Album 94: Atmosphere – When Life Gives You Lemons…

After five studio albums, massive national tours, their own label success with Rhymesayers, and positive attention on various late night shows, Atmosphere’s album “When Life Give You Lemons, Paint That Shit Gold” is perhaps their most grounded album. Slug’s storytelling abilities and Ant’s versatile musicianship fused into an album of pure middle class Americana. As close to a blues album as a hip hop album could get, “Lemons” features Slug’s ‘sexy scumbag’ snarl lamenting on the massive tragedies and small victories of the under served, unglamorous side of America.

Music legend Tom Waits makes the most appropriate of cameos on an album that is as many equal parts Waits, Leonard Cohen, and Bob Dylan as it is Public Enemy, Eminem, and Big Daddy Kane. A breakthrough for the Rhymesayers Boys.

“Guarantees” is what would happen if Bob Dylan was born 1985 and rapped in his 20’s, and is our favorite track. What is yours? Comment below!

Featured Chain 11 – Fabolous

VH1 Hip Hop Honors – Arrivals… – OCTOBER 07: Rapper Fabolous attends the VH1 Hip Hop Honors 2006 at the Hammerstein Ballroom October 7, 2006 New York City. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

We’ve said before that there are two methods of creating an iconic hip hop chain. You can go tasteful, and fresh, creating something unique. , you can throw everything tasteful against the wall and go for audacity. Fabolous went the second route, and he went iconic because of it. Creating a diamond studded, Cuban chain holding, yellow and white gold monstrosity Fabolous embedded his Rich Yung line in infamy.

The $75,000 piece just screams extravagance, and it’s diamond setting only enhances its credibility. Designed by David Bling, this chain screams about status. Only somebody that is a true baller could get away with something so ridiculous, with is what Fabolous did. If you want people to buy into your clothing line, this is the way to catch them, and keep people talking.

What do you think of Fabolous’ Rich Yung Piece Share this article, and let us know in the comments.

Featured Chain 9 – Beanie

When people talk about the best chains representing the best labels, names like Rocafella, No Limit, Death Row, and Dipset get thrown around. Then when the children are done talking, the real icons start slowly letting everyone know they should not be forgotten.

Enter State Property, as hung around the neck of Beanie Sigel. It’s understated. It flashes. It is whispers at you. It doesn’t need to scream, because 300 grams of bling doesn’t need to scream. It already has your attention. You may think you’re hard, but then when you have 18k gold hanging around your neck on an equally ice chain you don’t have to guess. Everyone knows you’re hard.

Beanie went the route of simple sophistication on this $35,000 chain, representing his label State Property. It’s crazy, and it’s legendary.

What do you think of Beanie Sigel’s State Property Chain? Share this article, and let us know in the comments.

Most Influential Rap Albums Of All Time: Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels

It’s hard to not nod your head to “36′ chain,” our favorite track.

Underground messiah El-P, formerly of Company Flow and one-time CEO of Def Jux Records (home to mainstays Aesop Rock and Cannibal Ox) was an already established legend in the hip hop community. When he met Dungeon Family stepchild and rap monster Killer Mike and produced an album for him, the chemistry was undeniable. Enter the freshman album that redefined independent promotion: Run The Jewels.

Mining the same gold vein they tapped in their first collaboration, this album debuted to near universal acclaim and relaunched the names of these underground stalwarts into the modern rap zeitgeist. At once political, farcical, tongue-in-check, and irreverent, RTJ cemented their spot in hip hop right out of the gate.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Run_the_Jewels_(album)#/media/File:Run_the_jewels_ep_album_cover.jpg

It’s hard to not nod your head to “36′ chain”, our favorite track. What’s yours? Comment below!

Most Influential Rap Albums Of All Time: Outkast – Aquemini

Starting off our list of hip-hop’s most influential albums.

OUTKAST: AQUEMINI

Outkast
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquemini#/media/File:AqueminiOutKast.jpg

1998 was another banner year for hip-hop as it saw the release of several albums destined to resonate and define the careers of their creators. Perhaps no album defied convention more than duo Outkast’s third studio album: Aquemini.

At once a synth-slathered love letter to P-Funk, Black Pride and the Southern lifestyle, and yet also a mature chastisement of frivolous gangster proclivities, Aquemini defined the sound that was to boom out of for decades to come. An auteur look at the development of emcees Andre ‘3000’ Benjamin and Antwan ‘Big Boi’ Patton, this album has gone on to influence many, and even modern acts such as Run The Jewels stem from the lineage first set down by these Dungeon Family elders.

We are particularly fond of “Synthesizer”, which was the standout track to you? Comment below!

Featured Chain 5: The Game

Featured Chain 5: The Game

The Game
via http://images.complex.com

There are some hip hop chains that are iconic simply due to their simplicity, their lack of subtlety, and the message they put across. Turning your name into $50,000 worth of ice and 50 carat Cuban links turns you into an OG for at least a moment. The Game made his name iconic with his massive double “The Game” chains. Produced by Ben Baller, the chains are synonymous with The Game. You rarely see one without the other.

Both chains are heavy, and both chains hold an impressive amount of ice. Jeweler Ben Baller relates that on the smaller name plate “we laser engraved ‘The Documentary’” and that on the larger one “The Devil’s Advocate” was engraved. The Game had the pieces designed because he was rapping about the pieces on his soon to drop album Devil’s Advocate. He didn’t want to be rapping about ice that he didn’t actually own.

Watch Diddy’s ‘Black Excellence’ Short Film Featuring JAY-Z

This is huge!

There are exactly two figures hip-hop that need no introduction: Diddy and Jay-Z. When you put the both of them together, you get true power centered in a room that other rappers can only pretend to have.

The legacy of both of the moguls has spread throughout the game today, with their touches extended far beyond their humble beginnings. The fact that they’re formed a friendship then should come as no to anybody that has been paying attention.

Thus sets the stage for a short clip recently unveiled by Diddy entitled “Black Excellence A Short Film: What’s Better Than One Billionaire? Two.”

The clip shines a momentary light on the friendship between the two, lifting the curtain on a series of meetings held during Grammy Weekend. It goes behind the scenes at the Roc Nation Brunch, before shifting focus to a similar look at Diddy’s Grammy After-Party.

Included in the short film are brief cameos of French , Jaden Smith, 2 Chainz, and DJ Khaled. The score is combination of Jay-Z’s “Legacy,” Biggie’s “Hustler’s Story,” and Cheryl Lynn’s “Got To Be Real.”

The film highlights top to bottom the empires forged between the two. Showing the liquors that they sell, the Grammys that they’ve received, the houses that they own, the crews that they’ve amassed, and more. It’s often been sold that “money yells, while wealth whispers.” The short film shows that the two moguls have reached the point where they don’t need to yell anymore. They don’t whisper because that’s who they are.

What do you think about Black Excellence? Watch the video below, share the story with your friends, and let us know in the comments!

YFN Lucci Iced-Out Chains

That’s damn impressive.

Hip hop is to iced-out chains and water is to wet. YFN Lucci has copped some impressive chains that he showed off to the world on his Instagram.

Posting directly to his Instagram account, the rapper shared the latest additions to his collection the form of two videos. The bling, decadent iced-out chains with with his name YFN as the diamond entrusted centerpiece, came in varying sizes and colors. Lucci, most recently heard on Young Scooter’s track “Hustlin’” clearly went hard in these custom pieces.

Check them out in this video below:

WE ABOUT TO FUCK SHIT UP #YFNBCTIG

A post shared by I_AM_LUCCI (@yfnlucci) on

The seven different chains, all varying in size and color, were accompanied by a song letting Lucci’s followers know he got the money and the key to the streets. With ice like that, it’s impossible not to think so. It’s possible that Lucci was hitting back at XXL for not being included on the 2017 XXL Freshman list. Time will tell who has the last laugh.

What do you think about Lucci’s new iced-out chains? Too much, not enough? Want some of your own? Share the story, and let us know in the comments!

Featured Chain 3: Ghostface Killah

Featured Chain 3: Ghostface Killah

Perhaps nothing sums up the excesses of hip hop chains better than one that was immortalized an action figure. Ghostface Killah, one of the core members of the hip hop shaolin warriors of the Wu Tang Clan, had a chain that was so large it couldn’t be contained on just his neck. Combining a dinner plate sized Versace Medallion hanging low on his neck, with an Eagle Bracelet on his wrist Ghostface dared the world to top him. Constantly referenced in his songs, Ghostface would eventually immortalize the $75,000 worth of gold in his infamous action figure:

Ghostface Killah
via http://images.complex.com

The plate itself was worth over $40,000, with the other $35,000 contained in the chain. This isn’t even talking about the worth of the golden eagle. The chain itself had a bad ending, as it was eventually stolen by a janitor. Ghostface would eventually replace the plate with another infamous chain, but nothing could come close to topping the original.

DMX Freestyles About His Tax Problems With the IRS Outside of NYC Courthouse

Woah!

Even though he’s facing down the legal barrel, DMX still has time to drop sick rhymes outside of the courthouse. Despite facing charges for tax evasion, DMX remains upbeat in spite of any case the government may have against him. He displayed his attitude by dropping a quick freestyle praising his lawyer outside of his latest day in court.

“We don’t worry with Murray, he get you outta jail in a hurry,” X began, referring to his trial lawyer Murray Richman, “When the government trying to bury you, you good – early!”

The United State’s Attorney’s Office claims that DMX, real name Earl Simmons, has been part of a scheme to dodge paying his taxes going back years. Currently the government claims that he owes them up to $1.7 million. Among the charges being laid against X are 14 counts of tax evasion, each with ‘significant evidence’ of an instance where he attempted to conceal his money. According to the US Attoryney’s, the Ruff Ryder made over $1 million between 2011 and 2013. According to DMX he only made $10,000 for one of the years, and “unknown” for the other two.

The charges that X faces carry a potential sentence of over 40 years in prison. When DMX turned himself in last week, commenters on twitter noted the potential fun that could be had with the situation and his well known lyrics:

Despite the possibility of going to jail over his charges, DMX is currently scheduled to begin a 10 date Ruff Ryders 20th Anniversary Reunion tour. X is set to be joined by Eve, Swizz Beatz, Fat Joe, and more.

What do you think about X’s freestyle in face of the government? Share the story, and let us know in the comments!