Hip Hop Herald 04.03.13: XXL Freshmen Class,Tyga, Timbaland, More
Posted by Bill Wannop on 04.03.2013
News and thoughts on Timbaland being accused of insurance fraud, the release date for Tyga's new album, XXL announcing the 2013 freshmen class of emcees and more!
Welcome one and all to the Hip Hop Herald. The column will deal with anything related to hip hop whether it be underground, mainstream, or the new-age pop infused rap (you know the stuff Timberlake and Timbaland make). We will cover news, opinions, release dates as well as feature some music and of course videos.
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Tyga released one of the most anticipated songs off his upcoming album, Hotel California. The track features vocals from 2Pac along with Jadakiss and is titled "Hit em Up". Tyga said that the song is in the same vein as the original Pac song, although it is not a direct remake. The song is posted below, take a listen and let me know your thoughts.
Personally, I think the song is ok, and really would have been better without the 2Pac vocals. Not that the verse by Pac is bad, just that Pac does not fit with Tyga, and the track is likely to make much more Tyga haters then fans.
News XXL Freshman Class
XXL has revealed their yearly freshmen class, and it is a solid group of emcees. The class for 2013 features: ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Action Bronson, Trinidad Jame$, Joey Bada$$, Travi$ Scott, Logic, Kirko Bangz, Dizzy Wright, and Angel Haze. In a strange scenario, Chief Keef is named the 11 freshmen, but is not featured on the cover (he likely no showed the photo shoot).
While the list is an interesting mix of hip hop talent, there are some names on there that really do not belong. The one that stands out is obviously Kirko Bangz, since he is mainly a R&B singer and really not a hip hop artist. Most of the other artists are pretty justified at being on the list (well maybe not Trinidad Jame$ and Chief Keef). While it is great that these artists are getting the exposure they deserve, this list raises a pretty big question in what exactly defines a freshmen? Action Bronson, ScHoolboy Q, and Ab-Soul have been around for a couple of years and have been put out a lot of material in their careers so they are hardly freshmen. The list is more of a grouping of artists who are starting to make waves in hip hop.
Looking at the lists over the years, XXL has actually put together some great classes putting the spotlight on Joell Ortiz, Crooked I, B.o.B., J Cole, Lupe Fiasco, Jay Rock, Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar, Hopsin and Yelawolf among others. This list blows any list that MTV puts out completely out of the water. Out of the 10 freshmen this year, who do you think is going to be the breakout star? In my opinion I think that it will be either Action Bronson or Joey Bada$$. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Crypt The Warchild Diagnosed With Cancer
In some sad news this week, underground emcee, Crypt The Warchild, who is one half of the group Outerspace, recently revealed that his has been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. Crypt released the following statement on his condition:
"To all my family, friends and fans. I'd like to give everyone a heads up on what exactly it is that I am going through. January 27th I was diagnosed with Stage 3b Hodgkins Lymphoma. I have been sick for a long time and really had no idea. I base my life on hard work and dedication to my family and friends. I would like to thank everyone for the support and genuine concern for my well being. Fuck cancer, I will get through this. Thank you for everything. "
A concert benefir has been announced for April 6, at Philly's Chickie & Pete's Roosevelt Boulevard. The event, which is $40 admission, will also feature deejay performances by Non-Phixion alum, DJ Eclipse and Czarface's DJ 7L.
Outerspace is a great underground hip hop group and I wish nothing but the best for Crypt as he works towards recovery.
For more information on the benefit event, visit JMTHipHop.com.
For those unfamiliar with Crypt, I have included a track off of Outerspaces's most recent album.
Timbaland Accused of Insurance Fraud
While Timbaland should be on top of the world with the recent success of Justin Timberlakes latest album (which he produced), the superprodcer is instead being accused of insurance fraud over a missing $1.8 Million watch.
According to TMZ, the super producer filed a lawsuit against American Home Assurance Company claiming his 2-year-old daughter lost his Jacob & Co. watch containing 30 carats of diamonds.
In legal documents obtained by TMZ, A.H.A.C. claims it doesn't owe Timbaland any money and stated the following reasons why:
- Timbaland bought the watch for $900,000 but insured it for twice the purchase price.
- Timbaland reported the watch stolen ... but 4 months later claimed his daughter misplaced it.
- Everyone involved told a different story ... the wife implicated another female, the assistant implicated the maid, the maid only copped to sleeping with Timbaland's brother-in-law and the brother-in-law refused to cooperate. No one ever mentioned the daughter losing the watch, like Timbaland belatedly claimed.
This is a bizarre story and I really don't know who to believe. I tend to think that most times the insurance companies always try to find a way out of paying out claims, but in this case if what the company is saying about Timbaland are true, then he should be charged with fraud. People making bogus claims are what create such high insurance premiums in the first place.
Release Dates & Album Updates
We have a couple album updates this week, starting with news of the new Tech N9ne album, Something Else has been given a release date of June 25. Tech followed up the news by releasing the first single off the album, B.I.T.C.H. which features T-Pain. While I have always been a fan of Tech N9ne, I have to finally admit that his sound is starting to change, and he is starting to adapt that more mainstream sound. I am not solely basing that off of the T-Pain appearance, as I think on this track T-Pain does a great job, but based off of his overall sound lately. I have attached the first single below, so take a listen and let me know what you think.
Sticking with Strange Music, Rittz released the tracklisting to his anticipated album, The Life & Times Of Johnny Valiant, which drops on April 30.
2. My Interview
3. Like I Am
4. F**k Swag
5. Wastin Time featuring Big K.R.I.T.
6. Goin In
7. Always Gon Be featuring Mike Posner
8. My Clothes (Interlude)
10. For Real
11. Sober featuring Suga Free
12. Say No More featuring Tech N9Ne and Krizz Kaliko
13. Switch Lanes featuring Mike Posner
14. Misery Loves Company
15. Heaven featuring Yelawolf
16. All Around the World
The album looks solid and has just the right amount of guest appearances. I am anticipating the release of this album at the end of April, and somewhat question how Rittz missed the XXL Freshman list this year
Also dropping an album on April 30, RA The Rugged Man dropped the tracklising to his new album, Legends Never Die. The album is a long time coming, and again looks to be a solid release. The track with Talib Kweli is rumored to be legendary, and the track with Brother Ali and Masta Ace also has me interested. The full listing can be seen below:
1. Still Diggin Wit Buck
2. The People's Champ
3. Definition Of A Rap Flow (ft. Amalie Bruun)
4. Learn Truth (ft. Talib Kweli)
5. Bang Boogie
6. Tom Thum
7. Holla-Loo-Yuh (ft. Tech N9ne & Krizz Kaliko)
8. Media Midgets
9. Shoot Me In The Head
10. Legends Never Die (Daddy's Halo)
11. The Dangerous Three (ft. Brother Ali & Masta Ace)
12. Luv To Fuk (ft. Eamon)
13. Underground Hitz (ft. Hopsin)
14. Laugh, Clown, Laugh
15. Sam Pecknpah (ft. Vinnie Paz & Sadat X)
17. Still Get Through The Day (ft. Eamon)
18. Bonus: Make You Famous (ft. Block McCloud)
As always the rest of the album release dates can be seen below:
Tyler The Creator - Wolf
Tyga Hotel California
Illogic & Blockhead - Capture The Sun
Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge - Twelve Reasons To Die
Styles P & Scram Jones - Float
Talib Kweli - Prisoner Of Consciousness
Kid CuDi indicud
Snoop Lion - Reincarnated
Chrisette Michele - Better
LL Cool J - Authentic
R.A. The Rugged Man - Legends Never Die
Rittz - The Life & Times Of Johnny Valiant
The-Dream - Fourplay
Havoc - 13
Gene The Southern Child & Parallel Thought - Artillery Splurgin'
Eve - Lip Lock
YMCMB - Rich Gang: Flashy Lifestyle
Aceyalone - Leanin' On Slick
Statik Selektah Extended Play
Serengeti - Kenny Dennis
Tech N9ne - Something Else
Wale - The Gifted
50 Cent Street King Immortal
Other Recent Announcements
Nate Dogg: It's A Wonderful Life 
Cee Lo Everybody's Brother 
Goodie Mob Age Against the Machine 
Kool G Rap & Necro The Godfathers 
Eminem TBA [Memorial Day 2013]
Lupe Fiasco - Tetsuo & Youth 
What I Have Been Listening To
I had a chance to check out the new album from Tyler, The Creator, Wolf last week. Listening to the album, I am surprised that some of the other major hip hop publications are giving it such strong reviews. In my opinion this album is far worse than his last album, Goblin, and really show how much Tyler sold out. Tyler became popular because he was controversial and because he was rapping about things that were not common in hip hop. However on this album, he completely abandoned that and tried to make a more serious hip hop album. The problem is that Tyler is not the greatest rapper. There are far better rappers that can rap about the topics of growing up without a father, the trouble with fame etc.
Tyler had his genre on music that he was good at, that his fans loved, and that made him somewhat relevant in hip hop. Why he choose to depart from that I will never know, and cannot agree with.