Bobby Shmurda teases upcoming new music with Lil Uzi Vert, DaBaby and more

Bobby Shmurda has teased upcoming collaborations with DaBaby, Lil Uzi Vert and more following his release from prison.

The rapper – whose real name is Ackquille Pollard – was freed from jail in New York back in February, after serving seven years behind bars for conspiracy and weapons possession.

Appearing on the Maino Presents: Kitchen Talks podcast, Shmurda discussed an upcoming album that’s in the works, including some high-profile collaborations.

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“Man, we got so much new music coming,” Shmurda said. “We got music coming with the biggest artists, from Maino, Quavo, DaBaby, 42 [Dugg], Uzi, Rowdy [Rebel], Jay. There is so much shit coming out it’s gonna be a hot summer.”

Listen to the interview below.

Following his release from prison, Shmurda said he wants to be a “role model” moving forwards. In a new interview, the rapper spoke about how the letters received from fans when he was in prison impacted him.

“It was 2016, I was in the box,” he told GQ. “A six-year-old girl wrote to me; she said I was her favourite rapper.”

He added: “That just let me know the kids are watching me, and I have to be a role model.”

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Since Pollard was released from jail, streams of his music have increased by over 600 percent. When news of the rapper’s imminent release from prison broke on Monday, February 22, and when he was freed the following day, streams of his music tallied up at 3.7million in the US, up 624 per cent from the previous two-day period.

On the day of his release, Migos rapper Quavo was on hand to personally pick Shmurda up from prison in his private jet.

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Little Simz reveals details of new album ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’

Little Simz has revealed details about her upcoming new album, ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’.

Speaking to The Observer, London rapper Simz explained that her fourth studio album was written largely in lockdown (in London and later Berlin) and that it explores her difficulty in opening up about her personal life in an industry where everyone is expected to be “an extrovert.”

Speaking about lockdown, Simz said: “I spent the time doing what everyone was doing really, just reflecting.”

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She added: “I know that I’m quiet, innit? …I’m just very to myself and I didn’t know how to really navigate that, especially coming in this industry where you’re expected to have this extroverted persona all the time.”

Little Simz
Little Simz CREDIT: Ben Bentley/NME

“I wanted to just let people know like, yo, I’m actually this way inclined…being this introverted person that has all these crazy thoughts and ideas and theories in my head and not always feeling like I’m able to express it if it’s not through my art.”

The Observer revealed that the album is 19-tracks in length with spoken-word interludes. It describes the album as “an epic, Wizard of Oz-style quest as Simz confronts her fears and counts her blessings.”

Despite her difficulties opening up, Simz’ new album sees her addressing personal issues, including a distanced relationship with her father and a relationship.

Simz added: “When it comes to business and my work, I’m not shy at all, I don’t hold back with that. I’m very serious and direct, but other stuff sometimes…”

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“You come out of it, and it’s like, oh shit, now I’ve gotta perform it, and everyone’s gonna know how I really feel…It is a lot, but at the same time, it is super freeing. I feel like I’m ready to gooooo for it. I’m charged.”

Earlier this month, Simz teased a new video that was shot at London’s Natural History Museum.

As shared on Twitter, Simz appeared in the museum’s iconic concourse, with a blue whale skeleton suspended from the roof, alongside a host of dancers.

“end of the month , let everybody know,” she captioned the post.

Whilst not yet confirmed, the video could accompany Simz’ first single from the album, ‘Introvert’, which will be released next week (April 23).

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Lil Nas X wants Rihanna and Bad Bunny on a ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’ remix

Lil Nas X says he wants to feature Rihanna and Bad Bunny on a remix of his hit single ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’.

The song, which has topped charts and also attracted criticism since its release last month, returned to streaming services this week after it was temporarily removed.

In a series of tweets this week, the rapper asked his fans to check if the track was still available to stream on Apple Music in their respective countries. He then retweeted replies from fans who were unable to stream the song.

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Now, the rapper is already looking ahead to potential remixes for the song. In a new interview on Capital Radio with Roman Kemp, he was asked who his dream collaborators for a ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’ remix.

“Rihanna and Bad Bunny,” he replied immediately, to which Kemp responded: “It makes me feel like this may already be in the pipeline.”

“I wish!” Lil Nas X said. “What if I ask for it? I don’t want to jinx it.”

Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X CREDIT: Filip Custic/Press

Earlier this month, ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’ scored Lil Nas X his second UK Number One single. The song has, however, been caught up in controversy since its release, partially due to the religious imagery used in the video. Right-wing voices criticised Lil Nas X for using scenes based on the Garden of Eden and in which he gives the devil a lap dance.

The star has also been accused of copying elements of the video from FKA twigs’ visuals for ‘Cellophane’. Both Lil Nas X and FKA twigs have addressed the claims, with the latter thanking the rapper for acknowledging his inspiration in a conversation with her.

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It was also recently announced that pairs of ‘Satan shoes’ endorsed by Lil Nas X, which allegedly contained a drop of human blood, are to be recalled following a lawsuit from Nike.

The shoes, customised Nike Air Max 97s, were designed without the sportswear giant’s permission upon launch last month.

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Tributes paid to rapper Black Rob, who has died aged 51

Tributes are being paid to former Bad Boy Records rapper Black Rob, who has died aged 51.

The rapper’s death was confirmed by several of his friends and former collaborators including rapper Mark Curry, who revealed Rob had passed away in a video on social media, and singer-songwriter and producer Mario Winans.

“This hit my heart……. we will NEVER forget you brother! RIP BLACK ROB!” Winans wrote in an Instagram post earlier this evening (April 17). His exact cause of death has not yet been revealed.

Last week, a video surfaced that showed Rob (real name Robert Ross) lying down in a hospital bed, saying he was suffering from “crazy pain”.

In the same clip he was asked about how he felt about rap legend DMX, who died last week (April 9), to which Rob said he had “big love” for the Ruff Ryders rapper.

In the days that followed, Rob revealed in another video, shared by DJ Self, that he was homeless and battling health issues including kidney failure, which DJ Self confirmed.

“Oh man, I’ve been dealing with this for five years. Four strokes … I don’t know what to tell you man. Shit is crazy. The shit is hard,” he admitted. “I don’t got no house to live in — except maybe an apartment. Me and my man be trying to get together. I’m telling you man, this shit is strange. It’s hard, you know what I’m saying?”

Born on July 12, 1969, Rob began his career using the moniker Bacardi Rob. He started out as part of rap group the Schizophrenics, alongside Alto and Godzilla, before joining Diddy‘s Bad Boy Records in the mid-1990s.

He appeared on tracks such as the remix of 112’s ‘Come See Me’, Ma$e‘s ’24 Hrs. To Live’, Total’s ‘What About Us’, and Diddy’s (fka Puff Daddy) ‘I Love You Baby’, before delivering the hip-hop anthem ‘Whoa!’ in 2000.

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That same year he released his debut album, ‘Life Story’, which in addition to ‘Whoa!’ and ‘I Love You Baby’ also featured ‘Spanish Fly’, his collaboration with Jennifer Lopez. The album was certified platinum by the RIAA.

He released his second album, ‘The Black Rob Report’, in 2005, followed by the albums ‘Game Tested, Streets Approved’ (2011) and ‘Genuine Article’ (2015).

Tributes have begun to pour in for Black Rob. “RIP to one of Bad Boy’s finest, storyteller supreme, Black Rob,” Skyzoo said on Twitter.

A-Trak wrote: “Damn, RIP Black Rob. Shit is too much,” while Hot 97 DJ Peter Rosenberg tweeted: “Rest In Peace Black Rob … obviously the iconic hit is ‘whoa’ but for me it’s always gonna be about ‘I love you baby’ off the puff daddy and the family album.”

See more tributes to the rapper below:

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Snoop Dogg joins D-Nice on funky ‘No Plans For Love’ remix

Lockdown hero D-Nice has shared a new remix of his track ‘No Plans For Love’ featuring Snoop Dogg – listen to it below.

The famous DJ and former Boogie Down Productions member has been busy keeping people entertained during the past year with his acclaimed ‘Club Quarantine’ virtual DJ sets.

Those that have stopped by his digital gigs have included Barack and Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z, Rihanna, DrakeJoe BidenWill Smith and even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. He won Entertainer of the Year at last month’s NAACP Image Awards for his efforts.

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Now, the DJ, whose real name is Derrick Jones, has returned to putting out original music. Last month, he released the original version of ‘No Plans For Love’, featuring guest spots from Ne-Yo and Kent Jones, and he’s now put out a remix with Snoop Dogg.

Listen to the ‘No Plans For Love’ remix below:

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Last week, Snoop paid an emotional tribute to his late friend and fellow rapper DMX following the legendary rapper’s death.

Appearing on the Today show, Snoop paid an emotional tribute to DMX, likening him to an angel.

“I’d like to say that DMX was wanting to glorify his relationship with God, and he was always pushing the right thing, and he was always trying to help other people,” he said in a brief clip. “And that leads me to believe that’s why God chose His angel to come back home with him. He did his time out here.

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He continued: “He did what he was supposed to do. He influenced, he inspired and he represented. So, DMX, his soul will live on and his music will live on, as well. We thank you, brother, for what you brought to us.”

Meanwhile, the new season two trailer for Mythic Quest has been released and it features Snoop Dogg. 

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Listen to ‘Founders Remix’ of Gang Starr’s ‘Glowing Mic’

DJ Premier has shared a ‘Founders Remix’ of Gang Starr track ‘Glowing Mic’ – you can listen to it below.

In 2019, the iconic rap duo released ‘One Of The Best Yet’, their first album in 15 years and the first since the death of co-founder Guru.

The album was previewed by advance singles ‘Family and Loyalty’, featuring J. Cole, and ‘Bad Name’. The former track got a poignant music video that features Premier, Cole and Guru’s son Keith Casim.

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They followed it up last year with an instrumental version, which featured ‘Glowing Mic’ as a bonus track. The new remix version of the record features a new verse from Gang Starr Foundation rapper Big Shug.

Accompanied by a video starring comedian and former NFL player Spice Adams and Guru’s son Keith Elam, you can listen to ‘Glowing Mics (Founders Remix)’ below:

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Speaking on his decision to release ‘One Of The Best Yet’ in instrumental form, Premier said last year: “The DJ market, especially for instrumentals has never waned. I have always stayed in tune with my consumers because I am one of them. I like to release what I would buy and it seems like I am not alone.

“I feel totally satisfied knowing I made so many people happy; including Guru’s family, his fans and peers who love him and Gang Starr.”

In a three-star review of ‘One Of The Best Yet’, NME‘s Will Lavin called the album “a celebration of life, love and legacy”.

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Meanwhile, Public Enemy returned last year with an explosive new protest song, ‘State of the Union (STFU), produced by DJ Premier.

The emotive track sees P.E. take “a fiery return to the frontlines as they take on Donald Trump and his fascist regime,” according to a new press release.

It continues: “An unflinching statement about the destruction the current administration has unleashed on the country and its people, ‘State of the Union (STFU)’ speaks truth to power while urging people to fight against racism, injustice and oppression with their vote.”

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Blossoms interview Aitch for their ‘Pubcast’ podcast

Blossoms have interviewed Aitch for the latest episode of their ‘Pubcast’ podcast – listen to it below.

As part of the episode, the rapper chose his top 5 songs from Manchester, which have been collated into a Spotify playlist.

The episode, titled The Incredible Look, sees Aitch picking Manchester classics from Oasis, The Stone Roses, and his own track ‘Taste (Make It Shake)’ for his top 5 tracks from the legendary musical city.

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Listen to the new episode below.

Last year, Aitch dropped his latest project in the form of the ‘Polaris’ EP, which followed the BRIT Award-nominated Manchester rapper’s 2019 EP ‘AitcH2O’.

Blossoms, meanwhile, were among the acts to take part in a charity livestream music festival back in January to raise vital funds for the fight against food poverty.

The two-day virtual festival Music Feeds saw Co-op donating a total of £1 million, which will go to FareShare to help fight food poverty – helping to provide around 2.5 million meals – as well as Help Musicians and Stagehand, who both are providing support for musicians and live production workers during the coronavirus crisis.

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Blossoms also recently rescheduled their upcoming UK tour for August and September this year. The dates, which will see the band supported by The Magic Gang, The Lathums and more, were originally set to take place in March 2020, but the coronavirus outbreak in the UK forced those shows to initially be moved to August.

The subsequent live music shutdown, however, prompted the second postponement of those dates in July as the gigs were then moved to March and April this year before now being pushed back once again.

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Burna Boy has been added to Strawberries & Creem Festival line-up

This year’s Strawberries & Creem Festival has announced its second wave of acts, with Burna Boy leading the additions.

Other acts announced yesterday (April 16) included Shy FX and Wilkinson. You can see the full line-up below.

The Cambridge festival, which will celebrate its sixth birthday this year, will take place across two days taking place at its new site at Childerley Orchard on September 18-19.

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You can buy tickets for Strawberries & Creem here.

Back in March, the festival was postponed to September due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Described as “Cambridgeshire’s biggest music festival celebrating youth culture”, the 2021 line-up will feature PARTYNEXTDOOR, Bugzy Malone, Sean Paul, Koffee, PA Salieu, Tiffany Calver and many more.

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AJ Tracey says the grime scene is “not what it used to be”

AJ Tracey has opened up about grime in a new interview.

Speaking to The Guardian, rapper Tracey said he’s unlikely to ever return to the genre unless he was asked to do so by grime veterans such as P Money or D Double E.

Reflecting on his grime roots, Tracey said: “It was a long time ago,” before adding: “Grime is not really lit any more. It’s not what it used to be, and it’s their fault because [people in the grime scene] don’t like change.

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“I was in there, I was open to change, I changed and I’m doing well. They did not want to change and it’s just crabs in a barrel.

“They don’t want to see anyone do better than themselves; it’s a horrible culture and I really don’t like it. I will not be making any more grime music…unless P Money or D Double E asked me to.”

AJ Tracey's 'Little More Love' video
Still from AJ Tracey’s ‘Little More Love’ video

Yesterday (April 16), Tracey shared a new music video for his new track ‘Little More Love’, with the clip honouring the late DMX.

The video picks up where the visuals for previous single ‘Anxious’ left off, opening with a dark city skyline. Tracey then pulls up outside and walks through a nightclub soaked in neon blue light – similar to the opening scenes of 1998 film Belly, which DMX starred in alongside Nas.

The video, co-directed by Tracey himself and KC Locke, also ends with a more explicit tribute to X, with the closing title reading: “In loving memory of DMX, thank you for everything”.

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‘Little More Love’ is taken from Tracey’s new album ‘Flu Game’, which arrived yesterday (April 16).

The 16-track album features collaborations with T-Pain, Kehlani, MoStack, Mabel and more, and follows up the West London rapper’s 2019 self-titled debut LP along with last year’s ‘Secure the Bag! 2’ EP.

In a four-star review of ‘Flu Game’, NME said the album “cements AJ Tracey as a commercially successful rapper still discovering new ways to craft hooks and clever wordplay.”

“…AJ has here crafted another successful project whose streaming numbers, singles and infectious melodies will live on in memory.”

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Public memorial for DMX to take place in Brooklyn next weekend

DMX will be honoured at a public memorial in Brooklyn next weekend, the late rapper’s manager has confirmed.

The hip-hop legend died last week (April 9) after suffering a heart attack on April 2 that was reportedly caused by an overdose.

Speaking to TMZ, DMX’s manager Steve Rifkind said fans would be able to pay their respects to the star at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center arena next Saturday (April 24). The event will take place one day before DMX’s funeral, which will take the form of a private service held at a church in the New York City area.

At present, further details have yet to be confirmed, including how ticketing will be organised and how many fans will be allowed to attend. Barclays Center is open, but can currently only have 10 percent of its usual capacity inside due to New York’s coronavirus restrictions.

DMX
DMX CREDIT: @shotbyjacques

Yonkers mayor Mike Spano offered DMX’s family the use of the outdoor Yonkers Raceway for a memorial event, but they chose to hold it at Barclays instead. The rapper grew up in the city which lies just north of Manhattan and The Bronx.

According to TMZ, Spano still plans to commemorate the rapper in some form, with possible plans including a permanent statue or naming a street after him.

A new song featuring DMX, French Montana and Swizz Beatz was released earlier today (April 16). ‘Been To War’ was written for the series Godfather Of Harlem and found DMX rapping on the chorus: “You tried to catch me motherfucker, I’ma burn this shit here.”

Following his death, streams of the star’s music rose by 928 percent in the US. On April 9 and 10, his songs racked up a total of 75.7million streams across audio and video, compared to 7.36million on April 7 and 8.

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Vince Staples reportedly releasing two albums and a new Netflix show

Vince Staples is reportedly planning to release a new Netflix show in the near future along with two new albums.

That’s according to a new interview with GQ, which states that Staples will release two albums, one of which will be self-titled and is expected this summer.

Another album, called ‘Ramona Park Broke My Heart’, is still being worked on by Staples according to the interview. No further details about the release date of this was given.

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The interviewer for GQ also revealed that Staples is working on a new Netflix show too, although details on this project were scarce.

Vince Staples

Whilst Staples didn’t speak directly about either album in the interview, he did hint that he worked with SAINt JHN some time ago, which could suggest a collaboration between the pair is forthcoming.

“Two years ago…he said to me, ‘[your music is] good, but no one cares.’ I was like, ‘Explain that.’ ‘Everyone’s busy,’ [he] said.

“‘They don’t have time to try to figure out what you’re trying to tell them. You’re just supposed to make them feel better and make them feel good. Put them in a specific space.’ And that’s just something that I’ve been thinking about a lot,” Staples added.

“I’m just learning how to have a balance of everything within the same space and just not necessarily put a lot of pressure on what we create.”

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Recently, Staples reflected on working with the late SOPHIE on his album ‘Big Fish Theory’.

The rapper paid tribute to the artist and producer after SOPHIE’s death was confirmed back in January.

“Can’t even be sad cause cuh would look at me like I was crazy lol,” Staples wrote in the first of four tweets paying tribute to SOPHIE. “Sophie was different you ain’t never seen somebody in the studio smoking a cigarette in a leather bubble jacket just making beats not saying one word,” he continued.

Staples also recalled how SOPHIE “walked in the studio unannounced wearing Mickey Mouse ears on the way home from Disneyland with @JIMMYEDGAR like ‘he has something for you’ played ‘745’ took a water bottle and left”.

“Ima miss the homie.”

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Eazy-E’s daughter says Ice Cube is “dodging” new documentary about her father

The daughter of NWA icon Eazy E has accused Ice Cube of “dodging and ducking” her after he was asked to participate in a new documentary about the rapper’s life.

Ebie Wright is making a documentary surrounding the events of her father’s untimely death in July 1995, but says that Ice Cube is proving to be the project’s biggest stumbling block so far.

In a recent interview with Too Fab, Wright said: “There’s so many people that are talking on this about my father and are in support of what I’m doing, and have been there for me, and just have a lot of great things to say about him, and not just even great things, but also just telling their story… what they know, what they’ve seen, their relationship with my father. How he paved the way for them, opened many doors for them.

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“The only thing I will say honestly, is probably the only person that actually matters to this story I’m telling, who hasn’t talked on it so far, I’m just being completely honest … is Ice Cube.”

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Wright went on to explain she had a close relationship with Ice Cube’s son O’Shea Jackson, who even told her his father was on board.

“You know, it really breaks my heart that he hasn’t spoken on this yet because I grew up with his sons and I have a really good relationship with them,” she said.

“He actually told me that Ice Cube was willing. He was gonna do whatever for me and he was down. Since then, when we tried to book him to do the interview, he’s been ducking and dodging.”

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It should, however, be noted that Wright’s film is titled A Ruthless Scandal: No More Lies and explores the controversial conspiracy theory that Eazy-E was actually murdered instead of losing his battle with AIDS.

In a brief trailer for the project, Wright says there was “so much cover up” surrounding her father’s death.

It is also said that she directly implicates a number of people in his death.

Ice Cube is yet to address his absence, but NME has contacted his representatives for comment.

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