Press Play At Home: Robert Glasper & Denzel Curry Blur Black American Genres With An Urgent Version Of "This Changes Everything"

Robert Glasper


Press Play At Home: Robert Glasper & Denzel Curry Blur Black American Genres With An Urgent Version Of "This Changes Everything"

The star keyboardist Robert Glasper, whose music bridges soul, funk, jazz and R&B and is twice-nominated at the 2021 GRAMMY Awards show, leads an ensemble helmed by singer/rapper Denzel Curry

GRAMMYs/Mar 11, 2021 - 11:14 pm

Robert Glasper is nominated for Best R&B Song ("Better Than I Imagined") and Best Progressive R&B Album (2019's F* Yo Feelings) at the 2021 GRAMMY Awards show. However, Glasper's sound stretches far beyond either category. 

His body of work, which spans two decades, has always been a space where Black American forms like soul, R&B and hip-hop reveal their inherent bonds.

In the latest episode of Press Play At Home, Glasper shows how seamless that fusion is. He does this with a little help from singer-rapper Denzel Curry, who leads his ensemble through an incendiary version of "This Changes Everything" from the teeming mixtape F* Yo Feelings.

Check out the clip of "This Changes Everything" above and tune into the 2021 GRAMMY Awards this Sunday, March 14 to find out if Robert Glasper will win!

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How Jeleel Went 'Real Raw!' By Combining Martial Arts & Self-Acceptance

Photo courtesy of the artist


How Jeleel Went 'Real Raw!' By Combining Martial Arts & Self-Acceptance

"I don't need anything to feel complete. I'm high off life," the charged-up rapper JELEEL! says about his unadulterated new album, 'REAL RAW!' "I'm opening my heart to everybody."

GRAMMYs/May 3, 2023 - 09:09 pm

After the suffocating sensation of lockdown, the 2000s are fully back in their spattery, hyperactive, overstimulated glory — think chugging a Rockstar mid-flip on a BMX. And while aesthetic is all over art and media, few have condensed and consolidated it like JELEEL!.

"My aesthetic is like Monster Energy. You know, Nitro Circus, Jeff Hardy-esque, early 2000s WWE aesthetic," the splashy rapper tells "It's very Y2K, but I like that extreme stuff. A lot of artists now are doing the Y2K punk aesthetic — all black — but I'm more like electric green."

On his energizing new album, REAL RAW!, JELEEL! drinks straight from the bottle; that "electric green" sensation permeates it like Nickelodeon Gak. 

Featuring top-shelf producers such as FNZ, Working on Dying and Bone Collector, as well as guests Denzel Curry ("SHOTS!"), Chow Lee ("CONFETTI!") and Ty Dolla $ign ("FAST CAR!"), the album is a distillation of JELEEL!'s backflipping, party-rocking, muay thai-ing energy.

Read on for a conversation with JELEEL! about the making of REAL RAW!, his May 5 release; how being a "scared kid" got him into martial arts and what the uninitiated should expect from his juggernaut live show.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

On an essential level, what were you trying to artistically impart with REAL RAW!?

REAL RAW! is real, raw energy. JELEEL! has no additives. I don't need anything to feel complete. I'm high off life. I don't need to do any drugs; I don't need to sell out to be someone. I'm real, and I'm raw.

The album is showing different sides of JELEEL! — his heritage, his culture, his life. That's basically what I want to present to the world. I want them to see that; there's no filter. I'm opening my heart to everybody.

I'm sure you didn't always feel that way — that you don't need "additives," or to put on a face for people.

Mm-hmm. When I moved to L.A., I didn't know anybody, really. I'd seen a lot of people try to follow other people to become somebody, or try to fake a persona. And I was like, I'm gonna just be myself. F— that. I'm gonna just dive in headfirst. Who cares what they think? That's always been my motto.

Tell me about your heritage and culture.

I'm from Rhode Island. My family lives in Nigeria now. Rhode Island is a small state. My parents came from Nigeria to Rhode Island to find better opportunities and help their kids out. Growing up in Rhode Island was chill; it wasn't too bad. Very boring. 

Growing up in Nigeria was a little different, because a lot of people really don't have a lot of opportunity to get what they want to do. There's not a lot of opportunity to make money like that, unless you have a really good job.

They're different lifestyles. In Nigeria, people are hustling hard to get to where they want to be. In America, it's a little more laid back. You still have to work hard, but in Nigeria, it feels like you have to work harder.

How did you transmute that unadulterated feeling into the music on REAL RAW!?

Basically, I kind of transmit. I never really thought about transmuting it. It just kind of happened — me taking my personality and being like, You know, I don't care. I'm just gonna sing it like this or that.

Instead of talking about drugs — I don't do drugs — I'll talk about something else, because it's more JELEEL!. I was just trying to put me inside the songs, and me inside the music, and just be more intentional.

How did you evoke that feeling through music?

I guess using certain sounds. Maybe I'll go on Serum, and the sound reminds me of Limp Bizkit or Sum 41 or Janet Jackson, you know? So it's all just creating something and bringing that nostalgia back.

That vibe is certainly back. A lot of hardcore music is drawing influence from 2000s alt-rock.

It is completely. Even, for example, the PinkPantheress and Ice Spice song "Boy's a Liar" — the beat, the flow, the video,

I feel like that splashiness directly relates to the pandemic. We're ready to bash into each other again.

Yeah, we needed a reset, bro. People were just trying to do too many different things.

Tell me about the guests on the album, starting with Denzel Curry on "SHOTS!".

Denzel Curry was fun; me and Denzer are like the same people. He does muay thai; I do muay thai. He's just a very active guy — animated. He's just a funny dude, and he's turnt up. He's very talented, and he loves to create, so Denzel was definitely someone I had to put on there.

I appreciate his intentionality, even doing his verse. He had to redo it and redo it to make it the best he could make it. So, I appreciate him taking the tie and making it the best it could be. He brought the energy.

How about Chow Lee, on "CONFETTI!"?

He's definitely running that drill sound in New York. He's coming up heavy. He's about to take over hip-hop; people don't know about him yet, but he's on his way up. He was a perfect person for that song. It's a different sound that people don't know me for, but he had to get on there. It was perfect.

And what about the one and only Ty Dolla $ign on "FAST CAR!"?

That was a very random song for him to hop on. You would expect him to be on some R&B type of vibe, but Ty is a very, very versatile artist. I didn't know what to expect when we started clicking up, but he just slid on the song and I was like, Damn, he went crazy.

How'd you get into muay thai, and how does it connect to music?

It all started when I was young and scared of the world. I never really like to get hit. I'd been bullied, and that kind of carried into my adulthood. So, I was like, I'm going to go full-face forward and try martial arts. And then I ended up falling in love with it.

They're both arts — martial arts and music. Everything has to flow. When you listen to a verse, what captures you is the flow. When you're sparring, or fighting, you can't be tense. You've got to flow; you've got to be in the pocket.

You performed at GRAMMY House; I know you incorporate MMA in your live show. What should people who haven't seen you live expect on an energetic level?

People definitely are going to expect something crazy [laughs] because people see me on Instagram, all these videos, and they're gonna be like, "I know he's going to do some crazy stuff." 

But I'm really performing. I'm trying to get all the words out. Yeah, sometimes there's high energy moments, but I'm actually a performer. I'm actually singing the words. So, that's what I want people who haven't seen me before to know.

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Here's What Harry Styles, Brandi Carlile & More Had To Say Backstage At The 2023 GRAMMYs
Harry Styles backstage at the 2023 GRAMMYs

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy


Here's What Harry Styles, Brandi Carlile & More Had To Say Backstage At The 2023 GRAMMYs

Backstage at the 2023 GRAMMYs, established and emerging stars alike — from Harry Styles to Samara Joy — opened up about what Music’s Biggest Night meant to them.

GRAMMYs/Feb 8, 2023 - 10:31 pm

Like every edition of Music’s Biggest Night, the 2023 GRAMMYs featured a wealth of funny, touching and inspiring onstage speeches — both at the Premiere Ceremony and the main telecast.

But artists tend to express themselves differently, more intimately, backstage — and this certainly applied to GRAMMY winners and nominees at this year’s ceremony.

In the litany of videos below, see and hear stirring, extemporaneous statements from artists all over the 2023 GRAMMYs winners and nominees list, from Album Of The Year winner Harry Styles to Americana star-turned-rocker Brandi Carlile to Best Global Music Performance nominee Anoushka Shankar and beyond.

Throughout, you’ll get a better sense of the good jitters backstage at Arena in Los Angeles on Feb. 5, and hear exactly what the golden gramophone means to this crop of musical visionaries.

The list of videos begins below.

Harry Styles

Samara Joy

Brandi Carlile

Steve Lacy

Muni Long

Bonnie Raitt

Kim Petras

Ashley McBryde

Carly Pearce

Anoushka Shankar

Masa Takumi

Kabaka Pyramid

Robert Glasper

Assassin's Creed


White Sun

Herbal Tea & White Sofas: Denzel Curry Keeps It Simple On The Road With Toiletry Essentials And Healthy Snacks
Denzel Curry

Photo: Adrian Villagomez


Herbal Tea & White Sofas: Denzel Curry Keeps It Simple On The Road With Toiletry Essentials And Healthy Snacks

Rapper Denzel Curry shares the list of items he needs to be his best self on stage — all of which can be found on the shelves of any corner pharmacy.

GRAMMYs/Jan 3, 2023 - 06:00 pm

It doesn't take a whole lot for Denzel Curry to be happy when he's on tour. The rapper says his must-haves are all simple items that help him look his best and feel good, even after a night of going all out on stage.

In this episode of Herbal Tea & White Sofas, Curry says that toiletry items are at the top of the list when he considers what he needs on tour — and he also likes to find healthy ways to satisfy his sweet tooth, too.

"My current tour rider has deodorant, lotion, some snacks like fruit or dried mango," he lists. "First of all, I just like mango. But the reason why I like dried mango is 'cause it's sweeter. It kinda feels like candy, but it's not really candy."

Lotion is a key component of Curry's tour rider because it keeps his skin looking and feeling its best when he's on stage, he goes on to explain. "I don't wanna be ashy. You know what ashy is? It means that it looks like your elbows and your knees are just pretty much white or looking kinda dusty. I can't be looking all dusty like a mummy, you feel me?" he adds with a laugh.

A Denzel Curry show is an immersive experience, he says — so much so that he always walks off stage covered in sweat, and immediately needs to change into something dry. Along with delivering a high-energy show, Curry makes sure he gets up close and personal with his fans. The rapper remembers one particular recent show where he brought not one but two fans on stage to sing his song "RICKY" with him.

"I brought a fan on stage, he had a sign that said '[I wanna] sing 'RICKY' with you'... Then there was another fan that had the same sign, and I brought him on stage as well," Curry recalls. "He got to the stage a little bit late, we were literally on the last hook, and he ended up just killing it. I gave the mic to him... and he killed it."

Press play on the video above to learn more about how Curry's tour essentials help him create a live show that's an epic experience for all involved, and keep checking back to for more episodes of Herbal Tea & White Sofas.

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A Guide To Modern Funk For The Dance Floor: L'Imperatrice, Shiro Schwarz, Franc Moody, Say She She & Moniquea
Franc Moody

Photo: Rachel Kupfer 


A Guide To Modern Funk For The Dance Floor: L'Imperatrice, Shiro Schwarz, Franc Moody, Say She She & Moniquea

James Brown changed the sound of popular music when he found the power of the one and unleashed the funk with "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." Today, funk lives on in many forms, including these exciting bands from across the world.

GRAMMYs/Nov 25, 2022 - 04:23 pm

It's rare that a genre can be traced back to a single artist or group, but for funk, that was James Brown. The Godfather of Soul coined the phrase and style of playing known as "on the one," where the first downbeat is emphasized, instead of the typical second and fourth beats in pop, soul and other styles. As David Cheal eloquently explains, playing on the one "left space for phrases and riffs, often syncopated around the beat, creating an intricate, interlocking grid which could go on and on." You know a funky bassline when you hear it; its fat chords beg your body to get up and groove.

Brown's 1965 classic, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," became one of the first funk hits, and has been endlessly sampled and covered over the years, along with his other groovy tracks. Of course, many other funk acts followed in the '60s, and the genre thrived in the '70s and '80s as the disco craze came and went, and the originators of hip-hop and house music created new music from funk and disco's strong, flexible bones built for dancing.

Legendary funk bassist Bootsy Collins learned the power of the one from playing in Brown's band, and brought it to George Clinton, who created P-funk, an expansive, Afrofuturistic, psychedelic exploration of funk with his various bands and projects, including Parliament-Funkadelic. Both Collins and Clinton remain active and funkin', and have offered their timeless grooves to collabs with younger artists, including Kali Uchis, Silk Sonic, and Omar Apollo; and Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, and Thundercat, respectively.

In the 1980s, electro-funk was born when artists like Afrika Bambaataa, Man Parrish, and Egyptian Lover began making futuristic beats with the Roland TR-808 drum machine — often with robotic vocals distorted through a talk box. A key distinguishing factor of electro-funk is a de-emphasis on vocals, with more phrases than choruses and verses. The sound influenced contemporaneous hip-hop, funk and electronica, along with acts around the globe, while current acts like Chromeo, DJ Stingray, and even Egyptian Lover himself keep electro-funk alive and well.

Today, funk lives in many places, with its heavy bass and syncopated grooves finding way into many nooks and crannies of music. There's nu-disco and boogie funk, nodding back to disco bands with soaring vocals and dance floor-designed instrumentation. G-funk continues to influence Los Angeles hip-hop, with innovative artists like Dam-Funk and Channel Tres bringing the funk and G-funk, into electro territory. Funk and disco-centered '70s revival is definitely having a moment, with acts like Ghost Funk Orchestra and Parcels, while its sparkly sprinklings can be heard in pop from Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, and, in full "Soul Train" character, Silk Sonic. There are also acts making dreamy, atmospheric music with a solid dose of funk, such as Khruangbin’s global sonic collage.

There are many bands that play heavily with funk, creating lush grooves designed to get you moving. Read on for a taste of five current modern funk and nu-disco artists making band-led uptempo funk built for the dance floor. Be sure to press play on the Spotify playlist above, and check out's playlist on Apple Music, Amazon Music and Pandora.

Say She She

Aptly self-described as "discodelic soul," Brooklyn-based seven-piece Say She She make dreamy, operatic funk, led by singer-songwriters Nya Gazelle Brown, Piya Malik and Sabrina Mileo Cunningham. Their '70s girl group-inspired vocal harmonies echo, sooth and enchant as they cover poignant topics with feminist flair.

While they’ve been active in the New York scene for a few years, they’ve gained wider acclaim for the irresistible music they began releasing this year, including their debut album, Prism. Their 2022 debut single "Forget Me Not" is an ode to ground-breaking New York art collective Guerilla Girls, and "Norma" is their protest anthem in response to the news that Roe vs. Wade could be (and was) overturned. The band name is a nod to funk legend Nile Rodgers, from the "Le freak, c'est chi" exclamation in Chic's legendary tune "Le Freak."


Moniquea's unique voice oozes confidence, yet invites you in to dance with her to the super funky boogie rhythms. The Pasadena, California artist was raised on funk music; her mom was in a cover band that would play classics like Aretha Franklin’s "Get It Right" and Gladys Knight’s "Love Overboard." Moniquea released her first boogie funk track at 20 and, in 2011, met local producer XL Middelton — a bonafide purveyor of funk. She's been a star artist on his MoFunk Records ever since, and they've collabed on countless tracks, channeling West Coast energy with a heavy dose of G-funk, sunny lyrics and upbeat, roller disco-ready rhythms.

Her latest release is an upbeat nod to classic West Coast funk, produced by Middleton, and follows her February 2022 groovy, collab-filled album, On Repeat.

Shiro Schwarz

Shiro Schwarz is a Mexico City-based duo, consisting of Pammela Rojas and Rafael Marfil, who helped establish a modern funk scene in the richly creative Mexican metropolis. On "Electrify" — originally released in 2016 on Fat Beats Records and reissued in 2021 by MoFunk — Shiro Schwarz's vocals playfully contrast each other, floating over an insistent, upbeat bassline and an '80s throwback electro-funk rhythm with synth flourishes.

Their music manages to be both nostalgic and futuristic — and impossible to sit still to. 2021 single "Be Kind" is sweet, mellow and groovy, perfect chic lounge funk. Shiro Schwarz’s latest track, the joyfully nostalgic "Hey DJ," is a collab with funkstress Saucy Lady and U-Key.


L'Impératrice (the empress in French) are a six-piece Parisian group serving an infectiously joyful blend of French pop, nu-disco, funk and psychedelia. Flore Benguigui's vocals are light and dreamy, yet commanding of your attention, while lyrics have a feminist touch.

During their energetic live sets, L'Impératrice members Charles de Boisseguin and Hagni Gwon (keys), David Gaugué (bass), Achille Trocellier (guitar), and Tom Daveau (drums) deliver extended instrumental jam sessions to expand and connect their music. Gaugué emphasizes the thick funky bass, and Benguigui jumps around the stage while sounding like an angel. L’Impératrice’s latest album, 2021’s Tako Tsubo, is a sunny, playful French disco journey.

Franc Moody

Franc Moody's bio fittingly describes their music as "a soul funk and cosmic disco sound." The London outfit was birthed by friends Ned Franc and Jon Moody in the early 2010s, when they were living together and throwing parties in North London's warehouse scene. In 2017, the group grew to six members, including singer and multi-instrumentalist Amber-Simone.

Their music feels at home with other electro-pop bands like fellow Londoners Jungle and Aussie act Parcels. While much of it is upbeat and euphoric, Franc Moody also dips into the more chilled, dreamy realm, such as the vibey, sultry title track from their recently released Into the Ether.

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