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What 6 Producers Really Think About Daniel On 'Insecure'

We rounded up producers TrakGirl, Melo-X and Thelonius Martin to see what they really think about Daniel on 'Insecure.'

Each and every Sunday, there’s endless discourse on the characters on Issa Rae’s hit HBO show, Insecure. #LawrenceHive spent the first few episodes of this third season feeling bad for themselves (just like Lawrence did the first two seasons, so it’s only natural) with the sorry ex-boyfriend’s absence from the show allowing us to get to know Issa’s fallback bae and partner in cheating, Daniel.

In prior seasons, Daniel came across as the one that got away. Additionally, he’s been very pridefully pursuing his career as a music producer; something he’s long been committed to. But in these Daniel-centered episodes this season, we got to know the more insecure (if you will) side of the self-proclaimed Issa Dee ride-or-die.

Until now, our view of Daniel’s work as a music producer has been founded in late night studio sessions with mood lighting with hella bud and a lovable performance for Issa’s kids at career day. This season, however, with Issa’s close proximity to Daniel (on his goddamn couch), we see how unsure of himself he is as Issa sidekicks him to the club to see Khalil and Spyder, the self-doubt when he questions calling Khalil, the stubbornness when he can’t seem to grasp collaborating with Khalil, his pride when Issa tries to talk to him about his falling out with Khalil, and his ego when comparing his success to Khalil’s.

Most memorably, when given the chance to put some sounds together with Khalil for his friend and the major artist he works closely with, Spyder, Daniel opts to play his own beats rather than the one Khalil made some additional contributions to. Ultimately, he ends up hurting his relationship with Khalil and being quickly looked over by Spyder.

We spoke to producers of some of your favorite music about Daniel’s character and how he conducts his business in the music industry.


Michael Uzowuru


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Production Credits: Jorja Smith’s “February 3rd,” Frank Ocean’s “Chanel,” “Nights,” “Rushes To,” Earl Sweatshirt’s “Pre,” and executive produced and has writing credits on Kevin Abstract’s album, American Boyfriend

On Daniel: “First of all, I hate when people think they are doing more or what they are working on is “better” because they are using live instrumentation like Daniel does. The situation with Spyder was graciously brought to him by his friend and he’s allowed his pride to ruin it. I hate that. Being so blinded with pride, he refuses to be grateful to this guy Khalil that is actually his friend. Being mad is one thing but playing your own version in the studio is snakelike and if I were in Khalil’s shoes I’d find it hard to work with him again. His ego is too unhealthy and his beats don’t slap enough to be a successful producer.”



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plotting future nigga activities

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Production Credits: Beyonce’s “Sorry” and co-writing on Beyonce’s “Hold Up,” and scored music for Beyonce’s Lemonade, and designed sounds for her Formation Tour and On The Run Tours, as well as PartyNextDoor’s Summer’s Over Tour.

On Daniel: “Daniel going through sh*t. Dead a**. The collaborative creative process should always be just a process, not a competition unless that’s how y'all communicate. Like me and NXGN have super collaborative sessions. Tons of good ideas and bad ones fly around. We may agree, disagree, or agree to disagree on certain things, but once we have something complete that we all f**k with, it’s go time.

Daniel did some silly snake sh*t when he played the original as if it were the final project. He wasn't confident, that’s why. I’ve had people say sh*t was wack in a session or not feeling the direction. As a producer you’re supposed to find the balance in your own creative direction and the needs of the artist your working with. Daniel the type a n***a that working with other producers should be a breeze when both of your intent is making the most fire sh*t. If Daniel wasn't confident in the piece, he should have just said that at the first session.

Daniel wants to be different for the sake of being different. He actually liked the drums on the track but because they were modern in sound, he shunned it. Don’t be that n***a. And don’t be the n***a that does everything with no originality. Just be honest with what you are willing and not willing to do creatively. People respect that always. And if they don’t, f**k ‘em!”



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Almost time to get back in the DJ booth.

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Production Credits: Belly’s “Maintain,” Jhene Aiko’s “Overstimulated,” Omarion’s “Ode To Tae”

On Daniel: “His social anxiety happens a lot when linking with artists that he doesn't really know but his ego about chasing the artist (Spyder) down really is going to be a hindrance for his career. I'm surprised he didn't want to get the connection from Khalil. Daniel has to separate his personal feelings about Khalil to take care of business with Spyder. His ego cost him his opportunity with Spyder by playing his version of the track instead of playing the track he did with Khalil.

Even if you don't know an artist, the circle is so small. I'm always one step away from the artist I would love to work with. But unlike Daniel, I like to build with an artist way before we even talk about doing music together. I think because music is so intimate, and that artist is sharing something deep, I think having a connection helps when creating.

I respect that Daniel has his own production style and really focused on instrumentation but what caught him out there with collaborating with Khalil was he wasn't willing to really co-produce and listen to Khalil's direction. Khalil has already done tracks for Spyder, so Daniel not taking his direction was silly.

I love to collaborate with other producers. I think that’s a part of learning. Also records that I hear today… it's not done alone. It's refreshing to get another perspective and ears on your music. I'm all about a vibe but Daniel seems like he is super impatient and not interested in building with Spyder at all, which is a turn off for most.

Lastly, I love the fact that Daniel is a true studio rat (inside the studio and at his house set up). I totally understand turning down favors for people who don't take their craft seriously. My life motto is ‘forever a student.’ I think it's key to be a student to your craft and this industry. I learn something new every day. Even though his record didn't make the cut on the Ty Dolla Sign album, it still was a good look for him, his ego just can't see it.”


Julio Ulloa

Production Credits: Dr. Dre’s Compton and is an in-house audio engineer for Aftermath Entertainment

On Daniel: “I think Daniel is someone who isn’t a team player and will step on the next person’s toes in order to get ahead. His ego is too big for his own good, and he doesn’t realize he’s sabotaging himself. When Khalil told him to make the changes on the beat he should have just played ball and realized it could have lead to more opportunities later down the line. He ruined a great relationship with the person who brought him in the building, and the music wasn’t really impressive.”

Thelonious Martin

Production Credits: ASAP Rocky’s “Back Home,” “Bomaye” featuring Joey Purp, Topaz Jones, Michael Christmas’ “Just Blaze”

On Daniel: “I feel like whoever in the writers’ room that dated a producer gave us a bad rep. He's WAY too prideful. It's one thing to own your sound but it's another to have this superiority complex that hinders him at every opportunity. He has this misconstrued path he's set up for himself, and his ego is one giant road block he's failed to observe. Khalil isn't trying to stop him from succeeding, he's actually helping him genuinely and that mountain of pride is hindering Daniel from even seeing it. I'd highly advise to be careful in the art of collaboration but not to be overbearing to the point of where he's guarded. Word of advice: if another producer has a lead or an in with another artist, follow the other producer. Never overstep boundaries in those situations, you can screw up your chances of working with that artist or even worse, damage the relationship between the other producer and artist.

Studio etiquette goes as follows: Stay open to new ideas when it comes to collaboration. Stay true to yourself, but never to a fault. Learn how to shine with others and watch the glow burn brighter. Never make your collaborators look bad.”



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#HumanTorchDrumKit link in bio! 📷@whoisjohnjeffrey

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Production credits: Meek Mill’s “I Don’t Know,” Kevin Gates’ “Around Me,” Trae the Truth’s “I’m On 2.0” featuring Big K.R.I.T., Jadakiss, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, B.o.B., and Tyga

On Daniel: “He’s a pretty typical wide-eyed producer; kinda like someone who just moved to L.A. He’s not wrong, a lot of producers are really like that. He obviously loves the game and is super passionate. The scenarios are real. [Laughs] He overthinks mad stuff like many of us producers (not me). He is pretty corny, but most of us have our corny moments. He is a good dude overall, though. Let’s see how he progresses after he gets a few wins.”

READ MORE: Raphael Saadiq Talks New Music, ‘Insecure,’ And Why Tony! Toni! Toné! Won’t Reunite

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Issa Vibe: The Best Songs To Fit Your Different 4/20 Sessions

April 20th isn’t a national holiday, but it might as well be.

Although recreational marijuana use is only legal in 10 states, the U.S. is home to approximately 35 million regular users of cannabis, according to a survey done by Yahoo News and Marist University. That's 10.6 percent of the American population and while that may seem minuscule, the numbers are growing daily and it's understandable.

Weed has now become a staple of American culture; it's become a legitimate business in the states where it's legal, it's now part of the way people socialize, and better yet it's a theme in some of the hottest music out today. "Kush" has been included in some of the hardest verses that millennials and generation-z kids have heard in their lifetime.

Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg, amazing emcees in their own right, are also widely known for their love of the green plant. Wiz's biggest album, Rolling Papers is clearly influenced by weed and along with the Snoop Dogg-assisted "Young, Wild & Free" is all about that green positivity.

There's an endless list of hits about rolling up a joint, hitting it and passing it, but what about moods? Whether it's a bowl, a blunt or an edible weed, can leave people feeling a variety of ways and that all can be traced to a certain strand of weed someone's inhaling, or the mood they're already.

Regardless, it's important to be prepared and have music ready to match whatever feelings marijuana concocts; and that's why VIBE compiled an adequate list of songs for each of the main pot moods.

So on this 4/20, sit back, relax, smoke and find the songs that suit the vibe.


The "Let Me Chill Out" Mood 

Sometimes the best way to come down from an over the top high is to play some tunes with a soft beat and a light voice. The best artists in the game right now, like Jhené Aiko for instance, have created that sound that's perfect for when relaxation is needed, so of course, she made the list.  These are the top four songs that can help anyone kick back and relax if a pull from a joint just isn't hitting the right way.

"Blue Dream" by Jhené Aiko "Muse" by Afro Nostalgia "Summer Games" by Drake "LOVE." by Kendrick Lamar (feat. Zacari) The Bad B*tch Hours or "Top Two and I'm Not Two" Mood 

You look around the room and realize: you're top two and you're not two in it. All it took was one or a couple of puffs and then a pass to make you feel pretty good about yourself. One of the main upsides to smoking that's constantly mentioned in the media is that it can help alleviate chronic pain, well, another positive to it is that it can leave you feeling sexy, sensual and everything in between.

This is that high that can make you feel that you're significant other is lucky to have you, and subsequently makes you hit them up, that tells you: you're single and ready to mingle. It's a smoking session that lets you know: if you shoot your shot now, you'll score and it's a session that you want music playing that only affirms how sultry and seductive you feel. If this is how 4/20 leaves you feeling, putting on some RiRi or even Young Thug can effectively get you 'in your bag.'

"Same Ol' Mistakes" by Rihanna "Tyrant" by Kali Uchis (feat. Jorja Smith) "Worth It" by Young Thug "Smoke Break" by Chance the Rapper (feat. Future) The "Head in the Clouds" Mood 

More often than not, edibles have the power of leaving people spaced out and speaking slowly, after consuming them. Sometimes smoking weed, or hotboxing with friends is a silent event. Either everyone's consumed by their phones, or every other person has been looking at a nonexistent spot on the wall for the past 15 minutes.

Regardless this isn't the high where people want to hear "Act Up" by City Girls, no matter how much they love them. No, this is the high where people need music that takes them on a journey. Songs where the production is out of this world and it seems like the artist specifically made the song for a smoke session like no other. Travis Scott's ASTROWORLD is full of tracks with that vibe, and Lil' Wayne, a weed connoisseur of his own, has songs that fulfill that need too. Smoke a bit and let the weed do its thing.

"ASTROTHUNDER" by Travis Scott "I Feel Like Dying" by Lil' Wayne "Hyyer" by Kid Cudi "St. Tropez" by J. Cole The "Got the Giggles" Mood 

This is when the blunt hits perfectly and there's nothing wrong in the world or when the bowl did its' job and leaves everyone feeling silly. A "feel good high" is the best way to describe and the best way to live through that kind of smoke session is to listen to some "feel good music." These are the songs that can have people swaying unknowingly to its' beat, or the tracks that leave people smiling from ear to ear. This is the session that lets people know that "this is it chief," and here are the best songs to go along with it.

"Pass the Vibes" by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment "Dreamcatcher" by Metro Boomin' (feat. Swae Lee & Travis Scott) "It's a Vibe" by 2 Chainz (feat. Ty Dolla $ign, Trey Songz & Jhené Aiko) "Binz" by Solange
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Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

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Beyoncé performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California.
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Homecoming: The 5 Best Moments Of Beyoncé’s Documentary

Once Beyoncé became the first African-American woman to headline in its nearly 20-year history, we knew Coachella would never the same. To mark the superstar’s historic moment, the 2018 music and arts festival was appropriately dubbed #Beychella and fans went into a frenzy on social media as her illustrious performance was live-streamed by thousands. (Remember when fans recreated her choreographed number to O.T. Genasis’ “Everybody Mad”?)

With a legion of dancers, singers and musicians adorned with gorgeous costumes showcasing custom-made crests, the singer’s whirlwind performance honored black Greek letter organizations, Egyptian queen Nefertiti, and paid homage to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Aside from the essence of black musical subgenres like Houston’s chopped and screwed and Washington D.C.’s go-go music, the entertainer performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as “The Black National Anthem,” and implemented a dancehall number, sampling the legendary Jamaican DJ and singer, Sister Nancy, to show off the versatility of black culture.

One year after #Beychella’s historic set, the insightful concert film, Homecoming, began streaming on Netflix and unveiled the rigorous months of planning that went into the iconic event. The 2-hour 17-minute documentary highlights Beyoncé’s enviable work ethic and dedication to her craft, proving why this performance will be cemented in popular culture forever. Here are the best moments from Beyoncé’s Homecoming documentary.

The Intentional Blackness

“Instead of me bringing out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought our culture to Coachella.”

Throughout the documentary, Beyoncé made it known that everything and everyone included in the creative process leading up to the annual festival was deliberately chosen. “I personally selected each dancer, every light, the material on the steps, the height of the pyramid, the shape of the pyramid,” says Beyoncé. “Every tiny detail had an intention.” When speaking on black people as a collective the entertainer notes, “The swag is limitless.” Perhaps the most beautiful moments in Homecoming are the shots that focus on the uniqueness of black hair and its versatility. What’s appreciated above all is the singer’s commitment to celebrating the various facets of blackness and detailing why black culture needs to be celebrated on a global scale.

Beyoncé’s Love And Respect For HBCUs

#Beychella — which spanned two consecutive weekends of Coachella’s annual festival — was inspired by elements of HBCU homecomings, so it was no surprise when the singer revealed she always wanted to attend one. “I grew up in Houston, Texas visiting Prairie View. We rehearsed at TSU [Texas Southern University] for many years in Third Ward, and I always dreamed of going to an HBCU. My college was Destiny's Child. My college was traveling around the world and life was my teacher.” Brief vignettes in the film showcased marching bands, drumlines and the majorettes from notable HBCUs that comprise of the black homecoming experience. In the concert flick, one of the dancers affectionately states, “Homecoming for an HBCU is the Super Bowl. It is the Coachella.” However, beyond the outfits that sport a direct resemblance to Greek organizations, Beyoncé communicated an important message that remains a focal point in the film: “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”

The Familiar Faces

Despite being joined by hundreds of dancers, musicians and singers on-stage, the entertainer was joined by some familiar faces to share the monumental moment with her. While making a minor appearance in the documentary, her husband and rapper/mogul Jay-Z came out to perform “Deja Vu” with his wife. Next, fans were blessed by the best trio to ever do it as Kelly and Michelle joined the singer with renditions of their hit singles including “Say My Name,” “Soldier,” and more. On top of this star-studded list, Solange Knowles graced the “Beychella” stage and playfully danced with her older sister to the infectious “Get Me Bodied.”

Her Balance Of Being A Mother And A Star

Originally slated to headline the annual festival in 2017, the singer notes that she “got pregnant unexpectedly...and it ended up being twins.” Suffering from preeclampsia, high blood pressure, toxemia and undergoing an emergency C-section, the entertainer candidly details how difficult it was adjusting post-partum and how she had to reconnect with her body after experiencing a traumatizing delivery. “In the beginning, it was so many muscle spasms. Just, internally, my body was not connected. My body was not there.” Rehearsing for a total of 8 months, the singer sacrificed quality time with her children in order to nail the technical elements that came with the preparation for her Coachella set. “I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol … and I’m hungry.” Somehow, throughout all of this, she still had to be a mom. “My mind wanted to be with my children,” she says. Perhaps one of the most admirable moments in the film was witnessing Beyoncé’s dedication to her family but also to her craft.

The Wise Words From Black Visionaries

Homecoming opens with a quote from the late, Maya Angelou stating, “If you surrender to the air, you can ride it.” The film includes rich and prophetic quotes from the likes of Alice Walker, Nina Simone, Toni Morrison, and notable Black thinkers, reaffirming Beyoncé’s decision to highlight black culture. The quotes speak to her womanhood and the entertainer’s undeniable strength as a black woman.

Blue Ivy’s Cuteness

Last, but certainly not least, Blue Ivy‘s appearance in the concert film is nothing short of precious. One of the special moments in the documentary zeroes in on the 7-year-old singing to a group of people whilst Beyoncé sweetly feeds the lyrics into her ears. After finishing, Blue says: “I wanna do that again” with Beyoncé replying with “You wanna be like mommy, huh?” Seen throughout Homecoming rehearsing and mirroring Beyoncé’s moves, Blue just might follow in her mother’s footsteps as she gets older.

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