Jermaine Lamar Cole, known professionally as J. Cole, is an American rapper/songwriter. Raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina, after becoming inspired by Canibus, Nas, Tupac and Eminem, Cole and a cousin worked on developing a basic understanding of rhyming and word play, in addition to interloping storytelling with their lyrics. By 14, Cole had a notebook filled with song ideas, but was unable to produce material beyond sampling. Following several mixtapes, Cole released his debut full length studio effort “Cole World: The Sideline Story” in 2011. The albums “Born Sinner” (2013), “2014 Forest Hills Drive” (2014) and “4 Your Eyez Only” (2016) all came later.
Tamia Marilyn Hill, known professionally as Tamia, is a Canadian singer/songwriter. Born on May 9, 1975, she was raised in Windsor Ontario and sang gospel as a child. On April 14, 1998, she released her debut self titled album. The album sold 420,000 copies and was certified gold. It featured the single “You Put A Move On My Heart.” In October 2000, she released her sophomore effort “A Nu Day.” It featured the singles “Can’t Go For That”, a collaboration with rapper Missy Elliott and “Stranger In My House.” She released the album “More” on April 6, 2004. “I’m So Into You”, a collaboration with rapper Fabulous, hit number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2005, Tamia left Elektra Records and formed her own label Plus One Music Group. The debut release for the label was the album “Between Friends.” The singles “Cant’ Get Enough” and “Me” both reached the top 30 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart. In August 2014, Tamia signed with Def Jam Recordings, marking her return to the major label ranks. The album “Love Life” was released on June 9, 2015.
Grammy nominated singer SZA teams up with labelmate Kendrick Lamar for the martial arts inspired visual “Doves In The Wind.” The Nabil directed clip was shot in the desert where the songstress can be seen impersonating a kung fu student who is put through several tests by her Sensei, played by Lamar. The clip ends on a high note with a furious battle. After a tea break, the two stars levitate, kick, punch, and evade strikes with precision. During the battle, SZA lands a combination of flying kicks and floats in the wind. In related news, SZA will join Lamar and labelmates ScHoolBoy Q, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul and Lance Skiiiwalker on the “Championship Tour”, which will begin on May 4 in Vancouver. After several singles, EPs and mixtapes, former Rock Nation signee Bridget Kelly has finally released her long awaited debut album “Reality Bites.” Following the singles “Happy For Me”, “Sedated” and “Something”, the singer/songwriter and”Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood” cast member puts her talents on full display on the 13 track project. It features special guest appearances from Ro James and Jordan Bratton, in addition to contributions from songwriters Drew Scott, B Will, Manny Acosta and Cass Maya. “Reality Bites” is an offering that will transport the listener into her world. “Reality Bites” is an album fans will enjoy. R&B veteran Tamia returns to the spotlight with her new single “Leave It Smoking”, the lead single from her forthcoming album “Passion Like Fire”, which is due out this fall on Entertainment One (eOne)/21 Entertainment Group. On the uptempo number, the singer makes her needs known while captivating listeners with her delivery. 2018 also marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Tamia’s self titled debut album. Tamia, who is known for such hits as “So Into You” and “Missing You”, released her last album, “Love Life”, in 2015. Singer Kehlani has yet another collaboration under her belt. This time she’s joined forces with Sacramento born rapper Saweetie on the remix of her single “ICY GYL.” In a rare display of her other talents, Kehlani delivers a verse on the track. She begins the track by rapping about her wealth, loyalty and influences. After delivering her verse, Kehlani gives Saweetie a shout out. While boasting about her racks, Saweetie also mentions her academic achievements on a brand new verse. During a Twitter post, Kehlani called the collaboration “foire flames.” To which Saweetie replied “Sis. Gassed This. Thanx Queen.” Brady Watt has become one of the music industry’s most versatile bassist. Despite his past accolades, 2018 has proven to be a stellar year for the musician. His debut single, “Black & White”, which features Ro James and Topaz Jonez, is a smooth R&B track that unveils a budding relationship. Fans will enjoy this one. UK R&B singer Angel has announced a release date for his highly anticipated debut album “Woman.” Slated for release on June 8, “Woman” is a celebration of all the women in Angel’s life. The project features 14 tracks and special guest appearances from Giggs, Eric Bellinger, Haile from WSTRN and Swizz Beatz. The lead single from “Woman” is “Nothing Wrong”, which along with six other tracks was released as “Part 1” of the forthcoming album. “Woman” follows the album “More Of Her”, which featured the singles “Hi Grade”, “Road Closed”, “Crud” and “No Days Off.” Congratulations to rapper J. Cole are in order. His latest studio effort, “KOD”, now holds the number one spot on the Billboard 200 chart with 2018’s biggest week for an album, as the set moved 397,000 units during the week of April 26, according to Nielsen Music. The album has also earned the largest streaming week of the year, and third largest streaming week ever. “KOD” is J. Cole’s fifth consecutive No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, following the albums “4 Your Eyez Only”, “2014 Forest Hills Drive”, “Born Sinner” and “Cole World: The Sideline Story.” Before Donald Glover retires his Childish Gambino alter ego, he’ll embark on an arena tour where he’ll be joined by Rae Sremuurd, as announced last month. Today, the rapper/actor announced additional tour dates which will extend the North American leg of the tour into October and include Long Beach’s Vince Staples. Pre-sale tickets will be available tomorrow. Tickets will be available to the general public on May 4.
Mario Mims, known professionally as Yo Gotti, is an American rapper/songwriter. Born on May 19, 1981, he began his music career at the age of 14, performing under the stage name Lil Yo. He released several independent albums between 2000-2006. After several delays, he released his debut album, “Live From The Kitchen”, on January 10, 2012. The albums “I Am” (2013), “The Art Of Hustle” (2016) and “I Still Am” (2017) all came later.
Karly Marina Loaiza, known professionally as Kali Uchis, is a Colombian-American singer/songwriter/poet/record producer/music video director/fashion designer. In 2017, she was nominated for a Latin Grammy for “Record of the Year” and was nominated for “Best R&B Performance” for her duet with Daniel Ceasar “Get You” at the 60th annual Grammy awards. Born on July 17, 1993, she began her career after being introduced to music production and video editing while in high school. She released her debut mixtape “Drunken Babble” on August 1, 2012. The project put the singer’s doo wop, reggae and R&B influences on display. She collaborated with rapper Snoop Dogg on the single “On Edge.” A short time later, she debuted her first in studio performance of the single “Never Be Yours”on the music pod cast Kinda Neat. She released the album “Isolation” in 2018.
Pop/R&B superstar Chris Brown has delivered the unreleased track “All Night.” The single comes after the release of Brown’s 2017 album “Heartbreak On A Full Moon.” Although the track wasn’t included on the album, it joins the list of other hits Brown has recorded over the years. Brown is set to hit the road this summer with fellow artists H.E.R., 6lack and Rich The Kid on the “Heartbreak On A Full Moon Tour.” R&B crooner Eric Bellinger has been on a roll since the beginning of the year. From one release to the next, it’s been full steam ahead since the release of his debut album “Eazy Call.” Now, he’s released the single and visual “Main Thang”, a collaboration with rapper Dom Kennedy. The clip finds the two in Los Angles roller rink World on Wheels before heading over to Venice Beach. In between verses, Bellinger introduces his alter ego Eazy. Bellinger serenades the ladies while Dom delivers his clever rhymes. Fans should check this one out. Making her directorial debut, Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Kali Uchis switches hats to having all hands on deck for “Get Up”, which plays as a self-directed video for the singles “Gotta Get Up” and “Body Language.” Both tracks appear on Uchis’ debut album “Isolation”. The project also includes the singles “After The Storm”, “Nuestro Planeta” and “Tyrant.” In the clip, the singer is shown attending her own funeral, which later leads her into the afterlife where she swims in a pool and dances in the rain. The video follows Uchis’ performance at the Coachella Music Festival and “The Tonight Show.” Rising R&B songstress Ella Mai has seen her career gain quite a bit of momentum following the release of her single “Boo’d Up”, taken from her third EP “Ready.” During an interview with Billboard, the singer indicated that the song’s nostalgic feel and catchy chorus are the reasons for its popularity. In the clip, Mai and her “boo” enjoy a night out with friends at an adventure park, where they play mini golf and ride bumper cars. Singer Khalid makes a cameo appearance as part of the date night crew. Mai is currently in the studio working on her debut album, which will be produced by Mustard. Rapper Post Malone’s latest studio effort “Beerbongs & Bentleys” is now available on streaming platforms everywhere. With his duet with 21 Savage “Rockstar” on airwaves across the country, the rapper has had a high profile, having appeared on “Ghost Adventures” in addition to performing at the Coachella Music Festival. The singles “Psyco” and “Candy Paint” appear on the new album as well. Fans looking forward to seeing rapper Cardi B will have to wait. The rapper took to Instagram on Wednesday to announce that she’ll be cancelling dates on her forthcoming tour due to her pregnancy. No word on when or if the dates will be rescheduled.
Whodini is an American hip hop group which rose to prominence during the 1980s. The trio, which was formed in 1981 in Brooklyn, New York, consisted of rappers Jalil Hutchins and John “Ecstasy” Fletcher and DJ Drew “Grandmaster Dee” Carter. They were contemporaries of the Fat Boys, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Afrik Bambaataa and Warp 9. They were managed by Russell Simmons, brother of Joseph “Run” Simmons of Run-DMC. In 1982, the group signed with London based Jive Records where they enjoyed a string of hits, most of which charted on urban and R&B radio stations. The bulk of their material was produced by Larry Smith, a bassist who handled some of Run-DMC’s early work. In 1983, they released their debut self titled album. The project featured the single “Haunted House Of Rock”, which was a Halloween themed effort that is still played in clubs today. Their next single was “Magic’s Wand.” It was originally an advertisement for DJ Mr. Magic, who worked for New York station WBLS. “Magic’s Wand” is also one of Whodini’s most sampled songs. In 1984, they released their sophomore effort, “Escape.” It featured the singles “Five Minutes Of Funk”, “The Freaks Come Out At Night” and “Big Mouth.” In 1986, the group released “Back In Black.” Several songs received heavy radio airplay, including “Funky Beat”, the controversial “I’m A Ho” and “Fugitive.” The albums “Open Sesame” (1987), “Bag-a-Trix” (1991) and “Six” (1996) came later.
Roy Ayers is a jazz, funk and soul composer and musician. Born on September 10, 1940 in Los Angeles, he grew up in a musical family where his father played trombone and his mother played piano. At the age of five, he was given his first set of vibraphone mallets by Lionel Hampton. He began his career as a sideman in 1962 and rose to prominence after leaving City College to join flutist Herbie Mann’s band in 1966. In the early 1970s, Ayers formed his own band Ubiquity. He chose the name because it means the state of being everywhere at the same time. Ayers released several albums on Atlantic Records before leaving for Polydor Records. During that time, he pioneered jazz-funk. He is well known for the compositions “Everybody Loves The Sunshine” and “Searchin.” He also has more sampled material by rappers than any other artist.