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Meet Will Hill, a Lyrical Hustler making his own Waves

Ryan Stokes

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Will Hill’s rap skills are unquestionably making uncontrollable noise. The ambitious 26-year-old is causing even the old heads to take notes, leaving a strong impression on the hip-hop game. His most recent single, “Boutta Check,” is a problem, but a good one, of course. Hill pushes his pen over a piano-driven track, crisscrossing trap and jazz beats. Let’s just say he doesn’t miss a mark.

Hill’s intricacy, logic, and lyricism forge a refreshing path in the era of mumble-rap. The emcee proves to be nothing short of authentic, which seamlessly manifests into his songs. He continues to reverse his trials and tribulations into purpose. And there’s no doubt he’ll only be advancing from here.

Was there a specific moment in your life you can recall that sparked your interest in music?
It’s pretty much always been around me for as long as I can remember. My mom used to always play old school music –– funk, jazz… all that stuff. My sisters introduced me to hip-hop; they would listen to the radio back when Ludacris was on and…yeah.

I remember the first song I heard on there was Outkast’s, “Elevators.”

The first time I remember trying to pursue it, my aunt was working at Epic Records. At that time, everyone was going crazy over Lil Bow Wow and everything he was doing, and I remember wanting to be like him. And then in high school, I began experimenting with raps again for fun. That turned into one of my homies making music with me; to be honest, it was supposed to just be this quick money scheme at that point [but] things just sort of clicked together.

Ryan Stokes

Why do you think Atlanta is so important for music culture?
Atlanta is just so unique in how we make music. There are so many different types of people who come here just because of the location, the music, [and] the culture. You got people from Cali, New York, [and] you got people from the other side of the world, and different countries, you know? With all that mixed, there’s always a lot going on. And to already infuse that with what’s already been here in Atlanta – the snap culture, the twerk culture, stuff like that, it’s just a perfect balance. You can have substance in the music or no substance, but regardless, it will make people move. I think it’s important for artists to tap into that since so many people love the sound Atlanta has to offer.

How do you overcome doubts during low moments in your career?
So doubt is something every artist goes through but the best thing to is overcome that, and this is something I personally do to conquer self-doubt and any other obstacles, is to make sure you’re always having fun. Remind yourself why you started making music in the first place –– why it brings you joy, happiness, and something worth continuously pursuing.

One thing I personally had to do was start producing to find joy in music again. I went through a [period] where I didn’t want to make music anymore; it just didn’t feel right.

What motivates me through all that is, to be honest –– everyday life. The stuff that I go through on a daily basis. So I just pull from that when I make music and people [can] relate. When I sit down to record a song, it’s usually to get something off my chest whether it’s happy or sad. It’s healing, for sure, but it also motivates me to push harder. I’m also really big on creating and accomplishing goals and working hard to get to that next level.

What is your current objective as an artist?
I’m working towards solidifying my brand and making sure that I’m conveying what my brand is [so] that everyone has a good grasp on who I am as an artist and what I want to represent.

And my brand is just, you know, hustling; it’s about ambition and talking to anyone who has goals and strives to do something bigger and better with their lives.

What are you anticipating most for as further into your musical quest?
At this point, to see it all unfold. I’m recently [became] a firm believer in the process being the beautiful part. I’ve gone through a lot as an artist –– ups and downs, trials and tribulations and to see it all unfold, would be like, “Ah, okay. I put in a lot of work and this is what I’ve been working towards.” Seeing that come to life would be [really] exciting.

In the future, which artists are on your bucket list to collaborate with?
In the near future, Childish Major. I really enjoy his music and his talent.
Future, Jay Z, of course. [Hov’s] someone who really inspires and motivates me. The level that he’s been able to maintain over the years –– just the consistency and the business savvy mindset he’s got. The way he approaches everything is something that I can look up to. Even now, like the impact, he’s made in his community by helping out other artists like Meek Mill and 21 Savage. The accomplishments he’s made over the course of his career is something to look up to and strive towards. To collaborate with him would be great. I’ll make that happen sooner or later.

What’s next for you in 2019?
I’m looking forward to releasing my EP, “Illusion,” and I think everyone will really like it. And then after that, just being consistent with my brand and what I put out there. I got a few songs and music videos tucked away that I’ll release and build up until the album comes out and then, yeah. Hopefully, once that’s out, I’ll go on tour and start performing everywhere.

Congratulations on “Boutta Check” and everything else coming your way!
Thank you, thank you. I’m excited. It’s going to be a great journey!

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BBC Documentary ‘A Fresh Guide to Florence with Fab 5 Freddy’ headed US this Fall

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Hip-hop pioneer Fred Brathwaite AKA Fab 5 Freddy has announced that his acclaimed BBC documentary — A Fresh Guide To Florence With Fab 5 Freddy, which debuted in the UK this past weekend — will be coming to the US this fall. The documentary follows Fab 5 Freddy as he embarks on a quest to uncover the hidden black figures of Italian Renaissance art.

“Not only were Renaissance artists making art that defined high aesthetic ideals but they were also groundbreaking in showing an ethnically diverse, racially mixed Italy in the 15th and 16th century. You just have to look at the art,” he said in a statement.”

A Fresh Guide to Florence with Fab 5 Freddy

"You need to see this, baby!" Hip hop legend and art lover Fab 5 Freddy explores 15th-century Italian renaissance art. 🎨

Posted by BBC Arts on Thursday, July 25, 2019

The documentary centers the hip hop legend and art lover as he examines the 15th and 16th century Italian Renaissance art in 15th-century style – on horseback. Amidst superstar artists such as Michelangelo and powerful patrons such as the Medicis, Fab discovers ground-breaking images of a multi-racial and multi-ethnic society that have slipped through the cracks of art history. In a 5-star review, The Financial Times says Fab “visits Florence to insouciantly blow the dust off art history” and The Guardian says that he is “on terrific form.”

A Fresh Guide is just another chapter in the incredible year for Fab 5 Freddy. He released the highly praised 4/20 Netflix documentary Grass Is Greener, which traces the history of cannabis in America and its relationship to people of color. The film takes an unparalleled look at the history of cannabis usage in America through the lens of popular forms of music — jazz, reggae, and hip hop — while also examining the racial disparities and injustices within that world. The film has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and just was named to the UK-based Grierson Awards shortlist for Best Single Documentary (International).

A Fresh Guide To Florence With Fab 5 Freddy will come to US homes this fall, date and other details to be announced later this year.

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Brightness’ New Music Video ‘Dallas’ will make your Soul Cry

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Credit: Josh Goleman

Alex Knight who launched his career under the moniker Brightness dropped a new tracked, dubbed “Dallas” via I OH U. The mellow song was recorded in upstate New York with producer Sam Griffin Owens (Cass McCombs, Chris Cohen, Sam Evian), the song is – per Knight’s description – “about being spiritually hungry…the volatility and fragility of being in that state.” A heady offering equipped with slanting melody, baritone guitars, and erratic squalls that dunk you in cloudy space for the bulk of its duration, then slowly lifts you out in its final phrases to the sound of rapturous falsetto and luminous French horn.

“I wrote ‘Dallas’ when I was living alone in my brother’s garage. It’s probably hard to tell, but I was listening to a lot of Springsteen at the time, he said. I was inspired especially by his ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’ record…the themes etc. I’d pretty much razed my life to the ground, and was intent on looking upwards…looking outwards.”

Knight affirms “the location and pairing (with Owens) couldn’t have been more fitting.” The song was recorded in Spillway Sound, a freshly opened studio nestled in the Catskills, a spread of nature known to stir wonder in those who’ve beheld it, from the addled attendees of Woodstock Festival to 19th-century transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The accompanying visual for “Dallas” is similarly gripping. Directed by Charlotte Evans, the video finds Knight in a state of insomnia-induced disarray, the singer slowly spiraling out in his unkempt bedroom as he becomes increasingly mesmerized by a preacher on TV. The song is the first taste of new music from a forthcoming album following his critically-acclaimed 2017 debut, Teething, and marks a darker shift in sound characterized by deeper contour, contrast, and confidence.

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Report: DaBaby to serve 1 Year Probation following Gun Case

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 Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Buzzing, new rapper DaBaby has had a successful career run, thus far, with consecutive hits topping the Billboard charts over the past few months, but unfortunately, the 27-year-old’s success may slow down a notch with the bad news he just received.

According to TMZ, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office convicted the hip-hop star Thursday for carrying a concealed gun in a North Carolina case ––a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to 12 months of unsupervised probation and 30 days in jail — the jail sentence was later suspended.

The incident reportedly dates back to November of last year where the rapper was involved in a heated altercation with a man inside a local Walmart, leaving one fatality from a bullet wound. The rapper says his actions were an act of self-defense for himself and his kids.

He was arrested in connection but it’s still unclear as to who shot the suspect, the DA’s office mention to the outlet.

While it appears DaBabay got off easy with this case, he is currently battling a lawsuit over an alleged attack by him and his entourage.

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