Post Malone’s Beerbongs & Bentleys broke Spotify’s global and domestic first-week streaming records. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, and it looks like Post just scored another victory in addition to all this: “Better Now” has entered the Top 10 and sits comfortably at No. 7, while his Ty Dollar Sign collaboration “Psycho” has returned to its No. 2 spot from No. 5. According to Billboard, Post is only the 18th artist in Hot 100 history with three Top 10 songs simultaneously.
Meanwhile, Drake—who’s no stranger to breaking streaming records himself—has had “Nice for What” atop the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks in a row now, since its debut at No. 1. Camila Cabello’s “Never Be the Same” has garnered the singer her third Top 10 as a solo artist, as the track moved to No. 6 from No. 13.
As for Drake, the man has spent 35 weeks total on the Hot 100 No. 1 spot, dating back to Rihanna’s “What’s My Name” in 2010. He’s broken several records, and has inched to number three of most weeks at No. 1 as a solo male, surpassing Sir Elton John, and tailing Michael Jackson and Usher.
Post Malone has come a long way in the past few years, solidifying himself as an artist with range and depth—and, perhaps more importantly to some, as a financially reliable one. Congratulations, Post. You’re a rockstar.
Complex News' Natasha Martinez caught up with Ty Dolla Sign at his hometown stop of the Don't Judge Me Tour in Los Angeles to chat about his birthday plans, his label The Movement, who he wants to see at Coachella, and how he’s a big Beyoncé fan. He even goes so far as to compare her live shows to the legendary Michael Jackson.
“Of course Beyoncé’s the queen, I would love to see Beyoncé,” Ty said. “I saw her Formation Tour […] and like watching her perform first of all, it was the most amazing show I’ve ever seen in my life. When I was a kid and used to watch Michael Jackson on TV, like seeing Beyoncé live, it gave me those vibes. Just like the greatest performer ever. Just the greatest stage set—everything about it, from her vocals to her dancing to all the attributes, she got it going.”
Ty wrapped up the majority of his Don’t Judge Me Tour in early April, and is now gearing up to join G-Eazy, Lil Uzi Vert, YBN Nahmir, P-Lo, and Murda Beatz on the 32-date Endless Summer Tour, which kicks off on July 20 in Seattle and ends on Sept. 8 in Miami.
In case you somehow missed last week's juicy Vulture interview with Quincy Jones, the famous producer made some pretty wild allegations. According to Jones, he once dated Ivanka Trump, who apparently has “the most beautiful legs” but “the wrong father,” Richard Pryor and Marlon Brando had sex once (which Pryor's widow confirmed), and Michael Jackson “stole a lot of stuff.” Specifically, Jones said Michael stole “Billie Jean” and “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough.”
TMZ started to ask Joe Jackson on Saturday at the restaurant Toscanova in Calabasas, CA if his son did, in fact, steal the hook of “Billie Jean” from Donna Summer's song “State of Independence.” Joe immediately chimed in and said, “I raised Michael, he's my son. Quincy Jones, he knows better. I don't want to talk about it.” When asked if he thinks Michael wrote “Billie Jean,” he said, “Yes, correct.”
Jones had a seemingly tight relationship with Michael as a co-producer for the late musician's best-selling albums. The producer did not hold back on his MJ gossip during this interview: he also addressed Michael's famous plastic surgery. “[Jackson] has a problem with his looks because his father told him he was ugly and abused him,” Jones said. “What do you expect?” The 84-year-old also addressed the state of music today, which, unsurprising given the tone of the interview, he is not at all impressed with. Pop music is “just loops, beats, rhymes, and hooks,” rap music is “the same phrase over and over and over again, and U2 sucks now, too. And this was just the PG-13 version of the interview.
On today’s #EverydayStruggle, DJ Akademiks, Nadeska, and STAR broke down Quincy Jones’ epic Vulture interview, where he called out Michael Jackson, the Beatles, T-Pain, and more. Later, they debated about what kind of year Big Sean will have in 2018, and much more.
In today's hip-hop, the group mentality has become almost non-existent amongst artists and fans alike. Most groups today center around one star act and when a group manages to hold it together like the Migos, we as fans encourage them to break apart and release solo work. Groups like Wu-Tang Clan, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and A Tribe Called Quest all had their rough patches, but they all maintained a balance and there were rarely points where one member completely separated himself from the group to a point of no return. Baltimore rap group Creek Boyz plan to bring the concept of unity back to the forefront of hip-hop.
Earlier this year, Turk P. Diddy, Fedi Mula, J. Reezy, and ETS Breeze built a huge buzz with their single, “With My Team.” The song took off online and was actually was the first song the four members ever recorded together as a unit. They've formed an unbreakable bond since then, both on and off-record, to the point where they even stack their vocals in the studio and record at the same time, in the same booth. Today, the group is here with a revamped video for their breakout hit and also spoke to us about their impact and the importance of teamwork.
How did you all come together?
Turk P. Diddy: The music, that's what brought us together initially. I met Fetty back in middle school. We consider each other brothers from another mother, for real. That's what we call each other.
How long have you guys been making music together?
Fedi Mula: I'd say about a year and a half but we didn't all really come together as one at first. It was more like J Reezy and Breeze had their thing and me and Turk had our thing and then we just brought it all together and named it Creek Boyz.
When did you bring it together, on “With My Team?”
Who influenced you guys growing up? I saw you guys mention Gucci Mane, Styles P, and The Lox before.
Turk: My parents really influenced me, because of the struggles I had to go through at home. My grandmother, she's the one that had passed away, she influenced me. She was the first person in my family to actually tell me to pursue this career even when everybody else in the family was like, “Nah, don't be a rapper, be something else.” Family influenced us.
J. Reezy: Musical influences would have to be Yo Gotti, Gucci Mane, Three 6 Mafia.
Turk: J Cole, Fab, Nas, and Biggie. That's all I'm here for, that's all of my music, fam.
Breeze: My big brother, my brother played the drums, we were always musically inclined. We used to go to church and stuff like that. So we kind of carried that over to the street and eventually we mixed everything. Growing up I listened to Dru Hill, Al Green, Teddy Pendergrass—that's where we get the old school from.
Fedi: I grew up with music, born into the family of it. Everybody, like my whole family was trying to do music at one point. So, it just was what it was. It was a natural attraction. By the time I got eight, nine years old, I sung in my elementary choir, Woodland Elementary with Ms. Otis. I got kicked out two years later, so I started rapping. My older brother did everything, he was always making beats on Fruity Loops. He played a big influence. As far as musical influences, Michael Jackson, number one, 2Pac, number two, and then I like all the groups going nuts like the Temptations.
You guys shout out kids a lot in your interviews and stuff, do you think that most of your fans are younger?
Turk: That's what I see, yeah.
Fedi: We’re influencing all of the young'uns coming up right now.
Does that affect the kind of music that you guys record?
Turk: Yeah, we got to make sure stuff is kid-friendly, PG-13 type of lyrics. I mean, I still go crazy, but I try not to. You gotta keep pushing it in a different way.
Turk: Let 'em keep them freaks out the house. [Laughs] Nah, you're gonna still get that, still get that aesthetic!
The whole world was built on teamwork, but everybody says they did it by themselves.
How do you guys pick who's gonna be on each song? Is it open to everybody or do you work together separately and then come together with different songs?
Breeze: Every song and everything we do usually comes natural. So if one of us comes up with a hook or a song, we all try and flow but some people it comes naturally in certain types of songs. We don't force nothing, everything we do comes genuinely. Usually we vibe separately and then come to the studio, bring it all together, and that's what makes the masterpiece.
Whose idea was it to stack vocals like that and have all four of you singing into the microphone at the same time?
Fedi: Our producer. That's our style, that's our new genre of music.
How have you guys adjusted to the music industry? Have you gotten to meet any people involved in the industry, like other rappers and stuff like that?
Turk: Fetty Wap, Trey Songz, Gotti. A couple other artists on 300 like Tee Grizzley, TK Kravitz.
Fedi: The music industry just has encouraged us to all be on the same page so we can show them all that this team is really a team.
Turk: None of that funny stuff. Show them the unity in the group.
What’s in store for 2018?
J. Reezy: Albums, solo projects, tour, merch, awards, more money. [Laughs] That’s just me brainstorming. I’m gonna keep it 100 with you, where we’re from, I’d feel lucky to be alive next year. Anything could happen. Our main focus is to get to 2018.
How important is it that you have such a strong following amongst kids in your environment, knowing the potential dangers both you and them face on a day-to-day basis?
Fedi: It’s a huge impact. Especially just being able to work together as a team. The whole world was built on teamwork, but everybody says they did it by themselves.
Breeze: I agree.
Turk: Let me give you a quick story. A little boy was rapping to me, trying to freestyle, but the only thing he could rap about was killing and shooting. So I asked him why and he said, “I only rap about it because everyone else talks about it.”
So what we’re doing right now is setting a positive example. There’s a lot of tension going on in our city. The power that we have is the power to change these kids’ perceptions on life. Instead of being a drug dealer you can be a doctor, a nurse, a ball player… or a rapper!
Eminem fans were given plenty to get them through the weekend on Friday. In addition to dropping his new Beyoncé-assisted single “Walk on Water,” Em joined producer Rick Rubin and journalist Malcolm Gladwell for the inaugural episode of the new Broken Record podcast.
During their nine-minute chat, Em and Rubin discussed the very personal themes at the center of the Revival single's lyrics and how new waves of hip-hop have left Shady feeling frustrated. “When you start out in your career, you have a blank canvas, so you can paint anywhere that you want because the shit ain't been painted on yet,” Em, at around the 1:27 mark, said of the freedom of being an artist on the rise. “And then your second album comes out, and you paint a little more and you paint a little more by the time you get to your seventh and eighth album you've already painted all over it. There's nowhere else to paint.”
For “Walk on Water,” Em was influenced by both the pressure of divided fan expectations with each new release, as well as so-called “mumble rap.” According to Rubin, Em first heard the chorus—written by co-producer Skylar Grey—by chance. Rubin and Em had just been discussing mumble rap, and the chorus words stuck with him. “For him, it's a little bit of culture shock because there's a new wave of hip-hop that's not really what he's about, so he was just talking to me about how that felt,” Rubin said around the 3:50 mark. “I could see he was frustrated by it.”
“It's a very mortal song,” Em said at the 8:30 mark of his intentions for the track. “It's, you know, not being Superman, and what if I can't come up with the best shit I've ever wrote every single time?” Rubin, sensing that he might have “the same feelings” expressed in Em's verses, played Jay Z a rough version of the track prior to Beyoncé's involvement. He loved it.
The final version of “Walk on Water” was captured at Rubin's Shangri-La studio in Malibu, the coveted minimalist-friendly spot where pitch-perfect creations by everyone from Adele to Third Eye Blind have been recorded.
Eminem and Rick Rubin also discussed first rhymes, 2Pac, Ice-T, Beastie Boys, Frank Zappa, and more.
This time last week, all we knew was that Cam'ron was dropping his latest mixtape. After gracing ComplexCon over the weekend (with a gang of puppies), we didn't know WHAT to expect from Cam's new project, The Program, although he did drop some hints at the material he'd be releasing, posting on Instagram earlier this week that he was “on some bullshit on this joint,” then warning “If u emotional don't listen.” Who was thinking that this meant he had some lines ready for Kanye West?
On the mixtape's fourth track, “Coleslaw,” Cam starts things off speaking about the situation between Kanye West and Jay Z, which rose back into conversation via Hov's “Kill Jay Z” on 4:44. After saying “you don't like it when I'm nice. You only like it when I'm ignorant, so that's exactly what you get,” Cam went in.
Kanye got on stage, what he do? Play Jay-Z out
What he do next? Check into the crazy house?
Fuck that, you made a living talking greasy
Besides that, man, you Yeezy with the Yeezys
Be yourself, you ain't gotta go AWOL
And fuck that, 'Ye, I been that way since yay tall
If you regret it, then dead it, but if you said it, you said it
It's hard to tell what made Cam address the situation, aside from a longstanding (and still extant) antagonism towards Hov. No matter what, it's an interesting verse. On one hand, Cam appears to be throwing shots at Kanye, but on the other hand, Killa Cam is also encouraging 'Ye to stand behind his words.
Interesting times, either way. Check out The Program for more of Cam's fire.
Like many fans, I had already heard pieces of the story behind 18-year-old artist 6 Dogs' upbringing before we met—he was homeschooled and raised in a religious household in Georgia, and his mom grounded him when she discovered his music. He persisted, and his unique blend of minimal hip-hop elements, hypnotic deliveries, and dream-like melodies earned him a dedicated and enormous following. Many of his songs have millions of plays, and “Faygo Dreams” has over six million on SoundCloud alone. But throughout his rise over the last year, he's remained an enigma, maintaining distance from the spotlight and holding onto his private lifestyle.
In late July, 6 Dogs came to New York City for the “Faygo Dreams” video shoot, and we planned to link up in Washington Square Park. Going into our meeting during a sunny day in New York City, I knew I wasn't hanging out with the average teenager. I expected someone shocked and possibly overwhelmed by the chaos of New York City, but I couldn't have been more wrong.
If I were to take a guess, I would say 6 Dogs was unimpressed by NYC. After speaking with him, I would even go so far as to say 6 Dogs is pretty unimpressed with the entire world that he was somewhat sheltered from his entire life.
There couldn't be a crazier time for 6 Dogs to experience the world, but he's taking full advantage of the outsider perspective he has on life, and he's wrapping his head around a plan. Check out the video for “Faygo Dreams” above and keep scrolling for our full conversation with 6 Dogs.
How did “Faygo Dreams” come together?
When I was making the song I just had the hook and my friend had this amazing beat. We made it in the library during lunch. We went in the library for a week, just tweaking and stuff. I was writing some stuff down and it all was corny. I decided to scrap the entire song and rewrite it about five minutes before I left to record it. Then I thought, “What’s something really cool? Faygo.” Then I thought, “What’s something else really cool? Dreams.” Then I put it together.
What about the video?
The video was a dream that I had. It was one of the craziest dreams I’ve had in my life, and I’m very into my dreams and trying to decipher them. You ever have dreams where you just know things without them being explained, even if it doesn’t match up in real life?
Yeah, like the dreams are an alternate reality.
So basically, I was in this arcade but it was purgatory. It wasn’t scary or anything, it wasn’t hellish. It was just a regular arcade, you could get food at the concession stand, you can play games. I was in this corner of the arcade playing one of the games and I ended up beating the game.
After I beat the game, it brought up three prizes that I could choose from. The first prize was that I could bring this kid I grew up with back to life—he killed himself last year. The second one was that I could bring Michael Jackson back to life, and the third prize was a bouncy ball and some quarters.
I was going through my options. I was looking at the kid I could bring back to life and decided, “I don’t need to bring him back. He’s at peace, he’s in a better place.” So then I got to Michael Jackson and I was like, “He doesn’t need to come back.” I just got an extremely negative vibe looking at the screen. So I ended up taking the bouncy ball and some quarters. It wasn’t like I wanted it, but it was the only option.
Did you ever figure out or look deeper into this dream that led to the video?
The thing with the video is, there’s a lot going on. You know there’s something there, and it’s something profound and incredibly deep, but you don’t know exactly what it is. By the end of the video you’re probably going to have more questions than answers.
For me as an artist, it’s not really my job to give you everything in a nice box with a bow on it. I’m not just going to give it to you, I kind of want to just give you this big mess and let you take a whack at it. That’s what this video is going to feel like.
The thing is, this dream could mean very much more but I haven’t explored that. With some things, you just don’t know and that’s kind of where I’m at with life. I have a few things that are solid in my life and aren’t moving, but there are other things where I have more questions than answers.
It’s interesting to think about. I have so many questions. The other day I was walking around I was like, “Yo, this is crazy. We’re on this ball that is just floating in space and we call it Earth. That is insane.” Things like that just make me wonder what is actually going on—this all is so weird. I’m enjoying it and I love it, I just don’t understand it.
That’s just kind of the thing with a lot of my stuff, some things contradict each other, some things don’t make sense, it’s really up to the listener.
Talking down about other people and talking yourself up and disrespecting women is crazy. It’s sickening how bad it is. The fact that people are putting that on a pedestal and applauding it is crazy.
I think in life you get put in situations like in that dream where you have the option to change certain things, but after thinking it through you just don’t do anything. That’s what the quarters and the bouncy ball reminded me of—sometimes things are fine the way they are.
Exactly, I didn’t even make that connection but me choosing the quarters and the ball is where I am in life. I don’t really know what’s going on but I’m cool with it. It’s nice, existing is a really nice thing. I don’t take it for granted or anything.
Where did the curiosity come from?
I’ve always been like that since I was a kid. Take Legos, for example. I would never use the instructions with the Legos, and I would never build what was on the front of the box. I would always build something random. I’ve always questioned everything because everything is so weird. Why would you not question everything?
I question everything, but at the same time I’m not freaking out. I’m just like, “Yo, that’s crazy, that makes no sense.” It’s in the back of my mind, but I’m always chilling. It’s a weird combination. I have friends who are deep and philosophical and I’m kind of like that too but I just have accepted that there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m just not gonna know, I’m gonna keep trying and sometimes it’ll work, sometimes it won’t. At the end of the day I’m just chilling and creating.
Do you think that your music will inspire the deeper thinkers and help them find some of the answers they’re looking for?
Yeah for sure, I feel like I’m helping them understand themselves. It sounds corny, but everyone doesn’t have to be like me. Everyone doesn’t have to think about the deepest thing ever with a blank look on their face. If I inspire them to understand themselves, that’s cool, because for me, I’ve just been talking about how I feel. With the whole flexing, talking about myself, money, and talking about girls stuff, I’m not really with that. That’s another thing that makes absolutely no sense to me, and that is what rap is currently. I don’t understand it at all. It blows my mind on a regular basis.
Rap as a genre?
Not as a genre, just the content. I love the sound, but the content feels like someone sitting in the booth with headphones on, rapping into the mic while they’re looking in a mirror saying, “Dang, I look good” and then talking about themselves. I just don’t understand it, if someone was just bragging in person in front of me, I’d be like, “Yo, get out of my face, you’re weird.” Then there's the stuff that’s said about women, if you said any of that stuff in a public area you’d get jumped. The stuff they’re saying is wrong.
Isn’t that trippy how in rap, that kind of talk is normal and it’s the kids that don’t talk about those things that are labeled weird?
Talking down about other people and talking yourself up and disrespecting women is crazy. It’s sickening how bad it is. The fact that people are putting that on a pedestal and applauding it is crazy. That’s one thing about humans that makes me think like, “Yo, you guys are weird.”
So then who or what inspired you to become 6 Dogs and make your music?
I grew up homeschooled in Georgia, kind of in the mountains. My mom’s Christian so I was completely removed from music as a whole. All we really listened to was Christian music. I think that plays to my advantage, because I have an outside perspective and I’m not influenced by certain things that most people would be influenced by. That really attributes to why I’m so different.
The first rap that I ever really listened to was MC Hammer, and then when I started actually getting into the genre it was Lil Wayne, some Drake, Kanye’s hits. “All Of The Lights,” “Power,” stuff like that. Then I started progressively getting more into it, but a few months ago I just stopped listening to rap completely.
I have friends that’ll play stuff and be like, “You know that Pharrell song?” and I’ll be like, “No, I don’t know that Pharrell song.” They’ll show it to me and I’ll take a little inspiration. That’s why I think being so removed is an advantage, because whenever I do hear stuff, it’s later than everyone else and I’m hearing it for the first time.
What made you decide to do music? It seems like you put a lot of thought into it.
I was a lifeguard and I would work six hours a day just thinking about it. I’m not a normal person, I don’t want to be another sheep. Making music is one of the biggest stages in the world, and music is the universal language. I’m good at coming up with ideas, eventually I want to get into movies. I want to make an anime show one day. It’s not just music, it’s creating. I want to create every day.
Also I was going through stuff when I started and needed an outlet, so music helped me a lot. That was the catalyst—me feeling bad and wanting to do something about it.
Are you in a better headspace now?
Totally. I’m just existing. I’m chilling and enjoying what comes my way.
I was just trying to be trendy. I’ll be real with myself. But the stuff that I have been starting to make doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve made. It sounds really good though
Did you already know what to do as 6 Dogs, and what would and wouldn’t work for your music?
Nah, I was just trying to be trendy. I’ll be real with myself. But the stuff that I have been starting to make doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve made. It sounds really good though, and I'm talking about stuff that I find important. That’s it. I’m not trying to do what everybody else is doing. Let’s be honest, it’s about time. I feel like everybody knew that the idea of what everyone considers to be a rapper was going to collapse eventually, because it doesn’t make sense.
How do you think you’re going to adjust to the music industry?
A ton of labels have already hit me up. I have a manager now, I’m getting a lawyer. I know how it works, I know that there are mistakes and you have to watch your back at all times. It’s fine, it’s nothing I can’t handle. I already get the gist and I have my foot in the door.
It’s about to get crazy, I know a bunch of people are going to hit me up. It’s going to be challenging but I have my friends, I have a girl, she’s sitting right across from me. I have everything I need already and I don’t really need anything else.
The only thing that’s going to change is how much money is in my bank account. I’m not clout chasing or anything, that’s so dead. I’m just making solid music. People get too caught up in all this stuff and make it all complicated. There’s a formula, but a lot of people get tripped up and hang out with people that only say yes.
Where do you see 6 Dogs in a few years?
I’m going to be doing the same stuff with the same people. Again, the only thing that’s going to be different is the money in my bank account. I’m not trying to sound cocky, but I’ll be a household name. Sooner than four or five years, probably a year, maybe two. The stuff that I’ve been working on… I think I’m starting to find my groove and starting to get into a rhythm. I see things going really well.
Do you have a name for your project or a timetable for your plan to release?
I don’t have a name, and I don’t want to set a date because I don’t want time to be a factor in the project. I want the project to be perfect. I’m not saying it’s going to take a year, but I don’t want to say two months and then be pressured to make that time. I want to take my time and make every song really good.