Memphis’ rising crunk star, Duke Deuce kicks off 2021 with his new rapid battle-ready song/video “Soldiers Steppin.” Watch the wild video here and stream the song here via Quality Control Music / Motown Records / Made Men Movement. “Soldiers Steppin”; makes its broadcast premier on BET Jams and BET Hip Hop.
The military themed video executive directed by Duke Deuce himself from the wardrobe to the script, finds Duke and his crew as soldiers being disciplined under their sergeant. Weapons at hand and the 1,2 step on lock, the crew bounce their way through training.
Duke’s sound is unique defying rap boundaries bringing Memphis crunk culture back to the forefront. Already under his belt Duke has collaborated with the likes of Mulatto, Lil Yachty, Juicy J, Project Pat, and more. Recent releases from Duke include his punchline filled “Duke Nukem Freestyle” and his southern stripclub themed “KIRK (ft. Mulatto).” Duke grew up around the Memphis sound and recalls the likes of Three6Mafia, 8Ball, and MJG as influences as well as his father Duke Nitty who produced the Memphis classic “S.O.U.T.H. Parkway” by Gangsta Blac. Duke is just getting started this year with one “what the f***” adlib at a time.
As one of Quality Control Music’s brightest young stars, singer & songwriter Layton Greene has shared her newest single “Chosen One.” Greene returns with a heartfelt track that puts her powerful voice over classically smooth R&B production accompanying a video that follows her and a love interest on the run as they set all evidence ablaze.
In late 2019, Greene shared her debut EP Tell Ya Story which introduced the world to her sincere storytelling talents and inspired listeners to embrace their imperfections. Since the release of Tell Ya Story, Layton was named one of Vevo DSCVR’s Artists to Watch for 2020, nominated for a Soul Train Award, Billboard named her an Artist to Watch in 2020, and has been steadily at work on new music. She joined forces with mainstay producer Like Mike for the dance meets R&B crossover single “I Lose Me,” displaying a unique adaptability that is baked into her sound. During a tumultuous year when some artists have slowed down, Layton has poured her heart into writing the next chapter of her story. Watch for more to come soon.
Lil Baby declared 2020 as his year, and he continues prove not just that, but that he owns 2020 as he goes from strength-to-strength. This week the Grammy-nominated rapper is the first and only artist of 2020 to go RIAA-certified double-platinum in the U.S. with his release of “My Turn” (Quality Control Music, Wolfpack Global, Motown Records). “My Turn” is both 2020’s highest selling & highest streaming album in the U.S.
Lil Baby also hit #1 at urban radio for the 7th time — with his important and powerful single “The Bigger Picture,” hit 20 Billion streams globally, and was named Vevo’s Top Performing Hip Hop Artist of 2020.
All in a week’s work for Lil Baby who is celebrating his many milestones by giving fans the video release of “Forget That (featuring Rylo Rodriguez).” Rodriguez himself is an artist signed to Lil Baby’s 4PF label, where Baby continues to support artists and share his knowledge of being successful while staying authentic and true to himself.
WATCH: FORGET THAT (FEATURING RYLO RODRIGUEZ) HERE
Earlier this year, Lil Baby graced the cover of Rolling Stone; tied Prince and Paul McCartney for Billboard Hot 100 hits; saw his February #1 release of “My Turn” return to the top of the Billboard 200 three months later; spent 5 weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart (tying Taylor Swift for most weeks atop the list in 2020). In June, Lil Baby dropped the powerful record, “The Bigger Picture,” articulating frustration, confusion, and a call to stand up for something much bigger than himself.
With such a rapid rise and a relentless stream of critical and commercial hits, it’s clear that Lil Baby is one of the greatest and most important success stories in hip-hop. At 25, has been one of the most dominant and critically acclaimed names in rap since his first release in 2017, and with just 3 years under his belt, it’s clear his run is far from over.
DUKE DEUCE DROPS “KIRK (FEAT. MULATTO)” LISTEN HERE
Memphis breakout-star Duke Deuce has returned with a new single “Kirk (feat. Mulatto)” via Quality Control Music, his first release since his latest tape – the exalted Memphis Massacre 2. With his signature bounce, infectious cadence, and a feature from Mulatto (the inaugural winner of The Rap Game series), Deuce has proven yet again that he’s leading the charge for a new generation of Memphis rap. LISTEN HERE
The single is accompanied by a new music video that puts Deuce’s acting and comedic chops from social media into practice, playing a less-than-affable club owner attempting to keep things in order while conducting a twerking symphony. More to come soon from the Memphis rapper.
DUKE DEUCE DROPS NEW TAPE ON QUALITY CONTROL MUSIC/YRN
STREAM MEMPHIS MASSACRE 2— HERE
WATCH THE “CRUNK AINT DEAD REMIX” VIDEO FT. LIL JON, PROJECT PAT & JUICY J–HERE
Feedbacks from the public
“The fact that his record was co-signed by fellow Memphis stars, Project Pat and Juicy J, is a telling sign that Duke Deuce is truly on the rise.” – HYPEBEAST
“2020 could be Duke Deuce’s year” -CLASH
“Although it won’t be long until fans move on to the next hottest hip-hop dance, something tells us Duke Deuce has the star power and quality music to ride this moment for a whole lot longer” – COMPLEX
“Already showing the ability to stand out on the timeline, and with the support of Quality Control, Duke might just be ready to take off.” – LYRICAL LEMONADE
“He’s the best parts of every era of Memphis while being in tune with the new generation of rap.” – FLOSS MAG
Breakout Memphis Rapper
Duke Deuce drops his hotly anticipated new tape, Memphis Massacre 2 on Quality Control Music/YRN, the follow up to 2018’s Memphis Massacre. Listen to Memphis Massacre 2 HERE. Watch the video for “Crunk Ain’t Dead Remix (feat. Lil Jon, Juicy J, Project Pat)” HERE. Duke has been on a steady rise catching attention for bringing back an era of crunk music that originated in Memphis but became popular out of Atlanta.
Duke grew up around the sound and recalls the likes of Three6Mafia,8Ball, and MJG as influences as well as his father Duke Nitty who produced the Memphis classic “S.O.U.T.H. Parkway” by Gangsta Blac. Duke Nitty is also credited as a producer for few tracks on MM2. The album sees Duke navigate through diverse production and multiple styles like a veteran. An energetic listen over 12 tracks that could only be made by someone that lives and breathes this scene. It’s a true come up for a rising star in rap. Alongside his music, Duke’s unique dance moves are part of what brought him to Quality Control. After Offset saw one of Duke’s videos, he flew him out to the studio to meet and ended up signing him to QC. Gaining co-signs from the whole QC family as well as Cardi B, Duke Deuce is quickly becoming a recognizable name in the space. Late last year Duke released the video for “Crunk Ain’t Dead,” now at over 10 million views on YouTube.
Following its success, hip-hop legends Lil Jon, Juicy J, and Project Pat hopped on a remix that released just last week. Duke commented on working with them, “It was legendary working beside guys I listened to as a kid growing up in Memphis in the studio with my dad.”
MEMPHIS MASSACRE 2 TRACKLISTING
1. FEEL LIKE IT (PROD. BY DENAROLOVE)
2. BHZ (PROD. BY HITT KIDD & CHASE THE MONEY)
3. CRUNK AIN’T DEAD REMIX (FT. LIL JON, PROJECT PAT, JUICY J)
4. ON ME (PROD.HITTKIDD
5.FAT MAC (PROD. BY DUKE NITTY)
6. BAD NEWS (PROD. BY DUKENITTY)
7. TRAP BLUES (PROD. BY CHEFERY)
8. CRUNK AIN’T DEAD MOB – DUKE DEUCE, LIL THAD, LIL YACHTY
9. BODY (PROD. BY EVIL G)
10. DUKE FLOW (PROD. BY PYREX WHIPPA)
11. LOCK DOORS (PROD. BY PYREX WHIPPA)
12. BIG DOG (PROD. BY STASH 808)
Today Lil Baby shares the DAPS-directed video for his RIAA-certifiedPlatinum song “Close Friends” from his collaborative project with Gunna, Drip Harder, out now on Quality Control Music/Young Stoner Life Records, a 300 Entertainment Label/Wolfpack Global Music/Capitol Records/Motown.
Lil Baby has shared the video for his track “Global” off his latest mixtape, Street Gossip, out now on Quality Control Music / Motown Records / Capitol Records / Wolfpack Global. Watch it HERE. The video documents his recent travels to Paris, Manchester, Lagos in Nigeria, Freeport in the Bahamas and more as he continues on his path of global stardom. Yesterday Baby announced The New Generation Tour across the US with QC label-mates City Girls, Jordan Hollywood and Marlo, LA rapper Blueface and more. Tickets are on-sale tomorrowHERE, full tour dates below. Lil Baby recently performed Put a Date On It with Yo Gotti on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Watch it HERE.
“It’s a blessing to tour different places and put on shows for my fans around the world, it means a lot to me after grinding like this. Last year I got to tour in France, England, Nigeria, the Bahamas and more and I’m not stopping. Stay humble and keep grinding. #WeGlobalNow.” – Lil Baby
On April 11th, UMUSIC Experience hosted a Masterclass – a conversation with Hip-Hop cultural icon Coach K, moderated by Spotify’s Artist & Label Marketing Manager Amber Grimes at the historic African-American Morehouse College. The event was held at the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center to nearly 400 students.
Grimes asked a series of questions about manifestation, trust, adaptation and continuous progress.
Coach K immediately began dropping gems throughout the conversation. “Everything I do is applied to sports and every team needs a coach?” says the former all-state quarterback
football player and scholarship awarded basketball player Kevin Coach K”. Lee when discussing
his relationship with Quality Control, the label he shares with Pierre Pee Thomas.”
When Grimes asked Coach K how he instills trust in his artist, he says “I let them dream. We let them be visionaries. We not coming to change anything. We just tighten the loose ends.”Coach K knows a great deal about helping artists become superstars by combining their talent
and work ethic while taking risks.”We built our whole company [by] taking risks! Sometimes you gotta take that risk.” Coach K also added that he focuses heavily on the artists’ brands. “ I also believe in brand-building and luck doesn’t come in brand building.”
Both Atlanta natives, Coach K and Amber Grimes were passionate about bringing this event to the historically black Atlanta University Center.
”I have been wanting to do this event for three years,” says Coach K.
“This is my first time doing something like this.”Coach K hopes he can use his life as masterclass to teach others how to become successful.”
There is no book that can teach you about this business. It’s on-job training. If I can let my story lead somebody’s path, I’m with it,” he says. “The day you come complacent is the day it stops. You have to keep going!”
UMUSIC Experience partnered with Quality Control Music, Motown, Capitol Music Group & Caroline to bring the masterclass to life.
Brit Awards announces first all-female Critics’ Choice shortlist including Capitol’s own Mabel and Quality Control Music/Motown/Capitol’s Stefflon Don!
Before they were famous, Sam Smith, Florence + The Machine, and Adele were all tipped for success by the Brits’ Critics’ Choice award. This year’s line-up has just been announced and, for the first time, it’s an all-female field. Birmingham-born MC Stefflon Don is joined on the list by soul singers Jorja Smith and Mabel. The winner will be announced on December 4th, ahead of next year’s Brit Awards. Stefflon Don has already tasted chart success this year, reaching the top 10 with Hurtin’ Me, and featuring in Jax Jones’ dance smash Instruction. Mabel, who is Neneh Cherry’s youngest daughter, has also scored a top 10 hit with the slinky single ‘Finders Keepers’. All three artists are previous nominees for the BBC Sound Of… poll, which unveiled its latest longlist on Monday. The Brit nominees were chosen by a panel of music industry experts – including critics, record label employees and the heads of the UK’s biggest radio stations. More than 100 artists were considered, with each voter selecting their own shortlist of five up-and-coming artists.
Before they become ubiquitous, brush up on the 2018 nominees below.
Click HERE to Watch Stefflon Don freestyle on DJ Whoo Kid
Stephanie “Stefflon Don” Allen was born in Birmingham to Jamaican parents, before moving to Rotterdam and finally, in her teens, settling in east London. You can hear echoes of her upbringing in her confident, inventive songs, which combine dancehall patois, grime verses, and honeyed R&B vocals. Earlier this year, she scored a top 10 hit with Hurtin’ Me.
Inspired by: Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown, Missy Elliott and Destiny’s Child
For fans of: Nicki Minaj, Wretch 32, Drake
Did you know? Her moniker is a play on Teflon Don – the nickname of mob boss John Gotti – as well as “Steff London”.
She says: “I am so excited to be nominated for this amazing award. A big shout out to all my fans and dons for their support. 2017 has been lit and I can’t wait for 2018! Mad love to you all””
Click HERE to Watch Mabel perform ‘Finders Keepers’ on Sounds Like Friday Night
Born in the mountains of Malaga, Mabel was raised between Spain, London and Stockholm. Like her parents, Neneh Cherry and Massive Attack producer Cameron McVey, her music is hard to classify, but it’s rooted in the 90s R&B she used to dance to in her bedroom.
Inspired by: Destiny’s Child, Lauryn Hill, Brandy, Aaliyah
For fans of: Rihanna, Jhene Aiko, SZA
Did you know? Her nickname is Lil’ Bassy because, as a child, she would fall asleep to the sound of speaker-rattling bass in her dad’s recording studio.
She says: “Being nominated for the Critics’ Choice award really is a dream come true for me. So much hard work has gone into getting to this point, so to be acknowledged by something like the BRIT Awards means the world.”
“I am so excited to be nominated for this amazing award. A big shout out to all my fans and dons for their support. 2017 has been lit and I can’t wait for 2018! Mad love to you all”
Stefflon Don is a charismatic, multilingual, multitalented rapper, singer and songwriter. Speaking English, Dutch and splattering her speech with her parent’s Jamaican patois, Steff has the effortless ability to inhabit many worlds, offering a genuine, authentic global perspective through her music. Whether rap, grime, pop, bashment or bubbling, Steff sounds utterly at home. It’s perhaps why such an impressive array of artists from Charli XCX to Lil Yachty and Wretch 32 have wanted to work with the 25-year-old. One of seven siblings born in Birmingham to Jamaican parents, Steff’s family moved to Holland when she was five-years-old, where was raised in Rotterdam and enjoyed a particularly uninhibited childhood surrounded by Europeans, Turkish and Caribbean people. She had her first studio session at the age of nine and spent her teen years singing and rapping with her brothers and sisters. Steff returned to the UK when she was 14 and made an impression in 2015 with her powerful, patois-inflected version of Wretch 32’s Six Words and her take on the Section Boy’s street smash Lock Arff.
“Being nominated for the Critics’ Choice award really is a dream come true for me. So much hard work has gone into getting to this point, so to be acknowledged by something like the BRIT Awards means the world.”
Born into a musical dynasty, Mabel spent her childhood zig-zagging with her sisters from the mountains of Malaga to Sweden, where she studied at the prestigious Rytmus Musikergymnasiet music school (before starting to write songs in London). A true child of the golden age of 00s R&B, Mabel has since blossomed into one of British pop’s refreshing and positive young role models: moving effortlessly between the worlds of music, fashion, dance and art, with her songs variously exploring female independence, sexuality, growing up and into your own skin. It’s a style Mabel continues to evolve her own way, and at her own pace: recent single ‘Finders Keepers’ has since emerged as one of the breakout hits of the year, having spent five weeks in the UK Top 10 (the third longest stint for a new British artist this year). Mabel is “blazing a trail that’s all her own” (Guardian), and 2018 looks set to confirm her status as a bonafide star who’s just getting started.
About The BRIT Awards – British Record Industry Trust
The Critics’ Choice Award is chosen by a team of experts including the music editors of national newspapers, key music and lifestyle magazines and music websites plus the heads of music at major radio and music TV stations. The Award is open to all artists who in the media and the selected Critics’ opinion will reach a significant level of success in their career the following year. Over 100 artists from a range of genres were considered for the award. The 2018 Critics’ Choice Award winner will be announced on Monday 4th December, and will be the first recipient of the specially designed Anish Kapoor award.
The BRIT (British Record Industry Trust) Awards are organized by the BPI – the record labels’ association that promotes British music. The BPI’s membership is made up of over 400 independent labels as well as the UK’s three major record companies – collectively they account for around 85 per cent of the music consumed in the UK and around one in eight of all the artist albums sold around the world.
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