A$AP Rocky is not New York’s rap savior. That doesn’t mean he isn’t the most intriguing, most watched rapper to emerge from New York in the last decade. It’s hard for an artist’s project to live up to the level of hype critics and fans set for Long.Live.A$AP. Like Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city, A$AP rose to the occasion with the (Polo Grounds/RCA) debut–not for producing an LP with a cohesive story arclike his Oakland colleague–but for its production and experimentation.
Criticized for his lack of depth on the mixtape Live.Love.A$AP, the 24-year-old Harlem rapper didn’t buckle under pressure to create a forced pseudo-deep LP. It’s unapologetic in the grandiose boasting of extra zeros in his bank account, the fly women he’s sexing and posturing of street life. “Yes I’m the s—-/Tell me if it stink/It feel good waking up to money in the bank/Three model b—-/cocaine on the sink/And I’m so ’bout it ’bout it I might roll up in a tank,” he raps on the lead single “Goldie.” The themes are much of the “look at how much money I have” and “I know fancy designers,” but his voice over the drums, snares and keyboards, it all bangs. Hard. Read more…
UPDATE (6/8/12 @ 10:00 a.m.): Hey everyone! Just a heads-up that general ticket sales for our big You Oughta Know tour with Ed Sheeran are now on-sale. Don’t miss your opportunity to see this exciting new artist when he comes to a city near you! Follow along for complete details…
Talented beyond his 21-years, British singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran’s debut album, +, peaked at No. 1 on the UK charts. After seeing his superb artistry through viral BRIT Awards performance of “Lego House,” we introduced him as May’s You Oughta Know artist. Now that he’s risen to stardom in the UK, Sheeran is ready to take on the states in his first ever North American tour. On September 19, Sheeran will kick off his North American tour at Boston’s House Of Blues and will continue touring through early October. For more information on how you can purchase tickets, see below.
THE “VH1 YOU OUGHTA KNOW TOUR WITH ED SHEERAN” GETS UNDERWAY SEPTEMBER 19TH IN BOSTON
THE HIGH PROFILE U.S. TOUR COINCIDES WITH BRITISH SENSATION’S FIRST NORTH AMERICAN HEADLINE TREK AND CELEBRATES THE STATESIDE RELEASE OF HIS ACCLAIMED DEBUT, +
PRE-ORDERS AVAILABLE NOW ON THE iTUNES STORE; RELEASE DAY TELEVISED APPEARANCES SET FOR NBC’S TODAY AND VH1’S BIG MORNING BUZZ LIVE
NYC HEADLINE SHOWS SELL OUT WITHIN MINUTES; + AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE ON JUNE 12TH.
Miley Cyrus really is growing up, and it’s absolutely delightful to watch. The young star appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night looking decidedly more mature with a sleek long-bob (we’re booking our hairdresser appointments right now!), to perform her cover of Bob Dylan‘s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.” The song appears on Chimes Of Freedom, a compilation of Bob Dylan covers celebrating his career as well as Amnesty International’s 50th anniversary with all proceeds from sales going, naturally, to Amnesty. Miley’s rendition of “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” is absolutely beautiful, and at only 19 years old, Miley’s emotion when she sings it is wholly convincing. With her raspy country vocal and the already gorgeous music, it’s pretty hard not to fall in love with this performance.
T-Pain showed off his non-auto tuned singing skills on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno last night with one of the tracks off his new album, “5 O’Clock.” The song is a sexy ode to the crack of dawn, and between T-Pain’s breathy vocal and the adorable little thing singing the female part at the side of the stage, the whole performance is inspiring us to loosen our collars. There’s a bit of a retro R&B throw back happening here too, with purple tinted lighting, a full band and some harmonizing backup singers with synchronized dance moves. The song itself is pretty catchy — we’re expecting it will be a staple for party playlists this winter, and we’re definitely hoping there will be a club-inspired remix for the festive season.
In the nineties, you could count the number of commercial white rappers on one hand. Beastie Boys. Vanilla Ice. Marky Mark (and the Funky Bunch). Maybe Everlast and even 3rd Bass count too, although their “household name” reach wasn’t nearly as long. As a result, an entire generation of hip-hop fans grew up listening to a genre that was based in a primarily Urban setting, rarely poking its nichey head above ground into the pop arena. That didn’t stop the audience’s obsession with hip-hop though, and regardless of content relatability, the music managed to draw a crop of loyal, melanin-lacking disciples.
Putting his unquestionable talent aside, it’s not a huge surprise that Eminem’sSlim Shady LP was so well-received when Interscope helped him to first put take his underground music into the mainstream back in 1999. Paving the way for the constant flow of new, up-and-coming white rappers who idolized him back then, Eminem came to market with a blunt, true-to-self, lower socio-economic class character that was refreshing and different from the previous attempts of white rappers past. Looking the accidental mockery in the face, who can forget The White Rapper Show, for example? Whether you hated it or loved it, it was a trainwreck that you couldn’t resist watching, if only to laugh at the contestants’ hilarious missteps.
On Monday, it was announced that white rapper Rich Hil, son of fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, was signed to Warner Brothers Records. This news not only continues to feed the growing trend of white rapper signings, but also the perpetuates the sub-genre craze that is now commonly referred to as “Frat Rap.” Focusing less on conveying social commentary or more personal issues, Frat Rap flaunts a party lifestyle, celebrating the cliche reckless behavior associated with college fraternities, like getting hammered, bagging girls, and partaking in experimental gateway drugs. Executing lyricism and celebrating the Bronx-born culture aren’t really a priority.