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Jason Chandler

Beyond Lit: 9 Unforgettable Moments From Billboard’s Hot 100 Fest

DJ Khaled's dance moves and T-Pain's friendly reminder of his legendary catalog left us shook. 

Over the weekend, the Billboard Hot 100 music festival brought together the young, the old and the lit as acts the from different spectrums of music turned Long Island into a colossal dancery.

During the course of two days (Aug. 19-Aug. 20) acts like Tinashe, Big Sean, DJ Khaled, Lil Yachty and Major Lazer commanded the stage with special guests such as A$AP Ferg, J Balvin, a very colorful Bella Thorne and the one and only Asahd Tuck Khaled shot attendees into the world of fandom. Since its formation in 2015, the festival has served as an open space for underage music lovers whose musical footprints assist artists to the top of the charts.

In those sizable 48 hours, plenty of moments commanded our attention and timeline like T-Pain’s comical, yet rightful demand for “respek on his name” to Khaled’s smooth dance moves.

Enjoy visuals from the festival along with 9 unforgettable moments below.

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Ugly God Is A Cornhole Champion

The Houston native enjoyed a dose of chill time after his set Saturday by taking part in the classic lawn game of cornhole. Backstage at the Artist Village, the “Water” rapper exchanged his shades for reading glasses to keep his eye on the prize.

His set was also appreciated by fans of his latest project, The Booty Tape. Jumping from “F**k Ugly God” to “Stop Smoking Black & Milds,” God kept the crowd at a high level.

Gucci Is Black Boy Joy in Rare Form

With a mix between new and old jams from the vault, Gucci Mane was all smiles throughout his monstrous performance. With leaps and bounds from “Freaky Girl” to “I Think I Love Her,” Gucci brought it full circle with his new Hot 100 entries like “Both” featuring Drake and his guest verse on Rae Sremmurd's “Black Beatles.” With his smile hitting ear to ear, Gucci let loose his black boy joy to a very welcoming crowd.

The Artistry Of Ty Dolla $ign Should Never Go Unnoticed

The Cali native might’ve played the same time as Rick Ross, but his fans showed up and turned out to his bevy of jams. Building up to his monster tracks like “Or Nah,” “Paranoid” and “Blasè,” Ty smoothly slid into standout from the Beach House mixtape series and his the guest spots on Fifth Harmony’s “Work,” Kanye West’s “Fade” and “You and Your Friends” with Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg.

After removing his jewels and clothes (sorry ladies, only waist up) to perform “Blasè,” Ty crowd surfed and quickly headed back to stage to lay down a solo guitar set. Nayhoos present, Ty reminded fans about his creative genes can turn a festival stage into a an intimate set.

Tinashe, Demi Lovato & Camila Cabello Make Up Billboard’s Girls Club

Making up the festival’s small group of female performers, the pop starlets didn’t disappoint as live renditions of the their hits were recited in their respectable crowds. Tinashe and Demi’s sets featured plenty of boomkat dance moves as Camilla was welcomed with large arms to her first solo festival performance. The women, along with pop-indie darling Phoebe Ryan, were stark reminders on why we should continue to vie for female musicians on the bill.

Big Sean Drops Inspirational Vitamins From The Heart

Closing the Hot 100 Stage Saturday was Big Sean, who was happy to lend out words of encouragement to fans. The “Bounce Back” rapper reminded the crowd to stay true to the themselves even in the midst of turmoil. He also gave a shout to the power of resistance and ambition while performing “One Man Change The World.”

But it wasn’t all inspirational vitamins. The “Moves” rapper opened the show with “Mercy” with plenty of bass to follow. With the spirit of a giant, the Detroit native got fans to “Jump Out the Window” and get low to “A$$.” With flames and smoke emerging from the stage, Sean’s performance proves there’s levels to festival life.

DJ Khaled Actually DJ’d, Asahd Has A Young Simba Moment

After a 30-minute wait, DJ Khaled indirectly satisfied the crowd before hitting the stage Sunday. As guests like Lenny S. headed to the stage, baby Asahd peaked outside of his stroller to swarms of teens trying to snap a photo of the adorable executive producer of Grateful.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BYCXcwAFa-G

Khaled dropped hit after hit from his nearly 20-year career and reminded fans of his origins when he hit the turntables for a mix of the 97’ New York jam, “Wild From Da Night” by Rampage and Busta Rhymes. He continued the hood spiritual vibes with special guest and birthday boy Fat Joe. The two performed “All The Way Up” and the Terror Squad classic, “Lean Back.”

Khaled also enjoyed the riddims of his summer tune “Wild Thoughts,” making it a grateful moment for us all.

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Cardi B’s Reach Is No Stretch Armstrong

Cardi B wasn’t in attendance at the festival, but it didn’t stop DJ’s from playing “Bodak Yellow” every hour. Proud Long Island tweens with mouths full of braces recited lyrics as guys created a hip hop mosh pit.

Since its release in June, the song has climbed the Billboard charts becoming a fave among artists like Bruno Mars, Demi Lovato and Nicki Minaj.The track is now the highest-charting single by a female emcee since Nicki’s 2014 hit, “Anaconda.” With “Bodak Yellow” entering the Top 5 at Number 3 this week, Cardi’s increasing fan base is bound to the take her to a festival stage soon.

Never Forget, T-Pain Has The Hits

T-Pain's dozens of singles and guest verses gave the artist a chance to drop a humble brag during his Sunday set. Before dropping some much needed vocals, the Florida native spoke out on his legacy. "I checked. I'm the n***a with the most No. 1s at this whole festival," he said. It was no stopping Pain as he performed nearly every hot record of the aughts.

Blending his records with guest features, Pain lead with “Up & Down,” “2 Step (Remix), and “All I Do Is Win” before diving into “I’m Spring,” “Bartender,” and “Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin.)” He also created a beat on stage laid it down on top of Chris Brown’s “Kiss Kiss.”

Fans had a chance to rest their vocals chords as Pain flexed his in an a capella add-on to “I’m Sprung.” Pain kept the party going from the sidelines of the Sun Stage where he watched Yachty and Young Thug’s performances. Thugger might not’ve taken Pain’s advice on falling in love with strippers, but it’s nice to the see Pain show respect to rap’s budding superstars.

Major Lazer Bring The Heat With Camilla Cabello & J Balvin

Closing out the final day was Major Lazer who came prepared with plenty of Confetti poppers, talented dancers and enjoyable surprises. Taking a page from Pain’s book, Jillionaire, Walshy Fire and Diplo took it back to the “Pon de Floor” days all the way to tracks from their Know No Better EP.

After blowing away fans hours earlier, Camilla returned to the stage to perform “Know No Better” sans Quavo and Travis Scott. Latin crooner J Balvin made it to the stage just in time to perform “Buscando Huellas,” another fan-favorite from the EP. With high octane energy, the group kept the crowd jumping all night as their dancers engaged in twerking contests, making teens (and some adults) falling in love on site.

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Premiere: 12-Year-Old Rap Princess That Girl Lay Lay Introduces Tha Slay Gang With Fun "Long Hair" Video

It all started with some freestyle raps in her Dad's car that went viral on social media, now Houston's 12-year-old superstar rapper, Alaya High aka That Girl Lay Lay, is poised to take over the teen market and y'all grown-ups need to watch ya back too!

With an infectious hook game and bars that topple stars, Lay Lay burst onto the scene in 2018 with a crowd pleasing appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. That's the same year she dropped her Tha Cheat Code music project to adoring fans that were clamoring for a full body of work from the energetic artist. Having laid claim to signing a record deal as the youngest female rapper ever to her own label, Fresh Rebel Muzik/EMPIRE, Lay Lay is wasting no time in bringing her girls on this ride with her.

Pushing their first single, "Long Hair," Lay Lay and her two bouncy "Tha Slay Gang" group members, Sweets (hailing from South Carolina) and Sugar (repping North Carolina), are sure to dominate every pre-teen birthday, graduation and youth celebration party from here on out. The uptempo track is fun, super engaging and chorus friendly for the hyper masses. Lay Lay explains, "This is one of my favorite songs because its fun and something everyone can dance to. It’s about my friends 'Tha Slay Gang' and I sticking together, working hard and not getting into any drama! We try to demote bullies, and show the world that working hard pays off.”

The video takes place at a neon'd out roller skating rink, with the ladies leading a group of kids in a lit chant of the vocals and letting off one liners galore like: "I don't want no drama/If you go dumb then I'mma go dumber/hot girl winters and hot girl summers/If you knew me Daddy I'm Balenciaga Momma!" Just got to love the kids.

Check for Lay Lay in national tv commercial campaigns with Old Navy

and Mitsubishi.

So much more is on the way for this uber talented MC.

 

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Dave J Hogan

New Music Friday: Eminem, Mac Miller, Dreamville And More

Eminem fans were greeted with a pleasant surprise today, with 20 new tracks from the rap legend. But there's plenty of new music this week: Mac Miller fans are left with a final musical memory from him, Dreamville revamped their Grammy-nominated compilation, and Thundercat released a new single with Steve Lacy and Steve Arrington. Look below for today's New Music Friday.

Mac Miller – Circles The passing of Mac Miller in Sept. 2018 was one of the toughest losses that hip-hop has had in years, with the rapper/singer/producer’s kind spirit and immense artistic growth touching the lives of many. Today, his legacy continues with the release of Circles, his first posthumous album. According to a note from his family, Mac was “well into the process” of recording the Jon Brion-produced album, which was meant to be a companion piece to Swimming, the last album he released months before his death. Apple Music | TIDAL

Eminem – Music To Be Murdered By In the first major surprise release of the year, Eminem has surfaced out the blue with Music To Be Murdered By, the follow up to his 2018 surprise release Kamikaze. Eminem tweeted that the album was inspired by filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, and the 20-track final product has guest appearances by the likes of Young M.A., Juice WRLD, Black Thought, Q-Tip, Anderson .Paak, and a partial Slaughterhouse reunion. Apple Music | TIDAL

Dreamville – Revenge of the Dreamers III: Director's Cut The Dreamville crew’s Revenge of the Dreamers III compilation made history in 2018, uniting over 100 musicians from around the world for a “rap camp” in Atlanta and earning a Grammy nomination in the process. Now, they’re releasing a deluxe edition with an extra 12 tracks from the same lineup that made the first edition special. Apple Music | TIDAL

Thundercat - “Black Quails” Jazz maestro Thundercat announced a new album this week, and the beautiful first single “Black Quails” has him playing and singing alongside Steve Lacy (of The Internet) and Steve Arrington. Apple Music | TIDAL

2 Chainz ft. Future - “Dead Man Walking”

Bad Boys For Life Soundtrack Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reunited for the third installment in their hit Bad Boys buddy cop franchise, and DJ Khaled flexed his superstar rolodex for the film's soundtrack. Meek Mill, Rick Ross, City Girls, The Black Eyed Peas, Pitbull, Nicky Jam, and more make contributions. Apple Music | TIDAL

Stretch and Bobbito + The M19s Band – No Requests Stretch and Bobbito are largely known for hosting the Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show, a New York radio program from the 90s that welcomed many of the greatest rappers ever before they officially blew up. But they're music fans first, and their new album showcases their tastes to brilliant effect: the two DJs compiled a playlist of their favorite songs to DJ, and then they enlisted the handpicked M19s Band to play them live. Their foundation is hip-hop, but No Requests is a diverse set of Latin, afrobeat, samba, jazz, reggae and soul. Apple Music | TIDAL

Theophilus London – Bebey Theophilus London’s new album, Bebey, is “a celebration of self-love and represents a return to Theophilus' roots, inspired by his Caribbean heritage and the Brooklyn neighborhoods he grew up in, steeped in Dominican, Puerto Rican, Jamaican and his native Trinidadian traditions,” according to a press release. Tame Impala, Lil Yachty, Ian Isiah, Raekwon, Giggs, Ariel Pink, Gemaine, and Kristian Hamilton provide guest appearances. Apple Music | TIDAL

070 Shake – Modus Vivendi Many music fans discovered 070 Shake with her standout vocals on the G.O.O.D. Music run in 2018 with Kanye’s 2018 album Ye (“Ghost Town,” “Violent Crimes”), Pusha T’s Daytona (“Santeria”), and Nas’ Nasir (“Not For Radio,” “Everything”). Since then, the rapper/singer has been steadily taking her time to drop her G.O.O.D. Music debut, Modus Vivendi. Apple Music | TIDAL

Madlib and Oh No – The Professionals Recent years have seen all-time great producer Madlib enjoy critical acclaim after his two albums with Freddie Gibbs, and this year he's teaming up with his blood brother Oh No, a talented producer and rapper in his own right, for an album called The Professionals. Apple Music | TIDAL

Raekwon – The Appetition Three years after his stellar album The Wild, Chef Raekwon has teamed up with Red Bull to release The Appetition, a three-song EP of new songs with producers and songwriters from Red Bull Songs and created at Red Bull Studios in NYC. Apple Music | TIDAL

Tech N9ne – Enterfear Level 2 =One of the most prolific rappers of all time, indie or otherwise, Tech N9ne follows up his 2019 studio album N9NA with the EP ENTERFEAR Level 2. Apple Music | TIDAL

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Che Pope interviews Vincent “Tuff” Morgan, peermusic’s head of A&R urban/pop, on Q&A With Che.
HiStudios

Che Pope Talks ‘Q&A With Che’ Podcast, Kanye West, And Why He Left G.O.O.D. Music

At some point in your career, you want to pay it forward. Regardless of the industry you’re in, there comes a time when you reached a certain level of success and want to groom the next generation with your knowledge and expertise. Che Pope, a Boston native, veteran music producer, songwriter, and former head of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music, is in a position to do just that. After spending seven years with G.O.O.D., as well as making music with critically-acclaimed artists like Lauryn Hill, Dr. Dre, and The Weeknd, Che Pope has utilized lectures and podcasts to discuss his diverse career, sharing a perspective tailored to young creatives who want some mentoring in their own paths. Pope’s experience allows him to give gems in all aspects of the music business – no matter if you’re an aspiring manager, producer, singer, or artist, he has a piece of advice that can apply to you. 

It’s why he’s finally launching a podcast of his own called Q&A With Che, a HiStudios Original, that’s available on the Himalaya app, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more. He describes the show as “Ted Talks with the urban entertainment industry,” using his large network of friends for real conversations on how they made it. The format is more for educational purposes and using the platform to expand his Q&A section of his discussions, with each guest detailing what they do, how their industry works, and their take on the future. Che’s first guest is DMV rapper IDK, who is coming off a major 2019 with his partnership with Warner for his label Clue and the release of Is He Real? 

Speaking with VIBE over the phone, Che explains the genesis of Q&A With Che (the idea came after having a convo with Jay-Z), why IDK was the perfect first guest, his thoughts on Kanye and G.O.O.D. Music, and the books he’s reading today.

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VIBE: Q&A With Che is going to be part of HiStudios’ original programming slate. You’re alongside sport personalities that also have podcasts like Mike Tyson, Gilbert Arenas, and Caron Butler. If I did my research, you’re the first “music veteran” with a show on HiStudios. Was podcasting a logical next step in your career?

Che Pope: I think it was important for me to share the information. And just really what’s the best way to? Obviously, the lectures are great. That’s like, ‘Okay, cool. I go to Harvard Business School just so those kids get it.’ This was a way to really share it with a wider audience, with anybody. And I’ve been getting hit up on Instagram or Twitter where people are always asking me tons of questions and this was a way for me [to reach them]. So many people would be like, ‘Hey, can you mentor me?’ I can’t mentor all of them. This was kind of my way of like, ‘OK, I can’t mentor all of you, but I can do this.’ I think that is what really attracted me.

I had a really great conversation with Jay-Z about it and he just loved the idea of it and that really put a battery in my back. Because at one point in time, it was this great idea we had, and just getting caught up in work and [being] busy and not pursuing it. Once I spoke with Jay-Z and he said, ‘This is amazing. You have to do this.’ That really put the battery back, and then partnering with HiStudios and Himalaya, it just really gave me the team I needed to really bring it out there in the manner that I wanted to do, the professional level that I wanted to present it at.

So you were already thinking of podcasting back then. When did that Jay-Z convo happen?

That happened about two years ago in his living room.

How’d the convo go? Were you trying to pitch yourself to Tidal?

No, I actually wasn’t. He said, ‘You know, you’re more than welcome to consider Tidal.’ But he was like, ‘I just think it’s a great idea.’ I wasn’t actually pitching anything. We were just having a business conversation. I guess you could say the next step in my career is not only the podcast, but I also have a start-up. I was just getting business advice and out of that meet, Q&A came up.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the hip-hop podcast landscape. We got everybody from ItsTheReal’s, which you were on. The Joe Budden Podcast. Rap Radar Podcast. Do you see the success of those guys as motivation to reach that level or are they competition?

I don’t think they’re competition. We are really two different things. I’m much more like Ted Talks than I am No Jumper, ItsTheReal, Joe Budden. Although ItsTheReal is a little bit different than Joe Budden. Joe Budden wants to be opinionated, sort of controversial at times and really drive listeners on entertainment. Mine is much more educational focused. Entertaining in the fact that people who are going to be on it cause anyone could be on it. It could be anyone from Diddy to someone you haven’t heard of. I think it is entertaining in that [regard], but it is much more educational than I am trying to entertain you and be controversial and all that kind of stuff.

And I think it's really interesting that you chose IDK as your first guest. He’s coming off his Warner partnership for Clue and his album Is He Real? dropped last year. He’s a younger rapper but he has this business savviness to him. Why did you want to interview him?

That’s specifically why. I built a relationship with the kid cause he was in negotiations at one point and time to sign with G.O.O.D. Music. He is from the DMV area originally, which is where my mom is from. So we kind of made a cool connection a few years back when he was still this independent kid coming up trying to figure it out. But he was far more informed than most artists I meet. He was talking to me about his independent promotion and his marketing plan and things of that nature, which he had written himself. And I was like, ‘Wow, this kid is [incredible].’ When he finally did the deal with Warner, he was just the perfect first guest for me cause he is living what these kids want to do, what many of them want to do. His journey is really a testament to educating and empowering yourself and challenging. He had overcome adversity. He had been in jail before. It built himself up from scratch. Really talented story and his story is just getting started. I think the sky's the limit to where he can go.

Before I let you go, I want to talk about Kanye. You’ve been there since Yeezus. You’ve been there since Cruel Summer. Now, he’s on this new trajectory of dedicating himself to God, releasing Jesus Is King and Jesus Is Born. He’s no longer making secular music and is reportedly done performing solo shows. When you were working with him, did you see any early signs that his artistry was progressing towards this?

No, but I would say the thing with him is he is always evolving. I would say you never know what is next, which is exciting. I couldn’t say I saw this coming, at all. You never know what’s next, I will say that, which is one of the exciting things when working with him, for better or for worse, you know? Whether it was a Trump hat or “slavery was a choice” comment or whatever, or those amazing moments like Yeezus or some of the amazing musical experiences I was apart of. You never knew what was coming and that was exciting. I wish him the best on it. When it was time for me to move on? I wish him the best with it.

You were with G.O.O.D. Music for six and a half years?

Yeah, seven years. Since 2011. I was one of the longest running people that lasted the longest with him [Laughs].

Why did you want to leave?

I think for me it was the next progression in my career. To transition from working with somebody and helping them build their stuff to building my own company. I am building a music incubator, start-up. It was really sort of the next progression in my career. I had to take that step as a business owner. And that takes a lot of work, a lot of focus, and a lot of commitment, you know? It’s one of those things. They say that saying, ‘if it was easy, everybody could do it?’ It’s not easy.

You once described your role at G.O.O.D. with Noah Goldstein as “getting shit done.” Now that Pusha-T has taken the role as president, what do you think of his “term” so far?

I think Pusha-T is an artist, and I think he has aspirations of his own label. I don’t know what’s going on with G.O.O.D. Music. It’s kind of like in…what’s the word when something is in suspended in time? Desiigner left the label. I know 070 [Shake] is putting her album out, but that’s more Def Jam. I don’t think there’s really a G.O.O.D. Music focus there.

I think Kacy Hill isn’t there either, right?

Yeah, Kacy Hill left. I do think they still have some artists. I know Teyana is active. I don’t really know much about what’s going on these days at G.O.O.D. Pusha-T is one of my favorite artists, and I think he’s still focused on Pusha-T. I don’t know what his involvement is with the label at all or a day-to-day basis or if he’s still involved at all. 

I think that means we’re going to see something major happen. Big Sean still has his album coming out, so maybe something like that.

Yeah. Big Sean’s coming. I’m sure Pusha’s coming. I know 070 Shake’s album is amazing. I’ve heard it so I’m excited for her because I know it’s a long time coming and she’s great. She’s gonna be on the Swedish House Mafia project as well. I think she could really be one of the next, big young artists.

I saw that books are your thing. What are you reading now?

As far as this year, I want to read as many as I can. I have different people that turn me onto books. You never know what someone is going to refer. Right now, I am reading Ben Horowitz’s new book What You Do Is Who You Are. I think Ben is just a brilliant guy and the fact that he loves hip-hop too, which is really cool. Anytime he drops a book, I try to get it.

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