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The afterparty has been under way for some time now. It’s the final night of J. Cole’s ‘4 Your Eyez Only’ tour, and the crew are looking forward to a couple of weeks at home before heading down under for the Australian leg. J.I.D is in the room, but he’s not fully present. His eyes are transfixed on his phone, extracting ideas into his notes, preserved for a future studio session. “I don’t stop writing,” admits the East Atlanta native. “I’ll see or hear something and be like, ‘Oh shit, I’ve got to capture this moment any way I can.’”

Rewind a few hours and the 28-year-old, real name Destin Route, is sat in his dressing room – a soulless space deep in Leeds’ First Direct Arena’s backstage labyrinth. He drags a backpack to his feet and begins digging for his in-ear monitors, revealing a pile of ruled pads filled with notes from the road. “When we’re in a situation like this I can get to a book,” he explains. “I can just write ideas down that way, or I’ll use voice notes. Conversations often lead to an idea for a song.”

The act of writing has long been an integral part of J.I.D’s life. His father has published “a type of autobiography situation,” but he maintains that his way with words is really drawn from his mother. “She’s witty, so I see myself sometimes when I speak to her,” he says. “We have a conversation and I’m like, ‘Wow, you really know how to drive your point home!’ That’s something I try to do with my music: to get straight to the point in a way that people will feel comfortable.”

The youngest of seven siblings, J.I.D – which you can pronounce either Jid or Jay-Eye-Dee – never envisioned his future as a writer until more recently. The majority of his youth was dedicated to playing American Football, for Stephenson High School and later on a scholarship for the Hampton Pirates at Hampton University, Virginia where he majored in entrepreneurship. His promising professional football career would come to a devastating end, when he dislocated his hip six games into a make or break season. As he worked to rehabilitate, he began losing focus, messing around and eventually being kicked out of college just hours away from graduating. While he’s keen to promote the importance of education, he believes that the college system isn’t something that works for everyone.

Full interview via Clash Music HERE.

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When Giraffage set out to write his debut solo album, he knew it would be a hard road — but maybe he didn’t know how hard.

His sweet, adorable, nostalgic sound doesn’t scream tortured artist, but behind the scenes he was a real wreck.

“The process of writing this album broke me apart and then put me back together,” he tweets. “A piece of my soul, straight from me to u(sic). I hope that it makes you feel something.”

If you’ve ever been a Giraffage fan, Too Real will definitely hit your mark. Lead single “Slowly” set the tone right for 10 tracks that explore the artist’s candy-colored sensibility through all his highs and lows. It’s shimmering and easygoing with ’80s and ’90s kitsch. It’s ready for the club, the bedroom, or the long drive. It’s romantic on “Green Tea” with Angela Bass and raw with the bass on “Earth.” Here’s hoping “19 Hours” featuring Harrison Lipton is the next official single.

It’s definitely an emotional journey worth taking. It might also be the last time you hear those AIM bleeps again. As Giraffage says on Twitter, it’s 35 minutes of fun two years in the making. Make his hard work worth it and listen to Too Real below. (via Billboard)

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Nav, the Toronto rapper and producer born Navraj Goraya, currently has five songs in the SoundCloud Top 50. His drowsy, melodic style first gained buzz thanks to cosigns from Kylie Jenner and Drake’s OVO Sound Radio; and he released his self-titled debut mixtape – a collection of warbled riffs about gaining clout and losing touch – earlier this year on the Weeknd’s XO Records. He’ll be opening most of the dates on the Weeknd’s Starboy tour as it winds its way through North America this September and October.

His latest project, a collaboration with Metro Boomin called Perfect Timing, was released in July. Rolling Stone talked to the rising star about his recent success. Check the interview HERE.

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