Since we’re still in the pandemic, 2021 almost felt like a remix of 2020.
The one thing that kept us entertained and motivated; the culture and, of course, the music. Here are the top moments:
U.S. Capitol Attack
Six days into 2021, thousands of MAGA supporters acted like “wild” thugs and gangsters. They illegally entered the U.S. Capitol and incited violence. It resulted in four fatalities, and Trump’s social media accounts were temporarily banned. On December 19, 2020, former President Donald Trump urged people to “be there, be wild” on January 6, after challenging the result of last November’s presidential election where Biden won.
Federal prosecutors brought cases against almost 700 rioters nearly one year later in the latest update. In addition, 50 defendants were sentenced for their role in the crazy attack. Overall, CNN points out, “judges have rebuffed the Justice Department and instead imposed fines and probation, which means the rioters will avoid jail but stay under government supervision for years to come.”
Lil Nas X ‘Satan Shoe’
Lil Nas X caused hell on social media after he dropped his “Satan Shoe” in March. The sneaker was an unofficial collaboration with Nike. Lil Nas X joined forces with a New York-based art collective MSCHF . The black and red Nike Air Max 97s came with a bronze pentagram, an inverted cross, and a drop of real human blood. Only 666 pairs were made, sold for $1018 each, and sold out in less than one minute.
Nike told CNN they weren’t involved in creating the modified sneaker. Ultimately, Nike settled with MSCHF for an “undisclosed amount.” Lil Nas X later apoligized.
Lil Nas X is dropping an unofficial “Satan” Nike shoe with real human blood in connection with his recent single “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” https://t.co/66OjXMbmfJ
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) March 29, 2021
Dipset & The Lox Verzuz
Although there were several memorable Verzuz this year, the Dipset and The Lox battle on August 3 was filled with historical moments, and it was very hip hop. The night was filled with trash-talking, freestyling, and the infectious energy could be felt, even from watching on a smart device. One of the night’s highlights was when Jadakiss called Dipset out for not knowing their lyrics.
Check out Ebro in the AM’s recap of the event:
Nas won a Grammy
The goat Nas won his first Grammy after being nominated 14 times. His first nomination was in 1996 for “If I Ruled The World,” featuring Lauren Hill from his album, It Was Written. This year, he won Best Rap Album for his 13th studio album King’s Disease, produced by Hit-Boy. He was up against D Smoke (‘Black Habits’), Jay Electronica (‘A Written Testimony’), Freddie Gibbs and the Alchemist (‘Alfredo’), and Royce Da 5’9″ (‘The Allegory’).
Take a listen to King’s Disease:
Kanye West and officially Drake end their beef
Ye and Drake made HISTORY on December 10 at their Free Larry Hoover benefit concert in LA. The overall performance was epic, and it was similar to a Timbaland and Swizz Beatz Verzuz. The night was filled with brotherly love, Ye spoke highly of Drake, and Drizzy gave Kanye his flowers and talked about how honored he was to be on stage with him.
The ultimate reason for the concert was to advocate for the release of the 71-year-old prisoner, Larry Hoover. In 1997, he was convicted of murder, conspiracy, extortion, and money laundering and is serving six life sentences in federal prison. Before the concert went down, fans didn’t think it would be possible. But Ye and Drake squashed their beef and are finally in a better space. We love to see it!
Tyler The Creator on Ebro in the AM
Tyler The Creator pulled up to Ebro In The AM and gave an honest, raw/open conversation about his music. He spoke on being slept on in hip hop and finding his place in it.
Social media gave the interview high praises. One user in the comment section said, “I’m gonna be real, I wasn’t into Tyler until this interview, and suddenly I’m willing to listen to all his music, and I feel like I’m becoming a fan. He’s so comfortable with himself and what he does. Hats off.” Take a look:
Some of the ladies in hip hop make history
Cardi B. is the first female rapper in history with multiple diamond hits. In November, her collaboration on Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” earned her her second RIAA certified Diamond award. Cardi’s 2017 breakout hit “Bodak Yellow” won Card her first Diamond certification.
Nicki M also earned an RIAA diamond certification for her 2011 classic “Super Bass.” This is Nicki’s first Diamond award. Nicki is the eighth rapper with a solo diamond single, joining an exclusive group with Drake, Eminem, Kanye West, Travis Scott, Fetty Wap, the late XXXTENTACION, Kanye, and Cardi.
Lil Kim’s iconic debut 1996 album Hardcore turned 25 this year. It featured forever CLASSICS like “No Time,” “Crush On You,” “Queen Bitch,” and more.
Our own Funk Flex, Peter Rosenberg, DJ Drewski, Megan Ryte, and DJ Kay Slay dropped music
Funk Flex dropped several hits like Rowdy Rebel’s major comeback song “Reroute,” as well as “Lurkin” ft. King Von and “Game Time” ft. CJ.
Peter Rosenberg dropped Real Late, which is also the title of his Sunday night radio show. He rounded up the legends in hip hop like Method Man, Styles P, Ghostface Killa, and more. Real Late is a follow-up to his What’s Poppin’ Vol. 1 and New York Renaissance, two mixtapes released in 2011 and 2013.
DJ Drewski dropped his debut album, Seat At The Table. It features the hottest new artists like Fivio Foreign, Sheff G, Sleepy Hallow, Bizzy Banks, Coi Leray, and more.
DJ Megan Ryte dropped her self-titled debut album. After an anticipated three years. It features megastars like Kranium, Young MA, Remy Ma, Flipp Dinero, and more.
DJ Kay Slay dropped two unique projects this year. The Soul Controller and Accolades.
Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka Make Important Stances On Metal Health
Simone Biles withdrew from the women’s team final at the Tokyo Olympics in July. At the time, her mental health was taking a toll on her, and she needed a break. Simone was among 150-plus women and girls sexually abused by former team doctor Larry Nassar, and USA Gymnastics still hadn’t settled with the victims. “With the year that it’s been,” Biles said, “I’m really not surprised how it played out,” Vogue reports. In addition, The Jasmine Brand reports, Simone said, “I feel like I’m also not having as much fun – and this Olympic Games I wanted it to be for myself, and it felt like I was still doing for other people – and that hurts my heart that doing what I love has been taken away from me.”
In May, Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open. The Grand Slam-winning tennis player was fed up after organizers refused to allow her to opt out of post-match press briefings. Naomi admitted the ordeal gave her anxiety. She also shared with fans on social media that she struggles with depression. Simone was inspired by Noami Osaka and together, the ladies redefined what it means to be a champion.
Gorilla Glue woman
Tessica Brown, aka the woman who put gorilla glue in her hair, went through hell trying to remove gorilla glue out of her head. She initially used the glue as a substitute for strong hair spray, thinking it would do the job. Unfortunately, it did, but it had her hair stuck in the same style for over a month. She needed to seek medical attention to have the hair removed and get surgery to remove it entirely.
Aside from becoming a meme and the center of internet jokes for a moment, Tessica got a shoutout from Nicki Minaj on the song “Fractions.” Nicki raps, “… head game slicker than little miss gorilla glue.”
Lady who applied Gorilla Glue on her hair, Jessica Brown has undergone a surgery to remove the strong adhesive.
Agbero Femi Falana Obalende pic.twitter.com/c3H9UZsKI4
— Gistaroundyou (@gistaroundyou) February 11, 2021
Fan-favorite hit series Insecure ends. The Issa Rae created HBO show had a successful five-season run. BET points out Issa “showcased a rugged determination to get her dreams out, first through her web series, The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl, which aired on Black & Sexy TV in 2011.”
A decade later and fans are heartbroken over Insecure coming to a close. The article also pointed out in 2020, Issa spoke on how challenging it was to pitch her series to network executives.
#InsecureHBO ending feels like the end of an era. It’s the end of the Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl era, a time when we sat in our dorm rooms and watched web series on our laptops, hosted watch parties, donated to GoFundMes to keep those shows going. It’s just…over now. 😭
— Evette Dionne (@freeblackgirl) December 26, 2021