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5 Reasons Kanye West Is The Greatest Hip-Hop Artist Of The Decade

What's left to do when you’ve just released the album of your life? Since its November 22 release, Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy has been universally celebrated as 2010’s most grandiose statement; a project that's managed to capture the imagination of bloggers, rock critics, intellectuals and mainstream media talking heads. This, from an artist who just a year ago was branded public enemy No. 1 post-Taylor Swift "incident."

Just how praised was the album? Time picked Dark Fantasy as their best album of 2010, stating: “Kanye West can seem like an attention-hungry young child who constantly tugs on his mother's pant leg, saying, ‘Watch this! Watch this!’ But once Kanye got our attention, instead of a simple somersault, he delivered the musical equivalent of a one-handed back handspring.” And the usually hard to impress music authority site Pitchfork gave West’s work a rare 10 review. Indeed, West’s deftly constructed all-star statement, which debuted at No. 1 selling over 500,000 copies its first week, showcases the hip-hop anti-hero at his most nihilistic, hilarious, thought-provoking and eloquent. Sex, drugs, love, self-destruction, racism and redemption are just some of the themes explored and dissected.

Balk if you must, but West’s peerless ingenuity makes him the greatest hip-hop artist of this decade. Yes, VIBE’s own founder, legendary producer Quincy Jones, dismissed West as “just a rapper.” And even some of Ye’s admirers have a hard time co-signing that whole voice of a generation statement. “I would not be inclined to agree that he’s the greatest of the decade,” Dead Prez’ M1 tells VIBE. “That’s taking nothing away from Kanye. I’ve worked with him closely enough to witness the creative genius that’s there. I saw that talent even when he was questioning himself as a rapper. But when I look at the hip-hop terrain of this decade, I can see some of his influences like Jay-Z and Nas arrive at the top spot before he would. For me, lyrics have always been the main category in being considered the best hip-hop artist. I can’t say that Kanye has that purity like a Rakim. But the fact that we are even talking about him in that way says a lot for his tenacity and work ethic.”

Still, VIBE is calling it like we see it. And we’ve gathered together MTV News senior writer Jayson Rodriquez, New York Times pop music critic Jon Caramanica, and AOL hip-hop music editor Tracey Ford to discuss Kanye West’s soaring place in rap. Let’s have a toast to the asshole. —Keith Murphy

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Ebro Calls Out Kodak Black For Sexual Assault During Interview

The Internet's latest victim of unwarranted hate is Ebro Darden, host of Hot 97's Ebro in the Morning. currently awaiting trialThe Internet is split on Darden's attempt to try to discuss Kodak Black's sexual assault allegations. He is for charges of criminal sexual conduct from a sexual assault indictment in 2017.

During the rapper's visit to the radio show on Wednesday (Dec. 12), everything seemed fine and dandy. However, around 15-minutes in, Ebro brought up the Floridian's current sexual assault case.

“Look man, at this point, it’s a pleasure to meet you man,” Ebro says near the 15-minute mark of the 17-minute interview. “You know, looking at all your cases and everything you’ve been through, and I know the recent one right now is very sensitive. Respect to everybody involved in that case, we can’t get into details today… We take sexual assault here serious. We can’t get into details, but we hope to have you back, so that we can have a deeper conversation about that. It’s a serious topic, we’re hearing these stories a lot."

Peter Rosenberg swiftly tries to deflect from the conversation by asking Kodak if the moon landing of 1969 was a conspiracy. However, Ebro brings up the musician's clear anxiety over the fact that he brought up the case.

"I feel like sometimes, when n***as like me are going through sh*t, y'all be entertained," says Kodak as he squirms in his chair. "Like, change the subject... talk about something else." Ebro then brings up that they tried to change the subject, and if there's nothing left to discuss, the interview could be over. At that point, Kodak gets up from the mic and walks away.

On Twitter after the interview began to gain virality, Ebro wrote that he did not discuss any specifics about the case, and that he was just trying to have a "balanced" conversation. While many members of the Twittersphere are praising Ebro for attempting to have a conversation about the elephant in the room, others are calling him out for "baiting" and bringing up something that "he shouldn't have brought up."

What are your thoughts?

I was tryna have a balanced convo with Kodak Black & not ignore the serious allegations against him but also not ask specifics to make his situation worse... and he wanna get an attitude with me?? Nah....

— El Viejo Ebro (@oldmanebro) December 12, 2018

He’s young black rich and ignorant. He was suppose to be uncomfortable about it.

— Nisha2much (@NautiNish) December 13, 2018

If you bring it up then say "we cant get into details tho" thats not a balanced convo thats baiting

— Scam SZN (@SumBlaqGuy) December 12, 2018

READ MORE: Vic Mensa Defends Critical XXXTentacion Freestyle On Instagram

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Sir Elton John covered Khalid's 'American Teen' single for Spotify Singles.
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Sir Elton John Covers Khalid's "Young Dumb And Broke"

Khalid has had the opportunity to cover songs from some legendary musicians like Tracy Chapman. Now, the tables have turned. Sir Elton John recently covered the Texan’s 2017 hit “Young Dumb & Broke.”

The “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” musician reworked Khalid’s American Teen track for the Spotify Singles series. In a statement, he praised the young musician’s growth, and he called the song “one of [his] favorites.” Khalid can be heard at the end of the Elton version singing along.

“I discovered Khalid’s music a few years ago, and have been a fan ever since,” Sir Elton wrote. “We finally met when I played his home town of El Paso last year. It’s a thrill to be a small part of any new artist’s journey, and it’s been wonderful to see his star continue to rise and rise. ‘Young Dumb & Broke’ is a fabulous song, one of my favorites, and I’m really pleased that he liked my cover enough to contribute vocals.”

This wouldn’t be the first time Sir Elton has praised members of the newer generation of music. His song “Rocket Man” is sampled in Young Thug’s On The Rvn EP. In the past, he’s sung Thugger’s praises, namely in a 2015 interview with Noisey, where he noted he enjoyed how he pushed the boundaries of hip-hop.

Listen to Sir Elton John’s cover below.

this is so crazy Thank you so much @eltonofficial pic.twitter.com/QVkQjqCSuM

— Khalid (@thegreatkhalid) December 12, 2018

READ MORE: Young Thug Has A New Fan And His Name Is Elton John

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'Sesame Street' Praised For The Inclusion Of Homeless Character

Sesame Street continues its crusade to include statement-making characters on their block. This time around, families will be introduced to Lily, the show’s first homeless character.

According to USA Today, Lily- an adorable hot pink, red haired puppet- was first introduced to the show in 2011, but in new online clips, Lily opens up about being homeless and staying with friends.

"Now we don't have our own place to live, and sometimes I wonder if we'll ever have our own home," she says to Elmo in one clip. In her initial appearances on the show, Lily discusses her family’s food insecurities, meaning they didn’t have much to eat.

“We know children experiencing homelessness are often caught up in a devastating cycle of trauma – the lack of affordable housing, poverty, domestic violence, or other trauma that caused them to lose their home, the trauma of actually losing their home, and the daily trauma of the uncertainty and insecurity of being homeless,” said Sherrie Westin, President of Global Impact and Philanthropy at Sesame Workshop.

“We want to help disrupt that cycle by comforting children, empowering them, and giving them hope for the future," she continues. "We want them to know that they are not alone and home is more than a house or an apartment – home is wherever the love lives.”

In recent years, Sesame Street has introduced a slew of ground-breaking new characters, including Julia, a puppet with autism, and Alex, a character whose father is incarcerated.

READ MORE: 'Sesame Street' Introduces A Character Who Has A Father In Jail

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