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“Halftime”

Producer: Large Professor
Lyric: “Back in ‘83 I was an MC sparkin’/But I was too scared to grab the mics in the parks and/Kick my little raps 'cause I thought niggas wouldn’t understand/And now in every jam I’m the fuckin’ man”
Why It’s Dope: If you ever walk or drive past the Queensbridge housing projects where Nas grew up in the summer, you’d notice the barbecues in the parks beneath the Queensboro Bridge and impromptu rap battles. Just imagine 10-year-old Nas in 1983 listening to the older kids spit rhymes and being too afraid to jump on the mic himself but harboring those hip-hop dreams. Then fast forward a decade to Nas being hailed as the best rapper to ever come out of Queens. Badass.

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Nas Will Release ‘Lost Tapes 2′ And A Posthumous Pimp C Album On Mass Appeal Records

Nas is following in 50 Cents footsteps and going independent. The rapper who recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of his debut album Illmatic is launching an independent label called Mass Appeal Records...

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t.i. trillions hustle gang

T.I.

Song Title: "Let Me Tell You Something"
Lyric: "At the Half Moon, but I know she gon' say/I already have too many hoes, I know/But if I had you, all the dough I'd blow/On 11 karat pink stones, trillion rows"

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T.I. Is A Really Good Guy

T.I. is the good samaritan of hip-hop. Back  in Oct. 2010, T.I. convinced Joshua Starks, a 24-year-old man in Atlanta, not to commit suicide...

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atmosphere slug ant rapper southsiders
With the exception of Prince and Bob Dylan, Minnesota is seldom mentioned as a hotbed of musical talent. But quietly, the land of 10,000 lakes has boasted one of the most venerable duos in hip-hop in recent memory. Since the release of their first official album, Overcast!, in 1997, MC Sean "Slug" Daley and producer Anthony "Ant" Davis have built one of the most loyal followings in a genre where even the most skilled artists are not guaranteed lasting relevance.

Now, with their eight official full-length studio album, Southsiders dropping earlier this month, the Rhymesayers originators celebrated more than two decades of making music together. And while they will probably never be pop icons, the fact that they can sell out a show at The Palladium in Hollywood in less than a day is a true testament to the type of success every MC should strive for.

With their album making waves in the indie community, XXL spoke with Slug about longevity in the game, their single "Kanye West" and why he fears for his son wanting to be a musician. —Jake Rohn
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Atmosphere’s Slug On The Heartbreaking Life Of A Musician

meek mill billions

Meek Mill

Song Title: "Won't Stop"
Lyric: "No navigation, I'm just driving on the road for/Billion dollar lifestyle 'til they turn my lights down"

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Meek Mill Previews ‘Scarface’ Track Featuring Jay Z, Nas and Nipsey Hu$$le

Meek Mill is fully focused on his sophomore endeavor. After crafting possibly a game-changer with his "Dreams & Nightmare Intro," at least in the eyes of Drake, Meek is now trying to up the ante this time around. He...

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