Sacramento’s Mozzy, smoky-voiced gangsta rapper extraordinaire, is back with his second solo album of the year, Occupational Hazard. The new project was written in one sleepless month after the release of Beyond Bulletproof, according to a press release, and features YFN Lucci, Quando Rondo, Wale, and more.
“This is my favorite project to date out of all my EPs, mixtapes, albums,” Mozzy said of Occupational Hazard in his statement. “I had to get back to the old me, the Hellgang Mozzy and bring people that heat that talks directly to the streets. My last album Beyond Bulletproof was something catered to the masses, but Occupational Hazard is for those who live a certain lifestyle.
“With Occupational Hazard,” he continued, “I want to let people know it’s not always velvet or rainbows at the end of the tunnel. When you choose to maneuver and make your money a certain way, there can be consequences that come with that, but own it, embrace it, don’t dwell on it. Know what you signed up for and take the ups and downs with pride.”
The music video for “Never Lackin,” streaming below, encapsulates Mozzy’s thoughts on the album. Check it out, followed by streams of Occupational Hazard on Apple Music and Spotify.
Conway The Machine is the latest artist to record a Tiny Desk Concert with a twist. The long-running NPR series has had to adapt during the pandemic, with artists including Moses Sumney and BTS performing in remote locations. Phoebe Bridgers, meanwhile, took a more presidential route for her effort. For his appearance, Griselda rapper Conway The Machine settled into the booth of a Lil’ Sweet Chick diner and ran through five songs while he waited on a meal.
The 15-minute set focused mainly on Conway’s 2020 album From King To A GOD, released earlier this month, with the Buffalo rapper pulling for “Lemon” and “Front Lines” from the record. Surrounded by classic albums by A Tribe Called Quest and Miles Davis that line the diner walls, Conway also played “The Cow” and “OverDose” from his back catalog. By the time “Anza” rolls around Conway is ready to relax and tuck into his waffles. Bon Appetit.
California-born pop singer-songwriter Ashe has spent the past year riding the wave created by her double EP, Moral of the Story, a post-divorce reflection on toxic relationships that landed on a rash of Netflix shows and a few hundred million phone screens via TikTok. The only single she’s released since last summer is “Save Myself,” an unashamedly dramatic ballad released this past summer, which Ashe said in a press statement at the time was more a “precursor” to Moral of the Story than an addendum. “People say there are five stages of grief,” she explained. “I wrote Moral of the Story in the fifth stage of grieving my relationship: acceptance. ‘Save Myself’ (although written post-Moral) is about my second stage: anger. It means the world to have a chance to express the anger I felt in a healthy way, because whether we like it or not, our anger demands to be felt and let out.”
That anger is no more restrained on the live version Ashe recorded on the rooftop of her old apartment in Los Angeles’ Orange Bungalows, premiering at the foot of the page. Reduced to just piano and vocals, the live version of “Save Myself” is every bit as dramatic as the original, and a perfect showcase for Ashe’s effortless voice. Check it out below.
Earlier this summer, Atlanta’s DWN2EARTH released his debut project ATLANTIS, a psychedelic endeavor that sees him spinning up the fantasy in ATL like a cloud of cotton candy. The whole record kicks off with him hitting the high notes and taking names on the serendipitous flow of “ON SOUL.” Today, we’re premiering the song’s video, shot in the lush crevices of his home state. Embracing the sudden appearance of a red monolith a la Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, the clip presents somewhat of his own creation myth. In an email, Earth further explained how the song and video came together:
“I made this song in LA at Melrose Studios. I had no idea what I was about to record, but had 8 hours of time. I just started freestyling on some beats I made and ‘On Soul’ was one of the songs. I recorded myself that time, I was actually the only person at the session. I was blasting it extremely loud, just so the people in the halls could hear it. Once I stepped out in the hallway the people there were dancing and saying how dope it was. I knew it was special at that moment.
We ended up shooting the video in Georgia. It was honestly my first time shooting a video with an actual production team. For a second I sat back in awe at the fact that the whole day and set up it was for me, yesssir. It was shot in a 12 hour span, all good vibes. Everyone there played a significant role in creating this visual. It’s a memory I’ll forever cherish.”
Anderson .Paak shared the video for his latest single “Cut Em In” alongside Rick Ross on Wednesday. In the hilarious clip directed by .Paak himself, he and Ross play high school seniors who should have graduated years ago. After being told not to get into any trouble on their last day, they do the exact opposite. Dancing, hidden cash, a raucous live band helmed by .Paak, and general chaos take over the school in the clip.
Produced by Hit-Boy, the track appears on the official Madden NFL 21 soundtrack and follows .Paak’s timely “Lockdown” single, and its remix, from earlier this year.
Philadelphia noise-rap poet Moor Mother creates urgent and deeply spiritual music with the restlessness that our past, present, and future all demand. This Friday she’ll share Circuit City, a new recorded soundtrack of a stage show of the same name performed with Irreversible Entanglements and the Circuit City Band. It’s her second full-length project of 2020, and today the project’s first music video “Circuit City Act 1: Working Machine” has dropped.
The eleven-minute song is a free-jazz suite where Moor Mother unleashes on Black America’s ongoing struggle with issues like housing inequality and lingering trauma. Moor Mother doesn’t show her face in the Bob Sweeney-directed video and cedes the spotlight to a dancer who performs in a washed-out world.
Moor Mother collaborator Rasheedah Phillips shared a statement on Circuit City via a press release:
“Circuit City considers both the implications of time and of space involved in privatization of public housing, gentrification, displacement, and redevelopment. The residents of Circuit City are integrating the time(s) of redevelopment, privatization, and hyper-gentrification, into the pre-established temporal dynamics of the community, layered over and within the communal historical memory and the shared idea of the future(s) of that community.”
The singles for YG‘s upcoming album MY LIFE 4HUNNID so far have found the Los Angeles rapper tapping into the party-starting energy that made him famous (“Swag,”“Equinox”) without ignoring the rising movement for Black Lives (“FTP”). His new song is similarly celebratory and brooding, bouncing with the momentum of a release from prison yet streaked with trauma and regret. Check out the energetic music video above.
YG called the record “my truth” in an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, and said it encapsulates MY LIFE 4HUNNID. “When I wake up every day and I go to sleep every day, tripping out, I got these types of problems that I’m dealing with, with police and with just everything, you feel me? The court system and all that type of sh-t. And so I was like, this record represents the album to me.”
Electronic duo Delmer Darion have spent five years putting together their debut album, Morning Pageants. It’s a hyper-literary account of the devil’s death, detailed and engrossing but airy and inviting enough to draw in listeners who haven’t been waiting four centuries for an experimental ambient follow-up to Paradise Lost. The concept was, they write on Bandcamp (where you can pre-order the album in advance of its release on October 16 via Practise Music) inspired by a line from Wallace Stevens’s poem “Esthétique du Mal.” But the allusions and storyboarding aren’t what took them half a decade to get the album ready. Preferring to work from samples, which can be a nightmare to clear before a release, Oliver Jack and Tom Lenton instead recorded two albums’ worth of material that they could then cut and mutate.
If this sounds almost obsessive, the video for new single “Television,” premiering below, will only further that narrative. It’s an inviting song on its face, though it’s naturally uneasy — appropriate for a single that was inspired by the concept of cartoons drawing kids to Hell. And the video is every bit as painstakingly, beautifully detailed as the album itself.
“‘Television’ exists in 1980s America amidst a satanic moral panic,” Jack, who directed the video and works as an AI architect, wrote in a statement. “It plays on the belief, found in Pastor Gary Greenwald’s Deception of a Generation, that Saturday-morning cartoons like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe were turning children to Satan and the occult. The song has a strong sense of place: the lyrics describe blue light from a He-Man sequence being cast from the cathode rays of an old television to a bowl of Lucky Charms. And so, we were keen to create the song’s entire environment with a video.”
“We started by researching typical 1980s American decor and eventually found a few references we liked,” he continued. “We considered finding a real space and filming the video, but quickly realized that only 3D modeling would afford us the freedom we needed — to create carved markings in the wood, to precisely position stains on the carpet, and to tightly control the external and internal light sources, for example. Once we had the skeleton of the room created, we populated it with furniture, ornaments and texture variations. In the process, we hid dozens of little allusions — to the universe of the song itself, to other songs on the album and the stories they’re based on, and to album’s universe in general.”
Young Dolph doesn’t have anything to prove. He’s one of the biggest and most consistent names in rap that teeters between the mainstream and the underground. His new album Rich Slave debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200. He gave away a Lamborghini. This confidence is all over his new video for the Rich Slave track “Hold Up Hold Up Hold Up,” out today.
Dolph plays a service worker manning a laundromat, and instead of getting himself a fresh fade and cleaning up for the role like some rappers would, Dolph rejects the manicured look as he goes about his duties. The image makes the song, about hustling through humble beginnings to a blessed present, that much more effective. Check it out above.
“The family of Maudell Watkins, aka FXXXXY, aka FBG Fox, are totally shocked and devastated at his unexpected and unforeseen passing. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to his many friends and acquaintances who’ve reached out to us in this extremely difficult time. He lived music with every breath he took and his focus and drive were unmatched. May his contributions to the music industry live forever. CC 4 Life!”
Before signing a publishing deal with Future’s label FreeBandz, FXXXXY (pronounced “Foxy”) kicked off his solo career in 2016 with his Cartel Shawty EP. In 2018, he teamed up with Gunna for the single “Need U” and engineered Future’s EP SAVE ME in 2019. His most recent single was “Paranoia / #1 Stunna.”
On Wednesday, West took a tentative step towards his goal, claiming in a tweet that he would return to artists on his label G.O.O.D. Music the 50% ownership of their master recordings that he controls. “I’m giving all Good music artist[s] back the 50% share I have of their masters,” he wrote. See the tweet below:
It’s another story whether or not West will actually follow through on this promise, or if the record contracts he and his G.O.O.D. Music artists signed actually allow for it. In the event that it does go through, however, it could be a massive windfall for artists like Big Sean, John Legend, Teyana Taylor, Pusha-T, and many more G.O.O.D. Music artists past and present.
West emphasized the importance of an artist owning their masters during his Twitter spree last week. “When you sign a music deal you sign away your rights,” he wrote. “Without the masters you can’t do anything with your own music.”
One thing about 03 Greedo is that no sentencing is gonna stop the man from dropping heat — let’s not forget that he’s got a bank of 3,000 tracks ready to go at a whim. Earlier this summer, he teamed with Ron-RonTheProducer for the first volume of their Load It Up series, which featured a collaboration with Chief Keef, “Bands In Da Basement.” Today, he’s unleashing a video for the track, and while he obviously couldn’t make the shoot, the clip makes up for his absence by casting a much younger Greedo (and Keef) in his stead. Check it out above, and hear Load It Up Vol. 01 below.
Things may be cooling down in the northern hemisphere, but in Sydney-born future bass producer Wave Racer’s corner of the universe, people are only just beginning to shake off the chill of winter. In other words, it’s nearly summer anthem season, and, this year, Wave Racer — real name Tom Purcell — has a doozy. Today, he’s releasing “Higher,” a sleek, bubbly collaboration with PC Music’s Danny L Harle and British songwriter L Devine that peaks early and proceeds to never really let up across its three-and-a-half minute runtime. Warm and glittering, it’s a classically-written pop track that never grates, despite its relentless optimism.
Written on a two-week writing jaunt in London, “Higher” is something of a reset for Purcell, who was looking for new ways to write and produce his music. “For me, the song functions not only as an ode to the notion of ascension, but it’s also a kind of trophy symbolising my overcoming creative roadblocks,” he tells The FADER via email. “It set in motion a whole series of creative changes in my life.” Listen to “Higher” above.
Megan Thee Stallion and The Weeknd’s respective TIME covers.
TIME Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world was released today and features a number of musicians, with Megan Thee Stallion, The Weeknd, Selena Gomez, J Balvin and Halsey all making the list. Megan and The Weeknd, two of the issue’s cover stars, had blurbs written about them by actress Taraji P. Henson and Elton John, respectively, while the blurbs for Gomez, Balvin, and Halsey were written, respectively, by America Ferrera, Camila Cabello, and BTS.
A handful of musicians also wrote blurbs for other people on the list, including Taylor Swift for Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge; Riz Ahmed for Waad Al-Kateab; Mary J. Blige for Jennifer Hudson; Stevie Wonder for Yo-Yo Ma; Missy Elliott for Dapper Dan; and John Legend for Dwayne Wade. Elsewhere, the list features Tyler Perry, Gabrielle Union, Bong Joon Ho, Kamala Harris, Donald Trump, and Michaela Coel. See the full list here.
After a few teasers and an official announcement on Monday, Fleet Foxes shared their fourth album, Shore. It’s the band’s first release since their 2017 album Crack-Up. A 55-minute short film, directed by Kersti Jan Werdal’s Shore, accompanied the album along with lyric videos for each of the tracks. A physical version of the album is set for a February 5 release.
“I wanted to make an album that celebrated life in the face of death, honoring our lost musical heroes explicitly in the lyrics and carrying them with me musically,” frontman Robin Pecknold said in a statement about the album, which was recorded in multiple cities including Manhattan, Paris, and Los Angeles. “I see ‘shore’ as a place of safety on the edge of something uncertain, staring at Whitman’s waves reciting “death,” tempted by the adventure of the unknown at the same time you are relishing the comfort of the stable ground beneath you.”
Kodak Black is launching a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of prisons and the director and warden of Big Sandy, the high-security prison in Kentucky where the rapper is currently incarcerated, according to a new TMZ report. The rapper was transferred to Big Sandy in 2019 after a violent confrontation with an inmate at a Miami prison.
Since arriving at Big Sandy, Black claims to have suffered routine physical and emotional abuse at the hands of the authorities. The documents purportedly allege that in one instance, Black was restrained for six hours without access to a bathroom, cause him to defecate on himself while guards laughed. On another occasion, Black claims that guards forced him on his hands and knees while soaking wet and wearing only underwear.
In May, Black’s Twitter account was updated with an account of an alleged beating by guards at Big Sandy prison. The posts claimed that Black was beaten in the head with “a metal object,” and that “one of the guards flicked his genitals and said ‘you’re not so gangster now, you’re gonna need bigger balls to survive.'” This incident is reportedly cited in Black’s lawsuit as a “gang beating” initiated by Big Sandy guards.
Black’s religious liberties are also being infringed upon, according to the lawsuit. Black is a practicing Hebrew Israelite, and his attornies claim that Big Sandy is not allowing him to see a rabbi.
Black is reportedly asking to be moved to a lower-security prison as well as damages and legal fees. The FADER has reached out to Kodak Black’s representative for comment.
Artist and producer Knox Fortune announced his sophomore album, Stock Child Wonder, is set for an October 30th release.
The album will boast features from a number of indie acts from Fortune’s hometown of Chicago, including Lala Lala, Will Miller of Whitney & Resavoir, Lane Beckstrom of Resavoir, Colin Croom and Jack Dolan of Twin Peaks, Macie Stewart of Ohmme, Elliot Skinner (formerly of Third Story), Grammy-winning producers Nate Fox and Pomo, and Grammy-nominated producers Carter Lang and Pete ‘Scum’ Nebula.
Along with the announcement, which comes on the three-year anniversary of his acclaimed debut album Paradise, Fortune also shared his brand new single “Shirtless.” The track, produced by Fortune himself alongside Lang, Croom, and Stewart, is filled with self-reflection and summer nostalgia. “Please don’t turn your radio down / take you to my favorite town,” he sings on the track.
U.K. artist BERWYN has only released two singles to date, “GLORY” and “TRAP PHONE,” but he has established himself as a voice calling out to be heard. His honest storytelling, in which he flips between rapping and singing, was perhaps best captured in a TV performance for Later… with Jools Holland. Recorded around the time of the Black Lives Matter protests, BERWYN channeled years of personal and generational strife into a magnetic moment, marking himself out as one to watch in the process.
Today BERWYN returns with more new music and details of his debut full-length project. “017 Freestyle” is his raw new track in which the Londoner opens up about missed opportunities, structural barriers, and needing to smoke weed to get to sleep over a skippy, chipmunk soul beat. You can see the video for that below. It is taken from DEMOTAPE/VEGA due for release on September 25. That’s this Friday. “GLORY” and “TRAP PHONE” both feature on the 10-track project.
Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Power 105.1
Bobby Shmurda has been denied parole, according to a TMZ report. The rapper’s hearing was held last week, after being delayed in August. No reason was reported for the denial, but it’s likely that Shmurda will not be released until the end of his sentence on December 11, 2021.
The rapper was sentenced to between six and seven years in prison on conspiracy and weapons charges after securing a plea deal in 2016. In January, fellow New York rapper Fivio Foreign claimed that Bobby Shmurda had a whole album ready to drop from prison.
Dev Hynes has announced that his score for We Are Who We Are, the new HBO series created by Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino, will be released next Friday, October 2. The record features 12 new compositions by Hynes, as well as two new compositions each by Julius Eastman and John Adams. Hynes and Eastman have a history of collaboration, with Hynes recently releasing a seven-minute piano improvisation called “Evil N****r,” based on Eastman’s composition of the same name.
“Franchise” follows a big two weeks for the Travis Scott marketing machine, in which the Houston star launched a collaboration with McDonalds — a version of the Quarter Pounder bearing his name — as well as a limited edition merchandise line. “Franchise,” as a title, seems to tie in with the theme, although Condo’s artwork bears no links to the fast food giant.
Released via Never Broke Again/Artist Partner Group/Atlantic, Top sold 126,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. on its way to No.1. That figure was predominantly boosted by 106,000 SEA units, made up of streaming data. Nielsen figures show the album was streamed 156m times in its first week available. YoungBoy’s online fandom is well-noted, he was the biggest music artist on YouTube in 2019.
Top replaces Big Sean’s Detroit 2 as the No.1 album in the country. This week’s top 5 is rounded out by Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, Juice WRLD’s Legends Never Die and Taylor Swift’s former No. 1 Folklore respectively. The original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton: An American Musical is at No. 5.
Since emerging in 2017 the prolific YoungBoy has placed 15 albums on the Billboard chart, including four EPs. No other artist has charted as many albums of newly recorded material in that same span of time.
NPR has never had any difficulty securing popular artists for its marquee video series Tiny Desk Concert, but today’s installment features one of the biggest names in music anywhere: BTS. The K-pop band performed with a band in a Seoul-based record store VINYL & PLASTIC, running through their No. 1 English language single “Dynamite,” as well as “Save ME” and Spring Day.” The performances are playful, and the band does a bit of bantering between each one; before “Spring Day,” RM acknowledges the horrible global state of affairs and offers the song as a salve. Watch the whole show above via Pitchfork.
Bryson Tiller shared his second single this month, “Always Forever,” on Monday.
The track finds him trying to downplay his own feelings before they get too deep. “I tried to give you a little less of my time / Starting to feel like I’m never in my right mind,” Tiller croons over smoothed-out production.
The music video cycle from Bad Bunny‘s latest album YHLQMDLG has been a treat. Almost all of them feature a young actor wearing a bunny-eared cap playing an adolescent B.B., and this thread of connection gives an unusually human resonance to the clips.
The kid returns in the music video for the Mora-featuring “Una Vez,” directed by Stillz, but only for a brief moment in the introduction. After putting a YHLQMDLG cassette tape in his Walkman and returning to bed, the music video shifts focus to an astronaut exploring different landscapes that look familiar and alien at the same time.
After a few teasers over the weekend, Fleet Foxes announced their fourth album, Shore, is out tomorrow. The release time, 6:31 a.m. PT/9:31 a.m. ET, also happens to coincide with the autumnal equinox. Along with the new album, the band is also releasing a 55-minute, Kersti Jan Werdal-directed film available to watch on Tuesday at fleetfoxes.co.
On Sunday, frontman Robin Pecknold posted an album teaser on Instagram with the simple caption “Tuesday,” later adding to his story that he will be “posting some promo type stuff” the following week. “Forgive me if I post any good feedback. I know it’s corny, but I’m excited and it’s weird to put out an album from quarantine,” he wrote. There were also posters for the album spotted in Paris.
The group shared the official news, along with what appears to be a preview of the film, on Monday. Watch it below.
Mustafa is a Toronto-based artist who made waves locally as a spoken word poet and founding member of the Canadian rap group Halal Gang before going on to co-write on songs by The Weeknd and Camila Caballo. His solo music career debuted this year with the song “Stay Alive” and the James Blake collaboration “Come Back,” and today he shares a beautiful new song and video called “Air Forces.”
The clip takes place in Regent Park, Mustafa’s home, and the housing project that birthed artists like Mo-G, Lil Berete, Puffy L’z, and Smoke Dawg (R.I.P.). The footage of Regent Park is interspersed with more symbolic imagery like a green, sun-drenched field and a Black man with deep wounds in his shoulder blades, presumably where his wings used to be. The song itself is dreamy too, thanks to production which samples a Sudanese chant and Mustafa’s deeply beautiful vocals. Check it out above.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for EA Sports Bowl at Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest
Lil Wayne’s 37th birthday is approaching (September 27) and according to Mack Maine, there’s much to be celebrated this trip around the sun. Ahead of next Sunday’s festivities, Maine gifted Weezy the keys to an shiny amethyst 2020 McLaren 720S — as well as the news of the “original” release of Tha Carter V, which he tells TMZ is due out this Friday, September 25.
Tha Carter V initially dropped back in 2018 after a years-long contractual dispute between Wayne and Birdman. Though Weezy has since moved on, releasing Funeral and teasing the existence of Tha Carter VI, many of the album’s original tracks were left in the lurch. According to keen-eyed megafans, a number of those songs have recently been uploaded to the Shazam database, further fueling speculation that they’re about to see the light of day. The FADER has reached out to Wayne’s team for further comment.
Zendaya became the youngest woman to ever win the Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama earlier this evening when she claimed the trophy for her role as Rue in Euphoria. Up against a crowded field that included Jennifer Aniston’s splashy return-to-TV, Oscar-winner Olivia Colman, Laura Linney, Sandra Oh, and 2019 Lead Actress Emmy winner Jodie Comer, Zendaya’s acclaimed performance as a teen struggling with drug addiction ultimately came out on top. At 24, she is two years younger than previous record-holder Comer was when she won the award in 2019.
Justin Bieber has ushered in a new era with his latest single, “Holy.” The song features a verse from Chance The Rapper in which he references both Joe Pesci and soccer player Leo Messi. The “Holy” video was directed by Colin Tilley and shows Bieber as a factory worker whose employment is ended due to “the ongoing global situation.” That ’70s Show star Wilmer Valderrama makes a cameo, playing a soldier, while Ryan Destiny appears as Bieber’s partner. Check it out above.
“Holy” marks the latest in a series of collaborations between Bieber and Chance. They previously appeared together on 2013 single “Confident” plus DJ Khaled songs “No Brainer” and “I’m The One.” Earlier this month, Bieber stepped in for Drake for DJ Khaled’s “POPSTAR” video. His latest album Changes was released in February of this year.