Rap icon, Fat Joe seems to be loving his newfound success on the rise of his popularity in social media from the quarantine creation of his Instagram Live interview show, The Fat Joe Show (aka The Joprah Show). He also recently showcased his storytelling skills on the hit podcast, Drink Champs, by NY rap legend, Nore. Here though, Joe takes his talents to the forefront of NPR’s hot “Tiny Desk (home version)” franchise. Since the shutdown, NPR took the performance platform to the homes of the stars rather than NPR’s recording studio. “The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music’s Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It’s the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space,” explains series producer Abby O’Neill.
Having Fat Joe run through his hits is a no-brainer and welcomed surprise since we haven’t seen a live set from the Bronx, NY native in eons. His setlist, transmitting from his uptown New York streetwear/lifestyle shop UpNYC, is short and heavy-hitting with “My Lifestyle,” “What’s Luv?,” “Lean Back,” “Sunshine (The Light),” and the mega-hit, “All The Way Up.” Joe shares the screen time with new R&B voice, Angelica Vila and Eugene “Man-Man” Roberts, along with Rashid Williams on piano. Handling drums is Eric Whatley, bass Simon Martinez and the energized DJ Ted Smooth on the wheels.
Harlem, New York keeps churning out rappers that are buzz-worthy and looking for their slot as hot in the streets and on the charts. Next in line is rapper/producer Rosé Riley with his trap push “Murder Mountain.” Even with the song’s new landing spot, Spotify’s audience is feeling it with 25,000 streams already packed in. With an affiliation with The Fugees founder, Wyclef Jean, Riley was featured on “Faded Butterfly” off the recent Wyclef Goes Back To School album. Learning from those Uptown hustlers before him, Riley is also rolling out his branded ‘Rose Fam’ clothing line. Yet, music is still his main focus, as well as putting on some of his homies as newcomer Yung Tash is featured on the battle-type beat with him. Be sure to check for Riley’s debut project, Rosé Season, shortly.
B.K. Habermehl’s voice is a throwback, able to jump from skyscraper range to those deep rounded vocals by women who are more than twice her physical size. Seeing how she can hold such a strong space with strength and clarity, we know her career looks to be long and prosperous. Connected to the likes of stars like Akon, producers Jerry Wonda and DJ Khalil and the Anderson.Paak band the Free Nationals, the Southern California native with ties to New York by way of studying at NYU (graduating Cum Laude), b.k. is a jazz/R&B/pop hybrid with soul that is evident on her newest single “Purpose.”
The video is directed by Jake Hindley with cinematography by Jenna Huskisson, as B.K. Saunters through the lyrics and visuals of a lover that’s lost in direction. Having the wave of music with direct themes to heartache and heart warmth, there is no wonder that Issa Rae’s team selected three of her songs on last season’s HBO show, Insecure, including the rhythm-filled bop, “Right On Time.”
With so much great energy surrounding her movements and an unforgettable stylish flair, you can expect her debut album before the end of 2021.
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We found Xz.Avier, aka the Soul Don Corleone, by way of the illsoundvibe platform. Xz is a Chino Hills, Cali talent that sings, produces, and can write a song that hits your very mood. So many folks come into the music biz to change things, yet the politics end up switching their focus, but something about Xz seems true to the vision he has to influence the Hip-Hop Soul genre.
On “Dasit,” the first person you think of when you hear and see X is none other than the soul controller himself, D’Angelo. That’s not a bad comparison, yet touches of Anderson.Paak and sound taps of A Tribe Called Quest influences are there as well. A self-proclaimed “soul connoisseur, groove maneuver, funk consumer” is how he is billed, but we are sure all he wants you to do is listen with an open ear and spacious heart. Get into his Black Autumn, Chapter 1: B.A.T.R. project and look for his upcoming Chapter 2: Black Autumn album.
Now, Devin Morrison is a last-minute entry to this post, as he dropped some hotness today. The lyrical genius, Phonte, formerly of North Carolina’s Lil Brother trio, cosigned the crooner by featuring him on his 2019 Pacific Time EP track “Beverly Hills.” So to honor the man’s ears that we trust like our own, we are adding Devin to the list, he even labeled himself, “just a lil Jit from Florida.” From the sounds of “Nu Beginning,” we think he’s way more than that. Looking forward to hearing more from the soul man.