Headphones: Gucci Mane Returns

Unless you’re a diehard Frank Ocean fan, this week brought some welcomed new music (#WheresTheAlbumFrank.)  While Mr. Ocean, and his new album Boys Don’t Cry, remain mysteriously at large, we did welcome the return of Gucci Mane onto the music scene.  In 2014, Gucci was sent to prison for a felony firearm possession charge.  However, in April he was released 5 months early due to a judges ruling of time served previously.  Prison never slowed down Gucci’s cash train (it’s reported he made over $1,300,000 from prison), so naturally he didn’t miss a step upon being released.  Soon after he became a free man, rumors spread that he was in the studio working on a new album.  Within weeks of his release, he was featured on Kanye Wests single Champions.

On Friday, Gucci dropped Everybody Looking, his 9th album.  The album featured long time collaborator Young Thug as well as Kanye West.  In support of the new album, Gucci performed in his home town of Atlanta with an all star supporting cast of Drake, Fetty Wap, and 2 Chainz. 

Also newsworthy, there were two separate EDM collaborations released this week.  Last week Justin Bieber repeatedly teased the release of new single Cold Water on his Instagram account.  He actually sent lyrics to a few select fans who ‘DM’-ed the pop star.  On Friday, the single dropped to much fan excitement.  This isn’t the first time the Biebz had collaborated with a DJ.  Last year, Bieber collaborated with DJ super group Jack U, comprised of Skrillex and Diplo, for the hit Where Are U Now

Speaking of Skrillex, he brought in this weeks second EDM-hip/hop collaboration with Purple Lamborghini feat. Rick Ross.  The track will be featured on the soundtrack of the upcoming blockbuster Suicide Squad.

Album of the Week:  The Black Keys – Turn Blue: This week’s Album of the Week is a bit of a throwback, to 2014’s instant classic, Grammy-winning album Turn Blue.  The Black Keys have long been champions of the garage rock genre, but their 8th studio album finds them branching off into a new realm of music.  With long time collaborator/producer Danger Mouse, frontman Dan Auerbach crafts a new sound that feels its way into psychedelic-rock.  The opening track Weight of Love showcases the band at their absolute best, a full on jam that reaches a new level for the group.  With more resources than ever before (the band used to record in Drummer Patrick Carney’s basement), they opt for a 5-piece band as opposed to their normal two-piece set up.  The result is a more comprehensive and atmospheric sound, lending to the hypnotic aesthetic the duo try to draw up here.  Track after track The Black Keys are able to draw you in more with their music, just like the hypnotic swirl album cover would suggest.  In an era where rock music plays second fiddle to both pop and hip hop, The Black Keys still find a way to breathe life into the genre.  Their new west coast style is reminiscent of groups like Tame Impala and The Artic Monkeys, but with an album as crafty as this, they prove to be their superiors. 

In order to get the full picture of Turn Blue, watch the promo video releases for the album, like the one below:

Music Videos

Pop: Katy Perry – Rise: This summer's Olympic Games has found its rallying cry, with the return of Pop Queen Katy Perry.  The triumphant return of the pop star finds us at a time where we begin to send the nations best athletes to compete on the biggest global stage.

Hip/Hop: Rihanna feat. Drake – Work: While the video isn't brand new, it has a new buzz now that the duo have confirmed that they are dating.  Move over Beyonce/Jay-Z, we have a new power couple in the music industry.

EDM: Major Lazer– Cold Water: This week's biggest EDM collaboration isn't a full fledged music video, but this lyric video is still a fun way to learn the words for you Beliebers out there.

Rock: The Black Keys – Fever: The lead single of our Album of the Week won a Grammy for Best Rock Performance.  It finds Dan Auerbach preaching the gospel of blues, psychedelic rock to his loyal following.

International: Chris Stapleton – Fire Away: Country's feel good story of the year, Chris Stapleton, continues getting the recognition he deserves.  Fire Away serves as his latest single of his Grammy-winning Traveler album.

Noteworthy:  In this weeks Noteworthy, we congratulate the top earners in the music industry, according to Forbes.  Assuming the #1 spot again was Taylor Swift with $170 million.  This is a result of her massive 1989 World Tour as well as her numerous sponsorship's such as Apple and Diet Coke. At the #2 spot was Brit stars One Direction, who brought in $110 million.  Swift’s  ex boyfriend Calvin Harris came in high on the list, again becoming the highest paid DJ in the fiscal year with $63 million earned.  Close behind him, pop star Justin Bieber, who is currently finishing up his Purpose World Tour, raked in $56 million.  You may recall that while he released his 4th studio album last November, he also was the face of Calvin Klein’s new men’s underwear line.