Yana Bystrova is a third-generation Ukrainian artist, born to create undeniably conceptual, enticing pieces of art. Having her body of work showcased in galleries around the world, Yana has continuously stunned audiences with her meticulous creations full of color, concept and mixed media.
Engulfed in the world of artistry since before she can remember, Yana often questions whether she had a choice on becoming an artist. Her professional ability has been evident from a young age; with Yana’s mother often telling a story about a painting she created in her adolescence. The piece, showcased at a children’s museum, was suddenly stolen from their home. Yana created the painting at the mere age of three years old.
Having doubted her position as an artist, Yana, too, experimented with differing professions before returning to her craft. She dabbled in design and programming, in which she gained mass success with. Nonetheless, she knew that the corporate environment did not suit her appropriately and went back to her original passion for creating art.
Amidst the ongoing war in Ukraine, Yana has been deeply affected by the destruction to her country. A daunting task, Yana spoke about the devastation she felt from hearing about the Russian invasion when stating, “It is horrible, I was in shock and very disoriented in the beginning [of the war].”
Yana’s thoughts pour into her work, evoking a new era of her works. She finds that her most recent paintings are a version of the distilled reality of the situation at hand. Each hue used in her art represents something deeper than the color wheel could ever encompass, it exemplifies the weight of Ukraine on Yana’s heart.
She often considers the conflict endured by everyone affected by the war; those who have fled and those who are still in the country. The situation at hand in Ukraine has had an everlasting affect on her personal and professional wellbeing.
“[It is] one thing is to be a tourist; another thing is to be a refugee.”
Her latest participation in the new exhibition Painting in Excess: Kyiv’s Art Revival, 1985 – 1993 was organized a few years back, postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project embraces a life of its own, taking a new shape and meaning modernly with the condition of Ukraine.
Yana utilizes delicate use of color to personify her artistry, creating new narratives. In the way that verbal communication only accounts for a small portion of human interaction, Yana attributes color to bridging these gaps and expressing what cannot be stated in words. Often investigating new mediums for her artistry, Yana carefully crafts art that is theoretical and impactful.
Ahead of the highly anticipated seventh season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, the cast of all-winners took to the streets of New York City for a sickening week of fun events as iconic as the new season.
The cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 7 took the competition to new heights on Monday, May 9 when they visited the iconic Empire State Building ahead of the season premiere. The queens were joined by Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ youth, for a celebratory lighting ceremony. PARAMOUNT GLOBAL (Nasdaq: PARA), too, visited the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square on Tuesday, May 10th to have the cast ring the Opening Bell to open the markets.
In a first of its kind celebration in support of the iconic all-winners season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, a special event, too, was hosted at Saks Fifth Avenue, ruvealing exclusive window displays uniquely inspired by the season 7 queens. Each queen was on display in their custom designed window for the grand ruveal before walking the red carpet for photos and interviews. Check out each window below.
Finally, on May 10 in celebration of the upcoming all-winners season, an exclusive outdoor premiere screening event and panel discussion was hosted by resident judge Michelle Visage with each of the queens. They enjoyed the first episode under the stars, and then each queen discussed what it was like to join such a powerhouse cast and teased what viewers can expect with the season.
RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 7 premieres Friday, May 20th, exclusively on Paramount+.
To honor the service of countless military personnel that have served the United States, 360 Magazinehas compiled a thorough guide of keepsakes to gift to those nearest to you this season.
BBQGuys Grilling Products
A staple within the grilling community, BBQGuys is sporting a lucrative Memorial Day Sale on an assortment of grills and accessories. With up to 60% off products, this deal lasts until June 6 to ensure you obtain your desired products.
Deal types not eligible for additional discount in combination include Caesars Rewards loyalty member offers, room packages, and promotions with property and/or room add-ons/inclusions (show tickets, food credits, resort credits, etc.)
In the jungle of mighty e-bikes, Himiway has released its latest fat tire, the Zebra. With its broad shoulders and brawny physique, it effortlessly straddles various terrains. At the $1800-$2300 price point. It is the predecessor for the Cruiser, gracefully tackling errands on a daily concrete safari.
Coming in as the lowest price point from Himiway, the Zebra is an affordable option for e-bike lovers in search of a compelling creature. Suitable for the average commuter or the adventuresome, the Zebra has an array of features that set it apart from the rest.
The Bronx is our favorite testing ground due to its steep hills, deep potholes, and ominous sinkholes. Putting the Zebra to the ultimate test, we’ve discovered the true selling points of the e-bike.
The Himiway sports a strong design, renowned for its sleek, black look. The use of the stripes along the body resembles the look of the real-life animal, turning heads left and right. Not quite yet the king of the jungle, the Zebra allows users to take on the jungle in a classic and robust form furnished with lustrous styling. Available in a separate colorway of graphite or slate gray, the e-bike has the look of a true beast. Himiway shows that functionality and reliability can be as captivating as a wild animal in their natural habitat.
Sporting a comfortable dismount, you’ll never having to tilt the unit sideways, making the Zebra is excellent for all sizes. The integrated rear light and 48V LED headlamp is bright, creating flawless visibility. Its hoofs are 26 × 4 so you can courageously clear many road obstacles such as sinking in mud or snow and slipping on the ground. The alloy pedals showcase reflectors for added awareness to surrounding beings. Beware of abnormally high curbs with metal lips, its spokes are vulnerable to them. Unlike its Cobra counterpart’s textured skin, it is mane has been swapped out for a foot-long raised sticker. Though both the Himiway’s could be seen sneaking around the savanna, the Zebra stands out among the pack with a chic look.
Showcasing a 960Wh battery and 52 5000mAh cells, range, stability, and safety are maximized to the fullest potential. Navigating rich terrains or just riding around the concrete jungle is easy when one charge of the Zebra will last you up to 60 miles with over 80+ miles in pedal assist. The 7-gear shift system along with pedal assist climbs ascending asphalt in dry or inclement weather. The faux-leather handle grips rival sweaty palms, though they’re easily replaceable. Understeering is unavoidable but doesn’t greatly impact overall performance.
The battery itself is large and heavy. Luckily, it’s very easy to remove and charge when need be; you only need to insert and twist the provided key. The Zebra has an impressive range of 60 to 80 miles without pedaling, with maximized power at 750W with 86Nm max motor torque. Comparable to the extreme force of the true animal running at speeds up to 40mph, we see the motorized form reach speeds of up to 23mph. The charging time is about 7 hours until fully charge.
We see an elevation of strength to graze through grounds with the extreme 750W gear hub motor equipped with an inner ring. Created to endure the roughest landscape out there, navigating just got a whole lot easier with the advancement on the profound motor. Energy can be seamlessly dispersed throughout the layout of the e-bike, allowing for us to 86Nm max torque.
The braking system performs beautifully. Tektro 180MM hydraulic disc brakes help force the model to a stop and for something as heavy as the Himiway is, it’s able to stop and start again effectively and easily.
While reliable, it’s also one of the heaviest of its class, weighing a whopping 79 pounds. Compare that to the Cruiser, which only weighs 72 pounds. The latter can hold 400 pounds, fifty greater than the former. In addition, Himiway employs high quality 6061 aluminum to give the bike unparalleled durability.
Its reserved fork accommodates wider tires which allows you to upgrade to 4.8-inch tires. The integrated design gives you protection from inclement weather, eliminating up to 98% of common mechanical failures.
The 26-inch Kenda fat tires allow for great traction, which ensures minimum sliding on the ground and plummeting through messy landscape. We’ve found that the smooth grip is perfect for light terrains.
Himiway’s Zebra utilizes a soft tail adjustable seat, allowing for easy access to tweak seat height. Crafted to fit those between 5’3 to 6’3, the e-bike showcases both a step over and step thru model, catering to differing demographics. The step through, formerly an attribute of an effeminate frame, allows for great weight redistribution, which the male buyer has taken notice in.
Riding with the Zebra reminisces wildlife quests that are full of smooth yet thrilling. No matter where your journey may take you, Himiway confirms that you won’t get too dirty along the way. With front and back fenders, the e-bike comes fully equipped to protect from water, rain, and rough terrain. Keeping your clothing and the e-bike’s exterior fresh and clean, the fenders provide added ease. The rear rack conveniently allows for easy storage while on a mail or grocery run. The heavy-duty aluminum kickstand firmly poses itself while running other errands as well.
While a little heavy, the Zebra is amazing for those who yearn for long distance, light terrain adventures.
Colombian singer-songwriter Carlo LaQuinta releases his new single “Plan B.” The song is a romantic reggaeton that many will identify with. In this theme the artist presents a common situation of heartbreak in a cheerful way. Watch the music video HERE.
“Plan B” talks about the moment when one decides to let that person go after confirming that you were only the second option. The lyrics specifically narrate when one gets tired of the game and not being given his place.
The urban artist reported that the inspiration for the song is based on an experience and he developed it one night in the studio while he was meeting with his producers. Carlo LaQuinta assured, “I know that many will feel identified, but there are times when one’s peace of mind lies in letting go and letting go, there is no justification for being anyone’s Plan B.”
Likewise, he expressed, “feelings can more than time, distance and all the obstacles that arise in a relationship. I hope to reach the hearts of many and continue making progress with my musical proposal in the industry.”
On a musical level, in this song the reggaeton sounds are soft in tune with the heartbreak theme. However, it differs from the other themes, because despite the fact that it talks about heartbreak, it is presented in a cheerful way, giving diversity to the sensations when listening to it.
The theme “Plan B” also has a video that was recorded in Bogotá, Colombia and directed by Gustavo Camacho . In the video the protagonists are the artist and the model Caro Suarez. The young artist is singing on the stage of the Cádiz theater to that person who has him as a second option, personified by the model who constantly flirts with him. The visuals have constant transitions from color to black and white.
The song is now available on digital platforms and the video can be seen on the artist’s YouTube channel.
Inching further towards the mid-way point of the year, 2022 has been full of a surplus of notable events. From the continuing Russian invasion of Ukraine to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation upon the Supreme Court, let’s evaluate the top stories of May 2022.
New Mexico Endures Wildfires
Two Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon fires reportedly united, impacting Northern New Mexico. Firefighters worked to contain the blaze, but the force of the combined fire swiftly surpassed professionals forecasting. No one has been hurt or killed by the fires, but two deaths did occur from a previous wildfire during the month of April.
Mississippi Mudbug Festival Shooting
Several gunmen opened fire at the Mudbug Festival in Jackson, Mississippi leaving one person killed and five injured. The individual that was killed is presumed to be one of the shooters, shot in response to the shooting by law enforcement.
Regarding the tragedy, Hinds County Sheriff Tyree Jones stated the following, “It’s very devastating and very tragic, […] This is what’s to be considered a very family-oriented event, where families come to enjoy entertainment and food. You have individuals with no regards for the lives and safety of those attending the event. I think that is a very cowardly and selfish act to involve so many innocent people that are here to have fun and enjoy themselves.”
Nancy Pelosi Visits Kyiv, Ukraine
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi paid Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a visit, which was entirely unannounced. Pelosi is the highest ranked US official to have visited the country since the Russia’s invasion in February.
Leading an official congressional delegation at the country’s capital in Kyiv, Pelosi aimed to carry the message that the US stands with Ukraine. Pelosi pronounced, ““We are visiting you to say thank you for your fight for freedom, that we’re on a frontier for freedom and that your fight is a fight for everyone. And so our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done.”
Tennessee Halts Executions
Following a missed protocol procedure leading to the lethal injection of Oscar Smith, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has stopped all executions through the end of the year. Reportedly, the state had tested their lethal injection drugs for potency and sterility, but not endotoxins, which breaches procedure.
The Met Gala
The Met Gala returned to its conventional pattern of being held on the first Monday of May at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Renowned as the most prestigious night in fashion, the extravaganza followed the theme of “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” which came after 2021’s “In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion.”
Built as a charity event to raise funds for the Met’s Costume Institute, the gala is a staple for fashion lovers around the world. The event is renowned for its esteemed guestlist of fashion moguls, celebrities and artists. Attendees for the night included the likes of Blake Lively, Normani and Billie Eilish wearing designers such as Gucci, Versace and Chanel.
CNBC Sustainable Future w/ Matt Damon and Gary White
Tania Bryer chats with Matt Damon and Gary White about their nonprofit organization, Water.org, in a special CNBC interview. Water.org aims to provide access to water and sanitation to those who need it. Tania chats with both Matt and Gary about their brand-new book The Worth of Water: Our Story of Chasing Solutions to the World’s Greatest Challenge, and the influences behind the piece.
Supreme Court Leaked Decision Chooses to Overturn Abortion Rights
May 2, POLITICO published the first draft majority opinion of the Supreme Court that reveals a reversal of the monumental Roe v. Wade 1973 decision. Overturning the landmark ruling would place verdicts about abortion into the hands of state representatives. A decision involving the court has never been exposed while a case in still unresolved, especially one of such magnitude.
Regarding the judgment to override the original Roe v. Wade decision, Justice Samuel Alito stated the following in the leaked draft, “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
European Union Plans Russian Oil Ban
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a potential ban on oil from Russia to increase pressure on the country amidst their invasion of Ukraine. European Union (EU) countries have arranged preparations to veto Russian coal imports, as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia have already expelled Russian imports.
Dave Chappelle Harassed During Hollywood Bowl
A man ran up on stage towards Dave Chappelle while he was performing a comedy routine at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. The man, named Isaiah Lee, was charged with a felony assault with a deadly weapon. Lee had a fake gun that would expel a knife blade but did not harm Chappelle.
Lionsgate Announces Hunger Games Prequel Movie
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a Hunger Games prequel novel, is set to obtain its own brand-new film debuting on the big screen on November 17, 2023. The story follows the story of President Coriolanus Snow in his younger years prior to becoming such a staple in the modern narrative.
Amber Heard Testifies in Defamation Trial
The defamation suit between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard began on April 11 and continued prominently into the month of May. Approaching the fourth week of the trial, the jury heard from Depp regarding his recollection of their marriage, and on May 4 Heard began her own testimony. The case is set to be concluded on May 19.
Animal-to-Human Heart Transplant Revelation
In January of 2022, David Bennett, 57, underwent a final resort surgery to save his life through use of a pig’s organ. Bennett underwent a heart transplant and was doing well for about two months following the procedure, until he suddenly passed away. Now, University of Maryland doctors have found that within the pig heart there was viral DNA carrying porcine cytomegalovirus. It is uncertain if the virus contributed to the death of Bennett, but this finding raises ongoing questions about animal-to-human transplants.
Kevin Samuels Passes Away
57-year-old YouTuber Kevin Samuels has passed away due to unknown reasons. He was reportedly found unresponsive in his Atlanta apartment on May 5. Samuels was known more his conservative relationship advice approach.
Rihanna and A$AP Rocky Tease Potential Engagement
A$AP Rocky released the music video for his track “D.M.B.,” which portrays the love story between himself and superstar Rihanna. At the end of the video, Rocky sports a grill that says, “Marry me?” with Rihanna, too, wearing a matching grill that states out, “I do.”
The video broke the internet, with everyone and their mother speculating a possible engagement between the two. It has not been confirmed, nor denied, that Rihanna and Rocky are engaged, but the duo is expecting their first child together.
Menstrual pain may prevent many women from working, Spain
Half of women experience painful periods at least once every six months. Some of the symptoms they may have are nausea, fainting, and vomiting. The country’s policymakers will implement a three-day sick leave for severe menstrual pain, which affects most women who experience their period. According to a scientific study, 84.1% of women report have very considerable menstrual pain, which can prevent them from carrying out their activities and therefore they could be absent from work.
Mercedes-Benz India has launched the new generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class
On May 10, 2022, one of the most anticipated releases of Mercedes-Benz was launched. The German car manufacturer has launched the new C-Class in three different versions: The C 200 with petrol engine is priced at $71,089.26 (Rs 55 lakh – Indian Currency) meanwhile, the C 220d and 330d with diesel engine are priced at 72,390 $.64 (Rs 56 lakh) and $78,854.09 (Rs 61 lakh), respectively. Mercedes-Benz claimed that it received more than 1,000 pre-launch reservations for the fifth-generation C-Class.
Lacrosse team files racial discrimination claim by sheriff’s deputies during traffic stop, Georgia
There is huge outrage over a traffic stop in Georgia. Last month, US authorities searched and detained a bus carrying the Lacrosse team belonging to Delaware State University, a historically black institution. The team specifically complains about racial profiling by sheriff’s deputies. On the contrary, the agents maintain the version that they stopped the driver for driving in the wrong lane. But after the bus stopped, officers searched the students’ belongings for any type of drug-like chemical. Instead, the team maintains that those searches were conducted on racial grounds.
Student Saniya Craft recorded parts of the trip on her device, thinking it would be part of her blog about her lacrosse team. However, she did not expect that she would end up storing evidence of what she believes to be racial profiling by sheriff’s deputies. Authorities consider it appropriate to open a federal investigation into the incident that occurred to the Delaware State University lacrosse team in Georgia.
The France team took gold in the first medal event in which sixteen nations went head to head in a test of driving, navigation skills and team work.
Competitors tackled tough terrain on a specially built off-road course with water obstacles, a rock crawl and steep inclines.
The Duke awarded medals to the top finishers, with the team from France taking gold, Romania finishing second, and Georgia claiming bronze.
The Invictus Games The Hague 2020 presented by Jaguar Land Rover is a multi-national adaptive sporting event for wounded, ill and injured servicemen, servicewomen and veterans, and includes archery, athletics, cycling, indoor rowing, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.
Laura Wood, Head of Global PR Brand and Partnerships, Land Rover, said:
“The long-awaited Games began in true Invictus style today – with passion, team work and sheer dedication. The commitment shown from every competitor was unprecedented. We celebrate each one of them and all those who played a part in their journey here today. I know everyone at Jaguar Land Rover wishes each of them the very best of luck for the rest of the Games.”
The Land Rover Driving Challenge is the first medal opportunity of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 preceding the opening ceremony on 16 April.
ATL-based Queen Of Da Souf rapper Latto makes history with her smash hit single “Big Energy.” As the track goes #1 this week at Top 40 Radio, she is the first female rapper to everhave a #1 record at Pop, Rhythm and Urban Radio with the same single. Overall, she’s the first female artist in 12 years to accomplish this feat, joining the company of Rihanna (“Rude Boy”), Alicia Keys (“No One”), Beyoncé (“Irreplaceable”), Mary J. Blige (“Be Without You”) and Mariah Carey (“We Belong Together”), the last five to previously achieve this. Available on all platforms via RCA Records, the Tom-Tom Club-sampled “Genius of Love” single is on Latto’s new album 777 out now.
Listen to “Big Energy (Remix)” with Mariah Carey & DJ Khaled HERE
Additional milestones for “Big Energy” include reaching RIAA-certified Platinum status, skyrocketing to the top 5 at #4 (peak #3) on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #1 on Billboard’sHot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/Rap Songscharts plus having a star-studded remix with Mariah Carey & DJ Khaled. Latto’s latest project 777, released March 25th, debuted in the top 20 at #15 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart and top 10 at #6 on the Billboard Top Rap Albums chart. To continue the momentum of an incredible few months, Latto performed a show-stopping medley of her tracks “Sunshine” and “Big Energy” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – watch HERE. You can hear Latto’s new album live on her headlining 777 Tour that’s currently underway –click HERE to purchase tickets.
For the past two years and counting,Latto’s made it known that she’s the one you bitches hate, but they can’t get past. To start off 2021 , Latto released“The Biggest,”the first official release under her new moniker, which explained the 23-year-old rapper’s reasoning for the stage name change, her intentions and moving forward with this new phase of her career. Following that with the release of her hit single “Big Energy”in September 2021 has made Latto inescapable. In November 2021, Latto had her late-night television debut on Late Night With Seth Meyers performing the certified smash hit. With this new chapter of her career, Latto’s star continues to rise. She received her first-ever nominations for “Best New Artist” and “Best Female Hip-Hop Artist” at the 2021 BET Awards. She followed that with performances at the2021 BET Hip Hop Awards and 2021 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs).She performed amedley of “Big Energy” and “Soufside” at the BET Hip Hop Awards and at the VMA’s she gave fans a sneak peek snippet of “Big Energy” prior to its release along with performances of her RIAA-certified Platinum singles “Bitch From Da Souf” and “Muwop” on their Extended Play Stage. In addition to her VMAs performance debut, she received her first VMA nomination for “MTV Push Performance of the Year” for “Sex Lies.” She was also nominated for two 2021 Soul Train Awards and one 2022 NAACP Image Awardfor Chris Brown’s “Go Crazy (Remix)” with Young Thug, Lil Durk and Future. Most recently, she was nominated for “Top Rap Female Artist” for the 2022 Billboard Music Awards.
From her appearances onLA Leakers and Funk Flex with her viral freestyles to her feature on soundtracks for Halle Berry’s Bruisedand F9: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to her energetic appearances and sets at festivals – her elevation to the top remains unmatched. With over 880 million streams worldwide across all platforms and accolades continuing to rack up from her success, it’s clear that Latto has set the stage to become a global superstar.
Check out her new album 777 out now via RCA Records and stay tuned for more coming soon.
Omaha, Nebraska-born, LA-based artist SK8 has risen to acclaim with an insatiable desire for his craft. Beginning music in his early teens, the now 27-year-old recording artist has opened for the likes of Lil Wayne, Rae Sremmurd while also working with Wiz Khalifa.
SK8’s devotion to his music has been evident through the course of his career, earning him widespread success – which he doesn’t plan on ceasing anytime soon. 360 Magazine’s Vaughn Lowery had the opportunity to speak with SK8 regarding his rise to critical notoriety, where his creativity stems from and his star-studded new album Last Day on Earth.
To truly understand the talent that is SK8, it’s important to appreciate his start in the music game. Nathan Maloley, also known as SK8, has had a passion for music his entire life. He began making his own music and downloading his tracks onto CD’s when he was in his early teen years.
Even taking choir for a few years in school, SK8 remembers his early beginnings writing music. While growing up, he found “that [music] was almost my escape. I would always go home […] and look up YouTube beats and [begin] writing.”
Back in 2013 and 2014, artists were constantly being found online via social media. SK8 recalls searching for new artists to listen to, “I really wanted to find a new artist, like, who was the up-and-coming artist?” Little did he know, his time was swiftly coming.
Stuck in the middle between a potential basketball or music career, SK8 juggled his two loves throughout high school leading into college. The Omaha community knew about his dreams to become a rapper, and this led to further connections with the people around him.
SK8 attended Hastings College in Nebraska, a performing arts school which allowed him to also play basketball. During his freshman year, artists would frequently come perform at the school, which led to SK8’s early performance gigs. SK8 would open for the artists coming to the school, gaining him even more recognition within the music industry.
His freshman year, SK8, too, decided that he was going to go after his dream of chasing a professional music career, dropping out of college, and giving up basketball. Moving back home with his mother, SK8 dove into music, which took off quickly after.
His debut break into the scene came from his collaboration with Jack and Jack, popular Viners back in the mid 2010’s. The Viners went to SK8’s high school and decided to link up and work on music together. They came together to create “Like That,” a track that ended up going certified gold independently.
This collaboration ultimately kicked off his career, and SK8 joined Jack and Jack on their tour. Taking full advantage of his time on the road, SK8 made it his mission to connect with a new fanbase. “I was the guy that was opening up, like, yo ‘Imma get as many fans as I can.’” He remembers bonding with fans after the shows, gaining more of a following on social media after the tour closed.
Joining Jack and Jack on their tour opened even more opportunities than SK8 could have ever foreseen. Through the widescale exposure that he gained on tour, this allowed SK8 to connect and open for popular rap artists Rae Sremmurd and Lil Wayne.
Well on his way with a whole new set of fans, SK8 embarked on his first solo tour in 2016 celebrating his Skaterade project. The tour was a great time for SK8 to travel and meet his fanbase. He recollects the thrill, stating, “It was a really, really cool tour to see where my fans were at, and just [to] independently be on the road, it was a really good time.”
Soon after the tour wrapped up, SK8 began contemplating what his next steps were going to be. After accomplishing so much in the early stages of his career, what would come next? He had a longstanding dream of opening his own label, to which he began to pursue while connecting industry professional James McMillan.
McMillan and SK8 joined forces to start the imprint known as Alignment Records. The two began pitching their record label and found partnership with Atlanta Records swiftly after opening up Alignment.
Continuing further with the process, SK8 questioned who would help oversee the project, “Sh**, I got the label, but who’s gonna manage this sh**?”
And then, it seemingly all fell into place.
Having met Wiz Khalifa in Los Angeles a few times prior, SK8 recalled one late night in the studio where the two artists began their first collaboration track together. At 4 AM, Wiz happened to be at the same studio as SK8, where SK8 showed Wiz some of his new tracks. The pair started going back and forth in the studio, knocking out a hook and verse, completing their first joint track.
After this night, they kept in touch via Wiz’s manager Will Dzomback. Dzomback was very interested in SK8, inviting him to sign with Taylor Gang Management. Platforming SK8’s talents to a whole new level, this collaboration set his career to new altitudes.
Previously more immersed in the rap/hip-hop genre, SK8 showcases a newfound rock/pop punk era on his new album Last Day on Earth. He accredits his longstanding love for rock music back to his adolescence.
“My dad listened to Bob Marley, that was his favorite artist, […] I grew up listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers, and also my hip hop inspirations too, I’ve always listened to a bunch of sh** like Nirvana and Kurt Cobain.”
The start of SK8’s transition to the rock/pop punk sound arrived after working with Machine Gun Kelly’s drummer, Rook, in the studio. Rook and SK8 met in LA a few years back and have stayed friends for quite some time.
Bouncing off of each other in the studio, they began recreating and mixing old rock classics. Popular tracks from artists like SK8’s beloved Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana became completely transformed; SK8 had found his new sound.
“[Rook] started just playing some live instruments, […] he started playing some sh**, I think it was the ‘Pages melody, and that was kinda the first song that we were like ‘this is gonna be tight,’” said SK8. “I listen to a lot of old school stuff, […] I wanted to just strip the music, and not just go on beats. We really took the time, went in there with guitar riffs.”
Tracks like “Girl Next Door” came out of this genre blend experimental phase that SK8 boarded on. “It was really cool bringing Wiz into that feel, too,” he says about combining hip-hop with rock influences, “I’ll have my whole album finished, and you know, I’ll have verses open just in case, […] he came to me and was like ‘Nah, that one right there, ‘Girl next door.’”
The addition of live instrumental pieces took the album to whole heights. SK8 accredits this while speaking about the vision for Last Day on Earth, stating, “The motivation really was like, yo, I wanna create something that’s authentic to me but still I wanted to, like, have live elements, […] I didn’t want to just rap and do melodies over just beats. I wanted to create something that had all live elements.”
In the works since the start of the pandemic, Last Day on Earth has been a long time coming. Taking over two years to perfectly craft and complete the body of work allowed SK8 to fully enjoy the experience of making the project.
“I really enjoyed making this project,” he begins, “I had a really, really good team around me that helped me bring this album to them, so I have to give props to them, for real.”
Considering what’s next for SK8, the sky seems to be the limit. At the forefront of his priorities is to stay consistent and continue pushing out new music that he believes in.
The two-year hiatus between his previous drops allowed SK8 to have “a good period of time to actually really find the sound that I wanted to find, and now that I found it, I’m really dialing in.” He remarks, “I wanted to tap into the real me, I didn’t want to tell a story that wasn’t me, I didn’t want to do nothing that wasn’t me.”
For those with aspirations of starting a career in music, SK8 has some great advice. “It may sound cliché, but never give up. If it’s something that you really, really enjoy and really love doing, just don’t give up, there’s been a lot of ups, there’s been a lot of downs […] don’t give up, your time is gonna come, you’re gonna get your break.
“You don’t have to be mainstream, you don’t gotta to be the biggest artist in the world, you can still make music and make money at the same time. That’s what I, like, wake up and am always grateful and blessed to wake up and do music, that’s what I love.”
Today, New York City drill star Kay Flock drops “Shake It,” an energetic new anthem for the Boogie Down Bronx. On “Shake It,” Kay Flock recruits Dougie B, Bory300, and the one and only hustler Cardi B to round out the Bronx quartet. They combine their styles fusing raw lyricism over a rapid drill beat to create a track that echoes the spirit of their hometown.
The RingRing Visuals and Jochi Saca directed video was filmed across their neighborhood’s staple City Island and includes a cameo from fellow drill rapper B-Lovee. Listen to “Shake It” HERE and watch the video HERE.
Kay Flock kicks off “Shake It” unleashing his signature gruff as he glides across the Elias Beats-produced beat. Dougie B and Bory300 join the mix adding their own drill flavors trading off bars in the confident chorus Cardi B takes the crescendo verse, letting loose emphatic bars challenging any would-be rivals. She mandates “Try to play me, you know I perform.”
The hasty “Shake It” visual channels the tenacious bond and pride of the Bronx residents. Dougie B, Bory300 and Carid B collectively rally their borough dancing by City Island’s Firehouse deli in a night-out celebration. The video includes a mural of Kay Flock along with cameos from his friends and family.
Kay Flock’s vision of drill music feels raw and free-spirited with an unburdened, electrifying take on his city’s sound. The New York rapper has spent the last couple years making tracks that bring some of the movements strongest future stars together while amplifying his own, pitching drill as collaborative, energetic, and most of all, alive.
His raps, captured in street smashes like “Brotherly Love,” featuring fellow Bronx MCs B-Lovee and Dougie B, demonstrate the thrill of the ecstatic genre. Every bar is spit with the pedal pressed all the way to the floor. In ways, his rise is similar to other New York drill artists, climbing from humble beginnings to the verge of the mainstream, but Kay Flock hails from the Bronx, a neighborhood that hasn’t so far produced the genres stars. He grew up in a rugged environment he describes as “dangerous” and, as a teenager, found escape in Brooklyn drill as well as the music of Chicago rappers like King Von.
In the Bronx, Flock made lifelong friends in B-Lovee and Dougie B who, in 2020, introduced him to recording. Almost immediately, you could recognize Flock’s unmistakable talent and his city did. Early singles like “Being Honest” and “Is Ya Ready” put Kay Flock on the map. Now, Flock has emerged as the Bronx’s and arguably New York City’s hottest new rapper. Even as Flock’s star rises, and the co-signs roll in from The New York Times, Pitchfork, No Jumper, Billboard, XXL and artists from Cardi B, G Herbo, Lil Tjay, Meek Mill, Fivio Foreign and he doesn’t plan to switch up. He’s staying true to himself.
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