Premiere: 'Rico Love Presents' Debuts Black Mirror-Inspired Visual For TXS's "Do Good"

Rico Love is shifting the spotlight from himself and onto emerging artists like TXS for the first installment of his series.

For well over a decade, Rico Love has consistently made stellar musical contributions to black music with a gold (and platinum) catalog of solo R&B hits and collaborations with an A-list line up of musicians like Beyoncé, Usher, French Montana, A$AP Rocky, and countless others. Now, the Grammy award-winning artist is striving to achieve his "ultimate goal" of paving the way for the next generation of talent through the first installment of his Rico Love Presents series, a visual for TXS’s (pronounced “Texas”) new single, “Do Good.”

“What I’m doing is I’m finding acts who I believe in. I admire DJ Khaled for his ear and ability to find perfect hits, but what I want to do in that sense is create the perfect record for an artist and put it under my platform and give them a chance to be seen and heard by the world. But it has to be exceptionally talented people. When I found TXS, I literally named her TXS, and I said, ‘You know what? We got to come up with something dope that’s authentic, real and defining.' I wrote the treatment for the video [and] came up with the visual concepts."

Directed by Parris Stewart, the eerily captivating video and its stylish display of seduction catch us off guard as the songstress appears donning a white swimsuit atop a matching white horse, symbolic of the "Lone Star State" itself. The all-white, macabre visual portrays how it really feels to witness and/or be a man experiencing ghastly (and very painful looking) methods of torture, both psychologically and physically.

Rico Love explains how the concept of "Do Good" was not only the physical manifestation of TXS's lyrics, but also drew inspiration from her home state of Texas and a Netflix original series, when displaying the track's most prominent themes.

“Basically, the name of TXS's project is Everything Is Bigger and I was playing off [the phrase] ‘Everything Is Bigger in Texas.’ I thought, what would be something that would represent the "Lone Star State?" And [then] I thought, a horse! I was inspired by the Netflix show Black Mirror and [I asked], 'how could we put somebody through the worst torture ever mentally with them not knowing whether or it's real or it's not?'" recalls the producer-songwriter.

"When you look at the visual and she shows up on this horse, you see the horse as this guy is getting tortured, but you never see her touching him because it's acknowledging his presence. It's a mental torture. What is she doing? Is this real, is this really happening or is this all a part of his imagination? Is he going to keep reliving this pain? The irony of it is the sting hurts too good. [She says] I don't care, I don't care. But her actions aren't there [she's] upset and furious. It's to play off the lyrics of the song and this creates something that I believe is artistic."

The visual masterfully captures the record's nonchalant, brooding tone and all too familiar themes of when a woman has finally hit her breaking point in a relationship. It brings to life what many women go through internally when they've finally called it quits with a fuccboi.

“The identity behind that record is me painting a picture of who I believe the artist TXS is. I build on her energy and try to create an ascetic, an ambiance, a scene, a plot. All of those things that makes for an incredible artist. I look at an artist, I study them. And then I say this is how I would interpret them," he explains. “So, the meaning and intention behind “Do Good” is just the attitude of a woman who says, "I’m sick of going back and forth. You know what, I hope you do good. I’m done, live your life, [just] do good.”

The "They Don't Know" hitmaker goes on to explain the purpose of the Rico Love Presents series as he reveals that he's never had the opportunity to break his own artist before, despite his own success as a producer and solo artist. And he's going about that by searching for the most talented rising artists across the country, developing a unique and well-made record and visual for them, and giving them a platform to share their talents with the world.

“With Rico Love Presents, [I'm] finding incredibly talented artists who I believe deserve a shot. One thing I've never been able to do is to break an artist and that's been my ultimate goal. I've had success as a songwriter and producer and even success as an artist, but I've never been able to break an artist. [I want] what Timbaland had with Aaliyah, what Pharrell had with Clipse and Kelis. I want to be able to have and develop artists, give them a foundation and an opportunity to be heard. Instead of me saying, 'Let me focus on this one artist,' let me create this platform and allow them a chance to be seen and heard and then let them go about their way. If they decide they want to learn under my tutelage, that's great. But if not, I did my part and introduced them to the world and give them the opportunity to move forward on their own."

TXS's latest project, Everything's Bigger is now available on SpotifyApple Music, and Tidal. Watch her alluring music video above from the Rico Love Presents series.

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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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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 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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