March 10, 2014 10:25 AM ET| Billy Johnson, Jr.
March 9 is a sad day for Notorious B.I.G. fans. It's the anniversary of his 1997 death to a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. But producer David Catalano has given the late rap star's followers a reason to smile.On Sunday, Catalano released "Nasty Boy," the sixth episode of his hilarious webisode series "The Smalls Family." For the new segment, characters Tess Strohm (Katie Smalls), James Hook (Big Poppa) and Jill Bresnahan (Step Momma Smalls) transform Biggie's boastful freaky... | More »
March 6, 2014 11:30 AM ET| Wendy Geller
Inglewood, Calif.-bred rapper Damani Nkosi is one of the few artists out there with an authentically self-made pedigree: Raised with a passion for the culture, he worked his way through Los Angeles's hip-hop underground, eventually attracting attention from some of the scene's biggest and brightest. He's worked with greats including Dr. Dre and Swizz Beatz, released a mixtape in 2002, traveled abroad, and is currently shaping up to release his first independent album. So... | More »
February 27, 2014 11:33 AM ET| Billy Johnson, Jr.
Hopefully, ScHoolboy Q will create a short for his 7-minute, two-part song "Prescription/Oxymoron." The vivid storytelling describes his character's love affair with medications.In the first verse from the song on his Top Dawg Entertainment / Interscope album "Oxymoron" out Tuesday, ScHoolboy rattles off a list of prescription drugs of choice – Percocet, Adderall, Xanax and Codeine – before describing the enabling effects.ScHoolboy talks being disoriented, stressed and restle... | More »
February 24, 2014 10:43 AM ET
The new soul, pop, rock singer debuted Tuesday the video for his infectious booming ballad, "Gimme Your Love," a song about instant attraction. While the lyrics describe bliss in standard terms ("Something about the way you're looking tonight, Took my breath away at first sight"), his pacing, emotive delivery makes him distinct. The video's surprisingly mysterious, dark and science-fiction backstory adds even more textures. Here's nine reasons why the "Gimme Your Love" video... | More »
February 11, 2014 11:10 AM ET| Billy Johnson, Jr.
Jazz trumpeter Dontae Winslow's new album "Enter the Dynasty" includes an amazing cover of an R&B classic – Brandy's 2002 hit "He Is." Yahoo Music offers a first listen to the track via an exclusive preview. Dontae's rendition, recorded with "He Is" songwriter Warryn Campbell, still captures the original gospel pianos but uses his instrument to replicate Brandy's vocals. This new version released Tuesday (ironically, Brandy's 35th birthday) is a bit mor... | More »
February 7, 2014 9:55 AM ET| Billy Johnson, Jr.
Props for pioneering southern rap group 2 Live Crew are long overdue. Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the Miami-based group's third album, As Nasty As They Wanna Be, a recording that broke ground on many levels – in album sales, censorship, and entrepreneurship. Even though frontman Luther "Uncle Luke" Campbell points out the group has never received a music award (except for a Hip Hop Honors nod) – no Grammy, BET or Soul Train recognition – it's not to lat... | More »
January 30, 2014 3:30 PM ET| Billy Johnson, Jr.
On a preview clip of "Do Girls" that leaked on SoundCloud Wednesday, beloved New York rapper Theophilus London raps about having a fling with a woman who is in a lesbian relationship. The leak came without notice. The snippet has not been confirmed as an official single or song from his Vibes album due out this year. Over fluttering synthesized guitars, a haunting bass groove, and subtle kick drums and hi hats, Theo boasts of his macking skills, rhyming, "She told me that she only do girls ... | More »
January 20, 2014 12:20 PM ET| Billy Johnson, Jr.
Who doesn't like surprises? Arsenio Hall Show viewers received a good treat Thursday when famed 1990's hip-hop superstars Kid 'N Play made an appearance. Here are 5 things new rappers could learn from the veterans: 1. Be Creative - Yes, the intro was cheesy – Kid 'N Play making a unannounced outburst from the back of the audience, teasing Arsenio about the about the lack of VIP treatment – but it was a surprise and a pleasant one. 2. Stay Focused – I... | More »
January 7, 2014 10:05 AM ET| Billy Johnson, Jr.
Jay Z and Beyoncé's baby girl Blue Ivy Carter is growing up fast. On Tuesday, the darling toddler turns 2 years old. But instead of spending her time engaging in typical Terrible Twos antics, Blue is busy collaborating on music with her parents and offering her father A&R advice. Her 5 most notable credits thus far in her brief career: 1. She Made Singing Debut on "Beyoncé" Album A mother-daughter collaboration was inevitable. So it should come as no surprise that Be... | More »
January 6, 2014 10:05 AM ET
Having a little trouble easing back into the work/school routine after the holidays? Here's just the thing to take the edge off...or, at least put you in a more mellow state of mind! Knight Blade, a new dancehall/hip-hop/rock outfit featuring Jamaica's The Mighty Casey, released their debut single "I Got That Weed" in mid-2013 to much fanfare -- and yes, lest you wonder, they are talking about everyone's favorite (illegal or legal, depending on where you are) substance. ... | More »