MP3/Video: D.Willz - "Watermelon" + Video Added To VEVO
P3 Released As Video Continues Successful Run, Gets Added To VEVO With Forthcoming Front-Page Feature
Not too long ago, East Oakland, California rapper D.Willz released a video for "Watermelon," a song taken from his latest mixtape, Hood Pop. The video put D.Willz' outside-the-box humor on display as he chose to play the background in his own video. Instead of appearing himself, D.Willz features a variety of California farmers carrying watermelons while dancing and rapping to a sing-along style bouncing watermelon graphic. Not surprisingly, the video has become an instant fan favorite, racking up over 300,000 views on YouTube, winning mtvU's Freshman 5 competition with over 60% of the total vote, being added to rotation on MTV Jams and AMTV (one of the only indie videos on the show), and being christened as maybe the "Weirdest Local Rap Video of the Year" by SF Weekly.
As memorable and fun as the video is, it's hard to remember sometimes, just how infectiously catchy the song is. In its short amount of time as a single, the song has already been picked up by radio stations in San Francisco, CA, Tucson, AZ, Colorado Springs, CO, Modesto, CA, and Santa Rosa, CA. Built on a bed of bouncy keys, 808 claps, and deep kicks, all courtesy of producer Mark Kragen, the track pulls together with D.Willz' repeated "Gotta juice it like a watermelon" chorus and lighthearted and cleverly suggestive sing-songy vocal delivery. "The best part was the recording session," recalls D.Willz, with a hint as to why the song may have turned out as fun as it is. "It was six empty bottles of Patron, dozens of girls, and my whole 2Fresh Entertainment crew."
And fans aren't the only ones taking notice. As the video continues to gain in momentum, popular video site VEVO has now picked up "Watermelon" and is running a front-page feature for the clip. "It's an honor to have VEVO recognize my video 'Watermelon'... I am looking forward to expanding my fan base.," D.Willz explains when asked of the VEVO recognition. This is a particularly special honor considering artists must be invited to VEVO and the site is generally only host to videos from Major Label artists. The video has also been added to MTV2 On Demand and Music Choice On Demand. "This biggest excitement for me is seeing how many views I will get! I'm trying to break a certain number and if I do that, I'll be one happy dude."
"I'm from the city too diverse to gentrify and Hollywood dreams have eaten many alive…"
The good folks at The Smoking Section helped premier the Has-Lo Remix to Trek Life's song "Due West." Has-Lo continues to impress on the production end, able to flip the Oddisee produced original into something darker, more sinister, and brooding to match Trek Life dropping the gritty history of Black migration to California and the Los Angeles area. Trek really shines on this track, displaying his affection towards California and the Los Angeles area, while doing the knowledge to offer listeners some insight on how it all started.
New Mixtape Remixes Legendary French Duo Air, With Kweli Featuring First Single
Any artist wondering how they can take their music to the next level should take notes from New Jersey-raised, Harlem-based emcee Kyle Rapps. Since the release of his debut EP, Re-Edutainment, Kyle's been hard at work, releasing new videos, performing at SXSW, and more, all while putting the finishing touches on his new mixtape, On Air. The mixtape, produced entirely by Nate G, draws its samples from French electronic band Air, and continues to show off Kyle's proclivity for pulling in high profile features, with guest slots from the likes of KRS-One, C-Rayz Walz, and Homeboy Sandman, along with Talib Kweli, who shows up on the lead single from On Air, “Universe Traveler.”
For Kyle, "Universe Traveler" is an opportunity to show and prove, and he does just that alongside one of his own musical heroes with lines like, "I'm staying on the blocks like the first grade/ I'm letting off shots, get the First Aid/ Some rappers sling coke, I prefer cake/ I'm the last one broke and the first paid." And while some might not suspect a collection of samples from Air to compliment the two tri-state representatives, Nate G's smooth blend of samples, backed by chunky drums, provides an opportunity for Kyle to prove that versatility is his specialty. "'Universe Traveler' is all about being able to rap anywhere, with anyone, to be able to rap in any situation and still be able to come off. To me, that's the definition of a true emcee."
Video: Fonzworth Bentley on Balancing Marriage & Career
Today's typical hip hop artist generally lives a very fast and "on the go" lifestyle, working 24 hours a day it seems, and remaining single and/or divorced in their personal lives. G.O.O.D. Music's Fonzworth Bentley drops knowledge on how he balances a marriage with "Benjamin Button" star, Faune Chambers and his music/movie career.
4th Annual Trae Day Celebration to Be Streamed This Friday
The Fourth Annual Trae Day will be going down this Friday, July 22, in Houston, and for the first time ever, it will be live broadcast on XXL's UStream channel.
Houston native Trae Tha Truth first created the celebratory community event four years ago, and in the time since, it has become a yearly ritual that community members as well as artists and fans from near and far look forward to. In the past, upwards of 10,000 people have attended the event, which includes live performances and rides.
As in years past, free school supplies, including backpacks and uniforms, as well as immunizations, will be made available to those in attendance.
In addition to Trae, who dropped his latest album, Street King, last Tuesday, Lupe Fiasco, Rich Boy, YC Worldwide, Tity Boi (2 Chainz), Twista and more will be hitting the stage.
XXL will be in attendance, capturing the event, performances, and interviews with the artists so that those at home can tune in.
At last, the day is finally here. The anticipated new album from Sole & the Skyrider Band, Hello Cruel World, is out today on Fake Four Inc, with a double LP release to follow on August 2nd. To celebrate the occasion, Brooklyn Vegan premiered "Napoleon," the album kick-off track and collaboration with Xiu Xiu. My Old Kentucky Blog is streaming the album in its entirety, and Vibe Magazine is streaming "Bad Captain Swag," the much talked about collaboration with Lil B THEBASEDGOD and Pictureplane. Additionally, Turntable Kitchen is not only running Sole's envelope-pushing recipe for Vegan Tuna Fish, but they premiered the track "We Stay Eating" as well, a collaboration with Busdriver over a Mount Kimbie remix of James Blake (taken from the Nuclear Winter Volume 2 mixtape). Last but certainly not least, Sole and the Skyrider Band have finalized their west coast summer tour dates as well, with the full tour routing below.
Sole & the Skyrider Band Tour Dates:
Wed | 08-10-2011 Scottsdale AZ Chasers Bar and Night Club Thu | 08-11-2011 Flagstaff AZ Green Room Fri | 08-12-2011 Los Angeles CA The Roxy Theatre Sat | 08-13-2011 San Diego CA Soda Bar Sun | 08-14-2011 San Francisco CA Bottom Of The Hill Mon | 08-15-2011 Reno NV Tonic Lounge Tue | 08-16-2011 Sacramento CA Sol Collective Wed | 08-17-2011 Portland OR Doug Fir Lounge Thu | 08-18-2011 Seattle WA Nectar Lounge Sat | 08-20-2011 Boise ID Knitting Factory Tue | 08-23-2011 Missoula MT The Badlander Wed | 08-24-2011 Bozeman MT Zebra Cocktail Lounge Thu | 08-25-2011 Salt Lake City UT Kilby Court Sat | 08-27-2011 Colorado Springs CO Black Sheep ----