THURSDAY, JULY 3
Ever since a 17-year-old Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones appeared on Main Source’s 1991 classic “Live at the Barbeque,” hip-hop would be irrevocably changed. Nas. Gifted poet. Confessor. Agitator. Metaphor master. Street’s disciple. Political firebrand. Tongue-twisting genius. With music in his blood courtesy of famed blues musician father Olu Dara, the self-taught trumpeter attracted crowds with his playing at age 4, wrote his first verse at age 7 and, with 1994’s Illmatic, created one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time before he could legally drink. Two decades on, Nas remains an incendiary, outspoken and brutally candid rapper on the recently released Life is Good, his tenth album and sixth to debut at the top of the Billboard 200.
In 2008, Jazmine Sullivan released her debut album Fearless, which featured the chart-topping hit singles “Need You Bad” and “Bust Your Windows,” and earned the Philly native an amazing seven Grammy nominations including Best New Artist. Jazmine released her second album, the critically acclaimed Love Me Back in 2010, of which the Associated Press declared as “something amazing” and consequently garnered her an eighth Grammy nomination. The recipient of Billboard’s Rising Star Award, Jazmine is currently working on her highly-anticipated third album, slated for release this year on RCA Records.
Jesse Boykins III is a singer / songwriter with a timeless sound. He is the creator of a new approach to music he calls “World Soul” in which he shares a point of view that crosses all genres, generations and cultures. In early 2008, Jesse Boykins III released his debut EP Dopamine: My Life On My Back, a soulful narrative covering a range of emotions from infatuation to lust to obsession with love and the pain of love lost. His follow-up release The Beauty Created, a critically-acclaimed LP soon followed.Currently, Jesse Boykins III is gearing up for the release of his new album Love Apparatus out April 22, 2014. The highly anticipated album features lauded singles “Plain” and “Show Me Who You Are,” which have received acclaim from the likes of Esquire, Noisey, VIBE, Okayplayer and more.
Known to millions as a cast member on the hit VH1 series Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, K. Michelle embarks on “The Rebellious Soul Tour” this November to celebrate her blockbuster new album, “REBELLIOUS SOUL.” The acclaimed album made a stunning #1 debut atop Billboard’s “Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums” chart upon its release earlier this summer. Furthermore, the album entered the overall SoundScan/Billboard 200 at #2 – the highest debut on the main chart for a female R&B singer's first album since March 2001. “REBELLIOUS SOUL” is highlighted by the hit singles, “V.S.O.P.” and “Can’t Raise A Man.” K. Michelle recently performed these two tracks at the Soul Train Awards in Las Vegas, where she also took home the Best New Artist award. The companion video for “V.S.O.P.” has garnered over 5 million views on K. Michelle’s official YouTube channel (http://youtu.be/X5y9Q5CmWYg). In addition to its massive popular success, “REBELLIOUS SOUL” has also received widespread critical applause, with the New York Times hailing it as a “milestone…it has the confidence of survival.” Vibe praised Michelle’s “triumphant vocals,” singling out “V.S.O.P.” as “energetic and infectious…(the album’s) shining star.”
Grammy-nominated R&B superstar Trey Songz is an award-winning singer-songwriter, rapper, producer and actor who the late Ahmet Ertegun proclaimed to be “among the most promising R&B artists we have had on Atlantic since we started the company 60 years ago.” “CHAPTER V,” his highly-anticipated fifth album and the follow up to his 2010 album “PASSION, PAIN & PLEASURE,” featured the multi-platinum hit “Bottoms Up (feat. Nicki Minaj)” and the #1 single “Can’t Be Friends,” both of which helped the album go on to secure RIAA Gold certification. The multi-faceted Songz also has an eye towards digital innovation and, with more than 30 million followers across varied social platforms, recently launched his own social network – The Angel Network – in partnership with Handmade Mobile.