All Articles Tagged "music"
If you watched the BET Awards on Sunday, then I’m sure you watched newcomer Jidenna perform his hit single “Classic Man.” With Janelle Monaé by his side, it was a performance that had everyone asking, “Who is that?!” With his signature look and sound, Jidenna is already making big waves as he introduces the world to his swanky style. Here are 15 things you didn’t know about hip-hop’s newest MC.
With the 2015 BET Awards going down this weekend, we decided to take a look at some of the best tributes, reunions, performances, and hilarious moments from the award show over the years. What’s your favorite moment?
Everyone loves a good comeback. And over the past year, we’ve been blessed with the return of D’Angelo and Janet Jackson. Check out these 15 musical acts who have had some of the greatest comebacks ever!
The warmer weather months are often filled with many large music festivals such as Coachella, Governor’s Ball, Lalapalooza, Made in America, and for the strictly hip-hop audience, Summer Jam, Hot 97’s annual summer event (also the largest hip-hop music festival in the world.)
Beyond the music, these concerts and festivals provide fans with the chance to listen to the music of their favorite artists, interact with different vendors/sponsors, meet fellow fans, and also dive into the summer music festival “sub-culture” of tailgating, drinking, and “feeling” the vibes.
Prior to attending this year’s Summer Jam concert, I interviewed Hot 97 executives Ebro Darden and Deon Levingston about what goes into planning the event and what their expectations/visions for the 2015 show are. Chatting with them prepared me for what content to expect, but it was the experience of what it must be like to be a first time festival-goer that intrigued me.
“The fans at Summer Jam are super-duper fans of the artists, music, hip hop and R&B. That’s important for an artist’s brand. [This] is where you can reinforce your position in the hip-hop culture,” said Darden.
Despite the rioting that occurred outside after a group of individuals tried to gain access to the concert without having tickets, Summer Jam was still a hit. Favorites from the festival stage included B.O.B, who got crunk with the audience and had an unmatched energy. Joey Bada$$ (who I admittingly have never heard before) wowed me with his lyrical flow and commanding stage presence. Overall, the Stadium stage performances which included surprise guests like Future, Redman & Method Man, Nicky Minaj, 50 Cent (and more), were equally impressing.
There are two main reasons why I believe everyone should experience a large summer concert festival at least once in their life:
Experience what “live music” truly means. Listening to a song on the radio versus seeing it performed live are two different things. Add people surrounding you engaged on all sides, and you have a very special situation. The energy that radiates from the stage during a good live performance (whether it be DJ or live band-backed) is something that is hard to describe. Even if you aren’t a hip-hop head, you’ll walk away with a deeper appreciation for what it takes to truly perform and produce crowd-appealing music. An artist’s ability to command a live stage can be a turning point for his/her career.
Learn to appreciate hip hop music as a powerful (and unifying) force. When Remy Ma stepped on stage with Fat Joe to rap her verse on “Lean Back,” the stadium erupted with cheers. It was as if Remy was all our personal friend who we were welcoming back home from a long absence. I may be a bit philosophical here, but I couldn’t help but think about how hip-hop music unites people of all backgrounds, if only for a moment. At any point during the day, you could look around and see individuals mouthing the words being performed on stage. As I observed, it’s easy to get lost in the collective magnetism of performance art.
One concertgoer, Crystal Adams, who I chatted with after the event was over, attended with her husband and teenage children. “My favorite performance was Fabulous’ set because I felt it truly repped the tri-state area,” she said. “I loved seeing so many people who have been at past Summer Jams rock the stage together.”
She continued, “I haven’t done Summer Jam in many years mostly because I felt I was too old. This year however, our teens wanted to go so I went to chaperone but ended up having a great time! Fortunately, we missed the melee outside and I certainly could have done without the weed smoke in my face all night, but overall it was a great time with the family. I look forward to taking them to future concerts.”
As Darden told me in our pre-Summer Jam interview, “Music is all about life and memories. Summer Jam is part of that music memory… that’s the most meaningful piece for people.”
Now, as an official Summer Jam attendee alum, I’ll have to agree with Mr. Darden. Throughout the night, I observed so many people making memories I imagine they’ll remember for a lifetime. Whether it be singing ,”I Don’t F*** With You” by Big Sean accompanied by a stadium full of screaming fans, chilling with your best friends walking the stadium grounds, or sitting down wondering why an able artist (*cough cough* Chris Brown) decided to lip sync his top hits and still expect the crowd to be pumped, the experience always trumps.
Though all are not equal in prestige, any music fan knows a good live music festival is one of the ultimate ways to experience the art form. Be sure to get out there and experience one for yourself.
Lauryn Hill turned forty recently. It seems like just yesterday she was the 17-year-old with the micro braids who stole the show in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. In that time she has become a cultural icon and one of hip hop’s-and black music in general’s-most elusive artists. She hasn’t released a proper album in seventeen years, she has been known for showing up incredibly late for shows, and the reason that The Fugees 2005 reunion album was cut short after a few recording sessions.
Nonetheless, Ms. Hill is a treasure. In her sleep she can out-rap, out-sing, and out-write almost everyone who is hot in 2015. That’s the reason that in spite of it all, we keep rooting for her. I still believe that one day she will make that incredible follow-up (it will be nothing like Miseducation) and we will be there to embrace her with open arms. Over the past twenty-three years, Lauryn Hill has been much more than the soundtrack to breakups. She has made cameo appearances that have often gone overlooked and I think she wanted that to happen. Without further adieu, this weeks’ Flashback Friday will be ten hits, album cuts, remixes, rarities, and overlooked but are amazing.
Flashback Friday: 10 Hits, Remixes, And Rare Songs By Lauryn Hill
Summer begins on June 21, but the summer concert season is already in full effect. From New York all the way to Los Angeles, let’s take a look at 15 concerts that are a must-see!
At a time when many women in music are working hard to look and sound exactly the same, sometimes it feels like there aren’t very many female artists speaking your language and trying to make genuinely good music. Not true! They may not be at the top of the Billboard charts or all over the magazines yet, but there are some very talented women out there ready to change the game. For music lovers everywhere, here are five up-and-coming women in music to look out for.
This Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, and emcee has had her vocal abilities compared to the likes of Nina Simone and Lauryn Hill, but with a fresh twist. She has provided supporting vocals for many musical geniuses including Common, Lalah Hathaway, Zap Mama, and The Roots. Her work with The Roots landed Maimouna her first Grammy nomination for the hit “Don’t Feel Right.” In 2011, Maimouna released her first EP, Black Magic Woman. That same year she released a full-length album titled The Blooming, which made the Washington Post’s list of the Best DC Music of 2011. One of my favorite songs of Maimouna’s is her cover of Lorde’s “Royals.” Maimouna reclaims our rich African history and proclaims, “We’re already Royals, see it runs in our blood. We just been having tougher luck, we need a different kind of buzz. Let me be your ruler, call me Nefertiti and baby I’ll rule, come on in to reality.” Maimouna is truly a voice that will take the music industry by storm.
I began the month of May with a playlist of songs between sixteen and twenty-five years old because 90’s music was awesome. While we are often looking forward to what the spring and summer has in store for us, there are very few things that get us going like songs that spark nostalgia and remind us of good times we have had on the warmer side of the venal equinox.
It is Memorial Day Weekend. That means no one is really doing work on this Friday, there are travel plans, cookouts, day parties, adventures to be had, or even just staying put and doing some spring cleaning. Nonetheless, all of these activities are much better when one has a playlist to go with it. So for this Flashback Friday, here is the part two to my playlist of 90s R&B songs we loved.
Flashback Friday: 90s R&B Part 2
The ’90s was the era that birthed the remix. And whether or not you believe Diddy’s claims that he fathered this form of music, you can’t deny that a good remix can live on forever. A great remix will make you forget all about the original. From Mariah teaming up with ODB to Nicki and Bey, check out 15 of the best remixes from the last 20 years.
Rihanna has decided to quench the thirst of Navy fans by releasing her latest video for the song “American Oxygen” to the masses.
Rihanna’s videos are always fresh to death. She takes big chances and is not afraid to twerk it out in a jean thong to get her point across: she’s the baddest gyal. Never forget it!
Let’s revisit 15 of Rihanna’s hottest music videos while we impatiently wait for the release of R8.