LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 26: Snoop Dogg hosts at Gallery Nightclub at Planet Hollywood on November 26, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage) *** Local Caption *** Snoop Dogg Hosts;













Photo By Terry Richardson


Photo By Terry Richardson





Working with Drake:

Working with Drake

Ben Baller: “When I met Drake, it was so organic and weird. Met him in the fucking Apple store. I was like, ‘Ay, man—I know you from somewhere.’ He wasn’t even famous then. I mean he done been on Degrassi but he didn’t think that I would know that shit—I never saw that show before. He just looked familiar. And then he goes, ‘You’re Ben Baller, man, I go on your MySpace page every day,’ and I was like, ‘Word? Cool.’ I have no idea why. He was with someone that I knew—this dude named Jazz Prince, J. Prince’s son, who got Drake his deal with YMCMB. I don’t think Jazz missed one tour of Drake’s. Jazz and Drake were together. Dude, [Drake] gave Jazz a Lamborghini for his birthday at a concert. He made a rap about it, I don’t know if you remember, but that he gave Jazz the keys.

“You know people started to recognize [Drake] as he put songs out. Then he did the song over Santigold’s ‘Unstoppable.’ And then he did the ‘Ransom’ thing with Wayne. He started to blow up. So then he was working on this album and said, ‘Come through, help me out.’ He needed a car, I got him a car. You know, whatever he needed. Jewels, whatever. I took care of him. I just believed in dude. I hadn’t heard anything like him in a minute. You know I was like, ‘I’m really fucking with you.’ And he was showing me love. That was the last project I really got involved in.”


After Chief Keef caught the eyes and ears of the masses this spring with “I Don’t Like”, a magnifying glass was placed over Chicago’s emerging “drill” scene. Riding shotgun on “I Don’t Like”, Lil Reese was the next to catch some major looks, releasing his debut mixtape and, most recently, having his song “Us” remixed by Rick Ross and Drake. Next up looks to be Lil Durk, who secured a Def Jam deal alongside Reese this past spring. A short stint in jail on gun charges kept Durk from getting the same amount of initial attention as his GBE counterparts, but with the recent official release of his single “L’s Anthem” and his Life Ain’t No Joke mixtape scheduled for release on October 19, it’s about time you get to know Lil Durk. —Neil Martinez-Belkin(@Neil_MB)

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As unbearable as it is to hear Drake talk tough on wax, Breezy might be just as insufferable. On the heels of their bottle tossing melee at an NYC nightclub, Chris Brown addressed the altercation on a predictable remix of Chief Keef’s “Don’t Like” saying “They throwin’ bottles, I’m throwin’ models just cause I give a bitch long pipe / I be singin’ he be singin’, so it’s on, fight.” Is that all ya got, Chris?


Throughout hip-hop history, there has been a lot of trends and fads—the Shiny suit, “Molly” rap—mostly occupying a period where these are the things you must do to be deemed "cool." The one thing that has stood the test of time is rappers’ ability to strike awkward poses on camera. Sometimes people just don't know what to do in front of the camera at photo shoots, on music video, and album cover. So they master the five fine arts of poses that every rhyme slinger must know.

Now, XXL decided to highlight a day for each of the five most signature poses in hip-hop artists doing. Today we highlight Finger Gestures.