Music Bear Tony Banks Eliminates The Cling This Summer with Hot New Single, “Static”
First Single from His Upcoming Hip Hop album, ‘Yes, Homo’
DSC_8867This week, Music Bear Tony Banks’ is releasing “Static,” the first single from his upcoming album, Yes, Homo. The track can be summarized as funky hip-hop with  a message. “In relationships you must have the wisdom to know when enough is enough,” explains the artist who describes himself as a gay, black man with the fun of Missy Elliot, the swag of LL Cool J and the dance moves of Heavy D.  “You gotta have the courage to make change and the strength to stand up on your own two feet and press forward. Life is too short to allow someone else’s self-destruction to bring you down.”  Along with the track, Music Bear Tony Banks is releasing a music video for “Static” that stars Music Bear and Catalin Constantine as his boyfriend and features animation by wikistylista.  Music Bear Tony Banks’ “Static” is available at
“Who has time to watch someone they love not love themselves,”  wonders Music Bear Tony Banks from his Brooklyn home.   He knows a thing or two about the difficulties of breaking-up.  He and his ex are in the midst of divorce,  although their separation is not due to the level of destruction Music Bear raps about in “Static.” “Our relationship may have grown stale and staticky, to the point where we had to go our own ways, but we remain friends and that’s important,” he says.  “We still support and want the best for one another.”
Not all of the songs Music Bear writes are about his life.  “I’m often inspired by people around me, and now and then, I’ll use their lives as subjects for songs.   For me, the power of music is about writing something I know someone out there needs to hear or feel me say.”
Still, he tries to stay true to who he is as a man and an artist. You’ll rarely, if ever, hear Music Bear Tony Banks rhyming about “Popping Bottles” (he barely drinks) or “Fighting Bitches” (not his style).  In his upcoming album, “Yes Homo,” he tackles issues like love, lust, partying, the state of hip-hop and police brutality.  It’s meant to be a full depiction of what it means to be a black, gay, male, hip-hop artist in 2017.
“Static is one of the first tracks where I looked at things from beyond a sex or love angle and got a little more into the dirt and nitty gritty,” he explains.  “Cause at the end of the day, we can’t ignore that when Cupid strikes, he leaves an arrow in our heart that can hurt.”
Music Bear Tony Banks was born in Brooklyn in the early 80’s.  He grew up during the golden era of hip-hop.  Early on in his musical journey, he wanted to be singer. He sang in church and wrote R&B songs and poetry. As he matured, he considered a career behind the scenes but life took its course and he found himself back in hip-hop, as an artist.
He believes hip-hop is love.  It’s soulful, empowering, fun, beautiful and caring. The music industry, however, is another monster all together. “The industry turns hip-hop into a misogynistic, homophobic creature that sells its soul for the promise of money, cars and hoes,” he says.  “It then turns the people in it into that same image. Remember, hate is a learned behavior. No one is born homophobic but when hip-hop spreads that message to millions of people, for decades, it catches on and it’s hard to break away from.”
The LGBT community is not much better, he contends.  “As a black, gay man of size, I sometimes feel ostracized from my gay brothers and sisters.  I  used to think that if I were a different type of gay, a more stereotypical skinny boy and fancy dresser, I would have it easier in the community.”
“But I’ve come to learn that being different isn’t always a bad thing,” says Music Bear Tony Banks. “What I hope people who listen to my music and watch my videos take from me as an artist is: Don’t be afraid.  Embrace something different every once in a while. Break from monotony.  Cut the static.  You might just enjoy it!  In fact, I know you will.”
Music Bear Tony Banks’  new single, “Static,” is available at
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Music Video Features This Summer’s Femmest Craze

Loose Wrists (Official Music Video) (Official Video) by Cazwell on VEVO.

New York, NY – Cazwell’s “Loose Wrists,” the first single off his new music label Snow Cone, is old-school hip-hop with a beat that is purposely simple and bass driven. “I moved to Los Angeles a year ago and I wanted to make a song that people could drop their convertible tops down to and head bang along with,” explains the artist.  Along with the track, Cazwell is releasing a highly anticipated music video that already stirred a social media frenzy online when Cazwell posted a photo from the set to Instagram.  It featured the rapper and his male dancers in pastel colored lace shorts by designer Hoza Rodriguez of Hologram City.  “I was surprised by the reaction because the outfits are way more conservative than the shirtless guys in Speedo’s and jockstraps I typically have in my videos,” he says. Cazwell’s “Loose Wrists” is available on iTunes now.18814381_10155372439639932_7197105720084662837_n
“I noticed a real femme pride movement brewing on social media a few years ago,” continues Cazwell, discussing the inspiration for the song. “I love that it is so visible right now.  It’s about time we all embrace femme.  Whether we are gay or straight, when men get in touch with their feminine sides, it gives a real sense of empowerment.”
He says it’s especially important now because “we have a President that wants to take us off of the census and a Vice President that believes shock therapy will cure gayness.  At the end of last year, I vowed to be as gay as possible with my music and videos. We have to be more visible than ever and I hope I inspire that.”
That’s why Cazwell will be wearing the lace shorts featured in the “Loose Wrists” music video, directed by Big Dipper, out in public. “Hell yeah, I’m going to wear them all summer! You’ll probably find me at the corner deli at four in the morning wearing a pair with a matching speedo underneath. “
He won’t be the only one either.  Since the shorts have appeared on PopSugar, Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, Maxim and Allure, many men — and not all gay — have reached out to the Hologram City designer to purchase a pair of their own.  “Hoza has even been contacted by girls buying shorts for their boyfriends.  I’m not surprised. I could see Pharrell sporting lace on The Voice.”
The irony is that the shorts were initially intended to be jogging suits. Cazwell says, “I wanted five pastel velour jogging suits for the video but we couldn’t get them to look the way we wanted. I was really stressed out about it so I took a nap and when I woke up, I called Hoza up and said, ‘Lace. Let’s just use lace and have the guys in white briefs.’”
It turns out lace is much easier to work with than velour.  Hoza was able to whip up the outfits quickly.cazwellpromopic
Cazwell’s career started in downtown New York. He has been described as ‘what would have happened if Eminem had grown up on Madonna’s front lawn.’  He has over 10 million You Tube / VEVO views for such tentpole videos as ‘Ice Cream Truck,’ “I Seen Beyoncé Ay Burger King,’ ‘Get My Money Back,’ ‘No Selfie Control’ and “Rice & Beans’. He has amassed over 1 million digital streams and downloads and has earned hipster credibility with a steady flow of danceable hip hop tracks that impressively showcase his hypomanic take on pop culture.


Cazwell’s last full-length album, “Hard 2 B Fresh”, was released in 2015 on the Brooklyn indie label, Peace Bisquit. It featured seventeen tracks and 12 music videos including “Helen Keller,” “Dance Like You Got Good Credit,” “Downtown,” “The Biscuit” and “Don’t Get It Twisted.”  The week of release, the album went top 5 on the iTunes album chart. Hard 2 B Fresh is recently available as a limited edition double disc CD/DVD containing the full album, “Hot Homo”, all the music videos and exclusive remixes.
Lacey Shorts are not Cazwell’s first foray in fashion. Last year he debuted his ‘Ice Cream Truck’ underwear with design collaborator Geoffrey Mac.  The collection sold out entirely in it’s first month.
Cazwell’s  “Loose Wrists” is available on iTunes now.
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“These days, more and more damning rhetoric is being directed at anyone who belongs to a minority. I’m a minority, not only of the LGBT community, but of race as well.”

He says he wasn’t originally planning to release the song. Raph Solo recorded “Love Lives” on his birthday as a special gift to himself. Ultimately, however, he felt its message was an important one and that it was his duty to let it be heard.

The message is simple: “Love is Love”. It’s a sentiment that entered the mainstream vernacular when Lin-Manuel Miranda passionately declared it during his Orlando tribute at the 2016 Tony Awards, however, Solo has expressed similar feelings in many of his songs, including “Glass of Wine,” his hit track from 2013.

“People’s attitudes towards one another needs to change,” he says. “Too many people speak in the name of God with no divine authority. Who is anyone to judge another human being? Focus on yourself, practice love and work toward being a better person before seeking to change another person. I respect the rights of others to dislike me for who I am and who I love as long as they respect my right to be me and they do not infringe on my freedom and right to love who I want to love.”

Born to Lebanese/Chilean parents on the Gulf of Guinea in Nigeria, West Africa, Raph Solo is a singer, songwriter and music producer. He has released three full-length albums, including last summer’s THE ANONYMOUS ICON, featuring “Star” and “Good Morning London”.

Today, he is a proud gay man in a loving relationship — with an English man from the East Midlands who shares his core values and beliefs — but it wasn’t always that way. Just a few years ago, he fought his feelings for men and even underwent reparative therapy in an attempt to cure himself of his homosexuality. In the end, it was even more damaging to Solo and his self-esteem. “It made me feel like a failure because no matter how hard I tried, I could not change my feelings.”

Along with the release of “Love Lives,” Solo is unveiling a brand new music video that shows a different side to the artist. “I dance a lot in this one! It’s all very tongue-and cheek compared to my previous story-based, cinematic music videos. I hope fans like the choreography and chutzpah.”

In the meantime, Raph Solo is putting the finishing touches on his next full-length album. “I had hoped to get it out this year but it’s not going to be ready in time,” he explains. “I don’t believe in rushing things. It’s a new sound for me so it’s taking a little more time to master but I have faith that the final product will be worth the wait.”

Raph Solo’s “Love Lives” is being released globally through Angel King Musique and will be available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon as well all other online retail outlets. Its music video is available on YouTube.



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