Frank Ocean's "Blonde" Credits Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, David Bowie & More
Frank Ocean just dropped, and everything seems to be in its right place again. His new album, which appeared on Apple Music in surprise fashion, is entitled Blonde and not Boys Don't Cry, which had been the rumored title for over a year. However, Ocean did put out a magazine called "Boys Don't Cry" in coordination with the release of Blonde. The magazine appeared at four different pop-up shops in four different cities.
Vic Mensa Says Jay Z's New Music Is "Fresh As Fuck"
Vic Mensa is busy touring with Save Money friend/rapper Joey Purp, for his "Back With a Vengeance" tour.
Kendrick Lamar, Beyonce, Jay Z Reportedly Attending "Top Secret" Obama Birthday Party
According to Page Six, Michelle Obama had a "top secret bash" planned for President Obama's 55th birthday, but the news and guest list have made their way out to the public.
Charts Don't Lie: July 27
Drake is once again at the #1 spot with his fourth studio album VIEWS. The record continues to thrive, and although "Once Dance" was bumped from the #1 spot, he doesn't seem to show any signs of slowing down soon. Rihanna, Beyonce, and ScHoolboy Q all join Drizzy in the top 10 of Billboard's 200 chart, marking a solid showing for R&B and hip hop on the charts this week.
2016 MTV VMA Nominations Announced
MTV has announced the nominees for the 2016 Video Music Awards. Beyonce earned a whopping 11 nominations. The artist with the second most nominations is Adele, who earned eight, seven of which are for "Hello." Ariana Grande (5), Drake (4), and Rihanna (4) could also be lined up for a big night. Other nominees of note include Chance the Rapper, The Weeknd, Bryson Tiller, 2 Chainz, & Desiigner,
Charts Don't Lie: July 20
It's a pretty good week for rap artists on the Billboard charts. Drake was able to reclaim the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 from previous owners Blink-182, and ScHoolboy Q managed to fend off the pop-punk band as well, nabbing a very respectable #2 debut with his new album Blank Face LP. Rihanna and Beyonce's respective albums continue to thrive in the top 10, while Bryson Tiller, Kevin Gates and Maxwell find spots in the top 20.
9 Ways Hip Hop Artists Have Reacted To Recent Violence
The fiber of the American people has been tested over the course of the last two weeks, in which four incidents of terrible violence have prompted wide-spread protests and rapidly deteriorating race relations. July 5: Alton Sterling is shot and killed at the hands of two police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana July 6: Philando Castile is shot and killed by a police officer in Falcon Heights, Minnesota July 7: Five police officers are shot and killed at a protest in Dallas. July 17: Three police officers are shot and killed in Baton Rouge, LA.
James Blake Talks Beyonce Collab & Not Clearing Sample For Drake
UK singer and electronic music virtuoso James Blake has become a household name in the hip-hop world as he has made fans out of stars like Kanye West and Chance the Rapper.
Charts Don't Lie: July 13
Drake spent nine weeks at #1 before being dethroned, this time around, by Blink-182, whose record California now holds the top spot. R&B superstar Maxwell debuts at the #3 spot with blackSUMMERS'night, his first record since '09. Logic debuts at #16 with Bobby Tarantino and Desiigner begins his presence on the Billboard 200 at #22 with his mixtape New English.
Beyoncé, Chance The Rapper, ASAP Rocky Share PSA, "23 Ways You Could Be Killed If You Are Black In America"
The recent killings police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille have found many artists speaking out about police brutality and race in America, and today, some of the biggest musicians in the world have come together for the cause.
Rihanna, Diddy, & The Weeknd Among Forbes' Highest-Paid Celebrities Of 2016
Forbes has released its Highest-Paid Celebrities of 2016 list, comprised of the 100 celebrities who earned the most money between June 2015 and June 2016 to crack the Top 100. Taylor Swift took the #1 spot with a whopping $170 million earned. A few hip hop & luminaries made the cut as well:
Jay Z Shares "Songs For Survival" TIDAL Playlist
The recent wave of police shootings and ensuing protests inspired Jay Z to release a new single "Spiritual." He followed that up over the weekend with a 24-track playlist called "Songs for Survival."
Beyonce Pays Tribute To Slain Dallas Police Officers
This year more than ever, Beyonce has embraced her role as a celebrity activist, speaking out directly about injustice against minorities and also using her music as a means of protest. In the wake of this week's police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, Beyonce shared a powerful call to action via a statement posted to her website.
The 10 Best Hip Hop Protest Songs Since The Trayvon Martin Shooting
It feels as though the never-ending cycle of violence in the United States is threatening to swallow the country whole. The unconscionable combination of the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile shootings within a 24-hour window this week has already sparked several protest songs in the realm of hip hop.
Beyonce Releases Statement On Alton Sterling & Philando Castile Shootings
The tragic deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, LA and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, MN at the hands of police officers have elicited outrage across the United States. Scores of rappers have taken to social media to react to the killings. Most of these reactions were instantaneous. Beyonce opted for a slightly more measured approach. Her team posted a sharply worded statement to her website Thursday afternoon.
Charts Don't Lie: July 6
Almost every release listed below actually moved up on Billboard 200 this past week, an impressive statistic that bodes well for the likes of Bryson Tiller and Kanye West, who both jumped up at least 15 spots over the 4th of July weekend. Without any new releases in the top spots, the list looks pretty familiar, but there were a few new records in some of the chart's higher spots. Peach Panther by RiFF RaFF debuts at #69, DJ Shadow's new LP is at #77, and Blood Orange comes in at #185, in terms of R&B and hip hop-related releases. ...
Mike WiLL Explains Swae Lee's Role In Writing Beyonce's "Formation"
Not long after Beyonce's politically-charged video for "Formation" hit VEVO, the official writing credits were released, revealing that Rae Sremmurd hook-master Swae Lee had contributed to the record. On reassessment, it was clear that Swae's slinky rasp cadence was present throughout the record, but of course, it was impossible to determine exactly what he wrote specifically. According to a new interview with Mike WiLL, who produced the track, and has mentored the the Sremms from the beginning, Swae came up with the main concept for the song in one line.
The Top 20 Projects Of 2016 (So Far)
In the midst of a year that was already challenging peoples' definitions of mixtapes, albums, and "free" projects, Chance The Rapper asked, "Am I the only n*gga who still cares about a mixtape?" On the surface, it made sense-- Chance is one of the few top-tier artists who've never sold a single copy of his internet-only projects-- but as his latest, Coloring Book, was released exclusively via a deal with Apple Music, both his independent claim and the definition of "mixtape" were subsequently scrutinized.
Charts Don't Lie: June 29
While Drake's VIEWS remains unmoved from the #1 spot (sorry YG), there were still a few switch-ups this week with hip hop albums on the Billboard 200. YG made his debut with Still Brazy at #6, a precocious new LP from the California gangster rapper. Fellow Cali native and mainstay, The Game, debuted at #25 with his soundtrack "Streets of Compton," which coincides with an A&E documentary of the same name.
Watch Every BET Awards 2016 Performance
Sunday night's BET Awards was one of the show's best iterations in years. Performers included Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Usher, Young Thug, Future, Bryson Tiller, Fat Joe, Remy Ma, French Montana, & Anderson. Paak -- and that doesn't even include any of the Prince tributes, which were bountiful and glorious. Sadly, the scheduled D'Angelo Prince tribute never came to pass. Otherwise, the show was nearly flawless.