“Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X has officially tied for the record of being number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for the most consecutive weeks! This past Monday, the hit song hit 16 weeks at the top putting Lil Nas alongside the likes of Luis Fonsi for “Despacito” and “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men. #BlackTwitter has come to the forefront to urge that we all continue streaming and downloading to help the star set a record that hasn’t been broken in decades. Yet, this week was not all good news for the yee-haw happy star. Lil Nas X is also being sued by Billy Caldwell for sampling the song “Carry On” without permission and committing copyright infringement. The lawsuit isn’t a casual one either. Music Force, the label who owns Caldwell’s classic is demanding $25 million from this brand new celeb and Sony. It’s a hefty price tag to pay even with all the press that’s been coming
A$AP Rocky’s name has been all over the news recently, and as of Thursday, July 25, is officially being forced to stand trial in Sweden’s court system. For the last two weeks, Rocky has been detained in Sweden, along with two members of his crew, after a set of individuals claimed Rocky and co. assaulted them. However, according to videos of the event that have gone viral since the accusation and arrest, the alleged victims are the ones who accosted Rocky first. The event has called to discussion Sweden’s ongoing racism towards Black and Brown people (which is obviously not a shocker for a white European country). Donald Trump has even jumped in to say, once more, that he has many Black friends and would talk to his friends in Sweden on behalf of the singer. Obviously, Trump’s connections didn’t pull through, when he tweeted “give ASAP Rocky his freedom” this week. and Rocky could possibly face up to two years in Swedish prison, pending trial.
Chance the Rapper dropped his album this Friday afternoon, catching many of even his most avid fans off guard. The Chicago rapper’s name on Twitter has been Chance the Rapper Owbum in July for some time now. After ages of social media hype and a fair number of reminders, interrogations, and major excitement on the part of his fans, Chance has been maintaining a steady countdown for the album throughout the month. Yet when the clock struck midnight on July 26, fans who had been staying up late Thursday night in hopes to witness the dropping of the album were disappointed. Several took to Twitter to question why they had not woken up to a new owbum on Friday morning. Chance didn’t respond. Instead, fans were almost left to their own devices to figure out when exactly on July 26, the rapper would be blessing us all with his new tracks. The answer? Mid afternoon, around lunch in fact. Through casual retweets and favorites of those who had discovered the album’s release already, Chance the Rapper notified his Twitter following of the drop in an incredibly anti-climactic end to his long awaited release. Regardless, we’re just happy that Chance finally has some new music out. Be sure that those of us here at WBRU will be bumpin’ to it all weekend.
It’s that time of year again for Hollywood’s elite to put on their designer dresses, come together, and celebrate a video awards show that’s really just a pop music awards show in disguise. MTV’s Video Music Awards are happening in a month, and this week the nominations were announced. All the usual suspects are present. Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande each garnered the most (ten) nominations; Drake, Cardi B, Khalid, and the Jonas Brothers fill out the pop-star roster; and two of the most buzzed-about new stars, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X, appear all over the nominations list. But fans are angry about the fact that MTV created a new, separate category for K-pop (remember when the Oscars tried to create a new category for “popular films?”) People don’t like that this separation is marginalizing the genre and reflecting racism and othering that has long haunted awards shows. Not to mention that MTV is probably worried that the wildly popular K-pop artists would win every category unless they were relegated to their own.
Chicago rapper, poet, and producer Noname — always a force of creativity — is starting her own book club! It’s 2019 and we all need to be reading more, especially books by people of color and queer people, and Noname’s Book Club is the solution. The first two books (featured on the club’s adorable website) are Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire and We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby — respectively, a 1968 activist classic and a 2017 collection of essays about modern life. If you need some summer reading material or just to get incredible and eye-opening book recommendations, keep up with Noname’s Book Club.
King Princess, lesbian royalty, is releasing her debut full-length (Cheap Queen) this fall. A few singles have already been dropped, and this week she announced her US tour, which starts on October 5th and runs through Valentine’s Day. Tickets are already sold out for major cities, so if you want to see King Princess in concert, get on it!
Here at WBRU, the talk about Hot Girl Summer doesn’t stop. This week, Megan Thee Stallion is back with some great news; she’s attempting to trademark the term. If the trademark goes through, the singer will undeniably be the creator of the Hot Girl Summer that has done so much for so many. Additionally, the performer has promised via Twitter to put out a Hot Girl Summer anthem before this incredible summer’s unfortunate expiration date. Hopefully, with the help of a song that’s sure to be a hit, the spirit of Hot Girl Summer won’t necessarily have to go with the changing seasons.
In more worldly news, Puerto Rican activists recently staged an effective protest against Governor Ricardo Rossello; Protests began after around 900 pages of leaked text messages between him and his team members highlighted incredibly misogynistic and homophobic language in reference to opposition, journalists, and other high-profile people. Protestors successfully shut down highways and relentlessly opposed his continued role as governor for 12 days. From there, Rossello has officially resigned. Now, many Puerto Rican artists are celebrating this victory alongside their fellow citizens. Artists like Bad Bunny, Ricky Martin, Residente, Daddy Yankee, and more have spoken out against Rossello; some have even taken time to visit the island and partake in protests. These musicians acknowledgment of this significant social movement is incredibly important, pushing the issue to larger audiences, making sure everyone observes the victory for activism that just occurred.
The 1975 is back with a new single, but this one is a tad different than their other self-titled tracks. Typically with the band, “The 1975” is a song to introduce a new project; each of their albums starts with a new self-titled song. Yet, this rendition is a single, and it is completely unlike anything the band has done before. Most poignantly, legendary lead singer Matty Healy does none of the vocalizations for this album. Rather, the band outsources and collaborates with youth climate activist Greta Thunberg to craft a song with a deeper message. The band performs minimally on the track, shifting to fully support Thunberg instead of taking up any space of their own. This choice gives the song a power rarely heard in music–if the song can still even be referred to as music. Thunberg, instead of singing, delivers a powerful speech on the intensifying climate crisis and calls for the youth to rebel against systems that allow this crisis to escalate. The song is perhaps the rallying cry this generation needs presented knowingly be a band and a girl who delivered. Speculatively, I think the self-titled aspect of the track could hint at a new activist direction to the band. However, there’s no way to know until the band releases more content.