[Hip Hop News Now] Mac Miller concert pays loving tribute

A concert featuring Pittsburgh emcee Mac Miller was scheduled to take place Halloween night, however an apparent overdose on September 7 took his life way too soon. On Wednesday night, a version of that show went on in Los Angeles without him, in his honor.

During the one-night-show, titled Mac Miller: A Celebration of Life, artists such as Travis Scott, SZA, Chance the Rapper, and John Mayer showed out for the late-rapper, with the evening’s proceeds going toward a charity formed in Miller’s name, Mac Miller Circles Fund.

Long story short: The music industry’s finest played Miller’s songs and songs about him. There was no focus on drugs or his famous ex. And…Mac Miller was the final performer…yes…Mac Miller.

Wednesday night’s show ended with a final spotlight shone on a lone mic stand, just before the dimming of the stage lights.

Check out the ending below to last night’s tribute to Malcolm McCormick aka Mac Miller.

         

Even Miller’s ex-girlfriend, Ariana Grande, paid a touching tribute to Miller last night on Instagram, as she appears be wearing his hoodie while cuddling his dog.

R.I.P. Mac Miller #GoneButNeverForgotten

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[Exclusive Interview] Professional Photographer Xavier Thomas (ArtLikeUs) Takes His Shot

What happens when passion meets motivation? Ask Uniontown, Pennsylvania native Xavier Thomas. It wasn’t too long ago that Thomas was finding his way while honing his craft. Now he’s turning his craft into cheese.

A few years ago Thomas launched his own photography brand called ArtLikeUs. The prolific photographer quickly made a name for himself in the Pittsburgh region, shooting Hip Hop heavyweights such as Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg, Young Jeezy and more.

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With building a foundation for his brand, it was now time for Thomas to build. And it wasn’t long before he began to do just that. ArtLikeUs received a major boost after a photo taken by Thomas, of rap veteran Fabolous, was shared by the emcee and mainstream outlets like XXL and The Source.

“I was with Heemi and he had a show in New Castle. He was opening for Fabolous and Red Cafe and we went out there and he did his performance. When Fab came out…at that point he was still the legendary Fab. Like I couldn’t believe I was looking at that nigga. I was in the crowd in low-key awe. At that time that was the biggest celebrity I had ran into.”

Thomas took the opportunity and was able to secure a – pun intended – fabulous shot of the Brooklyn emcee. “I swear it seemed like he walked up to the front of the stage and was looking at me, and I took a picture. It felt like he was almost posing.”

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That night’s photo (shown above) went viral and a new relationship was soon created.

Thomas continued to work with Fabolous and has taken photos of him all across the country. “Fab is real laid back,” Thomas said. “He’s real chill and funny. He’s just a real nigga, but famous as fuck.”

Most recently Thomas worked with Fab in Philadelphia at the Live Nation produced Made In America festival. Thomas said his experience working the music event was highlighted with an unexpected encounter.

Thomas recalled his time during the event at the D’usse Lounge. “It was heavy…and then they said no more pictures and started locking the shit down. I’m at Made In America, I knew what that meant,” Thomas said. “But I didn’t want to stop shooting pictures because if I didn’t shoot it, it didn’t happen.”

“So then I see headlights, and I’m like someone is really violating, that’s wild,” he said. “And then (Jay Z) steps out. And then Beyoncé and Blue get out. So I’m mind-blown right now. And then these niggas come up the steps, and in my head I’m going crazy. But in that situation I couldn’t let it show.”

Jay Z & Fabolous – Made In America festival

While definitely a milestone for the young photographer, Thomas said his most memorable moments range from his time at DJ Khaled ‘s house to spending time with Fabolous to having full access at a Wiz Khalifa concert in Pittsburgh.

“That was like the ‘I made it moment,’” Thomas said about working the Wiz show. “I’m shooting the reason I started shooting. Like the reason I picked up a camera is right in front of me on this stage, in front of thousands of people. And my duty right now is to take pictures…man that shit meant so much.”

Similar to his relationship with Fabolous, his time with Wiz has also taken him around the country to places like Atlantic Records in New York, Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, and even to Wiz’s mother’s house.

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So what’s next for the photographer? The sky is the limit. Right now you can catch him on the road less traveled, striving to reach the next limit, while taking photos of your favorite emcee’s favorite emcees.

Check out more of his featured photos here on our website, and also at artlike.us.com. And stay tuned…because it’s only a matter of time for this aspiring photographer.

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1998: Hip Hop’s Golden Year (A look back at 20 years ago)

As the New Year’s resolutions fall to the wayside, we can look now at what 2018 has to offer.

Let’s begin with yet another celebration: Two decades ago, this very year, more than 60 incredible Hip Hop albums were released.

Following the deaths of legendary emcees Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G., Hip Hop was looking for new leaders, which led to a pivotal time for the culture.

Albums such as Jay Z’s Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life, OutKast’s Aquemini, and DMX’s It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, all dropped in 1998, and respectively – all were deemed as classics.

And let’s not forget Lauryn Hill’s game changing album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which went on to win five Grammy Awards the following year.

Big Pun’s Capital Punishment, Camron’s Confessions of Fire, Noreaga’s N.O.R.E, and Juvenile’s 400 Degreez were all a part of that magical year in Hip Hop as well.

Pretty much every Hip Hop act that was relevant or near relevant in 1998 dropped an LP in 1998…sheesh…DMX dropped two albums, lol.

So step away from your workload and take this needed trip down memory lane…or visit it for the very first time.

Check out the images below and take a look at some of the best albums 1998 had to offer.

[Hip Hop News Now] The Roundtable Empire Unveils Promotional Packages for Aspiring Artists

The Roundtable Empire is proud to announce the unveiling of their new artist promotional packages, which are geared towards aspiring artists who are looking to gain more exposure.

“This is huge for local artists who are attempting to take their talents on the road,” said Ron Fisher, The Roundtable Empire owner and Editor-In-Chief.

“I’ve been looking for ways to better serve the area’s artists and I believe I have put something together that provides the most bang for the artist’s buck,” he said.

“I know all too well about the value of a dollar, and how it takes money to make money,” Fisher said. “The problem for most artists is that they have little to no budget, but the ambition and passion to take them to the next level.

“The Roundtable Empire will now offer promotional packages for as low as $100, there’s literally something for everyone.”

Visit theroundtableempire.com and contact The Roundtable Empire for details on these epic promotional packages. 

“Let’s work together and make history,” Fisher said.

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(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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