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Is Kendrick Lamar The New Tupac? New 'Genius' x Spotify Podcast Explores

Genius x Spotify's new podcast, Déjà Vu, explores the parallels between the two West Coast MCs. 

In today's rap culture, the Tupac comparisons are abundant. From Boosie BadAzz to Young Thug and Childish Gambino, everyone wants to proclaim themselves the modern day Tupac. While they might have a laundry list of evidence to back up their claims, Genius and Spotify's new podcast, Déjà Vu, is specifically exploring the parallels between Pac and the West Coast's current hero, Kendrick Lamar.

In the one-hour podcast – which is titled "Is Kendrick Lamar the New 2Pac?" – host Stereo Williams and his guests engage in an in-depth conversation regarding the two MCs' discography, philanthropy, philosophy and contributions to the California rap scene. VIBE's Editor-In-Chief Datwon Thomas and Genius' Head of Artist Relations, Rob Markman joined the panel discussion.

While Thomas agreed that there are many similarities between the two, he felt as though Tupac's versatility in different mediums made him one of a kind. "Tupac is just something else on a political stance, on the poetry stance, on the movie run, music," Thomas explains. "He was just more than a rapper. To be Pac you would have to that whole lineage of Black Panthers and having lived a life of multiple coasts. He's made up of the ghettos of America."

Pac may have been multi-faceted, but Thomas says he and Kendrick are similar in terms of the themes they discuss in their music. "Since Pac was such as three-dimensional character, when [Kendrick Lamar] is doing interviews and stuff, I don't get that. I don't get the Kendrick that's on wax in the interviews, as far as the passion and the ferocity," he continues. "But as far as the black love and all of those different things, and being able to bring those socially conscious black issues to the foerfront, that's definitely K.Dot."

During the discussion, Markman also recalls an old interview he conducted with Kendrick in which he said he "caught a vibe of Pac in the room." He suggests that while the TDE artist may not be at that level yet, he is well on his way. "Pac was superhero iconic to him in that fashion and now he's in the position where he can do a lot of the things that Pac was doing," he says. "He definitely invites it, definitely embraces."

This is reportedly the first episode of Déjà Vu. The podcast will run every other Wednesday for a total of eight episodes and examine the music of a modern day star. "Déjà Vu is a chance for us to close the generation gap a little bit," Stereo Williams says. "Sitting down with some of the most brilliant music minds around and discussing icons of the present and past."

Listen to Genius x Spotify's first, full episode here.

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Country Music Fans Boycott Wrangler Brand Following Lil Nas X's Partnership

Country music fans are reportedly planning to boycott Wrangler brand due to their recent partnership with rising star Lil Nas X.

This week, Wrangler launched its new capsule collection with Lil Nas X. The line was inspired by a lyric from the rapper's No. 1 hit, "Old Town Road:" "Cowboy hat from Gucci / Wrangler on my booty," he rap-sings.

After Wrangler shared the news of the collaboration on Instagram, country music fans quickly expressed their issues with the partnership. "Really? Supporting an artist that so clearly is mocking country music and the lifestyle it represents? Bad move Wrangler," on commenter wrote.

"Thank you, Wrangler, for ruining the original cowboy cuts awesome just fantastic," another person wrote.

Not too long after the controversy, Lil Nas X hopped on Twitter to address hs haters. "Y’all really boycotting wrangler?? Is it that deep?" Nas X tweeted.

It isn't that deep, indeed. Well, while the haters keep hating, Lil Nas X is gearing up for his debut EP, 7, which is slated to drop in June 2019.


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Sing it. Wear it. Love it. . Follow link in bio for the Wrangler Lil Nas X collection. . #WranglerOnMyBooty #WranglerLilNasX

A post shared by Wrangler (@wrangler) on May 21, 2019 at 11:50am PDT


View this post on Instagram’s an instant hit. Introducing the new Wrangler Lil Nas X Collection. Follow link in bio. . #WranglerOnMyBooty #WranglerLilNasX

A post shared by Wrangler (@wrangler) on May 20, 2019 at 8:39am PDT

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Vivien Killilea

Big Sean Confronts Nipsey Hussle's Killer In Thoughtful Video

Fans are still processing the death of Nipsey Hussle. While some people have expressed anger and sorrow, others are channeling their emotions in different ways. Big Sean shared a powerful video message on Instagram on Monday (May 20) about Nip's passing and even addressed his killer.

"You know what I wanted to say was to the person who murdered Nipsey and to people like that who take somebody’s life out of impulse or for revenge or whatever the case may be—you’re making a permanent solution to a temporary problem," Sean said. "Obviously that’s not how you solve problems. I don't know if we know the value of a life for real, because when you take somebody’s life, dog—you’re setting back their family. You’re setting the whole lineage back—generations. What I mean by that is, I know for a fact my grandma was working for my mom and for me and my brother. I don’t even have kids—I’m definitely already working for my kids and my kids’ kids. When you take somebody’s life, you’re setting all that back. And for what? For something that could have been communicated better?"

Although Big Sean doesn't say his name in the video, he is likely referring to Eric Holder, who was arrested for allegedly murdering Nipsey Hussle outside of his Los Angeles clothing store in Mar. 2019. Police say Hussle was shot after he and Holder got into an argument.

Sean also pointed out the difficulties black men have with communicating their feelings. "It takes a lot of effort. I’ve noticed that men, and in Black men, we're taught to communicate certain ways," he continued. "We're taught to be tough, we're taught to stand tough and get your revenge and retaliate through violence and all that type of shit. But you know, we’re going to keep losing kings!"You can view Sean's message for yourself below.

Watch Big Sean's full Instagram video below.


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A post shared by BIGSEAN (@bigsean) on May 20, 2019 at 8:30pm PDT

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Little Brother To Reunite At Hopscotch Festival And Release New Music

This is not a drill. Little Brother is back.

DJBooth reports Big Pooh and Phonte will officially return to the stage as Little Brother at the upcoming Hopscotch Festival. The North Carolina legends confirmed the news to the outlet and noted that 9th Wonder won't be apart of the reunion but did give his blessing.

The group made waves with their debut album The Listening in the early aughts but cemented their legacy with the classic album, The Minstrel Show in 2005. As Uproxx notes, the group also inspired and worked with some of the biggest artists in music today like Drake and Kanye West.

"I'm excited to announce that my brother Big Pooh and I are back at work. New Little Brother music and a tour are coming soon," Phonte said in a statement to DJBooth. "After conversations with 9th Wonder following our Art of Cool reunion show in Durham last year, the three of us mutually agreed it was best for LB to continue as a duo, as Pooh and I have officially been Little Brother since 2007."

Like Phonte mentioned, the group reunited briefly at the Art of Cool Festival in Durham, North Carolina last year. Phone and Pooh will also release new music as Little Brother.

Since their initial split, each member has gone on to release their own critically acclaimed projects. Phonte released solo projects like No News Is Good News and recently celebrated the 11th anniversary of The Foreign Exchange's standout project, Leave It All Behind.

Big Pooh has released several albums over the years, including his latest project RPM in 2018. 9th Wonder has notably gone on to be one of the most important producers in hip-hop, working with the likes of Jay-Z, the late Nipsey Hussle, and Kendrick Lamar. He also founded Jamla Records with Grammy-nominated Rapsody on his roster.

For good ol' times, stream The Minstrel Show below.

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