Tabi Bonney Talks New Album With Ski Beatz, 'Top Notch' Video, Linking with Dame Dash

It’s the Monday after Tabi Bonney’s performance in Brooklyn’s hipster capitol, the Music Hall of Williamsburg, and he’s at a studio in Chinatown dressed in a black hoodie, pants, sneakers, and shades. Here, he’s shooting scenes for his music video to "Top Notch," a dub-step infused ode to girls who live for flashing lights and luxurious taste--a song on his latest album The Summer Years. Bonne. He usually directs his videos but today he’s handed over visual control to New York’s creative it girl Vashtie, who he takes directions from without contest. It’s evident his go-with-the-flow attitude has worked for him since his song “The Pocket,” off his first album A Fly Guy’s Theme, built him a buzz in Washington, D.C. in 2006.

Five years later Bonney, born in Lomé, Togo and raised in the diamond district, has made a following with his ability to adapt his laid-back rhymes to beats he cliques with. In the past he’s worked with more than one producer, but for his latest effort, Tabi linked with Bluroc’s top man, Dame Dash, who gave the green light for Ski Beatz to produce The Summer Years, released in September. In between a break during his video shoot, Bonney spoke with a cool humbleness  on this latest project, joining Murs on the Hip Hop and Love Tour, recently performing with the kid show Yo Gabba Gabba, and working on his first film with Dame Dash. He is the quiet storm to watch. --Natelege Whaley

VIBE: You’re always touring but what song gets people the most hype when you come out?

Tabi: It's the first song I did of course, "The Pocket,"  and this song that I have called "Parachute" - the one that I just dropped. People get hype to that. I notice a big crowd response to that.

How do you deal with living on the road?

It's cool. It's great to be in different cities and see you actually affected people and certain people come out with a CD they bought years ago that they just want signed or some of your clothes that they brought with them to the shows. So now that everything is virtual you see people now and they keep tweeting you and they keep saying 'Hey I'mma big fan' and to see that from D.C. to Toronto, Canada.

You performed with Murs for Yo Gabba Gabba. How did you feel about it

Yea that was crazy because I'm never around kids at all. You know I don't have kids and you know I'm just not around them. It was just weird because I never had heard of Yo Gabba Gabba before that. But it was something that Murs got invited to and he just like brought me along and we just performed our song that we have together called "Hip Hop and Love."

Do you know when that will air?

Well it was Yo Gabba Gabba Live! So I guess it's just a touring show, and I think they're going to have us on the actual TV show. Right before us Lauryn Hill came out I saw Bethany from Real Housewives (of New York) or something came out after us. So it was wild. So they said we're gonna do it again in Reno. And they said Mike Tyson's a big fan of Yo Gabba Gabba.

So today you're shooting the video for "Top Notch"?

Yea, “Top Notch” (Material Girl). Madonna has "Material Girl" so instead I called it "Top Notch," just like the hip-hop version.

How can you describe the track in your own words

It's just more of like the sexy vibe. When I wrote it, I just envisioned just being in kind of like a glamorous environment around those type of women who are just materialistic but not in a sense of being shallow. So it's just the style of it more-so but not talking about the shallowness.

So is that the type of woman that you go for?

Actually no. It was just something I actually decided to write about. But it's actually not the type of woman I go for at all. (Laughs)

Most hip-hop music videos don't have diversity when they show women. But I notice yours do. Do you have a particular thought about that? Or do you choose based on.

Yea "Top Notch" is the only one in a while that I haven't chose my own because I just let Vashtie do her thing. But usually every one of my videos I usually pick a girl that I would talk to myself in real life; that I'm attracted to. And most of them I try to pick have never even been in videos before too because I hate that regular typical video girl, so I try to stay away from that. But most of them are actually girls that I would talk to myself and some have been where I just happen to either talk to or try to talk to.

Do you have any other upcoming projects that really stand out like this one?

I guess it would be the next step I'm shooting a movie. It’s Damon Dash, Murs, and this girl Mckenzie Eddy in December in Miami. So that's a route I always wanted to go into They're still working on the script.

Going back to the album and hooking up with Dame Dash. How did that go down?

Yea someone hit me up on Facebook saying hey ‘I'm a producer, I'm working with Dame Dash in New York. I've been a fan of yours for years, I just put Dame on to your music and he loves your style and stuff and just wanted you to come up here and meet him.’ And I was like ‘I could get there tonight or come the next day.’ Which I did and I just drove up. Met Dame. I was scared because you know how Dame is. He's the complete opposite. Real humble, welcoming, so that happened. So then I saw Ski, who I already knew. And he was like 'o you already knew each other?' and he was like ‘alright well then let's get to work.'

How was your chemistry with Ski Beatz?

It was great, I worked with Ski before. It was just a great environment. Curren$y was around a lot, so just seeing artists like Mos Def all through it, Jay Electronica, just seeing those artists create on the spot, was something new for me because I was never able to write in the studio. I would always have to take the music and go in my own environment without people being around. But with this, everything I recorded on the studio on the spot.

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Cardi B To Join James Corden On A Forthcoming "Carpool Karaoke" Segment

Your rapper’s favorite rapper Cardi B is slated to make her debut on “Car Pool Karaoke” with James Corden, Billboard reports. The Late Late Show host teased the upcoming episode, which airs Monday (Dec.17) via Instagram along with a small schedule of the show’s upcoming guests.


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Here’s what the next two weeks look like on the @latelateshow! Seeing the year out with a bang x x x

A post shared by James Corden (@j_corden) on Dec 10, 2018 at 5:17pm PST

In addition to the “Money” rapper, Amber Heard and Armie Hammer will also appear on the same episode. Corden is closing out the last leg of 2018 strong by having a slew of other prominent stars on the show on the last week before the program goes on break for the holidays. The likes of Gwen Stefani, RuPaul, Jennifer Lopez, Emily Blunt, Leah Remini, Lin-Manuel Miranda, among others will be featured on the show after Bardi’s Monday episode.

To say the least, we're sure the British talk show host and the newly minted Grammy-nominated rapper are going to have the time of their lives.

The 26-year-old's now estranged husband Offset, along with the other members of Migos were guests on the beloved show. Joining Corden as he drove through the streets of Los Angeles, the trio performed a slew of hits including "Walk It Talk It"  while also giving a nod of praise to past hits, including Whitney Houston's "Wanna Dance With Somebody."

With all the fun Migos had with Corden, we can only imagine what shenanigans James and Belcalis are going to get into.

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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!!!!

— T.I. (@Tip) December 8, 2018

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