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Inside The Industry

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Dreamville Records signee Ari Lennox has released two singles, “40 Shades Of Choke” and “Grampa”, both of which  highlight her growth as an artist. Produced by Melo-X, “40 Shades Of Choke” is a bit more risque than what fans have become accustomed to hearing from Ari, but the funky production and sensual vibe maintain her persona. “Grampa” is harsher lyrically, but contains a traditional R&B vibe. The new singles follow the music video “Whipped Cream”, a song that touches on the frustrating, haunting thoughts of an ex. Back in July, it was reported that Sade and her band were back in the studio. While it’s unclear when her new album will be available, Sade has released the single “The Big Unknown.” “The Big Unknown” was recorded for British director Steve McQueen’s new film “Widows.” “Widow”, from Twentieth Century Fox, Regency Enterprises and See-Saw Films, is a feature length adaptation of the UK television series of the same name. It opened in UK theaters on November 6, 2018. The new album will be Sade’s first release since 2010’s “Solider Of Love”, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with first week sales of 502,000 copies. Singer Tiffany Evans returns to the airwaves with the single “Switch Up”, a powerful number that finds her putting herself first and living her best life. “Switch Up” is Evans’ first release since her 2015 EP “All Me”, which reached the top 10  on the iTunes R&B Albums Chart. In 2017, Evans collaborated with T-Pain on the single “Texting My Ex”, which appears on his album “Oblivion.” Evans is currently working on her forthcoming project, which will be released in 2019. Female Afrobeat artist Nedessy has released the video for her new single “Bazooka”, a song that sees her delivering baggadocious lyrics about her body parts. As Afrobeat continues to gain popularity in mainstream America, Davido, Wizkid and Runtown remain the premiere artists at the top of the genre. Needless to say, Nedessy intends to change that. Born in Paris, France and currently residing in the Washington, DC/Metro area, Nedessy offers a profound perspective on Afrobeat by blending Hip Hop, Trap and EDM. Her songwriting is exceptional. She has received several awards for her writing, including the International Songwriters Award from L”institute Francais du Marco. She plays three instruments, including piano. Afrobeat enthusiasts have compared her to 80’s Hip Hop icon Roxanne Shante. Much like that  legendary female MC at the time of her reign, Nedessy is a new female artist in a genre dominated by men. Men that many believe she can outperform. Singer/actress Serayah, of the hit Fox television series “Empire”, returns with the visual for her new single “”Lost & Found.” On the track, the songstress delivers lush vocals about her state of mind, indicating that she’s not bothered by irrelevant things around her. The accompanying music video expands on the that mindset as she’s shown recording music, celebrating with friends and enjoying California beach weather. Best known for her role as Tiana Brown, the Fox series “Empire” recently wrapped up its fourth season. Serayah is a talented actress and singer. Her single “Driving Me” was released in August 2017 and was featured on an episode of the hit series “Grown-ish.” Serayah went on to release the singles “You Told Me”, “GTTM (Going Through The Motions)” and “Addicted” in 2018. Rising Hip Hop star Yxng Bane has just released the mixtape “HBK (Heartbreak Kid).” The 14-track project touches on what was going on in the 22-year-old’s life in 2017. He has had massive success with several singles. In 2017, his remix of the Ed Sheeran’s “Shape Of You” went viral. He continued the momentum with the single “Rihanna”, which received 23.9 million views on You Tube. At the same time, “Bestie”, a collaboration with Yungen, reached the Top 10 on the UK songs chart. In July, Bane released the joint project “Any Minute Now” with D-Block Europe.

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Hip Hop Spotlight: Yacht Club-Lil Yachty

This song is the property of Quality  Control Music LLC.

Miles Parks McCollum, known professionally as Lil Yachty, is an American rapper/singer/songwriter from Atlanta, GA. McCollum rose to prominence in December 2015 when the Soundcloud version of his single “One Night” was used in a viral comedy video. In February 2016, McCollum appeared as a model for rapper Kanye West’s Yeezy fashion line at Madison Square Garden. In March 2016, McCollum released his debut mixtape “Lil Boat.” McCollum also collaborated with DRAM and Chance The Rapper. On May 26, 2017, McCollum released his debut album “Teenage Emotions.” McCollum has released the albums “Lil Boat 2” (2018) and “Nothing 2 Prove” (2018).

R&B Spotlight: Excuse Me-Ro James

This song is the property of ByStorm Entertainment/RCA Records.

Ronnie James Tucker, known professionally as Ro James, is a German singer/songwriter. Tucker sang throughout his childhood, but never in public. He moved to New York, where he was influenced by his aunt Rosie Gaines, a former member of Prince & The New Power Generation. His love of the album “Purple Rain” lead to Tucker entering the studio at age 19. He composed the single “Portrait”, which lead to credit on the single “Use Me” by Miguel after forming a bond with him via MySpace. Tucker performed in and around New York City with Luke James and Wynter Gordon. In 2013, he released his first EP, a three part series titled “Coke, Jack And Cadillacs.” Each part represented important themes in his life; his first love, his first drink and his first car. His debut album, “Eldorado”, was released on May 27, 2016. Tucker’s sophomore effort is due out next year.

Inside The Industry

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Following the singles “You Give” and “Link Up”, R&B songstress Coline Creuzot returns with the music video “”You Got It.” The stripped down guitar driven track was so-written by Coline and Sam Hook. On the track, Creuzot delivers lush, soulful vocals about freeing your mind, body and soul, and letting love work without distractions. The accompanying music video, shot by Crime City Films, shows Creuzot in a flowing dress as she brings viewers the emotions behind the song behind a microphone. Anderson.Paak continues to create a buzz around his new album, “Oxnard”, which will be released next week. Following the single “Tints”, a collaboration with rapper Kendrick Lamar, the crooner returns with “Who Are U?”, produced by Dr. Dre and Mell.  On the track, the artist uses a rap/sing style. Anderson’s forthcoming album, “Oxnard”, due out on Nov. 16, will feature 14 songs, and  serve as the last offering in his beach series. The project features special guest appearances from J. Cole, Pusha T. , Q-Tip, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, who serves as executive producer. Bay Area pop/R&B crooner Marc E. Bassy has released the video for his single “Love Her Too”, a duet with Bay Area rapper G-Eazy. The clip features scantily clad models as the singer/songwriter/producer conveys his message about having a relationship with two women at the same time. “Love Her Too” will appear on Marc’s new EP “Postmodern Depression”, a prelude to his forthcoming sophomore effort, due out in 2019. Marc rose to prominence in 2016 with the release of his debut album “Groovy People.” The album contained the singles “Morning”, “Dirty Water” and “You & Me.” He later released the album “Gossip Columns”, which featured the single “Plot Twist”, a duet with Kyle. He went on to co-headline the “Bebe &  Bassy Tour” with Bebe Rexha and launched  “The Gossip Columns Tour”, selling out venues across the country. DK3 member Dawn Richard has announced the upcoming album “New Breed”, the follow up to her trilogy projects “Goldenheart” (2013), “Blackheart” (2015) and “Redemptionheart” (2016). The forthcoming album, due out on Jan. 25, 2019, will draw inspiration from Dawn’s upbringing in New Orleans. “New Breed” contains the lead single, “Jealousy”, and the title track. The 10-track project, which was self-produced, pays tribute to New Orleans culture, sights and sounds. The album contains traditional R&B and Dawn’s own electronic sounds, and features contributions from Cole M.G.N., Kaveh Rastegar and Hudson Mohawke. Dawn is currently on tour with Danity Kane and Kimbra through early January. Ro James returns to the airwaves with the music video for his new single, “Excuse Me.” In the clip, directed by Grant Guratola, the crooner shares his  heartache while other scenes highlight lost love. James put a spotlight on  his ex as he reminisces about what use to be. Initially released on Aug. 10, “Excuse Me” will appear on Ro’s forthcoming sophomore effort, due out early next year via Bystorm Ent/RCA Records. Rising hip hop star JBANS is poised to become one of rap’s hottest new talents with the release of  his debut mixtape “Sail Or Sink.” The project features special guest appearances from Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Pump, Offset, Quavo, Smooky Margiella, Blackbear, Duwap Kaine, K Surpreme and mentor Lil Yachty. Fans should check this one out.

Throwback Thursday Hip Hop: Pump It Up-MC Hammer

This song is the property of Capitol Records.

Stanely Kirk Burrell, known professionally as MC Hammer, is an American rapper/dancer/record producer/entrepreneur from Oakland, CA. Before his rise to fame, Burrell formed a Christian rap group called Holy Ghost Boys. In the mid-1980s while rapping in small venues and after a record deal went sour, Burrell  borrowed $20,000 from Oakland As players Mike Davis and Dwayne Murphy to start a record label called Bust It Productions. He kept the company afloat by selling tapes out of his basement and car. Bust It later became Busting Records, an independent label of which Burrell was CEO. Under the name MC Hammer, he released his debut album “”Feel My Power”, which was produced between 1986 and 1987. After some success as an independent artist, Burrell signed with Capitol Records. Burrell released his debut album, “Let’s Get It Started”, in 1988. The album featured the singles “Pump It Up”, “Ring Em”, “Turn This Mutha Out” and “They Put Me In The Mix.” His sophomore effort, “Please Hammer Don’t Hurt Em”,  was released in 1990. It included the singles “You Can’t Touch This”, “Have You Seen Her” and “Pray.” He went on to release the albums “Too Legit To Quit” (1991), “The Funky Headhunter” (1994), “Inside Out” (1995), “Family Affair” (1998), “Active Duty” (2001), “Full Blast” (2004), “Look Look Look” (2006) and “Dance Jam The Music” (2009).

Throwback Thursday R&B: There’ll Never Be-Switch

This song is the property of Universal Motown Records Group.

Switch is an R&B band that rose to prominence during the 1970s. Switch was formed in December 1976 in Mansfield, OH by Gregory Williams. The band’s original lineup consisted of Williams, brothers Bobby and Tommy DeBarge, Philip Ingram, Jody Sims and Eddie Fluellen. The group’s name stems from their ability to switch instruments and lead singers during different songs. The band recorded a demo tape, which they gave to Jermaine Jackson, a former member of The Jackson 5, and Hazel Gordy. Within weeks, the group was signed to Motown Records. The band released their self-titled debut album  in 1978. The album’s first single, “There’ll Never Be”, was a Top 40 hit and peaked at #36. Their sophomore effort, “Switch 2”, contained the singles “I Call Your Name”, “Love Over And Over Again” and “Best Beat In Town.” The group also released the albums “This Is My Dream” and “Reaching For Tomorrow.” Their final Motown album, “Switch V”, was released in 1981. Shortly thereafter, the DeBarge brothers left the group to mentor their younger siblings in the group DeBarge and Philip Ingram left to pursue a solo career. Switch then added Renard Gallo, Gonzales Ozen and Phil Upchurch Jr. as replacements. The group recorded one album for Total Experience Records titled “Am I Still Your Boyfriend.” In 1991, Motown Records released a greatest hits compilation on the group. Lead singer Bobby DeBarge died of AIDS related complications on August 16, 1995 at age 39. Switch has since reunited with Williams, Fluellen, Ingram, original sessions/on stage guitars Michael McGloiry and new lead singer Akili Nickson.

Hip Hop Spotlight: Big Bank-YG Ft. 2 Chainz, Big Sean & Nicki Minaj

This song is the property of Def Jam Recordings.

Keenan Daequan Ray Jackson, known professionally as YG, is an American rapper from Compton, CA. Jackson’s stage name stands for Young Gangster. Jackson released his debut album “My Krazy Life” on March 18, 2014. Jackson has released the albums “Blame It On The Streets” (2014), “Still Brazy” (2016) and “Stay Dangerous” (2018).

R&B Spotlight: Canceled-Bryson Tiller

This song is the property of Trap Soul/RCA Records.

Bryson Tiller is an American singer/rapper/songwriter from Louisville, KY. Tiller’s career began after he uploaded the single “Don’t” to his Soundcloud account, which received internet attention from music industry insiders. It was released via iTunes in May 2015, and became the lead single from his debut album. Tiller released his debut album, “Trapsoul”, on October 2, 2015. In January 2017, Tiller was included on Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30”, a list that showcases entrepreneurs, entertainers,  and celebrities who have  made a name for themselves before reaching the age of 30. On June 23, 2017, Tiller released his sophomore effort “True To Self.” Tiller recently announced that his third studio album, “Serenity”, is due out in 2019.