Drake has achieved many accomplishments in his 25-years, but getting his high school degree — unless you count the one he earned at Degrassi High –was not among them. Drake left Toronto’s Forest Hill Collegiate Institute when he was just 15-years-old to take a role on Degrassi, and he never looked back from there. Back in August he announced that he was ready to hit the books and grind out his last credit, and so it seems he’s finally done it! Boy, it must feel good to have this crossed off the “To Do” list.
Drake shared on Twitter last night that he got a 97 percent on his final exam, which was enough to bring his class average up to 88 percent or a B+. “One of the greatest feelings in my entire life, ” he wrote. And so he may never know what Harvard gets him, but for now this will do. Mazel tov!
It’s hard not to lump Sky Ferreira in with the rest of the models often recognized on his Tumblr blog. She is indeed the perfect encapsulation of what a “scene girl” should look like: grunge-y bleached blond hair with peeking dark roots, bright red lipstick, wrapped up in a jean jacket. But Sky Ferreira’s (pronounced as such) latest EP hit the digital shelves yesterday and it’s pretty awesome. It’s got five full tracks featuring a plethora of sounds from a plethora of special friends–everyone from Jon Brion to Sherley Manson–not to mention Dev Hynes (aka Blood Orange) who helped Solange with her latest, “Losing You“.
The EP is a diverse collection of songs–Ferreira goes easily from teary-eyed acoustics (on “Sad Dream”) to rock reminiscent of Courtney Love and Garbage (on “Red Lips”, which Manson co-wrote, so it makes sense.) “Everything is Embarrassing”, produced by Dev Hynes, thumps away in the style of Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know”, infusing Ferreira’s far-away vocals that continue to layer as the song progresses.
Taylor Swift hugged me, and somehow I have lived to tell about it. And yes, being embraced by the woman with the most digital record sales of all-timeIS like driving a new Maserati down a dead end street: exhilarating and emotional, a split second of life on the edge. The most magical moment of my life went down Monday afternoon, right before the singer took the stage in front of a room full of college students for her VH1 Storytellers performance. That too was awe-inspiring and uplifting, complete with lots of “I love yous!” from Taylor to the crowd as she strummed a sparkly guitar.
If it sounds like I’m gushing, I am. The woman completely won me over.
It’s never to early to begin planning next summer’s beach reading.
As was reported earlier this year, Lil Wayne is working with Grand Central Publishing to turn the diary he kept during his eight month Rikers stint into a memoir called Gone Till November. We being avid WeezyThxYou readers, we were very excited by the news. But then Lil Wayne got busy with his skateboarding and his t-shirt shilling, dropping mixtapes and sitting for bonkers depositions — just so many projects that we had forgotten about his writerly ambitions. And so it was a pleasant surprise to see that the project has finally come to fruition. Gone Till November won’t actually be out in November — rather, we’ll have to wait until May 14th, 2013 — but it does have a cover now, and it also appears to be available for pre-order on Amazon. Hooray! Read more…
Eccentric South African rap-ravers Die Antwoord have set alight with their provocative new video for “Fatty Boom Boom.” The video is as complicated an act as they are — it at one point finds the duo donning what appears to be blackface, and there is a worthwhile exploration of that element here — and worth unpacking a bit, particularly the part where they totally clown on Lady Gaga and her taste for “freaky things.”
The video begins with a tour guide welcoming a Lady Gaga doppelgänger to Africa with a tour of South Africa’s “Concrete Jungle,” where stoplights are called “robots” and shop owners keep black panthers as guard cats. When they come across Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er performing on the sidewalk, Gaga pauses to admire their “freaky fashion” and has just begun to wonder if she might “get them to open for me” — a gig they’ve actually turned down — when the van gets highjacked. Gaga sets off running and somehow winds up at a dentist/gynecologist’s office, where she births a gross and goo-covered bug because she is indeed the Mother Monster. And in the end, they let the Lion King of the Concrete Jungle eat her. Read more…
Here’s some music that’ll make your mid-week blues feel more like end-of-week joy. Swedish duo Icona Pop, Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt, have shared a stream of their newest EP, Iconic, with the web and it if played correctly (all the way through) it should cure your weekday woes. Joining the irritable pop anthem, “I Love It“, five other tracks prove Icona Pop to be consistent with their musical heritage (Swedes trulymake the bestpop) and confirming their “iconic” band name. Melodic synths, thumping drums, choruses perfect for screaming sing-alongs: It’s like ABBA for 2012, if you ask me. (And I am not referring to the A*Teens.)
The best part about an EP? It’s short, and exactly the length time it should take to get ready for a night out.
Once Kaleidoscope Dream dropped the comparisons began. Not to jump on the bandwagon that is certain to continue, but Miguel channeled Prince in his performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night. Instead of performing the obvious “Adorn” or “Do You” Miguel went with the guitar-heavy rock-ish track “The Thrill.” The garage rock sound of the song allowed for an energized Miguel to actually do more than stand on the stage and sing. Read more…
These are strange times. It used to be that when a band broke up, you could no longer see them live. These days, however, it seems every rock band that has ever existed, from the biggest names in rock to the most obscure of punk groups, is back on the road. Outside of a few, poorly-executed one-offs, 70s hard rock giants Led Zeppelin are on the short list of bands who have not taken the big paycheck to put on a reunion tour, thus when word spread in 2007 they would take the stage at London’s 02 Arena to headline a tribute concert for legendary Atlantic Records’ founder Ahmet Ertegun, it was greeted as the second coming and set the stage for a full-fledged reunion tour.
The dead have risen from their graves.
The concert itself was received rapturously. Everyone from classic rock royalty to the band’s old nemesis, Rolling Stone, proclaimed its greatness. The masses awaited for tickets to go on sale, credit cards in hand, bedecked in new-vintage Urban Outfitters 1977 tour shirts. And then the greatest rock n’ roll reunion tour of all time didn’t happen. Singer Robert Plant went on tour with Allison Krauss, bassist John Paul Jones formed a new band with Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and guitarist Jimmy Page did a movie with Jack White. Five years later, a suitably mysterious countdown clock on the Led Zeppelin website and Facebook page built up anticipation once again that the band were finally announcing the release of Celebration Day, the concert film of the band’s 2007 performance.
A decade in, Kelly Clarkson is ready to sign, seal and deliver the first chapter of her career with her first greatest hits compilation, called of course Greatest Hits — Chapter One, due out November 19th. According to this new track listing, the collection is 17 songs long and each song is in fact a great hit. Included in the mix are early hits, like the twitchy “Miss Independent” from 2003’s Thankful, and songs that are still heating up the charts, like “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).” Additionally, there are two new songs: “Catch My Breath” and “People Like Us,” which we have yet to hear. And because it’s that time of the year again, the album is sealed with her take on “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.”
Clarkson stays being understated, but this track list proves her to be none-less than a pop power house. Let’s have a look: Read more…
Frank Ocean is back on his blog grind. The last time the crooner used TextEdit was just ahead of his Channel Orange release, when he posted a moving account of his first love, who just happened to be a man. Last night the generous star returned to his Tumblr, this time with less of a mission in mind but still with ever so much to say. This note is more free-wheeling and less pointed than the last, touching quickly on his dreams, his diet and even death, before Ocean sweetly concludes: “Good night moon.”
Major revelations include confirmation that Ocean has been in the studio with Pharrell and Jay-Z, and that he’s always making new music. And all the rest read like a revelation — a bit about love, lots of new projects and one mention of Bill Murray. Like Ocean himself, it’s funny and smart, quirky and honest, and well worth the attention. Maybe Ocean should consider a career in blogging?