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We Sat Down with Singer-Songwriter Bianca Raquel



Bianca Raquel

Earlier last month, I had the pleasure of being able to interview singer, songwriter, producer, performer and musician, Bianca Raquel. Being the daughter of world-renowned musical director/arranger Ray Chew, it’s clear that the gift of music was passed down a generation. The difference between Bianca and other artists is that her sound is unique and absolutely cannot be duplicated. In case you missed it, last month, Bianca came back on the scene with a new song and video to follow titled, “Dear Summer… Our Season Is Over,” sampling Jay Z & Stevie Wonder’s Dear Summer.

Download: Bianca Raquel – Dear Summer…Our Season Is Over


Tahisha: Who is Bianca Raquel?

Bianca Raquel: Bianca Raquel is a singer-songwriter-producer, performer and arranger with a love and respect for the craft of music.

Tahisha: How did you know singing was something you wanted to do?

Bianca Raquel: Singing (along with song writing) is something that I have always done. It’s been apart of me since I could speak. I used to make up songs to entertain myself as a child and would memorize them because I didn’t yet know how to read or write.

Tahisha: How would you describe your sound and who are your musical influences?

Bianca Raquel: I would describe my sound as “R&B with an edge”. I listen to a variety of music. Everything from old school R&B and funk to metal, alternative and jazz music. Stevie Wonder and Prince were my idols growing up as a songwriter. They are timeless and relevant today and are still improving on their skills and showmanship. I admire and respect then both and aspire to have a career with similar longevity.

Tahisha: What is your thought process when writing a song? Do you write whatever comes to mind or are you constantly revising? What inspires you?

Bianca Raquel: I have different processes when writing. I am a person with songs and melodies floating around my head constantly. It’s just a matter of when and how I choose to release them and let them take form.Many times I’ll be walking down the street and singing into my voice notes on my iPhone. I’ll go home and write everything out on paper. Sometimes I’ll sit at the piano and already have a title in mind and play chords and phrases until the words come out. Whenever I write a song, I can hear the entire arrangement( this includes the backgrounds, instruments and production.)

I try to stay open minded and allow everything around me to inspire. If I have a lot going on in my personal and love life, songwriting is a tool for me to express and release my feelings and experience. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut or in a box as a songwriter if I don’t give myself direction. I’ll write down random words and phrases everyday and look at them later and see which ones are song titles and which ones are lyrics.

Tahisha: What advice do you have for aspiring musicians?

Bianca Raquel: Practice is the key. I’m guilty of not being consistent with my theory and technique in the past. There is so much value in building up fundamentals. It may be annoying, difficult and time consuming but the ultimate pay off is priceless. When you respect the gifts you’ve been given by honing them, you are empowering your artistry.

Tahisha: How would you describe the current state of R&B music?

Bianca Raquel: I think there are a lot of sub categories in R&B and in all genres of music at this point. I don’t believe that mainstream R&B is as timeless and respected as it was when my parents we’re growing up. It has evolved along with society and the rest of music.

Tahisha: Being that your father is Ray Chew, was it hard to create a name for yourself?

Bianca Raquel: I’m still “creating a name” for myself. I want to be associated with greatness in everything I do and for people to heal and receive inspiration from my work. My father is an amazing, anointed musician and being associated with him has been both a gift and a challenge. I don’t have the luxury of being “just good enough.” He has worked so hard to build a legacy and a reputation of excellence. It’s my obligation as his daughter to be on that same wave length.

Tahisha: What was it like recording your first EP?

Bianca Raquel: I have been writing and recording music to release as my first EP for the past 2 years. It’s been a process of artistic and personal growth.

Tahisha: I couldn’t help but noticed that you used ‘All About The Benjamins’ sample for ‘No Hook’. What inspired you to write this song? Loved it.

Bianca Raquel: Thank you I’m glad you like the record! “No Hook” is a song that I wrote a few years ago on the piano. I wanted to flip it into something with a beat which is why I thought it would be cool to incorporate “All About The Benjamins”. Listening to it today, there are some production elements I would revise but the song itself is a time capsule for me and how I felt during that period.

Tahisha: How do you think you’ve evolved as an artist after attending Berklee College Of Music?

Bianca Raquel: Berklee gave me theory. Prior to attending, I had very little musical teaching. I had raw talent and an ear. I didn’t put my dad’s name on the application at all and was really proud and surprised when I got accepted based on my own potential and merit.

Tahisha: Seeing how Detox was your last project, do you think you’ve improved as an artist via song writing, producing, and singing?

Bianca Raquel: I actually never released ” The Detox” in full. It’s hard to finish a project by yourself in a way that will reach and connect with a wide audience. Up until this point, I didn’t know how to do that and allowed fear to keep me from releasing my music to the world. My project CvrART which I am hoping to release this spring, is a combination of songs from “The Detox” as well as a few select re-arrangements from songs that you know by Kanye, Drake and James Blake. Upon release I hope to perform and tour over the summer and connect with people.

Follow Bianca Raquel: Twitter, Instagram, Youtube

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Cyphers to Sit-Downs: Watch Joe Budden’s New Interview With Nicki Minaj



Joe Budden Nicki Minaj Interview

Joe Budden’s interview with rapper, singer, songwriter, actress Nicki Minaj — one of the highest-grossing female rappers of all time was recently uploaded to Youtube. The setup was quite a positive change from Budden’s previous podcast with Nicki and two other guests where tensions were sky-high. The interview kicks off with Nicki and Budden reflecting on the ’09 BET Cypher and how much has changed since then. 

Nicki Minaj (2022) From Nicki Minaj (2008)

In response, Nicki wishes that she had been more appreciative of herself from her image and her raw talent. For context, it’s pretty important to note that Nicki’s rise to stardom began at the start of social media. She also reflects on the confines of desirability, with regard to getting ass shots. Very few people can fully fathom how jaded Nicki became — especially as a Black woman whose brand was colorful, quirky, and unapologetic.

Nicki the Pinkprint: “pink wig, thick ass, give ‘em whip-lash 

Nicki and Budden transition into a conversation about the standards set for aspiring female rappers and whether or not the pop star has a hand in this “starter kit.” As we know, there is a clear image and sound that is almost requisite to recognition and success in the industry — the doll. The same image that Nicki spearheaded at the start of her music career (as the Harajuku Barbie with colorful hair and full bangs) has been replicated by a lot of today’s newest female rappers. 

Nicki the Mogul

As Nicki and Budden speak about music moguls like Jay-Z, Budden inquires about Nicki’s steps toward cementing her name as a music mogul. She speaks of ‘Queen Radio,’ which will be headed to Amazon. Nicki also sheds light on the makings of her documentary, her management company and also a record company. She also mentions that she will be taking on a role in an upcoming film that will be bigger than her previous cameos. 

Nicki the All-Time Influencer 

Nicki and Budden spoke about the importance of Black women speaking up about their cultural impact. History has shown time and time again that black women’s creativity is often imitated and of course, their brilliance cannot be duplicated (i.e. Coi LerayFKA Twigs). Unfortunately, though, Black women typically have to demand their flowers. 

“You have to mention it or they’ll act like it never happened!” 

Time after time, Nicki has had to advocate for herself after being snubbed from Grammy awards.

Nicki Minaj on Twitter: “Never forget the Grammys didn’t give me my best new artist award when I had 7 songs simultaneously charting on billboard & bigger first week than any female rapper in the last decade- went on to inspire a generation. They gave it to the white man Bon Iver. #PinkFriday / Twitter”

Never forget the Grammys didn’t give me my best new artist award when I had 7 songs simultaneously charting on billboard & bigger first week than any female rapper in the last decade- went on to inspire a generation. They gave it to the white man Bon Iver. #PinkFriday

She’s even had to speak out against the other networks (BET) for snubbing her accomplishments as this generation’s pink print for women in hip hop. Nicki also asserts that she and Lil’ Kim shouldn’t have already been on the cover of American Vogue for their dominant influences in pop culture. 

Nicki Minaj on Twitter: “When u go out of ur way to b spiteful & hurt artists who have always supported ur show… when you fire great ppl who have put their heart & soul into the show… when you’d rather be a messy reality show than a prestigious award show… when ur still being dragged by that lace https://t.co/DOYKmgAlyr / Twitter”

When u go out of ur way to b spiteful & hurt artists who have always supported ur show… when you fire great ppl who have put their heart & soul into the show… when you’d rather be a messy reality show than a prestigious award show…

How does Nicki navigate through this new age of rap? 

Toward the end of the interview, Nicki speaks about how she has remedied writer’s block in the midst of motherhood and the pandemic. Nicki says that the privilege of having “sparring partners” like Drake and Lil Wayne on ‘Seeing Green‘ has helped her get back in the ring. Many fans have mentioned that the song is very consistent with the trio’s sound from the late 2000s into the 2010s. Nicki and Budden two spoke about navigating the new era of music where artists are trying to solidify their sound but are also looking to score a hit single with today’s rap trends. 

The two end the interview with discussions about the perks of parenthood and the momentum that Nicki will be picking up on shortly. Many people are excited to see the new heights that Nicki will be experiencing soon.

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Big Sean Addresses Kanye West on Drink Champs



Big Sean Drink Champs miixtapechiick

Update (12/18/2021):

The full episode of Big Sean on Drink Champs has been uploaded on Youtube. During the interview, Big Sean went into detail about his deal with G.O.O.D. music and revealed that he has not received and his masters and Kanye owes him more than $6 million.

“If you up Bs and you owe me this money that probably ain’t nothing to him. That’s life-changing money for me,” he told N.O.R.E and DJ EFN. “I put at least 30 million in this man’s pocket or more and he owes me money and he’s up billions.”

Sean continued to go in detail about his record deal stating: “When I heard what he was talking about, it didn’t make sense, bro, because you know, my manager saw my record deal and said, ‘this is a sh*tty record deal,” Sean said, referring to Jay Brown of Roc Nation. “I had to spend my own money auditing my label because millions of dollars are missing and you could tell when millions of dollars are missing. I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on my label thinking Universal owe me this money and the money had been paid to G.O.O.D. Music.”

Watch the full interview above.

Original Post (12/17/2021): Last month, Kanye West appeared on N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN‘s Drink Champs where West touched on a slew of topics including his beef with Drake, marriage with Kim Kardashian and G.O.O.D. Music.

However, what fans didn’t expect was Ye’s sentiments about Big Sean. When N.O.R.E. asked Kanye whether he preferred Pusha T or Big Sean, the DONDA rapper grabbed a fake tombstone from the Halloween decorations and said, “Oh I love this. Let me tell you. I already decided that when I die, on my tombstone it’s gonna say, ‘I deserve to be here because I signed Big Sean.’”

Confused, N.O.R.E. corrected Kanye West saying signing Big Sean was the “best thing” he’s ever done, however, Ye said yet again, it was the “worst thing” he’d ever done. 

“I know this man’s mama,” he added. “I’ve changed this man’s family. And both John Legend and Big Sean, when I ran for office, got used quick by the Democrats to come at they boy that actually changed they life, and that’s some sellout shit. And I don’t rock with neither of them, and I need their apologies.”

After hearing what West had to say, Big Sean went to Twitter and revealed that his former boss owed him $6 million. Following his comments, Big Sean confirmed he would be appearing on Drink Champs to tell his side of the story.

“I love Kanye, bro,” Sean says in the episode clip. “I love him for the opportunity he gave me, and all these things. But I thought what he said was some bitch ass shit.”

 Big Sean’s episode on Drink Champs airs on Thursday (December 16) and will be uploaded to REVOLT’s YouTube CHANNEL Saturday (December 18).

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Guilty Krown Sits Down with The Museum TV



You may remember Guilty Krown from our first edition of #FashionFridays. Taking things to the next level, Guilty Krown founders, Jerome Jean & Rayon Hall, sat down with Guru Sanaal of The Museum TV to talk about the mission statement of their clothing line, Guilty Krown becoming not only a brand but a lifestyle, their humble beginnings, and what’s next.

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