By: Brennan Carley, Taylor Cavallo, & Dan Siering
Oh how the mighty have fallen. Lil Wayne, leader of Young Money (YMCMB), went from the top of the rap music scene to taking a back seat. Lucky enough for the YMCMB crew, he’s taken a back seat to some of his fellow crew members, such as Tyga, Nicki Minaj, and Drake. Minaj is the hottest female rapper on the scene right now, and continues to shock her fans with outrageous costumes, bold lyrics, and equally bold fashion statements. Drake’s smooth-as-silk voice and undeniable flow has placed him at the top of the rap scene, replacing Weezy as Cash Money rap royalty.
Nobody is hotter in hip-hop right now than G.O.O.D. Music, a crew helmed by America’s most arrogant and opinionated rapper, Kanye West. Consisting of Pusha T, Q-Tip, Common, Big Sean, John Legend, and several others, G.O.O.D. (short for “Getting Out Our Dreams”) is set to release its debut album as a unit, entitled Cruel Summer. After the group’s inescapable trap-hit “Mercy” commanded radio airplay this summer, West dropped “New God Flow” in a freestyle on the BET Awards. Expect fALL to be full of heavy drops (courtesy of Hit Boy), references to cash and Kim Kardashian (the rumored track “Perfect Bitch”), and oodles and oodles of 2 Chainz. If the group’s 30-minute set at Jay-Z’s Made in America Festival is any indication, it’s about to be a G.O.O.D. September.
Jay-Z is a rapper who can do no wrong. And that applies to his record label, Roc Nation. New York City’s finest rapper decided to share the love with a variety of artists, ranging from J. Cole to Jay Electronica. The crew boasts a young face in the pint sized, but still sassy Willow Smith. On the rise British star Rita Ora has recently taken off with some new tracks off her highly anticipated debut summer album Ora after signing to the label in 2009. While many crew members haven’t yet reached the popularity of Jay-Z and to a certain extent J. Cole, there are some hidden gems amidst this solid crew.
Maybach Music Group
Founded by the robust Rick Ross, Teflon Don, or whatever other name he has currently decided to call himself, Maybach Music Group, or MMG, is a rap crew notorious for their mixtape and album turnover. Mixtapes and albums seem to be coming from all angles at all times from this multifaceted and successful rap crew. Meek Mill, French Montana, Wale, Omarion, new member Rockie Fresh and of course, the Don himself, Rick Ross, show fantastic support for one another-it seems as if each MMG superstar member is featured on every hit. This summer’s God Forgives, I Don’t, following the latest MMG mixtape Self Made 2, makes it clear that despite the volume of albums they produce, MMG still has it.
Perhaps the most unique of the crews, OFWGKTA, or simply Odd Future, is an LA- based, somewhat alternative hip-hop group led by the group’s producer and profanely quirky puppet master Tyler, the Creator. Other members include Earl Sweatshirt, Hodgy Beats, and Domo Genesis, to name a few. Each member has his own style and personal flavor that adds an interesting dimension to the crew. Apart from the group’s shocking lyrics with limitless flow, what stands out about this hip hop crew in particular is the dedication to their own solo careers. Nearly all members have embarked upon some solo endeavor, the most recent and successful being Frank Ocean’s summer smash Channel Orange.
There’s something relentlessly charming about the ragamuffin A$AP Mob, a motley band of Harlem-raised rappers who shot to prominence this year due to member A$AP Rocky’s track “Goldie” and subsequent appearance in Lana Del Rey’s “National Anthem” video. The group’s sound is gritty and psychedelic, often turning grandiose melodies into trip-hop tracks oozing from one’s speakers. The recent Lord$ Never Worry mixtape let Da$h and A$AP’s Ferg, Twelvyy, Ant, and Nast have their moment to shine alongside Fools Gold signees Flatbush Zombies on top of AraabMuzik-produced beats. Look for Rocky’s solo debut in October.