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Premiere: Queens Newcomers SoulGroupUniverse Release Grimy 'Soul Food' Mixtape

Hip-hop for kids trapped in group homes. 

Yes, it's Thanksgiving. But unfortunately, not everyone has a family to chill with during the spirited holidays. For those who are really embedded in the streets, South Side Jamaica Queens natives SoulGroupUniverse released a thoroughly hard knock life mixtape dubbed, Soul Food.

Capping out at 10 tracks, Soul Food is a gritty, and all-too-familiar, ride through super aggressive corners, and crack houses, where candles are used for heat and light. Not only does Soul Food come off as authentic, but the project's flows are fluid, and the honest-to-god sixteens are sincere.

"I'm in the hood to remin myself/I'ma have to lose myself just to find myself/'Cause when I had to sell drugs, I was outside myself/And when the car had to move, I had to drive myself/What more could you want from a nigga who ain't have nothing, but always knew that he wanted something/Of course, I had to bag-up/Next time I see the courtroom the judge ain't gon' be feeling me/But he don't understand, I'm just swipping the cards that were dealt to me," raps Stargiela on the title track.

Star, 808, Saj, and Chello--the MCs who make-up SoulGroupUniverse--are really day-ones. The quartet have been friends since elementary school at P.S. 160. After spitting rhymes on their blocks in Queens, SGU released their first mixtape, Soul Group University, back in 2015. After a host of mixtapes on the underground circuit, SGU finally inked a deal with New York City-based Commission Music in 2017.

"The music was real. I felt every word, and I've seen their progress. I wanted that L.O.X. and Mobb Deep feeling. Soul Food has that," says Akeem, A&R of Commission Music.

If you're into muddy street-hop minus the clichés, then SoulFoodUniverse are them guys that you should definitly pay attention to.

Stream Soul Food below.

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Drake Debuts “Laugh Now Cry Later” Feat. Lil Durk

Champagne Papi hit fans with his second single in a matter of months.  “Laugh Now, Cry Later” arrived on Friday (Aug. 14) along with a cameo-heavy music video.

In the visual, Drake lives out his dream of being a professional athlete, complete with an oversized “draft day” suit (à la LeBron James in 2003). The 33-year-old rapper also shows off his range as both a dramatic actor (he sheds a tear, or two) and comedic actor.

Drizzy tapped director Dave Meyers for the music video, which features appearances from Kevin Durant, Marshawn Lynch, and Odell Beckham.

According to Drake's Instagram, “Laugh Now Cry Later” will appear on his forthcoming studio album, Certified Lover Boy.

 

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Laugh Now Cry Later off my next studio album CERTIFIED LOVER BOY 👌🏽 video link in bio

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Aug 13, 2020 at 9:02pm PDT

Drake’s last single, “Toosie Slide,” seemed tailored for the TikTok era and quickly shot to the top of the Billboard charts. “Laugh Now Cry Later” will likely make its way to the TikTok crowd, but the song offers a celebratory anthem perfect for the club, and other post-pandemic shenanigans.

Peep the music video below.

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Watch Ciara Celebrate Black Excellence In “Rooted” Video

Ciara connects to her roots and celebrates Black excellence in the music video for “Rooted.” Released on Thursday (Aug. 13), the up-tempo track, featuring Ester Dean, plays as a love letter to Blackness and a reminder that “everything you need to survive and thrive is rooted in you.”

The music video was filmed just two days before Cici gave birth to son, Win Wilson, and is the latest release under her record label, Beauty Marks Entertainment. A portion of the song’s proceeds will go to support Grantmakers for Girls of Color, a philanthropic organization “dedicated to cultivating investments in support of girls of color (Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Pacific American) in the United States.”

The inspiring music video ends with a note of motivation from Ciara, “To all my Young Rosa’s and Young Luther’s keep marching. Don’t stop fighting for what you believe in. To all my Black Queens and Kings, continue to plant and spread seeds of love, hope and pride in your tribe. Everything you need to survive and thrive is rooted in you. Stay rooted.”

Watch the music video for  “Rooted” below.

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Premiere: Beyoncé's 'Ladies First Tour' alum, SINGLTN, Releases New Video “Skin”

When your name is connected to the woman that proclaims 'Black Is King,' your productions have a high standard to live up to and R&B's SINGLTN is well on his way of doing just that. With the release of his newest video single, "Skin," the once model and performer on Beyoncé's "Ladies First Tour" in 2004, brings an early 90s pop appeal with his ode to lavishing the lady in his life. “I’m talking about real relationships. I’m part of the creative process from scratch," says the former background singer for Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson. "It’s a universal, but soulful sound that hopefully appeals to everybody.”

"Skin" also delves into that very "moment your girl walks out all dressed up and ready, and you’re like, ‘I’d rather go back inside and stay home with you, ya know?’” he slyly grins. Having these inner visions by SINGLTN comes from an intense inspiration of great writer, composer and performer Stevie Wonder. Earlier this year, SINGLTN released a heartstring pulling cover of Mr. Wonder's classic tune “Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer.” SINGLTN was challenged in taking on such a storied tune, but felt compelled to do so as, “Stevie was one of the artists that inspired me to sing,” he goes on. “I wanted to do a tribute paying homage to him and his legacy. For me 'Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer' is Stevie at his best.

On the other side of personal creations, SINGLTN shines on the loyalty ode "Congratulations." The single that dropped at the top of the year shows the young crooner's status of hanging up his playboy jersey, as he explains, “The player in me has moved on. I found who I want to be with, and I’m off the market.” Check the video below.

Knowing that the entertainment industry will expect a lot from his talent, SINGLTN is ready for the world and for them to hear his messages of love and life that are on the way with full projects and extended creativity, “I’m giving you who I am,” he leaves off. “There’s a message for sure. I want people to walk away realizing I’ve got something to say, and I’m saying it honestly and from the heart.”

Listen to more SINGLTN here.

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