Def Jam Newcomer Big Bank Black Shows 'Alter Ego'

Atlanta rapper Big Bank Black knows what it’s like to struggle. But thanks to his first big single, “Try It Out,” featuring Kandi Burruss, he's finally resting easy.

Black is one of Def Jam’s latest breakout stars making a name for himself after linking up with the Burruss following a close friendship with the former Xscape singer's ex-fiancée, A.J. Jewell.

“I’ve known Kandi as long as she’s been dealing with A.J.,” Black, CEO of Duct Tape Entertainment, tells VIBE. “[A.J. was] like my brother. I met Kandi around the first time they started talking, around 2008. Me and A.J. used to be around each other everyday. When he and Kandi initially started hooking up, like they was gon’ be a couple, I started being around them more just kicking it. And I never before rapped, so when I was in the booth playing around, she was like, ‘You ain’t about to rap!’” he recalls.

But Black did just that. “Try It Out” was initially a solo effort. “Everybody in the streets was liking it,” he says. “But it was short because I had only put one verse and two hooks on there and the bridge. So my business partner was like, ‘We need to put a female on there.’”

Black called on Burruss, who happily lent her vocals to the Zaytoven-produced track. With the song making noise locally, the rapper is now preparing to drop his debut, Alter Ego. The album’s artwork will be the work of famed Atlanta photographer Derek Blanks, whose known for his “alter-ego” photo shoots.

“I’m going to talk about the streets, the club,” Black says of Ego. “I’m a Gemini; I’m a wishy-washy person. So I just called it Alter Ego ’cause I’m gon’ show both sides of me.”

Prior to the album, Black plans to drop a mixtape, The Birth of Big Bank Black, hosted by Bigga Rankin, by the end of the month.

“I got a lot of feature artists on there, all the artists off my label: Rocko, Gucci [Mane], Kandi, Maino, B.G.—people that I respect in the game, I reached out to them,” he says. “This ain’t got nothing to do with the label, or none of that. Everything that we’re doing is our own grind.” —Linda Hobbs

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Nicki Minaj Links With DaBaby For “Suge” Remix

Nicki Minaj took over DJ Felly Fell’s show on L.A.’s Power 106 radio station Friday (July 19) where she premiered the remix to DaBaby's “Suge” single.

“Ya’ll already know I’m back on my bull! We got a lot more in the motherf**kin’ chamber,” said Minaj.

The “Megatron” rapper  also sent a shout out to Da Baby. “I just think he’s super dope and he actually spits actual bars.”

Prior to the song premiere, Minaj shared her first public statement on the death of Nipsey Hussle. The Queens native explained that she wasn’t on the internet at the time of Hussle’s murder, but wanted to send condolences to Lauren London, and the rest of his family.

“When he passed I didn’t get a chance to be online at that time,” Minaj told Power 106's DJ Carisma. “Lauren London happens to be somebody that I adore. I felt like my heart ripped out when I heard [that he was killed]. I just wanted to finally send my condolences to his family and his fans.”

Earlier in the interview, Minaj sent love to her fans in Saudi Arabia after canceling her appearance at the Jedah World Festival over the country’s treatment of women, and members of the LGBTQ community. Minaj added that she turned down $1.5 million by pulling out of the performance. She also confirmed that she will be heading out on tour after the release of her upcoming new album.

Listen to Minaj and DaBaby on the “Suge” remix below.

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Blueface attends the BET Awards 2019 Radio Broadcast Center at Microsoft Theater on June 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for BET

Blueface Claims He’s The “Best Lyricist” In Rap

Blueface has high self-esteem when it comes to his lyrical abilities. The “Thotiana” rapper crowned himself the “most lyrical rapper” in the game during an Instagram Live session Thursday (July 18), XXL reports.

"Hey cuz, that’s on my mama and my sis, I’m the best lyricist in the muthaf**kin' game, bro,” he declared. “I might not have the best flow, sound...but when it comes to wordplay, cuz, come on bro.”

Blueface says he’s “the best lyricist in the game” y’all agree? 👇🎶🤔 @BluefaceBleedEm


The 22-year-old rapper has a way of getting a response on social media — even if its negative. Earlier in the month, Blueface kicked his mother and sister out of his home during a heated confrontation that reportedly involved his two girlfriends. On Tuesday (July 16), the L.A. native debuted a new face tattoo and previewed a new record where he talks about booting his family out of the home. Listen to the track below.

Blueface got a new face tattoo and he made a song dissing his moms and sister. “On my momma and my sis... Had to kick my own blood out... they musta forgot I was a Crip 😨”

— DJ Akademiks (@Akademiks) July 17, 2019

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Premiere: HappyBirthdayCalvin's Ode To The Hustle Shines In Visuals For "Kari’s Song (Long Way Home)"

Chicago's HappyBirthdayCalvin delivers inspirational visuals for Kari's Song (Long Way Home)," from the hit Netflix film, Beats. 

The track is a clear standout in the film featuring Anthony Anderson, Dreezy and Khalil Everage. In the video, we see a snippet of the film along with Calvin rapping about the grind and his strong determination to the make it to the top. Featuring the warm vocals by Tati, the video drops an extra dose of inspirational vitamins for the soul.

Since the film's release last month, the "Kari's Song" has earned over 1.1 million streams on Spotify and was a curious wonder to Shazam users as it joined the Top 20 most searched songs on the Shazam Global Charts.

At just 17-years-old, Calvin hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. The Chicago native recently released his No Friends EP with the single of the same name earning spots on the Soundcloud Chart.

Offering a fresh sense of lyrical know-how, we're excited to see more from the budding artist.

Check out the video to "Kari's Song (Long Way Home)" below.

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