- 46 CAN’T KNOCK THE HUSTLE RICK ROSS has overcome beefs, label politics and his law-enforcement past to rise up the ranks toward hip-hop’s elite circles. Now he’s riding past the haters with his Maybach Music Group, and with a new crew intact. Is this the start of a new dynasty in rap?
- 54 ALL FOR ONE Ricky Rozay made like Pat Riley and went o a free-agent spending spree, signing MEEK MILL, WALE and PILL. Can these former XXL Freshmen burn bright alongside the Bawse? Or will the heat be too hot for MMG’s marquee additions?
- 62 PAIN IS LOVENot only has their relationship survived, but REMY MA and PAPOOSE have grown closer while the Bronx Rapper has been behind bars. From constant visits to collect calls and everything in between, find out how these two have flourished. Family first.
- 70 RADICALSThe Los Angeles-based rap and skate crew took the Internet by storm earlier this year. Now ODD FUTURE are expanding, creating their own record label, touring worldwide, and inviting their friends to the party. Here we take a look at the motley crew and all their hangers-on.
- 72 THE WAY I AMHe arrived a born loser, but DMX grew to become one of the biggest draws in the rap game, before serial arrests, drug problems and all the discord brought him down. Fresh out of jail, Dark Man X gives a no-holds-barred interview on his plans to navigate a straight path. Bumpy road ahead.
- 78 DREAMIN’Roc Nation’s No. 1 draft pick, J. COLE, has had to earn his starting spot the old fashioned way, by riding the bench. On the heels of finally releasing his debut album, the North Carolina product is ready to move out of Jay-Z’s shadow, with his help or without it. Coming of age, the sequel.
- 82 VETERAN’S DAY As more and more MCs age away from the 106 & Park demographic, rappers find themselves turning to broader and more diversified audiences to extend their careers both overseas and in the U.S. For many of them, retirement will have to wait.
- 86 GROWN MANCompton rapper GAME keeps his name in the news, but not always for the right reasons. After working on his latest album for nearly three years, though, he claims to be a new man. Stop the presses.
- 21 360N.O.R.E. kicks off the new Murder to XXLence column, the leak-proof Watch the Throne makes a new blueprint, plus snapbacks. Wooden Jesus pieces, Common’s memoir and a day in the life of DJ Drama.
- 35 Show & Prove
Treal Lee & Prince Rick, Trouble, Don Trip, Kid Ink.
- 92 Eye Candy
Sizzling Emmaly Lugo gets it poppin’ with balloons.
- 96 The Good Life
From Hublot watches to Palmer’s lotion, check out XXL’s product pages for the hip-hop head’s everyday needs.
- 101 X-RatedLil Wayne, Styles P, Nappy Roots, Phonte, Evidence fully loaded, here are the newest reviews.
- 12 Editorial
VS sets it off.
- 18 Letters
Fans love Lil Wayne!
- 106 Doin’ Lines
Prodigy jots some down.