New York City’s Panorama Festival evacuated on opening day due to severe weather

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New York City’s Panorama Festival evacuated on opening day due to severe weatherPanorama 2017

New York City’s Panorama Festival was forced to cancel programming and evacuate the grounds due to inclement weather on its opening day. The festival began around 1:45 EST, and fans started to receive alerts that the festival was being evacuated due to severe weather at 5:00PM EST. The cancellation remained effective through the first day.

The Weeknd, Migos, The Black Madonna, and Father John Misty are among the artists who were slated to perform headlining slots for the opening day. Panorama has not released an announcement around plans to reschedule the artists’ sets. The festival has now resumed its second day of programming, with Janet Jackson, Lil Wayne, and St. Vincent among the talent lined up for the day.

The Carters release their debut album, ‘Everything Is Love’

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The Carters album

Beyoncé and JAY-Z finally released their collaborative album under their new alias, The Carters, titled Everything Is Love. The full album is available on Tidal, while a number of singles are on YouTube. JAY mentioned the two were working together when producing 4:44 and Lemonade. He told the The New York Times him and his wife use music as therapy, and from the sound of the new album, therapy is working.

The power couple also released two music videos for “APESHIT” and SALUD!” The former was directed by Ricky Saiz and shot at the Louvre in Paris; the latter is co-produced by Cool & Dre and exclusively on Tidal.

Some standout lines on “APESHIT” include Queen B bringing the hype with “Gimme my check//Put some respect on my check//Or pay me in equity//Watch me reverse out of debt.” Or when Hova concludes his first verse with “Tell the Grammy’s fuck that 0 for 8 shit//Have you ever seen the crowd goin’ apeshit?” Alluding to getting shut out at this year’s Grammys. Migos and Pharrell are also on the track, further certifying its heat.

Throughout the album, a blend of old-school hip-hop and new school trap tropes combine with soul, blues, gospel, jazz, and other acoustically treated music. Beyoncé’s masterful vocal arrangements along with dynamic voice distortions and Jay’s contrasted voice, flow effortlessly together.

The dynamic duo calls reference to the Super Bowl, Spotify, Meek Mills with odes to Dr. Dre and The Notorious B.I.G. There’s some dialogue between the two on “LOVEHAPPY,” vulnerably expressing some tension in their relationship. They seem like they’re collectively confident on most of the album, giving zero cares about any other noise around them. Turn up the bass on “HEARD ABOUT US,” “BLACK EFFECT,” and “BOSS.”

They slow it down on the intro track, “Summer,” with a downtempo, love vibe. Bee’s soulful, soft voice glides along acoustic elements with jazzy fills for extra color. Jay’s contrast with his wife’s voice is just as natural as their personal connection.

Everything Is Love is everything fans love about these icons. They’re currently on their co-headlining On The Run II tour. The last time the two of them toured together was On The Run in 2014.

 

Photo Credit: @beyonce/Instagram

Breakaway Music Festival announces two feverous lineups for Columbus & Grand Rapids

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Prime Social Group is back with their biggest unveil to date. Now boasting nine festivals under the Breakaway, Prime, Haunted Fest, and #Fest brands, PSG’s elevating the supreme curation the brand’s been exploring at the intersection of hip-hop and electronic music. This year, Breakaway Music Festival serves as an outright testament to the booking that’s taking the industry by storm.

The festival will return to Grand Rapids’ Belknap Park on August 24 & 25 and Columbus’ Mapfre Stadium on August 24–26, expanding into a three-day festival installment for the first time ever.

Columbus’ Breakaway Music Festival Columbus welcomes the Grammy-nominated DJ and producer Kaskade, live electronic innovators ODESZA, the modern 4/4 master Chris Lake, OWSLA’s own bass champion Ekali, Phantoms, Kayzo, and more. Columbus will also invite some of contemporary music’s most in-demand acts including pop maverick Halsey, Khalid, and Quinn XCII.

Breakaway Music Festival Grand Rapids will also host ODESZA, as well as Borgeous, NGHTMRE, Migos, and many, many more.

As PSG’s booking outreach continues, Breakaway Music Festival will only continue to serve as an emblem of the brand’s coveted understanding of its young audience.

Photo Credit: Tyler Church

Post Malone’s ‘Beerbongs & Bentleys’ enjoys the largest first-week debut of all albums released this year

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That Post Malone shattered streaming records with the release of his album, Beerbongs & Bentleys, seemed only to foreshadow further success relative to the album. After attracting a whopping near 80 million global Spotify streams of the sophomore outing on the day of the album’s debut alone, Beerbongs & Bentleys has since claimed the No. 1 spot on the charts, selling a total of 461,000 equivalent album units in its first week. The production additionally sits atop Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart, resting comfortably in the very first spot on the expansive list. The artist has also sold 153,000 copies of the album in terms of traditional sales.

2018 has seen a slew of big name releases exit from the studios of J. Cole, Justin Timberlake, and Migos, with each artist putting forth KOD, Man of the Woods, and Culture II, respectively. Despite the acclaim of each artist or group behind the above productions, it is Beerbongs & Bentleys that has enjoyed the most monumental first-week debut so far in 2018, an accomplishment evinced in Beerbongs & Bentleys’ gain of a Platinum certification a mere two days after the album’s drop date.

The statistics show a marked increase in Post Malone’s presence in the U.S. music market; his debut album, Stoney, weighed in at No. 6 on the Billboard 200, while selling 58,000 album equivalent units in its first week, 19,000 of which were traditional sales. It seems that the sky is the limit for Post Malone.

H/T: Complex

Eminem brings out 50 Cent, ODESZA has their crowning moment, Cardi B shows off baby bump: Everything that happened at Coachella Day 3

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The 19th annual edition of Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival is officially in the books. After Beyoncé handed over her empowering main stage performance on Saturday night, fans probably wondered if the final day of Coachella could ever be as iconic. Fortunately for all, Coachella is a festival that always seems to top itself. Marquee acts, such as Eminem, Miguel, and Cardi B, gave attendees a second wind in the sweltering Indio desert with their closing day performances, along with burgeoning electronic talents ODESZAIllenium, and San Holo.

Here is DA‘s guide to the key moments of day three at Coachella 2018.

Eminem brings out an all-star cast in Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Skylar Grey, and more 

As Coachella’s closing headliner for an audience of nearly 100,000 people, Eminem knew he had a tough act to follow in Queen B’s landmark two-hour set (which made her the first ever woman of color to headline the festival). Marshall Mathers rounded up an all-star roster to join him on stage — including Dr. Dre50 Cent, Bebe Rexha, Skylar Grey, and Kehlani — to perform some of the biggest career hits.

While Mathers was sure to cover his golden-age hits “The Real Slim Shady” and “Lose Yourself,” his set list didn’t just focus on his own discography. The rap icon was joined by his mentor, Dr. Dre, onstage to perform “Still D.R.E.” and “Forgot About Dre.” The pair even nodded back to Snoop Dogg’s classic, “Nothin’ but a G Thang,” along with a cover of Tupac’s 1996 hit with Dre, “California Love” (which Snoop and Dre had previously resurrected a hologram of Tupac in the latter’s own 2012 headlining appearance).

Photo credit: Kevin Mazur, Getty Images for Coachella

Eminem’s mentee 50 Cent then took to the stage for a medley of “In Da Club” and “My Life,” giving the set a nice bookend appeal as it showcased their own hip-hop family lineage. Finally, Eminem was joined by longtime collaborator Skylar Grey as they performed multiple tracks, including “Stan,” “Walk on Water,” and “Love the Way You Lie,” showing off their electric chemistry.

Photo credit: Kevin Winter, Getty Images for Coachella

ODESZA delivers a milestone performance with aerial drones, a live drum line, and many special guests 

Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight of ODESZA had a sparkling 2017 after releasing their critically-acclaimed studio album, A Moment Apart, which netted their first-ever Grammy nomination. What better way to cap a wildly successful year than a spring kick-off performance in one of the world’s most visible festivals.

Back in 2015, ODESZA made headlines at Coachella when they brought out USC’s full drum line for a stunning rendition of their track “Bloom,” along with a live remix of Alex Adair’s “Make Me Feel Better.” So the Seattle-based duo knew they had to one up themselves.

This year, Knight and Mills’ appearance was nothing short of cutting-edge as they filled the late night headlining slot on Coachella’s main stage. Time sped up and slowed down, hearts stopped and began racing all at once, and technological spectacle felt organic in ODESZA’s live performance at Coachella.

Photo credit: Kevin Winter, Getty Images for Coachella

With this year’s inclusion of the highly-disciplined ODESZA drum line — which the pair has been incorporating in their album-accompanying “A Moment Apart” tour — Knight and Mills took this element to its height by incorporating drum line members throughout the entire set. It’s clear that the coveted ODESZA drum line has become a permanent mainstay during the most commanding moments of their live act.

Along the way, ODESZA brought a number of vocalists onstage to perform their various tracks from the latest album. Naomi Wild was first to take front and center in her live performance of “Higher Ground.” Wild’s mic had issues at the start, for which the design team quickly solved as the young singer belted her soft tune to an awe-inspired audience. To cap it all off, Knight and Mills brought out high-powered soul artist Leon Bridges to perform their single, “Across The Room,” as hundreds of aerial drones floated up into the California night sky to erect ODESZA’s icosahedron logo.

ODESZA have been diligently perfecting their live act over the years, working to incorporate immersive visual elements and surprise guest appearances along the way. But never before has an EDM act integrated such a captivating array of LED drones in their act to bring visual production from the screen into the sky. In addition to pioneering their own new genre, the boys can now count themselves spearheads for the visual production side as well.

Illenium brings his full AWAKE live band to the Sahara tent

Illenium is one EDM act that is currently smashing every bar he’s set for himself artistically; and with incredible candor and humility, one might add. The talented and focused artist out of Denver has been selling out arenas, collaborating with everyone whose anyone, and incorporating a live element to his shows. Now Illenium’s AWAKE act has become a mainstay at festivals, including band members Dabin, Day, and Said The Sky.

While in Indio Valley, the artist covered a full spectrum of his own classics in the Annika Wells-assisted “Crawl Outta Love,” his remix of Flume and Tove Lo‘s “Say It,” and his track, “Rush Over Me,”with Seven Lions and Said the Sky. The melodic dub step producer then paid homage to Excision and Zomboy before ending with his track with MAX, “Beautiful Creatures.”

Perhaps the shinning moment of Illenium’s Coachella debut came in the form of a live VIP of his track with 1788-L and close friend, Said the Sky, “Where’d You Go.” Fans have certainly been going crazy over the live edit online.

Illenium x Said The Sky x 1788-L – Where’d You Go (VIP) from EDM

Migos is plagued by sound issues in the Sahara tent

After walking onto stage 30 minutes late, and having sound issues early on, people were apparently not happy with the Migos‘ performance. Yet, within a couple minutes, Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff easily earned the crowd’s forgiveness. The group began with “Higher We Go,” the opening track of Culture II, and by the time they slipped into their second song, “Slippery,” the crowd was in full-frenzy mode. Migos waited until the set’s final stretch to survey their biggest and most recent hits, which included the classic “Bando” for Offset (whose original was given to him by fiancée Cardi B).

“We thank God for making us the greatest group in the world,” Quavo proclaimed as a closing statement. It was the kind of humble arrogance that didn’t quite match the trio’s rather plagued live performance at Coachella.

Photo credit: Scott Dudelson, Getty Images for Coachella

THEY.’s performance included a nod to Kurt Cobain 

As THEY. took to Coachella’s Mojave stage, the rap/R&B hybrid duo surprised attendees with an refreshing and intriguing rock-crossover by covering Nirvana‘s “Rather Die.” Intriguing, because of how odd it seems to take on such a disturbing song and refit the track with a hip-hop drop. Refreshing, because hip-hop acts rarely, if ever, sample rock ballads. THEY. were certainly keen to rework a song from Nirvana’s Nevermind album beyond the wildly overdone “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

Perhaps Kurt Cobain might have appreciated the subversive move.

Photo credit: Scott Dudelson, Getty Images for Coachella

Pregnant Cardi B brings out Chance The Rapper, Kehlani, and G-Easy 

Cardi B, who recently revealed her baby bump during an SNL performance, brought out a number of superstar friends during her afternoon Coachella performance, with live collaborations with Chance The Rapper on their single, “Best Life,” and G-Easy on “No Limit.”

The “Bodak Yellow” rapper also performed livcuts of “Bickenhead,” “Drip,” “Bariter Cardi” with 21 Savage, and her remix of Bruno Mars‘ “Finesse.”

Photo credit: Christopher Polk, Getty Images for Coachella

Photo credit: Scott Dudelson, Getty Images for Coachella

Portugal. The Man trolls ODESZA fans, delivers rock history lesson 

Portugal. The Man are known for their silly pre-set messages. Just last week, the band used amusing musings like “Having fun? Getting fucked up? Talking politics at family dinners?” and “Kevin’s got a boner” at a performance in Reno, Nevada. During closing night of Coachella 2018, as the sun began to set, the Alaskan rockers delivered a message to ODESZA campers in quirky fashion.

Portugal. The Man – “If you’re here for Odesza, you’re a little early” from Coachella

Yet it wasn’t only fun and games for Portugal, as they spent the entirety of their set schooling attendees with a serious rock music history lesson. After kicking off with Metallica‘s “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” the alt-rock band then surveyed a broad range of classics from Pink Floyd, T. Rex, and Black Sabbath, before ending with a “Hey Jude” sing-a-long.

“To anybody who says that there’s a lack of rock bands at Coachella, it’s not about genre — it’s about music,” the group’s front man shouted. “But if you are gonna complain about the lack of rock bands at Coachella, this is the only band here you need to see.”

Photo credit: Scott Dudelso, Getty Images for Coachella 

Featured photo credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Coachella

Live stream the closing day of Coachella 2018’s first weekend

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Streamed exclusively on YouTube for its past two days of production, Coachella will conclude the first of its two-weekend run this evening.

The music & arts festival’s U.S. streaming partnership with T-Mobile has brought live performances from an array of artists, including Beyoncé, Kygo, and Post Malone, from the stages at the Empire Polo Club to the homes of the thousands who have tuned into the live broadcast to enact ‘Couchella.’

Viewers will again be given the opportunity to exercise their listening preferences today during the live stream via of Coachella’s YouTube channel. As in the previous two-days of Coachella’s live stream, viewers remain able to tailor the live broadcast experience to their liking by setting web reminders and push notifications for upcoming ‘can’t miss’ performances, creating their own artist schedule, and selecting the appearances that they would most like to see from a total of three different live stream channels.

The final day of the first weekend of Coachella 2018 is marked by a series of momentous performances from industry juggernauts like Portugal. The Man, ODESZA, and Migos.

Sunday, April 15 Live Stream Schedule:
03:35 – Noname (3)
03:40 – Lion Babe (1)
03:40 – Magic Giant (2)
04:10 – San Holo (VR)
04:20 – THEY. (3)
04:25 – Nothing But Thieves (2)
04:40 – LANY (1)
04:40 – LANY (VR)
05:05 – San Holo (3)
05:10 – Dej Loaf (2)
05:45 – Vance Joy (1)
05:45 – Vance Joy (VR)
06:00 – Amine (2)
06:00 – Petit Biscuit (3)
06:30 – Jessie Ware (1)
06:30 – Petit Biscuit (VR)
06:50 – FIDLAR (2)
06:50 – French Montana (3)
06:50 – French Montana (VR)
07:35 – Aurora (2)
07:35 – Jacob Banks (3)
08:00 – Portugal. the Man (1)
08:00 – Portugal. the Man (VR)
08:20 – Kamasi Washington (2)
09:15 – Illenium (3)
09:25 – 6LACK (2)
09:55 – Odesza (1)
09:55 – Odesza (VR)
10:10 – Soulwax (2)
10:15 – Ibeyi (3)
11:05 – Migos (1)
11:05 – Migos (VR)
11:10 – Kamaiyah (2)

H/T: ALT 98.7 FM

Sending it to The Big Easy: BUKU Music + Arts Project in Review

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BUKU2018_0309_231137-1877_ATW

Additional words by John Flynn.

The smell of lobster po’ boys and boiled crawfish is thick in the air, as crowds of festivalgoers make their way down Magazine Avenue towards the entrance to New Orleans’ Mardis Gras World. The venue is a one-of-a-kind urban promised land, whose grounds are home to the Big Easy’s iconic Mardis Gras Day parade floats and an abandoned early 20th Century power plant that has become the official backdrop of Winter Circle Production’s BUKU Music + Arts Project.

BUKU’s position at Mardi Gras World is perhaps its biggest prominency. The destination provides the ultimate unique locale for festival organizers to craft a singular experience rooted in the spirited history of one of America’s oldest cities. Located on the banks of the Mississippi, its outdoor stages are set in plain view of a rusted-out power plant. The festival’s newest stage, dubbed The Wharf, is quite the intriguing addition, with wooden shipping crates standing as it’s center piece aesthetic. While BUKU veterans were initially disappointed in the organizer’s elimination of the boat stage, their apprehensions seemed to melt away as they danced their hearts out to the house beats of Green VelvetWalker & Royce, and Bonobo, among others.

Photo credit: aLive Coverage

Photo credit: aLive Coverage

As festivalgoers from many walks of life scurry through the grounds with grins on their faces and all sorts of potions in their hands, one can see the minute mental moments of reflection of their faces, where they pause briefly to take in the Mississippi River air, contemplating the performances the next two days has to offer. The seventh annual edition of BUKU, it seems, thrives off of the palpable hype pulsing through the veins of wide-eyed 20-somethings seeking total sensory assault.

The festival is a match made in heaven for such a demographic, offering up some of the biggest names in EDM and hip-hop — from Bassnectar, Porter Robinson’s new Virtual Self  project, and the goddess of Neptune, REZZ, to Migos and Lil Uzi Vert — along with a plethora of other styles for those looking to forsake sonic overload for something a bit more subtle in SZA, Sylvan Esso, and MGMT.

It is this sort of eclectic line-up that the festival prides itself on. One might be dancing to the hypnotic builds of Honey Dijon and, upon a turn to the left, see the Mississippi River as freight boats glide by. Turn to the right, and the gutted power-plant provides an industrial backdrop to Illenium and Gryffin‘s feel-good soundscapes. BUKU’s premier indoor stage, the Float Den, is set inside a 300,000 square foot working warehouse — the very one where the city’s elaborate Mardi Gras floats are created and stored.

Beyond dance music, Friday night brought an abundant array of more popular spectacles. Two stalwarts of contemporary hip-hop/R&B, Migos and SZA, made and appearance, while hitmakers MGMT brought a taste of indie flavor. As the beginning synth from “Time To Pretend” sets in, swells of festival goers could be seen rushing to the stage to catch the band in action. Their booking helped fill a niche for attendees that existed outside of the EDM and hip-hop dominated culture.

BUKU

While Migos’ performance was cut to a mere 30 minutes due to their tardiness, SZA’s surpassed all expectations. Despite an ankle injury cutting her set ten minutes short, the artist hit her notes in stride. At a time where SZA is quickly becoming one of Generation Z’s largest pop stars, her elegance on stage made for something downright magical. As far as Migos set goes, you’d have to ask one of the thousands of panting kids that exited the stage promptly after, but it goes without saying the Atlanta trio put on a spectacle of a performance.

Friday also marked the debut of Virtual Self’s US festival performance. As the Porter Robinson alter alias descended on the festival, surges of fans flocked into the Float Den to catch the performance. Given his set time and location on the more intimate stage, his set was a huge success. As the melancholy tinged synths from “Ghost Voices” bounced off the warehouse’s walls and the dance floor hit peak movability, it became clear that the alter ego has nearly equated Robinson himself.

BUKU

What Robinson has crafted in this current reiteration of his live performance is painstakingly artistic and novel. With lights shooting up in parallel lines from the stage’s see-through flooring panels, to the multitude of lasers so perfectly timed to his uncanny drops, Virtual Self’s set stands as a fully immersive visual and auditory spectacle. Even if his IDM, jungle-infused, era-accurate trance, early hardcore, and j-core blended sound doesn’t tickle everyone’s ear drums, one simply could not walk away from the set without an immense respect for what the Robinson is doing — that is, recycling early electronic sounds into a rollercoaster journey of new-wave sounds.

Saturday’s diverse range of sets made for a great follow up, with artists like REZZ, Isaiah Rashad, Sylvan Esso, and Illenium drawing large crowds. Bassnectar also made a welcome appearance, slamming his most sought-after tracks upon his audience — from “Raw Charles” and “Cozza Frenzy” to “Hologram,” and “Lost In The Crowd.” He also paid homage to the city of New Orleans in his deliverance of his bass-bolstered remix of Buku’s “Front to the Back,” while making time to drop in a tune by NOLA-based bass music duo, sfam, so as to promote rising local talent. However, it was REZZ who molded these bass worshipping disciples into pure balls of energy with her hypnotic performance. No longer human, the audience transformed themselves into slow moving entities at the hands of the Niagara Falls native’s industrial-tinged rhythms set to the frequencies of the planet Neptune. Indeed, the slotting of REZZ to close out the festival after Bassnectar was a bold, deliberate, and keenly-astute decision by organizers.

BUKU

The most notable aspect of BUKU fest was the organizer’s intentional booking of strong female headliners — a highly laudable move that deserves recognition in an age of the #MeToo Movement, where female artists and consumers have begun speaking out against sexual assault at the hands of powerful male industry professionals. With additional lineup support from Alison Wonderland, Bishop Briggs, No Name, and Clozee, it was clear that the Bukweens were out in dominant force. Their presence transformed the festival vibe into a refreshing modality of equality and empowerment, further spotlighting how the music industry masses are waking up to the fact that females are disproportionately represented at the top tiers of dance music.

As BUKU thrives and grows with each passing year, the Winter Circle-produced event has earned a reputation as the South’s premiere outdoor, urban, spring time festival. It’s become clear that these organizers know what they are doing as they expand the venue seamlessly, create insane stage productions, and curate cutting-edge line-ups. If you haven’t experienced the magic of Mardis Gras World already, you’ll want to make sure to include BUKU Music + Arts Project as the kick-off event of your next festival season.

Photo Credit: VibeSmith


All photos by Vibesmith, unless otherwise noted

VELD Music Festival announces 2018 lineup

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VELD-Music-Festival-NickLee-BestofToronto-2014-003

The annual Canadian dance and hip-hop music festival has announced its full 2018 lineup. Held at Downsview Park in Toronto, VELD Music Festival is run in partnership by Ink Entertainment and Live Nation, with this massive sponsors including Bud Light and Hennessy.

The event will take place August 4 and 5, with headline performances by DJ Snake, Marshmello, Martin Garrix and Migos. Supporting acts include a diverse array of sounds from the likes of Habstrakt, Jauz, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Benny Benassi, REZZ, NGHTMRE, Lil Xan and more. Check out the full lineup below and purchase tickets here.

China’s ‘ban’ on hip-hop evidences music’s cultural permeability [Editorial]

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Hip Hop

Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff of Migos collectively brimmed with anticipation on January 26, 2017. Culture, the Atlanta hip hop trio’s second studio album, was scheduled to drop at midnight — a follow up to 2016’s EP, 3 Way.

Its two lead singles, “Bad and Boujee” and “T-Shirt,” had catalyzed just the heavy anticipation for its release that Migos had sought: “Bad and Boujee” ascended to viral status, going quadruple platinum, while “T-Shirt” went double platinum. Their collaborative labor in the studio was poised to pay off, and the music industry was not only watching—it was attentively listening.

Culture predictably earned Platinum certification after crossing the sale point of more than one-million units. Come the beginning of 2018, the outfit found themselves among the nominees for “Best Rap Album” at the Grammy’s 60th iteration.

Migos released Culture II around the same time as their Grammy nomination. Like its predecessor, this new sequel of an LP was swiftly and hungrily consumed by their fan base, who’d been impatiently awaiting it since its announcement. The play count on Culture II must rest somewhere in the millions by now, and that number will have grown by the time a reader of this editorial reaches its end.

Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff  sit atop a musical empire of their own making, and yet, their broad repertoire would rank entirely as “tasteless, vulgar, and obscene” in today’s Chinese media landscape given its hip-hop classification.

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television of the People’s Republic of China (SAPPRFT) — the country’s main media regulator—released four new “Don’t” media restrictions on January 19. Television networks are expected to abide by the newly published rules: “1. Absolutely do not use actors whose heart and morality are not aligned with the party and whose morality is not noble, 2. Absolutely do not use actors who are tasteless, vulgar, and obscene, 3. Absolutely do not use actors whose ideological level is low and have no class, and 4. Absolutely do not use actors with stains, scandals, and problematic moral integrity.”

The SAPPRFT’s promulgation of these stringent media rules “specifically requires that programs should not feature actors with tattoos [or depict] hip-hop culture, sub-culture (non-mainstream culture) and dispirited culture (decadent culture),” according to Chinese news source, Sina.

Across the Pacific, hip-hop accounted for a quarter of all music consumption in the United States in 2017, surpassing rock music to become the largest musical genre in the country for the first time in history.

Hip-hop’s rise to become the most popular genre of music for the first time last year speaks not only to the genre’s longevity in the context of the US music industry, but additionally to its continuing cultural and economic prominence. An underground musical movement of the mid-1970s, the genre originated in the Bronx in New York City as a recreational outlet that married elements of MCing, DJing, spoken verse, and break dancing. It offered a vocal platform for the block party artists that identified and used it as a vehicle of expression.

While hip-hop rides a wave of unprecedented centrality to the commercial American music market, it is duly an important, and perhaps a lesser known fact that this music remains only in a nascent stage in China. This germinal state of Chinese hip-hop that renders it vulnerable to the SAPPRFT’s newly imposed media rules. In fact, it’s almost as though these rules err on the nationalist side, seeking shut out a subculture with international roots. Hip-hop has not yet received the opportunity to become a cornerstone of musical commerce in the Chinese market, and is thus more susceptible to heavy restrictions — if not total attempted eradication.

The SAPPRFT’s limitations on the Chinese media’s portrayal of hip-hop will only further thwart the genre’s ability to gain a substantial market presence, being that hip-hop and its accompanying subculture is being written out of the Chinese media by the media’s chief regulators. “Hip-hop’s prospects in China seem dim after Chinese rappers [known by the stage names “PG One” and “GAI”] removed from TV shows,” posited a headline from the state-facilitated tabloid, Global Times. Global Times would go on to identify hip-hop as a “tool for people to vent their anger, misery, [and] complaints.” Another national news agency, Xinhua, stated that PG One “does not deserve the stage,” further remarking that “we [China] should say ‘no’ to whoever provides a platform for low-taste content.” PG One’s music has since been removed from a number of online Chinese music websites.

The Chinese Republic’s crusade on hip-hop as duly a genre and kind of culture that is “low-taste” in nature arises out of the state’s desire to regulate pop culture, a primary source of influence for youth in China and elsewhere. The SAPPRFT’s media rules that target the development and potential success of Chinese hip-hop seek to control, contain, and homogenize the pop cultural experience in China, as the genre “threatens” to become as substantial an element of pop culture there as it has in the US. On a more basic level,  “pop culture” classification briefly set aside, the SAPPRFT’s movement against hip-hop portrayal in the Chinese media represents a dangerous model of cultural construction, in which a culture is crafted and defined by its forced limitations.

Yet, as hip-hop flirts with Chinese media censorship its power becomes increasingly clear. The title “hip-hop” bespeaks a musical personality that has resonated in both the US and in China. Hip-hop’s subjection to such stringent regulation only evidences that the genre has traveled internationally, arrived, and exhibited its allure on Chinese ground in a sort of musical cross-pollination that evinces its pervasive quality.

Arizona’s Goldrush Festival brings big beats to the wild wild west [Review + Recap Video]

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Phoenix, Arizona is quickly becoming one of the nation’s hottest music festival destinations, drawing an increasing number of top-tier artists and events to the Valley of the Sun year after year. This year was perhaps Phoenix’s biggest yet, hosting events like the debut installment of Lost Lake Festival and Hundred Waters‘ annual FORM at Arcosanti, an artistic community about 30 minutes outside the city. But for ravers and hip-hop heads alike, one event’s talent roster may have stood head and shoulders above the rest, with Goldrush Festival also delivering its inaugural lineup, stacked with genre-hopping talent. Dillon Francis, Marshmello, Migos, Claude Vonstroke, REZZLil Uzi Vert and a slew of the year’s most sought-after artists flocked to Arizona just as the state’s sweltering temperatures began to break, only to heat things back up again for two days of festival chaos wild west style. Here are Dancing Astronaut‘s top five takeaways from the inaugural Goldrush Festival.

Baauer and A-Trak’s highly anticipated b2b set

Lined up for only a handful of joint shows to close out 2017, Baauer and A-Trak finally joined forces for the back-to-back performance we all deserve, and boy did they deliver. With Baauer’s ever-variant track selections and A-Trak’s brilliant scratch routines, the pair put together a set that hit the crowd from every angle, complementing each other like they’ve been playing together for years. The chemistry was definitely there, it was like watching Carlos Santana and Slash trade solos for a full hour. The Fool’s Gold Records veteran and his LuckyMe counterpart delivered one of the best sets of the weekend and are hopefully planning to bless fans with additional back-to-backs in the very near future.

Goldrush Music Festival @ Rawhide 171118 Photos by www.JacobTylerDunn.com

Dirtybird love

Once the representatives from Dirtybird Records touched down at Goldrush, the endless shuffling began, and the massive cloud of dust didn’t settle over the venue until well after the weekend’s final performance. Claude Vonstroke and his Dirtybird cohorts undoubtedly ruled the roost at Goldrush’s debut weekend. The band of (mostly) California-based house heroes including Walker and Royce, Christian Martin, and more descended upon the desert to deliver some of the weekend’s top highlights. From the label head’s double duty playing by both his Vonstroke and Barclay Crenshaw monikers to Shiba San‘s top-billed performance, Dirtybird Records took over the party with a commanding presence and the swelling Arizona crowds knew exactly what to do.

Goldrush Music Festival @ Rawhide 171118 Photos by www.JacobTylerDunn.com

Curation and programming

For a new event concept in an emerging festival market, it can be difficult to rope together the perfect blend of talent for a debut lineup. Beyond that, there’s an additional set of difficulties in nailing the festival’s overall programming, though Goldrush navigated these challenges impressively well in its inaugural installment. The lineup included hip-hop and dance music’s top-tiered and newly emerging talents alike, pairing acts like RL GrimeExcision and San Holo with Rich Chigga, Lil Pump and G-Buck. The lineup showcased well-rounded bookings that spanned the spectrum, from Flatbush Zombies to Jeremy Olander, Öona Dahl to Justin Jay offering up a balanced blend of talent with a clearly electronic-leaning focus. Beyond the lineup’s composition, the rest of the event’s overall complexion was a highlight worth its own mention. While the wild west motif came off a kitschy at times, with fans panning for gold and old timey saloons selling neon shutter shades, it generally came off as well-intentioned, well-produced thematic appreciation for Arizona. The western town venue was spacious and open, and while stages experienced some clustering at times, the event’s layout generally held sway. Ahead of Decadence New Year’s festivities at the same venue, Goldrush tested the grounds and successfully delivered a wild west experience that comfortably accommodated thousands of attendees.

Goldrush Music Festival @ Rawhide 171118 Photos by www.JacobTylerDunn.com

Completely cashless

Plenty of music festivals opt for cashless alternatives, though few execute as smoothly as Goldrush did. Communication with attendees was thorough and clear, and assistance at the festival was prompt and efficient. The event was strictly cashless. Once an attendee’s personal payment information was secured, wristbands with magnetic tokens managed the sale of concessions, merchandise, and more. The event that was so heavily authentic to its wild west themed production, though Goldrush also directed the proper amount of time and resources at ensuring a safer and swifter experience between performances. It is easy to overlook the small details of such large-scale events, but Goldrush managed to nail down the little details that made the dusty main drag of the micro-western town replica venue an amusing open-air marketplace packed with buzzing ravers.

Goldrush Music Festival @ Rawhide 171119 Photos by www.JacobTylerDunn.com

Hometown heroes

Los Angeles is undoubtedly the foremost incubator of electronic talent in the U.S., but only a few hundred miles east sits Phoenix, which has also been called home by some of today’s top-tier DJs. Goldrush did a credible job of including local Arizona talent on the lineup, but seeing heavy hitters like Mija, Drezo, and Ghastly come home and play before their hometown crowds made for some of the weekend’s most memorable moments. Longtime local fans will remember Mija’s resident sets at dance clubs downtown, while droves came out to support dark house protege Drezo as he continues to carve out his own brooding, club-rattling house fare. Goldrush ensured that Phoenix is on the map, and it brought strong representation along to promote the hottest new stop on the major festival circuit. Among waves of internationally touring talent, Arizona’s brightest exports came home to round out a successful event with some special, personalized touches.

Goldrush Music Festival @ Rawhide 171118 Photos by www.JacobTylerDunn.com

 

Images: Jacob Tyler Dunn

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