And just like that, Z-Ro unleashes No Love Boulevard, the final album in a legendary career that spanned for two decades. Check out the Houston rapper’s final offering below.
At 14 tracks with no features, No Love Boulevard is a concentrated package of everything fans have come to love about the Houstin-bred MC. On “Belong to the Streets,” Z-Ro waxes on about is unbreakable bond with the streets. On “From the Other Side,” the H-town artist explores the possibilities that accompany positivity, while showcasing his smooth singing voice in the hook.
If you want to hear Z-Ro go into some straight bars, you should probably check out “He’s Not Done,” a track that finds the rapper venting as he attacks a minimalistic instrumental.
“Fuck these rappin’ niggas/I was slappin’ niggas/When I came around they were nervous/They say ‘Ro ain’t the best/He is just depressed/He ain’t got it all/He is just a mess,” he spits on the song. There’s more where that came from, too.
Z-Ro’s No Love Boulevard Tracklist
1. “Lost My Mind”
2. “From the Other Side”
4. “Belong to the Streets”
5. “They Don’t Understand”
6. “You’s a Bitch”
7. “Brang a Stacc”
8. “Devil in Me”
9. “Play Me”
14.”He’s Not Done”
Look out world, the legend of Logic the music industry mogul has just begun. Yesterday (June 29), the talented wordsmith launched his record label, Elysium. He also uploaded what’s essentially a video mission statement for the label on YouTube. Check out both his announcement tweet and his Elysium introduction video below.
For Logic, whose Everybody album has debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart, the decision to create Elysium came from a need for trust, a commodity most readily provided by family, friends and, of course, himself. “Elysium was created mainly because I don’t trust anybody else, with the precious cargo that is my family—from Lenny, Damian, John Lindahl and my wife. Like, I don’t trust anyone else,” Logic explains.
He continues, “I wanted to create a place where they can feel free and literally do whatever they want, because this is so much more than just music. It really is a family, you know? So many people that support me are gonna support these artists. What we’re all here to represent is following your dreams. Because each and every artist that was here didn’t have anything handed to them, and that’s why I’m so happy I’ve been put in a position where I can shed light on these people.”
The Virginia-bred spitter goes on to detail some of the qualities that make each of his comrades—his wife, Lenny and a few others—so aspirational. He praises his wife, Jessica Andrea, for being able to promote the advancement of women without the need to objectify themselves.
Next, he cites Lenny’s ability and opportunity to pursue music at the age of 37 as proof you’re never too old to pursue your dreams. He then describes his friend Damian Lemar Hudson’s dynamic abilities as a playwright, a singer and musician while calling him the “definition of a strong Black man.” He tops it all off by calling John Lindahl an incredible singer and an overall positive person to be around. Sounds like a dope roster.
Peep Logic’s Elysium video below. Learn more about Elysium here.
The DMV’s next generation of rappers are starting to grab national attention. Chaz French, Jay IDK and plenty more are making a leap from their respected area to a bigger audience. One artist who’s creating her own lane is Rico Nasty, a carefree, colorful rhymer with a style all her own.
“The scene in the DMV now is very united,” she tells XXL while in New York. “I don’t know if it’s for everybody but everybody is showing love, everybody is showing support. Everybody is just trying to make a name for themselves and they are willing to help other people. Everybody is willing to network and do things with people outside of who they know. I think that’s what putting us on right now. We’re really working. Every time I look, it’s someone I grew up with starting shit that’s really poppin’ off.”
Rico’s sound was more widely introduced when she released her mixtape, Sugar Trap, last year. Songs like “Hey Arnold” and “Choppa in the Trunk” made waves and Rico began to see her name spread. She was later featured on The Fate of the Furious soundtrack and eventually dropped her newest tape, Tales of Tacobella, last month. Now, with a solid fan base and a handful of records, Rico Nasty is ready to breakout.
“Tales of Tacobella is an important project because it’s the first project since Sugar Trap, the record that introduced my sound,” she explains. “I dropped that project last August so my fans have been like, ‘Bitch, where’s the music?’ The consistency wasn’t always there, I wasn’t focused. But now that it is, I’m ready to give my fans everything.”
She continues, “I had the opportunity to really learn the business side, work with producers I like and roll the project out correctly, The tape definitely shows a different side of me that my fans weren’t ready for. Tales of Tacobella showed that I can rap. You might not like my voice, you might not like my look or the way I dress, you might not fuck with me. But if you hear the tape I guarantee you find one song that you fuck with.”
Get familiar with Rick Nasty.
Hometown: Born in New York, raised in Maryland
I grew up listening to: “I grew up listening to Bob Marley, Jill Scott, Floetry, Nas, JAY-Z, Beyonce. I started making music when I was 15 but I never did anything with it. It would be me writing, whether it was me writing poems or whatever, I was just writing stuff. I never did anything with it until I glo’d up.
“I figured it was a lot of money doing it and I just had a son. I just thought, that would be sweet to be a rapper and make it; just to go for it ’cause I’m young. It’s no point to give up so early in life. This was last year around this time.
“It was natural, it was basically this is what I want to do and this is how to get there. It was trail and error. We try a promotion tactic for a video and it didn’t work, okay cool, we not going to do that we’re going to do something else. We use someone for video and didn’t like the way it looked, we’re try someone else. It was learning from past experience and trying not to make the same mistakes and keep going. Don’t let nothing stop you. Don’t panic.”
My style’s been compared to: “I describe my sound as sugar trap, that’s not really a description that’s really who I am, that’s my swag, that’s how I talk and walk. You can see it in the interviews and in the videos I’m the same person, it’s sugar trap, happy savage.
“They going to compare me to Lil Yachty and that’s because we have a song together and they titled his sound bubblegum trap. If I’m not getting compared to Yachty, people don’t really compare me to nobody. People just want to fit you in a box. I seen people compare me to Big Sean and Chief Keef, like what? [Laughs] Amazing artists but we’re very different.”
Most people don’t know: “I got my lip tatted. I played lacrosse and I was captain of the soccer team for like two years. This was way back in the day. I definitely quit lacrosse. I could not, and my knee got messed up.”
My standout records or biggest moment to date have been: “My favorite songs right now is ‘Once Upon a Time’ and ‘Wanna Know.’ Those two songs give you melodies and tell you a story.”
My goal in hip-hop is: “My goal in music is to make females comfortable and to make humans comfortable with hearing a different female voice so that we can really do this shit. It’s so many talented women and some don’t even get heard because we’re always compared to the next nigga. Stop comparing the girls to the boys. I just want to make a lane for women to be comfortable to get into [hip-hop] because some don’t. They feel like it’s a lot you have to do and a lot you have to put up with. We over that shit.
“These niggas get hyped up and think they better than the girl and once they see us they get so intimidated and angry and they just want to combust. I want to make it an option that it can be more than one top female. I want to make it at a comfortable position in life where I can live and take care of my son and create.”
I’m going to be the next: “The next k-pop superstar, you’re going to be the next Asian craze. Honestly, that’s what I want for myself. I always had the vision of being overseas in Japan and having a huge fan base over there. I can’t wait to reach that audience because it’s going to be lit.”