Lil Yachty & James Blake Talk Joint Album “Bad Cameo” With Zane Lowe

Some collaborations often catch fans off guard, and Lil Yachty and James Blake’s upcoming joint album, Bad Cameo, can fall into that category. Yet, it hasn’t been uncommon for Blake to partner with Hip Hop artists throughout his prolific career. He has worked with artists like Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé, Vince Staples, Chance The Rapper, and Frank Ocean, and was featured on the Black Panther soundtrack. Yachty’s catalog of hits speaks for itself, and these two decided to band their skills together for what they hope is an unforgettable project that both say inspired their best songwriting.

“As soon as we started making songs, and I think partly it was to do with this conversation we had pretty early on where Yachty was like, ‘James, you’ve made enough,’” Blake told Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1. “‘You’ve worked on enough Rap records. Let’s make something completely different.’ And I was like, ‘Totally, what do you feel like working on?’ And I just started playing him….it’s not that I assumed we’d make a Rap vocal collab record. I just didn’t know what he wanted to do.”

“So when he said that, I was like, ‘Great, obviously the door’s open for any type of thing I’m going to play him,” Blake added. “So, I just started playing him ambient things. Things I’d been working on actually from a similar era to the Robots‘ era stuff. If you look around here, this is all just since that. I’ve made all that stuff on and I was playing him some stuff like that. Then, he had a couple of things that he brought in that kind of matched that mood.”

Both Blake and Yachty expounded on Bad Cameo, detailing why they were drawn to work with one another in the first place. Read through a few highlights below, including lessons Yachty learned from Blake and why Blake almost swore off collaborations altogether before this partnership arose. Additionally, make sure to stream Bad Cameo when it arrives this Friday, June 28.

James Blake On Why He Wanted To Work With Lil Yachty

The thing that I think it was for me—because I already respected you as an artist in the genre you started in. To me, the music you were making already was amazing. And I think lyrically you stood out energetically. You stood out, and I just felt like every time your voice came on something, it was like, oh, I just knew there was going to be a level of quality to it. I also got a sense early on that some of the kinds of genre associations and the kinds of ways that some people felt about that genre were reflecting on you unfairly. And I could see that there was someone unbelievably special who just happened to make this kind of music. And it’s also music that I love.

Lil Yachty On What He Learned From Working With James Blake

Lil Yachty: I think I have a better understanding of quality and I feel like he pushed me to—he didn’t push me physically. Like, told me, ‘Do better.’ But just being around and experiencing him work pushed me to try to have reason in my songwriting and to just live up to the quality of James’s catalog. I didn’t want to put a project out and then his fans be upset with me. Kind of slaughtering all of the—

James Blake: That could never happen.

Zane Lowe:  No, but I do understand what you’re saying. Pushing yourself to connect to the music in a way where—

Yachty: Just to be as great as everything that he has done. No, seriously, I wanted to make sure he knew how serious I was. Because I, myself, have worked with so many artists who are just so unserious. They don’t understand true effort or just don’t apply themselves. It’s so easy to say, ‘Yeah, man, let’s make a project, man, let’s work. Let’s do an album. Let’s do a mixtape.’ But to genuinely apply yourself, show up, and devote time because it’s my time and his time that we spent to create this child. [I] just really wanted to show that I was there and this was as important to me as it was to him.

Lowe: It says less about the value it creates after the fact and more with actually just being completely present in the process.

Yachty:  Well, we just never once had a conversation about what happens after. It was always just what we liked and what we felt was right. We never was like, ‘Oh man, we going to go number one, or…’ We never had that conversation. It’s just like we went with it.

Blake: We knew that wasn’t going to happen because I’m involved. But we definitely had conversations about the ideas of the—

Lowe: The British humility at play here.

Yachty: Well, I think he’s going to possibly help me get my Grammy.

James Blake Swore Off Any More Collabs Before Working With Yachty

Blake:  I’d say before even before we even met, I decided not to do many more collaborations.

Lowe:  What was the purpose behind it? What was the thinking?

Blake: Well, my thinking was in most sessions, I don’t enjoy it that much. I think, there’s a lot of great artists, but are they going to make you laugh? Are you going to actually have a good time? Are you actually going to form a friendship that is like, you actually want to see them come into the studio? I mean, there’s a certain point in your career where you’re like, ‘Well, I don’t have to do this.’ I’m not trying to cross-pollinate fan bases and get—there’s no A&R moves anymore. I’m just making music. Not that there really ever was, but now I’m like, ‘How can I preserve my space? How can I be only have fun?’ And we just, I mean, our sessions are 99 percent unserious. This is probably the most serious conversation we’ve ever had, I think.

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Andre 3000 Tour 2024: Tickets, Dates & More

Following a series of highly praised intimate performances and major festival gigs, Andre 3000 is set to embark on a comprehensive North American tour this fall. This tour will promote his solo album, New Blue Sun, which dropped in November under Epic Records to critical acclaim. Co-produced by André and renowned multi-instrumentalist Carlos Niño, the album is entirely instrumental and showcases a variety of skilled musicians. New Blue Sun is an improvisational and celebratory auditory experience that has enthralled both audiences and critics. The tour aims to bring this distinct sound to some of the most iconic venues across the country.

Read More: Andre 3000 Reveals Smart Reason Why He Has An Instagram Account

Promoting New Blue Sun: A Focus On Jazz

Andre 3000’s tour is designed to showcase his solo jazz project, New Blue Sun, which marks a departure from his iconic work with Outkast. Released last year to critical acclaim, New Blue Sun is a fully instrumental album that highlights André’s versatility and creativity as a musician. Unlike his Outkast efforts, which are rooted in hip-hop and funk, this album embraces jazz influences and showcases André’s skills as an instrumentalist and composer. The tour will bring this unique, improvised, and celebratory piece of work to life, providing fans with an entirely new and immersive musical experience.

Tour Details

This special run of shows will feature the exceptional talents of Carlos Niño, Nate Mercereau, Surya Botofasina, and Deantoni Parks. The tour kicks off in New Orleans and will include performances at renowned venues such as The Greek Theater in Los Angeles, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, among others. Tickets will go on sale on Andre 3000’s official website on Friday, June 28th at 10am local time.

Read More: Andre 3000 Announces Summer Tour Dates

Tour Dates

New Orleans, LA – September 19 – Orpheum Theater
Dallas, TX – September 21 – AT&T PAC – Winspear Opera House
Austin, TX – September 22 – ACL Live at The Moody Theater
Houston, TX – September 25 – The Hobby Center For The Performing Arts
Albuquerque, NM – September 27 – Kiva Auditorium
Mesa, AZ – September 28 – Mesa Arts Center
San Diego, CA – October 1 – Humphreys By The Bay
Los Angeles, CA – October 2 – The Greek Theatre
Santa Barbara, CA – October 4 – Arlington Theatre
Oakland, CA – October 5 – Fox Theater
Seattle, WA – October 9 – Paramount Theatre
Vancouver, BC – October 11 – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Portland, OR – October 14 – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Salt Lake City, UT – October 16 – Eccles Theater
Denver, CO – October 17 – Ellie Caulkins Opera House
Minneapolis, MN – October 19 – Northrop
Chicago, IL – October 21 – The Salt Shed
Detroit, MI – October 22 – Masonic Cathedral Theatre
Brooklyn, NY – October 25 – BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Boston, MA – October 30 – Boch Center Wang Theatre
Philadelphia, PA – November 1 – The Met Philadelphia presented by Highmark
Akron, OH – November 2 – Akron Civic Theatre
Richmond, VA – November 8 – Altria Theater
Washington, DC – November 9 – The Kennedy Center
Durham, NC – November 12 – DPAC
Atlanta, GA – November 14 – Fox Theatre

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The 11 Best Sneakers Of 2024 So Far

Welcome to our roundup of the best sneakers of 2024 so far. From iconic Dunks to legendary Kobes and timeless Jordans, the first half of this year has delivered a stellar lineup of kicks. Featuring collaborations, tributes, and fresh designs, these releases showcase the fusion of innovation and nostalgia in sneaker culture. Below, we dive into the hottest releases that have set the stage for an exciting second half of the year.

11. NOCTA x Nike Hot Step 2 “Total Orange”

NOCTA x Nike Hot Step 2 “Total Orange”
Image via Nike

Starting our list at number 11 is the highly anticipated NOCTA x Nike Hot Step 2 “Total Orange.” This collaboration with Drake’s NOCTA label is set to make waves in the sneaker community. The vibrant “Total Orange” colorway merges NOCTA’s distinct style with the sleek design of the Hot Step 2 silhouette. The bold orange upper exudes confidence and it’s certainly one of the best sneakers Of 2024.

Read More: Drake’s NOCTA x Nike Air Force 1 Low “Love You Forever” Receives 3 New Colorways

10. Nike Kobe 8 Protro “Mambacita”

Best sneakers of 2024
Image via Nike

At number 10 on this list, we have a classic Kobe silhouette that pays tribute to his daughter. The Nike Kobe 8 Protro “Mambacita” pays homage to Kobe Bryant’s enduring legacy with a colorway dedicated to his daughter, Gigi. Combining performance and style, these sneakers embody the essence of basketball, celebrating Gigi Bryant’s vibrant spirit and passion for the game. The lively color palette mirrors Gigi’s joyful demeanor, adorned with gold-stitched Nike Swoosh logos and Kobe Bryant’s emblem on the tongues.

9. Futura Laboratories x Nike SB Dunk Low

Nike Dunk Low
Image via Nike

Next up at number 9, we delve into a highly anticipated collaboration that seamlessly merges skate culture with artistic innovation. The Futura Laboratories x Nike SB Dunk Low has already made waves, redefining sneaker design with its distinctive approach. Known for iconic designs, Futura Laboratories brings its artistic flair to the classic SB Dunk Low silhouette, captivating sneaker enthusiasts worldwide.

Read More: Nike SB PS8 “Olympic” Officially Unveiled

8. Nike Sabrina 1 “Brooklyn’s Finest”

Best Sneakers Of 2024
Image via Nike

Renowned for its comfort and excellent foot support, the Sabrina 1 enhances on-court performance with a striking blend of purple, blue, and black mesh overlays. As the WNBA gains momentum with stars like Sabrina Ionescu leading the charge, we can expect even bigger things in the second half of 2024. This sneaker not only supports athletic prowess but also celebrates the dynamic spirit of women’s basketball.

7. Nike KD 4 “Weatherman”

Nike KD 4 “Weatherman”
Image via Nike

The Nike KD 4 “Weatherman” made a triumphant return in May, reigniting nostalgia among sneaker enthusiasts. Released in 2011, this iconic silhouette gained fame for its unique “Weatherman” theme, inspired by Kevin Durant’s fascination with meteorology. The sneaker’s vibrant green and yellow colorway, mimicking weather maps, captured the imagination of fans then and continues to do so now. Its re-release not only pays homage to Durant’s early days but also reaffirms its status as a coveted piece in sneaker history.

Read More: Nike Dunk Low GS “White/Light Silver/Midnight Navy” Officially Unveiled

6. Nike Air Max Dn

Best Sneakers Of 2024
Image via Nike

Coming in at number 6, the Nike Air Max Dn. Known for its sleek design and versatile performance, the Air Max Dn blends modern aesthetics with cutting-edge technology. Each iteration showcases Nike’s commitment to comfort and style, featuring a variety of materials from breathable mesh to durable synthetics. Just off of creativity alone, this has to be one of the best sneakers of 2024, so far.

5. Air Jordan 4 “Military Blue”

Air Jordan 4
Image via Nike

Number 5 on the list is the Air Jordan 4 “Military Blue,” a timeless release renowned for its iconic color scheme and cultural significance. The Air Jordan 4 silhouette itself holds a prestigious place in sneaker history. It is celebrated for its robust design and groundbreaking innovations. The “Military Blue” colorway continues to captivate sneaker enthusiasts and collectors alike. It embodies the enduring appeal of the Air Jordan legacy.

4. Adidas AE 1 “Velocity Blue”

Best Sneakers Of 2024
Image via Adidas

Next up is the Adidas AE 1 “Velocity Blue”, a signature sneaker that gained attention during Anthony Edwards’ stellar NBA Playoff performances. This iteration showcases a striking deep blue hue, enveloping the entire sneaker for a bold and captivating aesthetic. Edwards’ influence on the court is mirrored in the design. The AE 1 “Velocity Blue” is a standout choice for fans of both performance and style.

3. Nike Dunk Low “Varsity Green”

Nike Dunk
Image via Nike

Coming in at number 3, the Nike Dunk Low “Varsity Green” continues to solidify its iconic status on this list. Known for its timeless appeal, this iteration features a pristine white leather base contrasted with rich, deep green overlays. As a testament to its classic design, the Nike Dunk Low “Varsity Green” stands out as a must-have addition to any sneaker collection. It blends heritage with contemporary style effortlessly.

2. Nike Air DT Max 96

Best Sneakers Of 2024
Image via Nike

Taking the second spot on this list is the Nike Air DT Max ’96, now available in the striking “Black/Varsity Maize” colorway. This classic sneaker effortlessly blends black and vibrant yellow, injecting a bold flair into its design. With its chunky silhouette and retro appeal rooted in the ’90s, the Air DT Max ’96 not only pays homage to its origins but also offers modern comfort and durability with premium materials and sneaker technology.

1. Air Jordan 4 “Bred Reimagined”

Air Jordan 4
Image via Nike

The top sneaker release of 2024 so far is undoubtedly the Air Jordan 4 “Bred Reimagined”. The Air Jordan 4, set for a highly anticipated comeback, has captivated sneakerheads and basketball aficionados alike with its timeless appeal. This iconic sneaker introduced innovations such as a transparent heel cushion and enhanced side support, revolutionizing sneaker design. Over the years, the Jordan 4 has embraced various colorways and collaborations, solidifying its place as a cherished icon in the sneaker world.

As always, make sure to let us know what you think about this best sneakers of 2024 list, down below. Additionally, stay tuned to HNHH for the most recent updates and news from the sneaker community. We’ll make sure to offer you the newest products from the most notable brands.

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Saweetie Essential Songs: Hits From “Icy Grl” To “Best Friend”

From the vibrant streets of the Bay Area to the top of the charts, Saweetie has become a force to be reckoned with. Known offstage as Diamonté Quiava Valentin Harper, her charismatic presence and undeniable sense of style carved out her unique space in a crowded industry. Her music is a fusion of confident anthems and women empowerment, making her a standout artist.

Since her debut, Saweetie has consistently delivered tracks that dominate the charts and become cultural staples. Her music often celebrates confidence and fun, making her a favorite among listeners. We’ll explore five essential songs that capture the essence of Saweetie’s artistry and highlight her journey from a rising star to a household name in hip-hop.

1. “Icy Grl” (2017)

“Icy Grl” is the track that put Saweetie on the map. Released in 2017, this debut single became an instant hit. Sampling Khia’s “My Neck, My Back,” Saweetie flips the narrative into an anthem of empowerment and self-confidence. Further, the song’s success is also about Saweetie’s unapologetic embrace of her ambitions and lifestyle. “Icy Grl” serves as an introduction to her persona—cool, ambitious, and self-assured. It laid the foundation for her brand, with the “icy” theme becoming a signature aspect of her image, symbolizing her love for bling and her cool, composed demeanor in the face of challenges. Saweetie’s clever use of social media helped “Icy Grl” go viral. It also earned her a deal with Warner Records and set the stage for her subsequent hits. The song’s impact is undeniable, marking the beginning of her journey to becoming a household name in hip-hop.

2. “My Type” (2019)

Saweetie’s 2019 hit “My Type” brought her into the mainstream spotlight with its unmistakable energy. Sampling Petey Pablo’s “Freek-a-Leek,” the track boasts a catchy hook that quickly became a fan favorite. Its bold, unapologetic celebration of knowing one’s worth struck a chord with listeners, propelling the song up the charts. The track peaked at No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went platinum, further cementing Saweetie’s place in the music industry.

Beyond its chart-topping success, “My Type” had a significant cultural impact. It became a summer anthem, dominating clubs, parties, and social media. Fans and influencers took to platforms like TikTok to create dance challenges and viral videos. This further spread the song’s influence even further. The playful yet assertive lyrics showcase Saweetie’s talent for blending humor with empowerment. “My Type” exemplifies Saweetie’s ability to craft entertaining and empowering music, marking a pivotal moment in her career.

3. “Tap In” (2020)

With “Tap In,” Saweetie tapped into the essence of her Bay Area roots. She delivered a track that is both a nod to her origins and a testament to her growing influence in hip-hop. Released in 2020, the song samples Too $hort’s classic “Blow the Whistle,” blending nostalgia with a fresh, modern twist. Further, “Tap In” quickly became a summer hit. It climbed the Billboard Hot 100 and earned platinum certification. Its production made it a favorite for radio play and social media challenges.

Moreover, the resonance of “Tap In” extended beyond its chart performance. The track’s message resonated with a wide audience, especially those familiar with the Bay Area’s unique sound. “Tap In” celebrates Saweetie’s heritage and her ability to bring regional sounds to a global audience, further solidifying her status as a versatile and influential artist in the contemporary music scene.

4. “Best Friend” (Feat. Doja Cat) (2021)

“Best Friend,” featuring Doja Cat, is a vibrant anthem celebrating friendship and women empowerment. Released in early 2021, this collaboration between two of hip-hop’s rising stars quickly captured the public’s imagination. The song’s beat, playful lyrics, and undeniable chemistry between Saweetie and Doja Cat made it an instant hit. This track also peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned multiple platinum certifications.

Additionally, the track’s impact goes beyond its commercial success. “Best Friend” became a phenomenon, inspiring countless TikTok challenges, memes, and social media posts. Its message and a fun and carefree vibe echoed particularly with young women. Saweetie and Doja Cat’s dynamic performance in the music video, filled with luxury, humor, and camaraderie, further cemented the song’s place as a feel-good hit of the year. “Best Friend” exemplifies Saweetie’s ability to craft entertaining and meaningful songs, reinforcing her position as a key voice in contemporary hip-hop.

5. “Back To The Streets” (Feat. Jhené Aiko) (2020)

“Back to the Streets,” featuring Jhené Aiko, showcases Saweetie’s more introspective side. Released in late 2020, this track diverges from her typical high-energy anthems, offering a smooth and soulful vibe highlighting her versatility as an artist. The collaboration with Jhené Aiko, known for her ethereal voice and serene presence, adds depth and harmony to the song, making it a standout in Saweetie’s discography.

The song’s lyrics tell a story of moving on and reclaiming one’s independence after a relationship, resonating with anyone who has experienced the complexities of letting go. Saweetie’s lyrical delivery is reflective and empowering, while Jhené Aiko’s soothing vocals perfectly complement the theme. “Back to the Streets” received critical acclaim for its mature and nuanced approach to self-worth and personal growth themes. The track broadened Saweetie’s musical range and reinforced her ability to connect with listeners on a deeper emotional level.

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Summer Smash 2024: 7 Most Memorable Performances Of The Weekend

Summer Smash 2024 was an unforgettable weekend jam-packed with explosive performances and lively crowds. Fans got the opportunity to see some of the biggest acts in hip-hop right now and to be exposed to fresh up-and-coming artists. Needless to say, the festival made for some seriously unforgettable and even historic sets. Check out some of our favorites down below.

Read More: Lil Yachty Sparks Intense Debate About Culture Vultures After Bringing Ian On Stage During Summer Smash

Chief Keef

Chief Keef’s set needs little to no explanation. It was the first time he performed in his hometown of Chicago in over a decade, and as a result, there was a great deal of hype leading up to the show. Throughout the entire weekend, it felt as though one couldn’t make it 15 minutes without hearing a Chief Keef song, so the bar was certainly set high. The hitmaker managed to strike a solid balance of fresh material and old hits, keeping attendees of all generations more than entertained. His stage presence and energy were infectious, making it one of the most exciting and memorable sets of the fest. It also featured guest appearances from G Herbo, Chief Keef’s eldest daughter, and more.

Flo Milli

It’s no secret that Flo Milli has found a great deal of success with her viral hits over the past couple of years, earning herself a fiercely loyal fanbase. Regardless, her set felt like one of the most intimate of the entire weekend. Early on, the femcee started to mingle with the crowd, taking photos, signing autographs, and more. Her fun and energetic stage presence was also unmatched, and she managed to seamlessly breeze through old and new material without losing any steam. As one of the few female artists on the lineup, she clearly had big shoes to fill. Fortunately, she did so without missing a beat.

Read More: Exclusive: BIA Sends A Message To Her Haters Following Her Summer Smash Set

Ken Carson

Ken Carson managed to rally a strong crowd at Summer Smash, and he definitely didn’t disappoint. The Atlanta-born artist performed some of his biggest hits, sprinkled in a fair amount of new material, and did so with some serious energy. His memorable stage presence was only compounded by his audience’s dedication, making for a fun and impressive set.

Read More: Kendrick Lamar Really Popped Out: The West Coast Is Back On Top


Bktherula’s performance on day one of Summer Smash was nothing short of impressive. Her stage presence was explosive, and within minutes, she had the entire crowd wrapped around her finger. The Atlanta-born artist delivered banger after banger, putting both her rapping and singing skills on full display. Attendees certainly didn’t fail to match her energy, making for one of the most fun sets of the weekend.


Lucki took the stage on the final day of Summer Smash 2024, and was quickly greeted by a great deal of hometown love. His command of the crowd was a sight to be seen as he rolled through hit after hit. He opened with a couple of tracks from Flawless Like Me, and the moshing was immediate. As he moved through his discography, neither him or the crowd lost any steam. This made for one of the most lively shows of the weekend.

Cactus Jack

Cactus Jack headlined the first day of Summer Smash 2024 and set the tone for the entire weekend with their electric performance. SoFaygo kicked things off, followed by Sheck Wes, Don Toliver, and finally Travis Scott. Having such an impressive lineup of artists grace the stage back-to-back made for an amped crowd, and each of them surely did their part to keep everyone engaged. Again, they managed to seamlessly weave in both old and new material throughout the set, and fittingly closed the show with a fireworks display.

Playboi Carti

Playboi Carti drew a feral crowd at Summer Smash 2024, and understandably so. The hitmaker’s energy was on ten throughout the entire set, and his audience certainly didn’t disappoint. He premiered unreleased music, brought out the rest of his Opium crew, and more. This was perhaps the most lively performance of the whole festival and was only made more memorable by onstage theatrics, pyrotechnics, and more.

Read More: Bad Bunny Finally Comes Home & Closes His “Most Wanted” Tour With Stellar Puerto Rican Shows: Review

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ScHoolboy Q Essential Songs

ScHoolboy Q is a cornerstone of the West Coast rap scene. His gritty lyricism and raw storytelling have carved out a distinctive niche. Emerging from the shadows of the Los Angeles hip-hop underground, Q’s journey with Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) has been nothing short of transformative. His music is a visceral journey through the highs and lows of his life. It blends street tales with introspective moments, making him a quintessential figure in contemporary rap. With his deep voice and compelling narratives, ScHoolboy Q has consistently pushed boundaries. Further, he delivers tracks that resonate with authenticity and a rugged charm that’s hard to replicate.

From the hard-hitting verses of Habits & Contradictions to the introspective depth of Oxymoron and the stark reflections in Blank Face LP, Q’s discography is a testament to his evolution as an artist. His ability to seamlessly merge personal struggles with universal themes has earned him a loyal following and critical acclaim. Tracks like “Man of the Year” and “Numb Numb Juice” have dominated charts. They cemented his status as a formidable force in hip-hop. Exploring ScHoolboy Q’s essential tracks, we delve into the songs defining his career.

1. “Hands On The Wheel” Ft. A$AP Rocky (2012)

From the mixtape Habits & Contradictions, “Hands on the Wheel” is a pivotal track in ScHoolboy Q’s career. Featuring A$AP Rocky, this song encapsulates the rebellious spirit and hedonistic lifestyle that marked Q’s early years in the industry. The beat, produced by Best Kept Secret, blends dark, pulsating rhythms that perfectly complement the carefree yet defiant lyrics. Moreover, “Hands on the Wheel” quickly gained traction for its seamless chemistry between Q and Rocky. The track explores themes of excess and escapism. This collaboration highlighted Q’s ability to create memorable hooks and verses and established his place within the broader rap community.

2. “Collard Greens” Ft. Kendrick Lamar (2013)

“Collard Greens,” featuring Kendrick Lamar, is a track from ScHoolboy Q’s major-label debut album, Oxymoron. This single showcases the dynamic chemistry between Q and Lamar. Produced by THC and Gwen Bunn, the song’s upbeat, party-ready vibe is underscored by complex lyrics exploring indulgence and escapism themes. Further, the track became a commercial success, peaking at No. 92 on the Billboard Hot 100 and earning critical praise for its innovative production and lyrical depth. “Collard Greens” solidified ScHoolboy Q’s position in the mainstream rap scene. It proved his ability to craft hits that resonate with a wide audience. The collaboration with Kendrick Lamar further boosted its appeal, showcasing TDE’s talent pool and their influence on contemporary hip-hop. The song remains a fan favorite and a key highlight in Q’s discography.

3. “Man Of THe Year” (2014)

“Man of the Year,” a hit single from ScHoolboy Q’s album Oxymoron, captures the artist at his most celebratory. The track features a vibrant, upbeat production by Nez & Rio, incorporating a sample from Chromatics’ “Cherry.” With its hook and party-ready vibe, “Man of the Year” became an anthem for celebration and success. The song’s upbeat energy and catchy chorus quickly made it a favorite among fans. It even earned significant airplay and charted on the Billboard Hot 100. “Man of the Year” showcases ScHoolboy Q’s ability to create feel-good music that still carries his signature edge. The track’s success helped further establish Q’s reputation in hip-hop, highlighting his appeal.

4. “Studio” Ft. BJ The Chicago Kid (2014)

“Studio,” featuring BJ the Chicago Kid, is another track from ScHoolboy Q’s Oxymoron album. This smooth, sultry song explores themes of longing and desire. It contrasted sharply with the grittier tracks on the album. Swiff D’s production features a mellow beat and melodic undertones that perfectly complement Q’s reflective lyrics and BJ’s soulful hook. Moreover, the song became a commercial hit. It reached No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned acclaim for its laid-back vibe. “Studio” showcases a different side of ScHoolboy Q, highlighting his ability to delve into more personal and intimate themes. This track expanded his artistic range and resonated with a broader audience, proving his versatility as an artist. Its success solidified “Studio” as a key track in Q’s discography.

5. “That Part” Ft. Kanye West (2016)

“That Part,” featuring Kanye West, is a standout track from ScHoolboy Q’s album Blank Face LP. The song is built on a hypnotic beat produced by Cubeatz, Cardo, and YeX. It created a dark, moody atmosphere that complements the introspective and braggadocious lyrics. The collaboration between Q and Kanye adds a dynamic layer to the track. Both artists delivered memorable verses that explored themes of success and excess. The track quickly gained popularity, peaking at No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100. The high-profile collaboration and the infectious, repetitive hook, “That part, ” bolstered its success. The chemistry between ScHoolboy Q and Kanye West is palpable. Each brought their unique style to the track while maintaining a cohesive sound.

6. “Dope Dealer” Ft. E-40 (2016)

“Dope Dealer,” featuring E-40, is once again a track from ScHoolboy Q’s Blank Face LP. Produced by Southside and Metro Boomin, the song dives deep into the gritty realities of street life. Q delivers unfiltered verses about the drug trade. E-40’s distinctive flow adds another layer of authenticity and intensity to the track, making it a standout collaboration. The production of “Dope Dealer” is dark and menacing, perfectly complementing the subject matter. The beat’s heavy bass and haunting melodies set the stage for Q’s vivid storytelling as he navigates the dangers and allure of street life. Additionally, “Dope Dealer” was praised for its honest portrayal of a harsh reality. The collaboration with E-40, a legend in his own right, further solidified Q’s position in the hip-hop community.

7. “Numb Numb Juice” (2019)

“Numb Numb Juice” is the lead single from ScHoolboy Q’s fifth studio album CrasH Talk. It is a fiery and aggressive track that showcases Q’s raw energy and unfiltered lyricism. Produced by DJ Fu and Nez & Rio, the track is concise yet impactful, with Q packing a punch in its brief two-minute runtime. The song’s lyrics also reflect a no-nonsense attitude, with Q addressing his critics and asserting his dominance in the rap game. The production is gritty and intense, creating an urgent and electrifying atmosphere that draws listeners in from the first beat.

“Numb Numb Juice” was met with positive reviews, praised for its high energy and Q’s compelling performance. The accompanying music video, filled with vibrant visuals and homages to classic hip-hop videos, further amplified the track’s impact. The song’s success reaffirmed ScHoolboy Q’s position as a leading voice in contemporary hip-hop, showcasing his ability to deliver tracks that resonate with long-time fans and new listeners.

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Kendrick Lamar’s The Pop Out: The 5 Best Moments

The Drake and Kendrick Lamar beef has been heavy on our minds this year. Perhaps, it’s largely because everyone is being forced to pick a side. Impassioned fans are glued to Instagram and YouTube comments where they attempt to discredit the other artist for one reason or another. Mind you, this battle was only about numbers because one of the participants happened to be the most streamed artist in the world. At its core, it boiled down to the music.

We’re at an interesting crossroads in the music industry where streaming numbers don’t translate to ticket sales. Several reports emerged recently about some of the top streaming artists struggling to sell tour tickets, raising concerns surrounding the authenticity of streaming numbers. Earlier this week, an individual appeared on DJ Akademiks’ stream where he alleged that Anthony Saleh, Kendrick Lamar’s manager, hired him to inflate the number of views on “Not Like Us,” the rapper’s chart-topping song that disses Drake, using bots. Joe Budden stated that he was aware (and doesn’t care) of the alleged bot scandal. Meanwhile, several fans attempted to debunk the claim. But, with Kendrick Lamar’s The Pop Out – Ken & Friends concert, it became apparent that the hype was far from fabricated.

The incredible event hosted by pgLang and Free Lunch unified the West Coast. Kendrick reunited Black Hippy on stage for the first time in years and shared the stage with dozens of L.A. rappers. While the majority of viewers didn’t get the opportunity to witness history made inside of the Kia Forum in person, we all tuned in from the comfort of our homes to find out exactly what Kendrick Lamar and co. had up their sleeves. So, without further ado, we’re diving into our five favorite moments from last night’s event.

5. Tommy The Clown

If the point of Kendrick Lamar’s The Pop Out was to honor the legacy of the West Coast, it wouldn’t have been complete without a staple in the city: Tommy The Clown. DJ Hed introduced the pioneer of clowning to the stage where Tommy brought along his dance crew for an electrifying performance. 

The Los Angeles-based dancer played a key role in the evolution of hip-hop dance. More importantly, he established a dance crew titled Hip Hop Clowns which offered an outlet for kids in the city. “No gangs, No drugs, Do well in school (grades, attendance, and behavior), and be a role model by living a positive lifestyle at all times” are the rules that Tommy established. Decades later, his legacy as a community leader became as important as his impact on dance. During his performance last night, he empowered the youth and allowed them on one of the biggest stages to get a glimpse of where hard work can lead. It was a perfect performance that underlined the significance of the event; yes, it was a victory lap for Kendrick Lamar but it was also a showcase of the raw talent in Los Angeles. 

Read More: Tommy The Clown Receives His Flowers After Pulling Up To Kendrick Lamar’s “Pop Out” Concert

4. Dr. Dre’s Cameo

Nearly thirteen years ago, Dr. Dre sat in the crowd of the Music Box Theatre in Los Angeles as The Game, Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, Daz, and Warren G passed the West Coast torch to Kendrick Lamar. It’s a moment that lived on in history together, and felt even more important when they joined the stage at Coachella in 2012 to perform “The Recipe.” However, after over a decade of working together closely, Dr. Dre’s appearance at the Kia Forum for The Pop Out felt like an even more significant milestone in Kendrick Lamar’s career.

Performing “Still D.R.E.” felt appropriate for the venue but the inclusion of “California Love” in the setlist was a direct message to Kendrick’s opponent, who he told, “Give me 2Pac ring back and I might give you a little respect” in a lyric change on “Euphoria” at the beginning of the set. Drake might be flaunting a piece of American history on his finger, but the collective West Coast resentment toward “Taylor Made Freestyle” felt palpable at that moment. So, when Dr. Dre helped introduce “Not Like Us,” it became clear that the West Coast is unified, from the OGs who broke down the doors to the young L.A. artists who are carrying on the tradition. 

Read More: Kendrick Lamar Really Popped Out: The West Coast Is Back On Top

3. DJ Mustard’s Set – YG, Roddy Ricch, Tyler, The Creator, Steve Lacy, Dom Kennedy & More

DJ Hed and DJ Mustard set the tone for Kendrick Lamar’s The Pop Out show but the latter truly gave us a history lesson on the last decade-plus of Los Angeles’ sound. Mustard has undoubtedly been an architect evolving the West Coast and his set certainly reflected his impact. Collaborators like YG and Roddy Ricch turned out the Kia Forum with the intensity of hit records like “BPT” and “The Box,” respectively, while understated Los Angeles legends, JasonMartin (F.K.A. Problem) and Dom Kennedy glided through the stage in a cool-and-calm fashion while igniting the crowd with L.A. Pride. However, the versatility of Mustard’s set with the inclusion of Tyler, The Creator, Ty Dolla $ign, and Steve Lacy further embodied the West Coast’s impact outside of California, too.

Read More: Tyler The Creator Almost Starts An Earthquake After Surprising Fans At Kendrick Lamar’s “Pop Out” Show

2. Black Hippy Reunites On Stage

Listen, we’ve basically been left hanging on the possibility of a Black Hippy album. Plus, Kendrick’s departure from Top Dawg Entertainment left little hope of the project ever happening. In the past few years of Kendrick launching pgLang and embarking on a journey outside of the label that he launched his career with, many wondered where exactly he stands with Jay Rock, ScHoolboy Q, and Ab-Soul. It’s been a minute since we’ve seen them together.

For the sake of the evening, Jay Rock, ScHoolboy, and Soulo appeared on stage one-by-one to reunite Black Hippy for the first time in a long time. Though Kendrick performed songs like “Money Tree” with Jay Rock and “Collard Greens” with ScHoolboy Q, it felt a tad disappointing that he limited Ab-Soul’s appearance ad-libs on “6:16 In L.A.” Regardless, it was an important moment, one that we’ve been waiting on for years but what could’ve elevated it even further was if they performed “Vice City,” “Black Lip Bastard,” or even “THat Part (Remix)” together.

Read More: Kendrick Lamar & Black Hippy Finally Give Fans The Reunion They Dreamed Of At “The Pop Out”

1. Unifying L.A.

The most important part of the evening came at the end of the show after Kendrick had already performed “Not Like Us” three times in a row. Yes, it was a spectacular moment to hear the song live for the first time, whether in the venue or at home. However, it became a critical piece to Kendrick’s thesis for the night: bringing Los Angeles together.

When “Not Like Us” first came out, rumors emerged that its infectious production and chorus had practically created an unspoken ceasefire in the city – members of all gangs unified to celebrate a victory on the West Coast. However, it became true as all the performers, hailing from different sections of the city and claiming various sets, emerged on stage together to celebrate the success of the event. From Bloods to Crips, Kendrick stood alongside each as equals, shaking hands as he performed his hit single and grinning from ear-to-ear.

“This shit making me emotional. We been fucked up since Nipsey [Hussle] died. We been fucked up since Kobe [Bryant] died. This is unity at its finest,” Kendrick said on stage as he attempted to gather everyone together for what will certainly be regarded as an iconic photo. “We done lost a lot of homies to this music shit, to this street shit. For all of us to be together on stage, that shit is special. Everybody on this stage got fallen soldiers.”

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Kendrick Lamar Essential Songs

Kendrick Lamar has earned his place as one of the most influential voices in hip-hop. Since bursting onto the scene with his major label debut, Lamar has continuously pushed the boundaries of the genre, earning critical acclaim. His ability to weave personal experiences with broader societal issues has also garnered him numerous awards. These include multiple Grammys and a Pulitzer Prize, but also established him as a cultural icon. Kendrick’s music resonates deeply with listeners, addressing themes of identity, struggle, and poetry.

Additionally, Kendrick Lamar has delivered a series of essential tracks that showcase his evolution as an artist and his impact on the music industry. From the introspective narratives of good kid, m.A.A.d city to the revolutionary fervor of To Pimp a Butterfly and the introspective yet accessible DAMN., Lamar’s discography emphasizes versatility and depth. In this exploration of Kendrick Lamar’s essential songs, we’ll dive into the tracks that have defined his career, highlighting the lyrical brilliance and cultural significance that make him a standout figure in contemporary music.

1. “A.D.H.D” (2011)

In 2011, Kendrick Lamar released “A.D.H.D,” a track from his critically acclaimed album Section.80. This song delves into the mindset of the millennial generation. It addresses themes of drug use, peer pressure, and societal disillusionment. Lamar’s storytelling ability shines as he paints a vivid picture of young adults navigating a world filled with distractions and temptations. Lamar captures the essence of a generation coping with their realities through substance use.

The production, featuring a haunting beat and minimalist instrumentation, complements the song’s introspective and somber tone. Further, “A.D.H.D” showcases Lamar’s lyrical ability to convey complex themes in a relatable and impactful way. The track quickly became a fan favorite and a defining moment in his early career. It also set the stage for his future explorations of deeper social issues. Through “A.D.H.D,” Kendrick Lamar established himself as a voice of his generation, unafraid to tackle the harsh truths of modern life.

2. “Not Like Us” (2024)

“Not Like Us,” released in 2024, is Kendrick Lamar’s pointed diss track directed at Drake. This song is notable for its intense lyricism and biting commentary, showcasing Lamar’s skill in crafting incisive and impactful verses. Over a hard-hitting beat produced by Mustard, Lamar dissects his rivalry with Drake, addressing issues of authenticity and respect in the rap game. Lines like “They not like us, they not like us, they not like us” repeatedly emphasize the perceived differences between Lamar and his peers.

The song quickly became a viral sensation, breaking records and topping charts. “Not Like Us” not only highlighted Lamar’s lyrical prowess but also reaffirmed his position as a fearless voice in hip-hop, unafraid to confront industry heavyweights. The track’s success and the conversations it sparked underscore Lamar’s influence and the power of his music to shape and challenge narratives. This diss track adds a significant chapter to Lamar’s discography. It further reflects his unwavering commitment to authenticity and artistic integrity.

3. “Swimming Pools (Drank)” (2012)

“Swimming Pools (Drank)” from the album good kid, m.A.A.d city is one of Kendrick Lamar’s most iconic tracks. It offers a deep exploration of alcohol use and its effects. The song delves into the complexities of peer pressure and addiction, with Lamar’s storytelling paints a vivid picture of the temptations and consequences of excessive drinking. The track is both catchy and haunting, illustrating the repetitive cycle of substance abuse.

The production, crafted by T-Minus, features a dark, atmospheric beat that complements the song’s introspective lyrics. “Swimming Pools (Drank)” was a commercial success, peaking at No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also became a staple at parties, despite the lyrics. However, its popularity didn’t overshadow its serious message. Lamar used the platform to highlight the dangers of alcohol and the pressures faced by young people.

4. “Alright” (2015)

“Alright” is from Kendrick Lamar’s groundbreaking album To Pimp a Butterfly. It stands as one of the most powerful anthems of hope in contemporary hip-hop. Produced by Pharrell Williams, the track combines an uplifting, jazzy beat with Lamar’s introspective and socially charged lyrics. With its infectious chorus, “We gon’ be alright,” the song quickly became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement and other social justice causes. It symbolized strength and solidarity in the face of adversity.

The song’s impact extends far beyond its musical composition. “Alright” resonated deeply with listeners as a message of perseverance amid systemic oppression and personal struggles. Lamar’s verses weave through themes of police brutality, racial injustice, and personal redemption, capturing the collective consciousness of a generation demanding change. Moreover, critically acclaimed and widely celebrated, “Alright” earned multiple awards and nominations. These include four Grammy nominations. It became more than just a song; it became an anthem for a movement. “Alright” solidified Kendrick Lamar’s role as a voice for the voiceless, using his platform to inspire and mobilize.

5. “HUMBLE.” (2017)

“HUMBLE.,” released as the lead single from Kendrick Lamar’s critically acclaimed album DAMN., is a hard-hitting track. Produced by Mike Will Made It, the song features a minimalist beat with a booming bass line and sharp piano riff. “HUMBLE.” is both a boastful anthem and a critique of superficiality in the music industry. Lamar urged listeners to “sit down, be humble” while asserting his dominance in the rap game.

The track quickly ascended the charts, becoming Lamar’s first solo No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100. Its success was bolstered by a visually striking music video directed by Dave Meyers and the Little Homies. It also includes powerful imagery and symbolic references, from religious iconography to scenes challenging beauty standards. The video’s creativity and boldness matched the intensity of the song, making it a standout visual experience.

6. “DNA.” (2017)

“DNA.,” from Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN., is a powerful exploration of identity and heritage. Produced by Mike Will Made It, the opening lines, “I got loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA,” set the tone for a song that delves into the intrinsic strength and pride Lamar derives from his cultural background. Further, the song is divided into two parts. The dramatic beat switch halfway through that amplifies the track’s energy. This shift showcases Lamar’s versatility, allowing him to seamlessly adapt his flow to different musical styles. “DNA.” highlights his lyrical brilliance and ability to weave personal and collective narratives, examining how history and identity intertwine.

7. “The Heart Part 4” (2017)

“The Heart Part 4” was released as a promotional single in 2017. This song is part of his ongoing “The Heart” series, where Lamar often addresses personal, social, and political themes. In “The Heart Part 4,” he delivers a scathing critique of the current state of affairs in both the music industry and society at large. Additionally, the track’s production is dynamic, shifting between various beats and moods that highlight Lamar’s versatility and command over his craft. He opens with a reflective tone, gradually building intensity and culminating in a powerful call to action. “The Heart Part 4” also stirred excitement among fans. The song is celebrated for its lyrical complexity, intricate wordplay, and Lamar’s unapologetic delivery. This further reinforced his position as one of the most influential and thought-provoking artists in contemporary hip-hop.

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Kendrick Lamar Really Popped Out: The West Coast Is Back On Top

It’s officially Juneteenth in Los Angeles, and there was only one place to be: Kendrick Lamar’s show at the Kia Forum. This was Kendrick Lamar’s The Pop Out – Ken & Friends concert, and the Compton native capitalized on the moment by allowing fans across the world to tune in. The show was live-streamed on Prime Video and Amazon Music‘s Twitch Channel, courtesy of pgLang (Kendrick and Dave Free’s media company) and Free Lunch.

Pulling up to the venue in Inglewood, California, it was immediately apparent what fans were waiting for: Kendrick Lamar to perform his viral smash “Not Like Us,” which instantly solidified the victor in the Drake vs. Kendrick beef. When the song dropped toward the end of the show, Kendrick had the entire West Coast lit, screaming in unison, “Ayy, Mustard on the beat ho!” 

Read More: Kendrick Lamar & His Explosive “Pop Out” Show Have Fans Hilariously Speculating On Drake’s Reaction To It

DJ Mustard’s Los Angeles All-Stars

With “Not Like Us” produced by Mustard himself, it was only right to have him open right before Kendrick. But we didn’t expect the all-star roster of artists he was about to bring out. First up with rookie 310Babii who has the summer smash “Soak City.” Then came LA favorites BLXST, Ty Dolla $ign, Dom Kennedy, Steve Lacy, Tyler The Creator, Roddy Ricch, and YG in that order. 

With everyone on a high from YG’s “BPT,” it was finally time for Kendrick to take the stage. The beauty in attending this concert in person is witnessing Kendrick Lamar make history in real time while feeling the camaraderie in the entire stadium. People of all ages and ethnicities were gathered here, all purchasing a ticket to support one the greatest artists to ever do it.

Soon, the impatience kicked in as fans started cheering “O-V-Ho!” There are so many quotable lyrics in “Not Like Us,” and Kendrick made a point to give everyone their money’s worth. He ascended from underneath the stage, emerging from the floor in a squatting pose. 

Read More: Kendrick Lamar “The Pop Out:” Full List Of Guests And Performances

Sometimes You Gotta Pop Out

He kicked off with “Euphoria,” the fiery response to Drake’s “Push Ups” and “Taylor Made Freestyle.” And while the die-hard fans were screaming the lyrics verbatim, a noticeable lyric change may have gone over some people’s heads at first. “Give me Tupac’s ring back and I might give you a little respect,” he rapped, referencing a ring owned by the late great Tupac Shakur that Drake purchased at an auction. Drake confirmed he bought this ring in a social media post before seemingly alluding to the purchase in Travis Scott’s “Meltdown”: “I pull out a million to stare at this shit.”

Read More: Kendrick Lamar Urges Drake To Give Him Back Tupac’s Ring In “Euphoria” Lyric Remix

I Don’t Do It From The ‘Gram, I Do It For Compton!

When the lights came on, you could finally see Kendrick’s fit: a red hoodie, red cap, jeans, black glasses, and a huge chain around his neck. A few chains actually, with one being a huge cross pendant. Fans speculate this paid homage to Tupac’s iconic red fit at The Source Awards in 1994. It’s the details for us! 

Regardless if you’re from L.A. or not, you were proud as f*ck to be in the building tonight. It became even more clear as the Compton star ran through hit records from To Pimp A Butterfly and DAMN. Kendrick proceeded to perform catalog staples like “DNA.”, “Alright,” and “ELEMENT” —  in which fans screamed, “I don’t do it for the ‘Gram, I do it for Compton!” 

Read More: LeBron James Spotted In The Crowd At Kendrick Lamar’s “Pop Out” Concert

The Long-Awaited Black Hippy Reunion

At this point, it was time for Kendrick to bring out his TDE family. Jay Rock was first up, as fans were reminded of their standout collaboration on “Money Trees.” But it was Jay Rock’s “WIN” that stole the show. Ab-Soul was next, joining Kendrick Lamar on stage to perform “6:16 In L.A.” and giving a shout-out to Carson. ScHoolboy Q followed for “Collard Greens” and “THat Part,” before Black Hippy stuck around on stage to dance along to “King Kunta.” From there, Kendrick led into an arsenal of bangers including “m.A.A.d. city,” “HUMBLE.”, and his explosive verse on Future and Metro Boomin’s “Like That.” There was definitely a moment of wondering: is Future or Metro going to pop out, too?! Especially since Metro was just in Los Angeles for his comic book pop-up less than a week ago. 

Read More: Kendrick Lamar And Ab-Soul Perform “6:16 In LA” During “Pop Out” Show

California Love, For Real

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any more lit, Kendrick brought out the one and only Dr. Dre. The moment the piano-laden intro for “Still D.R.E.” begins, the entire Kia Form erupted with cheer as Dr. Dre emerged from the stage’s floor. “You know I had to come back and do this kinda sh*t in my hometown. Especially, one of the greatest to ever did it! Can y’all make some noise for Kendrick f**king Lamar?” Dr. Dre told the crowd. Kendrick then asks the crowd to make noise for Compton, California, before performing “California Love” by Tupac. Iconic is an understatement!

But, my personal favorite part of the show happened right before Dr. Dre was about to leave the stage. The N.W.A legend began making his exit, and Kendrick convinced him to make one last statement to the crowd. Dr. Dre then kneeled down and whispered: “Psst, I see dead people,” before the infectious production of “Not Like Us” dropped. You can’t make this shit up.

Why you trollin’ like a b**ch? Ain’t you tired?/ Tryna strike a chord and it’s probably A minorrrrr.” Kendrick held this note and did his little dance move in the air, only to run back “Not Like Us” from the top. He ended up playing it a total of seven times for the evening, and we were all here for it.

Read More: Kendrick Lamar Performs “Euphoria” Live For The First Time: Watch

Popping Out 7 More Times

History was made tonight. Kendrick united all the gangs and hoods in the building, from Bloods to Crips to everything in between. And he made a point to stand on two important values: peace and love. “We done lost a lot of homies to this music shit, lotta homies to the street sh*t,” he said.

The grand finale brought Mustard back on stage to run back “Not Like Us” for the fourth time, before eventually bringing out all the artists in the building. From the new generation to the OGs, K. Dot highlighted the city in the most beautiful way possible. “We’ve been f*cked up since Nipsey died, hold up. We’ve been f*cked up since Kobe died, hold up!”

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Remy Ma Essential Songs

Remy Ma is a hip-hop powerhouse. She first gained prominence as a member of Fat Joe’s Terror Squad in the early 2000s, where her standout verses on tracks like “Lean Back” showcased her commanding presence. Despite facing significant challenges, including a six-year prison sentence, Remy Ma’s comeback has been nothing short of remarkable. Her determination has solidified her reputation as one of the most formidable women rappers in the industry.

Throughout her career, Remy Ma has dropped many impactful tracks highlighting her staying power. Her music often explores themes of empowerment, survival, and triumph. From her debut solo album, There’s Something About Remy: Based on a True Story, to her high-profile collaborations with artists like Fat Joe and Lil’ Kim, Remy has consistently proven her ability to remain relevant and influential in an ever-evolving industry. As we delve into seven of Remy Ma’s essential songs, we’ll see how she navigated her career’s highs and lows, continually shaping hip-hop with her voice and indomitable spirit.

1. “Lean Back” With Terror Squad, Fat Joe (2004)

In 2004, Remy Ma emerged as a standout star with her feature on Terror Squad’s hit “Lean Back.” This track, from the album True Story, became a defining anthem of the summer. This was largely thanks to its contagious beat produced by Scott Storch and its memorable hook. Climbing to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, “Lean Back” cemented Remy Ma’s place in hip-hop.

Further, her verse on “Lean Back” was key. The track’s success highlighted her talent and influenced the sound of mid-2000s hip-hop, reinforcing her reputation as a formidable artist. This song remains a classic, symbolizing the era when Remy Ma’s skills shone brightly within the collective, paving the way for her subsequent achievements as a solo artist.

2. “All The Way Up” With Fat Joe, French Montana (2016)

In 2016, Remy Ma made a significant comeback with “All the Way Up,” her collaboration with Fat Joe. This track from their joint album, Plata O Plomo, quickly became a hit, landing in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 and earning a Grammy nomination. Produced by Edsclusive, the song perfectly complements Remy Ma’s sharp lyricism and powerful presence.

The track was more than a commercial success. It also symbolized resilience and redemption for Remy Ma. After serving a six-year prison sentence, her return with such a strong track demonstrated her ability to reclaim her position in hip-hop. “All the Way Up” was widely acclaimed for its energetic production and the undeniable chemistry between Remy Ma and Fat Joe. This became an anthem and a staple in her discography.

3. “Conceited” (2006)

Also released as a single from her debut album, There’s Something About Remy: Based on a True Story, “Conceited” displayed Remy Ma’s confidence and lyrical dexterity. Produced by Scott Storch, the track features a beat that perfectly complements her bold and assertive delivery. “Conceited” quickly became an anthem for self-assuredness, with Remy Ma exuding swagger and poise. Moreover, the song played a crucial role in establishing her solo career. “Conceited” received considerable airplay and praise for its empowering message, solidifying Remy Ma’s reputation as a potent voice. This track remains a fan favorite.

4. “Whuteva” (2006)

In 2006, Remy Ma made a gutsy statement with “Whuteva” from her debut solo album. Produced by Buckwild, the track is a high-energy anthem that showcases her unrelenting spirit. “Whuteva” came at a pivotal time when Remy was stepping out as a solo artist. She was aiming to establish her own identity in hip-hop. The track’s assertive lyrics helped her do just that, earning her respect and recognition as a serious contender in a male-dominated industry. Further, the song’s success was crucial in elevating her profile. It proved she could hold her own and deliver hits on her own terms.

5. “Shether” (2017)

In 2017, Remy Ma shook the hip-hop world with “Shether.” It was a ferocious diss track aimed squarely at Nicki Minaj. Over the instrumental of Nas’s classic “Ether,” Remy Ma unleashed a torrent of scathing bars, addressing personal and professional grievances with Minaj. Unsurprisingly, “Shether” quickly went viral, generating buzz and sparking a heated debate. The song’s impact was also immediate and significant. It marked one of the most memorable moments in recent hip-hop history. Additionally, “Shether” reaffirmed Remy Ma’s reputation as a formidable MC, unafraid to take on industry heavyweights.

6. “Ante Up (Remix)” With M.O.P., Busta Rhymes, Teflon (2001)

In 2001, Remy Ma delivered a memorable verse on the remix of M.O.P.’s hardcore anthem “Ante Up.” Joining forces with Busta Rhymes and Teflon, Remy Ma added her fierce energy and unmistakable presence to an already explosive track. The “Ante Up” remix solidified Remy Ma’s reputation as a formidable lyricist and a powerful presence in a predominantly male genre. Her performance on this track was a pivotal moment early in her career. This collaboration also elevated her status within the hip-hop community and highlighted her fearlessness. Remy’s involvement in this iconic remix further set the stage for her future successes and solidified her place as one of hip-hop’s most respected female MCs.

7. “Wake Me Up” Ft. Lil Kim (2017)

Teaming up with Lil’ Kim, Remy Ma released “Wake Me Up” in 2017. It was a powerful collaboration that paid homage to hip-hop’s golden era while asserting its continued relevance in the industry. The track, which samples Lil’ Kim’s “Queen B*tch,” features both rappers delivering hard-hitting verses. “Wake Me Up” was significant not only for its lyrical content but also for its symbolic value. It brought together two iconic women rappers known for their fierce independence. The collaboration was also widely celebrated, highlighting the mutual respect between Remy Ma and Lil’ Kim.

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