Posts tagged with "jcole"

Jesse Forta aka JForte image for use by 360 Magazine

Jforte QxA

By: Ally Brewster

Throughout this pandemic, the artist Jesse Forte, known as Jforte, has continued to do what he has done his whole career since he began making music in 2013: push the boundaries of his music and what he can do as an artist. Jforte is constantly creating and expanding as he has out a new song every week over the course of the pandemic (55+ weeks). Throughout his career he has also founded his business “Young Revolutionary Minds,” hosts the YRM podcast, wrote three books, launching products, and training to become an astronaut, all while giving back to and empowering his community. His song “Make It Happen” is culmination of his drive, story he wants to put out into the world to inspire others. We had the opportunity to ask Jforte about his career and what’s next for the artist:

You stated that making music consistently throughout the pandemic was a goal of yours, and you’ve clearly done that with one song produced each week for 55+ weeks. Where did the idea of weekly songs come from and why was it so important to be weekly? 

After writing my third book, “Make It Happen” and listening to “It’s All In Your Head” 200 times, I realized I needed to be consistent and treat my gift like a job. Once I heard Russ express it the way he did, it made sense to me and I tried it out. So far, it’s been going well and getting better! Being able to put out a song weekly keeps me energized to create. I know that people may not listen right then and there, but the music will be there forever and it’s better to start now than later.

What is the production process like when you are making a new song every week? Is it any different than the production of other work you have made?

At first, I had music I wrote to beats that were famous. Then, I shopped around for beats that made sense for the music I was putting out. I would purchase the beats and write music to them. Once I got the hang of it, I started buying more beats, listening, and then sitting down. [I would use] pen and paper [to] writ[e] down my feelings, thoughts, ideas, concepts and purpose. The more I write, the better I get.

Once I get the lyrics down, I start to rehearse them, call up an engineer, and prep for the studio. I generally have at least 5 songs ready to go, just because I like to truly take advantage of the opportunity of using the booth–time is money. Most of my sessions last between 3- 5 hours.

When I write books, I try to write 2-3 pages a day. When I wrote “Fail Forward Through Success,” I would write in Cartel coffee in Tempe every day, and I wouldn’t leave until I pushed out 3 pages.  Same thing with “Redemption,” and “Make It Happen” was special because I wrote it during the pandemic.

Being someone as busy as you are, burnout seems inevitable. Have there been weeks where it felt impossible to make a song? Where do you look for inspiration in times where motivation may be lacking?

Whenever my mind becomes too loud, I get rest, meditate, take a break and when I feel better, I take a step forward with whatever the goal is. I’m cool with resting, but I’ll never lay down or give up on what I have intended to accomplish. Sometimes it doesn’t happen instantly, but patience and persistence have been the best lessons and gifts I possess. I have an engine that is going to go, whether I am motivated or would rather rest. That was instilled back at Parkview.

Was music always something you wanted to do, or was it more like a passion that snuck up on you? Who were your biggest inspirations when getting into the music industry? 

I was talking to Bow Wow a couple weeks ago on IG live and told him I performed “Basketball” for the talent show.  We bumped Pac in the car when I was 3 and I could hear Rakim through the womb when I was being created. That’s just confirmation that I am supposed to be right where I am and that these conversations are blessings from the universe saying “we got you” and to keep going!

I’ve always wanted to be a rapper. My second-grade teacher told me, “No.” Subconsciously, I listened to her for 20 years. Then, this inner me said to fuck her opinion and be happy. I knew I wouldn’t be happy if I wasn’t pursuing what was in me. That why it’s important to be around people that lift you up and let you dream!

My influences are Jforte and Yé– fun fact: I performed Roses at America’s Got Talent. They liked it but I didn’t make it past the 1st round. [Also,] Drake, Immortal Technique, Uncle Snoop, Meek Mill, Drake, Logic, Doja Cat, Cardi B, Jack Harlow, Bow Wow, Gucci, Rakim, Jay-Z, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Missy Elliott, Big Pun, 50 cent, Red Man, Method Man, HER, Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill, Pharrell, Michale Jackson, Prince, Queen, Tribe Called Quest, Dr. Dre and so, so many more. I just love good music!

It’s apparent that “Make It Happen” is an important, encouraging phrase for you as it is both a song title as well as the title of your third book; where did that phrase come from and what does it mean to you personally?

“Make It Happen” became even more powerful for me once I started to realize that people enjoyed the song and it pumped them up! “Making It Happen” means that regardless of circumstance, we rise to the occasion. That means meeting a deadline, being there for your loved one or just staying committed to the vision you see within yourself.

My goal is to share my truth in a majority of my music. If you listen to what I say in “Make It Happen,” it’s everything I’ve specifically been through. By the way, I write 100% of my lyrics–no ghost writers or floating pens. I thought I should mention that because I take pride in making the music you hear from me.

You’ve pursued many different avenues throughout your life, from music, writing, and hosting podcasts to getting a technical degree in software engineering, college football, becoming an astronaut and even making a biodegradable toothbrush and charcoal toothpaste. What motivates you to explore so many different paths, many of which people choose as a career rather than trying to do it all at once?

I was a D student in elementary school. I bloomed in middle school and started getting A’s and B’s. Then high school hit, and I was a jock. Then college hit, and I did pretty well. I’ve had a chip on my shoulder most of my life, I think it comes from being an underdog, my upbringing, and just realizing I want the best for myself and the people that enter my life. I definitely haven’t taken an easy road, but I know that I rather take a road less travelled and lead the way than to do what’s easy and regret the journey I could have had.

On your podcast “Young Revolutionary Minds” you share and support people’s journeys in reaching their goals. What led you to decide to share these people’s stories as the topic of your podcast?

One of my favorite podcasters, and the reason why I started that, was because of Lewis Howes. He is a big inspiration to me and I love listening to his podcast, you should check it out! Listening to his [podcast], made me realize I have met amazing people around the world and I’d love to share what they are working on! On top of this, I wanted to build relationships with new people, learn from some of the new leaders of the world, and have something to do while I was figuring out who I was.

You’ve been through lots of highs and lows throughout your life. What advice would you give people, whether it be making it in the music industry, or just achieving their personal goals? What have you learned that you’d like to share with people?

Love yourself. Trust that you are someone to adore, and know that your dreams will manifest when you do the work. Secondly, make sure to fight for what you want. When I say fight, I mean relentlessly go after what you desire. If you don’t know, ask questions, preferably from people who have been there or know how to get there. When it comes to music, don’t be afraid to explore different genres. Put your music out, stop waiting for the perfect time. Right now is perfect and will improve! Lastly, create a vision board and look at it every day. Read it out loud, then do something each day that gets you closer. And dream big!

Being in the public eye you make impressions on people and inspire others. You seem to try to always give back to communities and try to have positive energy that you’re putting out into the world. What message or feeling are you trying to put out to the world? Why is it so important for you to have that positive energy you’re exuding?

Being an artist is a privilege and my vision is to inspire 7 billion people around the world through my voice, ways of life and community. I make a lot of music– some deep, some chill, others scary, and some gangster–but the message I’m putting out is, be you. Cuz I’m me, and I do it better than anyone in the world. 😉 Being me, of course.

In 2020 you came up with the ambition goal to release a new song every week, and you have not stopped. How long do you plan to continue that? What’s next for you in 2021?

I’m going to keep putting music out and when I need a break, I’ll rest. I make music because it’s my passion. In 2021, I’m manifesting opportunities to create music with the people I listen to like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Bow Wow, Drake Meek Mill and Russ. I plan on finding ways for more people to listen to my music and to be inspired.

Jesse Forta aka JForte image for use by 360 Magazine

Cozz x Ignorant Confidence

L.A.-bred rapper Cozz releases the song, “Ignorant Confidence.  Produced by Meez & Louie Ji, this is the third track to be released from the South Central native’s upcoming debut album, Effected, which will be released Q1 by Dreamville/Interscope Records.

Cozz (born Cody Osagie) launched himself with a video for his introspective song “Dreams,” which caught the attention of J. Cole, who signed him to his Dreamville imprint in 2013. Cozz released his Cozz & Effect project, featuring the Meez-produced single “Cody Macc,” in October 2014, followed by his first mixtape, Nothin’ Personal, in January 2016.

Cozz “Ignorant Confidence” eSingle
Retail: http://smarturl.it/IgnorantConfidence

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/IgnorantConfidence/amazonmusicbuy
Apple Music: http://smarturl.it/IgnorantConfidence/applemusic
Google: http://smarturl.it/IgnorantConfidence/googleplay

iTunes: http://smarturl.it/IgnorantConfidence/itunes
Spotify: http://smarturl.it/IgnorantConfidence/spotify

Tidal: http://smarturl.it/IgnorantConfidence/tidal

EarthGang Release Video For “Robots”

ATLANTA RAP DUO EARTHGANG RELEASE VIDEO FOR “ROBOTS”

Atlanta rap duo EarthGang, Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot, has released a video for “Robots.” WATCH HERE

EarthGang’s ‘Never Had Sh!t’ co-headlining tour with J.I.D kicks off on November 2nd in Toronto and continues through the end of the month. Lute and Chaz French will be opening on the tour. Tickets are on sale now. Please see below for tour dates.

EarthGang will also join the international leg of J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only World Tour this October. Please visit http://dreamville.com/events/ for all European dates.

The Never Had Sh!t Tour dates are as follows:

11/02 Toronto, ON Adelaide Hall
11/03 Chicago, IL Reggie’s
11/04 Detroit, MI El Club
11/05 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
11/07 Boston, MA Sonia
11/08 Philadelphia, PA Foundry
11/09 Baltimore, MD Soundstage
11/10 New York, NY SOB’s
11/12 Washington, DC Songbyrd
11/13 Durham, NC Motorco
11/15 Charlotte, NC The Underground
11/17 Tampa, FL The Orpheum
11/18 Miami, FL Hangar

11/19 Orlando, FL Backbooth
11/21 Atlanta, GA Vinyl

For more about EarthGang:
http://soundcloud.com/earthganghbt

http://twitter.com/EarthGang
http://www.instagram.com/earthgang
http://www.facebook.com/EarthGanghbt/

ARI LENNOX’S Releases “NIGHT DRIVE”

CHECK OUT ARI LENNOX’S NEW VIDEO “NIGHT DRIVE”
YOUTUBE

 

2017 is proving to be a breakout year for Dreamville newcomer Ari Lennox. A year after the release of her EP PHO, Ari Lennox joined one of the most anticipated tours this year, J Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only World Tour. As the tour heads to Europe the soulful singer releases a visual for “Night Drive.” Check it out HERE. Check out AriLennox.com for more information.
Ari Lennox “PHO” eEP

iTunes

Apple Music

Google Play

Amazon

Spotify
 
J. Cole 4 Your Eyez Only World Tour
 
9/29 Copenhagen, Denmark – Tap 1
9/30 Oslo, Norway – Spektrum
10/01 Stockholm, Sweden – Annexet
10/03 Cologne, Germany – Palladium
10/05 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Ziggo Dome
10/06 Berlin, Germany – Columniahalle
10/07 Frankfurt, Germany – Stadthalle Offenbach
10/09 Zurich, Switzerland – Samsung Hall
10/10 Paris, France – Le Zénith
10/12 Nottingham, United Kingdom – Motorpoint Arena
10/14 Birmingham, United Kingdom – Arena, Birmingham
10/15 London, United Kingdom – The O2 Arena
10/16 London, United Kingdom – The O2 Arena
10/18 Dublin, Ireland – 3Arena
10/20 Cardiff, United Kingdom – Motorpoint Arena
10/21 Manchester, United Kingdom – Manchester Arena
10/22 Leeds, United Kingdom – First Direct Arena                   
 

DREAMVILLE RECORDING ARTIST LUTE READIES NEW PROJECT

DREAMVILLE RECORDING ARTIST LUTE READIES NEW PROJECT

West 1996 Pt. 2 Available September 29

Lute: Still Slummin’ Documentary Out Now

Dreamville/Interscope Records recording artist Lute will release West 1996 Pt.2 on September 29th at all digital retailers. The new project is the follow up to his first solo mixtape West 1996 which dropped in 2012. His mixtape success caught the ear of J. Cole who later signed the rising rapper to Dreamville Records in 2015. The Charlotte native also gives his fans a look into his life with the release of Lute: Still Slummin’ Documentary which can be seen HERE.  
 
West 1996 Pt. 2 is a contemporary throwback featuring soulful production contributions from GRAMMY-winner Cam O’bi (“Ford’s Prayer” and “Premonition” feat. Earthgang), alongside Shiggy (“Home” feat. Elevator Jay and “Git Up’ feat. GQ Slaughter), Elite (“Ambitions”) and Save Allen (“Morning Shift“, “Crabs In A Barrel“ and “Livin’ Life” feat. High I’m Ry). The first single “Juggin’,” also produced by Save Allen, serves as a metaphor for how Lute has approached his 28 years on the planet.

 

“This project is an accumulation of chapters and events leading up to Dreamville signing me. It’s a window into the last five years of my life…the obstacles, the challenges, the changes. It’s also motivation to not let people or circumstances define who you are. My only competition is the person I was yesterday. I’ve been patient and very appreciative of this platform and now its time to show what I’m capable of,” comments Lute.

 
You can check out the video for his new single “Juggin’,” directed by Anthony Supreme HERE.
 
Lute “Juggin’” eSingle:

Retail link

 
Tracklisting:
1. Morning Shift
2. Still Slummin’
3. Home Ft. Elevator Jay
4. Ambitions
5. Git Up Ft. GQ Slaughter
6. Juggin’
7. Ford’s Prayer Ft. Cam O’bi
8. Crabs In A Barrel
9. Premonition Ft. Earthgang & Cam O’bi
10. Birds & Bees
11. Livin Life Ft. High I’m Ry

Documentary Link

Lute Releases First Single “Juggin’”

Dreamville signee Lute releases first single Juggin’

Retail Link


Born in West Charlotte, North Carolina, Luther “Lute” Nicholson’s hip-hop awakening happened at 7 years old. His older brother was heading off to basic training in the Army and entrusted him to look after his prized CD collection. A budding visual artist who spent all his free time drawing and doodling, young Lute had no interest in his big bro’s stash, but one day, curiosity got the best of him.

 “There was a treasure trove of stuff that I had never heard,” he recalls excitedly. “Outkast, Goodie Mob, Tupac, Biggie, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Pastor Troy, 3-6 Mafia… It wasn’t until I scavenged through all of it that I realized I had been missing out on a lot.”

 The year was 1996, and things were rapidly changing in the historically Black Beatties Ford neighborhood where Lute grew up. From the drugs being sold on the corners to the escalating police violence, the reality of his surroundings was becoming too much to bear. Hip-hop somehow helped the youngster make sense of it all. 

 Lute was 13 when he decided to try his hand at writing some raps. Coaxed into it by his friends Jimmy Kelso and Allan whose older brother was already a popular rapper in high school, the entering freshmen created a crew of their own. “Early on, I was terrible,” he admits, “But the more I did it, the more I really liked this second outlet I had to express myself in ways that I couldn’t through art.”

 The trio practiced religiously; rhyming over instrumentals they downloaded from the J. Armz How To Be An MC series. They eventually recorded their first mixtape, burned a bunch of CDs and distributed them to their friends. “Everybody was feeling it,” says Lute. “We liked the recognition we were getting at school but at the time we weren’t thinking anything bigger than that.”

 It wasn’t until near the end of 12th grade that he began to take things more seriously. Kicked out of school for insubordination and struggling to complete his GED at a local community college, the misunderstood 17-year-old had no choice but to grow up quick. He opted to put his faith in his expanding skills and instead of hitting the books, focused on elevating his lyrical content and flow.

 In 2010, he met up with fellow microphone fiend, SchylerChaise, and discussed forming a Voltron-like collective of likeminded MCs who would support one another on the come up. Lute brought in his old pal Jimmy Kelso and SchylerChaise invited his buddy High I’m Ry. Together they became Forever FC.

 “It was a brotherhood,” Lute explains. “We were all independent artists working on our own projects but we had each other’s backs.” The four-man squad made enough noise during their five-year tenure to grace the cover of Creative Loafing Charlotte and garner national coverage from The Fader, Complex and The Source magazines.

In the midst, Lute dropped his first solo mixtape, West 1996, in early 2012. Recorded in a basement over beats he found on YouTube, the critically acclaimed project swiftly caught the attention of legendary hip-hop producer, Pete Rock, who retweeted it to his followers, and North Carolina rap star J. Cole, who tracked him down after discovering the tape on 2DopeBoyz.com.

“I named the project West 1996 because I’m from the west and I fell in love with hip-hop in 1996,” Lute reveals. “I recreated the Nas cover because I felt like this was gonna be my ’hood’s Illmatic. My perspective was just talking about growing up and the music I loved. I didn’t expect anything from it, but all of a sudden, out of nowhere, it blew up.”

Retweets and likes weren’t paying the bills, though. And with a baby on the way, Lute went underground, taking a menial job at the airport fueling planes to make ends meet. Almost three years went by before fans heard from the promising young rapper again. But when he finally resurfaced, he had the long-awaited follow-up to his debut in hand and ready to go.

“Everybody was asking where the music was so I decided to give people an idea of what I’d been going through the last few years,” he says. “I had a lot of things to write about and started creating songs on the job. I had also decided that this was gonna be my last project ever, so I went all out and poured my heart into it.”

Lute sent raw copies of West 1996 Pt. II to a few of his closest peeps and associates, including Dreamville filmmaker Scott Lazer, who passed it along to the boss. The night before the release date, Lute got a text from J. Cole saying he’d heard and loved the album and wanted to help take it to another level. The two spoke, and much to the dismay of his fans, Lute ended up holding the project.

That summer, J. Cole invited the talented wordsmith to join the Forest Hills Drive Tour for a couple of weeks “to see how things work” behind the scenes. His Dilla-produced head nodder, “Still Slummin’,” was included on the Revenge Of The Dreamers II Dreamville compilation, and by the end of 2015, it was announced that Lute was officially on Dreamville Records.

Although West 1996 Pt. II was already finished when Lute got signed, it was riddled with delays due to sample clearance issues. So the artist went back to the drawing board, tweaking song structures, swapping out instrumentals and redoing hooks to make it feel fresh. “It’s come a long way,” he remarks.

The contemporary throwback album features soulful production contributions from GRAMMY-winner Cam O’bi (“Ford’s Prayer” and “Premonition” feat. Earthgang), alongside Shiggy (“Home” feat. Elevator Jay and “Git Up’ feat. GQ), Elite (“Ambitions”) and Save Allen (“Morning Shift“, “Crabs In A Barrel“ and “Livin’ Life” feat. High I’m Ry). The single “Juggin’,” also produced by Save Allen, serves as a metaphor for how the artist has approached his 28 years on the planet.

“It’s about finessing your way through life,” explains Lute. “My mom was always the one always telling me to watch my circle, don’t get involved with the wrong crowd, and do things the right way,” he recounts. “Meanwhile my dad was like, ‘forget that, you gotta get out there to figure out how life works.’ I’ve always just tried to find that balance.”

Lute “Juggin’”

iTunes

Apple

Amazon

Google

Spotify

Tidal