This week in Hip Hop, Beyoncé broke the internet after unveiling her newborn twins — Sir and Rumi Carter — on Instagram. Also, after a mural bearing the face of the late Prodigy was defaced twice, it was permanently removed. Meanwhile, HipHopDX gives its mid-year review of the top albums and songs so far this year.
Beyoncé & JAY-Z Unveil The Twins
A month after the birth of Beyoncé and JAY-Z’s twins, Bey has finally shared a picture of Sir and Rumi with the rest of the world via Instagram. The picture has amassed over nine million likes so far and is the second-most liked picture on Insta next to the pictures she shared showing off her twin pregnancy in February, which currently has over 11 million likes.
JAY-Z openly admitted to cheating on Queen Bey on his song “4:44,” and reveals all the things that made him want to change to become a better man for his wife and family. A visual footnote released for the title track finds several men sharing their own 4:44 moments, including Will Smith, Chris Rock, Chris Paul, Kendrick Lamar and Meek Mill.
Hov’s vulnerability has a lot of fans intrigued and analyzing the lyrics to this album’s songs. While the buzz for 4:44 has been heavy since its release, sales for the TIDAL exclusive have yet to be released. One million sales came courtesy of Sprint, who partnered up with TIDAL for the launch. Consequently, 4:44 is already platinum.
— TIDAL (@TIDALHiFi) July 10, 2017
Prodigy Mural Defaced Twice & Permanently Taken Down
Unfortunately, the Queensbridge mural painted in honor of late Mobb Deep member Prodigy has been permanently removed. The mural had been defaced twice. The first time was hours after the Jeff Henriquez and Eli “Eli Eos” Lazare production was destroyed with white paint and the second time, it was sullied with red paint.
The mural is now covered up with black paint.
The #Prodigy tribute is no more and has been buffed black. #queensbridge Much respect to @jeffhenriquezart_ and @elementsofstyle_nyc for their dedication and hard work, thy got a lot of love and respect from the community. True artists. #ripprodigy #prodigymobbdeep #mobbdeep #jeffhenriquezart #elementsofstylenyc
Read more about the vandalized Prodigy mural in Queensbridge here.
DX Mid-Year Review
The DX staff rounded up the Top Albums of 2017 and Top Songs of 2017 into a list of 10 projects for the DX Mid-Year Review.
The Top 10 Albums includes Future’s HNDRXX, Oddisee’s Iceberg and Big Sean’s I Decided., among others. DX staff’s favorite cuts include the Teddy Walton-produced DAMN. cut “LOVE.” by Kendrick Lamar featuring Zacari, Playboi Carti’s “Magnolia” and Migos’ “T-Shirt.”
DXclusives: Omarion, JJ Fad, Sy Ari Da Kid, Damian Marley, Tommy D & Murs
Omarion shared with DX why there won’t be a B2K reunion tour anytime soon and stated that it’s not what people want to make it seem.
“People want to make it like New Edition and people want to make it like this connection for people versus the connection for us,” Omarion told DX’s Cherise Johnson. “When people see how we don’t really talk about it, it’s because it was a different connection for us. It wasn’t what it was for y’all, what it was for us. It was work for us. It was time away from our family. It was a lot of different things that was tedious for us.”
When the HBO docu-series The Defiant Ones aired last Sunday (July 9), Dr. Dre copped to a lot things, including his well documented assault on Pump It Up! host Dee Barnes and JJ Fad’s integral role at Ruthless Records. MC J.B., Sassy C and Baby D of the group talked to DX’s Kyle Eustice about Dre’s comments on the episode and called it “a step towards healing.” JJ Fad was noticeably absent from the N.W.A biopic, Straight Outta Compton, which left the three MCs wondering what happened.
“We were a big part of the Ruthless family,” Baby D said. “Even when they did Straight Outta Compton and snubbed us, if they would have actually just told the truth in that movie, we would have been ecstatic. I don’t get how they could skip over that part. That was hurtful. I was more hurt than anything, especially when friends and family were asking us what happened. You deal with it, but it really hurt us.”
Sy Ari Da Kid
DX’s Editor-at-Large Shirley Ju caught up with Sy Ari Da Kid at during BET Weekend last month and shared why he signed to Birdman. The visual for his song “Wire Transfer From Birdman” takes up for the Cash Money Records CEO while also taking shots at Rick Ross who had something to say to Baby about the Lil Wayne situation on his last album Rather You Than Me.
“He respects me,” Sy said. “I respect him. He taught me a few things. Not even just verbally but how he moves. Strategically, being able to have his label stay at the top, how they find their artists and stuff, so it’s been good, though. And it’s been good to be around someone who did those type of things before I even came in the game. Just to learn those things from him, it’s solid.”
Tupac’s main engineer Tommy D has released The Makaveli Book detailing his time working at Death Row Records and his time with 2Pac.
Tommy described the first time he worked with the late rap legend and recalled he was quick to put a song together. He said in one night they cranked out 11 songs. He also shared how they were prepping to put together a mixtape full of diss tracks.
“Suge gave him an order to make a diss album for the black market,” Daugherty told DX’s Riley Wallace. “One night I got drunk and asked him, ‘Why do we have to make another record about Nas? We might as well just give him a billboard.’ I asked, ‘Why not make something with social or political relevance … something like Gil Scott-Heron would do?’ Pac said, ‘Ok — let’s start thisMakaveli album.’ Lance [Pierre] was ecstatic.”
Ahead of his video with JAY-Z for the track “BAM,” Damian Marley talked to DX’s Kyle Eustice about his foray into Hip Hop and explained Snoop Dogg’s 1993 debut, Doggystyle, really got him into the genre. He also named LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out as the first Hip Hop album he was ever given.
“What I remember about the LL Cool J record is I was impressed by the storytelling and lyrics,” Marley said in his thick Jamaican accent. “He was very lyrical, you know? Again, of course, growing up listening to dancehall music, which is somewhat similar to the nature of Hip Hop, it wasn’t really anything life changing. When Snoop came out, that’s when I really, really got into Hip Hop … more so when Snoop came out, especially Doggystyle.”
Murs — Living Legends MC and current host of DX’s The Breakdown — also spoke to Kyle Eustice about the return of the beloved Hip Hop festival, Paid Dues. The once annual music extravaganza makes its triumphant return after a four-year hiatus on September 16 and 17 at Pershing Square in Los Angeles. Hosted by 2Mex, the event boasts Lil Wayne, Ab-Soul and The Cool Kids as co-headliners.
“Coming back feels good,” Murs said. “Coming back to L.A. feels good as well. It makes it feel new and familiar all at the same time. There’s also a lot more competition in a lane that myself and Guerilla Union helped establish, and competition is good. I’m glad the live music scene is popping. It was a challenge to find out where we fit in this new landscape. But I think we put together a solid and diverse line-up same as we used to.”