Opening Reception For ''Stan Lee: A Retrospective''
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20 Rap Lyrics Paying Homage To Stan Lee

Stan Lee's presence helped influence a majority of rap history’s most iconic figures.

While the hip-hop community is largely comprised of creatives, executives, and fans playing an active role in furthering the culture, there are a number of figures beyond the rap world who are “down” by law. Legendary writer, editor, and publisher Stan Lee, who passed away Monday (Nov. 12) at age 95, was one of those people to gain the respect and adulation based on the strength of their own talents and contributions; His presence helped influence a majority of rap history’s most iconic figures.

Beginning his career in 1939, Lee was a pioneer and trailblazer in the world of comic books, helping turn Marvel Comics into a powerhouse as the company's long-time editor-in-chief. Responsible for creating legendary comic book characters (Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Mighty Thor, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil, Ant-Man, Black Panther), Lee's work influenced scores of comic book fiends, including entire generations of hip-hop lovers.

Much like Lee, whose imagination helped affect how people see the world, many rappers morphed themselves into superheroes in their own right; Ghostface Killah gathered direct inspiration from his characters. After stepping out of the shadows and making cameos in various films based on the comics he created, Lee was as ubiquitous as ever prior to his death, with rappers and other figures within hip-hop invoking his name with the type of reverence reserved for an icon.

In celebration of his life and impact on hip-hop, VIBE compiled a list of 20 of the illest rap lyrics paying homage to Stan Lee.

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1. Common - “Chapter 13 (Rich Man vs. Poor Man)”

A Manwich has mills like Stephanie Mills, dills like pickles/ I'm fancy, man, I tickles like the French/ Not Johnny but like Bench, I press on like Lee/ I stan' like Lee, while you stagger like Lee

2. Royce Da 5'9 - "I'm Me Freestyle"

"I take care of my family/ They say "Do the kid rock like Pam Lee?"/ The answer is yes and I invest/ It takes money to make money, so I make green off Green like Stan Lee"

3. Jon Bellium - "Adult Swim"

"My stance here as a bandleader is Pangaea/ My heart free-er, I'm cold, heater than Cambria/ I rock steady, my Johnson's Dwayne-heavy/ We just erase heroes, I Stan Lee your remedy"

4. Timeless Truth - "Pop Champagne"

"Illustrate like Stan Lee... Kubrick/ Color code a Rubik's Cube with my eyes closed/ Time froze... modern day Picasso's viotech flows/My dialect grows when I elect, yo"

5. Killah Priest - "Sword Clan"

"Meditate, talk to Magneto and Professor X/ Y'all world's last chance/ Telepathy like from the mind of Stan Lee/ My strength in the comic world is like family/ Your pix sticks of style of rap is weak"

6. Canibus - “Wreck Room”

Flaw's the illest and I put that on my daughters ‘cause/ I'm hungry, like the effect I get that marijuana does/ In this game, you'll be the horriblest//So even with Stan Lee fighting Marvin Hagler, you couldn't marvel us

7. Daylyt - "First Breath"

"Isley brother that Mister bigger than ever it's contra/ No contradiction we pill them like top prescription/ Here's my prediction, if y'all get offensive there's consequences so constantly/ Kinda Stan Lee, it's marvelous moments charcoal upon us?"

8. Chino XL - "Closer To God"

I'm feeling wild lately/ I don't know how to die, kill you, you can educate me/ I'm back when the game is horrible/ I stepped right out of Stan Lee's imagination, Chino is a living Marvel

9. Apollo Brown & Ras Kass - “Animal Sacrifice”

I'm at least top 10 breathing on land, me/ Helped Dylan raps, I got skills like Lee/ Which Lee? Any Lee, choose two/ Spike Lee, Bruce Lee, Stan Lee, Chun/ From Street Fighter 2 with the fire fall shoe/ Studied the best bars old school to the new

10. Redman - “Ni**a Like Me”

My credit card that I swipe/ True Religion's all on my Nikes/ 7:30 train wreck, brain freeze/ I'm Capo, Marvel, got the Iron Man, Stan Lee”

11. Joe Budden - “Going Through the Motions”

Here's a message to the haters tryna stampede/ You wanna kill the kid, you'll need a plan B/ Voices in my head soundin' louder than the banshee/ Callin' me a character, this ain't sponsored by Stan Lee

12. Chiddy Bang - “(Swelly) Extra Well”

Young Chiddy turn a verse into a masterpiece/ Ni**a focused on the pie, I can let you have a piece/ Everything you can't be, Fendis in the pantry/ Haters marvel at it like Stan Lee, damn me

13. Chris Webby - “Get By”

Never fade away, this the raw sh*t/ Blueprint, Stan Lee couldn’t draw this/ Flow a perfect 10, head-to-toe flawless/ Give ‘em a colostomy bag if they try to talk sh*t

14. Dumbfounded - “Zonin’”

There was no Plan B, told myself I can be/A superhero make myself dinero like I’m Stan Lee/I was a daydreamer, voted as the night mayor/ Packed inside a club like I don’t like air

15. The Last Emperor - “Secret Wars (Prince Paul Mix)”

Now with all these heroes down, Stan Lee refuses to surrender/ He got Storm from the X-Men, as if I couldn't match the gender/ Stan Lee shouts 'Excelsior!' Yo, Stan you best to chill'/ There's no match for Storm,' I guess he's never heard of Lauryn Hill

The Last Emperor - “Secret Wars II”

What if I had the power to gather all of my favorite MCs/ With the illest comic book characters and make them arch enemies?/ Inconceivable? Unbelievable? Yet as wild as it seems/ The Emperor and Stan Lee would coach the two opposing teams

16. Apathy - “Plan B”

I'm killin' about a million little innocent civilians/ And chillin'; still in my secret location on top a hill an'/ Narratin' this adventure like Stan Lee/ I narrowly escaped, time to start up my Plan B

17. Hieroglyphics - “Phesto D”

Manhandling, your crime family like Stan Lee/ Branding ni**as with the Hiero, symbol and/ Adrenalin is, hallucinogenic/ By the time the ambulance rolled up, the pharmaceuticals entered

18. Chuuwee - “Decension (Routine) (ft. dahLak)”

Trying hard to maintain things is the only thing I'm on lately/ Only going out if it pays me, the fuss and fighting just pains me/ But I dust it off can't stain me, Stan Lee can't create me/ I can sense the feeling ni**as hate me, but I can't be seen in HD screen

19. Cambatta - "Stoopid"

"My design was derived from Stan Lee/ Unequivocal mind I combine with hand speed/ Make a ni**a look like he died by stampede/ Even with a pair of God's eyes, you can't see"

20. Mickey Factz - “Sway in the Morning Friday Fire Cypher 2016”

Yeah, that mean the flow is too gamma/ And I could fly, teleport, I threw hammers/ I'm Stan Lee in a cipher, Jack Kirby of writers/ Frank Miller drawing lyrics in lightning

READ MORE: Beloved Marvel Co-Creator Stan Lee Dies At 95

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15 R&B Songs We Obsessed Over Most In 2018

Hip-hop may have become the Nielsen Music-declared most dominant music genre, but let's not overlook the strides R&B (including all its many sub-genres and cousin genres) have taken on the airwaves and within the culture in this year alone.

While persistent naysayers keep peddling the tired argument that "R&B is dead," the most recent news cycle has proven the exact opposite, as talks of a supposed King of R&B dominated discussions both on- and offline. Jacquees' lofty declaration notwithstanding, there's no denying that there are ample songs swimming around the 'Net from talented vocalists killing it within the genre.

For those looking to satiate rhythm and blues earworms—and in no particular order—VIBE compiled a list of the 15 bonafide R&B songs of 2018 (or at least ones that fall within the genre's orbit) that pulled us into our feelings each and every time we pressed play.

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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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5 Stories From Meek Mill's #CRWN Conversation That Flew Under The Radar

Meek Mill made his return to Elliot Wilson's #CRWN conversation on Sunday (Dec. 2) for an in-depth discussion of Championships, his behind-bars experience and prison reform.

Live from New York City’s Playstation Theatre, the stage was set with two throne-like chairs as Mill and Wilson's fans began to swarm through the packed house. Loaded with fans from Philly, Jersey and NYC alike, the crowd was buzzing in anticipation for Meek’s grand arrival. Introduced by Wilson, the veteran journalist briefed in-house and live-streamed listeners with his relationship with the Philly rapper, discussing the many times the two have linked “from the MMG days to now.”

“It’s just amazing to see how he’s continued to fight this adversity and continued to deliver great music,” says Wilson, engaging in a back and forth conversation with the crowd. “When you put out a title and say you’re going to name your album Championships, you better deliver,” Wilson continues. “And he delivered.”

Appearing on stage sporting a mid-length fur coat and glistening jewels, Meek and Wilson exchange a quick embrace as the live audience jumps to its feet to welcome their champion. Taking his experience to lean into activism, Meek engaged in a 90-minute conversation with the journalist, answers fan-questions and candidly tell his story as he sees fit.

But as tabloid fate would have it, one of the sole stories to come out of the meaningful conversation was his awkward date with then-girlfriend Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z and Beyonce. The memories Meek decided to share like adorable moments with his son, his newfound position in the battle for criminal justice reform and recording Championships fell to the wayside.

But don't fret. Here are some other memorable moments from the interview.

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1. Meek's Best Day in Jail Included a Visit From Kevin Hart

Meek's final day in jail was similar to the others. He woke up, successfully avoided jail food by making his morning oatmeal and knew his day was heading in a good direction when he won five consecutive ping pong games against his daily opponent– who want the smoke?

After heading back to his cell, Meek's day got a whole lot better when Kevin Hart and 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin had pulled up on him by surprise. "They come on the block and I was like, 'Man come in my cell and see how this sh*t look,'" Meek starts. "So Kevin Hart and Mike, they come in the cell and they like 'It's not that bad,' they tryna make me feel good, I'm like 'The hell you mean it's not that bad? I got my boxers hanging up on the f**king string'" the rapper jokingly recalls. After the much-needed hour-long visit, Meek returned to his daily jailhouse activities when he learned that he would be released from jail within hours. What a day.

2. Friends and Family Would Send Him IG Post Printouts Through Mail

When Meek packed his cell to go home, he had over 10,000 photos to sift through since his tribe brought the world of Instagram to him through the mail. "I used to tell everybody like, 'Yo, just send me everything that's going on on Instagram, I wanna see everything that's  going on in life.'"

The rapper separated his photos by importance, keeping the photos of his family in a separate pile with his other pile (filled with pictures of all the IG models and famous ladies) holding a different level of importance to those who stood behind bars with him. "It was valuable cause some guys in there they got 25 years in this s**t, they ain't never see the fake a**es yet and the girls with the new bodies, so you know, they all in my cell like, 'What's up with these pictures?'"

3. He Purposely Steered Away From Lending Tekashi 6ix9ine Advice

While breaking down Championships cut "Respect the Game," Meek spoke on hip-hop's freshman class including Tekashi 6ix9ine, Lil Durk and YoungBoy NBA. "[Tekashi] used to be poppin' so much sh*t on Instagram, I be like 'I don't even wanna say nothing to this young boy, this young boy start sayin' all this crazy sh*t to me on the internet," he joked.

On a more serious note, Meek speaks on the real issue he had with 6ix9ine, sharing his concern for the 22-year-old's habits in starting drama with some of hip-hop's most dangerous faces. "With my music, I wanted to reach all of 'em," he said, explaining how when the music speaks for itself, you don't need to ensue controversy to sell records.

4. His 7-Year-Old Son Already Has a Rapper Name

Give it 10 years and we might see Meek Mill's son on the Billboard charts. Answering a fan question about "Lil Drip," Meek clarifies that Lil Drip is actually his son Papi's, rapper name. "Sometimes I be in the studio I be like 'Yo, I give you $500 if you go in the booth and rap right now and he just go in the booth and lay it.'" Sampling a few adorable bars, Meek reveals that his son consistently shocks him with his material, bringing up some of the most trivial experiences he's shared with Meek.

"He be like, 'Private jet/ Who I met/ Ben Simmons/ That's a bet,'" spits Meek, referring to a previous birthday trip he's taken with Papi.

5. Jay-Z's Verse on "What's Free" Was a Pivotal Moment in Meek's Career

A Jay and Meek collaboration has been a long time coming. In Meek's promotional single "Stay Woke" featuring Miguel, the rapper spits, "When I talked to Em and Hov, they said, "I'm proud of you/ You stood tall back when everyone doubted you"/ My reply is, "I did what I gotta do/ And I need that verse 'fore you retire too."

During the conversation, Meek speaks on "What's Free" with Rick Ross and Jay-Z, remembering the first time he heard Jay's 44 bar verse. "When I got it back I was in the bathroom, I was just standing in the mirror listening to it," he says while bopping his head, fully immersing himself in the moment.

"I represent the path that HOV created," Meek tells Wilson. "I always wanted that Jay-Z feature and he came through this time, shout out to HOV."

Stream the entire conversation here.

READ MORE: Meek Mill Recalls Awkward Double Date With Jay-Z, Beyonce, And Nicki Minaj

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