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5 Reasons Why Timbaland and Missy Elliott Would Make Aaliyah's Album A Classic

In case you haven't heard by now, it sounds like Drake is going to serve as the executive producer of Aaliyah's forthcoming posthumous album. Using previously-unreleased Baby Girl vocals, Drizzy has quite the task ahead of him. He needs to do everything he can to honor the legacy of Aaliyah and create an album that's worthy of being placed next to the stuff she put out before her untimely death in 2001.

But, that's not all. He also needs to do it while many of Aaliyah's biggest fans criticize the fact that Timbaland and Missy Elliott aren't the executive producers on the project. After all, they were largely responsible for much of her success, so why weren't they picked to produce her posthumous album? That's what they're both wondering—and what we're sure many of you are wondering, too.

We happen to think that Drake will do just fine as the executive producer of the album, though. He obviously never worked with Aaliyah, but we think he'll be able to add a fresh twist to her music that'll make it relevant and timely in the year 2012. But, we also wouldn't mind having Timbo and Missy play a big part in the album, either, because we think they'd really make it something special. To prove why, we put together a list of the 5 Reasons Why Timbaland and Missy Elliott Would Make Aaliyah's Posthumous Album A Classic. Let's hope they're able to do their part and contribute to the project.

Reason #1: There's a good chance Timbaland and Missy Elliott are already both familiar with most of Aaliyah's unreleased material.
Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like Aaliyah has a ton of unreleased material lying around. But, because her material is limited, we're sure that either Timbo or Missy—or, hopefully, both—are familiar with most of it and can shed some light on exactly where she was going with it. If they can do that, they obviously have an advantage over Drake and anyone else out there who wants to work on the project.

Reason #2: Timbo and Missy both worked with Aaliyah extensively and understand what she would have wanted to do with her unreleased music.
Outside of just being familiar with Aaliyah's unreleased music, Timbo and Missy also know and understand her sound like no one else. Part of that is because they both helped shape her sound. But, part of that is also because they spent so much time around her. So, they'd know best what she was trying to do on certain songs and how she wanted things to turn out on individual tracks. It'd be difficult for them to complete those recordings. But, at the very least, they'd have a blueprint for how to do it in their minds based off what they know about Aaliyah.

Reason #3: Both artists would have something to prove if they were given the chance to work extensively on Aaliyah's posthumous project.
Let's face it: Timbaland isn't considered the hottest producer in the game anymore, and Missy isn't considered the most well-respected female MC in the game, either. So, if they worked on Aaliyah's project, they wouldn't just be out to prove that Aaliyah was the greatest female singer of her era. They'd also be out to prove that they were a big reason she was so successful. That kind of motivation could make for some great music.

Reason #4: Timbo and Missy would both limit the number of guest appearances on her album. They'd also know who Aaliyah would have wanted to work with today.
One of the biggest problems with posthumous albums is that, often times, there isn't enough unreleased material to create an entire album. So, the executive producer has to bring in a bunch of guests to fill in the blank spaces that appear on songs. And, that can be risky business because not every artist is worthy of making an appearance on a posthumous album. We think that Timbo and Missy would do a great job of weeding out those who don't belong on Aaliyah's project and inviting those who do to perform. They also know what kind of artists Aaliyah would be down to work with if she was still alive. It'd save us all from hearing (*enter artist who doesn't really belong on the album here*) rapping all over the place and sounding out of place on an Aaliyah song.

Reason #5: The excitement that an Aaliyah project produced by Timbo and Missy would generate would be incredible.
If Timbo and Missy did reunite to do an Aaliyah album, people would be expecting big things. It'd likely turn the project into the most anticipated album of 2013. And, it'd keep Aaliyah's name alive and get people talking about her again. That doesn't automatically make it a classic. But, it would definitely put it in the conversation.

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Ella Mai Puts The Ball In Your Court With "Shot Clock" Visuals

Kobe, KD, Kyrie, how about Ella Mai?

Marking her third official single from her self-titled debut album, the 24-year-old dropped a new video from her charting project, bringing "Shot Clock" to life in her B-ball themed clip.

The Colin Tilley directed visual captures the essence of the young singer, framing her unique style and iridescent vocal abilities. The clip captures the various parts of Mai's magnetic energy, as she stars in her own thematic love story.

The two-time Grammy nominee goes through the many downs that occur in relationships while the red beams of shot clock shine in the background slowly reaching zero, a neon indicator of her lessening patience, the singer finds herself alone.

This visual was released in the midst of the "Boo'd Up" songstress' first debut tour currently venturing through the United States and Parts of Europe. Check out the tour dates below to see if R&B's new golden child is coming to a city near you and watch her video for "Shot Clock" above.

THE DEBUT TOUR

Jan 18 – Berlin, DE- Festsaal Kreuzberg Jan 20 – Hamburg, DE- Grosse Freiheit Jan 21 – Copenhagen, DK – Vega Main Hall Jan 22 – Stockholm, SE - Berns Jan 24 – Oslo, NO – Rockefeller Music Hall Feb 12 - Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom Feb 14 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo Feb 15 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom Feb 17 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades Feb 19 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater Feb 20 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst Feb 22 – Phoenix, AZ – The Marquee Feb 23 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues Feb 25 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre Feb 27 – Lawrence, KS – The Granada Feb 28 – Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theater Mar 2 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s Hall Mar 3 – Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall Mar 5 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues Mar 6 – Toronto, ON – The Danforth Mar 7 – Montreal, QC – Club Soda Mar 9 – Boston, MA - Royale Mar 11 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel Mar 13 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts Mar 15 – Silver Spring, M.D. – The Fillmore Silver Spring Mar 16 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Sound Stage Mar 19 – Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle Mar 20 – Orlando, FL – The Plaza Live Mar 21 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Revolution Live Mar 24 – Houston, TX – House of Blues Mar 26 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues Mar 27 – Austin, TX – Emo’s Mar 28 – San Antonio, TX – The Aztec Theatre

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Smif N Wessun

9th Wonder Talks Collabo Album With Smif N Wessun And The Soul Council

A few weeks fresh off the 23rd anniversary of their classic debut album, Da Shinin', Brooklyn duo Smif N Wessun (Steele and Tek) have released the video for the soul smacking single, "Testify" produced by Khrysis, off their newest album, The All. The project, produced entirely by Grammy-nominated producer 9th Wonder and his Soul Council team, brings the hardcore feel of SNW's best work to the forefront.

“9th Wonder and the Soul Council provide the perfect backdrop for Tek and I to deliver heartfelt lyrical content,” Steele reveals directly. “It’s a true tale of ups and downs, wins and losses, growth and acceptance. It speaks to the hearts and minds of all people; particularly our followers and fans of all ages and ethnicities.”

When artists who rep a certain quality sector of hip-hop music resurface to offer newness to an audience, the longtime fans are looking to bring that old thing back while looking to reflect and push forward at the same time.

"'Testify' is a realistic reflective look back on our accomplishments and failures throughout our career and serves as a precursor to what you will experience on The All,” Steele continues. "This project is a reality check for SNW, one that reflects the struggles and obstacles that we’ve had to endure to survive at the level we occupy in the hip-hop arena."

9th Wonder took the project on as a lover of the group, "My goal is to make sure that we cement the legacy of the artist, but at the same time update the artist. We came up with the concept of  The All (based on a speech from Louis Farrakhan), you can never underestimate the essence of Islam in Hip-Hop. Given the fact that SNW are both Muslim and so many others are as well, we couldn't forget that part."

Going into new chambers of living is needed when you have been recording albums for over 20 years. 9th explains, "we wanted them to talk about stuff they wouldn't normally talk about on records, as they are in a different point in their lives, very grown man. It gives something to our generation to listen to, appreciate and celebrate without feeling old, without feeling outdated. We also wanted to let them know, the legends can still do it."

As the word legend gets thrown around a lot, it's not a far off title for the duo of Tek and Steele. "Some bestow the 'legend' tag upon us (we are very appreciative of that)," says Steele. "And we are chronicling that journey throughout the album.”

The full project will be dropping on February 22nd, 2019 on Duck Down Records. You can pre-order the album here and group merch here.

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Photo Rob

Premiere: Duck Down Records' Smif-N-Wessun Returns With Khrysis-Produced 'Testify'

It's been nearly 25 years to the day since their classic debut Dah Shinin' impacted in January 1995, but legendary Brooklyn duo Smif-N-Wessun is still representing the culture with authority and authenticity. "Testify," the premiere music video from their upcoming album The All, adds another notch to their storied catalogs.

"Testify" begins with old photos of group members Tek and Steele in their 90s heyday, but they don't spend much time there before getting busy with present day rhymes. Over a backdrop from Khrysis, the Duck Down Records duo confidently announces their return while solidifying their legendary pedigree. The song gives a short but sweet taste from The All, their upcoming album produced entirely by 9th Wonder and the Soul Council.

“9th Wonder and the Soul Council provide the perfect backdrop for Tek and I to deliver heartfelt lyrical content,” Steele told VIBE. “It’s a true tale of ups and downs, wins and losses, growth and acceptance. It speaks to the hearts and minds of ALL people; particularly our followers and fans of ALL ages and ethnicities.”

‘Testify” is a realistic reflective look back on our accomplishments and failures throughout our career and serves as a precursor to what you will experience on The All,” Steele continued. "This project is a reality check for SNW, one that reflects the struggles and obstacles that we’ve had to endure to survive at the level we occupy in the hip-hop arena. Some, bestow the “Legend” tag upon us (we are very appreciative of that) and we are chronicling that journey throughout the album.”

The All is scheduled for a February 22, 2019 release on Duck Down Records, and is available for pre-order.

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