The Week in Music Politics:
Chance the Rapper’s meeting with Illinois State Governor Bruce Rauner did not go as well as the rapper had hoped. “Flustered,” as the Chicago Sun-Times reported, Chance and Rauner exited their half-hour talk over increased funding for public schools in which Chance said Rauner gave “vague answers.” Rolling Stone reported that “after the emcee left, Rauner spoke with the press and offered a more optimistic take on their meeting:”
“That powerful voice can be a voice for change,” the governor expounded. “If we stood together, Chance, I have some power. I have power in some ways; you have great power in other ways. If we stood together, worked together, I think we could get big things done.”
It may sound like he’s discussing a power struggle between bi-partisan lines, but I think the Governor’s poor choice of words actually meant well. Fun Fact: the Chicago Sun-Times pointed out that Chance’s father Ken Bennett “currently works for the tourism agency Choose Chicago, where Rauner served as chairman before his election as governor.”
Taking his thoughts to the form of the written word, Chance released the foreward he has written for poet Kevin Coval’s new book A People’s History of Chicago, which can be read here via Pitchfork.
In other musical-political news, Lana Del Rey has been promoting Anti-Trump witchcraft on the President. Surprisingly reported by alt-right digital media source Breitbart, witches are attempting to use black magic to cast a “binding spell” on Donald Trump and his cabinet that would “prevent him from governing.” Check out the “Witches: We Need You” advertising poster here.
Lana’s support for the Anti-Trump witches came with a tweet of the “waning crescent moon ritual dates” observed by members of the occult in which the “binding spell” will be performed, accompanied by a little note stating: “ingredients can b found online.”
The Week in Music Beefs:
1) Remy Ma vs. Nicki Minaj
After Nicki Minaj released some bars questionably pointed at Remy Ma on her and Gucci Mane’s new single “Make Love,” Remy wasted zero time, releasing a horribly violent diss-track towards Nicki entitled “shETHER” (referencing the famous song from the early 2000’s beef between Jay-Z and Nas). Nicki Minaj has yet to respond with even a statement, let alone a track.
2) Young Dolph vs. Yo Gotti
So this one escalated real fast. Young Dolph recently recorded a diss track pointed at Yo Gotti that garnered a lot of attention. Last Saturday night (2/25/17), the Charlotte Observer reported that on his way to perform with Migos and 21 Savage at the C.I.A.A. Tournament in Charlotte, NC, Young Dolph’s car was fired at with as many as “100 shots… along the 600 block of North Caldwell Street.”
Thankfully there were no reports of injuries and Young Dolph even went on with the night’s performance of his Yo Gotti diss track. Charlotte police have yet to catch the suspects responsible, or find any links to the shooting being perpetrated by Yo Gotti. Anyone with information is asked to call “Crime Stoppers” at 704-334-1600.
3) Joey Bada$$ vs. 2Pac
“I believe I am one of the minds that Pac said would change the world. I believe I am one of those. I’m probably not the one that’s going to change the world—probably the one after me. It’s a part of me wanting to have their messages travel further, because their messages resonate with me. I know there is a lot of people out there that resonate with me, who don’t necessarily resonate with them.”
He doesn’t stop there however, declaring that he could go “bar for bar” with one of the greatest of all time:
“I already know I’m a better rapper than 2pac is. That’s just facts. One-on-one battle, I’ll fling Pac.”
The Week in Music #NoRoleModelz:
In reference to J. Cole’s track “No Role Modelz” off the platinum-with-no-features record 2014 Forest Hills Drive, the following is an account of musicians and artists that left us all disappointed with their behavior this week:
Meek Mill, the homophobic disgrace of a rapper recently dumped by Nicki Minaj and buried by both Drake and The Game for the past two years, took to Youtube to show us all a new level of disrespect. When approached by a homeless man on the street asking for any change the rapper had to spare, Meek Mill & friends taunted the man by making him do push-ups for money. What’s worse, the video ends before we can even see Meek give the man his money, forcing us to ask if he even did it at all?
Kodak Black was arrested in Florida again for violating the terms of his house arrest. The Sun-Sentinel reports that “he was apparently busted on camera at a strip club and a boxing match in Ohio, along with reportedly failing to complete a court-ordered anger management program.” The 2016 XXL Freshmen looks to spend some more jail time, possibly a lot more once those sexual assault cases go through. In other rapper/jail-related news, the early-2016 standout Kevin Gates looks to get released on March 24th, as XXL reports. He was in the slammer since last October for kicking an 18-year-old girl in the face at a show in Florida (jeez).
The Week in Music Business:
Soundcloud launched a new $5 subscription tier which removes ads and allows for offline streaming. The company has been struggling to find revenue after their acquisition deal with Spotify fell through last year.
Coachella, which recently was under fire for a hacking compromise, urged ticket-holders through email to think about changing their passwords for security. In less scary news, it seems 100% certain now that Lady Gaga will replace Beyoncé as headliner.
The Week in Music Merch:
The car that Tupac Shakur was shot in and once owned by record-producer Suge Knight is reportedly on sale for $1.5 million.
Run the Jewels are selling a “Stay Gold IPA” on tour, named after a song from their latest album RTJ3.
Marvel Comics unveiled their next set of hip-hop variant covers, this time featuring flips of 2Pac, Joey Bada$$, Frank Ocean, Rae Sremmurd, B.o.B., Method Man, RZA, Redman, and Jungle Brothers. Check them out via 2DopeBoyz.
Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch is back on the market at $67 million, now renamed “Sycamore Valley Ranch” and brought down over $30 million in price, as Billboard reports.
The Week in Music Releases:
Ed Sheeran – Divide
Khalid – American Teen
The Magnetic Fields – 50 Song Memoir
Why? – Moh Lhean
Lil Durk – Love Songs for the Streets
Calvin Harris – “Slide (feat. Frank Ocean and Migos)”
Thundercat – “Hi (feat. Mac Miller)“
The-Dream – “Bed (Yeezy Season 5 Remix)“
ZZ Ward – “The Deep (feat. Joey Purp)“
Lastly, here’s Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” but if they actually “wait a minute:”