Video: Rick Ross – Trap Trap Trap ft. Young Thug, Wale


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Rick Ross – Trap Trap Trap (feat. Young Thug & Wale)

Tattooed with pictures of AK-47s, Miami’s six-foot, 300-pound rap figure known as Rick Ross embraced his city’s reputation for drug trafficking on his debut single, “Hustlin’,” in 2006. While Atlanta and Houston artists were establishing their cities as Southern strongholds, Ross aimed at putting Miami back in rap’s national spotlight. Ross, real name William Roberts, grew up in Carol City, Florida, an impoverished northern suburb of Miami. Influenced by artists like Luther Campbell and the Notorious B.I.G., Roberts formed local rap group the Carol City Cartel and began rapping in the mid-’90s. (He took his rap name from Los Angeles drug kingpin “Freeway” Rick Ross, who ran one of the largest crack cocaine distribution networks in the country during the ’80s and early ’90s.) Ross had a brief stint on Suave House Records, former label of Eightball & MJG, before he ended up on Miami-based Slip ‘N’ Slide Records, the label home of Trick Daddy and Trina. During the early to mid-2000s, he became popular and well-known locally through touring with Trick Daddy and appearing as a guest on a few Slip ‘N’ Slide releases, but didn’t release any solo material until 2006.

Once “Hustlin'” caught the ear of a few executives within the national industry, a bidding war ensued that included offers from Bad Boy CEO Sean “Diddy” Combs and The Inc. (formerly Murder Inc) president Irv Gotti. Nonetheless, Def Jam president and veteran rapper Jay-Z signed Ross to a multi-million-dollar deal. The Miami anthem “Hustlin'” went on to receive gold status from the RIAA in May 2006 and sold over a million ringtone units before the physical release of his debut album, Port of Miami. Released in August 2006, Ross’ debut was Slip ‘N’ Slide’s first project under the Def Jam partnership, and it went to number one on the Billboard album chart. His follow-up, Trilla, was released the following year, prefaced with the Cool & Dre-produced title track. Early 2009 saw the release of Deeper Than Rap, an album greeted with numerous positive reviews in the hip-hop press. In early 2010 he released the Teflon Don album featuring the hit single “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast).” The star-studded God Forgives, I Don’t followed in 2012, with guest shots from Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige.

At the start of 2013, he announced details of his sixth studio album. He enlisted the help of Scott Storch and DJ Khaled as executive producers and released the pre-album single “No Games” featuring Future. The album, titled Mastermind, landed in March of 2014 with the simultaneous release of the single “War Ready” featuring Young Jeezy. Just six months later, Ross announced that he would be releasing his seventh studio album, Hood Billionaire, toward the end of 2014. The album arrived in November of that year and was preceded by the singles “Elvis Presley Blvd.” and “Keep Doin’ That (Rich Bitch).” In 2015, he dropped Black Dollar, a high-profile official mixtape that featured production from J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and Jake One. The mixtape previewed that year’s official album, Black Market, which landed late in the year, along with the accompanying single “Sorry” featuring Chris Brown. Future, Mary J. Blige, and Nas also made guest appearances on the LP.

Video: Wale – ‘MY PYT’

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The self-proclaimed “Ambassador of Rap for the Capital,” Wale (pronounced “wah-lay”) was able to transcend his local sensation status and become a national rap contender using go-go-inspired hip-hop as the vehicle for his clever wordplay and music. Olubowale Victor Akintimehin was born in Washington, D.C. in 1984 to Nigerian immigrants who first arrived in America five years prior. Although the family moved to Maryland when the future rapper was ten years old, Wale was mostly raised in suburban D.C. He attended both Robert Morris College and Virginia State University on football scholarships, eventually transferring a third time to Bowie State. The music bug had already bitten him hard, though, and soon he quit college altogether to turn to a recording career.

Wale got his first airplay circa 2003-2004 with “Rhyme of the Century,” thanks to the help of a local radio DJ who believed in his potential. This landed him in the Unsigned Hype column in Source magazine the following year. In 2006, Wale signed with the local start-up imprint Studio 43, owned by a former VP of Roc-A-Fella Records, and enjoyed a string of hits in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area that year. Many of those records sampled from ’80s go-go — a more raw, percussion-driven offshoot of disco originating in D.C. — like the popular “Dig Dug,” a tribute to Ronald “Dig Dug” Dixon of go-go band the Northeast Groovers. Smart use of the Internet and MySpace was also a big factor in his success, as it helped British über-producer and DJ Mark Ronson (known for his work with Amy Winehouse, Christina Aguilera, and Rhymefest) catch wind of the go-go MC in 2007.

Wale struck a production deal with Ronson’s own imprint, Allido, and released the 100 Miles and Running mixtape that summer. Despite not being signed to a major label, he was met with a good deal of positive press, ranging from XXL magazine to The New York Times. After a bidding war that included offers from Epic, Atlantic, and Def Jam, Interscope finally grabbed Wale for its roster in early 2008. The full-length Attention Deficit followed the next year. In 2011, the Ambition album landed, along with its single, “Chain Music.” The Gifted, released in 2013, was introduced by the single “Bad,” which featured special guest Rihanna on its remix. Its ambition was rewarded with a number one debut on the Billboard 200. Influenced by the TV sitcom Seinfeld, The Album About Nothing landed in 2015 and featured guests Usher and Jeremih, along with Jerry Seinfeld as the album’s narrator; it, too, topped the charts.

Video: Wale “The Body” (featuring Jeremih)

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Wale is gearing up to release his new album The Album About Nothing in first quarter of 2015. Here’s the music video for the first single from the album, the Jeremih featured track is called ‘The Body’.

Audio: Wale – Loyalty (Feat. Dew Baby & Fat Trel)

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Wale connects with Dew Baby and Fat Trel for this new joint called “Loyalty”. Wale’s upcoming mixtape Festivus is set to drop tomorrow.

Wale & Jerry Seinfeld on the Cover of Complex

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Wale and Complex reunite after their… Heated conversation over the phone towards the end of 2013. In a hilarious sketch, the DC rapper and Jerry Seinfield discuss the list that the conversation was about with a little twist.

PARTYNEXTDOOR – Thirsty (Remix) (Feat. Wale)

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OVO recording artist PARTYNEXTDOOR enlist MMG Wale for the official remix to his “Thirsty.” Wale spits a tight flow and even speaks in Spanish on his newly-minted verse. The original track, which samples Missy Elliott’s “Ching-a-Ling,” appears on PND’s album PARTYNEXTDOOR TWO.