Jay-Z will kick off the fall with a two-day festival in Philadelphia this September featuring several big names from across the musical spectrum. Jay-Z, headlining along with Pearl Jam, will be joined by other rap and hip-hop acts such as Odd Future, Maybach Music (feat. Rick Ross, Wale, and Meek Mill) and Drake. Several indie pop and electronic artists will also be making appearances, including Miike Snow, Passion Pit, Dirty Projectors, Afrojack, and Skrillex, just to name a few.
The festival will be set in Philadelphia’s own Fairmont Park over Labor Day weekend, dropping beats to support the United Way. According to Billboard.com, Jay-Z stated, “[W]e will not only make history but we’re benefiting a great organization.” He went on to discuss the eclectic program selections, saying that the festival “will encompass every genre of music, creating and showcasing the only genre that matters, ‘great music.’”
Live Nation will produce the event, opening ticket sales on Wednesday, May 23. With a full lineup still yet to be released, show-goers can expect a mix of “rock, hip-hop, R&B, Latin, and dance,” as declared in the press release on Monday morning.
Rapper, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and social media kingpin 50 Cent recently weighed in on Obama’s backing of same sex marriages. In an interview with XXLMag, 50 Cent stated that he supported the President’s decision, saying, “I think everyone should be happy. You know, I think a fool is going to go against same sex marriage at this point.”
50 joins a growing list of rappers including T.I., Jay-Z, and Nicki Minaj who have all condemned opposition to same sex lifestyles. “What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That’s their business,” Hova said in an interview with CNN. “[It] is no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination plain and simple.”
The reaction to Obama’s comments would appear to follow a trend in hip-hop of more openness and anti-homophobia. Blog-hyped rapper Lil B made waves in April of 2011 with the announcement of his full length LP “I’m Gay (I’m Happy).” Up and comer A$AP Rocky also made his stance on homosexuality clear in a piece from Complex Magazine, saying, “I used to be fucking homophobic. That shit is ignorant. You will lose a lot of time and friendship being homophobic.” Rappers stating indifference to homosexuality is one thing. But hip-hop’s historically homophobic image makes recent comments from rappers like these all the more remarkable.
Watch the full clip of 50 Cent talking to XXLMag below.
“Kim Kardashian, Kanye West Dating: New Couple’s Playlist”
“Bruce Jenner On Kim Kardashian And Kanye West’s Romance: ‘I’m Not That Excited’”
They say the only bad publicity is no publicity, but nothing has got to be better than the barrage of headlines about Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s current celebrity coupling that popped up online over a recent forty-eight-hour period. The good news is that by the time you read this, the union may already have gone the way of Kanye’s recently reported dalliance with Katy Perry, or Kardashian’s seventy-two-day marriage to basketball player Kris Humphries.
At least Kanye + Katy would have been a love connection that made sense—if not from a romantic standpoint (Perry is probably too mouthy and headstrong to tolerate West’s diva antics), at least from a business one. It could have been the low-rent version of his pal and sometime collaborator Jay-Z’s marriage to Beyonce, with Kanye and Kim being the Mertzes to Jay-Z and Beyonce’s Ricardos.
While an ongoing romantic relationship would guarantee Kim + Kanye (= Kimye) lifetime Us Weekly coverage, at what cost? Kim, who says she was friends with Kanye for years before they made their love connection, has everything to gain by dating Kanye. The seventh season of her E! reality series Keeping Up with the Kardashians begins on May 20, and the Kanye episodes should prove to be a ratings goldmine. Should Kimye make it all the way to the altar, a televised wedding would probably be the biggest thing since Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, or Luke and Laura on General Hospital.
Continue reading ‘Sound and Vision: Is Dating Kim Kardashian Bad for Kanye West’s Street Cred?’
First things first—while the official spelling of the band’s name is fun., with a lowercase “f” and a period at the end, the New York trio can not be held entirely accountable for the highly stylized nature of their moniker. According to multi-instrumentalist Andrew Dost, it was a decision born of pragmatism, not petulance. “We thought of the name ‘Ice Cream,’ but we all hated it,” he says of the name’s origin. “However, we liked what it made us think of, which was ‘fun.’ The period was added after another band called ‘fun’ asked us to distinguish ourselves from them in some way.”
But their name isn’t the only thing that might lead to misconceptions about fun.—there’s also their label, Fueled By Ramen, which is best known for bringing the world an avalanche of emo, with a roster encompassing Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Yellowcard, et al. But aside from a predilection for wearing their hearts on their sleeves, fun. possesses few of the musical traits one commonly associates with the emosphere. In fact, the group seems to stand apart from most of the pack when it comes to the current crop of high-profile indie-pop acts in general. Continue reading ‘Riffs, Rants and Rumors: Is fun. Having Fun Yet?’
Remember the days when R&B and hip hop was the sound of pop? From the ‘90s to the mid ‘00s, music’s most dependable hitmakers—Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, Boyz II Men, R. Kelly, Usher, Brandy, Monica, Alicia Keys, Destiny’s Child and Beyoncé, among them—specialized in “crossover” soul, climbing both the R&B charts and the Hot 100 in tandem.
But lately, something strange has been happening on Billboard’s R&B /Hip-Hop Songs chart: A hit is no longer necessarily a hit. Just because a song is big in the R&B sphere doesn’t mean it’s big anywhere else. For the week ending April 7, 2012, only one song in the R&B/Hip-Hop Top 10—Tyga’s “Rack City”—had managed a comparable placing on the Hot 100.
The song at No. 1, Beyoncé’s “Love on Top,” which had been there for multiple weeks, was way down at No. 54 on the Hot 100. (It briefly entered the Top 40 last September, debuting and peaking at No. 20 after Beyoncé performed it at the MTV Video Music Awards.) Meanwhile, there wasn’t a single R&B diva in the Top 40 aside from Janelle Monae, who got there by guest-singing on rock band fun.’s No. 1 hit “We Are Young.”
What happened to pop’s soul? There’s a disconnect between the pop and R&B charts that hasn’t been so pronounced since the days when Michael Jackson’s label, CBS Records, threatened to pull all of its artists from MTV if the then-fledgling network didn’t play Jackson’s “Billie Jean” video.