Jena Rose – CRAZY feat. Sean Kingston

Described as a child prodigy by some of the top names in the music industry, 16 year-old Jena Rose Raphael is a singer/songwriter/pianist/model from Plano, Texas. With a natural gift for songwriting and a unique indie pop style, her melodic genius captivates and enchants her audiences.

With an eloquent poise that is well beyond her years, Jena has been featured on red carpets at the Grammys, the Teen Choice Awards, New York Fashion Week, Fashion Rocks, The American Music Awards, MTV, and various LoveJonesNYC productions. As a proud member of the UNA-USA, Jena has devoted her life to writing music with an inspiring message and giving back to the world to make a change for the better.

Labeled as one of the most gifted artists by Sony Music Publishing Vice President Walter Jones, Jena’s performances continue to attract listeners at premier venues such as the House of Blues, American Airlines Center, Hard Rock Café, and Six Flags. She was recently a featured performer at the United Nations, MTV’s Fashion for Charity Event, World Peace Day and The New York City Marathon.

Video: Ceraadi – We In Here


Combine the edgy Emaza (19), the zealous Znuie (17) and the sultry Saiyr (21), and you’ll have the makings of the Ceraadi Sisters. The three sisters who left their hometown in Iowa in 2008, and moved to South Central Los Angeles to pursue their star-studded dreams are making their voices heard in the music world.

Growing up in a household filled with the music of Whitney Houston, Prince, Usher and other R&B hit-makers, one can say music is engrained into their DNA. Independently pushing their brand, Ceraadi successfully released their first single “Favorite Song” in 2015, followed by their fun and upbeat single “That’s Bae” in 2016.

Setting the bar high for 2017 and beyond, Ceraadi has combined their talents with those of 3x Grammy-Nominated producer and songwriter Dem Jointz, by joining the roster of his new production company U Made Us What We Are. Dem Jointz, whose credits include Rihanna, Chris Brown, Dr. Dre, Janet Jackson and ScHoolboy Q, is determined to craft a “new sound” for the group that sets them apart from everything else. Dubbed the “TLC of the West”, Ceraadi’s fan base continues to grow at a rapid rate, and shows no sign of slowing down.

Video: Sean Kingston – Chance feat. Vybz Kartel

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A self-proclaimed product of his past, rapper Sean Kingston’s history helps describe his sound. Born in Miami, Florida, then raised in Kingston, Jamaica from the age of six, he mixed more than a little dancehall and reggae into his hip-hop. The hard lyrics come from a hard life, which included incarceration, homelessness, and growing up a lot faster than he should have. His young parents didn’t play teen pop or teen rap while he was being raised, so he absorbed the adult lyrics of Buju Banton, Ice Cube, and Rakim. He also lived the lyrics and landed a breaking-and-entering charge at age 11.

Twenty-one days in jail, boot camp, and living in a car while his mother was incarcerated on an identity fraud rap all followed. None of it swayed the youth against hustling; it just pointed him in a different, more lucrative direction. Taking his ability to write rhymes and hooks, he started working Miami’s talent show and showcase circuit hard, eventually sharing the stage with Pitbull, Ludacris, and Trick Daddy. Producer Jonathan “J.R.” Rotem (Britney Spears, 50 Cent, Rihanna) caught his demo and signed the young rapper to his Beluga Heights record label right before the major-label bidding wars were to begin.

The Sony imprint Epic won and introduced their new artist in the spring of 2007 with the single “Colors 2007,” featuring the Game and Rick Ross. Although he sounded much older, Kingston was only 16 years old when the track landed. With his second single, “Beautiful Girls,” he took a sample of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” and twisted it into a huge hit. This more polished, smoother, and less hardcore stance suited the singer and figured heavily into his self-titled debut full-length. His sophomore release, Tomorrow, arrived in 2009 and featured the singles “Fire Burning,” “Face Drop,” and “My Girlfriend.” In 2013 the single “Letting Go (Dutty Love),” with special guest Nicki Minaj, appeared, along with his third album, Back 2 Life. ~ David Jeffries

Video: Rick Ross – Trap Trap Trap ft. Young Thug, Wale


Introducing Jacob Latimore – Mutual

Actor and pop-R&B vocalist Jacob Latimore got his first taste of fame at a very young age, when his first single, the 2005 release “Best Friend,” was played on Radio Disney. Placed in Radio Disney’s Incubator program, Latimore performed with fellow child artists and appeared on Maury Povich’s nationally televised talk show. Latimore and his family subsequently moved from their native Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Atlanta, Georgia for the sake of advancing his budding entertainment career. His next single, “Superstar,” was co-written and co-produced by Rico Love; it peaked at number 84 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in September 2007.

Additional strides were made in 2010, when Latimore signed with the Jive label and appeared in the film Vanishing on 7th Street. Even though he had inked a major recording contract, he continued to act, with appearances on the television series Read Between the Lines and The Finder. He also released a series of mixtapes, including 2009’s I Am the Future. Another single, “Like ‘Em All,” enjoyed an extended stay on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart and reached number 55 in December 2011.

The suggestive (if respectful) “You Come First,” released the following summer, also charted. Featuring guest vocals from T-Pain, the single “Heartbreak Heard Around the World” followed in 2014. Latimore returned in 2015 with another single, “The Climb,” which also appeared on his debut album Connection. Released in 2016, it included the IshDARR collaboration “The Real.” ~ Andrew Kellman

Introducing SAINt JHN

Brooklyn had a resurgence in 2016. Desiigner, Young M.A, Phresher and Casanova all broke out this year. The New York City borough, which has been the home of some of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time, has an interesting class of next-gen MCs with a plethora of different styles.

One new MC that shouldn’t be overlooked is SAINt JHN. Born in Brooklyn and of Guyanese descent, he’s bringing new sounds to hip-hop. The budding MC grew up on Caribbean music but was inspired to rap after seeing his older brother rhyme in the neighborhood. He would gradually get better by taking his time to perfect his writing. He went by his real name, Carlos Saint Jhn, and spent his time writing songs for other artists while dropping original music.

Earlier this year he would reintroduce himself and drop the song and visual to “1999,” a bounce-happy rhythm that showed off his wordplay but also his ear for melodies. With recent tracks like “Roses” and “Reflex,” SAINt JHN is ready to make a leap to the next level.

Video: Kid Ink – Swish ft. 2 Chainz

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MC and producer Kid Ink — born Brian Todd Collins in Los Angeles, California, and formerly known as Rockstar — rose steadily by releasing a series of four mixtapes during 2010 and 2011. XXL magazine was impressed enough to list him beside the likes of Danny Brown and Macklemore in its Freshman Class feature for 2012. That June, Kid Ink released Up & Away, his first proper studio album, via Tha Alumni. Although it featured beats from several producers — including Ned Cameron, Cardiak, Jahlil Beats, and the Amazinz — there were no guest verses, and therefore no disruptions in Kid Ink’s nonchalant flow. It peaked at number 20 on the Billboard 200 chart and reached number three on the publication’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

After another mixtape, he signed to major-label RCA and released his second effort, My Own Lane, in 2014. Tyga, Chris Brown, and Pusha-T all made guest appearances. By September of 2014, the single “Body Language” (featuring Usher and Tinashe) announced the release of Kid Ink’s third album, Full Speed. It appeared in February 2015 and was followed later in the year by the mixtape Summer in the Winter.