Headphones: It's Time For The Weeknd
Sometimes in news, you are glad for stars like Kanye West who make your job easy when they continuously spin off headlines in their wake. Unfortunately, no big news again this week, which saw smaller headlines come to pass. In this week’s Headphones, we keep you up to date with these smaller stories…
Speaking of Kanye, it seems that his short time feud with former ‘BFF’ Kid Cudi has come to a quick end. While the two weren’t exactly hugging to make up, West openly apologized to Cudi at his latest Saint Pablo Tour stop in Houston. He donned Cudi his “brother” and said, “I hope he’s doing well.” Known for his impromptu rapper rants and feuds, many are glad to see the two squash the beef. No response from Kid Cudi himself, as he prepares to drop his new album, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’.
In terms of releases, the music world received a bunch of releases from big names this week. The Weeknd, fresh off a year where he dominated radio and award shows alike, dropped the cover art and title track for his upcoming record Starboy. The single of the same name features Euro-DJ stars Daft Punk, and came with a corresponding music video to tease the (hopefully) soon to be released album. The Weeknd had been touring with Rihanna earlier in the year in Europe, but dropped out due to wanting to focus on the new record. Lets hope the extra work pays off.
Fellow Canadian superstar Drake joined in releasing a new music video, a short film titled Please Forgive Me. The film follows the theme of Billboard favorite Views, using the tracks as background music.
Album of the Week: To Pimp A Butterfly: With a week that lacked intriguing releases, I went back to the album of the year for 2015 in To Pimp a Butterfly. Listen as Kendrick conjures up his best lyricism with a modern jazz renaissance. Never have we seen an album so aspiring or daring in its lyrics and music. After his GOOD Kid M.A.A.D City release, he had a tall order to follow, as that was already one of the best rap albums of all time. Sparked full of radio hits and trending hip hop stories of life in Compton, K-Dot had an uphill battle to top his first major studio release. Then came Butterfly. While it lacked the radio hits like ‘Swimming Pools’ or ‘Backseat Freestyle’, it elevated Kendrick from a good rapper to a god-like rapper. From the opening track ‘Wesley’s Story’, you go for a ride that has Kendrick singing, rapping and storytelling all in one. The tracks are pieced together as Kendrick reads a poem to Tupac, whom he idolized growing up in the dangerous streets of Compton. He raps about politics, hood life, and depression, not necessarily a quota for radio stardom. Nevertheless, Butterfly has been one of the most critically acclaimed albums of all time, and rightfully so. So if you haven’t checked out this all time great, then be sure to do so. Pimp Pimp… Hooray!
EDM: Joyryde - Hoy Drum: The latest track from the previously featured artist Joyryde, continues his trend of bombastic basslines with thumping beats to keep the party going all night long.
Hip/Hop: Kehlani - CRZY: Kehlani has consistently showed herself as one of the premier up and coming talents in the hip-hop industry of the past few years. Look no further with her latest single, CRZY.
Pop: Skylar Grey – Kill For You: Sylar Grey has one of the more intriguing voices in music today. Add Eminem to the mix and it makes for a killer combo.
R&B: The Black Eyed Peas - #WHEREISTHELOVE: They’re back! At one point the worlds most popular hip/hop duo, they have been prevalently silent over the years. This time, they come back with a new rendition of the Elephunk jam ‘Where Is The Love’ featuring just about everyone.
Tribute: Rapper Shawty Lo Passes Away: Over the weekend we sadly lost another talent to unfortunate circumstances. Rapper Shawty Lo, a native of Atlanta died in his hometown last Wednesday in a tragic one car accident. The car became airborne after crashing into a guard rail. The two passengers in the vehicle were unhurt. The cause wasn’t immediately certain. Shawty Lo was 40 years old, and a fan favorite of the Atlanta rap scene. He was known for hits like ‘Dey Know.’
This Week’s Playlist
1. Valerie – Amy Winehouse: This song nearly made it on last week’s list for Top 10 Covers of all time. The late Amy Winehouse not only does it honor, but hits it out of the park on this slowed down version.
2. Lay My Lily Down – Bob Weir: After this past year’s successful Dead and Company tour, Bob wasted little time to turn around a record a new record. This song is one of the lead singles and has a deep blues and western vibe.
3. Sunday Candy – Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment: Chance the Rapper’s side project, Donnie Trumpet has sneaked it’s way back into my current playlist. This song is a guilty pleasure, as you can almost picture Chance giddily singing over the playful piano beat.
4. Helix - Flume: The best EDM artist of the year killed the opening track to his latest album Skin with ‘Helix’. He doesn’t use a killer vocalist to make a radio hit, but nonetheless kills it with te epic opening symphony of synthes and distortions.
5. Nikes – Frank Ocean: I’ll admit this song took a period to grow on me. The trippy music video and the anti hip hop vibe most of the album put off kept me away but as I’ve circled back to Frank Ocean, this track stands out for its mind bending vocal effects and heart felt lyrics