As FLOTUS, Michelle Obama occupies a pretty powerful and high-profile post. Still, from time to time, she makes sure to keep it real like us plebeians. She’s let her hips loose when getting down to “Uptown Funk” and embraced the hilarity that is “mom dancing.” Hell, the First Lady even makes terrible “Turn Down For What” jokes like us.
Now, she’s confessed something that we the people can really get behind. During a Q&A for the Beating the Odds summit for college students, Mrs. Obama was asked, “If you had the opportunity to have a different occupation, what would it be?” Without pause or hesitation, she answered: “I would be Beyoncé,” later wavering her hands à la Queen Bey in the “Single Ladies” video. Don’t we all?
Considering the fact that Mrs. Obama and her two daughters were spotted enjoying the heck out of a Bey concert and that the “XO” singer performed at FLOTUS’ 50th birthday bash last year, her choice of dream job probably should come as no surprise.
Former “Blurred Lines” video gal Emily Ratajkowski covers the September issue of British GQ to promote her rise in the entertainment industry. Her movie credits include Gone Girl, the blasted Entourage film, and more to come.
Emily discussed several topics with the magazine. Her opinions include the need for full-on drug legalization. Emily believes all drugs, no matter how light or hard, should be fully obtainable. Emily then changed topics to the video that made her famous, saying that she wouldn’t do the “Blurred Lines” video again, although she “didn’t feel objectified when making it.” She also describes her feminism in terms of enjoying sex and digging men’s bums:
“Making sure you get what you want in sex. And feeling sexual without feeling like it’s for someone else … Being in love and acting sexually on it in a million different ways is empowering. I love men’s butts I shouldn’t have to feel embarrassed of that.”
Well, she’s correct in that loving butts shouldn’t provoke shame. Did anyone really shame Emily for enjoying butts? Emily also lightened the shame load against those who enjoyed her hacked iCloud photos:
“I’ve gotten over the fact I’ve got no privacy. I always hated when I was growing up how people would really freak out about paparazzi following them. It’s like, ‘Well that’s the job and the profession that you’re in.’ A lot of people who were victims of that said anyone who looks at these pictures should feel guilty, but I just don’t think that’s fair. I think once it’s out there, it’s out there, and I’m not sure that anyone who googles it is necessarily a criminal.”
Emily only holds the hackers responsible and doesn’t blame those who peeked at her photos. She probably feels differently about the creepster who sold her alleged thong on Craiglist, though.
Oh, and one more thing. Emily disses “Blurred Lines” as a song, saying the tune is nearly indistinguishable from “the Marvin Gaye one.” Burn.
(via GQ UK)
Eminem‘s Recovery marked what many saw as a return to form for the Detroit rapper. The album sprung from his real-life recovery from prescription pill abuse. This addiction led to an eventual overdose and weight gain. Em previously revealed to Rolling Stone how he’d frequent breakfast diners by himself, which he characterized as “sad.” One day, he overheard some kids guessing that he might be Eminem, but one of them said, “No it’s not, man – Eminem ain’t fat.” Eminem thought, “‘Motherf***er.’ That’s when I knew I was getting heavy.”
Now speaking with Men’s Journal, Shady says he was 230 pounds when he entered the hospital for his overdose. He’s pretty sure he ate so much because Vicodin and Valium created a hole in his stomach, and he ate (“constantly” and “badly”) to stop the pain. After leaving a recovery center, his personality replaced one addiction with another:
When I got out of rehab, I needed to lose weight, but I also needed to figure out a way to function sober. Unless I was blitzed out of my mind, I had trouble sleeping. So I started running. It gave me a natural endorphin high, but it also helped me sleep, so it was perfect. It’s easy to understand how people replace addiction with exercise. One addiction for another but one that’s good for them. I got an addict’s brain, and when it came to running, I think I got a little carried away. I became a f***ing hamster. Seventeen miles a day on a treadmill. I would get up in the morning, and before I went to the studio, I would run eight and a half miles in about an hour. Then I’d come home and run another eight and a half. I started getting OCD about the calories, making sure I burned 2,000 every day. In the end I got down to about 149 pounds.
Eminem did what many beginning runners do. He threw himself into the sport without a gradual buildup and overdid the mileage. After a grueling few years, Em’s hip flexors tightened up, which set off a chain reaction through his bod. Now, he does most of his workouts at home and considers himself a big fan of the PX-90 DVD program. Who would have ever thought we’d hear Eminem endorsing a television workout?
Snoop Dogg has been touring Europe behind his latest album, Bush. While his international fans have no doubt given him a warm welcome, overseas police authorities haven’t been as kind.
Now, this past Saturday, airport security in southern Italy went ahead and seized half of the “Gin and Juice” rapper’s $422,000 cash during a routine search. The Calabria authorities claimed that any amount beyond $11,000 must be declared while traveling through the European Union because of money laundering laws. (Really, don’t they know what that money’s going towards?)
It’s believed the money will eventually be returned in full, with a fine deduction, according to Snoop’s lawyer, Andrea Parisi: “We clarified everything from a legal point of view. The money came from concerts he had performed around Europe. There was no crime; it was just an administrative infraction.”
(Via BBC News)
Any Paul McCartney performance is an exciting prospect at this point, especially at a festival as big as Lollapalooza. McCartney delved into his extensive discography during his Friday set, including Beatles and Wings songs, but he also busted out a couple of big moments by doing a rendition of “FourFiveSeconds” and also bringing out Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes for a rollicking rendition of “Get Back.”
“FourFiveSeconds” is a new addition to the McCartney canon. The song is a collaboration with Kanye West and Rihanna in its recorded version, but West and Rihanna didn’t join McCartney for this performance. As such, McCartney handled the lead vocals himself, doing so for the first time. This is also the first time he has done the song live since the 2015 Grammys, so it’s a rare treat, presuming you like the song, of course.
“Get Back,” meanwhile is a song that McCartney can feel more comfortable about people wanting to here. Howard and Alabama Shakes had played earlier in the evening, so she was available to join McCartney for his headlining set. When a former Beatle asks you to play one of his most famous songs, you don’t say no. Howard is a distinctive vocalist, and she brings a little something different to the proceedings.
Thanks to “FourFiveSeconds” and “Get Back,” McCartney’s set was even more notable than it would have been if it was just, you know, simply a living legend on the stage.
Rapper Travis Scott does not have the best track record of keeping things cool and calm at his shows. There have been conflicts with fans in the past. This time, his antics didn’t just get his show at Lollapalooza Saturday cut short, it also got him arrested.
Scott had barely taken the stage and started his performance when he told the fans to rush the stage. Some fans obliged, and this was enough for the security to get involved, and for the set to be ended immediately, less than 10 minutes after the show began. The Office of Emergency Management released this statement:
“The performer played one song and then began telling fans to come over the barricades. Due to the security’s quick response, the situation was remedied immediately and no fans were injured. The performer fled the scene and was taken into custody a short while later.”
Scott was arrested for disorderly conduct. You can find a scant bit of video and photography on the internet.
While things didn’t get a chance to get too out of hand, if the proper authorities hadn’t stepped in, things could have gotten sketchy fast. The last thing you need in a crowded environment like a festival concert is a bunch of people running and fighting to get on stage. That’s a recipe for somebody getting crushed. That didn’t happen this time, and maybe Scott has learned his lesson. You tell people to rush the stage, you get arrested.
At this point in our lives, any mention of “Uptown Funk” should elicit a violent reaction of some sort. Some shaking, some throbbing, some projectile vomiting. All would be expected after the countless times we’ve probably heard this song by now. But, this version created by user dondrapersayswhat over on YouTube took three months to create, sewing together nearly 280 clips from various films over the years to recreate the Bruno Mars/ Mark Ronson collaboration.
And it’s actually pretty damn enjoyable for being based on a song that makes me want to recreate The Shining at the height of the summer. I’m particularly fond of seeing Smokey And The Bandit get a little time to shine later in the clip (and also seeing all the different types of movies that have been brought in for just one word).
You can get a listing of all the titles by clicking the close captioning (something you can also read in the description of the video), but it’s going to be a lot more fun to be surprised and see how many you can name. You can always play it on mute too.
Kid Cudi released the first single off his upcoming Speedin’ Bullet To Heaven album today. It isn’t bad but don’t confuse its replay value with it being ground-breaking.
The track, “Confused,” sees Cudder take on grunge. It’s befitting because the Cleveland musician seems like the perfect, modern-day artist to swaddle himself in the sound. He adapts well enough. The guitar riffs come jagged and rough while Cudi enunciates maudlin lines like “looking in the mirror is hard” and “I hate the gun but I want the sun.” If he can enter a high school poetry competition, he charts in the the top-five.
What’s telling about “Confused” is the title sums up Cudi’s role in music and culture today. Perhaps he’s not so much confused about what he’s doing since he appears to be making money. The following question remains, though.
What the f*ck is he really? Is he a rapper? A rock star? An actor? A podcast bandleader?
We opined back in April that for his next project to reel back jaded day-one fans he should do several things, namely these two. One, he ought to utilize the team and musical elements that originally put him on the map, and two, ditch the sulking-high-school-boy schtick.
While “Confused” could mark an outlier on Speedin’ Bullet To Heaven, we’re not holding our breath. It’s another detour on Cudi’s eight-year-old career. Granted, there’s nothing wrong with trying out so many different hats especially when those roles result in more notoriety, cultural cache, and/or money. However, that’s something that’s earned through mastering a particular craft. What’s Cudi mastered? To date, nothing.
His rap career started off promising and his first mixtape and first two Man On The Moon albums were good-but-not-great projects. He’s an amiable actor, if an unmemorable one. And he’s… kind of funny? Essentially, Cudi’s spread himself too thin and quickly moves from one thing to the next. Perhaps he thinks he’s the G.O.A.T. and changes the game no matter what industry he’s in—his hubris doesn’t suggest otherwise. Whatever the case, he’s all over the place and not in a good way.
To be fair, he’ll always resonate with that moody subsection of 16-to-21-year-old kids who confuse suburban angst for anything at all. That’s why his embrace of grunge is particularly appropriate—the Ernest Baker-idolizing population will certainly dig it since that generation probably wasn’t even born when Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994. Teens and young adults will always love that “woe is me!” sh*t; however, when it comes to solidifying an identifiable and mature sound, Cudi’s is as confounding and lost as ever. Give us a shout when you figure yourself out, Cud.
Listen to “Confused” below.
Taylor Swift dominates the pop charts and music awards shows, and she has a gathering of model friends to defend her honor at every turn. That’s a good thing for Swift, who ends up entering Twitter feuds on a monthly basis, and shading fellow pop stars equally as often. Swift knows how to hold a grudge, and she inspires others to do the same.
Swift’s latest rival is Ed Droste, lead singer of indie band Grizzly Bear. His hipster sensibilities are offended by the mass consumption of Swift. Ed’s been complaining about Swift for years.
He also tweeted and deleted his impression of someone (Swift) upon their first meeting: “Met a celebrity I always speculated was terribly calculated and mean, and they exceeded all my expectations of rudeness and arrogance. HATE. I’m too petrified of their insane power. No need to speculate, just HAD to voice my disgust.”
Oh, the shade! This potboiler of a feud has reached new simmering heights after Swift picked up the Haim girls as part of her squad. Haim is opening for Swift on her current tour, and the ladies attended Swift’s Fourth of July party last month.
Droste is also besties with Haim. He snapped this photo during a Broad City viewing party.
This presents an uncomfortable situation. Ed continues to stew over Swift “stealing” Haim. A few days ago, he tweeted this gem with a snapshot of a negative tabloid article about Swift.
Swift’s fans immediately called him jealous over the Haim issue. He responded, of course.
Ed continues to talk it out on Twitter. He says he’s done “dragging,” but he cannot stop expressing his distaste for Swift. In an odd turn of events, I don’t think Taylor’s paying attention anymore.
(H/T to Mashable)
It’s official, Detox is dead. But there is a new Dr. Dre album on the way.
Yes, the legendary producer has announced a real deal, brand new full-length album titled Compton: A Soundtrack By Dr. Dre.
Dre made the announcement during his Beats 1 radio show The Pharmacy, saying, “Detox didn’t come out because I didn’t like it. It wasn’t good. I’ma keep it 1000. I couldn’t do that to my fans.”
Dre’s follow-up to 2001 is finally on the way nearly 16 years later and was inspired by the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton. Featuring the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Xzibit, Ice Cube, Marsha Abrosius, and many, many more. According to Dre, he was so inspired that he did an album “under wraps” and it’s now finished. The best part? It drops in just six days on Friday, August 7th.
Check out the tracklist to Compton: A Soundtrack By Dr. Dre below and pre-order on iTunes.
1. “Intro” (Dr. Dre)
2. “Talk About It” (Feat. King Mez & Justus)
3. “Genocide” (Feat. Kendrick Lamar, Marsha Ambrosius & Candice Pillay)
4. “It’s All On Me” (Feat. Justus & BJ the Chicago Kid)
5. “All In a Day’s Work” (Feat. Anderson Paak & Marsha Ambrosius)
6. “Darkside/Gone” (Feat. King Mez, Marsha Ambrosius & Kendrick Lamar)
7. “Loose Cannons” (Feat. Xzibit & COLD 187um)
8. “Issues” (Feat. Ice Cube & Anderson Paak)
9. “Deep Water” (Feat. Kendrick Lamar & Justus)
10. “One Shot One Kill” (Feat. Snoop Dogg)
11. “Just Another Day” (Feat. Asia Bryant)
12. “For the Love of Money” (Feat. Jill Scott & Jon Connor)
13. “Satisfiction” (Feat. Snoop Dogg, Marsha Ambrosius & King Mez)
14. “Animals” (Feat. Anderson Paak)
15. “Medicine Man” (Feat. Eminem, Candice Pillay & Anderson Paak)
16. “Talking To My Diary” (Dr. Dre)
The much anticipated follow-up to 2014’s Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon is reportedly due out by the end of the year, and, according to Kudi himself, is “100% the purest form of my artistic self.” It’s also said to mark a different musical approach for the Cleveland-born rapper. “There are no synths or electronic sounds on the album,” he tweeted over the July 4th weekend, “It consist of all guitar and bass played by myself.”
Speedin’ Bullet will also be completely “featureless”, with all the focus on Cudi and his emotions:
After much hype, Cudi has revealed “Confused”, his first single from the album. It’s a moody cut lined with grunge-y riffs and pensive lines like “Who am I? Who are we?/ All I want is to feel complete.” Listen in below.
(Via The FADER)
Thus far, we’ve heard “Run Away with Me”, “Your Type”, and “I Really Like You”, a lead single that came complete with a music video starring Tom Hanks and Justin Bieber. The pop singer also released one of my personal favorites in “All That” (no, not the Nickelodeon show), a lush lounger co-written and produced by masters of ’80s pop, Ariel Rechtshaid (Haim, Sky Ferreria, Beyonce) and Dev Hynes of Blood Orange.
Now, Jepsen has unveiled “Warm Blood”, a pulsing and cozy little pop ditty that was produced and co-written by Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend. (Also, no relation to “Bad Blood”.) Oftentimes, a single’s YouTube artwork doesn’t tie in much with the actual music; that’s not the case here, as “Warm Blood” sounds like late ’70s and’ 80s dance music melting together in sticky, stylish fashion. Listen in below.
Ah, Lollapalooza: that music festival in Chicago that seems to get bigger and bigger with each year that passes. Although the event began as a touring event in 1991, Lollapalooza has since become an annual gathering for music lovers in Chicago’s Grant Park. What has remained consistent with Lollapalooza is its goal to introduce people to music from across the world, and offering an experience that makes them want to return again and again. So, in honor of Lollapalooza 2015, we look back at a standout moment from the festival since 2005 (since that’s the year Lollapalooza moved to Chicago for good).
Lollapalooza Settles Down In Chicago (2005)
After being a cross-country event since its inception in 1991, Lollapalooza set up shop in Chicago’s Grant Park, and has been there ever since. The lineup featured headliners such as Billy Idol, Cake, Primus, the Pixies, and Weezer, as well as other groups like M83 and The Black Keys, who would achieve mainstream success years later.
Gnarls Barkley And The “Crazy” Epidemic (2006)
2006, a year of many notable moments in American pop culture. But the biggest one (arguably)? Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” Accessible, easy to dance to, and a chorus that can still incite insanity at a party, the popular single turned Gnarls Barkley creators CeeLo Green and Danger Mouse into household names. So, it’s understandable that a good portion of the people at Lollapalooza 2006 were ready to sing the song alongside each other, while watching the masterminds behind the track performing it live. The anticipation was so high that even Jack White’s Raconteurs covered “Crazy” prior to Gnarls Barkley’s set the following day. Then the moment came: dressed in tennis whites, CeeLo, Danger Mouse, and their backing band played a memorable set that included, of course, “Crazy.” And it was nothing short of that.
The Daft Punk Pyramid Comes To Chicago (2007)
At this point in their career, Daft Punk’s “Alive 2007″ tour is essentially their magnum opus, a moment in music that simultaneously foreshadowed and inspired contemporary EDM concerts. Their set at Lollapalooza 2007 is a testament to that, as the DJ duo played banger after banger inside a pyramid. A PYRAMID. There’s a reason why Daft Punk is celebrated as one of the best EDM groups to ever exist, crafting a sound and live experience that still gets talked about today.
Kanye West Returns ‘Stronger’ Than Ever (2008)
Kanye’s performance at Lollapalooza 2006 wasn’t that great, but to become a king and reach the masses takes time. The rapper successfully achieved mainstream success with his 2007 release, Graduation. Now with three albums under his belt, Yeezus made his return to Lollapalooza in 2008 and, well, owned every moment. Arrogant, earnest, and sad (he dedicated the performance to his mother, who had recently passed away), Kanye performed all of his hits, ending with “Stronger.” Little did we know that Kanye had barely begun to make his mark on rap music, and music in general.
If you read any review from Lollapalooza 2009, you’ll realize that a lot of people were there for Tool, that progressive metal rock hybrid that’s kind of an anomaly in music. After all, these are the guys that got the masses to fall in love with a song (“Schism”) that has a 6.5/8 time signature, and one of the creepiest music videos of the early 2000s. Anyways, the four-piece commanded the stage, their songs going into one another seamlessly. Screens connected to the stage displayed the music videos to the songs being performed, which the audience welcomed with cheers and dancing. Tool knows how to party, and once you get past the strange time signatures and surreal imagery, you’ll wonder why you didn’t get into them sooner.
Lady Gaga Becomes The Crowd-Surfing Queen Of Lollapalooza (2010)
Lady Gaga is punk as f*ck, and if that statement makes you feel some type of way, maybe you need a reminder of the moment she made Lollapalooza history in 2010. Four hours before performing on the festival’s main stage, the mainstream pop star made a surprise appearance during Semi-Precious Weapons’ set, grinding on lead singer Justin Tranter and stage-diving into the crowd wearing a pair of stilettos and a bodysuit. Gaga’s handlers successfully retrieved her, but she immediately broke free and went deeper into the audience. Legendary.
Coldplay Does Their First Lollapalooza (2011)
Everyone knows Coldplay. Whether you’ve cried to their music, sung “Yellow” to a potential bae, or had one of their many hits as your high school graduation song, everyone has had a Coldplay moment. But those in attendance for Lollapalooza 2011 were able to celebrate a special moment with the band, when they did their first ever performance at the festival. Mylo Xyloto, the group’s fifth album, hadn’t dropped yet, so when the band broke into songs from the forthcoming release, the crowd responded positively. But let’s keep it real, the fans were there for the hits, and Coldplay was more than willing to give them what they wanted.
Severe Thunderstorms Make A Guest Appearance (2012)
Lollapalooza 2012 was briefly postponed when heavy storms began to roll through Chicago. Festival organizers advised attendees to move to pre-determined evacuation zones, while afternoon sets from fun. and The Weeknd were rescheduled for later in the evening. Some bands, such as Alabama Shakes, weren’t as fortunate, losing their set altogether.
Death Grips Piss Off Their Fans (2013)
Death Grips was already in a #NoF*cks mood since 2012, and that mood continued throughout most of 2013 when the band began to cancel all of their shows for the latter half of the year. And it all began with a Lollapalooza “after party” the group never showed up to. Instead, fans were greeted by a suicide note from a fan, and a lone drum kit which was immediately destroyed. Some viewed it as a twisted example of performance art; some saw it for what it was (f*cked up). Regardless, it’s a moment that showed Death Grips follows its own rules, whether we like it or not.
Malia Obama Attends Lollapalooza (2014)
Another moment that proves that the Obama family is arguably one of the coolest families to ever take residence in the White House, President Obama’s oldest daughter, Malia Obama, came through Lollapalooza 2014 and low-key stole the show. Although the White House wouldn’t confirm Malia’s attendance, tweets and photographs showed that she was in fact there, and was ready to see Chance the Rapper’s set. See? Children of the president are just like us. They just want to see good live music (and may or may not have Secret Service guys protecting them).
Saturday marks the anniversary of the debut of MTV, which revolutionized the music industry. The very first video they showed was “Video Killed The Radio Star” by The Buggles. Everybody knows this. This is basic music trivia. It’s “MTV history for $100” on Jeopardy! type stuff. However, MTV didn’t just air one video and call it a day. What about the videos that came in the wake of “Video Killed the Radio Star?” They don’t have the iconic status of The Buggles, but they were part of the early history of the channel.
“You Better Run” by Pat Benatar
Pat Benatar hit it pretty big with later music videos, such as “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” and, in particular “Love Is A Battlefield.” Before Benatar and her lady friends dance-fought a pimp, though, she had the second video on MTV with “You Better Run.” It’s pretty much what you expect from an early music video, just the band performing in what appears to be a rundown warehouse. Benatar dances around and tries to add some virility to the proceedings, but it’s pretty staid, even with the fading cuts. Bonus points for Benatar’s dope leather pants, though.
“She Won’t Dance with Me” by Rod Stewart
Benatar is a notable name, but Stewart is a huge name, and thanks to his work with Faces and his single “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” he was a well-known commodity by the time “She Won’t Dance With Me” rolled around. That doesn’t mean this video makes any more sense though. It’s sort of a performance video, but it’s more out there than “You Better Run.” They are in a polka dot room and Stewart is wearing what can only be described as windbreaker pajamas. Honestly, it feels almost like something you’d see on a Tim and Eric show, but the lo-fi technology of the time period is part of that.
“You Better You Bet” by The Who
The names just keep getting bigger. The Who were legends by the time the ‘80s rolled around, but that didn’t stop this from being the most basic video of the bunch. The opening, at least on YouTube, makes sure to point out that the video was shot in black and white for artistic reasons. Even back in 1981, people had to fight off the stigma of black and white. You darn teenagers! Anyway, the video is by the books, but the song, which is not one of the classic The Who cuts, is quite good. Much poppier than expected.
“Little Suzi’s on the Up” by Ph.D.
This is a real change-up. Not just because this is the first artist that didn’t really have a long or notable career, with all due respect to the doctors of Ph.D. It’s also the first video of this bunch with anything artistic and clever and original to it. It’s completely nuts and silly. A man dances with a pig corpse! The gist of the video is that a couple of blue-collar folks have entered a dance contest and then they win and get a jar of pickled eggs. It’s basically Silver Linings Playbook. Also, a man with an eye patch keeps giving out scores for all sorts of stuff. It’s goofy as hell, but kind of fun. It’s a shame this one has fallen by the wayside.
“We Don’t Talk Anymore” by Cliff Richard
We’re back to videos that are just dudes standing around singing. There are a lot of cheap effects in this one. At least, they are cheap now. Maybe they weren’t then. We’re talking kaleidoscope stuff and floating heads and what have you. Some effort went into it. The real shame is that the seventh video played by MTV was “Brass in Pocket” by The Pretenders, which is a video and song that have stood the test of time. Alas, they don’t crack this five, so there’s nothing more to be said. Sorry, Chrissie Hynde!
The hits just keep rolling out for Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. Take this sketch featuring he and Kevin Bacon as The Beach Boys, singing the hilarious unreleased version of “Fun, Fun, Fun” for everyone’s enjoyment!
Actually, the only two things I took away from this are that Kevin Bacon looks weirder than Al Jardine in his Beach Boys get up and that one dancer looks a lot like porn star Janice Griffith.
Elsewhere on the show, Bacon sat down to talk about his new VOD film and the past horror of finding out your movie is going straight to video. Then he talked a bit about The Bacon Brothers and the crazy fans that show up dressed in bacon costumes. They pulled this chick on stage in New Jersey while they played, I guess so she could just stand there and wonder about her station in life a bit.
You chose this path.
(Via The Tonight Show)
Among all the Twitter memes about Meek Mill’s “Wanna Know” were fake tweets about how pissed off The Undertaker was about Meek and producer Jahlil Beats sampling his theme. Well, WWE is looking into the situation for real. TMZ contacted the WWE offices about it, and the spokesperson noted that “WWE takes its intellectual property rights very seriously, and we’re looking into the matter.”
The song has only been released via Funk Flex’s SoundCloud, so it seems unlikely that any actions filed will go beyond a cease and desist. Still, as the rep noted, the WWE has to protect their IP so that random artists adding trap drums to the Million Dollar Man’s theme don’t get any bright ideas about who legally owns what.
If you’re itching for new Jay Z music, you can get some with nothing more than twenty bucks, a record player and a knife. Yes, a knife.
Former White Stripes front man Jack White’s Third Man Records Store is releasing a vinyl edition of Jay’s latest album, Magna Carta… Holy Grail with a unique and rewarding special feature.
JAY Z’s twelfth studio album, Magna Carta… Holy Grail, is now pressed on two 180 gram LP’s, heavy as the material carved into them, complete with a printed lyric insert, poetic as the gatefold it’s slipped in between.
Most exciting about this double LP is certainly the concealed postcard flexi disc hidden within the back cover and only accessible to those willing to take a knife to the iconic packaging. Once freed of its casing, this flexi disc plays a super secret hidden track. You’ll just have to hear it for yourself, because we sure don’t plan to ruin the mystery of it here.
The special double LP edition of Magna Carta… Holy Grail is avaiable now at the Third Man Records store for $20 here.
(Via Third Man Record Store)
Words By Aspektz
It’s a bird, it’s a plane… No, it’s Vic Mensa testing out the new adidas Yeezy Boost 350 soles at Lollapalooza. While performing with Dillon Francis in Chicago this week, Vic decided to test his shoes, ankles, knees and guts out with a high-flying leap that would have made the late Rowdy Roddy Piper say, “Jimmy Superfly Snuka better watch out!”
Vic must have been watching parkour tutorials all week because he knew enough to keep rolling to transfer the impact and break his fall. After hobbling to his feet and waving off a stagehand who was rushing to his aid, Mensa continued the turn-up with a smile on his face and EDM drums blasting in his ears.
Whether or not he was shooting cortisone into his ankles backstage after the show has yet to be confirmed. One thing is for sure, though – when Vic climbs into the 15 foot high DJ booth, the price of admission starts to look like great value.
It’s a good thing Young Thug gets along with Gucci Mane, because if Thugger ever had to squab with Gucci, he just might get his ass kicked.
A trainer out of Memphis, TN named Donnie Young, whom you may recognize as the trainer from the infamous Gucci Mane boxing video, recently went to the Thug household to help train the rapper and his family in the pugilistic arts. Clearly, the rapper is an amateur because the video of the session is pretty embarrassing. There’s Thug, out on bail for various weapons and drug charges, throwing his best 1-2 and wide hooks at Young’s mitts.
To make matters worse, Young is also training Thugger’s sister, and she seems to have a tad more snap on her punches.
Here’s some more of Thug’s “boxing.” Apparently, he “don’t get tired.”
And another video of him punching a baby, because why not.
I guess there’s a reason Thug had a house full of guns and shooters on standby.
(Via Donnie Young)
Mark Ronson, who has had himself a fine year on the strength of “Uptown Funk,” was a guest on Australian radio station Triple J’s show “Like a Version,” where he was joined by Kiran J. Callinan, Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, and Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt. The group decided to go with a cover of “I Sat by the Ocean” by Queens of the Stone Age.
Wyatt handles the vocals, and the guys join together to create something that is, fittingly enough, fairly funky. There’s a good chance you’ve never heard the song “I Sat by the Ocean,” although it did hit No. 15 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart after it was released as a single, and Queens of the Stone Age did play it on Jimmy Kimmel Live. If you haven’t heard the original, it’s worth checking out.
The guys also played “Daffodils,” a cut from Ronson’s Uptown Special album, with Wyatt swapping out for Kevin Parker, who appeared on the song on the album too. As the Australian guys at the top of the videos say, get stuck in.
In certain parts of India, there is a practice where younger relatives kill elderly family members when their age and health becomes a financial and emotional burden. That’s how it feels sometimes as a hip-hop fan in my 30s. Instead of stoically bathing my body in oil and giving me glasses of tender coconut water until my kidneys fail, I am served a steady diet of nonsense radio and social media until my ears and brain give out. From there, I die the deaths of a thousand dads, relegated to an afterlife of calf-length jean shorts and “real hip-hop.”
I love Biggie, but I’m not ready to die. Not yet.
I am not a dinosaur who goes to sleep every night hoping that I wake up and it’s 1992. I still voraciously consume new music. I am an avid fan of hip-hop in all of its forms — I think I played “Lil’ One” by Future ten times yesterday — but there are still certain third rails that remain hot for me when it comes to the music. Ghostwriting is one of them.
Ghostwriting has been happening since before Grandmaster Caz’s rhyme book formed a significant portion of hip-hop’s first hit, and as recent revelations have shown us, it continues to happen today. I am not surprised. What does surprise me is how little anyone seems to care about it. While Drake is as untouchable as they come in hip-hop these days, I thought there might be some uproar when, after Meek Mill accused Drake of having ghostwriters via social media, audio of a young Atlanta artist named Quentin Miller apparently performing a reference version of “10 Bands” hit the net a few days ago. There was enough murmuring for Drake’s longtime collaborator 40 to all but admit that Drake has indeed used ghostwriters, framing it not as fraudulence, but as a more holistic approach to songwriting. Besides that, most greeted the news with shrugs.
Some argued that they didn’t care who wrote the music, as long as it was dope. Others looked to R&B and other genres for examples of great artists that didn’t write their own lyrics. It’s good enough for Michael Jackson, who are we to complain? Still others circled back to my original point that ghostwriting has always been going on, continues with acts who moonlight as producers like Kanye, Dr. Dre, and Puffy, and even count esteemed acts like Nas and Snoop Dogg as both rumored writers and reciters of others rhymes.
The more I watched people cop pleas on the subject, the more obvious it became that the music I love has mostly moved on without me. Try as I might to ignore the instinct to hate something just because it doesn’t jibe with my narrow definitions of what it should be, I just cannot make myself be cool with this ghostwriting thing. This is hip-hop, right?
Hip-hop, like all other genres of music, has its own rules and mores that its listeners and practitioners use to decide what’s good and bad. Freddie Mercury of the rock band Queen is widely noted as having one of the best, if not the best, singing voice in the history of the genre. However, you’ll find very few people who will argue that Queen is a better band than, say, The Rolling Stones.
In rock, production, lyrics, and instrumental virtuosity are much more important than one’s singing voice (see: Bob Dylan). In R&B, vocal performance takes center stage. In jazz, the ability to improvise has always been a hallmark of greatness. In hip-hop, the ability to write and perform your story have always been more important than anything else. Drake knows this better than most.
One of the reasons Drake is such a revered act is his ability to tap into his emotions more than other artists are. His vulnerability is more of an asset than a weakness, with his fans valuing the peek into his life and psyche more than decrying his “softness.” He’s not all drunk-dialing and pillow talk though.
From past battles back home in Toronto, to his various “__AM in ____” tracks, to Common, and now Meek Mill, Drake has proven to be as formidable with the aggression and braggadocio that all of the greats have wielded on their road to throne, or to protect it once they arrived. He wants to be crowned the undisputed king, and is prepared to end other careers if he needs to.
Drake is one of the most ambitious rappers we’ve seen in years. As evidenced in the first volley in his skirmish with Meek Mill, “Charged Up,” He’s alternated between taking potshots at his idol Jay-Z and aligning himself with and learning from him. That is the most damning part of this whole episode for me. You cannot be the king, in this writer’s mind, with other people penning your lyrics.
Also, if it was no big deal, why not say so from the beginning? Why hide it for so many years?
Rules change, as do the times. I get it. However, I definitely sympathize with Meek Mill’s frustration with the way the game has shifted. Drake has made great music for years, and doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. I’ll continue to enjoy his music’s moody production and meticulously crafted lyrics, no matter who writes them, but his trajectory will stop short of true greatness for me. My heroes all wrote their rhymes…I hope.
Kendrick Lamar calls “For Free? (Interlude)” his favorite song on To Pimp A Butterfly, so it makes sense that the track would get a video. For the clip, a few different K.Dot’s respond to a woman who was initially berating him, firing back in his spoken word flow and letting her know that the d*ck indeed is not free. A little less conventional in its interpretation but, when compared to the “King Kunte” and “Alright” videos, the video’s right on par with Kendrick’s willingness to take chances creatively with his recent work.
With all the plans that have to be made to pull off a successful trip to Lollapalooza, from mapping out the Bud Light vendors to figuring out how to actually get to the venue, you can be forgiven for not taking a good hard look at the schedule. After all, there were hotels to book, sunscreen to pack and car snacks to buy before you ship off to the only major city that is at least 500 miles from everywhere else.
The sheer number of names playing at one of America’s largest festivals can be daunting, especially if you’ve stayed up for days planning a trip, so we’ve taken the liberty of picking the acts that you absolutely can’t miss at Lollapalooza 2015.
This ‘90s-indebted punk group built quite a name for themselves with the release of their single “Milkman.” The buzz around them was so big that their debut album (as in their first album ever) was streamed by NPR before its release.
See them because: You want to tell your friends you saw them before they took over the world.
Unlike other oddball Lolla rockers like Alt-J and Tame Impala, Django Django absolutely kick.
Their textures are trippy and their influences are psychedelic, but “Default” hits the crowd like the hypest track of an EDM set at Perry’s.
See them because: You can #turnup among your own age bracket.
Atlanta rappers have spent the last several years tossing out rap’s rulebook. Thugga went one step further and tossed out the dictionary.
So very little of what Thug does can be contained in the standard measure of rapper proficiency, lyrics on the page. Thug songs are all delivery, charisma and ad-libs.
See him because: You want to figure out the chorus to “Lifestyle.”
TV On The Radio
Truly great, era-defining bands are a rarity in any age. But they’ve become even rarer since the Internet took a (pirated) hammer to the monoculture.
Kyp Malone and his associates may have picked the wrong time to start up a game of pin-the-tail on the zeitgeist, but their six albums have all been too strong for that to matter.
The band is currently touring behind Seeds, their first album since their bassist tragically passed away in 2011.
See them because: You owe it to yourself and you never know when you might get the chance again.
Toro Y Moi
Chillwave may be dead, but that doesn’t mean Chaz Bundick is going to stop any time soon.
The producer has emphatically moved on from the psuedo-scene that made him a star while maintaining the aura of playfulness that made his early work so great.
See him because: Few artists go better with a summer day in the park.
He’s the man behind almost every rap hit you can remember from the last several years. Seeing him at Lollapalooza will be like pressing shuffle on a live iPod full of nothing but bangers.
See him because: You’ve spent too long deciding which acts you want to listen to, and he gives you the chance to hear all of them.
They are still one of the hugest bands on Earth, even after that Lou Reed collaboration LuLu. That points to a crazy strong back catalog that’s perfect for a longer set and, given the big stage at Lollapalooza, it’s unlikely that they’ll disappoint.
See them because: They might just remember you.
Sir Paul McCartney
If you saw him perform at Bonnaroo two years ago, feel free to head to Flying Lotus, as Macca probably hasn’t changed his set. Otherwise, get to the stage where Sir Paul is playing.
See him because: Duh.
Another can’t miss stage? The Traveling House of Whatever, presented by Bud Light. Some of the craziest moments at the festival will happen there, so when you’re at Lolla, crack a Bud Light and be up for whatever!
While most of this week was spent talking about Meek Mill and Drake going back and forth, and then Meek being soundly clowned, we did actually have some non-beef music drop as well. The Weeknd could not feel his face, maybe because it was on fire. There were also new tracks from Prince and Eminem. But of course, a bunch of releases dropped that might have slipped through the cracks.
Here are the best songs and music videos you missed this week.
Puscifer – “Grand Canyon”
While Tool remains on their *extended* hiatus, it doesn’t mean that the band’s frontman, Maynard James Keenan, has to. He’s back with a new record with Puscifer, which is dropping October 30. While that’s a ways off, we’ve got our first taste of the album with “Grand Canyon.” The video is composed of beautiful shots of the titular landmark with a surprise at the end (which we may or may not have spoiled above.) Still, hearing that unmistakable voice over these majestic images is stirring.
Mac DeMarco – “Blue Boy”
Mac DeMarco perhaps entered the perfect marriage with his new video for “Blue Boy.” The laid-back indie folk rocker teamed up with Fox’s ADHD to make a kinda weird animated video for the Another One track. In the short clip, he manages to fight a giant green reptile monster, gets a cab ride from a giant mouth, and drag races a dog. So, yeah, makes perfect sense that these two trippy entities should meet.
Miami Horror – “Cellophane”
Australian indietronica group Miami Horror really grew sonically on their latest album, All Possible Futures. “Cellophane” is the latest video from the record, and it’s a strange trip. One part Home Shopping Network and one part voyeur’s dream, it shows how everyone is connected. Although, we’re probably not all connected via extra long limbs, but the message is still there.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “Ur Life One Night”
UMO’s latest clip from the great Multi-Love has the group scoring an old-timey picture show, almost reminiscent of a bazaar. Borrowing heavily from Asian art, according to the director, the sound of “Ur Life One Night” may seem anachronistic with the visuals of the video. But themes like love and sex and strife and struggle are fairly timeless. The world keeps turning in that way.
LIZ – “When I Rule The World”
The origins of PC Music are mysterious, to be generous, but what is undeniable is the songs are catchy as hell. LIZ’s “When I Rule The World” sounds like it was made for a commercial, and it’s no coincidence that it debuted in a Samsung ad. Now it has a standalone clip which revels in all of the busy glory that PC Music has come to be known for, whether or not you’re buying a phone.