Motown Signs Icewear Vezzo, Loyola Launches Hip-Hop Degree & Hendrix Exhibit Bows at NAAM: R&B/Hip-Hop Briefs

Jenny Risher
Icewear Vezzo

-Detroit underground favorite Icewear Vezzo has signed with Motown Records. The rapper’s “Drank God Freestyle” -- his latest project after recently completing a year-plus bid in a federal penitentiary -- has racked up more than 1.4 million YouTube views. In advance of releasing a debut studio album, Icewear Vezzo is ramping up the forthcoming Clarity 6 mixtape. It’s the latest chapter in the Clarity series that launched the rapper’s solo career in 2012 following his stint as a member of the Green Guyz crew. “I came home to a blessing,” noted Icewear Vezzo in a release announcing his signing. “It feels like I play for the Pistons. It’s the home team, Motown Records.”

-Seattle legend Jimi Hendrix will be the focus of a new exhibition at the city’s Northwest African American Museum (NAAM). “Bold as Love: Jimi Hendrix at Home” is being staged in partnership with Experience Hendrix L.L.C. Set to open on the artist’s 76th birthday (Nov. 27), the exhibit will feature archival and family photos, Hendrix’s own artwork, personal artifacts, music and other multimedia. “We wanted people to come away feeling like they know him on a different level,” states Janie Hendrix, president/CEO of Experience Hendrix L.L.C. “He was a complex and beautiful human being. His music was just a part of who he was.” After the free grand opening on Nov. 27, “Bold as Love: Jimi Hendrix at Home” will run through May 5, 2019.

-Hip-hop provides the foundation of a new undergraduate degree program at Loyola University New Orleans. Beginning in fall 2019, the college will offer students the opportunity to earn a bachelor of science degree in Urban and Electronic Music Production. The new curriculum, housed within the university’s College of Music and Fine Arts, joins Loyola’s earlier established Popular and Commercial Music degree program. Kate Duncan, who leads the latter, will also helm the latest program in tandem with producer Lovell “U-P” Cooper. John Snyder runs Loyola’s Music Industry Studies program, whose graduates include Gerald “G-Eazy” Gillum and producer Christoph Andersson.