Skrillex tells TMZ that he doesn’t think JAY-Z needs to pull his collaborations with R. Kelly from streaming platforms [Watch]

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Skrillex tells TMZ that he doesn’t think JAY-Z needs to pull his collaborations with R. Kelly from streaming platforms [Watch]AP R Kelly

As a myriad of artists including Chance the Rapper, Lady Gaga, and Celine Dion, pull their productions with R. Kelly from streaming platforms in response to sexual misconduct allegations made against the R&B crooner, Skrillex doesn’t think that JAY-Z needs to follow suit. “You know, I don’t think he needs to do so,” Skrillex told TMZ cameramen when asked if he felt that JAY-Z should remove his songs with R. Kelly from streaming services. JAY-Z and R. Kelly co-released “Best of Both Worlds” in 2002, and “Unfinished Business” in 2004. “It’s hard,” Skrillex added, “It’s like, look: there’s a word. It’s called ‘occhiolism.’ It’s the awareness of the smallness of your own perspective. If JAY-Z wants to keep [the] music because it’s music he made a long time ago, it’s part of the archives, it’s part of history, that doesn’t mean he’s a bad person. That doesn’t mean he supports bad people.”

Skrillex, however, did vocalize his support of Sony‘s decision to nullify R. Kelly’s record dealer with the Sony owned imprint, RCA Records. “I think everyone in their own sort of private world should make their own choices, but I support that,” Skrillex said.  Sony has yet to release an official statement regarding R. Kelly’s departure from RCA, which would provide insight on the nature of R. Kelly’s divorce from the label, specifically, whether Sony and R. Kelly mutually agreed to void the vocalist’s deal.

R. Kelly remains at the center of sexual misconduct speculation following the release of Lifetime’s six-part docuseries, Surviving R. KellySurviving R. Kelly chronicles R. Kelly’s alleged sexual abuse of several women who were reportedly underage at the time of their sexual encounters with the artist. R. Kelly has since denied all such allegations of sexual misconduct.

Photo Credit: Jordan Strauss/AP

H/T: Complex

TIDAL reportedly under investigation for inflated streaming data

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TIDAL reportedly under investigation for inflated streaming dataTidal

Authorities in Norway are now investigating TIDAL over the alleged streaming number inflations that came to light back in 2016. The Jay-Z-owned company that has long been under speculation and scrutiny now faces an investigation led by the Norwegian Authority for Investigation of Economic and Environmental Crime, also known as Økokrim, according to a report from Bloombergquint.

In March of 2016, TIDAL reported that Kanye West‘s The Life Of Pablo, which was exclusively released on TIDAL, earned 250 million streams in 10 days. At the time, the streaming service claimed they had more than 3 million people subscribed. Those numbers would infer that every TIDAL subscriber was playing The Life Of Pablo more than eight times a day. After TIDAL reported Beyoncé‘s record-breaking album Lemonade was streamed 306 million times in just 15 days after its release, Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv raised their eyebrows and began to look closer. After January 2017 investigation, the major accusation was that “Beyoncé’s and Kanye West’s listener numbers on TIDAL have been manipulated to the tune of several hundred million false plays… which has generated massive royalty payouts at the expense of other artists.”

TIDAL has called Dagens Næringsliv’s reporting a “smear campaign” in the past and hired a third party to investigate what it is calling a data breach. After the Bloombergquint report, a TIDAL representative was reached by Complex and stated, “TIDAL is not a suspect in the investigation. We are communicating with Økokrim. From the very beginning, [Dagens Næringsliv] has quoted documents that they have not shared with us in spite of repeated requests. DN has repeatedly made claims based on information we believe may be falsified. We are aware that at least one person we suspected of theft has been questioned. We cannot comment further at this time and refer to our previous statement, which still stands.”

According to IFPI’s 2018 Global Music Report, streaming accounted for 38.4 percent of total music revenue and grew 41.1 percent from the previous year. Streaming’s global influence on the industry continues to grow and evolve is already a multi-billion dollar industry despite what seems to be a lack of regulation.

H/T: Spin

Travis Scott, Big Boi to perform alongside Maroon 5 at 2019 Super Bowl

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Travis Scott, Big Boi to perform alongside Maroon 5 at 2019 Super BowlTravis Scott Live 2

It’s official: Travis Scott will be in “Super Bowl” Mode for Super Bowl LIII. After flirting with the possibility of a Travis Scott guest performance for several months, Super Bowl halftime show organizers have now confirmed that the Astroworld album-maker will appear alongside previously announced halftime headliner, Maroon 5. Fellow rapper Big Boi is also slated to join Scott and Maroon 5.

Scott’s Super Bowl booking comes after philanthropic collaboration between Scott and the NFL, who will collectively donate $500,000 to “social justice accelerator,” Dream Corps. “I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in,” Scott said in a statement that followed formal announcement of his entertainment confirmation. “I know being an artist that it’s in my power to inspire. So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation. I am proud to support Dream Corps and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change,” Scott added.

A source close to the “Sicko Mode” artist told Billboard that Scott’s participation in the halftime show was contingent upon the NFL’s agreement to contribute a donation to Dream Corps. Many artists rejected the NFL’s Super Bowl 2019 halftime show bids, including Rihanna, Jay-Z, Adele, and Cardi B, each of whom reportedly rejected the entertainment offer to show solidarity to prior San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick was the first NFL player to kneel during the National Anthem in “protest against police brutality” in 2016. Storied and dedicated in his efforts to to bring attention to the issue of police brutality in the nation for many years preluding Kaepernick’s on-field opposition, JAY-Z supposedly attempted to dissuade Scott from accepting a halftime slot at Super Bowl 2019 prior to Scott’s confirmation.

Photo credit: ABC News

H/T: Noisey

Jay-Z reportedly trying to persuade Travis Scott to withdraw from 2019 Super Bowl halftime show

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Jay-Z reportedly trying to persuade Travis Scott to withdraw from 2019 Super Bowl halftime showTravis Scott Live 2

Jay-Z is reportedly trying to persuade Travis Scott to withdraw from 2019’s Super Bowl halftime show, where Scott is to appear alongside Maroon 5 as a special guest. Maroon 5 secured the entertaining bid for event, hosted at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 3. Both Jay-Z and Rihanna refused offers to play the halftime show, to show “solidarity” to prior San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick was the first NFL player to kneel during the National Anthem in “protest against police brutality” in 2016. Jay-Z has sought to bring attention to the issue of police brutality in the nation for many years preluding Kaepernick’s on-field opposition and notably dedicated a song to Kaepernick during his 2017 performance at The Meadows Music and Arts Festival. Prior to his appearance at the New York festival, Jay-Z attended the Trayvon Martin Peace Walk in Miami in February 2018. The rapper additionally announced his support of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s initiative to improve police-community relations in 2015.

Jay-Z is now said to be actively “attempting to talk Scott out of performing” at the Super Bowl. Both of the Carters were spotted at Scott’s December 19 show in Los Angeles. Jay-Z, however, is not the sole hip-hop artist voicing opposition to Scott’s Super Bowl guest slot — Meek Mill took to Twitter on December 20, writing that Scott “don’t need that [the halftime billing] he on fire already!” Meek urged Travis to “stay strong in this sh*t.”

H/T: NME

Pharrell reveals ‘Frontin” was originally written for Prince

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Pharrell reveals ‘Frontin” was originally written for PrincePharrell Glastonbury Live Credit Rap Up

“Frontin’” by Pharrell goes down as one of the most timeless records in modern hip-hop. Now, the legendary producer reveals the 2003 hit single featuring JAY-Z, was in fact originally written for another monolithic persona — Prince.

In a recent interview with Clash Music, the Virginia Beach-native states, “All of my biggest songs were songs that I did with or for other people. Collaboration has always been part of my DNA. And, to be clear and to be honest, songs that I ended up putting out by myself were always songs that I wrote for other people. I made ‘Frontin” for Prince, and even ‘Happy,’ I wrote that for CeeLo.”

“Frontin’” peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, claiming the top spot on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs that same year. While Pharrell and HOV made a classic pairing on ‘Frontin,’ one can only imagine what that track would have sounded like with The Purple One. Seems like as good a reason as any to revisit this one, given some new perspective.

TIDAL announces fourth annual benefit concert TIDAL X: BROOKLYN, focused on criminal justice reform

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TIDAL announces fourth annual benefit concert TIDAL X: BROOKLYN, focused on criminal justice reformBeyonce Jay Z Erin Benson Flickr

TIDAL has announced that it will return to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on October 23 for its fourth annual charity concert. This year, TIDAL X: BROOKLYN will add to the more than $10 million tab that they’ve raised from the first three years of the concert. Following last year’s donations to disaster relief & recovery in places like Houston and Puerto Rico, TIDAL will focus on raising money to help support criminal justice reform, donating profits to a variety of charities including REFORM and Equal Justice Initiative.

Past headliners of TIDAL X have included some of the streaming platform’s most coveted artists, including Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez, Kaskade and Chris Brown, as well as serving as a platform for rising stars like Jessie Reyez, Marc E. Bassy and Kevin Garrett. While headliners haven’t been announced yet, TIDAL members can grab presale tickets here as well as on their mobile app, and the general public will be able to grab tickets Friday, September 7 at 12PM EST. 

Good Morning Mix: Celebrate the life of DJ AM by revisiting his throwback heavy Power 106 FM mix

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Good Morning Mix: Celebrate the life of DJ AM by revisiting his throwback heavy Power 106 FM mixDJ AM Iron Man Cameo Live

This edition of Dancing Astronaut’s daily Good Morning Mix memorializes the life of Adam Michael Goldstein, better known as the iconic DJ AM. It has been nine years since Goldstein’s untimely passing, though his ubiquity and influence are still felt across electronic music today.

There is no better way for fans to celebrate Goldstein’s legacy than by reliving on of his many notable mixes, and perhaps one of his most memorable — the unforgettable Power 106 FM mix. Clocking in at just over an hour in length, the mix works through throwback tracks from JAY-Z and Beyoncé, Notorious BIG, Usher, Janet Jackson, Aerosmith, and more. A hip-hop-inflected masterclass in cool from the inimitable DJ AM warms the heart as we near a decade since his death. Scratching and skipping his way through a trove of complementary throwbacks, AM still reminds of his place among the greats in the highest echelons of dance history.

Kendrick Lamar is the latest addition to 2018 MIA fest, promises “a very special set”

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Kendrick Lamar is the latest addition to 2018 MIA fest, promises “a very special set”Kendrick Lamar Festival 2018

Kendrick Lamar is the latest top-tier rapper to join this year’s Made In America billing. The Philly festival is the most recent addition to a busy late summer/fall itinerary of festival hopping for the rapper, who is also fresh off his TDE: Championship Tour with fellow Top Dog Entertainment artists SZA and Schoolboy Q. The announcement promises a “very special set” from Kung Fu Kenny, hinting at some major surprises.

Lamar will join a wildly stacked weekend lineup featuring huge names across hip-hop, dance music, and R&B, including Post Malone, Nicki Minaj, Diplo, Zedd, Cashmere Cat, Pusha T and more. The festival’s future was in question after the city’s mayor was reportedly set to ban MIA from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the location in the heart of downtown used since the fest’s inaugural weekend in 2012. JAY-Z, the fest’s founder and organizer, put Mayor Jim Kenney on blast in a widely-publicized open letter. Thankfully, Mayor Kenney and HOV’s camp were able to smooth things over after meeting in person, and released a joint statement promising that the festival will remain in its original downtown location “for years to come,” and now Kendrick is cooking up something special to celebrate.

Philly’s mayor confirms Made In America Fest will be held at Benjamin Franklin Parkway for ‘years to come’ after meeting with JAY-Z

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Philly’s mayor confirms Made In America Fest will be held at Benjamin Franklin Parkway for ‘years to come’ after meeting with JAY-ZJay Z Made In America

After the Philadelphia mayor’s office announced Made in America Festival is moving locations from Benjamin Franklin Parkway after 2018, Jay-Z called out Mayor Jim Kenney for evicting the festival.

Benjamin Franklin Parkway cuts through the cultural heart of Philadelphia, and since 2012, Made in America has been held in that historic location. After Roc Nation and the mayors office met, Mayor Kenney wrote the following.

“I am greatly appreciative of everything that Made in America has done for the City of Philadelphia and I remain committed to its continued success. The Made in America festival belongs in Philadelphia—the birthplace of our country—and I’m optimistic that we can turn an unfortunate misunderstanding into a positive outcome and even stronger event. I look forward to working with Roc Nation and Live Nation, and maintaining this Philadelphia tradition for years to come.”

Thanks to Jay-Z’s actions, Made in America will stay in the historic landmark. Roc Nation’s COO, Desiree Perez, followed, discussing the candid and constructive nature of their conversation. Any miscommunications in the incident and concerns for were aptly addressed as both parties are excited to move forward. Both statements from the mayor and Jay-Z were made without proper face-to-face communication, citing proper dialogue as a integral action towards progress.

Made in America 2018 will take place Sept. 1-2 at Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia; exactly where it will be held for subsequent years to come. Headliners include Nicki Minaj, Post Malone, ZeddMeek Mill, Diplo, Miguel, Janelle Monáe, Alessia Cara, Fat Joe, and 6LACK.

H/T: Pitchfork

JAY-Z denounces Philadelphia mayor over Made in America’s eviction from Benjamin Franklin Parkway in open letter

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JAY-Z denounces Philadelphia mayor over Made in America’s eviction from Benjamin Franklin Parkway in open letterJay Z Live The Meadows 2017

JAY-Z‘s Made in America Festival will host its final iteration at the Ben Franklin Parkway from September 1-2, 2018, after which the annual Labor Day Weekend event will relocate.

Made in America’s need to identify a new venue for its succeeding years of production comes after a statement from the office of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “This is the last year MIA will be held on the Parkway,” the office proclaims, “It’s unclear how MIA will want to proceed in the future but the City is interested in discussing alternate locations within Philadelphia for future years.” Made in America’s coerced migration from the Parkway will disrupt the festival’s six-year streak at the locale, hosted in the heart of the city since its inception. The statement continues, “Over the years, tourism has grown overall and the need for an event of this scale at this location may no longer be necessary.”

While the office adds that it remains, open to the event continuing elsewhere, Made in America’s eviction from its long term home did not please festival founder and rap mogul JAY-Z, who since penned an open letter expressing his disappointment with the mayor’s ousting of MIA from the Parkway. The rap mogul counterclaims that Kenney’s move, “signifies zero appreciation for what Made In America has built alongside the phenomenal citizens of this city.”

“Made in America is a multi-cultural platform that represents strength, freedom of speech, and perseverance for artists and music lovers,” JAY-Z writes. He continues, stating, “The Parkway is a cultural arts center that is symbolic to over 600 artists that have performed at this event. The Parkway captures the freedom and spirit of inclusivity that drew us to the city of Brotherly Love.” HOV does not indicate whether his festival property will leave Philadelphia altogether, or how the event organizers plan to relocate the festival in the future. JAY-Z goes on to disclose that the Kenney administration even tried to put a halt on this year’s edition of MIA.

Nicki Minaj and Post Malone headline Made in America’s 2018 edition, joined by Ty Dolla $ign, Diplo, Meek Mill, and Zedd, among other artists.

Read JAY’s full letter below:

The Made in America festival is a multi-cultural platform that represents strength, freedom of speech and perseverance for artists and music lovers. Philadelphia, an iconic city, represents those ideals. The location is integral to the pulse of the festival. The Parkway is a cultural arts center that is symbolic to over 600 artists that have performed at this event. The Parkway captures the freedom and spirit of inclusivity that drew us to the city of Brotherly Love. The celebratory nature and essence of this festival has inspired locals as well as visitors from across the nation to enjoy Labor Day in Philadelphia.

We are disappointed that the Mayor of the City of Philadelphia would evict us from the heart of the city, through a media outlet, without a sit-down meeting, notice, dialogue or proper communication. It signifies zero appreciation for what Made In America has built alongside the phenomenal citizens of this city.

In fact, this administration immediately greeted us with a legal letter trying to stop the 2018 event.

Since 2012, Made in America, one of the only minority-owned festivals, has had a positive $102.8 million economic impact to Philadelphia and the festival has paid $3.4 million in rent to the City. Made in America employs over 1000 Philadelphians each day and 85 percent of our partners are Philadelphia based companies.

We have studies and reports that prove the festival significantly contributes to Philadelphia’s tourism bottom line. We cannot comment if the Mayor has reviewed any of these materials.

We consider this stance a failure on the Mayor’s part. Is this an accurate representation of how he and his administration treat partners that economically benefit his city? Do they regularly reject minority-owned businesses that want to continue to thrive and grow alongside his city’s people?

In addition to contributing to Philadelphia, since its inception, Made in America has donated $2.9 million to the United Way of Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. Cause Village, the festival’s philanthropic footprint and hub for social action, averages more than 15,000 social actions taken over the two-days via ongoing partnerships with more than 56 charitable and activist organizations representing all causes.

How does an administration, merely discard an event that generates millions in income and employs the city’s people as if we are disposable now that we have served our purpose? The city is right, in one respect, the first Made in America festival took place when there was a great need for tourism. By their admission, the festival first started as a “unique attraction to the City on an otherwise quiet Labor Day weekend. Over the years, tourism has grown overall.” Our question is, “How do you think that tourism grew, Mayor Kenney?”

We will discuss our options internally and handle accordingly.

H/T: Complex