Rye Rye and Le1f Invade Afropunk and the Rap Game

Those who can get past the Miley Cyrus memes and N Sync nostalgia will notice another artist that had a pretty good night. Macklemore, whose catchy hits “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us” practically dominated radio waves, walked away with a handful of VMA’s on Sunday. While most were excited for the indie darling to get mainstream gratification, it was gay rapper Le1f who couldn’t help but suggest the Seattle native copied his catchy “Wut” for “Thrift Shop” glory.



le1f tweets

Truth is, the number one hit does sound a lot like Le1f’s tune and his Twitter vent shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s met the New York City native. During last weekend’s Afropunk Music Festival, we ran into the stylish rapper watching friend Rye Rye tear down the stage. “The way she dances…I need to get my cardio up! Big fan of her and Mykki Blanco; they’re the homies,” he says as friends come and go with warm greetings.

“My problem is, I’ll take the mic and go on stage and feel like I’m in my own space. I have a dance background. I’m capable of going on the stage and, based on the vibe I get, it can go anywhere. I might lay down and look away. I may jump into the ground, start voguing and hit somebody in the face. It can go so many directions.”

Besides his outrageous style and in your face attitude, Le1f’s entire brand screams New York flavor. He’s part rock star, part hard hitting spitter and probably the  industry’s most famous gay rapper. His lyrics are equally entertaining, delving into topics as diverse as literary classic Grapes of Wrath and taboo subjects like cyber sex.

“I really feel like I was the first one to rap about it (laughs),” he ponders.  “And I always catch myself, like that is so embarrassing. Basically, I use Grindr or Ok Cupid or some shit (laughs). The song is about having sex over Skype, so I just put myself out there. Niggas can catch me on the street and call me out like, ‘you’re the faggot that’s rapping about cyber sex.’”


rye rye

If he’s not being called out for treading the line between inappropriate and fabulous, it’s what he’s wearing that gets a double take. If it’s not “ugly shit that matches some cute shit,” it’s a mix of thrift store finds and friends’ hand me downs. In fact, the art of being “eclectic and weird” is embraced more than ever in 2013. Shortly after leaving Le1f to his shenanigans, old friend and former co-performer Rye Rye cosigned his same sentiments, naming vintage items as her favorite finds.

“I like prints and patterns. I like a lot of vintage stuff and designers of course. I like people like Jeremy Scot and a lot of underground designers,” she dished. “I want to go into fashion design, but I feel like it’s so much. I kind of wanted to do a baby line because I have a daughter.”

The pint-sized Baltimore native fit right in with the alternative Afropunk crowd. Dressed in lime green parachute pants and an oversized t-shirt, the N.E.E.T. signee reflected on life with her daughter and whether she would let her join the industry at a young age.

“I let her do what she want honestly. I’ve never been influenced to do anything that I didn’t want to do. I would totally let her to certain points, but my daughter is more of a tomboy so I want to see her in the Olympics or something like that (laughs).”

When she’s not prepping for a second mixtape, the M.I.A. collaborator is looking for her next acting role. “I’d probably be a hood girl doing some ratchet stuff. With me, I just go with the flow.”

Order Rye Rye’s Go! Pop! Bang! LP here and stay tuned for Le1f’s Treehouse mixtape set for a September 10 release.

Le1f’s “Wut:”


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SZA Calls For Peace While Receiving 'Rule Breaker' Award At Billboard Women In Music

SZA called for peace and understanding at Billboard's Women In Music event Thursday (Dec. 6).

During her speech for the Rule Breaker award, singer-songwriter recalled today's climate, asking her peers and those watching at home for a little bit of peace.

"I'm sorry for the state of the world honestly, for everybody in this room and I pray that all of us just get through it a little bit easier and just try not to lash out at each other," she said.

The recurring theme of unity among women was also heard on the carpet from artists like Tierra Whack. In addition to her message of love, the "Broken Clocks" singer also thanked her TDE family for rocking with her creative process.

"I'm just so thankful for everybody having patience with me, " she said. Shouting out the key members of her family in attendance, the TDE affiliate gave praise to her mother, father, and grandma. In this brief speech centered around the artist's growth Solána Imani Rowe, known more commonly as her stage name, Rowe everyone for their trust in her.

"I'm grateful for everybody taking the time to have the patience to watch someone grow, it is painful and sometimes exciting but mostly boring. And I am thankful for Top (Top Dawg Entertainment's Anthony Tiffith) for not dropping me from that label. For Peter, who I change my ideas every day and he be like okay I like this," she continued.

Thanking the likes of musical powerhouses like Alicia Keys and Whack, "The Weekend" singer offered her appreciation and condolences to Ariana Grande.

Watch SZA accept the Rule Breaker award above.

READ MORE: Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack And More Praise Female Artists At 2018 Billboard Women In Music

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Beyoncé, Rihanna, And J. Lo Make Forbes’ Highest-Paid Women In Music List

As November comes to a close, many publications will be crafting their year-end lists for all things pop culture. Forbes released a ranking of the world's highest-paid women in music on Monday (Nov. 19), with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna holding it down for women of color.

Beyoncé comes in at No. 3 on the list with an earning of $60 million as she made most of her money through her historical Coachella performance, the joint album with husband JAY-Z, Everything is Love, and the Carters' On The Run II Tour in support of its release.

Jennifer Lopez made No. 6 for earnings tallying of over $47 million thanks to her lucrative Las Vegas residency, endorsements, and shows including World of Dance where she serves as a judge.

Rihanna follows behind the "Love Don't Cost A Thing" diva at No. 7 with earnings of over $37.5 million. Although she hasn't toured since 2016—thanks to her cosmetics and lingerie lines, Fenty Beauty and Savage Lingerie—the Bajan pop star has been keeping herself busy.

Forbes' annual list (which factors in pretax earnings from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018) has placed Katy Perry at the top with over $83 million in profits due to her gig as an American Idol judge and her 80-date Witness: The Tour that brought in an estimated $1 million per night.

Scroll down to see Forbes' full list below.

Katy Perry ($83 million) Taylor Swift ($80 million) Beyoncé ($60 million) P!nk ($52 million) Lady Gaga ($50 million) Jennifer Lopez ($47 million) Rihanna ($37.5 million) Helene Fischer ($32 million) Celine Dion ($31 million) Britney Spears ($30 million)


READ MORE: Nas Makes Forbes’ List Of ‘Hip-Hop Cash Kings’ For The First Time

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Kelly Rowland Hops In Her Bag With New Single "Kelly"

Kelly Rowland has it all and isn't afraid to brag about it on her new single, "Kelly."

Released Thursday (Nov. 22), the singer goes the clubby, confident route while rightfully dropping her attributes like her relationship with God, smoldering looks (a.k.a the drip) among other things. With "Kelly" being the first single since her 2013's Talk a Good Game, the singer comes out swinging, reminding everyone of her power in the game.

The mother of one has promised that her new tunes will be edgier and most honest than her past work that included vulnerable tracks like "Dirty Laundry" and massive hits like "Motivation" and "Commander." Speaking with Vogue over the summer, Ms. Kelly disclosed a few details behind the album.

“It’s about love, loss, and gain and whether it’s professional or with family or whatever, it’s just honest," she said. "I had no choice but to be honest and authentic with this record: it’s about friendship and marriage.”

She also explained a drop in confidence caused her hiatus. “I was thinking about pulling back from recording, but I couldn’t help myself: I still wanted to record. I still felt like I was missing something. The third year just came and left so fast. The fourth year I said: ‘I have to get to work’ and now I’m ready to release some music! I felt like I wasted so much time, and it was my husband who actually called me out on it. He said: ‘Babe, as great as those records were, I think you were nervous, you got gun-shy’, and when he said that it was like boom, a gong went off.”

Glad to have you back, Ms. Kelly. Listen to the eponymous record up top.

READ MORE: Kelly Rowland Debuts Smoke x Mirrors Eyewear Collection At Barneys New York

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