2017 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 1 - Day 2
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Then & Now: 9 Summer Jam Performers Who Leveled Up

The glow up is real. 

If you're in New York City during the summer, there's really only one show you have to see when it comes to hip hop/rap: Hot97's Summer Jam. Anybody who's anybody is at the festival of the season, from Kendrick Lamar to Drake and J.Cole.

For most artists however, their Summer Jam performances come just before their glow up. In other words, Kendrick before DAMN. or Chance the Rapper before his three Grammy wins. So off the heels of Summer Jam 2017's lineup announcement, let's take a look at how far the top performers have come since taking the stage.

1. Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick headlined Summer Jam back in 2014, just two years off the release of his second studio album, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City. But since he hit the Hot 97 stage, his career has only intensified. Now, Kung-Fu Kenny is set to headline his own tour this summer 2017, in support of his current No. 1 album, DAMN. 

2. Childish Gambino

Despite distinguishing Internet music in the industry, Childish performed on the smaller, Festival Village stage back in 2014. But if he were to be scheduled for this year's festival, that set would be nowhere big enough. Since then, Childish has sky-rocketed the charts with his 2017 project, Awaken My Love! And not to mention, Donald Glover blew away ratings and even won a Golden Globe for his show Atlanta.

3. DJ Khaled 

DJ Khaled's only slogan back in 2010 was "We the Best," but thanks to Snapchat, the popular hype-man has expanded his vocabulary to a long list of positive sayings. In addition to encouraging his fans to eat healthy and live their lives, Khaled has enjoyed an impressive time at the top with the success of his recent album Major Key. His next project, Grateful, which is executive produced by his newborn son, Asahd Khaled, will drop on May 19.

4. Chance the Rapper

Okay, so Chance the Rapper unfortunately never got to bless the stage with his music last year, but he still makes the list because he's, well, Chance the frickin' Rapper! The past two years have been an unbelievable success story from winning three Grammys for his streaming-only album, Coloring Book, to giving back to his hometown of Chicago, and more.

5. J. Cole 

J.Cole has silently been running the game for quite awhile now. In 2012, the Born Sinner artist graced New Yorkers with his presence. Only a year later, Cole went on to drop hit record after record with Born Sinner and Forest Hills Drive. Most recently, the rapper is preparing for his own headliner in support of 2016's 4 Your Eyez Only.

6. Kanye West 

Yeezus blessed the Hot97 stage in 2008, and a lot has changed since then. In the past nine years, Ye has released five hit albums, won 11 more Grammys, married Kim Kardashian, started another feud with Taylor Swift, had two kids, and a nervous breakdown.

7. Jhene Aiko 

Personality wise, the sweet song bird is pretty much the same. But when she hit the stage in 2014, she was just coming into the success of her 2013 project Sail Out. Since then, she's released Souled Out and Twenty88 in collaboration with now-boyfriend, Big Sean. She has also toured the world with artists like Drake, The Weeknd, and more.

8. Mack Wilds 

Mack Wilds might not be the biggest name on the list, but he's actually been featured at a lot of the hottest festivals. In addition to the music, Mack has been holding it down on television on shows like VH1's The Breaks and Shots Fired.

9. Drake, Lil Wayne, & Birdman

In 2011, the YMCMB crew was unstoppable. That year, Drizzy, Wayne, and Birdman took the stage as a family to walk us through every hit single they ever recorded. But as they say: all things must come to an end. Six years later, Tunechi and Baby are no longer fam, and Tha Carter V is still somewhere wrapped up in a ton of legal technicalities.

 

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20 Hip-Hop And R&B Albums That Went Platinum With No Features

Once upon a time, successful artists considered receiving a gold or platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as a rite of passage to legendary status, especially if they did it on their own. Up until 2016, elite hip-hop and R&B artists were awarded plaques after one million units in album sales were sold. Now, any artist with music that goes viral overnight can join the platinum club.

After the RIAA modernized its rules for obtaining gold & platinum status in 2016, the music industry has been flooded with gold and platinum recipients, and it will only become more saturated over time. However, any rapper or R&B singer who sells over a million units without the help of outside artists should be heralded like the icons who came before them.

Since the 1980s, plenty of hip-hop and R&B artists have gone platinum with memorable music that will live on forever, but only a select few have made history by reaching platinum status without featured artists. Here are 19 albums (and mixtapes) that went platinum without other musical guests on the compilation.

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Genres Aside, Here Are Our 25 Favorite Songs Of 2018

Keeping up with all of the music from 2018 was a full-time job, with loads of songs releasing every week and not enough ears to keep track. But the volume of music comes with an advantage: there’s something for everybody. Fittingly, our list of the 25 Best Songs of 2018 represents the multi-genre mayhem that is in everyone’s playlists this year.

Some of the entries on our list, like cuts by Drake, Travis Scott and Childish Gambino, were at the forefront of the conversation in 2018, dominating streaming services and radio around the country. Indie darling Saba made waves, and he’s included here as well. Jazz wizard Kamasi Washington dropped some of the best protest music of the year. But there are also some songs on this year’s list that spoke to the VIBE Tribe in a different way. Cardi B had hits all year, but an album cut impressed us most; Usher and Zaytoven’s new album didn’t make a huge splash commercially, but one of its songs appears here. And Beyonce appears on one of the best songs of the year that never even saw an official release–but that didn’t stop us from including it here.

Music broke the rules this year, and so did we. Read below, and tell us what surprise choices are making your songs of the year list.

READ MORE: Debate Us: The 30 Best Albums Of 2018

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A look back at the collaborator's up and down relationship.
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Remember The Time: 10 Times Drake And Kanye West Were Stronger Together

Kanye West and Drake aren’t exactly in the best place at the moment. West’s Dec. 13 Twitter rant detailed their issues, in which he accuses Drake of “sneak dissing” and threatening him.

“You sneak dissing on [Travis Scott] records and texting Kris [Jenner] talking about how’s the family.” he wrote among many other tweets and allegations against the Scorpion MC.

While this is a bump in the road, the two haven’t always been enemies. Despite the shenanigans surrounding them, Kanye West and Drake have had a very fruitful relationship. All drama aside, the duo have created many memorable moments in hip-hop and pop culture. They’ve written and recorded some incredible songs and shared countless stages during concerts and tours.

To abstain from dwelling on the negativity, VIBE has collected a list of moments taking you through the high points in the rappers’ relationship. Check it out below.

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Drake's Freestyles Over Many Beats By 'Ye

Before he was one of the most sought-after rappers in the world, Drizzy has looked up to Kanye West and sampled his work. For “Say What’s Real,” a single off his mixtape So Far Gone, the “In My Feelings” MC sampled Yeezy’s “Say You Will” off of his 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak. The admiration continued throughout the years, resulting in more freestyles over songs like “Swagga Like Us” and “Barry Bonds.” Both tracks feature beats created by the Chi-town native. 

‘Thank Me Later’ Proves Their Shared Power 

After meeting in 2009, the duo came together to bring Drake's Thank Me Later album to the next level. They collaborated on two tracks- the futuristic love songs “Show Me A Good Time,” and “Find Your Love.” With West holding down production, deep-pocketed 808’s and table-top scratch sounds were highlighted. The accolades for the latter song resulted in the No. 5 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts as they created their own lane.

Drake Calls Kanye “The Most Influential Person”

In a 2009 interview, the then-industry rookie had some nice words for West. Speaking specifically about the 41-year-old’s 808’s and Heartbreak album, the Toronto rapper described ‘Ye as "the most influential person” who was important to young emcees in the game.

"Before I ever got the chance to meet him, Kanye West shaped a lot of what I do, as far as music goes," Drake said. He knows how to utilize great sounds and great music. So before I met him, I had the utmost respect for Kanye West. I'd even go as far as to say he's the most influential person as far as a musician that I'd ever had in my life."

Their Collaborations On Wax 

The pair has been making music together for nearly 10 years, with some standout tracks including “Forever,” the remix to “All Of The Lights,” and “Pop Style.” On their 2017 song “Glow” off of Drake’s playlist More Life, both rappers discuss their growing, limitless success. West was rumored to initially appear on Drizzy’s smash-hit “Nice For What.” He reportedly had a verse on the critically-acclaimed track until the beef between Drake and his G.O.O.D. Music cohort Pusha T became lethal.

The Joint Mixtape That Never Happened

Drake and Kanye are no strangers when it comes to making joint albums with other artists. Drake worked with Future on the platinum-selling album What A Time To Be Alive, while Kanye released Watch The Throne with JAY-Z to critical acclaim. However, it has been hinted for the longest time that the two were working on a full-length album of their own.

Kanye confirmed the plan to release an album with Drake to Vogue in 2016, shortly after hinting at a joint project during OVO Fest. The Take Care rapper co-signed the announcement, saying "What my brother was asking before was, are you ready if we make an album?"

Drake Writing For Kanye’s ‘The Life Of Pablo’

Drake wrote a song for Kanye’s 2016 effort, The Life of Pablo. The Canadian hip-hop star helped pen the Isaac Hayes and Nelly-sampled “30 Hours.” Drizzy was also reportedly on the original, unreleased version of Pablo’s “Wolves,” which featured Icelandic artist Bjork (the album version features Vic Mensa and Sia).

The Duo Become Friendly, Competitive Neighbors

By the time of their initial meeting in 2009, Kanye already clocked in nearly a decade of music industry knowledge, and Drake was making the transition from teen TV star to full-time rapper. But who would have thought the duo would have eventually become actual neighbors?

Drake eventually moved to Calabasas, Calif.- a neighborhood in Los Angeles many celebrities call home- around the same time West began publicly dating his now-wife, Kim Kardashian. In the 2016 bop “Summer Sixteen,” Drizzy jokes, “Now I got a house in LA, now I got a bigger pool than Ye / And look man, Ye’s pool is nice, mine's just bigger's what I’m saying.”

 

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There goes the neighborhood

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Kanye Supports OVO Fest

Drake created a hip-hop festival called OVO Fest in 2010. Not only does it feature notable acts in urban music, but it also gave a platform to upcoming artists from Canada who might not have gotten a platform back home. Kanye West was one of the first supports of the music event, performing at three of the festivals.

He also admitted that Drake inspired him and JAY-Z to record Watch The Throne during 2013’s OVO Fest, stating, "Me and Hov would've never made Watch the Throne if this ni**a wasn't putting pressure on us like that, so I just wanna pay my respects.”

Kanye Apologizes To Drake Over G.O.O.D. Music Album Rollouts

Earlier this fall, Kanye West apologized to Drake in a series of tweets for planning the rollout of albums by artists under his G.O.O.D music roster around the proposed release of Scorpion.

In one of the tweets, Kanye wrote “Let me start by apologizing for stepping on your release date in the first place. We were building a bond and working on music together including squashing the issues with Cudi at our office.” In another tweet, ‘Ye revealed that he never listened to the diss tracks between him and Pusha, and didn’t have conversations regarding Drake’s child with him.

Let me start by apologizing for stepping on your release date in the first place … We were building a bond and working on music together including squashing the issues with Cudi at our office.

— ye (@kanyewest) September 5, 2018

They Shared Laughs Over Meek Mill Memes

Drake and Meek Mill were in an infamous feud back in 2015. After performing his diss track aimed at Meek- "Back to Back”- at the 2015 OVO Fest, Drizzy, Kanye, and Will Smith enjoyed a laugh over the countless memes mocking the Philly MC.

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