Wiz Khalifa

New albums from rap’s hottest upstart and one of its OGs, the burial of the genre’s most famous singer and an impressive collaboration between veterans make the list this time.

Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg Albums Arrive

The Pittsburgh Steelers may have lost this year’s Super Bowl, but the city has something else to celebrate. Rolling Papers, the major label debut album from Wiz Khalifa, just arrived in stores.

The Steel City rapper has one of the most anticipated debut albums in years, thanks to his seemingly relentless independent grind, the release of his virtually ubiquitous “Black And Yellow” single and his new single “Roll Up.”

Within the next month, the Taylor Gang leader will appear on MTV’s RapFix Live, Fuse’s Hoppus On Music, MTV’s Ten On Top, the Coachella festival and the Bamboozle Festival. It’s quite a turn of events for Khalifa, who was released in 2009 from Warner Bros. Records despite the buzz single “Say Yeah.”

Today, he is one of rap’s biggest stars, one whose star will likely shine brighter with the release of Rolling Papers.

One of Khalifa’s favorite rappers, Snoop Dogg, also releases a new album today. Of course The Doggfather has been one of rap’s most consistent, beloved artists since he exploded on the scene in 1992 through his appearances on the Dr. Dre single “Deep Cover” and Dr. Dre’s The Chronic album.

Doggumentary is Snoop’s eleventh studio album and features collaborations with Khalifa, Kanye West and others. It’s great to see a rap upstart and a rap OG share the same release date and work with one another to push the genre forward.

Nate Dogg’s Funeral Attracts Rap’s Elite

Snoop Dogg, The Game, Dr. Dre and DJ Pooh were among the West Coast rap luminaries to attend the funeral services of singer Nate Dogg, who died March 15 due to congestive heart failure.

Nate Dogg’s funeral service was held in Long Beach March 26 and featured Snoop Dogg, Los Angeles radio personality Big Boy and others detailing some of the humorous memories they shared with their late friend.

Rap has lost too many of its artists and Nate Dogg is now unfortunately added to that long list.

Camp Lo, Pete Rock Unite

In the pre-internet era, a group like mid-1990s duo Camp Lo would have likely been relegated to have-you-ever-heard-of status. Their 1997 album Uptown Saturday Night featured an optimistic, soulful sound that resonated with fans who appreciated Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede’s distinctive sound, style and appearance, all of which paid homage to the 1970s.

Thankfully the duo’s legacy lived online, through an intermittent string of underground of releases and appearances and, more recently, thanks to people like Wiz Khalifa mentioning them in interviews.

Now, Camp Lo has partnered with Pete Rock for 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s. The combo’s mixtape is available online at Camplo.net and Mediafire and sets the stage for their album, which is slated to arrive this summer. With Camp Lo rocking the rhymes and Pete Rock handling the beats, this project has the potential to be monumental.

For more from Soren Baker follow him on Twitter: @SorenBaker

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