Editorial, Main, rileysbest

The Hoodies Are About To Be Two Of Hip Hop’s Brightest Stars

If we’re keeping it all the way 100, the schtick of rhyming in a car is beyond played out. Whatever…

If we’re keeping it all the way 100, the schtick of rhyming in a car is beyond played out. Whatever “cool” factor it did possess probably decimated after Carpool Karaoke became your mom’s fav thing to share on Facebook. At least that’s what I thought, until I stumbled onto E-Class (21-years-old) and his younger brother Young Poppa (11-years-old). Collectively known as The Hoodies, they’ve taken a stale concept and (with sheer quality bars) spun it into national viral fame.

To be frank, I haven’t been this excited about a new artist in quite a while—especially not a group. Especially not a group from New York.

Their chemistry is ridiculous. If their recent appearance on Flex didn’t have you Googling “who the fuck are The Hoodies and why have I been sleeping,” let me help you out with some of their must-watch episodes of In The Whip, their ongoing YouTube series.

First up, episode 5; these cats ran through a sneaker scheme, a math scheme, and a fucking cartoon theme so seamlessly I had to watch this shit multiple times to catch the blends.

 
Next up, episode 4, which featured a surprise cameo by (perhaps) the only other emcees in recent memory with a back and forth chemistry as thick as these two, Styles P and Jadakiss.

 
Lastly, Young Poppa flamed one of my fav instrumentals “Banned From TV” in episode 7.

 
After binge-watching their videos, I couldn’t help but wonder what these two had in store. It’s rare to be so acknowledged without any actual songs or traditional videos out. “Mixtape dropping sooner then you think,” E-Class revealed to me. “It’s going to change the whole face of Hip-Hop.”

The way they tell it, this is in their blood. “I been rapping for almost 12 years now,” says E-Class. “I’ll be 21 in February, and I started at nine on a serious level.”

“Poppa got into rapping at a really young age,” E-Class continued. “I’m talking diapers young. He just loves everything about the culture. He loves NWA, Pac, Nas, and 50 Cent … he’s an old soul and very intelligent, so he knows how to put words together. Plus, I was a heavy influence on him.”

Young Poppa doesn’t dispute that last point. “[I’ve] been rapping since I was 4-years-old,” he says. “I came up watching my brother and learning from him.”

They have an aura of excitement surrounding them; you can just tell this is the calm before the storm. Any doubt of that was washed away when Ellen’s team reached out to the duo—literally on the strength of their videos—and asked them to appear on the show.

“We were in complete shock when they reached out,” E-Class says. “Even though we are passionate and believe in ourselves, we never thought we would be on Ellen … especially off of our In The Whip series.“

 
Since their Ellen appearance and their much-lauded performance on Hot 97 industry heads seem to have the duo under their microscope. “Labels have reached out … we can’t disclose too much information, but they know we out here killing it.”

Whether or not a bidding war is on the horizon has yet to be seen, but one thing for sure, it’s Hoodie season in more ways than one.

“We have our mixtape Family Business coming out real soon, music videos, and our In The Whip series is still killing the streets. We ain’t going nowhere anytime soon, so get used to hearing The Hoodies.”

Riley here — father, artist, videographer, professional writer and SERIOUS hip-hop head. I'm a member of the Universal Zulu Nation, and I think everything is better on vinyl. Add me on Twitter! @specialdesigns
Featured, Main

This Week’s ‘On The Cusp’ Playlist

On The Cusp is a living playlist dedicated to showcasing the buzzing new music on our radar — as curated…

On The Cusp is a living playlist dedicated to showcasing the buzzing new music on our radar — as curated by our writer Riley Wallace. For all inquiries and submissions, hit up the playlist’s official Twitter feed.

This week’s cover artist is Chris Allen.

Continue Reading
Main

Mark Steele “It’s Been A Minute” Album Is Almost Here

Preparing for his It’s Been a Minute album, Mark Steele, in great spirits, opened up in our interview about change…

Preparing for his It’s Been a Minute album, Mark Steele, in great spirits, opened up in our interview about change leading to new beginnings in his life. “I’m at a crossroad right now. I feel this energy of something manifesting,” Steele tells Above Average Hip-Hop. “I’ve never felt this close. It’s such a dynamic too, I still go through everyday struggles just like the next person.” With change appearing in the MC’s life, he is more in tuned with who he is, where he is headed without forgetting where it all started. Durham, North Carolina.

Steele was born and raised in Durham where he grew up fast witnessing a lot. “We’re kind of like a melting pot. We get influenced by everybody because a lot of people come down here for an easier way of living,” Steele notes. “I think I’m a great representation of what Durham is: multilayered.” Steele embraces sounds from New York, Philly, Atlanta, and DMV area. With hip-hop adapting to each new generation, it’s a blessing to hear real lyrics every chance you get. Steele also influenced by hip-hop’s “golden age,” the 90s rap era, where “everything lyrical” is major to him. “I’m fearless with creating records and not really caring what’s popular a lot. I’m bringing lyrics,” notes Steele. “I’m one of those rare people, a trendsetter.”

The MC started rapping in a duo group called Mic & Rep with his friend in high school. During his college years at North Carolina Central University, he met record producer and executive, 9th wonder, who later on becomes his mentor. From that point, his solo career began.

“My music has substance, it’s conceptual.” Whether it’s good or bad I can create some type of art from it, I know that I’m good.”

Best known for his ESPN Sports Center anthem “Greatness,” Steele has been working none stop to become a leader of hip-hop’s new generation. Coming off his Before A Minute mixtape hosted by DJ Wade Banner serves as a prelude to Steele’s forthcoming album It’s Been A Minute. “This is the best thing I ever done in life, I can’t wait to give it to the people,” notes Steele. The rapper doesn’t have to wait much longer, this Friday (Oct.12) we’ll be able to hear his anticipated project where he shows vulnerability and honesty. “A lot of hidden messages in the album. You’re going to have to dissect it a couple of times. It’ll be from how the record was structure, topics, lyrics, and transitions,” he says.

With limited features on the new album, Steele managed to get No Malice. Steele tells me they share mutual producers and it was “the grace of God” to get No Malice on his album. With everything leading up, he’s happy where he is and excited for what’s to come. He shows the definition of hard work and where it can lead you, but importantly how he takes one step at of time.

“Have you ever been so stressed and so blessed in the same breath? That’s exactly where I’m at right now. It’s an interesting period and I’m just enjoying the moment.”

Towards the end of our conversation, Steele shares his last words. “For anyone that’s trying to pursue anything. Doctor, lawyer, artist, etc. The biggest keys: keeping god first, putting in the work, and lastly, don’t give up.”

Mark Steele is also co-headlining his It’s Been a Minute album release concert at Drom in New York City alongside No Malice on Friday, October 12th. Purchase your tickets here: https://goo.gl/BgnXD2

Get familiar with Mark Steele. Check out his latest music video for “Grace of God” featuring No Malice.

 

Continue Reading
Main

Diplomats Announce “Diplomatic Ties” Album Dropping Thanksgiving Day

Fans of the Diplomats have had dreams both built up and destroyed over the years as squabbles and disagreements (most…

Fans of the Diplomats have had dreams both built up and destroyed over the years as squabbles and disagreements (most notably between Jim Jones and Cam’ron) have prevented a proper reunion (outside of a few showsand follow up to 2004’s Diplomatic Immunity 2 LP. After teasing a long-awaited project back in September, it appears the project now has a title and official release date.

As the group’s set at A3C in Atlanta drew to a close, Jim Jones made the announcement fans had been waiting for.

“On Thanksgiving, there will be a Diplomat album dropping,” exclaimed Jim Jones with his arm draped over Freeky Zeeky’s shoulder. “It’s called Diplomatic Ties, and the documentary will be out a week after that.”

“We havin’ some fun,” he added. “We been in the studio … we appreciate all the love.”

Jones first shared the new project three weeks ago, posting a photo an Instagram of the tracklist — which is a strictly Dipset affair, except for a lone feature from XO spitter Belly. A final tracklist and official artwork have yet to be revealed.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bnkxig9Ao7S/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

Tentative tracklist for Diplomatic Ties, is below.

1. “Intro” featuring Juelz Santana
2. “Live Forever” featuring Jim Jones and Cam’ron
3. “Sauce Boss” featuring Jim Jones and Juelz Santana
4. “On God” featuring Juelz Santana, Jim Jones and Belly
5. “Big Deal” featuring Cam’ron and Jim Jones
6. “Oh Lord” featuring Cam’ron and Jim Jones
7. “Celebrating Life” featuring Juelz Santana and Jim Jones
8. “By Any Means” featuring Juelz Santana and Jim Jones
9. “Sets Back” featuring Cam’ron and Jim Jones

Continue Reading
Main

Diplomats Announce “Diplomatic Ties” Album Dropping Thanksgiving Day

Fans of the Diplomats have had dreams both built up and destroyed over the years as squabbles and disagreements (most…

Fans of the Diplomats have had dreams both built up and destroyed over the years as squabbles and disagreements (most notably between Jim Jones and Cam’ron) have prevented a proper reunion (outside of a few showsand follow up to 2004’s Diplomatic Immunity 2 LP. After teasing a long-awaited project back in September, it appears the project now has a title and official release date.

As the group’s set at A3C in Atlanta drew to a close, Jim Jones made the announcement fans had been waiting for.

“On Thanksgiving, there will be a Diplomat album dropping,” exclaimed Jim Jones with his arm draped over Freeky Zeeky’s shoulder. “It’s called Diplomatic Ties, and the documentary will be out a week after that.”

“We havin’ some fun,” he added. “We been in the studio … we appreciate all the love.”

Jones first shared the new project three weeks ago, posting a photo an Instagram of the tracklist — which is a strictly Dipset affair, except for a lone feature from XO spitter Belly. A final tracklist and official artwork have yet to be revealed.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bnkxig9Ao7S/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

Tentative tracklist for Diplomatic Ties, is below.

1. “Intro” featuring Juelz Santana
2. “Live Forever” featuring Jim Jones and Cam’ron
3. “Sauce Boss” featuring Jim Jones and Juelz Santana
4. “On God” featuring Juelz Santana, Jim Jones and Belly
5. “Big Deal” featuring Cam’ron and Jim Jones
6. “Oh Lord” featuring Cam’ron and Jim Jones
7. “Celebrating Life” featuring Juelz Santana and Jim Jones
8. “By Any Means” featuring Juelz Santana and Jim Jones
9. “Sets Back” featuring Cam’ron and Jim Jones

Continue Reading
More in Editorial, Main, rileysbest
We Were There: Bacardi “Dress To Be Free” Event Featuring Cardi B

Bring on the flowing drinks, the DJing nuns, and the only person that can make a Cruella De Vil costume...

Close