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Meet Kanye West for just $15,000

Want to sit in the front row at a Kanye West concert and meet the rapper before the show? You’ll just have to pay, oh, $15,000 (or more).

Auction site Gavel&Grand is currently holding an auction where Yeezy fans can bid on a package that includes two VIP tickets and a private meet and greet at a West show, a pair of Yeezy sneakers, and autographed tour memorabilia. The starting bid is $15,000, and the auction closes Dec. 11.
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The Dodos release dense, brooding 'Goodbyes and Endings'

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Next month, San Francisco indie duo The Dodos will return with their sixth studio album, Individ. In November they shared the jangly “Competition,” and now they’ve released another track.

The Dodos will never make abrasive music, but “Goodbyes and Endings” is rougher than their previous work. With flatly delivered vocals and chunky guitars, the cut sounds a bit like the Morning Benders decided to cover the National. The sound fits The Dodos well and hints that Individ will be a diverse record.

The album drops Jan. 27, but listen to EW’s exclusive premiere of “Goodbyes and Endings” below. READ FULL STORY

Apple sued for deleting rival retailers' music from iPods

Did Apple stifle competition by deleting MP3s that iPod owners purchased legitimately from rivals to its iTunes Music Store? That’s what lawyers for a class-action antitrust suit that got underway yesterday are arguing.

According to court documents filed in September, between 2006 and 2009, Apple released updates to iTunes that would display error messages when synced with iPods containing files from competing digital retailers like Real Networks, instructing users to return their players to factory settings and deleting competitors’ files in the process. At the time, Real sold MP3s at a fraction of the price the iTunes Music Store charged.

Apple maintains that the measures were necessary to protect users from hackers who may have compromised the iTunes ecosystem, but lawyers representing consumers who bought iPods during that time argue that the tactic was meant to keep iPod owners from buying music from non-Apple retailers. They’re seeking $350 million in damages.

Jennifer Lawrence's 'Mockingjay' track debuts at No. 12 Billboard Hot 100

Well, stranger things have certainly happened. No matter how much she might really, really hate it, a lot of people are listening to Jennifer Lawrence’s Mockingjay track, “The Hanging Tree” so many that it debuted at a sturdy No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week. READ FULL STORY

'Gangnam Style' breaks YouTube's view counter

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It’s been over two years, and Psy’s “Gangnam Style” is still racking up the views, so much so that YouTube had to upgrade their player.

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2014 was the Year of the Female Rapper

If the past several years have finally proven, without a doubt, that female rappers can compete head-to-head with their male peers—something MC Lyte fans have been aware of for years)—2014 finally proved that those women can outperform their male counterparts.

Aside from Pharrell Williams’s airwave-devouring “Happy,” Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” was the most inescapable song of the year. It spent two more weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart than the two male-led number one rap singles (Eminem’s “The Monster” and Pitbull’s “Timber”) combined—and when Iggy’s Ariana Grande collaboration “Problem” went to number two, she became the only act besides the Beatles to take the top two spots at once with her first two charting tracks. In a year that produced a fair number of newly minted superstars—Grande, Sam Smith, 5 Seconds of Summer—Azalea still managed to get more attention (and hold onto it longer) than any of them.

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Idina Menzel, Magic! join 'New Year's Rockin' Eve' special

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest is set to end the year with a message: “Let It Go.”

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DJ Earworm's United States of Pop 2014 is here, and it's surprisingly melancholy

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DJ Earworm’s annual United States of Pop mega-mashup has been around for eight years, and normally, it’s an unabashedly upbeat affair: The existing editions are generally hyper-danceable, sugary confections that manage to both be a celebration of chart toppers and a reminder of how homogenous our most popular songs can be.

But this year’s mix—subtitled “Do What You Wanna Do”—is really mellow. Like, really mellow. There’s lots of ballad-heavy crooning from the likes of Sam Smith and John Legend, which leads to even the craziest bangers, like “Turn Down for What,”  coming across as melancholic.

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Hear club-rap innovator Spank Rock's new single '12 O'Clock Boys'

Dance music and rap hybrids are pretty much inescapable at this point, but mixing the two was still a daring concept when rapper/producer/party-starter Naeem Juwan (a.k.a. Spank Rock) first hit the scene nearly a decade ago. “I think maybe I was ahead of the curve because I’m okay taking risks,” he says. “A lot of people don’t like to take risks. People like to do things that are easy. I feel like maybe I’m a bit different.”

While it’s taken a while for the dance-rap movement Juwan helped lay the foundation for to fully bloom, his skills are still as sharp as they were when he first started blowing up clubs. Two months ago he released the fiery track “Assassin” with fellow club-rap vet Amanda Blank, which will appear on his new The Upside EP, out Dec. 9 on his own Bad Blood Records.

Its latest single is “12 O’Clock Boys” (produced by Philly beat maker Noah Breakfast), inspired by Juwan’s Baltimore roots and the documentary of the same name about the city’s unique motorcycle culture. “It has the feeling of a Baltimore club break,” he says. “I always think about Baltimore when I sit down to write. It’s such a wild, crazy place. I just kinda wanted to think about some of the friends I lost back home and think about youth culture in Baltimore and try to write something that was—I don’t know. I just wanted to write something about that.”

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Daptone Records celebrates 3 nights at the Apollo with a free mixtape download

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In the dozen or so years that Daptone Records has been in business, the Brooklyn label has assembled a roster of talent specializing in vintage funk and soul to rival any of the countless independent labels that worked in the shadow of Motown and Stax back in the day, including veteran performers Sharon Jones, Lee Fields, and Charles Bradley alongside newer acts like Antibalas and The Budos Band. In the process, they’ve helped to kick start a revival of vintage soul sounds that you can hear reverberating everywhere from underground dance parties to throwback-sounding hits by Meghan Trainor and Amy Winehouse (who worked with Jones’s backing band The Dap-Kings).

For a project with such wide-ranging success, Daptone had a humble start. “It was a bunch of musicians who worked together before,” says Gabriel Roth, who founded the label alongside his Dap-Kings bandmate Neal Sugarman. “We were just recording our own stuff and putting out 45’s and stuff.”

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