Editorial, Main

Notorious B.I.G: 20 Years Already?

It’s hard to fathom that today marks the 20th anniversary of Christopher Wallace’s death. I barely batted an eye when…

It’s hard to fathom that today marks the 20th anniversary of Christopher Wallace’s death. I barely batted an eye when his debut turned 10, and then a decade later, 20. But somehow, him having not touched a microphone for over two-decades seems baffling. Especially, since the uttering of his name in any disparaging tone is STILL met with unanimous opposition—his influence is still that strong. Unlike a figure like 2Pac, who worked at a feverish pitch that almost suggests he knew his timeline was about to be cut short, Biggie left us with what he left us with, short of some demo and original versions that have since been unearthed, chopped and repurposed to the maximum.

His death seems like another lifetime ago. I remember in grade eight; I had a friend who loved Biggie so much that we had to ditch and walk to his home to make sure he was ok after we heard the news of his passing—he wasn’t. No hip-hop fan was. No matter how you choose to believe his death was orchestrated, it’s hard not to imagine how a simple change in the ripple of fabric may have changed the rap game. Would Cease be more respected? Would ‘The Commission’ have become the most notable group in history? Would Charlie Baltimore be super popping? Would Cam’Ron have signed to Biggie? Would Puff have been so successful as a solo artist?

His legacy, though, is undisputed—and timeless. Artists with double, triple, and quadruple the artist’s catalog are unable to come close to matching the aura, respect, and coastal influence that Biggie held. He—and the Bad Boy Family—helped shape the blueprint of what gritty New York (and worldwide) ‘street’ hip-hop should be, and how a successful crossover situation, while remaining street, should resemble.

Whether he’s the greatest rapper of all time is an argument that has no merit anymore—he’s beyond that. It’s like arguing whether Shakespeare is the greatest writer of all time, or Leonardo DiVinci the best painter, or Michael Jordan the best baller. All those examples illustrate individuals who—just as a philosophical concept alone—are bigger than the medium they practice. While not the most endearing rags to riches story ever (50 Cent’s may best his), his was a relatable hustler’s dream. Ashy to classy.

Today, we pay our respect to the Notorious B.I.G and give a special shout out to Brooklyn. If you don’t know, now you know. Pour out a little liquor [*Tupac voice].

See “What If Biggie Collbos

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”

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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