The Rap-Up

A long-awaited debut arrives, an independent outfit hits the road with likeminded friends and one of rap’s hottest groups pays homage to one of the genre’s best crews in this week's Rap-Up.

Eminem and Royce Da 5’9”

It took more than a decade, but Bad Meets Evil has finally surfaced with a full-blown project. “Hell: The Sequel EP,” the debut project from super lyricists Eminem and Royce Da 5’9”, arrives in stores today (July 14) and features the single “Fastlane,” with Eminem professing his lust for Nicki Minaj, among other memorable lines.

The deluxe edition of the EP features 11 tracks, while the standard version includes nine cuts. The bonus songs are “Living Proof” and “Echo.” The drum-driven “Living Proof” includes Royce acknowledging his substance abuse problem, while “Echo” features wicked wordplay from both Em and Royce. Bad Meets Evil makes the cliché Good Things Come To Those Wait even more true than it already was.

Atmosphere Hits the Road

In order to support the release of its “The Family Sign” album, Atmosphere will be performing throughout the United States and Canada in August as headliners of “The Family Vacation Tour.”

The Minneapolis rap pioneers will be joined on the outing by Blueprint (who released his “Adventures In Counter-Culture” album in April), Evidence (the Dilated Peoples member whose “Cats & Dogs” project marks his Rhymesayers Entertainment debut), DJ Babu and Prof.

Although Atmosphere is only a two-member outfit, guitarist Nate Collis and keyboardist Erick Anderson will join Slug and Ant during the performances, adding another layer to the sonic experience. “The Family Vacation Tour” kicks off August 7 at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, Michigan and concludes August 28 at the Convention Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Far East Movement Influenced by Beastie Boys

The Far East Movement channel their inner Beastie Boys on their new single “So What.” Produced by the Stereotypes, the keyboard and percussion-driven song draws its chorus from the Beastie Boys’ raucous 1992 single “So What’cha Want.” Whereas the Beastie’s version contained crunching, distorted guitars, the FM version has a much slicker, club-friendly vibe.

Nearly 20 years later, the Beastie Boys’ music continues inspiring and influencing other rap groups. They are often overlooked when the greatest rap groups of all time are discussed (likely because of their detours into rock and other forms of music), but they should be in the discussion.

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

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