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Music Video Highlights – Cory J “Play It Cool”



Look no further than West Oakland, CA for Cory J who’s bringing the heat all summer. Cory J is back with his highly-anticipated visual “Play It Cool,” which is out now on YouTube. The melodic track reminds us that

“This song is about that one shorty you got and everyone wants what y’all have,” Cory J says in a recent interview. “The homegirls wish they had it. Haters hating but, it’s no need to ‘play it cool’ you still better ‘act up.’”

Cory J of West Oakland, California, continues his outstanding run of songs with “Play It Cool,” with the new buttery visual.

Cory examines being in an almost poisonous relationship when two loves are completely and entirely focused on one another without interruptions, although he is aware that there are distractions.

“I was always interested in music,” Cory J said. I played multiple instruments and being a person who always had an open mind, I allowed my self to be immersed in so many different genre’s of music early. That played a role in my influences today and is why my sound is so unique.”

The music is somberly enticing, the percussion are just so, his gently vocals lie passionately on top of the music, and it all adds up to a well-knit all-around tune to drive to late at night or light candles to on a night in.

Start the night off with this one and check out the new visual below. In addition, keep reading to learn more about Cory J, his early beginnings in music, some of his inspirations, and more.

Read more of his interview below.

What’s your artist name and how did you get your artist name?

My artist name is Cory J. My real name is J’den (pronounced jayden) Smith. My artist came naturally as it’s my actual middle name.

When did you decide to actually pursue a career in music?

2020 was the year I decided to actively pursue music.

What’s the reason you got into music and what inspired that?

I was always interested in music. I played multiple instruments and being a person who always had an open mind, I allowed my self to be immersed in so many different genre’s of music early. That played a role in my influences today and is why my sound is so unique.

What keeps you busy and creative outside of music? Do you have any hobbies?

Outside of music, I sleep, eat, and relax. Ain’t nothing else going on but music on this side. Before music I had just graduated from high school wit a 3.8 and was enrolled in college to become an agricultural engineer.

Who would you say are some of your musical influences if you had to pick a few?

I can’t even give a straight answer here because the influences come in bunches. You got Jay Z, 3 stack, Smino, Mick Jenkins and Kanye West on one end but, then you got MJ, Musiq Soulchild, Bryson Tiller, and so many others.

What are some of your main goals in pursuing a music career?

My goal is to simply have people enjoy my art as much as I do.

What was the inspiration behind “Play It Cool?”

The inspiration behind “Play It Cool” was actually a flashback moment I reminisce about.

What’s the song about in your own words?

This song is about that one shorty you got and everyone wants what yall have. The homegirls wish they had it. Haters hating but, its no need to “play it cool” you still better “act up…”

What are you proud of so far in your career and tell us one thing you’re happy about?

So far I’m proud of the effort. It’s going to take a lot more than this but I’m happy with the way my team had been moving with me.

What’s next for you and what can audiences look forward to from Cory J musically?

Hit after hit! Next up is more music. Really want to expand the catalog and share this music with people.

If you’re not familiar with Cory J by now, now’s the time. Make sure to keep up with him on social media @juscoryj

Artist To Watch

2AM Ricky Hits iTunes Charts With New Single “Move,” A Win For Intersectionality In Music




2AM Ricky

2AM Ricky is a rising star hailing from Winston-Salem, NC, but now based in Atlanta, GA. He has dropped a summer anthem that’s more than just a catchy tune. His latest single, “Move,” is a fusion of funky house, EDM, and retro disco vibes, aimed at celebrating the intersectionality of the black queer experience within the broader community. The track, featuring the vocals of Miami native pop vocalist and songwriter GODZENA, with an official music video on the way. Just a week after it’s release, “Move” debuted at #12 on the iTunes Electronic Charts and quickly peaked at #3, making him the first black transmasc artist to reach iTunes Top 10. 

2AM Ricky, born and raised in the South, draws inspiration from his personal journey and experiences. His stage name, a tribute to his late brother and a nod to his grandmother’s wisdom, embodies his mission to open minds and hearts through his music. With “Move,” 2AM Ricky aims to create a space where masculine-presenting queer individuals, often marginalized in mainstream nightlife culture, can feel seen, heard, and celebrated.

The artist’s passion for music goes beyond entertainment; it’s a platform for social change and visibility. As a black trans man navigating the music industry, 2AM Ricky understands the importance of representation. He aims to amplify the voices of marginalized communities, using storytelling to inspire change and spark crucial conversations on intersectionality, mental health, and disparities faced by the black trans community.

Influenced by artists like Andre 3000, Anderson .Paak, and Tyler the Creator, 2AM Ricky’s music blends soulful melodies with relatable lyrics, reminiscent of the golden era of Hip-Hop and R&B. His latest single, ‘Move’, captures the energetic essence of the 70s, inviting listeners to embrace joy and liberation.

But 2AM Ricky’s journey doesn’t stop with ‘Move’. He’s gearing up for a whirlwind year of performances, kicking off with MoBiFest on June 8th in NYC. Additionally, fans can catch him in Season 2 of the hit series “TransWorld Atlanta,” offering a glimpse into his life and journey as an artist and activist.

Stay updated on 2AM Ricky’s music releases and tour dates. Be sure to follow him on social media:

As 2AM Ricky continues to make waves in the music industry, his commitment to amplifying marginalized voices and fostering inclusivity remains at the forefront. Through his artistry and activism, he’s not just making music. He’s paving the way for a more equitable and diverse music landscape.

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Artist To Watch

Marques Houston Returns To R&B With New Single “Last Drop”



Marques Houston returns to R&B after a two-year break with the buzzing new single “Last Drop.”

The 42-year-old entertainer is making a strong comeback with his new track from the upcoming album The Best Worst Year Ever. “Last Drop” is a romantic serenade that interpolates Tevin Campbell’s “Can We Talk.”

Houston sings, “I wanna be the one that you call when you’re feeling low / I wanna be the one you can call on, girl, that’s for sure.”

“I wanted to get back to my nostalgic roots by paying homage to one of my favorite songs of all time, ‘Can We Talk’ by Tevin Campbell,” said Houston about making the new track. “I love the way that song makes me feel and the power it has to take me back to a moment of my many crushes as a teen. I wanted to create a rendition of the song and make it today’s generation’s soundtrack for their crushes.”

“Last Drop” was co-written by Houston and Ryan Hirt, with Jeffrey Toney on production. The song’s video pays homage to classic R&B visuals, featuring scenes of Houston dancing and singing in the rain.

“Last Drop” follows the release of “Admit It” in January. Both tracks will be featured on Houston’s upcoming album, due later this year. Additionally, he is expected to announce a headlining tour soon.

His new project follows his 2022 EP, ME: Dark Water, which included collaborations with Ray J and Monteco. With “Last Drop,” Houston aims to reignite the excitement he once stirred as “Batman” of the 1990s boy band Immature, later known as IMx. This new single, released via Phoenix Music Group, marks his return to the music scene.

Stream Marques Houston’s new song “Last Drop” and watch the official video today.

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Artist To Watch




Rising hip-hop and Rap artist Wray is set to conquer airwaves and playlists across the nation with the release of her latest single, “This Ya Song.” Infused with infectious beats and empowering lyrics, “This Ya Song” is a party anthem that exudes the essence of female empowerment.

Produced by JBM.E, “This Ya Song” has already received overwhelming support pre-release. Wray’s initial reaction to the positive feedback was nothing short of immense gratitude, remarking, “It’s nothing like I’ve received in the past. Loving the positive feedback, and support and seeing people already dancing to it and approaching me to sing the hook.”

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Wray’s musical journey began with the release of her debut project, “Just the Beginning,” in 2019, and she has since gone on to become a powerful force in the hip-hop and Rap scene. Her artistry draws inspiration from a wide array of influences including Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, Lil’ Kim, Suga Free, and E-40, with Nipsey Hussle serving as a contemporary muse. Wray’s performances are known for their captivating fusion of lyrical mastery and dynamic choreography, showcasing her versatility both as a musician and a dancer.

Addressing the male-dominated music scene in LA, Wray confidently shares, “There’s always talk about the West Coast not having a top lady to represent since Yo-Yo. As far as the men in the industry, I don’t spend too much time being intimidated due to the fact I am confident enough to know I’m cold. Also, receiving positive feedback from men in music makes me more confident honestly! Men are very picky when it comes to female rappers. So just hearing it, confirms I’m in the same game but in my own lane. That’s what makes me stand out also.”

With “This Ya Song” marking the beginning of her future projects, Wray is poised to leave an indelible mark on the West Coast music industry with her distinctive style and unapologetic approach. Her powerful presence and unrelenting determination solidify her position as an artist to watch, setting the stage for a groundbreaking Summer ahead.

Listen to “This Ya Song” now on all major streaming platforms.

Follow Wray [@La.Wray] for updates on upcoming releases and performances.

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