New Music: Chris Brown feat. Trey Songz & Young Thug – ‘Dat Night’

In the final hours of 2016, Chris Brown unleashes his new banger “Dat Night” featuring Trey Songz and Young Thug. The fellas, who headlined a recent show in Chicago, rap about chicks in different area codes—from Chi-town to Toronto.

“All my bitches with the shit when I’m in Chicago,” sings Breezy, who dedicated the song to his fans.

Earlier this month, Chris dropped his Usher and Gucci Mane-assisted single “Party” off his upcoming album Heartbreak on a Full Moon. Meanwhile, Trey is set to release his joint mixtape with Fabolous, Trappy New Years, later today.

Count down to 2017 with some new music from Breezy and friends.

Source: www.rap-up.com

Rap-Up’s 10 Favorite Photos of 2016

As a photographer, you always want to shoot one-of-a-kind moments. This year, I’ve been fortunate enough to capture a few of those special snapshots through my photography for Rap-Up.

Many of these flicks came on stage. From Kendrick Lamar’s powerful performance at FYF Festival to Kanye West’s surprise showing at Power 106’s Powerhouse, there is always something magnetic to be found under the bright lights of a superstar’s stage.

But some of these moments were found off stage too. The list features a moody yet hope-filled portrait of Kehlani from Belly’s “You” video shoot. There’s also Niykee Heaton, playing the guitar and answering questions at Vevo’s L.A. office. No matter what was covered, we tried to bring these one-of-a-kind snapshots to life through these stories.

Here are 10 of my personal favorite photos of 2016.

–Andres Tardio

Kanye West

Kanye West
There were rumblings of a Kanye West sighting at Powerhouse, but his performance came as a complete surprise to most. When he emerged through fog during Big Sean’s set, the crowd met him with the night’s most thunderous reception. I liked this particular shot because of the fire, but given ‘Ye’s tumultuous 2016, it’s even more fitting as the year closes. To me, it represents Yeezy’s fiery spirit and the turmoil he was surrounded by this year. Hopefully, it represents a rise from that, as well.


Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar
Each year, TDE hosts its annual holiday concert in the Nickerson Gardens Housing Project. It’s become one of my favorite shows to shoot because of the Christmas spirit, the good vibes in the crowd, and the giving nature of the label. This year was no exception. While a few photos from that day could make this list, this one stood out immediately because of the look on Kendrick Lamar’s face, a look of serenity and pride. Another thing that struck me about this is how much it looks like a painting, with the clouds making a pattern that resembles brush strokes behind Dot. There’s also another detail that I almost missed when editing the shot. See the fan’s hand at the bottom of the picture? It’s actually a little girl’s reindeer antlers. Nothing like the holidays.


Jhené Aiko and Big Sean

Big Sean & Jhené Aiko
At the time, Big Sean and Jhené Aiko were just rumored to be dating. So when Sean planted this kiss on Jhené’s cheek at Powerhouse in Anaheim, it only fueled speculations about a TWENTY88 romance. Still, that’s not why it’s one of my favorite shots of the year. It’s one of my favorites because of the emotional connection that comes across in the flick, in Sean’s closed eyes, and in their closeness. There’s something tender about their connection, which has since blossomed into a full-fledged relationship. These are the split-second moments that you don’t want to miss as a photographer.


YG

YG
One of the year’s most controversial songs was definitely YG’s Nipsey Hussle-assisted “FDT.” And one of the year’s most controversial stories, inside and outside of music, was Donald Trump. So when I think back at 2016, this image of YG holding a fist in the air at Powerhouse, with an enraged Trump behind him, speaks volumes about rage, the divisions, the chaos of the election, and its aftermath.


Kehlani

Kehlani
Kehlani had a tumultuous and a triumphant 2016. From the reported suicide attempt to the announcement of her debut album SweetSexySavage, it’s been a journey filled with peaks and valleys. In the midst of that, I got to photograph her on the set of Belly’s “You” music video. At first glance, I loved this image because of the aesthetics: the colors, the smoke, the lighting. But as I continued to edit the shot, Kehlani’s tattoos added depth to the darkness and brightness behind her. On her neck is “Perdida y encontrada,” which means “Lost and found” in Spanish. On her shoulder is “Embrace Your Struggle.” There’s a poetic duality to these statements, but they also speak to the pros and cons of her year and to her powerful resilience, discovery, and ability to embrace in the face of loss, wonder, and struggle.


Niykee Heaton

Niykee Heaton
Niykee Heaton is deservingly a social media star and often times, her provocative Instagram flicks overshadow her passion for music in the public’s eyes. But spending a day with Niykee earlier this year, photographing and interviewing her for a Rap-Up feature, it felt great to showcase this other side of her multifaceted personality, one that struggled growing up, one that dealt with image issues, one that loved music, and one that truly wanted to inspire. I liked a lot of shots from that day — there’s one of her with a puppy (who doesn’t love puppies?) — but my favorite is probably this one. It shows her with a guitar after a performance, flashing a genuine smile while talking about her music. On her hand is “NBK,” the initials for her fan army that represent “the idea that you could be whoever you want to be,” she told me that day. “There are no boundaries. There are no barriers.” Amen.


Rae Sremmurd

Rae Sremmurd
Clearly, it was another milestone year for Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi, the brothers behind Rae Sremmurd. At some point in November, the term “Black Beatles” was searched for more than “The Beatles” on Google. A couple of months before that, I was able to shoot Uncle Jxmmi and Swae at FYF, where they threw champagne and pineapples at the crowd. Aside from being visually pleasing with its bright colors and silhouettes, this photo captures the duo’s fun essence best. There’s Swae with his eccentric hairstyle, and there’s Jxmmi with a bottle of Henny. They’re commanding and pleasing the crowd, with neon lights all around them: Black Beatles of 2016.


Kanye West

Kanye West
It’s hard to talk about 2016 without mentioning Kanye West so it’s fitting that two Yeezy images make this list. This one, also taken at Power 106’s “Powerhouse,” represents much of what made Mr. West one of the culture’s most prominent figures. There’s the somber look on his face, which is powerful given his reported mental health struggles, but then there’s also the lightning that seems to be emanating from his head, symbolizing his electrifying nature with a mic in his hand.


Vic Mensa

Vic Mensa
Vic Mensa had an incredible year. His album There’s Alot Going On was one of the year’s most underrated efforts, a project that blended vulnerable openness with political awareness in a skillful manner. In August, I spoke with Vic about all of these things before a show at The Roxy in L.A. Shortly after, I was able to shoot his performance, which consisted of boisterous hip-hop mixed with a dash of a punk-rock spirit. This shot incorporates a lot of those vibes, from the way his hair is swaying to the “Disrupt” tattoo that hangs right above “Love” on Mensa’s body. Shot in black-and-white to give it that punk aesthetic, this shot also stood out because of the support he’s getting from his fans (and look at their expressions too). In order to capture this one, I had to run from just about where he is to the second floor of the backstage area. I knew that vantage point would yield the best results for what I had in mind and I’m just glad I was able to run quick enough to capture this moment.


Anderson .Paak

Anderson .Paak
Anderson .Paak has had a phenomenal year. His performance at Power 106’s Cali Christmas in Inglewood, Calif. was the culmination of that spectacular run. While I enjoyed several shots from this set (like the one where he’s bathing in purple fog, for instance), this shot stands out the most to me. That’s because it represents an idea I was able to execute on the fly. Thanks to Anderson’s colorful coat, I thought it might be cool to try this light streak effect by slowing down my shutter speed. After about 30 seconds of trial and error, I found the right moment and was able to capture.


Kendrick Lamar

BONUS: Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar is a musical giant. He showed this once again with a major performance at FYF Festival in Los Angeles, where I was able to shoot his set. At one point, I lined the real K-Dot up with the huge image of the Top Dawg spitter on the jumbotron, making for one of my favorite shots of the year. As fans raised their hands with him, Kendrick commanded his hometown crowd. This larger-than-life performance once again proved why he’s one of the genre’s most celebrated MCs and I feel like this image captured that as well.

Source: www.rap-up.com

New Music: Tyga feat. Kanye West – ‘Feel Me’

Tyga rings in the new year with new music. Fresh off signing to G.O.O.D. Music, T-Raww and his new label boss Kanye West team up on the ballers’ anthem “Feel Me.”

Over the Kanye and Sound M.O.B.-produced beat, Tyga boasts about stuntin’ to the “highest level,” which includes python, private jets, Bel-Air estates, and his boss chick (“Kylie Jenner thick, you gotta feel me”). He even shouts out his former label (“I need my Cash Money, a milli, a milli, a milli”).

Yeezy kicks off the track with a PSA: “This shit gotta be club, car, and pussy at the highest level.” He also references Usher’s U-chain (“Usher Raymond chain is too chilly”) and his wife (“Kim K. thick, you gotta feel me”).

Look out for more music from Tyga in 2017. He is readying Bitch I’m the Shit 2, the sequel to 2011’s Bitch I’m the Shit, which is set for release on G.O.O.D. Music/Interscope Records.

Source: www.rap-up.com

New Music: Uncle Murda – ‘Rap Up 2016’

Uncle Murda provides his own “Rap Up” for 2016.

Saying this should be played for Skillz, who’s long held the “Rap Up” tradition, the new G-Unit signee recaps the year that was in a no-holds-barred rhyme about everything from Kim Kardashian’s robbery to Kanye West’s beef with Jay Z.

“Ni**as in Paris, Kanye/Jay Z,” raps Murda. “Ni**as in Paris robbed Kim K, B / ‘Ye mad he ain’t got a call from Jay Z / Jay like, ‘Ni**as get robbed every day, B’ / J. Cole kicked you while you was down / He knows controversy sells, he got an album out now / Damn ‘Ye, the people don’t trust you / Bush don’t like black people, but you think Donald Trump do / Don’t meet with Donald Trump and talk about us, ‘Ye / You ain’t got the answers just like you told Sway.”

From there, Murda goes in on RiRi’s relationships. “Rihanna ain’t rocking with Travis,” he raps. “Somebody should’ve told him that she was a savage / He like ‘Pick up the phone, baby / I know you home, baby’ / It’s a dub, ni**a, no more dates / She ain’t pick up the phone ’cause she was creeping with Drake / You was just another dude on the hit list.”

Feuds are front and center on this recap, as Murda also addresses the rumored rap beef brewing between Nicki Minaj and Remy Ma: “Remy and Nicki taking shots at each other too / Rap is a sport, man, that’s what they’re s’posed to do.” And he also discusses the Diddy/Drizzy and Mariah Carey/Jennifer Lopez tension: “Drake with J.Lo on some Puffy shit / Mariah never heard of J.Lo, that’s some funny shit.”

Listen to Uncle Murda’s “Rap Up” below.

Source: www.rap-up.com

John Legend on Kanye West: ‘The World Needs Him’

John Legend sends love to Yeezy.

In the wake of Kanye West’s hospitalization, longtime friend and collaborator Legend explains how he feels after seeing his friend’s trying year.

“This is a very difficult life and a difficult business,” he told Rolling Stone. “I don’t want to try to play pop psychologist, so I’m not gonna try to analyze what’s happening with him. I just want him to do whatever he needs to do to feel better and to feel like he’s ready to go again, because music needs him. The world needs him. I think he’s such an important talent. We need him at full strength.”

Part of his answer was also about Kanye’s balance. “How do you balance everything you do – acting, producing, music, fatherhood?” he asked. “You start with knowing what’s most important to you. My family is most important and then second is music. My music career is the reason I have the power to do everything else. There’s a lot of power in celebrity. I obviously use it to sell my own projects and produce TV, and, you know, I use it to get reservations at restaurants too [laughs]. But you try to use it for something that’ll benefit the world too.”

During the interview, Legend didn’t address his stance on Kanye’s Donald Trump bond, but he did explain his disdain for the President-elect. “It’s a bit of a challenge ’cause we don’t know who he is all the time,” he said. “He’s been consistent about being a racist and about a couple of other things, but he’s also been wildly inconsistent and lied a lot. So we truly don’t know how he’s gonna govern. We haven’t seen anyone like him before. It’s a very kind of different world now, knowing that someone’s going to possibly dismantle a lot of what Obama accomplished. I don’t know where we’re going to go…He’s truly reckless.”

Legend is coming off the release of his most recent album, Darkness and Light, which dropped earlier this month. Meanwhile, West is reportedly working on a follow-up to The Life of Pablo.

Source: www.rap-up.com