Editorial, interview, Main, rileysbest

Leader of the New School: Catching Up With Dinco D

Being in a group isn’t easy, and there are plenty of examples of how complex the dynamic can be. Whether…

Being in a group isn’t easy, and there are plenty of examples of how complex the dynamic can be. Whether it’s animosity towards one member, who gets more spotlight, à la Method Man, or an awkward love triangle like City High. Money can – and usually does – change everything.
When it comes to golden era groups, it’s hard to ignore the imminent rise of Leaders Of The New School. The trio, which consisted of members Charlie Brown, Dinco D and Busta Rhymes came to prominence after their classic appearance on Tribe Called Quests’ Scenario. However, behind the scenes – and in one case in front of cameras – the group seemed to begin unraveling almost immediately. The group left behind two notable albums and was the springboard for Busta’s rise into the realm of rap’s elite.

Last week, I caught up with 1/3 of the group Dinco D. He shared some insight on the group’s break-up, what came next for him and his upcoming album with original Tribe Called Quest member Jarobi.

How did you initially get involved in hip-hop?

Growing up in NY, it was all around me. Plus, my brother Jazz had a DJ crew – so I would go through all his records and play with his equipment.

How did you meet Charlie and Busta?

We grew up in the same neighborhood and went to the same school. Brown introduced me to Busta and wanted to form a group. So we begin writing and performing together. The rest is history.

Busta said in an interview with Vlad that he almost left the group before the first album. What was the dynamic like in the group right before it took off?

He was doing his own thing for a minute and was neglecting what we were building. He would miss important meetings, and not put effort into us as a “group” – so understandably it was a bit frustrating.

What caused the group to split up?

It was a combination of outside forces and inside forces. You could see people were helping Busta do his own thing, and not supporting Leaders of the New School as a unit. Brown took it hard, cause he formed the group. We worked hard as youngsters to make our dreams a reality, so to have it dismantled quicker than it took us to make it happen was stressful.

Tell us about Dinco after LOTNS. What came next for you?

Well, I moved to ATL. I was promoting parties and working with artists down there. It was a whole different vibe at that point in history; Jermaine Dupri was blowing with So So Def, and Laface –with Dallas Austin and Outkast – was on the rise. They had their families and weren’t supporting NY artists that much. So, I came back home and started producing again with my brothers Shamello and Buddha (who made Put Your Hands Where Your Eyes Can See for Busta). We did songs for Mc Lyte, Zhané, Pharcyde and couple other artists. We also did scoring for some films.

Can you tell us about the collaborative project you and Jarobi are working on?

Its called the Leaders Quest Mission, a project we have been brewing for the past year or so. We’ve always been around each other, and recently started doing songs; it was very organic. It’s started sounding better and better, so we decided to make it a full LP.

What else have you been working on lately?

I have a single called “MeUwe” coming out with a band called Shinobi Ninja, and a solo project as well. Plus I have some new artists I’m pushing, one of which is Bigg East from Long Island. Also, I do a regular party called Party Flavors (which is a collaboration with Jarobi), and some product branding. I stay busy.

You came up in the golden era, what’s your take on the current hip-hop scene?

It’s cool, not as enjoyable as I wish it were, though. There’s so much repetitiveness in terms of style/lyrics, and no real versatility. Still, my heart is in hip hop, and it will never leave my body. So I find something I like and support it as much as I can.

Who are some of your fave artists out right now?

A lot of unknown underground artists – and a select few established ones. It goes up and down daily. No one stands out as an innovative phenomenal mega star.

Can you share one of your fave memories of LOTNS? 

The whole movement was incredible; from being on In Living Color, and Arsenio Hall on my birthday, to chilling with LL in LA.

Any last words you’d like to share with our readers?

Check me out @DINCOD Instagram and Twitter!

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.”

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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”

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.

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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…

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.

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