Rap-Up TV

Apr
25
Rap-Up TV: Pia Mia Talks ‘Mr. President’ Video, Drake, & Debut Album

If you don’t know who Pia Mia is yet, you soon will. The 17-year-old singer-songwriter, who was born and raised in Guam, became a viral sensation with her YouTube covers of Rihanna and Bruno Mars and her a capella rendition of “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” which she performed in front of Drake, Kanye West, and the Kardashians.

Rap-Up TV caught up with the budding blonde star on the L.A. set of her viral video for “Mr. President,” one of the six tracks off her EP The Gift.

“This video was inspired by a photo that we saw of a girl laying across an old car,” she explained. “I thought it would be dope to make the video a cool, underground party.”

The leader of the Wolfpack (her label and the nickname she gave her fans) has also covered Drake’s “Hold On” for her EP.

“Drake’s a huge inspiration for me,” said Pia, who also admires Bruno Mars, Eminem, and Jay Z. “I love all his music and I really just wanted to do it and see how it came out.”

She is currently working on her Interscope Records debut and plans to release the first single in the next month or two. “It’s gonna be rhythmic pop,” she revealed. “I really like to do that because I’m able to lean more towards the urban side, I’m able to do more pop, and I’m able to do ballads also, so I’m kinda able to touch everywhere.”

In the meantime, she has collaborated with Chance the Rapper on “Fight for You” for the Divergent soundtrack.

Apr
22
Rap-Up TV: Mila J Talks Debut, Influences, & Musical Family

Mila J is quickly making a name for herself. Following the release of her 2012 mixtape, the L.A.-bred singer/dancer inked a deal with Motown Records and showed off her impressive moves in the ’90s-inspired video for “Smoke, Drink, Break-Up” co-starring Ty Dolla $ign. Now the 30-year-old sister of Jhené Aiko is readying her full-length debut M.I.L.A. (Made in Los Angeles).

Rap-Up TV caught up with the budding star to discuss her album, musical family, and influences, which include TLC, Prince (she appeared in his 1992 video for “Diamonds and Pearls”), and Janet Jackson, whose “Rhythm Nation” tour was one of the first concerts she attended.

“I just love how she entertains,” said Mila of the pop icon. “You go to her shows, she’s gon’ have a million dancers—lights, camera, action. It was just cool to see a female dancing and singing.”

M.I.L.A. will feature a collaboration with Problem (“Pain in My Heart”) and a song called “Times Like These.” “It’s another love song, relationship-based song, but it’s really about me being there for my dude and going through the hard times,” said Mila, who comes from a musical family.

“My father was a musician and we got into [music] through him, like my brother raps, and even my older sister, she sings too,” she said.

But when it comes to family time, the sisters don’t talk about music. “If someone was to come in the house, they probably wouldn’t even know that anyone does music. We’re just about family when we’re together.”

On April 29, Mila will join Ty Dolla $ign on select dates of his “Beach House Tour,” which kicks off in Fresno, Calif.

Apr
10
Rap-Up TV: Mike Posner Enlists Justin Bieber, 2 Chainz for ‘Pages’

It’s been nearly four years since Mike Posner released his debut 31 Minutes to Takeoff. The Detroit singer has been working on the follow-up Pages, and recently caught up with Rap-Up TV to discuss everything from his love for André 3000 to his upcoming collaboration with Justin Bieber to his struggle with depression.

The 26-year-old, who attended Duke University, thought that getting a record deal would make him happy. “And of course, when I got these things, in a lot of ways it made my problems worse,” he said. “I felt very disillusioned. I had success, I had money, a lot of my dreams had come true, but I didn’t feel any happier.”

So one day while eating a “nasty sandwich” on an airplane, he was inspired to give back. “The idea was to make an album and for every album I sold, give a meal to a kid, one for one,” he explained.

He has collaborated with Big Sean on the album’s first single “Top of the World” as well as 2 Chainz, Labrinth, and Justin Bieber, who he worked with on a song called “Get Down.”

“It’s very stripped. It’s like the most minimal song on the record. One guitar, drums, and a bass, and that’s it,” said Posner, who co-wrote Bieber’s hit “Boyfriend.” “It’s all unquantized too, J Dilla style, so that’s really cool.”

One person he dreams of collaborating with is OutKast’s André 3000, whose concert he attended when he was 11.

Prior to the release of Pages, he plans to drop a new collection called …Featuring Me. “It’s a bunch of songs featuring me that I wrote and produced, but all collabs with other people,” said Posner. “For me as a writer and producer, I do a ton of different shit, so this project is kinda like me bragging in a way, like look at what I can do.”

Mar
11
T-Pain on T-Wayne Album: ‘I Think It Will Happen’

Will T-Wayne live again? After forming their duo in 2008, T-Pain and Lil Wayne dropped several collaborations and announced plans for a full album. But following Wayne’s release from jail in 2010, the project was scrapped.

Four years later, T-Pain remains optimistic that T-Wayne will finally see the light of day.

“I’m getting back on my music shit, so I’m pretty sure Wayne will be like, ‘I’m glad you’re back. Let’s make this happen,’” T-Pain told Rap-Up TV. “I think it’ll happen again. I think it will.”

They have a vault full of unreleased songs that still sound current. “We got a lot of songs. I always listen to them. I got them on my iPod,” he added. “We got a lot of shit that we can still drop that’ll sound like it just happened today.”

He feels that now is the right time to release it. “Everything was ahead of its time anyways. It probably wasn’t meant to happen back then,” he explained. “It probably is meant to happen now ’cause the songs were so now. The kind of music that people are dropping now, we was making that so long ago. I guess it was ahead of its time. It wasn’t supposed to happen.”

While they don’t speak often due to their busy schedules, he’s hopeful that he and Weezy will reconnect. “I’m ready to do that again, so I’m pretty sure he’ll get back on track with it.”

Mar
4
Rap-Up TV: August Alsina Reveals Beef with Trey Songz

August Alsina is keeping it real. Known for his gritty singles “Make It Home” and “Ghetto,” the New Orleans crooner is not sugar coating anything, including his relationships in the industry.

While promoting his debut Testimony, due April 15, he revealed his beef with Trey Songz. The R&B singers, who collaborated on the remix to August’s hit “I Luv This Sh*t,” recently had a falling out.

“I don’t really fuck with Trey right now. We don’t get along right now,” he exclusively told Rap-Up TV. “We ain’t on the same page. He did some other shit and we just don’t rock.”

He explained what led to the demise of their friendship. “Like I tell people all the time, show me that you’re this person on day one… You should always be that person,” said August. “We were supposed to have a show together and it just went left ’cause I can’t deal with ni**as’ egos and attitudes ’cause I’m just a real ni**a comin’ through and I’m rockin’.”

He continued, “Once ni**as go to talkin’ a certain type of way, that shit ain’t gon’ fly with me and that’s all that was and I just had to not do the show ’cause I can’t stand on side of a ni**a if I really got something that I feel in my heart. It just ain’t gon’ work, so I just had to dip and we didn’t do it, but it is what it is.”

While he and Trey may have their differences, he still rocks with Chris Brown. “As far as Chris, that my ni**a. That’s love. I spoke to him a while ago, he goin’ through what he goin’ through, his situation, and I just always try to uplift him with positivity and love.”

Feb
28
Rap-Up TV: August Alsina Enlists Rick Ross, Pusha T for ‘Testimony’

August Alsina is ready to testify. Following his 2013 EP Downtown: Life Under the Gun, the New Orleans crooner is sharing his story of struggle, hustle, and survival with his full-length debut Testimony. While opening for 2 Chainz in L.A. on his “2 G.O.O.D. to Be T.R.U. Tour,” the 21-year-old singer told Rap-Up TV what his fans can expect.

“Nothing is held back on Testimony,” he said. “I struggled with it for a minute. … I never want nobody to feel like I’m talking about them or putting people’s business out there, but then at the same time, this is my story. This is what it is, so let me give it to you.”

While he doesn’t want to overload the album with features, he has collaborated with his Def Jam labelmate Rick Ross on a song called “Benediction.”

“It’s like the ending track on the album and it just simply says, let us in with the benediction,” he revealed. “Why not go get Ross? And he spit that shit on it too.”

He’s hoping that his tourmates 2 Chainz and Pusha T will also get on board. “Pusha is actually recording a verse for me today for the album,” he said.

Testimony is due April 15 featuring the Jeezy-assisted single “Make It Home.”

Feb
25
Rap-Up TV: ScHoolboy Q Talks Competing with Kendrick, Tyler, the Creator, & Grammys

With his major label debut Oxymoron in stores now, ScHoolboy Q is feeling pretty good about himself. During a listening session in L.A. last week, the confident Black Hippy discussed the friendly competition between him and his TDE labelmate Kendrick Lamar.

“Most people think that we really like tryna battle for a spot,” he told Rap-Up TV. “Kendrick’s a lot bigger than me, realistically. I would love to take his spot, but if I don’t, I’m always happy that it’s my friend that’s in front of me. You can never be more happy.”

Kendrick, who is featured on “Collard Greens,” has given Oxymoron his stamp of approval. “He thought it was hard,” said Q. “He said, ‘That shit crazy.’ He ain’t heard nothing that crazy in a long time.”

However, after going to bat for Kendrick after his Grammy shutout, Q has decided to keep his mouth shut. “It happened. It’s over. I’ma stop talking about the Grammys ’cause stuff like that…they may not want to invite me so I’ma leave that out of everything,” he said.

In addition to K-Dot, he collaborated with Tyler, the Creator (“The Purge”). “I’ve always been a fan of Tyler,” he said of the Odd Future frontman. “Tyler, I come to find out he was a fan of me.”

It was their mutual friend Earl Sweatshirt who brought them together. “Me and Earl Sweatshirt are real cool and that energy feeds off. It fed off to Tyler and we just linked. One of us said, ‘Fuck it,’ and hit each other on the text and it actually came through.”

Starting next month, Q will hit the road on his “Oxymoron” tour. So what can fans expect?

“They ain’t never seen a fat boy move the way I move. You’ll never see a fat boy as electrifying as I am on stage. I let it out. I don’t care if I throw up on stage, if I gotta bend over and breathe, I don’t care if ya’ll see that. I’m leavin’ it on stage.”