Welcome to the Wrap-Up, our highlights in music news from the week, brought to you by the faces of BRU. Zoe and Gabriella are members of the editorial team, here to feature our favorite snippets of recent events.
Woodstock 50, the music festival’s fiftieth anniversary celebration, has been canceled. It had been scheduled for August 16th to 18th, but over the past few months, complication after complication popped up. The festival’s marketing firm and venue both pulled out, forcing schedulers to find alternatives. Just a few days ago, putting the final nail in the coffin, Jay-Z and John Fogerty (of Creedence Clearwater Revival) both dropped out of the lineup. The organizers finally canceled on August 1st. It’s sad — the lineup, featuring artists from Chance the Rapper to Santana, looked amazing. But I guess Woodstock has always been a festival that’s vulnerable to unforeseen changes.
This past week, Lizzo tore up NPR. She first sat down for a long and enlightening interview with Terry Gross — I highly recommend you listen or read the highlights — before giving a Tiny Desk Concert. Or, as Lizzo called it, and as we should rename it, a Tiny Ass Desk Concert. We all know that she’s an incredible singer and performer, but this concert was even greater than I could have imagined. As Lizzo sang “Cuz I Love You,” “Truth Hurts,” and “Juice,” the crowd was rapt and electrified. She led everyone in a heartfelt “aMEN” and belted out her powerful lyrics with a diva’s voice. Her presence was just as huge and magnetic in the small, simple NPR set as on an elaborate stage with backup dancers. Because no matter where she’s performing, Lizzo doesn’t do anything tiny.
MTV executives are deliberating right now as to whether or not they should remove Michael Jackson from the Video Vanguard Award. The discussion stems from the sexual assault allegations against Jackson, made most recently by Wade Robson and Jimmy Safechuck. The HBO film, “Leaving Neverland” was released earlier this year about the pair’s relationship with Jackson and discusses the details of their case against him. MTV feels itself to be in a complicated spot with the award, wondering if the whole award should be dropped or if changing the name of the Vanguard award is sufficient. There’s also the question of who would accept the award at this moment in time, particularly with the momentum of the #MeToo movement and the emphasis on believing and validating survivors. Though the award has existed since 1984 and became associated with the late star’s name in 1991, the Vanguard acclaim has become synced with Jackson’s identity. A conclusion has not been reached but will surely be a focal point of discussion as the MTV Award show approaches on August 26th.
As an update to last week’s wrap-up, WBRU is here to let you know that A$AP Rocky is set to be released from Swedish jail after the end of his assault trial on Friday. He will also be allowed to leave Sweden for the first time since July 3, 2019 when he was initially taken into custody, after initial press about the fight in Stockholm. The verdict won’t be officially released until August 14, and there’s still a fair amount of evidence that the court wants to sort through. In the meantime, however, Rocky can enjoy a slight taste of freedom and is most likely on his way home.
Blue Ivy Carter made her first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart for the song “Brown Skin Girl,” which hit the list at number 76. The song appears on the soundtrack for the new “live action” Lion King which was released to theaters nationwide on July 26th. While the song also features Beyonce, Wizkid, and Saint Jhn, Blue Ivy was also credited as one of the song’s writers. The song, since, has “#BrownSkinGirl” trending on Twitter and generating a lot of Black self-love.