Big K.R.I.T., Killer Mike, & Flatbush Zombies Discuss The Importance Of CMJ Week
Big K.R.I.T., Killer Mike, & Flatbush Zombies Discuss The Importance Of CMJ Week

Big K.R.I.T., Killer Mike, & Flatbush Zombies Discuss The Importance Of CMJ Week

If you weren't in the city last week, you missed out on the insane CMJ Music Marathon that took over Manhattan, and parts of Brooklyn. Of the many sets that we got a chance to catch, MTV Hive's CMJ Showcase—featuring Big K.R.I.T., Killer Mike, LE1F, Mr. MFN eXquire, and Flatbush Zombies—was definitely one to be remembered.

VIBE got a chance to talk with Big K.R.I.T, Killer Mike, and the eclectic trio that is Flatbush Zombies in between sets to discuss CMJ week, it's importance to new artists in the game, and what they can bring to the platform of hip hop & music in general.

Big K.R.I.T. CMJ

"I feel like [CMJ Week] is great, man. It’s definitely an organic vibe. It’s one of those situations where artists get the opportunity to share the stage and be around other artist that they normally wouldn’t get a chance to. Great music and shit comes out like that. So for me to be a part of [the showcase], it’s just love man. This ain’t my first time in New York, but it’s always good to come up here and see everybody so vibrant about what’s new and what’s next.

It definitely seems like artists now have more of a sense of independence and movement. I think that’s what was really missing at some point. [New artists] shouldn’t be so dependent on the label, and actually be willing to go out there, get it on your own, and make moves to kind of meet the label halfway. I think that’s what’s actually going on right now.

Killer Mike CMJ

"Whether it’s CMJ, A3C in Atlanta, or SXSW, what I have found is that anytime a collective of artists get to be in one place at one time, special things happen. It really just brings the artist down to the level of the ecstatic fans that wanted to be artist themselves. [CMJ showcases] give opportunities for fans, supporters, bloggers, and writers to interact with the people they helped elevate, so I love it. What I compare it to is a musical family reunion and I really enjoy it.

Well I’m a 9-year veteran that’s a new artist, because it took me six of those nine years to form who I am. For me, what it’s done is put me right in the face of the people who believed when no one else was. When I get on stage, I’m trying to leave everything I have on stage.

My advice for any new artist is whatever your performance is, make it theatre on stage—give them all you got. I’m looking at a gay hip-hop act right now put on a hell of a show [Editors Note: At the time of this interview, self-identified gay rapper LE1F was on stage putting his all into his live set]. The beats are dope, the lyrics are goddamn dope and infectious, and they are putting on theatre. You’re supposed to give people a show. When my big ass leaves the stage, they’ll say he gave a show [Laughs]. That’s all I would advise any new artist to do—give people the best show you possibly can."

Flatbush Zombies CMJ

Erick Arc Elliott: "CMJ festival is important. It comes in a good time of the year with summertime slowing down and shit. It still gives people a reason to go outside and look at good hip-hop music. Actually, CMJ is a festival not only for hip-hop, for New York in general."

Meechy Darko: "It also blends different artists together and shit. You get a nice bill. I see shit with Killer Mike, GZA, eXquire, and K.R.I.T., so it’s a nice little mixture. As an added bonus, it’s in New York—and it’s beautiful right now—so CMJ is holding down our people in New York City. We’re actually getting love for a fucking change. That’s what I really give a fuck about—fuck all the other bullshit. I’m going to be honest with you, this shit is in my city and we are getting love, so it’s beautiful."

Yo, the only advice I got for new artists is to be yourself. That’s what we do and that’s what all the greats have done. If you’re yourself, you’ll get far."

Erick Arc Elliott: "Regardless of any compromising business proposition, fuck all that shit. It’s about being yourself, expressing yourself, and never compromising who you are."

Meechy Darko: "Niggas are always going to laugh at you, niggas are always going to hate on you, and niggas are always going to feel every single feeling they can feel about you. It's nothing you can do about it. Do what the fuck you gotta do, and that’s about it."

You can see more images from their CMJ Showcase at Webster Hall, shot exclusively by VIBE, by clicking [HERE].

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Is Expected To Make $64 Million Opening Weekend

Thanks to Us, Jordan Peele has another blockbuster on his hands. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the highly-anticipated horror flick starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex, is expected to have a $64 million opening weekend at the domestic box office.

Peele’s sophomore horror film earned an impressive $7.4 million on Thursday (March 21) night previews, and is forecasted to take in about $27 million from Friday sales. The film is also on pace to knock Captain Marvel out of the No. 1 spot at the box office.

Once final numbers are tallied, Us will likely snatch the third-best opening weekend record for an R-rated horror film behind It, which brought in a whopping $123.4 million, followed by Halloween’s $76.2 million opening weekend last year.

Aside from rave reviews and a genius promo run that included simultaneous screenings in major media markets, Us earned a 95 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film, set in the mid-1980s centers around a family of four who set off on a vacation that finds them confronting some familiar faces.

Peele recently spoke to VIBE about casting Duke (our April 2019 cover star) in the role of patriarch, Gabe Wilson. “I have to have somebody voice what the audience was saying,” he said. “In the case of Get Out, it’s Rod, like, ‘How have you not left yet?’ [In Us], Winston is largely that voice. There’s one moment where Lupita [Nyong’o] takes a step into the unknown, where black people [will think], ‘I don’t know.’ But to have Winston say, ‘Aaaand she left. Your mother just walked out of the car.’ That’s all we need.”

Duke also opened up about the intricacies of his character. “His function isn’t to see through the veil. His function is to tell the absolute truth how he sees it,” explained the 32-year-old actor. “He’s sometimes there to say the things that other people don’t want to say, but he’s also there to make fun of things to keep it from not getting too heavy, even though it’s real. That was my job. [Peele] respected that. I like to lean into functions. If I’m going to be your antagonist, I’m gonna really push you. If I’m gonna be your clown, funny guy, I’m gonna do that.”

Click here to read VIBE’s April 2019 cover story.

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Cardi B Explains Why She Wants To Trademark “Okurrr”

Cardi B hopes to secure as many “bags” as possible. In response to backlash and burning questions surrounding her decision to file to trademark “okurrr,” the 26-year-old rapper took to social media Friday (March 22) to defend her latest money move.

Since people tend to ask Bardi to use what has become her signature catch phrase, she figured that it was time to cash in. “You think I ain’t gonna’ profit off this sh*t? B*tch white folks do it all the motherf**king time,” she said. “So you gon’ be mad at me ‘cuz I want to get some motherf**king money?

“While I’m still hear I’ma secure all the fucking bags,” Cardi continued before adding that there are a “lot of ways to get rich” in 2019.

The Bronx native caught heat for wanting to trademark the word because she wasn’t the first to say “okurrr.” Cardi already revealed that she started using it after she heard Khloe Kardashian saying it, but the word was originally popularized in drag culture -- most notably by Rupaul’s Drage Race contestant Laganja Estranja, in 2014.

However, Rupaul attributed the word to Broadway actress, Laura Bell Bundy, who used it in YouTube skits dating back to 2010. In the skits, Bundy pretends to be a hairdresser named “Shocantelle Brown.”

Although Bundy caught criticism for her little character, which was deemed racist, she typically gets credit for bringing “okrrr” (different spelling) to the internet a full decade before Cardi made it mainstream.

No matter the origin, it looks like Cardi will be the only one profiting off of “okurrr.”


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#CardiB on why she decided to trademark “Okurr”

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Kanye West, EMI Working Towards Private Settlement

Kanye West and EMI could be close to settling their legal drama. Each party filed documents requesting a stay of the case to “explore the potential for a resolution,” The Blast reports.

West sued EMI in an effort to “gain freedom” from his contract, and to own his publishing. In the lawsuit, ‘Ye argued that his contract ended in 2010 under California law, which bars entertainers from being tethered to an agreement for more than seven years. The multi-Grammy winner, who signed the deal back in 2003, also accused the company of slavery because the contract doesn’t allow him to retire.

“Even if the contract were not lopsided in EMI’s favor (it is), even if its terms valued Mr. West’s artistic contributions in line with the spectacular success he has achieved for EMI (they do not), and even if EMI had not underpaid Mr. West what it owes him (EMI has), he would be entitled to be set free from its bonds,” the lawsuit reads.

EMI hit back with a countersuit filed in New York, instead of California. The suit pointed out that the 41-year-old rapper signed multiple contract extensions, in addition to accepting millions in advances.

According to The Blast, West and EMI now feel that putting a hold on the legal proceedings will be beneficial to both sides “and the Court by enabling the parties to engage in meaningful discussions in an attempt to resolve this action without having to incur the burden and expense of litigation and motion practice.”

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