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Iggy Azalea: Hackers threaten to leak sex tap, while Q-Tip gives hip-hop history lesson

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Iggy Azalea has endured criticism for her role as a now Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist—but now, a hacker group has promised to publicly shame the musician unless she apologizes for comments about her music and her current place in the hip-hop community.

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Watch Nicki Minaj celebrate new album with 'Pinkprint Movie' music video

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Nicki Minaj doesn’t shy away from her more serious side on her latest release, The Pinkprint. The rapper also dives fully into the heartache of her most dramatic new tracks with a new short film.

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Sammy Bananas talks bettering the world with DJs for Climate Action

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Seven years ago, Sammy Bananas realized he was flying a lot—and he realized that flying a lot meant he was increasing his carbon footprint. So he decided to do something about it by launching DJs for Climate Action, an annual drive that asks DJs and fans of DJs to donate money to a charity that helps offset carbon emissions.

Bananas, a DJ and producer on A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold label that also includes artists like Run the Jewels and Chromeo, wasn’t always a big flyer but once he began touring, it became a necessity. “All the flying I was doing actually put me above average,” he told EW, referring to his carbon footprint, “and I was trying to figure out some way to justify that without finding a completely new job, because I was enjoying what I was doing—still am.”

The money the DJs for Climate Action make doesn’t go to the same place each year, but each charity relates to the environment in some way or another: Last year, the money raised benefited Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts while this year, the donations will go toward MyClimate, a non-profit with a mission of protecting the climate. READ FULL STORY

Madonna releases six tracks from her forthcoming album 'Rebel Heart'

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Madonna’s next album isn’t due until March 2015, but you can listen to the first six tracks now. On Saturday morning, the pop icon responded to a recent leak of unfinished demos from her forthcoming album, Rebel Heart, by releasing several tracks ahead of schedule.

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How to Dress Well explores emotions amid explosions for Connect Sessions

Music and visual art have always been deeply intertwined, and on Wednesday three pairings of artists and musicians explored what that relationship means in the electronic age. As part of their Connect Sessions series of collaborations, Microsoft and Spin presented performances by three musical acts with custom video projections.

The night began with a solo performance by Ian Williams of proggy art-rock scene stalwarts Battles, whose twitchy synthesizer psychedelia was paired with a hyperkinetic video piece by Ron Amstutz that used stop-action animation of a dancer assuming contortionist-like positions in front of painted grids to suggest an analog adaptation of 8-bit video game graphics. It ended with electronic Com Truise playing in front of intricate geometric graphics by CandyStations that played well with the retro-futuristic elements woven into his pop-tinged techno.

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Eccentric pop auteur Liam Hayes shares a non-algorithmic playlist

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Chicago-based musician Liam Hayes has been making soulful baroque pop for a couple decades now. His orchestral leanings and respect for the classical age of American pop have earned him plenty of comparisons to Brian Wilson and Burt Bacharach, and have made him an icon in the small but fervent cult devoted to that sound. One of his better known fans is Roman Coppola, who had Hayes appear in his film A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. In a few weeks Hayes will release a new album, Slurrup (out Jan. 13 on Fat Possum) that upholds his reputation for intricately crafted compositions and unshakeable hooks.

In preparation for Slurrup‘s release, Hayes has made EW a playlist. “This is not a desert island or deep cuts list,” he writes. “It’s not based on an algorithm and they are in no particular order. These are just some songs that I’ve enjoyed and continue to enjoy. Perhaps you will too.”

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Our 2014 gift guide for music lovers

Buying gifts for music lovers gets more complicated every year. You used to be able to just buy them CDs or vinyl, but as more and more listeners move to streaming networks and ditch their physical collections, that’s not so much of an option. For those who are shopping for picky music addicts, we offer 10 suggestions, from coffee table books to hearing protection to gear that’ll help them create their own noise.

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Best of 2014: EW's music staff picks their personal favorites

EW‘s end of year lists are a group effort, the product of several rounds of nominations, negotiations, arguments, and compromises. While there were a lot of passionate appeals made on behalf of our favorite albums and songs of 2014 when we were assembling our official list, not every one of our jams made the final cut. Presented here are our music staff’s personal favorite albums and songs that were left off.

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Miguel drops 3 surprise tracks

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Miguel just dropped three new tracks in a genre that one might call “baby-making music.”
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First Aid Kit share video for 'Wild' R.E.M. cover

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The rustic soundtrack for the new film Wild hit stores last month. Among the standout cuts is Swedish duo First Aid Kit’s cover of R.E.M.’s 1998 song “Walk Unafraid.” Now the group has released a Wild-inspired music video for their cover, which “speaks to the overall beauty of the movie,” according to music supervisor Susan Jacobs. It features footage from the film as well as the First Aid Kit women wandering a forest in outdoorsy sweaters. You can stream it below.

“Walk Unafraid” appeared on one of R.E.M.’s less well-known records, Up. First Aid Kit joins contributors including Lucinda Williams, Bruce Springsteen, Simon & Garfunkel, Portishead, and Leonard Cohen on the soundtrack. Read our review of Wild, which is in theaters now.

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