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How Flipp Dinero’s “Leave Me Alone” Became A Hit
Flipp Dinero may not be a household name just yet, but he’s gaining attention with his first hit “Leave Me Alone.” Released more than seven months ago, the song is just starting to experience breakout success in the US, and has already helped the…
XXXTENTACION & Kanye West’s “One Minute” Explained
XXXTENTACION’s posthumous album, SKINS, is set to be released on Friday, December 7, but today the project leaked online. SKINS‘ only feature comes courtesy of Kanye West, who has been a vocal advocate for X since the Florida rapper’s murder in June…
Drake & Meek Mill: The Beef History Behind “Going Bad”
Meek Mill’s recent Drake collaboration, “Going Bad,” marked the official end of their beef dating back to 2015. The duo first came together on Meek’s 2012 hit, “Amen,” but their relationship went south following the Philly rapper’s allegations of…
Vine’s Influence In Hip-Hop
After debuting on the App Store in 2013, the video sharing app Vine didn’t take long to form a close relationship with hip-hop. In addition to rappers making their own Vines, they frequently referenced viral clips in their songs. Meanwhile, singers…
Ski Mask The Slump God & Juice WRLD’s “Nuketown” Explained
Amongst a crowded Friday release calendar, Ski Mask the Slump God unleashed his new album, Stokeley. The project’s second track, “Nuketown,” finds Ski Mask going head-to-head with Juice WRLD, the rising Chicago rapper who previously teamed up with…
Eminem’s “Kick Off (Freestyle)” Explained
Eminem is back with “Kick Off,” a freestyle inspired by Bodied the new movie he produced about rap battle culture. The veteran MC packs it full of disturbing lyrics about violence and sexual assault, positioning it as his own battle rap inspired by…
Meek Mill, JAY-Z & Rick Ross’ “What’s Free” Explained
Meek Mill’s post-prison album, Championships, has arrived, and fans have immediately flocked to “What’s Free,” a high-profile collaboration with JAY-Z and Rick Ross. The track is produced by Tarik Azzouz and StreetRunner, and is based around a a…
Looking Back At Lil Uzi Vert’s “You Was Right”
In April 2016, Lil Uzi Vert dropped his confessional song, “You Was Right.” The Metro Boomin-produced track is taken from his third mixtape, Lil Uzi Vert Vs. The World, and became his first platinum single in March 2017. It finds Uzi rapping about…
Eminem’s Fastest Rhymes
Eminem is well-known for his rapid-fire raps. In 2013, the Detroit rapper set a new Guinness World Record for most words in a hit single with “Rap God,” packing 1,560 words into just over six minutes. However, the track isn’t even at the top on the…
6ix9ine, Kanye West & Nicki Minaj’s “MAMA” Explained
Following 6ix9ine’s arrest on federal charges of armed robbery, racketeering, and drug trafficking, the Brooklyn rapper’s debut album, DUMMY BOY, was pushed back indefinitely. In spite of the delay, the project leaked on the day after its original…
Tory Lanez & Joyner Lucas’ “Beef” Explained
The beef between Tory Lanez and Joyner Lucas has resulted in a handful of diss tracks and social media taunting, but now Lanez is saying that he has won the battle. Per Complex, the Toronto artist held a moment of silence for Lucas' career at a…
Looking Back At Chief Keef’s “Faneto”
Shortly after being dropped from Interscope in 2014, Chief Keef released the single “Faneto.” The song has become an enduring part of the Chicago rapper’s legacy, and experienced a resurgence in popularity earlier this year after a video of college…
How Kanye West’s ‘808s & Heartbreak’ Influenced A New Generation of Rap
Kanye West’s 2008 album, 808s & Heartbreak, turns ten years old this week. Inspired by the death of his mother, Donda West, as well as the end of his engagement to Alexis Phifer, the album threw fans and critics for a loop with its radical departure…
Tekashi 6ix9ine Announces New ‘DUMMY BOY’ Tracklist Hours Before Arrest
Back in September, Kanye West revealed that his upcoming album, Yandhi, would feature controversial Brooklyn rapper 6ix9ine. It appears that the two artists got busy in the studio, as the tracklist for 6ix9ine’s upcoming album, DUMMY BOY, reveals a…
How Blueface Became A Viral Star
Los Angeles rapper Blueface has only been rapping for a year, but his music videos for tracks like “Thotiana” and “Respect My Crypn'” have garnered millions of views. Both songs are taken off his EP, Famous Cryp, which the School Yard Crip dropped…
Iconic Moments From Mariah Carey’s Genius Level Interview
On November 14, Mariah Carey sat down with Genius' Head of Artist Relations Rob Markman for the latest episode of Genius Level and looked back at her illustrious career. During the interview, Mariah gave insight into her songwriting process…
Hip-Hop’s Love For ‘Harry Potter’
In June 1997, author J.K. Rowling introduced the world to a young wizard named Harry Potter, who would become the center of a multibillion dollar franchise spanning seven books and eight films. Since one of the earliest references by Canibus on Jedi…
Lil Peep’s “Life Is Beautiful” Explained
Lil Peep’s first posthumous album, Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 2, drops in just two days, and today his label released the project’s third and final single, “Life is Beautiful.” Although Peep’s recent singles, “Cry Alone” and “Runaway,” both…
Ariana Grande’s “breathin” Explained
Ariana Grande’s Sweetener is less than four months old, but the pop star has already been hinting at the release of a new project. Her recent single, “thank u, next” may serve as the new album’s title track. Today, she premiered the video for her…
Is Takeoff The Best Migo?
Atlanta trio Migos hasn’t slowed down in 2018, beginning with their second No. 1 album, Culture II, in late January. Since then, the ubiquitous rap group continued with their usual flurry of guest verses. Quavo and Takeoff have also dropped solo…
Looking Back At The ‘Pokémon’ Theme Song
The Japanese anime, Pokémon, made its American debut in September 1998, giving fans the first listen of what many people consider one of the greatest theme songs of all time. Simply titled “Pokémon Theme,” it’s written and produced by John Siegler…
J.I.D & J. Cole’s “Off Deez” Explained
J.I.D announced his upcoming project, DiCaprio 2, on Halloween, and today the Dreamville rapper followed up by releasing the swaggering J. Cole collaboration, “Off Deez.” The track is produced by ChaseTheMoney and features the rappers telling haters…
Why Doesn’t Fortnite Credit BlocBoy JB?
In 2018, BlocBoy JB not only scored his first Top 5 hit with the Drake-assisted “Look Alive,” but arguably made even more of an impact with one of the biggest dances of the year, The Shoot. The move started taking off after the Memphis rapper…
Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” Explained
Ariana Grande dropped a surprise new single “thank u, next,” which addresses several of her past relationships and her newfound focus on herself. The song came out a half-hour before the latest episode of Saturday Night Live, and she addresses ex-…
Are There Rules To Hip-Hop Beef? A Look Back At Rap’s Worst Wars
In summer 2018, Pusha-T and Drake’s feud revived the discussion about whether there are rules to rap beef. On Pusha’s diss track, “The Story of Adidon,” the G.O.O.D. Music president alluded to the illness of Drake’s close friend and collaborator…
Metro Boomin & 21 Savage’s “Don’t Come Out The House” Explained
Metro Boomin’s new solo project, NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES, features two appearances from his frequent collaborator, 21 Savage. On “Don’t Come Out the House,” 21 uses a whisper flow to describe his traumatic past. The track is co-produced by Tay…
iLOVEFRiIDAY’s “Mia Khalifa” Explained
In mid-February, YouTube duo ​iLOVEFRiDAY released its diss song, “Mia Khalifa,” after misinterpreting a fake tweet seemingly posted by the former porn star of the same name. Now, a viral video first posted on the popular social media app TikTok has…
Jay Rock & Kendrick Lamar’s “Wow Freestyle” Explained
In June, Jay Rock dropped his third studio album, Redemption. One of the most popular songs from the project is the Kendrick Lamar-assisted “Wow Freestyle.” It’s produced by Hit-Boy and features the TDE labelmates claiming their status as rap…
How SpaceGhostPurrp Influenced Hip-Hop
SpaceGhostPurrp has some high profile detractors, but his influence on today’s rap scene is undeniable. In 2008, the Miami rapper and producer founded one of the first internet collectives, Raider Klan. The group boasted future breakout star Denzel…
Tyga & Nicki Minaj’s “Dip” Explained
It’s been four years since Nicki Minaj and Tyga last appeared on a song together, linking up in 2014’s Young Money cut “Senile,” but today the former labelmates reunite on the remix of Tyga’s recent single “Dip” The track is produced by Tyga’s…
Tyga & Nicki Minaj’s “Dip” Explained
It’s been four years since Nicki Minaj and Tyga last appeared on a song together, linking up in 2014’s Young Money cut “Senile,” but today the former labelmates reunite on the remix of Tyga’s recent single “Dip” The track is produced by Tyga’s…
Trippie Redd’s “Topanga” Explained
Trippie Redd’s latest song, “Topanga,” is the lead single from his next project, A Love Letter to You 3. In contrast to the upbeat, gospel-influenced production by ChopsquadDJ, the track features the Ohio rapper warning people not to test him.…
Lil Mosey’s “Kamikaze” Explained
Lil Mosey released his major label debut project, Northsbest, in mid-October. One highlight is the opening track, “Kamikaze,” which is produced by Kid Culture and Royce David. The song’s Cole Bennett-directed music video has quickly picked up steam…
Rowdy Rebel & Bobby Shmurda’s “Computers” Explained
In 2014, Rowdy Rebel and Bobby Shmurda added momentum to their GS9 crew’s rising popularity with the buzzing single, “Computers.” The track features a menacing beat by Lil Chriiz, and came on the heels of Bobby’s viral hit, “Hot Nigga.” While “…
Cardi B’s “Money” Explained
Although Cardi B originally announced that her new single “Money” was set to drop on Thursday, she surprised fans by releasing it two days early. The track is Cardi’s first solo release since she dropped her debut album Invasion of Privacy back in…
XXXTENTACION’s Abuse Confession Released As Label Plans Posthumous Album
At the time of his murder in June 2018, Florida rapper XXXTentacion was facing a lengthy list of felony charges, including aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness-tampering, for…
Looking Back At Chief Keef’s “Love Sosa”
Chief Keef is one of the new school’s most influential rappers. “Love Sosa,” the second single from the Chicago rapper’s 2012 debut studio album, Finally Rich, is one of his earliest hits. It features production from Young Chop and remains an iconic…
Joji’s “TEST DRIVE” Explained
88rising singer Joji is just a few weeks away from the release of his debut album Ballads 1, and after sharing singles like “SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK” and “YEAH RIGHT,” he’s back with one more song before the project drops. “TEST DRIVE” is co-…
Billie Eilish’s “when the party’s over” Explained
Billie Eilish scored her first pair of Hot 100 hits this summer with her Khalid duet “lovely” and “you should see me in a crown,” the lead single from her still-untitled debut album. Today, the singer-songwriter released “when the party’s over,” a…
Lil Peep’s “Cry Alone” Explained
Long Island rapper Lil Peep tragically passed away from a drug overdose last November, but his spirit lives on. Today, Peep’s label released the music video for “Cry Alone,” the lead single off his upcoming posthumous album Come Over When You’re…
A Timeline Of Drake & Kanye West’s Beef
Drake appeared on LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s HBO series The Shop, and went into detail about how his beef with Kanye West this summer came to be. He spoke extensively about spending time working with West in Wyoming, being given the beat for…
Queen Naija’s “Mama’s Hand” Explained
“Mama’s Hand” is the latest single from YouTube star Queen Naija’s self-titled debut EP. Featuring production from ClickNPress and Rob Grimaldi, the song is dedicated to Queen’s son, CJ. The music video has struck a chord with her fans, earning over…
6LACK & J. Cole’s “Pretty Little Fears” Explained
A highlight from 6LACK’s sophomore studio album East Atlanta Love Letter is “Pretty Little Fears.” Produced by T-Minus and Yakob, the emotional ballad is his first collaboration with J. Cole and features both artists rapping to women they love.…
Kodak Black, Travis Scott & Offset’s “ZEZE” Explained
When fans listen to Kodak Black’s new single “ZEZE” with Offset and Travis Scott, it’s likely that they’ll already recognize the song’s opening instrumentation. Although the track is new, “ZEZE” has already been through the meme cycle thanks to a…
Quavo’s “HUNCHO DREAMS” Explained
Quavo and Nicki Minaj’s relationship has always been a bit of a mystery. The two rappers have been friends for years, but they were at odds back in April after the Queens MC said Quavo wouldn’t back her up about how the Migos and Cardi B…
Bad Bunny & Drake’s “MIA” Explained
Drake has been teasing a collaboration with Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny since early this year, and today the pair finally released the long-awaited track. “MIA” features production by DJ Luian & Mambo Kingz, and features both Drake and Bad Bunny…
Lil Peep & XXXTENTACION’s “Falling Down” Explained
In the past year, the rap world lost both Lil Peep and XXXTentacion. Today, the two artists posthumously collaborated for the first time on “Falling Down.” The song arrived amidst controversy among Peep’s fans, many of whom are upset about X’s…
Lil Baby’s “Close Friends” Explained
Gunna and Lil Baby’s collaborative project Drip Harder has been out for a few days now, and it’s starting to become clear which songs fans are gravitating towards. Aside from lead single “Drip Too Hard,” the most popular song from the project on…
Looking Back At Travis Scott’s “Antidote”
Travis Scott scored a major hit in 2015 with “Antidote,” which peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 late that year. Produced by Eestbound, WondaGurl, and Travis himself, the single stoked anticipation for the rapper’s debut studio album Rodeo…
Hip-Hop’s Love For ‘Superbad’ & McLovin
In 2007, the teen comedy Superbad introduced the world to McLovin. Since Wiz Khalifa first mentioned Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s unforgettable character on his song “Be Easy” that same year, McLovin has been name-checked in dozens of rap lyrics. Many…
Eminem’s “Venom” Explained
Eminem closed out his most recent album Kamikaze with “Venom,” the theme song for Marvel’s film of the same name. The track, which is co-produced by Eminem and his frequent collaborator Luis Resto, makes multiple references to the movie while also…
6ix9ine & Bobby Shmurda’s “STOOPID” Explained
6ix9ine continues his troll-powered rap career today with the release of “STOOPID,” a collaboration with jailed Brooklyn rapper Bobby Shmurda. The song’s production is handled by DJ Lethal and Tay Keith, and features a Shmurda verse seemingly…
How Sheck Wes’ “Mo Bamba” Became A Hit One Year Later
Harlem rapper Sheck Wes‘ breakout hit “Mo Bamba” didn’t arrive with a bang. In fact, its lyrics weren’t even transcribed on Genius until nearly two months after its release. Now, the song is racking up tens of millions of streams.
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow” Explained
A Star Is Born hits theaters this Friday, October 5 as the fourth iteration of the classic film first released in 1937. The movie musical stars Bradley Cooper as an aging rock musician and Lady Gaga as a bright young star and Cooper’s love interest…
Looking Back At Tyler, The Creator’s “Yonkers”
Odd Future rapper Tyler, The Creator broke out in a major way with his vulgar 2011 hit “Yonkers.” The self-produced track helped turn Tyler’s Odd Future collective into rap’s hottest names at the time, and the song eventually went Gold without ever…
Lil Wayne’s “Uproar” Explained
Although there’s plenty to digest on Lil Wayne’s new album Tha Carter V, one track seems to be catching a lot of attention online: “Uproar.” The song features production from Swizz Beatz and Avenue, and remixes G-Dep’s 2001 track “Special Delivery…
How Rap Lyrics Are Landing Rappers In Jail
When a criminal suspect is taken into police custody, their Miranda Rights give them “the right to remain silent,” with the warning that anything said “can and will be used against you in a court of law.” For many rappers, prosecutors are going a…
Lil Wayne & Kendrick Lamar’s “Mona Lisa” Explained
It’s been four years since the last time we heard Lil Wayne and Kendrick Lamar collaborate on Mike WiLL Made-It’s “Buy The World,” but today the pair reunited on Wayne’s long-awaited album Tha Carter V. The project’s eighth track “Mona Lisa…
Why Does Everyone Sound Like Young Thug?
Atlanta rapper Young Thug has transformed hip-hop since releasing his earliest mixtapes in 2011. His impact on the genre is undeniable, whether it’s his distinct sound, unmistakable flow, or fashion sense. Not only have many rappers tried to copy…
Drake, Big Sean & The Legacy of Juvenile’s “Back That Azz Up”
In 1998, New Orleans rapper Juvenile released his signature hit “Back That Azz Up” on his third studio album 400 Degreez. The Mannie Fresh-produced track, which features a memorable outro from Lil Wayne, peaked at No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 a…