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

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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

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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

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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)

Estelle’s ‘Lovers Rock’ Serves As A Testament To True Love

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At three years old, Estelle’s parents went their separate ways. When the “American Boy” singer turned 23, her parents rekindled their relationship. Once she hit 33, they got married. Now at 38, Estelle is ready to put her parents’ love lost, yet love found storyline at the center of her new project, Lovers Rock (VP Records/Est. 1980). (Read More)

‘Creed II’ Reinstates Familial Importance, Carves Space For Characters To Expand

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Twenty miles outside of Philadelphia stands the beige building; It may look mundane, with a humble exterior, but it’s full of movie magic once you enter. Aston, Pennsylvania’s Sun Center Studios is the temporary home to an unrelated family of actors, producers, writers and other creatives that are working on the sequel to 2015’s blockbuster, Creed. A fleet of extras sit in the boxing stands as eager spectators fill the vast room with sounds of anticipation. The harmonious noise immediately hits you once you enter the modestly lit set. As four bass knocks quiets the room to signal rolling time, 470 audience members prepare to usher in the titular character as he heads to the ring to enact a scene that’ll play out in the film’s final format. (Read More)

How Saraciea Fennell Morphed Literary Passion Into Essential Bronx Book Festival

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Saraciea Fennell’s journey with literature has been an integral part of her life since she was a child. During her time in foster care, the NYC native turned to books in order to get lost in an alternate universe while the world continued to press on around her. (Read More)

Net Neutrality: With The Internet As DAWN’s Major Label, Her Indie Journey Comes Into Question

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“The Internet is my platform.”

For independent artists like DAWN (formerly of Danity Kane and Dirty-Money), the World Wide Web provides endless opportunities for her music to travel across the globe, but with the impending net neutrality repeal taking effect on Monday (Apr. 23), it’s time to find a solution before her platform’s foundation falls into jeopardy. (Read More)