Lupe Fiasco Hints at Retirement From the Rap Game

Lupe Fiasco

Brendon Thorne, Getty Images

It looks as if Lupe Fiasco is retiring from the rap game. Just weeks until he releases his new album ‘Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1,’ the Chicago rapper went on Twitter Wednesday (Sept. 5) to announce his pending retirement.

“This album will probably be my last…its been a pleasure to have all my fans provide so much love and inspiration for me and my family but my heart is broken and I see no comfort further along this path only more pain,” he wrote on his timeline (courtesy of The LupE.N.D. Blog). “I cannot participate any longer in this… My first true love was literature so I will return to that…Lupe Fiasco ends here…”

Fiasco’s announcement followed after his heated Twitter spat with fellow Chi-City rapper Chief Keef, who didn’t like Fiasco’s comments about him in a radio interview. During a chat with Baltimore’s Q92, Fiasco admitted that he wasn’t a huge fan of Keef’s music. “Chief Keef scares me,” he said. “Not him specifically, but just the culture that he represents. The murder rate in Chicago is skyrocketing, and you see who’s doing it and perpetrating it — they all look like Chief Keef.”

In response, Keef tweeted, “Lupe fiasco a hoe a– n—a And wen I see him I’ma smack him like da lil b—- he is #300.” The tweet cause a tidal wave of reactions on Twitter. In an attempt to make peace with Keef, Fiasco wrote to the young rapper, “I cant go 4 that @ChiefKeef & i cant let the people i love, including you my n—a, go 4 that either. We kings not f—ing savages and goons. i love u lil bruh @ChiefKeef… i really really do from the bottom of my f—ing heart. I know that street s— like the back of my hand.”

While it’s sad to hear that Fiasco might consider retirement, he still owes one more album to Atlantic Records. We must also mention that Fiasco did contemplate retiring from music back in 2008 because making records for him was both financially and creatively unsatisfying.

So let’s hope that Fiasco is not really serious about hanging up the mic, especially when he’s one of the few rappers in the genre who makes poignant music to inspire and not to denigrate.

Lupe Fiasco’s ‘Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1′ will arrive in stores on Sept. 25.

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Watch the Lupe Fiasco ‘Around My Way [Freedom Ain’t Free]‘ Video

Big Sean Grabs Tyga for ‘Do What I Gotta Do’ Track

Big Sean Tyga

Mark Davis / Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Rapper Big Sean‘s just-released free mixtape ‘Detroit’ boasts a slew of collaborations, including J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Chris Brown, Juicy J, Royce da 5’9, Mike Posner and others. One club-driven track on the collection is called ‘Do What I Gotta Do’ and it features ‘Rack City’ rapper Tyga.

The song, produced by Million $ Mano, sounds like a sequel to Big Sean’s booty-shaking anthem ‘A– (Dance)’ from his debut album ‘Finally Famous.’ It’s your basic strip club, get-money banger with its booming 808 drum beats and swirling keyboards.

On the track, Big Sean talks about money and hollering at ladies in the club. “B—- I’m finally famous, I do, I do what I want / The money, money, sex, money in the air, with an aroma / Swear I got her head bangin’, bangin’ might be in a coma / Walk up to the baddest b—- and tell her that I own her,” he raps.

Tyga follows up with his cash-over-groupies rap verse. He spits, “I’m about my business and this b—- is temporary / I don’t give them love, try February / Money committed, swear this s— be married / I get that cake, cake, cake, then I pop a cherry.”

Sean’s ‘Detroit’ mixtape should hold fans over until the upcoming G.O.O.D. Music album ‘Cruel Summer,’ which hits stores on Sept. 18. Afterward, Big Sean will release his still-untitled second album later in the fall.

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Listen to Big Sean, ‘Do What I Gotta Do’ Feat. Tyga

Kanye West, Big Sean + Jay-Z, ‘Clique’ – Song Review

Kanye West finally released a new single from his upcoming G.O.O.D. Music compilation ‘Cruel Summer.’ The Hit-Boy-produced song features guest appearances from two rap heavyweights — Big Sean and Jay-Z.

The song boasts a plodding beat with crackling snare and haunting keyboards. The rap trifecta do provide some creative lyrics on the track, which will have everyone repeating the chorus, “Ain’t nobody f—ing with my clique, clique, clique, clique, clique.”

Big Sean kicks things off with his serve verses rapping, “You know 2 Chainz? / Scrrr! / I’m pulling up in that Bruce Wayne / But I’m the f—ing villain, man, they kneeling when I walking in the building / Freaky women I be feeling from the bank accounts I’m filling.”

Hova follows reminding listeners that him, Sean and Yeezy are the kings of the rap game. “It’s the dream team, meets the Supreme Team / And all our eyes green it only means one thing / You ain’t f—ing with my clique,” he rhymes.

Finally, Yeezy spit some clever verses and even references his girlfriend Kim Kardashian‘s infamous sex tape in his lyrics. “Break records at Louie, ate breakfast at Gucci / My girl a superstar all from a home movie / Bow on our arrival — the un-American idols,” he raps.

‘Clique’ is a dope song that should get everyone psyched for the release of ‘Cruel Summer,’ which will hit stores on Sept. 18.

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Listen to Kanye West, ‘Clique’ Feat. Big Sean and Jay-Z

Azealia Banks Performs at Fashion’s Night Out + Launches MAC Lipstick

Azealia Banks

Katy Winn, Getty Images

Rapper Azealia Banks celebrated Fashion’s Night Out in New York Thursday (Sept. 6) with the launch of her new lipstick “Yung Rapunxel” for MAC cosmetics. The lipstick, which is named after her alter ego, is a limited-edition product that comes in a deep plum-colored shade of awesomeness.

The Harlemite perform at the MAC’s SoHo store in front of her Kunt Brigade (aka “her fans”) wearing a black bikini top, matching sheer shorts and knee-high combat boots. Banks performed all of her songs that have made her pop music’s “It” girl. Her set included tracks like ‘Liqourice,’ ‘Van Vogue,’ ’1991′ and her hometown anthem ’212.’

As for her lipstick, Banks said that it was inspired by her don’t give a f— attitude. “It came from me wearing long weaves and being a s— starter,” she tells Allure. “Yung Rapunxel is someone that just f—s everything up. She just wants to have a good time, but she’s not f—g s— up on purpose, she’s f—ing s— up because you’re not ready, and everyone else isn’t being themselves, and everyone else is trying to follow whoever they think is the leader.”

“Little do they know, the leader doesn’t even know what the f— they’re doing,” she continues. “So that’s where it came from, and I just started saying it a lot, like I say it in ’212.’ Yung Rapunxel is just that girl who’s like, ‘What’s up? I’m here. Who has a problem?’”

Not us. You go Yung Rapunxel!

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Watch Azealia Banks Perform ‘Van Vogue,’ ’1991′ and ‘Liqourice’

Watch Azealia Banks Perform ’212′

A$AP Rocky Grabs Rihanna’s Booty During 2012 MTV VMA Performance

Rihanna A$AP Rocky

MTV

There are always surprises at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, but one of the most talked-about moments at the show happened during Rihanna‘s kick-off performance of the remix of ‘Cockiness (I Love It)’ with A$AP Rocky.

As the title of the song suggests, the Harlem rapper got a little, um, cocky, and near the end of the song, he grabbed a handful of RiRi’s booty before leaning in for a kiss on the cheek (pun intended). Rihanna didn’t seem bothered with being groped onstage, and playfully pushed Rocky away.

Their intimate moment was surprising given the fact that Rihanna’s ex-boyfriend, Chris Brown, was sitting in the audience watching the performance. But we figure he didn’t mind since he was later photographed kissing Rihanna at the event. Footage verifying the smooch has sparked rumors that the couple have rekindled their relationship, despite Brown dating his current boo Karrueche Tran.

In the end, everyone came out a winner. A$AP Rocky grabbed one of the most sought-after backsides in pop music, Breezy won a moonman trophy for Best Male Video and Rihanna nabbed the coveted Video of the Year award (for ‘We Found Love’).

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Watch Rihanna’s 2012 MTV VMA Performance Feat. A$AP Rocky

Fat Joe Pays Tribute to Chris Lighty on Slaughterhouse ‘Goodbye’ Remix

The death of hip-hop impresario Chris Lighty has left the hip-hop community in mourning. Rapper Fat Joe, whom Lighty managed during the early years of his career, pays tribute to the late rap mogul on Slaughterhouse’s elegiac remix to ‘Goodbye,’ which was produced by hit maker Boi-1da.

“He saved my life,” said a solemn Fat Joe on the piano-driven song. “You was my mentor / You started me / That’s why you will forever be a part of me,” he raps. “I pray to God to forgive him / And when you get to heaven, tell Pun that we miss him.”

Slaughterhouse members Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden, Crooked I and Royce da 5’9″ also recall their heartfelt memories of loved ones who have passed away. The song is a huge reminder of how precious life is and how important we must cherish it while we are still here on earth.

Meanwhile, family and friends paid their last respects to Chris Lighty at a memorial on Wednesday (Sept. 5) in New York. According to MTV News, hip-hop luminaries LL Cool J, Missy Elliott, Diddy, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Russell Simmons, Busta Rhymes, DJ Grandmaster Flash, Fat Joe and Lyor Cohen were among the mourners present at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel where Lighty was remembered. After the service, the rap executive’s casket was loaded into a hearse and driven off to his final burial place with his wife and children following behind in another vehicle.

May Chris Lighty rest in eternal peace. His contributions to hip-hop were infallible and he will be sorely missed.

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Listen to Slaughterhouse, ‘Goodbye (Remix)’ [Featuring Fat Joe]

Wiz Khalifa Reveals the 2050 Tour Dates With Taylor Gang, Pushes Album Back

We have some good news and bad news. The good news is Wiz Khalifa and his Taylor Gang crew are hitting the road this fall. The bad news… the Pittsburgh rapper has pushed back his second LP, ‘O.N.I.F.C.,’ again for the umpteenth time.

After a successful run with Mac Miller on the Under the Influence of Music tour this summer, Wizzy is taking things futuristic with his “2050 Tour” in October. The 36-city North American jaunt blasts off on Oct. 12 in University Park, Pa., and stretches through Canada before landing in Fairfax, Va., on Dec. 6.

Joining Wiz on the trek are Taylor artists Chevy Woods, LoLa Monroe, Juicy J, Berner and Tuki Carter. Tickets go on sale this Friday (Sept. 7) at Wiz’s online headquarters. If you have some extra chips, there are some meet-and-greet packages available if you want to hang out with Wiz after the show.

As for Wiz’s second album, ‘O.N.I.F.C.,’ it won’t be released on Sept. 18 as originally scheduled. According to Billboard, a rep told them the collection will be “coming soon.” In the meantime, you can listen to the Wiz’s unreleased collaborative song with Mac Miller called ‘Goin’ Places.’

Wiz Khalifa & Taylor Gang The 2050 Tour Dates

10/12 – University Park, Pa. | Bryce Jordan Center
10/13 – Providence, RI | Dunkin’ Donuts Center
10/14 – Bridgeport, Conn. | Webster Bank Arena
10/16 – Amherst, Mass. | Mullins Center
10/17 – Rochester, N.Y. | Blue Cross Arena
10/18 – Syracuse, N.Y. | The Oncenter War Memorial Arena
10/20 – Montreal, Canada | STADE UNIPRIX SHOWS
10/21 – London, Canada | John Labatt Centre
10/23 – Cleveland, Ohio | Wolstein Center
10/24 – Chicago, Ill. | UIC Pavilion
10/25 – St Louis, Mo. | Chaifetz Arena
10/26 – Milwaukee, Wis. | Eagles Ballroom
10/27 – Des Moines, Idaho | Jacobsen Center
10/28 – Omaha, Neb. | Omaha Civic Center
11/2 – Calgary, Canada | Stampede Corral
11/4 – Edmonton, Canada | Shaw Convention Centre
11/6 – Vancouver, Canada | Rogers Arena
11/7 – Seattle, Wash. | WaMu
11/8 – Portland, Ore. | Rose Quarter
11/10 – San Jose, Calif. | Events Center
11/11 – Sacramento, Calif. | Power Balance Pavilion
11/13 – Los Angeles, Calif. | Gibson Amphitheater
11/20 – Frisco, Texas | Dr. Pepper Arena
11/21 – San Antonio, Texas | Illusions Theater at Alamodome
11/23 – Houston, Texas | Reliant Arena
11/24 – New Orleans, La. | UNO Lakefront
11/25 – Nashville, Tenn. | Bridgestone Arena
11/28 – North Charleston, S.C. | North Charleston Coliseum
11/29 – Tallahassee, Fla. | Strip on Tennessee Strip
11/30 – Orlando, Fla. | UCF Arena
12/1 – Coral Gables, Fla. | Bank United Center
12/2 – Tampa, Fla. | USF Sun Dome
12/4 – Clemson, S.C. | Little John Coliseum
12/5 – Norfolk, Va. | Constant Convocation Center
12/6 – Fairfax, Va. | Patriot Center

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Watch the Wiz Khalifa ‘Work Hard Play Hard’ Video

Dr. Dre Tops Forbes’ ‘Hip-Hop Cash Kings’ List

Dr. Dre

Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Veteran hip-hop producer Dr. Dre is the new king on the throne of Forbes’ Hip-Hop Cash Kings list. Despite not dropping a full-length album, the good doctor was able to make his money selling his ubiquitous headphones.

According to the financial magazine, Dr. Dre earned an impressive $110 million thanks to his profitable sale of his Beats by Dre headphones to electronics company HTC. Rap mogul Diddy finished at No. 2 with $45 million mostly from the profits of his Ciroc vodka and Sean Jean clothing line.

Jay-Z, who was No. 1 on the list in 2011, came in at No. 3 with $38 million. Hov earned most of his money through his partnerships with the Brooklyn Nets, his advertising firm Translation and cosmetic company Carol’s Daughter. Jay-Z’s ‘Watch the Throne’ partner Kanye West followed at No. 4 with $35 million from his touring revenue and sales of the ‘Throne’ album. Rounding out the top 5 is Lil Wayne with a net worth of $27 million thanks to his Mountain Dew endorsement deal, the launch of his clothing line Trukfit, and album sales of ‘Tha Carter IV.’

Speaking of Weezy, his Young Money labelmates Drake and Nicki Minaj finished at No. 6 and No. 8, respectively on the tally. Drizzy netted $20.5 million, while Minaj pulled in $15.5 million. Their boss, Cash Money co-founder Birdman (aka Bryan Williams), placed seventh with $20 million earned within the past year.

Elsewhere, Maybach Music Group artist Wale was crowned “Cash Prince” by Forbes for pocketing nearly $5 million, just $1 million short of making this year’s Hip-Hop Cash Kings list. “I don’t want to be one of those guys that you see who made $4 million, invested $3.5 million, and now you work at Wendy’s,” the D.C. native told the magazine. “I want to get the highest score on Pacman or Frogger… [and] I want to make sure I’m on the Forbes list in a year or two.”

Cash Kings 2012: Hip-Hop’s Top 20 Earners
1. Dr. Dre: $110 million
2. Diddy: $45 million
3. Jay-Z: $38 million
4. Kanye West: $35 milliom
5. Lil Wayne: $27 million
6 Drake: $20.5 milliom
7. Birdman: $20 million
8. Nicki Mianj: $15.5 million
9. Eminem: $15 million
10. Ludacris: $12 million
11. Pitbull: $9.5 million
12. Rick Ross: $9 million (tie)
13. Wiz Khalifa: $9 million (tie)
14. Snoop Dogg: $8 million
15. 50 Cent: $7.5 million
16. Swizz Beatz: $7 million (tie)
17. Pharrell Williams: $7 million (tie)
18. Young Jeezy: $7 million (tie)
19. Mac Miller: $6.5 million (tie)
20. Akon: $6 million (tie)

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Watch Forbes Hip-Hop Cash Kings 2012: Inside the List

Nicki Minaj Receives Death Threats On Twitter Over Mitt Romney Rap Verse

Nicki Minaj

YouTube

Not everyone was feeling Nicki Minaj‘s verse on Lil Wayne‘s flip of ‘Mercy,’ in which she implied that she was a Republican and voting for Mitt Romney. Her rap line has garnered her a slew of hate from radical Democrats on Twitter.

AllHipHop.com rounded up some of the vitriolic tweets that were sent to the Harajuku Barbie. One person wrote, “Somebody please kill Nicki Minaj,” while another tweeted, “Sooo Nicki Minaj voting for Romney? That b—- can die too.” Ouch!

No word if the Young Money queen was serious when she rhymed, “I’m a Republican voting for Mitt Romney / You lazy b—-es is f—ing up the economy.” And Minaj has yet to address the haters on her own Twitter feed.

However, Gawker did some fact-checking and discovered that Minaj is not even a registered voter. WTF?!

Gawker writes:

A search of voter rolls in California and New York, where Minaj maintains homes, comes up empty; which means that not only is Minaj not a registered Republican voting for Mitt Romney, she’s not voting at all unless she registers soon. (It’s also unclear whether or not Minaj, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago, is an American citizen.)”

Uh-oh. Let’s hope the authorities at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services doesn’t pay Minaj a visit and decides to deport the ‘Starships’ rapper to Trinidad and Tobago.

Questionable naturalization aside, maybe Minaj was joking around with her Mitt Romney line and people are overreacting. At any rate, if Gawker’s research team are on-point with their fact-checking, Minaj has bigger issues to worry about than so-called “lazy b—-es” who are “f—ing up the economy.”

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Listen to Lil Wayne, ‘Mercy’ (Freestyle) Featuring Nicki Minaj

First Lady Michelle Obama Praises Elle Varner

FLOTUS Elle Varner

Alex Wong / Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

Everybody loves Elle Varner including First Lady Michelle Obama. The R&B songbird received a shout out from FLOTUS at the Democratic National Convention Monday night (Sept. 3).

In an interview with E! News, Michelle Obama spoke openly about President Obama’s accomplishments during his four-year term in office, including jobs, gay marriage and her daughter Malia’s first week as a freshman in high school. Ms. Obama is also up on the latest hits as well. When asked who is Malia’s favorite singer, the First Lady quickly acknowledge the one and only — Elle Varner.

“Malia is all on top of her,” she said of the 23-year-old singer. “So she played her new album for me and I picked out a couple songs.”

Upon hearing the news that FLOTUS shouted her out, Varner shared her excitement on Twitter. “OH MY GOD!!” she tweeted. “I literally prayed for this @MichelleObama thank you so much!! I’m so honored and speechless.”

This is a good look for Varner who is set to embark on her ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ Tour next week. The jaunt will see Varner performing at several college campuses across the nation. The trek kicks off Sept. 8 in Louisville, Ky., and wraps in Tallahassee, Fla., on Nov. 9. Varner’s tour will hit Washington, D.C. on Oct. 18, so maybe Michelle Obama will take her daughters Malia and Sasha to the show.

In the meantime, Varner is gearing up to release a new video for her next single ‘I Don’t Care.’ She tweeted, “Wow wow watching the rough cut of “I Don’t Care” and I’ve never looked/felt so sexy before! Hard work paying off.”

Elle Varner’s ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ Tour Dates:
9/8 – Louisville, Ky. | Coles Place
9/16 – Atlanta, Ga. | Georgia World Congress Center
9/22 – Jackson, Miss. | Club Pluto
9/27 – Nashville, Tenn. | Tennessee State University
9/28 – St. Louis, Mo. | Emerson Performing Arts Center
10/5 – Philadelphia, Pa. | Theatre of Living Arts
10/6 – Dallas, Texas | Southwest Airline State Fair
10/9 – Hayward, Calif. | Cal State East Bay
10/10 – Normal, Ala. | Alabama A&M
10/11 – Baltimore, Md. | Morgan Stage University
10/13 – Langston, Okla. | Langston University
10/15 – Petersburg, Va. | Virginia State University
10/18 – Washington, DC | Howard University
10/19 – Dover, Del. | Delaware State College
10/20 – Cheyney, Pa. | Cheyney University
10/25 – Atlanta, Ga. | Spelman College
10/27 – Greensboro, N.C. | NC A&T University
11/2 – Durham, NC | North Carolina Central University
11/3 – Poughkeepsie, N.Y. | Ciboney C

Watch E! News: One-on-One With Michelle Obama