Jessie Reyez Is Really Great And You Should Listen To Her

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Jessie ReyezJessie Reyez has so much to say, and hearing her say it is so much fun. More »

Twenty One Pilots May Not Be For You (Because They’re For Everyone)

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Twenty One PilotsIn 2015, Twenty One Pilots were the biggest band you’ve never heard of. By the end of the following year, they were the biggest band, period. More »

Nicki Minaj Takes Aim At Cardi B With New “Nicki Stopped My Bag” Merch

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Tensions have been high between Nicki Minaj and Cardi B ever since the latter pop-rapper rose to prominence last year and, more or less, dethroned Nicki. Lately, their beef has been almost cartoonish. Last month, the rivaling rap queens engaged in a shoe-throwing brawl at a New York Fashion week event, leaving a … More »

The A Star Is Born Soundtrack Could Stand To Go Off The Deep End More Often

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Bradley Cooper & Lady GagaIf you remember any scene from the trailer for Bradley Cooper’s new A Star Is Born remake, it is almost certainly the one in which Cooper’s character, declining roots-rock god Jackson Maine, calls from a car window to Lady Gaga’s aspiring singer, identified only as Ally. It’s a scene that’s appeared in all four(!) versions … More »

Lil Wayne releases the long-awaited ‘Tha Carter V’ album, the final in his Carter series

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Lil Wayne releases the long-awaited ‘Tha Carter V’ album, the final in his Carter seriesLil Wayne Tha Carter V

Tha Carter V is here. Production credits are with Mannie Fresh, Swizz Beatz, Metro Boomin, Ben Billions and more. Lil Wayne starts the album off with a heartfelt, touching message from his mom, just so listeners know who the project is for. The next song features the late Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy or his more widely known stage name, XXXTENTATION.

After odes to his mother and the late rapper, “Dedicate” jumps into Tunechi’s recognizable flow with rhyme schemes that bounce like drums. He credits himself as the guy who started the face tattoo trend, reminding those who might have forgot about Wayne, after seven years since the album’s predecessor. The song ends with Barack Obama praising the rap icon next to the likes of LeBron James.

Wayne takes the high energy down a notch on “Let It Fly,” the first feature track. It’s with Travis Scott and touts the ASTROWORLD creators’ melodic, ambient soundscape while giving Weezy room to roll towards the end.

“Dark Side of the Moon” has Wayne’s singing, R&B side, featuring his attributed discovery and the lyrical hall-of-fame bound, Nicki Minaj. The track shows a softer side to Minaj as well.

“Mona Lisa” follows, featuring another lyrical trendsetter, Kendrick Lamar. Lamar’s verse is a Mona Lisa of verses, practically guaranteeing the song’s success right from the starting gate. “What About Me” features Wiz Khalifa‘s Taylor Gang signee, Sosamann and flaunts a laid-back, auto-tuned atmosphere with no rush. It’s a bit of a break from Lamar’s last tirade.

“Open Letter” is a declamation to anyone listening. Discussing about the rappers’ internal struggles with lines such as, “What’s the life expectancy if you don’t expect it.” The track is riddled with lines like this as an open letter to life. He gives a shout-out to the readers, which in this metaphor are the listeners.

“Famous” features Lil Wayne’s daughter Reginae Carter on the hook. It’s about being famous, something Birdman Jr. has become accustomed to since the young age of 14.

Snoop Dogg lends recognizable melodies to his collaboration on Tha Carter V. This one again has the makings of a hit as well, as Wayne fluidly bounces along Broadus Jr.’s guitar.

Lil Wayne uses his mother’s vocals as a transition in “Took His Time,” which has a similar timbre to an artist Wayne was the first to sign to his Young Money Entertainment label, Drake. The next track, “Open Safe,” has that clap-clap-clap-clap atmosphere.

“Start This Shit Off Right” features Ashanti and Young Money Entertainment signee, Mack Maine. Ashanti brings those 2000 vocals back into the frame, proving Lil Wayne and R&B should hang out more.

Wayne gets soulful on “Demon,” showcasing his lyrical prowess with a contrast into soul. “Mess” is another blissfully melodic and vocally deliberate track.”Dope New Gospel” features Nivea, who was nominated for a Grammy for her collaboration with YoungbloodZ & Lil’ Jon‘s “Okay.”

“Used 2,” toward the end of the Carter V album, is an late Easter egg for those fending more poetry in modern rap. Another transition featuring his mother leads into Wayne’s final song, which starts off with sparking what one could presume to be a blunt.

Tha Carter V was meant to be enjoyed, according to Lil Wayne’s announcement of the drop earlier this week. After seven years of material, targeted features, and a nostalgic flow; it’s hard not to enjoy and feel some type of way.

“With this album… I’m giving you more than me,” the rapper said in his announcement earlier this week. “You gotta always remember that. This is four, five, six years of work that you’ll be listening to, and I hope you enjoy it. You don’t have to love it, you don’t even have to like it. Just hope you enjoy every time you put it on.”

Happy birthday, Dwayne.

6LACK Wishes He Was A Rapper, But As An R&B Singer He’s On The Right Track

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6LACK“I’m an R&B nigga with a hip-hop core.” That’s 6LACK, the Atlanta singer born Ricardo Valentine, on “Scripture,” a track from East Atlanta Love Letter, the #3 album in America this week. That title and 6LACK’s stage name both reference Zone 6, the crime-riddled section of East Atlanta where he grew up. If you’re among … More »

David Guetta’s double-sided ‘7’ is a timely portrait of dance music, spanning a voluminous 27 tracks [Review]

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David Guetta’s double-sided ‘7’ is a timely portrait of dance music, spanning a voluminous 27 tracks [Review]Cool Guy Guetta Photo Credit Ellen Von Unwerth

There often comes a time in great artists’ careers when they have acquired a certain level of devoutness from fans that allows them to truly feel free from the confines of an appealing facade or obligation to appease. Three decades into his into his artistic journey, David Guetta surpassed that milestone many musical epochs ago. Yet, with his Big Beat-housed, double-sided 7 album, Guetta endeavors to show the world there is uncharted sonic terrain worthy of the trek.

The two-disc album is certainly indicative of the different hats Guetta has worn over the years, most broadly as a ubiquitous dance-pop deity and more recently, the reveal of less radio-ready stylings from his alter-ego, Jack Back. Disc-one is Guetta as the world knows him — in all his prophesied pop eminence. Riddled with weighty collaboration, the first side of the venerated French powerhouse’s new studio work features a slew of larger-than-life joint efforts, including his previously released, immaculately sung “Flames” with Sia, a reunion preceded by their sublimely successful 2011 smash, “Titanium.” Guetta seems to cover all his streamability bases in this first portion, enlisting equally exalted dance pop sharks like Justin Bieber, Nicki MinajMartin Garrix on “Like I Do” and the Steve Aoki-assisted “Motto.” Guetta casts a wide net of appeal, following commercial counterparts like Major Lazer in sprinkling in some ever-so-timely Afro-pop, bolstered by the South African Black Coffee, on “Drive.”

Guetta’s recently unraveled side-project, Jack Back, drives home disc-two, which is comprised of groove-heavy, largely atmospheric tech-house. With winding, instrumental tracks like “Overtone” and “Afterglow,” it stands as an ambivalence-inducing paradox. On one hand, it represents the mainstream dance circuit’s acceptance of a more avant-garde product, of the scene’s most prominent figures’ willingness to deliver a raw, less-calculated extension of themselves. On the other — succeeding fellow icons like Calvin Harris, who recently announced he’d be receding back to his club-adept roots — this return to form can easily be construed as an overdue attempt to delineate oneself from the improbably saturated, monotonous sea of over-compressed bass drops. Tech-house, following progressive, future bass, and future house, takes its place among one of the most recent sub-genre crazes. The resurgence has been actualized by the likes of longtime devotees like Claude VonStroke, Carl Cox, and Green Velvet, who have been championing the jazzy, instrumental sound for decades. David Guetta plants his flag on side two. He’s earned the status to return to a less commercially viable aesthetic. What’s more, fans deserve something potentially more stimulating from such high-held superstars. Our palates are savvier than they were in 2010, and radio-ready blockbusters can only take an artist so far, and Guetta uses the back half of the gatefold to address that shift.

Yes, two years in the making, is Guetta’s seventh studio album. But the French DJ/producer wears the number as a badge of continuity.

7 is a magical number and represents a full cycle to me. When you’re just starting out as an artist you go step by step and it’s only positive energy; passion, love, challenges,” says Guetta. “…This is why ‘7’ is a perfect name to me, because I feel like I’m going back to my original energy which can be heard in this album.”

Existential turmoil aside, whether Guetta has been biding his time to showcase this doubtlessly more nuanced side of his artistic repertoire or he simply seized a timely opportunity to reinvent himself, performs as a spacious snapshot of contemporary dance music.

The Success Of “I Love It” Puts A Perfectly Perverse Bow On Kanye West’s Batshit Year

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Kanye West & Lil Pump's "I Love It" VideoPoor Icona Pop. The shouty Swedish singing duo don’t have much to hang their hat on, historically speaking. In the moment, I thought their 2013 debut album was pretty good, but time has mostly forgotten them. The one thing they could definitely claim is SEO dominance for the phrase “I Love It” thanks to the … More »

Nicki Minaj – “Barbie Dreams” Video

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Nicki Minaj released her latest album Queen last month. Shortly after, she shared the video for its opening track “Ganja Burn.” Today, we get the music video for “Barbie Dreams.” In it, Minaj sports a variety of colorful get-ups alongside puppets made to look like the rappers she raps about rejecting … More »

Nicki Minaj Addresses Cardi B Altercation On Queen Radio

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Nicki Minaj & Cardi BOne of Nicki Minaj’s celebrity feuds was in the spotlight over the weekend, which can only mean one thing: Today we got a new episode of Queen Radio, the Beats 1 broadcast on which Minaj holds court. She’s previously used this venue to go off on the likes of Travis Scott and More »