Writing has always been Paul’s passion. His ultimate dream is to become a best selling author but, that journey begins here! He also loves movies, music, and food (eating it more than cooking it!). He says he tends to gravitate towards action and some dramas but, can also really get into a psychological thriller. Being an open minded individual, he literally listens to ALL kinds of music, so he has favorite artists across multiple genres.
Atlanta. The mecca for all things music and entertainment and now the creative scene. With so much talent popping up on the spot, Joc has his hands on everything in Atlanta that pertains to talent in music, media, and art. When he saw certain artists weren’t being booked for shows, he knew he had to change the game. With his platform Creatives After Dark, he did just that. Creatives After Dark was created as an anti-venue campaign since most venues wouldn’t rent to creative under 21. The artists Joc booked for his Creative After Dark engaged with the crowds and even went on to have successful careers.
Most people know Atlanta as the land of discovering new talent. We asked Joc what his favorite part about Atlanta’s growing creative scene is and this is what he had to say: “The upcoming creatives who haven’t broken out yet. Literally, in the last 5 years, I’ve seen people sharing food or homeless one day and signed to a major label the next. You never know what’s going to happen. Everybody is grinding and to see so many stars born out of all those venues with less than 200 people is amazing”. When asked about his events and what he loves most, he shared with us that it’s meeting the guests. “My first 3 shows I was the doorman. That’s why so many people know me now. Making sure the guests are good always makes a show memorable. I walk through the crowd to make sure the music is loud enough, seeing if everybody is lit, or waiting on their friends to come with them to turn up. Guest experience is really important to us”.
Paul: Do you feel there’s a disconnect between the perception of the Atlanta music scene as whole between people from there and people not from there? Why or why not?
“Yes 100%. This is the deal. These guys you see blowing up together in the city have known each other since middle school. For instance, Lil Baby grew up in my neighborhood. Young Thug was at all of our football games. It’s all connected. It’s a family vibe. Most people move here thinking it’s open arms but really it’s a huge misconception. Moving here and “networking” isn’t going to get you anywhere. Doing the work will. One thing about ATL is that we see everybody who’s really working. Once you really start making your own moves, everything will come together and you will meet everyone you want too. The situations will literally come out of nowhere. Stay out of the clubs. Stay out of studios if you’re not doing anything. Just do the damn work. Nobody moved here and blew up overnight. It’s always a missing story about struggling and late nights in every success”.
Joc gave all creatives his keys to success and some advice: “Put your head down and get it done. No excuses. Do good business and people will always remember you. Don’t burn bridges if you don’t have too. Never fear failing. Always look for ways to improve your business model. Look at losses as lessons. If you do this and you have a good product, everything should fall into place. Oh yeah, the 3 P’s. perseverance, prosperity, profit”. You can find Joc curating another memorable event in Atlanta or on his socials at @BigJocAtl and his website CreativesAfterDark.us
J.I.D is here to wake up anyone and everyone who’s sleeping on him. The East Atlanta rapper dropped his sophomore album at midnight on a Monday – already distancing himself from any competition with this nontraditional move. With the title DiCaprio 2 one might expect the album to have some sort of cinematic aspect or story and it does. With an unmistakable voice, rapid fire flow and clever bars it’s impossible to deny J.I.D ‘s raw talent and this album is a must listen without question. Features include 6LACK, Ella Mai, Joey Bada$$, BJ The Chicago Kid and more. Oh and the production is hard too.
DiCaprio 2 is available now on all streaming platforms.
Ella Mai is the freshest face on the R&B scene and she’s making a name for herself. After dropping “Boo’d Up” one of the biggest songs this year she followed up with “Trip” – and her debut album. She performed both these hits on the SNL stage last night and brought some excellent live vocals with her. By effectively using minimal stage design and mood lighting the vibe of both songs was captured perfectly.
If you’ve been living under a rock you may not know this but, Lil Wayne released Tha Carter V this year. After merchandise collabs with Wikipedia (yes that Wikipedia) and more, he continues his promo run tonight with two performances on Saturday Night Live.
The first song he did was “Can’t Be Broken” and had Halsey performing her emotional hook live. The second one was the one we were all waiting for: Uproar. With Swizz Beatz doing his ad lib and hypeman thing and a crowd doing every dance we’ve done to the song in the background behind him Wayne killed his performance. However as per usual his outfit was unique to say the least.
This year has been EXCEPTIONAL for Rap and R&B releases. If nobody you listen to dropped this year…who are you listening to?! Anyway we’ve come to another Friday with several new releases. While ALL the drops are not included here, these are the one you should listen to first!
The Underachievers – After The Rain
Brooklyn duo The Underachievers are known for their trailblazing conscious rap and otherworldly bangers. This project however focuses on the former. With production entirely done by jazz duo Brasstracks this project is something you put on when you just want to sit and enjoy the music – and be motivated while doing so.
9th Wonder – 9th Wonder Presents: Jamla Is The Squad II
If you don’t know who 9th Wonder is you’re either too young or probably only know producers with mainstream success. The legendary producer has dropped a sequel to his 2014 album and the feature list is as long as the list of responsibilities we all have. Guests include J.Cole, Rapsody, Big K.R.I.T, J.I.D and many many more. With production on the timeless boom bap soulful smooth side this is something you can’t do anything but nod ya head to – and maybe hit the stank face when a bar or flow smacks you in the face.
Anderson .Paak – WHO R U?
Anderson .Paak is here to bring the bounce once again with the second single titled “WHO R U?” from his album Oxnard. This one is produced by Mell and Dr. Dre himself and features sputtering drums and an undeniable bounce .Paak gives his take on the rap game, relationships and his upbringing as multiple beeps and bops jump in and out of the beat. If you liked the vibe of “Tints” this may not be for you but if you preferred the “Bubblin’” sound then this is exactly what you want.
If J.I.D had a dollar for every time his comment sections mentioned a J.Cole collab he’d have double whatever is in his bank account right now. The Dreamville signee is gearing up to release his sophomore studio album DiCaprio 2 on November 26th and has dropped another single to hold fans until the album releases. This one features J. Cole and some promotional artwork that has a clear message to a certain annual awards show. The track features rapid fire flow switch ups from J.I.D while Cole comes in with a slower tempo before kicking it into second gear with his own rapid fire contribution.
“Off Deez” is available on all music streaming services now.
Travis Scott’s “SICKO MODE” hit has been celebrated and played at every gathering since it dropped. Now as with all hot songs it’s been given the video treatment and it was just as amazing as you’d expect it to be. Directed by Dave Meyers and Travis himself, we see Travis and Drake in a variety of settings (and colors). These include a room full of hanging lightbulbs (like a light), an enormous chalkboard, a school bus and space itself. Many are calling this Video of the Year. Do you agree?
Let’s face it. Some things on BET are just annoying, wrong or irrelevant. But, when the Hip Hop Awards come around we at least get some good to decent musical performances and some entertaining cyphers. Here’s what went down that’s worth talking about.
This year we got about 3 performances that were noteworthy. T.I and Yo Gotti performed together accompanied by some dancers in traditional Mexican attire. T.I. proved he could still hang despite his age and gave more energy than most of the younger artists. We were also treated to a performance by Cardi B from Club Liv. It would appear she’s taking the Beyonce route and “sending in” performance footage instead of actually appearing. The performance was energetic however, featuring the rapper twerking on the ground which was quickly turned into a GIF by Black Twitter. We also got a performance by up and coming Brooklyn rapper Flipp Dinero in which he ran across the stage multiple times, giving some well needed energy to the stage.
(Lil Pump, Gucci Mane, A$AP Rocky, Lil Baby, Gunna, Lil Duval, YG, Yella Beezy and Young M.A. also performed)
The cyphers this year were a mixed bag to say the least. With most viewers anticipating what Vic Mensa said about the late XXXTentacion there was not much to hold us until that happened. Each cypher had clear standouts with the others being average or worse. Clear standouts were Sharaya J, Shawn Smith, Flawless Real Talk, Neelam Hakeem, Tobe Nwigwe and YBN Cordae. Each group rapped over various versions of the “Banned From TV” instrumental, which was introduced to many (younger) listeners by Lil Wayne using it on his No Ceilings mixtape. We also got a fun freestyle from Erykah Badu herself at the end of the second cypher.
The Actual Awards
In the two hour runtime of the show a total of FOUR Awards that were given were televised. Yep. Probably the most surprising would have to be EVERYTHING IS LOVE winning over KOD and others for album of the year. Lil Wayne was also presented with the I Am Hip Hop Award and gave an inspiring and heartfelt speech, accompanied on stage by his mother and daughter.
Do you still think the BET Hip Hop Awards are relevant?
On October 6 Travis Scott transformed the SNL stage into his own personal Astroworld. Performing the tracks “Skeletons” and “Astrothunder” viewers could see vibrant theme park style lights and smoke enveloping the stage. Positioned behind him on the left was a rotating carousel horse with a model, to continue the Astroworld theme. Seem crazy? Well positioned behind him on the right was long time collaborator producer Mike Dean as well as Kevin Parker of Tame Impala and John Mayer. The heavy hitters came together to create a very sonically pleasing performance. Watch it below!
Video via YouTube
Travis also performed fan favorite “Sicko Mode” as a waterfall like affect covered the stage to begin the performance. In this waterfall we can see images of fellow Houston artist DJ Screw, who has a song dedicated to him on ASTROWORLD. For the majority of the performance we get a top down camera angle of Travis in a rollercoaster car rotating around, adding even more depth to the Astroworld theme. Watch the performance below!
Video via YouTube
Do these performances get you excited for Travis’ upcoming tour?
2018 continues to give us wonderful music. Today we were blessed with a soulful jazzy collaboration from Anderson .Paak and Kendrick Lamar titled “Tints”. The track is the first single from .Paak’s upcoming album titled Oxnard which is set to feature J. Cole and Pusha T. This has us ready for the rest of the album coming out soon.
“Tints” is available on all music streaming services now.