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June Freedom signs artist partnership with Empire and highlight new collab album

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Cape Verdean American Afropop/Worldbeat  artist June Freedom announces he has signed an artist partnership deal between his label  Flight Club Music Group and EMPIRE. This career milestone marks June as the first Cape  Verdean to sign a partnership with a major American music company and comes fresh off  the artist’s two wins at the 2022 Cabo Verde Music Awards—taking home Best International  Rhythm and Best Male Performance for Anchor Baby lead single, “Andréia”.

“Freedom to create my own lane in this industry has always been one of my missions, and I  love that EMPIRE supports this vision with all their artists,” said June in an announcement  of his signing. “The evolution of our partnership was very organic and I’m eager to share  more music with the help of my growing EMPIRE team.”

June’s excitement is reciprocated by EMPIRE’s executive A&R team. On the signing, Senior  Vice President of A&R, Tina Davis says: “June Freedom is an incredible talent and a unique  addition to our EMPIRE Africa roster. I’m excited to see him bring his artistic and authentic  creations to the world.” Vice President of A&R and GRAMMY-nominated producer, Shama  “Sak Pase” Joseph adds: “EMPIRE is home to some of the most trailblazing artists today. I look forward to working alongside June Freedom who is positioned to be one of the  diaspora’s most unique artists.”

Equally thrilled to amplify June Freedom is EMPIRE Africa’s lead Project Manager, Titilope  Adesanya. “Listening to June’s music for the first time was like being transported to  summer, on a beach, or autumn, dancing in a lounge. He is able to capture and express a  variety of emotions through his sound that is rich and feels ‘bright’ almost,” said Titilope on first discovering the artist and distinguishing his potential. “June and his core team have a  precision approach to things that I respect and am inspired by.” 

June also celebrates the news by unveiling that he will be one of the artists featured on  EMPIRE Africa’s debut compilation album, Where We Come From, Vol. 1. The album—set to  be released November 30th—will showcase an expansive range of African soundscapes,  bolstering representation and cultural appreciation beyond West African Afropop. Other artists set to feature on the album include Fireboy DML, Olamide, BNXN, L.A.X, Cheque,  Kizz Daniel, and more.

Long committed to expanding the commercial and mainstream breadth of Cape Verdean  music, June amassed a loyal following with the independent release of his debut album,  Anchor Baby, back in Summer 2021. The album, and its anniversary deluxe edition,  garnered international critical attention from the likes of Rolling Stone USA, EuroNews,  TimeOut Portugal, COLORS Listen, South by Southwest, Atlantic Music Expo and more.  Most recently, GQ Middle East included June Freedom on their “Best Afrobeats Artists Who  Are Pushing the Genre Forward” list—alongside Rema, Ayra Starr, Omah Lay and Tiwa  Savage— attributing June’s rise to his “sensual” and “genre-bending” style derived from “his  African roots [fused] with elements of electronic and Latin music.”

Far from being the conclusion of a successful artist launch, this official partnership marks  the beginning of a new chapter for June Freedom worldwide.

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Kapitol P releases video for “Plug First”

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The rap game is constantly evolving, with unique perspectives being pushed into mainstream. Hip-hop/rap artist Kapitol P, is a dominant voice to be heard, felt and respected. Kapitol P releases the video for the single Plug First, a larger than life depiction directed by Will Gates. Using cinematic influence, the video gives viewers a story to remember . Offering a raw but precise delivery, his sound is taking rap and hip-hop to another level.

Kapitol P gives rap and hip-hop a new taste

Pushing the Midwest, Kapitol P shows the talent Chicago really has to offer. Coming from the Maywood neighborhood, his music is heavily inspired by his upbringing and personal reflections. Deadly with the pen, his lyrics are skillful and exhilarating. Earlier releases like Principal, Free Em’ All and G5 show his variety and precision within rap. Although from the windy city, his sound can sometimes resemble that of the East Coast. Per Instagram comments from fans, he’s often been compared to Papoose. His voice is deep, yet melodic in the same breathe.

With a detailed and cinematic approach, the video for “Plug First” almost seems like an independent film. Telling a plot that goes along with the vibe of the song itself, we see Kapitol get creative with this latest release. Different scenes using blue tint switch back and fourth as the storyline unfolds. With a surprise and unexpected ending, Kapitol leaves fans with a message across the screen saying “Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer..” Follow the talented artist on Instagram @kapitol_p to see exclusive content.

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BK Bruisers DUSTY LOCANE and TaTa Connect for “WRAP EM UP”

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DUSTY LOCANE obliterates instrumentals with his booming basso delivery, commanding each track like a drill sergeant in boot camp. Joining forces with another rising star from his home borough, the Brooklyn bruiser shares WRAP EM UP,” a scintillating new video. On “WRAP EM UP,” DUSTY goes back and forth with 41 standout TaTa, his gravelly charisma providing the perfect counterpoint to TaTa’s manic energy, as they sing each other’s praises: “No cap, the knocker make him lift/And I’m with Dusty posted on the 5th,” says TaTa. The video finds the drill duo strutting their stuff in a graffitied soundstage, flanked by Brooklyn baddies and an emerald green Lambo as they energetically perform their verses.

“WRAP EM UP” is a highlight from  NIGHTMARE ON DA FIFTH, a sinister project that dropped on Halloween. The new tape continues to cement the Canarsie native’s chokehold on the Brooklyn drill scene, while also taking the time to showcase the talents of DUSTY’s 95MM crew, including 3KizzyKajun Waters, who recently teamed with DUSTY for the new banger “Chevelle,” SFIV5Stelly Hundo, and OMB Jay Dee. Home to highlights like PRESSURE” and FLU GANG,” and the buzzing single ROLANDO 2 (Catch The Rain)” (1.1 million views in 2 weeks), NIGHTMARE ON DA FIFTH is available everywhere via EMPIRE.

NIGHTMARE ON DA FIFTH continues a busy year for DUSTY LOCANE. He recently teamed up with his EMPIRE associates Rah Swish, OnPointLikeOP, and Ron Suno for the fierce SAY DAT EP,  home to peerless posse cuts like BUST DOWN” (1.2 million views) and “ANGELS & DEMONS” (1.1 million views). Earlier in the year, DUSTY dropped the ROLLIN N CONTROLLIN EP, which collected each installment of DUSTY, “ROLLIN N CONTROLLIN ”  singles, including the recent “ROLLIN N CONTROLLIN Pt. 3 (BEEN ROLLIN),” it’s TikTok-viral predecessor, and the GOLD certified original. The EP also featured his second-ever single, “Rolando (Caught In The Rain),” which generated hundreds of millions of streams across platforms.

With his suvies at his back and much further to rise, DUSTY LOCANE is well on his way toward taking over the Brooklyn scene.

Watch “WRAP EM UP” ft. TaTa here!

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Jay Critch Shares “Up All Night,” A Breezy Party Anthem

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Putting his borough on his back as he continues a new phase of his career, Jay Critch is on a mission to ascend to NYC rap’s upper echelon. Showing us how he throws down in a breezy new banger, Jay Critch shares Up All Night.” Produced by Cozier, who applies an Afrobeats-inflected bounce under slinky keyboards and plinking xylophones, “Up All Night” finds Critch thinking about how far he’s come, from Clinton Hill corners to penthouses in Manhattan. Though he has more than he ever thought he’d have, “Up All Night” proves that all the success in the world won’t keep him from looking over his shoulder: “I been feelin’ paranoid, got me runnin’ red lights/Back when I was doin’ wrong, I was movin’ so right/Now I’m livin so fast, still prayin’ at night.” Despite his demons, Critch resolves to celebrate life’s pleasures, large and small: “I’m on the plane thinkin’ bout all the times I was out in the cold now I got my wrist frozen.” The video finds the 24-year-old rhymer traveling to Trinidad & Tobago for tropical days and debaucherous late nights.

“Up All Night” is the latest in a run of singles from the 24-year-old Brooklyn rapper. In September, he reconnected with his mentor and frequent collaborator Rich The Kid for only the second time since 2019 with his single Lefty” (over 1 million views). In August, Critch shared the beat-shifting banger Close To Me/Active,” combining two hard-hitting songs into one and proving why he remains Brooklyn’s big dog. Earlier this year, Critch connected with Harry Fraud for the airy, REVOLT-praised “Born With It.”

Since he burst onto the scene as a teenager with singles like “Ad Libs” and the beloved Hood Favorite mixtape, Jay Critch has been one of New York’s favorite sons. His collaborations with Rich The Kid and Famous Dex on the Rich Forever mixtape series remain the stuff of legend, but he hasn’t stopped switching up his style or releasing new heat for the streets. His 23-track 2021 effort Critch Tape found the artist expanding his sound to absorb drill and other prevailing street styles. The tape featured collaborations with fellow New Yorkers Fivio Foreign and Lil Tjay, as well as influential figures Skillibeng and Drakeo The Ruler. Critch recently expanded his CV to include modeling, as he modeled for the Kors x Ellesse campaign alongside Emily Ratajkowski earlier this year.

Currently hard at work on Jugg Season, his upcoming follow-up to Critch Tape, the Clinton Hill colossus prepares to resume his Five Borough takeover. Stay tuned for much more.

Watch “Up All Night” here!

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