Terrorism Suspect In Ariana Grande Manchester Arena Bombing Faces 22 Counts of Murder

The brother and alleged accomplice of the man who killed 22 people—and injured more than 250 others—by igniting a bomb outside an Ariana Grande concert has denied the 22 murder charges that he’s currently facing.

Prosecutors plan to argue that this individual — 22-year-old Hashem Abedi — directly aided and contributed to the bombing. Abedi’s brother was killed in the blast, which took place in Manchester, England, in 2017.

Prior to being extradited to England earlier this week, Hashem Abedi was jailed in Libya, his parents’ home country, having fled the U.K. following the bombing.  While in a Tripoli prison, Abedi signed a written confession that detailed and confirmed his part in the planning and execution of the attack.  Now, back in England, Abedi’s lawyer argues that his client was tortured and forced to sign the admission of guilt.

Abedi’s initial trial was brief — no more than 15 minutes, according to firsthand accounts — and consisted of Abedi confirming his name and British nationality.  A bail hearing is currently planned for July 22nd, but experts have indicated that it’s unlikely Abedi will be allowed to post bond or bail, given that he is a serious flight risk.

Regardless of his case’s result, Abedi is expected to reveal previously unknown details of the suicide bombing’s planning and precise motive, and police and antiterrorism professionals will then use that knowledge to prevent future attacks.

This suicide bombing was one of several high-profile terrorist attacks that were carried out in England in 2017.  That same year, civilians on the Westminster Bridge and the London Bridge were targeted by terrorists, who used vehicles to ram bystanders before exiting and stabbing individuals.

As a result of the U.K.’s subsequent anti-terrorism efforts, many would-be attackers have been stopped prior to carrying out their plans. Here’s to hoping that all such tragedies can be prevented in the future.

Lil Wayne Draws Comparison Between Tyga & Flo Rida Because They Make #1 Hits

The respect that Lil Wayne and Tyga have for one another is apparent, but the latter decided to make sure that his mentor knew just how much he appreciated him in his “Lightskin Lil Wayne” music video. Tyga paid tribute to Wayne by taking fans through Tunechi’s iconic moments, and Wayne shared that he was honored. “That was love to me, most definitely right there,” he told Billboardmentioning that his favorite part was the “A Milli” scene.

Wayne also said that although he helped guide Tyga in the industry when he was coming up the ranks, Wayne learned, and is still learning, much from his mentee. Tyga has developed a reputation for creating club bangers, so Wayne paid attention to Tyga’s creative process. “I look at certain things. It ain’t about the music,” he said. “I look at certain things and how he approached things. So the way that he approached the song was every song was supposed to be a single. Like every song is supposed to be a hit.”

He went on to say that he didn’t want to draw comparisons between Tyga and Flo Rida, but he couldn’t help it. “Every damn song Flo Rida put out, we may have not heard it and you may not hear it, but I bet you somebody overseas done heard it. I bet you it’s the No. 1 song on somebody’s charts. That’s why I like Tyga, he knows how to go in there and say, ‘No. This is song ain’t about to be No. 15 on an album.’ If somebody has 15 songs on the album, then we’re about to shoot a video for all 15.”

Stream Inspectah Deck’s "Chamber No. 9" Album

Inspectah Deck recently dropped his Chamber No. 9 album through his digital store, but the Wu-Tang Clan member has now made it available on streaming platforms. After spending recent years focusing on his Czarface work with 7L & Esoteric, the LP marks his first solo project since 2010’s The Manifesto.

Guests on the veteran MC’s latest work include Cappadonna, Trife Diesel and Streetlife. The 13-track album arrives a few months after the Rebel INS and Czarface teamed up with Ghostface Killah for the collaborative Czarface Meets Ghostface LP.

Check out Deck’s Chamber No. 9 stream, cover art and tracklist below.

Stream Inspectah Deck's "Chamber No. 9" Album

1. Shaolin Rebel
2. No Good
3. Russell Jones
4. Can’t Stay Away
5. Na Na Na
6. Chamber No. 9
7. Certified
8. 24K f. Cappadonna & Hellfire
9. What It Be Like
10. Game Don’t Change
11. Dolla Signs f. Mz. Geminii
12. Who Run It f. Hellfire & Streetlife
13. Fire f. Trife Diesel

The Week's Top U.S. Festivals & Tours, Presented by SeatGeek

The most popular concert tickets, tour stops, and artists around the country, through Wednesday, July 17th.

Welcome to our weekly report on the world of live music, based on exclusive data from SeatGeek, a ticketing platform that enables fans to buy and sell tickets for sports, concert, and theater events. Read on for insights into the most popular artists and festivals from the prior and upcoming weeks.

Most Popular Artists and Festivals

Past Week, Based on SeatGeek Web Traffic

(click to enlarge)

1. Wiz Khalifa (Rank last week: 5)

The Pittsburgh rapper is in the early stages of his “Decent Exposure Tour” alongside French Montana, and ticket demand is rising quickly. The top tour of the past week heads to Camden, NJ and Bristow, VA next.

2. Billie EIlish (Rank last week: 2)

A staple of this list all summer long, Eilish has held onto the number two spot this week despite the bulk of her tour being over. The 17-year-old rising star plays a handful of festivals this fall in addition to a few individual performances.

3. Florida Georgia Line (Rank last week: 7)

The country duo brings their popular tour — which features another duo, Dan Shay — to the East Coast this week before heading to the U.S. midwest and south.

4. Khalid (Rank last week: 3)

Khalid’s “Free Spirit Tour” remains one of the hottest of the summer, as the “Talk” singer has been on this top 10 list for weeks on end. While ticket demand remains steady, a few lucky fans in San Antonio were treated to an impromptu karaoke performance at a local restaurant, not tickets required.

5. Shawn Mendes (Rank last week: 1)

The Canadian superstar has ceded the top spot this week, but his shows remain highly in-demand. Mendes goes to Kansas City, Tulsa, and Dallas next.

_____________________________________________________________

“Rising” Artists and Festivals

Past Week, Based on the Percent Increase in SeatGeek Web Traffic

(click to enlarge)

1. OVO Fest: 4374%

Drake’s Toronto music festival returns this year after taking the year off in 2018, and fans have responded in a big way. Tickets for the two-day, star-studded lineup — which includes Drake on August 5 — experienced a more than 4000% increase in web traffic over the past week.

2. Day6: 1470%

K-Pop group Day6 is seeing big increases in interest following the release of a new single, “Time Of Our Life,” and will kick off a world tour on August 9 in Daegu, Korea.

3. Post Malone: 846%

The rapper and singer recently announced his new Runaway Tour, which kicks off on September 14 in Tacoma, Washington. Swae Lee and Tyla Yaweh will open for most shows.

4. Twenty One Pilots: 607%

The rockers from Ohio announced a new leg of their Bandito Tour, supporting their 2018 album Trench. Tickets went on sale this week.

5. Premios Juventud: 234%

Univision’s youth awards show, taking place July 18 in Miami, boasts some of the top acts in Latin music.

_____________________________________________________________

Most Popular Upcoming Tour Stops and Festivals

Upcoming Week, Based on SeatGeek Ticket Sales

Rock stars dominate the list of hottest upcoming events next week, with The Rolling Stones, Queen, and country duo Florida Georgia Line making up seven of the top 10 shows. Rapper Wiz Khalifa and pop artists Khalid and Shawn Mendes round out the rest of this list.

Kurt Cobain’s Legacy Has Impacted Hip-Hop For Generations

Kurt Donald Cobain never had it easy. A child divorce, Cobain’s lifelong battles with chronic bronchitis, depression and an undiagnosed stomach illness were the gateways to a soul-sapping heroin addiction. Often portrayed as the quintessential “tortured genius,” his decision to take his own life at 27 and “join that stupid club” that his mother had been wary all but cemented him as an icon for the ages. Anarchic, raw and introspective, his time at the helm Seattle’s most beloved grunge trio Nirvana brought him worldwide success – success he was insufficiently equipped to handle. His anti-establishmentarian outlook, led by twisted poetry and fuzzy guitar tones, has ensured his status as a symbol subversion ever since.

Supplemented by a mythical status that only premature death can bring, Cobain’s crossover appeal makes him all the more fascinating. In recent years, his influence on the hip-hop world has become increasingly pronounced. Today’s melody-driven rappers are going beyond the sacred texts hip-hop to find inspiration, and Nirvana’s DNA can be traced in the work some the biggest rising stars. Prone to delicately melding the worlds rock and hip-hop together, the work Juice WRLD, Trippie Redd, Lil Uzi Vert, and the late XXXtentacion echoes the tunefully confessional style Nivrana’s storied hits. On the other side, Rico Nasty, Scarlxrd and $uicideboyz take cues from more abrasive fare such as “Territorial Pissings”, “Scentless Apprentice” and “Negative Creep.” 

Kurt’s legacy has also bled into the aesthetical side the modern hip-hop paradigm. Alongside his signature white oval sunglasses getting a new lease life as  “clout goggles,” or Young Thug emulating his androgynous outfit choices, Cobain’s frantic cries “Stay Away” have been etched across Post Malone’s face before his likeness was later immortalized on one Posty’s knuckles. In stark contrast to Post’s intentional homages to Cobain– he’s also been known to cover a slew their tracks at live shows– one artist that recently made headlines by culling from the Nirvana discography is Lil Nas X. But where many artists have vocalized their fandom for the Grunge icons, the Atlantan’s use the melodic backbone “In Bloom” came about far more unconsciously. “A lot songs will even come to me when] I’m sleeping or something,” he explained to Zane Lowe. “Like a melody. And I’m like, ‘Wow, that’s fly.’ But the craziest thing about “Panini” is it introduced me to Nirvana’s album Nevermind. I always seen the cover, but I never actually listened to it.”A testament to how indivisible Kurt’s music is from popular culture, Lil Nas X’s accidental interpolation one their classic tracks is one case in a broader tradition MCs extracting influence from or directly incorporating Nirvana’s high-intensity output.

Kurt Cobain's Legacy Has Impacted Hip-Hop For Generations

Kevin Mazur/Getty s

For Kurt, hip-hop was a force for positive change in the music industry, despite being hampered by some short-sighted ideologies. That said, it should come as no surprise that the frontman a fiercely liberal and progressive band would find plenty to admire about Public Enemy. Co-headliners at the famous Reading festival in 1992, an unearthed list his top 50 albums all time featured the incendiary It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back at number 43. But while he’d fostered a love Chuck D’s polemic lyricism and the iconic production The Bomb Squad, his relationship with hip-hop was not without inner conflict. For Cobain, hip-hop represented “the only vital form music that has been introduced since punk rock” but his enjoyment was ultimately stifled as most it was deemed  “so misogynist that I can’t even deal with it.” Informed by his “respect” for the material, Cobain also harbored strong feelings on who should and shouldn’t participate in the production rap music. “The white man ripped f the black man long enough”, he remarked during a 1991 radio interview. “They should leave rap music to the African-Americans because they do it so well and it is so vital to them.” 

25 years on from his untimely death at his Seattle, Washington home, Kurt’s indelible mark on the world remains as clearly discernible as ever, with hip-hop playing a massive role in promulgating his legacy to the next generation. Aside from morbid comparisons drawn between the late Lil Peep— who collaborated with Lil Tracy on 2016’s “Cobain”– and Nirvana’s driving force, there’s no shortage artists that feel an affinity for him well beyond lurid sensationalism. Well-versed in misanthropic poetry in his own right, Meechy Darko counts “Durt Cobain” among his many aliases, while the tragic circumstances that surrounded his death provided compelling symbolism for Denzel Curry’s “Clout Cobain.”

Seen as creative kindred spirits, Kid Cudi has also paid his respects to Cobain in a variety touching and heartfelt ways. Upon visiting Seattle in 2011, Cudder made a point venturing to Viretta Park—colloquially known as “Kurt’s Park”—in order to etch his name on the bench where fans have left tributes since his death. Considering that the record hinged on Cudi’s re-emergence from a pit mental despair and addiction issues, it was only fitting that he would use one Cobain’s previously unreleased demos for “Cudi Montage” on Kids See Ghosts. Derived from the tentatively titled “Burn The Rain,” he got permission from Kurt’s widow Courtney Love directly and expressed his gratefulness after she claimed that “I don’t clear shit for just anybody.” 

On the subject artists bringing fragments Nirvana’s music into the hip-hop canon, their vast and varied catlog provides ample ground for creatives to explore. A track that Kurt came to revile over time as his fame continued to increase, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” has been utilized by Jay-Z, Ghostemane, Lords Of The Underground, Timbaland, Lupe Fiasco and Vic Mensa’s former group Kids These Days to name a few. In what is one the first examples, one group that was particularly quick on the ball was House Of Pain, who delivered their own spin on “Come As You Are” with 1994’s DJ Muggs-helmed “Runnin’ Up On Ya.”  Decades on from the release Same As It Ever Was, Clipping and Yelawolf both saw fit to make use the vividly titled B-side “Moist Vagina” whilst Waka Flocka Flame and Chief Keef added a sample “School” to their abrasive arsenals with “Uh Huh” and “Dipset” respectively. 

Familiar with advancing hip-hop in his own right, Talib Kweli believes that the prevalence Nirvana’s riotous videos on TV had a tangible effect on the culture, informally setting the stage for today’s intersection between rock and rap. As Lil Wayne discussed how “Smells Like Teen Spirit’ used to always be on” with Nardwuar, the Blackstar legend believes that the Seattle trio played an instrumental role in broadening horizons. “When Nirvana hit, you had black kids into hip-hop watching MTV for alternative videos, getting into Red Hot Chili Peppers,” he reflects. “Then Ice-T came out with Body Count. I think all that set the stage for Nirvana. And Nevermind was a damn near perfect album, like Bob Marley’s Talkin’ Blues or John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme.

Cherished by new talents and those who bore witness to the band’s meteoric rise first-hand, leave it to Jay-Z to perfectly encapsulate why Kurt Cobain’s presence remains felt to this day. Outlined in Pharrell’sPlaces And Spaces I’ve Been In, Jay-Z reflected on the feverish excitement that surrounded Nirvana’s arrival and believed it to be an inadvertent impediment on hip-hop’s road to commercial dominance. “It was weird because hip-hop was becoming this force, then grunge music stopped it for one second, ya know? Those ‘hair bands’ were too easy for us to take out”, Jay pondered. “When Kurt Cobain came with that statement “Smells Like Teen Spirit”], it was like, ‘We got to wait a while.” 

It’s only fair to head over to California and look at how he impacted one its key figures. During one the highlights HBO’s The Defiant Ones docu-series, the tranquillity Dr Dre’s beachside home is disrupted by the chaotic strains Nirvana’s “Stay Away.” “I’m startin’ to sweat right now just listenin’ to this shit, it’s bananas, Dre proclaimed. “Nirvana, Kurt Cobain. That’s uh, my favorite rock group all time.” Whether it’s his rebellious spirit, his near-unparalleled knack for melody, or the dissonant barrages sound that cast a spell over 90s airwaves, Kurt Cobain’s name is etched into the fabric our favorite hip-hop artists, an influence unlikely to wane any time soon. 

BROCKHAMPTON Announce New Album "Ginger" Dropping Next Month

The rise BROCKHAMPTON has been a weird one to watch. Two years at this time, they were readying the release  SATURATION III and were essentially set up to become the next big collective in hip-hop. Unfortunately, issues within the group had them putting everything on the backburner for a bit in order to regroup. Last summer, they released Iridescence which hit number one on the chart. We haven’t really heard much from them as a collective this year but it looks like we’ll be getting a brand new album from them before the year’s end. 

Kevin Abstract blessed fans with ARIZONA BABY in April but BROCKHAMPTON will ficially be releasing GINGER next month. The group shared a short teaser on their Instagram which included an R&B-sampled instrumental before revealing that we could expect the project in August 2019. With the new teaser, maybe this means we’ll get a new single from them in the near future.

The group began teasing the project in early June. Following the release  ARIZONA BABY, Kevin Abstract detailed the process behind the album in a cover piece for GQ. We’ve been fighting more these days, which is weird, because we never fight. Every day we wake up, we try to make something that’s great. It might not stick,” he said. “We want to make a summer album. Feel-good. Not too sad.”

'Baby Shark' Used by West Palm Beach Officials to Drive Away Homeless People

Shark Attack: West Palm Beach city officials play ‘Baby Shark’ to dissuade people from sleeping on the beach.

West Palm Beach officials have started to play “Baby Shark,” a hit children’s song that’s amassed more than one billion YouTube views, to deter homeless individuals from sleeping on the beach.

As its name suggests, West Palm Beach is located to the west of Palm Beach proper. And as both cities’ names make clear, relaxing waves and clean sandy beaches are a big part of their appeal. West Palm Beach representatives emphasized this point when justifying the continuous nighttime playing of “Baby Shark.” Moreover, these same representatives advised those who’ve made a habit of sleeping on the beach to seek refuge in one of West Balm Beach’s many shelters.

West Palm Beach officials also indicated that “Baby Shark” isn’t exactly blaring through speakers, as its volume is said to meet all the city’s noise-ordinance requirements. Thus, it’s unclear if the music will drive beach dwellers away.

Using music to persuade individuals to do — or not to do — something isn’t a new tactic.

However, in most instances — including when the U.S. military played rock music to force Manuel Noreiga to surrender — maximum volume is usually utilized. Though this “Baby Shark” plan is more humane, we’ll have to wait and see if it’s effective.

As was mentioned, “Baby Shark” has garnered over one billion YouTube views, and the song’s appeal, popularity, and reach aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. A “Baby Shark” Nickelodeon show , and the song has even been used by UFC fighter Bryan Barberena, who wanted to entertain his kids while he made his way to the cage.

“Baby Shark” is a simple and pleasant song, but as they say, variety is the spice of life, and when it’s played repeatedly, the track could well prompt beach sleepers to find a new spot to rest.

Expert Says Kevin Spacey’s "In No Way" In The Clear After Dropped Charges

Back in October, 2017, right around the time the #MeToo movement was particularly at a peak, the world got not one, but two pieces shocking news about beloved House Of Cards and American Beauty actor, Kevin Spacey. Star Trek: Discovery actor, Anthony Rapp, revealed that he had a scarring experience with Spacey when he was just 14 years old. A drunk Spacey had tried to inappropriately “seduce” the minor while they were alone in a bedroom, something the young star said he carried with him for the rest his life. Spacey took to Twitter, to give a (pretty half-assed IMO) apology, but also took the time to reveal to everyone he was, in fact, “living as a gay man.” The whole controversy triggered quite the shit storm, with crew members coming forward one month later to reveal that Spacey had also been inappropriate with them on numerous occasions, as well as other claims and accusations

Expert Says Kevin Spacey's "In No Way" In The Clear After Dropped Charges

Nicole Harnishfeger-Pool/Getty s

These separate occurrences all quickly lead to the demise Spacey’s career, and on top that, a court case for the disgraced actor, which kicked f in January this year. If found guilty on counts sexual assault, Spacey was looking at a potential 5-year sentencing. However, after the trial commenced, charges were dropped due to the accuser (who was 18 at the time his claim) – who had alleged that Spacey had groped him when he worked as a waiter – plead The Fifth Amendment when asked if he had tampered with any the screenshots he gave the court sexually explicit photos Spacey. After the man – who is now 24 years age – pleaded the Fifth, the district attorney filed a motion to drop the case against Spacey, citing “the unavailability the complaining witness.” His family were “very disappointed” about the prosecutors’ decision, but CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman assured them that prosecutors’ decision to drop the charge “in no way” meant that the actor was now in the clear. “The fact that the prosecution… has decided not to go forward in no way says that Kevin Spacey…  has been exonerated,” Klieman added. “The prosecution was simply faced with a case that by virtue the alleged victim… taking the Fifth Amendment, they didn’t have a witness to say what happened.” Spacey is reportedly also still facing sexual assault allegations in Great Britain.

Jaden Smith, New Balance Announce Official Partnership

New Balance have ficially announced a fresh partnership with Jaden Smith.

Jaden first collaborated with New Balance earlier this month as part their “Runs in the Family” campaign that included an appearance by two-time NBA Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard, among others. Smith also laced up a colorful New Balance 650 for the cover his new album “ERYS” and has been preaching #NewBalanceOnly, so maybe we all should have seen this news coming.

That said, it remains to be seen if the Jaden x New Balance partnership will result in any special edition sneaker collabs. New Balance released the following statement regarding the partnership with Jaden (h/t Highsnobiety).

“As an iconic change-maker, Jaden exemplifies the New Balance brand philosophy fearless independence,” New Balance said in a statement. “His convention-defying work in fashion and music, coupled with his dedication to philanthropy and environmental awareness, speak to larger global issues and how they impact his generation. He uses his platform to engage youth and encourages them to be their authentic selves.”

#ThrowbackThursdays: Run-DMC’s "Raising Hell" Becomes 1st Platinum-Selling Hip Hop Album In 1986

July 15, 1986 – 1986 was a pivotal year for Run-DMC. In May, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels and Rev Run unleashed their third studio album, Raising Hell, which spawned the now-classic singles “My Adidas,” “It’s Tricky,” “You Be Illin and “Walk This Way.”

On July 4, Run-DMC dropped their groundbreaking collaboration with Aerosmith, “Walk This Way,” which marked the first rock-rap hybrid song. The accompanying video literally broke barriers, which DMC recently explained to HipHopDX. 

“When Steven Tyler takes the mic stand and knocks down the wall separating us, that didn’t just happen in the video — that happened in the world for real!” he told DX earlier this month.

Roughly two months after its release, Raising Hell became the first Hip Hop album ever to go platinum. By April 1987, the project was certified 3x-platinum by the RIAA. Produced by Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin — the brains behind Def Jam Recordings — the album firmly established Run-DMC’s sound.

“Producing Raising Hell was my first time not being heavy handed on my ideas and letting go,” Simmons explains to DX. “With the exception of ‘Walk This Way,’ which was their idea but brought to full potential with Rick’s genius.

“He asked them to take a leap of faith and to actually use the entire song — not just sample the beat. Mostly though, it was us producing their ideas. There were many songs which we did little or nothing for like ‘Peter Piper’ and ‘My Adidas.’ But that album was what Run-DMC had become with Jam Master Jay’s input, the most critical ingredient.”

Raising Hell peaked at No. 3 on the US Billboard 200, No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart, was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Rap Album category and won Best Rap Album at the 1987 Soul Train Music Awards.

Artista Records reissued the project in 1999 and 2003. An expanded and remastered edition was then released in 2005 and featured five previously unreleased songs.

Last year, Raising Hell was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or artistically significant.”

The album made such an impact, it was the “final push” Chuck D says he needed to ultimately sign with Def Jam. The Public Enemy luminary considers it the greatest rap album of all time.

Cardi B Has To Explain Explicit Bars On "New Lyrics for Old People"

Rapping husband and wife duo Offset and Cardi B‘s collaboration “Clout” quickly became a hit, but not everyone has a firm grasp on what the pair are spitting bars about. The track is featured on Offset’s debut solo record Father 4, a project that showed the Migos rapper could stand on his own. 

While “old heads” are ten the targets criticisms over their objections new artists and music, Jimmy Kimmel is hoping that he can bridge the gap between old school and new school. Offset and Cardi were guests on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and thanks to another edition   New Lyrics for Old People, everyone has a better insight into what Offset and Cardi were saying.

“Straight out the streets to a penthouse, Miami Beach, yayo,” the rapper said to which Kimmel translated, “I came from humble beginnings and now I own a condominium in Florida…yayo.” Then Offset rapped, “Swapping out cars with my b*tch, I bought her the Lambo she bought me the Wraith.” Cardi said, “That’s me,” while pointing to herself and smiling. Kimmel translated, “That means, uh, his wife and I exchanged cars and jewelry, is that correct?” Cardi enthusiastically nodded.

The next line was, “Get the wealth, put it up for my seeds, no cure for the IG disease.” Kimmel said, “Seeds are kids, right. So, I’m saving my money for my children and I love Instagram. A lot.” Cardi got a few lines in her own. “I say, ‘Whole lotta people need to hear this, it’s a lotta names on my hit list.” Kimmel said, “Ok, that means everyone listen closely because I’m upset with a lot you.” 

Things got a tad awkward when she spit her rhyme, “P*ssy still wet like a big b*tch.” Unfortunately, Kimmel didn’t translate that one correctly so Cardi had to divvy up an explanation. Check out the enter translation experience below.

A Recovering Gibson Relocates Into Downtown Nashville — and Relaunches Its Gibson Foundation

Gibson, which filed for bankruptcy in May 2018, is now showing signs of recovery.

Gibson has just announced plans to move its headquarters to downtown Nashville. And after years of silence, the company is also relaunching the Gibson Foundation, a charitable organization that aims to support at-risk and in-need youth by introducing them to the world of music.

In the wake of a grueling bankruptcy, the company shuttered unprofitable divisions that made non-guitar products and/or focused on research and development.  In the years leading up to Gibson’s financial meltdown, far-flung forays included risky bets on technology like auto-tuning pegs, a diversion into digital rights management, and bloated advertising budgets.  The guitar giant even purchased the shuttered Tower Records store in West Hollywood, but did little with the property.

Gibson’s headquarters have been located on the outer edge of Nashville for about three decades. By moving into the heart of the city, company officials hope to establish a better connection with local musicians and the thriving Nashville music scene.  Additionally, the new building is reportedly bigger and more modern than Gibson’s current headquarters, and it will include a comprehensive guitar showroom.

A timetable for the move is expected to be released soon.

As for the Gibson Foundation’s relaunch, it was revealed that Dendy Jarrett will serve as the group’s executive director.

To celebrate the revival, the Gibson Foundation plans to give away one guitar per day for 1,000 days.  In the same press release, the organization emphasized that all donations will be given to at-risk youth for the purpose of learning, playing, and enjoying music.

Since 2002, the Gibson Foundation has provided more than $30 million worth of support to children and music-focused charities.

Gibson first declared bankruptcy in May of 2018, though a year can make a huge difference.  Now, the question is whether Gibson’s leaner operation will keep the company afloat over the long term. Part of that answer depends on what demand for guitars looks like over the coming decade.

50 Cent, Chris Brown Added To Saudi Arabia Festival After Nicki Minaj Pulls Out

Nicki Minaj caught a ton backlash a few weeks ago after she announced she’d be performing in Saudia Arabia. Human Rights Foundations, her fans, and many other people urged her to back down from performing in the conservative kingdom that’s been highly criticized for their human right violations, specifically towards women and the LGBTQ+ community. Nicki Minaj backed down from the performance in support the marginalized communities. However, the Jeddah World Festival has now added some other large names to the line-up to compensate for Nicki’s absence.

Some hip-hop’s heavyweights will be touching down in Saudi Arabia tomorrow for Jeddah Music Festival following Nicki’s cancelation. 50 Cent, Tyga, Chris Brown, Future, and Janet Jackson have been announced as performers for the controversial festival at King Abdullah Sports Stadium. They’ll be joining the likes  the previously-announced performers, Liam Payne, and Steve Aoki.

The HRF weren’t solely at Nicki’s neck about performing in Saudi Arabia. President the Human Rights Foundation told AP that it was “proundly distressing that they have chosen money over morals.” 

“These individuals constantly make public statements support for LGBT rights and women’s rights, except, apparently, when a seven-figure check is attached. The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Principal apparently matters to them far more than principles,” he said in a statement. It’s clear that, after losing Nicki Minaj on the basis the Saudi regime’s atrocious human rights record and their treatment women and the gay community, the Crown Prince has chosen to spend whatever it takes to give the appearance that things are normal and that this is just another music concert. Except it isn’t.”

 

Spotify Launches the Disney Hub Featuring Classic TV and Movie Songs

On the video side, Disney is taking on the market with a dedicated SVOD platform. That’s not the case with music, however.

The Walt Disney Corporation has unveiled a partnership with Spotify.  The music streaming giant will now feature a “prominent spot” for Disney in its iOS and Android mobile app.

Starting today, users in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, South Africa, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand will find a designated music hub after searching for “Disney.”

On a blog post, the company explained,

Stream playlists full of everything from The Little Mermaid to modern favorites like Frozen to Star Wars instrumentals and even Marvel movie soundtracks.  Plus, Disney compilations made for every part of your day — road trip, shower, or sleep time — will help ensure your life is nothing short of magical.

Songs featured in the music hub include those featured in films, television shows, and theme parks.  As stated above, the new hub will feature music from Disney’s properties.  These include songs from the upcoming film The Lion King, including ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ and ‘I Just Can’t Wait to Be King.’

According to Spotify, Disney’s catalog has a strong presence on the platform.  Fans have streamed over 2 billion combined minutes (more than 333 million hours).  The 10 most-streamed songs are Idina Menzel’s ‘Let It Go,’ Auli’I Cavino’s ‘How Far I’ll Go,’ Dwayne Johnson’s ‘You’re Welcome,’ Rascal Flatts’ ‘Life is a Highway,’ Agatha Lee Monn’s ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman?,’ Donny Osmond’s ‘I’ll Make a Man Out of You,’ Alan Menken’s ‘A Whole New World,’ Shakira’s ‘Try Everything,’ and Kristen Bell’s ‘Love is an Open Door.’

The move comes alongside Disney’s aggressive efforts to establish Disney.

The dedicated subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platform is a direct stab at entrenched behemoths like Netflix and Hulu, neither of whom enjoy Disney content licensing.

Perhaps a direct play in the streaming music market makes little sense for Disney — though of course, Disney apparently thought the same about video up until recently.

Both companies refused to provide financial arrangements about the new deal.

Current playlists offered include Disney Hits, Favorites, Classics, Singalongs, Princess, Marvel Music, and Best of Star Wars.

Spotify has previously rolled out a collection of content themed around talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.  Dubbed the Ellen Hub, this includes exclusive content from her show.

 


 

Fear of God x Nike Air Skylon 2 “Light Bone” To Release This Weekend

Jerry Lorenzo’s signature brand Fear Of God is known for being at the forefront modern fashion and over the last few years, he has been able to bring his brand to new heights. Part Lorenzo’s success has come thanks to his recent partnership with Nike, which has seen various Fear God and Nike collabs make their way to the market. One the more interesting sneakers to come from this new relationship is the Fear God x Nike Air Skylon 2 which has already been released in a few colorways.

Earlier this week, we reported on how the “Light Bone” colorway this shoe would be released overseas on Thursday, July 18th. Today, Nike revealed that the shoe would be dropping stateside this weekend on Saturday, July 20th, for $150 USD, according to Sole Collector

As you would expect from a “Light Bone” colorway, the shoe features grey and beige tones which will look good with pretty much any outfit. The sneaker has Nike and Fear Of God branding written throughout so people will definitely know what you’re wearing. There will certainly be more collaborations like this in the future so stay tuned for more releases as we will be sure to report on them.

Fear  God x Nike Air Skylon 2 “Light Bone” To Release This Weekend

Nike

Fear  God x Nike Air Skylon 2 “Light Bone” To Release This Weekend

Nike

Fear  God x Nike Air Skylon 2 “Light Bone” To Release This Weekend

Nike

Fear  God x Nike Air Skylon 2 “Light Bone” To Release This Weekend

Nike

Fear  God x Nike Air Skylon 2 “Light Bone” To Release This Weekend

Nike