In The Cut: Drake & Rick Ross Made XXL’s Top Songs Of The Week
There's no sense in fighting it any longer—Drake has, is and will continue to dominate rap, and we're going to have to openly accept it. And as he showed us earlier this week with his 2 Chainz- and Big Sean-assisted new single, his peers have accepted it too, as their verses on Drake's single got them more attention than anything they've put out as of late (no shots at "Feds Watching"). So, as we continue to think about our past and our future and about how nothing was the same or will ever be the same, we'll do our best to pretend that other things in this hip-hop game matter.
For example, this week the previously-mentioned Big Sean released his new single "Fire" and its video, which stars rap nerd Miley Cyrus; the legendary Goodie Mob returned with a new song and video; and RiFF RaFF stopped by our offices to talk about being taken seriously (seriously).
In our weekly column called In The Cut, the diversely opinionated XXL staff celebrates another lively week in hip-hop and picks some of their favorite releases from the past week. Until next week—keep it Drakey, rap fans.
2 Chainz Ft. Cap 1 - "Where U Been?"
If you cut 2 Chainz, he bleeds instantly-catchy hooks and hilarious phrases that you just want to yell as loud as humanly possible, and the second single off his upcoming album B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time is no exception. Over a powerful Mike WiLL beat, he comes in with more immediately-quotable lines than seems humanly possible. Just know that if anyone asks "Where you been?" in the next few months, 2 Chainz has—just as he did for your birthday wishlist—provided the answer.—Dan Rys, Online Features Editor
Angel Haze - "New Slaves (Remix)"
Let's just say Angel Haze had a lot of steam she wanted to let off with this one. Freestyling over Kanye West's "New Slaves," the New York spitter passionately exposes the many injustices that she believes prevail in today's world. The remix's most prominent line comes in, ”They put the truth where you won’t look. Let’s put this shit up on this page. You know them niggas don’t read no books. No them niggas don’t read no books.” With that said, the rapstress closes the track out by continuing to unmask society's shortcomings, even taking things all the way back to the 1980s crack era. Give it a spin.—Miranda Johnson, Social Media
Drake Ft. 2 Chainz & Big Sean - "All Me"
In yet another unconventional move, Drake took to the Internet at roughly 2 a.m. earlier this week to drop his latest cut, “All Me.” It quickly sparked a large debate over if Drizzy is better than Jay Z and Kanye West, with many arguing that the Toronto native just might be. Over the chopped-up, sample-heavy beat from producer Key Wane, the OVO star asserts his dominance in hip-hop by ripping it with bars. “I heard your new shit, nigga hated it/Damon Wayans, homie don’t play that shit.” Featuring guest verses from 2 Chainz and Big Sean, the track fuels the fire for his highly anticipated new album, Nothing Was The Same.—Eric Diep, News Editor
Rick Ross - "I Wonder Why"
Even though Rick Ross is probably thousands of miles away from where I'm sitting right now, he scares the shit out of me with this song. The beat is horror movie spooky, Rozay's voice literally booms and the hook is so aggressive it doesn't even matter what makes him "wonder why." This is the type of track that'd make a classroom full of suburban middleschoolers hide under their desks, and the Trayvon reference is the most spiteful I've heard since the verdict was announced. Hearing Ross yelp, "Stand your ground! Stand your ground!" is really goosebumps-inducing.—Dan Buyanovsky, Associate Editor
Kirko Bangz Ft. Z-Ro, Slim Thug & Paul Wall - "Cup Up, Top Down"
On "Cup Up, Top Down," Houston's own Kirko Bangz pulls together a roundtable of Texan Royalty for his new single from the upcoming Progression III. On the cut, Kirko connects with H-Town legends Z-Ro, Slim Thug and Paul Wall, all of whom snap on this moody, piano-driven track dedicated to all things TX. Highlights include Z-Ro's codeine-infused verse, rapping about drinking prescription cough medicine straight up, driving swangin' boxframes and his "lightning dick in need of a thunder cunt."—B.J. Steiner, News Editor
Hodgy Beats – "HeartOfTheTitty"
Jay Z's sixth studio album, The Blueprint, was an undeniable classic. On the LP, we got heavy production by Kanye West, utilizing his signature soul-based sampling. One of the project's standout cuts came in "Heart Of The City," a track that masterfully sampled Bobby Blue Bland's "Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City" and quickly became one of Hov's best records of all time. Now, Odd Future's Hodgy Beats, takes on the instrumental to tell his own story and does so very effectively. “HeartOfTheTitty” shows off the MC's impressive wordplay and effortless flow, providing a nice "update" to the record. Take 'em to church, Hodgy.—Emmanuel C.M., Assistant Editor