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Album Review: H.E.R. Vol.2, B Sides

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Album: Vol. 2 B sides

Artist: H.E.R.

Label: RCA

If you haven’t heard of the up and coming R&B singer H.E.R., you are truly missing out on one of the most promising artist to emerge in the last decade in this commercially dying genre. Simply billed as H.E.R. has released three EPs in the last year and her (no pun intended) identity remains unknown as she prefers to remain anonymous and only be represented by her music as is the case with her lastest release, Vol 2. B sides which was available for steaming last Friday, October 20th everywhere, as well as a combined album that included 21 tracks from all three EPs.

Not steering away from a winning formula that displays vulnerability and heartbreak combined with confidence and skillset, there is no denying that this artist is in love with the nuisances of R&B and R&B is showing her love right back on this new six song EP. The stand out track, Rather Be is a piano driven ballad that is layered in simple production, emotional lyrics, and controlled vocal range, that adds to an already impressive list of songs that sets her apart from other contemporary R&B singers. It’s simply a beautiful radio ready ballad that deserves much attention in this would of luke warm deliveries and semi soulful attempts. is the assumed lead track from the project due to it being released prior to the EP and a lyrical bold declaration of a woman admitting that she is also playing her unfaithful beau. The way she rides the track with such ease and smooth vocals is another example of how comfortable H.E.R sounds on most of her music, if not all. Best Part is a beautiful and light duet with vocalist Daniel Caesar and is very reminiscing of the great love music that was birthed out of the neo soul movement in the nineties. Those songs were sung by the greats of that era that included India.Arie, Jill Scott, and Musiq Soulchild and these two vocalists embodies these artists perfectly and really catches the vibes and soul of that time.

One might ask how does this fairly new artist seems to have such a solid winning formula? Well it’s rumored that H.E.R. is the latest carnation of a somewhat famous child prodigy(that we won’t name), who received a lot of attention at an early age because of her powerhouse vocals and piano ability. Meaning, she has been groomed to shine at this moment for years now and it shows.

Recently garnering a Soul Train Award nomination for Best New Artist, streaming over 65 million times across all streaming music providers worldwide, wrapping up a successful tour with Bryson Tiller for the Set It Off Tour and being listed on several Artist to Watch from various publication, its safe to say that H.E.R. is making moves and we are excited for the future of this brilliant artist. Connection to the music is key and moreso connection to your music is vital.

Other Notable Tracks from 21-track issued combined catalogue: Focus, Losing, Every Kind Of Way, Lights On, & Facts.

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Celebs

Kanye West Now Worth Estimated $6.6B Thanks to Lucrative Gap, Adidas Deals

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Kanye West is now worth a staggering $6.6 billion, as revealed in a new Bloomberg report and confirmed by a rep to Billboard.

According to a private document obtained by the outlet, Yeezy – West’s sneaker and apparel business with both Adidas and Gap – has been valued at between $3.2 billion to $4.7 billion by the Swiss investment bank UBS Group. As much as $970 million of that total is tied to West’s new clothing line for Gap (under the Yeezy Gap label) that the retailer has slated for release by July, part of a 10-year agreement the parties signed in June of last year.

The document further reveals that Gap, an ailing brand whose partnership with West represents a play for younger consumers, expects its Yeezy line to break $150 million in sales in its first full year in 2022 and envisions it surpassing a billion dollars in revenue within eight years, or even as soon as 2023 on the upside. West stands to profit handsomely in any event, as he retains sole ownership and creative control of the Yeezy brand and earns royalties on sales under the deal, with the rate increasing as the business grows. He’ll also receive stock warrants when the collection hits sales targets, with the highest set at $700 million, according to a securities filing.

West’s longstanding deal with Adidas has been the most lucrative part of his business endeavors to date, with Yeezy sneakers continuing to fly off of shelves; according to the documents, the brand grew 31% to nearly $1.7 billion in annual revenue last year, netting Yeezy royalties of $191 million. West has been in business with the company since 2013, with their current deal running through 2026.

An unaudited balance sheet of West’s finances, provided to Bloomberg by his lawyer, shows an additional $122 million in cash and stock and more than $1.7 billion in other assets, including an investment in his wife Kim Kardashian’s underwear label Skims (Kardashian filed for divorce in February).

West’s music catalog is worth another $110.5 million, according to a 2020 valuation by Valentiam Group cited by Bloomberg.

The numbers revealed today represent a decidedly sharp turnaround for West, who in 2016 claimed to be $53 million in debt; at the time, he also took to Twitter to implore Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to invest $1 billion in his work. That was before West himself was named a billionaire by Forbes, which estimated his net worth at $1.3 billion in April 2020.

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Celebs

The Weeknd Still Pissed Over Grammy Snub

“I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.”

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The Grammys are coming this weekend, and it looks like it’s still bothering The Weeknd.

If you recall, The Weeknd was this years’ biggest snubbed artist. His song Blinding Lights has broken many records, such as longest Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 run. The songs success and album success also landed him the Super Bowl half time show last month.

From the Grammy Committee stand point…..they weren’t “wrong” in what happened. Although it was one of the biggest songs of the year, it was a tough field. Lets start off with the facts. Fact is, they tried to initially submit the song in the R&B genre, which would have given him a bigger chance of winning because R&B acts lately haven’t been as big as him. The committee rerouted him to the POP category, because the song is a POP song. In those categories, he is up against POP Stars like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Dua Lipa, and new comer Doja Cat. They all had pretty big years, and in the POP world, The Weeknd isn’t really the biggest guy out there.

Moving on. A lot of Blinding Lights’ chart success was due to multiple factors, one being a pandemic and another being that he had a lot of radio play. While streams and sales were solid, they weren’t enough to keep him in the Top 10. I looked at a random week in July 2020 and he wasn’t even in Spotify’s Top 10.

In a recent interview with The New York Times, The Weeknd stated he would boycott the awards from now on. “Because of the secret committees,” the Weeknd said, “I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.

Some would see this statement as him standing up to a long standing, flawed system. For me, he is throwing a temper tantrum. He’s in the music industry to express his creativity and bring his art to life. The awards and accolades are merely bonus. To have this much attitude over a predominately white award show is an example of him feeling as if he was entitled to the awards. Crazy thing about it, he didn’t mention his displeasure for also being snubbed at the NAACP Image Awards.

At the end of the day, you win some, you lose some…but you live to fight another day.

Friday

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Movies

Is DaBaby having a “Yellowbone” baby?

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The folks are talking and its leaning towards “Yes”. “Yellowbone” singer, DaniLeigh, was spotted out and about sporting a baby bumb over the weekend.

Now the two had a very social media present relationship, that seemed to have ended not too long ago. The fact that she just popped out with this baby bump afterwards is a little….different. All that attention she was seeking on social media, and to not give a proper announcement is a little off brand. But it’s whatever. Congrats to the couple, praying for a healthy baby.

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