Happy Valentine’s Ye!

So obviously it’s Valentine’s Day, but can we talk about the real celebratory moment that is today?  The one year anniversary of Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo.  This seventh studio album of the Chicago native is one of my favorite albums and has been in rotation monthly since it dropped a year ago.

And what’s even cooler is that he premiered it during his Yeezy Season 3 fashion show at Madison Square Garden.  He SOLD OUT MSG all for a fashion show.  How amazing!  I remember watching it at work at my last job during my free month subscription to Tidal (only subscribed for that reason) and was just in awe the entire time.  Seeing how happy Kanye was dropping new music for his fans, family, and friends… seeing the audience go wild… watching the models in his fashion show stand as still as a statue yet shed tears.  Like what were they thinking?!  So incredible.  And I think it’s amazing Kanye gave those involved with his show that once in a lifetime opportunity.

But yeah, this was very far from your standard album release.  It was an EXPERIENCE which more and more artists are doing when it comes to music drops.  I think I need to write a post on that.

Okay, back to the album.  Or do we call it an art piece?  A work of art?  Some people were (and still might be) annoyed by the fact that Ye continued to change the album once it officially dropped, but I’m not mad about it.  Kanye is known to be quite the perfectionist so it’s not surprising that he wanted to alter the album once it released.  Yes, he could have made sure it was all up to par before officially releasing it, but I think his approach to TLOP created a more personal connection to his fans.  Almost like you were part of the process – watching it happen and anticipating what more could he do.

It gave the album life in a way.  That it was still growing… transforming.  This is a bit dramatic, I know, but think about it.  Something is born and it grows and changes.  This is what TLOP did.  Any who.

From the opening sounds of the little girl in “Ultralight Beam” to Kanye straight up rapping bars and truth on the last track, “Saint Pablo,” so much greatness and emotion took place.  The beginning of the album started with gospel vibes and uplifting tones and yet ended in an almost angry, sad, frustrated Kanye.  We sort of heard that transition in “I Love Kanye.”  He’s acknowledging the ups and downs that is Kanye West, and I think that’s refreshing.

Having Chance the Rapper start on his first track is a major key.  No, really.  Now look at Chance.  He just won three Grammy Awards.  Not saying Kanye had anything to do with it, Chance is extremely talented, but the motivation and inspiration from Kanye probably had a slight influence on him as an artist.

I met Kanye West, I’m never going to fail
He said let’s do a good ass job with Chance three
I hear you gotta sell it to snatch the Grammy

-Chance the Rapper, “Ultralight Beam”

This is the album that introduced us to Desiigner who we all thought was Future at first.  And now look at Timmy Turner.  He’s dropping mixtapes, going on his own tours, and being seen at exclusive events with a large fanbase.  The “Famous” music video?  So full of controversy, yet you remember the song and the video.  Even cooler, he premiered the video in movie theaters at a few cities, one being Los Angeles.  And for LA, Kanye was there!  How epic is that?  The truest of the true fans watching a music video in a movie theatre and the artist who released the video is behind you vibing out with you.  Kanye does it for the kids, bro.  And have you heard “Waves” featuring Chris Brown?  That song is fy-er.  I get the chills every time I hear it.

To top it all off, he tacked on a pretty epic tour to sum up The Life of Pablo.  And what’s sort of crazy, now that I think about it is the kickoff to his tour began quite uplifting and full of energy.  Towards the end, he was canceling shows and acting a little off.  Sort of like the album.  Maybe it was to mirror the life of Pablo.  Regardless, TLOP was for sure one of the best albums of 2016 and continues to be one of my favorites.

I’m looking forward to Yeezy Season 5 tomorrow and am very curious to see what the following means.  It’s been circulating on Twitter for a few hours now.  There’s talks that Kanye and Drake have a joint project, so I would be pretty pumped to at least hear one track from that.  Maybe a song from Drake’s More Life will drop?  I do not know.  All I need to do now is sign up for Tidal again for a hot minute to watch and see.

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Alright, yinz.  Valentine’s Ye is almost over so want to publish this post before the day’s end.  Talk soon!

OH!  And we can absolutely not forget that today, February 14, is also the 11 year anniversary of Drake’s very first mixtape, Room for Improvement.  Definitely check that out if you haven’t.  You can hear what all the Drake fuss is about and where it began 🙂

In short, Drake and Kanye both share the same project anniversary day for two monumental pieces of work they’ve created, so I would be very excited for them to drop a collab project tomorrow.  And then next year on February 15, I can write a one year anni post on that.

Okay – night, fam!

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Confirmed!

Today, in an interview with Vogue, Kanye West confirmed that he and Drake are in fact working on a collab album!  Yeeeee.

“We’re just working on music, working on a bunch of music together, just having fun going into the studio. We’re working on an album, so there’s some exciting things coming up soon.”

Praise the music gawds.

Read the full interview here and definitely tune into my Snaps (ergense) today and especially tonight, as I’m going to the Summer Sixteen opening show in LA.  It’s lit!

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Positivity Post!

PI don’t know about yinz, but I need some happy social media posts in my life right now.  Good thing there are a lot of good and exciting things currently happening in the hip-hop (and sports) world!

First and foremost, I can’t believe I didn’t post about the freaking PITTSBURGH PENGUINS winning the STANLEY CUP.  I mean.  I’ve been waiting for this moment since 2009 when they won their last Cup.  So, so proud of and happy for this team of yinzers.  Wondering where I watched the game?  The couch.  And I couldn’t have been more content.  A big congrats to the Pittsburgh Penguins and glad the Cup is back in the city of Pittsburgh.  I hope everyone who is at/went to the parade today had fun and stayed safe!

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pens parade_Shop412Photo Credit:  Pittsburgh Penguins Instagram & Twitter pages

Now, back to hip-hop…

YG | STILL BRAZY

Late last night, well late for East Coasters, YG dropped his highly-anticipated album Still Brazy.  It’s currently only streaming on Apple Music (subscribe if you haven’t already) and will more than likely be available on more streaming services on the actual release date of Friday, June 17.  And if you’re in LA on Friday through the 28th, stop by YG’s pop-up shop and art installation on Fairfax!

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LIL WAYNE RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL

After TWO seizures and emergency plane landings, Lil Wayne is out of the hospital and doing well.  To reiterate, this is a ‘positivity post,’ so I won’t be ranting on bashing him (and never would actually) on why he shouldn’t be drinking that lean.  Seriously.  Life is too short, Weezy.  But very glad he’s doing okay!

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BEYONCE x FLINT, MICHIGAN

Beyonce back at it again with the good deeds.  Most recently, Queen Bee has donated more than $80,000 towards the Flint water crisis.  More specifically, the money went to the United Way of Genesee County at a Detroit high school in partnership with Bey’s philanthropic platform, BeyGOOD.  As if that wasn’t generous enough, 14 Detroit-based high school students were selected to receive “college gifts” for educational expenses and surprised with tickets to Beyonce’s Tuesday night show at Ford Field in Michigan.  Love, love, love reading about this type of stuff!  More on Bey’s good deeds here.

DRAKE x VIEWS

Shout out to Drizzy Drake whose recent album VIEWS just went DOUBLE PLATINUM.  It’s official via the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).  From what I thought wasn’t his best project, I do find myself listening to it more and more.  From the album, One Dance, has now spent five consecutive weeks at #1, while VIEWS itself has spent six.  As for overall streams – VIEWS has surpassed the one BILLION-stream benchmark in the U.S.  So epic.  6 God status for real.

KANYE WEST x SAINT PABLO TOUR

We on a ultralight beam!  For real.  As Kim’s Tweet promised, Kanye revealed the tour dates yesterday morning for his HIGHLY-anticpiated tour.  The tour starts in August in Indianapolis and wraps up in October in Sin City.  He’ll be making two stops in LA at The Forum on October 25 and October 26.  And sorry, yinz, he isn’t stopping in Pittsburgh.  You have some options though:  drive to Philly to see him on October 4 orrrr fly to me and get lit at The Forum.  Although, I don’t know why, but I think it would be dope to see Ye perform in Seattle.  Really not sure why, but in my head it seems cool.  General sale tickets go on sale this Saturday.  Cop them or miss out on what will probably be a sold out tour.

Oh and can’t forget what else Kanye delivered yesterday.  Later in the evening Kanye added the final (assuming so) version of the song ‘Saint Pablo’ to The Life of Pablo album.  He’s been making changes to the album since it dropped in February.  This only continues to make me think that TLOP is a work of art.  Always evolving and changing!  And it’s another reason why I like and respect Kanye.  He takes his projects and passions seriously, as do I, so I can appreciate him and his ways.  UPDATE:  Kanye added additional tour dates.  Check those here.

kanye-west-saint-pablo-tour-dates

And to conclude this post, I’d like to shout out Disney World for donating $1 million to the victims of the Orlando tragedy.  My thoughts go to the families and friends of those who are no longer with us, and my prayers go to the innocent lives who were taken way too soon.  I really hope the Facebook bantering and blaming simmers down because what truly matters is that we all come together during a time like this to lift one another up and fill the world (real and digital) with positivity and to remember those lost.  I’m sure they wouldn’t want all this finger pointing.

Thanks yinz for reading – be back soon!

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Happy birth(YE)!

“Ah, Yeezy Yeezy how you doing huh?
It’s my birthday, I deserve to be greedy huh?”
-Kanye West, ‘Birthday Song’ (2 Chainz ft. Kanye West)

Music producer, rapper, songwriter, sometimes singer (cue Auto-Tune; hey, it makes those non-singing rappers’ songs more melodic).

If you couldn’t tell, I’m a huge Ye fan.  And since today is his birthday, he definitely deserves a californyinz birthday post.  I’m going to highlight what Ye means to me and why we could all benefit from being even just a tad bit like him in our day-to-day.

“And if you can do it better than me then you do it”
“Cold” – Cruel Summer
PERFECTIONIST | I mean the man was making changes to TLOP since the day it dropped in February.  Kanye wants the sound to be perfect and delivered with the best quality. He  is hands-on with his fashion line because he wants it to be perfect through his eyes.  So yes, be more of a perfectionist like Kanye.  Who likes something half-assed anyway?

Kanye-Creative-Genius

“We all self conscious, I’m just the first to admit it”
“All Falls Down” – The College Dropout
RISK TAKER | Kanye took a major risk on 808s & Heartbreak by not only introducing the sound of Auto-Tune (with the help of T-Pain) and the use of 808 drums, but by also being at his most vulnerable.  This paved the way for other artists to take on the same approach but in their own creative ways.  So be like Kanye and take those risks.  You never know the outcome for you personally and who else you may motivate and inspire!

Kanye Approves

“I done talked a lot of ish, but I just did the numbers”
“Facts” – The Life of Pablo
EXECUTES HIS VISIONS | We all know Kanye is a man of many ideas.  Well props to him for turning most of if not all those visions into realities.  Major key to success.  So if you’re questioning whether you should bring your own ideas to fruition or not, think of Kanye and BE GREAT.  Don’t skip out on missed opportunities.

“They got my mouth wired shut for like six weeks… but I’m still here for y’all right now”
“Through the Wire” – The College Dropout
PASSIONATE | Music, fashion, family, friends, the fans.  The passion Kanye emits for all of that and probably more is one of the reasons I like him so much.  For me, his passion is contagious.  Much appreciated.  I think if more people found and expressed their passions in the same way as Ye, the world would be a more productive place.

“And if they hate, then let them hate, and watch the money pile up”
“The Good Life” – Graduation
Aside from his passion, what I appreciate most about Kanye is that he doesn’t care what anyone thinks.  Yes, you should care a tad about what people think (you don’t want to be rude) but at the end of the day you have to look out for yourself and do the damn thang.

Now, I will leave yinz all with this FULL video of Kanye performing his 808s & Heartbreak at the Hollywood Bowl.  This was truly one of the coolest concerts I’ve ever attended.  Not only getting to see one of my favorite artists perform, but this 808s album happens to be one of my favorite projects from Ye and probably in general.  TLOP isn’t far behind :).  But anyway, please watch if you have some downtime.  Well worth it.

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Summer Jam Live Updates

UPDATE 10:49PM PST:  Webster Hall just tweeted, “There is no late show at Webster Hall tonight. Please get home safely.”  Nooooooo!  Aka the spot where Ye was supposed to have a concert.  Will he have a block party instead?  Hmm…

UPDATE 10:23PM PST:  And we’re done, yinz!  Unfortunately, Future was turned away from the radio station (I can’t wait to read more about this tomorrow), so DJ Khaled closed out the show.  His night pretty much full circle – what and who he opened with at Beyonce’s Formation Tour earlier in the night in Philly, he brought them out again to close out Summer Jam.  #movie.  And Kanye pop-up show update – that sold out in MINUTES.  A 2AM show.

UPDATE 10:18PM PST:  Ty Dolla $ign!  Thank you, Khaled!  And we also have a tweet from Future that says “Radio station told me to leave…major pump fake.”  Come again?

UPDATE 10:07PM PST:  Khaled brought out Yo Gotti and now O.T. Genasis.  It’s a movie right now!!  And Bustaaaaa Rhymes!!!

UPDATE 10:02PM PST:  Khaled brings out Rick Ross to do some throw backs plus one of my favorites ‘Pop That.’  And a Kanye concert update – SOLD OUT.  Hate him all you want, but he makes move and knows what his fans want.

UPDATE 9:38PM PST:  We back!  A$AP Rocky has taken the stage and said he doesn’t care about ‘no lights or no fights,’ so it’s poppin!

UPDATE 9:17PM PST:  Now people are saying there was no shooting.  Regardless, a brawl over I’m sure NOTHING is uncalled for.  Is Summer Jam over or nah?  I thought Future was supposed to perform!

Okay – scary update.  A brawl started on the main floor and Twitter is updating with a potential shooting.  I don’t even like mentioning this type of stuff on my blog.  Ugh.  Hopefully that second part isn’t true!!  Some people are the worst.   The live stream tapped out…

Impromptu concert alert!  Supposedly Kanye will be performing The Life of Pablo at 2AM EST in Manhattan.. can someone fly me in though?!  But seriously.  Keep checking californyinz for updates!

What I’ve seen so far thanks to live streaming.  Praise technology.  I’m currently sitting in my room, sipping on wine, painting my nails, and watching the show.  Props to Kylie and Christian for being there – FOMO!

Main | That performance was awful.  And I’m not one to completely be turned off from a set, especially a rap one.  But for this I actually muted it.  Next.

GOOD Music | Desiigner was on one, Ye messed up most of his own words (he admitted it and lol’ed). Respeck.  And Desiigner brought out all the dance moves.  I mean, how cool is it for him, this up-and-coming rapper, to be performing with I’m sure who are all of his idols?!  2 Chainz, Kanye, Pusha T, Big Sean… I can’t!


Bryson Tiller  | I could watch and listen to him perform all the time.  He opened his set with “502 Come Up,” which is one of my favorites.  You just get the most chill vibe from him but all 60,000 people in attendance were vibing out so hard to him.   And that dude who I didn’t recognize at first – that would be Fabolous.  Epic.  Then Tiller took a moment to talk about how amazed he is he’s performing at Summer Jam in front of 60,000 people, and that the advice he was given was that it would take one song to get him to this point.  That one song being “Don’t.”  The motivation is too real!

Okay, Fat Joe and Remy Ma just took the stage.  More updates as this ish continues on…

 

 

Kanye West Debuts First Single from ‘Cruel Winter’

‘I’m about to go Gucci in the Gucci stoooooore.’

We don’t have the mastered version yet, but pleaseeeee listen to this right now.  It features Quavo, Travis Scott, Desiigner, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Yo Gotti, and Gucci Mane.

I promise you I tweeted the other day that Ye was working on new music for Cruel Winter, and I’m so excited.

Listen below.  PS I love Big Sean’s verse, per usual.

It is definitely a G.O.O.D. Friday!

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Weekly Wrap-Up / Late Night

Okay well what new music did I miss this week besides everything?  Honest even.

Let’s do a quick recap:

Chance the Rapper | Coloring Book  The Chi-Town native released his highly-anticipated album Coloring Book with features from Future, 2 Chainz, the Biebs, Jeremih, Lil Yachty, and more.  I listened to it last night, just a few hours after it dropped, and I really liked it.  I have to admit that I couldn’t even tell you the name of Chance’s last album title but with the hype surrounding Coloring Book, I had to give it a listen.  I was not disappointed.  That first track with the Ye feature.  Chi-Town repping!  Amaze.

Coloring Book

It debuted on Apple Music – yinz should really invest in that streaming service – and I once again attempted to embed the code into WP for you to listen, but the music isn’t showing when I hit ‘preview’!  It shows in this current draft version.  What good does that do?  Anyway, head on over to Rap-Up to stream Coloring Book.

Post Malone | August 26  Okay, now this is another project I personally wasn’t anticipating that much but gave it a listen on my way to work this morning, and I REALLY enjoyed it.  The tape includes features from 2 Chainz, Lil Yachty, Jeremih, and more.  Pause.  These freaking people were on Chance’s album.  Were they all in the same city at the same time recording both projects?  Was this just by chance (the rapper)?  This and Coloring Book also dropped the same night.  Mind.  Blown.

August 26

He still hasn’t released his debut album or even a date yet, although many speculate the title of this mixtape is the drop date, we don’t have any confirmed details just yet!  But anyways definitely stream Post Malone’s mixtape on datpiff.com here.

Now just going to throw some heat your way:

ScHoolboy Q ft. Kanye West – ‘That Part’

That Part

Listen here!  Just a heads-up, Kanye’s verse is a bit over the top, per usual.

Wiz Khalifa x Juicy J – All Night

All Night

We back with that #californyinz sound.  This is a NSFW song so please don’t listen at work or around your parents.  It bangs though!

Alright, I’m a few glasses of wine deep on this Friday night, so let me wrap this up, publish, and probably go to bed.

Happy Friday (and Saturday, East Coast), yinz!

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Holy smokes…

I feel like I haven’t posted anything in EONS.  The last time was what, RiRi’s concert review?  Unacceptable!  But I’m back now and definitely off of a good note because…

THE PENS WON…

…and are advancing to the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs!  Major #californyinz moment. What does this have to do with California?  Well, I’m here, duh.  Anyways.  Super pumped we beat the Capitals!

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Now back to the culture and hip-hop.  What have I missed?

Most recently, we were gifted with the (weird) music video for Desiigner’s banger ‘Panda’ with a cameo from Mr. Kanye West himself.  Watch the loopy video below and you’ll catch Kanye towards the end.  Since it’s a TIDAL exclusive, I unfortunately cannot embed the video into this post, so you’ll just have to watch here on Rap-Up.

Can’t forget about Drizzy Drake!

His hit ‘One Dance’ TOPS (aka No.1) Billboard Hot 100.  That’s major!  This is his first as a lead artist.  Props, props.  What was a close one last time?  ‘Hotline Bling’ came in at No. 2.  Big moves for the boy.

Drake is set to appear on ‘The Tonight Show’ Thursday, SNL (serve as the host and musical guest) this Saturday, and then to return to ‘Ellen’ on May 18.  *sets DVR*  Watch the hilarious and creative promo vid for the Ellen show appearance below!

And I want to share this just because Kendrick is not only one of my favorites but his content more times than not gives off good vibes only.  The 30-second spot was shot in a California mansion and features Kendrick sporting his Reebok Classics.  Watch and listen to his words in the newest Reebok commercial below.

Have a good one, yinz, and let’s go Pens!

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I Met Kanye West…

…in my dream last night.  So basically, I’m never going to fail.

Speaking of Mr. West, congrats to him and his most recent album The Life of Pablo for debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, and it is the first album to attain the top spot off of streaming numbers alone.  You can hate him, but he knows what he’s doing and clearly the people love his music (which is why you should like him!).  Another impressive TLOP fact, according to Tidal, is the album streamed 250 million times in just the first 10 days!  That’s insane.

TLOP Cover

Moving on to another album that I’m sure will be on top of the charts.  That is Drake’s Views From the 6.  And we finally have a release date!  APRIL 29.  Drake announced the date at the very beginning of Saturday’s OVO Sound Radio episode.  Why on the 29th?  Well, if you watch the promo video below, which you should, this past year has been very exciting and rewarding for the Canadian rapper.  And with him being 29, it’s fitting he drops the album on that day as well.

Views will be released exclusively on Apple Music.

Views From the 6 Promo Video

MAJOR KEY ALERT.  But seriously.  DJ Khaled took to Instagram this morning to announce his 9th album titled Major Key.  Be on the lookout for new singles, as I’m sure those will be dropping here and there.  I’m waiting for that Future and Jay Z single.  Fire.  There’s no official release date yet, but it will be dropping this year.  On top of that exciting news, Khaled also announced in his post that he has formed a new partnership with La Reid and Epic Records.  With much respect for Reid, he was the first one to give We The Best Music an opportunityto distribute Khaled’s music on a larger scale.  Maybe after this album drops, people will be like “ohhhh, that’s DJ Khaled, he’s talented!” instead of “oh, he’s that famous guy from Snapchat.” -_____-

Last but certainly not least, please read here to learn more about Fun Friday, courtesy of YesJulz Agency.  What is Fun Friday?  Julz and her squad recently visited an elementary school in Miami where they brought music, art, fun, (and pizza, of course!).  Unfortunately, in the past few months, the school lost their art funding.  There are no creative outlets for these kiddos to express themselves.  So the good gals of YesJulz Agency decided to bring the creativity to them but they need your help in funding to continue to provide these Fun Fridays!  Can’t donate?  No problem!  Share the picture below on your social channels and be sure to tag @yesjulzagency and @Movingforwardtg to encourage others to donate.   Donate here today, and thank you in advance for your support!

Make Fridays FUN

Have a great Monday, yinz!

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Mumford & Sons Recruit Kanye for New Project

Okay, this is really dope and a great project.  Kanye fans can have the chance to collaborate with him as well as other artists on the upcoming 12-track project called Metamorphoses.  The album is being led by Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett and Global Citizen co-founder/CEO Hugh Evans.

What’s the purpose of this album?  This project aims to raise awareness surrounding extreme poverty and inequality around the world and is set to drop this fall.

Artists such as Ellie Goulding, Kanye (obvi), and The National will be joining forces.  The coolest part is fans can submit lyrics, poetry, stories, reflections, and thoughts on the above topics and will be used throughout the global project.  And according to the Global Citizen website, all citizens who contribute will be credited.

Metamorphoses has the potential to break down our preconceptions of the voices of creativity, what different people around the world are thinking and who has the right to be heard,” said Lovett. “In my own life, I’ve experienced people trying to define me and put me in boxes and categories. Through collaboration we can show people how those lines can be blurred and are ultimately redundant.”

And I bolded that quote above because it sounds a lot like Kanye’s struggle, ya?  Maybe people will feel for him a little more knowing that Mr. Lovett feels the same.  Probably not, but a girl can dream!  Carry on.

“The artists involved in this project are some of the most genuine artists the world has to offer,” he continued. “Artists like Kanye West, and The National are doing something globally important that is touching people down to their DNA. And these masterfully creative people are going to be interpreting incredible submissions from people across the globe.”

This is dope for sure.  You have until March 31 to submit your lyrics!  Be a part of this global project here.

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