It has been quiet out of the Ben-Abs camp lately. I think he took a page out of Fabolous’ playbook as he has been making more moves and making less announcements. Well on Friday (1/15/16), Ben-Abs announced new track entitled “Elevate”, which was accompanied with visuals as well. This song serves as a blue print for how Ben-Abs, and other believers, elevate out of their struggles. The blueprint is that whatever trials and tribulations you may face, it is imperative to put it in God’s hands. As much as we think we can do it by ourself, we simply cannot. The track was produced and mixed by Ky the Don, who hails from the City of Brotherly Love. After witnessing the chemistry these two have, I hope this duo continues to make music together. It was like they were feeding off of each other to create a masterpiece.
Posted below are links to the visuals for “Elevate” and behind the scenes footage for the making of “Elevate”.
Elevate Music Videos
Behind the Scenes Footage for Elevate
With the release of Jay Rock ‘s project 90059 we now have a full body of work from the T.D.E. collective. Top Dawg Entertainment (Aka T.D.E.) is arguably one of the better hip-hop labels in the game. During T.D.E’s December 2013 announcement there was a tentative expectation for 6 high-end albums. In February, Isaiah Rashad released his debut project, Cilvia Demo. He had features from fellow T.D.E. members S.Z.A., Jay Rock, and Schoolboy Q. The album paid homage to Scarface with the song Brad Jordan (His legal name) and P. Miller brother Kevin Miller with the self-titled song. Schoolboy Q also released Oxymoron that same month too. Oxymoron was all over the place that visited various aspects of Q’s life. My favorite track had to have been the intro track that was gritty and was worthy of the title “ Gangsta”. It seemed like T.D.E. was off to a good start to the 2014 year. Next up was Sza continuing her series of projects named Z. With her previous project being named S it is apparent that she is going to continue the name based series. Z was a very smooth album that with features from Chance the rapper and Kendrick Lamar. After April, we saw 3 of the promised 6 albums. Later that June we saw Ab-Soul release These Days. This album was no Control System, but a solid release with one of my favorite songs of the year in Stigmata. The album visited a troubling time in Soul’s life when he lost the love of his life in Alori Joh. Sadly this was the last release of the 2014 Calendar year. All that was missing was Kendrick and Jay Rock. After a long layoff we were blessed with the release of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly in March of 2015. The groundbreaking album received nothing but love from music experts earning the rare 10 from the Needledrop. Many will say it was worth the wait. This album compiled all the elements of a perfect album. The best part of this album was the song u and Alright. In u Kendrick told us he almost committed suicide. In the very next track he tells us that amidst all the animosity “but if God got us then we gon to be alright.” Let’s not forget that he interviews Tupac, not only bringing together the album but also ties up some loose ends to his previous album Good Kid MAAD City. Fast forward to the present and we have the new Jay Rock album 90059, which contains a Black Hippy (a combination of Kdot, Schoolboy Q, Soulo and Jay Rock) track. One unique feature about this album is that it is the first album to include all six members of the T.D.E. crew. Now that all six albums are here rap fans are asking what’s next. The only thing that is left is what one might say is a super tour. The T.D.E. collective takes there show on the road. They have all performed together on the same stage in LA before why not take their talents across the world. Imagine the electricity in the arena’s as each artist performs hit after hit. Sza would kick it off with her good vibes and positive energy. Isaiah Rashad would be up next bringing his southern influence to the stage. Next would be Jay Rock adding a certain grittiness to the audience. Then we will have Ab-Soul educate us with his intellectual wordplay. Q will definitely be a sight to see what type of bucket hat he spots that night. Lastly, we will be blessed by Kendrick putting on a show that no one will be ready for. All in all, as a collective nobody could come close to the energy, lyrics, bars and just straight musical talents that the T.D.E. crew presents. So Top Dawg, please give us rap fans a tour that will leave us wanting more.
It’s crazy that people you see everyday have talents that you would never expect. Ben-Abs just happens to be that guy to me. Whenever he would tell me that he could rap I would just brush it off, like “O.K. If you say so.” It really hit me a couple of weeks ago when we had a meeting with all the people he wanted around him as he his career started. What really threw me for a loop is when his manager told me he was one of the people who played a part in one of DC’s most prominent rappers. Now Ben-Abs isn’t your prototypical rapper. He doesn’t flaunt expensive jewelry; make it know that he always has a foreign joint by his side. The difference with Abs is that he isn’t selling dreams but keeping it real. Last night was my first time in the studio as apart of the Ben-Abs team and I can say I’m thoroughly impressed. The flow is there, he definitely has bars and conceptually he is one of a kind. As the session was winding down, DJ Flexx pops in. He rallied his troops similar to Gerard Butler in 300. The whole vibe was elevated to another level. Man, we are really ready for what’s up next. Just as a fan of rap its dope knowing that you are witnessing an artist start his journey in the game. Now it’s time to see where this journey is going to take him.
.Last night Joey took the stage on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon backed by the legendary band The Roots. He performed a song from his upcoming album B4.da.$$ entitled “Like Me”. This track was produced by J Dilla and posthumously giving to Joey. BJ the Chicago Kid lends his vocals on the track as well. This performance was amazing on all levels. Sonically The Roots added great instrumentation which will be featured on the album. Lyrically you can see Joey’s maturation from his first appearance two years ago on Fallon’s Late Night Show. This performance served as a preview to what B4.da.$$ has to offer and if it is anything like the performance we are in for a treat. The link to the performance is below and be sure to support the project when it drops Jan. 20
Joey Bada$$ Performs “Like Me”
Over the past week Logic released the cover art for his debut LP “Under Pressure” and earlier today he announced via his twitter account that it will be released on Oct. 21. For those who don’t know, Logic is a Maryland based rapper who is a refreshing face to the rap game. I have high hopes for this project simply because of his previous work and the artwork for the LP just looks like we are going to be laced with lyrics from this youngster.
Also, MMG rapper Stalley annouced he has a project coming out this fall as well. The Ohio rapper was on the The Breakfast Club last Friday to announce the release date and album title. The LP is entitled “Ohio” and is set to be released on Oct. 28. This LP is going to be a good based on his previous projects and in my opinion he delivers the best lyrics in the Maybach Music Group. Artwork for Logic’s project is above and link to the Stalley’s interview.
The MMG rapper Wale is back with a new installment of his Seinfeld based series. This project will be the first album of the series entitled “The Album About Nothing.” I’m excited to see that Wale is going back to About Nothing series being that they brought him to the top and it doesn’t hurt that “More About Nothing” was my favorite Wale project. On Monday he released a trailer for the album and a new song with Jeremiah “The Body”. A release date was not giving but it is expected to drop this Fall. Links to the song and trailer are posted below.
On this past Saturday Issa Gold of The Underachievers rap duo released his first solo project as an Ep entitled ” Conversations With A Butterfly”. The EP includes eight tracks that keeps you thinking throughout the project. The timing of this project is interesting because it is a few days perform the Underachievers are set to release their debut album “The Cellar Door” on August 12. The UA have all the potential in the world with how they flow effortless over beats and i can’t wait to see where it takes them.