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Karl Ferguson

Mack Wilds Explains How He Found The VIBE On 'AfterHours'

Mack Wilds sat down with VIBE at NYC's Canal Street Market.

Mack Wilds has literally lived in front of the cameras for the last decade of his life. Whether it be the flashes from thirsty fans' iPhones or big budget shoots for Hollywood movies, there's always someone wanting a piece of the Staten Island native.

READ: Mack Wilds Brings ‘AfterHours’ To Life In Tidal Mini-Series

After dazzling fans as hip-hop hopeful "DeeVee" on VH1'sThe Breaks , Mack is already back on television in the police drama series Shots Fired. However, even with a grueling shoot schedule, Wilds still found time to give his fans the album they have been asking for since 2013's Grammy award winning LP, A New York Story.

"We've been recording for a while but honestly for, one, I just wanted to drop [and album] for the people and, two, we finally caught that vibe," says Mack about his sophomore album. Once you catch that vibe and you harness it, and make it what you want to make it, you got to give to the people."

AfterHours showcases the singer's growth not only as a vocalist, but also as a man, one who has been through his fair share of failed relationships and scandalous nights out on the town. It was actually his lonely nights that inspired him to push his limits for the undeniably soulful album.

READ: Mack Wilds Releases Long Awaited New Album, AfterHours

"It's one of those records where I tried to explore what the feelings were on all those nights when you're at home by yourself," explains Mack. "The night time can bring out some crazy things. Text message are different at night, break-ups feel different different at night. In a weird way, that's when your feelings awaken. I just wanted to capture what that felt like in the city."

Along with the project, Mack also made his official directorial debut for a Tidal-released mini-series based on AfterHours. You can watch it here, and pick up the album on iTunes now.

"I think when you're speaking from the heart it always comes off true, that's the biggest thing for me," says Mack about writing his own music. "I'm bringing a sound back to New York that people have missed. That's my lane. I'm a New York kid just singing my heart out."

Watch Mack open up about his live show and acting roles below.

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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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Elle Varner Taps Wale For "Pour Me" Single

Elle Varner brought in the New Year with the new single, "Pour Me" featuring Wale. Hitting streaming services on a lovely Friday morning (Jan. 18), the lovesick boozy bop piggybacks off the success of her September release, "Loving You Is Blind."

With an assist from Washington D.C.'s very own, the "Bad" emcee heads the single with his love-drunk rendition of sexual frustration, riding over the well-placed piano keys and 808s. Varner's voice dominates the track with the healthy mix of rasp she has become known for.

"Pour me one more One more, one more, one more/I'm thinkin' 'bout you, drinkin' 'bout you/All night for sure/Pour me one more/One more, one more, one more/I'm thinkin' 'bout you, been drinkin' 'bout you," she sings.

Speaking with RatedR&B in December 2018, the "Refill" songstress revealed her new single was a "double entendre about being a poor girl who's lost the love she wants. So, pour her another,” she continued. “It has that ’90s feel. It has these hard drums and chords that are just so tickling. It’s me on a thousand.”

Stream Elle Varner's new single "Pour Me" featuring Wale below.

 

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Leikeli47 Drops Video For 'Tic Boom,' Announces North American Tour

Leikeli47's 2019 is off to a great start. The VIBE NEXT star announced her upcoming tour to support her recently-released album Acrylic on Friday (Jan. 18), and subsequently dropped the music video for her song, "Tic Boom."

The neutrally-colored video featured simple-yet-eye catching choreography with dancers in trench coats and fedoras. In a statement, the masked marvel says that there is a deeper meaning behind the track, which was featured on Grown-ish.

"These young women are in a face off with their inner fears; that's why it sometimes may look like they're engaging in a face off with themselves," the Brooklyn-bred musician says of the song. "It's about facing whatever your Goliath is and chopping its head off. That's what 'Tic Boom' is about. It's about owning your moment, mastery, and doing it afraid if you have to."

As for the Acrylic Tour, it will begin on March 19 in Kansas City, MO, and concludes on Apr. 26 in San Diego, Calif. Check out the full list of dates below and cop your tickets today.

3/19/19 - Kansas City, MO - Encore @ Uptown 3/20/19 - St. Louis, MO - Fubar 3/21/19 - St. Paul, MN - Amsterdam 3/22/19 - Chicago, IL - Sub T 3/24/19 - Detorit, MI - Shelter 3/25/19 - Toronto, ON - Velvet 3/26/19 - Montreal, QC - Belmont 3/27/19 - Philadelphia, PA - The Foundry @ The Fillmore 3/28/19 - Brooklyn, NY - Elsewhere 3/30/19 - Washington, DC - Milky 4/01/19 - Boston, MA - The Sinclair 4/03/19 - Pittsburgh, PA - Spirit Lodge 4/04/19 - Atlanta, GA - Loft 4/06/19 - Scottsdale, AZ - Pub Rock 4/09/19 - Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall 4/10/19 - Dallas, TX - Dada 4/11/19 - Austin, TX - Empire Control Room 4/14/19 - Santa Cruz, CA - Atrium @ The Catalyst 4/15/19 - Sacramento, CA - Harlow's 4/16/19 - Oakland, CA - The New Parish 4/18/19 - Portland, OR - Holocene 4/19/19 - Vancouver, B.C. - Fortune Soundclub 4/21/19 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile 4/24/19 - Los Angeles, CA - The Roxy 4/25/19 - Santa Ana, CA - Constellation Room @ The Observatory 4/26/19 - San Diego, CA - Irenic

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