The latest in hip hop and entertainment news

Luke James opens up about how ‘To Feel Love/d’ 

by A. Smith
  

 


In an Essence interview Luke described his album, ‘To Feel Love/d’ to be an album “that is 
built from love, it was built with love, it was built in search of love. It’s about love!.... it’s about 
loving, understanding, gratitude... it’s me, it’s 100% me.” 
  
The album features artists like Big Krit, Samoht, Ro James, BJ the Chicago Kid and Kirk 
Franklin. ‘Lambo’ is an incredible vocal performance and one of my favorites; the 
harmonies, the background vocals are beautifully enchanting and mesmerising, as he sings: 
“If you want me, why don't you want me, you should want me, like I want you. If you need 
me, why don't you need me, you should need me, like I need you. If you love me, why don't 
you love me, you should love me, like I love you?” 
  
Like ‘Lambo’, ‘All Your Love’ has a soulful 70’s vibe, someone commented on the (audio) 
video of the song on YouTube, saying that the song gave them “The Whispers song ‘Lost 
and Turned Out (Olivia)’, with a bit of The Ohio Players or Tower of Power feel and another 
person mentioned ‘Groove with You’ by the Isley Brothers, which I agree with. ‘Traveling’ is 
sonically pleasing, laid back track which was produced by Danja and features the amazing 
Big Krit. The emcee took it to the next level by mentioning what his lady and him will do in 
different cities and countries. ‘Blow’ is definitely giving me Prince vibes, but Luke knows 
how to make it his own with the futuristic production and effortless high notes. The sensual 
and sexy song will definitely give his females fans an eargasm worth listening to. 
  
When I heard ‘Who You Are’ it put me in a Smoky Robinson space, I could definitely see 
my older relatives and I jamming to this. The song is laced with beautiful guitar strings and 
Luke asking his potential girlfriend; “So how would you feel, If I gave you somethin' real? If I 
told you I was serious, I'm not spinnin' your wheels, If I open up my heart, took a chance with 
you and maybe you can show me who you are.” 
‘Gratitude’ featuring Kirk Franklin, is a short but powerful message about being mindful that 
you’re are truly blessed. Luke explains in ‘Colours’ that all his lady has to do is show him all 
of her, with no judgement. In this digital/social media era women's bodies are plastered 
everywhere and are always heavily critiqued. So, when Luke says "you ain't gotta feel 
insecure about your beauty", we sure don't!!! 
  
‘Go Girl’ is an ode to Martin, having the support of your better half, not just sexually but in all 
aspects of your life; work, spiritually etc. The last song on the album is called ‘Shine On’ is a 
beautiful song featuring Samoht and little Miss Madison Jade (the Instagram star, famous for 
her one liners and infectious laughs). The song brings out thoughts of a late evening with 
your loved one, with candles lit and a beverage of choice, enveloped in the arms of your boo 
thang. Hearing Madison’s at the end of the song, just brings a smile to my face, she is 
adorable. 
  
After his incredible work in TV and movies (Star, The New Edition Story, Little). The New 
Orleans native will be starring on another hit TV series The Chi. He will be playing the older 
brother to Victor “Trig” Taylor, who is the eldest brother of Jake (played by Michael V. Epps). 
He just wrapped up his ‘To Feel Love/d Tour’, which looked like an euphoric experience.

Dear Silas releases video for ‘I Got It’ featuring Big Krit 

By A. Smith

Dear Silas (Silas Stapleton) teamed up with fellow Mississippi native Big Krit for his single ‘I Got It’. The video was directed by Dear Silas & The Dark Brothers in Jackson, MS. It also features the Sonic Boom of the South. 

“I believe in me, I know I can be whatever he got for me, ain’t no stopping me, ‘cus you know, I got it, I got, yeah look buddy, I got, I got it.” 

The feel good song promotes positivity and having self belief, while repping his city.  
His last album ‘The Last Cherry Blossom’ was a fan favorite with his viral hit single ‘Skrr Skrr’.

You can read more about it on the Mississippi Today’s website: https://mississippitoday.org/2019/01/04/bigger-than-the-dexter-meme-how-dear-silas-is-changing-the-narrative-of-making-it-in-mississippi/ 

We look forward to Dear Sila’s future endeavours!

 

 

Salaam Remi Releases ‘Do It For The Culture 2'  

By A. SmithSalaam Remi is a critically acclaimed music producer. His unmatched hip hop/R&B beats are unmatched. He has worked with the like of Nas, Fugees, Amy Winehouse, Jasmine Sullivan just to name a few. Salaam Remi has released a compilation album with previously released songs and new ones. He has some incredible artists on here including Nas, Akon, Amy Winehouse, Busta Rhymes, Stephen Marley, Wayne Wonder and many more. The Album is enjoyable and it’s definitely worth listening to if you’re into quality music. Let us know your thoughts on the album or favorite songs?

The Sequence - The First Ladies of Hip Hop 

By A. Smith  

The hip hop pioneers that paved the way for female hip hop, need to be given their flowers now.

In the late 70’s high school friends Cheryl Cook, known as "Cheryl The Pearl", Gwendolyn Chisolm, known as "Blondie" and lead singer/rapper Angie Brown Stone, as Angie were discovered when they went to a Sugar Hill show and sang for Sylvia Robinson - a musician, producer and record label executive. The trio signed to the Sugar Hill label in the late–1970’s and early–1980s.  They first single was ‘Funk You Up’ was released in 1979, one of the first hip hop records to be on vinyl. The song has been sampled by the likes of Ice Cube, En Vogue, Dr Dre for his single ‘Keep Their Heads Ringin’, Mark Morrison and Bruno Mars ‘Uptown Funk’ – claims were made by the group that the duo were heavily influenced by their song. 
  
The Sequence paved the way for a lot of artists, especially for female rappers. A lot of people only go far back as Salt ‘n’ Pepa when mentioning the pioneers of female hip hop, which I understand as they have broken through some barriers to get to where they are now. The music industry are known to celebrate a handful of female rappers, and need to change the narrative and celebrate others.  

“The Sequence weren’t the first group of females to touch the microphone – cassettes of late Seventies and early Eighties New York throwdowns explode with the voices of Sha-Rock of Funky 4+1, the Mercedes Ladies, Lisa Lee of Afrika Bambaataa’s Cosmic Force, Pebblee Poo of Harlem’s Masterdon Committee and more. But the Sequence were the first to reach ears outside the five boroughs, an integral step in hip-hop’s rise from local sensation to Planet Rock.” – Christopher R. Weingarten, Rolling Stone 

Read more in depth about The Sequence, in the Rolling Stone article:  

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/the-sequence-the-funked-up-legacy-of-hip-hops-first-ladies-118369/

Skip Marley and H.E.R’s New Video for ‘Slow Down 

By A. Smith


The music video for Skip Marley and H.E.R’s song ‘Slow Down’ follows the love 
birds at a café, house party, on the train and around New York. 
Skip can be seen admiring H.E.R from afar during the day until he gets the courage to 
dance with her at a party. There are nice solo shots of them together and individually. 
Their chemistry is undeniable, their acting is on point or is their chemistry for real?!  

As you can probably tell from his well-known last name. He is the grandson of the 
legendary Bob Marley and Rita Marley. His mother Cedella Marley is a recording artist, 
fashion designer, author and the CEO of Bob Marley Group of Companies. 


Skip Marley and H.E.R did a rendition of ‘Turn your Lights Down Low’ by Bob Marley 
featuring Lauryn Hill. They were amazing, literally had chills listening to how much he 
sounds like his Grandfather. The video can be found on YouTube. 


The video was directed by Lacey Duke, who recently directed Summer Walker and 
Usher’s new music video for ‘Come Thru’. One of my favourite videos she directed last 
year was by Ari Lennox for ‘Up Late’, the shots are incredible! 


Skip mentioned in an interview with Boomshots TV, that he is gearing up to release his 
album this year and may be collaborating with a UK artist soon. H.E.R just recently 
performed her new song ‘Slide’ on the ‘Late Night with Seth Meyers.’ 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4jZKM5Y6-0


 

Hopelessly In love: Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes & Andre Riston 

By A. Smith


The documentary shares the story of Andre and Lisa’s life, career and 
relationship. 


Before Andre Riston was signed to the NFL, he became the man of the house at a 
young age. His dad was in the Vietnam War, when he came back from the war he was 
not himself due to injuries and his parents broke up. Unfortunately, his dad was sick and 
he passed, but luckily he was able to see him before he passed. Later on, his mother 
remarried, just when his bond with his step dad was starting to blossom, his step dad 
was murdered. 


Lisa’s father was also in the military, he was a US Army staff sergeant. He was also a 
musician. Unfortunately, he was very abusive to their mum, Wanda. It was sad to hear 
how abusive their father was. Lisa’s sister Reigndrop mentioned them watching ‘The 
Burning Bed’. She expressed they would talk about doing it to their dad, who would have 
known years later, those thoughts would kind of manifest itself. 

“I always expect a lot, because I give a lot.”Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes 

The violence prompted her mum, Lisa, her brother and sister to move out. But she later 
married him again! Lisa mentioned he was literally a drill sergeant at home. 
Unfortunately, when Lisa signed the deal to be in TLC, is the day she heard her dad was 
murdered by his cousin. 


Andre recalled watching TLC’s music video and his friends wanted Chilli and someone 
else mentioned they wanted T-Boz then he said “you know what, I’ll take that one right 
there”. They later met 2 weeks later. The documentary talks about the infamous fire at 
Andre’s house, domestic violence, alcohol abuse, self -harm, their family dynamic, 
infidelities, spirituality, Lisa’s last days and Andre’s life now. Dealing with the height of 
fame and personal tragedies, Andre and Lisa’s bond was loving but toxic. 


“Lisa loved Andre, 2Pac was her soulmate.” 


Whew! There was a lot to unpack in this documentary. Let us know your thoughts on this 
episode. The next documentary will be about Faith and Biggie on Lifetime. Check your local listing.

Snoh Aalegra 

 

Snoh just released a video for ‘Whoa’ off of her amazing album. Ugh..those Feels Again. The music video features Michael B. (Bae) Jordan as her leading man. Snoh’s music videos always feel like a short movie/art, which I appreciate. From the aesthetics, color grading and the effortless chemistry between Snoh and MBJ.. has us in our feelings.  Some of the videos out today have no correlation with the song or just feels disconnected. The shots in the video gives me a hint of Sade and scenes from the movie Love Jones. One shot that made some buzz, was the kissing scene, where Snoh and Michael are sitting on the street, facing each other and boom... a kiss! I’m sure I heard a few heart breaks and ‘‘hell to naw, to the no, no, noooo’’ (in my Sheree Whitfield’s voice). The video was shot in Berlin and directed by NO SCHOOL & Izabelle P. Wilson (I.P.W.) and shot on Kodak. 

According to my Spotify account Snoh is the number one artist I’ve been listening to this year. She just gets it, her way of incorporating hip hop, contemporary/pop and that smooth R&B we’ve been missing, is such a joy to listening to. She is definitely right by saying her sound is “romantic /cinematic soul”. She mentions in the interview that ‘Whoa’ was not about a particular person but being in a good place presently. 

 

Watch the music video for ‘Whoa’:  

Snoh’s interview with SK Vibemaker: 

Nick Cannon vs Eminem 

By A.Smith

Lawd this “beef”, chicken and salmon between Nick Cannon and Eminem does not look like it will be ending soon. Nick Cannon released another diss track called “The Invitation Cancelled”.  The song features a clip from an old track from Eminem, where he raps; “Blacks and whites, they sometimes mix/But black girls only want your money, 'cause they dumb chicks”. And I oop! Eminem has apologised for this a while ago but Nick Cannon goes off by saying;  

Had to put my MF’ing turban on/ Outside your MF’ing suburban home/ Protestin' with AKs and guns/ Our queens don't need your racism/ You're the KKK of this generation/ Okay-kay-kay, did I take it too far?/ He's a rap star, run ni**a run/ Standing my ground, fruit of Islam/ I don't give a f**k if his ass was young/ Can't let that slide, that's on my son 

 

The whole shenanigan started when Eminem claimed he dated Mariah Carey (Nick Cannon’s ex-wife and the mother to his children). Mariah then fired back with her hit single ‘Obsessed’ with her hilarious video of her impersonating Eminem with him getting hit by a car after stalking the pop diva.  

Eminem recently featured on Fat Joe and Dre’s song ‘Lord Above’ with Mary J Blige singing the chorus; where he mentioned Mariah and Nick.  

“I know me and Mariah didn't end on a high note/ But that other dude's whipped, that p***y got him neutered/ Tried to tell him this chick's a n*tjob 'fore he got his jewels clipped. Almost got my caboose kicked/ Fool, quit, you not gon' do s**t/ I let her chop my balls off too 'fore I lost to you, Nick…”  

Well as Nick mentioned in his latest diss, the invitation has been cancelled to come to his ‘Wild N Out’ show and reply back to his diss track. So hopefully this will be done with, Eminem sure knows how to get people riled up. He came at his own mother, ex -wife and other pop stars like Britney Spears. So, anyone can get it! I understand Nick sticking up for his family but Eminem just wants a reaction, which he got.  

On another note, congratulations to the legend Mariah, for scoring her 19th number one for ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ and it’s 25th Anniversary. You can see her new video for the song (Make My Wish Come True Edition)  

Black Thought’s Master Class 

By A. Smith

The Philadelphia native will be leading a free three-day workshop called the Thought Master Class from Mon, 3 Feb 2020 – Wed, 5 Feb 2010 at the Carnegie Hall, New York, United States. 

“Legendary hip-hop artist Black Thought leads a three-day workshop for rising and professional MCs ages 18–35 that culminates in a showcase by the invited participants. Over the course of the workshop, participants will explore the history of hip-hop and examine the technical skills employed by the genre. Invited MCs should come prepared to workshop their music, focusing on lyricism, flow, style, and delivery.  

Black Thought will equip participants with tangible exercises to improve their overall artistry. This exploration will give participants the opportunity to hone their technical abilities and continue to craft their individual sounds. The workshop will also provide participants with invaluable insight into Black Thought’s outstanding career of more than two decades, as well as opportunities to reflect on how one can achieve and sustain excellence as an artist.” 

Black Thought (Tariq Luqmaan Trotter) is a lyricist and the lead emcee of the hip hop group/band The Roots, which was co- founded by him and musician/ drummer extraordinaire Questlove (Amir Thompson). The Roots released their debut album Organix in 1993. Do You Want More?!!!??! came out in 1995, singles released from their album were ‘Distortion to Static’, ‘Proceed’ and ‘Silent Treatment’. Their third album Illadelph Halflife released in 1996 featured guest artists such as Amel Larrieux (Groove Theory), Common, Raphael Saadiq, D’Angelo and some Jazz musicians such as Cassandra Wilson and David Murray and more.  

Things Fall Apart was the album I got introduced to The Roots. ‘You Got Me’ featuring Erykah Badu and Eve is one of my favorites. Fun fact: Jill Scott co- wrote the song but she was replaced by Erykah Badu who was more well-known than Jill Scott at the time - she had released Baduizm by then. The video was directed by Charles Stone III.  

A part of Black Thought’s genius is that he is able to paint vivid imageries through his lyrics, for a minute I thought I was the Ethiopian Queen from Philly, lol!  

“Somebody told me that this planet was small/ we use to live in the same building on the same floor/ and never met before/ until I'm overseas on tour/ and peep this Ethiopian queen from Philly/ taking classes abroad/ she studying film and photo flash focus record/ said she working on a flick and could my click do the score/ she said she loved my show in Paris at Elysee Montmartre…” 

For more information on the master class and tickets, please visit the Carnegie Hall’s website: https://www.carnegiehall.org/en/Education/Young-Musicians/Workshops/Black-Thought 

A powerful speech from Black Thought at the ‘Here Are All The Black People’ event:

Torey Lanez takes us back to the early 2000’s 

by A. Smith

Torey Lanez’s Chixtape has been making waves all week. First of all, he has the princess of hip hop and R&B, Ashanti on his album cover. Ashanti is seen in her bedroom, laying down looking at her beeper. The album cover which has all the early 2000’s aesthetics from the posters on the wall and Ashanti in her hoop earrings. 

The Canadian rapper, singer and producer started the Chixtape series in 2011; which also featured and sample some heavy hitters. The Chixtape 5 has features from Ashanti, Mya, Mario, Chris Brown and many more. 

Just like the 90’s, the 2000’s R&B and hip hop was a euphoric experience. As we enter a new era it’s nice to have this to reminisce on the good ol’ days. Torey talks more in-depth about his new release with Billboard: 

The Chixtape series has played a vital role in your career. What does this fifth installment mean for you? 
I think it's just the evolution of where I'm at as far as R&B [is concerned], and Tory breaking down the barrier of something new, but also something classic. I think it's the evolution of where the Chixtapes went and what they are, but also, it kind of feels like every Chixtape in one, you know? You finally get every piece of production. You get every piece of extra vocals. You get everything. It's damn near overwhelming at a certain point because it's like, "Wow. Y'all did that." I think five is moreso evolution, and a revolution towards what the Chixtape means to fans. 

You can read more of the interview here: https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.billboard.com/amp/articles/columns/hip-hop/8543677/tory-lanez-chixtape-5-interview 

Chixtape Tracklist: 

1. Jalissa’s Back! (SKIT) 
2. The Trade f. Jagged Edge & Jermaine Dupri 
3. Jerry Sprunger f. T-Pain 
4. Beauty in the Benz f. Snoop Dogg 
5. Blowin’ Mine’s // Leah’s Introduction (SKIT) 
6. The Take f. Chris Brown 
7. Broken Promises 
8. The Fargo Splash f. Ludacris 
9. Luv Ya Gyal // Love Sounds f. The-Dream 
10. Yessirr 
11. Best of You // Busted [SKIT] f. Mya 
12. The Cry f. Mario 
13. Still Waiting f. Trey Songz 
14. A Fools Tale (Running Back) f. Ashanti 
15. Thoughts f. Lloyd & Lil Wayne 
16. If You Gotta… f. Fabolous 
17. Room 112 f. Slim & NYCE 
18. Last Love Letter (SKIT)

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