(Exclusive Interview) Hanz On Drops New Music and Talks About his Relationship With the Wu-Tang Clan [Hip Hop News Now]

Staten Island emcee Hanz On is working hard to rejuvenate Hip Hop and supply listeners with that vintage New York sound, all while focusing on his label Hanz On Music Entertainment (H.O.M.E.) — which will be releasing Method Man’s new album — Meth Lab 2: The Lithium.

The Wu-Tang Clan affiliated rapper recently dropped his final album, BARCA. The new project is filled completely with heat and features collabs with Ghostface, Raekwon, Method Man, and more.

“One of my personal favorites is ‘Hate My Hood.’ I felt like that song had a lot of substance to it,” Hanz On said. “A lot of this song is reality for me.”

Other stand out tracks on the album include “Smoke Like We Do” and “Big Sky.”

 

Hanz’ relationship with the Wu is evident in his music.

“We grew up together, or they see me grow up,” Hanz said. “When I started doing positive things they came out to support me.”

After several run-ins with the law and multiple brushes with death, Hanz On transitioned from the man he used to be, to the emcee we know today. He credits his transformation to Method Man, Raekwon, and other members of the Wu-Tang Clan.

“You can never take nothing away from the pioneers,” he said, “you always got to show the people who pioneered this shit for you and made the runway for you gratitude and respect.”

Hanz calls his relationship with the Clan a little brother/big brother type of thing.

“The hard part is just you know, as far as the writing aspect of it, trying to keep up,” Hanz said. “It’s hard trying to keep up, but I’m comfortable around dudes.”

The New York native describes his sound as having a New York edge to it.

“I like to say that I have a New York element to me, that’s why I never really tried to explore all the new shit coming out, you know trap music and shit like that,” Hanz said.

“I kind of look at that music as a down south type of sound. I just want to keep that New York edge at all times.”

“Not that I’m talking down on that music, I just can’t get into it. It’s different, but dudes is doing what they do.”

“I can’t get into the throwing my money in the club an shit like that, I can’t get into that whole wave,” he said. “My wave was shoeboxes and safes, and saving your money…that’s where I came up at. So fast-forward now, my shit is about bank accounts and savings and checkings.”

As you can tell by now, Hanz is all about his business. The emcee turned label exec is very optimistic about where Hip Hop is taking him and also the future of his label.

“We got U-God’s son in the studio, we got Meth’s nephews in the studio, so we got a lot coming for the end of this year going into next year,” he said.

He noted that Method Man’s new album, Meth Lab 2: The Lithium, will be dropping on his label, Hanz On Music Entertainment, in August.

“Everybody stay close to me…we got a lot going on.”

Check out the latest visual by Hanz On, “Big Sky,” featuring Method Man below.

 

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[Hip Hop News Now] Journalist Speaks on his Industry Experiences, Shares Advice, and More

Philadelphia emcee Journalist is a rapper who has been around the block a couple of times. We recently caught up with the Hip Hop vet and he opened up to us about his rap career and so much more. It was great to see the emcee get candid when speaking about the advice he had for others who are trying to make their way onto the Hip Hop scene.

Journalist took time while in the studio to not only give some great advice, but to also talk about his time with the legendary Motown Records, his relationship with fellow wordsmith Canibus, and what he’s up to now.

Check out this exclusive interview with “Phillies Own” Journalist and be sure to share your thoughts below.

 

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(Exclusive Interview) Peedi Crakk Sits Down With The Roundtable Empire

Former Roc-A-Fella artist Peedi Crakk took some time to speak with The Roundtable Empire during our visit to Philadelphia.

The Philly rapper spoke on everything, from the current state of Hip Hop to the demise of Roc-A-Fella Records.

Crakk didn’t hold back.

Watch this no holds barred interview with Peedi below and be sure to tell a friend that Crakk is Back!

 

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(#Throwback Archive) “Henny & Heiny” with The Furious 1 Mr Styles

Originally Published: August 1, 2014

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I recently attended a video shoot for The Furious 1 Mr Styles’ new visual “Henny Heiny”. The evening was chockfull of entertainment and plenty of alcohol. The Western Pennsylvania rapper is evidence that the struggle is real, but so is the Turn Up.

Western Pennsylvania is filled with talented artists and the GMFL general is another great example. Ever since Wiz Khalifa cracked the door for Pittsburgh, many artists have been striving to bust down that same door to make their way to stardom.

The Furious 1 Mr Styles is no newbie to the Pittsburgh area rap scene. In 2009 and 2011 he was voted Pittsburgh Underground Rapper of the Year. Ten years in the game and The Furious 1 is looking for more, which makes the title to his upcoming album Now or Never all the more real.

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The Furious 1’s biggest hit to date is GMFL Records’ “Great D (Dick LeBeau)”. The song pays tribute to Pittsburgh Steeler defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. The song was released during the Steelers deep playoff in 2011 and was received very well from the Pittsburgh area gaining over 2,000 views daily, until that dark day in Pittsburgh when the Steelers lost in Super Bowl XLV. After that loss, the views made a sudden halt, but if you know Steelers Nation like I do, it only makes sense. Just a few weeks ago the tribute reemerged and achieved recent success as it was featured on the NFL Network’s The Top 100 Players of 2014. The song was showcased during Pittsburgh Steeler Ike Taylor’s segment. This feature on the special was huge for The Furious 1 and now it is time to take advantage of that momentum again.

Mr Styles along with his GMFL cohorts Prezident Miller, D to the OG, and Unknown are looking to be the area’s next big thing and even though it seems like work at times, The Furious 1 always makes it look like fun. His “Henny Heiny’ track is his latest tribute and this time around he is dedicating his music to his Saturday nights. The video shoot was dope and trust me, no acting was involved. The squad definitely put on that night and green bottles were everywhere.

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The Furious 1 Mr Styles’ anticipated album Now or Never drops this fall so be on the lookout. In the meanwhile, check out the video that made for one hell of a Saturday night.

 

For more on The Furious 1 Mr Styles click here www.gmflrecords.com

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(#Throwback Archive) Who is Chris DeVille?

Originally Published: June 1, 2014

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Pennsylvania rapper Chris DeVille is a quiet storm bound to blow. With his clever bars and consistent flow this remarkable emcee is definitely industry ready. Rapping is an art form and DeVille paints pictures with his dynamic word play. The 56 and Runnin’ Entertainment emcee makes use of every word as he delivers real rap with his grounded approach.

Chris DeVille grew up in the economically depressed city of Johnstown, Pennsylvania where nothing came easy. Growing up a fatherless child, he would have to become the man his father couldn’t be at an extremely young age.

In 2004, DeVille enlisted in the United States Army. With his tough upbringing, serving in South Korea and Iraq didn’t faze him, but it certainly left its impact. After leaving the Army, DeVille knew it was time to take control of his own destiny. Encouraged by his peers he started flirting with hip-hop and soon fell in love.
Chris DeVille hit the Pennsylvania hip hop scene hard. With hits like “PFOM” and “Who I Am” DeVille gained an immediate audience. Now “Johnstown’s Own” is shadowing his earlier successes with the release of his upcoming album Allow Me To Introduce Myself. The 6 track EP will feature DeVille at his best as he presents to listeners the sound that the game has been missing. Watch the album trailer below.

 

The Allow Me To Introduce Myself album drops this summer and includes such songs as “Intimate Truth” featuring R&B vocalist Emanny and “Dream Outrageous” featuring Royal Dutchie. The “Dream Outrageous” track will serve as the lead single for the album, the official video was released last week. With this track DeVille reminds his audience to never let regrets take the place of your dreams. The inspirational track is a feel good song, released just in time to be this summer’s anthem. Check out the new video below and be sure to share your thoughts.

 

Up next for Mr. DeVille comes his anticipated second single “Intimate Truth” featuring New York R&B singer Emanny. Emanny has appeared on songs with rap kingpins Jadakiss, Styles P, and Joe Budden. He has also worked with R&B legends Patti Labelle, Gerald Levert, Ginuwine, and Carl Thomas. One of Emanny’s biggest songs to date is his 2012 hit titled “I Messed Up” featuring Slaughterhouse rep Joe Budden.

The “Intimate Truth” single will reveal another side of Chris DeVille as he showcases his versatility on the intimate track. “People want the truth from you, but will lie to themselves,” says DeVille as he explained to me the origins of this song.

The “Intimate Truth” single is scheduled to release June 10th, so be on the look out. Also keep an eye out for DeVille’s Allow Me To Introduce Myself EP dropping this summer.

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(#Throwback Archive) If You Haven’t Heard, Trevy Is Famous [A conversation with TEN/27]

Originally Published: July 11, 2014

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I recently spoke with Western Pennsylvania based rapper TEN/27 as he was cruising the streets of Atlanta, Georgia. If you haven’t heard of the Johnstown rapper, let me take a few minutes to get you familiar with him.

You can call TEN/27 a local rapper if you want, but he is far from that, and honestly that statement just adds more value to local rappers, because if you didn’t know…Trevy Is Famous. The 56 & Runnin’ artist has over 87,000 views on YouTube and a following that most aspiring artists would pay for. His latest video “814 Pride” gained over 2,000 views in just a few days, not to mention he is quietly putting his hometown of Johnstown on the map.

The success that TEN/27 has recently been seeing is because of the effort he has been putting in for years. Where some may have taken rhyming as a hobby, TEN/27 saw it as a way out. He started rapping at the age of 13 and hasn’t looked back since. Some of TEN/27’s inspiration comes from those who have influenced him along the way. When speaking with TEN/27 he cited AZ, Nas, Half-A-Mil, Royce Da 5’9”, and Philadelphia rapper Journalist as his biggest influencers. When you listen to TEN/27 you can actually hear those who have influenced him in his delivery and sound. When he lays down a track he delivers much more than what you typically hear in Hip Hop. It’s a breath of fresh air and something that the game is missing.

With there being so much talk nowadays about the current Hip Hop scene and where it’s headed, I had to ask TEN/27, “How do you feel about the current state of hip hop?” “I’m adapting to it,” he replied, “I am currently working on a new single titled “Supa Dupa” that has more of a southern style to it. Be on the lookout for that New Trev City 2 as well.”

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In TEN/27’s young career he has already performed in cities like Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Tampa, Miami, Boston, D.C., Charleston WV, and Cleveland OH. He has also had the pleasure of collaborating with such artists as Shyheim, Ambition formerly of Pretty Ricky, and 56 & Runnin’ label mate Chris DeVille. However, TEN/27 told me that his biggest accomplishment was meeting his idol, AZ, and to perform not only in front of him, but beside him as well.

If you took the time to read this article on TEN/27, do yourself a favor and check out his latest video “814 Pride” which pays homage to his hometown. When asked where his love for his hometown comes from? TEN/27 replied, “The people…I get my love from the people who support me.”

Peep the new video by TEN/27 (Trevy Is Famous) below and be on the lookout for his next single. I heard it already and I’m sure you’ll like it as I did. If all goes as planned his next single is called “Magazine” and it features Ambition formerly of Pretty Ricky. Stay tuned to the movement and “Take Your Seat At The Table” for more interviews like these and much more.

 

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(#Throwback Archive) DJ Afterthought Speaks On His Journey With Hip Hop [Exclusive Interview]

Originally Published: October 27, 2014

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The City of Pittsburgh is known for its blue-collar mentality and that it is home to some of the best professional sports teams in the nation, but what most people don’t realize is that this city is also home to some of the best Hip Hop talent in this country. Hip Hop has transitioned over the years and with that being said it has also repositioned itself throughout the United States. While Hip Hop was born in New York it soon made its way to the West Coast, and most recently you can hear a lot of today’s Hip Hop coming from Down South.

So…where is the heart of Hip Hop relocating to next? [Enter] Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

There is an abundance of musical talent in Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas. Wiz Khalifa cracked the door and now artists like Mac Miller, Boaz, and others are finding their way to stardom. Today up & coming emcees are flooding the streets of the Steel City, but what is an emcee without a DJ? Don’t worry; I’ll answer that for you. The answer is just a person with a microphone. The art of DJing is one of the most essential pieces to the Hip Hop culture. According to a 2012 study, there are approximately 1¼ million professional disc jockeys in the world, and with this article I want to introduce my readers to one particular DJ that is doing his thing in Pittsburgh.

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New Jersey native DJ Afterthought has been putting on for the city of Pittsburgh in a big way. His sets are ridiculous and he controls a crowd like no other in the Pittsburgh area. I spoke with DJ Afterthought a few days ago and we talked about his journey with Hip Hop and much more.

One of the things that stood out to me during my conversation with DJ Afterthought is when he mentioned that he had only been DJing since the age of 20 years old. The fact that DJ Afterthought has only been doing this for seven years is pretty impressive to me, because his skills are undeniable and he gets the job done like a true vet.

Once I found out that DJ Afterthought had only been working on his craft for just a few years I then had to ask him what influenced him to try his hand at the art. He replied, “I went to audio engineering school and I did a lot of different things with music there. I did a good bit of engineering and producing, but I spent most of my time dealing with sound at like shows and in the studio. I ended up DJing because my buddy would have people (DJs) cancel on him all the time and I had a ton of music on my computer and I had the Djing programs already on there. So I went to him and told him that I have the music and also the programs. He then turned to me and said, Well damn…you’re just an afterthought if you’re just doing sound. I was like there ya go, he pretty much just gave me my name and I started Djing from there. It started out by just going to parties and little bars and then I started to evolve a little bit and I ended up going to bigger bars and even bigger shows.”

When I asked Afterthought where his passion for the art form comes from he replied, “I grew up during the 90’s era listening to a lot of Hip Hop and I just related to it. I would see a DJ and say to myself that the DJ is the soul of what is going on. I really found that to be pretty cool and unique.”

DJ Afterthought has become the go-to-guy in Pittsburgh. With honing his craft in just a few years I was curious to find out exactly how he earned that title. “I started out doing very small stuff, trying to get on shows and work with other people, but there wasn’t enough going on. At that point I finally decided to do my own shows. We brought Bubba Sparxxx and the Ying Yang Twins to Butler, Pennsylvania. I then began doing Hip Hop showcases and other events in the Butler area. By working hard, networking, and doing good business with people I slowly but surely worked my way into the Pittsburgh Hip Hop scene,” said Afterthought.

As our conversation continued, DJ Afterthought once again wowed me as he spoke about the numerous mainstream and local artists that he has worked with and/or opened up for. “I have worked with a lot of great artists,” said DJ Afterthought, “Bubba Sparxxx, Ying Yang Twins, Talib Kweli, Ludacris, Chevy Woods, Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa and the list goes on. I have opened up for artists like Kendrick Lamar, French Montana, J. Cole, Juicy J, Travis Scott, Danny Brown, and Action Bronson to name a few.”

DJ Drama & DJ Afterthought

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Afterthought’s talents has not only led him to work with some of the industry’s finest, but it has also taken him all across the continent. “I’ve performed in probably 45 of the 50 states and every providence in Canada.

Right now you can catch DJ Afterthought on his usual grind…doing it way big in Pittsburgh. We talked about some of his upcoming events, which included Smoker’s Club with Redman and Method Man, King of the Burgh, and also DJing for Young Thug. “There’s so many events coming up,” said Afterthought as he chuckled, “We got a Wiz show coming, we got Jeezy coming, we got Y.G. coming, we have Kirko Bangz and Snootie Wild coming…we got so many things going on right now.”

“Honestly it has all been a great experience, from the beginning up to now. It’s a good feeling every time. It’s the same feeling, but every situation has been unique and it has been awesome; even the bad stuff. Looking back at it all, it’s like I still got to do that,” said DJ Afterthought.

To conclude my interview with DJ Afterthought I asked him what kind of advice he had for those also striving to make their dreams a reality. He replied, “Just go and do it. Just make sure that you don’t waste any time doing something that is not going to be productive. A lot of people don’t work hard enough and a lot people just don’t follow through. It’s really really hard to keep working hard when you are not getting anything in return, but if you keep working hard it will eventually payoff.”

DJ Afterthought is a great example of what the Pittsburgh area has to offer, so keep an eye open and one ear to the streets; you’ll be sure to catch this DJ in a city near you.

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DJ Afterthought gave a big shout out to Daily Bread, Hater Magnet, IPH Studios, ID Labs, and Pyrex Vision Entertainment.

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[Hip Hop News Now] Official Trailer to “Atlanta” Released by Donald Glover

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Donald Glover, also known in the rap game as Childish Gambino, has given the Hip Hop community a reason to put the headphones down and turn on the television. The sometimes actor/sometimes rapper has taken Hip Hop from the streets to your living room with his new show Atlanta.

Glover, the executive producer of the show, recently released the official trailer to his new series.

The show is based around Glover’s character who gets involved in the rap career of his cousin, played by Brian Tyree Henry. Atlanta premieres September 6 on FX.

 

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[Hip Hop News Now] BlackSandz Music Group is Taking The Game By Storm

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Founded nearly 20 years ago, BlackSandz Music Group is still making waves. The brand’s founder, Chris “Blendz” Hardison, is the man with a plan and the driving force behind the organization.

“It’s been years of trial and error, tests of loyalty, and the process of elimination,” Blendz said. “We’re in a real good spot now.”

BlackSandz has lasted over the years, matured, and is now expanding, said Blendz, a western Pennsylvania native.

Currently the BMG squad is gearing up for a major run for the industry. Its roster includes Blendz, Versatile, C-Sextion, Metafor Metty, Burg City Twins, Bree Cake, Dange Dizzy, Dumbway, DK, and Nic Angelo.

Helping Blendz on the production side is Trilla G. The duo creates the unique BlackSandz sound and goes by the name Sandboyz Productions.

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Recently BlackSandz Music Group has been busy at work dropping new music weekly. “We Dem Boyz” is a new single that is catching fire with time. The standout track is from the upcoming BlackSandz compilation project Black Mafia. The song features Blendz, C-Sextion, and Metafor Metty.  While I could go into details about the track, I think the title is self-explanatory.

 

Blendz recently released a mixtape titled The Island. The mixtape boasts lyrics and production from the artist, with appearances by his BMG cohorts. Check out the mixtape below and let us know what you think.

“We’re here for longevity. We’re not looking for no one-hit wonder. We’re just trying to keep hitting people with new music — and different music. Everything sounds the same right now, cookie-cutter stuff.  We got our own sound and our own lane. We’re just grinding right now,” Blendz said.

C-Sextion, who’s currently working on his first official solo album, said, “You got to respect our music because we’re telling the truth, it’s real life struggles, real life stories. We’re giving it to you raw…there’s no acting over here.”

Blendz and the BlackSandz movement celebrated a recent accomplishment with the launch of their own radio show. The Plug is a new online radio show that supports indie and underground artists. Download the Support District Radio app to listen in.

The Black Mafia compilation album isn’t the only thing to expect from BMG in the near future.  A new fashion line is coming soon and a film division is in the works.

“We’re working over here, no question. Who knows, we might be popping bottles of own liquor come this time next month,” Blendz said.

In other words…stay tuned…

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[Hot New Music!] Vain – “Hello” (Exclusive Interview)

 

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Queens-based rapper Vain has paid his dues and now it’s time to pay homage to the emcee.  The underground hustler has a gem on his hands with his latest single entitled “Hello.”  The new track is already catching fire on radio with spins on Sirius XM’s Shade 45, New York’s Power 105 FM, and more.

To truly appreciate Vain and what he brings to the game, you have to respect his journey.  To respect his journey, you have to understand his hustle.

Since making a name for himself in New York back in 2006, the NY native has opened for Hip Hop greats like the Wu Tang Clan, Snoop Dogg, and DMX.  He’s also collaborated with mainstream artists like Tony Yayo of the G Unit, Fabolous, Slim of 112 and more.  

“My first record hit radio in New York in 2006, but I’ve been rapping since I was 9-years-old,” Vain said.  “My mother used to make me do old school records on stage.  I used to perform at the parks and do all of that stuff.  I was just one of those kinds of kids.”

From there Vain would embark on a journey that would soon include awards and accolades, but it wasn’t until he went to college that he would truly push himself. “My mother was pushing me like ‘Yo you need to do this music.'”  

In 2006, Vain’s “Toss Da Paper” landed on the radio.  “That’s how I really got started, and I haven’t stopped since,” Vain said. “It’s your ambition after a while.  It just keeps driving you and driving you.”

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Vain defines his sound as educated street music.  “I’m going to give listeners more of what I grew up listening to,” Vain said. “There was more substance to it. It would give you a gauge of what was really going on in the streets.” 

The New York emcee’s music is influenced by rappers like Tupac, Nas, Canibus, Jay Z, and 50 Cent.

During his musical journey he has worked and collaborated with some major artists and Hip Hop vets.  “I got records with Jim Jones, Red Cafe, Slim from 112, Lil Mo, Tony Yayo, the legendary Jazzy Joyce, and I’ve opened up for a lot of major artists,” said the Queens-bred emcee.

“All of this work that I have put in has me to this point right now,” Vain said.   He is currently gearing up to release a new mixtape and has been heating up with the project’s debut single “Hello.”  The new single has found a spot on the charts as it appears in the top 115 songs on urban radio in the country.  

“Come see me on social media,” Vain said.  “Everything is ‘Its Vain’.” “Follow me and you can see me ballin’ out.  I be in the clubs.  I be at the radio stations.  Come check out my life.  I be playin’ sports, I be liftin’ weights, I be eatin’ good,” Vain said laughing.

Check out Vain’s new record “Hello” below and listen for him as he is scheduled to appear on the radio with DJ Self and also on “Sway in the Morning.”

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