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At 22-years-old, Sam Smith is pretty much sitting on top of the world. His debut album, In The Lonely Hour, scored the highest first-week sales for a debut album from a male UK artist in SoundScan’s twenty-three year history. Not a bad feat for a kid barely old enough to buy beer in the States.

In VIBE’s latest digital cover, the British singer talks about his ascension to the top of the charts, not competing with anyone, his fellow UK singers and more.

“At this point, he’s only competing against himself because there’s no one else like him,” says ‘Stay’ producer Rodney Jerkins. “Anyone who can tour without fireworks, explosions and thirty dancers and can just stand there alone on stage and capture an audience is the real deal.”

What’s the best advice you’ve received so far in regards to your career?
Sam Smith: It was from Lady Gaga. I was having a bad day and I was thinking, what is my place? Who am I as an artist? What do I stand for? Lady Gaga was on the Ryan Seacrest show and she said ‘I just hope that Sam stays himself and carries on being himself.’ And she’s someone I’ve looked up to my whole life and for her to say that about me was such an incredible moment. That’s all I need to do. Stop worrying and stop trying to look like a supermodel or try and sound like a certain type of artist and just be myself and enjoy it.

Read more about how Sam feels about Adele and Ed Sheeran comparisons, working with Mary J Blige and more below…

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OVO Sound’s ILOVEMAKONNEN was one of many artists who performed during night two of FADER FORT in New York City for CMJ week. During his set, the singer/rapper/producer debuted the official remix to his latest record “I Don’t Sell Molly No More.” Keeping Taylor Gang’s Wiz Khalifa from the original, ILOVEMAKONNEN adds a guest verse from Gucci Mane on the Sonny Digital-produced cut.

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ludacris

Ludacris borrows a beat from his ol’ friend Tity Boi for another warm-up remix until Ludaversal drops — the rapper’s next full length album set for March 31. Before that, Cris is set to release his Burning Bridges EP in Decmember.

Listen to the song below…

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takeoff-wmwum-cover

Taking a break from his group obligations, Migos member Take Off drops a new street cut for lovers of the trap sound in “What Move Would U Make.” Produced by Murda, the song features another of Atlanta’s buzzworthy rapper’s in PeeWee Longway. Listen below as Migos are prepping their upcoming Streets on Lock 4 mixtape with Rich the Kid.

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The World Wide Web can be your worst enemy or your best friend. Unfortunately for the 2014 BET Hip-Hop Awards the Internets was the the devil today. Though, it’s always pre-taped—the winners usually stay under wraps (for the most part) until the airing. However, someone on the digital team accidentally posted the entire show’s winners on BET.com. There’s still plenty reasons to tune in, but for those that can’t wait…

Hosted by Snoop Dogg, make sure to watch the showc tonight at 8 p.m. ET on BET.

Check out the full list of winners below…

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atrak

In the age of Serato — what does A-Trak cop when he goes record shopping these days? While we would be fools to think that guys like this still spend all their time diggin’ in the crates, the purists know that vinyl will never completely go away. From wiping the dust off your latest find to wasting away hours at record hubs like Ameoba music, there’s something that gets every turntablist when he steps into a record shop. In a new interview clip, check out what A-Trak finds on his latest trip to a West Coast goldmine.

Watch the video below…

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Utilizing a sample of Aaliyah’s “At Your Best,” Tamar Braxton releases a new single with help from Future. Lending his now unmistakable, studio engineered “crooning,” the ATLien gives the record some added flare.

Listen to the single below…

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Throwing it back to the VHS days, YG and Teefli throw a West Coast party just like Snoop and Dre did in the ’90s. Calling over a gang of ladies and a few close homies, the 400 posse lounges poolside and pours up drinks as the Cali sun beams down.

Watch the video below…

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cons vol 2

After taking us deep into the 36 Chambers with Ghostface Killah and Danny Brown on “Six Degrees,” Toronto jazz trio BADBADNOTGOOD hop across the border as they link up with Detroit’s own Black Milk for “Now Or Never.” Deviating from what you’d normally expect from both names, the track finds Milk flexing his double-time flow over dark, industrial production, otherwise known as “midnight on the corner rap.” This is the second single off Converse’s upcoming compilation, CONS EP Vol. 2.

Listen to “Now or Never” below…

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Fueling the wrassle rap trend in hip-hop, Surf School’s John Sparkz, and Ryan Fionda are back with the 2nd single off their collaborative EP Forever Madness: The Randy Savage EP. As another big wrestlin’ fan, Smoke DZA joins producer Audible Doctor on the Ric Flair themed song.

Listen to the new track below…

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