Adia dropped her debut Xist album, Behind Enemy Lines, this week. Projects by her label mates Gemstones, Swift and Sean Simmonds will follow. Here are updates for each artist.
GemstonesGemstones had planned on releasing a free project, Elephant in the Room, Pt. 2: Blood of Jesus, this summer. However, Xist CEO Terverius Black told Rapzilla that it’s canceled. Gemstones will instead focus on his album, Blind Elephant, and just release a few songs.
Gemstones’ original plan was to release Blind Elephant after his mixtape Elephant in the Room anyway.
Gemstones hinted at the concept of Blind Elephant on the cover of his mixtape. The person’s shadow, an elephant, represents a strength. Everyone has an elephant, Gemstones said, but self-doubt sometimes makes people unable to see their God-given gifts—hence Blind Elephant.
“Why aren’t you further in your career than you are now?” Gemstones has asked himself.
Gemstones once shared a record label, 1st and 15th Entertainment, with Lupe Fiasco. He’s put out numerous mixtapes, but has yet to release a purchasable album. For this reason, Gemstones has lost sight of his elephant in the past, but not Black, who signed Gemstones for more than his talent, but also his heart.
“[Gemstones] pours his soul on every single song,” said Black. “He’s a very passionate guy, when it comes to everything.”
Before Blood of Jesus was canceled, Gemstones had said Blind Elephant would drop in 2015, but it has no official release date.
SwiftSwift, formerly known as R-Swift, is aiming to release his next studio album titled Higher Learningin November. He signed with Xist earlier this year after having been a longtime friend of Black and the label president, Simmonds. Black expects Swift to be a valuable mentor in Xist’s rebuilding process.
“[Swift] is a vet,” said Black. “He knows what’s going on. He knows what this industry is about. He’s trying to take some of these young guys under his wing and teach them a few things.”
Sean SimmondsSimmonds hasn’t released an album since It’s Over in 2008. As the president of Xist, he’s helped out on other artists’ projects to the extent that it’s delayed his own. He’s focused on it now, though, and it’s scheduled to be released in early 2015.
David Daniels is a writer for Rapzilla.com. He's also been published at Bleacher Report, Christianity Today and The Daily Caller. Follow him on Twitter.