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.”
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.”
While she may have offended some men with her vicious lyrics, Nicki Minaj’s “Lookin Ass Ni**a” has struck a chord with her female fans including Jhené Aiko. The L.A. songstress has shared her support for Nicki’s male-bashing anthem.
“I love it. I love the song,” she told Rap-Up TV. “It’s definitely a song to put on with my friends when we’re hating all the men in our lives, which is often. I love when she raps. … You don’t really see what she’s shooting at [in the video], but it’s powerful. I like it.”
Jhené would love to collaborate with Nicki, but in the meantime, she is working on her full-length debut Souled Out. Her 2013 EP Sail Out debuted in the top 10, which caught her and her label Def Jam by surprise.
“I think everyone was surprised. I literally put that out because I didn’t want to have nothing out in 2013,” she explained. “No one was really on board like that, we were just like whatever ’cause me and my camp we do stuff on our own time anyway. And we showed them, ‘See, they like it.’”
The album, due this summer, will include “Promises,” a collaboration with her daughter Namiko Love.
Those anticipating a ScHoolboy Q and 50 Cent collaboration will have to wait. The TDE rapper has confirmed that 50 does not appear on Oxymoron.
The rumors started after the G-Unit mogul announced that he would be featured on Q’s album. “I’m on school boy Q album,” he wrote on Instagram last week.
But Q cleared up the rumors once and for all. “He’s not on my album, but I would have loved for him to be on my album,” he told Rap-Up TV at a listening session for Oxymoron in L.A. on Monday night.
“We did a record. I know what record he’s talking about, but that didn’t make the album,” explained Q. “I wish he was on my album though. Like that’s 50 Cent, c’mon now. He’s the reason I’m really rapping. But I never even had the files to that record.”
Another rapper you won’t find on Oxymoron is J. Cole. “J. Cole did a record that I cut, but it didn’t fit my album,” said the Black Hippy.
However, you can expect to find contributions from 2 Chainz, Tyler, the Creator, Kurupt, Jay Rock, SZA, and Pharrell, who produced “Los Awesome.”
With his 2 Chainz-assisted single “Talk Dirty” closing in on No. 1, Jason Derulo is capitalizing on its success with an album of the same name. Fresh off the stage at Power 106′s “Valentine’s Crush” concert in L.A., a shirtless Jason shared details about Talk Dirty, the full-length U.S. version of last year’s EP Tattoos, which will arrive on April 15.
“When I was making this album, I wanted to go in and experiment and do something that was just totally different and off the wall,” he told Rap-Up TV.
The album will include “Vertigo,” a sultry collaboration with girlfriend Jordin Sparks, which also appeared on his EP.
For Valentine’s Day, the 24-year-old heartthrob surprised his lady by booking a hotel suite and filling it with 10,000 orange roses.
“She was shocked,” said Jason, who bought Jordin a BMW for Christmas. “I was shocked when I came in the room too ’cause I ain’t never seen 10,000 flowers in the room like that, so it was kinda crazy.”
So is his next gift an engagement ring? “When that time is right,” he laughed.
Jhené Aiko has found her match in Drake. During Power 106′s “Valentine’s Crush” concert in L.A., the “Bed Peace” singer opened up about her connection with the Canadian rapper, who she collaborated and toured with last year.
“I think that he is probably like my musical soulmate,” she told Rap-Up TV. “I just feel like our voices compliment each other, our writing styles, all of that.”
Last month, Jhené joined Drake while performing “From Time” on “SNL.” “I’m not really used to cameras yet and TV performance-type things, so I was just like super nervous,” she admitted. “I think it came out good.”
She also hinted at more collaborations to come. “I would love to do a full project with him. I think that it would be really dope,” revealed Jhené, who’s already had discussions with Drake about a potential album.
Following the success of her EP Sail Out, she is gearing up for the summer release of her full-length debut Souled Out. But unlike her EP, she is not focused on features.
“I just wrote the songs from top to bottom, but if someone hears a song and they feel like they can contribute and it makes sense, then I’ll definitely make room—if they can do it before the summer.”
From Kanye to Kelly Rowland, Big Sean has become one of the most sought-after MCs in the game. Before taking the stage at Power 106′s “Valentine’s Crush” concert in L.A. on Friday, the Detroit rapper spoke with Rap-Up TV about his latest collaboration with Jennifer Lopez.
“J.Lo, Jenny from the block, she’s like OG,” said Sean. “You can’t help but show respect and pay respect to an OG. She was there looking like she was my age. She’s cool, she’s beautiful, she’s talented. It’s an honor.”
When he’s not in the studio with J.Lo, Sean has been hard at work on his third album. “We’ve been in a great groove. Expect some announcements sooner or later,” he teased. “We’ve been killin’ these features too. Ya’ll gonna hear it, some crazy shit.”
Last month, he dropped his “1st Quarter” freestyle, and fans can expect more music soon. “There’s more comin’ from ’1st Quarter.’ I just dropped that to set the tone though, let people know we not playin’ with these bitch ass ni**as no more.”
Plus, don’t be surprised to hear more than rapping from the G.O.O.D. Music MC. “For sure you’re gonna hear more singing from me. I don’t know about the next album or whatever, but I’ve been taking singing lessons,” he said. “I’ve been getting good too. If you listened to my mixtapes, you heard songs like ‘I’m Gonna Be’ with me and Jhené [Aiko] singing or songs like ‘Beware.’ I sing. I be harmonizing.”