The history of music tells us a song with a proper noun is about said proper noun. The Beatles’ "Yellow Submarine" is about a yellow submarine, "Sweet Caroline" is a about a sweet Caroline, and YG’s "Fuck Donald Trump" is about Donald Trump. So, one would expect "Harambe" to be about the gorilla that was recently killed and reborn as the debatable meme of the summer.
But good luck finding the Harambe in "Harambe."
The lyrics of the song mainly depict Young Thug, or the character of Young Thug, taking Percocets and threatening to kill people.
This shit can get ugly for you / I'll pull up and bust your mama / I'll pull up and bust your brother / I'll aim at your fuckin' family
I'll aim at your whole clique
I'll aim at your mothafuckin' mama
I'll aim at your fuckin' dad
I'll aim at your daughter, son
There is an argument that these lyrics imagine Harambe’s revenge on the family and zoo keepers responsible for his demise. Quick, imagine a ghost gorilla invading your house!
I’m just kidding, don’t do that. You work hard and you deserve good sleep.
As with almost everything else Young Thug has done in his career thus far, there’s basically no point in looking for an explanation. This is a man who left a GQ photoshootwithout saying a word, drove to the airport, and got on a plane. This is a man who tried to change his name to "No, my name is Jeffrey." Not "Jeffrey" — "no, my name is Jeffrey." This is a man whose former manager, when asked where Young Thug would be in 10 years, said "dead or in jail." This is a man who wears dresses not because he thinks hip-hop’s history of homophobia needs to be trolled but because he thinks they’re "sexy." This is a man who quietly defined what rap would sound like in 2016!
No My Name is JEFFREY (the album, not the guy!) also includes a song called "RiRi" which contains no explicit references to Rihanna. It has the word "work" in the chorus a few times, so maybe that’s the connection? In fact, most of the songs on the tape are named after celebrities, and most of them have seemingly nothing to do with their namesakes.
Anyway, you should listen to this mixtape because it’s good and occasionally scary and Young Thug has added even more strange noises to his repertoire including what sounds like an impression of the seals in Santa Claus is Coming to Town. I love it. Just look at the album artwork. We don’t deserve Young Thug.
The South African phenomenon Black Coffee has become well known in recent years due to his impeccable blend of house, infused with African culture and vibes. In 2012, ‘Buya’ was released featuring the stunning vocalist Toshi. The track went platinum in Africa in 2 months, bringing Black Coffee into the international spotlight. Now, Get Physical has taken the reigns and handed the track over to Loco Dice, M.A.N.D.Y. and Da Capo.
Loco Dice lays down a touch of Funk, lightening the mood and takes the track into his world between house and techno, and brings back a bouncy experience. M.A.N.D.Y. on the other hand, opts to keep the original deepness intact, throwing us a super fluid dance number for stirring up a boiling dancefloor. Da Cappo then generates an elegantly organic atmosphere, with the energy loosened and wrapped up in a thick blanket of jazzy-swing. This EP also marks the first taste of a brand new compilation series coming soon to Get Physical, Africa Gets Physical.
Loco Dice who has African roots spends his proceeds of the EP for the development of the new website, and the donation campaign for the Kliptown Youth Centre in Soweto, South Africa, a non-profit project that provides hope through tutoring, athletic, music and arts programs. The returns will go to helping the heroes of the Kliptown Youth Center in Soweto, South Africa, giving kids a chance to create and express themselves whereas they might not have had that chance before. The youth is our future, and right now they need our help and support.
Please note that this is only for promotional use
Download: Black Coffee - Buya (feat. Toshi) (Da Capo Remix)
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After a long grind, Tory Lanez finally gets to realize his dreams on his debut album. Does his vision match up with reality?
With last Friday's release of his debut album I Told You, 24-year-old Tory Lanez has arrived at a crossroads after years of expanding his following and evolving his sound. He's earned success by way of a prolific mixtape output, last year's triumphant single “Say It," consistent features for artists like YG, Meek Mill, and G-Eazy, and an incessant grind that puts virtually every other artist to shame.
There have been other "highlights," such as a hot/cold friction with fellow Torontonian Drake, who is often held up as a comparison to Lanez not only for their mutual home but also for their self-aggrandized blends of rap and R&B. Depending on perspective and bias, you might suggest one's influence over the other, yet at this point Tory Lanez's work has brought him into circles where even Drake has yet to tread, such as the WeDidIt producer camp in LA or his associations with more pop-oriented acts. Given this long and storied career for such a young man, I Told You has every right to resonate with such insistent grandeur.
I Told You is a concept album that follows a 16-year-old Lanez during a stretch of days filled with crime and sex and culminates in a predictable crash of tragedy, reconciliation, and ultimately, success. After all, who wants to think of Lanez as a 'loser' on his debut album? Listeners might compare Lanez' raspier moments on the album to Kendrick Lamar's good kid, m.a.a.d city. One disparity is Lanez takes his various skits and isolates them into connected yet individual tracks. The result, a record that on paper clocks in at 28 tracks, could look daunting to anyone. However, the thematic continuity distracts from, rather than supports, the musical content on the album, as the constant stop-start momentum somewhat takes away from the continuity Lanez strives for.
When you drain the album of its conceptual weight (in other words, skip the skits and listen song-to-song), standouts are obviously the singles "Luv" and "Say It." Together they close out the album, an ending that feels like a welcome reward after persevering through such a long saga. Not to say that there aren't gems throughout the album -- Lanez is a multi-talented artist with considerable production talents (only further enhanced with assistance by his cryptic associate Play Picasso, the likes of the WeDidIt crew, and former Dr. Luke affiliate-turned-solo hitmaker Benny Blanco) and a chameleon-like gift with rap flows and diverse singing styles alike.
Opener “I Told You/Another One” takes a haunting pipe organ loop and propels it forward at an aggressive tempo to match to Tory's melodic, Atlanta-influenced triplet flow while elsewhere, the gloomy and thunderous "Dirty Money" finds Tory effortlessly evocative, using a winding flow reminiscent of Future or Rich Homie Quan at their darkest with production that's deceptively claustrophobic. “Friends With Benefits.” meanwhile drifts like a calm lullaby, taking the dreamscape of Frank Dukes “Cop Blood” to occasionally puncture it with nightmarish glitches of harsh industrial noise like a chop-shop massacre, whereas the stadium anthem pop of “All The Girls”, with the lurching swing-beat of its chorus and the light groove of the wah-wah guitar has potential hit written all over it. The DJ Dahi-assisted “Loner's Blvd” holds onto a great heartbroken chorus, but oddly joins it to an inspirational autobiographical rap-driven track about Tory's darkest moments and determined grind finally manifesting into realizing one's glory.
Otherwise, Tory's focus sometimes drifts, falling further into cliches he's exhausted and more dated sounding album filler. "Cold Hard Love" has a crunchy, club-tempo groove ready to make people dance, yet when placed in that pop R&B loverman role he comes off distracted, only made the more bewildering by a suddenly intense rap that belies the mood of the song. Elsewhere, on "Guns And Roses," his glistening and passionate falsetto glides effortlessly over verses, but descends into a throwaway chorus, only married to unremarkable 'woozy' production which Tory has more often transcended before. It's a mix of successes and failures, and when songs fail they tend to place a demand on the listener to be patient for those next highs. At the same time its when he lands on the gold, Lanez can be as eagerly entertaining as any A-lister in pop or rap.
I Told You is nothing if not ambitious and lavish, with Tory Lanez determined to seize a destiny he believes is his for the taking. Much of his considerable talents as a rapper/vocalist and a producer are here in full display, but ultimately play a supporting role beneath his desire to validate and prove his importance to the listener. The result is an album that works hard at leaving the impression that, while this young man believes he is a future star, his music isn't necessarily allowed to be the one who does the convincing for the audience. Nonetheless, after years and years of toil, Tory Lanez has the satisfaction of proving to the world that his work and determination have paid off. The future seems only brighter from here.
The release of Blonde marked much more than Frank Ocean’s musical return after four years away. After satisfying his Def Jam deal with the release of Endless, Ocean releasedBlonde independently in a move that marks the first shot in an inevitable fight between music labels and streaming services.
The relationship between an artist and a music label has been a notoriously fraught one, but until recently, there was nowhere an artist could run to when they tired of their label besides the next label down the street. Now, in a race to get more subscribers for their streaming services, the biggest company in the world and one run by an artist have positioned themselves as a friendly alternative for musicians. Meanwhile the labels, in a bid to avoid a future they may not be able to survive, may ultimately end up on the side of some fans who want music available through every viable medium.
THIS MARKS THE FIRST SHOT IN AN INEVITABLE FIGHT BETWEEN MUSIC LABELS AND STREAMING SERVICES
This is the nightmare scenario for music labels. For years, labels have feared that as streaming services grew in power and scope, there could come a time when some artists could choose to forego working with the labels and engage directly with a streaming service to reach their fans.
Up until now this hasn’t been the case with an artist of consequence, for a few reasons. Younger artists need the structure and nurturing that a music label can provide, and established superstars have usually built up a rapport and are loyal to the group of people — most of whom work for the label — that have helped them become stars and simply choose to stay, after getting a big payday.
Beyoncé is a great example of this. She doesn't actually need to stay with Columbia Records, but her and her team have been on an exemplary run over the last decade, and there’s little reason to switch it up. Lemonade may have been released exclusively through Tidal, but you’ll still find Columbia Records in the credits.
UMG HAS REPORTEDLY BANNED EXCLUSIVES ON THE HEELS OF 'BLONDE'
But what Frank Ocean has done is different. This isn’t going independent while still using a major label for distribution, like Jay Z has done in the past. This is a complete avoidance of the traditional musical hierarchy. Ocean has a young, rabid fanbase that primarily interacts with him online; he doesn’t need to distribute physical copies of albums to thousands of stores like Adele or Taylor Swift. He is part of a small club of superstars who don’t need the label system, and who have the leverage to do deals with streaming services instead of re-signing their contracts. And that’s scary for music labels.
According to a newsletter from music industry insider and critic Bob Lefsetz, Universal Music Group, Ocean’s former label, has banned exclusives on the heels of the release ofBlonde. If true, the ramifications of that change could be huge on the labels’ stable of artists — most notably with Drake, who has an exclusive deal with Apple Music, having released his last three projects through the service.
Why the dramatic move from UMG? A-list artists bring in a large chunk of revenue for the labels, and allow them to lock up younger artists who probably won’t move records on their first release with advances that they otherwise couldn’t afford. If those superstar artists leave the label system altogether for streaming services, it could throw a wrench into the already delicate financials of the music industry and cause a power shift that the industry hasn’t experienced since iTunes hit the scene in 2003.
For streaming services, nothing changes. This is no different for them than doing a standard exclusive when the label is involved, although it’s probably easier to negotiate with a single artist compared to an entire company. The modern exclusive deal for an album release has allowed the artist to get paid an upfront sum from the streaming service — money from Apple, an ownership cut from Tidal — while the label gets no direct financial benefit from the deal.
IS THIS THE END OF EXCLUSIVES? PROBABLY NOT
That relationship has worked until now — sales for exclusive albums have done well for everyone, due to the extra promotion and general hype surrounding the project. Just three months ago labels were singing the praises of exclusives on the heels of Drake selling 1 million copies of Views in a week on a single platform while setting a worldwide streaming record. But it seems like the pendulum has swung.
Is this the end of exclusives? Probably not. Though it's the biggest in the industry, UMG is the only label group to reportedly have banned exclusives so far, and there’s no guarantee Sony Music or Warner will do the same. But this is the beginning of a fight that may determine the future power structure of the music industry. Telling an artist they can’t release an album exclusively through Apple Music or Tidal when they’re offering them millions won’t be easily forgotten, especially when the artists look at the numbers and realize an exclusive blockade isn’t in their best interest.
Frank Ocean is only one artist, but it only takes one to inspire others. Does Drake need to sign another deal with Cash Money Records — who ironically just signed an exclusive deal with Apple Music for a documentary — or could he just release all of his content through Apple? Chance The Rapper, who is seemingly a superstar in the making has already said he won’t sign to a label and released his last project exclusively through Apple Music. When labels have become synonymous with drawn-out court cases and absurd contracts, does anyone need labels, other than labels? These are the questions that keep label executives up at night. The battle for the future of the music industry has begun, and it won’t be pretty.
South Africa’s rap King, Cassper Nyovest has finally released the long anticipated video for his hit song ‘428 To L.A.’ Watch Video
The super hit track which features Los Angeles’s finest, Casey Veggies and was produced by Anatii, blew up the airwaves in 2015, topping music charts for months. The video was directed by Cassper Nyovest and Cidefx films and has been released exclusively to MTV Base.
The video is a depiction of Cassper’s journey to stardom. The movie-like video shows the rapper on a trip to Los Angeles from New York.
The song which is rendered in a combination of Swahili and English is the perfect definition of lyrical perfection. The song embodies various themes but mostly centres on the rapper’s journey to fame and his enviable achievements. The traditional elements of rap such as lyrical rhyming and flow is not elusive in this song which is one reason the song enjoyed massive airplay in 2015.
Ultimately, rap culture and its consciousness appears to have gained more grounds in Africa especially with the advent of fusing indigenous languages in Rap as opposed to just English. This trend has undoubtedly propelled African rappers to world view. This style is also the message of 428 to LA as Cassper relates the success of his style of Rap.
The Video was directed by Cassper Nyovest and the music was produced by Anatii Please note that this is only for promotional use
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