Serena1

Serena Williams' 10 Most Hip-Hop Moments

Most tennis players are not what we'd call "hip-hop." Far from it, actually. But, then again, most tennis players are not Serena Williams.

Earlier this week, Serena celebrated her gold medal performance at the 2012 Summer Olympics by doing something that no one saw coming—she Crip walked all over the court. As a result, she was criticized by many of the media members in attendance at the Olympic Games and those watching at home. But, we have to ask: Are you really that surprised that she did it? After all, Serena has always marched to the beat of her own drum. And, she's refused to apologize for doing it. It's one of the reasons why she's a lot like hip-hop. Even in the face of adversity and controversy, she stands her ground and does things her way.

Maybe that's why she's had so many "hip-hop moments" throughout the course of her career. From dating rappers to getting in the booth and rapping herself, she's given us plenty of them over the years and stayed closely connected to the hip-hop community. So, in light of her most recent incident, we decided to put together a list of Serena Williams' 10 Most Hip-Hop Moments. These are just a few of the reasons that it's hard to compare any other tennis player out there (including her own sister Venus!) to Serena.

The Moment: Dancing provocatively at a Ludacris concert
The Date: January 2009
Why It Was Crazy: The Crip walk isn't the first dance Serena has ever done out in public. She also danced along to a bunch of Ludacris songs at one of his concerts a few years ago. YouTube is your friend, readers!

The Moment: Starting a relationship with rapper Common
The Date: Sometime in 2008
Why It Was Crazy: We're not sure exactly when these two started seeing each other, because they kept it very quiet at first. But, after dating Jackie Long and Brett Ratner, Serena started dating Common and their relationship lasted for about two years before they called it quits in 2010. Since then, Serena has also been linked to Drake.

The Moment: Reportedly sparking a beef between Common and Drake
The Date: November 2011
Why It Was Crazy: Although both Com and Drizzy said that their beef was NOT over Serena, we're not really 100 percent sure what else it could have been about. The two rappers also conveniently ended their beef shortly after people starting saying it was over Serena.

The Moment: Singing Destiny's Child's "Survivor" at a karaoke bar in South Beach
The Date: May 2011
Why It Was Crazy: In another life, Serena must have been a singer. Because, for whatever reason, she loves to get up on stage in front of big crowds to sing. She proved it by getting up and belting out one of DC's most popular songs.

The Moment: Getting into the booth and recording a rap song
The Date: May 2012
Why It Was Crazy: We weren't thrilled with what we heard when Serena's song leaked. And, she didn't sound too happy to hear that it leaked. But, The Game liked the track when he heard it and even told TMZ that he thought Serena had a future in rapping. "I can see her doing big things," he said shortly after the song hit the Internet.

The Moment: Recording a bunch of rap songs at a studio owned by NFL player Bryant McKinnie
The Date: April 2011
Why It Was Crazy: The song that leaked on TMZ a few months ago wasn't the only one she's ever recorded. Last year, she actually recorded a bunch of songs, reportedly with DJ Clue providing direction. That might just be her defining "hip-hop moment."

The Moment: Threatening her "back-stabbing friends" for leaking her rap song
The Date: May 2012
Why It Was Crazy: Serena sounded pissed when her song leaked. She even said that she was ready to "act like a rapper" when she came across the "back-stabbing friends" who released it. "I was in the studio with friends and I wanted to do something and so they said, 'Do this,' and it was for me," she said. "That was one or two years ago. And then, I read online that I was a rapper and so my back-stabbing friends did that to me…So, if I see them, I will act like a rapper—if you can get my drift." Gulp. We gotcha.

The Moment: Ethering an official at the 2011 U.S. Open
The Date: September 2011
Why It Was Crazy: Don't get on Serena's bad side! After getting penalized for yelling during a match, she ethered the official. "Don't even look at me," she said. "I promise you, don't look at me…Don't look my way…What a loser. You're a hater. A code violation because I expressed who I am? Really?..If you ever see me walking down the hall, walk the other way." Damn! Is this what she meant by "acting like a rapper" in the previous moment?

The Moment: Crip walking after winning the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics
The Date: August 2012
Why It Was Crazy: Crip walking, Serena? Really? Well, okay then! It wasn't what we were expecting. But, she's not the first celebrity to do it, and she probably won't be the last. So, quite making such a big deal about it.

The Moment: Getting props from Snoop Dogg for her Crip walk at the 2012 Summer Olympics
The Date: August 2012
Why It Was Crazy: While everyone out there was busy criticizing Serena for promoting a "gang-related dance" at the Olympics, Snoop gave her performance two thumbs up on Twitter. "Shout out to Serena Williams," he tweeted. "Go girl." Hip-hop loves you, Serena. And, judging by this list, it's clear that you love it, too.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Ella Mai Puts The Ball In Your Court With "Shot Clock" Visuals

Kobe, KD, Kyrie, how about Ella Mai?

Marking her third official single from her self-titled debut album, the 24-year-old dropped a new video from her charting project, bringing "Shot Clock" to life in her B-ball themed clip.

The Colin Tilley directed visual captures the essence of the young singer, framing her unique style and iridescent vocal abilities. The clip captures the various parts of Mai's magnetic energy, as she stars in her own thematic love story.

The two-time Grammy nominee goes through the many downs that occur in relationships while the red beams of shot clock shine in the background slowly reaching zero, a neon indicator of her lessening patience, the singer finds herself alone.

This visual was released in the midst of the "Boo'd Up" songstress' first debut tour currently venturing through the United States and Parts of Europe. Check out the tour dates below to see if R&B's new golden child is coming to a city near you and watch her video for "Shot Clock" above.

THE DEBUT TOUR

Jan 18 – Berlin, DE- Festsaal Kreuzberg Jan 20 – Hamburg, DE- Grosse Freiheit Jan 21 – Copenhagen, DK – Vega Main Hall Jan 22 – Stockholm, SE - Berns Jan 24 – Oslo, NO – Rockefeller Music Hall Feb 12 - Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom Feb 14 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo Feb 15 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom Feb 17 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades Feb 19 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater Feb 20 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst Feb 22 – Phoenix, AZ – The Marquee Feb 23 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues Feb 25 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre Feb 27 – Lawrence, KS – The Granada Feb 28 – Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theater Mar 2 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s Hall Mar 3 – Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall Mar 5 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues Mar 6 – Toronto, ON – The Danforth Mar 7 – Montreal, QC – Club Soda Mar 9 – Boston, MA - Royale Mar 11 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel Mar 13 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts Mar 15 – Silver Spring, M.D. – The Fillmore Silver Spring Mar 16 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Sound Stage Mar 19 – Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle Mar 20 – Orlando, FL – The Plaza Live Mar 21 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Revolution Live Mar 24 – Houston, TX – House of Blues Mar 26 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues Mar 27 – Austin, TX – Emo’s Mar 28 – San Antonio, TX – The Aztec Theatre

Continue Reading
Smif N Wessun

9th Wonder Talks Collabo Album With Smif N Wessun And The Soul Council

A few weeks fresh off the 23rd anniversary of their classic debut album, Da Shinin', Brooklyn duo Smif N Wessun (Steele and Tek) have released the video for the soul smacking single, "Testify" produced by Khrysis, off their newest album, The All. The project, produced entirely by Grammy-nominated producer 9th Wonder and his Soul Council team, brings the hardcore feel of SNW's best work to the forefront.

“9th Wonder and the Soul Council provide the perfect backdrop for Tek and I to deliver heartfelt lyrical content,” Steele reveals directly. “It’s a true tale of ups and downs, wins and losses, growth and acceptance. It speaks to the hearts and minds of all people; particularly our followers and fans of all ages and ethnicities.”

When artists who rep a certain quality sector of hip-hop music resurface to offer newness to an audience, the longtime fans are looking to bring that old thing back while looking to reflect and push forward at the same time.

"'Testify' is a realistic reflective look back on our accomplishments and failures throughout our career and serves as a precursor to what you will experience on The All,” Steele continues. "This project is a reality check for SNW, one that reflects the struggles and obstacles that we’ve had to endure to survive at the level we occupy in the hip-hop arena."

9th Wonder took the project on as a lover of the group, "My goal is to make sure that we cement the legacy of the artist, but at the same time update the artist. We came up with the concept of  The All (based on a speech from Louis Farrakhan), you can never underestimate the essence of Islam in Hip-Hop. Given the fact that SNW are both Muslim and so many others are as well, we couldn't forget that part."

Going into new chambers of living is needed when you have been recording albums for over 20 years. 9th explains, "we wanted them to talk about stuff they wouldn't normally talk about on records, as they are in a different point in their lives, very grown man. It gives something to our generation to listen to, appreciate and celebrate without feeling old, without feeling outdated. We also wanted to let them know, the legends can still do it."

As the word legend gets thrown around a lot, it's not a far off title for the duo of Tek and Steele. "Some bestow the 'legend' tag upon us (we are very appreciative of that)," says Steele. "And we are chronicling that journey throughout the album.”

The full project will be dropping on February 22nd, 2019 on Duck Down Records. You can pre-order the album here and group merch here.

Continue Reading
Photo Rob

Premiere: Duck Down Records' Smif-N-Wessun Returns With Khrysis-Produced 'Testify'

It's been nearly 25 years to the day since their classic debut Dah Shinin' impacted in January 1995, but legendary Brooklyn duo Smif-N-Wessun is still representing the culture with authority and authenticity. "Testify," the premiere music video from their upcoming album The All, adds another notch to their storied catalogs.

"Testify" begins with old photos of group members Tek and Steele in their 90s heyday, but they don't spend much time there before getting busy with present day rhymes. Over a backdrop from Khrysis, the Duck Down Records duo confidently announces their return while solidifying their legendary pedigree. The song gives a short but sweet taste from The All, their upcoming album produced entirely by 9th Wonder and the Soul Council.

“9th Wonder and the Soul Council provide the perfect backdrop for Tek and I to deliver heartfelt lyrical content,” Steele told VIBE. “It’s a true tale of ups and downs, wins and losses, growth and acceptance. It speaks to the hearts and minds of ALL people; particularly our followers and fans of ALL ages and ethnicities.”

‘Testify” is a realistic reflective look back on our accomplishments and failures throughout our career and serves as a precursor to what you will experience on The All,” Steele continued. "This project is a reality check for SNW, one that reflects the struggles and obstacles that we’ve had to endure to survive at the level we occupy in the hip-hop arena. Some, bestow the “Legend” tag upon us (we are very appreciative of that) and we are chronicling that journey throughout the album.”

The All is scheduled for a February 22, 2019 release on Duck Down Records, and is available for pre-order.

Continue Reading

Top Stories