Vixen Initiation: Meet JessCarp, The Only Female Producer On Rich Homie Quan's Latest Mixtape

Musical triple-threat, JessCarp, dishes on placing on Rich Homie Quan's 'If You Ever Think I Will Stop Goin' In Ask Double R' mixtape and how she got her start

Atlanta is home to snap music, the latest wave of experimental trap rappers, and now, musical triple-threat, JessCarp.

The 22-year-old, Baltimore native landed in the South's booming music hub after receiving a college scholarship from Clark Atlanta University for writing and producing a jingle for Baltimore Gas and Electric, and has clocked in countless hours since, perfecting her craft.

These days, the musician/producer/DJ, born Jessica Carpenter, is finally reaping the benefits of her relentless work ethic as the only woman to place on Rich Homie Quan's If You Ever Think I Will Stop Goin' In Ask Double R mixtape. VIBE Vixen recently chopped it up with JessCarp about her Baltimore club music roots, the importance of authenticity and working with Quan. Get familiar below.

#tbt ..I might be the greatest, and just don't know it yet.

A photo posted by YEAHHJC™ (@jesscarp) on

VIBE Vixen: Who is Jessica Carpenter? Or is it just JessCarp?
JessCarp: JessCarp, that’s short for Jessica Carpenter. I am a musician, producer and DJ. To put it simply, I am music in life form.

How did you get into music?
It all started when I was six years old and my parents enrolled me in private piano lessons. I began studying classical music first and as I grew older, I became interested in other music like gospel, R&B, hip-hop, pop, etcetera. But in 8th grade, I decided I really wanted to make music. My neighbor provided me with software and I had a piano and keyboards, so I committed my time to teaching myself how to use it. By the time I was 16, I started DJing high school parties and events. But I really knew that I was going to be producer for sure when I got a college scholarship for writing and producing a jingle for Baltimore Gas and Electric.

Impressive. Can you recall what style you experimented with first?
Yeah, being that I am from Baltimore, Maryland (Westside, to be exact) I ventured into Baltimore club music first. I had a little following on MySpace. People really gravitated towards my sound and enjoyed dancing to my music and I loved it.

ATL is now home base for you. Has the influx of experimental trap music in the city right now influenced your sound at all?
I think that my sound is a little left. At times my 808s can give off a trap vibe, but that’s just because I love bass. But overall, I feel like my sound comes from many different genres, not just rap or hip-hop. I tried to keep it that way; I didn’t want to make music like anyone else in Atlanta. If anything my style is influenced by Baltimore club music, which also has crazy bass.

What was the first song that made you fall in love with rap/hip hop?
"Izzo" by Jay Z. It's actually the first song that linked me to hip hop. I remember it like it was yesterday. I thought the beat was so hard and so fresh with the Jackson 5 “I Want You Back” sampling.

Who do you look to for inspiration and motivation?

Of course, my motivation comes from my family and friends. Growing up, I was a huge fan of Alicia Keys–hair half-braided, hat-wearing, had to find the key earring-type of fan. She was a huge role model for me as far as music goes. Bow Wow was also another major inspiration to me, being that he was so young in the game and making an impact. After seeing him go after his dreams, I knew anything was possible for me.

What about producers?
Musically, producers like Kanye West, Dark Child, Pharrell Williams, Swizz Beats, Timbaland and Missy Elliot have all been a source of inspiration for me.

Explain the JessCarp sound and what makes you different.
The JessCarp sound is just me, my emotions and my thoughts. Honestly, all of my music sounds different. I love melodies and infusing genres I love into one. I think that's what makes me different because my sound is fresh yet versatile.

What's a typical studio session with you like? Is there a method to your madness?
I zone out completely, so I've been told. I start with the melody since that’s my favorite part. When I create, I [make gestures] and dance a lot. I like a lot of positive vibes and uplifting energy so a typical session with me is fun and entertaining. When I am recording with someone, things get pretty intense. One artist asked me if I thought I was Diddy. But at the end of the day, I'm always focused on bringing the best out of the talent on the track.

Congratulations on placing on Richie Homie Quan's new mixtape, If You Ever Think I Will Stop Goin' In, Ask Double R with "Stupid Me." How did you link up with Quan?
I linked up with Quan through my manager and partner-in-crime, Anisa. She introduced me to the CEO of Think It’s a A Game Records last summer, and I was able to send over my work to Quan through them. The first few beats I sent weren’t what they were looking for, but it didn't stop me. I just kept working and perfecting my craft. Some months later, I followed up and sent him more work to show him that I knew what I was doing and I was really serious. Shortly after, I was invited to come by his studio session.

#askDoubleR 4:04 || #7

A photo posted by YEAHHJC™ (@jesscarp) on

What was it like being in the studio with Quan?
I pulled up to Quan's session while he was recording and we were all just vibing in the studio. While I was there, I got the chance to play my work for him, but I only was able to play one track. I played the first 30 seconds and he told me to stop and he wanted to do it. Everyone in the studio was feeling the drop. It was such a crazy feeling because I had just finished it the day before so it was fresh material. He laid the whole song down in two hours. I sat next to his engineer as he recorded and they both encouraged me to give my input. Every time I came to his session after, he liked every beat I played. No skips. I love working with Quan. He is so creative and it's amazing to watch him work. He really just goes in and does him, and knocks out records like it's nothing.

What does "Stupid Me" sound like?
"Stupid Me" has this sexy, feel good vibe to it as the track was inspired by [Kool and the Gang's] "Summer Madness"–there's an eight-second loop with my own added melodies. I really focused on [the song] having this real music and real sound aspect to it. The melodies are very sensual. Then I balance it by making the beat knock something dumb as if it were a heartbeat of a person going through different feelings. It goes totally left at the bridge because I wanted to put people in a trance. I love it.

How does the recognition feel?
I have worked with a lot of artists, but this is my first placement with a major artist so it's a very exciting moment for me but I can't get rid of the feeling that I just want to do more, more, more. My mind is always focused on my next move. It’s all really just still sinking in though. I'm so blessed.

As a young female bubbling in a male-dominated industry, what advice would you give other ladies looking to break into the music industry?
The advice I give to females, or anyone in general, is to stay true to yourself and what you do. It's so important to stay on your own wave, be confident and have faith. Don’t ever let anyone determine who you and or what you can do.

What's next?
I am looking forward to working with Rihanna [one day]. She's my favorite. I have a really long list of producers and artists I'd love to collaborate with. But overall, I just want to work with any upcoming, talented individuals that are driven and have the love for the art of music like I do. Let's make hits!

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Aaliyah during TNT Presents - A Gift of Song - New York - January 1, 1997 in New York City, New York, United States.

Fans Rally For Aaliyah's Discography To Be Released On Streaming Platforms

As another day passes without Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms, fans are looking for answers.

Over the weekend, the hashtag #FreeAaliyahMusic appeared on Twitter in light of song battles between Swizz Beats vs. Timbaland and Ne-Yo vs. Johnta Austin. The latter opponents played their collaborations with the late singer, proving Baby Girl's dynamic relevancy in the age of modern R&B. As songs like "I Don't Wanna" and "Come Over" picked up plays on YouTube, the hashtag pointed out the tragedy of her songs not existing on platforms like Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music.

Aaliyah's only album on multiple platforms is her 1994 debut, Age Ain't Nothing But A Number. Other albums like the platinum-selling One in A Million and Aaliyah are being held in a vault of sorts along with other unmixed vocals by her uncle and founder of Blackground Records, Barry Hankerson.

Hankerson has built up a mysterious yet haunting aura over the years due to his refusal to release Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms. Reasons are unknown but Stephen Witt's 2016 investigation revealed business deals like the shift in distribution from  Jive Records to Atlantic helped Hankerson take ownership of the singer's masters. The deal was made in 1996 when Blackground featured artists like Aaliyah, Toni Braxton, R. Kelly, then-production duo Timbaland and Magoo as well as Missy Elliott.

Sadly, Aaliyah's music isn't the only recordings lost in the shuffle. Recordings from Timbaland and Toni Braxton have been hidden from the world with both taking legal action against the label over the years. There's also JoJo, who had to break from the label after they refused to release her third album. The singer recently re-recorded her first two albums.

With Aaliyah's music getting the attention it deserves, Johnta Austin discussed the singer's impact on R&B today. "It was amazing, she was incredible from top to bottom," he told OkayPlayer of working with the singer on "Come Over" and "I Don't Wanna." "I don't think Aaliyah gets the vocal credit that she deserves. When she was on it, she had the riffs, she had everything."

Earlier this year, an account impersonating Hankerson claimed her music would arrive on streaming platforms January 16, on what would've been her 41st birthday. A docuseries called the Aaliyah Diaries was also promoted for a release on Netflix.

Of course, it was far from the truth. Fans can enjoy selected videos and songs on YouTube, but it's clear they want more.


Aaliyah’s music is the landmark for a lot of your favs not only was she ahead of her time with her futuristic sounds she also was a fashion Icon dancer and phenomenal actress . The future generations need be exposed to her artistry and pay homage .#FreeAaliyahMusic

— Black Clover (@la_alchemist) March 29, 2020

Her first #1 solely based on AirPlay! She was the first ! #FreeAaliyahMusic

— (@hodeciii) March 29, 2020

Makes no sense for someone still so influential to be hidden. Many try to emulate her. On Spotifys This is Aaliyah playlist, theres some great tracks not on her main Spotify #FreeAaliyahMusic

— Blackity Black⁷ (@ClaudBuzzzz) March 29, 2020

Aaliyah is trending once again. She deserves endless flowers. This is true impact y’all. Her voice, her sound, her music...She’s been gone for 2 decades and y’all see the love for her is even stronger! We miss you baby girl! #FreeAaliyahMusic

— A A L I Y A H (@forbbygrlaali) March 30, 2020

Aaliyah said she wanted to be remembered for her music and yet most of it is not on streaming services #FreeAaliyahMusic

— RJR (@MyNewEssence96) March 29, 2020

aaliyah’s gems like more than a woman deserve to be in streaming sites #FreeAaliyahMusic

— k (@grandexrocky) March 30, 2020

I saw #FreeAaliyahMusic and IMMEDIATELY jumped into action! I can’t express how betrayed I felt when we were supposed to have all her music on Spotify by her birthday. Her discography is deeply underestimated and we need to make it right for our babygirl!

— jerrica✨ (@jerricaofficial) March 29, 2020

Before Megan The Stallion drove the boat...

Aaliyah rocked the boat...


— Al’Bei (@_albei) March 29, 2020

i think we should have that conversation #FreeAaliyahMusic

— AALIYAH LEGION (@AaliyahLegion) April 1, 2020

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Singers Adrienne Bailon (L) and Kiely Williams of the 'Cheetah Girls' pose for photos around Mercedes Benz Fashion Week held at Smashbox Studios on October 18, 2007 in Culver City, California.
Katy Winn/Getty Images for IMG

Kiely Williams Explains Fallout With Adrienne Bailon Houghton And Alleged Fight With Raven-Symonè

Our current isolated way of life has given some plenty of time for reflection like Kiely Williams of the former girl group 3LW and The Cheetah Girls (ask your kids). The tales of both successful groups have been told time after time by fans in YouTube documentaries and members of each collective but Williams has decided to share her side of the story.

Williams hopped on Live Monday (March 30) where she discussed her former friendship with The Real co-host Adrienne Bailon Houghton and the infamous chicken throwing fight with actress/singer Naturi Naughton. The mother of one didn't pinpoint exactly why she fell out with Houghton but did point out how she wouldn't be interested in appearing on her talk show.

"I don't think Adrienne wants to have live TV with me," Williams said. "'Cause she's gon' have to say, 'Yes Kiely, I did pretend to be your best friend. Now, I am not.' You were either lying then or you're lying now. You either were my best friend and now you're just not claiming me or you were pretending [to be my best friend."

The two remained friends after Naughton was kicked out of 3LW, the platinum-selling group known for 2000s pop hits like "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)" and "Playas Gon' Play." Williams and Houghton were eventually picked to be apart of The Cheetah Girls with then-Disney darling Raven-Symonè and dancer Sabrina Bryan.

Williams went on to discuss her fight with Naughton, which she denies had anything to do with her skin color. With her mother near, Williams claimed Naughton called her a b***h, leading to the fight. While she didn't clear up the chicken throwing, she stated how she was "going for her neck" and was holding food and her baby sister in the process.

Apologies aren't on the horizon either. “I don’t feel like I have anything to make amends for, especially as it relates to Adrienne,” Kiely said. “As far as Naturi goes, if there was ever a reason to apologize, all of that has kind of been overshadowed by the literal lies and really ugly stuff that she said about my mom and my sister. So, no. Not interested in that. I’m sorry.”

Moving onto The Cheetah Girls, Williams also denied claims she got into fights with Raven-Symonè on the set of The Cheetah Girls films and never outed her as a teen. The rumor about Symonè and Williams was reportedly started by Symonè's former co-star Orlando Brown.

Symonè has often shared positive memories about The Cheetah Girls and their reign but did imply during an episode of The View how co-star Lynn Whitfield kept her from losing her cool on set.

On a lighter note, Symonè, Houghton and Naughton have kept in contact with Naughton and Houghton putting their differences aside during an appearance on The Real. 

Symonè and Houghton also reunited at the Women's March in Los Angeles in January. During Bailon's performance at the event, the two briefly performed the Cheetah Girls' classic, "Together We Can."

Willaims also shared some stories about the making of the group's hits. Check out her Live below.

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Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Kelis Announces ‘Cooked With Cannabis’ Show Will Premiere On Netflix

Kelis is taking her chef talents to Netflix. The musician will host a food competition show titled Cooked With Cannabis that’ll premiere on the very-fitting April 20 (4/20). According to NME, the show will span six episodes and be co-hosted by chef Leather Storrs.

Describing the opportunity as a “dream come true” since she’s a major supporter of the streaming service, Kelis took to Instagram to share how cannabis and cooking is one of her many creative passions. “As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today’s society,” the mother-of-two writes. “In this country, many things have been used systemically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together.”

Each episode will place three chefs against each other as they craft three-course meals with cannabis as the central ingredient. Each episode’s winner takes home $10,000. Guests will play an integral role in who takes home the cash prize. Too $hort, and El-P are just a few of this season's guests.


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I'm really excited to announce my new show, Cooked with Cannabis on @Netflix!! Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love my Netflix, so this is a dream come true. Interestingly, this was one of those things that I didn't go looking for, it kind of came to me. As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today's society. In this country, many things have been used systematically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together. I hope you all will tune in, it's definitely going to be a good time! We launch on 4/20! XO, Kelis

A post shared by Kelis (@kelis) on Mar 18, 2020 at 7:57am PDT

In a previous Lenny Letter profile, Kelis shared she comes from a line of culinary influences beginning with her mother who owned a catering service. In 2008, the “Milkshake” singer sought to refine her cooking skills by enrolling in the Le Cordon Bleu school. Receiving a certificate as a trained saucier, the New York native put her expertise to the test during pop-up restaurants in her native city, created a hot sauce line, and co-owns a sustainable farm in Quindio, Colombia.

“Food is revolutionary because it is the one and only international language. It’s the most human thing you can partake in,” she said in an interview with Bon Appetit. “We are the only species that cooks.”

This isn’t Kelis’ first foray into the reality-cooking television world. In 2014, she partnered with the Cooking Channel for Saucy and Sweet and published the "My Life on a Plate" cookbook a year later.

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