Run The Jewels didn’t go walking in a winter wonderland for Christmas. Their “Walking In The Snow” video, which they premiered on Tuesday, runs deeper than that. Killer Mike and El-P’s action figures transform from being one mother’s Christmas present by day to vigilantes by night when tyrannical snow soldiers and their ice king slither out from underneath a child’s bed and wreak havoc on the cardboard city and its toy residents, symbolic of police brutality against Black Americans. “Walking In The Snow” is taken from their album “RTJ4”, which they released ahead of schedule in June timed with the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in May. Watch the “Walking In The Snow Video” below.
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If you listened to R&B radio in 1980, you no doubt grooved to one of the smoothest soul songs of that year, a cover of The Intruders classic “Together” by the Los Angeles based Latino band Tierra. I am sad to report that the band’s founder and leader, Rudy Salas, has died. He was 71. The sad news was posted on Tierra’s Facebook page. After working as members of the group El Chicano, Rudy and Steve Salas formed Teirra in the early 1970s as a full bodied R&B band, along with Rudy Villa, Kenny Roman, Conrad Lazano, Aaron Ballesteros, Alfred Rubaclava and Leon Bisquera. They recorded a few albums that had regional success, but broke through in 1980 with a harmony filled remake of the 1967 Intruders hit “Together”, which had a piece of “Cowboys To Girls” thrown in at the end. It became the group’s signature song, hitting the upper registers of both the pop and R&B charts. Tierra followed the effort with a cover of the Delfonics classic “La La Means I Love You.” The band continued with some moderately successful hits in the 1990s, before breaking off into two groups. However, in the new century, Tierra found new life, recording occasionally and performing often, particularly in California. In 2016, the group, which sadly has lost several members to death, released “Merry Christmas My Love.” Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic substantially hurt Tierra, leaving members without gigs, and leading to a GoFundMe effort for the band. Over the past decade there has been a newfound appreciation for Tierra’s pioneering work bridging R&B and Latin styles and opening doors for Latino artists to have a place in pop and R&B formats. Rudy Salas’ legacy will live on for decades to come. May he rest in peace.
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Reginald “Reggie” Noble, known professionally as Redman, is an American rapper/DJ/producer/actor from Newark, New Jersey. He rose to prominence in the early 1990s as an artist on the Def Jam label. He is known for his collaborations with rapper Method Man, as one-half of the duo Method Man and Redman, including their roles in films and television sitcoms. He was also a member of the Def Squad in the late 1990s. He has released the albums “Whut? The Album” (1992), “Dare Iz A Darkside” (1994), “Muddy Waters” (1996), “Doc’s Da Name 2000” (1998), “Malpractice” (2001), “Red Gone Wild: Thee Album” (2007), “Reggie” (2010) and “Mudface” (2015).
The Invisible Man’s Band was an American R&B group from Chicago, IL. The band consisted of brothers Clarence, Dennis, James and Keni Burke, all former members of The Five Stairsteps, best known for their 1970 hit “Ooh Child.” The group’s highest charting single under this moniker was the dance single “All Night Thing”, which was released via Mango Records. The song peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard R&B chart in the spring of 1980. Their album, “The Invisible Man’s Band”, was released in summer 1980.
DDG pays the price for letting a significant other in too early into the relationship in the music video for “Let You In”, which he released on Sunday. The 23-year-old rapper meanders around Malibu Beach on his own in the scenic visual directed by @LewisYouNasty. While lamenting about the relationship, DDG unloads the struggles stemming from both parties and ultimately revels in the riches he’s left with. During an interview with Audiomack DDG revealed that his past as a You Tube content creator impacted his subsequent career as a rapper. Watch the music video for “Let You In” below.
Young Thug and Lil Wayne’s feud is water under the bridge, and now Young Thug is challenging his former rival to a Verzuz battle. During an interview on the Million Dollaz Worth Of Game podcast, the rapper revealed that Wayne is his dream opponent for Timbaland and Swizz Beatz’s popular streaming series, as they are comparable in cultural influence. The duo’s beef stems back to when they met. Hopefully they’ll settle their differences soon. The Verzuz battle is one I’m sure fans would love to see.
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Demond Price, known professionally as Conway The Machine, is an American rapper from Buffalo, New York. He is part of Griselda Records along with his brother Westside Gunn and cousin Benny The Butcher. He recently released his debut album “From King To A God.”
RAAHiiM is a singer/songwriter based in Toronto, Canada. He recently released the nine track album “ii Knew it Better.” The album includes the singles “You Love Me” and “Who Is He.” The project features the production work of Nineteen85, who also worked with Drake.