Jordyn Woods isn’t only in the business of making music videos, so everyone’s wondering why she’s starring in Rick Ross’ … well we know, and it’s meant to be an homage to her late father. Sources close to Jordyn tell TMZ … she recently met the…
It’s been a long time coming but today Logic and Eminem fans finally get their wish as two of the most lyrically inclined Caucasian rappers in Hip-Hop history collaborate at last.
Unfortunately for the visual to their duet cut “Homicide,” Slim Shady is M.I.A., but fret not at Logic has some stand-in rap his and Em’s verse and turns in a comedic themed video. Clever thinking.
And back like cooked crack, Hip-Hop legend Slick Rick returns to style on ‘em OG style in his duo clip to “Can’t Dance To A Track That Ain’t Got No Soul/Midas Touch.”
Check out the rest of today’s drops including work from Twista, Joyner Lucas, and more.
LOGIC FT. EMINEM – “HOMICIDE”
SLICK RICK – “CAN’T DANCE TO A TRACK AIN’T GOT NO SOUL/MIDAS TOUCH”
TWISTA – “HOW I LOOK”
JOYNER LUCAS – “BROKE AND STUPID”
KOODA B – “STILL THINKING ABOUT IT”
SONNY DIGITAL – “WORK”
YBN NAHMIR – “GET RICH”
LIL WEST – “NOT SURE”
BLUE & EXILE – “TRUE & LIVIN’”
Wiz Khalifa’s been on his grizzly ever since dropping his latest project Fly Times, Vol. 1: The Good Fly Young this past 4/20 weekend and today continues to pump out visuals in support of his joint.
This time around Steel City’s favorite MC dropped a new video for the Trippie Redd and Preme featured “Alright” in which the three men turn up at the beach, a house and in the middle of the woods. They obviously bring the party with them wherever they go.
Elsewhere the Bawse Rick Ross joins Yemi Alade for her up-tempo visual to “Oh My Gosh.” For Ross’s sake don’t let PETA see this video.
Check out the rest of today’s drops including work from Lil Durk featuring Teyana Taylor, Baka Not Nice featuring Giggs, and more.
WIZ KHALIFA FT. TRIPPIE REDD & PREME – “ALRIGHT”
YEMI ALADE & RICK ROSS – “OH MY GOSH”
LIL DURK FT. TEYANA TAYLOR – “HOME BODY REMIX”
BAKA NOT NICE FT. GIGGS – “MY TOWN”
J.I.D. – “151 RUM”
NINO FRANCIS – “VIBES”
MAHALIA – “GRATEFUL”
LEVEN KALI – “MAD AT U”
© © 2018 2018 DiMuccio Entertainment Syndicate
Tory Lanez really dodged a bullet last month when he avoided getting into an unnecessary beef with Royce Da 5’9 and now that he doesn’t have to live life looking over his shoulder he can get back to the music side of things.
Linking up with Trippie Redd in the visual to “FeRRis WhEEL,” Tory Lanez finds himself back in school where he and his classmates get rowdy before turning up at a house party where everyone threw their inhibitions to the wind.
Trae Tha Truth meanwhile probably dropped the longest song of the last few years as he linked up with, well, everyone from the east to the west in his 9-minute clip to “I’m On 3.0.”
Check out the rest of today’s drops including work from Tyga, Lil Duke, and more
TORY LANEZ FT. TRIPPIE REDD – “FERRIS WHEEL”
TRAE THA TRUTH FT. DAVE EAST, ROYCE DA 5’9, T.I., CURREN$ Y, TEE GRIZZLEY, E-40, STYLES P, SNOOP DOGG, FABOLOUS, G-EAZY, RICK ROSS & CHAMILLIONAIRE – “I’M ON 3.0”
TYGA – “FLOSS IN THE BANK”
J. STALIN & DJ FRESH – “BUBBLE GUM CANDY FRUIT”
JACKIE SPADE – “MIA”
KEY! & KENNY BEATS FT. 6LACK – “LOVE ON ICE”
FREDO BANG FT. TEE GRIZZLEY – “MANSION PARTY”
LIL DUKE – “ADIDAS”
© ℗ 2019 Fresh Sound Records
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© © 2018 Eagle Rock Entertainment Ltd.
AMC has released the key art for the upcoming
ninth season of “The Walking Dead” and it features departing cast
member Andrew Lincoln, as Rick Grimes, bathed in a red light.
WHITE BOY RICK is based on the true story of a blue-collar father and his teenage son, Rick Wershe Jr., who became an undercover police informant and later a drug dealer, before he was abandoned by his handlers and sentenced to life in prison.
As if getting kidnapped and beaten wasn’t bad enough, Tekashi 6ix9ine’s now getting jacked for his beats.
Rick Ross and Omelly have decided to take 6ix9ine’s biggest hit for their own in their clip to “Gummo” the duo get their Ruff Ryde on and storm the streets with two-wheeling and ATV riding goons. That Ruff Ryde reference went over many a millennial’s heads.
Back at the ranch Lil Yachty visits his white fans in the burbs while Trippie Redd burns on some trees in the woods for their visuals to “66.”
Check out the rest of todays drops including work from AZ, A.B.Y.SS and Lamone, Tonedeff, and more.
RICK ROSS & OMELLY – “GUMMO”
LIL YACHTY FT. TRIPPIE REDD – “66”
AZ, AB.Y.SS & LAMONE – “LEGEND”
TONEDEFF – “FIVE SISTERS”
SAM SNEAK FT. JUST BRITTANY & COZY – “HIT HER WITH DA D”
BLAATINA – “ROKKSTAR”
After a long ass slumber New York’s rider man, Jim Jones has been back on his grizzly for the past few months and today he’s lending his talents to Cali rapper, K$ upreme.
Linking up for the visuals to “Dip Flex,” Jim Jones and K$ upreme take to the dark streets of New York where they flaunt ice and cash while making us wonder when they actually shot this video. It’s been way too hot to be running around NYC in sweaters and long sleeve shirts.
Josh X meanwhile serenades a thick young woman on the coastline of Miami during the day while Rick Ross rides shotgun with the youngn’ at night in the visuals to “All On Me.”
Check out the rest of today’s drops including work from Bas featuring A$ AP Ferg, Nav featuring Travis Scott, and more.
K$ UPREME FT. JIM JONES – “DIP FLEX”
JOSH X FT. RICK ROSS – “ALL ON ME”
BAS & A$ AP FERG – “BOCA RATON”
DICE SOHO – “TIME IT IS”
NAV FT. TRAVIS SCOTT – “CHAMPION”
DVSN – “MORNING AFTER”
PHONY PPL – “BEFORE YOU GET A BOYFRIEND”
Millennials have it good with their technological ways and all these days, but they’ll never know how truly glorious life was in the golden era of humanity: the 90’s.
Dave East and Rick Ross know this all too well as they link up for “Fresh Prince of Belaire” where the duo throw a 90’s theme party complete with loud ass clothing and a yellow taxi cab. We kinda feel like most people actually took an Uber to the video shoot but that’s neither here nor there.
Keeping with the 90’s, OG Hip-Hop group The Lox come through with a good ol’ cookout at the park where they’re surrounded by fam and friends for their clip to “I Don’t Care.” We wonder what they would’ve done had BBQ Becky called popo on them.
Check out the rest of today’s drops including work from Jim Jones, PnB Rock, and more.
DAVE EAST & RICK ROSS – “FRESH PRINCE OF BELAIRE”
THE LOX – “I DON’T CARE”
JIM JONES FT. MOZZY – “BANGING”
PNB ROCK – “LONDON”
TRENCHMOB – “COMING HOME”
FOOLIO – “RING AROUND THE ROSIE”
STONO ECHO – “WORKIN”
Earlier today we reported that Rick Ross was hospitalized after being found unresponsive while breathing heavily in his Miami home, and now TMZis reporting that Ross has been admitted to the cardiac unit where he’s been hooked up to a machine that’s taken over the function of his heart and lungs.
We’re told doctors have put him on something called ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. It’s a technique used to oxygenate his blood outside of his body, before it’s pumped back into his body.
It’s essentially a form of life support, and a clear sign of how dire Rick’s situation is right now.
This is truly disheartening news especially given the fact that Ross has been working hard to slim down and get into better health.
However, according to Fat Trel the Bawse isn’t on life support.
Prayers up for Ross.
This story is developing.
Rick Nash is on the market. Which team would be the best fit for the 33-year-old winger? Dallas would be a “comfortable” destination. He could reunite with John Tortorella in Columbus. Or is Nash just what the Predators need to nudge them closer to a Cup?
www.espn.com – NHL
© ℗ 2017 Fresh Sound Records
The Most Ridiculous Things From Last … 5:27
Rosita’s back with a bang! A really dumb bang. The most ridiculous things from last night’s ‘The Walking Dead’ S08E06 “The King, The Widow, and Rick”
Submitted by: Funny Or Die
Keywords: The Most Ridiculous Things on the Walking Dead The Walking Dead Recap S08E06 TWD Season 8 Episode 6 The King The Widow and Rick Rick Grimes Daryl Gregory Rosita Maggie Carl
La Cochonne presents Cul De France. Slutty French chicks love taking it up the ass in 5 naughty hardcore scenes! Tune in for juicy fucking with sexy babes Anissa Kate, Rose Valerie, Susy Gala, Sharon Lee and Mina Sauvage.
Tune in for juicy fucking with sexy babe Anissa Kate!
Stars: Anissa Kate
Scene Number: 1
Studio Name: Porndoe Premium
Rick Pitino could be staring at his final days as coach
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By Daniel O’Brien,JM McNab Published: September 19th, 2017
In case you ain’t know, Rick Ross does things big, b.
For his video to “Santorini Greece,” the Bawse heads overseas to the island in the Aegean sea where he kicks a confession in a old church and has a few women give him a much needed massage on a yacht. Most rappers would’ve just went to a Greek restaurant, but y’all know Ross spares no expense to let everyone know he’s that dude.
Back in Brooklyn DJ Kay Slay brings together some OG’s when he has Papoose, Mysonne and AZ kick some of that good ol’ block flavor in the clip to “Story of My Life.”
Check out the rest of today’s drops including work from Trae Tha Truth, DJ Envy featuring Fetty Wap and DJ Slink, and more.
RICK ROSS – “SANTORINI GREECE”
DJ KAY SLAY FT. PAPOOSE, MAYSONNE & AZ – “STORY OF MY LIFE”
TRAE THA TRUTH – “TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT (HOUSTON HURRICANE HARVEY DEDICATION)”
DJ ENVY FT. FETTY WAP & DJ SLIINK – “TEXT UR NUMBER”
RICH THE KID – “COOKIES & SHERBERT”
MADCHILD – “CORLEONE”
SYLVAN LACUE – “SELFISH”
Crawling across the floor, Sophia’s innocent anus is on display and wiggles with each movement of her body. This blonde’s billion dollar butt likes to tease the camera with the promise of more to come. Her perky natural titties can fit in the palm of your hand, but you will need two hands to hold her ass. Pulling out a giant dildo she warms herself up by pre-stretching her tight hole. Rick walks in and oils up her round rump and gives her a oversize cock to play with and suck on. With his boner buried deep inside her slit, he thrusts hard and fast until he is ready to fill her mouth with his load.
Crawling across the floor, Sophia’s cute butt is on display and wiggles with each movement of her body. This blonde’s billion dollar backside likes to tease the camera with the promise of more to come. Her perky natural melons can fit in the palm of your hand, but you will need two hands to hold her rump. Pulling out a oversize dildo she warms herself up by pre-stretching her firm hole. Rick walks in and oils up her round rump and gives her a large cock to play with and suck on. With his boner buried deep inside her muff, he thrusts hard and fast until he is ready to fill her mouth with his load.
Crawling across the floor, Sophia’s playful butt is on display and wiggles with each movement of her body. This blonde’s billion dollar anus likes to tease the camera with the promise of more to come. Her perky natural knockers can fit in the palm of your hand, but you will need two hands to hold her rump. Pulling out a huge dildo she warms herself up by pre-stretching her tight hole. Rick walks in and oils up her round rump and gives her a massive meatstick to play with and suck on. With his boner buried deep inside her pussy, he thrusts hard and fast until he is ready to fill her mouth with his load.
Well it ain’t the A$ AP Mob but it’s a mob of rappers nonetheless.
A$ AP Ferg’s been putting in that work as of late and for his dark visuals to “East Coast Remix” puts together an all-star cast of rappers including Busta Rhyme, French Montana, Rick Ross, Dave East, and Snoop Dogg. Wait, ain’t Snoop from the West though? Whatever. It’s all love.
Speaking of the West, Kurupt and Frewreck get on the mic and give everyone a good reminder that microphones used to be a weapon of choice for battle rappers in the clip to “Inferno.”
Check out the rest of today’s drops including work from Rich Homie Quan, Jevon Doe, and more.
A$ AP FERG FT. BUSTA RHYMES, DAVE EAST, FRENCH MONTANA, RICK ROSS, SNOOP DOGG & A$ AP ROCKY – “EAST COAST REMIX”
KURUPT & FREDWRECK – “INFERNO”
RICH HOMIE QUAN – “GAMBLE”
JEVON DOE – “ANGELS PROTECTING ME”
CALEB BROWN – “RIP CHAD BUTLER”
T-SHYNE Ft. SLIM JXMMI & JUICY J – “GET BACK”
You’ve got to love the mature woman, like slutty blond milf Kelly Lee. she is joined by stud Rick Masters for a night of wild fuckhole pumping and cumshot action. Kelly still looks fantastic, despite her years, with perfectly pert breasts with rock hard nipples. The lucky bitch gets bent over the couch on all fours and Rick tongues her muff from behind. Once Kelly’s vagina is sufficiently moist, he slides his rock hard shlong into her tight minge and starts to thrust in and out of her hole. Kelly loves getting banged hard and deep like this, screwing up her face as she gets closer and closer to the orgasm that she so desperately requires.
Crawling across the floor, Sophia’s cute butt is on display and wiggles with each movement of her body. This blonde’s billion dollar backside likes to tease the camera with the promise of more to come. Her perky natural knockers can fit in the palm of your hand, but you will need two hands to hold her backside. Pulling out a hefty dildo she warms herself up by pre-stretching her firm hole. Rick walks in and oils up her round backside and gives her a hefty cock to play with and suck on. With his boner buried deep inside her slit, he thrusts hard and fast until he is ready to fill her mouth with his load.
Crawling across the floor, Sophia’s innocent booty is on display and wiggles with each movement of her body. This blonde’s billion dollar ass likes to tease the camera with the promise of more to come. Her perky natural boobies can fit in the palm of your hand, but you will need two hands to hold her butt. Pulling out a enormous dildo she warms herself up by pre-stretching her firm hole. Rick walks in and oils up her round ass and gives her a huge meatstick to play with and suck on. With his boner buried deep inside her vag, he thrusts hard and fast until he is ready to fill her mouth with his load.
Add Freeway Rick Ross to the list of people questioning John Singleton’s directorial vision. The former drug kingpin is calling out the director for leaving him out of Snowfall.
Known for running one of the most notable narcotics organizations in the 1980’s, his infamous moniker saw a resurgence in the new millennium via rappers Freeway and Rick Ross. While his copyright infringement lawsuit against the Maybach Music Group boss was eventually dismissed, Freeway Ricky has lent his expertise to several media projects.
Produced by John Singleton, FX’s newest show Snowfall depicts crack cocaine’s early beginnings in the Los Angeles area. In a recent sit down with HipHopDX, the former kingpin denounced the show citing that he was never consulted even though he talked in depth about his story with the Poetic Justice director.
“John [Singleton] he bought my book. He knows me very well and that he would do a [sic] movie about crack in the 80s and not come consult with me. Me and him had lunch together before he talked about the story. That he would go out and do a [project] of this nature. It was kind of like a slap in the face,”
Ross also questioned the validity of the show’s accuracy and overall narrative.
“He didn’t [mention anything about Snowfall when we met] I read about it in the newspaper. Matter fact when I met with The Weinsteins’ Company, one of the things that they were concerned about was him doing Snowfall because it’s so closely related but lucky for me everyone knows it’s not the real story. It’s far from the real story and I’ve been getting good feedback from a lot of people saying that the story was far-fetched and almost unbelievable it’s so fake.”
It seems Singleton has felt the heat as Ricky asserts that Singleton’s team has indeed reached out saying “his people have reached out and said that they wanted to talk to me but it’s after the fact you know? The first season is already shot.”
In addition to his gripe with Snowfall, Ross also shared how he originally introduced Michael “Harry O” Harris to Suge Knight—the long forgotten investor who initially funded Death Row Records.
“I was there the first day that Harry O and Suge met. Me and Harry O were cellies. I can even tell you how the whole thing [happened] and why. Harry was doing a record on his wife Lydia. [She] wanted to be a singer so he was producing her and he had started me on reading magazines when I got in. So I’m reading one of the magazines and I saw that Dr. Dre and Eazy-E were on bad terms and so Harry is doing a record on his wife Lydia and I was like ‘Why don’t you have Dr. Dre produce one of her tracks?’ That would be the wise thing to do. Him and Eazy is having problems right now. He probably needs money. So Harry said ‘That’s a good idea.’ So immediately he started making phone calls. He wanted to get in touch with Ron Brown, who knew Suge and hooked up. Next thing I know they were forming a record label together.”
You can view the interview in its entirety here.
The post Freeway Rick Ross Calls Out John Singleton For Being Excluded Out Of Snowfall appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.
Kudos to McDonald’s for surviving in a dimension where it’s always 1998.
Entertainment News, Photos and Videos – HuffPost Entertainment
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How far can this chick’s head go up this guy’s ass? When Penny Porsche gets the invite to lick his asshole, she doesn’t just give it a couple of licks and ends the journey; she makes sure that her tongue gets all the way inside of that booty, showing that she really knows how to thrill her guy. He keeps stroking himself with every lick between his cheeks, and then she gives him a helping mouth with that, stuffing it down her throat to lick up his pre-cum before moving back to his asshole. He runs the gamut, getting licked, pounding her mouth and fucking her tits before his tool shoots hot ejaculate all over her pretty face and mouth.
Crawling across the floor, Sophia’s cute rump is on display and wiggles with each movement of her body. This blonde’s billion dollar backside likes to tease the camera with the promise of more to come. Her perky natural titties can fit in the palm of your hand, but you will need two hands to hold her butt. Pulling out a giant dildo she warms herself up by pre-stretching her tight hole. Rick walks in and oils up her round butt and gives her a large weiner to play with and suck on. With his boner buried deep inside her slot, he thrusts hard and fast until he is ready to fill her mouth with his load.
Crawling across the floor, Sophia’s sweet rump is on display and wiggles with each movement of her body. This blonde’s billion dollar anus likes to tease the camera with the promise of more to come. Her perky natural breasts can fit in the palm of your hand, but you will need two hands to hold her butt. Pulling out a hefty dildo she warms herself up by pre-stretching her tight hole. Rick walks in and oils up her round ass and gives her a oversize wang to play with and suck on. With his boner buried deep inside her coochie, he thrusts hard and fast until he is ready to fill her mouth with his load.
Rick Tocchet ready to raise expectations in Arizona
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Crawling across the floor, Sophia’s innocent backside is on display and wiggles with each movement of her body. This blonde’s billion dollar butt likes to tease the camera with the promise of more to come. Her perky natural boobies can fit in the palm of your hand, but you will need two hands to hold her anus. Pulling out a hefty dildo she warms herself up by pre-stretching her firm hole. Rick walks in and oils up her round butt and gives her a hefty manhood to play with and suck on. With his boner buried deep inside her beaver, he thrusts hard and fast until he is ready to fill her mouth with his load.
Crawling across the floor, Sophia’s luscious ass is on display and wiggles with each movement of her body. This blonde’s billion dollar backside likes to tease the camera with the promise of more to come. Her perky natural hooters can fit in the palm of your hand, but you will need two hands to hold her ass. Pulling out a huge dildo she warms herself up by pre-stretching her firm hole. Rick walks in and oils up her round backside and gives her a jumbo cock to play with and suck on. With his boner buried deep inside her fuckhole, he thrusts hard and fast until he is ready to fill her mouth with his load.
Crawling across the floor, Sophia’s playful booty is on display and wiggles with each movement of her body. This blonde’s billion dollar booty likes to tease the camera with the promise of more to come. Her perky natural melons can fit in the palm of your hand, but you will need two hands to hold her rump. Pulling out a big dildo she warms herself up by pre-stretching her firm hole. Rick walks in and oils up her round ass and gives her a enormous dong to play with and suck on. With his boner buried deep inside her cunt, he thrusts hard and fast until he is ready to fill her mouth with his load.
Rick Ross also comments on featuring Chris Brown on "Sorry."
While these young’ns continue to pine for the latest model of the devices that came from the genius mind of Steve Jobs, Rick Ross bigs up the original OG of the tech world in true bawse form.
“Bill Gates” serves as a reminder that Rozay is living the life the most dare not even dream of such as socializing with NFL players and legends, traveling in private G-4 aircrafts, and having a stunning fiancé counting your riches while you sipping on a little something in the back of your chauffeur driven automobile. And we all know a personal chauffeur isn’t going to be pushing no Kia! No shots taken at Blake or LeBron. Just sayin’.
Charles Hamilton returns to the rap scene after being MIA for quite some time with the somber visuals to the Laurel chorused “Down The Line” where the once flourishing rapper gets all in his feelings and wanders a parking garage until ultimately making his way onto the dark streets of New York.
Check out the rest of today’s visuals which include work from Dave East, Rotimi featuring 50 Cent, and more.
RICK ROSS – “BILL GATES”
CHARLES HAMILTON FT. LAUREL – “DOWN THE LINE”
DAVE EAST – “KD”
ROTIMI FT. 50 CENT – “LOTTO”
G-EAZY & BEBE REXHA – “ME, MYSELF & I”
BREEZE EMBALM FT. AMANDA MAXINE – “LOS MUERTOS”
FREDDIE GIBBS – “FUCKIN’ THE COUNT UP”
BARS MURRE FT. PLANET ASIA & TRISTATE – “GET THIS MONEY”
LOGAN P. MCCOY – “MONEY OVER PARTYING”
The post Rick Ross “Bill Gates,” Charles Hamilton “Down The Line” & More | Daily Visuals 10.29.15 appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.
UPDATE: The Miami rapper says the project is set to be released in December.
On the set of ‘Undateable,’ Rick Glassman (Burski) and Brent Morin (Justin) discuss whether romance is in the cards for their characters.
Check it out as Rick Ross debates with Hot97 and EBro and we finally get to hear some of the bawse’s thoughts on the Drake and Meek Mill beef. MMG has been one of the most armor-proof brands in Hip-Hop over the past decade, but lately with Meek getting attacked by Drake in various forms, the MMG imprint has been a bit quiet in the eyes of many in the media and consumers of Hip-Hop.
Regardless, when its all said and done, MMG still has the bawse, Wale is still putting out great music, Meek is doing what he does and sold 250,000 the first week. Rozay has a family forming with his new fiancé, he’s got a team to manage and he’s working on his own material as well. Find out more below.
On the set of ‘Undateable,’ Rick Glassman and Brent Morin tell Access about gearing up to take their NBC comedy live every week.
LOUISVILLE, KY—Following the publication of a book alleging that a member of the school’s basketball department paid women to perform sex acts for recruits, furious University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino told reporters Wednesday that the media was trying to tarnish the name of a great escort service. “No one, I repeat no one, in the Cardinals community has anything but good things to say about these ladies, and it’s absolutely shameful to see their names get dragged through the mud,” said an enraged Pitino, blasting news outlets for maliciously attacking the reputation of a highly regarded, hardworking escort service. “To say I’m disgusted and disappointed with the way the press has recklessly tried to cast aspersions on this escort service would be an understatement. Say what you will about me, I’m the coach of this team, but I won’t stand for the …
In a rare interview, the ’80s comedy blockbuster star (really!) explains to THR that he’s not retired, what he’s been doing for two decades (voice work, raising children) and what it would take to get him back in front of a camera: “I’ll continue to be picky. Picky has worked for me.”
We're all about women's empowerment here at Glamour, but we've never seen it expressed quite like designer Rick Owens did on his Paris runway on Thursday. The California-born, Paris-based designer known as the Lord of…
After releasing his “Geechi Liberace” video, Rick Ross keeps it coming with new content and releases visuals for “Money Dance” featuring The Dream. This one is HEAT! Download that Black Dollar mixtape now!
While his self-titled debut album was released a few days ago, Fetty Wap decides to give the visual treatment to a freestyle he dropped weeks ago.
On the clip to the remix to “Decline” the Peterson, New Jerus artist – who’s currently laid up due to a motorcycle accident – performs from the comfort of his tour bus which is fully stocked with mind altering paraphernalia while he puts stacks of dead presidents to his ear figuring out what moves are next on the road to world domination. Get well soon, homie.
And another unseen Sean Price visual is unearthed courtesy of DJ Hart. Donning a hard P. Miller jersey, the artist formerly known as Ruck rocks the mic as only he can along side Rim P of Da Villins on the DJ J Hart produced cut, “Barzin.” Rest In Power, Mr. Price.
Check out the rest of todays visuals which include work from Timbaland featuring star of Empire, V. Bozeman, Rick Ross, and more.
FETTY WAP – “DECLINE REMIX”
DJ J HART FT. SEAN PRICE & RIM P – “BARZIN”
RICK ROSS – “MONEY DANCE”
JUICY J – “TAP BACK”
TIMBALAND & V. BOZEMAN – “SMILE”
FAT TREL FT. YOWDA & P WILD – “FEEL NO PAIN”
WHITE BOIZ – “MAIN ST”
SEMI HENDRIX FT. RASS KASS & JACK SPLASH – “BREAKFAST AT BANKSY’S
ADIAN COKER – “SHOW UP”
SUPAKAINE – “GHETTO AMERICA”
FASHAWN – “CONFESS”
YOUNG DOLPH – “BOYZ N DA HOOD”
JHENE´ AIKO – “LYIN KING”
The post Fetty Wap “Decline Remix,” Rick Ross “Money Dance” & More | Daily Visuals 10.1.15 appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.
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After releasing his Black Dollar mixtape, Rick Ross continues to release new music and hits us with “Buried In The Streets” produced by Jake One. Listen below!
Rick Ross is attacking the groundskeeper who is suing him for allegedly pistol-whipping and beating him … but this time, Ross is admittedly attacking with a gun … a hired gun. Ross has filed legal docs against Jonathan Zamudio, who sued Ross claiming…
Photo via Rick Ross’ Instagram
Well Rick Ross has gotten in good with Mama Galore. Rick Ross’ fiancee’s (Lira Galore) mother seems to be okay with Rick Ross cheating on her daughter because he buys her diamonds. SMH. It seems that some women and their mothers will compromise and overlook anything for a lifestyle and material things. Lira’s mother said Lira is winning if she’s the one being treated like a Queen in the palace, whether Ross is out there cheating or not. She goes on to say men will be men. When we are introduced to some of these “celebrity” parents, we understand why they are so messed up!
Rick Ross continues his giving streak, gifting fans with a new Jahlil Beats-produced track titled “Work.”
This new release arrives a little over a week after Ricky Rozay’s Black Dollar mixtape, which he released just days before Labor Day weekend. Stream “Work” below in Wired Tracks, where listeners can also enjoy heaters from Manolo Rose and French Montana, Atlanta’s own Rich The Kid, Key!, and Skippa Da Flippa, and more.
Manolo Rose ft. French Montana – “SuperFlexin (Remix)”
Rich The Kid, Key!, & Skippa Da Flippa – “Plenty Paper”
Scotty ATL ft. B.o.B – “Bust It Open”
AK (of The Underachievers) – “AK”
TaEast – “WithTheShit”
YP – “Pimp Sh*t”
Lorenzo Asher – “Good Vibes”
The post Rick Ross “Work,” Manolo Rose ft. French Montana “SuperFlexin (Remix),” & More | Wired Tracks 9.15.15 appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.
© © 1981 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Rick Ross also releases his "Foreclosures" track.
The age of the surprise album continues with Rick Ross’ announcement of Black Dollar and the release of its first single “Foreclosures.”
Produced by Justice League and 8 Bars, Ricky Rozay is but a vessel of rap wisdom on the track, giving listeners insight of the bad and ugly sides of the game in every bar uttered.
Fans won’t have a long wait to hear the rest of the MMG general’s latest material. Black Dollar drops on Thursday (September 3), which is a day shy the recently allotted Friday album release date. As HNHH points out, the Thursday release may signify that the project could be a free. Let’s hope.
Hear Ross’ “Foreclosures” below and then some in Wired Tracks.
Le$ ft. Curren$ y, Young Roddy, & Corner Boy P – “Round Table”
Chief Keef – “TD”
Milli – “Papi Chulo”
Dominic Lord – “Third Eye”
Twista ft. Gritz – “Higher (Freestyle)”
Cassidy ft. Swizz Beatz – “Speak 2 the Hood (Freestyle)”
Connor Youngblood – “Stockholm”
The post Rick Ross Drops “Foreclosures,” Announces New LP | Wired Tracks 8.31.15 appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.
The rapper didn’t fulfill his obligations, the lawsuit says.
© © 2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Justice League and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and DC Comics. LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Brick and Knob configuration and the Minifigure are trademarks of the LEGO Group of Companies. All Rights Reserved.
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ADULT ENTERTAINMENT NEWS UPDATE:Gabby Love’s top pick! Click and enjoy!
Rick Perry may have not made it to the main stage for the GOP primary debates tonight, but he definitely left a mark.
During Fox News pre-debate forum featuring seven candidates who…
E! Online (US) – Top Stories
Entertainment News! –
© ℗ © 2015 XM Satellite Radio
In the midst of his artist, Meek Mill firing Twitter shots at his boy, Drake, Rick Ross drops visuals for the aptly titled “Family Ties” off last years Hood Billionaire album. Playing the Bawse role as only he can, the robust rapper does what he does best: rub his jewel encrusted hands together while rapping about the lavish life that we thought 50 Cent was living this whole time. Apparently his whole life has been a Rent-A-Center commercial.
Speaking of living, Pharrell Williams releases another upbeat song with a message accompanied by visuals that span the world and takes a look at different cultures and ways of life in “Freedom.” Missing from this video was a cameo from his old partner, Chad Hugo. How you travel the world and not drop in on your old drum machine chum?
Check out the rest of today’s visuals which include work from Juicy J, Trina, and more.
RICK ROSS – “FAMILY TIES”
PHARRELL WILLIAMS – “FREEDOM”
JUICY J FT. G.O.D. – “BREATHE”
TRINA FT. RICO LOVE – “REAL ONE”
BOSSTOP FT. WAKA FLOCKA – “BET HE WON’T”
FREEWAY & SCHOLITO – “BE REAL”
JACK PRESTON – “FUTURE’S END/FUTURE’S BEGINNING”
SHY GLIZZY – “I DID IT”
PROBLEM – “50 SHADES OF GREY”
JONAH CRUZZ FT. MACEO – “GANGSTA GANGSTA”
GERALD WALKER & THE FAMILY – “NO HEART FEELINGS”
REJJIE SNOW – “I WILL STILL KEEP YOU”
The post Rick Ross “Family Ties,” Pharrell Williams “Freedom,” Juicy J “Breathe” & More | Daily Visuals 7.22.15 appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.
© ℗ 2000 Universal Motown Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.
50 Cent has been ordered to pay $ 5 million in damages for posting the sex video of his adversary Rick Ross’s ex on the internet.
The rapper posted the video after receiving it from the male in the movie and added his own colorful commentary under the humorous guise Pimpin’ Curly.
50 and his legal team were reportedly disappointed at the legal loss.
The tape was acquired by 50 Cent in 2008 and then-boyfriend of Lastonia Leviston gave it to the mogul, stating to the rapper than she would not be upset at the video. He was wrong. Mortified, Leviston filed a multimillion dollar invasion-of-privacy lawsuit.
“This was something done to me. I didn’t have a choice. I would never, ever do this to myself,” Leviston said.
After releasing the visual for “Wuzhanindoe” featuring YG, Gunplay is back with a new cut from his forthcoming “Living Legend” album titled “Be Like Me” featuring none than Rick Ross. Pre-order “Living Legend” now on iTunes!
UPDATE: The rapper must pay damages for posting a sex tape of the woman.
The wait for Gunplay’s long awaited debut album, Living Legend, is nearly over. The project arrives on July 31, but we receive the rapper’s new single “Be Like Me,” featuring longtime partner in rhyme Rick Ross, today.
It’s a contest on who can kick grimy street talk whenever the MMG spitters connects, and this time is no different. Your volume will need to be at ignorant decibels to hear this cut properly.
Hear “Be Like Me” in Wired Tracks below, where you’ll also find new material from Warren G and Nate Dogg (yes, you read that right), The Underachievers, and more
Verse Simmonds ft. Migos – “Luv In It”
Warren G ft. Nate Dogg – “My House”
The Underachievers – “Take Your Place”
GZA & Sweet Valley – “Planetary Energy”
Jimi Tents ft. Tunji Ige & Kembe X – “Problems”
DJ Paul ft. OG Boobie Black – “Extendos”
The post Gunplay ft. Rick Ross “Be Like Me,” Warren G & Nate Dogg “My House,” & More | Wired Tracks 7.10.15 appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.
Actually, that’s $ 5M (half for her privacy being violated and half for emotional distress) at the minimum…
Reports Page Six:
The “Poor Lil’ Rich” performer 50 Cent has to pay a Florida woman over $ 5 million for posting her private sex video online as part of his rap beef with rival Rick Ross.
The whopping verdict came down after the four-woman, two-man jury deliberated for only an hour and ten minutes toward the end of a five-week trial Friday.
Now Jackson may have to appear in court next week with his net worth statement in hand so the jury can decide on additional, punitive damages.
The jurors found that the woman, Ross’ baby mama Lastonia Leviston, suffered “severe emotional distress” when the rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, narrated the video calling her a “slut” and “motherf–king porn star.”
They also decided that Jackson had profited off the posting that was linked to his website ThisIs50.com. The posting violated Leviston’s privacy rights, the jurors found.
We’re not doubting 50 has the coin to pay up, but $ 5M is $ 5M no matter who you are. Leviston’s lawyer reportedly wants 50 to share his tax returns for the past five years to get a handle on how much he is really worth.
It was Maurice Murray, Leviston’s ex, who sold the explicit video to 50.
“Maurice broke her heart and 50 Cent ruined her life,” said Leviston’s lawyer, Philip Freidin, during his closing statement.
Safe bet Leviston’s life just got a little brighter.
The post 50 Cent Ordered To Pay $ 5M To Rick Ross’ Baby Mama appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.
(AllHipHop News) Last week a judge granted rapper Rick Ross a $ 2 million bond for his arrest in Fayette County, Georgia. The Bawse is now officially out of jail. Industry insider Karen Civil posted a picture on Twitter of Ross as a free man.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting a shooting happened early Monday morning outside of Twelve Studios. The space is also the home of Ross’ Maybach Music Group Atlanta headquarters.
A police report contends there is no evidence to suggest Ross was at the location during the incident or that the Miami native is involved. Twelve Studios issued a statement about the shooting.
“This isolated and random incident is not affiliated with Twelve Studios, any of our staff members or clients; including Rick Ross,” reads the statement. “This is the first time in over three years that we have been affected by any criminal activity regarding our property.”
AllHipHop.com reported in February that Twelve Studios was the site where Ross announced his company’s move to Atlanta. He also launched his Artists First joint venture with Twelve Studios’ founder Dina Marto.
“This is the new home for Maybach Music,” said Marto at the time. “Their artists will be recording here. Executives will have offices here, so they can get work done while they’re in the city of Atlanta.
"They’re already given the impression of he guilty," the MMG rapper says.
© ℗ 2013 Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group, Inc.
T.I. puts himself on time-out from his reality TV dad side hustle to get back on his former primary grind: dropping bars. The self-proclaimed King of The South steps out of the castle over the bridge and takes court on the block to remind the game that ain’t nothing changed but the pockets obesity when it comes to this proud Bankhead alumni on “Project Steps.”
And Rick Ross links up with Future to let you know he isn’t a soldier, boy! He’s also a ambitious street pharmacist turned rapper on the remix to “Neighborhood Drug Dealer.”
Check the rest of the day’s releases which include work from Slim Thug, Kxng Crooked, Gunplay, and Troy Ave. Yes, he’s still following his dream. Applaud that man.
T.I. – “PROJECT STEPS”
RICK ROSS FT. FUTURE – “NEIGHBORHOOD DRUG DEALER”
TROY AVE – “REAL NIGGA”
SLIM THUG – “PIECE N CHAIN”
KXNG CROOKED – “ASHAMED”
GUNPLAY – “JOHN GOTTI FREESTYLE”
QUE – “STICK UP KID”
PIA MIA FT. CHRIS BROWN & TYGA
KING LOS – “GOD, MONEY, WAR”
SASHA GO HARD – “BANG THAT”
The post T.I. “Project Steps,” Rick Ross “Neighborhood Drug Dealer” & More | Daily Visuals 6.26.15 appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.
Big Rick stopped by looking to make a little cash… And have his big uncut meat sucked on too.
Big Rick stopped by looking to make a little cash… And have his big uncut meat sucked on too.
Scene Number: 0
Studio Name: Joe Schmoe Productions
French Montana embraces posse cuts like they’re kin to him. Especially records like the newly released single “Lose It,” featuring usual suspects Lil Wayne and Rick Ross.
French managed to grab a beat co-produced by Kanye West, given a common affiliation with the Kardashian family. The result is a haunting track, complete with street jargon, catchy adlibs and all of the other fixings we’ve come to expect when The Bronx rapper and company connect.
Hear French’s “Lose It” in Wired Tracks below, where you’ll also find new tunes from Fetty Wap, Dej Loaf and Young Thug, Statik Selektah, Little Simz, and more.
Fetty Wap – “Boomin”
Dej Loaf ft. Young Thug – “Shawty”
Magazeen ft. Wale & Wizkid – “So Low”
Little Simz – “Lane Switch”
Statik Selektah ft. Sean Price, Bun B, & Styles P – “Top Tier”
Snow Tha Product – “Suavemente”
Que – “Can’t Call It”
Pac Div – “Roll The Dice”
Oba Rowland – “Can’t Tell Me”
Slim Dollars – “Talk Sh*t”
The post French Montana, Kanye West, Lil Wayne & Rick Ross Connect On “Lose It” | Wired Tracks 6.24.15 appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.
After months of burning through speakers and airwaves, triple OG E-40–along with what seemed to be every rapper ever–finally drops the visuals to the barbershop staple, “Choices (Yup).”
And for some odd reason Soulja Boy chooses to be the Bawse for a day on “Rick Ross” where he spits from the point of view of the chief of MMG.
Check out the rest of the day’s releases which includes work from Bankroll Fresh, Vado, and more.
E-40 – “CHOICES” (YUP)
SOULJA BOY – “RICK ROSS”
BANKROLL FRESH – “SYDNEY”
TRAVIS PORTER – “SHAKIN THAT ASS”
FORT MINOR – “WELCOME”
VADO – “RESERVOIR DOGS FREESTYLE”
DAVE EAST – “ONCE AGAIN IT’S ON FREESTYLE”
ORA SLICK & K.O.D – “SDP”
The post E-40 “Choices,” Soulja Boy “Rick Ross” & More | Daily Visuals 6.22.15 appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.
© ℗ © 2010 Simon & Schuster Audio
Rick is bringing you hardcore amatuer hotties that are all natural and ready to fuck.
This clip from Rick Spindoll’s P.O.V.s by Spindoll Productions features a hot curvy slut getting banged out doggy-style, her hair pulled and her hot little cunt pounded good and deep.
Scene Number: 3
Studio Name: Spindoll Productions
Carmella Diamond is a sexy college slut that just turned 18 years old. She loves having sex and wanted Rick to bang her. He checked her ID, saw she was legal then got her naked. Once she was fully nude he took her over the couch, bent her over and slipped his dong inside her love taco. She took that giant penis like a champ, cumming all over it and getting off as he pounded away on her. He drilled her like he was looking for oil and made her ejaculate all over his weiner then he pulled out and let her suck every last drop of cream out of his spasming balls. Now that is a dirty teen.
Rick Ross is going to miss this Saturday’s Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight. So to make up for it, Rozay sent Floyd Mayweather 200 bottles of Belaire.
Reports Page Six:
Mayweather’s buddy Rick Ross sent the boxer 200 bottles of bubbly — that’s more than $ 10,000 worth of booze — ahead of this weekend’s mega fight against Manny Pacquiao.
A source tells Page Six Ross had the Luc Belaire sparkling wine delivered to Mayweather’s Las Vegas home earlier this week for afterparty celebrations and to add to the 38-year-old’s home wine cellar.
Ross, who constantly shares photos of the brand via social media, has to miss the fight to perform at the Youth Hip Hop Festival in South Africa but went to Sin City last week to “watch Floyd train and show his support,” our source said.
Respect to Ross for keeping his tour date to support the kids (we’re sure the check was an incentive, too.)
Win or lose, the booze will surely be sipped on.
The post Rick Ross Sends Floyd Mayweather $ 10K Worth Of Belaire appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.
Rick Ross just released the video for ‘Phone Tap’ off ‘Hood Billionaire.’
Pam Anderson says Rick Salomon may not be screwing her anymore, but he’s definitely screwing the tax man … because he’s dodging a tax bill on $ 40 million in poker winnings in 2014 alone. TMZ broke the story … Rick has filed for an annulment from Pam…
Pam Anderson just got a restraining order after claiming her estranged husband Rick Salomon tried to strangle her and smother her with a pillow during sex, but he claims she has killed untold numbers of unborn babies through abortion. Pam’s legal docs…
Music Rights conglomerate BMI will host invited guests Rick Ross, Mannie Fresh and others in a panel deemed “How I Wrote That Song,” which will examine the process of writing, producing and performing hit songs.
The discussion is a part of the looming Grammy festivities in February.
BMI Writer/Publisher Relations Catherine Brewton will host the chat that expects participation from scribe Ester Dean, Grammy award-winning songwriter/producer David Hodges, and Natalie Hemby, a popular songwriter.
BMI’s “How I Wrote That Song®” is open to members of the public, ages 18 years old and up (with photo ID). Tickets are $ 20 in advance; $ 25 day-of-show. Tickets can be purchased at https://bmihiwts.eventbrite.com.
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Doors open at 11:30 a.m.
Panel discussion will be held from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
As a drug kingpin, his life and times of Freeway Rick Ross have been well-documented. He was represented in “Kill The Messenger,” a movie how drugs ravaged South Central neighborhoods of color. Furthermore, he’s had a couple rappers (Freeway and Rick Ross) adopt his moniker. These days, Rick Ross is getting it in a completely different way. He’s making movies and speaking to kids. We caught up with Freeway Rick and he gave some advice to currently-incarcerated rapper Bobby Shmurda and even Rick Ross.
Part 1 – “I think that he would be stronger with me than without me. I’m going places he can’t go or won’t go, for whatever reason. – Freeway Rick on Rick Ross
Slick Rick has been one of the most influential hip hop artists to touch a microphone. Many artists, even including Snoop Dogg himself, has been influenced by the Brooklyn-based rapper. This also goes for Queens rapper, Nas, who performed the classic “Children’s Story” with Rick.The two rapped the song during Rick’s 50th Birthday party in Brooklyn, New York. In the video, you see the Illmatic rapper performed with Rick in a fun manner, with both emcee’s cluster of gold chains making it the performance look like an old school 80’s hip hop concert. Happy Birthday Slick Rick, check out the video below.
It’s been over two decades since I last saw Rick Astley as a young teenager and I must say, he still has it! Opening with Together Forever at the Palais Theatre in St Kilda, l was suddenly thrown back to 80’s the moment Astley stepped onto the stage in a suit and tie.
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A Conversation with The Rippingtons’ Russ Freeman
Mike Ragogna: Russ, you recorded your new album Fountain Of Youth with vintage equipment. Why?
Russ Freeman: I’m always looking for textures to feature and try to get a sonic reality, a sonic palette. In constructing the sonic palette I came across the idea: I have such a great guitar collection and I just kind of pick and choose what’s needed for the color at the moment, that’s always been my approach, but I somehow got in front of it. Through my travels I picked up some interesting instruments and started playing some other string instruments and started thinking, “What if I started featuring all these things?” At the time I I didn’t really know how all the instruments would blend in terms of creating a real point-source focus but I was really pleased when I started recording with instruments like the ukulele, that are typically used for other things. Or pedal steel, all of these beautiful instruments I have, I’m just really happy with how they sonically blended together.
MR: Were there any instruments that spoke to you more than others?
RF: Yeah, I was really surprised by the two I just mentioned. The ukulele, I had no idea how useful of an instrument that is. It’s a melody instrument. And I actually learned how to use the pedal steel, I’ve got a ten-string version, there’s also a twelve-string version and it’s a completely different kind of instrument than I’ve ever played, but I’ve always heard it and always loved the sound of it. I’m just really pleased by how I was able to blend that in. Of course they’re all great, you fall in love with these instruments and as they age–some of them have been with me thirty or forty years–you just kind of fall in love with them all over again.
MR: It seems that this album expanded on The Rippington’s sound. Did you predict that would happen as you added these layers?
RF: I didn’t know how it was going to work. Actually, I was concerned that as you add all of these things together you never know what the mix is going to be. It’s like a recipe of food, you can add the wrong spices or overpower with one flavor or another. I just went with my instincts, really, and tried to use the right instrument at the right time.
MR: One of the instruments you used is the bağlama, the sitar-like instrument on “Rivers Of Gold.” It makes the piece seem like it’s world music.
RF: Oh absolutely. I picked that instrument up in Istanbul. My wife and I spent months travelling. There’s an entire street in Istanbul that’s just lined with instrument shops that feature all their hand-carved instruments. It’s something you don’t really see in our country anymore, you know? They’re still featuring these ethnic instruments from their cultures. I thought that was really cool, so I picked one up. It was harder to play than I thought it would be. It’s not a very huge instrument but it’s oddly shaped and it has seven strings. It was great, I just loved the challenge of trying to incorporate that completely different cultural sound into our music. I think that’s always a challenge as we try to cross-breed these influences, and that’s what makes it so interesting.
MR: And you’re also cross-breeding genres, like what happened when you added the pedal steel on “Sun King” and “Rivers Of Gold.”
RF: It’s funny, I can’t really take credit for being the first to use that, David Gilmour artfully used the pedal steel throughout his work. It’s typically known as an instrument that’s in country music, but it’s an incredibly useful and beautiful-sounding instrument, so kudos to him for having used that in rock in a very memorable way. I was inspired by his idea to say, “Maybe I can take the pedal steel outside of its normal vocabulary and try to put it into Rippingtons-land.”
MR: Did the instruments inspire the composition and the arrangements or was it vice versa?
RF: It’s triggered with the visual references. I always come up with a concept first; it really helps me to visualize a concept, Fountain Of Youth for me specifically. I created a painting, the artwork on the CD, that could help me visualize. All the sounds and all the instruments and all the melodies spring from an original idea. That seems to be the way I work the best.
MR: Did any of these instruments then effect the arrangements? Did you have to change anything up to fit the sonics or the vibe of the vintage instrument?
RF: I’ll give you an example. You were talking about the bağlama; I started playing it and I had seen how the instrument was approached by Turkish players, it’s all very interpretive to tuning, so I tuned it up and started playing it and got a vibe going. Then I had played some other guitars that were electric, so to answer your question they just happened to be playing at the same time on the track and I said, “Wow, these actually sound cool together.” I hadn’t had the idea to do it that way, I was going to isolate one and then go into another, but I started playing them at the same time and I said, “Wow, this is different.” So I kept that arrangement. Sometimes happy accidents occur. They’re mash-ups, really.
MR: Is this a possible future path for The Rippingtons?
RF: It’s funny you should ask that. I think the band is so well known for its saxophone melodies that when you look back through our catalog I can only count maybe one or two or maybe three instruments where the guitar carried the melody all the way throughout. I’ve always shared it with saxophone and shared it with different instruments. That’s another reason I felt like, “Hey, it’s really time to feature guitar.” I’ve got such a huge arsenal of great sounds. I don’t know if people realize but back before, I did a lot of guitar synthesizer and that had, in the early years, a great influence, too. I kind of abandoned that when the band started touring and we just had these great musicians in the band. I really love having all of these palettes of color available. To me, that’s what they are.
MR: Are there any duet albums or solo material from Russ coming down the pike?
RF: Good question, I’m not sure! I know that the duets are really popular. Fans love seeing the interaction between artists, and we all do. It’s really fun to do those records because you get in the head of somebody else and see how they like to work, and it’s fun to write together. I’ve always really enjoyed doing those. I hope the opportunity comes up to do some more.
MR: Who reaches out to whom when it’s you and David Benoit for instance?
RF: We always reach out to each other, and it’s just really if the opportunity arises, primarily with the labels and scheduling and all the other exterior influences. But I think if you got us in a room we’d both jump at the chance.
MR: Ever consider doing an album loaded with guests?
RF: Not really because I feel like all The Rippingtons are so self-contained. That’s kind of how they group was devised. They are guests. It’s funny, I love having these guys who became my friends, like David Benoit. He was a guest at first and then we started working together in a duet capacity. You never know.
MR: Are you one of those guys who’s constantly in creative mode?
RF: I would say yeah. I’m always trying to grow and learn new things. I think it’s fascinating. That’s what’s great about music, you have to always keep learning.
MR: Jazz has been this fluid conversation that’s always growing and changing. With the integration of R&B and more electronic elements, when someone says the word “jazz” to you these days, what does it mean?
RF: That’s a good question. It’s a really timely question, too, because you mentioned it in the backdrop of the history of the music and yet the future is going to probably have to address technology. That’s another fascinating influence; how we’re using the technology. Really I think it’s all going to come down to elevating vocabulary and combining the musicians. I don’t know the total answer but I do know that I think jazz is going to be influenced by the technology of the future. I guess I should clarify that by saying that one of the great things about technology has been the ability to discover new music, and that’s kind of what I meant by that. Musicians will discover working together and discover other cultural aspects of music. That’s fascinating. We wouldn’t have had that opportunity twenty or thirty years ago, but now we can hear music from all over the world very easily.
MR: The Rippingtons came in a wave with Incognito and Yellowjackets, and it seems like you all benefitted from that surge of “new jazz.” Do you see another jazz wave coming?
RF: I just think that as new artists are coming on the scene, EDM is influencing quite a bit of music. I know that seems like a non-sequiter, but in terms of what I’m seeing and in terms of culture I think that’s kind of what’s happening, and it’s kind of a different vocabulary and we’re not used to that, the instrumentation is different. I don’t know how to specifically answer the chronology of what you’re saying but I think that as new artists appear we’re going to be influenced by their surroundings and their culture. Does that make sense?
MR: Sure and that leads us to my traditional question. What advice do you have for new artists?
RF: My nephew is a really good guitar player and aspiring musician and I see that it’s difficult in this environment although there are new opportunities we never had. But what he’s doing is multimedia and to branch out into new ways would be my best advice.
MR: Does Fountain Of Youth make you…watch this…feel young?
RF: I’m so pleased with it, Mike. I’m just really happy with the way it came out. Every album is a painting where you try to get as close to your vision as possible, and I feel like this is pretty close. So yeah, I feel young again.
MR: What do you think is in The Rippingtons’ future?
RF: I’ve never known the answer to that, and maybe that has been the secret to our longevity: To not have a preconceived idea of what’s next. I know it sounds odd to say that after this amount of time, but I feel like the best thing to do is be open to whatever the correct path would be, so I don’t know.
MR: What do you think is the Rippington’s place in jazz music?
RF: That’s a perception best left to the fans. It’s kind of up to them how the public perceives us. Probably the way they look at us would be different to how I look at my contribution. I always look at it like what I was giving was composition. I’ve focused the most on compositions themselves, not really on the personnel and the band and all that kind of thing. To me, that’s been secondary to trying to create music that I felt would last and would be more compelling. I learned early on that the time-proven instruments are the ones that won’t go away and won’t be out of style in a few years. I’ve really tried to write with those instruments, and those include string instruments, piano, the real instruments. I really try to feature that. That’s another reason why I was trying to make almost a diary of my favorite instruments and try and play them as well as I could.
Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne
HOLLIS BROWN’S “DOWN ON YOUR LUCK”
According to Hollis Brown’s…
“Hollis Brown was started in Queens, New York City in 2009 by college friends and songwriting partners Jon Bonilla and Mike Montali. Upon writing over fifty songs together, they decided to take things to the next level and form a band. After a self-released demo, they were signed to Alive Natural Sound, releasing their debut Ride On The Train in March 2013. Critical acclaim soon followed. On April 19, 2014, they released an exclusive Record Store Day tribute to The Velvet Underground called ‘Gets Loaded.’ They haven’t looked back since. Non-stop touring including several weeks in Europe packing out venues, performing to a rabid, enthusiastic crowd. Next up, it’s dates with Rich Robinson from The Black Crowes in August.”
A Conversation with Rick Braun
Mike Ragogna: Rick, your new album Can You Feel It? certainly has a lot of energy.
Rick Braun: Exactly that. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve recorded a record like this. In fact, the last time I did a record like this one was Beat Street, and that was probably the first CD that put me on the map. I was a newcomer as a solo artist way back in the day. When I started recording that record, I treated it as a garage band, and coincidentally, I do record my records in my garage, which has been converted into a studio. For this record, I brought some of my old friends including Nate Phillips, who played in a jazz band, Randy Jacobs, who was with Was (Not Was) playing guitar and bass, and I brought them together with some new friends. I just wanted to include all of their energy on the record and make sure that I laid out a format where everybody could just express themselves. I wanted it to be a garage band approach, an organic, energy-filled, fun-packed record.
MR: The album doesn’t seem forced or fussy. Was that also your intent?
RB: Absolutely. I really wanted to again not go back and dwell on the perfect performance, I wanted to allow everybody who participated in the record to express themselves. I even encouraged people who came in–we didn’t record everything live together, not all of the tracks. Some of them were that way, with drums, bass, and me playing keyboards or trumpet all together, but as people came in I encouraged them to play more than what they normally would, to treat it as if it was their own record and not be afraid to take risks with what they were playing on the record. I think that was one of the things you’re hearing, it’s not just guys coming in and performing on a record, trying to get that perfect cut. There’s a lot more freedom involved in this record.
MR: For you the artist, what do you consider some of the more inspired performances of the album?
RB: There are a lot of them. The record took over a year in the making because of all the touring that I do. The thing that seemed to happen on this record is it evolved organically. One of the stories that I love to tell is Dave Koz came over to have me be a guest on his YouTube video channel, Dave TV. He came over and we did a little thing in the backyard where I talked about my landscaping and power tools and stuff unrelated to music, and then we had some dinner and then I said, “By the way, did you bring your horn?” and he said, “Well yeah, it’s in the car.” I said, “You want to come in and play on something?” I wasn’t really a hundred percent planning on him playing on it, but he brought his horn. He came in and I had the track, which became “Get Up & Dance,” which is now the first single. Dave came in and after we did the thing out back he got his horn out and all of fifteen minutes later his performance was done. I set up a microphone and it just happened that naturally. There were numerous things that happened that way on this record; put the music up and have someone play. It happened so organically. It seemed like there was some sort of an energy going where if I stayed out of the way and allowed it to happen it was pretty wonderful.
MR: How do you maintain your identity within performances when other musicians contribute heavily?
RB: I do have a lot of control over the spaces that I have allotted for people to play. I kind of keep a big picture in mind when I’m making the record, but having said that, you’ve touched on one of the most difficult things for me, being the artist, the producer, the engineer–which, by the way, I wear all of those hats when I’m making a record because I go out into my garage, and stumble down without my coffee in the morning and do that–the hardest thing to do is to maintain that focus. I actually had some difficulty during this record and I needed to bring in some help. For that reason, Bud Harner, who is a retired drummer and now is a manager who has worked at GRP as an A&R guy, and he’s a dear friend as well, came in and put his ears on the project about halfway through and helped me maintain that focus. It’s not something that’s easy to do, Mike. It’s difficult when you’re wearing all those hats, and I’m very grateful that Bud stepped in and helped me maintain direction.
MR: And I also imagine that since you’re trying to allow the artists to give their best performance possible, it’s tempting as a producer to just let them go wild.
RB: One of the things I’ve learned over the years of working with all of these people who are my friends–and by the way I’m so grateful to have friends like Jeff Lorber and Philippe Saisse and Brian Culbertson and Dave Koz and all of these great musicians–part of the trick of being able to produce people like that is again to create an environment where I can almost step aside and get out of the way and let them do what they do with minimal intrusion.
MR: This album took three years to develop. Was that in order for the material to experience a natural evolution?
RB: I kind of call it “demo-itis” when I get stuck on a performance that may have been from a sequenced part or something that I programmed in and then have somebody come in to add their personality. One of the mistakes that can be made is to fall too in love with the part that’s programmed, the sequence, and not allow people to express themselves. But on this CD I was really careful not to be married to anything I had done. I took a lot of liberty with that and just let people express themselves and let things go where they may, which was pretty much my primary focus: to let the players lead the record where it’s going to go and just put the people in a position to shape it. I’m really grateful because everybody who came in did a fantastic job.
MR: Not that I’d call you album “smooth jazz,” but it seems the genre has tried to rewrite itself by embracing much more R&B, soul, hip-hop and electronic, kind of going where you went with this project.
RB: It’s been five years since I did a “smooth jazz” record. I look at this record more as a funk instrumental record than smooth jazz, because it’s got a lot of funky horn parts and I’m playing valve trombone and horn section stuff and Elliott Yamin is doing wonderful vocal stuff, so it’s a very funk-oriented record. The last project I did was a vocal record with a fifty two piece orchestra. That was a real divergence from who I am. I discovered that the audience for that is an entirely different audience than mine. You do have to be careful. As much as that record opened doors for me and I now have shows that I can do at performing arts centers, I have a show called A Walk Down Broadway With Rick Braun and I explore stories behind all of those great standards and talk about the composers and the shows they were in, I did step away from my home turf. This record brings me right back into the center of where my fans and I started out, which is a funky good feeling, groove-oriented stuff. I don’t know if I answered your question, but as an artist, it’s fun to go different places but I think it’s also fun to come home, and this feels like coming home to me.
MR: I think this your sixteenth album. What would you say is the biggest evolution you’ve had over all sixteen?
RB: Well the biggest realization for me is when I go back and listen to my old records, when I listen to stuff I produced for other people, if I had that option to redo anything or to change anything it would be to get rid of just about every sequenced thing that I have on there and put in real people. I grew up listening to George Benson, CTI Records, Freddie Hubbard, Milt Jackson, Herbie Hancock, that’s just incredible musicians coming together and making great music. You can go back and listen to any one of those great records and you’re not going to say, “oh, that sounds dated, oh, that stinks, that loop I’ve heard a hundred and fifty time already,” you’re going to hear great performances by great musicians, and you can put those records on for like fifteen, sixteen year-old kids who have the ears to appreciate it and they will. They will. That’s the one realization I’ve had: I have so many great, talented friends and I’m going to include them on every record that I do from here on.
MR: What advice do you have for new artists?
RB: First of all, anyone who’s starting out in music has to realize they’re dealing with a time in the music business that is unprecedented. We’re almost back to the days of Mozart and Brahms when it took patrons of the art to develop new artists. What’s happening right now is that record companies don’t have the money to put into developing artists, not in any niche area. I would say to any up and coming new artists–especially instrumentalists–first of all you have to practice, practice, practice, it’s like the old saying, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.” You’ve got to be great. Second of all you have to be your own promoter. Not in an annoying way, but you have to be your own biggest fan. Nobody’s going to put the word out there for you. The responsibility of self-promotion is more than it ever was. It’s tough.
MR: Jazz has always been the redheaded stepchild of the music industry yet it’s also been the most flexible and surprising genre. It seems there’s a level of quality in jazz that you always can depend on.
RB: Yeah. It’s an integrity, and again it’s that freedom. People have always enjoyed jazz and with the exception of a few minor times in history, jazz has always been a fringe music. But I think people go to it because it does free up your soul. It really does. I think that for the people who take a moment and have the capacity to appreciate it for that it’s a wonderful thing. I know for me when I close my eyes on a flight or I put on my Blue Mitchell or Roy Hargrove or Freddie Hubbard or Chet Baker it takes me out of my world in a way I think that more structured pop music can’t do. It takes me to a place that’s much deeper and quieter. I think that’s why even though jazz is a niche form of music, it will continue. I think people need that place to go to.
MR: Nice. By the way, I think the Strings album took a really sweet approach.
RB: It’s interesting, I found that the audience that has embraced it has embraced it big time, and very passionately. I’m on rotation on the Sinatra channel on XM, it’s such a thrill for me to hear somebody like Tony Bennett or Frank Sinatra or Nat King Cole and then here comes little old me doing my thing. It’s humbling. I did have some knee-jerk reaction from some of my hardcore fans, “Where does this come from? This is not the Rick Braun I know and love,” but on the other hand there are people who have embraced me who didn’t know who I was before.
Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne
THE MOJO GURUS’ “WHERE YOU HIDIN’ YOUR LOVE”
According to The Mojo Gurus’ gurus…
“The first single off The Mojo Gurus new album Who Asked Ya?, ‘Where You Hidin’ Your Love,’ is a horn driven, funk-rocker that was produced by Tommy Henricksen (Alice Cooper, Lou Reed). This album is a rock ‘n’ roll tour de force, barreling out of control down Highway 61 and crashing through your speakers. You think rock ‘n’ roll is dead? Well, The Mojo Gurus say… Who Asked Ya?. Their singer/songwriter, Kevin Steele, says, ‘It’s about time people were exposed to some real rock ‘n’ roll again. If we’re lucky, it might even catch on.'”
A Conversation with Craig Bickhardt
Mike Ragogna: The new album’s titled The More I Wonder. So whatcha been wonderin’ about, Craig?
Craig Bickhardt: [laughs] The record for me is a forty-minute memoir, a very personal record–much more personal than the stuff I wrote when I was staying behind the scenes. I think because of the stripped-down production and live in the studio approach, it reflects what people hear when they come to see me in concert. I think it’s really just a singer-songwriter record that a lot of people in our generation grew up on and enjoyed. As far as the wondering, I think as a writer I spend a lot of time looking for the extraordinary in ordinary occurrences. I’ve always done that as far back as I can remember. I feel like you have to be adept at that in order to really experience all that life has to offer. I see that especially when I’m hanging around with my grand daughter here, it’s just great. The song “The More I Know, The More I Wonder” sort of relates to how experience teaches us that a lot of the mysteries of life just continually get deeper. I turned sixty this year, so this record is kind of a fresh start for me. It’s definitely an acknowledgement that a lot of my values have become clearer as I’ve gotten older.
MR: You said this is your memoir, and look at that, it opens with “It Opens.”
CB: [laughs] Right.
MR: Did you write these tracks with the album in mind or did they just collect.
CB: There was a little of both. As I was writing the record, a lot of the songs seemed to reflect where I was at. “It Opens” was written not long after I left Nashville. I was in the middle of a fairly successful songwriting career there but I’d really had enough, so I turned my back on all that. I wanted to get back to getting in touch with my audience again, so “It Opens” was about finding opportunities in unlikely places. When I left Nashville, I had to really see everything as an opportunity otherwise I would have been constantly looking back and it would have been a really depressing thing. These opportunities generally appear when you’re not looking for them. The songs, I think, sort of reflect that. There wasn’t necessarily a sequence or a song cycle attitude when I was writing it, but they do tend to reflect the whole scenario of what was going on in my life when I decided to leave and after leaving, raising kids, and being with my family. So much of this is really about that.
MR: When you look back, what was it that brought you to Nashville?
CB: I went to Nashville in ’83, and essentially, it’s still the same town. It was buzzing with very intense creativity, it was a very friendly town. When I got there, the hit songwriters were people like Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Townes Van Zandt–these were hit songwriters, not just guys hanging around the town–Townes had had hits with “Poncho & Lefty” and “If I Needed You,” and Nancy Griffith, you remember her, Lyle Lovett was there, Steve Earle was there. It was a really cool place for a young singer-songwriter to sharpen his craft. I did not go there to be a songwriter. I went there to record, hoping to be an artist and thinking that these guys were representative of where Nashville was going, and it did go, indeed, for a short period of time. I don’t think it’s going in that direction now, but that was a great time for me to be there.
MR: I remember there was an open-door, “Nashville is evolving” policy. Then the big hats came back.
CB: This may not be a popular thing to say in the music industry but some of it has to do with what took place in radio. You have corporations like Clear Channel coming in and buying up all of these radio stations and streamlining the playlists to the point where there were something like seventeen current records in rotation and everything else was recurrent and oldies. With those restrictions and with this homogenization of the whole market a small group of people were really selecting the songs that were going to get played on the radio. The labels reacted to that and then the Nashville songwriting community reacted to that and it sort of trickles down to the very lowest levels of the industry. It’s a case of the tail wagging the dog. I think radio changed and as a result Nashville changed a bit, but also the way new acts are signed these days, television plays a huge role, American Idol plays a huge role. That saves the record labels a lot of money for promotion because these artists go out and find a huge audience that way and that helps them because sales are down, at least somewhat. The whole thing is like a reflection, a negative image, it’s backwards from how it appears. I wouldn’t say that Nashville is not partly at fault for changing the way things are recorded or how they sound. There’s definitely been a give and take in this, but there are a lot of factors. It isn’t just the music that Nashville has decided to make.
MR: I think Nashville had a golden moment where it could’ve turned the corner on its identity and evolved into something more significant, maybe even becoming the capitol of Americana, classic rock, rockabilly, Southern rock…
CB: Yeah, I think I read Steve Earle someplace saying it was “Nashville’s brush with credibility.” There was room for everything. There certainly was room for the singer-songwriters, the left-of-center people, but there was also room for the traditional artists. I think that versatility has been lost. The fact that there used to be such a broad range of music at that time and now it seems like it’s fairly restrictive. Again, whether that’s a reflection of the way radio has operated or whether it’s just that the town has become more conservative, all these factors weigh into it. Even when I was there, a lot of people in Nashville were afraid to take risks because they’d gotten burnt before and sales were just plummeting. After 2001, record companies were closing, people were being laid off, and the response to that was to become more conservative and go back to this way of thinking that was probably pre-1980s. It’s a shame because I think the potential was there to become a hot bed for the kind of music that we grew up on. There could’ve been another wave of Dylans and people like that developing in Nashville at the time and that was nipped in the bud.
MR: You lived in Nashville for many years. Is it fair to say that you grew as an artist based on your time there?
CB: Yes. I had an opportunity down there to rub elbows with great people. I was continuously performing, I would do the Bluebird and one side of me would be Guy Clark and Thom Schuyler would be sitting across from me and Don Schlitz or Fred Knobloch would be there. You really had to up your game. I’ve likened The Bluebird to a University of Song. That’s certainly how I treated it. I went down there with an attitude that I was going to learn something, but I was also pretty sure that I wanted to record. I had some validations of that in the past, so what Nashville had to teach me, I think, was partly a refinement of what I was already doing and then sort of opening my eyes a little bit to how deeply you can go in the songwriting process, how meticulous you can become, how much attention you can pay to detail.
MR: Would it also be fair to say that The More I Wonder is not only a memoir but also an embracing of what you’ve learned over the years?
CB: Absolutely, and I think in a lot of ways, it’s full circle. My first project when I was eighteen years old was a band with three singer-songwriters in three-part harmony. This was back in 1972, we lived in a farmhouse and called ourselves Wire & Wood. We wrote very much the same kinds of songs I’m writing now, they were lyrical stories, some poetry in the words, something innovative, hopefully, musically and also influenced by the music that we grew up on from the sixties and seventies. So that was their dormant state when I already went to Nashville and then it evolved in the process of being in Nashville and now has sort of come back full circle now that I’m back on the road performing for audiences and that’s what I’m drawing from. So I feel very connected to everything I’m doing, and there’s a thread that runs all the way through it. Part of it is settling back in the same geographical area where all of that happened. It’s really rooted me in it.
MR: Did anything surprise you while creating this album, like a song continued to evolve and just wouldn’t stop?
CB: They all do that, but in particular, one of the bigger surprises was one of my favorite tracks on the record, a song called “Woman Of The Mist.” It was so outside the parameters of what I’d written. I generally don’t write lyrics that are fantasy, I write about reality. That song came about as part of the loss of a very dear friend of mine, named F.C. Collins, who was a collaborator, in fact he was a member of that first band I was a part of, Wire & Wood. He was a songwriter who influenced me in my youth. He also turned me on to these interesting fantasy novels by Robert Howard, the Conan The Barbarian books. When he passed away, unfortunately, I was thinking about him in those terms and I wrote this complete fantasy about his widow surviving him. That was a real departure, I think, for me. That song more than anything on the record was a surprise.
MR: What about all these Ronstadts and others appearing on the project? Did they add their own arrangements or were you conducting?
CB: The way we record is kind of interesting. I don’t know how many records are made this way but it’s the way I’m comfortable. I go into the studio with my friend John Mock, my producer in Nashville, we rent some Finnish microphones, we set up in his studio and I just perform the songs solo on acoustic guitar. We record the vocals and the guitar live, I might do five or six takes and somewhere in there I’ll get one that’s pretty good, and that’s the basis of what we do as far as over dubs. From that point it’s just a question of really listening and thinking about where I can take the song with John since he contributes ideas to that, too. Once we decide, “Okay we’re going to get Andy Leftwich in there,” who’s just a brilliant mandolin and fiddle player, we let him do what he hears. We don’t tell him what to do at all. These guys are such great players, they’ll get it. If you really sketch the song out in a way that they are playing to your performance, what you end up with at the end is everything sort of surrounds that performance, that emotional connection with the listener. That’s what this kind of music is all about. It’s singer-songwriter music. It’s meant to be an intimate connection, a one-to-one experience between the singer-songwriter and the listener. It’s not group participation, necessarily, it’s not something that you listen to in a loud bar, it’s not dance music, so that’s it. It’s listening music. I think when you get them in the situation where they are actually playing to the core performance of the song being done as honestly as you can do it, this is the result, this is the kind of record that you get.
MR: Is that the Craig Bickhardt secret to songwriting?
CB: It may be part of it. I know that when I’m doing the overdubs–and I’m always present for that stuff–there’s always a lot of discussion about the song. They’ll respond to the lyrics, they’ll ask me what that line is or they’ll tell me to quote a verse or they’ll say, “I’m going to lay out on that line, because that line just wants to speak.” I don’t necessarily write the song with any of that in mind. If you were into The Beatles, you might listen to their records and analyze a song in terms of the record. You might say, “Well they were envisioning the record a certain way and that’s why they wrote the song this way.” I’m not real good at that, so to me the song always has to be something I can perform on my acoustic guitar in front of an audience of any size and connect. It has to be a big enough song, it has to be an interesting enough guitar part, it has to be an engaging enough lyric that I can sing it in front of the audience and that’s the most important thing. It has to connect with that audience.
MR: Do you think that also was the secret with Ray Charles and Johnny Cash and B.B. King and all those people who have recorded your material?
CB: I can’t say for sure, but I know for a fact that whenever I wrote a song that was really honest, just as deep as I could go, it was for me, invariably some other artist wanted a piece of that. They wanted to own that song. I would write a song like “Donald & June” and I would think, “this is great because it’s just for me, nobody’s going to want to cut it, I don’t have to hide it from anybody or worry about giving it to my publisher and they’ll give it to somebody else who’s going to cut it before I do.” Sure enough I performed the song like the second or third time live and Garth Fundis was in the audience and says, “That song would be perfect for Don Williams,” and Don loved it and recorded it. So in spite of myself, even in spite of my efforts to write very personally it just happens to be that these songs somehow resonate with other artists and other artists want to do them. But it always seemed to me that the more I tried to write for other people–and I really failed at that so I stopped early on doing that–the worse I was. The more I tried to satisfy my own personal instincts as an artist the more other people wanted to sing these songs.
MR: Do you think that moving from Nashville to where you are now is going to put another spin on your creativity?
CB: It already has. There’s a song on the record called “The Reckless Kind,” which has an odd time signature in it, and I would never have done that in Nashville, but it was like, “I don’t care, this is what I’m going to do, I’m going to make this record.” But also, there’s always a spirit of place with writing. I think all writers are, as it’s said, a product of their times but also a product of their environment. I seem to write in the hues of this area, the imagery of this area. That’s always been in my music. I think I was much more influenced way back by the music in this area but primarily from New England, which is part of this area. I would go to hear these singer songwriters at the Main Point, people like Tom Rush, Dave Van Ronk, Eric Anderson, Doc Watson. It really all seemed like it was part of the DNA of living in this area and being part of this environment. That has certainly effected me and I think coming back here and not being really hooked into Nashville anymore, not being really even able to get those kinds of cuts that I used to get because that all shuts down when you don’t have a big publisher, and I don’t, it frees you up in a certain way. That’s really what’s going on now.
MR: What is your advice for new artists?
CB: I think there’s a real interest in acoustic singer-songwriters. For me, I can only speak about that. But it’s due in part to a rejection that the public has to the limited choices that audiences have found in the mainstream. I hear things all the time like, “It’s great to hear people who can really sing and play their instruments again.” We would never have heard that in the sixties or seventies. Pretty much everyone who was playing live could play live. Now we have people singing and dancing to recorded tracks and auto tuning and all that stuff. People are dancing and singing but they don’t play an instrument. They’ve never written a song or maybe they’ve written a lyric but they’ve never composed anything. I think getting back to that thing where it’s just you and your instrument and the song. That’s what I would say has a big future. Nobody’s getting rich off this anymore–well, most people aren’t, there are a handful of people now–but there’s potential for reasonable blue collar wage if you have genuine talent and if you work hard. The performing musician’s pay has been stagnant for a long time but it’s possible for a young singer-songwriter to make a day’s wage or a weekend’s wage playing a couple of nights now that’s somewhat sustainable because they can sell CDs and they have other merchandise and it’s not expensive to create that stuff. This is not necessarily full-time sustainable for a lot of young artists but there’s a decent amount of support from the audiences I think, at least the ones that I play for. Younger artists, younger singer-songwriters might only break even when they’re first building a following because it’s really tough but the cream eventually rises. I think, at least with most people I talk to, there’s no doubt in their minds that there’s a glut in the sheer number of musicians out there, but the consumer will do the weeding. They’ll find the good stuff. If I were a young artist these days, I would focus on the skill of playing and singing and writing a song with yourself. You can tour, you can perform alone, the market will sustain that kind of money, you can make five or six hundred dollars a night playing some of those places and that’s a little bit more of a realistic goal for the musicians these days rather than the model of selling a million downloads or whatever.
MR: What advice would you give to Craig Bickhardt circa Wire & Wood?
CB: The only thing that I would really tell myself at that age is to stick with it, don’t let the negativity and the rejection put you down. You’ve got to be able to build on the rejection and the negativity. I think there’s a tendency for a lot of young artists to become very discouraged just by the sheer amount of rejection, especially now, I think it’s worse than ever. There are so many people trying to do this, the labels have gotten smaller and smaller, they’ve signed less and less artists and you’ve got to be a bigger and bigger artist through American Idol or what have you to be signed, so you’ve got to be able to cope with that kind of rejection or set your sights on smaller goals. I think the main message for myself at a younger age would be, “Don’t be discouraged, don’t give up, don’t quit.” You’ve got to believe in it. You’ve got to almost take a do or die attitude. That’s the way it was with me. Had I known forty years ago how hard it was going to be I still would’ve done it. If you can feel that way at any age, then you’re doing the right thing.
MR: What’s next for Craig Bickhardt?
CB: Well I’ve got another record’s worth of songs written. There’s always this whole process of crowd-funding that comes before it now because I can’t afford to make these records–they cost enough money that it’s just out of my budget–and also having enough money to do a little promotion afterwards. I’m performing, selling and touring behind this record and then I have to start the whole process again, raising some money and going into the studio. The studio process really takes a while for me because I’ll go in and record four or five songs and live with them for a couple of months, decide to re-record two of them, scrap two of them, and keep two of them. It’s one of those things where it takes me nine months just to get to the basic performances of the songs I want to use for the record. I recorded twenty-three songs for this record. Twelve of them made the cut, one or two of them will probably be re-recorded and make it onto the next record if I can do them right. I’m ready to go. The thing that holds me back now is just the time and funding between touring and performing and living a normal life and paying bills like everybody else. It’s just a process that I have to go through that’s one step removed from the making of the record–actually raising the funds for the record.
MR: What an amazing gift it is to be able to over-write.
CB: It’s great, but I think it’s also indicative of my creative process. I’m just a chronic writer. I’ve slowed down quite a bit from my Nashville days but I still manage to get enough songs written to where I’ve got what I need. And sometimes I live with a song and it just doesn’t seem true after a year so I’ll scrap it and sometimes I’ll rewrite it. If I’m not involved in the creative process I just don’t feel completely alive, there’s just something missing from me.
MR: When is the next Schuyler, Knobloch & Bickhardt reunion happening?
CB: Gosh, I don’t know. We talked about it at one point, we talked about recording again and we just never got anywhere with it. Everybody’s got their own lives going, Thom is a minister in Nashville and is very happy doing that. I think Fred is still writing and producing, doing a lot of recording in his studio. I live in Pennsylvania, they live in Nashville but I would certainly do it if there was a means.
MR: Very sweet, I love it. When you heard artists like Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, B. B. King or Art Garfunkel perform your songs, how did you feel?
CB: It’s different every time. I think when you first hear about something–“The Highwaymen just recorded your song” I’m floored, because what a compliment that is, what an honor. Then you go through the process of listening to it and maybe it doesn’t meet your expectations or maybe it’s a little different in the way they phrase or sing a line. But with that particular song and the way they did it, I was just so enamored with the fact that I was listening to these guys who I’d listened to all my own career expressing the thoughts of myself and my collaborator Barry Alfonso on that song, it was really an amazing experience. One of the more amazing experiences I’ve had as a songwriter. You certainly can’t help but be a little bit starstruck when it’s something of that caliber. Quite honestly, I’ve had other cuts by other artists where I was disappointed, but usually I really find it interesting, to hear another artist’s read on a song because they will always stamp it somehow. It will always go through their filters. Occasionally, a melody will change or a word will change or some feel, a groove will happpen that wasn’t there originally, sometimes not for the better. That’s all part of the process. You have to be able to live with that and accept that.
I’ve never been particularly openly critical of anything that anyone has done. I know that other songwriters will mention names, famous songwriters have been very critical of covers of their songs and I don’t think it serves any purpose. I think when you write a song and you put it out there you’re pretty much launching it on the seas and people are going to sing it whether it’s amateurs at an open mic or people at a campfire or other artists. You just have to be at peace with the fact that it’s going to change. If you look back at traditional music, the Child Ballads, how much change and development takes place in a song over a couple hundred years. If it’s worthy of that, there’s nothing better. That’s the ultimate compliment, the ultimate statement about a song is that it’s worthy of being sung by everyone, changed a little bit here and there and that it survives for a hundred years.
MR: Was it scary moving away from Nashville?
CB: It was scary to leave, it certainly was, and I’m comfortable admitting that because a lot of people told me I was crazy but it had just changed to such an extent that it felt to me like what I was writing and where Nashville was going were just in different directions. When I first went there I felt like I was very much in the stream of what was happening along with the other writers I had mentioned earlier. I felt very much at home, I thought I was in the scene. When that started to change, it was like Nashville had ejected me out the other side. I didn’t necessarily feel like I was leaving Nashville as much as I felt like Nashville had sort of left me and I was stranded in a place where I no longer felt like the music community was really into what I was doing. Culturally, I was in a place where I didn’t grow up, so when I came back up here along with being scared there was some excitement, “What’s going to happen? This is going to be interesting. Whatever happens here is going to be a big change, I’m going to grow, I’m going to have interesting experiences, I’m going to be inspired, I’m going to meet new people and we’ll just see what happens.”
Now, having said that, I also openly admit that there are some things about Nashville that I really miss. I miss a lot of my dear friends down there, I miss my family–my daughter and granddaughter live down there–I miss the musical community, just being inspired by that and being able to hang out and play the Blue Bird once a month and hear other songs, I miss the juice. But I think part of exploring any artistry that a person has involves being alone. It’s a lonely life, you have to pursue what you feel and what you’re inspired to do. If you don’t do that you aren’t being honest, and if your art’s a lie then it’s not any good. So for me this is all just part of my growth. Will I come back to Nashville? Who knows. In ten years it might be completely different and I might come back for different reasons, maybe just to be with my family again. But for now this has been very interesting and very exciting, so I’m enjoying it.
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