Drake is breaking his silence about the controversial photo him in blackface.
The cover art for Pusha-T’s diss track “The Story Adidon” features the Canadian rapper in blackface with a wide grin and was released in response to Drake’s Pusha diss “Duppy Freestyle.”
Twenty-four hours after the song dropped, the biracial rapper addressed the photo in a statement on Instagram, saying that the blackface shoot was from early on in his career and intended to serve as a commentary on race.
“I know everyone is enjoying the circus but I want to clarify this image in question,” wrote Drake. “This was not from a clothing brand shoot or my music career. This picture is from 2007, a time in my life where I was an actor and I was working on a project that was about young black actors struggling to get roles, being stereotyped and type cast. The photos represented how African Americans were once wrongfully portrayed in entertainment.”
He continued, “Me and my best friend at the time Mazin Elsadig who is also an actor from Sudan were attempting to use our voice to bring awareness to the issues we dealt with all the time as black actors at auditions. This was to highlight and raise our frustrations with not always getting a fair chance in the industry and to make a point that the struggle for black actors had not changed much.”
It was previously reported that the photo was taken as part a Canadian clothing brand called Too Black Guys and their streetwear line Jim Crow Couture. However, both Drake and the clothing company have denied the claim.
The photographer, David Leyes, also released a statement in defense Drake. “I’m proud to be apart a strong statement made by a black man about the fucked up culture he is living in,” he said.
During his visit to “Big Boy’s Neighborhood” on Real 92.3, Pusha responded to Drake’s statement. “That doesn’t change my view at all. You are silent on all black issues, Drake,” he said. “You don’t stand for nothing, you don’t say nothing about nothing. You have all the platform in the world. You were so passionate back then? No you weren’t. That’s number one. That’s what I know.”
On “The Story Adidon,” Pusha also alleges that Drake fathered a child with former porn star Sophie Brussaux. Drake is reportedly financially supporting both Brussaux and his son.
This is platinum. Childish Gambino’s single “This Is America” has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association America.
The politically-charged song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks following its May 7 debut on “Saturday Night Live.” The track has also enjoyed global success, debuting at No. 1 on Spotify’s global and U.S. charts and hitting No. 1 on iTunes in 45 markets. Additionally, it remains No. 1 on the Overall Streaming Chart for three weeks in a row.
The Hiro Murai-directed video has also garnered over 216 million views since its release and is currently No. 1 on YouTube’s U.S. Top Music Videos. The video was watched 85.3 million times in its first week on YouTube, marking the biggest first week debut any video this year.
Despite its success, the song is not the first single f Gambino’s debut album on Wolf + Rothstein/RCA Records, which is due out later this year.
Starting in September, the Grammy and Golden Globe-winning rapper-actor will head out on a North American tour with Rae Sremmurd and Vince Staples.
Despite Pusha-T’s claim that he’s a “deadbeat” father, Drake is secretly taking care his alleged son and baby mama.
TMZ reports that the “God’s Plan” rapper has been financially supporting his baby mama Sophie Brussaux through and after her pregnancy by sending payments to ensure that the former porn star lives comfortably.
Sources say that Drake now plans to take a DNA test to confirm his paternity, but he believes there’s a chance the child is his. He reportedly planned to reveal everything about his new son on his upcoming album Scorpion before Pusha-T exposed him.
On his diss track “The Story Adidon,” Pusha took aim at Drake’s family, and made the shocking allegation that he fathered a son with Brussaux.
“A baby’s involved, it’s deeper than rap,” raps Pusha. “We talkin’ character, let me keep with the facts / You are hiding a child, let that boy come home / Deadbeat motherfucker playing border patrol / Adonis is your son and he deserves more than an adidas press run / Love that baby, respect that girl / Forget she’s a porn star, let her be your world.”
Pusha also claims that Drake named his upcoming adidas line after the boy, reportedly named Adonis.
Pulitzer Kenny makes history. Kendrick Lamar became the first hip-hop act to win a Pulitzer Prize in music for his 2017 album DAMN.
The Compton MC, along with his fiancée Whitney Alford, was on hand to receive the prestigious award during a ceremony at New York City’s Columbia University on Wednesday (May 30).
President Columbia University, Lee C. Bollinger, praised Lamar’s Grammy-winning album as a “virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that fers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity modern African-American life.”
The 30-year-old rapper didn’t comment while accepting the honor, but did speak in a video on Facebook Live ( Variety). “It’s an honor,” said Lamar. “I’ve been writing my whole life, so to get this type recognition — it’s beautiful.”
It was the first win for a non-classical or jazz musician since the awards began including music 75 years ago.
In an interview with The New York Times, Pulitzer administrator Dana Canedy reflected on the historic moment. “We are very proud this selection,” she Canedy. “It means that the jury and the board judging system worked as it’s supposed to — the best work was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. It shines a light on hip-hop in a completely different way. This is a big moment for hip-hop music and a big moment for the Pulitzers.”
After teaming up with PARTYNEXTDOOR on “No Shame,” the Freebandz leader links with 18-year-old rapper Yung Bans on their money-making anthem f the upcoming SuperFly soundtrack.
The Atlanta rappers go back and forth with their luxurious flows (“I get that cash and I flip it / I f**k the baddest bitches,” raps HNDRXX), while Bans shares his rags-to-riches story (“Margiela trench coat / Used to sleep on the floor”).
In addition to curating the soundtrack, Future is co-producing SuperFly. Starring Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Michale K. Wiliams, and Lex Scott Davis, the Director X-helmed reboot the 1972 classic hits theaters June 15.
Love conquers all. Kehlani joins Hayley Kiyoko in the romantic video for “What I Need,” their collaboration f Kiyoko’s debut album Expectations. Released in celebration Pride Month, the cinematic clip was shot in Ojai, Calif. in December.
Hayley self-directed the short film, which serves as a love story about two young women. One them, played by Kehlani, has an argument with her aunt and ends up running away with her childhood best friend (Hayley). But their relationship turns into more than a friendship. After their car breaks down, they end up realizing that they can’t live without each other and share a passionate kiss on the side the road.
Kehlani called it her “favorite video i’ve ever been apart .” “Hayley is a genius, an incredible actress and one the most diligent and hard working directors i’ve ever had the pleasure working with,” she said, adding, “there was no lines in the entire video. every speaking part was improv. the only thing scripted was the scenes. all movements were natural improv by us. we’re so happy you like it!”
Belly and The Weeknd are giving you “What You Want” in the cinematic video for their latest collaboration.
The dark and trippy clip, directed by Colin Tilley, was shot at an operational penitentiary. The XO affiliates set up shop in a pyramid on the prison grounds and ride into the sunset in a convertible. Meanwhile, models strut around them in shiny outfits and cut into a cake made cash.
“It was the most fun I ever had shooting a video,” Belly told Billboard. “Me and Abel always have amazing chemistry when we work, but this one takes the cake.”
The track, produced by The ANMLS and co-produced by Cirkut, arrives ahead Belly’s forthcoming project Midnight Zone, which will also feature YG (“4 Days”) and NAV (“Maintain”).
Next up, Belly is set to perform at a series festivals including Governors Ball, Wireless Festival, and the iHeartRadio Music Festival.
Fresh f videos for “Be Careful,” “I Like It,” and “Dinero,” Cardi B teams up with Maroon 5 in the star-studded video for the band’s single “Girls Like You.”
Directed by David Dobkin (“Sugar”), the clip is a celebration women and stars many familiar faces. As frontman Adam Levine stands in the middle an empty studio, he is joined by a revolving door famous women including Jennifer Lopez, Mary J. Blige, Camila Cabello, Rita Ora, Gal Gadot, Tiffany Haddish, Millie Bobby Brown, Ellen DeGeneres, Aly Raisman, Sarah Silverman, and Ashley Graham. In the final scene, his wife Behati Prinsloo and their daughter Dusty Rose make a touching cameo.
Dressed in an oversized yellow blazer, a pregnant Cardi delivers her verse. “Not too long ago I was dancing for dollars,” she raps. “Know it’s really real if I let you meet my mama / You don’t want a girl like me, I’m too crazy / But every other girl you meet is fugazi.”
Taking to Instagram, Cardi gushed about the collaboration. “I FUCKING LOVE THIS SONG AND THE VIDEO IS SOO INSPIRING!!!” she said.
“Girls Like You” is the latest single f Maroon 5’s album Red Pill Blues, which features Kendrick Lamar, SZA, and A$AP Rocky.
Manchester’s Parklife weekender is back again on June 9 with FACT faves like Shanti Celeste, Nina Kraviz, J Hus, The Black Madonna and more. We’ve pieced together a bumper playlist to celebrate.
This summer, Manchester is gearing up for another bumper weekend music courtesy Parklife. The festival is taking place on June 9-10 at the city’s Heaton Park and features performances from a litany FACTy favorites.
There are shows promised from Skepta, IAMDDB, N.E.R.D, Nina Kraviz, Shanti Celeste, Young Marco, Midland, Denis Sulta, Peggy Gou, Mall Grab, Soul II Soul, The Black Madonna and loads more.
To celebrate, FACT has pieced together an epic playlist with a selection music from our favorite performers. Take a listen now on Apple Music or Spotify.
And if you still don’t have tickets for Parklife, you still have a few days to grab ’em.
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The Rap Round-up is back! Each month, columnists Alphonse Pierre and Lorena Cupcake compile a list the most noteworthy rap releases. Up this month: A$AP Rocky, Key!, Lil Baby and more.
Despite what your Twitter feed looks like, a lot more happened in rap this month than the tangled mounting beef between Pusha T and Drake (and Kim K and Rhymefest and Quentin Miller… it’s been messy). When we weren’t listening to the Kanye-West-produced Daytona, Playboi Carti’s surprise album Die Lit, or one (two, three) the new albums released by Rae Sremmurd, there was a ton to sink our teeth into.
New York represented: we got new albums from Brooklyn queen Junglepussy and Harlem’s A$AP Rocky, while Upstate’s enfant terrible Post Malone delivered a sing-songy addition to the rap-rock pantheon.
Weiland’s Grimey Youth hit the SoundCloud underground, while Juice WRLD crossed over into notable mainstream success with Goodbye and Good Riddance. And while it might not be worth $100K, Blocboy JB showed us the value a Drake co-sign (for now) when his first project since ‘Look Alive’ attracted more listeners than ever.
Here’s eight projects to catch up on while you for Drake’s ‘The Story Adidon’ response.
A$AP Rocky Testing (Apple Music / Spotify)
A$AP Rocky may treat rap like a side hustle at this point in his career, but he’s still able to accumulate an intriguing set ideas and collaborators despite a glaring lack growth as an artist. Most the exciting moments on Testing do not come from Rocky himself, but his guests. ‘ASAP Forever (Remix)’, a track reminiscent the Live.Love era, features Kid Cudi in singular Man on the Moon form, giving us a peek into the unique interior that made people fall in love with his music almost a decade ago. Frank Ocean also comes out hiding for ‘Purity’, where he delivers one the album’s most genuine and introspective rap verses. AP
Blocboy JB Simi (Apple Music / Spotify)
Blocboy JB rides his current wave fame with finesse on Simi. It’s the Memphis rapper’s first project since his single ‘Rover’ was remixed by Drake into the inescapable ‘Look Alive’ and the video for his track ‘Shoot’ became a viral dance challenge. ‘Shoot’ producer Tay Keith handles most the beats and guests include Billboard chart mainstays like 21 Savage, Lil Pump and YG. LC
Juice WRLD Goodbye & Good Riddance (SoundCloud)
Chicago’s Juice WRLD isn’t scared to sing without the varnish effects, a choice that lends an extra intimacy his lyrics isolation, inadequacy and prescription drug addiction. There is a bold vulnerability that comes with the complete absence hope; a fearlessness that allows one to lean over the precipice self-destruction and free-fall.
Goodbye & Good Riddance’s success on the Billboard Hot 100 (his breakthrough song ‘All Girls are the Same’ debuted at No. 92; ‘Lucid Dreams,’ a sad banger based on a Sting sample, debuted at No. 74) is evidence emo rap’s development from a bedroom SoundCloud genre to a serious mainstream contender for radio and playlist placement. LC
Junglepussy JP3 (Apple Music / Spotify)
On her first album in three years, Brooklyn rapper Junglepussy hasn’t lost her edge. Single ‘Trader Joe’ cruises on dreamy double-tracked ’60s girl group harmonies; ‘All Love’ follows a sinuous funk bassline. ‘I’m in Love’ tortures her secret lover’s partner with imagery JP sprawled in bed with him, hitting spliffs.
‘I Just Want It’ is a brash declaration a need for female-first sexual fulfillment with prane chorus it’s easy to imagine fans shouting at shows — just try to keep yourself from whispering along with your headphones. It’s a song so fun, even JP dissolves into giggles. LC
Key! & Kenny Beats 777 (Apple Music / Spotify)
777 is the rare rapper-producer album that actually works (we see you, Big Sean and Metro Boomin). For the last several years, Atlanta rapper Key! has had his fingerprints all over a number rap movements: Two-9’s initial buzz, OG Maco’s run, the rise Awful Records and, currently, A$AP Rocky’s AWGE collective.
Now he’s taking the spotlight with 777, an ambitious collaborative album with prolific producer Kenny Beats. There’s no weak link here and their chemistry is primed to push Key! from the realm background player. AP
Lil Baby Harder Than Ever (Apple Music / Spotify)
Coach K’s Quality Control has another star with Lil Baby. After a string promising mixtapes, Harder Than Ever his breakthrough. Yes, it helps that the project received the Drake stimulus package in the form collaboration ‘Yes Indeed’, but even without the assist from Aubrey, the project is a showcase how well Baby’s Young Thug-influenced melodic capability works when paired with Atlanta’s top producers.
Southside, Quay Global, Wheezy and London On Da Track handle the beats, while Lil Uzi Vert and Hoodrich Pablo Juan are supply some the guest vocals. Baby’s partner-in-crime, Gunna, shows up for two essential Harder Than Ever tracks, ‘Life Goes On’ and ‘Throwing Shade’, a pair tracks that suggest they could make a play to become the best rap duo since Rich Gang. AP
Post Malone Beerbongs & Bentleys (Apple Music / Spotify)
Thanks to streaming numbers from ‘Rockstar’, the marquee single featuring 21 Savage, Post Malone’s rap-rock follow up to his 2016 debut Stoney was certified platinum in only four days, setting records as this year’s biggest no. 1 debut on the Billboard charts.
Despite a self-pressed preference for Bob Dylan over hip-hop, Malone frequently dips his iced wrist into the black culture cookie jar, pulling out West Indies slang with less self-consciousness than one might hope to see from a white guy from Syracuse. Beerbongs & Bentleys is a bleary-eyed survey post-party wreckage; while Malone accurately captures the apex excess, he fails to imagine a future once the groupies have blocked his number and the housekeeper’s wiped the last sticky rings and traces powder f the cfee table. LC
Weiland Grimey Youth
We probably don’t really need another blonde-haired, gun toting-teenager in rap, but Weiland’s Auto-tuned flex anthems and love ballads are a surprising exception. It’s unusual to hear this much melodic control or such polished production on a SoundCloud project and it’s why he become one the platform’s must-know names.
Grimey Youth’s best tracks are never rushed, despite their brevity. Standouts include the yearning ‘Alot’, produced by frequent collaborator Ginseng, while ‘Into Me’ is filled with puns and features an impressive vocal range. Like it or not, it’s only a matter time before Weiland makes his way into SounCloud’s upper tier. AP
Alphonse Pierre is a freelance music writer based in New York. Find him on Twitter.
Lorena Cupcake writes about every facet culture. Find their insightful coverage on music, food and more at lorenacupcake.com.
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The LA modern art museum has announces its third annual Summer Happenings series.
LA contemporary art museum The Broad has announced the lineup for this year’s Summer Happenings, a concert series that launched in 2016 and has featured performances from Perfume Genius, SOPHIE, Jenny Hval, Downtown Boys and more over the past two seasons.
This year’s includes an impressively diverse array genre and concept, with four performances, one each month from June through September.
Gang Gang Dance, legendary New Yorker DJ Stretch Armstrong, Jean Grae and Tara Jane O’Neil will all perform throughout the museum on June 30. Grae, who is now an ordained minister, will actually give a “nondenominational sermon on time, interspersed with her choir’s themed cover songs and special musical guests.”
Other artists slated to perform throughout the summer include Total Freedom, Matmos, Aïsha Devi, MIIIA, Laraaji, FAZI, ballroom legend Ranika JZ Prodigy, Swisha House co-founder Mike “5000” Watts and Kim Gordon and YoshimiO in collaboration, among many others. Find tickets and more information here.
Berlin Atonal has announced its first batch names for 2018 with Actress, Lucrecia Dalt, British Murder Boys and more set to perform at the five-day event.
Taking place between August 22nd and 26th inside the cavernous environs Berlin’s Kraftwerk building, the festival will host the premiere Dalt’s new live project Synclines, based around her recent Anticlines album, while Actress will present a live A/V show.
Courtesy, Beatrice Dillon, Helena Hauff and Veronica Vasicka have also been announced, while FACT Rated alum Astrid Sonne will perform her live A/V show, Ephemeral. Atonal also marks the first German show in over 10 years for techno godheads British Murder Boys.
See the initial lineup in full below and visit the Atonal site for tickets. More announcements will be unveiled over the coming months.
Actress, Live A/V Astrid Sonne presents Ephemeral, Live A/V, WP Beatrice Dillon, Live British Murder Boys, Live Courtesy Gábor Lázár presents Unfold, Live A/V, WP Giant Swan, Live Group A with Dead Slow Ahead, Live A/V, GP Helena Hauff Hiro Kone presents Pure Expenditure, Live, WP Iona Fortune presents Chaotic Prusion, Live A/V, WP Kolorit (Lowtec & Kassem Mosse), Live A/V, WP LABOUR presents next time, die consciously (بیگانگی), Live A/V, WP Lanark Artefax, Live A/V Lucrecia Dalt presents Synclines, Live, WP Ora Iso, Live Outer Space presents Organic Dial, Live A/V, WP Samuel Kerridge Skee Mask Veronica Vasicka
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In late 2016, a YouTube thumbnail an adolescent Winona Ryder kept popping up on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook feeds. The vintage image appeared at the same time as Netflix’s Stranger Things, a globally popular sci-fi series that starred a present-day Winona so it’s understandable why people were confused.
Whether that confusion led to DJ Boring’s ‘Winona’, an unassuming but infectious lo-fi house roller, notching up almost half a million YouTube streams in just a few weeks has puzzled fans since.
Several years later, DJ Boring aka Tristan Hallis is a certified DJ and producer in his own right, having put out a string solid releases for labels including Unknown to the Unknown and Lost Palms. After filming his Against The Clock session a couple weeks ago, we sat him down to find out the story behind the track that put him on the map.
The stage times for FACT/Bugged Out!’s stage at Field Day this Saturday (June 2) have been revealed, with Gilles Peterson taking the headline spot at 8pm and Lemmy Ashton kicking f proceedings at 11.30am.
DJ Seinfeld B2B DJ Boring, Jayda G and Amsterdam’s Young Marco are also set to play the FACT stage in association with Bugged Out! See the full schedule below.
The two-day London festival is taking place on Friday June 1 and Saturday June 2 at south London’s Brockwell Park for the first time this year after a decade events at Victoria Park in east London.
Other 2018 performers include Erykah Badu, Tony Allen & Jeff Mills, Four Tet and Helena Hauff. Check the Field Day site for more lineup info.
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“The photos represented how African Americans were once wrongfully portrayed in entertainment.”
Yesterday (May 30), Pusha T released a Drake diss track called ‘The Story Adidon’ that featured artwork showing the OVO Sound boss in blackface.
According to Pusha T, the photo was taken by photographer David Leyes and it had reportedly been used to promote a 2008 clothing line called Jim Crow Couture from Canadian fashion label Too Black Guys.
However, Drake has now issued a statement on Instagram, in which he clarifies and explains the photo’s origins.
“This was not from a clothing brand shoot or my music career,” he writes. “This picture is from 2007, a time in my life where I was an actor and I was working on a project that was about young black actors struggling to get roles, being stereotyped and type cast. The photos represented how African Americans were once wrongfully portrayed in entertainment.”