Editorial, Main, rileysbest

Hey Young World: The World Is Yours

Don’t admire thieves… Hey, they don’t admire you – their times limited, hard rocks too. — Slick Rick Sometimes songs…

Don’t admire thieves… Hey, they don’t admire you – their times limited, hard rocks too.

— Slick Rick

Sometimes songs perfectly encapsulate a time, place or sentiment. While driving the other day, a song came up my Spotify Shuffle that I hadn’t heard in ages: Hey Young World by Slick Rick. The song was the third single off of Rick’s debut album The Great Adventures and – above all – a breath of fresh air.

Hip-hop, which began primarily as an answer to gang violence in NYC (no need to argue its actual birthplace), had grown into the central voice of the (urban) people by the mid-late 80’s. Although commercial influence had produced artists like Sugar Hill Gang, RUN DMC, Fat Boys – and a host of other artists with lighter subject matter – it also bred the opposite. Artists, like Public Enemy, were using the ghetto CNN to fight issues of race and social injustices; however, there was a gap. Young Slick Rick danced this line, often (but not always) favoring a humorous angle, married with his trademark storytelling flow.

The average (young) hip-hop head in NYC in the late 80’s, early 90’s lived through some arguably wild shit. 1989–1993 saw the highest crime rates in the history of the city, teen pregnancy levels were at an all-time high, and the effects of the crack epidemic were everywhere. This was the breeding ground of much of the golden era that hip-hop heads revere so much. It was also during this time that Slick Rick addressed the youth of the time with his classic record.

The song asked the youth to take make the most of their lives, reject the pressures of the streets, stay away from drugs and violence, and above all respect your parents. It was all done in a manner that didn’t reek of cheese, like it might have if, say, Will Smith (or your parents) had made the same song. Slick Rick was relatable. He was one of them. Ironically, the very pressures he tried to steer the youth away from eventually swallowed up seven years of his life. In 1990, Rick shot his cousin and a bystander and spent time in Rikers.

A few songs have tried to recreate the organic magic of this classic, most notably Nas’s Impeach The President sampled I Can. It would seem, though, that perhaps another Hey Young World is in order – especially considering the current temperament of our society. That young world that Rick was addressing is now grown up (at least physically). Most of us are struggling to bring up children in a whole new digital landscape, fraught with uncertainty, violence and disconnection.

The problem is; we can’t do what Rick did. We aren’t one of them. We’re the old heads. We have to hope that not all of the voices of the younger generation are one dimensional. Maybe, some of our nagging influence sparks a golden age 2.0 as we venture into the future.

Need some inspiration?

Here, I’ll start:

Hey young world, the world is yours. Fight the power, strive to achieve positivity in all aspects of your life and attempt to stay connected with humans in a disconnected world branded as connected. I know not all of you will choose the “right” path, as I learned growing up, that’s impossible – but there’s no harm in following your heart. Oh, and respect your parents. 

I’ll leave the logistics and rhyme scheme up to you, but you get the idea.

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
Main, New Music, unsigned hype

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.”

Continue Reading
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.

Continue Reading
Main

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

Vevo just released a live performance from their newly announced LIFT artist YK Osiris. The 2019 XXL Freshman from Jacksonville,…

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.

Continue Reading
Main

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…

The summer season is in full swing, and Washington DC’s Treezus — part of the international arts collective Yellow Cloud — has been making some season buzz with his pack of recent singles, “IB2” and “Brainfood, both of which have received dope (AnxiouStoner filmed) visual treatments.

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.

Relevant: Work Fi Mi: An Interview With Yellow Cloud

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.

Continue Reading
More in Editorial, Main, rileysbest
Constant Deviants: Avant Garde

A career in the music industry can go one of two ways: easy or hard. Either you have a Drake...

Close