SEARCH FOR: VIRGIL ABLOH

Influenced – [Goody]

The creativity that is just oozing out of Chicago is never something that I could ever overlook, and it is one of the many fantastic reasons why I am proud to call this place home. The most notable creatives here are more than likely the musicians who are putting on for the Windy City and proving why they’re some of the best in the game, but there is much more to Chi-Town than music. Whether it’s physical artists, fashion designers, or people in any other artistic lane, no one can do it like Chicagoans can, and we prove that every single day. Ron Louis is a fashion designer, creative/art director, stylist, creative consultant, and influencer from this great metropolis who has done some amazing work that includes securing placements with the late, great Virgil Abloh as well as Gunna, G Herbo, Dreezy, Summer Walker and more. Beyond this, he has also styled icons like Pusha T, Lucki, and Valee, amongst others, and has partnered or collaborated with top brands such as Nike, Champs Sports, Dior, Jameson, the MLB, Jordan, and a continuous list that keeps on growing. After building a strong relationship with Supply Locale, selling out his immaculate glacier …

5AM – [$NOT]

$NOT is one of my favorite artists out right now because even with all of the massive success, achievements, and accolades that he has received in a relatively short period of time, he always stays true to himself, and I feel like there is this sense of underground sounds that will remain with him no matter how massive he becomes. He released Ethereal not even two months ago, and since then, it has amassed over 100 million streams with his A$AP Rocky-featured single “Doja” getting 40 million of those plays alone. It makes sense, though, because if you listen to the album, you’ll understand exactly what kind of unique skill set that $NOT possesses, and I’m not going to be quick to forget that. At the end of the “Doja” video, as homage was being paid to the late Virgil Abloh and A$AP Yams, we caught a glimpse of “5AM”, one of the more blithe, airy cuts on the album, so when I found out that it got a standalone visual courtesy of NOTACHANCE, I headed right to YouTube to check it out, and I wasn’t let down even slightly. With a slightly granular, this video seems to have a …

“What You Taught Us” – [Vic Mensa]

It goes without saying that when the culture loses a legend, the world seems to be at a standstill for quite some time. It shouldn’t be new news to find out that the fashion visionary and legend Virgil Abloh passed away unexpectedly just the other day, and I’m personally still in shock and at a loss for words. The crossover between music and fashion has always been abundantly obvious, so when I hear artists not only wear but talk about a brand or garment, it makes me feel closer to that brand, even if I can’t afford a piece which is the case more often than not. Virgil touched so many lives with not only his designs and collaborations, but his genuine personality and creativity, and I would be lying through my teeth if I said I wasn’t devastated by this unfortunate loss. The rest of the music world agrees if you’ve been on social media recently, and artists are processing their grief in different ways, but Vic Mensa had a special relationship with him considering they’re both Chicago icons, so he decided to put out a song entitled “”What You Taught Us”” in order to honor the late superstar. …

A Beginner’s Guide To NYC Sample Drill

Sampling isn’t a new thing, and it surely isn’t new to hip-hop. In the 90s, during what some would consider the “golden age” of hip-hop, producers were flipping the soul records they grew up with into cutting edge rap records. But as time went on and hip-hop grew, the laws surrounding the use of other artists’ music for sampling grew increasingly restrictive, and the connections and money needed to successfully clear samples partially closed that window for smaller, independent artists. As a result, some producers even made it a point to make sample-free music, reflective of the general attitude toward the arduous process and legal implications of sample-clearing. There’s a new sound taking over New York right now, though, unconcerned with any of this. A wave of sample-based production is happening all over the city, pairing classic songs of all genres with NYC’s omnipresent drill sound – a lethal combination of hard-nosed drum patterns and soaring 808s with colorful arrays of samples, from rock songs to soul songs and everything in between. Artists are ignoring the “red tape” of sample clearance and releasing new music at breakneck speed, encouraging others to do the same. As a result, an entire world of sound …

Draco – [HVN]

Entering the rap conversation with his 2020 project Welcome to Heaven, Houston artist HVN has been on the rise for a little over a year now. In the past 8 or so months alone, he’s received cosigned from names including Virgil Abloh, Taco Bennett, Zack Bia, Kevin Abstract, and more, while Taco actually appeared in HVN’s fall 2020 music video for “Demon.” Day by day, the momentum surrounding the Houston native has only increased, which leads us to his latest act – a brand new song and video by the name of “Draco.” Complete with an A$AP Nast skit and directed by Trey Lyons – who also did the “Demon” music video – the one-two, song-and-video punch of “Draco” makes it a head-turning release, rallying around the seemingly endless supply of energy injected into the song. Houston producer Broadday sets the backdrop with fast-paced, thunderous production, and HVN ties the song together with breezy flows and a number of quotable lines, all building on the world that his catalog has created thus far. It’s still early on for HVN, but with “Draco” out now and a new project on the way in the coming months, it’s starting to feel like Houston’s own …

Twe Ben Me – [City Boy]

As America and the rest of the world begin to shift their focus towards the horrific human rights violations, police brutality, and murder being perpetrated by the government of Nigeria, along with numerous other cases of tumult and tribulation that are all too often overlooked by the west, but much like in both America and the UK, Drill Music has been the de-facto musical styling for young people to turn-up and flex to, but also communicate deeper issues of violence, poverty, and discrimination that face these youths are life or death matters in so many cases and while the music is rough around the edges and intimidating to an un-keen ear, this music is able to communicate the rebelliousness and agitation being felt so poignantly by a new generation of kids and teenagers whose futures have been squandered and deemed unimportant by the powers that be, and that idea is not just limited to any particular geographical area. Recently Virgil Abloh lended a spotlight to a new drill music scene exploding in Kumasi, Ghana’s second most populous city. This ‘Asakaa’ or ‘Kumerican’ sound borrows a lot of sonic and aesthetic influence from both America and the UK but is unique …

Demon – [HVN]

A new frontier of talent has been quietly growing out of Houston over the past few years. It’s selling out shows across the city, making noise all over Texas, and more recently, has begun to cross state boundaries, reaching national audiences and beyond. This scene has birthed several burgeoning names as of late – Fade Em All and BBY Kodie, to name a few – but not until this year did it get its latest star in the making: HVN. Back in February, HVN released his debut project, Welcome to Heaven, after being known as a behind-the-scenes figure in Houston. He ran, and currently runs, a brand called Don’t Die which threw a large part of the shows in the city, to the point where he and his brand had become a fixture in the scene, acting as a focal point for Houston music and fashion. In the months following his debut, cosigns began to roll in from Virgil Abloh, Kevin Abstract, and Taco Bennett, among others. Houston had another must-watch name on its hands, and earlier this week, HVN proved himself worthy of the hype, delivering a brand new song and video entitled “Demon.” Arriving with a masterful video …

#LF95 – [Lupe Fiasco] [prod. Kaelin Ellis]

Lupe Fiasco is my favorite artist. Notoriously known for his sheer lyricism that only Harvard graduates can fully comprehend, Lupe is likely your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. Lupe is a true lyricist, but this label alone is not sufficient enough to describe the thirty-eight-year-old unfettered music veteran. Some have even claimed that the musical work and career of Lupe Fiasco was simply ahead of its time, with an audience not yet prepared for the boldly unfiltered content he delivered. Nonetheless, Lupe’s resume is among the very best, with seven studio albums, one Grammy, (twelve nominations) 2006’s GQ man of the year, along with million-plus records sold and streamed. However, these accolades aren’t what matter most to Lupe; it is instead the lifelong respect/acknowledgment from his music peers that shaped and influenced him. For instance, in a joint Instagram live conversation with Joe Budden, Joe revealed Jay-Z himself once stated that he thinks Lupe Fiasco is the best rapper ever. Lupe also tweeted that Jay-Z wanted to sign him to Roc-A-Fella records. Moreover, when legendary emcee Nas was asked by N.O.R.E which rapper most reminds him of himself, Lupe was his answer. Most recently, Off-White CEO and fashion designer Virgil Abloh tweeted that …

Pray For Paris – [Westside Gunn]

Griselda Records is taking no prisoners in 2020. From Conway The Machine’s recent collaborative Lulu EP with The Alchemist, to their latest signing Boldee Jame’s The Price of Tea in China album, (also with The Alchemist) it is frightening to think what the group has left in store. Exceptional projects serve as a thorough reminder that music is art and art is music. Westside Gunn has publicly shared via his instagram to never call him a rapper, since he is an artist; I have no objections to his request. Gunn’s latest, Pray For Paris album exemplifies just that, with the cover art responsibility handed to Off-White CEO Virgil Abloh. The cover is specifically an edit of Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath painting, with Virgil adding two iced-out necklaces. One necklace is a Jesus Piece and emblem of Westside Gunn as a child; whereas, the other features his present self with a rightful crown on his head. The album’s run time is a balanced forty-one minutes and nineteen seconds, with twelve tracks total not counting the epic “400 Million Plus Tax” introduction, which gave me heavy Uncut Gems PTSD. Ironically, Tyler The Creator mentions Josh Safdie on “327,” referencing the …

Virgil Abloh and Thom Bettridge Interview Young Thug For Interview Magazine

Interview Magazine has been known to foster conversations between some truly iconic talents, and today, they’ve done their part once again as they join together Virgil Abloh and Thom Bettridge with the enigmatic, iconic artist, Young Thug. In their conversation, the three speak about Thug’s productivity when in the studio, being different from others, advice, their inspirations, their goals, Thug’s Elton John-sampling gem, “High”, and much more. It’s a rarity to learn more about Young Thug as he tends to stay low, but with this occasion, Thug gives one of his best interviews to date — not to mention it’s alongside two highly respected individuals in their respective lanes. That said, don’t miss out on this one — read the full interview here and listen to “High” at the link below in order to soundtrack the moment!