"On The Run Tour: Beyonce And Jay-Z" - Paris, France - September 12, 2014 "On The Run Tour: Beyonce And Jay-Z" - Paris, France - September 12, 2014
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No I.D. On Scoring The Sound Of JAY-Z's Vulnerability: "We Both Were Doing A Labor Of Love"

"You're with Beyoncé, but what is that really like? What's the pressure? What's the responsibility? What's the ups and downs?"

Hip-hop luminary and Brooklyn's own JAY-Z released his 13th album via TIDAL late last week. The studio project, a 10-track offering that touches on slavery, black entrepreneurship and intergenerational conflict in music among other topics, also served as a stage for Hov to issue his long-awaited "Lemonade response." The latter emerged an apology to his wife Beyoncé for his infidelity.

The 10-track LP absorbs much of its beat wizardry from No I.D., the sole producer of 4:44 next to Shawn Carter himself. In a revealing sit-down with Rolling Stone, No I.D. details their now-celebrated collaboration, along with intel on how they got together, pushing Jay to open up like never before, and why the concise tracklist, alluding "more's on the way." Below are telling snippets from their conversation.

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On being the sole producer of JAY-Z's '4:44'
Part of my growth as a producer was not just about making beats but also helping in the process of inspiring the song and making the song the center. This album is about Shawn Carter, Jay-Z, opening up, and me scoring that. It only came about me doing the whole album because the scoring part of the story started getting so specific that no one else knew how to do the music that fit what was going on. That just happened by default. Half of this album we credited him as co-producer on. At a point, I said, 'Man, make me a playlist of songs you like. Where's your taste at right now?' And there's a value in a one-producer album. Most of the greatest albums in the history of music are one producer. It's just a fact. Or one collective.

On encouraging vulnerability
I knew he wanted to [say those things]. I don't want to take credit for what he wanted to do in the first place. I helped push him by saying, 'Hey, this is what you said, this is what we know. And I don't think people need to hear it. I think people need to hear what they don't know.' Meaning: You wanted a Picasso, but why? You're with Beyoncé, but what is that really like? What's the pressure? What's the responsibility? What's the ups and downs? I wanted him to not be over people's heads.

On trusting each other as artists
By this time, we had established the relationship of trust and knowing that what we both were doing was a labor of love. It was at a pure point. He knew what I was saying by playing it. And I knew that it would help him as a human to say it and get it over with and get it out of your system.

On recording the album title track "4:44"
He recorded it at his house with nobody around – on [Beyoncé's] mic. I'll let him tell the rest of the story. But I remember Guru brings it back and he does this little thing, walks in the room and doesn't say anything. He stops everything, presses play, and walks out the room. I go, let me go find my wife and give her a hug. Walk down the street and hold hands. It's a lot.

On album length and other tracks
There's three more songs that are coming out as bonuses. James Blake came in and joined into the process. There's more coming shortly that's equally as revealing.

Read the interview in full here.

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Listen To Brandy's Highly Anticipated ‘B7’ Album

Brandy’s new album, B7, arrived on Friday (July 31). Led by the single “Baby Mama,” the 15-track album about love, heartbreak and growth, includes appearances from  Chance the Rapper, Daniel Caeser, and Brandy's teenage daughter, Sy'rai Smith, who joins her mother on the track “High Heels.”

Along with the new album -- her first since 2012 -- Brandy debuted the music video for her latest single, “Borderline.”

“I spilled so much of my heart on this album,” she proudly told fans during a listening party on YouTube on Thursday (July 30).

In a more sobering moment from the virtual party, Brandy opened up about the death of her friend and producer, Lashawn Daniels. “It feels very strange although I’m excited and grateful to have the music out, it’s just hard not having him here to hear the complete project,” she said.

“But I take him with me wherever I go. I know everything he ever said to me, ever taught me, and what he told me, I can hold onto that. If I ever feel down about my gift there’s a few things that he told me to remind me that I have no reason to feel down at all.”

Speaking with Billboard, the Grammy winner discussed the importance of Black female R&B artists sharing content, especially during these turbulent times.

“I believe that music heals. Music is the language that we all speak. It is what we all need, and I feel like we need it more now than we ever have,” she explained. “This is the year where we all need to feel like we have something to get us through. ... I was a little hesitant with putting out music in this time because, of course, you want to speak to the times. And I'm thinking, ‘My music is not about exactly what's going on right now.’ But then I thought, ‘But this is the time where people need to feel like they have something to just escape and just help them heal.’ ...that's what made me feel better about releasing [the album].

“And I think that we don’t want to feel alone,” added Brandy. “We need to feel community, we need to feel togetherness, we need to feel love right now. And I think music is the best way to feel that. It’s the shortcut to feeling that right away.”

Stream B7 below.

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T.I. And Jeezy Discuss Potentially Squashing Beef With Gucci Mane

T.I. and Jeezy are thinking about reconnecting with the “third member of the Mt. Rushmore of Trap Music.” During an episode of the Expeditiously Tip podcast, the Atlanta rappers pondered the idea of squashing the beef with Gucci Mane.

“Now what do you think is necessary to bring that sh*t together if anything,” the Grand Hustle leader asked Jeezy. “And I understand we dealing with somebody who’s temperamental themselves..our sh*t that we got with us versus their sh*t that they got with them makes it extremely problematic.”

Tip added that linking with Guwop could be a big move for trap music.

“I just feel like we got to have one of those mafia, back room conversations,” said Jeezy. “What I’ve learned over the years is like this sh*t [is] big business. People that went to Yale still do business with people that went to Harvard. So it’s just one of those convos [that needs to happen]. It’s been decades.”

Tip and Jeezy also discussed the breakdown of their relationship with Gucci, and setting their differences aside. Though Gucci and Jeezy have been beefing for over 10 years, it seems that Tip  fell into the drama by siding with the Snowman.

Watch a clip of their discussion below.

T.I. and Jeezy want to have a conversation with Gucci Mane to squash their beef pic.twitter.com/QNJAHdaqoS

— Complex Ambition (@ComplexAmbition) July 28, 2020

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Jhene Aiko Taps Kehlani, Wiz Khalifa, Mila J For Deluxe Edition Of ‘Chilombo’

Jhene Aiko expanded the guest list for the deluxe edition of her Chilombo album released on Friday (July 17). The updated album is packed with 29 tracks, featuring guest appearances from Kehlani, Snoop Dogg, Mila J, and Chris Brown.

Kehlani joins Aiko and H.E.R. on the remix to “B.S,” while Snoop and Chris Brown hop on “Tryna Smoke,” and Wiz Khalifa drops a guest verse on “Down Again.”

Aiko connects with her older sister, Mila J, for “OTW,” and  it looks like the musical collaboration has been a long time coming. “Finally got a song with my big sister,” Aiko happily tweeted on Friday (July 17).

finally a song with my big sister @MilaJ 💙 scorpio & pisces 💦💦💦

— Chilombo (@JheneAiko) July 17, 2020

The Grammy winner announced the deluxe album earlier in the week, along with debuting the track list and gothic cover art.

7/17 #CHILOMBO (deluxe) 🌋 pic.twitter.com/4ZupGndOKL

— Chilombo (@JheneAiko) July 15, 2020

The original installment of Chilombo was released in March and shot to No. 2 on the Billboard album chart. In addition to the new tracks, Aiko released the music video for her latest song, “Summer.”

Stream the deluxe edition of Chilombo below.

 

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