Shared posts

06 Jul 18:11

Fast Learner

by admin

06 Jul 16:15

Kesha Returns With New Song & Video “Praying”

by Jake Boyer

oh god the monologue at the beginning of that video

Kesha is officially back. The beloved pop star has returned with her first proper release in years with “Praying,” a moving piano ballad that has also arrived with a visually-arresting video. Watch it above.

This song also arrives with the news that it will serve as the lead single off Kesha’s upcoming album Rainbow, her first since 2012’s Warrior. She has, of course, been much maligned in her career by the highly-publicized legal battle with her former manager Dr. Luke. This process is referred to quite openly in “Praying,” with the singer acknowledging the extreme emotional trauma of the situation.

Rainbow will feature a wide variety of collaborations, ranging from a Dolly Parton guest spot to production work from the likes of Ben Folds and Eagles of Death Metal. It will arrive on August 12 via Kemosabe Records / RCA.

Revisit “Die Young” below.

In other music news, SZA has announced a national tour in support of her debut album ‘Ctrl.’ See all the dates right here.

06 Jul 15:40

comicbookvault: Wolverine vs. Lady DeathstrikeUNCANNY X-MEN...

by brianbendis


Wolverine vs. Lady Deathstrike
UNCANNY X-MEN #205 (May 1986)
Art by Barry Windsor-Smith
Story by Chris Claremont & Barry Windsor-Smith

06 Jul 15:35

Nicholas V. Sanchez’s Sketchbook Ink Drawings.Talented artist...

Nicholas V. Sanchez’s Sketchbook Ink Drawings.

Talented artist Nicholas V. Sanchez has an incredible ability at sketching realistic recreations of classical art, portraits and animals with just ballpoint pens in his Moleskine notebooks.  If you love these, don’t miss his paintings.

Be sure to follow Supersonic Art on Instagram if you don’t already!

Via Colossal <3

06 Jul 15:32

REVIEW | Waxahatchee is absolutely flawless “Out in the Storm”

by Rachel A.G. Gilman

i like this

With the release of Lorde 's Melodrama in June, we should have known this was going to definitely be the summer of the female vocalists.

What has appropriately followed suit is new music from women across the map. Among these is Katie Crutchfield who returns with another chapter in her Waxahatchee book, which began in 2011. After an attempt at playing with her sister Allison in a little punk band called P.S. Eliot , Katie instead started her own D.I.Y. project, entitled after the name of a lake close to her parents' house in Alabama. Waxahatchee was born out of a broken heart and some time needed to reflect and recoup, which compiled into her debut American Weekend by 2012.

Over the past five years, Waxahatchee has become synonymous with confessional, lo-fi tracks that entice a listener as much as they break their heart. They have always been moody and they have explored different ways of doing so with each record. With 2015's Ivy Tripp , listeners thought they had heard the most intimate corners of Crutchfield's mind. It was quiet, it was held back, and it was a project she worked on in a house in Long Island almost exclusively with then boyfriend and live drummer Keith Spencer. However, Crutchfield admitted that she held back on the record, hiding a little from everyone, including herself.

Out in the Storm rectifies all of those secrets and has Crutchfield owning her voice, her sound, and her emotions in a way we've never heard before. And when you hear it, you will instantly love it, and likely even relate to it.

From the first angry, striking guitar chords on the opening track "Never Been Wrong" (also a single from the album), Crutchfield's voice is more powerful than we've ever heard before as she owns having taken part in a bad relationship but being able to break free from it now. It's courageous and so, so strong in a way Crutchfield has undeniably always had within her but only felt ready to release now. She's authoritative in calling someone out on their faults, just like she is in mentioning her own.

This powerful hold over the album is a trademark throughout. It's also a place for powerful women to shine in general. Sleater-Kinney's Katie Harkin lends her talents on guitar throughout the album. This combination of strong women make tell-off, confessional tracks feel like the new, feminist take on the messages behind " We're Not Gonna Take It ."

In its entirety, Out in the Storm is a truly, flawless delight. It would be difficult to pull out tracks that are favorites without some feeling left out. Other single "Silver" is another claim to taking back your rights. It's also the inspiration for the album's title. Crutchfield sings, " I went out in a storm and I'm never returning ," which feels like her moment of revelation. Combined with some killer guitar riffs, prepare to crank this jam and jump up and down on your bed with your girlfriends, Crutchfield has also stated that writing the album took her back to being a teenager, that sort of fearlessness where she can openly speaking her mind. Whatever it is, it works.

"Sparks Fly" is another anthem for embracing the parts of you that make you exactly who you are. " I'm a live wire, electrified ," Crutchfield sings in the chorus as she notes adventures in traveling and realizing, even in times when she's felt down, she's never really been alone. She's letting go, and appropriately, the song allows her room to declare all of this before growing and crashing like waves after she's had her say. It's reminiscent, but it isn't sad.

Even in places where it wanders musically, trying out various sounds like on the ballad turned rock anthem "Recite Remorse," it occupies your attention. This is mainly due to Crutchfield's work as a lyricist. She had undoubtedly put the work in here to be vulnerable, to admit to her faults and to mistakes she's made. But instead of hiding from them, she wants us to understand what happened. In the world of femme-power rock, "A Little More" also might feel lost, but because of, again, its ability to show there isn't always all bad in something not exactly perfect (its depiction of losing your reality in the middle of a love affair is remarkable) matches it up to the rest of the diaristic tone Out in the Storm explores.

In short: this album is not good, it's beyond that.

The album is defiant, female rock music in its most powerful form. It may have taken Crutchfield four tries to get to the place where she wants to be with her music, but the journey was well worth the weight. Out in the Storm is the underground equivalent to Melodrama , an honest depiction and declaration of women's feelings and desire to be heard and understood in the world. However, I have a feeling once word gets out, it won't be considered lesser known for very long — nor, frankly, should it be.

Out in the Storm is out July 14 on Merge Records .

Follow Waxahatchee on Facebook , Twitter , and Instagram .

Rachel A.G. Gilman is a writer, a radio producer, and probably the girl wearing the Kinks shirt. Follow her on Twitter .
06 Jul 15:19

Nosego’s “Ingress” at Thinkspace Gallery.Opening on Saturday...

Nosego’s “Ingress” at Thinkspace Gallery.

Opening on Saturday July 8th, 2017 at Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City, California is artist Nosego’s sensational solo exhibition of brand new, incredible work entitled “Ingress.”

Philadelphia-based Nosego, real name Yis Goodwin, is a world renown painter and muralist whose work shines with otherworldly beauty and depth.  Personifying animals and visually describing their souls as imaginative landscapes, Yis is able to concoct aesthetic treasures rarely matched where each hints at the vulnerability of nature but also its unrivaled power and will to survive.

Ingress” will be on view until July 29th, 2017 and should absolutely be seen in person at all costs.

Don’t miss Supersonic Art on Instagram!

06 Jul 13:41

INTERVIEW | A conversation with Beach Fossils

by Conor Hudnut

the video is better than the song

This "fuck it" style of songwriting, a willingness to grapple with big things, is a large part of what makes Somersault so compelling.

The music video for "Sugar," the sixth track off of Beach Fossils' recent record Somersault , opens with the trio (composed of frontman Dustin Payseur, Tommy Gardner, and Jack Doyle Smith) rolling backwards on skateboards on a New York sidewalk. The camera comes closer and closer, into an isolated shot of Payseur alone - frowning and unflinching.

The video then cuts to the band whizzing across the streets of Brooklyn on the boards, which were made in a collaboration with Habitat Skateboards . The video is a love letter to New York, we watch them on a sunny day in the city as they pass brownstones, through parks, and alongside the J Train. They're dicking around - dunking on a basketball courts and playfully flipping each other off - until the final shot. They're off of their boards and it's night time, their backs turned to Manhattan, and they are no longer smiling. It's a video of three young guys having fun in New York caught between images of loneliness - darkness and its escape.

Payseur was surprised when I told him that Somersault felt darker to me than their earlier records, and asked if I meant that musically or lyrically. I told him that I thought so lyrically, and after a pause he responded saying, "huh, okay. I guess for a while the earlier stuff was like escapism from depression - just like, you know, kind of like being a time capsule for what's enjoyable, I guess. And with this one it just started out coming out kind of sad - and I was just like fuck it, this is just how I feel, I wanna write about how I feel, I'm not gonna fake it."

This "fuck it" style of songwriting, a willingness to grapple with big things, is a large part of what makes Somersault so compelling. In "Saint Ivy," the album's third track, Payseur tries unsuccessfully to find something larger to cling to, with the second verse saying "How to find a reason / television and another headline / don't believe in Jesus / heaven knows I'm wasting my time / Wanna believe in America / But it's somewhere I can't find." In "Down the Line," the album's ninth track, Payseur sings of self loathing and feeling like he's losing his mind. In the final track on the album, "That's All for Now," Payseur sings of the relatable experience of coming back down after a day of fun - "That's all for now / Nights that we forgot / Everyone wants / But I woke up back again."

That's not to say that there aren't still remnants of the sunny, beachy escapism of their earlier records like their 2010 self titled or their 2011 follow up What a Pleasure . We get this first in the album's opening track, "This Year." "This Year" starts with the same upbeat, enchanting guitar hook and sparse vocals of some of their earlier records. The song builds nicely in the chorus with Gardner's drumming.

Somersault is in many ways the most mature album put out thus far by Beach Fossils, which I learned about in a recent call I had with the band. Payseur told me about how as a teenager he always had skateboards designed by bands he listened to, making the collaboration with Habitat a true achievement.

In Somersault Beach Fossils experiment with new musical styles and arrangements, which I discussed with Gardner and Doyle Smith. The album was created by building and layering melodies and arrangements - often starting with one core idea and then building outwards.

The album cover - a white square with a Beach Fossils logo in red at the top right corner - is the first of the band's album covers to not be in black and white. Payseur explained this by saying - "I went to the Natural History Museum and was looking at Chinese artworks where the artist would always put their stamp on it in red. I really liked the texture and the color of it, and that idea sparked the design for the cover."

Somersault is also the first Beach Fossils album to be released on Bayonet Records - a record label co owned by Payseur and his wife Katie Garcia. On releasing an album on his own label, Payseur remarked that, "it's always been a big goal of mine. It's nice because I don't work well with pressure, and I have a problem with authority figures - even if it's just with a label that's really nice to me."

Somersault , the first Beach Fossils record in four years, was well worth the wait. The music and lyrics of the album are a great achievement, which are much in part due to Payseur's departure from lyrical escapism, and the wiggle room provided from working for your own label. And what's next for Beach Fossils? Lots of touring - the dates of which are available on their website


05 Jul 17:01

Big Bird does Sabotage

by René

i needed this today so i hope it helps you (you understood) as well

15 Jun 19:58

New Video: Boogie Feat. Ayo “Won’t Be the Same”

by Andy B.

boogie is great

boogie wont be the same

Since his breakout a few years ago, Boogie has consistently combined powerful song concepts with compelling visuals (like last year’s “N*gga Needs,” which even got a rare co-sign from Rihanna), and his latest offering doesn’t buck the trend. Teaming up with directors Ricky + China, the Compton rapper delivers a simple yet stirring video that captures the complicated nature of relationships; the internal conflict of knowing you need to move on but not being able to let go (“three mixtapes in, still talking about the same person”).

“Won’t Be the Same” is taken from Boogie’s must-listen mixtape, Thirst 48 Pt. II.

Watch below…

Related: New Video: Boogie Feat. Dana Williams “Sunroof”

15 Jun 19:56

Andrew Ross MacLean, Illustrations.Love, love, love the work of...

Andrew Ross MacLean, Illustrations.

Love, love, love the work of Illustrator Andrew Ross MacLean (That’s a link to his Tumblr, yall) who lives and works in Massachusetts.

Don’t miss Supersonic Art on Instagram!

15 Jun 18:41

marvel1980s:Cloak and Dagger by June Brigman - Marvel Fanfare...

by brianbendis


Cloak and Dagger by June Brigman - Marvel Fanfare #54

08 Jun 21:58

Mike Giant’s “Notes from the High Ground” at ATAK...

Mike Giant’s “Notes from the High Ground” at ATAK Gallery.

Opening on Saturday, June 10th, 2017 at ATAK Gallery in San Francisco, California is artist Mike Giant’s excellent “Notes from the High Ground.”

Referencing his life of five years living in the high plains of the southwest United States through his iconic illustration style and annotation, “Notes from the High Ground” allows an intimately personal view into the mind and dreams of Giant, an artist I consider to be one of Contemporary Art’s most important.

Notes from the High Ground” will be on view throughout June and should be absolutely be viewed in person.

Don’t miss Supersonic Art on Instagram!

08 Jun 15:04

Neural Network dreams your Flesh

by René

Das holländische Radio NPO hat eine eigene Instanz von Christopher Hesses Pix2Pix auf 'nem Server installiert und dort kann man nun, wie schon mit Hesses Katzen-Compositing-Browsertoy, mit den „Trainingsdaten“ eines Neural Networks seltsame Dinge malen, nur diesmal mit Menschen.

Hier Frau May und Herr Corbyn von Cyriak:

Leider ist die Implementierung eher mau. Der Sender trainierte sein Pix2pix-Model mit grade mal drei Bildern (Profil, Halbprofil und Frontalansicht) und dementsprechend unflexibel ist das ganze Browsertoy. Das Neural Network hat mit diesen Grundlagen keine Ahnung, „wie ein Mensch aussieht“, sondern grade mal so eine viertel Ahnung davon, wie die holländische Reporterin aussieht, die in den Portrait-Aufnahmen zu sehen ist. (Man vergleiche alleine die Anzahl der unterschiedlichen Augen, die Hesses Toy ausspuckt mit derer des Radiosenders.)

Man malt also weniger mit „maschinen-abstrahierten ästhetischen Merkmalen des Menschen“ sondern mit „maschinen-abstrahierten, ästhetischen Merkmalen von Frau Dingsbums in einer ganz bestimmten Haltung“. Aber na gut. Solange ich mit Menschenfleisch malen kann, nehme ich, was ich kriege. Mehr Flesh auf Twitter unter dem Hashtag #fotogenerator.

Hier ein paar meiner Experimente:

25 May 17:17

This Kid’s Music Video Is Going Viral All Because of Fidget Spinners

by Jonathan Sawyer

i am fully convinced that rap music has taken a wrong turn and needs to be course corrected, but i appreciate this kids style

It’s really nothing new for a musician to hit viral status thanks to an over-the-top video. In following the likes of Rich Chigga, Lil Dicky and many others before them, meet Matt Ox.

Matt is an 11-year-old rapper from Philadelphia who has recently gained attention, not only because he’s a young trap artist, but thanks to videos like his most recent for “Overwhelming” — which follows up on “This N That” —  that just so happens to showcase the latest craze: fidget spinners.

Lately, we’ve been seeing these things absolutely everywhere, so why wouldn’t a music industry hopeful utilize such a phenomenon to help launch his own career?

In addition to playing with fidget spinners, Ox can be seen paling around with his pre-teen friends and riding dirt bikes throughout the Pipus & Kendra-directed aesthetic.

Press play above to check it out, then be sure to let us know what you think of the clip.

25 May 16:05

The Witcher’s fave card game, Gwent, is now in open beta

by Brendan Caldwell

i want to play this so bad.

Drizzle-soaked Welsh county and card game of tavern scoundrels, Gwent [official site], is now in open beta. Originally an in-game pastime from The Witcher 3, developers CD Projekt RED are casting it out into the world to see if it can survive on its own with naught but a pair of free-to-play clogs. It involves pitting your fightcards against the enemy’s fightcards on a wooden battlefield and borrows at least some ideas from the card game of sublime Italian cowardice Condottiere. But if you’re unfamiliar, we have a trailer below which explains it much better.
… [visit site to read more]

25 May 15:49

Netflix Warren Ellis Castlevania series gets debut trailer

by Philippa Warr

im interested for two reasons: 1. castlevania. 2. castlevania as imagined by warren ellis?!

Netflix's Castlevania

Oooh! The Castlevania animated series Netflix commissioned now has a trailer. That means we have our first look at the Warren Ellis-penned adaptation (although there is more than half a minute of preamble and sneaking in refs to other Netflix shows – GET TO THE POINT! AND BY POINT I MEAN THE POINT OF THE STAKE BECAUSE DRACULA): … [visit site to read more]

25 May 15:42

The New Dark Times-Shirt

by René

Awesome shirt is awesome. Goes smoothly together with the Nothing is real-Hat, I guess.

25 May 15:11

Pope sez Fuck Your Hand!

by René


I find this far funnier than I should:

[update] It's from a Kimmel-Segment last night:

18 May 21:18

New Video: Cardi B Feat. Offset “Lick”

by Staff

this is my least favorite generation of rap music


Are they dating or not? Despite being spotted together at various outings this year, Cardi B and Offset have kept quiet on the status of their relationship. The voluptuous rapper and Migos member now return with Mazi O.-directed video, “Lick.” Inspired by Oceans 11, Cardi and Offset hit the casino crap tables, while the former VH1 star pulls off a big-time heist.

“Lick” is off Cardi B’s Gangsta Bitch Vol. 2 project. Watch below.

Continue after the jump….

Premiered by FADER

Previously: 2 Chainz & Cardi B – Pretty Girls… Playlist

18 May 17:27

Penélope Cruz as Donatella Versace on the Set of “Versace: American Crime Story”

by Tom and Lorenzo

unsettling as a blonde

Penélope Cruz is serving up her version of ’90s Donatella drag and we are definitely here for it.


Slay, mama.

We have to admit, we burst out laughing at the attempt. She’s fabulous and on point, and we are OBVIOUSLY going to be all over this show when it comes out, but let’s face it, this is a rather flattering version of the real thing, no? Miss Penelope’s just a skosh more movie-star gorgeous… and we’ll leave it at that.




[Photo Credit:]

The post Penélope Cruz as Donatella Versace on the Set of “Versace: American Crime Story” appeared first on Tom + Lorenzo.

18 May 17:13

New Music: Iggy Azalea Feat. Anitta “Switch”

by Staff

someone got A LOT OF WORK DONE


Iggy Azalea is prepping to drop her new album
Digital Distortion later this year. After showing off her assets and twerking skills in “Mo Bounce,” the blonde bombshell returns with her new single “Switch.” The feel-good upbeat track features Brazilian pop singer Anitta, and the two joined forces to film the song’s rump shaking music video.

“Switch” is available now in select international markets like New Zealand, before it arrives on all streaming platforms and iTunes at midnight. Releasing via Def Jam Records, Digital Distortion is set to feature appearances by YG, Jeremih and Lil’ Uzi Vert.

Listen to “Switch” below.

Continue after the jump….

New Music: Iggy Azalea Feat. Anitta – “Switch”

Iggy Azalea – “Mo Bounce” (Video)
Iggy Azalea Feat. Lil Uzi Vert – “Can’t Lose”

18 May 16:03

Don't Overlook the Costumes on 'Master of None'

by Tyler McCall

i watched the whole season yesterday. 1. the italian lady is incredibly beautiful. 2. everyone is so handsomely dressed.

Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang's original Netflix series, "Master of None," has quickly emerged as not only one of the best comedies on television but also one of the most poignant. If you've somehow made it through both seasons one and two of the show without seeing something incredibly relatable, or ...

Continue reading

18 May 15:39

Chiba Kotaro, Recent Work.Incredible and endlessly fascinating...

12 May 13:19

Marilyn Manson Is Utterly Chilling in the Latest Trailer for ‘Let Me Make You a Martyr’

by Graeme Campbell

im into it

Marilyn Manson showcases his acting chops once more in the latest trailer for crime action thriller Let Me Make You a Martyr.

The film tells the story of an adopted sister and brother duo who scheme to kill their abusive father. Once their father is made aware of the plan, he then orders a hitman (Manson) to resolve the problem. In the teaser above, the shock rocker can be seen providing a wholly unsettling rendition of a gospel song to an unnamed man, and from there, things only get more sinister.

Manson has already demonstrated his thespian prowess on TV shows like Eastbound and Down, Californication and Sons of Anarchy. You can catch him in the film at select screenings below:

05/25 – Tulsa, Oklahoma. @ Circle Cinema  (two-week run)
05/27 – Austin, Texas @ Alamo Drafthouse (two-week run)
06/05 – Los Angeles, California. @ Sunset 5 Cinema (one night only)
06/09 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Anthology Film Archives

Once you’re done watching the trailer, click here to find some hidden Netflix gems.

04 May 19:35

Applebee There

by admin

28 Apr 14:45

Hulk’s Nicknames for His Defenders Teammates

by Brian Cronin

i love it

Hulk’s Nicknames for His Defenders Teammates

Knowledge Waits is a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me.

One of the things that has mostly gone by the wayside in comic book writing is that few writers try to write the Hulk like they used to (well, obviously, no one CURRENTLY writes the Hulk, because he’s dead, but you know what I mean). Gone is the days of “Puny humans, leave Hulk alone!”

Anyhow, back in those days, the Hulk was famous for the short nicknames that he would give hie “teammates” (quotes because the Defenders were a non-team team) in the Defenders. I’ll try to list as many as I can…

DOCTOR STRANGE = Magician or Dumb Magician

Just “Magician” was first in “Defenders” #2 (after calling him just “Doctor Strange” at first)…

then it became the more specific DUMB Magician…

NAMOR = Fish-Man

This was a go-to for the Hulk…

SILVER SURFER = Silver One and Shiny Face

He didn’t seem to have a consistent one for Silver Surfer…

VALKYRIE = Girl and then Sword-Girl

This was a weird one for many years. Just girl!

Later, when Hellcat also joined, Hulk HAD to come up with a new nickname for Valkyrie, so he went with Sword-Girl…

HAWKEYE = Purple man

Short-lived teammate, Hawkeye, was also “Stick Man.”


Long-time teammate, Nighthawk, got Bird-Nose right away…

It stuck, even when his costume changed to his more familiar look…

HELLCAT = Cat-Girl

Another longtime Defender, Hellcat, got the Cat-Girl nickname from Hulk very quickly…


Moon Knight was really only briefly a Defender, but long enough to count!

I don’t believe that the Hulk ever came up with a nickname for Hellstrom or Gargoyle, but I could be wrong! Feel free to write in with some nicknames that we missed!

If anyone else has a cool piece of comic book history that they’d like to see featured, feel free to drop me a line at!

The post Hulk’s Nicknames for His Defenders Teammates appeared first on CBR.

25 Apr 18:34

Rosario Dawson LOVES Her Dress at the “Unforgettable” Los Angeles Premiere

by Tom and Lorenzo

rosario dawson is top five most beautiful women in the world for sure



And we mean REALLY loves it:


Oh, honey. Never part the curtain on your legs. Not unless you have fanfare music on standby and you plan on saying “PREEEEEEESENTING… MY CROTCH!” like an old-timey ringmaster.



That is a whole hell of a lot of gold. And listen, you’d be hard-pressed to find two queens who love a sequin more than these two. But for whatever reasons, this isn’t really setting us on fire. To our eyes, that’s a very yellow, brassy gold, which is making it a bit less fabulous than we’d like. We’re not feeling the sheer flimsiness of the skirt, but that could have a lot to do with how she’s presenting it. And gold shoes with a gold dress is rarely ever a good idea. It’s almost always too much and you almost always risk going out with clashing golds, which is a fate we would only wish on our worst enemies. But she’s clearly feeling it, so maybe we should just get the hell over ourselves.

Still, doesn’t this seem like a lot for a semi-basic premiere?





Is it us, or does that trailer basically give you the whole movie?


Style Credits:
Vivienne Westwood Strapless Couture Gown in Deep Gold Lace with Rose Sequin Embellishment


[Photo Credit: Sara De Boer/, Vince Flores/ – Video Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures via]

The post Rosario Dawson LOVES Her Dress at the “Unforgettable” Los Angeles Premiere appeared first on Tom + Lorenzo.

20 Apr 14:44

Rafael Varona’s “Impossible Bottles.”A marvelous ongoing series...

Rafael Varona’s “Impossible Bottles.”

A marvelous ongoing series by artist Rafael Varona entitled “Impossible Bottles” which involves animated, lively worlds encapsulated in bottles for us to gaze upon.

Don’t miss Supersonic Art on Instagram!

20 Apr 13:42

“All Star” By Smash Mouth But All Instruments Are Bill O’Reilly Saying His Name

by Peter Helman

i didnt think it was worth it but it is

From the internet that brought you "All Star" By Smash Mouth But All Notes Are In C. More »
04 Apr 16:15

Meet Mr Eazi, the Nigerian Afrobeats Artist Making Global Waves

by Stephanie Smith-Strickland


“There’s always been interest in Afrobeat, it was just about the loudness of the interest,” says Mr Eazi, eyes concealed behind a pair of tinted sunglasses despite the dimness of the Playstation Theater’s numerous back rooms. He is preparing for the New York leg of the “Life is Eazi” tour and expects to play a sold out show that night, though you’d hardly know by his calm demeanor.

The clang of percussion and pulse-like beating of drums drifts down from the stage through an open door. Eazi’s team has started sound check, and the clamor of instruments underpins each of his statements like a song. Truthfully, his speaking voice isn’t so different than when he sings – there’s always a recognizable rhythm that carries his lyrics – something that falls between the satiny bedroom crooners of the ‘90s and the mumble rap preference of today’s youth. It’s a unique sonic marker, that, when coupled with Eazi’s tendency to write and record songs as he goes, gives his music an unstudied authenticity that has amassed him a legion of dedicated followers.

Last year, he signed a deal with Starboy Worldwide, the imprint label of Nigerian recording artist Wizkid, who like Eazi, was already a well-known name on the African continent. Of course the former’s meteoric rise to Stateside fame was sped along by the popularity of Drake’s “One Dance,” a song that quickly became the measurable precursor to American hip-hop’s flirtation with the sounds of the diaspora. In short, it’s no matter of small importance that Eazi is a rising Afrobeat artist during a most critical cross-over moment for the genre.

So who is Mr Eazi?

Oluwatosin Oluwole Ajibade or Mr Eazi was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and attended school in Lagos until university. His father was a pilot who traveled often, and Eazi remembers that he would always play records for the family during breakfast whenever he was at home. “My dad playing Bob Marley was my first interaction with music,” he says.

While the early exposure to reggae gave Eazi an appreciation of the sonic connections between Africa and Caribbean, it did little to cement his desire to make music. “I always wanted to be a millionaire,” he shares in his unhurried way. If there was one thing he knew for certain, it was that music was a gamble that very rarely resulted in millions. “It really wasn’t until July 22 of last year I started to think music was a viable career choice from a financial perspective. When I was going to college I realized the only millionaires in my family besides my grandma were engineers. They were working for oil companies or they had their own oil servicing companies so that’s the reason I studied mechanical engineering. I wanted to work in one of those companies and become a millionaire. Just one year into Uni I figured out there were other ways to become a millionaire. That’s when I realized I didn’t need to be an engineer or a pilot like my dad.”

Going to university in Kumasi, a city in the neighboring country of Ghana, also exposed Eazi to a new community of peers and allowed him to let his entrepreneurial spirit soar unfettered. “I started about six business ventures before I got into music,” Eazi says laughing. “I did promoting, I sold phones, I had a cab service, then I started selling drinks, and then I did gold trading, and then I went back to phones.”

In fact, it was one of Eazi’s many business ventures that eventually led him to a recording studio. While a student, he started a party and promotion company called Swagger Entertainment with around thirteen friends whom Eazi describes as, “the coolest boys at my Uni.” The popularity of their parties soon spread around the college circuit and caught the attention of Ghanaian musicians who clamored to be booked for events.

“I started going to the studio because artists who wanted to play at my shows wanted to gain my favor so they’d invite me to the studio. I was already sick of going to the clubs every Friday because I was the one doing the parties so the studio became like a new place to relax; that’s how I ended up recording. I actually think if I go back to that studio in Kumasi I would find so many records that never came out. Every Friday we would just go and just record random vibes from hip-hop to dancehall. At the time I still felt like if I had the money to pay artists to come to my shows and parties then I didn’t respect being a musician as an economically viable position in Africa.”

In 2014, Eazi quit club promoting after a no-show from an artist ended the largest party he’d ever attempted to throw. He also disassociated himself from his old persona and began to hone in on the career path he least expected – music. Following a string of successful  singles such as “Bankulize” and “Skin Tight,” both of which featured Ghanaian artists, and both of which enjoyed social media success, Eazi finally began to receive more critical recognition.

Yet despite finding favor online and in the local music scene, in 2016, he was snubbed from inclusion at the Ghana Music Awards due to his Nigerian citizenship. Ironically, it was precisely Eazi’s innate ability to pull from both cultures that  made him an award candidate in the first place. Where some may fail to find great nuance between Afrobeat music from Ghana and Nigeria, Eazi not only identifies the differences, he thinks about how the contrasts can work together.

“My music is an expression of my lifestyle and my state of mind. I’ve become a product of Ghana and Nigeria and found a cultural junction between both. When I make songs there is an underlying Ghanaian signature, a high-life feel. I’ve cut the production down so it’s heavy on the drums that give you the groove. If you look at the drums especially, I have Ghanaian drum signatures. If you look at the chord progression it’s usually heavy on the Lagos and Nigerian sound. There’s a lot more chords and singing than you’d hear in Ghanaian music. That’s why even my singing is in between like talking and singing. It also helps that even though I don’t speak any other languages besides English fluently I understand enough to make records. I know enough Igbo, Yoruba, Twi, Ga and pidgin to make records in those languages which really helps my song composition,” says Eazi.

Such versatility will serve him well, especially as hip-hop artists in America continue to look outward for inspiration. When we ask Eazi his thoughts on the increased interest in Afrobeats, he reveals that he doesn’t think it’s actually anything new. “I could hear Nas sampling Fela. I could hear Jay Z using Afrobeats samples so there’s been recognition, but right now I feel the genre is considered more urban – you could classify it as urban music now. I’d say that’s why it’s the wave, that, and because you can’t take it away from dancers. Dancers are like the radio for the Afrobeats genre and they’re putting up videos that flood social media and you cannot help but notice it. They’re spreading the wave and it’s looking catchy. Just like back in the day in Africa with Soulja Boy. We were listening to ‘Crank Dat’ in Kumasi just because we liked the dance that was attached to it. I do feel that a lot more can be done in collaborations with African producers. I’m an artist who cares more about the producers because they are the core. I would hope to see that more in the future.”

With the global new direction of mainstream music in America, and the increasing visibility of narratives from across the black diaspora, Eazi’s hope will likely come to fruition much sooner than expected. As an artist, his hybridized output, which blurs genres and cultures, is helping to lay the groundwork for the sounds of West Africa to reach the world.

Special thanks to Oxosi in the creation of this feature.

For more of our interview features, take a look at our chat with the one and only Jamiroquai right here.