The latest in hip hop and entertainment news

Doja Cat is Number One because her fans and the chart ‘Say So’  

by A. Smith
  
Doja Cat has a lot to celebrate with her single ‘Say So’. The song is number one on the Rhythmic Songs Chart this week. It is also a certified platinum song. Congratulations Doja! ‘Say So’ is from her second album, Hot Pink released late last year. Doja Cat featured on Ari Lennox’s latest project Shea Butter Baby Remix EP, on her song ‘B.M.O’. I was thoroughly impressed with how she switched up her flow on the track, with a little singing and cheeky lyrics that aligned perfectly with the song. 
 

Timbaland and Swizz Beats Verzuz has us hyped  

by A.Smith

  
These days most of us have been dancing after the 60th snack, have hit the spot. But after a while, you probably can’t leave the spot you’re at, because you done ate everyTHANG CHILE!! Timbaland and Swizz Beatz brought their music battles to Instagram and have been keeping us entertained and distracted from these worrying times right now. 

The two mega-hit producers done an interview with CNN about the success of Verzuz. 
  
 "Music has always been around to help and heal," Swizz Beatz said. "Me and Tim came together and said, 'You know what? Let's start Verzuz on Live and give the people some entertainment, give them some hope and also educate them. Because Versuz is an educational celebration." 
  
Thousands have joined to watch artists and producers like Ne-Yo vs. Johntá Austin, The-Dream vs. Sean Garrett and T-Pain vs. Lil Jon battle it out in real-time. 
"What is the thing the world most needs everyday? It's music," Timbaland said. "The sound of music always put a joy in my heart. I know music is the key to what's going on in this darkness and I just felt this was the perfect time." 

DJ Premier and RZA’s battle were great but lawd what happened with Teddy Riley and Babyface still has us in stitches. Lool!!!

Childish Gambino, Kid Cudi, DaBaby and DVSN release new music  

by A. Smith 
  

  


Childish Gambino released his album, called 3.15.20. He has not released an album since “Awaken, My Love!” released in 2016 and his EP “Summer Pack” in 2018. The album is decent. The tracks on the album are uniquely titled after the time the track starts. You never know what to expect with Childish Gambino but what I do know is, he delivers any genre and makes it his own and does it well. 

Kid Cudi released a song called “Leader of the Delinquents” the rapper expressed himself like he’s catching up with an old friend in this quarantine life we are in. However, it’s been said Kid Cudi has had this song since 2012. Timeless! 

DaBaby released his album ‘Blame It On Baby’ his lead single was ‘Find My Way’ and a music video for ‘Jump’ ft NBA Youngboy came out a few days ago. On Instagram, a snippet of “Nasty” was posted on Ashanti’s IG page. This also features Megan the Stallion and samples Ashanti’s hit single “Baby” which was released 18 years ago. 

DVSN’s musical journey has been consistent but still, there was a sense of disconnect in not knowing who they are. Is DVSN one person, a band or Drake’s producers?! Well, DVSN are from Canada, an R&B duo signed to Drake’s label OVO Sound. They just dropped their album “A Muse In Her Feelings” and it’s amazing. The melodic, sultry, 90’s R&B feels is felt. The album takes you on a journey of love, hurt and heartbreak. We are happy to see the duo in their latest video with Snoh Aalegra, for their song ‘Between Us’. 
 

Jay Electronica: A Written Testimony  

by A. Smith

It’s been a long time coming for Jay Electronica to release his (debut) album (after dropping heats with Act I: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge) mixtape, Exhibit A, B *remix ft. Mos Def* and C) and he has finally released it. Even though people are debating if indeed it’s a debut since Jay Z features on all the songs, except for one track on the album. The hip hop emcee released it on Thursday 12th March, the album features Jay Z, The Dream and Travis Scott. The album cover is a picture of a backyard, with crystal blue swimming pool and trees at the back. His name and title track are written in Arabic. People are saying this a politically and faith charged album and it’s not for listeners who just want something to vibe to. This will make you sit down, listen attentively and spark thoughts or conversation. 

So much so, Joe Budden and Jay Elec’ exchanged some passive aggressive words on Twitter. Jay Electronica retweeted someone commenting saying “Joe Budden hasn’t dropped a classic in his life and he’s critiquing Jay Electronica and Hov?”. 
In which Joe replied: “I never got absolutely mopped around on my own project either… @ me, not Rory.” And I oop! Then Jay Electronica came back and said “I never heard your albums bro. may Allah bless your career as a journalist.” *faints in slow motion* and Joe’s response was “I took you off yours & it’s a Hov mixtape now… Peace be unto you as well King”. Goodness!! After that Joe released an episode of his Podcast about the album which was great marketing, as views piled up in their thousands. 

There are so many lyrical gems on the album, it’s hard to pick my favorite lyrics, but here are few. Also check my ratings of each track. 

1. The Overwhelming Event: Intro: The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan 

2. Ghost of Soulja Slim: (5/5) 
 “I emerged on the wave that Tidal made to drop bombs, I came to bang with the scholars, And I bet you a Rothschild I get a bang for my dollar”..... “Crushing the oyinbo that try to bring wahala, you want it, I got it, Don't make me have to blast this rocket, uh, Jay Electricity” [Jay Elec’] 

3. The Blinding feat. Travis Scott (5/5) 
“I named my son Sir, You gotta call my son Sir, That boy already knighted, He ain’t even out his romper” [Jay Z] 

“When I look inside the mirror all is see is flaws, When I look inside the mirror all is see is Mars, In the wee hours of night tryna squeeze bars, Bismillah, Just so yall could pick me apart” [Jay Elec’] 

4. The Never Ending Story: (5/5) 
” The Legend, of the clandestine reverend from the bricks With the Master’s Grip to pull the Sleeping Giant out the ditch And I ain’t even have to wiggle my noise like bewitch I just up shift to 6 convert the v4 into a broomstick.” [Jay Elec] 

“I say that to Ms. Tina She’ll sneeze at son Her photic reflex They both had straighten combs Little did they know I hold the heat next Neither two, can be used, to fix our defects PS, we born perfect Fuck all the B.S. Everybody want to be us for real We just got to see us Inshallah” [Jay Z] 

5. Shiny Suit Theory f. The Dream (5/5) 
“I gotta shine, it's in my blood, I'm a Harlem kid I treat my babies right, treat my ladies ladylike Hit them with a remix to make sure that they play me twice I thought you said it's the return of the black kings Luxurious homes, fur coats and fat chains” [Jay Z] 

6. Universal Soldier (5/5) 
“The Lord is my rock, I speed dial through salat, my trials in the fiery crucible made me hot, I glow like embers of coal, born with a touch of gold, my mathematical theology of rhymin' a touch the soul, I spent many nights bent off Woodford, Clutchin' the bowl, stuffin' my nose 
Some of the cons, I suffered for prose, my poetry's livin' like the God that I fall back on, And all praises due to Allah for such a illustrious platform’’ [Jay Elec’] 

“We done ducked them fed' charges, now we eatin' confit, Le fric, c'est chic, That guilt trip ain't gon' work, don't put your luggage on we, You ain't keep the same energy for the du Pont's and Carnegie's 
We was in your cotton fields, now we sittin' on Bs, on me” [Jay Z] 

7. Flux Capacitor: (3/4) 
“Got more money than Goodell, A whole NFL bench, Did it one handed like Odell 
Handcuffed to a jail, I wouldn’t stayed on the sidelines, If they could have tackled this shit themselves, You backstabbers gone turn me back to the old Jay” [Jay Z] 

“I send Duahs up from the belly of The Dunya, Duahs up for my Umi and The Umma, Duahs up for The Hon Louis Farrakhan who pulled me out the grave and pointed me toward the Sunnah, Remember Rappin Duke? dahuh dahuh? You never thought we make it to La Illah Illaha” [Jay Elec’] 

8. Fruits of the Spirit (5/5) 
“The prayers of the slaves are the waves that carry us, A field full of dreams is where they tried bury us’’ 

9. Ezekiel Wheel f. The Dream (4/5) 
“Sometimes I was held down by the gravity of my pen. Sometimes I was held down by the gravity of my sin. Sometimes, like Santiago, the crucial points of my novel. My only logical option was to transform into the wind” 

10. A.P.I.D.T.A / All Praise Is Due To Allah 5/5 
“Tear drops on our faces, tear drops on my face it’s Like teardrops become waterfalls by the time they reach my laces, my eyelids is like levees. But my tear ducts is like glaciers.” [Jay Elec’] 

Overall rating of the album will be 8/10, solid album, would have been great to hear more of Jay Elec’. Erykah Badu said it best, “…it’s universals. He’s speaking in frequency almost, It’s another language. The most important thing about is Jay Electronica is not a dialect, it’s a language. You gotta kinda have to keep up. It’s almost like trying to predict the weather, if you don’t know what’s going on outside you can’t be a weather man. He is a weather man!” 

What’s your opinion on the album?

UK’s Hip Hop Queens: Cookie Crew +  Neneh Cherry: ‘Rap is a kind of freedom’ (Guardian article) 

by A. Smith

 

As we know hip hop has been the number one genre right now. Even though female rappers are not celebrated or promoted as much their male counterparts. The British female hip hop artists barely get any mentions. 

I was today’s old when I learned about the Cookie Crew. Hailing from Clapham in South London the rap music duo, Cookie Crew was formed in 1983. MC Remedee (Debbie Pryce) and Susie Q (Susan Banfield) were discovered by winning a championship from the John Peel BBC Radio 1 show. They were signed by Rhythm King and released their song ‘Rok Da House’ which was a fusion of House music and Hip Hop ‘House Hop’, they followed up with their second single ‘Females’. Their first single was still very popular in the nightclubs, which also was featured on TV programs and an advert. The remix to ‘Rok Da House’ made the song do mainstream. Debbie Pryce is now a Music Marketeer and she had an interview with The Find Mag in 2012.  

“Back in the old days being a female emcee? It was one of the best experiences in my life. I mean there was always that thing where if you’re a female rapper: are you good? Are you better than the guys?? All that kind of nonsense. We went through that – people would always judge us and compare us to other male artists. But for us? It didn’t affect us. If anything, it made us better and stronger, and no matter what we did we preferred to be on the bill when it was all guys anyway. We never felt that there was any major competition; we held our own. We actually loved the challenge.” (https://thefindmag.com/hip-hop-interviews/interview-cookie-crew/

 Jude Rogers wrote an in-depth article for the Guardian, about the Hip Hop scene in the UK. She spoke to Neneh Cherry who came onto the scene in the early 1980’s. Neneh expressed that “Rap was freedom,” Cherry says today. You could find your own way within it, your own form of expression, and that felt like a big thing as a woman. There’s something very powerful within rap, anyway. You’re not dependent on the words working with the melody. You can just pour out what you really want to say in an unrestricted way.” 

The article also mentions 80’s artists like Monie Love, She Rockers, Wee Papa Girl and in the 2000’s Ms Dynamite, Estelle and Shystie. Now artists like Lady Leshurr, Simz and Ms Banks are carrying the torch and bringing the spotlight back to the Hip Hop music scene in the UK. 

Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jan/19/neneh-cherry-rap-is-a-kind-of-freedom-women-in-hip-hop 

What are your thoughts on Female Hip Hop artists from the UK?

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


 

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