Sometimes you just rap. Not with any concept or song in mind, not for a project... just to rap. Because it's fun. Often when you start taking yourself seriously as an 'artist' you begin to only create for a 'reason' - you're tryna make a great album, you're tryna get a message across, you're tryna make people happy etc. Sometimes you have to say fuck all that and just rap, that's reason enough.
Got a few projects in the pipeline and this isn't for any of them - it isn't for the radio, and it isn't for people who just like the cat in the 'Take A Picture vid, this is for you guys. -David Dallas
PR: Brian Angel Goes Solo With AWE; HULKent as Management
Winning a BET Award for Favorite Group could be considered a career high for most any R&B singer, and Houston-born crooner Brian Angel (aka Brian Andrews) is no exception.
When Day26 garnered the award in 2009, Angel and his bandmates were riding high on a chart-topping album debut, critical praise and hours of major television exposure on Sean "Diddy" Combs' smash MTV show, Making the Band.
Fast forward three years and a second hit album later, Platinum-selling Day26 has agreeably disbanded to take on solo endeavors, and Angel is well prepared for his future.
For starters, on July 26, 2012, Brian will release his single "Killa" featuring Dorrough Music via his own Ambassador Way Entertainment (AWE) in conjunction with his new Dallas-based management team HULK Entertainment.
In addition to the music, Brian is always looking for viable ways to give back to his community. He is currently a spokesperson for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA), and has activated a "Be Aware" viral Twitter campaign. With "Be Aware", fans can text BREAK-ANGEL to 52000 to easily donate $10 to this cause.
The ability to relate to people through song and spirit is of the utmost importance to Angel, whose long road to success is a testament to his passion. While MTV made him an overnight sensation, Brian Angel was no stranger to the spotlight. A hopeful performer since age 3, Angel signed to Mathew Knowles' Music World Entertainment at age 15 as a part of the group Mason Rd. He toured tirelessly, opening for the likes of Destiny's Child, Ginuwine, Jagged Edge, Brian McKnight and more.
By Fall of 2007, Angel's new five-member group Day26 was under the watchful eyes of millions as they came together on the then highest-rated television series on MTV. Their self-titled album debuted at #1 in 2008, followed by their sophomore effort Forever in a Day in '09, which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Top 200, and hit #1 on the R&B charts. In addition to winning the BET award, the group was also nominated for an American Music Award, as well as Teen Choice, NAACP Image and two Urban Music Awards.
Despite their strong fan base and professional accolades, it was no secret that the band members had tension. In televised moments, member Qwanell "Que" Mosely left the group, just as the band was leaving Bad Boy Records to move to a new deal with Atlantic Records. The group began making announcements about their third album in 2011, however the project did not transpire, and they officially announced their departure from the label, and each other, in July 2012.
Now free to pursue his solo endeavors, Brian Angel is excited to spread his wings as a respected songwriter, vocalist and entrepreneur.
"I loved being a member of Day26," Angel explains. "I'm very sad to see it all end, but that chapter in my life has closed and I look forward this new chapter. As a solo artist, I'm going to give the fans all of me. I feel that is most important for my supporters. I'm going to give them that real heartfelt music that I feel like has been missing from R&B for so long."
Brian has also teamed with HULKent to manage his career, locking in on the potential to cross into other areas of entertainment.
"I wasn't totally happy with my management situation in Day26, and I felt like I need someone who is going to take my career to the next level, and I wasn't getting that," Brian explains. "So I took my business to HULK Entertainment, because I felt like they would have my best interest at heart, and could maximize my career to its fullest potential."
Crossing lines between artistry and business can be difficult at times, but Brian is up for the challenge. He already has several fresh-faced artists on his roster, and has plans to introduce them as he creates his next project.
"I will have a few of my AWE artists featured on my album," he says. "I plan on continuing to work hard on my project, as well as on my label. They both mean so much to me. I'll be performing as well, but right now my main focus is recording and putting together a great album."
The possibilities are limitless for Angel, and he is confident that the lessons he learned with the intense exposure of Day26 will carry him far.
"The most important advice I've gotten is something I learned from Diddy," Angel explains. "He said: 'There is always someone trying to take your spot - when you're sleeping, someone else is awake working, and in the gym there is always someone going harder.' Basically, go hard or go home. And I am not going home."
MP3: Gotham Green & Quickie Mart, "New York Times" f/ Grafh
NY rapper Gotham Green and New Orleans producer Quickie Mart present "New York Times", featuring fellow NY emcee Grafh. "Times" is the second single from the forthcoming fourth installment of their Haze Diaries series, following last week's premiere of "Everything" featuring Cali emcee El Prez. HDV4 is also set to feature CTE signee Freddie Gibbs, Columbia Records artist T. Mills, Def Jam rapper Wax, OKC's Jabee, singer/songwriter/musician Jes Hudak, L.A.'s BLX Crew and more. Previous Haze Diaries volumes have featured Gibbs (watch the "Tell Me Something" video), Planet Asia (watch the "Game Change" video), Medusa, IamOmni and more. Quickie Mart produces every track on HDV4. Quickie recently released the Space Monkey Radio dubstep remix EP as well as the second volume of Balkan/bounce fusion project Gypsyphonic Disko.
Nina B, New York's most promising female hip hop artist, gets heartfelt over the instrumental of Nas’ “Daughters.” Nina recounts Nas’ influence on her and her chance meeting with Nas.
“Nas has always been such a big influence on my career in so many ways, meeting him a while back reaffirmed why I love painting portraits with words. Minutes before taking this picture for BET, Nas gave me advice which would be the proverbial polish to my diamond/gift. He told me to write from the heart and not from the head; besides "The heart knows more about beats, the head recalls events, but heart recreates the moments feeling." Listening to "Daughters" vividly brought me back to that moment and this is what I recorded---enjoy”!
Block McCloud And DJ Waxwork World Premiere "Hallucination" Video On Crave Online!
Crave Online has the world premiere of a video for Block McCloud and DJ Waxwork’s track “Hallucination.” The track will appear on the duo’s upcoming full-length titled “Four Walls” to be released on August 14th via McCloud’s own Disturbia Music Group. The video (directed by Prime Cut Film) was mostly shot in the abandoned Seaview Mental Hospital in Staten Island. An infamous place of death and dementia (as detailed in the documentary film, Cropsey), McCloud said of the grounds “You could actually physically feel the evil coming out of that place. You could go into every room and tell that someone was tortured or killed there. It was eerie.” Seaview’s residents no doubt felt the four walls of their cell closing in on them like the claustrophobic and dark musical journey that McCloud and Waxwork created.
Speaking on Four Walls, which is a concept piece, Block relates “I consider it almost a soundtrack album, all of the music and my lyrics revolve around the central character. He’s a crazy guy who runs a killer carnival and who believes that he was captured and experimented on because he knows too much about the true order of the world. I guess you can say loosely I’m the crazy guy” he says only half-laughing.
Videos for other tracks to appear on the album have already been released including “Crazy Man,” “Crazy Man (remix)” (featuring R.A. The Rugged Man and Celph Titled) and “True Lies” (Featuring Vinnie Paz).
McCloud, has an impressive list of hip hop credits on his resume. This includes being a founding member of the group Brooklyn Academy (which has included Jean Grae, Thirstin Howl The III and Pumpkinhead at times)and is now a full member of Army Of The Pharaohs (which includes Jedi Mind Tricks, Esoteric, Apathy, Celph Titled, Reef The Lost Cauze, Outerspace and more). Under his singing alias Captain Hook, Block has also added unforgettable melodic hooks to tracks by such artists as Sean Price, Method Man, Canibus, Jedi Mind Tricks, The Clipse and more.
DJ Waxwork from Germany was an integral part of the Snowgoons production team on such albums as German Lugers and Black Snow and is a well-established live DJ.
Video: K-Rod's The Truth About... How to Stay in Love
J-Rod's The Truth About series this week discusses how to people stay in love with each other. This week it actually features R&B artist, Ray Lavender, as he gives his input on what men and women need to do to make sure they stay in love.
MP3: Full |REBEL| Jacket - "Purple Lights" Ft. B.J. The Chicago Kid
Last week, Phoenix, Arizona - by way of Dallas, Texas and Anchorage, Alaska - duo Full |REBEL| Jacket released the video for "Stray Bullet," a song that features Dungeon Family legend Big Rube. The song serves as the lead single from their forthcoming free EP, the REBEL EP, which will be released on September 3rd, and today G and Q are excited to release the album's latest single, "Purple Lights," which features up-and-coming crooner B.J. The Chicago Kid.
For Full |REBEL| Jacket, they were inspired to write the song as testament to motivation - both as a document of where they've been and also a statement of purpose for all those striving for something more. "I was thinking about reaching the goals we'd set for ourselves," recalls Q of what inspired his writing process. "We wanted to create a powerful record," adds G, "that people can play when they accomplish something."
The song, as with all of the REBEL EP, is self-produced by Q and G, and while the group is very much a self-contained unit, just as with "Stray Bullet," Full |REBEL| Jacket felt that a third voice was just what they needed to round out the track. They reached out to B.J. The Chicago Kid, who delivers a haunting, urgent chorus, as he sings, "You never know what's gonna happen next/ So you know you gotta be ready/ Even when the ground shake/ Hold the wheel tight, strong, and steady/ The objective is to keep from going under/ And when you realize that you're okay/ That's when you fly away."