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Will A$AP Rocky’s Long.Live.A$AP Make Him New York’s Latest Rap Messiah?

A$AP Rocky is not New York’s rap savior. That doesn’t mean he isn’t the most intriguing, most watched rapper to emerge from New York in the last decade. It’s hard for an artist’s project to live up to the level of hype critics and fans set for Long.Live.A$AP. Like Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city, A$AP rose to the occasion with the  (Polo Grounds/RCA) debut–not for producing an LP with a cohesive story arc like his Oakland colleague–but for its production and experimentation.

Criticized for his lack of depth on the mixtape Live.Love.A$AP, the 24-year-old Harlem rapper didn’t buckle under pressure to create a forced pseudo-deep LP. It’s unapologetic in the grandiose boasting of extra zeros in his bank account, the fly women he’s sexing and posturing of street life. “Yes I’m the s—-/Tell me if it stink/It feel good waking up to money in the bank/Three model b—-/cocaine on the sink/And I’m so ’bout it ’bout it I might roll up in a tank,” he raps on the lead single “Goldie.” The themes are much of the “look at how much money I have” and “I know fancy designers,” but his voice over the drums, snares and keyboards, it all bangs. Hard. Read more…

by (@Lacezilla)

Gotye Leads The Way In Our Countdown Of The Top 15 Best Voices Of 2012

2012 has been an interesting year for the music business. As chart genres shift and technology continues to influence how and what we consume, in-flux trends seem to fly in out of nowhere.The viral sensation breakout star, for example. But can we go back to basics for just a moment? These people are here to entertain us and sing, right? Like, into microphones and send sound waves into the universe. Whether their songs permeated the charts all year or their pipes are ones to keep an eye out in the future, the following 15 voices were the most noteworthy in 2012.

1. Gotye
Having created what’s sure to be a sing-along bar anthem for years to come, Gotye’s “Somebody I Used to Know” is a monster. Shout out to Kimbra for the solid assist, too!

2. Sia
In addition to being the voice behind David Guetta’s “Titanium” and Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” this year, Sia also wrote the lyrics and melody for Rihanna’s “Diamonds” and her talent should be recognized, damn it.

3. Kendrick Lamar
Through storytelling, K-Dot has the versatility to sound nervous, vulnerable and shrieky, macho and intimidating, soft and robotic, Compton tough, and instructively monotone.

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by (@zaragolden)

Three Moments From The BET Awards That Outshined The Parking Lot Drama

What a blessing, that the 2012 BET Awards were pre-tapped. Lived in Atlanta on September 29, first word from people who were there was that back-stage tangles between Rick Ross and Young Jeezy and Gunplay and 50 Cent‘s G-Unit had stolen the show, giving the media something juicy to chew on until the show aired last night. And so by the time we sat down to watch the show last night, the music shined totally untarnished by the beef, which seems well behind us. There were a whole bunch of winners (spoiler: Kanye West took home a whopping six trophies), and then at least three onstage moments that were way more fun than all that parking lot drama. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

2012 BET Awards: Rick Ross And Young Jeezy Brawl Steals The Show

Young Jeezy and Rick Ross long-simmering feud hit a boil over the weekend when the two rappers ran into each other at the BET Hip-Hop Awards taping in Atlanta. The two rappers were said to have shared heated words when they met backstage, and eventually crews got involved and the scuffle spilled out into the parking lot.

As Hot 97′s revered DJ Funkmaster Flex reported live from the scene, breathlessly (though sans bomb-drops) via Twitter:

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