Music

Music

Meek Mill’s Best 15 Songs: Critic’s Pick

Meek Mill — born Robert Rihmeek Williams — rose to prominence via the streets of Philadelphia, carving out a lane for himself in hip-hop over the past decade. His uptempo cadence has become a staple in the 30-year-old’s arsenal, but what should also be highlighted is his thorough story-telling ability that can evoke chills from just about anybody. Meek’s debut LP, Dreams and Nightmares, exemplifies his life story to this very day. In early November, the Philadelphia emcee was found guilty of violating his probation dating back to a 2007 arrest for drug possession, leading to a sentence of 2-4 years in jail. As a result, the city of Philly is rallying behind their hero, with a planned rally outside the criminal justice center to protest Meek’s harsh sentencing....

When Did Feminism Become a Job Requirement for Female Pop Stars?

The watershed moment came, like watershed moments do, via Beyoncé. Amid the frenzy unleashed by her surprise album drop in December 2013, one observation towered above the rest in the next day’s hot takes: Was that Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie giving a speech about feminism for 55 seconds in the middle of the track “***Flawless”? It was, and Beyoncé followed that in January 2014 with an essay called “Gender Equality Is a Myth!” for the Shriver Report. A few months later, she performed at the MTV Video Music Awards with the word FEMINIST in lights behind her. Feminism had officially become a job requirement for female pop stars, and this was proof. For a few years before Beyoncé’s embrace of the movement, journalists had been asking female pop stars the pointed question in int...

Philadelphia 76ers Co-Owner Writes Letter of Support for Meek Mill

Ahead of a rally that’s set to take place on Monday (Nov. 13), at Philadelphia’s Criminal Justice Center, Meek Mill continues to receive support, this time from a high-ranking person in the sports world. According to The Crossover, Michael Rubin, co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and fellow Philly native, published a letter condemning the “Dreams and Nightmares” rapper’s two-to-four year sentence. Judge Genece E. Brinkley handed down the ruling last week after Meek reportedly violated his probation. “I understand that he has been on your probation for many years and the entire time that I have known him,” Rubin wrote (which you can read in full here). “During those years you have had to punish him, challenge him, excoriate him, encourage him, and inspire him. You have watched over him. I ...

William Patrick Corgan Defends Nickelback and Their ‘Incredible Songwriter’ Chad Kroeger

The Joe Rogan Experience, the podcast hosted by the comedian and MMA commentator, is famous as a place where celebrities talk about their experiences with DMT or ayahuasca. But the most recent episode features an entirely different hallucinatory experience. The show’s latest episode is a two-hour conversation with the enigmatic Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan (now known as William Patrick Corgan) who’s ostensibly on to talk about his new Rick Rubin-produced solo album Ogilala. But the conversation veers into Corgan’s experiences in pro wrestling, his fucked-up relationship with his father, and his ideas about music downloading and branding, among many other things. But as Exclaim! points out, the wildest moment is probably when Corgan stands up for Nickelback, every music dork’s fa...

JAY-Z on Colin Kaepernick’s NFL Protest: ‘It’s Not About the Flag, It’s About Justice’

JAY-Z is touring the country in support of what critics have hailed as one of his most honest albums to date, 4:44. While in Miami, Mr. Carter took a moment to clarify for anyone in the audience what exactly Colin Kaepernick’s protest is about. “I want you to understand when people are kneeling and putting their fist up what they’re doing, it’s not about a flag, it’s about justice, it’s about injustice,” JAY-Z said. In September, JAY-Z performed “Bam” with Damian Marley on Saturday Night Live wearing a custom Kaepernick jersey, and while he didn’t make any vocal statements about the former 49er quarterback then, he used his tour stop to cement his loyalty and support to Kaep. “That’s not a black or white thing, it’s a human issue. Everybody should feel the same way. If your 16-year-old chi...

Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low Talks Inclusion and ‘Good Times’ Music Video: ‘There Is Hope.’

The pop-punk icons usher in a new generation of fans as they modernize their message of acceptance. Ten years following the release of their iconic sophomore album So Wrong, It’s Right, pop-punk band All Time Low released their seventh studio album Last Young Renegade back in June. The album would not be complete without the polished message of acceptance on “Good Times,” which alongside its visual, serves to remind older fans of why they fell in love with the band in the first place, while also inviting a younger generation along for the ride.  Previously, All Time Low front-man Alex Gaskarth had briefly spoken to the reasoning behind the “Good Times” video in a press release, saying,  “We are so proud of this video, of [director Patrick Tracy] who helped us ...

From ‘Gaga’ to ‘Whitney’: Music Docs Offer an Intimate Look at Icons Beyond the Stage

As Netflix, Amazon and more streamers continue to scoop up content, a flood of new music-focused films on pop stars and industry greats are entering the awards race. In the past few years, documentaries about music have truly come of age. Where once there may have been a sense that these were stories for niche audiences, recently a number of music-focused films became box-office triumphs and Oscar winners (Searching for Sugar Man, 20 Feet From Stardom, Amy) or major contenders (What Happened, Miss Simone?). In 2017, with the explosion of such streaming services as Netflix and an increased focus on video for Apple Music, these documentaries have more opportunities than ever — reflected in a flood of releases chronicling pop icons of the past and present, famous (and infamous) music executiv...

Emmy Rossum to Star in ‘Angelyne’ Limited Series Based on Hollywood Reporter Article

An only-in-Hollywood story is finally getting the Hollywood treatment. Shameless star Emmy Rossum and Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail are teaming with The Hollywood Reporter to create a limited series based on THR senior writer Gary Baum’s investigative feature about Angelyne, L.A.’s mysterious billboard icon.  Rossum will star as Angelyne, the self-created pop culture icon — whose real name, uncovered in Baum’s August exposé, is Renee Goldberg. Rossum will exec produce via her Grey Matters Pictures company alongside her husband, Esmail, and his Universal Cable Productions-based EsmailCorp banner. Esmail’s manager, Chad Hamilton, will exec produce via Anonymous Content. The limited series project will be shopped to cable and streaming outlets. Baum, who spent months re...

BTS’ Rap Monster Changes Stage Name to RM

In a post published on BTS’ Korean fansite, known as a fancafe, the boy band’s English-speaking frontman announced on Monday (Nov. 13) that he has changed his stage name. Formerly known as Rap Monster, Kim Namjoon will use the name “RM” moving forward. The rapper has released music and mixtapes under the RM name in the past, and has also introduced himself as RM or ‘RapMon’ on numerous occasions, but now has formally made the shift away from his former moniker. The decision came due to the length of the name, and RM determining that “Rap Monster” was no longer representative of who he was or the music that he creates. “I’ve become keenly aware of the fact that it’s become different from [what I want] to put at the front of the music I’ve made for the past five years, and the mu...

Get To Know the ‘Phantasmagorical’ Greta Van Fleet

In Billboard‘s series, “You Should Know,” artists share some quick facts about themselves. This time around, rock band Greta Van Fleet run down some cool tidbits about themselves, including how they’re always late and how their other interests include soccer and karate. If you haven’t listened to Greta Van Fleet, the band describes their music as “phantasmagorical.” They also site the classic-rock likes of Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton as inspirations. Take a listen to their song “Black Smoke Rising” to get a taste of Greta Van Fleet, and also watch the video interview above.

Lauv Performs DJ Snake Collab in ‘A Different Way’: Watch

Dance music artists love taking their show live, and while DJ Snake has not yet made such a jump, there is total proof of concept. Singer Lauv took the Honda Stage in Austin, a performance series in cooperation with iHeartRadio, and performed his recent DJ Snake collab “A Different Way.” It’s an acoustic breakdown with live keys and drums. Lauv’s performance is enough to bring a tear to your eye. If you’re currently pining over someone, you may be tempted to text them your undying love, but maybe just send them this video instead. It’s a beautiful rendition that has us wondering what other DJ Snake tunes might be totally killer when performed by a live band. Maybe he can find some inspiration. Get your own ideas from Lauv’s acoustic version of R...

Ticketmaster Launches in Italy

Grandi notizie: Live Nation-owned ticketing giant Ticketmaster has launched in Italy, its 29th market overall, with headquarters in Milan. The company believes sales of tickets in the European country could reach 19 million in its two years. Current offerings on ticketmaster.it include tickets to see Lana Del Rey, Niall Horan, Belle and Sebastian and the Firenze Rocks festival in Florence. “We look forward to providing the best ticketing experience for clients, artists and fans across Italy — undoubtedly one of the world’s most vibrant and popular destinations for live entertainment and cultural events, this was an organic move for the business,” commented Mark Yovich, president of Ticketmaster International. “This is an exciting moment for fans of live music, theat...