Pharrell, Usher & Natural
Pharrell has been in the studio once again with Usher and Natural probably to work on Usher’s new studio album, D.A. Wallach was also at the session according to his twitter, “Hey World… We got something 4 yall… Just wait & see…” “@1AndrewColeman1 Just wrapped sum Amazing sessions @UsherRaymondIV @Pharrell @_natural__ @exit1200.Stay tuned!Killa!” “Stopped by the studio last night and heard Usher recording. What an awesome singer. Real deal.” Thanks to nerd0016.
The reborn rapper promises his newfound spirituality has only made his rhymes stronger. By Dan Reagans. Photo: John Ricard. Slowly emerging from a spiritual sabbatical after a lifestyle-altering epiphany, Gene “No Malice” Thornton has a new moniker and reinvigorated approach to rap. Though the older half of the rap sibling duo the Clipse has added a well-placed “No“ before the Malice in his stage name and embarked on a solo rap mission sans his little brother Pusha T., he’s still one of the sharpest rhyme slingers in the game. As evident by his gut-punching freestyle on Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club last week.
After taking a break from music to pen his autobiographical memoir Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind & Naked, the Virginia-bred MC is re-acclimating himself with the altered hip hop landscape. He’s also re-introducing himself to fans who have grown accustomed to his street-savvy cocaine raps but must now get familiar with the new matured perspective he’ll offer in his rhymes. BET.com caught up with No Malice to discuss his forthcoming mixtape Hear Ye Him, a new Clipse album and A Second Book, as well as his take on Pusha T’s lyrical squabble with Drake, thanks to K0tik.
BET.com: So it’s been a while since we’ve heard any new music from you; judging from your morning show freestyle you’ve still got it.
No Malice: [Laughs] I really feel what I’ve been writing here recently. I’m totally inspired. I feel like my writing is really better than it has ever been, ever in my entire life. I’m just ready to share this music with the fans and everybody that’s checking for me.
BET.com: What can fans look forward to from your upcoming solo mixtape Hear Ye Him?
No Malice: As far as features, you’re definitely going to get The Re-Up Gang of course, my brother, Ab-Liva definitely. I’ve been working with Chad from The Neptunes, and Pharrell also. Boi-1da, and myself are about to do something as well. The first single is titled “Different.”
Leah LaBelle partied all night long while shooting the video for her debut single “Sexify” over the weekend. The former “American Idol” contestant, who is now signed to a joint deal with Pharrell and Jermaine Dupri, was joined by a few famous friends on set, including her mentors. Pharrell played a pizza delivery boy, while JD took on the role of her angry landlord.
In an episode of “Living The Life,” the So So Def mogul takes us behind the scenes at the Los Angeles shoot, with appearances from Leah’s mother, JoJo, and choreographer Fatima Robinson. Leah will release her debut album on I Am Other/So So Def/Epic Records, thanks to nerd0016.
Leah LaBelle’s Photo Shoot
Azealia Banks put her snide remarks against fellow rapper Iggy Azalea aside during her recent photoshoot for GQ magazine’s April “Style Bible” issue. The Harlem native, who’s released a brand new song produced by Diplo, “Fuck Up The Fun“ lived up to the title of her track while she posed flirtatiously for the camera in a black-and-white top and yellow shorts. During her interview, the “212” creator disclosed that her eye wasn’t on any celebrities at the moment, but she did dish about a guy who she grew up fantasizing about. “When I was 16, I had a crazy crush on Pharrell,” she admitted. “That was like when In My Mind came out. It was, you know, the thing.”
Famous friends are a normal part of her life these days, after traveling to Paris to perform for Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld and working alongside Kanye West, who touted the rhymer as “the future of music.” But all the attention from headline-grabbing stars doesn’t faze her. “It’s cool, but they’re just people,” Banks stated. “The skies don’t part and glow orange.” The 20-year-old Interscope Records signee is currently prepping her debut album, which she reveals will be replete with “good music.” Azealia Banks‘ full interview with GQ magazine is on stands now.
By Rob Markman. Throughout his career, Curren$y has kept his collaborations organic, bypassing flavor-of-the-month rap features. And on his upcoming Warner Bros. album The Stoned Immaculate, he will continue to do so, even if the names in the LP’s credits get a little bigger. When the NOLA MC drops his next album later this year, fans can look forward to beats from Pharrell, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, DJ Toomp and Virginia producer Bink, who famously crafted a number of tracks for Jay-Z’s 2001 classic The Blueprint. “This is a different look than anything I’ve usually done,” Curren$y told MTV News. “Usually I work with one person, or try to keep it to just, like, two producers on a project.”On 2010’s Pilot Talk and Pilot Talk 2, Curren$y worked mostly with Ski Beatz, and on his 2011 Weekend At Burnie’s, he tapped Monsta Beatz to take the production helm. Now Curren$y is ready to branch out. “Bink produced ‘What It Look Like,’ ” Curren$y said in reference to The Stoned Immaculate’s first single, featuring Wale.
“Pharrell produced a joint for me. Daz did two joints and rapped on one of them for me. “It’s a mutual thing. I only work with people who I have a real conversation with and nothing is forced,” he continued. Curren$y’s not only recruiting big-name producers for his next LP, he also hooked up with some pretty notable MCs. “I got 2 Chainz on my album,” he revealed, noting that he was friends with the Atlanta star back when he used to go by his original rap name in the early 2000s. “Me and 2 Chainz been cool since it was me and Tity Boi was cool.” Now that Curren$y is the head of his own record company, Jet Life Recordings, he feels he has to use his relationships to his advantage. “It’s not that I did different and reached out, I kinda cashed in on my friendships,” he said. “I’m trying to get more attention towards my crew … I have to draw more eyes and play ball to make it easier for everybody else.”
Curren$y Working With The Neptunes
Award winning singer Robin Thicke released his smash album Love After War and is still riding high off the success of his fifth studio album. GlobalGrind caught up with Robin Thicke to ask him about love after war, married life with his wife, actress Paula Patton, working with Lil Wayne and of course, being a father to baby Julian Fuego. In the midst of chatting about music and love, the polarizing case of Trayvon Martin was brought up and Robin quickly spoke out. “I think it’s a tragedy. I feel like I’m not smart enough to have anything brand new to say, but I think it’s absolutely terrible! My prayers go out to his family.”
Given that he was born and raised in the balmy climes of Los Angeles, Robin Thicke didn’t exactly grow up dreaming of the day he would be nominated for a Juno Award. Still, the 35-year-old — who holds dual citizenship by virtue of his father, celebrated Canuck actor Alan Thicke — was tickled to find himself among the nominees for R&B/soul recording of the year at Sunday’s show. Even if he’s never really considered himself Canadian. “I was very honoured — it’s nice to be nominated in dad’s home [country],” the personable singer said when reached via telephone this week. “The nomination is just, it’s very sweet. Very kind. When you make your music, you want as many people to hear it and love it as possible. It’s nice when your peers — or a meeting of the minds — thinks you’ve made something of quality.”
Oh, and just in case you were wondering… “I definitely knew what the Junos are.” For the record, the rule of eligibility is simple: Thicke could be nominated for a Juno because he holds Canadian citizenship and he put out music during the right timeframe. “We’re Canadian — we like to be more inclusive,” joked Melanie Berry, president of the Canadian Academy Of Recording Arts & Sciences, which puts on the Junos. Still, the inclusion of a well-known American crooner did raise some eyebrows. Toronto’s Melanie Fiona, who is nominated alongside Thicke for R&B/soul recording, admitted she was surprised to see his name among the nominees, even though the two singers are friends. “I was like, ‘I didn’t realize Americans are getting nominated at the Junos,”‘ the two-time Grammy-winning Fiona said during a recent interview.
“But afterward, I was like, ‘Oh right, he is, he’s Canadian.’ We actually crack about that all the time, whenever I see him. He’s like, ‘Well, I’m a half-Canadian.’ So we definitely have that bond. “I’m glad that at least when he’s around me, he reps it proudly, because I rep it proudly all the time.” Thicke, meanwhile, has only positive memories of spending time in Canada as a child. He remembers coming to Brampton, Ont., to visit his grandfather at Christmas and during the summer, when the family would go boating together (his mother is singer and former Days of Our Lives star Gloria Loring). Thicke says he has equally fond memories of visiting relatives in Edmonton and Vancouver. Thicke is nominated for his collaboration with Lil Wayne, seen here performing in March during the SXSW Music Festival In Austin, Texas. Thicke is nominated for his collaboration with Lil Wayne, seen here performing in March during the SXSW Music Festival In Austin, Texas.
“I spent a lot of time in Canada,” said Thicke, who’s married to Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol star Paula Patton. And unlike some prominent homegrown nominees, Thicke actually plans to attend the show in Ottawa this Sunday. “Just for fun, [I’ll] come hang out,” said Thicke, who’s nominated for his Lil Wayne collaboration Pretty Lil’ Heart. “I never turn down a good party.” Still, even with his Canuck credentials, the surprising nomination mainly made Thicke think of his father. “My dad has total Canadian pride. My dad is … a lover of all things Canadian.” The elder Thicke even co-hosted the Junos with Burton Cummings way back in 1983. Like many Juno-related matters, Robin Thicke was gleefully unaware of that piece of trivia. “No he didn’t!” he said with palpable surprise, laughing. “I love it. I didn’t even know that. See? That’s my point. You can’t do anything in Canada without my dad having been a part of it.”
“What’s random here isn’t the fact that fellow Brooklynites Theophilus London and Dev Hynes, aka Blood Orange, have collaborated. They have a like-minded approach to music — in a way — and are both hipster fashion lovers. But what’s kind of strange here is that they have decided to cover Pharrell’s bedroom-ready In My Mind single, “Take It Off (Dim the Lights).” It’s not that it isn’t good, because it is. I’d just rather hear London’s song with ASAP Rocky, “Big Spender,” even if this cover is pretty solid.”
Theophilus London & Blood Orange – Take It Off (Dim The Lights) (Pharrell Cover) (12′)
British singer Mika has been working with The Neptunes this week according to his twitter. The Brit Award winner prepares his third album to release this year titled ‘The Origin Of Love’ that is sceduled for a summer release, thanks to BlueSky2308. “in sunny London working on a Pharrell track, which is making me smile, then working with Greg Wells tomorrow, in London for the first time”
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