Usher Kicks Off GMA's Summer Concert Series

Usher Kicks Off Today's Summer Concert Series

Usher helped Today kick off their annual Summer Concert Series, performing hits like "OMG" and "Without You," as well as "Climax" from his forthcoming album Looking 4 Myself. You can check them out below. "OMG" (Live On GMA): Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

"Without You" (Live on GMA): Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

"Climax" (Live on GMA): Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Beenie Man (L) and Bounty Killer (R) in 1995.
David Corio/Redferns

VIBE x Boomshots Exclusive: Beenie Man & Bounty Killer Speak On Their Careers And Highly-Anticipated Verzuz Battle

The ultimate celebration clash is set for May 23rd at 8 PM EST, between dancehall music's titans, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer. The Jamaican champion sounds will ring throughout the world via Instagram for the reggae loving masses.

Ever since the whole Swizz Beatz and Timbaland created social media battle platform Verzuz wave kicked off, bringing a much-needed spark of joy and excitement to the dreadful pandemic grind, those of us who love and respect dancehall music and Jamaican sound system culture have been asking ourselves when (if ever) the world would finally recognize that this whole digital sensation was based on the concept of sound clash. Which is to say that it’s all rooted in the rich history of Jamaican music, which gave us cultural icons like Bob Marley (respect is always due) and Kool Herc, who became The Godfather of Hip Hop by transplanting Yard-style sound system tactics/techniques/technology to the Bronx, and King Tubby the Dub master (who really invented the remix way before Puff Daddy) and Daddy U-Roy, who became the world’s first “rap star” by recording three chart-topping hits in 1969 that served to “Wake The Town and Tell The People” that “deejay” music was not just a matter of toasting and boasting in the dancehall, it was an art form unto itself.

As Buju Banton once said, “I could go on and on the full has never been told.” Let’s just say that this Bounty Killer “versus” Beenie Man battle has been a long time coming—no wonder some are predicting it might be the biggest one yet. Beenie and Bounty are two of the most legendary icons in dancehall. Who better to represent the Art of War live on the ‘Gram? Their rivalry is the stuff of legend, but has always been governed by respect for one another, for the music and for the culture.

Needless to say, Beenie and Bounty have been rocking with VIBE and Boomshots from early. When we went to Jamaica in 1998 to shoot a big, V Styles photo essay with Stone Love sound system, the Doctor and the Warlord came together for an iconic photo that’s still being reposted decades later. So it was only right that they would tap in with us via IG Live for a reasoning on the night before their historic 2020 Verzuz battle. Despite a few technical difficulties, Beenie and Bounty respected Boomshots enough to give Reshma B some classic interviews. Listen closely and you might just learn how their rivalry was first born, how they inspired each other along the way, and what keeps these ghetto youths from the hard side of Kingston, Jamaica as they take it to the world. As Killer put it, “We don’t do this for the funds, we do it for the fun.” The whole dancehall massive is ready for the *lyrical* war. But do remember that this Saturday’s clash is all about respect. 

Beenie Man

 

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The dancehall star chatted with @rgat of @boomshots about tomorrow’s event, his music career and more. #VerzuzTV #Boomshots #Dancehall #Reggae #BeenieMan #ArtOfWar

A post shared by VibeMagazine (@vibemagazine) on May 22, 2020 at 1:38pm PDT

Bounty Killer

 

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The #5StarGeneral chatted with @rgat of @boomshots about tomorrow’s anticipated event, his music career and more. #VerzuzTV #Boomshots #Dancehall #Reggae #ArtOfWar #BountyKiller

A post shared by VibeMagazine (@vibemagazine) on May 22, 2020 at 2:20pm PDT

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The Notorious B.I.G. aka Biggie Smalls (Christopher Wallace) poses for a portrait in 1994 in New York City, New York.
Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Celebrate The Late Great Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G." Wallace's 48th Birthday With Five Mega Mixes

March 9th, 1997 is the date that we lost one of the most prolific MC's to ever rock a rhyme. With that horrific day cemented in the lexicon of hip-hop history, some of his close friends and family will not promote those 24 hours as "Biggie Day" and opt to use his birthday, May 21st, as the legend's true celebratory time. In the 23 years since his passing, we've seen so many musical odes to the man we call Frank White, Biggie Smalls or just plain ole BIG. In recent times, a few DJs and music curators have pushed playlists, mixes and all out musical tributes.

Taking a few of these projects into account, we are highlighting some of the ones that have caught our attention, as showing the King of New York in his best light as a musical legend gone way before his time. Check out the offerings presented and let us know on our social media platforms if you know of some dope mixes or music lists that should be added to this group. Love live B.I.G.!

J.PERIOD Presents The Live Mixtape: Notorious Edition [B.I.G. Tribute]. Recorded LIVE on April 13, 2020.

DJ Tiger & Full Blast Radio present: The Notorious James Brown, Vol. 2. The mashup project featuring the late great Notorious B.I.G. with soul icon James Brown.

DJ Mister Cee: The Best Of Biggie (1995)

Nas Kingston: Notorious BIG - The Big Tape Vol. 02 (Instrumentals)

DJ Finesse: B.I.G. over DJ Premier (Beats)

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New Video: Problem Honors The Late Nipsey Hussle Over A Classic Janet Jackson Track Flip

"Young dreamers trying to run L.A..." is how Compton's Problem describes the ambition that he and his brother-in-hood-arms, Nipsey Hussle, had while on their come-up in the rap game in his new single, "Janet Freestyle (Remix).” The song encapsulates the essence of friendship between two men that respected each other's grind to the top and what it means to honor someone's life in their absence. 

“I just want to say with this song that I hope we start loving our people while they are here instead of waiting for a tragedy to happen before we give out flowers," Problem states with intensity. "I hate that we are learning the hard way that you truly don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” And mentioning that last statement, Problem drew inspiration for the ode by a certain mega star's hit tune from the 90s. “I originally recorded the song alone on my balcony to the beat from Janet Jackson’s ‘Got ‘till It’s Gone,’" he details. “Then I played it for Mike & Keys (producers that worked closely with Nipsey Hussle) and it immediately struck a nerve in them. So they added their magic to flip it for this tribute." The extra love and care for the musical backdrop to this track doesn't stop there as Problem explains, "producer E. Dan came with the keys, then my brother Terrace Martin blessed it with saxophone and vocoder to tie it all together." The somber yet soulful vibe is felt when the track is played.

 

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Coffee & Kush Chronicles: Episode 001 “The Music is The Boss” Co - starring @mrrmiles354 - producer @djkai354 - producer @warmbedrooms - engineer —————————————————— ☕️💨 #Coffee & #Kush

A post shared by Problem (@problem354) on May 19, 2020 at 7:49am PDT

Visually the scenes are full of green pastures and spacious sunny L.A. skies. It was the goal views that Problem was looking to achieve. "For the video, (director) Joshy Gonz found that perfect location. He co-directed my film, A Compton Story, so he knew right away what I needed visually for this special song.”

Problem recently spoke with VIBE about the 20-minute short film, which is the precursor to his upcoming album on May 29th, Coffee & Kush Vol. 1, coming out on Diamond Lane/Rostrum Records.

 

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