• Common Uses 'Nobody's Smiling' to Address Chicago Violence

    July 24, 2014 11:00 AM ET
     |  Billy Johnson, Jr.

    Common and his longtime producer No I.D. made an agreement to use his new album, Nobody's Smiling, to address the violence that is plaguing their hometown of Chicago.This week, the city anticipates confirmation that the Department of Justice would dispatch more Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents to help combat the gun violence that has made national headlines."I keep hearing about people dying and the violence that's going on. I feel like it's my responsibility, and our resp...  | More »

  • Video: SZA Joins Kendrick Lamar and Mac Miller

    June 24, 2014 3:00 PM ET

    New Jersey-bred SZA was raised on a healthy music diet of Wu-Tang Clan and jazz, hence her stage name is fashioned after the Wu frontman RZA. Since being recruited to be the first lady of Kendrick Lamar's Top Dawg Entertainment, the artist born Solana Rowe has generated a buzz with her EPs, See.SZA.Run, S, and Z, the latter released last April.In May, TDE celebrated Z with a live event at the Red Bull Studios LA where SZA performed the entire set, bringing two special guests on stage wit...  | More »

  • Video: Jo Mersa Marley's 'Comfortable' Remix

    June 6, 2014 11:30 AM ET

    Bob Marley would be proud of his grandson Jo Mersa, Stephan Marley's eldest son. He's been honing his talents as a songwriter and producer since he was 11 years old, has toured with his family, and is releasing his debut EP Comfortable next Tuesday, June 10.Yahoo Music is excited to premiere Jo's "Comfortable Remix" from the EP, released on the Marley's Ghetto Youths International (GYI) imprint. The slick dancehall track incorporates hip-hop scratching, a melodic Auto-Tune...  | More »

  • Lupe Fiasco Creates Booming Anti-Cancer Anthem, 'Mission'

    May 22, 2014 12:25 PM ET
     |  Billy Johnson, Jr.

    Songs with philanthropic messages are typically somber, though triumphant, power ballads. But Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco has instead created a booming, bold declarative hip-hop anthem "Mission" for those who have survived cancer or are still batting the disease.The first single from his fifth studio album, Tetsuo & Youth, due out this summer, tells the stories of a woman with breast cancer, a seven-year-old with Lymphoma, and a man who learned of his ailment at a late stage. Written in a ...  | More »

  • Video:  See It First: Michelle Williams' 'Fire'

    May 9, 2014 5:42 PM ET

    It's been 10 years since Destiny's Child released its last studio album, "Destiny Fulfilled," and member Michelle Williams has yet to take a break. Her third album, "Unexpected," came out in 2008, and she's starred in back-to-back stage productions, "The Color Purple," "Chicago," "Fela," and has just signed on to join the national tour of "Jesus Christ Superstar."Though Williams loves theater, she is stoked to unveil this fall her fourth studio album, "Journey to Freedom." On F...  | More »

  • Why August Alsina's 'Testimony' Isn't Very Happy

    April 30, 2014 11:05 AM ET
     |  Billy Johnson, Jr.

    August Alsina's debut album, "Testimony," debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album chart, but he hasn't had a chance to consider the significance of that feat."Honestly, I haven't had time to stop and really get my thoughts together, I've been moving around so much lately," the "I Luv This" singer tells Yahoo Music during a telephone interview the day the chart ranking is released. "It's kinda the wack part about this s---, that you don't really have the oppor...  | More »

  • Video: Future Thanks Rico Wade

    April 23, 2014 3:30 PM ET

    Future has a long history with Outkast, so it's no surprise that the Atlanta rapper — who releases his sophomore album, "Honest," on Tuesday — played a 10-minute set during the legendary MCs' comeback concert at the opening weekend of the Coachella Music Festival earlier this month.Future was able to watch Big Boi and André 3000's rise to superstardom from behind the scenes, thanks to his big cousin, Rico Wade, whose Organized Noize production outfit is respo...  | More »

  • Mali Music Offers 'Beautiful' Acoustic Performance

    April 11, 2014 4:52 PM ET
     |  Billy Johnson, Jr.

    Mali Music is one of the most promising soul singers to emerge in the last decade and he has the accolades to prove it. When he performed his single "Beautiful" on "American Idol" in March, he wooed judge Jennifer Lopez and had members of the audience standing on their feet.Mali Music has also appeared on "The Queen Latifah Show" and received critical praise from the Los Angeles Times and BET.Because Yahoo Music has been covering him for years, we are especially honored to premiere an acousti...  | More »

  • Run-DMC, Hip-Hop's Greatest Trio, Was Almost a One-Man Show

    March 26, 2014 10:55 AM ET
     |  Billy Johnson, Jr.

    Run-DMC, hip-hop's most famous rap trio, was almost a solo act. Darryl "DMC" McDaniels had to win the approval of the group's manager to secure his spot, the Rock and Roll Hall of fame inductee told Yahoo Music Wednesday on the eve of the 30th anniversary of Run-DMC's self-titled debut album. DMC's revelation is surprising, considering the group's massive success. Along with Joseph "Run" Simmons and their late DJ, Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizell, Run-DMC's self-t...  | More »

  • See Notorious B.I.G.'s 'Nasty Boy' Reinterpreted as Family Sitcom

    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 »

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