Studio Life

thelonious martin

After recently dropping his Molotov album with Brooklyn rapper Saga, Thelonious Martin is back with another helping of production porn. In the latest episode of Mass Appeal‘s Rhythm Roulette series, the Chicago-via-New Jersey native hits up A1 Records on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and picks three records at random to test out his production chops. If you’ve heard any of his beats for guys like A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$ and Curren$y (dollar sign purely coincidental) over the last few years, you already know he’s good money.

Watch below…



Who knows when (or even if) we’ll get a new album from Jay Z, but it looks like the Jigga Man recently got busy with one of the best producers doing it right now. Over the weekend, Zaytoven casually flexed up on Instagram by posting a studio selfie with Hov dubbed “JAYTOVEN.”

This is the first time Jay and Zay have worked together, and caps off what’s already been a highlight year for the veteran producer, who helped soundtrack the return of Mr. Zone 6, aka Gucci Mane.

Related: Miss Info Interviews Zaytoven


A$AP Rocky always seems to have a few surprise up his Dior sleeve. Last year’s At.Long.Last.A$AP album featured collaborations with Rod Stewart, M.I.A. and a little known English singer named Joe Fox. And for his upcoming third LP, it looks like Pretty Flacko is cooking up with another interesting cast of characters.

The Harlem rapper was recently pictured in the studio with producer Jim Jonsin (the guy behind “L$D,” as well as Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” and Wiz Khalifa’s “On My Level”) and Lenny Kravitz, who needs no introduction. “@asaprocky album #3 Thankful for the great @lennykravitz stopping by… Stay Tuned,” Jonsin wrote on Instagram.

Check out more photos below…


justin timberlake pharrell studio 2016

Justin Timberlake and Pharrell will go down in history as one of the best tag-teams in pop music (shouts to Chad, too). And I say that purely off the strength of “Señorita” and “Like I Love You” (shouts to the Thornton boys). Of course, JT appeared on Skateboard P’s 2014 album G I R L, but it’s been 14 whole years the pair really locked themselves in the studio and made that magic happen.

Continue reading below…


kanye west kid cudi 2016

Well, there’s still no word on when The Life of Pablo will officially be released (or if it’s even finished), but it looks like Kanye West is cracking on with his second album of 2016, the tentatively titled Turbo Grafx 16 (named after his favorite gaming system as a kid). Last night Ye’s long-time barber Ibn Jasper snapped Yeezus in the lab with Kid Cudi, Plain Pat and Mike Dean. “TURBO GRAFX 16 day 1 #PABLo #MikeDean #CUDi #PlainPat,” he wrote. Let’s just hope there’s more “beautiful morning” and less “bleached asshole” on this new album.

Check out the photo below…



Kanye West’s Waves album is now less than two weeks away. After a much-publicized back-and-forth with Wiz Khalifa earlier this week, the rapper/producer/designer appears to be reaching out to a higher power for his new album. 2 Chainz took to Instagram on Friday night (Jan. 29) posting a photo in studio with Kanye, Mike Dean, A$AP Mob’s A$AP Bari, and…Kirk Franklin.

Continue after the jump….


lil wayne birdman 2016

Studio flow #yo Gotti #YMCMB4LIFE #richgang #cmg #lifestyle #STUNNAMAN #mula #Blatt, via Instagram

After more than a year of legal (and potentially life-threatening) conflict, Lil Wayne and Birdman officially “kissed and made up,” as Rick Ross put it, at Miami’s club LIV last weekend. Clearly Wayne and Baby are wasting no time in getting back to business as the reunited pair where spotted in the studio with Yo Gotti last night. It’s unclear whether Weezy is still planning to sue Birdman and Cash Money, but let’s hope this means Tha Carter V is one step closer to being released.

Related: Lil Wayne & Birdman Bury the Hatchet: “It’s YMCMB For Life”

chief keef andy milonakis freestyle

And now for the best thing you’ll watch all day. Andy Milonakis was the only — and truly random — guest on Chief Keef’s new mixtape Sorry 4 The Weight, and here he is goofing around with Keef and Fredo Santana in the studio. With double cups on deck, the unlikely trio trade bars over a DP beat while Andy — in a Hawaiian shirt, which makes it all the more hilarious — explains how Chief Keef’s music makes 50 Cent and Wiz Khalifa sound like “business executives.”

Watch below…


pusha t consequence 600

ALL G.O.O.D. in 2015 #CompanyofGreatness #GrammyFamilyReunion #LATimes

Kanye West may not have a title for his new album yet, but he’s slowly growing his close circle of collaborators. Just days after Yeezy himself was snapped in the studio with fellow Chicago rapper King Louie, it appears two of his Grammy Family members, Pusha T and Consequence, have officially buried the hatchet in the name of his new project.

Read more below…


kid cudi emile

“And so it begins…”

I’m a Cudi stan to the grave, but I’ll admit it’s been tough supporting Scott Mescudi recently. His last three projects — WZRD, Indicud and Satellite Flight — felt like Space Camp raps compared to his Man on the Moon series. It’s clear he’s more intent on breaking Hollywood than shaping hip-hop these days. And then there’s the Twitter beefs: in the last month alone he’s threatened to sue Chuck Inglish over a record he didn’t even leak and threw shade at Lupe Fiasco, one of the few artists “who really cared about [Cudi’s] well being when this biz was ripping you apart.”

With that said, this is still the same guy who made Man on the Moon and Man on the Moon II — two albums that soundtracked both the highs and lows of my adolescence — so I’ll always have that sweet spot for Cudi. He’s kinda like the Jackie Aprile Jr. to my Tony Soprano: Jackie dropped out of college, messed around with drugs and broke Meadow’s heart, but he was still the kid of one of Tony’s closest friends and colleagues, so he was always there for him (until a certain straw finally broke the camel’s back, of course).

All this is to say that Kid Cudi needs Man on the Moon III. He needs to get back with Plain Pat and Emile. He needs to surround himself with those positive influences that helped him become our big brother in the first place. He can do without the drugs and the desire to produce an album all by himself. He just needs to get back on that spaceship with his old co-pilots and tell us what it’s like to live on the moon again.

Read Kid Cudi’s tweets about his next album below…


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