Category Archives: INDIE MUSIC NEWS

Demon Boy Releases Video for "Fly On The Wall"

Demon Boy has released a new video for “Fly On The Wall”. Check it out HERE.


Victoria Lane Releases New Video for "Don’t Regret It"

Victoria Lane has released a new video for “Don’t Regret It”. Check it out right HERE.


Solange Reveals New Album 'A Seat At The Table'

Solange Knowles has announced her highly-anticipated third album A Seat at the Table. The release is his first full-length album since 2008’s Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams and follows her 2012 EP True.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude and excitement to share this body of work I have written, with you,” Knowles wrote in an Instagram post. In another post, she revealed the track listing and featured artists, which include Lil Wayne, Tweet, Dev Hynes, Kelly Rowland and Kelela. The album will be released on September 30th, though it is unclear which retailers will stream or feature a digital download.

On her official site, the singer debuted a digital book to accompany the album that can be viewed for free. In the book is what appears to be lyrics for each track of the 21-song LP as well as a collection of photos.

A Seat at the Table track listing:

1. “Rise”
2. “Weary” featuring Tweet
3. “Interlude: The Glory Is in You”
4. “Cranes in the Sky”
5. “Interlude: Dad Was Mad”
6. “Mad” Featuring Lil Wayne, Moses Sumney and Tweet
7. “Don’t You Wait”
8. “Interlude: Tina Taught Me”
9. “Don’t Touch My Hair” featuring Sampha
10. “This Moment” featuring Devonté Hynes and Lu
11. “Where Do We Go” featuring Sean Nicholas Savage
12. “Interlude: For Us By Us”
13. “F.U.B.U.” featuring The-Dream, BJ the Chicago Kid and Tweet
14. “Borderline (An Ode to Self Care)” featuring Q-Tip
15. “Interlude: “I Got So Much Magic, You Can Have It” featuring Kelly Rowland and Nia Andrews
16. “Junie”
17. “Interlude: No Limits”
18. “Don’t Wish Me Well”
19. “Interlude: Pedastals”
20. “Scales” featuring Kelela
21. “Closing: The Chosen Ones”

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Hear Andrew W.K.'s Aggressive EDM Debut 'Party Til We Die'

Andrew W.K. is now dipping his toes into the dance music world with new track “Party Til We Die.” The bass-heavy, big-room house track was produced by MAKJ and Timmy Trumpet. On the aggressive track, the rock artist and motivational speaker perpetuates his party-centric ethos with the repetition of the song’s title in between expansive build-ups and booming drops.

In an interview with Billboard, MAKJ revealed that he had been working on the song for two years. For most of the time, he had trouble locating the right vocalist until he crossed paths with the musician at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival. “Finding the right person for the song was a long and hard challenge, but having Andrew W.K. featured on his first dance tune was well worth the wait.”

Over the last seven years, W.K.’s musical output has been minimal. His last two albums — 55 Cadillac and Gundam Rock — were released in 2009, and his most recent EP — The “Party All Goddamn Night” EP — was released in 2011 in Japan only.

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Jay Z Wins Copyright Lawsuit Over Roc-A-Fella Logo

A federal judge dismissed a $7 million lawsuit against Jay Z and his former label partners that accused them of breach of contract and copyright infringement over the logo for Roc-A-Fella Records, Reuters reports.

Dwayne Walker filed the suit in 2012. Walker, a clothing designer, claimed he created the artwork depicting a vinyl record that served as the basis for the Roc-A-Fella logo (the official version features an “R” and a champagne bottle superimposed over an LP). Jay Z, co-founder Damon Dash, Roc-A-Fella and its parent company, Universal Music Group, denied Walker’s claims, saying the logo was designed by an in-house art director.

Walker also claimed that he and Dash signed a contract that entitled him to royalties from the logo, but U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter ruled there was little evidence to prove the document existed. Along with Walker, two other people purported to have seen the contract, but Judge Carter ruled their testimony was too weak. He wrote in his decision, “This leaves only plaintiff’s own self-serving testimony that he drafted the contract, that he and Dash signed it, and that he lost track of it in 1998.”

Judge Carter also noted that Walker waited too long to file a copyright claim, taking five years, instead of three, to sue Roc-A-Fella after learning he was allegedly owed royalties.

Representatives for Jay Z and Walker were not immediately available for comment.

Walker plans to appeal the decision, his lawyer Gregory Berry told Reuters. “Walker made the logo in 1995. Then in 2013, in response to this suit – never before – the defendants find a guy who is willing to claim now that HE made the logo … Sound like a factual question for trial? We agree.”

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Phish Schedule Annual New Year's Eve Run at Madison Square Garden

Phish will return to Madison Square Garden for another New Year’s Eve stand set to take place December 28th through the 31st.

Tickets for the four concerts will go on sale via Ticketmaster October 14th at noon ET. An online ticket request period is also underway now through October 12th at noon ET on the Phish website. Starting October 15th, any remaining tickets will also be available at the MSG box office. All floor tickets for the New Year’s Eve shows will be general admission.

Phish’s four-night stint at Madison Square Garden will culminate with the band’s 40th concert at the famed arena. The group first played there December 30th, 1994.

Along with their New Year’s Eve stand, Phish will play a string of live dates in October following the release of their new album Big Boat on October 7th. Bob Ezrin, the producer behind the group’s 2014 album Fuego, was also behind the boards for Big Boat. The group recorded the album in Nashville, New York and the band’s home state of Vermont. 

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, frontman Trey Anastasio said of Big Boat, “There’s definitely a point of view to this one,” says Anastasio. “We’re old enough to have a healthy respect for mortality.” 

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Nicolas Jaar: Electronic Impressionist on Long-Awaited Second LP 'Sirens'

New York-based Nicolas Jaar is a shape-shifting electronic music-maker who moves through sounds like an urbane artist should. His 2011 full-length debut Space Is Only Noise defined a new kind of slow, sumptuous dance music that flitted between ambient beatlessness and tracks that would be banging before you even noticed the change. After that came aggressively eclectic DJ mixes, the Darkside duo with guitarist Dave Harrington, and a decidedly experimental re-soundtracking to 1969 avant-garde film The Colour of Pomegranates and a series of dance tracks called Nymphs. But nothing quite counted as a proper follow-up to the formidable debut until Sirens, a new album out Friday via Jaar’s own label Other People.

Sirens mixes styles and moods with a mind for political engagement that becomes clear, if mostly obliquely. The cover art draws on an image from a work by the musician’s father, the world-renowned and politically pointed conceptual artist Alfredo Jaar (who once lit up a sign in Times Square with the words “This is not America”), and the lyrics make glancing reference to timely concerns familiar to anyone up on the news.

In Brooklyn, where he lives and has been rehearsing for an upcoming world tour at the underground DIY club Market Hotel, Rolling Stone talked to Jaar about electronic-music resistance, Nina Simone and making peace with the ways his father disrupted the peace.

This record comes across as very personal but in abstract ways. How did you conceive of it as a project different than others when you started work on it?
I like that it feels like a personal record. I ended up with one but did not set out to make one at all. I set out to not talk about myself for the first time. It usually comes from a very personal place and ends up further removed. Here I tried to go further out and at some point just ended up deeper in, talking about things that are more ingrained in me than anything I’ve done in the past.

What happened to make it transform?
The Nymphs series was going to be the follow-up to Space Is Only Noise, but there was something missing. Pomegranates – it was too experimental, no vocals, something was missing again. There’s an experimental side to what I do and then there are club tracks. It’s cool as two sides of a coin, but I was missing the actual coin that makes those two things oppose each other. I needed context, and I see Sirens as a context record, for context around me and outside of me.

What kind of context do you mean?
The context we’ve been living in and of me being Chilean-American-French-Palestinian in the social context of what has been happening. Hopefully you can hear it. The first sound on the record is a flag waving in the wind. But it also could be a boat approaching somewhere. It sounds like both, and that is a big part of the duality I was going for – it could be sirens, like the mythological creatures that lure sailors and make ships wreck, or sirens like police sirens. The sound of glass breaking at the beginning could be a mirror or a window. Duality was important.

What kind of duality exactly?
The duality between fiction and politics. What do they have to do with each other? That led me to how people tell narratives and how people explain what happens in history. How do things actually happen and how much is fiction? How much, even if it’s true fact, becomes fiction in the re-telling? The idea of narrative as a form of dominance became a central part of this as I started seeing it around us everywhere.

The way a narrative is told is going to have a grain of fiction in it, and that’s maybe where power lies. … Seeing the world around us and feeling like who gets to tell the story is more important than I thought. I didn’t want to tell the story just myself, so that’s why there’s all these differing things going on: speaking in Spanish in one track, playing ambient in another, a punk song in another…

So the songs are coming from different vantage points?
All my music has some of that, but I realized I could fully embody it. The thing that has the most to do with that is “Four Women” by Nina Simone, when she embodies four women. I think it’s one of the most incredible songs ever made. She’s a huge influence and inspiration, listening to her and seeing that documentary that came out [What Happened, Miss Simone?, from 2015]. She had the power of multiple voices speaking through a kind of egoless vessel.

What was appealing about being an egoless vessel?
I set out really not wanting to talk about myself. I was looking at Pomegranates and Nymphs and I could see two breakups and all this shit, and there was no need for it. That’s part of the breaking of the mirror at the beginning. I wanted to look out. But most importantly I wanted to look out because of what I felt while living here [in the United States]. When I was DJing, I was having a really hard time maintaining a happy face. A lot of people, when they come see me, think I’m a deep-house DJ who plays Beatport tracks. But I was playing noise and Linton Kwesi Johnson acapellas and freaking out. I started feeling disillusioned with what music can do. Personally, I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. I was just making these dance tracks and I wanted to see if there was more.

What led to the change of mind?
Maybe this started when I was teaching a “class” – please, put that in quote marks, I don’t want to “teach” anybody anything – at Berklee College of Music in Boston. For the first assignment, I asked them to bring in a three-minute piece that was ambient and in A minor or C major, with three distinct movements that change at three different points. In class I played them all at the same time, all ambient pieces in the same key. My first question, after they played, was can electronic music talk about the world around us? Can we get out of this abstract bubble? How can we resist? What does electronic-music resistance look like today? Can we do that? Does anyone even want that? Does anyone even care?

How would you characterize the answer?
I don’t fucking know. I made this record and still don’t know. I don’t think I’ll ever know.

“The Governor” has elements of drum’n’bass, which always had a sense of purpose or polemic to it, certainly more than most dance music. Were you mining that at all?
It was an 80 BPM song until I wondered what it would sound like at 160. It wasn’t even going to have drums. I had it down with piano and it wasn’t going to go anywhere, but the song turned into this monster. I thought people might be confused that it was coming from me. I never thought of it as drum’n’bass until people have mentioned it. I was thinking of it in regard to heavy metal and punk. I go to [Queens D.I.Y. venue] Trans-Pecos a lot. I saw [hardcore band] Show Me the Body twice and I was like, “Whenever you’re playing again, I would love to DJ after you.” So I DJed one night for kids who go to punk shows. It has informed me, going to see live music on that level for the past couple years. I wasn’t really doing that before.

There’s a wider stylistic berth with you than most electronic artists. How conscious of that are you?
It would be great to be able to do one thing. People have said that’s one of my defining characteristics, but I’m really trying to do something coherent, I swear. It’s not something I’m trying to do. But, like, I just wanted to make a reggaeton song. That got me up in the morning. I was like, “Today I’m going to make a crazy reggaeton song about Chile,” and it ends up sounding like [Sirens song] “No.” It ends up sounding like whatever that sounds like. I literally was buying a banana in my deli and they were playing reggaeton, and it was fucking amazing. Then I went and made that – three hours later it was done.

“Leaves” has a recording of you as a child speaking in Spanish to your father.
When I was working on the record, my parents were moving out of the apartment where I grew up. That’s where my parents divorced, and after I spent six years in Chile with my mother, I came back to New York, to Lafayette Street in Manhattan. It was one of those Soho lofts from back in the Eighties. My mom was cleaning out a closet and found these family videos. It was pretty heavy for me because it was like two weeks before they divorced and before I lost a father for six years. For me that was a kind of a moment, and it became a personal record when I realized all this played a part: asking who am I here and who am I there?

What are the words you’re speaking in the video?
The reason I put it in there is my dad literally is saying, “Go to the wall, go to the wall.” Trump is like “the wall, the wall,” and here’s my dad saying, “Go to the wall.” I was dancing to “Guateque Campesino” by [Cuban singer ]Guillermo Portabales. I grew up listening to this stuff. Of course my dad was treating it like an art project, like a super-serious thing even though it’s not – it’s a home video.

Incorporating your father is a significant move. What about his radical, politically charged work seems most useful for music?
I started making music because it didn’t need context. I had those conversations with my dad when I way young and was like, “Your shit, no one gets it until they read something about it and that’s not cool.” This is 13-year-old me. Subconsciously, I thought everyone gets music so I’m going to make music because everyone gets it. His shows? No one gets them. But it’s not actually true. … I like context and think it’s important. It was something I was rebelling against, and now I find myself back at the beginning. I didn’t want to make something that could be played in a hotel lobby.

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Beach Boys Brian Wilson, Mike Love Tell All in Starkly Different Memoirs

The Beach Boys saga has always haunted the American imagination because of the family bond at the heart of it: the three Wilson brothers – tortured genius Brian, shy Carl, madman drummer Dennis – and their abusive dad, thrown together in a surf band with their flashy cousin. Part of the poignancy is Brian Wilson versus Mike Love – two California boys who never should have been in the same room, much less trapped together for life. Wilson and Love both have excellent new memoirs, telling the story from opposite perspectives. Since Beach Boys fans are fiercely tribal – hardcore Brianistas dismiss Love as a mercenary clod riding his cousins’ coattails – both books are musts, not to mention guaranteed argument-starters.

I Am Brian Wilson is soulful and earnest – like spending quality time with a gentle sage with an endearingly erratic attention span. It jumps chaotically all over the timeline. Wilson is heartbreakingly blunt about his mental breakdowns and suffering at the hands of his father. He has startling insights into the music, as with the obscure early tune “Don’t Hurt My Little Sister,” which comes back to haunt him in middle age: “Maybe it’s because it was a song about protection and I felt scared that no one was protecting me.” Through it all, he remains a frightened kid who connects to the world mainly through music. “Songs are out there all the time, but they can’t be made without people,” he writes. “You have to do your job and help songs come into existence.”

As for his singer – well, as Wilson writes, “Mike had a funny way of looking at things.” Good Vibrations is exactly the Mike Love book you’d hope for – he revels in his image as one of rock’s unrepentant assholes. As he notes with pride, “For those who believe that Brian walks on water, I will always be the Antichrist.” He doesn’t care if you like him or not – what he cares about is settling scores and nursing grudges. Good Vibrations is one of the most gleefully petty rock memoirs ever – it ranks up there with Morrissey’s Autobiography when it comes to the airing of grievances. 

Love boasts about how much money he made suing Wilson for defamation the last time he published a memoir, though he insists he wouldn’t stoop to actually reading the whole book. He’s had it up to here with “Brian’s hagiographers and sycophants” – he sees himself as the band’s leader. Most rock memoirs get boring when they start talking lawsuits, but for Love this is the surf’s-up part: Litigation is his happy place. Depositions are his Kokomo, cross-examinations his Aruba. One highlight comes when he’s choosing a lawyer to sue Wilson: “His willingness to help me was a revelation, but we still needed to do our astrological vetting.” Fortunately, Love’s astrologer approves the lawyer because “in the twelfth House of Justice he has an exalted Jupiter.” 

The constant family betrayals add up – at one point, the 36-year-old Dennis impregnates one of his teenage daughter’s friends. She happens to be Love’s 17-year-old daughter. (They split just a few months after their wedding, before Dennis drowned.) In a depressing scene, Brian attends Love’s wedding, where Carl sings “God Only Knows”; Love’s best man is the lawyer who’s just deposed Brian for 17 days.

If you were hoping either book would make you feel warm and fuzzy about the Beach Boys – well, wouldn’t it be nice? But neither is watered-down product. Both are full of pain. For Love, the injustice is how the world still feels so much affection for Wilson in all his fragile humanity. I saw a Wilson show this summer where he spaced on the second verse of “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times.” He chuckled and said, “Oh, I forgot the words.” The crowd sang it for him until he figured out where to come in for the chorus. It could have been a pitiful moment; instead, it was suffused with warmth. That’s a moment I won’t forget – there isn’t a moment like it in Love’s book. How can such troubled men create such beautiful music? God only knows.

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Young M.A: "Ooouuu" Star on Why She Turned Down 'Empire' Role

One of the most unexpectedly pleasant surprises of the summer has been Young M.A’s ascendance in the New York rap scene. The Brooklyn MC first emerged in 2014 with her “Chiraq (Freestyle),” spitting sharp bars that arguably improved upon the late Young Pappy’s original track and drawing the ire of cultural commentator Dr. Boyce Watkins. A year later, she scored another YouTube hit with the furious battle rap “Body Bag” and the mixtape, Sleepwalkin‘. For a minute, it seemed Young M.A seemed destined to follow in the footsteps of Uncle Murda, the late Chinx and other Rotten Apple knuckleballers who generate more regional respect than mainstream acclaim. That all changed with “Ooouuu.”

“Ooouuu,” the infectious and clubby ode to living lovely, smokin’ loud and gettin’ money started blowing up in the streets, on the Internet and, currently, the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it’s currently Number 67. It’s been remixed and remade by Nicki Minaj, the Game, Meek Mill and more.

“The summer has been very busy, and exciting at the same time,” says the 24-year-old MC who, as of yet, has declined to share her government name. In an interview, the woman with a fondness for getting smashed on “Henny” and sexing “headphanies” talks about how she turned down a gig on Empire, how she avoids the hip-hop police and what follows viral success.

You’ve been developing your rap career for years now. What’s it like to just be grinding away, and then finally have a hit song?
It’s been good because we didn’t put too much pressure on ourselves by being independent. We just went with the punches and went with the flow of things. We didn’t set no particular goals; we just went with whatever. Like, whatever mood I was in [in the studio], I went with it. I didn’t have no deadlines for anything, so it wasn’t too bad. It was like we were moving off of whatever happens, happens. That started to work for us.

Will “Ooouuu” be part of a mixtape or an album, or is it just a standalone single?
Yeah, it’s definitely going to be part of an upcoming mixtape I’ve got coming up. Last year I dropped Sleepwalkin’ on November 4, 2015. I think I’m going to do the same this year, and drop it on the same date, and call it Sleepwalkin’ Volume 2, and put “Ooouuu” as well as “Summer Story” on it.

Do you have any plans to put out an official album?
Yeah, next year I have plans on doing that. Herstory in the Making is basically what it’s called. It’s my story of how long I’ve been grinding and working, and chasing this dream since I was a kid.

Are there any rappers that have influenced you?
When I was a kid, my favorite rapper was 50 Cent. He was definitely a big influence on why I wanted to do music. I used to listen to Jay Z a lot. Eve as well. … I always dreamed about it since I was 9, 10 years old as a kid. But as far as taking full effort into pursuing it independently and really taking it serious, and telling myself I’m not going to give up, and not going to discourage myself off of anything, it was probably a few years ago when I started putting out freestyles on YouTube and SoundCloud.

Which jobs did you have before you pursued a rap career?
I did retail. I worked at TJ Maxx before. I did fast food at Shake Shack. Those are the only two after high school. It wasn’t working out. I wasn’t happy. It was just something to get a dollar once I graduated from high school to have money in my pocket. I never went to college or whatever. I wanted to go to college, but I don’t know, there was just something about music that I couldn’t let go. So I just pursued it 100%.

RedLyfe is your management company, correct?
Yeah, it’s my team. It’s my team that I came in with a couple of years ago.

In “Brooklyn (Chiraq Freestyle),” you talk about how people have misinterpreted RedLyfe as a Bloods crew.
For some reason, they think we’re gang members, or part of the Bloods gang, and we’re not. So I just try to be clearing that up as much as possible in interviews. People will say we’re gang members just by looking at us. I just be trying to clear the air every chance I get to let people know that we’re in a whole different mindstate now. When we came up with the actual movement, it was never anticipated to be some type of gang. It was always initiated to be a movement for music, and also for a spiritual movement, because we believe in God, and we always put God first, no matter what we do. I guess if we was just “The Lyfe,” they wouldn’t think that. But since we put the word “red” in it, they took that and ran with it.

Have you had any trouble with the hip-hop police? It seems like whenever New York rappers get hot, they encounter trouble from the cops, whether it’s Bobby Shmurda or, more recently, Desiigner.
They were actually around before the “Ooouuu” release started to heat up. I’d see them a lot. There was this one guy who I’d always see at a lot of shows that I was booked at. He was always there. I started to see him a lot more often once the record started getting popular. But I’m not worried about it because we move smart. We’re not a bunch of dumb little idiotic guys running around, thinking we can do what we want. We’re real smart about it. I basically worked my ass off, so I’m not even going to try to make that my fate.

Your flow is very distinctive. How did you develop your voice?
Uh, I can’t even tell you that!

Maybe that’s too abstract of a question. I guess I’m wondering how you developed as a rapper.
See, as a kid I just studied it so much. I paid attention to the music industry, and watching a lot of stuff on TV, behind-the-scenes stuff on old DVDs, and paying attention to interviews from artists and rappers, and just really watching a lot of stuff as a kid. A few years ago, I woke up and was, like, “I’m going to start rapping about truthful things.” Before, when I was younger, I used to rap about things I ain’t have, like a million dollars in the bank, and cars I didn’t drive, and houses, mansions, and stuff I didn’t have. Once I got to a point I was, like, respecting myself for who I am, and speaking truthfully to people that can relate to me as well. Once I got to that point, I was able to feel a little more comfortable in music, and not too much worried about what I should say or how I should say it. I got to a point where, whatever my emotions, what I was going through, whatever my friends was going through, everything I experienced, it had to be truthful to me, or I couldn’t talk about it.

“Karma Krys” is a good relationship song.
“Karma Krys,” like I said before, is realistic. It really happened. It’s really something I went through. The girl on the voicemail is really my ex-girlfriend, and she really left that voicemail on my phone. I just put it to the [microphone], and recorded it on the track. It’s relationship problems that we all go through in life. I know people can relate to it. I wanted them to hear my side of the story and how I felt about things, and what I did and how I felt wrong for what I did. I also get her side where she’s on the voicemail, speaking out of anger and out of hurt. I just wanted to get the best of both worlds as far as the relationship on the song.

Did she get mad that you put her voice on the mixtape? After all, Drake got sued for doing the same thing on “Marvins Room.”
Shit, everybody’s askin’ me that. Naw, she was good. She actually got a little famous for that. A lot of girls was telling her, “I know how you feel.” They could relate. So it was a good thing.

I heard that you almost joined the cast of Empire.
I just didn’t want to be known as a character from Empire before I was known as Young M.A. They was trying to put me in the show instead of just having me as a special guest or anything like that. I wasn’t comfortable because I was working so hard before that, and just to jump into something so fast because it seemed like a great opportunity at the time, it didn’t make sense on what I was trying to do. So I turned it down. Plus, the contract wasn’t up to my standards. This was last year, before the previous season just passed. Before [Season 2] came out, they was trying to make me, um … some type of girl-name in there, I think it’s Freda Gatz? The initial name was Betty Bars. Everything they wrote, like, everything [rapper/actress Bre-Z] is playing in the scenes was written for me. That’s why she’s from Brooklyn in the show. But I turned it down, that’s why they got someone else to do it. It just wasn’t for me.

Now that you have a Billboard Hot 100 hit, are major labels reaching out to you?
Yeah, absolutely. I’ve sat with so many major labels. Big guys. It’s a lot of them … from RCA to Universal and Atlantic Records. It’s been crazy. I haven’t made up my mind yet. I don’t even know if I’m going to sign or not. I’m just going with the flow right now.

Did you hear the Nicki Minaj remix of “Ooouuu”?
Yeah, of course I heard it. I thought it was dope. My team already wanted to reach out to her to do the remix. But she wound up putting out without telling anybody, so it was kinda, like, a surprise. And it wasn’t a bad surprise, you know what I mean? … Also, Beyoncé used the record, too, on her Instagram video. That one is the one that got to me the most.

How do you plan to follow it up?
I don’t know, man, that’s the scary part. I’ve never had a plan prior to this. It was always just go with whatever, and that seemed to have been working for me. Definitely, the mixtape, like I said. I’ve been doing a lot of touring, and a lot of people have wanted to work with me feature-wise. I’m just going with the flow, man. 

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Woke Up Waiting Releases New Song "Best of Me"

Woke Up Waiting has released a new song called “Best of Me” in a lyrical video format. Check it HERE.