This wasn’t supposed to happen. Kanye West is supposed to be canceled, but I will blame my leniency on that weak apology he issued last week. That and on the fact that I accidentally heard his new track with Lil Pump and absolutely loved it on the first listen.

This is what pains me about Kanye. He is a talented musician and was actually one of my favorite rappers of all time until he started working with the devil (i.e. Donald Trump). In any case, “I Love It” debuted last night at the Pornhub Awards (where Kanye served as creative director) and it features a punchline from Adele Givens (who also appears in the video). Check it out below.

I had told myself that today’s TBT post was going to be Jay-Z’s “(Always Be My) Sunshine,” which features Foxy Brown and Babyface, not knowing that today would be Foxy’s birthday. God’s plan.

Foxy turns 40 today, so you already know what it is. The Trinidadian rapper, born Inga Marchand in New York City, made her debut in 1996 and released 3 albums over a five-year period. Her career got sidetracked by legal troubles, health troubles (she lost her hearing temporarily), and mismanagement on the part of her record label. However, she is expected to make a return to the rap game next year with a visual album titled King Soon Come — I’ll be here waiting to welcome her with open arms.

Below are my four favorite Foxy Brown joints. Happy birthday, Inga!

“Get Me Home” (featuring Blackstreet)

“Big Bad Mama” (featuring Dru Hill)

“I Can’t” (featuring Total)

Jay-Z – “(Always Be My) Sunshine” (featuring Foxy Brown & Babyface)

A living legend was born on this day in 1981. Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter turns 37 today and we firin’ up 37 shots for her! One day, we will all realize how blessed we are to be witnessing this kind of greatness.

Below is one of the first live performances of “Crazy in Love” and a personal favorite — even David Letterman’s reaction lets you know that we were witnessing something special. Enjoy!

UPDATE: We now have a video. Scroll down to watch.


Hello, 911? I think I just heard some shots fired.

A few days ago, Eminem dropped a surprise album, Kamikaze, which included digs at a variety of his peers. You know…vintage Eminem. Among those dissed was Machine Gun Kelly, who apparently angered Eminem by tweeting that his daughter, Hailey, was cute. In 2012. No, I’m not joking. Listen to a slowed-down, bootleg version of the Em song in question, “Not Alike,” here (skip to the 3:00 mark to hear the MGK diss).
Unlike most of the people who Eminem attacks, Machine Gun Kelly has banana clips for dat ass — no pun intended. So much so that he made a whole song about it. On “Rap Devil (Eminem Diss),” MGK talks about Eminem’s beard, Eminem’s height, Eminem’s age, Eminem’s sobriety and Eminem’s reliance on Dre beats, among other things; he went in. Every bar was wack, but I respect the boldness, even though I know this is just a rapper capitalizing on the free press that was handed to him. That being said, it’s obvious that he respects and idolizes Eminem, even calling him the greatest rapper I alive on this very track — he isn’t, but that’s what most white people think. Also, in a tweet sent just an hour ago, MGK called Em his idol.

The most remarkable thing about all of this is how touchy Eminem is. How do you make a career out of disrespecting people and remain this sensitive? Word is that Eminem went full I-was-told-by-AppleCare and filed a report with MGK’s boss (Diddy). Is this y’all’s king? Anyway, listen to “Rap Devil (Eminem Diss)” below.

Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do with It” must be one of Fat Joe’s favorites because this is the second time he is using it as a reference. “Attention” actually samples the song, but the chorus in “What’s Luv?” (featuring Ja Rule & Ashanti) is also based on the Tina Turner song. Speaking of Ashanti, she makes an appearance in this video, as does Scott Storch, who fake-plays the piano the entire time. I know Fat Joe did not come out the pocket for this video because it is chock-full of product placement — Postmates, Jersey Mike’s and few others. Watch below.

Donald Glover (street name Childish Gambino) is back with another video that is nakedly intentional in its bid for viral success. “Feels Like Summer” depicts this black celebrity utopia where everyone seems to be getting along: Michelle Obama embraces Kanye West; Dr. Dre, Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa and Jay-Z do a dance routine while Gucci Mane sunbathes; Oprah and Tiffany Haddish braid Lil Uzi Vert and Kehlani’s hair, respectively; and my personal favorite, Nicki Minaj builds a house with toy blocks only to have Travis Scott pull one of the them, sending the whole thing crashing. The shade.

There are a ton of other celebrities in it (all of whom have been tagged in this post). As expected, the internet is already rushing to the “genius” label because Donald Glover clearly has a spell on you people. That being said, I’ll concede that I like the video a lot — if only for the fact that it distracts you from the song, which I have never liked. I definitely prefer it to “This Is America,” which had the whole internet cappin’. Peep the clip below.

LSD — a group made up of Labrinth, Sia and Diplo — just dropped a video for its third single, “Thunderclouds,” and it lives up to the group’s name in every way. The video is full of the kind of things I’d imagine you’d see while high on acid, so if you ever wanted some kind of virtual reality experience without actually having to do the drug, here’s your chance. Click play.

LSD’s debut album is expected to drop later this month.

It was the summer of 1993. With two studio LPs and one live album under her belt, a then-23-year-old Mariah Carey was now an established artist; and on this day in that year, she released what would become her best-selling album to date: Music Box.

In numerous interviews, Mariah has mentioned that her label would always try to steer her towards ballads in the early years of her career — it was the era of big vocals, so in many ways, this made perfect business sense. And with seven out of the 10 tracks on Music Box — and three of its four singles — being ballads, the evidence is on Mariah’s side. As you can imagine, the critics had their panties in a bunch, calling the album “calculated” and all of the other bullshit terms reserved for popular artists that aren’t feigning an earthy persona.

For all of the supposed calculation, Music Box saw Mariah venturing further into new artistic territory. She was showing more of a propensity towards contemporary R&B than ever before; the single version of “Someday” is, in my opinion, the earliest evidence of this, but she makes a bolder artistic statement with “Dreamlover,” which samples the Emotions’ “Blind Alley” (which had also been sampled on Big Daddy Kane’s “Ain’t No Half-Steppin'” just five years prior). If you have any doubt that “Dreamlover” was any indicator of what was to come, I’d like to call your attention to the fact that it was co-written and co-produced by Dave Hall, who had worked with Mary J. Blige, Heavy D and Brand Nubian.

Unfortunately, the album’s legacy seems to be defined by “Hero,” a song Mariah had written for Gloria Estefan but was convinced to hold onto by her label. It’s not a bad song, but if there was any track that actually deserved the “safe” label, it’d be this one. The song has taken on a life of its own, becoming sort of a soundtrack to the healing period after major tragedies.

Music Box is a solid body of work, and no matter what anyone says, it will never change the fact that it is Mariah’s biggest commercial success. And with over 30 million copies sold worldwide, it is one of the best-selling albums of all time. My favorite song on the album, “Dreamlover,” also happens to be the first Mariah song I ever knew, so it has a special place in my heart. Watch the video below.

Few songs get the party started quite like this one.

Today in 1997, “Mo Money Mo Problems” ascended to the No. 1 position on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the second single from the Notorious B.I.G.’s Life After Death album and his second No. 1 hit — his two No. 1s occurred in the months after his passing. The song samples the Diana Ross classic, “I’m Coming Out,” with Diddy and Mase providing a verse each and an uncredited Kelly Price providing guest vocals.

(Sidebar: I have a huge issue with rap songs that don’t credit featured vocalists because, often times, it is the sung chorus that sticks with the listeners.)

“Mo Money Mo Problems” was about the envy and hate that comes with being a young rich nigga. Its video is a marker of the Shiny Suit Era — when Diddy was on his new money shit and didn’t know how to act — and of a time when rappers weren’t ridiculed for just having fun with their music and videos. These days, everybody has to be a member of the Talented Tenth or face the wrath of the “custodians” of the culture — we’re looking at you, Mr. Budden. I consider this song one of the greatest of all time and count myself lucky for being alive at the time of its release. Check it out below.

Today would’ve been Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday. Unfortunately, the King of Pop is no longer with us, and in the years since his passing, his estate has been careless in the shepherding of his legacy. However, the music he made while he was alive — songs we know he actually sung — remains evergreen, and that is what his legacy will be judged by.

In celebration of his 60th birthday, below are six of my favorite MJ chunes. Long live the King!

“Remember the Time”

“Smooth Criminal”

“The Way You Make Me Feel”

“Black or White”

“Billie Jean”

“Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”