Press Pass: Maybach Music's PIll Takes the Stage in New York City

Maybach Music Group’s Pill stopped by S.O.B.’s in New York Thursday night for his Diagnosis tour, rocking the venue to a lukewarm crowd.

XXL magazine’s editor-at-large Shaheem Reid hosted the show, attempting to hype up the multi-layered, beanie-wearing audience that still had space on the dancefloor to two-step and shoulder lean comfortably.

Kris Kasanova opened the show, performing as the only artist to bring a live band on stage. A definite crowd favorite, the 23-year-old rapper had the those in attendance hanging on every line, especially during his performance of “War Paint.”

However, the hype wavered as New Jersey’s A.P. took the stage with a prayer-filled set and a gap-filled freestyle. Female rapper Nina B revived the audience and repped Brooklyn hard with live performances of Jay-Z sampled tracks, even bringing a soprano saxophone player on stage to perform the “Death of Autotune” beat. The last opening act, John Connor tried to keep the venue bumping, only to find a less than responsive crowd.

P-I-double-L sat down with VIBE.com before his performance, showing love frequently to his MMG label. “That’s my home team,” he said, “a lotta people on the mainstream (Wale, Torch, Meek Mill) been showin’ me attention.” Regardless of being signed by his mentor Rick Ross, he cites Teflon Don as the last album he listened to that really inspired him, swearing on his deceased mother.

He also says that his collaboration wish list consists of Andre 3000 (“that’s my brother, I’ve known him for six years), Jay-Z and Scarface.

While on tour, Pill has been keeping himself busy. He, along with Big Boi and Killer Mike are set to drop a new single around Thanksgiving. The MMG artist will also be featured in a movie called 96 Minutes, starring alongside Evan Ross and Brittany Snow. He makes his film debut as the character Rodger in a film about “a good kid that has his feet on both sides of the fence – gang life and college life.” The film’s release date is yet to be confirmed.

The Atlanta bred emcee, who scored his rap moniker as a football-playing freshman in Douglas high school scoring touchdowns, also revealed he has no competition. “I sit around and watch ni**as shine and I just come back and ball on ‘em like some old homework.”

When Pill finally took the stage, he tackled his songs to the best of his ability but admitted to being under the influence. His random jokes were evidence of his less-than-sober state, calling a photographer Justin Bieber and complementing a girl in the audience for her “Ghostbusters” haircut.

He still performed to the best of his ability to songs off Self Made including “Rise,” “Big Banks,” “John Doe,” and his first career single “Trap Goin’ Ham.” Pill also gave a shout out to Notorious B.I.G. (who he says used to be his neighbor). As his pants were sagging halfway to his knees, Pill abruptly closed his set with “I’m good. Have a good night.” --Adelle Platon

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Usher Releases "Peace Sign" Video Off Of 'A' Project

Given Monday's (Dec. 10) debate about who's the king of R&B, one of the names that steadily popped up in the conversation has stepped onto the scene. In a visual promotion for his A soundscape, Usher released the video for "Peace Sign" alongside producer Zaytoven.

Previously, the pair hit the studio for an eight-track project that pays respect to their hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. It was surprise-released in October and effortlessly fuses ATL's aura on the soundscape. Now, the "Peace Sign" video puts that decision into cinematic motion.

"Atlanta offers a certain attitude and a sauce that I can't explain, and it is a little bit in 'No Limit,' it is a little bit in 'TNT.' I'm literally talking sh*t, man," he said in an interview with The Fader. "I'm popping sh*t that I haven't popped, like really ever. And that's what being in the moment creates. When you have months and months to think about it and you begin to analyze all the people who you need to think of and what you want this entire project to work out, you'll lose certain elements of your spontaneity an incredible culture that just happens in the moment. I didn't give that space. I really was honest with the feelings, I was honest with the conversation and I was really in the moment. And I thank Zay for that."

Watch the video up top.

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T.I. Releases Short Film For "The Amazing Mr. F**k Up"

T.I. keeps himself accountable for his wrongdoings in the cinematic visual for "The Amazing Mr. F**k Up."

Premiered Monday (Dec. 10) on his series T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle, the track featuring singer-songwriter Victoria Monet, is flipped into a 10-minute-short film. Directed by Mike Ho, the short film stars comedienne Britney Elena, Colombus Short, Woody McClain and model Denise Rodriguez.

Starting at a fancy dinner gathering among friends, things take a turn for the worst when the rapper's other partner invades the feast. On the Dime Trap cut, T.I. calls out himself for his past mistakes and deviances with acknowledgment on how he needs to do better.

"It's amazing all the sh*t I done / Such examples I've been setting for my son / All she did was stay down and have my kid / All the time just to realize I ain't sh*t," T.I. spits. In addition to the rapper flexing his acting chops, the album version of the song includes the infamous scene in ATL between Tip and Lauren London, where his character snatches a necklace he gifted for New New.

The rapper is currently closing out the year on an impressive note as it was revealed that his music has been streamed 276 million times on the music streaming service Spotify. "A modest flex to end my 18th year in this sh*t!!!! Multitudes of Gratitude!!! #NextYearWeGoBigger!!!!," the Grand Hustle emcee tweeted on Saturday (Dec. 8).

Check out the video above


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Extra thx to @brittneyelena @woody_thegreat @mikeho_ @officialcshort and errrrbody involved in bringing this vision to life!!! #TheAmazingMrFuckUP out @vevo after tonight’s episode of Friends and Family Hustle!!! @vh1

A post shared by TIP (@troubleman31) on Dec 10, 2018 at 6:34pm PST


A modest flex to end my 18th year in this sh*t!!!! Multitudes of Gratitude!!! #NextYearWeGoBigger!!!! pic.twitter.com/7J6FFsUicS

— T.I. (@Tip) December 8, 2018

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Meek Mill Is Surrounded By His Day Ones In Visual For "Intro"

Self-proclaimed "Champion of the United States" and Philadelphia-bred rapper Meek Mill delivers the official music video for "Intro" on Monday (Dec. 10).

Directed by Kid Art, the three-minute visual frames Meek's mental state as he re-enters the rap game as he continues to battle the justice system as a young, black man. Presumably surrounded by those he considers family, "Intro" retrospectively takes a look at the 31-year-old's come up as a notable rapper out of North Philly.

Juxtaposing his current lifestyle with not-so-distant memories of the trenches, the video shuffles scenes of club confetti, bullet holes, poured out bottles of Ace of Spades and dirt bikes– a presumed nod to Meek's unjust jail sentence.

"Pouring champagne 'cause all my n***s dead/ If they ain't in the graveyard, then they in the feds/ I give a f**k if that crown heavy, put it on my head" spits Meek over the instrumental to Phil Collins' "In The Air."

Last week (Dec. 2) music engineers Young Guru and Anthony Cruz spoke to VIBE about Meek's choice to sample Collins' "In The Air Tonight" on the track, stating that "Meek had this vision" to flip the classic track since he first heard it in Paid In Full and was glad to finally make it happen in a standout fashion on "Intro."

If you haven't already, be sure to take a look at the official music video for "Intro" up top.

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