Kendrick Lamar surprised all of us with his unexpected release of his latest album, To Pimp A Butterfly. With the album’s strange roll-out it almost seems that Kendrick Lamar himself was also surprised of the album’s release. The album was originally scheduled to drop on Monday, March 23rd; however, Internet trollers stumbled across the album in unique fashion last Sunday when the clean version of the LP was released via iTunes. This was later followed by an explicit release on Spotify, and then finally an official explicit release on iTunes.
Even with its awkward release, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly shattered Spotify’s single-day stream record, breaking the previous record set by Michael Buble‘s Christmas album. The groundbreaking album was streamed 9.6 million times in the 24 hours since its release and is on pace to blow away Kendrick’s previous album’s debut week numbers. This prediction is definitely a bold one, especially with good kid, m. A. A. d city being a critically acclaimed recently certified platinum album. However, don’t be shocked next week when Kendrick takes that number one spot on Billboard’s Hip-Hop charts with ease.
With a new mixtape on the horizon 56 & Runnin’ Entertainment artist Chris DeVille decides to sit down with The Roundtable Empire to discuss his upcoming mixtape, Don’t Worry I’ll Wait. The Johnstown native is truly excited about finally giving listeners the completed project and you can catch all of that in this exclusive interview with Chris DeVille. The mixtape is hosted by DJ Afterthought and features Lady Homi, Royal Dutchie, Jay Lamont and R&B sensation Emanny.
We all know that patience is a virtue, and as DeVille is patiently waiting for his moment he continues to hone his craft which is exhibited on this latest project.
Progress is definitely a process and this mixtape is Chris DeVille’s testament to that. Don’t Worry I’ll Wait drops March 12th and will be available on many online platforms including datpiff.com and livemixtapes.com.
Check out the exclusive interview with “Johnstown’s Own” Chris DeVille below and be on the lookout tomorrow for his Don’t Worry I’ll Wait mixtape.
Director and photographer James “Ruff Bone” White is putting on for his city and in a very special cinematic way. The Pittsburgh native and CEO of The Plug Media has put together an in-depth film documenting the “Steel City’s” Hip Hop culture. In this documentary you can catch Ruff Bone traveling from neighborhood to neighborhood capturing each hood’s movement. Within these neighborhoods you’ll discover some of the city’s hottest emcees.
“People can expect to see a side of some of these artists that you have never seen. This is going to bring out the realness. It’s more focused on artists that’s from the neighborhoods and streets within the inner city,” said Ruff Bone, “I got artists like Hardo, Deezlee, Asco, Owey, and Lua Proc. I got a dedication to Lil Brucey and a dedication to Teflon; both of them got killed. I also have some footage of Wiz Khalifa and Chevy Woods while they were doing their thing in North Carolina.”
Ruff Bone may be a new name to you, but Ruff Bone has been deep in the Pittsburgh Hip Hop game for years. He first got involved with the city’s music scene in the early 90’s and soon began his very own rap career. “Just being around Pittsburgh Hip Hop at a young age was so influential,” said Ruff Bone.
As much as he believed in his emcee skills they would soon take a back seat, as Ruff Bone would find his true passion to actually be behind the camera instead of in front of it. “I always messed with cameras and then it just kind of escalated. This is back in 2004 when people didn’t really have a lot of music videos. When I started taking film serious, I started learning about programs and I put some money behind it to learn more about the craft.”
Kevin Gates & Ruff Bone
What once started as a hobby for Ruff Bone quickly turned into a profession for him and from that grew The Plug Media. “I plug a lot of different people together, that’s why my business is called The Plug.”
The Plug Media offers services such as audio production, photography & video production with graphic design and animation, and also distribution. “I have a projector screen that’s in the window, so we are able to promote artists right there on Carson Street, one of the busiest streets in Pittsburgh.”
Ruff Bone & Mac Miller
Even though Ruff Bone has found his niche behind the camera, he has recently got back on the other side of the camera to appear in two upcoming movies; Concussion starring Will Smith and Southpaw featuring 50 Cent and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Ruff Bone will also receive local producer credit for an episode of Drugs. Inc that was shot in Pittsburgh and will air later this year.
The city of Pittsburgh is in for an epic Pittsburgh State Of Mind weekend. The film will be released at the South Side Works Movie Theater on March 15th at 4pm and will then be available on DVD thereafter. The DVD will be available for purchase on theplugmedia.com and other websites like amazon.com. To celebrate the release of the documentary a CD release party is being held this Friday the 13th at The Rex Theater in Pittsburgh. DJ Afterthought, Stevie B, and Lay Lanskey will host the event. Doors open at 7pm and those in attendance will see performances by Young Junne, Tolly Bandz, Reese Youngn, Owey, and more.
Ruff Bone is definitely a “shooting star” and it looks like he’s taking the city of Pittsburgh along for the ride. If you are in the Pittsburgh area this Sunday be sure to stop by and check out the Pittsburgh State Of Mind movie premiere at the South Side Works Movie Theater at 4pm. Below you can get a sneak peek of the documentary from this trailer for the upcoming film.
Last night’s ‘Silence The Violence’ event held in Johnstown, Pennsylvania was a huge win for the city’s Hip Hop scene. Over 200 people came out to support the positive event brought to the city by 8 One 4 Us. Not only did folks have a great time, but also importantly, no violence took place at the event. The audience saw great performances last night by local artists D-Ess, Kim King, Club Fresh, and 56 & Runnin’ Ent. artist TEN/27.
R&B artist Ambition, formerly 4Play of Pretty Ricky, was also in attendance. His performance sent all the ladies in the building to the front of the stage, especially as he ended his set shirtless. The highlight of the night, however, was when Grammy award winning artist Mr. Cheeks came through and shut the whole scene down with his performance. Mr. Cheeks got the crowd out of their seats and on the dance floor when he performed a medley of his and the Lost Boyz greatest hits. The audience got to hear songs like “Renee,” Lights, Camera, Action,” and “Music Makes Me High” to name a few.
All in all, the event was a huge success for the city of Johnstown. The Roundtable Empire was very proud to be a supporter of the positive event. Shout out to TEN/27 (Trevy Is Famous) for getting us involved. Check out some pictures from the ‘Silence The Violence’ event below.
Be sure to stay tuned to The Roundtable Empire for stories like these and more. #WhereRoyaltyMeetsLoyalty
Today T.I. announced via his Instagram account that a sequel to ATL is on the way. In the Instagram post you can see T.I. sitting at a table with his ATL co-stars Jackie Long, Albert Daniels and Jason Weaver. The four fellas are known as Rashad, Brooklyn, Esquire, and Teddy in the 2006 film ATL. In this same pic you will notice another individual who appears to be music and film director Chris Robinson. The caption to the post is short and simple: “#ATL2 Get Ready.”
Film critic Roger Ebert awarded T.I.’s film debut three stars, proclaiming the film “warm” and admiring the screenplay’s “unforced, genuine affection for its characters.” This sequel is starting to shape up very quickly and if it is anything like it’s predecessor, we should be in for a great flick.
It was also reported today that Lauren London will also be joining the cast of ATL 2. No other information about the movie has been released just yet, so stay connected with The Roundtable Empire and we’ll be sure to keep you up to date on everything Hip Hop.
March 31st marks the upcoming album release date for MMG rapper Wale. The highly anticipated 4th album from Wale is ironically titled, The Album About Nothing. Today the DMV native has released the second single from that album, “The Matrimony,” featuring Usher. The track is a self-reflection piece that deals heavily with young love.
Wale and Usher built a great collaboration with this single, but that’s just my opinion, check the track out for yourself below. “The Matrimony” single can also be purchased on iTunes with a very special message from Jerry Seinfeld.
For every great talent that we encounter there is another talented person waiting for their moment to take a seat at the throne. Let me introduce you to a hard working young man that will soon be able to speak on his view from the top. David Myers Jr. is a phenomenal drummer from Johnstown, Pennsylvania who is making a name for himself in the music industry.
I recently spoke to David, who is currently living in Los Angeles, and we spoke about everything, from growing up in Western Pennsylvania to earning a spot in Frank Ocean’s band. The journey of David Myers’s Jr. is definitely an inspirational one. He is a true testament that your dreams don’t have to end when you wake up.
Life is all about decisions and with great reward there is always great risk. David’s risk was leaving the “friendly city” of Johnstown and heading to the big city of Los Angeles. David journeyed out to L.A. to attend Musicians Institute, a training institution geared towards the performing arts. David decided to apply for Musicians Institute because of what they had to offer. The city of Los Angeles was also very attractive to David because of the opportunities that the city presents. However, a BET commercial was the deciding factor for him. David said that in this commercial a young man spoke about how he went to this same performing arts school to playing in Mariah Carey’s band. A journey very similar to David’s because in just three months into attending Musicians Institute David was contacted by Frank Ocean’s producer. The producer was putting together a band for Frank Ocean and saw David’s work online. From there David got the opportunity to audition for both Frank Ocean and his producer. Two weeks later David got the call that he had earned a spot in the band.
As a member of Frank Ocean’s band David traveled all across the globe. He performed in Germany, Denmark, Russia, Norway, Paris, Amsterdam, Australia, and Iceland playing for crowds as large as 20,000 people. During his first year with the band David experienced a very special highpoint, playing behind Frank Ocean as he performed on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live. That very next year David also appeared on the Arsenio Hall Show as he played the drums behind musical guests 2 Chainz and Chrisette Michele.
This past fall David spent time touring with Norwegian electronic band Lemaitre. After completing his education at Musicians Institute, the 22-year old has been spending his time building his brand as his talent continues to grow and mature. His inspiration, however, has changed in recent years. It’s the “aspiring musician” that gives Myers his inspiration. When I asked David what advice he had for the aspiring musician trying to make his or her dreams a reality. He replied, “Honestly, go for your dreams. Everyone fails, but it’s a part of winning.”
David Myers Jr. is a true talent and a humbled young man. He reminds me of a young Questlove, but his potential may just take him to unchartered territories that even Questlove himself couldn’t imagine. We at The Roundtable Empire salute David and look forward to covering his journey for years to come.
You know you watch it…if not, trust me…you will. I’m talking about Fox’s megahit Empire. With Empire’s ratings increasing for the seventh straight week it has solidified it’s seat at the throne. Wednesday’s 13.9 million viewers can attest to that. Actor Jussie Smollett is a big part of what makes this show a success. The 31-year old plays the role of Jamal Lyon son of Lucious Lyon portrayed by Terrence Howard. Jussie is killing it on the screen and apparently it’s not just his acting. His singing is catching the ear of many and it has just inked him a deal with Columbia Records.
Smollett aka Jamal is now on a label with Beyoncé, Barbara Streisand, and Adele. He revealed to Entertainment Weekly that he plans to start working on some music later in the year. Empire has definitely opened this door for Jussie, and to think, he had to audition seven times before landing the role. The character of Jamal Lyon was particularly important to director Lee Daniels since the majority of Jamal’s storyline is based on Lee’s life. Including the scene where as a young boy he was physically thrown in the trash can when Lucious found him wearing a dress.
At this point we really don’t know what to expect from a project by Jussie, but what we do know is that Jussie Smollett is a name that you might want to get familiar with.
Anyone who is an NBA “hoopaholic” surely knows about the injuries that have been haunting the career of Derrick Rose. The Chicago Bulls star came into the league with what looked to be a promising career ahead of him. However, numerous injuries have interrupted the growth of D. Rose and once again the Chicago native finds himself plagued with yet another knee injury. The injury to Rose’s knee appears to be season ending and may once again leave this star grounded. With Derrick’s future up for debate, Powerade has decided to rally around him and put out a new commercial with a powerful message.
The ad features a young boy riding his bike through the streets of Chicago, while scenes cut back to Rose at the United Center. The scenes give you the impression that anything is possible if you believe. Making this commercial even more potent is the narration by Hip Hop legend Tupac Shakur. Pac’s narration for the commercial comes from his poetry entitled The Rose That Grew from Concrete; need I say more?
Check out the inspiring commercial below and let it all sink in. Also below is another great quote from The Rose That Grew from Concrete.
“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to by keeping it’s dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.”
The timing couldn’t have been any better for the release of Zeke Thomas’ new track titled “Blackness”. The much needed track dropped via Tommy Boy Entertainment, which is home to not only Zeke, but to other artists like Ghostface Killah and Jamar Rogers. The “Blackness” track is a humble dedication to civil rights and the fight for equality. The single also gets a very special feature by Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Pittsburgh emcee and community activist Jasiri X.
An official video is set to drop later this month for “Blackness”. Until then, stream the song below and as always, let us know what you think.