SIGT HIP HOP STOP W/ RON GRANT | Hip Hop Year In Review 2015

by • January 1, 2016

And so … here we are. The end of one year, and on the cusp of a new one. 2015 was filled with it’s share of amazing highs and horrendous lows in Hip Hop. From Drake and Future releasing the hugely successful What A Time To Be Alive mix tape, to Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly. From Rumors of a new Kanye album to the deaths of A$AP Yams and Sean Price. From Wu Tang’s $2 million album to Vince Staples calling ’90s Hip Hop overrated. It was a year steeped in drama, controversy, rumors and more. So here’s a quick glance at ten of the biggest stories that got our attention and kept us on the edge of our seats from the past 365.

STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON CRUSHES EXPECTATIONS

Was there any other movie that was the cinematic event that Straight Outta Compton was? Not even close. Between all of the critical accolades, controversy and awards nominations, F. Gary Gray’s masterpiece hit the hood hard in more ways than one.

DR. DRE’S FINAL ALBUM

It may be the final album we ever get from Dre. And no, it’s not Detox. But we still have to appreciate this moment for what it is: a curtain call for one of the greatest Hip Hop and music producers that we have ever been allowed to listen to.

KENDRICK LAMAR’S 11 GRAMMY NOMINATIONS

There’s always talk of how Hip Hop doesn’t get its proper respect at the Grammy Awards. Maybe the powers that be were listening…for once. Now let’s see if K. Dot’s To Pimp A Butterfly will actually win any of the gramophone statues he’s nominated for.

THE YEAR OF DRAKE

Annihilating a fellow Hip Hop star in a public beef. Releasing two publicly acclaimed mix tapes. And of course, “Hotline Bling”. So how did Drake become Hip Hop’s artist of the year without releasing an album? Only Aubrey knows for sure.

BIG ALBUMS BY THE BIGGEST ARTISTS

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Joey Bada$$’s B4 Da $$, Kendricks’ To Pimp A Butterfly, Drakes’ If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Lupes’ Tetsuo And Youth, Future’s Dirty Sprite 2… 2015 was filled with some astounding musical statements in Hip Hop. Here’s hoping that 2016 can live up to its predecessor.

NICKI MINAJ CALLS OUT MILEY CYRUS AT THE VMAs

She’s Hip Hop’s Queen juggernaut known for pulling no punches and dismissing political correctness. And when Nicki aimed her piece squarely on Miley Cyrus at the 2015 Video Music Awards, we all received on of the years’ greatest dramatic moments.

FOX’S EMPIRE HITS BIG ON NETWORK TV

A Hip Hop and R&B-centered soap opera gripping the TV-watching public in its clutches? At one point, it was unheard of. But when you have the writing of Lee Daniels, the music of Timbaland and the star power of Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, clearly, the sky is the limit.

FETTY WAP EMERGES

So maybe we have no idea what he’s saying half the time in his lyrics. And his voice is…an acquired taste. But to say that Fetty Wap had an astounding 2015 would be downplaying the obvious. Maybe he’s not our cup of tea, but he certain is for mainstream radio. We’re like, “Hey, Wassup, Hello!”

CHANCE THE RAPPER FIRST INDIE ARTIST FEATURED ON SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

The wheels just kept on turning for this Chicago’s Chance The Rapper this year. Between all of his social awareness projects for his city to feuding with legendary filmmaker Spike Lee, he managed to sneak in this historic musical feat. Quite a way to end the year!

REST IN POWER, SEAN PRICE

Without a doubt, one of the greatest emcees the mainstream public has probably never heard of. Sadly, the Hip Hop world lost Sean Price so suddenly that we barely had time to process it. A tremendous blow to Hip Hop heads the world over.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES FROM 2015:

ACTION BRONSON/GHOSTFACE KILLAH BEEF

JAY Z’S TIDAL VENTURE

LIL WAYNE SUES BIRDMAN AND CASH MONEY RECORDS

DRAKE VS. MEEK MILL

J. COLE GOES DOUBLE PLATINUM

Weekly Hip Hop Stop by Ron Grant. Check out his Urban Music News Blog on Social and Cultural Affairs, http://urbanemurge.com/


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