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April 27, 2024 Lawrence Cook

Becoming the Most Popular Hip Hop Artist: What It Takes!

Hip hop music has grown from its roots in the Bronx to become a global phenomenon, with artists like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Cardi B dominating the charts and winning audiences worldwide. For many aspiring musicians, becoming the most popular hip hop artist is a dream worth chasing. But what does it really take to reach the top of the hip hop world?

Staying Authentic: One of the most important qualities for any hip hop artist is authenticity. Fans can tell when an artist is genuine and true to themselves. Being authentic means staying true to your roots, telling your own story, and expressing your unique experiences through your music. Authenticity resonates with audiences on a deeper level

Being Good at What You Do: To stand out in the competitive world of hip hop, artists need to have serious skills and talent. This means mastering the art of rapping, developing a distinctive flow, and delivering powerful lyrics that resonate with listeners. While some artists may have a natural talent for rapping, it often takes years of practice and dedication to hone your craft and reach your full potential.

Hard Work and Dedication: Achieving success in the music industry requires a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication. From writing and recording songs to promoting your music and performing live shows, being a hip hop artist is a full-time job that requires relentless dedication and perseverance. Successful artists are willing to put in the hours and make sacrifices to pursue their passion and achieve their goals.

Think Outside the Box: The most popular hip hop artists are often the ones who push the boundaries of the genre and innovate with their music. Whether it’s experimenting with new sounds, blending different musical styles, or tackling thought-provoking themes, creativity is key to staying relevant. Most top hip hop artists are not afraid to take risks and think outside the box to create music thats unique

Create a Strong Identity: In addition to creating great music, becoming a popular hip-hop artist also requires building a strong brand and a loyal fan base. This involves everything from developing a unique image and style to engaging with fans on social media and building relationships with industry insiders. A strong brand helps artists stand out in a crowded market and creates opportunities for long-term success in the music industry.

Getting to the top as a hip hop artist is a big challenge but with the right combination of authenticity, talent, hard work, creativity, and branding, it is possible and not impossible. By staying true to yourself and never giving up on your dreams, you can make your own way to success in the world of hip-hop music.

March 26, 2024 Lawrence Cook

The most listened Hip Hop songs of all times, Revealed!

It’s a saying that Hip Hop was made by DJ Kool in 1971. It started with peaceful parties in the Bronx to end violence in the Black community. DJ Herc showed how to create Hip Hop by repeating the best part of a song. Soon, people started rapping over the music, and that’s how Hip Hop was born.

It’s amazing to think hip hop began so long ago. Even though it’s old, it’s still changing and evolving. What we hear in rap today is different from what it was twenty years ago, and that’s part of what makes it special.

Choosing the best hip-hop songs is hard because there are so many different styles and sounds. Hip hop has been debated for years, so why not continue? Here are some of the greatest hip-hop songs. Let’s get started!

Brand Nubian, “Slow Down”

Brand Nubian, a crew embracing Afrocentric themes and anti-drug messages in their music, didn’t seem destined for stardom. Surprisingly, they excelled and became stars effortlessly. When producer Sadat X faced difficulty in mixing elements of a popular song with a drum pattern, he enlisted a vocalist to help, although it went unnoticed by most.

Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliott, “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)

After spending years behind the scenes as a producer, writer, and guest in the music industry, Elliott emerged as a standout hip-hop artist with “The Rain.” The song’s playful futuristic vibe came from Timbaland’s unique digital beats and Elliott’s lively singing. Hype Williams’ groundbreaking video only made it better.

JVC Force – “Strong Island” (1987)

JVC Force became famous in the late 1980s for their song “Strong Island,” even though their album “Doin’ Damage” didn’t get enough recognition. “Strong Island” had a lively feel and sometimes got a bit wild, but that was part of its charm. It introduced a laid-back style of hip hop that later became popular through groups like De La Soul and others in Native Tongues.

B.G. feat. Big Tymers and Hot Boys, “Bling Bling”

Cash Money producer Mannie Fresh said, “We can’t sell this album because all the songs are too urban.” He was talking about rapper B.G.’s fourth LP. “How can we make it popular?” The answer was “Bling Bling,” which connected a flashy term to a beat and got it added to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary.

Biz Markie, “Just a Friend”

Biz Markie, is a well known name in hip-hop, is well-liked. In the “Just a Friend” music video, he wore a wig and played the piano. He sang a funny version of Freddie Scott’s old song. Biz said, “I wanted Al B. Sure! and Keith Sweat for the video, but they were busy, so I did it myself.”

February 16, 2024 Lawrence Cook

How Many People Actually Listen to Hip Hop in the United States?

Hip hop music has become a big part of American culture. It’s not just about the beats and the rhymes; it’s also about the stories and the messages behind the lyrics. From the streets of New York City to the neighborhoods of Los Angeles, hip hop has spread its influence far and wide.

So, how many people are really into hip hop? The answer might surprise you! In the United States, hip hop is one of the most popular music genres. Millions of people, young and old, tune in to hip hop songs every day. It’s not just limited to big cities either; hip hop has fans in rural areas, suburbs, and everywhere in between.

One reason for hip hop’s popularity is its diversity. Hip hop artists come from all walks of life, and they rap about a wide range of topics, from social issues to personal experiences. This diversity allows people from different backgrounds to connect with the music in their own way.
Another reason for hip hop’s popularity is its influence on popular culture. You can hear hip hop beats in commercials, see hip hop fashion trends on the streets, and even catch hip hop references in movies and TV shows. Hip hop has truly become a mainstream phenomenon.

But numbers speak louder than words, right? According to recent statistics, hip hop consistently ranks as one of the most listened-to genres in the United States. Streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music report millions of streams for hip hop songs each day. Hip hop concerts and festivals also draw huge crowds across the country.
Moreover, hip hop’s influence extends beyond just music. It has inspired dance styles, fashion trends, and even language. From the slang we use to the dances we do, hip hop has left its mark on American culture in more ways than one.

February 9, 2024 Lawrence Cook

How to Promote your Hip-Hop music video on YouTube

With over two billion users globally and countless videos, YouTube stands as a premier platform for music marketing and promotion. It has become one of the go-to platforms for sharing music videos, and hip-hop artists can greatly benefit from its vast audience reach. If you’ve just dropped a dope hip-hop music video and want to get it out there to the world, here are some simple steps to help you promote your masterpiece on YouTube

Create Content That’s Impossible to Resist

Before you even think about promoting your video, make sure it’s worth promoting! Your music video should be high-quality, visually appealing, and in line with your brand as an artist. People are more likely to watch and share videos that they find interesting and engaging.

Make Your YouTube Channel Better

Your YouTube channel is your home base on the platform. Make sure it’s set up properly with an attractive profile picture, an appealing channel banner, and a concise yet informative “About” section. Also, organize your videos into playlists to make it easier for viewers to navigate your content.

Optimize Video for Better Search Results

To increase the chances of your video being discovered, optimize its title, description, and tags with relevant keywords related to your music and genre. Think about what terms people might use to search for hip-hop music videos similar to yours, and use those keywords on your videos title and descriptions.

Share Videos on Social Platforms

Don’t just rely on YouTube to promote your video—Use the Lenostube Music Video Promotion Campaigns or social media to reach a larger audience. Share your video across all your social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. Encourage your followers to like, comment on, and share your video with their networks.

Team Up with Influencers and Bloggers

Reach out to influencers, bloggers, and other content creators in the hip-hop community and see if they’d be interested in sharing your video with their followers. Collaborations can help expose your music to new audiences and expand your reach beyond your own fan base.

Get Your Audience Involved

Building a loyal fan base is key to long-term success as a hip-hop artist. Take the time to respond to comments on your video, interact with your fans on social media, and engage in conversations about your music. The more you connect with your audience, the more invested they’ll become in your success.

Run YouTube Ads

 If you have a budget for promotion, consider running ads on YouTube. YouTube offers various advertising options, including display ads, overlay ads, skippable video ads, and non-skippable video ads. Experiment with different ad formats to see which ones yield the best results for your music video.

Monitor Your Analytics Carefully

Keep an eye on your YouTube analytics to track how your video is performing over time. Pay attention to metrics like views, watch time, likes, comments, and shares. Use this data to identify what’s working well and what can be improved in your promotional efforts.

These simple yet easy steps will create a strong base and give you a direction about what works and what doesn’t. Apply these practically, and you will see a significant rise in your YouTube video popularity. Although, its not an overnight thing. Consistency is what it requires, have patience and never stop creating.

February 19, 2016 Lawrence Cook

Exclusive Interview: Tate Kobang Talks “Bank Rolls,” 300, Baltimore & Legacy

300 Entertainment‘s Young Hustle Tour hit Boston last month and saw budding talents like Rich The Kid, T-Wayne, TK-N-Cash, Rejjie Snow, and Tate Kobang hit the Middle East stage. With the expection of Snow, we had the opportunity to chop it up with the talented risers to talk about the tour, their background, music, and more. Following our interviews with Rich, T-Wayne, TK-N-Cash, we wrap it up with an exclusive with Baltimore’s Tate Kobang. Despite not feeling well after his strong outting on the stage, the “Bank Rolls” rapper sat down with me in the restaurant of Middle East to talk about the tour, signing to 300, the success of “Bank Rolls,” new music, Baltimore, and what he wants his legacy to be.

HITP: Right now you’re on the Young Hustle Tour, how’s it been?

Tate Kobang: It’s been crazy. I miss home, but you have to get out there and work. You know what I’m saying?

For sure, its important to get out there and touch the people especially in a place like Boston. The tour is presented by 300 Entertainment, the label that signed you. What made you sign with them versus other labels that were reaching out?

It’s a good place. They care about you. I get a text from Lyor Cohen asking how my morning was. You’re not dealing with a bunch of interns and all that bullshit. You’re talking directly to the people. Plus, we have our visual team and stuff like that.

HITP: You signed the deal a little bit after “Banks Rolls” took off. Talk about that song a little. Its actually a remix, right? 

Tate Kobang: It was originally by Tim Trees from back home. Its like a 16 year old track. I just really freestyled on it and it did a lot better than we expected. Well, actually alot faster.

HITP: That’s dope because hit records in 2016 aren’t what you think. They aren’t formatted the way they use to be. A song like “Bank Roll” and your labelmate T-Wayne’s “Nasty” are very different than what hit records were a decade or so ago. There’s been a fair share of artists that have come and gone after having a breakout record. How do you plan to not be a one hit wonder?

Tate Kobang: You can’t be afraid to jump out. Sometimes you have to take that dive and experiment with your music and see what works.

HITP: I enjoyed your performance tonight. You have a nice catalog of music that hasn’t come out yet. When can we expect a full-length project? 

Tate Kobang: Late February or early March. We’re about to drop a new single. Actually, we’re going to drop two tracks. They are really strong records. One is produced by Honorable C-Note and the other is produced by Swizz Beatz.

HITP: That’s whats up. You have one of Gucci Mane’s go to producers.

Tate Kobang: Man, everybody is Gucci’s producer. Free Gucci!

HITP: That’s one of my favorite rappers. But, let’s talk a bit about Baltimore. I was actually there a year ago. To outsiders, Baltimore is mostly known for the Ravens, violence, and of course now, the unfortunate situation with Freddie Grey. Whats the hip-hop scene like there?

Tate Kobang: Right now, there’s a lot of talent. Like I said, you have to take those chances. A lot of people don’t understand that there’s life outside the trenches. That’s why we document everything we do. It’s not to boost but its to show people that there’s more out there. Last year I had to say goodbye to some people. I’m good now. I’m providing for my kids. There’s a lot of talented mothafuckas back home. Theres a lot of entrepreneurs. Everybody is making the transition from the trap to the art. Its getting real good.

HITP: What kind of legacy do you want to leave? At the end of the day, what do you want to accomplish as an artist? 

Tate Kobang: I want to be the one that they say was someone who made it out of Baltimore a, came back, and helped bring people out of Balitmore. A lot of mothafuckas leave and wash their hands and then try to reach back to the cats are are popping. They try to build that lane back again. You can’t do that. I just want to be one of the first ones that make it out and make something of myself.

HITP: Well, thats it. I appreciate you taking the time out. Good luck with everything.

February 19, 2016 Lawrence Cook

Exclusive Interview: Rich The Kid Reveals Justin Bieber Collaboration & Wanting To Work With Kanye West

Atlanta rapper Rich The Kid’s current success is a true testament of hard work and grind. The Quality Control representative’s profile has risen significantly over the last year. Much of it can be attributed to his steady output of quality material that has been released through both solo mixtapes and collaborative efforts with frequent collaborators the Migos and iLoveMakonnen. The ATLien has gone from being known as the guy rapping with the Migos to being able to stand on his own as one of hip-hop’s budding stars. With the innovative 300 Entertainment in his corner, 2016 looks to be Rich’s biggest year yet, one that we’re predicting will see him continue his output of quality music, dive into the mainstream, and a spot on the controversial yet influential XXL Freshman cover.

Rich and a stable of other talent signed to 300 hit the Boston area last night as part as the East Coast leg of the Young Hustle Tour. Following performances from local acts and label mates Tate KobangTK-N-Cash, the 23-year-old rapper hit the stage to cheers. In front of the young energetic crowd, he performed a mix of new and old material including standouts like “Plug,” DJ Carnage‘s “WDYW,” “Trap” and “Trap House Jumpin Like Jordan.”

Shortly after his short but sweet set, I sat down with Rich for a few minutes in the restaurant section of Middle. In our short conversation, he gave insight on why he signed to 300, kept hush on his highly anticipated Frank Ocean collaboration, revealed that he did a song with Justin Bieber, and what he wants to do in 2016.

HITP: I’ve been a fan for the last couple of years. We don’t really get alot of Atlanta talent up here so its really dope to see you perform. Right now you’re on for the Young Hustle Tour. Hows the tour been so far? 

Rich The Kid: It’s going well. 

HITP: Thats good. It’s presented by 300 Entertainment, who you’re signed to. What made you sign with them? 

Rich The Kid: It was just the right timing and the support. They’re good people. 

HITP:  Definitely. They have some of the best music executives in the business. You’re big thing has really been consistency putting out quality music. Do you ever think you’re over saturating the marketing?

Rich The Kid: No, not really because the music is good. 

HITP: You’ve been able to be part of some big time collaborations with guys like Wiz Khalifa, PARTYNEXTDOOR, and Ty Dolla $ign. What do you attribute you being able to collaborate with these guys whether its been them reaching out to you or you reaching out to them?

Rich The Kid: I think it’s just about grinding and getting to it with everybody.

HITP: You have an upcoming collaboration with Frank Ocean. To some, it may seem like an unlikely collaboration lanes. What can we expect between you? 

Rich The Kid: I can’t say too much about it, but it’s coming.

HITP: 2015 was a big year for you. You put out a bunch of mixtapes including the joint with Makonnen. What can we expect from you in 2016?

Rich The Kid: I did a song with Justin Bieber. I’m probably going to do a song with Kanye soon. That’s pretty much it. I’ve had the opportunity, but I just want to make sure its right.

HITP: I mean, the way you’re going. That wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if that happened. Of course, everyone wants to be the biggest artist and make alot of money, but what else do you want to do when it’s all said and done?

Rich The Kid: I want to veer off into fashion. Definitely do some fashion stuff like design clothes. 

HITP: Well, thats it. Appreciate it. Good luck on the rest of the tour. 

January 31, 2016 Lawrence Cook

Exclusive Interview: TK-N-Cash Talk 300 Entertainment, “3X In A Row,” New Single, Songwriting & More

While in Boston for the Young Hustle TourTK-N-Cash took a few minutes out to speak to us before they took the stage at Middle East. The Atlanta rappers are only in their early 20s but have an impressive resume that includes writing for stars like Trey Songz, Juicy J, Meek Mill, and Kevin Gates. While their work with the pen has earned them the respect of their peers, the talented duo has also made noise crafting their own songs like “Mind Right” and “3X In A Row,” two cuts that have had success on the radio.

In my sit down interview the duo, they give insight on why they signed with 300 Entertainment, their musical background, the process of writing “3X In A Row,” their new single “Money on Money” with Young Thug, and much more.
December 18, 2015 Lawrence Cook

Exclusive Interview: Add-2 Talks Chicago, ‘Chi-Raq’ Movie, ‘Prey For The Poor’ & More

Two weeks ago, we held the last show in our showcase series The Plug of the year. Headlining the December edition was Chicago’s Add-2, a skilled lyricist signed to the 9th Wonder lead Jamla Records, who has also been co-signed by artists such as Common and Kendrick Lamar. After the show and a few hours at Kings Boston in the Back Bay area, I spoke to the Windy City talent.

In our 12 minute conversation, we discussed Chicago, Spike Lee‘s controversial Chi-Raq movie, his latest album Prey For The Poor, the time he missed a Jamla Records studio session with Janet Jackson, and more.
November 13, 2015 Lawrence Cook

Exclusive Interview: Max Wonders Talks Chicago, ‘You Will Never Find’ EP, New Album, Working With Trapo & More

Last weekend, Chicago’s Max Wonders visited Boston for the first time. After checking out some of the city’s notable attractions like Fenway Park, I sat down with him at Mass Apparel for an in-depth interview. During our conversation, the 18-year-old artist discussed the Chicago hip-hop scene, his recently released You Will Never Find EP, his forthcoming album, working with Trapo, where he sees himself in five years, and much more.
September 16, 2015 Lawrence Cook

Exclusive Interview: Sechion Talks “Mill Side,” ‘City Love Tour 2’ & More

With our live showcase The Plug almost a week away, it’s a great time to get familiar with one of the acts that will be performing, Sechion. The Lowell, MA representative might not be on your radar yet, but he’s an artist to keep your eye on.

Thanks to his hometown ode “Mill Side”and his own curated City Love Tour 2, he’s taking the right steps and building fans organically. With a great deal of support from his hometown, he’s looking to use some of that momentum and further insert himself into the Boston hip-hop community. There’s no doubt that he will do that on September 24th, when he hits the stage at Lily Pad in Cambridge, MA with Merk, Tashawn Taylor, and Hil Holla.

I recently sat down with Sechion at Mass Apparel and talked to him about “Mill Side,” his summer tour, building Lowell’s hip-hop scene, his upcoming project, and much more.
September 9, 2015 Lawrence Cook

Exclusive Interview: Deon Chase Talks ‘Broken Details,’ Recording Process, SO91 & New EP

Last month, Deon Chase released a quality project in Broken Details. The 11 track release showcased the young artist’s sharp pen game and silky crooning, a combination that results in an easy on the ears listening experience.

I recently sat down with the Summer Of 91 representative at Mass Apparel to get some insight on the project. In our conversation, he discusses the recording process, singing, songs that mean the most to him, putting his life in his music, upcoming videos, and a follow-up EP.. In addition, he talks about working with  Avenue and learning from him. On the question of whether he feels overshadowed by The Chandelier View rapper, he compares his situation to TDE‘s Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar.