Every week, hip-hop delivers new music for avid listeners or those who are looking for some new bops. This week is no different. There’s a released from a Los Angeles-based crew, a Buffalo native and and a Brooklyn drill rapper that. Take a look below to see some of the new releases below.
Shoreline Mafia, comprised of Ohgeesy, Rob Vicious, Fenix Flexin and Master Kato, are delivering their debut album, Mafia Bidness. The 12-track effort features the Wiz Khalifa-assisted “How We Do It,” which is an interpolation of Montell Jordan’s 1995 hit, “This Is How We Do It.” The LP also contains the track, “Perc Popper.” Both records were released prior to the album’s arrival. Mafia Bidness follows the quad’s Party Pack series, with the first installment dropping in 2018 and the second in 2019. And apparently, the LP will be Fenix Flexin’s last project with the group, according to a tweet he posted recently.
Griselda Records’ own Benny The Butcher is coming through with striking bars as he has teamed up with DJ Drama to release Gangsta Grillz X BSF Da Respected Sopranos. Benny is adding to his discography, which consists of My First Brick (2016) and Butcher on Steroids (2017) hosted by DJ Green Lantern, and bringing his BSF crew of Ricky Hyde, Loveboat Luciano, Jonesy and Heem along for the ride. Benny’s most recent effort was Tana Talk 3, which dropped in November of 2018.
Brooklyn drill has an undeniable movement and Sleepy Hallow is offering a new project that emulates that sound. Sleepy is releasing his EP The Black House, which comes nearly two months after his effort, Sleepy Hallow Presents: Sleepy for President. Known for his “Deep End Freestyle” and collabs with fellow New York rappers Sheff G (“Molly”) and Fivio Foreign (“Baddie Betty Boop”), Sleepy is back to deliver more of his rugged sound with gritty, yet fire production.
Scroll down to see more releases from Shoreline Mafia, Benny The Butcher, Sleepy Hallow, City Morgue, Nyck Caution and more below.
As one of the most prolific vocalists in the electronic dance music scene, Karra‘s contributions to the culture at large are innumerable. With an expansive discography of solo hits and major collaborations, including those with KSHMR, NERVO, SamFeldt, JasonRoss, and Ghastly, among many others, Karra’s powerful voice is a ubiquitous force in the music production world, streaming landscape, and live music arena.
Following a recent livestreamed performance on Insomniac TV called “Infinite Skies,” Karra took to Twitter to bemoan a litany of toxic, disrespectful comments about her. Addressing the vitriol in a series of tweets, she illuminated just how vital she is to the modern EDM zeitgeist. “Last night the EDM community really showed me how much they seem to hate vocalists during my performance on Insomniac TV,” she wrote. “95% of the comments made to me were about how much I sucked and can’t sing for shit. Imagine if I wasnt involved in all the music/sample packs I’ve created?”
“My own writing & vocals appeared throughout the sets prior to mine, just like they are in everyone’s set, but there’s such a huge disconnect still,” she continued. “No one knows that or understands the impact many vocalists/songwriters have on their favorite songs. It’s sad honestly.”
The contributions of Karra and all her fellow vocalists to EDM cannot be understated. Writing lyrics, crafting melodies, and executing top-lines are a labor of love, and one that takes an immense amount of talent and determination. You can read Karra’s tweets and listen to her distinguished discography below.
“I’m having a ball,” Yahya Abdul-Mateen II says, not for the first time today. It’s early March, the handshake is still a standard greeting instead of a bygone custom, and the two of us are sitting in a classroom at the New York Academy of Art, studying a Still Life 101 setup: a pitcher, an apple, a few clementines here and there. I am dutifully following our teacher’s instructions with the skill level of a neurotic third grader. Abdul-Mateen, 33, is blithely slathering burnt umber oil paint onto his canvas, full speed ahead. He might as well be wearing a beret.
Abdul-Mateen is not technically a painter, but he will be playing one in the upcoming Candyman, a sequel to the iconic Black horror movie about the hook-handed ghost of a lynched man who is summoned when you say his name five times in front of a mirror. He is rumored to also be starring as Candyman himself, which has inspired Twitter memes about deliberately calling forth the vengeful spirit if he looks like Abdul-Mateen—that is to say, a solid six feet three and incredibly handsome. It’s his biggest role yet, one that cements him in a covetable and comfortable place: leading-man territory. This fall he’ll also be portraying Black Panther Party cofounder Bobby Seale in the Aaron Sorkin courtroom drama The Trial of the Chicago 7, and after that he’ll have a role in The Matrix 4 opposite Keanu Reeves. “I have these moments where my sense of reality slows down and I pull back and I can see the bigger picture,” he tells me. “I say, Wow, I’m really doing this thing.”
For Abdul-Mateen, his childhood relationship to the original 1992 Candyman was less about the movie itself and more about feeling an ambient terror of its titular bogeyman. “In my imagination, Candyman lived where I live,” he recalls. “Candyman came to the projects, so that made him real.” Abdul-Mateen, the youngest of six children, grew up between New Orleans and Oakland. “My family was my tribe,” he says. “My best friends.” His father practiced Islam, and his mother is Christian, but he eventually drifted toward the latter’s faith, mostly because the church had teen nights where he could go hang out with girls. These days he doesn’t strictly adhere to either religion, choosing instead to borrow from both. “Somebody has to go to hell,” he says, remarking on what would happen to each of his parents according to the other’s religion. “And I just don’t think that God is that petty.” When he pushes up the sleeves of his black sweatshirt to grab another paintbrush, I catch a glimpse of a small tattoo on each wrist: on the right, two stick figures holding hands to symbolize him and his dad, who died of cancer when Abdul-Mateen was 21. On the left, a ladybug, because his mom calls him “bug.”
Abdul-Mateen is deeply earnest. When asked about casting him to play the lead in Candyman, director Nia DaCosta told me in an email that it was a “no-brainer” and that she was “struck by his honesty, clarity, and openness.” These qualities are apparent whether he’s talking about his childhood love of Dick Van Dyke in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the active group chat he has with his fraternity brothers, or the elegance of the Guggenheim building. And he’s pretty sensitive, he’ll admit, even if it’s an aspect of his personality that he’s only recently started to come to terms with because of “a girl.” (When asked to clarify, he grins and politely leaves it at “a girl.”) But he’s not without confidence. I ask him to hit me with his worst audition story, a question that tends to reliably lead to a funny anecdote, and he rests his hand on his chin to reflect on this for a second before cracking a furtive smile to himself. So…?
In planning the NBA’s effort to restart at the end of July, league officials have reconsidered just about everything. In a 113-page handbook outlining health and safety protocols obtained by the New York Times, the NBA laid out rules for playing poker (masks on, throw the pack straight into the garbage once finished), ping-pong (absolutely no doubles), and snorkeling (BYOSnorkel). The league is also rethinking what players wear in The Bubble: They will be able to change the name on the back of their jerseys to ones related to “social justice issues,” and, strikingly, the league’s infamous dress code is loosening up, according to Athletic reporter Shams Charania.
The new dress code allows for players to go without a sports coat on the bench, and for them to wear short- or long-sleeve polos for “team/league business.” These might sound like small changes, but in a league whose influence on menswear has been enormous, even small changes can feel massive.
Former NBA commissioner David Stern installed the dress code in 2005, in an effort to tamp down on the baggy clothing then popular among the league’s players. Many rightfully called the dress code out as racist: “They want to sway away from the hip-hop generation,” former player Jason Richardson said at the time. “One thing to me that was kind of racist was you can’t wear chains outside your clothing… You wear a suit, you still could be a crook.”
In unraveling portions of the dress code, the NBA is waving a sort of white flag. In 2005, the league was unwilling to let players dress the way they wanted to. In 2020, the league is following the way fashion has changed over the past 15 years: Business-casual dress codes are now the norm at most offices around the U.S. (different surveys will tell you that’s true for anywhere from 50% to 79% of workplaces), and even the famously suited-up Goldman Sachs let its bankers ditch the suit in 2019. Stringent dress codes are even less important in the Orlando bubble, which is already asking a lot from NBA players who are forced to be isolated for months potentially. “This is the asterisk part of the season, and there shouldn’t be any rules,” says Kesha McLeod, an NBA stylist who works with players like James Harden and P. J. Tucker. “You have [players] here during a pandemic and they’re playing—that should be enough. You can’t now tell them they also have to wear a sport coat.”