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Dubfire on New Marquee NYC, Shift in Nightlife Culture + More

Ali Shirazinia, better known as tech-house producer Dubfire, had a specific reason for accepting an invitation to play at the grand opening of the newly remodeled Marquee night club in NYC this past weekend.

“New York nightlife hasn’t been quite what it used to be the last couple of years,” Ali told VIBE while from the megaclub's green room moments before taking the decks of the revamped nightlife staple. “I wanted to do what I can, to use this platform, because a guy like me doesn’t typically play the Marquee [scene] … so I wanted to help out anywhere I can to promote credible underground DJs.”

Dubfire may not usually play swank venues like Marquee, but he’s far from unknown in the EDM world. The Iranian artist based out of Barcelona capitalized on opportunities to play frequent gigs in Europe this past summer, most notably in Ibiza where he was a guest for Richie Hawtin’s infamous ENTER party. Before spinning at the Marquee opening, he had just finished throwing a party for his own acclaimed label, SCI-TEC, at the BPM Festival in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico one week prior.

Dubfire cited his affinity for local NYC DJs Sleepy and Boo - both opening with a supporting tech-house set to prep the packed house for Dubfire’s unique underground sound - as a big reason for him coming out to support the new venture.

Marquee’s decision to open their venue with an underground act like Dubfire was no accident, with future plans to dedicate a weekly slot to the underground culture in an effort to make NYC a new destination for the tech-ier side of house music that isn’t often represented outside its birthplace of Detroit.

Even the remodeled Marquee itself is a telling shift to the trends of today's club industry, and one that competing night spots are sure to take note of. The newly renovated space veers away from exclusive VIP rooms to an inclusive performance space that brings the music front and center. Gone is the private lounge that was once in a separate room; instead an entire terrace of elevated tables has transformed the club into a bottle first approach, giving every patron the best seat in the house. The 30-foot-tall stage, rich with LED light displays and dancing platforms, gives plenty to ogle over. Even the ceiling is decked out in LED panels.

“People are wanting to dig in a bit deeper and try to follow more interesting artists and styles of music, because a lot of what is being passed off as dance music is really pop, said Dubfire before rushing out to spin a three-hour set. "These people are slowly starting to realize that and I feel like the landscape is changing. This year is going to be a turning point, especially in America.”

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Jeremy Deputat

Premiere: Joell Ortiz Teams With Heatmakerz For "Captain"

Any listeners of Joell Ortiz know that you'll be hard pressed to catch a weak verse from him. The Brooklyn wordsmith never takes a bar off, whether it's over the production by the likes of Just Blaze and DJ Premier, or alongside Eminem and his now-defunct group Slaughterhouse. His new song "Captain" continues his run of grade A lyricism.

“It always feels good to tell a dope beat what’s been on my mind,” Joell told VIBE. “My oh my how times have changed. Enjoy the rapping."

On "Captain," Joell Ortiz acknowledges that fans may think he's fallen off – although he released the potent collaborative album Mona Lisa with producer Apollo Brown in 2018, his last solo effort was in 2016. But over a signature soul sample from Heatmakerz, he makes the case that he's still got more to say.

"Y'all think I lost my step? Was on the run, but had to stop and never caught my breath? I'm drenched, I'm on the bench with like four more reps. In other words, I got sh*t left to get off my chest."

"Captain" is the second single from Joell Ortiz's upcoming solo album Monday, proceeding the previous single "Learn You" featuring Big K.R.I.T. Monday will feature production from J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Apollo Brown, Heatmakerz, Nottz and more, and is scheduled for an August 30, 2019 release through Mello Music Group.

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Courtesy of Project Girls Club

Premiere: Project Girls Club Deliver Bossed-Up Swag In "Heavy" Visuals

What makes Atlanta's Project Girls Club so delightful is their creative approach to the girl group troupe. The collective, comprised of Shanell, D. Woods and Mika Means have returned with "Heavy" which also features stellar bars from Akbar V.

Directed by the Class Clown studio, the ladies shine in the black and white visuals with looks to complete their eclectic personalities. Like their previous single "Run Up," "Heavy" is rooted in swag and strong vocals from Shanell as well as standout bars from Means and Akbar V.

Known for her time on Love and hip Hop Atlanta, Akbar V puts reality woes to the side and lays down witty raps. Shanell also brings the dance moves during her verse with an ode to her time in Young Money. "On top. call me when you wanna see ya bedrock," she sings.

Project Girls Club was founded by Woods, Shanell and Means as a form of pushing the culture of powerful women forward in the south and beyond. The niche is that PGC not only features those in the music video but producers, directors and DJs like Traci Steele.

"Everyone in Project Girls Group has their own vibe and we don't make anyone else have to be on everyone else's vibe. We celebrate each other's vibe (laughs)," Wood previously shared with VIBE. "I'm not going to make my dream be your dream. Let's figure how to coexist these dreams and push them to the next level."

As the summer continues to heat up, "Heavy" is a perfect track to your hot girl playlist.

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Nicki Minaj Links With DaBaby For “Suge” Remix

Nicki Minaj took over DJ Felly Fell’s show on L.A.’s Power 106 radio station Friday (July 19) where she premiered the remix to DaBaby's “Suge” single.

“Ya’ll already know I’m back on my bull! We got a lot more in the motherf**kin’ chamber,” said Minaj.

The “Megatron” rapper  also sent a shout out to Da Baby. “I just think he’s super dope and he actually spits actual bars.”

Prior to the song premiere, Minaj shared her first public statement on the death of Nipsey Hussle. The Queens native explained that she wasn’t on the internet at the time of Hussle’s murder, but wanted to send condolences to Lauren London, and the rest of his family.

“When he passed I didn’t get a chance to be online at that time,” Minaj told Power 106's DJ Carisma. “Lauren London happens to be somebody that I adore. I felt like my heart ripped out when I heard [that he was killed]. I just wanted to finally send my condolences to his family and his fans.”

Earlier in the interview, Minaj sent love to her fans in Saudi Arabia after canceling her appearance at the Jedah World Festival over the country’s treatment of women, and members of the LGBTQ community. Minaj added that she turned down $1.5 million by pulling out of the performance. She also confirmed that she will be heading out on tour after the release of her upcoming new album.

Listen to Minaj and DaBaby on the “Suge” remix below.

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