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AJ Jordan

Premiere: Aja Is Shaping Their Raps With Confident Candor On "I Ain't Left"

Sometimes you have to remind folks you're the s**t. This is heard throughout Aja's latest single, "I Aint' Left."

The track contains their reliable swaggy confident nature along with bits of dominating lyrics. Speaking to VIBE, Aja reveals the track is a response critic who has questioned their pretty successful career. "'I Ain't Left' is about people giving me negative feedback on things they know nothing about and saying I don't deserve to make my dreams come true as an artist," they said.

"A lot of people told me to write about my struggles as an up-and-coming musician who's creating a new blueprint for queer artists coming from reality TV, and this track is what came out of it."

A fan favorite from the ninth season of RuPaul's Drag Race and the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars Aja captivated screens and unleashed their rap persona in 2017. A self-identified nonbinary queer artist and performer who's pronouns are "they/them," Aja has proved their lyrical abilities while going bar for bar with the sharpest talent in the industry like CupkakKe and Rico Nasty.

Currently, Aja is reading their next EP, ALL CAPS for Friday (June 28). The project is a follow up to their debut album BOX OFFICE. 

The Brooklyn native connects with fans, their struggles as it deals with race, gender and sexual identity, class, and sexuality. They have become an impactful figure in the LGBTQ+ community as well as an international role model.

Aja recently dominated the Wynwood Pride's LGBTQ music festival last weekend.

https://twitter.com/naturalxst/status/1142262210594508800

Listen to "I Ain't Left" below.

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Premiere: YFN Lucci Has A Bad Break-Up In "Ride For Me" Video

Earlier this year, ATL's YFN Lucci released his Gangsta Grillz mixtape 650Luc. One of the many standouts on the 17-song effort is the lovelorn track titled, "Ride for Me" featuring Yungeen Ace.

Today (Oct. 25), the "Everyday We Lit" rapper linked with VIBE to premiere the song's visuals. In the video, Lucci is hurt by the fact that his girl isn't the ride-or-die woman she claimed to be. After having a disagreement with his significant other, the former lovers part ways.

"This song is a message to let women know that as men we need a ride-or-die and not a nagger," Lucci says to VIBE. Other standouts on 650Luc include "I'm Gone," "Backend," "Pull Up With A 100," and the Trey Songz-assisted radio banger, "All Night Long."

Last year, Lucci spoke to VIBE about waxing poetic about his trials and tribulations.

"I’m rapping about true stories. I’m talking about sh*t that matters, sh*t people are going to feel," Lucci said. "On this project (Ray Ray from Summerhill) it’s more on that Wish Me Well feel. I’m rapping—I’ve always rapped, but I’m singing on my hooks. But you have to listen to what I’m saying. I’m telling you about my life, my past. I made it rapping. I’m from Summerhill. We don’t make it out of there."

Watch the video for "Ride for Me" above.

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Premiere: Sareem Poems Dissects Impact Of Social Media In 'No Fly Zone' Video

People of all ages have succumbed to the power of social media, and in his new music video for "No Fly Zone," Sareem Poems looks for a way out.

The Travis Hayward-directed video depicts Sareem Poems alone in a woodsy, railroaded area, dropping rhymes about our needs to keep up with each other's false self depictions, the trauma from seeing violence on our screens, and fears how things may become worse. Fans of thoughtful, laid back hip-hop from acts like A Tribe Called Quest and The Roots will be right at home with this record.

"'No Fly Zone' is a song about the pressure social media puts on people. What we look like when we leave the house, what we listen to, etc. Is based around a highlight reel published for likes," Sareem Poems told VIBE. "For most, it’s hard to enjoy a peaceful moment. Checking the phone, taking a picture of yourself, food, etc. is all done in the company of friends and alone. Putting your phone on silent is cool. But, you can still see it light up.

"I think more Desperate measures are needed," he continued. "Put your phone on airplane mode. Take the time to rediscover the things that make you, you. Writing this was for me too. I fall in line with everything I said in the song. I've been missing out on special moments, all because I had my eyes focused on my phone instead of the people and events right in front of me."

"No Fly Zone" appears on 88 To Now, the new album by Sareem Poems and producer Newselph. Stream or buy it on your preferred services.

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Premiere: ALA.NI Enlists Lakeith Stanfield For Wistful 'VanP'

On her new single with actor/rapper Lakeith Stanfield, ALA.NI is fed up with a love interest who won't get their shit together – and she's ready to move on for greener pastures instead of continuing to waste her time.

"Got no patience with this masquerade / I'm not falling till you catch my wave / and there's beauty only steps away / all these silly games you want to play," ALA.NI laments, before Lakeith Stanfield (known for his roles in Get Out and Atlanta) delivers a frustrated, fearful verse about losing something special.

But part of what makes "VanP" special is the instrumental. ALA.NI initially planned for upcoming record ACCA to be an acapella album, so much of the album is made up of human voices. ALA.NI's arrangement is rooted in a moody beatbox by Dave Crowe and supplemented with a bass guitar by Phil Simmonds, lending to a sparse, spacious soundbed that leaves space for ALA.NI's breathy vocals to shine.

"The session took place in LA on a hot summer's day at Stone Throw's studio," ALA.NI told VIBE, referring to the iconic indie label that's been home to acts like Madlib, J Dilla and more. "Super cool. With posters all over the walls of MF DOOM and of course J Dilla...legend!!! So the pressure was on to stand in the home of these hip hop gods."

ACCA is ALA.NI's sophomore album, the follow-up to the Paris-based artist's 2017 debut You & I, and scheduled for a January 24, 2020 release date.

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