If only we weren’t limited to ten. Hip-hop had a huge year, from Twitter beefs to chart-breaking albums, from the new paupers-turned-princes of hip-hop – but don’t think the last gawd is to remain unspoken for. We’re talking marriage proposals via YouTube — sans any corny flash mobs — hospital visits and riots, and a little taste of the old school and cyphers. Hell yeah, we got cyphers. Hit the jump to find out.
Kendrick Lamar Drops “Control” Verse
Back in August, Kendrick Lamar dropped something that we, for all intents and purposes, call a “diss” track. Though less Tupac-Biggie in nature, and more of a “step-ya-game-up” call out, the self-proclaimed King of New York actively brought hip-hop as we used to know it back to life, if only for a brief moment. East Siders, come out and plaaaaay-yayyyy.
DJ Khaled proposes to Nicki Minaj
If DJ Khaled was seriously proposing to Nicki Minaj, you would think he’d be a bit more creative with it than posting a video online — I mean, dudes are organizing flash mobs now for wedding proposals. Either way, the proposal-hoax served better as a Drake-meme generator than the intended promotion for Khaled’s new album, but who are we to say no to another opportunity that garners Drake-memes?
Nipsey Hussle vs. Complex Magazine
If Complex could have beef with a rapper, it shouldn’t have been Nipsey Hussle. In a quick rundown, the magazine had placed Nipsey on a “10 Underachieving Rappers” list and the Crenshaw kid took that to heart. Denying Complex all interviews until mid-October, Nipsey Hussle and Complex’s Angel Diaz had a heavy discussion that highly criticized not only Complex, but publications, music journalists and the industry altogether. Not to say that Nipsey and Complex are homies now, but the interview certainly brought to a light issues that artists like Nipsey have to consistently endure.
Gucci Mane’s Twitter Meltdown
Gucci Mane’s Twitter rant was two parts: one part entertaining, and one part embarrassing. Sure it was funny, but I’m a little embarrassed myself that I continued to follow said rant in its entirety. Whether or not you believe whatever Gucci said in the tweets, the fact is, lean is one hell of a drug.
TDE Cypher at the BET Hip Hop Awards
See the thing that Kendrick forgot is that when you rap, you’re supposed to rhyme. But the TDE’s top dawg said fuck that shit and still murdered on the cypher and called out a few more homies on this verse, but not without some able-bodying from label teammates Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Isaiah Rashad, and Jay Rock. Long live King Kendrick.
TDE vs. GQ Magazine
See, the tricky part of this is, is that Steve Marsh’s piece on Kendrick was good: encapsulating one of hip-hop’s prominent stars is never an easy task, and while Marsh got almost everything else right, calling Anthony Tiffith “TDE’s Suge Knight” probably added a shitload of insult to injury after calling the label, a “baby Death Row Records.” Did Tiffith over-react a bit? Maybe. Did he have every reason to? Oh, yeah.
Jay Z x Samsung
From his hard knock life days to his current Beyonce days, Jay has always been a business, man. So as much of a surprise it was to see that he was dropping another album, it wasn’t so much of a surprise to see it through a marketing scheme team-up with Samsung that brought much anticipation to Shawn Carter’s 12th studio album. Now if only he put that same marketing effort into his lyrics…
Lil Wayne’s Seizures
Back in May, word around town was that Lil Wayne was suffering from a number of seizures that placed him on life support. So the world did what it does best – turn to Twitter to send prayers and voice concerns, or lack thereof. The automatic association was that Weezy was suffering from the seizures due to an overdose of sizzurp, which really caught no one by surprise – until it turned out the whole Lil Wayne-on-his-deathbed wasn’t entirely true. Turns out the kid is “kind of epileptic,” or so he told Katie Couric in an interview in September. Sure Weezy, we’ll take that excuse.
Tyler, the Creator shuts down Low End Theory
Anything Tyler, the Creator touches explodes into mayhem, so naturally an Instagram-announced performance at Low End Theory was going to result in the same way. The kid didn’t even get to perform, unless you count Tyler standing on top of a cop car and telling the crowd to disperse via microphone, although not without slipping in a few “fuck the cops.” If any good came out of that semi-riot, it was inspiring Tyler to go extra-hard at the OF Carnival – that which he did with the help of one rhinestone-mask-donning Chicagoan.
Kanye-stan or not, 2013 was the year of Yeezus. Granted, Kanye’s trademark reputation may have taken a hit or two or three based off of some key interviews (where we discovered that Sway doesn’t have the answers,) but on all accounts, Yeezus, was a brilliant piece of work whether you were fit to consume it or not. The gawd dominated the digital waves, embedding himself in people’s Facebook statuses and Twitter accounts for his antics, and flooding Instagram feeds with users’ up-close and personal photos from his Yeezus tour. Parodies, mockeries, and general public disdain for Kanye was abundant throughout the year, but as the saying goes, there is no such thing as bad press.