Last time we heard from Ab-Soul was December 2016, from his solo album Do What Thou Wilt Do. Soulo’s “Dangerookipawaa Freestyle” song title borrows inspiration from Top Dawg’s social media handle @dangerookipawaa. On the track, he compares himself to greats of the past and present such as Craig Mack and Eminem, meanwhile name-dropping frequent collaborator and fallen rapper friend Mac Miller.
Lone wolf (his EP title from last year) Zacari, notably remembered from his assist on Kendrick’s hit song “LOVE.”, dropped “Edamame” and “This Woman’s Work.”
Isaiah Rashad built a cult following, especially after Rashad’s sophomore effort 2016’s The Sun’s Tirade. While Rashad may be an artist on a highly-sought after rap label, his “everyday man” feel within his music attracts his fan base. That’s not the case with his latest single. “Why Worry” deals with forever changing rules to the ugly side of “fame.”
SiR‘s latest sophomore album, Chasing Summer, did some big time placement on the Billboard 200 reaching the 64th placement. Following the success of this album, he released the Boogie-assisted song “Rapper Weed” which surprisingly doesn’t have a drug-induced sound to it. The vibe is very relaxed as always on any song by SiR.
Reason has made a name for himself outside his home label–especially fiercely rapping and competing with fellow Californian rapper Cozz of the Dreamville camp. “Might Not Make It” is another brash comparison similar to “LamboTruck.” “Might Not Make It” fantasizes about the crazy things Reason would do if he had 24 hours left to live on this planet. This is the biggest name-drop I’ve heard in a while!
For those of you who missed out on Something In The Water, check out my review/recap here at TheOriginalChatman.com!
Virginia has already been on the map, but Something in The Water made it official.
“It is beautiful to see that everyone realizes that this was always supposed to be more than a music festival,” shared Pharrell in an interview with The Virginian-Pilot. Now that Something In The Water has came and went–I speak for myself and other VA locals when I say this—we’re ready for next year! Pharrell’s festival creation will be back on the Oceanfront for 2020. Check out the source here.
“If you know, you know.” These prophetic words from Pusha T (one-half of the Virginia Beach rap duo The Clipse) were best said on his recent body of work, Daytona. Virginia natives (such as myself) have long recognized Virginia as a hotbed of musical and cultural relevance before the epic scale of Something In The Water. Hampton Roads is up to its neck in talent. It’s no coincidence Something In The Water (SITW) fell under the same weekend as College Beach Week; nor is it a coincidence Pharrell brought us SITW at the right time.
That Friday was supposed to set the weekend tone; unfortunately, Mother Nature wasn’t letting anyone be great! Rain and thunderstorms prevented the day from running its course. While several people scrambled to various Oceanfront restaurants to take cover, I found myself hiding inside an arcade off 14th and Atlantic. The sun beamed through clouds a few times; nevertheless, the entire festival was shutdown that day.
In the eyes of some, Friday’s rainy forecast washed away high hopes of the festival being a success. I knew better, and I felt it too. Waking up Saturday morning with my optimism still in tact, day 2 of SITW was going to be different. Those words Pharrell echoed to the press, “more than a festival” were sustained by the various activities and community conversations offered throughout the weekend. Furthermore, the vast amount of food vendors, local and beyond Hampton Roads, was enough to keep me distracted from Friday’s fiasco.
More Than A Music Festival
For example, corporate sponsors Adidas and Timberland brought forth forward-fashion (free customizable tote bags and Adidas slides) mixed with grass-root community efforts that reach a global scale(Timberland presented festival-goers the chance to plant traceable trees that will revitalize Haiti’s ecosystem while also handing out free swag). American Express presented an Hampton Roads-themed/SITW Art-Walk scattered throughout the Oceanfront. Pharrell called on Chad Hugo and several other famous guests to join them for a live taping of OTHERtone, Pharrell’s Beats 1 Apple Music radio show. I firmly believe Pharrell took a page from other festivals, applied his own spin for SITW, and created a wave for the next few years.
Saturday’s line-up was like THAAAAAAAAT. A$AP Ferg, SZA, Kaytranada, Travis Scott, and Pharrell and Friends.
Kaytranada is a name everyone should know. He’s worked with names like Syd, Ty Dolla Sign, and his live DJ sets will get you moving no matter who you are! Unfortunately, not everyone was jamming as hard as they should’ve been. I know the word “vibe” is used a lot but it was nothing but tons of those during his DJ set.
If you’ve ever followed me on any social media over the past few years, you’re aware of my love for Solana Imani Rowe, better known by her stage name SZA. (For the record, I’ve been a fan since before her 2017 debut album Ctrl). Her signature free-flowing frolic dance and soulful smooth crooning are staples of her artist brand. There was no one/nothing that could stop me from witnessing her beauty and grace up close and personal for the first time. As powerful as that sounds, it’s a half-truth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . SZA does make very relatable music; however, her music is mainly from a female perspective. (insert photos/videos here)
Imagine how hard it was for someone over 6-feet tryna stay lowkey while singing songs like songs like “Go Gina”, “Say It Like That”, “Drew Barrymore” and “Love Galore”. Willing to risk any stares I received (and I did get some wild ones), I kept my cool even loudly whispering, “That’s my wife! I love you SZA!” After her set ended, I turned around to look for my dispersed friends. On the journey back to them, I met a random kid with a Ctrl 2017 Tour shirt. When asked about his t-shirt, he told me he was proud to wear it and even prouder to call himself a SZA fan. We dapped each other up and then I left. That small interaction with him made me feel less crazy for admiring her as a fan.
Pharrell & Friends
No Pharrell Williams slander will be tolerated as long as I’m alive. DON’T YOU. DO. IT! Who do know you has enough juice to bring out Snoop Dogg, Charlie Wilson, Tyler the Creator, Missy Elliot, Diddy, and Busta Rhymes on the stage.. on the same night!? P warmed up the crowd rapping some notable hits he’s produced/sang on over the years such as “Hot In Hurrr”, “Alright” and “Mr. Me Too.”
Diddy diddy-bopped and hit us with a smooth, crisp dance number shared along with his three sons. Timbaland gave the crowd nostalgic You Got Served vibes doing “Breathe In, Breathe Out” with fellow VA native and (often-forgotten) veteran artist Magoo. Snoop and Charlie chimed in to help Pharrell serenade the crowd with “Beautiful.” The stars were aligned on the beach.
You know that feeling when you reach the highest of highs, and excitement becomes an out-of-body experience? That’s exactly how I felt when JayZ slyly positioned himself next to Pharrell for his verse on “Frontin'”.
Any ounce of cool I *thought* had in that moment was lost when Jay popped up and continued doing hits like “Izzo”, “I Just Wanna Love You” and my personal favorite “PSA(Public Service Announcement)”.
Allow me to reintroduce myself…my name is Hov!
By the time Sunday arrived, my voice, body, and mind were drained from the whylin’ out I put on for Saturday’s line-up. Nevertheless I kept that same energy from Saturday for Sunday. Chris Brown, Teddy Riley and Anderson . Paak were the last few artists I were ready to give my energy to.
In similar fashion to Pharrell and Friends, Teddy Riley snuck in some surprises throughout his set. 🎶 Doooon’t let me goooooo! 🎶I like the way you work it–No Diggity!🎶
Next thing I know, Coko of the ’90s girl group SWV came thru with her silky summertime voice to perform “Weak” and “Right Here (Human Nature Remix).” Somewhere between “No Diggity” and “Don’t Let Me Go”, Teddy transitions his keyboard playing into “Curious” by Midnight Star, the sample behind Lil Duval’s “Livin’ My Best Life.” Lil Duval jump-skip-hops along the stage and everyone goes nuts!
Light rain came thru and reared its ugly head before Chris’s set causing him to hop on stage 20 minutes later than his 9:10 showtime. To be honest, I’m not even mad he was lip-synching for the most part. He danced so vividly I couldn’t believe the moves I was watching on stage. They were done so smoothly and effortlessly!
Anderson . Paak
Prior to me writing this, one of my friends recently just got hip to Anderson .Paak and I’m sad to inform y’all this person is no longer my friend! 😔
I kid, of course!😜 Without discrediting the legacy of the late soul singer James Brown, I can honestly say Anderson . Paak is the modern day James Brown with a modern approach. When the Chris Brown crowd left, I discretely inched closer towards the stage in an effort to catch the groovy vibe he and his band The Free Nationals gave off to wrap up Sunday night.
Something in the water was…
Overall one of the greatest experiences I’ve been a part of in a while! It’s about time people stop sleeping on Virginia and what we have going on in our hometown. Something is truly in the water, alright.
Three days into 2018, Coachella and Governor’s Ball have released their 2018 artists line-ups. Are y’all excited or could you care less?
Happy New Year everyone! Three days into 2018, and two big name music festivals have released their artist line-ups for their spring and summer shows. Music festivals come and go, but two of the greatest festivals out there are Coachella and Governor’s Ball.
Last year, she was pregnant with twins. This year she’s one of three major Coachella headliners. Beyoncé is back like she never left. Fresh off the heels of his latest album Revival, Eminem will headline The Governor’s Ball in addition to Coachella. The Weeknd will also join forces with Em and Bey at Coachella’s Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. Mark your calendars for April 13-15 and April 20-22. Check the full line-up below.
Returning to Randall’s Island Park in New York City, The Governors Ball Music Festival will be June 1st-3rd. Travis Scott is headlining while other notable artists include N.E.R.D., 2Chainz,DRAM, BROCKHAMPTON, Khalid,and several others. The poster below details more Governor’s Ball artists. What does everyone think of the line-ups for both festivals? Let me know in the comments below!
Yesterday however, the First lady of TDE blessed us with not only a new single–but a new video also! Her last single was “Drew Barrymore” which she performed it for the first time on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
The song called “Love Galore” features a verse from La Flame himself (aka Travis Scott). The song is basically about an ex who wants her back in his life, yet he manages to somehow treat her like a side-chick (P.S. SZA is MAJORwifey material, far from a side-chick).
In the video, SZA rocks a sexy-ass piece of lingerie (that had damn near had me drooling from how good she looked in it) while teasing Travis before she attempts to put her moves on him. What seems like a sultry bedroom session ends up more like the movie Misery, and that’s all I’m going to say without ruining the video for y’all. Watch the video below.
Furthermore, on Thursday (April 27th), it was announced that SZA signed a partnership deal with RCA Records. Don’t worry..she’s still signed to TDE too! Let’s all congratulate her and hope for an early summer release of CTRL.