Not only an artist, Donald Glover is a writer with chops and rhyming capabilities, not to mention a standup comedian. Jack of all trades, and likely master of some too, Glover has tried every different avenue down the path towards stardom. Or, perhaps he has just been letting his creativity flourish among his range of crafts. Either way, it could be safe to say the one thing that was missing over the years was timing.
His debut album, Camp, in which he began using the pseudonym “Childish Gambino” and worked with a Swedish composer by the name of Ludwig Goransson, carried a different style and tone than the later release Awaken My Love. The latter displays Childish Gambino’s funk inspired, melodic vocal capabilities. The theme of Awaken was one of intense romance with singles like “Redbone”, vastly distinct from the angsty attempts at aggression in “Bonfire”.
The world may not have been ready for what Childish Gambino had been expressing in the beginning, a sentiment which predecessors like Drake and Young Thug have since reigned into mainstream rap culture. Today, the ideas of awkwardness involving melodic MCs are more widely accepted than way back in 2011. The climate of society has made sweeping changes in just over 5 years.
The evidence of mutual growth is apparent when examining Childish’s lyrics and dance moves in the video “Freaks and Geeks” versus the new viral explosion “This is America”. Childish Gambino teams up with some of the most renowned rap artists, including Young Thug, for this new single. The timing is now perfect for Glover, as his music release synced up with his SNL appearance and the premier of the highly anticipated new Star Wars movie where he plays Lando Calrissian.
Janet Jackson is receiving an award that has been a long time in the making. At the 2018 Billboard Music Awards this month, Jackson will be the recipient of the coveted Icon Award. The awards ceremony takes place May 20 and will be held in Las Vegas.
Jackson has had a stellar career spanning through the decades. Born into the famous Jackson family on May 16, 1966, Janet Jackson was the youngest child in a family of talented musicians. Jackson got her first opportunity to appear on stage in April of 1974. Along side her brother Randy, she took the stage for the Jackson Family’s Las Vegas act where she sang and did impressions. Two years later she appeared on “The Jacksons”, a summer televised series. Her amazing performance gained her much attention which led to her role on “Good Times” from 1977-1979. She moved on to more series including “A New Kind Of Family”, “Different Strokes” and “Fame”. Under the wing of older brother Michael, Jackson released her first album “Janet Jackson” in 1982. It had three hit singles and was a great lead in to her follow up album, “Dream Street”. In 1986 Jackson hit it big with her album “Control” which sold a whopping eight million copies. Jackson went on to release more albums, each doing remarkably well, and Jackson found herself at the top of her game. Along with her musical career, Jackson appeared in a few hit movies including “Poetic Justice” and “Boyz n the Hood”.
To this day, Jackson has continued to work and stay busy. To date, she has been nominated for 18 Billboard Music Awards and won 10 of them. She has her popular “State of the World” tour taking place this summer as well as performances at Essence Festival, Outside Lands and Panorama. Along with all that, it is certain she will be at this years Billboard Music Awards to receive this iconic award where she’ll find herself in great company. Previous winners include Stevie Wonder, Cher, Celie Dion, Prince and so many more. For more information, click here.
Florida souncloud rappers XXXTENTACION and Ski Mask the Slump God reunited this weekend at the Rolling Loud Festival in Miami. During Ski Mask’s Sunday set, “X” walked onto the stage, unannounced. Ski Mask, in the middle of performing a song, exchanged words with his former collaborator. Fans could hear the rappers each say their love for one another. “I love you, bro,” X said and Ski Mask responded, “I love you too, fam.” As the crowd cheered, the two hugged each other.
You can see the reunion on Youtube, here.
Not long ago, the two were engaged in an ugly beef with each other, with X saying harsh things about Ski Mask. At one point XXXTENTACION that he would not release any more music until Ski Mask would agree to be his friend again. Over time, their beef began to disappear, with Ski Mask saying he still “had love” for X, but that he would keep his distance due to X’s “crazy” nature. Much of the origin of the beef has been kept out of the public eye, leaving fans confused and curious. In a recent interview, X gave more insight into how the artistic and personal relationship began to fall apart, saying, “It was a lack of appreciation on his end… he put a business perspective before a personal relationship”.
The two rappers are known for pioneering the incredibly popular Florida soundcloud sound of mumble rap and aggressive beats. Their similar lyrical flows and musical styles have led fans of each individual rapper to become fans of both artists. The reunion should be welcome news to the XXXTENACION and Ski Mask fanbases. Ski Mask the Slump God released a new mixtape this past week and X is touring after the success of his latest album, “?”.
Cardi B recently took to Twitter to offer up an apology following the recent uproar surrounding her collaborative song “Girls” with Rita Ora. Cardi B claimed she never meant to cause any harm and never intended to cause distress for anyone with the song. She went on to discuss that she, personally, had many experiences with women and she felt the song was good, one that made her remember her many experiences. She then, in a second tweet, addressed the LGBTQ Community to apologize for any offensive language that was used and that when she collaborated on the song, she didn’t find anything to be offensive.
This apology seemed genuine, but this is not the singers first time in trouble with the LGBTQ community. Just months prior, Cardi B was forced to defender her fiancé, Offset, for his lyrics that read “I cannot vibe with queers”, which prompted Cardi B to take to social media and prompt readers to “educate people”. She went on to claim that many people simply are unaware of what is wrong and right within the LGBTQ community.
On May 11, the single “Girls” was dropped and included what Ora referred to as a gender fluid freedom to it. The public simply doesn’t agree as the song was met with immediate criticism and pushback from many queer musicians. Many feel the song does nothing beyond prey on bisexual stereotypes, one artist went so far to call the song tone deaf. Ora jumped on social media to defend her single stating that the single is actually a very accurate account of a very real and very honest experience. She went on to note that she has had many romantic relationships with both women and ben in her lifetime and this song reflects part of her personal experiences. She id note that she meant no harm and apologized if anyone felt hurt. She had no intention of causing any harm to anyone with her music. She then noted that she homes that she can continue expressing her feelings and her true self through her music and that it will help her fans feel empowered and proud of themselves.
While people were quick to jump on the attack for the song, if Ora is being honest and this is her real and true experience, she truly meant no harm to anyone. For more information and links to all the tweets involved in this debate, click here.
As everyone knows, famed rapper T.I. is no stranger to legal troubles. The talented rapper has sat out time behind bars instead of working on his incredible career, but come out the other side with stories to weave into his songs. Now, he’ll have a new legal woe to write about, the singer was recently arrested for Disorderly Conduct and Public Drunkenness.
T.I., who’s legal name is Clifford Harris Jr., was arrested around 4am in Georgia, according to the Henry County Police Department. The rapper arrived at a gated community, the same one he resides in, but did not have his key in his possession. He then began demanding the guards let him in, repeatedly asking them if they were aware of who he was. Eventually, the guards granted the musician entrance into the community. After a short time, T.I. returned, on foot, to the guard window to confront the guard again. He had also called a friend to come to his aid, the friend joined in as the two harshly confronted the guard, and eventually this led to the police being called. The friend, who’s name is unknown at this time, was also arrest due to an outstanding warrant he had.
T.I. is no stranger to the legal system, he even tends to refer to himself as a multiple felon in his own songs. Beginning back in 1998, T.I. was sentenced to three years for distribution of cocaine, manufacturing and distributing of a controlled substance and providing law enforcement with a false name. After serving just one year of the sentence, the rapper was paroled. In 2004 he was once again on the wrong side of the law when he was busted for a violation of his parole. In 2007 he faced prosecutors in a court room who pulled out every card, fighting to send the rapper away for a long time following a string of weapons relate convictions. He served one year and one day in prison following the court case. Most recently, in 2010 the singer and his wife were both arrested in Los Angeles on drug possession charges.
While there is no doubt that the entertainer has an opportunity for a bright and prosperous future in the music industry, his legal woes seem to creep up often enough to find a way to hold him back. For more information on this arrest, head to Huffington Post.
Hip hop fans will never turn down a golden opportunity to see their favorite artists take the stage. Fortunately, fans will get a chance to see two of the hottest hip hop acts in the game today. Drake is scheduled to go on tour with Migos. This dazzling showcase begins July 26 in Salt Lake City.
It may sound strange, but Drake had a rocky relationship with Migos in the past. Their relationship started back in 2013 when Drake made a cameo appearance on Versace. His contribution to the project helped the Migos get off to a great start with their career. Rarely do you see an international hip hop icon take a chance on an upstart rap group. In this instance, it seems like Drake’s hospitality has helped Migos hit pay dirt.
Versace became a huge hit and it helped Migos become the new players on the scene. Things took a turn for the worst one of the members accused Drake of stealing their unique style of flowing on the microphone. Things settled down when both parties realized that it was a big misunderstanding. This is great news since hip hop does not need more negative publicity.
Drake and Migos have a big reputation for heating things up when they touch the microphone. This is the main reason why many hip hop critics and insiders are looking forward to the upcoming tour. Some feel that this tour is long overdue. Hip hop needs more talented artists to work together.
Tickets go on sale on May 15. The grand finale for the tour will take place in Atlanta on November 17. It’s vital for die-hard hip hop fans to get their tickets early. With two head-banging acts performing on one stage, it’s logical to assume that tickets are bound to go fast.
Humans are creatures of habit, except when it comes to repeat music. Often times, songs become overplayed, outdated, and simply irrelevant in a world subject to constant change. While the song, “Strip That Down,” by Liam Payne is a great tune for jamming out in the car, it did debut nearly a year ago, which means that it is certainly becoming less than desirable to Payne’s fans. Because of Liam’s seemingly stagnant music career, fans spoke and, well, the artist is ready to deliver by announcing the release of his debut album.
Despite his new album’s debut, it is important to note that Payne is not new to the music industry as he had a successful, long career as a singer in the boy band, One Direction. Of course, becoming a solo artist has its trials, but Payne’s youth, knowledge, and eagerness to claim his own identity will surely make his debut album one that will soon lead to tours and future projects.
Set to release September fourteenth, fans of Payne’s talent are attempting to keep busy this summer by listening to other fresh artists, some of which are expected to appear on Payne’s new album. Zedd, Quavo, Rita Ora, and Balvin are a few of the names Payne dropped when announcing his album debut. Payne noted the names and followed with a gracious compliment: “I’ve got a good mix of beautiful people on my album, which is amazing.” Surely with so much talk of a new direction, old fans posed the question of what is to come for his once thriving band, One Direction.
Though the singer did not say much pertaining to his teenage band, he did note that One Direction is not ending nor is their career over, which likely allowed fans to breathe a sigh of relief.
When a person takes off as much time as Janelle Monae takes off to make a album her fans already know that it is going to be good. She takes a lot of time to write her own songs, and her creative process is something always makes it a joy to hear a new release from her.
“Dirty Computer”” may not be the equivalent of the Prince “Dirty Mind” album, but Janelle Monae is definitely reaching back to the influence of the masterful artistry of Prince. She is something of a visionary when it comes to creating music that is funky and thought-provoking at the same time. This is something that few artists are able to do when it comes to creating new music, but for Janelle Monae this type of music seems like a natural flow for her.
Janelle Monae has incorporated other songwriters like Pharrell and Julia Michaels in her album, but she is clearly the one that is running the show. She co-writes everything, and all the visions for the videos that come together to make one short film are all inspired by Janelle Monae.
The music on this album is something that tends to be a futuristic blend of influences from the past as well as a visionary sound from a variety of melodies that are bass heavy. Guitars are present in some places while low beating drums are part of the other sounds from Janelle Monae.
People are somewhat amazed by the wide range of topics that fit into an album so well. It all sounds cohesive for her. None of this seems out of place or forced even though she covers a wide range of topics during this album. For Janelle Monae it is all about taking creative control and creating a concept album.
Tinashe has delivered an interesting new “Joyride” album with the help of songwriters, but there still seems to be something that is missing from the equation. She has managed to create this type of sound that does not really define who she is. This seems to be the reoccurring theme that surfaces when she makes an album.
More people are noticing that her time in the spotlight is often dictated by music where she is making people dance. This is always a good start for Tinashe. The trouble always comes when she has to create a full album that is not composed of dance tracks. When you become known for making dance singles like this it becomes what people expect anything more. What Tinashe typically does is take her music listeners on a different ride that does not involve as much dancing. This sometimes makes it difficult for people that take interest in the initial single to have the same type of interest in the overall album. This definitely makes it harder for her to keep her fan base interested in what she is doing next.
Sometimes it is all about strategy. What Tinashe has done is create any opportunity that allows her to expand her fan base because she is working with different producers. Unfortunately, to catch that magic in a bottle type of hit song you have to cast a net wide. It is to her advantage to work with different people like French Montana because there could be something with them that makes it easier to acquire and mainstream hit.
Tinashe has always had something of a hip hop type of feel to her music, but there are instances where some of the songs easily sound like Fifth Harmony pop-styled songs that could help her crossover quickly.
It is hard for an artist that is new to the industry to get the attention of fans that are looking for some entertainment. Tinashe is someone that had a big hit at the beginning of her career, but the mega hit can often turn into a nightmare for someone that may have never been able to produce another successful single after that. This is very well the case for Tanisha.
She has a new album called “JoyRide,” and some of her fans cannot wait to hear it. Typically, it is the dedicated fans that are putting their interest into hearing her music. There are a lot of other people that are part of the entertainment industry that Tinashe is competing with. All the other artists out there make it very hard for her to build a career because the competition is so strong. No one can deny that she has talent. No one can deny that she has sex appeal. The reality, however, is that Tinashe the type of of artist that doesn’t get much radio play. That has kept her away from the spotlight for a long time.
When you don’t have the hit songs it becomes harder to get the radio spins.
Joyride is a better album then the last mixtape that she brought to her fans, but she is going to have to push really hard to make this CD shine. She is going to have to promote it more and do more to get people to look at what she is bringing to the table. If she doesn’t push herself with social media it will be difficult for her to stand out from other artists like Janelle Monae and Beyonce. These are superstars that are making innovative videos for every single that they have.