The Week in Music Politics:
At the Global Citizen Festival, Stevie Wonder took a knee in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and the NFL, even asking help from one of his bandmates so that he could go down on both knees. Watch the video here. Kendrick also stood by Kaepernick this week, stating: “You don’t look at the moment, whether it’s gonna work or not. No, you look at what the next generation is gonna receive from it.” He also remarked that he liked to see that the kneeling athlete “wants to stand for something.”
At VH1’s “Hip Hop Honours: 90s Game Changers” show, Pharrell Williams gave a speech about America’s divide on race, stating that “they keep talking about a wall. But the enemy is this divisive mentality. It’s on this side of the wall. The white nationalists are walking towards your future. What you gonna do?” Watch the full speech here.
The Week in Music Business:
With Common’s Emmy win for the song “Letter to the Free” from the Netflix documentary “The 13th,” Common became the first rapper to be a Grammy, Oscar, and Emmy winner. His Grammy came from the Erykah Badu assisted “Love of My Life,” and the Oscar from his and John Legend’s track “Glory” for the film Selma. If he comes to win a Tony, he’d be the 13th entertainer to become an EGOT winner.
?uestlove, the drummer for The Roots, wrote a new book entitled Creative Quest, in which the musician will guide readers to their “best creative life.” Other artists such as George Clinton, D’Angelo, Ava DuVernay, David Byrne, and Björk also feature within the pages, and will be released on April 24th, next year. His cooking/food book was just released as well, entitled Something to Food About.
The Week in Music Beefs:
Pop stars, rappers, and celebrities might not have learned yet that it’s wrong to adopt metal culture and their key figures with unauthorized merchandise. Wearing Marilyn Manson t-shirts at his recent shows, Justin Bieber took to calling the plagiarized merch as “his idea,” while also telling Manson, “I made you relevant again.” Marilyn Manson aptly responded to the comments in an interview with Noisey, calling Beiber “a real piece of shit in the way he had the arrogance to say that.”
The Week in Music Obituaries:
The past couple of days have seen a lot of great musicians pass, as well as casualties of the shooting in Vegas. We lost not only legendary soul singer Charles Bradley to his battle with stomach cancer, but also Tom Petty, who suffered from cardiac arrest. Both insanely talented musicians in their respective fields, they will be surely missed.
The Week in Music Oddities:
In a recent NYC park proposal for renovating Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park, the Landmark Preservation Commission included an image of the singer Drake from his days as a student for the Canadian T.V. show Degrassi, as one of the modeled people in the park. When asked for comment, the commission responded with Drake-based puns, stating: “Started at the bottom of Fort Greene Park’s signature hill, now we’re here with the final design, which takes care to create a more welcoming park entrance — with improved views.”
In less light news, rising rapper Cardi B Tweeted this week that following a car accident in NY, the cops put her in a choke hold, or as she wrote, “a choke hole.” “I can’t believe this cop put me on a choke hole just now,” she said in a since-deleted tweet. “Shit is crazy these NY cops don’t know how to do they job.” Her boyfriend, Atlanta-rapper Offset, part of the group Migos, spoke in Cardi B’s defense, saying “At first, when she called, I ain’t think she was being serious until I had seen it on her face… I know you can’t stop the police. The police kill people everyday and get away with it.” The NYPD denied the claims.
In the most severely oddest of news, a Georgia middle school teacher gave her students one of the worst homework assignments imaginable. Seemingly a good idea, the 6th grade teacher asked her students to take negative rap lyrics and make them more positive, but her choice of material was poor to say the least. Going with the absurd and horrifying lyrics of Kodak Black, parents of the children came out to speak about an assignment that was “against everything” they believed in. “You’re dealing with children’s minds,” they continued, “you have to be very cautious.”
With lyrics like “Sniper Gang I put a nigga on a carton/I’m the shit I’m fartin’, I don’t know how to potty,” and “I ain’t doing trims, I’m in the cut like I’m a barber/She call me daddy, but I ain’t her motherfucking father,” parents were baffled, stating: “I don’t really see how you can make that positive but to say don’t do it.” The Georgia educator has since been suspended.
The Week in Music Releases:
- Foo Fighters– Concrete and Gold
- Open Mike Eagle – Brick Body Kids Still Daydream
- Fergie – Double Dutchess
- Jheno Aiko – Trip
- Macklemore – Gemini
- Rapsody – Laila’s Wisdom
- The Killers – Wonderful Wonderful
- Kamasi Washington – Harmony of Difference
- Miley Cyrus – Younger Now
Lastly, here’s a video of Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters doing a pretty decent Christopher Walken impression (catch it at the 29:44 mark):