Editorial, Main

Crowd Sourcing Platforms = Independent Music 2.0

Now we are here to collaborate with YOU, humanoid, on the most exciting project we’ve ever done. – De La Soul…

Now we are here to collaborate with YOU, humanoid, on the most exciting project we’ve ever done.

– De La Soul

Yesterday I received an email from De La Soul [I’m on their mailing list] informing me that they would be releasing their first album in a decade. It’s currently available for preorder on Kickstarter in digital, and physical format. Tiered levels of support come with perks, such as De La Soul USB keys, shoes and limited edition shirts. Needless to say, I’m excited to get my copy of the album in the mail, and review here for all of you.

It seems like many artists are finding themselves on platforms like Kickstarter (and indigogo) these days. Some notable projects have included Domingo’s Big Pun EP, and Ras Kass’s A.D.I.D.A.S project. Let’s face it, independent music sales isn’t easy, and the production of an album is (generally) far from free. Kickstarter campaigns really make an artist vulnerable, but can also help them gauge the loyalty of their fanbase, and actual demand for their music. Allowing fans to be a part of your process and know that their money is positively benefitting the actual production of your music is a valuable connection to make. 

It’s this type of platform that has record labels scrambling. Kickstarter (and others) has unwittingly created a platform for musicians to sell music and keep 100% of the take, minus any personal overhead and nominal handling fee of course. My thought is that we may see that change in the future. Perhaps a Kickstarter for musicians, that finds a way to generate more revenue for the company. But for the time being, it’s an amazing outlet for acts like De La Soul, and up and coming acts such as Lil’Dicky to positively exploit growing fan bases, and loyal followers in a way that simply posting music for sale on services like Bandcamp can’t replicate.. 

Maybe instead of artist trying to change the face of music history with streaming music services, they should more intimately and authentically connect with their fans and produce a crowd sourced project. Just saying. This is the wave!

If you want to grab a copy of that new De La Soul, you have 29 days and counting! 

Riley here — father, artist, videographer, professional writer and SERIOUS hip-hop head. I'm a member of the Universal Zulu Nation, and I think everything is better on vinyl. Add me on Twitter! @specialdesigns
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Jae Mansa – “Blessings” Ft. Tee Grizzley

Today, Jae Mansa debuts a hypnotic trapped out jam called “Blessings” featuring “First Day Out” rapper Tee Grizzley and UK…

Today, Jae Mansa debuts a hypnotic trapped out jam called “Blessings” featuring “First Day Out” rapper Tee Grizzley and UK rapper SL on the hook. The song finds the group perfectly riding a celestial beat while they stay on their rap game hustle.

“We’re blessed to be in the position that we in today,” says Jae Mansa. “We could be doing worse. We switched up our lifestyle and grateful we’re able to do music. Touch the people. Everything is a blessing, people out here starving. We stay humble while we doing it. Everything we drop we just hope it do better than the last. We trying to grow.”

“Blessings,”follows the release of the duo’s latest album Yung Kingz available now via their distribution deal with Roc Nation. The album has gained over 6 Million plays on Spotify alone and features the singles “Fate” and “I Swear.”

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Main, New Music, unsigned hype

@camjamesraps – “Shoot”

Today rapper Cam James releases his new single “Shoot” which is an infectious Summer anthem pushing women to make the…

Today rapper Cam James releases his new single “Shoot” which is an infectious Summer anthem pushing women to make the first move and shoot their shot.

Rising from dorm rooms to major stages, culminating in selections for some of the largest national music festivals in the late 2010s (A3C ’16, SXSW ’17), Cam James has made great strides in a short period of time.

“It’s a story from beginning to end,” Cam James said. “We’re capturing listeners from the jump and giving them a ride through the song’s super-relatable party scenario.”

With a bouncy, soul-tinged backdrop produced by THAIBEATS and an accompanying self-directed music video inspired by the 2001 Black cinema classic Brown Sugar, this is a track that’ll get stuck in your head for weeks.

Influenced by Nas, OutKast and 90’s R&B and using that as a foundation to build his own sound 2011 at Georgia Tech, he started turning his spoken word pieces into raps. These rough and unpolished sessions became cohesive solo projects over the course of six years and five independent projects.

Following his first TV placement on BET’s Being Mary Jane in September 2017, he announced his independent sophomore album, leviTAPE.

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Vevo and YK Osiris Release Live Performance of “Worth It”

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Vevo just released a live performance from their newly announced LIFT artist YK Osiris. The 2019 XXL Freshman from Jacksonville, FL artist performs an intimate version of his Billboard Hot 100 hit “Worth It.”

The premiere of “Worth It” is the first of three pieces of content Vevo will release as part of YK Osiris’s LIFT campaign. Vevo’s LIFT initiative connects today’s up-and-coming artists to audiences around the globe through video content. Launched in 2011, Vevo’s artist development program shines a spotlight on the world’s freshest new talent. Vevo LIFT alumni include the likes of Sam Smith, Halsey, Khalid, Jorja Smith, SZA, Julia Michaels, Billie Eilish and CNCO.

Stream it, below.

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It’s Treezus Season: The DC Rapper Is On A Run

The summer season is in full swing, and Washington DC’s Treezus — part of the international arts collective Yellow Cloud…

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https://www.instagram.com/p/BwfyqtEhFRF/?igshid=12ljyf5t2nr6a

The Birdie Bands produced “IB2” has an insanely eclectic vibe; Treezus’ wildly unique cadence, with peppered pockets of rapid-fire delivery, body the beat. The visual, which was shot throughout Italy (Venice, Naples, a farm in Tuscany and Florence) offers breathtaking scenery, with a dizzying pace that rarely lets you break the engagement. The Hidden Oasis banger “Brain Food,” a smoking anthem (originally released on 4/20) was appropriately shot in Amsterdam. This record gives this strange Bone Thugs vibe as he goes in with his machine gun flow during the latter half of the verse. It’s actually captivating.

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The visuals were directed and edited by Treezus himself; and both really take the songs to new heights, in my humble opinion. The music we’ve featured in the past definitely range in terms of the aesthetic, but real talk, Treezus is more than in his element — and the international story arc he’s on is making his brand sparkle.

Check out “IB2” and “Brain Food” below.

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