Music Lists

The 7 Best Nipsey Hussle Features

Two years ago today, we lost the incomparable Nipsey Hussle.

Deep Reverence

Two years ago today, we lost the incomparable Nipsey Hussle.

In addition to the obvious slew of amazing solo projects, Nip also contributed a modicum of amazing guest features throughout his career. He gave YG's anti-Trump anthem a grounded call-to-action that caused the Secret Service to reach out and try to quell the track's existence. He also linked up with Drake early on in the OVO crooner's career and made a moody leaked single that somehow never found a home. For fans of Nip and his pithy lyrics, here are some of the rapper's stand-out guest appearances.

What It Be Like (Feat. Nipsey Hussle) – Stalley

Off of Stalley's underappreciated debut effort Ohio, "What It Be Like," with its fanfare and smooth percussion, fit Nipsey's slick street poetry like a glove. Nip uses his spot to speak on his city, and how things are never what they seem. The "city of three strikes" is full of rats "in this race for a cheese slice," all while the broke and well-intentioned of his community try to "visualize their dream life" while escaping poverty and jail.

Deep Reverence (Ft. Nipsey Hussle) – Big Sean

On this powerful feature verse, which emerged after Nip's murder, the emcee ruminates on the pressures of his lifestyle, and how being an activist and street icon was never enough to keep vultures like TMZ from spreading unflattering rumors. But Nip keeps it moving, sprinkling one more "street lesson" before proclaiming himself the don of his city and letting Big Sean take the wheel. It's a brief feature, but regardless it was so nice to hear his voice again, if only for a moment.

CANDY (Feat. Nipsey Hussle) – PARTYNEXTDOOR

A PND deep-cut that only recently found its way to streaming services via 2020's PARTYPACK, "CANDY" found Nip in a totally different vibe than what long-time listeners were used to. Over muted R&B loopings and snappy drums, Nip trades in his self-motivational bars for romantic foreplay. "Realism got you feeling the effects more," he raps, speaking on how his authenticity captivated his love interest. Regardless of if you believe this to be one of Nip's best verses or not, it was fun to hear him broach a different topic than what fans were used to, and it was no doubt exciting to hear him yearn alongside PARTYNEXTDOOR.

"FDT" – YG, Nipsey Hussle

One of Nipsey's best guest appearances, FDT was not only an anthem prior to Donald Trump's election, but morphed into an epic f*ck you track after his 2020 election loss. While YG spits gut-punch insults ("Don't let Donald Trump win, that n**** cancer"), Nipsey uses his verse to discuss more systemic issues. "Reagan sold coke, Obama sold hope, Donald Trump spent his trust fund money on the vote," he raps. With that said, Nip still has fun with it and makes sure to take a few loose jabs at the twice-impeached lunatic: "If you vote Donald Trump, you're prolly on dope."

"Fountain of Youth" – Stalley, Nipsey Hussle, Rick Ross

The Self Made 2 standout finds Nipsey cruising in his comfort zone. Placed alongside Stalley and Rick Ross, Nipsey not only handles the track's hook but raps a powerful verse about his unstoppable drive and devotion to his city. "Never vocalize my visions, actions was my spokespers' / Study rich n***** moves like my homework / Sacrilegious; however, streets was my own church."

Pleeze (Feat. Nipsey Hussle) – Dom Kennedy

Another gem that found Nipsey cruising comfortably, "Pleeze" united the dynamic duo of Nip and Dom Kennedy, as both emcees traverse the dangerous streets of LA, and speak on how life-threatening it can be to even walk home. Shoot-outs in the alley that kept Nipsey awake at night, hiding a shotgun behind his front door — all of it is vividly recalled in Nipsey's mesmerizing verse.

Killer (Feat. Nipsey Hussle) – Drake

Of course "Killer" has to be included on this list. Even though it started off as an intentional leak, the Nip and Drizzy collab has since taken on a life of its own and has been forever memorialized as the one time two legends crafted something excellent together. The result was a track that has stood the test of time, and still slaps.

Much like Outkast and Little Brother, J. Cole helped reshape the narrative surrounding the lack of lyricism from southern rappers.

The Fayetteville, North Carolina native raps with the technical brilliance of New York City rap titans like Nas and Jay-Z. His sincere take on the Black Experience makes him a leading voice in Hip-Hop.

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Music Features

11 Famous People Inspired by Selena Quintanilla

The pioneering Tejano star died 25 years ago, but her lasting legacy has shaped many artists you know.

25 years ago, Mexican-American Tejano sensation Selena Quintanilla was murdered.

In her short 23 years, Selena took the Latin music scene by storm throughout the late '80s and early '90s, playing an unprecedented role in driving the genre towards the mainstream in the United States. Some of her greatest influences included Donna Summer, Gloria Estefan, Paula Abdul, and the Jackson family, though her father encouraged her to pay homage to her roots by singing in Spanish and implementing Mexican cumbia and mariachi into her music.

With hits like "Dreaming of You," "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom," and "Como la Flor" — as well as an unmistakable, but often replicated, sense of style — Selena was a phenomenon with a lasting legacy.

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New Releases

Jhené Aiko Fumbles with "Chilombo"

The singer's third album is filled with lyrical meandering, and not much else.

Back in 2017, Jhené Aiko sat down with Billboard to discuss the tepid reception to her sophomore album, Trip.

"I was working so long on it and there's so many layers to it–it did feel a little like, 'Oh, hey, no one noticed all [that] hard work..." she said. "At the end of the day, I have to check in with myself and ask why do I really make music?... It's not about accolades and attention." The day before, Aiko had released her first-ever poetry book, 2Fish, and was gearing up for a supporting book tour. "I think that there is depth in simplicity. I feel like there's genius in simplicity," she said of her writing process. "At the same time, it's very personal and very much so comes from my heart."

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On Chilombo, Aiko's third outing, she embodies these statements quite literally. Her two lead singles, "Triggered" and "None of Your Concern," border more on spoken word poetry than sultry R&B and were poorly received as a result. "When is someone gonna have an honest conversation about the mid that Aiko is dropping?" said Joe Budden. As a pair, the tracks were indistinguishable from each other; both relied on soft 808's and breezy piano chords, both thematically dissected her tumultuous on-and-off-again relationship with Big Sean, and both hooks were heavily camouflaged, bogged down by Aiko's lyrical meandering. The songs sacrificed their musicality for Aiko's message.

The remaining 18-tracks are much of the same. Slow, brooding instrumentals, with Aiko taking front and center with loosely-stitched anecdotes of love, heartbreak, and self-realization. "Life's no fairytale, I know all too well," she sings on Chilombo's most buoyant track "Tryna Smoke." "Gotta plant the seed sometime, then you let it grow." The lyrical content continues as such, much of it reading as corny self-help quotes. "Whenever I'm feeling low, anytime there is a void," she croons on "LOVE," "I choose to fill it with joy." Even some well-placed features can barely resuscitate the album's weakest moments. Miguel and Future, despite their best efforts, can't save "H.O.E."–which stands for "Happiness Over Everything"–from bordering on mawkish, and John Legend's fluttered crooning on "Lightning & Thunder" doesn't save the track from its stiffness.

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While Aiko has prided herself on her brevity, she minces her words–and often her production– to her detriment here. Trip explored the experiences of grief riddled drug use and described the way different drugs brought on different stages of the grieving process, while Chilombo barely touches on its themes of self-love. Aiko's best moments have come from when she's loosened up, but for now, they'll have to settle for: "It's a party on a boat, somebody make some gumbooo!"

Still, Chilombo feels like a personal step forward for Aiko. She has spoken extensively on how she's grown to really love herself, and the album cover is a testament to that change. She is literally glowing, facing forward, moving forward, and learning to accept her creative process for what it is. It's a beautiful experience to watch, and in hindsight, it seems that Chilombo was created during an epiphany for Aiko as a human being, and that's a very valuable thing.

Chilombo

MUSIC

Coachella 2020 Might Be Its Most Female-Inclusive Lineup Yet

Though the headliners are all male, Coachella's latest lineup boasts a pretty hefty roster of women.

Coachella 2020 is officially on the horizon.

The most Instagrammable weekends of the year are coming in April, and for those who want to see some live music in-between snapping photos, the lineup has just been released. Surprisingly, this might be Coachella's most female-populated lineup yet.

To refresh your memory on the perpetual gender imbalance of the music festival industry, Ariana Grande's headlining slot at Coachella last year marks only the fifth time in the festival's 20-year history that a woman has held the honor, following Bjork (twice), Lady Gaga, and Beyonce. While this year's Coachella unfortunately boasts all-male headliners, as the font gets smaller on the poster, there's a surprising number of women performing.

The top-billed woman is Lana Del Rey, who—and I say this with utmost respect to Frank Ocean—should absolutely be headlining after just releasing arguably the strongest project of her career. The second slot in each day's lineup includes multiple solo ladies who just dropped notable records of their own: Megan Thee Stallion, Summer Walker, FKA Twigs, Ari Lennox, and Marina. Reigning pop princesses like Charli XCX, Kim Petras, and Carly Rae Jepsen will have their time onstage, as well as rising rappers like Princess Nokia, Noname, and Doja Cat. Sets from newcomers like Koffee, Raveena, Amber Mark, and girl in red are sure to wrangle in a plethora of new fans, but loyal listeners will be happy to see established acts like Bishop Briggs, Jessie Reyez, and Lauren Daigle on the setlist, as well. Indieheads can check out Snail Mail, Weyes Blood, and beabadoobee, but if you're looking to get your dance on, sets from Peggy Gou, Yaeji, and virtual Japanese star Hatsune Miku should strike your fancy.

These and many more female artists prove Coachella 2020 has shaped up to provide the festival's most diverse lineup yet. If we can't have a woman headliner, it'd be nice to see more of these names in larger fonts, but this roundup is a step in the right direction.

MUSIC

The 10 Worst Lyrics From Your Favorite Rappers

Even famous rappers don't get it right every time.

Everyone has a bad day every now and then, even your favorite rappers.

The highly accomplished acts below no doubt have more hits than flops, but in a sense that's what makes their flops so noticeable and uncharacteristic. From Drake, Rick Ross, and Future to Lil Wayne and Run-DMC, these are the worst lyrics uttered by your favorite rappers.

Future

"f*ck around, pull out my dick and I pee on her."

Nicki Minaj

"When he was a geisha, I was a Samurai, somehow I understood him when he spoke Thai."

Rocko - U.O.E.N.O. ft. Future, Rick Ross

"Put molly all in her champagne, she ain't even know it. I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain't even know it."

RUN-DMC - King Of Rock (Official Video)

"There's three of us, but we're not the Beatles."

Lil Wayne

"I'm a venereal disease, like a menstrual bleed."

Nas

"Honey ain't a politican, she a pole-a-tician."

YG

"On my late-night thirsty, 'cause it was late-night and I was thirsty"

Fredo Santana

"Baby girl pull your pants up, I only want your face"

Pittbull

"Your man just left, I'm the plumber tonight, let me check your pipes. Oh, you're the healthy type. Well, here goes some egg whites."

Lil Pump

"I'm a millionaire but I don't know how to read."