Rapper YG hit the ATL on Tuesday (Mar. 4) to promote his upcoming project MY KRAZY LIFE. It was apparent that there was a full day planned out for the west coast emcee.
First, YG stopped through the West End Mall area to meet-and-greet the locals. The Athlete’s Foot sports store was packed with fans eager to snap a photo and obtain an autograph. Check out a few photos from the in-store:
Recently, the RIAA announced that YG’s single “My Ni$$a” sold a million copies, certifying its platinum-selling status. The single, which featured Jeezy and Rich Homie Quan, originally appeared on a CTE compilation mixtape and soon after became a radio and club favorite. The song has a remix version as well and it features Lil Wayne, Meek Mill, and Nicki Minaj. Many people wonder, however, will YG be able to produce another platinum-selling single or a platinum album. We’ll have to wait and see. But, he did host a listening session later in the evening over at Patchwerk Studios.
YG’s listening session for MY KRAZY LIFE, brought out several artists and local industry cats. Jeezy, Don Cannon, Slick Pulla, DJ Aaries, A1 Super Group, Que, and many others showed up to support.
Fans who pre-order the album on iTunes will also receive three tracks (“Who Do You Love” feat. Drake, “Left Right” feat. DJ Mustard, and “My Ni$$a” Remix).
MY KRAZY LIFE hits stores on March 18th!
To see the full gallery, CLICK HERE!
Photo Credits: STACKS Magazine & Desmick Perkins
The music scene, especially in Atlanta, is never a dull moment. With the city claiming home-base to many of the industry’s top songwriters and producers, you are always running into a hungry young artist ready to make his or her mark in music.
One of those new artists is Devin Michael.
Last Thursday (Feb. 27), he hosted an album release/listening party at Nancy’s Pizza-Buckhead. The event was well-attended with his industry peers and local socialites. STACKS Magazine was on the scene as well to show support, although we had the pleasure of meeting Devin a while ago. During our initial conversation, Devin Michael seemed very genuine. You don’t meet many aspiring (or veteran) artists who are naturally sincere. So, it was refreshing to speak with Devin as we got a chance to get to know more about him. At that time, he spoke of the new project, which he premiered on Thursday night called L.O.V.E..
The acronym L.O.V. E. is defined as “Letting Out Various Emotions”. Devin said that, “each song is going to touch on a different emotion that you feel while you’re in love. Be it “jealousy”…sometimes you be in love and you get jealous. Or “happiness” because love is happy. But you know, just different emotions is going to be on it [the album].” The free album encompasses the emotions indeed, which may attest to his fondness of R&B singer Brandy. As his all-time favorite artist, Devin is highly inspired by Brandy’s vocal sincerity and technique.
The Portland, Oregon native has big plans for his future, which is also a surprise. Some indie artist have a difficult time planning for the next day, let alone 5 to 10 years down the road. When we spoke, Devin assured us he has goals and a 5 year plan mapped out.
In 5 years, I want to be on album number 2 or 3. Album 1 will be a couple songs platinum. I’m on the road and writing a song for Beyonce’s new album. Working on my first movie. And I have 3 songs on the Top 10 on the charts (one of mine, one is a duet, and the other is one of me singing and rapping).
And I want to have writing credits on every song.
I feel like a lot of male artists just want women; you got to be beyond that. It’s only going to last for so long if you are just thinking about that aspect. I got goals. So, I want to get to those goals. And the women will come.
Devin Michael has his career well-planned. With the assistance of a great team, we are sure all of his musical dreams will come alive.
Here are few photos from his L.O.V.E. release party:
To see the full gallery, CLICK HERE! Follow Devin Michael at @IAmDevin on Twitter.
Special thanks to Devin Michael & Jakeem Smith for the invite!
R&B singer, Ashanti, has partnered up with Pandora to stream her upcoming studio album in its entirety. Due on March 4, Braveheart LP will include 13-tracks which features the Rick Ross-assisted “I Got It, “Love Games” featuring Jeremih, and “First Real Love” with Beenie Man. The only other feature on the album comes from rapper French Montana.
Ashanti – Braveheart (Tracklisting):
5. “Early in the Morning” (Feat. French Montana)
6. “3 Words”
7. “Love Games” (Feat. Jeremih)
9. “Never Should Have”
10. “She Can’t”
11. “Don’t Tell Me No”
12. “I Got It” (Feat. Rick Ross)
13. “First Real Love/Outro” (Feat. Beenie Man)
Click her for album stream: Ashanti – Braveheart
On Thursday night (Feb. 20), Def Jam, Maybach Music Group, and Tree Sound Studios (in Atlanta) hosted a private listening session for Mastermind. As expected, Rick Ross was in the building to present the album, which is less than 11 days away from its official release date (March 4). The place was packed with industry veterans, DJs, media, and tastemakers all under one roof to listen to Mastermind in its entirety before it goes public.
Celebrities and socialites including Trae the Truth, Lil Wayne, Tracy T, T-Pain, Terri Vaughn, Traci Braxton and her hubby Gabe, Big Tigger, DJ Drama, R.L. from Next, Mr. Ruggs, Blue Davinci and many others were also there in support of Ross’s new project.
Mali Hunter, a very well-respected industry vet and official hostess for the evening, and her Tree Sounds family laid out the red carpet for all of the guests. A delicious southern meal was prepared for everyone, which included fried chicken, green beans, collards, mac-n-cheese, pulled pork/chicken, and much more. Bellaire Rose, Ciroc, and Hennessey flowed through out the evening as well. As always, everyone felt comforted and excited about the new music that was coming.
As for Mastermind, let’s just say…Rick Ross may surprise a few with this new album. The level of continuity, concept, production and lyricism has remained the same, yet it has upgraded possibly due to his maturity in the game and as a man. The album, as a whole, is one that will be well-liked by hip hop heads. It is well-thought out. Tracks aren’t obviously thrown together, as many rap albums we’ve heard in the last 10 years. Mastermind stays true to Ross’s ability to bring imagination and truth together and make us all concisely visualize (and sonically hear) every aspect of his album.
To start, we all were greeted by Rick Ross and given a brief acknowledgement of gratitude for being in attendance to listen to his project. He gave the city of Atlanta and its industry experts major props, which was only right given the fact that he recently purchased Evander Holyfield’s sprawling estate and is now a local resident.
Within seconds, a video montage of photos (vintage to more recent) began to transition alongside each track off the album. The photos chosen were spot-on in that they helped all of us put each song into perspective. There are 12-tracks on Mastermind, including two bonus tracks. The entire album is one for your CD player or iPod. It is definitely “riding” music that you can play non-stop without getting frustrated by wack tracks or corny interludes.
But, based on the tracklist and my listening ear, below are my thoughts on a few stand-outs:
Track 1: Intro
Track 2: Rich Is Gangasta
Track 3: Drug Dealers Dream – takes you back to the 1980s/90′s drug wars; lyrically making us aware of the luxuries (and pitfalls) of being in the game.
Track 4: Shots Fired
Track 5: Nobody – the song pays homage to the late Notorious B.I.G., which many says Ross personifies in his swag and effortlessly rap style. The production goes as far as to sample B.I.G’s original recording and words “You’re nobody until somebody kills you”. This was definitely one that many fans will gravitate to.
Track 6: The Devil Is A Lie feat. Jay Z
Track 7: Mafia Music III feat. Sizzla & Mavado – Ross’s Miami roots, I’m sure, paid a part in his decision to record this joint. Sizzla and Mavado both do their part for that Jamican/Caribbean authenticity. I loved it. But, many people aren’t fans of reggae music. So, this may only be on the tracklist for diversity purposes.
Track 8: War Ready feat. Jeezy – We all know Jeezy murked this track. #Facts
Track 9: What A Shame
Track 10: Supreme
Track 11: Blk & Wht – This will be one of those joints that the D-Boys will gravitate to, for sure.
Track 12: Dope Bitch Skit – My initial thought about the skit was that it would have been funnier – or more impactful – if it wasn’t so long. It took up too much time for no reason at all.
Track 13: In Vein feat. The Weeknd – Decent song for the ladies.
Track 14: Sanctified feat. Kanye West & Big Sean- Kanye West went IN on this track! The production is absolutely crazy. Big Sean added a little extra flavor to it as well.
Track 15: Walkin On Air feat. Meek Mill
Track 16: Thug Cry feat. Lil Wayne
Bonus Tracks: The room did not get to hear the bonus tracks. Bummer… :-(
Track 17: Blessing In Disguise feat. Scarface & Z-Ro
Track 18: Paradise Lost
Track 19: You Know I Got It (Reprise)
My concern with the album is its ability to produce radio singles. I didn’t hear any except “Devil Is A Lie”, which has hit radio already. The only other joint that has any “single” potential is the Kanye West joint, “Sanctified”. But that’s only because of Kanye’s crossover status and Big Sean’s commercial-friendly voice. However, who knows. We’ve seen wilder things happen in music.
The other issue with Mastermind is Ross’s lyrical content. Of course, it’s a great business move to shout out your Wing Stop favorites (lemon-pepper wings) and alcohol brand. But, we heard it way too many times in the same context. Maybe if Ross figured out another catchy way to plug his brands, then it won’t seem over-done.
Lastly, he’s built this persona around himself as a BOSS – acknowledging the drug game, the “rich ni**a lifestyle, etc. However, it’s his sixth album and the perfect time to start talking about other things – more meaningful topics. Ross is a veteran at this point. It’s time to mature up – not only through his ability to produce a solid album – but mature through discussion topics as well. Although, he does deserve credit for telling the kids to “get an education” at the end of track 11, “Blk & Wht”. I appreciate Ross for that.
Mastermind drops March 4.
If you are in the know, then you would understand that Evidence and The Alchemist has some of the best emcee-producer chemistry there is to have. Anything that they have worked on together has been practically dope to even classic underground greatness. Many go back to their work together on the Dilated Peoples’ albums. However, their obvious harmony evolved into the demand for an album to complete the cypher of musical synergy they share. With that shared, they came together to form The Stepbrothers.
After releasing their first album Lord Steppington, it is easy to see that their work together is just two “brothers having fun in the studio”.
The production on this album veers toward the range of “good-pretty good-banging”. The hard hitting track on “Byron G” does nothing but accentuate the lyrics of Evidence, Domo Genesis, and The Whooliganz. Meanwhile, the subjective darkness on “See The Rich Man Play” only gives Roc Marciano and The Stepbrothers room to express what the production demands them to. Yet, the 3-beat-for-the-price-of-1 “Swimteam Rastas” allows them to rhyme with style and fluctuating subject matter and literary devices. Keeping things short and sweet, the production worked.
Lyrically, The Stepbrothers didn’t delve too far into any type of territory of justified meaning. To explain even further, they were in it to flex their skills and have fun over the beats. While there were different hints of truth, ideals, and beliefs, there were never any overwhelming messages being presented. Then again, having a lot of “messages” would have taken away from the fact that these guys are in the studio to have fun and bang out a synergetic album. Thus, the wordplay remains wordy with very few burdening messages.
With Lord Steppington, you get more no frills hip hop: banging beats, dope lyrics, and not too many controlling concepts. This is the perfect display of what The Stepbrothers need to offer. Instead of an Evidence album reflecting on life in reference to the weather, we get an album of two guys gelling together to make great music. So, I suggest taking that step into the realm of Lord Steppington.
Twenty years ago, Nasir Jones (aka Nas) released Illmatic, which has been revered as one of the best hip hop/rap albums ever. Well, for the 20th year anniversary of its release, Nas will be re-releasing the album as Illmatic XX.
#IllmaticXX – TIME FLY’s. Never thought i’d be making music this long. Appreciate the fans and the love. 2014 is the year of Illmatic XX. Album rerelease 4/15/2014! 20 years! WOW! – NAS
The remastered album will feature all the original songs, plus demos and live radio. It will released as a double-CD.
On March 29, Nas will commemorate the occasion with a special performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Yaaasssss! Like myself, I’m sure many Kelis fans has been waiting for her to release another music project. Lucky for us, she will be on April 22!
If you follow Kelis’s Twitter or Instagram feed, you will notice that she loves to eat. Apparently, food has become so significant to the singer that she’s decided to name her next album Food. The album is said to be very soulful-yet-eccentric, much like herself. The album is solely produced by David Sitek and is available for pre-order now on iTunes.
The woman who is known for her uniqueness – whether it be with hair or fashion choices – she will make a statement with this project. Take a look at the official tracklisting…
01. Jerk Ribs
03. Forever Be
08. Bless the Telephone
09. Fish Fry
12. Biscuits ‘n’ Gravy
Kelis last album Flesh Tone was released in 2010. It’s about 4 years since she’s put any music out, due to marital issues with Nas and raising their son. So, it’s about time. This is definitely one album I can’t wait to hear.
Cash Money Records and Young Money’s rise as two of the most powerful labels in hip hop is undeniable. Young Money, for example, is the headquarters for Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Tyga – three of the most successful young artists to represent hip hop in the last 5 years. With bossman Lil Wayne’s impactful career and their domination of the craft, it’s obvious that they will not let up any time soon.
To prove that, Young Money announced that it will be releasing a compilation album on March 11. “Young Money: Rise of an Empire” will feature Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Tyga, Gudda Gudda, Shanell, Christina Milian and other artists on their roster.
“This compilation is a very special release for the label,” Cortez Bryant, Young Money’s COO, said in a release. “‘We Are Young Money’ helped launch the careers of our first generation of acts with Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Tyga. Even though we’ve been honored with accolades as a company, our hunger hasn’t diminished or dwindled. We’re hungrier than ever, and we’re still building.
“That goes hand-in-hand with the title ‘Young Money: Rise Of An Empire.’ We’re not going anywhere. We don’t plan on stopping — ever. Our goal is the expansion of this Empire with the next generation of kings and queens ruling.”
“There’s nothing like it when the whole family gets together in the studio,” Lil Wayne added. “YMCMB is stronger than ever, and everybody was truly on fire. We’re all blessed to be a part of this incredible Empire as it continues to thrive. I can’t wait for what’s next. Keep watching.”
To set the tone, yesterday they released a new single “We Alright”. The track features their newcomer Euro, Birdman, and Lil Wayne. Unfortunately, the label ganked it from the internet. When we find it, we’ll most definitely share it.
One month from now, Valentines Day will be here. The one day that romance tends to fill the atmosphere and lovers express joy for one another. In most cases, couples go out to a nice dinner and a movie. Then, return home to spend the rest of the evening cuddling and listening to nice slow jams. This is why your music selection is important on this day. Those soulful melodies and smooth sounds will help you create a romantic experience. Therefore, it is imperative to have the right albums set and ready to go on our iPod or CD player.
To help you select the most romantic albums, the Music Business Association (Music Biz) compiled a list of Top 10 Most Romantic Albums. The list was based off of a survey conducted with employees of the Music Biz’s commercial clients. Some of the albums listed may not be of your taste (or even a little dated). So, check and see which ones you agree with or not.
21 - by Adele
Avalon – by Roxy Music
Come Away with Me – by Norah Jones
I’m Still in Love with You – by Al Green
Kind of Blue – by Miles Davis
Let’s Get It On – by Marvin Gaye
Love Deluxe – by Sade
Love Songs – by Carpenters
Lovers Rock – by Sade
To Be Loved – by Michael Bublé
The Sade albums, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, and Adele definitely sounds about right. You and your boo are guaranteed to have a great night with anyone of those playing.
To see the remaining 90 albums that made the list and their 50 “Love Hurts” songs, go to www.musicbiz.org.
The Music Business Association (Music Biz) is a membership organization that advances and promotes music commerce — a community committed to the full spectrum of monetization models in the industry. It provides common ground by offering thought leadership, resources and unparalleled networking opportunities, all geared to the specific needs of its membership. By leveraging the legacy of the former National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) and its hub for digital initiatives, digitalmusic.org, Music Biz brings a unique perspective and valuable insight into the trends and changes that innovation brings. Today, we put our collective experience to work across all delivery models: physical, digital, mobile and more. Music Biz and its members are committed to building the future of music commerce — together.
The Association’s annual conference, Music Biz 2014, is set for May 6-8 in Los Angeles. For more details and to register, click here.
DO YOU AGREE WITH THE TOP 10 LIST? WHAT ALBUMS WOULD YOU HAVE PUT ON THERE?
Phil Beaudreau is a man that came out of nowhere. At a certain point, in early 2013, he dropped his Dawaun Parker produced “Anyway”. Ever since then, he has released a string of singles to test the waters. With a growing response and adoration for his singing skills, he decided to release the full length labeled Ether. For a debut album, Ether is a strong representation of a man’s desire for musical greatness.
The album is filled with either slow or mid-tempo tracks; if you are looking for dance numbers, “Won’t Go Away” is the closest thing to that. However, what you will get is a lot of songs with meaning and emotion. “Buried Alive” is for those that consistently live in fear. “Take It High”, a previously released track, sounds wondrous while Phil revels in summertime daydreams and being with the one he loves. What this album lacks in dance-floor filling tracks, it more than makes up for with songs containing substance.
The beauty of this album is that it isn’t afraid to be what it truly is: a pure R&B album. There isn’t a whole lot of hip hop/rhythm and blues hybrid songs outside of the Dawaun Parker featured “This Is Why”. In fact, this album is much more traditional than most common “R&B” albums that you may here. And that traditionalism is what makes this album such a delight to listen to. Phil Beaudreau found his lane and didn’t work to retreat out of it.
What can be said is Phil Beaudreau wanted to make an album that fans of R&B could listen to. With tracks that are heavy on subject matter and substance and light on pop offerings, purists can enjoy what he does. Also, the production does have some modern nuances that the younger generation can get into. From here, Phil can just make sure that more people are aware of his skill. Still, he won’t have a hard time gathering a following with such engaging music on his resume.
B.O.B has seen what this industry has to offer. From the mixtape circuit to the major label backing and worldwide acclaim, Bobby Ray has made his mark in hip hop. Yet, he hasn’t become as big as he may want to be. Nor is he making the money he may desire. Oh, he is getting paid. However, there is always that desire for more. And that desire for more has led to the conception of his new album, Underground Luxury.
Let me get this out the way once and for all: this is a good album filled with a multitude of cuts serving different purposes. However, it isn’t as great as it could be. More on that later.
The motivation for his project starts right off the bat with “All I Want”, the song expressing all the material and carnal desires that he has. From there, we get into similar tracks like “Headband” and “Ready”. A lot of this album will have a sound that makes itself available for club and radio spins. Any listener can see that from the inclusion “We Still In This Bitch”. Even on slower tempo tracks like “Back Me Up”, the overall flow of the album is about “getting to the money and success”.
And to be honest, I can’t fault him for that.
Even throughout the money chasing, paper stacking, cheeba smoking, and booty slapping, there are those tracks that are based on his inner thoughts and observances. “One Day” reflects over his trial and tribulations that allowed him to focus on his goals and aspirations. “Nobody Told Me” allows Bobby Ray to go over the lessons that he learned from his musical pursuits. Even with “Forever”, he realized the mortality and his adversaries over some bombastic production. Let it be known that B.O.B does take time to recognize where he been and how he got there.
The drawback that many listeners will have for this album is that, through it all, many want B.O.B to “go in more”. Before he became a signed artist, B.O.B would demonstrate lyrical gymnastics and fluid melodies over tracks. The melodies are intact on this album. However, many will say that his lyrical dynamics have taken a backseat. In short, people will want to complain that he isn’t lyrically smashing the tracks like he used to.
At the end of the day, Underground Luxury is highly listenable and actually a good album. However, he still has a chance to make that “great” album. The one thing he can do is start going harder on the tracks lyrically. It is always the lyrical content over dope production that separates the top tier from the rest. Regardless, Underground Luxury will impress those that want to ride around with banging beats and lyrics about getting the luxury while in the underground.
Sometimes, it is necessary for one to embark on the atypical and unusual. Within that journey, one should actually seek to see the worth in what they worked hard to not fully figure out. Without this, we do not “discover things for ourselves”. Also, we will eventually miss out on things we may otherwise enjoy. With that said, it is always good to try new things.
Trying new things is the spice of life. And with that spice of life, I took time to review an album that has been getting reviews from all over: Beyonce’.
Yeah, I said it: I finally gave Beyonce’ a listen. From what I heard on this album, I see why people either love her or loathe her. Beyond anything, Beyonce’ is an album that is highly listenable and worth the price of admission.
I understand that people loathe her due to her pretentiousness and wonderful ability to “toe the line”. For example, she can create the damn-near-masterful “Pretty Hurts” and “then double back with tracks like “Drunk In Love”, “Flawless”, and “Partition”. Many listeners can’t deal with Beyonce swinging on the pendulum as such. She can make a song liberating her soul and then turn around to make a track that puts her soul back into the shackles that she escaped. At the end of the day, a lot of listeners try not to deal with her music due to her musical hypocrisy.
Yet, so many people love Beyonce because she KNOWS how to craft music that is both touching and musical. As much as you want to hate her, songs like “Haunted”, “Superpower”, and “Jealous” will always be seen as highlights of an artist being personable. Even further, “Mine” is a duet that possibly delved into Beyonce’s mind as she and Drake repeats “I just wanna say you’re mine/ you’re mine/fuck what ya heard/you’re mine, you’re mine”. If you pay attention to “Flawless” and look beyond the hardcore message, it IS a song about empowerment. At the end of the day, Beyonce knows how to make a jam.
But beyond the swinging pendulum of musical aspirations, there is still an honest album filled with a track list that never gets boring. As much as people can show their chagrin for “Drunk In Love”, the song bangs. The same can be said for “Blow”, the sexual romp-turned-consequential-roller skate jam. Instead of having an album sounding the same, the tracks switch and change both their pace and production style. If anything, the naysayers can say that she works to keep the musical palette diverse.
Ending off the album with “Blue”, her dedication to her daughter, what we have is an album made by a woman that wanted to show all sides of her. Many will dislike the album for what it offers. However, there will be others that love it for that same offering. If this isn’t the album for you to get with, I understand. Still, Beyonce’ offers an unabashed look at the woman that creates the music.
Love it or hate it, you have to respect it.
Beyonce is a one woman army with plenty of amunition to cease a political war. But there’s no political rhetoric being released this time. In fact, this latest project reveals a much more explosive side of the singer that puts her alter-ego (Sasha Fierce) to shame.
Late last night, the 32-year old singer surprised us all with the unexpected release of her fifth album. The self-titled, “Beyonce”, is a compilation of very sexual and provocative songs. Outside of “Pretty Hurts” and her ode to Blue Ivy, “Blue”, the entire album showcases Beyonce’s inner-freak. It’s been a minute since we’ve heard her be so frank about love and the experience of it. From the sound of it, she knows what to do to keep her hubby Jay-Z strapped to her side.
In addition to 14 songs, the visual album also includes 17 videos. Her goal this time was to provide an entire visual experience with each song. What better way to get the listener hypnotized by the music than to actually see King Bee creatively seduce our eyes with every word and move.
If you do not have this new album, go straight to iTunes now and download it!
Individual songs will be available for purchased on December 20th.
After a few minor setbacks, YG has finally locked down the date to his first studio album release. ‘My Krazy Life’ is set to drop on March 18, 2014 on Def Jam/CTE/Pu$haz Ink. The project will be executive produced by Young Jeezy and, of course, will feature his smash hit “My N***a” with Rich Homie Quan.
YG’s entered in to the rap game just five years ago. While in high school, the Los Angeles rapper released numerous mixtapes that garnered him much respect from the community. He eventually linked up with producer DJ Mustard and the rest is history. Prophesized as the the “new Snoop and Dre”, YG and DJ Mustard’s collaborative efforts has help create the new West Coast rap movement.
YG’s next single “Left Right” is accompanied by his right hand man, DJ Mustard. This song may very well become the next big strip club anthem.
Take a listen:
“Left Right” is now on iTunes!
For the latest on YG, follow him online:
Source: Bree Jones, Cashmere Agency
December 6th, 2013
As I strolled into the venue extra early (before most people), I peeped the inside of the venue. Rose Bar is big enough to have a chill event like this. With enough space to fit a few people, but not too big so the situation becomes overwhelming. The bar is for events. Comfy seating and serene candles lit up the place to make it seem subdued. I must say that Rose Bar can feel relaxed when necessary.
Once the people started coming through, I began to notice familiar ATL musical players and mainstays. Gorilla Zoe rolled through in his black attire and iced out chain. TJ of TJ’s DJs made his rounds. And we would all expect Playboy Tre and Scotty ATL to show up on the scene. As time progressed, it was sizing up to be a noble night for ATL hip hop.
Even more interesting is how people presented themselves. Many of the patrons were smartphone/camera ready for the sake of social media patronizing. Between the plethora of Lebrons, Oreo Jordans, meggings (men leggings) and sagging pants with name brand belt buckles, you had people actually enjoying themselves. Then again, it would be pretty hard to not have at least a decent night when there was an open bar. Eventually, the marijuana smoke hit the air and it was going to be a musical night. This all made way for the grand entrance of B.O.B himself.
As soon as B.O.B stepped into the place, there was no time wasted on greeting the man of the hour. As I took pictures for people, spilling some of my cranberry-and-vodka down my sleeve in the process, I noticed that most people showed nothing but love. Even the scantly clad-body-paint women were in great spirits. After working the rounds in the bar, B.O.B began announcing his assortment of songs for his upcoming album (Underground Luxury).
From what was given, many will see that B.O.B is more concerned about “making good music”:
- “All I Want” – this track seemed to have plenty of integrity to it. Yet, it is meant to be a “true to materialism” type of song. More than anything, you will get to hear his voice recorded.
- “One Day” – with B.O.B behind the boards and DJ Toomp providing the drums, the man formally known as Bobby Ray reminisces on his days of being raised. Candler Road has helped make his personality. Now, he just needs to find that balance.
- The Future assisted “Ready” smells like a club banger.
- “Back Me Up” – pretty hard track. That is all I need to say about it.
- “Wide Open” – This track is something for the ladies. And if anyone wonders anything, they should rest assured that the ladies love this particular song.
- “Cranberry Mohawk” – as dreamy as the soundscapes became on this song, they lyrics by Bobby were still raw.
Regardless of the amazement of people seeing Wiz Khalifa in his Pyrex gear, it can be said that B.O.B wants to show the world his efficiency. Many times in the past, B.O.B had to worry about making a “balanced album” still close to his mixtape roots. After the first two major releases, there has been an industry concern of Bobby keeping it “Decatur” and not being so “pop friendly”. What B.O.B worked to do was have an album that is honest, street wise, and hard hitting all in one. For the most part, Underground Luxury will be just fine.
More photos can be found on STACKS Magazine’s Facebook page!
Special thanks to TJ Chapman’s team for the invite!
Babyface & L.A. Reid Signs New Artist KES to First Joint Deal In 25 Years [EP Stream + Free Download]
They made history with LaFace Records. Now, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and L.A. Reid are coming together again to create the next singing superstar.
The talented artist is name Kesington Kross (b.k.a. KES). He’s was born in Orange County, California, but later moved to Compton. Babyface discovered KES during a writing session and instantly knew there was something nostalgically unique about the singer/songwriter. Therefore, he introduced KES to L.A. Reid and the two immediately signed him to Epic Records as a joint venture. This is the first time in 25 years that L.A. and Babyface has done a record deal together.
For those of you music lovers who are fans of David Bowie, Rick James, and Phil Collins, will enjoy KES’s sound. He brings a modern approach to 80′s music in which he fuses rock-n-roll, R&B, and rave music together subtley, but with noticible impact.
Download here: http://www.audiomack.com/album/kes/audio-justice-ep .
Source: Audible Treats
Over the weekend, rapper Yo Gotti stopped through Atlanta for an album signing and club appearance. As you know, his first studio album “I AM” is currently in-stores and Yo Gotti has been on the road for months promoting the project.
This Saturday, November 29, he stopped through DBS Sounds (in Riverdale) to greet the fans and show love. STACKS Magazine was onsite to capture the moment as the Memphis-native autographed copies of the album and took pictures with his supporters. Here’s a few pics from the in-store:
The in-store was hosted by Streetz 94.5FM.
via press release…
With over 120 million views to his YouTube channel, and the recent explosive success of labelmates Dizzy Wright and Jarren Benton, Funk Volume label co-founder Hopsin adds fuel to his already game-changing firestorm with the release of his long awaited sophomore album Knock Madness. Known for explicitly detailing his struggle toward success as an independent artist, as well as scorching critiques of the current state of hip-hop music and its effects on youth culture, the new album finds Hopsin conveying various emotional states. From delving into sorrow and grief in “Old Friend” to the witty, abrasive and blunt “Hop is Back,” which featured widely discussed jabs at Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West, Hopsin provides conceptual versatility with Knock Madness. The album features a guest appearance from Tech N9ne as well as appearances from Dizzy Wright, Jarren Benton, SwizZz and more.
Hopsin is heavily involved in every step of the production of his music as co-founder of his indie label Funk Volume as well as his videos in which he acts, directs and edits. His multitude of talents have gained him over 647,000 YouTube subscribers and the video for KM’s second single “Hop Is Back” has over 2 million YouTube views since its debut. Hopsin and Funk Volume have also recently released their documentary, Independent Living, available for streaming or purchase here. After being available for only a day, Knock Madness has already received a warm response from HipHopDX, who deemed it, “a perfect album for die-hard fans & his bar-for-bar execution and self-awareness yield a solid listen.” The album has hit the #2 spot on the iTunes Hip-Hop charts and #4 on the overall charts.
Knock Madness Track Listing:
1. The Fiends Are Knocking
2. Hop Is Back
3. Who’s There (ft. Jarren Benton & Dizzy Wright)
4. Tears to Snow
5. Rip Your Heart Out (ft. Tech N9ne)
6. Nollie Tre Flip
7. Gimme That Money
8. I Need Help
9. Hip-Hop Sinister
10. Good Guys Get Left Behind
11. Bad Manners Freestyle
12. Old Friend
13. Still Got Love For You
14. Jungle Bash (ft. SwizZz)
15. Lunch Time Cypher (ft. Passionate MC & G-Mo Skee)
16. Dream Forever
17. What’s My Purpose
18. Caught In The Rain
1/18/14 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst
1/19/14 – San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
1/21/14 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
1/22/14 – Reno, NV @ Knitting Factory
1/23/14 – Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall
1/24/14 – Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
1/25/14 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox Market
1/26/14 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
1/28/14 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
1/29/14 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Murray Theater
1/30/14 – Fort Collins, CO @ Aggie Theater
1/31/14 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
2/01/14 – Denver, CO @ Cervantes
2/04/14 – Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theater
2/05/14 – Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theater
2/06/14 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Cabooze
2/07/14 – Iowa City, IA @ The Blue Moose
2/08/14 – St. Louis, MO @ Pop’s Nightclub
2/09/14 – Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
2/11/14 – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
2/12/14 – Bloomington, IL @ The Castle Theater
2/13/14 – Louisville, KY @ Headliner’s Music Hall
2/14/14 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrew’s Hall
2/15/14 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
2/16/14 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
2/17/14 – Columbus, OH @ Skully’s Music Diner
2/18/14 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
2/19/14 – Syracuse, NY @ Wescott Theater
2/21/14 – Philadelphia, PA @ TLA
2/22/14 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
2/23/14 – Boston, MA @ Middle East
2/25/14 – Northampton, MA @ Pearl Street
2/26/14 – Poughkeepsie, NY @ Chance Theater
2/27/14 – Washington, DC @ Howard Theater
2/28/14 – Baltimore, MD @ Soundstage
3/01/14 – Greensboro, NC @ Greene St.
3/05/14 – Jacksonville, FL @ Freebird Live
3/06/14 – Orlando, FL @ Plaza Live
3/07/14 – Tampa, FL @ Orpheum Theater
3/12/14 – New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
3/13/14 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues
3/16/14 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
3/19/14 – Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theater
3/21/14 – Los Angeles, CA @ Yost Theater
3/22/14 – Los Angeles, CA @ Glasgow Cathouse
Hopsin – “The Fiends Are Knocking”
Purchase Knock Madness on CD with special 3D artwork, exclusively here:
Purchase Knock Madness via Amazon:
Purchase Knock Madness here via iTunes:
Source: Audible Treats
It’s been 20 years since “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)” was released by one of hip hop’s most influential rap groups. Wu-Tang’s affect on the culture made labels, music lovers, and corporations realize the potential rap had from a production, lyrical, and merchandising standpoint. In the mist of their 20 year anniversary comeback, their highly anticipated new album (unfortunately) hangs in a balance.
See, the group’s head RZA recently revealed that the process in making their new album “A Better Tomorrow” has been difficult. He told the Associated Press…
“When you’re a young man, you’re hustling and you’ve got 12 hours a day to dedicate to music. It might be more than that,” said the rapper, whose real name is Robert Diggs, in a phone interview. “The energy that’s important is constantly pouring out. But when you’ve got to go seek for the energy, it becomes a little more difficult. Wu-Tang is forever, I’ll never take back that statement. But we haven’t recorded a lot of studio albums. This is the first album we’ve recorded in seven years, actually. And we can’t wait seven years for another album.”
RZA foresees a future where the spirit of the Wu-Tang Clan lives on in the children of the original nine members of the New York-based collective and in the untold scores of rappers, producers and entrepreneurs influenced by the group – folks like Drake, whose “Wu-Tang Forever” drew a lot of attention earlier this year. He’s had trouble wrapping up the collective’s plans in the now, though.
Although RZA estimates the album will be finished by the top of the 2014, the recording process has also been a drag because of the lack of participation by Raekwon. The riff between the two has been made public, but many fans are confused as to why Raekwon isn’t so enthused by the new project.
In an interview with RapFix, Raekwon expressed that there’s a disconnect with the group’s individual opinions about the album and their approach at this historical reunion.
“The bottom line is: Of course I want to see a Wu-Tang reunion. Of course. Who wouldn’t? I just want everything to be right, the business. When we made a lot of our great music, it was because we were in harmony. You cannot put guys together if there is no harmony, and on top of it, we’re doing business. As a man with children, I have to always look at that. It’s bigger than sometimes just the thought of it, the fact of it, it just gotta make sense.”
Is there money issues still brewing between the members? In the past, there were rumors that the dismantle of the group was due to RZA’s control over the business. We wonder if Raekwon still feel some type of way about it. Regardless, the fans are waiting patiently on “A Better Tomorrow”. Wu-Tang, as an entire unit, would give her legacy another great look if they can come together on this project. If the album is released without Raekwon, it just wouldn’t be right.
Hopefully, the guys will iron out their differences soon.
R. Kelly was serious when he said this was going to be a modern version of 12 Play. His upcoming album Black Panties is full of sexual heat and is press play ready for any romantic night with a significant other.
Over the past month or so, R. Kelly has releases a few songs from the album. Also, he’s let go a few snippets via his Instagram page. This week, however, he’s released a new song called “Lights On”. The song features lyrics confirming that there’s no need to turn the light off during a session of steamy lovemaking. Take a listen to the song below:
Black Panties drops December 10. The 13-track album will feature Ludacris, Jeezy, Kelly Rowland, and 2 Chainz. Fans will also have the option to buy the deluxe version, which includes four additional songs featuring Future, Migos, and Juicy J. Check out the full tracklisting:
1. Legs Shakin’ (Featuring Ludacris)
3. Throw This Money on You
5. Marry the Pussy
6. You Deserve Better
8. All the Way (Featuring Kelly Rowland)
9. My Story (Featuring 2 Chainz)
10. RiGht Back
11. Spend That (Featuring Jeezy)
12. Crazy Sex
13. Shut Up
Tear It Up (Featuring Future)
Show Ya Pussy (Featuring Migos & Juicy J)
The holiday is here and what better way to get into the spirit than through music. Two good Christmas albums were dropped recently by two of our favorite R&B artists, Mary J. Blige and Tamar Braxton.
Mary J. Blige’s “A Mary Christmas” was released on October 15. The 12-track boasts a few notable features from The Clark Sisters (“The First Noel”), Marc Anthony (“Silent Night”), and Jesse J (“Do You Hear What I Hear”). One surprising duet on the album is with the legendary Barbara Streisand and Chris Botti on “When You Wish Upon A Star”. Included with the bonus edition of the album is a 64-page booklet of exclusive photos of Mary J’s family and favorite holiday memories.
Watch a video of the Queen of Hip Hop and R&B’s rendition of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” below:
The youngest sibling in the Braxton clan, Tamar, also blessed her fans with a holiday album. “Winters Loversland” includes 10 tracks which showcases the singing sensations modern take on some old classics. The album only offers up one feature and that is from her sister Trina Braxton on “The Chipmunk Song”.
1. “Sleigh Ride”
2. “Santa Baby”
3. “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”
4. “No Gift”
5. “Away in a Manger”/”Little Drummer Boy”
6. “Merry Christmas Darling”
7. “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” feat. Trina Braxton
8. “She Can Have You”
9. “Silent Night”
10. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
Both albums can be purchased on iTunes, Amazon, and other music outlets.
On another note…
Over the years, many artists have released Christmas albums. It has become one of those things to do in addition to the normal albums that are released. Consumers have became accustomed to the offerings of their favorite artists take on various holiday-inspired songs. And as such, have proven that Christmas albums do indeed sell.
Take a look at Nielsen Soundscan’s “American” list of the Top 10 Best-Selling Christmas/Holiday Albums…
- Miracles: The Holiday Album / Kenny G ~ 7,277,000 sold
- Noël / Josh Groban ~ 5,550,000 sold
- Merry Christmas / Mariah Carey ~ 5,261,000 sold
- These Are Special Times / Celine Dion ~ 5,257,000 sold
- Christmas in the Aire / Mannheim Steamroller ~ 3,735,000 sold
- A Fresh Aire Christmas / Mannheim Steamroller ~ 3,645,000 sold
- Mannheim Steamroller Christmas / Mannheim Steamroller ~ 3,493,000 sold
- Now That’s What I Call Christmas! / various artists ~ 3,443,000 sold
- Christmas Eve and Other Stories / Trans-Siberian Orchestra ~ 3,347,000 sold
- A Charlie Brown Christmas / Vince Guaraldi Trio ~ 3,226,000 sold
What is your favorite Christmas album? What are you’re thoughts on holiday albums, in general?
Mario Mims b.k.a Yo Gotti‘s long-awaited studio album is finally here. The 15-year independent grind for the Memphis native has paid off in an unique way. Known as a true advocate of the dope boy/street rap, Gotti has always maintained street credibility in and out the music game. But he’s signed to EPIC Records and now his music has the ability to reach broader audiences. So, does this mean he must change his tune? Does he need clean up his content? Uh…nope. He’s still Yo Gotti.
There’s something to be said about a man that has waited this long to sign to a major label. He’s his own man. And that’s why many of his peers respect him.
On his new project I AM, gives his core fan base just what they wanted. That real sh-t. Although, Yo Gotti ventured out a little with the production, he’s done a good job at maintaining the integrity of his sound, his story, and what he stands for. Features on the album includes T.I., Jeezy, Rich Homie Quan, Meek Mill, J. Cole, Ne-Yo, Wale, Kendall Morgan, and Canei Finch. Production credits includes Metro Boomin, Honorable C-Note, The Youngstars, P-Lo, and others.
1. I Am
2. Don’t Come Around (Feat. Kendall Morgan)
3. I Know (Feat. Rich Homie Quan)
5. F-U (Feat. Meek Mill)
6. Pride to the Side
7. Cold Blood (Feat. J. Cole and Canei Finch)
8. LeBron James
9. Die a Real Ni**a
10. King Sh*t (Feat. T.I.)
11. Respect That You Earn (Feat. Ne-Yo and Wale)
12. ION Want It
13. Act Right (Feat. Jeezy and YG)
Go cop that “I AM” now on iTunes!
In case you missed his latest video featuring T.I., check out “King Sh-t” below:
Damn Lady GaGa…
The fashionably courageous and talented Lady GaGa couldn’t use her best costume to save her this time. According to the charts, her latest album release ArtPop only secured 260,000 copies sold in its first week. Although fans and other alternative music lovers say her album is good, to her record label the project was a major #FAIL.
Lady GaGa’s last album Born This Way sold over $1 million copies in one week, due largely to a great marketing strategy of selling it on Amazon for just .99 cent. In addition, since her first release in 2008, GaGa has sold over 24 million albums and 125 million singles worldwide. So, what the hell happened this time around?
Some blame the lack of promotion behind ArtPop. But, insiders say that Interscope Records set aside $25 million to help push the project. With hardly any records sold, the record label is being forced to take a loss. When that happens, most companies have no choice but to lay off employees. Because of Lady GaGa’s flop, it is expected that up to 50 or so employees will be let go before the holidays.
Pusha T has been hyping this new album up since he appeared on Kanye’s track “Runaway”. Then again, that was the true emergence of Pusha T the solo artist and not ½ of The Clipse. He threw a test press of what he had to offer with his earlier mixtape Fear of God and Wrath of Caine. As cool as it was, it did not show his true potential to make undeniable music. Still, with previous releases of tracks like “Nosetalgia” and “Money On The Boards”, Pusha’s buzz was hard to eclipse.
After a few good thorough listens to My Name Is My Name, it can be easily said that Pusha T is going extremely hard.
What I like the most is that he reaches for his own lane. Instead of hearing production from Pharrell all over this album, you get a bevy of producers to give him a different sound. The throwback era sounding “Numbers On The Boards” is easily an audible treat due to ominous production. The Kanye West and Hudson Mohawke produced “Hold On” gains plenty of punch from the auto-tuned wailing and piano driven loop. When you actually get to hear Pharrell, you got either the off-beat sounding “Suicide” or the dry dopeness in “S.N.I.T.C.H.”. The biggest strength of the production is the detour off the beaten Pharrell path that Pusha T took.
Regardless of the diverse production, Pusha T still keeps his hands to the gravel (i.e. he continues to go hard). With tracks like “Nosetalgia” and “King Push”, there is no doubt about where the lyrics will be the majority of the time. With “King Push”, he has lyrics like “vultures to my culture/exploit the struggle/insult ya/they name droppin’about King coppin’/never been a foot soldier” booming through the ears. In comparison, “Nosetalgia” has him being extra flippant on the mic with “started off as a baby face monster/no wonder its diaper rash on my conscience/my teething ring was numbed by that nonsense”. Seeming no worse for wear, Pusha T still have the abrasively arrogant and agile lyrics that got him where he is today.
Pusha T achieved three main things on this album. For one, he proved that he could make a comprehensive project without all of his production coming from Pharrell. Another feat he achieved is holding on to his own personality and not conforming. Even bigger than the previous achievements is the fact that his album is purely dope. With all those things going for him, there is little doubt that listeners will have any problems with the name Pusha T.
Not one to follow the standards of other artists, Master P has come up with a great marketing idea for his next project.
In an recent exclusive interview with AllHipHop.com, the New Orleans businessman/rapper revealed that he plans to give a lucky winner $10,000 this holiday season. His upcoming album The Gift is scheduled for release on December 6. With a copy of the album, each fan will receive golden lottery ticket inserted inside. The ticket will then be entered into a raffle. One winner will be announced on December 23 just in time for Christmas.
Master P says the reason behind his decision to be extremely generous this year of the economy and families not being able to do for themselves.
“With the holidays approaching and the economy being the way it is, many families will be unable to buy gifts for their loved ones and that’s why I want to give everyone The Gift. Most importantly, I will be able to use my gift of music to help give back to underprivileged kids in many communities, and give them a chance to receive Christmas gifts that they would normally not be able to afford. It is my hope that this will encourage other artists to join me in this movement.”
In addition to the lottery ticket, Master P will also hosting a toy drive.
Kudos to the No Limit Soldier for always thinking about the community first!
Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, and the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes has been staples in the music industry for 20 years now. To mark their anniversary, the group will release a compilation album of their greatest hits on Tuesday, October 15. One song to be included on the album is written by Ne-yo and called “Meant To Be.” The production on this record is strangely reminiscent of the group’s signature sound that made them the #1 Best Selling “American” Girl Group of all time. Take a listen below:
We, also, mentioned in July that fans will get a chance to see how the girls career played out in a upcoming biopic. The movie will air on VH1, October 21 at 9/8c.
Glenn Lewis is back. The 90′s R&B singer is vying to bring back that feel good love music. His new album Moment of Truth is set to drop on October 15 on RuffHouse/Capitol Records.
To kick start the project, he’s released a nice semi-reggae track with the lovely Melanie Fiona. The song “All My Love”, produced by Bilal, gives the meaning of what a relationship and loving someone is supposed to be.
Sounds like Glenn may be on to something. Can’t wait to hear the album in its entirety!
Nelly Drops “M.O.” w/features from T.I., 2 Chainz, Nicki Minaj & More + “Ciroc & Simply Lemonade” feat. Yo Gotti
St. Louis rapper and businessman Nelly released his seventh studio album today. It has been close to three years since the “Country Grammar” artist dropped his last project (“5.0″). Nelly has released two singles earlier this year (“Hey Porsche” and “Get Like Me”) to luke warm reviews. However, critics and fans are glad to see that he’s continuing his music career. It says a lot for an artist to be on his seventh album. Not every one get an opportunity to do that.
Nelly recently gave an explanation on what this album represents for him. “First of all, I’m excited that I get a chance to do a seventh album. [Laughs.] Also, being 14 years later [since Country Grammar was released], being able to do a lot of great things in 14 years and represent somewhere that a lot of people don’t get to represent, especially in the music business and definitely in the hip-hop game. I stand for the Midwest. That’s why the album’s titled M.O., ‘cause I’m still holding it down like that. My friends and family all call me Mo, so it’s kind of like really representing where I’m from and me at the same time.” (Complex)
On M.O., Nelly has enlisted a lot of big names to help him achieve the success he was had. Besides “Get Like Me” which features Nicki Minaj and Pharrell, his close friend T.I. is on the album. Also, Future, Snoop Dogg, Daley, Trey Songz, 2 Chainz, Fabolous, Yo Gotti, and a few others. The album contains 12 tracks with an additional 4 on the deluxe version. Production credits on the project goes to Pharrell, Detail, Justice League, and John SK McGee to name a few.
Check out the official tracklist below:
1. Get Like Me – feat. Nicki Minaj, Pharrell
2. Give U Dat – feat. Future
3. Rick James – feat. T.I.
4. Heaven – feat. Daley
5. Maryland, Massachusetts
6. 100K – feat. 2 Chainz
7. All Around The World – feat. Trey Songz
8. IDGAF – feat. Pharrell, T.I.
9. U Know U Want To
10. My Chick Better – feat. Fabolous & Wiz Khalifa
11. Walk Away – feat. Florida Georgia Line
12. Headphones – feat. Nelly Furtado
13. Ciroc & Simply Lemonade – feat. Yo Gotti
14. Hey Porsche
15. Shake Whatever
16. Mo’s Focused
LISTEN: ”Ciroc & Simply Lemonade” feat. Yo Gotti
Go support your boy Nelly and cop that album!!!
Two members from my favorite R&B group of all time, K-Ci and Jo Jo, has returned with some new music. “My Brother’s Keeper” is the new project from the brothers. In true R&B form, K-Ci and Jo Jo gives fan that classic soul music on this 20+ track album. To see if the boys still got it, Pandora is offering a free stream of their project on its website. From now until September 30, fans can listen to My Brother’s Keeper in its entirety.
Click this LINK to listen!
Tuesday, September 24, Atlanta’s Museum Bar welcomed music lovers for a special album release party. Musiq Soulchild and Syleena Johnson has combined their talents to create a new reggae album.
Yes, reggae. Sounds strange doesn’t it…given the fact that neither one of them are known to sing that genre of music. But hey, talent is talent…right?
Anyway, the ‘9INE‘ album release party brought out many supporters and celebrity friends. STACKS Magazine was on site to get exclusive photos from the event. Check out a few of them below:
’9INE’ is now available on iTunes. In case you need a preview of what to expect from their new album, check out “Promise” below and let us know what you think.