Well, this might not be the Channel Orange followup we’ve been waiting for. On Friday, burrito emporium Chipotle sued Frank Ocean for backing out on a deal to deliver a song for an advertising campaign. The suit alleges that Chipotle paid Ocean $212,500 to record a new version of “Pure Imagination,” the song made famous in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, for an ad benefiting the restaurant chain’s sustainable farming program. (Several artists, including Willie Nelson, have contributed to the program in the past.) The track was due back in August, but on the day that Ocean was supposed to deliver the tune, he told Chipotle he would not be delivering. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Hip-Hop/Rap (1-10 of 828)
According to the Wall Street Journal, HBO decided that their prize pony Game of Thrones might pull in more of an “urban” crowd if they could connect the show to rappers. Rappers totally sell stuff to “urbans,” right?
Yes, HBO’s analysts confirmed this for them. Game of Thrones has a viewership of 14.3 million, so there’s bound to be some hip-hop stars in there. Sure enough, Common, Big Boi, Daddy Yankee and a handful of other names agreed to make a mix tape of Game of Thrones-themed songs called Catch the Throne. (No word from HBO on how much this project is costing them.)
The 10-song compilation will be released online this Friday. Good news for skeptical fans, all the songs will be free downloads. WSJ already gave a sample of Wale’s lyrics: “I’m tellin’ whoever messin’ with me/I can bring you that Khaleesi heat/Use my King, knack for words, as an actual sword/I can decapitate a rapper…” Ah, memories.
R. Kelly — everyone’s favorite World Cup opening act (remember when that happened?) — revealed to V Magazine that he is planning a followup to Black Panties. It will be called White Panties. Because, of course.
But we can’t throw too much shade at Kells since Black Panties did debut at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 last year. Kelly said that this new album is going to be “a whole other level” and the sound will be in the vein of his early work: “Everyone has been asking me when I’m going to do another baby-making album, because that’s what started me out. I’ve been all around the world musically, in every genre. I can write ‘I Believe I Can Fly,’ and I can write ‘Bump ’N’ Grind.’ Now is the time to bring it back around.”
For those of you waiting with baited breath for more Trapped in the Closet, (I mean, cliffhanger. Is he still in there?) Kelly said what every fan was dying to hear: “One chapter led to another, and the next thing you know I have all of these chapters and now I have a leash on it. I can walk it wherever I want. I have a lot of characters. I have 57 more chapters that I haven’t released yet that are going to be released. This thing is forever.” So now you know.
“Y’all ’bout to cry with me, or what?” Earl Sweatshirt asked last night at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg. He was introducing “Chum,” a rumination on life with too many ugly temptations and no father, from his transfixing 2013 debut album, Doris. But when the crowd — rowdy fans of Odd Future, the rap collective for which the 19-year-old Earl provides the quick-witted conscience — loudly showed their support, he shot back, “You just cheer for that? You weak, dog!”
Earl, playing his second New York show of the week to end the East Coast leg of his tour, maintained a similarly haphazard balance of confrontation, self-awareness, and silliness for his entire hour on stage. “Chum” proved to be a highlight, with Earl delivering his most slippery and scrupulously honest lyrics at the edge of the stage, bathed in a cool blue light and gesturing precisely with his free arm.
Most of the night he teamed with the gregarious rapper Vince Staples, who served on Doris as a kind of friendly foil for Earl to step out from behind and deliver his intricate rhymes. Together they traded off opportunities to brandish their skills, rapping entire verses a cappella, and teasing everyone else. “I wanna see who’s a loser and who’s not a loser!” Staples told the sold-out crowd, who jammed the main floor and were eagerly stage diving, but weren’t always receptive to the dense songs, which the rappers doled out in fragments. “My n—- picked a love song to stage dive to,” Earl marveled when “Sunday,” a slowly uncoiling track he recorded with Frank Ocean, was interrupted.
But the messiness and small miscues gave the show an intimate feel — that coupling of weakness and strength that Earl thrives on. Lyrically, he impressed, delivering his rhymes with exactness and force. But some of his artfully produced music, played off of a MacBook Air, disintegrated into washes of overpowering bass. It was as if Earl and Staples, who roamed the stage dressed in baggy jeans and simple white T-shirts, had simply invited everyone into their basement. Schoolboy Q — a rising star whose highly anticipated new album, Oxymoron, comes out Tuesday — appeared near the end of the set to perform his mini-hit “Man of the Year.” But the show didn’t end with a big climax or an encore. Instead, Earl and Staples drifted into a crowd of friends at the end of the stage as “Praying for a Brick,” a deliberately dopey track by prankster rapper Lil B, played. When a roadie came out and closed the laptop, the music just stopped. It was, somehow, a perfect ending.
De la Soul offers fans free downloads of their classic catalog -- which still isn't on Spotify or iTunes -- for Valentines Day
Who loves you, baby? De la Soul is apparently feeling heartful today — and free is the magic number.
The classic rap icons are offering up their full catalog on their site for 25 hours, including Native Tongues classics 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul Is Dead and Stakes Is High, with the message “Keep the Love Spinning”; click here to access.
Why now? Aside from the impending 25th anniversary of 3 Feet High, member Posdnous told Rolling Stone, “It’s been too long where our fans haven’t had access to everything. This is our way of showing them how much we love them.”
It’s the trio’s much-touted use of samples that has kept their entire catalog off of mainstream digital platforms: “It’s been a trying journey,” Posdnuos says. “We’ve been blessed to be in the Library of Congress, but we can’t even have our music on iTunes. We’ve been working very hard to get that solved.”
Stakes is short(ish): the stream began Friday, February 14th at 11 a.m. EST and will go until Saturday at noon.
Yesterday, with the internet ablaze over the NFL’s first openly gay prospective star, some equally interesting news about the (apparently not always) evolving view of homosexulity in hip hop got a little lost. Over the weekend, DJ Vlad released a video interview with T-Pain that had some interesting revelations on that topic.
“I think the radio is getting more gay-friendly,” said the Auto-Tune champion/noted boat enthusiast. “I don’t think urban music is getting more gay-friendly because if that was the case, Frank Ocean would be on a lot more songs. I know n—-s that will not do a song with Frank Ocean just because he gay, but they need him on the f—ing song and that’s so terrible to me, man.“
You can watch the interview in the video below:
If Katy Perry is actually a witch, then she certainly cast the right spell on music buyers.
Though her performance during the 56th Annual Grammy Awards was met with mixed reviews (EW loved it; the rest of the Internet was more lukewarm), Perry has the biggest post-Grammys sales bump so far.
We won’t know which albums got the biggest spikes until next week (the sales numbers close Sunday night), though a number of songs—including Perry’s “Dark Horse,” featuring rapper Juicy J—have already seen noticeable increases following their appearance on Sunday night’s show.
“Dark Horse” has been on top of the iTunes singles chart all week, and it’s the number one song on Billboard‘s Digital Songs chart (which includes Monday’s sales) this week. It sold 294,000 downloads last week, up 12 percent from last week’s tally. That boost was enough to push “Dark Horse” into the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100, which is Perry’s ninth trip to that plateau.
Other big gainers on the Billboard Digital Songs chart include Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” (up 206 percent), John Legend’s “All Of Me” (a 110 percent gain), and Pink & Nate Ruess’ “Just Give Me a Reason” (a 122 percent boost). Imagine Dragons also got a jolt with the release of the Kendrick Lamar-assisted remix of “Radioactive,” which helped the song to a 58 percent sales gain.
It’ll be interesting to see who will see their album sales boosted by the Grammys, which were watched by nearly 30 million people. Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories will almost certainly see a giant bounce, as should Lorde’s Pure Heroine, Kacey Musgraves’ Same Trailer, Different Park, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist. However, it’s entirely possible the biggest winner of the post-Grammys week could be 2014 Grammy Nominees, the compilation album that debuted at number two with 59,000 copies sold.
What music did you buy in the wake of the Grammys? Let us know in the comments.
Grammys Winner Snubs and Surprises: Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath steal, Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar get robbed
Last night, there was a tweet floating around the Internet that noted that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis had already amassed four Grammys and legendary artists like Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., Jimi Hendrix, the Beach Boys, and the Who have a grand total of zero among them.
The suggestion, of course, is that possessing an an armload of Academy-issued gold sippy cups doesn’t necessarily have any real correlation to artistic greatness.
Still, that doesn’t mean there weren’t some head-scratching decisions and maddening snubs during last night’s telecast, most of which happened off-camera. As surprised as Taylor Swift was that Daft Punk won the Grammy for Album of the Year last night, the French duo’s victory can’t entirely be called an upset; though there were some mild surprises among the awards handed out live at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, there wasn’t a single on-camera score that could be considered a true surprise of snub.
Luckily, there were dozens more awards given out before the televised show even started, and there lives a parade of outrage. READ FULL STORY
Beloved stars hit their marks over and over on last night’s Grammys: Beyoncé pulled off a paradoxically classy chair dance, an ecstatic Pharrell led Daft Punk in a music nerdgasm with Stevie Wonder and Nile Rodgers, Lorde fully blew out her bedroom sound, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis staged a mass wedding as corny and obvious and touching as any ceremony you’d share with family.
And then there was Kendrick Lamar. Although he’s beloved among rap fans and recognized as an indefatigable performer at festivals and opening for Kanye West, the Academy reminded us that Kendrick’s just not the type they want to celebrate, awarding him zero Grammys, not even for Best Rap Album. Macklemore—in his own words—”robbed” that one from Kendrick.
Nor did Kendrick merely hit his marks when it came time for him to perform. Instead, he offered up his own reminder of just how wily and amorphous he is compared to virtually any other artist competing, even in futility, in any kind of industry popularity contest. Rather than simply come out and rap, maybe surrounded by a set evoking his hometown of Compton or with a guest rapper who once managed to find the Academy’s favor, he teamed up with Imagine Dragons, one of rock’s most successful and least acclaimed bands, to try and reinvent a smash (“Radioactive”) that has already worn a groove in pop’s collective consciousness. (Plus perform part of his own ”m.A.A.D City.”)
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