The Week in Music Politics:
Following the attack on Machester, Ariana Grande and friends will play a benefit concert this Sunday (6/4). It will be held at the Old Trafford cricket ground in Manchester and will feature performances from Katy Perry, Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Niall Horan, Pharrell Williams, and reportedly the Black Eyed Peas. Proceeds from the “One Love” benefit concert will go to the victim’s families. Eminem and Justin Timberlake have also collectively raised over $2 million in support.
With Gay Pride Month underway, Billboard asked numerous celebrities to pen love letters to the LGBTQ community such as Elton John, Jessie J, Kacey Musgraves, Kelly Clarkson, Cakes da Killa and Cupcakke (two artists I have written about when their albums dropped), Pat Benatar, Adam Lambert, Barbara Streisand, Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Cristina Aguilera, Liza Manelli, RuPaul, Sia, Selena Gomez, Tegan and Sara, and countless others. Read them all and more here.
The Week in Music Beefs:
Meek Mill, a rapper who starts beefs with everyone, is most famous for his beef with Drake (one such feud that seemingly didn’t hurt or destroy anyone’s careers, as Drake and Meek Mill are both at the top of their game). Apparently, Meek’s secret to his success, despite “losing” the battle with Drake, is listening to Drake’s diss-track “Back to Back” for inspiration. He posted a video of what fuels him to be better on Instagram.
Frank Ocean has called out Forever 21 for stealing his Blonde font for their pop up shop, which they definitely did. There has been no comment from Forever 21.
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:
30,000 fans were angered this Memorial Day when Lil Uzi Vert didn’t show up for his set at the 2017 Soundset Festival in Minnesota. Uzi has yet to announce why he was a no-show at the festival.
The Week in Music Merch:
Real Estate, the popular indie rock group from Ridgewood, NJ, has partnered with Keep, a clothing company based in LA that creates comfortable shoes from recycled material. They’ve partnered with other artists in the past such as Animal Collective, Bon Iver, and most recently Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys. The Real Estate shoes are now on sale for $97 with net proceeds going to benefit the ACLU.
Also on sale is Taylor Bennett’s collection with Urban Outfitters to support Pride Month. His “Pride” hats and “Love Is Love” shirts/pullovers are available here for relatively affordable prices (fun fact: I just bought the sweatshirt).
The Week in Music Oddities:
Eminem has gotten the Oxford English Dictionary to admit “stan” as a new word. A character he invented in the song of the same name, Stan was a superfan of Eminem’s work who took his obsession too far. It’s a term that’s been used in the lexicon of hip-hop/rap for years now (“he’s such a J. Cole stan”) to describe someone who is a die hard fan no matter what. Now, thanks to the Oxford Dictionary, it’s a real word that you can use in scholarly essays and Scrabble games.
The Week in Music Obituaries:
Gregg Allman, one of the founding members of the Allman Brothers and a legend to southern rock, passed away after a losing battle with lung cancer. His work with the Allman Brothers inspired a new form of southern rock with songs such as “Ramblin’ Man,” “Whipping Post,” and “Midnight Rider.”
The Week in Music Releases:
- Dan Auerbach – Waiting on a Song
- Kool G Rap – Return of the Don
- Halsey – Hopeless Fountain Kingdom
Lastly, appreciate this old, hilarious cover to “High Times” featuring Nas and Damian Marley, the weed loving magazine now partly owned by Damian Marley himself: