On July 15, Marsha Ambrosius will release her sophomore album Friends & Lovers featuring production from Pop & Oak, Da Internz, Eric Hudson, and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League.
The gifted singer-songwriter, who’s worked with everyone from Michael Jackson to Dr. Dre, recently sat down with Rap-Up TV to discuss her famous collaborators and the follow-up to her 2011 debut, which she calls her “baby.”
“It’s been a tedious, very rewarding journey as far as creating the album, but that’s what I do. I make albums,” she said. “I had to live and breathe this, whether that was the heartache, whether that was getting over it, whether that was lust, love, fuck, love, whatever it was, I had to be there. For me, that’s what I’ve been enjoying the most is living it.”
She also revealed that every song on the album will have a visual starting with the single “Run.” “I have to make a movie surrounding this album. Everything’s gonna have a video. Everything will have a story behind it. It really is the sequel to what Late Nights & Early Mornings was. Late Nights & Early Mornings resulted in some Friends & Lovers.”
In addition to working on her album, she has been back in the studio with Dr. Dre. “This is our seventh year. We went to Hawaii just before the end of last year for a couple of weeks and got to really cram in with the production team that he’s got going now, Focus and the squad, so we’ve been working. You’ll get to slowly see the work.”
But if you’re still waiting for Detox, don’t hold your breath. “Detox was a title that was thrown around so many years ago,” said Marsha. “There’s so many other things in the works for you to not have to be concerned about anyone detoxing. It sounds like a fitness center now. No. You’ll see something else.”
Plus, she’s collaborated with her longtime friend Kanye West. “I don’t know what it’s for, but there’s a couple of things floating around. You’ll hear them soon.”
Tinashe has been all over the airwaves with her DJ Mustard-produced single “2 On” featuring ScHoolboy Q. But the L.A. singer’s success didn’t happen overnight. After getting her start in the girl group The Stunners and appearing in movies and TV shows including “Two and a Half Men,” she went on to release three mixtapes including last year’s Black Water.
Now the 21-year-old is readying her RCA Records debut Aquarius for release later this summer.
She has been in the studio with hitmakers including Mike WiLL Made It, Boi-1da, Dev Hynes, Clams Casino, and A$AP Rocky, who appears on the Detail-produced “Pretend.”
“The song with Rocky is definitely kind of a contemporary-sounding song,” she told Rap-Up TV. “It doesn’t really sound like a lot of other songs on the radio, but it’s a midtempo feel and it’s kinda minimalistic in the track.”
She also went to Atlanta to work with Future on the Jasper-produced “How Many Times.” “[Future] kept it straight ‘hood on this track, which I was super excited about,” said Tinashe. “I think it’s an interesting blend between an R&B vibe and there being some hip-hop thrown in there.”
Growing up, she listened to Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Sade, Keith Sweat, and Tony! Toni! Toné! “My parents played a lot of ’90s R&B in the house, so I think I was just naturally kind of influenced by that type of music.”
But she’s been drawing comparisons to one particular R&B singer. “I think being compared to Aaliyah is a huge compliment,” she said. “Interestingly enough, she wasn’t a person who I really idolized or was influenced by growing up, but I think it’s just cool that people find similarities and comparisons in our different styles.”
Sage the Gemini just released his debut album in March, but he’s already on to the next. The “Gas Pedal” hitmaker has recorded around 15 songs for the follow-up to Remember Me.
“It sounds way more controlled. It sounds like I took my time,” he told Rap-Up TV at PowerHouse 2014. “I’m way more creative. I sat down, relaxed, and took my time with the stuff.”
He’s been inspired by one of his fellow rappers. “I’ve been listening to a lot of J. Cole, so he kinda helped me,” revealed Sage.
After Skyping with the Roc Nation MC on MTV’s “RapFix Live,” he started listening to his music. “I was like, ‘He’s saying some real stuff.’ And I liked the way he spit and he doubled up and his delivery is hecka tight. ‘LAnd of the Snakes,’ I’m on that song. Crazy.”
In addition to Cole, he would love to work with Chris Brown. “I’ve been listening to him for a while,” Sage said of the “Loyal” singer. “I actually fell in love around the time he first came out. So he was kinda helping me keep my feelings towards that girl and I was doing poetry and he was just motivating.”
ScHoolboy Q has been unstoppable since topping the charts with his major label debut Oxymoron. Fresh from Germany, the TDE rapper took the stage at PowerHouse in L.A. last weekend. Moments before his set, he spoke to Rap-Up TV about his next two albums, the long-awaited Black Hippy project, and taking a brief break from weed.
While overseas, he decided to put down the blunt for a couple weeks. “It’s something I wanted to do,” he said. “I quit over there just to see if I was a slave of it. I was able to quit. ‘Cause the weed was so bad, it was like might as well not smoke it. I felt like I did right.”
While he has yet to start work on the follow-up to Oxymoron, he has already chosen his next two album titles. “I got two of my next albums titled and concepts of how I wanna attack and how I wanna put certain things to the light.”
The subject matter will be just as personal as Oxymoron. “I haven’t even talked about my mom yet. I left that out my album for other albums. I never talked about my father. Just saving certain things for different albums and concepts.”
And if you’re waiting for the Black Hippy album, you’ll have to be patient. Q, Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock have yet to start work on their highly-anticipated group project due to their busy schedules. “We ain’t do shit. Not one song,” said Q.
He helped inspire the bucket hat trend, which has been seen on everyone from Diddy to Justin Bieber. “When I made that, I wasn’t trying to do no gimmick,” he said. “I wore it because that was actually my favorite hat that I liked. And now I guess everybody’s wearing them. I wouldn’t say I was the one that did it, but I’ll take the credit if somebody wanna give it to me.”
Q is on tour until June 15 and plans to drop a new song “within the next month or two.”
Wiz Khalifa announced his new mixtape 28 Grams over the weekend. Before he hit the stage at PowerHouse 2014, the Taylor Gang boss filled Rap-Up TV in on a few more details. His Weedmix of ScHoolboy Q’s “Man of the Year” will be on the project along with other Weedmixes.
He didn’t reveal an exact release date, but hinted that it would drop sometime this month.
He has also chosen the next single off his album Blacc Hollywood. “I’m just trying to get the right feature on there,” said Wiz. “It’s gon’ be a really good look. It’s gon’ be a big look.”
The album is due this summer. “Blacc Hollywood in general is gon’ be sonically something that people kinda expect, but it’s like they want it, so it’s gonna be a good thing for me to deliver,” he explained.
He confirmed that Adele won’t be on the album. In fact, they didn’t even record together. “Nah, it was like an idea,” he said. “Maybe we’ll get to do a remix or something.”
However, Miley Cyrus will be on the album. “It’s amazing,” he said of their collaboration.
Wiz recently welcomed a new member into his family, a French bulldog named Vincent, who also appears on his 28 Gramscover art.
“Vincent’s a G, bro,” said Wiz, who said that his son Bash and new puppy “love each other.”
Wiz will hit the road with Jeezy, Tyga, Ty Dolla $ign, and more on his “Under the Influence of Music Tour” this summer. So what can fans expect the third time around? He summed it up in one word: “Energy.”
Juicy J has become one of hip-hop’s most in-demand hitmakers, but that hasn’t stopped him from grinding. The turn-up king is putting the finishing touches on his new album The Hustle Continues (THC). During his appearance at PowerHouse on Saturday, he shared more details on the follow-up to 2013′s Stay Trippy.
“It’s gon’ be an amazing album,” he told Rap-Up TV. “I don’t have that many features ’cause I got a lot to say on this album, so I wanna make sure I got enough room to say what I need to say. It’s gonna be a dope album, I put a lot of concentration.”
In addition to his own production, he has worked with Dr. Luke, Mike WiLL Made It, Cirkut, and Crazy Mike.
He hasn’t set a release date, but is eyeing an August/September timeframe. “I’m still trying to decide. I’m about like 97 percent done with the album, so I just gotta finish that 3 percent more and then I’m just gonna drop it.”
The buzz has been building for Nicki Minaj’s third album, and the time has finally come for her to drop the first single. Before she hit the stage at PowerHouse 2014 on Saturday, the Young Money diva dished to Rap-Up TV about the track, which is expected to debut on Wednesday.
“It feels very uplifting and it feels very soulful,” she shared. “It’s a great, I feel, indicator of what The PinkPrint will feel like in terms of the storyline of that song.”
The album, due sometime this year, marks a return to her roots. “The PinkPrint will remind people why they fell in love with Nicki Minaj,” she added. “And I think that needs to be done.”
She also revealed that Lil Wayne has sent her a track for his final album Tha Carter V. “He did send me something, but you know Wayne is so unpredictable,” she said. “You never know what’s going to make it until the last, very last ending. But you know, Wayne is my baby and I love him.”
Plus, will Drake be on The PinkPrint? Find out what Nicki had to say.