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Music and gentrification: 5 raptivists find power in their craft

The influence of a music artist can extend far beyond the reaches of art itself. Oftentimes the artists turned raptivists we look up to will make the empowered decision to utilize their platforms to advocate for change, like gentrification.

What does advocating against gentrification in the music industry look like?

Gentrification is a capitalistic phenomenon that plagues many communities today, including ones that our favorite music artists have grown up and developed their sounds in.

Nipsey Hussle, Wale, Cardi B, Jay-Z, and Noname have all been known to speak up about and fight against gentrification’s impacts in their own communities

1. Nipsey Hussle bought back the block

Before the late rapper’s untimely death, Nipsey Hussle had been proudly advocating against gentrification within his own community. The Crenshaw District in Los Angeles has seen a large increase in the median house cost, which has actively pushed out Black residents and Hussle found many ways to combat this issue.

For instance, he invested in many properties and created jobs within the community through Marathon Clothing. He also took action on a political level by planning on using a tax incentive to support his neighborhood and met with Senator Tim Scott to propose an investment fund.

2. Jay-Z flips the definition of gentrification

In April of 2019, Jay-Z performed a freestyle honoring the late Nipsey Hussle and his work against gentrification. His lyrics stated “Gentrify your own hood before these people do it. Claim eminent domain and have your people move in. That’s a small glimpse into what Nipsey was doing.

For anybody still confused as to what he was doing.” These lyrics didn’t sit well for a number of fans because of the strong negative connotation towards the word “gentrify” – many felt that Jay-Z shouldn’t have used the word “gentrify” because it is strictly defined as marketing neighborhoods to more affluent classes.

Ultimately, Jay-Z’s message was to clean up your own communities for the good of the people already living there, as opposed to the government doing so while displacing current residents. Through the music, he refers to how Hussle would combat gentrification while improving his community by creating jobs and investing in properties.

3. Wale remains the outspoken voice of the unheard

Similarly, Wale is very outspoken against gentrification, especially within his own music and DC neighborhood.

One notable incident that he has publicly spoken out against on Twitter involved a Metro PCS vendor being forced to stop playing the go-go music that he had been playing in that very spot for decades, because of a noise complaint from a luxury apartment building nearby – Wale says “This is wild to me. U knew what u signed up for.”

He emphasizes that gentrification is an issue of entitlement from the part of white Americans that target Black Americans by acting as if they don’t have as much right to ownership of land in this country.

4. Music artist Cardi B hit Twitter with the truth about gentrification

Another instance of a celebrity speaking out against gentrification through social media involves Cardi B – she says “The gentrification in Harlem and Washington Heights makes me so sad. It truly breaks my heart.”

This began an active conversation on Twitter in which many decided to give their input on the issue and what they feel celebrities like Cardi should do.

Twitter user @JHart04 says “buy property and give it back to the families. That’s the only way. Many families try to work hard but find the fine line in making too much to keep their benefits and homes. That’s what needs to be fixed.”

5. NoName reminds us of the void we need to fill

Noname touches on the topic of gentrification often in her music album Room 25. She opens Prayer Song with the lyrics “Gentrify all my people, there’s emptiness on the table,” before continuing by addressing more political issues such as police brutality.

Additionally, Noname has started a book club as well as opened Radical Hood Library within the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. While many question the library’s true intentions in terms of gentrification,

Noname clarifies “we don’t own the building and our landlord has been on dirt with us ever since we got there lol. it’s crazy cause we have been afraid of him kicking us out to have some white folks come in and replace us with a cafe or something.”

Honorable Mention — Ted Hearne and Saul Williams

Ted Hearne and Saul Williams dropped their project PLACE to capture the erratic changes taking place in our neighborhoods by highlighting gentrification through music and poetry.

The poet Williams writes in one selection, “A Thought,” recited in back-and-forth syncopation by him and the singer Ayanna Woods:

Gentrification is a generational conversation that has gone by many names. We should not discuss what brings you back to the city without acknowledging why you left. White flight. White flight. White flight. Now that winter is over, you’re flying back. Will you bring your old viruses with you? Will you push us away? Are you capable of playing and living with others? Or will you find reasons, very sane and honorable reasons, for pricing us out, for placing us in camps, prisons, squats…. eraaaaaaaaaasure.

Watch the whole body of work by clicking here.

Chill fam: Let Cardi and Meg’s explicit ‘WAP’ be a BOP and go

Not every sexual female song has to have the intention to “empower.”

The explicit “WAP” track by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion has blown up since its release this week. And the conversation around the song has been exhausting.

With immediate rejection and ridicule from (mostly male) hip-hop heads and conservatives alike, saying the song is “too vulgar.”

Explicit ‘WAP’ explodes on social

The song stands for “Wet Ass Pussy” and dropped with a music video featuring two of today’s hottest female rappers, Cardi B and Meg Thee Stallion in several sexy outfits walking around a mansion talking about all things sexual pleasure.

In brief terms, it’s a song about female sexual pleasure and desire. And it’s gone viral with an insane amount of fan engagement.

In defense of “WAP”

But with criticisms from the same old people about how the top female rappers only rap about sex and use their bodies to make it big, the backlash has come from the other side.

Some took to ridiculing the men who claim to be heterosexual but are uncomfortable with female sexual pleasure. In fact, some are even trying to say that a wet ass pussy is a medical condition. 

The hypocrisy

Let’s not forget how the sexuality of women of color, especially that of Black women is often politicized as hedonistic or only for male consumption, but that’s a LONG conversation for another time.

Many users also pointed out the disproportionate response of angry uproar over sexual lyrics vs, the lack of support for Megan Thee Stallion when she got shot. In fact, many thought it okay to joke about violence against women, but let a woman enjoy her ‘wet ass pussy’ that’s going too far right?

Just let it be a Bop

A number of people sought to redirect the conversation into defending the song as #Empowering. With multiple users on Twitter and the blogosphere arguing that Cardi and Meg are seeking to do great feminist work by owning their sexuality and speaking on female pleasure in unapologetic terms.

While we appreciate messages of empowerment and positive sexual freedom for all, and particularly non-cis-het male sexual freedom sometimes a song is just a song.

Female artists shouldn’t need to be inspiring and goddesses of social change to be able to rap about their bodies. That’s possibly the best and most accurate message behind the song.

I say accurate because more than anything Cardi B seems to be referring to the song as nothing more than a BOP that is also a huge money-making success. She also had something to say to those who criticize female rappers for using sexuality as a commodity to make big bucks.

Charts on WAP’s side

A quick look at rap and hip hop History will show you that male rappers have been writing sexually suggestive and outright blatant rap songs forEVER. I’m talking to you CeeLo.

“disappointing on a personal and moral level.[…] There was once a time when we were savvy enough to code certain things…. But now music is shameless, it is sheer savagery.” – CeeLo Greene on WAP

So it’s quite a waste of time to come at female rappers who decide to do the same and make some money off it too.

Damn, just let us have some fun and let some women get that bread.

And if you’re of the mind that you’re tired of sexual songs being everywhere, why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and support female artists that don’t do that. Oh but you just wanna run your mouth?

Siri, play explicit “WAP” again.

Big mad! 5 things to avoid doing when working with creatives

Creatives can be the saving grace for your brand or project, but if you treat them poorly you might miss out on some major success.

We asked our community of creatives what get’s them tight when they’re doing they’re doing their thing. So here are your top five things to avoid when dealing with a creative.

Do Not Rush Us

If you want something done well, do not push a creative to do it in half the time. It’s one thing to agree on a deadline it’s another to ignore the time needs of an artist.

This is their craft and they are sharing their talent and skills with you. Just because you need something sooner or have an idea of how much time you think it should take does not mean you get to go back on what was promised.

You can’t rush perfection. Which brings us to our next no-no…

Do Not Micro-Manage

Whether you have knowledge of the art or project you want the creative to complete or not, no one likes someone breathing down their neck.

It’s super insulting when you micro-manage someone, it shows you don’t have faith in their abilities to execute the work. You probably shouldn’t have chosen to work with them if you can’t trust them to get the job done.

Do Not Disrespect the up-and-comer

The world is judgemental.

The creative community is no different. But not having worked at a certain level of prestige, or with a respected brand or team does not make a creative less deserving of respect.

Everyone starts somewhere, and even if they’ve been grinding for a while, they shouldn’t need a big fancy stamp of approval, their quality of work speaks for itself.

Do Not Waste Our Time

It happens sometimes. You plan to work with a creative or hire them for a job and things fall through. We get it, not everything is meant to be.

But no one likes to be led on. If you don’t have any intention to collab with a creative DON’T act like you are. Honesty is the best policy.

You can absolutely express that you’d love to work with us but be realistic and tell us what the chances are of getting this project in the works.

This also applies to not knowing what you want. Being vague might allow for the freedom to strick a genius idea, but don’t change your mind every time we come to you with a fleshed-out concept.

Being set up for rejection sucks.

Do Not Expect High Quality with a Sus Budget

It’s true, sometimes we can make dirt into gold.

But if we say it’s not possible to make your Spielberg film on a kindergarten zoo trip budget then believe us. Most creatives will tell you straight up how much a project will cost and they’re not trying to swindle you with that number.

A lot goes into planning, materials, locations and just time. You’re not the only one who’s got something to lose. No creative wants to make bad art.

Lorene Scafaria’s ‘Hustlers’ is the empowering flick we all need right now

Some of the biggest names in the industry– J Lo, Cardi B, Lizzo, Keke Palmer, Constance Wu (“Crazy Rich Asians”) and Lili Reinhart (girl-next-door Betty Cooper in “Riverdale”)– came together to make Hustlers, a movie about strippers who work together to scam slimy Wall Street guys.

It’s like taking Martin Scorcese’s Jordan Belfort from Wolf of Wall Street, but then replacing him with a whole pack of wolves. Still, unlike Wolf, the film was helmed by a woman, Lorene Scafaria, which makes it that much more empowering.

Not only do we get female solidarity, but body positivity: the stars’ bodies, rather than being ogled by a male director (think Quentin Tarantino or Michael Bay), are instead celebrated by a woman.

Hustlers premiered at the TIFF festival less than a week ago and hits theaters this Friday. But already, critics are dubbing it the “female Goodfellas” and clamoring for an Oscar nom for J Lo, who at 50 is putting in career-best work and doing insane pole-dancing moves.

Not to mention, Hustlers creamed the box office with a $34 million debut.

The movie is based on a 2015 New Yorker article “The Hustlers at Scores” by Jessica Pressler, and the actresses are playing versions of real people. Wu’s “Destiny” is based on the article’s Rosie Keo, a young stripper with immense business savvy while J Lo’s “Ramona” is Samantha Barbash, in her 30’s when she met Rosie and known for taking younger strippers under her wing at Hustler’s.

Rosie got in on Samantha’s scheme, which involved calling up Hustler’s clients, mainly married men, bringing them to a room and drugging them– just a dash of molly and ketamine in their drinks– to get them to rack up tabs of tens of thousands of dollars.

They justified their actions by asserting that this money was nothing to these guys, that they were bad dudes taking advantage of these women. It was a way to claim power, to turn the tables.

Cardi B used similar queasy methods. In a video in which she reflected on her days as a stripper, the rapper admitted to drugging and stealing from her clients. In the ensuing backlash, she defended herself, saying it was out of a need to survive.

Out of all the actresses in the film, Cardi was the only with a real stripper past. Sheesh, one can only wonder what it felt like for her to step back into that role after clawing her way out of that world.

Spoiler Alert

Anyway, the finesse operation proved to be unstable; Samantha and Rosie’s relationship soured and things eventually spiraled out of control. After doctor Zyad Younan reported a $135,000 bill over four nights at Hustler’s, the girls were arrested, charged with forgery, conspiracy, grand larceny, and assault.

But despite the fallout and felony charges, Rosie’s fierce feelings of female solidarity remained. In the article, when asked if her employers put her up to the scheme, Rosie scoffed. No one put them up to anything, she tells Pressler:

“We are strong women who don’t take shit from nobody.”

Cheers to that.

Image result for hustlers movie gif

Made in America ’19 solidifies it as one of the hottest festivals in the country

We already knew this year’s music festivals were going to be some of the hottest in recent memory. As one of the last festivals before the season comes to a close, Made In America ’19 proved to be one of the best.

The festival, which was started back in 2012 by Jay-Z, has quickly cemented itself as a can’t miss festival on the circuit. This year’s Made in America featured unforgettable performances by some of the biggest names in music, rising stars, and fresh newcomers.

Cardi B and Travis Scott, who went head to head at this year’s Grammys for Best Rap Album, headlined Saturday and Sunday nights respectively. However, across both days, most of the hottest performances were on the Tidal Stage.

Countless acts tore up the stage with wildly energetic sets. The fans fed off of the artists’ energy and the artists fed off the fans’ for each performance. The stage served as a place to showcase some of the hottest rising stars in the game.

Peep Made in America ’19 the Kulture way!


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Don’t get it twisted, though. The Tidal Stage wasn’t the only place to find great performances in Philly this past weekend. Hometown legend Lil Uzi Vert went on right before Travis Scott and gave one of the most unforgettable performances of the weekend.

Other notable performances included Gucci Mane, MadeinTYO, Blueface, Lizzo, and Juice WRLD. The success of this year’s festival will only mean more growth for Made In America in coming years. More artists, more stages, more fans, more legendary performances.

On top of all the great music from the weekend were other ways for fans to enjoy their experience at Made In America. 

There were dozens of food stands and trucks from bomb local Philadelphia eateries. Fans could also visit Cause Village, which featured stands from local and national organizations doing amazing work in our communities. Fans had the opportunity to learn about these groups and become part of their movements.

The music, the food, the community, and so much more were on full display last weekend in Philadelphia. Made In America ’19 was a festival for the books and we’re already looking forward to next year. We hope to see y’all there too.

For now, just peep photos from the festival below

Cardi B at Made in America | @finalfocusfil

Juice WRLD at Made in America | @finalfocusfilms

Meg thee Stallion at Made in America | @finalfocusfilms


Melii at Made in America | @finalfocusfilms

Roddy Ricch at Made in America | @finalfocusfilms

Buddy at Made in America | @finalfocusfilms

Buddy at Made in America | @finalfocusfilms

Cardi B at Made in America | @finalfocusfilms

Angelica Vila at Made in America | @finalfocusfilms

Angelica vila at Made in America | @finalfocusfilms


Gucci Mane at Made in America | @finalfocusfilms

DaBaby at Made in America | @finalfocusfilms

Meg thee Stallion at Made in America | @finalfocusfilms

Lil Uzi Vert at Made in America | @finalfocusfilms

The Pump Plan: Label execs explain making trash rappers go viral

You ever hear a song, catch wind of an artist or even just look at at a rapper and wonder to yourself where in the hell did they come from?

I feel like every day there’s a new xan-addicted SoundCloud rapper or punk clout chaser with face tattoos that blows up out of nowhere.

At one point in time, rappers had to lay the groundwork by building a foundation with a fanbase, create enough demand to get on the radio and go on tour, plus put out a whole body of work to prove they can really rap — all while still maybe not even getting a deal.

More recently, however, it appears that all you really need to make it in the game is the virality factor and labels have begun to take notice.

Gucci Gang GIF by Lil Pump - Find & Share on GIPHY

A new report from Vulture details how labels overlook what an artist has to say or how well they can say it and are more interested in how viral they are or can be.

Apparently, there’s a secret formula to going viral that’s worked for rappers like XXXtentacion, Lil Pump and 6ix9ine and producers Rojas and Alex Gelbard of Inzei Records are the engineers of it. Rojas co-produced X’s breakout hit “LOOK AT ME!” and Alex “Loyalty” Gelbard was instrumental in the marketing effort that made Lil Pump famous.

Together, through their experiences in the industry, they’ve developed an algorithm that should turn any artist into a viral star. It’s called the “The Pump Plan.” Vulture’s Lauren Levy explains:

The two of them helped build Lil Pump’s career using a method they now refer to as the ‘The Pump Plan.’ It’s a ten-step program that guarantees transforming a local rapper or minor celebrity into a meme and then a viral sensation using a set of proven marketing tricks. It includes tactics like: social-media influencer campaigns, meme-ing the artist, placements, World Star promotions, and something called ‘controversy projects,’ which seems to mean planting feuds between artists and igniting drama to stoke controversy and online attention. They pitch it to new artists they’re looking to sign.

You don’t have to be a hip-hop purist to sense the shallowness of this proposed method of achieving hip-hop music. It feels contrived because it literally is. According to their ideology, the powers that be are no longer looking for the cream of the crop. Instead, they’re looking for what can satisfy their bottom dollar; and it’s working.

Danielle Bregoli aka Bhad Bhabie is a byproduct and proof of this viral culture that’s led to “The Pump Plan.” Bregoli was a teenager with a bad attitude one day, then after a clip of her speaking very poor grammar and talking particularly spicy to her mother went viral on Dr. Phil, became the youngest woman to debut in Billboard history the next.

Cardi B as well. While she comes off as a genuinely sweet individual with a positive personality, she’s admitted to not writing all of her raps and even having a whole team assist her. In a span of fewer than five years, she reached feats in hip-hop artists working for years have been dreaming to accomplish, all because they found her marketable.

Tonight Show Yes GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - Find & Share on GIPHY

Hip-hop is the most popular genre in the world so the greedy advertisers, saturated market, commercial attention, and various other opportunities that have come as a result of its consumption is expected.

These days, hip-hop acts are flying to Nigeria to perform at sold-out arenas and are incorporating vibes from London, the Islands, and Africa into songs. In fact, rap has become so integrated that politicians have found the genre viable to pander to and is seen in more mainstream outlets than ever before.

It was refreshing to see Migos hold the number one song in the country with “Bad and Boujee” a couple of years ago and the juxtaposition of Ellen’s privilege and her love to dance to Juvenile’s “Back That Azz Up” never gets old.

I mean, who brain didn’t flip when Target tapped Yatchy and Mike WiLL Made-It do a commercial with Carly Rae Jepsen? I guess this “Pump Plan” is the inevitable outcome from this kind of success.

There’s a 2017 Billboard article that speculates how Pump’s career was boosted by influencer marketing and other viral tactics.

There’s also proof that 6ix9ine and Trippie Redd’s protracted online beef was egged on by their mutual record label TenThousand Projects.

And the odd viral hit “Mia Khalifa” by iLOVEFRiDAY has used similar tactics of online controversy and placement — the labels are clearly cashing in on the hip-hop gold rush and it’s ruining the genre.

Not to mention Post Malone’s record-breaking hit “Rockstar” was in part due to a weird YouTube hack that his label most likely helped engineer to make sure it reached number one.

While success may be able to be replicated, one thing that’s always remained true is that quality lasts. Only time will tell, however, what the lasting effects this era has done of possibly the greatest forms of expression.

Y’all won: What the Cardi B and Offset breakup says about dating culture

There’s a lot going on today.

The 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, was put to rest, apparently there’s a massive recall on ground beef that expands to more than 12 million pounds, and the aftermath of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s memo on former Donald Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn suggests he may have major dirt on the President.

However, none of that matters because Cardi B and Offset are officially over after one full year of marriage.

The news comes via Cardi B late last night on Instagram and looks as if she’s serious this time.


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There you go..peace and love

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The only statement we’ve heard from Offset was a comment he left below the post:

I know you’re probably thinking this news is irrelevant petty gossip and tabloid drama but you’re wrong. Offset and Cardi B were for the culture and watching them was a hip-hop love story that made everyone feel good.

When Offset dropped to one knee in front of tens of thousands of fans at Power 99’s Powerhouse concert in Philly earlier this year the earth stood still on its axis and the ring he got her made all of our collective jaws drop. This isn’t even mentioning their precious bundle of joy, Kulture. Who doesn’t like Black love and family?

Cardi B Hair Flip GIF by NBA - Find & Share on GIPHY

So, while granted there are a lot of important things going on, there’s a reason why Cardi B was the number one trending topic in the world this morning. But what’s been more telling is the aftermath of the split’s announcement.

Following her IG post, everyone felt the need to chime in, projecting their realities and principals on what they perceived transpired and it’s troubling.

While “Y’all won” may have been the triggering point for Cardi’s fan base to hang Offset, I offer that we take his words to heart for a moment. First and foremost he admits that this, indeed, is what the general public wanted. It’s important we come to this resolve.

Mind you, this was not the first time Offset was caught cheating. In fact, he’s been caught on tape with another woman multiple times even before they married. Yet, she kept him and they stayed together.

Cardi B Word GIF by 2021 MTV Video Music Awards - Find & Share on GIPHY

It was Y’ALL — the onlookers and fans — who berated her with slander to the point where she had to make a public statement defending her decision to stay. She did not want this, you guys did. She wrote on IG:

“No, it’s not right for a [n***a] to cheat…But what you want me to do? Go f**k me another n***a? Start all over again and get cheated on again? This sh** happens to everyone and I be too, you too…People handle they relationship different soo.”

Similarly, when Cardi was pregnant with Kulture, Offset got caught slipping and much like the first time, stayed, but not without having to defend herself to YA’LL. Cardi even tweeted:

“That’s why I name my album “Invasion of privacy. Cause people will do the most to be nosey about your life.”

The same goes for this most recent fallout. Had information of Offset trying to sleep with aspiring rapper, Cuban Doll never leaked last night, who knows if they’d even split today.


So let’s be clear, this is what the people wanted from the jump. Let’s not flip it on Offset and Cardi as if we know the statutes of their union. She would not have defended him so staunchly before if it was as much as a dealbreaker for her as it was for Y’ALL.

Secondly, a lot of celeb couples who are deemed “goals” have gone through this very same thing — their only difference is their lack of transparency. In fact, it’s Cardi’s Achilles heel. She thrives off being herself at all times and lives her truths. The only issue is that when that juxtaposes the trend or current status quo, it backfires.

Cardi B Dancing GIF by 2020 MTV Video Music Awards - Find & Share on GIPHY

Why do we think Jay and Beyonce’s situation went over so smoothly? Only a fool would think he only cheated once. They keep everything vacuum sealed tight because they know Y’ALL be wilding.

Similarly, Will and Jada have kept their mouths shut tight because Y’ALL don’t get it and Y’ALL wouldn’t let them live if they did. Let me guess, we know the nature of their bond now, too, huh?

Kevin Hart is still with his woman and they’re making it work, as did Martin Luther King and Coretta when he was out there doing his thang. Who knows if Kobe would still be in his daughters’ lives had he and Vanessa split?

Look, I’m not for cheating. Cheating is lying and lying is for cowards. But on the same note, we cannot determine someone else’s dealbreakers and, as Cardi says, tell them how to “work things out.”

Relationships transform, grow and can evolve into something completely different. It’s up to that couple to determine what it looks like in the end.

All is done now, though. Cardi and Offset are done — Y’ALL won.

Chance the Rapper, Cardi B, and T.I. are hosting Netflix’s first hip-hop competition

Personally, I believe everything is a little better with some hip-hop in it.

I prefer Wildn’ Out over SNL, Hip-Hop Squares over Celebrity Game Night, and Love and Hip-Hop over Big Brother.

So when Netflix announced on Tuesday that Cardi B, T.I., and Chance the Rapper will serve as judges on the service’s upcoming music competition show, Rhythm + Flow, needless to say, I was overjoyed.

The three rap stars will make up a panel that will have the responsibility of assisting underground hip-hop artists to pursue their dreams, according to a press release from Netflix.

The new show will have ten one-hour episodes set to premiere in Fall of 2019 on their streaming platform. Auditions to be on the series will be held in Atlanta, Chicago, and New York; you can apply to appear on the show here.

The series is being produced by John Legend and in addition to Cardi, Chance, and T.I; the main judges will be accompanied by “additional artists and industry VIPs.”


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Tag someone who need to see this. @rhythmandflownetflix #rythmandflow

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The reality show is on par with the direction Netflix has been going in lately with hits such as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and its new culinary competition on deck, The Final Table.

What’s special about this competition is that it’s the first of its kind: it focuses on rap. While before you’ve had rap acts in talent competitions, never has there been a show based on bars — now there is.

Additionally, the fact that the auditions are happening in regions specific to the artists means there’s a lot more invested for both sides making this genius, must-see content.

Chance has long been making moves outside of music and for his city, and this talent show, giving underground talent a national stage, is just another example of that.

The same for T.I and Cardi B; they both have shown a knack for business endeavors outside of music and this look is monumental to opening doors for future hip-hop acts in Hollywood.

You can learn more about how to get on the show at

And you can catch Rhythm + Flow when it debuts in fall 2019!

Cardi B shares the harsh truth on how women are treated in hip-hop

Cardi B has never been quiet about her past as a stripper, or the fact that being one lead to her feeling discriminated, looked down upon and disrespected by people in the past — even some of her current fan base.

In a Cosmopolitan interview, Cardi opened up on the subject of her fame and the scrutiny that comes with it. She mentioned that though she was grateful, she was much happier during her stripper days in the club, where she felt more empowered.

One subject that she brought up during the talk was the #MeToo movement, which emerged throughout Hollywood last year, the start of a rapid-fire undertaking of sexual harassers and their victims.

Cardi, however, doesn’t believe it’s as effective as we think it is, especially not in the entertainment industry.

Women in entertainment who have professions that focus on their sexuality or adult-related work are still subjects of harassment, exploitation and victimization.

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Speaking back on the days she was interested in becoming a video vixen, she shares hers and other’s experience as music vide girl. She said,

“A lot of video vixens have spoke about this and nobody gives a fuck. When I was trying to be a vixen, people were like, ‘You want to be on the cover of this magazine?’ Then they pull their dicks out. I bet if one of these women stands up and talks about it, people are going to say, ‘So what? You’re a ho. It don’t matter.'”

Women in the music industry haven’t been the subjects of fair treatment from the get. Female producers, directors, singers, rappers, and dancers have most likely felt, at some point, partiality for being a woman. She called out the supporters of the female movement as fake with their encouragement and activism.

“These producers and directors, they’re not woke, they’re scared.”

A few months ago we saw a rise of sex workers and exotic dancers in NYC take the stand to defend their roles in the industry.

“Sex work is work, and needs to be recognized and supported as such by all. This involves standing by the NYC Stripper Strike, the decriminalization of prostitution, and improved labor conditions across the industry.”

It seems that solidarity among the two professions is long from merging. When the divide is no longer apparent in professions that center around sexuality, that’s when we can move forward with awareness over this prejudice.

Cardi B’s fame is at a rapid incline. Luckily for everyone struggling with procuring respect in their professions, we have celebrities like her speaking the truth, direct and unfiltered.

Cardi B Grammys GIF by E! - Find & Share on GIPHY

Will we see equality in the sex industry anytime soon? Not going to lie, probably not.

It’s a slippery, steep slope which not many understand. Does that mean we should abandon the hope for a change one day? Absolutely not.

Standing together is all we can do to help our fellow sisters gain their well-deserved esteem.

Migos talk ‘Culture II’, working with Pharrell, Nicki and Cardi collab

Nue Agency, a company that brings artists, brands, and technology together, reestablished their CRWN series in an expansive interview with Migos on the release date of their third studio album Culture II.

I exchanged a couple of emails with Jesse Kirshbaum, CEO of Nue Agency and co-creator/executive producer of the CRWN series, about bringing their program back.

“CRWN is about getting the hottest, most relevant artists at their hottest, most relevant times. Occasionally we like to go left of center with some nostalgia to keep the people on their toes and pay homage to some legends, but for the most part we stay in our lane with CRWN and keep it the #1 interview show in the culture.”


Jesse explained to me why the Migos were the ideal artists for this inaugural (re-inaugural?) event:

“Migos were the perfect fit to bring back CRWN with! They’re on top of the game right now and the #1 group in hip-hop, so it was only right we kicked off the year by CRWN-ing the Kings. Stay tuned to see what else we have cooking for 2018!”

As for the event itself, Elliott Wilson spoke to the Migos about Culture II, expanding their sound, their relationship with their Quality Control label, and Offset’s recent engagement.

I’ve seen a bunch of Migos interviews before, but for whatever reason, the CRWN event was the most effective and engaged interview of the North Atlanta trio that I’ve seen.

I was lucky enough to be one of the roughly 100 people in the SubCulture venue on Bleecker a couple of Fridays ago, here are some of the best gems from the interview.

It was time to give the fans what they needed on Culture II


Culture II was released almost a year to the date after Culture and in the meantime Migos had individually jumped on features and made collaboration albums outside the group. Elliott Wilson asked Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset about a “click” that told them they need to get back in the booth as a group.

Offset was quick to say there wasn’t a specific moment, everyone knew it was time to get back to work together:

“It wasn’t no click, it’s just been a year since we gave our fans we love what they want, we needed to give them a new product. We been doing a lot of features, we did our own little projects real quick, but it’s time to get back to the basics where it started and where it begun because every time it comes to this, ain’t nothing bigger than this.”

Having Nicki Minaj and Cardi B together on “Motorsport”


As for putting Nicki and Cardi on the same track, Migos said they were the perfect group to make it happen. Quavo said of “Motorsport”:

“Just the girl power is so strong on that record. We just had to make it happen. You know my boy [Off]Set having the flavor and having the queen so we had to do what we had to do.”

Wilson pressed Migos about supposed drama that would come from having Nicki and Cardi on “Motorsport”. Offset was quick to nip that in the bud:

“Wasn’t no drama around the record, I feel like it was a ‘Had-To-Do’ record, everyone knew they had a job to be done and we got the job done.”

Quavo went on to claim that Migos aren’t scared of teaming up with huge stars:

“Only ones to do it. Everybody else was probably scared to make that happen, we up for the challenges, up for making the big moments and up for getting all the All-Stars in one room.”

Pharrell kept the “Stir Fry” beat for 10 years


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When Wilson asked Migos about Pharrell’s “Stir Fry” beat, Quavo said that Pharrell had been holding the beat since 2008…

“Pharrell said, let me tell you what he said. He said ‘I been saving this beat for y’all ever since 2008.’ So some for some reason, he probably had a dream that Migos gon’ pull up 2k17 in they crazy suits and all they ice… he was waiting on it.”


Quality Control giving the foundation


Speaking about their label Quality Control, Migos explained how teaming up with Coach K and Pee took their career to the next level. Quavo explained:

“[Migos were] on the North Side and then a little buzz got up then they came in and when they came in, they made it global. We could have been local but the shit was global. And solid foundation, and they kept it 100 with us the whole time.”

Takeoff (who is notably the quietest member of the group) further explained their dynamic with QC:

“They real family, they showed us things, taught us a whole bunch of things that we didn’t know, and showed us the way.”

Quavo continued:

“Show you really the the inside of the game, know what I mean, let you know what’s real and fake. It’s important to get information from people and big dogs.”

That near brawl with Joe Budden

@joebudden #CRWN #TIDAL

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Wilson asked Migos if Budden’s previous treatment of Lil Yachty was the reason for their rather, uh, unenthusiastic interview at the BET Awards.

Offset confirmed that to be the case:

“That’s the main source to everything, that’s our little brother. Ain’t no pickin’ on goin’ on. We’re just not tolerating no aims at QC. We worked too hard for that, for you to try to tear it down.”

Don’t come for the QC family!

To check out the whole CRWN interview, jump over to Tidal.