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Lifelong music fans always know that there are certain songs you hear as a kid that just stick with you, no matter the genre or artist. And hip-hop heads know that without rap's history, both in its early days and the artists who came before the genre was established, much of the foundation of the culture can be lost. But while there are plenty of deep conversations to have about where different elements of hip-hop came from and how listening habits affect generations, sometimes it's easier just to take a trip down memory lane and worry about what it all means. With that in mind, XXL spoke to 17 different rappers to find out what was on each artist's playlist as a child, from N.W.A and Jay Z to Marvin Gaye and Dana Dane. Think back. —XXL Staff
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17 Rappers Unveil Their Childhood Playlists

Method Man
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13 Rappers Over 40 Who Are Still Killin’ The Game

If you haven't payed attention, there's a whole gang of rappers over 40 who are taking over hip-hop right now. From Jay Z to RZA, some of these guys have been in the game 20 years plus and remain more relevant than ever...

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animal ambition 50 cent producers
50 Cent is always thinking about how he can impact hip-hop and its structure. At the beginning of 2014, the 38-year-old MC announced he was officially going independent, leaving Interscope after more than a decade and securing greater creative control over G-Unit Records and his music. To keep things in motion, 50 signed a new worldwide distribution agreement with Caroline/Capitol/UMG for his fifth album Animal Ambition, which means he’s no longer held back by the major label system.

After a strategic marketing plan where he released a song per week in the months leading up to the project's release, Animal Ambition is officially in stores today. The 14-track LP marks 50 Cent’s return to solo form since his last album, 2009’s Before I Self Destruct, and he’s hitting all the right pockets that made him a household name in the first place in the early 2000s. On Animal Ambition, 50’s tapped his loyal circle of producers to create a smooth and gritty body of work that’s similar to his come up days. Names like Jake One ("Hustler," "The Funeral,"), Ty Fyffe ("Chase The Paper"), and Nascent ("Flip On You") are veterans in 50’s producer pool that know exactly what he's looking for. Others are fairly new, but show out on impressive radio-friendly singles and street bangers that have the potential to be summer favorites.

When someone of the caliber of 50 Cent is making the push for a comeback, it’s no question that XXL goes deeper into the project's creative process. Speaking with all 14 producers involved on the LP, we get a sense of his work ethic and, honestly, his untamed desire to win. So dust off your G-Unit sneakers and get ready for the stories behind how every track on Animal Ambition came together. This is 50’s finest hour. —Eric Diep, Christopher Harris, Christina Kelly, Chris Mench, Emmanuel C.M. and Dan Rys
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50 Cent’s “Animal Ambition” Is Predicted To Only Sell 35K

50 Cent and G-Unit are back in early 2000's form but unfortunately the predicted album sales of Animal Ambition don't match the millions sold by Ferrari and Co...

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Category: News Tags: , ,
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Tech N9ne And Murs Team Up For “Hard” Video

Tech N9ne and Murs make their first appearance together in the visuals for "Hard." The track off Tech's Strangeulation shows them in an empty, dark warehouse rapping their menacing bars straight to the camera...

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Category: News Tags: , ,
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20 Of Hip-Hop’s Most Essential Double Albums

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Tech N9ne’s ‘Strangeulation’ Cracks Top 5 In This Week’s Album Sales (5/14/2014)

For 13 non-sequential weeks, Disney’s Frozen soundtrack has been at No. 1. This week, Now That”s What I Call Music! 50 debuts with 153,000 copies that knocks out Frozen and puts the compilation at the top...

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Category: News Tags: , ,
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Tech N9ne Puts His Strange Music Roster In The Spotlight On ‘Strangeulation’

Tech N9ne is a prolific rapper. In July 2013, Tech’s 13th studio album, Something Else, took a huge leap forward in closing the gap between his indie and mainstream audiences...

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Category: Music, Reviews Tags: ,
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Tech N9ne Answers 21 Fan Questions From #AskTechAnything

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XXL Presents … #AskTechAnything

On Monday, XXL and Tech N9ne will chop it up during his promotional run for his forthcoming compilation album, Strangeulation. Instead of doing a regular interview, we’ve decided to do something a little different...

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Category: News Tags: ,
Best Hip-Hop Tweets Of The Week
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Best Hip-Hop Tweets Of The Week 4/27-5/3

From everyone anxiously waiting for Tha Carter V to all the Donald Sterling madness that went down this week, Twitter was indeed the place to be...

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