HARLEM

The Renaissance: 4 New Artists Bringing Harlem World Back

Once upon a time, Harlem rappers stood in the forefront of hip-hop. Entertainers from Harlem were easily identified via their impeccable fashion sense and natural hustler’s ambition. Diddy, M-A-$-E, Dame Dash, Cam’ron and Big L, those are just some of the greats hailing from the 212 borough. After the crash of the Dipset movement, though, Harlem as a whole lost its momentum. And while there’s been talks of a Dipset reunion, not to mention the fresh presence of Vado, it would take a wave of new kids on the block to resurrect the area as an industry force. Here, we run through the prospects responsible for putting Harlem back on the map.

AZEALIA BANKS
While N.Y. is her birthplace, the mermaid queen took her talents to the U.K., where her career initially took off. After gaining notoriety across seas, Banks returned to the states to capitalize on that success, with her single “212” capturing her funky style. While she focuses heavily on fashion and creativity, her lyrical abilities are not to be slept on. This girl can spit! See: her EP 1991, released this past Tuesday (May 29).

A$AP ROCKY
A$AP Rocky’s rough-and-tumble childhood influenced the 22 year-old Harlemite to jumpstart his rap career. Rocky made headlines last year after signing a reported $3 million dollar contract with Pologrounds/RCA Records, thanks to his sly Southern-dipped rhyme style. Make no mistake, though—he’s reppin’ Harlem all day. Similar to Dipset (and Odd Future), the A$AP Mob crew he totes along consists of both rappers and creative assets.

The “Google Me” singer first hit the scene when she appeared on MTV’s hit series, My Super Sweet Sixteen. After much speculation of signing recording contracts with several labels, Taylor put the rumors to bed last week, inking to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music imprint. Not only is TT respected in the fashion world, she put her money where her mouth is on her mixtape, The Misunderstanding on Teyana Taylor, while penning new tracks and covering songs like Drake’s “Marvin Room.”

VINNY CHA$E
Another multi-talented artist rising out of Harlem, Vinny Cha$e shouldn’t be mistaken with the Entourage character. Cha$e (peep the dollar sign) not only rhymes and stays laced in $wag, but also boasts a background in videography and directing. The Harlem head started out shooting music videos and behind the scenes footage for other big like Cam’ron and Juelz Santana. If Harlem ain’t back, at least the “$” is.

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Kanye West Tells David Letterman That Liberals Are Bullying Donald Trump Supporters

Ahead of David Letterman’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction return to Netflix (May 31), details about the veteran interviewer’s upcoming conversation with Kanye West has hit the Internet. According to The Daily Beast, the pair discuss mental health, Drake fallout, and his views on Donald Trump.

In 2018, West used various platforms from TMZ to his personal Twitter account to express his controversial and political standing as it relates to his support of Trump. While he caught flack for it, West told Letterman that everyone should have the right to stand tall in their beliefs.

“This is like my thing with Trump—we don’t have to feel the same way, but we have the right to feel what we feel,” he said. The father-of-four also admitted that he’s “never voted in my life,” and that those who cast a ballot for Trump were “treated like enemies of America because that’s what they felt.” He added that “Liberals bully people who are Trump supporters!”

The Daily Beast also reported on West’s address of mental health. Here, he pinpointed how the masses interpreted his statements, inadvertently referring to his viral interview on TMZ. “When you’re bipolar, you have the potential to ramp up and it can take you to a point where you start acting erratic, as TMZ would put it,” he said. West continued to unpack his views on mental health, saying, “If you guys want these crazy ideas and these crazy stages and this crazy music and this crazy way of thinking, there’s a chance it might come from a crazy person."

In an interview with Willie Geist of “Sunday Today,” Letterman said he didn’t know what to expect ahead of his sit-down with the Ye rapper. “I was frightened honestly because I had only met him a couple of times on the show, and I knew that depending on the day, you weren’t quite sure which path you were going to be on,” he said.

Watch a teaser for the series below.

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Solange Announces Performance Piece 'Witness!' Will Premiere In September

Solange is the composer and director of a special performance piece titled "Witness!" The piece will be performed on September 17 at Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany.

"So excited to announce “Witness!” a special performance piece composed and directed by myself at the phenomenal @elbphilharmonie (photo’d here:)," she wrote on Instagram to accompany a photo of the event flyer, which features the picturesque venue. Tickets for the performance go on sale on May 31.

The Houston native is no stranger to elaborate stage productions and intricate, detail-driven performances. She's performed in places such as the Guggenheim and Marfa's Chinati Foundation, so we're sure "Witness!" will be one to remember.

Earlier this year, Solange dropped her performance slot at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival, citing "major production delays" as the cause for cancellation. "She sends her sincerest apologies, and looks forward to performing at Coachella in the future," the official Coachella Twitter page read.

The performance coincides with the release of her latest studio-album, When I Get Home. Check out her announcement below.

 

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so excited to announce “Witness!” a special performance piece composed and directed by myself at the phenomenal @elbphilharmonie (photo’d here:) tickets on sale friday may 31 🖤!

A post shared by @ saintrecords on May 23, 2019 at 5:10pm PDT

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Drake Riles Up Fans After Toronto Raptors’ Game 5 Win

Drake is going viral for his latest display of hometown affection. The Toronto Raptors’ global ambassador unleashed his excitement behind the NBA team’s Game 5 win (May 23), and gave an impassioned post-game speech ahead of Saturday's match-up against the Milwaukee Bucks.

“We have the best player, we have the best fans in the whole NBA, in the whole world,” Drake said. “Look around you, look at this. We created this. This didn’t exist before we were here. Look around at the square. I promise you right now, we did this. Doesn’t matter what anybody says. They can say it’s disrespectful, they can say it’s this and that; everybody’s within the rules, everybody’s doing their thing. All we are is proud and passionate. We are like a college sports team. The Toronto Raptors are a college sports team, I promise you. I love Toronto, I love this team and we’re going to the NBA Finals.”

The Views rapper's passionate display arrives days after sports commentators and viewers discussed his court-side actions. Even ESPN's Stephen A. Smith dissected Drizzy's fandom and highlighted other celebrities' gestures on the court.

On Thursday evening, the Raptors defeated the Bucks 105-99 to advance to a 3-2 Eastern Conference Finals standing. The win arrives after a double overtime matchup during Game 4. The Raptors will have home court advantage on Saturday (May 25). The team to reach four wins first will face-off against the reigning champions, the Golden State Warriors, who defeated the Houston Rockets within a six-game series.

After “weathering the storm,” Raptors’ small forward Kawhi Leonard said he’s looking forward to the series’ continuation. “We’re taking it one game at a time and I’m just excited we got the win tonight,” he said.

"I love Toronto, I love this team and we're going to the NBA Finals."

—Drake after Game 5

(via @WISN12News)pic.twitter.com/2YjKIeKjQk

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 24, 2019

"We play in an American league and I promise you a Canadian team is going to the NBA Finals."

Drake spoke to the fans in Toronto after the Game 5 win. (via @turcottespencer) pic.twitter.com/w1hayO65pl

— ESPN (@espn) May 24, 2019

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