Posts in Category: Music Industry

KANYE WEST: IS HE STILL RELEVANT?

As a person who grew up listening to R&B and hip hop for most of my adult life, I could tell when someone’s time is up in the spotlight. As a former fan of Kanye West, I was surprised to see that he was dropping yet another album. The good-ole days of “Through The Wire” and “Gold Digger” are gone for this Chicago native. In a recent MTV article by Charles Holmes, the washed-up rapper announces via social media, that he is dropping two new albums in June 2018. See link to the MTV article below:

http://www.mtv.com/news/3074407/kanye-west-two-albums-june-kid-cudi/

I would like to share my thoughts on Kanye West and the evolution of his downfall.

It all started with the Taylor Swift incident at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards a few years ago. As you may recall, Mr. West interrupted Taylor Swift and shouted his opinion about one of Beyoncé’s videos being one of the best videos of all time. This action showed a lack of class for the hip hop star. This one incident started Kanye’s downfall.

One cannot notice that everyone who associates themselves with the Kardashians turns out to be a bust. Just look at all the sports stars who got with a Kardashian and see if they still have productive careers in their respective sport. Kanye and these other sports stars seem to get the “Kardashian Curse” which cripples their careers. Perhaps, the money is too good and they don’t need their careers anymore.

As you can see, Kanye has no more place in the hip hop world. It is time for the former hip hop megastar to hang up his rapping shoes and continue his career as a Kardashian associate. He is no longer relevant in the music industry.

Kanye West Set to Release 2 New Albums

Yeezus is back in the house. Fans of rapper Kanye West received exciting news over the weekend when he tweeted that two albums are on the way, with June release dates. One of the albums will feature fellow rapper Kid Cudi. West revealed that they have formed a duo called “Kid Sees Ghost.”

It seems that the “Kid Sees Ghost” concept has been in the works for awhile: West trademarked the name this past November, with the intent to appear on multiple platforms including TV.

He appears to have his finger on the pulse of other rap releases as well. West tweeted that both Pusha T and Teyana Taylor will come out with new albums this summer.

Cudi and West have had a tumultuous relationship for many years, despite frequent collaborations. West appeared on Cudi’s first two albums, while Cudi has worked on every single West album since 2008’s “808s and Heartbreak.” However, the two have also bickered over Twitter, with Cudi complaining that West doesn’t care about him. West fired back that he is the source of Cudi’s success.

The two seem to have mended things in recent years, with West referring to Cudi as his “brother.” After that, West and Cudi have performed onstage together many times. Cudi’s most recent solo album was “Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’,” which was released in 2016.

West stayed out of the spotlight after 2016’s “The Life of Pablo,” but it appears that he’s back in the creative spirit. In addition to the upcoming albums, West says that he is also working on a book about philosophy. The book is tentatively titled “Break the Simulation,” and may also include photography.

Drake to Release New Single

Drake revealed to fans on Thursday that he plans to release a new single on April 6. The Canadian artist took to the stage at Toronto’s Rebel nightclub to announce the new song and confirm that he will be touring in the summer. His surprise appearance at the Majid Jordan concert caught fans off-guard, but they were pleased to hear that the rap entrepreneur is working on his next full-length album.

Drake is currently dominating the hip-hop and R&B charts with his latest single “God’s Plan”. Released in January the song has topped Billboard’s hot rap songs since it dropped. Drake is currently occupying the first two spots on Billboard’s hot rap songs chart with “God’s Plan” and “Look Alive”, a collaboration with Memphis rapper BlocBoy JB.

In February, Drake released a music video for “God’s Plan” showing him driving around Miami, giving groceries to local residents and donating money to local scholarship funds, the Miami Fire Department and a women’s shelter. The video, which includes scenes of the Toronto rapper handing stacks of cash to stunned fans, quickly became a viral hit, earning over 300 million views.

The name of Drake’s fifth studio album has not been released, although a track called “Pistols” leaked online in December. A co-production of Drake and record producer 40, “Pistols” was posted without permission on SoundCloud and is rumored to be a song from his upcoming album. Until Thursday, Drake has remained tight-lipped about his new album, only acknowledging that he has been working on new material in a cryptic Instagram post on April 2. With his announcement of new tour dates scheduled for this summer, there is speculation that the album will drop in the next few months.

Young Thug and Future Release New Music Video

Fans of rap music are likely to know the names Young Thug and Future. For those unaware, these are two of the most popular current rappers currently on the scene. These two rappers released an acclaimed album called Super Slimey about six months ago. With that in mind, a new music video for the single “Group Home” from this album has just been released.

Young Thug first gained recognition through the release of several mixtapes. In 2014, Young Thug would see mainstream success after signing to record label 300 Entertainment. Future would see a similar path to success, being signed to a mainstream label after the release of several mixtapes.

This new music video is a blend of surreal and slightly scary imagery. MTV reports that music video director Videogod has once again partnered with Future and Young Thug to create this new music video. Be warned, there are many moments in this video that will have you wondering what you have just seen including a group of people wearing strainers on their heads. In addition, another highlight of this video is seeing a woman flying like a kite throughout the air.

To summarize, Young Thug and Future have released their first music video from their collaborative album Super Slimey. This companion video to the single “Group Home” features a stunning array of wild imagery. Fans of both Future and Young Thug have had to wait six months to see an official music video from this album be released. That being said, the music and visuals are sure to take viewers on a wild ride into the minds of two amazingly talented rappers.

Khalid and Claudio Combine for Sultry New Single

Up-and-coming R&B singer Sabrina Claudio released a new single this week, and this time, she’s not alone. The 21-year-old singer is joined by teen sensation Khalid, the 20 singer from Georgia who’s 2017 debut American Teen went platinum.

According to Claudio, she was working on the song in the studio but felt something was missing. She sent Khalid a text that read, “Honestly, I hear your voice on this.” Khalid didn’t make her wait for a reply; he was in the studio the next day writing his own verse for the song, and in just an hour or so they put the finishing touches on their vocals.

The new single is called “Don’t Let Me Down,” and it combines an upbeat driving rhythm with sexy, romantic lyrics that burn with passion. Khalid is the perfect vocal companion for Claudio’s voice, and their harmonies blend in sensual rhythm.

The single is a fine testament to Claudio’s artistic instincts. She felt her song needed something more to truly elevate it, and her first thought was a duet with Khalid. Her intuition was clearly correct. The two singers’ voices go together perfectly, and the whole song has a pleasant vibe, at once romantic and energetic.

If you haven’t listened to the collaboration yet, give it a spin. It’s a great track from two up-and-coming R&B singers, and is sure to be a hit. A music video for “Don Let Me Down” hasn’t been released yet, but one does appear to be in the works.

Jhene Aiko Releases Two Stellar Music Videos for ‘Never Call Me’

Jhene Aiko just dropped not one, but two music videos for her new track “Never Call Me”. The song is a collaboration with Kurupt, and it’s a scathing goodbye to a toxic relationship. It’s the latest song to be released from her sophomore album, “Trip”, her first solo album since 2014.

In the first video, Aiko is shown enjoying a regular day in her hometown of Los Angeles. The “Slauson Hills edition” features some of the singer’s friends, including Hit-Boy, Dom Kennedy, and Nipsey Hussle. Aiko appears happy and carefree, not seeming to be troubled by her ex as she assures him she was too good for him anyway.

The second video is a bit harsher. Aiko appears as Izanami no mikoto, the Japanese Shinto goddess of creation and death. Since Aiko is a quarter Japanese, the goddess is a fitting character in the video. During the over 3-minute long video, Aiko as Izanami no mikoto is seen attending a funeral for her ex’s ego. A woman throws ashes into the sea as Aiko looks on, seemingly dismissing her ex from her life for good.

Aiko told “Refinery 29” that she chose to do two videos for this song because she loves it so much. She said the second video for “Never Call Me” is based on a man she knew personally, who lied and cheated and lost his way due to his deception. Aiko said she portrays the goddess of creation and death so that she can come to “collect his poor spirit and set it free”.

In addition to releasing “Trip”, Aiko also released a short film by the same name that was directed by Tracy Oliver, and a book of poetry entitled “2Fish”. The trilogy of projects comes after years of collaborations with other artists.

Big Boi Adds More Dates to His Tour

Big Boi, who is a former emcee for the popular group Outkast, released his third solo album — Boomiverse — last year. Since last spring, Big Boi has been on tour to promote the 2017 album, which features high-profile musical guests like Snoop Dogg, Adam Levine and Gucci Mane. Those who thought that they were going to miss out on the performance might have another chance now that he has added an extra leg to his tour and is traveling to new cities that haven’t yet seen performances from the well-known artist.

The rapper has recently announced a third leg to his tour, which will begin on May 17 with a show in St. Louis, Missouri. The tour will conclude with a final show in Atlanta, Georgia, which is the artist’s hometown, on June 8. Altogether, there are a total of 16 tour dates during the three-week tour.

Most of these tour dates are spread across the south, including a show in New Orleans, six shows in various cities across Florida, four dates across North Carolina and shows in Alabama and Tennessee. Fans who are interested in seeing Big Boi perform live can purchase their tickets direct from Big Boi’s website. There, they can also find out more about his tour, his all-star third album and his career. For those who are looking for gear to wear to the show, there is merchandise — including T-shirts, hoodies, hats, sweaters and beanies — available for purchase directly from his site.

Is a Childish Gambino-Rae Sremmurd Collaboration in the Mix?

If Rae Sremmurd have their way, they’ll be making an album with Childish Gambino rapper Donald Glover. That’s great news for fans who are still holding their breath for the long-awaited mixtape collaboration featuring Childish Gambino and Chance the Rapper.

Speaking to Billboard, Rae Sremmurd rapper Swae Lee discussed the potential of such a union: “I got a laptop with about 1,000 bangers. I know Childish Gambino got about 2,000 or 3,000, who knows? We’re gonna come together and make a whole project like, ‘Redbone’ and ‘Black Beatles.’”

Perhaps a collaboration is in the mix. Rae Sremmurd will be opening for Childish Gambino during his North American tour this fall, improving the odds quite a bit. Jxmmi explained how the artists originally touched base.

He told Billboard: “Childish Gambino is a cool guy, we linked overseas in a studio. I DJ’d one of his house parties one time. He’s just a cool guy and we got the same type of vibe, so you can expect good music to come out of this.”

Childish Gambino announced that he’ll be touring behind new music this fall, giving hip-hop fans even more to look forward to. Childish Gambino and Rae Sremmurd will play 13 arena shows, beginning September 9 and wrapping up on September 30. You’ll be able to see them in cities like Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C.

Jxmmi expects the two acts to mesh well together. He described their vibe to Billboard: “It’s natural. We don’t gotta act, we can just be ourselves. He’s himself everywhere he goes, and we’re gonna be ourselves everywhere we go – so it’s just gonna be like two different shows, we from two different places.”

Childish Gambino is Done, Long Live Donald Glover

Although he’s notoriously elusive in his personal life, you don’t have to try very hard to find Donald Glover out in the world. His TV show “Atlanta” is a cultural touchstone and a critical darling, and he’ll be in hundreds of theaters this summer as the smooth-talking Lando Calrissian in Disney’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” However, it soon looks like the one place you may no longer find him is at a concert – at least, not under his stage name Childish Gambino.

MTV reported that Glover recently announced dates for a Childish Gambino tour in support of his Grammy award-winning 2016 album “Awaken, My Love!”, which will be kicking off on September 6th in Atlanta and wrapping up in Vancouver, BC on September 30th. Glover’s hardly a stranger to live shows, but this announcement is coming hot on the heels of a Grammys press conference where he reaffirmed his commitment to retiring his rap alter-ego after his fourth album, slated to come out sometime this year. There’s no word yet on plans to tour after the release of the album, but considering his history of leaving projects at their peak, there’s no promise that he’ll ever return to the stage as Childish Gambino.

However, it’s worth noting that Glover may see Gambino’s retirement as an opportunity. He’s quoted as saying “I like endings; I think they’re important to progress”, and it’s possible he simply believes his music has outgrown the title he copied from a Wu-Tang Clan name generator. That said, the fans who became familiar with him entirely through the lens of Childish Gambino will certainly be sad to see the artist go.

Yung Lean on What It’s like to Work with Hip-Hop’s Biggest Names

Yung Lean has had a jam-packed, rollicking few years. After making a splash in the blogosphere in 2013, the 21-year-old Swedish rapper went on to collaborate with some of hip-hop’s biggest stars. In between, there has been some tragedy – his manager, Barron Machat, died in a car crash, and Yung Lean did a brief stint in a mental hospital.

In a recent interview with MTV News, the Swede sat down to discuss his work with Frank Ocean and the recently deceased Fredo Santana, and some of the events leading up to Yung Lean’s massive success.

He may have started out as an outlier, rapping about randomness like Arizona iced tea and anime, but he managed to create meaningful work with some of the biggest names in the industry. When Lean was just a teenager, he was already working with Frank Ocean.

Lean told MTV News that, when he was only 17, Frank Ocean called him up out of the blue. Lean was at a subway station, buying drug, then he got the call. Lean said he was “very, very surprised.” Ocean asked Lean if he knew who was calling, and the rest is history.

Frank Ocean called to ask Lean to work with him on his 2016 album, Blonde. Lean also told MTV News that Kid Cudi worked with them on the album. But the experience was more laidback than glamorous. The three had dinner – spicy Indian food – and watched the Sacha Baron Cohen film The Dictator. Lean was “drinking lean and smoking weed.” As he and Kid Cudi were working through a song, Lean said, “Frank was telling me like… ‘Yes, keep on singing like that Jonathan, Lean. That’s perfect.'”

Although Lean only briefly knew the late Fredo Santana, he says he was “blessed to have met Fredo before he passed.” In January, Santana was found dead in his L.A. apartment after a fatal seizure.

“I met Fredo Santana three days before he passed,” Lean told MTV News. The pair hung out, listening to Get Rich or Die Tryin’, the 2003 50 Cent album. Lean described Santana as “a great human being” and “a super nice guy.” As they recorded together, Lean says Santana fell asleep as he went to record his part of the track.