Music Lists

All the Drake and Rick Ross Collabs, Ranked

Drake and Rick Ross team up again for LEMON PEPPER FREESTYLE and we reminisce about simpler times

Drake and Rick Ross in "Aston Martin Music"

When rappers team up for collaboration albums, fans get to hear their combined styles over a sustained project instead of a fleeting single.
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It is hard to imagine music without Drake.

For over a decade, he's been one of the most influential figures not just in Hip-Hop but in music period. He went from a child actor to Lil Wayne's protege to a G.O.A.T. in his own right. Drake's consistency and diversity are what keeps him at the top of the mountain.

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MUSIC

Curren$y Returns To Burnie's Like He Never Left

The album reaffirms Curren$y's lyrical consistency, and reminds us of his monumental prowess in 2019

Photo by FPVmat A on Unsplash

In 2011, Curren$y's album Weekend at Burnie's was one of the dignified emcee's most cohesive projects.

Curren$y - Still feat. Trademark & Young Roddy (Official Video)www.youtube.com

It was still a Curren$y record at its core, with the rapper continuing to exemplify a proficiency in woozy, nonchalant narratives. "Them haters tryna deplete my shine like Venetian blinds," he rhymes, "but son do what the sun do: rise." However, Weekend at Burnie's awoke the mainstream public to the prolific talent of Curren$y. It was the rapper's fifth album and fourth release of 2011. Every single project was critically lauded and slowly chipped away at the presupposition that "Spitta Andretti" was merely a weed rapper. "To focus on [Curren$y's] cannabis appetite is to ignore some of the things that make him one of the more dependable working rappers," wrote Pitchfork.

Over the last decade, the veteran emcee has only ramped up his musical output and workload, even after becoming a parent last year. On Back At Burnie's, the long-awaited sequel and eighth Curren$y outing of 2019, the rapper closes out his decade with a project that is both equanimous and stately. Curren$y sounds right at home, his Hip-Hop anecdotes remaining equivalent to an insouciant shrug. But a lot has changed since 2011, and Curren$y knows that is worth noting. "My first ride in a phantom was with my homie Lil Wayne," Spitta reflects on "All Work." "Now I got one myself, and I'm ridin' in my own lane." 2011's "Money Machine" found Curren$y asking politely to be invited to the party and to "reserve him somewhere" to park, but on 2019's "Money Is a Drug," Curren$y acknowledges that eight years later he can "park his sh*t anywhere." The perks of fame are pedestrian to Spitta, his lucrative lifestyle so normal now that's it's barely worth the commentary. "Pinky rings, diamond chains, just a gang of players having things," he says with composure on "Arrangement."

Curren$y - Money Is A Drug (Audio)www.youtube.com

Spitta Andretti remains as accredited, if not more so, than a majority of today's most elite rappers, but he has adamantly avoided the mainstream spotlight that has shone on a countless number of his friends. But he's forever remained in their confidence, offering his wisdom, collaborative kinship, and car advice whenever they need it. He was one of Cash Money's original members and has worked with everyone from Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg, Juicy J, and Rick Ross to Westside Gunn, Freddie Gibbs, and Madeintyo.

Over a decade later, he remains a monumental presence in Hip-Hop, and on Back At Burnie's reminds listeners of his unshakeable authenticity: "I never switched the sauce, been myself from square one." But fret not, as it wouldn't be a Curren$y album without its moments of quirky syntax. "I talked a mermaid out of the water the other day," he flexes on "Nautica." "All on my yacht, we lit up the pot, floated away." Maybe it's lyrical honesty, perhaps it's just intelligent story-telling, but regardless, when Curren$y says it, he always means it.

MUSIC

Popdust's Spooktacular Halloween Playlist

Are you tasked with hosting a Halloween party this year? Let us help you with the music.

Howl you doing boys and girls? What's up, my witches?

Spooky season is drawing nearer, and with Halloween falling on a Thursday this year, it means that there is only one weekend to curate a spooktacular party playlist, and one opportunity to throw a fa-boo-lous Halloween party. It is no easy task, but if you want your guests to shake their BOOty, eat, drink, and be scary all night long, Popdust has just the playlist that will give your friends pumpkin' to talk about.

Itsy Bitsy Spider by Carly Simon

Have you ever heard such an elegant and moving interpretation of this spooky nursery rhyme? In this version, I wasn't rooting for the rain to "wash the spider out"; instead, Simon's mash up of the nursery rhyme with her hit "Comin Around Again" paints a darker picture. "I know nothing stays the same, but if you're willing to play the game, it's coming around again," Simon sings. The Spider's journey is a complex one: He is tenacious in his dream of scaling the water spout and is an inspiration to us all. "Nothing stays the same," little Spider, keep climbing. One day, you may just turn your dream into a reality. It's a reminder of our mortality and serves as the perfect song to kick off the night as your guests eat hors d'oeuvres and pour their first cup of spiked punch.

Follow the playlist on Spotify!

MUSIC

Why Is Wale So Insecure?

As the rapper gears up to release his sixth studio album next week, lets revisit how Wale developed a reputation of being corny

To look at the history of Wale is to dive down a rabbit hole with many twists and turns.

As a rapper, he travels in prominent circles but has never seemed to quite fit in with his mainstream peers. His success has always come in the form of radio-ready singles, while his longer projects have historically garnered tepid critical reviews. The rapper seemed to have found his footing in the early-2010s. 2011's Ambition and 2013's The Gifted were crowning achievements for the rapper, the latter going number 1 on the Billboard album charts, while the former spawned the single "Lotus Flower Bomb," which went platinum and earned a Grammy nomination. For the first time since his debut, Wale's talent was noted in the public eye, and he wanted his due respect.

So when Complex's annual roundup of "50 Best Albums of the Year" exempted Wale's The Gifted from the list, Wale was fed up. He called the magazine and berated the staff, at one point threatening violence. The phone call made the rounds online and painted Wale as cocky, corny, and overly sensitive. In a tense interview later that year, Wale stood by his antics, saying he wouldn't apologize to "Williamsburg hipsters." It was the perfect example of what has forever been Wale's Achilles Heel: He tries too hard to be liked. "They think he has reacted to too much," said Joe Budden of Wale's haters. "Anytime your reactions are perceived to be emotion-based [it's corny in Hip-Hop,] and Wale has emotionally reacted to so much."

Is Wale Corny? | The Joe Budden Podcastwww.youtube.com

But does an emotional reaction mean Wale should be dismissed as a viable artist? No, but his antics are painfully hard to overlook. In 2017 the rapper went on Everyday Struggle to talk about his fourth album, Shine. The album was a commercial flop, partially because the rapper aggressively leaned on radio-friendly sounds. "There's not a song here that feels grounded in much more than the desire to enjoy the moment or at least feign doing so well enough to make radio playlists," wrote Pitchfork. Shine was littered with potential summer hits, but they all sounded fraudulent and none of them sounded like Wale. The project felt rushed and curated for a very specific purpose, with singles like "My Love" coming off as a desperate hail Mary for mainstream relevance at a time when Wale felt his star was waning.

But in some ways, he was still highly discussed. Wale's previous project, 2015's The Album About Nothing, was warmly received by critics and served as a comeback of sorts for the rapper. It was a thematic continuation of the Seinfeld-tropes that put Wale on the map in 2008, with the welcomed addition of Jerry Seinfeld himself. Together, the comedian and rapper filmed a series of charming videos, both in the studio and at a coffee shop, discussing everything from music to strippers to Wale's over-sensitivity. Seinfeld directly helped with the album, and the duo even filmed a skit in which Seinfeld pressures Wale to make the infamous Complex call in 2013. The album went to number 1 on the Billboard 200 its debut week and was Wale's first number one project since 2013. "Why do you give these people meaning?" Seinfeld asks Wale at one point, referring to haters. "I don't know, Jerry!" Wale responds.

Seinfeld & Wale Talk “The List" | Complexwww.youtube.com

Frank conversations like these, ones which paint the rapper as passionate and relatable, are what made the lack of authenticity on Shine so surprising. It seemed like Wale had turned a corner. It seemed he had realized that seeking everyone's approval is futile. But as Shine suffered, the question resurfaced as to whether or not Wale was just a try-hard willing to do whatever it took to stay famous. It seemed his identity was reliant on being our friend. "A lot of the mainstream artists that you're championing right now, I don't believe in my mind they're capable of making a song like 'Golden Salvation,'" Wale told Everyday Struggle when they confronted him on why Shine performed so poorly. The song, which was a deep cut off The Gifted, is a dense analysis of consumerism, and it critiques rappers that claim to stand by religion without embodying its teachings. But that was 2013. The hosts pressed him for more clarification. He then dove into an awkward verse-by-verse re-hash of his song "CC White," the only lyrical track on Shine. The track is lyrically stimulating, but the strange re-hash and overall denial of Shine's failure brought the discussion of the emcee's insecurity back into the limelight.

There is no doubt a lot of pressure on Wale in 2019. With the success of his radio singles now in the rear view due to the popularity of streaming, it's hard to see where Wale will fit in a genre that is overcrowded with budding talent. "I feel when the radio single kinda died, Wale died with it," said Joe Budden of Wale's relevancy.

It's sad if that's true. The emcee has a lot to be proud of. He's worked with a diverse array of artists including Lady Gaga, Jerry Seinfeld, Pharrell, and Waka Flocka Flame, and has proven to be a lyrical underdog to boot. With the release of his new album, Wow...That's Crazy, we can only hope he shifts focus to the lyrical content that has always been his passion, and disregard the rest. "They told me to get help...so I did," Wale wrote on Instagram before announcing the album. The collection will thematically follow Wale's journey through therapy, which seems like a fitting place for the rapper to end up at this point in his luke-warm career. One can only hope the project is genuine, because if it isn't, it might just label him corny for the rest of time. "Let me tell you why they don't like you," Seinfeld said to Wale. "Every person has a different reason, and none of them have anything to do with you." Wale snapped back, "Aren't I allowed to wanna know why, though?" Let's hope he's found his answer.

MUSIC

Famous Criminals Who Were More Loyal Than Tekashi 6ix9ine

While 6ix9ine sings like a canary on the witness stand, let's take a look at some of the most "loyal" criminals of all time.

Tekashi 6ix9ine at Trillerfest Miami at Miami Marine Stadium

Photo by Walik Goshorn - MediaPunch- Shutterstock

As Tekashi Snitch-Nine wraps up his first day of testimony against former gang members of Nine Trey Bloods, it's important to remember that other major criminals in history have done the same thing but should still be considered more loyal than Tekashi.

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