GEORGE THOROGOOD TO HOST ABC RADIO’S “RED, WHITE AND ROCK 2019” SPECIAL – AIRING JULY 4 WEEKEND
Rock legend George Thorogoodwill host ABC Radio’s “Red, White and Rock 2019” music special that will air on ABC affiliates over the upcoming July 4 holiday weekend – July 4, 5, 6 and 7 (airing at different times in different markets).
“Red, White and Rock 2019” will feature rock music from American bands and artists including Aerosmith, The Allman Brothers Band, Heart, Cheap Trick, Santana, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, ZZ Top, and more. The special features insights into the music from rock icons and celebrates the cities, artists and songs that comprise the proud landscape of American rock and roll.
George Thorogood And The Destroyers is currently on their summer / fall “Good To Be Bad: 45 Years of Rock” 31-city tour, that began on June 22 in Hinckley, Minnesota and continues through October 19 in Battle Creek, Michigan (with additional dates forthcoming).
The group is in their fifth consecutive year of supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society(LLS) by donating $1 from each ticket sold at participating venues on their “Good To Be Bad: 45 Years of Rock” tour to LLS. Additionally, Epiphone recently announcedthe release of the Ltd. Ed. George Thorogood “White Fang” ES-125TDC Outfit guitar.
Below are markets/stations where the special will air:
Musician and Actress TEMARA MELEK Releases New Single “PRIVACY”
Temara Melek knows exactly who she is. Whether she’s gracing the screen on your favorite TV show or playing in your headphones, the young singer has always had a clear vision. “I’ve always loved pop music, I loved Britney Spears, Nsync, the Backstreet Boys and Madonna”. It’s no surprise then, that Melek’s new single “Privacy” is a glimmering pop track that makes listeners want to get up and dance. Temara full-heartedly leans into the pop-star persona, with catchy pop melodies and sparkling backing beats. She also recognizes this song as a bit of a departure from her earlier works. “This song shows a little more growth and maturity for me. I want people to understand it’s okay to take time for yourself so that you can find your own happiness.”
Fans may remember Temara from her hit songs like “Karma’s Not Pretty”, which skyrocketed to #1 on the UK’s Power FM Global Radio Network. The video featured prominent cameos from young stars Keegan Allen and Greg Sulkin. The success of the single even earned the young songstress an opening performance for Demi Lovato and in 2013, Temara was featured on DJ Antoine’s song “Go With Your Heart”, a song that went to number 1 on the dance charts in 6 European countries.
Over the years, Temara has also appeared in numerous shows like Legacies, The Vampire Diaries and Westworld. Outside of music and acting, Temara has nurtured a deep love and respect for animals. Melek lives a mostly plant-based lifestyle and uses her platform to garner attention to different issues facing animals like ocean pollution affecting the health and wellness of marine animals.
Up next, Temara says she’s excited to release new music, “I’ve been in the studio and can’t wait to release more of what I’ve been working on!” You can stream “Privacy” now on all major streaming platforms and follow all of Temara’s adventures on Instagram @TemaraMelekPhotographer credit: Kalie Johnston
TRAVEL JOURNALIST THOMAS WILMER INTERVIEWS 360 MAGAZINE PUBLISHER VAUGHN LOWERY
Small to medium sized business often fall short due to high turnover. Vaughn Lowery, Publisher of 360 Magazine, provides listeners with first-hand knowledge on the ever-shifting world of digital publishing and content creation through a youthful lens. Likewise with his innate ability to be accessible, he speaks to working in tandem with emerging generations and how their input could be detrimental to the survival of a brand.
An Additional Conversation with 360 Magazine’s Publisher Vaughn Lowery
If Vaughn Lowery was asked what his idea of success was 10 years ago, his answer would be very different from what it is today. He may have said that success means doing what he loves to do, being accomplished, or having a certain amount of material things.
“Success to me now is having a purpose in life and feeling passionate and fulfilled by it,” says Lowery.
Lowery got his first taste of the industry while interning for Vibe Magazine while on Summer vacation from Cornell University. His sister drove him into New York City every morning to drop him off and always advised him to be the first one at the office. One morning Lowery found himself alone with the publisher of the magazine at the time, Keith Clinkscales, which gave him the opportunity to speak with him one-on-one. It was due to his sister’s advice that he got the chance to do what no other intern would normally get to do.
After finishing up at Cornell in just three years, Lowery became an executive trainee with Saks Fifth Avenue. He was able to get along with everyone in the office and was doing great when he was called into his boss’s office one afternoon.
“She told me I was in the wrong business; that I was very charismatic and should try acting,” Lowery says, “but, I liked the path I was on at that time.”
It wasn’t until Lowery was asked by someone connected to the talent industry if he was a model that he truly considered breaking into the talent industry. Shortly after taking professional photos and getting them out to agencies, Lowery ended up with Ford Models. From there he did photoshoots, tv commercials, and ad campaigns, all while still working in outside sales at Aetna US Healthcare. Once he began modelling full time his face was in the pages of GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Gap. By being around people of all different positions, primarily in the magazine publishing industry, Lowery came to understand how content was produced. It was right before the recession hit while he was living in LA that Lowery made the transition from modelling to the publishing industry.
It was his experience in modelling that inspired Lowery’s creation of the 360 Magazine. While working on any given shoot, Lowery was often one of just three or less black men. Often times he was the only black man on a set which drew his attention to the lack of representation in the media industry. Lowery’s goal for the 360 Magazine was that it would fill this niche and promote diversity across the publishing world, specifically the covers of its magazines.
For those wanting to work in the media industry, specifically in the publishing world, Lowery suggests starting from the ground up.
“Being self taught and learning as you go is something you need to be open to,” says Lowery, “Ask tons of questions, and learn everything you can from every position.”
Lowery warns that it’s important to be open and cordial to everyone, because you don’t know when your paths will cross again. Making connections and using them is how most people gain opportunities. He also adds that just by hanging out with people you’ll always learn something that you can apply to aspects of your work.
Things in the industry have been changing and becoming more digitally focused since the beginning of 360 Magazine’s launch. The magazine was started during a time of e-zines, so it’s not a surprise that the website came first. Lowery had experience with creating websites from a young age so the move from print to digital was natural for him. It was clear to him where the industry was going.
“Print was getting costly, bookstores were looking dilapidated and even Barnes and Noble was focusing on their version of the tablet, the Nook,” says Lowery, “All the magazines were looking alike anyway.”
Print was still important though. Besides the fact that advertising agencies want to see a physical copy of a magazine before working with them, print is taken more seriously due to its cost. Other companies will be aware that a certain magazine has the funds to support itself if they have a print copy to show for it.
360 Magazine printed their first issue in 2009, but it was costly. Lowery began thinking that there had to be some other way to work with print. It was then that he decided to do print on demand publications. 360 Magazine linked with Blurb, which allowed anyone to order a print copy of the magazine right from our website. They’ve been distributing to them for 9 years now.
The magazine’s estimated circulation, which is based on print, is 110,000 from print on demand. This number doesn’t tend to move much, but most people end up reading 360 Magazine’s online articles through WordPress.
When asked what makes a media contributor most marketable, Lowery says that in this industry you need a social following and the ability to network. Being accessible and having a portfolio of published work is a great place to start as well.
“Do it all,” Lowery says, “monetize, write, take photos, be on time, and take initiatives.”
The hardest thing about the industry in Lowery’s opinion is breaking into it and surviving on freelance jobs along the way. Writers should be prepared to sacrifice mentally, physically and financially. While working for a publication, Lowery says that writers need to do what they can to become a valuable asset to them. That way, a publication will be more likely to keep you on board and help you in the future.
As for internship positions at 360 Magazine, Lowery aims to teach interns everything that he didn’t learn. He’s assigns articles for interns to write, pushes them to network, has them do coverage and teaches them how to get published or to self-publish.
“We teach interns how to be resourceful and find themselves in the organization,” says Lowery.
When interns can bring business to the magazine, the magazine will bring business to them. Special assignment opportunities are available for interns who finish their program and are still looking to remain involved. Lowery says that while the magazine is specifically looking to groom editors, that if a publication wants to really pop, then they have to have a revolving door.
When asked what goals he has for the future of 360 Magazine, Lowery responded that he aims to keep it three dimensional with podcasts and web series.
“I want to be able to put the brand out to different countries and places in America,” says Lowery, Local presences would strengthen us.”
He also says that he’s interested in the possibility of a reality spin off or docu-series, as well as introducing more formal programs for educational purposes.
Manuel Turizo, celebrates his first # 1 on radio stations in the United States, thanks to his extraordinary single “Sola,” which was produced by Sky under the La Industria Inc. label. The latest Billboard report certifies that Colombian phenomena, as well as a new sensation of the urban genre, have just been crowned for the first time alone in the # 1 position of radio stations in the United States; a feat that previously had already achieved thanks to the theme “Crazy Pod” with Ozuna still hovering around the top positions in the world. Officially, Manuel Turizo stands out as # 1 on the charts: Latin Airplay Chart and Latin Rhythm Airplay Chart, thanks to the incredible reception that the single “Sola” has had. Without a doubt, the teamwork and the tireless effort has paid off in the artistic career of the Colombians. Not only have they gained the affection of more than 5 million followers, but they have been creditors of a respected place in the current music scene. “It’s amazing everything that we have done in a short time, we deeply appreciate those who ask for our songs on the radio, we’ll soon come with much more, because we are working very hard and this is just the beginning of everything we want to achieve.” Manuel Turizo affirms. Additionally, Manuel and Julián Turizo celebrate their nomination as Best New Artist at the iHeart Music Awards and they are also preparing their first musical album, which will be available soon under the Sony Music label.
DJ MEGAN RYTE RELEASES NEW SINGLE “UNSURE” FT. Joey Bada$$, Yung Bleu & Arin Ray Stepping into the New Year with a bang, DJ Megan Ryte drops her latest single “Unsure” ft. Joey Bada$$, Yung Bleu, and Arin Ray. Available now through all digital retailers, “Unsure” is the Hot 97 DJ’s second release for Rule#1/Interscope Records. Listen to “Unsure” by DJ Megan Ryte ft. Joey Bada$$, Yung Bleu, and Arin Ray HERE
“Unsure” arrives as the follow-up to Megan’s debut single “On & On” ft. Tory Lanez and HoodCelebrityy. With its warm R&B vibes, dreamy texture, and heavy-hearted lyrics, “Unsure” again reveals Megan’s rare gift for assembling supreme talent — in this case, the bold intensity of Joey Bada$$, raw emotion of Yung Bleu, and soulful sensitivity of Arin Ray. About DJ Megan Ryte
As a young woman in the music industry, Megan’s hustle, determination, and skill have been key to her steady rise from DJ to breakout star. Although she’s dealt with her fair share of adversity, those challenges have not only added to her story, but taught her the necessary lessons to achieve success. Prior to making her radio debut, Megan began building her name as a club DJ in Virginia while she was still a teenager. Knowing she had to leave her hometown to chase her big dreams, she traveled the world as a tour DJ, then moved around the country doing radio and gaining fans in a number of major cities, including Houston, Miami, DC, Philly, and — currently – NYC’s Hot 97. Through the years, Megan has continued to expand her media brand by emerging as a TV host, writer, and now artist. You can catch the Heavy Hitter DJ on Hot 97 weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information on DJ Megan Ryte, visit:
The Women’s Media Center (WMC) today released its 2019 report on the status of women in U.S. media, which shows that despite some gains, men still dominate in every part of news, entertainment and digital media.
“The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2019” is comprised of 94 studies, including original research by WMC and aggregated research from academia, industry and professional groups, labor unions, media watchdogs, newsrooms and other sources.
Julie Burton, president of the Women’s Media Center, said the data in the report paints a stark picture. “The media is in a state of great disruption, but despite all of the change, one thing remains the same: the role of women is significantly smaller than that of men in every part of news, entertainment and digital media. It is clear that a cultural, systemic shift is necessary if all parts of the U.S media are to achieve gender and racial parity and move toward a world where stories fully represent the voices and perspectives of diverse women,” she said. “Research spotlighted in this report shows that diversity boosts corporate profits. When boardrooms, newsrooms, studios and tech companies fully reflect the faces, genders and myriad talents of our society, we’re all exceedingly better served.”
The report includes several original WMC studies, including “Divided 2019: The Media Gender Gap,” an assessment of where women stand as media writers, reporters, correspondents and anchors in the major news media platforms, including the prime-time broadcast news programs, print publications, wire services and online news sites. Across all media platforms, men receive 63 percent of bylines and credits; women receive only 37 percent.
“Women have been fighting for greater parity and equality in the news media for decades,” said Maya Harris, co-chair, Women’s Media Center. “This report shows that more work needs to be done to level the playing field. Women and our male allies will not rest until we see wholesale change.”
“When we watch the evening news, we’re not seeing an America that truly reflects all voices,” said Pat Mitchell, co-chair, Women’s Media Center. “Too often, the voices we hear and the images we see are men’s. Men largely are reporting and telling the story even though women represent more than half the U.S. population.”
“Missing women of color in the newsrooms of this country is an injustice in itself, and an injustice to every American reader and viewer who is deprived of great stories and a full range of facts,” said Gloria Steinem, WMC co-founder. “Inclusiveness in the newsroom means inclusiveness in the news. Racism and sexism put blinders on everyone.”
In an expanded section on tech, social media, gaming and engineering, “Status 2019” also spotlights the growing threat online to women in media and the perils of failing to protect free and safe speech.
“As part of their day-to-day work, women journalists often face a torrent of harassment, denigration, and threats. The point of this hostility is to silence women, most frequently women of color,” said Soraya Chemaly, director of WMC’s Speech Project. “The onus continues to fall on women’s shoulders as individuals. Media companies have to develop institutional responses to these threats if they are serious about building inclusive organizations.”
Here are the Status report highlights in traditional print and online-only, radio and television, news consumption, entertainment media and technology, social media, gaming and engineering:
In news media: print and online-only:
The American Society of News Editors’ latest tally found that women comprised 41.7 percent and people of color 22.6 percent of the overall workforce in those responding newsrooms.
Sports desks at 75 of the nation’s newspapers and online news sites earned a “B+” for racial diversity, a “D+” for gender and racial diversity, combined, and a sixth consecutive “F” for lack of gender equity. (Associated Press Sports Editors)
Editors of the nation’s 135 most widely distributed newspapers are overwhelmingly male and White. (Columbia Journalism Review)
69 percent of news wire bylines (AP and Reuters) are snagged by men, 31 percent by women; 63 percent of TV prime-time news broadcasts feature male anchors and correspondents; 37 percent feature women; 60 percent of online news is written by men, 40 percent by women; 59 percent of print news is written by men, 41 percent by women. (Women’s Media Center)
In news media: radio and television:
A record number of women are employed in TV news, including as news directors, but fewer women and people of color work in radio news. (Radio Television Digital News Association)
Women owned 7.4 percent of the nation’s commercial TV stations. (Federal Communications Commission)
In entertainment media: film, TV & online streaming:
Over 12 years, through 2018, men accounted for 93.4 percent, or, 654, of the 704 individual directors of the highest-grossing films. Women accounted for 6.6 percent, or, 46 of those 704. (University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative)
The number of women working on-screen in television and online streaming entertainment shows declined 2 percentage points from 2016-17 to 2017-18, when 40 percent of all speaking characters were female and 60 percent were men. (San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film)
The share of women among nominees in the Oscars’ 19 non-acting categories rose slightly from 23 percent to 25 percent from 2018 to 2019, but women were shut out of nominations for cinematography, directing, editing, original score and visual effects. (Women’s Media Center)
The proportion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer regular (LGBTQ) characters cast during the 2018-19 broadcast TV season — 8.8 percent of 857 regular characters — was the highest tallied in 14 years. (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation)
In tech, social media, gaming, engineering:
45 percent of U.S. gamers were female, reflecting continued, year-over-year increases in female gamers. (Entertainment Software Association)
Over a decade, there was no significant rise in the number of female tech workers and Black tech workers. (U.S. Government Accountability Office)
53 percent of women and 16 percent of men said they had been harassed at work. (Women Who Tech)
The Women’s Media Center, founded by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem, is an inclusive and feminist organization that works to make women visible and powerful in the media. We do so by promoting women as decision-makers and as subjects in media; training women to be effective in media; researching and exposing sexism and racism in media; and creating original online and on-air journalism.
Indian-American rapper, singer, songwriter and dancer Raja Kumari is a force of nature. She’s a fearless, charismatic personality and natural-born storyteller whose mission is to create art that blends her Indian roots with her American upbringing. Her music is a sonic bridge between East and West that fuses the rhythms she absorbed as a trained classical Indian dancer with her love for hip-hop. Through singles “Mute,” “City Slums” (featuring Mumbai rapper Divine), “Believe In You,” and her latest “I Did It,”as well as her debut EP, The Come Up (the cover features an image of Kumari with her head draped in both a gold tikka and an American flag), Kumari announces that this is the new face of America. “I want my fans to feel one hundred percent seen and to have a safe space to be themselves,” she says. “Because those were the onlydesires I had as a child.”
Born Svetha Rao in Claremont, Calif., to Indian parents who emigrated to the U.S. in the ’70s, Kumari was 13 when she had a vision that she calls “a memory of the future.” “I was in my room and I had this image of me standing on a stage,” she recalls. “I couldn’t see myself. I was looking out from my own eyes at a sea of 100,000 people and I could feel their energy. Suddenly I snapped out of it and said out loud, ‘How do I get there?’ My entire career has been about trying to answer that question, ‘How do I become that woman and how do I touch people?’ That became my life’s purpose.” Her answer is music and dance. “I feel like I’m a seed from the motherland that was sent across the world,” she says. “Culture is part of my identity because we, as Indian-Americans who grew up away from India, have to be the vessels of culture. We have to hold on because it’ll be lost within one generation. That’s why it so heavily influences my music and look. It’s not a gimmick to me. It’s an expression of a lifetime of trying to preserve it.”
Kumari set upon her artistic journey at age five when she began learning classical Indian dance, spending seven hours a day practicing with a dance guru who lived with her family for 10 years. Kumari studied several styles and, at age seven, made her debut in front of an audience that included Indian music legend Ravi Shankar, who declared her a child prodigy. By the time she was ten, Kumari was touring the U.S. and India, performing for massive audiences and raising substantial sums of money for charity, including enough to build a meditation hall and a new wing for a hospital in India.
Kumari listened to nothing but classical Indian music until she was nine, but then her older brother gave her a copy of The Fugees’ The Score, and her love for hip-hop was born. “That was the genesis of me as an artist,” she says. “Indian music is based on the mathematics of rhythm, so very quickly, as a little Indian kid who was not using her brain to be scientist, I used it to decipher the mathematics of hip-hop and realized that the rhythms of rap felt similar to the jathis and taals of Carnatic music. Hip-hop felt like a bridge.” Kumari also noted the large platforms that her favorite pop acts, like Britney Spears and *NSYNC, had to reach fans. “I was like, ‘How do I get my dance on that type of stage?’ And I realized that the only people who have stages like that are pop stars.”
At 14, Kumari recorded her first song professionally, started a hip-hop duo with a friend, and adopted her stage name, which means “princess” in Sanskrit. “That’s when I personified this strong, female goddess character called ‘Raja Kumari,’ the daughter of the king, and the king was God. So in my mind, I was the daughter of God.” She began writing her own songs as an act of rebellion. “I felt that everybody was expecting me to continue dancing and,like every other good Indian girl, marry a doctor,” saysKumari, whose father is a radiation oncologist. “I felt this path being set up for me and music became my way of doing something that was just for me.”
Kumari developed her writing skills and spent every day instudio sessions and attending songwriting camps all over the world. As she tried to crack the music industry code, she realized that the artists she looked up to started out as songwriters. “They had to prove they could sell millions of records, so that became my focus, too,” she says. “I put my artist project aside for two years to concentrate on learning.” As she found herself in in rooms with such heavyweights as Timbaland, Polow Da Don, Tricky Stewart, J.R. Rotem, and, at one point, Dr. Dre, Kumari soaked up everything she could about writing and vocal production. Her first placement came in 2012 when a song she co-wrote called “Change Your Life” wound up on Iggy Azalea’s Grammy-nominated album The New Classic. “Suddenly, I had credibility,” Kumari says.
Kumari signed with Pulse Recordings and went on to co-write hit songs for Fall Out Boy (the 4x-Platinum “Centuries,” which earned her a 2015 BMI Pop Award), Fifth Harmony, Twin Shadow, Knife Party, Dirty South, Lindsey Stirling, and Gwen Stefani (Kumari co-wrote six tracks on Stefani’s most recent album, This Is What The Truth Feels Like). Ironically, it was seeing Iggy Azalea wearing a gold kiritam in her “Bounce” video that fueledKumari’s determination to introduce authentic Indian culture to the masses. “To see my culture being put on as a costume — it woke me up,” she says. “I realized that if I didn’t do it, no one will.” Along the way, Kumari earned a degree in comparative religious studies at the University of California, Riverside.
In 2015, Kumari signed to Epic Records and released her debut single “Mute,” which addressed the challenges she faced when people in the industry advised her to tone down her ethnicity. (In the song’s opening line, she declares: “I had to put ‘em on mute / Thought that the curry was soup / I had to feed these fools / Had to go home and regroup.”)Kumari felt she had hit a roadblock in America and decided to decamp to Mumbai, where she was based for two years.
“I got there and everybody understood me,” says Kumari, who is also signed to Sony Music India. “I didn’t have to explain my bindi. I didn’t have to explain anything, really. People were so open to everything I was doing as an artist.I just wanted to prove that my music is worthy and that there are people who want to hear it. The validation from my people made me no longer crave validation from anyone else. When I walk into a room and someone tells me something can’t happen, I don’t even listen, because I already know what’s possible.”
Kumari wrote her latest single, “I Did It,” about that feeling. “It’s about me taking a leap,” she says. “It’s about how I didn’t do it the way everyone wanted, but I did it with integrity and that can’t be taken away from me. No one can tell me it won’t work, because it is working. I feel that the music is unstoppable now and that’s such a crazy feeling, because even today, my dad will say, ‘You know, you can just go back to medical school.’ They are still waiting for me to take the emergency exit. But I don’t feel like I’m allowed to quit because there are too many people, little girls like me, who didn’t see themselves represented in culture, who need it. I didn’t have anybody like me. I feel like I’m becoming the person I needed when I was growing up.
Coming off of a stellar 2018, Ella Mai (10 Summers/Interscope Records) has continued her reign into the New Year. Having recently embarked onThe Debut Tourin support of her self-titled album, the singer has now blessed fans with a brand-new video for “Shot Clock.” Directed by Colin Tilley, the visual showcases the starlet’s style and personality as she serves a lyrical ultimatum to her beau. Check out the videoHERE.
“Shot Clock” marks the third official single from her album,Ella Mai. The breakout 4X Platinum single, “Boo’d Up” has earned her nominations forSong of the YearandBest R&B Songat the 61stGRAMMY Awards which airs liveon February 10th.She has been nominated under the category ofBritish Breakthrough Actat next month’s The BRIT Awards and will have the chance to take home three iHeartRadio Music Awards this March. Ella Mai will also vie forBest Rnb, Hip-Hop & GrimeandRising Starat the 2019 Global Awards. The impressive vocalist has yielded much warranted success, entering 2019 atop numerous charts with her Platinum hit song, “Trip.” The single remains #1 on: Billboard’s Hot R&B Songs Chart (14 weeks), Adult R&B Songs, R&B/Hop-Hop Airplay and Urban AC Radio. In addition to her tour which runs through March, fans will have the chance to catch Ella Mai performing live at Coachella this April.
Ahead of the release of his eagerly-awaited fourth albumAssume Formtomorrow via Republic Records,James Blakedebuts brand-new track “Mile High (ft. Travis Scott & Metro Boomin)” on Beats1 as Zane Lowe’s World Record. Combining Blake’s ethereal cals and Scott’s lyrical prowess, the track offers a refreshing take on love, masking its underlying vulnerability withMetro Boomin’s pulsing beats. Zane Lowe played the song three times back-to-back, raving “James Blake, you’ve done it again,” and assuring his listeners thatAssume Formis “going to connect to you, it’s going to touch you no matter where you are and what you’re doing.” Listen to “Mile High”here, and pre-orderAssume Formhere.
Following the announcement of its release last week,Assume Formtrended worldwide on Twitter, with Blake experiencing a massive 33% uplift in streaming of his catalogue. Over the past few years, Blake has become one of the most sought-after producers, singers, and songwriters in the music industry, working with top talent includingBeyoncé,Frank Ocean,andJay-Z,co-writing and touring withKendrick Lamar, performing withTravis Scotton theMTV Video Music Awards, and collaborating on the record-shatteringBlack Panthersoundtrack. It is no surprise, then, thatAssume Formfeatures an all-star roster that reflects Blake’s continual sonic evolution and blurring of genre boundaries:André 3000, Moses Sumney, Travis Scott, Metro Boomin, and ROSALÍA.ThroughoutAssume Form, Blake proves himself yet again as one of our generation’s most gifted and influential artists, both as an essential collaborator and as a solo artist at the height of his career.
Blake will tour in support ofAssume Formon his recently announced headlining North American tour, kicking off in Atlantaon February 18.The 17-date tour will make stops in major cities across the U.S. and Canada including Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Montreal, and 2 nights in New York City, before wrapping in Los Angeleson March 16(see full list of dates below). Tickets are available for purchase now viahttp://www.jamesblakemusic.com/.
Today Yung Miami and JT — together known as City Girls — release the highly-anticipated video for Twerk (feat. Cardi B). In it, City Girls own the dance for themselves, rallying their troupe of women to get cheeks flying and take control of their own sexuality. And hell if it doesn’t look like a good time.
The Broadcast Premier will be on BET Jams and will air every hour on the network. City Girls’ Yung Miami — painted as a zebra — and featured artist Cardi B — painted as a tiger — lead a group of agile ladies on yacht, on a beach, on a pole, even on a muscle car without a man in sight. Ladies are twerkin’ it for themselves, showcasing insanely amazing athleticism, and looking bodaciously fly while doing it. And they can slap their own ass thank you.
With over 215 million overall streams and 39.3 million from Twerk (ft. Cardi B), the world sure seemed ready to listen and dance. Twerk was an immediate track stand-out for fans on City Girls new album, Girl Code (Quality Control Music/Motown/Capitol Records), so the Girls decided to send a challenge to the world. The Goal: To find the world’s greatest twerker. The winner would not only get flewed into Miami on “Flewed Out” airlines and $50k in hard cash, but would be — and now is — featured in their video taking back the twerk.
Refreshingly, JT and Yung Miami bluntly set their own terms on what can be a taboo subject for women. Most recently City Girls’ genuineness caught the ear of Drake, who recruited them for his 10-week chart topping song In My Feelings. And when City Girls rap to a lovelorn Drake, “I’ll show you how to network. F*ck that Netflix and chill; what’s your net worth?” they make it clear they are looking for any broke boys.
JT and Young Miami are uncensored, unapologetic, sharing a commitment to their hood roots and a bold insistence that the culture they come from should stop them from getting a piece of the cash pie. One of the most provocative female hip-hop duo in years, the Miami duo of JT and Yung Miami are the next generation of female speak out as raw and confident — and with as much swagger as the boys.
As Refinery29 states: “This emerging group taps into the same enterprising spirit applauded in male rappers when they wax poetic about selling drugs or pimping to escape bleak financial circumstance. This female version is just as inspiring. The male gaze only succeeds in objectifying women when the sole outcome considered is male gratification. City Girls set the terms of engagement for a payday they’ve orchestrated.”
With JT currently serving her sentence for credit card fraud, City Girls worked hard and banked a lot of material before she went in. As Yung Miami states: “It is a minor setback for a major comeback.”
Coach K and Pierre “Pee” Thomas of the renowned Quality Control Music label discovered the girls and took their first song “Fu*k Dat N****” from a regional hit to a national smash when it appeared on the seminal Quality Control Presents: Control The Streets Vol 1 compilation. Recently Quality Control Music released City Girls’ heart-wrenching documentary Point Blank Period. The documentary follows the City Girls as they break into a predominantly male-dominated industry with the release of Period. It features their reactions to hearing Drake shout them out on his record to JT working in the studio until her jail sentence starts.
Exclusive interviews are included with Yung Miami and JT, as well as industry trailblazers Trina, Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “Pee” Thomas, exposing the complicated road to breaking female artists in the changing music landscape.