Interviews

Aug
30
Exclusive: Brandy Talks ‘Two Eleven,’ Compliments from Chris Brown, & Falling in Love

Brandy

“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.

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Aug
23
Exclusive: T.I. Talks ‘Trouble Man’ Delay, Lil Wayne and R. Kelly Collaborations

T.I.

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.

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Aug
7
10 Questions for Jeremih

Jeremih

“Everything is still surreal to me,” says Jeremih. Although it’s been three years since the release of his eponymous debut, the Chicago crooner still grinds like he’s a new artist. In 2009, Jeremih inked a deal with Def Jam after he effortlessly created his first hit, “Birthday Sex.” One year later, he cemented his hitmaking abilities with his infectious single, “Down on Me,” the song that 50 Cent claims saved his career. He kept the momentum going, appearing on tracks for Lloyd Banks, Wale, Diggy Simmons, Meek Mill, and more.

While he records the follow-up to his 2010 sophomore album All About You, the 25-year-old holds fans over with his first mixtape Late Nights, featuring appearances from 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane, Fabolous, Twista, and E-40, plus production from Sak Pase, Soundz, Tricky Stewart, Mike Will Made It, and more.

On the eve of its release, Jeremih phoned up Rap-Up.com to chat about his latest project, his R&B peers, dream collaborations, and his legacy.

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Jul
31
10 Questions for The Cataracs

The Cataracs

“We’re trying to make this album massive and epic,” says Niles “Cyrano” Hollowell-Dhar of the L.A.-based indie hip-hop duo, The Cataracs. “So we had to pick a name for it that’s an artifact of how we got started.” Gordo Taqueria—affectionately referring to the Mexican eatery that Niles and his creative other half, David “Campa” Benjamin Singer-Vine, gorged on in the studio—is the Bay Area natives’ newly-released EP.

The hitmaking duo, who’ve produced for Far East Movement (“Like a G6”), 50 Cent (“I’m on It”), and Snoop Dogg (“Wet”), generated a buzz among the mainstream earlier this summer with their single “All You” featuring Waka Flocka Flame—an unlikely pairing, but the track was oddly palatable. Dabbling in every synth, sound, and serenade, Niles and David have jumped out of the box and into an undefined genre that they hope to stay in.

In between working on new music for Robin Thicke, Rap-Up.com caught up with The Cataracs to talk about everything from their evolution to which Kardashian sister they would serenade to their appreciation for Frank Ocean and George Clooney.

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Jun
7
Exclusive: Nas Talks ‘Life Is Good,’ Cover Art, and Collaborations

Life Is Good

Hip-hop heads rejoice. Nas is taking it back to his roots with his 10th album Life Is Good, due July 17. In the second part of Rap-Up.com’s exclusive interview, the hip-hop legend opened up about making “timeless” music and collaborating with No I.D. and Salaam Remi, who handled the bulk of production. Get some insight into the album’s direction (’90s meets 2015), the two featured guests he has in mind, and the inspiration behind the shocking cover art.

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Jun
6
Exclusive: Nas Talks Summer Jam, Nicki Minaj vs. Hot 97, and Lauryn Hill

Nas

Despite all the controversy over Summer Jam, Nas went through with his surprise performance at MetLife Stadium, bringing Lauryn Hill with him. The New York veteran, who was originally supposed to appear during Nicki Minaj’s headlining set, spoke exclusively with Rap-Up.com about returning to the Summer Jam stage for the first time in nearly a decade, reuniting with L-Boogie, and his thoughts on Nicki’s cancellation.

Nas butted heats with Hot 97 during his performance at Summer Jam in 2001 when he was beefing with Jay-Z. But he remained neutral this time around, showing support for both camps. Hear what the Don had to say.

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May
31
Q&A: Travis Porter Talks Debut Album, Rihanna, & Fan Appreciation

Travis Porter

Ali, Quez, and Strap, the step brothers that make up Travis Porter, are fueled by A-list beats, groupie love, and a youthful spirit. Several mixtapes into the game, the early twenty-somethings find themselves past the preliminary stages and into the fun part of their career, which includes boasting about parties and focusing on the raw art of lyrical seduction—all based on reality, of course.

Hip-hop frat-like singles such as “Ayy Ladies” and the Jeremih-infused “Ride Like That,” along with features from 2 Chainz, Mike Posner, and Mac Miller, set the tone for their long-awaited debut From Day 1.

Fresh off the release of the album, Rap-Up.com spoke with the hip-hop trio about which late legend they would like to work with, why a Rihanna collaboration makes sense, and why they can’t do a song with Beyoncé.

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