by / September 27th, 2013 /

A Month In: Hip-Hop – September

Drake aspires to be the Marvin Gaye of hip-hop

While speaking with MTV News, Drake revealed that he’ll never release “a straight rap album” since he didn’t come into music solely as a hip-hop artist. He also expressed his desire to become a modern-day Marvin Gaye. “Just don’t ever be surprised like when I’m singing or using melody. This new album is not some straight rap album. I’ll never do a straight rap album”, Drake revealed. “That’s not how I came into this. And that’s never what I’ll do. I make songs for people. I have aspirations to be Marvin Gaye in the back of my head, so I just want to sing the world’s triumphs and problems on one record. And hopefully, Nothing Was the Same is like the soundtrack to their life.” The Young Money rapper says since his last album, 2011’s Take Care, he has learned to make music that’s both “more concise” and “more clear”. “I’ve been able to get my thoughts across a lot better on this album. Take Care is a great album, but I listen to it and realise where I could do better and I think I’ve done better on this album”, said Drake. Nothing Was The Same is Drake’s third studio album and boasts appearances from Jay Z, Lil Wayne, and Jhene Aiko.

The hip-hop rich list

Forbes has just released its list of hip-hop’s biggest earners. In the recession-free fantasy land of uber-wealthy rap entrepreneurs, the self-appointed “King of Ibiza” Sean ‘P.Diddy’ Combs came in at # 1 with $50 million in earnings over the past 12 months alone. The obscene figure is due mostly to sales of Ciroc, his vodka brand. Jay Z comes in at #2 with $43 million, which should ease the pain of coming second, while Dr. Dre took the #3 spot with a $40 million annual salary. Kanye West brought in a comparatively paltry $20 million this year. Meanwhile Kendrick Lamar and Pharrell tied with a respectable $9 million. It’s disappointing but not really surprising to learn that Nicki Minaj is the only female on the list. She shows the boys how it’s done earning an insane $29 million last year, surpassing rappers including 50 Cent and Snoop Lion. Still, money can’t bring happiness – but it sure takes the sting out of being poor!

Common gets back behind the mic

Arguably Chicago’s finest MC of all time, Common is finally back with some new music. Earlier this month Com’ confirmed he is working on a new EP and hopes to have a full length studio offering by the beginning of 2014. Speaking about the as yet untitled EP release he said: “I’ve only got a couple of songs, but I’m gonna get the EP done quick and then I’m gonna release an LP at the top of next year.”

“I am writing a new album” he continued. “It will be coming out in January, and I’m looking forward to that. My stuff will come at the top of the year, maybe some songs out there on the street level. I’m going to work with No I.D. and looking to hopefully work with Kanye [West] and that’s some of the major people I’ll be working with, and whatever other great talents that I feel are going that direction that I want the album to be. Common’s upcoming EP follows his last project, The Dreamer/The Believer, which was released in 2011 and featured ‘Ghetto Dreams’ featuring Nas as well as ‘Sweet’, a song that fuelled a rivalry with Drake.

The miseducation of Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne has never been reserved about revealing aspects of his personal life, whether through music or in interviews but it was his recent chat on Katie Couric’s Katie talk show about his school days that has raised some eyebrows. On his decision to drop out of high school, Weezy revealed that it was actually his mother who told him to drop out, out of concern for the then-budding star’s safety. “It was my mom’s idea. I had an album out. I was platinum already, thank God. I was still trying to go to regular public school, and she saw me getting ready for school one day, and she was walking past the room and she saw me putting my gun in my backpack. She said, ‘You gotta bring that to school with you?’ And I remember asking, ‘You don’t want me to bring it?’ And she thought about it, she said, ‘I do.’ So I put it back in my bag, and she said, ‘You’re right. Bring it.’ Because she bought it for me for protection. She said, ‘You do need it.’ She walked back to my room, she said, ‘You don’t go to school no more. You gettin’ a GED,’ and I was like, ‘Okay’.”She was like, ‘If that’s the way you gotta go to school, you on TV right now’ So I went and got a GED, and I went to college.”

Timbaland to produce new Michael Jackson album

It seems that the ever-determined Timbaland isn’t going to let the small matter of Michael Jackson’s passing stand in his way and has revealed plans to work on some unreleased music by MJ. He has even confirmed the name of the first single from the project, a song entitled ‘Chicago’. He said, “What’s next on my plate is me and Michael Jackson; I have a lot of unreleased Michael Jackson”. L.A Reid came to my house and said, ‘I’ve got something big that I want to do’. He said ‘How would you feel about doing Michael Jackson.’ I replied ‘Of course I’d do it, it would complete my legacy. The song ‘Chicago’ will be the first single ‘cause ‘Chicago’ sounds like today.'” Although a collaboration had been in the works before Michael’s death, the two unfortunately never got the chance to meet in person. Timbaland said, “[We] spoke on the phone, he’d say ‘I like your stuff, you’re good’.” Timbo passionately spoke about the up-coming project saying, “It’s important that you don’t lose the essence of getting Michael Jackson’s unreleased music with Timbaland underneath it. You have to be a true Michael Jackson fan to appreciate it.”