• Snoop Lion Explains Anti-Violence Song ‘No Guns Allowed’

    March 25, 2013 10:35 AM ET
     |  Billy Johnson Jr.

    In many ways, Snoop Lion is the antithesis to Snoop Dogg. The Reincarnated rapper’s new song “No Guns Allowed” featuring his daughter Cori B and Drake counters his 1992 debut on Dr. Dre’s “Deep Cover” where he boasts, “I got the gauge, a uzi and the motherf—king 22.” The release from his forthcoming reggae album offers a message of non violence. Snoop Lion raps, “We don’t want to see no more innocent blood shed. Me don’...  | More »

  • Mali Music Confronts Opposition Head-On On ‘Ready Aim’

    March 8, 2013 10:21 AM ET
     |  Billy Johnson Jr.

    Mali Music could have given his new song “Ready Aim” a happy ending. But he seemed to feel a sense of urgency to emphasize the struggle that sometimes comes with transition. On the soulful, rock-tinged song co-produced by Jerry 'Wonda' Duplessis, Mali appears to be singing about a hijacking. He’s on a flight. There are machine guns, and a shooting. But he’s not scared. He welcomes the challenge, boldly singing, “Ready, aim, fire. You can’t shoot ...  | More »

  • Mike Stud Stresses The Importance Of ‘Dreamin’ On Scott Storch Track

    March 1, 2013 10:35 AM ET
     |  Billy Johnson Jr.

    Rappers are so fixated on the cars, the strip clubs and the clothes that they sometimes forget about their pre-fame days. Mike Stud, an up-and-coming MC from Rhode Island, remembers the hard times on “Dreamin’,” a track from his forthcoming RELIEF mixtape. The song tells the stories of two individuals fighting against the odds - the kid who aspired to be a basketball player despite his below average height and a neglected, molested girl-turned-stripper blessed with the gift...  | More »

  • Edo.G Says Stop Complaining On ‘Change’

    February 21, 2013 3:57 PM ET
     |  Billy Johnson, Jr.

    An optimistic, get-over-it and pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps anthem probably isn’t what rap fans want to hear during tough economic times, but it’s what veteran Boston MC Edo.G offers on “Change” from his 10th studio album, Intelligence & Ignorance, released earlier this month. While many of the “Be A Father To Your Child”’s contemporaries complain about the system, Edo.G instead encourages his listeners to think differently. On the so...  | More »

  • 2 Chainz Arrested For Possession Of Marijuana And Paraphernalia, Instagram Photo Being Investigated

    February 19, 2013 2:20 PM ET
     |  Billy Johnson, Jr.

    Grammy nominated rapper 2 Chainz was arrested on Valentine’s Day for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, Maryland State Police Sgt. Marc Black confirmed to Yahoo! The “I’m Different” rapper was en route to a performance at the University Of Maryland Eastern Shore when he was pulled over at 9:15 p.m. for speeding. Sgt. Black said 2 Chainz, born Tauheed Epps, was stopped on Route 50 on Rabbit Hill Road in Talbot. “A trooper observed [the vehicle driving] o...  | More »

  • J. Cole's 'Tears For ODB': Anthem For 'Forgotten Souls'

    February 14, 2013 9:55 AM ET
     |  Billy Johnson, Jr.

    J. Cole’s “Tears For ODB” from his new Truly Yours mixtape is more than just a tribute to the late Wu-Tang Clan member who died of a drug overdose in 2004. “Tears” is a nod to anyone struggling to make it. The Roc Nation/Columbia artist raps about having a father on drugs and growing up with a single mother. But he acknowledges that his purpose as an MC transcends simply entertaining. “I’m here for more than to just kick some witty metaphors,”...  | More »

  • Joe Budden Explains Why He’s Mad On ‘Castles’

    February 6, 2013 11:45 AM ET
     |  Billy Johnson, Jr.

    Joe Budden has earned a rep as a hot head, always at odds with someone whether video vixen Tahiry, members of the Wu Tang Clan, 2 Chainz, Fabolous, Consequence, etc. But the New Jersey rapper offers some insight into things that irk him on “Castles” from his album No Love Lost, released Tuesday. Budden talks betrayal on the somber, piano-driven ballad. The Love & Hip Hop New York star expresses disappointment that some of the people close to him used him for his financial w...  | More »

  • Xzibit Talks ‘Napalm,’ Song Featuring Late Mother And Exiting MTV

    January 31, 2013 2:30 PM ET
     |  Billy Johnson, Jr.

    Veteran hip-hop artist Xzibit discussed his latest album, Napalm, during a recent appearance on Yahoo! Music’s The Aftermath series, the best music discussion on the ‘net. Keeping true to the Napalm title, X-to-the-Z actually shot ta music video for the album in Iraq. X offers details about filming the short in Saddam Hussein’s palace Victory Over America.  The Napalm album also has special meaning for X because it includes the song “1983” that features hi...  | More »

  • Video: 50 Cent Premieres 'Major Distribution'

    January 23, 2013 5:44 PM ET

    50 Cent just released the video for his Snoop Dogg and Young Jeezy collab “Major Distribution.” Reminiscent of classic G-Unit tracks, “Major” boasts a buzzing baseline and narrative synths produced by Marvin “Soul Professa” Coady. [Related: See 50 Cent's Crash Concert at New York Boys & Girls Club] On the chorus of the song from his forthcoming album Street King Immortal, 50 uses “Major Distribution” as a metaphor for hustling drugs,...  | More »

  • A$AP Rocky Admits Having Thoughts Of Suicide On ‘Phoenix’

    January 16, 2013 5:32 PM ET
     |  Billy Johnson, Jr.

    A$AP Rocky, the hip-hop young gun who grabbed Rihanna’s backside when joining her on stage at the Video Music Awards last September, transcends his Pretty Flacko persona on his highly-anticipated debut album, Long.Live.A$AP. While most rappers have used their trials to justify their gravitation to street life, on Long.Live.A$AP’s “Phoenix” the 24-year-old MC offers another perspective – depression. The rapper whose parents named him Rakim, after the respected h...  | More »

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