LIVING IN PAIN
It’s been a huge year for rap’s most motivated thug. Not only has he had a platinum solo debut and a smash hit single, but Young Jeezy has also been inducted into President Carter’s cabinet. Yet, for some reason, ATL’s crowned prince of 2005 doesn’t seem too joyous. Let him tell you why.
MONEY ON MY MIND
He’s been shot and survived, was caught in the middle of a major breakup, switched labels, filmed a movie and started his own line of furs. Cam’ron just seems stronger than ever.
Houston’s had a huge year, but the movement hasn’t really included Lil’ Flip. Since sparring with scattered Southern rappers, the Freestyle King has struggled to keep his place. Will a new album help him earn the respect he believes he is due?
DO YOUR THING
He’s been the primary producer extraordinaire for Cash Money for well over a decade, but Mannie Fresh has finally decided to jump ship and swim on his own. So far he sure doesn’t need a life preserver.
You know you love it: XXL’s 10 Most Anticipated Albums for the New Year! Argue away.
DON CHA GET MAD
When “White Tees” dropped in 2004, most thought Dem Franchize Boyz were just a one-hit wonder. Now that those Georgia boys are back with two bangers, you’ve got to think twice about their place in the game.
TRILL RECOGNIZE TRILL
XXL and MTV Jams join forces to give you the Top 10 Moments that shook hip-hop in 2005. Agree or disagree, you will be entertained.
He wrote a book about the history of the Queens drug and rap scenes. Then he covered one of the biggest cases in hip-hop history, the Murder Inc. trial. Now journalist Ethan Brown sits down with us to reflect on his studies.
Yellow Nigga rants and raves.
FIRST OF THE MONTH
XXL got conscious with Juvenile, and you cared.
Everybody loves Paul Wall.
8Ball: Kool G Rap
Truth: Remy Ma
Hip-Hop Junkies: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Move the Crowd: Lil’ Flip
SHOW & PROVE
Nucci ReyoEYE CANDY
Get nasty with Piarry.
How We Do: Rappers flip for real estate.
Fashion: Spring’s hottest light wear
Flow: Can you smell me?
Walk This Way: A mile in these shoes…
Freestyle: Jordan kicks into gear.
Games People Play: Call of Duty 2, Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Reign of the Tech: New gadgets for the New Year
The Jump Off: Pharrell
Classic Material: Souls of Mischief
Train of Thought: Talib Kweli
Production Credit: The Beat Bullies
Official Bootlegs: The Game
Ill Techniques: DJ Ayres
Chairman’s Choice: Jay Dee
Irv Gotti puts his feet up.