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Today In Hip Hop History: Run-D.M.C. Dropped Their Fourth LP ‘Tougher Than Leather’ 33 Years Ago

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On this date in 1988, wha some consider one of the best years in Hip Hop, Run-D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay released their fourth full length studio album Tougher Than Leather on the Profile imprint.

Produced primarily by Rick Rubin, Davy D and the group themselves, the Hollis Crew’s fourth LP was heavy on sampling and even saw some changes in the lyrical styles of DJ Run and Daryll Mac. Even though the album wasn’t as popular as the preceding Raising Hell LP, it certainly spawned a few classic singles including the Bob James’ “Nautilus” driven “Beats To The Rhyme, “Mary Mary” and what would become the title and theme song for the Simmons’ family reality show, “Run’s House”.

A crime-filled drama of the same name accompanied the album about six months after its release, further solidifying the album’s staying power and eventual platinum success.

Salute to Run, D.M.C., JMJ(RIP), Rick Rubin and everyone who was a part of this timeless piece of Hip Hop history!

The post Today In Hip Hop History: Run-D.M.C. Dropped Their Fourth LP ‘Tougher Than Leather’ 33 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

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Life Sentence For Man Convicted Of Weed Possession Upheld In Mississippi Court

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Despite marijuana legalization being at the top of the conversation list on Capitol Hill, there are thousands of men and women that are currently serving time for marijuana convictions. There are some who will never be released from prison, even with some states having legal recreational marijuana within the past few years.

According to the Associated Press, Allen Russell’s life sentence was recently upheld in Mississippi, which was related to a weed charge he was convicted of in 2019. Russell was arrested with less than eight ounces of marijuana, but more than an ounce, which sentence carries a maximum of up to three years, a $3,000 fine, or both in Mississippi.

In Mississippi, a life sentence without parole can be handed down if a person spent a year in prison on two separate felonies and one of those charges has to be a violent offense. Even though the marijuana charge is not considered a serious crime, Russell’s previous convictions for two home burglary charges and a weapons possession charge was enough to land Allen behind bars for the rest of his life as a “habitual offender”.

One of the judges who voted against the ruling is a Black woman who wrote that the decision to uphold Allen’s life sentence undermines the true duty of the court.

“The purpose of the criminal justice system is to punish those who break the law, deter them from making similar mistakes, and give them the opportunity to become productive members of society,” Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Latrice Westbrooks wrote. “The fact that judges are not routinely given the ability to exercise discretion in sentencing all habitual offenders is completely at odds with this goal.”

The post Life Sentence For Man Convicted Of Weed Possession Upheld In Mississippi Court appeared first on The Source.

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Recent College Graduate Thanks Nicki Minaj For Paying Her Tuition

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A North Dakota State University student who recently graduated is thanking Nicki Minaj for paying her tuition. The woman received her her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. In a Twitter post, the graduate highlighted her journey to getting her degree and expressed her gratitude to the rapper.

“Almost 3 years ago @NICKIMINAJ helped me to get back into school by paying for my college tuition, and tomorrow I will be walking across the stage to receive my Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Human Development & Family Science. Thank you, Nicki”

Back in 2017, a fan asked the rapper if she would pay his college tuition on Twitter, and Minaj agreed to pay fans’ school costs — on one condition.

“Show me straight A’s that I can verify w/ur school and I’ll pay it. Who wants to join THAT contest?!? Dead serious. Shld I set it up?” wrote Minaj.

Following the rap star’s tweet, dozens of fans took Minaj up on the offer. Some tweeted her publicity, or hit the rapper up in her messages with screenshots of their grades. The “Itty Bitty Piggy” rapper replied some individually throughout the night and agreed to pay for student loans and textbooks.

A University of Louisiana at Lafayette student who received assistance from Minaj recently graduated too. The man received his Bachelor of Science in Biology.Back in December, the graduate shared that the rapper paid his tuition a few semesters ago.

“I can’t believe that I’m acutally saying this out loud, but I am an official college GRADUATE! Bachelor of Science in Biology. Chemistry and Psychology minor. This day is even more special because @NICKIMINAJ paid my tuition a few semesters ago, and today is her birthday!”

The post Recent College Graduate Thanks Nicki Minaj For Paying Her Tuition appeared first on The Source.

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J.Cole Addresses Cheating Rumors On New Song ‘Hunger On Hillside’

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J.Cole’s new album Off-Season broke the internet this weekend bringing back everything we love about hip hop.
From his spat with Diddy to his relationship with the music industry, the North Carolina MC left it all on the table. Known for his straight-forward and thought provoking bars, fans were surprised when he seemingly addressed cheating rumors on his new song ‘Hunger On Hillside’.

Produced by Toronto hitman Boi-1da, Cole starts the song off as usual with a message. ‘God has a plan for you…And all you’ve got to do is believe, believe, believe!’Skating over the melodic beat while rapping about not giving up and remaining true to himself throughout his journey, Cole did what had to be done.

Shit gon’ get hard, keep your head strong
If I quit now, then I’m dead wrong
Fightin’ off this hunger for hours
Big stepper, n****, don’t get stepped on
The money might fade, but respect don’t
Still gon’ be me when success gone

Not one to leave a stone unturned Cole even shares his vulnerable moments as one of the top-rated MC’s.

Waitin’ my turn like grains of sand inside a hourglass
Mainly concerned back in the day with how long I would last

J. Cole married his longtime girlfriend Melissa Heholt in 2015 after they both attended St. John’s University. The couple kept their personal life very private only recently revealing they had a second child. Infidelity rumors circled the rapper a couple years ago but he seems to mention it in the closing verse.

I’m feeling myself, I’m building my wealth up ’til it’s towerin’
I put my tongue all in my b**ch, she get to hollerin’
I ain’t doin’ no dirt no more, I stopped creepin’ six years ago
Fun f**kin’ them hoes until you realize that you is the hoe

Perfectly placed as if the credits were rolling at the end of the movie, the song samples Little Junior Parker’s ‘I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone’. The married rapper/producer once touched the topic of ‘cheating’ on his 5th album KOD. It featured the song Kevin’s Heart and cleverly relates his use of Xanax and blunts to the temptation of cheating on his girl.

Slip me a xanny at once
I got the earth in a blunt
I get the skirt when I want

Overall the song  ‘Hunger On Hillside’ is definitely a highlight during Off-Season. From the production to Cole’s vulnerability the track proves J.Cole is in a race with himself. Always giving us what we didn’t even know we needed, Cole is back with another one.

Can’t be afraid of sunlight
Spotlights when it glows
All the pain you hold
Makes you worth your weight in gold
Can’t be afraid of sunlight
Spotlights when it glows
All the pain you hold
Makes you worth your weight in gold
God has a plan for you
And all you’ve got to do is believe, believe, be—

Listen to the track below.

The post J.Cole Addresses Cheating Rumors On New Song ‘Hunger On Hillside’ appeared first on The Source.

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Today in Hip-Hop History: Ice Cube’s Dropped His First Solo LP ‘Amerikkka’s Most Wanted’ 31 Years Ago

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On this day in Hip Hop history 31 years ago, Ice Cube released his debut solo album Amerikkka’s Most Wanted. Following the tragic break up of N.W.A., this album’s unexpected commercial and critical success not only set the tone for Ice Cube’s solo career but was also a launching pad toward success.

Being able to peak at #19 on the Billboard 200 and be certified platinum in the year if it’s release all while staying true to the hardcore gangsta sound that is prevalent in all of his other work shows, that since the beginning Ice Cube has been a force to be reckoned with. His lyrical style and choice of subject matter force the commercial music world to be comfortable with a narrative uncommon to the majority of those who would consider themselves fans of the work. With this album Ice Cube is able to paint a vivid and accurate picture of his particular experiences as an artist in the process of making it out of Compton yet still thriving as a product of the said environment.

Unlike his previous NWA cuts, Ice Cube is able to get a little more theatrical with the delivery of his message while remaining just as straight forward. From the title of the project to the outro, it is prominent that Ice Cube had no intention of sugar-coating what he had to say. The violently righteous theme of this album shook the rap world showing a more militant side to the consciousness movement going on in the early 1990s. Cube even worked with Public Enemy’s production team The Bomb Squad to harness the high-energy sound that paired perfect with his flow.

Critically, this album is held on a pedestal with some the best selling and most respected projects in Hip Hop. It has been ranked on a plethora of “Best of All Time” and “Best of the 1990s” lists by publications in the US, Canada, and all over Europe. The album has been awarded 5 out of 5 ratings from The Source, Rolling Stone, Allmusic, and The Austin Chronicle.

Following this album, Ice Cube wen ton to grow to be the mega-star he is today. He released eight solo studio albums and has no plans on stopping anytime soon. He also took his talent to the screen as an actor, writer, and director.

The post Today in Hip-Hop History: Ice Cube’s Dropped His First Solo LP ‘Amerikkka’s Most Wanted’ 31 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

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Lil Reese And Two Others Shot In Chicago Parking Garage

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According to confirmed reports and live news footage(seen below), rapper Lil Reese and two other men were found shot in a Chicago parking garage early Saturday morning.

According to the police report, authorities responded to shots fired at a River North parking garage, where they found three victims with gunshot wounds. One of the victims was identified as Chicago drill music mainstay Lil Reese.

A stolen Dodge Durango was found at the scene riddled with bullet holes. Along with Reese, whose real name is Tavares Taylor, a 20-year-old man and a 27-yea-old man were found with injuries from the shooting. All three men are currently in the hospital, but neither of their conditions are known.

TheSource.com will update this story as details develop.

The post Lil Reese And Two Others Shot In Chicago Parking Garage appeared first on The Source.

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King Of The Dot And Twitch Partner To Launch First Ever Battle Rap Season

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After bringing battle rap to the Twitch community with 2020’s Grand Prix, King of the Dot is poised to make history once again with the service. For the first time in the subculture’s history, the S1 seasonality format will introduce a more recognizable structure to the events, culminating in one winner taking home $100,000 USD and additional performance-based prizes. The 6-month season will air every week, organized by King of the Dot and streamed exclusively on Twitch, and will be entirely free for millions of fans around the world who help decide the winners with their votes and participation. 

Beginning June 20th and every Sunday thereafter, top-ranked battle rappers across America will compete to elevate beyond their division into the sudden-death playoff rounds. Artists are able to use any creative language and performance elements they want, aside from physical contact*, to win over the voting audience. The standings at the end of each week will reflect each performer’s record, and the top-four competitors from each division move into the S1 playoffs, beginning in November.

Instead of the old East vs West rivalry from the 90’s hip-hop, the modern era has burgeoning scenes in every region. With an East, West, North, and South division, King of Dot’s regional talent managers have courted the top talent from New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Atlanta, respectively, to clash for the life-changing grand prize.

League founder and owner Travis “Organik” Fleetwood says of the S1 partnership, “After we saw how the Twitch community and Twitch team embraced battle rap in 2020, we didn’t even blink when we had the chance to make history with them in delivering S1. You learn more from people’s actions than you do from their words, and Twitch demonstrated that they are committed to creating the best experience for battle rap fans around the world every time the ball came their way. We look forward to bringing our audience onto the service for many more successful seasons.”

King of the Dot events mixes A-List celebrity guests and athletes with a dedicated audience who travel far and wide to participate in the spectacle. Artists like Ice T, Deadmau5, Method Man, and the OVO front-man Drake, who once knighted himself as KOTD’s #1 fa, have helped the league grow to become renowned as the worldwide leader in innovation for space. 

The Canadian King of the Dot league has always been first-movers in the battle rap space with smaller leagues replicating their format for good reason. They were first to popularise winner-takes-all tournaments, the first to create the Pay-Per-View model that is now deployed globally, and the first to launch and license a number of the formats which ultimately define the culture today, including the introduction of seasonality.

S1 seasonality is the only logical step for our league, artists, and partners. The regular cadence enables artists to make new fans every week, from every corner of the map, and puts them in a position to capitalize on their talent all year round. We’re filling Madison Square Garden twice with the number of viewers passing through these streams and our artists deserve even bigger audiences,” says Charles Morgan, owner of King of the Dot. The season will air live battles every Sunday, alongside an exciting slate of lifestyle content featuring artists from the league and around the world. The full programming schedule, covering sports, gaming, music, and culture, will be made available exclusively to viewers on Twitch.

The post King Of The Dot And Twitch Partner To Launch First Ever Battle Rap Season appeared first on The Source.

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Today in Hip-Hop History: Run-D.M.C. Drops Their Third LP ‘Raising Hell’ 35 Years Ago

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35 years ago, amidst the explosion of crack cocaine in the inner cities, one of the hottest albums from the Hollis Crew came out and further solidified their status of royalty in the world of Hip Hop. Today Run-D.M.C.’s third album celebrates its born day.

Raising Hell was the album that exposed Run, D, and Jam Master Jay to mainstream America and made them household names. Songs like “It’s Tricky” and the monumental “Walk This Way” with Aerosmith were heard on both urban and top 40 stations around the country and the globe. As trendsetters, they made Adidas with fat laces and even no laces a worldwide fashion statement with the song “My Adidas”. This recognition earned the trio a multimillion-dollar deal with Adidas, which was unprecedented for musicians of any kind at the time.

TheSource.com salutes Run-D.M.C. for this piece of Hip Hop history!

The post Today in Hip-Hop History: Run-D.M.C. Drops Their Third LP ‘Raising Hell’ 35 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

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Trae Tha Truth to Receive Honor at 2021 Billboard Music Awards

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Trae Tha Truth will be acknowledged at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards with the Change Maker Award.

“Im Honestly In Disbelief,” Trae scribed on Instagram. “Never Have A Award Show Of This Level Ever Reached Back To Stand With The Streets Or Houston In This Way!!…. Im Being Honored By Billboard Music Awards!!”

He added, “This Is Huge!! Not just For Me But For The City, For All Those Who Stand With and For Me, For All Those That Have Supported My Career.. This Is One Hell Of A Accomplishment.. To Say Imma A Real CHANGEMAKER … Blessed And Humbled!! Thank You @billboard @bbmas.”

“Trae exemplifies what it means to be the change you want to see,” said BBMAs producer Datwon Thomas. “He is always in a city near you, helping those in need after natural disasters, fighting for justice after tragic events and giving supplies to families to make it to another day. His name ‘Tha Truth’ fits perfectly with who he is as a community activist and we are honored to celebrate his tireless efforts and giving spirit.”

You can see the 2021 Billboard Music Awards when they air on NBC on May 23.

The post Trae Tha Truth to Receive Honor at 2021 Billboard Music Awards appeared first on The Source.

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Tee Grizzley Encourages Rappers to Get Life Insurance

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While the world is already under stress, Tee Grizzley brought up a conversation on his social media that needed to be had. The “First Day Out” rapper encouraged fellow rappers in the industry to get life insurance and write a will.

“So look, right. As rappers, as successful Black men from the trenches, bro. We the number one target and we the least prepared, you feel me? So, I feel like everybody should have life insurance. I need everybody to go get life insurance if you ain’t got it. If you got kids, I need you to get a will set up, bro, for your kids, bro,” he stated.

While Tee Grizzley said “God forbid anything happens,” the rapper continued to educate his peers on leaving behind something for their loved ones. “You know what I’m saying? We the number one target and the least prepared. I need us to get on top of this sh*t. We need to get life insurance. We need to get our wills right, so the next generation don’t have to go as hard as we did and have to go through everything we did, you feel me.”

Check out the clip of Tee Grizzley dropping gems down here.

The post Tee Grizzley Encourages Rappers to Get Life Insurance appeared first on The Source.

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