Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop’s DNA

It’s  March 26th, 1979 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

College basketball fans are getting ready for the NCAA men’s basketball finals. The Indiana State Sycamores willed their way to the winner takes all match, led by Larry Bird, who was drafted sixth overall by the Boston Celtics one year prior. Across the court were the Michigan State Spartans led by an exciting young talent in Magic Johnson. With this one game, perhaps the biggest and longest-standing rivalry in NBA history was about to commence. 

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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Throughout 1979, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were considered the best in the NCAA. Bird represented the white working-class man in rural America, while Magic was beginning to usher in a new era basketball, one where the players were flashy and marketable. Their personalities were seen as polar opposites and fans were curious about how this final would play out. This curiosity led to staggering ratings, with 40 million people tuning in to the tilt, according to Sports Illustrated. To this day, no other NCAA basketball game has reached that same amount viewership.

Thanks to a 24-point performance, Magic led the Spartans to a 75-64 win that for many, settled the argument as to who was a superior player. That summer, Johnson was drafted first overall by the Los Angeles Lakers and immediately made an impact. Throughout the 80s, Magic won five NBA Championships, while Bird won three. They would continue to face f in the Finals, in 1984, 1985, and 1987– Bird won the first matchup in ‘84 but Magic won the next two.

Their long-standing rivalry was unlike anything the NBA had ever seen. Two the best basketball players in the league, one white, one black, were battling against each other trying to prove who had the best dynasty. Prior to their NBA careers, the league had hit a low point in 1979 with a Finals rating share 24 — essentially, only about a quarter all TV viewers were tuning in. Once Magic and Bird entered the league, the NBA consistently hit shares over 30, according to tvbythenumbers.com. They even set a record in 1987 with a share 35.

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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Bird and Magic changed the way both fans and brands looked at athletes. Not only were they players on the court, but bonafide superstars who could stand next to Hollywood elites in terms notoriety. This was all thanks to how charismatic and likeable they were. With Bird and Magic setting the standard, players like Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley, who were drafted into the league in the mid-80s, began to exhibit some the same superstar qualities. At the same time that basketball was ascending into the public’s consciousness, hip-hop was beginning to thrive as a genre. The movement was born in New York in 1973 and remained underground until the mid to late-80s when groups like NWA, Beastie Boys, and Run DMC started to take over. Before long, rappers were referencing the sport in their songs. It was almost impossible to go to a game without hearing the 1984 song “Basketball” by Kurtis Blow. In 1988, Public Enemy and Chuck D came through with the song “Rebel Without A Pause” which referenced Barkley’s ability to throw down dunks. NBA players were starting to dress like rappers f the court. Artists were starting to don Jordans and other basketball shoes.

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By the time Shaquille O’Neal was drafted to the Orlando Magic in 1992, basketball and hip-hop were hitting their stride as mainstream successes.

At 7’1,” O’Neal was, not only a huge person but a huge personality. While playing for LSU, O’Neal wowed fans and was immediately given superstar status upon entry into the NBA. In the midst his first season in the league, Shaq did what no other NBA player had done before. He attempted to crossover into the rap game.

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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Shaq’s foray into music may have seemed like a bit a reach on surface level, but actually, it was quite organic. During an interview with Slam in 2017, Shaq spoke about how he had been rapping since he was eight years old, influenced by the likes Will Smith and Big Daddy Kane. The Orlando Magic big man eventually gained the respect the hip-hop community when he appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1992 and rapped alongside the Fu-Schnickens. Shaq was able to showcase his ability to flow and sounded as though he had been perfecting his craft for as long as anyone else in the game. 

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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After the success his Arsenio Hall performance, Shaq signed a record deal with Jive. In 1993, he dropped his first album, Shaq Fu. When it came to production, Shaq was able to work with Ali Shaheed Muhammad from A Tribe Called Quest, as well as Meech Wells and Erick Sermon. Wells is famous for his work with Snoop Dogg, while Sermon has built a career working with the likes Redman, Jodeci, Method Man, AZ, and Jay-Z.  “Shaq flew me to Orlando since he was playing for the Magic then,” Sermon recalls. “The studio was dope, we had our own personal chef. The vibe was cool. The Fu-Schnickens were there.”

“It was unique because he was a basketball player,” Sermon continued. “Him standing 7ft, shoe size 22, it was ill. The whole process was real ill. He was real funny.  And he was from Newark, NJ, Redman was his favorite artist, so it was real comfortable.”

The next year, Shaq followed up on the success Shaq Diesel with his sophomore album Shaq Fu: Da Return. Sermon was tasked with production on this album as well, while Warren G, RZA, and Redman also pitched in. In terms commercial success, the album didn’t receive the same critical acclaim as his first, but it still went Gold. Shaq would go on to release You Can’t Stop The Reign in 1996 and Respect in 1998, but neither those projects would have the same impact.

At the time, Shaq’s foray into hip-hop was a bit an anomaly and people were a little skeptical his intentions. Rap was always about being authentic, and to see an already-established NBA player delve into hip-hop was jarring, to say the least. Regardless, Shaq always had co-signs from those making a name for themselves in the industry. By bolstering a significant amount record sales and working with industry legends, Shaq was able to lay the foundation for other NBA players who had artistic ambitions. At the tail end the 90s, it would be Shaq’s own teammate, Kobe Bryant, who would give hip-hop a go. Unfortunately for Kobe, his rap career wasn’t nearly as lucrative as Shaq’s.

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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In 1992, Bryant attended Lower Merion high school at the age 14.

According to Grantland, Bryant met a kid named Anthony Bannister who introduced him to Kevin “Sandman” Sanchez. Sanchez was seen as the best rapper in the school and they quickly formed a rap group called CHEIZAW which featured two other MCs, Broady Boy and Jester. The group stayed together following high school and after hearing Bryant in a studio session, Sony signed CHEIZAW to a record deal in 1998. During the summer ‘98, Bryant stayed at the New York home Steve Stoute, the president Urban Music for Sony at the time. Bryant was in New York to train for the upcoming season and since Stoute wanted him to hone his artistic craft, it made sense for them to stay together. “During his first or second season, that’s when I realized he’s the hardest working person I’ve ever met, by far, because his tireless effort to actually watch, film, and shoot a thousand shots and then go to the studio and work everyday,” Stoute said excitedly, speaking to us over the phone. “He wanted to be a really good rapper, it mattered to him.”

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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Kobe’s first track, released in 1998, was a remix Brian McKnight’s song “Hold Me.” The song peaked at no. 35 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and essentially jumped-started Bryant’s career. After the success the song, Sony decided to move forward with an album. In true Kobe form, he was in the studio for hours at a time, writing and rewriting songs with tireless perfectionism. His group was with him throughout the process, as there was every intention for the project to be a CHEIZAW album. Kobe’s dedication to music was admirable since he was also entering his third full season in the league at the same time. It’s worth noting the music didn’t affect Kobe’s numbers at all — he completed his best statistical season up to that point. 

Discussing the legendary NBA player’s brief rap career, Stoute remembers how passionate Kobe was about the music, leading to some big expectations for the first album. Despite the excitement that was building, there was some unfortunate drama on the horizon that would ultimately spell the end Kobe’s hip-hop dreams. Bryant parted ways with CHEIZAW in November 1999 before they had a chance to release a proper debut. According to Stoute, it’s because the group members weren’t working hard enough. However, in the aforementioned Grantland piece, Bannister claims it was because the label wanted them to embrace a pop sound that went against the group’s lyrical sensibilities. This falling out allowed Bryant to fully embrace his role as a solo artist. As for the group, they withered away as it became clear that neither Sony nor Bryant wanted them on board.

The solo Kobe Bryant album was never released. A single with Tyra Banks called “K.O.B.E” debuted in January 2000. Bryant got to perform it that same month at the 2000 NBA All-Star game. Banks’ underwhelming vocals, as well as Bryant’s leather suit and leopard print hat, led to a disastrous performance that had NBA fans recoiling at the very sight it. The music video shot by Hype Williams was scrapped and Kobe decided to link back up with Broady Boy CHEIZAW. At that point, however, Sony had had enough. That same year, Bryant’s album was put to bed and he was dropped by the label. “I think we picked the wrong first single,” Stoute recalled. “He went through the process and tried really hard …] I just think that he made the right decision.”

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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Things weren’t all bad for Bryant. That same year, he won his first NBA title and went on to win four more. Funnily enough, he won three those championships with Shaq– which just goes to show their rapper personas never interfered with their play on the court.

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Following Kobe’s short-lived career, Allen Iverson began rapping under the name Jewelz during the 2000 fseason.

Stoute, who was around for that as well, maintains Iverson could have been a huge success had it not been for the NBA’s condemnation  his first song “40 Bars.” Iverson was seen as someone who could pick up the mantle left by Shaq and was eventually signed by Universal Records. Despite this, he was criticized for using misogynistic and homophobic language, including lyrics such as: “Get murdered in a second in the first degree/Come to me with f***** tendencies/You’ll be sleeping where the maggots be.” 

His song caught the attention NBA commissioner David Stern, who was quick to issue a statement saying “The lyrics that have been attributed to Allen Iverson’s soon-to-be-released rap CD are coarse, fensive, and anti-social.” Stern even threatened to kick Iverson out the league entirely. As the threat NBA expulsion loomed over his head, Iverson scrapped the music he was working on and an album never came to fruition. 

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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Shaq’s success allowed him to have some credibility within the hip-hop space. However, Kobe and Iverson’s short-lived rap careers completely shifted the narrative when it came to athletes crossing over into music. Now, anyone coming into the space risked being seen as a novelty or simply put, corny. Thanks to this stigma, it would take a long time before we saw another NBA player attempt to immerse themselves in the genre.

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After a dry spell plagued the mid to late 2000s, Stephen Jackson came through with a mixtape in 2012 called What’s A Lockout.

As most basketball fans remember, the 2011-12 season was cut short thanks to a long and strenuous collective bargaining agreement negotiation which had some players wondering when they’d get back on the court. This prompted Jackson to get in the booth and express himself away from the bright lights the NBA.

Jackson immediately looked for ways to make his project stand out and it led to him enlisting none other than DJ Scream to host the tape. Scream had already built a rapport with Jackson and knew his high-caliber raps would surprise fans who didn’t know better. Once they started working on the music, Scream felt it was going to be special as Jackson came with the hunger someone trying to prove themselves to the world. “That project right there was him saying, ‘What’s a lockout?’” DJ Scream explained. “‘I don’t care about the lockout. The lockout don’t affect me. I got other things going, whether it be rap or other things.’”

As Scream recounted, the NBA star didn’t seem too worried about what the reception would be, and sure enough, his music was welcomed with open arms. Fans began clamoring for more projects after realizing how talented Jackson was as an MC. Scream says he wasn’t necessarily surprised by the music’s reception although it was great to see people giving Jackson a chance. “When he got some free time from basketball, he did another tape,” Scream said. “I think he called it Trill Freestyles and took a lot Texas classics and freestyled over those. That went well too, a lot positive feedback.”

With Jackson revitalizing the NBA rapper economy, more athletes would begin making the jump to music. Among the more high prile examples, Lou Williams dropped the project The Album That Never Was back in 2017. Williams was able to get the likes Jahlil Beats and Honorable C-Note to produce for him. The sixth-man the year immediately impressed his producers, including C-Note, who deemed him worthy his best beats. “If you’re really good at one thing, people try to put you in a box but when I first heard Lou Will, I played him my best beats. I was like ‘Bro, you can really rap,’” C-Note said. “I went into that secret stash and played him that shit, shit.”

The NBA rapper craze seemingly hit a new peak in 2017 after an XXL story went in-depth on a secret recording session LeBron James and Kevin Durant had during the 2011 lockout. This story caught the attention producer/engineer Franky Wahoo who worked at Spider Studios in Canton, Ohio. According to an interview Wahoo did with Vice, he was actually present during the infamous recording session and was surprised to find out people knew about it. During the 2017 NBA Finals, Wahoo took to Twitter and dropped a 30-second snippet LeBron and KD’s song “It Ain’t Easy,” which was recorded during that same session. Wahoo promised that if he got 1 million retweets, he would drop the full song. The retweet goal proved to be a little too lty. He never got there, although other opportunities to drop the song came along.

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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TMZ fered some money for the track while LeBron’s agent Rich Paul suggested it could be used for NBA 2K19. Wahoo never accepted any these fers and uncredited demos the song eventually made their way to radio. This forced the DJ to throw the ficial song up on SoundCloud without any promotion. “We were like ‘well we sit on it we do nothing, they leak it I don’t get production credit,’” Wahoo told Vice. “In the industry, you have to protect yourself first so I’m like ‘what if I just put it on Soundcloud?’ The worst thing that could happen is that James’ agent] Paul would take it down.”

The song became a minor sensation, with fans wondering whether or not James or KD would continue to explore their musical prowess. In the end, neither player gave the song much acknowledgment but the fandom surrounding the song displayed a real appetite for more music from some the league’s biggest stars.

With this in mind, there seems to be one player in particular who has completely changed the narrative as far as the bility athletes in the hip-hop space. That man is Damian Lillard the Portland Trailblazers, who goes by the rap moniker Dame D.O.L.L.A. Unlike Shaq and Kobe, fans have been able to separate Damien Lillard the basketball player from Dame D.O.L.L.A the rapper. This distinction lends to the idea that attitudes are changing towards athletes who make music.

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Dame first caught the attention hip-hop fans with his “Four-Bar Friday” series on SoundCloud.

In 2015, Lillard went on Sway In The Morning and dropped an impressive freestyle which immediately had his supporters clamoring for an album. One year later, Dame would deliver on that promise with his debut project The Letter O. The album had a feature from Lil Wayne and showcased Lillard’s ability to craft songs and deliver some scintillating bars. Once again fans were left asking for more and a year later, he dropped Confirmed.

Lillard has gone above and beyond what you would expect from an athlete doubling as a rapper. In November 2016, he started his own record label called Front Page Music, where he signed two artists: Danny from Sobrante and Brookfield Duece. Dame’s dedication to the craft is evident. While some do it for the look or for the exposure, he says he does it because he loves it and at the end the day, he wants the respect his contemporaries.

“I’ve put two albums out. I’ve done features. I got major artists on all my music. I’ve taken all the steps to be respected as a rapper,” Lillard explained. “I didn’t just come out and say, ‘I’m an NBA Allstar and I do music so respect my music.’ I took all the steps that everybody else does doing music primarily to be respected as an artist.”

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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This artistic hunger has led some other NBA rappers to come for his throne. Sacramento Kings young gun Marvin Bagley challenged Dame with a diss track. Lillard immediately replied with a song his own, called “MARVINNNNNNN???” “After I heard the first track where he mentioned my name, I started writing a diss track just in case he ever came for me again,” Lillard recalled. “So the day that he dropped his, I dropped mine the same day. After I dropped mine, I didn’t know how fast he was gonna shoot back so I recorded another one and dropped another one and the next morning he came back with something else but at that point, I was done with it.”

Interestingly enough, a couple months after our interview with Lillard, he found himself embroiled in yet another rap beef. This time, Lillard was going up against the OG the NBA rap community, Shaq. During an appearance on The Joe Budden PodcastLillard made some combative comments about Shaq and even perpetuated some the stereotypes that plagued Shaq’s early foray into hip-hop. Dame claimed he was a better rapper than the four-time NBA champion and said that while Shaq could rap, most people saw him as a basketball player who made music — and not as a bonafide MC.

Even if you agree with Lillard and think Shaq can’t hang with the new kids, there is no denying his influence on the culture. Simply put, without Shaq, there is no Dame D.O.L.L.A. “Shaq paved the way for every NBA player to rap]. Everybody thought they could do what he did but nobody was able to be as successful,” Sermon said. “Shaq, from the heart, grew up hip-hop, being from Newark NJ, knowing what the styles were, he was able to learn the craft and take it seriously.”

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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Sermon went on to acknowledge that Dame is one the few holding the mantle left by Shaq in the 90s. “There’s only one NBA player] that’s rapping right now] and that’s Dame Lillard. That happens to be the one that Shaq is beefin’ with Laughs]. But Dame is the only one that is taking it seriously, that I know about.”

Regardless where you fall in the debate, there is no denying how powerful the recent back-and-forth between Dame and Shaq has been for the “athletes that rap” movement. For years, NBA players trying to make a name for themselves in the rap game have been shunned and looked at as a gimmick. This latest rap beef has people talking about Shaq and Dame like they are legitimate artists, which, course, they always have been. The only difference is now they are being acknowledged as such. If Shaq set the precedent with his debut album, then Lillard has set the standard. 

Dion Waiters Reacts To Being Suspended By Miami Heat

Dion Waiters will be watching from the sidelines when the Miami Heat host the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night, following a disagreement he had with head coach Erik Spoelstra during Friday’s preseason finale. The Heat ultimately opted to suspend Waiters for the season opener, citing “conduct detrimental to the team.”

Pat Riley issued the following statement regarding the suspension:

“There were a number unacceptable incidents this week, culminating with his unpressional conduct on the bench last night. As a consequence, I feel we had to suspend him.”

Waiters, 27, has come f the bench in each the four preseason games he appeared in, and he clearly isn’t happy with his role right now. He took some jabs at Spolestra on social media over the weekend, writing that he only won a title because he had LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on his roster. Additionally, he laughed at a comment about Heat rookie Tyler Herro being better than him, and “liked” comments about him being waived or traded.

The Heat signed Waiters to a four-year, $52 million extension in July 2017, and he has averaged 12.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game in his 74 appearances since then. 

According to Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney, an anonymous NBA GM says the team has been trying to trade Waiters for almost a year now.

“They’ve been trying to trade him since last Christmas. No one was trying to take him on then. And after this kind thing suspension], it would be really hard to take him on now. He has had just kind junk attached to him just about his whole career.”

The 10 Best TV Shows You’re (Probably) Not Watching

When you hear about singing competition shows like The Masked Singer and The Voice drawing between eight and nine million viewers an episode, it starts to make sense — why so few people are watching, or have even heard your favorite TV shows. With more viewing options and service providers than ever before, it’s allowed for more niche programming, but that doesn’t guarantee it’ll last very long. Smaller shows require critical praise or a passionate fan base to push it into future seasons potential ratings growth. Oftentimes, success at an awards show can be just the push needed for a lesser-known series to go global like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel did a couple years back. And prior to last month’s Emmy’s, Fleabag would have been sitting at the top this list. But for the time being, there are too many great shows on TV that viewers are simply not watching. Here are 10 the best shows on television that you’re probably not watching.

Let us know in the comments your favorite, most underrated TV series!


Superstore (NBC)

One the very few sitcoms on network television worth 22-minutes your time, Superstore is classic NBC Must See TV. Featuring an unforgettable ensemble relative unknowns who steal the show on a weekly basis, you almost forget that the pilot was initially marketed as a starring-vehicle for America Ferrera’s television comeback. This criminally under-appreciated series, currently in its fifth season, puts the Emmy-winning actress in a blue-collar retail environment – a sharp contrast to the fashion magazine setting Ugly Betty. Originally structured around the cliché “will they, or won’t they” love story big-box store employees Amy (Ferrera) and Jonah (Ben Feldman), the show has now expanded to be much more reliant on the main characters’ hilarious Cloud 9 co-workers including Dina (Lauren Ash), Garrett (Colton Dunn), Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom), and the incomparable Mark McKinney as store manager Glenn Sturgis. Smart, quirky, and well acted by all – while Superstore isn’t a ratings or awards darling, it is quality network programming at a time when the big 4 networks continue to struggle for relevancy beyond reality and live sports.


The Deuce (HBO)

From David Simon, the creator arguably the most overlooked show in television history, The Wire, comes HBO’s latest period drama, The Deuce. Telling the story the Golden Age Porn set around 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan, commonly referred to as “The Deuce” – this three season series spans from 1971-1985. Beginning with the prostitution business the early ‘70s, introducing hookers, pimps, johns, and corrupt cops to the story, season two expands into the rapidly growing ography industry. The series’ third and final season is currently airing to its lowest ratings to date. Why no one is watching this series escapes me. Perhaps it will be like The Wire and viewers will fall in love with the show 5-10 years from now. Regardless, the stellar acting performances by stars and executive producers, James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, have gone completely unnoticed thus far – cast in the shadow HBO giants like Game Thrones, Big Little Lies, and Westworld. But take my word for it – if you’re not already watching The Deuce, it’s ficially time to start.


South Side (Comedy Central)

After back-to-back failed pilots at HBO, former Late Night with Jimmy Fallon writers/performers Diallo Riddle (Marlon, Silicon Valley) & Bashir Salahuddin (GLOW, Looking) have finally broken through the scripted comedy gates with not one, but two new hit series. The first being IFC’s Soul Train parody, Sherman’s Showcase. However, today we’re going to focus on their Comedy Central series, South Side. Set around the working class neighborhoods Chicago’s South Side, the aptly titled show follows two recent community college graduates (Sultan Salahuddin & Kareme Young) whose jobs at a rent-to-own retail store take them across town where they meet a variety the city’s most eclectic residents. The show’s police characters, Officer Goodnight and Sergeant Turner as played by co-creator Bashir Salahuddin and his wife Chandra Russell, and its unapologetic love for Chicago add a tone akin to past Comedy Central shows like Reno 911 and Detroiters. Both South Side and Sherman’s Showcase are absolutely hilarious, and while South Side has received a second season order, neither these shows are ratings titans. The only way we get more episodes is if more people start watching.


On Becoming A God In Central Florida (Showtime)

The path from page to screen has been a wild but worthwhile ride for Showtime’s dark comedy, On Becoming A God in Central Florida. Originally developed at AMC with Oscar-nominated director Yorgos Lanthimos set to helm, a year and a half later the show moved to YouTube Premium (without Lanthimos) with a 10-episode first season order. Finally, over a year after moving to YouTube, the series is now a hit for Showtime. Starring Kirsten Dunst as a minimum-wage water park worker who, following the sudden death her husband, climbs her way up the pyramid scheme that ruined her family – On Becoming A God in Central Florida is tonally unlike any other show on television. Blending comedy and drama with a distinct bizarre Florida quality, the series also stars Theodore Pellerin (Boy Erased), Ted Levine (The Silence the Lambs), Mel Rodriguez (The Last Man on Earth), and Beth Ditto (Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot) in roles they were born to play. On Becoming A God In Central Florida has already received a second season pickup along with plenty awards buzz surrounding Dunst’s transcendent performance as Krystal Stubbs. However, the ratings aren’t currently enough to keep the series on the air as long as it deserves.


The Other Two (Comedy Central)

From the minds former Saturday Night Live co-head writers, Chris Kelly & Sarah Schneider, The Other Two is about the unsuccessful older siblings America’s latest 13-year-old overnight Internet sensation, ChaseDreams (Case Walker). Cary, a struggling actor, and Brooke, a failed dancer, both take to their younger brother’s newfound celebrity with envy and opportunity. While Cary and Brooke are obvious proxies for the show’s creators, it’s the role their mother, Pat, played to perfection by fellow SNL alum Molly Shannon – that takes the Comedy Central series from good to great. Chase’s clueless manager, Streeter Peters, also provides a great deal the show’s humor courtesy Ken Marino. Wanda Sykes makes a few appearances as well, playing Chase’s sharp-tongued record executive. Full jokes catered to millennials, The Other Two is a mixture SNL pedigree, an absurd yet true storyline, and the perfect cast to pull it f. Early into its first season, The Other Two was renewed for a second season that is expected to air on Comedy Central early next year.


Kidding (Showtime)

Set to air its second season in February 2020, Jim Carrey’s dark comedy Kidding was one the best-kept secrets on TV last year. The show stars Carrey as children’s television personality Jeff Pickles, presenter the Mister Rodgers’ Neighborhood-meets-Michel Gondry PBS show, Mr. Pickles’ Puppet Time. After suffering a major loss, Jeff is pushed to the brink, torn between work, family, and his own mental stability. Kidding is rooted in great writing and world-altering visuals/puppetry, however it’s the cast that delivers the most each episode. In addition to A-lister Carrey blessing Showtime’s small screen, his exceptional co-stars include Frank Langella as Jeff’s father, Catherine Keener as his puppet maker sister, Judy Greer as his ex-wife Jill, and Justin Kirk as Jill’s new boyfriend. Not to mention the phenomenal introduction to child actors Cole Allen, who plays Jeff’s twin sons, and Juliet Morris as Jeff’s emotionally damaged niece. And just wait until Olympic figure skater Tara Lipinski joins the fray. Kidding is smart, magical, and dark, while still delivered with plenty heart. Now if only more people were watching.


What We Do In The Shadows (FX)

Based on the 2014 film the same name co-created by Jermaine Clement from Flight the Conchords and one the hottest directors in Hollywood, Taika Waititi – What We Do In The Shadows is a horror comedy about four vampire roommates living in modern day Staten Island. Starring the brilliant Kayvan Novak as Nandor the Relentless, a vampire from the Ottoman Empire – Nandor has a servant named Guillermo who serves as the viewer’s non-vampire perspective inside the home. Nandor’s other housemates include Laszio, a noble British vampire played by Matt Berry (Toast London); Laszio’s Romanian wife Nadja, played by Natasia Demetriou; and Colin, a vampire who drains humans energy by boring them, played to perfection by Mark Proksch (The Office). The first season also includes a memorable recurring performance from Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart) as Jenna, a virgin whose life changes when she meets Guillermo. What We Do In The Shadows lives up to its film predecessor, while introducing new characters in a fresh American setting. The 10-episode first season came and went much too quickly, making the news a second season returning to FX in 2020 music to its niche audience’s ears.


Claws (TNT)

TNT’s hour-long dramedy set in a Tampa nail salon, Claws, aired its third season this past summer. Originally developed at HBO as a half-hour comedy, Claws and its star Niecy Nash have become one TNT’s flagship series over the past three years. Somewhat a female-driven Breaking Bad, Claws follows five manicurists as they quickly ascend from petty crime to organized crime when they start money laundering. As they navigate the masculine world Florida crime, they must stick together or lose everything. Alongside Nash, Claws co-stars Carrie Preston (True Blood), Judy Reyes (Scrubs), Karrueche Tran, Jenn Lyon (Justified), and Harold Perrineau (Lost, Oz) as Nash’s autistic brother. The fourth and final season Claws is expected to air in June 2020. Catch up on the first three seasons before the Florida-set adventure returns for its final chapter.


Snowfall (FX)

Originally developed at Showtime, FX’s drama Snowfall is influenced by, but not ficially based upon the origin story drug trafficker “FreewayRick Ross. Created by Academy Award-nominated Boyz N The Hood director John Singleton, the show’s third season recently aired only three months following his sudden passing. The series follows various characters whose lives are on the verge colliding during the 1980s drug trade. Snowfall stars Damson Idris as 19-year-old drug dealer Franklin Saint, Carter Hudson as CIA operative Teddy McDonald, Emily Rios as Lucia Villanueva, the daughter a Mexican drug lord, and Sergio Peris-Mencheta as Mexican wrestler Gustavo “El Oso” Zapata. In a rare feat, as most series audiences either shrink or grow with each year, Snowfall’s third season’s ratings were nearly identical to those its first two. A fourth season Snowfall has been commissioned to return in 2020, marking the first episodes the FX drug drama to not involve Singleton as executive producer. RIP John Singleton.


The Good Fight (CBS All Access)

Less than a year after the last episode The Good Wife, co-creators Robert King & Michelle King teamed up with Phil Alden Robinson to create a spinf revolving around Stern, Lockhart & Gardner partner and fan favorite, Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski). The Good Fight picks up one year following the events The Good Wife finale when a Madf-like financial scam leaves Diane newly retired with no savings. Lockhart alongside her goddaughter, a ruined young lawyer named Maia Rindell, land at a well-known black-owned law firm working the excessive amount police brutality cases plaguing Chicago. With a revolving door cast members over its first three seasons, fans The Good Wife will take to The Good Fight for the same reasons – great writing brought to life by even better performances. Memorable appearances over CBS All Access’ inaugural series include Delroy Lindo, Justin Bartha, Audra McDonald, and Michael Sheen. A fourth season will air next year.

Rihanna Names Russ & Bia’s "BEST ON EARTH" Her "New Fav Song"

Russ has been dropping music weekly for months now, and fans have enjoyed every track. In the wee hours Friday morning, Russ dropped a brand new single, “BEST ON EARTH,” a collaboration featuring rapper Bia. The track samples Trillville’s 2004 classic bed-squeaking beat from “Some Cut,” and on the song, the two artists trade naughty bars about their bedroom antics. Rihanna heard “BEST ON EARTH” and showed that she is a fan by taking to her Instagram to deliver another slow-motion walking video, this time with Russ and Bia’s tune as her theme music.

“Thank you @bia and @russ for my new fav song #BestOnEarth,” Rihanna wrote in the caption. Russ couldn’t believe he received a co-sign from the Fenty mogul so he jumped in her comments and wrote, “No one talk to me for the rest life. THE QUEEN AND LEGEND. THANK YOU 😩😩😩.” Bia also shared her excitement by writing, “I LOVEEEEE YOUUUUU 🧡”

Meanwhile, Rihanna not only had time to sing Russ and Bia’s praises but to give a subtle clapback to a social media user. Ri shared a video herself trying out her Fenty Diamond Bomb 2 all-over shimmer, but someone took the opportunity to make fun the singer. “Ur forehead shines brighter than my future,” the person commented, to which Rihanna replied, “There’s still hope for you then.” Check out Russ and Bia’s “BEST ON EARTH” here.

Lil Uzi Vert Shares Text Messages With Ex-Girlfriend: "Why Would You Leave Me"

Some Lil Uzi Vert‘s fans are selfishly excited about what’s going on in his life right now. Over the course the last forty-eight hours, the Philadelphia rapper has been channelling his emotions into his social media pages, telling the world about his break-up and sharing limited details about what happened. While it’s still not entirely clear who he was dating, Uzi seemingly got broken up with this week and he’s feeling really low. Of course, the fans who like Uzi’s heartbreak music are excited because this possibly means he’ll be writing a few anthems for them in the coming days. However, we really should just be wishing him well because, from the looks it, he’s taking this really hard.

Updating his Instagram story with a video himself using a search engine to ask “WHY IS LIL UZI SO SAD,” he then decided to expose his text messages to his ex-girlfriend. “Wya I’m not feeling well,” he started. He then realized that she was ghosting him, venting to the non-respondent woman in an emotional manner. “I can’t believe you left me and I never left you,” he added. “Can you please answer? Wtf. Why would you leave me?”

Everyone send your well wishes to Lil Uzi Vert right now. Clearly, he can use some love.

Lil Uzi Vert Shares Text Messages With Ex-Girlfriend: "Why Would You Leave Me"

Who Is Clever? The Music Industry’s Best-Kept Secret Is Working With Post Malone & Justin Bieber

Clever is an enigmatic talent. The 34-year-old Alabama native is currently in the midst blowing up after his appearance on Juice WRLD’s most recent album A Death Race For Love. The release last year’s “When Only You Will Do” put him on people’s radar and once he featured on “Ring Ring,” everybody had the same question on their minds: Who Is Clever? 

For over a decade, the recording artist has been honing his craft, learning the ins and outs the business and adapting to his surroundings. The rising star started as a poet, writing rhymes before transitioning into the world music. You may be asking yourself why it took so long for Clever to start gaining nationwide attention. A few years ago, his phone was not as busy as it is today. Nowadays, people like 21 Savage, the Migos, Lil Baby, G Herbo and more are trying to get in the studio with him. Things weren’t always that way though. 

After a stint in prison and a label deal gone wrong, Clever is finally back on his feet and he’s ready to make a major impact. Offering something that nobody else in the game can quite encapsulate, the Alabama musician is on pace to end the year in stellar fashion. Following the release his new project Who Is Clever?, we spoke with the artist to learn more about what he’s all about.

Read our full interview below, edited for clarity and length.


HNHH: What’s good Clever, how you doing?

Clever: I’m good. I’m getting my face tatted at the moment.

You’re getting your face tatted?

As we speak, yeah.

What are you getting?

I’m actually covering one up. I’ma get an umbrella under my eye.

Any meaning for that, or you just felt like getting an umbrella?

Like teardrops, like raindrops. There’s no great meaning behind it, no. It’s just the best thing I could come up with to cover up this ugly ass tat that I got.

I feel you on that bro. It’s a pleasure to speak with you. I wanted to start f with the question on everybody’s mind: Who is Clever?

Laughs] You know, I’m trying to get to know him myself. I’m just an artist from Alabama, bro. Just trying to make my way one song at a time. We’ve done a lot singles. This album was for the fans, to kind give them something, I feel like it wasn’t sitting around waiting for shit. It was time to pull the trigger. But to tell you who I am, to make it simple, I’m just an everyday artist trying to make a way.

I respect that. There’s not a lot information about you online. I read somewhere that you had been making music for over a decade, you said you’re from Alabama, you’re 35 years-old-

34.

34! I’m sorry, bro.

It’s all good. Don’t get me wrong it’s all good. Someone got it wrong and everybody’s got it wrong since. You’ll be the first to tell them the truth.

Laughs] So tell us about your upbringing. What led you to this path?

Well, early on I was writing poetry. Eventually, I transitioned into hip-hop music. At first, I was doing more straight-rap type stuff. I was a 106 & Park “Freestyle Friday” champion, way back when. On BET, I did BET Spring Bling’s freestyle battle. I won that back in 2006, and we’re talking about a long time ago. At some point, I had a good following around town, in my hometown which is a small city in Alabama. I got asked to have my own radio show on a local clear channel station and did that for a good bit. Eventually, I did some time, got into some trouble, it held me back a good bit. I got into a shitty deal, which held me back another four years, or so. During that time I was writing songs for other people. I got a placement with Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, some old-school heads. I was writing everything under the sun, really. I got with a lot different publishing companies out in LA and was writing songs with David Foster and a bunch cats. I wrote a whole album for this Israel duo that was translating from Hebrew to English.

Shit, that’s fucking cool.

Yeah, bro. I wrote fucking opera songs, I wrote Christmas songs, I wrote em’ all. But at some point, once I got out the shitty deal, it was time to get back to doing some solo shit, and getting back to work, and doing what it is that I do. As soon as we got out the deal, the first song and video we did was “When Only You Will Do.” We got a lot game, a lot traction f “When Only You Will Do” and loyalty, and things like that. We ended up linking with Lil Bibby. That’s kind what put me and Juice WRLD] together. After that, it’s just been left and right. People coming at us, wanting to do records. Right now we’re talking to Post Malone about possibly bringing him into the picture. So it’s just one thing on to the next bro.

Yeah, that’s what I’ve been seeing. You’ve been chilling with Post a lot. Personally, I think that you two have this kind vibe that would sound perfect together on a track. You both go for that little vibrato vibe, like extreme melody-making. 

Yeah, absolutely.

Have you guys been in the studio together?

No, you know we got a record we been working on. I’ve already done my piece it, he already knows every word to it, so I imagine he’s gonna play with it. I think it’s going to be a done deal. Me and Tyla Yahweh just laid one down. Me and Skrillex got a record that’s going to come out soon. I even chit chatted with Justin Bieber about doing a song with him on his new album.

You’re going crazy out here right now, Clever!

You know, it’s looking up. Hopefully, we can get some those nailed down. But I’m ready to do solo shit too. I got a bunch solo records just sitting on the shelf that’s itching to go. A lot the songs you hear on the EP are songs that I love personally. But, we have a gang that shit. There are at least 60-75 songs that are just as good, if not better then those records, that are just sitting around. It was time to put some that out. I felt like we only had four or five records out for a long time and it was really time for people to sit down and get to listen to a good bit what we do.

Absolutely. It’s nice to see you blowing up. Do you remember the exact moment that you fell in love with music?

Man, growing up my mother used to clean this church. I would go down there and chill in the sanctuary. I was maybe 7 or 8 years-old and I would just bang on the piano. I ended up learning how to run the soundboard at that place. Just trying to figure out how to turn the microphone on took me eight or nine trips going with her just to go play around in church while she was doing her thing. So, I think around that point. My dad, once upon a time we was going down a road and he was playing this old John Mellencamp record, and he paused the record and told me what the line said. He rewound it back and it was a funny ass line, he played it back and we had a good laugh about it. I think just that bond, knowing that it creates that type bond between two people, just did it for me. Writing poetry, it just seemed like music was the only thing I wasn’t writing at that time. I began to love it when I saw it as a challenge, lyrically. Everybody sings in the shower, but it’s another thing to lay it down. Once you start listening to yourself and critiquing yourself, I mean…I was always a competitive person and trying to be the best at everything I did. So for me, music was more than just an escape from reality. It was something that I wanted to strive to be better at. I think at some point it’s too late to turn back and you gotta just keep trucking. But, I mean it’s hard to say exactly when I fell in love with it. I’ve always been in love with music, who hasn’t?

That’s amazing. Your new EP, Who is Clever?, I feel like it’s going to be an introduction to your music for a lot people. What kind experience do you want people to get out it?

For me, it’s really satisfying when people relate to the music in a way that helps them get through things, or feel some kind emotional connection to what I do. But, at the same time I wanted to turn their heads and make them say “Who this is?”, you know what I’m saying? Like, who the fuck is this Clever dude? So, melodically I try to do things that make you say, “Wow, this is a little bit different.” That’s what I really want them to get out it. Just that this is something new and it’s not the same old bullshit songs concept-wise. It may be in the ballpark, but it’s a little unpredictable at the same time. Something new, something fresh.

I think that’s special though because that’s something people are always looking for. People are going to hear that and right away, that’s something that makes somebody a fan.

Yeah, absolutely. There’s so much music that’s put out by record companies and stuff like that, and they try to do whatever is already working and it makes sense from a financial standpoint. But, when you look at the greats like Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles, they weren’t necessarily doing what the guys before them were doing. They were doing something ground-breaking. At this point in music, I feel like people think that it’s so hard to do something that hasn’t been done before, but you’re never going to get anywhere close to doing that just trying to take what inspires you to do this and just mimicking that. For me, it’s all about pushing it further. 

For sure. From your lyrics, I get a sense that you’re a very deep, almost philosophical person. Is that fair to say?

Yeah, absolutely.

There’s a lot thematic content about heartbreak, drugs, and things along those lines on this project. Is it therapeutic for you to sing about this type stuff and get that out in the world?

Absolutely. A lot it early on was a means escape. Once you write it, it’s almost like you’re putting it down, whether you’re writing on pen and pad, or on your phone, or just listening to it on an mp3 some sort, you get it f your chest and put it somewhere else. So, for me, it’s almost just as therapeutic as the artist as it is for the listener to listen to it and relate to it. I can almost see a timeline from how I felt in that moment when I listen to an old song. I listen to the records, I’m one my biggest critics, but I listen to my music a lot. More than I listen to anybody else. I’m listening to my shit over and over trying to make it what it is. It’s also therapeutic for me just to challenge myself when it comes to wordplay, metaphors, and double entendres, and so forth. It’s a game, in a sense. You’re really reaching to try to say something that’s never been said and put it in a way that only you can say it. It’s therapeutic in a lot ways, especially emotionally when you can get it f your chest and put it down somewhere else.

What goes through your mind when you’re writing that kind stuff, especially songs like “Wooden Box” and “Commissary.” I feel like those are some the most powerful songs on the project.

Right, well, “Wooden Box” just comes from experience. It may relate to you in a different way or hit you a little hard. But just reliving the experiences on paper or a record is a therapeutic thing for me. But “Wooden Box” and “Commissary” are in the same ballpark, it relates to the same subject. The feeling that goes into each song is always the same. You’re trying to dig as deep as you can into what you experienced in hopes that those who experienced the same thing can relate to it, or vibe to it. 

You were talking about Juice WRLD before. I wanted to ask about the “Ring Ring” collaboration because I feel like that’s what introduced you to more a mainstream audience this year. Tell me about how you guys linked up.

Well it was through G Money and Lil Bibby. Me and Carlton had already been sharing a lot the early video clips that we hadn’t released yet on his page. We were holding on to them for a minute. Lil Bibby came across them, somehow G Money came across them through MyMixtapez. MyMixtapez hit us up and was really vibing to our shit early on. They hit up G Money, who is Lil Bibby’s brother. Juice WRLD is signed to the same independent production company that I’m also with that’s owned by Lil Bibby. When I went to LA to meet with Bibby and G Money for the first time, Juice WRLD was there. It was in his Airbnb that they were all kicking it. He was recording a song with Kodak Black], I think, and Ski Mask, and a bunch those cats from No Jumper. But when I walked in I was introduced to everybody and Juice had already listened to “Loyalty.” He was like, “Yo, you’re the dude that sings that ‘Loyalty’ song” and the song hadn’t come out yet. But he had heard the snippet and course he heard the mp3 through Bibby and G Money. He was rocking with it early on and once we met, and hung out for a little bit, smoked one, this, that, and the other, we was instantly cool. He has a passion for music, I was also a freestyle guy way back when, and he does a lot freestyles so I respect him as a freestyle artist. Once we chit-chatted it was all love. When it came time for him to release an album, I was first in line to get a feature. I was actually going to be on the song with him and Seezyn that went on the Spiderman soundtrack, but it kind fell through. But his album came not long after that and I was lucky enough to get a slot.

Is there anyone in particular that you really want to work with in the future?

That’s a great question. There are several artists that I would love to work with. It’s funny, people would think that I’m reaching out to a lot people trying to get features, spending a shit ton money. The truth is, we haven’t asked for a feature yet, and they’re all coming to us. Luckily we’ve been blessed to have that come to us. But I think anybody that has a cool sound that’s not trying to ride that industry standard “This is what music should sound like”, there’s no formula to music you know? I think that anybody that has an interesting something about their songwriting wise, or locally, I would love to work with them. I don’t know if I have anybody in particular. There are some interesting artists out there. I was a huge fan Jay-Z. At some point, I would love to have a record with Jigga, man.

That would be sick actually! You said a lot people have been calling you, and you previously said that 21 Savage, Lil Baby, Timbaland, Migos, and those kinds guys were reaching out to you. Is there anybody else that’s banging your line these days?

Well, I get a lot people. As I said, Justin Bieber just hit us up a couple days ago. I’m going to do a record with him, I think, for his album. Post Malone, everyone that kind came into the picture were not too shy about blasting it on Instagram. It’s left and right, I get a lot producers that are really dope. Me and Tank God are gonna do some stuff. Me and Tyla Yahweh got some stuff coming out. The NoCap tape, I’m thinking about doing a tape with Rylo Rodriguez.

That’s one my favorite songs on the project, by the way. The “Apartments” joint. I love it.

Yeah, so I can’t wait. We got a record that’s coming out called “Hold Back The River” that’s going to be on NoCap’s project. Then we got a video for it. I think we’re going to drop on Worldstar or something, not sure. But it’s hopefully going to come out within the next week or two. But I love the Alabama thing. NoCap is from Alabama, Rylo Rodriguez is from Alabama, and so am I. So to do it for the home state is dope.

What kind advice would you give to somebody that’s still hustling to make it in the music business? 

I would say stick to one thing and try to master it. Because a lot people get on a different wave. You see some people that got famous from YouTube, or back in the day it was MySpace. You had a couple MySpace cats that got big. There was a SoundCloud wave where there was a number people that got big on that platform. I think if you focus on one platform and really put your energy into that, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin on a bunch platforms, you don’t want to be absent on other platforms, but I think you should focus on one if you’re looking to gain followers. But honestly, the best advice would be to stop following the norm. Just start doing something that’s a little different. If you look at people who are going around trolling and trying to mimic them, it’s the same old shit. There’s nothing different, everybody takes almost the same approach in music today. At the end the day, you gotta have dope ass music so you need to do something different to turn people’s heads and stand out. Stick to one platform, try to master that shit, and do something that they never heard before. Don’t bring the same shit to the table, no one wants to hear that shit again. 

Facts. Now that the EP is out, what’s on tap for the rest the year?

Yeah, we’re going to be performing at the Day N Vegas Festival in a few weeks. Then, I really want to drop the NoCap tape. I think his label is waiting and they want to drop his solo project first. We’ve been talking about doing a “Stick By My Side” remix. I’m hoping that that’s going to come out at some point this year. Then it’s all about finishing some the features we got going with Post, Justin Bieber, me and YFN] Lucci doing a song. We got a lot shit coming. We don’t stop. Of course we’re preparing to do another big run in 2020, but 19’ not over yet, and I think we still got time. This years nowhere near over, a couple months can do a lot. We got more shit to drop. The “Hold Back The River” joint was going to be on this EP with NoCap, but it’s going to be on his project. We could drop that video any day now. I’m hoping to drop that and the “Stick By My Side” remix before this year is over with.

That’s exciting man, honestly I’m really happy to see that people are actually picking up on you. It’s nice to see you succeed, and it’s really nice to be able to talk to you.

For sure, bro. I love HotNewHipHop.

I hope you enjoy the rest your day. Take care.

21 Savage Roasts Offset For Writing "Corniest Caption Of The Year"

Migos rapper Offset has grown to become one the most well-known figures in the rap community over the years. Several years ago, Quavo was seen as the quintessential leader the three-man-group but now, tasks are evenly split with each member assuming their proper role in the force. Offset is arguably the biggest celebrity the bunch, marrying Cardi B and finding his name throughout all sorts gossipy headlines. Sometimes, his social media antics are what get him so much attention though. When he claimed to be a “SEXY ASS PIECE OF CHOCOLATE” on Instagram yesterday, his peers came into the comments section in droves to roast the rapper and 21 Savage had the best response.

While Cardi B simply hit her husband with a flurry laughing emojis, some Offset’s buddies just needed to put him in his place. A$AP Ferg noted that he was about to double-tap the photo… until he read the caption. It was 21 Savage who won the comment battle though. “And da corniest caption the year award goes to,” wrote the Atlanta-based gangster, laughing along with Bardi. 

The photo itself is quite sharp. Offset looks dapper in an oversized coat with a beautiful scene behind him. His caption threw a lot people f though. Do you agree with 21 Savage? Was it a little corny?

21 Savage Roasts Offset For Writing "Corniest Caption Of The Year"

NBA YoungBoy "AI YoungBoy 2" Review

It’s very difficult to find a bad YoungBoy Never Broke Again song. Run through his discography, and you’ll notice that the 19-year-old is one the most consistent rappers in the game. While he remains one the most celebrated young artists, his detractors ten remark that sometimes, YoungBoy can be too consistent. With so much music on the market — and with the majority it frequenting the same lane — much his material is treated evenly. In order to evolve to the next level, NBA YoungBoy needs to adopt fresh tendencies and explore different veins. Did he do so on AI YoungBoy 2?

The current voice Baton Rouge, Louisiana is the self-proclaimed King YouTube. With his previous bodies work, NBA YoungBoy stood tall at the top the video platform’s leaderboard when it comes to streaming. That’s an impressive feat by itself, but after realizing that it took only Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” to knock him f his pedestal, YB’s influence should become even more meaningful.

The troubled teenager is an emotional being. He’s been in and out jail, continually getting in trouble with the cops and putting his career in jeopardy. Somehow, he always finds his way back on top. The perseverant youngin will be on house arrest for the next twelve months, being restricted to his hood and not being allowed to run any performances or tours. As a successful recording artist though, he needs to remain active to keep the fans interested. Months after being released from prison for violating his probation, the “Lonely Child” is back with the highly-anticipated sequel to his AI YoungBoy mixtape.

NBA YoungBoy "AI YoungBoy 2" Review
Scott Dudelson/Getty s

Having gone through a lot in his short lifetime, NBA YoungBoy has a lot to say on his new project. With all the hype surrounding the rising superstar, this was bound to be one his most popular releases thus far and, considering the fact that YB is expecting to move 100K+ units AI YoungBoy 2, he’s right on track to experience some major growth in his career. It’s scary to consider how big this guy can become. We see a glimpse his potential on “Carter Son,” the tape’s opener and arguably one the best songs on the tracklist. YoungBoy utilizes his melodious talents and hook-making mastery throughout the bulk the songs. Often likened to both Lil Durk and Kevin Gates, YoungBoy combines both their strengths to become a heightened version the two street veterans, potentially building a blueprint to, one day, surpass them. However, he will need to be a little more innovative in the future to do so.

Much like all his other projects, AI YoungBoy 2 makes for very easy listening. With a pop-oriented approach to writing choruses, YB makes sure his music is always catchy but he hides life lessons in his lyrics. Speaking on drug use, crime, and the streets as well as heartbreak, depression, and love, his thematic structure is varied but also leaves a lot room for him to explore. At this point, we know that YoungBoy is always going to pour his heart out, which is ultimately what helps differentiate him from the rest the pack. He’s a gangster but he’s incredibly vulnerable, speaking about his real-life relationships, his family, and his hardships here.

NBA YoungBoy "AI YoungBoy 2" Review

On tracks like “Make No Sense,” the Baton Rouge native channels his inner Gucci Mane, boasting about his lifestyle and noting that, despite being a millionaire, he’s still posted up “in the bricks.” Then, on “Ranata” and “Lonely Child,” he flips the script and raps about his “hood queen,” the pain he feels inside his heart, and more.

If there is one critique to be made, it’s that AI YoungBoy 2 isn’t enough a departure for YoungBoy Never Broke Again. The lyrical content is incredibly versatile but the general sound the project may be too uniform. In order for him to reach that next level superstardom, he will need to keep to this lane while also trying out new things. Each song on this mixtape is solid but the biggest shift in the young rapper’s sound comes in its introductory song. Everything else is in line with what he created on Until Death Call My Name or Realer.

This is a very enjoyable body work and you won’t regret listening through until the end. At just 19-years-old, YoungBoy has so much room to grow and we’re excited to see where he ends up in a few years time. He’s definitely on the right path.

YK Osiris Clearly Wasn’t Ready For Lap Dance From Over-Zealous Fan

He may have called himself the “king R&B in this generation” which has entangled him in a petty beef with Jacquees, but he may not be ready for the stage antics from his dedicated fans. YK Osiris decided to follow in the footsteps the other R&B greats who have paved the way before him and thought he would spice things up at a recent live show. The 21-year-old called on fans in the audience to come onto the stage to give him a lap dance, and what started out a little hot turned into a blazing inferno when one woman almost ripped his pants f.

YK Osiris Clearly Wasn't Ready For Lap Dance From Over-Zealous Fan
Bennett Raglin/Getty s

The “Worth It” singer shared two videos that showed ladies who were excited to give YK Osiris their best moves, but in one clip, he clearly got more than he bargained for. At first, the woman was just backing it up, occasionally rubbing on his…you know…but when she turned around, she grabbed his pants with enough strength to pull him f the stool he was sitting on. YK Osiris was able to make fun himself by writing, “Rideeee ride like the last rodeo baby 💦💦 she wasn’t playing with me tonight 😂😂😂 ‘HE WASN’T READYYYYYYYY ‘ 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂.” Watch his lap dances below.

Kardashian Family Reportedly Want Kylie Jenner & Travis Scott To Get Back Together

From what we understand, Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner are no longer together but are keeping things amicable for the sake their daughter, Stormi Webster. No one has been able to confirm the exact reason for the couple’s reported split but reports have claimed it’s due to cheating – something Travis has quickly denied. “It’s really affecting when u see false thing said about u once again these false stories about me cheating are simply not true. Focusing on life, music, and family at this moment is what’s real,” the “Highest In The Room” rapper previously stated. 

Kardashian Family Reportedly Want Kylie Jenner & Travis Scott To Get Back Together
Tommaso Boddi/Getty s

PEOPLE now reports that Kylie’s family really wants her and Travis to get back together, as they believe they make a great a couple. “Travis might not be perfect, but he’s a great partner and dad,” a source told the publication. “Everyone would be upset if Kylie can’t figure things out with Travis.”

“They’re a great team,” they added. “And it’s a good sign that they still enjoy hanging out.”

When news broke Kylie and Travis’ break up, the cosmetics mogul shared just one statement on the matter, writing: “The internet makes everything 100 times more dramatic than what it really is. There was no “2am date with Tyga”. You see me drop two my friends f at a studio that he happened to be at.”

Was Slaughterhouse’s Shady Records Debut Misunderstood?

The mixtape deities were certainly smiling upon the Earth when Slaughterhouse first assembled. They do love their carnage. For some backstory, it was 2008. The new era mixtape dominance was on the horizon with a wealth future superstars eyeing their respective debuts. In the underworld, however, several wily veterans were reaping the spoils a creative apex. 

Royce Da 5’9”, then coming f the creation his acclaimed Bar Exam tape (a series that we’ll explore further in another piece), had developed the habit obliterating any track on his doorstep. With that came a noted sense competitive spirit, fueled by his deadly addiction to Patron. Joe Budden was in the midst building the type resume that would one day place him in a viral list’s top three greatest rappers all time, mission accomplished. Brooklyn’s  Joell Ortiz was coming f a brief but short-lived stint on Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment, a testament to his artistic pedigree. And Death Row veteran Crooked I’s modus operandi remained as it had always been, unadulterated bars delivered in unparalleled fashion. It’s easy to find a common thread.

Though their paths seldom crossed as collaborators, Joe Budden would ultimately prove to be the glue on his album Halfway House. The four would unite, along with the “Pete Best” the bunch Nino Bless, developing chemistry that would merit further discussion. Unfortunately for Bless, the other four decided to move on as a unit, using their mixtape hunger and lyrical prowess as a guiding light. Eventually, they would go on to release their eponymous debut in 2009, enlisting go-to producers like Emilie, The Alchemist, DJ Khalil, and Mr. Porter. Stylistically, the polished music Slaughterhouse seemed far removed from the seminal track, which prompted concerns label appeasement; consider half-hearted pop-rap single “The One,” which seemed tailor-made for misguided radio play. 

And yet there was something to work with. For such effortless bar-spitters, the act rapping was akin to a child blowing a snot bubble. It would take more than the occasional listless instrumental to derail the gleeful carnage laid on wax. Though it’s risky to make inferences, reaching the heights their respective solo work seemed to take a backseat in favor riding their competitive streak to its logical conclusion — whatever that may have been. Eventually, perhaps through his affiliation with Royce Da 5’9, Eminem found himself drawn in by the group’s dynamic. With the seeds Bad Meets Evil: Hell The Sequel already in the works, Em linked with Slaughterhouse for a Recovery bonus track called “Session One,” the first collaboration between the group and their soon-to-be label boss. From that moment onward, speculation a major label partnership blossomed; was Em not the perfect fit, given his own appreciation for the art lyricism? After much theorizing, the deal was sealed in 2010 alongside a new posse cut called “Shady 2.0.” 

A match made in heaven on paper. Yet the prospect crafting a Shady Records debut for such a talented and explosive group personalities would be no easy feat. Though albums like Cheers and Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ have stacked Shady’s pedigree, Slaughterhouse was going in under different circumstances. For one, each emcee had already developed a creative process far removed from Em’s own. And secondly, the major label politics inherent within the Interscope umbrella would be a major culture shock for the independent rappers — particularly Joe Budden, who once found himself creatively stifled during his tenure at Def Jam. Where an independent artist can deliver on a whim, free that old devil micromanagement, a cog in the machine must play by certain rules. Consider the idea “the radio single,” a foreign concept to the typical underground dweller; it’s likely that Joe Budden still shudders at the mere sight a pump, let alone the movie poster for Pixar’s Up. Still, with a Shady deal comes unspoken agreements, in that mainstream marketability was not to be ignored. Not to mention, a major label budget the likes which the group had never seen.

So why then, was their Shady debut Welcome To Our House met with such a lukewarm response?And more importantly, was it justified? 

Was Slaughterhouse's Shady Records Debut Misunderstood?

Johnny Nunez/Wire/Getty s 

A HOUSE DIVIDED

Seeing as the response to Welcome To Our House has been well documented it seems fitting to examine some more recent takes from the creators. For starters, executive producer Eminem, whose shoulders burdened the bulk Joe Budden’s blame. Slim opened up about his reaction to the tepid reactions during a Kamikaze-centric interview with Sway. “We did Welcome To Our House, and that was another album that came out like: holy shit, people literally just trashed this,” said Em. “It was a huge fucking backlash, like ‘this isn’t what we want to hear, it’s too polished.’ Listen. You’re critiquing these guys who are fucking wordsmiths.”

“To me, the beats were crazy on that album,” reflects Em. “Only thing I did was added my little touch, adding music and mixing to bring out the production a little bit. I don’t know if I did any actual beats on there. All I heard was the backlash it was too polished.” Contrast that with Joe Budden’s heated take, which to be fair, arose in the wake being dissed on Kamikaze. “Every time we had to go do five or six more songs, it was always mad Eminem beats,” ranted Joe, on his Podcast. “They were horrible! They were horrible fucking beats. They were bad fucking beats, man!” 

On that note, consider the production roster: Alex Da Kid, Hit-Boy, T-Minus, AraabMuzik, No I.D, StreetRunner, Mr. Porter, Boi-1da, and Streetrunner. A solid group, including a few recurring voices from their independent debut. As for Eminem (a divisive producer) he only contributed slight touches by his own admission. All the while, he seemed positive that the group were crafting something to be proud . “I wanted them to be huge, man, I really did,” laments Em. “A group that lyrical, to fucking bust through everything. It definitely hurt my feelings a lot when the album didn’t do good. When we got Cee-Lo on the hook, I thought this might be out here.” Unfortunately, one the recurring critiques levied on the project is the commercialized aesthetic, itself a betrayal the underground spirit that forged them. The beats do little to dull that particular narrative, as many the instrumentals employ up-tempo synthesizers and bombastic, borderline anthemic hooks. 

Was Slaughterhouse's Shady Records Debut Misunderstood?

Johnny Nunez/Wire/Getty s

Consider that Slaughterhouse’s typical approach to structure consisted four gargantuan verses strung together. As none the members were particularly adept at crafting hooks, it left a glaring hole in the songwriting. A hole filled by the aforementioned Cee-Lo, by Skylar Grey, by an underutilized and rabid Busta Rhymes. Gone were the simplistic instrumentals designed for unadulterated bars, and with that marked the departure the group’s biggest source competition. They found themselves unified in the name crafting concise songs, which ten led to abridged verses and adherence to pre-existing concepts. Even when the group seems to be having fun like on “Throw That,” the verses come and go before momentum has room to grow. When they do have time to flex, like on introductory cut “Our House,” their anchored by the track’s dominant theme overcoming adversity. That’s not to say inserting cohesion into their music was a bad idea per se, but it did expose some the growing pains.

The group’s roots aren’t entirely abandoned. “Hammer Dance” is a welcome throwback to their mixtape era, lined with punchlines and unapologetic swagger. “Goodbye” served as a worthwhile emotional centerpiece, much to the delight those missing Joe Budden’s trademark melancholia. Still, the groundwork is undone by “Park It Sideways,” another synthesizer-heavy beat that simply meanders. Contrast that to one the album’s best, the minimalist and eerie “Asylum,” which does little other than provide an appropriately spooky canvas for each lyricist to flex imaginative violence. Let it be known that each member performs admirably, and thus keeps Welcome To Our House listenable across the board; even if the instrumentation fails to age gracefully, it’s never a dull moment with Crook, Royce, Joey and Joell at the helm. In fact, they might have actually benefitted from Em having a greater role in the beat-making process, as he once did on Obie Trice’s Cheers. Might they not have given Dre a call? What about Just Blaze, who was rumored to be executive producing the lost Glass House album? 

In hindsight, Welcome To Our Houses’ biggest sin remains one misguided ambition. Em’s intention was to make the group “huge,” which in turn meant expanding their audience. With that came a Catch 22 in the purest form, as to reach the next level Slaughterhouse would have to shed some their identity in the process. Talented as they were, they proved capable adapting to the newfound task at hand. Thus Our House remains enjoyable for anyone even remotely invested in the quartet. The only thing is, those who are invested understand that potential in itself holds value, even if one can’t exactly articulate the most desireable endgame. 

Could Slaughterhouse ever have succeeded on a major-label debut, even if handed free reins and full creative control? It’s certainly possible, and the notion the Gang bodying A-list production remains tantalizing even in their fractured state. It might have also paid dividends to unleash the hounds on occasion, as we saw in Slaughterhouse’s best Shady Records track “Psychopath Killer”; given only a loose concept to play with, Royce and Crooked took to Boi-1da & Just Blazes’ dark banger with hunger and cold charisma reminiscent their formative works. Simply look at the difference between Eminem’s Revival (which features a similar issue plaguing Welcome To Our House) and Kamikaze, which featured excellent production adhering to contemporary trends. Not to mention that only a few the songs were conceptual in nature, giving Em free reign unleash hell as he saw fit. Seeing as Glass House has been shelved indefinitely, we’ll never know how the group bounced back. All we can really do is learn to love what we have, misunderstood though it may be. 

Lizzo Accused Of Stealing Lyrics To Her #1 Hit "Truth Hurts"

Lizzo’s biggest song her career so far is her Billboard chart-topping track “Truth Hurts” that begins with the now-famous quote: “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100 percent that bitch.” It’s those 13 words that have pulled the singer into her second plagiarism claim and the latest is by songwriter and producer, Justin Raisen.

Justin shared a clip to his Instagram that showcases the similarities to “Truth Hurts” and the 2017 song “Healthy” that he wrote alongside Lizzo, Jesse St John, and Yves Rothman. Justin and his team have “quietly” been trying to sort this matter behind the scenes since its release two years ago “only asking for 5% each but were shutdown every time.”

Lizzo Accused Of Stealing Lyrics To Her #1 Hit "Truth Hurts"
Bennett Raglin/Getty s

“The last thing we want to do is throw any negativity toward Lizzo’s momentum and movement as a cultural figure. If we believe in what she’s preaching, believing in ourselves & our own voices is something we thought she’d understand,” he added in the post. Justin even mentioned Mina Lioness, the first woman to accuse Lizzo plagiarism from a tweet the British singer sent out before the song’s release. 

“Shout out to the singer Mina Lioness ( @minalioness ) for tweeting “I just did a DNA test turns out I’m 100% that bitch”. A meme that came up in our writing session & inspired the lyric and melody we wrote together,” Justin added. 

Lizzo has yet to respond. 

Pedophile Gary Glitter Isn't Earning a Dime from 'Joker,' Universal Music Insists

People were understandably upset that film director Todd Phillips chose Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part 2” in his movie “Joker,” considering that Glitter is serving a 16-year sentence for child abuse.

But those who currently own the rights to the song insist that Glitter will not profit from the song’s inclusion in the film.

In January of 1997, just before Glitter’s legal problems started, Snapper Music — which is a record label in England — purchased the rights to all of Glitter’s master recordings. A spokesperson for Snapper says that not only do they not pay Glitter for the use of “Rock and Roll Part 2,” which has appeared in many films, but that they have had “no contact with him.”

Snapper also notes that it does not sell physical Gary Glitter records. His songs are only available through streaming services and downloads.

In the United States, songwriting rights to “Rock and Roll Part 2” belong to Universal Music Publishing Group, which represents Glitter, and to BMG, which represents the estate of the late Mike Leander, who co-wrote “Rock and Roll Part 2.” According to Universal, they own all of Glitter’s publishing interests relating to the copyrights of his songs. Therefore, they do not pay him for the use of his songs.

What the statements leave out, however, is the enormous sums likely paid to secure ownership of Glitter’s recording and publishing rights. Those payouts were made with the intent to exploit lucrative songs like “Rock and Roll Part 2,” meaning that Glitter has already profited handsomely — just not directly from Joker and other current and future placements.

And make no mistake: both companies earn lots of money from “Rock and Roll Part 2.”

According to Billboard, as of 2014, the song was earning a quarter of a million dollars every year in royalties. It is believed that the producers of Joker paid somewhere between $100,000 and $200,000 for the rights to the song, which was roughly split between Universal and Snapper.

In 1997, authorities in England arrested Glitter on child ography charges, and he was eventually convicted. Later, he spent time in a Vietnam prison for ual-related crimes. Finally, in 2015, a London court sentenced him to prison, where he is expected to remain for another 12 years.

Lizzo Accused Of Jacking Most Of "Truth Hurts"

Lizzo can’t catch a break. The chart-topping artist has found herself in hot water yet again, this time over her hit single “Truth Hurts.”

After making an initial attempt to trademark the phrase “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100 percent that bitch,” several news outlets reported the phrase was actually coined months before the single was released.

As Cosmopolitan reported in August, British musician Mina Lioness claimed she tweeted the phrase first in February 2017, seven months before the release of the hit single. Now, a second musician is coming forward claiming Lizzo not only hijacked the phrase but also the melody.

On Tuesday morning (October 15), producer and songwriter Justin Raisen compared the popular song to a single called “Healthy,” one he alleges he helped write with Lizzo and her team in the early months of 2017.

The video includes audio from “Healthy” and, at one point, even plays a mashup of both songs simultaneously to put the similarities on blast.

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The Truth about “Truth Hurts” On April 11th, 2017, we wrote a song called “Healthy” w/ Lizzo, Jesse St John, and Yves Rothman at our studio. “I just took a DNA test turns out I’m 100% that bitch” was taken from “Healthy” and used in “Truth Hurts”. We were never contacted about being credited for the use of the parts of “Healthy” (melody, lyrics, and chords) that appear in “Truth Hurts”. After reaching out to Ricky Reed and Lizzo’s team about fixing it, we put the song in dispute in 2017 when it came out. We’ve tried to sort this out quietly for the last two years, only asking for 5% each but were shutdown every time. Coming forward publicly to family, friends, artists, and colleagues seems to be the only way at this point in relieving some of our emotional distress caused by this. The last thing we want to do is throw any negativity toward Lizzo’s momentum and movement as a cultural figure. If we believe in what she’s preaching, believing in ourselves & our own voices is something we thought she’d understand. Shout out to the singer Mina Lioness ( @minalioness ) for tweeting “I just did a DNA test turns out I’m 100% that bitch”. A meme of that came up in our writing session & inspired the lyric and melody we wrote together. If Ricky and Lizzo’s team decide to settle this dispute with us, we would like to share some of the proceeds with Mina for her influence on Healthy. The clip below shows a video & photos from the day we wrote “Healthy” along with the comparisons between the two works. All the Love, Justin & Jeremiah Raisen #lizzo #truthhurts #healthy #billboard

A post shared by Justin Raisen (@justinraisen) on

As explained by The Guardian, Raisen may be offered more legal protections than Lioness if his claims are true. Currently, intellectual property laws don’t cover viral content, a lesson that many over the years have learned the hard way.

Raisen is seeking songwriting credits for himself and other collaborators who he says have been ignored as Lizzo and “Truth Hurts” have blown up. “Truth Hurts” spent weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, breaking records in the process.

“We were never contacted about being credited for the use of the parts of ‘Healthy’ (melody, lyrics, and chords) that appear in ‘Truth Hurts,’” Raisen captioned his Instagram post. “We’ve tried to sort this out quietly for the last two years, only asking for 5% each but were shut down every time.”

If credited, Raisen promises to share his profits from the song with Lioness whose viral meme was used in the writing session for “Healthy.”

Lizzo’s trademark application may get caught up in the legal battle if she ends up having to divvy up some of the song’s earnings.

HipHopDX has reached out to Lizzo’s team for comment.

Interview: Brittany B. Says Expect Music From Blac Chyna "Very Soon"

Los Angeles, CA – Between being a multi-hyphenate creative and starring on this season of Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood, Brittany B. obviously has a lot on her plate.

From songwriting for the likes of Terrace Martin, Bhad Bhabie, Ledisi, Tyla Yaweh, working as an A&R for Warner Music and pushing herself as a solo artist, the Compton native seems different from the fame chasing members the series appears to pump out.

However, don’t be fooled — she brings plenty of drama herself as well. 

“Just last year, I was writing and working with Bhad Bhabie and now I’m at a record label working alongside being on TV,” Brittany told HipHopDX over the phone. “Who knows what the future is going to bring?” 

Evidently, the future includes releasing more of her own music and eventually watching the world react to the newest artist she’s developing, Blac Chyna. 

Elsewhere in the DX interview, Brittany explains the reason for trying reality television, what artist development means in 2019, her latest single “Reputation,” working with Blac Chyna and more.

HipHopDX: For someone of your esteem who has worked with a ton of notable artists on the songwriting side, is an executive at a major label and has momentum within her own solo career, what was your reason for joining Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood?  

Brittany B: I really think that Love & Hip Hop is a good platform for African-American people. I say that because we don’t have that many shows for music and entertainment. The story of who I am as someone who has all these accolades and reputation, you need to know who I am. So, name another platform with that many viewers who would introduce someone like me? There’s a lack of that. There’s a lack of platforms like that introducing individuals who represent young, black Hollywood. I understand that Love & Hip Hop has its own reputation of being a drama-filled soap opera but, overall, I don’t think it hurts the brand. I think it helps the brand.     

HipHopDX: Is it awkward going into the Warner Music office now or do people there ask you about episodes you’ve been in? 

Brittany: Yes, I do get people asking me what’s going on and have a lot of questions about the show. I don’t think it’s that different though honestly. It’s mostly the usual questions of is it real or fake.  

HipHopDX: A lot of people caught on to you through your work with Bhad Bhabie and now you’re working with Blac Chyna. From your perspective, can you describe artist development in 2019? 

Brittany: I feel like there’s a lack of artist development these days. Because we took the time to develop Bhad Bhabie as an artist, that’s why she was successful. You can’t skip the process from A to Z. You have to do A, B, C, D, etc… You have to do the middle work and the groundwork. Someone like Chyna who is a part of pop culture, black culture and Hip Hop culture to a degree, she was perfect to come on Love & Hip Hop with me. It’s just to tell my story but introduce this new chapter for her new life of doing music. With the artist development that we’re doing, I really believe that her music is going to authentic to herself, true and it’s going to be good. That’s the part of artist development that people miss is making sure that the music is authentic and not just for the trend.

I’m not working with her just because of her name, but I’m working with her because she has a story. That’s what good music is supposed to be — your story on record. It’s whoever you are sonically. With Bhad Bhabie, that’s what worked with her because we actually took the time to know her story feels like, sounds like, what is she saying and how does that come together musically. I think it’s time. I think it’s determining what that brand is. For Chyna, it’s the same thing. It’s interesting with artists these days. Some necessarily don’t have a brand or story but, cool songs. That’s not good development. That’s not even being an artist really.  

HipHopDX: So when should we expect music from your collaboration with Chyna? 

Brittany: Oh, I can’t say that yet. Just know that we have a number of records ready. You might be seeing something very soon.

HipHopDX: In regards to your solo work as an artist, how much has or do you expect Love & Hip Hop to help that aspect of your career?

Brittany: I feel like Love & Hip Hop as I grow with the show, my brand will as well. It goes hand in hand. I feel like more than ever, people know more about me and the many layers of me. Me being an artist, me being an A&R, me being a songwriter and ultimately being a young black entrepreneur in Hollywood. So it gives you a boost in that area which is the purpose.

I want little girls to see me and say they can do that. I want them to feel like they can be a Syl Rhone or Ethiopia Habtemariam, that I can be Cardi B the next day and that I could also be Ester Dean the next day, I can wear multiple hats. I don’t look like the average A&R. I don’t act like the average A&R and I do my job well. I want that aspect to be shown. I’m grateful for Love & Hip Hop in giving me the opportunity to show that and promote that.  

HipHopDX: You also just released your new “Reputation” single. Can you discuss that for a moment and your upcoming project?

Brittany: My number one strategy is just to release good music and quality content that is true to me. Something that 10 years from now, I can listen to again. I think it’s important for me to continue to drop music because as a creative, it’s my resume. It’s how I continue to show people my gift and my talent aside from placements and working with other artists. As my platform grows bigger and bigger I want to make sure that I do that. In regards to the project, expect some big features and some singing, rapping and some soul. I’ll be dropping in first-quarter sometime next year.        

HipHopDX: As an A&R, you essentially serve as the middle person between the label and the artist. What does your average day look like?  

Brittany: My days vary. I could be waking up on flying on a plane with an artist. I could wake up and be on tour with an artist. I could be waking up going to a conference or meeting with an artist. I could be at video shoots. Most of the time for me, I’m getting up and going to the office so I can listen to beats or submissions sent to me. I’m scheduling recording or writing sessions.

I’m also reading sessions, working with songwriters and meeting with artist managers who have artists, producers, and songwriters. That’s typically my day-to-day. The coolest part of my job is that I can literally do it anywhere. Those meetings might not take place at an office. It might take place at a pool or restaurant. You can listen to music anywhere. You can connect with people anywhere. That’s typically what my day is like. Or, I might be with Blac Chyna at the studio.    

 

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YALL KNOW I KEEP IT REAL! ? Am I being too hard on them, or am I right to be apprehensive about the tour? #LHHH

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HipHopDX: For someone who has worked with everyone from Terrence Martin and Ledisi to Bhad Bhabie and Freddie Gibbs, how do you keep yourself so creatively versatile? 

Brittany: I just did a record with DJ Mustard. I did a record that’s coming out with Summer Walker and Kash Doll. It’s definitely diverse. I do that by being flexible with the state of music. Just understanding it and always being ready to listen and learn. I listen to a lot of music. I may play Dreamville on one track and on the other is Rico Nasty or Daniel Caesar.

To me, there is no such thing as genres. It’s just good or bad music. That’s what I’m listening for. I just listen to everything and absorb it. That’s how you’re able to put your spin on things.