UK Rapper/Singer Dylan Cartlidge Delivers a Much-Needed Message With the “Love Spoons” Video

UK rapper, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Dylan Cartlidge was inspired by all the negative in the world, but instead of reacting with anger or disappointment, he responded with a message of hope. “Love Spoons” is an uplifting song with a sense of urgency, and it's exactly what we need right now. Watch the new Katia Ganfield-directed video above, and read a short interview with Dylan below.

“Love Spoons” has a really positive message. What inspired that, and why is it important for you to share right now?​

I believe so strongly in hope above adversity, and this song was written in part as a response to all these horrific attacks that were happening around the globe, one after another. It was awful. The Orlando attack in particular really struck me, as I couldn't believe those people had been targeted for the way in which they express their love. So I combined the feelings and thoughts from this period with my own feelings on individuality and hope above adversity. Regardless of age, gender, skin color, sexual orientation, or background, being you is a key to truly finding happiness. I think now more than ever there's somebody somewhere that could do with hearing that.

Musically, this isn't like a lot of the current styles making the rounds right now. What music influences you?

Kid Cudi is basically my idol, being a rapper by trade I grew up listening to a lot of rap, R&B, soul, and mainstream chart music mainly but lived in a household as a child with a trance DJ and '80s pop fanatic for a good while but typically, Lupe Fiasco, Stromae, Olu, Kanye West, Cage, Mac Miller, The Cool Kids. I then joined a band when I was 16, and for the first time had openly experienced music with live instruments, guitars and riffs, bands like The Black Keys, The White Stripes. I've never looked back since, totally blew my mind, my musical horizons had been broadened.

What can you tell us about the music video for “Love Spoons”? Where was it shot, who are the people featured in it? Any stories from the shoot that you remember?

The video was shot by a wonderfully talented lady named Katia Garfield who's done videos for the likes of Childhood, Demob Happy, and loads of others. It was all shot on her super cool VHS camera in the seaside town I live in named Redcar. I'd gotten many friends, family, and people I knew involved to try and showcase as many forms of love as I could find, in all different relationships and people. I even roped my girlfriend Holly into it!

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That Time Kobe Bryant Helped a Childhood Friend Record With Jay Z

Back in the late 1990s, Kobe Bryant tried hard—very hard—to get his rap career off the ground. Even though Kobe was still just a few years into his NBA career and even though he should have, in theory, been spending more time on the basketball court than in the studio, he spent a ridiculous amount of time, energy, and money recording his debut album, Visions. It was an album that went through many different iterations with Kobe creating an underground-sounding project first before his label Sony Entertainment made him switch things up and make something more commercial. And it was also an album that eventually got shelved, meaning Kobe essentially put forth a ton of effort for, well, nothing.

There was at least one good thing that came out of Kobe’s rap career, though (and no, it wasn’t this). Kobe’s childhood friend Russell “Russ” Howard, who served as one of the main producers on Kobe’s ill-fated project, spoke with Bleacher Report recently and talked about what it was like to work with Kobe. He documented how hard Kobe worked on the album, the serious approach he took to honing his craft, and the disappointment they all felt when Sony pulled the plug on the project. But he also pointed out that, on a personal level, Kobe played an instrumental role in helping him land the biggest beat placement of his entire career.

It seems Kobe loved what Russ came up with for his album and thought he should be working with other rappers, too. So one day, while Kobe was on the set of the music video for Mariah Carey’s “Heartbreaker,” he stepped to Jay Z and told him about the producer. And even though Kobe wasn’t exactly an established voice when it came to dishing out music recommendations, Hov listened to what he had to say and ended up working with Russ.

From the B/R piece:

Howard and Bryant were in constant communication about what direction they wanted to pursue. Bryant, so happy with his friend's work, approached Jay Z on the set of the “Heartbreaker” music video and recommended the legendary rapper to check out his friend. Not long after, Howard was working with Brooklyn's own on Vol. 3 Life and Times of S. Carter, producing the beats of “S. Carter” and “There's Been a Murder.”

And Russ wasn’t the only one of Kobe's producers who ended up on Jay Z’s Vol. 3. Back in 2013, Grantland ran a lengthy story about the “secret history” of Kobe’s rap career, and it included a small nugget buried deep in the footnotes about how another producer Kobe was working with at the time also ended up doing some work for Jay Z before working with other Roc-A-Fella artists. Sean “S-Dot” Francis, a producer from Philadelphia, worked alongside Russ on the same two Vol. 3 tracks after a chance meeting with Jay Z during a studio session with Kobe.

From the Grantland piece:

“Kobe is in the booth rapping,” Francis says. “All of a sudden, I look in the reflection of the booth and I see this diamond chain—all diamonds—with a Rocawear shirt. Then I heard someone say, 'It sounds like you know what you’re doing in there.' And it was Jay Z. [Sony A&R] Lenny Nicholson told Kobe to come out of the booth. Kobe was like, 'What’s up?' Jay said, 'I heard you’re doing big things.' He’s like, 'Yeah, I’m getting it together.' Jay’s like, 'Let me hear what you got.' So we played him some things and he asked us if we produced…Next thing you know, [Russell and I] did two beats [“S. Carter” and “There’s Been a Murder”] on Vol. 3…The Life and Times of S. Carter.”

After working with Jay Z, Howard went on to work with DMX, Lupe Fiasco, Paul Wall, and more. Francis, meanwhile, landed beats on projects from Beanie Sigel, State Property, and others. So hey, at least Kobe’s debut album wasn’t a total waste, right?

Oh, and if you’re wondering where the songs from that album ended up after it got shelved, Howard provided B/R with the answer. “They’re out there,” he said. “Ray Donovan has them.”

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Wale Joined By Rick Ross And Lupe Fiasco In ‘Poor Decisions’ Video

By Maurice Bobb

Good things come in threes, especially if you’re a fan of Rick RossMaybach Music Group. Rozay dropped three visual jewels from his collective’s upcoming compilation LP, Self Made, Vol. 3, throughout the course of the day Tuesday (June 4), leading off with Wale’s “Poor Decisions,” and following with his own “Oil Money Gang” before serving up Rockie Fresh’s “God is Great” for an encore.

“It’s something it’s really super dope, but it’s only a way you can present it — in a form like this,” Rozay told MTV News on Monday (June 3) about SMV3, due August 6. “It’s all about the collaboration and the presentation.”

The DRE Films-directed clip for Wale’s “Poor Decisions” starts off with a contemplative Rozay spitting the line “rich ni—as making poor decisions” in an nondescript urban area, followed by Lupe Fiasco dropping verses in similarly desolate and dismal environs. The Gifted MC, however, gets to tour a sneaker spot while admonishing people’s materialism before flashing to a dysfunctional family in the park and Lupe’s lyrical flip of Ross chorus, “poor ni—as making rich decisions.”

MMG Drops ‘God Is Great’ And ‘Poor Decisions’ From Self Made, Vol. 3 LP

selfmade

By Maurice Bobb

MMG season has returned. After news broke Monday (June 3) that Rick Ross’ crew’s compilation album, Self Made, Vol. 3, would be released on August 6, fans got a double dose of new music from the upcoming LP.

The first song out of the collective’s chamber was Rockie Fresh’s “God is Great.” The Boi-1da-produced track finds the young Chicagoan giving thanks to man upstairs for his many blessings, which include his watch, chain and bevy of women.

“See the watch, see the chain and know that God is great/ Even when these ni–as hate, God is great,” Fresh raps, before continuing with “Aw, man, look at me, I’m becoming everything I wish I be/I got b-tches, I got cake, wake up every day and I say God is great.”

MMG reloaded the clip and hit fans with another sonic shot, “Poor Decisions,” by Wale, featuring Rozay and Lupe Fiasco. The Jake One-produced salvo takes aim at members of the hip-hop community spending their money furiously on whips and jewels instead of building wealth or prepping for the future, backed by Ross’ cautionary chorus, “Rich ni—as making poor decisions.”

As the Mastermind MC weaves his signature coke boy tales, Lupe and Wale hammer home messages with a more neo-political focus, with the Food & Liquor rapper flipping Ross’ original refrain for a more suitable one.

“Poor ni—as making rich decisions,” he raps, hammering home the idea that, realistically, most fans’ “POV is poverty,” but they “still gon get ‘em.” Poor decisions indeed.

Those two songs, combined with Wale’s “Bad (remix),” featuring Rihanna, officially makes today MMG Monday.