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Nipsey Hussle, Beloved L.A. Rapper And Activist, Lived As A Patron To His Community
The GRAMMY-nominated rapper was fatally shot outside of his clothing store, the Marathon Clothing, in Los Angeles, on Sunday
GRAMMY-nominated rapper and activist Nipsey Hussle was fatally shot outside of his clothing store, the Marathon Clothing, in Los Angeles on Sunday (March 31), police confirmed. He was 33.
Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, highlighted life in South Los Angeles and the socio-economic struggles people in the community faced, from single mothers working to feed their families to his own rise from financial struggle, through his poignant lyrics. He released his much-awaited official debut album, Victory Lap, in February 2018 after years of releasing several mixtapes, including The Marathon mixtape. For Hussle, creating the album was a weaving of his experiences and represented a coming full circle on his own terms.
"We want to just hear great lyrics, great music, great flow and great storytelling and so I just wanted to really be intentional that that was the goal with the album," he told the Recording Academy. "You know, I even had a conversation with the label people and it was just like, you know, the heads of the label, but what do you all expect from me on this one? Because for me, but my goal, my big picture goal to move forward and to make a step toward what my goal is as an artist, I need to make something really authentic and really organic on this first one."
The debut album was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 61st GRAMMY Awards and was a project that Hussle made with fans in mind.
"When I went into recording this album I [had] a ton of mixed tapes ... So I just went back through all of my projects and I listened and I put myself in the mindset of a fan. And I was like what made me a fan in it, you know? And each project had two or three moments that people really held onto," he said. "Some have more than others and I wanted the album to be a collection of those moments. I didn't want to be nostalgic, but I wanted to be aware of why they're connected.
Hussle, a native of the Crenshaw district in South Los Angeles, was also an entrepreneur and activist who was heavily invested in his community. A day before the launch of his album, he opened a co-working STEM Center in the area called Vector90 Too Big To Fail. He owned a clothing store on Slauson called The Marathon Clothing.
Beyond being a businessman and an artist, Hussle was also a loving father of two. Fatherhood served as an inspiration for his music:
"Fatherhood has affected and inspired me deeply ... when I went about doing music, I was really in the studio, spending the night, you know, sacrificing my personal time. Just really putting all my energy and time into the studio and I thought that was the most effective way to do it, he said. "But then having a kid, my daughter years back and then my son recently, it made me understand a balance and you might even get more inspired leaving the studio some time, going out and living and just taking her, your daughter, your kids somewhere and you might come back and what you've been trying to do sitting in this room wasn't going to get done sitting in this room.You had to go out and breathe a little bit and come back in and you refresh and you ready to go. "
Hussle saw life as a metaphor for a marathon that included not only his resiliency, but also his community's. "Make sure that you stick to what you believe in," he said. "The story that I'm telling on this album made the moment that I'm in even more special and important because it shows you the distance and the ground we covered."
Hussle is survived by his girlfriend, actress Lauren London, and his two children.
Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More
The Nigerian-American singer and actor sat down with the Recording Academy to talk about what inspired his latest album, 'Walk With Me'
In 2015, Rotimi stepped into the New Orleans Superdome for the first time to experience the magic of ESSENCE Fest. Four years later, in 2019, the "Love Riddim" singer returned to the celebration as a performer, something he said was spoken into existence.
"Last year me and my manager had a conversation and I said, 'Listen, I'm going to be on the [ESSENCE] mainstage this year. 365 days later, we did it," Rotimi told the Recording Academy at the 25th annual ESSENCE Fest.
Rotimi, also an actor on Starz' "Power," has evolved since his last album, 2017's Jeep Music, Vol.1. The singer said he really hit home with its follow-up, the recently released Walk With Me, a project he worked hard for, putting in hours in the studio after filming on set.
"Walk With Me is the first time I actually felt like I was giving myself as an artist, and personally I feel like with everything else I have going on I wanted to show people that this is really what I do," he said. "I wanted people to understand who Rotimi is, who Rotimi was before, who I want to be and just understand my growth and the journey and my passion for what I do."
Part of why the album felt like such a representation of him is because it embodies beats of his African roots, something he said was very present growing up Nigerian-American.
"I grew up with a lot of Fela Kuti and I grew up with Bob Marley," he said of his musical roots. "But I also grew up with Carl Thomas and Genuine and Usher, so there was a genuine mixture of who I am and what I've grown up to listen to. The actual Walk With Me project was a mixture of influences of Akon and Craig David."
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Rosalía Announces First Solo North American Tour
El Mal Querer Tour, named after the Spanish pop star's latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances
Rosalía is set to perform at some of the most popular music festivals around the globe, including Primavera Sound in Spain, Lollapalooza (Argentina and Chile) and Coachella, but the Spanish pop star isn't stopping there when she gets to the States. Now, she has announced her first solo North American Tour with a string of dates that will bring her to select cities in the U.S. and Canada.
El Mal Querer Tour, named after her latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances. Then she'll play San Francisco on April 22, New York on April 30 and close out in Toronto on May 2.
"I’m so happy to announce my first solo North American tour dates," the singer tweeted.
Rosalía won Best Alternative Song and Best Fusion/ Urban Interpretation at the 19th Latin GRAMMY Awards in November and has been praised for bringing flamenco to the limelight with her hip-hop and pop beats. During her acceptance speech she gave a special shout-out to female artists who came before her, including Lauryn Hill and Bjork.
Rosalía has been getting some love herself lately, most notably from Alicia Keys, who gave the Spanish star a shout-out during an acceptance speech, and Madonna, who featured her on her Spotify International Women's Day Playlist.
Tickets for the tour go on sale March 22. For more tour dates, visit Rosalía's website.
Walk, Don't Run: 60 Years Of The Ventures Exhibit Will Showcase The Surf-Rock Icons' Impact On Pop Culture
The exhibit, opening Dec. 7, will feature late band member Mel Taylor's Gretsch snare drum, a 1965 Ventures model Mosrite electric guitar, the original 45 rpm of "Walk Don't Run" and more
Influential instrumental rock band The Ventures are getting their own exhibit at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles that will showcase the band's impact on pop culture since the release of their massive hit "Walk, Don't Run" 60 years ago.
The Rock Hall of Fame inductees and Billboard chart-toppers have become especially iconic in the surf-rock world, known for its reverb-loaded guitar sound, for songs like "Wipeout," "Hawaii Five-O" and "Walk, Don't Run." The Walk, Don't Run: 60 Years Of The Ventures exhibit opening Dec. 7 will feature late band member Mel Taylor's Gretsch snare drum, a 1965 Ventures model Mosrite electric guitar, the original 45 rpm of "Walk Don't Run," a Fender Limited Edition Ventures Signature guitars, rare photos and other items from their career spanning six decades and 250 albums.
“It’s such an honor to have an exhibit dedicated to The Ventures at the GRAMMY Museum and be recognized for our impact on music history,” said Don Wilson, a founding member of the band, in a statement. "I like to think that, because we ‘Venturized’ the music we recorded and played, we made it instantly recognizable as being The Ventures. We continue to do that, even today."
Don Wilson, Gerry McGee, Bob Spalding, and Leon Taylor are current band members. On Jan. 9, Taylor's widow and former Fiona Taylor, Ventures associated musician Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and others will be in conversation with GRAMMY Museum Artistic Director Scott Goldman about the band's journey into becoming the most successful instrumental rock band in history at the Clive Davis Theater.
"The Ventures have inspired generations of musicians during their storied six-decade career, motivating many artists to follow in their footsteps and start their own projects," said Michael Sticka, GRAMMY Museum President. "As a music museum, we aim to shine a light on music education, and we applaud the Ventures for earning their honorary title of 'the band that launched a thousand bands.' Many thanks to the Ventures and their families for letting us feature items from this important era in music history."
The exhibit will run Dec. 7–Aug. 3, 2020 at the GRAMMY Museum.
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Alicia Keys Unveils Dates For New Storytelling Series
The artist will take her upcoming 'More Myself: A Journey' biography on a four-city book tour
After performing her powerhouse piano medley at the 62nd Annual GRAMMYs, R&B superstar, GRAMMY-winning artist and former GRAMMY’s host Alicia Keys has revealed that she will set out on a four-stop book tour next month. The storytelling tour will support her forthcoming book More Myself: A Journey, which is slated for a March 31 release via Flatiron Books and is reported to feature stories and music from the book, told and performed by Alicia and her piano, according to a statement.
Part autobiography, part narrative documentary, Keys' title is dubbed in its description as an "intimate, revealing look at one artist’s journey from self-censorship to full expression." You can pre-order the title here.
The book tour will kick off with a March 31 Brooklyn stop at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. From there, Keys will visit Atlanta’s Symphony Hall on April 5 and Chicago’s Thalia Hall with Chicago Ideas the following day, April 6. The short-run will culminate on April 7 in Los Angeles at the Theatre at Ace Hotel.
Pre-sales for the tour are underway and public on-sale will begin on Friday, March 6 at 12 p.m. Eastern Time. Tickets for the intimate dates and full release dates and times are available here.
Keys won her first five career awards at the 44th Annual GRAMMYs in 2002. On the night, she received awards in the Best New Artists, Song of the Year, Best R&B Song, Best R&B Album and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance categories respectively. She has received a total of 29 nominations and 15 GRAMMYs in her career.
This year, Keys will also embark on a world tour in support of Alicia, the artist’s upcoming seventh studio album and the follow up of 2016’s Here, due out March 20 via RCA Records.