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Smoko Ono Takes Over London With Yxng Bane, Chance The Rapper, and Joey Purp for the “Winners” Video

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An essential producer behind present day Chicago hip hop, Smoko Ono has the ability to intertwine his city’s traditional sounds with those of the future. With the help of Yxng BaneChance The Rapper, and Joey Purp, Smoko Ono shares the new visual for “Winners.” The song has a true dancehall feel to it, bolstered by smooth, Afrobeats-inspired drum patterns and bouncing synths providing the ideal canvas for the two Chitown heroes to deliver their verses. Crossing the Atlantic ocean to London with his Chitown crew, Smoko and the dudes post up with Yxng Bane on his home turf, moving around the city, and hanging out the side of their van. Through incorporating elements like a fish-eye lens, the video creates the feeling of watching a vlog about Smoko and his friends while they do some light shopping and dig in on a prominent restaurant city. Making sure to stop by KISS FM UK to promote their new single, the four artists bring their short trip to a halt by finding some time to participate in London’s nightlife. 

The video for “Winners” arrives as the song continues to make waves in the streaming world. Currently, “Winners” sits at #1 on Apple Music’s The New Chicago playlist, has received over 1.5 million streams on Spotify to date, and has been recognized by high profile publications including BillboardComplex, and Pitchfork. “Winners” is Smoko Ono’s second star-studded new single of the year, following You Are” ft. Corinne Bailey Rae &UMI, which released in May. A song about loving someone with the totality of your being, “You Are” is drenched in reverb, offering ringing guitars–played by multi-Platinum artist Daniel Caesar–and sumptuous bass perfectly suited for headphone listening. “You Are” earned praise from BillboardUPROXXEarmilk, and more. Both featuring cover art from Nikko Washington“Winners” and “You Are” are available to stream via Payday Records, and will both appear on Smoko’s upcoming debut solo album, due to release in Q1 2022.

A frequent collaborator with the likes of Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa, Smoko Ono has a sterling reputation in Chicago and beyond for his production prowess. He’s produced tracks featuring some of music’s biggest stars, including Kanye West, DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion, Ty Dolla $ign, Cordae, and many more. Earlier this year, Smoko produced “All Pride Aside,” a song by Shelley fka DRAM featuring Summer Walker. The prolific producer is hard at work on his star-studded upcoming album, which will be his first album since the critically acclaimed Very Slighta collaborative project with Chicago rapper KAMI that generated over 12 million streams across platforms.

Stay tuned for much more from Smoko Ono in the rest of the year. Watch “Winners” ft. Yxng Bane, Chance The Rapper & Joey Purp here!

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J Stalin Checks Off His “To Do List” in New Video

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A legend of the Bay Area known for his commitment both to his craft and his West Oakland community, J. Stalin is a perfect example of the region’s hustler spirit. Taking a beat from the gritty rawness of his mob music sound to focus on some extra-marital extra-curriculars, Stalin shares his seductive new video for “To Do List,” the June Poole-assisted highlight from his recent Prenuptial Agreement 2 album. Backed by an airy synth instrumental and anchored by June Poole’s seductively saturated R&B hook, “To Do List” finds Stalin taking full advantage of his departure from the more hard-nosed themes of the streets to let his freak flag fly: “She gon’ bring the freak out tonight, cause it’s a full moon/I be going crazy in that thing like a baboon.”

The video for “To Do List,” which arrives shortly after the clip for project highlight, “Who U Talkin 2 (ft. June),” finds Stalin cruising in a slick white convertible as visions of a scantily-clad baddie filling out her titular to-do list in a notebook bounce around his head. As he hopes and prays that she has his name written there, Stalin daydreams about a to-do list of his own as the video progresses, until she ultimately checks him off. 

Returning to the 2010 breakout project that made him a regional star and creating a 17-track document aimed to bring back the mob era, Prenuptial Agreement 2 is a showcase for Stalin’s raspy vocals, brutally honest lyrics, and peerless ability to navigate mob instrumentals. Moving from love songs to hustlers’ anthems and back with effortless ease, the album features production from OG Mob architects like The MekanixClayton Williams, and Mike Made The 808s, plus younger beatmakers like Juneonnabeat. Like the Pitchfork-acclaimed original, which brought guest spots from the likes of E-40 and The Jacka, Prenuptial Agreement brings an eclectic cast of characters, from fellow Oaklanders like Philthy Rich22nd Jim, and Jane Handcock standing up for the 357, and street heroes from other cities, like Florida’s Jackboy and Stockton’s EBK Young Joc, who sound right at home.

Loyal to the grind and his family, J. Stalin is building a legacy for himself and the Oakland scene he hails from. With Prenuptial Agreement 2, the proudly independent artist cements his rightful place in Bay Area history.

Watch “To Do List” ft. June Poole here!

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KAI CA$H & CAPELLA GREY RELEASE THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED VISUAL FOR “ROUND & ROUND”

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Since releasing his summer smash hit-single “Can We Talk” featuring Devvon TerrellKai Ca$h has been on a mission to revive the sexy and feel-good aura in NYC and to bring back that good ole feeling of Hip-Hop and R&B records.

Now he’s back with yet another banger after reconnecting with multi-platinum producer Dizzy Banko and teaming up with the gifted singer-songwriter Cappella Grey, for his undeniable vocals for the hook.

“The thought of Round & Round came to me one night listening to the original song produced by Hi-Tek. I hit Dizz up and got in the lab to put it together asap! I wanted to keep the ball rolling on this Hip-Hop and R&B vibe I have going since releasing “Can We Talk” with Devvon Terrell. Now teaming up with Capella Grey to bring that feel good vibe back to the forefront. I’m about to take over on some real smooth shit but my intent is to make (Hip-Hop) music feel good again” – Kai Ca$h on new single

Today they’re here with the official music video for their hit-record showcasing a story-line the way music videos used to be back in the day to compliment the record.
While Round & Round is Kai’s newest and latest release, “Can We Talk” is still making it’s way around the world … literally. Receiving continuous support from DJ EnuffDJ StephcakesHot 97Power 105.1The Beat London, and his fans, Kai Ca$h will make his debut on the Billboard charts very soon!
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WANDE COAL & OLAMIDE SHARE “KPE PASO”

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Nigerian recording artist Wande Coal has released a brand-new song and music video, “Kpe Paso,” featuring Olamide via Starstruck Management / EMPIRE. The video is set to take place at their big annual concert where a few lucky fans enjoy a private show from the stars. The meaning of “Kpe Paso” comes from a Yoruba cultural representation for flex – or to celebrate in a big way. The phrase is homage to Nigerian star Pasuma (abbreviated to “Paso”) and is tradition to be grand at important events. 

The new song arrives on the heels of EMPIRE’s first African compilation album Where We Come From, Vol. 01, which featured the artist roster including Kizz Daniel, Asake, Fireboy DML, Wande Coal, Olamide, BNXN, Bad Boy Timz, Kidi and more. The album garnered press praise from Billboard, Rolling Stone, Clash, Wonderland, and more. Listen here. Wande Coal is one of the few artists that has attained legendary status in Afrobeats with a career which has spanned over a decade. Olamide is also a trailblazing artist, founder of YBNL nation (home to Asake, Fireboy DML), and known as the godfather of modern-day Afrobeats.

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