ICYMI: Beya Likhari Gets Introspective on The Inbetween Part 2.
In July, Beya Likhari hit us with part one of The Inbetween, her experimental EP meant to capture the feeling of two different moods. The first half featured two upbeat grooves “Hold On” and “Nerdy Girl” but this second half is almost like a thoughtful come down from the first. “Scared” and “Secrets” are moodier than the tracks that preceded them with lyrics that speak of the fear of vulnerability, late-night confessionals, and wishing a lover to return. Listen via Spotify below or on Apple Music.
For listeners wanting to gain more insight into Beya’s concept for this two-part EP, check out the awesome journal she created to accompany it. Just click here, tap “enter” then tap “+Inbetween” where you’ll be taken to a crossword puzzle you must complete to enter! And, if you happen to be in Baltimore on Thursday, September 20th, check our girl out at Metro Gallery with Ava Luna.
Childish Gambino Releases “Feels Like Summer” Animated Visual
While Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, Childish Gambino is giving the season a second wind with the release of his “Feels Like Summer” visual directed by Donald Glover, Ivan Dixon & Greg Sharp. The star-studded animation features cameos from Justin Richburg-designed cartoon incarnations of Will Smith, Outkast, Janelle Monae, SZA, Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Migos, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Kid Cudi, Chance The Rapper, Birdman, Future, Metro Boomin, Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert, and many more as residents of Gambino’s neighborhood. With music is in his ears while on a pre-dusk stroll home, he observes his celebrity neighbors and takes in summer’s energy. Watch the full “Feels Like Summer” visual above.
ICYMI: Ari Lennox Shares Acoustic Rendition of “Whipped Cream”
In July, Ari Lennox dropped her new single “Whipped Cream” with an accompanying story about its “deceiving, receiving, not giving headass” muse. Since, she’s openly shared a personal struggle with mental health and the difficulty of balancing that with her art. While it seemed that she may indefinitely give up music, we’re elated to find this isn’t the case after all. A few days ago, Lennox shared an acoustic rendition of “Whipped Cream” featuring Joe Endozo on guitar and her arrestingly supernatural, honey-thick tone. Watch the effortlessly perfect, millennial chanteuse’s heavenly performance above.
Sunni Colón Releases Long Awaited ‘Satin Psicodelic’ EP
Sunni Colón has released his newest EP Satin Psicodelic (via Stem) as well as a minute-long, avante-garde short film titled “7th Sky.” After teasing fans with a string of singles drops this year, which included 3 funky songs from the new EP, we’ve received 4 more tracks to enjoy as summer comes to a close. Colón genre bends by continuing to carry the funk in songs like “Strands of The Future,” adding calmer elements in tracks like “Guava,” and by giving you Bossa Nova in “Satin PSICODELIC”.
Similar to the narrative in the 7th Sky visual, the EP embodies a beach vibe. It’s reminiscent of sitting shore side and breathing in the misty air as you make the trip in the car. Each song creates a visual in your mind. Colón has a way of creating nostalgic sounds that carry you to places you’ve never been before. It feels familiar yet new.
Get ready to go on a different type of trip, stream “Satin Psicodelic” below and watch 7th Sky above.
Kilo Kish Returns with “Elegance”
Kilo Kish is gearing up for the release of her forthcoming EP Mothe. Until then, fans have a taste of what’s to come in the project’s first single titled “Elegance.” The track arrives with its accompanying visual that finds the Los Angeles-based artist in her own pink-hued, Tokyo-set wonderland. The song itself is a dreamy game of patty cake between heavy-handed dubstep effects and Kilo Kish’s featherlight vocals.
“I called it ‘Mothe’ because I just feel like I am in a transitionary period. I’ve gone through a mental transformation so I wanted it to be symbolized by something that goes through metamorphosis,” Kilo Kish told Paper Mag. Mothe is due for release on September 7th. Watch the “Elegance” visual above.
Blood Orange Shares “Saint” Visual
While we’re relishing in the glory and freshness of Blood Orange‘s Negro Swan, the album’s latest blessing dropped today in the form of a visual for “Saint.” Dev Hynes and his friends – including India Moore (of FX’s Pose), designer Ana Kraš and Kai the Black Angel – enjoy a dreamy kickback where he provides the esoteric evening’s soundtrack live, and on multiple instruments. The self-directed visual follows “Jewelry” and “Charcoal Baby,” Negro Swan’s two leading singles. Watch “Saint” above and be sure to catch Blood Orange on tour.
Yara Shahidi Voyages to Deauville in Short Film by Renell Medrano for Chanel
Bronx-born photographer Renell Medrano was tapped for a project with Chanel introducing their Les Eaux De Chanel capsule. The tripartite fragrance line is inspired by Coco Chanel’s favorite places – Deauville, Biarritz, and Venice. Medrano’s lush visuals, shot on a Super8, follow the luxury label’s Brand Ambassador Yara Shahidi on an Orient Express ride to Deauville, frolicking around Marcel Proust’s historic summer estate, riding a bike through the local village and taking in some fragrance notes at a perfumery. The film evokes a gentle essence that is both light and free which playfully matches the scents’ collective “The Waters” (Les Eaux) eponym.
Medrano says collaborator Andrew Bevan “helped bring the story to life” and that they “…both wanted to portray moments of quiet and beauty within the hustle of the journey and kept referring to creating this nostalgic feeling.” Watch the elegant short film above.
Listen to Blood Orange’s Enchanting ‘Negro Swan’ Album
Blood Orange’s Negro Swan arrives today with the same enchanting tenderness exuded on his 2016 effort, Freetown Sound. Previously released tracks “Charcoal Baby” (and the “Family” interlude from its visual), “Chewing Gum” (featuring A$AP Rocky and Project Pat) and “Jewelry” (which continues – from the album’s opener “Orlando” – the brilliant Janet Mock’s explanation on her reclamation of “doing too much”). The project also contains features from Steve Lacy on “Out of Your League,” Georgia Anne Muldrow on “Runnin” and Puff Daddy and Tei Shi on the Hip Hop-tinged cut about fear and love titled “Hope.”
The album is versatile – both personal and universal – and it’s packed with messages in a collage of reminders that Blackness is as precious and sweet as it is tiresome and dark. Like in “Vulture Baby,” where Blood Orange sings “Give it some time/ See how it goes/ She’ll change her mind…” about “…white people who have got their cred by flirting with rap culture, and now they’re gonna show their country roots,” or in “Dagenham Dream” where his childhood memories of being jumped and hospitalized weave pocketed percussions, and even in the hustling horns lacing praises of Blackness on “Saint.”
Standout number “Holy Will” contains vocals from Ian Isiah (and collaborator Eva) sampling “Center of Thy Will” by the legendary Clark Sisters that feels like pure restoration of the heart. Listen to Blood Orange’s Negro Swan below.
Maségo Shares ‘Lady Lady’ Tracklist and SiR-assisted Single “Old Age”
We’re now officially two weeks away from the release of Maségo’s debut Lady Lady album and it’s almost as if he feels fans’ anxiousness since he’s graciously sharing another of its singles with us today. The SiR-assisted “Old Age” finds the fellas enamored with an older woman’s magnetizing appeal. While Maségo breaks down the charm he finds in the sophisticated types who “ain’t with the tech or the messages,” the groovy finesse of SiR’s rich tone pump through the second verse’s description of his Sanaa Lathan-like dream girl.
Lady Lady drops September 7th and you can check out the tracklist below. Listen to “Old Age” below and be sure to catch Maségo on tour.
Lady Lady Tracklist
2. I Had a Vision
3. Lavish Lullaby
4. Old Age ft. SiR
6. Sugar Walls
7. Queen Tings ft. Tiffany Gouche
8. Just a Little ft. Dewayne Jackson
9. Shawty Fishin’ (Blame the Net)
10. Lady Lady
11. 24 hr. Relationship
12. Black Love
13. Tadow ft. FKJ
Mykki Blanco Takes on Racism, Homophobia and White Supremacy in ‘Wypipo’ Short Film
Mykki Blanco is taking on racism in his new short film titled Wypipo and he left the sugarcoating at the kiddie table for this conversation. In a direct confrontation of America’s prejudices, he plays the role of a few characters (read “real life people”) who perpetuate and sustain the hideous and harmful existence of racism, homophobia and white supremacy. In preparation for his role in “A Stump Speech,” Mykki recalls a personal moment from his childhood when he realized that he was being perceived (by white people) as a threat. From there, his role as America’s 45th president dives into the apathetic tone with which he (and most of white America) regard the police killings of Black women, men and children. Then there’s the airhead “Permit Patty” scene that takes a deep dives right into the self-absorbed and benighted (white) feminism that ignores the intersections of womanhood so brilliantly (and accurately) that it could totally be a scene from any reality TV show with an all-white cast. Patty goes from your everyday “If I were racist, would I have dated a Black guy” one-liners to eventually playing her part as the Brown-People Permit Police.
Watch Mykki discuss the luxury of obliviousness that comes with white privilege, the contradictory futility of “all lives matter” as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement, the invalid justification of white people’s “fear” of everyone who doesn’t look like them and America’s deeply needed institutional change in the Wypipo short above.
ICYMI: Watch Vivian Green’s Colorful New Visual for “Vibes”
R&B songstress Vivian Green is back with a new visual for “Vibes” from her 2017 album VGVI. The song is a carefree anthem about letting go, and having your relationship soar by simply relying on the energy you give and receive. Directed by photographer Derek Blanks, the visual embraces warmer hues and puts you right in the mood for the sound that gathered you there to watch. Highlighting Green’s signature look – the cropped tank, big hoops and long flowy skirt, which she premiered in her first video over a decade ago – Green takes you through a day in her life as she plays waitress in a soul food restaurant. There you can find her singing and interacting with regulars, while dancing and celebrating life in-between. Her son Jordan even makes a cameo in one of the final restaurant shots.
Since coming on the scene back in 2002, Green has managed to stay on the map and recently snag her a well earned spot on Billboard’s top 10 for adult R&B AirPlay. Watch Vivian Green star in “Vibes” above.
Neek Bucks Commemorates the 20th Anniversary of Jay-Z’s “Streets is Watching”
Harlem’s own Neek Bucks is bridging NYC’s boroughs with an homage to a film from Brooklyn’s finest, Jay-Z. Commemorating the two decade milestone of “Streets is Watching,” Neek Bucks gives the musical short a new spin that is, “reminiscent of the cultural impact of New York City’s hip-hop past and what can be expected of its future.” Watch above.