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How The Carters used West Indian influence to create a masterpiece

June was a blessing from the hip-hop gods.

We got a Yé album, Cudi, Jay Rock, Nas, Teyana Taylor, Freddie Gibbs and even had Drake drop a double album to help us forget about Adidon close out the month.

Still, sitting at the top of the most anticipated drops of the month was the joint album dropped by musical royalty Beyoncé and Jay Z.

EVERYTHING IS LOVE was the surprise drop we all saw coming but didn’t know what to expect. How do you follow up the marital flaws highlighted by Lemonade? What could you say to match the raw nature of self-reflection we heard throughout 4:44?

From the opening seconds of the “Apeshit” video, from the Migos ad libs to the artistic shots in the Louvre, we were presented with the quintessential form of elegant trap.

The Carters presented a musical feature reminiscent of what 2 Chainz had done with the “Most Expensivest Shit” video series — but bounds ahead.

Although the track was a banger and the video deserved to be in The Louvre itself, it provided us with the overall theme of the album: the chemistry is back and the love was there to stay.

But it wasn’t until you hear the first 5 seconds that we were presented with the elements of the record that would truly elevate the warmth and regality of the album: the influence of reggae.

The first words that grace our ears are from reggae legend Rory from the Stone Love Movement. Stone Love was a type of sound produced in 80s Jamaica that spread throughout the world. From Japan to the UK and then the US, Stone Love’s sound has influenced many genres throughout the years that they are rarely credited for.

According to Rory, his section for “Summer” were recorded just a week prior to the album’s release and he’s extremely honored to have made it on the project.

When you hear the snares, the mellow guitar chords, and the slow horns come in on that song, the warmth it creates is so reminiscent of Jamaica. It is too dope. If you close your eyes and get lost you really can feel the breeze and sun hit you throughout the record.

Then to top it all off we get Damien Marley, the reggae royalty, talking about his definition of love, once again connecting the vibe to the theme of the record (Jay and B actually filmed a video in Kingston earlier this year and I’d bet money that it was for Summer).

The producer asks the woman at the beginning of “Black Effect” for her definition of love, and she presented such a thorough definition that even she hopes she can say that again.

“It’s about sensitivity, it’s about passion. It’s about unconditional giving of self to another person.”

And the two syllable laugh at the end is so reminiscent of my own grandmother’s that it makes my heart smile every time I hear it.

Music has always been a doorway to escape our harsh realities, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

The tone and vibes of West Indian voices carries with it a presence of strength, wisdom, and pride that is often imitated but rarely authentically duplicated (see horrendous examples of fake accents in season 2 of Luke Cage).

Combine the two, musical doorways and West Indian elements, and you get the best form of free therapy that any of us will ever receive.

The artists that go down as legends are those that make a connection to their fans that is deeper than music. They say things that help us revisit moments in our lives and help us envision the places where we aspire to be.

Hip-hop doesn’t exist without the influence of the West Indies, and it’s truly heartwarming to see the evolution of that relationship blossom throughout the years.

If last month was a blessing from the hip-hop gods, then there was definitely a mesh-tank wearing angel with guitar in hand that guided it to our ears.

DJ Khaled’s ‘Top Off’ was so whack that we had to investigate who’s to blame

Last Thursday, DJ Khaled continued his run as the king of compilations with the announcement of his 11th studio album, Father of Asahd. 

That following day, Khaled released the album’s lead single titled “Top Off”. Like his last album Major Key, it featured Jay-Z, his wife Beyoncé, and Future.

Except, this time it was trash.

It’s hard to slander Hov; it’s ever harder to slander Beyonce.

So the fact that a song featuring them both was so poorly done, in addition to having an accomplished artist like Future to assist, causes for an investigation.

We must find who’s culpable — and I believe we did — but first let’s start with whose fault it isn’t.


Nah, you’re tripping if you think Jay contributed to the mess that is “Top Off”.

While it wasn’t the strongest of verses, even the most mediocre of Jay verses are good enough. Even if you hated his flow, he said he’d kill George Zimmerman with his own hands. No way he’s taking blame after that bar.

Jay, you’re good.

Future, maybe?

At first listen, one would be inclined to blame Future. His squeaky voice doesn’t quite fit and there’s nothing special about the repetitive, mundane, simplistic hook.

But after a couple of listens it’s clear that Future was just being Future — he wasn’t doing anything he hasn’t been doing over the past decade.

Though his closing verse was scratchy and awful, I don’t think we can solely place the brunt of this horrific song on his shoulders.

Future, you get a pass.

No, not Beyonce?

Personally, I hated Beyonce’s contribution to ‘Top Off”. Vocally, it was trash and she proved in one short verse that she’s not the best rapping R&B chick in the game.

Even still, I can’t blame Bey. As bad as she was, there was an artist listed that, honestly, holds complete blame for the failure of this single.

That leaves one person, and one person only — DJ Khaled.

DJ Khaled

You have to blame Khaled. He’s the coach, the offensive coordinator, the conductor. How can’t you blame him?

Now, we’ll probably never understand how hard it is to reach out and get as many different acts on the same song AND for it to sound right, but if it’s not done correctly, why do it at all?

From the beat selection to the arrangement, this all falls on Khaled. He was so anxious to make an “anthem” that he ended up throwing together a mess.

I would have loved to hear a Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Future joint over something more slowed down or a moody joint like “Feds Did a Sweep” or “Scholarships”, that would have brought the dark side out of the married power couple, but instead we got a watered down pop song.

The last time the three got together on “I Got The Keys” they barely made it work. Switching it up completely this go round might have benefited them. But what do I know?

DJ Khaled is an unmistakable staple in our culture and music scene and nothing can take that away. But botching a song with the type of talent is egregious and not above reproach.

Let’s just hope the rest of the album isn’t this bad.

MeLo-X is the Brooklyn-born creative pushing the limits of medium

We’re at a fascinating creative moment in which artists can follow their creative whims to whatever end they desire. Through a mixture of improving technology and access, as well as the degradation of previous artistic norms, more artists are taking their work into numerous mediums, even combining those mediums to create a larger body of work.

One of these creatives defying medium and genre is Brooklyn’s MeLo-X. The rapper, producer, signer, songwriter, filmmaker, art curator, and app developer has worked with Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and PARTYNEXTDOOR, is now working on a film and a new album. He’s curated art shows with his own artwork and performed in multimedia art spaces at the MoMa and beyond. And again, he’s also working on his app with his partner Lou Auguste.

There’s something specifically intriguing about artists who refuse to be boxed in and easily defined. To that end, I hopped on a call with MeLo-X last week to discuss his multifaceted creative approach, his CURATE app, working with Beyonce, his Jamaican roots, and what he’s got coming in the future.

Jack McKain

With all of his different artistic pursuits, I asked MeLo how he defines himself, he told me he can’t really define his creativity, it’s just all about inspiration:

“I don’t even know how to fuckin’ define that shit it’s kind of like, I’m just a creative I guess. If I have a need to create something I just go for it, you know what I’m sayin’? I can’t really define it just like, anything I want to create, if I wanna do a film I kind of know who to go to.”

MeLo tells me this diverse approach started as a kid:

“I just kind of always have been into a lot of different mediums, a lot of different things. Even when I was young I used to like play mad different sports, roller blades and bikes and mad shit so I guess since I’m in this realm of art, music, and technology, I kind of just do the same thing.”

But I’m particularly interested in this idea that if he wants to make a film, he knows who to go to for help on that. So much of being a creative, especially a creative who has seen success, is putting others in positions to succeed, to identify other creative talents to help you make the best possible product. MeLo tells me he had to learn to trust in others to help execute his vision:

“In the past I kind of wanted to do everything myself. So, I taught myself how to produce, how to do this, how to do that. I bought a camera, I got Final Cut Pro. This is like more than 10 years ago I’ve been doing it like that. So now that I kind of like have put in my 10,000 hours in these different places, I kind of know who to hit up for specific things. I use Jason Banker for my director of photography for a lot of stuff that I do.

“I have my own company XTRA Creative House to kind of just build a pool of different creatives that I can and bring projects to and ideas to and collaborate on. So, I think the team, when you get to a certain stage of like just creating constantly, it definitely helps to have a team that can execute a lot of those ideas that you can’t do, because there’s only 24 hours in a day.”

MeLo’s collective XTRA Creative House gives him the resources to do whatever the hell he wants artistically.

Jack McKain

When I ask if there’s a specific vision behind the collective, MeLo tells me about the importance of having the tools (and minds) you need to see your vision through:

“There isn’t really any goal. Right now, XTRA Creative House is almost like a hive of minds or a brainstorming fuckin’ super group. It’s started by me and my manager Claude ‘visionary’ Dary, and when I have projects with Nike, with Tidal, or I do stuff with Parkwood, if I can’t do it, or it’s just a project that calls for two or three different people or we need someone to develop this or that, we kind of, because of the years we’ve put in work, we have just like a cool clientele, a cool Rolodex of different creatives, different artists that we constantly work with.”

And through XTRA Creative House, MeLo-X wants to keep pushing the boundaries:

“The goal really is just to like keep creating shit that has more depth to it, you know. Like the app that I did, the CURATE app, the reason why I even created the app was because I wanted people to be able to feel the project, like touch it in a way. So with the CURATE app you’re able to fuck with the music and listen to it and alter it in different ways. And that’s kinda what I want to bring to different industries, like those little things that bring that little extra touch to different projects and shit.”

When I ask more about the CURATE app, I can tell MeLo is excited to talk about it. He sees the app as a sort of personal playlist or DJ application that the user can both listen to their own music, but also establish a sort of physical relationship with that music, and truly interact with the art.

“The app is a space where you can get all MeLo-X’s stuff, but the great thing is with the app for Version 2 and 3 is that you can upload your own music [from other streaming platforms] into the app and just use it as a playlist tool, so when you’re driving or shopping or whatever, you can play music within the app and be able to add effects to it. So, it’s almost like you’re DJing without having to mix records, just move the shape and add effects and cool shit.

“But also on the producer’s side, for me I produce a lot of stuff on my phone and on my iPad, so you can do loops and add effects and save it and send it different places. It’s basically a tool for both the most novice user and the most experienced.”

In this way, CURATE is an app for music listeners and players alike, and a fascinating way of bridging the gap between technology and art.

Jack McKain

For future versions, MeLo wants to incorporate blockchain technology so users can make money while they’re using the app:

“We’re using blockchain technology, so as you’re using the app, you’re mining coins and you get bread. So you connect it with an account and get cheese as you use the app, it’s like a different way of utilizing apps and technology to like, not only can you use it to just have a good time and play some music, but you also like gain some kind of income from it.”

Seeing someone with such a unique vision naturally begs the question of influence. When MeLo and I talk about his own set of influences, the Flatbush native said inspiration is more related to what he’s working on in that moment:

“A lot of my inspiration comes from different places, I get it from different modes. Because I do a lot of shit like, I’ll have a month where I’m just in film, so like for the last two years I’ve been working on this film called JUVÉ NITE [based on Caribbean celebration of J’ouvert]. So I shot a film during Jouvert Night just documenting the people, the sounds. Now I’m working on the color correction, so for the last like four months I’ve just been studying Belly, just studying the one scene when Ox goes to Jamaica, when DMX goes to Jamaica for the first time and like just that imagery when he walked up for the first time how that is shot, Hype Williams really killed that shit.”

And much of that inspiration is derived from his Jamaican heritage. MeLo told me about how his roots shaped his creativity:

“Musically I’m always drawn from the drums and the heavy bass from this real dancehall heavy music you know. Visually, always kind of playing with those colors; the reds, greens, yellow colors, colors that we see on the flag. And I’m kind of playing with that now, just creating real dope kind of a Future-Caribbean vibe. That definitely stems from being Jamaican-born in Brooklyn, but I do have a lot of inspirations from other places as well that I kind of use within my work. And bring those two worlds together.”

One prominent example of MeLo combining his Caribbean influences with more poppy American styles is his work on Beyoncé’s Lemonade. MeLo produced and wrote on a bunch of songs on the album, including “Sorry”, one of the wildest sounding pop records in recent memory.

“Sorry” is grimy, bouncy, and touched with dancehall roots in its production. So I asked MeLo-X about being able to bring those sounds to Beyoncé, one of the most popular artists on the planet:

“I was definitely surprised when they chose that as the first single or whatever because it definitely has a dancehall vibe, a lot of the songs I worked on on that album have those elements. But yeah, I put those sounds and inspirations within everything that I do. But “Sorry” specifically, I think it’s a great hybrid and I’ve seen some YouTube videos of people like breaking down shit and this and that and I kinda like seeing people talk about the track because it definitely is a hybrid between like a pop/rap sound but still dancehall. It’s real different.”

He added that it’s kind of fun to be able to “infiltrate” pop music with his style:

“I like that I can infiltrate that level of music and entertainment with some left-sounding shit. It’s just dope that someone like Beyonce can hear that and figure out how to make it work.”

MeLo also did sound design for Beyonce’s “On The Run Tour” as well as Jay-Z’s “4:44 Tour” and PARTYNEXTDOOR’s “Summer’s Over Tour”. But somehow he still has time to work on his own shit. Beyond the CURATE app, the JUVÉ NITE film, and producing for others, MeLo-X is working on a new album BIG CHUNEZ that he’s extra hype on.

When I ask for a little preview of what listeners can expect, he told me it’s some “planet earth type shit” bringing elements of world music together mixed with good ol’ pop music.

“Yo, [the album] really doesn’t sound like anything else. I mean, everybody says that [laughs] but it’s kind of like my take on a modern day pop banger ass album. Because I feel like nowadays pop is, pop is just whatever hip-hop, rap, Black, whatever n***as is doin’ that’s just pop. So kinda taking that idea and meshing it with different styles, different genres, all these different inspirations.”

What’s the source of these broad geographic inspirations? His work with Jasmine Solano of the Electric Punany collective,

“I go on tour a lot, I’m part of a collective called Electric Punany, with me and Jasmine Solano, and we tour around the world and just play a lot of hybrid music from Brazil, Africa, UK, everywhere. So the album is kind of inspired by that, but taking that energy and bringing it to like a Brooklyn basement party. Lots of energy.”

BIG CHUNEZ will arrive with JUVÉ NITE and have accompanying components on the CURATE app, consolidating MeLo’s broad artistic vision into one body of work. It’s an ambitious idea, but judging off MeLo-X’s creative pursuits thus far, 2018 is going to see one wild, medium-bending success after another for the Brooklyn-born artist.

A brief history of everyone thirsting to collaborate with Queen Cardi B

It’s no secret that Cardi B is the queen of the rap game, so it makes sense that everyone is tripping over themselves trying to collaborate with the “WAP” artist.

I suppose the only surprising thing is the scope of the people who want to collaborate with Cardi, including Kylie Jenner, music legends, astronauts (?), and designer fashion labels.

Cardi already has a grip of wild collaborations under her belt; a shoe line with Steve Madden and songs with with Bruno Mars, Migos, 21 Savage, and G-Eazy.

Judging by everyone clamoring to work with Cardi and rumored collabs, shit is not slowing down anytime soon for BX’s finest.

Here’s a selection of artists and random celebrities thirsting over Cardi B.

George Clinton

Funk legend and Parliament-Funkadelic frontman George Clinton made his love for Cardi B clear in a Reddit AMA yesterday.

Clinton was asked what current music he’s fucking with and while conceding that he’s listening to a lot of ATL “trap shit,” Clinton also made his desire to work with Cardi clear.

Clinton said,

“Flying Lotus, Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z’s new album, Tra’Zae, and all that shit coming out of Atlanta. All that trap shit. I’m trapped in it… I’d like to work with Cardi B. She’s got the funk.”

Cardi most definitely has the funk. Any Clinton/Cardi B collaboration might just be the wildest shit possible.

Astronaut Scott Kelly

So, retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly spent a year in space and upon returning from the great unknown expanse, he was just trying to work with Cardi B.

Kelly had some trouble walking and reorienting himself to terrestrial life once he returned to Earth, but we can confirm that Kelly was thinking very clearly when he tweeted his desire to collab with Cardi.

Although he deleted the tweets, the internet doesn’t forget. Regardless, we can’t be sending Cardi B, Earth’s most prized asset, to space anytime soon. We need her right here.


This fall, a sound engineer by the name of Ashby the Mix Engineer posted a picture of an apparent Cardi B/Beyonce collaboration and everyone lost their shit.

Cardi has since addressed the rumors of working with Bey and put any speculation to bed,

“I don’t even know where did that rumor… people are crazy. People start rumors and do things.”

Yes, we do things because a Cardi B and Beyonce collaboration might just shut down the whole planet, I guess in that case Scott Kelly might come in handy.

This has to happen.

G Herbo

The Chi-Town rapper G Herbo told Ivy of Dopeness’ “The Plug” that he’s certainly fucking with Cardi’s movement and would love to work with her in the future,

“I fuckk with Cardi. I just did an interview where someone was asking me about Cardi. I like Cardi. Everything she doing I fuck with it… I fuck with her. Yeah, I’ll do [a collab with Cardi]. I’ll definitely fuck with Cardi.”

While a G Herbo and Cardi B collaboration sounds kind of incongruous, Cardi’s songs with trap rappers like 21 Savage and Migos prove she can kind of do whatever the hell she wants.

We’d fuck with this.


Oakland songstress Kehlani addressed the possibility of working with Cardi B in an interview with Zane Lowe in which the Beats 1 radio host implied they could be the “new Throne.”

“I’m down, let’s do it,” responded Kehlani. She went on to gush about Cardi killing it right now:

“Nobody can deny it anymore. Every hater, I’m sure, that has ever hated on Cardi B, knows all the words to ‘Bodak Yellow.’ That’s guaranteed. Nobody can shake that. I’m the biggest Cardi B fan.”

It looks like this has actually come to fruition as Cardi B told Billboard that she and Kehlani are indeed working on something together:

“Oh, there’s something…we’ve been working on that,” she says. “Yes, it’s so beautiful… Well, I haven’t finished it, but I heard something and I was like, ‘Oh, Kehlani! I love her.’ She’s such a sweetie. Definitely.”

Need to hear this ASAP.


SZA and Cardi B were two of the biggest artists of 2017, it only makes sense that they’d make some fire together.

After Cardi shouted out SZA playing “Bodak Yellow” while on tour, SZA was quick to say they needed to get in the booth.

A Cardi x SZA track might be too much for us to handle.

Need a glass of water.

Beyoncé changes her email address at least once a week

Upon the release of Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran’s new single “Perfect Duet”, Sheeran  discussed how he went about working on the duet with the R&B queen, and how he finally got her to collaborate on the single.

“I have an email address that I email…that actually changes every week. So I emailed that and then we got on the phone. It’s been in the works since May.”

If you’re looking to reach Beyoncé, think again. The singer has her email address changed weekly.

“Obviously she had twins [in June], and we finished [the song] in September, so I’ve been holding onto it since then.”

The email might have been for her assistant(s) and passed along to her, or it could have gone to Bey directly – who knows?

I mean, obviously someone as big as Beyoncé isn’t going to be handing out her email address to every single person who comes her way, song collaboration or not.

She probably has a couple of email addresses on deck; one for her family, one for her boo, one for her team. When you’re that famous, it’s not going to be a free for all, hit-me-up-whenever.

Why stop at email addresses? I wouldn’t be surprised if she has low-key social media accounts, phone numbers, addresses, names, and even identities.

Orrrrrr she just didn’t want Ed to be able to reach her again?

Just kidding. But yeah, if you’re associated with anyone as big as Beyoncé, there’s going to be layers of contact and communication that you have to go through.

Anyway, the duet came out silky-smooth with just the right amount of Beyoncé kick. Soft beats harmonize with both of the singer’s distinctive voices. The song has been heading to the number one spot since its release two days ago. I mean, I’m pretty obsessed already.

Hope we hear more releases from the power duo!

There’s a girl on Instagram who looks like exactly like a young Beyonce

Beyonce has a look alike and people are seriously confusing the two.

Brittany Williams (@sur__b), a Detroit native, has been stopped, stalked, and chased by fans for looking like Beyonce for a minute now.

Their similarities extend beyond looks. Though she is a party planner, Williams shares “southern roots” with the singer, and considers herself and Beyonce, “Both strong dominant women, fearless, and God fearing.”

From the Daily Mail,

We’re simply blessed to have a woman with such grace, humility, loyalty, talent and worth ethic to exist in our time. She’s the example of what men should seek, and girls should become.

It isn’t all good though. Williams is living her life constantly being chased around by people thinking she’s Beyonce.

I get approached all the time; whether it be on planes, at the airport or while attending events. I’ve also been chased, had pictures taken of me without my consent and pranks done without me knowing.

A group of women once chased me and my friend to our car and began singing “Single Ladies”, beating my friend’s car with the heels of their shoes until we rolled down the window and took a picture with them. Most people are generally friendly though and just want a picture, they often say I look like a younger version of Beyoncé.

So many after her, Ain’t no upgrade after her.. -B

A post shared by SurB™ (@sur__b) on

Love can bring out another side of beauty… ~BB 💙

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Baptize your lips in all this good -B

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Williams hasn’t been completely cool with the amount of attention she’s gotten as Beyonce’s doppelgänger.

It used to bother me a lot but not so much now. I struggle with people only calling me beautiful because of who I look like rather than thinking I’m beautiful because I’m me. I’ve learnt to accept their opinions and be confident in my own skin. Nothing prompted me to have this look. I was born exactly how you see me – except for the blonde hair.

Damn! I mean, I can see the resemblance myself, but I can also see that Williams is clearly not Beyonce.

What do you think? Does she looks like Queen Bey, or is everyone really hyping this up?

Jay Z finally admits to cheating on Beyonce, plus their joint album

Back when Beyonce’s Lemonade album dropped, there were rumors circulating that Jay Z and Bey were working on an album together.

Turns out that was true. Jay discussed with T, The New York Times Style Magazine how the whole ordeal went down:

“It didn’t happen in that way. We were using our art almost like a therapy session. And we started making music together. Then the music she was making at that time was further along. Her album came out as opposed to the joint album that we were working on…And this is what it became. There was never a point where it was like, ‘I’m making this album.’ I was right there the entire time.”

Then as true artist couples do, Jay and Bey had many conversations regarding their relationship, all the while working on completing and releasing their respective albums, 4:44 and Lemonade.

Music Video Couple GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

It was no shock when Jay Z admitted to cheating on Beyonce. What was shocking was their reconciliation after her release of such a powerful album. Lemonade was so impactful, it made single women want to break up with their partners.

“You know, most people walk away, and like divorce rate is like 50 percent or something ’cause most people can’t see themselves,” Jay shares with The Times, “The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone’s face that you caused, and then have to deal with yourself. So, you know, most people don’t want to do that. You don’t want to look inside yourself. And so you walk away.”

“The strongest thing a man can do is cry,” he tells interviewer Dean Baquet.

Though Jay’s song 4:44  alludes to his cheating on Beyonce, and Beyonce’s full Lemonade album implies her husband’s infidelity, making “Becky with the good hair” the number one dig of side pieces in 2016, this is the first time Jay has openly admitted to his unfaithfulness.

“There’s gonna be complications in the relationship that we have to get through. And the only way to get through that is we sit down and have a dialogue and say, ‘These are the things that I’m uncomfortable with. These are the things that are unacceptable to me. This is what I feel.”

Well in any case, we’re glad the power couple was able to work things out. Since the allegations, Beyonce has given birth to beautiful twin babies, taking their family of three to a family of five.


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What can we learn from Beyonce and Jay’s story? Perhaps we can ditch the old phrase, “Once a cheater always a cheater,” it seems that Hov is serious about keeping his woman and their life together.

Waviest tracks of the week: Eminem & Beyonce, Yung Lean, Cam’ron, & more

Obviously you’ll need some jams to keep you warm during this all too cold weekend. We got you covered.

Eminem – “Walk On Water” (ft. Beyonce)

Eminem really enlisted the Queen for the chorus on “Walk On Water”, the first track off Em’s next album.

It’s a song about the writing process and Eminem not really fucking with what he’s coming up with in the booth. Eminem rhymes over a simple piano and string beat sans drums.

There’s no release date yet for Em’s new project, but this is definitely a star-studded first single.

Yung Lean – “Muddy Sea”

My dude Yung Lean has been through it all. After rising to the top of the SoundCloud rap world with his 2013 mixtape Unknown Death 2002 as a then-18-year-old from Stockholm, Sweden, Yung Lean fell into a scary cycle of drug abuse and insomnia, culminating with an episode where he disassociated and ended up in a mental hospital.

Lean is all better now, but that doesn’t mean he’s not still battling the demons.

On his new album Strangers, Yung Lean is still a Sad Boy, even if he can stunt a little bit now. The Swedish rapper has had a big impact on SoundCloud rap, it’s dope to have him back.

Chromeo – “Juice”

The Funk Lordz have returned. The duo of Montreal natives Dave-1 and P-Thugg always bring their brand of toe-tappin’ funk and “Juice” is no different. The band also announced a new album Head Over Heels is around the corner, although a release date has yet to be announced.

Cam’ron – “D.I.A.”

Harlem legend Cam’ron dropped a surprise mixtape The Program yesterday. Shit is incredibly lit. It’s your typical blend of bangers, hilarious skits, and stuff only Cam could do (he remixes Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” into “Dime After Dime”).

Put your best pink outfit on and lamp to The Program.

Cousin Stizz – “Lace Up”

Boston rapper Cousin Stizz is holding down the underground rap game right now. Dude is on the come up and after dropping his mixtape One Night Only back in July, he’s already dropping new shit.

Stizz is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Kamaiyah – “Leave Em”

Kamaiyah is truly out here. She dropped a surprise mixtape Before I Wake after beef with her record label forced her to release music on her own. On “Leave Em” she flips TLC’s “Creep” to tell a friend to dump her bummy ass boyfriend.

Rich Chigga – “Crisis” (ft. 21 Savage)

So when Rich Chigga debuted with “Dat $tick”, it seemed like a joke. 21 Savage himself wasn’t so sure about Rich Chigga at first but the Jakarta-born rapper is slowly making his way to legitimacy. I mean, 21 bodies him on this track but that’s to be expected when you begin as a meme rapper.

“Crisis” is actually pretty good. But dude… change your name.

A – Trak & Baauer – “Fern Gully”

A-Trak (brother of Chromeo’s Dave-1) and Baauer of “Harlem Shake” fame linked up for a two-track EP and announced a mini five-date fall tour.

“Fern Gully” is a wild collision of sounds that will keep any function going this cold ass weekend.

Vulfpeck – “Running Away” (ft. Joey Dosik, David T. Walker, James Gadson)

Vulfpeck, a funk band hatched at the University of Michigan School of Music, are actually pretty good.

Their new album Mr Finish Line is a brief collection of soulful jams with frequent collaborators like David T. Walker (worked with Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder) and James Gadson (Bill Withers).

For a group of awkward-looking white dudes, Vulfpeck has some serious funk.

Quicksand – “Illuminant”

Quicksand released their first album since 1995 (1995!) and for anyone that enjoyed the punk riffs (listen to that damn BASS) on Manic Compression, Interiors brings much of the same energy, just with a slightly more refined sound.


21 Savage dropped his video for “Bank Account” which features a very confused Mike Epps.

It’s worth a look just to see 21 Savage and Mike Epps chill.

Gucci Mane and The Weeknd dropped their very extra video for “Curve.”

The greatest of all-time Young Dolph dropped the video for “What’s The Deal” off his latest mixtape Thinking Out Loud.

As always…

Queen of her city: Here’s everything Beyonce has done for Houston so far

Hurricane Harvey hit Houston Texas on August 25th, 2017 and since then countless efforts have been made to help aid the recovery of everyone affected by the storm.

Celebrities like Kevin Hart encouraged everyone from peers to fans to participate in Houston’s aid.

The most notable contributions would come from Houston native Beyonce, who is continuously using every opportunity to provide support and love for her city in its time of need.

Beyonce has been making an intense effort to not only give back to Houston financially (as her pastor Rudy Rasmus said she’s done for years) but has also been hands on with relief efforts for those most impacted by Harvey.

By keeping everything she does to the lowest of keys Beyonce has proved her efforts to be out of love and genuine support.

There aren’t too many details of Beyonce’s contributions to Harvey relief but here’s what we do know what she’s done for Houston so far.


A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Beyonce’s own organization BeyGOOD focuses on giving support to those that need it most.

BeyGOOD has actively been on the ground continuing to reconnect families as well as provide shelter, food, clothing, and other needs necessary to help victims get back on their feet.

Throwing luncheons in different locations in need of food including her own St. Johns Church, Beyonce has managed to deploy relief efforts all around the city helping to rebuild her hometown .

Beyonce herself has also been putting in the groundwork, serving food to families herself as well as speaking and inspiring everyone to be strong.

Secret Donations

Anything regarding Beyonce and her finances is mostly kept quiet by the pop star. As the destruction caused by Harvey began, Kevin Hart issued a direct challenge to Beyonce and Jay-Z to contribute funds to Houston.

Soon after, Beyonce’s long time pastor Rudy Rasmus confirmed that Beyonce has always given to Houston saying that “Beyonce is extremely private, and has done a lot that she has requested we don’t announce and publicize, over the years.”

Adding on that Rasmus said, “She has always taken a position to help this city in it’s times of need, and now is no different. She has really stepped up and it’s been a real blessing for us.”

It’s been reported that she has already donated $7 million to Houston’s recovery, Rev. Rasmus however chose not to confirm the number but we can assume that she has and will continue to do a lot more for the city than we will know.

Climate Change Awareness

With increasing global catastrophes occurring like Mexico’s recent 8.1 magnitude earthquake and Hurricane Irma destroying the Caribbean and parts of Florida, climate change is a conversation that needs to start being taken seriously.

Proving that her efforts extend far past her hometown, Beyonce released a video discussing man-made climate change and how it will continue affecting us.

After taking a quick moment to show her disapproval for the hate-filled news we’re plagued with everyday Beyonce goes on to call for a collective effort to raise our voices and bring attention to climate change or the ‘hoax’ as our president likes to call it.

Drake has a giant portrait of Beyonce in his studio because he’s corny

Drake has always been a pretty weird guy. It’s no secret that he’s made some decisions that leave some of us with a twisted face like when he tattooed Lil Wayne’s face on his arm or when he macked Madonna on stage.

Well one of the biggest artists in the world is back with some questionable decisions. Last night Drake’s friend and Toronto artist Baka was seen in Drake’s home studio recording some new music.

So far, so good, nothing to see here until you look in the corner of the room and notice a giant ass portrait of Beyonce just sitting on the wall. Don’t Hov and Drake have a fake beef going on between them?

This might be a little awkward at first glance and rightfully so, I mean having one of your peers in portrait form isn’t the most normal thing in the world. That being said, Drake has always been pretty open with his influences and the artists who inspire him.

Along with his Lil Wayne tattoo, he’s got a portraits of Sade in honor of her beauty and what her music represents to him. He’s also put a neon sign in his studio that says “Less Drake More Tupac” because like everything else in his life, it inspires him.

Obviously Aubrey admires Beyonce in a major way and to be honest, why wouldn’t he? Beyonce is a pop culture icon and it’s only right that her art speaks to Drake.

For as big of an icon Drake is, he is never afraid to openly stan someone who he admires and that deserves some respect.

In a world where everyone is too cool to admit that they’re a big fan of something here we have Drake, tattooing his idols on his body and hanging life sized posters of them up in his studio.

Yeah, he’s corny, but he doesn’t pretend to be otherwise.