href=”//” rel=”author” title=”XXL Staff”>XXL StaffPublished: May 3, 2021Kevin Winter, Getty Images for The Recording Academy / Ahmed Klink for XXL

What happens when you combine the forces of the hit-making, social media dynamo that is DJ Khaled with Lil Baby, one of the hottest rappers in the game right now? A legendary interview for Khaled's special XXL magazine digital cover to celebrate his new album.

A day (May 1) after the release of his 12th studio album, Khaled Khaled, last Friday (April 30), the multiplatinum-selling, No. 1 album-charting catchphrase king sat down in his Miami mansion for an interview with Lil Baby, who spoke to Khaled from his ride via Zoom to ask him all about the making of his new 14-track LP.

When the famed DJ dropped the tracklist last week, just a few days before the album was released, fans were eager to see a song that featured both Jay-Z and Nas. "Sorry Not Sorry," also featuring singer James Faunteleroy and Harmonies by The Hive (hi, Beyoncé), brings together two acclaimed rap greats who have a storied history with each other that includes major beef in the 1990s, and then squashing it several years later. Rare as it is to hear Hov and Nas collaborating, they did so on the 2006 track "Black Republican," which appears on the Queens rapper's Hip Hop Is Dead album.

"Well, first of all, it’s been a dream of mine to hear them brothers work together, nah I’m sayin’?" Khaled tells Lil Baby." Even when they were going through their situation. They’re my two favorite MCs. Even when they moved forward in life, you know, away from that situation, it still was a dream of mine to put that record ['Sorry Not Sorry'] together."

A few years ago, DJ Khaled was at a dinner with some of the music industry's most prolific artists when he had the vision to put Hov and God's Son on a track together. "And, you know, Jay’s my brother, Nas is my brother and it took me about, it was one day I was a restaurant with me, Nas, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Puff Daddy, um, Pharrell and so many other people who was all eating dinner and I remember them just talking and I was sitting beside them and they were like brothers laughing," Khaled reveals. "I’m like, yo, these are my, man, this is, I can’t believe this, you nah I’m sayin’? And these are my brothers. So, I said, you know what, I can make this happen because they know my heart is pure, they know my soul is clean and my heart is clean and they know my face is clean and they know the kind of person I am."

Khaled didn't bombard Jay and Nas with the request to get on one of his tracks right away. The timing had to be right. "So, but from that day, it took me about a few years, a few years later to build the courage to actually ask, you nah I’m sayin’?" Khaled shares. "Even though I felt it… This was the right time. This is a special album for me, you know, called Khaled Khaled, and, um, to put Jay-Z and Nas on a record together. Not even just that, to shoot the video, nah I’m sayin’? They don’t even shoot videos for themselves. So to shoot the video and this is my gift to the world and also a gift to me, but this was definitely for the culture on the highest level, you nah I mean?"

Overall, Khaled just wants to inspire with "Sorry Not Sorry." "And I wanted to inspire the youth dem, you nah I mean, if you ever be beefing with somebody, man, if you could fix it, it’s always great, you nah I mean?" he says.

Elsewhere in the interview, Lil Baby asks DJ Khaled which artists he still wants to work with, though he's already locked in with plenty of hip-hop all stars during his career. Baby himself appears on three songs on the Khaled Khaled album: “Every Chance I Get” with Lil Durk, “I Did It” alongside Post Malone, Megan Thee Stallion and DaBaby, and “Body in Motion” also featuring Roddy Ricch and Bryson Tiller. He also linked with Khaled for 2019's Father of Asahd LP, on the tracks "You Stay" featuring Meek Mill, J Balvin and Jeremih, and "Weather the Storm" featuring Meek Mill.

"I’m blessed to work with you on two albums, you nah mean?" Khaled tells Baby. "I’m blessed to work with Jay-Z on several albums, and [Lil] Wayne and [Rick] Ross. Like Lil Wayne and Ross been on every single album of mine from the beginning of my career."

Khaled discusses that his ultimate goal is to continue to work with artists of Lil Baby's caliber as well as the other performers who have appeared on many of Khaled's albums. However, there's one rapper Khaled hasn't had the chance to record with yet. "But I would love to work with André 3000," he expresses.

Three Stacks just so happens to be one of Lil Baby's dream collaborations as well. "I ain’t gon’ lie, that’s my answer," the Four Pockets Full leader conveys. "That’s my answer. Maybe you put us on that bitch together. Maybe you put us on there together, me and André 3000."

The We The Best Music Group founder tells Baby that there could be a deluxe in the future with a song that features the two. "The deluxe with André 3000 and Lil Baby and the deluxe will only have one record," Khaled says with a laugh. "Not five, not 10, just one."

"Aye, that’ll be crazy," Baby replies.

Watch Lil Baby interview DJ Khaled about his Khaled Khaled album below and check out Khaled's XXL magazine digital cover.

Ahmed Klink for XXL

See Photos From DJ Khaled's XXL Magazine Digital Cover Story

Filed Under: DJ Khaled, Feature, Lil BabyCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Bianca Torres”>Bianca TorresPublished: May 3, 2021Ahmed Klink for XXL

It's another one. Last week (April 30), DJ Khaled dropped Khaled Khaled, his star-studded album full of 14 bangers. To commemorate his 12th studio LP, the catchphrase king covers a digital edition of XXL magazine, photographed by Ahmed Klink at Khaled's Miami estate. This marks the third time the famed DJ has secured an XXL cover: the first in 2017 with his son, Asahda digital cover in 2019 and now this one.

Everything Khaled does is on an extravagant level, from the collaborations he locks in for his albums to the rollouts leading up to release day, which means his cover story interview had to match that same energy. On Sat., May 1, XXL chopped it up with arguably the world's most famous DJ at his mansion in Miami, but instead of a traditional interview, rap superstar Lil Baby, who appears on Khaled Khaled three times, speaks to the album's creator.

Here, the two discuss how DJ Khaled decides which artists to put on his albums, what records they go on, getting rap royalty like Jay-Z and Nas on a track together, his recording process and much more.

Lil Baby kicks things off by asking Khaled how he makes his records.

“I mean, the way I make my records, you know, I start off with the production, the music, the beat. It’s me and my team crafting it up or sometimes it come from somebody I love like Tay Keith or something, you nah I’m sayin’?" Khaled tells Baby. "What I do with that, I make sure the music is right. The beat gotta be right. It gotta speak to me in different levels and different languages and different vibes. And then from there, some records, I like to come up with just some ideas just to spark other ideas up.

"Like, if I say, ‘Yo, Baby, I wanna talk about,’ you nah mean, ‘We made it,’ ‘We did it,’ ‘Winnin’’ or blah, blah, blah, at least you know the direction I want to go in. Once I get the idea, then I sit with the artist like yourself. You work with me several times. You know, when you walk in the studio, I know Lil Baby coming in my studio, I’m gonna be fuckin’ ready, you nah I’m sayin’? I’ma be ready, meaning as in like when he walk in here, I gotta play him some magic."

On Khaled Khaled, there’s a song for everyone. Younger rap fans will favor tracks like “Every Chance I Get” featuring Lil Baby and Lil Durk, “I Did It” featuring Post Malone, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Baby and DaBaby, “Big Paper'' featuring Cardi B spitting braggadocios bars, and of course, you can't forget two of 2020's summer anthems: "Pop Star" and "Greece," both featuring Drake. But, there’s also music for O.G. rap enthusiasts with songs like “Thankful” featuring Lil Wayne and Jeremih along with “Sorry Not Sorry,” a track that brings together golden-era hip-hop G.O.A.T.s Jay-Z and Nas. These two rappers on a track together is a rare occasion, which hasn't been heard since 2006’s “Black Republican.” Now, this major moment was created by none other than DJ Khaled, who did so to inspire the youth. "And I wanted to inspire the youth dem, you nah I mean, if you ever be beefing with somebody, man, if you could fix it, it’s always great, you nah I mean?" he shares.

DJ Khaled prides himself on not only making good music but creating legendary moments for rap fans to remember. And, that’s exactly what he accomplishes with his Khaled Khaled album.

Peep DJ Khaled’s XXL magazine digital cover and watch the full interview below.

Ahmed Klink for XXL

See Photos From DJ Khaled's XXL Magazine Digital Cover Story

Filed Under: DJ Khaled, FeatureCategories: News, XXL Magazine

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: May 3, 2021Ahmed Klink for XXL

In a new interview with GQ, the friends and mother of Juice Wrld have expressed the growing concerns they had over the fallen rapper's drug use before his untimely passing in 2019.

On Monday (May 3), an article written by Dan Hyman, a writer for the American men's magazine, was published about the Legends Never Die rhymer's life and death. During the conversation that took place about the 21-year-old Chicago native's battle with addiction, Max Lord—a longtime collaborator of Juice—reveals that an intervention for the rapper was held a week before his death where he agreed to attend rehab.

"We had just broken down a lot of barriers with him," Lord says. "I and a couple other people had come to him in tears, like, 'We're worried about you, and we're scared we're going to lose you if you keep up these habits. And we have to do something.' And he agreed."

As the conversation continues, Lord also divulges that Juice Wrld agreed to admit himself into a rehabilitation center with a visit booked for December 22, 2019.

"And we had treatment booked for later [starting on December 22]," Lord adds. That was the soonest they were available to get him in. It hurts. It really hurts." Unfortunately, Juice died of an accidental overdose two weeks before his admission date.

Before Lord discloses information regarding the intervention that took place for Juice Wrld, the Grammy-nominated mixing engineer explains how Juice snuck around to do drugs like prescription opioids and lean—codeine mixed with soda—to keep his friends from noticing he had a problem.

“He was hiding and compartmentalizing how much he was doing with different people," Lord tells. "He’d come into the studio room and act like he hasn’t gotten high at all that day, and do a certain amount in there before I tell him, ‘Bro, no, chill.’ Then he was going upstairs and hanging out with the guys and doing the same thing."

Juice Wrld's mom, Carmella Wallace, also shares that she knew the cause of her son's death before the official autopsy results came in.

"Even before the tests came back, I knew what [he died] from," she explains. "And I made the decision from the beginning that I’m not going to hide it. I want people to know the seriousness of it."

In honor of Juice, Ms. Wallace launched the Live Free 999 Foundation in April of 2020 to support youth struggling with mental health.

According to The New York Times in December of 2019, Juice Wrld passed away after experiencing a seizure following an accidental overdose at Chicago Midway Airport on December 8, 2019. Juice had a long history of struggling with drug addiction and he often used his lyrics to paint pictures of his struggles with songs like "Lean Wit Me."

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

Filed Under: juice wrldCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: May 3, 2021Atlantic Records

Quando Rondo has been shot at in his home state of Georgia.

A rep for the Blackshear Police Department confirmed to XXL on Monday (May 3) that the rapper, born Tyquian Bowman, and his crew were involved in a shooting at a convenience store in Blackshear, Ga. The city is about two hours Northeast of the rapper's hometown Savannah, Ga. However, Blackshear, Ga. is about 13 minutes away from Waycross, Ga. where the Quando Rondo recently had a show, which had very sparse crowd attendance.

TMZ reported this afternoon that the incident took place on Sunday (April 2) at around 3:20 a.m. Quando and his team were reportedly in a parking lot near the highway and law officials think the shooter either opened fire from the other side of the road or from the highway.

However, there are no reports that Quando Rondo was struck by the gunfire because he left the scene prior to police arriving. The outlet notes that he was allegedly in the parking lot just before the shooting transpired.

The QPac rhymer reportedly had a large number of individuals in tow and one of the men with Quando at the time sustained a gunshot wound to the hand. He was treated at a nearby hospital.

TMZ additionally claims that officials said it didn't seem like Quando Rondo and his team were at the convenience store very long before the shooting took place. Cops think they were making a brief stop at the store before the shots rang out.

Specific details surrounding the cause of the shooting and individuals involved—aside from Quando—are unclear. Prior to the rhymer's live show in Waycross, Ga. on May 1 at The Vibe Event Center, which was likely his first following the shooting in Atlanta last November that led to King Von's murder, he's been complaining about having issues with booking events. These problems presumably stem from the dangers venues feel arise from booking Quando in connection to Von's death.

Back in April, Quando did a virtual performance over the Easter holiday weekend, which didn't sit well with many people who felt Quando seemingly dissed King Von during his set.

In November of 2020, weeks after Von was killed, Quando Rondo's scheduled show in Macon, Ga. was postponed by the city's sheriff's office. However, it was later confirmed that the postponement was due to incidents that had taken place within the city and were unrelated to Quando's alleged involvement in the shooting that killed Von.

XXL has reached out to the Blackshear Police Department for comment. A rep for Quando Rondo has confirmed that he is OK.

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

Filed Under: Quando RondoCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Robby Seabrook III”>Robby Seabrook IIIPublished: May 3, 2021Isaiah Trickey, Getty Images / Prince Williams, WireImage (2)

When thinking of hip-hop's respected rappers, one thing they tend to have in common is a goal to make good music. An added bonus is to hopefully have a moment where they really get to shine, whether that's on the charts or gaining recognition at awards shows. Those moments can come as a result of a solo song catching on or because they collaborated with another big-name artist and rose to the occasion. The world of hip-hop really isn't that predictable; some of rap's biggest names made it to the charts without a cosign. But then there are others who got a boost by linking up with others. Here, XXL highlights the rappers who locked down their first big feature from another artist that ended up giving them the bump they needed to get to the Billboard charts and rise to the next level. This is the hip-hop stimulus package.

Now, there could be rappers who linked with another big rhymer on a song earlier in their career, but if it didn't chart, it doesn't fit into the kind of stimulus package we're talking about here. However, every artist doesn't cash in on their connections when they first get in the game; some wait a while for the timing to be better while others strike while the iron is hot. The rappers who chose one of the two routes are showcased here, and the songs featuring another artist or more solidified their place on the Billboard Hot 100. In some cases, like with Lil Durk and his 2020 track "3 Headed Goat" featuring Polo G and Lil Baby, even six years after they first made a name for themselves. The song earned Durkio a No. 43 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 last year, his first highest-charting song as a solo artist.

The idea of the stimulus package signifies when a rapper taps a more established artist for a feature. It's nothing new, but some artists have success in doing so than others. The beginning of Jeezy's ascent, then known as Young Jeezy, came in 2005, as a result of teaming up with Akon for their hit song "Soul Survivor." A year prior, Akon's 2004 single "Locked Up" was everywhere. His honesty about the streets fit well with Jeezy's handbook for surviving the block. "Soul Survivor" was an obvious hit as it showcased the rapper's rhymes about "livin' in hell" and the singer's melodic delivery as a "rider," and becoming the No. 4 song on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2005 cemented that.

Lil Baby's stimulus package came out of left field when he got Drake on his 2018 single "Yes Indeed." Before that, Lil Baby had plenty of promise, and was one of the more buzzworthy street rappers out. Once he released "Yes Indeed" three years ago, all of that seemingly changed overnight. He held his own alongside Drake, and got the visibility that comes with getting The Boy to rap on your track. From the time it became the No. 4 song in the country in 2018, Lil Baby never really stopped winning.

Lil Durk, Lil Baby and Jeezy aren't the only rappers who experienced a hit with the help of another artist by their side on the collab tip. Take a look below to listen to your favorite rappers’ first stimulus package on the charts.

  • Gunna”Drip Too Hard” with Lil Baby

    While they will always be tied together due to their friendship and blowing up around the same time, 2018's "Drip Too Hard" was the collab single between Lil Baby and Gunna that took the latter to the mainstream. While Baby had already touched the upper reaches of the Billboard Hot 100 with his Drake-assisted single "Yes Indeed" in June of 2018, Gunna didn't have a similar moment until "Drip Too Hard" in October of 2020. That month, the track climbed to the No. 4 song in the country, which kicked off Gunna and Lil Baby's extremely successful album Drip Harder.

  • A$AP Ferg”Plain Jane (Remix)” featuring Nicki Minaj

    By 2017, everyone knew A$AP Ferg. His name was solidified as the second biggest artist out of the A$AP Mob camp. That same year, he came out of nowhere with one of his biggest songs ever, "Plain Jane," a Tear The Club Up Thugs-sampling track about ballin' out. Once Ferg got Nicki Minaj on the remix in December of 2017, the song peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January of 2018. The placement earned him his highest-charting track ever at that point as a result of Nicki's legendary status, which took the song over the top and added more momentum to it.

  • Rick Ross”The Boss” featuring T-Pain

    T-Pain's dominance in hip-hop in the mid-to-late 2000s was unparalleled at the time. He's one of the early pioneers of creating the singing-rapping melodic music that is so prevalent today. If a rapper wanted a hit with a singer using Auto-Tune and delivering a great hook, they'd call on Tallahasee Pain. Rick Ross made that call to T-Pain in 2008, and had his first big hit due to that decision. Ross' "The Boss" perfectly embodied the contrast of boastful rhymes and a melody-drenched hook. The track helped solidify Ross' "boss" image. Peaking at No. 17 on the Hot 100 in 2008, Rick Ross' long, consistent reign pretty much began here.

  • Future”Where Ya At?” featuring Drake

    Future was heading into 2015's DS2 album with a promising movement after his sophomore LP, Honest, scored a No. 2 position on the Billboard 200. DS2 ended up changing his career commercially, landing at No. 1 on the 200 chart, and launched him into real stardom. The lead single "Where Ya At?" features Drake, who famously remixed Future's 2011 single "Tony Montana" then didn't want to appear at the video shoot. However, "Where Ya At?" marked the moment they put all that behind them and collaborated once more. This was Future's biggest hit at the time, peaking at No. 28 on the Hot 100.

  • Yung Bleu”You’re Mines Still (Remix)” featuring Drake

    Since 2015, when he dropped the first installment of his Investments mixtape series, Yung Bleu has been consistently releasing music and taking home plaques for years now. Five years after that first tape, 2020 was his best year yet. That year, he dropped his song "You're Mines Still," on his Love Scars: The 5 Stages Of Emotions project. On its own, the track was a banger, but when he got on Drake's radar, the track went up more than a notch. Drizzy decided he wanted to add a verse to it. That move launched the song up the charts, peaking at No. 18 on the Hot 100. Now, Bleu has his first stimulus package as an artist and the future looks promising.

  • J. Cole”Power Trip” featuring Miguel

    J. Cole was the featured artist on Miguel's debut single "All I Want Is You" in 2010, and by 2013, when they teamed up for Cole's single "Power Trip," Miguel had fashioned himself into an R&B star. The Dreamville Records head honcho was earning success on his own, with his debut album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, landing at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 2011, and he kept the momentum going by staying in a familiar territory. Cole strung together a new hit in "Power Trip" to keep his name buzzing. The song peaked at No. 19 on the Hot 100, proving that when Miguel and Cole link up, it's a success story.

  • Lil Baby”Yes Indeed” featuring Drake

    Right before his debut album, Harder Than Ever, came out in 2018, Lil Baby already had major buzz stemming from the mixtapes he was releasing throughout 2017. Songs like "2 The Hard Way" with Marlo had eyes and ears in his direction. Baby was also winning over other rappers near and far like Drake, who teamed up with him on "Yes Indeed" in 2018. The track skyrocketed to No. 6 on the Hot 100 that year, and locked in Lil Baby as one of the hottest new rappers to watch. The rest is history.

  • Coi Leray”No More Parties (Remix) ” featuring Durk

    Coi Leray has been consistently dropping music since 2018, but recently found her big hit with "No More Parties." The song took off on TikTok in January of this year, as a result of Coi releasing a snippet on the platform. Once the banger officially arrived that month, the hook of "I'm off to better things/I'm only doing shit that's gonna make me elevate/Only want people around that's gonna make me better/Bitch, pull up in that mhm/It's a mhm/They ask how I get that ooh," was already viral. Thanks to Lil Durk's remix treatment, he helped catapult the track to No. 26 on the Hot 100. Coi's breakthrough moment has arrived.

  • 2 Chainz”No Lie” featuring Drake

    Nearly a decade ago, 2 Chainz was transitioning through his career's second wind in 2012, leaving his Tity Boi days behind. His hit single "No Lie" featuring Drake came at the perfect time. After he had already dropped a scene-stealing verse on G.O.O.D. Music's "Mercy" with Kanye West, Big Sean and Pusha-T that same year, he followed up with "No Lie" when Drake was in the process of becoming a huge act himself. The song peaked at No. 24 on the Hot 100, and is still one of 2 Chainz's most beloved records.

  • Kendrick Lamar”Poetic Justice” featuring Drake

    Kendrick Lamar was the hottest young rapper of the moment in 2013, with all of the noise he made from his previous releases like his 2011 debut album, Section.80, and his elite lyrical skills. He already had a hit with "Swimming Pools (Drank)," which climbed to No. 12 on the Hot 100 in 2012, and is featured on his sophomore LP, good kid, m.A.A.d city. However, "Poetic Justice" featuring Drake, which appeared on that same album, was Kendrick's first stimulus package with another artist to climb the charts, No. 26 on the Hot 100 in 2013 to be exact. The thoughtful ode to women from the serious technical rapper that Kendrick is, when he usually raps about his upbringing and societal ills, showed a different side to K-Dot, plus having Drake on the song helped.

  • A$AP Rocky”F**kin’ Problems” featuring Drake, Kendrick Lamar and 2 Chainz

    A$AP Rocky was an anomaly in hip-hop when he first entered the game. Though he's a Harlem, N.Y. rapper, he stylistically borrowed from the South and Midwest, but stepped out rocking drip that reflected New York City's youth. Once he got popular, he took off both locally and online. His 2012 star-studded single "F**kin' Problems" featuring Kendrick Lamar, Drake and 2 Chainz, all of whom were hot at the same time, helped Flacko get further along in his career than he was in that moment. The song reached the No. 8 spot on the Hot 100, received a 2014 Grammy Awards nomination for Best Rap Song and put Rocky on every television and radio station all over the country.

  • Roddy Ricch”Start Wit Me” featuring Gunna

    Shortly before he dropped the Billboard No. 1 staple "The Box" in 2019, Roddy Ricch was making a name for himself as a Compton, Calif. rapper with talent and potential in droves. He wasn't a big collaborator when it came to working with established acts that moved the needle, but Start Wit Me" featuring fellow 2019 XXL Freshman and close friend Gunna changed that. The song didn't chart particularly high, falling just outside of the Hot 100 top 50 at No. 56 in January of 2020, but it went platinum and gave a look at the heights Roddy would soon reach.

  • Meek Mill”Ima Boss” featuring T.I., Birdman, Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled, Rick Ross and Swizz Beatz

    Meek Mill got hot in hip-hop through the Philadelphia battle rap and mixtape circuit. Take a look at those old videos of Meek wearing braids for a reminder. As he evolved in his career, Meek began getting closer to mainstream relevance through his signing to Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group after previously ending a deal with T.I.'s Grand Hustle Records. The Philly rhymer came out swinging with his 2011 hit "Ima Boss." Rapping alongside Ross on the remix, those horns and Meek's energy correctly sold him as up next that year. Late 2011 found T.I., Birdman, Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled, Rick Ross and Swizz Beatz showing up for the remix. In early 2012, the song hit No. 51 on the Hot 100. Meek's first platinum song has aged well.

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

    Lil Durk's popularity has been rising consistently over the last three years. He has maintained a loyal fan base that sits just outside of the mainstream based on his early days as a drill rapper. Take last year for example, his music and brand hit harder, earning him more praise and looks from fellow rhymers like Drake, who tapped Durkio for "Laugh Now Cry Later" last summer. These days, Durk's solo songs center on honest experiences in romantic relationships or the ups and downs of the streets. "3 Headed Goat," which appears on his 2020 album, Just Cause Y'all Waited 2, recruits Polo G, a fellow Chicago rapper who has made his own lane, and Lil Baby, who is red-hot in the game. With all three of them rapping as hard as ever, the song's title makes sense, as does it becoming Durk's highest-charting song ever, No. 43 on the Hot 100. "3 Headed Goat" put Durk in tune with other listeners who were more familiar with the likes of Lil Baby, and provided him with a banner moment for his career.

  • Pooh Shiesty”Back In Blood” featuring Lil Durk

    Three years ago, Pooh Shiesty was making noise in his hometown of Memphis, appearing as features on local artists' tracks and releasing music of his own. Last year, he signed to Gucci Mane's 1017 Records, receiving a major cosign from one of hip-hop's most revered street rappers. "Back in Blood" featuring Lil Durk, a single from Pooh Shiesty's 2021 debut mixtape, Shiesty Season, is what turned him from interesting new name to solidified newcomer. In addition to becoming a viral hit on TikTok and any social media platform you can name, Durk's presence helped the song elevate, considering he experienced his own new level of success after linking with Drake on "Laugh Now Cry Later" in 2020. Between the hook and Durk's oft-repeated lyrics, "Back In Blood" rose to No. 13 on the Hot 100, giving Pooh a huge hit out the gate, and raising Durk's visibility.

  • Megan Thee Stallion”Cash Shit” featuring DaBaby

    In early 2019, there weren't too many new rappers hotter than Megan Thee Stallion and DaBaby. Realizing the talent and spotlight they had a hold on, the two collaborated on Megan's Fever cut "Cash Shit." Her decision to enlist DaBaby on this one made too much sense. He was more popular at the time and had been releasing mixtapes as early as 2015. Their chemistry was (and still is) great, with sharp bars and plenty of quotable lyrics to fill Instagram captions and tweets. The song became something of a club hit, peaking at No. 36 on the Hot 100 in 2019, and going double platinum despite never having a video. These two rappers have experienced major glow-ups since then with even more Hot 100 hits to their respective names.

  • Jeezy”Soul Survivor” featuring Akon

    When Jeezy dropped "Soul Survivor" with Akon in 2005, the song rang off everywhere. Akon was already popular off the strength of his 2004 hit song "Locked Up," so Jeezy bringing on the singer to deliver the hook of "Soul Survivor" with similar energy for the 2005 single was a smart move. While Jeezy was well-known in the streets for his mixtapes and gruff rhymes about hustling, "Soul Survivor" molded his story into a motivational track about getting through anything. The world reacted, surging the song to No. 4 on the Hot 100 in 2005, giving Jeezy his first hit song and setting the stage for his classic debut album, Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101.

  • Young Thug”Pick Up The Phone” with Travis Scott, featuring Quavo

    Young Thug was an off-kilter rapper out of Atlanta who's star was starting to rise in 2016 when he collaborated with Travis Scott on the smash hit "Pick Up The Phone." The track was Thugger's first big break in the game, even though it went through some turmoil. Travis was accused of leaking the song himself when it was originally belonged to Thug. The final version featured both Thug and Travis—both appearing as top billing—with the addition of Quavo as the featured guest. "Pick Up The Phone" peaked at No. 43 on the Hot 100 in 2016, and put Thug next to two of the hottest young rappers at the time. The song pretty much became an anthem that year.

  • Gucci Mane”Wasted” featuring Plies

    Gucci Mane was already a prolific mixtape artist who had the streets under control, but he had yet to grasp commercial success in the 2000s. However, all of that changed in 2009, when he dropped "Wasted" featuring Plies. Peaking at No. 36 on the Hot 100 in 2009, this was the song that put Gucci Mane on the map all over the U.S. With its infectious hook and focus on partying as well as Plies' delivery of a strong verse riddled with quotables, Guwop's track was running up the charts. Considering Plies already had a string of successful songs ahead of this moment and was known down South and beyond, his presence elevated the song, and warmed people up to the man they call Wop.

  • Drake”Successful” featuring Trey Songz

    Transitioning from child actor to a rap star is no easy feat, but luckily enough for Drake, his first big song set him on the right path for success—no pun intended. In 2009, Drizzy dropped "Successful" featuring his friend Trey Songz. The record finds the Toronto wanting more for himself, and pushing to the top even when things get rough. Long before he was the superstar we know now, the lyrics on the hook are a manifestation of better days. "I want the money, money and the cars, cars/And the clothes, the hoes I suppose/I just wanna be, I just wanna be successful," Trey sings. Drake also sounds like he knew the heights he would eventually get to, most notably on the charts. "Successful" climbed to No. 17 in October of 2009, with the assistance of having an established act like Trey Songz holding down the hook. This was Drake's first platinum song, and, no surprise, many more followed.

See Hip-Hop Albums Turning 10 in 2021

Filed Under: 2 Chainz, A$AP ferg, A$AP Rocky, Akon, Coi Leray, Drake, Feature, Future, Gucci Mane, Gunna, J. Cole, jeezy, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Meek Mill, Miguel, Nicki Minaj, Plies, Polo G, Quavo, Rick Ross, Roddy Ricch, T-Pain, The List, Travi$ Scott, Trey Songz, Young Thug, Yung BleuCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: May 3, 2021yak via YouTube

UPDATE (May 3):

NLE Choppa hopped on Twitter this afternoon and responded to video of him getting into a fight on the beach. The 2020 XXL Freshman wrote, "And I eat punches ask bout me. Imma rush you take what you got to give and resume beating some. Honestly ain’t wanna fight I was just tryna walk the beach ‍♂️."


NLE Choppa appears to have gotten himself caught up in a physical altercation while visiting Los Angeles and an onlooker caught it all on tape.

Early Monday morning (May 3), video footage began circulating online of a fight, in which the From Dark to Light rapper and about five other men are jumping a man who is on a bike accompanied by another male. The men appear to be having a verbal dispute prior to things escalating and hands being thrown.

In the clip, the woman who recorded the incident can be heard saying, "They are fighting. He's a famous rapper." Moments later, punches begin to fly and the bystander is heard repeatedly saying, "Oh shit."

Among those slinging punches is NLE Choppa, who received a jab to the chin himself.

"Aw no, it's like, five against one," the woman exclaims before vocalizing her refusal to intervene. "That sucks. Or six against one. That's fucked up. I'm not gonna stop this. I can't stop this. I cannot stop this. That's too many people, that's not fair."

The woman then yells, "That's not fair!" Followed by requesting that the men stop fighting.

The incident took place at a beach, but the specific location is unclear.

A little over 30 seconds into the recording, the fight ceases and the man who was accompanying the gentleman that had been jumped is heard saying, "Chill muthafucka" and "you two fucked up." This same man did not jump into the fight, but appears to have helped break it up by himself.

NLE Choppa and his crew then stroll away from the scene, seemingly unbothered.

And of course, people on social media have weighed in on the incident. Some questioned why it wasn't a one-on-one fight between Choppa and the other man.

One person tweeted, "Not gone lie NLE choppa was gone lose that fight if his niggas wasnt there."

Another typed, "@Nlechoppa1 you a pussy ah Boi that can’t fight a one on one fight yeah never respected you either way yo music trash !"

Hours before the fight footage hit the internet, the Memphis rhymer revealed that he's currently in L.A. He tweeted, "I love being here in LA but what’s some fun stuff to do ?"

The 18-year-old artist has been finding himself in trouble as of late. Back in March, NLE Choppa was arrested in Davie, Fla. for several offenses including burglary, drug and gun charges.

Although he was in custody at the Broward County Sheriff's Office, about 20 minutes away from where the incident resulting in his arrest took place, he was later granted a $4,500 bond, which he satisfied in order to be released.

Court documents obtained by XXL at the time stated that Choppa had jumped the gate of a tow yard with another male to retrieve a watch from a vehicle that had been towed in a separate incident. NLE Choppa, the man who accompanied him in the tow yard and a third individual were all arrested after police were called to the scene.

The three men were in an SUV when law enforcement arrived at the tow yard and were allegedly sitting on top of firearms that were later discovered by police. Neither of the three men were of age to legally carry a weapon.

Additionally, officers also found a bag in the car, which had seven grams of marijuana and three-and-a-half Xanax pills. Choppa admitted that the drugs belonged to him.

XXL has reached out to a rep for NLE Choppa for a comment.

Take a look below to watch the video of the fight involving NLE Choppa.

See more reactions to the incident involving NLE Choppa and his crew below.

See the Most Anticipated Hip-Hop Albums of 2021

Filed Under: NLE ChoppaCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: May 3, 2021Steven Ferdman, Getty Images / SMXRF/Star Max, GC Images

Ski Mask The Slump God had some choice words for 6ix9ine over the weekend after the Brooklyn rapper performed a tribute to the late XXXTentacion during Tekashi's recent show in Miami.

On Sunday (May 2), video footage from 6ix9ine's show a day earlier (May 3) at the Miami Marine Stadium began to circulate online. Instagram page @DomIsLiveNews shared a clip from Tekashi's show, noting that the federal informant rhymer memorialized X during his set. 6ix9ine played "Look at Me!" To this, Ski Mask replied in the comment section of the post, "Nigga doing what he can not what he want to." In a follow-up message, Ski typed, "Fuck this nigga."

Ski Mask also tweeted this weekend, prior to 6ix9ine's show, "Random Niggas That Perform Take A Step Back Or Look At Me But Only Know The First Three Lines Face."

domislivenews via Instagram

6ix9ine had been promoting his show in Miami via social media. On April 29, the rapper posted a video of himself in a colorful Lamborghini, informing fans of the upcoming event. He captioned the clip, "MIAMI THIS SATURDAY 🌈🌈 MARINE STADIUM YOU LOOKING FOR ME IM THERE."

Tekashi also shared footage from his jam-packed show, proclaiming that he's the "best performer in the rap game."

Ski Mask The Slump God coming to XXX's defense is presumably due to him and the former 2017 XXL Freshman's tight friendship. Their relationship was actually closer to a brotherhood prior to X's tragic death in 2018, despite them briefly parting ways. The two Florida-bred rappers met at a juvenile detention center while Ski was doing time for weed and X was facing a gun charge. Once they were released, the artists formed a friendship, which became rocky in October of 2017. XXXTentacion claimed it was rooted in a lack of gratitude on Ski's part regarding business dealings.

However, they came back together during Ski Mask The Slump God's set at Rolling Loud in Miami in May of 2018, just a month before XXXTentacion was shot and killed in Deerfield Beach, Fla. outside of a motorcycle shop.

6ix9ine, on the other hand, has spoken on a time when X reached out to him in the past, suggesting they had some sort of bond as well. In July of last year, Tekashi shared the last message XXXTentacion had sent him prior to 6ix9ine doing a bid for his federal firearms and racketeering charges in November of 2018. It's worth noting that based on the way XXX wrote the message to Tekashi, it appears the New York City native was behind bars for a separate incident before X's untimely passing.

Tekashi also claimed to have felt X's presence during his 2018 kidnapping. At the time, 6ix9ine hopped on IG to thank the ? artist for being present spiritually and also was grateful to be able to see his daughter again.

See Ski Mask The Slump God's Most Zaniest Cartoon References

Filed Under: 6ix9ine, Ski Mask The Slump God, XXXTentacionCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 2, 2021Prince Williams, Getty Images

MoneyBagg Yo can add No. 1 album to his resume.

On Sunday (May 2), Billboard announced the top 10 of their Billboard 200 chart, revealing MoneyBagg Yo's new album, A Gangsta's Pain, debuted atop the chart. The Memphis rapper's new LP was able to move 110,000 equivalent album sales. That includes 4,000 true album sales. This marks the "Time Today" rapper's first No. 1 and his fifth overall top five appearance. His last two albums, Time Served and 43va Hearless, peaked at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. He also charted in the top 10 with his Federal 3X mixtape in 2017 (No. 5) as well as his 2020 collab with Blac Youngsta, Code Red (No. 6).

A Gangsta's Pain features 22 songs and has guest appearances from Pharrell, Future, Polo G, Lil Durk, Jhene Aiko and more. It was spearheaded by the single "Time Today." On May 1, the "Said Sum" rapper celebrated the success of the album, calling his Billboard status, "a big win for the streets."

The album's success seemed eminent shortly after it was released. The day it came out, eight songs off the LP were in the top 10 on Apple Music.

N-Less Entertainment / Interscope Records

Other hip-hop artists in the top 10 of this week's Billboard 200 chart include Young Stoner Life (Slime Language 2, No. 2), Rod Wave (SoulFly, No. 6), The Weeknd (The Highlights, No. 7) and Pop Smoke (Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon, No. 10).

Young Stoner Life / 300 EntertainmentAlamo RecordsThe Weeknd XO / RepublicVictor Victor Worldwide

See 20 Ways in Which Rappers Schooled Us About Life

Filed Under: MoneyBagg YoCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 2, 2021Instagram Exclusives via YouTube / StreetJuiceTV5 via Instagram

Quando Rondo performed live in Waycross, Ga. over the weekend and the attendance for the show was noticeably sparse.

The Savannah, Ga. rhymer has been hard-pressed to book any shows since King Von's murder as venues presumably fear violence will break out due to Quando's involvement in the slaying. On May 1, Quando performed at The Vibe Event Center in what may be his first show since the infamous incident. From the looks of things, very few people showed up. Video captured of the performance shows lots of people on stage with the rapper as he performs. When the camera pans to the crowd, it looks to be just a few more people in the crowd than are on the stage. The half of the venue looks completely empty.

At one point, Quando takes time out between songs to address the small number of attendees. "I ain't gon' lie. My shows really be deeper than this," he said. "But I know a nigga got a lot of shit going on, you feel me? But I still appreciate everybody who came out. Ima rock this bitch like it's 10,000 people in here."

Quando ended the show mid song, but before he did, he performed the song where he appears to respond to King Von's killing, "End of Story."

A dark cloud has surrounded Quando since King Von's murder last November, which was set into motion when Von assaulted Quando outside of an Atlanta lounge and ended with Quando's friend, Timothy Leeks, allegedly shooting Von to death. Last month, Quando talked about the issue he's having booking shows due to the incident on Instagram Live.

"I can't do no shows 'cause y'all keep this internet shit going," he complained, insinuating people on the internet were playing up beef between him and King Von associates. "Every time I do get a show booked or something, the promoter calling back. 'Oh, the police station threatening the venue. They saying if something go down Ima lose my club license. Send my money back, this and that. Can we try this again in a couple months. Time heals everything.' This 'cause of y'all folks."

Quando recently opened up about the King Von incident for the first time during an interview with The Breakfast Club's Agela Yee. His sophomore album Still Taking Risks is slated to drop on May 7.

See Wild Rap Beefs That'll Probably Never Be Resolved

Filed Under: Quando RondoCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 2, 2021TMZ

Jack Harlow was present during a fatal shooting at a nightclub in his hometown of Louisville, Ky. over the weekend.

The incident occurred early Saturday morning (May 1) at Vibes Restaurant and Ultra Lounge, which was hosting a "2021 Derby Weekend Kickoff" party in celebration of the famed Kentucky Derby that took place later that day. TMZ obtained footage of the chaotic incident. In the clip, the "What's Poppin" rapper can be seen near the stage hanging out. A short time later, a disturbance starts in the crowd, which appears to lead to a fight not too far from where the Generation Now MC is standing. Seconds later, shots can then be heard and Jack is seen for split second running away from the chaos with many of the other attendees.

According to the Louisville Metro Police Department, a woman was fatally wounded during the shooting and died on the scene. A man was also struck and transported to the University of Louisville Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Neither victim has been identified.

"Authorities say the club was well attended at the time of the incident however there were no other injuries," LMPD spokeswoman Alicia Smiley tells XXL. "The Homicide Unit is handling the investigation and believe both shootings took place inside the venue. There are no suspects or arrests as of this writing."

It appears Jack was uninjured during the event. However, he was scheduled to perform at the "Riders up" call at the Kentucky Derby Saturday evening but pulled out less than an hour before the race.

XXL has reached out to the 23-year-old rapper's team, Vibes Restaurant and Ultra Lounge and the LMPD for comment.

See footage of the wild scene below.

Meet the 2020 XXL Freshman Class

Filed Under: Jack HarlowCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 1, 2021Jeff Kravitz / Lester Cohen, Getty Images (2)

Speculation is swirling that Dr. Dre, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar might be working on new music together.

The buzz started when Grammy award-winning producer and Dre frequent collaborator, Fredwreck, posted a photo on Twitter along with the Dre, Em and K. Dot on Wednesday (April 28). He simply captioned the photo, "Beats n Rhymes 🎙 #shady #aftermath," which could simply be seen as a reference to him and Dre making beats and Shady and Kendrick being the MCs.

However, on Friday (April 30), former Death Row artist and Slaughterhouse member Kxng Crooked posted the same message from the photo on Twitter. "Beats & Rhymes," he typed, sans a picture.

That was enough to get fans into a frenzy. On Saturday (May 1), the photo began trending on Twitter with fans assuming Dre, Em and Kendrick had been working on new music. "So we’re getting a Dr. Dre album with possible Kendrick Lamar & Eminem on the same track???? Say ain’t so," one person on Twitter presumed.

"If Kendrick and Eminem rlly have a collab on Dr Dre’s new album I can die of happiness," another person commented.

Eminem and Kendrick Lamar first collabed on the track "Love Game" off Shady's 2013 album The Marshall Mathers LP 2. A new collab wouldn't be too far fetched. Speculation has been circulating that Kendrick Lamar may be dropping his long-awaited new album on May 7 after his label CEO Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith put up a cryptic post on social media. Dr. Dre is also rumored to be working on a new album, the follow-up to 2015's Compton, with reports coming out that Eminem has been working with the iconic producer on the project.

See more Twitter reactions from people speculating about new music from Dre, Em and Kendrick below.

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

Filed Under: Dr. Dre, Eminem, Kendrick LamarCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 1, 2021TM/Bauer-Griffin / Prince Williams, Getty Images (2)

Irv Gotti is now apologizing for making premature comments about DMX's cause of death.

On Saturday morning (May 1), the Murder Inc. co-founder posted a lengthy message on Instagram in response to the backlash he received for saying X died after smoking a bad batch of crack spiked with Fentanyl during a recent interview on Chicago radio station 107.5's The Morning Show. "1st off. Let me say again. How much I love my nigga X. The fact that this is coming into Question is the only reason why I feel the need to address the bullshit. I love X and love him Unconditionally and that won’t change til I die. Dog Love." Irv wrote, captioning a photo of himself and X that looks like it may have been taken in the late 1990s.

According to Irv, he was only saying what was already reported in the media about the manner that DMX died. "Now the interview I did for @wgci and @kendragmedia is the interview where I said what I said about DMX. Now Everything I said. Had already been reported in the media," Irv added. "If you look back at @balleralert and @theshaderoom and other media outlets. everything I said had been out there already. I did not break anything I said. But you know what. I understand. No one wanted to hear it from me. And for that I am truly sorry. To ever make people think. I don’t love my nigga X."

He went on to talk about his deep bond with X and said he meant no harm with his comments. "Anybody that knows me or knew X. Cannot ever front like me and X didn’t share a special bond," Irv posted. "I put my whole career on the line for X. And did things for X that is unquestionable. Our relationship grew and grew to the point where I feel I understood X and the love he wanted. That’s why I say DOG LOVE. Unconditional LOVE is what I gave X. It didn’t matter to me anything he was doing. I loved him. And always would try and do the best for him. I spoke with @tasherasimmons Who I love also. And I apologized as soon as I seen it went left. I explained to her I was only saying things that I heard reported already. To which she said they don’t know if it’s real yet. They are waiting for the doctors to come back and tell them. Then which I apologized even more. For repeating what had been reported. I apologize to my brothers @general_over_everything and @waahdean They know exactly where my heart is with X. And where my heart is with them. We have done things together. That will never change how I feel about them. They are my brothers."

He closed, "Again. I apologize for talking out of turn. In my defense. I honestly thought I wasn’t saying anything that everyone didn’t hear already. If anyone thinks the love I have for X is nothing but genuine unconditional love. Just look at our history. Really look at it. And there is no way you can think that. Love you X. Until I die and see you again. #ripdmx #doglove #ruffryders #family"

Irv has been catching heat for his interview, especially since DMX's official cause of death has not be divulged from the medical examiner's office and his family has yet to confirm the details of the reports surrounding his death. While other outlets have reported that X allegedly suffered an overdose that lead to his death, Irv's new details of the situation rubbed some people the wrong way.

50 Cent recently blasted Irv for his comments.

See DMX's Most Inspirational Lyrics

Filed Under: DMX, Irv GottiCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”C. Vernon Coleman II”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 1, 2021Kent Smith, Getty Images

It looks like rumors that J. Cole will be dropping his new The Off-Season mixtape in the near future may be true.

Late Friday night (April 30), the elusive MC shared an update on the project via his Instagram Story. The message was short but telling. "Just rode through the city to The Off-Season," Cole wrote. "Dawg. Too excited."

Cole's message comes just a couple days after reports of the project dropping in two weeks. On Wednesday (April 28), Dreamville artist Bas shared a social media post that had fans in a frenzy. The since-deleted post contained a photo of Cole in the studio along with the caption, "The Off-Season. Pack your bags. In two weeks." May 14 could be the possible release date for the highly-anticipated project. Cole's IG post only bolsters the evidence that his new release is coming sooner than later.

RealColeWorld via Instagram

The North Carolina rapper first announced the tape back in December 2020, signifying it should serve as a prequel to his upcoming sixth solo studio album, The Fall Off. He shared a checklist of items on IG, which included the title of his label album Revenge of the Dreamers III already crossed out.

The Off Season, It's a Boy and The Fall Off were next it order, with it's a boy possibly signifying the rap star has a child on the way. The post also had fans wondering if Cole would retire as he captioned the photo, "I still got some goals I gotta check off for’ I scram…."

If J. Cole's album did drop, it would be a big moment in hip-hop in a year that has had few. Cole's last solo album, KOD, came out three years ago and broke records on Spotify and Apple Music as well as debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

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

Filed Under: J. ColeCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: April 30, 2021XXL

Foresight is a powerful thing and back in 2016, XXL introduced its annual and coveted Freshman class. Fast forward to present day, rappers inducted that year such as Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage, Lil Yachty, Kodak Black and Denzel Curry are still making marks in hip-hop with their rhymes, creativity, endorsement deals, philanthropy and much more.

All five of the aforementioned artists have landed on the Billboard chart, whether it was for a single or an album. As recently as October of last year, 21 Savage snagged the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart for his album Savage Mode 2 with producer Metro Boomin. Towards the top of last year, in March of 2020, Lil Uzi had similar success with Eternal Atake.

However, before their Billboard charting status and their many other accolades, these gentlemen were XXL Freshman spitting bars together. Check out the lyrics to their 2016 XXL Freshman Cypher below.

VERSE 1: Denzel Curry
Rest in power, it's all about power
Squeeze two lemons together and really all you'll have is sour
Diesel, niggas'll smoke your ass to have the juice
Riding around in an all black coupe
Couple of pigeons that's ready to shoot, shit
Ducking and bucking and dodging and dropping
With 48 ounces and cigarette butts
Fucking around with the up echelon
They will turn you to cubes and I hope you be gone
Envelope, overload, cranium overdose
Denny Cascade, what the fuck is the halves
Click clack, get powed, bitch, it's a wrap
Tierra my witness, I pray for a nap
Youngin' and restless, return with a past
Key in ignition, foot on the gas
None of you niggas is acting that jab
Gold teeth in the Glock and a Cybertech mask
Ring gun, particles, turn you into molecules
Planet shrooms, planet shrooms, I'll take you to my panic room

VERSE 2: Lil Uzi Vert and Kodak Black
Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
All these niggas stealin' my style, can I get my flow back?
Yeah, bop on that bitch like Kodak
Yeah, bitch, you know that
Yeah, I push your shit all back (Woop, woop)
Told that bitch I got money, aye (Woop)
Countin' them hundreds, it's nothing, aye
Told that lil' bitch I got money, aye
Told that lil' bitch that's it nothing, aye (Skrrt, skrrt, tied)
Hit that bitch right from the back, she got turkey, I knock out that bitch like it's stuffing, yeah (Skrrt, skrrt, tied, okay!)
Told that lil' bitch that I'm with it
Told that lil' bitch that I'm with it
Aye, wait, 21, Lil Boat, yeah (Win)
Denzel Curry cut your throat, yeah (Yeah)
Kodak do the most, yeah (Win)
Told that lil' bitch I got all the money (Uh)
I swear this shit is just nothing (Uh)
I just be dancin' right up on that bitch, yeah
What you be stuntin'?

VERSE 3: Lil Yachty
That boy not gang, no, that boy not my friend
I hang with my gang, the same gang that felt all of my pain
When I was struggling through the rain
When I had no guap with no ice
Wasn't no food but rice
All of these bitches they want me but they get one night
Fuck ’em, I give a fuck what you sayin'
Bitch nigga know I ain't playing
I'm ’bout my fetty
Sailing Team armored, we ready
Fuck up that nigga if he talk out too heavy
I'm ’bout it, chains on my neck cost me twenty
Look at your diamonds
Your diamonds look cloudy, they fake
Young nigga in the Gucci Stans
Fuck with me if you wanna die
Young nigga, I don't wear no suit and ties
Fuck no
Lil Boat!

VERSE 4: 21 Savage, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Yachty
21, 21, 21, 21, 21, 21
I sent my bitch to the store ’cause we ran out of soda (What?)
Bitch, I'm tryna cook this yola (21)
Hundred round drum on the bottom of that shit (Do-do-do-do-do)
Chop a nigga down like a fucking lawnmower (Grrr)
AK-47 ’round my muthafuckin' shoulder (21)
Pull up in a Rover, then I pulled off on a Fisker
Pulled up on your bitch, she sucked my dick
And then you kissed her (Goddamn, 21)
Young Savage, bitch
And I don't play ’round with them swishers (Hmm?)
I just smoke them woods (Yeah)
Bitch, I'm from the hood (Yeah)
Zone 6, Bouldercrest Road, you can't go there
21 Gang, bitch, yeah (21, 21, 21)
I'm in NYC, I think I got a fucking show there (Yeah)
Hold up, Rollie on my wrist
Rollie on my bitch (What?), 30 on my waist (What?)
30 to your face (Yeah), 60 to your face (Yeah)
90 to your face (Yeah), that's a closed case (Yeah)
You an old nigga, man, you washed up
Young Savage, man, I got my car washed up
Pulled up on a muthafuckin' nigga, wrapped up (Yeah)
Then I pulled up in a muthafuckin' Brink's truck
21, 21, 21, 21, 21, 21

VERSE 5: Kodak Black
Who the fuck picked this lil' sorry ass beat?
I'm from the ugly corner, man, them lil' sour ass streets
Damn, homie, I'm the one who let your starving ass eat
And you was hungry, I ain't have to let your sorry ass eat
My cousin G-Wayne got off of manslaughter last week
Gave my dog a buck fifty, that nigga brought me back three
I'm a—a nigga's broad and get up all in them cheeks
Tied, they dead flies

Check out the 2016 XXL Freshman cypher featuring Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage, Lil Yachty, Kodak Black and Denzel Curry below.

See 50 Facts About the 2016 XXL Freshman Class

Filed Under: 2016 XXL Freshman Class, 21 Savage, Denzel Curry, Kodak Black, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil YachtyCategories: Music

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Robby Seabrook III”>Robby Seabrook IIIPublished: April 30, 2021Kevin Mazur / Prince Williams / Jason Kempin, Getty Images (3)

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

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

Enjoy this week's list, featuring new songs from DJ Khaled ("Every Chance I Get" featuring Lil Baby and Lil Durk), 21 Savage ("Spiral") and Gucci Mane ("Shit Crazy" featuring Big30) and more. See you next week!

  • “Shit Crazy”Gucci Mane featuring Big30
  • “Every Chance I Get”DJ Khaled featuring Lil Baby and Lil Durk
  • “Spiral”21 Savage
  • “Remedies”Shelley FKA Dram
  • “Durag Activity”Baby Keem featuring Travis Scott
  • “All Blue Racks”Hoodrich Pablo Juan
  • “Ride Together”Lil Eazzyy
  • “Flathead”Ola Runt
  • “Without You”The Kid Laroi featuring Miley Cyrus
  • “Final Warning”NLE Choppa
  • “No Statements”Kuttem Reese featuring Lil Durk
  • “Ramen & OJ”Joyner Lucas featuring Lil Baby
  • “Attachments”Pressa featuring Coi Leray

See Highly Entertaining Weed Lyrics From Your Favorite Rappers

Filed Under: 21 Savage, Baby Keem, Bangers, Big30, Coi Leray, D.R.A.M., DJ Khaled, Gucci Mane, Hoodrich Pablo Juan, Joyner Lucas, Kuttem Reese, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Lil Eazzyy, Miley Cyrus, NLE Choppa, Ola Runt, Pressa, promo, The Kid Laroi, The List, Travi$ ScottCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: April 30, 2021Andrew D. Bernstein / NBAE, Getty Images

A new report claims that Jay-Z has sealed the deal on selling his TIDAL streaming service.

According to TMZ on Friday (April 30), Hov has reportedly followed through on a tweet he shared back in March, which announced the sale of TIDAL to financial tech company, Square Inc., owned by Jack Dorsey, who is also the cofounder and chief executive of Twitter. Jay supposedly closed the deal this morning, selling the music streaming platform for $350 million.

As for the details of the recent exchange, Square will receive 80 percent ownership of TIDAL. Additionally, the tech company will acquire licensing deals with major record labels while artists and owners will stay with TIDAL.

Jay-Z and Roc Nation CEO, Desiree Perez, who played a role in making the deal happen, will assist in running TIDAL.

Prior reports noted that the deal would consist of Square Inc. paying $297 million in cash and stocks. Meanwhile, Jigga will sit on the board of directors for the payment tech company.

On March 4, Jay-Z tweeted about the agreement: "I said from the beginning that TIDAL was about more than just streaming music, and six years later, it has remained a platform that supports artists at every point in their careers. Artists deserve better tools to assist them in their creative journey."

He added: "Jack is one of the greatest minds of our times, and our many discussions about TIDAL’s endless possibilities have made me even more inspired about its future. This shared vision makes me even more excited to join the Square board. This partnership will be a game-changer for many. I look forward to all this new chapter has to offer!"

Jay-Z launched TIDAL back in 2015 after winning a $56 million bid from Swedish streaming company Aspiro. In 2016, there were conversations about Apple buying TIDAL, which never materialized. Then, in 2017, Sprint bought a 33 percent stake in the streaming service.

Jay has been making major boss moves as of late. Most recently, he sold half of his Ace of Spades champagne line to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, also known as LVMH.

See Jay-Z and Jack Dorsey's Tweets About the TIDAL and Square Partnership

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

Filed Under: Jay-ZCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: April 30, 2021Leon Bennett / Bennett Raglin, Getty Images (2)

50 Cent is coming for Irv Gotti for comments Irv made about the cause of DMX's death.

Following a radio interview Irv did with 107.5 WGCI in Chicago on April 23, in which he claims Earl "DMX" Simmons died of drug-related causes, 50 Cent has called out the Murder Inc. Records cofounder for his comments. In an Instagram post shared on Thursday (April 29), the Grammy Award-winning rapper responded to Irv for speaking out of turn.

"This guy is a idiot, did he just say DMX died from smoking crack and fentanyl! ‍why would he say that?," Fif captioned the upload, which features an audio clip of Irv Gotti's recent radio interview.

In the interview with The Morning Show, Irv provided unconfirmed information regarding DMX's death on April 9. "They said it was a bad dose of crack and they said some drug fentanyl was mixed in with the crack and that's what made him overdose," the record producer asserted in a portion of the interview that has since been removed from the 35-minute discussion.

Irv also said about X during the interview: "Then when he got to the hospital, he got diagnosed with COVID and he couldn't breathe—you know that COVID messes with your respiratory system—so that's why he had to get hooked up to the ventilator. They said before he did, they was like, 'His brain died.'"

A rep for DMX confirmed to XXL on April 7 that there was no truth to reports claiming that X had tested positive for COVID-19 while in White Plains Hospital.

The Morning Show appears to have removed the original video containing the information Irv Gotti alleged about DMX's death and uploaded a new version of the episode that same day.

Reports that the Ruff Ryders Entertainment rapper suffered an alleged overdose that resulted in a heart attack began to circulate online on April 3. At the time, news outlets claimed that the 50-year-old rhymer was in "grave condition" in a White Plains, N.Y. hospital.

X's death was announced less than a week later. DMX's memorial was held on April 24 and the private funeral for the family and close friends was the following day, on April 25.

The confirmed cause of DMX's death has not been revealed yet. A rep for the Westchester County Medical Examiner informed XXL yesterday that autopsy records and results are prohibited from disclosure by HIPAA.

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

Filed Under: 50 Cent, DMX, Irv GottiCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Robby Seabrook III”>Robby Seabrook IIIPublished: April 30, 2021Erika Goldring, FilmMagic

At just 26 years old, Lil Uzi Vert is one of the biggest rappers out. After coming up in the SoundCloud era, he's scored multiplatinum songs and albums, dropped plenty of projects and created a wave that many artists after him try to emulate. After dropping his oft-delayed yet still highly anticipated album Eternal Atake album in 2020, and it actually living up to the hype, Uzi has reached a new echelon. His success has earned him the freedom to jump on any song he feels like and try out new sounds, which speaks to how he's always moved—to the beat of his own spacey sounds. Between the dyed dreads, facial piercings (including a diamond in his forehead) and one-of-a-kind fashion sense, Uzi has always done whatever he wants. That self-confidence and commitment to his own vision spreads to his music, down to the beats he chooses to rap over, which many producers are trying to capture with Lil Uzi Vert type beats.

In 2016, Uzi dropped "Money Longer," a looming, bass-heavy beat with filtered piano keys that make them sound like laser beams from a spaceship. At the time, this particular sound was unique, turning his trap beats into an alien-like party backdrop, along with Uzi's youthful and fun-loving flow. The work of Maaly Raw and Don Cannon behind the boards, this kind of track, which appears on the rapper's 2016 mixtape, Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World, is one of the few that artists didn't try to copy from Uzi's catalog. The aspects of this beat work are perfect for Uzi and the artist he would soon become.

The biggest turning point in Uzi's career was "XO Tour Llif3," which he dropped in 2017 on his debut album, Luv Is Rage 2. A melancholy song about suicidal ideations, a spiraling relationship and other emotional anguish, the TM88 and JW Lucas-produced beat is way out there. Mixing together rapid trap 808s, chimes and violins, along with a mysterious clicking sound, the beat finds beauty in the chaos,by making all of the different aspects work with each other.

Check below for some LiL Uzi Vert type beats, in which producers try to emulate the eclectic sounds the rapper has chosen to rap over throughout his career.

See 20 Signs You're a Lil Uzi Vert Fan

Filed Under: Lil Uzi VertCategories: Type Beats

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: April 30, 2021Empire/ Atlantic / We The Best/Epic / Pick Six Records

Summer is rolling in slowly, but the new releases from some of hip-hop's favorite seasoned and rising artists aren't. Take a look below to find some heat to help end your workweek and kick off the weekend.

DJ Khaled has been hinting at receiving artists' vocals for weeks on end. And now, his latest offering, Khaled Khaled, has arrived. The 14-track album features an iconic collaboration with New York City rap greats Jay-Z and Nas alongside singer-songwriter James Fauntleroy and Harmonies by the Hive for "Sorry Not Sorry." The Miami-based producer teased the sultry yet infectious offering and its accompanying video via Instagram on Wednesday (April 28). Last minute vocals from Cardi B made the LP as well for their joint effort called "Big Paper." Expect appearances from other heavy hitters like Drake, Lil Wayne, Jeremih, Migos, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Baby, DaBaby, Big Sean, Meek Mill and more. Khaled Khaled is the charismatic beatmaker's 12th LP and the follow-up to Father of Asahd, named after his firstborn son, Asahd, which dropped in 2019.

Shelley, formerly known as DRAM, introduces his new moniker on Shelley FKA DRAM, his first album in about five years. The effort, which contains 10 tracks and features from Summer Walker, H.E.R., Erykah Badu and more, is the follow-up to his 2018 EP. That's a Girls Name, but is also his first LP since his debut, Big Baby DRAM, in 2016.

In the Spring 2021 issue of XXL magazine, on stands now, the Virginia-bred singer explained life within the span of years between his first solo album and his newly released sophomore album. He's experienced drug addiction—for which he got help—the death of his mother, weight gain and loss through fitness, and a return to the music. "When the debut album dropped, I was new, but I still was kind of around for a couple years, just doin’ 'Cha Cha' and 'Broccoli,'" he said. "I still wasn’t really hip to what life was like at a top-tier level, with that much exposure, that much attention, that much going on. Everything was good. It was goin’ right or whatever, but at the same time, all these other things just started coming in. The thing is, they don’t really present themselves as signs like, 'Hey, this is this issue coming right at you, move to the left or deal with it.' It just slides right in. And so, I just let things slide right in because I was on a roll."

North Carolina newcomer Morray also drops a new mixtape this week titled Street Sermons. The tape arrived on Wednesday (April 28) with 13 melodic and soulful tracks solely from Morray himself. The effort, which received a co-sign from J. Cole via social media, includes the songs "Trenches," "Can't Use Me" and his breakout hit, "Quicksand." This is the Fayetteville, N.C. native's first project, but prior to its release, he delivered a number of singles including "Switched Up," "Big Decisions" and "Kingdom."

See more new music below from Gucci ManeJ.Period and others below.

  • Khaled KhaledDJ KhaledEpic Records
  • Shelley FKA DRAMShelley FKA DRAMEmpire / Atlantic Recordings
  • Street SermonsMorrayPick Six Records
  • This Thing of OursThe AlchemistALC
  • Code Name 16CapolowCinematic Music Group
  • Parallel WorldCadence WeaponEONE Music
  • Story to TellJ.PeriodTruelements Music / RBC Records
  • FYE (F*CK YOUR EXPECTATIONS) Pt. 2AG ClubCor/Tan Records / The Namelesscollective /
  • Rookie of the YearLil EazzyyWarner Music
  • YasukeFlying LotusWarp Records
  • Gravy Train Down Memory Lane: Side BYung Gravy Yung Gravy
  • Mud MouthYelawolfSlumerica
  • Atlanta’s Most WantedOla RuntCinematic Music Group
  • Generation Scam EPTeejayx6 and Lex LugerTF Entertainment

See Hip-Hop Albums Turning 10 in 2021

Filed Under: AG Club, Bangers, Cadence Weapon, Capolow, D.R.A.M., DJ Khaled, Flying Lotus, J.Period, Lex Luger, Lil Eazzyy, Morray, Ola Runt, Teejayx6, The Alchemist, Yelawolf, Yung GravyCategories: Music, New Music, News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: April 29, 2021Kevin Winter, Getty Images for Coachella

Dr. Dre and Nicole Young's impending divorce moves full steam ahead after a judge reportedly ordered the 56-year-old producer to pay for his estranged wife's legal fees.

On Tuesday (April 27), a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge reportedly ordered Dre to pay $500,000 in attorney fees to Nicole's legal team. According to the Daily Mail on Wednesday (April 28), who appears to have obtained the court documents, the legendary producer must cough up the cash by May 7.

The outlet notes that the $500,000 payment is only 10 percent of the $5 million settlement Young is looking to obtain from the hip-hop mogul for her attorney fees. Back in January, shortly after Dr. Dre suffered a brain aneurysm, he agreed to temporarily pay his soon-to-be ex-wife $2 million in monthly spousal under the condition that Young covered her $5 million in legal costs.

Young is apparently requesting $2 million in spousal support on top of the $5 million she's seeking to cover her legal fees. Prior to Dre agreeing to the $2 million per month, he had been giving Young $293,306 each month. However, the debate over spousal support won't commence until their next hearing on July 8.

The latest news of their divorce proceedings comes after Dre and Young reportedly filed court documents agreeing to legally end their marriage on April 15. While the pair are practically single, they are still going through a divorce, which has yet to be finalized.

Dr. Dre and Nicole Young's divorce has left tension between the former couple. Nicole accused the veteran producer of putting a gun to her head twice during their marriage and punching her in the head on two separate instances. She also alleged that the Compton native emptied her bank accounts and accused the rapper-producer of repeat infidelity.

Nicole Young filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for the separation, in June of 2020. The couple had been married for 24 years before the news of their split. The rapper, born Andre Romelle Young, and Nicole Young share a daughter named Truly and a son named Truice.

XXL has reached out to the Los Angeles County Superior Court as well as both Dr. Dre and Nicole Young's legal teams for comment.

See the Best Hip-Hop Albums Created by One Producer

Filed Under: Dr. DreCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: April 29, 2021Nathaniel S. Butler / NBAE, Getty Images

J. Cole's most recent album, KOD, dropped just over two years ago in 2018. And now, the rumor mill is buzzing that his long-awaited sixth LP, The Fall Off, could be arriving soon.

Bas, who is signed to Cole's Dreamville Records, uploaded a post to Instagram last night (April 28), which began circulating online shortly after. The image, which has since been deleted, features a photo of a focused J. Cole in the booth. The IG post was captioned, "The Off-Season. Pack your bags. In two weeks."

The upload also included three head exploding emojis and a rocket emoji. It's unclear why Bas removed the social media post, but it doesn't look like Cole nor anyone else on the Dreamville team is confirming an impending release that might arrive in two weeks.

However, that doesn't necessarily mean the effort won't drop. In fact, the Fayetteville, N.C. rapper has been working on the album since at least 2018. On KOD, the outro "1985 (Intro to The Fall Off)" signified that Cole had another new LP in the works. He even released songs like "Middle Child" in 2019, as well as "Snow on the Bluff," "Lion King on Ice" and "The Climb Back" in 2020, which fans thought would be for The Fall Off.

The former 2010 XXL Freshman offered those few loose singles to seemingly hold fans over as they wait for a full-length album.

In 2020, Cole dropped "Snow on tha Bluff" as well as "The Clime Back" and "Lion King on Ice"—the latter tracks appeared on his two-song pack Lewis Street. While fans were eager for all three offerings, "Snow on tha Bluff" received criticism via social media. Many people called out J. Cole for misogyny in his lyrics. He was also accused of indirectly addressing Noname when he described a Black woman who was bothered by racism and police brutality, and its affect on the Black community.

Cole later addressed the critiques he received and appeared to take an unapologetic stance although he commended Noname for the work she's done within the Black community. Cole also admitted to not fully informing himself about the excessive police brutality that had transpired at the time, explaining that he "just be rapping."

Nonetheless, fans have been waiting for a new album from J. Cole for some time, so hopefully their patience hasn't been in vain. Let's also be optimistic that this isn't the last music from Cole as folks speculate retirement may come from the rhymer following the release of The Fall Off album.

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

Filed Under: J. ColeCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: April 28, 2021Marc Piasecki, GC Images / Yichuan Cao, NurPhoto /Getty Images)

Kanye West has inadvertently entered into a trademark war with Walmart over logo similarities.

Walmart filed a complaint with the US Patent and Trademark Office on April 21 after Kanye West's Yeezy brand submitted a logo design the retail corporation deemed too similar to their own. Yeezy LLC entered a filing for a new design on Jan. 3, 2020, which resembles the sun and is made up of eight three-dotted black spokes. The design does look close to the Walmart logo, which depicts six solid lines with rounded ends that looks like a sun also. Walmart's logo is also yellow and is referred to by the retail company as their "spark design."

According to a separate portion of the retail giant's legal filing, which was obtained by XXL on Wednesday (April 28), along with their concerns of confusion for shoppers, the retail store is worried about "a false affiliation" that could "injure and damage" Walmart's relationship with other brands they work with.

Walmart did not offer XXL a statement, but the company did share a letter issued to Yeezy brand's lawyers, Timothy Yoo and Robert Rose, on April 19. Rose appears to have filed the trademark for the logo.

The statement reads in part: "As expressed in Walmart’s previous correspondence, Walmart believes the logo design depicted in the Yeezy Application is confusingly similar to Walmart’s well-known spark logo design pictured below ("Walmart Spark Design"). Because of Walmart’s concerns, Walmart filed for an extension of time to oppose registration of the Yeezy Application in the hope that Yeezy and Walmart could reach an agreement about the manner in which the Walmart Spark Design and Yeezy Application could co-exist without consumer confusion. As we have previously mentioned, with the little information provided in the intent to use application, it is difficult for Walmart to determine, without more information from Yeezy, how the parties could work together to eliminate confusion."

The email continues: "As we referenced in our correspondence in July and August of 2020, January and February of 2021 and our telephone conference in March of 2021, Walmart has repeatedly sought to understand Yeezy’s planned use of the Yeezy Application, with the goal of finding ways in which the Walmart Spark Design and the Yeezy Application can co-exist with one another. However, to date, we have not received any conclusive information from Yeezy regarding the planned use or any cooperation from Yeezy in order to find common ground."

Walmart added that they haven't received "any substantive feedback, in order for Walmart to preserve its rights and protect the Walmart Spark Design, Walmart must move forward in filing a Notice of Opposition against the Yeezy Application."

After acquiring deals with the Gap, Inc. and Adidas, the Yeezy clothing and sneaker brand has reportedly been valued between $3.2 billion and $4.7 billion by UBS Group AG. ’Ye launched Yeezy with Adidas back in 2015 after parting ways with Nike in 2013.

XXL has reached out to Kanye West's team and Walmart for comment.

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

Filed Under: Kanye WestCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: April 28, 2021Prince Williams, Wireimage

Kodak Black has received his fate in the 2016 sexual assault and battery incident involving a teenage girl, of which he pleaded guilty to in a South Carolina courtroom this afternoon.

According to court documents obtained by XXL on Wednesday (April 28), Kodak, whose given name is now Bill K. Kapri, was handed an 18-month probation sentence after entering a guilty plea to first-degree assault and battery in connection to the 5-year-old incident that transpired between himself and an underage girl in a Florence S.C. hotel in February of 2016. Kodak also has to pay a $125 fine and is ordered to complete counseling.

Inside the courtroom, Kodak addressed the victim, who appeared via a virtual live feed. “I apologize this happened and I’m hopeful we can all move forward,” the rapper said.

The rapper's legal team provided a statement to XXL this afternoon, which said, "Today Bill Kapri took a plea to the legal charge of assault, a non sex offense, and received 18 months probation. This was a change of charge from the original charge. Having consistently denied these 5 year old allegations, he entered this plea in order to resolve the matter."

Based on court updates via Twitter from Florence, S.C.'s WPDE news reporter Tonya Brown, Kodak was accompanied at the hearing by his attorneys and Baltimore Ravens' quarterback Lamar Jackson. According to a report from The Post and Courier today, Jackson apparently intended to testify, but he left the court before the hearing started.

Shortly after the news broke of his guilty plea, Kodak went to his Twitter account to post a single emoji of a smiling face with sunglasses.

According a report from WBTW13 today, Kodak was also required to assume accountability for his actions and issue his victim an apology, which he did in court. "I apologize to Miss [victim’s name] and am hopeful we can all move forward," he said. "I wish her the best in her life."

In 2016, the Florence County Sheriff's Office accused and charged the South Florida rhymer with first-degree criminal sexual conduct. In August of that year, Kodak was already incarcerated for a separate crime and due to be released from jail after being sentenced to a year of house arrest and five years of probation for charges including possession of a firearm by a delinquent, false imprisonment and more, which carried a maximum sentence of 55 years behind bars.

However, while Project Baby was being processed to be released from Florida's Broward County Jail in 2016, police realized he had two outstanding warrants—one for a misdemeanor marijuana charge in St. Lucie County, Fla. and the other for sexual assault in Florence, S.C.

The Florence County Sheriff's Office informed XXL at the time that "according to investigators, on or about February 7, 2016 Octave is alleged to have engaged in the sexual battery of the victim at a hotel located at 2120 West Lucas Street, Florence, SC." Before Kodak Black changed his name to Bill K. Kapri, his birth name was Dieuson Octave.

The incident presumably took place following Kodak's scheduled performance at the city's Club Compound on Feb. 6, 2016. The rapper was accused of sexually assaulting the teen girl and allegedly forced her onto a bed and then on the floor. All the while, the victim reportedly insisted Kodak stop. He's accused of biting the girl on her neck and breast.

Authorities reportedly became involved with the crime after the teen informed her school nurse of what happened.

Months after the alleged assault, the Sun Sentinel reported that in the state of South Carolina, a criminal sexual assault charge can derive from various circumstances. "A victim could be forced to have sex through aggravated force, during a kidnapping or while physically helpless due to the influence of a controlled substance," the report noted. "The crime carries a punishment of up to 30 years in prison."

Shortly after, the "Zeze" rapper was transferred from Broward County Jail to the St. Lucie County Jail for his misdemeanor drug charges.

In November of 2016, Kodak Black was extradited to the Florence County Sheriff's Office.

According to today's report from The Post and Courier, Kodak posted $100,000 in December of 2016, and was indicted in May of the following year. His court date for the sexual assault case was reportedly set for 2019, but was postponed.

Earlier this year, he was serving a nearly four-year prison sentence on a federal firearms charge stemming from his May 2019 arrest prior to the Rolling Loud Miami Festival. A Nov. 11, 2022 release date from prison was scheduled with the possibility that he could be released to a halfway house in 2021. However, Kodak received a commuted sentence for his federal firearms charges by former President Donald Trump. So now, it looks like the rapper is currently unencumbered by any legal issues.

XXL has reached out to Kodak's attorney for a comment on this matter.

See 22 Hip-Hop-Related Police Raids

Filed Under: Kodak BlackCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Robby Seabrook III”>Robby Seabrook IIIPublished: April 28, 2021Travis Shinn

Music has a way of connecting family, and altering a life path for the better of those who have the talent to take that passion for song to the next level. Such is the case with TheHxliday, a teenage rapper out of Baltimore who got introduced to music by his mother, the lead singer of the city's local rock band called Chick Flick. He even started his own band, Versus the World, at the age of 5. Seeing his mom perform was an inspiration, and he got his own chance to actualize his interests in performing further at 13.

It was at this age that his mother showed him how to use GarageBand, the Apple audio program. TheHxliday used the workstations to make beat loops, and ultimately remade Common and John Legend's "Glory" in the program after he found the beat online. The then-aspiring artist did this to win a chance to sing a solo of the track in high school, and his plan worked. Fast-forward years later, the singing-rapping newcomer who based his name off his loves for holidays has two projects under his belt, two Cole Bennett-directed music videos—"Mistakes" and "Save Me" are both around 5 million YouTube views—a deal with Motown Records and a budding music career.

But before those big moves he made, TheHxliday decided to keep doing covers after the success he had with covering "Glory." In 2018, when he was 15, he also covered Rae Sremmurd's "Powerglide." The track blew up on SoundCloud, getting a million streams in one week—it now has over 7 million streams. Around this time, TheHxliday's own song "Enemy" was gaining momentum, and he started to build a more loyal fan base. With this type of online traction, he also started receiving all sorts of DMs from people who wanted to work with him. The singing-rapping newcomer chose his manager, Trap, from those DMs; an off-the-cuff decision he made while hungover for the first time. That move helped change TheHxliday's life as he pushed himself head first into the music industry, capping off what was already a crazy 2018.

TheHxliday kept the hybrid of songs coming in 2019 with the piano-driven banger "Mistakes" and the knocking ode "Messages," two heartfelt tracks about wanting to get his girl back, which encompasses his style of melding hip-hop, rock, pop and R&B. "So don't give up on what we have/Before it's too late (Before it's too late)/Ain't no room for mistakes, uh (Ain't no room for mistakes)/Baby, don't you hear, yuh?" he delivers on the mid-tempo groove of "Mistakes." There have been plenty of acts who have rapped and sung over more emo-centric hip-hop beats in the SoundCloud scene, but TheHxliday is more polished than some of his contemporaries were, with solid songwriting and a deft understanding of how to put tracks together. His 2020 project, Broken Halls, and Batbxy, released in 2021, showcases his homegrown talents.

Last year, a major moment in TheHxliday's career materialized. He signed to Motown Records in August of 2020, choosing the storied label over others because he felt comfortable with the team and the deal fit his goals. Armed with a major label behind him and his forthcoming EP, The Most Beautiful Disaster, on the way, TheHxliday is making his own way in the game and enjoying the journey. Get to know his story in this week's edition of XXL's The Break.

Age: 19

Hometown: Baltimore

I grew up listening to: "My Chemical Romance, Linkin Park, Paramore, Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson. It's a lotta people. Then the SoundCloud wave came in. I was listening to Trippie [Redd] and X[XXTentacion], Ski [Mask The Slump God], [Lil] Skies."

My style’s been compared to: "So I get early Trippie Redd. I hear people say early Trippie Redd when it comes to the music sometimes. I can really say that all the time. I see people would say Jaden Smith. I heard people say X. I heard people say Juice [Wrld], [Swae Lee]."

I’m going to blow up because: "It's crazy ’cause it's just like every time I… feel like it's funny. Every time I'm going through something mentally, right, I be taking it out on my music and everything, but it's always something happening, it always knocked me back
into the game. It's always something that gave me my head back, focused. So, I feel there's
always signs just kind of telling me, 'Just keep working, keep going crazy and keep enhancing my sound.' I'll get a call from somebody different every other day. I just got a call from Skrillex, and that was crazy to me. He called me to tell me that he likes my music. So, that tells me something."

What’s your most slept-on song, and why?: "'Messages,' that song is way too hard. Every time that song comes on it never gets old to me and my fans be saying the same thing. I love making music, for real."

My standout records to date have been: "My biggest song is definitely 'Mistakes' is one of them. That was the first one that gave me a different audience, to even to this day, I see messages every day. Like people telling me they just ran into 'Mistakes.' It still
gains fans. That's one that sticks out a lot. That's Cole [Bennett]'s favorite song from me. So that's why we did that one first."

My standout moments to date have been: "Definitely between Rolling Loud and I would also say that the Forbes is also a pretty big one. It was a [Rolling Loud] livestream. I was on the first one that they did."

Most people don’t know: "I love horror movies. I'm going to have to say Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That's it, right there."

I’m going to be the next: "Superstar."

Follow TheHxliday on SoundCloud and Instagram.





'Wit Dat" featuring Polo G


See 20 Ways in Which Rappers Schooled Us About Life

Filed Under: Feature, The Break, TheHxlidayCategories: News, The Break

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Zoe Johnson”>Zoe JohnsonPublished: April 28, 2021Scott Dudelson, Getty Images for Coachella

It has been 1,353 days since Kendrick Lamar released his fourth studio album, Damn, in 2017. Now, rumors are circulating that the rhymer could be dropping a project next week.

On Wednesday (April 28), Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith—the Chief Executive Officer of Top Dawg Entertainment—posted a cryptic message suggesting a wait is coming to an end on May 7, 2021. Tiffith shared a 19-second clip to Instagram earlier today with a loading bar symbol underneath TDE's giant logo, gradually loading to 100 percent. Afterwards, the video displays the date: "5/17/21." In the caption for the clip, Tiffith wrote, "5/7//21 THE WAIT IS OVAH!!!!!! #TDE."

Fans instantly jumped into Tiffith's comments demanding that Kendrick be the next TDE affiliate to drop a highly anticipated album. However, Isaiah Rashad, who hasn't dropped a project since releasing The Sun's Tirade in 2016, and SZA, who's been steadily releasing singles and videos in 2021, are also among the TDE artists fans want to hear from next.

One person responded to Top Dawg's IG post, which was also shared via Twitter, and said, "Kendrick not dropping. we need isaiah."

Another typed, "Y’all complaining about 'oh if it’s not Kendrick…. blah blah. Oh if it’s SZA….' Just shut up lol. Regardless of WHO on the TDE roster is dropping, just be happy were eatin’. Everyone on that label is incredibly talented and will drop some heat."

While the video doesn't mention Kendrick by name, the music executive confirmed back in May that Kendrick Lamar is returning to music in a social media post. Top Dawg wrote at the time, "Stay patient king Kendrick will return soon."

There have also been reports that Kung Fu Kenny is rumored to have completed a rock-influenced LP. Bill Werde, a columnist at Billboard, offered some insight into K-Dot's next project.

"Did anyone not named Beyonce release better, more meaningful back-to-back albums last decade than Kendrick Lamar? Are you interested to know that I hear from several friends that recording on the new album may finally be done? And that he’s pulling in more rock sounds this time?," Werde wrote in a tweet.

Scroll down to see more reactions stemming from Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith hinting at a new TDE release coming soon.

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

Filed Under: Kendrick LamarCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: April 28, 2021We tv

What's Happenin'
Waka Flocka Flame is on fire with another season of his TV show and new music on the way.
Interview: Aleia Woods
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

Waka Flocka Flame, known for his anthemic party hits that span across the last decade, also has a few other proud titles under his belt: husband, father and reality show star. Waka, his wife Tammy Rivera and their daughter Charlie have entered the second season of their We tv reality series, Waka & Tammy: What the Flocka. When the 35-year-old rapper isn’t in front of the camera, he’s teasing new music for his upcoming album, Flockaveli 2. Check out what Waka has to say about both of his careers.

XXL: You’ve said that you wanted your reality show to be like the modern version of The Cosby Show, with you promoting family and fatherhood. How does it feel to be a rapper that’s promoting this type of positivity?

Waka Flocka Flame: I’m just living the purpose of God. I know why I’m living and to live is to show love. And for me to show love, I can’t be in love. Being in love is an emotion, so I gotta show love. This is what I wanna do. I’m 35 years old. I’m looking forward to being 40. My daughter is about to be 16 years old. I’m looking forward to her being 18. For the first time, I had a little boy come to my house for Valentine’s Day and exchange flowers with my daughter and he came with his mother. That’s a moment money can’t buy. Even though I did not like it, I was mad as shit, but it still felt good to experience that. Even with the shit I’ve been through with my wife, I wish to God I never in my life hurt her. As a 35-year-old man, I know exactly what I have to do. Now, it’s like, shit [what] I’m doing today, it’s ’cause I wanna do it. ’Cause God is allowing me to do it. Shit feels good and it’s no sucker shit.

You’ve been talking about dropping Flockaveli 2 for a little bit. Is there anything you can say about the new music that’s coming?

Yes. What I’ma do is, I’ma drop a CD before Flockaveli 2. I feel like I was selling fans short of Flockaveli 2 and I was selling them short of an EP. Fans ain’t get no dope tape out of me yet. Before they had a good album, they had some fire-ass records, fire-ass CDs to listen to and build on my sound and learn how to fall in love with it. That’s the approach I’m taking now. I’m about to get ready to drop a record called 8 Ball. I named it 8 Ball ’cause I feel like I got the game in the corner pocket.

Do you have a timeline of when fans will get 8 Ball?

It was gonna be March, but I had a clearance issue on one record and it fucked that up. They definitely gonna get it before my birthday, May 31, though. I got my single that I’m putting out it’s called “Wet” and another single I’m putting out. I’m putting them out together ’cause I’m a Gemini, so I gotta split ’em. And I got a record called “Dread Shaking.”

Everyone is still dealing with the pandemic. What adjustments have you made that you will continue to do in your normal life?

During the lockdown, I realized that the man in the mirror was my biggest enemy. That was the person…myself. I healed myself. I swear, this lockdown taught me how to heal myself. And now, I feel like…that shit made me love myself, yo. It made me know that I was born to show love to people. That’s what made me big as a rapper because I showed love to everybody. That’s what made me good in the streets because I showed love to everybody.

Are you considering getting vaccinated?

No. I’m not doing it. Nothing in the world would make me get the vaccine. Not no money, not no law, nothing. If I can’t fly, then guess what? I’m gon’ drive the muthafucka. If I can’t interact with people, I’m cool. I’ll isolate myself, stay on my stage. Isolate myself, get off stage. But I’m not taking no vaccine. My medicine grows on trees. My medicine is tree bark, so I’m good.

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

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

Filed Under: Feature, Waka Flocka Flame, XXL MagazineCategories: News, XXL Magazine

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: April 28, 2021Prince Williams, Wireimage

Ohio was already solidified on the rap map thanks to the likes of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Kid Cudi and other rhymers that came before him. However, when Trippie Redd hit the hip-hop scene around 2017, the state's hip-hop sound elevated a few notches. Known for both rapping and singing, Auto-Tune-enhanced tracks and seemingly eclectic production teetering the rock music genre, which eventually led to a rock album earlier this year, Trippie has covered a few bases in his music. Despite Trippie's range of sounds, that hasn't deterred producers from trying to reproduce his sonics with Trippie Redd type beats.

One thing about Trippie, he paints a portrait in his music. His abstract musical brush strokes about love and his life experiences are amplified by his production. On his first major mixtape, A Love Letter to You in 2017, the instrumentals aren't as fine-tuned, but the use of piercing 808s and heavy bass on the Elliot Trent-produced "Love Scars" or the spiraling vibrations with subtle guitar strums on the Goosetheguru-produced "Romeo & Juliet" help to drive Trippie's point home.

The following year, in 2018, Trippie Redd dropped his album, Life's a Trip. The effort, which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 album chart that year, has a more refined sound. On the Scott Storch and Avedon-produced "Taking a Walk," Trippie utilizes the effervescent and jovial beat for his dark subject matter about death. A clear juxtaposition, the former 2018 XXL Freshman tells his story over a piano-laced backdrop with erratic ticks and prominent bass.

That same year, Trippie teamed up with the late Juice Wrld for "1400 / 999 Freestyle." The uptempo OZ and Pas Beats production, which appears on A Love Letter to You 3, contains rhythmic drums, mellow piano keys, subtle wind instruments, 808s and vibrant hi-hats. The ChopSquad DJ-produced "Topanga," comprised of a melting pot of ticks, warm piano keys, bright drums and a high-pitched voiceover, is on the album as well.

On A Letter Love to You 4, which also dropped in 2019, and topped the Billboard 200 album chart that same year, Trippie Redd offers a more simplistic sound at times—like on "Who Needs Love." The track, which has over 131 million streams on Spotify and was crafted by Angel Lopez and Igor Mamet, is laden with ascending guitar sounds, moderate bass and mellow kicks.

On Trippie's most recent effort, Neon Shark vs. Pegasus (Deluxe – Presented by Travis Barker), released in February of this year, the rapper fuses his already broad-ranging sound with rock feels. The Travis Barker of Blink-182-produced "Pill Breaker" featuring Barker, Machine Gun Kelly and Blackbear has energetic kicks, pulsating bass and steady guitar strums.

Trippie's sound is ever-changing, but producers are evidently up for the challenge as they've continued to replicate the sonics that have made the Canton, Ohio rapper famous. Check out some Trippie Redd type beats below.

See 15 Signs You're a Trippie Redd Fan

Filed Under: Trippie ReddCategories: Type Beats

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Kemet High”>Kemet HighPublished: April 28, 2021Mike Lawrie, Getty Images

The origins of rappers and their sneaker collaborations with major shoe companies dates back decades. In the 1980s, the pioneering hip-hop trio Run-DMC partnered with Adidas to release the Superstar sneakers. They were the first artists the company collaborated with for a non-athlete endorsement. Since then, hip-hop’s biggest faces have continually been called upon to tag-team some exclusive footwear.

Considering the status of these artists and the evidence of their limitless drip, it's apparent that fans will always gravitate towards their favorite rappers' custom sneakers. The question is, how much are they willing to spend? Some people throw upwards of $10,000 to get their hands on these limited kicks.

Take for example Kanye West’s coveted Yeezys. Before he had a falling out with Nike, ’Ye and the footwear giant collaborated on a few pairs of sneakers, including the Nike Air Yeezy 2 SP Red October. Though the kicks initially retailed at $245, these days a sneaker fiend will have to spend more than $5,000 to attempt to get their hands on them. On a similar but record-breaking note, Kanye's Nike Air Yeezy 1s recently sold for an alarming $1.8 million, making it the most expensive sneaker ever sold.

If that’s steep, DJ Khaled’s Father of Asahd and Grateful album-themed shoes will blow your mind as well. Those Jordan joint efforts put the price tag in the five-figure range. Elevating things one more notch, Travis Scott’s PlayStation Nike dunks are currently on the market for nearly $1 million. Yes, you read that correctly. That should come as no surprise seeing how the price tag on La Flame's McDonald's action figure skyrocketed last year too.

Many rappers have designed rare, one-of-a-kind shoes with sneak companies over the last two decades. With that comes a hiked price. So today, XXL highlights some of the most expensive shoes created by rappers.

The majority of the calculations are based on the lowest asking price right now for all sizes on the shoe reseller sight StockX. Check out the gallery below, which includes the backstory on the as well as their design and price history.

See the Most Expensive Sneakers Created by Rappers

Filed Under: DJ Khaled, Drake, Eminem, Feature, Galleries, Gallery, Kanye West, Macklemore, Pharrell, Travi$ ScottCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: April 28, 2021Frank Hoensch, Redferns

Lil Mosey appeared in Lewis County Superior Court in Washington yesterday and entered a not guilty plea on a second-degree rape charge stemming from an incident last year.

Amy Muth and Jennifer Atwood, attorneys for the rapper, born Lathan Echols, maintain their client's innocence. The lawyers told XXL in a statement on Tuesday (April 27), "Lathan was never arrested and was never on the run. He only learned of this allegation last week. Notice of his court date was sent to the wrong address. Once Lathan learned about the warrant, he told his attorneys to contact the prosecutor right away. The prosecutor agreed that the judge could quash the warrant immediately, which the judge did. Lathan then appeared in court at the first opportunity. Today, the judge found he wasn’t a flight risk and didn’t impose any bail.  Lathan entered a plea of not guilty because he is innocent. We expect him to be exonerated."

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer additionally confirmed to XXL that the "Blueberry Faygo" artist appeared in court this week and a sexual assault protection order has been put in place. Meyer also notes that Lil Mosey has been scheduled for future court hearings including an omnibus hearing—or a hearing where Mosey will have to be present with his attorneys—on June 17 and a trial confirmation on July 8. His trial will begin the week of July 19.

As previously reported, the Washington native was charged with rape from an incident at a cabin in January of 2020. The incident involved an alleged male friend of Mosey's named Francisco "Cisco" Prater and two women identified only by the initials M.K.J. and J.M.H. in court documents.

The warrant Mosey's lawyers refer to was issued for his arrest for his failure to appear for a court appearance last week. However, the warrant was dismissed because the court hearing information was sent to an address that Mosey hasn't resided at for five years, according to a report from The Chronicle on Wednesday (April 28).



The report also notes that Mosey's attorneys requested he be allowed to travel outside of Washington for work to honor already scheduled international tour dates in Portugal, Canada and the U.S. set for this year and 2022. The judge reportedly obliged their request.

"I will allow the travel," Judge James W. Lawler said. "It’s not like he can go off and hide somewhere because that would make this so much worse."

Lil Mosey's lawyers also requested the 19-year-old rhymer's trial date be pushed back to January of 2022, indicating that he would forgo his right to a speedy trial, allowing the attorneys to “track down witnesses” whom they were "unaware existed” prior to the charges being filed. That particular request was denied by the judge and deemed "premature."

In addition to Lil Mosey, another man, 19-year-old Francisco "Cisco" Prater, is accused of raping one of the two women. The women friends were identified in court docs as M.K.J. and J.M.H. J.M.H. admits to agreeing to consensual sex with Mosey in a car outside of the cabin. Prater later allegedly carried J.M.H. upstairs inside the cabin and hit the woman's head on something. J.M.H. remembers being placed on a bed and blacking out. She awoke to Mosey on top of her, having sex with her. The woman claims she blacked out again and woke to Prate forcing his penis inside of her. At that point, Mosey supposedly left the room.

Prater has not appeared in court yet and there is a $50,000 warrant for his arrest.

Lil Mosey was not 18 years old when the incident reportedly took place. He turned 18 on Jan. 25, 2020. The Lewis County Prosecutor's Office waited 15 months to file charges against the rapper. Prater, on the other hand, was of legal age when the incident transpired. The victim was also of legal age when the alleged rape occurred.

See 22 Hip-Hop-Related Police Raids

Filed Under: Lil MoseyCategories: News

href=”//” rel=”author” title=”Aleia Woods”>Aleia WoodsPublished: April 27, 2021Ollie Millington, Redferms

Blueface has fired back at some of the criticism he's received via social media after videos began circulating online of the rapper going into different rooms in his home, which has bunk beds and women sleeping in the beds, and asks the ladies in the house about getting tattoos.

The "Thotiana" rhymer initially tweeted on Monday (April 26), "Wtf is a cult ?" Hours later, he followed up and seemingly offered an explanation for those inquiring about the nature of his reality show, which is titled Blue Girls Club and is available to be viewed on his OnlyFans account.

Blueface typed, "For those who are curious my show is a 3 week series I move women in from all over the US fly them out to cali put them under one roof I own 2 homes I don’t stay there I take care of all there financial needs while they are here i promote there brands etc we film all day tune in."

He then added, "We don’t tolerate any sexual conduct between men and women so the women do tend to grow interest in each other because of this but they are adults at the end of the day it’s only so much I can control so what they do with each other is apart of the show subscribe rn to see more."

Blueface even compared the bunk bed sleeping arrangements to America's Next Top Model. He wrote, "Americas next top model was on bunk beds but y’all mad at me."

Blue's response stems from people comparing the now-viral videos to R. Kelly, who is currently behind bars and was accused of keeping several women in a Georgia home where he allegedly abused them physically, sexually and emotionally. Other social media users called Blueface's show a cult.

In the clips of Blueface and the women who are presumed to be members of the cast of his at-home reality show, the California native not only inquires about if they're ready to get unspecified tats, but he also gives the option of getting tattooed or going home.

One woman said she was getting a tattoo on the front of her neck while another decided to have the artwork done on her hand. The clip also shows the woman getting the ink done on her neck.

Blueface's Blue Girls Club has a premise similar to the Oxygen network TV show Bad Girls Club, which housed self-proclaimed "bad girls" under one roof in a large home in Los Angeles.

See more reactions below to Blueface asking the women in his home, some of which are sleeping in bunk beds, about getting tattoos.

See Rappers With an OnlyFans Account

Filed Under: BluefaceCategories: News