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Tag: Rap (1-3 of 3)

BBC Radio names Ed Sheeran most important singer of 'black' music, faces backlash

BBC Radio station 1Xtra has voted British crooner Ed Sheeran the most important British artist in urban music—and in the process, has sparked an online debate about a “power list” that predominantly features white artists in a genre of music created by black artists.

1Xtra—which describes itself as “the UK’s leading black music station”—released its list of the most “important UK artists in the scene” on Friday. Sheeran topped the list of approximately 20 artists, submitted by radio listeners and chosen by 1Xtra DJs on variables such as “sales statistics, plus more subjective areas like the quality of music and impact across the wider industry.”

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Kanye West's 'Yeezus' listening party last night in New York City: On the scene

How loud was Yeezy’s Yeezus listening last night, blasted from the loading dock of westside Manhattan’s Milk Studios?

So loud that New Jersey heard it. So loud that my kidneys are still vibrating. So loud that even the Spinal Tap dudes were like “Bro, maybe turn it down to eight and a half?”  It felt like something between lying directly beneath a jet path and getting into a slap bet with Godzilla — and mostly, it was glorious.

It was also very very dark. Or as a friend turned and said to me: ” When did Kanye get into Ministry?” At times, the whole night felt like it was about to break into the opening scene in Blade (cue the blood sprinklers!). But it was also just a party, with an open bar and dancing and a lot of complicated handshakes between old friends and scenester acquaintances. ‘Ye’s full East Coast roster of famous fans came out: Jay-Z and Beyonce were there, glowing with the light of a thousand suns; so were lesser celestial bodies like Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, and Timbaland, plus a towering crew of flamingo-like models and professional athletes.

After an hour (only an hour!) of milling around in Milk’s dim, cavernous space, the crowd turned to find ‘Ye himself onstage, delivering an impassioned, rambling, and sometimes impenetrable introduction — there was a lot of talk of artistry and marketing (“I got a new strategy, it’s called no strategy. I have a plan to sell more music, it’s called ‘make better music.'”) and something about Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Simpson’s clothing lines — before he wrapped with “I had to learn about giving, this whole album is about giving… this whole process is about giving … NO F–KS AT ALL.” Touché! Go home, kumbaya.

This blog post isn’t an album review; our writer Ray Rahman will be delivering that next Tuesday, or sooner if the record officially leaks. But I will say that from two listenings, this definitely feels like his Darker, Twistier, Still Sometimes Beautiful Fantasy. Some technical details: West revealed that Daft Punk are on “three or four” tracks; Kid Cudi and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Chief Keef also appear; it was hard to catch titles beyond already-known ones like “I am a God,” “Can’t Handle My Liquor,” “Black Skinhead,” and “New Slaves” (featuring Frank Ocean), but one that appeared to borrow samples from both TNGHT’s “Higher Ground” and Billie Holiday’s haunting lynching ballad  “Strange Fruit” will almost definitely be a talking point when it goes wider.

Is this record going to be all over the radio? Are these let-the-alpine-blast summer jams? Not in America in 2013, no. But it still sounds — if I could actually hear anything this morning besides a faint post-show mosquito buzz — like a pretty fascinating manifestation of what goes on inside the mind of one of pop music’s most confounding, singular, and totally gonzo talents. Yeezus! He is risen.

More on EW.com:
Governors Ball Day Three: Kanye West debuts new songs, disses radio, demands croissants
Tyler the Creator under fire after onstage rant in Australia

Brad Paisley talks about his LL Cool J duet 'Accidental Racist'

Today, the internet is abuzz over a provocative new track from Brad Paisley and LL Cool J (yes, like Nelly and Tim McGraw before them, they recorded a duet) called “Accidental Racist,” which appears on Paisley’s ninth studio album Wheelhouse, available tomorrow.

The song covers Paisley’s struggle to deal with race issues as a white man in the South, who feels like people are “walking on eggshells” whenever the subject comes up. The lyrics describe him (or at least the character he’s playing) walking into a coffee shop wearing a shirt that has a confederate flag on it. Paisley sings, “[I'm] just a proud rebel son with an ‘ol can of worms/Lookin’ like I got a lot to learn.” LL Cool J eventually answers Paisley’s verse with a rap of his own. “If you don’t judge my do-rag… I won’t judge your red flag,” the recent Grammy host says. “If you don’t judge my gold chains… I’ll forget the iron chains,” he continues.

When the earnestly delivered song floated through the EW office a few weeks ago, we knew it was destined to cause a ruckus. So we asked Paisley to share his motivation for recording “Accidental Racist” as part of print-edition feature on the stories behind some of his biggest career hits. An online version of that article was supposed to run tomorrow, but since everyone is talking about “Accidental Racist” now, the song merited its own post.

Here’s Paisley (with very light edits, just for clarity) on why he made “Accidental Racist”:

“At this point, after all these albums and all these hits, I have no interest in phoning it in, and I think that [the song] comes from an honest place in both cases, and that’s why it’s on there and why I’m so proud of it. This isn’t a stunt. This isn’t something that I just came up with just to be sort of shocking or anything like that. I knew it would be, but I’m sort of doing it in spite of that, really. READ FULL STORY

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