asap-twelvy

MOB TIES: MEET A$AP TWELVY

Coming into the music business with friends that also double as your rap group can be detrimental to those very relationships. Envy and a lack of clarity on what position each member is to play have splintered innumerable crews. A$AP Twelvy is certain about his role within his family, though. More importantly he's happy to see his brothers basking in the limelight. Whether it's Rocky touring the world or Ferg, Nast and Addie bodying shows around the country, he's confident of his upcoming turn. In the mean time he's content to move as a unit with the rest of the Mob and contribute to Rocky's upcoming album until his day to rock the spot solo comes. And with several stand out verses on Lords Never Worry plus a dope guest spot with Smoke Dza it's clear this kid maybe slept on a tad with the patience of a saint. Guess that's why he's the Good Goon.

VIBE: So how was your first real tour?
Twelvy: It was crazy. Two months of straight hard work. But I loved it. I can't wait to go back on tour.

Do you have more upcoming tours already?
We have another A$AP mob tour and the Rihanna tour. We're just working, man. We're trying to be a machine. We're only a year and half into the game so all of this is a blessing. We want the same success for everybody on our team.

What did you learn on the tour?
I learned not to take this shit light. You start to see the girls and the money and the weed but you can't get too cozy. Keep working. This shit ain't light, this shit ain't a game. I work as hard as anybody because I know that this shit could end any day so I'm trying to work and make the most of it while I can.

What were some of the funnier moments on tour?
[laughs] Seeing multiple people stage dive and fail. A lot of people got a little hurt. I'm not gonna lie, I busted my ass on stage slipping in some water that people splashed. Plus, I hurt my neck stage diving ain't no health insurance with this rapping shit I've got to be careful.

What are some of the last year's highlights?
The other day with Too $hort and E40 in the Bay that shit was crazy. I went to this Jeremy Scott house party during Coachella that was pretty live. I just came back from Switzerland. There was so much Cris. Maaad Cris. As soon as your bottle was half done they took it and bought you a new one. Like no empty bottles allowed. But also watching Nas, Common, Luda and Rihanna perform. All that inspires me to be a better performer. All this is teaching me to work hard and to stay focused and play my role.

So what is your role within A$AP?
My role is the big homie. Come holler at me business wise, money wise, whatever you want to talk about. I already know I don't wanna be on camera all day. I want to understand the business. Yams and Rocky have to be execs so I try to help them. I learn from them, from Chase [Infinite]... you might hear about me being more of a business man than a rapper. I just want to participate.

Do you have any solo material due out?
A Twelvy solo is upcoming but we're focused on how we move as a unit. I ain't in no rush, a lot of other crews, the crew just be waiting for their time to shine. I'm not in a rush. When the time is right it'll happen but for now I have no problems seeing my bro shine because I know I'm gonna get mine eventually. So it's all about Rocky right now and his album.

What alliances/endorsements are you guys trying to secure besides FIFA?
Shout to my homey Dawn Baxter at Nike. I got full support from Nike, they really want me to win. You might be seeing me up on billboards. I'm from NYC so I know how to rap. I want be a man of many hats. I'm trying to get my own AAU team running around the city, too.

So how's it feel being back in Castle Hill?
It's love. They're happy to see me. They just want to hear me tell stories because that motivates them. You have to be careful too because there is envy but you just have to watch for that that's all.

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Megan Thee Stallion Releases Fiery "Realer" Video

Megan Thee Stallion is truly prepping for a hot girl summer. Following up the highly-anticipated release of Fever, the Houston-bred rapper has officially released the visuals for the project's opening song, "Realer."

Red-headed Meg and her friends brandish toy guns, high karate kicks and body rolls as she talks her sh*t. And, much like her project's artwork, there were flames—both literally and figuratively—to be had all around.

Even some of her celebrity peers have expressed excitement over her video's release.

🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥❤️❤️

— TRINA (@TRINArockstarr) May 21, 2019

🐎 🔥 https://t.co/54S59MQ8fx

— Wale (@Wale) May 21, 2019

Watch Hot Girl Meg's spicy "Realer" video up top.

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VIBE Debuts New Podcast On Battle Rap Culture, 'The Chosen' (Hosted By Nunu Nellz)

THE CHOSEN Podcast, hosted by the battle scene's stage Queen, Nunu Nellz, is a show that highlights the artists, entrepreneurs and personalities that shape Hip-Hop battle culture. A lot of success stories may look like they started overnight, yet took many years of hard work and dedication...we will showcase that journey through their stories.

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And for some added flavor, the intro beat to the show is produced by none other than the infamous himself, Havoc of Mobb Deep.

Check the first of many great episodes to come of The Chosen Podcast.

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😢 THANK U to @smackwhite @beasleynyc @urltv for embracing me with nothing but love from the first day I met u guys. Thank you for making NUNU NELLZ a house hold name. From my start on “ battle rap arena “ on 15moferadio to writing my first column “what’s hot what’s not “in battle rap for 100barsmag then taking that same column to a printing magazine ( rydermagazineboss ) where it was sold at train station, online and at the legendary black star, I just been blessed. I been able to travel the world and meet so many great ppl bc of u guys. Thank u for any league that ever book me to host their event . Thank u to my fiancé @mr.guercy for pushing me to be the greatest woman I can be and introducing me to the editor and chief of @vibemagazine, @datwon . Thank u to @datwon for believing in the vision and giving me my very own show on the vibe platform #THECHOSEN. This is so BIG and I’m so excited about this new journey . I love media . I love learning about ppl grinds and how they became successful . It was so important to me to grab that @nickiminaj #vibemagazine cover for my first interview . I won’t allow anyone to give me pickle juice (barbs will catch that 🤣) but thank u to all those saying congrats . When the first interview drop im open to all feed back to be the best I can be for the people 💯 Hair @beautiibyday thank u for always stopping what u doing to get me together . I appreciate u

A post shared by URL Princess (@nunu_nellz) on Mar 28, 2019 at 8:11am PDT

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Bradley Murray

Jamila Woods Resurrects Legends On ‘Legacy! Legacy!’

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The result is 13 tracks of her soothing lullaby, free-flowing melodies, and sing-songy raps of gratitude for each of the lessons she learned from these greats.

There is “Betty” dedicated to Betty Davis, an unsung funk musician whose empowered spirit was ahead of her time and caused her to be shunned from the spotlight. Davis was also married to jazz pioneer Miles Davis, who she influenced in the latter part of his career. The marriage ended in a rocky divorce and Jamila considers whether this hindered Betty’s success by flipping her story into a song about guarding her light around toxic masculinity and men who could interrupt her growth. “Let me be, I'm trying to fly, you insist on clipping my wings,” she sings over the piano-led track, produced by Chicago producer OddCouple.

Woods continues to explore relationships on “Frida,” a funky boom-bap number produced by Chicago-based Slot-A, who produces most of the album. The track draws inspiration from the Mexican icon Frida Kahlo’s relationship with Diego Rivera. The couple lived in separate homes connected by a bridge while they were together. Woods uses this as a symbol for maintaining your own space to find self, whatever that may look like, even when you’re in a partnership. “Multiply my sides, I need a lot of area/A savior is not what I'm seeking/I'm god enough and you be believing,” she commands.

Although Woods shines on her own tracks, one standout feature is Brooklyn emcee (and current touring mate) Nitty Scott on “Sonia.” The track is inspired by a poem written by Black Arts movement poet Sonia Sanchez in the voice of an enslaved black woman who was finding power in detailing the trauma of her condition. Similarly, Scott lays out all her experiences with toxic relationships on a verse that should be studied by all young woman as a relationship manual. “All the women in me are tired/Listen, ni**a/My abuela ain't survive several trips around the sun/So I could give it to somebody's undeserving son,” Scott quips. Woods also describes finding clarity on relationship issues after talking them out with her mother, grandmother, and cousin. “I knew I could do it 'cause if my blood went through it/I knew I could endure it, I knew that I could heal it,” she croons.

When she’s not breaking down the personal, Woods takes on race politics. On the gritty “Miles” dedicated to the aforementioned Davis, Woods embodies his rebellious attitude toward racism. “You could make me tap dance, shake hands, yes ma'am/ But I'm a free man now,” she flexes on the track’s first verse. The song also tells of a man who took the oppression he faced and poured it into mastering his musicianship. Davis talks about this in a 1962 Playboy interview, where he explained that when he was in high school he knew he was the best trumpeter in music class, but all the white students would win the first prizes in contests. “It made me so mad I made up my mind to outdo anybody white on my horn,” he recalls. “If I hadn't met that prejudice, I probably wouldn't have had as much drive in my work.” Davis went on to become one of the most influential jazz artists in the world. Woods calls on that pride he had in his genius, as she references Davis’s 1950 album Birth of Cool on several lines, including, “You can't fake the cool/I could do it in my sleep.”

The spacey-electronic “Octavia” echoes the late science fiction author’s notable ability to manifest her success through journaling. Butler was one of the most prominent black women to write in a mostly white and male-dominated genre, publishing dozens of books, and was the recipient of the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant, among other awards. During Butler’s rise, she wrote out her goals in a series of affirmations that were put on display in an exhibit called “Octavia Butler: Telling My Stories” at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California in 2017. One of the notes read, “My books will be read by millions of people! I will buy a beautiful home in an excellent neighborhood!” On the chorus, Jamila borrows one stunning line from her notes: “I write it down, it happens next/So be it, see to it.”

Woods talks candidly to white Americans about their privilege and how it blinds them from reality on “Baldwin” in the same way James Baldwin did in his writings. Baldwin once wrote in a 1962 essay in The New Yorker: “Now, there is simply no possibility of a real change in the Negro’s situation without the most radical and far-reaching changes in the American political and social structure. And it is clear that white Americans are not simply unwilling to effect these changes; they are, in the main, so slothful have they become, unable even to envision them.” Woods keeps the same energy when grieving about gentrification — which is now a fabric of life in most American cities — and the stress it can bring black natives of big cities. “You could change a hood just by showing your face / Condo climbing high, now the block is erased / (You don't get it, get it),” she spits.

On Legacy! Legacy!, Woods took her ability to paint her rage with social conditions and complex emotions within intimate relationships to the next level, solidifying her as a modern day griot. Yes, this album on the surface is inspired by historical figures but, as promised, the songs aren’t simply biographies about their accomplishments. Woods studied what made each of these individuals human and transformed those insights into a cohesive oral history that connects the past to the present. It’s not an album to be digested in one sitting. She is inviting us to join her in remembering these legends more deeply beyond social media posts that dilute their legacies to soundbites, photos and quote posts on their birthdays. The eras from which these icons rose to prominence passed, but the lessons they offer are timeless. Count on Woods to keep them alive and make sure they’re told.

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