Eden / Weathers / Lovely The Band / Miguel / The Suffers / Mike Melinoe / Calum Scott / Float Fest /Mala Luna / X Ambassadors / Kevin Gates / JOJO / Endless Summer Tour
WHO WE ARE
OWNER Danielle Ellis HEAD EDITOR Daniel Zewde CREATIVE DIRECTOR Betsy Schuller SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER Stephanie Tacy PHOTOGRAPHER Cristobal Arellano PHOTOGRAPHER Kimani Graham PHOTOGRAPHER Jake Tovar PHOTOGRAPHER Jr Gonzalez REPORTER Gabealla Jasso CONTRIBUTOR Kris Lori CONTRIBUTOR Chris Maldonado ORIGINAL MAGAZINE DESIGN Traci Schubert MAGAZINE REDESIGN Kelly Davenport
STAFF MUSIC PICKS
RUN Coin TREAT ME SO BAD Marc E Bassy BODY TALKS The Struts BETTER OFF Jermey Zucker DEVIL IN THE BACKSEAT Lostboycrow THE SUN Parov Stelar LAIDBACK RAT BOY SINKING TEAM HOME FT. WALK THE MOON Morgxn MAGIC Half The Animal STOMP ME OUT Bryce Fox BLOOD // WATER Grandson BAD HABITS The Fedral Empire
X AMBASSADORS written and photographed by: stephanie tacy
oncert-goers poured into Stubb’s Amphitheatre in Austin for The Joyful Tour’s last stop featuring artists Shaed, Jacob Banks, and X
Ambassadors. Shaed got the night started followed by London native Jacob Banks. Lights brightened as Jacob Banks silhouette sang “Wade in the Water.” The band joined in blending genres as Banks continued to perform “Mercy,” “Say Something,” “Unholy War,” and “Chainsmoking.” The lights faded and a cloud of smoke filled the stage as lead singer, Sam Harris, lead his band to the stage. Through the cloud of smoke X Ambassadors performed hits “Unsteady,” “Renegades,” “Jungle,” “Low Life,” and “The Devil You Know” as the audience sang along with incredible energy.
WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY DANIELLE ELLIS
BRENT FAIYAZ written and photographed by: stephanie tacy
Fans packed tightly into Stubb’s Indoors in Austin, Texas September 2nd for a sold out show starring Brent Faiyaz. Faiyaz came into the spotlight after singing the hook on Goldlink’s radio hit single “Crew” in 2017. Last fall he dropped his debut album Sonder Son which served as a autobiography of the Maryland singer’s life and the basis for his tour. Adoring screams filled what little space was left in the venue as a door opened and Brent Faiyaz made his way to the stage in a royal blue stanley cup dad hat, LA Kings shirt, silver chain, black jeans, and Nikes. The tightly filled venue set the atmosphere for what would be an intimate show with plenty of audience engagement. Excited shrieks rose in volume every time Brent made contact with a fan’s hand. Backed by talented bandmates, Faiyaz flexed his vocal range over the hour long set as he performed songs including
“Stay Down,” and, “Home.” He continued on to bounce between serenading music such as “Burn One,” “All I Want,” and “Gang Over Luv” to more upbeat tracks including “Crew,” “Make Luv,” “Talk 2 U,” and “First World Problemz.” Unlike most artists, Brent’s voice sounded just as soulful and melodic live as it does on the studio recordings. His smile and pure passion for the music engulfed the audience as they gave back the same energy he gave to them. This performance further secured his spot as an Artist To Watch.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY DANIELLE ELLIS
lovely the band PHOTOGRAPHED BY DANIELLE ELLIS
written and photographed by: stephanie tacy
“IT’S GOTTA BE CRIMINAL,”
the way Miguel killed the stage during his Houston stop of The Ascension Tour on September 10th. Nonchalant Savant and DVSN opened for what is Miguel’s second tour of the year. The show set in Revention Music Center brought light to an otherwise gloomy day in Houston. The R&B group DVSN, lead vocally by Daniel Daley, set the mood after a brief set from Nonchalant Savant. The OVO artist soothed the crowd with his soulful voice as he performed songs including “Morning After,” and “Too Deep.” The calm vibes of the venue came to a halt as sounds of elated screams filled the venue. A flash of light revealed Miguel standing at the top of stairs set mid-stage. Adorned in a leather jacket, the artist glided across the steps as he danced and sang his War and Leisure hit “Criminal.” Backed by a huge LED screen, a live band, and backup dancers; Miguel continued on to perform “The Thrill” and “Banana Clip.” With a perfectly crafted setlist and swift costume changes, the artist was able to keep the audience captivated from the first chord of music to the closing number stopping to dance and even play base in between. Miguel showed off his vast music catalog as he dipped into his archive to perform songs that gained traction during the start of his career back in 2010 such as “Adorn” and “How Many Drinks” to those that identify where he is today including “Pineapple Skies” and “Come Through and Chill.” The artist’s ability to sync an upbeat performance with his soulful voice and serenading power of his songs is an art.
NEW ARTIST SPOTLIGHT
THE REDEMPTION TOUR written and photographed by: stephanie tacy
op Dawg Entertainment (TDE) is best known for it’s talent pool featuring artists Kendrick Lamar, SZA, and Schoolboy Q, however, the talent doesn’t stop in the mainstream. Concertgoers piled into Come and Take It Live in Austin, TX October 1st for an intimate performance by some of TDE’s most underrated talent. California artist Reason, who just signed with TDE back in August of this year, opened The Redemption Tour for one of the label’s flagship members Jay Rock. Reason took to the stage in a mirage of red lights to perform his hit “Seasons,” that appeared on the Black Panther soundtrack, as well as “Drive Slow/Taste Like Heaven,” “Better Dayz,” and “Summer Up” from
his most recent project There You Have It. Pure joy took over audience member’s faces as Jay Rock walked onto the stage in front of LED lights that read REDEMPTION. With a wholesome energy, Jay Rock performed hits from his Redemption album including “OSOM,” “The Bloodiest,” “Rotation 112th,” and “Redemption” but made sure to throw it back for his day one fans with “Money Trees” “Vice City,” and “I Just Wanna Party.” After a life-threatening motorcycle accident in 2015 that put his career on temporary hold to the release of his newest album, Jay Rock has made it known that he is back and better than ever.
Written and photographed by: Stephanie Tacy
evin Gates was released from prison in January with a renewed focus. The rapper quickly made headlines as the Illinois Department of Corrections tried to stop him from touring, requiring Gates to take legal action. During his wait the Baton Rouge MC released a threesong EP Chained to the City followed by his newest mixtape Luca Brasi 3. With the past behind him, Kevin Gates is officially free to tour again. Hundreds packed their way into ACL Live on October 2nd in Austin, Texas for the kick off of Kevin Gates’ Luca Brasi 3 Tour.
This is one concert you do not want to miss.
The tour marks his first since he was released from incarceration. The night featured appearances from Tokyo Jetz, Yung Bleu, and OG Boobie Black. Tokyo Jetz hit the stage first performing songs from her new album Bonafide including “No Problem” and “Baller Alert.” Yung Bleu followed pacing back and forth across stage during his brief set often pausing halfway through his songs in hopes the crowd would fill in the lyrics. His lack of stage performance was made up for by OG Boobie Black’s last-minute attempt to get the crowd hyped for Gates even though he didn’t need the assist. Cell phone flashes illuminated the venue as roars from excited fans filled the air. Kevin Gates took to the stage in a white hoodie performing “Vouch.”The MC performed songs from Luca Brasi 3 including “Money Long,” “Me Too,” and “Adding Up.” Gates paused and shared some emotional moments with the crowd as he expressed his appreciation for being able to perform again. His overall demeanor seemed more at ease and his passion for his music seemed stronger than ever. The energy between Gates and the crowd was indescribable. The fans were just as excited for Kevin as he was to be there. Though some concertgoers bought seats, everyone in the venue was standing and rapping along song after song.
Gates even made sure to throw it back for his day one fans performing hits “2 Phones,” “What If,” “Imagine That,” “Satellites,” “Posed to be in Love,” and crowd favorite “I Don’t Get Tired.” Kevin Gates pushed past venue curfew as he took a few moments to pray with concert-goers before they headed home.
CHVRCHES photographed by: JR GONZAL
NEW ARTIST SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW
written and photographed by: stephanie tacy
Who are your top five favorite rappers right now?
How did you come up with the name BlacKillac? We went through a bunch of different names at first including Black Rodeo, but we turned those down and we went with Blackillac. We just like the sound of it and we’re black and we think the music sounds really good in cadillacs.
If you could describe your style in one word what would it be? Dichotomy or Forceful
How did y’all meet? We met on the basketball courts about a year ago in Southeast Austin, legitimately a neighborhood basketball spot we played ball at. Before we started making music together, we used to battle at UT at the time then we became teammates.
Zeale: Kendrick, Drake, not as a lyricist but overall as an artist, J. Cole, Kanye, and Pusha T Phranchyze: Drake, Kendrick, 2 Chainz, Travis Scott, and Quavo as a solo artist
Who is your dream collab with? Z: There’s a lot: Drake, Migos, Kendrick, and everybody I named in my top 5
P: I was going to go old-school, I think it’d be cool to have a track with Luda, Busta Rhymes, Tec-9
What projects are you working on and what should we look forward to hearing from you in the near future?
Z: We’ve been working on music for quite a while. We started out this whole process working with Gary Clark Jr. He produced a good portion of the beginning of the project and then we started branching out to some other amazing producers in LA so we’ve
been assembling all these songs and getting a big amount together and we’re going to start releasing them in the next two weeks piece by piece. We are going to drop songs and videos and just keep a rhythm going. We don’t necessarily want to drop a whole record right now, we don’t think it’s necessary in this climate.”
If you could be a superhero, what would your name be and what is your superpower?
What’s your favorite song of those that you have out right now? Z: My favorite would be “Wave 2021” because it shows our complete range
P: For me, it’s our song with Gary Clark Jr. that he produced, ”Feel Like” I think that’s a dope ass song, it’s very south Austin and has got a nice body to it.
P: My name would be Dark Eagle and I would be able to teleport from place to place
What advice would you give others trying to get into the music industry?
If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing?
P: Make videos, record, and then make videos, record, and then record and make a video of your recording then record and make a video then collaborate with Blackillac if you’re dope
Z: I’d be Dr. Blacktavious and my superpower would be to reverse white privilege in thirty-second increments.
Z: I’d be a painter. I would paint naked, I would paint in the nude and I would paint dogs P: If I wasn’t doing music, I’d probably be doing something with video games or something to do with computers or networking security.
Z: Don’t, more room for me
Blackillac is a rap duo formed by emcees Zeale and Phranchyze based out of Austin, Texas. Their upcoming releases feature production by Gary Clark Jr. We sat down with the emcees after their performance at Float Fest.
NEW ARTIST SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW
written and photographed by: stephanie tacy
The Suffers are an eight-memeber Gulf Coast Soul Band Out of Houston, Texas We sat down with the lead singer, Kam Franklin in August after their set at Float Fest. Be sure to check out their newest album Everything Here!
How did y’all decide on the name, The Suffers? “Anybody that you know gets crazy with the grammar, they always like to correct us and say shouldn’t it be, ”The Sufferers”. We were called The Sufferers and that is not as fun to say over and over and over again. It is a reference to a movie from the 70s a Jamaican movie called Rockers where in that movie the sufferers are the artists that want to do what we do for a living but they’re not rewarded for their art, they are chastised, they’re robbed and berated and yet they still overcome because this is what they love so they keep doing it even though they’re suffering to do I.”
How did all of you meet? “We met at different times in our lives. Some of the guys have known each other since they were children, some of them met in high school and some met in other bands. The common denominator for us all is that we all played in punk, ska, or reggae bands when we were younger and then we started this one, it was started by the bass player Adam Castaneda and the keyboard player, Patrick Kelly.”
What’s your favorite song of those that you have out now? “I will say my oldest favorite, from the first record, is called “Giver” and it’s really an immature song when I hear it now. I just wasn’t really loving myself and I was giving all of myself to this guy at the time and he just wouldn’t love me back no matter what I did, and I just couldn’t understand why. On this new record, my favorite song is called “You Only Call When You Need Something” and it’s only one lyric and it’s super dramatic and has overthe-top background vocals, pedal steel, and organs, but the reason it’s my favorite is because it’s this proclamation of fuck you, you know, I’m tired of feeling like shit, I’m tired of losing all the time. It took me realizing while writing this last record that I don’t have to lose. I don’t have to date bad men. I don’t have to have a bad relationship with people that love me because I’m irritated with people that don’t. It’s a very emotional thing where you punish those that love you because the people that you want to love don’t return it and it’s just a weird cycle and so I’ve been working on just overall programming myself and my mood and just trying to make better decisions overall with my life. I think a lot of it started when I turned 30, its weird, you know, they always tell you when you’re younger that you’ll turn 30 and all of these things are going to change. Then one day you turn 30 and you’re like “oh whatever,” you know, and honestly it took me turning 31 to realize what turning 30 did to me and I’m so grateful for it and now I’m in this “I don’t take no shit” headspace that I wish I could have had when I was 21 but I’m grateful that at 31 I am now approaching it.”
I know that y’all recently dropped a new album, Everything Here, but could you tell us a little more about it? “The new record is called Everything Here on our label Shanachie out of New Jersey. It deals with every relationship that affects who you as a person and your growth as a person, so it deals with romance, just calling your parents back while you have the opportunity to, it deals with setting boundaries, loving yourself, telling people when to fuck off and being clear. There’s a song called “What You Said” that deals with the context of how you say things, you know, it’s sometimes not what you say to a person that makes them upset, it’s how you say it or how you did it and being clear and saying “Hey, you know, I have feelings” and I don’t think a lot of people realize how valid their emotions are because so many people tell them that they are not worth that or that they’re overreacting and you know we don’t always live the same way. Some of us feel very different things and take words a very different way and I always hated the saying, you know “sticks and stones.” yeah, fuck whoever came up with that. Whoever came up with that is a fucking pushover, you know, sometimes you need to defend yourself, not physically, but sometimes you need to be able to say “I don’t like being spoken to that way. I don’t appreciate being spoken to that way and if you’re going to be in my life that can’t happen”
If you could be a crayon, what shade of color would you be and what would you be called? “If I were a crayon, I would be green, a darker green with shades of white and yellow in it and I would be called Herb”
Who are your top 5 artists in the industry right now? “Nick Hakim he just dropped an album Green Twins that I loved, Joey Dosik: he’s affiliated with the band Vulfpeck but has own more soulful with a rock nerdcore vibe, Erykah Badu past, present, and future just because I feel like I learn something every time I listen to her music and she’s just so forward thinking and it makes me sick sometimes how good she is, my friend Lili K out of Chicago who was a former collaborator with Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa but she also works as a collaborator on our most recent record Everything Here. I’ve been listening to a shit-ton of gospel, like OG gospel, just to go back and get a little bit of education. A lot of Kirk Franklin, Kurt Carr, and The Clark Sisters who are the best female group of all time but that’s the whole cusp
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? and then answer it: “I would always like to be asked who I would want to collaborate with. My number one ideal collab partner back in the day was Prince but he passed [away] but my number two choice is Robert Plant, who just released a record so maybe we will overlap at a festival.” Follow their moves on Instagram and twitter or check out their website.
Where have you always wanted to perform but have not gotten a chance to? “The Glastonbury, The Sydney Opera House, Red Rocks”
photographed by: stephanie tacy
KING LIL G
WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRPAHED BY CRISTOBAL CAMACHO
Letter to Dr. Dre, a song that grabbed many listeners attention at the right time before he contemplated giving up on his music career in 2012. Still rising out of Los Angeles, California, 31-year-old rapper King Lil G is now treading his own path in the hip-hop scene independently.
Kicking off the show, rapper, Self Provoked, energetically made his way onto the stage to warm up the crowd. He brought an energy and sound to the stage that had everyone bobbing their heads with their hands in the air. His voice/flow over the sound coming out of the speakers went hand in hand. Self Provoked has a tone of voice that sounds a bit reminiscent to famous west coast icon/rapper B-Real. Conscious raps laced with fast paced rhymes is how Self Provoked left his mark on the stage. The second opener of the night, rapper Hi-Tone won the crowd over with his genuine personality and interaction with the crowd. He performed songs regarding personal struggles, overcoming obstacles and following your dreams. It’s safe to say, for the amount of kids that occupied most of the venue, Hi-tone took advantage of his stage time to spread a message of lyrical positivity. Being covered in tattoos from head to toe, most people would be quick to label him as trouble. He destroys that label with a purpose, writing his wrongs and making sure that whoever listens doesn’t make the same mistakes. Instead giving the listener a chance to grow and flourish into
the best versions of themselves, as he intends to. Suddenly, everything went pitch black, the venue suddenly turned blue as smoke ignited the area. King Lil G made his way onto the stage as his opening track (the title of his new album and the tour supporting it) “Paint The City Blue” began to play.
“Everyone in attendance was singing every single lyric, word for word” While he played songs from the newest album he also played popular tracks, “AK47, Hopeless Boy and Weed 4 The Low,” just to name a few. King is the voice for the people who the system has failed and for the youth that is looking for a positive role model. Witnessing how much King Lil G has grown since the first time I saw him perform back in 2014 to now is truly inspiring. His checkered past is a testament in his music. No matter how high the odds might be stacked against you, there is always a way out; there is always a way to do better.
I give this show a 10/10. Make sure to check out King’s newest project “Paint The City Blue.”
CALLUM SCOTT written and photographed by: stephanie tacy
If you could be a superhero, what would your name be and what would your superpower be?
Calum Scott is a singer/songwriter out of Yorkshire, England. Calum’s career took off after he auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent. Calum opened for Echosmith and Pentatonix on July 27, 2018 where we sat down for this interview. Be sure to check out his debut album, Only Human.
If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing right now? “From the earliest age I wanted to be an astronaut, but clearly that is not happening, but really from the earliest I can remember I just wanted to help people so I suppose that dates back to being a fireman or policeman then as I got older and more mature and going through school I wanted to do music but being realistic about expectations I thought I may have made a good physiotherapist or a good counselor or teacher. I guess somebody who can take somebody at their low point and help them to achieve their best and become better for it physically, mentally, or both so I would probably be a counselor without music.”
What inspires your music? “Life, living, I’ve had about 27 years to be inspired by life for this album. I’ve had a lot of experiences to pull on, you know, a lot of stuff to do with my sexuality, growing up, and falling into this incredible career that I have now. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked really hard, but I just never thought my life would go this way. I am just grateful for the day, I enjoy putting my emotions and all of my stories and all of my inspirations into music. I didn’t even start thinking about the album until I was 70 songs in. “
What do you do outside of music that contributes to your musicality? “I’m surrounded by talented people so there’s a lot of conversations and a lot of live stuff that I get to be a part of. Even just living, you know, going through the motions, especially love. Love is huge one I am single and have been for a while so even meeting someone new, missing family, or really everything that affects me positively or negatively ultimately influences my music.”
What’s your favorite song of the ones you’ve released? “Oh God, that’s like choosing your favorite child. I think my favorite is probably going to be “You Are the Reason” just simply because the message is so pure and so relatable and so universally understood. I’m very, very lucky to have a global fan base who you know, some don’t even speak English and they get to understand what I’m saying because of my videos which I connect to the song so it speaks a thousand words.”
What advice would you give to others trying to make it in the industry? “I would say follow your dreams because I worked in human resources for like eight years before I did this, and I thought that was me fixed. Like I’m never going to be able to get out of this, you know, I’m making my bills work, I’m paying for my car, and able to afford my meals so I thought that’s probably going to be it. I’m going to have to work to live but now I live to work. One thing I will say is just remember that if it’s something you love, make sure that you keep that philosophy and make sure it’s ultimately something you want to make a career out of but have good action, you know, don’t strive for fame, don’t strive for cash, strive for ambition and passion and creativity because if you do lose or don’t get that achievement you want, you’ve still enjoyed the journey.”
“This is a great question this is something I would go and sketch on my iPad and try to figure everything out. I’m one of those people who if given the chance in a video game I would always be a superhero, I could never be a bad guy so I have to be a good guy. Uhmmm…If I could, I would teleport. I would save so much money on flights and excess baggage because I have to take more than one suitcase because I have to have options right? I guess I would be called Calum the Teleporter *laughs* No it can’t be that…”
Who are your top 5 favorite artists in the industry right now? “Sigrid, Khalid, Lewis Capaldi, Childish Gambino and Michael Jackson.”
What are you working on? What can we expect from you in the near or far future?
“This incredible tour which is just being the biggest adventure ever, I’ve got like 5 more weeks to go which is great. After this though I fly back into the UK to support Jason Derulo on his tour throughout the UK. I’ve already started writing material so I’m into album two to scratch the surface at least. I’ve also got music coming out with other artists this year so features, and also songs that I’ve written that other artists have taken. Potentially whispers of a bit of acting as well. There’s a lot going on, I am just super excited to go through all of these things I am going through.”
BOBBY TARINTINO VS EVERYBODY written and photographed by: stephanie tacy
The sun went down and chants of
filled the amphitheater as the stage began to fill with a mirage of smoke and lights.
Logic’s career took off after the release of the album Everybody featuring his first radio hit “1-800-273-8255” featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid. His latest album and partial title of his tour, Bobby Tarantino II was released in March. Logic set out on his ‘Bobby Tarantino Vs. Everybody’ tour alongside artists Kyle and NF. Hundreds gathered at Austin360 Amphitheater on July 27th for a chance to see the Maryland born rapper.
Kyle got the energy flowing as he ran and jumped across the stage performing hits “iSpy,” “Ikuyo,” and “Playinwitme.” After a brief intermission a large sheeted object was brought onto the stage. Like a magic trick, the sheet was pulled off to reveal a jail cell with artist Nate Feuerstein better known as NF sitting inside with his head shielded by a hoodie. He exited the cell performing “Outcast” with a Joker styled smile painted on his face. The artists rapping style was reminiscent of hiphop legend Eminem as he went on to perform his radio hit “Let You Down,” as well as “Lie,” “Green Lights,” “10 Feet Down,” and “My Life.” The sun went down and chants of “Logic, Logic, Logic, Logic” filled the amphitheater as the stage began to fill with a mirage of smoke and lights.
Chants turned into shrieks of joy as Logic emerged performing “Grandpa’s Spaceship.” In a black t-shirt that read, “Stop The Hate”, the Maryland born rapper continued on to perform “Overnight,” “Super Mario World,” “44 More,” “Take It Back,” and “Gang Related.” His set included covers of Queen’s “We Are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You.” He even took a brief break later in the show to play Nintendo with one lucky fan. The crowd began to leave as Logic closed his set with “1-800-273-8255” and “Everyday.”
MIKE MELINOE written and photographed by: stephanie tacy
Mike Melinoe, born Michael Whitsett, is a 26-year-old rapper out of Detroit, Michigan who is now based in Austin, TX.
If you could be a superhero, what would your superpower be?
When did you start rapping?
I would be some Nightcrawler. I probably obviously wouldn’t call myself Nightcrawler, but I don’t know what the fuck the name would be. I would just like to be able to teleport, you know, just like vanish to this and that. It’s just the tightest shit to me, just less walking. It seems lazy when I think about it now but like say I’m out here and I just vanish to Detroit real quick and come back.
Middle school but it really got serious as Mike Melinoe in 2012. I had a lot of different names so I kinda took it in a different route in 2012. But it was super early though, it was trash though. You know what I mean? I was in middle school just thinking shit was cute and it was just really that bad.
If you could describe your style in one word what would it be? Unpredictable.
How did you settle on Mike Melinoe as your rap name? “Me, my cousin, and my little brother were just having a conversation. I had been Nuckas Mcfly and was Mike Whitsett at the time. I was really searching. I was just trying to think about what imagery, my life, and what I wanted to portray in a sense. I was always taken back to my nightmares, something that always stuck with me throughout my life. I was like well let’s have the deeds of a good and bad, you know just coming from Detroit. I felt like the name had
to be a balance of truly a theory of whatever happens in my life and that’s Melinoe, a Greek goddess, it’s the bringer and source of nightmares. My mom was the only person to bring me out of that so that is the female perspective in a sense. I literally still have nightmares. But yeah, we were just searching the internet trying to figure it out. We wanted to be more in the Greek mythology realm in a sense. Everything else was narrow within shit everybody else knew and cliche. Melinoe was something that stuck out with my name and it has a ring to it. I didn’t even know it was going to be what it was. How it rings now is totally different than how we thought it was “
What do you do outside of music that contributes to your musicality? “Besides the artistic and visual interest because I’m always fucking working, um meditation and just trying to figure out more about me because I feel like that’s just the root of it all. I just feel like I’m finding myself a bit more and I’m patient now. And that works for me. But um, I’m always soaking shit in but besides painting and just literally visual creative director and producing, it’s probably meditation. Just trying to like figure out more and more about myself and just the human race and just the mind power and reading man.”
What inspires your music? “My mom, my brother, my older brother, my little sister pretty much. Besides that, family essence, just the growth of where I come from and the struggle literally and the aspirations I have always dreamed upon. But I’m like a big movie guy a little bit so you I like Quentin Tarantino, Scorsese?, it’s just certain people that I adore and I just try to have this movie feel like theatrical momentum. But I’m really like a sponge overall like I’m inspired by everything.”
If you had a autobiography what would it be called? “Melinoe, because I feel like I found myself in that sense”
What is your favorite song of all the ones you have released? “The one I just released, not trying to sound cliche because it just came out, but “Her Name”. It represents me a bit more than any other song. I dropped it like yesterday but recorded it three months ago, but the style and the interest of it is still dated to what I am about to do months from now. It’s really just a curveball. I came from boom-bap and to drop that is like, oh okay. I also have some blues songs I haven’t put out.”
What are you working on now? “Man, I am actually focused on a tour right now, but I have my next debut like real project man. I am proud about that, it’s called “6” and that’s supposed to be dropped in the fall so I am just wrapping shit up right now. But yeah, we got shows but I am just trying to focus and grow as an individual and everything else that happens after that, as long as I am good mentally I don’t give a shit about anything else.”
Whos in your top 5? “Andre 3000, Jimi Hendrix, Big L, Sade, and Al Jarreau.”
If you did not become a music artist what would you be doing right now? “Before I started making music, I played sports so I really wanted to be in the NFL or running track but that sucked. Besides that, I don’t really know man, I probably wouldn’t even be here on Earth. I don’t know, I would probably be miserable as fuck.”
What part of the music process do you enjoy the most performing or creating? “They kind of go hand and hand. The creative process is quite intricate like I really want to know when certain things go here but when you are live it’s different. I’ve learned how to perform a bit better than a lot of my older performances. I feel like the performance gives it more existence and a personable essence in a sense. I’ve met people who just see me live one time and they just like my content and they buy into it in a sense rather than somebody who just listens to my music and have never seen me perform but just enjoys my content. I cater to both in a sense but performing is the shit dog. It’s like a whole other level to me. It’s like an out of body experience.”
What’s the most memorable show you have ever performed? “Prague was very interesting because the first time I went it was a smaller stage then the second time was a bigger stage and more people knew about me and then I had autographs and it was a lot of other things and people were very attentive. It was more like a movie, long story short. I arrived at the airport literally super late, you know delayed bags, all this stuff. I had to go out and get the guy with my name on a little iPad but I couldn’t find him for 10 minutes then I actually had to buy something from a local brand and I was getting some hoodies and stuff from that for a duration of like 20 minutes and then the function was probably like 40 minutes from that airport and I had to perform in like a hour. By time we got to the hotel it was like wash my sack for two minutes then you know go leave and run to the stage literally as soon as I got into the building, I was about to perform so it was really a fucking movie, that was kind of crazy on the low.”
What advice do you have for any upcoming artists? “More so than anything, just stop trying to be everybody else and understand who you are in a sense. The more you know yourself, the more you’ll understand if this is really for you and in the process don’t always think about it as a money thing but also be smart because why wouldn’t you think about money. Just think about the art, and the growth, and the progression of the story behind it. Think about it as a long-term goal, I’m like 10 years ahead from now in my mind. Really just staying focused on understanding that you really want to do this and if you really want to do this, it’s not a hobby. This is an every fucking day thing, literally every fucking day.”
I know that you are also a visual artist, what got you into painting? Where could we find this work? “My girlfriend, she just kept asking me or telling me or suggesting that I should paint. She was pretty much just saying that I’m just aggressive, insensitive, you know like bottled up in a sense and she was like maybe you should release and I was like nah that shits not for me. Then one day I tried it and I cried damn near on canvas and I was on acid but like besides the actual acid, it was just like I was so unsure because we see art so when you’re actually trying to, you think about everybody else’s art and this doesn’t look good enough but that first piece was just like damn. This is really and its quite abstract big-ass faces laying on the floor just looks like tears on the canvas literally, and that’s how I described it. It’s therapy now. “ Mike’s art can be found on (www.goldaintcheap.com)
What do you hope the audience gets from your work? Either art or music? “Just understanding man, the story of it. Like I literally started painting through what I just said but it also led me to a concept and a style. At first it was just random shit me just trying to do a stage or a bottle or anything but that shit just wouldn’t work for me and just basically if you put your time into it, if you really want it to happen, like it’s going to happen in a sense. I come from Detroit, from seven miles, I lived in like all these different places around Michigan and stuff and I was accustomed to a lot of different environments. I always kind of moved schools and stuff like that so I met a lot of people but I was also isolated so people who met me in elementary would be like damn I would have never thought like you were super shy. I’m still quite shy but now I’ve just grown into this individual who’s just not afraid of anything. So listening to my music I really want people to just feel as free as possible more so than anything understand that this is obtainable if you really want it. If you’re a customer or just listen to whatever or someone that’s pursuing this content, or realm career-wise. Just understanding that isolation is very important and self is very important but you have to understand that goes with action. You just can’t think all day without doing shit.”
DAZED AND BLAZED TOUR written and photographed by: stephanie tacy
The Dazed and Blazed Tour stopped in Austin, Texas at Austin 360 Amphitheater on August 25th. The tour was headlined by Taylor Gang heavyweight, Wiz Khalifa, and featured sets by Rae Sremmurd, Lil Skies, and OT Genasis. OT Genasis got the crowd hyped performing his hits “Coco” and “Cut It” before emerging artist Lil Skies took to the stage for his first performance in the Austin area. The young artist performed “Welcome to the Rodeo,” “Lust,” “I Know You,” “Nowadays,” and “Red Roses.” After a brief DJ set, a curtain was dropped revealing a brinks truck, palm trees, and lawn chairs as rap duo Rae Sremmurd made their way to the stage. Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi best known for their high energy performances served the audience everything they could want and more. The rap duo jumped and bounced around the stage performing hits “Swang,” “Black Beatles,” “No Type,” “No Flex Zone,” “Brxnks Trucks,” “Throw Sum Mo,” “Come Get Her,” and “Perplexing Pegasus.” They even brought up kids from the crowd to rap and dance along. The crowd was amped and ready for the headliner. Chants of “Wiz” filled the air. Moments later Taylor Gang’s Wiz Khalifa appeared in camo pants and a white t performing “King.”
ENDLESS SUMMER TOUR written and photographed by: stephanie tacy
The Endless Summer Tour coheadlined by G-Eazy and Lil Uzi Vert stopped in Austin, TX on August 9th at Austin360 Amphitheater. The 5 hour show featured appearances by P-Lo, YBN Nahmir, Murda Beatz, and Ty Dolla $ign.The evening got started with brief sets by P-Lo and YBN Nahmir before Taylor Gang’s Ty Dolla $ign serenaded the ladies as he performed his hits “Blase,” “Wavy,” “Pineapple,”and “Paranoid.”
After a brief intermission, the stage was adorned with a giant skull and LED screens projecting upside down crosses. The stage darkened, smoke funneled in as Lil Uzi Vert’s voice came through the speakers. Uzi appeared in all black clothing with a leather skull harness performing “Sauce It Up.” The artist best known for his high energy performances did not disappoint. Uzi disappeared from the stage while performing “444+222”and was found running through the crowd to the general admission lawn (located in the back of the venue) where he climbed on top of two security guards shoulders before crowd surfing above shrieking and screaming
concertgoers doing whatever they could do to get close to the artist.
After he was done, Uzi returned to the stage to perform “Money Longer,” “Ps & Qs,” “Do What I Want,” “XO TOUR LIF3,” and “You Was Right.” A shift in energy and stage decor surfaced as Gerald Gillum better known by his stage name G-Eazy got set to take the stage.
G-Eazy emerged behind LED screens performing “Pray For Me” in an orange collared shirt, black slacks, and vans. The Oakland native went on to perform hits “Me, Myself, and I,” “1942,” “Sober,” “The Beautiful & Damned,” “Calm Down,” and “Him & I” as the crowd sang along word for word. The night came to a close with G Eazy performing his most recent radio hit “No Limit.”
FLATBUSH ZOMBIES written and photographed by: stephanie tacy
Flatbush Zombies took Vacation in Hell, their newest album, on tour alongside Nyck Caution and Kirk Knight. The See You In Hell Tour made its stop in Austin, TX on June 7th with a line of eager fans wrapped around the building. Concertgoers piled into Emo’s as Nyck got the crowd energized by crowd surfing. Knight followed performing his hit songs “Slob on my Knob,” “Plain Jane,” “5 Minutes,” and “Good Knight.” The stage grew dark and the crowd cheers roared as the stage props were revealed. Flatbush Zombies emerged out of coffins one at a time with infectious energy that radiated throughout the venue. They performed hits “Bounce,” “HELL-O,” “Headstone,” “Vacation,” “This Is It,” and “Hail Mary” growing wilder with each song. It’s safe to say the Zombies have been brought back to life.
EAST ATLANTA LOVE LETTER WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY STEPAHNIE TACY
ith minimalist beats and soothing vocals 6lack lets his emotions flow on his sophomore album, East Atlanta Love Letter, as he discusses various conditions of love. The Atlanta artist lays out a roadmap to his deepest thoughts as he reflects on relationships, personal struggles, where he’s been, and where he’s going in the future as he juggles being an artist and a father. The artist otherwise known as Ricardo Valentine, sets precedent with the album’s opening lyrics “Hope my mistakes don’t make me less of a man, but lately it feel like them shits really can”on “Unfair.” The theme of love lost and relationship struggles reemerges in “Let Her Go”and “Sorry.”The seamless transitions keep the listener from losing interest. The sonically cohesive project is further enriched by spoken-word interludes by Jaycina Almond, Light Skin Keisha, and Tierra Whack as well as features from Future, J.Cole, Offset, and Khalid with verses that compliment his own style. Album highlights include “Pretty Little Fears,” ”
Nonchalant,” “Seasons,”and “Stan.” J.Cole’s lyricism and 6lacks voice merge perfectly on “Pretty Little Fears” as they juxtapose perspectives of love jumping from 6lack’s failed relationship to Cole’s love poem. 6lack speeds it up as he raps on “Nonchalant” flexing his lyrical skills. Later in the album the mood is lifted in “Seasons” as 6lack partners with Khalid reflecting on a cold winter and heading towards the summer, “The old me is on his last stretch, I guess a new season is next.” The album ends with slow jam “Stan” a unique love ballad where 6lack references the love fans have for their favorite artist to the love he feels for his girl. Through anything 6lack has a undying love for her stating that life without his love “is a slant rhyme, that mean it works out but it ain’t quite what it’s ‘posed to be.” The growth in both 6lack’s musicality and personal life is evident in East Atlanta Love Letter. His focus on quality music rather than flooding the market is lost with many artists these days. The album is a much earned 5/5 and will easily land itself as one of the best albums to release this year.
written and photographed by: stephanie tacy
Thousands came out in the scorching Texas heat for the 5th annual Float Fest in Martindale, Texas this past weekend. Festival goers float the river before heading into the festival equipped with a ferris wheel and other carnival rides layed out in the middle of a pasture.
This year’s lineup included an array of genres perfect for those who like to venture out with their music. Performing artists included A Giant Dog, BlacKillac, The Suffers, Joywave, Cold War Kids, Run The Jewels, Modest Mouse, Bun B, Cashmere Cat, and more. Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Bassnectar, and Tame Impala drew out the biggest crowds.
Day one heated up to about 105 degrees as nearly 20,000 festival goers filled the grounds by the end of the night. Highlights included The Suffers, a Gulf Coast soul band, out of Houston who performed a soothing set featuring “You Only Call,” “Giver,” and “I Think I Love You.” Later in the day chants of “Weezy, Weezy, Weezy,” filled the air as Lil Wayne took to the stage rapping “Mr. Carter.” Wayne teased his upcoming album The Carter V while performing hits “Got Money,” “Mrs.Officer,” “Pussy, Money, Weed,” “Go DJ,” “Lollipop,” “Love Me,” and “I’m Goin’ In.” The night ended with a sea of confetti and a crowd pleasing light show as Bassnectar performed an hour and a half dj set. The second day began with temperatures reaching up to 109 degrees as festival goers crowded under two tents for a shot at some shade.
Highlights of the day included Snoop Dogg taking to the stage with backup dancers performing hits “Gin & Juice,” “Young, Wild, & Free,” “Jump Around,” “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted,” “Nuthin’ but a “G” Thang,” “Drop It Like Its Hot,” and “Boyz-n-the-Hood.”
About mid-set Snoop even threw a blunt into the crowd for one lucky festival goer. The confetti doused crowd seemed pleased as Australian band, Tame Impala, closed out the festival performing hits “Nangs,” “Elephant,” “Mind Mischief,” “Let It Happen,” and “Eventually.”Despite the cool vibes and great music, there are some drawbacks to this festival. Even though attendees having the option to park for the day or turn the event into a camping weekend, this festival prioritizes campers. Unless you enjoy waiting to park for 1-3 hours followed by 1-2 mile walk to the festival gates, I highly suggest camping. This may not seem like a big deal but after a day of festival fun in the Texas heat, the unlit walk back can be exhausting and potentially dangerous. Another drawback of the festival was the lack of shade available to attendees. With only two covered areas available on the festival grounds, it becomes hard to escape the sun. I would advise splurging for the VIP tickets that come with free water, covered viewing areas, and a tent close to the stage to spend time hiding from the sun between sets.
WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY STEPAHANIE TACY
housands made their way to Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium in San Antonio, TX October 27-28th for the 3rd annual Mala Luna Festival presented by Scoremore. The festival was split into two days and featured some of hip-hop’s hottest artists such as the current “Queen” of hip hop Cardi B, Tyler the Creator, Lil Baby, Gunna, Nicky Jam, Tierra Whack, Lil Pump, Moneybagg Yo, Smokepurpp, Rico Nasty, Saweetie, Blocboy JB, 2 Chainz, Wifisfuneral, Shoreline Mafia, and Young Thug. The fest also included performances by Becky G, Angel Cintron, Noah North, Deorro, GTA, and Gracelynnd Gomez. Day one’s lineup was the strongest with highlight performances by by Tierra Whack, Moneybagg Yo, Lil Baby, Tyler the Creator, Nicky Jam, and Cardi B. Tierra Whack brought her corky energy to the stage as she performed “Hungry Hippo” and “Toe Jam” while throwing halloween candy to the crowd. Later on, Moneybagg Yo provided a last minute replacement for Rich the Kid performing songs including his hit “Do Too Much.” He later hopped on stage with
rapper Lil Baby to perform “Bank.” Atlanta rapper Lil Baby’s midday set brought out the biggest crowd thus far as he performed “Yes Indeed,” “Drip Too Hard,” and “Exotic.” As day turned to night bigger names began to roll onto the stage including crowd favorite Tyler the Creator. Despite a recent car accident that limited Tyler’s movements, he still provided a memorable performance as he rapped songs including “Where the Flower Blooms.” Reggaeton star Nicky Jam was up next with
a set fueled by stage smoke and confetti cannons Backup dancers twirled and glided across the stage as he sang hits including “El Amente,” and “El Perdon”. The crowd rushed to the Lone Star stage during the last portion of Nicky’s set and chants of “Cardi”filled the air. With a troupe of female backup dancers, Cardi twerked around stage performing her new single “Money,” as well as most of the songs from her album
Invasion Of Privacy such as “I Like It,” “Ring,” “She Bad,” and “Drip.” Cardi ended the night with her biggest hit “Bodak Yellow.”Day 2 drew out a smaller crowd with highlights including contrasting female rappers Saweetie and Rico Nasty, Blocboy JB, Gunna, Lil Pump, and 2 Chainz. Icy Grl Saweetie got vibes started on The Beat stage as she took to the stage in a baby pink mink coat performing her hits “Icy Grl,” “B.A.N,” “High Maintence,” and “Up Now.” Rico Nasty followed up on the Lone Star Stage bringing her New York street vibes as she paced back and forth across stage performing “Smack a Bitch,” “Poppin,” and “Keylime OG.” Later in the day Blocboy JB brought the crowd to a whole new level of hype as he started a “Free Tay-K” chant. His energy radiated into the audience as he danced and jigged across stage performing hits “Rover,” “No Chorus Pt. 10,”and “Shoot.” Georgia rapper Gunna, who recently dropped a joint album with Lil Baby, walked out in an Off-White pancho and performed hits including “Pedestrian,” “Drip Too Hard,” “Almighty,” and “Chanel.”The
crowd got a little too rowdy before the Lil Pump’s set as VIP and General Admission participated in a festival version of a food fight as they chunked bottles of water and cans of beer at each other across the barricaded walkway. Lil Pump’s DJ had to step in to simmer the crowd refusing to bring out Pump until they quit throwing things and reminded them what they actually purchased their tickets for. Once their attention was redirected, Pump took the stage performing “Esskeetit,” “Gucci Gang,” “Boss,” “Designer,” and “D. Rose.” After a DJ set from Dillon Francis, 2 Chainz made his way to Lone Star stage. As always the “Tity Boi”rapper delivered an energy packed performance that had the whole crowd dancing and rapping along. He performed older hits including “I’m Different,” “No Lie,” “Rich As Fuck,” as well as newish features from Chance the Rapper’s “No Problem” and YG’s “Big Bank.”
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