With 2017 in the rearview, @Okayplayer mapped out some possible hip-hop storylines that might play out in the new year. What do you think?
2017 served as a monumental year for music fans and non-music fans alike. With the reality that Donald Trump is still the president of our country, the accused sexual misconduct of Harvey Weinstein began a sickening trend in pop culture, and an absurd race to Mars between Tesla and Boeing even cracked the headlines — it’s probably in everyone’s best interests to stay ahead of the curve at all times.
2017 also marked the sudden return of some of the GOATs, including Eminem, Jay-Z and N.E.R.D. — to name a few. Success-wise, Diddy took the #1 spot (again) on the Forbes Cash Kings list cashing out at over $130 million, Cardi B became the first female solo rapper to top the Billboard Hot 100, and Kendrick Lamar released one of the greatest albums in hip-hop history, with each of the 14 tracks off DAMN. charting the Billboard Hot 100.
And this is to not to forget the never-ending advances in technology and social media. With a plethora of music streaming platforms to choose from, SZA’s stand out CTRL record, “Weekend,” achieved Platinum status — without even being released as a single! How Sway?!
All that to say that as we approach 2018 and all its glory, we’ve kept our eyes ahead for what’s next to be in the mix before the ingredients are even poured. @Okayplayer mapped out 18 storylines that might play out in hip-hop and pop culture this year. Let us know if you agree, disagree or have one to add of your own!
Is Big Sean Finally Coming For Kendrick Lamar’s #1 Spot?
What a time to be a rap fan, right?! It all began back in 2013, when Big Sean released his No I.D.-produced track, “Control,” featuring Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronica. It wouldn’t have been a big deal… if K. Dot didn’t annihilate everyone and anyone on his verse (Big Sean included).
Fast forward to Kendrick’s own shit-talking effort, “The Heart Pt. 4,” where he raps, “My fans can’t wait for me to son your punk ass and crush your whole lil shit. I’ll Big Pun your punk ass you a scared lil bitch. Tip-toeing around my name nigga you lame. And when I get at you homie don’t you just tell me you was just playin.”
Now, word on the curb is that Sean threw the pendulum back at the King of Both Coasts on “Big Bidness,” which is from his Metro Boomin-collaborative album, Double Or Nothing. On the song, the Detroit rapper says, “Nobody sonning me / If I am a sun, I’m the one you look up to / Fuck you!”
Pretty strong and direct words from the G.O.O.D. Music lyricist. And it sounds like it is a straight response to what Kung-Fu Kenny said in “The Heart Pt. 4,” so if 2018 isn’t the year these two don’t battle it out and go bar-for-bar then it just might never happen.
Who Will Be 2018’s Most Talked About Hip-Hop Artist?
With the sudden surge of SoundCloud rappers and trap artists, hip-hop as we know it has suddenly transitioned from meaningful storytelling to how many followers you have on Instagram. Luckily for artists like Jay-Z and Kanye West, they don’t have to worry about all that stuff as big balling legends in the game.
But also, this may just be a wake up call to hip-hop fans around the world to not lose sight of the authenticity in music’s leading genre. Maybe (hopefully), artists like GoldLink, who was actually an XXL Freshman back in 2015, will finally get the shine he deserves. Other artists that come to mind include IDK, Big K.R.I.T., Cousin Stizz, Rapsody, and Anderson .Paak
Will one of these artists become the much talked about superstar act of 2018 through delivering lyrics with substance and style? We shall see.
Will Cardi B’s Reign Continue Through The New Year?
Statistics aside, “Bodak Yellow” will forever be a part of the hip-hop culture. This is all part of the plan. Cardi B knew exactly what she had to do to stay relevant — to avoid the “one-hit-wonder” labels. Just months later, Cardi somehow manages to land herself on yet another hit: “No Limit” by G-Eazy featuring herself and A$AP Rocky.
It doesn’t end there. Before the year ended, she joined an all-star bill of artists on “MotorSport”. “I turn Offset on,” hmph, Cardi’s verse still manages to hail over the rest of those featured. And being engaged to Migos member Offset is just another reason for Cardi to remain in the limelight.
Cardi B has surpassed the one-hit-wonder claim, so will she continue to dominate in 2018?
We certainly hope so.