Dej Loaf on Being Rap's Defiant New Female Voice: 'I Don't Think It's Hard at All'

Categories: Interviews

Dej Loaf
Dej Loaf
Move over, "No Flex Zone." Rap's adversarial anthem du jour is newcomer Dej Loaf 's "Try Me." The menacing track is primed for stalking through the streets while fending off haters and naysayers, and with lyrics like, "Let a nigga try me, try me. 
I'ma get his whole muthafuckin' family
/And I ain't playing with nobody/Fuck around and I'ma catch a body," people will think twice before they try you.

Like so many things in hip-hop, it was an Instagram shout-out from Drake in September that catapulted the 23-year-old Detroit native born Deja (Loaf comes from her penchant for loafers) into the spotlight. Drake didn't flip his own remix to "Try Me," but the kingmaker had spoken. Shout-outs from Kevin Durant and Ty Dolla $ign followed, as well as remixes from the likes of Wiz Khalifa and E-40. Not surprisingly, major labels took notice and Dej soon signed a deal with Columbia Records.

See also: The 10 Best Male Rappers of All Time

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Meet Logic, the Punctual, Seinfeld-Loving Rapper Who Turned Down a Deal With Nas

Categories: Interviews

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Via
Hip-hop and Seinfeld nostalgia rarely intersect, but then Logic is not your typical rapper. The 24-year-old Gaithersburg, Maryland, native is in town on a promo blitz for his debut album, Under Pressure, and asks to meet me for breakfast at Tom's Restaurant, the Morningside Heights spot known as Monk's Diner to fans of Jerry, Elaine, and George. He's ridiculously punctual, unheard of in hip-hop, and really nice about my tardiness (even more unheard of). "You watch Seinfeld?" he asks, after ordering a tuna sandwich on white bread, toasted, with light lettuce and cheese. "Jerry Seinfeld is the type of dude who would break up with a girl because she eats her peas one at a time."

Born Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, Logic's regal name and pop-culture affinities seem more suburbia than his tormented, impoverished, and downright fucked-up upbringing. A light-complexioned, blue-eyed biracial child -- he absolutely hates when people incorrectly categorize him as a "white rapper" -- he grew up with a white mother who battled prostitution and addiction while his father, who is black, was addicted to drugs, even scoring crack from Logic's brothers. Terrifying violence was the norm, and Logic recounts seeing his mother and sisters sexually assaulted. His own best friend is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence for stabbing and disemboweling a man on the sidewalk, due to what he believes was a drug deal gone bad.

Somehow, Logic took this as a cautionary example and went the other way.


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'Pray Daily. Love Openly. Live Simply': The Sound of Crown Heights Rapper ScienZe

Categories: Interviews

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Via YouTube
Crown Heights' ScienZe, born Jamal Monsanto, became fascinated with hip-hop at nine years old, when he first heard his older brother -- nine years his senior -- rap with his friends in their family home. From then on, a young Jamal took to writing lyrics in his head, something he believed to be normal for everyone. Jamal's brother was his real inspiration to pursue rapping; as Jamal began to take rap more seriously, he first went by the name Warlock. He then teamed up with his brother to form a producer duo called the Brudaz Grymm. After a while, Jamal went solo, landing on the name ScienZe, which stuck with him.

ScienZe made the move to a full-time rap career in 2009 by dropping his debut project, The DopeNESS Vol. 1. Since then he has released seven solo projects and one collaborative effort (as Divine ScienZe), and now he's set to drop his latest solo work, #BringBackElla, on Tuesday, October 21. Tonight, ScienZe performs at the Red Door's CMJ Showcase with King I Divine as the duo Divine ScienZe. Before his show, we spoke with him about his Ella movement, positivity in hip-hop, and the movie 500 Days of Summer.

See also: The Top 20 NYC Rap Albums of All Time: The Complete List

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'My Inner White Girl Really Likes This One': Taste-Testing Fall Beers With the Doppelgangaz

Categories: Interviews

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Matter Ov Fact and EP at Pop Bar.

Fall is upon us! For hop heads, this means an abundance of pumpkin and Oktoberfest-styled beers popping up on draft and in bottles across the land. But how do you navigate through this tricksy autumnal beer market? Enter EP and Matter Ov Fact, who perform as the discerning upstate rap duo the Doppelgangaz and who have graciously agreed to act as your official fall beer taste-testers. (Gratuitous product plug: You can cop the Dopp Gang's Ghastly Duo EP on tape or vinyl now.)

Holed up at the graffiti-splattered Pop Bar in Astoria, EP and Matter Ov Fact sampled a selection of seasonal brews (including a can of slopwater PBR, in the interests of balance) and then anointed an approved beer for fall. Read on for the Dopp Gang's ruling. (Beer snob disclaimer: Key descriptions include the terms "grandma's attic" and "my inner white girl," and also involve a discussion on breast milk.)

See also: The Doppelgangaz: 'We Hold Dipset Near and Dear to Us'

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Introducing Retch, the Polo-Obsessed Rapper Co-Signed By Action Bronson

Categories: Interviews

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Retch by Ralph Lorenzo

Earlier this week, the rapper Retch dropped a fresh flick to accompany his new "Ademei Porcelana" track. With production handled by FLEXXX GOD, the song resonates with an eerie charm as Retch drops taut street-wrought rhymes that nod to the zone that Roc Marciano and KA represent so evocatively. With "Ademei Porcelana" acting as a strong statement of intent for his upcoming Finesse The World album, here's your primer on Retch.

See also: Q&A: Meyhem Lauren On Hotel Life, Ralph Lauren, And Why The Wu-Tang Clan Is The Best Rap Group Of All Time


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Where EDM Is ... and Where It's Going

Categories: Interviews

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Infamous PR - Derrick Santini
Pete Tong

Over the past five or so years EDM has hit the US harder than anyone could have anticipated. Pete Tong -- "The Pied-Piper to dance," who performs tonight, Oct. 9, at Output -- knew it was coming. He could feel it.

"Two things had started to happen," Tong recalls. "One was the fact that there had been successive growth on the kind of festival and one-off events thing... and they provided access to this music for people who were under 21."

As the music made its way over to the US, it came through a more grandiose and spectacular medium than it ever had, he says, and attracted the youth more than most other demographics.

See also: Why Are Old School Electronic Artists Annoyed With EDM?


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Anna Lunoe Promises 'Good, Sweaty, Fun' at Brooklyn Bowl Tonight

Categories: Interviews

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Infamous PR
Anna Lunoe
Tonight, September 29, Anna Lunoe is headed to the Brooklyn Bowl alongside Kygo as one of the many stops in her All Out Fall Out Tour. Lunoe first discovered her passion for music when she began hosting a radio show in her home country of Australia in 2005. Since then, she has mastered both DJing and producing, as well as singing, which she does on both her own tracks and those of her fellow DJs. Lunoe's musicality stems from many different influences across so many genres -- she's named Beck, Outkast, and Diplo as some of her inspirations -- inspiring what has become her very personal and unique musical sound. We talked to Lunoe about what people can expect from All Out Fall Out.

See also: Why EDM Is Thriving While Other Genres Are Sinking



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Eric Prydz Is Bringing the World's Largest Hologram to MSG Tonight

Categories: Interviews

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Eric Prydz EPIC 3.0 show is going to be, well, Epic!
Considered by many a dance music legend, Eric Prydz has produced hits that have satisfied the mainstream and underground in equal measure. We met up with the DJ and his manager Michael Sershall at the Refinery Hotel to talk to them both about the EPIC 3.0 show that makes its way tonight, Sept. 27, to Madison Square Garden, a blow out the two say will feature elements heretofore unseen in any other EPIC production (or any other show in general, for that matter).

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Get Lost in the "Unusual, Handmade, Live Ambiance" of DJ Jonathan Toubin's Soul Clap

Categories: Interviews

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Credit: Alexander Thomas
Jonathan Toubin
Saturday, DJ Jonathan Toubin's famous 'Soul Clap Dance-Off' returns to the Brooklyn Bowl after a summer off. Toubin, known for his spinning of old and obscure soul 45's, hosts the monthly BK Bowl party where a special guest comes 'round to facilitate a middle of the night dance off. For the return of the Soul Clap, Buster Poindexter, a.k.a. David Johansen of the New York Dolls, will be teaming up with one of the best DJ's in the city for the Saturday evening party.

To complement the amazing and classic music, Toubin has a number of exciting visuals and aesthetic elements in store for the show. Aiding the old school vibe will be shadow dancers -- dancers who will move behind a screen allowing the audience to view their gyrating silhouettes. "I'm trying to create all these visual things where people don't stare, and they get lost in this unusual, handmade, live ambiance," says the DJ. "It should hopefully look different and feel different and organic and express what all these people do, but hopefully it won't also detract from the main thing which is just the music and this dance contest we have."

In advance of his return, Toubin spoke with us about his summer, festival experiences, and style versus fashion.

See also: Who is the Best DJ in New York?

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Meet Daye Jack, the NYU Student Whose Experimental Hip-Hop Will Make You Swoon

Categories: Interviews

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Via Twitter
Lately, it seems like Atlanta's got a whole new bag of tricks; the latest to emerge from the musically prolific city is 18-year-old rapping-singer Daye Jack. The Nigerian-born and Atlanta-bred musician is incredibly fresh to the scene, with only eight months under his belt. This past January, Daye took to SoundCloud to premiere his debut mixtape Hello World, which he recorded last Fall, during his first semester at New York University. What's even better is the kid doesn't study music at NYU -- he studies programming, which he views as akin to his musical pursuits.

Less than a year out of the gate and Daye already has his second project Soul Glitch slated to drop in the coming months. Now, he's preparing to play the first show of his career this Thursday, Sept. 25, at Baby's All Right. We spoke with Daye about finding his sound, his emotional connection to his music, and his cross-country and cross-continent upbringing.

See also: The 10 Best Male Rappers of All Time

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