Initially rising to prominence with his brother as the hip hop duo Clipse, Pusha T has yet to leave anyone turning a blind eye on his talent. Born in New York, Pusha, (whose real name is Terrence Thorton) moved to Virginia where he and his brother Malice were eventually raised. In 1992 Clipse were formed with aid from now legendary producer Pharrell Williams. Their debut album Exclusive Audio Footage was released in 1999 on Elektra, followed by the 2002 album Lord Willin’ on Star Trak. In 2004, Pusha and Malice created their own record label called Re-Up Gang where they released their most influential album to date, Hell Hath No Fury.
The duo’s fourth and final album Til The Casket Drops was released in 2009. At a concert in 2010, both Pusha and Malice announced that they would be releasing solo material going forward, essentially ending their musical partnership. In September of that same year, Pusha announced that he’d signed to Kanye West’s label G.O.O.D Music. He subsequently released his first mixtape on the imprint in 2011 titled Fear of God.
It’s clear that consistency is key for Pusha. Throughout the makings of his what was yet to be announced album, he doubled down and featured on countless singles (Runaway from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Cruel Summer album,) even releasing an EP in midst of it all in 2011 aptly titled Fear of God II: Let Us Pray. In 2012, Pusha began releasing singles from his album, expertly noting that he would precede said album with a mixtape first. Honest to his word, Wrath of Caine was released in January of 2013 while his debut album My Name is My Name was released much later in the year in October of 2013 to widespread fanfare.
Expectations high, Pusha began working on his next album shortly after in 2014 announcing that it’s expected release date would be Spring of 2015. In a conversation with Billboard Magazine in the Winter of 2015, Pusha T announced that he was appointed as President of G.O.O.D. Music. One month later, Pusha released King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude , his second studio album to date.
Just last week, Pusha released H.G.T.V, which is said to be the second single from what we hope is his fourth studio album King Push. Though, we needn’t worry much as Pusha has seemingly and comfortably positioned himself and his importance as a rap king time after time. There is something to be said about a man who lets the work do all the talking and strays away from the lights and cameras. His work is dark with a sweet cadence and ferocious all at the same time, well tempered and stylish. He’s relentless and his work ethic is enviable all while keeping the focus on what it should be: the music.
Take a listen to the Yung Jake directed video below.
Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Louis Kevin Celestin relocated to Montreal shortly after birth and was subsequently raised in the French-Canadian city. Around the age of fourteen or fifteen, Celestin began to DJ and produce, eventually going under the alias ‘Kaytradamus’ in 2010. His name was switched to Kaytranada in 2012, right around when the internet age of music was beginning to flourish.
Most of us were acquainted with Kaytranada through his remixes early on. It was clear he had a knack for chopping samples and infusing them with his signature house-funk whimsy. In 2014 Kaytranada announced he’d signed an exclusive deal with XL Records (signees include Adele, The xx, Radiohead,) but not much was known further at the time. On May 6, 2016, Kaytranada released his debut album 99.9% to widespread acclaim.
It’s important to understand the necessity of Kaytranada’s sound especially in today’s realm of music. With the inevitable rise of the internet, music was being accessed and released at an alarming rate making it harder to hark on the good, bad or just plain one-note. Music was and is becoming lazy at the expense of the listener. We should be more inclined to demand better.
Through all of this, Kaytranada has remained seamless. He strategically picks songs (generally R&B,) and adds a momentum that is unseen in anything anyone has heard for some time. His music taste will leave you in envy an conjure feelings of nostalgia. If the release of 99.9% has taught us anything it’s that Kaytranada really, really wants to make you dance and to adopt a feeling when you hear his music, whatever it may be. If his story doesn’t inspire you, his music is assured to.
Take a listen to his latest drop, a remix of the excellent song Cranes In The Sky by Solange from her album A Seat at the Table below and read our review of Solange here.
On Sol-Angel and The Hadley St. Dreams, we were truly introduced to the woman that is Solange. “I’m not her and never will be,” she proclaimed on her opening track God Given Name, which many listeners took as a declaration of independence of some sorts. Cue the True EP in 2012 where Knowles further developed her sound and aesthetic; she dropped her then label and proceeded to go independent, the incomparable Dev Hynes in tow for production on her new EP. True had a new sound to it; it drew from the 80’s influences Knowles had always been surrounded by, but was undeniably original with it’s alternative soul twist.
Writing for Knowles’ third studio album A Seat at the Table began in 2008. In a 2010 interview with Vibe Magazine, Knowles admitted to suffering a break down while in the process of the albums curation. She noted that it was a sacrificial period hence the personal instability. Knowles began promoting the album about a week before it’s digital release on her Instagram and website, even allowing her fans to sign up for a mysterious “Seat at the Table” with Solange. This was eventually revealed to be her listening party.
Although not yet a lead single, Don’t Touch My Hair was released with a video on October 3rd. It’s an undeniable and powerful advocation of being black and understanding that not all things are meant to be shared. It represents taking back what is yours, if you will. It’s honesty, healing and acceptance all wrapped into one.
It will be exciting to see where Solange will go from here, but for now, let’s congratulate her on garnering her first number one album in The United States. Her album comes at a perfect time, especially since what the US is going through right now with disappointing civil unrest. Despite it’s celebration of blackness, Knowles has another clear message – we are all one and each person has the right and responsibility to live in harmony, despite a physical standard.
After a signing a new record deal in 2014, JoJo is finally set to release her first album in 10 years on October 14th through Atlantic Records.
To say this is anticipated is an understatement. Since her debut in 2004, many have been wondering what happened to the Pop Star whom had the highest hopes set out for her. Despite some serious record label troubles and being treated with her Agape mixtape in the midst of the confusion, Mad Love is set to put her back in the spotlight where she belongs as well as re-introduce us to the vocal powerhouse.
The title track, Mad Love. is emblematic of Ms. Levesque… She never remains the same in terms of sound and although we’ve only heard a taste of what she can do, it’s exciting to see her engage her listeners with this new soulful sound. Mad Love. starts on a controlled simmer and eventually boils over, hands in the air as you try to grasp the excellence spewing and hardening through your ears.
Welcome back JoJo – take a listen below.
The history between Anderson.Paak and extreme looper Knxwledge is an extensive one, so it’s easy to understand that when they come together as NxWorries that their music is nothing less than trans-formative. After news broke that the duo would not only be releasing a new album, but that it was also dubbed by Paak himself as his “best work yet,” we got goosebumps. Both have dropped exemplary music between 2015 and 2016, straying away from the noise rap hubbub and refining their smooth, fluid works and sounds respectively.
Fast forward a few months and we now have an official release. Yes Lawd will be available to the masses on October 21st through Stones Throw with an extensive 19 track song list. Along with this news, we were treated with a single from the album titled Lyk Dis. It’s textbook Paak and Knx… fierce vocals and smooth talking as the beat knocks subtly, leaving you nothing left to do but bounce along. Take a listen below.