While at Complex Con, I hit up HBO‘s activation for their hit series, The Shop. While there, I spoke with celebrity barber Marcus Harvey about the importance of barbershops within the black community, why the show is such a great idea, mental health and why therapy is so necessary and more!
Read it over at theGrio!
I’m a WRITER before anything else, and I busted my ASS on this Dipset piece for UGHH! I spoke to Funk Flex, Shiest Bub and more and went soooo in depth about the rise and fall of the dopest rap group of my era.
Plus I told some dope personal stories. Read it here or continue below!
Rapper Problem has been a relevant name on the West Coast music scene for nearly a decade, yet if there’s one thing he’s learned from the tutelage of Snoop Dogg, it’s that the game comes in waves.
Every time it appeared that he was geared to reach the proverbial next level, fate would rear its ugly head and bring Problem back to square one. How in the world did Chris Brown and Rihanna’s fight stop his money? You’d be surprised. But with conflict comes clarity, and the Compton native has consistently leveled up with each setback.
Joe Moses came up in the same crop of burgeoning LA artists that birthed the careers of Ty Dolla $ign, YG and DJ Mustard, but he’s taken a bit of a different path than his fellow Los Angelenos.
In the late ‘00s, the rapper vacated his Cali roots and migrated to Atlanta, under the tutelage of a then-scorching Waka Flocka Flame. A deal was inked with Flocka’s Brick Squad Monopoly imprint, but eventually, Joe returned to LA to make things happen on his home turf.
It’s 12:54am on a Wednesday, and I’m sitting down with IAMSU and his cameraman in the front room of their hotel suite. Su was in town for a headlining show in Santa Ana, followed by another one the next night in Los Angeles. I had planned to interview the Bay Area rapper at the LA show, but while I was out and about that evening, I’d received a FaceTime call from him, telling me to come and hang. He was an hour out from my house in the Valley, but I still made the trek. We smoked, we hung out with his mom, walked down a highway to get some gas station snacks and then eventually decided, “What better time than now to do an interview?”
I first met IAMSU in 2014, while he was promoting his first studio album, Sincerely Yours. That year, he’d go on a national tour with Wiz Khalifa, following up three insane years that included back to back to back smash singles: a feature on LoveRance’s “Up” in 2011, a feature on E-40’s “Function” in 2012, and a feature on Sage The Gemini’s “Gas Pedal” in 2013. He’s continued to grow his profile in music every year since, while remaining so independent, that I still get a text and an email directly from him for every new song, video or even a vlog.
There’s a short list of big names that hail from Vallejo, California. You have the late Mac Dre—one of the most influential artists to ever come out of the Bay—and E-40, a rap legend who introduced a whole new vernacular to the masses and has maintained a career that spans decades. And then you have NEF The Pharaoh. He’s in pretty good company, to say the least.
At just 22, the “Big Tymin” rapper has already toured the world, signed a record deal, collaborated with multiple brands, and has rubbed elbows with some of the greats. To think this all began with just a pair of regional hits. NEF hasn’t even scored his “breakout” smash yet, but suffice to say, he has more under his belt than some of his peers who already have that hit.
It’s been over four years since Mike Zombie was introduced to the masses on what couldn’t have been a larger-scale. Not only did the New Jersey native place a beat with Drake on a song that would go on to be one of the Toronto superstar’s biggest tracks [“Started From The Bottom”], but he also inked a production deal with OVO. The future looked bright for the talented 20-year-old, but while he’s maintained a presence in music, it’s nowhere on the level that he (and everyone else) thought it would be by now.
Glances at his Instagram show the now-24-year-old still has an affiliation to OVO, often rocking clothing adorned with Drake’s signature owl. He is sure to post about new projects from the OVO camp and congratulates The Boy on his various successes throughout the years, but yet, the posts seem rather one-sided. There has been no sign of Zombie on the track on any of the aforementioned projects, from lesser-known acts like Roy Woods, up to the capo himself. And though Zombie has put out multiple projects of his own over the years (as he raps as well), there hasn’t been any posts from his labelmates about those either.