Travis Scott’s Dual #1s And The Storied History Of Chart Chicanery

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Travis ScottEverything’s coming up Travis Scott. This week, four months after it came out, Scott’s album Astroworld returned to the top of the Billboard 200 for a third week. Meanwhile Astroworld’s big hit, the Drake collab “Sicko Mode,” completed a 17-week climb to #1 on the Hot 100 singles chart. Scott, the … More »

Alessia Cara May Not Be The Best New Artist, But She’s Also Not Half Bad

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Alessia CaraWhen the world met Alessia Caracciolo three years ago, she was the awkward teenager enduring a house party where she did not belong: “Somewhere in the corner under clouds of marijuana/ With this boy who’s hollering, I can hardly hear/ Over this music I don’t listen to.” Over the same Bond-worthy Isaac HayesMore »

While You Were Laughing At Mariah Carey She Was Making Yet Another Dope Album

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Mariah CareyDo you remember what you were doing the night of December 31, 2016? Just after midnight, I was at home watching Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest, still smarting from Ohio State’s brutal loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff, when onto my screen bounded Mariah Carey, apropos of nothing. Carey … More »

There’s Never Been A Pop Song Quite Like Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next”

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Ariana GrandeIt all happened so fast — and it keeps happening faster. More »

It’s A Good Time To Be Bad Bunny

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Bad BunnyThe name Ocasio derives from the Spanish “ocasión,” which means what you think it means: an occasion, a time. According to Ancestry.com, most people named Ocasio are Puerto Rican, in heritage if not in residence, and the word’s “meaning as a surname” is unclear. More »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Lauren Daigle Is The Christian Adele

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Lauren DaigleEvery few years, a major national publication will publish an overview of the Christian music industry. This week, Kelefa Sanneh has a good one in The New Yorker. Sanneh’s history of Christian rock and pop begins way back in the 1950s, with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s advice-column exhortation that gospel and the devil’s … More »