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There Can Be More Than One, Right?

By now you’ve seen and heard the throwback magic that is Bruno Mars’ “Finesse” remix featuring Cardi B. After a…

By now you’ve seen and heard the throwback magic that is Bruno Mars’ “Finesse” remix featuring Cardi B. After a fantastic start to 2018 — being inducted into the elite group of artists to have their first three Billboard Hot 100 hits in the top 10 — many detractors are beginning to come around. Including me, to be honest.

It’s also given more fire to the Nicki Minaj is washed, and Cardi is (in fact) the new queen argument. Seven years of accolades aside, it’s hard to argue that she isn’t running shit at this moment. Nicki must feel some sense of competition, clearly, as her work ethic over the past few months has been hectic.

The question is, though, why does Cardi’s success automatically mean Nicki is washed? Without a defined head to head competition up for public judging, why does it feel like we can only have one female rapper in the spotlight. Let me clarify; there are LOTS of talented female artists out right now. But not many that are moonwalking across a mainstream plateau as high as Nicki and Cardi are currently.

We don’t do this to male artists. Well, we do, but not like this. In fact, I’d argue in the sea of extreme similarities and arguable mediocrity, and we give a lot of males artists a pass to shine in the same sky.

I think that perhaps I started to wrap my mind around this after hearing this mega-mix that melded a host of female artists on the “Finesse” instrumental. Nicki and Cardi back to back sound phenomenal. Like, the fact they aren’t putting together a collaborative EP — or at least a legit collabo (not a forced one like “Motorsport”) is a missed opportunity for Hip Hop in my humblest opinion. The fact that Kim and Foxy never did that was a missed opportunity for Hip Hop.

 
This isn’t Highlander. There can be more than one. Stop gassing up bullshit. Hip Hop is a competitive culture, but sometimes we just want to have fun, too.

Hopefully, 2018 will be the year that some of the most prominent female acts — again I’m squarely aiming this criticism at significant acts — can start forming super groups and collaborating like some of their male counterparts.

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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Last ‘On The Cusp’ Playlist Of 2018

On The Cusp is a living playlist dedicated to showcasing the buzzing new music on our radar — as curated…

On The Cusp is a living playlist dedicated to showcasing the buzzing new music on our radar — as curated by our writer Riley Wallace. For all inquiries and submissions, hit up the playlist’s official Twitter feed.

This week’s cover artist is EverythigOShaun.

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#IndieSpotlight: Dylan 333 Is Breaking The Mold

Some follow the obvious that optically appears to be the most comfortable; North Carolina native Dylan 333 is breaking the…

Some follow the obvious that optically appears to be the most comfortable; North Carolina native Dylan 333 is breaking the mould. With only a month having elapsed since he first decided to try his hand at a career in music, he managed to amass some admirable number and gain the attention of one of the SoundCloud generation’s most notorious influencers, Adam22.

“The first week of my second song release — ‘Drum Talk’ — I caught the attention of Adam22 [nojumper] and was posted on his live stream,” he tells AAHH. “He reposted my song on Soundcloud and that instantly gave me the boost I needed.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BryY1HZDPqc/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

The attention earned him an invite to freestyle on the famed Most Wanted Radio on North Carolina’s 72.9. “[That appearance] gave me a local/regional platform in my city to build on,” he says. His first 30 days in the game saw him earn 50,000+ (organic) plays, 5,000+ likes and features on Funkmaster Flex’s Facebook and Tokyo Tonis Instagram — and even a like by JuiceWrld which is akin to proof of attention.

“I also have struck a distribution deal with AWAL where I can get my music out to performance centers and all major platforms,” he adds proudly. All quite impressive for a young upstart with four songs to his credit — all of which he produced and recorded independently in his bedroom. There is also a lot of foresight on his part, as he’s launched his own imprint, 333 Records, which is the primary owner/publisher of his music.

Born on the island of Jamaica, and later relocating to North Carolina, Dylan describes his sound as a mixture of dancehall and American rap. “[That blend] makes me sound extremely different from other artists,” he says proudly. “I started off as a producer so when it came to the point of me creating (my own) music I could produce myself without any help.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrqkiZbjP0H/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

 

With the recent success energizing his grind, he reveals to AAHH that he is currently working on his debut album, which he plans to release in 2019 — though he has no set date.

“My goal is to come into the game and actually change it,” he says humbly. “I want to inspire people to try out different things instead of investing all their money into education.”

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Featured, Main

Last ‘On The Cusp’ Playlist Of 2018

On The Cusp is a living playlist dedicated to showcasing the buzzing new music on our radar — as curated…

On The Cusp is a living playlist dedicated to showcasing the buzzing new music on our radar — as curated by our writer Riley Wallace. For all inquiries and submissions, hit up the playlist’s official Twitter feed.

This week’s cover artist is EverythigOShaun.

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Swift Levels Up With “Elevate” Visual

North Carolina’s own Swift levels up once again. Earlier this month the talented rapper delivered a moving new visual for…

North Carolina’s own Swift levels up once again. Earlier this month the talented rapper delivered a moving new visual for “Elevate.” The track comes from his latest project, Worth the Wait, which was released in November.

Swift first rose to fame when he signed a deal with Akon’s Konlive Distributions. Later on, the rapper got the chance to collaborate with prominent artists such as Quavo, Young Jeezy and Jim Jones. Now, the former Def Jam and Epic Records signee is making a big comeback independently, elevating to the next level in his career journey.

Directed by Terrius Mykel, the video finds himself reflecting on his life as he rides around in a Lexus with beautiful ladies. Swift is elevating as he spits some realness and harmonizes over the hook. “I put it all on the line before I let it go/I got big shit all on my mind and I ain’t thinking about no bullshit, Nah,” Swift says on the track. Swift hopes to inspire his listeners to stay on the grind and not to worry about things/people that are not motivating them.

Watch the “Elevate” video above.

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