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The REVOLT TV Archives

Known to go by the motto "Unapologetically Hip Hop," REVOLT TV is the cable media outlet founded by mogul, Sean "Diddy" Combs in 2013. With a mission of maintaining the integrity of the music scene Combs has heavily contributed to and influenced since his start in the 90s, REVOLT TV's editorial branch fosters that history through articles, columns, and reviews. 

How Diddy and Bad Boy infiltrated and conquered pop culture in the 2000s

With a stronghold on hitmaking, sleek branding, reality TV and evolving, Diddy solidified his crossover appeal, catering to a wide audience, and kept his label thriving in a new millennium.
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A personal love for The Notorious B.I.G.'s "My Downfall"

When debates arise about the best song from The Notorious B.I.G. many will pinpoint to “Juicy” for the superior storytelling skills and its mainstream breakthrough. Some will say it’s “Big Poppa” for establishing one of his many monikers. Others will argue “Hypnotize” for its addictive chorus and being his first to go No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100. For me, it's "My Downfall" from Life After Death, the greatest album from the G.O.A.T.
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Album & Song Reviews

Analysis of the best in music. 

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How Amerie's '4AM' EPs recall Prince's 'Purple Rain' soundtrack

One of the perks of listening to any solid music project—in the case, Amerie’s double-disced 4AM EPs—is pinpointing possible influences. On the first of the EPs, 4AM Mulholland, that eureka moment of tracing back happens during the three-track stretch starting with “The Wall,” followed by the EP’s titular track, and ending with “A Heart’s For The Breaking.” It’s at the heavy dosage of electric guitar in “The Wall,” the concept of driving around to find love (with a hint of 80s new wave noir) on “Mulholland,” and the etherealness existing on “A Heart’s For The Breaking” that rings truest to the vibes of Prince’s Purple Rain.

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Why Lil Wayne and Swizz Beatz's "Uproar" is a meaningful single for the culture

Cue up the Diddy voice 'cause, “let’s go!!!” That’s just how fire Lil Wayne’s “Uproar” is. Coming in at the fourth track of his Tha Carter V, “Uproar” stands ready to rumble. It’s a warning and (simultaneous) call-to-arms to the haters of Weezy—or his doubters, if you will—as he continuously asks throughout the track “What the fuck though? Where the love go?” Simply put, “Uproar” has the potential to be an anthem tailored for the streets.

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This Black Music Month, Kanye West and G.O.O.D. Music reset the gears of hip-hop

In June 2018, Kanye West set out to release five studio albums-- a new one each week for Pusha T, Nas, himself, a joint Kids See Ghosts project with Kid Cudi, and Teyana Taylor-- under his label, G.O.O.D. Music. Of course, during this history setting event, the feat was marred by his problematic behavior and views, as well as a beef with Drake and competition from The Carters, and an ongoing divide of public opinion. Still, June 2018 proved to be one of the best months hip hop has had in a while.

Throwback Reviews

Writings that celebrate anniversaries and important moments of hip hop and R&B in the past, connecting their importance to the present and future. 

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Revisiting how T.I.'s 'Paper Trail' made him the kingpin of the mainstream

On September 30, 2008, the world would receive T.I.’s sixth studio album, Paper Trail. While serving a house arrest and awaiting his one-year sentence (after pleading guilty to possessing illegal firearms as a previously convicted felon), T.I. crafted the lyrics and album's concept. Of course, Paper Trail would mark a brief going-away party of sorts, but it also solidified Clifford Harris as the King of Trap he claimed to be since his second album, 2003’s Trap Muzik-- as well as mainstream pop.

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Ranking Rihanna's 15 most underappreciated music gems

But what about the singles, features, and deep cuts from Rihanna’s catalogue that haven’t received the roses they deserve? The songs that have either been snubbed from the public conscious, are panned by some Navy members themselves, or don’t enter the conversation as much as others. Here’s a ranking of 15 Rihanna songs from the recording entrepreneur that require a bit more attention from music listeners.

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Revisiting how Jeezy's 'The Recession' brought hood politics to the forefront of trap music

When conversations take place about who the Kings of hip-hop are—particularly of those starting in the 21st century—Jeezy rarely gets his full props, more so regarded as a footnote. As one of the leading emcees that defined southern hip-hop and trap music as we know it today, Jay Wayne Jenkins—who used to have a “Young” modifier at the beginning of his rap name—continued his hustla statement, providing the game his third studio album, The Recession, on September 2, 2008.

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It's been five years, and no one has truly lived up to Kendrick Lamar's "Control" verse yet

If hip-hop had a timeline of milestone dates that placed the game in disarray, it would have to include August 14, 2013. If hip-hop had a list of lyrical giants that shook the table, then give that crown to Kendrick Lamar. If today's hip-hop needs to find a way back to the real competitive nature that first built this genre, they've got to start following the example of his "Control" verse.

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Lil' Kim Did It First: The multiple personas existing in hip hop's Queen Bee

When discussing Kimberly Denise Jones' influential role as the de facto blueprint for her commercial successors in female hip hop, most get the basics right.Lil' Kim's legacy has brought the rap game an archetype of the "acquisitive gangstress"—a woman willing to ride or die for all the things she cherishes and loves. Interestingly enough, Lil' Kim barely receives sufficient credit for navigating the multiple personalities she's invented and introduced throughout her discography, proving that Lil' Kim had been lightyears ahead on yet another trend.

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A comprehensive breakdown of the musicality in Tinashe's discography

Whenever someone finds out I'm an OG Tinashe fan, I'm always hit with the inquiry of "what went wrong," alongside a simultaneous rush of championing a cult legend-to-be in music. I can't necessairly answer that question, but what I can do is discuss the artistry in her musicality, hoping this guide will finally get the public into an artist I've been stanning since before the aftermath of "2 On."

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A personal love for The Notorious B.I.G.'s "My Downfall"

When debates arise about the best song from The Notorious B.I.G. many will pinpoint to “Juicy” for the superior storytelling skills and its mainstream breakthrough. Some will say it’s “Big Poppa” for establishing one of his many monikers. Others will argue “Hypnotize” for its addictive chorus and being his first to go No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100. For me, it's "My Downfall" from Life After Death, the greatest album from the G.O.A.T.

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Revisiting Beyoncé's "Crazy In Love" 15 years later

On May 18, 2003, it didn’t take long for music listeners to hear the brassy gogo-funk horns at the start of “Crazy In Love” to know that Beyoncé had her first solo hit on her hands. What was even more impressive about the Rich Harrison-produced track—at a runtime of 3 minutes and 56 seconds—is how it established Queen Bey as the dominating entity we know her as today, making for a larger impression as a debut statement.

Charting Black Excellence

A reactionary column authentically highlighting black artists accomplishments on the Billboard charts. 

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Charting Black Excellence | Revisiting Toni Braxton's "countless bops" because Beyoncé said so

Usually when Beyoncé does a digital drop on any social platform, it’s like no other and you feel obligated to listen. On Halloween 2017, Bey took the internet by storm by recreating a few iconic and cult-favorite looks from Lil’ Kim. This past Halloween Eve, Instagram timelines were blessed by the singer dressing as one of her other idols: Toni Braxton. According to the artist who most hail as “Queen Bey,” Braxton is “one of our talented legends (who serves) countless bops.”

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Charting Black Excellence | Rihanna & the Super Bowl's declining power

For a while, Rihanna as the headliner of one of the world’s most annually viewed television performances seemed like a no brainer, especially considering the magnitude of her career in the past 13-14 years. Rihanna would have had one of the most unpredictable set lists based on the infinite number of global-spanning hits in her discography. However, her rumored decision to refuse performing at the 2019 Super Bowl Halftime Show is one of her greatest power moves to date.

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Charting Black Excellence | Why Migos’ AMAs win in a pop category makes sense

As awards season continues, the music industry is simultaneously recalculating what is considered “pop music.” It's a debate that’s persisted in recent years, extending beyond decades, since the conception of charts and radio programming. Migos’ victory on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at the American Music Awards highlighted just how far these conversations are going in award shows' nomination committees.

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Charting Black Excellence | Cardi B's three No. 1's & her genuine love for female hip-hop

Exactly a year ago (Sept. 24), Cardi B's debut lead single "Bodak Yellow" reached No. 1 on the Hot 100. It had been 19 years since a woman earned that accomplishment by herself, without guests, standing on her own grounds. Now, Cardi B has three No. 1 singles thanks to Maroon 5's "Girls Like You." Through earning these accomplishments, here's how she paid homage to the women in rap that preceeded her reign.

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Charting Black Excellence | The significance of Normani and Khalid's "Love Lies" hitting No.1 on pop radio

Normani and Khalid’s presence in the top region reveals that pop radio, which considers itself the "Mainstream Top 40," has a ways to go when it comes to being fully representative. On the week of September 18, 2018, "Love Lies" became the first song on the pop radio charts with solely black artists to go No. 1 since Flo Rida in 2016. The first in the series of "Charting Black Excellence".

Master Class on Genres

A column focusing on the lengthy history of black artists' contributions to various genres and subgenres that took over the mainstream. 

Pop Culture Take Overs

Moments inside and outside of music that extend beyond the culture and into shaping various realms of the mainstream.

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A Rap Playbook: 26 great examples of lyrical wordplay

Wordplay: The sport of a wordsmith. In hip-hop, the greatest rappers to have ever touched a mic and spit their truth have dabbled in this art. Some have done it more smoothly than others, who—in their own right—have made the obvious a bit more clear. Wordplay can come about in a multitude of directions, but the overall goal is to execute a pun or pop culture reference through word alterations and the flipping of meanings. A few methods include: internal rhyme schemes; varying pronunciations; synonyms; synonyms juxtaposed by antonyms; syllable breakdowns; double, triple, and even quadruple entendres; and spelling.

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#R9 Is Coming: Rihanna's upcoming album is primed to be one of music's most significant

Earlier this week, members of the Rihanna Navy flooded Twitter timelines with a mocking annoyance as their leading Admiral announced yet another campaign for… Savage x Fenty, her lingerie line. "Where is the album?" has been the central question turned into a mob-like chant, not only coming from her most adamant support base, but just about everyone in the general public. This morning, Rolling Stone provided a glimmer of hope to those expecting answers: #R9 Is Finally Coming!

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The modern intersectionality of Afrofuturistic music and queer artistry is something to celebrate

June is not only Black Music Month, it’s also Pride Month. And although the music industry still has a ways to go with acknowledging LGBTQ issues in a non-sensational manner, one sector that has been doing the proactive work for a while is the music of Afrofuturism. Set as proper examples by the likes of Frank Ocean and Janelle Monae, Afrofuturistic-themed projects have established a safe space for queer artists to express their journeys in the mainstream while simultaneously pushing progressive ideologies.

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