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Weekly Flow: Inside Hip-Hop's Evolving Echo

"Ice Cube Drops 'Man Down': His Highly Anticipated Solo Album After 5 Years!"

Hip-hop pioneer Ice Cube has announced the release of his first solo album in five years, titled "Man Down."

In an interview on Public Enemy's Chuck D's RAPstation podcast, Cube revealed that he is finishing up the album and hopes to release it soon.

Speaking about the record, Cube described it as "dope" and said, "I'm digging what I'm doing." This will be Cube's first solo LP since 2018's "Everythang's Corrupt," which featured politically charged tracks like "Arrest The President."

In the past five years, Cube has also formed the hip-hop supergroup Mount Westmore with Too $hort, E-40, and Snoop Dogg.

Their debut album, "Snoop, Cube, 40, $hort," was released in December 2022. Cube will also embark on a UK and Ireland tour in December, alongside The Game and Cypress Hill.

"Old School vs. New School: Legendary Rappers Speak Out on the State of Hip-Hop"

Hip-hop has evolved from an underground genre into one of the most popular forms of music in the world, but not everyone is happy with where it's headed.

Many older rap veterans have expressed their concerns about the direction of hip-hop, particularly with the rise of mumble rap and the inclusion of rappers wearing dresses.

Artists like KRS-One and Rakim, who helped shape the genre in its early days, have criticised the current state of hip-hop, calling it a "disgrace" and a "betrayal" to the culture.

As hip-hop celebrated its 50th birthday, XXL magazine took a look back at the complaints of these older rappers.

While some may dismiss their criticisms as the grumblings of artists who are out of touch with the times, it's worth considering their perspective and the impact they've had on the genre.

"Dr. Dre's Life-Changing Decision: Why He Almost Walked Away from Music"

Dr. Dre reveals in LL COOL J's new book, The Streets Win: 50 Years of Hip Hop Greatness, that he almost quit music in 1992. At that time, he was not getting paid and felt that the music he was making was not up to par.

However, just as he was contemplating quitting, he experienced a burst of creativity and began crafting "the best music [he] had ever made."

This pivotal moment solidified his determination to succeed and made him realise that he had the necessary skills and talent.

Reflecting on this moment, Dr. Dre acknowledges the importance of perseverance and surrounding himself with people who push him forward. He credits this perseverance for shaping his success and changing the trajectory of his life.

The Streets Win: 50 Years of Hip Hop Greatness features contributions from various hip-hop artists and examines the impact of hip hop on American music over the past 50 years.

"Country Music Gets a Hip-Hop Makeover: How Rapper Jelly Roll is Taking Over the Genre"

In a surprising turn of events, hip-hop beats have taken over country music, blurring the lines between the two genres.

While "country rap" has traditionally been seen as a punchline, recent successes like Morgan Wallen's collaboration with Lil Durk and his album filled with rap bars and trap snares show how hip-hop has become elemental to contemporary pop.

On the other hand, country music is also straying into alternative rock, with artists like HARDY blending Southern rock rowdiness, EDM-trap, and metalcore screeching.

The article highlights the unexpected success of rapper turned outlaw crooner Jelly Roll, who is signed to a major label and has topped both the rock radio and country radio charts.

Jelly Roll's vulnerability about addiction and incarceration has positioned him as a spiritual leader and community activist for many of his followers.

The article also discusses the race dynamics within the country-rap genre, noting how white artists continue to predominantly profit from the trend despite its roots in diverse Black musical traditions.

Overall, the article explores the evolving nature of country music and the influence of hip-hop beats within the genre.

OutKast's 'Speakerboxxx/The Love Below' Shatters Records, Becomes Best-Selling Rap Album of All Time

OutKast's 2003 album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, has officially become the best-selling rap album of all time in the United States.

Certified 13x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the album has sold a whopping 13 million copies, surpassing Eminem's The Eminem Show, which was certified 12x platinum in 2022.

What sets Speakerboxxx/The Love Below apart is its status as a double album, with one disc for Big Boi and one for André 3000, meaning that each copy sold counts twice.

This milestone adds to OutKast's impressive career achievements, and Big Boi celebrated by sharing an Instagram video of him unwrapping a framed plaque commemorating the album's 13 million sales.

This news comes as OutKast also celebrates the 25th anniversary of their acclaimed album Aquemini.

"LEGACY: Uncovering the Untold Stories of Birmingham's Rap Scene - Coming Soon!"

PUNCH Records has announced the upcoming release of a five-part mini-docuseries and book titled "LEGACY" that will explore the untold stories of Birmingham's grime, hip-hop, and rap scene.

The project aims to showcase the artists, tastemakers, and entrepreneurs who have contributed to the city's influence on Black British music.

The series and book will feature interviews with notable figures such as Jaykae, Lady Leshurr, MIST, and Sian Anderson, discussing their contributions to the Birmingham music scene.

The book, co-written by Jess Monroe and Casey Bailey, will delve deeper into the history of the Birmingham Black music scene and cover topics such as the evolution of radio, influential producers, rap battles, and other cultural moments that have made the city famous for its Black music.

The project is set to be released on November 15.

LL COOL J Unveils 'The Streets Win', a Celebratory Hip-Hop Book That Will Blow Your Mind!

LL COOL J is releasing a new collectible book titled "The Streets Win: 50 Years of Hip-Hop Greatness."

In collaboration with author Vikki Tobak and Rock The Bells' editorial director Alec Banks, the book celebrates the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop and pays tribute to the genre's culture, sound, and influential figures.

The book includes never-before-seen photographs that capture the evolution of Hip-Hop, from block party performances to behind-the-scenes moments in recording studios.

It features firsthand accounts from industry icons such as Salt-N-Pepa, MC Lyte, Eminem, and Snoop Dogg. Published by Rizzoli, the book will be available for pre-order and hits shelves on October 3.

This visually striking book is sure to become a collector's item for Hip-Hop enthusiasts and showcases the monumental journey of the genre over the past five decades.

"From Rapper to Educator: How Prince Helped School Founder Launch Hip Hop Institution"

In this article, we learn about David "T.C." Ellis, an educator and school founder who credits Prince for helping him get his start in hip hop.

Ellis, who had been a rapper in his youth, was friends with Prince and relentlessly pursued the star to give him a chance.

Prince initially threatened Ellis, but eventually relented and allowed him to write and perform in the movie "Graffiti Bridge," the sequel to "Purple Rain." Ellis describes the experience as "the experience of a lifetime."

Today, Ellis is recognised for his work as an educator and for founding St. Paul's High School for the Recording Arts. The school uses hip hop to engage students who have struggled in traditional educational settings.

This article highlights Prince's impact on Ellis' career and his dedication to helping young people through his school.

"Smif-N-Wessun Reveals Name Change Lawsuit on 'Drink Champs': Buckle up for the juicy details!"

In an upcoming episode of Revolt's Drink Champs, Tek & Steele of The Cocoa Brovas, formerly known as Smif-N-Wessun, open up about the lawsuit that forced them to change their name.

After releasing their debut album in 1995, Smif-N-Wessun received a cease and desist order from gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson, claiming that their name was infringing on their trademark.

The gun manufacturer argued that the band's name was confusing consumers who might associate it with guns instead of music.

The duo discusses the details of the legal battle and how it ultimately led them to change their name to The Cocoa Brovas.

In other news, The Cocoa Brovas recently released new music with their collective Boot Camp Clik, celebrating their 30th anniversary.

Their first single in 16 years, "Wotcha Call Strength," was released in partnership with Rock The Bells, adding to the celebration of Hip Hop's 50th anniversary.