Posts tagged with "Nas"

North Ave Jax – Play Dumb

Buzzing out of Burlington, VT, rapper, singer, and artist North Ave Jax releases his new single entitled “Play Dumb.”

“Play Dumb” catapults North Ave Jax‘s flagrant style of unapologetic and catchy lyricism as the Burlington rapper laments on the hook “Smartest thing I ever did, was play dumb.” Atop of the single’s resonant production, “Play Dumb” connects both the thrilling and hypnotic flare of North Ave Jax as he reunites with director and friend Kelly Butts-Spirito to represent the rapper’s home state of Vermont in single’s music video. “Play Dumb” presents an alternative flow to current trends and resounds a powerful message of relating to one another’s significant struggles and rigid paths in life.

Be on the lookout for more music to release later this year. He’s about to put Burlington on the map like never before.

About North Ave Jax

When you think of Vermont, you think of maple syrup, mountains, and massive amounts of snow. Moreover, its quietude typically inspires quaint lives. North Ave Jax chose a much louder path. The Burlington native took the unexpected route personally and creatively, threading deft verbal dexterity through unpredictable soundscapes punctuated by punk rock spirit, pop ambition, and even a twist of R&B. At two years old, he picked up drums and continued to play through grade school—even joining a rock band in first grade. Mom introduced him to the likes of Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, while a trip to the local library actually unlocked hip-hop for him. After hearing Flo Rida‘s “Low” on library headphones, he embraced rap, listening to JAY-Z, Drake, Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, Brent Faiyaz, and more. Throughout high school, basketball occupied the bulk of his time, yet he still managed to ignite a handful of viral freestyle videos from the lunchroom. Kicked off the basketball team in senior year, he dropped out of school. One night in 2021, he wound up recording in a friend’s makeshift closet studio. Hunger to succeed drove his delivery from the jump. Serendipitously, an acquaintance FaceTimed LVRN Co-Founder and President Tunde Balogun and played him Jax’s music. A day later, the label flew him to Atlanta in order to ink a deal. Now, North Ave Jax introduces a scorching signature style on a series of 2021 singles and more to come.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Nas for 360 Magazine

NEW PODCAST ON 50 YEARS OF HIP HOP

Yara Shahidi Talks About Studying Hip Hop At Harvard, Growing Up Around Prince & Taking A Time-Out From Social Media

Grammy Award winning artist Nas and radio personality Minya “Miss Info” Oh sit down with accomplished actor from Black-ish, activist and Nas’s cousin, Yara Shahidi.

Mass Appeal/Spotify Original podcast The Bridge: 50 Years of Hip Hop is a talk show that features lively conversations with a plethora of guests ranging from iconic rappers, producers, to today’s popular artists to explore the ways in which hip hop influenced society. Episode description below. 

In a very candid conversation, Yara Shahidi recalls:

  • Her views on today’s Hip Hop and its impact during the last 50 years (4:01-05:55)
  • Being in Baby Keem’s music video and today’s current music scene  (07:19- 08:50 )
  • Relationship with Prince growing up and her dad’s book (11:44- 13:03 )
  • Being related to Nas and her journey to Harvard (15:29- 18:30 )
  • How she started in Black-ish (22:15-24:30)

WHERE: Episodes available exclusively via Spotify HERE; embed below

WHEN: New episodes released weekly 

WHY: The Bridge: 50 Years of Hip Hop is part of one of many digital activations that will be rolled out over the course of the next two years Mass Appeal’s #HipHop50 multi-tiered campaign. The cross-platform initiative will celebrate, acknowledge and honor 50 years of Hip Hop through unscripted series and features, music releases, podcasts, interactive programming and digital shorts by and about some of the foremost names in the genre.

Lady London headshot press photo via Steph Paul for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Lady London – Lady Like: The Boss Tape

Trinidadian/ Jamaican American artist Lady London released her “Lady Like: The Boss Tape;” a series of her most acclaimed freestyles since she surfaced in the rap scene in 2018.

The New Jersey/ New York artist possesses a wide range of talents, from being a rapper, songwriter, poet, published author and educated woman, there’s not much that she cannot do. Her music reflects her drive, and “Lady Like: The Boss Tape” highlights all the best parts of her music.

This compilation of freestyles showcases London’s talent of freestyling, which gained her praise on social media. In her tracks, London remixes some iconic Hip Hop tracks and gives them her own flare. Featured tracks include “Lisa Story” ft. Dub Aura that samples “Get Me Home” by Foxy Brown and “Long Live Shamello” that remixes Busta Rhymes’ “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See.” Check out the full tracklist below.

The popularity of London’s freestyles has gained widespread attention, earning herself co-signs from Cardi B, Nas, Timbaland and so many more. Sitting at 618k followers on Instagram, London has established a loyal fanbase that has supported her music through the years. Lady London continues to elevate the rap scene, and last year she released two standout singles; “Money Over” and “Never,” which is her most personal record to date.

Lady London is one artist that you will want to keep on your radar as we dive into 2022.

About Lady London

New Jersey-born and Los-Angeles based rapper Lady London is known for her rhythmic lyricism. While her mother was Jamaican and Father Trinidadian, her childhood was divided between East Orange, New Jersey and the Bronx, New York. Hip hop culture has been an integral part of her life, as her uncle was Chino XL, and she grew up inspired by artists like JAY-Z, Lil Kim and Whitney Houston. In college, London was on a pre-med path, but still expressed her love for the arts while putting on successful poetry shows. In 2018, she posted one of her poetry videos online, and the video went viral with 8-million plus views. After London obtained her Master of Science from Keck School of Medicine at USC, she also was accepted into the school’s medical program.

Ultimately, London put her dream of medical school in the past to chase her dream of music. She talks about the decision, stating, “everything changed, I figured I could always go back to school. Convincing my West Indian family was very interesting. They didn’t understand why I was willing to give up everything I had been working towards. I knew I had to do music, though. You can’t run from destiny.”

Moreover, London’s career has taken off since 2018. This artist has generated millions of views online with her own original music. Her single released in 2021, “Money Over,” accumulated 500,000-plus views on YouTube as the one and only Cardi B described London as “the most slept on” to social media. London serves as a SAVAGE ambassador for Rihanna’s FENTY. Giving a performance in support of Black Lives Matter at the BET Awards, London caught the attention of many, eventually becoming co-signed by Diddy and Revolt TV.

“There are multiple levels to me,” Lady London clarifies. “I’m not one-dimensional. I really take my craft seriously. I consider rap to be an artform—not a trend. I’ve studied cadences, timing, breath control, double and triple entendres, and syllables. It almost breaks down to an exact science. I pay attention to verbiage, semantics, and diction. I’m a connoisseur of rhythmical composition in its purest form. I’m just a boss.”

Lady London continues to prove herself in the rap world as a force to be reckoned with.

Lady Like: The Boss Tape Tracklist

  1. Viral
  2. Long Live Shamello
  3. Yikes
  4. Lemon Pepper, Wet
  5. Lady What, Lady Who?
  6. All I See
  7. Black Love
  8. Buss It/Ski
  9. Welcome To The Party
  10. You’re Still Mine ft. Makaela
  11. Reciprocity
  12. Girl Like Me
  13. Lisa’s Story ft. Dub Aura
Cryptocurrency illustration by Heather Skovlund for use by 360 Magazine

SIKI – Where Entertainment Meets Crypto

As a multi-media, multi-blockchain NFT Creation Engine and marketplace wrapped in a social ecosystem that streams NFT music, live streams and post, SIKI app is one of the fastest-growing companies in the blockchain/crypto space.

SIKI is in a private “invite only” stage currently which users can apply for. Despite so, the app is already packed with cutting-edge features such as fast royalty payments, advanced statistics, security, gamification, multi-chain NFT engine, and cryptocurrencies. At this time, SIKI is mostly onboarding artists and crypto-enthusiasts.

Taking pride in making sure the platform will be ready and simple to use even for those who are new to NFT’s and crypto, SIKI is not in any rush to launch.As the app is relatively new and upcoming, we were lucky enough to speak with CEO Chris Moraites on what plans he has for SIKI.

Where did you get the idea to create the app?

Being a musician myself, I have always been trying to figure out a way to advance the music industry for new artists. I had worked on a few tech concepts in college and over the years but nothing felt like it could make a big enough impact. After meeting Jason Dowd and learning the possibilities of NFT’s, it helped me realize this is what I needed to connect everything. Since then, the project has grown so much further thanks to people like my brother Myles Moraites and longtime friend Nick Gangi.

What is the targeted market for this app?

Music, crypto, and gaming enthusiasts. As it grows, we are hoping that it is built to be simple enough so anyone can use whether they have knowledge of crypto or not.

How would you explain this app to people who are not familiar with NFT?

If they were familiar with gaming, I would say it’s like a music or media idle game. If they upload music, created playlists, or have collaborated, their accounts will grow even when they are not using the platform. The more they use the platform the higher their ranking in the platform allowing them to receive more rewards as well.

What will your app do that regular streaming sites are not doing?

Being able to support your favorite artists on a financial level isn’t something that has been available in all the major music streaming platforms. Also, by using the platform it isn’t just the songs that receive stats but fans will also be able to shine. In many situations most artists have no clue how much a fan supports them, we want to make this more transparent.

What are the goals for the launch of this app?

To bring in a strong and active community that looks to help support artists as well as each other. We would like all fans to be seen as curators, not just people who stream music but people who want to help push the reach of artists.

How do you see this app expanding in the future?

In our next phase we expand heavily into a social media approach allowing for NFT’s in images and videos. Unlike Instagram and other platforms, we allow users to monetize and NFT each piece of content. We then will be expanding into live streaming as well as gaming.

Can you explain the term ‘gamification’ to your audience who would like to be a part of it?

Gamification refers to a level/ranking system that is implemented for users and artists. This way, artists can increase in level the more active they are. For example, if they tip $1, they will rank up to a level 1 tipper. There are many different level categories as well as various rewards and benefits that come with being within the top ranked.

Will uploading my song to SIKI immediately turn it into an NFT?

No, you may upload music to SIKI and not NFT the song. However, if you want to receive royalties then it must be an NFT.

What are some of the latest developments that may excite users? 

We are excited to have DJ Clue on board with SIKI as he is one of the legendary shapeshifters of today’s music as he is a multi-platinum artist, DJ and producer who has been instrumental in the development of artists like Jay Z, Mariah Carey, Fabolous and many others, as well as DJing for NYC’s hottest music station Power 105.1. We also recently have begun some major partnerships with some of the top crypto companies out there. We launched our SIKI.io content house on November 1 in LA which has 2 recording studios in it. We will also be throwing networking events for artists and industry professionals in the future. Other events include an upcoming art basel where we will be announcing much more exciting news. I am so grateful for the SIKI team and can’t wait to share some of the developments everyone has been working on to build this platform.

Thanks to the popularity of its collaboration with DJ Clue and other celebrities, SIKI has been growing exponentially. “This is groundbreaking…This technology bridges music in a way never seen before. Putting every artist in a win/win situation,” says Platinum Recording Artist DJ Clue. in a report on the company’s plans to expand the NFT’s.

There’s a music angle here too: DJ Clue is not only one of its first clients, but he is also taking a stake in the company. There are more details on his plans where you can see at Siki.io: Clue’s NFTs will be launched on his upcoming show which complements the launch of the SIKI app this month. That hints at the NFTs being bundled with ticket sales, or perhaps offering seats at the concerts as rewards, Taylor Swift-style. Fans can be ahead of the NFT’s going on sale in the final quarter of this year.

About DJ Clue

DJ Clue is an American DJ, Platinum Recording Artist, Platinum Producer, and CEO of Desert Storm Records. He airs on NYC’s Power 105 6-10PM Monday – Friday. Born in Queens, New York, DJ Clue, also known as Ernesto D. Shaw, he was originally interested in pursuing a rap career, but quickly fell in love with generating his own beats and making crowds dance.

His first mixtape, released in 1990, became an almost instant hit, circulated widely because it contained a large amount of music that could not be heard anywhere else. He also recorded his mixing live freestyle, giving all his tapes a raw, immediate feel that became part of his signature sound. He distributed tapes independently throughout the 90s, and his first mixtape CD, “The Professional: Part 1”, sold over a million copies. Since then, he has had the opportunity to collaborate with several artists, including JadakissDMXSnoop DoggNasMary J. Blige, and Lil’ Mo.

Chris Moraites image for use by 360 magazine

Lil Nas X illustration by Kaelen Felix for use by 360 magazine

Lil Nas X × Vevo

Grammy Award-winning artist Lil Nas X and director Christian Bresauer have partnered exclusively with Vevo for the latest installment of Vevo Footnotes, revealing every hidden reference and new information about the making of their iconic Industry Baby music video.

WATCH THE MAKING OF INDUSTRY BABY | VEVO FOOTNOTES

In the visual for the now Platinum-certified hit song, Lil Nas X discusses the inspiration and controversy surrounding the making of the video. He also talks about personal items he used on the set, improvised choreography and the most uncomfortable scenes to film with co-star Jack Harlow. The song appears on Lil Nas X’s chart-topping album MONTERO out now.

Below is a complete outline of The Making of Industry Baby | Vevo Footnotes, including key insight from the music video’s executive director and more from Lil Nas X himself.

FOOTNOTES OUTLINE:

0:10 Narration: The Grammy’s in Nas’s jail cell are his actual Grammys.

0:18 Narration: The poster in his cell is an image from the BET Awards show he performed at three days prior to shooting the music video.

0:35 – 0:41 Lil Nas X: I wanted to go to a place people would least expect me to go in a music video. An overly masculine place and make it gay asf. I also wanted to visualize the theme of breaking free from the shackles society places on you.

0:54 – 0:59 Christian Breslauer: This Visual is essentially a giant metaphor to represent Nas’s unwillingness to conform to the industry standards or be caged in because of his beliefs. No matter the scenario he will be who he is and no prison is strong enough to contain him.

1:08 Narration: Nas improvised this choreography on the spot.

1:27 Lil Nas X: I think Shawshank Redemption is a great movie, but it was in no way the main inspiration of the video. Although, it is responsible for the hole in the wall scene.

1:54 Narration: The security guard getting punched by Nas is Colton Haynes, the star of Teen Wolf.

2:22 -2:42 Lil Nas X: The hardest part of making this music video? Honestly? Twerking in front of Jack Harlow. Very uncomfortable lmao. I felt like Jack was in a very similar situation that I was in — having a super huge song and having people counting you out. That’s how I knew he would be perfect for this song.

2:56 – 3:03 Lil Nas X: My favorite scene is where we’re all dancing in the courtyard, but I’m proud of the entire video. I knew the controversy was inevitable, but I thought the video would be super fun, which it was.

3:10 – 3:15 Christian Breslauer: The prison location was our most ambitious day of the two. Choreography scenes in general take the most time to shoot and we only had an hour to shoot each one. We made it happen though, thanks to an Allstar crew.

3:22 – 3:29 Lil Nas X: The song felt like a victory lap but also an underdog anthem, and that’s what I wanted the lyrics to reflect. I wanted a song to remind people I’m not going anywhere.

Music illustration for Pornhub article in 360 MAGAZINE

Yung Pooda × Rap City

Last week, Houston-based rapper Yung Pooda made his debut at this year’s BET Hip Hop Awards as he got in the booth, in the company of an array of in-the-now artists, for a special relaunch of the iconic Rap City platform. Pooda served a powerhouse freestyle showcasing his enthralled artistry as acclaim for his latest release, “Forever Tippin” continues to amass global appeal. Watch the full performance HERE.

In 2019, Yung Pooda found himself at a crossroads between the streets and the studio. After performing alongside legends such as Boosie Badazz, Slim Thug, and Z-Ro, recording with platinum icon Paul Wall, and igniting a buzz of his own throughout the country, the Houston rapper made an important pledge to himself. His pledge changed the course of everything to follow in its wake.

“In the middle of recording and getting in all kinds trouble, I promised God I would get out of the streets and just do music,” he admits. “I stuck to my word.”

Long before this vow, hip-hop called to him as a kid in Orange, TX. Pooda’s mother bumped Naughty by Nature’s “Hip Hop Hooray” throughout the one-bedroom and one-bathroom house built by his grandfather that he and his mom shared with his grandma. As he puts it, “I used to go nuts to that song!” He used to listen to classics from OutKast, JAY-Z, Lil Wayne, Master P, Ludacris, DJ Screw, and more. When Pooda visited dad, pops actually built a home studio at his spot to cook up beats and DJ.  Growing up, he practiced his skills on the mic and sharpened the wordplay, developing a signature style. He sent shockwaves through the city after a successful showcase, earning endorsements from the likes of DJ Hi-Cof Houston’s 97.9 The BOX who said, “He’s always been a lyricist.” Inciting local excitement, he performed multiple tour dates with Boosie Badazz and teamed up with Paul Wall for the single “Beat Up The Block.”

Relocating to Prairie View, he moved into a two-story house with his cousin and two friends where they “were trapping and getting money, but shit got too hectic.” At this point, he reset everything. “There were fights, threats, and all types of shit,” he recalls. “I ended up saying that prayer.”

His music made its way to Jeff Aronson, CEO of It’s A 10 Records, a boutique label with a distribution deal with Empire, who immediately signed him in 2019. Now, he properly introduces his signature sound and vibes on his upcoming LP, Vivid Pictures. In 2020, Pooda made waves on Tik Tok and mix show radio with the release of his first single, “Repeat Dat” which was produced by GRAMMY® Award-winning duo Cool & Dre [JAY-Z, Beyoncé, Nas] along with a reflective song, “Lies Told”- his thoughtful response to social unrest and police brutality.  This year, his critically acclaimed newest single, “Chicken N Grits” is bringing him to the forefront. C&G has earned over 30 million Tik Tok views, was the #4 “Most Added” song at urban radio and is in rotation at BET Jams, Revolt and YO! MTV Raps.

The title track “Vivid Pictures” places cinematic verses in between soulful samples and is at the heart of Pooda’s approach to music and life.  “There’s a deep meaning,” he explains. “I aspire to be an artist and more than a rapper. I’m inspired by Picasso and Leonardo Da Vinci. When I listen to a beat in my head, I’m putting art together. The eyes are the windows to the soul. Everything is clear. Each song gives you a visual like a movie. That’s Vivid Pictures to me. It’s the frequency I want to be on.”

In the end, Pooda fulfills every promise and leaves his mark on the culture in the process. “When you listen to me, I want you to feel enlightened and great,” he leaves off. “I hope you relate to the emotion and know you’re not alone. I’m young enough to make mistakes and old enough to know better. I’m telling my story. I’m human.”

Black Music Month via Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Jordan Ward – Remain Calm

Following the release of his first single, “Lil Baby Crush,” St Louis polymath Jordan Ward unleashes his new EP Remain Calm. The five-track effort proves to be an evocative showcase by the budding singer, who eyes unyielding love and happiness. Established in standout records “Standards” and “Thrive,” Jordan’s buttery vocals and gentle energy are supple enough to keep listeners enthralled for the long run. After a successful trek as an opener on Duckwrth’s ‘A SuperGood Tour’ last month, Remain Calm is the next step in cementing Ward’s leap into stardom. In honor of his new EP, Ward held an intimate release party in Los Angeles to celebrate his journey, where he treated attendees to a live performance.  Listen HERE.

Within the last several years, Jordan Ward has emerged as one of R&B’s rising stars. Developing an affinity for music and dance at a very early age, Jordan polished his skillset after first trying his hand as a choir member before transitioning into musical theatre. His influences include a diverse roster of music luminaries ranging from Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill, Kanye West, Tupac, The Notorious B.I.G., Nas, and more. After first experimenting with rap, Ward later focused on singing and dancing. By 18, he moved to Los Angeles and joined Justin Bieber’s Purpose Tour in 2016. Ward’s precocious dance abilities earned him gigs as a dancer for Janet Jackson and Beyonce, as he appeared in the singer’s Homecoming documentary for her epic Coachella performance.

In 2017, Ward began his musical quest after releasing his EP, A Peak at the Summit. It wasn’t until 2019 that Ward’s breakthrough became the talk of R&B. His debut album Valley Hopefuls was propelled by his single “Okok (Hibachi)” and “Sandiego,” which was produced by singer Arin Ray and music producer heavyweight No ID. Now, Ward’s silky croons and elevated songwriting abilities are at peak form as he readies his journey into universal acclaim in the R&B world.

Willow Kayne from Derek Sherron, Epic Records for use by 360 Magazine

Willow Kayne shares high-energy single – I Don’t Wanna Know

Please meet UK pop provocateur Willow Kayne, who has shared her new single “I Don’t Wanna Know” today. Listen here at all DSPs.

After releasing a slew of independent singles, Willow signed with Sony this year and released her major label debut single “2 Seater” just a few months back to buzz and acclaim, even receiving early love from BBC Radio 1. Now, the 19 year old is throwing her hat in the ring as one of the most vivid, genre-blurring pop provocateurs in music today. A keen visual artist with influences as far-reaching as fashion design giant Nigo and production mastermind Pharrell, she pools together the most lucid touchpoints of all her inspirations to build a sound as diverse as her creative palette. Willow can trace this eclecticism directly back to her childhood, being raised by a hip-hop and house-obsessed father and a mother who produced videos for the likes of Erasure and the Prodigy. James Brown, Nas, and MF DOOM were all significant early influences, and soon she was making her own musical discoveries, falling hard for artists as diverse as Tyler The Creator, the Sex Pistols, Gorillaz, and Portishead.

Teaming up with UK hitmaker Oscar Scheller, “I Don’t Wanna Know” takes all of the attitude Willow has started to become synonymous with and ramps it up to 11 – taking cues from the old school rave culture that she is obsessed with by sticking a middle finger up to trolls over a drum & bass indebted production. It’s a high energy example of just how unpredictable a talent Willow is, and how easy she makes it look; the track is packed with hilarious one-liners that cut those who have bullied her online to size. An empowering anthem that deals with real life issues with a sense of confidence that feels refreshing in the landscape of pop today. The official video, along with a debut project and a HUGE announcement are all coming soon…

Watch previous music video “2 Seater” here.

“…a future star…” – i-D Magazine

“…playful lyricism, smooth refrains, and ‘90s-indebted grooves.” – NME

“…the artists that stick out from the pack are always those who are willing to switch things up, and quite clearly, Kayne isn’t afraid to do so…” – Lyrical Lemonade

“The Gen Z talent links together huge opposing forces, creating her own potent brand of rebel-pop.” – Clash Magazine

“A sizzling rallying-call from the Bristol-based artist all about living your own life and doing your own thing, ‘Two Seater’ blends rap verses with 90s-tinged pop influences, resulting in an instantly catchy debut.” – DIY Magazine

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Headphones illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Ethernity Chain Announces Another NFT Collection

Ethernity Chain is proud to announce another unique NFT collection is coming to its ecosystem. This aNFT (Authenticated NFT) collection contains UNRELEASED and never before seen footage of Nas performing a sold-out show of Illmatic with a full orchestra in South Africa on the anniversary of the ending of Apartheid. This drop is made possible with the help of Audio Up and will occur on July 31, 2021.

The connection between NAS and the Apartheid is intriguing. Ending Apartheid in South Africa was a major milestone that coincided with releasing Illmatic in the United States. So having Nas perform on the twentieth-anniversary date of ending Apartheid makes a lot of sense in that regard. Additionally, this cross-over anniversary highlighted a crucial reason why the Apartheid needed to be abolished.

Before abolishing the Apartheid, it would not have been possible for an African-American hip-hop artist to perform in front of a wide audience like the performance that Nas did in 2014. The fact that performance was held signals a crucial change and is part of the broader narrative of how hip hop is a defining force for African-American voices globally. Additionally, it has become the definitive global music genre that tops streaming and sales charts globally, even today.

In 2013, Jared Gutstadt, Founder of Audio Up, had a wild idea to create orchestral tracks based on Illmatic–it would be legendary. Due to a chance meeting between Nas and Jared, they started working on bringing this vision to life. Jared composed the orchestral tracks, partnered with an orchestra, and Nas crushed it by performing his lyrics over the music to a live audience in 2014. This NFT collection is compiled from never-before-seen footage of that performance.

As serendipity would have it, the date of that performance in South Africa fell upon the anniversary of the WE Are end of Apartheid. Coincidentally, the anniversary of the Nas Illmatic album release also falls on this date (April 19).

The charitable beneficiary of this collection is the We Are Family Foundation, founded by legendary musician and producer, Nile Rodgers. The foundation focuses on initiatives that unite the world. These proceeds will benefit WAFF’s Youth to the Front program. Nile has personal experiences as a creator showcasing his craft in South Africa at the end of Apartheid. His song “We Are Family” gave Nelson Mandela hope when he was still imprisoned in South Africa. Nile composed the music for the movie “Coming To America” which was the first movie premier shown to an integrated audience in South Africa. The synergy of Nas and Nile’s creative talents coupled with the power of their music to unite diverse groups of people makes this collection one of great importance for fans as well as a marker for this moment in history. It’s an ode to how far we have come and a reminder of how far we have to go.

photo by Mass Appeal for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Mass Appeal Announces Two New Executive Hires

MASS APPEAL ANNOUNCES TWO NEW TRAILBLAZING EXECUTIVE HIRES

JESSICA RIVERA NAMED GENERAL MANAGER & JENYA MEGGS NAMED SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF CONTENT

FEMALE EXECUTIVES TO HELP LEAD THE CHARGE OF MASS APPEAL’S MONUMENTAL #HIPHOP50 PROGRAM

Mass Appeal has announced two new key executive hires – two trailblazing women who will play a pivotal role in elevating and expanding the entertainment company’s presence. Multi-faceted executive Jessica Rivera will serve as the General Manager, Music. In this role, Rivera will oversee creative and day-to-day operations of Mass Appeal’s music division; label, publishing and contributing across Mass Appeal’s other two divisions in content and creative services. Seasoned music and entertainment executive Jenya Meggs will serve as the Senior Vice President of Content where alongside Mass Appeal’s Chief Creative Officer Sacha Jenkins, she will spearhead programming strategies and partnerships of Mass Appeal’s growing content slate.

Over the past year, Mass Appeal has been quietly working to develop the platform, #HipHop50, aimed at celebrating Hip Hop’s 50th anniversary in the most authentic and globally impactful way possible. With #HipHop50, Mass Appeal’s mission is to ensure that Hip Hop’s historic milestone will be celebrated in a way befitting of its massive influence, as well as engage fans across the globe. Mass Appeal partner Nas says, “This is the biggest birthday in the world!” Over the next six months, Mass Appeal will be announcing various partnerships for their #HipHop50 platform with best-in-class companies in verticals ranging from original music, content, podcasts, live experiential, products, education, publishing and more – along with a charitable component attached to everything.

Both Rivera and Meggs will help lead the charge for Mass Appeal’s expansive #HipHop50 program. Rivera will work with Nas to oversee multiple original music projects aimed at celebrating Hip Hop’s incredible history. Meanwhile, Meggs will spearhead the content partnership with Showtime/ViacomCBS, which will encompass unscripted series and features, podcasts, and digital shorts by and about some of the foremost names in the genre.

In her former role as head of artist relations for YouTube’s West Coast territory, Rivera’s achievements included heading up a livestream-based marketing campaign that helped catapult Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time ever. Recognized as one of Billboard’s 2020 R&B/Hip Hop Power Players, Rivera spent 11 years at Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), where she held the position of Executive Vice President/Head of East Coast Operations and Creative, as well as curated or identified the songwriters/producers behind more than 25 chart-topping singles, including the 12-times-platinum  “Love The Way You Lie” by Eminem ft Rihanna, the 11-times-platinum “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars;  and the certified-diamond “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons (one of the best-selling songs in music history). Before joining Universal, Rivera signed Rihanna at 16-years-old to her first publishing deal EMI.

“It’s an inspiring time to join Mass Appeal and continue to build the music division and elevate the artist’s narrative through the synergy of Music and media,” said Rivera. “Hip Hop 50 will uniquely bring together these worlds of creativity, all to celebrate Hip Hop’s 50th anniversary!”

Before joining the Mass Appeal team, Meggs served as the original content producer for Apple Music, where she developed the streaming platform’s innovative Up Next New Artist Program. Additionally, Meggs sold and produced the BET Web Series Brooklyn Blue Sky (2017), as well as executive produced the BET George Floyd Special (2020). Prior to working in production & development, Meggs began her career working in the video marketing department at Universal Music Group and later Warner Music Group. She’s led the video marketing campaigns for GRAMMY Award-winning and multi-platinum selling artists, such as JAY-Z, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Rihanna, Kanye West, Common and Jill Scott.

“I’m excited to use my talents and join Mass Appeal on this journey, to expand the narrative of film and TV, while creating exceptional content,” said Meggs.  “Mass Appeal has brilliantly created a path for authentic storytelling journeys. Hip-Hop 50 will bring together the best we have to offer to serve the culture the most defining celebration it deserves.”

Both Rivera and Meggs will work closely with the company’s CEO Peter Bittenbender and co-founder, Hip Hop legend Nas.

“Great moment as the team expands with the hiring of Jessica and Jenya, both of whom I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with for years. I look forward to working with Jessica as the GM of the label, Jenya as the SVP of content and together as a team as we scale our #HipHop50 program and Mass Appeal’s overall business” – Nasir “Nas” Jones

“Both Jessica and Jenya bring a tremendous amount of experience, passion and relationships to the company at a time that could not be more exciting. Having leadership of their level around #HipHop50 is a dream come true and I’m looking forward to what’s to come.” – Peter Bittenbender

About Mass Appeal
Mass Appeal is an entertainment company dedicated to telling stories from the perspective of those who shape and shift culture. Since 1996, we have documented the emerging movements that influence popular ideas. Today, Mass Appeal is the elevated voice of Hip Hop and its ever-expanding sphere of influence. Integrated offerings in content, music and creative services stoke Mass Appeal’s ability to maximize the impact of our output. Our diverse school of thought separates us from friends and foes alike.