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Who is Ella Mai? The British songstress bringing her sound to America

Ella Mai is a 23-year-old British artist that has recently exploded onto the scene with her hit song “Boo’d Up.” It’s a raw R&B track that talks about the joys of being with a significant other and the beautiful feeling of just being in love.

The song has gotten so much support from fans and big-name artists like Chris Brown, Plies, and Fabolous who’ve been seen on social media vibing to the song and even stating that they wanted to do a remix of the record.

Ella has been taken aback by the sudden popularity of her song “Boo’d Up” and even said in an interview with Nessa From Hot 97,

“I knew the song would resonate with girls but I didn’t think guys would love the song as much as they do”.

The song popular amongst all ages and that is what has propelled it all the way to the top of the charts. Listen to it below and you’ll see why.

Ella hails from South London but currently lives in Los Angeles. After attending high school in New York then she went back to London and found herself on the West Coast where she’s now pursuing her music career full time.

She has always been a performer and she went to music school from the age of 17 to 21. According to her, she has always been around music her whole life having been raised in the church and her grandma is also a minister.

Ella was influenced by a lot of 90s R&B artists like Lauryn Hill, Stevie Wonder, Keyshia Cole, Chris Brown, India Arie, Monica, Brandy, Destiny’s Child and Mint Condition and wants to collab but she also wants to work with rappers including her favorite emcee at the moment, J Cole.

The 23-year-old considers herself to be a storyteller through her music, not everything that she talks about in her songs has been experienced personally, she gets inspired by other people around her and their experiences and then she will write the song about that experience from that person’s perspective.

The R&B singer originally started out doing 15-second Instagram covers of popular songs and slowly began to gain a fanbase until she was found by DJ Mustard, and he reached out to her.

Mustard happened to be performing at Made in America and Ella Mai was in NYC at the time so he drove to her just to work with her and see the process that she goes through to create her music.

The session went extremely well and Ella Mai ended up signing to his label, 10 Summers, and she has put out two EPs so far and she is working on her album which will be solely R&B focused.

One of her singles “Naked” is all about self-love and making sure you love yourself before anyone else but also knowing how to except when someone else is loving you.

The British songstress sings about how she hopes to find some that will love her unconditionally despite all her flaws.

Ella Mai’s songs are real and pure R&B that we have been music that is completely dominated by rap nowadays. She has so many amazing songs already at the beginning of her career, we can’t wait to see what project she puts out next.

Who is Drakeo the Ruler? The LA rapper drawing comparisons to the old Gucci Mane

For Los Angeles rap fans, the name Drakeo the Ruler isn’t anything new.

Drakeo has moved around the margins of the LA underground over the past couple years, earning a co-sign from LA hitmaker DJ Mustard with “Mr. Get Dough” in 2015.

Since then, he’s fallen out with Mustard, self-released a couple projects, and spent most of 2017 in prison on gun charges.

After getting out in early December, Drakeo quickly dropped Cold Devil, a 16-track album that showcases the South Central rapper as an intriguing new voice in West Coast rap.

Drakeo’s style is immediately magnetic. His lowkey, muted, and unorthodox flow bears in stark contrast to the urgent yah-yahing of many contemporary rappers. It’s as if rhyming just comes easy to Drakeo and he just can’t be bothered with his own talents.

Instead of using his voice to ride the beat, Drakeo often rhymes against the drums, again making Drakeo an extremely different artist to his contemporaries.

Modern hip-hop is dominated by production that can overwhelm the song, becoming the most compelling part of the track. On Cold Devil, Drakeo’s voice, his ridiculous putdowns, and distinct LA vernacular are the most compelling aspects of the project.

Most tracks off Cold Devil begin with a mumbled monologue boasting about his wealth or directly aimed at Drakeo’s haters.

Sometimes these riffs are laugh out loud funny (“Princess cuts on my wrist like a emo bitch”), sometimes they’re murderous threats (“Ain’t with the squabbling, you finna get your celly popped”), but always delivered in the same unbothered LA accent that makes Drakeo’s music so unique.

On “Neiman & Marcus Don’t Know You” many of Drakeo’s trademarks are on display.

The song’s title itself is a putdown to wannabe rappers who aren’t nearly as popping as they claim to be. In fact, they don’t even know the proprietors of Neiman Marcus personally.

Drakeo belittles these rappers who act like they have it:

“N****s talkin’ all these coupes, where the dash, where your logo
In the back of your Snapchat is a Volvo”

But on “Fool’s Gold” Drakeo concedes that these kids give him material, muttering, “These clown n****s give me new songs.”

Along with his unique cadence and delivery, Drakeo’s bars are full of his own LA vernacular.

Song titles include “Flu Flamming”, “Big Banc Uchies”, “Blamped” and Drakeo has somewhat trademarked the phrase “mud walking” (which presumably means to walk around while on lean).

LA Weekly spoke to Drakeo in February while he was behind bars and asked him about his lingo, he responded that it’s just him, in fact it’s what makes him great:

“It’s how me and the homies have always talked. Everyone would always ask, ‘Why y’all talk like that?’ I don’t understand how people can use ghostwriters. I’m trying to bring an original style and never sound like anyone else.”

His distinct bouts of vocabulary inspiration (like nicknaming his gun “pippy long stalking”) have seen Drakeo compared to Bay Area legend E-40, but the more appropriate and exciting comparison is Gucci Mane.

Drakeo has an off-the-top, muttered (not mumbled!), leaned out flow that recalls early Gucci Mane. It’s a wild comparison, but one that’s been made before.

The title of LA Weekly’s February article, “Drakeo Could Be LA’s Gucci Mane — and Not Just Because He’s Currently Doing Time“, seems hyperbolic at first, but taking into account his growing hometown reputation (his flow is already being copied all over the LA hip-hop scene) and the apparent ease at which he can craft braggadocious, hilarious, brutal, and witty art, the comparison seems pretty apt.

On “They Don’t Know You” Drakeo raps about how “Benjamin and Franklin don’t even know you,” in one of the best disses in recent hip-hop memory. The pure ridiculousness, but magnetism, of the song reminds one of early Gucci.

The second half of Cold Devil features a collection of features from other LA artists including Ralfy the Plug (Drakeo’s brother) and the rising sing-rapper 03 Greedo.

Drakeo and 03 Greedo’s collaboration “In the Slums” is an exciting track where the styles of the two rappers combines to make a bone-chilling and head bopping product.

Drakeo’s lowkey flow contrasts with Greedo’s excited yelps, it’s a duo that can make really intriguing music and now it seems a collaboration album between the two is on the way.

It’s early days for Drakeo the Ruler’s career, but the pure energy on Cold Devil makes him a truly compelling artist in LA hip-hop and beyond.

He’s one to keep an eye on in 2018.