The Week in Music Politics:
A figure I feel like we see often around this section, Chance the Rapper, has been doing a lot for public schools in Chicago following an unfavorable meeting with the Governor of Illinois early last month. He’s already donated $1 million, and now he’s opened the New Chance Arts and Literature Fund, set to begin in the Fall 2017 school year. His Social Works non-profit has also raised an additional $2.2 million since his last press conference, and the Chicago Bulls have agreed to match Chance’s original $1 million donation. Now people are calling for Chance the Rapper to run for mayor, and he’s got the backing from Drake.
“We all know that Illinois’ public school system is one of the most underfunded in the nation,” said Chance,” which has forced Chicago public schools to make drastic cuts to the classroom. Student have lost valuable teachers, supplies, access to after school enrichment programs, especially in the arts, and special needs programs… this Fund will help the schools that are most in need.”
In other rappers doing good for their city news, following his efforts to fund public schools and victims of the Flint, Michigan water pollution, Big Sean became the youngest person to receive the key to Detroit.
Mayor Mike Duggan said of the event: “It’s only given out to our most special citizens so they know that they’re always in the heart of Detroit… since I’ve been mayor, I’ve given out two of these. The first was to Berry Gordy when they bought Motown: The Musical here. The second, I gave out to Stevie Wonder, when we renamed the street he grew up… and now we’re going to give out the third… Sean this is your reminder that every time you leave Detroit, you can always bounce back.”
The Week in Music Beefs:
Freddie Gibbs released his album You Only Live 2wice last week, and he has accused another rapper, Logic, of stealing his cover art idea for Logic’s upcoming album Everybody. Complex points out that both covers depict themselves as Christ-like figures and both videos are “set inside of a museum, in which visitors are admiring the cover art.” I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.
In more exciting news, Drake has found himself in a new beef with XXXTentacion, which has only been heating up since last week. In last week’s Week in Music post, XXXTentacion, a nineteen-year-old rapper from Florida who’s been in and out of jail over the past year for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, called out Drake for stealing his flow on the More Life track “KMT.”
This week, Offset from Migos has chimed out, because they apparently don’t have enough controversy of their own following their recent string of homophobic statements. Coming to Drake’s defense, Offset wrote “How you unheard of talking about a nigga stole your swag? We ain’t even heard of you, shorty. Get your ass out of jail.” on Instagram.
XXXTentacion immediately responded writing:
If he can do a whole fuckin’ album or at least two to three fuckin’ songs that does not sound like anybody else’s cadence, or does not have a sample, or just sounds like him originally, he’ll get my kudos. I’ll run around the street butt-ass naked. I’ll tattoo Drake’s name on my ass cheeks. If he can be original for even two seconds or out-rap me for two seconds…or if he can go onstage, and sing any of his songs a capella with no Auto-tune, then just maybe I’ll shut the fuck up.
It all sounds hypocritical. Especially since Migos called out Drake for allegedly stealing their signature “Versace” triple flow back in 2015.
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:
Despite having just got out of jail on battery charges and releasing his debut studio album, Kodak Black has been accused of assaulting a woman outside of a strip club in Miame, according to The Sun Sentinel. His next violation hearing will be held on April 19th. If convicted, Vibe reports that he’s looking at some 30 years in prison.
The Week in Music Business:
Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo has broken some big records. This week it became the first streaming-only album to go platinum. Since its last edit in March 2016, the record has been streamed over 3 billion times worldwide.
Drake, in his new ambition to be British, has revived the London T.V. drama “Top Boy.” He will also reportedly be a character on the show, where he’ll get to try out his new British accent. Whether or not he’ll be appearing as his wheel-chaired character from the Canadian teen-drama Degrassi is also yet to be announced.
Under a new Spotify deal, they have reached an agreement with Universal that allows for Universal artists to choose “to release new albums on premium only for two weeks, offering subscribers an earlier chance to explore the complete creative work, while the singles are available across Spotify for all our listeners to enjoy.”
“We will be working together to help break new artists and connect new and established artists with a broadening universe of fans in ways that will wow them both,” said Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, “we know that not every album by every artist should be released the same way, and we’ve worked hard with UMG to develop a new, flexible release policy.”
The Week in Music Merch:
Danny Brown has made a chocolate peanut butter and jelly beans pizza that will be available at El Club in Detroit throughout April with all proceeds going to InsideOut, an Detroit organization that supports youth arts programs. Why a pizza with chocolate and jelly beans would sound good to anyone is beyond me, but hey, it’s for a good cause.
If you’re feeling a little splurgy, Jay-Z new Armand de Brignac champagne “Blanc de Noirs Assemblage Two, aka A2” will be on sale April 18th for $850 a bottle. why? I don’t know.
Tupac Shakur’s nose stud is reportedly being sold at auction by the Black Heritage Auction in Brooklyn for $7,500, as well as some handwritten lyrics, his prisoner I.D., and personal Qu’ran.
That’s not it for Tupac this week however, as the Nas-backed restaurant Sweet Chick, located in NYC’s Lower East Side, will transform into a Tupac pop-up restaurant called Powamekka Cafe from April 7th to 9th.
Two new Marvel comics hip-hop variant covers were released featuring Company Flow and A Tribe Called Quest as the Scarlet Spider and Rocket Raccoon. Peep em here via 2DopeBoyz.
The Week in Music Oddities:
Speaking on Beats 1 for Apple Music, Damon Albarn, of Blur and Gorillaz, revealed that he beat Pusha T and Zane Lowe at ping pong and is now openly challenging Drake to a match. “I wanna play Drake,” Albarn said. “I’m putting that out there. It’s a battle, I’m ready. Drake, come and get me.” Pusha T was “very upset” about the loss to Albarn, stating: “I don’t like to lose. He had to win at all costs. I’m trying to figure him out and he’s like venomously serving the ball my way. Pissed me off.” After premiering the new track “Let Me Out” feat. Pusha T and Mavis Staples, Mavis responded tweeting “hey now I got old-school ping pong game guys lol.”
Solange apparently just watched The Wiz, because she asked her fans on twitter last night if someone could “make a video collage of the bad news scene from The Wiz, to Kanyes “Bad News” and send it to me please?” Her fans responded rather quickly, and it surprisingly syncs up really well. Watch the mash-up video here.
T.I. believes that “something doesn’t add up” when it comes to the Atlanta I-85 Bridge Fire.” Now I’ve heard some far out sh*t in my day…but this sh*t here tho?!?!,” he said, “In all my experiences wit crack &/or crackheads I ain’t NEVER seen nothing like this sh*t!!!”
The Week in Music Releases:
- Father John Misty – Pure Comedy
- Guided By Voices – August By Cake
- 2 Chainz – Pretty Girls Like Trap Music
- Future Islands – The Far Field
- Joey Bada$$ – All-Amerikkkan Bada$$
- The New Pornographers – Whitout Conditions
- The Get Down: Part 2 on Netflix
Lastly, watch Noname grace the NPR Tiny Desk Concert here.