More often than not, the public gets to see their favorite singers and musicians receive accolades at nationally televised award shows and events, but rarely are listeners made aware of those who work behind the scenes.
If you miss the Kanye West years of yore when he was still a backpack-toting, heartbreak-bemoaning rapper and not, well, one who would demand: "My presence is a present, kiss my ass," you'll be pleased to hear his latest tune, "White Dress."
After a few teasers, Big Boi has released the first official single from his upcoming album, "Mama Told Me," with Kelly Rowland (click here to listen). The vintage look of the cover art tells us a little more about the track than it seems at first. The song finds Sir Lucious and Kelly teaming up over a decidedly 80s beat that feels like an undiscovered b-side from Morris Day & The Time or Vanity 6.
Nearly two years after releasing her record-breaking sophomore album "21," Adele is back—not likely in the way that diehard fans would appreciate, but considering her rather reclusive state since announcing her pregnancy, the best we'll probably get until she gets her heart broken again, if ever.
The CMJ Music Marathon in NYC is only a few weeks away, and usually it becomes a gigantic headache for any New York based music head (or visitor from out of town). The marathon is huge, with panels, concerts, films, mixers, you name it. It's a great time to be in New York City, especially because it's the Fall, and that's an all around great time to hang out in the City. It is pretty confusing though, since so much talent shows up for the party from a variety of genres. Veteran rappers like Ghostface Killah, Q-Tip, Killer Mike, and GZA will be showing up, along with some newer acts. To help you out, here are ten artists to look for at CMJ this year. A lot are new, some are seasoned vets. Either way, it'll be a good time and we'll keep reporting on it as the saga continues (Wu-Tang! Wu-Tang!).
It's not always easy to like Lupe Fiasco. Two of his three albums are fantastic but one is laser-hot garbage. He seems like an intelligent dude sometimes, but then he goes on Fox news and makes Bill O'Reilly seem like a smart, reasonable man. He threatens to retire every 90 days but here we are listening to "Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album pt. 1," which (judging by the inexplicably long title) is a prequel to a sequel to his first album or something like that. Lupe's conflicts with rappers, producers and women aside, he still clearly has some musical talent so it's hard to justify just ignoring him entirely. Hearing "Food & Liquor II" does make it a little easier, however.
In a summer that's seen well-recieved releases from Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Nas and more, it takes a lot of backbone to name an album "Cruel Summer," especially while releasing it in the fall. If anyone should be able to do so, however, it's Kanye West and G.O.O.D. Music, who not only have the cockiness but the skills to back up that kind of statement. "Label" albums have historically been a mixed bag at best, but at least in this case, the whole is legitimately stronger than the sum of its parts.
This time last year, Rihanna was debuting "We Found Love," the lead single from her sixth album "Talk That Talk," and we were giving high praise to its hypnotic house rhythm. Now on the brink of releasing her still-untitled seventh record, she's delivered "Diamonds" to the masses—but its title won't likely be a testimony to its sales certification.