Nicki Minaj teams with Eminem and disses Lil' Kim

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Two of the biggest hip hop figures of 2010 have finally joined forces. Nicki Minaj is a candidate for new artist of the year as she plans to release Pink Friday this week. Eminem, on the other hand, is a veteran on the comeback trail. Both rappers are known for their alter egos.

Their new collaboration, "Roman's Revenge," features Nicki's alter ego of Roman Zolanski and Eminem brought Slim Shady over. The record, which will be featured on Pink Friday, is taking aim at the many haters. On this record, Nicki and Em prove how crazy than can get on their tracks.

In the opening verses, both Nicki Minaj and Eminem come out aggressive. But, in the second verse, the nonconfrontational Nicki took some shots at Lil' Kim. This summer, Lil' Kim started dissing Nicki Minaj for taking her style. Even though Kim made her beef no secret, Nicki refused to respond to Lil' Kim over a song. At one point, Drake had even jumped into the fray.

However, earlier this month, Lil' Kim announced she would not be sending any more diss records in the direction of Nicki Minaj. She extended an olive branch and had hoped Nicki would accept it. No response came from the Young Money camp, now Nicki has gotten on her latest song and taunted Lil' Kim with how she took her spot. Later in the verse, she sent a few threats to the woman who labeled herself the Queen Bee years ago.

In his verse, Eminem hits back at critics who said he could not land a comeback. From the top of the game with the hottest new artist around, Eminem tossed a few verses off. Nicki described the song as not her, but rather Roman, her alter ego, going at Em's Slim Shady and Lil' Kim for that matter.

J. Cole pegs Debut Album for December release

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Late last year, J. Cole's single, "Lights Please," gained him national attention. After his verse on Jay-Z's "A Star is Born," interest in Cole was at an all-time high. When "Lights Please" was released, Roc Nation said his debut album would come early in 2010.

For a brief moment, J. Cole was just as popular as Drake and some thought Cole would be more successful in 2010. After both rappers were pushed back, it appeared as if they would receive the "Saigon treatment." But, Drake dropped in June and took over the game while J. Cole waited.

Early in the summer of 2010, J. Cole heated up the streets with his anthem, "Who Dat?" The song gained traction and an album was expected to soon follow. But, the summer came and went without a J. Cole release. Now, with the year almost over, nothing has come from J. Cole. If he does not soon get an album out, J. Cole may miss his turn because the label is focusing on Willow Smith.

Months have passed since J. Cole has had any news about his debut album, Cole World. Recently, however, the rapper said his debut album may finally see the light of day this December. The album will be released on Roc Nation through Columbia Records.

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On the Rise: Justin Barnhill

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

At the age of 19, Justin Barnhill is building an empire based on modeling and hip hop. Barnhill, a native of Maple Hill, NC, is treading down unmarked territority. Never before has a kid from the heart of the country, White at that, moved in on the hip hop game the way Justin Barnhill has.

His takeover began in 2009, right after Barnhill graduated from high school. As a high schooler, he had started his own modeling career and he was soon discovered by an agency. From that point on, things have been going smoothly for the native of North Carolina.

In his brief career, Barnhill has already crossed paths with superstars such as Nick Cannon, Juelz Santana, and Trey Songz. Unlike most people, in this position, Justin is not starstruck, he is about building his business, To the Max. The company consists of photography and a social network.

Recently, Hip Hop Vibe landed an exclusive phone interview with Justin Barnhill.


HHV: Hey, what's up man, you there?
JB: Yeah, I'm here, thanks for having me.
HHV: Anytime, the pleasure is all ours over here.
JB: Ha ha, okay, hit me with that first question.
HHV: How did you get into modeling?
JB: A model scout found me online when I was in high school.
HHV: How did you go from simply being a model to being a young mogul.

JB: By keeping everything 100% with my people and having a reliable team around me, which makes up To the Max.

HHV: Speaking of To the Max, could you explain to the readers exactly what To the Max is?
JR: To the Max is my entertainment company where I manage artists and make sure they have the career they always dreamed of.

HHV: Can you name some of the artists To the Max is managing now?
JB: Currently, we are managing Yung Armani, based out of NC and we also have Nijay Sincere giving the ladies what they want in Harlem, NY. But, other than that, we have some other artists that will not be released until they join the To the Max website.

HHV: What do you have planned for yourself in the near future Mr. Barnhill?
JB: Ha ha, good question. I'm actually working on some modeling contracts in Canada, New York, London, and Japan. People, check out the magazines because you will probably see me in them.

HHV: Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
JB: On the To the Max island straight chillin' to calm my nerves.
HHV: Do you plan to venture out and do television and filmworks?
JR: You already know what the business is hahahahaha. I am actually writing a few TV shows for models and I am writing some movie scripts.

HHV: So, what's next for To the Max?
JB: We got some concerts coming up with TBT Productions, check out the website for more information and we also plan on doing some Dirty South skateboarding videos.

HHV: Justin, it is clear to see you're on the fast track to success and we look forward to seeing big things from the To the Max camp.

JB: You already know, what I'm building over here is something epic, I built the raceway over here. Shout out to Hip Hop Vibe! and I'm out!

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Drake wants another Jay-Z collaboration

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Drake finally nabbed Jay-Z for a collaboration when the two teamed up for "Light Up." The song has become a favorite among fans and hailed as a classic. Following the success of the song, the people are left wanting more.

Drake prides himself on being just as big of a fan as the fans themselves. Even after recording with Jay-Z, Drake still feels starstruck when he shares the room with him. Still elated after their collaboration, Drake wants them to do it again.

With his second album slated for a 2011 release, Drake has been recording in an effort to get himself back into the game. Like with his debut album, Drake wants another collaboration with one of his idols, Jay-Z.

Their Thank Me Later collaboration, "Light Up," was considered an underground classic. But, Drake wants to get in the studio with Jay-Z for his second effort in order to record a major hit single. While he accepts the fact that he came up in the underground, Drake understands that the money comes from radio play. Because of this, Drake does enough to satisfy both the radio and the streets.

The next collaboration between Drake and Jay-Z will likely be a street song, but radio ready.

T.I. changes Album Title and Returns to Prison

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

The road to redemption for T.I. is going to be a little bit longer than he expected. When he first got out of prison, T.I. worked overtime to repair his image. Last month, all of the hard work went right out of the window. Now, T.I. is headed back to prison for 11 months.

His album was supposed to be titled King Uncaged, since T.I. was celebrating his return. But, since he is headed right back to prison, there is no need to celebrate. Because of this, Tip has renamed his album to No Mercy. Not only has T.I. lost his perfect album title, but he has also lost endorsements.

Axe deodorant has decided to pull their endorsement from T.I. in the wake of his legal woes. Remy Martin liquor had given T.I. a lucrative contract, giving him an executive role. While they claim to still have love for T.I., they have relieved him of his duties.

Now, T.I. will spend his remaining free days making his rounds and rerecording his track. Because of his recent legal troubles, T.I. will not be able to celebrate his freedom, so he is creating music to match the feeling. Just like last time, T.I. will be preparing his team for the promotion of his album because he will not be able to do it in person. Not only is T.I. headed back to prison, but it is the exact same place he went before in Arkansas. Before he heads back to Arkansas on November 1, T.I. plans to shoot a few videos for the album.

No Mercy, T.I.'s seventh album, is currently set for a December 7 release date, although many feel the album will be pushed back until sometime in 2011.

Jay-Z and Kanye West join forces for New Album

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

For some time, Jay-Z and Kanye West have been a formidable hip hop duo. When Jay-Z "retired," it was Kanye West who kept the dynasty alive. West has even held his own since Jay-Z returned to the game. Both rappers are great in their own right.

The chemistry shared between Jay-Z and Kanye West is fantastic at its worst. Each year, one of these two rappers will release an album, so fans will always have their Jigga/Kanye collabo. Because of the popularity of their collaborations, the two decided to do an EP.

Over the past few weeks, Jay-Z and Kanye West have been recording this new release. But, as they have been putting music together, their chemistry has grown. Now, instead of simply an EP, the former Roc-A-Fella rappers have decided to put a full album together.

There is no set release date for this new project, Watch the Throne. The album would be a joint release from both G.O.O.D./Def Jam and Roc Nation.

Nicki Minaj nervous over "Pink Friday" first week sales

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Lil Wayne's 2008 prediction came true and it is safe to say 2010 has been the year of Young Money. The summer was dominated by hits from Drake and Nicki Minaj. Drake, who released his debut album during the summer, has a platinum plaque. Nicki, on the other hand, awaits her album release.

Nicki Minaj has been having conversations with Mack Maine, the CEO of Young Money Entertainment. Maine has revealed how nervous Nicki is over her album sales. She has pointed out that Drake sold 463,000 copies in his first week. As a new artist, it is hard to deliver those type of numbers.

Despite Nicki Minaj being credited for carrying female hip hop on her back, she is still nervous. For some reason, Nicki feels as if she will not sell as many records as Drake in her first week. In the past, first week sales did not receive as much attention as they do now. 50 Cent and his 2007 competition with Kanye West is to blame for this.

Mack Maine has been trying to calm her down and have her focus on the quality of the music. He told her about how Juvenile only sold 40,000 copies during the first week with his 400 Deegreez album and it went on to sell 6 million records. The first week is only the first week and each week sales should be higher than the previous week, as opposed to lower each week, which has been the case in recent years.

Drake scraps R&B mixtape and Returns to Rap

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

With his next album not due until next year, Drake wanted to give the fans something. Drake has been very successful because he is a multi-threat. Not only is he one of rap's most gifted lyricists, but he is also a major threat in the R&B game.

His success after "Find Your Love" left some fans wanting Drake to put together a full R&B record. Drake decided to give the fans what they wanted in the form of the It's Never Enough mixtape. It was set to become the first non-rap release from Drake.

As the release date for the R&B mixtape loomed, Drake had isolated himself from rap. While he loves to sing, Drake grew tired of R&B and decided to change back. The fans who love to hear the Young Money star sing will be disappointed.

Drake is tired of R&B and he will not be going forward with his plans to release It's Never Enough this fall because he is returning to rap. People who are eager to hear new verses from Drake will have to settle for his collaborations. Meanwhile, fans can still check out his hook on Rick Ross' "Aston Martin Music" and his accompanying verse on the radio and video version of the song. Drake's recordings are also available on new music from Lil Wayne.

Joe Budden close to Shady Records deal

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

For over a year, Joe Budden has been involved with Eminem and Shady Records through Slaughterhouse. Last year, it was confirmed that they would sign to Shady Records. The group consists of four members, Budden, Crooked I, Royce da 5'9, and Joell Ortiz.

Signing the artists has been difficult as each artist has been in deals with other labels. But, as their contracts have come to a close, they have officially been able to create Slaughterhouse. For the past few months, buzz about the supergroup has been becoming more and more nonexistent.

Right when people have nearly forgotten about the crew, they come with more news. Joe Budden said they are very close to completing the deal with Shady Records. The reason they have been out of the public eye is because each rapper has been getting out of their label deal. Budden said the deal is complicated because there are so many rappers involved.

One reason why they have remained interested in signing with Shady Records has been because of Eminem and his passion for hip hop. Even with his recent run at the top, Budden says Eminem has been 200% involved in everything concerning Slaughterhouse. The deal is expected to be completed sometime this fall and their debut album will come sometime late in 2011.

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Eminem deserves "Hottest Rapper in the Game" title

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Many critics have spoken out against MTV voting Eminem as the hottest rapper in the game for 2010. But, Eminem has been the most consistent voice in hip hop this year. The year of 2010 has been a bust, as far as hip hop is concerned. Major comebacks were expected from T.I. and J. Cole's debut album has yet to come.

Despite a strong effort with Thank Me Later, Drake has not been able to keep up. Yes, "Over" was a hit early this spring, but the song did not carry over into the summer. While "Find Your Love" charted high, it did not have the staying power and the radio play of the singles from Eminem. During each stage of the year, an Eminem song has dominated the radio.

At the very beginning of the year, Eminem was getting airplay due to the "Drop the World" single off Lil Wayne's Rebirth. Ironically, this single would end up being the biggest single off the Rebirth album. Late in the spring, Eminem returned with his own single, "Not Afraid," which debuted on top of the charts and stayed in the rotation until late in the summer. At one point, Eminem was dominating with two singles, "Not Afraid" and "Love The Way You Lie." The run Eminem has experienced this year is similar to Lil Wayne's dominance back in 2008.

Eminem has put the work in and his music is still dominating, as "Love The Way You Lie" is still receiving major radio play and Em's new single "No Love," with Lil Wayne, is rising the charts quickly. While other rappers have had a little bit of buzz, not even Lil Wayne's I Am Not a Human Being has been enough to take the focus away from Eminem. After the mixed response to his 2009 comeback effort, Relapse, Eminem spoke from the heart and he put together Recovery. With this album, Eminem planned to dominate the year of 2010 and he did just that.

T.I. avoids Drug Charges, Suffers Album Delays

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Late last year, T.I. was released from prison and he promised himself, his family, and his fans that he would do better this time around. Earlier this year, T.I. made his first public appearance. For the sake of his company, the Atlanta rapper turned from an urban look to a professional look. No longer wearing the baggy clothes, T.I. was only found wearing suits.

Things were looking great for T.I. until his trip to Los Angeles last month with his wife, Tiny. While driving through the city, the newlyweds were pulled over by the police. During a routine search, the officers found drugs in the car and T.I. had violated his parole. For almost two years, T.I. had been doing all he could to repair his image in the spotlight.

Despite T.I.'s guilt, the fans have not given up on him and they have rallied behind their hero. All of their well-wishes have benefited T.I., as he will not be brought up on drug charges. While he will not be charged for drug possession, all things are not well with Tip. Though he beat the drug charges, the parole violation may land him back in prison for eleven months.

In the wake of this news, Atlantic Records decided to push T.I.'s comeback effort, King Uncaged, back from a November release to a December 7 release date. While the album has currently been delayed to a release in December, most people believe his album has been pushed back until sometime next year. Even with the possibility of the album being delayed even farther, Young Dro reported that T.I. has filmed over eight videos for the album.

Nelly channels Biggie on "5.0"

By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Nelly is on the comeback trail once again. The St. Louis rapper is preparing to release his first album in two years. In the midst of rumors about a relationship with Ashanti, there is plenty of buzz surrounding him. While all attention is good, Nelly would rather have the people focus on his music.

With 5.0, his sixth studio album, set to come out next month, Nelly definitely wants some music-related buzz. In anticipation for the release of the album, Nelly has released the track listing. Much like his previous release, Nelly aligned himself with the stars, working with the likes of Diddy, T.I., and Plies.

The one artist Nelly has always admired has been The Notorious B.I.G., as he frequently quotes his lines. Nelly was even featured on his posthumous album, Duets: The Final Chapter. The final result was the "Nasty Girl" hit. Five years later, Nelly has called upon some of Biggie's lyrics for his latest opus. The first single from 5.0, "Just a Dream," put Nelly back in the top ten and he hopes Biggie can help put him over the top.

Track Listing

  1. "I'm Number 1 (featuring Birdman and DJ Khaled)
  2. "Long Gone" (featuring Nelly and Plies)
  3. "She's So Fly" (featuring T.I.)
  4. "Just a Dream"
  5. "Making Movies"
  6. "Move That Body" (featuring T-Pain and Akon)
  7. "1000 Stacks" (featuring Diddy and The Notorious B.I.G.)
  8. "Gone" (featuring Kelly Rowland)
  9. "Don't It Feel Good"
10. "Broke Niggas"
11. "Live Tonight"
12. "Nothing Without Her"
13. "Go" (Bonus Track)
14. "If I Gave You One" (featuring Avery Storm) (Bonus Track)
15. "Kissing You" (featuring Dirty Money) (Bonus Track)

"Paid in Full" Part 10

"Paid in Full" Part 8

"Paid in Full" Part 9

"Paid in Full" Part 7

"Paid in Full" Part 5

"Paid in Full" Part 6

"Paid in Full" Part 4

"Paid in Full" Part 3

"Paid in Full" Part 1

"Paid in Full" Part 2

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