Article by Jesus Araujo
One summer ago, K. Roosevelt gave the internet one of the most underrated R&B tapes, RoseGold, of the year. His new project, J O U R N E Y, will bring all R&B lovers to tears. J O U R N E Y brings back the feeling of pure R&B as if you were putting in Forever My Lady album in your CD player for the first time. As a member of one of the hungriest group of collaborates, HS87, you can hear that K. Roosevelt left no seconding guessing with the six-track masterpiece.
The Los Angeles native might be unknown to some on his rhythm and blues but might know of his production skills from tracks like “Dested” by Overdose, “Thank God” by Skeme, “Dom’s Prayer” by Dom Kennedy and the street banger from Game’s 2012 classic Jesus Piece “Church” featuring King Chip and Trey Songz. So keep a closer eye and ear open for K. Roosevelt showing up on your favorite artist project.
Photo from Rehab Magazine
Article by Jesus Araujo
Photo by Zach Wolfe
The DJ’n world is a world of creativity. The DJ will carry with them, a computer, headphones, a theme, and most important respect to all music. It’s creativity and power given to the ultimate listener. They have been to enough parties and events to know how you should feel when the beat hits the speaker.
Article by Jesus Araujo
Growing up it was a bit different for me. I saw the world through three perspectives. One was from my father. He is from El Salvador, a small third world country in Central America. What is it known for? It is the biggest export in coffee to the United States, so that cup of Joe you’re drinking should really be called a cup of Jose.
The bond that two people create can help push both people to reach their full potential. It is a feeling that you will never forget. When that one person tells you “You made this? This is fucking dope!” there is no other feeling to describe that feeling. When working with Nate Fox, that is exactly what you get. The producer has worked with many up and coming artist such as King Chip, Lorine Chia, Machine Gun Kelly, and produced on Chance the Rapper’s heavily acclaimed mixtape “Acid Rap.”
Nate Fox, 26, from Scottsdale, Pennsylvania, a small town 49 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. “ We only had one traffic light I swear,” said Fox jokingly. Though his surrounding didn’t have the bright lights of a city or music clubs like New York, Fox’s house was filled with music from all of around. “My dad was the eclectic one,” says Fox. The soulful one of the house who had Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 going on in the background as they cleaned their house. “Mom would play Carly Simon,” said Fox. With soulful music and music that builds like an epic movie, Fox was listening to music on different types of levels. This gave him the musical knowledge to hear and understand the beauty of music.”
Music was becoming more a part of Fox’s life—citing Busta Rhymes and Mack 10 (and even emo artists) as early influences. He was noticing subtle invocations in artists and how they made themselves unique. “Biggies ability to change his tone in raps,” said Fox. “He had the ability to make himself sound like two people on the track was crazy!!”
By 14, Fox had realized that making music was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. After high school Fox entered Tri-C Metro in Cleveland, Ohio. It was a music school and Fox got an internship working in the school studio with Mark Baker. After a year of school, Fox decided it was time to take what he had learned and go on his own. “I wasn’t able to get idea’s out,” said Fox. “ I felt I was withholding my creativity.” Fox began working with Cleveland rapper Cuzo and began to network with more people. He soon found himself working with Cleveland rappers MGK and King Chip (at the time known as Chip the Ripper).
A quick transfer of information with Chance the Rapper two years ago at SXSW the two began working. The two immediately bonded. “I get asked all the time what was it like working with Chance? It wasn’t really working,” said Fox.” It was us being friends creating something organic.” His songs “Pusha Man”, “Chain Smoker”, “Lost”, and on-line sensations “Juice”, and “Favorite Song” all made the highly acclaimed mixtape Acid Rap.
It was an August night in Chicago, Fox and Chance the Rapper were working when Pat, Chance’s manager, received a call from Cortez Bryant. “Wayne wanted Chance to be on D5,” said Fox. Wanting to make something from scratch Fox worked from 11 pm to 10 am the next day to create “You Song”. During this session Fox would have to break a personal rule of his. “There are just certain people that you do not sample from, Michael Jackson being one of them,” said Fox. “That night though, it was a night of rule breaking.”
One of the most important parts of being a producer is the bond that you build with that artist. Email makes it easy to send beats; it’s a click away. Fox can send you beats, but he is coming as well. “I want to bring back the collab vibe,” said Fox.
“I want them (the artist) to experience the first time they wanted to do this forever,” said Fox.
Throughout this interview we went on side conversations: About how Morning Sunrise by Weldon Irvine is the greatest song of all time, if wrestlers were rappers who would they be (he says that Bam Bam Bigelow would be Action Bronson), How Eureka’s Castle is underrated, and how not only Donny Hathaway is amazing but how he used “Jealous Man” as the sample in “Juice.” As natural as it was to talk to him you can feel his desire to help create a song that will last forever; a song that will stand through all the fads that come along in music.
“Music that can make people move. Something like a wedding song,” said Fox. “ You know, a song that makes you feel that feeling like it’s the first time. That’s a song that will last forever.”
Check out Fox Den Vol. 4 via Soundcloud:
Article by Jesus Araujo (@jesusttw)
Photo by Cyle Barinzi
The transformation of any teenager is an interesting one. It is a delicate time that can form and shape thoughts, ideas and body hair in awkward places. The style of clothes they dress in, whom they listen to through their headphones and the people they like to associate themselves with; it can be all the latest trends and hash tags in less than seven days. Some are often labeled nerdy just because they like being in plays and watching cinematic movies, or think that writing your own epic novel could be more important than going out and seeing how many games of beer pong it takes till you can catch on fire. Starring in the high school musical could be social suicide amongst jocks and cheerleaders. Winning the LAUSD poetry contest might not be the best look with homies. You might feel misplaced, but you have something that it could take people many years to find, you’re not afraid to be yourself.
Kyle, 20 formerly known as K.i.D, is finding his own voice in the Indi-Pop studios in Downtown Los Angeles. He was born in the San Fernando Valley, where his family encouraged him to perform and sing at an early age. “You tell a kid to do something and keep encouraging them, they will really start to believe that is what he is here for. I’ve known I wanted to be a musical performer since I was 6 years old.”
At the age of 12, Kyle moved with his family to the coastal town of Ventura, Ca. At Ventura High School, he was a standout actor in the drama department and his song “Black and Gold” became the school anthem and could be heard at every sporting event. The standout rapper/singer used technology to his advantage by recording music videos and freestyles to post on YouTube. He built a strong fan base in his hometown, becoming the local kid opening up for all the big names, such as, A$AP Rocky, Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony or anyone else that performed at Ventura Theater.
“Visuals are also important to me,” said Kyle. “I owe my career to YouTube.”
With more than 20,000 views on several of his YouTube videos and mixtapes (Senior Year, FxL, and Super Duper K.i.D), in addition to small school tours and opening celebrations of retails, the opportunity came to Kyle to become a part of the Indi-Pop family. Producers DJ Carnage, Bedrock, Benny Haze, Dave Cappa, Chris P, Antonio Nochez and Tomas Barfod all helped attribute to Beautiful Loser, the album that reached number 7 on the hip-hop charts on iTunes. With millions of views on Vevo (“Keep It Real” and “Hey Now”), and after headlining his first tour this past Summer (The Beautiful Loser Tour), Kyle knows that this is only the beginning and won’t forget the motivation that has pushed him.
“I remember going to a shoe store in Crenshaw to perform a show,” said Kyle. “We performed in front of, like, three people and they didn’t cheer or boo, they just looked at me and didn’t say anything… Straight rapper hell.”
The energy didn’t change for Kyle, he rapped his lyrics with a strong delivery and he made jokes with the crowd. He gave those three people in Crenshaw his all, even if they were wondering, “Who is this kid?” Moments like this one that he went through in Crenshaw gave him strong skin and he knew that these were just moments; it wasn’t going to be an everlasting feeling. Nothing could crush his dreams.
With a mixtape and a small school tour completed before Kyle got his high school diploma, he knew that his next step was the school of music in the real world and the Internet. Working with Oklahoma’s finest producer Dave Cappa, Kyle dropped Super Duper K.i.D in 2011. A CD with funky beats, smooth harmonies and strong lyric’s that was universally appealing to music lovers.
“I wanted a song that described me but also something that can relate to people.” The title of the song ended up being the title to his album Beautiful Loser. “I want my fans to know you’re ok,” said Kyle. “Don’t change who you are. You are beautiful the way you are. I hung out with the drama geeks. Technically that would make me a nerd or a loser. I am a nerd, I play video games, I’m mad I didn’t get to see The Hobbit, I don’t get girls, I am technically a nerd.”
At Ultra Music Festival with Martin Solveig, in front of 60,000, a drama nerd hit the stage and sang “Hey Now.” Childish Gambino’s short film Clapping for All The Wrong Reasons shows Gambino spinning Kyle’s hit “Fruits Snacks” on the turntables. With all that Kyle has accomplished so far in his music career, he knows that this is just the beginning of more to come. I guess being a nerd isn’t all that bad.
Article by Jesus Araujo (@jesusttw)
Five years ago today, Drake gave the Internet a gift that changed music forever. So Far Gone wasn’t just a musical masterpiece, it let artists know that you can make it in the music industry if you know how to finesse the web and make your own sound.
Five years ago, Lil Wayne ran the world. Tha Carter III was the last hip-hop album to sell a million records and white pro-clubs ruled college and high school campuses. A mixtape was, well, a mixtape. It would usually consist of a rapper hopping on someone else’s beat and trying to make it their own. Drake came in and changed that forever; he made his own music.
It felt like a album.
Nothing I had ever heard was like this. It was original, emotional, and it had a yearn to want to be more. The featured Lil Wayne, Bun B, Santo Gold, Omarion, Lloyd, Lykke Li, and Trey Songz whom he recorded with multiple times before this highly successful piece of work.
The lyrics and his delivery are what really caught me though. He rapped like a man possessed on “Successful,” he gave homage to his home away from home on “November 18,” and let the world know that he could make songs that everyone could love with “Best I Ever Had.” He stayed true to himself and did what no rapper had done at that ti, at least to me. He said what I thought and lived through in the simplest way.
You can’t take any credit away from Drake. He was the first rapper to ever be nominated for a Grammy simply off of a mixtape. That was unheard of! He opened the door for other rappers to be as creative as they wanted to be. He gave them the opportunity to be emotional and still have street credibility. Drake essentially is what every thug and every common man wants to be. Real with his crew, real with his emotion, and all the while the streets will still love him.
Article by Jesus Araujo (@jesuscame)
Photos by Cyle Barzini
On October 18 at the Echoplex in L.A., IheartComix, Top Shelf and the Echo presented Check Your Ponytail with headline acts Iamsu! and Sage the Gemini. Both artists brought the house down with an abundant of hits for the crowd to dance, cheer and Bernie too.
The packed house was filled with people of different colors and styles. Many hipsters and backpackers filled the audience as they all boogied to the jams of DJ Carisma. Openers BRRANG-A-DANG, Kool John and Finatticz got the crowd warmed up before the main acts performed.
“L.A., I’m from the Bay,” said Iamsu. “ Y’all make me feel like am at home though, so we going to turn the bitch up!”
Iamsu! hit the stage with his HBK running mate, P-Lo, and gave all the people there a show to remember. Performing all of Suzy and the HBK songs that have vibrated in headphones of the people leading up to the show. The two never gave the crowd a second to catch their breath as they continued to go through Suzy’s catalog. Kool John came out to help with the $uzy 6 $peed hit, “Mobbin.” A special appearance was made by Yo Gotti for the street banger “Act Right.”
When Sage The Gemini grabbed the mic, the turn-up stayed on extra high. Hitting both sides of the stage and talking to crowd, he made his presence felt to the audience.
“We in L.A.,” said Sage. “I’m from the Bay, yet we all from Cali! There isn’t no beef cause we all from California.” The crowd screamed in agreement with him.
Sage wanted to show that it didn’t matter about where you are from because the music brings us all together. With D-Mac on his side, Sage got the crowd bouncing and moving as he performed “Swerve” and “Panoramic.”
Iamsu! and Sage shut down the night when both hit the stage together to perform their hit, “Gas Pedal.” All the performers were moving in sync to the beat as they all hit the dance moves to the song.
What makes this show so different from a regular hip-hop show is that everyone is dancing. From Iamsu! and Sage who hit the Bernie in the middle of “Getting It,” to the young, hipster girl is shaking it like a red nose. The vibe is fresh and the atmosphere is fun, bringing reminisce of a throwback dance party. Iamsu! and Sage show that they are the new sound from the Bay and will make sure to have everyone dancing all night long.
Article by: Jesus Araujo (@Jesuscame)
Photo by Mirey Acierto (www.mireyacierto.com)
“You guys are cold as hell together,” said Snoop Dogg to Pac Div on an episode of his YouTube on-line show GGN news. “Y’all got to stay family and stay within because despite what it feel like one of y’all might have to go solo…. it will be the best move for the group.”
As a member of Pac Div, Mibbs, 28, was able to innovate the sound of the west coast hip-hop with vicious raps and knock out punch lines that put “The G-Funk era” to sleep, and let the new breed of Los Angeles rapper’s bring a new conviction and change of style to the music of the city of Angels.
Article by Jesus Araujo (@jesuscame)
The west coast has found a new way to boogie at Backyard BBQ’s. The infectious beats and fun lyrics that Iamsu and Problem bring had El Rey Theater keeping their hands in the air and dancing like nobody was watching them.
With DJ Carisma on the wheels of steel to start the show her great mixing of club bangers got the crowd ready for the two new young leaders of the west coast. With the lights turned down and the crowd anxious to transform into ratchets. The TURN UP was emanate.
“WE OUT HEAR TRYING FUCTION!” said Problem as he and Iamsu hit the stage. The two artists used all the space on stage to dance and get hype. Problem with his bounce dance moves, IamSu going dumb with the HBK gang, they gave the sold out crowd more of a reason to turn up.
Iamsu was the one who took control of the stage first. Performing hits from his mixtape $uzy 6 $peed. Joints like Mobbin’, Gone, and Going Up brought the bay to Los Angeles.
“Lets Get in!” Iamsu said to the crowd before bringing the HBK gang out on stage.
The HBK gangs synchronized dancing to Slow Down showed great showmanship and great energy.
Not only was it a homecoming show for the Compton native, it was also his birthday!
His stage presence was uncanny and interactions with the crowd kept everyone wanting more and dancing to the beats of Jaynari of League of Starz.
“How many of ya’ll fuck with that Welcome to Mollywood Tape?” Problem said to all the rachets in the building.
With the help of Diamond Lane mate Bad Lucc, the string of hits poured out like the Ciroc at the bar. House party hits like “Broke Down The Weed,” “Cheerleader” and “Stuntin.” An unexpected female from the audience showed that she was first “all twerk” team to the song D2B.
With the lights all turned down, Problem and Iamsu performed their biggest hit “Bout Me” with Wiz Khalifa to end the night.
The Million Dollar Afro Tour showed that the West Coast newest star could still have the gangster’s boogie’n to the beat.