Did Jay Rock Take Shots at Big Sean on “King’s Dead”?

Jay Rock's star-studded single “King's Dead” features labelmate Kendrick Lamar, Future, and James Blake, along with solid production from Mike Will Made-It and Teddy Walton. That alone should get people talking, but it also sounds like the Watts representative has bars for a certain rapper: Big Sean. Though the suspected references are subtle, the theory isn’t much of a reach when you consider Sean’s ongoing feud with Kendrick.

Let’s take a look at some of the lyrics.

At the beginning of his verse, Jay uses the term “lil bitch,” which is a regular Sean ad-lib and one that Kendrick used on “The Heart Part 4.” (That song was also suspected of being a Sean diss track).

And it's like that, lil bitch
MVP, I get no sleep
No, I don't like that, lil bitch
Bust that open, I want that ocean
Yeah that bite back, lil bitch
Do it bite back, lil bitch?
Need two life jackets, lil bitch

Jay then goes on to rap: “I ain't gon’ hold you, I ain't gon’ press you, never control you/I ain't gon’ front you, keep it 100, I don't know you.” The use of the word “control” could be a reference to Sean’s 2013 song “Control” featuring Kendrick and Jay Electronica. The No I.D.-produced record seemingly sparked the beef between the rappers, as K-Dot rapped:

And them niggas should know what time it is
And that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Wale
Pusha T, Meek Millz, ASAP Rocky, Drake
Big Sean, Jay Electron', Tyler, Mac Miller
I got love for you all, but I'm tryna murder you niggas

Though Sean insisted he approved Kendrick’s verse, “Control” was ultimately left off his sophomore album, Hall of Fame. Which brings us to exhibit C: Jay later raps, “Stutter steppin', got a Hall of Fame in all my posters.” Interesting.

And then we have these lines: “My bitch been ready, my clique's been ready/My shit's been ready, my check's been ready.” Though it may be a stretch, the use of the word “clique” could be alluding to Sean’s feature on the Cruel Summer track “Clique,” with Kanye West and Jay Z.  

So, was Jay actually taking subtle jabs at Sean? You be the judge. “King’s Dead” is now available to stream on SoundCloud. The track is the lead single off Jay's upcoming studio album, and will appear on the Black Panther soundtrack.

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UK Rapper/Singer Dylan Cartlidge Delivers a Much-Needed Message With the “Love Spoons” Video

UK rapper, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Dylan Cartlidge was inspired by all the negative in the world, but instead of reacting with anger or disappointment, he responded with a message of hope. “Love Spoons” is an uplifting song with a sense of urgency, and it's exactly what we need right now. Watch the new Katia Ganfield-directed video above, and read a short interview with Dylan below.

“Love Spoons” has a really positive message. What inspired that, and why is it important for you to share right now?​

I believe so strongly in hope above adversity, and this song was written in part as a response to all these horrific attacks that were happening around the globe, one after another. It was awful. The Orlando attack in particular really struck me, as I couldn't believe those people had been targeted for the way in which they express their love. So I combined the feelings and thoughts from this period with my own feelings on individuality and hope above adversity. Regardless of age, gender, skin color, sexual orientation, or background, being you is a key to truly finding happiness. I think now more than ever there's somebody somewhere that could do with hearing that.

Musically, this isn't like a lot of the current styles making the rounds right now. What music influences you?

Kid Cudi is basically my idol, being a rapper by trade I grew up listening to a lot of rap, R&B, soul, and mainstream chart music mainly but lived in a household as a child with a trance DJ and '80s pop fanatic for a good while but typically, Lupe Fiasco, Stromae, Olu, Kanye West, Cage, Mac Miller, The Cool Kids. I then joined a band when I was 16, and for the first time had openly experienced music with live instruments, guitars and riffs, bands like The Black Keys, The White Stripes. I've never looked back since, totally blew my mind, my musical horizons had been broadened.

What can you tell us about the music video for “Love Spoons”? Where was it shot, who are the people featured in it? Any stories from the shoot that you remember?

The video was shot by a wonderfully talented lady named Katia Garfield who's done videos for the likes of Childhood, Demob Happy, and loads of others. It was all shot on her super cool VHS camera in the seaside town I live in named Redcar. I'd gotten many friends, family, and people I knew involved to try and showcase as many forms of love as I could find, in all different relationships and people. I even roped my girlfriend Holly into it!

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Jay Z Thanks These Artists for Inspiring Him, Releases Induction Speech From Obama

This will be a historic night for Jay Z and the world of hip hop.

On Thursday night, Hov will become the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. But before the induction ceremony kicked off, he made sure to give a shout out to all the artists who have inspired him over the years.

Jay shared a list of names in a series of tweets, showing love to everyone from Chuck D and Ice Cube to Drake and Meek Mill to Future and Lil Wayne. It was a varied bunch that included rap godfathers like Grandmaster Caz and Melle Mel; Golden Age icons such as Rakim, Queen Latifah, and Kool G. Rap (not for nothing did Hov once declare, “Hearing me rap is like hearing G. Rap in his prime”); former mentors Jaz-O and Big Daddy Kane; his contemporaries like Scarface, Redman, Pharoahe Monch, Black Thought, Andre 3000, and the late great Big L; and more, including many new artists who will undoubtedly be thrilled at their inclusion.

And showing that he was in a particularly welcoming mood, Jay even included some people he had beefed with over the years: Jaz-O, Cam'ron, Nas, and Joe Budden. He also makes reference to dimly remembered, long-ago battles against GZA and Busta Rhymes, well before anyone involved was famous. 

You can check out the full list in the posts below. 

He concluded the tweet storm with the following thanks:

And then, one last batch of names.

Okay, two (or three):

And then he thanked Obama and released a short movie—a video message from the former president to the crowd at the induction ceremony.

You can see the speech below.

In the speech, Obama called Jay “a friend of mine.” “I'd like to think Mr. Carter and I understand each other. Nobody who met us as younger men would have expected us to be where we are today… We know what it's like not to come from much… And so we try to prop open those doors of opportunities so it's a little easier for those who come up behind us… Jay and I are also fools for our daughters, although he's going to have me beat once those two twins show up. And, let's face it, we both have wives who are significantly more popular than we are.”

Obama then talked about how he was a longtime fan of Jay's work, and got in a slight dig at his successor: “I'm pretty sure I'm still the only president to listen to Jay Z's music in the Oval Office,” he said.

Even after the release of the induction speech, Jay kept the names coming.

 

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Where Will Kendrick Lamar’s Next Studio Album Take Us?

Kendrick Lamar has a way of putting the entire music world on high alert. The Compton wordsmith signaled his grand return in dramatic fashion by dropping “The Heart Part 4” on Thursday night. After calling himself the greatest rapper alive and rattling off subliminal disses presumably aimed at Big Sean and Drake, Kendrick ends the shape-shifting track with a presumed release date for his next LP, gift wrapped as a warning to rivals: “Y'all got 'til April the 7th to get y'all shit together.”

So there you have it. Eleven days from today, Kendrick Lamar is coming…with something. But just where does one of rap’s most important voices go following the massive masterpiece that is To Pimp a Butterfly? He dropped some hints earlier this month in an interview with T: The New York Times Style Magazine, describing the project as timely and “very urgent.”

“I think now, how wayward things have gone within the past few months, my focus is ultimately going back to my community and the other communities around the world where they’re doing the groundwork,” he said. “To Pimp a Butterfly was addressing the problem. I’m in a space now where I’m not addressing the problem anymore. We’re in a time where we exclude one major component out of this whole thing called life: God. Nobody speaks on it because it’s almost in conflict with what’s going on in the world when you talk about politics and government and the system.”

He continued with an analogy about watching a hypothetical daughter mature into a woman. “At one point in time I may have a little girl who grows up and tells me about her engagements with a male figure—things that most men don’t want to hear,” he said. “Learning to accept it, and not run away from it, that’s how I want this album to feel.”

The two themes—confronting the inevitable and the significance of religion in the midst of political havoc—evoke the idea of meeting with God in the afterlife. Kendrick alludes to this in “The Heart Part 4” via his burn of America’s so-called leader (“Donald Trump is a chump/Know how we feel, punk? Tell 'em that God comin’”). DMX has talks with both the devil (“Damien”) and the Lord (“The Convo”) on It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot, the album that first inspired a young K-Dot to write his own raps. Perhaps Kendrick plans to address the same grapple on his next work.

Focusing on a higher power would be consistent with the trajectory of Kendrick Lamar’s studio albums thus far. Each LP finds him broadening his scope, almost as if he’s adjusting to the size and diversity of his audience. Section.80 homes in on the experience of ’80s babies brought up in the midst of Reaganomics and the crack epidemic. Its 2012 follow up, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, paints with wider strokes, portraying the perils of growing up on the red-and-blue patrolled blocks of Compton, which really serves as a microcosm for Any Hood, U.S.A. To Pimp a Butterfly and its well-received leftovers Untitled Unmastered are generally concerned with the plight of black Americans (the former has been notably described as “overwhelmingly black”). Religion would not be new terrain for Kendrick—GKMC concludes with a life-changing baptism and TPAB’s “How Much A Dollar Cost” is about an encounter with a panhandler who turns out to be God. Yet the time seems appropriate to musically explore spirituality in greater depth, especially after Chance the Rapper blurred the line between spiritual and secular rap last year with Coloring Book.

As for politics, things done changed since the last time Kendrick compiled an album. TPAB dropped in the wake of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice’s murders by police officers, days when movements like Black Lives Matter were beginning to really find momentum. Kendrick took it all in and spit out a soundtrack of survival (“We gon’ be alright”), self-care (“I love myself”), self-esteem (“Complexion don’t mean a thing”) and self-worth (“This dick ain’t free”). And while each of those themes remains important, for many the socio-political climate has shifted from survival to resistance. Kendrick has the opportunity to make angrier—or to use his words, “very urgent”—music to keep listeners fighting the good fight against America’s first (and, God-willing, last) orange president. He could pack his new LP with tracks that are more Public Enemy than A Tribe Called Quest, more “The Blacker The Berry” than “You Ain't Gotta Lie (Momma Said).”

Alternatively, Kendrick could blow minds with an album that aims to be an easier listen than its predecessor. Maybe he’s cooking up music designed to take your mind off the clusterfuck in the nation’s capital and its ensuing whitelash, calling up the likes of Quavo, Travis Scott, and Metro Boomin to compile a project full of trunk rattlers and trap-friendly pop hits. Aside from toning down Kendrick’s sometimes heavy songs, it’d be an interesting wrinkle in his rivalries with Drake and Big Sean, who’ve enjoyed better success on the singles charts (please believe there will be some shots at both on the new project, whether subliminal or Kurupt-like).

If K-Dot really wanted to come from left field, he could drop a primarily sung release—he told Rick Rubin last year that he could envision himself one day creating a project where he’s not rapping. “I think I got the confidence for it,” he said. “If I can master the idea and make the time to approach it the right way, I think I can push it out.” (You get a sense of that side of Kendrick’s abilities on Mac Miller’s “God Is Fair, Sexy, Nasty,” from The Divine Feminine.)

A document purported to be Kendrick’s upcoming LP credits surfaced on the internet Saturday, citing Andre 3000, D’Angelo, and Kanye West as collaborators. Despite a thoroughness that includes sample credits and publisher information, it seems to be the imaginative work of an obsessive troll—producer Cardo has debunked it via Twitter, and one song is even titled “Counterfeit.” The takeaway: Only Kendrick Lamar knows what the next entry of his catalog holds.

“Everything is going to make sense—not only to myself but to anybody who wants to understand life and music,” Kendrick told the Guardian in 2015 of his follow-up to TPAB. “I know exactly what I want to say next.” We’re all ears, Kenny.

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Pretty Lights and Dillion Francis to Headline X Games Austin

Listen here: Pretty Lights and Dillion Francis to Headline X Games Austin

x 600x285 Pretty Lights and Dillion Francis to Headline X Games Austin

What is better then watching wild and wonderful sports in the sun? How about adding some of the biggest names in the music industry to the list of events for the fun weekend. After announcing that Tiësto and Axwell would headline the Winter X Games in Vail the X Games coordinators did not disappoint by naming Pretty Lights, Dillion Francis, Kanye West, and The Flaming Lips all as headliners to go hand in hand with the extreme sports for the summer games. Austin is known to be the live music capital of the world and they are sure proving it with a big move by bringing in these great artists. Along with these artists they are also bringing in Slightly Stoopid, Gary Clark Jr., and Bad Religion for an excellent live performances, also Mac Miller will be performing to reach out to more of the hip hop genre fan base, and they continue to make power plays for the EDM fan base by also bringing in Cash Cash from New Jersey. The artist will perform after events to celebrate the wild extreme sports competition, performing at the Austin 360 Amphitheater which holds a whopping 14,000 fans. It would be a great experience for anyone to visit Austin, a city so very well known for its music, but for someone who loves music and also sports this opportunity could not get much better. If the free time and money is there I would not delay and purchase my ticket ASAP, they will not last long!

For more information on tickets, festivals, competitors, and or all of the of above visit http://xgamesaustin.com/

Tyler, The Creator Defends Justin Bieber Against Speeding Charge

2013 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival ? Day 1

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy

It’s always good to see rappers taking responsibility for their actions. Tyler, The Creator is coming out publicly to say that it was he who illegally sped through a residential neighborhood in California in a Ferrari and not Justin Bieber, as was previously reported.

According to TMZ, the Odd Future frontman admitted it was him and not the teen heartthrob, who broke the speed limit. “That Was Me Behind The Wheel Of Justins Vehicle. Don’t Blame Him. People Are Actually Evil Swearing Up And Down That It Was Who It Wasnt.” Tyler tweeted.

 

Biebs responded that it was all good and threw in a dig against those who accused him of fathering a child a few years ago. “all good buddy. i deal with this everyday. thanks though. the baby aint mine either,” Bieber shared.

According to TMZ, former NFL player Keyshawn Johnson said that he personally witnessed Justin in the driver’s seat after the luxury vehicle sped through their ritzy hood. The site reports that “at least three other people also saw Justin behind the wheel” and the neighbors are not happy.

Legal issues aside, Tyler has been keeping busy musically this summer. He’s slated to appear on Mac Miller‘s upcoming Watching Movies With the Sound Off on June 18 alongside the likes of Earl Sweatshirt, Jay Electronica and Action Bronson.