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New Music: Dirti Diana Dominates, Benny The Butcher's Even More Famous, Flee Lord Blesses Us, BWLR's Pink Range Rollin' & Statik Selektah Balances The Game
Dirti Diana ft. Euro GotIt - "Self Made"
It had to be around 2017 or so, I attended a show at the now-shuttered Times Square New York favorite B.B. King's performance bar. If memory serves me correctly, Dirti Diana was one of the opening acts for the legendary Juice Crew reunion show. While all in attendance were waiting for the main event, we were all thoroughly shocked by the superfly fitted, curvy brown-skinned MC with the strong voice, blazing bars of fury, and sparkly smile.
I was so impressed by her stage presence and powerful punchlines, I ended up texting a few record label execs a video clip of her performance and suggested they grab her up. This is without knowing a single thing about her other than her name. It is a rare feat for me to do such an act without any backstory or other music, but I just knew she was dope and needed to be on bigger platforms. So it makes me smile to see that D.D. the Diva (I just made that up, haha) has linked up with AB Butler (formerly of Chris Lighty's Violator management company) and his Back in the Game Entertainment and the Imperial Records crew to release her new music.
Get with her and new talent EuroGotit, as they shower you with that luxurious, lavish talk on "Self Made." You are sure to see more from the fly boss of body and bars.
Benny The Butcher - "Famous"
Buffalo, New York builds a different breed. Conway the Machine survived gunshots before his days in the limelight and now his family member Benny the Butcher can claim the same, but the twist is Benny is well known as he recovers from a recent attempt on his life. Earlier this month, while out shopping in Houston, Texas, Benny and his boys were approached in a Walmart parking lot and the scene ended with Benny being shot in the leg. He's been posting his progress after addressing the situation through a few Instagram posts.
This situation bookends a big year for the Griselda crew member as his stardom has come into focus in 2020. His second studio album, Burden Of Proof, musically conducted entirely by red hot producer Hit-Boy, showed a new side to Benny's usual dark yet dope feeling tracks. Hit took Benny in a new space which you can hear on his latest single, "Famous." On this track and the video to match, we find Benny contemplating his newfound celebrity against his thoughts of still being Benny from the block.
We wish him a speedy recovery and to continue to shine against those that wish him otherwise.
Flee Lord - No More Humble Fashion
You aren't familiar with Flee Lord, the street God? Where you been? Damn, homie...catch up with the hardest working rap word pusher who has dropped a project for each of the last 11 months of the year. It's a huge feat for an MC that rhymes on the gutter side of the game. He's a frequent collaborator with the mighty Griselda team and on his newest release, No More Humble Fashion, he boasts heavy heat from Conway and Westside Gunn. Both tracks are worthy of your time, as is the whole project.
Flee has the voice of the dude you'd imagine tell you to, "Take all that shit out your pockets! Right now!!" Yeah, his style is that grimy. A co-sign by the late great Prodigy (of Mobb Deep) a few years ago, put Flee on the radar for a few in the know, but he didn't rest on that accolade alone. Overworking, doing shows and having fire artwork for his music has garnered the attention that is bubbling to the surface.
Be sure to give the Lord 32 minutes of your time this weekend, you won't regret it.BWLR - Pink Range Lyrics that lyricists love is all that flows from Rugz D. Bwlr. I've been listening to the Harlem native for many years now and this project shows his ever-evolving skills at mastering words on beats. Speaking of beats, how crazy is it that an ill MC in his own right with Passport Rav, did all the production on Pink Range. The laid back melodic mood music takes both of their statuses to the next level of dope, especially on the floating measure of "Harlem River Drive." There is a certain bop that Harlem cats carry...it's something that's known by cats from all over NYC. BWLR goes on to explain this and the meaning behind the album's title in this Instagram post: "In the late '80s, the Range Rover established a rugged symbol of wealth for the classy roaming the concrete jungle. In the late 2000s, the Pink Range represented the flamboyance of the Harlem dope boy. This mythological piece of machinery stood for something and the streets that it drove on spoke the trials and tribulations of Harlem. With that BWLR adds his stories with a personal and sometimes dark side of the family going to jail, friends dying and the spoils of gentrification. " That pink Range really was it back then...ask Cam'ron and Lala Anthony. In the meantime, spin the block with this blasting out your own cool whip.
Statik Selektah - The Balancing Act
There really is much to say about how ill Statik Selektah is...like, insanely sick with the rap game beats. I mean, early in the quarantine Statik rocked an IG Live DJ set for our VIBE account and it was scheduled during an East coast shutdown where none of the social media platforms were working. None of them. But, Statik found a way to fool the ISPs and transmitted from Brooklyn, by way of Hawaii! Yep, don't let that go over your heads. It just shows how he is an under pressure, high-level performer, on that all the real hip-hop artists want to work with. Just check his album line up...
Where most of the careers of boom-bap lane producers seem to stay right there, for the underground heads, Statik made the supreme effort to expand his sound with more melodies and bridges and chord switches. It's refreshing to hear our greats go beyond their comfort zone and challenge both themselves and the artists they collaborate with.
The Balancing Act album art cover finds Statik looking directly at us with his young daughter in tow. When hearing the themes of this album you'll see why he choose this heartfelt moment to freeze for our own contemplation. Listen to "Time" with Jack Harlow, "The Healing" featuring Black Thought, "America is Canceled" showing Jadakiss, Styles P, Termanology, and the album in full for the harsh lessons of life wrapped in love and light of the current state of the world.
Much respect Stat.
What can't Taraji P. Henson do? The actress, philanthropist, and new podcast series host kicked off the American Music Awards 2020 with an energetic opening number many of us didn't know we needed. Live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, Henson hit the stage with The Wiz's "A Brand New Day" and danced through other classics like Prince's "Let's Go Crazy," Jay-Z's "Dirt Off Your Shoulder, and Megan Thee Stallion's "Savage."
By the end of Cardi B's "W.A.P.," Henson's outfit changes a gold bodysuit and a slew of masked dancers by her side, let's just say Ms. Henson did that as this year's host of the annual music award show. After completing her performance before America (and a small socially distanced audience), she got powdered up and got right into it. Alright, Taraji!
You betta @tarajiphenson! #AMAsWithUs #AMAs pic.twitter.com/tVEH4bpHvC
— LaTonya Holmes (@LaTonyaHolmes) November 23, 2020
ICONIC: @tarajiphenson dancing "WAP" to open up the 2020 #AMAs. pic.twitter.com/co5EylXJ2n
— Cardi B Stats (@CardiStats) November 23, 2020
Okay @tarajiphenson I see you baby 😂🥰🔥#AMAs pic.twitter.com/W49Zle6xqO
— YA FAV ♓️ (@Yafav_Petty) November 23, 2020
We just hope to make 2020 a little brighter with our show tonight! ❤️ #AMAs pic.twitter.com/qfHrwBxZ8Z
— American Music Awards (@AMAs) November 23, 2020
The Weeknd just reached a career milestone. The Canadian singer will headline the Super Bowl LV halftime show, it was announced on Thursday (Nov. 12).
"We all grow up watching the world's biggest acts playing the Super Bowl and one can only dream of being in that position,” said The Weeknd. “I’m humbled, honored and ecstatic to be the center of that infamous stage.”
performing on the iconic stage. see you 02/07/21 @pepsi #pepsihalftime #SBLV pic.twitter.com/oYlQyvKRwh
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) November 12, 2020
Emmy-nominee Jesse Collins will executive produce the Super Bowl LV halftime extravaganza, which marks the second collaboration between Roc Nation and the NFL since announcing their partnership last year. The big show will go down at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Fla.
“The Weeknd has ushered in a sound all his own. His soulful uniqueness has defined a new generation of greatness in music and artistry,” JAY-Z said. “This is an extraordinary moment in time and the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show is going to be an extraordinary experience with an extraordinary performer.”
The “Blinding Lights” singer joins Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Prince, Katy Perry, Madonna, and other music stars who have performed at halftime.
Super Bowl LV will live on CBS on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021.