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Exclusive: The White Panda Dishes Up 'Bearly Legal', The EDM-Rap Mashup Divide

Mashup murderers, The White Panda, dropped their fifth full-length album, Bearly Legal, this week (June 10) for the “smash-up” price of FREE (as the albums are). The Chi-Town duo—made up of Procrast (Tom Evans) and DJ Griffi (Dan Griffith)—are known to mix and mash their way across the States alongside hip-hop elite, such as Wale and Mac Miller, also joining electronic stars like Tiësto, Benny Benassi, Steve Aoki and more, on stages. Panda’s boyhood-buds and beatsmiths (say it three times fast and they’ll mash it up) are about to embark on a new tour, making people of all ages (better be careful of those “barely legal” P.Y.T.’s) go wild to the creative combo jams. Meet The White Panda in this exclusive interview with VIBE and cop Bearly Legal, here.

Talk about the process you two go through when putting together a mashup.
The White Panda: Most mixes begin as individual efforts. We send each other short 'concepts,' which are basically rough mashup ideas. When we think a concept has potential, we'll put some more time into it. [We] tighten up the foundation of the mix, add additional production (drums, bass, synths) where we feel it's necessary and master the track. These steps are much more collaborative as sometimes your ear can numb itself to a mix [after] hearing [the same] loop for hours on end. We build these ideas into an arsenal of finalized mashups, and only release our very favorites.

Aside from your success in the mashup production game, is there any reason you guys have yet to produce your own original tracks?
We spend a great deal of time producing original tracks, but we are still mastering our craft so to speak before scheduling any releases. In addition to that, our fans have a certain expectation of our musical style and we want to make sure that we reconcile our vision for the project with a product that our current fans will truly appreciate.

Can we look forward to any original productions by The White Panda in the future?
Yes, but we're not in a huge rush to get that content out. Developing a unique and novel sound is not an easy task, and as our own biggest critics don't plan to release anything we're not 100% satisfied with. That said, our new album Bearly Legal has a substantial amount of original production supporting the mixes. The album allowed us to utilize some obscure and awesome samples.

You've shared stages with rappers like Wale and Mac Miller to electronic greats such as Tiësto and Benny Benassi... what's more fun for you guys, live hip-hop or EDM?
It's always an honor to hop on the same stage as an artist or group that makes it into our regular listening rotations. We tend to pair better with EDM than rap because even though we use both of those genres heavily in our music, the energy and vibe of our performances more closely emulate that of an EDM show than a hip-hop show. As a result, EDM fans are easier for us to win over and we have the most fun on stage when the crowd is really feeling our music.

Are there any artists who you consider to be competition in your musical niche?
Not really - there are plenty of other big names in the mashup genre: Girl Talk, 3lau, Super Mash Bros - and we've performed with all of them at one time or another. There's definitely a mutual respect between the big names in mashups, and we're much more interested in seeing what direction they take their music than worrying about where we stand in the competitive space.

Who are some of your musical influences?
In general, we like to see artists that push the envelope of what's popular. Girl Talk did that in the early 2000’s when he brought the mashup genre into the mainstream. Daft Punk did that in 2001 with Discovery, putting out one of the first EDM records long before the craze. Recently, groups like Alt-J have stood out to us by making a name for themselves with a sound that is unlike anyone else's. Ultimately, it's the trendsetters that see the most success in this industry.

Who are your top four artists to mashup? Two rappers to electro producers!
Ooo, this is tough. We've got to throw Wale out there. Something about his voice is able to pierce through electronic music remarkably well and he's always an awesome feature in a mix. Probably, Michael Jackson/The Jackson 5 too. Their music is so timeless that sampling it brings life into any genre. Daft Punk makes the cut too - all of their music is so groovy and so recognizable, it's perfectly suited for great mashups. Lastly, we'll say Swedish House Mafia. For top-notch production and feel-good energy, they're one of the best acts out there and every crowd loves hearing samples from them in a set.

What's next from The White Panda?
Right now we're gearing up for a tour in support of our new album, Bearly Legal. Over the next few weeks we'll be rolling out full-length versions of the individual mixes from the album. After that, a steady stream of new music and podcasts as we continue to try and bring a fresh.

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The Internet Was Conflicted About Future's Birthday Gift To Baby Future

It's Future Zahir's birthday and the cutie patootie 5-year-old received massive love from his parents and a pricey gift from his dad.

Nayvadius recorded Baby Future's initial response to opening up his gold Rolex, which merited a sincere "thanks." However, the Internet seems a bit conflicted on whether or not Future's gift to his son was sincere or even appropriate.

https://twitter.com/SPLASHnewz/status/1130136017959301124

Some online thought it was no one's business what Future gifts his son, or that others were jealous.

https://twitter.com/1JOSHLAFLARE/status/1130134869122650114

https://twitter.com/FEELZ_____/status/1130125891777028097

Some took to Twitter to allege Future gave his son the gift he would've wanted for himself.

This is a status symbol for Future not a gift for baby Future. I’m sure he got toys and stuff in addition. But that only makes this Rolex thing worse. Why not just get him an ass load of whatever toys he likes and leave it at that? https://t.co/xQP5r0du7F

— Mars and Stars (@marcia_too) May 19, 2019

Lmao baby future looking at that watch like “this not Paw PAtrol” lmao I’m weak

— Chief Stallionaire in Meg’s Kitchen (@AskWhy05) May 19, 2019

https://twitter.com/_kingsb/status/1130135731215699969

It's silly to even give that type of gift to a child. That Rolex might be in the toilet by Tuesday, And Future will expect Ciara and Russell to make him wear the watch in every picture.

What is Baby Future gonna get when he's 6? A REAL Lambo, instead of a Power Wheels Lambo? pic.twitter.com/qpMqwcNGrg

— B-Ball Guru (@northcyde) May 19, 2019

Future's relationship with his son has been marred by assumptions of how well he can parent compared to Russell Wison. There are many who think The Seattle Seahawk's QB is better equipped to care for baby Future than his own father, while the other side of the Internet assume Future is a fine dad, he just doesn't have Wilson's squeaky clean image.

Oh well, whether baby Future knows the value of his gift is neither here nor there. Let me go charge up my Fitbit before it dies.

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Win McNamee

Sybrina Fulton Is Running For Office In Florida

Since Trayvon Martin's murder in 2012, Sybrina Fulton has dedicated her life to preserving her son's legacy. Now, Fulton is taking it one step further as she's announced she's running for office in Florida.

“Since 2012, I have advocated tirelessly to empower our communities and make them safer,” Fulton said to The Miami Herald. “But the work is not done. I am proud to announce that I will run to represent District 1 on the county commission.”

"Our county must continue moving forward so our families are safe from violence, can afford to live in Miami-Dade, and have access to good paying jobs,” she continued. “I am ready to take on these issues and many others in county government.”

Fulton will run against Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez during the 2020 election, a seat which will be vacated by Commissioner Barbara Jordan in the same year.

Fulton, alongside Trayvon's father Tracy, found themselves the focus of media attention in 2012 when 17-year-old Trayvon was racially profiled, followed and shot by self-appointed neighborhood watchmen George Zimmerman.

Unarmed Trayvon was staying with his father in central Florida when on the night of Feb 26, he went to a local convenience store and crossed paths with Zimmerman.

Zimmerman was taken into custody by police that night but later released. It would months later in April when Zimmerman was formally arrested and charged. On July 13, 2013,  Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges.

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Rich The Kid Introduces His New Group, 83 Babies With "No Cap" Video

Back in 2013, Coach K of Quality Control brought a buzzin' rap trio through to the VIBE offices. Migos' "Fight Night" was a club hit and "Versace" with Drake was ruling the game. He announced Quavo and Takeoff, but the third member looked different from the pics we saw previously. "This is Rich The Kid," he stated calmly. "He's rolls with us." Rich wasn't known heavily at that point, but what we determined by his easy going nature and ability to network was this kid is a star, or soon will be.

The smartest thing about that whole scene was how Coach K did a great press run for the Migos as a trio, even with Offset locked up at the time. Having Rich The Kid roll with them accomplished the mission of keeping the Migos' look as a trio annnnd establishing another new artist at the same time. As the relationship didn't materialize as Rich being on Quality Control, it provided the youngin' valuable knowledge on the game and how to do roll outs and such. Thus, Rich The Kid's own Rich Forever Music label being born a few years ago. With enormous success on his own with hits and tours under his belt, the New York native turned Georgia repper started signing up talent. Most notable acts Famous Dex and Jay Critch signed with Rich bolstering his start up company (established in 2016) to fast recognition.

Now in the same way that Rich was introduced to VIBE, 83 Babies are following suit. A few months ago the North Carolina trio, with strikingly similar sounds to Migos', came through the office with a visiting Rich The Kid, who was playing our team some of his unreleased album cuts. We got a chance to kick it with Lil Tony, Set It Off and Young Boss Tevo for a sec. With their minds taking in the atmosphere, we learned that they were in a tug-of-war state as various labels were vying for their talent. Judging from the Rich announcement of 83 Babies being signed to Rich Forever Music this past March, the fellas made their choice.

With co-signs from the Migos and many others, 83 Babies have a clear shot at success. The trap rap "No Cap" single and video finds the group stating just who they are in their music, real dudes that happen to rhyme. Slated to open up on Rich The Kid's "The World Is Yours 2" tour, the three MCs will learn about traveling the country for fans that have never seen you up close. We are sure they are more than ready.

Watch their newest video above.

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BIG 83 BABIES

A post shared by BIG 83 Babies (@the83babies) on Apr 28, 2019 at 9:04am PDT

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