That NJ Ish: Get To Know Joella DeVille


For this month’s segment of That NJ Ish, Drewski, Marisa, and I put the spotlight on the “Ease The Pain” singer Joella DeVille. The New Jersey native has been described as “the black Katy Perry.” Joella‘s alto voice perfectly blends R&B and soul while having pop influences.

Joella doesn’t just have a great voice, she’s also trained in music. She began playing violin at age three. As she got older, she studied violin, piano, voice, drama, and dance at Newark School of the Arts. Her classical training, stand-out voice, and her song making ability have already taken her far. Her music has been heard on multiple shows on VH1, Bravo!, and Lifetime. Between her musical training, voice, and charisma Joella has all of the proper components to make her a timeless artist.

We spoke to Joella about her influences, her recent move to California, hearing herself being played on radio for the first time,, and more. Check it out below.

Interview by Julie Aly
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Exclusive: Nyck Caution Speaks on Finding His Freedom in the Music

Nyck Caution

It’s human to not want to feel alone. Every day on some level (subconscious or non) we’re searching for someone who understands our journey and what we’re going through, even if we’re unable to put it into words ourselves. Mainstream rap music is overrun with too many personalities that talk at you, rather than to you and with you. Perhaps that’s what drew us to our latest interview subject.

Enter Nyck Caution, the sole white rapper in the world-famous Pro Era collective. Aside from being a contender for the 2016 XXL Freshman Class, Caution‘s music speaks to the youth of the world that’s desperately seeking for a better tomorrow, even if that utopia only exists in their mind or in their headphones. This summer looks incredibly promising for the Brooklyn kid, who also just turned 22 in January. Hip-hop fans across the country will be able to check out Nyck Caution on tour with Cam’ron on The Smoker’s Club Tour, which also features Smoke DZA, The Underachievers, G-Herbo, and a few more.

In our interview, we got Nyck to dish out his recipe for success in the studio, the moment he realized his own potential, and how his spirituality shaped his latest project, Disguise The Limit, available for streaming on Soundcloud.

Read on, and see all dates for The Smokers Club Tour below.

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Exclusive: Hoodchella Creator Renames Festival, Readies #NoiseInTheHood Debut


What happens when a black kid from California models the name of his indie music festival after one of the biggest festivals in the country? Well, you get a cease and desist letter, and the threat of a $100 million lawsuit from the lawyers of that bigger festival, apparently.

News of a “Hoodchella” meltdown was taking over our side of social media, and had even made its way to TMZ. A few times. In no time at all, the concert that was originally scheduled to be a 1-day show of performers and DJs, had grown to a 3-day fest with over 100 names filling up the bill.

In February, however, we got to speak with Hoodchella co-creator Bearcap Sunday about what had happened to his brainchild that took after the name of the Coachella Music Festival, now known as Noise In The Hood. The 3-day festival kicks off today and will last until Sunday April 10.

Read below, and purchase tix for the event on the official Noise In The Hood website.

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(Video) That NJ Ish: Mike Zombie Freestyle


At our first “That NJ Ish” meetup with this month’s spotlight, OVO producer, Mike Zombie, we got to see some new colors from the bold and brash South Jersey star! The only thing better than picking Mike Zombie‘s brain (get it? Zombie? Brain?) during a fun round of “This Or That,” is getting to know him in the best way he can tell his story — through his raps. Zombie opened his exclusive freestyle with an homage to Jay Z‘s verse on his own production, “They Don’t Love You No More.”

With his 609 chains prominently displayed, Mike Zombie let us know exactly what’s on his mind since entering his new career as a producer. “All my shit is massive, let’s get this shit to the masses,” Zombie raps. He continues, “Tired of playing beats for boys I’m better than.” We personally know Mike Zombie not for being cocky, but for knowing his own capabilities and going hard by his damn self, and so we love when talks that NJ ish!

Check out Mike Zombie‘s freestyle below.

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THAT NJ ISH: Mike Zombie Talks His Rap Career, His Dream Collabs, Where He Stands With OVO, & More


Last week Marisa, Drewski, and myself launched That NJ Ish on The four-part series will put a spotlight on a different artist from New Jersey every month, and feature new music from them, exclusive interviews, freestyles and more. When Marisa and I decided to create That NJ Ish, she mentioned featuring Mike Zombie and it was almost a no-brainier. Many know him as “Zombie On The Track,” the mastermind behind instrumentals such as Drake‘s “Started From The Bottom,” DJ Khaled‘s “They Don’t Love You No More,” and more. Although he’s signed to Drake‘s OVO imprint as a producer, many fail to realize that Mike is also an unsigned rapper and he can actually rap. The Willingboro, New Jersey native released his first mixtape, The End Of The Beginning, in 2013 and Rebel Without A Cause in 2015. Since then, Zombie had liberated some heat including “Hella Crack 2″ with Mir Trillz, “Autograph,” “You A Dub,” and more.

Mike Zombie is one of those guys that commands attention unknowingly. It’s not his height or his bright red hair that draws people in, it’s his aura. He’s not necessarily a “funny guy,” he’s not loud, or the type that necessarily wants to be center of attention but he is. Although this was my first time meeting Mike, it feels almost as if I’m catching up with an old friend. As we stand in Suvas in Jersey City, I asked him some questions about rapping verses producing, his dream collaborations, what it’s like growing up in South Jersey, his standing with OVO and more.

Interview by: Julie Aly
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LIT EVENTS: 10 More Best Take-Aways From the #JerseyMusicMeeting Part 2


For our 2nd edition of the Jersey Music Meeting, artists from all across New Jersey, New York and Connecticut were treated to some heavy knowledge bombs from a new round of panelists consisting of a few elite faces of the radio and music industries.

Taking over Elizabeth, NJ’s Dolce Lounge once again, our exclusive panel included Hot 97‘s DJ Enuff and Megan Ryte, Scottie Beam of the Hot 97 Morning Show, and Atlantic Records Director of A&R, Orlando Wharton.

Overall, we’d say that this time around, some good questions were definitely asked and the passion in the room was on a thousand! We’ve compiled another list to expound on all the free game that was given out last night, so think of this as your 2nd study guide to the music biz, and see our top 10 tips on artist development below! See tips from our last Jersey Music Meeting here.

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Interview: Smack White Talks Jae Millz – Who He’d Love To See Him Battle & If It Will Happen

Smack White x Jae Millz

Growing up in the Smack DVD era, my favorite battle of all time was Jae Millz vs. Murda Mook on 125th St. in Harlem. Since then, Mook has remained a fixture on the battle scene (though becoming much more exclusive with his battles), while Millz opted for the mainstream, and went on to leave battling for a record deal with Lil Wayne‘s Young Money imprint.

In recent years, battle rap has become much more popular on a mainstream level, and it’s birthed stars like Hollow Da Don, Tsu Surf, Arsonal and more, but longtime fans are still itching to see Millz get back in the ring – especially with Mook, as it’s long been a debate on the winner.

Over the summer, Millz responded to the chatter, and took to Instagram proclaiming he wouldn’t bring his jersey out of retirement for any less than $100k. A small exchange with Smack White himself ensued, but not much came out of it. When I caught up with Smack a while later, I had to get his take on it! Check out what he had to say below.
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