This month, Red Bull officially debuted Red Bull 1520, a new YouTube channel dedicated to hip-hop programming from the world of Red Bull, featuring beats, bars, and live performances from rap’s next movement. Ensuring fans never miss a beat, Red Bull 1520 will showcase exclusive content from Red Bull’s various music events across the U.S. as well as original series featuring content you won’t find anywhere else.
Informed by the artists and movements born from the last 50 years of hip-hop but focused on the future of the genre, Red Bull 1520 pays homage to the culture through talent-driven and engaging programming, starting with the debut of two new monthly hip-hop music series: Red Bull Spiral and Red Bull Rap IQ.
It concludes with the standout song “Legend,” and its chorus says it all: “Where we stand, the test of time/If I die, I’m gonna die a legend.” By creating a portrait of the place that raised him so impeccably, Nana has carved out a permanent space for himself in the landscape.
Based on the popular Japanese format, Red Bull Rasen, Red Bull Spiral invites 3-4 MCs to Red Bull’s LA recording studio to collaborate on a one-of-a-kind cypher. Filmed in one continuous take, Red Bull Spiral challenges even the most seasoned artists to stay cool under pressure and deliver perfect bars as the camera spins through the studio, capturing every movement. Watch LA crew Coast Contra kick off the series with their debut episode here, and look out for upcoming drops featuring KenThe Man, Kalan.FrFr, Baby Tate, LaRussell, Buddy, Nana, and more.
“We definitely had to take our time and approach this like a show,” says Coast Contra’s Ras Austin. “It’s a challenge but we wanted to make it as fun of an experience for the viewers as we could. When Taj gets in a certain pocket and everybody starts a rotation in sync with his flow. Super dope moment!”
Also launching on Red Bull 1520 is Red Bull Rap IQ, a game show that invites artists and tastemakers to compete to see who’s the ultimate rap genius through multiple rounds of challenges and trivia. Hosted by comedian, artist and creator Patrick Cloud, Red Bull Rap IQ puts guests to the test on everything from artist collaborations and song lyrics to hip-hop long arithmetic. Tune-in here to watch the debut episode featuring Westside Boogie, GRIP, Brittany Sky and Dee Moe. Stay tuned for new episodes of Red Bull Rap IQ featuring D Smoke, Buddy, P-Lo and other special guests.
“This isn’t your regular game show,” says host Patrick Cloud. “I aim to get the rappers to show their audience a side of them they barely get to see. And if they show off their hip-hop smarts along the way then even better!”
New episodes of Red Bull Spiral and Red Bull Rap IQ launch monthly. Subscribe to Red Bull 1520 and also get access to exclusive music content, behind-the-scenes clips, and exclusive artist features you won’t want to miss.
Yourself. Held in Los Angeles, it sold out entirely on the strength of his budding fanbase, dedicated friends, and unwavering determination.
The concept behind Save Yourself came on the day Mac Miller died. “Mac was one of my favorite artists of this generation, and to see him go the way he did, I was like ‘I need a title that speaks to this generation,’” Nana recalls. “Especially having seen a lot of the rappers and the kids go in the way he did. I was like, ‘Yo, we have to save ourselves.’” It was a reflective, deeply personal artwork that laid the foundation for where he wants to grow.
In April, Nana released From the District to the World, a frequently hard-nosed project that still makes room for moments of levity and grace. Across eight tracks, he makes the most of the classic LA sound (“Bet It Back”) and dabbles in the jazz-inflected style of hip-hop that has become especially dominant in the last decade (“DontPlayDat,” featuring Buddy). On the latter track, Nana creates a series of character sketches and gives some gentle advice, like “If you broke, that’s fine too, just say that.” His years spent observing the people around him have paid off beautifully with this cohesive project that pulls no punches.
Whereas Save Yourself was introspective, From the District to the World is about everything beyond the four walls of your skull. The characters in these songs are the people Nana would see at the mall, at school, or out on the street. There may only be eight songs here, but there are eight million stories in a place like Crenshaw, and the EP touches nearly as many souls.