Posts tagged with "Verzuz"

ESSENCE Festival Promo image via Sheila Harris for use by 360 magazine

ESSENCE Festival Features Bobby Brown × Keith Sweat

ESSENCE Festival of Culture will feature R&B legends Bobby Brown and Keith Sweat on July 1.

It’s official! The battle for the title of R&B king is back on the line and this time, two of the genre’s icons are going head-to-head for the crown in a Verzuz battle to rival the best of them—and it’s all going down at the 2021 Essence Festival of Culture presented by Coca-Cola.

Get ready to watch none other than Bobby Brown and Keith Sweat go hit-for-hit in what’s sure to be an epic showdown filled with a host of the R&B classics we love. Mark your calendars and get your watch party crew together to watch these stars on Thursday, July 1 at 8 PM EST via ESSENCE.com, the Triller app, and the Verzuz TV Instagram page. The Essence Festival x Verzuz stage is a show you surely won’t want to miss.

Bobby Brown is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, and dancer who has been dominating the music industry since the 1980s. Originally part of the R&B and pop group New Edition, Brown stepped out for a highly successful solo career in 1985. He’s known for his hits like Don’t Be Cruel and Every Little Step. His sound was influenced by musicians like Prince, Michael Jackson, and Marvin Gaye, which served him well as he went on to win Grammy Award and even cameo in Ghostbusters II, for which he contributed two songs on the soundtrack. He later married (and divorced) superstar singer Whitney Houston and wrote a tell-all book about his life, which was released shortly after her death. He has since returned his focus to his music, including performing once before with Keith Sweat at the Valentine’s Day Music Festival in Houston, TX.

Brown will appear opposite Keith Sweat, a fellow singer, producer, and R&B genius. He was also an important early figure in the new jack swing movement. Sweat’s career began in the 1970s and he has gone on to soar to new heights ever since. The musician honed his craft in his early years while he was a part of the music group Jamilah, before branching out as a solo artist in 1984. His collection of hits like I Want Her, Make You Sweat, and I’ll Give All My Love To You won him not only fans and fame but also awards recognizing his stellar R&B style. He eventually found himself working with other expert musicians again when he helped form the R&B supergroup LSG with Gerald Levert and Johnny Gill. He also discovered and supported other popular R&B groups like Silk and Kut Klose.

As a part of their showdown, the Essence Festival × Verzuz stage will feature an endless list of hits like Bobby Brown’s My Prerogative, Don’t Be Cruel, and Every Little Step, as well as Keith Sweat’s Nobody, Twisted, and Make It Last Forever. In other words, you’ll want to have all your best dance moves ready, folks. 

Essence Festival of Culture x Verzuz is sponsored by Ciroc, Nike, and Coca-Cola.

Music note illustration by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

SWIZZ BEATZ SWITCHES TO ASCAP

ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, the world leader in performing rights and advocacy for music creators, today announced that internationally acclaimed Grammy-winning songwriter-producer and global entrepreneur Kasseem Dean, aka Swizz Beatz, has moved to ASCAP. Known for his work on songs including DMX’s “Ruff Ryders Anthem,” T.I.’s “Bring Em Out,” Lil Wayne’s “Uproar,” Mýa’s “The Best of Me” and more, the megaproducer is also the co-creator of Verzuz, the livestreaming music battle series and cultural phenomenon he started in early 2020 with Timbaland.

“Swizz Beatz’s talent as a songwriter-producer is second to none. The music he has created over the last two decades reached the heights of the hip-hop, R&B and rap charts and continues to endure,” said John Titta, ASCAP Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer. “From his classic late-90s records with Ruff Ryders to Verzuz, Swizz Beatz’s talent has made him one of the greatest producers and music creatives around today. We are so happy to welcome him to the ASCAP family.”

“I’m excited to be back with the ASCAP family,” said Swizz. “They have always fought hard for songwriters and in times like these, they are an incredibly important source of support for music creators. I’m looking forward to working with the ASCAP team to give back to the culture and the creative community.”

Swizz Beatz has been in the music and business world since he was 16. He began deejaying and working at his uncle’s company, Ruff Ryder Records, while still in high school. Within a short time, Swizz produced the company’s first hit, by DMX. More success followed–as a producer and artist. At 23, Swizz founded his own record label, Full Surface Records, with Clive Davis and earned a Grammy Award at the age of 33. As a producer, Swizz has worked with a diverse range of artists and some of the biggest names in the world including Jay-Z, Madonna, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Metallica, contributing to the sale of over 350 million records sold worldwide.

A recent graduate of Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program, Swizz’s talents and success extend well beyond music. He is an innovative fashion designer, collaborating with Bally, Reebok, Christian Louboutin, Aston Martin, Lotus, and Audemar Piguet. In 2015, he joined global spirit giant Bacardi as their Global Chief Creative for Culture, overseeing more than 300 brands within the company’s portfolio. An art collector since his 20s, he launched The Dean Collection in 2014, a discovery zone for art enthusiasts who appreciate art not just from the greats but also from aspiring and new artists alike.

Swizz is actively involved in many charities, with a particular focus on children: he works closely with his wife Alicia Keys’s organization Keep A Child Alive to fight AIDS and poverty in Africa; he adopted the Bronx Charter School for the Arts; is the Global Ambassador for New York City’s HHC (Health and Hospitals Corporation); serves on the board of Children’s Rights, which provides legal services to foster children to protect their rights; and currently sits on the Board of Trustees of the Brooklyn Museum.

About ASCAP

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP’s mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world’s best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business–from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With more than 800,000 members representing more than 11.5 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and is the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. Learn more and stay in touch at on their websiteTwitter and Instagram and Facebook.

2 Chainz illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

2 Chainz – Money Maker

2 Chainz, the multi-platinum, Grammy Award®-winning MC returns with Money Maker” feat. Lil Wayne, the first new single from his forthcoming sixth studio album via Def Jam Recordings. The song samples Louisiana’s HBCU Southern University world-renowned marching band, Human Jukebox, which are also featured in the artwork. 2 Chainz previewed the song last night during his Verzuz battle with Rick Ross where the King’s of the South celebrated their legacies and iconic catalogs. Money Makeris the first new music from 2 Chainz since his January single + video “Dead Man Walking” featuring Future.

2 Chainz’ most recent Def Jam album, Rap Or Go To The League (released March 2019), was described as his most personal, most lyrical, most soulful record to date. It challenged the notion that the only way out of the inner city is either to become a rapper or a ball player. The album flipped that trope, celebrating themes of black excellence, the power of education, and entrepreneurship.  A&R’d by LeBron James, Rap Or Go To The League spun off two smashes: the MTV VMA-nominated “Rule The World” featuring Ariana Grande, which boasts nearly 22 million YouTube views to date; and the RIAA platinum Bigger Than You featuring Drake and Quavo which has amassed over 62 million combined YouTube views to date. 

Rap Or Go To The League was 2 Chainz’ first new studio album since Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, his RIAA gold #1 release of 2017. That LP netted over 2 billion streams after racking up three consecutive RIAA multi-platinum hits: “4 AM” featuring Travis Scott; “It’s A Vibe” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, Trey Songz and Jhené Aiko; and “Good Drank” featuring Quavo and Gucci Mane.  

In addition to music, his wildly popular tv show Most Expensivest on VICELAND wrapped up its third season in 2019 with 20 new episodes; view the series trailer HEREHis “Chain Reaction” sneaker collaboration with Versace hit stores in the spring 2018, and was their most popular shoe of the year. His cannabis brand, GAS Cannabis Co. is available throughout California HERE.  And he starred with Adam Scott in the 2019 Super Bowl LIII Expensify tv spot, “the world’s first Super Bowl commercial you can expense.”  

Following his run as a founding member of Def Jam duo Playaz Circle from his native Atlanta, 2 Chainz’ name was on everyone’s lips in 2012, when he stole a verse on Mercy,” fellow Def Jam artist Kanye West/G.O.O.D. Music’s RIAA triple-platinum #1 R&B/#1 Rap hit (from Cruel Summer).  In August 2012, Chainz arrived as a Def Jam solo artist with Based On A T.R.U. Story, his debut album.  B.O.A.T.S. entered Soundscan at #1 and was certified RIAA gold.  Its success was fueled by the RIAA platinum #1 “No Lie” featuring Drake, the double-platinum “Birthday Song” featuring Kanye West, and double-platinum “I’m Different.”  “Mercy” was subsequently a Grammy® nominee for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance, while B.O.A.T.S. was nominated for Best Rap Album.  Chainz’ dominance was extended when the sequel, B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Timeentered the Soundscan hip-hop chart at #1 in September 2013, and spun off the RIAA gold single, “Feds Watching” featuring Pharrell. 

In 2016, Chainz brought it back to his essence with a series of mixtapes that dominated the streets: Felt Like Cappin, Daniel Son; Necklace Don, and Hibachi For Lunch.  Also in 2016, he released the lauded collaborative album ColleGrove with New Orleans hip-hop luminary Lil Wayne.  Critics agreed that 2 Chainz conquered 2016, with the New York Times proclaiming “all hail our greatest punch line rapper, 2 Chainz.”  The year was capped off with his first Grammy Award, Best Rap Performance for his verse on Chance The Rapper’s hit song “No Problem.”

 With momentum on his side, 2 Chainz released his first solo album since 2013: Pretty Girls Like Trap Music (June 2017) was accompanied by a 35-city tour of North America through September.  Chainz’ TV appearances included visits with Jimmy Kimmel (HERE), Jimmy Fallon (HERE), and Trevor Noah (HERE).  2018 brought the EP releases The Play Don’t Care Who Makes It(February, with the RIAA gold “Proud” featuring YG and Offset), and Hot Wings Are A Girl’s Best Friend (November), pointing to the March 2019 release of Chainz’ fourth solo album, Rap Or Go To The League.  Chainz’ impact on popular culture encompasses not only music but his Most Expensivest cable tv series on VICELAND, his “Chain Reaction” sneaker collaboration with Versace, his GAS Cannabis Co. brand, and his 2019 Super Bowl LIII Expensify tv spot with Adam Scott.  TheRinger.comwas inspired to write: “Forget Mount Rush­more –  2 Chainz deserves his own national monument. This year dude is top five humans of all time.”

Follow 2 Chainz: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

TUNE IN TONIGHT AS 2 CHAINZ AND RICK ROSS GO HEAD-TO-HEAD ON VERZUZ

Rick Ross x 2 Chainz

Tune in tonight as 2 Chainz and Rick Ross go head-to-head on Verzuz.

These two hip-hop icons will display their talent virtually and live. The event is sponsored by Cîroc and everyone is invited.

Watch live tonight August 6th @ 8 PM EST HERE or on @applemusic HD HERE