2018 Hip-hop highlights so far
Written by Melkizedek Owuor on August 10, 2018
2018 has been a busy one for hip-hop artists. Top notch albums, joints, mixtapes, and singles have dropped continuously. We’ve also seen the rise of new artists who embrace the culture (hip-hop culture) stepping up and teaming up with legendary artists to create records. The legends have also not been left behind in the revolution of the hip-hop culture — they’ve stepped up to create records and mentor youngsters. The records have been broken in the streaming world, pure albums sales, and Billboard charts. On the other hand, other world-class artists who have been considered veterans have turned worse, just as Drake said in Emotionless track in Scorpion. Some label managers have been criticised for taking advantage and excessively exploiting the culture without benefiting the culture. This week on The Joe Budden Podcast The Interview, Joe called Dame Dash to explain why he thinks Lyor Cohen is a “culture vulture” and this is how Dame defined “culture vulture”;
“A culture vulture is someone that exploits the culture that he’s not a part of, doesn’t benefit the culture, takes care of his culture, and has no respect for the culture he’s exploiting”.
In other words, we can boldly say that this year has been both trash and dope. Frankly speaking though, the year has been full of success stories than failure. It is already more successful compared to last year.
Let’s talk about biggest winners and losers for far.
In terms of album releases, there are a lot of albums which have dropped so far. The reception of the most albums has been overwhelming. With the likes of Migos, Young Rich Nigga Never Broke Again, Cardi B, Rich The Kid, among others dropping praised albums, it is easier to notice the success in the album sector. These young artists have released great albums which have received appraisal from all corners of the world. Some of the albums have topped the Billboard Top 100 album charts. Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy blasted at No.1 on Billboard charts, Migos’ Culture II also earned that No. 1 spot on Billboard. Rich The Kid’s The World is Yours debuted at No.2 on Billboard.
Drake’s Scorpion is the most phenomenal project of the year so far. The album was certified gold on the same day of release and attained 170 million streams within 24 hours on Apple Music. The album also broke Apple Music’s streaming record by surpassing 10 billion streams on the platform. Scorpion is the current No.1 album on Billboard charts.
Another phenomenal project was Kanye West’s Ye. Kanye’s recent political controversies did not hugely affect the quality of music. Kanye is considered one of the greatest artists of our generation — he has thrived and transformed with the culture. He has always stayed relevant and whenever he feels like his fans are missing him, he always invents new ways of making himself relevant to the fans and the culture. Probably that’s the reason why he entered into the political controversies. He dropped his 8th studio album, ‘Ye’ after uttering some comments which suggested that he supported Trump and as result people thought that he has destroyed his reputation and snubbed the culture and that Ye will not perform. Interestingly, ‘Ye’ performed pretty well that it peaked at No.1 on Billboard Top 100. The album also pulled 205,000 equivalent album units, according to Niesen Music.
Daytona is another dope album that dropped this year. Pusha T dropped the album during a time when he had a heated beef with Drake. It is believed that that Drake beef propelled the success of the seven-track album. The album peaked at No.2 on Billboard Top 100 chart. This album was so lit that Diddy had to put his voice on it. Here is what Diddy had to say concerning Daytona;
A Modern Day Masterpiece. A Flawless Hip Hop Gem. Classic But Current. In Realtime! A TRUE Classic! #Daytona The Album #KingPush
J.Cole’s KOD can’t be missed when the best projects of 2018 are being mentioned. When I first listened to the album, I just knew that it was a dope project; I knew it was going to be received well by both baby boomers and millennials. J.Cole’s style of incorporating that ’90s voice in his music is just amazing; it makes his music to sound authentic and old school. Less than a month after its release, KOD was certified gold by RIAA and even sold more than 60 million album units within the same period. Also, the album broke Apple Music and Spotify streams. If you haven’t listened to the full album, I’m sure you’ve heard ‘1985’ (Intro into the fall out), the single which has been believed to be a Lil Pump diss track.
Some of the greatest artists such as Swiss Beatz, DJ Khaled, and SchoolboyQ are yet to drop their promised albums. I mean almost every artist is in an album mode.
Now let’s move away from albums and talk about losers and criticisms.
Drake and Pusha T. Drake started a fight he could not finish, it is said. After he released Duppy Freestyle that was directed to King Push and Kanye West, Drake could not handle King Push’s reply (Story of Adidon). Drake’s fans criticised him for not replying to Pusha T. At the end, Pusha T was considered a winner after Drake decided not to reply. Later on, it was disclosed why Drake did not reply; J. Prince, the founder of Rap-Alot-Records advised Drake not to reply as he thought that the beef was crossing the lines and might result in BIGGY/Tupac situation.
Recently, Dame Dash referred to Lyor Cohen, CEO and founder of 300 Entertainment as a “culture vulture” after Rich The Kid took to social media of the fact that 300 Entertainment record label is sucking. Also, in an interview with The Breakfast Club, Lyor Cohen refused to recognize Dame Dash when he was asked by The Breakfast Club team. After the incidence, Dame went to Instagram to refer to Lyor Cohen as a “culture vulture”.
We don’t need to talk about Kanye and Trump shit.