1. Q: At what point do you think the features became more important than the songs themselves?

    A: A long time ago, especially for the artists that can’t carry a record on their own. And since the era of developing artists has died with record companies over 10 years ago, a lot of dudes had to come out here and figure out how to get hot on their own. A lot of the times, the novelty of a name that’s popping in the market is the easiest way. So the feature became more important than the record a long time ago. It’s unfortunate, but I think there’s a change happening: A lot of the new dudes aren’t doing it. They started to realize chasing down a hot motherfucker was a shit-ton of work, cause when a hot motherfucker think he’s hot, they become divas real quick. And it’s the bag full of shit that you’ve got to get through to get to the hot motherfucker. And the so-called motherfucker might not even be worth it, especially when you end up with some lackadaisical shit because they think they so hot, they ain’t putting the effort in no more and it was a waste of time. You’re better off putting your own blood, sweat and tears into your own shit and living or dying on your own inequity. You lose no sleep when you can’t blame nobody else for why your shit didn’t do well. It’s kind of why I put out my first single without a feature.

    — Busta Rhymes to Rolling Stone.

  2. Drake ~ 5AM In Toronto from OctobersVeryOwn on Vimeo.

    Drake, “5AM in Toronto” (Nothing Was the Same(?), 2013)

    No one is rapping better than this.

  3. Gucci Mane (left) and Marilyn Manson, apparently close buddies.
As an old Manson fan and a current Guwop fan, I support this. Now, we just need Manson to host some mixtapes. L8R, Holiday!
Photo from Miss Info’s, still the best rap blog that ends with “dot tv.”

    Gucci Mane (left) and Marilyn Manson, apparently close buddies.

    As an old Manson fan and a current Guwop fan, I support this. Now, we just need Manson to host some mixtapes. L8R, Holiday!

    Photo from Miss Info’s, still the best rap blog that ends with “dot tv.”

  4. I felt like he captured the humor that goes along with that, when you come from the hood or the inner city. In the South, you know how to be creative, you know how to make something out of nothing, you know how to make the most of the situation that just comes with from where we at. You gotta make something out of what you got. Sometimes you almost have to laugh to keep from crying to deal with the pain associated with the hood. And I feel like James Franco — drugs are serious; guns are serious; killing, murdering, shooting, everything is serious — he brought a type of humor to it that does live in the hood.

    — Gucci Mane, after being asked by Vulture what James Franco “captured best” about the hood in the South.

  5. Al Rogers, “U Must Luv Me” (2013, from the forthcoming Almost EP)

    Returning from my Slumbr to post this fantastic video/song from Baltimore rapper Al Rogers. Posted it at work, too.

    The crazy part: Apparently, this is only a snippet. Almost drops March 26.

  6. Roc Marciano, “Deeper” (Reloaded, 2012)

    no pretend shit: tennis kicks, tinted lenses / my thirst for the chips is tremendous

    (Source: youtube.com)

  7. Pitchfork: As far as success goes, you’re not hugely popular but you’ve got a seven-piece band for this current tour. How do you afford it?

    Cristopher Owens: I’m not making any money, but I view it as some sort of investment, or like buying myself a great present. When people tell me, “You could take a smaller band and make a few thousand dollars,” I say, “Fuck the few thousand dollars.” That’s a conscious decision. I’m building a legacy and making my dreams come true. What else is there? I don’t want a new car.

    — One of the many terrific exchanges from Ryan Dombal’s Q&A with ex-Girls singer Christopher Owens.

    (Source: pitchfork.com)

  8. The ProGuide Styler can give any cut you want. It’s the perfect tool for facial hair.

    — Andre 3000, the same guy rapping the third, mind-melting verse on this song.

    (Source: vibe.com)

  9. Chief Keef, “Love Sosa” [prod. by Young Chop] (Finally Rich, 2012)

    It’s the first full day I can give good kid, m.A.A.d city my attention (admirably cohesive and all-around excellent, but duh) and somehow I’ve played this new Keef banger at least a dozen times since 2 p.m. This is just wonderfully catchy rap (as is the imperative “Hate Being Sober” snippet — where’s the CDQ for that one, by the way) that reminds me of the stuff Soulja Boy tries so desperately to achieve (but only with mostly hollow results). But for Keef (and Durk, too) this stuff comes easily. And it’s obviously encouraging that Keef is sticking to his lean, insular script: Young Chop beat (on a Lex Luger-type run that I might actually be enjoying more — “MULA! PRAISE GOD! HALLELUJAH!” — than “B.M.F.’s” peak) + straight-forward D. Gainz clip (he captures Keef insanely well) + repeatable, simple-but-efficient lyrics ("she gonna clap for Sosa / he gonna clap for Sosa") = HIT I’M RUNNING BACK ALL DAY. It probably won’t maximize their investment but Interscope would be wise to let these guys just keep doing what they’re doing. It’s working.

  10. I brought Kanye West in first. He came into the editing room, and he went and wrote a beautiful song for the scene I showed him. A beautiful scene with a lot of beautiful ladies. He just said, ‘Wow, that’s beautiful. The colors is beautiful. The girls is definitely pretty.” And I said, ‘Well listen to what Lucy Liu starts to sing. That idea is all you need to take. It’s gotta be about somebody lovely.’ I had given him one other piece of advice. I said, ‘Think of Ghostface in the sense of how Ghostface did “Ice Cream” and “Wildflower,” where he kinda raps all the way through it. On “Wildflower” Ghostface does a super long verse, and Kanye’s second verse here is actually super long. We finished the song and he said to me, ‘I tried to make it Ghostface long.’

    — RZA talking to Fader about “White Dress,” a song that is just everything to me right now.

    (Source: thefader.com)

  11. Who made this beat? Not mad with that flip.

  12. I feel like it was one of those albums where people will catch on later, because I understand that with a name like that, it would take a while to go to space.

    — Future on Pluto.

    (Source: inkedmag.com)

  13. Alley Boy, “All My Life (feat. Trouble)” (The Art of Discernment, 2012)

    Trouble steals this. I’m rooting for both of these guys.

  14. Torch, “Slow Down (feat. Meek Mill, Wale, Gunplay, Stalley & Young Breed)” (UFO 2, 2012)

    This is fun. Spoiler alert: Meek and Gunplay shine most. No one should be surprised.

    (Source: youtube.com)