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Columbia University Spring Jam Featuring Phony Ppl and D-Why Pays Homage to Organic Hip-Hop Experience

On Thursday evening (Mar. 22), students at Columbia University held a two-act indie showcase that was an ode to “bring hip-hop back to its roots” as much as it was a celebration of what it means to be a grown-ass kid. The Columbia Spring Jam, headlining Phony Ppl and rapper D-Why, hoped to restore a  fading facet of hip hop—or, rather, music culture that these young organizers and musicians believed has been lost over the years: that youthful, rawful, honest fun.

In a sea of hip and hued apparel, Phony Ppl, a nine-member band of teenagers from Brooklyn, first took the stage. “It’s hard to fit these guys in a genre,” host of the event Melvin Freeman said in introducing the act, but once the Phonies began their set, it suddenly didn’t matter. A refined fusion of hip hop and jazz with traces of pop and funk led the student crowd to respond—whether dancing to upbeat tracks, smiling to the soulful ballads or going in on an ironic Waka Flocka tribute.

Despite having opened for distinguished headliners like Theophilus London, rising acts like Phony Ppl and D-Why continue to find it important to play smaller venues, especially with a drawing of younger folks. “These are the people who purchase our music, who come to our shows for us. They are us,” explains vocalist Dyme-A-Duzin.

In an unpretentious way to cap off the night, west coast rapper D-Why invited everyone in the audience onto the stage. As the DJ spun the hip hop Top 40s we all hate to love, college students, members of Phony Ppl, and D-Why joined in together to send off the evening, remembering and acknowledging that a good show is as much about the performers as it is about the audience.

The show, initially organized by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and Bricks Entertainment to raise money for an annual NSBE annual conference, ultimately garnered something much more: A completely student-run show for students by students proves there does not need to be a commercial draw to afford concert-goers with that carefree, organic experience. --Tanya Chen

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Tucked neatly behind her dark sunglasses, the songstress began her set strapped to a mustard yellow guitar with a host of back-up musicians accompanying the 21-year-old on her first solo journey with "Tiny Desk." She previously appeared on the performance series in June 2018 alongside collaborator Daniel Caesar to bring their single "Best Part" to life.

The singer began with "Going (Interlude)," a low-tempo song ushering a heavy-hearted feel into the 18-minute-performance. Keeping with the melancholy vibes planted by the first single, Gabriella Wilson – best known by her three-letter-moniker –  delivered a stunning rendition of "Feel A Way." With two-final transitions, the singer-songwriter concluded her act with "Focus," a throw back from the 2017 EP that gained her worldwide recognition, H.E.R. Volume 1.

Switching from strings to keys, Wilson sat peacefully before a keyboard playing the melody she crafted for the crowd favorite. Chaperoning the performance to a close, Wilson and her background singers played a vocal game of tag as the band jazzed up the slow beats until the set officially wrapped.

Watch as H.E.R. rocks the "Tiny Desk" set in the video above.

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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.

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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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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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