Sunday, April 20, 2014

Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora Seek Revenge on 'Black Widow'

Iggy Azalea Rita OraRachel Murray / Michael Buckner, Getty Images

Iggy Azalea has enlisted a number of artists to collaborate with for her upcoming LP, ‘The New Classic,’ out on April 22. Following the success of ‘Fancy’ with Charli XCX, the Aussie rapper releases a new song, ’Black Widow’ featuring Rita Ora.

Co-written by Katy Perry and produced by Benny Blanco and Stargate, the track has a distinct trap beat. However, there are a lot more EDM synths than we’d expect on an Iggy Azalea song. The two blonde bombshells call out the men that did them dirty on the club-ready effort.

“This twisted cat-and-mouse game / It always starts the same / First we’re both down to play / Then you go and stray / From nothing to something / From liking to loving / It was us against the world and now we just f—ing this / I used to love you so much / And now I hate you,” Iggy delivers.

“I’m gonna love you until you hate me / And I’m gonna show ya what’s really crazy / You should’ve known better than to mess with me harder,” sings Rita.

After seeing what Iggy and Charli XCX did with the video for ‘Fancy,’ we’re looking forward to what’s to come from the ‘Black Widow’ visual.

Next: 10 Signs You’re Not Fancy According to Iggy Azalea

Listen to Iggy Azalea’s ‘Black Widow’ Feat. RIta Ora

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20 Hip-Hop Personalities Share Memories of Nas' 'Illmatic [EXCLUSIVE]

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NasLarry Busacca, Getty Images

“I woke up early on my born day, I’m 20, it’s a blessing,” Nas rhymes on ‘Life’s a Bitch,’ a song featured on his debut album, ‘Illmatic.’ The line isn’t only a reference to the fresh-faced Queens, N.Y.-bred rapper reaching a milestone every black male strives for in the ghettos of America. As of April 19, one of hip-hop’s most lauded bodies of work turns 20 itself, with everyone (even their grandma) going out of their way to celebrate Nasir Jones’ masterpiece of a debut. And being the Nas stans that we are here at The Boombox, we decided to call on a number of respected artists, producers, DJs and journalists to share some of their thoughts on the game changer that was ‘Illmatic.’

Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images

Favorite Memory Involving the Album:

"My favorite memory from the album is how when going to the park to play ball everyday, it was all my friends and I heard. It was our soundtrack while we played because all of the older kids and the hustlers on the park benches had their radios out or their jeeps parked next to the courts and just blasted the tape. It was literally on repeat daily in my hood. I was 12 when 'Illmatic' dropped, but I understood everything being said on the album. It was a direct reflection of what New York was like back then. The cops, the drugs, the addicts, the girls, the Timbs, the beepers, it was 100 percent NYC. "

Favorite Song From the Album:

"It's a tie between 'The World Is Yours' and 'New York State of Mind.' 'The World Is Yours' is what I would play if someone asked me 'What is hip-hop? I've never heard of it.' I'd play them that song. And 'N.Y. State of Mind' is exactly what New York is, or at least the New York that I know and grew up in."

Favorite Beat From the Album:

'The World Is Yours,' hands down. I actually did a Twitter and Instagram post with fans on how I feel it may be the greatest beat of all time. I own the jazz record that Pete Rock chopped up for this beat, and to know the pieces he took and made what he made, it's amazing."

If You Could've Had a Guest Verse on Any Track on the Album, Which One Would It Be?:

"Probably 'It Ain't Hard to Tell.' The beat and the song as a whole are such a great pocket, such a great fit, and it all came together ridiculously dope. I'd deff be on that record."

Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Favorite Memory Involving 'Illmatic':

"I remember being in my man's living room with the whole crew watching the video for 'Halftime' ... Over and over in awe."

Favorite Song From the Album:

"Favorite song is a hard one. Right now, I'd say 'Memory Lane.'"

If You Could've Had a Verse on Any Track on the Album, Which Would It Be?:

"I wish I could've had a verse on 'It Ain't Hard To Tell. That's why I ripped it on Funk Flex [Hot 97] show some years back."

Twitter Head of Hip-Hop/R&B Programming, Beats Music

On the Impact of 'Illmatic':

"'Illmatic' wasn’t an immediate commercial success so I just love that the album is now widely recognized as arguably the most influential and greatest album in hip-hop history. I’m a big fan of DJ Premier, Q-Tip, Pete Rock and Large Professor so it was incredible to have them all work on the album of this new kid we thought was the second coming of Rakim.

The album single-handedly changed the way rap albums are produced. All the classic albums leading up to Illmatic -- Black Moon’s 'Enter Da Stage,' A Tribe Called Quest’s 'Midnight Marauders,' Wu-Tang Clan’s 'Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)' and Snoop Dogg’s 'Doggystyle' -- were all produced by one person with the exception of one or two songs.

I also love the way we’ve been celebrating 'Illmatic' this year. There’s been a lot of milestones in hip-hop in recent years and none of them have come even close to generating a similar buzz as 'Illmatic’s' 20th anniversary. I think that speaks volumes."

Favorite Song From the Album:

"My favorite song is 'N.Y. State of Mind.' The first verse is so cinematic. I can literally picture Nas’ Mack 10 jamming and him running through a building lobby with all the kids. It’s definitely one of DJ Premier’s best beats. The production is jazzy yet alarming at the same time. It set the tone for the album. People seem to forget that he opens the second verse by rhyming, “Be having dreams of being a gangsta.” That’s essentially him turning into Escobar on 'It Was Written' but initially caught flack for it. Thankfully people appreciate it now."

Favorite Beat From the Album:

"My favorite beat on 'Illmatic' probably changed many times over the years. It’s probably a tie between 'N.Y. State of Mind' and 'It Ain’t Hard to Tell.' Primo is credited as one of the architects of the New York sound. His quintessential New York beat may very well be 'N.Y. State of Mind.' As for 'It Ain’t Hard to Tell,' I just love the way Large Professor chopped up Michael Jackson’s 'Human Nature' and blended it with Kool & The Gang’s 'N.T.' He juxtaposed two samples with contrasting feels and made them fit like a glove."

Thos Robinson, Getty Images

Favorite Memory Involving 'Illmatic':

"Nas is just a special artist to the world, but being from Queens, it means more. For instance, Jay Z is a special artist to the world, but every time Jay wins, Brooklyn is proud to claim those moments. And I just remember 'Illmatic' being one of the proudest moments of me being from Queens and just sitting back knowing that's a dude that comes from neighborhood I hang out in."

Favorite Song From the Album:

"I always have different favorites, sometimes it's 'N.Y. State of Mind,' sometimes it's 'Memory Lane,' sometimes it's 'Life's a Bitch,' but the whole album in it's totality is my favorite. I wouldn't be able to sit here and pick one song, but the whole album's my favorite."

If You Could've Added a Guest Verse on Any Track From the Album, Which One Would It Have Been?:

"I know that's a dope question to ask as an MC, but I'm gonna be honest, the way I heard that material, I don't think I would fit on that, man. I just would leave it, I would decline. Knowing how much it means, I would just leave the album as-is. I'm gonna buy the 20th anniversary thing as a collector's item, [but] I don't wanna hear it. I love the original and how the original was and that's gonna be my favorite, I don't want it to be tampered with in any way. So, I'm gonna buy it. I'm gonna listen, but that's about it. That's as far as it goes, like ... cause the first one was a masterpiece, I don't see how you can make that album any better. I don't see how you could make it better."

When Was the First Time You Initially Heard the Album:

"The first time I actually heard it, I remember 'It Ain't Hard to Tell' dropped and I remember seeing all my, like, a lot of those dudes, like, Big C-Lo from the dime was in the video, like, I knew a lot of them. I knew Nas, but I know he didn't know me, like, I know of Nas but he didn't know of me. And me being in jail watching the 'It Ain't Hard to Tell' video, I was just calling my people home, like 'Yo, get me the album, get me the album.' And around that time, I believe Buckshot Shorty had dropped and I believe Big either came before or after, so it was a big Brooklyn moment in the jails. Bootcamp and Buckshot Shorty and B.I.G. s---, and I'm also a fan of B.I.G. So, I had my peoples send me the album and I just loved it. And coming home... when I came home, he was already a star, he was already, like, Nasty Nas. He was that guy already."

Favorite Beat From the Album:

"I would have to say 'N.Y. State Of Mind' and 'Memory Lane.'"

Paul Hawthorne, Getty Images

Favorite Memory Involving 'Illmatic':

"My favorite memory of 'Illmatic' is the first time I got the 'leak' of it. I think I just went from the transition of DJ to producer. I remember what an inspiration it was to make that transition. Nas was that dude; everyone was talking about Nas and Big L before the album dropped as the lyrical dudes. I remember getting the album and me and EZ ELpee talking to L [Big L] about making 'Lifestylez Ov Da Poor and Dangerous' better cause 'Illmatic' was just that good. And just thinking that is your competition coming out... it seemed like the LP was flawless."

Favorite Song From the Album:

"My favorite song from the album is 'N.Y. State of Mind.'"

Favorite Beat From the Album:

"My favorite beat was the 'World Is Yours' Q-Tip remix."


Favorite Memory Involving 'Illmatic':

"My favorite memory involving 'Illmatic' was going to Nobody Beats the Wiz and buying it. I bought Nas' album and Shyhiem the Rugged Child's album on the same day, they both came out on April 19, 1994.

It may sound crazy now to talk about those two in the same sentence, but Wu-Tang was huge and just being affiliated made Shyhiem kind of hot at the time. Still it was 'Illmatic' that really stood out. I remember ripping the plastic off the CD and being mad at the all red disc, by that time labels were doing Interesting things with disc designs and Columbia insisted on keeping with their all red theme. 'How could they do this to an album so special,' I thought to myself.

By the time I got home and put the disc in, none of that mattered. It took me about a week to realize how genius the album really was. It was a departure from what was going on in rap at the time. Wu was grimey, Onyx was screaming and Das Efx were rapping super fast, 'Illmatic' was laid back, introspective and just cool."

Favorite Song From the Album:

"My favorite track from the album, if I had to pick one would be 'One Love.' My older brother caught a murder charge around this time. He spent some time in Riker's, came out on bail and went up north after his sentencing. It was hard for me to deal with the guy I wanted to be like, going away. I would rap the words to 'One Love' as a kid and picture him."

Favorite Beat From the Album:

"My favorite beat from the album is 'It Ain't Hard to Tell,' the way Large Professor flipped that Michael Jackson sample was genius. The drums snapped just right, the horn stabs were on point and that 'yeah, yeah' vocal sample was so small but gave the beat the right amount of energy. Everything on that beat lined up perfectly. Then to top it off LP sequenced it just right, he didn't throw the whole kitchen sink in there, the different elements flow in and out real smooth."

Theo Wargo, Getty Images

Favorite Memory Involving 'Illmatic':

"My mom bought me that album and Shyhiem's album and brought them both to my baseball game that night. We had games on Tuesdays and Fridays so I couldn't go buy it myself. Thanks, mom!"

Favorite Song From the Album:

"If I am forced to choose it's 'N.Y. State of Mind.' It captures the feel of New York so well. It's epic."

Favorite Beat From the Album:

"Probably also 'N.Y. State of Mind' ... or maybe 'One Love.'"


Favorite Memory Involving 'Illmatic':

"I remember listening to it for the first time when I was 15 years old. I went to a record shop after school called Sam Goody and left with an album that was 10 years older than me. It took a while for me to understand the brilliance of his work because it was so ahead of its time. I actually still have the same copy laying around my house to this day."

Favorite Song From 'Illmatic':

"That's an unfair question when you actually think about it. Nas only gave us nine official songs on that LP so that's a really tough choice for me. If I had to choose one though it'd be 'Life's a Bitch' featuring AZ. That song is perfection from beginning to end."

What Impact Did the Album Have on You:

"It epitomized to me what a rap artist first album should sound like. If there was no 'Illmatic,' there would be no 'Boy Meets World' [Fashawn's first album]. This album is more than just a body of music it's a manual on street survival. It's a journey of the mind that takes you far past the ghetto streets. It opened my mind tremendously and still inspires me today just as much as it did 10 years ago."

Larry Busacca, Getty Images Creator & Host, Video Music Box

Favorite Memory Involving 'Illmatic':

"Well, my involvement was with the visuals for the 'Illmatic' EPK. I remember talking to Nas about how he wanted to approach the making of it. He said, 'I want it to look like your show 'Video Music Box.'" When Nas said that, I felt comfortable. I was in my lane creating the first visuals for 'Illmatic.' Columbia Records liked the vibe Nas and I had so they asked me to direct the video for the first single 'It Ain't Hard to Tell.'

Favorite Song From the Album:

"My favorite track off 'Illmatic' is 'The World Is Yours.' I guess because at the time, young men in New York were going through tough times. Drug abuse, corrupt cops and incarceration. The song gave the hood hope."

Favorite Beat From the Album:

"My favorite beat is 'Halftime.' It's hypnotic. Classic Large Professor."

Ronna Gradus, Getty Images

Favorite Memory Involving 'Illmatic':

"I was a freshman in high school, and my boys I was running with, they were much older, I was running with a bunch of seniors. So, one of my best friends had come to pick me up from school, 'cause I had been talking to this girl on the phone for a couple days and needed a ride to get to her house. On the way over there, he had 'Illmatic' playing in the tape deck. If I remember correctly, he had 'It Ain't Hard to Tell' playing and that was one of my first times hearing it. So I was like 'Who is this n---- rapping over Michael Jackson?' And he was like 'Yo, this Nas.' And understand, I was like the biggest Micheal Jackson fan ever as a kid, so, to hear somebody rhyming over 'Human Nature,' at first it hurt me like, 'F---, I didn't get to do that, like, he beat me to it.' But, riding in the car, listening to that, and I just remember saying 'Aww s---, this s--- is dope as f---.'

I don't know if I liked the song that much because I knew I was about to get the girl as well, if that sweetened it. So, I got to the girl house and after that, she was my girlfriend. Well, at least for a couple weeks. But it was cool while it lasted."

Favorite Song From the Album:

"If you had me at gunpoint, I'd probably say 'Represent.' It's a favorite for me because it has all the elements that are not supposed to work. Like, the sounds that Premo used, it almost sounds like some Christmas carol s---. So, that's just not supposed to work in the hip-hop context. Two, there's no real hook other than his boy shouting 'represent.' Having your friends in the booth can go really good or really bad. And most of the time, it goes really bad. So, that was just a record where it was not supposed to work. If you was to just say on paper Premo gonna chop up this Christmas sounding s--- and I'm just gonna round up all the n----s in Queensbridge I can find and have them scream 'represent' and that's gonna be the joint. So, the fact that he was able to take those two things and actually make it work, I just thought that was genius.

I'm also a big stickler for the next to last song on a album being fire. Because it almost has to give you a bittersweet feeling that the album is about to be over. So, 'Represent' comes and kills s--- and then 'It Ain't Hard to Tell' is like the encore."

Favorite Beat From the Album:

"Let me think hard about this. Favorite beat, probably 'Memory Lane.' Again, for me it has a lot to do with placement. Being the age I was when 'Illmatic' came out, I listened to it on tape. So, a big experience with tape [back then] is your first song that kicks off side two has got to be the jam. Because it's almost like your starting a new chapter of your book. Another one of my favorites, just as a sidebar, the only other rapper that I can hear that kinda did that, around that era, was 'Street Struck' by Big L. It had that same kind of feel, it was a melodic track, but it also had a sense of eeriness to it as well. Memory Lane has a sense of nostalgia and it's like you have a sense of nostalgia of a person that it's reflecting. For lack of a better word, it's a pretty track, but he's spitting some good ass s--- over it. It was just something for me that I just really liked that beat and it was one of my favorite beats of that time."

If You Could've Added a Guest Verse to Any Track on the Album, Which One Would It Have Been?

"I don't know [laughs]. I'm listening to the album trying to think about what Nas song I would take Nas off of, and that's some pretty f---ed up s--- to think. Like that's some hard s---, like, what song or verse from 'Illmatic' I would take Nas off of. But if I could add a verse to any song, I would probably say 'Life's a Bitch.' At the time [of the album's release], I was 15 and that was the time that as much as my mother didn't want to hear anything hip-hop, it was just noise, for her to hear me over Gap Band's 'Yearning For Your Love,' that would've earned me a lot of points. That actually would have got me plays at our family reunion [laughs]. If I'm rapping over Charlie Wilson at 15, that would've been a go. So, I would pick that one because of the track and the subject matter.

Plus, I like the fact that 'Illmatic' only had one guest appearance on it, so, if I would have two guest appearances on the album, I would have them on the same song, so ain't nobody else coming in and getting in the way of Nas' verse. Like, lets get y'all two n----s on this one jam together, and then this s--- over. It's back to Nas again."


Favorite Memory Involving the Album:

"I remember cutting high school at lunch to walk across Union Square Park to the old Wiz store to get the LP."

Favorite Song From the Album:

"My favorite song is hard. I fight myself over 'N.Y. State of Mind' vs. 'It Ain't Hard to Tell.' Today I will say 'It Ain't Hard to Tell.' I would love to remix 'Halftime' with Nas."

Favorite Beat From the Album:

"N.Y. State of Mind' is the best beat!"

Jean Grae

Favorite Memory Involving the Album:

"Memories? Yup. Everything. I remember rushing home to watch the Nas special on 'Video Music Box.' I remember the day everyone bought the album right after school and didn't even wait to get home to listen to it. Just ripped  it open right outside Tower Records. I remember the way NYC felt at the time. Smells, sounds, everything. It was beautiful."

Favorite Song From the Album:

"N.Y. State of Mind. It felt perfect. It felt like the city. It sounded like the train tracks. It sounded like what the concrete would sound like if it could talk, make noise. That time of NYC still is expressed perfectly with every nuance of that song."

If You Could've Had a Guest Verse on Any Track on the Album, Which One Would It Be?:

"Ooh. 'Represent.' The flow on that. That would have been fun."


Favorite Memory Involving the Album:

"Even though i was only around 8 at the time, I could remember coming home after school and 'Illmatic' would be in the rotation of music my older brothers and their homies would be playing. We then would catch the videos on 'The Box' and 'Yo MTV Raps.' So much about that album and time period was special and felt classic."

Favorite Song From the Album:

"'Memory Lane.'"

Favorite Beat From the Album:

"'The World Is Yours."

If You Could've Had a Guest Verse on Any Track on the Album, Which One Would It Be?:

"If I had the guest verse on a joint I would pick 'Memory Lane' as well. I relate heavily to the descriptions Nas gave of the friends and figures that raised him coming up. That type of adoration and respect for those that helped raise him is something I made sure to incorporate on my forthcoming 'Daily Bread' project."


Favorite Memory Involving the Album:

"I enjoyed watching my uncles go crazy over it and have discussions/debates about it. I didn't fully get it because I was only a child, but I knew it was special. I loved listening to 'Illmatic,' but it wasn't until years later that I realized how much of a huge deal that album was considering that by then I was able to relate/understand more. It was an experience!"

Favorite Song From the Album:

"I would have to go with 'N.Y. State of Mind' hands down. I love everything about that track. It was the perfect way to set the album off and he blacked on it. The title of it is such a statement alone and he backed it up with that talk."

Favorite Beat From the Album:

"My favorite beat is 'The World Is Yours.' Pete Rock murdered the beat. He was so sought after then. He and DJ Premier was doing everyone's remixes."

If You Could've Had a Guest Verse on Any Track on the Album, Which One Would It Be?:

"If I could have a guest verse on any song, I would go with 'One Love.' I'd write a letter to my uncle who is currently incarcerated. That record was amazing."

Nick Joseph Founder of The Smoking Section

Favorite Memory Involving the Album:

"Man, that was 20 f---ing years ago. I can't even remember what I did 20 days ago, much less 20 years ago lol.

But nah, I can't really think of a specific memory that I have tied to it. I've probably listened to the s--- thousands of times and had it playing nonstop for the first five to seven years after it released. 1994 was the year I graduated high school and freshman year of college. So as Nas was having his coming out party, so were me and my dudes. We was out there and this was one of the soundtracks, for real lol.

This album definitely represented one of the major shifts in music. Which is another reason why it's better than 'It Was Written' hehe. You only get so many projects like this in a lifetime that truly come in and rearrange the way music sounds for years to follow. Like a rap version of Halley's Comet. That's why so many people who came after Nas point to it as a key work they studied."

Favorite Song From the Album:

"'N.Y. State of Mind' is my all-time favorite. It sets the tone for the whole project. The action-packed track sets the tone that you're going on this ride into Nas' world for the next however-many minutes. Plus, 'N.Y. State of Mind' is one of maybe five songs that I know word for word, front to back, in and out. True story: it's my shower song and I rap that joint -- sometimes voluntarily, others involuntarily -- way more than I should be sharing publicly."

Favorite Beat From the Album:

"'Represent' with all praises due to DJ Premier. Original boom-bap in its cleanest, simplest form. The beat doesn't overwhelm so much as the pulsating, repetitive vibe to it paired with Nas rhymes straight lure you in."


Favorite Memory Involving the Album:

"I still remember the day I first got 'It Ain't Hard to Tell' on my own cassette tape. I played it at least 20 times consecutively. It was just magical."

Favorite Song From the Album:

"This answer has shifted every five or so years since '94 but I think now it's 'Memory Lane.' One of the greatest street poetry performances ever. So many gems it makes sense that it could take 20 years to be fully appreciated."

Favorite Beat From the Album:

"'N.Y. State of Mind.'


Favorite Memory Involving ‘Illmatic’:

"I got 'Illmatic' from those Columbia house deals back in the day -- 1,000 CDs for a penny or whatever. I remember the EPK that they played on 'Video Music Box' back then with all the producers. Some people say they never seen multiple producers before 'Illmatic' but I was a Kane fan so I'd seen that before. The difference to me was how all of these producers from other proven groups (Gangstarr, Pete & CL, Main Source) were talking about this new guy like he was the chosen one. That was the first time I'd ever seen the co-sign in effect."

Favorite Song From the Album:

'My favorite track on 'Illmatic' still changes to this day but right now its 'It Ain't Hard to Tell' 'cause he rides the beat sooooo effortless like the verses wrote themselves. Cats can talk s--- about Nas post-'Illmatic' but there's gems on every damn Nas album. It all started with the leanest most dense one though. Happy Birthday 'Illmatic,' next year we drinkin'."

Paul Cantor

Favorite Memory Involving the Album:

"If I recall correctly, my older brother actually purchased the CD, so it was more through his listening that I got hip to it. My brother would be like, 'Do you hear the s--- he is saying? The lyrics are so deep, man.' And he was right, they were. I was 12 and he was 14, so to be hearing music of that depth and complexity at that age, it was incredible. It was like being in science and math class, without having to go to school, which no kid that age wants to do anyway. The narrative on 'Illmatic' -- this kid out of the projects trying to navigate street life -- that was something a lot of people could relate to, in their own unique way. The LP wasn't about how to eat gluten-free, close this new deal or bag chicks on Instagram. You know, modern day rap problems. It was literally about, like, how do I not get killed today? That was super real and it showed."

Favorite Song From the Album:

"'Life's a Bitch.' This is such a beautifully sad song. 'Life's a bitch and then you die, that's why we get high, cause you never know when you're gonna go. Life's a bitch and then you die...' It's about celebrating the moment, cherishing it while it lasts, but at the same time doing what you have to do to make that moment the most awesome moment it can be. That's set against the backdrop of this impossibly difficult life that Nas and AZ were living. So it's like, man, s--- is f---ed up, but how can we still make it pop? Anyone who ever came from nothing knows what that feels like. That's the American experience in a nutshell. Messages like that have been seared into my brain, and make up who I am today. Life is still a bitch."

Favorite Beat From the Album:

"'Represent.' DJ Premier just completely kills the beat on this (I believe he wound up actually using those drums again on 'Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers' a year later). Back then production was mainly judged by the head nod. If you listened and nodded your head, that was what mattered. I felt like 'Represent' was the song that pulled that aesthetic off the best. It's up-tempo and aggressive, but also jazzy in a moody and angry way. Paired with the lyrics, 'Represent' would inspire a young impressionable kid to engage in activities that he shouldn't be involved with. Making someone feel like that is a win, in my book."


Favorite Memory Involving the Album:

"I was a late bloomer for 'Illmatic.' I listened to 'Illmatic' in high school around 9th grade. One of my best friend's is from Queens. He was a huge Nas fan for as long as I could remember. At the time my favorite album was Sticky Fingaz 'Black Trash: The Autobiography of Kirk Jones,' which I still think is a classic. I finally listened to 'Illmatic' straight through, opened my eyes to what and why most would call an album a classic. 'Illmatic' was the album that had me digging into what others would call classics. The 'Reasonable Doubts', 'ATLiens,' 'Doggystyle.' The research went crazy after 'Illmatic.'"

Favorite Song From the Album:

"My favorite track from 'Illmatic' is 'Life's a Bitch' featuring AZ. The album is hard to choose a favorite, being that it is so relatable. When my brother was locked up, I would have told you 'One Love' was my favorite. But AZ's verse on 'Life's a Bitch' is one of my all time favorite hip-hop verses ever spit and Nas and AZ complimented each other on the track perfectly from concept to word play."

Favorite Beat From the Album:

"My favorite beat from ill matic is 'Halftime.' It's the type of beat that if I hear it in the studio all you hear in the back of your head is "go off." Wordplay or bars, or both. "Go off" and Nas did just that. If I was in the park, and he got on stage back in the '90s, and he performed this for the first time, instantly as that beat drops, my forehead would be bouncing off my knees, with a face like I stepped in fresh dog s---."

If You Could've Had a Guest Verse on Any Track on the Album, Which One Would It Be?:

"To be honest with you, none. The way I feel about art, it's already hard to say something is perfect. Once I feel it is, it should stay just that. But if I had to choose, 'N.Y. State of Mind.' That record is me right there. The gritty sound of those dusty drums, the keys and even the concept. I would have took this all the way uptown, New York."

papoose 2

Favorite Memory Involving the Album:

"When I first got my copy -- if I remember correctly it was a red tape/CD -- I listened to it and realized it was no limit to the level of lyricism an artist can travel in hip-hop if he dedicated himself to his craft. Finally there was an artist who rapped about what I was going through at that time it inspired me."

Favorite Song From the Album

"My favorite track is 'Memory Lane' because Nas' approach on that track was unique!"

Favorite Beat From the Album:

'New York State Of Mind'

If You Could've Had a Guest Verse on Any Track on the Album, Which One Would It Be?

'It Ain't Hard To Tell'

10 Signs You're Not Fancy According to Iggy Azalea [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

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Iggy AzaleaDef Jam

Don’t be fooled by Iggy Azalea’s freewheeling nature; a girl’s got to have a code. I found this out after my scheduled interview with her at the Def Jam offices in New York City got canceled.

As I was walking from the record label in midtown to the nearby train station, I noticed the rapper frantically waving from her SUV. I figured she was waving at the stranger in the red jacket next to me, but after he walked off, it occurred to me that she was trying to get my attention. On a day that included more interviews than she’d probably wanted to do, quite a bit of traveling throughout NYC and a listening party at an upscale club later that night, this was a score.

Iggy is confident enough not look at all pressured by the schedule. It’s immediately apparent that her assertive, blunt nature doesn’t waver in any circumstance. The barefoot (she decided to kick off her heels) 23-year-old spoke about her idea of what it really means to be fancy, which is also the title of the lead single from her forthcoming album, ‘The New Classic.’

The blonde bombshell and her crew aren’t lenient when it comes to fanciness — you’ll see that firsthand below. After she finishes waxing philosophic on the subject, she offers up details about her upcoming single with Rita Ora, ‘Black Widow’: “It has a little bit of a ‘Dark Horse’ vibe. The beat is a bit grimy … catchy, but it’s very hip-hop-y,” she says referring to the Billboard-topping single by Katy Perry, who also wrote ‘Black Widow.’ “It’s not a pop-driven record, and Rita really sings on it. It’s kind of about being so enamored with somebody that you’re so obsessed with them that you just hate their guts and just want to kill them. To me they love it and then they crush it.”

If that’s not a fancy way to describe love, we don’t know what is. Check out 10 Signs You’re Not Fancy According to Iggy Azalea.

"They just have to be done. If you have crusty ass nails that don’t get done … If you don’t have polish on your nails, you’re not fancy. And everybody agrees here."

"If you only get one pack of hair, it’s like, 'Come on, bitch.' You know you need more than that. You’re not fancy. And if you buy your hair from the beauty supply store, like straight out the pack especially, you ain’t fancy. Malaysian hair is always the thing. I used to sell it, but I don’t think that makes you fancy. I just think you have to go to an actual hair supply."

"You need to take a real college course. You want to go on campus and have the experience. If you’re not having the full college experience, then to me it wouldn’t be very fancy. If there’s a radio DJ somewhere doing the ad for your college, then sorry."

"I don’t know why they would make it seem like it would be better. DiGiorno is not fancy no matter how they may try."

[On the slogan: “It’s not delivery, it’s DiGiorno”] "They’re trying to make it seem like it’s better, and it’s like, ‘Yeah, sorry, it’s DiGiorno.’"

"Just because it glitters don’t make it fancy. I’m not 5. Too many bitches think the sparkly and fancier things are automatically expensive, and they’re not. That extends to studded shoes, jackets … Just because it glitters don’t make it gold, honey."

"Girls that wear track pants and sweatpants with high heels and try to make it fashionable, it’s not fancy. That’s been happening a lot lately. I understand sweatpants are making a comeback and I’m for that -- don’t get me wrong. But if you try to wear sweats with high heels and you’re going to the club, you ain’t it."

"Ramen noodles will never be fancy in any format, even if they’re from Koreatown. You know how now it’s like a thing to be like, ‘Oh my God, we’re gonna have Pho.’ It’s like, ‘Oh, that’s ramen noodles.’ Why are you eating it in a restaurant? Sorry Koreans, but I ain’t buying it. Pho is ramen, bitches, and it’s never going to be fancy. It’s not like sushi. Now that’s a fancy Asian delicacy."

"Wearing glasses when you don’t actually need a prescription and you have clear glasses and you pretend that you need it to read, so many bitches do that. They think it makes them look cool or smart or something."

"I like Chipotle, but that’s like saying McDonald's is somewhere to go and it’s not. I notice this on the East Coast. You guys think it’s like Olive Garden or something. Chipotle is one down from IHOP. Just know that."

"If every pair of underpants that you own is from a five for $25 bin, that’s not fancy. I mean, if you’re getting five for $25 at Victoria’s Secret, if you’re getting five for $25 at Target, if you’re getting five for $25 at Walmart, and every pair at that, you’re not fancy. The good stuff you break out for your new man shouldn’t be from the five for $25. If that’s the best of your stash, you’re not a fancy bitch. Don’t get me wrong. I have five for $25, too. But you have to get some actual lace happening."

Jay Electronica Drunk Tweets on Twitter, Slams DJ Vlad

Jay ElectronicaChristopher Polk, Getty Images

Despite not dropping a full-length album, Jay Electronica has a lot of things to say. The reclusive artist went on Twitter Friday (April 19) to hold an impromptu Q&A and get a few things off his chest.

When asked who had the better verse on Big Sean’s ‘Control’ song, he replied that he had the best verse while K.Dot had the worst.

“me, big sean then kendrick. he really didn’t say anything,” he wrote in his tweet, which has now since been deleted. “No shots. everyone knows i like kendrick. but facts are facts.”

Afterward, Jay Elect went on an epic rant on who he loves and hates in the rap industry. Before he started, he warned his followers that he was drunk.

He then went gave props to radio personality/journalist Miss Info before throwing DJ Vlad under the bus.

“Shout out to @missinfo one of the REAL true journalist left in the game. f— your opinion. I’m drunk. PS. I never liked vlad TV. that’s right.. I never liked you and your devilish energy. p—-.”

Unfortunately, Electronica deleted the rest of his tweets. However, rap website Potholes in My Blog posted screen captures of his entire Twitter rant.

Electronica wrapped up his barrage of tweets by throwing more darts at DJ Vlad before giving shout-outs to his favorite rappers.

“And vlad since you like blogging my rants.. make sure the next headline read… Jay Electronica says I’m p—- and he hates my blog,” he tweeted. “Culture vultures. we don’t respect you.”

“Ok guys this was fun. I’m getting off now. and yes, vlad you’re still p—-. and we hate your blog as [much] as we hate your face. poser,” he continued. “Last tweet. i wish Asap Rocky and Asap Ferg come sign w Rocnation. And ab soul too.”

Although his debut album has no release date, Jay Electronica is set to perform this year’s Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. The concert, which will be held on July 12 at Brooklyn Bridge park, also features headliners Raekwon, Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era.

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Boldy James Denies Signing to Nas' Record Label

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Despite numerous reports that Boldy James has signed a deal with Nas’ record label, the unsigned artist says it’s not true.

According to VIBE, the Detroit rhymer would have been the first artist signed to Nas’ imprint through Mass Appeal. The lauded Queens MC, whose ‘Time Is Illmatic’ doc premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this week, is an investor in the magazine under the title of Associate Publisher.

James is shoot down the reports, using Twitter as his sounding board Thursday (April 17).

For the past few months, James has been generating a huge buzz for himself. Aside from a co-sign from Nas, the Motown rapper released his debut album, ‘My 1st Chemistry Set,’ produced entirely by the Alchemist, in October 2013.

He’s also dropped some interesting videos. One clip that caught our eye is ‘Moochie.’ In the visual, James explains Detroit slang for the uninitiated. It’s the midwest version of Big L’s classic ‘Ebonics.’

As far as this purported deal, Nas has made no comment on the matter.

Watch Boldy James’ ‘Moochie’ Video

Drake's 'Draft Day' Gets Unofficial NSFW Video

Filmmaker Ashley Smith (aka Ash Innovator) is back with another head-scratching video that is completely NSFW. The director shot a clip for Drake’s song ‘Draft Day,’ a song in which he throws a couple of shots at Jay Z.

If you’re not familiar with Ash Innovator’s work, he’s the guy that directed the comical unofficial video for Rick Ross’ ‘The Devil Is a Lie.’ The visual features two priests reciting Rozay’s and Hov’s decadent rhymes.

In his new explicit clip for Drake’s ‘Draft Day,’ a naked blonde woman is spitting Drizzy’s acerbic rhymes in a blood-drenched room surrounded by dead bodies and a hanging football player.

The visual gets even more bizarre as a masked man devours spaghetti out of a pork belly. There’s also some simulated necrophilia and booty twerking as well.

So yeah, there’s a lot going on with this bizarre video.

Overall, it’s an interesting visual from Ash Innovator, who also shot a video for YG’s song ‘Who Do You Love.’

Again, we stress that this ‘Draft Day’ video is NSFW. So if you value your job don’t play this when the boss is around.

Watch Ash Innovator’s NFSW Unofficial Video for Drake’s ‘Draft Day’

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Jay Electronica to Headline Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival 2014

Jay ElectronicaSimone Joyner, Getty Images

It’s been years since he hit the stage, but the stars have aligned and Jay Electronica will perform at this year’s Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival.

Also on the bill are Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon, Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era.

BKHHF organizer Wes Jackson tells AllHipHop that Electronica only agreed to perform at the festival if he went on before Raekwon.

This will be Jay Elechannukah’s first New York show in years so it will be interesting to see what he brings to the stage. Will he bring out BK hero Jay Z for their ‘We Made It’ collabo?

The festival, which started in 2005, celebrates its 10-year anniversary this year. The week-long event kicks off July 9 through July 12. The itinerary is as follows:

July 9: Bodega Education Initiative celebrating 20 years of Notorious B.I.G.’s ‘Ready to Die.’
July 10: The Dummy Clap Film Festival
July 11: 10th Anniversary Party
July 12: Family Day and Final Day Performances

Tickets for the 2014 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival go on sale next week.

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