Photos: G-Eazy Plays Sold Out Arena in Boston with ASAP Ferg

G-Eazy performing at Lowell's Tsongas Center Arena outside of Boston on January 22nd, 2016 (Benjamin Esakof/Roman's Rap-Up).

Few artists have had the lengthy and satisfying come-up that Bay-area rapper G-Eazy has had. Playing small clubs in Boston years back with barely 100 people, the "Me, Myself & I" artist played a sold out arena (with special guest A$AP Ferg) Friday night in the Boston area for almost 7,000 screaming fans.

Check out photos from the big show in the below gallery:

Photos: G-Eazy Throws Exclusive "When It's Dark Out" Listening Party in Boston

G-Eazy performs in Boston during his "When It's Dark Out" listening party on November 20th, 2015 (Benjamin Esakof/Roman's Rap-Up).

Perhaps one of the most popular and fastest growing artists at the moment, G-Eazy, put on an exclusive listening party in Boston Friday night for his upcoming album, "When It's Dark Out."

Check out photos from the event below:

Photos: R. Kelly Performs at The Forum in Los Angeles

R. Kelly perfomring at The Forum in Los Angeles on October 10th, 2015 (Gibson Dintersmith/Roman's Rap-Up).

Saturday night’s show at The Forum in Los Angeles started with a great set from Demetria McKinney, and only got better from there. Opening-act Tyrese lit up the arena when he brought out the legendary Too $hort, proving to be a difficult act to follow, but R. Kelly was up to the challenge. As soon as he entered the stage, the entire 8,000 plus crowd in attendance, which had previously been seated, rose to their feet, many starstruck by Kelly’s presence. With a mix of both newer and older music, he was able to retain the enthusiasm of the crowd throughout his entire set. It was definitely not a show to miss, and the epicness of his performance was obvious from the crowd’s reaction. 

See photos from the show below:

Album Review: Hip-Hop Meets Caribbean on R. City's Infectious Debut "What Dreams Are Made Of"

"What Dreams Are Made Of" album cover (RCA Records). 

R. City has topped the charts recently with their hit “Locked Away” featuring Maroon 5-singer Adam Levine. The rappers include the hit on their new album, What Dreams Are Made Of, which was released October 9th on Kemosabe/RCA Records. The duo began as writers, creating hits such as Rihanna’s “Pour it Up’ and Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop,” and have now transitioned into full fledged artists. R. City raps with a Bob Marley reggae sound twist. The rest of their album strays from the pop sound of “Locked Away” and connects to the rap essence of R. City with a few notable features such as Akon. Akon shares a sound similar to R. City in the fact that both use smoothness to their advantage as apposed to straight up raw rap lyrics. 

Their song, “Live by the Gun,” is one of the more intense songs on the album. Akon begins with the foreboding lyrics, “You live by the gun, die by the gun.” The lyrics explain the conditions of the ghetto and slums where rappers like Akon and R. City grew up. There’s a catchy backbeat incorporated into verses about different people and their unfortunate stories of growing up in the ghetto. After the repetitive phrase, “You live by the gun, die by the gun,” Akon adds, “You kinda had that coming.” Originally, a listener gets the typical street vibe from the rap. However, Akon and R. City create a sharp twist by criticizing the lifestyle. As rappers who grew up in similar circumstances, it comes as a notable shock. They explain that death is the result of a street lifestyle instead of commending its intensity, as many rappers seem to do. “Live by the Gun” is almost a plea for social change in these parts of cities where atrocities such as youth deaths occur due to drug trafficking and unnecessary violence. It is important to recognize the significance when rappers create a social critique from an area in which they are familiar.

R. City’s hype and ego song off the album is certainly “Broadway.” Much like Drake’s raps encouraging his success and career, R. City brags about their development as rappers in comparison to where they started. They sing, “We’re broad, we’re broad, we’re broader than Broadway.” One of their verses states, “Never let my people down, them non believers, they believe us now. I'm just a common nig-- with a dream who's standing tall enough for y'all to see.” R. City also reflects on their past including the humble lifestyle of their past jobs. “Broadway” is an incredible contrast to “Live by the Gun” as it demonstrates R. City’s successful escape from lives of gangsters. It explains perseverance and determination in order to conquer one’s goals no matter the level of impossibility. This is definitely R. City’s self-declaration song; pop music’s current comparable version is Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” currently on the charts.  

R. City’s What Dreams Are Made Of is exploding off of their recent success with “Locked Away.” However, that hit with Levine is not the limit of R. City’s ability. In theme with the title, What Dreams Are Made Of, R. City certainly seems to be living their dreams with hopes of climbing higher. Hip-hop and rap fans can expect to see more of R. City hits and less of behind-the-scenes work as previously demonstrated.

EXCLUSIVE: G.R.L. Discuss New Single Lighthouse, a Touching Tribute to Late Band Member Simone Battle

(Alexander Eggebeen/RCA Records)

Last September, female pop group G.R.L. made headlines in a different way. They lost a member, Simone Battle, when she unexpectedly took her own life. Since then, the band has been working with Give an Hour, a nonprofit organization raising mental health awareness with their campaign "Change Direction" and making, as member Lauren Bennett says, "something positive out of a bad situation."

Simone Battle performing at 103.3 Amp Radio's Birthday Bash in June, 2014 (Benjamin Esakof/Roman's Rap-Up).

G.R.L. says that after the tragedy, "taking the time needed to heal was most important." However, the group is grateful for the support of their fans, as well as their patience through the past few months, and "allowing them to get to where they need to be while they rebuild and get through their ordeal one step at a time."

At this time, they do not have a tour lined up, but are working forward as a quartet. With some unfinished projects from before Battle's passing that they look to focus on finishing, the girls "definitely want" to do a tour. Although they don't have any set dates for releases, G.R.L. says they're very excited to be "moving forward," and are "working on new music," not allowing the tragic events to hold them back as a group. They're expected to be seen on Australia's morning show "Sunrise", for the show's airing in Hawaii, and are "very excited" to return to Australia, as well as going to Vietnam for the first time.

G.R.L. says "Lighthouse" is their first major step forward since Battle's passing, and they wanted to reflect on her life in the best way they could. "Not everybody sees [mental health awareness] as important," and that it "[should be] just as common as going to the doctor's for a checkup," the girls told Roman's Rap-Up.

The "Change Direction" program was officially launched on March 4th, 2015, and focuses on spreading the awareness of the five signs that someone is struggling. The signs include personality changes, agitation, withdrawal, decline of self-care, and feeling hopeless; all signs which can be seen in oneself as well as others. "Change Direction" also works to provide resources for those in need of help, and those looking to help others who may be having trouble reaching out.

G.R.L. told us the program is estimated to become a nationwide campaign, if not global. At the launch in Washington, D.C., the group was "inspired" by first lady Michelle Obama's speech, which promoted the idea that there should be no stigma around mental health. The regional launch in Wisconsin is set for mid-March.

Give an Hour was founded by Barbara Van Dahlen in the spring of 2013. To learn more or if you wish to make a pledge to the program, you can visit or