Who Is G.O.O.D. Music’s Kacey Hill?

Kacey Hill is G.O.O.D. Music’s newest signee, but what led to her earning a spot on one of hip-hop’s greatest music regimes? It seems like the young songstress popped out of nowhere. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Hill currently resides in Los Angeles. Under M Model Management she has done work with American Apparel and was also one of the models on Kanye’s Yeezus tour.

Kacey released her debut single “Experience” back in September. So far this is the only music from the new artist, but if Kanye is rocking with her expect nothing but greatness from G.O.O.D. Music’s new addition.

Peep the video for “Experience” below:

SpreadLuv 615 Pays Tribute to Erykah Badu (Photo Recap + Review)

Spreadluv continues its successful concert series with a tribute to the talented Erykah Badu. The show sold out and 3rd & Lindsley was packed with supporters of the performers as well as lovers of the Grammy award-winning singer. Spreadluv’s music director Michael Hicks did a wonderful job with the talent for the night. There was not one disappointing rendition of Badu’s classics. Each performer made the songs their own while still doing it justice, and the band did an amazing job of bringing  Erykah’s music to life.

One can’t forget the great artists that contributed to the show as well. Spreadluv supports both visual art and music. Artists showcased their Badu inspired pieces at the beginning of the event which were also available for purchase.

This night was one to remember as it was the first time Spreadluv presented Community Awards to those that make an impact on the art and music community in Nashville. Spreadluv’s founder Brian Sexton reinforces that it’s not about the money. It’s about the culture. Along with showing thanks to those who support Nashville’s emerging talent, Spreadluv also presented checks to the National Museum of African American Music and the W.O. Smith Music School. Proceeds from the Badu tribute as well as the past Kanye and OutKast tributes helped make these donations possible.

Sadly this is the last tribute show of the year, but there will be more in the future. It is a must-see event and a great night of music and art to be apart of. If you haven’t been to one yet, don’t miss out on what Spreadluv has planned for 2015.

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REVIEW: J. Cole “2014 Forrest Hills Drive”

J. Cole’s third studio album is a breath of fresh air that inspires hope for hip-hop going into 2015. Cole breaks barriers with this new release. The album dropped with no singles which is something the rapper hasn’t done before. After hearing the strength of the product it’s hard to see how one would even begin the process of trying to pick a single with so many great tracks. Cole is like an open book with this project, and each song reveals his growth.

 2014 Forrest Hills Drive solidifies J. Cole’s position as a great story teller and lyricists.  Throughout the album he tackles popular topics such as the state of hip-hop, cultural controversies, and demons of his own. The concept and theme of the album is portrayed well. The title of the album is the address of Cole’s childhood home and the songs reflect him reminiscing on growing up and coming back home now.

The intro to the album encompasses all of that. Cole asks “Do you want to be happy? Do you want to be free?,” and goes on talk about looking at how far he’s come. The best line from the intro has to be “they say that dreams come true and when they do it’s a beautiful thing.”

“Wet Dreamz”, “’03 Adolescence”, and “A Tale of 2 Citiez” are great examples of his ability to weave a story together over a beat. “Wet Dreamz details the story of his first time with the catchy hook “I ain’t never did this before” over a sped up sample of “Mariya” by Family Circle.

“’03 Adolescence” reveals thoughts and memories of growing up in Fayetteville. The best part about this track is the conversation Cole has with his friend who gives him a reality check and makes him grateful for what he has.

“A Tale of 2 Citiez” is a favorite off the album. The beat alone gets you hooked, and then the title plays into the song as it describes two different points of view of a robbery.

The next set of tracks are heavy-hitters on the project. In “Fire Squad” J. Cole takes the crown as the hottest artist and in the same song destroys the title. He blames rappers trying to out do each other and fight for a title is the reason why artists like Macklemore and Iggy Azalea can come in and steal “Album of the Year” awards. The song is a wake up call for hip-hop.

“St. Tropez” feeds into the next song on the track. It describes how at this point Cole has made it and is successful.

“G.O.M.D.” is definitely one of the best songs on the album, and one of the singles. J discusses issues with naysayers from his home town and sums up how he feels about thoughts on him “going Hollywood” in 4 words. There’s also insight to his relationship and his faithfulness, or lack of.

“No Role Modelz” would’ve made a great single for the album. The hook locks you in but there’s a lot of meaning in this track. Cole describes not having any role models to look up to, the lack of good relationships, and girls who are obsessed with living the life of women depicted in reality TV shows. “Fool me one time shame on you. Fool me twice, can’t put the blame on you. Fool me three times, f*** the peace sign, load the chopper, let it rain on you” in my opinion are the hottest lines of the song.

The album wraps up with what I like to call “sit back and think” tracks. The beats are a little slower but it allows you to focus on what he’s saying.

“Hello” seems to be an ode to someone in his past, and he’s telling them about where he’s at in life. The title seems fitting. He rhymes like he hasn’t talked to them in a long time. Cole also discusses the emotion that comes with reminiscing on certain things.

“Apparently” is the first single for the album. This and the album intro are the only songs with visuals so far. This is another standout track. Cole starts out pretty much saying he can say what he want. He’s so open and truthful in the first verse. He details the foreclosure of his childhood home as well as his relationship with his mother. The gist of the song is despite everything there’s still people that believe in him. It’s really beautiful and the video is minimalistic but made me love the song even more. Peep the video below:

“Love Yourz” and “Note to Self” wrap up the album. “Note to Self” also serves as the his “thank you’s” for those that were involved. The track is 14 minutes long but definitely worth listening to the whole thing at least once.

The album is solid and just what I needed. J. Cole is one of those artists that can put out bodies of work that somehow correlate with what’s going on in your life at the moment. There’s always something you can pick out in each song that speaks directly to you. The debate is whether the project holds up to Born Sinner. I can’t compare the two. They both serve different purposes and have different concepts. A lot has happened between the two albums. In my opinion the only thing different between Born Sinner and 2014 Forrest Hills Drive is more songs and features on the sophmore album. But 2014 Forrest Hills Drive wasn’t meant to do what  Born Sinner did, and definitely shows that J. Cole can hold his own over an entire album. There’s a lot of artists you know you can’t listen to unless there’s a feature, and half the time the feature is why you’re listening in the first place.

The album is personal and real. Cole is so open and honest. I think the concept behind it is great and  the timing for the project is perfect. There isn’t one song I can bring myself to skip over. Be sure to support and buy it (leak lovers)!

 

RECAP: Anthony Hamilton’s Home For The Holidays at The Schermerhorn

Anthony Hamilton brought his Home For The Holidays tour to Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center Monday night. Hamilton came straight from his Memphis show to the music city, but you couldn’t tell from the level of energy on stage. Anthony and his band were suited up and ready to put on a great show. Fans loved Anthony’s presence. Hardly anyone could stay in their seat for long. The soul-singer was very interactive with the crowd, often telling jokes with the audience. Even those seated in the upper levels and behind the singer felt apart of the show. Hamilton of course performed crowd favorites such as “Coming From Where I’m From” and “Can’t Let Go,” as well as songs from his current album. The Grammy-nominated artist also sat down with 2Ls to discuss the making of Home For The Holidays, his role on Empire coming in January, and the controversy of the Mike Brown verdict.

Welcome to Nashville. This isn’t your first time here is it?

No, I’ve been here a few times.

You just finished performing here at the Schermerhorn. The performance was amazing. A lot of energy and you were very interactive with the crowd. How do you feel about the show and your performance?

It’s about being an artist, and allowing people to be apart of the show. I feel great about it. I feel like the crowd got exactly what they wanted to feel. I think it came over well.

I want to get into the album. Your last album was Back to Love in 2011. What made you want to come back with a Christmas album?

In between times you think of ways creatively; what you can do to expand your brand. I felt like a holiday album, me and my team felt like a holiday album would be good. So I put some thought into it and I was like “You know what? I kind of always wanted to do a Christmas album.” I might as well put it together now, and I thought that the timing was right.

How long did you work on the album?

It took me about maybe a year. I started it and then I stopped. Then I went full speed with it.

You remade a lot of classics on this album. Was there a song that was you’re favorite to remake?

Wow. That’s a good question. Anything Al Green probably. Anything Bobby Womack; anything Otis Redding.

You also have a role in the upcoming show Empire as well?

Well I was called in to do the part. It’s a great series and a music based series. You know Taraji P. Henson and Terrance Howard. I’ve worked with them before and it was great to be directed by John Singleton.

Can you tell us what the show is about?

It’s about a mogul that gets out and is trying to start his musical empire up. They call me in to be apart of a beautiful occasion for him……I can’t give more away.

So you can’t give us a little hint about your character or anything?

Well I’m going to be looking pretty good.

You performed a ton of crowd favorites tonight. But I want to go back to a song you did with Jadakiss called “Why” and relate that to everything that’s going on with Mike Brown and Eric Garner. How do you feel about everything that’s going on?

I feel like injustice is injustice. I feel like we need more people to stand up; more leaders who are strong. I feel like a lot of times we lay down and let stuff happen to us as a people.

They try to devalue who we are; what we were. It’s so blatant. I feel like it’s injustice and somebody is going to have to do something., or it’s not going to be a beautiful thing if it continues to happen.

Do you think there’s a chance of it getting better at this point?

It’s going to have to. People are tired; my people are tired. A lot of people are tired so it’s going to have to get better.

2Ls stands for “living life.” If you were to say “I’m living life in spite of….” how would you finish that sentence?

I’m living life in spite of all of my hardships.

Nipsey Hussle’s $1000 “Mailbox Money” Album + Nashville Performance (Photo + Video Recap)

Nipsey Hussle recently released the album artwork for his forthcoming “Mailbox Money” album as well as announced that 100 hardcopies of the album would be for sale for $1000 a piece. With the success in his last project Crenshaw, Nipsey made over 100,000.00 in sales as they were sold at $100.00 each. We can see why the California native would take the same approach. Don’t be alarmed though, the project will still be available for free online.

While the news spread around the globe yesterday, we were preparing to welcome Crenshaw’s finest and camp to our home base in Nashville, TN. Nipsey’s first visit was all thanks to the new concert series “Live In the Studio” put together by Robert Higgins and Co. Several fans visisted Nipsey’s pop-up shop and purchased merchandise before heading to Agenda for the night’s main show. The show also featured opening support from Nashville’s Mike Floss, Mann Wells, and Rikki Blu. DJ VIP took the stage and Nipsey followed shortly after being welcomed with loud chants and requests for various songs from the archives.

Performing many tracks including Checc Me Out, U See Us,  and Take Days Off, Nipsey Hussle voiced his love and appreciation for his fans. It’s pretty evident that his growing success comes from the humbleness behind his entire camp. Check out our video and photo recap in case you missed the show. Nipsey Hussle’s Mailbox Money coming sooner than later. Photo credits: Andre Rowlett, Video creds: Jama Mohamed.

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VIDEO: Villz Performs Live at K.Michelle Show, Nashville, TN (Video Recap)

Photography by: Gregory French

Photography by: Gregory French

Last night Nashville, TN was filled with various shows of Hip Hop and R&B as K.Michelle, R.Kelly, and Nipsey Hussle all performed within the city limits. While it was apparent that each show would have it’s own collective audience, the K.Michelle show stood out as a “must see” event for various reasons. singer/songwriter, Villz has been on our radar for a while since the success of his first single “4:20AM.” The Florida native has release two videos that both landed placement on MTV Jams, his album “Til The End of Summer” was featured on Complex (which shared similar ratings to major label artists), and has streams via Spotify, iTunes, and more. With such talent being produced within our home base, it was imperative that we catch a show.

Opening for K.Michelle, Villz took the stage with a full band and drew in the crowd from the first song. Performing his popular “4:20AM,” the GoldHouse artist also performed “Break Up Song,” “By Myself,” and “Appreciation” which are all featured on his newest album. We suggest that you get aware of this 22 year-old crooner as he is quickly grabbing the attention of many each time he performs. 2Ls on a Cloud contributing videographer, Jama, provides a quick visual recap in case you missed Villz last night. Check it out below. All photos from K.Michelle show will be provided soon.

Upcoming Event News: Nipsey Hussle Hosts Pop-Up Shop, Live Show, +more, December 5

Nipsey Hussle recently released his 2015 European Tour dates which featured various stops beginning in January. While Nipsey is currently still making his rounds around the U.S., he is set to visit Nashville, TN for the first time ever. Hussle will be committing to the entire trip as he will be hosting a pop-up shop at local venue, Phatkaps. Hussle will also be the featured performer for Robert Higgins’ newest concert series “Live in the Studio,” as well as hosting an after party at a local gentlemen’s bar.

If you’re in our neck of the woods, you have various chances at catching Nipsey Hussle somewhere in Music City, USA. If you missed presale tickets for the event at Agenda Nashville, you can purchase them at the door.

NEW MUSIC: The Blackson “Fighting For My Life”

Nashville emcee, The Blackson, is back with a new track for the creatives entitled “Fighting For My Life.” The Blackson relays a southern helping of original hip hop as he passes out food for the spirit all while pushing adlibs from various classic hip hop artist. Blackson is another ‘told you so’ artist that we can see going far if he continues to stay hungry and passionate about the music. The entire Blackcity collective, which Blackson is apart of,  each bring something to the table  with their talents.Check out Fighting For My Life below:


If you haven’t already checked out The Blackson’s Blackson Rising project, enlighten yourself below. Visit The Blackson’s Soundcloud page for more music.

NEW MUSIC: JayDotRain Gets It By the “Dozen” in New Track

Alabama emcee, JayDotRain is back with a new track entitled “Dozen.” The 3rd Eye produced track features a hip hop influenced bang as WuTang’s C.R.E.A.M. is sampled in the beat. While we are awaiting Jay Dot Rain’s Trap Jazz album, we hear the emcee will be releasing an EP entitled “Live From Rehearsal” to hold us over. Check out Dozen below.

NEW VIDEO: Scotty ATL ft. B.O.B. & IAMSU! -Nun But A Party

Atlanta’s Scotty ATL released the highly anticipated Spaghetti Junction which featured Big Gipp, Bun B, and many others on the mixtape. Scotty is back and drops off the music video for his track Nun But A Party, which features B.O.B and California artist IAMSU! The video was shot in California and has a few cameos including Travis Porter. Check the video out above.