The Top 3.28 Hip-Hop Songs Of The Week

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Rap has always had a dividing line between the rapper and the guy that yells out things on stage because it's America, damn it. That man used to be the DJ, who'd spin records for the rapper and rap along to his verses to get the crowd hype. As the years went by and quality DJing became more rare, the sidekick became some guy the rapper grew up with who had comparatively marginal talent, but who made for a great hypeman.

Eventually, though, the sidekick would eventually make one major mistake: He'd try to make his own way as a rapper, to less than stellar results. Memphis Bleek hasn't come out of Jay-Z's shadow after 15 years. Spliff Star has seemingly disappeared after trying his hand at something more than being Busta Rhymes' energetic rapping Smeagol. The less said about the non-Eminem members of D12, the better.

But every once in a while, they put together music that's not an embarrassing reminder that most of their success comes from being a friend of a superior rapper. This week, we focus on a few of those people: Method Man's marijuana-holder Streetlife; A$AP Mob; and Fat Joe (who, while not a weed carrier, was Big Pun's less talented homie).

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The Top 3.66 Hip-Hop Songs Of The Week

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Hip-hop is at its best when artists collaborate, challenging one another to create their best work, and this week's best hip-hop tracks are highlighted by a collection of odd couples. DJ Khaled, of incessant yelling and inexplicably giving Ace Hood work, managed to put Nas, Scarface and DJ Premier on the same song; meanwhile, Odd Future upstart Domo Genesis linked up with New York producer legend Alchemist.

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Let's Imagine What DJ Khaled's Kiss The Ring Will Sound Like

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Despite every living rapper seemingly being just a phone call away, Miami radio personality/record executive/professional shouter DJ Khaled has never once put out a good album. He's been 0-for-5 (yes, DJ Khaled has released five albums), and Kiss the Ring, his sixth record, is on the horizon.

Khaled's albums have two main problems. The first: They're never fun, which can largely be attributed to Khaled's obsession with grandiose proclamations of kingship and immortality. Almost every song on his albums is weighed down by Khaled's false and self-inflated belief that history is being made in his presence, when it certainly is not. The result is a distinct air of obligation; every star on his albums sounds like a contract killer who would rather just turn the gun on himself. The second problem is that, at least since his first album, Khaled mostly just throws rappers and singers on tracks without any regard for how they might sound together. It's almost easier to believe that he was literally just picking names out of a hat when figuring out who should be on which track. Soulja Boy, Birdman and Bun B? Sure! Trey Songz, Fat Joe and Ray J? Okay! (By the way, Khaled has been the president of Def Jam South since 2009.)

That brings us to Kiss the Ring. Like every Khaled album, enough spaghetti has been thrown on the wall to feed a family of four, which means there will be a lot of spaghetti sliding onto the floor. It's always more fun to imagine Khaled's songs than it is to listen to them, so this is a ranking of every song on his upcoming album, ordered from least repulsive-sounding to most repulsive-sounding. Three of these songs are already out, but we can still imagine which songs may be better or worse.

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Oddsmaker: Do Beyoncé And André 3000 Have Enough Swagu To Beat Kanye And His Dozens Of Friends At The Grammys?

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The Grammys created the awkwardly named Best Rap/Sung Collaboration category ten years ago, around the time Ja Rule's various "thug love" duets were dominating the airwaves. The award recognized a growing sector of popular music that didn't quite fit into the preexisting rap, R&B or pop song awards, and its creation was a prescient move. In 2001, 13% of Billboard's Year-End Hot 100 Songs featured at least one rapper and one singer; in 2011 that number had doubled to 26% (after peaking at 33% in 2010). The category's a little more unpredictable this year, as NARAS snubbed the biggest dancefloor-friendly rapped-and-sung hits of the year ("Give Me Everything," "Party Rock Anthem," "On The Floor," "E.T.") in favor of more urban radio fare.

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