordinating teams and devising budgets.

Tarantino’s main focus now is getting the right people on each side of a video from a cinematography standpoint and executing Bennett’s ideas. Having an animal wrangler monitor an ostrich on set for Ski Mask’s “Faucet Failure” video, finding a grave digger for Gnar’s “Death Note” featuring Lil Skies and Craig Xen, and navigating a swamp for Juice Wrld’s “Bandit” featuring YoungBoy Never Broke Again, each released in 2019, are all part of Tarantino’s producing duties.

Think of Tarantino, a former accounts payable/receivable clerk at a senior living facility, as the Lyrical Lemonade steward, a servant to the crew so that they can showcase their talent to the best of their abilities. “The most powerful thing that Cole brings to the table is coming together with the artist and making a moment,” affirms Tarantino, who calls the director a “charismatic, passionate leader.” “We’re always just trying to make it happen, any means necessary. Producing is a solution-based position.”

“None of us are experts at what we do,” Bennett adds. “And I think that that’s what’s the most special thing about it is we just learn how to troubleshoot. We learn how to figure it out.” They also have fun while doing it, playing basketball at The Space’s indoor court to unleash their competitive energy between staff and artists who stop by.

With hundreds of music videos in the can since Bennett started directing full time five years ago, picking a standout is never easy. Ski Mask’s spur-of-the-moment Times Square jaunt for “Catch Me Outside” in 2017, with over 134 million YouTube views— “I remember feeling so accomplished and impressed with myself”—Juice’s European performance trek for “Armed & Dangerous” in 2018, with over 210 million views— “We’re out of the country and Juice is becoming this superstar out of nowhere”—and Eminem’s trippy department store visit for “Godzilla” featuring Juice in 2020, with over 378 million views— “When I wrote the treatment, it was eight pages and it was all writing, there was no reference images”—are among Bennett’s beloved creations for different reasons. “My creative expression is very important to me,” he maintains. “It’s what keeps me happy, motivated and inspired.”

Bennett, who also directed Eminem’s “Gnat” visual last year, refuses to relinquish creative control of Lyrical Lemonade despite two $30 million-plus offers in different areas thrown his way in the last few years. “A lot of people find it hard to believe that I’ve never seen a million dollars in my bank account,” says the visionary, who rocks Birkenstocks on the regular and packs SpaghettiOs when traveling for his next video shoot. “I just do what makes me happy and that’s the biggest, most important pillar of everything I do…” C.R.E.A.M. isn’t a way of life in his world.

As he looks ahead at what’s next for the Lyrical Lemonade brand, the lemons are being squeezed back into the empire. There’s the third annual Summer Festival in Chicago with headliners A$AP Rocky, Lil Baby and Lil Uzi Vert this August; a book, to be released via Penguin Random House next year, that Bennett is writing about his creative journey in hopes to change people’s lives the same way others have done for him; the Lyrical Lemonade beverage being sold in 7-11 convenience stores, and new videos, of course. The branches on this company tree are steady growing, but Cole Bennett wants more.

“I’m aware of the impact Lyrical Lemonade has, and I’m aware of the eyes that it has on it, and I’m very thankful for that,” he asserts. “But, I think there’s always so much room to grow in every area.”

Let the creative juices flow.

Kevin Maya

Check out more from XXL’s Summer 2021 issue including our Freshman Class cover interviews with 42 Dugg, Iann Dior, Coi Leray, Pooh Shiesty, Flo Milli, Morray, Rubi Rose, Blxst, Toosii, Lakeyah and DDG, producer Nick Mira's thoughts on producing the beats for the Freshman Class, an in-depth conversation with Ski Mask The Slump God about his comeback this year, Moneybagg Yo's candid discussion about his new music, family and indie label, a look at what the 2020 XXL Freshman Class has been up to since last year, Doin' Lines with Jack Harlow, Lil Tecca speaking on what to expect from his upcoming We Love You Tecca 2 album, and more.

See the 2021 XXL Freshman ClassWelcome 42 DuggIann DiorCoi LerayPooh ShiestyFlo MilliMorrayRubi RoseBlxstToosiiLakeyah and DDG to the 2021 XXL Freshman Class.Filed Under: Cole Bennett, Feature, XXL MagazineCategories: News, XXL Magazine


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/kemethigh/” rel=”author” title=”Kemet High”>Kemet HighPublished: July 26, 2021Vicky Grout / @vickygrout

Pop Smoke was emerging as a superstar when his life was cut short on Feb. 19, 2020. Though it was early in the game for him, the Brooklyn rapper left an imprint beyond his husky voice. The inviting yet combative energy he showcased on the mic in addition to tracks like “Welcome to the Party” and “Dior” helped throw drill music into the mainstream realm.

His first recorded smash, “MPR,” featuring Pop rapping about slinging iron over production crammed with booming 808s, was his bread and butter. Pop's debut mixtape, Meet the Woo, delivered in 2019, proved just how effective that formula was, housing other fan favorites like “PTSD” and “Hawk Em.” The project’s sequel arrived in 2020, and was an extension of that. Meet the Woo 2 also came at a time when Pop was beginning to collaborate with more of his peers.

Lil Tjay was one person he locked in with early on, delivering tracks like “Mood Swings,” featured on Pop's 2019 posthumous debut album, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon. Fivio Foreign also made a guest appearance on “Sweetheart” from the same tape. And most notably, Migos’ hook master Quavo came through for “Shake The Room.” Each of those artists reflected the natural chemistry Pop shared with other acts.

The Woo limb also had an affinity for R&B music. Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon drives home that fact with slow-burning samples like Ginuwine's "Differences" on the track “What You Know Bout Love.” Upholding that energy, on the most recent 2021 release of Pop's posthumous sophomore album, Faith, Ne-Yo’s “So Sick” was flipped for “Woo Baby” with Chris Brown.

Despite the fact that Pop Smoke was only here to enjoy the fruits of half of his full efforts, there’s plenty of quality sounds that were put forth via himself and Steven Victor, the head of Victor Victor Worldwide, the record label Pop was signed to along with Republic Records. Victor helped take what little vocals were left from Pop after his passing and turned them into hits. As the world continues to both mourn and celebrate the legacy of Pop Smoke’s short-lived career, XXL highlights the best songs in his catalog.

Check out Pop Smoke's most essential songs you need to hear below and remember, the smoke will never clear.

  • “Welcome to the Party”Pop Smoke
  • “Christopher Walking”Pop Smoke
  • “Dior”Pop Smoke
  • “What You Know Bout Love”Pop Smoke
  • “The Woo”Pop Smoke Featuring Roddy Ricch and 50 Cent
  • “MPR”Pop Smoke
  • “Diana (Remix)”Pop Smoke Featuring Calboy and King Combs
  • “For The Night”Pop Smoke Featuring Lil Baby and DaBaby
  • “Mood Swings”Pop Smoke Featuring Lil Tjay
  • “Hello”Pop Smoke Featuring A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie
  • “Invincible”Pop Smoke
  • “44 BullDog”Pop Smoke
  • “Woo Baby”Pop Smoke Featuring Chris Brown
  • “Element”Pop Smoke
  • “Snitching”Pop Smoke Featuring Quavo and Future
  • “Sweetheart”Pop Smoke Featuring Fivio Foreign
  • “Armed N Dangerous”Pop Smoke
  • “Shake The Room”Pop Smoke Featuring Quavo
  • “Like Me”Pop Smoke Featuring PnB Rock
  • “Something Special”Pop Smoke
  • “Wolves”Pop Smoke Featuring NAV
  • “Mr. Jones”Pop Smoke Featuring Future
  • “PTSD”Pop Smoke
  • “Yea Yea”Pop Smoke
  • “Bout A Million”Pop Smoke Featuring 21 Savage and 42 Dugg
  • “Make It Rain”Pop Smoke Featuring Rowdy Rebel
  • “Brush Em”Pop Smoke Featuring Rah Swish
  • “Genius”Pop Smoke Featuring Lil TJay and Swae Lee
  • “AP”Pop Smoke
  • “Hawk Em”Pop Smoke
  • “Flexing”Pop Smoke
  • “Get Back”Pop Smoke
  • “Got It On Me”Pop Smoke

See Rappers We Lost in 2020R.I.P. to Pop Smoke, King Von and more.Filed Under: Feature, Pop Smoke, The ListCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/awoods/” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: July 26, 2021Gloh Clips via YouTube

Even after DaBaby had a nearly hour-long set at the 2021 Rolling Loud festival in Miami this past weekend, that didn't stop his reflexes from kicking into gear and saving him from getting hit by an inanimate object that was thrown at him on stage towards the end of his performance.

On Sunday night (July 25), while the North Carolina rapper was making his way towards the end of his show on Rolling Loud's Ciroc stage, someone from the crowd threw a sneaker at him, missing his head by a mere few inches. Thankfully, DaBaby ducked swiftly and wasn't harmed.

"Who the fuck threw that muthafuckin' busted-ass, gotdamn Adida?" he inquired. Then, pointing at a person in the crowd who can't be seen, Baby continued the questions. "That's you?" he asked. "You the leader of the mosh pit? Then open that bitch up, nigga. ’Fore I come out there and do a front flip on y'all muthafuckin' ass. Open that bitch up."

"And don't throw no more busted-ass shoes," the former 2019 XXL Freshman added.

A number of people on social media reacted to Baby almost getting clocked by the randomly thrown Adidas sneaker.

One person wrote, "Whoever threw that shoe at dababy, you are doing the Lords work. Clapping hands sign."

Another user typed, "Nah fuck who through the shoe but the fact Dababy dodged the shoe,saw what name brand it was and tell it was beat up is fucking  crazy."

Shortly after, DaBaby performed his Billboard-charting, Grammy Award-nominated song, "Rockstar" featuring Roddy Ricch. Roddy didn't make a guest appearance during Baby's set, but that's presumably because the Compton native had a performance of his own on that exact stage the night before (July 24).

See more reactions to DaBaby expeditiously dodging a shoe that was thrown at him while on the Rolling Loud Miami stage this weekend.

Take a look below to see DaBaby's full Rolling Loud Miami set. Baby ducking the shoe happens around the 41:03-mark.

See the Many Times Rappers' Social Media Accounts Were Suspended

Filed Under: DaBabyCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: July 25, 2021Branndannart

Pop Smoke has scored back-to-back No. 1 albums.

On Sunday (July 25), Billboard unveiled the top 10 of their Billboard 200 chart and Pop's sophomore album, Faith, is leading the pack, dethroning Olvia Rogrigo's Sour LP, which had spent four non-consecutive weeks at No. 1. The second posthumous album from the late rapper was able to push 88,000 equivalent album sales. The total includes 4,000 traditional album sales. Pop now has two albums in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart.

Not much was known about Faith up until a few days before it was released. The project was star-studded featuring guest appearances from Kanye West, Pusha-T, Rick Ross, 21 Savage, Future, Chris Brown, Pharrell, Kid Cudi and more, and was spearheaded by the single, "Demeanor" featuring Dia Lupa.

Pop's new album dropped a year after his debut album Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon. Despite the No. 1 ranking, there is a significant drop-off in sales from album one to album two. Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon moved 251,000 units in its first week.

The achievement is bitter sweet, as Pop hasn't gotten to see the fruits of his labor. The Brooklyn drill rapper was shot and killed on Feb. 19, 2020 during an apparent home invasion at a residence he was renting in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. Five people have been arrested for the killing including two minors.

Victor Victor / Republic

Other hip-hop artists in the top 10 of this week's Billboard 200 chart include Doja Cat (Planet Her, No. 4), Lil Baby and Lil Durk (Voice of the Heroes, No. 6), Polo G (Hall of Fame) and Pop Smoke (Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, No. 9).

RCA RecordsQuality Control Music / Alamo Records / Motown RecordsColumbiaVictor Victor WorldwideSee Best Hip-Hop Projects of 2021 So FarWhat’s your favorite hip-hop project of 2021 so far?Filed Under: Pop SmokeCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: July 25, 2021Mark Boland, Getty Images

Kanye West pulled a Kanye and didn't release his new Donda album on the release date of July 23. But it appears 'Ye is working on getting the LP done by any means.

Last night (July 24), TMZ reported the Yeezy has taken up temporary residence at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, the location of his huge album listening event that took place last Friday, in order to complete the album. Sources tell the celebrity news site that Kanye has created a studio space somewhere in the 71,000-person capacity venue. He has also reportedly made a living quarters and even has a chef on hand to prepare his meals. A source says Kanye was so exhilarated by the listening event crowd he wanted to stay in ATL and finish things up.

Kanye was supposed to performing at the 2021 Rolling Loud Miami Festival over the weekend but reportedly canceled his show to use the time to work on his album. Yesterday afternoon, Kanye posted video from the stands during an Atlanta United soccer game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 'Ye apparently took in the match amongst the crowd and still had on the outfit (and mask) he was rocking at the listening event.

As for the album's new release date, word is it may be dropping early next month. West associate and media personality Justin LaBoy recently reported Aug. 6 as the targeted date. "KANYE WEST WILL MOVE THE RELEASE DATE OF DONDA TO AUGUST 6TH," Laboy tweeted. "THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCE ❤️ HE WANTS TO GIVE HIS FANS THE BEST POSSIBLE PRODUCT WITHOUT RUSHING ANYTHING. HE LOVES YALL WITH ALL OF HIS HEART. GOD BLESS 🙏🏾 #DONDA #RESPECTFULLY."

The new album is expected to feature Pusha-T, Travis Scott, Lil Baby and more, as well as a reunion track with Jay-Z.

See 15 Rappers With the Best Gimmicks of All TimeFiled Under: Kanye WestCategories: News