Willie Jones is a Louisiana native who first turned heads while on the X Factor at the age of 17 and wanted to break ground for limited representation of African-Americans in country music. Now 24, Jones recently released an acoustic mixtape, Road Waves as he continues to work in his eagerly-awaited debut album. The mixtape follows the release of his anthemic debut single, “Runs In Our Blood” earlier this summer. In between releasing new projects, Jones has been writing and recording in Nashville, touring, and recently hit the road with the massively popular Magcon tour along side Cameron Dallas. With his own burgeoning fan base, Jones has quietly turned into a phenomenon.
Buzzworthy young Bay Area rapper and SOBxRBE affiliate Sneakk – the newest addition to the Undisputed lineup of next generation hip-hop stars being introduced by Def Jam Recordings – makes his major label debut with today’s release of “Spray” featuring fellow Cali MCs and Compton natives Tyga and YG.
“Spray” sets the stage for UNDISPUTED, the explosive new compilation from Def Jam, coming early 2019. In addition to Sneakk, UNDISPUTED will feature tracks from next-gen stars Fetty Luciano, YFL Kelvin, Bernard Jabs, TJ Porter, and some 20+ other new Def Jam signings from around the country.
Sneakk was raised in the deep family gospel roots of his grandfather in the College Park neighborhood of North Vallejo outside San Francisco. “That’s where I get my soul from,” he says. “My family makes me want to go 100% hard every single day.” Legends like Mac Dre and E-40 influenced Sneakk, but it was Tupac who showed him the path, “the way he carried himself, his demeanor, and all that. I’m very thankful for Tupac.”
Sneakk’s friendship with the Vallejo rap group SOBxRBE (Strictly Only Brothers x Real Boi Entertainment), convinced him to roll the dice on his fast-food drive-thru gig and get into the studio. His breakout indie single, “Humble Pie” was the result. After SOBxRBE’s “Paramedici” became the centerpiece of the Black Panther movie soundtrack, Sneakk was signed to Def Jam in 2018, by EVP & Head of A&R Steven Victor and newly appointed A&R VP Anthony ‘AE’ Edwards.
His goals for the future are as uncomplicated as they are unpretentious. “I want to be able to help and put on for the people around me,” Sneakk says. “I want to see my team on top because we deserve it.”
Critically acclaimed Irish international phenomenon Picture This release their brand-new song and music video for “Everything or Nothing” from upcoming sophomore full length album MDRN LV, co-produced by Jayson Dezuzio [Imagine Dragons, X Ambassadors], arriving February 15,2019 via Republic Records.
The release of the new song comes on the recent success from the albums lead single “One Drink”. The single is currently the #1 played song on radio in Ireland, and continues to climb up the radio charts at both Alternative and Hot AC formats in the U.S. Watch the official music video for “One Drink” HERE.
The biggest selling Irish act in both 2017 and 2018, and the nation’s hottest musical export in decades, Picture This arrived as a phenomenon with their self-titled 2017 full-length debut, Picture This. Certified triple-platinum in Ireland, it held the #1 spot Overall in the country for four weeks, while topping the Streaming Chart for seven weeks. Moreover, it remained in the Top 5 since release. Two years since their formation, they’ve impressively sold over 300K tickets, concluding 2017 with a sold-out UK and Ireland tour highlighted by gigs at O2 Shepherd’s Bush London, SSE Arena Belfast, and a two-night stand at 3Arena in Dublin. This summer marked their first stadium tour in Ireland, which capped off with a 35,000-person stadium show selling out over 3 months prior. During late 2018, they teamed up with super producer Jayson Dezuzio to record the 2019 follow-up, MDRN LV.
Singer/songwriter Allan Rayman has released the official music video for “Crush,” the latest track off his new album, Harry Hard-On, released last month via Republic Records/KIDindaKorner/
WATCH THE VIDEO FOR “CRUSH” HERE!
“Crush” has received praise from music fans and critics alike, Time Magazine recently featured the track, noting, “Rayman’s voice contains multitudes: a rough ache, a smooth hum, a rock star’s confidence.” The video for the critically acclaimed song was directed by Steph Verschuren, who most recently collaborated with Rayman on the video for his current single, “Rose” as well as the videos for his 2017 hit “Word of Mouth” and “Go My Way.”
“Crush” is Rayman’s latest song off his musical project, Harry Hard-On which mixes elements of 80’s rock and that familiar 90’s grunge sound Rayman utilized throughout his earlier projects; Courtney EP and Roadhouse 01 long-player, with R&B and hip-hop influence present throughout the album. The 9-track body of work weaves in and out of anthems and ballads alike, with the lead single, “Rose”, shaping the storyline by exploring the dark side of fandom with the idea that no matter how big or small an artist is, you never know who is in the audience.
Tickets to Rayman’s headlining European tour can be purchased HERE.
A photographic tale of the aspirations of four women and their determination to achieve their goals, each one pursuing her own dreams and passions. This is “Dreaming”, the 2019 Pirelli Calendar, now in its forty-sixth edition, shot by Albert Watson in April in Miami and New York and unveiled today at Pirelli Hangar Bicocca in Milan.
A sequence of forty shots tells the stories of characters portrayed by Gigi Hadid with Alexander Wang, Julia Garner, Misty Copeland with Calvin Royal III and Laetitia Casta with Sergei Polunin. The photographs, in color and black and white, are in the cinematic 16:9 format, inspired by Albert Watson’s passion for the art of film.
“When I approached this project,” says Watson, “I wanted to do it in a way that was different from other photographers, and I wondered what the best way would be. In the end, I looked for pictures that were of beautiful quality, with depth to them, and that had some kind of narrative. I wanted to create something that was more than just a portrait of somebody – I wanted it to look like a film still. I wanted people looking at the Calendar to see that my aim was photography in its purest form, exploring the women I was photographing and creating a situation that would convey a positive vision of women today.”
Telling the story of how he came to make the Calendar (see the interview attached), the photographer talks of his own dreams, and of the efforts and sacrifices that they entailed.
“To make a dream come true, you have to work hard. I’ve always taken it step by step, reaching one goal at a time, without wanting to get immediately to the top of the ladder. Even though I sometimes think this ladder could go on up forever, with the top rung ever-further away, I think it’s always worth giving yourself increasingly ambitious goals and dreams.”
He said that each of the four women focuses on the future and “has her own individuality, her own particular purpose in life, and her own way of doing things. So the underlying theme is that of ‘dreams’, but the basic idea behind the whole project is that of telling a story in four ‘little movies’. What I wanted to convey were the protagonists’ hopes and their way of thinking about the future, in a way that would bring with it the aspect of dreaming.”
An example of this is the character played by Gigi Hadid, he explained. She has recently separated from her partner, lives alone in a glass tower and has Alexander Wang as her only friend and confidant: “I think there’s a degree of angst in these images. With Hadid’s character, I wanted to convey the sense of a woman thinking about her future, but also showing her in a situation of loneliness. We see her thinking about where she is going to go in life, what she will be doing tomorrow. I wanted it to be much more minimalistic than the other women and settings I photographed.”
Julia Garner plays the part of a young photographer who loves nature and solitude. Of her, Watson says; “Julia’s a very, very accomplished actress and she got straight into the character. She played a botanical photographer who dreams of putting on successful exhibitions. We were in a beautiful tropical garden in Miami, which turned out to be the perfect place for us to work.”
Misty Copeland, whose partner in the Calendar is Calvin Royal III, also looks to the future, fantasizing about making a name for herself in the world of dance. “Trying to be successful is her driving force,” said Watson. “Copeland’s character earns her living by dancing in a club, but at the same time she has also put up a little stage in her garden, where she practices dancing in order to become a star, sometimes with her boyfriend, played by Calvin Royal III.”
Lastly, Laetitia Casta is a painter who lives in a studio apartment with her partner, played by Sergei Polunin. They both dream of success: she as an artist, he as a dancer. “What’s interesting”, says Watson, “is that, in real life, Laetitia really does do a lot of sculpting and creates artwork in her spare time. This worked out very well and helped her get into character. We decided to shoot outside, to give the scenes some added natural brightness. The tropical atmosphere of Miami is a key component in this picture.”
Bill Anderson’s clever new holiday music video, “Waffle House Christmas,” features a cast of characters only Anderson could corral into a Waffle House. The music video, premiering on USATODAY.com, tells the story of a family whose Christmas dinner goes awry so they head to their nearest Waffle House for a family feast where some of music’s most notable personalities fill the restaurant.
“The offer of ‘food and fun’ was all it took to entice Kid Rock, Tanya Tucker, Gretchen Wilson, Jeannie Seely, Joe Denim and a Waffle House restaurant full of ‘brand new friends’ to join us for the recent filming of our new video, “Waffle House Christmas,” Anderson shares. “We dined on Waffle House staples…’grits and eggs and raisin bread’ along with ‘hash browns covered and smothered’….and we laughed ourselves silly portraying the take-over of a Waffle House restaurant by a rookie cook and a displaced family on Christmas Day. My thanks to everyone involved. I just hope you will enjoy watching the madness as much as we enjoyed creating it.”
“Waffle House Christmas” is off Anderson’s latest release, Anderson, which marked his 72nd album release.
“I’ve never had this much fun at a Waffle House! Bill Anderson is one of my heroes and he’s written some of the greatest songs of all time. Of course, only he could come up with such a clever song like ‘Waffle House Christmas!’ And we had such a blast behind the scenes with Kid Rock, Gretchen Wilson and Jeannie Seely,” Tanya Tucker added.
“I am so grateful that I was asked to be involved in something like this. I’ve been such a fan of Bill Anderson for so long. And I get to hang out with my heroes! I also had a Waffle House uniform in my closet from a television special we did several years ago, so it’s been a lot of fun being part of this music video,” said Gretchen Wilson.
“This has been an amazing experience!” exclaimed Jeannie Seely. “Bill Anderson is always coming up with great ideas. And corralling me, Tanya, Gretchen and Kid Rock all together for a music video at Waffle House has got to be one of the silliest, most fun things I’ve done in a long time!”
Anderson was produced by Bill Anderson, Thomm Jutz and Peter Cooper, recorded and mixed by Jutz at TJ Tunes with assistant engineer Andy Kern and mastered by Alex Mccullough at True East Mastering. Three of the tracks were penned solely by Anderson, who has written charted songs in each of the past seven consecutive decades, while the additional tracks feature venerable singer-songwriters including John Paul White of The Civil Wars and country music outlaw Jamey Johnson.
Kicking off Art Basel on Thursday December 6, the XXXTentacion Foundation and EMPIRE will host the official SkinsAlbum Release Party at RC Cola Plant in Miami, FL.
The event is produced by SWARM and powered by 1AM. LiveXLive is set to livestream the concert for fans around the world. Tickets are $20 and a portion of the proceeds benefit local Florida organizations supporting homeless shelters, single mothers and at-risk youth. The livestream begins at 9pm. Media can submit an online application to cover the event HERE.
Tickets to attend can be purchased HERE.
Primed to be a highlight of 2018’s Art Basel, this exclusive event both celebrates the arrival of the iconic artist’s third full-length album, Skins, and his enduring spirit. Meanwhile, the mega-anticipated album will be available everywhere at the stroke of midnight via Bad Vibes Forever and EMPIRE.
Pre-order it HERE.
The party promises to be a night to remember, to say the least. Among many highlights, fans get the opportunity to hear the record first during an exclusive preview. To celebrate the song collaboration “One Minute” featuring Kanye West on XXXTentacion‘s Skins, YEEZY will debut a 3-piece merch capsule, printed on YEEZY blanks, featuring graphics by JJ Villard. In addition, Bravado curated a limited-edition collection inspired by the album, that will be exclusively available at the event. Attendees will also be able to pick up a special issue of Generation X magazine. The publication features an exclusive new interview with XXXTentacion c and producer and co-executive producer of ? and Skins, John Cunningham. Not to mention, never-before-seen photos adorn the issue created, curated, and published by the artist’s team and Tiny Splendor. Building a truly immersive space, photo experiences allow attendees to capture unforgettable moments as Member’s Only’s DJ Scheme spins a tribute set for the evening’s soundtrack.
Rounding out the night, powerhouse producers DJ Carnage and London On Da Trak take the stage for a once-in-a-lifetime concert joined by some of XXXTentacion’s biggest A-list supporters, admirers, collaborators and friends including Trippie Redd, Ski Mask the Slump God, PnB Rock, Matt Ox, Member’s Only and more!
Fueling anticipation further, the tracklisting for Skins has been uncovered today. A fitting swan song for the young legend, these ten tracks tap into the unbridled, unbreakable, and undeniable catharsis that endeared XXXTentacion to millions worldwide.
The glitchy choir of “Guardian angel” gives way to some of his most precise and potent rapping, hinging on rapid fire rhymes. Haunting piano burns against his emotive lyricism on the steamrolling of “Train food” as he offers up a detailed and diaristic confession, “I was lost.” “Staring at the Sky” snaps from an acoustic moan into a thunderous scream backed by drums from none other than blink-182’s Travis Barker. Over ominous guitars, Kanye West locks into a pummeling duet with XXXTentacion on the rap/rock mash-up “One Minute,” also featuring Barker’s percussive talents. Everything culminates on the delicate and dark dreamscape of “what are you so afraid of.” A faint acoustic murmurs beneath his soulful delivery on the final question, “What are you so afraid of? Is it love?”
Check out the full tracklisting of XXXTentacion’s transformative masterpiece below.
The single “BAD!” preceded the record, clocking over 150 million YouTube views to date. It also debuted at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is pending RIAA gold certification. Adding on to a long list of awards and accolades this year, XXXTentacion, John Cunningham and X’s manager Solomon Sobande were honored in Variety Magazine’s 2018 Hitmaker issue for their work on “SAD!,” which is this year’s third most popular song according to BuzzAngle Music.
Skins showcases a true artist at the height of his powers only growing stronger. Feel it this week.
This holiday season, country music icon and lifestyle influencer, Martina McBride, has been busy helping spread a little Christmas magic to her fans. Whether it be by setting the mood for your annual holiday party with her recently released jazz influenced and symphony orchestra backed album, It’s The Holiday Season, or by helping craft perfect recipes for your family and friends with her new cookbook, Martina’s Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life and current show on Food Network, “Martina’s Table” (airing Sundays at 12pm ET/PT), McBride has all your holiday entertaining needs covered!
Most recently, McBride has been on the road with her The Joy of Christmas Tour 2018, which just had a stellar sold-out three night run at Nashville’s own Schermerhorn Symphony over the weekend. Each stop on the tour has incorporated the amazing talents of local orchestras as McBride delivers her jazzy take on everyone’s favorite holiday standards and her classic hits.
McBride also treated viewers of the 92nd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to her rendition of “Most Wonderful Time of Year” atop the Balsam Hill float. She was also on hand at this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting event where she performed “Winter Wonderland” standing in front of the New York spectacle that draws thousands of visitors to the city from across the globe.
Up next, fans can catch McBride on “Live! with Kelly and Ryan” on Tuesday, December 11th where she will be in the kitchen showing the hosts a few of her favorite recipes that are perfect for holiday entertaining. She will return to the show on Monday, December 24th for their special Christmas show where she will perform.
Rapper and songwriter/producer VIC MENSA
Fuse’s Mind Massage features ASMR’s (autonomous sensory meridian responses) by some of your favorite hip hop stars as they chow down on their favorite foods and discuss their career, upbringing and more. Fans can check out new episodes from this digital series every week on fuse.tv. Past episodes include appearances by Diggy, Quincy, Jay IDK, Wiz Khalifa and Mya, among others.
Check out his Mind Massage interview below!