Ill Communications: The 10 Most Influential White Rappers In Hip Hop History

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When hip hop music emerged from the South Bronx in the late 1970s it was the indisputable voice of the inner-city  African-American and Latino experience. Musically it nodded to the hardest of R&B and funk rhythms and lyrically it reflected the often hardscrabble existence its practitioners and proponents lived. Like other musical forms that deal in real life and death struggles, such as heavy metal and hardcore punk, authenticity was paramount. As its popularity grew however, it escaped the cities narrow streets and the narrow definition of what could be considered authentic hip hop. Though sometimes problematic in a genre so implicitly connected to its original audience and roots, by the mid ’80s hip hop had begun to build a sizable suburban audience and the first white MCs began daring to get on the mic and appear on wax.
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by (@emilyexton)

Ariana Grande: Five Things To Know About The Little Girl Behind That Big Voice

10th Annual Style Awards - Show - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2014

If you’ve asked yourself “Who is this new girl on the scene with the great, booming voice who looks like an Olympic figure skater?” anytime in the last few weeks, we’d like to introduce you to Ariana Grande. The teeny tiny pop starlet has made a humungous splash on the charts this summer, earning comparisons to a one Ms. Mariah Carey and abundant praise for her pristine form of pop.

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2 Chainz Tops Billboard Charts With “Based On A T.R.U. Story”

2 Chainz Debuts At No. 1 on Billboard Charts

2 Chainz‘s rap game takeover has been a long time coming. The Georgia rapper that had us all screaming, “2 Chaaaaainnnnz” was a coveted feature artist in the way Nicki Minaj was in 2009. Those days are long gone and the wait was certainly worth it. His debut album Based on a T.R.U. Story topped the charts for the No.1 spot on the Billboard 200. According to Nielsen SoundScan the album sold 147,000 copies. For a little perspective: that’s almost 20,000 more units sold than pop star Chris Brown‘s Fortune. Talk about coming out the gate swinging. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Last Lap: Gary Oldman Reads Dramatically From R. Kelly’s Soulacousta

Pile all the Oscars over here and the Pulitzers over there, so that we can divvy them out accordingly for this award worthy rendering of an award worthy text. [Gawker]

The Hole frontwoman’s former assistant has pressed charges, alleging that Love was an “improper and evil” boss. Which actually kind of sounds like a kind of awesome title to hold, don’t you think? [E!]

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D’Angelo Performs For The First Time In 12 Years At Bonnaroo, Plus Bon Iver, Phish, Mac Miller And More

Bonaroo Performances, D'Angelo's First Performance in 12 years

The massive Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN hosted a mix (over 150) of musical acts spanning across genres from country to soul. The crowd was in for a treat with acts like Phish, fun., Bon Iver and Kenny Rogers blessing the stage for the four-day festival. Lionel Richie was on hand to join Rogers for “Lady” and “All Night Long (All Night).” And Richie wasn’t the only surprise.

Rumors quickly spread that The Roots would bring out a special guest. Low and behold in what turned out to be the crowd shocker of the night, D’Angelo, who hadn’t performed on a stage in 12 years (when his last album Voodoo was released), was The Roots surprise guest. According to Yahoo Music?uestlove announced, “I’ve been waiting 12 years to say this. Ladies and gentlemen…D’ANGELO!” Sounding as if he’d never stepped away from the music, D’Angelo played the piano and guitar doing a nine-piece set including oldies like Jimi Hendrix’s “Have You Ever Been To Electric Ladyland” and “Power Of Soul,” Funkadelic’s “Funky Dollar Bill,” and “Hit It And Quit It,” Sly & The Family Stone’s “Babies Makin’ Babies,” The Beatles‘ “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window,” Led Zeppelin’s “What Is And What Should Never Be,” and the Time’s “My Summertime Thang.” And we can’t think of any better way to do a comeback performance than with the legendary The Roots band. Check out our gallery of fun photos from Bonnaroo. Read more…


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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Mac Miller Show To Stream Live On MTV.Com Tomorrow

Mac Miller’s star has been steadily rising since last year’s mistake KIDS, and the success of this year’s “Donald Trump” and “Frick Park Market,” and growing buzz, promise even bigger success when his debut drops next month. To seal the deal, he even appeared on the official remix of chart-topper “Moves Like Jagger.”?

So while we’re not exactly dubbing him a You Oughta Know artist, we’re not surprised that he got an equivalent honor from MTV PUSH. And we certainly want to let you know that Mac Miller’s sold-out show tomorrow night at the House of Blues in Chicago is going to be streamed live on We suspect the stream will definitely be worth checking out.?

Watch Mac Miller’s Livestream On This Wednesday, Oct. 12! [MTV Buzzworthy]

[Image: MTV Buzzworthy]


Maroon 5 Recruits Mac Miller For “Moves Like Jagger” Remix

“Moves Like Jagger” is big right now. The Maroon 5/Christina Aguilera collaboration may not have hit #1 quickly enough to prevent Katy Perry from tying the once-untouchable record set by Michael Jackson, but the song has since been topping the charts (not to mention placing well in VH1’s Top 20) for a month?except for the week after the VMAs, when “Someone Like You” briefly unseated it. With the video for that Adele single set to premiere tonight on MTV, the Los Angeles quintet has recruited a guest rapper for an official remix?either in an attempt to hold off Adele on the charts, or maybe just for the heck of it. The guest? Mac Miller. (Hey, Maroon 5 and VH1’s Single Ladies have something in common!) The band premiered the remix via Twitter; it’s available to stream at HipHopDX before it officially hits radio (and iTunes) next week.

Maroon 5 f. Mac Miller & Christina Aguilera “Moves Like Jagger Rmx” [HipHopDX]

[Adam Levine Image: Getty Images]


Last Lap: Thursday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

Beck And Stephen Malkmus Riff In The Paper Of Record
In a Sunday New York Times feature posted today, Beck and Stephen Malkmus (formerly of Pavement) talk to Dave Itzkoff about the forthcoming Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks record Mirror Traffic, which Beck produced. [NY Times]

One Third Of Nirvana To Participate In Nevermind Anniversary Tribute Concert
Krist Novoselic is the latest performer added to the bill of a Nirvana tribute concert to be held on Nevermind‘s 20th anniversary at the Experience Music Project. He’ll be playing bass with the Presidents of the United States of America on one of the songs. [107.7 The End via Pitchfork]
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by (@Lacezilla)

Is “Frat Rap” The Next Big Trend In Hip Hop?

From L to R: Rich Hil, Asher Roth and Chet Haze
In the nineties, you could count the number of commercial white rappers on one hand. Beastie Boys. Vanilla Ice. Marky Mark (and the Funky Bunch). Maybe Everlast and even 3rd Bass count too, although their “household name” reach wasn’t nearly as long. As a result, an entire generation of hip-hop fans grew up listening to a genre that was based in a primarily Urban setting, rarely poking its nichey head above ground into the pop arena. That didn’t stop the audience’s obsession with hip-hop though, and regardless of content relatability, the music managed to draw a crop of loyal, melanin-lacking disciples.

Putting his unquestionable talent aside, it’s not a huge surprise that Eminem’s Slim Shady LP was so well-received when Interscope helped him to first put take his underground music into the mainstream back in 1999. Paving the way for the constant flow of new, up-and-coming white rappers who idolized him back then, Eminem came to market with a blunt, true-to-self, lower socio-economic class character that was refreshing and different from the previous attempts of white rappers past. Looking the accidental mockery in the face, who can forget The White Rapper Show, for example? Whether you hated it or loved it, it was a trainwreck that you couldn’t resist watching, if only to laugh at the contestants’ hilarious missteps.

On Monday, it was announced that white rapper Rich Hil, son of fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, was signed to Warner Brothers Records. This news not only continues to feed the growing trend of white rapper signings, but also the perpetuates the sub-genre craze that is now commonly referred to as “Frat Rap.” Focusing less on conveying social commentary or more personal issues, Frat Rap flaunts a party lifestyle, celebrating the cliche reckless behavior associated with college fraternities, like getting hammered, bagging girls, and partaking in experimental gateway drugs. Executing lyricism and celebrating the Bronx-born culture aren’t really a priority.

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