The second instalment to the visual magazine.
Back again, with new music, videos and more. Click the image below to view..
“..I got the whole city on lock boy, I should dread my hair the way I’m feelin’ like a Hot Boy..”
RepsUp’s Preme made an impact in 2014 (as P Reign) with his Dear America EP boasting the underground hits Realest In The City and DnF. The past couple years we got his Off The Books EP, plus a couple cuts from the OVO affiliate which helped with the rebrand. Steady working away, he returns to the forefront with one of the catchiest tracks out, Hot Boy.
For those familiar with his music thus far, it could be said he was still experimenting and finding his style, this track however, fits within what you may have heard already. I was nodding my head and humming along, as it starts of well, then I began to hear cadences I would attribute to PartyNextDoor, and Preme as a man first..isn’t the kind to bite another, but being part of the same camp, it could be a possibility, and so upon some research, it appears PND is a credited writer, so that makes sense. Back to the song though, I’m surprised it hasn’t been gaining more of a buzz, or maybe it’s just not reached England yet, either way, it’s a wavy number, and you can’t have a song titled Hot Boy and not think Lil’ Wayne (much like the late Bankroll Fresh’s smash of the same name). The inclusion of Weezy not only certifies the track but naturally adds a whole ‘nother element with the autotune heavy flow, from the sound of the inhale, back like he never left, full of quoteables as you can expect from the legend.
“Used to have some wings, had to get them shits chopped off”
The track may struggle to really translate into the plays it deserves, but it’s most likely a slow burner, despite it’s radio-friendly tempo, but more importantly it reintroduces Preme properly, and he can only continue to ascend from here forth, with his new project Light Of Day due to be released soon, it’ll be sure to offer a similar level of quality throughout. My only critique was based on not entirely knowing if it was Party on the latter part of the hook or Preme, but it’s since been confirmed (by the artist himself) that it is indeed PND, which I now I have to give credit to the blend of the vocals, because it’s an effortless transition. Overall, the song itself is a strong effort, more light hearted than his previous hits and a step in the right direction for another Canadian adding to the country’s seemingly unstoppable waterfall of talent.
The video, directed by Kid Art (who has come a long way from his breakthrough visuals for Vinny Chase), with his eye for a clean shot, and the various scenes blended together, give it some extra depth, adding to the track itself.
It was that time again, where the world stops what they’re doing to listen to the new Drake. Only Drizzy can drop a 2 track project.
I spent the end of last year listening to Views again, despite the surrounding criticism, I really liked the album, and then More Life also, they were two projects where his position and ability was questioned, and I remember how serious I took it in Do Not Disturb, when he says, “Takin’ summer off, ’cause they tell me I need recovery, Maybe gettin’ back to my regular life will humble me, I’ll be back in 2018 to give you the summary”. I felt he deserved a break, and the conviction in which he says the last line, I was sure there’s an album coming (which makes me wonder how much he actually rested?!), none the less the year has started, and he dropped two new tracks as part of Scary Hours. Starting with God’s Plan, it’s signature Drake, he’s clearly had some time to reflect, and that’s what these songs are, reflections, complete with the catchy quotables for us to caption our instagram pictures with, like, “Don’t pull up at 6am to cuddle with me”, he keeps it real, “I feel good, sometimes I don’t”, even shouting out partners Oliver and 40, and giving them props for his success, it’s the more lighthearted of the two, maybe more catering to his female audience, because on Diplomatic Immunity he gets straight to the bars. Floating over the sample-strong production, Diplomatic Immunity is synonymous in rap with the classic Dipset album, and maybe the sample has a similar feel, from a more higher plateau, and he raps as such. Addressing the doubters and rumours, whilst speaking up on his accomplishments and position, even some bars for the gossipers, “2010 was when I lost my halo, 2017 I lost a J-Lo, (A-Rod)Rotterdam trip had me on front page though..I had to lay low”, not to mention the jabs at Joe Budden, now whether that finally gets Joey back in the booth we’ll see, but what I was more intrigued by, was his displeasure at not being included in the ‘Black Excellence’ discussions, a term recently heralded by Diddy, and Joe also, so that honesty is as always appreciated, as he raises the point that he isn’t always praised for his accomplishments. If there was a criticism, it’s just ending it with “Shakira”, I’m just being picky, something about the way it ends, I don’t like, but has it stopped me from listening to it or rapping along….nope! There has not really been a rap star of Drake’s stature, he has been an open book through his music, and so it appears that he has got some things off his chest with these tracks, as he prepares to take over again with what is safe to say, the most anticipated album of the year.
Majid Jordan have been considered OVO’s unsung heroes for some time, with their debut EP setting the bar incredibly high, whilst PartyNextDoor has to be credited somewhat for shifting the sound and bringing R&B/Soul back to the forefront. So you can expect quality as two of the most underrated acts link up for this wavy cut..
The midtempo track is a great example in highlighting their ability to create, with their catchy melodies and premium sing-a-long value, the song really has essences of both (as expected), with their vocals contrasting each other, over the hypnotic production. Much like the song, the video is crispy, not so complex, but more of a creative concept, with it’s angles and transitions, as they walk through the corridor, looking for the one they want, down to the fade out towards the end. With such acts, there’s no room for criticism, but rather enjoy the vibes provided and same goes for the video, it’s well created and executed perfectly by director Adrian Martinez, with it’s abstract narrative. I’m a fan of both, and though I am well aware that they can create even more or possibly better, I enjoy this regardless.
Nardwuar is undoubtedly one of the most unique, pioneering and even prestigious interviewers beyond generations, although, in recent, I do feel that there may have been some over-saturation with guests who may not be so deserving. However, this is well deserved all round. The man that loves to interact, with one of the least interactive stars of today, the talented, PartyNextDoor.
Not only are we blessed with some history and facts that we might not have been able to depict through his music, this is also a chance to get to see/hear from the low key R&B talent, for fans especially, it’s a treat and an insight to the man behind the music, his personality and even vulnerability as a person, being in front of the camera in such circumstance. It doesn’t disappoint (until it ends of course), with the interviewing legend bringing gifts based around his Jamaican & Trinidadian heritage, and learning the importance of the SpaceJam soundtrack and the influence of R. Kelly in the musician’s life. It’s also great to see PND shout out the up coming producers, G Ry (a big part of his recent Colours 2), and also one of my favourite producers on the rise, Bizness Boi (who contributed towards PX3).
“Brr-Brr, Fer-Fer, gang. We gon’ let Nardwuar hang..”
It’s no denying that PND is quietly been at the forefront of the new R&B/Soul wave, though his first two projects may not have directly shown such with it’s electro-fusion, he proved his diversity further with the release of Colours, it boasted cuts such as Let’s Get Married, (the ever so personal) Girl From Oakland and the fan-favourite Travis Scott featured Jus Know. That project acted as a segue for his third album, which further cemented his status as one of the premier talents, leading to writing credits for some of the biggest songs of the year, including Rihanna – Work. Still one to let his craft do the talking, and with glimpses of his talent provided through features, he dropped the sequel to Colours (following suit of his simply titled projects), with Colours 2.
What makes PartyNextDoor important, is his ability to dictate the sound, it’s authenticity aside, the Mississauga crooner continues to pioneer. A highly talented producer himself, Colours 2 sees him work once again with fellow Ferina member, up and coming producer G Ry, this time on the majority of the project. G Ry is most certainly one to listen out for, along with the likes of Bizness Boi, they’re bringing the soul back into productions, reinstating that depth that makes it connect so strongly with a listener.
Colours 2, like the original, is 4 tracks deep, but it truly is quality over quantity, as each track is a moment in itself, starting with Peace of Mind, it’s laid back, Party keeps it G as he checks in with his lady whilst out on the grind, it’s an ode to love, and putting ‘her’ first. Having recently penned hits for DJ Khaled (Shining ft. Beyonce & Jay-Z and Wild Thoughts ft. Bryson Tiller & Rihanna), his writing ability is getting the recognition it deserves, and Freak In You is another example, combined with his unique cadences, PND really executes a record like no other. This homage to the Jodeci classic Freak In You, with lines like, “rush rush rush, baby, just like Kimora Lee..”, only PND could pen such a simple line with such complex definitions, as he oozes confidence throughout the record, not before he’s unafraid to unveil vulnerability, on what sounds like a chart smash, Low Battery.
There have been jokes regarding him hiding the record, to keep it for himself, but within that humour, there is a point being made, that if this was released by any other major recording artist today, it would be a sure fire hit. “Have you ever lied? It’s a dumb question, baby girl, ’cause everybody lies, but did you lie..with someone else?..”, over the uptempo melody, to give it such context rather than some generic sing-a-long bullshit, is exactly why PartyNextDoor has developed such a strong and loyal fanbase. Just when you think that was the best, the tempo slows down, and he captivates you with the final track, Rendezvous, as he tries to make sense of what ‘she’ wants, he continues to spring metaphors effortlessly, “How many times did I get you wet, that night I pulled up to the dock..”, while most artists today are loud over social media, he keeps it all in the music, which not only gives it depth, but a stronger sense of authenticity, and relevance as he pays homage with lines like, “I’m not fooled by the money that you got, you still Jenny from the muthafuckin’ block..”
To share from experience and make it so relatable for audiences is no easy task, unless you’re PartyNextDoor it seems. As much as I am a fan of his own productions, with G Ry, they’ve really crafted and put together a very strong soulful offering, raising expectations for his next album even further.
“If I tatted tears, I’d be crying to my beard..”
For the majority, you heard him on More Life, many might remember his name being dropped by Drizzy in the attempts to declare a holiday upon his return from incarceration, on If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. Either way, Baka, aka Not Nice is making quite the name for himself.
In September 2016 he had the underground wave, with the Murda Beatz produced Whip, followed by, Ya Ya (featuring Big Lean), fast forward to now, and he’s certainly got his biggest hit to date, with Live Up To My Name.
“I went to jail when they released Men In Black, when I came out Timberlake was bringing Sexy Back..”
It’s somewhat undeniable that French Montana and Swae Lee have the song of the summer with Unforgettable, but right behind that, especially for those in the know, is Baka’s LUTMN. With lines like, “she say I look like Usher when I’m trappin’ in the rain”, his authentic tone, cadence and greazy melody have helped transcend it to new heights.
“They don’t have a cure for all my pain, aka It’s Not Nice..and I live up to my name”
It’s already circulated globally on the strength of it’s own, being the anthem that it is, and now with news of him officially signing to OVO as an artist, it can only spur things further for this real one. The video is more a fly on the wall view than staged, and it works, featuring his OVO comrades and cameos from the likes of the Weeknd and Rae Sremmurd, this feel good anthem definitely deserves to do well, and doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.