7 Most Promising Unsigned Artists of 2014

While predictions are being made for the XXL Freshman 2014 class and voting is underway, it would be appropriate to compile a list that notes some artists that did not make the ballot and are also unsigned. Those listed for the 7 Most Promising Unsigned Artists of 2014 have, over the past year,...

The 5 Coolest Rhymesayers Album Designs

Rhymesayers, the nearly-twenty year-old independent Minnesota record label, is home to many great talents. Artists such as Atmosphere, MF DOOM, Brother Ali, Evidence and more call it home, and have released plenty of music through the label. That may be, at least in part, because the label...

YG’s 15 Best Mixtape Songs

March is a big month for YG. A few days ago, he turned 24. Next week, a documentary film about his life will be released on Complex. And in a few days, his debut studio album, My Krazy Life, will drop. There’s been a lot of hype about the Southern Californian’s upcoming album, which...

ScHoolboy Q, Humanizing The Gangsta

Wearing a pair of gold-rimmed, perfect-circle glasses, and a top hat to rival an Amish man, ScHoolboy Q rubs his scruffy struggle beard and grumbles to  half asleep, “I’m a gangster rapper, that’s who I am.” On the press run for his third studio LP, Oxymoron, Q has made it very clear how...

Ranking TDE’s Albums From Worst to Best

Top Dawg Entertainment had a banner year in 2013. They capped off 2012 with Kendrick Lamar's prodigious release and rode the tidal wave of success all the way to a platinum album and even into this year’s Grammy’s. While good kid, m.A.A.d city didn’t earn anything that night other than a...

Nicki Minaj’s Destruction of Rap Patriarchy

Few fields have a more impenetrable glass ceiling for women than rap. Pitiably, it’s one of the more unforgivable innate traits of the genre. Rap is explicitly critical of even the faintest whiff of estrogen; it sniffs out anything devoid of male pheromones and pegs it as syrupy, emo-mush. Yes,...

Drake’s Place In The Macklemore Grammy Debate

Nobody saw this one coming. While a majority of the hip-hop community felt that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis "robbed" Kendrick Lamar of a much-deserved Best Rap Album Grammy for his masterpiece good kid, m.A.A.D. city, there was little debate following the ceremony about the other three albums...

A God Among Mortals: The College Dropout, 10 Years Later

Yesterday, hip-hop fans everywhere celebrated the 10th anniversary of quite possibly the most influential hip hop album of the millennium, The College Dropout. Many fans took the day to reflect on where they were at the time or how hard it was to prove to their friends how dope Kanye's first major...

Will A Hip-Hop Artist Ever Headline The Super Bowl Halftime Show?

Pop quiz: who was the first rapper to ever perform during the Super Bowl Halftime Show? a.) Jay-Z b.) Eminem c.) 50 Cent d.) Nelly If you chose Nelly (of all people), then you are correct. In fact, he performed twice. Once in 2001 alongside Aerosmith, 'N'Sync, Britney Spears, and Mary J....

New Music: Lupe Fiasco – “Thot 97″

There was once a time where people would unjokingly say, "Lupe Fiasco is the greatest rapper ever." Though only a brave, possibly delusional few would dare make that claim after Lupe's last two albums, Lupe is clearly dedicated to once again making that an acceptable statement. On "Thot 97" he raps...