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Tag: Buzzworthy (11-20 of 554)

The-Dream returns to form with 'Royalty - The Prequel'

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Last week, R&B god the-Dream released a video for his single “Black” that underlined the song’s triumphant political message–inspired by the life of Nelson Mandela–with a staged protest pulling together representatives from a diverse range of causes, from Ukrainian sovereignty to the epidemic of gun violence in Chicago. It was a remarkably solemn moment from a performer who’s biggest moment of mainstream exposure in recent memory was when he got clowned by Jay-Z for the outfit he wore to the Grammys.

At 7 p.m. last night, the-Dream that his cult of devotees know and love—the one who writes songs about things like buying women expensive handbags in order to get off the hook for doggish behavior or getting drunk on tequila and crashing an ex’s weddingcame bouncing giddily back with the surprise release of a free seven-song EP called Royalty – The Prequel. It is, thankfully, a far less serious record than “Black,” or even most of last year’s IV Play, which even his hardcore fans had a hard time finding much pleasure in.

The-Dream is an R&B artist, but he’s always had a rapper’s spirit, and Royalty is, on one level, a playful tribute to the rap music that he loves. “Pimp C Lives” transmutes Houston’s syrupy hip-hop sound into future soul with a chorus that shouts out the late UGK rapper. “Cold” samples Mobb Deep’s classic NYC thug anthem “Shook Ones, Pt. II.”  On “Outkast” he compares true love to the feeling he got from listening to Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik for the first time.

Getting to goof around and indulge his geekily obsessive rap-fan side is one of the benefits of the mixtape form. It also removes much of the pressure to produce radio hits, which seems to have begun having a detrimental effect on his work. Where IV Play feels constrained and lifeless, Royalty (and the free online album 1977 that he released in 2012 under his given name, Terius Nash) is vibrant and mischievous, the qualities that made his fans fall in love with him in the first place, and ones that help sink his hooks into you even when they’re not particularly sharp. Royalty‘s supposed to be the first release on a new “Designer and Culture Label” he’s starting called Contra Paris. Hopefully he won’t go back to a traditional label—he’s much better when he’s off his leash.

Video: UK dance duo Jungle's brand-new 'Time'

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The two lifelong friends who make up the core of the British dance music group Jungle—they expand to a seven-piece for shows—go by the initials “J” and “T” and have generally kept as low a profile as possible while simultaneously blowing up in the UK on a level that suggests they might be this year’s Disclosure.

On July 15, they’re releasing a self-titled debut album on XL. In preparation, they just released a video for the single “Time.” The song is a kaleidoscopic pileup of soul, disco, and house music with a deep groove, psychedelic flourishes, and transcendent falsetto vocals that suggest a futuristic rendition of the Bee Gees’ disco phase.

For the accompanying visual, they have two rather dapper older gentlemen engage in a very smooth dance-off.

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Video: Get hooked on Tunde Olaniran's 'Critical'

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While many of his contemporaries work to cultivate an air of mystery through secret identities and un-Google-able stage names, Tunde Olaniran is generating a more intriguingly ambiguous vibe with a fraction of the effort. A native of Flint, Michigan, better known as Detroit’s less quaint sibling, Olaniran works in the gaps between hip-hop, R&B, dance music, and punk, weaving together aggressive beats, noisy electronics, and an intuitive knack for melody into a seamless, surprisingly pop-friendly whole. His recent five-song EP Yung Archetype sounds like Yeezus as a soul record, or if The-Dream made a record with TV on the Radio.

Last week Olaniran released a video for the brooding, spacious Yung Archetype track “Critical,” which he wrote for a family member who was diagnosed with cancer. It’s an emotionally intense four-and-a-half-minute ride, but I’ve had it on heavy rotation nonetheless. Hit the jump to get hooked. READ FULL STORY

The-Dream gives 'Black' the full video treatment

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Back in April, R&B king the-Dream released a new song, “Black,” that traded in his usual strip-club-friendly beats and bedroom-focused lyrics for anthemic sweep and a political message inspired by Nelson Mandela’s death. It was miles away from the Dream that so many of us know and love with a ridiculous, almost cultish avidity, but he managed to stick the tricky landing; “Black” is like one of R. Kelly’s patented Inspiration Jams without the shlockiness that those usually come with, or the creepy feeling that you’re getting life advice from a sexual predator.

“Black” launched with a lyric video cut together out of footage of political activism in progress, ranging from Tommie Smith and John Carlos giving the black power salute at the 1968 Olympics to Pussy Riot marching defiantly down a crowded Russian street. Today he dropped the song’s official video, which continues the political theme with an almost surreally broad coalition of protesters marching against racism, classism, homophobia, Wall Street, the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, violence in Chicago, and what seems like dozens of other causes. The video’s message may be a tad muddled (especially when you factor in the singer’s recent arrest on assault charges), but with the-Dream flexing a newfound ability to manipulate emotional switches beyond horniness and regret, it still hits. It’s probably not a coincidence that it’s dropping right before a day commemorating revolutionary political activity.

Watch the video below. (It may be NSFW because of brief female toplessness.)

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Nile Rodgers releases new song, 'Do What You Wanna Do'

The last couple of years have been very good to Nile Rodgers. The anti-disco sentiment that has long held back his reputation as a world-class musician, songwriter, and producer has finally started to fade away, and his work on Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories brought him back to a familiar spot on the top of the charts for the first time in years.

The Chic mastermind is continuing this hot streak with a new solo single. “Do What You Wanna Do” was recorded at last summer’s International Music Summit and auctioned off to benefit his We Are Family Foundation. The winner, Mark Brown, is owner of the dance music label Cr2 Records. He’s already issued a series of remixes by the likes of Moon Boots, and the label will finally release the original version of the track, which gives a modern-sounding makeover to Rodgers’s trademark uplifting disco vibe, on August 10. In the meantime, stream it below.

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Synthpop surrealists Baathhaus unveil the video for 'Ascension'

 Chicago quartet Baathhaus combines the transgressive glam surrealism of Lady Gaga with a synthpop sound redolent of vintage Erasure, New Order, and other popular acts at retro night at your local gay dance club. Over the past couple of years, they’ve started to accumulate the kind of cult following that an over-the-top theatrical pop band whose multimedia identity feels equally indebted to David Bowie and John Waters deserves, and as their audience has grown, their production values have increased to match.

Last week the group unveiled a new single, “Ascension,” on their SoundCloud, and now they’re ready to unveil the accompanying video. Unlike most Baathhaus productions, “Ascension” features no explosions of fake blood or glitter, but the band’s portrayal of a bourgeois suburban family and its teen daughter’s prom date is fraught with psychological tension. Member Dan Foley says, “The music video turns the lens on an everyday situation and shows us the dense and complex layers that can live inside of one simple moment. Longing, lust, anxiety, and the thrill of anticipation fill the quiet rooms of a suburban home and provide the perfect backdrop for the lush and shimmering pop of ‘Ascension.’”

Watch the exclusive video below.

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Rapper-turned-popster Kitty unveils new video for 'Marijuana'

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The Florida-born, NYC-based musician Kitty used to go by the name Kitty Pryde, and she used to be a rapper. Her 2012 song “Okay Cupid” was a pretty massive viral hit (its official video has nearly a million and a half views on YouTube) that brought her a decent amount of acclaim amidst an epic amount of hate from people who saw a young female rapper who didn’t seem interested in rapping about things that grouchy hip-hop fans are necessarily into as a sign of the impending apocalypse (or something).

Kitty still raps, but she’s broadened her overall approach and started moving toward straight-up pop, which considering the sing-songy flow she’s been showing off since “Okay Cupid” isn’t too drastic a leap. Last month she released an EP called Impatiens, which she quickly followed up with a new track, “Marijuana,” that now has a video. It’s her most successful stab at a pop song yet, with a bubbly, laid-back beat that fits the title well, plus a vocal part that ups the melodic quotient while still retaining just enough hip-hop inflection to make the track snap. The end result is a special kind of summer jam that forgoes the celebratory grooves that typify the genre in favor of an effortless chill that can act as mental air conditioning during ridiculously hot and humid days, which should come in handy very soon.

Check it out after the jump. READ FULL STORY

Hear the Weeknd's latest sex jam 'Often'

 Let’s see: pitch-black synth tones, cavernous reverb, warped vocal samples, explicit lyrical references to kinky sex stuff, explicit lyrical references to doing brain-melting amounts of drugs–yep, “Often” is definitely a Weeknd song. And if you’re filling out your Weeknd bingo card, you can also mark the box that says “released with no warning or commentary” for the win.

If there’s one thing that sets the track, which the perpetually enigmatic singer dropped on SoundCloud last night, apart from his usual work, it’s the atypically aggressive edge that comes through in the stuttering kick drums and a vocal part that crowds the beat in a compellingly claustrophobic way. It’s hard to hear it and not wish he’d brought more of that energy to last fall’s underperforming Kiss Land.

Find a stereo that can handle its insanely deep bass, put on your official Weeknd fashion sweats, and hit the jump to stream it.

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The ridiculously prolific E-40 drops a new video for 'Bamboo'

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If you’ve been enjoying DJ Mustard’s string of bass-heavy, minimalist slappers that have been taking over the pop charts recently (among them Ty Dolla $ign’s “Paranoid” and Kid Ink’s “Show Me”) and you’re not already familiar with the work of Bay Area rap legend E-40, whose uncluttered aesthetic provided much of blueprint Mustard’s working from, now would be a good time to fix that. Next month, the ridiculously prolific rapper will release a four-album set called Sharp on All 4 Corners, his first release since last December’s three-disc set The Block Brochure: Welcome To the Soil, Pt. 4, 5, & 6. Which of course is the follow-up to the original trilogy, The Block Brochure: Welcome To the Soil, Pt. 1, 2, & 3, released allllll the way back in 2012.

Yesterday, he released a new video from the latest Block Brochure set. “Bamboo” is classic E-40 and a great jump-on point for new fans, with a typically stripped-down track, an effortless tongue-twister flow, and a tribute in the hook to bamboo doorknocker earrings, which are in style right now because they never really go out of style. For the video, he’s recruited a squad of dancers who do unreal things with their bodies without seeming to come close to breaking a sweat—which is what 40′s been doing with his raps for ages.

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FKA Twigs debuts a dreamy new video for 'Two Weeks'

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This August, FKA Twigs—a British singer who’s been steadily building up a cult following since she released her EP2 last fall—will release her first full-length album LP1. And with luxuriously dark beats, Twigs’ effortlessly commanding vocal presence (which deserves every Aaliyah comparison it gets), and a careful balance between sonic experimentation and pop accessibility, it should be the avant-R&B record of the year.

Twigs just dropped the video for LP1‘s psychedelic slow jam “Two Weeks.” Shot by Australian director Nabil Elderkin, it’s like a mashup of Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time,” Kanye’s “Power,” Alejandro Jodorowsky’s failed attempt at adapting Dune, and Daenerys Targaryen’s current storyline on Game of Thrones, with a little nod to Aaliyah’s role in Queen of the Damned thrown in for good measure. Get your mind blown below.

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