Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Beyoncé And Jay-Z Just Made Everyone Go ‘Ape Shit’ With A Surprise Joint Album

This is not a drill: Beyoncé and Jay-Z just dropped an entire joint album without any announcement or hype whatsoever. Because it’s not like music’s most powerful couple needs album promo anyway!

Everything Is Love abruptly hit Tidal on Saturday afternoon (July 16) under the name The Carters. The collaborative album spans nine songs, clocks in at just over 38 minutes, and features both Bey and Jay on every track. One of those cuts, “APESHIT,” already has a full-length music video that’s also available on Tidal. The cinematic vid was shot on location at The Louvre in Paris, and was teased by Beyoncé on Instagram.

Rumors about a Bey and Jay collaborative album have long swirled, and they escalated in March when the couple announced their joint stadium trek, On The Run II. The tour kicked off earlier this month in the U.K. and begins its North American leg on July 25. Looks like fans are going to have a lot of new music to get them hyped before then.

If you don’t have a Tidal account — and somehow aren’t succumbing to the pressure to subscribe — you can listen to 30-second previews of the new songs below. Happy listening!

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Cardi B Flashes Her Bare Baby Bump On Dramatic Rolling Stone Cover

Baby Bardi isn’t even here yet and she’s already a cover star. On Friday evening (June 15), Cardi B surprised fans by unveiling her upcoming Rolling Stone cover, with features her fiancée Offset, a dramatic blonde wig, some serious body art, and her bare baby bump.

A version of the cover had previously leaked on the internet, but Cardi took matters into her own hands by sharing the official pic on Instagram. “I guess it was too much to ask to wait until the official July release of our @rollingstone cover!” she captioned the post. “This cover is so special to me and means so much! … My daughter made it to the Rollin Stone cover!!!!”

This is the second RS cover for both Cardi B and Offset — she previously fronted the October 2017 issue, while he was on the February 2018 issue with the rest of Migos. It is, however, the cover debut for Baby Bardi, who’s reportedly due this summer. Cardi confirmed she was pregnant while performing on Saturday Night Live back in April, giving her bump a dramatic TV debut.

The Cardi-covered issue of Rolling Stone is due to hit newsstands on July 2. Between that, her daughter’s impending arrival, her upcoming nuptials, and “I Like It” heating up the charts, it’s safe to say Cardi’s roll isn’t slowing anytime soon.

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Drake Still Isn’t Over That Girl Who Said He Couldn’t Sing On 2 Chainz’s New Song

Drake has an excellent memory. On 2 Chainz’s “Bigger Than You” featuring Quavo, the Canadian rapper references a time when people weren’t as excited to hear him break the melodies out — “‘Member shorty told me she thought the raps good, but the singing’s off.’”

Considering the previous bar mentions a time when he had a pre-paid phone it is safe to assume this was probably anywhere between 2007 – 2009, where Drake was first coming into his singing voice on projects like So Far Gone. What is the chance this is the same girl who told Drake he’d never be “as big as Trey Songz” on “From Time?”

Thankfully, “Bigger Than You” isn’t all about women who said Drake needed to work on hitting the correct notes. Quavo handles the hook, which is about warning fans he’s on “baller alert,” while the fine ladies are on “caller alert.” 2 Chainz also blesses us with the punchline, “Chain so big, should have came with a kickstand,” which same.

In February, Chainz announced the release of his next album, Rap Or Go To The League, in front of a blimp. On Instagram, the Atlanta rapper described the theme of his fifth studio album would center on race relations and the stereotypes he faced growing up.

“With the height of racial tensions across America I felt I should do my part in explaining some of the brain washing formulas used in my community,” Chainz wrote. “This album not only touches on those who did succeed thru entertainment but those who didn’t! Welcome to Rap or Go TO THE LEAGUE!”

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Nicki Minaj Gets Candid About What Being Single Meant For Her New Album

One can learn many things from a breakup, like the joys of sending reckless DMs or eating alone at a restaurant as you sneer at everyone condescendingly judging you. For Nicki Minaj , she learned that single life can actually be super inspirational. In her latest cover story for Elle, Minaj discussed what it was like being single for the “first time in my life” and how that affected her upcoming album.

“I went through a moment where I got to know myself again, and then I went through a moment where I got to know myself as the rapper again,” Minaj said. “And then I locked [myself] in the studio” — see? — and I didn’t want to leave. Spiritually, I’ve experienced more growth in the last six months of my life, of my career, than I have in the last eight years.”

In the past, Minaj has been linked to Safaree Samuels, Meek Mill, and, most recently, Nas. The two New York rappers reportedly split in late 2017, according to TMZ.

Elsewhere in the interview, the “Chun-Li” rapper described the challenges of being in relationships and how she got through the transition of being on her own again.

“I remember feeling like I could do anything at one time in my life and somewhere along the line, I just started second guessing myself, for whatever reason,” she said. “As soon as I realized that I could actually live and breathe, and eat and sleep, and walk and talk without having a boyfriend, something clicked in me.”

Minaj’s latest song, “Rich Sex,” is about why one shouldn’t have intercourse with brokies and fits nicely into the discussion she had during her cover story. Hopefully, when Queen arrives on August 10, fans will get a more complete look at Nicki’s thoughts about relationships, breakups, and everything in between.

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Childish Gambino Surprising Students With A Performance Of ‘This Is America’ Gives Us All The Feels

Donald Glover and Chance the Rapper just proved that “The Worst Guys” can also be the best guys. Yesterday (June 11), Glover surprised a room full of Chicago youth at OpenMike by performing Childish Gambino’s “This Is America.” As social video reveals, as the beat to the song started playing, the auditorium erupted as students rushed to the stage, while Gambino broke out his signature dance from the video.

Glover and Chance’s relationship goes way back. The Chicago rapper opened up for Childish Gambino early in both of their careers and even teased fans with the possibility of a joint mixtape. Chance, along with the poet and activist Malcolm London, host OpenMike, which is a monthly event where Chicago high school students can present artwork to their peers and receive professional development. The monthly event honors “Brother Mike” Hawkins, who helped artists like Chance, Vic Mensa, and Saba first get their start at the YouMedia Lyricist Loft event.

Last week, FX announced that they ordered a third season of Atlanta. At an Emmys FYC screening and panel on Friday (June 8), Glover compared the upcoming season of Atlanta to one of Kanye West’s most successful albums.

“I align the seasons I think, to me, like Kanye records,” Glover told IndieWire. “I feel like this is our Graduation. This is probably our most accessible but also the realest — an honest version of it — and I feel like the most enjoyable, like the third album.”

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Lil Wayne And Meek Mill Were The Comeback Kids Of Summer Jam

A decade ago, Sha-Ron Prescott asked a question that would unknowingly plague rap fans for years: “Hey, Mr. Carter / Tell me, where have you been?” On a dreary Sunday night (June 10) at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, Lil Wayne emphatically waltzed through the drizzle and said “hello” like he never left. For a brief moment in a turquoise fur coat, I saw the man who made me believe he was “The Best Rapper Alive” emerge like a former welterweight champion. He was rusty but determined to take one more swing at the title.

But Sunday night’s Hot 97 Summer Jam was about the newfound freedom of two men. In a week, Weezy went from being reportedly released from a six-year lawsuit that derailed his career to hitting the stage on the 10th anniversary of his classic album Tha Carter III. Assured, confident, and muted, Wayne walked the stage as a man unshackled. That he was sharing the stage with Meek Mill — a rapper who was literally unshackled a few months prior — was serendipitous, to say the least.

Watching Wayne and Mill was bittersweet. Nothing is promised when it comes to black men, especially concerning the privilege to work unabated. The parallels between the two were uncanny. Wayne and Meek both saw gun charges and subsequent prison time halt their careers in 2007. While Wayne has been clear ever since, Meek’s been fighting the same fight for over a decade. During both of their sets, Lil Wayne and Meek Mill looked like men content to be workshopping their comebacks in front of their people — yes, black and brown.

When Meek Mill arrived like a bat out of hell with an ATV as his fiery chariot, it felt like this stage was where he always belonged. The pressure of surviving Philadelphia’s criminal justice system and the memeification of his image by Drake forced Mill to transform into something else, something better. His entire set, from “Dreams and Nightmares” to “1942 Flows,” was about one thing — inspiration.

The cocky MC I remembered performing “Rosé Red” in a University of Delaware auditorium in 2012 was now a preacher who treated the audience like his congregation. Mill was a man giving words of wisdom to people who looked just like him. His dreams were their own, and his fight to avoid a system built to keep him enslaved was a war that ravaged their families and friends as well.

In contrast, the stakes for Wayne were more insular. Ten years removed from the album that cemented his name in the rap pantheon, the New Orleans rapper could easily survey the musical landscape he helped create at his artistic peak in the mid-to-late aughts. The Future, Young Thug, and Lil Baby songs blaring out of the MetLife Stadium parking lot owed part of their existence to the path Wayne forged.

As he crouched to sing “Lollipop” in his signature croak, it shined like the blueprint it was always meant to be. His off-kilter, auto-tuned smothered sex anthem sounded alien in 2008. Now the song could be plugged between the latest Lil Uzi Vert or Gunna song on Rap Caviar, and it would sound at home. Weaving through hits like “A Milli,” it was like a talented fighter shadowboxing with himself, earning back goodwill that never should have escaped him.

Hip-hop is fickle. Rap fans have a tendency to forget our stars with the same speed a child forgets a toy a few days removed from Christmas. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s “Drowning” got more cheers than Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Poison,” which is understandable, no matter how much of a jam it is 28 years later. Regardless, Wayne and Mill proved you can’t snuff out legends. A decade ago, Sha-Ron Prescott asked where Mr. Carter had been. Lil Wayne replied, “Around the world and I’m back again,” and somehow that statement is truer now than it was then.

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We Might Finally Get Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V: Here’s Why

Fans have been waiting for Tha Carter V for nearly six years, which is an eternity in the rap game. Luckily, it seems like we’ll finally get to experience the album after it was reported that Lil Wayne has settled two ongoing and often contentious lawsuits.

On May 23, Wayne’s attorney, Howard King, filed that they want to dismiss the lawsuit against Universal Music, according to The Blast and confirmed by Pitchfork. Allegedly, Universal settled for “well over $ 10 million,” and Wayne’s deal with Cash Money is done, The Blast reports.

Karen Civil, who has worked closely with Lil Wayne in the past, gave an update on the settlement on Twitter.

“A portion of the information released today is true, a settlement has been reached, but the dollar amount being disclosed is false,” Civil wrote. “Lil Wayne’s PR team will send out a statement shortly with accurate updates.”

The first lawsuit was aimed at Cash Money, Birdman, Ronald “Slim” Williams, UMG Recordings, Inc., and Universal Music Group, Inc. for breach of contract. In the second lawsuit, Wayne was reportedly looking for $ 40 million in damages from Universal Music Group, Inc. and SoundExchange, Inc., for profits he didn’t receive from Young Money artists Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Tyga.

In a 2012 interview with MTV News, Wayne revealed that he planned to retire after Tha Carter V.

“Because I know y’all want me around for a little bit, and Carter V is my last album,” Weezy revealed. “Man, I’ve been rappin’ since I was 8 years old. I’m 30 now, man. That’s a long time, man.”

Unfortunately, his legal troubles blocked the album from ever seeing the light of day. However, Birdman did tell Rap-Up earlier this year that, “I’m guaranteeing you gon’ get [Tha Carter V] this year.”

Guess he wasn’t joking.

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Chloe x Halle Spill The Life Advice They Got From Beyoncé

Chloe x Halle and Wyclef Jean stopped by the TRL studio and kept it ~100~ about the power of collaborations and partnerships with other artists. So, uh, does either of them want to be my mentor??

Coming from a position that virtually nobody else in the world could relate to, Chloe x Halle shared what it’s like to work directly with and get guidance from Beyoncé, as the duo is signed to her label. The most important part, according to Bey? Wait for the world to catch up and don’t dumb yourself down for anyone. Chloe x Halle’s music might not be traditionally mainstream, but that’s perfectly fine because their real fans will find them.

Wyclef Jean also stopped by and told Sway Calloway the story of how DJ Khaled got permission to sample parts of Santana’s “Maria Maria” when putting together “Wild Thoughts,” last year’s summer smash that featured Rihanna and Bryson Tiller. I think I just lost count of how many legends were involved in the making of one hit song! TRL airs on weekdays at 8:00am ET!

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Kanye West’s Apology To Kim Kardashian On Ye ‘Meant A Lot’ To Her

One of the most vulnerable moments on Kanye West’s recently released album, ye, is “Wouldn’t Leave.” On the song, the father of three apologizes to his wife for making the controversial statement on TMZ that slavery was “a choice.” During the first verse, Kanye raps, “My wife callin’, screamin’, say we ’bout to lose it all / Had to calm her down ’cause she couldn’t breathe / Told her she could leave me now, but she wouldn’t leave.” Now, in a new interview with ET, Kim Kardashian has opened up about hearing the song for the very first time.

“Did I talk about it? Did I scream about it? Did I cry about it? Did I fight about it? Yeah,” Kardashian admitted. “That’s not stuff we put on social media, but yeah, we have those moments. That was the one song that he didn’t really play for me until last minute, so I heard that last minute and it meant a lot to me. But yeah, we have different views sometimes, but that’s my husband, you know?”

In the same interview, Kardashian gave some insight into the creation of ye, revealing that her husband scrapped the project and started over just weeks before it was set to be released.

“I was in the room for making all of the songs and hearing things, and it’s a really fascinating process, especially since he scrapped his whole album and redid it in the last two weeks and just came up with all new songs,” she said. “I left to go home for, like, two days and then I come back and it was a whole new album. It’s fascinating to see the process.”

Ye is headed toward a No. 1 debut on the Billboard Hot 100. On Monday (June 4), the Chicago rapper took to Twitter to thank fans for supporting the project.

West’s next project is a collaborative album with Kid Cudi, Kids See Ghosts, which drops this Friday (June 8). Hopefully he won’t scrap this one so close to the deadline as he did with ye.

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A$AP Rocky And Skepta’s Hometowns Collide In ‘Praise The Lord’ Video

A$ AP Rocky and Skepta show off their respective hometowns in the new video for “Praise the Lord (Da Shine),” and, as it turns out, New York and London aren’t that different after all.

Directed by Dexter Navy, the grainy, jet-setting clip features split-screen visuals that blend Rocky’s life in Harlem with Skepta’s world across the pond. Both rappers (Flacko in Dior chains and velour pants) are seen smoking, dancing, and being their generally charismatic selves as they wander their home bases with their loyal crews in tow. Their worlds eventually merge in the end, when they unite in Rocky’s native borough to cap off their catchy collab, which is built around a simple flute riff and an instantly memorable hook: “I came, I saw, I came, I saw / I praise, the Lord, then break, the law.”

The Skepta-featuring “Praise the Lord (Da Shine)” was produced by the grime rapper himself, and appears on A$ AP Rocky’s recently released third album, Testing. It also marks the second official video from Testing, following the trippy “A$ AP Forever” clip. Here’s hoping Rocky keeps the visuals coming.

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