We first heard of Kap G during the AC3 Hip Hop Music Festival. He performed the infectious “Jose’ Got Them Tacos” and suddenly a fan was born. It’s something about witnessing an authentic Latino rapping about Migos stuff. Not taking away from any other rapper who uses the Spanish language. But, the lingo just comes off with more integrity if a REAL Hispanic uses the native language.
Anyway, Kap G has a new mixtape out. Like A Mexican gets the “thumbs up” from DJ Drama‘s The Academy. Hosted by DJ Blu and DJ Ray G, the project features quite a few heavy-hitters, which seems to have the possibility to be very beneficial for the rapper. On the mixtape, production credits are earned by Bangladesh, Drumma Boy, Pharrell Williams, Fat Boi, Squat Beats, Durdy Beats and Kid Cray. Fellow rappers featured on the project are Jeezy, Chingo Bling, Young Dolph, Wiz Khalifa, Kirko Bangz, and Spenzo.
Listen to the streaming audio below and download Like A Mexican now on Livemixtapes.com!
EXCLUSIVE: Alabama Rapper, JABO, Breaks Down the ‘Anatomy of a Street Genius’, Sidechick Issues, & Impact of Doe B’s Death
There always seem to be some concern when a college educated artist talk about street life in their songs. We’ve heard the whispers when 2 Chainz starting making real moves. Before him, Florida rapper Plies received backlash from various critics. Eventually, however, the hate faded away from both artists. They went on to build very successful music careers. So, does having an education REALLY disqualify a person’s “street cred”? It should’t.
Artist such as Birmingham, AL’s Javan Micah Ishman a.k.a. Jabo, is an example of how both worlds can intertwine with one another. His latest mixtape, Anatomy of a Street Genius, is described as a musical “collection of street and the intellectual combined together.” And what’s wrong with that if you grew up in that environment? Nothing. Jabo, like many others, didn’t allow the hardships (and the temporary luxuries) of the street life persuade him to go all-in. Although he could have easily gone that route, he decided to head to Alabama State University to further his education. But, while in college, Jabo painstakingly endured the same struggles that plague many of our neighborhoods…gun violence. He was shot twice during an attempted robbery. Then later, lost his catalog of music when a friends’ studio was robbed.
If you had to sum up Jabo’s 26 years of life, you can almost relate it to the parents and great-grandparents who survived Alabama’s civil rights movement. Growing up in one of the main focal areas of the Black struggle, Jabo embodies the spirit of perseverance and strength. And his personal testimony reads as such. After the loss of his music and being a victim to gun violence, he made the choice to continue pursuing a rap career. In an exclusive interview with STACKS Magazine, Jabo attributed his passion in life and music to his humble upbringings.
“We come from a place where, you know, people were raised by their grandparents. We had older people in the community that looked out for each other. It really ain’t like that no more. These days you got young people who’s parent that really ain’t caring what they kids do. They ripping and running. We knew Ms. Such-n-such will get you. Or Ms. Such-n-such will get you and you can’t go outside or you will get whooped the whole way down the block until you get home. You know what I mean. So its like, that’s where the soulfulness comes from. That sense of just being…feeling like we had to stick together to survive. Like when they say “it take a village..” In a way, yes it kinda do. The whole civil rights thing. That bring alot into it. That soulfulness. It’s just a real passion from where I come from.”
As an artist-on-the-rise, Jabo understands that the business of music can be as hateful as well. Sharing a little advice to other aspiring artists, the West Side Birmingham-native believes that conducting research can solve a lot of problems. Also, he insists that you have to be smart in where you spend your money and be willing to take risks.
“For somebody that’s coming out of high school, I would say at least give college a try. Go to college, give that a shot. You learn so many basic tools that you’ll need in this industry in college. Like how to deal with people in the corporate world. Most college professors will deal with you corporately. They are not your friends. They deal with you on a corporate level and that’s how the industry deal with you too. As far as the money aspect, I think you need to be smart on how you spend your money. Spend it in the right spots and you’ll be very successful. A lot of people have the money, but they just spend it in the wrong places. By the time they look around they’ve kind of blew through their budget. Nothing really happens for them. But, if you are spending that money in the right spots – and I’m not saying I know where all the right spots are – you got to get out there and shake the tree a little bit. You are going to make mistakes. You can’t be scared to take risks, can’t be scared to lose either. It is all a gamble. Once other people see that you are not afraid to lose (and you’ll gamble with your own money), they have more confidence in you. They see that this young man ain’t scared to lick the bottom of the barrel to come back up. So, I know if I put a little push behind him, he can stay up and he won’t fall.
It’s all about being smart and doing your research. A lot of people get into this without even Google’n “How to get your music on the radio”. It might be right there. But, we don’t even do the research. Researching, being smart with your money, spending it in the right places, and building relationships with people. So many people burn bridges at the early stages of their career because they think they’re “here” when they are really “here”. And when they burn the bridge, it’s like they go to try and…[move back up]. You can’t burn a bridge with people. Relationships last for a lifetime.”
Jabo’s viewpoint of “needing” college – or some form of education – to help an artist understand the business was perfect. Oftentimes we hear that school isn’t needed and that there are self-made millionaires who’ve never attended college. Although that may be true, at some point that millionaire had to read a book or ask questions to find out what next steps to take. So, Jabo should be applauded for understanding its [education's] importance.
On his latest project Anatomy of a Street Genius, listeners will hear a mixture of a lot of things. Jabo’s content mixes the negative with the positive, but maintains its local integrity with the production choices. He also features industry allies, Slim Thug and the late Doe B, on a couple joints. New York rapper Jadakiss is also featured on Jabo’s breakout hit “What I’m About”. During our discussion, he opens up about his relationships with Slim Thug and Jadakiss. He also explains the impact of Doe B’s death on the state of Alabama.
Jabo’s humble spirit and educated know-how has the potential to make him the next big thing. So many artists lose their way while reaching for success. After several unfortunate setbacks, Jabo’s still standing but is grateful for each step of his journey. If he continues to embody the spirit of his local civil rights heroes, Jabo has a great chance at becoming the star Alabama has long awaited for.
To stay updated on Jabo’s upcoming tour schedule and latest news, visit www.JaboEnt.com or follow him via Twitter/Instagram/Facebook @JaboEnt !
Who knew that musical talent runs in the Minaj household. Apparently, Nicki Minaj isn’t the only one than belt out a note or two.
Carol Minaj recently posted a brief audio of her new song “God’s Been Good”. The gospel song is reported to be included on a full album project, stated to be released sometime this year.
If you want to check out Ms. Minaj’s songbird abilities, listen to the snippet below:
What do you think? Does Carol Minaj have a shot at musical stardom?
VIDEO: Fans Show Major Love During HBK Day + @Iamsu feat. @2Chainz & @SagetheGemini – “Only That Real”
via press release…
Last weekend Iamsu! and his HBK Gang brethren threw a series of events to celebrate HBK Day, including an in-store event to launch his limited-edition capsule collection release with Pink Dolphin, followed by a free secret show that night. Last Saturday, over a thousand fans rushed to Pink Dolphin’s flagship store in San Francisco, waiting in a line that wrapped around the block, to meet Iamsu! and get first dibs on the release of his 8-piece capsule collection.
Fans also received an exclusive CD and a wristband granting free entry to a secret show at Brick & Mortar Music Hall later that night. The CD, Su’s Camo EP, includes several previously unreleased songs in addition to “I Love My Squad,” which was featured on the L.A. Leakers’ latest mixtape and his latest single “Only That Real,” featuring 2 Chainz and Sage the Gemini, which the trio recently shot a video for. The energy at the Pink Dolphin store translated to a high-octane concert, as the jam-packed audience waved their hands and rapped along with Iamsu, P-Lo, Skipper, Kool John, CJ, Rossi, and Jay Ant throughout the HBK Gang’s performance.
Iamsu! is gearing up for the release of his upcoming debut album Sincerely Yours and will soon begin his Only That Real Tour, stopping by for a few shows at SXSW 2014. Tour dates here: http://tinyurl.com/OnlyThatRealTour .
Other forthcoming HBK Gang releases include Sage the Gemini’s debut album Remember Me on March 25th and Kool John’s mixtape Shmop Life on April 7th.
HBK DAY Recap:
In case you missed Iamsu’s joint with 2 Chainz and Sage the Gemini, take a listen below:
Source: Audible Treats
If you are a veteran artist, you should know a thing or two about copyrights. If you are a newbie to the music industry, then here is the perfect opportunity for you to learn. But regardless of the time frame in which you as an artist have been affiliated with the business, many of you still misunderstand the specifics regarding copyrights. Thus, we hear of copyright infringement lawsuits and wonder how did the artist get himself or herself in such a financial mess.
Well, copyrights are tricky. When the concept of copyrights was first outlined in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution in 1787, Congress later established specific ground rules regarding infringing upon those rights (i.e. 1909 U.S. Copyright Law, 1976 Copyright Revision Act, and the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act). These laws helped artists understand the various types of “works” that are protected.
Types of “Works” Protected By Copyright Laws
- Musical works (words included)
- Dramatic works (musical compositions included)
- Motion pictures
- Other Audiovisual works
- Sound Recordings
These “works” are not protected, however, if they do not contain these statutes: an original work of authorship and a tangible medium of expression that is now known and later developed. In other words, you must prove that you are the ORIGINAL OWNER/AUTHOR of the work. Secondly, the work must be solid and/or material enough that it is recognized and can be proven to have been later developed.
Your exclusive rights are spelled out in the laws. Exclusive rights apply to each individual work created by the author. Although this may seem a bit confusing, Brabec’s ‘Music Money And Success’ book does a great job at clearly defining each law:
1. “The right to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords.” – This right includes the ability to authorize copies of a work that are fixed in practically any form, including tapes, records, CDs, and sheet music.
2. “The right to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work.” – This very important right allows a copyright owner to authorize arrangements, motion picture adaptations, abridgements, translations, sound recordings and so on the that are based on the copyrighted work.
3. “The right to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work on the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease or lending. ” – This right gives the copyright owner initial control over the first authorized record or copy of the work. After the first “copy” is authorized, all others may record the work simply by complying with the compulsory licensing provisions of the act.
4. “The right to perform the copyrighted work publicly. ” – Financially, this is one of copyright’s most important rights, as it forms the basis of all ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC licensing, as well as the direct and source licensing of music users.
5. “The right to display the copyrighted work publicly.” This right authorizes individual images of a wok such as projecting an image of the copyrighted work on a screen.
6. “In the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.”
BUT…with most laws, there are provisions or ways to maneuver around the laws. Exclusive rights can be exempt is the artists’ work is reproduced under the “fair use” rule. “Fair Use” exemptions include reproductions used by educational facilities/programs, religious performances, charity or non-profit performances, and even home-based performances can be used without the authorization of the copyright owner.
One last factor to note…copyrights can be and are oftentimes transferred to another party. The creator of the work MUST authorize the copyright transfer through written agreement…signed (and sometimes notarized).
Pharrell’s new joint featuring Justin Timberlake, “Brand New“, puts me in mind of Michael Jackson. The tone of their voices and the beat they’re singing on has MJ inspiration written all over it. This song is on G I R L, Pharrell’s new album, which was just released.
It’s about time these two finally reunite and remind the audience what they can do as a team. Check the song out; let us know what you think of it.
By: LaQuesha Williams, contributing intern for STACKS Magazine
NEW MIXTAPE: @SnoopDogg x @DJDrama – ‘That’s My Work Vol. 3′ + VIDEO: “What’s Your Pleasure” feat. @DazDillinger
Snoop D-O-G-G…sure knows how to maintain his place in the game. This time he shows us that the love for the music will never cease with the release of “That’s My Work Vol. 3″. The third installment to his TMW series continues with DJ Drama and features from several of his peers: Kurupt, Daz, Warren G just to name a few.
If you were a letting put off by Uncle Snoop’s reggae-inspired album, hopefully this new mixtape can regain your faith in one of rap’s beloved emcees.
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
A snippet of this track actually premiered in January on ATL’s Streetz 94.5 Morning Grind show. But, the full version was never released. Somehow, a full version made it to our mailbox last night. Was it leaked??!!
Back in January, “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” co-stars Stevie J and Joseline Hernandez visited the show to discuss their lives and relationship. During their visit, the city of Atlanta were the first ones to hear a snippet of the new song, which was recorded with singer/songwriter, Kandi Burruss.
Although the sound was a bit faint, the song is called “Goin Down” and features Stevie singing the panties off of the ladies. True to the R&B flavor of the 90′s, Kandi and Stevie’s collaboration may surprise fans.
Listen and/or download the leak by clicking HERE!
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF “GOIN DOWB”? IS IT A HIT OR NAH?
OK so…if you purchased Beyonce’s self-titled album, then you’ve been privy to the accompanying visuals she included in the iTunes purchase. Videos for all of the tracks were included, which gave fans an opportunity to see first hand a birds eye understanding of what each song meant to Beyonce. Well, one of those highly sexual tracks has been officially released as a new single. And guess what? The clean version of the song has been released in video format as well.
“Partition”, which happens to be a fan favorite, shows Beyonce in all her glory as she seduces her husband Jay-Z throughout a dreamy night in Paris. Jay-Z rightfully appears in the video and can be seen fully enjoying himself as he wife seduces him with strip tease acts and back-seat love shots. These two personifies what a marriage should ALSO entail…love, seduction, and sex sex sex!
Watch video below and let us know what you think.
With the success of his highly successful, “Happy”, Skateboard P aka Pharrell is moving forward with the release of his next solo project. the new album titled, G I R L, will hit stores on March 3rd. The album features from Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, Daft Punk, Alicia Keys, Jo Jo, and others.
Fans can now stream the album for FREE now on iTunes…CLICK HERE!
YG dropped the visuals for his chart-topping hit”My N*gga“. The video features Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Rich Homie Quan, and MMG’s Meek Mill.
Check it out below:
YG’s long anticipated My Krazy Life drops March 18. Pre-order the album now on iTunes!
Estelle dropped a new EP, Love & Happiness, Vol. 3: How Stella Got Her Groove Back. The EP boasts 4 tracks and an intro, which includes a provocative tune, “Make Her Say (Beat It Up)”. Estelle is scheduled to also release her fourth album this year.
1. “Stella Intro”
2. “Make Her Say (Beat It Up)”
3. “Drunk & High Convo”
4. “Drunk and High”
To download a copy of her latest EP, visit www.EstelleDarlings.com.
Gabe Lustman, better known as GABE, born originally from New Orleans, LA, the birthplace of Jazz and a great mixture of music, but currently resides in Atlanta, GA.
Humming and singing melodies before he could talk, a sure indication of the direction his life was headed for.
Traveling around the world with his family gave GABE a great perspective to different cultures, rhythms and styles. The more he travel the more he learned. His late father was a career Navy man who loved the sounds of The Temptations, The Who and The Beatles, to name a few. GABE says, “Listening to the pioneers of Pop/ R&B/ Rock influences was captivating, uplifting and gave me a desire for expression.”
During his elementary years, GABE was so intrigued with music that he joined the school choir to pursue further vocal training.
After performing in a 9th grade talent show, GABE decided to pursue a career in singing. He spent 6 hours a day in the bathroom with cassette tapes dubbed from his Dads CD’s and Radio listening to The Temptations, The Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Michael Jackson, Prince, 98 degrees and Usher.
During high school sporting events, GABE sang The National Anthem in front of student faculty and peers. In 2006 he had his first collaboration with Minneapolis Producer Ricky Oyaro and was introduced to studio recording.
GABE has been tagged as a genius at work. While pursuing his career he met Minneapolis Pop Group LS3. While rehearsing with GABE singing lead to one of LS3 songs acapella on the rooftop set of MTV’s Top Pop Group, Craig Ferguson overheard them singing and sent his Executive Producer “Cole” out to ask them if they would be the musical guest to the Craig Ferguson Late Late Show on CBS.
From there this fantastic ride took him to collaborate with J.R. Rotem (Beluga Heights), Kay Gee (Divine Mill), Jai (Nextwun) at this point it was felt that GABE should be a solo artist, that’s when the persona of GABE really appeared.
As a solo artist, GABE had gained a wide audience of listeners, spectators and attendees to attend his live shows and global appeal worldwide. This prolific artist has been on tour with Chris Brown, Trey Songz and Cherish.
GABE songs have been aired on radio in Minneapolis, Atlanta and Michigan.
GABE has appeared on internet radio stations here in America as well as France, London, Australia and many others stations.
GABE has performed at Georgia State University, First Ave (Minneapolis), Café 290 (Atlanta) and released a mix tape with the help of production team JDP Productions, recorded “The Take Off,” (2010) selling 2000 copies independently in the first week and shortly after following up with “State Of Emergency” (2011) accumulating over 100,000 downloads in the first month of release. His most recent mix tape “The Memoirs” (2012) is currently circulating the web on varies Music Blogs & Youtube.
GABE brands all of his songs by writing all of his own lyrics and melodies. Working with him is a musicians dream.
Watch “Changed” below:
Tiffany Foxx dropped a video for “Renegade“, which is a familiar tune originally recorded by Jay-Z on his sixth album, The Blueprint. However, the St. Louis femcee puts her twist on the Eminem-produced track and does a great job at maintaining its integrity.
Check it out below:
“Renegade” will more than likely be featured on her upcoming mixtape, King Foxx. Its release date was originally on Valentine’s Day. No word yet on the new release date.
“Lift every voice and sing till earth and heaven ring, ring with the harmonies of liberty.” These words were written by James W. Johnson in the early 1900s as poem and were later made into a song when Johnsons’ brother added music to the poem. This song quickly became known as “The Negro National Anthem.”
Lyrics and music once meant something in our community and had a significant meaning to it. But, that was a long time ago…before we met artist like Khia, Lil Wayne, Beyoncé, etc.
During the 17th century, when blacks were slaves and unable to get an education, they relied on doing everything orally. They would make-up folktales/songs to make the time go by, and these were passed down from generation to generation. They [folktales] were very popular within the African-American community. These songs would be about life, religion, becoming free etc. But, our music has changed dramatically since that time. Now, whenever I turn my radio on, the lyrics I hear are about sex, disrespect to women, curse words, and several other things that would cause our ancestors to roll over in their graves. Several people in our communities don’t know anything about the genre of music that was once called “Negro Spirituals.”
Negro Spirituals were religious songs sung by slaves. But, when exactly did music stop being about life and start being about sex?
“Rhythm and Blues” (R&B) originated in the 1940′s. There were bands such as Tympany Five and Wynonie Harris; their lyrics were backed up with different instruments: trumpet, tenor saxophone, piano, bass, etc. Some of their popular songs were “Beans & Cornbread”, which isn’t about food, but the food identifies “friends”. Saying that friends are like a good meal – they go hand in hand. Harris recorded a song, “Good Rocking Tonight” (remake), which was about having a good time with a loved one and enjoying the rhythm and blues. These songs still had a connection with Negro Spirituals.
In 1979, the first popular Rap/Hip-Hop song was born. Sugarhill Gang amazed the world with “Rapper’s Delight”. The song was fourteen minutes long and like the Negro Spiritual genre, this song was also about everyday life and experiences. Instead of working in the fields and living as slave, this was a song about of living in the ghetto and situations one must face. The song also talked about experiences with friends and family members. By the lyrics that are being rapped, it’s easy to tell that life for African-Americans weren’t the same as the 1900′s because the artist don’t sound lonely and depressed. They were no longer rapping about being free, because they were free.
As time change so does the music, lyrics, and the musical artists we hear. Today, both R&B and Rap music has explicit lyrics. On these songs, we hear men disrespecting women and women disrespecting themselves. These songs are about being criminals and whores. It’s quite obvious that the artist has an influence over society; whether that influence is negative or positive is solely up to the artist themselves. Today’s music also talks about life, but it’s not always the life of the artist we’re hearing, it’s the life which sale singles and makes money.
One may think that modern day artist don’t know what real music is, it seems as if anyone who can talk or yell can be a singer or rapper. Although I have so much negativity to say about this type of music and today’s artist, I too listen to these artists and their music quite frequently. I’m just open-minded enough to not have the music influence me in any way.
I am a fan of the old timer’s music. I sit and listen to one of my old school songs and then I’ll listen to a current song. I can’t help but wonder… where did our good music artists go? I sometimes also wonder if we can ever get some of that old soul back, although I know we won’t. I don’t’ worry about the future of our music, in all honesty, I don’t think it can get any worse.
There’s something about K Camp that has attracted many people to his music…can’t quite put our finger on it, but there is something.
For Valentine’s Day, K Camp released a new mixtape for the ladies (and the gentlemen who love the ladies). The project, K.I.S.S. Part 2, is the second installment to his K.I.S.S. series. This new project is hosted by DJ Genius and offers up enough solid tracks to demand a thorough listen.
Clearly, his partner-in-crime in the production room is Big Fruit. It is obvious that there’s real chemistry between the two while recording. This is good because most artists have that one producer that understands their style of music inside and out. And when the producer and artist can produce great music together, like K Camp and Big Fruit, there’s consistency and greater “hit” potential.
The only issue that may have some folks concerned is whether to like or dislike K Camp’s singer/rapper flow. It’s almost like he’s the southern version of Drake. This could be taken as a compliment. But, to some this can seem kind of copycat-ish. To each is own though. If you don’t like K Camp that’s cool. We think he’s another breathe of fresh air down south, where speakers are overloaded with the drug/sex/violence talk by rappers.
On this project, some of our stand out favs are “Actin Up” (prod. by Nard B), “Can’t Stop The Grind” (prod. by Jameezy), “I Ain’t Gotta Type” (prod. by Big Fruit), “Put It On Me” (prod. by Big Fruit), and ”Turn Her On” (prod. by Bobby Kritical).
But, the track that stands out is “Blessing” produced by Young Ex. The song gives props to a good girl who has all the right qualities a man ,like K Camp, is looking for. We’re sure most fellas got that ONE female they can say is truly a “blessing”. If so, hopefully you let her know on Valentine’s Day.
Overall, K Camp’s project is nice and evidence that’s he’s making the right moves.
Check out the videos for “Blessing” and “Money Baby” Remix feat. Ty Dolla $ign & French Montana below:
Download your free copy of K.I.S.S. Part 2 on Livemixtapes.com!
What a great mix of 90′s soul and hip hop music! Marsha Ambrosius outdid herself on this new track, “Stronger Than Pride“.
The new song is off of her upcoming Friends & Lovers album and keeps Marsha’s artistry compelling and hip both at the same time. She’s always has had the unique ability to do that. This time, she chose to go back to her roots with the Sade remake. Then Marsha gives the tune an update by added Jeru the Damaga’s “Come Clean” instrumental.
Check out her new video and let us know what you think:
Singer of “Charlene”,” I’m a Mess”, “Woo” and dozens of other amazing and soulful songs, Anthony Hamilton has been in the game since 2003 writing and singing songs. On Valentine’s eve (Feb. 13), South Bend, Indiana and its surrounding cities welcomed Anthony Hamilton along with special guest, Avery Sunshine as they rocked the stage at The Morris Performing Arts Center.
Both artists captured the embracing audience’s attention from beginning to end with their melodic vocals. They even assisted a man present at the concert, there to propose to his girlfriend. The city enjoyed their presence and is looking forward to seeing Keith Sweat and R. Kelly both perform on that same stage in the future.
Check out our footage of Anthony Hamilton performing “Pray for Me”:
By: LaQuesha Williams, contributing writer intern for STACKS Magazine
It is time for me to be honest: I had no idea that Beezy was taking producing seriously. Of course I understood/admired his access to all of the instrumentals that hip hop had to offer. I also thoroughly enjoyed his commentary about production and how they mesh with lyrics through his album reviews. But Beezy as a producer? This was not the expected direction of a man better known for calling A.S.A.P Rocky’s mixtape trash or recycle binning Mac Miller’s last retail album.
Plus, the main attraction over his beats was going to be Nova. I haven’t heard Nova since “W.E.E.D.” off of the Dead End Hip Hop mixtape.
So, what could really be made of Tangents & Distractions?
With thorough listens, it can be said that this was a project of dope rhymes, well-crafted production, and chemistry.
Impressively, Beezy’s production is both fresh and vintage at the same time. Just as easily as he will flip a sample inspired production, he will also use something that is actually more electronic and/or sample free. With gems like the soul stirring “Everything’s Change” matched with the sonic madness of “Armageddon”, there will be some diversity to the project. While Beezy’s production isn’t “fully developed”, it is far from “amateur sounding”. In summary, it is apparent that Beezy is acclimated to using different musical approaches.
As far as being an up and coming microphone master, Nova puts in much effort. Any man that flips lyrics about “soul being in flux capacitor”, “time travel/Delorean trips”, and “getting Doc to make him a beat” is someone that is working to make some connections with subsequent line and rhyme. On “Omelette/World Is Mine”, Nova takes note that “people turn to ashes for the money you earn (urn)” and if he “didn’t poop/would people be shit?/ Nope”. Although his style isn’t for everyone, it can be understood that the listener has to respect his exertion. In short, Nova puts in work and it shows.
To be honest, the only thing that I could say to detract from this project was its lack of a theme/focus and talent not fully realized. This project screams “people coming together to have fun in the studio”. With that, you have the variation of production from Beezy and Nova mainly ripping mics. Once Beezy really envelops himself into being a “full-fledged producer” and Nova concentrates his nimble lyrical expressions will we truly realize the possibilities of this duo. However, we haven’t truly seen what their potential can actually produce.
With Saire Music’s airy vocals being the only guest appearance on the tracks, Nova and Beezy crafted a project with some replay value. Even if they haven’t reached the zenith of their talents, they constructed a free album that eloquently expresses their labors to make good music. Tangents & Distractions can come off as atypical from the norm in hip hop. This is actually fine. Be forewarned: this is only the beginning for this due because there is more to come.
@TheKelseyNykole, of VH1′s ‘Couples Therapy’, Shares Her Plans as an Urban/Pop Artist & Being a Positive Role Model [EXCLUSIVE]
Rising starlet Kelsey Nicole Byers, better known to many as Kelsey Nykole, is setting her footprints in the entertainment industry. Kelsey Nykole is currently a cast member of VH1’s “Couples Therapy” Season 4, alongside rapper Ghostface Killah from the Wu Tang Clan.
Kelsey got her start in the entertainment business as a model. Kelsey is currently pursuing her music career and plans on taking her career to new heights. Kelsey has been nominated for music awards at the ‘Atlanta Underground Music Awards’ in 2012, as NYKKY B, and nominated for the 2012 ‘Indy Urban Music Awards’ winning ”Mixtape of the Year” & “Best Female R&B Artist” under the name Kelsey Nykole. She was a chosen artist to open for the ”Paradise Tour” at the Indianapolis Tour Stop and also called to Louisville, KY to open up for rapper Trina. The Indiana native known as “The Midwest Princess” discussed her accomplishments, her future plans, artists, and what she does in her free time during a recent interview.
How did you come up with the name Midwest Princess?
I didn’t come up with the name because of my swag. It was because of my passion and my drive behind my music. I actually got proclaimed that by a few producers I was in a session with. I was really getting around the Midwest and I was running it, building a name and they said you were the Midwest Princess and it kind of stuck from there.
How has your life changed since you appeared on VH1’s Couple Therapy?
My life has changed definitely in a great way. It is changed in a sense that when I walk the streets and when I go places, I get asked by fans running up for photos and things of that nature. It has brought a new platform for me to express my musical passion. I been building a lot more of a fan base when it comes to the music and I get a lot more support when it comes to my music. Which is amazing and beautiful, because you know you work so hard for so long. It comes a time when things start to pay off and that’s how it feels at this point. It’s all good. My life has changed socially because I interact with my fans a lot more on social networks than I used to. I interact with them definitely when I’m out and about. They notice me ’cause of my hair. It is my style and I can’t hide it. I can’t go incognito cause the hair it right there and it’s very noticeable. It’s all good. My life has definitely changed for the better and I’m excited.
Tell us about your singing career as pop/r&b singer, songwriter and are you currently working on anything in the studio?
My career as an artist, as a pop artist is my life, it’s my everything. I have been pursuing this dream professionally for almost five years. It’s been going wonderful. I jumped out there. It’s been my passion since I was a little girl. I knew this is what I wanted to do. Life hits and, in the teenage years, everything kind of blossoms out. I had a tragic incident that happened in my family that really woke me up and made me realize life is short. I have people depending on me and I want to set a great example out here for the person that the tragedy happened to. I really started to go very hard (that can’t stop won’t stop attitude towards pursuing my dreams) and something in my spirit really helps me with it. This is my purpose and what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s been amazing and over the years it’s been great growth, prosperity and blessings. Keeping my name good and respectable, definitely networking and showing my face in the right places and to the right people. Getting results, working hard, growing, developing as a artist and up to the point where it’s go time now. It’s time to take it to another level. As soon as I was done in the studio working on a lot of great music, I flew to Atlanta then to L.A., in the studio building a catalogue, writing and recording great music for my own project; be able to shop it to different artist out here. I’m definitely working on music and got a lot of great things lined up (a few music videos). Everything is all coming in due time. I’m very excited for everybody to hear it. Right now, there is a leak of a song, kind of a viral song – a song I did with super-producer/Grammy-award winning producer, Looney Tunez, called “Can’t Feel My Legs”. My actual single will be released in the spring and we are super-duper geeked about the world hearing the new sound and the music. So yeah, I’m working.
When you’re not in the studio, on TV or modeling, what do you do in your free time?
In my free time, I am working out, rehearsing, talking to family definitely, cuddling and loving on my child. It’s never a dull moment with me. I don’t like sitting around doing a lot of nothing. Sometimes, I will pray. I’m always using my energy and time wisely to ensure continuous prosperity in my career.
Any artists’ music you listen to often on your iPod? And, if you could collaborate with any, who would you choose and why?
I am a hardcore Beyonce fan, definitely blasting her music. I listen to Ghostface music. I listen to Amy Winehouse. I listen to Jazmine Sullivan. If I could collab with anyone right now, it would be super-duper dope to collab with August Alsina. I think we could definitely make great melodic-hypnotizing-sexy music together.
Would you ever do a collaboration with Ghostface?
Yes, absolutely. That’s definitely in the making, so keep it locked. Stay tuned.
What is your biggest accomplishment in this field of work?
I think my biggest accomplishment in my field of work thus far, is being a role model, being inspiring to younger girls. When I get tweets and get comments from younger girls when they want to be beautiful like me or they love my spirit – you know you such a good role model, such a good person. Just that love from these girls. Knowing I’m that somebody they can look up to, to set a new standard, that’s what I think is great for me over everything. I love entertaining crowds. I love the love I’m receiving and the support; getting that kind of response from the youth and from the next generation; being a new person to catch their eye and for them to pay attention to. Knowing that I have to set a great example, gives me life. I love it. That’s definitely what I plan to do. I have a vision board and one of the quotes I cut out says, “Pop stars stop saying you don’t want to be a role model because you’re”. We have a platform, there are people and kids looking at us all the time. They need something positive to look up to. I definitely want to be that. Not saying there aren’t any positive role models out there, there just aren’t enough. I definitely want to be that. That’s huge for me.
What else can we expect from you in the future?
You can expect everything from Kelsey Nykole. You can expect greatness, uncommon success from Kelsey Nykole, movies…the sky is not the limit. I’m reaching for the stars and beyond. You can expect great fashion from Kelsey Nykole, trend setting from Kelsey Nykole. You can expect great things from Kelsey Nykole, please believe that. So keep it locked and stay tuned.
Do you think the Indiana Pacers are going to win the championship this year?
I think they have a strong possibility of winning. They are an amazing team and I’m rooting for them 100%.
So, you think they can beat the Miami Heat this year?
Oh yeah, definitely. They beat them before and they can do it again.
How can fans keep in contact with you with social networks?
You can keep in touch with Kelsey Nykole at HeyKelsey.com, I’m on the web on Instagram and Twitter @TheKelseyNykole. On Facebook and YouTube, you can search me at Kelsey Nykole. When searching for the kid, make sure you spell the Nykole (N Y K O L E). I spell it a little different. You can hit me up on heykelsey.com and find the links for the social networks under Connect tab. Hit me up y’all. Google me. It’s music, news, and interviews. Everything is there for you at your fingertips.
I guess the purpose of Nicki Minaj recently taking out her weave to reveal her real hair (on Instagram) was to let us all know that she was going back to her roots. And in this new video, “Lookin’ A$$ Nigga” she does just that.
Nicki returns to her metaphor-heavy, hardcore street rap that once funneled through her music when she first started dropping mixtapes. Over the years, she went commercial/pop and a lot of her early fans turned their backs on her. I can admit, I was one of them. When the singing and big colorful wigs and wild outfits came into play, I wasn’t feeling it. But my love for street rap is the reason why. I thought Nicki allowed the pomp and circumstance overpower the art. Not to say that she isn’t a dope artist, she is. She merely just lost her way…probably because of the business aspect of being in the entertainment. Who doesn’t want to get to the money?!
Anywhoo, the old Nicki is back and giving us life on her new video. The song, which will be featured on an upcoming compilation album, is a short 2 1/2 minute track with straight ether. She’s letting the fellas have it on this one. Which I don’t blame her, it’s about time a female artist put these ni**as in place. We’re tired of being womanized and undervalued. It’s time for women to take a stance and let it be known that we aren’t impressed by that “fake sh*t”.
So, kudos to Nicki…if her new album is going to be on this level, just let me know when the pre-order sales start. I’m definitely copping it!
T-Pain is back. After a long hiatus from the music industry, the Florida-native is back on his grind and seems to be comfortable with the reception.
“Up Down”, the infectious club track that features B.o.B was notably the catalyst for his return when released in 2013. It’s classic T-Pain and one of those songs that will get your body moving and scrapped away from the wallflower pose. Which is good because the “they don’t dance no more” days should be over!
Anyway…T-Pain has since, however, released a track or two to mediocre fanfare. But now comes a new song featuring Akon and a reggae artist by the name of 2Face, which is commercial in message and sound – but is worthy of continuous play.
The message, I believe, is what makes “If I Got It” powerful. When you’ve reached a successful point in your life, it’s up to you to help the next man reach his. Everyone wishes to have a friend or family member to be of assistance or support in times of need. So why not be that person?! If you are feeling like you need to be someone’s support system, then allow “If I Got It” to become your anthem.
Take a listen and let us know what you think:
T-Pain may just have the next “All I Do Is Win”-type track on his hands. I can easily see the song hitting the top of the Billboard charts. I like it!
I’m a fan of Future’s music, just as many of you are, but I think he went too far with his version of Beyoncé’s ‘Drunk in Love.’ Ciara definitely has him drunk and in love with pending marriage vows and a baby, but maybe he should have refrained from expressing himself on that song.
Check out the song below and let STACKS know how you feel about the song. Is good or was he doing too much on this track? Is it a bust? You be the judge.
By: LaQuesha Williams, contributing writer for STACKS Magazine
I have been hearing Paranoid so much on the radio that it is sickening. Yet, I couldn’t get enough of its infectious chorus and foolhardy lyrics. Easily, Ty Dolla $ign had a hit on his hands. Even with the inclusion of his mixtapes, it made me wonder what his full-fledged bar coded project would bring. Since Beach House concept was reduced to an EP, I wonder how it would sound as a complete project. To be honest, outside of including both versions of Paranoid, this EP actually works.
Is it classic music? I don’t know. Is it something that will keep the lovers of ratchet, auto-tune infused jams entertained? I must give an emphatic “hell to the yes”.
Ty Dolla $ign isn’t trying to bring overly intricacies to the game; he is trying to take what is being used and bang out from his own perspective. “Or Nah” makes the most of his repetitive refrains of “or nah” as he asks questions about a woman’s loyalty, sexual gratitude, and even making cheese eggs. “Never Be The Same” is that slower paced jam that actually laments a lot of the madness that is celebrated in other songs. Regardless of whatever it is being talked about, Ty Dolla $ign makes the most of the situation. In short, Ty makes the most of infusing the ratchet-nasty-madness of the hood and puts it all into contagious melodious form.
The production is pretty good due to its varied nuances and the qualities in the composition. Young Chop does his thing with the typical flare that he offers on “Familiar”. “Wood and Leather”, however, has violin and string instrument elements added to the synthesized production. Yet, it is the elongated “Work” that shines among the rest of the selections with its beat switch up toward the end of the song. Regardless of if a listener can’t get with the craziness of the lyrics, they can at least appreciate the production.
It seems what Ty Dolla $ign is doing is riding the auto-tuned wave that he has made for himself. What he may lack in lyrical dexterity he easily matches with catchy words and infectious melodies. Plus, he is easily tapping a market that has love for the carnal and foolish. With a mix of songs made for the car and the club, Ty Dolla $ign can keep winning as long as he stays “ratchet classy” with his music. Meanwhile, listeners should just pop this in and do all the foolishness that the music can help influence.
Elijah Black is a R&B cat signed to Roc Nation. With the release of this new joint “Sing For Me”, which features Rick Ross and Game, we assume he’s prepping to release a project sometime this year. Until then, check him out and let us know what you think.
Most people fell in love with Sevyn Streeter’s joint “It Won’t Stop,” when they first heard it some odd months ago. Since then there has been many mixes and covers done to the song. The most recent version of the song features Q. Parker, of 112. He brought back some of his old school vocals as he hit the notes. If he’s aiming for a comeback to the music scene, this is a great start. The song is already hot, in addition to his voice and high notes, it makes that much better. – By LaQuesha Williams, contributing intern for STACKS Magazine
Take a listen to Q’s version:
Did Q Parker Kill It? Let us know what you think.
The newly engaged couple and soon-to-be parents, Ciara & Future, has dropped another song together. This time, “Anytime” is the smooth mid-tempo joint that allows each of them to express their love and let the world know just how tight their bond is. They are the new ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ says Future in his verse.
Take a listen:
What you think about “Anytime”? Are Ciara & Future the new Bonnie & Clyde?
After originally being slated for release in August 2014, word is rapper Lil Boosie will be a free man in just a few weeks.
According to his brother Taquari Hatch, Boosie will be released on February 16 from the Louisiana State Penitentiary. He told NOLA.com…
“The Times-Picayune that a previously reported date of Aug. 18, 2014 wasn’t accurate. Due to a slow down in the paperwork process at the Louisiana Department of Safety and Corrections, the automated offender locator system did not yet reflect the time off of his brother’s sentence that had been accrued, he said.
Torrence Hatch’s current date of release is officially set for May 16, 2014, according to Taquari Hatch, thanks to a substance abuse class Torrence Hatch recently completed. Furthermore, Taquari Hatch expects Torrence Hatch will be out Feb. 16, 2014 once the rapper completes two additional classes at the Louisiana State Penitentiary.”
Boosie began serving time in 2009 for marijuana possession and a parole violation. He plead guilty in 2011 for attempting to smuggle drugs into the Louisiana State Penitentiary.
The other great news is that, while in prison, Lil Boosie has written close to 600 songs.
So, it’s straight to the studio when he gets out. Word is, that he plan to go on tour as well in 2014. However, the official dates for the Touch Down 2 Cause Hell Tour (#TD2CH) has not been released. But, there’s promo images floating around that references the cities he will stop through. Check it out:
IS THE INDUSTRY READY FOR BOOSIE’S COMEBACK? DO YOU THINK HE STILL GOT IT?
Nipsey Hussle has been making major moves lately. In 2013, he released his highly-anticipated project, Crenshaw. From there, he begin touring the states – most recent spot being Atlanta (Jan 28). You may call it perfect timing considering his new track featuring Atlanta-based artist, K Camp. Their joint “Between Us” talks about an issue most artists go through while working hard to become successful. The difficulties of juggling a relationship knowing that the money is the main focus.
Which one do you think Nipsey is most faithful to?
Check out the new joint below:
In addition, Nipsey Hussle kicked off his nationwide tour late 2013 and will continue on up until Valentines Day. Below are the remaining dates of his Crenshaw tour:
1/30 – Jacksonville, FL – The Roc Bar – Tickets Now Available (Link)
1/31 – Miami, FL – Villa 221
2/1 – Tampa, FL – The Orpheum
2/3 – Orlando, FL – Firestone Live
2/4 – Gainesville, FL – High Dive – Tickets Now Available (Link)
2/5 – Birmingham, AL – Work / Play – Tickets Now Available (Link)
2/6 – New Orleans, LA – Howling Wolf – Tickets Now Available (Link)
2/7 – Houston, TX – Warehouse
2/8 – Dallas, TX – Prophet Bar
2/9 – Lubbock, TX – Wreckers
2/11 – San Antonio, TX – Backstage Live – Tickets Now Available (Link)
2/12 – El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls
2/13 – Albuquerque, TX – Launch Pad – Tickets Now Available (Link)