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Premiere: StarrZ & President Davo Roam Free In A Supermarket For '9 To 5' Visual

Last Squad Standing alum StarrZ is providing jams for the dreamers. 

Baltimore native StarrZ has a pretty strong idea about his direction in rap. His single "9 to 5" shows it as he and President Davo exchange bars about achieving their dreams. For the visual, the two decided to get a little creative by making a supermarket their playground.

Produced by Raeshad Beats, the track is all about living above the normal 9 to 5 work climate. StarrZ tells VIBE via email how the song was also inspired by the many women in his life.“What inspired this song was honestly being around hard-working people, whether it’s my mom, my best friend, or even my neighbor who all hate their jobs and are all trying to become more," StarrZ explains. "Bossing up and becoming whatever, they dreamed of because that’s what life is about. Ambitious Entrepreneurs all around the world will be able to play this loud and proud knowing they are working towards their life's purpose."

The video kicks off with StarrZ and Davo pulling up to the Giant grocery store to start their night shift. Things take a turned up twist as we watch the crew and their friends practically turn the store into a whole mini-club (and you'd do the same you'd have a whole grocery store to yourself too). "9 to 5"'s visual captures the pride enduring, yet black boy joy energy of the record and turns it into an eclectic celebration for making money moves.

StarrZ may ring a few bells. He was a constant on Oxygen's Lat Squad Standing, where he and other squads competed for $100,000. After he was eliminated, StarzZ took the loss and made it into a lesson. “I’ve grown to love this place and I love the people so it’s definitely a lot to deal with but at the end of the day, everybody gotta go home one day,” he somberly stated as he was eliminated. His team did go on to win the cash.

StarrZ also explained the concept of the celebratory record's video as he aimed to deliver something relatable, rather than going the cliched route.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhZthzqDuq5/

“The concept for this video was to make something that was very relatable," he explained. "We could have easily made a video flashing money and jewelry with beautiful women popping bottles at some club but it was bigger than that for me. This song is an anthem for all people who hate their 9-5 and want to boss up. So, I wanted to show us in that same setting. Working a 9-5. and what better visual than a Super Market."

Check out the fun video treatment for "9 To 5" below.

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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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Photo Rob

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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Brasstracks

Brasstracks Are Just Fine In "I'm Alright" Feat. R.LUM.R

Playing with the jazz influences that brought them together, the Brasstracks collective have struck gold with "I'm Alright," featuring R LUM.R the second single from their forthcoming EP, Before We Go.

Built on the foundations of the hard-hitting horns and rhythmic drum beats, their newest single is an upbeat ballad touching on rejections and self-respect in toxic relationships. Mastered by Ivan Jackson, the group's trumpet player, and drummer Conor Rayne, the song's production is coupled with the sultry voice of singer, songwriter and guitarist R.LUM.R.

Like many of the New York City duo's music, Brasstracks finds a clever way to work in the horn and drum signatures that keep them outside the box. Though Jackson and Rayne are a newer musical act, they are by no means new to the business. The two-man-band has earned a Grammy for their work on Chance The Rapper's "No Problems (featuring Lil Wayne)," and appeared alongside Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson on Saturday Night Live.

Brasstracks is sure to impress with their eclectic, jazz-inspired electric dance music. Check out their new single "I'm Alright" below.

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