Kanye West is planning on giving more with less. During his interview at Art Basel in Miami, Kanye explained the reasoning behind planning to make an 8-track album, how he tricked the world to think he was a rapper and more.
As part of Surface Magazine's Design Dialogues talk series, Kanye explained that his hightened ambitions to be apart of the high-end design world as his reasoning for making bothYeezus and his upcoming new album relatively short:
It's just reducing down the amount of information that you need. People say a design is the point where you can't take anything else away. [Yeezus] was very, very designed. I took a departure from radio and popular music in order to get this seat here. If I hadn't made Yeezus, I wouldn't be sitting here with this cool font at Basel right here.
Kanye has said on numerous occasions that Rick Rubin's involvement in the making of Yeezus was instrumental due to his skills of reduction. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Rubin explained how and why he reduced Yeezus:
Initially, he thought there were going to be 16 songs on the album. But that first day, before he even asked me to work on it, I said, 'Maybe you should make it more concise. Maybe this is two albums. Maybe this is just the first half,' to which Kanye excitedly said, 'That's what I came here today to hear! It could be 10 songs!'
The next single from Yeezus is set to be "Blood on the Leaves".
Young Money recording artist Drake is giving back to a local Philadelphia high school by promising to build a brand new recording studio for students aspiring to becoming performers. The "Started From The Bottom" rapper surprised kids at Strawberry Mansion High School with the announcement during a taping of an ABC News special.
"In the next few months I'm building a recording studio inside your school," Drake told the students. "This about you. This about your principal. This about your future. I love you. I care about you. I want to see you succeed."
Strawberry Mansion was featured on a World News with Diane Sawyer special report in May. The "Hidden America" segment covered the school's principal Linda Cliatt-Wayman, faculty, and students in a what was dubbed "one of the most dangerous high schools in America." Sawyer returned to SMHS to do an update on the school's progress and brought Drake along to speak with the students.
Nelson Mandela, the consummate South African freedom fighter, has died at the age of 95.
South African President Jacob Zuma made the announcement on Thursday.
Mandela pushed South African from the dregs of apartheid in to democracy that was inclusive of all races. His struggles have been well documented as he endured almost three decades of imprisonment by the White majority. Somehow, he was able to simultaneously prevent a South African Civil War and evolve into an international symbol of peace.
He would go on to become South Africa's first Black president.
"The time for the healing of the wounds has come," he said in his acceptance speech in 1994. "The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. We have, at last, achieved our political emancipation."
Mandela has amassed innumerable awards and he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, one of his many accolades. AllHipHop will continue to commemorate the life and times of Nelson Mandela.
The Hip-Hop community was no exception to the mourning felt for the icon and many used social media to express their feelings.
According to the report, the movie will star Hart as "a man who lives in the shadow of his NBA superstar brother (James), but gets a chance to prove himself when he and some pals attend a weekend fantasy basketball camp in Miami."
Production is reportedly going to start next summer during the NBA offseason. It is an interesting casting choice, considering Hart is 5 foot 3 and James is 6 foot 8.
James did star in a documentary called "More than a Game," which featured four of his high school basketball teammates from Akron, Ohio.
On the court this season, James is averaging 26 points, 6.3 assists, 5.8 rebounds and shooting nearly 60 percent.
More from Deadline.com:
James has been looking to make his feature starring debut in this film for a couple of years, but it has taken time to get this project off the ground.
For all intents and purposes, R. Kelly is going back to the trap. After televising the first 33 chapters of R. Kelly's intricate musical dramedy "Trapped In The Closet", television network IFC has announced today (December 3rd) that they will debut more chapters in 2014.
In addition to the new chapters next year, IFC is scheduling a marathon of all 33 current "Trapped In The Closet" chapters this Saturday (Dec 7) at 5:15 p.m. EST on IFC.
In 2007, Matt Singer of IFC TV interviewed R. Kelly as apart of the premiere of Trapped In The Closet: The Complete Saga on IFC. During the interview, Singer recounts that Kelly fully understood and intended for the absurdity in "Trapped In The Closet" and even gave a hilarious idea of the source of his inspiration:
I had no idea what to expect from our interview. I was very relieved he did not take the project too seriously. When I asked him where these insane ideas came from, he replied something to the effect of 'From the aliens.'
R. Kelly's "Trapped In The Closet" premiered in 2005. Every episode of "Trapped In The Closet" can be viewed on the IFC website.
Eminem's "MMLP2" falls to #2, Hopsin's "Knock Madness" cracks the Top 100 and the AMAs appear to impact the charts.
This week on Billboard's Top 200 albums chart, Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 lands at #2, this time losing the #1 spot to One Direction. Additionally, Hopsin's Knock Madness breaks into the Top 100 and the American Music Awards appear to impact the charts.
Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 Lands At #2
Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 sold approximately 199,000 units this week. That wasn't enough to top Midnight Memories, One Direction's new album, which sold approximately 547,000 units in its first week. To date, Eminem has sold about 1,323,000 copies of his most recent project. Mathers helped promote The Marshall Mathers 2 last week by unveiling a music video for "Rap God." He is reportedly also prepping a music video for "The Monster," a single of his that features Rihanna. For the first time in several weeks, Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 was the only Eminem album in the Top 200. In the first week of MMLP2's release, Eminem had eight albums make the list. "Rap God" can be viewed below.
Hopsin's Knock Madness Breaks Into Top 100
Panorama City, California representative Hopsin's Knock Madness landed at #76. The Funk Volume release sold approximately 12,260 units this week. In total, the album has moved more than 16,000 copies. The #76 placement is an improvement from last week's placement at #132.
Fellow Funk Volume emcee SwizZz recently spoke with HipHopDX about Hopsin's Knock Madnessand why he feels it's a significant release. "Knock Madness is an important album for a lot of reasons," SwizZz said. "Knock Madness really has the potential to take Hop's career to a new height. From a Hip Hop perspective, Knock Madness is important because it truly provides a fresh breath of air to today's Rap game. Hopsin's creativity and artistry can't be denied. He's the consummate artist, for real. Critics might not like his image, or preferred style, but no one can refute that he can rap his ass off."
The American Music Awards (AMAs) appeared to have an influence on the charts this week. Pitbull, the host of this year's program, for instance, went from having no projects in the Top 200 last week to having two in the Top 100 this week. Pitbull appeared on the charts this week with Global Warming (#93) and Meltdown (#95). Pitbull sold approximately 10,000 copies of each project. Rihanna, who took home an AMA Icon award, also experienced an increase in sales. Her Unapologetic collection went from #178 to #116 selling approximately 8,700 units for the week. The AMA's Favorite Rap-Hip Hop Artist winners, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, also found a jump in sales. Their album, The Heist, which also earned the duo an AMA for Favorite Rap-Hip Hop Album, went from #52 to #30 this week. This year's Favorite Male Artist at the AMAs, Justin Timberlake, also saw his 20/20 Experience Complete collection go from #22 to #11. The 20/20 Experience's first installment also jumped from #88 to #36.
Rihanna's AMA performance of "Diamonds" can be viewed below.
Jordan has announced that Drake is now a member of Team Jordan.
The brand made the announcement via Twitter.
Drake also posted images of Jordan shoes on Instagram. Some of the pairs he posted include the OVO logo on the bottom of the sneakers. His captions appear to note that the shoes are part of the OVO Stingray Pack, to be released via Jordan.
Nevertheless, details regarding Drake's involvement with Jordan have not been revealed.
Drake's involvement with Jordan coincides with the announcement of Kanye West's involvement with adidas. West, who has worked with NIKE in the past, has been confirmed as a part of the adidas family by the company, though details surrounding how West will be involved with the brand have also not been reported.
Duarte says he has sued Chris Brown for pain, suffering, distress, medical expenses and inconvenience.
Frank Ocean's cousin Sha'Keir Duarte has filed a lawsuit for more than $3 million against Chris Brown stemming from a January altercation outside of a West Hollywood recording studio, according to tmz.com.
Duarte reportedly claims that members of Brown's entourage hurt him during the fight.
According to tmz.com, Duarte itemized the damages as listed below.
Daft Punk, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Drake and Big Sean are among the artists whose material made "Rolling Stone's" 100 Best Songs Of 2013.
Rolling Stone has named its "100 Best Songs Of 2013," which includes selections from Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Drake and Big Sean, among others.
Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," which features Pharrell and Nile Rodgers, was named the #1 song of the year.
The highest-ranked Rap song was Kanye West's "Black Skinhead," which was #3. "The anthem that announced the Yeezus LP was full-bent on wrecking shit is a collab with Daft Punk – 'Ye rapping rabid over an industrial glitter-rock stomp pumped with heavy breathing and Tarzan screams," Rolling Stone wrote of "Black Skinhead." "Next time someone says America is post-race, play 'em this, and watch their head explode."
The rapper-producer's "Blood on The Leaves" was #20 and his "I Am A God" was #65. All three of the Chicago artist's songs appeared on his Yeezus album, which was named the #2 album of the year in Rolling Stone's "50 Best Albums Of 2013," which was released Monday (December 2).
Other songs of note in the Top 20 included Lorde's "Royals" at #2, Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors" at #7, Drake's "Started From The Bottom" at #9, Big Sean featuring Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronica's "Control" at #13, Eminem's "Rap God" at #15 and Jay Z's "Picasso Baby" at #19.
Several other Rap songs were included on Rolling Stone's list. Among them were J. Cole's "Crooked Smile," which landed at #37. "Over piano chords straight out of Kanye's College Dropout, the North Carolina rapper opens up about his own insecurities and reassures fans about theirs," Rolling Stone wrote. "It's lush soul rap that's uplifting but never boring – making self-affirmation sound like a hot night at a velvet-rope club."
Other songs on the list included Kevin Gates' "Whylin'" at #40; Young Thug's "Picachu" at #45; Robin Thick featuring T.I. and Pharrell's "Blurred Lines" at #50; Migos featuring Drake's "Versace (Remix)" at #69; Chance the Rapper featuring Nate Fox and Lili K's "Pusha Man" at #74; Major Lazer featuring Bruno Mars, Tyga and Mystic's "Bubble Butt" at #76; Jay Z's "Tom Ford" at #77; Mystikal's "Hit Me" at #80; 2 Chainz featuring Pharrell's "Feds Watching" at #81; and Janelle Monae featuring Erykah Badu's "Q.U.E.E.N." at #84.
"Reasonable Doubt" tops Jay Z's list, but what does Hov think of the rest of his projects?
On his 44th birthday (December 4), Jay Z has decided to reveal his own opinion on what his best—and worst—albums are.
On his lifeandtimes.com website, Hov posted an image of all of his projects, in cassette form, stacked on top of each other. The order had the album he felt was best, Reasonable Doubt, on top, and the album he liked least, Kingdom Come, on the bottom:
Jay also wrote a brief take on each project beneath the image:
"1. Reasonable Doubt (Classic)
2. The Blueprint (Classic)
3. The Black Album (Classic)
4. Vol. 2 (Classic)
5. American Gangster (4 1/2, cohesive)
6. Magna Carta (Fuckwit, Tom Ford, Oceans, Beach, On the Run, Grail)
7. Vol. 1 (Sunshine kills this album…fuck… Streets, Where I'm from, You Must Love Me…)
8. BP3 (Sorry critics, it's good. Empire (Gave Frank a run for his money))
9. Dynasty (Intro alone…)
10. Vol. 3 (Pimp C verse alone… oh, So Ghetto)
11. BP2 (Too many songs. Fucking Guru and Hip Hop, ha)
12. Kingdom Come (First game back, don't shoot me)"
While Reasonable Doubt and The Blueprint are generally regarded as his top releases, Jay reiterated his long-held criticism of his In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 album, released in 1997. Even in 1998, Jay Z admitted he didn't enjoy recording the project as much. "The album to me — this album wasn't fun to me like Reasonable Doubt, because it was like, it seemed really slow to me, and I didn't set out to do that, just looking back now and listening to it now."
Jay Z's Vol. 2, which he ranks as his fourth-best album, was the Brooklyn emcee's breakthrough album, selling 4 million units and making Hov a household name. Meanwhile, Jay admitted that Blueprint 2, his 2002 sequel to one of his best-regarded album, was bloated, as the project was a double album. Jay also made special mention of Pimp C, referring to the late UGK rapper's verse on "Big Pimpin'" from his album, Vol. 3...The Life and Times of Shawn Carter. Incidentally, Hov just released "Tom Ford (Remix)," which features Pimp C.
Word on the street is Erica Mena had to make some major shake ups in her personal story line in order to stay on the current season of Love & Hip-Hop New York so she went the lesbian route. In previous seasons she mentioned that she "smashes" women but these days she's allegedly in a relationship with the previously straight Cyn Santana.
Whispers are saying that the relationship was fabricated to created tension with Rich. Who better to put in the middle of a love triangle with two women? Cyn Santana has also been trying to get her Instagram modeling career off the ground so why not go for it, right?
Sounds plausible. Maybe it will by Erica another season on the show.
A court has ruled that the embattled city of Detroit can now file for bankruptcy, a landmark decision.
This represents the largest bankruptcy filing in the history of the United States.
The city now has protection from its creditors and will submit a plan to restructure its $18 billion in debt, according to a new report from the BBC.
A judge said that the city had made a good faith effort to pay creditors, but was unable because of the vast extent of the debt. The ruling will also protect the pension pay out of the elderly.
The report also said that roughly 40% of Detroit's streetlights don't work and there are about 150,000 vacant lots and buildings in the city.
Right now, the city's population is about 700,000, a dramatic decline from the 1950 peak of 1.8 million.
Detroit still offers a vibrant music scene that touts a number of notable Hip-Hop acts.
Kanye West also compares himself to Prince, Lauryn Hill, OutKast's Andre 3000, Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G. and Miles Davis.
During a recent Kanye West interview, the producer-rapper-designer spoke about the instrumentals for tracks in The Notorious B.I.G.'s catalog while discussing Hip Hop's changes over the years.
"Everything goes in phases and cycles and stuff," Kanye West said during an interview with Atlanta radio station V103. "You got Run-DMC and then you started going into Rakim and then Rakim and KRS-One. That opened a little gate, a door for [A] Tribe [Called Quest] to come in. And then you had on the other side N.W.A. and then Snoop [Dogg] came through and then that opened up the door for what [Dr.] Dre was doing. Then you had Biggie come back and Biggie used to actually like the Tribe sound more, the [DJ Premier] sound. Puff was the one who was like - of course, you know the story - Puff was like 'You gotta rap on "Juicy." You gotta rap on this.' Biggie was so cold. We the geminis. I'm just like Biggie.
"Man that 'Juicy' beat, I don't like that beat man, and I don't like the beat for ['Big Poppa']," West continued. "I don't like the Dr. Dre worm noise on the chorus at all, to this day when they play it. And I don't imagine Biggie liked it that much either. But Biggie was so cold, that he could make you like anything."
Kanye West Compares Himself To Prince, Lauryn Hill and Tupac Shakur
During the interview, West also compared himself to The Notorious B.I.G. and several other artists.
"People just saw me perform for 80 percent of the show without seeing my face," West said. "They was like, 'We paid all this money to see him and he didn't show his face for 80 percent of it and we still cool with that.' That's some gemini shit right there. That's some Prince, Lauryn Hill, [Andre] 3000, 'Pac, Biggie Smalls, Miles Davis, Kanye West gemini shit. Biggie Smalls made you think that that 'Big Poppa' beat was cold. It was not a cold beat."
Kanye West Discusses Screaming In Interview With Sway Calloway
"It was so funny," West said. "With 'The Breakfast Club,' I'm so prepped for anything. But with Sway, it was like...I think it was more my fault to get turnt up. But I get frustrated with dumb-ass questions. How could you give me an example of how you failed at something and you gon' tell me how I'm gonna succeed at something?"
Ashanti says she still has love for Irv Gotti despite his past comments about her.
Following an interview in which Irv Gotti, founder of The Inc, may have alluded to former the Inc artist Ashanti being disloyal, the Long Island songstress has come forward to share her side of the story.
Before sharing her thoughts on the matter during an interview with Hot 97 this week, Ashanti first revealed that there is no beef between herself and Irv Gotti and she only wants to "set the record straight."
"Me and Irv we are—there's no beef," said Ashanti. "There's definitely no beef. But for me again, just me talking about my movement and being brave and Braveheart and kinda just revealing a little bit more of myself at this point in my career. I feel like Irv kinda paints a picture of what happened with me and Murder Inc, very one-sided. You know, I hear him a lot talk about 'Oh, she's disloyal. Oh, she didn't throw up the M's. Oh, she didn't do this and that.' And I feel like it's time to kinda set the record straight on what it really is."
The singer went on to explain that she stayed silent when Irv Gotti spoke out against her because of all the ill occurrences surrounding both Gotti and The Inc, including an investigation by the Feds and a feud with Queens rapper 50 Cent.
"Regardless, I'mma always have love for Irv, regardless. We've made history together," she said. "Our chemistry together in the studio is amazing, but I'm not gonna sit here and let the picture be painted one-side anymore. You know what I mean? Cause I feel like, I'm like 'Alright, I'm cool.' Irv was hurt through a lot of the situations because there was a lot of things that happened and a lot of things that went on, so I kinda just stayed silent. But now I just feel like when I hear the interviews and he's going on about being disloyal. I gotta just make it duly noted that's not what it was."
Ashanti recalled one particular incident where Gotti informed her to not come to the studio and instead record with Nelly, a rapper the singer has dated on and off for nearly a decade.
"I remember specifically him being like 'Well, maybe you shouldn't come to the studio. You over there with Nelly…Go record over there,'" said Ashanti. "You know what I mean? So, for him to put out there like 'Oh, I'm just so disloyal and I didn't throw up the M's and I didn't hold it down.' That's not what happened at all…It was just tough after that dialogue. It was like 'What do you mean? So, what am I supposed to do?' It's causing friction and it all comes out of we were in a great space. Everyone was making records and making money and traveling and then the Feds and 50 and this whole black cloud. And everyone—it just made it really complicated for everyone."
"The bottom line with Ashanti is I love Ashanti," said Irv Gotti during his interview in September. "You know what I'm saying? And so, when you love somebody when they do things that you may not agree with, you react differently. But it's only because I love that girl. We did something…We over here throwing those M's up til we die. You know what I'm saying? I don't know if she wants to do that."
Gucci Mane faces a maximum of 10 years each for two federal gun charges.
Gucci Mane has been charged in federal court with two counts of possessing a firearm as a felon, leaving the rapper facing major jail time.
CNN reported the charges, which stem from two September incidents during which the rapper showed a gun and threatened police, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia.
At the time of his arrest on September 14, a friend had flagged down police, stating that he was concerned about Gucci's behavior.
Police say the rapper became "increasingly agitated" and threatened the officers. He was taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct, marijuana possession, and carrying a handgun.
The federal prosecutor provided a news release. "On September 12, 2013, Davis, who was a felon at the time, was found in possession of a firearm," the release said. "Then, just two days later, on September 14th, he again possessed a firearm different from the earlier gun. On both occasions, Davis displayed the loaded firearm, acted erratically, and made threats to individuals, including police and his attorney."
Atlanta Police Chief George Turner applauded the arrest. "We cannot tolerate convicted felons ignoring the law by carrying firearms and endangering our citizens."
U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates also spoke on the matter. "This is how people get hurt, and we are committed to ensuring that convicted felons not have guns," she said.
A federal grand jury indicted Gucci on November 19. Each charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
In March, Gucci was arrested for hitting a man over the head with a champagne bottle at an Atlanta nightclub.
It has been seven years since the public has been able to purchase a project released by OutKast, and it's been 13 years since a full length album featuring both members trading bars on a majority of the tracks. Rumors of tension between the duo have constantly popped up over the past decade, but with Big Boi and Andre 3000 set to reunite for a tour in 2014 the ATLiens took to social media to show they are currently hanging tough.
While there is no guarantee that the creators of classics like Aquemini and Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik are back in the studio making more music together, the upcoming tour and the pics do provide hope that 2006′s Idlewild may not be the last time Kast fans gets to hear a record from Sir Lucious Left Foot and 3 Stacks.
Rolling Stone names Kanye West's "Yeezus," Drake's "Nothing Was The Same" and Danny Brown's "Old" in its Top 20 in the Best Albums of 2013.
Rolling Stone has named its "50 Best Albums of 2013."
Kanye West had the highest ranked Rap album on the list with Yeezus. Rolling Stone wrote about the project, which was #2 on the list, and how it ranks in West's discography.
"Kanye's electro masterpiece is his most extreme album ever, which is saying something," Rolling Stone writes regarding Yeezus. "No wonder the late, great Lou Reed embraced Yeezus, since it's basically the Metal Machine Music concept translated into futuristic Hip Hop, all industrial overload and hyper-tense egomania and hostile vibes."
During a September interview with BBC Radio One, Kanye West spoke about Yeezus' sound.
"I was able to start making exactly what was in my mind again," Kanye said, speaking about Yeezus. "Not having to speak the textures of the time. Cause you know Cruel Summer is definitely Kanye West…If you look at it 200 years from now it's not gonna stand out in the way that 808s or Yeezusstands out. And can completely push or redefine or make people say 'Hey, I completely hate that' or 'I completely love that.'"