Get to Know the Toronto Raptors

Categories: Drake

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Because the Knicks have been so bad for so long, many New Yorkers are now beginning to wear the embarrassment of rooting for the Brooklyn Nets more comfortably than they ever knew they could. Eased by a tenuous connection to Jay Z, and the fact that they're now coached by arguably the greatest philanderer in NBA history (we worship our cheaters here), the Nets won some fans with a hard-fought first round playoff loss in seven games to the Chicago Bulls in 2012/13. Deron Williams and his merry band of washed-up Celtics are poised to go deeper into the playoffs this year, as their first round opponent is a team even the most ardent fans of basketball have never even heard of: the Toronto Raptors.

See also: Other Things Drake Is Disgusted By

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Drake Came Out in His "Hold On, We're Going Home" Video and Nobody Noticed

Categories: 2013, Drake

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Recently, Drake dropped the video for his hit "Hold On, We're Going Home." But the message of the video was lost on the American public because too much other shit was happening (it's fall TV premiere season!) The video's significance--along with its social coding and Drake's brilliant non-acting--deserves closer analysis.

See also: Whoever the "Real" Drake Is, He Doesn't Matter

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Every Houston Reference on Drake's Nothing Was the Same

Categories: Drake

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Down with H-Town
By Brando

This week Drake officially crowns himself the current king of not only the rap charts, but moving the needle (both on and offline) with the release of his third album, Nothing Was the Same. The buzz around the rapper has swelled to almost insane levels thanks to a smart roll out that featured album art people either loved or hated instantly, the track "Wu-Tang Forever," which (of course) pissed off rap traditionalists to no end; and Drake's long-running infatuation with being the rapping/singing pop star du jour. These are all necessary qualifications for any buzzworthy album, but something else goes without saying--Drake loves Houston, Texas. No one man has flown a more appreciative Canuck flag for Houston than Drake, and little reminders of that are all over Nothing Was the Same.

Unlike, for example, A$AP Rocky or a few others who find themselves enamored with H-Town culture, Drake has been in the city enough enough to really know it. He's an honorary Houstonian.

With that, we open up our NWTS lyric sheet to read every major Houston reference like a seance.

See also: The 10 Least Self-Aware Lines in Drake History

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Drake's New Album Reviewed Using Sex and the City GIFs

Categories: Drake

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NWTS meets SATC
Drake's new album, Nothing Was The Same, is due out today, but it leaked last week.

It is one of the year's best projects, as has been the case with any album Drake has released, with the possible exception of Comeback Season if you want to be particular.

So, let's review Nothing Was The Same using Sex and the City GIFs.

See also: The 10 Least Self-Aware Lines in Drake History

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Dear Drake: Please Leave Aaliyah Alone

Categories: Aaliyah, Drake

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The R&B singer Aaliyah died in a plane crash 11 years ago this month; last week Drake announced that he'd be executive producing a posthumous album for her, and the first taste of that album, "Enough Said," arrived online yesterday. Lest you think that the song would be a chance for people to remember her legacy, think about how singular her voice was, and reflect on how she'd be pushing R&B forward today, it is instead a testament to Drake's ego; it starts with an "uh" from the former Degrassi star, who then, in response to her letting loose a particularly lovely "yeah yeah yeah," offers up a "yo, whassup" that is annoying-guy-at-a-bar-level cringeworthy, and made even moreso when it's repeated. I actually had to shut the song off before my first listen hit the 30-second mark, so irritated was I by Drake's attempts to act not just as its executive producer, but as Guy Steering The Ship And Don't You Forget It, Okay.

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100 & Single: The R&B/Hip-Hop Factor In The Music Business's Endless Slump

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Usher's Looking 4 Myself, Frank Ocean's Channel Orange, and Chris Brown's wingdinged-out Fortune.
Here are a few recent data points from chart bible Billboard and data provider Nielsen Soundscan as we move into the second half of 2012:

• In its midyear music-industry report card, Soundscan reports a return to the dismal album sales climate; year-to-date disc sales are off 3.2% from the same period in 2011. Last year saw the first annual rise in sales in nearly a decade, with albums eking out a 1.4% gain in 2011 over 2010. In the first six months of 2012, only one album sold more than a million copies, and it didn't come out this year: Adele's 21. Among the Top Five best-sellers for the year so far are a pair of stalwart acts from the 1980s: Lionel Richie, who on Tuskegee reupholstered his old hits as country songs and wound up with the year's second-best seller to date (912,000 copies); and Whitney Houston, who passed away in February, fueling sales for her 2000 disc The Greatest Hits which is now the year's fourth-best seller (818,000 copies).

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Lana Del Rey's Top Six Hip-Hop Connections

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She's no longer an Internet phenomenon, but the moody singer Lana Del Rey has turned into something of an infatuation for rappers, who are more than eager to collaborate and canoodle with her. In honor of her headlining a series of shows at Irving Plaza this week, here's a short list of her notable hip-hop connections.


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Radio Hits One: Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj, And Young Money Bring Crew Love Back To Rap Radio

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If you've listened to much urban radio lately, or even a little, you may have noticed that Lil Wayne and his Young Money Entertainment labelmates, particularly Drake and Nicki MInaj, are quite popular. You may have also noticed the same thing in 2011. And in 2010. And 2009. But perhaps nothing underscores the staggering extent of their domination of the airwaves quite like their presence on the top 100 songs of Billboard's 2011 year-end R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. No fewer than 25 songs, a full quarter of the list, feature at least one of those three Young Money stars. Wayne has the most, with 13, with Drake coming in with 11, and Minaj boasts 5. Add labelmate Tyga's appearance on Chris Brown's 2010 holdover "Deuces," and you've got 26. (I'm also counting Ace Hood's supposed solo hit "Hustle Hard," which was only ever played on the radio in the form of its remix that features Wayne, in those figures.)

The 25% Young Money market share on urban radio in 2011 is only a slight uptick from 2010, when the label held strong with 20%. And with Drake rising to prominence in early 2009 and Minaj following soon after, we've now had three consecutive years of Young Money domination, which had already been preceded by Lil Wayne's decade-long climb to becoming arguably the biggest star in hip-hop. In a way, the Young Money triad's success is nothing new; hip-hop has long thrived on crews and labels in which several popular acts stand shoulder to shoulder, from the Juice Crew to the Native Tongues. And in the modern era of corporate-minded rap, every star has his own label imprint with a roster full of loyal friends and collaborators. Mainstream hip-hop can almost be divided into eras defined by the biggest labels of the moment, the '90s cycling from Death Row to Bad Boy to No Limit. By the end of the decade, Lil Wayne had gotten his first taste of fame as part of the Cash Money Records hit factory, from which of course he later spun off Young Money as his star rose.

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Radio Hits One: Drake, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, And The Era Of The Hit Bonus Track

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Superstar pals and Young Money labelmates Lil Wayne and Drake released two of the biggest albums of 2011—Tha Carter IV and Take Care—and both are still spinning off hits well into 2012. But a look at the singles charts reveals something odd: the biggest current hits off both albums aren't available on every copy of the album, but are instead bonus tracks from their deluxe editions. Drake's "The Motto," which features Wayne, currently tops the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and is at No. 19 on the Hot 100 after peaking at No. 16. And Wayne's own "Mirror," featuring Bruno Mars, is Weezy's highest current solo entry on the Hot 100, at No. 68 (it also peaked at No. 16). If you go into one of the few stores still selling CDs today, though, odds are that the versions of Tha Carter IV and Take Care in the racks won't include those current hits.

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Underwhelmed and Overstimulated, Part Nine: Working For The Weeknd

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Drake and the Weeknd... enjoying themselves?
Sound of the City's year-end roundtable, with contributions from Tom Ewing, Eric Harvey, Maura Johnston, Nick Murray, and Katherine St. Asaph, continues. Follow along here.

Fellow roundtablers,

As we turn down the home stretch, I have to say this has all been awesome, and I'm a little sad that we'll soon have to wrap this up. That being said, I'm going to take advantage of that fact that neither Maura, Katherine, nor Tom will be able to respond to anything I say and talk a little about the Weeknd. In the words of Abel Tesfaye, you'll wanna be high for this.


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