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Twista Talks Tainting 'Adrenaline Rush', New Album & 'Slow Jamz' Vs. 'Jesus Walks'

With his eighth LP, The Perfect Storm, weeks away from release, Twista sits down for a candid discussion on past stumbles and successes, stumping video gamers and Kanye West's cold shoulder —John Kennedy

 

VIBE: Rapping to your verse on “Slow Jamz” on Def Jam Rapstar is damn-near impossible. Have you played the game yet?

Twista: I played a little bit with the shorties. I’ve have been doing a benefit and I got a chance to play but I didn’t get into it real hard. Once I heard that my song was on there it definitely made want to see how high I would score rapping along with my own song. I’m glad that I was able to be a part of that one. It’s long overdue.

You have any tips for gamers trying to get to the next level?

Bop your head to the double time beat—not just the slow flow of the beat. And then rap along and you should be able to nail the lyrics a little better.

Easier said than done. Speaking of “Slow Jamz,” that song is part of our Greatest Hip-Hop Single (Of The VIBE Era) Tournament. Is that the greatest Midwest hip-hop song of the last decade and a half?  

It was definitely up there. I remember we would go to certain radio stations where I wouldn’t have any record playing right now before “Slow Jamz” and it was like the top song, having 1,400 spins. It was crazy. So I definitely feel like the song does play a big part of hip-hop history, because this song literally launched Jamie Foxx and Kanye’s careers. And it took my career to another level.

Great record, indeed, but voters thought “Jesus Walks” was greater.

It’s a dope comparison. “Slow Jamz” is a real dope song as far as me having fun and wanting my song to win, but message-wise, you have to give that to “Jesus Walks,” because it carried a positive message. Kanye was talented enough to put together his version of a hip-hop gospel song, and forced people to play it. And if you listen to a lot of gospel rap today, he changed the way gospel rappers make their music.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE IN VIBE'S GREATEST HIP-HOP SINGLE (OF THE VIBE ERA) TOURNAMENT

Amen to that. Speaking of Kanye West, was there ever talks of you signing with G.O.O.D. Music? Seems like it’d be a natural fit.

I actually wanted to at one point. But I don’t know what time of vibe Kanye had with me at that time. He was in New York recording, this is when he was working on “Stronger,” around that time. I mentioned that I would be getting out of my [Atlantic Records] contract and wondered if he wanted to jump down. But I don’t know, I guess it wasn’t a good idea for him at the time. But he should’ve done it. He would’ve had the “Wetter” joint [Laughs].

Wow. And he would be putting out this new album, The Perfect Storm. Where were you looking to go with this one?

We had just made Category F5 so I was looking to continue on the weather theme—The Perfect Storm. Everything was perfect.  We had the big single with “Wetter” so I wanted to recapture the whole creative element that I had with Traxstar—who did Adrenaline Rush—being my producer as well as having creative control of the whole project. I always try to do what the fans expect Twista to do at this point.

It seems like you’re often building on past records, like The Day After being an extension of Kamikaze, Adrenaline Rush and Adrenaline Rush 2007

I probably wouldn’t have titled it [Adrenaline Rush 2007] if I was thinking in the same mindset that I’m thinking in now. I always take pride in being able to  consistently rap the way I rap. So by the time I came with Adrenaline Rush 2007, I was proud of the fact that I could still deliver the same type of flow I could on Adrenaline Rush. I’m always trying to recapture the fans. I felt enough time had passed from Adrenaline Rush to revisit that title and spark up a little interest.

Did Adrenaline Rush 2007 live up to its predecessor?

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Pharrell's New Netflix Kids' Series Focuses On Importance Of STEAM Learning

Pharrell Williams is the executive producer of a new children’s show on Netflix that focuses on educating little ones on the importance of science, technology and current events.

“I got involved with ‘Brainchild’ because there is a desperate need to raise awareness about the importance of science with our youth, we must edu-tain,” Williams told Variety about his new series. The show is hosted by Indian-American actress and comedian Sahana Srinivasan.

Brainchild will use “interactive games, experiments and skits” to teach and highlight the “core concepts and principles of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math).” It was co-created by Atomic Entertainment, and is billed as a spinoff of the Emmy-nominated show “Brain Games,” which aired on National Geographic Channel for seven seasons.

Williams and his i am OTHER production partner Mimi Valdes also discussed the idea of the show’s accessibility for teachers and students. Per Variety, “The curriculum is available without having to sign up or register for any account, and can be used at home or in the classroom to supplement existing tools.”

“It’s especially important to me to get STEAM-focused programming in front of minority communities,” Pharrell says of attempting to reach viewers. “That’s because at the core of the plight of children of color in this country is a lack of access to actionable education.”

 

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Prepare to have your minds blown 🧠⚡🌊💖💡🔬 I worked with the masterminds of Brain Games on a show that will empower kids by approaching STEM topics in a cool, new way and to provide anOTHER way into science. Thank you to our host @Sahana.j.shree, @AlieWard, Atomic Entertainment, @i_am_other and the @Netflix team. Brainchild OUT NOW on Netflix. #brainchild

A post shared by Pharrell Williams (@pharrell) on Nov 2, 2018 at 2:01pm PDT

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Jacquees Blames 'Hater' DJ Mustard For The Removal Of His 'Trip' Remix

DJ Mustard, the producer of Ella Mai’s “Trip,” is responding to reports that he was “hating” on Jacquees, who famously deleted his “quemix” of the aforementioned song. Jacquees visited the L.A. radio show Big Boy’s Neighborhood, where he discussed the controversy behind deleting his version of the popular track from the Internet.

“Really, DJ Mustard hated on me, no cap, that was crazy,” he told the hosts about the issues at hand. “I wanna work with DJ Mustard too, but that was a hating move.” The release of his popular version sparked rumors that the “Boo’d Up” musician was jealous of the 4275 artist’s success with his version.

Mustard, who founded Mai’s label 10 Summers, commented on Instagram about his feelings on the R&B star’s latest comments. "That n***a Big Boy said ‘it was really goin’ too!'” he laughed in a video shared to his IG Story. “You stupid ni**a," he continued.

Last year, Mustard wrote on Twitter that if a song that the artist doesn’t own is monetized, it’s stealing and “no one steals from 10 Summers.”

“This is simply a press or marketing plan, or some strategy to deviate from the narrative that Ella is breaking records left and right because the music she’s making is cutting through straight to fans at a rate people haven’t seen in years,” he continued. “Ella’s career started by doing covers and we support all her fans and fellow artists doing the same.”

To whom it may concern . pic.twitter.com/w3lzuU5tqM

— Mustard (@mustard) September 26, 2018

I’m not going to blogs or any media outlets to address this Jacquees situation ima address it right here and after this we will never address anything like this again I’m just tired of people picking on @ellamai !

— Mustard (@mustard) September 26, 2018

 

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#PressPlay: #DJMustard responds after #Jacquees talks about his #Trip remix getting removed!! (SWIPE)—(📹: @bigboysneighborhood)

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Mar 25, 2019 at 10:40am PDT

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'Black Monday' Becomes A Dramedy As Its World Flips Upside Down: Episode 9 Recap

Blair was Mo’s mirror in episode “295.” In this week’s episode, he internalizes Mo’s qualities, and now the reflection wants to take over the original’s life, like a scene from Jordan Peele’s Us. Some of the most analytically rich parts of this episode revolve around all the allusions to Blair assuming Mo's role after agreeing to go along with the Georgina Play, two months after Mo informed him of the rouse.

Blair flirts with Dawn – the woman Mo still loves – while sitting in Mo's desk chair as Mo walks in and sees them. He gifts all of the Jammer Group inner circle with replicas of Mo's custom-made Rolex and calls them “Molexes” with "f**k em all" engraved on them. It’s the latter mantra that, in a surprising twist, leads to Blair potentially ending Mo as we know him.

An early criticism of Black Monday was Andrew Rannells’ inconsequential portrayal of Blair in the first few episodes. After carrying a large number of scenes in last week’s episode, this week’s showcases his shining moment. One of the funniest scenes s when Blair stops himself from saying "it's all good in the hood," after glancing at Mo, before replacing "hood" with "municipalities." That’s a very artful way to say if he wants to be Mo, he’ll have to do more than speak like him. Consequently, Blair does just that in order to get Tiffany Georgina to go along with the Georgina Play.

The Agency Of Tiffany Georgina

Casey Wilson, who plays Tiffany, needs to star in a spin-off show if for nothing else than to see her do another interpretive dance routine to a remixed version of the national anthem like she did at Tiffany’s wedding reception. We predicted in our review of episode “243” that Tiffany would have a bigger hand in the Black Monday collapse than we originally assumed, and this episode brings our prophecy to life.

Tiffany admits to Blair in the final scene of the episode that she’s a lot to handle but poignantly justifies it by stating everyone isn’t as sure of themselves as she is. It’s in that moment we realized out of all of the characters with considerable screen time, Tiffany may be the only one who never lied about herself. The comments about smart “orientals” are vacuous and her obsession with social status is asinine, but they’re also genuinely Tiffany; Everyone else adjusts their morals and personality to fit whatever gets them money.

Tiffany also reveals that when she was in sixth grade, her parents prevented her from legally emancipating herself from them by giving her a cartilage piercing and a new credit card. In episode “243,” when Blair innocuously says he’s staying late at work to do “compliance,” Tiffany instinctively knew that meant illegally shredding documents because her family is wealthy. Tiffany’s parents had their own daughter kidnapped in last week’s episode to boost the company’s value and now their daughter plans to steal that very company from them. The Black Monday writers used the Georgina family this season as a commentary on how money can make anything transactional, even love and loyalty.

Just like with Mo, the Georgina family may be undone by a monster they created.

The Dramedy

In today’s age of television, shows rarely fit perfectly in one genre. Orange Is The New Black’s second season was nominated in the drama category at the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards, a year after its first season was nominated in the comedy category. This blurring of the artistic lines has created a new type of show that is equal parts drama and comedy: a dramedy. After the last two episodes, Black Monday has become more dramedy than comedy.

In the first half of the season, Black Monday was roughly 90% hilarious debauchery with the 10% of deep introspection reserved for the final minutes of the episode. Over time, that ratio began to even out until last week’s episode, which delivered the highest concentration of drama acting of the season. In this week’s episode, the double and triple crossings in Blair and Mo’s heated rivalry are more central to the episode than Keith’s hysterical attempts at tricking the SEC and Tiffany’s ridiculous wedding. Aside from Dawn and Mo forming a secret alliance, the episode concludes with Blair’s most intimidating piece of dialogue as he breaks down the illusionary world Mo has constructed for himself.

While episode “7042” is the most compelling episode of the entire season, so far, the move into dramedy has its drawbacks. There are still gems like Mo’s double entendre of “I’ve unearthed secrets, got winded and fired,” a play on the name of legendary funk band Earth, Wind & Fire, who released their 1987 Billboard hit “System of Survival” a month before the events in this week’s episode. But, the hijinks and absurdist humor that Black Monday is predicated on are more separated than in any other episode.

As a result of this shift into dramedy, certain jokes not only fall flat but feel out of place and tonally different than the rest of the episode. Keith referring to the ability to know who is gay as “Navi-gay-tion” would be amusing in almost any other Black Monday episode. Him delivering it at the end of this week’s episode, after a dramatic exchange between Dawn and Mo, felt cringeworthy.

Hopefully, there’ll be plenty to laugh about when everything comes crashing down in the season finale next week.

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