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The-Dream Breaks Down Debut Album 'Love Hate' for 10-Year Anniversary

The-Dream talks to Billboard about his classic albu. 

On December 11, 2007, Terius “The-Dream” Nash released his groundbreaking solo debut Love Hate. It’d be the chapter closer for a landmark year, which saw hip-hop and R&B formulating into the sound and culture that we know it as today.

After years of penning for the likes of B2K and Britney Spears, the Atlanta songwriter’s big break came in 2007 — with the help of a couple “ella’s.” The alluring hook of Rihanna’s No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 smash “Umbrella” not only changed her career, but The-Dream’s as well. With the added success of J. Holiday’s No. 5 peaking debut single “Bed,” The-Dream decided to transition into a singing act.

“I felt like I needed to take full advantage of where I was at that time in my career,” the singer tells Billboard. “I didn’t want to wait for Usher, Chris Brown, Beyoncé, or Rihanna to sing my songs. I just felt like I needed to showcase what I did beyond artists at that particular point.”

Enlisting the help of his frequent collaborators and “brothers” Christopher “Tricky” Stewart and Carlos “Los Da Mystro” McKinney, The-Dream would assemble contemporary R&B’s answer to Prince’s most sensual slow grooves. The 12-track LP — fully titled Love Me All Summer, Hate Me All Winter — received its name based on the “in’s and out’s of life,” the good versus bad in people, and “how everything [relates] to a carnival.”

The self-proclaimed (and proven) “Radio Killa” went in depth about all three classic singles and a few fan-favorite deep cuts from Love Hate.

"Shawty Is Da Shit (Shawty Is a Ten)" feat. Fabolous

The album’s keyboard- and snapping -illed opener salutes women with dime appeals. The debut single — featuring an iconic acronym from Fabolous — would reach the Top 20 of the Hot 100.

The-Dream: I hit my friend Carlos McKinney up, “Yo give me one of these!” He gave me the track. I [asked myself], “Alright what do I need to do or say to these beautiful women out here, and the people that are feeling great?” At the end of the day, “Shawty Is a Ten” is what it was. It’s like the perfect clean version. It just so happens to fall into place and I was like, “Thank God!” I couldn't believe it. And the rest is history on that record. It was my first record and the one that made me decide to have a career in the music business as an artist.

Billboard: Were you in the studio when Fabolous recorded his “sugar honey iced tea” punchline?

The-Dream: I was not! But I was elated when that shit came back! I was happy as fuck! I was like, “Wow, I have the best Fab verse period!”

"Falsetto"


The album’s epicenter which finds The-Dream hitting high “ooo’s” and “ah’s” throughout. As the second single, it reached the Top 30 of the Hot 100.

The-Dream: I just wanted to have a record with that R&B vibe and a big guitar solo in it. It reminded me of the '90’s. I knew that nobody knew what “Falsetto” was and that was just a play on words. Still to this day people are like, “What’s Falsetto?” and I respond, “It actually is what it says.” It was great that the song educated so many people that listen to music -- and that actually do make love. So for me, it’s a purely educational song. It was a pretty dope one on my part -- I have to at least pat myself on the back.

"I Luv Your Girl"


With a light 808-thump and another catchy hook filled with cruising vowels, the song became an anthem for all “Mr. Steal Your Girl”s. As the set's third single in 2008, the song included a Jeezy remix and reached the Top 20.

The-Dream: “I Luv Your Girl” was one of those bold statements — you’re thinking it, but you better not fucking say it. You better not say it! I just wanted to remind the world that this is going on. When you have something beautiful around you, even when you’re not acting on it, that’s what’s going on. So I wanted to say that shit -- at the time, R&B guys didn’t want to say things in that nature. So I just wanted to make sure I coined it for myself. I did it on purpose.

That was the last record we did... It wasn’t officially on the main album at first. L.A. Reid asked me to do one more record, and thank God I don’t have an ego when it comes to doing another record. We were able to work that in the end, which is why Jeezy’s verse is on the remix and not the album. That was just a bold statement coming from an R&B guy that was fresh out the box. I’m sure a lot of people got beat up in the club after that record.

Continue reading this story at Billboard.

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Ella Mai Puts The Ball In Your Court With "Shot Clock" Visuals

Kobe, KD, Kyrie, how about Ella Mai?

Marking her third official single from her self-titled debut album, the 24-year-old dropped a new video from her charting project, bringing "Shot Clock" to life in her B-ball themed clip.

The Colin Tilley directed visual captures the essence of the young singer, framing her unique style and iridescent vocal abilities. The clip captures the various parts of Mai's magnetic energy, as she stars in her own thematic love story.

The two-time Grammy nominee goes through the many downs that occur in relationships while the red beams of shot clock shine in the background slowly reaching zero, a neon indicator of her lessening patience, the singer finds herself alone.

This visual was released in the midst of the "Boo'd Up" songstress' first debut tour currently venturing through the United States and Parts of Europe. Check out the tour dates below to see if R&B's new golden child is coming to a city near you and watch her video for "Shot Clock" above.

THE DEBUT TOUR

Jan 18 – Berlin, DE- Festsaal Kreuzberg Jan 20 – Hamburg, DE- Grosse Freiheit Jan 21 – Copenhagen, DK – Vega Main Hall Jan 22 – Stockholm, SE - Berns Jan 24 – Oslo, NO – Rockefeller Music Hall Feb 12 - Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom Feb 14 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo Feb 15 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom Feb 17 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades Feb 19 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater Feb 20 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst Feb 22 – Phoenix, AZ – The Marquee Feb 23 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues Feb 25 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre Feb 27 – Lawrence, KS – The Granada Feb 28 – Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theater Mar 2 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s Hall Mar 3 – Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall Mar 5 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues Mar 6 – Toronto, ON – The Danforth Mar 7 – Montreal, QC – Club Soda Mar 9 – Boston, MA - Royale Mar 11 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel Mar 13 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts Mar 15 – Silver Spring, M.D. – The Fillmore Silver Spring Mar 16 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Sound Stage Mar 19 – Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle Mar 20 – Orlando, FL – The Plaza Live Mar 21 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Revolution Live Mar 24 – Houston, TX – House of Blues Mar 26 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues Mar 27 – Austin, TX – Emo’s Mar 28 – San Antonio, TX – The Aztec Theatre

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Smif N Wessun

9th Wonder Talks Collabo Album With Smif N Wessun And The Soul Council

A few weeks fresh off the 23rd anniversary of their classic debut album, Da Shinin', Brooklyn duo Smif N Wessun (Steele and Tek) have released the video for the soul smacking single, "Testify" produced by Khrysis, off their newest album, The All. The project, produced entirely by Grammy-nominated producer 9th Wonder and his Soul Council team, brings the hardcore feel of SNW's best work to the forefront.

“9th Wonder and the Soul Council provide the perfect backdrop for Tek and I to deliver heartfelt lyrical content,” Steele reveals directly. “It’s a true tale of ups and downs, wins and losses, growth and acceptance. It speaks to the hearts and minds of all people; particularly our followers and fans of all ages and ethnicities.”

When artists who rep a certain quality sector of hip-hop music resurface to offer newness to an audience, the longtime fans are looking to bring that old thing back while looking to reflect and push forward at the same time.

"'Testify' is a realistic reflective look back on our accomplishments and failures throughout our career and serves as a precursor to what you will experience on The All,” Steele continues. "This project is a reality check for SNW, one that reflects the struggles and obstacles that we’ve had to endure to survive at the level we occupy in the hip-hop arena."

9th Wonder took the project on as a lover of the group, "My goal is to make sure that we cement the legacy of the artist, but at the same time update the artist. We came up with the concept of  The All (based on a speech from Louis Farrakhan), you can never underestimate the essence of Islam in Hip-Hop. Given the fact that SNW are both Muslim and so many others are as well, we couldn't forget that part."

Going into new chambers of living is needed when you have been recording albums for over 20 years. 9th explains, "we wanted them to talk about stuff they wouldn't normally talk about on records, as they are in a different point in their lives, very grown man. It gives something to our generation to listen to, appreciate and celebrate without feeling old, without feeling outdated. We also wanted to let them know, the legends can still do it."

As the word legend gets thrown around a lot, it's not a far off title for the duo of Tek and Steele. "Some bestow the 'legend' tag upon us (we are very appreciative of that)," says Steele. "And we are chronicling that journey throughout the album.”

The full project will be dropping on February 22nd, 2019 on Duck Down Records. You can pre-order the album here and group merch here.

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Premiere: Duck Down Records' Smif-N-Wessun Returns With Khrysis-Produced 'Testify'

It's been nearly 25 years to the day since their classic debut Dah Shinin' impacted in January 1995, but legendary Brooklyn duo Smif-N-Wessun is still representing the culture with authority and authenticity. "Testify," the premiere music video from their upcoming album The All, adds another notch to their storied catalogs.

"Testify" begins with old photos of group members Tek and Steele in their 90s heyday, but they don't spend much time there before getting busy with present day rhymes. Over a backdrop from Khrysis, the Duck Down Records duo confidently announces their return while solidifying their legendary pedigree. The song gives a short but sweet taste from The All, their upcoming album produced entirely by 9th Wonder and the Soul Council.

“9th Wonder and the Soul Council provide the perfect backdrop for Tek and I to deliver heartfelt lyrical content,” Steele told VIBE. “It’s a true tale of ups and downs, wins and losses, growth and acceptance. It speaks to the hearts and minds of ALL people; particularly our followers and fans of ALL ages and ethnicities.”

‘Testify” is a realistic reflective look back on our accomplishments and failures throughout our career and serves as a precursor to what you will experience on The All,” Steele continued. "This project is a reality check for SNW, one that reflects the struggles and obstacles that we’ve had to endure to survive at the level we occupy in the hip-hop arena. Some, bestow the “Legend” tag upon us (we are very appreciative of that) and we are chronicling that journey throughout the album.”

The All is scheduled for a February 22, 2019 release on Duck Down Records, and is available for pre-order.

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