Since 1996, the so-called “Big Four” Grammy Awards - Album of The YearRecord of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist - have been awarded to 67 recipients. Of these, only five are hip-hop: Lauryn Hill (AOTY, Best New Artist); OutKast (AOTY); Chance The Rapper (Best New Artist); Childish Gambino (SOTY, ROTY); and Megan Thee Stallion (Best New Artist). The Grammy Awards’ holy trifecta – “AOTY”, “ROTY”, and “SOTY” – has eluded him despite nine nominations. How much more impact would Kendrick have had with one – let alone several – well-deserved Big Four win(s)? - Trapital asks in the latest newsletter.

"'Mr Morale & the Big Steppers' is absolutely crammed with lyrical and musical ideas" - Alexis Petridis writes reviewing the new album by Kendrick Lamar. Clash Music is equally enthused: "One of his most profound, complex, revelatory statements yet, a double album fuelled by sonic ambition, the will to communicate, and Kendrick’s staunch refusal to walk the easy path". Consequence hears "another bonafide masterpiece", whereas NME says "this album is as much about struggle as it is freedom, and what a beautiful sentiment that is".

Forgot about football
February 15, 2022

What did the media say about Super Bowl halftime show?

"This was hip-hop playing the long game, taking its presence and acceptance as an achievement, conceding that the gatekeepers want a level of assimilation with their authenticity" - Pitchfork looks into the Super Bowl, the first-ever hip-hop halftime show. Rolling Stone calls it "a triumph", whereas BBC asks "did too many hooks spoil the broth?". Watch it here.

"The performer who emerged amid the skyline of the Strip came with a vibe—explosive, poetic, passionate, true—that reverberated deep into the souls of the 50,000+ festival-goers who turned up to see him" - Consequence reviews Kendrick Lamar's first US performance in two years. Billboard puts it simply: "Kendrick Lamar's Day N Vegas performance was art". Rolling Stone describes it as "casually dazzling".

"Folks like Diddy, Jay Z, and Master P are in their 50s, healthy, and wealthy. Music was their gateway to other businesses... Kendrick is rarely mentioned among hip-hop's highest earners. Forbes once wrote an article about how Kendrick is not a cash king!... For years, Kendrick looked past most business partnerships and stayed focused on music. His love for hip-hop is admirable, but it's hard to ignore trends of older artists who focused on business early on and are still living well" - Trapital's Dan Runcie writes about the announcement that Kendrick Lamar is leaving the TDE label after his new album is released.

The Mount Rapmore
June 02, 2021

The Mount Rushmore of 2010s hip-hop

Hip-hop playlist RapCaviar made The Mount Rushmore of 2010s hip-hop, picking the first three and leaving it to its Twitter followers to pick out the fourth. RC first chose Drake, Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole, with the Twittersphere picking out Nicki Minaj. Kanye West was close 2nd, followed by Future and Lil Wayne.

'Looked Over Your Shoulder' is signed by Busta Rhymes, when maybe it's more a Kendrick Lamar/Michael Jackson song (it heavily samples 'I'll Be There'); 'Happy' is Danny Elfman's first new song in 36 years, accompanied by a spooky video; 'Babylon Exists' by The Late One is an activist reggae ballad with a strong political message; yet another protest song 'New America' sees the underestimated newcomer A$AP Twelvyy getting a helping mic from Conway the Machine; Karen O and Willie Nelson covered the iconic David Bowie and Queen classic 'Under Pressure'; an awesome video of icy soundworld by Dan Holdsworth for a Patten song 'Cerulean'; R-Mean features Method Man in good form on 'Circus'; 'Evans a Gift' by Loud Tides is a smoothy jazzy song; Riz Ahmed is moody, affirming the basics on 'Once Kings'; Patrick Watson drops a soothing piano on 'Lost With You'.

Kendrick Lamar

Rage Against the Machine have postponed the first leg of their upcoming reunion tour (March 26 - May 20) due to concerns over the coronavirus; they plan to start playing May 23rd. Billie Eilish has postponed her March US dates - the postponement arrives after Live Nation and AEG, two of the world’s biggest concert promoters, decided to halt all large-scale tours until April due to the pandemic. Canadian Juno Awards have cancelled all 2020 programming. After New York State has banned gatherings of 500 people or more due to the coronavirus pandemic, some NYC venues are temporarily closing their doors, and postponing events. JamFest in Atlanta on April 5, with Taylor Swift headlining, has been cancelled. All events related to this year's LA Pride have been postponed, although it takes place in three months from now, in June. Also, there's American bands having trouble going home from the EU since the US have posed travel restrictions. But, not everything has been cancelled - Kendrick Lamar has been added as Glastonbury headliner, Tool still plan to play the US this March (just one show cancelled so far), mewithoutYou have just announced their farewell tour...

Chicago musician Nez - from the production duo Nez & Rio who produced already for Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, A$AP Rocky, Chance The Rapper - is breaking out on his own with his debut single 'Wild Youngster', deep house jam featuring ScHoolboy Q. "I want to make people feel again. I want to make people dance" he explained the idea behind his debut.

Brooklyn Vegan combed through the 2010s as well and came up with 141 best albums of the last ten years (it was a shame to kick out Leonard Cohen, right?!? :_) ). The first ten are: 10. The National – 'Trouble Will Find Me Read More' 9. PJ Harvey – 'Let England Shake' 8. Beyonce […]

An impressive project by the Los Angeles Times - a 50-song mixtape attempting to locate musical intersections both physical and thematic. They picked out a whole lot of musicians - Kanye West, Lana Del Rey, Kendrick Lamar, Devendra Banhart... landing them in LA. An entertaining ride.

They are the architect of the sad-banger, the creative genius, a long shadow over a tough decade, the pop icon redefining gender, the voice of the next generation, the survivor, the relatable superstar, the saviour of grime, rock frontperson 2.0 and the hip hop’s boundary-pusher. NME...

A recent study showed how different types of music - metal, classical, pop and hip-hop - affect drivers, with the results suggesting that metal could push motorists to the extremes (they tried with Slipknot's '(sic)'). Classical music was no better - it relaxes the driver to the point of sleepiness (it was Bach). Meanwhile, pop […]

Lady Gaga is the second Oscar nominee, ever, to be nominated both for best song and in an acting category in the same year (Mary J. Blige was first). 'Shallow', her duet with Bradley Cooper is up for best song against 'All the Stars', Kendrick Lamar and SZA's contribution to the 'Black Panther' soundtrack, Diane Warren's 'I'll […]

1. Deafheaven: 'Ordinary Corrupt Human Love' 2. Sons Of Kemet: 'Your Queen Is a Reptile' 3. Møl: 'Jord' 4. Mitski: 'Be The Cowboy' 5. Earl Sweatshirt: 'Some Rap Songs' 6. NoName: 'Room 25' 7. Rivers of Nihil: 'Where Owls Know My Name' 8. Pusha T: 'Daytona' 9. Kendrick Lamar: 'Bad Kid Chill City' 10. Kids […]

Kendrick Lamar and Pharrell have joined Mike WiLL Made-It on the new song 'The Mantra' (listen to it on YouTube), slated to appear on the soundtrack for 'Creed II', the sequel to 2015’s 'Rocky' reboot 'Creed' starring Michael B. Jordan. The film’s soundtrack is produced by Mike WiLL Made-It and will include music from Bon Iver, Vince Staples, […]

Eight new Kendrick Lamar songs hit the internet - the collection of songs are being called the 'Bad Kid Chill City' EP. Some have said its a return to a younger, purer Kendrick Lamar. Songs feature hyper-lyrical outings by people like Busta Rhymes and singing courtesy of SZA. All Hip Hop...

Drake leads the field of nominees for the 2018 BET Hip Hop Awards with 11 nominations. Cardi B follows Drake with 10 nominees, Childish Gambino has six, Travis Scott and Kendrick Lamar have five. Billboard...

Two weeks after Spotify removed music by R Kelly and rapper XXXTentacion from its editorial playlists, in accordance with its new "hateful conduct" policy, the streaming platform will restore music by the latter in response to a backlash from the industry and its own staff. Spotify announced the "hate conduct and hateful conduct" policy on […]

Ed Sheeran and Kendrick Lamar were the biggest winners at the 2018 Billboard music awards, with six wins each - Sheeran got the awards in the top artist and top male artist categories, while Lamar won three rap award categories – rap artist, male rap artist and rap album. Janet Jackson made a notable speech, which alluded […]