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And the “Watch the Throne” Tour Begins

30 Oct

When hip-hop powerhouses Jay Z and Kanye West announced that they were collaborating on an album last year, heads across the country exploded. Now with their album “Watch the Throne” long released, the duo have kicked off their tour, starting in Atlanta. Part of the setlist includes obvious staples from their album together (“Otis”, “Who Gon Stop Me”), as well as clear solo hits from the past (Ye’ performed a bit of “Jesus Walks” and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”).

Its not really bling unless it causes Scoliosis.

Obviously, Kanye and Jay Z don’t need the money at this point (pan to Kanye’s entire bottom row of diamond teeth)-they are touring because they actually want to. With a fair share of dramatic entrances and heartfelt encores, the tour should definitely be a successful pursuit.

Here’s a single off their album, “Otis”

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The Up and Coming: Foster the People

16 Oct

So I’m sure based on last week’s SNL that many of you have already heard of Foster the People. Now touring with sold out shows across the country, the band is a perfect example of Indie resonating with the masses.  Based in Los Angeles, California, Foster the People is composed of the trio Mark Foster, Mark Pontius and Cubbie Fink. With the break through single “Pumped Up Kicks”, the band’s sound is sort of an effortless cool. Not quite hipster but not quite mainstream, Foster the People manages to appeal to a variety of audiences. What I like most about the group is not only their catchy lyrics or calming electronic beats. Rather, despite their alarming popularity, Foster the People has not appeared to sell out. No longer under the radar, the band has risen to the ranks organically with zero pretension.

Heres the band performing my personal favorite, “Houdini” on SNL

Nicki Minaj Massive Attack?

23 Jun

Hey there all,

I’m sure that if you are even slightly familiar with the hip-hop scene you have heard of Nicki Minaj. The Queens native has collaborated with the likes of Mariah Carey, Usher and Diddy, often featured alongside staple counterparts Drake and Lil’ Wayne.

Nicki "Barbie" Minaj

She’s been the focus of attention as of late, partially because of the summer release of a solo album and a hyped-semi feud with rapper Lil’ Kim (Kim maintains that Minaj has not paid enough respect and “homage” to her position as an artist).

Currently Minaj, a self declared modern day Barbie, is thought by many to have taken the place of Lil’ Kim in the rap scene. Fresh blood and new perspective has lent the up and coming artist waves of attention. With her ultra decadent music video Massive Attack, Minaj seems to affirm a permanent position in the music biz.

But with the supposed beef between Minaj and Kim, one must wonder is there only one spot for a female in hip-hop? What is the source of competition and animosity?

Rap music has such a reputation as hard edged, fueled by the tough grit of masculine energy. I think that Minaj’s flair of aggressive confidence and feminine eccentricity is a perfect complement to the scene. I don’t, however, believe that only one woman should merit the spotlight. Minaj is a fascinating artist, but should not be the only “token” girl rapper on a track.

Minaj and Drake

Yes, there has been others (Eve, Remy Ma, and as aforementioned, Lil’ Kim, to name a few) to make there names known. But as of now, Minaj seems to be taking the lead. But, before asking Barbie to contribute to another song, maybe a few artists should look into other female talent out there.

New Gossip Single “Pop Goes The World”

29 Mar

Hey everybody

I hope everyone is enjoying Passover; whether you are observing it by not eating bread, or enjoying it by poking fun at your Jewish comrades who are not eating bread.

Amidst the holiday hysteria I’ll  keep this post relatively short. The Gossip came out with their newest single Pop Goes The World, off of their most recent album Music For Men. The song is fun, lively, and proper fit to the Gossip’s musical catalog. If you need to stay awake while on the treadmill or in the office, I suggest blasting this tune (with headphones on of course). The video is just a shot of color, drama and energy.  Beth Ditto is indisputably the epitome of  glam.

Also the Gossip will be performing with Lilith Fair, so everyone should also check that out!

Kesha and Rihanna: The Debate Continues

19 Mar

Hey everyone,

Happy friggin’ Friday! Couldn’t have come sooner, I think.

Any who, I’d like to tip my hat to Rihanna this week…her latest single Rude Boy topped the Billboard chart at #1, making her the first female in the US to have six singles landing the top spot since 2000. Overall, I really dig Ri’s newest album, Rated R. I think it’s a great improvement and departure from her previous body of work, which was mostly generic sounding stuff straight out of the pop factory.

Ah yes, but between the Chris Brown fiasco and legal troubles with her personal trainer,  Rihanna is well acquainted with controversy. The last question being over the originality of the music video  for Rude Boy.

Rude Boy is a stand out amongst Ri’s others, complete with colorful collages of eye-popping graphics and animal prints. Also, the men she seems to be wooing look like they were cast straight from the shuffleboard deck of a cruise ship. If you somehow get bored just watch the singer frantically pretend to know how to play the drums; it’s a joy for all of the senses.

Nonetheless, there have been murmurings that Rihanna’s video may have borrowed a bit too much from MIA, an artist known for her gritty and over the top graphic art.

Here’s MIA’s video for the single Boyz

No matter the similarities, last time I checked there was no set trademark on a style of expression… but I’ll leave it up to you to decide.

The second order of business came to me during midterms week.  You know, midterms week? That time of year when I sit rigidly in my little booth at the library, drooling at the wall and listening to blatantly bad music to stay conscious? And I’m talking really bad music folks, old school too. Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, N’sync and many others I’m too embarrassed to mention.

Most recently the artist Ke$ha joined the ranks on my delightfully bad music play list. Her album Animal was all the buzz this year, as her single Tik Tok penetrated clubs and mini-malls everywhere.

As I engaged in my self-deprecation of cramming and musical enjoyment, I managed to shed some of my Ke$ha related shame. Sure, lyrics such as “I dont really care where you live at, just turn around boy and let me hit that” probably don’t make much of a contribution to the greater culture.

But what I like about Ke$ha is that she’s honest about who she is, and what kind of music she puts out. She isn’t trying to be something she’s not and she puts forth no false advertising over the dubious quality of her work.  The equivalent of sugary junk food, her songs are meant for pure, albeit trashy, fun. Nevertheless, too much junk food can be bad for your diet, so Maybe Ke$ha should be just played at the club or gym–not on the car radio when my mother is present.

So is Ke$ha all in good fun, or a real step down for the music industry?

Heres Ke$ha’s latest single, Blah Blah Blah

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