Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Travis Scott Is Finally Taking Us To Astroworld — Fasten Your Seat Belts

Travis Scott is ready to introduce us Earthers to Astroworld. The Houston rapper took to Twitter and Instagram to reveal his third studio album will release on Friday (August 3). In an accompanying trailer, Scott travels through an apocalyptic world as a new song, rumored to be “Stargazing,” plays in the background.

The name Astroworld is inspired by a Houston theme park that Travis used to frequent as a child before it was shut down.

“The next record is called AstroWorld,” Travis told GQ in a 2017 interview. “It might be the best music that I made. I have two records on the album that are like, man, they are the best. They tore down ‘AstroWorld’ to build more apartment space. That’s what it’s going to sound like, like taking an amusement park away from kids. We want it back. We want the building back. That’s why I’m doing it. It took the fun out of the city.”

In an interview with Zane Lowe today (July 30), Travis shared that his recent signee, Sheck Wes, will feature on the album.


Justin Bieber Is All Smiles In DJ Khaled’s Star-Studded ‘No Brainer’ Video

It’s Bieber season once again! After owning Summer ’17 with his features on the ubiquitous hits “Despacito” and “I’m the One,” Justin is back with his first music video appearance of 2018. This time around, the newly engaged pop star reconnects with DJ Khaled and his “I’m the One” collaborators Chance the Rapper and Quavo for another certified banger. Because why ditch a winning formula?!

“No Brainer” has all the makings of a summer smash: an all-star roster, tons of energy, and a feel-good, sing-along chorus. The crew keeps the hype sky-high in the accompanying video, which finds Quavo channeling his inner Picasso, Chance giving a rare hat-less appearance, Khaled calling the shots, and lots of cuteness from Asahd, Khaled’s son/mini-mogul, who also gets a co-directing credit on the vid. Bieber, meanwhile, has never looked happier as he dances in checkered Vans while snacking on a corn dog. We missed you, JB.

“No Brainer” is believed to be the second single off of DJ Khaled’s upcoming album, Father of Asahd, following the Jay-Z and Beyoncé-featuring “Top Off.” Expect more all-star bangers coming soon.


Cardi B Isn’t Joining Bruno Mars On Tour Anymore — See Her Heartfelt Statement

Cardi B is being careful with herself.

On Thursday night (July 26), the “I Like It” rapper announced that she’ll no longer be joining Bruno Mars on the last leg of his 24K Magic tour. Cardi’s guest spot was announced back in February, but after welcoming her first child, a daughter named Kulture, on July 10, Cardi admitted that she “underestimated this whole mommy thing” and wasn’t ready to hit the stage.

“Not only am I not just not ready physically, I’m not ready to leave my baby behind since the doctors explained it’s not healthy for her to be on the road,” she wrote on Twitter.

She added, “I hope you guys understand that this decision has been the hardest to make but I have to do what’s best for myself and my baby!”

Cardi elaborated on her decision on Instagram Live, opening up about the struggles she’s faced as a new mother. She explained, “That postpartum shit is really real, y’all. … I respect mothers more than ever now. I see moms differently, especially the young ones that barely have experience and money. I don’t know how they do it.”

Those struggles aside, the chart-topping rapper added that she’s loving life as a new mom and simply can’t bear the thought of being away from Kulture.

“She just melts me,” Cardi gushed. “I don’t feel like nobody can tend to my baby like I can.”

As for Mars, he hasn’t announced a replacement for Cardi, but he did share some kind words for his “Finesse” collaborator, writing, “I know the fans will understand. You are absolutely doing the right thing.”


Drake Sips The Tea In New London-Touring ‘Nonstop’ Video

After spilling all the tea — about himself, his son, and his controversies — on his latest chart-topping album, Drake is sitting back to sip a little tea himself. In the new video for Scorpion standout “Nonstop,” Drizzy makes London his playground, taking in the sights while throwing a luxe tea party for one. Simply because he can.

The Theo Skudra-directed clip begins with Drake prepping for his recent surprise performance at London’s Wireless festival. After thoroughly hyping up his British fans, he moves the party to a smoky nightclub, where Quavo, French Montana, and his OVO comrades make cameos. There’s also a scene where he rides through town atop a double-decker bus, but the aforementioned high tea is clearly the highlight.

“Nonstop” — which was released as an Apple Music exclusive — follows Drake’s high-concept videos for “I’m Upset,” “Nice for What,” and the VMA-nominated “God’s Plan.” The Toronto MC was recently spotted in New Orleans filming what’s believed to be the video for his current No. 1 hit, “In My Feelings,” so it looks like he’s keeping the visuals coming.


M.I.A.’s New Documentary Traces Her Rise From Refugee To Pop Star

If ever there was a pop star impossible to pigeonhole into one particular box, it’s M.I.A., the musical maverick behind hits like “Paper Planes” and “Bad Girls.” That’s exactly why the upcoming documentary about her life, identity, and career, MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A., is so eagerly anticipated — and on Thursday (July 19), the film got its first official trailer.

The doc, directed by Steve Loveridge, chronicles M.I.A.’s life growing up in civil war-torn Sri Lanka. She eventually fled to Britain with her family at age 11, using art as “medicine” along the way.

“I had to deal with the fact that I was different and I was an immigrant,” the 43-year-old recalls in the trailer. “Music was my medicine. It just blew up so quickly. I lived through war, came as a refugee that is now a pop star. What are the goal posts?”

Along with exploring the roots of M.I.A.’s music, the trailer also delves into the artist’s political and social activism. She’s long been an outspoken (and, at times, controversial) voice for human rights and multiculturalism, and with the Trump administration’s controversial immigration policies currently under fire, her doc is bound to be an essential watch. In fact, she’s already offered to share the project with Trump himself:

MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. debuted at Sundance earlier this year and is due for release in the U.S. on September 28.


Kid Cudi Says He’s ‘Reborn’ After Going To Rehab For ‘Suicidal Urges’

Kid Cudi has gone to hell and back. Thankfully, with the release of his critically acclaimed collaborative project with Kanye West, Kids See Ghosts, the Cleveland rapper is finally receiving his flowers. It isn’t easy being one of the most influential artists of the last decade. In a new Billboard cover story, Cudi opens up about life after entering rehab for “depression and suicidal urges” and how it has changed his music.

“It hasn’t been said that I’m good, that I’m OK,” Cudi said. “On Passion, Pain, I never let the world know that I’m good, because I wasn’t good yet. I was thinking, how can I let the world know? It was great when Kanye wanted to use [the song], because it was perfect for both — we are both reborn after what we went through. I couldn’t have made a song like “Reborn” until now, because I didn’t feel reborn yet.

“Reborn” is one of the most inspirational songs on Kids See Ghosts. During the second verse, the Cleveland crooner proudly sings, “I had my issues, ain’t that much I could do / Peace is somethin’ that starts with me.” It is the highlight of the album and represents a place for West and Mescudi to open up to fans about their current personal struggles.

Later in the interview, Cudi also opens up about the October 2016 message he posted on Facebook and his reaction to the outpouring of support. In the post, the Passion, Pain, & Demon Slayin’ artist described how he hasn’t been “at peace,” since the beginning of his career, as a result of anxiety and depression ruling his life.

“[I] saw that the response was all love and support, and it really touched me,” he continued. “I was in a really bad place, and at the time, I felt like I was letting a lot of people down. It was really hard for me to even write that letter, but I needed to be honest with the kids. I needed to. I couldn’t live a lie. I couldn’t pretend to be happy.”

Read the entire cover story at Billboard.


Vic Mensa Explains How Gun Violence Has Affected His Life In New Op-Ed

Vic Mensa is one of the most vocal rappers in hip-hop when it comes to important issues. In March, he attended March For Our Lives and told MTV News, “With gun reform, what I’m screaming is, ‘Ban assault weapons. Ban the AR-15, point blank.’” In a new Rolling Stone op-ed, the Chicago rapper delves deeper into how gun violence has affected his life, describes why he is in favor of banning AR-15s, and briefly touches upon being arrested for gun possession in March of 2017.

“I was 18 when Cam died,” Mensa wrote. “Too young to buy a handgun or Hennessy, but old enough to buy an AR-15 or be shipped off to war. In the wake of the recent influx of mass shootings, I have come to question Brian’s words. Must we accept the devastation of gun violence as the reality of life as an American? Or can we reject that terrible fate?”

Cam was a close friend of Mensa’s who was killed as a result of gun violence. He has memorialized him on songs like 2017′s “Heaven on Earth.” Later in the op-ed, he touches upon why his opinion is still valid, despite being convicted for a firearm offense. Last year, Mensa was pulled over in Beverly Hills and told cops he was carrying a gun and a concealed-carry permit, which was registered to him in Illinois, but not California. He is currently serving a two-year sentence of informal probation.

“I write these words understanding and acknowledging that many people in our nation will regard my opinion as completely invalid, due to a conviction for a firearm offense in 2017,” Vic continued. “As someone who clearly supports gun ownership, I believe it is time we stop allowing distractions to divert our attention from the single most important piece of gun control legislation currently possible: a widespread ban on assault rifles.”

Read Mensa’s entire op-ed at Rolling Stone.


Chance The Rapper’s Next Philanthropy Mission Is About Making Sure Everyone Gets A ‘Chance At Greatness’

Chance the Rapper might not be releasing an album this week, contrary to previous reports. The confusion was warranted considering that his interview with the Chicago Tribune teased that a new project was arriving “in time for the Special Olympics” — the 50th Anniversary concert of which he is producing and headlining on Saturday (July 21).

However, the update isn’t all bad news. During the discussion, the “Forever Always” rapper did describe in a very inspirational manner why his commitment to supporting the Special Olympics is important.

“I haven’t done as much work as possible with the intellectual and physical disabilities community,” Chance detailed. “But overall we’ve been about access, just trying to make sure everyone is given their chance at greatness. And greatness isn’t something segregated. When I looked into the history of the Special Olympics, that it started here 50 years ago and how many [Special Olympics] athletes we have in Chicago — 7,000 — I felt we should be a part of it.”

During the interview, Chance also opened up about the challenges of collaborating with artists in the major label system when you’re independent.

“Music has value,” he continued. “I put my music out there for free because I wanted people to see and notice it as a beacon for what I’m doing, in terms of how unorthodox I wanted my approach and my delivery of each piece of music to be… The bigger concern for artists now is navigating the legal issues of owning your music, your publishing, your distribution. It has been difficult for me to release music with artists who work with the majors. A lot of stuff I’ve worked on hasn’t come out since Coloring Book because it’s hard.”

Hopefully the labels back off of Chance because we need that Kanye West-produced seven-song album.


Kodak Black Is Reportedly Getting Out Of Jail Early

Kodak Black’s jail sentence is reportedly being shortened. According to Pitchfork, Bill K. Kapri, better known as Kodak, is expected to be released from jail on August 18. His lawyer previously told the publication that the Florida rapper would be out of jail by September 17.

In January, Kodak was arrested by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and faced seven charges, including grand theft of a firearm, neglect of a child without great bodily harm, and two charges of probation violation or community control/felony. In April, the felony charges were dropped, but Black was sentenced to 364 days in jail for probation charges of driving with a suspended license and associating with people engaged in criminal activity. However, he was granted credit for time served.

Although he will be released soon, Kodak’s legal troubles aren’t entirely over. In a separate case, Kodak Black was indicted on sexual assault charges where he was accused of sexually attacking a woman in Florence County, South Carolina in 2016.


Mac Miller Champions ‘Self Care’ And Hints At How He’s Doing After Breakup With Ariana Grande

2018 hasn’t been kind to Mac Miller. In May, Ariana Grande and Miller split, and in the aftermath, the Pittsburgh rapper was reportedly arrested for a DUI. Subsequently, Grande called the relationship “toxic” after a Twitter user blamed her for Mac’s predicament. Now it seems like the “Cold Summer” MC has something to say, albeit buried six feet under in a pine box casket.

The Christian Weber-directed music video Miller’s new “Self Care” pays homage to a scene in Kill Bill: Vol. 2, where the Bride punches her way out of a shallow grave. Apparently the metaphor of rising against adversity wasn’t lost on Miller. The song reads as Mac trying to convince himself of the power of self care as he sings, “I’m treatin’ me right / Hell yeah, we’re gonna be alright.” The young rapper admits “I been losin’ my mind” as he hints at the underlying cause of his reported DUI — ”That Mercedes drove me crazy, I was speedin’.”

However, the most potent portion of the song is when he briefly mentions how he feels after the dissolution of a recent relationship: “We play it cool, we know we fucked up, yeah / You keep on sayin’ you in love, so / Tell me are you really down?” Miller’s “Self Care,” doesn’t sound triumphant in the traditional sense. Instead, the song finds Mac working through difficult and tense emotions, as he holes himself up in his crib, while “war outside” rages on.

“Self Care,” produced by Nostxglic, ID Labs & DJ Dahi is a somber affair, but luckily by the video’s end, Mac digs himself out of the grave. During a 2017 interview with W Magazine, Mac discussed his sobriety and the weight of being so open with it.

“I’ve spent a good time very sober and now I’m just, like, living regularly,” Mac said at the time. “I think it’s important. I don’t believe in absolute anything, but I think not sharing that type of information, because it becomes like, ‘Oh he’s sober, oh he’s not, oh he has a beer, oh my god.’”

It isn’t clear how Mac is doing at this point, but it is inspiring to see him fighting to take care of himself. His new album, Swimming, drops on August 3 and hopefully will give more updates on how he is coping.


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