In 2017, windows that were once previously thought to be shut are never completely closed.
While we’re waiting for the new album from the ever-mysterious Cage, here’s a new track to tide us over.
Produced and mixed by Jason Mayer.
Cage also has a few live shows coming up soon.
12/21/17 – The Constellation Room – Santa Ana, CA (Tickets on sale 11/3)
12/23/17 – the Roxy – Los Angeles, CA (Tickets on sale 11/3)
The shows will be billed as “Cage vs. Sam Hill.” Cage will be performing oldies, the hits and brand new songs. This will be Sam Hill’s debut performance with a full blown stage production. This will be very special and not to be missed!
While you’re here, check out these other Sam Hill songs.
For more info on BRZOWSKI and ENMITYVILLE visit:
Vocals by BRZOWSKI
Produced by 80HRTZ
Post-Production, Mixing and Mastering by C $ Burns
Cello by Mary Weatherbee
Turntables by Mo Niklz
Directed by Jason Knightly at Lucky Hand Studios
It’s about that time. According to a recent report by Nielsen, an organization that monitors consumer behavior and rate of consumption, Hip Hop/R&B (which are lumped into one genre) are the most listened-to tunes in 2017. The combined genre accounts for 25.1% of all music consumption in the United States. But how exactly is this measured? According to Billboard, who got it from Nielsen, this 25.1% accounts for physical album sales, album streams, and video streams.
This is the first time Hip Hop/R&B has led the charts in consumption, and 25.1% is the largest percentage ever achieved by Hip Hop/R&B. This is the also the first time Rock music has not been first in this measurement, as this year it rests at 23%. It’s not a competition, but this does speak for the impact these genres have on our market and society. If you’re interested in the numbers, Billboard does a very fine job of outlining some important specifics of the Nielsen report.
The sky’s the limit from here on out. How will music influence us next? Maybe Kendrick Lamar will appear on Game of Thrones.
Before we continue this article I want to drop a disclaimer…so here it is.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions in this article are mine and not necessarily the opinions of the Dead End Hip Hop staff…or they might be. I don’t know. OH, and before you @ me on Twitter...just know that won’t change my opinions.
Aight boom. Recently I’ve noticed a trend regarding Chicago’s Chance The Rapper. Chance is a very diverse and multi-layered artist that combines the sounds of gospel and really really soft rap with heavy Christian themes. He’s collaborated with Young Thug, Justin Bieber, had a standout verse on Kanye’s “Ultralight Beam” and…wait, why am I giving an introduction, I’m sure you already know him. He’s everywhere. Which is partially why I’m writing this article.
Recently a report came out saying that music platform Soundcloud basically had 50 days to live…and EVERYONE was panicking. “Oh my God, what are we gonna do now?! What about the music?”. But…not even 24 hours later, Chance…Chance, out of all of the people…stated that Soundcloud was here to stay. This seemed a little fishy to me. First of all…if Soundcloud was REALLY in trouble wouldn’t we have heard about it sooner? More importantly…how does ONE rapper with a net worth of 9 million…that isn’t Diddy, Jay-Z, Drake or Kanye…how does one rapper save a platform that big with just a phone call?
That leads to a couple of theories.
- Chance has more power than we thought.
- The whole thing is a set-up and Soundcloud was NEVER shutting down in the first place.
This brings me to another point. There’s really no nice way to say it, but Chance The Rapper is an industry plant. His level of popularity was planned ever since he before he dropped Acid Rap. His dad worked with my President, and his dad grew up with/knows Spike Lee. I knew he would be this big. Look at him. He’s marketable. He smiles. He laughs. He has an adorable daughter. He’s Christian. His music is safe. He wears OVERALLS. Women love him. He won awards while being “independent”. He’s essentially the anti Kanye. And this is exactly why his popularity has skyrocketed.
All of those things I mentioned are precisely why I don’t buy this corny good guy image that he’s forcing. Every time he does something he’s making sure you know. Whether it be “saving” Soundcloud, donating to a school or something like that. He apologized to the labels he dissed. He apologized for liking a picture on Instagram (???). Whatever he does (mostly positive) is immediately broadcasted and eaten up. It’s like he’s some super hero……..so like I said, the anti Kanye. I’m not a fan of him being put on a pedestal for stuff like this, his false independence, his safe good guy image that’s completely fake. If other rappers can do good for people in silence, why is he so different. Why are people subject to having to deal with watching his every move?
Nobody else thinks it’s weird that Chance was EVERYWHERE on the blogs in 2012 despite barely anyone ever hearing of him? He wasn’t independent then because he was signed with Creative Arts Agency (Home to George Clooney, Will Smith, David Beckham among others). Chance wasn’t independent then. Chance is not independent now. You can’t sit here and tell me that anyone backed by Apple (a company worth 700 BILLION) is an independent artist just because they aren’t signed to a label. Chance The Rapper’s album Coloring Book was streamed on Apple Music for 2 weeks before it was “free”. That’s not independent. If you’re being backed by the biggest tech company in the world, how can you expect not to sell a ton of records and win awards. He isn’t a trailblazer or example for other independent rappers, but he is a marketing GENIUS.
I was a Chance fan for a long time. But I’m even more a fan of the culture. I understand artist development, because Chance hasn’t always made music like this, music with strong Christian themes, but I understand. Music is all about branding, how you market yourself. Chance has shown that he’s soft spoken, friendly, a nice guy. He’s a rapper who won’t push the envelope. you can listen to him in the car with your parents, even the unclean versions. He’s what Childish Gambino was supposed to be. He’s what Drake was in 2008. And after he got the Kanye push and co-sign, it was over. Chance was catapulted past hip-hop and into pop cultural stardom.
I know what you’re thinking. “He does all this good stuff for people, he saved Soundcloud, why should we care? Go get some money, hating ass nigga!”. Yeah, f*ck me, right? I’m not hating on Chance. I still enjoy his old music. I believe he’s overhyped and his false, independent savior image is a detriment to the culture. This has been set up since the beginning. To me what sets him apart from rappers like Kendrick (let’s just use him) is that Kendrick pushes the envelope while giving you 100% raw raps hit your soul and throughout his career he has unapologetically dropped music for the culture without sacrificing his image. One of my issues with Chance is that he’s done a complete 180 musically, which I understand and a complete 180 with his image. He also got off drugs, and I’m happy for him but you can’t tell me that him being sober is gonna turn him into this complete cornball…something is up.
In the words of Joe Budden: ” You can’t fool a real nigga, you can fool all of them who aren’t paying attention, but you can’t fool me.”
………Y’all know this is just my opinion, right?
In case you haven’t heard, one of the most prominent places for people to hear things may be dying. To give you some background, Soundcloud, the online audio sharing platform/rapper nexus that has bred many artists, both popular and otherwise, might be going through some major financial turbulence. According to a report from TechCrunch that contained inaccuracies, Soundcloud has just enough money to last until the end of the fourth quarter, which was said to begin in about 50 days, but is actually in around 80 days. Soundcloud co-founders Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss pointed out these inaccuracies and said they will make it through the fourth quarter just fine, so get off their case, Dad.
However, Soundcloud did fire 40% of their employees last week, and will also close down their London and San Francisco offices in an effort to prevail. No matter what Soundcloud says, it sounds like something fishy is going on here. Many people are speculating the death of Soundcloud based on these drastic business maneuvers, including Chance The Rapper, who mysteriously tweeted that he’ll save the day.
I'm working on the SoundCloud thing
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) July 13, 2017
And today, Chance tweeted that whatever final countdown we were expecting is no longer an issue:
Just had a very fruitful call with Alex Ljung. @SoundCloud is here to stay.
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) July 14, 2017
It’s no secret that Soundcloud has been losing the streaming war with Spotify and Apple Music for some time, but I hope they can at least tread water. I’ve found some great artists on SC, so it’s comforting for me and my friends who use it. As of right now, it looks like artists don’t need to worry about backing up all their work. Yet.
Soundcloud was instrumental in propelling Chance to his current status, so it makes sense for him to reach out in their time of need. He also appears to be a nice fellow with a lot of love. Some would argue too much love. Not I, but some. It’s still unclear what exactly is going on with SC, and also whatever Chance did or talked with Ljung about is unclear, but it appears the fate of SC might be in the hands of a person named Chance. How do you feel about The Cloud (no one calls it this)? I would be sad to see it go, but a few of my pals wouldn’t mind if it collapsed so a better service could take over.
On Wednesday, Open Mike Eagle announced a new tour with a great name scheduled to run from September 2017 to October 2017. Do you ever feel excitement when an artist announces a tour knowing that you yourself most likely won’t be able to participate? That’s kind of how I’m feeling right now, but I’m going to clear my calendar and jog to a show if I have to. The below tweet describes the Autumn tour dates and a seriously great lineup of the featured artists, Sammus, Scallops Hotel, and Billy Woods. I’m personally super excited for Sammus.
— Open Mike Eagle (@Mike_Eagle) July 12, 2017
In addition to the very informative tweet, a YouTube video featuring the Cam Pebbleman was released to promote the tour. You can watch it below. I don’t know if Mike plans on releasing any new music before the tour, but if we really believe, maybe it will happen.
I live close to Baltimore, but in comparison to other cities it’s not exactly known far and wide for its musical prowess. If only someone could help enlighten me and the rest of the world to the talent I know must be out there? Enter FLIPS, a YouTube series showcasing the quick resourcefulness of beat makers and producers in the Baltimore area. The short analysis of an average episode is artists pick a random genre of music out of a black box, pick some records from a record store of that genre, and make a beat in 30 minutes utilizing those records. I had the honor to meet with some of the gentlemen behind FLIPS and see what they’re all about. Derick Little (@DlowICON) did most of the talking.
Note: This interview was conducted face-to-face and recorded on June 28th, 2017, but it has been transcribed for clarity.
Dead End Hip Hop: Tell me about yourself.
Derick: Well, first I’m an artist, a producer second, and filmer third. Been filming for awhile. I’ve been filming since probably 2011-2012. Around the time I started picking up the camera and making music videos and stuff. I’m a local artist in Baltimore (East Baltimore), Maryland. I just started coming up with the idea like “Hey I should like, get a lot of producers known in Baltimore so I could do FLIPS.”
DEHH: That brings me to my next question, how exactly would you describe FLIPS?
Derick: FLIPS is a real good platform for beat makers that’s in [the] Baltimore City area. So like, I made this platform so a lot producers could get heard in Baltimore City, and so that pretty much they can be seen and know that we’re getting overlooked; make that fact known all around the world. So this is definitely like a local thing for other people all around to see what we’re doing and see what Baltimore has to offer as far as beat makers.
DEHH: Who’s involved with FLIPS? Who’s the team?
Derick: It’s me, it’s my boy Vlad (Vladimir Barnett, @Macvlad_), and it’s my boy Darian (Darian Jones, @_JonesAvenue_) on the social media posting, y’know everything relevant, keeping everything up to date with FLIPS, and up to date with social media and pop culture.
DEHH: When was the idea for FLIPS conceived?
Derick: It [FLIPS] was conceived probably about a half a year ago [2016ish-2017ish at the time of this interview]. I had the idea planned I just never went through with it. But now this year I said I’m gonna go through with it and make it happen so a lot of people can hear these producers that’s all around the surrounding Baltimore area.
DEHH: That’s a good goal. How does shooting a typical episode go? Like, is it all planned out or do you just kind of call someone?
Derick: Well essentially I go by a template. Pretty much I go and talk to the artist and let the artist know that “Hey, you gotta pick out of this black box of genres, from R&B, Jazz, Soul, Classical, Electronica, etc.” Those genres are the ones that they’ll be able to pick out, and once they pick that genre out, they pick 2-7 records. Physical copy, doesn’t necessarily need to be an album as far as a vinyl. It could be an 8-track, tape, CD, whatever’s a physical copy of an album. After they pick up their albums they go to their home, in their environment or studio. I give them time to listen, and after they’re done listening they get 30 minutes to cook up beats.
DEHH: For me it sounds like Chopped for beat makers. Just gotta go in, do it, whatever happens, happens.
DEHH: FLIPS is pretty young at the moment. Do you have any development plans down the road for it?
Derick: Yeah, this is pretty much the Beta season. This is just like a pilot to everything that FLIPS is going to have to offer. My major goal is to have this on a bigger platform, like a channel. It could be Fader, Viceland, but I really want it to be on Netflix since Netflix is a real good app where people want to go watch movies and shows or whatever sort. They could watch it anytime on Netflix so I think I would definitely love it if it could be on Netflix, and that’s my major goal for FLIPS.
DEHH: I think Netflix is definitely like, killing television. Netflix is probably the pinnacle. That’d be sweet if FLIPS could get up there. It might be like the first of its kind. You said this was to expose Baltimore producers and musicians and stuff, do you think any other cities are doing anything like this?
Derick: It’s a possibility. I for sure don’t look at it being like an idea that’s never been made. Mind you, my inspiration was from Rhythm Roulette from Mass Appeal. Like, I wanted to do it in my own way in order for Baltimore to get recognized because this is something that Mass Appeal doesn’t own, as far as doing beat compilations, beat challenges. And not to throw any shade to Mass Appeal or Rhythm Roulette, this is just something that needs to be done here in Baltimore. I don’t think a lot of, or any artists from Baltimore are on Rhythm Roulette. Like I said, it’s so a lot of producers in Baltimore could get recognized, and Baltimore producers won’t get overlooked. It’s definitely a good cause for producers and beat makers to get recognized and known. Everyone else that sees the music, the beat making, the whole idea of sitting at home, using what you got just to make your whole masterpiece.
DEHH: Undoubtedly. Because I don’t really get out to listening to as much music as I should be listening to, and I really don’t know many Baltimore artists, but I can name them if their from Chicago, New York, or Atlanta. Just not Baltimore. So I think it’s really good that you’re giving Baltimore a chance with this.
Derick: Defnitely. It not only gives an opening for producers and beat makers, it also gives a chance for other people to browse to sprout out and get out of that box and pretty much start to make beats. It gives people an uplifting feeling when they’re like “Hey, I wanna try to get into beat making. I wanna try to be able to be better than this producer, or be better than this producer, or this beat maker. I wanna think outside the box.” You know what I mean? It gives people the idea to go out there and do what you wanna do, do what you would love to do. And you can definitely make it happen. It definitely gives a lot of people hope, a lot of the younger crowd hope in doing this and to keep hip hop alive for beat makers to actually adventure out and have that time to go and look for beats instead of YouTubing samples and different sounds. Not saying those different sounds are not good to make a beat, but it gives you that real comfortable feeling like “Hey I actually went out and searched for this album, and chopped this up and made this.” You definitely have more appreciation to what you do.
DEHH: The actual process.
DEHH: And that’s something that you don’t really get to see unless you really dig for it. But it’s nice, it feels really homegrown. Natural.
Derick: Yeah, exactly.
DEHH: I’m just curious. Who are some of your favorite artists or artists who inspired you?
Derick: I would say a lot of artists like Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes. Those are like my two people that are down to earth and old-school that I looked up to when I was younger and still to this day. I listen to them every day. As far as now, I do get into Kid Cudi and Travis Scott, it’s not just the whole boom bap scene or jazz/soul/funk stuff. I’m also into some trap, not into all trap. It has to actually sound right. It has to give me that feeling like I want to listen to it on a daily basis. You know what I mean?
DEHH: Yeah. I think that’s about all I have, do you have any final thoughts?
Derick: I hope that people actually read this or listen to this and I can change some people into becoming beat makers or doing whatever they want to do in life. Giving people hope, because that’s the whole main idea of this platform for FLIPS. We’ll definitely be coming out with merch soon, t-shirts, hats, coming out with some stickers as well. So be on the lookout for that.
I’m not a hat person, but I would get one for FLIPS. So that’s the long and short of FLIPS at the moment, but the best way to understand is to watch the show on YouTube. I recommend you keep an eye on them. And to you Baltimore area cats, hit em up! Relevant links are below.
Jay-Z has more platinum albums than any other hip hop artist, but I don’t think anyone could’ve expected this. Although his latest album 4:44 released on June 30, it is now certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). What makes this incredible is that 4:44 was officially released for streaming only on two platforms, Tidal and Sprint. I was one of the people who thought this was a bold move, but I guess it worked out for Jay-Z in the end. Or the beginning. It’s been like six days. I’m not even fully sure what the RIAA is counting because there were no digital albums available, just streams. Maybe it was tallied by the number of plays?
Some folks are skeptical of how this platinum status was accomplished so quickly under the limited streaming capabilities. Complex speculated that Sprint may have purchased bulk copies of the album like how Samsung did for Magna Carta Holy Grail. That would make sense. There were a lot of people who thought a Tidal-Sprint release would severely hinder Jay-Z’s financial success with this album, so maybe he sold a million copies to Sprint before releasing it on iTunes and Apple Music to quell the haters and make it appear as if Tidal can handle itself just fine.
That would certainly make Tidal look like an effective service for other artists and open up business for Jay-Z down the road. I’m not saying this is what happened, it just wouldn’t surprise me is all. In any case, I’m more interested in the actual music, and the album sounds pretty fine is you ask me. Congrats to Mr. Carter!
Still the subject of the recent Joe Budden tiff and Chris Brown “beef,” the lads whose powers combine to form Migos can never have any rest. In a video released by The Hollywood Fix, some paparazzi pretty much made themselves right at home in Offset and Cardi B.‘s personal spaces as they were out shopping and peacefully living their lives. Aside from the creepy camera guy asking Cardi B. “did you find anything good up in the store?”, and a bodyguard wearing a very nice bag, there’s not too many highlights, with the exception of one major piece of info pertaining to music and not gossip.
Around the very end of the video Offset is asked if any new albums are coming out, and he responds by saying that an album called “Culture II” is coming out in October. Earlier this month, Migos hinted that Culture II, the follow-up to their very successful album Culture would be arriving soon, but I guess this is confirmed now. Watch the video below if you want. It causes me mild duress to indulge in the probing of celebrities lives, but hey, new music.