Exclusive: Lenny S. Shares His Favorite ‘Kodak Lens’ Moments

Lenny “Kodak Lens” Santiago is seemingly everywhere. Anytime there’s a powerful candid moment to be captured in hip-hop, his sharp lens is often nearby.

Recently, he’s captured some of music’s most striking moments. When Jay Z, DMX, and Ja Rule reunited? Check. That convo between Hov and Gucci Mane? Done that. Beyoncé’s “Formation Tour?” You guessed it. And that’s just in the last six months alone.

Look further and you’ll find more snapshots, iconic moments, and stunning candids in Lenny’s camera roll. “I’m just trying to capture the moments,” he tells Rap-Up. “I’ve always had a camera in my hand from when I was in grammar school through high school.”

“People think it’s an amazing camera that I’m using, but sometimes it’s really just my phone.”

He still has that passion, even as his career reaches new heights. Now, as the Senior Vice President of Roc Nation, he’s able to capture moments that few others have access to. The same high school kid who left “running to the studio or to an in-store signing to meet an artist” is often at “every video…every show…every press junket,” still capturing special moments.

“I’m in awe,” he adds. “I’m one of the biggest Jay Z fans in the world. I’m a fan of everybody I work with. I don’t care if it’s DJ Khaled or Fabolous, Mack Wilds, Justine Skye, or Vic Mensa, I’m a fan. I work with them because I love them. I love their music and their artistry. That’s just something I do.”

While he values his artists, he doesn’t put too much stock in which camera he might shoot with. “I use a Canon, I use a Sony,” he says. “I use my phone a lot of the times. People think it’s an amazing camera that I’m using, but sometimes it’s really just my phone.

“I’m gonna capture that moment. Believe that.”

“As I’m doing more management now,” he continues, “I’m doing a lot more work and I just don’t have all the time to stand around and capture photos. Before, I’d be at the shows just hanging out and I could catch everything. Now, I’m doing a show with DJ Khaled and there are like nine artists about to come on stage. I’m making sure they come in, I’m making sure they get their passes, I’m making sure everybody’s good. I can’t really do the photo thing…But I’ve always got something on me. I’ve got my camera on me or my phone on me and I’m gonna capture that moment. Believe that.”

Here’s a look behind some of Lenny’s most Kodak-worthy moments yet.

Kanye West x Rihanna x Jay Z

Jay Z, Kanye West, and Jay Z

“My favorite picture I ever took in the world is of Jay Z, Rihanna, and Kanye West. It’s a photo of them from the video set of ‘Run This Town.’ It’s just iconic. It’s just three living legends, three icons, standing in this stance, looking directly at me. They all just seemed so tall and powerful and vibrant. It’s also the first photo I ever had that went viral, but besides that, even if it had never gotten out, it speaks volumes. Different people like L.A. Reid and different people who’ve seen the photo have been like, ‘I need a copy of that.’”


“There was a time I was in Cabo San Lucas with Fab. We were on a boat, on a yacht, just going out for the day. He leaned up against the side of the yacht and I caught the reflection of the water, against the yacht and him. It’s one of my favorite photos. It’s on the wall in my office.”

Jay Z x Beyoncé

“It was one of the Barclays shows when Jay first opened the Barclays, I believe. He did sold-out shows back-to-back, which was incredible. He was walking to the stage. I usually take that walk with him just to capture a moment or to support…They support each other. That’s not nothing that’s a secret. At [Beyoncé’s] shows, he’s there supporting. At his shows, she’s there supporting. I just thought that was dope. I kind of have this thing I do with my photos. I’m always around a lot of big people, great executives, tastemakers, and artists, so it’s so weird because in so many of my photos, the focus is always on somebody really great and important, but then in the background…Like, I might have a picture of Pharrell talking to Fab and in the background LeBron James is talking to Magic. You know what I mean? But they’re blurred. I kind of ran with that as well. In that photo, it’s ironic because he’s clear and she’s not but she’s more important to him. You know? She’s his support system, his rock, his everything. I have photos of the opposite of both [she’s in focus, he’s blurred]. I just thought it was dope. I didn’t want to focus on her. She was just being there to support. I don’t like being intrusive or taking advantage of that moment. She just happened to be behind him, walking to the stage, supporting her husband, and I just snapped. The picture came out amazing. I did a post and it was actually about her, how important the women are that are behind or beside men. All women, in any relationship, are really a big support system behind the man, how he moves, his decisions, and how he gets through life. They’re the most important.”

Beyoncé x Jay Z

“That one’s after. The one where she’s blurred, they’re walking to the stage. [This] one was after the show. You see the champagne in his hand. They’re looking at each other, smiling. She’s giving him that, ‘Ooh, you killed it [look].’ Like, ‘Oh, that show was great.’ Different emotions. That’s what I like. It might be a bit more serious beforehand, but afterwards, it’s more celebratory.”

Kevin Hart x Chris Rock

“My friend Kevin Hart had just sold out Madison Square Garden like two or three days in a row. Chris Rock was there. He was kind of just talking to him about the show. Just giving him feedback. I caught that moment of Chris Rock giving Kevin Hart feedback. That’s on my wall.”

Gucci Mane x Jay Z

One of my favorite ATL moments I caught last night. Thanks @imrici #JAYZ #GUCCIMANE #ATL

A photo posted by Lenny S. (@kodaklens) on Sep 27, 2016 at 7:22pm PDT

“They were just kicking it. I don’t like to speak for Jay or any artist, but I honestly didn’t hear what they were saying…They were just kicking it. There was no specific intention. There was no ‘meet you at the studio later.’ They really were just kicking it as two entrepreneurs, as two businessmen, as two trappers, as two rappers. Again, it’s just a moment I like to catch, man. Everybody else — a couple of people that were there — they caught the one of them posing. That’s cool, I have that too, but I want to give the public, the fans, the people who love this culture the cultural moments, the man-to-man talking, smiling, just being men, just being good guys. I want to give that moment. Those moments matter to me. I let everybody rock with the posed one and that’s cool. After that, if I have it — sometimes I don’t have it — if I have it, I’m gonna go with the one that people are gonna admire.

Like you said, it makes everybody wonder. That’s the whole purpose of that shot. It’s like, ‘What are they talking about?’ Nobody knows. You know what I’m saying? That’s what I want to put out. The posing moment? Hey, man. It’s like you see a celebrity in the street and ask them for a picture. It’s cool. It’s great. It’s a different thing when you’re actually conversing with an artist and somebody catches a picture of that. It’s a bit more intimate. That’s what it’s supposed to do. Pictures are worth 1,000 words. That’s what it’s supposed to do. The posed photos are cool. That’s fine. Those are not the ones that are worth 1,000 words. The ones that are worth 1,000 words are the ones where you’re like, ‘What are they saying? What are they thinking?’ When you capture somebody with their head leaning against their hands and they’re distraught. ‘What are they thinking about? Are they stressed? Are they happy? Are they tired?’ You just don’t know.”

–Andres Tardio

Previous: Lenny S. Reveals Classic Jay Z Stories & Keys to Success

Source: www.rap-up.com

Future Gives Back with Golden Wishes Thanksgiving Gala

Future gives back.

Hot off his “Summer Sixteen Tour” with Drake and their new collaboration “Used to This,” the Atlanta rapper announces the 4th annual Golden Wishes Thanksgiving Gala in collaboration with his FreeWishes Foundation.

The event is set to take place Nov. 19 in Atlanta where senior citizens will be invited for an evening of food and dancing with a live band and DJ. Two senior citizens will also be honored for their contributions to the community.

Future launched FreeWishes with his mother Stephanie Jester and sister Tia Wilburn. The foundation’s mission is to spread a message of hope, perseverance, and resilience throughout the Atlanta community.

The Golden Wishes Thanksgiving Gala is closed to the public.

Meanwhile, the Freebandz boss has been working on new music with Metro Boomin. Last week, he announced a “major HEAT alert” on Twitter, adding: “waitonit.”

Source: www.rap-up.com

Video: Emeli Sandé feat. Jay Electronica & Áine Zion – ‘Garden’

Emeli Sandé goes to the “Garden” with Jay Electronica and Áine Zion in the music video for her melodic single off Long Live The Angels.

The song blends rap and R&B with spoken word poetry, allowing the Roc Nation MC to rhyme about romance with a metaphor and simile-filled verse.

“Love is like a Ferris wheel,” he raps. “Love is like a roller coaster / Love is at a standstill / Body after body after body / It’s a landfill / And I just caught a body in the lobby / And got my hands filled / I’m a serial lover.”

Though it’s unclear if she will be joined by Electronica and Zion, Sandé will be bringing her angelic harmonies to “The Tonight Show” on Friday (Nov. 19).

Explore Emeli’s “Garden” below.

Source: www.rap-up.com

Juicy J Announces ‘Rubba Band Business: The Tour’

Juicy J is about snap back onto the road with “Rubba Band Business: The Tour.”

Joined by Belly and Project Pat, the nationwide trek is set to kick off Jan. 26 at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix before coming to a close at Rave in Milwaukee.

The 36-date tour is in support of Rubba Band Business: The Album, which is due early this winter. The project is slated to include Juicy’s Kanye West-assisted single “Ballin”.

Juicy and Project Pat are longtime collaborators, who have worked together on songs like “Imma Get Me Sum” and “KK.” Meanwhile, Belly and J teamed up on “Zanzibar.”

Tickets go on sale Friday, Nov. 18, at 10 a.m. Citi cardmembers will have access to a pre-sale starting Tuesday (Nov. 15), followed by the Live Nation pre-sale on Wednesday (Nov. 16).

Rubba Band Business: The Tour Dates

Jan. 26 – Celebrity Theatre – Phoenix, AZ
Jan. 27 – Brooklyn Bowl – Las Vegas, NV
Jan. 29 – Revolution Event Center – Boise, ID
Jan. 30 – Neptune Theatre – Seattle, WA
Feb. 1 – Ace of Spades – Sacramento, CA
Feb. 2 – The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA
Feb. 3 – Riverside Municipal Auditorium – Riverside, CA
Feb. 4 – Hollywood Palladium – Hollywood, CA
Feb. 8 – House of Blues: San Diego – San Diego, CA
Feb. 10 – Fillmore Auditorium – Denver, CO
Feb. 12 – Emo’s – Austin, TX
Feb. 13 – The Aztec Theater – San Antonio, TX
Feb. 14 – House of Blues: Dallas – Dallas, TX
Feb. 15 – Cotillion Ballroom – Wichita, KS
Feb. 17 – House of Blues: Houston – Houston, TX
Feb. 18 – Cain’s Ballroom – Tulsa, OK
Feb. 20 – Minglewood Hall – Memphis, TN
Feb. 21 – Marathon Music Works – Nashville, TN
Feb. 23 – The Tabernacle – Atlanta, GA
Feb. 24 – House of Blues – Myrtle Beach, SC
Feb. 25 – The Fillmore Charlotte – Charlotte, NC
Feb. 26 – The Ritz – Raleigh, NC
Mar. 1 – The Fillmore – Philadelphia, PA
Mar. 2 – Irving Plaza – New York, NY
Mar. 3 – The Fillmore – Silver Spring, MD
Mar. 4 – The Wellmont Theater – Montclair, NJ
Mar. 6 – House of Blues: Boston – Boston, MA
Mar. 7 – Stage AE – Pittsburgh, PA
Mar. 9 – House of Blues: Cleveland – Cleveland, OH
Mar. 10 – Fillmore Detroit – Detroit, MI
Mar. 11 – 20 Monroe Live Grand – Rapids, MI
Mar. 12 – Egyptian Room at Old National Centre – Indianapolis, IN
Mar. 15 – Uptown Theatre – Kansas City, MO
Mar. 16 – Myth – St. Paul, MN
Mar. 17 – House of Blues – Chicago – Chicago, IL
Mar. 18 – Rave – Milwaukee, WI

Source: www.rap-up.com

Maxwell Invites Singing Cashier to Perform With Him

Maxwell is making one talented fan’s dream come true.

Lucas Holliday, a Dollar General cashier in Lansing, Mich., caught viral fame after a video of him singing Maxwell’s “Ascension” landed on Facebook.

Shocked by Holliday’s vocals, Maxwell offered a surprise of his own with a video message on “Good Morning America,” where Holliday was a guest.

“You sound unbelievable,” said Maxwell. “I wanted to personally invite you onstage at my Detroit show this Friday…Congratulations! You have a sick amazing voice.”

Maxwell went on to praise Holliday again on Twitter. “he’s doing more for me than he even realizes,” he wrote. “much love to @GMA for changing and creating opportunities for everyone who has a dream.”

Holliday is a musician and a member of a funk band called Tell Yo Mama. The group recently booked a wedding gig as a result of the viral fame and now, Lucas even has a gig with Maxwell, who is currently on tour with Mary J. Blige on their “King and Queen of Hearts Tour.”

So far, the video of Lucas singing “Ascension” has amassed more than 499,000 views. It was posted by one of Holliday’s customers, Nakia Robinson, who told her followers to come check out the talented cashier.

Source: www.rap-up.com

Ab-Soul Responds to Top Dawg About Finishing His Album Via Twitter

TDE rapper Ab-Soul answered his boss’s call to finish up his next album on Twitter yesterday.

Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, the head of the label took to Twitter last week to let fans know what the hold up for the album was. Ab-Soul replied yesterday by stating that he’s ready to finish it up. “Yo @dangerookipawaa headed to da stu wit @MixedByAli & @MoosaTDE right now,” Soul tweeted. Last week, Top Dawg claimed that the mixing of his songs was holding up the release. “@abdashsoul & @MixedByAli holding up his album. I’m done takin the blame…they need 2 get da mixes right…that’s the hold up. Get at them,” wrote Top Dawg. “I just told my bosses (the fans) what the hold up is. Now I’m about 2 put my foot down. Have it done when I get back.”

The album which is supposedly titled DWTW is supposed to be released sometime shortly. Ab-Soul allegedly turned in the tracklist for the project back in June and also said that he had the final mixes. That information now seems inaccurate. His last album, These Days dropped in 2014.

Source: hiphopdx.com

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