It’s been over six years since Cassie released her self-titled debut. But the 26-year-old singer makes up for her extended absence with her free mixtape, RockaByeBaby, due April 11. The star-studded set serves as a thank you to her loyal supporters, boasting appearances from Wiz Khalifa, Meek Mill, Pusha T, French Montana, Fabolous, and Rick Ross, who appears in the video for “Numb.”
Her Bad Boy boss and boyfriend Diddy helped oversee the project and come up with the title, which was inspired by Mario Van Peebles’s 1991 crime thriller New Jack City.
“Ultimately I wanted to make something to give back to people who have been waiting for so long,” Cassie tells Rap-Up.com. “After this long, if I didn’t come hard with it and come with features and do all the things I needed to do, it would have meant nothing.”
She has simultaneously been working on her sophomore album with will.i.am, Da Internz, and Toby Gad, and hopes to put that out before the end of the year.
Find out all about Cassie’s new sound, friendship with Nicki Minaj and LoLa Monroe, and how Diddy helped her get in the zone in our exclusive interview.
In the four years since her last album Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams was released, Solange has parted ways with Interscope Records, found love with music video director Alan Ferguson, become an aunt to Blue Ivy, and recorded a brilliant new EP True. The 7-track collection, a collaboration with British composer Devonté “Dev” Hynes (Blood Orange), has been receiving rave reviews since its release last month.
Rap-Up.com caught up with Solange and Dev at a listening session for their EP in Los Angeles. In our exclusive interview, the 26-year-old singer chats about her return to music, new label, next album, and what her big sis Beyoncé thinks of her new sound.
On the eve of her 27th birthday, Ciara was hard at work doing what she loves most—performing. The singer paid a visit to “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to promote her upcoming album One Woman Army, due this winter. Before she hit the outdoor stage in the heart of Hollywood to perform her singles “Sorry” and “Got Me Good,” she caught up with Rap-Up.com backstage to discuss her new music, potential collaborations with Nicki Minaj and Missy Elliott, and touring plans.
Following her mini-concert, her fans serenaded her with “Happy Birthday” and she was presented with a cake before jetting off to New York, where she will mark her birthday by premiering the video for “Got Me Good” on the Sony JumboTron in Times Square today.
In celebration of CiCi’s big day, check out our exclusive interview with the birthday girl.
Cash Money’s resident rocker Kevin Rudolf is back and ready to “Let It Rock” once again. The singer and instrumentalist is preparing his third album and has released not one, but two big anthems: “Don’t Give Up” and “Champions” featuring labelmates Lil Wayne, Birdman, and Limp Bizkit (Wayne even deemed the latter “the greatest song in the world”). Rap-Up.com spoke with Kevin about his new music, dream collaborations, and the remix to “Champions.”
“This is all I ever wanted to do and it worked out,” says Tito Lopez, who is getting ready for a big show in Santa Ana, California. The Mississippi MC has phoned in to chat about his latest mixtape, The Hunger Game, the success of his radio-friendly song “Mama Proud,” as well as the status of his upcoming debut, which is “95 percent done.”
After gaining the stamp of approval from Dr. Dre and securing a deal with Capitol Records, his schedule has been hectic, but he embraces it. “Everything I’m doing now is a starting point. I plan to be here for a long time,” explains the rap rookie, who is currently on tour with fellow Mississippi native Big K.R.I.T.
Critics have praised Tito, who amassed a following with his 2010 mixtape King With No Crown, for being a breath of fresh air in a stagnant hip-hop culture. As he continues to grind with hopes to cement his legacy among the greats, the most important thing this lyrical maverick wants people to know is that he truly honors his craft. “I don’t take this for granted at all,” says a humble Tito.
The “Voice of the Underdog” spoke to Rap-Up.com about rapping Public Enemy lyrics at two years old, his emphasis on lyricism, Dr. Dre’s co-sign, and the sports legend that inspires him. Touch down with Tito.
The countdown is on to Brandy’s sixth album Two Eleven. After dropping two singles and releasing the tracklisting, the R&B diva is ready to make her much-anticipated return on October 16.
In Part 2 of our exclusive interview, Brandy opens up about working with Frank Ocean before he was a superstar. “I could see it then,” recalls the 33-year-old, who collaborated with the acclaimed singer-songwriter on “Scared of Beautiful.” “I’m just really proud that we are blessed by his talent.”
Another singer who’s earned her respect is Dawn Richard. “Dawn’s the future,” says Brandy, who has already spoken with the former Dirty Money member about a duet. “I just want her to get the credit that she deserves.”
While her joint tour with Monica never materialized, she is looking forward to launching her own tour in the near future. Plus, find out happened to her collaboration with Drake and which song she wants as her next single.
“No gimmicks, real R&B music,” says Brandy while describing her sixth album Two Eleven. The 33-year-old songstress is not playing games this time around, assembling an all-star cast of collaborators including Sean Garrett, Frank Ocean, Chris Brown, Rico Love, Jim Jonsin, Bangladesh, Tha Bizness, and more.
The album doesn’t drop until October 16, but the support has been pouring in from her fans and peers. “I kinda forgot what that felt like,” says Brandy, who topped the charts at the age of 15 with her self-titled debut.
In addition to her career, her love life is also having a resurgence these days. Just when she had given up on love, she reconnected with music executive Ryan Press. “He loves me for every flaw. He accepts me as who I am and he can see me for who I am,” says Brandy of her beau, who inspired her second single “Wildest Dreams.”
With her boyfriend sitting by her side, Brandy opened up to Rap-Up.com about being embraced once again, compliments from her collaborator Chris Brown, and falling in love. Plus, will she be reuniting with Timbaland and Rodney Jerkins on this album? Find out in Part 1 of our exclusive interview.
Since his release drom prison last year, T.I. has been making up for lost time. He’s appeared on remixes for everyone from Jay-Z and Kanye West (“Ni**as in Paris”) to Ke$ha (“Sleazy”) and recorded a whopping 86 tracks for his eighth album Trouble Man, which has been delayed from September.
In between promoting Starz’ political drama series “Boss” and the second season of VH1’s “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle,” the King of the South phoned into Rap-Up.com to share some of the collaborations on his star-studded set including André 3000, Lil Wayne, R. Kelly, A$AP Rocky, and Cee Lo Green.
“I think it’s a lot more urban than Paper Trail, and less apologetic than No Mercy,” said Tip of the follow-up to his 2010 album, which will include production from Pharrell, No I.D., DJ Toomp, T-Minus, and Rico Love. “I think it’s more diversified than T.I. vs. T.I.P. though. It’s got a lotta heart, it’s got a lotta edge. It’s a creative album. It’s probably harder than most of the shit that’s coming out right now.”
In our exclusive interview, the Atlanta rapper also provides an update on his collaborative album with B.o.B, The Man and the Martian, and shares his respect for newcomer A$AP Rocky. Plus, whatever happened to that Lady Gaga collaboration? Tip tells all.