With the COVID pandemic keeping us static, have you been listening to your old favorite music? Or trying to find something new? If so, superproducers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland have got you covered. In late March, the duo created the Verzuz series, an Instagram LIVE battle of hits between two established artists (or groups) meant to remind and educate people about some of the greatest hip-hop and R&B artists and, in the short time since its inception, Verzuz has drawn hundreds of thousands of fans.
It’s not always easy to see the kinship and connection between greats of the past and the greatness we hold within ourselves. But in her works, R&B vocalist and Pushcart literary prize nominated poet, Jamila Woods challenges herself and her listeners to see that connection and to empower themselves through their legacy. This Chicago native has dedicated her art, both literary and musical, to paying homage to people who made her existence possible.
Although R&B may seem like it's taken a backseat to other genres, the first lady of Dreamville Records Ari Lennox refuses to let it die. Her neo-soul sound and down to earth vibe gives her the relatable edge that many artists seem to lack these days. Lennox got her first taste of fame on YouTube, where she has 33 thousand subscribers, and used to upload covers of popular songs. She has remade songs like “Drunk in Love,” by Beyoncé and “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,” by Otis Redding. Lennox would add her own flavor to the songs by slowing them down and changing up the beat. Her smoky vocals have a very wide range that allows her covers to sound unique and fit her soulful demeanor.