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This week, two artists are taking their own approaches toward independence: Kamaiyah has released her debut studio LP on her new record label, and Royce Da 5'9" takes the plunge by handling all of his own production. More new music this week comes from YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Elaquent, and Rick Ross.
Kamaiyah – Got It Made After years of running with YG's 4Hunnid Records and Interscope, Kamaiyah has gone indie for her new project, Got It Made. In the follow-up to her 2016 mixtape A Good Night In The Ghetto, she's doing a lot on her own: she's dropping it on her own label GRND.WRK, and its ten tracks have a sparse guest list. Kamaiyah told VIBE that she wanted to make an album that her fans "can shake their asses to and vibe out to and ride out to," equipped with CT Beats funky Oakland sound. Look out for the Trina-assisted “Set It Up,” the bouncy “Get Ratchet” (which features scratches by San Francisco's DJ Espinosa), and “Digits,” a song with new Oakland rapper Capolow that she describes as “magical gangsta sh*t.” Apple Music | TIDAL
Royce Da 5'9" – The Allegory Royce Da 5'9" used his last two albums, Layers (2016) and Book of Ryan (2019), to give fans a long-awaited look into his childhood and his personal life. The Allegory, sees him taking on another new approach: pro-black ideology. Preceded by the singles "Black Savage" and "Field Negro," Royce uses this new album – the first of his career that he's produced in its entirety – to motivate black people to love and help each other. "Us as black men, we just wake up one day like, 'this is what I am,' and we have no idea where it came from," he recently told VIBE. "I’m very conscious of our people...and having a platform and understanding how important that is." As for guests, Royce calls on all three starters from the Griselda camp for individual songs, his former Slaughterhouse brethren KXNG Crooked, promising young woman MC Ashley Sorrell, Grafh, Vince Staples, G. Perico and more. Apple Music | TIDAL
YoungBoy Never Broke Again – Still Flexin, Still Steppin NBA Youngboy is one of the biggest streaming rappers in the game these days, so his fans will certainly be happy with Still Flexin, Still Steppin, his first project of 2020 and his first since last year's AI Youngboy 2, his first number one album. Though he's had collabs with JuiceWRLD, Gucci Mane and Plies over the past year, this project only has one guest spot, which is Quando Rondo. Press play for what's sure to be another strong set of hedonistic-yet-emotive street tunes. YouTube | Apple Music | TIDAL
Elaquent – Forever Is a Long Time In his first compilation album, Ontario producer Elaquent lends jazzy, sample-driven production to a suite of guests like Oddisee, Guilty Simpson, Blu, and more. Mello Music Group has a strong track record, and it continues with this week's release. iTunes | Bandcamp | Spotify | Amazon | Apple Music Forever Is A Pretty Long Time by Elaquent
Rick Ross ft. Dwyane Wade, Raphael Saadiq, UD – "Season Ticket Holder" The Miami Heat have had an unexpectedly successful season in the NBA's Eastern Conference so far, but this is an even bigger surprise: "Season Ticket Holder" has Miami rap royalty Rick Ross bringing none other than future NBA Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade into the booth. The former player known as Flash actually drops a sixteen, along with an appearance by his Miami Heat teammate Udonis Haslem. Raphael Saadiq sings the hook. Apple Music | TIDAL
In many hip-hop circles, Ms. Lauryn Hill is regarded as the best woman rapper of all time, and one of the greatest MCs period – and with the release of Best of Lauryn Hill (Vol. 1: Fire) on Apple Music, J. PERIOD shows why. The first segment of a two-part mixtape dedicated to the music icon will satisfy longtime fans and serve as a lesson for young'ns looking to learn up.
For years, J. PERIOD has collaborated with multiple legends in music to make mixtapes that chronicle their careers. By combining their most notable songs, unreleased tracks, rarities and exclusive interview footage from the artists themselves, J. Period created mixtapes that worked more like musical storybooks, artifacts that showed their talent while also providing the context behind their work. This year, J. Period has been rereleasing those mixtapes through Apple Music, including tributes to Nas, The Roots and Q-Tip. Best of Lauryn Hill: Fire And Water is a two-part project, with Fire paying homage to Hill's raps and Water showing her vocal versatility. Fire drops today, and Water touches down on Friday, Feb. 21.
Today's release also marks the beginning of Ms. Lauryn Hill's tour, which starts at the Wellmont Theater in New Jersey and continues through July, including a date at the Kennedy Center and Black Girls Rock. It also comes after stars like Drake and Cardi B have sampled her work in recent years.
“For me, this mixtape represents not only a tremendous moment in my career, but the force that created everything that follows,” J. PERIOD told VIBE. “This tape sparked my collaborations with Q-Tip, Mary J. Blige, John Legend, and The Roots, all creative relationships that continue to this day. I’m deeply grateful to Ms. Hill for her support, and I’m extremely excited to introduce this project to a new generation of fans. Reimagining an artist’s catalog in new context gives the music new life. That’s always my goal with my mixtapes. It is my sincere hope that, through this project, fans will come to appreciate Ms. Hill’s incredible talent and amazing catalog of music, all over again.”
Listen to Best of Lauryn Hill (Vol. 1: Fire) below on Apple Music.
Rapper Henree Wright, also known as ReeMarkable, is slowing things down on the sweetest of days with her new single, "VIBE."
With songwriter Sy Ari Da Kid (Future, Waka Flocka Flame) on the track, the two toy with an idea of a relationship after years apart. In addition to the love that lies beneath the games, the song also serves as a great addition to any playlist dedicated to Mary Jane. Produced by Atlanta's 8 Major, ReeMarkable takes a detour from the gritty raps heard on tracks like "Pardon Me" and "Bonnie And Clyde" and into more experimental sounds.
ReeMarkable's journey in music has been documented through her time on the series Growing Up Hip-Hop as the daughter of the late iconic rapper, Eazy-E. As his youngest child, the rapper-singer opened up about her struggles breaking into the industry and how she plans to honor her father through her music.
Recently, ReeMarkable paid homage to her father by recreating his most iconic images. Originally taken by legendary photographer Ricky Powell, ReeMarkable's take is commendable as she barely a striking resemblance to Eazy.
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I was a baby when you left this world , I have no memories, but I also don’t have any pain from your return to heaven. I am honored to be your daughter . I am the Spitting image of you and it warms me to see a legend every-time I look in the mirror. Today is a day for celebration as you would have came upon your 54th birthday . So here’s my gift to you . A shoot dedicated to simply, you . I directed this shoot and worked with a great team to capture your spirit daddy . I Love you & Happy Birthday , I hope you all enjoy . Captured by @lsfotography1 Graphics by @colourfulmula Make up by @tunchyy.marie Styled & directed by @iamreemarkable Special thanks to @vinceamani @exclusivegame , @bfflyer , @lakayb_ @thelazyhustler & All my Family Friends and Fans !! 🧡 #ripeazye EVERYONE SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY FOR ME 🎈🎁
Enjoy "VIBE" below.