Courtesy of Doley Bernays

Rising Bronx MC Doley Bernays Provides Blunt Truths On 2-Pack EP 'Is It Fall Yet?'

Lyrical tussles from Bernays remind us that hip-hop's birthplace still has more to offer. 

It's been a while since we've heard from Doley Bernays. Resting comfortably underground, the Bronx rapper is ready to hit the major rap leagues with the release of his 2-pack, EP Is It Fall Yet?

The tracks showcase two sides to the emcee. With "Somebody to Blame," the lyrical head-nodder runs the hip-hop gamut with slick wordplay while showcasing a determinism, wisdom and life or death energy that can be found in MCs such as Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and Meek Mill, respectively.

"Played the hand I was dealt/plotting, they held the deck out/Get this money, I put my neck out/Now y'all feel left out/Stop crying like I never been down, but I ain't stressed out/Kool-aid packs with tap water attached all us," raps the Uptown native," raps Bernays.

There's also the inspirational track titled, "Get Rich" which finds the rookie rapper contemplating on his ride-or-die mentally to become successful, despite moments of doubt. For hip-hop heads who need a break from the druggy or drill raps, Bernays has enough firepower to satisfy your heart, mind and spirit.

In the past, the rapper has earned acclaim as an indie rapper from Complex and Pitchfork for his 2013 release, Just In Case. He's worked with the likes of 03 Greedo, Kato and Denzil Porter while making moves across the stages of A3C and SXSW.

Prior to the release of Is It Fall Yet?, Bernays dropped "We All Sin Here."

Stream "Somebody to Blame" and "Get Rich" below.

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Rubi Rose Inks New Deal And Shares "Hit Yo Dance" Feat. Yella Beezy And NLE Choppa

Newcomer Rubi Rose recently inked a deal with L.A. Reid's Hitco label. In celebration of this grand accomplishment, the Kentucky-born artist released a brand new record, "Hit Yo Dance" featuring Yella Beezy and NLE Choppa.

The Hitmaka and OG Parker-produced record, which samples Birdmam's 2002 hit “What Happened To that Boy" featuring The Clipse, is a sure party-starter, and an anthem that will require plenty of ass shaking on the dance floor.

The former model, and video vixen first garnered fame as rapper after appearing on Playboi Carti's "On Top." She also collaborated with Cuban Doll and Renni Rucci on "A.G.F." Following the success of "Big Mouth," L.A. Reid inked the bubbling MC

Stream "Hit Yo Dance" below.

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Carmen Mandato

New Music Fridays: Wale, Lil Kim, Casanova, Youngboy Never Broke Again

This week includes a comeback by Lil Kim, a full-length by Wale after a year of quality EPs, and YoungBoy Never Broke Again's first project of 2019.Look below for more information on this week's New Music Friday.

Wale - Wow... That's Crazy With the announcement of signing with Warner Bros., Wale had a string of strong EPs in 2018, showing his fans that he was back in full creative mode. In 2019 he's released several singles – including the seductive "On Chill" with Jeremih, "BGM," "Love & Loyalty" with singer Mannywellz, and "Poledancer" with Megan Thee Stallion – as appetizers for Wow... That's Crazy, the follow-up to his last LP Shine (2017). An early listen of some songs show Wale revisiting his specialty of songs that adore black women ("BGM," "Love And Loyalty"), chronicle relationships ("Her Fault" featuring Bryson Tiller), and open up about his personal life ("Sue Me"). Other guests on the album include Ari Lennox, Boogie, 6LACK, Rick Ross, Meek Mill, Lil Durk, Pink Sweat$, Kelly Price and Jacquees. Apple Music | TIDAL

Lil Kim – 9 Lil Kim's last official album The Naked Truth dropped in 2005, right before she served a prison bid. Now she's back with her fourth studio album, 9. The title is a reference to the date of Biggie's death (March 9), the birthday of her daughter (June 9), and the original number of members in Junior M.A.F.I.A. And even though Kim has a long history behind her (as seen by her performance at the BET Hip Hop Awards this week), Kim isn't resting on her legacy: "Auto Blanco" features signature Queen Bee shit talking and clowning people who lie on Instagram, and "You Are Not Alone" sees her carrying on the legacy of her friend. "I dismantle any competition to the coalition / What BIG started, I'm bout to finish," she snarls. Other singles include the Rick Ross and Musiq Soulchild-featured "Pray For Me," and the Bubba Sparxxx-sampled "I Found You," which has guest appearances by City Girls and O.T. Genasis. Apple Music | TIDAL

Casanova – Behind These Scars Casanova has had a strong second half of 2019: "So Brooklyn" (featuring Fabolous)  took off to the point of sparking a challenge that inspired other rappers to take a shot at the beat,  "Coming Home" takes on romantic vibes with a chorus by Chris Brown, and released two more singles, "Stay Wit It" and "Live" featuring Giggs. The rest of Casanova's taut 10-song album, Behind These Scars, has guest appearances by Gunna, Young Thug, and Kaycyy Pluto. Apple Music | TIDAL

Youngboy Never Broke Again – AI Youngboy 2 Youngboy Never Broke Again (also known as NBA Youngboy) is one of the rap's most interesting figures: he doesn't get the most media coverage or radio spins, but he's one of the most streamed rap artists in the country. While legal issues have held him back from his usual prolific musical output, this week he released AI Youngboy 2, the sequel to his 2017 mixtape of the same title and his first release since 2018's Realer. The new project has 17 tracks and only two guests, Quando Rondo and NoCap, who both appear on the same track.

YK Osirus – The Golden Child YK Osirus landed on the XXL Freshman list this year, and so far his output has proven his stardom: his single "Worth It" landed him a no. 48 spot in the Billboard 200, he released "Freaky Dancer" with DaBaby in June, and last week he dropped the sexy "Ride" with Kehlani. This week sees him dropping his Def Jam debut The Golden Child, which features guest appearances by Tory Lanez and Ty Dolla $ign on a "Worth It" remix, along with guest appearances by Kehlani and Russ. Apple Music | TIDAL

Curren$y, Trademark and Young Roddy – Plan Of Attack Curren$y reunited with Wiz Khalifa earlier this year for their 2009 mixtape, and now he's getting back with his Jet Life comrades Trademark and Young Roddy for their album Plan of Attack. Apple Music | TIDAL

Ne-Yo – Another Kind of Christmas R&B/pop star Ne-Yo is getting ready for the holiday season with the release of Another Kind of Christmas, the first holiday album in his decorated career. He reimagines several Christmas classics, including "Someday At Christmas" (originally performed by Stevie Wonder) and Marvin Gaye's "I Want To Come Home For Christmas," along with five new original songs. Apple Music | TIDAL

Wiz Khalifa – "I Can't Stay" Since releasing his 2009 mixtape with Curren$y in February, Wiz Khalifa has steadily been dropping several loosies as the year has went on with the likes of Alchemist, YG, and 24hrs, among others. The latest is the atmospheric, relaxing "I Can't Stay." Wiz has had a great couple months musically, and we're on board for as long as he'll have us.

French Montana featuring Juicy J, Logic, A$AP Rocky – "Twisted" As the days approach for French Montana's album Montana, he's been dropping multiple singles with huge star power: "Suicide Doors" with Gunna, and "Writing On The Wall" with  Cardi B and Post Malone. This week he comes with perhaps the most unexpected combination of artists yet: Juicy J, Logic, and A$AP Rocky, all uniting for a club anthem called "Twisted." Apple Music | TIDAL

Joji & Jackson Wang featuring Swae Lee and Major Lazer – "Walking" "Walking" appears on the new album Head In The Clouds II by 88rising, a crew/company that has earned a reputation for hosting festivals and world tours while breaking Asian and Asian American crossover artists. On this single, Joji and Jackson Wang join Swae Lee and Major Lazer for a mellow, soothing number that arranges all of their vocals seamlessly. The rest of Head In The Clouds II, according to a press release, "the album spans six countries (United States, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, and China) yet creates a cohesive sound that blends elements of vintage R&B, hip-hop, disco, and forward-thinking pop."

Tiana Major 9 and EarthGang – "Collide" Lena Waithe's upcoming film Queen and Slim is one of the most anticipated of the year, starring Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith as a couple who unexpectedly kill a police officer after being pulled over. The first single from the film's soundtrack is "Collide," by EarthGang and Tiana Major 9. The rest of the soundtrack will feature songs by the likes of Ms. Lauryn Hill, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Baby, Vince Staples, and Coast Contra featuring BJ The Chicago Kid and Syd, along with previously released songs from the likes of Roy Ayers, Bilal, and Mike Jones.

Hit-Boy and Saweetie – "No L's" Hit-Boy and Saweetie's "No L's" was originally heard on Madden 20, but now the song has a video, which showcases Saweetie living lavishly as the main attraction while Hit-Boy celebrates on the outskirts.

Gucci Mane featuring Lil Baby – "Tootsies" Gucci Mane's Woptober continues with "Tootsies," a bouncy new record with Lil Baby. Woptober II drops next week. Apple Music | TIDAL

T.I. – "Sabotage" T.I. has kept busy with his Expeditiously podcast and his role on Netflix's new show Rhythm and Flow, but his pen still does work – and the new song "Sabotage" is proof of that, with his flow still sounding sharp. Apple Music | TIDAL

Pusha T – "Puppets (Succession Remix)" HBO's Succession is becoming a runaway hit in its second season, but one of the main attractions is composer Nicolas Britell's haunting, piano-laden theme song. Fans have been fiending for an artist to remix it, and Pusha T delivered with "Puppets," released this week. Such dark production is the perfect fit for Push's grim, rugged lyrics. Apple Music | TIDAL

Homeboy Sandman – "Lookout (feat. Quelle Chris, Your Old Droog)" Homeboy Sandman's upcoming album Dusty is scheduled for an Oct. 18 release date with Mello Music Group, and "Lookout" features him barring up with Quelle Chris and Your Old Droog over what sounds like a quirky western guitar sample by producer Mono El Stereo.

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Black Moses Music

Teedra Moses Talks 'Complex Simplicity' And Its Impact 15 Years Later

While providing us with a scope of classics, 2004 was a competitive year for female R&B. Ciara’s high-energy choreography and breakout album Goodies made audiences liken her to a young Janet Jackson, and Alicia Keys nearly swept every Grammy R&B category for her sophomore effort The Diary of Alicia Keys. Taking a step back to rejoin her Destiny’s Child sisters on the final album Destiny Fulfilled, many female artists, both veteran and new, began scrambling to match Beyoncé’s solo domination.

In her own lane was Teedra Moses, who once had sights on being an emcee, but gave singing a chance on her refined, truthful debut Complex Simplicity. Instead of compromising artistic integrity for stardom, Moses was resilient in her craft, perhaps even foreseeing that her sound would become the blueprint just 15 years later.

“One of the things in R&B that has changed since 2004 is that people write slick like a rapper. I listened to hip-hop because I’m a writer and I love wordplay. Now, R&B has wordplay,” Moses says. “SZA and Summer Walker, they got wordplay. Jhene Aiko… they can rap! R&B is actually trumping hip-hop in lyricism and content to me.”

Teedra Moses preceded this R&B formula that would reappear over a decade later, making the songstress well ahead of her time. With a fearless approach in songwriting that made Moses one-of-one, as the genre adapts, Complex Simplicity lingers as a testament of R&B’s early 2000s prime and beyond. Celebrating the album’s 15-year anniversary, Teedra Moses spoke with VIBE about a then-unknown Ne-Yo’s importance on her musical beginnings, how Aaliyah’s “Rock the Boat” set the tone for Complex Simplicity, and how the album even inspired Ari Lennox’s debut, Shea Butter Baby.


VIBE: In the early 2000s, it seems that many female artists were coy in their music, but on Complex Simplicity, you weren’t afraid to be vulgar. Where did this intention come from, especially when you were raised on gospel music?

Well, I’m from New Orleans, Louisiana, where we’re not docile people. We’re like, to the fullest. The food we cook, our seasonings are to the fullest. When we drink, we drink to the fullest. Where I come from it's a common thing to just be honest with who we are, and sometimes that comes out in a vulgar way. I wasn’t “vulgar,” I was honest, I didn't shy away from sexuality or how frustrated I was with a man, or whatever. I just was honest.

When was your curiosity piqued when it came to secular music? Was your interest originally because of Prince?

Yeah, I love Prince. My sister had a Prince album at school and she got in trouble, and my mama had to go up there. It was back when 45s were still out, it was like a purple 45, so it must have been the Purple Rain album, and I remember my mother breaking her album. I remember people saying if you play a Prince record back you’ll hear the devil and all these different things, but I just thought it was the most beautiful thing in the world, but secular music came to me before that. My mother only played gospel music in the car, but my brother played hip-hop. My cousin played Teena Marie and Angela Winbush, so outside of my mom, I was able to hear musical influences that you would probably hear in Complex Simplicity. Like, hip-hop influences and early R&B [like] Teena Marie, Angela Winbush... when women would sing with a swing.

Were you able to see Prince live while he was here?

Oh, praise God, I did. (laughs) This was during the process of making Complex Simplicity. When it was all done, a friend had a Christmas party and she ended up putting my sampler on. We were pretty much done with the album and at that party, Raphael Saddiq was there and he was like, ‘who is this?’, so she introduced me to him. We became friends, he got on the album and then one day when we were working on his project, Ray Ray, he was like ‘Yo, come to my house at 6 o’clock tomorrow and don’t be late, I’m going to see Prince.’ I fell out. We went to see him, I was blown away. Then after, we went to the Foundation Room, when House of Blues used to be on Sunset and L.A., and [Raphael] introduced me to Prince. I didn't really do anything but bite my straw in my drink the whole time. I got a chance to see him and meet him and my best friend, Nonja McKenzie, started to work for him as a stylist. He would have parties at his party house far out in the Valley, so, I’ve gotten about three opportunities to meet him. I’m definitely so happy that happened before he passed because I would not feel like my life was complete if I didn’t get to see him live.

Speaking of Raphael, would you consider him somewhat of your musical soulmate?

I would consider him a musical mentor. People don't realize that the first song I ever wrote and recorded was on Complex Simplicity, so I was literally a baby when I started my career. I wasn’t a seasoned performer, I wasn’t a seasoned writer… People think because I wrote songs after I started my career that I was a writer before. It all happened at the same time. And I met [Raphael Saddiq], and I knew him from Tony! Toni! Toné!, but I didn’t really know his music like that. So, when we started working together, he started telling me “you’re really dope and you’re part of the tribe of people that genuinely have the ability to make true art.” I was blown away by him saying that. I think that more than anything, he put some type of battery in my back. I wouldn’t say he’s my musical soulmate, I don’t think I’ve found that yet, but I would say he’s the most influential mentor I’ve found in music.

You had a great hand in songwriting for other artists, especially around 2004. Was your process hindered when writing for others versus your own music?

I think that writing for other people made me wack, to be honest. I feel like I was stripping myself of myself, and I never got into music to write for other people. It’s cool if you write what I’m doing, but when you got an A&R saying “no, we want...” It’s a lot of people trying to tell you how to make art, and I’m not really fucking with that. It really made me digress for a quick minute. Once I stop hustling to place records, I got dope again.

As a songwriter, do you replay Complex Simplicity and wish you rewrote, or even expanded a certain song?

As a songwriter and as an artist, I don’t really look back very much. Today was a very emotional day for me because I actually played the record, and it sounds so beautiful and happy and I wasn’t feeling beautiful and happy at that time. I didn’t feel very proud when I listened to it, but I wouldn’t do anything different. For me, that was the best interpretation of my artistic ability at that time.

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15 yrs ago today this album came out and changed my life. I remember all this shit that had gone down before I started making this album. My mother had just died and I broke up with my children father and I had 2 five yr old sons that I was not mentally or financially prepared to take care of... especially on my own. I clearly remember falling out on @nonjamckenzie bed (she has always been in my corner. Thee absolute bestfriend EVER) and literally screaming and crying for GOD to give me a way. I was sooo lost and confused. (GOD knew a regular job would have killed me) Shortly after #PoliPaul and I started my life's journey in music. 15 years later I'm so grateful that this body of work that saved me and my sons have been so influential in helping others. There is a misconception that I stopped doing music for years after this album but I did not. I was most likely (either me or @raheemdevaughn) the 1st RnB artist to make mixtapes... rocking over hiphop tracks at first.. then eventually making full length, all original music mixtapes. I was rocking shows thru out America and Europe all those yrs. #IndieArtistMakeItHappen It has been a beautiful journey thus far!! (I have not one regret) And we have so much more to give!! (#thebullshitalbum in Dec) #BlackMosesMusic Happy birthday to a real lifesaver #complexsimplicity15yrs (we will be releasing this album soon with some goodies to go with it 😁) Thank u to all involved in making this album happen... you helped save me and my children's lives🙏🏾

A post shared by Teedra Moses (@teedramoses) on Aug 10, 2019 at 10:59am PDT

I read your Instagram post on the anniversary of the album’s release. It was very transparent, you let out everything that you were feeling at that time. Does it still feel very new even though it’s been 15 years later?”

It doesn't feel new, it feels timeless to me. I can't speak for everybody else, but I'll be very arrogant enough to say that I make timeless music. It makes me think back and it’s a blessing because it makes me look at all I overcame. Nobody knows what I was going through at that time, so Complex Simplicity, 15 years later is like a trophy to me.

Were there any songs that were originally intended for other artists?

I wasn't a writer for other people when I started making that album. I didn’t wanna write [for other people], that wasn’t even a consideration. The only thing that triggered me to write for other people was that, when we would shop the album, they would say “Yo, we got too many R&B singers already, but we like that song.” So, you have a song like (sings “Still in Love” by Nivea), that was me remaking “Be Your Girl.” I wasn’t gonna give away certain songs, but we would make another one like it.

Were there any songs that were originally intended for other artists?

I wasn't a writer for other people when I started making that album. I didn’t wanna write [for other people], that wasn’t even a consideration. The only thing that triggered me to write for other people was that, when we would shop the album, they would say “Yo, we got too many R&B singers already, but we like that song.” So, you have a song like (sings “Still in Love” by Nivea), that was me remaking “Be Your Girl.” I wasn’t gonna give away certain songs, but we would make another one like it.

What was Ne-Yo’s contribution to the album?

He did vocal production and arrangement, except for “Caution.” I did “Caution” by myself, I came and did background and everything. It was magical because I had never done this shit before, but when we got to the next song I was stumped. Then Poli brought in Shaffer, who I know him as, you know him as Ne-Yo, and that album would not be what it is if it wasn’t for his vocal arrangement, it just would not. He and I had a conversation about it not too long ago and he was like, ‘I was just feeding off of you and it made me a better artist.’ Really, we were just young and having fun making music. We’re both dead broke, picking up coins between the seats in my car to buy Jack-in-the-Box egg rolls. He was brilliant then, just as brilliant as he is now, but he had been signed to another label and it went bad, but we were on the same production company. He was moving his way into where he is now, but I think he and I working together was part of his transition. He’s been super dope the whole time. You listen to his first album and, to me… (sings “So Sick”). I hear that and it reminds me of Complex Simplicity in the sense of it’s his vocal arrangement and his vocal production. If you listen to that song and then Complex Simplicity, you can totally hear Shaffer all over my album.

What were your feelings about R&B at the time of recording Complex Simplicity? How did you want to shake up the genre, per se?

I didn’t, I didn’t really care. (laughs) I really wanted to be a chick that sung over hip-hop beats. What changed everything for me from wanting to be a person that sang over harder beats, was Aaliyah’s “Rock the Boat.” I didn’t really want to come in and change nothing, I just wanted to make an album that sounded like “Rock the Boat,” because that song reminds me of a time I was nostalgic to when I was young in New Orleans and all these sounds, they felt so good. “Rock the Boat” will rock forever, it’s a timeless record. It will work for the rest of our lives. Until the end of the world, “Rock the Boat” will work, and I wanted to make an album that felt like that.

I was just listening to that album too, and it hasn’t aged a day.

That album was good, but that particular song was so freaking good. It’s flawless, it can work in any situation. I spoke to Ari Lennox’s manager in New Orleans for Essence Fest and they were like ‘we used Complex Simplicity as a template for her album.’ Well, I used “Rock the Boat,” that one song, as a template for the entire album.

What are your thoughts on current-day R&B? It seems to have progressed beyond contemporary R&B, especially when there are tons of subgenres.

R&B has turned into so many things, it’s not just Sam Cooke no more, it’s diversified. I love H.E.R., I love Miguel, I love Lucky Daye. It’s just so much good stuff. To be honest, I came out in a time where it was very horrible for R&B. What was going on in music, period, it was just strange. I used to always tell people “the good shit is coming back, I promise it’s coming back.” Now in the past few years, all these different artists have come and made all this different music that people didn’t think was gonna come back. It’s just different because you gotta find it. I never thought that R&B was gonna die, but some people did. It’s impossible, it’s the origin of so many sounds.

Kaytranada’s “Be Your Girl” remix seemed to give the song a new life, and introduced you to listeners who may not have known Teedra Moses back in 2004. What was it like to hear his version? Was the remix a surprise?

Definitely surprising to hear, like ‘yo, this is wild, this is so good!’ It was a long time before I heard it, it had probably been out for about six to seven months before I heard it. You know the crazy part about it? It has triggered a million and one others. Probably, in a week, I get one to two remixes of my vocals from “Be Your Girl.” But Kaytranada, he took it and made it something you can dance to instead of just ride to. It was more youthful than what we had done.

How are you reintroducing Complex Simplicity 15 years later?

I’m introducing it, more so, as I’ve had a victory lap. I’m reintroducing it, not as that little broken girl singing those songs, acting so fucking tough. When I present it now, I can truly stand in the persona of that album. I was projecting to myself who I was gonna be, now I truly am her. I didn’t even know how to promote the record back then because I was a scared little girl, now I’m that confident woman that people thought they were listening to.

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