Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus
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'Rolling Stone' Challenging Legendary Billboard Music Chart Rankings

Starting May 13, Billboard will have a legitimate competitor to their iconic music charts. Rolling Stone has announced that they will be launching their own charts that will measure the top 200 albums and top 100 singles. According to Vanity Fair, the upcoming charts will be taking a different route compared to Billboard's. They "will be updated daily as opposed to weekly, they will go deeper on streaming data, and they will be completely transparent about their measurement methodologies." This is the first real threat that Billboard has to its chart services since it first took form in the 1950s and it doesn't help that Billboard is under the microscope given the recent controversy with the removal of the viral song, "Old Town Road," from its Hot Country Songs chart.

While Billboard has been calculating its rankings with Nielsen SoundScan since 1991, Rolling Stone will be employing the new analytics start-up Alpha Data. The start-up will help Rolling Stone measure digital and physical sales as well as streaming totals. This move from the media giant is the brain child of Jay Penske, the CEO of Penske Media Corporation that took control of Rolling Stone two years ago.

"Rolling Stone is the most widely recognized brand in the music space," Penske said in a statement to Vanity Fair, "and we think it should be used in other ways to help people discover music." Penske's Rolling Stone will also debut "the Rolling Stone Artist 500," which calculates the most streamed artists and "the Rolling Stone Trending 25," which will determine the quickest rising songs and their measurements for hot new artists.

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DMX Reportedly Signs New Deal With Def Jam

DMX has signed a new deal with Def Jam Records, bringing him back to the label that distributed his early albums and classic singles. According to AllHip-Hop, X re-linked with the record label over the summer and is set to drop a Christmas album, DMX-Mas, either later this year, or in 2020.

X dropped his quadruple platinum debut album, It’s Dark And Hell is Hot, via Def Jam/Ruff Ryders Records in 1998. He went on to release four more album under the label including, his triple platinum sophomore LP, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, followed by ..And Then There Was X, the latter of which became his most successful studio album selling five million copies in the U.S. alone.

X, whose birth name is Earl Simmons, is one of hip-hop’s best-selling artist with just over 17 million records sold, but like many other recording artist, the beloved MC hit more than a few bumps over the years. The 48-year-old Yonkers native has endured money struggles and a very public battle with sobriety that played a part in his returns trips to jail. He was most recently released from custody this past January, after serving a year in prison for tax evasion.

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J. Cole Says He Won't Be Doing Anymore Guest Features

Don’t expect to hear a J. Cole guest verse on songs for other artists. Cole recently blessed tracks like Young Thug’s “The London” and 21 Savages “A Lot,” but the North Carolina born rhymer says that he’s done making guest appearances after the release of his biggest feature yet: Gang Starr’s “Family and Loyalty.”

Naturally, the “Middle Child” rhymer was honored and elated to be featured on the track, and working with DJ Premier might be the perfect way to bow out of the features game. “This is the last feature you’ll hear from me,” Cole tweeted Friday (Sept. 20). “Thank you to everybody I got to work with during this run.”

This a honor to be on this song. NEW Gang Starr 🤯🤯🤯🤯 💎💎💎💎

This is the last feature you’ll hear from me. Thank you to everybody I got to work with during this run. 🙏🏿@REALDJPREMIER This song a classic, thank you. RIP GURUhttps://t.co/MMBI5Z2Fcq

— J. Cole (@JColeNC) September 20, 2019

“Family and Loyalty,” marks the first new single from Gang Starr in 16 years, and reacquaints us with the lyrical genius of Guru, who died from cancer in 2010.

As for Cole, the Grammy-nominated rapper has a lot on his plate between his solo career and the Dreamville Records imprint. The label boasts a star-studded roster that includes Bas, Cozz, Omen, EarthGang, and the incomparable Ari Lennox. The collective released their third compilation album, Revenge of the Dreamers III, earlier this year.

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Ja Rule To Re-Release Discography As Visual Albums

In a series of tweets posted on Monday night (Sept. 16), Ja Rule announced that he will re-release his entire discography. Not only will fans be re-introduced to the award-winning artist's hits but they'll also see accompanying visuals to the New York native's tracks.

Ja responded to a fan's question on "why now?" for the nostalgic liberation. "Music is timeless," he said while teasing his new album set to debut on Dec. 12.

Music is timeless... my new album 12.Twelve.XII comes out dec. 12th... https://t.co/JQka4zgeqI

— Ja Rule (@jarule) September 16, 2019

I will be rereleasing ALL of my albums as visual albums... I will be making a video for every song I’ve ever made... what songs do y’all wanna see videos for???

— Ja Rule (@jarule) September 16, 2019

Songs that already have been matched with visuals will not be a part of the discography's re-release. His roster includes: Venni Vetti Vecci (1999), Rule 3:36 (2000), Pain Is Love (2001), The Last Temptation (2002), Blood In My Eye (2003), R.U.L.E. (2004), Exodus (2005), and PIL 2 (2012). 

With more than 100 songs under his belt, Ja definitely has a task ahead. Good luck, your fans are looking forward to it!

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