Rapper S Dub
Jive Records Signs Rising Hip-Hop Star S Dub
New York, NY- Jive Records has signed the multi-faceted emcee known as S Dub “The Greatest.” The first single from the hotly sought-after artist, “Already Know,” was just released and is from his upcoming full-length debut album on Battery Records/Jive.
Ant Rich, A&R Manager for Jive Records states, “S Dub’s ability to make records that have an innate sense of commercialism without compromising any sense of integrity will no doubt lead to great success on the charts as well as in the streets. We are very excited to have formed this partnership and look forward to the continued success.”
S Dub adds, “I feel honored and blessed to show my talent to the world and look forward to cementing a foundation for myself. I hope to represent the best of what North Carolina has to offer.”
Signed to Earnest “Special” Brown’s newly formed New York based label, Special Entertainment, the Charlotte native, S Dub (Renardo Perry) recalls spending countless hours in the studio with his older brother’s rap group. Combined with an admiration for Tupac Shakur’s poetic license, it wasn’t long before he was writing his own rhymes on the back of bills for motivation, laying simple 16’s into a tape recorder, listening back and adding more until full songs were constructed. “Once I learned to add a hook and stay on topic, I was unstoppable,” remembers S Dub.
Battery Records is an imprint under Sony Music Entertainment’s RCA/JIVE Label Group umbrella formed in July 2008 to develop and nurture young urban hip hop talent, in an age where such development is more crucial and necessary than ever. Under the leadership of industry veteran Neil Levine, Battery’s mission is to uncover and cultivate organic young talent, thereby creating an indispensable niche in the marketplace.
Rap Sensations Travis Porter
Travis Porter Signs With Jive
With their buzz all the way turnt up, it was only a matter of time before Atlanta hip-hop trio Travis Porter went major. XXLMag.com learned that Strapz, Ali and Quez signed a record deal with Jive Records a little over a week ago
“Jive is cool,” Quez told XXL about the decision to ink a profit sharing deal with the label. “They givin’ us the freedom to do what we wanna do.”
Before linking with Jive, TP were courted by everyone from Universal/Republic to Motown to such big name stars as Diddy, Birdman and Gucci Mane, but the group chose Jive because of the lack of hip-hop acts on the label’s roster. As Quez explained to XXL, it made the group feel as if they would be more of a priority.
Yet just because they’re getting backed by a major now, don’t expect the Porter boys to rush out an album any time soon. Quez says their priority is maintaining their rep onstage—the crew has been touring consistently for the past two years, playing an average of four shows a week—and working on individual songs until their ready to drop the full length LP on their own label Porter House/Jive.
The first of those songs, the strip club oriented “Make It Rain” recently debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. —Jesse Gissen
Former Underground Music Award Winners AHMIR Sign Major Label Deal with Robbins Entertainment/Sony Music
From the streets of Boston, Philadelphia, and New York, AHMIR has become the premiere, up and coming male R&B group. In Fact in 2007, AHMIR won the award for "Best Male R&B Group" at Urban Threshold's prestigious 5th Annual Underground Music Awards. Moreover, they also took first place at Urban Threshold's acclaimed Urban Music Explosion Industry Showcase @ SOB's in NYC.
And After years and years of hard work R&B super group Ahmir have officially signed their first record deal with Robbins Entertainment/Sony Music.
Robbins Entertainment is one of the biggest Pop/Dance labels around and Ahmir is now their first R&B act! Notable hits from Robbins Entertainment include 2010 VMA Nominated Cascada’s “Evacuate the Dancefloor” and the Top 10 Billboard hit “Heaven” by DJ Sammy.
The president of Robbins Entertainment Cory Robbins is a 30 year industry vet who actually signed Run DMC to their first record deal under Profile Records. Robbins Entertainment A&R Stephanie Karten discovered Ahmir on Youtube and brought them over to the label. "I was impressed by their imense talent and their loyal fan base," proclaims Stephanie Karten
AHMIR is THE MOST POPULAR R&B GROUP on YouTube garnering millions of video views through their unique covers and remixes. Coming onto the scene a few years ago, their first single "Welcome To My Party" peaked at number 82 on the Billboard Hot R&B / Hip Hop Songs chart and became the number 19 Top Selling R&B Hip Hop Single. That same year, AHMIR won the annual "We Hear The Future" Competition at the Billboard R&B Hip Hop Conference in Atlanta topping the efforts by hundreds of new artists worldwide.
Recently, you may have seen AHMIR win the R&B group competition on BET’s number 1 rated TV show 106 & Park or as a Top 35 finalist on NBC’s hit summer show “America’s Got Talent”. AHMIR has even been featured in VIBE magazine as an artist to watch. The group’s popularity has catapulted them to performances in U.S. arenas such as the TD Banknorth Arena in Boston, MA, Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA and the XL Arena in Hartford, CT. AHMIR has stormed the global market as well by headlining tours through 12 cities in Europe.
Click here to watch the Video of AHMIR's record deal signing at Robbins Ent./Sony Music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQXHhd4-p7g
Singer/Song Writer/ Producer Bei Maejor Inks Deal With Jive Records
Earlier this year Jive Records announced it has signed singer-songwriter-producer Bei Maejor, a recent graduate of the University of Michigan.
According to the announcement from Jive, the 22-year-old Southfield native has drawn attention for contributing to such tracks as Trey Songz’ “Black Roses” and Letoya’s “Not Anymore,” and is featured on Plies’ new single “She Got It Made.”
Peter Thea, executive vice president of the Jive Label Group, said in a prepared statement: “Bei Maejor is one of the most promising young talents in music today, and we are pleased to be able to welcome him to Jive Records. We are all thrilled to be able to work with someone you’ll be hearing much more from in the future.”
The announcement quoted Maejor as saying, “I’m so excited to be working with the Jive family. They have created huge stars and legends. I hope and pray that I’m next.”
Born in Southfield, Maejor graduated from the University of Michigan, and counts among his musical influences Stevie Wonder, Timbaland, Max Martin, Dr. Luke, Diane Warren, Ne-Yo, T-Pain and The Fray.
Starting to record beats and produce at the age of 16, he calls his sound “kids playing on drums and synthesizers in a South American rainforest,” the announcement said.
Bei Maejor got his big break with Trey Songz, contributing “Ur Behind,” originally slated for a mixtape, to his debut 2005 Atlantic Records album, "I Gotta Make It." He’s also worked with the likes of T-Pain, Flo Rida, Sean Kingston, Jazmine Sullivan, Mary J. Blige, Plies, Chingy, Ginuwine, Bun B, Birdman, Yung Joc and Monica. His current studio projects include Soulja Boy, Keri Hilson, Ne-Yo and T.I. as well as his own debut album.
Rapper BeeJay McLoyd signs deal with Sony Pictures
There has been very few rappers in the KANSAS CITY, Missouri area that can do what local rapper Tech N9ne has done, but one young man is paving the way for what looks to be a comparable future.
Blue Valley North alum, BeeJay McLoyd (aka B Double E ), recently accepted a deal with Sony Pictures to produce a single for the soundtrack of an upcoming movie.
His song, “To the Top” is on the soundtrack of "Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming," which was released on Blu ray/DVD on Sept. 21, 2010.
McLoyd’s most popular song, “Kansas City Say Yeah”, is currently climbing the charts on local radio station 103.3’s top eight at eight.
One of his biggest accomplishments to date has been opening up for popular recording artist 50 Cent at the Midland Theater on June 10.
“It was unlike any other show because I was performing at the biggest venue I had ever performed in at the time, and performing with one of the popular artists of all time”, says McLoyd.
“It was definitely an eye opener that I'm doing something right considering the fact that 50 cent/G-Unit management chose me out of 100 or more acts”.
He also opened up for one of his role models, Tech N9ne, this past January.
McLoyd started rapping when he was in fifth grade, and could freestyle by eighth grade.
The 24 year-old was born in Homewood, Alabama, then later moved to Overland Park at age 11 and now resides in the KCK area.
“I feel like my story is very unique compared to many other artist considering all my different life experiences," McLoyd said. "I never thought I'd cross paths with so many different cultures and people coming from the south."
BeeJay McLoyd is in the works of getting his song, “Kansas City Say Yeah”, to be played at Arrowhead Stadium on Chiefs game days.
Island Def Jam Signs Teen R&B Sensation Khalil
His first YouTube song posting brought 15-year old Khalil from the sleepy Sacramento suburb of Antelope, California all the way to the board rooms of Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJ) in New York City and to the ever-expanding Teen Island roster in record time.
"Girlfriend," the debut single by Khalil on Def Jam, written and produced by 15-time #1 hitmaker Sean Garrettis the first track to be released from Khalil's upcoming debut album, with featured performances from Young Money's Lil' Twist and others. Stay tuned for more info on this work-in-progress.
Quietly inspired by the cross-generation ballads of Sam Cooke, Michael Jackson and Usher – Khalil was pursuing his life-long passion for basketball (as 7th grade team captain) when art interrupted life. He took up his aunt's suggestion to upload a video of himself singing on YouTube, so the rest of his family could witness his talent. Before long, Worldwide Entertainment executive Kevin Wales was reaching out to Khalil's aunt and he was on a plane to Atlanta to make his first demo recordings.
Attending private school, while working with some of the top producers and songwriters in Atlanta, Khalil fell right into the studio process. Wales and his associate, well known industry A&R guru Kawan 'KP' Prather (who has worked with Usher, P!nk, and T.I.) brought Khalil to New York for a meeting and audition with IDJ Chairman Antonio 'L.A.' Reid. Khalil wisely chose to sing Frankie Lymon's version of the Johnny Mercer standard "Goody Goody" and Mr. Reid liked what he heard. "He was like, 'kids your age don't even know about songs like that!," Khalil recalls. Within the hour, his contract with IDJ was signed, sealed and delivered.
"I just want to make great music," says Khalil. "The state of music now is not as good as it was back when the Stevie Wonders and the Donny Hathaways were out. I want to bring back great records and the fact that people can still make them. I feel like artists used to tell a story when they made music." Now it's Khalil's chance to tell some of his own stories
Kansas Rapper XV Signs With Warner Bros.
10 years ago, a 15-year-old kid named Donavan Johnson from Wichita, Kansas, decided that he wanted to seriously pursue music as a career. He took on the moniker, “XV”, the roman numerals to 15. For the last 10 years he has been perfecting his craft on the underground. And on Wednesday, July 22nd, he officially signed his first record deal with Warner Bros. Records.
Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, XV, has been a recognized name in the local Hip-Hop music scene for years. From performing at high school talent shows to opening for big name acts such as Twista, Mike Jones, Ying Yang Twins, and many more, XV has made a name amongst his peers and established a strong following in his hometown. But it wasn’t until XV began using his knowledge of the internet and all of its outlets to his advantage to garner a buzz and fan base nationwide to attract Warner Bros. Records to signing him.
XV has released thirteen mixtapes since 2006. Some of his hit songs include, “X To The V”, “Feels Like The First Time” and “Well, Hello.”
The summer of 2009, XV released his breakthrough mixtape, “Everybody’s Nobody”, online for free download. After getting spun on New York’s Hot 97 radio station, performing at SXSW, being featured on over 100 music blogs and websites, receiving over 100,000 downloads and touring with Kid CuDi and hip-hop group, The Clipse, XV’s “Everybody’s Nobody” fell into the hands of a young A&R at Warner Bros. Records who played it for Kevin Kusatsu, the man responsible for bringing XV to the label.
After meeting with A&R, Kevin Kusatsu in Los Angeles and Executive Vice President, Todd Moscowitz in New York, XV decided to sign to Warner Bros. Records for a multi-album deal, being the first Hip-Hop artist from Wichita to sign a major label record deal.
XV was offered deals by two other labels, one that included Atlantic Records, but officially signed with Warner Bros. He signed with Warner Bros because he felt that the label had room to grow.
“The thing about Warner is they have very few top dogs. I wanted to go to the team that didn't have LeBron, Bosh, and Wade on it."
Now, with a record deal, a highly anticipated mixtape titled “Vizzy Zone” releasing in August, and another national tour beginning on August 4th, XV is set to make a name for himself and for his hometown.
Acclaimed Rap Duo Chiddy Bang
Philly Rap Duo Chiddy Bang Inks Lucrative Deal With EMI
EMI is delighted to announce the signing of new artist Chiddy Bang to an exclusive worldwide deal.
Chiddy Bang is composed of 19 year old MC Chiddy and DJ/producer Xaphoon Jones from Philadelphia.
It wasn’t long ago that an introduction from a neighbor brought together Anamege and Jones, both freshmen at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Jones was studying music and Anamege, business.
Anamege says with a laugh that from that first introduction, the two just “fell into a groove.”
That “groove” being Jones’ eccentric choice of sampling -- he turns to indie rock just as much as electronic as a source of inspiration – paired with Anamege’s spitfire rhymes.
In typical college band tradition, they took their burgeoning act to different campus basement parties around the city. They soon unveiled their first mixtape.
Released in 2009, “The Swelly Express” showcased their brand of hip-hop, electronic, pop and afrobeat musings. The mixtape took off thanks to the success of the single, “Opposite of Adults ,” a slick mash-up of MGMT’s “Kids.” Originally released in Britain, the track debuted at No. 11 on British charts.
In its first month of release, the mixtape logged a staggering 100,000 downloads and was named one of the “Three Mixtapes You Must Own” by Blackbook Magazine, alongside Drake’s “So Far Gone” and Donnis’ “Diary of an Atlanta Brave,” transforming the genre-bending rookies into hip-hop’s next big thing – just like Drake and Posner before them. Fans of the band include Kanye West who praised the band on his blog.
With the record deal from Virgin Records/EMI Music, the freshmen have gone from playing Philadelphia parties to touring Europe and scoring slots on high-profile gigs like Lollapalooza.
Chiddy Bang’s strength lies in their fresh approach to Hip hop. Combining electronica and indie samples from artists like MGMT, Passion Pit and Sufjan Stevens with Chiddy’s indisputable talent for MCing. The duo completely alter the tracks turning them into something of their own.
As the two prep for the release of their debut album, “Here We Go,” they have released a remix of "Opposite of Adults" featuring none other than Jim Jones.
For up to date, confirmed information on the upcoming album, tours and club appearances please visit www.myspace.com/chiddybang.
Breakthrough Artist Wiz Khalifa
Wiz Khalifa Signs To Atlantic Records
After speculation that Rick Ross wanted to get Wiz Khalifa on his Maybach Music Group label, he has signed with Atlantic Records. He joins forces with other hip hop acts such as T.I., B.o.B, Donnis, and Diggy Simmons just to name a few.
Atlantic Records has announced the signing of acclaimed rapper Wiz Khalifa, an outcome of a deal with Rostrum Records, the rapper’s longtime independent label. The Pittsburgh-based hip-hop sensation is currently at work on his much-anticipated label debut, slated for release in early 2011.
Having already released a steady stream of popular mixtapes, Wiz blew up big-time, earlier this year with the release of his blockbuster, “KUSH & ORANGE JUICE.” The mixtape proved to be a genuine online phenomenon, quickly becoming the #1 search topic on both Google and Yahoo, as well as a #1 trending topic on Twitter, with the hashtag, #kushandorangejuice. “KUSH & ORANGE JUICE” is now ranked as the “Most Popular Mixtape of All Time” at DatPiff.com with nearly a quarter of a million downloads to date.
Since then, Wiz’ online presence has been undeniable, with close to 8 million profile views and a total of nearly 30 million plays at his official MySpace page, www.myspace.com/wizkhalifa, as well as over 220,000 fans following him at www.twitter.com/RealWizKhalifa. In addition to this, the rapper’s official Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/WizKhalifa, is “liked” by over 400,000 people.
Inspired by hip-hop’s greatest artists but determined to pave his own lane, Wiz Khalifa first made waves after an encounter with Rostrum Records’ founder Benjy Grinberg. The label head instantly recognized a superstar on the rise and Rostrum soon released Wiz’ first mixtape, “PRINCE OF THE CITY,” and the subsequent debut album, “SHOW AND PROVE,” in 2006. The album quickly earned unprecedented critical praise, with Okayplayer.com declaring it “arguably the best hip-hop release of the year,” officially putting Wiz on the radar of artists to look out for.
Riding the momentum of “SHOW AND PROVE,” Wiz released a multitude of mixtapes over the next three years, gaining him both the buzz and the loyal fan base needed to catapult him to the next level. Wiz’ next album, “DEAL OR NO DEAL,” was released in November of 2009 and landed in the #1 spot on iTunes “Top Hip Hop/Rap Albums” chart thanks to the huge buzz generated by his indefatigable grassroots grind. Showing no signs of slowing down, Wiz embarked on a 40-city, sold out “Deal Or No Deal Tour,” in support of the highly successful album.
Recently named MTV’s “Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2010,” Wiz is set to embark on a massive North American tour dubbed the “Waken Baken Tour,” which kicks off on Thursday, September 16th at Philadelphia’s The Trocadero and then continues through late November.
Universal/Republic Signs Rapper Spose
A month ago, 24-year-old Wells rapper Ryan Peters, known as Spose, was sitting in an English class at Suffolk University in Boston, about to give a presentation on a poet when he noticed he’d received not one, but 15 phone calls from a New York phone number. He didn’t recognize the number.
Then he got a text from a person named Imran Majid who said he was from the artist and repertoire department with Universal Republic Records, a division of Universal Music Group, which represents artists such as Amy Winehouse, Jack Johnson and Owl City.
Peters freaked out.
“What do I do? What do I do?” Peters said he was thinking as he sat in his English class.
He called Majid back and learned that Universal Republic Records was interested in picking up Peters’ single, “I’m Awesome,” a rap song that has been in heavy rotation on local rock radio stations WCYY (94.3 FM) and WJBQ (97.9 FM).
Peters traveled to New York City to meet with Majid and others at Universal. Two weeks ago, he officially signed with Universal Republic. The label has taken his single to radio station across the country and listener response is so good, Peters said, the label told him it wanted to make a record with him.
“I just got the call,” Peters said on the phone Wednesday afternoon. “They’re picking up the album, so I’m skipping classes today and I’m going to buy a keyboard because I have to write a hit song.”
Peters has been writing songs for years and has some to use on a new album. He began rhyming in eighth grade but really got serious about hip hop as a career in 2004-2005, when he felt he knew who he wanted to be as a rapper. “I wait tables, and every second between asking ‘Do you want fries or a potato?’ I’m writing a rhyme.”
“It never was for fun,” he said, “If it was for fun, I’d be doing it in my room and showing it to my buddies.”
Peters self-released his first album, “Preposterously Dank,” in 2007. Mark Curdo, host of the radio show Spinout on WCYY, supported him then, so when he finished his mix tape, “We Smoked It All,” last fall, he reached out to Curdo again. Pretty soon, the single, “I’m Awesome,” was getting a huge response from listeners. So much so, that when the A&R folks at record labels saw that Peters was getting as many spins on radio stations in Maine as Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift and was a top seller at Bull Moose Music stores, they took notice.
He’s been getting local notice, too, and not just from listeners. He was named Best Hip Hop Act two years in a row at Maine’s electronic music community’s wepushbuttons Awards and last month was selected as one of 10 Maine artists to watch by the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.
The song creating all the buzz, “I’m Awesome,” causes a strong response in people, Peters says. Listeners either really, really love it or really, really hate it. (Listen to the song.)
The song itself is really the antithesis of the self-aggrandizing title. In it, Peters celebrates all the things that make him “awesome” – back zits, driving his mother’s “ride”, talking to himself on Facebook, a bulging belly. Except for the occasional use of the word “mother---,” it hardly resembles what most of us think of when we think of the rap songs that top the charts.
“Everywhere we play it – it’s one of those weird songs – it gets calls,” said Majid, the director of A&R for Universal Republic Records. The phone lines at radio stations get jammed and thousands of text messages are sent.
That this tongue-in-cheek song is enough to get him a major label deal and lots of local and national buzz is mind blowing to Peters, whose biggest ambition was to get radio play on WCYY. “For it to get to this point is not only unfathomable, but completely unexpected,” he said. He knows other Maine artists like himself have gotten major records deals that fizzled, so he’s taking it one moment at a time, he says.
“I’m not going to go out there thinking it’s rainbows and smiley faces,” but he’s going to make the most of it. “I want to be able to present social commentary,” he said. “You can be saying some deep stuff while getting a chuckle out of people.”
Mississippi Rapper Big K.R.I.T. Signs With Def Jam
Mississippi stand up! Reps for Def Jam have confirmed with XXLMag.com that up-and-coming Meridian, MS rapper Big K.R.I.T. has just inked a deal with the storied hip-hop label.
The 23-year-old MC/producer has been grinding on the underground circuit for a several years now, releasing a handful of mixtapes. Earlier this month he dropped his latest tape, K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, to rave reviews, showcasing both his lyrical talent and knack for soulful production.
The double threat has already worked with such artists as Devin the Dude, Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y, both as a rapper and beatmaker.
One listen through Big K.R.I.T.’s recent mixtape/album K.R.I.T. Wuz Here and it’s evident that the Mississippi-native is destined for greatness. From his polished yet practical lyricism to his sampled bass-booming production, the 23-year-old shows off a complete package of artistry that is seldom seen on the underground circuit.
While his Southern style of beats, rhymes, and life may draw similarities to that of the late-great Pimp C, Big K.R.I.T. stands confidently on his own two as he embraces new opportunities that have fallen into place.
K.R.I.T. Wuz Here is currently available online for free donwload.
Battery/Jive Records Signs Rapper Mickey Factz
After releasing six mixtapes independently and landing spots in advertising campaigns with Honda, the 24-year-old New Yorker signed with Battery/Jive Records because of the label’s “creative vision.”
“My career as an artist has been a grand journey up to this point for my team GFCnewyork, and myself,“ Mickey Factz told AllHipHop.com. “Battery is the greatest compromise as they understand my vision and where we will be taking it. I’m glad to welcome them as a part of my team and The Black Apple experience. Truthfully, let the games begin.”
Mickey Factz was one of the most sought after unsigned artists before inking his deal with Battery/Jive.
According to Neil Levine, GM and Senior Vice President of Battery Records, Mickey Factz is a complete artist.
“He’s really put the work in to be a real star and Battery is very pleased to welcome him as our newest signing,” Neil Levine said of Factz’ independent hustle.
Mickey Factz left NYU Law School in order to pursue his career as a rapper.
According to Jeff Sledge, Battery’s VP of A&R, the rapper has developed his skills considerably while honing a unique sound.
“I have been working with Mickey for four years now. He has grown as an artist and developed a sound that separates him from other artists,” Sledge said. “I am excited to sign Mickey and have the opportunity to show the world the amazing artist that he has become.”
Atlanta Rapper Pill Signs To Asylum/WEA
Atlanta rapper Pill recently announced that he has officially signed with Asylum Records. Known for his exceptionally lyrical but gritty and brutally honest rhymes about life growing up in some of Atlanta's roughest neighborhoods, Pill has built a national following with major help from the Web. His straight-to-YouTube music video for 'Trap Goin' Ham' was an uncensored look in Atlanta's drug-dealing scene known as "the trap" and became his breakout record.
After releasing two highly acclaimed and street certified mixtapes '4180: The Prescription' and '4075: The Refill,' a bidding war began between major labels such as Interscope, Def Jam, and Universal Motown putting the twenty-three year-old rapper in high demand. XXL Magazine spoke with Pill shortly after the news of his signing hit the Internet. "They were the first to reach out to me and if you look at the urban side of the music they got control over that shit right now," he said about his new recording home, Asylum Records.
With the independent hustle in mind, Pill has strong faith that Asylum will be the best place to develop and bring his talent to the masses, "If you look at the other labels I haven't really seen them break an artist in I don't know how long, I mean a new urban act ... most of these labels are breaking R&B artists. I was like, 'Damn, I got in a spot where I can actually be heard and not be overpowered by some big R&B pop star," Pill explained. Asylum is also the recording home of Gucci Mane, Lil Boosie, and Cam'ron
R&B Artist John Blu
Chicago R&B artist John Blu signs to Jive Records
Chicago R&B artist John Blu has officially dotted the i's and crossed the t's on a deal with Jive Records! With an incredible start to his year, R&B artist, songwriter, producer, and composer John Blu, has just announced that he will be joining the Jive Records family. Blu, the self-pronounced R&B Bully, has bullied his way to the top with the release of his current sexy sophomore single, " In Love Wit Yo Booty" that is making waves across the country with its infectious beats and catchy lyrics.
It is no surprise that this single is playing in over 15 markets, including Chicago and Atlanta. Blu is currently in the midst of shooting the much-anticipated video for the single, and has enlisted master choreographer Andrea Kelly to lead with the creative direction. In addition, he is in the studio working on a remix to his single with a hot R&B artist from Chicago that will be released in April.
Up-And-Comer Donnis Signs to Atlantic
It’s official! Hip Hop rising star Donnis has inked a deal with Atlantic Records. According to the 25-year old MC, Atlantic won in a bidding war between Def Jam, Jive, Asylum and Downtown Records. “You know [Atlantic] put in the work and I feel like they the best label in the game right now,” he said. “I mean they makin’ the most money and makin’ shit happen.” “Donnis is a truly original, compelling new voice on the hip-hop landscape, and we pulled out all the stops to bring him into the Atlantic family. His creativity and lyrical flow are hugely impressive, and the Diary of an ATL Brave mixtape was a captivating introduction to this major talent. Now that we’ve sealed the deal, we’re looking forward to watching Donnis take it to the next level” proclaimed Atlantic Records Chairman and CEO Craig Kallman.
Donnis made a big buzz last year with his Diary of an ATL Brave mixtape. The project’s breakout hit, “Gone,” scored a one off single deal with indie Fools Gold—the label owned by Kanye West’s DJ A-Trak, and the former U.S. Air Force member is currently prepping the release of the video.
The rap rookie has several other projects up his sleeve as well. “I’m working on an EP,” he shared, “I’m working on this mixtape [Southern Comfort] [and] I’m working on the album.”
YelaWolf Confirms Signing To Interscope
YelaWolf has signed a deal with Interscope Records after interest in the 30-year-old Alabama rapper surged at the recent SXSW music festival in Austin, Tex.YelaWolf will release his major label debut album on Interscope through his current independent label, Ghet-O-Vision Entertainment. "I've probably been through every label in the past couple of years," laughs YelaWolf (real name: Michael Wayne Atha), who was also courted by Atlantic and Island Def Jam Records before choosing Interscope. "I don't think we missed any. But after SXSW, it just got really heated, you know? Prior to that we had taken a few meetings, but we decided to just hold out and go knock it out there, see where it took us."
Yelawolf played nine shows over the course of SXSW, including a Saturday night gig at the Levi's FADER Fort. It was the MC's first time at the festival, and he says, "I had no idea the impact it was going to make…I really tried to keep my head down, for real, because it keeps me in the right place creatively. But it was phenomenal."
YelaWolf says there's no timetable yet for his debut album, but he plans to release a new mixtape in June entitled "Trunk Muzik 0-60," the follow-up to his acclaimed January mixtape, "Trunk Muzik," which featured Bun B, Raekwon and Juelz Santana among others. "It''ll have five to seven new records, he says. "We're gonna remix and remaster some of the existing records on 'Trunk Muzik' and add a couple of new features, and we'll let that warm up everybody for a bigger album release."
R&B Diva Tisha Howard
BREAKOUT R&B SINGER TISHA HOWARD SIGNS WITH UNIVERSAL REPUBLIC
Universal Republic Records has announced the signing of fiery newcomer, Tisha Howard. The breakout R&B singer and Virginia native has rolled out one of the biggest, local hit records in years with her sizzling single, “You Are.” The R&B scorcher is already one of the most requested breakthrough singles at the Norfolk, VA radio station 103 JAMZ/WOWI, and beginning to light up radio stations and the digital domain nationwide.
Written by the talented artist as an ode to a former lover, the song has been acclaimed as a powerful female anthem. Drawing comparisons to other female powerhouse vocalists such as Keyisha Cole, Tisha grew up surrounded by music, singing in her church choir and reveling in the music of R&B and Soul standard-bearers such as Mary J. Blige and India.Arie.
Hailing from the hometown of Hampton, VA and attending Old Dominion University in Norfolk, she has been recognized the past few years as an authentic new presence on the Virginia music scene. Her emotive style has garnered her a loyal, live-audience across the state.
Looking forward to the prospect of garnering fans across the U.S., Tisha has described her signing with Universal Republic Records as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Says Tisha, “Getting the chance to make music and partner with a great record company like Universal Republic is a dream come true. I’m thrilled to be part of the Universal family.” Tisha has written several songs, such as a rousing break-up offering titled “Red Light,” that will most likely be included on her Universal Republic debut album, tentatively scheduled for release later in the year.