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Dru Hill Adds R&B Veterans Playa To Group, Announce New Album: Exclusive

The nayhoos are about to be off the charts. 

R&B mainstays Dru Hill are extending its roster in a major way with the addition of fellow soul group Playa just in time for their forthcoming album, The Second Coming.

Jawann “Smoke” Peacock and Benjamin “Black” Bush have joined the group on the heels of the departure of Larry “Jazz” Anthony. The group, still sharing the stage name of Dru Hill will now be comprised of Smoke, Black,  Tamir "Nokio” Ruffin, Mark “Sisqo” Andrews and Antwuan “Tao” Simpson as Jazz focuses on his career as a solo artist.

Playa came into fruition in the early 90s with the help of Jodeci's Devante Swing. The late producer Static Major was also apart of the group, who worked closely with Timbaland to release their stand out track, "Cheers 2 U." The song spent 17 weeks on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop charts in 1998.

In a statement to VIBE, the group shared their excitement of what's to come along with their long-standing brotherhood.

“While Jazz is working on solo endeavors, it only made sense to come together with our brothers,” they said. “Not many people know this, but we met way back in 1998 when we all played the Ladies Night Out tour and Playa was a trio. We’ve been family ever since. When we stepped on that stage with Dru Hill for the first time this year, it was instant magic. We knew right away that this was where we all belonged.”

When it comes to their newfound union, Smoke explained how they plan to blend their unique flavor of R&B and soul.

"We are bringing our churchy, soulful vocals— which is the foundation of Playa’s legacy— and adding them to the legacy of Dru Hill," Smoke tells VIBE. "I feel like we bring a whole other concept of harmonies and melodies to the table. And not only that, we’re writers, producers, and arrangers. The vocals that Aaliyah came within the 90s, the overall feel of Drake’s Take Care album, we were a big part of making that happen and we’re only going to keep innovating with Dru Hill on this next project. For me, The Second Coming is definitely the resurrection of real R&B. Fans should get ready because as of this fall, R&B is no longer dead."

Their first performance as the supergroup will kick off Saturday (Aug. 11) at the AFRAM Festival in Baltimore which will also feature Ella Mai and Jacquees. It's also the first time ever Dru Hill will perform in Druid Hill Park, where they famously got their name.

READ MORE: 20 Years Later: A Definitive Ranking Of Dru Hill’s Soulful Debut Album

R&B supergroups have been a winning formula for the genre. Some notable supergroups include LSG comprised of the late Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat, and New Edition's Johnny Gill. There's also the infamous TGT which included Tyrese, Ginuwine, and Tank. The elusive Lucy Pearl that featured Raphael Saadiq, A Tribe Called Quest's Ali Shaheed Muhammad and former EnVouge songstress Dawn Robinson kept the trend fresh.

The Second Coming will be released under their own label, Dru Hill Entertainment this fall. The project is produced by Grammy-winning writer and producer Troy Taylor of Songbook Entertainment. Known for his work with Boyz II Men, Mary J. Blige, and B2K, he helped curate the career of Trey Songz and most recently, R&B newcomer Kevin Ross.

Dru Hill's previous release under their label was the critically acclaimed holiday EP, Christmas in Baltimore in 2017.

With R&B more defiant than ever, the supergroup is bound to bring all the nayhoos we've been craving.

READ MORE: Aaliyah Week: An Ode To Static Major, The Pen Behind Aaliyah’s Self-Titled Album

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Bryson Tiller Announces Deluxe Edition Of ‘Trapsoul’ Debut

Ahead of the release of his highly anticipated new album, Bryson Tiller is giving fans another chance to fall deeper in love with Trapsoul. The Grammy-nominated singer announced that he will be releasing a deluxe version of his debut album to streaming service this Friday (Sept. 25).

The deluxe edition will feature fan favorites “Just Another Interlude” and “Self Righteous,” Tiller tweeted on Tuesday (Sept. 22). “Before we get into my new album, I wanna celebrate with this special edition of my debut album, 'Trapsoul.' Featuring a few songs that didn’t quite make the cut.”

before we get into my new album, I wanna celebrate with this special edition of my debut album, Trapsoul. Featuring a few songs that didn’t quite make the cut. Y’all asked for these on All Platforms and they’ll finally be yours this Friday. thank you! pic.twitter.com/8MJ5rC5jYB

— tiller (@brysontiller) September 23, 2020

Released in 2015, Tiller’s debut album put him on the map, and earned a Billboard Music Awards nomination for Top R&B Album. The triple platinum release, lead single “Don’t” cracked the Top 20 on the Billboard singles charts becoming his highest charting solo effort to date.

Earlier in the month, Tiller released the music video for his song “Inhale” which samples Mary J. Blige’s “Not Gon' Cry.” The end of the video reveals that Tiller’s new album will drop sometime this fall.

Watch “Inhale” below.

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Judge Sides With Nicki Minaj In Tracy Chapman Court Battle

A judge has sided with Nicki Minaj in her legal dispute with Tracy Chapman. U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips ruled that Minaj’s song “Sorry” falls under the “fair use” and not copyright infringement as Chapman claimed, Variety reports.

Minaj was reportedly unaware that her song, “Sorry,” featured lyrics and a bit of the melody from Chapman’s 1988 track, “Baby Can I Hold You” when it was recorded. She  reached out to Chapman to get permission to use the song but was ultimately turned down. Since she couldn't get legal clearance, the track never made it to the Queen album, but Chapman’s attorneys accused Minaj of leaking the track to Funkmaster Flex. Although Minaj confirmed sending Flex an Instagram message about the song, she denies actually sending it. “I had a change of heart,” she later testified. “I never sent the recording.”

Flex said that he obtained the recording from a “blogger,” not Minaj.

In her decision, Judge Phillips reportedly noted that artists tend to “experiment” with music before they attempt to get proper licensing.

“Artists usually experiment with works before seeking licenses from rights holders and rights holders typically ask to see a proposed work before approving a license,” the judge wrote. “A ruling uprooting these common practices would limit creativity and stifle innovation within the music industry.”

Despite the ruling, the question remains over whether or not Minaj should be held liable for the song being leaked. Last month, Minaj’s attorneys filed court papers requesting that Chapman’s motion for a summary judgment be denied in full.

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Big Sean Debuts ‘Deep Reverence’ Feat. Nipsey Hussle

Big Sean delivered his collaboration with Nipsey Hustle “Deep Reverence” on Monday (Aug. 24). The 32-year-old rapper decided to drop the song after  finishing up his highly anticipated Detroit 2 album due out next week.

“My heart and my gut was saying not only do people deserve that song right now,”  Sean tweeted on Tuesday (Aug. 25). “I felt like hearing nips [sic] voice, his presence and the energy of the song itself was needed and deserved it’s own moment!”

A snippet of the song debuted during Hit-Boy and Boi1da's Verzuz battle in April. Sean said that he has wanted to release the song ever since then.

“My label (a few people there, not the whole label) thought it wasn’t smart to put this song out ahead of my album, they told my team I should hold on to it...they still supported my decision in the end tho [sic],” he explained in another tweet.

The record opens with a clever and poignant verse from Nipsey. “F*ck rap I’m a street legend, block love me with a deep reverence,” he raps. “I was birthed in a C-section/Hella cops and police presence, we got opps so we keep weapons. We on y’all block while y’all eat breakfast. A lot of shots, we broke street records. Watch how you talk, I got reflexes.”

 

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Rest In Power bro! The World miss you n need to hear your voice! DEEP REVERENCE OUT NOW 🏁💙🙏🏾 Prod by. @hitboy & @g.ryomo

A post shared by BIGSEAN (@bigsean) on Aug 24, 2020 at 9:07pm PDT

On Sean’s verse, he reveals that he reached out to Kendrick Lamar after Nipsey was killed and addresses the alleged beef between him and the Compton MC. Fans also believe that he hinted at  Jhené Aiko suffering a miscarriage. “Should be a billionaire based on the time off I’m not takin,’” raps Sean. “Probably why the sh*t with me got crazy and we lost a baby.”

Detroit 2 is executive produced by Hit-Boy, Sean and Kanye West. The album drops on Sept. 4.

Listen to “Deep Reverence” below.

 

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My fifth album #Detroit2 September 4th 🌎✊🏾🌹🖤 🌟 🙏🏾

A post shared by BIGSEAN (@bigsean) on Aug 24, 2020 at 11:15am PDT

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