11 Most Surprising Moments In Hip Hop, 2013
If the '90s taught us anything, it was that fans of hip hop should grow accustomed to expecting the unexpected. The world was still slowly recovering from parachute pants, we were still in the throes of Run-DMC, and we were coming to terms with the new hip hop that was emerging — a genre that was more about guns, girls, and cognac than anything else.
As the '90s turned into the early 2000s (a golden age for rap if you're a massive Nelly fan like myself), we saw gangster rap become the only kind of mainstream rap available, as more and more wordsmiths rose from the streets of Compton, Detroit, Chi-town, and Brooklyn.
So it makes sense that, at some point, a rap revolution was coming. (A rapolution, if you will. Just go with it.) And if the events of this year are anything to go by, if the revolution hasn't already arrived, it's coming, and quickly. New styles of hip hop emerged, huge superstars reinvented themselves, and many, many hip hop artists made huge asses of themselves. It's been a big year people. Very big. Can ya smell the rapolution yet? (It probably smells like a mix of weed, brand-new leather sneakers, and Chris Brown's sadness.) It's time to look back at the 11 most surprising moments in hip hop this 2013. Starting with...
Macklemore Taking Home The BET Award For "Best Group"
Who knew the day would come when two super hipster-y white dudes would swan into the BET Awards and crush The Throne in the "Best Group" category? Just goes to show that with some two-tone alligator skin loafers and a multitude of colorful cardigans, white people really can appropriate everything. Hooray!
Everything About "Yeezus" But The Title
Okay, not everything — West still thinks he is the best thing since sliced bread, but Yeezus' minimal sound and evocative songs reminded us of why we keep Kanye around. Because somewhere underneath all that bravado and designer outerwear is a seriously talented rapper and producer.
That Kendrick Lamar Cannot Stop Throwing Shade
It's always the newcomers with the biggest mouths, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a rapper that Kendrick Lamar hasn't dissed this year. It all began with his rather aggressive verse on Big Sean's track "Control," but burgeoned into a full on hate-athon when he dissed Drake at the BET Awards. Seems to me like Kendrick Lamar might need a heavy dose of anger management.
Miley Cyrus Actually Tried To Rap This Year
And it was SO BAD. Sorry, I am entranced by Cyrus and her continued evolution as a pop star, but her cameo on Mike WILL Made It's track "23" made my ears bleed. So. Bad. There is a reason white girls from Nashville usually stick with country.
50 Cent's Opinions On Pretty Much Everything
Tyler The Creator's Twitter Manners
Or the complete lack of them. Here we have a very talented, young, up-and-coming rapper, who could totally change the game if he could just keep his expletive-laced, feud-starting words to himself. Or maybe he'll succeed because of his bravado? I don't know, but what I do know is that the words he uses on Twitter could make a bigot blush.
Gucci Mane's Twitter Burn Book Of Sex
Apparently, Gucci Mane has had sex with pretty much everyone's girlfriends, plus the rest of the boner-worthy female hip hop artists. Except Beyoncé. Because she is untouchable.
When DJ Khaled Proposed To Nicki Minaj
It might have turned out to be a publicity stunt, but we were thiiiis close to seeing Nicki Minaj get wifed by DJ Khaled this year. And just imagine how over-the-top the wedding would have been: all chains and rhinestones and celebrity cameos, oh my!
Everyone In The World Picked On Drake
Poor Drake. He must've thought he'd successfully graduated from a Degrassi alum to successful rap artist, but this year has been the rap-game equivalent of getting his head flushed down the toilet in the girls' bathroom. Chris Brown, Kendrick Lamar, Amanda Bynes, and maybe even Lupe Fiasco all hopped on board the Drake-hatin', and it was sad. Very sad.
Somehow Chris Brown Got Even More Obnoxious
Because, ya know, he wasn't awful enough as it was. If being a shithead was an accomplishment, Chris Brown would be the biggest overachiever ever. It seems that decking a dude in the face wasn't quite enough, so he's now counter-sued a guy that claims Brown and his entourage attacked him. (And as for the stint in treatment for anger management? It would be easier to sympathize if it wasn't reported to be a ploy to appeal to the courts.) Chris Brown's life is pretty much a game of legal "No YOU started it" by now.
The Emergence of A LGBT Hip Hop Community
It has been a real joy to watch queer rappers come out of the woodwork since Frank Ocean came out of the closet in 2012. Angel Haze, Zebra Katz, Azealia Banks, Mykki Blanco, and Brooke Candy are just a few ballsy hip hop artists breaking the mold. Hats off to them. Let's hope 2014 brings us more!