A double dose of Lupe late tonite, as at midnight, his video for theTetsuo & Youth first single with Ed Sheeran "Old School Love" has premiered.
The video begins with Lupe watching the news report that Chicago is the world's murder capital, setting the tone for his thought-provoking words and evoking images on the hometown's much-publicized struggles. The entire aesthetic of the video contributes to that too as Coodie & Chike step behind the lens and add layers, create settings, and take us through the city for that true vintage feel. I expected all of the above, and to see how well-executed it was even after that, goes to show just how well-executed the visuals were. Ed Sheeran appears in much of the latter half of the video, kickin' it with Lu on an old-school couch and even another talented Chicago artist makes a cameo in J. Ivy. Job well done by all parties involved as the video succeeds in giving me a renewed excitement to run this back and likely first-time listeners to the song as well.
After watching the video, proceed to the previous post where I deliver my highlights and reflections from Lupe Fiasco's ongoing Tetsuo & Youth Preview Tour when it hit Chicago (+ our amazing photos).
J. Ivy is featured on the intro to Rugz D. Bewler's new mixtape, Bene, and is in fact the only guest feature on the Harlem MC's project. Ivy brings it in smoothly as you'd imagine, touching on a variety of topics and setting the tone for Rugz to do his thing. Stream/DL the full mixtape via The DJ Booth.
The multi-talented Emmy-winning director also raps and plays as part of a band: Untitled. On "U", Cam is rhyming with fellow emcee/videogrpaher Josh Free for the first release off their upcoming Be Free project (get it?).
In fact, Cam kicks off the song with some conscious lyrics set to a series of pictures where he displays his impressive vinyl collection with his current home of Miami as the gorgeous backdrop. You may have to run it back to catch both the rhymes and all the classics that Cam owns (some are even citied in the lyrics).
Cam & Josh then bring it back home for a grimier set of fun photos under Chicago's "El" and off Milwaukee Avenue. Josh follows suit with some dope rhymes himself that conclude on the same theme of giving to "U".
As you can see by now, we already have an innovative video from these directors who elevate your typical 'rapping to the camera' video to another level. Props on the originality that only continues with the fresh break for the instrumental set to timelapses in Miami and Chicago (love timelapses, you already know!)
Then J. Ivy, complete with his own set of photos in New York, masterfully concludes the track with some truth:
"You and I are one beneath the barriers of this flesh
Like energy we connect
Yes, it's true
You see the light in my eyes because God shines through
I see the light in yours. That's why I'm giving it all... to U."
- J. Ivy
And the video masterfully concludes by cutting to actual motion; J. Ivy's words above are effectively driven home with the sudden change of seeing him speak them to us after a video devoid of that. One last salute goes to singer D-Train for bridging the verses with a soulful hook that matches the nice production. The record easily stands alone on its own, and is made even more powerful with the video above.
Press play and download for your iTunes below — an easy pick for a *Tibs Fav.
The track was produced by Cam Be, Josh Free, and Moral One of the group Alert @alert312
Sam Trump @samtrump (trumpet)
Charlie Coffen from Sidewalk Chalk on Rhodes @sidewalkchalk8
I've said this before, and I'll say it again: just give John Legend a mic and a piano and clear out. Call for the iso, if you will. That was the strategy on Letterman last night as Legend performed his beautiful new single dedicated to fiance Chrissy Teigen "All Of Me", and it worked to perfection. Watch how Legend brings it to life above (what wonderful lyrics too.)
He also continued the promo run for Love In The Future with a cover performance of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing In The Dark" on Howard Stern. The audio rip of that can be heard below and is great to zone out to today. Last but not least, in the interview portion with Legend, he touched on the story of how he got his name "John Legend", and if you don't know, that came from none other than Chicago artist and poet, J. Ivy. Click here to listen to that story.Love In The Future in stores September 3rd.
John Legend "Dancing In The Dark" cover on Howard Stern
Also last night: John Legend & Chrissy Teigen on Oprah's Next Chapter, as the power couple sat down with the living legend for a sit-down on a number of topics. First above: John Legend revealing the unseen side of close collaborator and friend, Kanye West. JL continues to hold it down as he shouted out J. Ivy for giving him the name John Legend with Oprah, as J. Ivy posted this morning. There are many more clips on Oprah's site here, which include the story of how his 2011 proposal almost got ruined by airport security, the rumors of the couple cheating on each other, and how John knew Chrissy was the one. Fans of the couple will certainly enjoy.
"This is the beginning of... forever..!!" - John Legend
Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of this simple and true statement. There are times in everyone's life where we feel overwhelmed by the pressures of career, family, school, health, what have you. And that's why I feel like we can all relate to this record by Chicago's Grammy-winning poet, J. Ivy. Literally, everyone. Whether you're a longtime fan of J. Ivy since the days he graced Kanye & Jay's "Never Let Me Down" or you landed here casually after seeing the thumbnail on the homepage. I know if this is your first time hearing J. Ivy, you'll feel his passion and soul, which is seen even further in the video that brings these words to life amidst a fitting, raw Chicago climate.
J. Ivy has the ability, skill, personality, and message to relate to everyone from the streets to the college campus and in between, and "Everything" is a perfect example of this. Adding to the soul is singer Chris Rob, whose vocals contrast wonderfully on the record and the scenes with him and Ivy also naturally add to the visuals. To top it off, we have yet another nicely shot and presented Camovement by Emmy-award winning Cam Be. Shouts to J for giving us the headsup on this and all parties involved for a must-see audio/visual experience. Looking forward to more GWHH x J. Ivy collabs in the future as for now, we can lift our spirits to "Everything" above!
"Everything" is off 'Here I Am' — the album and the book are available now.