Music Features

"The Chronic" Ruined Dr. Dre's Life

The album debuted on streaming services today in honor of 4/20

Dr. Dre's debut album, The Chronic–which surprised fans around the world when it unexpectedly popped up on streaming services today in honor of 4/20–undoubtedly revolutionized Hip-Hop.

For many (white) suburbanites it debuted a brighter, more effervescent Hip-Hop than its grimy East Coast counterparts. Focused on melodic builds, catchy hooks, and so much swagger, G-Funk was born on December 15, 1992. By now, there are plenty of articles detailing the specifics of what made the project so magical. It transformed the way the world viewed Hip-Hop and is arguably the single most important release in the entire genre for a multitude of reasons. But in hindsight, it's behind-the-scenes mythos is almost as infamous as the project itself, and the overall experience was forged by Dre partially in the hopes of rewriting a stressful and troubling personal history. Since its release, it's brought as much harm to him as it has good.

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Eminem's spats with other stars are a big part of Hip-Hop lore, but Nick Cannon is sick of his sh*t.

Since 1999, Marshall Mathers has had 14 extensive feuds with rappers and entertainers and insulted countless other figures in pop culture. A battle rapper at heart, he's an emcee who thrives amid conflict. He once rapped about how conflict "gets his dick harder than arithmetic." His surprise Kamikaze album was, in this sense, a return to form. Released in 2018, Kamikaze revitalized Eminem's waning career after the lukewarm reception of 2017's Revival, 2010's Recovery, and 2009's Relapse. Fans had long demanded he return to his sh*t-talking ways. So on Kamikaze, his battle rapping roots were on full display as he attacked a multitude of other emcees, the Mumble Rap subgenre, radio host Charlamagne Tha God, and Donald Trump. Since Kamikaze's release, Eminem's beef has begun to stack up in an almost gimmicky way. Still, his latest feud with Nick Cannon feels particularly disquieting, mainly due to Eminem's fervent obsession with Cannon's ex-wife, Mariah Carey.

Fat Joe, Dre - Lord Above (Audio) ft. Eminem & Mary J. Blige

During a guest feature on Fat Joe's 2019 single, "Lord Above," Eminem took yet another shot at Nick Cannon and rekindled his claim that he and Mariah Carey had dated. While the two pop culture figures hash it out in what is the most tepid rap feud of the decade, it's worth noting that almost 20 years later, Eminem still wants Carey to be discredited and overall has not changed his chauvinist attitude towards women.

Throughout his entire career, Eminem has always stood by an alleged fling he had with Mariah Carey. His initial mention was a feat of braggadocio, referring to Carey as his "lover" and "wife" in 2002's "Superman." Carey was quick to deny the affair, saying that the pair had merely shared a few phone calls. Since her denial and subsequent diss track, Eminem has made discrediting Mariah Carey a side project, devaluing her at random instances in his music career and reaffirming his side of the narrative, calling Carey a "f*cking liar," among other things. Nick Cannon's marriage to the starlet in 2008 only ramped up Eminem's harassment. "Nick Cannon better back the f*ck up," he raps on "Bagpipes from Baghdad," "I'm not playing, I want her back, you punk." He divulges an everlasting lust for Carey, calling her both a "wh*re" and a "c*nt," while explaining how badly he still wants her. Carey responded with a song called "Obsessed," featuring the line, "Why you so obsessed with me? Boy, I wanna know."

Mariah Carey - Obsessed (Official Video)

The hit song prompted an even more aggressive response from Eminem, whose track "The Warning" graphically describes sex with Carey. He continues to hurl insults at her for denying their romance, while subsequently threatening to release nude photos and intimate voice mails from the singer to prove his point (the latter of which, he actually did, although Carey denies the voicemails are hers.)

But Eminem's misogyny goes back years before he met Mariah Carey. Christina Aguilera first noted Eminem's violent views towards women in 1999, when Eminem married his longtime girlfriend Kim Mathers. The marriage was done in secret and came after years of Eminem "slinging violent lyrics about her in his earlier work," said Billboard. Aguilera put the rapper on blast, exposing Eminem's secret while warning women about domestic abusers. Eminem has since continued to bite back at Aguilera, most recently in 2018, when during a 10-minute freestyle called "Kick Off," he rapped: "F*ck Christina with a plastic spoon, while I bump some G-funk and blast some Snoop, cause her double-g cups are massive, huge! It's fun for me to just grab a boob, plus my penis got an attitude, my f*ckin Weiner is in a combative mood."

During a 2003 feud with Benzino, the former The Source Editor-and-Chief released "Foolish Pride," an unreleased Eminem song wherein the young emcee can be heard disparaging black women. "Black girls only want your money cause they're dumb chicks," Eminem raps. "Black girls are dumb, and white girls are good chicks." He proceeds to call black girls "wh*res" and "bitches." The blowback was immediate and diffused the beef almost immediately. Eminem apologized and said he made the track about an ex-girlfriend when he was young, "stupid," and angry.

Regardless of the apologies he's continued to shell out, Eminem has dedicated a countless amount of bars to disparaging women. A few years after the "Foolish Pride" blowback, Eminem was caught in a feud with rapper Canibus, and in his subsequent diss track he wrote, "So I stabbed him twice. Kept jabbin', Christ! He won't die! This guy's like a battered wife!"

Eminem - Foolish Pride (Racist song) (READ DESCRIPTION)

After his initial spat with Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, Eminem was embroiled in yet another feud with rapper Limp Bizkit, and released a diss track called "Girls," wherein he compared the rapper to a "p*ssy" girl. In November of 2019, an unreleased Eminem feature surfaced, wherein the rapper can be heard siding with Chris Brown over Rihanna following Brown's infamous assault of the pop star. "Let me give my two cents, of course, I support Chris Brown. I'd beat a b*tch down too if she gave my dick an itch now." A representative from Eminem issued a statement saying that he rewrote the lyric in question and that "obviously" he and Rihanna have a great relationship.

Eminem's entire discography is interwoven with lyrics of this nature, and his insensitivity has continuously landed him in hot water over the course of his entire career (the LGBTQ+ community also hates him. He most recently sparked outrage when called Tyler, The Creator a "f*ggot in 2018). So as the temper-tantrum between Nick Cannon and Eminem drags on, it's important to remember that nobody wins, especially not the fans.


"Jesus Is King" Will Never Come Out: A List of Hip-Hop Albums That Never Dropped

With Jesus Is King's release date changed once again to this Friday, let's take a look at hip-hop's other infamous releases that never materialized.

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Chances are October 25 will come and go without a new album from Kanye West.

We've come to expect being disappointed by Kanye. And despite his recent official "announcement" about the release of his album Jesus Is King via Twitter, fans were quick to troll and dismiss the tweet as a false promise. It's been a rough road for Kanye fans in the last year. His recent "Sunday Service" performances have disturbed the masses. Some believe they affirm Kanye's long-held God complex, while others view his latest post-MAGA obsession to be more of a manic episode. Some believe he's simply spreading the gospel and that he's truly been "saved." Regardless, it's all cast Jesus Is King in a puzzling light, and fans truly don't know what to expect, or whether to expect anything at all. The one thing we know for certain is that the guy is a total pr*ck to his wife these days.

Will Jesus Is King become the next Fear Inoculum? Probably. It would be quite like Kanye to be his own hype beast. In the meantime, let's take a look back at a few of hip-hop's other notorious unreleased projects, all of which are, honestly, more likely to be released in 2019 than Jesus Is King.

MC Hammer and 2Pac's ​"Too Tight​"

MC Hammer signed with Death Row in 1995, but his highly-anticipated label debut, Too Tight, never saw the light of day. The project was much anticipated because of Hammer's alleged collaborations with Tupac Shakur on the project. The former left the record company shortly after the death of the latter. He later explained in an interview his concerns over the circumstances surrounding Tupac's death. He spoke to the rapper right before he died, and he was in Las Vegas the night of the shooting. Hammer later released "Too Late Playa," which featured the late Shakur as well as Big Daddy Kane and Danny Boy.Too Tight probably would have been amazing.


"I Wanna Thank Me" Is Everything We Love About Snoop Dogg

Listening to this album, you lose track of what to expect next.

When talking about the legendary "Doggfather" of rap, it is nearly impossible to boil his music down to a singular sound.

Snoop Dogg - I Wanna Thank Me (feat. Marknoxx) (Official Video)

Snoop Dogg has reinvented himself time and time again since he first burst on the scene as the young, slick companion to Dr. Dre's classic G-Funk sound. Then there was the Snoop Dogg of the Death Row Records days, ever in a mafioso suit and fedora and taking the gangster aesthetic to a whole new level.

We've also had the pleasure of seeing Rastafarian Snoop from when he went to Jamaica and was Reincarnated as Snoop Lion; full-on funk Snoop for his project with Dam-Funk, Snoopzilla; and, more recently, gospel Snoop on 2018's Bible of Love. He has been criticized for jumping genres and appropriating cultures for quick cash grabs, but every time Snoop has forayed into a new or foreign sphere, he fully embraces the genre. As a result, Snoop Dogg has morphed into one of the most creative musicians in the world.

On his latest album, Snoop Dogg acknowledges all of these identities. As he said while accepting his Hollywood Walk of Fame star, "I wanna thank me. I wanna thank me for believing in me. I wanna thank me for doing all this hard work. I wanna thank me for having no days off." (To be fair, he also thanked his family, his wife, Warren G, and Dr. Dre). This sentiment has become the inspiration for his new album, aptly titled, I Wanna Thank Me. The 22-track album is a musical journey through almost every landmark of Snoop's 27-year career. There is a little bit for everyone to enjoy on this album, no matter which version of Snoop you like best. Much of it is steeped in that classic West Coast, G-Funk sound that rocketed him to notoriety and put the LBC on the map. But there are also reggae undertones here and there as a nod to Snoop Lion, most notably on the Russ and Wiz Khalifa-assisted "Take Me Away." There are funk-fueled tracks like "Wintertime in June," which features a posthumous chorus from longtime Snoop collaborator and friend, Nate Dogg.

It is a bit ironic, then, that I Wanna Thank Me should sound so much like a return to form for Snoop. He strips away the personas, one by one, and delivers candid, unapologetic, and sometimes vulnerable bars. On "Bygones Be Bygones," for example, he reflects on his sordid relationship with former Death Row Records Exec, Suge Knight, who is currently serving a 28-year prison sentence for murder. "So through the ups and the downs / Real ones know not to kick n****s when they down / Especially when we was down, that n**** picked n****s up / G*ngb*ng on NY stages, hit n****s up (Death Row) / Y'all remember that? (Yup) / Yeah, he did some bullsh*t, I'm admitting that / But coming at a real Crip, like he ain't one? (What?) / Especially when he helped f*cking make one," Snoop raps.

Snoop Dogg - One Blood, One Cuzz (feat. DJ Battlecat) (Official Video)

He also addresses Nipsey Hussle's murder and the impact it had on his community, particularly on the Bloods and the Crips of LA. The late rapper's murder brought these perennially warring gangs together in grief, which has since led to talks of peace. On "One Blood, One Cuzz," after dedicating a full verse to Nipsey, his legacy, and his family, Snoop goes on to rhyme, "Ain't nothin' greater than when we unite as one / Ain't got no ulterior motives and no other agendas / Fakin' like you with us just like some puppet pretenders / We ready to end this / For every eye that still cries / It's time to realize God will rise when we tie us."

I Wanna Thank Me is, in some ways, a microcosm of Snoop's career. Listening to it, you have no idea what to expect next. But with Snoop, no matter what you get, it is always entertaining and authentic. This album is a culmination of every step Snoop has taken over nearly three decades, paying homage to his roots and, ultimately, himself.


Suge Knight Pleads No Contest to Manslaughter

The former rap mogul faces 28 years in prison for a hit-and-run

Getty Images

According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, Marion Knight — a.k.a Suge Knight — pleaded no contest to a voluntary manslaughter charge yesterday.

The charge came about in 2015 from a hit-and-run that led to the murder of Terry Carter in Compton.

Suge KnightGetty Images

As part of his plea deal, Suge Knight will serve 28 years in prison — 22 for voluntary manslaughter and six for the charge being a third strike violation. However, we all know that celebrities never do full time for any crime they commit so who knows when Knight will be getting out.

The formal sentencing will be on Oct. 4.

Tam's BurgersGetty Images

The 2015 incident itself took place right outside of Tam's Burgers in January. Knight was in an argument with Cle "Bone" Sloan — a consultant on Straight Outta Compton, a movie about rap group N.W.A. — due to the fact that he wasn't being paid for being portrayed in the movie.

Knight then started to become violent with Sloan outside the Compton burger joint and went back to his pickup truck. He proceeded to hit Sloan with his vehicle and ran over Terry Carter, another man at the scene who later died from the impact.

Cle "Bone" Sloan on leftGetty Images

Being categorized as a hit-and-run, of course Knight fled the scene — however, the security cameras outside the restaurant captured the whole ordeal. He later turned himself in and has been in jail up until now — not from his legal team's lack of trying though. They originally pleaded not guilty and made up wild explanations — one, there were armed men threatening him in the lot and two, Dr. Dre hired a hitman to take him out.

Knight has been battling this case for three years now, going through a multitude of lawyers and even a court-appointed defense attorney. Probably anxious about the upcoming Sep. 24 court date, Knight's attorney Al DeBlanc finally set a plea deal with the L.A. County district attorney's office. If he hadn't reached out and Knight had been convicted of murder — that would've meant life in prison without parole.

It seems that the law finally caught up to Knight — he has also been accused of threatening F. Gray Gray, the director of Straight Outta Compton, and stealing a photographer's camera a year earlier. Hopefully this prison time will knock some sense into the former rap mogul.

Amber Wang is a freelancer for Popdust, Gearbrain and various other sites. She is also a student at NYU, a photographer and a marketing intern.

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