Tag Archives: KOD

Feds Use Instagram Post To Indict Pooh Shiesty For Miami Shooting

Feds Use Instagram Post To Indict Pooh Shiesty For Miami Shooting

Pooh Shiesty was indicted this week over his alleged connection to a shooting and robbery in Miami after investigators discovered incriminating photos on his Instagram account.

The “Back In Blood” rapper made his first appearance in court Tuesday morning as per the Miami Herald.

Pooh was arrested for his alleged involvement in a 2020 October shooting in Bay Harbor Island, Florida which left two men wounded.

The Memphis native reportedly flexed “several long rifles and plethora of $100.00 bills” a few days before the robbery. A Louis Vuitton bag stuffed with more than $40,000 in cash was left on the scene and one of the serial numbers on the bills matched a bill Pooh was flexing on the gram.

The rapper also allegedly posted a photo of himself in a car that matches the rented green McLaren on the crime scene.

Pooh Shiesty is facing charges of discharging a firearm during a violent crime, conspiracy and robbery under a law regulating commerce and he will reportedly be held in federal custody until a July 6 detention hearing. 

The 21-year-old was out on bond for the same incident but was jailed again following a shooting in the Miami strip club, King of Diamonds, on Memorial Weekend.

“We have been in communication with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and we believe they have a federal detainer on him and are likely to file federal charges,” the rapper’s defense attorney, Saam Zangeneh, previously told the Herald. “That doesn’t change our position as to his 100 percent innocence, in both state and federal matters.”

The post Feds Use Instagram Post To Indict Pooh Shiesty For Miami Shooting appeared first on The Source.

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Pooh Shiesty Clarifies Reports That $40K Was Stolen From Him in KOD

Pooh Shiesty Clarifies Reports That 40K Was Stolen From Him in Miami Club

Pooh Shiesty became a trending topic over the weekend when fans quickly learned that he is really about that life.

The 21-year-old rapper appeared in King of Diamonds in Miami and someone claimed that he was robbed for $40,000.

In a now-viral clip, you can see the “Back In Blood” rapper checking his pockets meanwhile a nearby fan shouts, “They hit him for his money, they jacked Pooh Shiesty. They took his money!”

After the video made its rounds on the Internet, the Memphis rapper hopped online to put an end to all that wolfin’ on the net.

“False allegations nothing never been took from me,” Shiesty wrote on his Instagram Stories.

This incident comes a week after Pooh delivered the deluxe version of his debut musical effort, Shiesty Season.

The extended version includes appearances by G Herbo and Lil Baby. did you get a chance to listen to the new music?

The post Pooh Shiesty Clarifies Reports That $40K Was Stolen From Him in KOD appeared first on The Source.

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J. Cole Blasted By Artist Who Created ‘KOD’ Cover for Allegedly Ripping Him Off

Sixmau, also known as Kamau Haroon, the artist who created the cover art for J. Cole’s KOD album is putting the rapper on blast. The artist claims Cole lied to the artist by saying his work would only be used for the album but then he used the artwork for tour merchandise and profited while Sixmau didn’t get a penny.

“I did all of the creative direction for the KOD album cover and he told me my work was only going to be used for booklet art. Only to turn around and make merchandise illegally with my art behind my back and profit majorly off it while on tour. Fuck them.”

He then goes on to say that J. Cole, real name Jermaine Cole, uses his message of positivity to take advantage of people.

“This is exactly how he is able to exploit people. His message of positivity makes them feel comfortable while he finesses the money behind they back.”

At this time J. Cole has not responded to the allegations. In an interview with Billboard about what keeps him from sharing his opinion on Twitter, the rapper says, “If I’m in a conversation with somebody and it’s natural and it’s organic, I’m going to speak freely. But rarely do I feel the need to hop on Twitter or social media and chime in, especially on rap and music shit. This shit is not real. This shit is fucking fake. This shit is high school. This shit is fucking celebrity worship. In college, we had this running joke that all our meetings of the Black Student Union — that I ended up becoming president of, but I was just a member my freshman and sophomore years — always eventually ended up talking about Jay-Z No matter what black topic, social issue or community shit we was talking about, somebody brought up fucking Jay-Z. It never failed.”

 

 

The post J. Cole Blasted By Artist Who Created ‘KOD’ Cover for Allegedly Ripping Him Off appeared first on The Source.

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J. Cole May Have Features on His Next Album

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.”

Check out the full story here.

The post J. Cole May Have Features on His Next Album appeared first on The Source.

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J. Cole Says Losing A Grammy Was A Win For His Career

At the 61st Grammy Awards, which aired in February, J. Cole was not a winner. He was nominated for his collaboration on Miguel’s War & Leisure (namely for “Best R&B Song” for “Come Through and Chill.” He was also nominated for “Best Rap/Sung Performance,” his collaboration with 6lack on East Atlanta Love Letter (“Pretty Little Fears”). Cole’s own 2018 album, KOD, which was arguably one of the most successful and acclaimed albums in a very crowded year in music, wasn’t even mentioned among the list of nominees.

Cole’s ubiquity in popular culture but near complete absence at what many consider to be the industry’s barometer for success is one of the facet’s of Cole’s celebrity that makes him different from other Rap giants. Unlike Drake or Kendrick Lamar, Cole has lost every single Grammy for which he’s been nominated. Dating back to losing the award for “Best New Artist” in 2012 (to the band fun), his seemingly fruitless relationship with the Grammys hasn’t been a source of great concern to him, and certainly not a hindrance to his career. In fact, being a Grammy Award-losing rapper several times over may have helped Jermaine Cole get to where he is now, at the top.

J. Cole’s KOD May Be The Year’s Best Album & It Was Snubbed By The Grammys

In a recent interview with GQ‘s Allison P. Davis, the North Carolina MC/producer says his first Grammy loss was ultimately a good thing. “It would’ve been disastrous for me, because subconsciously it would’ve been sending me a signal of like ‘Okay, I am supposed to be this guy,’” he says. “But I would’ve been the dude that had that one great album and then fizzled out.” Instead, he’s released five platinum-selling albums and remained not only relevant, but influential. KOD, which arrived in April 2018, broke an all-time streaming record with its release.“I’m not supposed to have a Grammy, you know what I mean?,” he says with a Zen-like matter-of-factedness. “At least not right now, and maybe never. And if that happens, then that’s just how it was supposed to be.”

Another facet of Cole’s fame that makes him singular is the success he’s found releasing truly solo work. “J. Cole went platinum with no features” has entered the Hip-Hop lexicon, as Davis points out in her story. Without a single collaborator on 2014 Forest Hills Drive (2014), 4 Your Eyez Only (2016) or KOD, Cole has managed to execute and maintain a brand that is reliably solely on his ability to keep listeners engaged, without the hype of a splashy rollout, singles featuring hot new acts or even remixes. Cole’s well aware of all the “platinum with no features” talk, he tells Davis. “I was loving it…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 sh*t can stop.’ ” He alludes to the fact that featuring another artist on a future album is within the realm of possibilities. “I don’t have any right now that I really want to boast about,” he says, suggesting a plan for collaboration is already in the works.

Here Are All The Hidden Messages In J. Cole’s “Middle Child” Video

Cole is celebrated for his social activism as well as his music. In conjunction with the release of 4 Your Eyez Only, Cole released a documentary with the same name. In it, he held and filmed conversations with Black Americans in various cities around the country, highlighting issues of systemic racism, murderous police and more. More recently, he added his voice to the throngs of Colin Kaepernick supporters, penning a powerful statement about why boycotting the NFL should continue. During his interview with Davis, Cole gets a phone call from the former football player turned civil-rights icon. After hearing the news that Kaepernick reached a settlement in his lawsuit against the league that effectively blacklisted him, Cole says “Justice was served. This man got his money, know what I mean? Plus, he’ll probably play again.”

This April, J. Cole and his label will make Hip-Hop history with Dreamville Fest, which takes place in Cole’s native North Carolina. In addition to being the first event of its kind produced by Cole and his team, it will have a powerful effect in improving the lives of citizens. The festival was originally scheduled to take place in September 2018, but organizers were forced to reschedule due to Hurricane Florence. As such, Cole announced proceeds from Dreamville Fest will benefit his Dreamville Foundation, whose mission is “to inspire, empower and encourage the urban youth.”

The feature also confirms that Cole and company recorded more than 127 songs for Revenge Of The Dreamers, Vol. 1.

At the 61st Grammy Awards, which aired in February, J. Cole was not a winner. He was nominated for his collaboration on Miguel’s War & Leisure (namely for “Best R&B Song” for “Come Through and Chill.” He was also nominated for “Best Rap/Sung Performance,” his collaboration with 6lack on East Atlanta Love Letter (“Pretty Little Fears”). Cole’s own 2018 album, KOD, which was arguably one of the most successful and acclaimed albums in a very crowded year in music, wasn’t even mentioned among the list of nominees.

Cole’s ubiquity in popular culture but near complete absence at what many consider to be the industry’s barometer for success is one of the facet’s of Cole’s celebrity that makes him different from other Rap giants. Unlike Drake or Kendrick Lamar, Cole has lost every single Grammy for which he’s been nominated. Dating back to losing the award for “Best New Artist” in 2012 (to the band fun), his seemingly fruitless relationship with the Grammys hasn’t been a source of great concern to him, and certainly not a hindrance to his career. In fact, being a Grammy Award-losing rapper several times over may have helped Jermaine Cole get to where he is now, at the top.

J. Cole’s KOD May Be The Year’s Best Album & It Was Snubbed By The Grammys

In a recent interview with GQ‘s Allison P. Davis, the North Carolina MC/producer says his first Grammy loss was ultimately a good thing. “It would’ve been disastrous for me, because subconsciously it would’ve been sending me a signal of like ‘Okay, I am supposed to be this guy,’” he says. “But I would’ve been the dude that had that one great album and then fizzled out.” Instead, he’s released five platinum-selling albums and remained not only relevant, but influential. KOD, which arrived in April 2018, broke an all-time streaming record with its release.“I’m not supposed to have a Grammy, you know what I mean?,” he says with a Zen-like matter-of-factedness. “At least not right now, and maybe never. And if that happens, then that’s just how it was supposed to be.”

Another facet of Cole’s fame that makes him singular is the success he’s found releasing truly solo work. “J. Cole went platinum with no features” has entered the Hip-Hop lexicon, as Davis points out in her story. Without a single collaborator on 2014 Forest Hills Drive (2014), 4 Your Eyez Only (2016) or KOD, Cole has managed to execute and maintain a brand that is reliably solely on his ability to keep listeners engaged, without the hype of a splashy rollout, singles featuring hot new acts or even remixes. Cole’s well aware of all the “platinum with no features” talk, he tells Davis. “I was loving it…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 sh*t can stop.’ ” He alludes to the fact that featuring another artist on a future album is within the realm of possibilities. “I don’t have any right now that I really want to boast about,” he says, suggesting a plan for collaboration is already in the works.

Here Are All The Hidden Messages In J. Cole’s “Middle Child” Video

Cole is celebrated for his social activism as well as his music. In conjunction with the release of 4 Your Eyez Only, Cole released a documentary with the same name. In it, he held and filmed conversations with Black Americans in various cities around the country, highlighting issues of systemic racism, murderous police and more. More recently, he added his voice to the throngs of Colin Kaepernick supporters, penning a powerful statement about why boycotting the NFL should continue. During his interview with Davis, Cole gets a phone call from the former football player turned civil-rights icon. After hearing the news that Kaepernick reached a settlement in his lawsuit against the league that effectively blacklisted him, Cole says “Justice was served. This man got his money, know what I mean? Plus, he’ll probably play again.”

This April, J. Cole and his label will make Hip-Hop history with Dreamville Fest, which takes place in Cole’s native North Carolina. In addition to being the first event of its kind produced by Cole and his team, it will have a powerful effect in improving the lives of citizens. The festival was originally scheduled to take place in September 2018, but organizers were forced to reschedule due to Hurricane Florence. As such, Cole announced proceeds from Dreamville Fest will benefit his Dreamville Foundation, whose mission is “to inspire, empower and encourage the urban youth.”

The feature also confirms that Cole and company recorded more than 127 songs for Revenge Of The Dreamers, Vol. 1.

Source: AmbrosiaForHeads.com

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Who Had The Best Rap Album Of 2018 (Battle 14): J. Cole vs. Evidence

We have our opinions on the best releases of 2018, but rather than simply tell you our pick for #1, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2018. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2018 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Throughout December, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and your votes will determine the winners.

We’ve chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2018. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, we held a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they feel most deserved a spot on the list.

The bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums has begun. Each weekday, albums will face off against one another. In each case, voting will close after 24 hours. We will go from the Sweet 16 to the Elite 8 to the Final 4 to the Championship Finals, with one album emerging as the victor. The second and last Final 4 matchup is between Evidence’s Weather Or Not and J. Cole’s KOD. Only one can reach the championship round. Make sure your opinion is heard and gets counted (click on your album’s artwork in the box below, then click “vote”).


J. ColeK.O.D.

(defeated Mac Miller’s Swimming, 55.5% to 45.5%)
(defeated Phonte’s No News Is Good News, 50.1% to 49.9%)

Jermaine Cole has been displaying his self-exploration in plain sight for nearly 10 years now. Each album formulated by the Fayetteville, North Carolina MC/producer has essentially been a verbal diary, meticulously detailing his pilgrimage through both the music industry and his understandings of existence. K.O.D., Cole’s fifth LP, finds him at his most enlightened, concerned, and transparent chapter to date. It bears a title serving as a triple entendre (Kids On Drugs, King Overdosed, Kill Our Demons) is cloaked in the severe dangers of addiction, ego, and greed. King Cole meets kiLL edward (an embodiment of his former stepfather) to sort through the effects of drug and alcohol dependency (“The Cut Off”), infidelity (“Kevin’s Heart”), the selfish pursuit of wealth (“ATM” & “Motiv8”), the inability to assess insecurities and ultimately face those personal demons (“FRIENDS”). What makes Cole’s decisive cautionary tale that is K.O.D. so powerful though, is that he seemingly comes to terms with his own self-inflicted shortcomings while simultaneously cautioning his peers and fans about the destruction of theirs. Without self-awareness, administered advice falls on deaf ears, and for an artist that has already hung their hat on unapologetic authenticity so intently, Cole finds even more strength in his sentiments throughout K.O.D. because of how mindful he is about the repercussions of his own tendencies. K.O.D. is both therapeutic and instructive in a time when honest leadership from a respected veteran was absolutely critical. Cole knew this, and K.O.D. is his grand contribution to the overall well-being of the music industry. Without vanity, Cole has demanded that all parties listen closely and choose wisely. – Michael Blair

Released: April 20, 2018
Label: Dreamville/Roc Nation/Interscope
Guest: kiLL edward
Producers: self, Ibrahim Hamad, BLVK, Mark Pelli, Ron Gilmore, T-Minus

 

EvidenceWeather Or Not

(defeated Pusha-T’s DAYTONA, 67% to 34%)
(defeated Black Milk’s Fever, 80% to 20%)

In a year when many of the year’s splashiest releases were defined by brevity, Evidence delivered a robust, 16-track composition in Weather Or Not. The fourth solo LP from the Los Angeles, California MC marries the gracious with the glib, with themes of perseverance, accomplishment, sadness, integrity and mortality. With guest spots from Styles P, Rapsody and Khrysis on one song (“Love Is A Funny Thing”); heat from Alchemist, who hopped on “Sell Me This Pen” alongside Mach-Hommy; to fellow Dilated Peoples Rakaa and DJ Babu; and one of the year’s best guest verses, courtesy of Jonwayne on “To Make a Long Story Longer,” the album is stellar. Its brightest moments, though, shine through with Evidence performing solo. As he spits on the LP’s opener, “I’m at my best when I’m back into the factory,” he’s both boastful and merciful. On the title track, he’s cheekily self-referential and on the DJ Premier-laced “10,000 Hours,” in prideful stride. “Throw It All Away” may embody Weather Or Not‘s DNA most acutely: “Out the gate a bit late, but the champ is back / I need a third hand to wear my rings and hold plaques.” He saved the true poignancy for the album’s closer, however. On “By My Side Too,” he celebrates his late life partner—as she was battling Stage III breast cancer—as well as his son, who was born during the recording process for Weather Or Not. As he told Ambrosia For Heads earlier this year, “The reward of being an open book is way more tremendous. There’s a bigger purpose to it.” – Bonita

Released: January 26, 2018
Label: Rhymesayers Entertainment
Guests: Rakaa, Alchemist, Slug, Defari, Rapsody, Styles P, Krondon, Jonwayne, Mach Hommy, Khrysis, Catero
Producers: self, Alchemist, DJ Premier, Nottz, Budgie, Twiz The Beat Pro, Samiyam

So which is better?

Ambrosia For Heads’ Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2018 List:

Black MilkFever
Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2
Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
EvidenceWeather Or Not
J. ColeK.O.D
Jay RockRedemption
Mac Miller – Swimming
Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story
Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
Phonte – No News Is Good News
Pusha-T – DAYTONA
Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan
Saba – CARE FOR ME
Travis Scott ASTROWORLD
Westside GunnSupreme Blientele

We have our opinions on the best releases of 2018, but rather than simply tell you our pick for #1, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2018. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2018 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Throughout December, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and your votes will determine the winners.

We’ve chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2018. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, we held a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they feel most deserved a spot on the list.

The bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums has begun. Each weekday, albums will face off against one another. In each case, voting will close after 24 hours. We will go from the Sweet 16 to the Elite 8 to the Final 4 to the Championship Finals, with one album emerging as the victor. The second and last Final 4 matchup is between Evidence’s Weather Or Not and J. Cole’s KOD. Only one can reach the championship round. Make sure your opinion is heard and gets counted (click on your album’s artwork in the box below, then click “vote”).


J. ColeK.O.D.

(defeated Mac Miller’s Swimming, 55.5% to 45.5%)
(defeated Phonte’s No News Is Good News, 50.1% to 49.9%)

Jermaine Cole has been displaying his self-exploration in plain sight for nearly 10 years now. Each album formulated by the Fayetteville, North Carolina MC/producer has essentially been a verbal diary, meticulously detailing his pilgrimage through both the music industry and his understandings of existence. K.O.D., Cole’s fifth LP, finds him at his most enlightened, concerned, and transparent chapter to date. It bears a title serving as a triple entendre (Kids On Drugs, King Overdosed, Kill Our Demons) is cloaked in the severe dangers of addiction, ego, and greed. King Cole meets kiLL edward (an embodiment of his former stepfather) to sort through the effects of drug and alcohol dependency (“The Cut Off”), infidelity (“Kevin’s Heart”), the selfish pursuit of wealth (“ATM” & “Motiv8”), the inability to assess insecurities and ultimately face those personal demons (“FRIENDS”). What makes Cole’s decisive cautionary tale that is K.O.D. so powerful though, is that he seemingly comes to terms with his own self-inflicted shortcomings while simultaneously cautioning his peers and fans about the destruction of theirs. Without self-awareness, administered advice falls on deaf ears, and for an artist that has already hung their hat on unapologetic authenticity so intently, Cole finds even more strength in his sentiments throughout K.O.D. because of how mindful he is about the repercussions of his own tendencies. K.O.D. is both therapeutic and instructive in a time when honest leadership from a respected veteran was absolutely critical. Cole knew this, and K.O.D. is his grand contribution to the overall well-being of the music industry. Without vanity, Cole has demanded that all parties listen closely and choose wisely. – Michael Blair

Released: April 20, 2018
Label: Dreamville/Roc Nation/Interscope
Guest: kiLL edward
Producers: self, Ibrahim Hamad, BLVK, Mark Pelli, Ron Gilmore, T-Minus

 

EvidenceWeather Or Not

(defeated Pusha-T’s DAYTONA, 67% to 34%)
(defeated Black Milk’s Fever, 80% to 20%)

In a year when many of the year’s splashiest releases were defined by brevity, Evidence delivered a robust, 16-track composition in Weather Or Not. The fourth solo LP from the Los Angeles, California MC marries the gracious with the glib, with themes of perseverance, accomplishment, sadness, integrity and mortality. With guest spots from Styles P, Rapsody and Khrysis on one song (“Love Is A Funny Thing”); heat from Alchemist, who hopped on “Sell Me This Pen” alongside Mach-Hommy; to fellow Dilated Peoples Rakaa and DJ Babu; and one of the year’s best guest verses, courtesy of Jonwayne on “To Make a Long Story Longer,” the album is stellar. Its brightest moments, though, shine through with Evidence performing solo. As he spits on the LP’s opener, “I’m at my best when I’m back into the factory,” he’s both boastful and merciful. On the title track, he’s cheekily self-referential and on the DJ Premier-laced “10,000 Hours,” in prideful stride. “Throw It All Away” may embody Weather Or Not‘s DNA most acutely: “Out the gate a bit late, but the champ is back / I need a third hand to wear my rings and hold plaques.” He saved the true poignancy for the album’s closer, however. On “By My Side Too,” he celebrates his late life partner—as she was battling Stage III breast cancer—as well as his son, who was born during the recording process for Weather Or Not. As he told Ambrosia For Heads earlier this year, “The reward of being an open book is way more tremendous. There’s a bigger purpose to it.” – Bonita

Released: January 26, 2018
Label: Rhymesayers Entertainment
Guests: Rakaa, Alchemist, Slug, Defari, Rapsody, Styles P, Krondon, Jonwayne, Mach Hommy, Khrysis, Catero
Producers: self, Alchemist, DJ Premier, Nottz, Budgie, Twiz The Beat Pro, Samiyam

So which is better?

Ambrosia For Heads’ Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2018 List:

Black MilkFever
Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2
Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
EvidenceWeather Or Not
J. ColeK.O.D
Jay RockRedemption
Mac Miller – Swimming
Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story
Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
Phonte – No News Is Good News
Pusha-T – DAYTONA
Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan
Saba – CARE FOR ME
Travis Scott ASTROWORLD
Westside GunnSupreme Blientele

Source: AmbrosiaForHeads.com

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Joe Budden Challenges J. Cole To Step Up His Game & Be Truly Great (Audio)

For anyone truly paying attention to Hip-Hop, J. Cole has had a career year in 2018. His album, KOD, released in April, became his fifth consecutive LP to debut at number one, selling nearly 400,000 album-equivalent units in its first week and breaking the record for first day streams, at the time. In an interview with Vulture, Cole said the seed for KOD was planted while he was attending a show for Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN Tour. “Kendrick’s show gave me chills because I got to see what it was like to have a hit album performed, and it set off a desire. It was a recognition — like ‘Oh, I’ll take that again.’ Like looking at a menu, ‘I’ll have that again.’”

KOD paralleled DAMN in a number of ways. Both albums were released in April of their respective years. Both were virtually surprise releases. Each album was highly conceptual, with DAMN being a tale of free will or fate, depending on the direction in which it was played, and KOD being a commentary on the devastating effects of addiction on an entire generation. Each album became the soundtrack for the respective NBA playoffs. And, each was both critically-acclaimed and commercially successful.

An Argument For Why J. Cole’s KOD Is Already The Album Of The Year (Video)

Cole’s 2018 success extended far beyond KOD, however. Through releases by Cozz, Bas and J.I.D., Cole established his Dreamville Records as one of the most formidable in Hip-Hop. He embarked upon a sold out arena tour. And, he assembled a collection of feature verses with artists like Royce 5’9, Jay Rock, Rapsody and 21 Savage (among others) that make a powerful case that he may be the current king of Hip-Hop.

Yet, despite all of his success, many, including Ambrosia For Heads, believe Cole has not remotely gotten his just due for such a banner year and as a member of Hip-Hop’s elite MCs. KOD has been a notable omission on a number of best of 2018 lists, and, although he has said Grammy recognition does not matter to him, he was inexplicably snubbed, in not receiving a single nomination for a project that arguably could be album of the year.

J. Cole’s KOD May Be The Year’s Best Album & It Was Snubbed By The Grammys

On this week’s episode of The Joe Budden Podcast, Budden and his co-hosts Rory, Mal and Parks provide an in-depth analysis of Cole’s career and what they believe is holding him back from reaching the full heights to which he is capable. The conversation commences at around the 77:00 mark in a discussion of Cole’s outstanding 2018 feature verses, with Rory saying “It’s the best year ever from any rapper on features.” While that sentiment is not shared by all the participants (who cite runs by Canibus, Nicki Minaj, Redman and others), there is no debate that Cole absolutely has been dominant in his guest verses, and it begs the question of why he seemingly has gotten more recognition for his work outside of his album (Note: the only Grammy nominations Cole did receive this year were in conjunction with appearances he made on other artists’ songs).

“My problem with Cole isn’t talent. It isn’t accomplishments, accolades…any of that. It’s presence,” says Budden. “That’s the difference. It’s Cole, Drake, Kendrick. That’s the end of that list for me. Presence is what keeps me from viewing Cole the way that the other two are viewed because, purposefully, it just feels like he’s not attempting to be out there. It’s like he does everything to be low, until he wants you to feel his presence on the sh*t that matters, like when he talks to the kids who are on drugs, but that’s hurting [him] because Hip-Hop is a braggadocious, competitive, kill or get killed type of business. So, when you seemingly are doing everything in your power to appear to not be as powerful of a presence as you are, it comes off a way.”

Joe Budden Had The Biggest Come Up In A Year He Was Supposed To Struggle

Cole, himself, confirmed Budden’s point in September, when he told Billboard that he had intentionally stopped doing interviews and removed himself from the media spotlight. “2014 was probably the year I decided, ‘F*ck it, I’m through trying to play whatever game is going on.’” In the same interview, however, Cole also acknowledged that it was important for him to become more vocal, at the very least to promote the artists on his record label, if not himself. “I don’t want to be so stubborn where I don’t listen to people. I’m also building a company, a record label, with other artists. Their success, in some way, may depend on me being a little more present or accessible.”

Budden contends that J. Cole’s withdrawal from the spotlight doesn’t just impact his artists, it’s hurting him, too. “Cole gives you his presence on album time, and he leaves. And, you never hear a word until a feature, and it has an effect. This is a perception-based game. It has an effect on how we view him…Imagine what his numbers would be if he used a little bit of effort on the people who are not in his core base.” Budden also says that even when Cole puts himself out there, it isn’t in the type of chest-thumping way that his peers like Kendrick and Drake do. “How can we view a ni**a who is as talented as all the people we think are talented, if every time we hear him he don’t sound that way?,” he asks. He also asserts that the only time Cole does flex is during his guest verses. “On the features is the only time he goes out of his way to sound that way to people who don’t normally hear him that way.”

J. Cole Calls Out Rappers For Faking Their Streaming Numbers On A Savage Verse

Next, the conversation shifts to J. Cole’s sound. One of the longstanding criticisms of Cole is that he relies too much on his own production. While he is a talented producer, many believe he would be better served by diversifying his beat selection to include music crafted by others. “I would love to hear Cole on some Alchemist beats. I would love to hear Cole on some J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League,” says Mal. Budden agrees, adding “If Cole is on a J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League beat, we’re going to start having different conversations about Cole. Why do I have to use my imagination to know just how deadly a ni**a is?”

All of the participants in the conversation are careful to make it clear that they are not trying to discredit Cole. They acknowledge his talent and the extent of his success, but they have a desire to see him reach even greater heights. It’s at this point that Joe makes a suggestion about how Cole should approach his next project. “That’s the room I want him to lock himself in. I don’t want him to go in and say ‘I don’t know what I’m going to make, but I’m making all the beats.’ No. As soon as you go in that room and say that, you’re wrong. You’re not challenging yourself. That’s not me calling you un-great.”

J. Cole Saves His Best Verse Of The Year For A Collabo With Rapsody (Audio)

Rory suggests that Cole needs outside help, in the form of an executive producer, and Budden offers specific advice along those lines. “It can be an artist that [he] likes and respects. Mal was saying earlier how the A&R position is dead, and he’s absolutely right. So, some artists who still take pride and integrity in having a complete body of work still are trying to put out great albums. And, when you have that integrity and you’re trying to put out a great album, you do whatever you gotta do to put out the great album. Get with [Rick] Ross. Get with one of these ni**as that you like a lot. Get with somebody.” Budden also suggests 50 Cent as a possible executive producer for Cole.

To emphasize the importance of working with different producers in breaking new ground, the podcast hosts cite another example: Lil Wayne. “Actually, that’s when Wayne’s career took off. Once he started getting outside production,” says Mal. “When he was [working with] Mannie Fresh, it was like ‘Dope. We love it.’ But, once he started stepping out and [working with] J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and all these other [producers], it was like ‘Oh sh*t.’” Both he and Rory note that Wayne’s career went through the roof with Tha Carter II, and it was on that album that he began working extensively with producers beyond Mannie Fresh.

J. Cole Explains Why He Stopped Doing Interviews For Almost 4 Years

“Cole hops on an Araab[Muzik] beat and New York is in a frenzy,” says Budden. “Cole can get sh*t in a frenzy. He’s purposely trying to avoid frenzy. I feel him. I did it a long time. You [Cole] can’t do it. You too successful. You don’t get to avoid frenzy. Ni**as need you to go create the frenzy.”

Budden ends the discussion by making a case for why it’s Cole’s responsibility to step into his greatness. “It’s Cole’s job for the next ‘Cole.’ I guess that’s what I’m saying. I’m not trying to diss Cole. I’m saying his responsibility, in my eyes, is greater than [people] saying ‘Well, Cole’s good.’ I know Cole’s good. Cole is going to be good the rest of his career. I don’t know that Cole would have been good without some ni**as that was good [before him]. I don’t know if the next ‘Cole’ is good without Cole saying ‘I gotta take it a step further.’”

For anyone truly paying attention to Hip-Hop, J. Cole has had a career year in 2018. His album, KOD, released in April, became his fifth consecutive LP to debut at number one, selling nearly 400,000 album-equivalent units in its first week and breaking the record for first day streams, at the time. In an interview with Vulture, Cole said the seed for KOD was planted while he was attending a show for Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN Tour. “Kendrick’s show gave me chills because I got to see what it was like to have a hit album performed, and it set off a desire. It was a recognition — like ‘Oh, I’ll take that again.’ Like looking at a menu, ‘I’ll have that again.’”

KOD paralleled DAMN in a number of ways. Both albums were released in April of their respective years. Both were virtually surprise releases. Each album was highly conceptual, with DAMN being a tale of free will or fate, depending on the direction in which it was played, and KOD being a commentary on the devastating effects of addiction on an entire generation. Each album became the soundtrack for the respective NBA playoffs. And, each was both critically-acclaimed and commercially successful.

An Argument For Why J. Cole’s KOD Is Already The Album Of The Year (Video)

Cole’s 2018 success extended far beyond KOD, however. Through releases by Cozz, Bas and J.I.D., Cole established his Dreamville Records as one of the most formidable in Hip-Hop. He embarked upon a sold out arena tour. And, he assembled a collection of feature verses with artists like Royce 5’9, Jay Rock, Rapsody and 21 Savage (among others) that make a powerful case that he may be the current king of Hip-Hop.

Yet, despite all of his success, many, including Ambrosia For Heads, believe Cole has not remotely gotten his just due for such a banner year and as a member of Hip-Hop’s elite MCs. KOD has been a notable omission on a number of best of 2018 lists, and, although he has said Grammy recognition does not matter to him, he was inexplicably snubbed, in not receiving a single nomination for a project that arguably could be album of the year.

J. Cole’s KOD May Be The Year’s Best Album & It Was Snubbed By The Grammys

On this week’s episode of The Joe Budden Podcast, Budden and his co-hosts Rory, Mal and Parks provide an in-depth analysis of Cole’s career and what they believe is holding him back from reaching the full heights to which he is capable. The conversation commences at around the 77:00 mark in a discussion of Cole’s outstanding 2018 feature verses, with Rory saying “It’s the best year ever from any rapper on features.” While that sentiment is not shared by all the participants (who cite runs by Canibus, Nicki Minaj, Redman and others), there is no debate that Cole absolutely has been dominant in his guest verses, and it begs the question of why he seemingly has gotten more recognition for his work outside of his album (Note: the only Grammy nominations Cole did receive this year were in conjunction with appearances he made on other artists’ songs).

“My problem with Cole isn’t talent. It isn’t accomplishments, accolades…any of that. It’s presence,” says Budden. “That’s the difference. It’s Cole, Drake, Kendrick. That’s the end of that list for me. Presence is what keeps me from viewing Cole the way that the other two are viewed because, purposefully, it just feels like he’s not attempting to be out there. It’s like he does everything to be low, until he wants you to feel his presence on the sh*t that matters, like when he talks to the kids who are on drugs, but that’s hurting [him] because Hip-Hop is a braggadocious, competitive, kill or get killed type of business. So, when you seemingly are doing everything in your power to appear to not be as powerful of a presence as you are, it comes off a way.”

Joe Budden Had The Biggest Come Up In A Year He Was Supposed To Struggle

Cole, himself, confirmed Budden’s point in September, when he told Billboard that he had intentionally stopped doing interviews and removed himself from the media spotlight. “2014 was probably the year I decided, ‘F*ck it, I’m through trying to play whatever game is going on.’” In the same interview, however, Cole also acknowledged that it was important for him to become more vocal, at the very least to promote the artists on his record label, if not himself. “I don’t want to be so stubborn where I don’t listen to people. I’m also building a company, a record label, with other artists. Their success, in some way, may depend on me being a little more present or accessible.”

Budden contends that J. Cole’s withdrawal from the spotlight doesn’t just impact his artists, it’s hurting him, too. “Cole gives you his presence on album time, and he leaves. And, you never hear a word until a feature, and it has an effect. This is a perception-based game. It has an effect on how we view him…Imagine what his numbers would be if he used a little bit of effort on the people who are not in his core base.” Budden also says that even when Cole puts himself out there, it isn’t in the type of chest-thumping way that his peers like Kendrick and Drake do. “How can we view a ni**a who is as talented as all the people we think are talented, if every time we hear him he don’t sound that way?,” he asks. He also asserts that the only time Cole does flex is during his guest verses. “On the features is the only time he goes out of his way to sound that way to people who don’t normally hear him that way.”

J. Cole Calls Out Rappers For Faking Their Streaming Numbers On A Savage Verse

Next, the conversation shifts to J. Cole’s sound. One of the longstanding criticisms of Cole is that he relies too much on his own production. While he is a talented producer, many believe he would be better served by diversifying his beat selection to include music crafted by others. “I would love to hear Cole on some Alchemist beats. I would love to hear Cole on some J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League,” says Mal. Budden agrees, adding “If Cole is on a J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League beat, we’re going to start having different conversations about Cole. Why do I have to use my imagination to know just how deadly a ni**a is?”

All of the participants in the conversation are careful to make it clear that they are not trying to discredit Cole. They acknowledge his talent and the extent of his success, but they have a desire to see him reach even greater heights. It’s at this point that Joe makes a suggestion about how Cole should approach his next project. “That’s the room I want him to lock himself in. I don’t want him to go in and say ‘I don’t know what I’m going to make, but I’m making all the beats.’ No. As soon as you go in that room and say that, you’re wrong. You’re not challenging yourself. That’s not me calling you un-great.”

J. Cole Saves His Best Verse Of The Year For A Collabo With Rapsody (Audio)

Rory suggests that Cole needs outside help, in the form of an executive producer, and Budden offers specific advice along those lines. “It can be an artist that [he] likes and respects. Mal was saying earlier how the A&R position is dead, and he’s absolutely right. So, some artists who still take pride and integrity in having a complete body of work still are trying to put out great albums. And, when you have that integrity and you’re trying to put out a great album, you do whatever you gotta do to put out the great album. Get with [Rick] Ross. Get with one of these ni**as that you like a lot. Get with somebody.” Budden also suggests 50 Cent as a possible executive producer for Cole.

To emphasize the importance of working with different producers in breaking new ground, the podcast hosts cite another example: Lil Wayne. “Actually, that’s when Wayne’s career took off. Once he started getting outside production,” says Mal. “When he was [working with] Mannie Fresh, it was like ‘Dope. We love it.’ But, once he started stepping out and [working with] J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and all these other [producers], it was like ‘Oh sh*t.’” Both he and Rory note that Wayne’s career went through the roof with Tha Carter II, and it was on that album that he began working extensively with producers beyond Mannie Fresh.

J. Cole Explains Why He Stopped Doing Interviews For Almost 4 Years

“Cole hops on an Araab[Muzik] beat and New York is in a frenzy,” says Budden. “Cole can get sh*t in a frenzy. He’s purposely trying to avoid frenzy. I feel him. I did it a long time. You [Cole] can’t do it. You too successful. You don’t get to avoid frenzy. Ni**as need you to go create the frenzy.”

Budden ends the discussion by making a case for why it’s Cole’s responsibility to step into his greatness. “It’s Cole’s job for the next ‘Cole.’ I guess that’s what I’m saying. I’m not trying to diss Cole. I’m saying his responsibility, in my eyes, is greater than [people] saying ‘Well, Cole’s good.’ I know Cole’s good. Cole is going to be good the rest of his career. I don’t know that Cole would have been good without some ni**as that was good [before him]. I don’t know if the next ‘Cole’ is good without Cole saying ‘I gotta take it a step further.’”

Source: AmbrosiaForHeads.com

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J. Cole’s ‘KOD’ Goes Platinum Without Features

J. Cole earned his third full-length project to go platinum with no features.

Chart data confirmed that KOD achieved the accolade eight months after its release, and seven months after it went gold.

The critically-acclaimed collection touched on drug addiction, politics, love, and money. It broke Apple and Spotify’s first day streaming numbers, and appeared on numerous year-end lists. It’s no wonder that people are appalled that KOD didn’t receive any nods for the Grammys.

Some people suspect that J. Cole didn’t even submit the album, while others believe that it’s just too deep for this over saturated market.

Although he didn’t get any nominations for his personal project, he has the chance to take home the Grammy for “Come Through and Chill” with Miguel (Best R&B Song) and “Pretty Little Fears” with 6lack (Best Rap/Sung Performance.)

The post J. Cole’s ‘KOD’ Goes Platinum Without Features appeared first on The Source.

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You Have Decided The Final 4 Best Albums Of 2018. Here They Are.

As 2018 comes to a close, Donald Glover may not only be one of the most brilliant people in entertainment, he is among the most influential. In an era where quantity rules and quality rises, Glover is prolific in a way that rivals few. In three songs, two music videos, another incredible season of Atlanta, one revealing interview, and some captivating moments in between, the 35-year-old creative force is setting a new bar on how to take Hip-Hop culture to the highest of places, rarely without some provocative constructive commentary on itself and the world watching it closely.

At the top of this year, Donald Glover was still collecting interest from his earlier work. 2016’s “Awaken My Love!” yielded five Grammy nominations including “Album Of The Year,” “Record Of The Year,” “Best Traditional R&B Performance,” “Best R&B Song,” and “Best Urban Contemporary Album.” That LP, which featured Glover singing, marked a pivot for him, as his previous releases focused more on his also acclaimed rapping. Donald’s first platinum release was a nod to the darker side of Parliament-Funkadelic while finding contemporary and relevant terrain. Standout single “Redbone” gives credit to two 1976 compositions, Bootsy’s Rubber Band’s “I’d Rather Be With You” along with Jaco Pastorius’ “Portrait Of Tracy.” However, the song is not merely a cool callback, but a sleeves-rolled-up approach at modern Groove. The single nearly broke the Top 10 with lyrics that are sexual and cerebral at the same time. It sounded great in Get Out, and chased that feeling for the next year. The composition is as dynamic and frantic as the times that spawned it.

Donald Glover Reveals How He’s Hacked The Real Life Matrix

On January 28, “Redbone” took home the Grammy for “Best Traditional R&B Performance” for the single. While there, Glover performed a soulful rendition of one of the album’s standout tracks named “Terrified.” Towards the end of his display, he brought out JD McCray from Disney’s live-action The Lion King remake, due in 2019. Both actors will play “Simba,” with McCray taking the role of the younger version.

Just days before his win, Donald Glover cemented a centerpiece role at a major label. He inked a partnership between his mcDJ imprint and RCA Records. As a label positioning itself on the cutting-edge of new and authentic Urban Music (H.E.R., Bryson Tiller, Khalid, Buddy, etc.), Glover promised to be a decorated figurehead of the unconventional new sound permeating the mainstream.

Donald Glover Explains How To Stay Woke At Work About Sexual Harassment (Video)

Roughly a month after the Grammy’s, Donald premiered the second season of his hit FX series Atlanta. Days before the preview, Glover gave a rare and revealing interview to The New Yorker. While speaking about his success, he was not shy about how hard he had to fight and strategize to get his ideas in play. “The hardest part is surprising FX every time. They need that to feel that you’re an authentic Black person. I surprised them up front by telling them I wanted to make them money,” he said, at a time when the series was the most-watched comedy in the network’s history. A month later, Glover responded to reports that “his commitments” prevented him from properly taking on an FXX Deadpool series. He did not do so with a broad statement or a damning rant. He released script pages. The work balked at any speculation from the public or exec-gossip hearsay. Glover showed what he was up against, and why his creativity and execution was not to blame.

The interview explained that Glover is not a do-everything multi-talent as much as he is a student on a path of learning and mastery. Speaking about accepting a smaller than expected role in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Glover explained why it was about opportunity more than ego. Meanwhile, “opportunity” in Glover’s case is not just a polite replacement word for money. “I learn so much. I learn how Marvel movies work, how to handle guest stars, how to make execs happy when they come on set. I gain some of your power. Only now I’m running out of places to learn, at least in America.” That process is part of a lineage that leads him to a leading Lion King part.

Donald Glover Becomes The First Black Director To Win An Emmy For Directing Comedy Series (Video)

Season 2 of Atlanta raised stakes. Robbin’ Season displayed to the world that there is much more at play in a home invasion or mugging. Exploitation and life mirroring art were themes. Directed by longtime collaborator Hiro Murai, the “Teddy Perkins” episode (#6) is the longest in the show’s history. It captured its greatness and uniqueness too. Glover gave a captivating portrayal of a troubled fictional former child star “Teddy Perkins.” As “Darius” is taken hostage at gunpoint, the episode locks in on Theodore “Teddy” Perkins’ psychological pressures and traumas from early fame. It is an E! True Hollywood Story brought to screen cleverly, playing to the damaged child star archetype. Glover transformed entirely into character underneath makeup and prosthetics. Through his eyes and carefully crafted voice, “Teddy” becomes a simmering mass of repressed anger, pain, and violence. Something funny on paper becomes serious and raw.

Critics and peers felt what Glover’s series has done. Atlanta: Robbin’ Season was nominated for 16 Emmy Awards and took home three. The work was so good that some fans felt that the “Most Outstanding Comedy Series” slighted the show from the win it deserved. The “Teddy Perkins” episode was responsible for two of the awards.

Joe Budden Had The Biggest Come Up In A Year He Was Supposed To Struggle

Between the Emmy nominations and September awards this year, Donald Glover may have made his boldest statement. The night he hosted and performed on Saturday Night Live, he published something that eclipsed that mainstream look. The “This is America” music video showed the country the trouble that it is in. With the first 40 seconds feeling like a saccharine celebration of partying and capitalism, the video gets really real, really fast. The musician and actor merges his talents with an artful video that highlights the issues all around, and the distractions that take precedence. Gun control, police brutality, racism, religion, and more are allusions behind a catchy song disguised as another evanescent wave. Like J. Cole’s KOD, “This Is America” takes no prisoners in its take on the times. The symbolism has been linked to Jim Crow, Michael Jackson, and “The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse.” With over 445,000,000 views to date, “This is America” has been cited as one of the best music videos in 2018.

In the midst of playing “Lando Calrissian” in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Glover stayed on task with music and great videos. He released the EP Summer Pack that included the songs “Summertime Magic” and “Feels Like Summer.” The songs were a step beyond his Rap days and his Funk display, veering into a hybrid of Power Pop and R&B, but on Glover’s subversive terms.

Donald Glover’s SNL Skit Shows What A Horror Show Kanye West Has Become (Video)

While pleasing to listen to, the visual “Feels Like Summer” video may be even more soothing. It further reveals one of the most provocative artists of our time. Directed by Glover, Ivan Dixon, and Greg Sharp (with character design by Justin Richburg), the video turned the page from the jarring effect of “This Is America” to a pleasant utopia. Glover’s illustrated form takes a walk home, only to encounter a who’s who plethora of rappers, celebrities, and a beloved First Lady. Aside from some pranks, all are in harmony, doing things like chasing ice cream trucks, braiding hair, and skating. He addresses the issues of the day, young artists trolling, Kid Cudi’s depression, and Kanye West’s political malaise.

At a time when animated videos to songs can feel like cheap excuses for budget constrictions and cramped schedules, Donald blended an homage to Saturday morning cartoons with commentary on the Rap world as he sees it. In a year when a current Rap star was murdered, another overdosed on drugs, and another went behind bars, this video and melody can feel like a yearning for innocence. Just underneath the surface of this feel-good energy, the visual reaches darkness as Donald’s lyrics reference global warming, water scarcity, overpopulation, and species extinction. Musically and visually, it is not preaching or beating one over the head with its depth, but it is there for the taking if you want to look a little closer.

Donald Glover’s Deadpool Script Takes Down Racism, Police Violence, Gossip & More

As 2018 closes, Donald Glover reached a new plateau with provocative art on several stages. There is plenty to come on all fronts. In August, Glover was spotted on set with Rihanna in Cuba filming Guava Island, which is directed by frequent collaborator Hiro Murai. The details surrounding Guava Island will remain a mystery until its official release. Gambino is currently on tour, where he released two previously recorded tracks exclusively to his fans that have attended his show. He also has an “Easter egg” cameo in the new Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

As for 2019, the sky is far from the limit for Donald Glover. He is currently up for four nominations at the 2019 Grammy Awards including: “Record Of The Year,” “Song Of The Year,” “Best Rap/Sung Performance” and “Best Music Video” for “This is America.” As well as earning a nomination for “Best R&B Song” for “Feels Like Summer.” He is also slated to headline Coachella with Kanye West, and he stars alongside James Earl Jones and Beyonce as Simba in the 2019 Disney live action film The Lion King on July 19, 2019.

Donald Glover, Tracee Ellis Ross & Meryl Streep Used Awards For Acting To Get Real (Videos)

Three songs, one incredible season of television, a Star Wars role, and a video that dominated cultural and political discourse are just part of the profound impact Donald Glover had on Hip-Hop and America in 2018.

Past Ambrosia For Heads‘ “Person Of The Year” awards have gone to Killer Mike, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Chance The Rapper.

As 2018 comes to a close, Donald Glover may not only be one of the most brilliant people in entertainment, he is among the most influential. In an era where quantity rules and quality rises, Glover is prolific in a way that rivals few. In three songs, two music videos, another incredible season of Atlanta, one revealing interview, and some captivating moments in between, the 35-year-old creative force is setting a new bar on how to take Hip-Hop culture to the highest of places, rarely without some provocative constructive commentary on itself and the world watching it closely.

At the top of this year, Donald Glover was still collecting interest from his earlier work. 2016’s “Awaken My Love!” yielded five Grammy nominations including “Album Of The Year,” “Record Of The Year,” “Best Traditional R&B Performance,” “Best R&B Song,” and “Best Urban Contemporary Album.” That LP, which featured Glover singing, marked a pivot for him, as his previous releases focused more on his also acclaimed rapping. Donald’s first platinum release was a nod to the darker side of Parliament-Funkadelic while finding contemporary and relevant terrain. Standout single “Redbone” gives credit to two 1976 compositions, Bootsy’s Rubber Band’s “I’d Rather Be With You” along with Jaco Pastorius’ “Portrait Of Tracy.” However, the song is not merely a cool callback, but a sleeves-rolled-up approach at modern Groove. The single nearly broke the Top 10 with lyrics that are sexual and cerebral at the same time. It sounded great in Get Out, and chased that feeling for the next year. The composition is as dynamic and frantic as the times that spawned it.

Donald Glover Reveals How He’s Hacked The Real Life Matrix

On January 28, “Redbone” took home the Grammy for “Best Traditional R&B Performance” for the single. While there, Glover performed a soulful rendition of one of the album’s standout tracks named “Terrified.” Towards the end of his display, he brought out JD McCray from Disney’s live-action The Lion King remake, due in 2019. Both actors will play “Simba,” with McCray taking the role of the younger version.

Just days before his win, Donald Glover cemented a centerpiece role at a major label. He inked a partnership between his mcDJ imprint and RCA Records. As a label positioning itself on the cutting-edge of new and authentic Urban Music (H.E.R., Bryson Tiller, Khalid, Buddy, etc.), Glover promised to be a decorated figurehead of the unconventional new sound permeating the mainstream.

Donald Glover Explains How To Stay Woke At Work About Sexual Harassment (Video)

Roughly a month after the Grammy’s, Donald premiered the second season of his hit FX series Atlanta. Days before the preview, Glover gave a rare and revealing interview to The New Yorker. While speaking about his success, he was not shy about how hard he had to fight and strategize to get his ideas in play. “The hardest part is surprising FX every time. They need that to feel that you’re an authentic Black person. I surprised them up front by telling them I wanted to make them money,” he said, at a time when the series was the most-watched comedy in the network’s history. A month later, Glover responded to reports that “his commitments” prevented him from properly taking on an FXX Deadpool series. He did not do so with a broad statement or a damning rant. He released script pages. The work balked at any speculation from the public or exec-gossip hearsay. Glover showed what he was up against, and why his creativity and execution was not to blame.

The interview explained that Glover is not a do-everything multi-talent as much as he is a student on a path of learning and mastery. Speaking about accepting a smaller than expected role in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Glover explained why it was about opportunity more than ego. Meanwhile, “opportunity” in Glover’s case is not just a polite replacement word for money. “I learn so much. I learn how Marvel movies work, how to handle guest stars, how to make execs happy when they come on set. I gain some of your power. Only now I’m running out of places to learn, at least in America.” That process is part of a lineage that leads him to a leading Lion King part.

Donald Glover Becomes The First Black Director To Win An Emmy For Directing Comedy Series (Video)

Season 2 of Atlanta raised stakes. Robbin’ Season displayed to the world that there is much more at play in a home invasion or mugging. Exploitation and life mirroring art were themes. Directed by longtime collaborator Hiro Murai, the “Teddy Perkins” episode (#6) is the longest in the show’s history. It captured its greatness and uniqueness too. Glover gave a captivating portrayal of a troubled fictional former child star “Teddy Perkins.” As “Darius” is taken hostage at gunpoint, the episode locks in on Theodore “Teddy” Perkins’ psychological pressures and traumas from early fame. It is an E! True Hollywood Story brought to screen cleverly, playing to the damaged child star archetype. Glover transformed entirely into character underneath makeup and prosthetics. Through his eyes and carefully crafted voice, “Teddy” becomes a simmering mass of repressed anger, pain, and violence. Something funny on paper becomes serious and raw.

Critics and peers felt what Glover’s series has done. Atlanta: Robbin’ Season was nominated for 16 Emmy Awards and took home three. The work was so good that some fans felt that the “Most Outstanding Comedy Series” slighted the show from the win it deserved. The “Teddy Perkins” episode was responsible for two of the awards.

Joe Budden Had The Biggest Come Up In A Year He Was Supposed To Struggle

Between the Emmy nominations and September awards this year, Donald Glover may have made his boldest statement. The night he hosted and performed on Saturday Night Live, he published something that eclipsed that mainstream look. The “This is America” music video showed the country the trouble that it is in. With the first 40 seconds feeling like a saccharine celebration of partying and capitalism, the video gets really real, really fast. The musician and actor merges his talents with an artful video that highlights the issues all around, and the distractions that take precedence. Gun control, police brutality, racism, religion, and more are allusions behind a catchy song disguised as another evanescent wave. Like J. Cole’s KOD, “This Is America” takes no prisoners in its take on the times. The symbolism has been linked to Jim Crow, Michael Jackson, and “The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse.” With over 445,000,000 views to date, “This is America” has been cited as one of the best music videos in 2018.

In the midst of playing “Lando Calrissian” in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Glover stayed on task with music and great videos. He released the EP Summer Pack that included the songs “Summertime Magic” and “Feels Like Summer.” The songs were a step beyond his Rap days and his Funk display, veering into a hybrid of Power Pop and R&B, but on Glover’s subversive terms.

Donald Glover’s SNL Skit Shows What A Horror Show Kanye West Has Become (Video)

While pleasing to listen to, the visual “Feels Like Summer” video may be even more soothing. It further reveals one of the most provocative artists of our time. Directed by Glover, Ivan Dixon, and Greg Sharp (with character design by Justin Richburg), the video turned the page from the jarring effect of “This Is America” to a pleasant utopia. Glover’s illustrated form takes a walk home, only to encounter a who’s who plethora of rappers, celebrities, and a beloved First Lady. Aside from some pranks, all are in harmony, doing things like chasing ice cream trucks, braiding hair, and skating. He addresses the issues of the day, young artists trolling, Kid Cudi’s depression, and Kanye West’s political malaise.

At a time when animated videos to songs can feel like cheap excuses for budget constrictions and cramped schedules, Donald blended an homage to Saturday morning cartoons with commentary on the Rap world as he sees it. In a year when a current Rap star was murdered, another overdosed on drugs, and another went behind bars, this video and melody can feel like a yearning for innocence. Just underneath the surface of this feel-good energy, the visual reaches darkness as Donald’s lyrics reference global warming, water scarcity, overpopulation, and species extinction. Musically and visually, it is not preaching or beating one over the head with its depth, but it is there for the taking if you want to look a little closer.

Donald Glover’s Deadpool Script Takes Down Racism, Police Violence, Gossip & More

As 2018 closes, Donald Glover reached a new plateau with provocative art on several stages. There is plenty to come on all fronts. In August, Glover was spotted on set with Rihanna in Cuba filming Guava Island, which is directed by frequent collaborator Hiro Murai. The details surrounding Guava Island will remain a mystery until its official release. Gambino is currently on tour, where he released two previously recorded tracks exclusively to his fans that have attended his show. He also has an “Easter egg” cameo in the new Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

As for 2019, the sky is far from the limit for Donald Glover. He is currently up for four nominations at the 2019 Grammy Awards including: “Record Of The Year,” “Song Of The Year,” “Best Rap/Sung Performance” and “Best Music Video” for “This is America.” As well as earning a nomination for “Best R&B Song” for “Feels Like Summer.” He is also slated to headline Coachella with Kanye West, and he stars alongside James Earl Jones and Beyonce as Simba in the 2019 Disney live action film The Lion King on July 19, 2019.

Donald Glover, Tracee Ellis Ross & Meryl Streep Used Awards For Acting To Get Real (Videos)

Three songs, one incredible season of television, a Star Wars role, and a video that dominated cultural and political discourse are just part of the profound impact Donald Glover had on Hip-Hop and America in 2018.

Past Ambrosia For Heads‘ “Person Of The Year” awards have gone to Killer Mike, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Chance The Rapper.

We have our opinions on the best releases of 2018, but rather than simply tell you our pick for #1, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2018. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2018 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Throughout December, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and your votes will determine the winners.

We’ve chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2018. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, we held a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they feel most deserved a spot on the list.

The bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums is well underway. The Final 4 is determined. The four 2018 albums currently in the tournament are as follows (listed alphabetically):

Book Of Ryan by Royce 5’9
KOD by J. Cole
Streams Of Thought, Vol. 2: Traxploitation by Black Thought
Weather Or Not by Evidence

Notably, Cole appears on Royce’s album. Black Thought’s second project of ’18 is the only one of the four that has a single producer. In that case, it was Salaam Remi. Cole’s Dreamville/Roc Nation/Interscope effort also marks the only major label effort to reach the Final 4.

Big K.R.I.T.’s 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time Is Your Best Rap Album Of 2017. K.R.I.T. Speaks

Royce’s LP knocked off wild-card winner Mona Lisa by Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz, before defeating Saba’s CARE FOR ME. Cole’s KOD narrowly bested Phonte’s No News Is Good News ahead of topping Mac Miller’s Swimming. Thought’s S.O.T.2. took out Masta Ace & Marco Polo’s A Breukelen Story, before bumping Jay Rock’s Redemption. Evidence scored a sizable win Black Milk’s Fever ahead of a profile upset of Pusha-T’s DAYTONA.

The competition picks back up on Wednesday, December 26, giving Hip-Hop Heads who vote plenty of time to make sure they check out all four.

Ambrosia For Heads’ Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2018 List:

Black MilkFever
Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2
Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
EvidenceWeather Or Not
J. ColeK.O.D
Jay RockRedemption
Mac Miller – Swimming
Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story
Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
Phonte – No News Is Good News
Pusha-T – DAYTONA
Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan
Saba – CARE FOR ME
Travis Scott ASTROWORLD
Westside GunnSupreme Blientele

We have our opinions on the best releases of 2018, but rather than simply tell you our pick for #1, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2018. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2018 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Throughout December, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and your votes will determine the winners.

We’ve chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2018. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, we held a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they feel most deserved a spot on the list.

The bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums is well underway. The Final 4 is determined. The four 2018 albums currently in the tournament are as follows (listed alphabetically):

Book Of Ryan by Royce 5’9
KOD by J. Cole
Streams Of Thought, Vol. 2: Traxploitation by Black Thought
Weather Or Not by Evidence

Notably, Cole appears on Royce’s album. Black Thought’s second project of ’18 is the only one of the four that has a single producer. In that case, it was Salaam Remi. Cole’s Dreamville/Roc Nation/Interscope effort also marks the only major label effort to reach the Final 4.

Big K.R.I.T.’s 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time Is Your Best Rap Album Of 2017. K.R.I.T. Speaks

Royce’s LP knocked off wild-card winner Mona Lisa by Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz, before defeating Saba’s CARE FOR ME. Cole’s KOD narrowly bested Phonte’s No News Is Good News ahead of topping Mac Miller’s Swimming. Thought’s S.O.T.2. took out Masta Ace & Marco Polo’s A Breukelen Story, before bumping Jay Rock’s Redemption. Evidence scored a sizable win Black Milk’s Fever ahead of a profile upset of Pusha-T’s DAYTONA.

The competition picks back up on Wednesday, December 26, giving Hip-Hop Heads who vote plenty of time to make sure they check out all four.

Ambrosia For Heads’ Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2018 List:

Black MilkFever
Black ThoughtStreams Of Thought, Vol. 2
Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
EvidenceWeather Or Not
J. ColeK.O.D
Jay RockRedemption
Mac Miller – Swimming
Masta Ace & Marco Polo – A Breukelen Story
Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
Phonte – No News Is Good News
Pusha-T – DAYTONA
Royce 5’9 – Book Of Ryan
Saba – CARE FOR ME
Travis Scott ASTROWORLD
Westside GunnSupreme Blientele

Source: AmbrosiaForHeads.com

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J. Cole Calls Out Rappers For Faking Their Streaming Numbers On A Savage Verse

In a year that J. Cole dominated, he’s not quite done. If KOD, its incredible videos, and a plethora of high-powered guest verses were not enough to set the table, Cole refuses to let 2018 end without at least one more stunner. It comes courtesy of the opening song from 21 Savage’s i am > i was album, “a lot.” The song, especially the verse, lives up to its title.

Cole, who many believe was snubbed by this month’s Grammy nominations, speaks his mind and minces no words. On the third verse, the KOD MC rightfully asserts himself as one of the industry’s brightest stars, questioning whether his peers are in it for the money, the fame or true love of Hip-Hop.

J. Cole’s KOD May Be The Year’s Best Album & It Was Snubbed By The Grammys

Question, how many faking they streams? (A lot) / Getting they plays from machines (A lot) / I can see behind the smoke and mirrors / Ni**as ain’t really big as they seem (Hmm) / I never say anything (Nah), everybody got they thing (True) / Some ni**as make millions, other ni**as make memes (Hmm) / I’m on a money routine,” begins Cole. The MC/producer who has checked his peers over transgressions before highlights inflated numbers bought by hiring streaming devices. It is unclear who Cole may be speaking to, if anyone. He briefly held a streaming record this year with KOD, a title later held by Drake’s Scorpion. Another artist, Travis Scott, has been front-and-center in 2018’s wars over chart position and streams between Nicki Minaj, the incarcerated Tekashi 6ix9ine, and others.

Either way, Cole continues to the bounce of the beat. “I don’t want smoke, I want cream / I don’t want no more comparisons / This is a marathon and I’m aware I been playing it back from a lack of promotions / I was never one for the bragging and boasting / I guess I was hoping the music would speak for itself / But the people want everything else / Okay, no problem / I’ll show up on everyone album / You know what the outcome will be I’m batting a thousand / It’s got to the point that these rappers don’t even like rappin’ with me / F*ck it ’cause my ni**a 21 Savage just hit me / And told me he sent me a spot on a new record he got / He call it ‘a lot,’ I open my book and I jot.

J.I.D & J. Cole Are Out To Prove Dreamville Is The Most Lyrical Crew In Hip-Hop

Finally, Cole finds time to say a few prayers. Given the possibility of a life sentence for racketeering and more, 6ix9ine is the subject of his first reflection. Thereafter, he sends a shout out to Philadelphia 76ers fallen star, Markelle Fultz, whose shoulder problems have prevented him from living up to the hype. In the end, Dennis Smith Jr., of the Dallas Mavericks gets a shot out as well.

Pray for Tekashi, they want him to rot / I’m picturing him inside a cell on a cot / Flectin’ on how he made it to the top / Wondering if it was worth it or not / I pray for Markelle cause they f*cked up his shot / Just want you to know that you got it my ni**a / Though I never met you / I know that you special and that the Lord blessed you / Don’t doubt it my ni**a / Dennis Smith Jr., stay solid my ni**a / I’m on a tangent, not how I planned it / I had some fans that hopped and abandoned ship / When they thought that I wasn’t gon pan out.

J. Cole Saves His Best Verse Of The Year For A Collabo With Rapsody (Audio)

21 Savage’s i am > i was also features ScHoolboy Q, Donald Glover, and Project Pat, among others.

In a year that J. Cole dominated, he’s not quite done. If KOD, its incredible videos, and a plethora of high-powered guest verses were not enough to set the table, Cole refuses to let 2018 end without at least one more stunner. It comes courtesy of the opening song from 21 Savage’s i am > i was album, “a lot.” The song, especially the verse, lives up to its title.

Cole, who many believe was snubbed by this month’s Grammy nominations, speaks his mind and minces no words. On the third verse, the KOD MC rightfully asserts himself as one of the industry’s brightest stars, questioning whether his peers are in it for the money, the fame or true love of Hip-Hop.

J. Cole’s KOD May Be The Year’s Best Album & It Was Snubbed By The Grammys

Question, how many faking they streams? (A lot) / Getting they plays from machines (A lot) / I can see behind the smoke and mirrors / Ni**as ain’t really big as they seem (Hmm) / I never say anything (Nah), everybody got they thing (True) / Some ni**as make millions, other ni**as make memes (Hmm) / I’m on a money routine,” begins Cole. The MC/producer who has checked his peers over transgressions before highlights inflated numbers bought by hiring streaming devices. It is unclear who Cole may be speaking to, if anyone. He briefly held a streaming record this year with KOD, a title later held by Drake’s Scorpion. Another artist, Travis Scott, has been front-and-center in 2018’s wars over chart position and streams between Nicki Minaj, the incarcerated Tekashi 6ix9ine, and others.

Either way, Cole continues to the bounce of the beat. “I don’t want smoke, I want cream / I don’t want no more comparisons / This is a marathon and I’m aware I been playing it back from a lack of promotions / I was never one for the bragging and boasting / I guess I was hoping the music would speak for itself / But the people want everything else / Okay, no problem / I’ll show up on everyone album / You know what the outcome will be I’m batting a thousand / It’s got to the point that these rappers don’t even like rappin’ with me / F*ck it ’cause my ni**a 21 Savage just hit me / And told me he sent me a spot on a new record he got / He call it ‘a lot,’ I open my book and I jot.

J.I.D & J. Cole Are Out To Prove Dreamville Is The Most Lyrical Crew In Hip-Hop

Finally, Cole finds time to say a few prayers. Given the possibility of a life sentence for racketeering and more, 6ix9ine is the subject of his first reflection. Thereafter, he sends a shout out to Philadelphia 76ers fallen star, Markelle Fultz, whose shoulder problems have prevented him from living up to the hype. In the end, Dennis Smith Jr., of the Dallas Mavericks gets a shot out as well.

Pray for Tekashi, they want him to rot / I’m picturing him inside a cell on a cot / Flectin’ on how he made it to the top / Wondering if it was worth it or not / I pray for Markelle cause they f*cked up his shot / Just want you to know that you got it my ni**a / Though I never met you / I know that you special and that the Lord blessed you / Don’t doubt it my ni**a / Dennis Smith Jr., stay solid my ni**a / I’m on a tangent, not how I planned it / I had some fans that hopped and abandoned ship / When they thought that I wasn’t gon pan out.

J. Cole Saves His Best Verse Of The Year For A Collabo With Rapsody (Audio)

21 Savage’s i am > i was also features ScHoolboy Q, Donald Glover, and Project Pat, among others.

Source: AmbrosiaForHeads.com

Click Here to Discuss in the Forums

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