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Follow @xenfest for the best hip hop content on the gram. 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 @xenfest @xenfest @xenfest One of my earlier posts back in the day. YBN Cordae’s been someone I’ve seen rise outta nowhere, and this guy can literally flow on any beat that’s given to him. No wonder him and Juice get along, there’s some new youth talent that really impress people like me. You can also tell that this rapper got a mixed style: it’s definitely not fitting the OG old school flow, and it doesn’t stand out as crazy new-school experimental, so he kind of lies in between. The proof is that right after this, the guys at @power_106 switch up the beat to Lil Pump’s Esketit and the guy just rides the wave like it’s nothing. It just seems that Cordae found his style in the grey rather than explicit being binary to one given style. With his album coming out soon, how do you feel about the up and coming rapper? He’s definitely the only reason why I fuck with YBN so much, really got high hopes for the kid. On another note, how amazing is the DUCKWORTH beat? Fr the best song on DAMN. (Pride and XXX coming to a close second) What are your thoughts on Cordae? And here’s another question, who’s someone from the newer generation that you really enjoy? #ybncordae Follow @xenfest for the best hip hop content on the gram.

Follow @xenfest for the best hip hop content on the gram. 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 @xenfest @xenfest @xenfest It’s said that the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is one of the most timeless records in hip hop. Kanye West, one of the most impactful hip hop artists of all time, says it himself: “I wish her heart still was in rhymin'" (Champion, Graduation) "I was uninspired since Lauryn Hill retired," (No More Parties in LA, Pablo) Whether you love the new generation or appreciate the older, OG hip hop, there's no denying how this woman stood out like sore thumb at that time. Her verse is here is a classic example, but she has so many more golden features; like her verse on Zealots, or how she builds for Q-Tip's verse on her collab with Tribe and Busta: Rumble in the Jungle. I wasn't present at the time ('98 kid) but trying to contextualize the Fugees and Ms. Lauryn Hill's presence in hip hop, she was very well-ahead of her time. This was the first track I heard her rap over. Not to mention whoever produced this beat should be given a Grammy, the production was both nostalgic and gave me goosebumps like crazy. But the best part is how Lauryn floats on the beat, and doesn't hold back man. She keeps going, and for someone who (honestly) didn't expect that from a female MC in the time (besides Latifah, Lil 'Kim at times), she blew my mind. "Lest I must confess, my destiny's manifest In some Goretex and sweats" That line alone gives me chills down my spine. Instead of being destined to expand Westward across the United States, Lauryn Hill was destined to create one of the greatest solo female R&B/hip hop albums of all time. Hill has a great intro, but the way she finishes the verse is the true gem. She goes in out with such a fucking hardcore outro: "So while you're imitating Al Capone I'll be Nina Simone and defecating on your microphone " It's not that the MC is a woman, it's not that she's standing out from the group. I think what I love best is that she flow-ed so fucking well on the beat and ending up delivering a verse that just leaves the song as a whole to be timeless. I'd suggest this song and the aforementioned features a good place to start. Thoughts?

Follow @xenfest for the best hip hop content on the gram. 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 @xenfest @xenfest @xenfest Big Sean is one of the rappers you either love or hate, you either find genius or corny, etc. Whatever you pick or think about the rapper, I understand where you’re coming from because Sean was someone I initially found bland and dull. But you have to at least appreciate that he’s been able to draw attention from several different audiences: mainstream markets with his hits, rap heads with his bars, and he was able to siphon a fanbase with his material about his life. It was his I Decided album that drew me to him, and I gotta be honest I didn’t expect that from him. Not only was the production dope, I feel like he most concisely put a body of work together. And there’s not really a song I don’t like there. The concept of the album is cool. An old man gets hit by a car and feels like he’s wasted his life - and he’s given the opportunity to redo things twice. This kind of parallels Big Sean looking back at some iconic moments in his life and notices how he’d do things differently. I’d recommend giving it a shot, because even if you’re not drawn into the thematic map of Sean’s story, there are still fucking bangers you’ll love. Sacrifices is one of them. Now Big Sean slaughters this Metro beat. I went crazy to hear they collabed cause I was always wondering to see if we’d ever get real hardcore bars on Metro Boomin Beats. Those are rare. Not to mention that Don’t Play verse we got on Travis’ Days Before Rodeo. Big Sean is the star of that song, and didn’t let me down, especially that outro. But a group I need to give respect to here are the Migos, they were able to match Sean’s energy on it and float on the beat like it’s nothing. I would’ve never expected to pick a feature like the Migos for this track, and unlike what I’d say for a really conscientious song, I’m glad he did. Offset and Quavo (Takeoff not there, not surprised 😤) flamed their features. The melody and flow, as well the aggressive delivery made the song 100X more enjoyable for me. Feel however you like about the Migos that’s the last thing you expected. What are your thoughts on the track and album?

Follow @xenfest for the best hip hop content on the gram. @xenfest @xenfest @xenfest When it comes to the BADMON, Joey's the type of person that we get very rare features (and music) from, but when we do - you're guaranteed it's gonna be fucking fire. 1Train is a great example, another one is @idk's joint last year "Lil' Arrogant," but this is definitely a track that is so. fucking. slept. on. If you know it you're a G. This song is definitely my favorite on Denzel Curry's "Imperial", a mixtape eminent for showing Curry's rapping technique as well as how he stands out (to a greater audience, SpaceGhostPurp was underground I believe) Everything about this song is pure fire. But I think what's personally so underrated is how the themes paint themselves so well to create a mosaic; an idea. The concept of the Zenith and how each artist reached their peak and are on another spiritual level just blows my mind. That's why I always say Denzel Curry - as an artist, has potential and one of the biggest upcoming forces to be reckoned with. And I have to say, Joey matched that energy. The beat has a very sinister feel to it, and with the conceptual music video: a "black/white" vision with each feature locked on the other side of the room. The essence is just obvious and while I fuck with Denzel's verse heavy: "Catch me on a zenith getting jacked for misdeamnors That's until I change the channel to an ad. of Neutrogena” Joey, in my opinion, comes in at his hardest. At the time, that's the last thing I'd expect from the artist/rapper, and his flow & cadence through this was insane. "The sky's the limit, how ni**a? I'm in it now, and still I rise" Some of the sickest Tupac and Biggie references, without me ever realizing it. "While I catch the way these demons trying to catch me while I'm sleeping" I might be basic for liking this but it goes beyond Joey's verse, I just can't wait to see a collab with these two artists because I know that we won't be disappointed - we won't just get some dope ass collab, the art - the thematic ideas behind them will be greater than the sum of its parts. Have you heard this track? What are your thoughts on Imperial?

Follow @xenfest for the best hip hop music on the gram. When it comes to Q, I was really late to get onto the man. I regret it. There’s so much dope music the man made, but as soon as I listened to Oxymoron I knew this guy was born to be on TDE. Though it’s not my favorite project, this album is full of the hardest bangers Q has ever done: Hoover st., Break the Bank, Man of the Year, The Purge, Collard Greens and ofcourse, Hell of a Night. It’s also admittedly what I would look for from Q on other tracks. It wasn’t until I saw this live version that I realized how fire Schoolboy Q is when he performs Hell of a Night. I gotta give mad props to that production and beat - sends chills down my spine. Shit gives me an ominous undertone at first when we hear the vocals. When the beat comes in, Q goes in. As honest as I can be, I didn’t think I found the same Q I heard on Oxymoron - the aggressive, hard hitting bars and flow - through other projects (Blank Face and crasH talk definitely include hits but as a whole album gave me different vibes) until I realized that his best - and i mean best - work has been right under my nose. I listened to his Setbacks mixtape and straight out flipped, he’d been rapping like this (and more consistently) since 2011. But I’m curious, what’s your favorite Q album/project? And what did you think of crasH talk? #hellofanight Follow @xenfest for the best hip hop music on the gram.

Tyler, the Creator is one of the most unusual figures in hip hop - if it's really just hip hop anymore. This man has transcended through so many sounds, and with that built a cocoon. This man lives in an isolated world alongside his friends in LA where he's able to produce, bloom as an artist - but overall, focus. The confidence you're able to have to get through getting banned from 3/4 big countries and persist on creating albums like Bastard, Goblin, Wolf, Cherry Bomb and eventually Flower Boy just shows how focused Tyler is, and how far he can eventually go. These snippets - more than anything - just hype me up for what's to come. The album drops tomorrow so you're welcome to wait and not listen to this, but I never thought I'd be turnt for a feature with Tyler and Carti. Another thing that got me turnt was this video Tyler uploaded yesterday: "a boy is a gun", where he essentially walks up the ladder when the song builds up, only later to fall off when it cuts out. Most of you who followed me earlier know me as a Tyler stan - he got me into hip hop and introduced me to Kanye, Pusha, Kendrick, Rocky, the list goes on so he will forever be my #1 favorite artist of all time. Now that I've said it, while I'm excited for IGOR the real hype for me is to see Tyler in longevity. 10 years down the line, 30, 40... this man keeps on improving and as long as he stays in his zone where he can focus, we're going to (hopefully) get masterpieces - whether production-wise or rap albums - from this boy. #igor Follow @xenfest for the best hip hop content on the gram.