jeezy-tidal-concert-vibe--1513888954

Jeezy Went Back To The Traps Of The ATL During 'TIDAL X: Jeezy' Show

Can't ban the Snowman. 

Following the release of his highly anticipated album, Pressure, veteran MC, Jeezy, joined forces with 'TIDAL' for an exclusive live-streamed concert in front of his home crowd of Atlanta last night (Dec 20).

The live show titled, 'TIDAL X: Jeezy,' found Jeezy running through songs from his new album as well as classic tracks such as the Shawty Red-produced, "Who Dat" and the charged-up banger, "Bottom of the Map." The Snowman even took time out to pay homage to the late ATL rapper, Shawty Lo was passed in a crash in 2016.

One time for Shawty LO ...”hope out that pretty mf like hellooooo!!”

A post shared by Larry Compton (@nuface) on

Stream the show below by clicking here.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Kadeem Cobham

A$AP Rocky Returns To New York, Brings Out 50 Cent And Swae Lee At Rolling Loud

A$AP Rocky is late. At any other rap show, this would annoy people who waited hours standing in cramped spaces to see their favorite artist perform. At Citi Field in Queens – the home of the first edition of Rolling Loud in New York, a two-day hip-hop festival held this past weekend (Oct. 12-13) – it becomes a game time decision on how you want to end your night. As flocks of attendees made their way to the Fashion Nova Stage, you can already hear Lil Uzi Vert performing at the nearby Dryp Stage. Rocky fans who secured a spot at the guard rails next to me kept looking back, maybe contemplating giving up their position to rage with Lil Uzi. Wisely, they stay.

About 10 minutes have gone by since Rocky’s scheduled 9:00 p.m. performance, and it's starting to feel like this is all on purpose, to build a dramatic opening for the Babushka Boi, who finally returns home after a highly-publicized stint in a Swedish jail for allegedly attacking two men outside of a hamburger restaurant in central Stockholm over the summer.

Suddenly, without warning, someone screams “yeahhhh!” in the mic. That same person wearing a red puffy coat runs through center stage, screaming “yeahhhh!” again before returning to the main stage. Backed by a sizeable group wearing white Testing-esque ski masks, the wait is over. Get ready to mosh because Rocky is here.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Thank you for a great close to night two Flacko! @asaprocky 🎥 @evanhammerman

A post shared by Rolling Loud (@rollingloud) on Oct 13, 2019 at 9:47pm PDT

For New Yorkers, A$AP Rocky has created plenty of hometown moments in his rap career. Depending on your age, you were probably there when he and the A$AP Mob invaded Santos Party House in 2011 to do a defiant performance of “Pesos.” Or in 2012 when he brought his Long. Live. A$AP Tour to Roseland Ballroom with some help from his good friends ScHoolboy Q and Danny Brown. The inaugural Yams Day, initially held at Terminal 5 in 2016, has become an institution for the Harlem crew, promising a lifetime of homages to the late A$AP Yams by holding one every year, to increasingly bigger crowds and venues.

Rocky at Rolling Loud wasn’t just another Rocky show. It had more significance. Technically, Rocky already had his big U.S. comeback when he hit the stage at Real Street Festival in Anaheim, California on Aug. 11, telling the crowd, “I just want to say what I experienced was so crazy. I'm so happy to be here right now. That was a scary, humbling experience but I'm here right now. God is good.” He was later found guilty by a Swedish court but avoided further jail time.

No, this was different because Rocky came back to where it all began. The imagery of Testing, his latest album released in May of last year, was in full effect – the crash test dummies aesthetic, the smiley faces, the vehicles hanging on the rafters like ceiling fans. After sending his squad to stage dive, Rocky took off the fall appropriate outerwear, dressed in a Rick Owens long sleeve and all-white mid Uptowns, to keep the party going. “Praise the Lord,” “Telephone Calls,” and “Babushka Boi” already had this crowd wanting more turn up.

Rocky was in the zone. He took to the skies, standing on the hood of one of his suspended cars to rap “Gunz N Butter” and “OG Beeper.” As it lowered to the ground, he followed with a freestyle filled with that Pretty Flacko talk: “Look at me, get what you see, envision me/Brazen chains, is he Pusha-T or Mr. T?”

“We in fucking New York City right now,” he said after. “This is the home of the A$AP Mob, are you shitting me?”

Our first special guest: A$AP Ferg.

The pair have one of the best chemistries in hip-hop, shown in their buddy-buddy attitude and how seamlessly they work off one another. No matter how many times you’ve heard “Plain Jane” and “Work,” the songs still go off. When these come on, New York definitely doesn’t know how to be quiet.

“Ferg, you crazy if you think I’ma let you leave. You’re crazy,” Rocky said.

“Welcome home, Flacko!” Ferg replied, continuing with “Floor Seats.”

Ferg gave a special shout to day-one fans who have been with the Mob since their early singles, listing “Peso,” “Purple Swag,” “Get High,” and “Shabba.” Later, after Rocky brought out AWGE affiliates Smooky Margielaa and G4 Boyz, he playfully nodded to having no type after showing off his collection of bras he got from women who threw theirs on stage earlier. It was a tongue-in-cheek lead-in to the second major guest, Swae Lee, who performed “No Type” to the surprise of many. Rocky, who continued to hold his bras with delicate care, likened tonight’s show as a hip-hop Woodstock and he, the rock star.

“I don’t know about y’all, but when it comes to this New York City shit, this shit shaped and changed my whole fucking life,” he said, explaining how much he respects the OGs that came before him.

Born and raised in Harlem, Rocky started off with The Diplomats’ “Dipset Anthem,” with Juelz Santana’s verse causing a ruckus. Rocky wanted to move on to play more legendary New York classics, but his DJ, Lou Banga, threw off the vibe by accidentally playing songs by Bobby Shmurda and Pop Smoke. Modern classics, sure, but Rocky emphasized “legendary New York shit” from Queens.

Our third and final special guest: 50 Cent.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

First year in New York was legendary. @asaprocky @50cent

A post shared by Rolling Loud (@rollingloud) on Oct 14, 2019 at 6:48am PDT

Fif came out to “What Up Gangsta” with Rocky as his hypeman, rapping lines from the song like he was a youth again. It was two generations from two different boroughs reuniting in Queens, where 50 is actually from. Despite hiccups by the NYPD with preemptive cancellations of performances by Pop Smoke, Casanova, 22Gz, Sheff G and Don Q, this was a positive moment for the city and showed two rap eras can coexist. No rap beefs, no violence. Just good energy to help put the city on the map.

Fif stuck around to run through more hits such as “I Get Money” and “Big Rich Town,” but not after asking the audience if they watched Power. Clever promotion from hip-hop’s savvy businessman.

While the show was supposed to end at 10 p.m., Rocky was down to get lit until past curfew. He called on the A$AP Mob for a brief moment of silence for Yams before getting into “Yamborghini High.” Ferg, A$AP Illz, A$AP Twelvyy, and A$AP Nast all appeared to show love to Eastside Stevie.

“My n***a was a New York vet and at the end of the day, his whole vibe was just making sure everybody ate,” Rocky said. “Yams was a good-hearted n***a, trying to put n***as on…He was a good one. We lost a real one.”

The tribute only made the Mob’s performance of “Yamborghini High” that much more meaningful. Rocky and his crew could’ve left Rolling Loud fans with that. But they had one more thing in store, even after the fireworks went off and lights in the parking lot went on.

Tariq Cherif, one of the co-founders of Rolling Loud, presented Rocky with a Rolling Loud chain. After Sunday’s lineup featuring stars like A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Lil Tecca, and Young Thug, to give Rocky a chaining day in New York is how you end on a high note. His last song, “Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2,” and it's opening lyrics couldn’t have been more perfect.

“Who the jiggy nigga with the gold links?”

Continue Reading
Rich Fury

‘Jesus Is King’ Is Kanye West’s Attempt To Get Right With God

Less than two hours have passed since I received confirmation that I somehow scored tickets to Kanye West’s Jesus Is King NYC listening session. You know, the album that was supposed to drop last Friday? It’s now Sunday, and this session seems to be the only guaranteed way to hear the album.

I scroll through Twitter to see if copping the free tickets was just that easy. I’m especially curious, given the vocal pushback against Kanye over the past year and a half, by a slew of his now-former fans who took issue with his seemingly newfound, conservative opinions.

But I see a frenzy on my timeline, courtesy of the unofficial Ye documentarians behind @KanyePodcast, of other people still clamoring to get tickets. Many of the passes were snapped up by scalpers, who were selling them for as much as $150 each, if not more.

It’s a shame, but it’s the name of the game. Especially for any event involving Kanye West.

After throwing on the nearest clean outfit, I hop on the train to head to the venue, United Palace, in Washington Heights; it doesn’t take long to find other people who are, too. They’re wearing Yeezys. And they can’t stop chattering.

As the stops come, one after another, more Yeezys board the subway car. Most of them are pristine, but some—the cream white and butter 350s, in particular—are just impossible to keep clean. In a lot of ways, they reflect their creator: they’re ostentatious, but in the simplest way. And, try as you might, you can’t get them back to the way they used to be once the façade has been stained. You just have to accept their current state, and press on.

An hour-plus journey later, I get off the train and follow the sea of Yeezys for the three-minute walk to the venue. Once inside the theater—30 minutes after doors open, and an hour and a half after standing in line—my phone is placed inside a locked bag and given back to me. Thankfully, I have two McDonald’s napkins and a pen in my purse to take notes.

I rush through the ornate and stately United Palace, which doubles as a non-profit cultural/performing arts center and church, and pass by merch stands. I only have time to briefly examine the set-up, but my eyes bug out of my head when I get a glimpse of what Ye is selling: Jesus Is King hoodies for $140. You read that right. One hundred and forty buckaroos.

Several failed attempts to grab a seat later, I finally find one near the back of the space, on the lower floor. No more than a minute later, the crowd collectively jumps to its feet and begins chanting “Yeezy! Yeezy!”

“All rise,” I think to myself, “for the Honorable Kanye West.”

I take a look around to get a better idea about who still counts themselves among Kanye’s diehard fans. Social media would indicate that his recent events cater mostly to white audiences. “Kanye gentrified his own fan base,” Bronx comedian Desus Nice tweeted Saturday. But here, it’s a completely mixed experience. To my immediate left is an Asian couple; to my right, two white men (who don’t clap for anything, all night). Behind me is a Hispanic couple, and in front of me are two young black women, wearing matching black-on-black Jesus Is King sweatshirts.

The event begins with a brief hello from the 42-year-old Chicago rapper, but I can’t see him because so many people are standing on their seats, trying to get a better look at the man who provided them with a soundtrack to their lives. It’s equally treacly and touching.

After greeting us, Kanye introduces two films: the first is about five minutes long, about the making of Jesus Is King. When the clip rolls, tiny silhouettes grace the wings of the dark stage. Even from the back of the venue, I can make out Saint and North West, dancing and clapping along with their father’s take on worship music. As the night progresses, North edges closer and closer to center stage, wanting to be applauded and seen just as much as Ye.

In both the short film and in an approximately 15-minute preview of the Jesus Is King IMAX documentary, Kanye places an immense focus on his choir. In a stirring moment, the singers flip his moody 808s & Heartbreak cut, “Say You Will,” into one of their signature Christ-focused covers: “Savor His Grace; it’s in His will.”

There are powerful moments aplenty, including close-ups on beautiful black women shedding tears while praising God; women who remind me of my own sister, who sings in a choir back home in Texas. But the energy in this room is conflicting. People who likely have never set foot in a black church are leaping up and “testifying” in a way that looks hauntingly familiar, but contrived. Studied. It looks like a lot of pretending.

Thankfully, I don’t have to wallow for long in my shadiness. Kanye takes his position in front of the stage, MPC at the ready, and begins the show we’ve all been waiting for.

The first track he plays, “Up From the Ashes,” bounces like a track Chance would have put on Coloring Book. “I come to You empty, free of my pride,” Ye vocalizes over gentle, minimal production. Everyone stays tame and in their seats, enjoying the moment but waiting for the next song.

The second Kanye presses play on the next track, “Follow God,” a few stans pop out of their seats, almost like synchronized jack-in-the-boxes. At this moment, Kanye tells us he needs us all to stand up. Of course, most of the audience thought that meant to storm the aisles, climb over seats, and hop onstage with Ye. I can honestly 1000% understand why this was the song that moved him to move us: driven by a soul sample, which I can’t yet put my finger on, it brings to mind Kanye’s 2011 collaboration with Jay-Z, “Otis.”

Three tracks into the album (“On God”), two things become abundantly clear: 1) Kanye did not have permission to tell his fans to break venue protocol and rush to the stage; and 2) Jesus Is King has a peculiar pattern—there’s no distinct sound that travels from one song to the next.

After security does its best to restabilize United Palace, Kanye continues to play “On God.” A vast change from the tracks before it, “On God” veers more toward electronic than gospel or hip-hop.

“Sunday,” on the other hand, is guitar-driven and brooding. On top of that, it has a witty hook: “Closed on Sunday, you like Chick-fil-A… Follow Jesus, listen now—obey.” Ye is feeling this one so he runs it back again, so his fans can get the “Chick-fil-A” line down. And they do.

A more experimental track follows “Sunday”: “Water.” It immediately reminds me of both Frank Ocean and Imogen Heap; it’s evocative, warbling, and tender, and there are countless moving parts. All I can think is: I would much rather hear this, than hear Ye rap about bleached assholes.

You might recall this tainted subject from Ye’s opening bars on “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” off of 2016’s The Life of Pablo. It was particularly jarring to hear after “Ultralight Beam” at the start of the project, which Kanye explained would be “a gospel album with a whole lot of cursing on it.”

It’s almost like Kanye is now bending over backwards to make up for his TLOP gospel album pump fake. On “Selah,” track six, the song is overpowered by organs and what sounds like irreverent yelling, but is likely just Ye’s way of worshipping. He doubles down IRL at the end, with what can only be described as a series of Howard Dean screams.

“New Body,” the only song that’s been heard by the public (via leaks), sounds downright terrible in this venue. The speakers at the front of the space and the soundstage in back, near me, just aren’t aligning. (The drums, my God, the drums.) I wait patiently for the next song, which I think Ye calls “Ugliest Nightmare”; that title is not on the latest version of the tracklist posted by Kim Kardashian West, but it seems to match up with “LA Monster”: “Everyone is saying they woke, but they sleep,” Ye raps. “Walking dead, eyes closed.”

Kanye plays one of the most moving tracks on Jesus Is King penultimately: “Hands On,” featuring revered gospel musician Fred Hammond. “Tell the devil that I’m going on strike,” Ye announces. “I been working for him my whole life.” He gets even more honest later in the song: “‘What are you hearing from the Christians?’ They’ll be the first ones to judge me. Make me feel like nobody love me.” This made it very clear, to me, that Kanye is aware of the conversations happening around him, whether he chooses to engage or not.

The final track of the night is “Use This Gospel,” featuring No Malice, Pusha-T, and Kenny G. Before Ye can play the track in full, the NYPD enters and shines its light of authority down the aisles, announcing the concert is over. We’re effectively being shut down, but Kanye pushes through and has the crowd sing and hum with him until the end. “Use this gospel for protection,” Ye advises in song. “It’s a hard road to heaven.”

To be frank, Jesus Is King doesn’t compare to hardly any of Kanye’s previous works. The one thing it does have in common, with The Life of Pablo and ye, is that Kanye is reportedly still making adjustments to the project, beyond the final countdown. The production itself could hypothetically be tinkered with endlessly, and a reported Nicki Minaj verse could pop up. But Ye’s bars feel locked into place: simple, unpretentious worship. It sounds like he’s learning how to rap all over again, complete with figurative training wheels. You know how on Showtime at the Apollo, if a kid sings “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” badly, the audience still can’t boo them because it’s a song about God? Same thing.

But, Kanye has retained a lot of the elements that we know and love/d him for: the explorative production, the augmented, autotuned vocals, and perhaps most of all, his enthusiasm. A lot of the things that we love about Kanye are still there. It just so happens that this time, he’s backed by a choir, singing straight to Jesus.

Kanye is trying to do something revolutionary—he’s pivoting in real time from a flippant, sex-obsessed rapper, to a focused man of God, both in purpose and on wax. This has happened before: the late Bushwick Bill, DMX, and the aforementioned No Malice are just a few MCs who turned their lives over to Christ and dedicated their careers to praising Him. But none of them have the platform, or staying power, that Kanye holds.

On the ride home after the listening session, the subway cars fill with Yeezys, yet again. About halfway to Brooklyn, a young white man startlingly yells out, “Hey! Somebody AirDrop that Kanye!” A few folks laugh, but the force field of Ye’s energy has waned by this point. The event lasted an exact hour, leading me to speculate that people were left wanting more; especially fans who are used to his bombastic, elaborate performances.

Still, Kanye’s fans on the subway genuinely describe the event as “fire” and “crazy.” At this level of fandom, they probably don’t care what the album is even about: they’re just buying into the brand of Kanye West. His stans are always going to show up. They will always buy his merch, by the bag—even if it’s connected to a religion they don’t believe in, yet.

In all fairness, Kanye is a legend. Despite his polarizing comments over the past year and a half, he has accomplished things in his roughly two-decade-long career that many would take several lifetimes to complete. He will likely never be “canceled.” His works are woven too tightly into the stitching of our musical tastes and more importantly, our memories.

I get off at my stop, happy to finally be free to think to myself about what exactly just happened, and what this might mean for Ye’s future success. As I walk out of the subway station, a lasting moment is imprinted in my brain: before sharing the album, Kanye asked the audience to praise Jesus with him. His request was met with a smattering of half-hearted applause.

Continue Reading
Andy Kropa

Ta-Nehisi Coates Adds New Voice To Slavery With Debut Novel 'The Water Dancer’

Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates has been hailed by Maya Angelou as the writer who has filled the void left open by the late James Baldwin, providing a critical, piercing, and brilliantly logical voice that analyzes a crooked American system.

Whether Coates intended to or not, the award-winning writer has met the calling as one of this generation’s intellectual leaders. His first three works – The Beautiful Struggle, a memoir detailing Coates love for hip-hop, and navigating his awkward teenage years of masculinity; Between the World and Me, a Baldwin-inspired letter to his son, which won a National Book Award; and We Were Eight Years in Power, a collection of essays in which Coates analyzes race and argues that Donald Trump’s election was an attempt to erase the traces of a Black president– along with his columns at The Atlantic--were nothing short of trailblazing.

Considering his success as an author and former journalist, one would think that Coates writes without the burden of insecurities. But that’s not the case. During the ten years of writing his debut novel, The Water Dancer, a story about a slave named Hiram Walker who has a photographic memory, Coates had reservations about releasing the book after fellow award-winning author Colson Whitehead won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction and a National Book Award for The Underground Railroad.

“I expressed my concerns to my editor, but he told me that I was in good hands,” Coates explained to Oprah Winfrey last night (Sept. 23) during an interview at Harlem's Apollo Theatre. “There’s room for other voices about slavery,” Coates said to Winfrey.

While The Water Dancer is about Walker’s experience navigating the Underground Railroad network of routes and safe houses for runaway slaves, Whitehead's work is about an actual railroad that is underground.

The Water Dancer takes place on a tobacco plantation in Virginia. Coates explained to Winfrey that he visited Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello Plantation as well as plantations in Georgia and other parts of the Deep South to help him better understand the daily life of a slave.

Coates writes The Water Dancer as if he’s an actual plantation tourist guide. Walker’s journey through wooded areas is filled with anxiety. He's actually captured a few times throughout the book. In Coates’ other works, his writing is layered like a verse by Jay-Z, who Coates often references in We Were Eight Years in Power. Here, Coates is more straightforward, which surprisingly doesn’t take away from his creativity. The candidness and cleverness that packs The Water Dancer is reminiscent of Coates comic book writing.

Walker, who is the narrator of The Water Dancer, is born into slavery, and lost his mother after she was sold at a slave auction. In Coates’ essay A Case for Reparations, he writes, "blacks were herded into the sights of unscrupulous lenders who took them for money and sport.” Here, Walker's photographic memory is used to amuse the guests of his slave master, who Walker discovers is his father.

The novel’s protagonist, as Coates intended to do, is a special black man. Walker knew of his special powers early in life. “By the time I was five I could, having only heard it once, holler out a work song, its calls and responses, and to that add my own improvisations, all to the wide-eyed delight of my elders.”

He continues: “I was a strange child. I talked before I walked, through I never talked much, because more than anything, I watched and remembered.”

Coates also plays with fun historical references. When Walker finally experiences freedom as a black man in Philadelphia, he enjoys eating gingerbread. This is a direct reference to Booker T. Washington’s autobiography Up From Slavery, where Washington writes how he wished to eat ginger-cakes as a free man.

While Coates may have had reservations about penning a book about slavery after the publication of Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, The Water Dancer stands alone in the fact that this book doesn’t dwell on the brutalities of slavery. Instead, Coates uses his voice to focus on the magical, mental powers of a black man--sort of like he does when writing his Black Panther comic strips. While The Water Dancer is candid, Coates does add an unexamined layer of mental acuity to the story of slavery.

Continue Reading

Top Stories