The Week in Music Politics:

Jay-Z’s album 4:44 was released last week on TIDAL (or today on Apple Music), and certain lines on the track “The Story of O.J.” have been gaining some attention from the JDL:

You wanna know what’s more important than throwin’ away money at a strip club? Credit
You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America?
This how they did it

While some are calling the line antisemitic, Guy Oseary, an Israeli-American talent manager for Madonna and U2 wrote on Instagram that in his opinion, “Jay is giving the Jewish community a compliment.” “If you had to pick a community as an example of making wise financial decisions achieving financial freedom,” he asks, “who would you choose?” “I’m not offended by these lyrics,” he continues, “I hear them the way he intended them to be heard… giving ‘credit’ to a community that supposedly understands what it means to have ‘credit’.”

This would be above 50 Cent’s head; however, as the new Jay-Z record is just “golf course music” to him. “I’m gonna keep it 100,” he said on Instagram, “the shit was too smart. I felt like I was supposed to be wearing glasses and tie a fucking sweater around my waist. It was like Ivy League shit.”

In other news, LCD Soundsystem’s Gavin Russom has come out as transgender at the age of 43. In an interview with Pitchfork, the musician said: “working with LCD Soundsystem all last year and then having a solid block of time off to focus on self-care was really important for me. This is what came out of that. I don’t like coming out so much as a term, but sometimes it’s the only way to say it.”

Young Thug kicked off his tour this week by playing a show in New York. Posting on Twitter, Thugger announced that all proceeds from the show were donated to Planned Parenthood. “I was a teenage parent,” he said, “Planned+unplanned parenthood is beautiful.”

The Week in Music Business:

Soundcloud laid off a whopping 40% of their staff this week; a cut of 173 people that also closed their offices in both San Francisco and London. Co-founder Alex Ljung said of the gutting that it was to “ensure our path to long-term, independent success.” yikes. “By reducing our costs and continuing our revenue growth,” he continued, “we’re on our path to profitability and in control of SoundCloud’s independent future.”

Related image

In other music streaming news, Kanye West has reportedly left TIDAL stating that they owe him over $3 million. As well, Spotify is reportedly paying producers to create songs under fake names to be placed in their most listened-to playlists. The story was leaked via The Vulture here. Spotify has yet to respond to the claims.

Also this week, Adele has quit touring, possibly for good. “After 15 months on the road and 18 months of 25 we are at the end,” she wrote on Instagram, “I only ever did this tour for you and to hopefully have an impact on you the way that some of my favourite artists have had on me live. And I wanted my final shows to be in London because I don’t know if I’ll ever tour again and so I want my last time to be at home.”

The Week in Music Oddities:

The NBA’s Atlanta Hawks Philip’s Arena is opening a barbershop in the stadium owned by Killer Mike and his wife Shana Render. The barbershop will also include renovations to the display and a bar right behind the hoop. The original “Swag Shop” barbershop by Killer Mike opened in 2011 on Edgewood Ave NE in Atlanta.

killer mike swag shop

The Week in Music Merch:

Want to own the drum machine Daft Punk used to record Homework? The French electronic duo’s Roland TR-909 still holds some of the presets from the album, and the current owner states that they will sell it “to the highest bidder.” See the post here.

The Week in Music Releases:

  • Jay-Z – 4:44 (on Apple Music)
  • Haim – Something to Tell You
  • Twista – Crook County
  • 21 Savage – Issa Album
  • Broken Social Scene –  Hug of Thunder

Lastly, here’s a video of Beastie Boys’ hit “Sabotage” mashed-up with the characters from Sesame Street: