Who Is kiLL edward, the Mysterious Name ‘Featured’ on J. Cole’s New Album?

Did J. Cole abandon his featureless approach?

On Wednesday, the 33-year-old rapper lifted the curtain on the KOD tracklist, which included 12 songs along with two feature credits belonging to a mysterious artist called kiLL edward. This detail immediately raised eyebrows for a couple of reasons:

1. Cole’s last two albums—2014 Forest Hills Drive and 4 Your Eyez Only—were 100 percent solo efforts, and
2. Those who attended the KOD listening party claimed the project did not include any guest appearances.

So, who the hell is kiLL edward, then?

Fans have spent Wednesday afternoon searching through the internet in attempt to identify the unknown act. And it seems the general consensus is that kiLL edward is actually J. Cole’s alter ego.

The theory makes sense, too. On Wednesday, fans noticed a verified SoundCloud account belonging to kiLL edward. The page listed one song called “tidal wave (Just a little reference),” which his since been released on Apple Music and Spotify.

It’s a singing track that sounds a lot like Cole with a lower pitch. Several fans have uploaded faster versions of the song, which basically confirm kiLL edward is Cole's alter ego. Take a listen below.

Though this is an interesting method, it isn't necessarily new in hip-hop. Pharrell did this under his Skateboard P alias, and Nas did this with his female rapper alter ego “Scarlett.” 

It's also important to note that Cole's previous album, 4 Your Eyez Only, was partly told from a perspective that wasn't Cole's. Producer Elite revealed this to Complex back in 2016:

There is another perspective that he is speaking from on this album, and that’s what he wanted to make clear. There are moments where it parallels him and he speaks from his own perspective. “Neighbors” is a step outside for a second, but it’s still a commentary on the overall theme. But the album is largely from a perspective that is not J. Cole.

Perhaps this will be an ongoing theme in Cole's future albums—using alter egos to tell a story that goes beyond his own perspective.

KOD is set to drop this Friday. 

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Apple Music’s Hip-Hop Programming Head Carl Chery Moves to Spotify

The streaming world has been shaken-up a lot over the course of the last few years, especially as it becomes the predominant way to listen to and discover new music. This year alone has already seen a few big players joining and leaving both record labels and streaming giants for new positions as the industry gets increasingly competitive. Now Variety reports that head of artist curation for hip-hop and R&B programming at Apple Music, Carl Chery, will be leaving the company for a new role at competitor Spotify.

Chery joined the company all the way back in 2014 as part of Apple's acquisition of Beats By Dre/Beats Music, but now it's expected he'll fill the hole former RapCaviar curator Tuma Basa left when he headed to YouTube in February. As Variety points out, Chery previously developed Apple Music's hugely popular A-List: Hip-Hop and A-List: R&B playlists, and he was also responsible for helping secure Chance The Rapper's Coloring Book as an Apple Music exclusive. 

Carl Chery has also played a big part in helping launch the careers of numerous popular artists, including Post Malone, Cardi B, and Daniel Caesar among others.

With Spotify recently going public with an estimated value of almost $30 billion dollars on its opening day of NYSE trading, he couldn't've picked a better time to join the company. 

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Cardi B Debuts at No. 1 With ‘Invasion of Privacy’

On April 6, Cardi B released her debut album, Invasion of Privacy. After a whirlwind press tour that included co-hosting The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and performing on Saturday Night Live, the first week totals are in. Invasion of Privacy has pushed 255,000 equivalent album units in its first week, making it the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200. The total is also the second-biggest week of 2018 behind Justin Timberlake's Man of the Woods (293,000 units).

Cardi’s dominance manifested itself in the streaming world as well, with Invasion of Privacy garnering 100 million streams worldwide in a week. That figure allowed Cardi B to eclipse Taylor Swift’s Apple Music record for the most worldwide streams of an album by a female artist in its first week, although the accomplishment comes under different circumstances.

“Since Swift’s album was not available on streaming services for its first three weeks of release, the comparison is not quite an equal one — Swift’s album sold 1.216 million copies in its first week, according to Nielsen Music,” a Variety report noted.

Cardi B now joins Eve, Foxy Brown, Nicki Minaj, and Lauryn Hill as the only female rappers to top the Billboard 200. Nicki is the only member of that group to do so more than once.

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The Weeknd Drops Parts 1 and 2 of ‘Another You’ Documentary

Just hours before his headlining performance at Coachella, the Weeknd has another treat for fans: the announcement of a four-part documentary titled Another You, released exclusively on Apple Music.

The doc will serve as an unfiltered look into the Weeknd’s artistic process, giving a video diary of Abel’s day-to-day, starting with the surprise release of his No. 1 album My Dear Melancholy and including Coachella rehearsals. Another One will follow him right up until the moment he takes the stage.

Pt. 1 and 2 are currently available on Apple Music. See a preview:

The Weeknd is on a major roll. Just yesterday, he released the music video for “Call Out My Name,” his newest single, which debuted at No. 4 on the charts last week. The six-track album debuted at No. 1, making it his third consecutive time doing it.

Although the Weeknd isn’t exaclty known for being the most open of books, the artist has been making an effort recently to take fans behind the scenes. A day after My Dear Melancholy dropped, he also released “He Was Never There,” a short docu-poem based on one of the songs on the album, featuring Abel in the studio.

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Lil Uzi Vert Takes Shots at Rich the Kid on “Who Run It” Remix

“Who Run It” season continues with the official studio version of G Herbo's updated take on the Three 6 Mafia classic. As previously teased, Lil Uzi Vert uses his portion of the barnburner to go all the way off.

Uzi also sneaks in an apparent Rich the Kid diss:

Boy, you ain't rich, you a bitch

He also raps:

Your shit weak, tryna compare us or somethin'
What I made last week? Like a million or somethin'
Rich, mad 'cause your bitch ate my kids or somethin'
Man, I could fuck your wife like you sharin' or somethin'

The line about Rich's wife is likely in reference to a recent report that she filed for divorce from the rapper. It was alleged that Rich cheated on his wife with Blac Chyna and India Love.

Just last month, Rich was convinced that his Uzi-mocking “Dead Friends” wouldn't get a response from the Master of 666 at all. “I doubt it,” Rich told Rap-Up. “Not on a music level. I'm not really looking for him to respond. It really ain't no disrespect. He was talking on Twitter.”

Stream Herbo and Uzi's “Who Run It” remix below via Apple Music or grab it on iTunes.

The official “Who Run It” stream arrives at the perfect time, as there's clearly something major afoot in the Uziverse. As I wrote about Wednesday whilst unforgivably missing an obvious Mike Jones reference, Uzi’s Instagram has purportedly been taken over by a variety of people who aren’t Uzi after some login info (allegedly) found its way onto a brothel’s bathroom wall.

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The latest post sees Uzi in a contemplative mood in front of a tent, with the caption—supposedly not written by Uzi—taking aim at Uzi’s “bosses” for not letting him drop new music. “Thank me later Uzi I'm leakin' songs for your fans,” the caption promised.

 

 

 

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Q-Tip Previewed an Unreleased Kendrick Lamar Collaboration on his ‘Abstract Radio’ Show

Q-Tip’s Abstract Radio show on Apple’s Beats 1 has previously included gems such as a two-hour tribute to his friend and collaborator Prodigy of Mobb Deep, and Friday’s show offered another special moment with a previously unreleased Kendrick Lamar collaboration. Q-Tip played the track, unofficially titled “Want U 2 Want,” at approximately the 1:42-mark of his mix Friday.

Keys, synths, and a guitar loop power the collaboration as both Kendrick and Q-Tip profess their love for their boos. 

“The love for your name can only pertain to the flame I got in my veins/I never complain when your name is mentioned/I can’t hold back or restrain/It’s the fact I just want you to want me,” Kendrick raps on the song’s chorus.

This isn’t the first collaboration between Kendrick Lamar and Q-Tip, as Kendrick appeared on “Conrad Tokyo” from A Tribe Called Quest’s final album We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service.

The origins of “Want U 2 Want” are unclear, as Kendrick and Q-Tip were spotted hitting the studio as far back as 2012. Prior to A Tribe Called Quest’s 2016 swan song, Q-Tip had reportedly been working on a solo project entitled The Last Zulu.

Q-Tip also dropped a collaboration with Demi Lovato entitled “Don't Go Breaking My Heart”—an Elton John and Kiki Dee cover—at the 1:59 mark of his mix. You can hear Q-Tip’s entire mix via Apple Music.

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Best Buy Will No Longer Sell CDs and Target May Be Next

The future of physical music isn't looking good. According to Billboard, consumer electronics company Best Buy will no longer carry physical CDs and Target may be following suit in the near future. 

Best Buy notified music suppliers that they will cease selling CDs at stores beginning July 1. The move is sure to hurt the already declining sales of CDs as consumers are switching to streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal in large numbers. CD sales have already dropped by a sizable 18.5 percent in the past year, Billboard reports. 

Despite not carrying CDs, the company will continue to stock their shelves with vinyl, at least for the following year or two due to a commitment it made to vendors. 

Target, on the other hand, is awaiting a response from music suppliers. The discount retailer has asked to be switched to scanned-based trading, which essentially translates to a type of consignment. Presently, the company pays for CDs upfront and shipping fees if they are unsold and returned to the supplier.  

The switch would mean that the company wouldn't pay for the CDs until they have been sold or scanned at the register. Target has also asked the same of DVD video suppliers. If the CD suppliers don't acquiesce, Target may follow Best Buy's lead and remove CDs from its in-store inventory. 

Billboard also points out that both Best Buy and Target have been reducing the number of music titles they have been carrying in recent years. Despite the dwindling number of CDs being carried, Target was able to move 500,000 physical copies of Taylor Swift's latest album Reputation. Not bad considering it was released in November of 2017. 

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Drake’s “God’s Plan” Is Now the No. 1 Song in the Country

Even when we don't see Drake coming, he knows where the culture is going. It's a vision like that that has landed The Boy at the top of the Billboard Hot 100: “God's Plan” is officially No. 1. As if that wasn't enough, “Diplomatic Immunity,” the other track in his 2-pack Scary Hours EP, is No. 7 according to Billboard. That makes Drake the first artist to have two songs debut in the Top 10 simultaneously since Ed Sheeran, who did so last January with “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill.” Sheeran and Drake are the only two artists to have accomplished such a feat. Clap for 'em.

When you look at the numbers, it's not surprising to see him at the top of the charts. Per Billboard and Nielsen Music, “God's Plan” was also No. 1 on the Streaming Songs chart, with 82.4 million U.S. streams. Speaking of streaming, just last week Drake broke records with both Spotify and Apple Music. Chart Data reported that “God's Plan” was streamed 4,326,679 times in the U.S., a single-day record. And Zane Lowe let the world know via Twitter that “God's Plan” was streamed more than 14 million times on its first day on Apple Music, a worldwide record for the platform.

With “God's Plan,” Drake has bumped Camila Cabello and Young Thug's “Havana” from the No. 1 spot, where it spent just one week. The competition is fierce outchea.

“God's Plan” is Drake's first debut at No. 1, and his fourth overall Hot 100 No. 1. His features with Rihanna, “What's My Name?” in 2010 and “Work” in 2016, earned him No. 1 spots, as well as his lead single “One Dance” featuring WizKid and Kyla, which also held the top spot in 2016. His latest chart topper marks his second No. 1 as a lead artist, and his first as a solo act. 

According to Chart Data, Drake joins Mariah Carey and The Beatles as the only artists with 20 or more Hot 100 top 10s in a single decade.​ While Drizzy is running these 2010s, Mariah dominated in the '90s, and The Beatles held it down in the '60s. 

Drake is reportedly already back in the studio: he's been seen hanging with Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny and has posted visuals of his studio to his Instagram stories. 

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It Sounds Like Takeoff and Carnage Have a Joint Mixtape Headed Our Way

It’s no wonder Migos considers themselves the “biggest group ever.” This week alone, the Atlanta trio released their highly anticipated Culture II album, launched an apparel collection at Bloomingdale’s, and will potentially walk away with multiple Grammys on Sunday. It’s clear Migos is on top of the world right now; however, it sounds like one of its members is gearing up to release a side project. And, no, we’re not talking about Quavo again.

On the same day Culture II dropped, DJ/producer Carnage announced he and Takeoff had a collaborative mixtape in the stash. He announced the project on social media, accompanied by a screenshot of his and Takeoff’s Facetime conversation. 

Carnage linked up with Migos for his 2015 debut album Papi Gordo. The hip-hop EDM producer also released a number of collaborative projects throughout last year: one was the Young Martha mixtape with Young Thug, and the other was the Step Brothers EP with G-Eazy. Carnage is also preparing to release another studio album in the upcoming months, which he says is filled with big-name features, including Takeoff.

“I’m really excited. I put a lot of time in to it,” he said on Power 106’s The Cruz Show this month. “I have a mixture of, like, everybody. You’re going to be blown away.”

While we wait for more information about Takeoff and Carnage’s joint effort, you can check out Culture II on Apple Music and iTunes. The album has already received plenty of love from a wide range of fans as well as the restaurant chain Wingstop. (LOL.)

Gucci Mane also appeared to enjoy Culture II, as he referred to Takeoff as his favorite rapper shortly after the album dropped. 

 

Culture 2 out @yrntakeoff my fav rapper now!!!

A post shared by Gucci Mane (@laflare1017) on Jan 26, 2018 at 8:34am PST

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Drake Drops 2 New Songs, “God’s Plan” and “Diplomatic Immunity”

It appears to now be Drake season. The Toronto rapper has returned on this now gorgeous Friday evening to bless the music-hungry masses with not one, not three, not twelve, but two new songs. 

You can listen to the two new tracks, which are titled “Diplomatic Immunity” and “God's Plan,” over on Apple Music and iTunes or below on Spotify. The songs are part of a two-track EP titled Scary Hours.

“God's Plan” was produced by Cardo​, Boi-1da and YeX while “Diplomatic Immunity” was produced by Boi-1da and Nick Brongers. 

Drake hopped on social media to let the world know he was releasing new music about an hour before the songs became avaiable on streaming platforms.

 

GODS PLAN AND DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY LIVE ON ALL PLATFORMS WORLDWIDE MIDNIGHT 🕛

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Jan 19, 2018 at 8:03pm PST

Even Drake's friend Odell Beckham took to Instagram to tease a line from “God's Plan” prior to the song's drop.

 

“Don’t pull up at 6am to cuddle wit mee…”

A post shared by Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) on Jan 19, 2018 at 6:45pm PST

Drake's last project, 2017's More Life, boasted features from Young Thug, Giggs, Skepta, Quavo, Travis Scott, 2 Chainz, Kanye West, Jorja Smith, Sampha and Partynextdoor

Speaking to Hollywood Reporter for a cover story back in November of 2017, Drake expressed his interest in making a pivot into producing films. He, along with LeBron James' production company Springhill Entertainment, will be reviving the UK drama Top Boy. The show will be coming to Netflix in 2019. 

 

🇬🇧🙌🏽 COMING SOON

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Nov 8, 2017 at 6:04am PST

While talking about his music career, Drake remarked: “I'm sure I'll stop [making music] one day.” He continued, “When it starts to feel like I'm making it up. Hopefully I'll catch it before I ever get there, right? But right now it feels like we just started, so I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. But I do plan on expanding—to take six months or a year to myself and do some great films. Music's always there.”

With these new songs and a possible album on the way, it doesn't seem like Drake will stop making music anytime soon. 

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