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Ultimate Rap League’s Ultimate Madness 3 Tournament Round 2 Launches Saturday 

Ultimate Rap League Ultimate Madness 3 Round 2

Source: screenshot / Youtube

The Ultimate Rap League (URL) launched its latest Ultimate Madness 3 tournament back in April with both expected and surprising results. Round two of the battle rap showdown takes place Saturday night (May 8) as the competitors prepare to unleash their best bars at a chance to snag a $100,000 cash prize from Drake himself.

The preparation and turnaround time was a swift ordeal as the winners of the opening round last battled on April 24 live via the Caffeine app. In round two, the lineup is another star-studded list of rising battle rap wordsmiths and established veterans who have graced a number of big stages during their careers.

Saturday’s Ultimate Madness 3 Round 2 lineup is as follows:

  • Jakkboy Maine vs. Cortez
  • Drugz vs. Rum Nitty
  • Casey Jay vs. Prep
  • Swamp vs. Geechi Gotti

At this stage of the game, the hunger should be high for all involved and the added incentive of the cash grab to go along with the bragging rights comes complete with an appearance at the URL’s upcoming Night Of Main Events (NOME) show this June.

Check out the teaser for round two of the Ultimate Madness 3 tournament. Click here for more information.


Skypp details the inner workings of “The Original Gangster” [video] 

By Tayo Odutola Word Is Bond

Skypp‘s newest release “The Original Gangster” is a poignant and thought-provoking look at gang violence and the perspective of those stuck in the streets. Over a dark cinematic backdrop courtesy of Jaecyn Bayne, Skypp gives a detailed account of the psyche of the individual whose life has been nothing but trauma and poverty. Far from being condescending, he gives a balanced view of the issues surrounding why broken men choose the street life to escape their own personal demons.

The video is quite engaging too and blends long performance shots of Skypp with news footage of real crime reports. “The Original Gangster” sure has a powerful message for us all and implores anyone in that position to find peace at all cost.

Get “The Original Gangster” on Apple Music///Bandcamp//Spotify


Keep up with Skypp  | SoundcloudFacebookTwitterInstagram

Top instrumental submissions EP2 May, 2021 

By Tayo Odutola Word Is Bond

We at TWIB are tasked with bringing you the best of the best on our weekly lists. Submissions come from around the globe and trust when we say only the cream of the crop will be selected. As usual, sit back relax and enjoy the latest sounds from the most talented producers, and don’t forget to show them some love by following them on all social media platforms

If you like this article check out our previous entries HERE





Sïckö’s “HAUNTING SEASON” taps into the spirit of summer with its lush and bright guitar plucks smooth piano chords, and warm textures. A splendid way to kick off this week’s list.


Time and design unlimited prod. KRC – “No fear”

Producer KRC delivers this hard-hitting gem “No fear” from his stash. The track is punchy and has trippy textures to match.




SULKEN – “Inseparable”

SULKEN makes his entry on our site with this guitar-laden beat titled “Inseparable.” The record is quite dynamic and slowly builds up into a soothing and reflective piece.

Get it on Apple Music//Deezer//Soundcloud



Bice – “High Tide”

Bice welcomes in the new season with “High Tide,” a soothing laidback jam ripe with lush textures and soft drums to match.

Get it on Apple Music//Deezer


Pinhead Larry – “Mushroom Temple”

Pinhead Larry blends a classic Zelda sample with trap drums on his new release “Mushroom Temple.” The track has an exotic medieval vibe and the drums are quite vibrant too. The switch up at the end is dope too.

Get it on Soundcloud.



Moree – “Smooth Criminals”


German producer Moree taps into the lo-fi sphere with his new release “Smooth Criminals.” Bolstered by lush, nostalgic vibes and smooth drums, Moree delivers a solid one here.
Get it on Apple Music



Paul Ivy – “Off White”


Paul Ivy merges the worlds of dance and hip-hop on “Off White” a high energetic jam ripe with thick basslines, punchy drums, and airy textures to match. It is a solid track that street dancers can rock to.
Get it on Apple Music//Deezer//Soundcloud


Haji Outlaw – “Love (U Don’t Know)”

Haji Outlaw pays homage to individuals who inspire him on his new release titled “Love (U Don’t Know)” The track has a rousing groove and soulful textures reminiscent of cinematic blaxploitation soundtracks.
Get it on Apple Music//Deezer


axmaxv – “Tunnel Vision”


Canadian producer axmaxv makes his entry on our list with this solid piece titled “Tunnel Vision.” The beat is a mix of trap, futuristic electronic elements, and more. It is quite dynamic and cinematic too as the progression unveils new instruments and sounds.
This is dope from start to finish.
Get it on Soundcloud



Ch!mes – “Love”


Ch!mes taps into the internal spirit of “Love” on his new release. The track is moody and somber from start to finish. It makes use of weird swirling synth sounds and soft percussions to match the nostalgic vibe.
Get it on Soundcloud


rocomoco – “colimba”

rocomoco‘s new release “colimba” is a heartfelt and relaxing piece ripe with lush and emotion-stirring textures over smooth drums. He also makes use of the Kalimba instrument that adds an exotic touch to the track.
Get it on Soundcloud



Davester – “Reflections”


Davester’s “Reflections” is a smooth jazz-infused piece ripe with bright chords and alluring harmonies. Nice horns are included on this one too, very climatic and perfect for a chilled session.
“Reflections” is the 4th upcoming single of Jazz pianist/Beatmaker Davester


Stobbsyy – “Lately”


Stobbsyy sure gave us a thrill with this heartfelt and nostalgia-inducing piece titled “Lately.” The beat is very calming and the soulful vocal sample is quite sublime and alluring as well.
Get it on Apple Music//Deezer//Soundcloud


Rel McCoy -” Catching Time”


Rel McCoy‘s ” Catching Time” is a brilliant soulful beat ripe with somber textures, pulsating basslines, and punchy drums that all merge perfectly.
Get it on SoundCloud//Bandcamp/


Justmusic20x91 – “Lunch Break Loop”


Justmusic20x91 comes through this week with this upbeat and energetic piece titled “Lunch Break Loop.” The track has punchy drums, airy and atmospheric textures, and deep basslines. It sure is an Ideal backdrop for physically straining activities.




CaliCronk – “Just Strollin'”


“Just Strollin'” is a guitar-driven summery jam by CaliCronk. On here he delivers an uplifting jam that we all can rock to while marinating in the cool wind of summer.
Get it on Apple Music//Deezer//Soundcloud


GREEN PICCOLO – “Ain’t Shit Free”


Stuttgart – Germany-based producer GREEN PICCOLO links with the good folks up at Contre Jour, to release “Ain’t Shit Free.” An atmospheric and reflective piece ripe with lush textures, sparse drums, and enthralling dynamics that keeps the attention from start to finish.


Isaac Haze – “Off The Map – Instrumental”


German producer Isaac Haze treats us with the instrumental version of his song “Off The Map”. This is very somber and cinematic and the drums are punchy as well. It’s very solid all the way.
Get it on Apple Music//Deezer


CaliCronk x Lo-Fi Luke – “Divinity”


US producer CaliCronk teams with Swedish producer Lo-Fi Luke to bring forth this collaborative piece titled “Divinity” The track has a somber vibe with soft drums, lush moody synths, and heavenly keys to match.


Stumbler – “Vibrium”


Stumbler gives us a mental trip with his new release titled “Vibrium.” The track is a somber, mellow lo-fi track perfect to study or just relax with. Written and recorded at Berklee College of Music
Get it on Apple Music//Deezer


Big O – “Visionary Fantasy” (feat. Melvin Toussaint & Onisor Rodila)


“Visionary Fantasy” is the official lead single from Big O‘s upcoming 3rd LP The Mind’s Mirror. The track features keyboardist Melvin Toussaint & Onisor Rodila who all add their expertise to the soulful lo-fi jam.
Get it on Bandcamp//Spotify/


LXXPZ – “itsallgunabeok”


UK producer/artist LXXPZ akes his entry on our site with his new release titled “itsallgunabeok.” Built on somber textures and sparsely arranged punchy drums, he brings a new vibe to the lo-fi department.
Taken from his new beat tape Set Knocks
Get it on Apple Music//Bandcamp//Soundcloud

Spoken word artist Yossi shares “No Religion” (feat. Cole Dellar) and “Yellow Cars and Empathy” 

By Tayo Odutola Word Is Bond

London-based musician/spoken word artist Yossi makes his entry on our site with a couple of tracks from his catalog. The tracks showcase his unique style over dark, cinematic backdrops and a penchant for painting vivid pictures and topics we can all relate to.

“No Religion” sees him teaming with singer Cole Dellar to provide a heartwarming melodic run on the chorus. Yossi delivers an impassioned performance rich with poignant lyrics that reflect on the dynamics of religion and how it affects everyone. He admits that he is not a religious person but he sure can appreciate the views of others. Yossi also reflects on how media can be biased towards a certain faith leading to misrepresentation across the board.

Get “No Religion” on Apple Music


The second track “Yellow Cars and Empathy” is a nostalgic and heartfelt track that dives into blossoming love and all the emotions that come with it. Yossi sure has a way with words as he weaves a plethora of metaphors and wordplay that would make his English teacher smile while listeners would certainly enjoy the vivid and evocative style.


Get “Yellow Cars and Empathy” on Apple Music//Deezer

Yossi is a London-born spoken word artist, educator, actor, and filmmaker. Yossi has been creating from the age of 12 when he began writing lyrics in isolation at school and started performing with other young people at Chickenshed Theatre Company in north London. Yossi trained in Acting at RADA and went on to work as a professional actor touring the UK. Since Yossi was introduced to the art of spoken word in 2016 this has been his focus. Yossi’s unique style of poetry has led him to perform at venues like BAFTA, Tate Modern and the British Museum, and to have a series of his pieces featured by MTV. Yossi’s poetry questions, explores and portrays the modern world through the mind of a manic yet mindful millennial. Tackling topics like Mental Health, Technology, Nature, Love, Race, Education and Change, utilising spoken word, music, and film. Yossi’s spoken word will make you laugh and cry, while being astounded by his grime-inspired flows and theatrically executed performances.

Keep up with Yossi | Spotify: Facebook: Instagram

Pop Smoke Was Shot Over A Rolex By A 15-Year-Old 

Louis Vuitton : Photocall - Paris Fashion Week - Menswear F/W 2020-2021

Source: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty

The murder of up-and-coming rapper Pop Smoke, Bashar Barakah Jackson, just over a year ago was already jarring, but the latest detail of the circumstances makes it extra painful. Reportedly, the “Dior” rapper was robbed of his diamond-studded Rolex before he was shot and killed by a teen.

The New York Daily News reports that a 15-year-old suspect admitted to shooting Pop Smoke after he and his crew of mostly teenaged assailants broke into the home he was renting out in the Hollywood Hills. Their goal was to rob the rapper of his Rolex watch and his cuban link gold chain.

According to the cop’s testimony, the four defendants, who have been charged with murder, were able to sell the watch for just $2000.

The officer got the details from a recording of a conversation the accused shooter had with  a cellmate at a juvenile detention center in May 2020. The shooter is the youngest of the defendants.

“He admitted that he shot the victim three times with a Baretta 9 (mm,),” LAPD Det. Carlos Camacho reportedly testified on Friday (May 7), at a hearing for Corey Walker, 20, the only adult defendant in the case.

Apparently, both Walker and the teen shooter snitched on themselves, with the former also flapping his gums to an informant who was placed into custody with him after his arrest in July 2020.

Reportedly, Pop Smoke was confronted by the home invaders while he was naked in the shower. Although he initially complied and gave up his watch, a fight broke and Pop Smoke “rushed” the intruders per Camacho’s testimony. It was then that he was pistol whipped before being shot in the chest. The murder occurred around 4 a.m. on Feb. 19, 2020. Pop Smoke was just 20.

Read the full details over at the New York Daily News.

Rest in power Pop Smoke. You deserved much better.

Lyrical Lemonade x SPKRBX’s Summer Smash Festival Returns To Chicago This Summer 

Summer Smash Festival Chicago 2021

Source: Summer Smash Festival 2019 / Summer Smash Festival

Slowly but surely, music festivals are roaring back this year with some exciting events already announced. Adding to the growing tally, Lyrical Lemonade and SPKRBX’s Summer Smash Festival will make its return to Chicago with a three-day event featuring some of Hip-Hop music’s established giants alongside rising stars.

This summer in the Windy City, fans will be able to take in a full weekend of hits, slaps, anthems, and chants with headliners A$AP Rocky, Lil Baby, and Lil Uzi Vert all commanding and closing the stages respectively between Friday and Sunday.

On Friday, August 20, the A$AP Mob honcho will share the stage with Swae Lee, Lil Skies, Yung Bans, Mulatto, and more. On Saturday, August 21, Lil Baby will have the stage set for him by Coi Leray, Blueface, Ski Mask the Slump God, and others. On the festival’s closing day on Sunday, August 22, Vert will be preceded by NLE Choppa, Young M.A., Lucki, $not, and a gang of other folks.

Joining in the festivities will be Gunna, City Girls, Lil Yachty, Pooh Shiesty, Baby Keem, Carnage, The Kid Laroi, Earl Sweatshirt, Benny The Butcher, 24KGOLDN, and plenty of other notable acts across the genre.

Three-day GA passes went on sale Friday (May 7) along with VIP packages and this event is slated to sell out fast so swift action is encouraged. The site of the festival will be announced in the coming weeks, including pertinent details such as the food and drink situation, onsite activations, and more.

To get on top of procuring your place at the Summer Smash Festival, please click here for more.

Photo: Summer Smash Festival 2019

18 Brooklyn Gang Members Charged For String of Shootings That Left A 1-Year-Old Boy Dead 

18 Brooklyn Gang Members Arrested For String of Shootings

Source: Jeremy Hogan / Getty

Prosecutors and police shared details on a sweeping gang conspiracy indictment unveiled on Thursday (May 6), leading to 18 members of a Brooklyn gang being charged.

Gothamist reports that 18 young men allegedly involved in a string of shootings, including a drive-by that left 1-year-old Davell Gardner dead at a cookout last summer, were charged. According to the NYPD, the takedown focused on the Hoolie street gang, comprised of fewer than 100 men whose territory is around Roosevelt Houses in Bed-Stuy. Among the 18 arrested was Dashawn Austin, accused of firing the fatal bullet that killed Gardner.

Per Gothamist:

According to the indictment, Austin, 25, and other Hoolie members, including Akeem Artis, traveled in a three-car caravan to carry out the shooting as part of an ongoing turf war, through at least September 2020, against the rival 900 Gang. That feud is believed to date back to a 2018 shooting by members of 900, which wounded Artis and killed another Hoolie member.

The chain of retaliatory violence has resulted in four murders and eight non-fatal shootings involving nine victims, prosecutors allege. Just six of the 13 total victims were believed to be members of a rival street gang.

During a press conference on Thursday, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said, “This is the type of gun violence that has made people fearful to leave their homes,” while breaking down the 63-count indictment that was the product of a two-part investigation that saw 19 other members of the 900 gang arrested. 

At the time of Gardner’s death, community leaders called for more action from Mayor Bill de Blasio to combat gun violence steadily rising both nation and city-wide. Since the fatal incident, it continues to rise in the city.

Gonzalez praised the NYPD’s investigative work saying it was a product of surveillance footage, forensics, social media, and recorded telephone calls. Of those who the NYPD arrested, ten of them are between the ages 19 and 33-years-old and have been charged with second-degree murder and face up to 25 years to life in prison.

Photo: Jeremy Hogan / Getty

Erica Mena Wants All The Smoke With Wendy Williams [Video] 

Rihanna's 5th Annual Diamond Ball

Source: Steven Ferdman / Getty

Safaree and Erica Mena’s marriage has been shaky to say the least. Wendy Williams has chimed in on their relationship and Erica told her she can catch those hands.

As spotted on The Grio the recent news of the celebrity couple expecting another child together was met with mixed feelings throughout media outlets and the world of Hip-Hop. This became a hot topic for the queen of gossip this week on The Wendy Williams Show. “We’re not trying to do anything, you’re the one putting it out there, Erica,” she said. “You and Safaree. I don’t really know you much Erica, but I do know Safaree enough and you all need to stop fighting and threatening divorce so much. And you all need to grow up and grow into being parents and if you’re not gonna want to be married, then get a divorce and co-parent” she added. “And babies don’t save marriages, but good luck, at least your first six months. Good luck.”

Naturally the non solicited advice got back to Erica and she responded with an invitation to a fight. “@WendyWilliams At this point let’s link up so I can beat your ass. Your ex-husband didn’t do a good enough job,” she tweeted. The poor performance Mena was referring is a direct jab to Wendy’s very tumultuous marriage to Kevin Hunter. This is not the first time the two women have have talked spicy to each other. Back in 2015 Wendy dragged Erica when she was still Bow Wow’s fiancé.


Athletes Cannot Wear “Black Lives Matter” Apparel Or Protest At Olympics 

NCAA Photos Archive

Source: NCAA Photos / Getty

In the United States, major sporting leagues are slowly embracing athletes and their right to engage in peaceful protests such as kneeling or making a statement with their clothing. In contrast, the Olympics has banned protests and shirts containing the words “Black Lives Matter” after polling international athletes who are reportedly in favor of the ruling.

Back in April, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) doubled down on their commitment to keep protests and political messaging banned from the upcoming Games according to a report from ESPN around two weeks ago. According to a survey of the athletes, it was discovered that many of the athletes agreed with the ban and would eliminate a number of protests that include fist-raising, taking a knee, and wearing messages with the threat of punishment should those acts and instances occur.

This point was hammered home during a press conference back in April from the IOC which detailed the findings of the survey of over 3,500 athletes to ascertain their desire to keep the ban of protest and political messaging in place.

“A very clear majority of athletes said that they think it’s not appropriate to demonstrate or express their views on the field of play, at the official ceremonies or at the podium,” Kirsty Coventry, the International Olympic Committee’s commission chief, said. “So our recommendation is to preserve the podium, field of play and official ceremonies from any kind of protest or demonstrations or acts perceived as such.”

The Tokyo Olympics will begin on July 23, 2021. The IOC and its legal commission are expected to determine what the proper punishment will be for violating the ban. A global union and a German activist group said it will offer legal assistance to any athlete that disrupts the ban and are punished.

Photo: Getty

So Sad: Authorities Believe 40 Cal’s Missing Daughter Committed Suicide At Niagra Falls 

Authorities Believe 40 Cal's Missing Daughter Committed Suicide

Source: Westend61 / Getty

The search for Dipset affiliate 40 Cal’s missing daughter seems to have come to an unfortunate tragic end.

PIX 11 reports that the rapper’s 19-year-old daughter, Saniyya Dennis, who is enrolled at Buffalo State College, is believed to be dead due to suicide. Authorities believe Dennis took her own life following a breakup.

The sad news was confirmed by Erie County District Attorney John Flynn on Thursday (May 6) when he said, “It appears this poor girl took her own life.” Before her apparent suicide, Dennis was last seen leaving her dorm on the evening of April 24 and revealed that she was arguing with her boyfriend, which subsequently led to him calling off their relationship. In a series of text messages that she sent following the argument, Dennis threatened to take her own life.

Despite the text messages she sent to her boyfriend, Dennis claimed that she felt better and even reconsidered taking her own life after speaking with friends. But around 11 PM, Dennis reportedly tossed several items in a trash can, but it has not been revealed exactly what those items were.

Flynn further explained that Dennis hopped on two buses before getting off at a stop near the Niagara Falls Visitor Center. She contacted her mother around midnight to tell her that she loved her and message her the next day. Dennis also reached out to a male friend and told him that she would not be seeing him this summer.

Dennis can be seen on surveillance footage from cameras on the bridge along Goat Island Road around 12:17 a.m. EST. There she spoke with a friend for about 45 minutes, telling him that she would jump off a bridge. Dennis took a Snapchat selfie near the Nikola Tesla monument with Niagara Falls in the background around 1 am before telling another friend she was on her way back to Buffalo. But that was not the case. Authorities say just minutes after she sent that text, her phone was either powered off or destroyed.

Dennis has been missing for two weeks, with her father taking to Instagram to reveal he has been desperately and understandably searching for his daughter, even offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to her safely being found.

“My daughter Saniyya is missing out of Buffalo State College,” the rapper wrote on Instagram. “Anyone with any helpful info hit my dm, any other matters respectfully don’t contact me! $10,000 for any info that connect.”

In his last post he shared 3 days ago, he wrote:

“Do me a favor , nobody ever address me and ask.. What’s Good? , think before you speak!!! Ain’t nothin good about what I’m goin through.”

Hip-Hop Wired is sending our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to 40 Cal and Saniyya Dennis’ family and friends.

Photo: Westend61 / Getty