Brockhampton Are Putting Numbers on the Board

Brockhampton had one of the best albums of 2017 so far, but the group has been at it for a minute now. I still remember being blown away by them at SXSW 2015, but in the past months, things have really taken off for them. Thanks to a great album Saturation, a TV show on VICE, and some awesome music videos, Brockhampton's stock is rising quickly. Watch the video above to get familiar, and subscribe to Pigeons & Planes on YouTube for more.

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Chance the Rapper Apologizes for ‘Disrespecting’ Dr. Dre and Aftermath

Chance the Rapper has apologized for “publicly disrespecting” Dr. Dre and Aftermath on his Be Encouraged Tour. In a series of tweets Thursday, Chance said he made a mistake by including images of Dre and the Aftermath label during a segment aimed at satirizing major labels.

“I want to formally apologize to Dr Dre, and all of Aftermath for publicly disrespecting their hard work and contributions to music,” Chance said. “When I went on the Be Encouraged tour I made LED content to satirize and degrade major labels. I made the mistake of including Imprints which not only dulled my overall point of trying to uplift [artists] but also singled out artist-owned ventures that have only worked to progress the culture.”

Chance added that Dre is a great example of someone who's made space for creatives to have ownership in an industry designed to give them the opposite. “I set out to empower and I completely missed the ball and I know that now,” Chance said.

On his Be Encouraged Tour, Chance projected altered versions of major record label names. Aftermath Entertainment, for example, was mockingly referred to as Can't Do Math Entertainment.

 

A post shared by Torrey Hager (@creativebz86) on Apr 25, 2017 at 12:24am PDT

Chance's Be Encouraged Tour continues next month in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Prodigy Beefed With All Your Favorite Rappers, and Always Held His Own

Albert “Prodigy” Johnson, whose death from complications from sickle cell anemia was confirmed Tuesday afternoon, was a true rap legend. As a part of the duo Mobb Deep with Kejuan “Havoc” Muchita, and on his own (especially when partnering with producer Daniel “The Alchemist” Maman), P made classic music that will stand the test of time.

But almost as much as writing great rhymes, Prodigy loved a good rap beef. His career was filled with battles against many of the greatest rappers of all time, and he usually gave as good as he got.

Here is a by-no-means-definitive list of some of P's greatest rap beefs.

Tha Dogg Pound and 2Pac

In his 2011 memoir My Infamous Life, Prodigy traces his beef with nearly the entire West Coast to one video. He says that the clip for Tha Dogg Pound's collaboration with Snoop Dogg, “New York, New York,” which featured the rappers blown up to Godzilla size, walking through NYC wreaking havoc, was something he took personally.

So Mobb Deep teamed up with Capone-N-Noreaga and made “L.A., L.A.” in retaliation. As the East-West rivalry began to heat up, 2Pac, newly signed to Death Row, decided to get involved. 'Pac went at nearly everybody—Big, Nas, Jay Z, and Mobb Deep, plus a few more people for good measure—on “Hit 'Em Up.”

“Don't one of you niggas got sickle cell or something?” Pac teased on the track. “You fuck around with me, you about to have a seizure or a heart attack.”

P struck back immediately. In his book, he says that the very same day he first heard “Hit 'Em Up,” he went to the studio and recorded the vicious “Drop a Gem on 'Em.”

Sadly, just a few weeks later, 'Pac was killed.

Keith Murray and Def Squad

On the now-famous (and oft-parodied) monologue “The Infamous Prelude,” Prodigy took shots at (nameless) rappers who talk about “how much weed you smoke” and “space shit.”

One rapper who did just that, Keith Murray of Def Squad, felt some type of way. Eventually, they squashed the beef at a video shoot. That is, until Prodigy ignited it again by rhyming about “def kids feeling guilty 'bout the space shit” on LL Cool J's “I Shot Ya”—a record on which Murray appeared as well. 

At that point, Murray got into a fight with P outside NYC nightclub the Tunnel (“Keith Murray and his whole clique/Yeah, you snuffed me in front of the cops, that's bullshit,” Prodigy recalled on “In the Long Run”). The two would continue trading disses back and forth for years.

Jay Z

The “New York, New York” video actually started a second major beef in Prodigy's career. Jay made a passing reference to the clip on his 1998 song “Money, Cash, Hoes”: “It's like New York's been soft ever since Snoop came through and crushed the building.”

It was a line Prodigy took public exception to. “Jay was nowhere to be found when that drama popped off between Mobb Deep, Dogg Pound, Pac, and Biggie,” P told The Source. “That was our little personal beef, not a coastal war… so Jay Z is a bitch-ass nigga for making that quote in his lyrics.”

Tensions that had been stewing for years (there were, P claimed, subliminals thrown back and forth on “Trife Life” and “Where I'm From”) exploded in 2001 when Hov debuted his Mobb Deep diss “Takeover” live at Summer Jam, and included the now-infamous picture of a young Prodigy at his grandmother's dance school. 

“I did like the tactic that Jay used,” Prodigy said years later, about the photo displayed on the Summer Jam screen. “That was pretty slick.” He fired back with “Crawlin'”—and, at least according to his memoir, by nearly beating Jay up at Diddy's restaurant, Justin's

Nas

On “Destroy and Rebuild,” released in 2001, Nas took some shots at P, but in a very Nas-like way: “Prodigy, I got love for you,” he says on the song's outro. “Just get them unloyal niggas from out your circle.” Prodigy claimed in his book that Nas rapped this because “he was mad at me for doing a song with Cormega on which Mega took shots at Nas in his verse.”

But there was actually another, deeper level. P said in an interview on Vlad TV that some of Nas' Queensbridge friends were upset that Prodigy was repping their hood even though he wasn't originally from there. 

“I can't even really be mad at Nas, because these is the people he grew up with,” P said. “I had to distance myself from them, because [Nas is] standing next to someone who's threatening my life… that's how it got kind of crazy.” Nas and P reconciled when Prodigy returned home from prison in 2011.

Saigon and Tru Life

To hear Saigon tell it, the origin of this beef comes from Prodigy double-dipping. 

“Prodigy stole $15,000 from Tru Life. Not stole it, but he did a verse for him, and went and did the same verse and took the money, and then went and did the same verse on some other shit,” Sai told This Is 50. “Tru was like, 'Aight, give me another verse.' Son kept ducking.”

Tru Life and Mobb had serious issues from then on, which were documented in the film Beef. Tru claims he and his crew ran into a Mobb studio session with guns and beat some people up.

Because Tru Life and Saigon were close, Sai got dragged in as things escalated. Not helping matters was an interview where P said he didn't like Saigon—something Saigon saw and promised retaliation. It all culminated in a fight between Mobb Deep and Sai at SOBs in the fall of 2007. The two would continue to snipe at each other well into 2011.

As for Tru, he and Prodigy would finally reconcile in 2016.

Crooked I

While incarcerated, P was still keeping up to date on what was going on in hip-hop. Vibe conducted a poll about the best rapper alive in 2008, and Prodigy was not happy with the results. “Vibe says 920,000 people voted for it,” he wrote in a letter. “I would personally bitch slap all 920,000 of these voters if given the opportunity. Who in the fuck picked Crooked I, Flo Rida, and Rich Boy? How did Vibe approve this?”

Crooked responded by challenging Prodigy to a fight.

Havoc

P's propensity for feuds even extended to his own Mobb Deep collaborator, Havoc. In the spring of 2012, Havoc sent out a bunch of strange tweets attacking his partner in rhyme. He went as far as accusing P of having a homosexual relationship while locked up. “”I got n***as in the jail system to back up that prodigy was fucking homes in jail,” he wrote. 

Havoc then released a statement saying his phone was stolen. But that was proven to be a lie when audio of Havoc going at P was leaked to the Breakfast Club. The group went on temporary hiatus, but reunited the following year.

But today, to mark his passing, it's been all love from the rap world. Prodigy is a legend and he will be missed. 

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Prodigy of Mobb Deep Dead at 42

Prodigy, one half of the iconic rap duo Mobb Deep, has passed away at age 42.

The rapper's publicist released a statement on his death, citing complications stemming from his lifelong battle with sickle cell anemia.

It is with extreme sadness and disbelief that we confirm the death of our dear friend Albert Johnson, better known to millions of fans as Prodigy of legendary NY rap duo Mobb Deep. Prodigy was hospitalized a few days ago in Vegas after a Mobb Deep performance for complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis. As most of his fans know, Prodigy battled the disease since birth. The exact causes of death have yet to be determined. We would like to thank everyone for respecting the family's privacy at this time.

Several prominent members of the Queens hip-hop community took to social media to share the news—and their condolences—on Tuesday afternoon, with Nas and his younger brother Jungle sharing posts on Instagram within minutes of one another.

 

🙏🏾 QB RIP King P

A post shared by Nasir Jones (@nas) on Jun 20, 2017 at 10:33am PDT

 

#RIP

A post shared by Jungleqb (@jungleqb) on Jun 20, 2017 at 10:42am PDT

Best known by the average fan as one half of the group responsible for the classic rap record, “Shook Ones Pt. II,” Prodigy was part of countless New York posse cuts and a key figure in the “golden age” of rap in the mid-90s. Thanks to the strength of beloved albums like The Infamous and Hell on Earth, Mobb Deep was at the forefront of New York hip-hop during its most prominent era, standing alongside giants like Nas, the Notorious B.I.G., Wu Tang Clan, and others. 

As part of the city's vanguard, Prodigy was a key figure in the East Coast vs. West Coast battle that overtook hip-hop for the better part of a decade. Along with his partner Havoc, he joined Capone-N-Noreaga and Tragedy Khadafi in the West Coast diss track, “L.A. L.A.,” released just shortly before 2Pac was released from prison. Prodigy's battle with sickle cell anemia later became public knowledge after it was brought up by 2Pac multiple times during their war of words, most notably on “Hit 'Em Up.”

The rapper was forced into a brief hiatus from music due to a stint in prison relating to a gun-possession charge. He would go on to release an autobiography, My Infamous Life: The Autobiography of Mobb Deep's Prodigy, before immersing himself in hip-hop once again. More recently, he was responsible for writing a prison cookbook titled Commissary Kitchenin which he shared his path to staying healthy while being behind bars. The book has since been banned in all prisons within the state of California. 

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Vic Mensa Confronts DJ Akademiks Over Coverage of Chicago Rap Scene: ‘I Wanted to Slap You in Your Face’

Vic Mensa was the special guest on today's episode of Everyday Struggle, and the 24-year-old rapper confronted DJ Akademiks over what he believes has been sensationalized coverage of violence and Chicago hip-hop by the online personality.

Akademiks brought up the topic of Chicago rap, asking what Mensa thought of the scene now. “I wanted to slap you in your face,” Mensa responded, referencing Akademiks coverage of the violence around drill music. “I really felt as if people exactly like you sensationalized and made a following off of clowning situations we go through in real life… whatever made you feel like you had a space to have a perspective of our people dying on a daily basis?”

As an example, Mensa highlighted a video from Akademiks on Tray 57, a Chicago rapper who was killed in 2014. He claimed Akademiks joked about his death. “That's a nigga I grew up with,” Mensa said. “I've known [him] since I was five years old, and to see you come on the internet with this corny ass little voice and make jokes about it… I was waiting to see you.”

“You're like basically one of those little kids that makes fan fiction on the internet. And just create these worlds about people they don't even know,” he added. “It's kind of sick when it's real people dying young. I'm at those funerals.”

Check out the full episode below and tune into Everyday Struggle from Los Angeles all week. The back-and-forth between Mensa and Akademiks begins at the 12:40 mark.

 

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Producer Claims Future Filed Copyright Claim Over Desiigner’s “Panda” (UPDATE)

UPDATED 6/20/17 10:30 a.m. ET: Mike Dean has sent in the following statement to XXL:

“The kid lost the stems to the beat. It had some samples in the original from a film. I recreated some of the stems enough to patch up the beat and remove the samples. I was gonna recreate the whole beat then I found a way to keep it. Major labels don’t play with samples not being cleared The song would never have come out or cleared legal at Def Jam. If that’s nothing, then he’s right.

“He should have better file management skills if he works at an electronics repair shop.

“He should get facts straight before he speaks on my name. I let the claim go because I have better shit to do than fight with people over BS. Hope he enjoys the bread and appreciates what I did to help him make $$. That’s about it. Menace, put some respek on my name.

“And thank god Mike Dean removed your samples, youngin. Should throw me a few points from his pocket my way, but I am doing ok with or without the “Panda” bread.

“P.S. He should also thank Plain Pat (the best A&R in the world and my favorite co-producer) who made us (G.O.O.D. Music) all aware of “Panda” in the first place.”

Original story is below.

Desiigner’s 2015 debut single “Panda” catapulted the rapper into hip-hop stardom. The track dominated the airwaves, earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance, topped the Billboard charts, and was sampled by Kanye West. It was the kind of introduction many rappers dream of; however, the mastermind behind the “Panda” beat hasn’t received the same success. In fact, he claims he’s still waiting on payment.

In a recent interview with DJBooth, 23-year-old Menace said he hasn’t been fully compensated for producing “Panda” due to a legal claim filed by Future.

“There was a situation with Future putting [an infringement] claim in because apparently, he said that ‘Panda’ sounded like ‘Fuck Up Some Commas.’ So we were just about to see the checks but there’s been a lot of delays so we won’t see anything until next year anyway,” Menace said. “Not only [Future], Mike Dean, Kanye West’s producer, he put a claim in as well saying that he did something to the beat and he never did. I don’t think we’ll see a check until probably next year. Right now, it’s just going through negotiations. The problem is that once someone puts a claim in, it just stops everything.”  A representative for Future denied Menace's claims, saying that they are “not true.”

People have been comparing Desiigner to Future for some time now, pointing to similarities in their rap styles. During a 2016 interview with Complex, Desiigner shared his thoughts about the comparisons, insisting he had no beef with Atlanta rapper.  

“God gave him a blessing, but he gave me a blessing too. I ain't gonna doubt the man's music. He make beautiful music too. Music is made every day,” he said. “Big ups to him, big ups to Future. I actually like Future’s music. I like his music, you feel me. I’m not a hater or a critic on him, you know, I do me. God bless him, God bless me.”

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The Best-Dressed Men of 2017 (So Far)

The way rappers are dressing is evolving again. What once was relegated to baggy denim and gold chains has been upgraded to tailored designer wear, trendsetting sneakers, and obscure street and skatewear. What hasn’t changed, though, is how much these artists influence mainstream culture; they’re truly the innovators. It’s no wonder that high fashion is finally acknowledging rappers and making them global ambassadors or faces of their brands if anything, it was long overdue. 

But it isn’t just rappers who are contributing to, and even dominating, the style conversations today. Actors and athletes are too. Think 21-year-old Moonlight star Ashton Sanders and UFC champ Conor McGregor.

But who are the best-dressed men today? Some choices are obvious—ASAP Rocky and Pharrell—but there are some who surprised us this year. There are also a few people who we left off this list. That isn’t to say they aren’t well-dressed, but they were either super low-key (as in, we rarely saw them in the last few months) or were just not having a good year so far. Things will change though, we’re sure. But at the halfway point of 2017, here are our picks for the most stylish men of the year.  


  • Harry Styles

    Harry Styles has the perfect pop star name, excellent pop star hair, and a time-tested pop star demeanor that seems to always suggest he was up all night having sex with someone beautiful. He also, of course, has a killer wardrobe that complements all of those elements quite well—especially the sex part. When Styles throws on a Gucci suit or a silky Gucci shirt, it often looks like he just picked it up off the hotel room floor, kissed a sleeping supermodel goodbye, and barely had time to button it before sauntering onstage.

    If comparing his style to vintage Mick Jagger is too obvious, consider this: Elle recently devoted an entire post to documenting how closely Styles' look mirrors what Fran Drescher wore on the '90s sitcom The Nanny. They aren't entirely wrong, which does make you wonder: Just how many models did Nanny Fine smash once those kids had gone to sleep? —Steve Dool


  • ASAP Rocky

    ASAP Rocky’s ascent to the forefront of fashion has been slowly churning over the past several years. His tendency to mix the weirdo uptown street styles of Harlem with today’s leading designers has been well-documented, but Flacko hasn’t slowed down in 2017 either. He became the face of Dior Homme, and he constantly mixes and matches styles from the likes of Raf Simons, Alessandro Michele’s Gucci, and J.W. Anderson with VLONE pieces made by ASAP Mob compatriot Bari or Japanese label Needles, grounding many of his looks with simplistic sneakers like Vans Old Skools. The end product is enviable, but uniquely his own. Five years ago, Rocky was just a blip on fashion’s radar. Now, he’s a veritable powerhouse. Hats off. —Skylar Bergl


  • Ashton Sanders

    When actor Ashton Sanders reached the end of the red carpet at the Met Gala in May, he was greeted by veteran Vogue editor Andre Leon Talley. “And you are?” Talley asked the 21-year-old star of Moonlight, declaring that he and ASAP Rocky both looked “so cool and so hot” in their head-to-toe looks by Calvin Klein by Raf Simons.

    Talley is not the only one who’s become a fan of Sanders, as the young actor has quickly gone from a little-known name to one of the most exciting fashion risk-takers in Hollywood. In addition to the comfortable relationship he’s built with Simons at Calvin Klein—he also recently wore the label to the MTV Movie Awards and appeared in the brand’s Spring 2017 ad campaign—this year alone he’s repped red carpet looks from Public School, Yves Saint Laurent, and, famously, Fear of God, when he paired one of Jerry Lorenzo’s kilts with a Calvin tux and Vans Sk8-Hi’s. Not many actors can pull off both traditional and forward-thinking as well as Sanders can, and even fewer are willing to try. But Sanders makes it look easy, and yes, Andre, “so cool” too. —Steve Dool


  • Jonah Hill

    We've seen a lot of sides to the L.A.-born actor over the past few years. Hilariously horny and clumsy-drunk high-schooler Jonah Hill. Money-hungry, arms-dealing war criminal Jonah Hill. And, most recently, we have gotten incredibly, stylishly chill Jonah Hill, who hasn't had to rely on sophomoric comedic relief to get his just due.

    Hill's year in style has been his most consistent image he’s had and it doesn't even look like he's trying. Yes, the Palace ads have been hilarious and have garnered a good amount of attention for him and the British skate brand, but his affinity for minimalistic skate style and brands like Dime, Richardson, and Lotties is admirable. And he's also perfected his look, utilizing brands like Gucci and Saint Laurent, letting regular guys, like me and you, know we can also rock those brands without being gaudy. Jonah Hill is hope. —Nick Grant


  • Migos

    The era of “Versace” Migos hasn’t disappeared completely, but the Atlanta rappers have grown up as their fame has blown up. Over the past year or so, the trio has been featured on what feels like every hit song and shifted their looks to include some of today's most coveted designers. Rest assured, there are still plenty of silk shirts, but Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset have all tested out a variety of looks worth noting. Their fur-loaded performance on Fallon and blacked-out suits with accompanying stacks of gold necklaces at the Met Gala are just the tip of the iceberg. In their regular rotation you'll find a steady stream of luxury labels like Gucci and Saint Laurent as well as smaller upstarts like Palm Angels and Amiri. They're also not afraid to flex their eyewear selections either, as Quavo and Takeoff frequently opt for circular frames and retro '60s-esque sunglasses. Not since the 1800s have spectacles been so stylish. —Skylar Bergl


  • Travis Scott

    In September 2014, when Travis Scott walked in Mark McNairy's NYFW show, it was both excitingly of-the-moment—at the time, Scott hadn’t released any studio albums, just the seminal mixtape Days Before Rodeo—and a foreshadowing, because he fit the environment so damn well. Fast-forward two-and-a-half years, and La Flame's fashion profile has risen concurrently with his position in music—critically acclaimed albums, Nike deal. Scott oscillates between streetwear fanatic with an unlimited Grailed budget and idiosyncratic choices like his affinity for weird camo patterns, wildly baggy looks, or whatever the hell he's doing on the “goosebumps” cover. It may not always work, but it's clear the same amount of precision goes into his style as it does his music. Which is to say, it always stands out. —Frazier Tharpe


  • Donald Glover

    Once upon a time—like, seven months ago—we praised Donald Glover for being a low-key style icon. He wore trucker hats, Nike Cortez sneakers, and every manner of graphic tee and made it look cool and authentically unbothered, suggesting he’d be dressing this way even if he weren’t one of the most in-demand multi-hyphenates in entertainment.

    But then, Glover met Gucci, and there is nothing low-key about that. Like Beyonce, Harry Styles, and 9,000 other celebrities, Glover has frequently been turning to the more-is-more, Italian maximalist fashion house for public appearances. There was his chocolate brown tux at the Golden Globes, his printed button-down at the brand’s resort runway show in Florence, and the Donald Duck cardigan that goes for over $1,000. Even when he goes British—as he did in a paisley Burberry tuxedo at this year’s Met Gala—it’s bold and loud. But the most impressive part of Glover’s style swerve is how effortlessly it works; he looks equally comfortable and natural going high and low. And Glover purists don’t need to worry: Those Nikes are still close by. —Steve Dool


  • Scott Disick

    Scott Disick has certainly not always been the most stylish guy around, but long gone are his preppy frat boy fits. He has figured out how to dress, and it looks like the transformation is here to stay. Disick keeps up with today’s best trends, and can pull them off almost perfectly. He rocks Adidas Ultra Boosts, Calabasas track pants, and oversized hoodies when he wants to keep it comfy. Pieces like distressed jeans, brown Chelsea boots, and solid-colored T-shirts are also always in heavy rotation. We’ve joked that Kanye West influenced the entire Kardashian family’s style. If that’s truly the case, we’d like to personally thank him for helping Lord Disick unlock his full potential. —Mike DeStefano


  • Frank Ocean

    After a five-year hiatus, Frank Ocean finally released new music with the critically-acclaimed Blond. Still, the singer is pretty low-key about everything. The very few times we see him out in public it’s like spotting a unicorn. But make no mistake: Ocean’s fits are almost always on-point. From Bianca Chandon hoodies and a Japan-exclusive Guess T-shirt, to more formal choices like his 2017 Met Gala fit, Ocean covers all sides of the fashion spectrum. Let’s just hope he sticks around a little longer this time to display more fire fits before he goes back into hiding. —Mike DeStefano


  • The Weeknd

    There’s no denying it anymore: The Weeknd is a star. Earlier this month, I saw him perform at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for his “Starboy: Legends of the Fall Tour” and the Canadian singer, who once preferred to stay mysterious, commanded the stage in an arena filled to the brim with tens of thousands of fans. His style has certainly matched his celebrity.

    Little about the Weeknd’s style has changed from last year, but that’s a good thing. Instead, he’s continued to build on his rockstar, mostly black look. The labels he’s wearing are still only the finest money can buy—Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Gucci, etc.—but his looks aren’t so out-there that the regular guy can’t emulate it. It’s like they say: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. —Karizza Sanchez


  • Conor McGregor

    Conor McGregor can really be best described as one thing: consistent. He has consistently destroyed opponents and won multiple UFC title belts. He’s consistently talked shit to and about undefeated welterweight boxer Floyd Mayweather, who he’s finally set to fight on August 26. And, in this year of our Lord 2017, The “Notorious” Irishman has consistently showcased some absolutely ostentatious fits that only he could pull off. 

    McGregor’s Instagram account has been the headquarters for his outward expression of his stunt-worthy lifestyle, pairing PJs with SL (Saint Laurent), and high-velocity speedboats with high-priced Louis Vuitton T-shirts. His flamboyant personality and love for pricey toys are only matched by his penchant for rocking the hell out of bright-colored tops with the good ol' invisible tie and designer sneakers. While McGregor has had his fair share of issues outside the Octagon, his exuberant style is undeniable and, quite honestly, refreshing when other athletes just can’t seem to get their look right. —Nick Grant


  • Kendrick Lamar

    2017 is already Kendrick Lamar’s year. In April, the rapper dropped his new album, Damn, which reached platinum status in mere weeks, making it the first album of any genre released this year to move a million copies. But it isn’t just Damn that caught our eye. Let’s be honest. With some help from his stylist Dianne Garcia, Lamar has been killing the style game, too. If you don’t agree, I highly suggest you check out his “Humble” music video. The priestly-cloak? The bedazzled du-rag? The super-rare Bape Kung Fu shirt? The Second/Layer “Dreamer” hoodie (that I know some of you bought after watching the video)? C’mon. —Karizza Sanchez


  • Pharrell

    There are risk-takers, and then there’s Pharrell Williams, who is just way too advanced. Who else in hip-hop can pull off eyeliner? Or stand next to his wife, who wore full Comme des Garçons, at the Met Gala and not look mediocre in custom ripped jeans, a flannel, a leather jacket, and boots? (Although, to be honest, I would’ve appreciated a head-to-toe CdG outfit from the king of wearing Japanese brands.) Or make history and be the first man to be featured in a Chanel bag campaign? Pharrell beats to his own drum. He doesn’t follow trends; he starts them. Sure, his style may not be for everyone, but guess what? He couldn’t care less. Plus, it’s probably secretly how you wish you could dress, anyway. —Karizza Sanchez

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Did Jay Z’s Tidal Project ‘4:44’ Just Get a Release Date?

No one has a fucking clue what 4:44 is, but the mystery project from Tidal may have just been given a release date. According to a report from HipHopDX, posters and billboards started showing up in Hollywood Friday teasing a June 30 date. The latest image, shown below, also include Jay Z's name (stylized here as Jay:Z) and the promise of an exclusive release via Sprint.Tidal.com.

As of now, the joint Sprint x Tidal site serves as a landing page touting Sprint's six-month complimentary Tidal subscription.

Earlier this month, Tidal and Sprint detailed their partnership after the NBA Finals debut of a 4:44 trailer starring Lupita Nyong’o, Danny Glover, and Mahershala Ali. “More than two-thirds of mobile subscribers stream music an average of 45 minutes per day, making our partnership with TIDAL a natural fit for Sprint and our commitment to offering innovative, affordable and worry-free service,” Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said in a press release.

Jay's most recent studio album was Magna Carta Holy Grail, released way back in 2013.

Roc Nation artist Vic Mensa was pressed about the meaning of 4:44 in a recent interview with Real 92.3. Mensa, understandably, kept his answers vague. “It's an important number,” Mensa said. “It's symbolic. It means things and people will find out . . . I actually don't know any types of timelines or anything.” Asked whether Jay had played him any new music, Mensa said he “might have heard some.”

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The Best TV Shows of 2017 (So Far)

The first six months of 2017, we can all agree, have been hot garbage. Everything in the news cycle ranges from merely troubling to potentially catastrophic. Thankfully, there's no shortage of distractions to give some temporary relief, coming in the form of great TV programming. On other hand, the amount of great television shows to pick from can be, frankly, panic-inducing. 

Lucky for you, it's our job to sift through the reality shows of Bravo, the comedies of FXX, the dramas of HBO, and the literally everything on Netflix to discover what is and what isn't worth watching. Mid-year brings a surprising lack of reboots (with one exception), only one superhero show, and a whole menagerie of comedies. Guess we're looking for some feel-good television (jk, you know that's not true). And with that, here are our Best TV shows of 2017 so far. 


  • 25. Billions

    Network: Showtime
    Starring: Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti, Maggie Siff, Malin Akerman, Toby Leonard Moore

    Billions centers around the financial world, which normal cinematic convention would dictate means there’s a ridiculously rich guy pitted against the law. To get more specific about it, Damian Lewis plays Axe, the manager of a hedge fund with a penchant for dirty deals and insider trades, who is constantly dodging the fury of Chuck Rhoades (Giamatti), who is the powerful, BDSM-loving U.S. Attorney General who is out to get Axe. It’s a classic set-up for juicy interrogation scenes and explosive investigations, and Billions delivers on all of that with an iconic yellow sports car to boot, but the stakes are turned all the way up in the show’s second season. This year also saw the addition of the excellent Asia Kate Dillon to the cast, who plays the first gender non-binary character in TV history. —Julia Pimentel


  • 24. The Young Pope

    Network: HBO
    StarringJude Law, Diane Keaton, Silvio Orlando 

    Jude Law played the role of Lenny Belardo, the Church’s first American-born pontiff, masterfully as he juggled dealing with the Cardinals trying to thwart his papacy behind his back while struggling with his own inner demons. The young god was in the Vatican chainsmoking cigarettes and performing miracles like it was nobody’s business for 10 of the most stylish episodes you’ll ever watch. The Young Pope is sort of like an artsy West Wing but for Vatican City as show creator Paolo Sorrentino lifts the veil on the way politics are handled in one of the world’s highest institutions. There was some dark comedy, graphic sex scenes, and powerful performances—shouts to Diane Keaton and Silvio Orlando for killing their respective roles. I wish the rules of the church would let their characters fall in love, but the life of a priest and a nun is about keeping sins of the flesh at bay, and only loving God. —Angel Diaz


  • 23. Full Frontal With Samantha Bee

    Network: TBS
    StarringSamantha Bee, Allana Harkin, Ashley Nicole Black

    Trump's presidency has given Full Frontal a LOT of material for season two, and Samantha Bee uses all the insanity to her advantage. Highlights included her evisceration of Ivanka Trump and her special Full Frontal episode, “'Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner,” which included an appearance from Will Ferrell as George W. Bush. Unfortunately, Full Frontal would be a lot more funny if it weren't all so real. —Lauren Zupkus


  • 22. Veep

    Network: HBO
    StarringJulia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale

    This season of Veep has been so incredibly good as Selina Meyer tries to live the life of a former president the best way she can. The only thing is she was the leader of the free world for like a year and gets no respect. She’s essentially the Rodney Dangerfield of former presidents. A library for the first woman president should be a no-brainer, right? Shit, even Jimmy Carter has one; nope, no library love for the first female commander-in-chief in the history of man. But Jonah Ryan (played by Timothy Simons) steals the show, as his pettiness and incompetence knows no bounds in his role as a New Hampshire congressman. Every episode ups the ante as Selina tries to write a memoir while wrangling the gang of misfits she’s put in charge of handling her affairs. Veep is perfectly vulgar, smart, witty, and outrageous; the perfect recipe for winning a treasure trove of Emmys once again. —Angel Diaz

     


  • 21. Catastrophe

    Network: Amazon
    AmazonSharon Horgan, Rob Delaney, Mark Bonnar 

    While Catastrophe bears the great honor of having Carrie Fisher’s last onscreen appearance—which is terrific BTW—the British comedy (well, maybe dramedy) in its third season has continued to be one of the best depictions of marriage on television. Sharon (Sharon Horgan, a true kween) and Rob (Rob Delaney) are in the midst of a rough patch, dealing with infidelity, unemployment, and aging parents. While the heart of the show will always be Sharon and Rob’s relationship, which is both abrasive and loving, season three ups the ante while exploring Rob’s escalating drinking relapse–perhaps one of the more realistic portrayals of alcoholism on television. Yeah, it’s a lot of heavy stuff, but it’ll also make you laugh your ass off. (And cry because of, y’know, Fisher’s last appearance). —Kerensa Cadenas
     


  • 20. Santa Clarita Diet

    Network: Netflix
    StarringDrew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant, Liv Hewson 

    Honestly, Netflix had me at “Drew Barrymore plays a zombie real estate agent.” While my wife couldn’t be in the room because of Drew’s gorging on the flesh of the living and the gore that came with that premise, the series was deeper than Suburban Night of the Living Dead. It was about a family and its struggles to deal with each other, hiding secrets and desires while trying to do right by each other. Barrymore and Timmy Olyphant nailed their performances, grounding their black comedy with flying colors. If you can get past the ultraviolence, there’s a truly heartfelt show residing underneath. —khal

     


  • 19. Fargo

    Network: FX
    StarringBilly Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman 

    Season three hasn’t been as good as the two previous seasons, but Fargo is still premium television, especially the second half of this year’s chapter. The northern Midwest and idiot criminals go together like oh and jeez. This season feels a bit darker with Ewan McGregor playing Emmit and Ray Stussy—two brothers at odds over a rare stamp collection. When the younger of the two, Ray, tries to get the last stamp left with the help of his ex-con lady Nikki Swango (the underrated Mary Elizabeth Winstead) he sets off a series of events that can only happen on a show like Fargo. There’s also a shadowy British mob figure with bad teeth involved in all this because of course there is. Murder and mystery soon follow as Emmit, Ray, and V.M. Varga (that British mobster I mentioned earlier) try to get Eden Valley police chief Gloria Burgle (played by Carrie Coon of the Leftovers fame) off their tracks. Fargo is beautifully shot, well written, and fun for the entire family. Sex, murder, and mayhem should be enjoyed with the people you love. —Angel Diaz


  • 18. The Americans

    Network: FX
    StarringKeri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich, Maximiliano Hernandez, Holly Taylor

    When this story of two high-level, ultra-secret and deadly KGB spies debuted back in 2013, it was a good show. But now that our President might be a Russian hack himself and we might as well be pledging allegiance to Mother Russia, The Americans has gained an eerie, prescient quality that only adds to the show’s already suspenseful tone. This season has been Philip and Elizabeth Jennings struggling more than ever before with their spy work in America, as the toll their life takes on their family comes into sharp focus with every passing day. This fantastic slow-burning drama showed it knows how to play the long game in this year’s season, with several expertly drafted parallel storylines and supremely well acted moments, and even though we know from showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields that there will only be one more season, The Americans has likely already cemented its place in TV’s hall of fame. —Julia Pimentel


  • 17. Girls

    Network: HBO
    Starring
    Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver

    This year brought the official end of Lena Dunham’s white female millennial story, and with it came the end of one of the most distinct and unapologetic shows in recent history. Although the show was often at the center of controversy—most notably its lack of diverse character representation—it still managed to become one of the best representations of the millennial social milieu ever depicted on television, and that is largely because of Dunham’s ambitious knack for raw storytelling. The show’s final season is an ode to growing up in New York City: how has the Hannah Horvath who asked her parents for money in the first scene of the first episode changed, now that she is raising a biracial baby on her own upstate? The show’s dedication to character development is its greatest strength. —Julia Pimentel


  • 16. The Breaks

    Network: VH1
    Starring: Afton Williamson, Wood Harris, Tristan “Mack” Wilds

    With an impressive backdoor pilot in the form of 2016’s TV movie The Breaks, the first season of The Breaks stayed truer to the world of hip-hop than series like The Get Down and Empire. Where The Get Down fancied itself as a glamorous re-telling of the time before hip-hop was a thing, and Empire is a glamorous soap about hip-hop at its excess, The Breaks keeps it a buck, staying grounded in that sweet spot of hip-hop finding its way in a mainstream that was ready for it. No one was balling like that, which made the hunger 20 times realer. Afton Williamson is a star as Nikki, and hold her own alongside a cast featuring everyone from The Wire alum Wood Harris, Tristan “Mack” Wilds, and Method Man to Sinqua Walls, Melonie Diaz, and David Call. It’s no wonder that the series picked up its second season, even though it’ll be interesting to see what a move to BET will do for the future of the show. —khal


  • 15. Twin Peaks

    Network: Showtime
    StarringKyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee, Kimmy Robertson 

    TV revivals are certainly in vogue, but that doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed to be good: the X-Files had a particularly embarrassing return to the small screen last year, with Arrested Development not faring much better the year prior. But in the case of Twin Peaks: The Return, the long-awaited third season of David Lynch’s dreamy mystery series, the beloved show has never been better. Stuffed with guest stars like Naomi Watts and Michael Cera and oscillating between crime stories in New York City, South Dakota and the titular Twin Peaks, The Return um, returns, to Lynch’s perennial obsession with the seedy underbelly of suburbia in traditionally gorgeous form. Far more meandering and opaque than the quirky, coffee-fueled small town story that preceded it, Lynch has expanded the world of his series tenfold: to sumptuous, rebelliously satisfying effect. —Aubrey Page


  • 14. I Love Dick

    Network: Amazon
    Starring: Kevin Bacon, Kathryn Hahn, Griffin Dunne 

    Did you ever realize that you needed to see Kevin Bacon, in full cowboy garb, hand rolling a cigarette? Would you ever guess it might be one of the sexiest TV scenes of the year? Well, that’s a very good reason to watch I Love Dick immediately. Another one is the truly underrated and completely compelling Kathryn Hahn as Chris, a manic, brilliant filmmaker who follows her academic husband to Marfa, Texas when her movie is rejected by a major film festival. There she falls for Dick (played by Kevin Bacon), a fellow academic where her husband will be residing. Chris and her husband Sylvere become obsessed with Dick—which culminates in a letter writing project—that stirs up their formerly dormant libidos and Chris’s creativity. From Jill Soloway, the mind behind Transparent, I Love Dick doesn’t care about traditional television structure or narrative—it can be tough to watch but it’s utterly engaging and breathtaking at times. Episode five, “A Short History of Weird Girls,” might be the best television episode of the year AND the best examination of female desire on screen ever. —Kerensa Cadenas


  • 13. New Girl

    Network: Fox
    Starring: Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield 

    Listen, there are higher-rated sitcoms, sitcoms with more award buzz, sitcoms that are brilliant in their own right. But New Girl is the funniest most original situation comedy out right now. The fact that it's long in the tooth—renewal was so touch and go this year the finale was filmed to serve as a *series* conclusion if need be—is its greatest benefit. These are characters so uniquely bizarre and actors who have been inhabiting them and cohabiting with each other for like a decade now. Their freedom and trust to be wacky with their personas and with each other is unbridled, earned, and a fucking joy to watch. What Lamorne, Jake, and Max Greenfield do in any given episode should be taught in comic courses everywhere. This is the series that made Megan Fox funny for Christsake, case closed. —Frazier Tharpe


  • 12. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

    Network: The CW
    Starring: Rachel Bloom, Vincent Rodriguez III, Donna Lynne Champlin 

    Season two of The CW’s Golden Globe-winning twisted musical rom-com upped the ante on Rebecca Bunch’s craziness. After much dogged determination, the apple of her eye—the dull Josh Chan—was finally hers. Well, not without many ups and downs. While Josh and Rebecca’s relationship completely went off the rails, the best part of season two was Rebecca’s blossoming friendships with the women around her and finally some semblance of self-awareness. Don’t worry, it all rapidly falls apart in the absolutely perfect finale and season three Rebecca is primed for revenge. And that’s great, because our favorite Rebecca is the most unhinged version of herself, which always promises even better songs. —Kerensa Cadenas


  • 11. The Keepers

    Network: Netflix
    StarringTom Nugent, Deb Silcox, Gemma Hoskins 

    True crime shows have oversaturated the television game in recent years, but the story brought to light in Netflix's The Keepers is an account worth telling. With the pace of Making a Murderer and a theme that echoes 2015's Spotlight, The Keepers seeks to uncover the mystery of Cathy Cesnik, a popular Baltimore nun whose murder remains unsolved. Without much cooperation from the police, Cesnik's tenacious former students form a grassroots investigation to find both answers and healing in the wake of their favorite teacher's death. Much like Making a Murderer and The Jinx, The Keepers has inspired a renewed effort to revisit the seemingly botched case. —Lauren Zupkus


  • 10. The Handmaid’s Tale

    Network: Hulu
    Starring: Elisabeth Moss, O-T Fagbenle, Yvonne Strahovski 

    When we first sat down to debate what should be on this list and where it should be, Handmaid's Tale was considerably higher. ​The first three episodes of the adaptation of Margaret Atwood's landmark '80s novel are chilling, a masterclass in an ugly narrative so beautifully made you can't look away. But you do have to pause. Even for the seen-it-all, not of faint heart, this story of a dystopian future where the New American World Order is one that hides behind biblical text to instate an aggressively chauvinist society is a tough pill to swallow. Couple that with a worldwide fertility crisis and the ultimate nightmare is engineered: the rare amount of designated fertile women, like our narrator, June, are made into handmaids. As June describes early on, not concubines but wombs with legs. Their identities and personalities are stripped—June, for example becomes Offred as in of Fred, her “owner”—and once a month a ritual rape occurs in the hopes of impregnation. It's harrowing stuff, made even more unsettling by flashbacks that show how the climate that allowed the world to devolve to this…a climate not too dissimilar from our own.

    Elisabeth Moss is rivaling her iconic work in Mad Men already—her face conveys a multitude of contrasting emotions in any given scene. Samara Wiley, Joseph Fiennes, Ann Dowd, and especially Yvonne Strahovski and Alexis Bledel, form a murder's row of talent. Too bad then, that the back half of the season is undoing itself by spending too much time in the serialized TV muck. I haven't read the book, but aspects of a rebellion plot and Offred's involvement seem hackneyed and cliched. A flashback episode revealing what happened to a character from the pilot gave me Walking Dead PTSD. The decision to pair it with another, even less compelling and illuminating male-centric flashback ep is downright bemusing. It's almost as frustrating as the music choices, which veer from workably ironic to on-the-nose and corny. But at press time, the penultimate episode is a fine return to form. A TV season is a marathon, prestige is a pace that lags and laps from episode to episode. However Handmaid finishes the race, we'll always have those first three, though. —Frazier Tharpe


  • 9. Master of None

    Network: Netflix
    StarringAziz Ansari, Eric Wareheim, Lena Waithe

    Master of None is a frustrating show. In the series’ second season, creators Aziz Ansari and Alan Wang demonstrated greater maturity and interest in the experiences of its peripheral characters, specifically the women; but its execution was inconsistent. As perfect as “Thanksgiving” was, with its anchoring performance from the ageless Angela Bassett and heartfelt exploration of Lena Waithe’s Denise, the development of Dev’s love interest this season, Alessandra Mastronardi’s Francesca, felt wanting at best.

    Because I’m taken with the show’s impeccable soundtrack, sincere love for New York, and its fairy tale qualities—something I’ve used to justify the odd performances and line readings from many of the actors, Ansari and Eric Wareheim specifically—I squinted at Francesca. I tried to give her a more generous reading, glomming on to her as a character feeling trapped by a provincial upbringing. She’s intentionally opaque to the viewer in the same way that she can be unreadable to Dev (granted, this doesn’t allow for the show to do anything sophisticated with dramatic irony, and so that’s a strike against the storytelling). But after talking about the final episodes with friends, it’s clear that she’s just not there. More time is spent on her freaking out over diarrhea medicine than on figuring out what makes her tick, and it shows that as much as the show has evolved since its first season, it still needs to grow in crucial ways.

    Still, Master of None has taste and really cares about music—see the inclusion of Timmy Thomas and Lucio Battisti and Gigi Maslin. It understands the immediate pathos of music in a way that isn’t gimmicky or hamfisted, something you can’t say about otherwise strong shows like The Handmaid’s Tale and even The Leftovers. —Ross Scarano


  • 8. Dear White People

    Network: Netflix
    StarringLogan Browning, Brandon P. Bell, Marque Richardson, DeRon Horton, Antoinette Robertson 

    Based on Justin Simien’s 2014 movie of the same name, Dear White People picks up exactly where the movie left off, using the blackface Halloween party that was at the climax of the movie as the impetus for the 10 episode character-centered storyline. The show has the same Ivy League, smooth aesthetic, and since a large portion of the cast reprised their roles, everything feels familiar. Perhaps most importantly, the show embodies the same unapologetic approach to the thorniest of race issues as the film did, always straddling the line between activism and outright anger, but because the 10 episode arc has more time and space to explore the tensions within the social classes of Winchester University, the show is able to reach farther than the movie ever could. While it can, at times, get overly didactic, Dear White People is a powerful ode to “woke” culture, tackling the issue of race in modern-day America explicitly through the lens of young black folk. —Julia Pimentel


  • 7. Better Call Saul

    Network: AMC
    StarringPatrick Fabian, Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks 

    While its ratings are slipping (it’s gone from roughly 3 million viewers on average in its first season to barely holding onto 1.5 million a week in season three), Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul continues to shine when it comes to quality. There’s a beauty in its turtle pace, the slow descent into madness that is Jimmy McGill’s pre-Walter White life has been a blessing. We not only get to see the entrance of Gus Fring into the series this season, and the early machinations of his relationship to Mike, but there are also some realizations regarding McGill’s shift to Saul Goodman. Honestly, though, if this series is going to be this damn good, we could deal with another season (or two) of build-up before reaching its satisfying climax. —khal


  • 6. Riverdale

    Network: The CW
    StarringK.J. Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse 

    As the No. 1 fans of The CW, there was no way we weren’t going to love Riverdale but I don’t think we expected to LOVE it this much. Best described as The O.C. meets Twin Peaks meets Archie Comics, the show has an almost overwhelming amount of elements—teen drama, soap opera, murder mystery, romance—and could easily fall into substandard teen fare but it never does due in part to its brilliant casting. It’s a mix of unknowns for Archie (K.J. Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), Veronica (Camila Mendes), and Jughead (Cole Sprouse, of child fame) coupled with teen stars of yore as their parents Skeet Ulrich, Molly Ringwald, Mädchen Amick, and Luke Perry. This creates a delicious dynamic of unrequited love (and, uh, incest), as a small town is rocked by mystery and solving the murder of the dead high school quarterback, Jason Blossom. Plus, we’ve really got to give it to Betty for making rage fists a thing.—Kerensa Cadenas
     


  • 5. The Good Place

    Network: NBC
    Starring: Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil 

    I’m not sure anyone expected The Good Place—the high-concept Kristen Bell-led comedy about a woman who accidentally lands herself in heaven despite not actually being a great person during her time on earth—to be quite as good as it turned out to be. Created by Mike Schur, the guy behind The Office and Parks and Recreation, The Good Place spent its lean 10-episode order building an almost deviously ingenious world, all while laying out engrossing character arcs for Bell’s deliciously acrid Eleanor, Ted Danson’s sunny Michael and William Jackson Harper’s fatally neurotic Chidi in the process. A far more diabolically funny show than the holy glow of the premise implies with one hell of a final episode kicker, The Good Place is one of the best original comedies in years—maybe even decades. —Aubrey Page


  • 4. Chewing Gum

    Network: Netflix
    StarringMichaela Coel, Robert Lonsdale, Susan Wokoma, Danielle Walters, Tanya Franks

    Carried entirely by the brilliant Michaela Coel, who created, wrote, and stars in this British comedy, Chewing Gum is a bubbly, hilarious coming of age story full of Beyoncé references and extremely unsexy sex scenes. Coel plays Tracey Gordon, a horny East Londoner who works at the corner shop and lives with her religious mother and devout sister and will go to literally any length to lose her virginity. If that seems like too simple a plot, you’re underestimating Coel’s epic comedic writing and timing; though the ridiculous ups and downs of Tracey’s relationship with her boyfriend are objectively hilarious, the show is, at its heart, a journey of self-discovery for a young black woman, and this emotional element becomes more apparent than ever in the second season. —Julia Pimentel


  • 3. Legion

    Network: FX
    StarringDan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza 

    With the run FX has been on as of late with series like Atlanta, Better Things, Fargo, and American Crime Story, there was little doubt that they’d nail the first true superhero property in their programming block. What was unexpected is how captivating a series with a C-list member of the X-Men, Legion (who is the son of Professor X) would be. The series, which separated itself from the mostly-lukewarm X-Men Cinematic Universe, scored the most points when it marched to the beat of its own drum. Legion, who is quite possibly one of the most powerful mutants ever, spent the majority of the eight-episode first season trying to understand his powers, while viewers spent most of those episodes trying to learn how to take in the fully-realized world that Noah Hawley created. Luckily, we had stellar performances from Dan Stevens as the unreliable narrator David Haller (aka Legion) and Aubrey Plaza who truly stole every scene she was in— blending a leftfield sense of mania with impressive evil undertones. Legion was a Wes Anderson film masquerading as a superhero series, and got better with each episode. —khal


  • 2. Big Little Lies

    Network: HBO
    StarringReese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley 

    Did anyone really need another show about rich white women? Not really, but wow did Big Little Lies exceed every expectation. The Jean Marc Vallee (his best work tbh) directed, Reese Witherspoon produced drama based on the novel by Liane Moriarty follows a group of Monterey, California moms—sniping and griping about their day-to-day lives, which primarily revolves around their grade school aged children. But under the picturesque California landscape, of course, lies something much more sinister. A greek chorus of Monterey parents, teachers and partners all work to unravel a murder that has rocked their idyllic community. With breathtaking turns from Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, and Shailene Woodley, along with an impressive supporting cast of Alexander Skarsgård, Adam Scott, and many #thespian children, Big Little Lies is full of salacious drama, heartbreak and utterly proves that it’s not just a “woman’s show.” A big middle finger to all those dudes out there who said that because these ladies are laughing all the way to every goddamn awards show out. —Kerensa Cadenas


  • 1. The Leftovers

    Network: HBO
    StarringJustin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston

    Seven years ago, Damon Lindelof (along with co-showrunner Carlton Cuse) delivered one of the most divisive finales of all time with LOST. It's easy to analyze the ways in which the finale of his latest series, The Leftovers, is both a reaction and commentary to the LOST fallout. But truly, the entirety of The Leftovers was one big subtweet to to the same people whose vitriol literally drove Lindelof off of Twitter. Leftovers was never a show about #answers, it was always a show with its own smoke monsters, Daddy issues, and men of science dueling with men of faith—but without an Orientation video when Justin Theroux sweatily demands answers. The Leftovers has other, much more important themes and missions: mainly, being the ultimate treatise on grief and faith that we've seen on television in some time.

    Truly, season 2 ended perfectly. We didn't quite need a third, and that worried me. Shame on me: just when I thought Leftovers resolved all of its characters inner turmoils, it used this renewal to make the ultimate statement: we never ~truly~ get over our shit. We learn to live with it, keep living in lieu of it, but the potential for it to rear its head again is always there. And if you let it, it could ruin everything you tried to rebuild. It's been a great year for television—but whatever your fave is, it doesn't have material as weighty as this countered with truly authentically capital-w Weird shit like a Tasmanian Sex Boat dedicated to Frasier the lion, and have that not even be the weirdest, funniest aspect of the episode. Goodbye to this beautiful, captivating, soul-crushing masterpiece. I hope everyone left standing in the end is doing OK, but we all probably know the answer to that.—Frazier Tharpe

More from Complex

DJ Khaled Breaks Silence on Relationship With Birdman on ‘The Breakfast Club’

To mark the release of his new Rihanna and Bryson Tiller collaboration “Wild Thoughts,” DJ Khaled dropped by The Breakfast Club Friday morning to discuss his upcoming album Grateful and to shed more light on the story behind Rick Ross' Birdman diss song, “Idols Become Rivals.” Khaled, who's mentioned at the end of the Rather You Than Me single, said he still appreciates the opportunities Birdman gave him. As for Cash Money business dealings, Khaled declined to elaborate.

“You know, Ross is my brother since, like, day one,” Khaled said when asked how he felt the first time he heard Ross' track. “That's family. Me and him come from the bottom, the mud to marble floors. When he shouted me out on that record, that's what you call a real friend, family…loves me and I love him back. Me and him are, like, forever. Music or no music. It's Khaled and Ross forever, meaning that's my brother. I appreciate the love and shout-out.”

What Ross was expressing in that shout-out, Khaled said, was that he's a good and grateful person. “He was basically expressing 'Khaled's a hard worker, he a good person, he a grateful person, and everybody he's ever dealt with, he's always been good and he never complain,'” Khaled said. “Ross is basically saying, 'Khaled, he don't complain. He keep it moving.' I think y'all know me as a person. Y'all never heard me come and talk about people and stuff like that. He's basically saying, 'Yo, Khaled, You blessed. Keep winning. Don't stop.'”

Asked specifically about Birdman, Khaled took the high road. “Birdman, that's my friend,” he said. “I wanna be clear. As far as anybody that has a situation, I pray and I hope that people can talk to each other and work things out. Birdman, all that is is, you know, at one point I just moved on with We the Best. I got nothing but love for Birdman. They gave me an opportunity. I appreciate every opportunity that's ever given to me. It doesn't matter what happens to the opportunity, it's an opportunity. It's an opportunity and I’m grateful for that.” Back in March, a theory about Khaled's “they” being a Birdman reference caught fire.

Khaled also praised Birdman and Cash Money's legacy, telling the Breakfast Club team he hoped that “all that stuff” would be solved one day. “I don't discuss business,” he said. “But at the end of the day, me and them are good.”

Watch the full DJ Khaled x Breakfast Club interview, including some fatherhood talk and plenty of Grateful insight, above.

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