Head of The Private Club and RCA/SoSoDef recording artist Royce Rizzy is currently prepping for his forthcoming tour and upcoming collaboration project with bay area native IAMSU!. In the meantime, he reveals the remix to his latest effort “H*e In You” featuring IAMSU!, Two-9’s Curtis Williams and Taylor Gang head honcho Wiz Khalifa. The quartet all provide a splendid verses on the heavy hitting production of Zaytoven & Cassius Jay. Keep an eye out for major announcements coming from Rizzy in the near future.
XXL kicks off their new docu-series Step Into My World. The episodes will allow fans to delve into the worlds of hip-hop’s elite rappers, as XXL travels to the place it is they call home. Want to know where your favorite rapper made the album that you ranked one of the greatest of all time? Or where that artist preps for the shows that you’ll be waiting in line for this summer? XXL’s Step Into My World is here to do just that. So strap up and get ready to go into a world unlike your own.
Our debut features none other than Tech N9ne and his Strange Music comrades. XXL traveled out to Lee’s Summit, MO to visit the collective’s massive compound, which is the Strange Music Headquarters. In the video above, one not only witnesses the nucleus that has kept the record label running for the last 15 years, but we also get a great look at Tech’s collection of tour buses and their new built 26,000 square feet custom studio.
Based in the suburbs of the Kansas City area, Strange Music has quietly been the most successful independent label in hip-hop history. Tech along with his business partner, Travis O’Guin finally got the recognition of Forbes, who crowned the rapid fire MC as “hip-hop’s secret mogul,” placing him on their Hip Hop Cash Kings list for the first time in 2013 at No. 18. He made the list again in 2014 climbing two spots up to No. 16. The collective rakes in just shy of $20 million annually.
Tech’s 15th studio album, Special Effects, will be released worldwide on May 5. Technicians can also look forward to not only the new album, but also the Special Effects Tour, which kicks off April 3 and wraps up June 8. Performers will include Chris Webby, Krizz Kaliko MURS, Flint, King 810 and Jamaican rap artist, Zuse. Tech will be visiting Australia and New Zealand this March for a special tour for his down-under fans. Tech N9ne dropped the thought-provoking record “Aw Yeah? (interVENTion)“—the intro off his new upcoming LP—and “Hood Go Crazy” featuring 2 Chainz and B.o.B. last month. Both records are off Special Effects.
Below are two additional music videos, “Caribou Lou” and “Riot Maker.” Both were shot during the filming of this episode of Step Into My World. Check them out and enjoy a look into the world of Tech N9ne and Strange Music.
Related: Tech N9ne ‘Special Effects’ Album Coming Out May 5
Tech N9ne Says Jay Rock Is No Longer Signed To Strange Music
Tech N9ne Is Taking His Band Of Psychos On Tour This Fall
Tech N9ne “Aw Yeah?” (interVENTion)
XXL Freshmen 2015 is on its way. But first, there needs to be a vote. On March 16, XXL will launch the XXL Freshmen 10 Spot. This is where the public gets to pick one of the artists for the XXL 2015 Freshmen Class. So artists, get your campaigns together and your social media accounts ready. Fans, make sure you check back on March 16 to vote for who you think deserves a spot on the list. Previous winners include Iggy Azalea, Dizzy Wright and Jarren Benton.
The contest will run from March 16 to March 22, so you have plenty of time to get your voice heard. Remember to use the official hashtag when promoting: #XXLFreshmen. And make sure you’re following XXL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to be one of the first to find out when the entire class is announced. Go to XXL’s YouTube to check out The 2014 XXL Freshmen Class, which featured Chance The Rapper, Rich Homie Quan, Isaiah Rashad, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Durk, Kevin Gates, Troy Ave, Vic Mensa, Lil Bibby, Jon Connor and August Alsina.
Last night, a tracklist for Kanye West’s upcoming album So Help Me God began to circulate on social media. With a Def Jam watermark, features from past ‘Ye collaborators and even a release date, the tracklist only added to the massive hype surrounding the project. Well, it didn’t take long for the tracklist to be declared fake. Gabe Tesoriero, Def Jam’s executive vice president of media and creative development, told FADER in an e-mail that the circulating list of songs is indeed fraudulent. As is the May 10, 2015 release date.
The fake tracklist can be read in full below and whoever took the time out to curate it had the internet going nuts for one night. Damn, that “All Day” remix with Chief Keef, Migos, Tyga and King Louie does look crazy.
2. The Storm
3. Cold Hearted [featuring The Weeknd, Travi$ Scott]
4. All Day [featuring Allan Kingdom, Theophilus London, Paul McCartney]
5. Bitch Fit [featuring 2 Chainz, Young Thug]
6. God Level
7. Time Lapse (O.A.N.) [featuring Teyana Taylor, Malik Yusef]
8. Only One [featuring Paul McCartney]
10. Moved On [featuring Pusha T]
11. Heaven [featuring El DeBarge, Paul McCartney]
12. vii xii xlix
iTunes Store Bonus Track
13. Platinum [featuring Common, Q-Tip]
Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks
14. FourFiveSeconds [featuring Rihanna, Paul McCartney]
15. All Day Remix [featuring Chief Keef, Tyga, Migos, King Louie]
Related: Vic Mensa Debuts New Song With Kanye West in London
Kim Says Kanye West’s 13th Century Virgin Mary Artwork is for His single ‘All Day’ not ‘So Help Me God’ AlbumBig Sean, Drake and Kanye West Get Dark in ‘Blessings’ Video
In anticipation of his upcoming album Ludaversal, Ludacris has been steadily dropping new music. Today he releases a new set of lyrical concussions for his second installment of the LudaVerses Mixtape series. A compilation of conquests over instrumentals like Fab’s “Lituation” and Nicki’s “Truffle Butter.” Stream/download the project below and let us know what you think in the c-section. Ludaversal out March 31st.
– Def Soul (@DefSoulNJ)
Nike is set to release the LeBron 12 “Wheat” color way in celebration of LeBron James’ participation in his first ever All-Star Weekend. LeBron is currently a 12-year NBA veteran and 11 time NBA All-Star with a slew of accomplishments. These shoes were inspired from the Nike Zoom Generation sneakers released in 2004 as well as LeBron saying he could play in anything, even Timberland boots.
LeBron was expected to wear the Wheat Nike Zoom Generation in the 2004 Slam Dunk Contest but opted to wear them for the 2004 Rookie Vs. Sophomore game instead. James’ latest sneaker includes a metallic gold Swoosh, a Zoom gum outsole, and the date “02.13.04” printed on the heel (the date of the 2004 Rookie Vs. Sophomore Game). These kicks will go on sale April 4th to select European retailers. A U.S. release date has yet to be announced although rumors of March have been swirling around. Stay tuned for more updates on the LeBron 12.
–Chad Vill (@YungChad)
The guys and gal of Pentatonix are joining Kelly Clarkson on her Piece By Piece tour this summer, so it only makes sense that the vocal group would tackle one of her singles ahead of the 36-city run. The a cappella heavyweights work their magic on “Heartbeat Song” — making it sound just as light and fluffy as the diva’s original. She must have approved because she lavishes praise on them in the introduction.
Pentatonix have carved out an unusual niche in the industry with their quirky covers (see their version of Stromae’s “Papaoutai” and that killer Sam Smith mash-up) and mega-selling seasonal fare. A support slot on Kelly’s tour is all the band needs to bring their winning brand of vocal pop to an even bigger audience. After a trio of successful EPs, their debut album can’t be too far off. Watch their latest cover up top.
Do you love their version of “Heartbeat Song”? Let us know in the comments below.
Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.
Haim have been fairly vocal of their love for rising singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr., so it’s appropriate that Danielle Haim contributes to Jesso’s sweet and somber new single “Without You.”
“Why can’t you just love me?” sings Jesso on the longing, sentimental piano-driven track. Haim’s steady rhythm keeps the song from getting too melancholy as he sings, “But there is nothing out there for me, without you.”
The track will appear on Jesso’s debut album Goon, set for release on March 17th via True Panther Sounds. In an interview with Pitchfork, Jesso revealed that an all-star lineup of producers contributed to Goon, including Ariel Rechtshaid, Patrick Carney of the Black Keys, John Collins of the New Pornographers and Girls bassist Chet “JR” White. “The writing will always be the most important [thing] to me,” the singer-songwriter said in a statement. “The production, playing and singing I am still figuring out.”
Like “Without You,” the upcoming LP is heavy on the heartbreak, something Jesso and his producers felt his growing fanbase — which features the likes of Adele and Taylor Swift — could relate to. “Everyone has gone through a breakup and survived,” Jesso tells Rolling Stone. “People are like, ‘You know, [I’d] rather hear something I can really grab onto.'”
Haim recently contributed vocals to Calvin Harris’ bewitching single “Pray to God” off his 2014 album Motion as well as appearing on “Meltdown” with Stromae, Lorde, Pusha T and Q-Tip off the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1. This summer, the sisters will be joining Taylor Swift on her 1989 tour for select dates.
Additional reporting by Cady Drell
Hall and Oates are suing a Brooklyn-based granola company, Early Bird, for dubbing one of their products, “Haulin’ Oats,” according to The New York Post.
“The name and mark Haulin’ Oats is an obvious play upon Plaintiff’s well-known Hall & Oates mark, and was selected by defendant in an effort to trade off of the fame and notoriety associated with the artist’s and plaintiff’s well-known marks,” the group claimed in the suit. A spokesperson for the group reiterated this claim when reached for comment by Rolling Stone, adding that group owns the registration for “Haulin Oats.”
“Hall and Oates’ company, Whole Oats Enterprises, owns a Federal Trademark Registration for the identical mark ‘Haulin Oats’ covering breakfast foods that is used in connection with the sale of ‘Haulin Oats’ branded oatmeal by Whole Oats Enterprises’ licensee,” the spokesperson said.
“Early Bird Foods’ use of the mark on their own products is likely to confuse consumers and lead them to believe that such products are affiliated with or approved by Hall and Oates, which is not the case,” he continued. “Prior attempts to discuss this matter with Early Bird Foods were unsuccessful and Whole Oats was left with no other choice but to file suit in order to protect its valuable marks and goodwill.”
While the band is both seeking damages from Early Bird and insisting that the company change the name of the product, owner Nekisia Davis did not appear to be phased by the lawsuit, responding to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment with a simple, “Say it isn’t so.” Davis also noted that Early Bird is offering a 25 percent discount on bags of Haulin’ Oats through the weekend with the coupon code SAYITISNTSO.
Amidst their litigiousness, Hall and Oates have a number of tour dates lined up for the spring and summer, starting with a few one-off dates followed by short treks in May and June.
The dates for the Academy of Country Music’s third annual ACM Party for a Cause Festival have been announced, and in keeping with this year’s relocation to Texas for the ACM’s 50th anniversary celebration, the lineup of performers is a big one.
Set for April 17th and 18th at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, performers at the event will include Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney, Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley, Sam Hunt, Darius Rucker and Eli Young Band. A number of country legends are also on the bill, including Alabama, Clint Black, Patty Loveless and Ronnie Milsap, with more acts expected to be revealed in the coming weeks. The two-day outdoor music festival will be taped for a two-hour special, ACM Presents: Superstar Duets!, airing Friday, May 15th on CBS. This year marks the first time these two signature ACM events, Party for a Cause and the ACM Presents TV special, will be combined as one.
Party for a Cause joins the recently announced “One Night, Two Cities, All Music” gala, which will be hosted by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood on April 17th in Dallas and Fort Worth. Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes, Keith Urban and Little Big Town are among the other artists joining Brooks and his wife Yearwood.
The 50th ACM Awards will be telecast live from Arlington’s AT&T Stadium, Sunday, April 19th at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. Proceeds from ticket sales for the ACM Party for a Cause Festival will benefit ACM Lifting Lives, the philanthropic arm of the Academy. Tickets are on sale now.