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Entertainment Interview

Exclusive Interview with Brett Gray

Now is The Time: On My Block’s Brett Gray talks

Brett Gray serves as the comedic relief to a familiar yet, entertainingly unique teen drama, “On My Block.” The show centers four inner city LA teens transitioning into adulthood.

The young actor spoke with Pentagon Mag about his role and branching out into the music world. Gray is from the great city of Philadelphia, PA. The hometown of his acting idol, Will Smith. We shared a few laughs about being from the same city and chatted about his first rehearsal for “On My Block.” Co-Star Peggy Blow, noted his timing was spot on of a young Will Smith. She starred in an episode of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

The whimsical star began his career in Musical Theater, having his first role be in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Brett has been a very busy bee. While wrapping up filming for ​On My Block, ​he’s also simultaneously filming the ​Secret Life of Bees (musical)​ and​ ​another Netflix original; “​When They See Us​.” The series was written and produced by Ava DuVernay. It exposes the U.S. criminal justice system during the ‘​Central Park Five’​ case. Gray makes it a point to play roles that tell stories that are encouraging to young black men. He plans to release an inspiring single “Our Day” for the series.

What’s your favorite characteristic of Jamal?

“​He is hungry, driven, and determined​.” Jamal would not give up the Rollerworld money hunt until he found the fortune, no matter who believed him.

When did you learn you could sing?

Gray says he could always sing since a child. His roots in Musical theater have helped the advancement of his vocal range. Brett says he went to the studio last year and then decided to drop some music of his own. “…​After On My Block, I focused and went to the studio and made my first project.​ ”

We began speaking about the rich musical history of Philadelphia. Home to artists such as: Gamble and Huff, Jazmine Sullivan, Patti Labelle, Jill Scott, Meek Mill, The Roots, and so many other greats. Gray will be apart of the greats our city has produced. His most recent releases include a debut EP, Easy Haze. Along with the video release for single S.O.S. Brett is very much so in-tune with the current wave of music. “I love Tierra Whack and Bri Steves,” he says. Both are fellow rising artists from Philadelphia.

How do you get into character?

To my surprise he answered, “I’m an over-thinker I try not to think about it at all. I just try to remember lines…I really lose myself.” An actor true to his craft, Gray submerges himself into any role.

What’s your dream role and if you don’t have one create one.

I have so many. Comedy, drama, avatar movies, I want to do everything. More live plays; My dream role is The Joker.” Which I could totally see, Gray has the chops to teeter the line of intense drama with a faint hint of humor. He declares he will do an amazing job and I agree. Look out for this promising young actor. He’s setting his own trail ablaze.

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Entertainment Interview Music

Exclusive Interview with Joe Vango of Audiomack

Audiomack’s Secret Weapon

I recently had the chance to visit the Audiomack HQ and chat with Joe Vango, Marketing Coordinator. Joe is originally from Philadelphia and has made quite an impact in the music industry in a few year’s time. He speaks on bringing out James Shaw, the Waffle House hero, at Rolling Loud, the new Kanye produced albums, and artists he’s currently listening to. He also touches on J. Cole’s surprise KOD event in New York. Joe even shares how upcoming artists can garner his attention.

Joe got his start in the music industry writing for Hypefresh Mag, from there he began curating playlists. His knack for finding new artists and his keen sense of discovering new sounds made him visible to the Audiomack team. David Ponte, Co-Founder of Audiomack, sings Joe’s praises. “Joe is probably one of the most unsung taste makers in the industry,” with which I had to agree, “YES!” Ponte continues “He’s kind of like our secret weapon, he makes sure that we have the dopest upcoming artists on Audiomack first.” As a previous co-worker I can attest to all of this. #YouShouldKnowJoe

Watch the one-on-one interview above.

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Music Video

Meek Mill Sits Down with Elliott Wilson for TidalXCRWN

Last night was one of the best nights I’ve ever had as a music journalist. Tidal hosted an in depth conversation with one of the most influential artists of our generation, Meek Mill.

He has come a tremendously long way from the streets of Philadelphia. In more ways than one, Mill has successfully beat the odds. That’s something to really take into account. When a black man, or someone from an impoverished neighborhood beats the odds they’re catapulted into a spotlight. They become everyone’s “example” of what to be. But as Meek explained, not all people who defeat adversity want to be an activist. He shared that he wants to keep being a role model for the youth and continue helping neighborhoods just like his own. And he also wants to enjoy his success like any regular person would.
I was able to attend Tidal’s live event. It was held at the PlayStation Theater in New York City. The crowd was vibrating with great energy. All music lovers gathered to listen to Meek speak. He provides motivation and inspiration for the many people he represents; People who have been counted out by society.  Meek spoke about Nicki Minaj, Jay Z, the time he spent in prison away from his son, Beyoncé shouting him out and more.

When Meek entered the stage everyone stood and applauded and cheered. The crowd was very open and accepting. It seemed as though each person in the audience genuinely cared for the artist they had become a fan of. He shared some funny moments: like when Kevin Hart and Michael Rubin came to visit him on his block* in prison or that awkward moment where he and Nicki Minaj are at dinner with Jay Z and Beyoncé and Jay decided to “accidentally” play Back to Back.
I even got to join in on the chat. Being from Philly I was able to watch Meek rise to fame, from the very beginning. I watched him take five steps forward in the music industry only to be knocked back ten, more than once. He remained determined. Each time an entry was blocked he made sure to have another way to get in the door. That is why he is so inspirational to our city. The Philadelphia Eagles fka “the underdogs” coming out to his monstrous hit “Dreams and Nightmares (Intro)” during their 2017 Superbowl win is a testament to that.
Before then the song had already stood as an anthem for anyone who was enduring hard times and planning on coming out on top. And past our city limits Meek is garnering a diehard fan base. I ran into a singer from New York, Nadia, with a cool DC tattoo. DC stands for “Dream Chasers,” a group and mantra initiated by Mill to push everyone forward.

[I remember when I first heard the Intro. There were three of my friends and I in our dorm. We all anticipated Meek Mill releasing his debut studio album, Dreams and Nightmares. The city was ON FIRE waiting for it and we brought that fire with us to college. When the beat started to play we all looked at each other. That’s the exact moment I realized that you cannot count this man out. We had to run the song back at least 20 times. It filled us with so much energy and we learned all the lyrics that night.]
As a music journalist my goal for all artists is to let them know how they have impacted millions of people. I want them to know that the consumers of their art appreciate them sharing so much of themselves with us. I wanted artists to know that they truly do resonate with a vast variety of people for a multitude of reasons. And that, when they experience adversity their supporters are along for the ride.
Check out my question below and make sure to stream the full Conversation with Elliott Wilson & Meek Mill on Tidal.

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Entertainment Music Video

Watch: Meek Mill Debuts “Dangerous” Visual with PNB Rock and Jeremih

Meek Mill gives us all the music video we’ve been yearning for.

The smooth R&B inspired track features fellow Philadelphian PNB Rock and Chicago vocalist, Jeremih. The hit comes from Mill’s Legends of the Summer EP, rightfully named. Each track dominated the Summer of 2018. Dangerous stood out for its soft and melodic tone. Meek displays another climate his music can take you to. From the cold streets to a warm, intimate escape with your boo.

Check out the video for “Dangerous” below.

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Categories
Entertainment Music Video

Watch: Meek Mill Debuts "Dangerous" Visual with PNB Rock and Jeremih

Meek Mill gives us all the music video we’ve been yearning for.

The smooth R&B inspired track features fellow Philadelphian PNB Rock and Chicago vocalist, Jeremih. The hit comes from Mill’s Legends of the Summer EP, rightfully named. Each track dominated the Summer of 2018. Dangerous stood out for its soft and melodic tone. Meek displays another climate his music can take you to. From the cold streets to a warm, intimate escape with your boo.
Check out the video for “Dangerous” below.
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Categories
Art Entertainment Music

Friday Frenzy: Meek, Rozay, Dave East and Future Drop Bangers

What did we do to deserve all of this new music?

Future, Meek Mill, Dave East, and Rick Ross have all decided to bless hip-hop lovers. Three years after its release Future’s Beast Mode receives its highly anticipated follow up. The first installment features monster hits like Lay Up, No Basic, Peacoat, Real Sisters, and Forever Eva.” Beast Mode 2 is a surprise drop on the road to Future’s next studio album.
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Keeping the same energy, Hendrix enlists Zaytoven for production.
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After being convicted of violating probation (on shaky terms), Meek Mill is back. First with the release of his powerful single, Stay Woke featuring Miguel. Mill debuted the song at the 2018 BET Awards with a moving performance. It depicted the rough streets of Philadelphia, where Meek grew up. You can watch the performance by clicking the link above.
Since being home Meek has previewed beats and snippets via his Instagram page. Legends of the Summer, is another four piece combo Meek knock us out with. Each song distinctively different, he has a cut for the ladies, something for the club,  something for the streets, and a thought provoking peace meant to encourage change. Check it out below.
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Last but not least, Philly’s cousin, Dave East, has dropped as well; TWICE. The Harlem rapper is known for his cleverly aligned freestyles and he does not disappoint. “I’m Good Cuz, Enjoy,” is a play on rapper Future’s latest social media debacle. Where he told an Instagram model “I’m good luv, enjoy” over text as she sat in her hotel room waiting for him. Instead of ending things with a woman, East is firing off shots at a peer. WHO, you ask?
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Check it out above and let me know who to point the finger at in the comments.
East also collaborated with none other than Rick Ross on their new single, “Fresh Prince of Belaire.” The two rappers both have endorsement deals with the popular Rose brand. So why not combine forces and get more money. Am I right?
Listen to “Fresh Prince of Belaire” below and enjoy this Friday Frenzy of new music.
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Categories
Entertainment Music

Exclusive Interview with Joe Vango of Audiomack

Audiomack’s Secret Weapon

I recently had the chance to visit the Audiomack HQ and chat with Joe Vango, Marketing Coordinator. Joe is originally from Philadelphia and has made quite an impact in the music industry in a few year’s time. He speaks on bringing out James Shaw, the Waffle House hero, at Rolling Loud, the new Kanye produced albums, and artists he’s currently listening to. He also touches on J. Cole’s surprise KOD event in New York. Joe even shares how upcoming artists can garner his attention.

Joe got his start in the music industry writing for Hypefresh Mag, from there he began curating playlists. His knack for finding new artists and his keen sense of discovering new sounds made him visible to the Audiomack team. David Ponte, Co-Founder of Audiomack, sings Joe’s praises. “Joe is probably one of the most unsung taste makers in the industry,” with which I had to agree, “YES!” Ponte continues “He’s kind of like our secret weapon, he makes sure that we have the dopest upcoming artists on Audiomack first.” As a previous co-worker I can attest to all of this. #YouShouldKnowJoe
 
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Watch the one-on-one interview above.
 

Categories
Entertainment Music

Hey Philly, Meek Night is Here!

After months of being imprisoned Meek Mill was released on bail on April 24, 2018. To celebrate his freedom and his long career feeding the streets; my friends over at Audiomack have put together one grand welcome back fiesta.
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Watch his first interview since being released above.
#MeekNight is in full effect. Click here to RSVP, entry is free with the Audiomack app.
See you there Philly!

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Entertainment Music

Toure Teaches Us About Out We$t

Turn Your Speakers Up!

West Philly is on fire thanks to Toure. Known for his witty punch lines and intricate word play, the Dream Chaser MC is back with a feel-good anthem.
Sampling a smooth R&B cut courtesy of Ralph Tresvant of New Edition , Toure delivers a banger right in time for cookouts and block parties.
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Listen to Out We$t above and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Categories
Entertainment Funny Music

Watch: Jimmy Kimmel Pranks the Eagles

After winning the Superbowl against the New England Patriots, Eagles players, Corey Clement and Jay Ajayi pay a visit to Jimmy Kimmel.

Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

 

The three discussed big plays from the Eagles’ victory including Clement’s controversial touchdown. “The refs always have to make it interesting.” said Clement. (I knew it was a touchdown, Clement pivoted his ankle to stay in the end zone and secured the ball.) 

 
 
 
 
Throughout the interview the two make sure to praise Nick Foles. A quarterback that, some were uncertain of, but his teammates never doubted his abilities.
 
 
 
Towards the end Fallen slips in “Now did you hear that Foles was traded about an hour ago?” To which they reacted:

See the full interview below and come back for coverage of the parade down Broad Street.
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