Contact Us

Lists - Page 8

Beastie Boys old school

“Sure Shot”

Lyric: “Timing like a clock when I rock the hip-hop/Top notch is my stock on the soapbox/I've got more rhymes than I've got grey hairs/And that's a lot because I've got my share”
Why It’s Dope: MCA was on top of his game throughout this entire album, but his reference to his own grey hairs is one that was both hilarious and reflected a passing concern at his own advancing age. We'll chalk it up as more clever than morbid, though.


20 Of The Best Lines From The Beastie Boys’ ‘Ill Communication’

hip-hop double albums

20 Of Hip-Hop’s Most Essential Double Albums

kanye west runaway amber rose
From Diddy's "I Need A Girl" to Kanye's "White Dress," hip-hop has plenty of love songs written for specific significant others. Whether rappers are not-so-secretly reflecting on past marriages or yearning for a fling that finished all too quickly, if known or not, many top hits in hip-hop have an underlying reason as to why they happen to connect with listeners so well—fans can identify with both sides.

More recent examples of the semi-concealed affection cuts are Big Sean's "Ashley," a love song from his Hall Of Fame album he penned for his high school sweetheart after they parted ways last year, and even Jhene Aiko's "The Worst," which is rumored to be about a brief relationship the singer held with Drake. Nas is a relatively prolific member of this list as well, having written songs—"Getting Married" and "Bye Baby" being the two most obvious—about the many developments in his relationship with Kelis. And, of course, there's Kanye West, who dedicated an entire album to heartbreak and has always been on the more emotional side of things, lyrically.

XXL has compiled 20 hip-hop songs written about the specific relationships in each rapper's lives, from Lauryn Hill's many shots at Wyclef Jean to Papoose's dedication to his locked up wife Remy Ma. —Miranda Johnson, Layne Weiss and Dan Rys

20 Hip-Hop Songs About Specific Relationships

dr dre compton key to the city
It's been a hell of a week for Dr. Dre. The progenitor of G-Funk sold his stake in Beats Electronics, the company he co-founded with Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine, to Apple for $3.2 billion last week, and his sudden ascension to the richest man in hip-hop—with wealth estimated just shy of a full billion—has come with its share of perks. One of those is reported to be the Key to the City of Compton, his LA hometown and the setting for such classics as "California Love" with Tupac from the mid-1990s.

But Dre's not the only rapper to receive a key to the city—Mac Miller received the Key to Pittsburgh late last year, while Tyler, The Creator wanted the Key to Boulder, Colorado so much that he staged his own ceremony, giving himself a fake honorary key. Impressively creative as always, Tyler. From Diddy to Pitbull, Baby Jay to Busdriver, here are 19 times when a member of the hip-hop community has received a Key to The City. Keys open doors. —Dan Rys

20 Rappers And Hip-Hop Executives With A Key To The City

Dr Dre trillions
Now that Dr. Dre is flirting with becoming the very first billionaire hip-hop has ever produced, it's time for rappers to turn their minds to the next goal—that's right, trillions. And as rappers are known for being ahead of the curve when talking about their money, we've already got a good collection of songs that reference the 12 zeroes that fall into that price range. Not surprisingly—with recycled or referential rhymes reaching as far back as the earliest hip-hop songs—much of the lyrical boasts stem from Kanye's "Swagger Like Us" opening line—"Mr. West is in the buildin'/Swagger on a hundred thousand trillion"—but we didn't let that count against anybody. On your marks, get set, brag. —Dan Rys

27 Hip-Hop Songs About Rappers Making Trillions

Just Blaze

Just Blaze’s 10 Essential Songs

Just Blaze, a.k.a. Justin Smith, is a well-known producer who has crafted the biggest hits in hip-hop. From his run with Jay Z to Kanye West, Just has accomplished a lot in his decade-plus career...

Read More

Category: News Tags: ,
lean lyrics 40 songs
Much like molly was the buzz word for viral hits in 2012 and 2013, we are now, like it or not, firmly in the age of lean. Sure, sizzurp has been in the game for decades, emerging out of the depths of the Houston underground and firmly into the mainstream with DJ Screw, UGK, the Swishahouse factory and Three 6 Mafia. It killed Screw and Pimp C, ruined (or helped, depending on your perspective) Gucci Mane, was a consistent crutch for Soulja Boy and did an unfortunately fantastic job of nearly leading to a premature end to Lil Wayne.

Recently, the Atlanta scene has been a hotbed of the stuff, with everyone from Future to Migos to Young Thug and everyone in between rapping about their favorite double cups. After Rich Homie Quan was rushed to the hospital this week after suffering two seizures while on the set of his new music video, the overwhelming suspicion was that Quan was downing lean, too. But despite its serious and well-documented health risks, it seems that rappers can't stay away—or stop rapping about it. XXL has compiled a list of 40 songs that reference lean specifically—not purple drank, not sizzurp, but, to quote Young Thug, L-E-A-N-I-N-G/Lean lean lean lean lean lean-lean-lean. From 2 Chainz to Nas, check out the rappers dropping references to that purple stuff. —Dan Rys

40 Of The Best Hip-Hop Songs That Mention Lean

cali swag district teach me how to dougie

Cali Swag District

Hometown: Inglewood, Calif.
Members: Smoove Da General, Yung, JayAre and M-Bone
Song: “Teach Me How To Dougie”
Year: 2010
Album: The Kickback
Chart Position: No. 28 (Billboard Hot 100)
Why It Was Hot: Another track that sparked an undeniable dance craze, when "Teach Me How To Dougie" came out it seemed like you couldn't get away from it. "The Dougie" originated in Dallas, and the track sparked countless YouTube videos, parodies and imitations of the video, becoming a popular track just about everywhere. Even President Obama and Michelle Obama got in on the action, doing the dance on Ellen and Dr. Oz, respectively.
Where The Group Went: The group is currently working on projects and recently released a new video, "Pillhead," which features Cali rapper Nipsey Hu$$le. Tragically, just over a year after the song came out, the quartet was cut down to three after M-Bone was shot in a drive-by in his hometown of Inglewood.
Current Status: Together and plotting more music, including a new track with Waka Flocka Flame that's due out soon.
You Can Find Them Here: | @CaliSwagDstrct


11 Hip-Hop Songs You Remember From Groups You Probably Don’t

mc lyte lauryn hill nicki minaj best female rappers of all time
Since its beginnings, hip-hop has been a Boys Club, with female MCs often ignored or pushed to the side, boxed into the background or assuming the "eye candy" role in music videos. However, talent simply can’t—nor should—be overlooked, and artists such as Lauryn Hill and Queen Latifah have risen to international stardom in spite of hip-hop's often male-centric attitudes, producing undeniable classics along the way. While there may have been a glass ceiling that couldn’t be broken before, women have shattered most limitations these days. Having taken charge of the rap game, it’s never surprising now to see a name like Nicki Minaj killing the Billboard charts.

Today provides another example of ladies running the show. After releasing her debut album last week, Iggy Azalea’s full-length The New Classic lands at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 with 52,000 copies sold, less than a thousand fewer than perennial chart-topper Future debuted with his sophomore effort Honest. Supported by singles such as “Fancy” featuring Charli XCX and “Work,” the album marks another milestone in the perennial quest of a non-gendered rap world, with The New Classic becoming the highest-charting female hip-hop artist on the Billboard 200 since Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded hit the top of the chart in 2012. But those are just current facts; throughout history women have been able to prove themselves.

There are many different ways of assessing success, of course—sales, chart positions, influence, milestones, and legacy all come in to play when assessing who might be better than another. With all this in consideration (and with all due respect), XXL gathered the 20 best female rappers of all time, honoring those that have, or are still, breaking down the stereotypes that have slowed the way. Keep in mind that we have omitted groups—just to let all the Salt-N-Pepa and JJ Fad fans know—and stuck strictly to solo artists who have put out an album (and left things unranked). These are female MCs who have made significant strides that we felt needed to be honored. Click through to find out that made the cut. Who run this mutha? —Kiki Ayers, Kellan Miller and XXL Staff

The 20 Best Female Rappers Of All Time

rapper producer duos
Last week, XXL brought you the 10 greatest rapping duos of all time, our unranked list of the ten one-two punches that we've seen work off each other lyrically and effortlessly. The Clipse, Mobb Deep, Jay and 'Ye—they're all in there, trading bars and swapping metaphors at the genre's highest level. We made the distinction of keeping that list strictly to rappers so we could follow it up today with the best rapper/producer combinations the game has ever seen. From Eric B. and Rakim to Prodigy and Alchemist, these one-two punches offer a different variety, one in which a single rapper has developed such a chemistry with a producer that they became, in a way, synonymous with each other.

For the most part, this means that the duo has worked together for more than one album; we've made exceptions to include dynamic twosomes such as Marley Marl and Big Daddy Kane, who laid the groundwork for Kane's fantastic solo career, as well as KRS-One and Scott LaRock, who were the minds behind Boogie Down Productions before LaRock's untimely death robbed them of further collaboration. But when it comes to this list, we made one major distinction: the two must have, at one point in their careers, been synonymous with each other. 9th Wonder may be more well-known from his work with Jay Z and Little Brother, but his five albums with Murs can't be ignored, either. Timbaland and Missy Elliott may have gone their separate ways, but without Timbo's beats we would never have had Missy's flair; Snoop and Dr. Dre, for all their collaborations on The Chronic and Doggystyle, always identified as individuals first, rather than partners.

With that in mind, here are XXL's 15 greatest rapper/producer duos in hip-hop history, left unranked for our readers to decide the order. Once again, let the debates begin. —XXL Staff with Layne Weiss

15 Of The Greatest Rapper-Producer Duos Of All Time

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for XXL Mag quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!