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Culture News

This Week In TikTok: 6LACK and Lil Tjay Take Over

This week was a quieter week compared to some of our previous round-ups, but still interesting if you are into quirky/cutesy trends. While some may have considered this week’s popular challenges to be a bit on the ‘boring’ side, it was actually nice to have a break from the choreography and see other trends dominate the platform. This week, the TikTok community explored relationship themes, glow-up videos, and an oddly satisfying ‘arm-crossing dance trend.’ Let’s take a closer look at what had TikTok buzzing as we closed out a great February.

1. ‘Calling My Phone’ – Lil Tjay and 6LACK

As you all know, cell phones are often a defining factor in a relationship. Sometimes you want your significant other calling you, and sometimes you just want them to leave you alone. The number one streamed song in the U.S., Lil Tjay linked up with 6Lack to create a banger, and it didn’t take long for TikTokers to get a challenge going. There were plenty of different takes on this trend, but by far the most heartwarming one was a duet video between LilTjay and his daughter. Over 130,000 people have participated in this trend, so if you have time, be sure to scroll through the ‘Calling My Phone’ hashtag. You won’t be disappointed!

2. ‘It’s Not The Same Anymore’ – Rex Orange County

Unless you are among the lucky few blessed to not go through an awkward phase, most of us will experience a ‘glow up’ at some point in our lives. While glow up challenges are not new to the app, this one is a little different because it is set to the tune of the 2019 alternative single ‘It’s Not The Same Anymore’ by Rex Orange County. Some people are taking old pictures and blending them in with newer photos to highlight their evolution, while others have made videos chronicling their respective weight loss journeys. If you are game to show off your personal glow up, then this is the challenge for you.

3. Моя голова винтом – kostromin

Russian artist kostromin has experienced a growing popularity in the last few months, and ‘Моя голова винтом’, has become a fast-rising challenge on the app with TikTok users creating an arm-crossing dance set to the lyrics. Now could you technically do dance by yourself? You can, but you might run the risk of looking a little crazy. Whether you grab a partner, or attack this one solo, you will have tons of fun.

That is going to do it for this week’s round-up, but we will be back next week with another list of trends.

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Culture Music

MixedByAli Talks Music and Business Ventures in A Conversation With ONE37pm

MixedByAli is one of the top engineers in the music industry with a loaded resume including work with Kendrick Lamar, the late great Nipsey Hussle, Snoop Dogg, and more. The six-time Grammy nominee and three-time Grammy winner has no intentions of slowing down and caught up with ONE37pm’s Mike Boyd to talk music, entrepreneurship, and more.

Boyd: I wanted to first talk about you working on ‘What It Feels Like’ from Nipsey and Jay-Z. What was that process like for you?

MixedByAli: Just a full circle moment for me honestly with me doing the work on Victory Lap, and even before that, the relationship Nipsey and I had organically outside the music. It felt good to hear his voice again and continue his legacy. It’s an incredible record—Jay killed it! The soundtrack was amazing. Personally, it was a moment for me with Nip leaving untimely, and to be able to sonically get into it, and give this back to the world.

Boyd: Talk to us about the art of engineering and the process because I know you are working on special songs all the time—maybe not as special as ‘What It Feels Like’ but I feel like you are popping up in all the song credits! What’s that like?

MixedByAli: First of all, it’s just a blessing to be able to have that type of reaction. I’ve always been one of those people that have severe ADHD and didn’t know how to stay still. As a kid, I liked to take things apart and put them back together, and as I grew, I liked how I could do that with music. Something that was never there before is recorded through a microphone, and then it’s timeless at that point. The fact that I can add my two cents to it gives me that same feeling. I can break something apart and put it back together.

Boyd: I’ve been in the studio with you and I notice you use all of the studio tools in the room.

MixedByAli: They’re in the room, so why not use them?! All the gear I need to succeed is behind me, so why not get to it and include that in my workflow? That is one of the major reasons why my music has been the way it is—the analog sound that these tools can offer. That instantly is going to sound better than mixing the song through a computer. It’s a part of my process. If I could put an SSL board on my back, I would!

Boyd: I know you have a daughter and she has a consignment boutique—talk to us about instilling business ideas and work ethic within young children.

MixedByAli: It just goes back to me being a kid. I was always interested in business and infatuated with making money. I realized I needed to show that to my own daughter, and now she won’t even need my help in the future. She’s three-years-old, but she’s excited to do some work! The company is called Aria’s Clubhouse, and it’s to help mothers get clothes for their kids during Covid times where they may not have jobs.

Boyd: You mentioned you’re at the Bishop headquarters—I wanted to talk to you about your entrepreneurship. Tell us why you started your company EngineEars and what it means to you.

MixedByAli: The whole reason why I started EngineEars is that I was a diamond in the ruff—nobody wanted to give me that chance when I was coming up. I had to fight and work for everything I had. I always promised myself that I would give back. It started with a simple Instagram, and through that, the community started moving faster. From there I said let’s take it a step further and create something more tangible. 

I started a workshop, and from that we had organic conversations with the audience. We posted those videos, and we had people all over the world saying to come to their countries and do workshops. So we started an engineering world tour. I realized through conversations that we were all having the same problems, so I wanted to create something that would disrupt the business model. EngineEars provides upcoming engineers with the tools to build their business. I want to create a legacy that my family can be proud of through actions and not words.

Be sure to follow MixedByAli for his latest releases and business updates on both his Instagram and Twitter.

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Culture Music

YSL Artist Unfoonk Is Ready For His Moment

Young Thug has a penchant for spotting and developing new talent, however, he didn’t have to look too far this time around when it came to one of his more recent signings. Meet Unfoonk, a talented young artist who just so happens to be Young Thug’s brother. While it is clear that talent runs in YSL bloodline, Unfoonk is very much his own artist, pulling major collabs with 24 Heavy and Slimelife Shawty on last year’s popular single Mob Ties, further earning respect from industry vets.

Since discovering hip-hop as a teenager, Unfoonk has done his due diligence, steadily writing and honing his craft. Despite the pandemic, the artist has continued releasing music and doing smaller performances setting himself up for a bright future. Checking in from ATL, Unfoonk caught up with ONE37pm’s Mike Boyd to give an update on what he has been working on.

Boyd: I see you working with Slimelife Shawty, B Slime, Lil Gotit, and Money Game Boo. I also saw where you were bowling with Lil Keed—tell us about the people you are around, and the people you are working with.

Unfoonk: They’re family! It’s cool to be working with these guys—I’m on ten! Everybody’s got good energy and it is all love when we get together. 

Boyd: Everyone is coming up at the same time. It’s a good gang of people because you are all building each other up.

Unfoonk: Yes! Everybody brings that type of energy to the table. It’s amazing working with them especially when Lil Keed gets into the studio—we all just hit and we go!

Boyd: I know this is going to be a big year for you, but for everyone who wants to check you out right now, what song should they start out with to get an intro to who you are?

Unfoonk: ‘Mob Ties!’ That is the hit single and the song is going crazy in Georgia. Everybody is requesting ‘Mob Ties!’ It’s trending right now and I am thankful for every moment!

Boyd: Talk to us about ‘Real.’ I’m excited to hear that song when it drops!

Unfoonk: That song right there is epic! I had already recorded the song, but when Thug came back from L.A., I told him that I had a song that I wanted him to hear. I let him listen to it and he was like “I want to hop on this song—this is your best one!” He took the second verse off, cut some of my verse down, and it came out perfectly. 

Boyd: When does it come out?

Unfoonk: It’s on Slime Language 2, so it is definitely going to drop.

Boyd: What is like being around Thug and working with him?

Unfoonk: It’s just a fresh moment. When we are in the studio together, we just vibe with each other! We catch up on life so that way when we do start recording, we know what has been going on. It’s been like that since we were young. We go in!

Boyd: Last question, outside of Slime Language 2, what should we expect from you this year? 

Unfoonk: I’m dropping my first album called My Pain. I named it that because of my past and what I have been through. I want to bring something different to the table. That is why I feel like I am going to be next! 

With My Pain dropping this year, you won’t want to miss out on all of Unfoonk’s latest releases. Be sure to keep up with him on Instagram.

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Culture Music

The 35 Best Jay-Z Lyrics of All-Time

Hov, Hova, Young Hov, Jigga Man, or Jay-Z, whatever you know him as, there is no denying that Shawn Carter is one of the most legendary and influential rappers of all-time.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Jay-Z escaped a life of poverty, crime, and violence to become not just a leader in music but also culture, business, and more. He has cemented his place amongst the all-time greats in music and is responsible for some of the best songs in hip-hop history.

He has dropped 13 solo albums throughout his career, along with five collaborative albums, multiple live albums, and more. While it is nearly impossible to pick what his best lyrics are, we did our best. Here are our picks for Jay-Z’s 35 best lyrics.

1. I sell ice in the winter, I sell fire in hell/I am a hustler, baby, I’ll sell water to a whale -‘U Don’t Know’
“U Don’t Know”

2. We used to fight for building blocks/Now we fight for blocks with buildings that make a killin’/The closest of friends when we first started/But grew apart as the money grew and soon grew black-hearted
“D’evils”

3. Momma ain’t raised no fool/Put me anywhere on God’s green earth, I’ll triple my worth.
“U Don’t Know”

4. Financial freedom my only hope/Fuck livin’ rich and dyin’ broke/I bought some artwork for one million/Two years later, that shit worth two million/Few years later, that shit worth eight million/I can’t wait to give this shit to my children/Y’all think it’s bougie, I’m like, it’s fine/But I’m tryin’ to give you a million dollars worth of game for $9.99
“The Story of O.J.”

5. Look, if I shoot you, I’m brainless/But if you shoot me, then you’re famous
“Streets Is Watching”

6. Nine-to-five is how you survive, I ain’t tryna survive/I’m tryna live it to the limit and love it a lot/Life ills poisoned my body, I used to say fuck mic skills/I never prayed to God, I prayed to Gotti/That’s right, it’s wicked – that’s life, I live it/Ain’t askin’ for forgiveness for my sins, ends
“D’evils”

7. Allow me to re-introduce myself/My name is Hov, OH, H-to-the-O-V/I used to move snowflakes by the O-Z/I guess even back then you can call me/CEO of the R-O-C, Hov!/Fresh out the fryin’ pan into the fire/I be the music biz number one supplier/Flyer than a piece of paper bearin’ my name/Got the hottest chick in the game wearin’ my chain, that’s right, Hov
“Public Service Announcement”

8. Shit, I’m a man with pride, you don’t do shit like that/You don’t just pick up and leave and leave me sick like that/You don’t throw away what we had, just like that/I was just fuckin’ them girls, I was gon’ get right back/They say you can’t turn a bad girl good/But once a good girl’s gone bad, she’s gone forever/I’ll mourn forever/Shit, I’ve got to live with the fact I did you wrong forever
“Song Cry”

9. I’m so far ahead of my time, I’m ’bout to start another life/Look behind you, I’m ’bout to pass you twice
“Hovi Baby”

10. The year is ’94, in my trunk is raw/In my rearview mirror is the motherfuckin’ law/Got two choices, y’all: pull over the car or/Bounce on the devil, put the pedal to the floor/And I ain’t tryin’ to see no highway chase with Jake/Plus I got a few dollars, I can fight the case/So I pull over to the side of the road/I heard, “Son, do you know why I’m stopping you for?”/‘Cause I’m young and I’m black and my hat’s real low?/Do I look like a mind reader, sir? I don’t know
“99 Problems”

11. I’m not a biter, I’m a writer for myself and others/I say a B.I.G. verse, I’m only biggin’ up my brother/Biggin’ up my borough, I’m big enough to do it
“What More Can I Say”

12. Today I got my thoroughest girl with me/I’m mashin’ the gas, she’s grabbin’ the wheel, it’s trippy/How hard she rides with me, the new Bobby and Whitney/Only time we don’t speak is during Sex and the City/She gets Carrie fever, but soon as the show’s over/She’s right back to being my soldier/‘Cause mami’s a rider and I’m a roller/Put us together, how they gon’ stop both us?
“’03 Bonnie and Clyde”

13. I’m wondering if a thug’s prayers reach/Is Pious pious ’cause God loves pious?/Socrates asked, whose bias do y’all seek?
“No Church In The Wild”

14. First of all, I wanna thank my connect/The most important person, with all due respect/Thanks to the duffle bag, the brown paper bag/The Nike shoe box for holding all this cash/Boys in blue who put greed before the badge/The first pusher who ever made the stash
“Roc Boys (And The Winner Is…)

15. Yea, yea I’m out that Brooklyn, now I’m down in Tribeca Right next to DeNiro, but I’ll be hood forever
-“Empire State of Mind”

16. At your wake as I peek in, look in your casket Feelin’ sarcastic, ‘Look at him, still sleepin’
“22 Twos”

17. He told 12, “Gimme 12” He told them to go to hell about me
“Drug Dealers Anonymous”

18. Nah, I’m a poster for what happened seein’ your moms Doin’ five dollars worth of work just to get a dime So pardon my disposition Why should I listen to a system that never listened to me?
“Get By (Remix)”

19. People lined up to see the Titanic sinkin’ Instead we rose up from the ash like a phoenix If you’re waitin’ for the end of the Dynasty sign It would seem like forever is a mighty long time
“Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix)”

20. Look, I’m on my grind, cousin, ain’t got time for frontin’ Sensitive thugs, y’all all need hugs Damn, little mans, I’m just tryin’ do me If the record’s two mil I’m just tryin’ move three
“Heart of the City”

21. From frustrated youths stuck in they ways Just read a magazine that fucked up my day How you rate music that thugs with nothin relate to it? I helped them see they way through it—NOT YOU.
“Renegade”

22. I’d rather die enormous than live dormant, that’s how we on it.
“Can I Live?”

23. Word life, I dabbled in crazy weight Without rap, I was crazy straight Partner, I’m still spendin money from ’88
“Dead Presidents II”

24. And I got a question: Are you forgiving guys who live just like me? We’ll never know One day I prayed to you and said if I ever blow, I’d let ’em know The stakes, and exactly what takes place in the ghetto Promise fulfilled, still I feel my job ain’t done
“Where I’m From”

25. I got dreams of holding a nine milla to Bob’s killer Asking him “why?” as my eyes fill up These days I can’t wake up with a dry pillow Gone but not forgotten, homes I still feel ya So, curse the day that birthed the bastard Who caused your church mass, reverse the crash Reverse the blast then reverse the car Reverse the day and there you are, Bobalob Lord forgive him, we all have sinned But Bob’s a good dude, please let him in And if you feel in my heart that I long for revenge Please blame it on the son of the morning, thanks again
“Lucifer”

26. Strive for what you believe in, set goals and you can achieve them
“Anything”

27 Can’t be scared to fail, searching for perfection
“On to the Next One”

28. Difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week
“Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix)”

29. In order to survive, gotta learn to live with regrets
“Regrets”

30. Nobody built like you, you design yourself
“A Dream”

31. A loss ain’t a loss, it’s a lesson
“Smile”

32. Fuck perception, go with what makes sense
“Moment of Clarity”

33. Whoever said illegal was the easy way out / Couldn’t understand the mechanics and the workings of the underworld, granted
“D’evils”

34. I stepped it up another level, meditated like a Buddhist/Recruited lieutenants with ludicrous dreams of gettin’ cream/‘Let’s do this,’ it gets tedious/So I keep one eye open like CBS—you see me stressed, right?
“Can I Live”

35. “One day you’re up, next day you’re down / Long as you stay the same, it’ll come back around”
“Sweet”

Categories
Culture Music

SwaVay aka ‘Crazyman Billy’ Is Repping ATL to the Fullest

You know you are a pretty darn good artist when you get from cosigns Metro Boomin, L.A. Reid, and James Blake. SwaVay, aka ‘Crazyman Billy,’ is representing ATL to the fullest with his pen game, lyrical prowess, and harmonies. Songs like ‘One, Two Step’ and ‘2 AM’ are just a few examples of why the young ‘ATLien’ has received praise from some of the most respected names in the music industry, and the artist caught up with ONE37pm’s Mike Boyd to chat about what he has been working on.

Boyd: I’m a fan of your music, and so is GaryVee. For anyone new to your music, what song should they start with?

SwaVay: I guess I would have to say ‘2 AM!’ Everybody is gravitating towards that song like heck right now. For some reason, this single is doing way more than I thought it was going to do! We just celebrated getting two million streams in November! I’m an independent artist to the fullest, and now I’m about 2,000 streams away from 3 million. It’s crazy! My personal favorite though is a song called ‘YAYA’—I have a video for that too!

Boyd: Why ‘YAYA’? Tell us a little bit more about that.

SwaVay: For me, ‘YAYA’ is when I find that balance between having a modern catchy beat, and punching people in their face with lyricism. For me to do that track with Pyrex, and the song and video to come out the way it did, makes it my favorite song to date. I can’t get tired of this song—and it’s on my album with a guest feature as well. 

Boyd: Shoutout to Pyrex! What’s it like working with him?

SwaVay: Probably the fastest and most creative human being I’ve ever been around in my entire life. He has beat ideas and literally comes up with full beats within minutes. I think one time I watched him, and it took him no longer than 10 minutes! I believe he’s one of the top young producers on the rise, and I’ve known him for like 3 or 4 years. For us to come up at the same time—I love that.

Boyd: Some may not like the making a song in ten minutes, but if you’ve been honing your craft—the sum of what you put into it is the time you’ve spent to get to that point.

SwaVay: I don’t even think that matters honestly . I think music is all feeling. I’ve made songs that have taken me a week to write or record, and then I’ve had songs where I heard the beat, hopped in the booth, and was just like “Yo this is crazy!” As long as you love what you are doing—I don’t think time matters at all.

Boyd: When you are in the studio what do you do to get the vibes right?

SwaVay: When I’m in the studio I have the same format. I make sure to tell my friends to pull up, from there I just listen to what I’m about to work on. Right now I’m doing this thing where I don’t really rap on drums—I’m just rapping on the music and the sample. Then I end up coming back to the drums. A lot of times I start with conversation to get things off my chest and talk about things that have been on my mind. I’ve literally booked studio time where I’ve spent hours talking. The vibe is usually friends, a good conversation, and something on the T.V.—something I can look up at to get inspiration. Oh and I don’t smoke—I’ve never smoked or drank a day in my life. 

Boyd: So you record without the drums, then you put them in and let it go as it falls?

SwaVay: Yeah I’ve been doing this for like a year or two! Sometimes I feel like if you hear a beat with the drums , it can already give you a direction to go in. So to give me more room and space, I’ll be like “take the drums out of it.” That has honestly helped me out so much because drums are everything—especially in rap. I want to be the one making the direction of the music.

Boyd: A lot of people who don’t live in Atlanta know how special it is, but the people who do might not fully understand. What is your view on Atlanta, and how do you make a name for yourself in the scene?

SwaVay: There are other cities where you can make it there and only there. In Atlanta, I feel like if you make it here, you are on—you’ve made it! It’s way easier for an Atlanta artist to crossover, so as far as music, it’s definitely the place to be. It’s something in us where we are always early on the newer styles of music, and now we may be catching up to fashion too. Atlanta is just a place that thrives on forwardness and not being trapped into one way of thinking. You have the 21 Savages, the Young Nudy’s, Lil Baby’s—and then you have the artist’s like myself and Earthgang. So we are just thinking about getting it and making sure Atlanta is represented the right way. With Atlanta, we understand that we didn’t always have a seat on the throne. Also, it’s a small huge city, and I grew up hearing about Savage, Earthgang, and other artists. We all know and support each other.

Boyd: Last question. What’s the plan for 2021?

SwaVay: I’m releasing the album I hold closest to my heart called Almetha’s Son which is my mom’s name. It’s the one project I feel that you can walk away from and know who SwaVay is. It’s very reflective and you get a backstory of me. I’m excited!

You can keep up with all of SwaVay’s latest releases on Instagram and Twitter.

Categories
Culture Music

All Eyes Are On Slater Davis

Eyes have been on Slater Davis as he continues to blaze his way through the Pop Rock scene with an innovative style that makes you instantly relive legendary 80s and 90s Rock & Roll classics, while effortlessly blending pop and punk. His latest single, 2021, shows an artist maturing into his own. The song has received positive reviews from both fans and critics, who have praised Davis’ growth as an artist, and willingness to unapologetically operate in his own lane. Celebrating the release, the LA Native had a conversation with ONE37pm’s Mike Boyd.

Boyd: So let’s talk about the song ‘2021.’ Can you tell us about the song and artwork?

Davis: ‘2021’ is a song that I made with these producers Theo & The Climb, and Matt Crawford—I went to high school with their manager and he approached me about it. Music is something I’ve been doing, but for the last year and a half, I’ve been focusing on it full time. I got on a Zoom call with the producer and they loved the old school millennium  Rock direction because they are my age. Aaron, another producer, got on the guitar and we started harmonizing. The song encapsulates all of the isolation. The video captures that too. For me, I have always been true to myself. Being in L.A., I’ve seen certain people change in different situations, so I talk about that and feeling lonely too. 2021 is going to take a group effort to make changes. This is a song to give hope to people struggling.

Boyd: What song should someone start with to get to know you and your music?

Davis: That’s tough! As far as what I’ve released so far—it’s definitely between ‘Best Friend,’The Girl Out Here,’ and then ‘2021.’ I think ‘2021’ is probably the best one to listen to because as an artist you become attached and you start to nitpick at yourself. ‘The Girl Out Here’ was the first song off the project, and it was inspired by the female perspective of growing up in L.A., and the pressures that they have to deal with. ‘Best Friend’ is a song of all the trials and tribulations that I have gone through with women, and ‘2021’ is the song to get to know me. It’s actually my favorite song that I have released so far. It’s the one to focus on in terms of any promotion or marketing to get people to listen to it. It’s a catchy song that has depth.

Boyd: What’s your approach to TikTok?

Davis: One of my best friends has like a million followers. He started during quarantine and blew up. He tells me to post all the time. It’s hard to capture my personality on Instagram, as well as my engagement not being that great. So it’s hard to get across who I am as an individual and an artist through just a photo. I try to use TikTok because I’m eclectic in terms of my personality. So I try to set a posting schedule. I try to spread love and positivity. That is a big part of my life. I also try to promote my music. There is really no method to my madness when it comes to TikTok. My followers have shown a lot of love for my music. 

Boyd: Final question, what should we expect next from you?

Davis: The music video for ‘2021’ is coming out January 29th! I shot it last week and it is awesome! I also have two music videos out right now for ‘Girl Out Here’ and ‘Bad Boy,’ but this music video is by far my best music video. I can’t wait for people to see it!

You can keep up with all of Slater Davis’ latest releases on both Instagram and Twitter.

Categories
Culture News

Juicy J and GaryVee Team Up On Asterisk*, Changing the Weed Game Forever

Juicy J’s brand Asterisk* is dropping more than just a strain today. In addition to the release of the “Chronic Frog” strain (dropping exclusively at MMD Dispensaries in Los Angeles), the brand is releasing an apparel capsule designed by the legendary Cody Hudson and the first-ever Juicy J Beat & Sound Pack.

When the collab between Juicy and GaryVee’s Green Street was formally announced through the release of “Gah Damn High” back in August, it was clear something big was on the horizon. This week’s drop builds on that hype. In 2021, a cannabis brand is more than just a curator of fine flower; Asterisk* is a multimedia lifestyle brand, developing high-quality merch and music, all packaged in a beautiful design. The days of the dull dime bag are over.

https://asteriskgoods.com/
Asteirsk*

I mean, just look at the beautiful packaging of these beat packs. You can cop the beat pack at Asterisk*’s website today. 

Asterisk* has done three drops so far. The first came alongisde “Gah Damn High,” and the second drop coincided with the release of the Juicy J / NLE Choppa track, “Load It Up.” The latter video heavily features the flower in all of its glory. Check out our writeup of the last release, which, like this one, demonstrated that cannabis drops can include much more than just weed. 

If you want a closer look at the bud, we’ve got you covered. After all, Asterisk*’s multimedia approach doesn’t mean they skimp on the flower. Just take a look at this ridiculously frosty nug. The new “Chronic Fog” strain—cultivated by the award-winning geneticists at Cream of the Crop—is available at MMD dispensaries in LA.

Asterisk*

You may know Cody Hudson from his work with Nike or just from being one of our generation’s most impactful graphic designers. Hudson is more than just a designer for Asterisk*; the Chicago-based artist is another one of Juicy J and Gary’s partners / co-owners. Hudson designed the merch capsule (in addition to the brand’s packaging), and like everything that’s come from the cannabis brand, the pieces are aesthetically stunning.

https://asteriskgoods.com/
Asterisk* / Cody Hudson

https://asteriskgoods.com/
Asterisk* / Cody Hudson

Today is a big day not just for Asterisk*, but for the whole cannabis space. Cannabis brands don’t just sell weed anymore; they sell a lifestyle and all the music, vibes, and gear that come with it.

Categories
Culture Music

The 10 Best NBA Players Who Are Also Musicians

NBA players have a variety of different interests away from the court. Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook is into fashion. His teammate Robin Lopez loves comic books and nerd culture, while Chris Paul and Steph Curry spend a lot of time shooting commercials and expanding their business interests.

LeBron James enjoys offseason family vacations with his patent social media post showcasing him working out despite being on break. James Johnson enjoys martial arts and kickboxing, and Rajon Rondo enjoys roller skating, while other players can be seen in the studio creating new music.

Speaking of music, we here at ONE37pm decided to name the top 10 best rappers in the NBA.

1. Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard is willing to take on all challengers in the NBA as well as in the booth. He proved that when Shaq dissed him last season after Dame was a guest on the Joe Budden Podcast

Damian Lillard would come back with “Reign Reign Go Away” and let Shaq know that Kobe won him three rings in Los Angeles and Dwyane Wade helped him win a ring in Miami as well. Fast forward, Lillard and Shaq have been working in the studio together on a mixtape, according to Bleacher Report‘s Sean Highkin.

When we spoke with Lillard a couple of years ago, he shared that he is down to work with anybody in the NBA. 

“I would welcome the opportunity to collaborate. That is something I am open to as an artist,” said Lillard.

2. Marvin Bagley

Rap battles have pretty much been around since the beginning of time. Marvin Bagley sparked one when he declared himself the best rapper in the NBA, challenging Damian Lillard in his single “No Debut.”

“No Debut” sparked an immediate response from Lillard, who released ‘MARVINNNNNN???’ during the 2019 NBA Draft, following it up with ‘Bye Bye,’ which sampled Drake’s notorious diss track ‘Back to Back.’ 

The two eventually moved on, and Bagley released his first album entitled BIG JREAMS in August 2019. This past October, the NBA star dropped his latest single, “P.V.O” (Positive Vibes Only), paying homage to his high school. Bagley is consistently in and out of the studio, so more music is definitely coming.

3. Lou Williams

Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams is a three-time Sixth Man of The Year and one of the NBA’s best rappers. The Atlanta native takes his music very seriously, and Drake gave him the ultimate shoutout when he name-dropped Williams on his track “6th Man.” Lou has also done freestyles on singles, such as the remix to Meek Mill and Rick Ross’s ‘Ima Boss.’ 

In 2019, he released the single “Rebound,” and ‘Lemon Pepper Lou’ continues to make tracks between games.

4. Lonzo Ball

If you get 2 Chainz’s stamp of approval in terms of rapping, you are doing something right. In the case of Lonzo Ball, he is on the right track as he continues to create uplifting and family-oriented music.

“Hey, man, I’m all for marketing, I’m all for ownership, I’m all for packaging it up and selling it, and this looks like what the Ball family is doing. It’s a family-oriented video, and it talks about their brand. I’m sure it’s about getting people to actually check out the brand. I already knew Zo rapped; he has brothers in there. It looks like they havin’ fun; I don’t have any problem with it. It’s not going to play on the radio or in the club, but I think it has a purpose,” said Chainz.

Ball recently appeared in season 4 of The Masked Singer.

5. Iman Shumpert

Free Agent Guard Iman Shumpert has a unique stylistic variant of any person on this list. This is especially clear in his 2016 single “His Story,” which is a well-made track with a good variety of streams and a steady pace.

In September 2020, Shumpert released his mixtape Joyride, a Gangsta Grillz album you can tell Iman has come into his craft. His remix for “Dior” by Pop Smoke and Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth “They Reminisce Over You” shows him at his best. The album felt like you were in the midst of a truly fun freestyle session with the homies with some horticultural helpers.

6. Aaron Gordon

Aaron Gordon has become known for his spectacular dunks and ability to drive to the hoop, but over the last couple of years, the Orlando Magic power forward has taken a dive into the rap scene. Steadily working on music during the early stages of the pandemic, Gordon released his newest song, “Lvl Up,” this past fall. The single also featured our good friend Moe, and “Lvl Up” was well-received by fans. Gordon has reportedly been working on new music, but we may have to wait a little while for his next release as he is currently focused on the new NBA season.

7. Javale McGee

Music has been a passion for Javale McGee since his playing days at the University of Nevada. McGee would use his spare time to play around with beats and music software in between games and classes.

Since then, McGee has established himself as a key player in the NBA, winning two championships with the Golden State Warriors. While certainly successful, the NBA champ has never lost his passion for music and was recently credited as a producer on Justin Bieber’s song “Available.” McGee also hits the other side of the studio from time to time, releasing his debut album Pierre in 2018. We’ll have to see what is next for McGee in 2021.

8. Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond currently has the Cleveland Cavaliers off to their best start since the Lebron James era, but like many, he used the break to experiment with other talents. Drummond first captured attention with his 2018 album FYI and has spent the last two years dropping singles during his free moments. Going by ‘DRUMMXND,’ the All-Star spent the earlier part of 2020 playing DJ, hosting several ‘Drummond Quarantine Radio’ events as a way to entertain fans. Right now, Drummond is focused on helping the Cavs achieve their first playoff berth in years, but we’re sure that he’ll be dropping more music sooner rather than later.

9. Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo has established himself as one of the NBA’s most elite players, but he has also become known for his singing ability over the last couple of years. The Pacers’ shooting guard released his first EP entitled Songs For You in 2017 and followed his debut with his first official album V.O. in 2018. The burgeoning R&B artist was commended for his soulful sound, and it’s clear that Oladipo has a bright music career ahead of him. Oladipo most recently appeared on season 2 of The Masked Singer finishing in 5th.

10. Kyrie Irving

Do you know who else is a pretty good singer? Kyrie Irving.

Irving started his music career showcasing his singing skills for fun on Snapchat and eventually crossed over into hip-hop for the Uncle Drew soundtrack in 2018.

Last month, Irving shared a snippet of the tribute song he has been working on in honor of the late Kobe Bryant, and according to our guy Scoop B., Kyrie has been in the studio quite a bit this past year. Maybe that means we’ll be getting some new music soon.

As you all know, these guys are pretty good at basketball, but it is always important to step out and explore your other talents. Music and Basketball have always gone hand in hand, so surely there are plenty more musician athletes to follow. 

Categories
Culture Music

Sixteen Year Old Jay Esco Is Ready to Make A Splash With New EP ‘All Is Love And War’

Jay Esco is a young musician with something to prove. Representing Bridgeport, Connecticut, the sixteen-year-old has spent the majority of 2020 releasing music and fine tuning his craft. The rapper/singer first began capturing attention with his single ‘Double Up,’ which was well received by listeners, and now has a new EP entitled All Is Love And War. Having just released the video to his latest single ‘Kiss and Tell,’ Esco is the latest to catch up with ONE37pm’s Mike Boyd while recording in Atlanta.

Boyd: Tell us a little bit more about the All Is Love And War and the artwork. Why did you name it that and what did you set out to do with this project?

Jay Esco: It was hard for us to figure out the name of the project, but since I had songs talking about both street life and love, we just called it All Is Love and War. I’m feeling like the project is going to go crazy—it already is! As far as the artwork, I wanted something that could get the love and the war part together. 

Boyd: What is your favorite track from the project?

Jay Esco: I like all of them, but my favorite is either ‘Hold Me Down’ with Metro, or ‘Visionary.’ I still have to shoot the video for ‘Visionary,’ because that song is gonna go crazy. ‘Inn The Towns’ with Ann Marie is going crazy too though, that’s the most played song from the EP. 

Boyd: For anyone that’s new to you, what song should they turn on to get a taste of your music?

Jay Esco: I think it would be ‘Kiss and Tell’ and ‘War. I say ‘Kiss and Tell’ because that song shows my singing side, and then ‘War’ because that’s my roots.

Boyd: You just shot the video for ‘Kiss and Tell’ right?

Jay Esco: Yeah I just dropped it like four or five days ago. I shot that in Connecticut. We were trying to go for the vibe of the song. The theme was about a girl bringing her best friends over, and then us being mad at each other but getting over it.

Boyd: A lot of people watching are inspiring artists. What would you say you need to get your vibe right in the studio? 

Jay Esco: Sometimes I just put a beat on, and if I mess with it I like to freestyle. If not, then I will just write it. I like to put the music on a loop so I can hear it out loud several times before I start writing. Sometimes when I’m in Atlanta, I’ll have people pull up and make beats for me, but when I’m back home, I go on YouTube or have engineers send me beats. My manager checks my emails, and if he feels like a beat sounds good he’ll send it to me. 

Boyd: What should we expect from you in 2021?

Jay Esco: 2021? I’m gonna drop an even bigger project! I’m thinking of an album. I’m going to have more videos and a lot of other things like that. 

If you haven’t already, check out the video for ‘Kiss and Tell.’ You can keep up with Jay Esco on Instagram and Twitter.

Categories
Culture Music

Here Are The 25 Best Travis Scott Songs

Since his debut in 2012, Travis Scott has become one of music’s biggest superstars with loads of hit records under his belt. Upon his arrival, Scott immediately received personal endorsements and praise from musical legends, including Kanye West and T.I., establishing him as a young artist on the rise. During this time, Scott released a variety of mixtapes, including Days Before Rodeo and the self-released Owl Pharaoh, which highlighted him as an artist to watch with a ton of potential. In 2015, Scott dropped his first studio album entitled Rodeo. Distributed through Epic and T.I’s Grand Hustle Records, Rodeo received positive reviews from critics while also charting at number three on the U.S. Billboard 200.

His sophomore album Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight was also critically acclaimed, but it was his third album, Astroworld, that catapulted him into another level of success. Nearly a decade after his introduction to the hip-hop world, Scott has sold over 45 million records in the United States, receiving eight Grammy nominations for his work. His recent partnerships with brands such as McDonald’s, Playstation, and Nike have gone on to further prove his star power. The rapper/businessman definitely has a wide range of classics in his music catalog, and at some point, the ‘greatest hits’ conversation has to come into play. In no particular order, this is a list of the 25 best Travis Scott songs that have been released to date.

1. ‘Houstonfornication’

A play on the 1999 Red Hot Chilli Peppers hit ‘Californication,’ Scott put his own spin on this track from Astroworld. The song is a tribute to his hometown city Houston and discusses the struggles of finding a balance between fame and normality. The fact that Scott recorded the single while literally staying in an Airbnb makes the song even more ‘fun’. The song was produced by FARRI, Wallis Lane, and Sevyn Thomas, and was one of the standout tracks on the album.

2. ‘Antidote’

Taking it back to 2015, ‘Antidote’ was one of the early tracks that helped establish Scott as a legitimate force in music. The backstory behind ‘Antidote’ is interesting as the song wasn’t originally supposed to be on the album in the first place. ‘Antidote’ first began receiving buzz after Scott’s 2015 JMBLYA set. The decision to include the song came as a surprise decision for his fans due to the record’s overall popularity and favorable reviews. ‘Antidote’ wound up peaking at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA.

3. ‘Don’t Play’

Rewinding back to ‘O.G. Travis Scott,’ ‘Don’t Play’ is a single off his 2014 mixtape Days Before Rodeo. The song features Big Sean and samples the single ‘M.O.N.E.Y’ by the band The 1975. The record is a throwback to the rapper’s early days and highlights a young artist on the come up that is hungry for success. Big Sean adds to the track with his braggadocious puns and clever wordplay, giving the track some extra flavor. ‘Don’t Play’ remains a fan favorite in Scott’s collection.

4. ‘Oh My Dis Side’

Featuring longtime friend Quavo, Scott let us know exactly what side we should be on in this 2015 single from his album Rodeo. The track is actually a ‘two-part’ song, with Part One chronicling the many different struggles Scott faced as a young artist trying to make a name for himself. Part Two focuses on the nostalgia element of Scott coming up in Houston. The single has been praised for its depth and ‘haunting arrangement,’ with many considering the song to be one of Scott’s best. 

5. ‘Apple Pie’

Before Travis Scott had McDonald’s Apple Pies included as part of his brand deal with the company, the artist had an actual single called ‘Apple Pie.’  Just like McDonald’s pies, the song is a treat for music listeners. Described as one of the rapper’s “warmer” records, ‘Apple Pie’ was released in 2015. Not much is known about the song itself. The production information is limited, and there is no backstory as to the inspiration behind the single. Despite that, ‘Apple Pie’ remains one of Scott’s ‘hidden gems,’ focusing on the theme of having to make his own way in life while not depending on others.

6. ‘RaRa’

Selecting which songs make the final cut of your album can be a difficult decision for an artist. The day after releasing his second album, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, Scott dropped this single as a bonus track for fans on his SoundCloud. ‘RaRa’ features Lil Uzi Vert. However, the song was unfinished (which is why it didn’t make the album). Despite the record not being completely done, fans and critics still described ‘RaRa’ as a banger. Hopefully, in the future, we can get the full version of this song.

7. ‘Quintana’

Going back to ‘mixtape Travis,’ ‘Quintana’ is a tale of a young woman capturing the interest of Scott while in Mexico. Released in 2013, the single features Wale, previewing what was to come from Scott in terms of lyrics and production. ‘Quintana’ was a track off Scott’s Owl Pharaoh mixtape, which was the artist’s first step into establishing creative control over his music.

8. ‘Upper Echelon’

Another cut from the Owl Pharaoh mixtape, ‘Upper Echelon’ is a banger featuring T.I. and 2Chainz. Unfortunately, not much is known about the background of ‘Upper Echelon,’ but the song itself was renowned for its music video. The video was directed by a then 21-year-old Travis Scott and could best be described as a club in the wilderness with a bit of danger lurking around the corner. The video gave a glimpse into the creativity that we would later see from the artist in terms of his music videos and performances, and it should be noted that ‘Upper Echelon’ was Scott’s first mainstream single with Grand Hustle Records.

9. ‘Skyfall’

Produced by Metro Boomin, ‘Skyfall’ is a 2016 collaboration with Young Thug. Released from his Days Before Rodeo mixtape, the song is one of the artist’s darker songs complete with poignant lyrics and imagery. ‘Skyfall’ is actually the complete opposite of some of the lighter songs on the tape, spotlighting Scott’s range as an artist. The recording session with Scott and Metro was legendary and has amassed 5.4 million views on YouTube, also showcasing how the track was laid down before Young Thug was added. If you are looking to explore some of Travis Scott’s earlier work, then ‘Skyfall’ is an excellent place to start.

10. ‘Drugs You Should Try It’

Fun Fact: this song was actually supposed to be for Big Sean. A fan-favorite off Days Before Rodeo, ‘Drugs You Should Try It’ was originally produced for Sean Don but wound up on Scott’s mixtape unbeknownst to everybody on Sean’s team. While one might think that there were some hard feelings involved, Sean’s producer Charlie Handsome loved Scott’s take on the track. As for Big Sean himself, there were no hard feelings on his end either as Sean was of course featured on the lead single ‘Don’t Play.’

11. ‘Backyard’

The beauty of a mixtape is that it can showcase an artist at their purest form. For the most part, there isn’t a grand scale of production with a huge team of producers and writers, it’s just real. ‘Backyard’ is a track that focuses on Scott’s writing, rapping ability, and talent. While the song was released six years ago, the record still sounds fresh, with fans comparing Scott to a young Kendrick Lamar. Deemed an ‘unappreciated classic,’ ‘Backyard’ is Travis Scott at his finest. ‘Backyard ‘was also sampled by Logic in his song ‘Stainless’ from his sophomore album The Incredible True Story.

12. ‘Mamacita’

Released as the second single from Days Before Rodeo, ‘Mamacita’ features Rich Homie Quan and Young Thug as a fun modern hip-hop record. The song is a festive mix of Houston and Atlanta and was also known for its rodeo-themed music video. To date, the ‘Mamacita’ video has received 96 million views on YouTube.

13. ‘90210’

Described as Scott’s favorite song from his 2015 Rodeo album, Scott dives into all things Beverly Hills on this record. Similar to ‘Oh Dis My Side,’ the song is a two-part track with Part One focusing on Scott’s rendezvous with a ‘porn star girl,’ and Part Two being a bit more self-reflective. Part two also samples Kanye West’s ‘Family Business’ from his classic College Dropout album. ‘90210’ was released as the fifth single from the album.

14. ‘Maria I’m Drunk’

Featuring Justin Bieber and Young Thug, ‘Maria I’m Drunk’ was released to streaming platforms in 2018 after a four-year delay. Originally recorded in 2014, the song had previously only been available for those who had downloaded the MP3 version of the Rodeo album. To this day, nobody has a clear answer as to why the song was largely unavailable. While there are plenty of rumors floating around, everybody can agree that ‘Maria I’m Drunk’ was worth the wait.

15. ‘Pray 4 Love’

History has shown that the results are pretty good when you mix a rapper and a singer together. This 2015 single by Travis Scott and The Weeknd was highly anticipated and gave the fans everything they asked for. ‘Pray 4 Love’ samples The Four Tops single ‘Ask the Lonely,’ and the song received nearly five million plays on YouTube alone. The two performed the single together in Houston for The Weeknd’s show at the Toyota Center.

16. ‘Way Back’

For this single, we have to take it all the ‘way back’ to 2016. The popular hit is probably most remembered for its highly entertaining music video, which featured Houston Rockets all-star James Harden. ‘Way Back’ deals with Scott still trying to adjust to his new-found fame while remaining true to himself and his core values. The song also features Scott’s longtime idol, Kid Cudi, with a sample of Jay-Z’s 2007 hit ‘Roc Boyz (And The Winner Is).’ Another fun fact; NBA superstar Stephen Curry was actually in the studio while Scott was recording ‘Way Back’ adding ‘Rockets versus Warriors’ showdown.

17. ‘Goosebumps’

A Travis Scott/Kendrick Lamar combo was something that had been long overdue. As mentioned earlier, some of Scott’s mixtapes had drawn comparisons to Lamar, and many fans felt that the two should join forces to create a classic. That is exactly what happened on the 2016 track ‘goosebumps.’ Written during a darker period in Scott’s life, the song features both Scott and Lamar detailing their feelings for a significant other. Fun Fact: The ‘Goosebumps’ video we are familiar with wasn’t the original one. The video had to be reshot, and Kendrick’s clips were taken from the original because he couldn’t make the reshoot.  The video has received 575 million views on YouTube to date.

18. ‘Sweet Sweet’

Another ‘dark’ record off the Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight album, ‘sweet sweet’ chronicles the up and down nature of a strenuous relationship dominated by drug culture. Scott later revealed on Twitter that ‘sweet sweet’ was his favorite track off the Birds album. Many fans believe ‘sweet sweet’ to be one of Scott’s more underrated songs, and the record was later featured in NBA 2K19.

19. ‘Skeletons’

Featuring an all-star crew from Kevin Parker to Tame Impala, The Weeknd, and Pharrell, ‘Skeletons’ was another highly anticipated song from Scott’s 2018 Astroworld album. The single began drumming up interest on social media when pictures of Scott and Parker were leaked on Twitter in 2017. ‘Skeletons’ is rightfully considered one of the best songs on Astroworld and has since gone on to amass over 9 million views on YouTube.

20. ‘R.I.P. Screw’

Paying homage to Houston Hip-Hop legend D.J. Screw, the record is a tribute to Screw’s accomplishments during his illustrious career. D.J. Screw is widely credited with developing the ‘chopped ‘n’ screwed’ sound that has since become so popular (especially in the South), and passed unexpectedly in 2000 leaving the Houston scene devastated. Scott also salutes fellow Houston artists Big Moe, E.S.G., and Big Pokey as a way to further pay respects to the H-Town legends that came before him.

21. ‘No Bystanders’

Linking up with the late Juice WRLD and Sheck Wes, ‘No Bystanders’ is a fun track describing how the ‘party never ends.’ As entertaining as the song was, the record wound up drawing controversy for Scott’s use of the Three 6 Mafia single ‘Tear da Club Up ‘97.’ Scott ended up coming to a resolution with the group in court, and now fans can freely enjoy the song while also remembering the legacy of the great Juice WRLD.

22. ‘Can’t Say’

Collaborating with Don Tolliver in his first introduction to mainstream, ‘Can’t Say’ is a friendly tit for tat matchup between two Houston natives. In the song, Scott and Tolliver go back and forth comparing their experiences of pursuing women and getting high, and Tolliver would go on to perform the song with Scott every night on the Astroworld tour.  Furthering the Houston connection, ‘Can’t Say’ features a sample of Fat Pat’s verse from ‘25 Lighters.’ The single was produced by London Cyr and Wondagurl.

23. ‘Stop Trying To Be God’

In order to collaborate with Stevie Wonder, you’ve got to be special. In 2018, Scott pulled off the impossible by getting the legend to work with him on his record ‘Stop Trying To Be God.’ In addition to Stevie Wonder, the song also features Kid Cudi, James Blake, and Philip Bailey and emphasizes the important message for individuals to not have a ‘God complex.’ ‘Stop Trying To Be God’ was greeted with positive reviews, and the video has 64 million views to date.

24. ‘Butterfly Effect’

Selected as the lead single from Astroworld, ‘Butterfly Effect’ is the definition of peak Travis Scott. Ironically enough, this song was actually a throwaway from the album (along with ‘A Man’ and ‘Green & Purple’ featuring Playboi Carti). The concept behind ‘Butterfly Effect’ was simple; the small decisions we make in life can result in much larger effects. ‘Butterfly Effect’ was produced by Murda Beatz and Felix Leone, and later certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA selling 4 million units in the United States.

25. ‘Stargazing’

Debuting at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, ‘Stargazing’ is the ultimate psychedelic experience. During the song, Scott pays a tribute to a number of historic figures including the late Kobe Bryant, DJ Moby, and another Houston great Big Mo. The song later went on to be certified platinum in the United States.

It’s always hard to narrow down a group of songs considered to be an artist’s ‘best.’ While there were plenty of other Travis Scott songs that could have made this list, these are the ones that we believed to be the Top 25 (at least as of now). One thing is for sure, Travis Scott continues to remain one of the biggest names in the music industry, and at just 28-years-old, more hits are certainly on the way for the young phenom.