Lil Kim at BET Hip Hop Awards
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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CLRD Entertainment

Audio Push's Price Is Spitting For Everyone Black

For over a decade, California rap duo Audio Push gave hip-hop’s newer generation consistent flames via four studio albums and a bevy of colorful mixtapes. In 2020, the fire outside of the music industry burns brighter and angrier. Larry Jacks pka Price—one half of Audio Push—is fully aware of the racial and political inferno ablaze nationwide. Although the 29-year-old is coming off a hit single for the fourth season of Insecure (on Issa Rae’s new label) and is a collaboration go-to for artists like Travis Scott and Ty Dolla $ign, Price felt his next mission in music was to speak on and for his people. That ode to Brown and Black people around the world comes in the form of his latest album CLRD, a short ride of modern fresh production and lyrics which celebrate the Black experience. While the album is a homage, it is also set in a classroom to serve as edu-tainment. The eight-track player dons feature production from Boi 1da and song titles like “Tuskegee” and “Mufasa,” intended to inspire pride and awareness for today and yesterday’s ebony narrative.

On the eve of the release for CLRD’s second single, “Maya,” VIBE raps with Price on his stellar solo composition, signing with a Black woman-owned record label, and how making money outside of music allows him to speak to white people however he pleases.

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So much has and still is transpiring for Blacks in America. Was there anything specific that inspired CLRD?

People aren’t going to believe me but I had this project done at the beginning of quarantine—like February-March before we were marching and the enemies were sticking knees on our necks. I just wanted to show the beauty of being Black. It’s a greatness that never gets showcased. We always just talk about the struggle, but I wanted to show something different. Things that aren’t making The Shade Room.

Why exactly did you title your second single “Maya”?

I produced the beat and, for some reason, while I’m playing the loop, Maya Angelou’s [poem] “Caged Bird” kept replaying in my head. For no reason at all. It wasn’t even a melody. Just the essence of what she was saying. It’s one of my favorite songs on the project.

I figured it was inspired by Maya’s poem, but I love that you didn’t make a direct reference.

Yeah, like I got a son that’s nine-years-old, baby brothers, nephews who don’t know who Maya is. They know about Mufasa because of Lion King, but they don’t know the spiritual essence of Mufasa and Lion King. To me it’s just finding ways to talk to the youth. I want to spark that in them. Now they know about Maya Angelou and wanna research her.

Why did you feel the statements made on CLRD needed to be conveyed as a solo artist instead of with Audio Push?

Fire ass question. I felt that the statement needed to be made solo because even though the Audio Push catalog has plenty of pro-black music, me and Oktane, we share different seats on our road to life. My dad gang banged. He was in jail since I was five years old. I watched my family sell dope. My family was a part of the Jim Jones massacre. I was gang banging all my life and selling dope at 16. I just survived a different struggle. [As Audio Push] we had to fuse our stories for so many years and make it one. But I have a completely different story from my brother.

How was it like landing the lead single on last season’s Insecure soundtrack?

It was amazing to be a part of Issa Rae’s vision. She’s done many soundtracks, but she’s never done one on her own label. Just being a part of that camp was dope. I knew Pink Sweats before he was even Pink Sweats. We had a session before, so when we worked this time it just felt like it was overdue. I was in there going from room to room trying to get on everything. I was a part of a lot of songs—like six—but luckily [“Cadillac Drive”] was the single. We did the record in like 15 minutes because Pink Sweats is fast! I couldn’t even help with the writing process. I wanted to write some of his parts, but he’s so fast and so fire he was just running through it. I just had to have a verse ready.

You’ve worked with not just superstars, but exceptional talents. Travis Scott is one that most wouldn’t normally associate you with…

I’ve worked with Travis from the beginning! Before he even had braids and shit. I worked with him on Pusha T’s “Blocka;” I co-wrote a lot of songs on his first and second album. I co-wrote “Antidote.” Yeah, that’s my dog.

You’ve also worked with Ty Dolla $ign. How do you add on to someone with that much writing and production talent?

I’m solo so I gotta pop my sh*t (Laughs). We been fucking with Ty before Ty was Ty. That’s my ni**a, for real. We was pulling up on Ty’s shows at the Key Club when there was twenty people in the crowd. Then he was coming to our shows when like 600 people showed up. He was on “Sweat” with us, a lot of records. I’ve been in this music sh*t since I was 13-years-old. I’m just finally coming into my own where I can walk into these rooms and talk to these white people how I want.

How did the partnership with Madeline Nelson’s Heads Music label come into fruition?

There ain’t an interview or press run that could compare to [my publicist, Jennifer Williams] plugging my relationship with Madeline Nelson. Jennifer really loves us and our music so she was just sharing the music, putting me in position to meet dope people. Sadly, I had never before heard of Madeline Nelson. So I did my research. I’m like, “This is a Back woman who started her own company? That’s bossed the f**k up!” I’m a big fan of Dame Dash and one time he said if you can surround yourself around women, especially if you’re a Black man who’s a boss. First call with Madeline, she’s like I’ve been listening to this album all day. She’s shouting out lines and providing an energy that let me know she was really rocking. She provided a deal and partnership that I would’ve been a fool to turn down. And I’ve had dope offers. I’ve also had major offers that were shitty. I’ve been signed to majors twice. I’ll never do it again. Ever.

You’re seriously never signing with another major?

I don’t ever see myself signing to a major label again. What I would do is one off partnerships where I own all my masters. So I’m gonna run it up with Heads Music until I create my own distribution company. This is why I’ve created companies outside of music. There’s a real luxury to not having to wait on music checks. I don’t have to talk to labels. I can create my own flow and run at my on pace. Ten million [dollars] won’t even be enough. I’m not even doing what Master P did. He still got in bed with Priority. I ain’t playing none of those games. Talk to me nice.

You mentioned owning businesses outside of music. Most rappers don’t own food trucks and BBQ restaurants. How did you get into the culinary business?

Carrie’s ended up falling in my lap from my family. My mom and my step pops wanted to get into it. I had the bread to invest. It kind of fell into my lap. My mother and my step pops got a divorce and was like f**k the restaurant. I’m like, “What? Business is cracking. We making $1000 a day. We not giving this sh*t up!” I was blessed to have an aunt that was an incredible chef. She’s damn near the smartest person in my family. Put her in position, we partnered and ran it up. Sticking it out with my restaurant taught me the most about business. I didn’t care about selling food. Honestly, I don’t care about selling barbecue like that. If we’re being 100% transparent, I don’t eat pork. But we gonna cook it right. We’re gonna cook it right and pure. So instead of going to Johnny Ray’s, come to Carrie’s and buy Black.

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DJ Cassidy

DJ Cassidy Returns With More Legends Of R&B In His 'Pass The Mic Vol. 3' Series

DJ Cassidy is back with the third installment of his live performance series "Pass The Mic" of 80's and 90's Hip-Hop and R&B's legends doing a virtual house party concert. The mix is amazing to witness as it is seamless in flow, as over 40 hit-making stars like, SWV, After 7, TLC, Keith Sweat Full Force and so many more perform their biggest tracks from the comfort of their homes.

With this being number three in the series (where the first volume showcased the 70s/80s, and the second featured damn near every Hip-Hop icon from the golden era of 88-92), this version mainly salutes the New Jack Swing era of the early 90s. Cassidy keeps the party moving by the perfect song selection, while the likes of Father MC, Christopher Williams and En Vogue sang their hearts out.

Having these icons in his digital mix gave way to Cassidy thinking on the times when he saw some of his participants on the covers of our magazine. Read his thoughts below and check the amazing show he and these incredible talents put on for the people of the world!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Thank you @keithsweat @kcihailey @officialswv @therealcokoswv @tajgeorge @therealleleeswv @shaniceonline @stevenrussellhartss @chuckiibooker @after7music @therealkevonedmonds7 @hakimabdulsamad @envoguemusic @cindyherronbraggs @terryellis @officialmissrnb @iamdireed @aquilaphil @therealmangelo1 @kirkland_ek @free_dadreamer @bigbubtoday @fullforceworld @thebowlegged1 @therealpaulanthony @beeisbad @geeniusmusic @therealfathermc @officialchristopherwilliams @realjohnnygill22 @officialbellbivdevoe @mrrickybell @617mikebiv @bigrondevoe kingbobbybrown @therealralphtresvant @teddyriley1 @boyziimen @wanyamorris1 @shawnstockmanofficial and @nathanmorrisphd. You are all my heroes 👑🎙👑.

A post shared by DJ Cassidy (@djcassidy) on Oct 13, 2020 at 9:45pm PDT

JODECI "COME AND TALK TO ME"

VIBE AUG. 1995 ISSUE

"Written and produced By Devante Swing and Al B. Sure, 'Come And Talk To Me' defined the beginning of a new era of R&B that went to be referred to by many as Hip Hop Soul, and Jodeci was at the forefront of that movement. There’s a reason Jodeci graced the cover of Vibe. They were a cultural shift. The EPMD interpolation, the voices, the sound, the style. With Andre Harrell and Puff Daddy behind the scenes, this song changed the game."

 TLC "BABY BABY BABY"

VIBE NOV. 1994 ISSUE

"Everyone has those few songs that they always put on when cruising in the car on a sunny day. 'Baby, Baby, Baby,' is one of those songs for me. It’s instant sunshine, it’s instant breeze, it’s instant smiles. Everytime I hear it, I picture myself in the music video which I remember watching as a child, enamored by the scene, wanting to deejay a vibe like that when I grew up. The feeling this song gave me then is the same feeling it gives me today. LA and Babyface’s production defines the phrase 'feel good.' Chilli’s adlibs are as memorable as T-Boz’s hook. TLC has a long list of iconic records, yet this one holds a special place in my heart."

EN VOGUE "HOLD ON"

VIBE APRIL 1994 ISSUE

"The Motown 'Who’s Lovin’ You' acapella intro, the James Brown 'The Payback' sample, the bassline, the harmonies...This song might be one of the coolest records ever made. The track itself can go head to head with the greatest Hip Hop instrumentals of all time. Mix that with the most flawless harmonic voices, this song will always be in a category of its own. 

BOBBY BROWN "MY PREROGATIVE"

VIBE OCT. 1996 ISSUE

"Bobby Brown’s 'Don’t Be Cruel' is one the greatest R&B albums ever made and, with 'Thriller,' is one of my two favorite R&B albums of the decade. It’s sold over twelve million copies. 'My Prerogative' is the definitive Bobby Brown anthem, in many ways, similar to what 'Billie Jean' is to Michael Jackson. It’s so cool, it’s so mean, it’s funky. Produced by Teddy Riley, it’s also one the definitive songs of this era in which the energy of Hip Hop transformed R&B. Thirty-two years later, this song remains a dance floor monster, instantly explosive on dance floors around the world, no matter where I am, no matter who’s in front of me. 'My Prerogative' transcends New Jack Swing, it transcends R&B, it transcends genre. It's one of the greatest Pop records ever made."

NEW EDITION "IF IT ISN’T LOVE" 

VIBE NOV. 1996 ISSUE

Three years from now, New Edition’s debut single 'Candy Girl' will have been released forty years ago. They are simply the greatest R&B group of the past four decades. Their cultural influence - from music to dance to style - is immeasurable. Not only does the group itself have countless hits, but each of the group’s six members are stars in their own right. Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant, Johnny Gill, and Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie Devoe of Bell Biv Devoe have all released undisputed smashes, and each does something special on Pass The Mic: VolumeThree. With this edition (pun intended) of Pass The Mic, I focussed on the game changing R&B of roughly 1987 to 1992, a time period in which there is no more iconic New Edition record than 'If It Isn’t Love,' produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. Everyone knows the choreography (and its influence - check Beyonce’s 'Love On Top') and watching people on dance floors around the world break into it the second they hear it is a beautiful thing. Even Puffy, Usher, Jay Z, and Beyonce all had circles around them when I dropped it at Puffy’s 50th birthday last December."

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Premiere: Jucee Froot's "T.H.U.G." Places The Mirror In Front of America

In a time of social unrest within America, a multitude of rap artists has stepped up to the plate with music that channels the pain, frustration, and despair of minorities while chastising the powers that be. Memphis rapper Jucee Froot, the creator of the theme to the Starz hit TV show, P-Valley, is the latest artist to address these pressing matters with the visual to her latest release, "T.H.U.G.," inspired by the ongoing police brutality and racially-charged incidents dividing the country.

Shot in Atlanta, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Orson Swells-directed video captures her holding court from a podium on the community's frontlines in between black-and-white clips of local riots. The song, inspired by the late Tupac Shakur's acronym for ‘The Hate U Give,’ captures the grim reality that comes with being a person of color in America. Contemplating "[if] you can't call police on police, who gon' save us," Jucee Froot—who felt compelled to address the elephant in the room as a mother of young black men herself—puts forth a powerful statement in "T.H.U.G." that doubles as a sign of the times and a testament to the range of her artistry.

And with a follow-up to her last full-length release, Black Sheep, on the way, "T.H.U.G." could be the calm before the storm as the Atlantic Records signee looks ready to take the next step in her evolution.

Join us for a live Q&A with Jucee Froot tomorrow, October 14 at 9 pm ET on VIBE's official Instagram page.

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