LL Cool J & Dr. Dre Trade Stories In Wide-Ranging "Rock The Bells" Talk

LL Cool J has found a second coming on Sirius XM, keeping the Old Head Energy alive and flowing through his Rock The Bells station. With an emphasis on classic tunes from several lost eras, LL’s Bells is a welcome reprieve from some today’s vibes, available for anyone seeking a stroll down memory lane. Aside from reliving days gone by, LL also holds it down with several extensive interviews, many which find him chopping it up with hip-hop icons. Now, he’s lined up a conversation with the legendary Dr. Dre, which will air in full on Saturday April 20th. 

Today, Billboard has shared a pair snippets from the talk, which find Dre reflecting on his days coming up in NWA, crafting classics alongside Eazy-E. “The reality was it was just me and Eazy-E in there, and it took us hours to talk him into getting on the mic and doing “Boyz-n-The-Hood.” We’re punching in every line, line by line throughout the whole shit.” When LL asks if Eazy was hating the entire process, Dre affirms the suspicion. “One hundred percent.”

He also opens up about his time working with Snoop Dogg, a creative partnership the Doggfather celebrated not long ago. “I had no idea he rapped or whatever, and my stepbrother Warren G brought him in. So he came in, and he went in the studio – I’ll never forget – and he just did this freestyle over James Brown’s “Payback.” He went on, I’m waiting for the fu*king chorus to come in. He’s just raw talent. He didn’t understand that part yet. And Deep Cover] was the first time we actually sat in and started producing. That was our first time with him actually understanding song structure.”

Look for many more gems to surface as Dre and LL Cool J get to reminiscing. The interview airs on Rock The Bells on Saturday, 3PM EST.

Donald Glover x Adidas Originals: Three Sneaker Collabs & Short Film Revealed

Adidas Originals and Donald Glover have ficially launched “Donald Glover Presents,” which includes a range new products alongside the premiere a series short films.

Donald Glover Presents reimagines three classic Adidas styles, the Nizza, the Continental 80, and the Lacombe, all which are built on white canvases. According to Adidas Originals, with a focus on the personal narrative that worn-in sneakers can hold, and the wealth experiences they bear, the collection is inspired by subtle imperfections.  

“Rich is a concept,” said Donald Glover. “With this project, I wanted to encourage people to think about how their stories can be told on their feet. Value isn’t quantified by what you wear, rather the experiences from them. And you make the decision on what works for you, you live through your own lens. The partnership for me is about being able to exemplify what doing your own thing truly looks and feels like.” 

Donald Glover x Adidas Originals: Three Sneaker Collabs & Short Film Revealed

Adidas Originals

The shoes feature a series deconstructed details, such as uneven stitching, inside-out golden eyestays, and a custom 3-Stripe mark that evokes hand-painting. Additionally, the edges the canvas are not stitched down, allowing them to fray over time.

Further bringing the theme wear to life, a moth – the symbol the collaboration – appears on the heel bumpers and insoles the footwear. Each pair is packaged inside an inside-out Adidas Originals box that opens with a tear strip and comes equipped with three sets custom shoelaces designed to fringe with wear. 

Donald Glover x Adidas Originals: Three Sneaker Collabs & Short Film Revealed

Adidas Originals

As mentioned, Donald Glover Presents will also include a series short films, starring Glover and actress-comedian Mo’Nique with a cameo by pressional skateboarder Na-Kel Smith, produced by Syl Zakhary Mamag Studios with Wolf Taylor and Fam Rothstein Royalty and Wolf and Rothstein.

Per Adidas: 

The films, written by Sam Jay with Jamal Olori Royalty, bring to life a story defiance, subversion, and creative expression. Embracing acts fate as opportunities for honesty, growth, and understanding, the films show that worn shoes are not merely “dirty”; they are a reflection one’s personal experiences. The series is directed by Ibra Ake Royalty, supported by creative consultant, Sing J Lee Mamag Studios.  

All three sneaker collabs will be available globally on April 26. Take a look at the short film below, followed by some additional shots the kicks.

All three styles will be available globally on April 26th. 

Donald Glover x Adidas Originals: Three Sneaker Collabs & Short Film Revealed

Adidas Originals

Donald Glover x Adidas Originals: Three Sneaker Collabs & Short Film Revealed

Adidas Originals

Donald Glover x Adidas Originals: Three Sneaker Collabs & Short Film Revealed

Adidas Originals

DJ Khaled to Perform on ‘SNL’ Finale

DJ Khaled has a MAJOR announcement.

The We the Best mogul will make his debut as musical guest on the season finale of “Saturday Night Live” on May 18 with host Paul Rudd, it was announced today.

This marks Khaled’s first appearance on the late-night show. Expect some major guest stars to join him on stage during his performances, which will air one day after the release of his 11th studio album Father of Asahd on May 17.

“They 🚷 said I would never do SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE …so I’m doing SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE !!” said Khaled. “Not only am I doing Saturday Night Live … I’m doing the season finale MAY 18!! #FANLUV IM UP TO SOMETHING! I got some BIG surprises!”

The album, his first since 2017’s Grateful, is expected to feature big-name collaborations with Cardi B, Chris Brown, Travis Scott, Big Sean, Post Malone, John Legend, and the late Nipsey Hussle. Khaled also recently went in front of the lens to shoot a video for a new collaboration with SZA.

Before Khaled takes the “SNL” stage, Shawn Mendes will perform on May 4 and the Jonas Brothers will serve as musical guest on the May 11 episode.

Nipsey Hussle Earns 1st Top 10 On Billboard Hot Rap Songs With "Racks In The Middle"

Nipsey Hussle continues to make moves on the Billboard charts following his untimely death. The last single he released while he was alive, “Racks In The Middle,” has secured a spot in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs, according to Billboard. The single, which features Roddy Ricch and Hit-Boy, marks Nipsey’s first song to enter the top 10 on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart. The song jumped six positions from #15 to #9.

Nipsey Hussle Earns 1st Top 10 On Billboard Hot Rap Songs With "Racks In The Middle"
Vivien Killilea/Getty s 

“Racks In The Middle” marked the last single Nipsey released while he was living. Its leap on the chart is largely due to streaming numbers which increased by 44% this week. Additionally, it jumped from 14 to 7 on the Rap Streaming Songs chart.

What’s even more impressive is that “Racks” has leaped into the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is currently sitting at #26 after sitting at #44. It’s also in the top 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs.

While the song’s been doing well on the charts, his debut studio album, Victory Lap has maintained a position in the top 10 the Billboard 200. The rapper’s album is currently sitting at #3 after moving 63K units that week. Following the rapper’s death, Victory Lap re-entered the Billboard 200 at #2 while four other projects his — Slauson Boy, Crenshaw, The Marathon, and Mailbox Money — made their way on the chart for the first time ever. 

John Legend's Get Lifted Inks a Three-Year Exclusive Deal With ABC

ABC Studios has signed a 3-year overall deal with Get Lifted Film Co., which is a production company run by John Legend as well as by Ty Stiklorius and Mike Jackson.

As part of the exclusive deal, the two companies will develop scripted TV shows together, which will be shown on a full range of platforms. Previously, Get Lifted had a 3-year first-look deal with Sony Pictures TV.

Patrick Moran, who is the President of ABC Studios, issued a statement in response to the announcement. He said that he believes that John Legend and his partners at Get Lifted represent a strong and modern viewpoint. He added that no one in the industry is surprised by the success that they have had in developing “timely and unique” stories.

Get Lifted also issued a statement in response to the announcement. Partner Mike Jackson said that they were excited to work with ABC Studios, and that they look forward to developing projects that their growing audience will enjoy.

Get Lifted has successfully developed TV shows for many different networks.

These networks have included ABC, Fox, HBO, MTV, NBC, Netflix and Showtime. They were also executive producers of the Oscar-winning film La La Land, which starred Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, and Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, which was broadcast on NBC and won an Emmy Award.

More recently, the company’s film Monster screened in competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and their documentary United Skates won the Audience Award at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival before premiering on HBO earlier this year.

Other projects that the company has either completed or is in the process of completing include:

  • Southside With You
  • Underground
  • Sing it On
  • Southern Rites
  • Can You Dig This
  • Sherman’s Showcase
  • Rhythm Flow
  • Jingle Jangle

New Music: French Montana feat. Blueface & Lil TJay ‘Slide’

Following his Drake collaboration “No Stylist” last year, French Montana is back with another banger. The Coke Boy recruits Blueface and Lil TJay for his new single “Slide.”

While Lil TJay provides the Auto-Tuned melodies, French lays down a slapping verse. “Had respect for your ass now it’s time for Montana to check your ass,” he raps before the beat switches up to a sample of Dr. Dre’s “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang.”

Blueface busts down with his dangerous verse. “Tommy gun on me like a Hilfiger / Slidin’ and glidin’ this ain’t no plain jane,” raps the “Thotiana” hitmaker. “Reachin’ for my piece like opening eyes and bird box.”

French, who appears on Jennifer Lopez’s new single “Medicine,” is in the studio working on his next album, the follow-up to 2017’s Jungle Rules.

Slide with Montana.

ScHoolboy Q Announces "CrasH Talk" Album Release Date

Several months after Mac Miller’s death, ScHoolboy Q is finally ready to release his next album. He made the announcement Twitter on Monday (April 15), shortly after appearing at Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival over the weekend.

“NEW ALBUM ‘CrasH Talk,’” he wrote alongside a video clip. He also revealed a release date of April 26.

Q was expected to drop the project months ago but halted its release following Miller’s passing. During a concert last September — the same month Miller died —  he told the audience, “With my nigga gone right now, I just don’t feel right putting out an album. As y’all can tell, I’m not my real self right now.”

CrasH Talk marks the long awaited follow-up to 2016’s Blank Face LP, the Top Dawg Entertainment artist’s fourth studio album. The project debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 upon its release with roughly 74,000 total album equivalent units sold in its inaugural week.

LeBron James Responds To Charles Barkley’s "Inside The NBA" Invitation

LeBron James has a lot on his plate this f-season, from his Laker duties to his f-court endeavours, but he still might be able to carve out some time to join TNT’s “Inside The NBA” crew

During Sunday night’s slate games, Charles Barkley begged LeBron to put his other responsibilities “on the back burner” so he could join Chuck, Kenny, Shaq and Ernie in studio. As it turns out, James is actually entertaining the idea.

LeBron James Responds To Charles Barkley's "Inside The NBA" Invitation

Sean M. Haffey/Getty s

The four-time MVP just posted the following on twitter, “Sir Charles, I actually do have a ton going on but I may take you up on your fer. We shall see. .”

Barkley, who has been trying to lure James onto the show for weeks now, issued his latest plea last night.

“I’ve said this before, America, and this is the last time,” Barkley said with a smile during a segment Sunday night. “LeBron James, come into the studio. You ain’t got nothing to do. The playfs started yesterday. You’ve got free time. I know you’ve got to pick a coach and a general manager. Just put that on the back burner. I’m speaking on behalf — I’m begging you on behalf (the rest the crew) Ernie (Johnson), Kenny (Smith) and Shaq.”

“LeBron, how about this,” Barkley continued. “You don’t even have to stay. You can leave at halftime the second game. … We can help you pick out a coach. Listen, Shaq knows, because he would enjoy to coach. And Kenny’s been interviewing for coaching jobs the last couple years. So come on in, LeBron. Please.”

Music Creation Startup Splice Brings in $105 Million in Funding to Date

Can Splice overcome piracy to remain a successful music creation startup?

Several weeks ago, Splice announced a new fundraising milestone.

The music creation startup raised an impressive $57.5 million in a Series C funding round.  Existing investors Union Square Ventures and True Ventures led the round, joined by Growth, Flybridge, and Lerer Hippeau. Liontree, Founders Circle Capital, & Matt Pincus, founder of Songz Publishing.

In addition, the startup confirmed it had paid out $15 million in royalties to music creators who distribute their works on Splice Sounds.

Co-Founder and CEO Steve Martocci explained the Series C funding will allow the company to fulfill his vision.  According to a press release, Splice aims to “transform” the way musicians create, connect, collaborate, and make money.  The company will use the money to improve its existing marketplaces and workflow tools.  Splice would also “explore” new ideas.

The recent move brings the music creation’s startup total funding to $105 million.

Martocci has experience launching successful startups.  According to a report, he previously launched GroupMe, a group text-messaging service.  He sold that startup for $85 million eight years ago.

Speaking about Splice’s subscription-based model, Martocci explained,

The industry is still trying to build the business model that matches the needs of the modern musician.

By 2017, the startup reportedly brought in $7 million in revenue, growing around 15% each month.

Speaking about the company’s business model, Adam D’Augeli, a True Ventures partner, explained the content plug-ins and music creation software market is valued at around $1 billion.

[Musicians] no longer need a full analog studio with physical instruments costing millions of dollars.  Now they just need their laptop, software, and to be inspired.

Yet, while the company competes directly with top players, including Spotify and Apple Music, one major factor continues to harm Splice’s revenue – piracy.

Since the startup offers a monthly ‘rent-to-own’ program for costly synthesizers and digital drum kit software, people can readily find similar programs on major piracy hubs, including The Pirate Bay, Monova, and Torrentz2.

Whether or not the music creation startup can sufficiently curb piracy to offer a unique product offering remains to be seen.

 


Featured image by Splice.

Charles Barkley Begs LeBron James To Join TNT For NBA Playoffs

Charles Barkley is well aware that LeBron James has some work to do this summer – including filming Space Jam 2 and “picking a coach and general manager” – but he’s still hoping that LBJ will find some time to join the NBA on TNT’s playf coverage.

During Sunday night’s slate games, Barkley begged James to put everything else on pause to join himself, Kenny, Shaq and Ernie in studio.

“I’ve said this before, America, and this is the last time,” Barkley said with a smile during a segment Sunday night. “LeBron James, come into the studio. You ain’t got nothing to do. The playfs started yesterday. You’ve got free time. I know you’ve got to pick a coach and a general manager. Just put that on the back burner. I’m speaking on behalf — I’m begging you on behalf (the rest the crew) Ernie (Johnson), Kenny (Smith) and Shaq.”

“LeBron, how about this,” Barkley continued. “You don’t even have to stay. You can leave at halftime the second game. … We can help you pick out a coach. Listen, Shaq knows, because he would enjoy to coach. And Kenny’s been interviewing for coaching jobs the last couple years. So come on in, LeBron. Please.”

This isn’t the first time that Sir Charles has tossed out the idea LeBron joining the TNT crew. Last month, once it became clear that LeBron wouldn’t be involved in the playfs for the first time since 2004-05, Barkley joked that the four-time MVP should join Inside The NBA because he’ll “have nothing better to do.”

LeBron may have some down time at the moment but he’ll soon begin filming the Space Jam sequel, which involves finding a cast NBA stars to take part in the movie. Not to mention, he’ll need to recruit some free agents to join him on the Los Angeles Lakers. 

But hey, we wouldn’t be shocked if he makes an appearance in Studio J alongside Chuck, Kenny, Shaq and Ernie.

Smokepurpp Unleashes A Thirty-Seven Minute Freestyle Odyssey

Fresh f the release a melodic new drop called “Remember Me,Smokepurpp has stepped overseas to set Tim Westwood’s studio ablaze. Taking a page out Juice WRLD’s playbook, Purpp decided to freestyle for nearly forty minutes, opting to go f-the-dome. While that might be a gamble to some, others recognize the merit in preserving the lost art spontaneous bars. Ever the good sport, Westwood proceeds to bless Purpp with no shortage instrumentals, including “XO Tour Life,” “Duppy,” “ZEZE,” “Roll In Peace,” and many more.

Smokepurpp Unleashes A Thirty-Seven Minute Freestyle Odyssey

Mike Coppola/Getty s 

For the most part, Purpp tackles each beat with a noted lack finesse. Yet the rawness with which he spits is part the charm; you’ve gotta admire a man willing to brave uncharted waters on live radio. Though he’s hardly breaking lyrical barriers, every so ten he stumbles upon a dope flow, catching fragmented lyrics and building greater schemes around them. True, dying-cat dips into falsetto occasionally derail the ship, Purpp does occasionally stumble upon a few gems throughout the journey.

Check out Purpp’s exercise in lyrical gymnastics below. Is the young man deserving an A-for-effort? Before doling out judgment, perhaps you oughta step to the mic and take up the challenge. Though Black Thought he is not, Purpp deserves credit for taking a risk and having some fun in the process. Did he deserve some bombs dropped in his honor?

J. Cole’s "Middle Child" Is The First Song Of 2019 To Go Multi-Platinum

J. Cole‘s already making his mark in 2019. The rapper released “MIDDLE CHILD” earlier this year which served as his first ficial drop since the release  K.O.D last year. It also serves as his first ficial single in years. The song quickly launched into the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, making “MIDDLE CHILD” Cole’s highest charting single. The song only marks a milestone in the rapper’s career on the charts but it also marks yet another platinum plaque for the rapper.

J. Cole and T-Minus linked up for “MIDDLE CHILD” which is now the first song released in 2019 to go multi-platinum, RIAA confirmed on Twitter. The song was certified platinum in March but now, it’s certified as double platinum. The announcement comes less than a week after the rapper hosted his inaugural Dreamville Festival in Raleigh, NC.

J. Cole and T-Minus undoubtedly struck gold with the single but the two appear to have more heat on the way. Late last month, the rapper revealed that he’s been locked in the studio with T-Minus “for months.” Cole co-produced their multi-platinum single with T-Minus. He said that he wants to focus on rapping more than on producing but he has been adding a few things to whatever they’ve been working on.

“Me and T-Minus been locked in for months,” Cole said. “I don’t even want to make beats no more unless I’m working with T-Minus and I just want to add some shit or help. But, for at least the next month or two, I don’t even want to make no beats. I just want to rap. For the first time I’ve been able to focus on that for the most part.” 

Disney Plus Streaming Service: Cheaper Than Netflix, "Star Wars," Marvel, & More

When Marvel’s programming started being taken f Netflix, superfans the studio started to worry about how they would be able to regularly watch their favorite superheroes. Soon after, it was announced that Disney would be unveiling its own streaming service, which would include Marvel films, shows, and much more. Yesterday, Disney CEO Bob Iger made some huge announcements about the upcoming streaming service, titled Disney Plus, revealing pricing information, releases dates, original content and other general information. 

Disney Plus Streaming Service: Cheaper Than Netflix, "Star Wars," Marvel, & More
Paras Griffin/Getty s

Disney announced yesterday that they would be investing $1 billion into original programming, meaning that we can expect an insane amount production value from the historic creative corporation. By 2024, that amount should double as they expect to be priting from the new service by then. With the focus being placed on original shows and movies, fans were stoked to see what they could expect from the platform. With all the Marvel hype right now, it only made sense for Disney to unveil a new clip from Avengers: Endgame, which premieres later this month. They also showed some exclusive footage from the upcoming Star Wars series The Mandalorian. Marvel spinfs will also be debuting on the platform, including one about Loki from the Avengers and WandaVision featuring Scarlet Witch and The Vision.

In case you’re worried about adding this to your monthly bills, the pricing information made everybody breathe a sigh relief. Upon its launch on November 12, Disney Plus will cost users $6.99 per month and $69.99 a year.

Unfortunately, this means that Disney titles will likely disappear from Netflix by the end this year. However, it will now be bunched in one special place. Are you looking forward to the launch?

Disney Plus Streaming Service: Cheaper Than Netflix, "Star Wars," Marvel, & More
Ethan Miller/Getty s

Concord Music Publishing Announces JV with Noah Goldstein

Concord Music Publishing has reached a deal with producer Noah Goldstein to represent his full catalog and future works.

The Grammy-winning recording engineer and mixer has worked closely with Kanye West and crafted a number of hits.  ‘New Slaves’, ‘Black Skinhead’, and ‘Ultralight Beam’ all feature Goldstein’s talents.  But that’s just one of several notable superstars with whom Goldstein has collaborated.

Goldstein began his career in New York at Electric Lady Studios.  It was there that he cut his teeth engineering records for artists who used the facility. Rihanna, Mos Def, Nas, M.I.A. and more have tapped Goldstein’s engineering talent.

Later, Goldstein worked with Arcade Fire to record The Suburbs, which won Album of the Year at the 2011 Grammys.

Columbia Records CEO recently promoted Goldstein to Senior Vice President of A&R. Before that, he spent eight years as a producer, A&R, engineer and touring audio director for West and his G.O.O.D. Music label.

Concord Music’s head of creative/A&R Jeremy Yohai says his team is thrilled to be representing Noah.

“We are so excited to have Noah join our roster. He has proven himself to be a creative force in the industry, as a writer, producer, engineer, and A&R.”

Both Concord and Goldstein have also partnered on a joint venture to sign developing artists and writers.

The first signing to the joint venture is Simon Christensen, better known as Psymun online. Psymun is a hip hop producer from St. Paul, Minnesota, whose 2014 Pink Label EP gained widespread attention.  He has co-produced hit singles with Future and Juice WRLD.

Psymun currently has 29 tracks available for listening on SoundCloud, including a playlist of collaborations with other artists.

Concord Music Publishing Announces JV with Noah Goldstein

Concord Music Publishing Announces JV with Noah GoldsteinConcord Music Publishing Announces JV with Noah Goldstein

Concord Music Publishing Announces JV with Noah Goldstein

Soulja Boy Reveals His Insane Rate For A Feature

Soulja Boy seems to always be in the studio. Whenever there’s a lull in the music world, you can always just head over to his SoundCloud page and you’ll easily be able to listen to about three new songs on a daily basis. Seriously, we don’t even want to know how Soulja Boy does it but somehow, some way, he manages to drop a song pretty much every day. His work ethic is matched only by somebody like Chief Keef, who has also proven himself to be a studio hog. If ever you’ve wondered how much it will run you to get a feature from Big Drako, your answer has arrived because Soulja let us all know on his Instagram story.

Soulja Boy Reveals His Insane Rate For A Feature
Robert Kamau/Getty s

Drako may be a multi-millionaire but he still wants to help out any up-and-coming artists, fering up his going rate on social media for anybody that may be interested. Telling everybody that he was spending time in the studio, Soulja Boy informed his audience that he would be recording verses for anybody that pays him $10K. Considering the fact that Soulja records several songs every day, he’s definitely about to add to his bankroll today. If you’re not down for Soulja’s vocal contributions, you can buy one his beats for $2,500.

With the number hits that he’s been part , do you think he should be charging more or is this spot on?

Soulja Boy Reveals His Insane Rate For A Feature