Top 50 Hip Hop/R&B Songs of 2013!

Top HipHopSlacker DJ Coka Lani is your guide for this countdown–a true representation of the hip hop and R&B jams that you cared about most this year, based on the songs that you listened to (as opposed to skipped), “hearted,” and shared the most. It’s called EQ. Featuring the hottest artists of 2013 from A$AP Rocky to YG, with stops at Kendrick, Rihanna, Tamar, and Drake. It’s the Slacker Top 50 Hip Hop/R&B Songs of 2013!

Hip Hop Game Changer N.W.A is Slacker’s Artist of the Week

NWAAOTW2This week marks the 25th anniversary of N.W.A’s legendary “Straight Outta Compton.” In 1988, rap music sounded nothing like N.W.A. To the mainstream music fan, rap was the frat-boy antics of the Beastie Boys, the hardline political activism of Public Enemy, and an assortment of jokers and boastful urban youth.

It’s hard to put “Straight Out Of Compton” into perspective today, but at the time it was the most dangerous, confrontational, and controversial music of the decade. N.W.A shifted the focus from the East coast to the West as the epicenter of hip hop, and set the tone for what the genre would become over the following decade.

To celebrate the anniversary of this landmark album, your Slacker curators have put together a station that features N.W.A’s most critical tracks, solo tracks from Eazy, Dre, and Ice Cube, and all of the artists that they came up with and influenced. Listen here. 

N.W.A changed hip hop forever, and they are Slacker’s Artist of the Week.

Artist of the Week: Kanye West and His Musical Evolution

KanyeKanye West has entered into a new stage as an artist and as a public figure. On one hand, there is his public persona—outspoken self-promoter, generator of outrageous soundbytes, and Kim Kardashian’s baby daddy. On the other, there is Kanye the artist—one of the most accomplished rappers and producers in the history of hip hop, the man that single-handedly changed the way that hip hop sounded in the 2000’s, and now the artist that is making the most emotional and challenging albums in modern music.

With his latest album “Yeezus,” Kanye West has created an experimental, confrontational, minimalist, and genre-bending piece of work that requires repeat listens to fully comprehend everything that is going on. It’s a bleak, industrial sounding album that feels both expansive and claustrophobic; his rapping is often replaced by primal screaming, and his boasts are often followed by statements of insecurity and even self-loathing. The album features production from Rick Rubin and guest appearances from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Chief Keef, Frank Ocean, Kid Cudi, and more.

On this weeks Artist of the Week station, we pay tribute to Kanye’s musical evolution–from his early mainstream hits and the College trilogy through his more recent experiments. You’ll also hear his work as a producer, his collaborations, his influences, and his contemporaries.

Listen to Kanye West as Slacker’s Artist Of The Week here.

Rock The Bells Festival Announce Artists Additions to Lineup

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 1.09.01 AMThe Rock The Bells festival announced a dozen additions to it’s 2013 lineup this week, including Riff Raff, Action Bronson, and Deltron 3030. Those acts join hip-hop stars like Wu-Tang Clan, J. Cole, and Kid Cudi. And to top it off: they are promising hologram performances from Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Eazy-E.

Other additions include notable EDM artists Pretty Lights, Chase & Status and Mimosa.

Guerilla Union CEO and founder Chang Weisberg said of the new additions and EDM add ons, “It’s also important to acknowledge the gap being bridged between hip hop and EDM. They’re no longer two solitary genres and we’re starting to see major overlap between both styles, especially in areas like LA, NYC, and DMV. Rock The Bells tenth year marks the perfect time to celebrate that influence with acts like Girl Talk, Pretty Lights, Chase & Status and Mimosa. Hip-hop is not one dimensional, it’s actually more diverse than it’s ever been, and I’m glad that we’re able to showcase and celebrate the many different sub-styles of the genre.”

In unprecedented hip-hop history, more than twenty artists on this year’s bill are releasing new albums this year including Curren$y, Danny Brown, Deltron 3030, Dom Kennedy, Earl Sweatshirt, Hopsin, Juicy J, Schoolboy Q, and many more.

The festival lands in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C and New York starting in September. Click here for dates and ticket info.

Hear the lineup on Slacker’s Hip Hop station.

 

 

Five Hip Hop Artists to Watch This Year

The days of Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac have long since passed, but the hip hop game is hotter than ever. There’s a new crop of rappers and hip hop artists on the rise who are absolutely massacring the music industry. Let’s take a look at the top five hip hop artists to watch in 2013.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

macklemoreryanlewisMacklemore & Ryan Lewis have brought their unique swagger to the music industry in a big way. They’ve revolutionized the musical genre of hip hop that typically boasts of fame and life in excess with their chart-topping hit “Thrift Shop”. The duo instead beams about bargain-buying at their local Goodwill–priceless.

Staying true to their brand the duo tackles social issues gracefully, without ever forgetting to entertain the shit out of a crowd. Their progressive single called “Same Love” promotes same-sex marriage and was written during the Washington Referendum 74 campaign.

Be sure to check out Macklemore’s latest hit “Ceiling Can’t Hold Us” featuring Ray Dalton. The song has a John Legend-esque soulful sound to it that pairs perfectly with the fire that Macklemore spits.

A$AP Rocky

asap-rockyWe got a f*%&$*# problem–we love A$AP Rocky. Reppin the East Coast, A$AP was born in Harlem and is relatively new to the rap scene. He launched into critical acclaim with his debut album Long. Live. ASAP. His influences include other famous rap and hip hop groups like Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Three 6 Mafia, Run DMC and Wu-Tang Clan. In his fast rise to fame he’s already collaborated with chart-toppers like Rihanna, 2Chainz, Kendrick Lamar and Drake.

Check out “Goldie,” “I’m Different” and “Fucking Problems” for a taste of A$AP’s lyrical mastery and flair.

Kendrick Lamar

kendrick lamarKendrick Lamar hails from Compton, California. Currently under Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label and Interscope Records, he is a well-deserved nominee for our Hip Hop Artists to Watch category. Even before receiving major attention for his mixtape Overly Dedicated, Lamar was a massive internet star.

We love everything about Kedrick, his story, his struggle, his poignant lyrical fire, his raw talent. He lays everything on the table with every lyric. He doesn’t glorify urban warfare, but instead tries to help people understand the complexities of street life. He is in a subgenre of his own, even within the rap community. Check out his hit single’s Swimming Pools to better understand what all the hype is about.

Joey Bada$$

joey-bada$$The East Coast is serving up some serious talent this year, in the form of another hip-hop sensation Joey Bada$$. He’s an independent hip hop artist from New York and part of Pro Era. He has recently stepped into the light with his mixtape 1999 and his “Survival Tactics” video that spread across the internet like wildfire.

His ability to freestyle is of particular note, and has gained him widespread acclaim on YouTube. His flow, style and wordplay are proof that he is in fact a badass. Check out his single “Unorthodox” and get familiar with this soon-to-be massive talent.

Future

futuredungeontat_0Future aka Nayvadius Wilburn is a Haitian American from Atlanta, Georgia. Signed to Epic Records, this rapper lives up to his prophetic moniker. In a genre all his own, Future combines auto-tune, rap, singing, and futuristic beats.

He is the penman behind YC’s hit single “Racks” and has collaborated with Gucci Mane on his Free Bricks album. He brings a refreshing, progressive sound and flavor to the rap game and we look forward to his bright future. His newest mixtape Future Hendrix will feature Kanye West, Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Drake, Andre 3000 and many more. Check out his song “Karate Chop” featuring Casino.

 

 

March Madness Time!

Slacker March Madness It’s March Madness time!

Slacker’s Hip Hop March Madness that is. All month long, Slacker is pitting Hip Hop’s greatest MC’s against each other in four regional brackets: East Coast, West Coast, North and South, and the winner in each match-up will be determined by your votes on our March Madness page.

Every day head over to our March Madness page to vote for your favorite artists for a chance to win a $500 StubHub gift certificate + year of Slacker Premium.

Will the top seeds in each region make it to the final four, or will they be upset along the way by one the tournament’s cagey upstarts? It will all boil down to one final battle, to be waged on the same day as the NCAA Basketball Championship.

March Madness ends April 8th so keep  voting!  Don’t let your favorite hip hop artists get bumped from the next round. Make sure to also check out our March Hip Hop Madness station on Slacker to hear music from all our contenders