Spotify Is Actively Testing Realtime Lyrics in Certain Markets

Spotify is testing a new feature in its mobile app that provides real-time lyrics in sync with the music it is playing.

The feature, which is powered by something called Musixmatch, scrolls a song’s lyrics in time with the music. The company is testing it in select, yet unnamed international markets, which are said to include Canada, Mexico and Indonesia.

Spotify confirmed the testing of the feature in a statement to TechCrunch. A spokesperson for the company said, “We can confirm we are testing this feature in a small number of markets. At Spotify, we are always testing new products and experiences but have no further news to share at this time.”

On enabled devices, the lyrics appear in their own box underneath the playback controls, where both Behind the Lyrics and Storyline currently exist. The lyrics further display in full-screen mode as well.

A number of years ago, Spotify briefly had a similar feature in the desktop version of their app. After it was removed, many users requested its return. In fact, one such request, which was posted on the company’s user feedback community board, was upvoted more than 14,000 times.

But the company, at least until now, has refused to grant the request. It is not even certain that the feature will remain after testing has been completed, as the company often tests features that are eventually withdrawn.

The move comes in the wake of Apple adding real-time lyrics to its Apple Music app along with the launch of iOS 13.

While the feature in and of itself may not get users to switch from Spotify to Apple as the latter tries to make up the nearly 2-1 advantage the former has in the number of users, it can only help its case by giving it a distinct competitive advantage.

Amazon, too, has added real-time lyrics when music plays on Alexa-enabled devices.

Fabolous Channels Michael Jordan’s Drive On ‘B.O.M.B.S.’ Single

Back when Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls were dominating the NBA throughout the 1990s, the six-time championship team used to drive fear into visiting opponent’s hearts when they entered the United Center as an ominous sample of The Alan Parsons Project’s “Sirius” blared through the sound system.

Brooklyn’s own Fabolous is attempting to bring that feeling back with his new single, “B.O.M.B.S,” an acryonm for “back on my bullshit” and what he says is the first taste for his upcoming mixtape, Summertime Shoutout 3.

“I’m that bull in the hood/New Lamb truck, got the bull in the hood/Black and red lookin’ like the Bulls at the hood
23’s on it, got the Bulls sitting good,” he quips.

According to the song’s outro, the aforementioned project will be released in 2020 when it gets warm.

Stream Fabolous’ “B.O.M.B.S” above.

Vivica A. Fox Disses The Thought Of A ‘Set It Off’ Remake

Vivica A. Fox is not a fan of Issa Rae’s forthcoming remake of the 1996 cult classic film Set It Off

When asked about her thoughts on Rae’s reimagining on Entertainment Tonight Fox spurned the idea. “Leave it alone, there’s absolutely no reason to try to re-do it,” she said. “It’s been done and we did it so well that people are absolutely going to compare it to that and I think that’s her taking on a tremendous chore because that film has become a cult classic and some things are just better left.” 

The original Set It Off, directed by F. Gary Gray, took in a hefty $41 million gross on a $9 million budget at the box office. In the film, Vivica A. Fox, Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, and Kimberly Elise star as four best friends who embark on a journey robbing banks successfully around the Los Angeles area.

Fox continued with her thoughts of remaking the film, and reboots in general, advising the actress to tap into the creative juices she’s shown on her hit show Insecure. “If you want to do a new film of girls robbing banks, create your own thing,” Fox says in the clip. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it if they do something that goes into the next chapter of the story. It’s when they try to recreate it and it’s already been done and that magic’s been captured in a bottle. It’s very hard to capture that.”   

Check out the interview in full above. 

Styles P Drops ‘Presence’ Album

The LOX are closing out 2019 with a string of solo projects. With Sheek Louch’s Gorillaween Vol. 2 mixtape arriving on Halloween and Jadakiss’ IGNATIUS LP due out later this year, Styles P emerges between his fellow members’ respective releases with a new album titled Presence.

The project is the veteran MC’s second LP of the year, preceded by May’s S.P. The GOAT: Ghost Of All Time.

The 10-track album features appearances by Griselda Records artists Conway The Machine and Benny The Butcher as well as Big Pun’s son Chris Rivers.

Check out Styles’ Presence stream, cover art and tracklist below.

Styles P Drops 'Presence' Album

1. Bad Man f. Butta
2. Blam, Blam, Blam f. Conway The Machine & Benny The Butcher
3. Blood, Sweat & Tears
4. Golden f. Xander
5. Either, Or
6. Brand New
7. Yes, Lord! f. I-Man
8. Roll Up f. Chris Rivers & Cris Streetz
9. Numbers Don’t Lie
10. Gotta Know

Cuban Doll Shares ‘Savage Life’ EP

Cuban Doll a.k.a. Cuban Da Savage has dropped a new EP titled Savage Life. The nine-track project features collaborations with Yella Beezy, Trippie Redd, Lil Yachty, Molly Brazy and Lil Duke.

“I’m still giving them ‘the old Cuban tha Savage’ but also trying new things creatively,” she tells HipHopDX. “It’s fun and edgy but still true to my classic hard-hitting anthems for the ladies.”

View Cuban’s Savage Life stream, cover art and tracklist below.

Cuban Doll Shares 'Savage Life' EP

1. Cupac
2. Money Talk
3. Amazin f. Lil Duke, Lil Yachty & Yella Beezy
4. Moves
5. On Gang f. Molly Brazy
6. Ohchee Walla
7. My Ex
8. Oh Wow f. Trippie Redd
9. A. G. F.

Jay Park Teams With Hit-Boy For ‘This Wasn’t Supposed To Happen’ EP

Roc Nation’s Jay Park has joined forces with Grammy-winning producer Hit-Boy for an EP titled This Wasn’t Supposed To Happen. The six-track project features the singles “K-Town” and “20/20” along with four other cuts.

“Jay Park and Hit-Boy is not something people would expect,” Park told Billboard. “It’s not something you see everyday, it happened very organically. One session turned into two sessions, then three sessions turned into an EP. So, it was unexpected for me as well.”

Check out Park and Hit-Boy’s This Wasn’t Supposed To Happen stream, cover art and tracklist below.

Jay Park Teams With Hit-Boy For 'This Wasn’t Supposed To Happen' EP

1. 20/20
2. Renaissance Man
3. K-Town
4. Fade Away
5. Call You Bae
6. Killa

Luh Kel Drops Debut Project ‘Mixed Emotions’

Luh Kel, whose breakthrough single “Wrong” has racked up 65 million YouTube views as of Thursday (November 14), drops his debut project Mixed Emotions. The rising star’s first release comes to fans courtesy of Cinematic Music Group, adding him to a roster that includes Joey Bada$$ and T-Pain.

The 17-year-old singer’s debut is comprised of 12 tracks. Guests include PnB Rock, Jay Gwuapo and IV Jay.

View Kel’s Mixed Emotions stream, cover art and tracklist below.

Luh Kel Drops Debut Project 'Mixed Emotions'

1. Hero
2. Cold Heart
3. Wrong
4. Tweakin f. IV Jay
5. Down
6. Movie f. PnB Rock
7. Plans
8. Pull Up
9. Gone f. Jay Gwuapo
10. BRB
11. Lonely
12. Two Rounds

Onyx & Snowgoons Link Up For ‘SnowMads’ Album

Onyx has teamed with the Snowgoons for the new album SnowMads. The two sides previously connected for #Wakedafucup in 2014.

Fredro Starr, Sticky Fingaz and the production team’s latest collaboration is a 15-track LP. Guests include Bumpy Knuckles a.k.a. Freddie Foxxx, Flee Lord and V-Knuckles of NBS, among others.

Check out Onyx and Snowgoons’ SnowMads stream, cover art and tracklist below.

Onyx & Snowgoons Link Up For 'SnowMads' Album

1. SnowMads Intro
2. Who Da Fuc
3. Robbing Hip Hop f. Bumpy Knuckles & Nems
4. Monsters Gorillas f. V-Knuckles of NBS
5. Rat Tat Tat f. Quadro & Ufo Fev
6. Hoodies Down
7. Kill Da Mic
8. Street Art f. SickFlo
9. Trolling f. V-Knuckles of NBS
10. Ringolevio
11. Built Like That
12. Mad Shoot Outs f. Flee Lord
13. I Got The Tec-9
14. Ain’t No Time To Rest f. Dope D.O.D.
15. Good Fight

Stream Tory Lanez’ Album ‘Chixtape 5’

The wait is over.

After much anticipation, Tory Lanez unleashes Chixtape 5, the fifth installment in his popular throwback series. And this time he’s not playing around. Not only did he remake some of his favorite R&B hits from the early 2000s, but he also got the original artists to appear on them.

Ashanti revisits her 2002 smash “Foolish” on “A Fool’s Tale” (and also appears on the cover), Lil Wayne and Lloyd remake “You” on “Thoughts,” and Chris Brown turns up on “The Take,” a 2019 update of “Take You Down.”

“When me and Chris work, we just work mad fast,” Tory told Rap-Up. “I didn’t think he would do it honestly and he just came out the clutch and sent it one day.”

Other guests on the nostalgic 18-track set include Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, Jagged Edge, Jermaine Dupri, The-Dream, Mýa, Trey Songz, Fabolous, and more.

This marks the first time Tory has released a Chixtape to streaming services. The first mixtape dropped in 2011 and quickly became a fan favorite, leading to three more in 2014, 2015, and the latest, Chixtape 4, in 2017.

“The Chixtape series is something that has a cult following. The Chixtape series is bigger than Tory Lanez,” said the 27-year-old singer-rapper. “I know that this means a lot to [my fans], bringing it back, because they thought that it was gonna end at 4. It’s a way more important experience this time.”

And could Chixtape 6 be in the future? “I definitely got enough material to keep going if I wanted to, and hopefully I will,” teased Tory.

Apple Music, TV, News 'Mega-Bundle' Arriving In 2020 ⁠— Report Claims

A new report suggests Apple will bundle its News, Apple TV, and Apple Music subscriptions. The new ‘mega-bundle’ for Apple users could arrive in 2020.

Bloomberg reports that Apple is considering the bundle to gain more subscribers overall. A provision in deals made with publishers lets Apple package News with other paid offerings.

Apple News was part of a broader subscription roll out in March. The service bundles dozens of publications under one subscription fee ⁠— $10 a month. Apple keeps around 50% of that monthly cost, while publishers get the rest.

People familiar with the matter suggest that a bundle could hurt publishers and artists more than Apple.

Selling Apple News as part of a broader bundle with TV and Apple Music might reduce content owners’ share. Some news and magazine publishers have said revenue generated from News isn’t what they expected. Bloomberg reports at least one publisher says they earn less from Apple News than Texture ⁠— the app Apple acquired to transform into News.

Apple has sought to differentiate itself from being solely a hardware manufacturer with . But the strategy may not be going so well without a bundle.

Apple hasn’t revealed News subscriber numbers, but it recently expanded service to Australia and the UK. Apple’s focus on privacy for its users also makes marketers less interested in the service. One has to wonder if we could see the same problem expand to the music industry if Apple Music is bundled in this way.

Apple appears to be following Amazon’s strategy of bundling content for its Prime users. Amazon offers both a free for Prime members and a discounted Amazon Music Unlimited subscription. The also includes a bundle option for Hulu and ESPN services.

With becoming a real thing, an Apple subscription bundle was inevitable.

Mechanical Licensing Collective Granted $62 Million in Startup Capital

The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC), which is tasked with tracking, collecting, and distributing mechanical licenses from streaming services in the U.S., has just been granted a $62 million starting budget.

Initially, the MLC — principally backed by major music publishers Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and Warner/Chappell Music — had from major streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and Amazon Music.

That initially drew howls of protests from the major streaming services, though the streaming group has now approved something close.  According to a joint resolution drafted and shared with Digital Music News this morning, an agreement for $33.5 million in pre-launch startup capital and and additional $28.5 million for first-year operations has been approved.  The $28.5 million tranche would cover operations during the first year, starting in 2021.

That adds up to $62 million, for a span of roughly two years (assuming a one-year ramp-up period).  The resolution was approved by both the MLC and and ‘Digital Licensing Coordinator,’ or DLC, which is being overseen by DiMA (which, in turn, represents the major streaming services).

The resolution comes as a surprise, at least based on the reactions of certain streaming platform executives.  One streaming executive noted that the MLC’s $66.25 million budget was  to build a mechanical streaming company, though perhaps the inflated MLC demand is simply the cost of doing business.  Other complaints have poured in, including from a separate streaming executive, who felt that the MLC’s licensing approach is .

That may be true, but for streaming platforms, the MLC allows them to largely offload licensing responsibilities and the threat of future litigation — .

The official document, dubbed the ‘Determination and Allocation of Initial Administrative Assessment to Fund Mechanical Licensing Collective’ was officially submitted to the U.S. Copyright Office’s Copyright Royalty Judges shortly after 12:3o pm ET today (November 14th).

The document hasn’t been officially posted, but here’s the opening declaration:

“The Mechanical Licensing Collective (“the MLC”) and the Digital Licensee Coordinator (“the DLC”) (collectively, the “Participants”), hereby notify the Copyright Royalty Judges (the “Judges”) that they have reached a full settlement of all terms in the above-captioned proceeding (the “Proceeding”) concerning the amount and terms of the initial Administrative Assessment under Section 115 (“Section 115”) (d)(7)(D)(iii) of the U.S. Copyright Act. In light of the foregoing, the Participants respectfully request that the Judges suspend the case schedule and direct the Participants to jointly submit proposed regulatory language implementing the Settlement as detailed below on or before November 26, 2019 (or as otherwise ordered by the Judges).”

Also worth nothing: after the 2021 funding is exhausted, the MLC and DLC will determine future yearly budgets on an ongoing basis.  The document itself was signed by MLC attorneys at Pryor Cashman LLP, and by DLC attorneys at Mayer Brown LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP.

 

Desiigner Says He’s Officially Off G.O.O.D. Music

Desiigner has revealed he’s an independent artist once again. During a recent Instagram livestream, the “Panda” creator noted he secured his release from Kanye West’s label G.O.O.D. Music.

“I’m on my own vibe,” he said. “I couldn’t have nobody holding me up. That’s why I had to get off that label, man. Ain’t no funny shit. Ain’t nobody dropped me. I asked for the release.”

He also clarified he’s not signed to anyone now and working through his own imprint called L.O.D.

“The only label I’m on right now is L.O.D.,” he said. “I can drop whenever, however, how high, how low. I can drop to the left, to the right, to the front, to the back! I can drop anywhere, any second. This is the dream of every artist!”

Desiigner signed with G.O.O.D. in 2016 but never released a studio album during his time on the label. Throughout 2019, the multi-platinum rapper voiced his frustrations with G.O.O.D. social media.

Earlier this year, he also took aim at Kanye in an Instagram video.

“Nobody is doing this shit for me,” Desiigner said, “I had signed to Kanye West, the biggest nigga. Y’all niggas think he’s the genius. Y’all think all that nigga’s shit. But to me that nigga’s crazy. To me, I’ve been doing this shit myself. To me, I brought G.O.O.D. Music back.”

Listen to his full rant below.

Summer Walker’s Tour Cancellation Proves Fans Get Her: "She’s Doing What’s Best"

Summer Walker has racked up quite a loving fan base ever since her Last Days Summer taped dropped last year. More recently, Summer released her debut album Over It that’s still sitting pretty at #1 on Apple Music since fans can’t get enough the 18-track fering produced solely by London On Da Track. 

Summer Walker's Tour Cancellation Proves Fans Get Her: "She’s Doing What’s Best"
Jamie McCarthy/Getty s 

Summer has always maintained honest communication with fans on social media, previously expressing her battle with anxiety and it’s for that reason the “Playing Games” singer pulled a number tour stops from her The First To Last Tour with Melii. “Unfortunately, I won’t be able to finish this tour because it doesn’t really co-exist with my social anxiety and my introverted personality but I really hope that people understand and respect that at the end the day. I’m a person,” she wrote on Instagram. 

We can only image the move wasn’t an easy one to make and thankfully a large number Summer’s fans understand where she’s coming from. “Summer Walker is not being unreasonable! Maybe she thought she could handle a tour when she signed the contract. Maybe she was being pressured by her team. Now she’s doing what’s best for her and her mental health,” one fan wrote on Twitter. 

Of course, there are a handful tweets people who are pissed that Summer’s not coming to their city or those who think she needs to fire her PR but we’re choosing to focus on the kind words Summer’s been receiving. Peep some reactions below and let us know what you think. 

Baby Keem Drops Wild "Orange Soda" Video

Baby Keem delivered his 14-track DIE FOR MY BITCH project in July as a follow-up to 2018’s The Sound Of A Bad Habit. In celebration of its success, the rising star shares a visual for the standout track “Orange Soda.”

In an Instagram post shared on Tuesday (November 12), Keem flexed the impressive streaming numbers for “Orange Soda” while also cluing fans in on the visual and his recent tour.

“i got something for you all Wednesday also,” he wrote. “tour is started. see you all. keemworld.com.”

The visual utilizes a theme of realism capturing Keem lounging with numerous women and chilling with his homies riding bikes.

Keem recently hit the road for the Die For My Bitch Tour, which kicked off in Chicago on November 12. It is scheduled to make pit-stops in several cities, including Toronto and Atlanta, before concluding with a sold-out show in Los Angeles at The Roxy Theater on November 20.

Check out the full video for “Orange Soda” above and the remaining dates for Baby Keem’s Die For My Bitch Tour below.

November 14 – Toronto, ON – Adelaide Mall
November 16 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade – Purgatory
November 17 – New York, NY – Baby’s All Right (sold-out)
November 20 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy Theater (sold-out)

Asian Doll Releases ‘Fight Night’ Album Featuring NLE Choppa, Yella Beezy & More

Asian Doll a.k.a. Asian Da Brat’s stage name isn’t the only moniker undergoing changes. The 1017 Eskimo/Alamo Records artist has switched the title of her album from UFC to Fight Night for its Wednesday release (November 13).

The Gucci Mane protégé’s new LP is the follow-up to May’s UNFUCCWITABLE project. The 14-track album includes collaborations with NLE Choppa, Yella Beezy, Yung Bleu, Yung Mal and SG Kendall.

Check out Asian Doll’s Fight Night stream, cover art and tracklist below.

Asian Doll Releases ‘Fight Night’ Album Featuring NLE Choppa, Yella Beezy & More

1. Talk My Shit
2. Eyes Closed
3. Beat A Bitch Up
4. Run Up Get Dun Up
5. Fleek
6. Stank Walk
7. Cravin’ f. Yella Beezy
8. Lucky Night
9. Dope Boy f. Yung Bleu
10. Everybody Stressed
11. Talk To Em’ f. SG Kendall & Yung Mal
12. Fight Night f. NLE Choppa
13. Big Racks
14. Lights Out