The Man Who Lives In Apartment 7


Apartment 7 has no heat. On this January day, the temperature tapped in at 44 degrees, with a wind chill that rudely pushes you to your enclosed destination for warmth, but for its longtime resident, he’ll have to brave the cold for yet another day. The space has an air of luxury with seven gray marble steps, ushered by gold banisters leading up to a cathedral style golden door. It’s a busy neighborhood, located five blocks south of the Empire State Building, but Apartment 7’s appreciative tenant doesn’t complain. Although he’s living rent free, the occupant doesn’t have much furniture; only a tan blanket, a book bag that a tourist would purchase in a store in Times Square, and a Coolpad cell phone. (Read More)

Views From The Studio: Producer P2J Discusses ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ Album


When P2J was 14 years old, he had an insightful moment that solidified his career. In school, he realized that spending his time with his head in a textbook was not the path for him. After his history teacher noticed his aloofness, the instructor recommended that P2J transfer to a music course to nurture his creativity. As an adolescent, the South London native never entertained a career in music but the class opened up his senses to a new form of expression that would lead him to work with today’s leading artists. (Read More)

Views From The Studio: Tiffany Stevenson Tracks Background Singing Journey And Beyond


Since the age of 13, Tiffany Stevenson knew a career in music was a God-given declaration. From singing in church choirs to providing background vocals for gospel greats like Kierra Sheard and The Clark Sisters, Stevenson’s path throughout the music industry was essentially ordained. (Read More)

The Art Of Soundtracking Netflix’s Soul-Stirring Miniseries, ‘When They See Us’


Please do not pass go. Exit this free society with a negative $200 balance and enter a world of mental and physical detainment. The dice you rolled ordered your steps to go directly to jail despite you pleading your innocence and asking for a second chance, but that’s the way this world of power and corruption operates over the less fortunate. For Ava DuVernay’s cinematic true story, When They See Us, five teenage black boys who were falsely imprisoned for the rape of a white woman in Central Park (1989) found their lives being dictated by detectives vying to villainize them. While the miniseries’ actors and language gripped viewers’ hearts, the music was an unseeable, yet palpable character as well. (Read More)

Barbados: The History Is In The Root


Ninety minutes after the sun clocked in above New York City’s damp sky, passengers aboard a JetBlue flight were relieved to have escaped the forthcoming downpour. On its way to a country with an opposite forecast, the full plane descended from its 30,000+ altitude to land in Grantley Adams International Airport. A rippling wave of claps erupted from JFK commuters anxious to kick off their time away from home or return to their native residence. (Read More)

Kuk Harrell Tracks His Career Journey From The Golden Arches To The Grammys


Thirty-five years ago, Kuk Harrell designed his foray into the music industry while taking orders at a Chicago-based McDonald’s. The Grammy-winning vocal producer once worked at the fast food conglomerate as a crew member, then a manager before he became the go-to voice captain for artists like Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, Celine Dion, Usher, and more singing heavyweights. (Read More)

Views From The Studio: Nova Wav’s Seismic Industry Presence Swells With Faith And Confidence


The South is known for producing some of music’s most notable songwriters and producers. From Bryan-Michael Cox to The Neptunes to Jermaine Dupri to Polow Da Don, the revolving door of beatmakers and lyricists has been turning since R&B and hip-hop’s heydays in the ‘90s to early aughts. While those aforementioned names, among others, all have this career in common, it’s not obscure that they’re all men. (Read More)

A Look At The Nuance Of U.S. Immigration Through The Lens Of 21 Savage’s Case


For nine days, 21 Savage carried out his day-to-day inside a detention center, a timeframe that felt like two months according to his manager, Kei Henderson. The “A Lot” rapper was detained by the Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) in Atlanta, Georgia (Feb. 3) on claims that he’s a British citizen who overstayed his visa since migrating to the U.S. city in 2005 at age seven. The detainment occurred when the 26-year-old was pulled over by the Atlanta Police Department (APD), with ICE in tow. APD claims it had an arrest warrant for rapper Young Nudy, a cousin of 21 Savage who was also part of the artist’s entourage at the time of the incident. (Read More)

On ‘Captured,’ Spice Proves Women Can Rule Dancehall One Hit At A Time


Since her childhood, Spice knew the career path she wanted to attain would come with its fair share of roadblocks. After putting in work and releasing a stream of singles in the early 2000s, Spice would receive minor recognition here and there. Despite this slow-burn to stardom, the determined artist kept her foot on the gas until VP Records presented her with a contract in 2009. While maintaining the love she has for the dancehall genre, the “Complain (Mi Gone)” singer knew that she had to adopt an independent artist’s tenacity and hunger for success. Her knack for charting melodies began to become the norm, but with little support from the label (according to Spice), the fortified singer had to find her own way to become a household name. (Read More)

15 Years Later: The Oral History Of Alicia Keys’ ‘Diary of Alicia Keys’ Album


Given the success of 2001’s Songs in A Minor (five Grammy Awards and a No. 1 position on the Billboard 200), Alicia Keys’ deep breath of fresh air in an airtight music industry proved to be more than the birth of another talented artist, but a changing of the guard. (Read More)

Young Guru And Anthony Cruz Discuss Engineering Meek Mill’s ‘Championships’ Album


It all started at the 40/40 Club and Roc the Mic Studios.

For Anthony Cruz, working two jobs to fulfill his passion was a path he didn’t mind walking for a significant amount of time. While working as an audio/video technician at Jay-Z’s New York City-based sports bar’s 10-year anniversary in 2013, Cruz received a call from a studio manager named TT to collaborate with Meek Mill as an engineer that same night. The Break It Down Entertainment captain was eager to say yes to the opportunity and after receiving the go-ahead from Roc Nation’s COO Desiree Perez, Cruz dropped everything and headed to the studio still dressed in a suit and tie. (Read More)