“Who Is The 1 Artist You Cannot Go A Single Day Without Listening To?”

“Who Is The 1 Artist You Cannot Go A Single Day Without Listening To?”

This morning, I woke up, rolled out of bed, I was feeling kind of down, so I picked up my phone to play my favorite song by Big K.R.I.T. (The Vent).

Listen to my go-to track here: Big K.R.I.T. – The Vent

After a few plays, my mood had done a 180. I realized that I cannot go a single day without listening to some K.R.I.T. His music feeds my soul. I couldn’t help but wonder who my followers cannot go a day without listening to, so I asked my Twitter fam:


Within minutes, my DM’s were overflowing with responses. Here are my favorite 10:

“I can’t go a day without listening to Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt. It’s more than just the music for me, but both of their vibes and lives helped me realize that it’s okay to be different. I used to get bullied hella bad in high school… and listening to both of them helped me say ‘fuck the world’, and just do me. They helped me realize that the genuine people that I need to be around will come. Also, I look like both of them niggas. And they music fucking bang. Tyler is a production genius, and Earl can rap circles around most of these niggas. They both don’t get the credit they deserve because they’re seen as ‘weird’.”

-Submitted via Twitter by: @KrispyKay_

Listen to his favorite go-to tracks here: Colossus -Tyler, The Creator; Mantra – Earl Sweatshirt

“Every day, I have to listen to MF DOOM. Other rappers like Earl Sweatshirt, Capital Steez, and Action Bronson, are good rappers to compare to him. Those are the rappers that remind me most of him, when it comes to the raw ability for them to just spit on the track about almost anything . I just miss that the period of time when it was really about the rap. Fuck what you look like, or what your previous struggles where. I want to hear the raps. None of that should define you. And it’s sad that the media makes it that way. That’s why I love DOOM. He wears a mask specifically to prove that point.”

Submitted via Twitter by @GQblk

Listen to his favorite go-to track here: Rhymes Like Dimes – MF DOOM

“I cannot go a single day without listening to J. Cole. His instrumentals have so much depth in them, and they really gives me chills and a sense of inspiration. His music really hits me in my soul. Especially what he raps about in his lyrics. It’s crazy how he has evolved so much from The Come Up to 2014 Forest Hills Drive. His lyrics make me aware of what goes around me – like any other conscious rapper – which makes him respectable. He also talks about his struggles, and how they made him a better person. I feel like his content could go out to anyone who’s dealing with a struggle, which makes him very relate-able. Can’t sleep on this dude, his music is like a best friend in a way, forreal.

Submitted via Twitter by @WindGrizzlyFlow

Listen to his fav go-to track here: Enchanted – J.Cole Feat. Omen

Big Pun is the one artist I cannot go a day without listening to. He was able to make hit after hit consistently, without sacrificing his lyrical skills. He is cited as an inspiration to most lyrical MCs, and he was able to rely heavily on multiple-syllable rhymes. He helped me get through my depression with his skill and his lyrical content. He was able to take the New York style and and master it like not many others were able to before him. It may seem like too much to for him to have such importance with the shortness of his career, however he was able to connect issues of the time. He touched many individuals, and I was one of them. R.I.P. Big Pun”

Submitted via Twitter by @RealWillyFly

Listen to his fav go-to track here: Capital Punishment – Big Pun

Chance the Rapper. Not because I’m a Chicagoan and all Chicagoans listen to Chance, but his music is universal to today’s youth, especially Chicago youth. His music is my go-to in any situation. His music is calming, yet gets me hype simultaneously. His lyrics can be both goofy, yet intricately genius at the same time, and I believe he is the current wordplay G.O.A.T. Years later, I still notice entendre’s that Chano dropped on 10-day. One can spend months on Rap Genius analyzing his lyrics. The production on his music is top-notch, some of the best I’ve heard. The Social Experiment, and the people from Kids These Days deserve a special shout-out for it. Chance’s instrumentals are the perfect combination of jazz, soul, gospel, and various hip-hop elements. His topics are just as diverse – from youth life in Chicago, to drugs and thuggin, to family, to school, to the life of success, to spirituality, and conscious views of the world. Chano nails it with clever rhymes and word usage. In my opinion, he is top 5 greatest rappers of all time due to his simple, yet complex music. And who knows how good he can be at his peak? We cannot even fathom. Chano is eons ahead of his time and out of this world. You just can’t go wrong with Chance. ‘Windows’ (feat. Alex Wiley), is my Chicago anthem. That song is literally about my high school days. From the sand in my shoes (s/o to Oak Street), from the free train rides (s/o to Polk Street), to the summer that Chicago Public Schools took away from us. Chance is rapping about me and thousands of other Chicago high school kids, and it fills me with heartfelt nostalgia.”

Submitted via Twitter by @WafflesShakur

Listen to his fav go-to song here: Windows – Chance the Rapper Feat. Alex Wiley

“I can’t go a day without listening Mick Jenkins. This dudes flow is already one of the greatest I’ve ever witnessed, and for him to be so young, I can’t wait to see how much better he can be. The way he puts lyrics together, his clever wordplay, to the grit and realness of his rhymes. He reminds me of another rapper who came out of Chicago, and made the game his personal playground. And that’s Kanye west. Mick Jenkins is making it. He’s got a long way to go, but he’s mad talented for someone so young.”

Submitted via Twitter by @Ayo_Domm

Listen to his fav go-to track here: Alchemy – Mick Jenkins

Kanye West is the artist I listen to daily. Something about Kanye inspires me to follow the person I am destined to be, inspires me to test my limits and, to just love myself. I started listening to Kanye when I was young, and I feel like listening to him for all these years I’ve been able to grow along side with him. His music could probably serve as the soundtrack to my life. His music tests boundaries, and his lyrics are real. The song ‘Everything I Am’ actually stopped me from suicide five years ago. I’m glad that my favorite artist hasn’t backed out in an industry that many flake in. I hope you all feel the same way about your favorite artist – and if you don’t, I hope you can find someone you can really fuck with.”

Submitted via Twitter (Anonymously)

Listen to Everything I Am – Kanye West here

“Despite constantly being criticized for his work, Kid CuDi is an artist that truly paints his heart and mind on his musical canvas. His battles with depression, addiction, and suicide has been portrayed on every single project; to show that even if you’re a superstar artist, he’s still only human and struggles with what you and I go through on a daily basis.”

Submitted via Twitter by @Zombiez000

Listen to his fav go-to track here: Immortal – Kid CuDi

“One artist I can’t go a day without listening to is Eminem. May sound pretty mainstream, but that’s just one voice I can’t function without hearing. Anywhere from SSLP to Infinite, even to Recovery. All of his music portrays different feelings. He has a song for every mood. And if ever I need a word of the day, i’m sure his music will provide that. He is the wordsmith God. As a fan of music and hip-hop in particular, his delivery and lyrics intrigue me so much. Although his music has aged, and he’s definitely not the same as he was in the early 2000’s, Eminem’s discography is a book; A book of rhymes – in every sense. One song I will NEVER get tired of hearing no mather (lmao) what mood i’m in – is Superman. Play that track to any rap fan, bet they won’t skip it.”

Submitted via Twitter by @GinAndJoss

Listen to her fav go-to track: Till I Colapse – Eminem

“The first thing I got hip to by Vince Staples was his debut album, Summertime ’06, and I loved it. Every time I listen to the tape, I get something new. It really showcased all of his talent, and I saw the same thing on his other tapes; like Hell Can Wait and Stolen Youth (actually listening to that as I write this). With Vince, he gives such a great inside look into his mindset, the world he grew up in, and the world he lives in. At times it seems he’s trying to show his intelligence and ideas through ignorance. One of his songs could seem like just another gangsta rap song, but when you listen a 2nd or 3rd time, he touches on the state of the hood, or the black community, or how things should be done to get better. For Example, ‘Jump Off The Roof’. At first, it just seems like a song about drugs and girls with a bunch of drums (at least to some). But when I listen and also pay attention to where the album has lead to at that point, I hear what he’s trying to say. I hear him trying to find control over drugs and love. I hear the pain when he just asks “so just hold my hand darling”. Then he just opens my mind to completely new ideas. In ‘Like It Is’, the interludes are him talking, and getting thoughts and ideas he had off his chest. He gives me a peek into his life and his mind set, and I find it to be genius, especially with the production and how the album led to it. It’s just hard to not listen to him all the time. I have Tidal, and Summertime ’06 is one of the few albums I have downloaded.”

Submitted via Twitter by @BurberryArmrest

Listen to his fav go-to track: Like It Is – Vince Staples



A core member of my Twitter fam, Dom the Savage, decided to share with me a minuscule sector of his ongoing Hip-Hop conspiracy theory. (Edited by yours truly). Open your mind and enjoy: 

My Hip-Hop Conspiracy Theory

The following is my Hip-Hop Conspiracy Theory – as biasedly told by some short lightskin twitter nigga. (@Ayo_Domm)

Forewarning: If I’m not following you, and you @ me something stupid, I’m not responding. Just blocking. Mind you, the history is too long for a Twitter thread so this will be HEAVILY condensed.

Since there is no exact point to begin, I’ll start by saying this:

Hip-Hop shares a line of good and evil, for the culture AND the community. Now when I say ‘culture’, and ‘community’, I mean black people. Dassit. 

Don’t get me wrong, white people such as (Rick Rubin, Eminem, etc.)  and others, have made a huge impact in our genre…

Rick Rubin, Co-founder of Def Jam Records; alongside G.O.A.T m.c., Eminem
But again, it is OUR genre. Hip Hop is the basis for BLACK American culture. Do white people have an opinion? Of course they do.
But does it hold the same weight as someone who is black? No.
Think about that as I continue with what will offend a lot of people, especially those who are not Black American. I am sorry for this. But back to the point.

Does Hip-Hop do more good than bad, in the African American community? That has always been the question – whether people speak on it or not.

Hip-Hop originated in the early 1970’s as most of you should know (but I highly doubt it) by a man named Clive Campbell, or more eloquently known as DJ Kool Herc. He was the first to create the sound that resonates throughout Hip-Hop. Whether you like Trap Rap, or Conscious Flows; Kool Herc created the blueprint. Herc’s music was made for people to dance to. He just wanted to get the disco poppin’; So for people call Soulja Boy trash, it’s like a direct insult to the birth of Hip Hop. My location on nigga, pull up.

Photo of a young DJ KOOL HERC circa 1970’s

But furthermore, DJ Kool Herc wanted to give people something to express themselves with – which birthed from DJ-ing and B-Boying (or break-dancing) as some like to refer to it. So with a single stroke, Campbell created 2 facets of Hip-Hop. Though not thoroughly as recognized as they should be today, this was the foundation. A few years later, two more pioneers burst on to the scene. Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash.


Afrika Bambaataa (founder of the Zulu Nation)
Grandmaster Flash, one of the pioneers of Hip-Hop

These niggas still making dance music. (Yes, Soulja boy is a G.O.A.T). So fast Forward just a little bit more, and you have the SugarHill Gang putting out, in my opinion, the first Rap song ever, “Rapper’s Delight”. (if you didn’t know this, kill yourself).

The Sugar Hill Gang circa 1979
By this time, Hip-Hop had exploded. Our culture had created one of the few genres of music that actually originated in the U.S.

So here is where my conspiracy actually begins….

Although I wasn’t alive yet, little kids like me, (black in America), started seeing people of their skin color all over the magazines and the T.V. networks. We were becoming a force to reckon with. Unknowing at that point in time (the 1980s), that this new genre would actually be the face of a white nation (U.S.A.) as it is today (2016).

We were making strides in relevancy, and taking over Pop Culture.

Doug E. Fresh, Run DMC, Eric B. and Rakim, LL Smooth J (that’s what my creepy ass auntie calls him), Salt N’ Pepa, The Fat Boys, Kidd N’ Play, Big Daddy Kane. These Hip-Hop pioneers were causing rifts. And a certain group of “people” couldn’t stand it. I won’t say white people – because I am no bigot or racist; but I call a bitch, a bitch.


DJ Eric B. and MC Rakim (one of the greatest Hip-Hop duo’s of all time)
LL Cool J (or “smooth J”) like my auntie says, smh. 

Things did not look well (for those “people”), and they sure as hell did not get any better when groups like N.W.A. (Niggas With Attitude) and Public Enemy stepped on to the scene. I do not want to call those “people” oppressors, so I’ll refer to them as “Pabu’s” or “People Against Black Uprising”.  

N.W.A. (no explanation needed – everyone should know who this is)
I’ll start with the biggest clash as we were uprising – because

they just made a movie about it, and y’all know what Straight Outta Compton signified, because you most likely saw it. NWA’s uprising may have been one of the most significant points in Hip-Hop history. We, as niggas or thugs -as they like to so eloquently call us, were making the loudest statement since The Civil Rights Movement.


(Fuck The Police – N.W.A. (1988)

I know when you read that, you yelled it, because how could you not?

And this – if you’re still following me – is where shit literally hit the fan.

We were heard.

The F.B.I. wrote this small group of young black musicians from Compton, a letter about their “displeasure” with the track. Nigga, the FBI. THE Federal Bureau of Investigation.

THIS is when PABU’s knew our whisper, was becoming a roar. Gangsta Hip-Hop had taken over. We were being un-apologetically black. Some see it as ignorance; I see it as necessary rebellion. See, rebellion is not a bad thing…

How do you think America gained its independence?

We had dudes like Ice-T, Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., 2 Live Crew, and many others making waves in every community across the nation. Everybody wanted to be like us. But y’all know the saying… “Everybody wanna be a nigga, but don’t nobody wanna be a nigga”. In this crucial time between the mid-80’s and late-90’s, we received a large dose of just how powerful Hip-Hop had become.

BREAKING NEWS: Rapper Tupac Shakur has been shot dead.
BREAKING NEWS: Rapper Big L has been shot dead.

BREAKING NEWS: Rapper Biggie Smalls has been shot dead.
BREAKING NEWS: DJ Uncle Al has been shot dead.

It was becoming an epidemic. Was our boisterous voice, and new face of the country becoming a death sentence for young black men?

Gangsta rap had the world on alert. Though we were making strides in the mainstream, our communities were literally on fire. It seemed as if the music convinced black males that they should hate each other.

(Click the lyric to view the Rap Genius annotation)

First off, fuck your bitch and the clique you claim” (2Pac – Hit ‘Em Up)

But we ain’t singing, we bringing drama, Fuck you and your motherfucking mama, We gon kill all you motherfuckers”. (2Pac – Hit ‘Em Up)

“What’s beef? Beef is when you need 2 Gats to go to sleep. Beef is when your moms ain’t safe up in the streets. Beef is when I see you, guaranteed to be in ICU.” (The Notorious B.I.G. – What’s Beef?)

And we couldn’t refute the facts. Though we love it, we had to come to grips with the fact that Hip-Hop promoted hate. My heart hurts, because as much as I love to rap along; it was rotting the minds of the youth who took the lyrics more serious than others.Hip-Hop ruined lives. But here is where I enter a curve…

Did PABU’s take our vocal leaders, or did we?

Tupac grew into the role as one of the most significant voices of his era.
But who took him away from us? The music that made him, or the people afraid of what we could become – as he matured in his late, but short, career?

I’m leaving these open ended questions, because I encourage you to think about it.

Did Hip-Hop kill this man?

If you answered yes, then Hip-Hop took the lives of thousands of black teens, and still is – even to this day.

If you answered no, then there’s a bigger conspiracy here than even  I could imagine.

Is Hip-Hop dumbed down today because (they) want us to keep killing each other by making these “trap” rappers mainstream?

Why is rap that display’s messages of hope and uprising in our community getting less radio play?

Why does everyone want to be a nigga, but nobody wants to be a nigga?

Has Hip-Hop done more bad than good?

I want you to answer for yourself…. Like I said, this theory was highly, highly condensed. This isn’t even one whole percent of my theory, but I wanted to drop some knowledge, and the perspective of a young black man.

If you want a book that is really going to open your mind to some interesting history of Hip-Hop; grab a copy of Professor Griff’s book, The Psychological Covert War on Hip-Hop”. (link).


 Follow @Ayo_Domm on Twitter for more dope opinions (and lots of trolling)  





Top 11 Innovative Artists (2010-Present)

Top 11 Innovative Artists (2010-Present)

People tend to get the word Innovative confused with the word influential. This list is courtesy of a thread made by @C2TheIsco on twitter. I decided to switch up his list – take off a few, add a few, and expand on the elaborations.

The following list is the most innovative artists we believe have brought something new to music within the last 6 years. A new sound. New style.

11. @GoldLink.

Gold Link, an up and coming artist from the DMV area, released his debut album The God Complex in 2015. On this album, he shows us how he can use rap elements, and successfully merge them with deep-house, and synthetic pop instrumentals. He innovated this sound dubbed it “future bounce”. He has done this on several songs, including “Dance on Me”, and “Sober Thoughts”, which is linked below.

Example:  Sober Thoughts – Gold Link




Major Lazer, an EDM group originally created by  producers Diplo and Switch, have been making waves in the “techno” world since 2008. They have brought a variety of Carribean styles to House Music – such as dancehall, and even reggaeton. They even brought some trap influence to the same sound and were even sampled on Beyoncés hit – Who Run The World? (Girls) in 2013.

Example: Pon De Floor – Major LAZER feat. VYBZ Kartel 

9. @majidjordan.

Majid Jordan, a Canadian R&B duo, has most-famously collabed with Drake on Hold On, We’re Going Home on Drake’s third studio album, Nothing Was The Same. They also released a Single featuring Drake called “My Love” which is linked below. They are partly responsible for bringing deep-house into the post-Drake R&B era. Dark-dancey kind of music.

Example: My Love (Remix) – Majid Jordan feat. Drake


PARTYNEXTDOOR, also known as PND, is most know for his hit song Recognize featuring Drake. PND essentially birthed post-Drake R&B. He began the wave known as “Trapsoul”, which was followed and remastered by artists such as Bryson Tiller, Dej Loaf, and Tory Lanez. Down-tempo trap drums, infused with dark swavey tunes.

Example: Come and See Me – PND Feat. Drake 

7. @DJmustard

DJ Mustard, best known for being YG’s official DJ, took club music to new heights. He laced southern crunk and trap beats to Bay Area music; And made a new Los Angeles signature sound in the process. He has produced songs for Ty Dolla Sign, 2 Chainz, Young Jeezy, and even Casey Veggies. Almost all of his productions start with “mustard on the beat, hoe!” something most of us have heard thousands of times throughout the past few years.

Example: R.I.P. – Young Jeezy

6. @Skrillex.

Skrillex, a Los Angeles native, has been innovating the EDM and Electro House genre’s since 2002. Skrillex was heavily influenced by Daft Punk; and he co-founded and popularized dubstep, as well as drums n’ bass in house music. Skrillex also merged EDM with Rap, like the example shown below with The Game. He has collaborated with Diplo, won a total of 8 Grammy’s, and holds the title for “Most Grammy’s won by an Electric Dance Music Artist.” 

Example: El Chapo – The Game & Skrillex 


5. @AndersonPaak

Brandon Paak Anderson, better known by his stage name Anderson .Paak is a singer/songwriter, and much more. He is a native to Oxnard, California, which is about 30 miles west of L.A. During September of 2015, I had the pleasure of seeing Anderson perform live at a great venue in downtown Miami, opening up for Earl Sweatshirt. He set the stage for a great performance, alongside producer Knxowledge, who makes up the other half of their Duo – known as NxWorries (best known for their hit single “Suede”). 

Anderson is bringing back that soulful, feel-good, passionate tone to R&B that we’ve been missing since the late 90s. He has done this by incorporating some of the most original producers – himself included. They have mastered the art of flawless production with an electronic/soulful feel, along with .Paak’s unmistakable signature raspy voice. Anderson has released 2 Studio albums – Venice (2013) and most recently Malibu (2015) which had features from The Game, BJ The Chicago Kid, Sonyae Elise, and more. 

Linked below is one of my favorite NxWorries tracks.

NxWorries – Suede 



4. @Raury.

Raury, an Atlanta, Georgia native has brought the alternative feel back to rap. Raury, at just 19 years old, spits Andre 3000-like bars; over nostalgic Bon Iver folk-rock instrumentals. He also wrote and produced his entire debut album, “All We Need” (2015), which is actually in the ‘Alternative’ category on Apple Music.

Example: Devil’s Whisper – Raury


3. @ChanceTheRapper

Chance the Rapper, native to a middle class neighborhood called Chatham in the City of Chicago, has started a whole new wave of music. Along with his band Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment, they have made live instrumentation’s of jazz music sound more colorful, and brought brighter tones to the music than much else we’ve heard before. Chance’s childish wordplay, quirky metaphors, and tongue twisting lyricism are also uncommon in modern rap. Chance the Rapper is the first artist not signed to a major record Label that has performed on Saturday Night Live, and has many new fans supporting his “independent artist” movement. The link shown in the example below is track 2 on Donnie Trumpet’s debut album Surf, featuring Chance, B.o.b, and even Busta Rhymes.
Example: Slip Slide – Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment

2. @KendrickLamar

Kendrick Lamar has brought back the “jazzy funk” vibe to Hip Hop that has been missing for years. Originally brought to the game by artists like A Tribe Called Quest, Outkast, Digable Planets, The Roots, Common, and more. Kendrick Lamar has returned with a soulful vibe that many of us haven’t felt since Kanye West released his debut album, The College Dropout, in 2004. Although Kanye used a different type of soul influence (classic), I still feel that Kendrick’s music brings that same feel-good, soul-funk vibe that I love so much – Tracks like These Walls on TPAB, as well as Untitled 7, now re-named “Levitate”, on Untitled Unamstered, make me just feel…. GOOD.

1. @KanyeWest


Kanye West. Yeezy. Mr. West. Yeezus. Ye. North’s Dad. Kim’s Husband. Whatever you wanna call him, or however you wanna judge him. Kanye West may just in fact be the most innovative artist of the 21st century. (No, I’m not just saying that because I’m a biased Kanye stan).

Not only has Kanye sampled just about every influential classic soul artist, back when he was “chop-up-the-soul Kanye”, and take a huge part in the popularization of auto-tune with 808’s & Heartbreak, but he also started (and is currently leading) the entire shift of the fashion industry.

From huge corporate clothing chains like H&M, Zara and even Forever 21 copying his “Yeezy Season” ideas, to his Yeezy x Adidas collections that have changed the shoe game across the world.

But as far as artistry, what has this guy NOT done to music? On My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, we saw Ye blend styles like rock, orchestra sounds, soul, rap, and more – all into a melting pot.

On Yeezus, Kanye declared his protest to music. “Yeezus”  was arguably one of the most abrasive, impulsive, and aggressive albums of all time. On Yeezus we saw Kanye blend DP’s Human-era house music with Death Grips, Dancehall, and dark soul-music to make something abrasive. At the time, the media was portraying Kanye West as an angry black ma. So what did Mr. Yeezus himself do? he embraced it. Yeezus was Kanye’s way of agreeing with the media’s portrayals, sand saying “I’m gonna snap on this album, y’all gonna sit down, stfu, and listen to it.”

I feel like Yeezus was just Kanye being unapologetically angry. Most artists wouldn’t dare risk their whole career over expressing their emotions.
Honorary mentions:


Earl Sweatshirt
Childish Gambino
The Internet

Talk Yo Shit, Volume 1: KENDRICK LAMAR vs THE PEOPLE

Talk Yo Shit, Volume 1: KENDRICK LAMAR vs THE PEOPLE

Kendrick Lamar vs. The People

Talk Yo Shit, Volume 1.

By: Derek Mollica | @DOWNSINCEBIRTHH

Who is Kendrick Lamar? What is Kendrick Lamar? And what capacity of his greatness has he shared with us? 

As the cool vibes of Overly Dedicated set their place, it is time. 

Since the night of February 15, 2016, I have been challenged by the idea that: The People, The Culture, and The Community don’t deserve the savior they have longed for.

February 15th is the day Kendrick cracked the game on its head, and swept the four Grammy categories for Hip-Hop; while simultaneously mixing in a jaw-dropping performance.

So did the Grams really give a humble gesture to Kendrick’s work and ability? Or was 2016 just a cover-up for one of the biggest mistakes in the history of the award show?


Hip-Hop and rap is all about the next jet setting, wave building movement. However, in most regards, do we really look back and appreciate what we are given, and not what we expect?

  • Who is Kendrick Lamar?

   Kendrick Lamar Duckworth was born in 1987, in the heart of Compton, California. He attended Centennial High School in the city of Compton. It was throughout his childhood that he began gathering an understanding for poetry – through the thoughts of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. While attending High School, he was an average student; who, like many, slipped through the Public School system virtually unnoticed.

 A photo of the Message Kendrick’s High School posted to praise him.


By 2005, Lamar was recording music with Carson, California-based label, Top Dawg Entertainment, (also known as T.D.E.), under the name “K.Dot”. K.Dot released several mixtapes in his early career, such as Training Day, No Sleep Til NY (with TDE fellow rapper Jay Rock), and C4. In ‘09, the hip hop super-group Black Hippy was formed, displaying four different walks of life from Los Angeles natives. Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul & ScHoolboy Q.


Next came the transformation – Lamar went from a young K.Dot, “the mean street rapper with a Compton attitude”, to a glimpse of what we know today, “Kendrick Lamar”. On the eve of the year 2010, the “Kendrick Lamar EP” dropped. An overlooked 15 songs that created one of the biggest waves of the decade.

(I shouldn’t have to get you hip on the rest.)

  • What is Kendrick Lamar?

Kendrick Lamar is a Rapper-ARTIST from Compton. Not to be confused with his predecessors, or his current colleagues (or foes) – he stands in many ways above the rest. But what does he stand for? He provides a voice for the good. Lamar is venturing into the pursuit of trying to be a better person, while surrounded by much of the opposite. This is a message that the majority of us can relate to in one way or another; which further reaches new heights by turning his music into a platform for genuine righteousness.

Lamar’s latest full length album “To Pimp a Butterfly” shares no relation to any contemporary album released at the time, or maybe ever in the genre’s history. Mixing G-Funk vibes with traditional jazz, the album plays more like a statement for oppression, rather than any attempt to sell for retail purposes. The album artwork features many of Kendrick’s Compton acquaintances – eagerly looking to break down the gates of the White House; (more so of a sentiment than any reality).

The record is undeniably different from the limited pre-promotion. The album contains very subtle features, and relatively forgot about collaborators in today’s world. Kendrick embodies everything that is the mind, body, and soul of hip-hop.

  • Outro

What puts Kendrick above the rest? Is it the fact that he chooses to use his voice to preach and not sell? Or that he puts it all out there to show the world his journey? the journey that many others have live(d). 

It is the passion that flows from the man’s being, and the undeniable focus Kendrick shows to progress not only The Music, but The Culture, and more importantly, the People.


With all this said, we still find ways to refute the K-Man’s accomplishments – whether it is breeded by envy, or resentment. What holds us back from giving Kendrick the crown? What is the demand to put artists that have no business in the conversation with Lamar? Don’t let this deter you from the artists you have grown accustomed to, but next time you listen to Kendrick – close your eyes. Listen to the words. Feel the pain. Walk the walk. And most importantly, understand the message. That is all I ask.

Kendrick is the king, the Greatest of OUR Time, and the (active) GOD MC.

But when you really get down to it,

Do we really deserve Kendrick Lamar?


Follow Derek Mollica on Twitter for more Dope opinions: @DownSinceBirthh


 (Tweeted the night of the Grammy’s)  

GROOVY TONY x ScHoolboy Q – Review by @HecUr15!

GROOVY TONY x ScHoolboy Q – Review by @HecUr15!

4 nights ago, TOP (Founder of TxDxE) @dangerookipawaa tweeted:

Everyone’s immediate reaction was to guess who was dropping. Jay Rock? Soulo?  Q? SZA?  Isaiah?

Twitter turned into a guessing game for a few hours. 

Later that night, Top tweeted a Single Cover with a link to a brand new ScHoolboy Q song, titled “GROOVY TONY”: 


The song immediately became hot news. Now that we’ve taken a few days to digest the song, here’s a Review of “GROOVY TONY” by @HecUr15

First and foremost, I’d like to acknowledge the fact that TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment) as a label, is killing the rap game right now. 

With Kendrick leading the way, TDE is changing the game and bringing lyricism back to the forefront of rap. Schoolboy Q was second in line on the TDE roster to have a major label debut album with his 2014 effort “Oxymoron“. Now he is back with his new single “Groovy Tony“. 

This time around, Schoolboy is accompanied by in house TDE producer @TaeBeast


Tae is known for producing “Hood Politics”, “Ronald Reagan Era”, “Pineal Gland”, and as part of Digi + Phonics, they produced “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” from Kendrick’s album Good Kid, m.A.A.d city


Tae Beast also produced a couple other TDE tracks you may be familiar with, such as “Terrorist Threats” and “There He Go“. 

Listen below:

Terrorist Threats – Ab Soul

 There He Go – ScHoolboy Q 


Tae Beast did not let up with this one. He brought some of his best producing to the table, and created such a menacing beat to accompany Schoolboy’s lyrics. Q talks of robbery, drug dealing, and gang banging. The drums Tae used sound authentic – like the drums on Q’s “Raymond 1969″. The eerie synths in the background is what brings Q’s rhymes to life, along with the sampled female vocals in the background saying “blank face”.
Q opens up the track by saying:


Q doesn’t need an AK 47 to do the job. While others would just shoot an AK just spraying everything in sight, Q is more precise. He’s cool, calm, and collected while shooting; so he doesn’t need many bullets. 

Q stays true to his gang-banging roots with lines like: 


As well as

Obviously referring to his Hoover Crip roots.

Now let’s just get one thing straight.  If Q’s rapping doesn’t make you want to rob an old lady walking her Pomeranian in broad daylight; or kick a lemonade stand being managed by an innocent little 5 year old girl with pink bow ties in her hair, then you’re listening to it wrong. 

No – I’m not saying that his lyricism was exceptional; But Q painted a picture of crime in a way that made it seem cool. Crime isn’t cool, but you catch my drift. Much like how his “Raymond 1969” made us feel. He exemplified ignorance in its purest form, but in a wholesome way. Not your lean-sippin, pill-poppin, Bugatti-renting way. 


Overall, this song was the perfect way to start his promotion for his next album, along with dropping the video the same night. 

This version of Q is confident. We can tell that he is going to put forth whatever he feels like – and it’s still going to be hot; simply because everyone feeds off of thenenergy that he consistently  brings to his tracks.

 Fun fact:

If y’all didn’t know the reason why Q always capitalizes his H’s (on snapchat, Twitter, everywhere) here’s why:

Hiiipower X 

Hippy  X 

Hoover X

Heaven X

Hell = 

Everything ScHoolboy Q believes in. 


Follow @HecUr15 on Twitter for more Dope hip-hop opinions!


CHRIS ROCK ANNOUNCES ANDRÉ 3000 SOLO ALBUM! & Artist Talk: “André 3000 could win 20 awards tomorrow, and I would still believe he doesn’t get the credit he deserves”

CHRIS ROCK ANNOUNCES ANDRÉ 3000 SOLO ALBUM! & Artist Talk: “André 3000 could win 20 awards tomorrow, and I would still believe he doesn’t get the credit he deserves”

Today, Comedian Chris Rock posted a photo on Instagram of Himself, Andre 3000, Dave Chappelle, D-Nice, Jack White, and Jarobi – with the Caption “Hard at work on the new Andre 3000 album”

I know. Your heart stopped momentarily. Is the solo album that Andre 3000 fans have been waiting for, for as long as you can remember? 


One of my favorite Twitter followers, @DanielNoelD – wrote this blog post on his tumblr recently; inspired by yours truly. Due to the overwhelming accuracy (except the Kanye slander) I thought I’d share:

“André Lauren Benjamin could win 20 awards tomorrow and I would still believe that he doesn’t get the credit he deserves.

Yesterday I was having a conversation with the girl on Twitter -(@mikaarianna) – who has what I consider a great taste in Hip-Hop, thoughts on Kanye and his influence on Hip-Hop, and just the culture at large. 

Although I agree that Kanye has done a lot to advance the culture and genre, (even though the more he opens his mouth, the harder it is for me to be a supporter of his or even want to listen to his music), I feel like André 3000 should get the praise and worship that Kanye thinks he deserves. 

Not only has Andre given us an extensive amount of incredible and legendary music as half of one of the greatest Hip-Hop groups/ duos (they’re at a tie with the Fugees in my opinion. L-Boogie’s bars on the Score are unmatched), his influence on the culture is undeniable. In a time where Gangsta Rap was really beginning to take over(rightfully so), Outkast was made up by some of the many great Hip-Hop artists who provided an alternative. Simultaneously, Andre’s costume wear, and choices in hairstyles completely destroyed all expectations of what “black masculinity” was, and how society expected black men to conduct themselves. 

Stankonia is one of the greatest Hip-Hop albums ever recorded or crafted. From “B.O.B.” to “Ms. Jackson” to “Gangsta Sh*t”, he displayed not only his lyrical ability – but his ability to tackle a variety of different subjects. I know he never properly gave us a full length solo studio album, but I honestly think he’s one of the greatest MC’s/Hip-Hop Artists we’ve ever seen or heard, coming second only to 2Pac.”

Although I do believe Kanye is rightfully credited for all his innovations, and 2Pac isn’t quite up there with André, I couldn’t have worded this any better myself.
For the original post, follow Daniel C Noel on Tumblr: 


Rap Talk: Lyricism vs Musicality – By Marc Maxis of RESPECT MAG

Rap Talk: Lyricism vs Musicality – By Marc Maxis of RESPECT MAG

The other day while scrolling on my Timeline, i saw that Punch (president of TDE) Retweeted this article. How could I not read it, right?

I have never been so amazed at the accuracy of an article before. I had to reach out to Marc Maxis myself, and gain permission to repost his article here on my blog.

While reading through it, i kept thinking.. “This is what i’ve been trying to preach on Twitter for months.” I may not have worded it as formally, but this article explains in detail exactly how I feel about modern music.

Read his article at the link below:

(Courtesy of RESPECTMAG.COM)

Rap Talk: Lyricism vs Musicality – By Marc Maxis

Rap cypher kendrick lamar TDE


Follow Marc Maxis (@styles_galore) on Instagram


I personally think that the “new era” of rap should NOT be associated with the classic hip hop era. Yeah, its all “Rap” technically, but would you really put Young Thug and Nas under the same title?