What would a love renaissance be without Shelley FKA DRAM and Westside boogie? Last week, the two hip-hop titans got together for Red Bull's SoundClash: A Love Renaissance Special. At an event inspired by the Jamaican musical tradition of competing sounds, the two artists battled through multiple rounds of sounds to test their creativity. While the special is an indication of their relationship with the LVRN label, a renaissance is also recognized as the rebirth of something, so a love renaissance – you get it. Both artists differ in style, but both bring the same elements of love, honesty and transparency to the music. The two sat down to discuss more.
It took Shelley FKA DRAM some time to get back to himself, now he's taking a different approach to music with a new self-titled album. Once known for bubbly tracks like "Broccoli" and "Cha Cha", the native of Virginia is now a sultry and seductive pop singer who brings love back to his music. “I think the elements of love are more mature in my music now. The music I put out in 2016 was an assessment of my mental situation at the time, ”explains Shelley. "And now things are different". Shelley FKA DRAM took the time to part with his previous nickname and personality and transform himself into a sensual lover with tracks like "All Pride Aside" and "The Lay Down".
Westside Boogie may not have the silky, seductive performance like its stage partner Shelley, but its half-sung, half-rapped performance gives way to music that embodies the vulnerability and rawness that come with love. “Love in my music looks like vulnerability that gives people space to grow. It's the crudest form of expression. It tells your truth, ”said Boogie. His 2019 album, Sell everythingHe presented the rapper in his truest form when he opened up to the topics of love, loss and pain. His single "Silent Ride" shows his confrontation with topics that often plague romantic relationships.
On November 30th, the two competed in their curated soundclash called A Love Renaissance Special. Both are managed by Atlanta-based label LVRN, but their contributions to R&B and hip-hop are symbolic of their very own “love renaissance”. Shelley's rebranding not only gives us a new look at the charismatic artist, but his journey back to himself brings some new elements to the music. “I think I'm bringing my roots back into my music. Given my full vocal abilities, there will be a sense of security with every subsequent record, ”said Shelly. “There will be playful elements, but that has grown. I put this playfulness aside and gained insights in return. The music will reflect that. "
It has been three years since Everythings For Sale was released, but Boogie has been working. Now, with a new album slated to be released in the first quarter of 2022, he's taking these elements of reality further. “I think we are now at a time when people cannot be themselves. I revive honesty and vulnerability in my music. It's busy, ”said Boogie. The West Coast native was never shy of talking about his battles as a father and lover. Hoping for inspiration, his new project … "The first year was tough, but I finally found my rhythm."
Hip-hop and R&B have gone through a lot of changes. Many elements of the music that would once really make you “feel” have disappeared. Both Boogie and Shelley's latest contributions to music defend themselves against the loss of true feeling. “I feel like the music probably had a lot of caps back then. But today we have social media that I believe glorifies the need to lie. I have to be true to myself and my music, and that's by being honest, "Boogie said. Shelley regards the honesty in his music as a projection of his true self. “It's how it's said. It is more than just saying something through text or conveying it in a monotonous voice. I'm melodic, the feeling is different and wanted, ”Shelley explained. While both contribute to the music in their own way, the music gets something that it needs – a purpose.
The first stop on Red Bull's SoundClash tour started last week. Shelley and Westside Boogie got together to recreate and cover their tracks such as “Skydive” and “Caretaker”. With the guests 6lack and Tate, the two created an atmosphere for true artist creativity. Now that the show is over, both artists are preparing for new music. Boogie will release his next album in early 2022 while Shelley FKA DRAM is preparing his Christmas album.
Connect to Shelley FKA DRAM: Instagram | Spotify | Twitter
Connect to Westside boogie: Instagram | Spotify | Twitter