Sunday, August 30, 2015
The Knicks look like they're headed nowhere fast next season. But could Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, and Kobe Bryant end up on the team by this time next year?
It's a long shot. But on ESPN First Take this morning, Stephen A. Smith suggested that it could happen. According to him, Carmelo has already started trying to recruit KD to come to New York City next summer when he becomes a free agent—and KD is reportedly considering it. Stephen A. also said that there are some NBA insiders who believe that, if the Lakers decide to part ways with Kobe after his current contract is up next summer, Kobe would also consider coming to NYC, especially if KD does.
Don't get too excited, Knicks fans. There's no obviously no concrete evidence to prove that anything Stephen A. says here is true. But hey, it's fun to dream, right?
We’ve seen the rise of the viral rapper already. An artist releases a song that takes him or her from buzzing to Billboard’s Hot 100 and is presumed to be a success. And while plaques are cool, longevity is more important. Take Paterson, N.J.’s Fetty Wap—real name Willie Maxwell—who saw what it’s like to skyrocket to fame after the success of his 2014 summer anthem, “Trap Queen.” Alongside his label, RGF Productions, and crew, Remy Boyz 1738, the song’s SoundCloud numbers hit six figures within weeks of its release—without initial blog love, radio play, or industry support. But his squad saw firsthand how a song goes viral in the Tri-State area—first you hear it in the streets, and then enough people search for it online that by the time Hot 97 gets to it, it’s already inching its way up the charts.
But what Fetty has done with the Tony Fadd and Brian “Peoples” Garcia-produced banger has broken records—and he’s gone on to show he’s no one-hit wonder, either. This week, Fetty has four songs in the Billboard Hot 100—”679” at No. 8, “Trap Queen” at No. 9, “My Way” at No. 11, and “Again” at No. 40. But the story of where it all began—on the streets of Paterson, N.J., with a few friends, a few studio sessions, and a free beat Fetty’s manager found online—hasn’t yet been told. We spoke to the 25-year-old new star along with RGF’s Monty, Nitt Da Gritt, Brian “Peoples” Garcia, and the song’s original producer, Tony Fadd, for the stories behind the biggest song of the last year.
THE START OF REMY BOYZ
Nitt Da Gritt: I met Fetty Wap in Paterson. I already knew Monty, so they was coming to get some loud from me. Monty was playing a verse I did, and Fetty was telling Monty, “Yo, who’s this? He killed that shit, dawg! That nigga nice as hell!” When I met him, they came and got some weed like, “I wanna be down with ya’ll!” I just was like, “Alright then!” Fetty felt my style, my swag, and my energy. I’ve just been rocking with him ever since.
Monty: Nitt is Mr. Miyagi. He’s the Tom Brady of Real Good Fellas Productions. He’s the mastermind behind all of this. We do what we do, we’re in our zone, but he handles all the business and the other aspects. We were just working, staying in the studio, and we always just had a passion for music. Fetty kept making music—he’s real smart—so he found himself quick and knew what he wanted to do. That’s when he started singing and using the melodies. The first time he did that, it was crazy. We did this song “For the Moment,” we couldn’t believe it was us.
“FETTY WAS RAPPING AND THEN HE DID ONE OF THOSE SING-SONGY-AD-LIBS HE DOES. I WAS LIKE, ‘WHAT THE F**K WAS THAT?’ HE WAS LIKE, ‘OH YEAH, I DO
Fetty kept making music—
—BRIAN “PEOPLES” GARCIA
Fetty Wap: I do everything myself. When I record, I tell my engineer how to structure my shit. I structure everything. That shit is all Fetty Wap. Nobody helps me write my shit. I don’t sing other people’s shit. You have to understand that I don’t make other people’s music. If it’s not me then it’s not going to sound right. I just keep it me until they get tired of it.
THE MAKING OF “TRAP QUEEN”
Fetty Wap: The inspiration behind the song was my ex-girlfriend at the time. She was a different kind of loyal. If you had to go jail, it was cool as long as you were going to jail together. I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody else like that. I first met her at her job, and the way that I introduced myself, she didn’t like it. I didn’t really do it in the most respectful way. I was like, “What do you want me to say? Do you want me to say ‘Hey, what’s up, hello’ to you? Does that sound better?” The next day I went back to her job, and she was my trap queen from then on. The song is a hood love story. My manager sent me the beat, and as I was listening to it, I knew. I kept listening to it. Even when I went to bed, I never stopped listening to it.
Nitt Da Gritt: We were at Eastside Park smoking. He was like, “I got this song. It’s gonna take us out the hood. This is gonna be the one.” I’m on the phone as he’s playing it and I hear “Hey, what’s up, hello?!” I hung up the phone and told him to run that shit back. He named it, “What’s Up Hello” and I was like, “Nah, we’re gonna name it ‘Trap Queen.’” When that beat comes on, that shit grabs you automatically. You can’t deny it.
Tony Fadd: Fetty got the “Trap Queen” beat from my website. I decided to make music and try to show it to U.S. artists, because hip-hop isn’t that big in my country. I’m from Belarus, a small country between Russia and Poland. The beat was available for free download. Usually I make beats in my home studio and then put them on my site. I can’t say that I felt like the beat was special after I made it. I really liked it, but I didn’t think anything about it.
Brian “Peoples” Garcia: They brought me a USB filled with several songs. “Trap Queen” just happened to be in there. I was being nosey because I knew I was going to work on the track anyway, so I clicked on it. I realized that the song was hot and knew if I played around with it I would be able to make it better. Tony Fadd made the original beat, but I produced it. There’s a difference. In the credits, it says produced by Peoples, beat made by Tony Fadd. The beat was only a minute and a half at first. Originally, the song stopped at “The Remy Boyz or nothing’” part. When I was mixing it, the song was too short, so I looped it.
Fetty Wap: Some people don’t believe me, but I never really wrote the song. I went in there and just somehow felt everything that we’ve been talking about. Like, my ex, she wanted a Lamborghini and I was like, “I don’t even like Lamborghinis, but I’m going to get one just so I can have one like you.” We were just going to have everything together. Matching Lambos.
Monty: He was in his zone. It was one of those days. I wasn’t with him, but I came home around 5 a.m. and as soon as I walked in, Fetty came to me, “You gotta hear this. This is the one that’s gonna get us rich.” That was it.
Fetty Way: I actually started rapping a verse then I was like, “No, I don’t like how that sounds. Stop it. Start the beat over.” Then I just sang, and I didn’t stop until the beat stopped. Everybody was like, “What the fuck just happened?” We played that shit back, and while it was playing, we left it recording so I started doing the ad-libs. That’s when I came up with the “squad” shit. That really actually came from my friend whose voice is so high, I’d just be like, “Nigga say ‘squad.’”
“WE LOST SLEEP OVER THIS S**T. I LOST WEIGHT. SPENT A LOT OF MONEY. IT WAS TO THE POINT WHERE I WASN’T EVEN GETTING HORNY OVER THIS S**T.”
—NITT DA GRITT
Nitt Da Gritt: He was just hitting that shit on the money. You know when you hear music through some really good speakers? It makes your body move? Everybody was in the studio, and we knew we had something on our hands. People don’t know about the work we put in. We lost sleep over this shit. I lost weight. Spent a lot of money. It was to the point where I wasn’t even getting horny over this shit. I didn’t want no pussy. I couldn’t sleep for, like, five months. That was a different high, the hunger to get it.
Brian “Peoples” Garcia: Fetty recorded it in another studio, but we both didn’t like how it sounded. Everybody who heard it felt the same way. It was a Monday when we talked about it. By that Saturday, I had him in the studio re-recording “Trap Queen.”
Nitt Da Gritt: Fetty had a couple tracks before then, but when he did that, he found his sound.
Brian “Peoples” Garcia: I mixed it up in my bedroom, and my son—who was 5 at the time—kept singing it. I wouldn’t even be playing it and he would be outside singing, “She’s my trap queen.” That’s how I knew it was going to be something. It took me about four days to finish it. It only took us 15 to 20 minutes in the studio because he had the song already done. I could’ve went in and added my little magic touch to it, but the tremble in his voice wouldn’t have been there, and I thought it sounded so natural and catchy. That’s the part that pulls you into the record. You know how ballads and big rock records build up slow into a big hook? That’s the formula that I wanted to use. It stops, and then, boom! [Sings] “And I ride with my baby.” I knew from the minute I heard it, there’s nothing like this out.
“TRAP QUEEN” SUCCESS
Monty: From Paterson to New York, we were doing shows. We were already traveling and grinding off of our mixtapes—we went everywhere. “Trap Queen” didn’t go crazy yet, but Jersey and New York knew it.
Brian “Peoples” Garcia: We recorded it in March of 2014, and I started hearing it in August [of 2014] everywhere. Then Mr. Cee played it on Hot 97. I don’t listen to the radio much. I’m a lab rat and my boys are the best producers in the country right now. I don’t like listening to the radio to see what other people are doing, or what sound is popular. But one day, me and my wife were coming back from a wedding and Fetty was talking on the phone with Flex, who was like, “This is the new song taking over America.” It hit Top 40 and just kept climbing.
Fetty Wap: The first time it was on the radio everybody hit us up. People were posting like, “Fetty you made it!” At that moment, honestly, I felt like that was supposed to happen. I pushed it so hard that I didn’t know what else to do with the song. I already had a million SoundCloud hits before it was getting radio play. I had about 50,000 views on YouTube before it was getting radio play. It was like, “What the fuck else was I supposed to do?” I did everything. I pushed the song every day. I went everywhere. Everybody knows it. People knew the song, they just didn’t know me. When it started getting radio play, I was like, “Finally. They know it now.”
Fetty originally uploaded the “rough version” of “Trap Queen” to SoundCloud in March under his username, FettyWay1738. Over the next few weeks, Fetty’s rough cut would rack up hundreds of thousands of streams, and eventually it was revised into a radio version, complete with the verse Fetty didn’t really want to do. It’d be six months before 300 Entertainment, the imprint founded by Lyor Cohen, Kevin Liles, Roger Gold, and Todd Moscowitz, would get involved. In November 2014, 300 and RGF joined forces and Fetty’s song, and crew, blew up.
Monty: The song did numbers, it was crazy. You can tell “Trap Queen” was just something different, a different energy. Everyone from the whole town was running with it. It just kept growing.
Brian “Peoples” Garcia: I told him that he should do a verse so that he can put out a remix later on. When I started seeing it catch fire I knew other rappers were going to hop on it. So I felt like we should have a remix already tucked. I think they misunderstood what I said so instead they pushed the version with the verse on it out and used it for the official video. That verse was recorded by somebody else. If you notice, the version on the radio and version in the video sound a little different.
Fetty Wap: I actually wanted to leave it as it was. It wasn’t my idea. They  kind of beat it into our head that the earlier version wasn’t going to do it, which was a lie. At the end, people still play the regular version because that’s the best version to me. It was cool for me, though. It’s whatever.
Brian “Peoples” Garcia: I treat everything like drums. The way he sings his vocals it’s kind of like a melody that would be added to a beat. So I treat that vocal as if they were supposed to be part of the beat. Not as if it were a vocal laid down on top of the beat. As a producer there are certain sounds. Sometimes you feel like a beat is missing something. His voice adds that extra element that’s missing from a beat. That’s why I say that. His voice molds into the beat. Him and the beat are one. I helped him structure the song. I didn’t just work on the beat. That’s why I’m credited as a producer.
Tony Fadd: Toward the end of 2014, he sent it to me saying that the song was becoming popular. Fetty’s camp found my contacts and reached out to me. We worked something out and made it official. I liked the song, but I didn’t realize that it was going to be as big as it is. It’s a banger. I remember looking for it on YouTube and it had four million views. I said, “Oh my God.”
Fetty Wap performing with Kanye West at the Roc City Classic (Video via Youtube)
Fetty Wap: As far as the success of “Trap Queen,” I don’t trip off the fame or anything like that. I try to stay regular. But one day, my manager called me like, “You have to go to New York to do a fashion show.” When I went to get fitted for the fashion show, Kanye West was right there. He didn’t really say much at first. I went home the next day, I got ready for the show, and when I got there, the fashion show was over. I was like, “Damn. I might as well go home.” Then they were like: “Everybody get in the vans!” When I got in the van I saw Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Travi$ Scott. Then when we get there, Kanye comes up to me and tells me “Trap Queen” was one of his favorite songs at the moment. Next thing you know, the song comes on and people started going crazy. Nobody knew me, but everybody knew me.
Nitt Da Gritt: We’re really just the type of people that be excited, but we don’t act excited. As Kanye was coming over towards us at the show that he let Fetty perform at, he said what’s up to Wap, Danny Stoop, and when he came to me, he said, “Hey, I know you from the video.” And he shook my hand, laughed, and you know Kanye don’t smile. All I did was talk at the end of the song. Everything just kept going up, and up, and up, and up, and up.
“I DON’T THINK I’LL EVER MEET ANYBODY LIKE MY EX [WHO INSPIRED ‘TRAP QUEEN’] EVER AGAIN. SHE’S DOING GOOD NOW. SHE’S IN SCHOOL.”
Fetty Wap: To me, that was my opportunity to let the world know who I am. Like, that’s my job. Some people say that going to the studio is their job. That’s not my job. That’s where I have fun. I have fun in the studio. When I go onstage and perform in front of these people, that’s my job—to make sure that these people know who I am and they have a good time. I make sure that they get their money’s worth. I didn’t come to just stand onstage and walk around and sing a song and get off. I come there to do a job, and I make sure that my job is completed. When my job was done, everybody talked about it. That was the payment for my work. That was my commission for putting that work in. I don’t get any nervousness from it. That’s just what I do.
“Trap Queen” topped the Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart for three consecutive weeks beginning April 4, 2015. (Image via Billboard)
Brian “Peoples” Garcia: [“Trap Queen”] went gold, then it went platinum, then it went double platinum. We knew we were going to prove people wrong. Last year, we recorded “Trap Queen” in March, “679” in June, and “My Way” in November. That’s when I knew this lil nigga got some shit.
Fetty Wap: I don’t think I’ll ever meet anybody like my ex [who inspired “Trap Queen”] ever again. She’s doing good now. She’s in school. She’s doing what she has to do. With the money that we made—and the money that I’m making now and everything that’s going on for me—it’s only right that I help her. Even though we’re not together, I still make sure that she’s good.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Earlier this week, The New York Times revealed that Vogue had zero face time with Beyoncé, who covers the magazine’s September issue. “It was definitely posed to me as…call it a think piece if you want,” Pulitzer prize-winner Margo Jefferson, who wrote the cover story, told the Times. “I had no contact with her camp.”
The message was, as the Times puts it, “Beyoncé is seen but not heard.”
That Beyoncé narrative is hardly new. She's known to be private and controlling of her image down to the last detail. As the Times points out, even a major publication like CR Fashion Book, founded by former editor-in-chief of French Vogue Carine Roitfeld, was granted very little access. That cover story was instead a free verse by poet Forrest Gander, who “remixed” written statements from Beyoncé. And as mentioned in the singer's 2013 GQ story, when reporters are given access, there's always a camera that films the interaction, with footage that's later stored in her archive.
In an era where Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even Snapchat exist, we’re given the impression of access. Celebrities are, technically, able to skip traditional media and share what they please, when they please. And some do. Artists make all sorts of announcements (album releases, tour dates, engagements, etc.) via Twitter or Instagram. We're spoiled. We—myself included—want artists to share their work and their lives. Beyoncé doesn't do that. She shares photos—often with no captions—on Instagram and her website. Not to mention, she's practically ghost on Twitter, with only eight tweets since joining in April 2009 (even Jay has more, with 235). Even her documentary Life Is But a Dream—which she directed and executive produced—felt contrived.
Beyoncé has been the gatekeeper to her life, only providing what she wants and in the manner she wants to do it in—a rarity for even the biggest celebrities. It’s easy then, as a fan, to hate the veneer. But, how could you not respect that power?
BEYONCÉ HAS BEEN THE GATEKEEPER TO HER LIFE, ONLY PROVIDING WHAT SHE WANTS AND IN THE MANNER SHE WANTS TO DO IT IN—A RARITY FOR EVEN THE BIGGEST CELEBRITIES.
For years, the Beyoncé narrative has been the same: She paid her dues, worked harder than anyone in the entertainment industry, and now deserves all she has—the fame, wealth, success, downtime, and complete control.
Beyoncé first took complete control over her career when she parted ways with her father and long-time manager Mathew Knowles in 2011. In a candid, private video from Life Is But a Dream, she says of the split: "I’m feeling very empty because of my relationship with my dad. And I’m so fragile at this point, and I feel like my soul has been tarnished. Life is unpredictable, but I feel like I had to move on and not work with my dad. And I don’t care if I don’t sell one record. It’s bigger than the record, it’s bigger than my career."
Things changed from there. She began managing herself and, as she said during a private screening for fans and press at New York's School of Visual Arts Theatre in 2013: "I felt like I wanted to follow the footsteps of Madonna and be a powerhouse and have my own empire and show other women when you get to this point in your career you don’t have to go sign with someone else and share your money and your success—you do it yourself."
She also granted fewer interviews and, as of somewhere between 2013 and 2014, no face-to-face interactions with journalists. She also took full control of her image, asking (via her publicists) to have all unflattering photos of her from her Super Bowl XLVII performance deleted from the Internet. There’s no story if Beyoncé doesn’t want there to be. She said it herself, in a statement about her documentary: "My story has never been told—no one really knows who I am." Which is to say, the only Beyoncé-approved story you will ever get is going to come from Beyoncé herself.
She’s calculated, a carefully curated brand. And like any well-established brand, she knows how to handle the damage control if and when things do not go according to plan.
On Jan. 21, 2013, she performed the national anthem at President Barack Obama's inaugural ceremony. At first, her rendition was praised, but then Master Sgt. Kristin DuBois, a spokesperson for the President's Own United States Marine Band, confirmed Beyoncé was lip-synching. After years of a squeaky-clean reputation, she had found herself in a "scandal."
But unlike some (or most) celebrities, she didn't entertain open dialog. Instead, 10 days after her inaugural ceremony performance, she surfaced at a Super Bowl press conference in New Orleans on Jan. 31, where she opened by singing “The Star-Spangled Banner”—again. At the end, she smiled and said, “Any questions?” Her impromptu performance reshaped the public narrative, and the story went away.
In May 2014, footage of Jay Z and Solange fighting in an elevator at the Met Gala after party leaked. But Beyoncé looked (was?) unfazed. She didn’t move a muscle in the elevator, letting her husband and sister go at it. She only addressed the incident in a joint statement with Jay and Solange. Oh, and in the remix of "Flawless": "Of course sometimes shit go down when it's a billion dollars on an elevator." My head exploded when I heard that.
There are artists who overshare: during interviews, on Twitter, at their own performances (read: Kanye West). Beyoncé is not one of them. None of us can explain why she chooses to be this private. Maybe motherhood has made her more protective. Maybe it was the elevator incident. Or maybe she, now more than ever, knows her own power.
But one thing is clear: Beyoncé doesn’t need to open dialog if she doesn’t want to. That’s the beauty of Beyoncé. She doesn’t need to be in the news or to make news to stay relevant. She's one of the greatest artists and performers of our time, and as she made clear in her Complex August/September 2011 cover story, her focus is the music. “I just want my legacy to be great music,” she said. Which is why even a surprise album like Beyoncé, which the singer released in December 2013 after having been relatively MIA from the public, sold 828,773 copies worldwide in its first three days of availability, becoming the fastest-selling album in the history of the iTunes Store. That album was also nominated for five awards at the 2015 Grammys (Album of the Year, Best Urban Contemporary Album, Best Surround Sound Album, and Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance for "Drunk in Love"), winning the latter three.
We’re not owed anything but the music. But as fans, we have to decide whether Beyoncé's continued boringness makes us less interested in the art. Does it make you doubt whatever “truth” she presents in her lyrics? Does it make you less likely to buy the overall Beyoncé narrative? Does it make you less likely to cop her next album? You'd be wise to say no, because, chances are, she's likely working on some life-changing shit right now.
Quazee gone keep hitting you with Bars until you believe it
NEW YORK is coming back something fierce or maybe they never left...The rise of artist like Y.ROME, MILL VILL, K Zeus, Nichollette, and Quazee gone have the game shifting back to the real. Right now we focusing on Quazee tho cause he just dropped some FIYAH YOGA FLAME in his latest track "Represent"...sporting some Jordans and a tee he keeps it real...not only does this track goes in with witty word play but bruh knows he's nice but now he's got a taste for it...he might just be getting started...see what the hype is about below...
The New Prince Of NEW YORK JOE MILL VILL HAS THE JUICE
If you haven't heard of Joe Mill Vill and his new smash hit"Best Of Me" by now your probably a lame. For real for real Mill Vill putting on for the BX has been steadily increasing his worth and his latest single not only is dope but its going viral. Collecting about 100,000 thousand views both on soundcloud and youtube and dominating the instagram feeds all in a swift week Joe Mill Vill seems to be doing the one thing that many can't do...Thats get the support of his hometown NEW YORK CITY...
POWER MOVES ONLY
They say if you can make it in NEW YORK you can make it anywhere and his work ethic has him showing up on the radars of major labels.... Best of Me is a remix cover to JAY Z & MYA's version and many are calling MILL VILL a nice blend between Fab & MASE...This latest single is just proving that this artist run isn't just luck but that he might be the next big thing
He's in a groove tearing the roof off BB KINGS and doing it big on 125th and the Rucker....
....he's def on thisisblaines radar and who knows he might just be in a room with ya favorite artist sooner than you think... peep the vid below and tell us what you think
Sunday, August 9, 2015
This Guy Mill Vill stays winning. After setting up a string of successful songs and videos he began touring like a rockstar (literally doing shows back to back to back)... MillVill has released his latest banger and Video "Tonight" and we have it for your viewing pleasure...This track features Rahh Young and King Dro and was directed by the Vid shooting genius Devon Terrell
Another Club Banger!! Go Check It Out Now On Soundcloud , Vevo , Itunes. Click Soundcloud Link To Download