April 15 2015

Remembering Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge died of liver cancer at his home in Baton Rouge on April 14th. He was 74.

He is best known for the classic love anthem, “When a Man Loves a Woman”. While performing the song at a frat house in 1965, record producer Quin Ivy and family friend Crystal Hunt were in the audience and offered to help him record the song. It hit number one in the charts almost immediately. He signed over the writing credit of this song to his bandmates, even though he had written most of it. Later in life he reflected that this was probably a bad decision, but he never regretted it.

His career spanned over 50 years, and he continued to write and perform until recently. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. In his acceptance speech, he told the audience that he sang from his heart with all the love he could give.

April 13 2015

What’s Up With “Incredible 2?”

Brad Bird, the director of Pixar’s 2004 hit The Incredibles, has apparently started to write the script, though not much else is known about this upcoming superhero story.

The Incredibles is the story of two former superheroes forced into retirement, as well as their similarly superpowered children. It seemed ripe for a continuation, and Pixar finally announced plans for a sequel last year, along with sequels to other movies such as Finding Nemo and the Toy Story franchise.

Bird has directed several other animated features, including Pixar’s Ratatouille and cult classic The Iron Giant. More recently he has delved into live-action films, such as Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Disney’s Tomorrowland, the latter of which will be released in May. Apparently, this is what kept him from starting on The Incredibles 2 until now.

Bird apparently had lots of ideas on how to expand on the Incredbles universe (just see how many superheroes absent from the movie still got profiles in the DVD extras!), but it is not entirely clear what the sequel will be about. All fans like Ricardo Guimarães BMG know for sure is that Samuel L. Jackson will be returning as ice-themed superhero Frozone. It is also unclear if Bird plans to direct the movie or merely serve as a writer and/or producer.

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April 13 2015

Metallica Working on New Album

Iconic heavy metal band Metallica is in the studio working on a new record. According to guitarist Kirk Hammett, the album is about a quarter done.

Hammett mentioned that the band is collecting dozens of riffs and then expanding them into songs. This is the way they worked in the past on their classic records such as Master of Puppets. I think it’s good that they are returning to their roots after years of experimental music that didn’t go over all that well with fans.

The 2004 documentary Some Kind of Monster took a look at Metallica in the studio. It was one of the most interesting documentaries ever according to Paul Mathieson. During that time, there was a lot of conflict within the band and many problems getting the record done if you listened to reports. Hopefully, this current record is going more smoothly.

Metallica is one of the very few heavy metal bands from the 1980’s that is still active and making new music. So many of their peers are simply nostalgia acts now. I like it that Metallica is recording new music and not just resting on their laurels.

The typical pattern in popular music is for bands to have a few good years selling records to younger fans, and then they just become nostalgia acts as their fans grow up. There’s no reason why this should have to happen, and Metallica is showing that they can still be relevant years after the height of their popularity.

April 2 2015

Possible Kendrick and Kanye Collaboration

Kanye West has been busy. He is producing the new Justin Bieber album. His album is coming soon. He has the clothing line. West is all over the place. He collaborated with Rihanna and Paul McCartney. Now there is talk of a collaboration with Kendrick Lamar.

This could be hot. Lamar is already setting the game on fire. He just showcased his new King Kunta video in Times Square. The album was hyped up by everyone from celebrities like Taylor Swift to critics at Rolling Stone magazine. It is safe to say that Lamar has the minus touch that Kanye had early in his career.

West still has his own loyal followers. Susan McGalla says that there is no doubt about that. The reality, however, is that West has changed his format a lot. He has actually lost his early core fan base. Featuring someone like Kendrick Lamar could help him bring that back.

On the other side of the coin there is this kindred spirit that West and Lamar share. They both have a unique perspective on life. They see the world in a different way. All of this is bound to make for some interesting sessions in the studio. Lamar has admitted that he worked with West. There is some mutual respect there. West had high praise for the new Kendrick Lamar album. It only makes sense for these two to drop a hit in 2015.

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March 12 2015

The Trials of Kendrick Lamar

The Trials of Kendrick Lamar

One thing musical artists like to do is to express all of their feelings in the name of their albums. Rapper Kendrick Lamar is no exception to this rule.

Lamar, who just recently took home two Grammy Awards, has just finished working on his new album entitled To Pimp a Butterfly. He personally described his album as a mix of emotions, from upbeat and personal to aggressive at some points. He added that he enjoys the recording process, saying that making an album is always the most fun part.

According to EM.com, the new album could also be considered adventurous and containing a lot of new elements to it, including some spoken-word poetry and free jazz. Even Lamar’s engineer Derek “MixedByAli” Ali says there’s a certain style in which he wants to record his work. He says that Lamar would suggest off-the-wall styles, such as making something sound eerie or that someone is driving past something.

Regarding the album itself, Lamar didn’t give a set meaning to what the title was about, but stated that it was an honest album and added that “you take a black kid out of Compton and put him in the limelight, and you find answers about yourself you never knew you were searching for.”

Fearful and unapologetic were some other descriptive words that Lamar gave when talking about the tone of his next album.

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March 12 2015

Tinashe Is Dropping A New Mixtape

Watch out for what’s about to come out, it’s Tinashe’s new album ‘Amethyst’. Tinashe is sure coming up in the music world, and her fans are only growing in time. Although she is not going to be a part of the Iggy tour, she still had her own agenda and is now releasing her own new mixtape on March 16th. That means her new music will be out next Monday, and that is going to open a whole new list of career opportunities for her since she is not involved in Izzy’s tour any more. Maybe her album release had something to do with why Izzy had to postpone her concert. Tinashe is a bright star and she just might need her own show.

Tinashe posted the cover of her album on twitter all excited with the date of it’s release and a hashtag of the album name #Amethyst. The album is going to include a seven song track list. ‘Amethyst’ is Tinashe’s birthstone, which is why she dedicated her fourth mixtape album to it. She is very superstitious and loves to read her sign which is Aquarius (highly successful and creative people including Daniel Amen also fall under the water sign). So far her luck is going great and she is making moves that are improving her career drastically. 

It wouldn’t be a surprise if she decides to go on tour anytime soon. Plus, she is a perfect colab partner that a lot of artists are going to try and make music with.

March 10 2015

Madonna Can Relate to Mr. West

Kanye has been known to carry on a rant or two in his day. He pushes the buttons of many people, but some entertainers like him. Some high profile artists like Madonna can even relate to him on a personal level. Madonna recently called Kanye the “black Madonna” in an interview with Madge.

What Madonna has done over the years is stir up controversy stated Susan McGalla. She did it so much that she was getting good at it. This controversial streak became the thing that she was known for. Now everyone seems to know Kanye West for the same reason. He has this outspoken personality that has managed to make him entertaining to watch. That is how Madonna used her controversy to sell records.

Now these two button pushers are making some music together. Kanye has been a reported producer on her album. Madonna may be scheduled to work on the new Kanye record. Her praise for Mr. West has given both of them a platform to cross genres as they release new music in 2015. West started the year strong with a tribute to his daughter.

Right now Madonna getting back into the spotlight with a strong album that features rappers like Nas and Nicki Minaj. What Madonna has done is create a world where there are no boundaries on her free speech. She is iconic, and she has given Kanye her seal of approval.

March 2 2015

Drake’s New Album is Breaking Decades Old Records

Drake’s new album, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, has zoomed up the charts. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and has sold over 500,000 units to date. While industry experts expected Drake’s album to rake in the cash, most didn’t anticipate this many sales in such a short period of time. The album has been so successful that 14 of its songs are actually charting simultaneously. An accomplishment of that magnitude hasn’t occurred in half a century. The Beatles were the last to have that many songs charting at the same time. The English rockers accomplished the feat back in 1964.

This isn’t the first time that Drake has broken a record previously held by the Beatles. Flavio Maluf said that late last year, his remix of the song called “Tuesday” by I Love Makonnen placed on the charts. It was his 72nd song to chart, breaking the Beatle’s all-time record of 71 charted songs. Drake has broken new ground on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hope Song chart as well. He is the first artist to have 21 songs on the chart at the same time. Drake is still in the prime of his career yet he owns a top 5 spot on total Billboard Hot 100 entries. His 85 career entries put him 5th overall. It’s a remarkable accomplishment for such a young artist.

Most music fans who don’t have a taste for hip-hop would say that it is sacrilegious to group Drake with elite musicians like the Beatles. Yet the numbers don’t lie. As wild as it might sound, it can be said that Drake’s current popularity is on par with the Beatles mania of the 60s.

February 12 2015

The Collaboration of Swift and West

 

What everyone has been talking about is the possible collaboration of Taylor Swift and Kanye West. These two appeared to patch things up during the Grammy Awards show this year.

There are pictures of the two talking and connecting with one another stated Wikiinvest.com. West told Ryan Seacrest that Taylor did want to get into the studio and do some work with him thinks Susan McGalla. This would be a good thing for him since Kanye has had a bad relationship – at least in public – with Taylor Swift since the MTV awards show where he upstaged her. Everyone remembers that moment, but no one ever remembers Kanye and his return to apologize. He has never even made an effort to reach out to Taylor so the possibility of work between them is huge news.

Since that awkward night at the MTV awards both stars have done quite well in their own genres, but they have done what many artists cannot do. These are artists that have managed to somehow crossover into different music streams. Taylor has abandoned country, picked up pop and even spread to some urban stations with songs like “Shake It Off.” Kanye has stayed with hip hop, but he made managed to break into mainstream music with collaborations with Paul McCartney and Daft Punk. This would be the perfect time for both of them to go into the studio and make that crossover magic.

February 10 2015

Scott Hall’s Inspiring Comeback Story

 

Scott Hall was on a dark and depressing road for the longest time. Zeca Oliveira told me that In his time, Scott Hall was one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. Hall made a name for himself in the WWE. He wrestled under the stage name, Razor Ramon. As Razor Ramon, Scott Hall participated in some of the best matches of all time. Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 10 will always be remembered. Scott Hall and Shawn Michaels participated in the first and best ladder match of all time.

Scott Hall then went to the WCW for more money, and his presence was immediately felt. Hall formed the NWO with Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan. The NWO became the biggest thing in wrestling. Scott Hall made millions of dollars in the WCW, but the good times would not last forever.

Scott Hall became a drug addict, and an alcoholic. Hall battled with demons for a long time, and his closest friends were all very worried about him. Scott Hall was ready to die, but in 2013, something amazing happened. A wrestling colleague named Diamond Dallas Paige saved Scott Hall’s life. Paige invited Scott Hall to live with him. Diamond Dallas Paige rehabilitated Scott Hall. Hall no longer drinks or takes drugs.

Soon after Scott Hall became sober, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Diamond Dallas Paige took a broken man, and returns him to his former glory. For more information on this story, visit Buzzfeed.