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Carl Crawford Talks 1501 Certified’s Future, TikTok, “Where The Freaks” & More

Carl Crawford

In the last decade, 1501 Certified Entertainment has grown from another obscure independent outfit into one of the most talked about record labels in today’s Hip Hop with former baseball star-turned-founder and CEO Carl Crawford at the center of everything. And while the label has weathered a rollercoaster of controversy, the call-up of several of the label’s top stars to the majors, new high-powered partnerships, and several shake-ups in the ranks, Crawford’s mission has always remained the same – to be the Houston’s Barry Gordy with his own Motown Records.

MORE: Carl Crawford Gets Unfiltered About Meg Thee Stallion & More On ‘A Conversation With Mr Jay Hill’

It’s mid-July 2022, seven years since Crawford, 41, created 1501 Certified – the label that produced two of today’s biggest female Hip Hop stars in the platinum-selling Erica Banks (“Buss It”) and the Grammy-nominated Megan Thee Stallion (“Savage”). He’s in Los Angeles, California, eager to embark on a journey with the announcement of his son, Justin Crawford, following in his footsteps by being drafted to Major League Baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies. News of the historic father-and-son moment flooded newsfeeds nationwide, and the positive coverage was a change in headlines for the four-time All-Star that he hasn’t seen very little of since his baseball days.

In the last few years, Crawford has been making headlines for disputes involving either his artists, or major labels. Now, with all the dark clouds almost behind him, he’s ready to pivot his label’s return to the hit factory glory days it’s known for. Proof of Crawford’s transition comes in the newfound success of the viral dance track, titled “Where The Freaks,” in which Crawford made his executive producer debut, by Dallas, Texas natives 1AMBabyJoker of the popular Click 4Ulla Starz, Unique Musik, and 1501-Warner signee Erica Banks.

Today, he sits down with The Source’s Bryson “Boom” Paul via Zoom to discuss the future of 1501 Certified, learning his past mistakes, embracing TikTok, and so much more. The full interview is below.

First and foremost, congratulations to your son, Justin Crawford, on being drafted by the Philadephia Phillies. How does it feel being a father-son duo making it into the pros? 

It feels great – It definitely feels great to be a part of history. I don’t know if you know, but we’re the first father-son duo to be a part of this “group” that our sons were drafted in the first round. We made history with that. Definitely, to be watching him as a kid, growing up, playing – to be able to go through this moment with him – it’s a proud father moment.

Not only that (father-son drafted), it’s very important to Black culture in general, especially with baseball. Being that it is so few of us that are in the sport. Obviously, it is a major accolade that is inspiring to a lot of future generations. So how does that feel to you knowing you are trailblazing a path that will have people following in your footsteps later on?

Yeah, we always want to make a path for other Blacks to come and play the sport. Obviously, the numbers was going down with “Black” players coming into the game. And that was always one of my things to always try to encourage other “Black” players to play– me being a Black player myself – than have my son come along and he’s actually succeeded everything I’ve did so far. Hopefully, that just lets other Black players understand that the game is open for them too as well. The contract shit, the C.A., somebody just turned down almost 500 million dollars the other day, you know what I’m sayin’… people need to know.

You got your son getting into the pros, he’s just starting out. How is that going to help or Is that going to be a distraction for you as far as in the music or is that going to be able to balance both out?

Not going to be a distraction because we have teams put in place. Everybody has their own team … I just tell them what’s what or what direction we need to go in or what not. But I’m looking to my son playing, and can’t wait until he get to Philly. You gotta understand that’s four at bat, they get to walk-up to the plate with music playing in front of 30-40,000 people. So, he definitely going to have 1501 music going up, walking to the plate [laughs]. 

Now, let’s jump into the music. 1501 Certified.  After the first of half of 2022, where do you see 1501 going the rest of the year?

Well, you know we was putting out a couple of artists that we developed. Smoody. We still doing our thing with Erica Banks, putting out new music with her – got new content all the time. Right now, we got this one single that we thinks going to be a smash. It’s called “Where The Freaks,” it’s by a guy name Joker (1AMBabyJoker) – but they have a group called “Click 4Ulla Starz” down in Dallas. The song had been buzzing down there and I liked it. Went down there, put that together, put Erica on it, and it seems like it’s getting a lot of good reviews from all the DJs. I think that’s going to be our song of the summer, where the freaks at, you know what I’m sayin’?

Now you’re “Executive Producer” of the track, and that’s a first for you. How does it feel jumping into that chair?

It’s cool. That’s what I wanted to be, an executive in the business. I been learning as we go. I jumped in face first in the music scene, so everything has been learning on the fly. With my little time I’ve been in here so far, I’ve been able to learn how to put things together. I try to develop as many relationships as I can, and use my resources.

During putting all those things together, I came up with this (“Where The Freaks”). I’ve been courting those kids (Click 4Ulla Starz) for a minute, and really wanted to get into the TikTok lane. I had a party for’em one day, and everybody was making fun of me on Instagram. Saying how I was hanging with kids: “Oh he want to hang with kids and youngsters.” And I’m like … well you know, I guess it will make sense later. And here we are, we got a “TikTok” song and it was all because I wanted to try something different.

If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense and it’s definitely making dollars. How does it feel to you with people chiming in on you being the “elder” person on these social media platforms and making it happen?

It’s crazy because at the big companies it’s some old person running it, you know what I’m sayin. So it’s like it’s the same thing. I guess… I’m so hands-on, but that’s the only way you learn by being hands-on. I really didn’t understand the TikTok world. Didn’t know about the dances, how they make the videos… Know they set the little lights up, stations, rotate, and do all that stuff they do. Had I not brought that stuff to my house, I still wouldn’t have known what it was about. So I’m glad I did it. And I can just take the little “oh he’s hanging with the kids at the moment” thing [chuckles].

But why is it only in Hip Hop that we don’t want to see people “learn” and “evolve.” Like how you did, where you embraced TikTok, and what not?

For with me, I think its because of my situation with baseball, you know. I played baseball and I’ve had success over there, so it’s like, why you don’t do that and stay in that lane. Why you come over here? You’ve already been successful over there but you want to come over here and do this. It’s always that type of thing going on, and then… who knows really. But, at the end of the day, I found something that I like, and if I’m passionate about, I like it, and it sticks to me, I’m going to do it. I’m not going to listen to what people say.

You were big in baseball and that’s what people remember you for but when you try to do music, people want you to do other things. Does it frustrate you that people only want to see you have “limited success”?

Yeah it’s frustrating because you don’t want to put yourself in a box on what you can do and limit yourself. Like I heard all the time: “Oh, he wants to be famous,” “he wants to do this,” “he played baseball already, he already made his millions of dollars, why he want to come over here.” But nobody says that to the other people in the music business and want to come over and be a “baseball agent” or do stuff like that, and just expand their portfolios. Some reason – with me – people want to put a limit on what you can and can’t do … and I don’t like being boxed-in no type of way. I don’t like to feel like I’m caged in, no type of way.  

But you’ve already made so many people from your label successful like it’s so many artists already from your label that you’ve turned into success. Doesn’t that add frustration to you what more do you want me to prove that I belong here?

At this point, I just figured this the way it’s going to be for me all the time. I kinda got use to going against the grain and just not listening to what people say about me, you know, as long as I can work hard and continue to help others reach their dreams. That’s why I came over here (music business), my goal was to come over here and help people reach something that they want to do in life. Just like how someone helped me when I was coming up. As long as I’m still helping others and pushing the agenda forward as what we are trying to do as a culture. I’m gon’ keep doing what I’m trying to do. I’m not going to let the naysayers make me think otherwise.

Let’s educate some people. You are the owner and founder of 1501 Certified Entertainment. But you’re also the Executive Producer of the 1AMBabyJoker, Unique Musik, and Erica Banks hit, “Where The Freaks.” So breakdown the difference of you being the owner of the label and being the executive producer of the song?

Well, as the owner of the label I oversee everything – we’re an independent label – so you’re pretty much involved in everything.

In this case with the Joker and Click 4Ulla Starz, they came down to one of my … I was having these “local talent” mic nights in my house because we have a stage there. And they came, they performed, they did the song, and I instantly fell in love with the song, so I start letting them come back, hang in Houston and do all that type of stuff. Slowly, but surely, we just started gaining a relationship and I thought it be a cool idea to put Erica Banks on the song because they already had their little thing going on and it was live.

I’m the type of person that I love entertainment. If you movin’ and getting the crowd, and the crowd is reacting to you. I love that action-type stuff. It was just one of those things, where I was like: “oh let’s put this together, let’s do this.“ And this could be my way to get into that world and see what else they’ve had done. That’s more of the executive side, it’s about putting the pieces like that.

Being this was your first-time executive producing a track. What made you decide to take a chance with Joker and the gang – who isn’t signed to you? Whereas you could’ve kept it all in-house? 

[Exhales] I decided to take a chance with them (Click 4Ulla Starz) because I “actually” like the song. And on top of that, they love performing the song. That has a lot to do with it, as far as content-wise. Getting the song out there, I knew it wouldn’t be a problem because anytime I want to promote the video or we standing anywhere and the song comes on. Those guys automatically, they gonna post a lot, they gonna turn up as soon as they hear the song – it’s like second nature to them. And all I have to do is my behind-the-scenes work that I naturally always do. You put those things together and you get what we got bubbling right now.

With this song invading TikTok the way it is. It leads to a potential project, surely, so break down the compilation project you have in the works?

Well, the thing is, with Click 4Ulla Starz, I purchased the song from those guys. I haven’t signed any of them yet, I guess little labels going to try and get them [laughs]. But, just like I said, to gain some trust and relationship-wise, I said I’m move slow with these guys, so I got involved with the song, first. Hopefully I can get everybody signed because I would like to put out project with’em. I’ve told people about them, but just like how I didn’t understand and realize the TikTok world, a lot of them don’t understand what I’m trying to present to them, so they have to wait and see. I hope to get it to a point where they come through me and then I can show everybody what I was talking about and what I saw. Hopefully, I would like to put a project out with Unique and Joker. 

For 1501 Certified, all the ups and downs the label has went through is public knowledge. Why are you still excited to scout artists?

It’s just something I like to do. It’s just like playing sports, I have a passion for it, you know. You can go through things in sports – especially in baseball – where you have to learn how to accept failure. You’re only going to be great 33-out-10 at-bats. That’s 30% at a time, so 70% of the time, you miserable. Coming over here (music business), it’s the same thing. You know stuff going to happen. You just gotta brush yourself off and get ready. Long as you have a passion for it, you wake up every day, you want to work harder than everybody still. You want to see results. Long as that is in me, I can look pass everything that’s happened knowing I’m getting to another destination that’s going to elevate me to a position where I want to be.

With the growth of 1501 Certified, it’s seen so many great things happen along with many controversial things that’ve happen.How do you plan move pass the past and learn from your mistakes as well as your artist’s mistakes, and grow into something that is revered heading into 2023?

The way to get by the past is to just keep working like I’ve been doing. Put things behind me. I’ve learned a lot. I always say, “God gave me my lessons in the hardest way for them.” That’s the only way you gon’ learn fast. It’s like going through that first serious break-up when your like 18-19-years-old. By the time you get to 20-22, you know what to do a little better.

In this case, I’m thankful for my hardships that I went through because I feel like we’re going to be around still. I know what to do in the future, I handle my artists differently. I know how to take different types of approaches and I just know to keep going – that’s the main thing. Like I say, if I’m able to still move an inch in this business, I’m keep going because I have a passion for it. And I feel like I can really help others and that’s what I came to do. When I signed up for this, the goal was to help as many people out of Houston as I could. And, you know, I think I did my part so far.

You started 1501 Certified in 2015 but – in a previous interview – you mentioned before you didn’t really see it start growing until 2018. Just you personally, how’ve you handled the growth in yourself while growing this label?

You could say it’s growth though. You could say it just me realizing certain things, but it changed my mentality a lot because, coming from baseball – and even being up here with my son. Just coming back around baseball for a week, seeing how everything is easy-going, nice, and you know everybody is cool. And then, you come to the Hip Hop community, it’s like the person that reach out to shake your hand, you gotta look at his hands and his eyes, just see what he up to, and it’s like that with everybody. And I hate that I’m like that now because I always want to look at you and see the goodness in everybody first but, unfortunately, the Rap game made me look at everybody sideways.

As far as personal growth. Have you come to terms with your mistakes in the music business?

Yes, I’ve come to terms with everything. I’ve come to terms with everything that’s happened to me. I think I have to be able to grow, elevate, – I can’t be upset about nothing. I took my lick, and I kept on tickin’. Which, you can call it a “lick,” but it wasn’t necessarily my mistake, I just trusted the wrong people. So I’ve learned from that. It is what it is, it was my initiation into the music business, is what I was told [laughs].

MORE: Megan Thee Stallion Sues 1501 Again Over “Album” Definition, Claims Label Never Paid Her

Smoody, Erica Banks, Megan Thee Stallion, 1501 Certified is definitely trying to make a statement in Hip Hop with a roster of great artists already, but we want to know, what kind of statement are you trying to make with the upcoming compilation album?

I’m just trying to put my artists out there. I’m an independent label, in which we’re just trying to get our artists known. We got some dope artists that I think you guys will like. I’m in the development stage with them, and we’ve come to learn that we specialize in developing an artist. Once we get them developed, we want the labels and get them going. But definitely, we got some good music coming out of East Texas with Smoody. We got D-Raww that’s coming up, and, of course, Erica Banks doing her thing. We rolling on all cylinders right now. This song with Click 4Ulla Starz – Joker and Unique. We excited for what’s coming up.

Can you give us any idea on a release date for the compilation album?

Nah. We don’t have a release date on that (album) yet. We’re still working right now. But we definitely focusing on this one song, “Where The Freaks.” We just released a single with Smoody called “HBCU,” and that’s got the drumline sample in it. And people like that one too, it just a summertime hit. We like to make fun, party music around here.

You’ve always been tied in with female artists in the past. You’ve signed a few, you’ve lost a few. You obviously have Erica Banks doing her thing, you’ve been instrumental in Megan’s success. But I want to ask you, throughout all the ups and downs, do you still have plans to scout female talents to 1501 Certified?

Yeah of course. I’m kinda like the guy that can do the girl artists, you know. But, I’m gon’ just take my time this next time. Take my time and search for the right one – the right fit. The one who’s really… the next one is really “the one.” So that’s where I’m at with that situation.

Lastly, I want to ask you, you’ve been through it all in these last few years with 1501 Certified. How do you maintain positive mental health as a successful Black man in this music business?

Man to be honest with you, and I never like to get too religious or nothing like that, but you just have to have a relationship with God. Pray at night, I do a lot of praying, talking to myself. I believe in a higher power. And I believe that when you live a certain way, and you live right –  you know when you did something right, you know when you did wrong. You have to be honest with yourself all the time. And just know that things going to be better, you just have to know things going to be better. Things change. At some point, things will change for the better. Like right now… I’m seeing that sun come from behind the cloud, and it feels good to have the sun shine.

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Warner Music Group Announces 300 Elektra Ent.

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A super record label has arrived.

Warner Music Group today announced the creation of 300 Elektra Entertainment – 3EE – a new frontline label group that brings together the multi-genre power of 300 and Elektra.

Headed by Chairman & CEO Kevin Liles, this supergroup of iconic, indie-spirited brands includes 300, Elektra Records, Fueled by Ramen, Roadrunner, Low Country Sound, DTA Records, Public Consumption, Young Stoner Life Records, Sparta, and 300 Studios.

MORE: SOLD! Warner Music Group Acquires 300 Entertainment

Under the umbrella of 3EE, both 300 and Elektra will maintain their independent identities and cultures. Overseeing 300 Entertainment are newly appointed Co-Presidents Rayna Bass and Selim Bouab, while Mike Easterlin and Gregg Nadel will continue to serve as Co-Presidents of Elektra Entertainment (formerly Elektra Music Group). In addition, a 3EE central hub of expertise will be established to bring together the deep knowledge and wide experience spanning the 300 and Elektra teams. 

As part of the launch, a new logo and mission statement have been unveiled, drawing on 3EE labels’ distinctive DNA and the new company’s unique indie-major philosophy. The logo combines elements of both brands, including 300’s signature red “3” and the stacked Elektra Entertainment logo. The mission statement makes clear 3EE’s creative identity, heralding the company as a family of labels driven by “the power of people, the power of service, and the power of action,” with the “mindset of an independent and the muscle of a major.”  

“Every single brand within 3EE was born as an independent, entrepreneurial label made up of music-lovers who take risks, break rules, and disrupt culture,” said Liles. “The mission of 3EE is to reimagine our value proposition to artists and creative partners globally. We fuel the spirit of our labels’ identities through the creation of powerhouse brand management teams that span genres and cultures. Our people are handpicked because they all live what they work and love what they do. Every label within the 3EE family is driven by a unique point of view and purpose, and, at the same time, they all benefit from our years of collective expertise, wisdom, and influence. We call this #BiggerFamilyBusiness.” 

MORE: SOLD! Warner Music Group Acquires 300 Entertainment

“From the day we walked in the door at 300, we’ve been on a mission to sign original artists and nurture a brand that stands out from the crowd,” said Bass and Bouab. “Mike, Gregg, and the Elektra team share our artist-first philosophy, and the combination of our companies creates an exciting, collaborative environment where artists across the musical spectrum can be anything and achieve everything.”

“From Elektra to Fueled by Ramen to Roadrunner and throughout our label family, we’re defined not by one single identity, but by a collective of distinctive brands,” said Easterlin and Nadel. “We’re very excited to be joining forces with Kevin, Rayna, Selim and the entire 300 team to build a company that nurtures authentic artists, songs, and visions from conception to global greatness.”

For more on 300 Elektra, visit the official website.

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Young Guru Joins Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment

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Long Island University today announced Grammy Award-winning audio engineer and producer Gimel “Young Guru” Keaton has joined the Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment as Director of the Music Technology, Entrepreneurship & Production program.

The Roc Nation School and Young Guru also announced a full-tuition scholarship to be awarded to one highly qualified student. Apply for the scholarship today, here.

Keaton is an accomplished music producer, record executive, audio engineer and DJ who works with the music industry’s top artists, spanning from JAY-Z to Rihanna to Mariah Carey. He has garnered multiple Grammy nominations, and in 2019 Keaton won a Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album for mixing the album Everything Is Love by The Carters. 

Keaton co-founded and co-leads the label Jamla, which houses Grammy-nominated and critically acclaimed lyricist Rapsody, and newcomers Reuben Vincent and Ian Kelly.

“Education is a valuable platform to show talented students how to navigate the music industry, preserve music history, and share their culture with the world,” Keaton said. “Joining the Roc Nation School is an incredible opportunity to offer my experience as a guide for up-and-coming artists and producers.” 

Keaton previously served on the faculty of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music as an artist-in-residence and has lectured at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Music and Emory University. 

“The Roc Nation School is the premier destination for the next generation of professionals in the music industry who have the opportunity to learn directly from top executives and artists,” said Long Island University President Kimberly Cline. “We are thrilled to welcome Young Guru to the Roc Nation School’s leadership team. His decades of experience and expertise in the music business will be an incredible asset to the school.”

The Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment offers undergraduate degrees in applied music; music technology, entrepreneurship and production; sports communication and marketing; and vocal performance. It also offers a BS, MS and PhD in sports management.

Keaton joins a growing roster of exceptional artists and industry elites such as super producer 9th Wonder, visiting professor and artist in residence at the Roc Nation School, who teaches courses in hip-hop history and the making of an album.

The Roc Nation School Speaker Series features nationally and internationally recognized speakers who are invited based on their expertise and accomplishments providing Roc Nation School students with incredible opportunities to interact with these global leaders. Recent speakers include:

·       Andrew Gould: VP, Music Publishing, Roc Nation

·       Adam Silver: NBA Commissioner

·       Don Garber: MLS Commissioner

·       Desiree Perez: CEO, Roc Nation

·       Michael Rubin: Executive Chairman, Fanatics; 76ers Partner

·       Keith Sheldon: President, Hard Rock

·       Bernadette McGlade: Atlantic 10 Conference Commissioner

·       Jon Platt: CEO, Sony Music Publishing

·       Adam Petrick: Global Director of Brand and Marketing, Puma

Roc Nation Hope Scholarships provide 25% of enrolled students with full tuition and individualized support and mentorship. The Roc Nation Hope Scholars are selected from a pool of academically competitive, first-time freshmen with the highest need.

International sportswear brand PUMA announced the establishment of the PUMA Hope Scholarship Fund for students in the Roc Nation school. Previous scholarship opportunities have also been sponsored by NBA Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball and artist Megan Thee Stallion.

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DDG Set To Fight PNB Rock In Celebrity Boxing Match

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More celebrity boxing is coming this summer with the announcement Thursday evening (June 16) of popular recording artist and recurring celebrity boxer DDG (“Moonwalking in Calabasas”) set to return to the ring to face off against chart-topping Atlantic Records recording artist and first-time celebrity boxer PnB Rock (“Selfish”) on July 30 in Los Angeles, California at Crypto.com Arena and Pay-Per-View.

“I said I wasn’t getting back in the ring unless it was another artist,” tweets DDG on Twitter with a promotional flyer featuring PnB Rock and himself. “LETS GET IT!!! Get tickets now.”

MORE: DDG Returns With New Single “Storyteller,” Reveals US and Europe Tour Dates

Brought to you by Social Golves Entertainment and Bash Boxing, the two hip-hop stars will join as co-headliners of the upcoming boxing match between Los Angeles recording artist Blueface and NBA champ-turned-podcaster Nick “Swaggy P” Young. Bout against PnB Rock marks DDG second celebrity boxing match with a decisive win against YouTuber Nate Wyatt in June 2021 at Battle of the Platforms in Miami.

In his fight against PnB Rock, DDG hopes to inspire the end of senseless gun violence in today’s hip-hop that has taken the lives of so many prominent hip-hop stars in recent years. He encourages other artists to join celebrity boxing and settle their differences with their fists, instead of resorting to gun violence.

In a follow-up tweet, DDG tweets with money bag emojis: “This shit more than a boxing match, it’s a movement! Rappers put the GUNS down & put on the Gloves. Ni**as out here killing for free when u can just punch it out for a BAG.”

MORE: PnB Rock Shares ‘2 Get You Thru The Rain’ Ep Feat. Young Thug and More

PnB Rock has yet to comment on the upcoming bout at press time.

DDG is scheduled to perform headlining shows in Chicago, Atlanta and New York City leading up to the fight with more show announcements on the way.

In related news, DDG and popular recording artist Toosii agreed to a boxing match last summer after the two exchanged words over DDG’s ex-girlfriend Rubi Rose. More as the story develops.

Tickets for DDG vs. PnB Rock are available now at AXS.

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Young Thug-Protege Lil Keed Dead At 24, Hip-Hop Mourns

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Young Thug-protege and 300 Entertainment/YSL Records-signed recording artist Lil Keed passed away at Burbank Hospital in Los Angeles on Friday (May 13) — according to the artist’s family members, girlfriend and reps.

The cause of death is currently unknown at this time. More on the passing as information becomes available. Lil Keed’s brother and Atlanta rapper Lil Gotit and longtime girlfriend Quana Bandz, who also shares a child with Keed, shared tearful tribute messages with fans via Instagram on Saturday morning (May 14)

MORE: EyeOnEyez Releases new single “SHYNE” Ft. Lil Keed and Frankie Smallz “Listen Here”

“Can’t believe I seened u die today bro I did all my cries I know what u want me to do and that’s go hard for Mama Daddy Our Brothers Naychur and Whiteboy,” wrote Lil Gotit in an Instagram post early Saturday morning (May 14).

“I love you sooooo much baby what I’m post to do with out you I can’t breathe right sleep right nothing I don’t even wanna talk to nobody Keed I can’t take this,” shared Quana Bandz in the captions of a tribute post on Instagram with a series of photos and videos with Lil Keed and her together. “What am I supposed to tell Naychur? What am I gone tell our new baby ? Keed I just told you the other day if you left me with these two kids I was gone loose my mind my Mind is lost baby. You told me everything I’m sooooo sorry I didn’t fly to LA I know I could’ve saved you baby you really showed me all you needed was MY LOVE you gave me that I gave you that. IM SORRY please just tell me this a dream come home. YOU PROTECTED US. Whyyyy DADDY. You a fighter bru I was on my way I was RAQHID …..these 8 years you been in my life you showed me nothing but love I’m sorry baby I’m sorry for whatever I did anything I did I’m sorry let me make it better You my backbone you my spine you my heart baby IF I DONT KNOW ANYTHING I KNOW YOU LOVE ME & MY BABY MORE THAN ANYTHING IN THIS WORLD 💚😢 WE fight we argue but you know we was what each other needed… YOU GAVE ME THE WORLDDDDDDDDD. Anything I wanted …. Needed you got it / did it for me with no questions ask! BABY you was just on the phone with me in the bed HOW you leave like that without saying that was gone be your last goodbye your last I love you our last FaceTime ! SMH baby please tell me I’m dreaming I wanna wake up and this shit be a dream. CALL ME BACK DADDY. My head spinning 😵💫 my body numb I don’t even feel myself typing Raqhid you know I’m so weak for you baby WEAK AS HELL for you . SOOOOOOO WEAK SO WEAKKKK SO FUCKINNNN WEAK FOR U BRO THIS SHIT HERE HIT HARD. WHO IM GONE MAKE LOVE TO NOW ???? WHO GONE KISS ME IN MY SLEEP ALL NIGHT? Who gone rub my Belly ? RAQHID WHY U LEAVEEEEE ME MAN. You was my boyfriend my best friend my slime my twin my ride or die! WHATEVER u on you know I was on it 10x Worst. THESE FUCK ASS NIGGA KNOW THEY COULDNT FUCK WITH U AND THEY HATE THEY. MY BD NEVER LACK YALL PUSSY ASS NIGGAS DONT NEED TO BE ACTIN LIKE THIS YALL BODY EITHER. GOD WANTED MY BOY HOME he had better plans. SLAT IN PEACE PRINCE SLIME 💚 WE LOVE U FOREVER I hope I have a son he gone be your 1st JR🤰🏽👨‍👧 #LONGLIVEPRINCESLIME ❤

Hailing from Atlanta, Lil Keed broke onto mainstream hip hop with his trio of breakout mixtapes in the Trapped in Cleveland series. After catching the attention of Young Thug, Keed signed with 300/YSL in 2020 and appeared on the YSL compilation albums Slim Language and Slim Language 2. Keed recently appeared on his brother and Ty Dolla Sign’s collaboration “Rich $hit.”

Along with Lil Gotit and Quana, other hip hop stars paid tribute to the late-artist, including Lil Yachty, Trippie Redd and Westside Gunn. “Damn Keed” tweet Gunn on Twitter with sad face and hand in front of his face emojis. Trippie Redd shared a video of him and Keed on stage with the caption, “Me and Keed talking to ummmm…”

See more tributes below:

MORE: Jimmy Bolt & Lil Keed Join Forces for “Wolves”

Lil Keed was working on his upcoming album before his passing. No official word on the forthcoming Lil Keed project’s status or release schedule at press time.

Lil Keed is survived by his daughter, Naychur. He was 24-years-old.

We at The Source would like to send our prayers and condolences to the family, friends and fans of Lil Keed. Rest in peace.

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T-Pain Taps Lil Jon, Hannibal Buress, O.T. Genasis For Inaugural “Wiscansin Fest”

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While his new single “That’s Just Tips” moves around hip hop, T-Pain, 37, joins the likes of J.Cole, Pharrell and Jay Z with the launch of his very own music festival, titled “Wiscansin Fest,” in Wisconsin this June.

MORE: T-Pain Teams with TIDAL for ‘1-833-4-TIPSONTIDAL’ to Give Tips to Emerging Artists

The award-winning recording artist and wife, Amber Najm, announced Wednesday (May 11) via social media that the inaugural Wiscansin Fest will debut June 11 in Milwaukee at Rave.

The “Buy U A Drank” creator, who has been building up anticipation for the first-ever festival with a 19-city “The Road to Wiscansin Tour,” names a 17 acts line-up with the announcement that includes chart-topping superstars and longtime collaborators of the Tallahassee native, featuring Lil Jon, O.T. Genasis, Bleu (Formerly Yung Bleu), K Camp, and Hannibal Buress with a DJ-set as the moniker Eshu Tune.

“The first of its kind @nappyboyentertainment presents a line up that I hand picked myself,” T-Pain wrote with celebration emojis in the Instagram caption with a photo of the Festival flyer. “This one means so much to me. Go get your tickets link in my bio before they sell out. See you on June 11th in the only place that felt right- Milwaukee, WISCANSIN.” 
“Wiscansin Fest!! @tpain’s first ever festival and I’m so proud of him. Y’all get your tickets now!!,” captions a proud Amber Najm in an Instagram post promoting the upcoming festival flyer.

MORE: T-Pain Calls Out Dallas Fans for Low Ticket Sales

The word “Wiscansin” originates from T-Pain’s verse on the 2008 classic “Can’t Believe It” featuring Lil Wayne from his gold-selling third album, Three Ringz (Jive). T-Pain changed the pronunciation of the state, Wisconsin, to “Wiscansin” to make a rhyme with “mansion. The success of “Can’t Believe It” spawned a remix with Justin Timberlake. In 2018, T-Pain launched a collegiate-themed apparel line, Wiscansin University, inspired by the word. 

Headline by T-Pain-himself, see the complete line-up to the inaugural Wiscansin Fest below.

T-Pain

Lil Jon

Bleu (Yung Bleu)

K Camp

O.T. Genasis

Kid Ink

Juvenile

Mija

Eshu Tune (Hannibal Buress)

Erica Banks

Softest Hard

Trap Beckham

Krizz Kaliko

Young Cash

Shonte Renee

The Black Amigo

DJay Mando

Very Handsome Billy
VIP and general public tickets for Wiscansin Fest are on sale now. You may purchase your tickets here.

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Mixing Comedy & Hip Hop Has Helped David Shine Go Beyond Viral

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Allow me to re-introduce myself.

Weird Al Yankovic, Lil Duval, Mike Epps, and most recently Kountry Wayne – as his alter-ego Drip – there’s a well-documented history of successful comedians-turned-recording artists. And with his skits buzzing at a fever pitch right now, it’s clear to see that next up in the long-running transition is New York-based comic David Shine

MORE: [WATCH] T.I. Gets Booed During Comedy Show at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center

A comedic style that is energetic, goofy, with a dash of intelligence. Entering the game in 2014, Shine accrued a grassroots following with a unique intelligent sense of humor, original social media sketches, and trendy antics that have gone viral on multiple occasions. Due to his popularity, Nick Cannon enlisted Shine as a cast member of season 14’s popular variety show “Nick Cannon Presents Wild’N Out.”

After being spotlighted on one of the biggest stages in today’s comedy, David Shine seized the opportunity and knowledge to elevate his skills by adding his love for music to the comedy and began dropping music videos. “Dad Now” (2018) was the rising star’s debut music video, and generated over 32,0000 views; however, it wasn’t until his trendsetting visual for “Stud Luv” went viral the following year was it solidified that Shine ascended to the next up. 

Like the comics-turned-entertainers before him, David Shine’s parodies, music videos, and stand-up skyrocketed during the pandemic, which has, professionally, made 2022 his biggest year yet. And not slowing down, Shine continues to rise using the same productivity and charm – equipped with newfound star power. 

MORE: Kendrick Lamar Set To Produce Comedy Film With South Park Creators

Last August, Shine released his debut album, Slow N*gga Melodies on A3C Entertainment. The 15-song debut blends comedic scenarios and gimmicks over catchy productions that will have listeners laughing nonstop from beginning to end. The project also features a guest appearance by buzzing comic, Derrick “DT” Thompson. The debut includes previously released hits “Stud Luv” and “Pancake Tiddies,” and spawned new fan favorites “Sunday Sermon,” “Bite Tyson,” and “Dusty.” 

For daily updates on everything David Shine, follow him on social media.  

Feel free to check out Shine’s new album, Slow N*gga Melodies, below.

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Antonio Brown & Floyd Mayweather Hit The Studio

Antonio Brown & Floyd Mayweather Hit The Studio

Drake said it best on 2010’s “Thank Me Now”: “Damn, I swear sports and music are so synonymous / ‘Cause we want to be them, and they want to be us.”

Could we be getting a Floyd “Money” Mayweather verse in 2022? The undefeated boxing legend was photographed in the studio with popular NFL Wide Receiver Antonio Brown that has, of course, gone viral. The photo surfaced on Thursday morning (Mar 24), which shows AB and Floyd laughing with the billionaire in front of a mic, appearing to be rapping. No audio has surfaced; therefore, a collaboration between the two is merely speculation.

MORE: Antonio Brown Links With Young Thug for Video Shoot

The possible collaboration would mark Mayweather’s music debut. Mayweather has been around hip hop his entire career, even as far as launching his record label, TMT, several years ago. However, the label has yet to produce a single release.

AB has been recording in Miami this week, preparing for his forthcoming debut album. AB has been in album mode since his controversial abrupt exit from his former team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, during last season’s game against the New York Jets in January. The Buccaneers and AB have parted ways since. After the departure, AB released his new single, “Pit Not the Palace,” which has already accumulated over million views on YouTube.

MORE: Antonio Brown Says He and Kanye Are “Extremely Serious” About Buying the Denver Broncos

Earlier this month, Antonio Brown linked up with Young Thug for a forthcoming music video. No official word on the release of the collaboration at press time. Brown is scheduled to perform at this year’s Rolling Loud in Miami.

Outside music, Brown, arguably the best wide receiver in the league, is set to have surgery on his ankle and begin searching for his next NFL team. Brown’s music is distributed via Vydia. More on the story as it becomes available.

Check out Brown’s latest music video, “Pit Not The Palace,” below.

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Jim Jones, Serena Williams & More Walk Runway in Off-White Paris Fashion Week Show

Jim Jones, Serena Williams & More Walk Runway in Off-White Paris Fashion Week Show

Jim Jones adds high-fashion runway model to his multi-hyphenate profile as he hits the runway with an all-star cast as part of this year’s Off-White show on Monday (February 28) at Paris Fashion Week. 

The Harlem native surprised fans of his involvement in the Fall-Winter 2022/2023 by Virgil Abloh (In memoriam) show with a series of Instagram posts that ranged from the entertainer eating in Paris to sitting in the make-up chair, preparing to walk to walking the runway in an all-egg plant Off-White outfit with a lavender undershirt. Jones walked with icons in both fashion and sports like Serena Williams, Cindy Crawford, and Kendell Jenner.

MORE: Dave East Walks for Hakan Akkaya’s NYFW Runway

“Talkin bout my walk told u I’m a #RunwaySteppa I’m back on my DiddyBop had to put that shit a n real quick,” Jim Jones wrote in an Instagram caption with video of him posing in front a chandelier, in the center of the Off White showroom. “yal mad cause I’m a runway model a rapper and a trainer lol Came to the @off____white fashion in my @off____white turn it to a splashin show.”

It was a proud moment for Jones and Hip Hop as well. The Harlem native was showered with praise by peers and fans alike in the hip hop community on social media throughout the entire fashion show. Commentary ranging from celebratory to comic relief.

“I’m just gonna say this you get it from your mama! Do the damn thing! You got to love him! Because I love him all the way up to God,” Mama Jones, Jim Jones’ mother, comments.

“Legendary sh*t,” Yella Beezy comments. “1 time for Harlem @jimjonescapo,” Kanye West captioned soon after in an Instagram story showing Jim Jones walking the runway. “Walking like you had it on you and the boys was getting close,” followed media correspondent Wayno, who wrote on Jim Jones’ Instagram post.

“Gooooooooo jimmy,” Fat Joe commented with fire emoji.

“cat walk capo!” commented Angie Martinez with three fire emojis.

“I never saw you walk like that before? Lol,” Maino comments with wide-eyed face emoji.

“The Artist Formerly Known As Capo,” Dave East comments with six hilarious laughing-faced emojis.

MORE: North West Makes Kim Kardashian Proud With Runway Debut

In other news, several days before the show, Jones shared that he was in the studio with the Migos working on new music. The two acts recently collaborated on Jim Jones’s latest project Gangsta Grillz: We Set The Trends, hosted by DJ Drama. “@djkhaled voice another one wit @Migos 😂 in the studio layin down #WeSetTheTrends youtu.be/BPxO1JkTXXs,” he tweets.

Want to see all the pieces in the OffWhite Paris Fashion Week show? Watch the whole show below.

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1TakeJay Drops ‘The Morning After’ Mixtape with New Music Video “The Pay Back”

1TakeJay Drops ‘The Morning After’ Mixtape with “The Pay Back” Video

1TakeJay’s 2018 breakout hit, “Arco,” catapulted him into the limelight as one of the West Coast’s next-generation superstars. The unorthodox recording artist followed the debut with five full-length records, including the fan-favorites, 2018’s Wait Hol Up, and 2021’s 1TakeBae. The popularity led to collaborations with numerous hip-hop superstars such as Kalan.FrFr, Rich The Kid, Shoreline Mafia, and Mustard. Today, he continues his evolution with The Morning After, a 16-track mixtape with the release of the new music video for the project’s second single, “The Pay Back.”

MORE: Mustard, Casey Veggies & More Reacts To Viral L.A. Rap Report Card

For his latest tape, the 1Take Gang’s patriarch enlists the sounds of buzzing West Coast producers Scum Beatz, Flashy Ass Uno, LowTHEGreat, Bigg Boo, and more. For the lyrics, 1TakeJay delivers more of his unapologetic wordplay, charismatic energy, and comedic persona on every verse. 

On “Pay Back,” directed by Carrington, 1TakeJay takes us through a day-in-the-life that includes hitting the studio, quality time with family and friends, interacting with fans, and reminiscing on those who doubt him. “Any B*tch that left wish they woulda kept me – yea I know, b*tch / F*ck that, this the Pay Back – B*tch,” he raps. 

MORE: 1TakeJay & Blueface Take Paternity Tests in “Her Bad” Music Video

1TakeJay’s “Her Bad,” featuring Blueface, was the first single from the new mixtape released last month, and which the song’s music video has since accumulated over 500,000 views on YouTube. Blueface and 1TakeJay’s previous collaboration is the Compton recording artist’s biggest song to date in the 2020 hit “Proud of U (Remix),” which has over 16 million views on YouTube.

Along with Blueface, The Morning After includes guest appearances by Spank Nitti James and Rob Vicious. And with the two singles, the mixtape’s breakout tracks are “Pose,” “Yitties,” and “Cole Bennett.” The project is available everywhere via 1takejay Inc.

Stream the full mixtape below and watch “The Pay Back” above.

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