News & Humor
AAHH! Fest is a newly minted music festival that will take place this Sunday at Chicago’s Union Park (the same grounds that host Pitchfork Music Festival.) Curated by the city’s own Common, the lineup includes top bills like Lupe Fiasco, De La Soul, and Jay Electronica, among others. The fest will be hosted by legendary (and rare) comedian Dave Chappelle, who could probably justify the ticket cost alone.
The lineup also notes a “very special guest.” Whispers around town have been rumoring the guest to be Kanye West, which wouldn’t be all too surprising. When Mr. Chappelle did a gig at Radio City Music Hall a couple months ago, Yeezy stopped by to give a surprise performance. Could lightning strike twice?
Either way, AAHH! Fest should be a cool, Chicago-centric time as the city winds down with summer’s close.
A community showcase will take place from 10AM-1PM, while the main stage acts will go from 4PM-10PM on September 21.
Every year for what’s now been 10 years running, Lollapalooza has invaded the grounds of Grant Park in Chicago, IL and grips the city in an awesome and unavoidable way. In the week leading up to the festival, you can feel the metro area swelling up, as if to prepare for the oncoming chaos. And regardless of what you thought of this year’s lineup (meh), Lolla is always a party full of spectacular moments.
This year’s fest was no exception to this rule. It’s a tall task to sum up 72-hours of music, mud, and general mayhem in just 7 small yet encapsulating moments, but I did my best for everybody’s fleeting attention spans.
Here are The 7 Sweetest Moments from Lollapalooza 2014 below.
7. Portugal. The Man Covering It’s Always Sunny’s “Dayman”
Covers can be cheesy and predictable. Sure, we’ve all heard the indie band who does a rendition of an old Snoop Dog song or something and people go nuts over it. But, what about when a band dramatically covers a song from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia? Awesome.
6. Toothless Gosling and Prison Mike Sinage
Festival signage usually falls within the realm of inside joke or completely and randomly awesome. These are both examples of the later.
5. Andre 3000 Bringing Girls On Stage To Shake It Like A Polaroid Picture
It’s impossible to not dance when “Hey Ya” comes on. It’s perfect. To prove this point, Andre 3000 brought some Beyonce’s and Lucy Lu’s on stage to get down to his now classic hit. I’m not complaining.
4. Grouplove Covering Beastie Boys’s “Sabotage”
Sooo, remember that thing I said about indie bands covering hip-hop songs earlier? Yeah, still awesome.
3. Malia Obama Snapping Photos With Concertgoers Like It’s No Big Deal
J chillin with Malia Obama✌️ pic.twitter.com/IuM0A88g9B
— Sarah (@cleaaaaver) August 4, 2014
The First Lady was recently spotted with her daughters at the Chicago stop of the “On The Run” tour just the other week. These gals have a pretty good taste in music, I’d say.
2. Rihanna Joining Eminem for a Rendition of “Stan”
With Em and Ri kicking off a tour in Detroit soon, many expected the duo to share the stage at some point during the legendary emcee’s Lolla set. Well, it happened and it was especially awesome that she stuck around for “Stan.”
1. Chance Bringing Out R. Kelly for “Ignition (Remix)”
Chance’s set was something of a momentous event. A hometown kid headlining Perry’s stage with a crowd that arguably rivaled next door neighbor headliners Kings of Leon and Skrillex. And then Chano brought out another Chicago legend just to put icing on the cake. Nailed it.
Lollapalooza is fast approaching this weekend with main-stage legends coming by way of Eminem, OutKast and Kings of Leon. The annual Chicago music festival held against the city’s skyline is hip-hop top heavy this year, and it make sense when you think about the town’s emerging rap scene. It’s hard to say who’s the bigger or more exciting bill between Em and OutKast, but I may have to give the nod to Slim Shady since Big Boi and Andre 3000 are hitting virtually every U.S. city this summer. So, who else do you have to catch that won’t be playing at the Bud Light or Samsung Galaxy stages?
If you find yourself in the Windy City this weekend, make sure to check out these other great non-headlining sets.
7. Iggy Azalea
Iggy’s breakout summer jam “Fancy” has dominated charts all season. Though she’s a rising name in hip-hop, you already know this crowd is going to be filled with chicks getting white girl wasted. Bring it on.
Haunting, bouncy, and beautiful all at the same time, Phantogram blends sample-based electronic music with lead singer Sarah Barthel’s tragically smooth vocals. Expect a super cool light show too.
5. Foster The People
You probably remember Foster The People destroying radio waves a few summers ago with “Pumped Up Kicks.” Well, their new song “Best Friends” is pretty addicting too. This will be sure to be an awesomely bouncy set.
This Queensbridge-native is a certified living legend, and he’s been performing his classic Illmatic in full all summer to celebrate its 20th anniversary. You don’t want to miss this kind of momentous show.
Flume breeds a kind of electronic music that is quite unlike anybody else. Both brooding and infectious, the Australian-born producer will be sure to deliver a rave for the ages.
Chromeo sets are guaranteed to be funky, fresh, and fun. Expect lots of high-flying guitar and super-soaked synths that sound like they’re blaring straight from the 80s.
1. Chance The Rapper
Hometown hero Chance The Rapper was grossly under-staged last year at Lolla, but this year he’ll be closing down Perry’s stage. With a flurry of syllabic rhymes and an addictive turn-down-for-what energy, don’t be surprised if this MC’s crowd rivals Skrillex or Kings of Leon playing nearby.
With the first weekend of Coachella just days away, it’s no secret that the must-see performance of the festival is OutKast on Friday night. The dynamic duo is celebrating their 20th anniversary and haven’t hit the stage together in years. Muse and Arcade Fire will be sure to hold it down as the other two top bills on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, but what everybody else?
If you’re heading down to the desert this weekend, be sure to check out these other great non-headlining acts.
Sexy and sultry, Banks’ mysterious sound will remind you of a female version of the Weeknd. This alternative r&b songstress hails from L.A., so expect a hometown crowd cheering her on.
The young crooner from New Zealand absolutely took over the charts last year with her moody, yet pop-friendly hits. Although she’s only 17, she’s helmed the spotlight smoothly, playing on stages as big as the Grammy’s. Plus, her awkward, jerky dance movements are a sight to be seen.
5. Chance The Rapper
Hailing from Chicago, Chance has made big waves off a couple of mixtapes that have landed him features with the likes of Lil Wayne and Justin Bieber. But where the young MC really shines is under the stage lights. His raw energy and passion is contagious.
4. Calvin Harris
If you’ve been out to any bar, venue, stadium or outing in the past couple of years, chances are you’ve danced foolishly to a Calvin Harris jam. The Scottish DJ just knows how to make a crowd move, and the Sahara Tent will be no exception.
Beck is a true living legend. Making his rounds in the 90s, Beck infused hip-hop, soul, funk and rock with seamless ease. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to see a this veteran, American musician in sunny California.
Love him or hate him, Skrillex knows how to throw a party. The energy he brings to his shows is infectious and his drops will definitely melt your face off. Be ready to rage if you’re going to catch this set on Saturday.
1. Pharell Williams
Skateboard P has been sculpting pop’s landscape for the past couple of decades, but this past year has been his best yet. His slot at Coachella should be a surefire party of number one hits. Don’t be shocked if he brings a surprise or two on stage with him either. The guy has probably worked with half of the festival’s lineup, after all.
One of the biggest surprises of last year was when Beyoncé released a 5th album as a complete surprise to all fans and press. It caused a huge splash and further respect for Queen Bey. Today, it appears other artists are following suit, the latest of whom being Kid Cudi, who today released his album Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon, which was originally due out on April 29th.
The approach completely goes against all things traditional, whereby the marketing leading up to the album release often outdoes the album itself. We typically see three singles released before an entire album, and all leading up to the release, fans are anxiously awaiting the day they can get their hands on the entire album, either legally or illegally. But as we’ve seen it, the shine tends to wear off pretty quickly, and in modern-day music consumption, many will move on to the next bright and shiny new release after a run through of that album. Many times, people wont even get to the end of the album if the songs at the beginning of the stack aren’t strong enough.
The fast-paced, ADHD modern method of consumption leaves artists with few options but to release single after single, put out free music, or, as we’re seeing here, completely rethink the system.
So here we have it: an entire Kid Cudi album, two months early, released with minimal marketing efforts, available via iTunes.
What do you think; is this a method that other artists should use to put out their music? Or is it one only fit for Queen Bey herself?
“Too Bad I Have To Destroy You Now” – Kid Cudi:
Download KiD CuDi Too Bad I Have To Destroy You Now
Valentine’s Day is a fickle beast. On one hand, it’s an opportunity to spend time with the one you love, an opportunity to show that person how deeply you care for him or her and just how much he or she means to you. On the other hand, it’s a fictional, unnecessary, overpriced piece of garbage concocted by Corporate America to sell cards and chocolates. In case you were wondering, I am single.
Luckily, my aggressive abstinence has hopefully been converted into humor for you guys. I, like most 20 year olds in 2014, have a Tinder account. Tinder is the perfect place to just throw things out there and see what happens: there is very little ready information about you, and the probability of an IRL encounter with any of those people is slim to none. Therefore, I decided to throw caution to the wind and open conversation with my matches using Ginuwine lyrics. The following images are the result of my endeavor.
Believe it or not, I do have friends. And many of those friends are friends with some of these girls. So there is a chance greater than zero that I irreparably damaged my reputation in some circles here. And that’s fine, I guess. I’ll get back to you guys on that one.
Also HUGE shoutout to Eric for putting together the artwork at such short notice. Throw him some props.
This was probably my favorite interaction, as well as my favorite lyric to use (the opening lines of “So Anxious”). Right from the get-go you can see that she feels very strongly that Ginuwine is not her type, and even uses some vernacular that I haven’t been familiar with since middle school. Maybe she’s more of an Usher girl.
This one was a blow to the ego. The lyric (from “None Of Ur Friends Business”) isn’t even that inappropriate, I basically asked her out on a date, although I guess no one has said “grab a bite” since Friends was still on the air so that probably wasn’t very clear. Also not sure how I feel about the use of “LOL” rather than “lol.” On the one hand, “LOL” seems to convey genuine laughing, but on the other “lol” is v condescending. I’ll call it a wash.
I didn’t really take any issue with this response to the hook from “Stingy,” to be honest. It wasn’t condescending really, and it didn’t really come after me at all. I just think it’s grounded in ignorance. I mean, say there is something I should get checked out. Anything detrimental can be healed with a healthy dose of Ginuwine, and if I’m sending you Ginuwine lyrics on Tinder then obviously I’m getting my daily allowance of G. I don’t get it. (Also, Tinder, I’ve obviously said hello already. I’ve gone above and beyond that. Get it together.)
(That’s the point.)
WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER. I probably should have asked her to be my Valentine, to be honest.
Tonight, we finally got an official offering of Coachella’s 2014 lineup. As expected, OutKast will be reuniting on the main stage to kick things off Friday night, with Muse and Arcade Fire as the other top bills on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
The list goes on and on with big name acts including Lorde, Beck, Calvin Harris, Pharrell Williams, MGMT, Skrillex, Ellie Goulding, Kid Cudi, Lana Del Rey, Empire of the Sun, Queens of the Stone Age and Nas among others.
Who would you guys be most excited to see?
— Coachella (@coachella) January 9, 2014
Rap Genius is an amazing tool. One of my favorite features of the site is the “Verified Artists” feature, where artists, producers, and designers can explain the underlying truths behind their work and share anecdotes about their creations. RG nabbed one of our favorite producers Ludwig Göransson shortly after Childish Gambino‘s Because the Internet dropped to discuss his contributions to the project. Check out Ludwig’s stories from the BTI mansion sessions, and get tickets to see Gambino live on his national “Deep Web” tour here.
Continuing his transition from blog buzz to legitimate mainstream success, Chance The Rapper made his late night television debut last night on The Arsenio Hall Show. He chose to perform Acid Rap highlight “Chain Smoker” with a live band in front of Arsenio’s studio audience. Well, he kinda performed it anyway. The television platform obviously didn’t allow for the song’s colorful language and by the end of the song he looked more excited to dance along to the backing vocal track than actually sing it himself. He got the job done, though. I’m sure a whole new group of people went to their laptops after the show and were introduced to the greatness that is Acid Rap.
The highlight of the appearance was Chance’s brief sit-down with Arsenio. Watch below as he discusses the violence in Chicago and specifically urges those at Grand Crossing Park to take it easy in the coming year.
Sunset and Childish Gambino fan Kevin Gannon offered to give his thoughts on Childish Gambino and his upcoming album, ‘Because The Internet.’
I can remember my first experience with Childish Gambino like it was yesterday. It was, in fact, not yesterday but the summer of 2010. He had just released the Culdesac mixtape and my impression was probably similar to yours: “Holy hell, how did I not know that Troy (from Community) could rap like THIS?!” He instantly reminded me of guys like Lil Wayne and Drake because of his punchline-heavy approach, but there was a sincerity and reality to his lyrics that felt more organic than his influences. The Childish one just sounded, well, real and I could connect with his outsider vision, affinity for indie-rock and cartoons, and fondness for humor as a vehicle. This was, after all, a guy who decided to take on music after showcasing that he could write his ass off and act pretty damn well, too.
But it’s been nearly three and a half years since then and, of course, things are very different for both me and the rapper I’ve grown so fond of. For me, I’ve been most recently dealing with a transition from college to the “real world.” That means relying on my own income, which often gets a little pummeled when I make extraneous purchases to supplement my music-listening habits. Like my new headphones, I finally caved in and copped after reading this guide. And during this same time, Gambino released a slew of new material. That includes his debut album, Camp, which was unfairly panned by critics who seemed to be piggy-backing on one another’s hate. The record still resonated with me, though, as did his Royalty mixtape that dropped last year.
That being said, it did sound as if Gambino was getting somewhat stuck artistically. It seemed like he needed to challenge himself, be it by surrounding himself with new collaborators or simply immersing himself in a different setting. And this past summer, it was apparent that he had done exactly that after I watched his “Clapping For The Wrong Reasons” short film. It was an odd viewing experience, of course, because nothing seemed to be connected as one scene jumped to another. But it did show that he was branching out and spending time with acts who could challenge him. They included Trinidad Jame$, Flying Lotus, and somewhat-frequent collaborator Chance The Rapper.
Seeing all of this made me even more hopeful once I heard rumblings of Gambino’s sophomore album, Because The Internet. And, sure enough, he proved that he was on another level with the release of lead single “3005.” The sing-song hook, the lyrics split between bravado and introspection, and the superbly melodic, albeit forward-thinking production, blended together wonderfully. Here was a fully fleshed-out track from Gambino that was also equally familiar and unlike what we’ve heard from him before.
Subsequent single releases like “Telegraph Ave” proved that this was indeed a new side to the writer-turned-actor-turned-multifaceted-musical-artist. And he opened up about these changes in an interview with Billboard. He revealed that he feels like he needs to inspire people and that his music is a way for him to do that.
That’s why when he went into making Because The Internet in December 2012, he did things differently. He opted out of “going home” and instead rented out a new place—the mansion from the short film?—and reached out to new people. This allowed him to tap into different parts of his mind and expand his creativity. And as he told Billboard: “I didn’t want to make another album, really–I wanted to create a world.”
We’ll all get a chance to hear just what that world sounds like when the album is released Dec. 10. If you can’t wait that long, though, you can stream it right now on iTunes.
Tracklist for Because The Internet after the jump.
The reason I started this blog was because I was inspired by cool people doing cool things. It has focused almost 100% on music, but here and there I’ve shared some art and technology with you guys. Recently, I was invited to participate in a cool event hosted by HP where I was able to test out the latest and greatest HP technology. Being somebody who’s inspired by technology and forward-thinkers, this was a really cool experience for me.
For other tech junkies out there: the technology showcased at the #hpjoy event was forward-thinking. I was especially impressed the the LeapMotion system now in place in the ENVY laptop series. It allows a new level of control to the user by allowing gestures made in the air to be understood by the machine. This seems like a gimmick at first, but the opportunities are plentiful. For example, being able to quickly rotate and zoom in on 3D projections are quite impractical with a touchpad. One level geekier, having a new gesture-based means to control the screen gives developers a lot more potential to be creative with UI design. This could be the future, yall. After playing with the system, it became apparent to me that what the LeapMotion platform brings is the next logical step to the current age of multi-touch trackpads.
So after being able to geek out with the technology, I was given another gift from HP. I have received two HP Chromebooks for my review and comments. I’m giving away one of these two Chromebooks so you guys can have the opportunity to test out this new cool technology as well. Sign up with your information using the form below. The contest will run until December 14th, 2013, and then once a winner is chosen, he or she will be contacted via email and the Chromebook will be shipped to them. Also, be sure to spread the word with your friends! Once you’ve entered your information below, you’ll be given opportunities to share with your friends – for each friend you invite who then enters to win, you will be rewarded an extra entry.
In our all-important third episode of The Jordan and Arjun Show, we talk about Eminem‘s latest album MMLP2, Childish Gambino‘s Because the Internet cover, Drake‘s brand new video for “Worst Behavior,” and much more. Actually, just some more.
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