According to Billboard, Logic dropped by On Air With Ryan Seacrest show on Tuesday to talk about his new exercise routine, his “Bennie and the Jets” Elton John cover featuring Pink, and his upcoming projects. In an unexpected turn of events, Logic has apparently already written a comedy script that’s aimed to start production before the year is out. On top of that, he’s working on two novels, one of which is called Supermarket, and the other one being self-described as a “really rad” piece of work.
“I love range, as far as acting, from like drama and all types of stuff, but if I was like, 'If I’m going to come out the gate, I just want to make people laugh,'” he told Seacrest about why he's choosing comedy. Logic didn't give too much away about the premise, but he did say it revolves around a record store. Regarding his on-screen work, Logic will apparently be back on unspecified scripted TV shows after voicing himself on Rick and Morty last year.
As we now know, Nicki Minaj's deleted countdown was indeed a setup for the release of her singles “Chun-Li” and “Barbie Tingz.” And helping her stealthily create and drop those singles was up-and-coming Atlanta producer J. Reid.
Reid, whose resume is sure to get a big boost, did an interview with XXL where he shared details about what went on behind the scenes. He first managed to link up with Nicki when a partner of his, Brinx Billions, was working on a song with her. When Nicki asked who made the beat, it was J. Reid, and she made short work of flying him out to Miami.
“She was just like, 'I love your music. You're talented, I'm just trying to put some stuff together.' So I was like, 'I'm ready.' From that, it's just been ballgame. Coming back and forth, going in and out of town, working at home and showing out,” Reid said, revealing he made 15 different beats for “Barbie Tingz” but it only took hearing two of them for Nicki's inspiration to kick in.
“I played one beat, [then] I played the second beat and she was like, 'Stop, pull it up, I'm about to go in.' I'm like, 'This is crazy. Is she really finna go rap on my beat, like, freestyle?!' And went crazy,” said Reid. He described feeling “enlightened” watching Minaj's creative process.
Reid was also grateful the rap vet was able to explain what kind of beat she was looking for, something many artists can't do, he says. He attributes her level-headed approach to having some time to herself, not churning out albums. The whole process, Reid said, happened in an instant. “So it just came together like that. Two days later, I flew back home. She was like, 'Yo, this song is so hard. I'm about to shoot the video.'”
When it came to producing “Chun-Li,” the process was pretty similar. Reid flew to California to finish mixing and mastering “Barbie Tingz,” and Nicki asked to hear some more beats. She gave Reid a little taste of some bars so he could get a sense of the vibe, and the two went back in to shuffle through about 13 beats before making the final selection. “The format is the exact same. She went in [the recording booth], started rapping, came out, arranged it, went back in, finished it,” Reid said.
It looks like Miss Minaj is finally back on her grind, and ready to defend her throne. Read the full interview with J. Reid over at XXL.
J. Cole will be returning with his fifth studio album very, very soon.
On Monday, Cole took to social media to announce that he would be holding a surprise concert at New York City's Gramercy Theatre and that it would be a “first come, first served” kind of situation. The flyer for the show also warned that no cameras, bags, or phones would be allowed.
Following the show announcement, and also because Cole switched his Twitter profile pic, background, and Instagram avatar, many fans speculated the North Carolina rapper would be dropping some new music. It looks like those theories turned out to be true.
Following the aforementioned performance, Cole jumped back on social media to reveal that he has a new album on the way and it's titled KOD. And to make it all sweeter, we aren't going to have to wait that long to be able to hear it. The project will be out on Friday, April 20, which, of course, is International Marijuana Day, or something like that.
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Kendrick Lamar has already won himself a lot of acclaim for his 2017 album Damn, including the Grammy for Best Rap Album. Now he's landed himself an even bigger and more prestigious honor, however, as he's just been awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music.
Described by host Dana Canedy as “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life,” Damn marks the first time a rap album has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music.
The previous Pulitzer Prize for Music was awarded to experimental composer Du Yun for her opera Angel's Bone. The Public Service Pulitzer Prize for journalism, meanwhile, went to Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of The New York Times and Ronan Farrow of The New Yorker for their reporting of Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood's sexual abuse.
Watch the 2018 Pulitzer Prize announcement video below, with Kendrick's big moment at the 17:40 mark.
The “best rapper alive” discussion will always hold weight in the hip-hop community. At any given time, there are a handful of artists that could claim the title, or might feel they are deserving of it. However, Atlanta's 21 Savage could care less about being considered the “best rapper alive.”
Savage took to Twitter to let everyone know that it's money over everything when it comes to his rap career. “I didn’t come here to compete. I came to eat. Miss me with all that greatest rapper shit,” he wrote. “I wanna be the richest. Leave me alone. I’m in my own world.”
i didn’t come here to compete i came to eat. Miss me with all that greatest rapper shit i wanna be the richest leave me alone i’m in my own world
There isn't necessarily any indication of what prompted the tweet from the Saint Laurent Don, but he clearly felt the need to make his point clear. While 21 Savage is no doubt one of the biggest names in rap right now, his eerie brand of self-proclaimed “murder music” has never really been praised for its “lyrical miracle” qualities.
Perhaps he was simply addressing some trolls he noticed who were criticizing his bars, or maybe he felt inclined to let everyone know given some recent discussion about who the current king of another legendary rap region currently is. Whatever the reason may be, he wants to just make sure he continues cashing checks. His 2017 hit single “Bank Account” has now taken on a whole new meaning.
While Savage might not be out here trying to be your favorite lyricist, that doesn't mean he refuses to take part in trends. Earlier this week, Savage was the latest rapper to join in on the “Who Run It” challenge by dropping his own monotone freestyle over the classic Three 6 Mafia instrumental.
LUCKI has had one of the most unconventional careers in hip-hop, and he's still just 21 years old. He's dealt with ups and downs related to drugs, mental health, and the music industry, but throughout the last five years he's maintained a growing audience and consistently released constantly evolving music along the way. “I just like where I’m at right now,” he told us in an interview earlier this month. He shared that he's working on an album called Better Days, and last night he gave a glimpse into his latest work with an EP called DAYS B4 II. The opener to the six-song EP is the hypnotizing “Root of All,” and today we're premiering a music video that goes with it.
In clinical terms,Love & Hip Hop is a long-running reality franchise about the personal and professional struggles of figures in the music business. In colloquial terms, it’s a ratchet-reality soap opera with around 200 interwoven characters. Many of them exist at the periphery of the music industry; others have won Grammys, gone platinum, and crafted No. 1 records at some point in their career. In nearly every episode, there is an obligatory scene of one or more of them in the studio. But with very few songs released, we need to know: What exactly are they working on?
LHH is the cornerstone of Vh1. In 2017, the network had four of the top 10 unscripted shows on cable, and the Atlanta and New York editions were Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. And shows weren’t measured in “social engagement” before Love & Hip Hop started dominating Twitter each time an episode aired. All this to say, everyone is watching the show. Everyone is talking about the show. But no one is fucking with the music from the show.
In fact, for a program called Love & Hip Hop, only one featured personality from its cast is actually relevant for their current musical output: a former stripper with minimal prior rap experience named Cardi B.
And no one saw her coming.
When Cardi joined Love & Hip Hop’s New York cast in season 6 she was already a social media starlet with over a million followers on Twitter (she now has 2.8M). She was known for her personality, not any musical inclinations, and had retired from the pole two months before the season premiere on December 14, 2015. By that point Cardi had started making a whole living off club appearances. But Vh1 wanted to portray her as a silly exotic dancer languishing in a messy situationship.
“Yo, it’s so crazy, like, them motherfuckers [the producers] really doubted me. It’s like, why would y’all doubt me? Like, I have seven hundred thousand bajillion followers,” she told THE FADER in February 2016. “I’m telling them like, ‘Yo, I have a brand. I’m not even an artist and I fill out clubs. Three thousand, whatever the crap, I fill them shits out!’ But they didn’t care about that. They just wanted to make me look as the stripper, a struggling stripper.”
love & hip hop may help raise an artist’s visibility, but for all the wrong reasons when it comes to their actual artistry.
And indeed, she played her part. In her now-legendary LHH video introduction, Cardi announced, “Hey, America, washpoppin’? You might know me as that annoying dancer on social media that be talking hella crazy, with the long nails and the big ol’ titties, but I’m just a regular, degular, shmegular girl from the Bronx.” We went on to see Cardi’s frustration over Power 105 radio personality DJ Self, whom she slept with occasionally, not playing her music. In her words, he was “the hottest DJ in New York or whatever” and she was willing to deal with him seeing other women so long as he helped get her music played.
See, for most of the show’s history, that was the dynamic: The men were the legitimate figures in the industry, and the women were around to jockey for their assistance or attention. Remember how Stevie J. constantly threatened to send Joseline Hernandez back to the strip club on Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta? Like no character before or after her, Cardi B. was able to flip the script.
To understand how disruptive Cardi was, we should rewind. The show’s earliest iteration, Keeping Up With the Joneses, centered around Dipset rapper Jim Jones, his longsuffering girlfriend Christine Lampkin, and outspoken mother, Nancy “Mama” Jones. But Jimmy became less interested after he released his most successful single, “We Fly High.” To save the show, manager Yandy Smith and her mentor, Violator Management co-founder Mona Scott-Young, bumpedJones down to supporting cast member, and elevated Chrissy and her friends to the main cast. Re-christened Love & Hip Hop, the show was now giving visibility to the women behind famous men in hip-hop.
Now, fast-forward: Cardi B. came on the show with a game plan, and it wasn’t to be behind anybody. Her cunning, singular focus is perhaps what allowed her to become the show’s unlikeliest success story. This theory makes more sense when you consider that Cardi quit after two seasons in order to pursue her music. She paused the shenanigans to go work on her craft, instead of posturing in the studio like many of the men we see every episode. Within months of leaving LHH, she released her second mixtape, signed a multimillion-dollar record deal, then released “Bodak Yellow.” And within a year of her last trip to Vh1, Cardi had a No. 1 record, two Grammy nominations, and multiple pop and hip-hop features dominating the charts.
Given her beloved personality, Cardi could’ve easily joined the likes of LHH mainstays Stevie J., Lil Scrappy, and Yung Joc, bouncing between spinoffs in reality TV purgatory. But unlike them, Cardi didn’t want chasing checks from Mona Scott-Young to be her ceiling. “A lot of the n***as on that show are cornballs, but it is what it is,” clairvoyant Cardi said in an interview right before she left the LHH.
That about sums up why no one who continues to appear on the show is likely to break through on the charts any time soon. LHH may help raise an artist’s visibility, but for all the wrong reasons when it comes to their actual artistry. We all agreed amongst ourselves that the franchise was fake, but it was a juicy lie that we enjoyed pretending to believe. Cardi’s contrasting authenticity made us step into the light.
Cardi could’ve easily joined the likes of LHH mainstays Stevie J., Lil Scrappy, and Yung Joc, bouncing between spinoffs in reality TV purgatory. But Cardi didn’t want chasing checks from Mona Scott-Young to be her ceiling.
Millions of people rallied behind her as a person—she could have sold us anything she wanted after that, lip kits or weave—but she chose to sling hits. Cardi didn’t blow up the day after she left, no. But she was persistent and converted momentum into clout. Some of the credible artists remaining on LHH, like Remy Ma and Trina, haven’t been able to figure this part out yet—even though both have albums on the way and purposefully steer clear of the drama by limiting their camera time. There appears to still be an understanding of their brand equity, which is something many of their peers seem to lack, but the reality of reality TV is that it’s a means to an end.
As we sit here in the afterglow of Cardi’s soon-to-be-crowned No. 1 debut album, her feature on Saturday Night Live, and third appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, we have to respect what she’s achieved. Cardi was an underestimated woman whose role on LHH was to orbit the “powerful” men, but yet she launched past them all. As a soon-to-be mother engaged to one of the hottest artists in the industry, she’s basically secured the love and the hip-hop without the cameras. It’s doubtful anyone else on the franchise can replicate those shmoney moves.
Page Six reports Fallon, who has two kids of his own, gave her a teddy bear wearing a T-shirt with one of Cardi's famous phrases: “Washpoppin,” a bedazzled bottle, a faux leopard fur jacket, and his own children’s book, Everything Is Mama. “She really got choked up when we started talking about baby books,” said Fallon.
After announcing her pregnancy on Saturday Night Live! while performing one of her latest singles “Be Careful,” Cardi joined Fallon as not only a guest but as “the first late-night co-host that isn't a white guy” as well. And she was so good, Fallon wants to bring her back for more hijinks.
“She was so fun to work with and funny at rehearsals…Had the whole crew laughing. I wish we could’ve had two hours,” said Fallon. As for her pregnancy announcement, Fallon relayed that it changed up Cardi's world. “It’s starting to feel real to her,” he said.
But she's ready. ” I'm a grown woman,” she said onThe Breakfast Club yesterday. “I'm 25 years old [and] I'm going to say this in the most humblest way, I'm a shmillionaire and I'm prepared for this.”
She's prospering on the music side as well after releasing her debut album, Invasion of Privacy, she's slated to take the stage at Coachella this weekend.
Hulu and Spotify are teaming up to give users a package deal. Instead of paying $7.99 for Hulu's limited commercials plan and $9.99 for Spotify Premium, the company's ad-free plan, users can now pay $12.99 per month for both. That equals $4.99 in savings for users who are currently paying for both services separately.
The deal is currently only available to users who are already paying for Spotify Premium, while the rest of us will have to wait until the summer to hop on board. Hulu is also letting Spotify's premium users sign up for a 99-cent promotion to try out its limited plan for three months.
This isn't the first time the two companies have joined forces. Last year, they introduced the same deal geared towards students, who were offered both services for just $4.99 per month. The bargain proved so popular that the two tech giants decided to make a similar offer to the public at large.
“Based on the outstanding performance of the Spotify and Hulu student package, it’s clear that consumers love to combine their music and television experiences together,” said Tim Connolly, SVP, Head of Distribution and Partnerships at Hulu. “Hulu and Spotify are brands that are defining how fans connect with entertainment in the future, and we are excited to expand our partnership to bring this combined package to all existing and new Spotify Premium subscribers.”
If users decide to opt in, they'll gain access to ad-free streaming with access to over 40 million songs on Spotify, as well as 75,000 TV shows and movies on Hulu. Among them are original titles like The Handmaid's Tale and Marvel's Runaways, as well as well as network series like NBC's This is Us,FX’s Atlanta, and entire back catalogs of classics like Lost, ER, Seinfeld, Full House, and Family Matters.