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Kodak Black, Vic Mensa And More Friday Releases You Need To Hear

Who are you listening to? 

With only a couple more weeks of 2018 left on the calendar, Friday music release are still going strong. The list is getting shorter however. This week, only a small handful of artist dropped new projects or singles, including Kodak Black and Vic Mensa.

Check out our roundup below.

Kodak Black – Dying to Live

Kodak Black's highly-anticipated sophomore album Dying to Live has finally arrived. The 16-track project features special appearances from Offset, Travis Scott, Lil Pump, and Juice Wrld.

Just ahead of the album's release, Kodak dropped the tracklist. It includes the pre-released singles "Zeze," "Testimony," and "Calling My Spirit." The album also pays homage to the late XXXTentacion on "Malcolm XXX."

In a recent interview with radio station 103.5 "The Beat" on Dec. 11, Kodak detailed the significance of the album's title. "It's deep. I be feeling like we dying to live. Everybody going through something and suffering," he explained. "There's a lot of kids who will do anything just because they probably want to get a little flat screen, get some gold, and flex. There's people who would risk their life for $5,000. They're dying to live. We thugging so hard and wondering why the world won't soften up around us."

Dying to Live, which is a follow up to 2017's Painting Pictures, arrives shortly after Kodak appeared on Hot97's radio show with Ebro Darden. Things grew intense on set after Ebro questioned Kodak about his ongoing rape case.

Listen to Kodak Black's Dying to Live below.

Vic Mensa – Hooligans EP

Vic Mensa's Hooligans EP is here with special appearances by Ty Dolla $ign, Charlie Wilson, Mr. Hudson, G-Herbo, and G-Eazy. The album reportedly shares a glimpse into the many experiences and emotions that have made up Mensa's life. While it's similar to his 2017 album The Autobiography, Vic Mensa told us that the project focuses on songwriting in order to tell stories about mental health and love lost.

In particular, his single "Klonopin," discusses drug use in an honest and eye-opening way. "I always make music that deals with intense personal things in my recent life," he told VIBE. "I had stopped doing drugs before I made my last album, and I had moments where I relapsed back into it when I was extremely suicidal. I don't just say these things because they 'sound cool,' I say it because it's the reality of my experience. People are dealing with PTSD and trauma and have few outlets to really address that, especially young black men. People are on these drugs because they're trying to get away from reality because reality is pain."

Listen to Vic Mensa's Hooligans EP below.

Dreezy ft. Kash Doll – "Chanel Slides"

Dreezy and Kash Doll have joined forces to bring fans their latest banger. The slow-burning single flexes crisp bars as they brag about their new drip. It's unclear whether the new collaboration will appear on her forthcoming project Big Dreez, which Dreezy teased at the beginning of Oct. 2018.

Listen to the new track below.

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What We Know About R. Kelly's Sexual Abuse Charges

R. Kelly was indicted on 10 charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse on Friday (Feb. 22). During a press conference held late Friday afternoon, prosecutors detailed each of the charges. R. Kelly's case involves four alleged victims, almost all of which were under the age of 17 at the time of sexual contact.

Here is what we know so far.

1. The first victim is identified by the initials HW, who is believed to have had sexual relations with Kelly from May 1998 to 1999. The charge was determined by the fact that during the time of their sexual encounters, HW was under the age of 17 while Kelly is alleged to have been more than five years older.

2. RL is the second victim that has been identified by prosecutors, who is believed to have been sexually involved with R. Kelly from 1998 to 2001. RL was believed to be under the age of 17, while Kelly was at least five years older.

3. The third victim, identified as LC engaged in sexual intercourse on Feb. 2003. The count was determined by semen found on the body for the purpose of "sexual gratification."

4. The fourth and final victim, identified under the initials JP, was involved in sexual incidents with the accused from 2009 to 2010. The charge was determined by JP being under the age of 17 while R. Kelly was believed to more than five years older.

5. If convicted, Kelly faces up to 70 years in prison.

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Tidal Announces Tidal Unplugged Program For Upcoming Artists

The Jay-Z owned streaming service is launching Tidal Unplugged, a program geared toward rising artists. The program has been bestowed with a $1 million fund, courtesy of its donors, venture capitalists and philanthropists, Mark Lampert and Robert Nelsen. The goal of the program is to gather emerging artists and provide them with support and tools to advance their music careers.

The selected, local artists will begin the program in Detroit, where Lampert's grandfather started his music career and will receive a grant that can cover necessary equipment, time in the studio, as well as living expenses amongst other things. There are plans to expand Unplugged to other locations, but as of right now it's solely in the Motor City.

"Kicking it off in Detroit, we're giving artists the means and resources to pursue their passion," Tidal said about Unplugged. "This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity allows aspiring musicians to dedicate more time and energy to seeking a career as an artist."

Unplugged will also allow the artists to maintain complete ownership of their recording masters from the four songs they will record when they make it to the first stage of the program. Additionally, Tidal plans to help the musicians with the distribution and promotion of their music, as well as help the artists prepare for a TIDAL Unplugged showcase concert later this year in November.

 

Detroit, welcome to TIDAL Unplugged. Up-and-coming artists are getting the opportunity to give their all to their music with our new artist grant program. Submissions open March 1. https://t.co/krL3l8HHGg pic.twitter.com/w30fElrp6N

— TIDAL (@TIDAL) February 21, 2019

Tidal Unplugged is calling for musicians of all genres in the birthplace of Motown Records, however, the announcement states that all submissions must be a cappella or performed acoustically with minimal use of digital components.

Detroit-area artists can apply for the program on Tidal's official website or here, starting on March 1, 2019. Finalists will be announced in May 2019.

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Amy Winehouse Hologram Tour Postponed Over “Unique Challenges”

Amy Winehouse's hologram tour is officially postponed, BASE Hologram, the company behind the digital production, announced via Twitter Tuesday (Feb. 19).

“In developing the type of highly ambitious, state of the art hologram/augmented reality theatrical event that would truly capture her genius and incredible artistic and social contributions, we encountered some unique challenges and sensitivities,” the company revealed.

The tour, originally scheduled to launch sometime this year, is delayed until BASE can “determine the best path to a creatively spectacular production that would properly honor Amy’s legacy.”

Mitch Winehouse, the “Back to Black” singer's father, announced the tour last fall, which was expected to feature a live band backing a digital projection of Winehouse.

Winehouse died from alcohol poisoning in 2011, following a very public battle with addiction that ultimately cut her life short. Proceeds from the tour will benefit the Amy Winehouse Foundation, an organization that works to prevent “the effects of drug and alcohol misuse on young people.”

Read BASE Hologram’s full statement on the tour delay below.

pic.twitter.com/9RtqQVeDzU

— BASE Hologram (@BASEHologram) February 20, 2019

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