​Behind The Beats: New York City

Our last installment in our three-part hip-hop producers series lands at the birthplace of rap. It would be easy for NYC to rest on its reputation as the city that introduced a rebellious, game-changing art form that would evolve from its humble Bronx origins to captivate the globe with such pioneering icons as Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run-D.M.C., the Beastie Boys, and Salt-N-Pepa leading the way. Instead, The City That Never Sleeps has been revitalized, embracing the trap music zeitgeist while still staying true to its boom bap past. For a region that has produced such studio stalwarts as Marley Marl, Prince Paul, the RZA, DJ Premier, and Pete Rock, there is indeed a powerful musical legacy to live up to. The current crop of East Coast­-based producers below are certainly up to the task.

Harry Fraud
Sounds Like:​ Brooklyn’s in the house.
The Run Down:​ East Coast purists praised Harry Fraud’s flip of Thomas Bell Orchestra’s “A Theme For LA’s Team” (1979) on French Montana’s 2012 breakthrough single “Shot Caller.” But Fraud, who has delivered for some of NYC’s finest from Mobb Deep’s Prodigy to Action Bronson, is not all about boom­ bap heroics. He’s racked up bangers for Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y and crafted a silky 2014 remix for British blue-­eyed soul crooner Sam Smith (“Nirvana”). This year, Fraud teamed up with lyricist Smoke DZA for the two-­fisted set He Has Risen.

Sounds like: ​Electro hip­hop blasting through a wall of Marshall speakers.
The Run Down: ​So what’s a kid from Iraq doing turning out tracks in Notorious B.I.G.’s BK stomping grounds? Living the American dream as one half for the avant­garde rap duo Weekend Money. After working with heralded instrumentalist Hot Sugar on the 2012 funk strut “F***able,” Baghdaddy — who can go from cool pop to street­-aimed trap with ease — partnered with swaggering rhyme prince Ne$$ and unleashed their 15­ song stunner Freddie Merkury (2014). Currently, Weekend Money can be heard on their Awkwafina and Kekstizzy ­blessed infectious single “Sriracha.”

Sounds like:​ That omnipresent, inescapable hit on the radio.
The Run Down: ​This Roc Nation­-signed conductor boasts an enviable list of studio conquests, including J. Cole, Wale, French Montana, Ne­Yo, and rising pop dynamo Tinashe. And yet it was Jamil “Deputy” Pierre’s career­-changing hook­up with Rihanna on her 2015 anthem “Bitch Better Have My Money” that lifted the East Flatbush, Brooklyn talent to much sought­-after status. The producer’s Roc connections got him a sit-down with Ms. RiRi. After a session with songwriter and wild pop child Bibi Bourelly — and some advice from larger-than-life rhyme rebel Kanye West — Rihanna liked what she heard. The rest is history, but Deputy is not one to look back.

Sounds like:​ The record industry’s secret weapon.
The Run Down:​ Quick. Do a check of some of the more noteworthy records to capture music fans’ ears over the last three-plus years and you will see Vinylz’s name attached to a lofty list of productions. The 26­ year-old Dominican-­American, straight outta Washington Heights, has done most of his damage riding shotgun with fellow hit­maker Boi­1da on such chart­-aimed missiles as Jay­Z’s and Rick Ross’ “*uckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt,” Drake’s “5am in Toronto,” DJ Khaled’s “No New Friends,” and more recently Chris Brown’s “Back To Sleep.” Show off.

Sounds like: ​The ultimate genre-­hopping jukebox.
The Run Down: ​Don’t expect Antwan “Amadeus” Thompson to stick to the proverbial script. The Boogie Down Bronx standout and musical director for platinum R&B heartthrob Trey Songz is much too restless to play it safe. Thugged-out recklessness (Maino & Uncle Murda’s King Kong Godzilla”); soulful balladry (Chris Brown’s “The Break Up”); conscious­-minded statements (Talib Kweli’s “Nice Things”); and pop-tailored ‘hood mash­ups (Jennifer Lopez’ “Same Girl”) all have a place in Amadeus’ dizzying musical world.

From the Web

More on Vibe

You’re Invited: VIBE VSessions in Los Angeles with Casey Veggies, Kodie Shane, and Buddy

Calling all Los Angeles teens! We are gearing up for our third and final VIBE VSessions — a FREE live concert series in partnership with Fresh Empire, a lifestyle brand dedicated to encouraging youth to reach their goals tobacco-free. The show is open to music lovers ages 13 to 19 and will host some of the most exciting up-and-coming names in hip-hop.

The VIBE VSessions event will feature full sets by LA's own Casey Veggies, Lil Yachty-endorsed Atlanta prodigy Kodie Shane, and rising star Buddy. Host DJ Hed will kick off the night. Attendees at the show will have the chance to take part in on-site giveaways, artist meet-and-greets, and more.

Join us on Saturday, May 13th from 5:00 - 9:00 pm at Hyde on Sunset Boulevard.

Mandatory RSVP at for tickets. Please note entrance is based on capacity so get there early!

Continue Reading
Paul R. Giunta

Metro Boomin Rocks Fresh Empire and VIBE's VSessions Feat. YG, Speakerfoxxx, and DJ Jelly

VIBE VSessions descended to Atlanta for a highly-anticipated night of high-powered DJ sets. In an effort to promote a tobacco-free lifestyle, teens ranging from ages 13-19 filled the dance floor at The Loft's Center Stage, a premiere concert venue located in the heart of midtown. V-103's Big Tigger served as the host setting the tone for the Fresh Empire “lituation.”

While attendees laced up with free swag and photos ops, the show kicked off with Southern Style DJ's own DJ Jelly spinning a 45-minute selection of old and new school hip-hop bangers, ranging from legendary rap collective the Dungeon Family down to trap superstar Young Thug. The energy in the room was pure pandemonium leading to the flawless introduction of Speakerfoxxx, better known as “The Queen of ATL.”

“There is no better place than performing at home,” she said while jumping into her set playing an eclectic mix of hip-hop infused electronic records. The Atlanta native made sure concert-goers enjoyed every minute of their escape from the parentals. Whether she was playing the latest from Gucci Mane, Lil Uzi or 2 Chainz, the crowd just couldn’t stop dabbing to the beats.

Speakerfoxxx kept the momentum going for one hour before her close friend and headliner Metro Boomin hit the stage to wrap up the evening. His cult following began shouting, “If Young Metro don’t trust you,” and from that point, the vibe in the crowd skyrocketed to 100 - real quick. It was only right that he began his set with songs from close comrades Future and Drake like “Where Ya A** Was At,” “Jersey,” and the ultimate ATL anthem “Bad and Bougie” by Migos.

Popular YouTube dancers Meechie and Toosi came and kicked it along with upcoming rapper Sahbaii who performed “Pull Up Wit Ah Stick," the latest hit single Metro is co-signing as next to top the charts. West Coast rapper YG also popped up and rapped a few bars from "Who Do You Love" on his studio album, My Krazy Life and more.

Before the show ended three lucky teens got the chance to win a meet-and-greet with Metro himself. The Atlanta edition of VIBE's VSessions was certainly one for the books and the perfect interlude before the Falcons played in the NFL championship on Super Bowl Sunday.

Fresh Empire's national campaign promotes tobacco-free living while educating youth about the health risks with smoking cigarettes. According to the CDC, each day in the United States, more than 3,200 youth aged 18 years or younger smoke their first cigarette, and approximately 2,100 youth and young adults become daily cigarette smokers. Additionally, if smoking continues at the current rate among youth in this country, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 will die early from a smoking-related illness.

Continue Reading

You’re Invited: VIBE VSessions, Atlanta

Calling all ATL teens!  — We are gearing up for our second VIBE VSessions – a FREE live concert series – in partnership with Fresh Empire, a lifestyle brand dedicated to encouraging the youth to reach their goals tobacco free. The four-show series will be open to music lovers ages 13 -19 and feature some of the biggest artists in hip-hop.

The VIBE VSessions show, hosted by Big Tigger, will feature V103's DJ Jelly, Atlanta's own, Speakerfoxxx, and headliner Metro Boomin,. At the show, attendees will have the chance to take part in on-site giveaways, artist meet-and-greets and more.

Join us on Friday, February 3rd at 7pm at The Loft. Mandatory RSVP at Please note entrance is based on capacity so get there early!

Additional VIBE VSessions showcases are planned in Los Angeles and Chicago throughout 2017. Stay tuned for artists and dates to be announced.


Continue Reading

Top Stories