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Premiere: SIYA Waxes Love Poetics In New EP 'Commitment'

"'Commitment' is my way of letting my queens know they are loved and appreciated through my music"

One month after making a proper entrance to the game with SIYAvsSIYA, where she tackles the duality of being an MC and R&B songwriter, SIYA returns with a love charged extended play, entirely produced by the Olympicks (Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, A$AP Rocky). The Boricua rapper and Sisterhood of Hip Hop alumna conjures both lust and romance throughout the concise six-track project. Commitment boasts one feature with Tank, writing partner and music mentor who inked SIYA to his R&B Money imprint.

"The project came together because I knew I wanted to drop 3 albums between December and June. SIYAvsSIYA was my baby because it was my debut. Commitment is my way of letting my queens know they are loved and appreciated through my music," says SIYA, who is also openly gay. "The next album I drop will be all street anthems, back to the block and my Bed-Stuy roots. I'm just grateful that I've been relevant for damn near two decades. I'm in it for longevity; nothing more, nothing less."

Looking to the future, SIYA premieres a tender offering ahead of Commitment's Valentine's Day release, exclusively on VIBE.com. Spin it:

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Smif N Wessun

9th Wonder Talks Collabo Album With Smif N Wessun And The Soul Council

A few weeks fresh off the 23rd anniversary of their classic debut album, Da Shinin', Brooklyn duo Smif N Wessun (Steele and Tek) have released the video for the soul smacking single, "Testify" produced by Khrysis, off their newest album, The All. The project, produced entirely by Grammy-nominated producer 9th Wonder and his Soul Council team, brings the hardcore feel of SNW's best work to the forefront.

“9th Wonder and the Soul Council provide the perfect backdrop for Tek and I to deliver heartfelt lyrical content,” Steele reveals directly. “It’s a true tale of ups and downs, wins and losses, growth and acceptance. It speaks to the hearts and minds of all people; particularly our followers and fans of all ages and ethnicities.”

When artists who rep a certain quality sector of hip-hop music resurface to offer newness to an audience, the longtime fans are looking to bring that old thing back while looking to reflect and push forward at the same time.

"'Testify' is a realistic reflective look back on our accomplishments and failures throughout our career and serves as a precursor to what you will experience on The All,” Steele continues. "This project is a reality check for SNW, one that reflects the struggles and obstacles that we’ve had to endure to survive at the level we occupy in the hip-hop arena."

9th Wonder took the project on as a lover of the group, "My goal is to make sure that we cement the legacy of the artist, but at the same time update the artist. We came up with the concept of  The All (based on a speech from Louis Farrakhan), you can never underestimate the essence of Islam in Hip-Hop. Given the fact that SNW are both Muslim and so many others are as well, we couldn't forget that part."

Going into new chambers of living is needed when you have been recording albums for over 20 years. 9th explains, "we wanted them to talk about stuff they wouldn't normally talk about on records, as they are in a different point in their lives, very grown man. It gives something to our generation to listen to, appreciate and celebrate without feeling old, without feeling outdated. We also wanted to let them know, the legends can still do it."

As the word legend gets thrown around a lot, it's not a far off title for the duo of Tek and Steele. "Some bestow the 'legend' tag upon us (we are very appreciative of that)," says Steele. "And we are chronicling that journey throughout the album.”

The full project will be dropping on February 22nd, 2019 on Duck Down Records. You can pre-order the album here and group merch here.

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Photo Rob

Premiere: Duck Down Records' Smif-N-Wessun Returns With Khrysis-Produced 'Testify'

It's been nearly 25 years to the day since their classic debut Dah Shinin' impacted in January 1995, but legendary Brooklyn duo Smif-N-Wessun is still representing the culture with authority and authenticity. "Testify," the premiere music video from their upcoming album The All, adds another notch to their storied catalogs.

"Testify" begins with old photos of group members Tek and Steele in their 90s heyday, but they don't spend much time there before getting busy with present day rhymes. Over a backdrop from Khrysis, the Duck Down Records duo confidently announces their return while solidifying their legendary pedigree. The song gives a short but sweet taste from The All, their upcoming album produced entirely by 9th Wonder and the Soul Council.

“9th Wonder and the Soul Council provide the perfect backdrop for Tek and I to deliver heartfelt lyrical content,” Steele told VIBE. “It’s a true tale of ups and downs, wins and losses, growth and acceptance. It speaks to the hearts and minds of ALL people; particularly our followers and fans of ALL ages and ethnicities.”

‘Testify” is a realistic reflective look back on our accomplishments and failures throughout our career and serves as a precursor to what you will experience on The All,” Steele continued. "This project is a reality check for SNW, one that reflects the struggles and obstacles that we’ve had to endure to survive at the level we occupy in the hip-hop arena. Some, bestow the “Legend” tag upon us (we are very appreciative of that) and we are chronicling that journey throughout the album.”

The All is scheduled for a February 22, 2019 release on Duck Down Records, and is available for pre-order.

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Brasstracks

Brasstracks Are Just Fine In "I'm Alright" Feat. R.LUM.R

Playing with the jazz influences that brought them together, the Brasstracks collective have struck gold with "I'm Alright," featuring R LUM.R the second single from their forthcoming EP, Before We Go.

Built on the foundations of the hard-hitting horns and rhythmic drum beats, their newest single is an upbeat ballad touching on rejections and self-respect in toxic relationships. Mastered by Ivan Jackson, the group's trumpet player, and drummer Conor Rayne, the song's production is coupled with the sultry voice of singer, songwriter and guitarist R.LUM.R.

Like many of the New York City duo's music, Brasstracks finds a clever way to work in the horn and drum signatures that keep them outside the box. Though Jackson and Rayne are a newer musical act, they are by no means new to the business. The two-man-band has earned a Grammy for their work on Chance The Rapper's "No Problems (featuring Lil Wayne)," and appeared alongside Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson on Saturday Night Live.

Brasstracks is sure to impress with their eclectic, jazz-inspired electric dance music. Check out their new single "I'm Alright" below.

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