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Album Stream: VV Brown ‘Samson & Delilah’

You may remember V V Brown as Britain’s answer to Janelle Monae, pouring a grab bag of soul/R&B influences through a fizzy, retro filter on her 2009 debut, Travelling Like The Light. My, how things have changed in four years! Brown was far along on her peppy follow-up, Lollipops & Politics, when she decided at the last second to scrap it and travel down the rabbit hole, hoping to come up with something more evocative and challenging. The result is Samson & Delilah, one of the boldest 180s between an artist’s first and second albums that we’ve witnessed in a long time. We’re talking a Yeezus-level departure from an act’s established sonics. If Janelle Monae is an android, V V Brown is now a T-1000.

And the metamorphosis was worth the wait. Samson & Delilah swaps out handclaps and saccharine ’60s pop for an ominous soundscape of rubbery synths, cascading beats and twitchy electronics, all with a pulsating energy that never flags. Brown revamped her vocals, too. She now sounds more operatic, with a power that wasn’t readily apparent on her debut. At times she bellows with the urgent force of Light Asylum‘s Shannon Funchess (particularly on “Igneous”), while other moments find her channeling a weathered vulnerability (“Faith”).

For this darker sound, Brown brought in Dave Okumu (Jessie Ware) to co-produce, and the result is a stirring and dramatic marriage of soul, house and darkwave. Her transformation is perfectly encapsulated by the thrilling goth-disco single “The Apple,” but don’t stop there. V V’s risky and rewarding sophomore effort drops October 8 on her own YOY Records, and you can stream the whole thing below.

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Blueface attends the BET Awards 2019 Radio Broadcast Center at Microsoft Theater on June 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for BET

Blueface Claims He’s The “Best Lyricist” In Rap

Blueface has high self-esteem when it comes to his lyrical abilities. The “Thotiana” rapper crowned himself the “most lyrical rapper” in the game during an Instagram Live session Thursday (July 18), XXL reports.

"Hey cuz, that’s on my mama and my sis, I’m the best lyricist in the muthaf**kin' game, bro,” he declared. “I might not have the best flow, sound...but when it comes to wordplay, cuz, come on bro.”

Blueface says he’s “the best lyricist in the game”...do y’all agree? 👇🎶🤔 @BluefaceBleedEm pic.twitter.com/WXcr46FzXu

— WORLDSTARHIPHOP (@WORLDSTAR) July 18, 2019

The 22-year-old rapper has a way of getting a response on social media — even if its negative. Earlier in the month, Blueface kicked his mother and sister out of his home during a heated confrontation that reportedly involved his two girlfriends. On Tuesday (July 16), the L.A. native debuted a new face tattoo and previewed a new record where he talks about booting his family out of the home. Listen to the track below.

Blueface got a new face tattoo and he made a song dissing his moms and sister. “On my momma and my sis... Had to kick my own blood out... they musta forgot I was a Crip 😨” pic.twitter.com/FtfajcXtjp

— DJ Akademiks (@Akademiks) July 17, 2019

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Premiere: HappyBirthdayCalvin's Ode To The Hustle Shines In Visuals For "Kari’s Song (Long Way Home)"

Chicago's HappyBirthdayCalvin delivers inspirational visuals for Kari's Song (Long Way Home)," from the hit Netflix film, Beats. 

The track is a clear standout in the film featuring Anthony Anderson, Dreezy and Khalil Everage. In the video, we see a snippet of the film along with Calvin rapping about the grind and his strong determination to the make it to the top. Featuring the warm vocals by Tati, the video drops an extra dose of inspirational vitamins for the soul.

Since the film's release last month, the "Kari's Song" has earned over 1.1 million streams on Spotify and was a curious wonder to Shazam users as it joined the Top 20 most searched songs on the Shazam Global Charts.

At just 17-years-old, Calvin hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. The Chicago native recently released his No Friends EP with the single of the same name earning spots on the Soundcloud Chart.

Offering a fresh sense of lyrical know-how, we're excited to see more from the budding artist.

Check out the video to "Kari's Song (Long Way Home)" below.

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Premiere: Show Tyme, Pharaohe Monch Reunite For Summer Jam "T.Y.L.A. (Remix)"

With multiple gems created together over more than a decade, singer Show Tyme and rap legend Pharoahe Monch have reunited for a new summer jam, "T.Y.L.A. (Remix)."

Monch and Show Time and emcee have been frequent collaborators on several of the Queens lyricist's most renowned songs, including "Desire," "Push," "Clap (One Day)," and more. So this time around, he returns the the favor by blessing a remix of a song from Show Tyme's debut album Love Truth, out now on W.A.R. Media/Cold Rain.

"Show Tyme is an incredible singer and one of the best performers I’ve ever been associated with, and it’s my honor to return the favor to him as he has graced many of my favorite songs in my career," Pharoahe Monch told VIBE.

Show Tyme told VIBE that he wanted to resurrect the feeling of his favorite songs from the 90s.

“With T.Y.L.A. I wanted to deliver a remix reminiscent of the 90’s R&B merged with hip hop, like the Bad Boy and So So Def mixes,"he said. "I think we got us one.”

T.Y.L.A. remix is available on all platforms now.

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