J. Cole sat down with GQ for their April cover story for a rare interview where he discussed the “Platinum With No Features” meme.
The Dreamville Records boss admitted that he was initially flattered but wasn’t prepared for its longevity.
“I was loving it,” he told GQ. “I was like, ‘Word up — this is funny as hell.’ But the second or third time, I was like, ‘All right, it’s almost embarrassing now.’ Like, ‘All right, man, y’all gonna make me put a feature on the album just so this shit can stop.’ ”
The meme dates back to 2014 when his 2014 Forest Hills Drive LP became his first collection to achieve platinum status and there weren’t any features. Every album since then has been certified platinum and all lacked guest features.
However, his no feature streak can come to an end for his next project but nothing is confirmed yet.
“Well, I don’t have any right now that I really want to boast about,” he said. “Not saying it’s impossible. It’s just about getting out of my comfort zone.”
Kodak Black is seemingly getting dragged online for expressing his sexual attraction to Young MA in his recent song, “Pimpin Ain’t Eazy.”
The Dying To Live rapper mentioned M.A more than once on the record.
“I be pullin’ out straps on these f**k niggas/I go Young M.A on these dumb b*****s/Like a dyke man, you n****s can’t f**k with me,” he spits on the chorus. On the second verse he adds, “I’m f****n’ Young M.A, long as she got a coochie/Say she got the strap and the toolie, say she put the crack in her booty.”
The Brooklyn rapper is openly gay and clearly disapproved of the lyrics. When asked about her thoughts of the song by a fan, MA answered, “Y’all keep talking about this Kodak situation. Y’all niggas is weird, bro,” she said. “Come on, obviously the nigga is weird, bro. Obviously, he on some shit, bro.” But Kodak jumped on Instagram Live and dismissed her comments.
“Yo, y’all stop making Young M.A. mad. That’s my dog!” The Florida rapper said. “Don’t do that, baby. We gon’ catch up. I just wanna be the homie. I just wanna be the forever homie in the cut, vibing…whenever you make up your mind up, I’m here. [slurp] I’m talking about bae so cute!”
He continued, “I do a lot of stuff, but I do more good than I do bad and more people love me than hate me,” Kodak says. “I’m talking about, how you a girl but don’t want your pussy penetrated? How? Don’t me mad at me, ’cause I want you, baby. Don’t be mad at me!”
Kodak Black’s controversial comments about Young M.A comes ahead of his trial for sexual assault, which starts next month.
Compton-bred rapper YG — “Keenon Daequan Ray muthafuckin’ Jackson” as his mom eloquently refers to him on the intro to the album we’re about to talk about — is one of the leaders in today’s roster of young Hip-Hop kings, right there along with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Meek Mill and the immensely-missed Mac Miller. While Cole is a representative of the south by way of Fayetteville, North Carolina, Meek a proud representation of Philly through and through, Mac giving Pittsburgh its well-deserved props and K. Dot telling the story of living in Compton from a deeply introspective and oftentimes poetic point of view, YG found a way to rep the West Coast from its original G-funk gangsta rap roots from the very beginning of his career.
His platinum-selling debut album, My Krazy Life, turns five years old today (March 18), and is officially available as a 2LP black vinyl by way of Urban Legends. It’s one of those records that will look good plastered on your wall of other preserved rap records, or for a few good spins if you actually own a player to scratch it on. Either way, there’s no arguing that My Krazy Life is a modern day classic. Let us break down why real quick.
Before you go cop the record and add it to your collection, read on to see why YG’s My Krazy Life was so important to the climate of Hip-Hop in 2014 and how it’s shaped the rap game up to this day:
The Album Topped Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Albums & Rap Albums Charts, While Also Debuting at #2 on the Billboard 200
The week of April 5, 2014, My Krazy Life was held out from the top spot by one astronomical album: the soundtrack for Disney’s Frozen. Granted, nobody was stopping the Frozen train, so we definitely give YG cred where it’s due. However, he was able to top the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and the Top Rap Albums, the latter where it finished at #9 on the year-end list. Overall, it was one of the most successful rap releases of 2014.
The Guest Features Were Phenomenal
Not only was he able to get rap vet Jeezy on the hit lead single, as well as Lil Wayne on the remix, YG also found a way to use My Krazy Life as an opportunity to prove that there was definitely a unity within his rap class. ScHoolboy Q and Jay Rock on “I Just Wanna Party,” Tory Lanez on “Me & My Bitch,” Nicki Minaj on the aforementioned lead single remix as well, Drake on “Who Do You Love?” and Kendrick Lamar on the classic deep cut “Really Be (Smokin N Drinkin)” were all examples of that. While friendly competition is always in the atmosphere, these MCs supported and rocked with each other heavy.
The Album Helped Put DJ Mustard on the Map
Granted, DJ Mustard had been producing hits as far back as 2011 with Tyga’s top 10 banger “Rack City,” but his working relationship with YG can’t be compared to any rap/producer duo in the game. While they went through a brief beef that has thankfully been squashed, there’s no denying the classic songs they were able to create as a unit on My Krazy Life. We saw them recreate the magic recently on “Big Bank” off last year’s Stay Dangerous, proving that the YG/Mustard union is a much-needed force in Hip-Hop for the majority of us that love a good G-Funk-laced club banger.
My Krazy Life Proved YG Could Represent the West Coast As a Solo Force
Having a tight rap crew to fall back on definitely helps elevate you up the ranks in Hip-Hop, which is why we give YG even more cred for being able to navigate up the charts dolo. While his contemporaries had groups that range from TDE and A$AP Mo to Dreamville and even Young Money, YG held things down on his own under his 4Hunnid imprint, which operates as a record label and fashion brand alike. The leader of his own pack, for sure.
The Universal Praise of “My Nigga”
As controversial as the title is, nobody can deny the takeover of the rap game that “My Nigga” had on Hip-Hop and music in general. A certified quadruple platinum hit, the song also referred to as “My Hitta” made it to the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 (#19 peak position) and garnered YG two BET Hip Hop Awards, including “Best Collabo, Duo or Group” alongside Jeezy and Rich Homie Quan plus recognition for the coveted “Track of the Year” that was awarded to DJ Mustard for production. Even today, drop that track and watch the room go crazy.
Happy five years to My Krazy Life by YG! Shop the new 2LP vinyl release right now over on Urban Legends, and let us know your favorite tracks off the project over on our Facebook and Twitter.
His last album Championships is now certified platinum. The collection was released on November 30th with guest appearances from JAY-Z, Drake, Rick Ross, Ella Mai, and more. It sold over one million copies since its release, making it eligible for platinum status.
“Championships went platinum! Thank you to my supporters!” Meek wrote in the post below. The MMG rapper is currently on The Motivation Tour and already brought out surprise guests including Drake, Fabulous, Yo Gotti, and Lil Uzi Vert.
Meek Mill was recently granted his very own weekend in his hometown of Philly. The Mayor of the city of Brotherly Love, Jim Kenney took to Twitter to congratulate the “Uptown Vibes,” rapper. “Meek Mill is well-deserving of this honor,” he said. “He has used his celebrity for good by giving back to the community and raising national awareness of the need for criminal justice reform. Congrats Meek!”
The theme for Louis Vuitton’s FW19 presentation at Paris Fashion Week Men’s, which originally wowed the fashion industry in all the right ways, is now causing the brand to completely backtrack and remove it altogether. It’s an act that truly has us wondering one thing: is this truly the beginning of the end for Michael Jackson’s legacy?
As unfortunate as it is to report this, both for the nature of the crime in question and the one being accused of it, the luxury fashion house and its recently-appointed menswear creative director Virgil Abloh are the latest to face backlash brought forth by the scathing Leaving Neverland documentary. Backed by a premiere at Sundance, a two-night airing on HBO and an after show special hosted by media maven Oprah, the doc depicts the disgraced King of Pop being accused of extreme acts of child sexual abuse by two of his former prepubescent associates. The reactions have been split — loyal MJ fans stand by his innocence while abuse survivors are denouncing the mere mention of his name — which has now put Virgil and LV in a tough predicament, seeing as the FW19 show was completely dedicated to him down to the “Billie Jean”-inspired set design.
Here’s what Louis Vuitton’s chief executive officer Michael Burke told WWD in an official statement regarding the doc:
“We find the allegations in the [Leaving Neverland] documentary deeply troubling and disturbing. Child safety and welfare is of utmost importance to Louis Vuitton. We are fully committed to advocating this cause.”
— Michael Burke, Chairman/chief executive officer, Louis Vuitton
Abloh followed with similar sentiments, addressing the controversy in the same statement by saying, “I am aware that in light of this documentary the show has caused emotional reactions. I strictly condemn any form of child abuse, violence or infringement against any human rights.” According to WWD, the brand has made the decision to remove all MJ-focused themes from the FW19 offering. While specific items weren’t named, we can assumed that it will include the sparkly gloves (seen above), T-shirts depicting MJ’s signature tip-toed dance move and quite possibly the Jackson 5-inspired sweaters. What lingers are the range of items inspired by The Wiz. While Michael Jackson did in fact star as Scarecrow in the 1978 retelling of The Wizard of Oz, he alone doesn’t embody the entire significance of what that movie means to Black culture and cinema in general. We’ll just have to see when the collection starts hitting retailers in later months.
Image: Louis Vuitton
Image: Louis Vuitton
Let us know whether you agree or disagree with this decision to remove MJ from the Louis Vuitton FW19 Collection by sounding off over on Twitter and Facebook. Take a look below to reminisce on better times and watch the full runway show:
Although the song wasn’t released as a single in the United States, it was charting in the UK.
Drake hasn’t made any public comments in regards to the omission of the song from his set, but the change comes fresh off the heels of Michael being accused of molesting Wade Robson and James Safe when they were young boys.
22 years have passed since Biggie was murdered on March 9, 1997 while leaving an afterparty for the 11th Annual Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles. That night, he hit the stage to perform a medley of his hits “One More Chance (Remix)” and the Junior M.A.F.I.A. posse cut “Get Money.” At no point could he have imagined that it would be his last time ever performing on a stage, or at all for that matter, but he sure went out looking extra dapper in a black tux and top hat to match. While it certainly was a memorable style moment for the bigger than life rap star, it was far from the only instance in his career where he kept it all the way fresh.
From photoshoots to the stage, and even on a classic cover of The Source Magazine, keep scrolling to see some of his most memorable fashion statements and how you can still cop those iconic looks today:
This one’s a given. There’s probably no other brand that B.I.G. is associated with as much as he is to COOGI. Whether for ugly sweater parties, a ’90s-themed kickback or just to stay cozy down to the socks, you can still pull this look off.
This was a popular hat during the 1990s that fit Biggie’s mafioso rap persona to a tee. As the 504 is just as iconic to the Kangol brand as B.I.G. is to Hip-Hop, it’ll always be a fashion statement that you can rock “on and on and on and…” just like his flow on “Nasty Boy.”
Of course the King of Brooklyn would be rocking one of the rarest BAPE pieces before the BAPE trend even made it big in America. The iconic Japanese streetwear retailer re-released this same jacket last season, so it’s clearly still a favorite amongst Ape Heads even after all these years.
A Bathing Ape GOTE-TEX 1st CAMO Snowboard Jacket – $1,000 USD Shop here:StockX
BIG had such an impact on Versace that the luxury fashion house gave him the ultimate tribute by re-releasing the frames he made notoriously popular — they even named it the “Biggie Frame.”
Versace Havana Medusa Biggie Sunglasses – $295 USD Shop here:Versace
Ok, so Biggie in no way started the Wheat Timbs movement, but it was definitely a rare occasion where he wasn’t rocking a fresh pair. We wonder how funny he would’ve though all these “NYC Timbs” memes are.
Either he predicted the trend would be popular in the current menswear cycle — remember Pusha T in Prada last year? — or he was simply just always in summer mode. We’ll go with the latter, but BIG made these look fly then and even now.
Straight off his last living appearance on the cover of The Source (Issue #91), Biggie went out on a truly classic note, and we’re proud to have this one in the vault. Nothing is more traditional than a two-piece suit, and given his larger-than-life persona and size alike, The Notorious B.I.G. rocked it just as well as he did with a mic. Forever missed; forever fly.
Tekashi 6ix9ine got brownie points for featuring Bobby Shmurda on his track, “Stoopid” but the chances of the Brooklyn rappers collaborating again looks slim.
Bobby told DJ Vlad “hell motherf*****g no” when asked if he’d do a track with the “GUMMO” rapper after controversial details of his ongoing legal battle surfaced. “I don’t even want to be next to that man—I’m good.” he said. “These motherfuckers would have everybody locked up. That’s why I tell these kids, too: These entertainers they just entertainers. They ain’t living that shit they be talking.”
Tekashi and his former manager were indicted on racketeering charges last year. In February, he pleaded guilty to nine counts in the case and agreed to cooperate fully with the authorities. Many Hip Hop influencers denounced him because he’s a snitch and that’s against the street code.
Bobby Shmurda was arrested and charged with felony criminal possession of a weapon back in 2014. He pled guilty to one count of third degree conspiracy, as well as one count of weapon possession. Him and his partner, Rowdy Rebel, was sentence to seven years in prison. But there may be good news for the Hot N*gga in December 2020 during his parole hearing.
This Women’s History Month we’re celebrating the females that are sometimes behind the scenes making big things happen in the music industry. Masters like Carole King, Dolly Parton and Missy Elliott helped pave the way, garnering hundreds of hits between them while bringing out the best in the artists they’ve worked with, paving the way for the modern female writers and producers of today.
We’ve compiled a playlist of 10 tracks that were written or produced by contemporary women who‘ve been instrumental in shaping the sounds of now.
WOMEN BEHIND THE HITS:
1. “Nervous” – Shawn Mendes (co-written by Julia Michaels)
Songwriter Julia Michaels has a way of bringing out the vulnerability in her male collaborators, like she did with her friend and former tourmate Shawn Mendes when she helped him express his romantic jitters on the slick and soulful “Nervous.” When settling in to write together, Mendes and Michaels talked deeply about life and love and came up with three songs in just two days. “Nervous” shows off their instant chemistry in the studio.
2. “Diamonds” – Rihanna (co-written by Sia)
Before Sia broke out big with her own solo career, she was penning hit after hit for A-list artists. In 2012, she proved her genius by crafting one of the best-selling singles of all time: Rihanna’s “Diamonds.” Sia claims she wrote the lyrics in a mere 14 minutes, but her producer claims it was only 12 minutes. Rihanna instantly fell in love with the demo, and her version stays true to every one of Sia’s vocal inflections. In fact, Sia herself thought Rihanna’s voice was still her’s upon hearing the final take.
Cardi B’s hard-hitting “I Do” is something of a bold mission statement for the Grammy-winning rapper. And it came together with the help of a powerhouse female team that included Cardi and SZA, as well as in-demand songwriter Nija Charles, who crafted the song’s powerful hook. Murda Beatz’s beat and the lyrics just flowed out. She’s said her goal was to channel that moment when you wake up, get dressed, and feel ready to conquer the world. She certainly nailed that feeling, and so did Cardi.
4. “thank u, next” – Ariana Grande (co-written by Tayla Parx and Victoria Monet)
Ariana Grande’s massive self-empowerment anthem “thank u, next” sparkles with the confidence and compassion of a strong woman. For this surprise hit, which became Grande’s first single to top the Billboard Hot 100, she shares songwriting credits with Grammy winner Victoria Monet and singer-songwriter Tayla Park. Monet and Park can actually be heard on the track, providing sweet but subtle backing vocals.
5. “Despacito” – Luis Fonsi (co-written by Erika Ender)
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee took Latin music to nearly every corner of the globe with their world-dominating 2017 hit “Despacito.” While the song helped bring attention to the duo’s homeland of Puerto Rico, it was Brazilian-Panamanian singer, songwriter, and composer Erika Ender who crafted some of the song’s most memorable lines. Ender eventually became the youngest person to be inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame, and has said that her role on “Despacito” was to help keep the rather steamy song in good taste. It’s a good thing she did. Here are Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee with “Despacito.”
6. “This Is What You Came For” – Calvin Harris + Rihanna (written and produced by Taylor Swift)
Calvin Harris and Rihanna’s “This Is What You Came For” was an instant club hit, and when the song dropped in April 2016, writing credits went to a Nils Sjoberg. At the time, Harris was dating pop superstar Taylor Swift, but following their breakup just a few months later, he revealed that Swift was actually Sjoberg. She had written the song and also recorded backing vocals on it, but wanted to keep the collaboration a secret so their relationship wouldn’t overshadow the song. Swift now has the official songwriting credit, and it remains one of Harris’ most successful singles. Here is Rihanna With “This Is What You Came For.”
7. “LOVEHAPPY” – The Carters (co-written by Nija Charles and NOVA Wav)
When Hip Hop’s royal couple invites you into the studio, you drop everything. This was the case for 20-year-old Nija Charles along with Grammy-winning songwriting and production duo Denisia Andrews and Brittany Coney (better known as NOVA Wav), when they were summoned by Beyoncé and Jay Z. “LOVEHAPPY” was the final track on The Carters’ 2018 album, ‘Everything Is Love,’ and details the ups and downs of the couple’s marriage. And Charles didn’t even know the song made the album cut; she found out via Twitter, after it was released.
8. “Wrecking Ball” – Miley Cyrus (written by MoZella)
Miley Cyrus’ huge 2013 ballad “Wrecking Ball” was her heart-wrenching statement to then-fiancé Liam Hemsworth regarding their rocky relationship at the time. It seemed like the pain was all Miley’s, but the song itself came from the pen of songwriter Maureen “MoZella” McDonald, who herself was going through a crushing breakup. MoZella’s line “I came in like a wrecking ball” brought the whole song together and helped give Miley her first No. 1 hit.
9. “Girls Like You” – Maroon 5 (co-written by Brittany Hazzard)
Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” is one of the band’s most heartfelt tunes, and it can be partially attributed to Brittany Hazzard, otherwise known as Starrah, who has also co-written songs for artists including Camila Cabello, Rihanna, and Drake. Alongside frontman Adam Levine and songwriter Jason Evigan, Starrah helped give the song its soft-edged touch. This hit is tied for the longest-ever Top 10 run on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
10. “Better Man” – Little Big Town (written by Taylor Swift)
When country stars Little Big Town released the poignant breakup song “Better Man,” they said it was written by a “young girl from Nashville.” That girl turned out to be none other than Taylor Swift. Of course, many have speculated who Swift may have written the song about, but she thought it would be perfect for Little Big Town because of its four-part harmonies. The quartet eventually took the track all the way to the 2017 Country Music Awards, where it won Song of the Year.