Justin Timberlake is one smart dude. After a six and a half year hiatus, he could have very well rested on his prior successes to make his return to music or relied on the stans he'd picked up along the way on his journey from boy-bander to certified soul singer to give him a push back up onto his dusty pedestal. But no. Instead, he decided to fully infiltrate the industry and hijack our hearts (still racing from some ubiquitous EDM) with a full-blown, carefully calculated plan of re-immersion.
At around 1AM this morning (March 7th), Drake released the track "5AM In Toronto." The cut, produced by Boi1Da, is a hyper-lyrical journey into Drake's mind. Much like his previous song of a similar theme "9AM In Dallas," Drizzy waxes philosophical on attaining success and maintaining it - setting him apart from the proverbial rest of Rap. The timing of this song is pretty telling, given the response from "Started From the Bottom."
It's been awhile since we've heard a "Day N' Nite"-like classic from Kid Cudi. Sure, he was -- aside from Rihanna -- the only other prominently featured artist on Kanye West's "All of the Lights" (despite there supposedly being nine other obscured guest vocals), but that was two years ago. Tracks from "WZRD" -- his failed album attempt at rock music -- barely made it into radio rotation. And lead single "Just What Iam" (from his upcoming album "Indicud") hasn't gotten much play either. But Cudi refuses to be deterred. And that's kinda what we like about him.
Two years ago, Tyler, the Creator made his television debut on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. He performed "Sandwitches" with Hodgy Beats - starting with ski masks on their faces, eventually ripping them off to jump around a smoke-filled stage. It was shocking, in that sort of old school "Horrorcore" era of Rap. Tyler was jumping on couches, scaring Fallon's other guests. The girl from the ring was even there. The Odd Future frontman even jumped on Fallon's back at the end for a piggyback ride. It was youthful, scary, and full of life. Two years later, Tyler returns to Late Night with some minor modifications.
Glitter and gold became more than just a phrase last night (Feb. 19) when singer RaVaughn — Columbia Records & Compound Entertainment's rising star, and Ne-Yo's newest protege (who he recently dubbed the "voice of women") — took the stage at New York's The Darby decked in just that. A shimmery sweater, painted pants, and no less than four bangles on each arm and two chains around her neck helped catch the audience's attention, but it was her voice that held it.
The late Tupac Shakur is one artist whose posthumous catalog has spanned the 16+ years since he passed away on September 13, 1996. Per his mother, Afeni Shakur, there is more music to come. Billboard reports that the late rapper has now joined the ranks of other legendary artists like Janis Joplin, The Doors, and Otis Redding whose estates are handled by Jampol Artist Management.
We hope your Valentine's Day was satisfactory because if you were hoping for Usher to come through your door and sweep you off your feet (like most), keep dreaming -- and even if you thought he'd, at the very least, deliver another "expectation-defying," "jaw-dropping," Grammy Award-winning single that made nearly every "best of" list (much like he did last year with "Climax" to mark the lover's holiday), you can -- again -- keep dreaming.