Posts By Natalie Adeeyo

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This Ain’t Backpack Rap: The Emergence of Backpack Rappers in Mainstream Hip-Hop

Kanye West claims to be the first rapper with a Benz and a backpack, but these days it looks like several backpack rappers are carrying around more than just a pad and a pen. In the past year, there’s been a wave of underground MCs surfacing their way to the mainstream top and collecting checks on their way up. These youthful spitters are penning a modern hook to the already played backpack rap era of the 80s and 90s. With the recent success of backpack rap from such conscious rappers as Kanye, Lupe Fiasco, and Kid Cudi, the new school of backpackers is painting a different, more open road in the hip-hop lane.

So, what exactly is “backpack rap”? It’s a sub-genre of hip hop that’s traditionally known for being void of the glitz and glam that comes with being a rapper, or as rapper Drake put it, “the money, cars, clothes, and hoes.” In other words, it is less concerned with “making it” and instead focuses more on issues surrounding social awareness. However, backpack rap today has taken on a new look. The hip-hop underground scene that’s getting play includes the alternative and indie side of hip-hop, rather than the political, intellectual stereotype of the genre. It’s the youthful sound and mix of genres that takes these MCs from backpackers to Benz owners, not to mention the sound that’s sitting atop this week’s Billboard charts (more on that in a bit).

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Drake’s Take Care Leaks, But He Doesn’t Get Too Emo About It

Drake's Take Care Leaks

As is seemingly par for the course these days, Drake‘s highly anticipated sophomore LP, Take Care, leaked last weekend, just one week ahead of the album’s official release date. The surprising thing, though, was the rhyme-slinging crooner wasn’t too upset about it. Drake tweeted before the unofficial leak:

The 17-track album is slated to fill shelves November 15th, but hit the internet instead 8 full days premature. The same dilemma happened to Drake’s Young Money mentor Lil’ Wayne just months prior with Tha Carter IV. Drake’s LP received major buzz over Twitter as debates about the album’s production and sales would stack up against some of this year’s other major albums.

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Hip-Hop’s Heavyweights Tweet Their Reactions to Heavy D’s Death

Heavy D‘s passing shook the hip hop community to its core yesterday as fans and friends tweeted their condolences and reactions to the 44-year-old’s untimely death. Today on VH1′s Big Morning Buzz Live, mogul Russell Simmons discussed Heavy D’s influence on music. Some of hip-hop’s most respected MCs took to Twitter last night offering 140 characters of their sorrows, reactions and memories of the self-proclaimed “overweight lover.”

Here’s what the hip-hop community had to say about Heavy D’s death:

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