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Lyrical Whip: 10 Of Hip-Hop's Hottest Car Lines

Check the lines and rhymes of those gear heads that frequently switch lanes screaming money ain’t a thang!

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Classy, Crunk and Crazy Car Bars

Furious 7 has every car-loving, lyricist lusting music and machine head ready for the film’s release next month. To keep those of you who are included in this mass of carstruction patient, we’ve crafted a list of vehicle mentions in verses from the hottest artists to spit from the car pit. Check the lines and rhymes of those gear heads that frequently switch lanes screaming money ain’t a thang! --David Lugo

The Game ft. 50 Cent - “How We Do”

“I put Lamborghini doors on that Escalade/low pro so low, look like I’m ridin’ on blades.”

First off, Lambo doors on an Escalade is straight up silly; however, what ultimately propelled this choice is the fluid way 50 Cent came onto the infectious Dr. Dre produced beat as Game finished off his first verse. Game’s debut album The Documentary dropped in January 2005, this was a huge single from that project. Too bad they 50 and Game aren’t on speaking terms to perform this 10 years later.

Kanye West - “Last Call”

"Killin’ ya’ll niggas on that lyrical shit/Mayonnaise colored Benz, I push Miracle Whips."

Wordplay at it’s finest. Mr. West, the most criticized artist, err...human being in the world today, ended his 2003 debut album The College Dropout with a nearly 13 minute outro. “Last Call”, describes the journey to his then newfound stardom. In the words of Soulja Boy, who for the first time in life will now be mentioned in the same sentence as Yeezus, “Damn, Kanye! Stunt on them haters!”

Drake - “Funkmaster Flex Freestyle”

"I’m in the Aston doin' doughnuts/I will kill the game and never send it my condolence."

Talk about classic. Looking back on it now, and watching a young faced Drizzy spit off his Blackberry (talk about nostalgia) in 2009, while Flex talks his talk, you can’t help but laugh. Today, Drake is a global superstar, runnin’ through the 6 with his woes and Flex is still dropping bombs. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Jeezy ft. Freddie Gibbs - “.38”

"I’m in that purple Lam, lookin’ like some dirty Sprite/catchin’ passes, whippin’ birds, yeah, that Roddy White."

Over the banging Lil Lody beat, Jeezy and Freddie Gibbs get gutter with the guns and butter. With sports playing such an influential role in hip-hop, and the infatuation with witty wordplay from gangsta types, this line hits home. Look it up if you don’t get it right away.

Rick Ross ft. Drake & French Montana - “Stay Schemin’”

“From the hoopty coupe to that ghost, dog/pigeons on the roof like Ghost, dog.”

While everyone was caught up in the hype of Drake possibly addressing his Common beef on the track, French’s first words took center stage. Was he saying “fanute the coupe,” or “from the hoopty coupe?” The world may have never had known, until French cleared it up. Either way, “fanute” was the word of 2012, appearing everywhere, including t-shirts produced by Fool’s Gold. HAAAAAAN!

Lil Wayne ft. Rick Ross - “John”

“Big black ni##a, in a icy watch/shoes on the coupe, bitch, I got a Nike shop/
Count the profits, you could bring ‘em in a Nike box/grindin’ in my Jordans, kick ‘em off they might be hot… Swish!/I’m swimmin’ in a yellow b*#$h, in a red 911 lookin’ devilish.”

Nothing else to say other than: BARS. Ross murdered this beat, which respectfully draws comparison to his track, “I’m Not A Star.” Despite this being Wayne’s track, Rozay’s flow on this put Weezy F. in a body bag, and zipped him up (in the words of Tu Holloway).

Jay-Z - “Lucifer”

"In the Maybach Benz, flyer than Sanaa Lathan/Bumping ‘Brown Sugar’ by D’Angelo,
In Los Angeles, like an evangelist.”

Maybach: the ultimate symbol of luxury. Bet you didn’t know that Sanaa Lathan played “Syd” in the classic black love film Brown Sugar. That’s all you need to know. The GOAT.

Big Tymers - “Still Fly”

“430 Lex with convertible top/and the rims keeps spinning every time I stop/Got a Superman Benz that I scored from Shaq/With a old school Caddy with a diamond in the back.”

Even as Birdman was known more as Baby back then, it was all about Mannie Fresh on “Still Fly”. Mannie also produced this classic gem and closed the track out with some Fresh rhymes of his own. It would be great to see the fellas get back together and get it how they live now.

Ludacris - “Addicted To Money”

“On the bearskin rug, no shoes or socks/so on three, you and the coupe gotta lose your tops/See I'm addicted to the paper I been gettin' for years/and my whip is all white, I call it Britney Spears.”

It was only right to include Luda on this list, being that he's directly affiliated with the Furious franchise. Many may not remember this song, but he definitely rocked. Also, there were 983,739 potential choices in which rappers compared their “all white whips” to white women of beauty and/or higher power. Mr. Bridges was the 983,740th. Oops… he did it again.

Juicy J - “Money Balls”

“I drive the Phantom off the lawn, my neighbors think I’m LeBron/
Diamonds in my charm, white b*#$hes on my arm.”

Beat wise Lil Lody strikes again. This is a vintage Juicy J bar, one that projects his personality and wittiness like none other. People really slept on this track when it first dropped. Now, it’s on everyone’s “Turn Up” playlist. Go figure. Super motherfuckin’ trippy!

Photo Credit: Kanye West & Jay Z's "Otis" Music Video

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Music Sermon: The Groundbreaking Sprite and St. Ides Hip-Hop Campaigns

Today, rap music is used to sell everything from electronics to tax filing services to nut butter grinding machines at Whole Foods. We understand that hip-hop culture is essentially the root of everything cool and hip in culture, period, and it’s been commodified and appropriated within an inch of its life. But in the early ‘90s, the genre was far from Madison Avenue-friendly. Aside from the groundbreaking deal between Adidas and RUN DMC, brands didn’t yet see full value and impact of hip-hop…except in the food and beverage industry.

Beverage companies centering campaigns for the urban demo around black music was nothing new; Coca-Cola had ads featuring artists such as New Edition and Anita Baker singing their hearts out for the cola in the ‘80s, and Schlitz Malt Liquor had a legendary – and hilarious - run of spots featuring The Commodores, The Four Tops, Teddy Pendergrass and more through the ‘70s and early ‘80s. However, in the early ‘90s two brands put their entire business on hip-hop’s back, by not only building their brands but spring-boarding the recognition of the music and artists as a marketing and advertising tool: Sprite soda and St. Ides malt liquor.

In the ‘80s, Sprite was languishing behind competitor 7Up when parent company Coca-Cola decided to focus on the youth market, and the quickly growing hip-hop culture was part of the strategy. African-American ad agency Burrell Communications tagged hip-hop acts for a series of spots that began a long-standing marriage between the brand and the culture, starting with Kurtis Blow in 1986. It was one of the first national TV ads to feature a rapper.

KURTIS BLOW - 1986

In 1990, the brand kicked off the “I Like the Sprite in You” campaign, using rap acts that matched the soft drink’s bubbly energy, starting with Heavy D & the Boyz before partnering with Kid ’n Play the following year. The ads featured the artists clad in lemon-lime fare, rhymin’ about lymon.

HEAVY D - 1990 KID’N PLAY – 1991

With Kris Kross, they turned it up a notch and had us crunk inside the Sprite can. Edgy. Also, this was catchy as hell.

KRIS KROSS - 1993

Then in 1994, a young brand manager from Clark Atlanta University named Darryl Cobbin had an idea for a new direction: Gen X was about authenticity and independence of thought, not following the hype. Sprite ditched the pop-friendly crossover acts and identified more “authentic” rap artists – lyricists with street and cultural cred – to rep the brand. “Lymon” was also out of the window, as they moved away from marketing taste and towards marketing attitude. (Cobbin later spearheaded the iconic, yet grammatically questionable, Boost Mobile “Where You At?” campaign.)

Gone were the bright yellow and green sets, because while the new slogan said, “Image is nothing,” it was all about image. Bright and shiny was traded for dark and gritty. Now we were in the studio; a fly on the wall for freestyle sessions. In the first spot of the series with Grand Puba and Large Professor, Puba closes with “First thing’s first, obey your thirst.” It’s legend even within Coca-Cola that Puba ad-libbed the phrase that then became the brand’s tagline that remains to this day.

GRAND PUBA & LARGE PROFESSOR - 1994 PETE ROCK & CL SMOOTH – 1994 A TRIBE CALLED QUEST – 1994

The “Obey Your Thirst” spots also took us the street corner, the club, and inside the ring when Sprite resurrected the legendary KRS One vs. MC Shan battle.

KRS ONE & MC SHAN - 1996 NAS & AZ – 1997 THE LOST BOYS – 1997

By the late ‘90s Sprite had spent roughly $70M on the “Obey Your Thirst” campaign, tripled sales, and commanded a majority market share of the citrus category (which also included 7Up, Sierra Mist, and Mountain Dew).

Sprite had also succeeded in becoming an official and established part of the culture. They were family. The brand further expanded into urban youth culture through a partnership with the NBA, while continuing to evolve the creative of the rap campaigns.

KOBE BRYANT, TIM DUNCAN & MISSY ELLIOTT – 1998

Near the end of the decade, Sprite explored the overlap between hip-hop culture, comics and martial arts with a series of posse spots based on Voltron (representing all hip-hop regions) and the 5 Deadly Venoms (with all female emcees).

VOLTRON SERIES - 1998 5 DEADLY VENOMS SERIES – 1999

Over the years, Sprite has continued to be one of the most consistent brands in hip-hop. We’ve grown accustomed to spotting the logo everywhere from music festivals and shows to the background of BET’s hip-hop cyphers. They revitalized the “Obey Your Thirst” campaign with Drake in 2010 and paid homage to the greatest lyricists in rap with the “Obey Your Verse” campaign featuring iconic rappers and cans with classic lyrics in 2015.

SPRITE "Obey Your Verse - Cooler" (starring Rakim) from SHOUT IT OUT LOUD MUSIC on Vimeo.

St. Ides’ run with hip-hop doesn’t have the same happy ending as Sprite’s. The brand’s usage of rap petered out in the mid-90s after wide backlash and a series of lawsuits.

For St. Ides, hip-hop was the brand campaign. It’s how they built their business. The brand was introduced in 1987 and their rap campaigns launched in 1988. The malt liquor 40 oz., with significantly higher alcohol content than beer at around a $2 price point, was already a staple in lower-income neighborhoods and hip-hop culture. The “Crooked I” capitalized on that.

Parent company McKenzie River secured Ice Cube as their anchor spokesperson and tapped West Coast producer DJ Pooh to spearhead advertising creative. Pooh lined up a veritable who’s who of additional West Coast rappers over the years, including Geto Boys, Cypress Hill, Warren G, Snoop and Tupac; plus the thorough-est from the East, including Eric B and Rakim, Wu-Tang Clan, Biggie and EPMD.

EPMD & ICE CUBE - 1991 GETO BOYS & ICE CUBE – 1992 ERIC B & RAKIM - 1992

Unlike Sprite’s campaigns which were first jingles and still felt like commercials, even when elevated to trading hot bars for Obey Your Thirst. St. Ides spots, however, looked and felt like straight up music videos with album-worthy production and flow.

ICE CUBE – 1993 MC EIHT – 1994 NOTORIOUS B.I.G. – 1995

Complex even named Wu-Tang’s St. Ides spot “Shaolin Brew” as one of the collective’s 100 best songs! (But at least it’s ranked near the bottom; #97.)

WU-TANG CLAN - 1995

In fact, in 1994, the brand did turn the hottest of the joints into an album, with the St. Ides promotional mixtape dropping at your neighborhood liquor store. It featured full-length songs about getting twisted off the malt liquor from Ice Cube, Wu-Tang Clan, Scarface, MC Eiht, Snoop Doggy Dogg, and Nate Dogg.

The Snoop and Nate track is low key a jam, still. Homegirl in the background starting at the 10-second mark is a whole mood.

This blatant marketing of malt liquor directly to black and brown youth wasn’t going to go unchecked indefinitely. It was all irresponsible, even while being genius for the demo. In 1991, the Wall Street Journal listed the St. Ides ad campaign among one of the worst of the year, which probably didn’t matter at the time since WSJ readers weren’t St. Ides’ base.

In 1991, Public Enemy released Apocalypse ’91: The Empire Strikes Back. The album featured “100 Bottle Bags,” a direct criticism against malt liquor companies marketing specifically to urban communities “…but they don’t sell that sh*t in the white neighborhoods.” Shortly after the release, St. Ides found itself in Chuck D’s crosshairs, and he fired the first in a series of big shots against the brand, marking the beginning of the end of their love affair with hip-hop. An 80-second radio spot featuring Cube used a sample of Chuck’s voice without his permission. The ad had already aired over 500 times on rap radio shows when Chuck sued St. Ides parent company McKenzie River for five million dollars (they settled out of court).

Then, St. Ides and McKenzie River fell under legal scrutiny from the New York State Attorney General in 1992 for using verbiage like Cube’s lyric “Get your girl in the mood quicker, make your jimmy thicker…St. Ides.” to suggest the malt liquor increased sexual prowess. Can you imagine the think pieces if that spot ran today?

They were later in hot water with the New York AG’s office again, along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco (the ATF) for advertising perceived to the be targeted towards minors, with complaints that it glamorized gang affiliation and promoted sex. After having production completely shut down for a short while and getting hit with heavy fines, St. Ides tried to clean up its act, adding “drink responsibly” messaging into the spots.

By ’96 the run was over. Hip-hop was growing up, getting money and moving towards more sophisticated alcoholic beverage choices. Alizé and Hennessy, anyone?

The relationship between hip-hop and alcohol never ended, of course, but has continued to evolve to match the evolution of the lifestyle. We don’t go to the corner store no more, homie (save a brief return in the early aughts of Four Loko). We’re toasting to the good life with premium brands, some of which are now owned by the artists.

We can look back now with the wizened, woke eyes of maturity and possibly scrutinize our artists selling out at the expense of the community, but for the young and burgeoning hip-hop culture, both the St. Ides campaigns and the Sprite campaigns opened the door for the power and commodification of hip-hop and consumer brands. For better or for worse.

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J.Cole, Teyana Taylor And Other Snubs Of The 2019 Grammy Nominations

It's that time of year again when inner circles and strangers on the Internet debate who's up for a gramophone.

On Friday (Dec. 7), the nominees for 2019's Grammy Awards (Feb. 10) were announced to a span of hot takes, early but informed predictions, and a wall of confusion as to why certain artists were overlooked. While some entertainers excitedly received the good news (Cardi B discovered her nods while leaving a courthouse), others were left scratching their heads.

Here's a look at why those who were snubbed by the Recording Academy deserved to be nominated.

READ MORE: Drake, Kendrick Lamar, And Cardi B Lead 2019 Grammys Nominations

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Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack And More Praise Female Artists At 2018 Billboard Women In Music

Some of music's biggest stars attended Billboard's annual Women in Music event on Thursday night (Dec. 6).

Pop star Ariana Grande was awarded with the night's highest honor, "Woman Of The Year," while SZA, Janelle Monae, Cyndi Lauper, Hayley Kiyoko, and Kacey Musgraves were awarded with subsequent prestigious honors.

VIBE got a chance to speak to some of the musicians in attendance on the carpet, including hip-hoppers Anderson .Paak and Tierra Whack, the Janelle Monae-cosigned St. Beauty, and Massah David, the co-founder of the creative agency, MVD Inc..

When prompted about some of their favorite bodies of work by female artists this year, a resounding amount of musicians stated Teyana Taylor's K.T.S.E and Tierra Whack's Whack World as some of their personal picks.

The 23-year-old MC and first-time Grammy nominee confirmed with VIBE she's working on "something really special" with fellow Philadelphian and friend Meek Mill. She also stated that while the accolades for her work have been exciting, she's more excited for society to stop gendering dope artists, especially in the hip-hop game.

"I hope that [labeling through gender] ends soon," she said. "I know, technically, rap is a male-dominated industry, but, like, I’m better than all of ‘em! [laughs] It is what it is! I don’t even count gender or color, it’s just whoever’s got it."

What are some members of the music industry looking forward to in 2019? More women in high-profile positions and more chances for women in general.

"Hopefully just having more opportunities for women in different spaces in music, whether it’s radio, behind-the-scenes, engineering, actually making the music," said David. "I’m just hoping we get to see women in more executive roles."

Watch our recap video above.

READ MORE: Janelle Monae Discusses Creative Freedom, Her Relationship With Diddy In New 'Billboard' Interview

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