Setor Tsikudo

Meadows 2017: JAY-Z Breathes Life Into The Last Days Of Summer On Day 1

The legendary artist allowed us into his world for the second annual festival. 

Day 1 of the Meadows Music and Arts Festival proved festival season can stretch into the forefront of fall.

Created by the folks behind the Governors’ Ball Music Festival, day one of the second annual event brought together an impeccable mix of indie rock, hip-hop, synth pop and R&B in the extremely large parking lot of Queens’ Citi Field. Acts like Blood Orange, Migos, Lizzo and Run the Jewels enticed the crowd as the sun bounced off the promo shades on their faces.

As festival lovers poured into the area, it was clear most folks were ready to see Mr. Sean Carter. But before we get to the that, here are a few other memorable moments from Day 1.


Marian Hill Honors Whitney Houston, Joey Bada$$ Commands Crowd With Militant Set

The world may know Jeremy Lloyd and Samantha Gongo from their massive hit “Down,” but the eclectic creatives took a portion of the set on the American Eagle stage to perform a cover of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” The pace was slow but soothing as fans grooved from side to side; much like the inflatable tube guys behind them.

Joey Bada$$ would end up on the same stage hours later to perform early jams and cuts from his recent album, All-American Bada$$. Opening with "Rockabye Baby," the Brooklyn native was anything but coy as he encouraged the crowd to denounced the "cheeto-in-chief."

His militant look also gave a boost to his already-revolutionary set. With hip-hop creating the soundtrack to today’s social activism, it’s safe to say Joey is a fine pick for a general.

That Lit Part: VICELAND’s Desus & Mero balanced out the music revolution with the network’s party bus. The Bodega Boys (with the help of viral sensation Pio La Ditingancia/I No F**king Baby) were adjacent to the Meadows Stage, giving fans the perfect balance of turn up and comic relief. Vitamin Water and Cafe Bustelo also had fun photo shoots set up along with beverages and everyone’s favorite thing–free sh*t.

21 Savage Doesn’t Let NYC Traffic Get The Best Of Him, Migos Gives Us An Update On Culture 2

As one of the Shea Stage’s hip-hop acts, 21 Savage did fans a solid after arriving late to his set. Before jumping into “All The Smoke,” the Atlanta-based rapper shared the same sentiments us New Yorkers have about the city’s traffic. “On three I need y'all to say, ‘F**k New York traffic'” he said.

Next up was Migos on the festival’s main stage. Jumping from modern throwbacks like “Fight Night” to Culture cuts like “Slippery,” the Atlanta trio almost made us forget we were dancing on very hot concrete. The group also gave us another hint on the status of Culture 2, meaning it can come any day now.

That Wack Part: Overlaps became the festival’s biggest downer, as Marian Hill performed at the same time as 21 Savage and Joey Bada$$ fell over into alternative queen’s Tegan and Sara’s set. If you were quick to every one of these sets, then salute to you in running across the parking lot. Also, the “I need to get to my friend” line still exists as a means of pushing to the front. It’s no longer a slick move, but folks are still using it to their advantage.

Migos’ warranted plenty of rap mosh pits, along with the opportunity for wyipo to utter out “ni**a” while no one was watching. Heads up, people have been watching.

Killer Mike Enjoys Meadows From The Stage & The Crowd

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Killer Mike and EL-P of Run The Jewels arrived early for their set on the main stage, allowing them to school festival kids on lyrical rap. Unlike other acts, the guys stuck around to watch other acts–from the crowd.

That Crazy Part(s): After enjoying the impromptu gig at Governor’s Ball, Redman returned as a golf cart driver, escorting artists to and from their stages. The legendary rapper enjoyed the job free of charge, telling VIBE he was happy to take part on the staff side of festival life. He also shared one of his favorite JAY-Z tracks with us.

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@redmangilla's warning ⚠️

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Gangsta Boo was a pleasant surprise to hip-hop heads during Run The Jewels’ set as was Lion Babe’s Jillian Hervey who was seen chilling in the artist lounge. Other pleasant surprises included Gym Class Heroes frontman Travie McCoy, who took photos with fans.

JAY-Z Closes With Tributes, Classics and “Blue’s Freestyle”

Last but certainly not least was Mr. Carter, who dived into every nook and cranny of his discography. Opening with “Run this Town,” the Tidal head honcho came with hit after hit with day one fans from Brooklyn, London and Czech Republic reciting every word around me.

Keeping up his new tradition created at Made In America, JAY brought out Damian Marley for “Bam,” paid tribute to the late Chester French for “Encore/Numb” and even let the crowd jam out to “Blue’s Freestyle.”

“That was the hook, you can’t cut off the hook,” he said to Young Guru in regards to his daughter’s “Boom Shakalaka” line.

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That Legendary Part: For “Story of O.J.,” JAY dedicated the political track to Colin Kaepernick, and the late Dick Gregory, for standing (or kneeling) for justice. While it was bittersweet for JAY to perform “Ni**as In Paris” without Kanye West, you could still feel the brotherly love in the air.

Check out a live stream of Day 2 of the Meadows Music and Art festival here.

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Casanova's "Jail Call" Video Sheds Light On Life In Prison

Brooklyn's Casanova released his Behind these Scars effort today (Oct. 11). The 10-track project opens with a sobering track, "Jail Call," about an inmate serving time in prison.

Directed by Marc Diamond, the video opens with Casanova making a collect call from jail, hoping someone picks up. Throughout the song, Casanova narrates the harsh realities of prison life as the camera follows his struggles of trying to survive in prison.

After serving seven years in prison for robbery, the "So Brooklyn" rapper has been open about his time in jail. He's admitted to stabbing and beating inmates. This sobering video comes at a time when rappers like Jay Z and Meek Mill are taking a stand against prison reform.

Behind these Scars is led by the Kings County anthem "So Brooklyn," which features a fire verse from Fabolous. "So Brooklyn" also spurred the #SoBrooklynChallenge, where MCs like Maino, Pappose, and Memphis Bleek released remixes.

Watch the video above.

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Rubi Rose Inks New Deal And Shares "Hit Yo Dance" Feat. Yella Beezy And NLE Choppa

Newcomer Rubi Rose recently inked a deal with L.A. Reid's Hitco label. In celebration of this grand accomplishment, the Kentucky-born artist released a brand new record, "Hit Yo Dance" featuring Yella Beezy and NLE Choppa.

The Hitmaka and OG Parker-produced record, which samples Birdmam's 2002 hit “What Happened to that Boy? featuring The Clipse, is a sure party-starter, and an anthem that will require plenty of ass shaking on the dance floor.

The former model, and video vixen first garnered fame as rapper after appearing on Playboi Carti's "On Top." She also collaborated with Cuban Doll and Renni Rucci on "A.G.F." Following the success of "Big Mouth," L.A. Reid inked the bubbling MC

Stream "Hit Yo Dance" below.

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Darren Xu

Brent Faiyaz Channels International Life Into New Musical Gems

Finishing up his summer in Europe, Brent Faiyaz (born Christopher Brent Wood) indulges in spiked mimosas and enticing conversations with his team after handling business for the day. Jet-setting overseas to add more memories to his life’s reel, the singer-songwriter and producer just celebrated his 24th birthday days before. “I think anytime you go places internationally you get a different perspective," he says. "I felt like creatively, it would bring out some more shit.” Many doors have opened for the DMV crooner since he first appeared in front of the public’s eye with his single “Natural Release” in 2014. Pulling pages out what seems to be his journal entries, Faiyaz shares his autobiography through the dynamics of string ballads, haloed hymns, and tinder timbre.

The Columbia, Maryland R&B talent has shared his soothing vocals with fans ever since. Studiously making beats from the age of 12 or 13, it wasn’t until after graduating high school and moving to Charlotte with his parents that he began to invest in music full time. His rhythmic resonance and gut-punching lyrics turned into his first five-track EP speaking to women, relationships, and sex in A.M. Paradox in 2016 with his hit single “Poison.” He formed a group called Sonder with fellow musicians Dpat and Atu, and released a group EP with them called Into before dropping another solo project, Sonder Son. The 12-track project delved into his childhood: he brought his fans right into his living room in “Home,” gave them a seat at the table in his classrooms in “Gang Over Luv,” and walked his newfound Los Angeles streets with them in “L.A.” He then unleashed his tightly knit six-track EP Lost with standouts “Trust,” and “Around Me.”

“I come from a very real place. I think that I can give a lot of people around me a lot of real perspectives. I’ve been seeing a lot of people in certain avenues gravitate towards a nigga,” the LA-based artist said.

The indie artist truly received a standing ovation after organically co-creating the 2018 Grammy-nominated single “Crew” with GoldLink and Shy Glizzy. “I’m going to be real; I didn’t go into music with the intention of being an independent artist, especially not this long. But then [I] hopped onto “Crew” and we fucked around a got a hit record without even being signed to a label. After that I started getting paid so I was like ‘Fuck it, we really don’t need that,’” he said.

His first 2019 summer single “Fuck the World (Summer in London)” opened a perspective of contronyms that approached both the literal and lustful world. What he calls “the woes and the woes.” “Meaning the shit that I hate. [What] is terrible about life right now that’s fucked up, fuck the world on the negative end, middle finger fuck the world,” he says. “And then it’s ‘Fuck the World’ where it’s like the girls and the money and the clothes and the bullshit.”

He later dropped his latest track a month later. “Rehab (Winter In Paris)” mirrors a story when the singer was balancing his personal time while being addicted to a person who is addicted to a substance. With “Rehab” already penned, Faiyaz went to producing the track alongside No ID, known for his work with rap greats like Jay-Z, Common and Kanye West. “He’s an OG. I soaked up a lot of game from him. I locked in with him for a whole week and cut a bunch of ideas.” Observing the producer's process, Faiyaz implemented some of No ID’s ways into his own. “I would take certain shit he said and put that in my own shit. Real talk, he is one of those niggas that will put you on game.”

With a uniqueness to his voice that is charming yet elusive, the singer has raised eyebrows by not resembling the stereotypical genetic makeup of a rhythm and blues artist. “I don’t really know how a sound is supposed to look. If somebody tells me how a sound is supposed to look, I will understand,” Faiyaz chuckled. “I don’t really connect the two. I can’t change how I look; I can’t change how I sound. I’m going to keep doing me.”

During what one could consider a hiatus, the vocalist used that time to focus on his craft, give back to his mom, jump on A$AP Ferg’s album Floor Seats, and walk in Pyer Moss’s New York Fashion Week Show. As he has geared up for a musical return that will unveil a different side, Faiyaz is under renovation. “I [don’t] want to give people the same sh*t that I’ve been giving them this whole time. I’m not about to put out a new project and it sounds the exact same as the last project. I want to keep reinventing myself as this sh*t goes on.”

“Right now, I am probably the most creative that I’ve ever been.”

Brent has successfully left his fans longing for more all while remaining authentic, not purposefully trying to create any kind of enigma around himself. “It’s not a goal of mine to be on the tip of everybody’s tongue all the time.”

With the year wrapping up, the 24-year-old is “pushing boundaries” as he prepares to release more original melodies. While he experiments with the production elements of his music and strengthening his vocals, the artist is effortlessly surprising himself in the studio. “I’m kind of saying whatever the fuck I want to say on the track and somehow it’s coming out pretty good. I know how to put it in a way where it comes off ill.”

Plotting his next moves, the creative has become enthralled with art all across the board in his performances as it translates to visual art. “I’m really learning how a bunch of different avenues go aside from just music. I’m on my young renaissance man shit.”

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