Summer Walker Gives London On Da Track A Hilariously Violent Lap Dance: Watch

Forget about her crippling social anxiety for a minute and focus on just how comfortable Summer Walker is with her man London On Da Track. They’ve clearly got a bond that’s special, spending tons time together and collaborating on one the best albums the entire year, Over It. Despite a brief breakup last month, the couple paints a picture love on social media. London helps Summer through her anxiety and she brings the best out his production. What more can you ask for? They can clearly make fun themselves too, as evidenced in their latest video on social media.

Summer Walker Gives London On Da Track A Hilariously Violent Lap Dance: Watch
Prince Williams/Wireimage/Getty s

After announcing that the majority her tour has been cancelled to preserve her health, Summer Walker relaxed with her boyfriend in their spot, uploading a humorous clip to Instagram today. “How them hoes be dancing at the booty club, so violent,” wrote the singer as her caption, giving her boo a very aggressive lap dance. Dancing to T-Pain‘s “Buy U A Drank,” Summer attacks London On Da Track with her backside, bouncing up and down with ferocity. London started f with his hand down his pants, perhaps attempting to protect his hardware, but Walker likely set back his boys a few years with this display.

She may not be comfortable on stage but with her boyfriend, she can do it all.

Fabolous Recalls Dropping $100K On A Lil Wayne Verse, Kid Cudi Tension & More

It goes without saying, but Noreaga’s Drink Champs has led to some excellent conversation with the game’s legendary OGs. The most recent episode features none other than Loso himself, Fabolous, covering two hours’ worth material. Given the lengthy runtime, there’s plenty  reflections and insight to parse through, including a particularly interesting anecdote circling back to the Ghetto Fabolous era. For some context, Fab’s debut dropped on September 11th, 2001, when the lyricist was only seventeen years old. 

“I even had a song with Lil Wayne that never came out,” explains Fab. “They was so hot. They came to the studio. Steve Stoute gave them $100 grand for Lil Wayne. They was scorching. Cash Money in 99 and 2000. Gave them $100. They also requested four bottles Cristal. I don’t know what it was but it was Cris…We in the studio, we thinking four bottles Cris mean they gon’ come in, we gon’ vibe. Drink some champagne. Wayne came in there, did his verse in fifteen minutes, then he was out. Took the four bottles with them. That was my first time even seeing something like that. This shit is different!”
 Fabolous Recalls Dropping $100K On A Lil Wayne Verse, Kid Cudi Tension & More

Noam Galai/Wire/Getty s

He also breaks down the reason he’d avoid working with 6ix9ine, even if fered a hefty, Lil Wayne-esque fee. “I don’t like the standard it set,” explains Fab. “If you do that, you gon’ suffer the consequences what you do. We can’t set that for our kids, for the public. That’s not cool. And it’s the way it came about. It wasn’t like a civilian. That shows kids this generation that you can do that, and when it goes left…alright, I’ma go right, come back left, and you’ll fuck with me.” 

Curiously enough, Fab also opens up about some tension between himself and Kid Cudi, which occurred over the song “You Be Killin Em.” “You know who sneaky called me about that record? Kid Cudi,” explains Fab, revealing that he was shocked by how it all went down. “He’s like ‘yo Fab, I did that joint with Ryan Leslie and I didn’t get my credit or my money…I’m like, Cudi, bruh, why you on my line with this? I guess he chased down and found my number to hit me up with this. He was like, I’m supposed to have credit or money.” Nore questions why he didn’t deal directly with Ryan Leslie, the song’s producer. “That’s what I be saying,” says Fab. “You gotta relax, Kid Cudi. You blocked on everything right now. Now I gotta unfollow you and everything. I don’t even know why you calling me! The song is a hit already!”  

Fabolous Claims Kid Cudi Was Upset He Wasn’t Credited On "You Be Killin Em"

Artists are serious about collecting their checks and anyone who thought they were going to mess with Kid Cudi‘s coins were sadly mistaken. Although rapper Fabolous has been in the rap game for decades, he released his first EP in 2010 when he dropped There Is No Competition 2: The Grieving Music EP. On that project was a song titled “You Be Killin Em” featuring Ryna Leslie, the only single to be released from the album. Amber Rose even made an appearance in the music video and the track would go on to become certified Gold.

However, Kid Cudi wanted to know why he wasn’t credited with helping produce the song. During a recent chat with Drink Champs, Fab shared that back in the day, Kid Cudi called him up asking where his money was because he helped Ryan Leslie during production. Fabolous said he didn’t know what to tell him other than to hit up Leslie because it wasn’t his problem.

“I guess he chased down and found my number and hit me up and was like, ‘Yo, I’m ‘posed to have credit or money or somethin’.’…You gotta relax Kid Cudi,” Fab said while everyone laughed. “You blocked on everything right now. Now you can’t even like…now I gotta unfollow you. I don’t even know why you callin’ me. The song is a hit already. What you talkin’ to me for?” The production credits for “You Be Killin Em” are listed as Ryan Leslie and DJ Clue, so hopefully, Cudi was able to get his money right behind the scenes. 

Watch Fab share his Kid Cudi story around the 38:00 minute mark below, but there are a few gems in there, so feel free to check out the interview in its entirety.

Stone Cold Steve Austin Announces WWE Network Special With The Undertaker

WWE Hall Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin has announced a new WWE Network interview series called “The Broken Skull Sessions” that will kickf after the Survivor Series PPV on November 24. His first guest will be none other than The Undertaker, who made his WWE debut on the 1990 edition Survivor Series.

Real name Mark Callaway, The Undertaker is almost always in character and he hardly ever sits down for long interviews so wrestling fans are obviously interested to see where this conversation leads. 

So what can wrestling fans expect from the “The Broken Skull Sessions” interview series? According to The Rattlesnake, it’ll be more a “bullshit session” than his previous WWE Network projects.

“I think this is going to be a little more relaxed and laid back,” he said, according to Variety. “The other one was live and I was flying around to accommodate the schedule and going out on the road. This is over at the Broken Skull studio, which we’ve built up…It’s basically like a bullshit session, talking about someone’s career and trading stories, shooting the breeze.”

The premiere episode The Broken Skull Sessions will be available exclusively on the WWE Network immediately after the conclusion Survivor Series on Sunday, November 24. The Undertaker is reportedly scheduled for an appearance nearby the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, where Survivor Series is being held, during Survivor Series weekend, but it remains to be seen if he’ll make his presence felt during the PPV.

Billionaire’s Wife Sued After Saying She Can Use N-Word Because She’s Friends With Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys‘s name is tangled in a lawsuit against a billionaire’s wife. Hedge-funder Philip Falcone and his wife, Lisa Maria Falcone, have been named in a lawsuit brought against the Mrs. by the couple’s former personal chef. In a report recently made by Page Six, the chef, Brian Villanueva, says he introduced Lisa to his girlfriend who happened to be a black woman and then things were awry.

Billionaire's Wife Sued After Saying She Can Use N-Word Because She's Friends With Alicia Keys
Andrew Toth/Getty s

In the lawsuit, Villanueva states that his girlfriend was helping him back in July at the Falcone’s party in the Hamptons. Attending the party were Swizz Beatz and wife Alicia Keys, and while the event went f without a hitch, Villanueva alleges that things took a turn the next morning. When he spoke with Lisa the following day, she reportedly said, “Your girlfriend speaks very well. She seems educated. I would describe her as a chocolate-covered marshmallow.”

The chef claims that it was obvious that he was fended by the remark, but that didn’t stop Lisa from continuing. “Do you use the word ‘n****’ at home with your girlfriend?” she allegedly asked according to the court documents. “Defendant Lisa Falcone noticed the shocked and fended expression on Plaintiff’s face, however, rather than apologize, she said defensively, ‘I’m Puerto Rican and grew up in Spanish Harlem so I can speak like that.'”

Billionaire's Wife Sued After Saying She Can Use N-Word Because She's Friends With Alicia Keys
Michael Tran/Getty s

The documents also show that Lisa even dropped Alicia and Swizz’s names as a defense for her words. “I meant she speaks really eloquently. Alicia Keys] doesn’t speak that way. She didn’t have an education and was just discovered by Clive Davis when she was fifteen years old. Swizz Beatz] definitely doesn’t speak that way either,” Lisa reportedly said.

Villanueva says that just hours later he delivered a pizza to the Falcones while they were relaxing on the beach, he advised them that he was quitting. “Rather than accepting Plaintiff’s resignation, Defendant Lisa Falcone asked Plaintiff not to resign and stated ‘talk to my black friends’ (seemingly referring to Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz — both whom were at the beach with the Falcones at that time), and emphasized ‘they will tell you that I am not racist.'” 

The chef has sued for discrimination and violation New York labor laws. Villanueva said that Philip told him he’d pay him, but only if the chef and his girlfriend agreed to sign confidentiality agreements saying they would never tell anyone about what Lisa said. Villanueva is asking for the $4,230.76 unpaid wages he claims he’s owed. 

Blockhead Returns With Instrumental "Bubble Bath" Album

New York-bred producer Blockhead is back with Bubble Bath, the follow-up to this year’s Free Sweatpants album, which featured MCs such as Aesop Rock and Open Mike Eagle.

But like the majority of his extensive catalog, Bubble Bath is soaking in 12 tracks of instrumental bliss.

As Blockhead tells HipHopDX, he “set out to make an album that was made to enjoyed in the comforts of a bathtub — be it for relaxing or slitting your wrists. The titles come from some inside jokes or just the mood the song gives me. Like, I take an idea and expand on it until it’s this off shoot abstract idea of that original idea.

“As for making this album, making instrumental albums are nothing new to me. It’s just back to that mindset. Working with rappers is easier and more laid back.”

Blockhead’s impressive catalog kicked off in 2004 with Music By Cavelight. Along the way, he’s contributed production to several of Aesop Rock’s tracks, including “Fumes” and “Coffee” from Aes’ 2007 None Shall Pass album.

Check out the Bubble Bath album stream, cover art and tracklist below.

Blockhead Returns With Instrumental "Bubble Bath" Album
  1. On The Bright Side
  2. Bubble Bath
  3. Spicy Peppercorn
  4. The Magical Intimacy Camel
  5. It’s Not Yet Time For The Percolator
  6. Sugar Daddie’s Lament
  7. Over and Out
  8. Life Support
  9. Moist Ghost
  10. Spa Day With Your Moms
  11. That’s How He Got Dead
  12. Vitamin D Deficiency

Famous Dex Suffers Seizure During Show

Famous Dex’s performance was cut short after he suffered a seizure on stage.

According to TMZ, the rapper was performing at 1 OAK in West Hollywood on Friday morning when he passed out in front of clubgoers. Video footage shows his body shaking while being held by his legs and shoulders by members of his crew. They eventually carried him backstage.

The L.A. Country Fire Department received a call about a person who had suffered a seizure at the club a little before 2 a.m. They arrived shortly after, but never transported the patient to the hospital.

The 26-year-old MC is now recovering and ready to get back to work. “We wish Famous Dex a speedy recovery after his epileptic seizure last night,” a rep for the rapper tells TMZ. “He is currently in good spirits and hopes to return back to finishing his new album. He thanks all his fans for their prayers and well wishes.”

Nearly a year ago, fans became concerned after the “Pick It Up” hitmaker passed out in the middle of a livestream. In April, he announced that he was giving up lean and Xanax.

“I just wanna thank God,” he said at the time. “I don’t do xans, the lean. It’s over with, you know what I’m saying? God is good, God is great. I just wanna thank God for everything. I wanna thank my supporters. I wanna thank everyone for supporting me, everybody that knows me. God is so good. I’m relaxed, I’m chilling, I’m good . . . I’m doing it for me and my children. Get right. Dexter. Make the world get better.”

Kevin Durant Claps Back At Donovan McNabb Over Kyrie Criticism

ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan published a story on Tuesday describing how the new-look Brooklyn Nets came to be and the challenge incorporating All Stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant within the team’s culture.

As part that story, MacMullan mentioned how the Nets have already had concerns about Kyrie Irving’s sporadic “mood swings,” which included a moment in China that left them “scratching their heads as to what precipitated it.”

Amid the “mood swings” report, former NFL star Donovan McNabb hopped on twitter to question whether Kevin Durant is already regretting his decision to team up with Irving in Brooklyn.

“With everything starting to come out with @KyrieIrving and the @BrooklynNets , when will @KDTrey5 realize maybe I should’ve stayed in Golden State? Boy I’ve seen this happen before,” McNabb tweeted.

Durant delivered a simple, yet hilarious, two-word response to the ex-Eagles QB: “Relax McNabb.”

In discussing Irving’s alleged mood swings, Durant told MacMullan that he views his All-Star teammate as “an artist” who sometimes just needs to be left alone. He made it quite clear that he’s in full support whatever Kyrie has to do in order to perform at the elite level he’s capable .

Per ESPN:

“I look at Kyrie as somebody who is an artist,” Durant says. “You have to leave him alone. You know what he’ll bring to the table every night because he cares so much about the game.

“Now, it might not be how other people want him to care about it. He has his way doing things. I respect who he is and what he does. He has all the intangibles you want in a teammate and a great player. So, how he gets to the point to be ready for 7:30 every night, I’m supporting him 100 percent.”

Russell Wilson & Ciara Celebrate Her Birthday On A Yacht, Exchange Loving Messages On IG

The world may have been frustrated with Kanye West on Friday over his delayed Jesus Is King release, but it was a much more relaxed October 25 for Russell Wilson and wife Ciara. Friday marked the singer’s 34th birthday and these two made sure to celebrate in style. The husband and wife ten share their loved up moments on social media, making them a regular fixture for the “relationship goals” hashtag. Keeping up with their reputation, the football star shared a loving birthday message n honor Ciara’s big day.

“Since the moment I met you you’ve gifted me with nothing but Love, Joy, Peace, and 2 Beautiful Children. No gift is worth as much as the Eternal Gift Love that you have given me and our family. Daddy Loves You. Happy Birthday Baby. I Love You to Heaven and Back. ❤️ @Ciara.” The singer shared a few photos from their trip and showed love to Russell by writing, “Exactly where I wanted to be on my B Day!❤️ Babe, you’re the best planner! You’re always so thoughtful. Being in your arms is all I need! Truly grateful. #BirthdayLove.” Swipe through the photos to see these two on their yacht vacation and to get a glimpse into what presents Russell bestowed upon his bride, including a Hermés Birkin bag.

Frank Ocean’s "DHL": The Independent Jugg

Over the course the past decade, Frank Ocean has transformed from Los Angeles transplant into nascent trendsetter into a generational voice. His presence, punctuated by irregular bouts silence, has shaped music far beyond the confines genre specification and cultural convention. Now an enshrined icon in complete command his artistic faculties, Ocean has returned to the fold with “DHL,” the first ficial release since his 2018 cover Audrey Hepburn’s “Moon River.” Originally teased on his Instagram story on December 18th, 2018, the surprise release is far from a weepy shower tune or silky poetic ditty about romantic redemption. Rather, it forgoes the pummeling emotion “Self Control” or “Solo” in favor a murky mush syllables and punctuation, like a cow mulling over the makeup the cud between its molars. It’s a meandering and mellow tune on which Ocean’s vocals are distorted to match the warped textures the instrumental. 

Produced by German house aficionado Boys Noize, who most recently sculpted the beat for A$AP Rocky’s “Babushka Boi,” “DHL” progresses through several phases without much in the way melody. Ocean is a writer first and foremost, but “DHL” has the feel something derived from an f the cuff, late night studio session wherein a woozy array synths are the ideal bathwater for the mercurial musings that bubble forth. A relaxed, near effortless cadence speaks to Ocean’s formidable talents as an emcee that made him a talking point on Odd Future’s “Oldie,” Earl Sweatshirt’s “Sunday,” and the A$AP Mob cut “RAF.” His chants inch forward with a drugged up swagger, gradually loosening to the point that they become mumbled gloss. The wordplay builds with a similarly cavalier confidence: brushed waves are “ramen noodles,” the “cyst” on his wrist is a luxury timepiece, and the “pack” that he harps on is an anchored drug reference. These double entendre-led hiccups emit the same sort listless psychedelia and space-bending “L$D,” as casual vulgarity and an impermanence pleasure (“Boy toy ride me like an Uber”) are pickled with simpler pleasures such as Starbucks and Kawasaki bikes. Ocean even takes a moment to reference his viral front row look at 2019 Paris Fashion Week, in which he posed alongside Timothee Chalamet in “high-end Euro hiker” attire that featured a puffer jacket, jeans, and a beanie.

Frank Ocean's "DHL": The Independent Jugg

Frank Ocean and Timothee Chalamet front row at Louis Vuitton – Pascal Le Segretain/Getty s for Louis Vuitton

Beyond Ocean’s fondness for getting gifts in the mail (a love affair that he spoke about at length in an interview with GQ), it’s rather fitting that the titular international courier service is the muse for this latest stream–consciousness. In the final 20 seconds “DHL,” Ocean’s voice hardens, leaping in to focus having relinquished the wash effects. It’s the same kind endorphin rush that comes from returning home to stacks postal boxes, one made all the more eye-popping by his not-so-subtle “independent jugg” boast about finessing his way out his Def Jam contract with the double release Endless back in 2016. Of course, we all know what transpired shortly thereafter: the critically-acclaimed Blonde arrived in August the same year through his independent label, earning him a reported $20 million.  

In this respect, “DHL” is not just a reflection Ocean’s coveted financial freedom, but the even more valuable artistic freedom that comes from being beholden to no one and able to “deliver” on one’s own terms. Speaking about his inspirations with W magazine, Ocean alluded to “the many different iterations nightlife” that have dominated his creative headspace as late, and his desire to make songs that feel like “full motion-picture fantasies.” Though there’s no news on an album just yet, this revealing tidbit and the snippets that have since gone public would seem to point to something much bigger (and groovier) in the works. The club vibrations New Orleans bounce are particularly prominent on Sango’s remix “Cayendo,” one two new tracks alongside “Dear April” that Ocean previewed during the first installment his PrEP+ party series last week (both tracks are up for purchase on his website as 7” vinyl). Named after a drug designed to help prevent HIV in high-risk communities, Ocean’s rather exclusive homage to the vibrant queer culture NYC during the 1980s was accompanied by the resurrection blonded RADIO, during which fans were first treated to “DHL”’s rummaging teases about “old files…coming soon” and “new files” sharing space on Ocean’s prized hard drives. 

Frank Ocean's "DHL": The Independent Jugg

Frank Ocean at the Met Gala 2019 – Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty s

While there’s the very real possibility that such audio files may not see the light day for years (Blonde cuts “Ivy” and “Seigfried” premiered at live shows back in 2013 and 2014, respectively), the 13 silhouetted figures lining the bottom edge the “DHL” cover art have fans convinced that there’s more coming down the pipeline: the fourth icon is highlighted, which many have surmised to be a hint at a forthcoming 13-track ensemble in which “DHL” is but a single. Amidst the swirling rumors and empty guarantees cyberspace, perhaps Ocean will bless music’s proverbial doorstep before the year is out, preferably in the form a full-bodied package.

Kanye West Donates $1 Million to Prison Reform Charities for Kim Kardashian’s Birthday

Kanye West is making a big donation in his wife’s name.

In honor of her 39th birthday on Monday, the rapper gifted his wife with designer bags, but that wasn’t all. He also donated a whopping $1 million to charities that focus on prison reform.

“I got amazing gifts from my whole family and Kanye for me the most amazing bags. But he also donated $1 million to my favorite charities that work so hard on prison reform on my behalf from him and the kids,” tweeted Kim. “This makes my heart so happy!”

Her sister Kourtney also applauded Kanye for his generous donation. “Kanye has the most generous heart, it is inspiring,” she said.

She showed off the certificate announcing that a $1 million donation had been made in her name by Kanye and the couple’s four children—North, Saint, Chicago, and Psalm West—to charities including Cut 50, Buried Alive Project, Equal Justice Initiative, and the Anti-Recidivism Coalition.

Kim has been an advocate for criminal justice reform and has successfully lobbied for the release of prisoners including Alice Marie Johnson prisoners and Momolu Stewart.

It was a big birthday weekend for Mrs. West, who celebrated with friends in Palm Springs and with a dinner hosted by Kanye and her mother Kris Jenner, which was catered by her “favorite Armenian restaurant Carousel.”

On Friday, Kanye will release his long-awaited ninth solo album Jesus Is King along with his IMAX film of the same name. He will premiere both on Wednesday at a special listening and screening at the Forum in Los Angeles.

Kevin Gates Serenades His Wife In Ridiculous Fashion; DaBaby Laughs Along

Fresh f the release his album I’m Him and several outstanding feature spots, Kevin Gates is living life and striving musically. He’s in an important stage his career, proving to his doubters that he’s still one the most authentic voices in the game. Gates is generally a humorous dude online, ten acting outrageously and making ridiculous comments in his interviews to elicit a reaction from his fans. The Baton Rouge native isn’t above making fun himself to get a giggle out the love his life and he showed us all that he’s willing to make a fool out himself to make Dreka feel good.

Kevin Gates Serenades His Wife In Ridiculous Fashion; DaBaby Laughs Along
Stefanie Keenan/Getty s

Days after their anniversary, where Dreka gifted Kevin a pretty crazy cake, Gates is repaying the favor by serenading her during some relax time. Singing to his girl “like Martin did Gina,” the rapper flexed his vocal skills and forced his pitch a little. While he’s been known to get melodic on his records, he might want to consider keeping the auto-tune in his corner.

“I’m thuggin’ like that! In the trap,” excitedly exclaimed Kevin Gates when he finished up. To his credit, the song is extremely romantic and Dreka seems to appreciate the gesture. She may feel slightly embarrassed by the camera but, at the end the day, she knows she’s with someone who loves her for her. Both DaBaby and MoneyBagg Yo were seen laughing along in the comments, reflecting on the clip with emojis.

We can’t get enough Kevin and Dreka.

Rita Ora Shows Off Her Fit Physique During Greece Getaway

Now that summer is clearly over, any chance to be reminded the warm months and hotter days goes a long way and Rita Ora has done just that with a share to Instagram that takes us back to her holiday in Greece. The “Let You Love Me” singer posted a gallery on her Instagram from her previous visit to the stunning Amanzoe luxury resort that looks out to the Aegean Sea.

“I’m on a 16-hour flight from Dubai to La and I’ve gone through my photos and thought I have to share how beautiful Aman Zoe in Greece is. I had the best time and I am so blessed to have people around me that are so pure and kind,” she captioned the post. 

The photos showcase her fit physique and y two-piece bikinis as she lounged, tanned and relaxed at both the pool and ocean.  

In other Rita news, the singer opened up about her legal battle with Roc Nation and how she feared for her career during the court battles. “I was going through shit,” she explained. “I definitely had a bit worry and yeah, I was fearful my life because this is my life. My music is all I know so for me I was definitely scared.” She added, “I don’t know if depressed is the right word but I was definitely scared.”

Things seem to be going well for Rita now that the latter is in the past. 

Interview: Conway The Machine Talks Griselda Records’ Origins & Learning From Eminem

Conway The Machine has established himself as one of this era’s elite lyricists. With the help of his brother Westside Gunn, the Buffalo native has helped his city emerge from the shadow of New York to claim a spot on the Hip Hop map.

But Conway’s journey has only just begun. After making a name for himself as part of Westside’s Griselda Records, the two signed a deal with Eminem’s Shady Records in 2017. Two years later, the Griselda crew is preparing to drop their Shady debut in November with solo albums from Westside and Conway expected to follow.

In September, The Machine decided he wasn’t gonna wait around for his major label debut though. Instead, he dropped a new project titled Look What I Became... as a prelude, giving fans nine tracks to enjoy while they wait.

Following the project’s release, HipHopDX caught up with Conway to discuss his career and his latest work. The hard-working MC opened up about Griselda’s success, his relationship with Eminem, competiting with labelmate Benny The Butcher and much more in the first half of a two-part interview.

HipHopDX: The Hip Hop world outside of Buffalo started taking notice of you with 2015’s Reject 2. I remember catching up with your work about the time the Don’t Get Scared Now EP dropped in 2016. I’m curious — what was your career like prior to that breakthrough? Can you paint a picture of what it was like coming up in the Buffalo scene?

Conway: Just a bunch of battle rapping and local shows and stuff like that. I would go on the road and do like little showcases and shit like that in different cities like in Atlanta, New York City or wherever I had to go. But it was mostly just battle rapping and local showcases. It was pretty cut and dry that I was probably one of the best to come out of the city at an early age.

HipHopDX: Westside has often spoken about how you’re the better rapper and always holds you in such high regard. When did his vision for Griselda first surface?

Conway: Griselda Records came when we did the Hall & Nash mixtape with me and Westside Gunn. That was actually the first project under Griselda Records. So, it was like a spinoff of the clothing line he created. That was the birth of Griselda Records, that tape right there.

HipHopDX: When it comes to the label’s origins, from your perspective, could you see that Westside’s vision was something that would get as big as it’s become now? Or has it caught you by surprise just how big it’s gotten?

Conway: No, I’m not surprised. We always knew what it was, what we had. We knew the potential that we had. With Daringer production, with me and Benny doing the heavy lifting with the lyrics and all that, and my brother just holding it down behind the scenes with the business side of things and also doing the heavy lifting too with his projects. The shit he coming with — the style and just curating fly shit for the culture. I knew what we was gonna bring early. That’s why I was so eager to be a part. And not just to be a part but just to do what I can to speed it up a little. Because I know it’s going to come tenfold.

HipHopDX: Griselda has made huge strides independently, but the big news came when y’all inked the deal with Shady Records. How did the deal come together? Did you initially connect with Eminem, Paul Rosenberg or someone else in the Shady camp?

Conway: We connected with Paul. We was looking for management at the time. So, we was really just trying to figure out what works on the management side of things with Paul’s management company. He pulled Eminem’s coat to our shit. Eminem heard our music and heard “The Cow” — that record and other stuff I did — and he just was like, “I want to do something bigger and better for those guys.” So, that’s how we ended up doing the deal that we did with Shady Records and Interscope.

HipHopDX: You obviously got to work with Eminem on the single “Bang.” How much of a relationship have you developed with Em? Have you had any deep discussions with him or learned any lessons?

Conway: Absolutely. We had some talks. We kicked it a few times. I went up there to Detroit and holla’d at him. I seen him kicking it backstage at some shows and shit. I always try to get a little lesson or jewel or gem, a tip, some advice, some encouragement.

I’m like a sponge, so I kind of already do that with everybody. But I definitely I wanted to do that with him because it’s Eminem. He’s one of the biggest artists ever — biggest-selling artist ever and one of the most dope lyricists ever. So, I’m really big on lyricism. I know he’s big on lyricism. With him and the same thing with Royce Da 5’9, I want to learn as much as I can from them boys. It’s conversations and talks. And mostly, it’s just what can I do to get better? How can I get better at this craft? And I just watch and learn from them two in particular. I fuck with them niggas.

HipHopDX: You mentioned how the Shady deal came from y’all initially looking into management. I know Westside and Benny just linked up with Roc Nation, so I was wondering what is your situation as far as management?

Conway: The same situation.

HipHopDX: Gotcha.

Conway: We all moving as one unit. I was in the same situation, I just wasn’t there that day [when it was announced].

HipHopDX: Makes sense. This new project you just put out, Look What I Became, is executive produced by Westside. What’s the dynamic like between y’all in the studio? What does your brother bring out of you that maybe somebody else can’t?

Conway: I guess the comfort. I’m just more comfortable knowing that once the music leaves my hands … it’s hard to explain. It’s like you know you got LeBron on your team or something like that. If I need a basket, I can just pass this shit to KD. It’s that comfort knowing I’m in good hands. Once I send these songs to bro, I know what’s going to happen and how fly my shit going to be. That’s what I get. He makes it easier. I feel more relaxed and more free.

HipHopDX: On this latest project, your lyrical prowess is unmistakable. You spoke about learning lessons from Eminem and Royce. I’m wondering who are some of the MCs that inspire you as a writer and make you want to compete at that elite level?

Conway: Definitely guys like Em, Royce, JAY-Z, Sean Price, Elzhi, Black Thought, [Andre] 3000, Scarface, Ice Cube, Prodigy, Kool G [Rap], niggas like that. Westside Gunn. Just guys like that.

HipHopDX: On “Tito’s Back,” it was fun hearing you and Benny going back and forth. Do you feel like there’s a competition between y’all that brings the best out of you in the booth?

Conway: I think so. I hope it do for Benny too. Actually, I know it do for Benny because steel sharpens steel. I love being in there with him ’cause I know he’s about to come up with some shit that’s next level and if you ain’t coming with your A-game, then [it’s a problem]. Not only that, we the type of guys who don’t hesitate telling each other, “You coulda said that a little better, you coulda come a little harder, you should change that, say this, shit like that.”

I know for a fact that when Benny on the track with me, even with Westside, I know I got to come with my A-game ’cause I know they coming out swinging. It’s definitely competitive shit for me ’cause I don’t want to have the wack verse. [Laughs] That’s how we grow with it when we go in there like that when we doing shit together. We push each other. So, it’s not necessarily just competitive like we trying to outdo each other, but we are writing like we’re trying to outdo each other and that just brings the best out of us.

HipHopDX: I think the way you describe it, that unity in the studio with the Griselda crew, definitely reminds me of Wu-Tang Clan. It’s like how they went at it in those early days trying to have the best verse on a song and brought the best out of each other.

Conway: Exactly. It’s like that. We just push each other. We don’t hold no punches. We just try to bring our best. Daringer come with his best production. He won’t even play nothing that he feel isn’t up to par. We not even going to spit nothing that we don’t feel is up to par. We in a room full of generals who know they set and who been doing this long enough and who are good at it — great at it. We respect each other’s opinions.

So, if I’m spitting some shit and Benny be like, “Nah, you can come a little harder,” I’m definitely going to take that and be like, “Absolutely.” Ball my shit up and throw it out. Same with me with him or West. “Nah we should leave that joint off of there and use this.” That’s how it was with this Look What I Became album. I had more songs, but we sat down and trimmed the fat on the project like, “Nah, we should leave these shits off and do these joints.” We work like that.

HipHopDX: I spoke with Benny last year and he was telling me about how the city of Buffalo influenced y’all’s sound so much. I wanted to get your perspective on that too. How has Buffalo influenced your music and your sound?

Conway: For me, it’s just being a product of my environment and just the circumstances and shit. I overcame the life I lived. This shit is inspirational — being in and out of jail, getting shot, just being in all types of different missions and going through shit in life, selling drugs, dropping out of school. My music is about my life.

This is my life, these are my stories. It comes from the soil from here. That’s where it come from. That’s how it inspires me. I’m in Buffalo right now. I record here, I do everything here. Just being in the city and just seeing the city, riding through the hood, being in the hood and shit. I might see somebody and they story might resonate with me and I done made a song about something they going through, shit like that. It’s big in my music.

HipHopDX: You mentioned getting shot and on the interlude “Bell’s Palsy,” you touch on it. You’ve spoken about the physical effects before, but how did it affect you mentally at the time? What was it like going through that?

Conway: You can imagine, man, it was dark days. It was a lot of people didn’t think … they thought it was going to take a turn for the worst. Girls I was fucking with at the time stopped fucking with me. Niggas that was supposed to be homies fell back and stopped coming through. It didn’t look like I was going to be anything but in a fucking wheelchair or something like that.

Of course, it weighs on you mentally. And then just seeing my face like this from the Bell’s palsy, that shit just have you not wanting to leave the house. I didn’t want to leave my room. Just going through that — I didn’t like to look at myself. I was insecure. I didn’t like when people looked at me. I thought they was just thinking shit and saying shit and laughing. It did a lot to my mind. Ask anybody that go through that, hell yeah, that shit do a lot to you mentally, man. It almost coulda took a turn for the worst ’cause I was mentally trippin’.

I’m just thankful for people that was in my corner that kept me on track with the right mindstate and helped me get my confidence and my self-esteem back. ‘Cause I gave up, just like anybody would. Shit, I thought it was over. Everybody else gave up on me, shit, maybe they right.

Check back soon for Part 2 of DX’s interview with Conway The Machine.

Should You Tour on a Private Jet? (No, Seriously)

For the hour or so that they’re on stage, it might look like an artist has the world in their hands.

The following comes from Paramount Business Jets, a proud partner of Digital Music News.

Their name in bright lights. Thousands of fans chanting their lyrics in unison. An unmistakable electricity in the air.

But that doesn’t tell the full story.

Being a musician on a worldwide tour sounds like a dream come true. But, in reality, it requires lots of work behind the scenes.

A massive part of this is transport. And that’s why many artists choose to travel by private jet.

So, can artists really enjoy the tour of a lifetime without getting caught in the nitty-gritty of transport details? To find out, we took a look at what a private jet can offer – and whether it’s a smart investment.

Understanding the needs of musicians

Private jet brokers have helped arrange many successful concert tours taking place around the world, from the United States and Europe to Asia and the Middle East.

One of the biggest perks involves time, and how important it is to the artist.

Normally, customers who book a private jet want the experience to last as long as possible. They want to enjoy the VIP lifestyle and make the most of the facilities. This is especially the case when it’s a one-off booking.

But for musicians on tour, the opposite is true.

That’s because a worldwide tour can be a grueling process which is jam-packed with traveling. In many cases, artists will land in a country in the morning and depart within 24 hours.

Private jet or otherwise, that amount of traveling eventually takes its toll.

Invariably, artists on tour become jaded. Hours of traveling each day, coupled with intense performances, can lead to fatigue.

Having an experienced team arrange your private jet can have a MAJOR impact on this.

In fact, using a private jet can mean an artist covering more dates.

Faster travel. More distance covered. More venues ticked off.

For artists who perform to a large fan base, this is certainly something to consider. Provided they’re capable of attracting a strong turnout, the extra ticket sales will mean extra profit.

If you compare the added profit from extra ticket sales against the total cost of a private jet, you’ll begin to get a good idea about whether it’s the right choice for you.

Private jet charter costs

To give you an accurate idea of the costs, here are a couple of real-life examples.

US tour

Here are some typical costs for private jet charter on a US-only tour. It includes eight stops, covering both the East and West Coasts:

Route: New York – Washington DC – Atlanta – Orlando – Miami – Las Vegas – Los Angeles – Denver – New York

Jet Type

Passengers

Flight Times

Cost

Super Midsize

8 -10

12:16 – 16:39

$148,095 – $209,370

Large

10 – 16

12:30 – 14:26

$199,265 – $315,365

Ultra Long Range

12 – 16

11:02 – 13:07

$283,115 – $337,940

VIP Airliner

16 – 50

11:51 – 13:49

$386,315 – $708,815

 

European tour

Here are some typical costs for private jet charter on a European tour. It includes eight stops, beginning and ending in Paris:

Paris – London – Berlin – Milan – Budapest – Barcelona – Ibiza – Mallorca – Paris

Jet Type

Passengers

Flight Times

Cost

Super Midsize

8 -10

8:46 – 11:39

€72,301 – €102,926

Large

10 – 16

8:55 – 10:12

€96,015 – €130,848

Ultra Long Range

12 – 16

7:57 – 9:19

€104,885 – €124,235

VIP Airliner

16 – 50

8:30 – 9:47

€174,972 – €256,429

 

Private jet perks

Music artists on tour want travel to be as efficient and unobtrusive as possible. And private jet charter can help with this.

Specifically, artists flying with private jet can enjoy:

  • Bespoke journey plans

Brokers can speak with the artist’s Tour Manager to create a customized flight schedule, plotting out the fastest routes for minimum fuss.

  • VIP amenities

Artists can enjoy home comforts, custom requests for food and drink, and lush seats to help kick back and relax after a hard night’s work.

  • Near-instant security checks

The boarding process is much faster than it is at commercial airports. This means VIP access with no queues at FBOs, trusted staff who will be expecting the artist, and a car to drive you right up to the aircraft where possible.

  • On-flight sleeping facilities

On a busy tour, there will be a lot of partying – and plenty of late-night flights. Having a comfortable bed on the artist’s private jet can be a life saver. It means they can land at the next destination well-rested and ready to go again.

  • Custom-designed jets

If an artist wants to stand out like a true star, they might want to consider a custom design on the exterior of their private jet. Iron Maiden did it, after all. It’s a great way for an artist to announce themselves to the world.

  • Unparalleled safety

Good brokers will only arrange FAA-certified, third-party audited aircraft and crew that all meet strict safety criteria. And most can also arrange security to ensure no overzealous fans can get too close to the artist.

 

Which kind of artists use private jets?

In recent years, the demands placed on artists have changed drastically. The development of technology means fans expect more and more. For example, many artists are expected to interact directly with fans their social media accounts. And tours have become increasingly demanding, with many artists making dozens or even hundreds of stops with very few days off.

This is a challenge which all kinds of artists face.

Many brokers focus on the USA only. But some, such as Paramount Business Jets, also have a strong international network.

These brokers can arrange private jet charter for:

  • Worldwide tours for A-list artists
  • One-off festivals
  • USA-only music tours
  • DJ circuits

As well as saving time and traveling in style, you’ll also enjoy perks such as:

  • A dedicated Flight Manager
  • Your choice of aircraft
  • Exclusive use of your aircraft
  • Customized schedule
  • Private check-in facilities
  • On-board special requests
  • Generous luggage allowance

Here are some common questions asked by artists and their management teams:

Can I bring instruments and expensive sound equipment on-board the private jet?

Before you book a private jet, discuss special equipment with your manager and your broker. This can include:

  • Guitars
  • Drum sets
  • DJ equipment
  • PA system
  • Speakers

All of this can take up a lot of space. Not only is it expensive, but it’s vital that it’s working on arrival. That’s why this is such an important part of the tour.

A good private jet broker will explore a range of aircraft and only consider those large enough to transport your important musical equipment.

Who is allowed on-board my private jet?

For some artists, privacy is of paramount importance. And for others, they need to be surrounded by their friends or management team at all times.

When you’re booking a private jet, point out any specific needs. The broker should make sure that the private jet arranged for you has plenty of space for everyone who’ll be on-board. But, at the same time, they shouldn’t recommend a jet which is larger than necessary.

If they do, this is a red flag.

Can I choose my own private jet?

Established brokers can provide access to upwards of 15,000 aircraft. That’s a lot of choice.

Brokers will recommend a number of aircraft based on your tour requirements. But, ultimately, you should have the final say over which one you like.

What if I need to change my flight details?

Changing flights at the last minute is unavoidable with a large-scale music tour. It’s just how it goes. Whether there are problems at the venue, a cancelled date, or maybe just an overindulgent night on the town – changes will be made.

If your private jet broker has access to a large number of aircraft, that means they’ll have the facilities needed to find a backup plan if something goes wrong.

Whatever happens, make sure you’re covered.

Are your private jets eco-friendly?

Environmental safety is an important issue in the modern era. You may have read some stories in the press about private jet charter. Many believe that they are not an eco-friendly way to travel – but there are ways to combat this.

When you book a private jet, your broker can arrange for you to invest in a green scheme which will offset your carbon imprint. What that means is that, for a small fee, they can help you improve the environment. For example, you can contribute to a scheme which plants trees in urban areas. The benefit to the environment will match or outweigh any damage from your private jet. This means you can enjoy uninterrupted private jet travel with a clear conscience.

This has become particularly important in recent years. Many artists are very aware of environmental health and are careful to choose a broker who understands the importance of their reputation.

Who do I speak to if there’s a problem?

When you commit to flying you should be introduced to your Personal Flight Manager. This will be your go-to person for any questions or issues. They’ll know all about your tour, so you won’t need to explain things over and over again.