Headphones: 'McKnight' Moves to Number 1
With a slow music news week, we bring a laundry list of small headlines to keep you caught up with whats going on in this weeks Headphones column.
From G.O.O.D Music, we received some interesting news as they have signed some new talent, both surprising and unexpected. The G.O.O.D Music label, which is founded and run by Kanye West, has been recently busy in the studio, turning out the hit song Champions, which features some new artists not in their usual talent rotation. This week, they signed some of that talent, signing the likes of Migos, Desiigner and Tyga. Both Migos and Desiigner were expected moves, with their recent collaborations with Kanye West himself filling up the radio. The more unexpected move was the signing of Tyga, who has remained more of an enigma rather than a music stud. Perhaps is not as surprising, given that he is dating Kylie Jenner, who is Kanye West's wife's, Kim Kardashian, sister. Guess he looks to keep the family is the business. From the charts, we see some familiarity this week, with both the Chainsmokers and Drake maintaining their grip on the top spots. The Chainsmokers were a lock for the Hot 100 for the 4th week in a row, with their new single Closer featuring Halsey. Drake solidified his hold on song of the summer, as the hit 'One Dance' hit the top spot on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop for a record 10th week in a row. Also this week, the Little Monsters (Gaga's loyal fanbase) were sent into a frenzy as they received both a new single and confirmation of a new album from Lady Gaga herself. Her new single, Perfect Illusion, has already found its way to the top of the iTunes charts. At lastly, we check in with last weeks star, Travis Scott and his new album The Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight. The album 'soared' to #1 on Billboard's 200, marking the first time Scott has accomplished such a feat. The album hit the milestone by selling 88,000 copies in the week.
Album of the Week: John Bellion – The Human Condition: While on the opening track of The Human Condition Jon Bellion argues ‘nothing has changed’, his debut LP says quite the opposite. Bellion is no longer a feature artist, singing on hits like Zedd’s Beautiful Now or writing the chorus for Eminem’s The Monster. He has come into his own as singer, lyricist and producer. Bellion has found a home where he is comfortable jumping between letting his vocals ride on ballads like Maybe IDK or quickly dropping into bars reminiscent of G-Eazy, especially on tracks like New York Soul, Pt ii. His dual ability to sing and rap would more likely draw comparisons to popular duo Twenty-One Pilots. The most impressive thing about this album is the confidence and maturity Bellion displays despite it being his first commercial release. He lets go on high souring ballads unapologetically, and when he raps he does so with the bravado of an artist who’s been around the game for a while. This perhaps lends to the fact his idol is Kanye West, notorious for his cocky demeanor. On The Human Condition he shows that he has a wide range of talents, whether it’s in the studio producing or putting himself 'so out there' while experimenting as an artist. This album has a broad range, sampling elements from Alternative, Hip-Hop, and Pop. Bellion has a vision, and wholeheartedly believes in it. Be sure to check out The Human Condition, available on Apple Music and all other streaming services.
Hip/Hop: Kanye West – Fade: In the latest video off of The Life of Pablo, Kanye recruits actress/singer Teyana Taylor to do the heavy lifting. IN this video, she sizzles, as she shows off her workout bod just months after giving birth to her first child.
Country: Cole Swindell – Middle of a Memory: It would appear that country music's favorite frat boy is back in the hit kitchen, as he has possibly cooked up another hit to add to his already impressive and fun catalog with Middle of A Memory.
EDM: Skrillex & Rick Ross – Purple Lamborghini: Didn't like Suicide Squad? Me either. But the soundtrack kept me entertained enough. This song is off that same album, and its video features Jared Leto, The Joker, himself. Watch as he goes for a cruise with music stars Skrillex and Rick Ross.
Pop: Ariana Grande – Side to Side: Ariana Grande is growing up in front of our eyes... and fast. In this new video, she dazzles in a hot pink one piece that manages to even draw away eyes from diva Nicki Minaj.
Noteworthy: Trouble brewing in G.O.O.D Music: Last night, I had the privilege of covering Kanye West's Saint Pablo tour in Tampa, Florida. While his exhilarating performance, hovering stage and state of the art light system all dazzled, it was one of his patented rants that stole the spotlight. After just two or three songs, Ye strayed from the setlist, going off on longtime collaborator and friend Kid Cudi. "F*** Kid Cudi!" he bellowed to a crowd of almost 20,000, where he declared he "birthed him" and called his music "emo." This was in apparent retaliation to tweets and interviews that Cudi had done in the last few days, where he took to talking down about recent hip hop collaborations, such as rumored collab between Kanye and Drake. Cudi and Kanye have been partners for years in G.O.O.D Music, often featuring themselves on each others work and helping in the studio. While some may consider it a bit of a shock due to their longtime friendship, they may be looking past Kanye's known short fuse when it comes to fellow rappers. Here's to hoping they work it out, for the sake of the music.