Editorial, Main, rileysbest

No New Friends: The Phenomenon Of Post Death Love

Reminder, there’s no shame in not being the biggest fan of an artist. You’re also not under any moral obligation…

Reminder, there’s no shame in not being the biggest fan of an artist. You’re also not under any moral obligation to fundamentally love every artist who ever died. Feels like that shouldn’t be a necessary reminder — except that it is.

Master P said during a long-winded Instagram post/caption that we need to lift up and celebrate the best and brightest in our culture while they’re still alive. He went on to accuse BET of showing fake love to the memory of Prodigy, who passed away last week from complications related to Sickle Cell Anemia. Let’s explore that.

Prodigy — half of Mobb Deep — was a pillar of realness that represented that lost 90s era where authenticity reigned supreme. While Prodigy has a vast catalog of content, it’s not unrealistic to assume that a significant portion of (the more casual) Hip Hop listeners love for P peaked in two very specific eras. Mobb’s classic sophomore album — specifically “Shook Ones” — and the commercial singles in the period between Infamy and Blood Money. I’ll admit that’s a hunch.

Numbers do point that way, though. The farther we from Blood Money, the less commercial impact P was able to make. His debut solo H.N.I.C went gold, but — while the two subsequent installments did manage to chart — his solo releases never received any further certifications. What happened to the love?

Like many artists who have passed before him, P had suddenly popped up on everyone’s (above the underground) radar last week After his sudden passing, with many crediting him as their ‘favourite’ rapper. It’s not a bad thing, and unfortunately an artist’s passing often spurs newfound interest in their discography. However, when a network like BET suddenly becomes the “biggest champion” of an artist they’ve all but forgotten over the past decade, it seems oddly opportunistic — if not, fake (as hell).

Much like Pac, Big, Sean P, and others we’ve lost along the way (like Phife), Prodigy is now finding himself on lots of top rappers lists, when — in actuality — he should have been there all along if that’s how you feel. The trouble is that celebration of vets like P would sure take up a lot of mental real estate that is currently is spent celebrating new and upcoming acts.

There needs to be balance; there needs to be something. Anything. Why are we the only genre that does this?We have architects who have over the way starving. WTF?

Isn’t it weird that people say “it’s about time” when Pac was inducted into the Rock-N-Roll Hall Of Fame, but couldn’t be bothered to shell out the $35 to help support the development and celebration of the Hip-Hop Hall Of Fame?

The frustration of an act like Master P is understandable, as he (while not as lyrically gifted) has made similar impacts on the culture which he is not as recognized for as he could be. I get it. You should, too.

Younger heads should do their homework, and at least try to understand P’s impact on the game. He has lots of great music for you to discover. But you don’t have to hold him up as the greatest to ever do it. It’s ok to love or rekindle a love for fallen soldiers, but dick riding the dead for good optics is unnecessary. Pause.

PS read his book. It’s in my Top 5.

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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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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