August Alsina

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I Luv This Shit
August Alsina

“You can do whatever the f**k you want to do in this world. I know because I’m a living witness”… It’s November 21st and August Alsina stands center stage, commanding a sellout crowd at LA’s Staples Center. The 22-year-old New Orleans native is supporting veteran R&B superstar Usher on the ‘The UR Experience’ tour. This is the stuff of dreams. That said, those dreams seemed mere fantasy not that long ago.

From a young age, August’s life has been intertwined with the perils of drugs. Both his father and stepfather battled crack addictions, forcing August’s mother to move the family to Houston in search of a fresh start. Alas, H-Town offered no alleviation. August endured a home life plagued by drugs, violence, and struggle. At just 14, he got word from New Orleans that his father, August Sr., lost his battle with substance abuse.

Adrift without a male role model, August found solace in music. He was inspired to sing after watching Lauren Hill’s rendition of “His Eyes on a Sparrow” in ‘Sister Act 2.’ His newfound hobby quickly became his escape, and he took to YouTube to share his talent. His video covers of works by Musiq Soulchild, Lyfe Jennings, and others generated millions of views and planted the seed that music could become more than avocation. But August’s troubled youth reared its ugly head again when his best friend was shot dead in the streets of Houston. As quickly as August appeared on the YouTube scene, he vanished.

Tensions mounted on the homefront, until August’s mother banished him from the house. Merely 16 years old, he returned to New Orleans. He enrolled in high school and looked to get his life back on track. But without a stable living situation or money in his pocket, August turned to the very streets that had caused his family so much grief. He sold drugs as a means of survival. Some nights, he’d lay his head inside the corner store. August had no one to turn to for help, as his older brother Mel was hustling in the streets alongside him. That arrangement was tragically short-lived: On August 31st 2010, Melvin LaBranch III was gunned down in New Orleans East in what would become another unsolved murder in one of America’s most violent cities.

“I never expected them [the police] to find his killer,” August explains matter-of-factly. “People die everyday in the streets of New Orleans. Unfortunately, death has become a way of life.”  But August vowed to avoid becoming another statistic. He used his brother’s premature death as inspiration to use music as his means out of the ghetto.

August’s talents eventually attracted the notice of management and production company NNTME MuCo, in particular his now-manager, Noontime. Under Noontime’s auspices, August moved to Atlanta in 2011 and began carving his own musical path. His life experiences, no matter how brutal, would serve as his storyline. In April 2012, August released his debut mixtape, “The Product,” to immediate fanfare. May 2013 marked the second installment in ‘The Product” series—this time teaming up with DJ Drama and his Gangsta Grillz brand. The tape featured Alsina’s breakout single “I Luv This Shit,” produced by Knucklehead and featuring ATL’s own Trinidad Jame$.

His buzz building, August received major plaudits from MTV when he was named one of 2013’s Fab 5—its annual list of hip-hop artists to watch. August remains the only singer to ever merit this honor. The MTV nod translated into viral visibility, as his independent video “Downtown” ft. Kidd Kidd generated nearly 8 million views. The autobiographical song would become the title track for Alsina’s first official NNTME/Def Jam release, an 8-song EP entitled Downtown: Life Under the Gun.Alongside the aforementioned collabs with Jame$ and Kidd, the EP features NOLA veteran Curren$y and Atlanta’s Rich Homie Quan. Says August of the EP: “It allows you to walk through my hood with me and see where I’m from.”

Radio stations caught wind of “I Luv This Shit”, propelling the provincial anthem to the stratosphere. In October 2013, the single leapfrogged songs from Drake, Jay-Z, and J. Cole to become the #1 record on the Billboard Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Chart—a feat that had not been accomplished by an R&B debut single in 4 years. Fueling an already blazing fire, August brought together what XXL Magazine termed an “epic trio” when he recruited superstars Chris Brown and Trey Songz for the “I Luv This Shit” Remix. That trio came together on stage at the 2014 BET Awards for an epic remix performance. To date, the single has sold more than 1,000,000 copies and been certified Platinum by the RIAA.

In the wake of that groundswell, August released his debut album, fittingly tilted Testimony, in April 2014. He dedicated the album to Mel’s memory; fittingly, the project dropped on what would have been Mel’s 28th birthday, April 15th. Testimony sold 67,000 units in its first week, making it the #1 debut album, #1 R&B album, and #2 overall album on the Billboard Top 200.  Described by The New York Times as a “striking album, Testimony includes autobiographical singles “Make It Home” featuring Jeezy and the Rick Ross-assisted “Benediction.The latter includes strikingly candid lyrics such as: “I pray that my step-pops stay off of that crack pipe, so Mama can sleep nights.” Clearly, August Alsina has an authentic story to tell, and the courage to tell it.

Indeed, August brought his compelling tale directly to audiences when he headlined his first national tour, Testimony Live, which sold out in 18 consecutive cities.  Unfortunately, the tour ended abruptly in New York City on September 15th; August, exhausted and dehydrated, collapsed and fell off stage. After 10 days being treated in the hospital for seizures, and a 6-week layoff to recover, August returned to the big stage with whom he calls “The OG”, Usher.

Also in 2014, August graced the cover of XXL Magazine as part of its annual Freshman Class—the first singer to claim the honor typically reserved for hip-hop emcees. But there’s no incongruity according to Alsina: “Hip-Hop is your story, your struggle, where you come from. Don’t shortchange me because I sing. I represent hip-hop just like the rappers do, if not more.” 

Not only does the 22-year-old represent hip-hop, he represents for his brother, for New Orleans, and ultimately, for the struggle, or as he’s coined it… #StrugLife. August Alsina is living proof that the past needn’t dictate the future and life’s hardships can spark eventual success. Five years removed from homelessness, August received 4 nominations at this year’s BET Awards and took home 2 trophies, one for Best New Artist, the other for the prestigious Viewers Choice Award, wherein he beat out A-listers Beyonce, Drake, and Pharrell. An emotional Alsina accepted his awards saying, “This award is not for me, it’s for the people, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

August Alsina already made 2014 his year. So what does he have planned for an encore in 2015? He answers with certainty: “5 years ago I never saw myself here, so it’s hard to say where I’ll be in the future, but I know one thing, I’ll be wherever God wants me to be.”  After what he’s endured, no one had better doubt August Alsina.

Releases

All Releases

August Alsina

"No Love (Remix)" Ft. Nicki Minaj

Download August Alsina’s “No Love (Remix)’ featuring Nicki Minaj!

August Alsina

Testimony

Download August Alsina’s debut album now on iTunes & Amazon!

August Alsina

"Make It Home" Ft. Jeezy

Download August Alsina’s new single, “Make It Home” Ft. Jeezy

Buy It Now

August Alsina

"Numb" Ft. B.o.B. & Yo Gotti

Download August Alsina’s new single, “Numb” on iTunes & Amazon

Buy It Now

August Alsina

"I Luv This Shit (Remix)" Ft. Trey Songz & Chris Brown

Download August Alsina’s, “I Luv This Shit (Remix)” Featuring Chris Brown & Trey Songz on iTunes now!

Buy It Now

August Alsina

"Downtown: Life Under The Gun" EP

Download August Alsina’s new EP, “Downtown: Life Under The Gun”

Buy It Now

August Alsina

"I Luv This Shit" Ft. Trinidad James

“I Luv This Shit” Ft. Trinidad James

Buy It Now
  • "I Luv This Shit" Ft. Trinidad James
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Video: August Alsina - "Grinding"

Exactly 5 months after dropping his #1 R&B album ‘Testimony’, August Alsina’s on-stage collapse left his fans to wonder if and when he would return to making music. He has yet to do a single interview since the incident, instead he chose to drop his first new song in 6 months, the Lil Wayne inspired…

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August Alsina on Angela Yee's "Lip Service" Part 1

Check out Part 1 of Angela Yee’s “Lip Service” podcast show featuring August Alsina as a special guest. Joined by Co-hosts Stephanie Santiago and GiGi Maguire, they touch on a few different topics such as infidelity, faking orgasms and more. For Mature audiences only. August Alsina “Testimony” Available Everywhere Now!

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August Alsina On The Breakfast Club

August Alsina is keeping busy these days and recently made a stop by Power 105 to chop it up with The Breakfast Club. He spoke on the success of his debut album, his relationship with Usher, Chris Brown, Touring and much more. August Alsina “Testimony” Available Everywhere Now!  

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Music Video

August Alsina - "No Love (Remix)" Ft. Nicki Minaj

August Alsina is back again, this time he delivers his brand new music video for his remix to, “No Love” featuring Nicki Minaj. Check out the video above. August Alsina “Testimony” Available Everywhere Now! August Alsina “No Love (Remix)” Ft. Nicki Minaj Now Available Everywhere! iTunes: http://smarturl.it/iNoLoveRmx Amazon: http://geni.us/aNoLoveRmx Google: http://smarturl.it/gNoLoveRmx

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August Alsina Joins Usher On Tour!

August Alsina will be one of the special guets on Usher “The UR Experience” Tour beginning on November Below you can purchase Meet & Greet Packages! August Alsina – Meet & Greet Upgrade Package Package includes: Exclusive meet & greet with August Alsina Personal photograph with August Alsina CD copy of “Testimony” Collectible tour poster…

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New Music: August Alsina "No Love (Remix)" Ft. Nicki Minaj

August Alsina is back with some new music today. He gives us his new remix featuring none other than Nicki Minaj for his track, “No Love”. Take a listen to the new track above. August Alsina “No Love (Remix)” Ft. Nicki Minaj Now Available Everywhere! iTunes: http://smarturl.it/iNoLoveRmx Amazon: http://geni.us/aNoLoveRmx Google: http://smarturl.it/gNoLoveRmx  

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Teyana Taylor Joins August Alsina On The "Testimony Live" Tour Starting August 14th!

It was announced today that Teyana Taylor will be joining August Alsina on his Testimony Live Tour starting on Thursday, August 14th in Seattle! Check out the rest of the dates below. Testimony Live Tour Dates: August 14- September 16, 2014   Thursday, August 14, 2014 Seattle, WA The Showbox   Friday, August 15, 2014…

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VH1 Love & Hip Hop: Music From The Series Set For August 19th Release On Def Jam Recordings

Def Jam artists Iggy Azalea, Common and August Alsina headline the all-star musical roster inspired by the hit franchise Love & Hip Hop. VH1 LOVE & HIP HOP: MUSIC FROM THE SERIES, is available everywhere on August 19th, one day after the climactic season three finale of the series airing Monday night. The lead single…

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Music Video

August Alsina - "Benediction" Ft. Rick Ross

August Alsina is having a great week so far, and today he drops the official music video for his single, “Benediction” which features Rick Ross. Check out the video above. August Alsina “Testimony” Available Everywhere Now!

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August Alsina Performs "I Luv This Shit" With Trey Songz & Chris Brown At The BET Awards 2014

Last night, after winning the the Best New Artist & the Viewers Choice Awards, August Alsina hit the stage to perform his remix to, “I Luv This Shit” with some help from Trigga and Chris Brown. Check out the full performance above.

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August Alsina - "FML" Ft. Pusha T

August Alsina is back and this time he delivers the brand new visuals for his track, “FML” featuring Pusha T. Check out the new video above. August Alsina “Testimony” Available Everywhere Now!

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August Alsina "Testimony Live" Tour Dates

After receiving 4 nominations, including Viewers Choice and Best New Artist, it was announced this week that New Orleans ‘Testimony’ singer August Alsina has been added as a performer to the 14th annual BET Awards which airs live this Sunday, June 29th, 8:00pm (EST). Alsina will then hit the road starting August 14th in Seattle,…

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August Alsina Covers VIBE Magazine

August Alsina, Mack Wilds and Ed Sheeran cover the brand new issue of VIBE Magazine. August Alsina “Testimony” Available Everywhere Now!

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Jhene Aiko & August Alsina To Perform At The BET Awards 2014

More chart topping names have been added to the already stellar lineup of performances at the “BET Awards” which will now include Grammy nominated rapper, singer, songwriter and actress Nicki Minaj, nine time Grammy Award Winner John Legend, American singer-songwriter Jhene Aiko and American hip hop singer August Alsina. “106 & Park” hosts Bow Wow…

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XXL 2014 Freshmen Roundtable Part 1

XXL decided to do something different this time with The 2014 Freshmen. They grouped the MC’s together after their cypher and had them do a roundtable. In Part 1, we get Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, Kevin Gates, Isaiah Rashad and August Alsina discuss a number of topics which include, performing in front of large…

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ItsTheReal in "A Perfect Interview" with August Alsina

Anytime It’s The Real is around you know you can expect an hilarious interview. Well, while out at Summer Jam they got a few minutes to chop it up with August Alsina. Check out the interview above. August Alsina “Testimony” Available Everywhere Now!

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Create Your Own Custom August Alsina Merchandise

You can now create your own custom merchandise using still from August Alsina’s music video, “Get Ya Money”. Click here to make your own! August Alsina “Testimony” on iTunes & Amazon Now! iTunes (Standard): http://smarturl.it/iTestimony iTunes (Deluxe): http://smarturl.it/iTestimonyD Amazon: http://smarturl.it/aTestimony

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2014 XXL Freshmen Cypher Pt. 1

After having individual freestyles, some of the XXL Freshmen have teamed up for Part 1 of the Group Cyphers. Up first is, Kevin Gates, Vic Mensa, August Alsina, Isaiah Rashad and Chance The Rapper which you can watch above. August Alsina “Testimony” Available Everywhere Now!        

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August Alsina’s XXL Freshmen Freestyle

August Alsina is next up and gives us his XXL Freshmen Freestyle which you can check out above. Below, you can check out his Freshman Profile. August Alsina “Testimony” Available Everywhere Now!

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August Alsina & Jhene Aiko Nominated For The 2014 BET Awards Viewers Choice Award!

August Alsina and Jhene Aiko are Nominated For The 2014 BET Awards Viewers Choice Award! Make sure you vote by using the hashtag #IChooseAugust or #IChooseJhene! The most hashtag posts wins! Let’s go!

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Sing Along With August Alsina!

Enter to win an autographed deluxe CD prize pack just by singing along to August Alsina’s “Get Ya Money” music video.  August will choose his favorite videos out of the Top 10 Leaderboard.  Get your video placed on the Leaderboard by sharing your video across your social networks, encouraging your friends to Like your video….

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August Alsina On The Hot 97 Morning Show

August Alsina stopped by Hot 97 to chop it up with The Morning Show. He spoke on the incident on 106 & Park, the rumors, the reaction his debut album and much more. August Alsina “Testimony” on iTunes & Amazon Now! iTunes (Standard): http://smarturl.it/iTestimony iTunes (Deluxe): http://smarturl.it/iTestimonyD Amazon: http://smarturl.it/aTestimony

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XXL Freshmen Cover Revealed

Today, XXL revealed the 2014 Freshmen Cover which features Def Jam’s own, August Alsina and Lil Durk!

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August Alsina On The Playboy Morning Show

August Alsina is still making his rounds and stopped by The Playboy Morning Show this week to talk about online dating. Check out the clip above. August Alsina “Testimony” on iTunes & Amazon Now! iTunes (Standard): http://smarturl.it/iTestimony iTunes (Deluxe): http://smarturl.it/iTestimonyD Amazon: http://smarturl.it/aTestimony

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10 comments
justfor_mookah
justfor_mookah

I just want to say that August really made me think differently of my life. The way he started and to where he is now is a big inspiration to me. I can relate to August on a deeper level than most people and i feel like his story changed my life. I feel that everybody has a story and when music begins to take over it takes it too another level. I love his music and i love his story. It may not be the best but everybody's story isn't. We all have to go through hell and hot water to get where we are. My mom always told me no matter what life brings you, don't let nobody take away the gift you have. Me and my mom are both singers. No im not a song writer, i always find that the hard part, but August's music help me realize what my mom always said to me. Your a big inspiration to me, my life, my family, and to all the people in this world. Your music means a lot to me. It tells the struggles, sad times, good times, fun times, people in the world, and how you lived your like and thats real. All i can say is that keep making music. Its the best part of you and myself. I look up to you. I believe in the things you can do. #Testimony #Life #Real #BELIEVE 

Coleta Renee Henix
Coleta Renee Henix

realest nigga ive heard so far i can truely relate to your words #luv

Kia21
Kia21

August Alsina is the truth.. Great artist.. Keep up the good work.. #Testimony

FavourYMCMB
FavourYMCMB

I respect you August! You are such an inspiration. Keep doing what you're doing 'cause you're on the right path of your life.
I'm looking forward to listening to #Testimony on April 15th and I would looove to meet you in person!!! 

BREADBRUH
BREADBRUH

I swear ....bbruhbruh Augusts story is alot like mine and too many of us from "downtown" ! As a former defjam artist myself im glad that August now has this platform on D.J.to spread his ghetto Gospel! He is definitely a trill soljah! $ALUTE ! #LIFEUNDERTHEGUN THUGLIFE

The Hope U Give Little Infants Frees Everybody

keah34
keah34

keah34 i honestly agree i been through the same thing august been through iam the biggest fan of him he is a very good inspirational on me and he is very respectful i will never hate august i love him the most niggas hatin on him cuz he outchea on da grind doing his thing and i wanna be just like him when i grow up