3 Reasons Taylor Swift Vs. Kanye West > Jay-Z Vs. Nas

The MTV Video Music Awards showdown on Sunday (Sept. 12) between America’s country music sweetheart Taylor Swift and America’s now omnipresent ‘asshole’ Kanye West personified what riveting, dramatic, and just plain ol’ entertaining television is all about. The highlights followed last year's jaw-dropping moment when Kanye interrupted Swift’s VMA acceptance speech claiming that the moon man belonged to Beyonce. The incident elevated Swift to pop culture sainthood while ‘Ye became a media outcast.

Indeed, the two most talked about moments from the telecast could not have been set in more extreme opposite settings. In one corner was a stripped-down, venerable, barefoot Swift—sitting in an antique leather chair in front of an equally antiquated microphone and television set, with steel guitar in hand—debuting “Innocent,” a track aimed at absolving Kanye from all his VMA sins. In the other corner stood an at-peace and bombastic Mr. West, dressed in a licorice red suit and gold chains amid a futuristic white set and backed up by of all visions three ballerinas and a sneering Pusha T from the Clipse.

For Kanye, his performance of “Runaway” was his chance to move on from the whole ordeal while slyly connecting his brazen behavior towards a significant other in his song to his past notorious actions over a high-art-pop-meets-boom-bap track. When it was all over, the musical culture clash not only proved to be more riveting than the most celebrated hip-hop battle of all time—Nas vs. Jay-Z—it made an emphatic statement that opposites make for great bedfellows. Let’s go to the tape.—Keith Murphy


1. Kanye & Taylor Are A Match Blessed By The Music Gods

Throughout music history, classic, high profile rivalries have produced some pretty intriguing and powerful artistic statements. From John Lennon vs. Paul McCartney (In response to a dig made by the latter cute Beatle, the smart Beatle blasted his former bandmate on his 1971 cut “How Do You Sleep?” with the biting line, “The only thing you done was yesterday…” The lyric was in reference to Paul’s most beloved and biggest-selling Beatles single “Yesterday.”) to the aforementioned legendary Nas vs. Jay-Z battle (“Ether,” Nas’ brilliantly brutal answer to Jigga’s “ hard-line 2001 diss “Takeover” caused a usually in-control Jay to lose control of his emotions on his follow-up retort. Most critics rightly gave the battle to the respected Queensbridge MC) such throwdowns have been epic.

Truthfully, Kanye vs. Taylor lacks the competitive venom of the above verbal rumbles. In fact, you could hardly categorize their respective VMA performances as a “battle” since both showings were aimed at seeking peaceful closure. Still, what propels the unlikely duo to a seminal pop culture moment beyond rock and rap beefs is the fact that the two acts come from distinctly different musical genres. Ye’, the larger than hip-hop showman who wears his enormous ego on his sleeve more loudly than any of his I’m-the-shit rhyme peers. Taylor Swift, the doe-eyed country teen dream that is so saccharine that you get a toothache just from listening to her music. You can’t create a more intriguing dichotomy.

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DJ Khaled speaks on stage for Pandora x DJ Khaled: Father Of Asahd Sound Of Summer Kick-Off on May 22, 2019 in New York City.
Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Pandora Media

DJ Khaled's 'Father Of Ashad' Has Been Certified Gold

DJ Khaled has struck gold with his new album, literally.

The producer's 12th album Father of Ashad has been certified gold, selling an equivalent of 500,000 records. In a press release to VIBE, Khaled's team says the album is the “the fastest full-length record to be minted gold this year”  by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The RIAA also confirmed the news on their site, adding it to its most recent gold and platinum honors for the month of June.

The album is also one of only three full-length projects of 2019 to be certified gold. The others include Tyga's Legendary and Sebastian Yatra's FANTASÍA. 

Khaled's streams from the album reportedly exceed half-a-billion, with singles like "You Stay" with J Balvin and Meek Mill as well as "Jealous" with Chris Brown heating up radio.

The producer was a heap of drama last week when his sportsmanship was questioned after he lost the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 to Tyler, The Creator's critically-acclaimed album, IGOR. Both projects were tied to fan merchandise with Tyler selling IGOR lawn signs and Khaled, cases of energy drinks. After Khaled's album debuted on the chart after Tyler's, rumors swirled that he would take legal action against the publication.

While there seems to be no proof of a lawsuit, Khaled did celebrate on social media the album's No. 1 position on the Hip-Hop/R&B Albums chart.

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The Hamiltones Gift The World With Debut EP And Fresh Cover Of "Old Town Road"

Grammy-nominated viral group, The Hamiltones have finally released their debut EP, Watch The Ton3s and it has that raw, original R&B sound.

They first gained notoriety as Anthony Hamilton's backup vocalists and for adding their own funky twist when covering songs. Now they've released their long-awaited EP with features from Phonte of Little Brother.

The six-track EP is a beautifully orchestrated project with songs for every emotion. The Hamiltones provided their fans with heart-wrenching love songs and well-written harmonies that showcase the voices that got them famous in the first place. Watch The Ton3s is not just about listening to music it's about experiencing it and the group executed that well through the songs on the project. 2E describes it as being feel-good music. “We can switch up every now and then, but this is a soul/R&B EP -- feel-good music."

Although the group has made it to the big leagues, in terms of releasing their own original content, they're still funneling out covers and making them go viral as well.

Almost two weeks on June 1, The Hamiltones dropped their cover of Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" and since it's already racked up three million views on Facebook.

The trio consisting of 2E, J.Vito and Tony Lelo are currently on tour with future performances in Chicago and in New Orleans for the Essence Festival on July 5.

For more information on tour dates, check the official website.


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Entertainer Meek Mill stands with his son Papi at halftime during the game between the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on April 24, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Drew Hallowell

10 Rap Lyrics About Fatherhood

The theme of fatherhood has always been a fixture in rap music. Whether it's the hottest emcees spitting rhymes about their fathers, their own experiences having children, or even imagining the possibilities of having kids, the subject invokes a spiral of emotions. These records find artists at their most vulnerable and intimate, allowing them to share more about their lives, use their experiences to give advice to listeners and to share the emotional highs and lows associated with such relationships and memories.

For instance, Jay-Z has been vocal in his records about not only his love for his three children, but his challenges in fatherhood and his own strained relationship with his late father. For the first decade-plus of his career, he dissed his dad on wax every chance he got. On "Hova Song" from his 1999 album Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter, he shares that his dad wasn't present in his life and no love was lost there. "Retrospect, ain't been the same since I lost my dad/He still alive, but still f*** you don't cross my path." But he also used his music to chronicle how they mended their relationship before his father's death, and how their journey made him doubt his own ability to raise a child.

Much like Jay Z, other rappers such as Nas, Eminem and others have shared their stories about their fathers, both positive and negative. But their music captures it all. So, for this Father's Day it's only right to highlight 10 verses about fatherhood from some of hip-hop's greatest.

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Nas - "Daughters"

“I finally understand/It ain't easy to raise a girl as a single man/Nah, the way mothers feel for they sons/How fathers feel for they daughters/When he date, he straight, chip off his own papa/When she date, we wait behind the door with a sawed-off/‘Cause we think no one is good enough for our daughters/Love.”

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Jay-Z - "Glory"

“Life is a gift, love, open it up/You're a child of destiny/You're the child of my destiny/You're my child with the child from Destiny's Child.”

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Slick Rick - "It's a Boy"

"So it ain’t forgotten, hope I don’t spoil the nigga rotten/Also, don’t discriminate white, he’ll be quite bright, if taught him right/If not he like ask heavenly father, help me raise my shorty right.

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Eminem - "Hailie's Song"

“My baby girl keeps gettin' older/I watch her grow up with pride/People make jokes ‘cause they don't understand me/They just don't see my real side/I act like shit don't faze me, inside it drives me crazy/My insecurities could eat me alive/But then I see my baby, suddenly I'm not crazy/It all makes sense when I look into her eyes, oh no.”

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2Pac - “Letter 2 My Unborn”

“Please take care of all my kids and my unborn child/To my unborn child…/This letter goes out to my seeds/That I might not get to see ‘cause of this lifestyle/Just know your daddy loved you/Got nothin' but love for you/And all I wanted was for you to have a better life than I had.”

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J. Cole - "She's Mine Pt. 2"

“Reminisce when you came out the womb/Tears of joy I think filled up the room/You are now the reason that I fight/I ain't never did nothing this right in my whole lifeGot me thinking…”

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Ja Rule - "Daddy's Little Baby"

"Degrade yourself never, 'cause I'm teaching you better/Life ain't all about cheddar, diamonds, and leather."

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The Game - "Like Father Like Son"

"They say every time somebody die, a child is born/So I thank the nigga who gave his life for the birth of my son."

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Meek Mill - "Save Me"

"I just pray Papi forgive me, ain't seen my son a while (I pray) I go and pick him up from school to see him fucking smile (facts)."

6Lack - "Never Know"

"I got a baby on the way, I think about it every day/They think that paper gon’ change me, I do this shit for my baby.”

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