Rap https://blog.stingray.com/rap en Katori Walker | Interview | Stingray Rising Stars https://blog.stingray.com/katori-walker-interview-stingray-rising-stars <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Katori Walker | Interview | Stingray Rising Stars</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/1" lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Stingray</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 07/31/2019</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><strong><span><span>Stingray is proud to promote emerging artists through our monthly Rising Stars program. We are thrilled to introduce you to Katori Walker, our latest Rising Star for August!</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Singer, songwriter, and rapper Katori Walker chooses to express his life every day through his music. In 2017, Walker released his independent five-song <i><em>Ignorance</em></i> EP, dedicated to his brother Ormoni who passed away due to gun violence. <span>The video <i><em>Ormoni</em></i> generated 4.2 million views in addition to being featured in Eminem’s <i><em>Untouchable</em></i> lyric video. </span>Describing himself as “an artist with something to say,” we think that Katori Walker is a great addition to Stingray's Rising Star program. Check out what Katori has to say in the interview below. </span></span></span></span></p> <div class="row-wrapper wysiwyg"> <div class="row row-narrow"> <div class="col"> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>What is your earliest musical memory?</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>My earliest memory of me being introduced to music is me as a young kid, and my mom is playing music on her record player, a lot of oldies. And my earliest memory of me making music is when I was about eight or nine years old and recording in a professional music studio. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>What do hip-hop and rap convey like no other genres?</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The struggle. People who came from the gutter and are now on top. The rags to riches story - it’s a very common theme in rap. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>What is your best memory on stage?</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Back in March in Toronto, I had just released my song <i>Run,</i> and some guy was rapping it back to me. The song had only been released for two days; it was mind-blowing! </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>What is your funniest moment on stage?</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>I forgot my lyrics once, and people started clapping and cheering me on. I look back at it now and laugh! </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>What song do you love performing the most on stage? Why?</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>I have one called <i>Bulletproof</i> – it has so much energy in it. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>If you didn’t become a musician, what would you be doing right now?  </span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>I would probably be building computers; I’d be a tech guy at a Fortune 500 company, or I would be a barber – because it’s a beautiful art. I would also help the youth, my community, the disadvantaged kids. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>Which musician(s) would you like to collaborate with?</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Adele because she has never had a rapper on a record – yet ;) </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>Who is your favorite musician or band?</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>I have several! Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Drake, Big K.R.I.T., and Elijah James. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>What is one thing that your fans don’t know about you (a fun fact)?</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>I cut my hair all the time. And I build computers. I’m also very tall (6’4”), but I never played basketball. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>What’s your motto/advice you live by?</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>You can’t be afraid to live and afraid to die. Choose one.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>In life, what is your greatest inspiration?</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Life itself. The fact that we are able to speak, see, move, communicate. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>What’s coming up for you for the rest of the year?</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>I am currently in the studio working on my next album. I am also performing at a Festival in Vegas called Day N Vegas 2019.</span></span></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span><span><span>You can listen to Katori Walker on Stingray Music’s channels: </span></span></span></p> <p><a href="http://music.stingray.com/en/channels/VIB_N1123?utm_source=stingray-blog&amp;utm_medium=referral" target="_blank"><span><span><span>Rising Stars</span></span></span></a></p> <p><a href="http://music.stingray.com/en/channels/VIB_S0532?utm_source=stingray-blog&amp;utm_medium=referral" target="_blank"><span><span><span>Urban Beats (explicit)</span></span></span></a></p> <p><a href="http://music.stingray.com/en/channels/VIB_NUS008?utm_source=stingray-blog&amp;utm_medium=referral" target="_blank"><span><span><span>Today's Hot Tracks: Hip-Hop</span></span></span></a></p> <p><a href="http://music.stingray.com/en/channels/VIB_N1147?utm_source=stingray-blog&amp;utm_medium=referral" target="_blank"><span><span><span>R&amp;B (Rebellious&amp;Beautiful)</span></span></span></a></p> <p><a href="http://music.stingray.com/en/channels/VIB_S0480?utm_source=stingray-blog&amp;utm_medium=referral" target="_blank"><span><span><span>Trending 100: Hip-Hop and R&amp;B</span></span></span></a></p> <p><a href="http://music.stingray.com/en/channels/VIB_S0207?utm_source=stingray-blog&amp;utm_medium=referral" target="_blank"><span><span><span>#TURNUP</span></span></span></a></p> <p> </p> <p>Stay on the pulse of the most recent news in music. Follow us on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/stingray.music/" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/stingray_music/?hl=en" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Instagram</a>, and <a href="https://twitter.com/stingraymusic" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Twitter</a>. </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/risingstars" hreflang="en">Stingray Rising Stars</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/interview" hreflang="en">Interview</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/rap" hreflang="en">Rap</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/RnB" hreflang="en">RnB</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-stingray-brands field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/99" hreflang="en">Stingray Ambiance</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/51" hreflang="en">Stingray Concerts</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/98" hreflang="en">Stingray Festival 4K</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/47" hreflang="en">Stingray iConcerts</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/48" hreflang="en">Stingray Karaoke</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/49" hreflang="en">Stingray Loud</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/44" hreflang="en">Stingray Music</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/127" hreflang="en">Stingray Retro</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/52" hreflang="en">Stingray Vibe</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-section field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/stingray-risingstars" hreflang="en">Stingray Rising Stars</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-country field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/86" hreflang="en">Worldwide</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-display-in-language field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/82" hreflang="en">English</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/83" hreflang="en">French</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/blog/files/2019-07/open_graph.jpg" width="1200" height="630" alt="Katori Walker - Stingray Rising Star" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-show-in-listen field--type-boolean field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Show in Listen</div> <div class="field__item">Off</div> </div> Wed, 31 Jul 2019 14:07:48 +0000 Stingray 734 at https://blog.stingray.com 6 Months of Rap, R&B and Hip-Hop https://blog.stingray.com/6-months-rap-rb-and-hip-hop <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">6 Months of Rap, R&amp;B and Hip-Hop</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/77" lang="" about="/user/77" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Brian</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 06/05/2019</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><span><span><span>The first six months of the year went by exceptionally fast for me. From walking in cold snow-covered streets to hanging out at C2 Montreal, it all felt like it happened in a blink. For those who are reading my work for the first time, I’ll keep it short, my name is Brian Holidae. I started in radio at 17, was a hip-hop music director for ten, and I’ve repped Canada on an international level as a delegate at the annual International Radio Festival. Wild thing is, as much as all of that was, the biggest part of the first six months of 2019 came down to my interview with Spike Lee for C2 Montreal on behalf of FranklinArmstong.com. </span></span></span></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><span><span><span>What does this all have to do with music? A lot, actually. Music affects your frame of mind, can make you happy, anxious, and bring about any other emotion. So as the year started and opportunities presented themselves, some tracks helped my frame of mind get clearer. In January, while getting over the holiday season hype, we got “Shine,” from <strong>Tobe Nwigwe</strong>. Known for some deep inspirational R&amp;B mixed with rap, Tobe dropped the track Shine just in time to fight seasonal post-holiday depression that comes with Blue Monday. This track is more R&amp;B than anything, with smooth lyrics that delivered a somewhat solemn message but delivered in such a beautiful way, you don’t even realize it’s uplifting you. This was the first year that I got hit with the seasonal blues, not that it showed. I tend to play it off and a track like Shine def helped during those pensive “what’s next” moments. Also helped to have <strong>Lizzo</strong>’s “Juice” spinning to add that much needed energy.</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span><i></i></span></span></span></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><span><span><span>February is always difficult for music, I find, as it isn’t the easiest month to release anything. Short month, cold as cold can get if you’re along the US/Canada border on the East Coast. We all commiserate together by often staying indoors. Which is exactly what I did while listening to the <strong>Sean Price &amp; Small Professor</strong> project “86 Witness.” For Sean Price, the album is a posthumous release, coming almost four years after he passed. I was a huge fan of Sean Price, and I consider him one of the most underrated rappers ever. What made this album so much fun to listen to was although Sean P passed in 2015, his raps are timeless. No shade aimed at Lil Wayne, but his recent album had verses that sounded like they were recorded a few years ago. On the other hand, Sean P drops lines like “Slugs Move Everything Around Me/S.C.R.E.A.M. what that mean?” and it is such a Sean line that it’s an ageless line. His lyric delivery was both classic and ahead of its time. </span></span></span></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><span><span><span>Do we really need to discuss why March was a good month for music? <strong>Solange </strong>dropped “When I Get Home” with the track “Dream,” <strong>Tierra Whack </strong>dropped “Wasteland” and that’s just from TWO of the amazing artists who dropped tracks that month. Anyone who said 2019 started slow didn’t actually pay attention to music. <strong>2 Chainz</strong> dropped the track “Rule the World” with Ariana Grande and I don’t even like either artists all that much. Are they talented? Yes. Was using the “Why Don’t We Fall in Love” sample from <strong>Amerie</strong> a cheatcode move? 100%. But no one else was using the sample, so if you want to put two current pop artists (yes, I consider 2 Chainz pop) on the track, do it.</span></span></span></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><span><span><span><strong>Tayla Parx, Connie Diiamond, Lizzo, Tee Grizzley</strong>…  and those are dropped in the span of two weeks. In TWO weeks we got the lines “If a n***a wrote your s**t you a f***n catfish” off “Put Ya Hands Up by Connie Diiamond and “Money make your whole team vanish / That's a paper trick, Origami” off “God’s Warrior,” by Tee Grizzley. Both those lines give me hope that there is more to rap than what is in the mainstream or main timeline these days. Artist like Lizzo have been working on their craft and are now getting the level of recognition they deserved from jump. Tayla has been writing your favorite artists’ song lyrics for them. The talent that came out in April was amazing and helped the days pass quickly. Snow melting, great vibes, and the end of the Infinity Saga from Marvel Studios, it was a heavy month for a blerd like myself, but every track made making moves around the city more fun.</span></span></span></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><span><span><span>Which brings us to my birth month, May. I like to think that <strong>Megan Thee Stallion</strong> &amp; <strong>Ari Lennox </strong>spoke at some point and decided to both drop their albums in the same month just for me. Yes, when it’s my birth month I legit turn into a narcissistic kid who thinks every good thing that happens in the world is a gift that was aimed for him. You should all feel that when it’s your respective birth month. “Up Late” by Ari is so damn smooth and just gives you those good <em><i><span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frisson" target="_blank">frisson</a></span> </i></em>(aka <span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span><span><span>aesthetic chills) like a good track does. Meanwhile, the Anime-loving blerd Megan Thee Stallion put out an album of dope tracks leaving her name on the lips of every hip-hop fan. We also have to give huge props to <strong>Tyler, The Creator </strong>‘cause “Igor” is a monster of an album. The best part is I don’t know if Tyler can just pop an album out or if he works like a beast. Either way, the final product is such a great album and I’ve had "Gone, Gone / Thank You" on repeat since the album drop. Add on the <strong>Flying Lotus </strong>album I need more time with and the new <strong>BJ The Chicago Kid </strong>&amp; <strong>Offset </strong>track “Worryin’ ‘Bout Me” and you end May in possibly a perfect way. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><span><span><span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span><span><span>All this to say the bar has been set by every artist I mentioned. 2019 started off strong, although I hear rumbling and naysayers who were looking for a new <strong>Rihanna </strong>(word is before year’s end), but I’m happy with the music that's been put out in the early ‘19. Honourable mentions to <strong>Tech N9ne, Lil Nas X </strong>and <strong>DJ Khaled</strong>, who don’t need the mentions but I liked their tracks or projects. From cold days to sunny May, go listen to every track or album mentioned in this post, you will not regret it. If you do, hit me in my mentions </span></span></span></span><a href="https://twitter.com/BrianHolidae" target="_blank"><span><span><span><span>@BrianHolidae</span></span></span></span></a><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span><span><span>, I’m down to discuss.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Stay on the pulse of the most recent news in music. Follow us on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/stingray.music/">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/stingray_music/?hl=en">Instagram</a>, and <a href="https://twitter.com/stingraymusic">Twitter</a>. </strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/rap" hreflang="en">Rap</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/RnB" hreflang="en">RnB</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/hiphop" hreflang="en">Hip-Hop</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-stingray-brands field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/99" hreflang="en">Stingray Ambiance</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/51" hreflang="en">Stingray Concerts</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/98" hreflang="en">Stingray Festival 4K</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/47" hreflang="en">Stingray iConcerts</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/48" hreflang="en">Stingray Karaoke</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/49" hreflang="en">Stingray Loud</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/44" hreflang="en">Stingray Music</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/127" hreflang="en">Stingray Retro</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/52" hreflang="en">Stingray Vibe</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-section field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/staff-picks" hreflang="en">Staff Picks</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-country field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/86" hreflang="en">Worldwide</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-display-in-language field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/82" hreflang="en">English</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/83" hreflang="en">French</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/blog/files/2019-06/6%20Mths%20of%20Music%20Cover.jpg" width="1280" height="1280" alt="6 Mths of Music Cover" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-show-in-listen field--type-boolean field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Show in Listen</div> <div class="field__item">Off</div> </div> Wed, 05 Jun 2019 13:47:50 +0000 Brian 705 at https://blog.stingray.com Power Women: The Rise of Female Rappers https://blog.stingray.com/power-women-rise-female-rappers <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Power Women: The Rise of Female Rappers</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/126" lang="" about="/user/126" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Rebecca O.</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 03/05/2019</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong><span><span><span><span>With her painfully public feuds, love for explicit language, and controversial past, Afro-Latina rapper Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, better known as Cardi B, may not be considered as an ideal role model for young women by the general public. Nevertheless, the 26-year old New Yorker just made history; at the 61st annual Grammy Awards earlier this year, Cardi B won the category “Best Rap Album” for her 2018 release “Invasion of Privacy,” making her the first female solo artist to ever achieve this. Role model or not, Cardi B’s win marks an important milestone in the history and continuous rise of female rap.</span></span></span></span></strong></p> <div class="row-wrapper wysiwyg"> <div class="row row-narrow"> <div class="col"> <p><span><span><span><span>Female rap first got proper recognition by both the music industry and the public in the late ‘80s, when New York City born MC Lyte released “Lyte As A Rock,” the first ever full-length female rap album. With her song “Ruffneck,” MC Lyte was also the first female rapper to be nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Single in 1993. Over the past three decades, the contribution of powerful women like Queen Latifah, rap duo Salt-N-Pepa, Foxy Brown, The Fugee’s Lauryn Hill, Lil’ Kim, and Missy Elliot has made female rap a crucial element of the hip-hop genre. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Women’s perspectives have been shaping hip-hop culture for over thirty years – so why did it take so long for a female solo rapper to not just be nominated for a Grammy, but win it? While receiving some recognition and praise for the quality of their work, female rappers of the past did not receive equal treatment within the music industry. For the most part, women have remained an under-represented group among hip-hop labels. However, public cases that drew issues within the entertainment industry, such as #MeToo, the Time’s Up-movement and Kesha’s struggles against producer Dr. Luke have drawn attention to gender disparity. The music industry was forced to change and improve the treatment of women and also dish out long-deserved recognition. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>While the most successful female rappers of today, think Cardi B and Nicki Minaj, might not directly address relevant political issues or feminism in their lyrics constantly, their confidence and unapologetic lyrics set the tone for the way female rappers and all women in the music industry demand to be treated: equally. They stand for a whole generation of women who say and do what they want and command proper recognition for their work. On her Grammy-winning record, “Invasion of Privacy,” Cardi B unapologetically raps about dedication, making money, proving people wrong and setting record-record sales. "If you want it, and the more you keep hearing you can’t have it, you just go and get it," she said in a recent interview. Maybe she is not such a bad role model after all.</span></span></span></span></p> <div class="row-wrapper wysiwyg"> <div class="row theme"> <div class="col"><span class="color-white"><span><span><span><span><span class="color-white">Give</span><span class="color-white"> it up for the boss ladies! This month, we are putting a spotlight on the trailblazing women of the music industry. Find your favorite female rappers and singers on <a href="https://webplayer.stingray.com?utm_source=partnership&amp;utm_medium=socials" target="_blank">Stingray Music</a>, <a href="https://iconcerts.stingray.com?utm_source=partnership&amp;utm_medium=socials" target="_blank">Stingray iConcerts</a>, <a href="https://karaoke.stingray.com?utm_source=partnership&amp;utm_medium=socials" target="_blank">Stingray Karaoke</a> </span><span class="color-white">and</span> <a href="https://qello.com/myq/spotlight?id=171&amp;tier=default&amp;utm_source=partnership&amp;utm_medium=socials" target="_blank">Stingray Qello</a>.</span></span></span></span></span></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <p><strong>Stay on the pulse of the most recent news in music. 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I sat with <i>Oxnard</i> by Anderson .Paak for a week, then got hooked up with a copy of Meek’s <i>Championships </i>a day before it was released, only to land on writing about Earl’s new joint. All 3 albums probably reflect different aspects of my taste in music. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Anderson has the groove and soul aspect, Meek connects with my “OG” hip-hop appreciation and then Earl was the oddball; and I have always been an oddball. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>I remember listening to Earl on the different OF mixtapes and compilations, and although he wasn’t my favorite at the time, I understood him. The kid who hung out with “questionable” characters, as his mother would say. Weird thoughts and a taste in music that made him that minimalist in the crew. The best part about Earl in 2013 on <i>Doris</i> and Earl now is that he continues to be the minimalist. Sure, some of the tracks on <i>Doris</i> aren’t completely stripped down but his overall style is that of a West Coast kid who understood Dilla. Plus, the tracks that often had more elements to them didn’t sound as much like Earl tracks. “Sunday” with Frank Ocean sounds like an Earl &amp; Frank collabo, while “Whoa” (although a great track), sounds like a  Tyler track that Earl was asked to do so they could have something more  “commercial”.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>We really got to hear Earl’s production style on “I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside: An Album by Earl Sweatshirt”. Here, we had the ultimate “being in your feels” music. At 31, here I was listening to someone 11 years my junior, with deeper self-awareness than I had. Spitting lyrics like he was trying to sweat out toxins and cleanse his soul. Which left me patiently waiting for more new music from him. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>I think the main reason I was really looking forward to a new project was how much the hip-hop landscape has changed in 3 years. While listening to tracks like “Shattered Dreams”, “Red Water”, and “Cold Summers”, I got the sense that Earl knew people wanted short and to the point. Specifically, in “Red Water” where the same verse delivered 4 times without being annoying. The track “Nowhere2go” is a solid presentation of Earl’s aesthetic, as well as a nod to his idea that he is a “kid” in comparison to other people around him when it comes to this music thing. He speaks about friendships and loneliness, depression, suicide and loss. He manages to address all that in under 2 minutes, and does it with ease. The crazy part is how difficult this track must have been to work on, yet he delivers the message easily.  </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“Nowhere2go” is probably the best track to use as single, since production wise it really does give you a glimpse into the album. The album’s production is noisy and unpolished, the flow is classic but also wild, and the vibe is laidback. “The Mint” is the second track to be released, and I remember thinking “this is refreshingly weird”. I liked how simple it was, and the beat, again, was stripped down and simple af. Like the type of track I want to listen to while floating on a lake while trying to forget my worries. Then, “The Bends” has a sweat Linda Clifford sample throughout, and after the quick, almost interlude-esque style of “Loosie” we get another f—ing insane sample in “Azucar” (a sample I searched the internet for 2 days straight before I gave up. @me if you know what it is, I will buy you a drink). When I mentioned Dilla earlier, “Azucar” was the exact track I meant. It is the continuation of everything Dilla stood for: simple, chopped up perfection. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>After listening to “Azucar” on loop for another 20 minutes, I eventually moved on to “Eclipse”, but moving on was almost scary, like I might never get to hear it again. Being a ‘90s kid, it was like listening to the song on college radio and knowing you might not hear it for another couple days. OK sorry, back to “Eclipse” and “Veins”, 2 equally good tracks. The sample on “Veins” felt like another Dilla nod, while some of the lyrics had a little bit of the old Earl, the beat didn’t, which was an interesting juxtaposition. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Moving onto the end of the album, we got “Playing Possum”, which is a short track featuring Earl’s parents. I ain’t gonna lie y’all, this one hit hard. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Hearing his mother thank everyone and then his father’s lines cut into place, like a conversation in a dream, where the sentence makes sense even if the words don’t in the order they’re said. It was weird, trippy, emotional and creative. “Peanut” is an interesting follow up to “Playing Possum”. At first, it felt like it didn’t fit and after some research I found out it was one of 2 tracks recorded after Earl’s father passed in January. So I got it after that. I got the whole broken feeling and I respect it. The track is less musical and more mindscape exploration. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Lastly, we get to “Riot!” and throughout the album I did my best to not compare Earl to another artist I felt he was tapping into, but when he ended his album with an instrumental, I couldn’t help but think of Mos Def aka Yasiin Bey. Very different artist, but both are twigs from the same branch of hip-hop. “Riot!” is the other track that was produced after the passing of Keorapetse (Bra Willie) Kgositsile, Earl’s father and a renowned poet. The song starts with little hits and builds up, still maintaining his minimalist approach, then the horns kick in and at some point the track starts to break down and sounds sad. It’s the type of song you might play at the end of a show to let everyone know it’s time to go home, while everyone is smiling and hugging and crying, because it’s all come to an end. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>I have to say, for my last review of 2018, this was a pleasure to write. The album is easily going to make my Top 10 list and Earl is one of my favorites. He has been from crazy lines like “Dirty like a bum's unwiped ass now / I'm transitioning from class clown to cash cow” to “There is not a black woman I can’t thank” on his latest album. Earl Sweatshirt has not only grown but has evolved, himself, his music and his fans.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Notable tracks: Azucar, Playing Possum, Riot!, The Bends.</span></span></span></p> <p><strong>Stay on the pulse of the most recent news in music. 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Now don’t take to mean that this was his first good song, if anything it was more a matter of finding a track that connected me with the artist. With Rihanna that track was “Consideration”, with Gnarls Barkley it was “Going On”, and now with 6lack, it’s “Switch”.</p> <p>These tracks make me want to listen to the artist’s fill catalog for songs that I may have missed. With so much music coming out, it is easy to miss a track here or there, and the next thing you know, you haven’t heard your new favorite song.</p> <p>“<strong>Unfair</strong>”: Remember when Auto-Tune was being overused and everyone hated it? It had more to do with how people were using it and not the feature itself, at least in my opinion. Hearing 6lack use it on the chorus, to give us a dreamscape effect shows how someone can use Auto-Tune to add levels to a song and not just to “correct” vocals (or in the case of T-Pain, hide their actual good voice).</p> <p>“<strong>Loaded Gun</strong>”: Bizness Boi produced a solid track here, and 6lack knew how to use it. In the first verse, he changes his flow to match the beat change at the line “Got this pretty brown-brown, watch her go wild” then jumps into his rapper flow after a few bars. This is what I was explaining regarding how you can stick out in the modern R&amp;B and hip-hop climate.</p> <p>Since a lot of the music sounds out there the same (either because the producers are hot and people want to work with them or the copycats are out in numbers and no one really cares that Kid X sounds like Producer Y) your skill is what bring you to the top. 6lack can rap, he has the skills and the voice, he understands and can make a song with multiple flows work, and along with “Loaded Gun” he does it again on “Pretty Little Fears” with J.Cole.</p> <p>“<strong>East Atlanta Love Letter</strong>”: I like this song, and as much as the downtempo can play with your head (depending on where you are personally) no matter what, this is a good joint. The energy on this one is low. If “Unfair” brought me to the dreamscape, then “East Atlanta Love Letter” is riding the wave into a numb place. Sometimes, you need a track like this. You might need it to just level out or help you think. It’s the type of track that you can play on a loop in the background and meditate along to (well I can, I don’t know about y’all). Melodic 6lack &amp; Future (who I never really loved but I can’t pretend isn’t talented) combo chorus delivery… it was bound to be a good track.</p> <p>“<strong>Let Her Go</strong>”: Next time you are in a relationship and you aren’t sure if the person is right for you, if this is the life you want or need… DO NOT listen to this song. This song brought me back to being 21, dating someone I loved but being terrified of a lifelong commitment. Songs like this are great for reminiscing on younger days and the wild anxiety of love, but I def can’t imagine hearing it while actually trying to make the decision. 6lack might be too connected to his emotion on this one for our own good.</p> <p>“<strong>Sorry</strong>”: The following song continues the tale of love and uncertainty. The whole album discusses the theme of love, and being in love, and being young and in love, and never being sure of being in love… and this song is the apology. 6lack got into our collective minds and pulled out all the emotions that came from being scared and making questionable decisions and put them to music. Making this song a beautiful yet painful one to hear. I’ve been on both ends of this, saying sorry for not knowing myself and hurting someone and being the one someone crushed because they didn’t know what they wanted.</p> <p>“<strong>Pretty Little Fears</strong>”: I can’t express how much I like this song. I’m not sure how to put it down on “paper”. T-Minus (Canadian for those who don’t know) produced “Swimming Pools” by Kendrick, “HYFR” by Drake and those are just 2 hits from his long list of credits. He is a talented producer with the skill to produce sans signature. I am as impressed with producers who have tracks that don’t sound the same as I am with producers who have a unique sound that is never repetitive. T-Minus is one of the best in his lane. When I initially heard the track, I respected the sounds and then to top it off it features J.Cole… I mean, I will say it again, I don’t know how to tell you it’s good. At the end of the day, you have to decide if a good producer working with great vocalist and rapper is the right music for you.</p> <p>“<strong>Disconnect</strong>”: The production of this track is so on-the-nose with the signal sounds at the beginning, that I was originally annoyed with it (as if I couldn’t get what they were going for), but then the song starts, and you get it. Piano, bass, with signal sounds blended over it. I’ve heard of stripping down the sound for vocals to stick out, but this track took it further. 6lack is really making sure you are hearing the lyrics.</p> <p>“<strong>Switch</strong>”: The downtempo, minimal production R&amp;B sound that has become the norm just sounds better in the hands of 6lack and his team. The key to the genre is lyrics and solid vocals, something 6lack found when he made “Switch”. Minimalism isn’t a word I commonly associate with hip-hop or R&amp;B, but I think I’ve been convinced that it can work. I love that 6lack then adds “Thugger’s Interlude” to directly address the downtempo vibe on the album. Pretty much ragging on himself for loving the heavier music but producing the downtempo tracks. ‘Cause what is an album about love without addressing choice and decisions?</p> <p>“<strong>Balenciaga Challenge</strong>”: We did finally get a song I didn’t love. I get the interlude before this was setting me up for a heavier, more rap inspired track, but I didn’t want one. I liked the slow, type R&amp;B he was making. This track felt like he wanted to remind people he can keep up with the rap game when no one is questioning his skills. Offset from Migos is on it and does a solid job. The two of them have a good flow. I mean, some may love it more but in the context of a concept album discussing relationships, I didn’t need it and he didn’t need to prove anything.</p> <p>“<strong>Scripture</strong>”: I was listening to a podcast recently that brought up that 6lack used to rap and that he manages to take advantage of lyricist skills with a vocalist delivery. I think this is the best example of it. If “Balenciaga Challenge” was the rap track I didn’t need on the album, “Scripture” is the rap track I want on the album.</p> <p>“<strong>Nonchalant</strong>”: After “Switch” dropped, I worried how they were going to follow up. The first single is not the best track on the album, but it should be one of the catchiest. You want the fans to crave more. The second single should reflect the style of the album more than anything, it’s the second song people are being introduced to from an upcoming full-length project. I’m not sure if 6lack or someone else picked “Nonchalant” but they did this one right. Where “Switch” gets you hype and vibing, “Nonchalant” really captures the laid-back vibe of the whole piece. The hardest for singles is not also using the features to promote the album. You want those to be surprises…</p> <p>“<strong>Seasons</strong>”: …Which made hearing Khalid on “Seasons” a nice surprise. Dave Bayley from Glass Animals on production, 6lack and Khalid on the track. Two gifted singers blessing the penultimate track, setting us up for a home run of a finale.</p> <p>“<strong>Stan</strong>”: At first, I wasn’t sure why you would want to evoke the idea of a Stan. Stans are obsessive fans who stand for their favorite artist no matter what they do. A Stan will hear that their favorite artist committed the most heinous act and still say, “but the music is above all this”. The type of blind love that comes with the term would scare me, but I think that it makes 6lack’s point really well. From Unfair” to “Stan”, there is some turmoil, but in the end the love that comes from finding yourself and connecting with the right person can be obsessive, in a positive way.</p> <p>Love is unfair. When we’re young, we shoot it around like a loaded gun, we hurt those we “love” and apologize. We see ourselves and our fears in our partners and disconnect, sometimes try and empathize, but when we start to reveal ourselves and open up, our defenses come up in braggadocious way. It takes time, but when the ego comes in, we eventually remember what grounds us and attempt to stay humble. We relax, we calm down, and only then can we give ourselves to someone without losing everything. If that all made sense, understand that I got it from listening to the album carefully. If it didn’t, trust me when I say 6lack took 14 tracks and managed to express the complexity of love in a way that everyone and anyone could appreciate.</p> <p><strong>Stay on the pulse of the most recent news in music. Follow us on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/stingray.music/">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/stingray_music/?hl=en">Instagram</a>, and <a href="https://twitter.com/stingraymusic">Twitter</a>. </strong></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/album-review" hreflang="en">Album Review</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/RnB" hreflang="en">RnB</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/hiphop" hreflang="en">Hip-Hop</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/rap" hreflang="en">Rap</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-stingray-brands field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Brands</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/99" hreflang="en">Stingray Ambiance</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/45" hreflang="en">Stingray Brava</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/97" hreflang="en">Stingray Classica</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/51" hreflang="en">Stingray Concerts</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/46" hreflang="en">Stingray DJAZZ</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/98" hreflang="en">Stingray Festival 4K</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/47" hreflang="en">Stingray iConcerts</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/48" hreflang="en">Stingray Karaoke</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/49" hreflang="en">Stingray Loud</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/44" hreflang="en">Stingray Music</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/127" hreflang="en">Stingray Retro</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/52" hreflang="en">Stingray Vibe</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-country field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Display Countries</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/86" hreflang="en">Worldwide</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-display-in-language field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Display languages</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/82" hreflang="en">English</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/83" hreflang="en">French</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-09/East%20Atlanta%20Love%20Letter.jpg" width="2048" height="2048" alt="East Atlanta Love Letter - 6lack" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-album-name field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Album name</div> <div class="field__item">East Atlanta Love Letter</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-artist field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Artist</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/6lack" hreflang="en">6lack</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-copyright field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Copyright</div> <div class="field__item">LoveRenaissance, Interscope - East Atlanta Love Letter - 6lack</div> </div> Fri, 28 Sep 2018 13:38:47 +0000 Brian 582 at https://blog.stingray.com Loud | Stingray PausePlay https://blog.stingray.com/loud-stingray-pauseplay <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Loud | Stingray PausePlay</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/59" lang="" about="/user/59" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Charles</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 09/10/2018</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Le rappeur de l’heure, <strong>Loud</strong>, un poids lourd du mouvement hip-hop québécois est venu nous rendre une sympathique visite à nos bureaux du Vieux-Port de Montréal. Généreux et décontracté, il s’est entretenu avec nous le temps de quelques questions.</p> <p>Confortablement assis sur le célèbre divan gris de Stingray PausePlay, Loud parle avec reconnaissance des artistes qui ont eu une influence majeure dans son cheminement musical. C’est aussi avec curiosité que l’on découvre comment est née sa collaboration avec<strong> Cœur de Pirate</strong>. Quelle belle complicité on leur attribue dans le vidéoclip « <strong>Dans la nuit</strong> ». Allez voir le clip si ce n’est pas toujours fait!</p> <p>C’est avec étonnement que l’on réalise la certaine témérité qu’il faut avoir pour accepter de se transformer en véritable torche humaine dans son clip « Devenir immortel (et puis mourir) ». Dangereux certes, mais totalement assumé par Loud.</p> <p>De plus, il se prête généreusement à nos questions en rafale (sous forme de jeu) à propos de chansons non issues du genre rap! Spontanées et franches, ces réponses nous en apprennent un peu plus sur cet artiste qui a été rapidement adopté par la France.</p> <p>Bon visionnement!</p> <p><strong>Loud et sa chaîne vedette </strong></p> <p>Une partie du mois de septembre appartient à Loud! Avec son album, <em>Une année record </em>paru à l’automne dernier et son entrée dans le club des millionnaires avec ses millions de vues sur YouTube, Stingray est heureux de lui offrir une chaîne vedette.</p> <p>Laissez-vous imprégner par les chansons de son répertoire et par la sélection de ses coups de cœur musicaux du moment. Une magnifique sélection musicale à saveur rap portée par ses artistes préférés vous attend.</p> <p>Bienvenue sur sa chaîne vedette!</p> <p><strong>Restez à l'affût des dernières nouvelles musicales. Suivez-nous sur </strong><a href="https://www.facebook.com/stingray.music/"><strong>Facebook</strong></a><strong>, </strong><a href="https://www.instagram.com/stingray_music/?hl=en"><strong>Instagram</strong></a><strong> et </strong><a href="https://twitter.com/stingraymusique"><strong>Twitter</strong></a><strong>. </strong></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/francophone-0" hreflang="en">Francophone</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/stingray-pauseplay" hreflang="en">Stingray PausePlay</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/rap" hreflang="en">Rap</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/hiphop" hreflang="en">Hip-Hop</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-stingray-brands field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Brands</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/99" hreflang="en">Stingray Ambiance</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/45" hreflang="en">Stingray Brava</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/97" hreflang="en">Stingray Classica</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/51" hreflang="en">Stingray Concerts</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/46" hreflang="en">Stingray DJAZZ</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/98" hreflang="en">Stingray Festival 4K</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/47" hreflang="en">Stingray iConcerts</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/48" hreflang="en">Stingray Karaoke</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/49" hreflang="en">Stingray Loud</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/44" hreflang="en">Stingray Music</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/127" hreflang="en">Stingray Retro</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/52" hreflang="en">Stingray Vibe</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-section field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Section</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/pauseplay" hreflang="en">Stingray PausePlay</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-country field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Display Countries</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/86" hreflang="en">Worldwide</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-display-in-language field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Display languages</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/82" hreflang="en">English</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/83" hreflang="en">French</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-video field--type-video-embed-field field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Video</div> <div class="field__item"><div class="video-embed-field-responsive-video"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cG2axor1l3o?autoplay=1&amp;start=29&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-listen-now-links field--type-link field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Listen now - links</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="https://music.stingray.com/fr/channels/VIB_T0110?utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_source=stingray-blog-website">Loud</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-09/facebook-twitter_1080x1080_4.jpg" width="1080" height="1080" alt="Loud" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-cross-promo-image field--type-image field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Cross-Promo Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-09/facebook-twitter_1080x1080_2.jpg" width="1080" height="1080" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-cross-promo-link field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Cross-Promo Link</div> <div class="field__item">https://music.stingray.com/fr/channels/VIB_T0110?utm_source=stingray-blog-website&amp;utm_medium=referral</div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-cross-promo-body field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Cross-Promo Body</div> <div class="field__item"><h3>Découvrez la chaîne vedette de Loud.</h3> <p><a href="https://music.stingray.com/fr/channels/VIB_T0110?utm_source=stingray-blog-website&amp;utm_medium=referral" target="_blank">ÉCOUTER</a></p></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-show-in-listen field--type-boolean field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Show in Listen</div> <div class="field__item">Off</div> </div> Mon, 10 Sep 2018 15:09:37 +0000 Charles 564 at https://blog.stingray.com Best Hip-Hop Songs of 2018 (So Far) | Top 10 https://blog.stingray.com/best-hip-hop-songs-2018-so-far-top-10 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Best Hip-Hop Songs of 2018 (So Far) | Top 10</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/77" lang="" about="/user/77" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Brian</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 07/04/2018</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong><span><span><span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>Much like a certain Canadian rapper, let’s split this into a hip-hop side and an R&amp;B side. </span></span></span></span></span></strong></p> <p> </p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>“Cocaine” by Royce Da 5’9”</span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-07-top-hip-hop-songs-2018/stingray-blog-cocaine-2.jpg" width="380" height="380" alt="stingray-blog-cocaine-2.jpg" /></p> <p><span><span><span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>Hip-hop is so often about bragging and status, that we can forget that some of the best tracks are about the real life pain and failures a rapper may have dealt with. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>In “Cocaine”, Royce discusses his father’s drug addiction and how it affected him over one of the possibly best DJ Khalil beats ever produced. In the “era of the user”, this track reflects on how drug use may one day affect those around you if it gets out of hand, or even better, what it will mean to your family when you get clean.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <h3><span><span><span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>“Seasons” by Mozzy, Sjava &amp; Reason</span></span></span></span></span></h3> <p><img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-07-top-hip-hop-songs-2018/stingray-blog-seasons-2.jpg" width="380" height="380" alt="stingray-blog-seasons-2.jpg" /></p> <p><span><span><span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>Seasons’ sample, flow, and mix of African diaspora storytelling make this possibly the strongest track on the <i>Black Panther</i> soundtrack. The first time I heard the track, I could see 3 rappers sitting around a table sharing their different experiences, though all were similar. Point being, no matter where you are, we all face similar struggles. Encompassing the point Killmonger was trying to make the entire movie…in 4 minutes.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>Anything from Stream of Thought Vol. 1 by Black Thought </span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-07-top-hip-hop-songs-2018/stingray-blog-anything-2.jpg" width="380" height="380" alt="stingray-blog-anything-2.jpg" /></p> <p><span><span><span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>When The Roots became the house band for Jimmy Fallon, I remember a lot of folks saying that it was the end, that they would get complacent, and that Black Thought wouldn’t be a sharp as he once was. Sitting on a stool every day, playing off Jimmy, what could he have to say anymore…Well here, this, this EP, yes this one, is everything you thought Black Thought was sleeping on. We were all wrong and after killer freestyles, he still had this inside of him. Take note, this is what longevity looks like, late night straight man by day and lyrical mastermind by night.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>“Pull Up” by Powers Pleasant, Joey Bada$$ &amp; A$ap Ferg</span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-07-top-hip-hop-songs-2018/stingray-blog-pull-up-2.jpg" width="380" height="380" alt="stingray-blog-pull-up-2.jpg" /></p> <p><span><span><span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>I just like this track. I get that some could argue this is not a Top 5 2018 track, but play this track LOUD, surround yourself with your people, and watch the space just get hype. Power Pleasant made a deceptively chill beat that has heat and that I respect. Joey Bada$$ and A$Ap Ferg never hold back, from the beginning, the track takes off, they take off with it, and no one looked back.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>“You Should Know” by Rapsody</span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-07-top-hip-hop-songs-2018/stingray-blog-you-should-know-2.jpg" width="380" height="380" alt="stingray-blog-you-should-know-2.jpg" /></p> <p><span><span><span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>I didn’t credit Busta ‘cause I mean only</span></span> <span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>Rapsody rap part of the track. Don’t take it the wrong way, Busta is Busta, no one can take away from him… but he takes away from the track. Rapsody is the Arya Stark of hip-hop, she doesn’t want the crown, but could take it literally ANY TIME SHE WANTS. I don’t mean literally like folks use it, I mean that pound for pound she is easily one of the strongest lyricist and does not get the shine she deserves. Listen back to her catalog, all the way back to the Kooley High days, and tell me that she couldn’t take everyone on. “You Should Know” isn’t just the title, she is letting you know…</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>“Your Believer (Say Goodbye)” by The Slakadeliqs </span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-07-top-hip-hop-songs-2018/stingray-blog-your-believer-2.jpg" width="380" height="380" alt="stingray-blog-your-believer-2.jpg" /></p> <p><span><span><span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>Blending psychedelic sounds with dreamy R&amp;B vocals makes “Your Believer (Say Goodbye)” a unique track that holds your attention. Think Brian Wilson vocals with the fun of a ‘60 Ringo drum beat, all produced by someone who grew up listening to Motown. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>“Overload” by Georgia Anne Muldrow</span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-07-top-hip-hop-songs-2018/stingray-blog-overload-2.jpg" width="380" height="380" alt="stingray-blog-overload-2.jpg" /></p> <p><span><span><span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>There are artists who can always produce quality music. Georgia Anne Muldrow has the type of voice that can’t be replicated and a technique that is only hers. Having a signature sounds is something a lot of artist say they have, but not many actually have it… She actually has it though. “Overload” is just the latest in a line of tracks you may not have heard yet, but you should never overlook.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>“Come Over” by The Internet</span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-07-top-hip-hop-songs-2018/stingray-blog-come-over-2.jpg" width="380" height="380" alt="stingray-blog-come-over-2.jpg" /></p> <p><span><span><span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>I feel like I should be able to say, “it has Syd on vocals,” and we all just nod at each other. Syd transitioned from producer to one of the best voices in R&amp;B in the blink of an eye. Like an Odd Future magic trick, misdirect us with Frank Ocean, while they have Syd over on the other side slaying tracks about love and emotion, blending guitars riffs with a voice that makes other R&amp;B vocalist jealous. As they should be...</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>“Summer in November” by SiR</span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-07-top-hip-hop-songs-2018/stingray-blog-summer-in-november-2.jpg" width="380" height="380" alt="stingray-blog-summer-in-november-2.jpg" /></p> <p><span><span><span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>A girlfriend once played a song for me in Mandarin, and although I couldn’t understand the lyrics, I remember getting pretty choked up. She told me afterwards that the song was about loss and wanted to show me that sometimes tone transcends language. I felt the same goosebumps listening to this track the first time as I did when hearing that song in Mandarin. Even while understanding every lyric, SiR’s emotion on “Summer in November” comes across more from how he sings it than what he is singing. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>“Switch” by 6lack</span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-07-top-hip-hop-songs-2018/stingray-blog-switch-2.jpg" width="380" height="380" alt="stingray-blog-switch-2.jpg" /></p> <p><span><span><span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>This one you have to listen to yourself. It’s kind of hard to explain why Switch is so damn good. ‘Cause I could say the production is great, Ty Dolla $ign’s contribution is subtle but present, and 6lack’s delivery is passionately pained. But those are just my thoughts, you kind of need to feel it for yourself. I will suggest, if you can, that you listen to it on a huge sound system and really get immersed in the song, it adds to the experience. Not saying you need it, but when he drops “<i>Now Switch”</i>, you’ll thank me. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Stay on the pulse of the most recent news in music. Follow us on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/stingray.music/">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/stingray_music/?hl=en">Instagram</a>, and <a href="https://twitter.com/stingraymusic">Twitter</a>. </strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/hiphop" hreflang="en">Hip-Hop</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/rap" hreflang="en">Rap</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/top-10" hreflang="en">Top 10</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/RnB" hreflang="en">RnB</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-stingray-brands field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/46" hreflang="en">Stingray DJAZZ</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/98" hreflang="en">Stingray Festival 4K</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/47" hreflang="en">Stingray iConcerts</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/48" hreflang="en">Stingray Karaoke</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/49" hreflang="en">Stingray Loud</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/44" hreflang="en">Stingray Music</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/127" hreflang="en">Stingray Retro</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/52" hreflang="en">Stingray Vibe</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-section field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/staff-picks" hreflang="en">Staff Picks</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-country field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/86" hreflang="en">Worldwide</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-display-in-language field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/82" hreflang="en">English</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/83" hreflang="en">French</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-07/stingray-blog-top-10-hip-hop.jpg" width="1200" height="628" alt="Top 10 Hip-Hop songs of 2018 so far" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-listen-now-links field--type-link field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Listen now - links</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="https://webplayer.stingray.com/app/channel-info/description?channel-id=VIB_N0814&amp;language=en&amp;play_channel=VIB_N0814&amp;utm_content=top-10-hip-hop-songs-2018&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_source=stingray-blog-website">Hip-Hop&#039;s Beats and Bars</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="https://webplayer.stingray.com/app/channel-info/description?channel-id=VIB_N0542&amp;language=en&amp;play_channel=VIB_N0542&amp;utm_content=top-10-hip-hop-songs-2018&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_source=stingray-blog-website">Low-Pressure Hip-Hop</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="https://webplayer.stingray.com/app/channel-info/description?channel-id=VIB_N0514&amp;language=en&amp;play_channel=VIB_N0514&amp;utm_content=top-10-hip-hop-songs-2018&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_source=stingray-blog-website">Ferocious Hip-Hop</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 04 Jul 2018 19:10:17 +0000 Brian 456 at https://blog.stingray.com Everything Is Love by Beyoncé / JAY-Z https://blog.stingray.com/everything-love-beyonce-jay-z <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Everything Is Love by Beyoncé / JAY-Z</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/77" lang="" about="/user/77" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Brian</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 06/26/2018</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong><span><span><span>Welcome to the First Family of Hip-Hop, The Carters. After Lemonade and 4:44, we had an idea of what happened between Beyoncé and Jay-Z. There was another woman. Her name may or may not have been Becky. She had “good” hair. Jay had relations with her. Solange stomped Jay’s ass in an elevator. Jay begged for forgiveness and worked on getting his family back together. </span></span></span></strong></p> <p><span><span><span>At least those were impressions; those were the conclusions that we, as fans, came to by reading into direct messages or between the lyrical lines. Then came a surprise album on Saturday, June 16th (some say in celebration of Juneteenth weekend, others say just to tick off Nas, who released his album <i>Nasir</i> the day before), an album that took the discussion even further. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>It goes without saying that Beyoncé is talented and although I don’t LOVE her, I see what she is doing with her platform. From heartbreak to a healthy sex life, infidelity, acceptance, and beyond, Beyoncé has been vocal about it all and continues to be an icon. Meanwhile, Jay-Z has grown into his title as a King of NY. When Jay was tapped as the President of Def Jam a few years back, fans were excited (and by fans I mean me), because it meant someone in the know would be leading the next wave of hip-hop acts. Title and all he still knew he wasn’t fully in charge. Someone once said: “Athletes are rich, team owners are wealthy.”</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>I like to think Jay lives by that mantra, having started Roc Nation and Tidal, he’s one of the owners now. “Everything is Love” is the story of the Mogul and the Queen, known as The Carters.</span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span>Summer</span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>Solid Dre production, Bey is doing the smooth vocals, pulling us in with the first track. A syncopated beat with a touch of the Wailers-style vocal harmonies backing her. Jay jumps in with a clean rap. Although the track sounds like it’s perfect for setting the mood for some beach “activities,” the message is actually more about love and caring, even going so far as Damien Marley saying as much to end off the track.</span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span>Apesh*t</span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>This very Migos-sounding song (if you didn’t know they did collaborate on the track and their reference track has leaked, happy hunting to hear it,) was released as the single with a hype video filmed at Le Louvre for the album, and immediately caught public attention. The beat is energetic, Bey’s skrrt skrrts are legendary, Jay’s rap is as expected, well thought out. My fav line:</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“I'm like Chief Keef meet Rafiki—who been lyin' "King" to you?</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>A mix of classic Jay meets modern Bey and friends.”</span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span>Boss</span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>Usually 4 minutes of bragging about how much of a boss someone is, how much they have, what they control and how jealous everyone else is of them, would tick me off. Yet somehow this track didn’t. The beat is simple, and The Carters are discussing black excellence via bragging, all the while making valid points about community and how being wealthy when no one in your collective is means you're still broke. Food for thought.</span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span>Nice</span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>As a producer you want your style to have a signature but always sound fresh. It is probably one of the hardest balancing acts in the music industry, one that Pharrell has managed to do, with no problem. Even if Pharrell wasn’t featured on Nice, you would know this was his track. Jay tackles the legal system’s attempts at “bringing him down” (look up SEC &amp; Iconix if you’re interested,) identifies being black as why they are after him, and says he pretty much doesn’t care. Bey continues with the album's theme of having perpetual bragging rights: she doesn’t need Spotify spins, Jay is her’s, and the sky’s the limit for their daughter Blue. Essentially saying, it’s Nice to be on top. With Pharrell ending the track by saying: </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“Feeling like the best year ever</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Damn, it's nice.”</span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span>713</span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>Bey reppin’ the Houston area code, drops lyrics in the style of “Still Dre”’, has Jay-Z rapping lines in the style of Common from “The Light.” They had me at Hello. Piano beats, and showing love to classic hip-hop tracks, while they themselves will go down as a hip-hop/R&amp;B power couple, show that Jay &amp; Bey know they aren’t the only ones that run the game. A moment of humble reflection via their delivery technic, something I can appreciate. </span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span>Friends</span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>You can’t do anything without a solid support system… the song. A solid song about knowing the worth of those around you. I dare say, if you can’t think of friends who have your back like those Jay &amp; Bey name, this song is a wake-up call. Also, the production is dope and simple. </span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span>Heard About Us &amp; Black Effect</span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>As much as I like these beats, I actually didn’t enjoy the songs all that much. Not because they aren’t good songs, but because they felt like they repeat themes we covered so far on the album. Similar to a flashback episode in the first season of a show, we don’t need it, I could just go back and listen to those tracks. I get the message, respect the empire The Carters are building, they are classical and their names will go down in history. Message received. Now there is one thing to take note of, music listening habits have changed in the era of streaming. There is a chance some will not listen to the album in order, and for that reason, as much as I don’t need these tracks, the album did, because some may not have gotten the message by now. </span></span></span></p> <h3><br /><span><span><span>Lovehap</span></span></span><span><span><span>py</span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>They did it, they overcame hardship, he messed up, she forgave him. They are a normal couple that deals with things and works through them to come out stronger, AND can use its platform to show others that life can be real and still be good. Black Excellence, pride in their names and their brands are important. Also, the track feels like the culmination of everything that “Lemonade” and “4:44” touched on after Jay stepped out on Bey. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Sometimes you need a hot album to start the summer off, and this one hit the spot. What I like about this album is that its mature enough to know that summer music can come with lessons. Can you bounce to it? Yes. Did you realize your social circle is not as supportive as you thought? Better yet, had you ever thought about that? Bringing simple ideas to people can help change their whole perspective, and those who were already on that tip, get to feel validated. Bey &amp; Jay, Yonce &amp; Hov, whatever name you want to call them by, this album is meant to inspire everyone to start their legacy. Build, support, be supportive, accept that no one is perfect and work hard to make sure you know your worth and your partners. To quote Jay-Z “[They] tryin’ to give you a million dollars’ worth of game for $9.99.  Take It!”</span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Stay on the pulse of the most recent news in music. Follow us on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/stingray.music/">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/stingray_music/?hl=en">Instagram</a>, and <a href="https://twitter.com/stingraymusic">Twitter</a>. </strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/hiphop" hreflang="en">Hip-Hop</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/rap" hreflang="en">Rap</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/album-review" hreflang="en">Album Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-stingray-brands field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Brands</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/99" hreflang="en">Stingray Ambiance</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/45" hreflang="en">Stingray Brava</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/97" hreflang="en">Stingray Classica</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/51" hreflang="en">Stingray Concerts</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/46" hreflang="en">Stingray DJAZZ</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/98" hreflang="en">Stingray Festival 4K</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/47" hreflang="en">Stingray iConcerts</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/48" hreflang="en">Stingray Karaoke</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/49" hreflang="en">Stingray Loud</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/44" hreflang="en">Stingray Music</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/127" hreflang="en">Stingray Retro</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/52" hreflang="en">Stingray Vibe</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-country field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Display Countries</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/86" hreflang="en">Worldwide</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-display-in-language field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Display languages</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/82" hreflang="en">English</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/83" hreflang="en">French</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Image</div> <div class="field__item"> <img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-06/stingray-blog-everything-is-love.jpg" width="1280" height="1280" alt="stingray-blog-everything-is-love" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-album-name field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Album name</div> <div class="field__item">Everything Is Love</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-artist field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Artist</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/beyonce-jay-z" hreflang="en">Beyoncé / JAY-Z</a></div> </div> Tue, 26 Jun 2018 15:58:08 +0000 Brian 468 at https://blog.stingray.com Ye by Kanye West https://blog.stingray.com/ye-kanye-west <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Ye by Kanye West</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/catherineb" lang="" about="/catherineb" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Catherine Boisvert</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 06/06/2018</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><span>June 2nd was the day that all Kanye fans were waiting for: his 7-track studio album entitled <i>Ye</i> with a short running time of only 23 minutes was finally OUT.<i> </i></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><i>Ye</i> is different from any previous Kanye release where he would be extravagant in unique ways: in length (<i>The College Dropout</i> with a running time of 76 minutes), in guest appearance (<i>My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy</i> featured musical legends like Elton John, Jay-Z, and John Legend, as well as comedian Chris Rock), and in number of chart-toppers (the classic club bangers “Pt. 2” and “Fade” from <i>The Life of Pablo</i>). This time, however, Kanye is not all about glam and glitter.</span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span><span>I Hate Being Bi-Polar, It’s Awesome</span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span><i>Ye </i>offers a direct view into Kanye's mind, which makes the album uniquely controversial. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The message of the album artwork, “I hate being bi-polar, it’s awesome”, reflects <i>Ye</i>’s concept. The contrast represents the bi-polar mind state, constantly switching from one idea to another. It’s the constant struggle between depression and mania. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Kanye begins his album with “I Thought About Killing You”: the perfect Kanye introduction to a Kanye album. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“Today I seriously thought about killing you, I contemplated, premeditated murder, and I think about killing myself and I love myself way more than I love you so...”</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Could this be any more of a Kanye line? He may seem to express the extent to which he loves himself, but a deeper analysis of the song paints a much sadder Kanye. Yes, he loves himself, but he still thinks about killing himself. Now that’s a big contrast.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>It’s the first time that he references his troubled mind and dark thoughts so explicitly in a song. He even talks about killing this aforementioned another person, a “premeditated murder”, a planned murder carried out with a purpose. </span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span><span>A Plea for Help</span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>Kanye follows with “Yikes”, which exposes his mental health issues and how his bipolar disorder affects his life and personal relationships. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“Sometimes I scare myself, myself / Tweakin’, tweakin’ off that 2CB, huh?”</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Not only does he reference mental health issues in the chorus by referring to his fragile and scared state of mind, he continues by mentioning a common mental health symbol (tweaking) coupled with 2CB, a psychedelic drug. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Rumors have suggested that Kanye had been using psychedelic drugs, which had a significant effect on him. By declaring his drug use in song, Kanye is willfully expressing his mental vulnerability, which is quite different from his usual lyrical direction. Kanye’s not actually praising himself; the song is almost a plea for help. After declaring his fragile mental state Kanye goes into a fresh new direction with this album.</span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span><span>Controversy</span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>Let’s remember the events that happened before the release of <i>Ye</i>. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>There was much controversy when Kanye was pictured wearing a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap signed by Donald Trump. Then, even worse, his infamous TMZ interview where he made slavery sound like a choice (whether or not that’s what he meant). He references the latter in the song “Wouldn’t Leave” by saying, “I say slavery’s a choice, they say ‘how ye?’ / Just imagine if they caught me on a wild day”. The second verse is another wink at his mental health since he says that his claim that slavery is a choice was not Kanye at his wildest moment. Could this be a way of saying that his mind can get worse? That this is just the beginning?</span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span><span>Kim K + Kanye</span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>Further, in the album, Kanye shifts the focus onto his and Kim Kardashian’s not-so-perfect relationship. “No Mistakes” is an ode to his wife, with Charlie Wilson beautifully signing the chorus: “Make no mistakes, girl I still love you” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Kanye reassures Kim that he still loves her despite whatever problems they might face. He continues with “Ghost Town”, where again he pleas for love with Kid Cudi’s singing in the chorus: </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“I’ve been tryin’ to make you love me / But everything I try just takes you further from me”</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Not only does he ask to be loved by his wife, but he almost begs for love from everyone else. Even if he tries to gain love and trust from people around him and his fans, he’s still not receiving what he wants. He alludes again to his drug problems and how, even though he knows it’s mentally toxic, it’s what frees him. 070 Shakes, singing with her unique and powerful voice, clearly expresses this thought by evoking self-harm and the desire to do so in the following verses: </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“I put my hands on a stove, to see if I still bleed / And nothing hurts anymore I feel kind of free”. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Again, this echoes Kanye’s mental health issues, as exposed in the first few tracks, but adds the euphoria and dichotomy of psychedelic drugs and opioids that frees someone from harm, despite its known negative effects.</span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span><span>A Troubled World</span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>Kanye ends his album with “Violent Crimes”. Not a positive ending at all. He worries about his children growing up in a troubled world, where there’s nothing but crime. Could he be afraid of them growing up in a world where there are people like his father? Where people abuse drugs for artificial happiness? Where nothing is perfect, people aren’t perfect, and important problems like mental health issues do not receive enough attention? Perhaps he actually fears himself, but not for him, for his children.</span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span><span>Real Rap is Poetry</span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>All in all, this is a refreshing album. It’s not what we’re used to, sure, but it’s definitely one of the most meaningful albums Kanye has released. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>He talks about love, self-hatred, and mental health. It’s both a plea for help and a plea for understanding, and that’s what I love about this album. Not convinced? Take a moment and listen to today’s rap. Some say that rap today has lost its meaning with what we call “mumble rap”: artists who don’t deliver real messages through their art. But <i>Ye</i> is refreshing. It’s a reminder that real rap is poetry; an artistic and thoughtful way to express what’s really going on in the world. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><i>Ye</i> talks about things we don’t want to talk about, like how mental health effects such a huge part of our population, yet we avoid it because it’s a scary and barely known subject. Remember this when you listen to <i>Ye, </i>because sometimes the hardest things to face are the most important things to deal with.</span></span></span></p> <p><strong>Stay on the pulse of the most recent news in music. Follow us on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/stingray.music/">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/stingray_music/?hl=en">Instagram</a>, and <a href="https://twitter.com/stingraymusic">Twitter</a>. </strong></p> <p><strong>Stay on the pulse of the most recent news in music. 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Here are some of our favorites so far. They are the future.</p> <h3><span><span><span>TRINIDAD CARDONA</span></span></span></h3> <p><img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-06-artists-to-watch/stingray-blog-trinidad-cardona_0.PNG" width="810" height="458" alt="stingray-blog-trinidad-cardona_0.PNG" /></p> <p class="tinytext">© 2018 Trinidad Cardona. All rights reserved.</p> <ul><li><span><span><span>This 18-year-old native from Phoenix, AZ woke up one morning to 7 million views on his first single, “Jennifer,” which started out as a joke song between him and his friends.</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>His music has been shared by other A-list artists such as Gucci Mane, Ludacris, and Kelly Rowland.</span></span></span></li> <li><strong><span><span><span>On repeat: “Jennifer”</span></span></span></strong></li> </ul><h3><span><span><span>THE REGRETTES</span></span></span></h3> <p><img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-06-artists-to-watch/stingray-blog-the-regrettes.PNG" width="1702" height="583" alt="stingray-blog-the-regrettes.PNG" /></p> <p class="tinytext">© 2018 The Regrettes. All rights reserved.</p> <ul><li><span><span><span>This teenage quartet is led by 15-year-old lead singer Lydia Night, who went to her first concert at the age of 5 and started playing music at the age of 6 when her parents bought her a guitar.</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>The band met while taking music classes in Burbank, California.</span></span></span></li> <li><strong><span><span><span>On repeat: “A Living Human Girl”</span></span></span></strong></li> </ul><h3><span><span><span>ARIN RAY</span></span></span></h3> <p><img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-06-artists-to-watch/stingray-blog-arin-ray.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="stingray-blog-arin-ray.jpg" /></p> <p class="tinytext">© 2018 Arin Ray. All rights reserved.</p> <ul><li><span><span><span>He was first known from X Factor in 2012, where he was mentored by Britney Spears, but after coming in only 10th place decided to start anew and work on his debut album Platinum Fire.</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>His family was also involved with music – his father was a drummer for a swing groups New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe, and his aunt sang background vocals for Marvin Gaye.</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>He got his first songwriting break with “Favorite” on Nicki Minaj’s Pinkprint.</span></span></span></li> <li><strong><span><span><span>On repeat: “Communication” feat. DRAM</span></span></span></strong></li> </ul><p> </p> <h3><span><span><span>DREAMS</span></span></span></h3> <p><img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-06-artists-to-watch/stingray-blog-dreams.jpg" width="2492" height="1607" alt="stingray-blog-dreams.jpg" /></p> <p class="tinytext">© 2018 Dreams. All rights reserved.</p> <ul><li><span><span><span>The Australian duo made up Silverchair’s Daniel Johns and Empire of the Sun’s Luke Steele, made their live debut at Coachella this year.</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>Daniel Johns was recently featured on three tracks of Australian producer What So Not’s Not All the Beautiful Things.</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>Luke Steele co-wrote and produced Beyonce’s track “Rather Die Young.”</span></span></span></li> <li><strong><span><span><span>On repeat: “Silence”</span></span></span></strong></li> </ul><p> </p> <h3><span><span><span>KATORI WALKER</span></span></span></h3> <p><img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-06-artists-to-watch/stingray-blog-katori-walker.PNG" width="893" height="540" alt="stingray-blog-katori-walker.PNG" /></p> <p class="tinytext">© 2018 Katori Walker. All rights reserved.</p> <ul><li><span><span><span>He was influenced by his dad who was a producer/DJ in Pasadena and often had collaborations with other artists and rappers in his living room.</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>He recorded his first song at the age of 9 with his brothers. While his brothers pursued sports in high school, Katori turned to music.</span></span></span></li> <li><strong><span><span><span>On repeat: “</span></span></span></strong><span><span><span><strong>Ormoni</strong></span></span></span><strong><span><span><span>”</span></span></span></strong></li> </ul><h3><span><span><span>lovelytheband</span></span></span></h3> <p><img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-06-artists-to-watch/stingray-blog-lovelytheband.jpg" width="2304" height="1532" alt="stingray-blog-lovelytheband.jpg" /></p> <p class="tinytext">© 2018 lovelytheband. All rights reserved.</p> <ul><li><span><span><span>The band’s debut single “Broken,” which was released in September 2017, recently hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart.</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>The trio formed after a drunken night out at a club in West Hollywood.</span></span></span></li> <li><strong><span><span><span>On repeat: “Broken”</span></span></span></strong></li> </ul><p> </p> <h3><span><span><span>OvaEast Meech</span></span></span></h3> <p><img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-06-artists-to-watch/stingray-blog-ovaeast-meech.PNG" width="709" height="576" alt="stingray-blog-ovaeast-meech.PNG" /></p> <p class="tinytext">© 2018 OvaEast Meech. All rights reserved.</p> <ul><li><span><span><span>The Chicago-born rapper and producer started his own collective called Sober Gold with his friends in college when he was just 19 years old.</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>Although he now creates hip-hop music, he didn’t always grow up with it – his mom only listened to gospel and 60s-80s music until he was a teenager. The first rap song he learned word for word was Nelly’s “Hot in Here.”</span></span></span></li> <li><strong><span><span><span>On repeat: “HBH”</span></span></span></strong></li> </ul><h3><span><span><span>NAO</span></span></span></h3> <p><img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-06-artists-to-watch/stingray-blog-nao.jpg" width="658" height="374" alt="stingray-blog-nao.jpg" /></p> <p class="tinytext">© 2018 NAO. All rights reserved.</p> <ul><li><span><span><span>Her earliest songs on SoundCloud, such as “Back Porch” were posted from her living room.</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>Although she graduated from Guildhall School of Music in jazz vocal but didn’t pursue a solo career until much later, starting out first as a session singer for other artists.</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>You can hear her featured on songs like Disclosure’s “Superego” and Mura Masa’s “Firefly”</span></span></span></li> <li><strong><span><span><span>On repeat: “Happy”</span></span></span></strong></li> </ul><p> </p> <p><strong>Stay on the pulse of the most recent news in music. Follow us on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/stingray.music/">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/stingray_music/?hl=en">Instagram</a>, and <a href="https://twitter.com/stingraymusic">Twitter</a>. </strong></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/artists2watch" hreflang="en">Artists2Watch</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/rap" hreflang="en">Rap</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/pop" hreflang="en">Pop</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-stingray-brands field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/99" hreflang="en">Stingray Ambiance</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/45" hreflang="en">Stingray Brava</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/97" hreflang="en">Stingray Classica</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/51" hreflang="en">Stingray Concerts</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/46" hreflang="en">Stingray DJAZZ</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/98" hreflang="en">Stingray Festival 4K</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/47" hreflang="en">Stingray iConcerts</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/48" hreflang="en">Stingray Karaoke</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/49" hreflang="en">Stingray Loud</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/44" hreflang="en">Stingray Music</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/127" hreflang="en">Stingray Retro</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/52" hreflang="en">Stingray Vibe</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-section field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/staff-picks" hreflang="en">Staff Picks</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-country field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/86" hreflang="en">Worldwide</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-display-in-language field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/82" hreflang="en">English</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/83" hreflang="en">French</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/blog/files/2018-06/Stingray_ARTISTS-TO-WATCH_june-2018.jpg" width="1200" height="628" alt="artists-to-watch-06-2018" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-listen-now-links field--type-link field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Listen now - links</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="https://webplayer.stingray.com/app/channel-info/description?channel-id=VIB_N1123&amp;language=en&amp;play_channel=VIB_N1123&amp;utm_content=artists-to-watch-06-2018&amp;utm_medium=stingray-blog-website&amp;utm_source=referral">Artists to Watch</a></div> </div> </div> Mon, 04 Jun 2018 01:30:33 +0000 Sophie 423 at https://blog.stingray.com