On this week’s episode of ‘Open Late,’ Peter Rosenberg chats with KYLE, Zaytoven, Belly, and more.
Houston native Craig Xen has lived in L.A. and Miami and worked with many of the new school of rap's key names, including Ski Mask The Slump God, Denzel Curry, XXXtentacion, and Pouya. Now, he has a mixtape on the way, and “Killa,” produced by Diablo and featuring fellow rising star Yung Bans, is the first single.
The track has been racking up plays on SoundCloud but the video takes things to the next level, matching the wild energy with violent, colorful animations. The video was directed by Somber Somni, and you can watch it above. “Working with someone who loved their art as much as myself gave me the ease that I was in good hands,” Craig Xen explains of working with Somni. “I knew when I got the first screenshots that it was going to be HARD as fuck. If anything it made me want to do a complete project in animation; being my own cartoon character!”
Craig Xen's Hell Bent mixtape drops May 18 via EMPIRE, and he tells us, “Working on this project, my life became my art. I recorded on bad and depressed days, and recorded on good and motivating days. I just never gave up until I couldn’t give anymore. I wanted to give a meaning and a voice to someone that would hear a song and hope it translated into emotion.” Pre-order Hell Bent here.
Check out Yung Bans' video for “Out” below too.
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Over the course of 2017, Billie Eilish went from a precocious high-schooler who wouldn't stop singing to one of mainstream music's most exciting new voices. Her dontsmileatme EP was a crack of lightning against our musical landscape, eight tracks of dark, scrappy pop that revealed Billie's talents as a songwriter—and her fascination with morbidity. But the EP was also a family affair: Billie's brother Fineas provided most of the production, and the songs were largely written in their parents' roomy Craftsman home in Los Angeles' Highland Park.
The 16-year-old singer was homeschooled by equally creative parents, both of them actors that encouraged Billie's early interest in dance and horseback riding. She's always been a singer, but it wasn't she and Fineas uploaded “Ocean Eyes” that the musical aspirations started to come to life. That was in November of 2015, and the success that has followed swept the whole family up in its current.
Luckily, they were prepared—Billie has the right people around her, and since signing to Interscope, she's become one of the label's most sought-after acts. By the time we visited the family's house in L.A., Billie had paired with Vince Staples on the “watch” remix and cooked up some unreleased heat with IDK and Denzel Curry.
For now, however, Billie Eilish's creative base remains in Highland Park. It's somewhere between the treehouse built by her dad (he made this ladder, too), the aerial trapeze in the backyard (her mom teaches circus lessons on the side), and the hidden wall of her bedroom, where Billie scrawls ideas in black marker. It's home, but it's also headquarters.
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Florida natives and frequent collaborators Twelve'Len and Denzel Curry connected again on the smooth track “Human Gods,” which dropped in May. We already had the song on repeat, but now the video is here, and it's packed with awesome moments. The video highlights the two artist's chemistry while the VHS effects and striking imagery (A giant dog!) make it essential viewing.
You might already be familiar with Denzel Curry, but look out for Twelve'Len—this kid is special. Watch the “Human Gods” video above. Check out what happened when Denzel came through for an episode of Trending Topics and we asked him about South Florida rap below.
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“Complex Live” heads to Cuba with “The Fate of the Furious,” meets the creator of the “La Borinquena” comic, and links with Denzel Curry for a performance.
On today's Everyday Struggle, Joe Budden, DJ Akademiks, and Nadeska run through the day's hottest topics including Tory Lanez dropping racks, 6lack dissing a Twitter follower, Lil Wayne dissing Birdman, and much more. The star conversation continues with a hearty debate about Young Thug and Future and who has more star power at the moment.
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