Machine Gun Kelly Buys Flashy Whip To Celebrate End Of Young Thug Tour

Continuing his stellar annual campaign, Machine Gun Kelly is capping f his joint tour with Young Thug by copping himself a brand new, very expensive gift. Many believed that after his feud with Eminem, he would be a goner but MGK survived instead simply fading away, actually becoming even more a star. Surprising a ton hip-hop fans, Kellz spent the entire year on movie screens, red carpets, album charts, and stages doing his thing. This has been the best year in his career and he’s building momentum to continue into the new decade. Now, he gets to ride into 2020 in style.

Machine Gun Kelly Buys Flashy Whip To Celebrate End Of Young Thug Tour
David Becker/Getty s

With the end the Justin Bieber Big Tour, Machine Gun Kelly decided to treat himself with some the money he made while on the road. Stopping by the car dealership, the Ohio-born artist opted to walk away with a purple Aston Martin sports car, laying down on top his new whip and marvelling at all he’s accomplished. “Bought myself an end tour present,” wrote the star before showing f some exclusive merch he and Thug designed for the final stop. Almost as if he coordinated his car’s paint job to the new t-shirt, Kellz went for purple tones on both.

Take a look at the gorgeous ride below and let us know how you feel about MGK in the comments.

9 Underrated Albums You Should Check Out

In fields like literature, cinema, and hip-hop music, you’ll occasionally hear the canon discussed. The term refers to those projects deemed essential, those that represent a medium’s artistic merit while factoring in the greater historical context. Simply put, there are projects that anybody interested in hip-hop history should check out. Nas’ Illmatic rings true, as does the seminal work 2Pac, Biggie, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, DMX, OutKast, Lil Wayne, Juvenile, and many more; to name them all would be a lengthy task, one for another time. Those worthy inclusion are ten hailed as classics, which inadvertently sets the bar for the rest the albums. Given the appropriately lty pedigree, fans eager to familiarize themselves with the history will likely draw from the canon first, thus leaving many an-unsung gem in the dust.

In the process, many great albums go forgotten, left only to the devices their loyal fanbase. This is by no means a definitive round-up the best underrated albums all time. It’s simply a means shining a light on some unsung projects, many which remain excellent listens from start to finish. If you’re looking to check out something beyond the beaten path, perhaps consider giving one these a spin. And feel free to suggest your own recommendations, as sometimes word mouth is the only way to keep a legacy thriving. 

STICKY FINGAZ – BLACK TRASH: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF KIRK JONES

Coming f his brash run in Onyx, some were quick to label Sticky Fingaz as a rugged gangsta rapper void any creative depth. When he delivered his debut solo album Black Trash: The Autobiography Of Kirk Jones, the narrative cartwheeled. Sticky had crafted a sprawling and conceptually dense tale, complete with hard-hitting cuts like “Come On” and “My Dogz Is My Gunz”, introspective ones like “Sister I’m Sorry” and the Eminem-assisted “What If I Was White,” and full-blown storytelling joints like “Money Talks” and the stacked “State Vs. Kirk Jones.” All the while, Sticky plays director to his own titular autobiography, laying the framework Kendrick Lamar would one day follow on Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.

RAH DIGGA – DIRTY HARRIET

In 2000, Rah Digga delivered one the grittiest albums the year in Dirty Harriet. An affiliate Busta Rhymes’ Flipmode Squad, Digga strung together a solid cast producers for the occasion, including Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Nottz, Rocwilder, and Bus-A-Bus himself. With a soundscape steering boom-bap into slightly darker territory, Digga unleashed bars upon bars, solidifying herself as the spiritual successor to The Lady Of Rage. Though she’s currently holding it down alongside Lord Jamar on The Godcast, Dirty Harriet serves as a reminder her peak lyrical prowess, with songs like “Curtains,” “Lessons Of Today,” and “Tight” ably emphasizing those points and then some.

9 Underrated Albums You Should Check Out

J. Vespa/Wire/Getty s

NON PHIXION – THE FUTURE IS NOW

On paper, a trio made up Ill Bill, Goretex, and Sabac Red produced in bulk by Necro would suggest a specific, and likely disturbing tone. And yet on Non-Phixion’s debut album, The Future Is Now, the Uncle Howie signees united for a tight and well-written foray into conspiratorial and aggressive boom-bap. While the macabre references still fly, they’re delivered over lush and cinematic production, contributed by a stacked team Necro, Large Pressor, Pete Rock, and DJ Premier. In many ways an integral piece New York underground, The Future Is Now is chalked with bangers, including the hypnotic “Black Helicopters” and the paranoid “CIA Is Trying To Kill Me.” Even if you aren’t interested in Necro’s horrorcore music, his work on The Future Is Now reveals a versatile musical depth not ten appreciated by the masses. 

CUNNINLYNGUISTS – SOUTHERNUNDERGROUND

The choice between Cunninlynguists’ Southernunderground and A Piece Of Strange wasn’t easy, and in truth, deserve a little time and appreciation be discovered. Yet there’s an undeniable charm imbued within the former, with Mr. SOS, Deacon The Villain, and Kno’s stringing together a new form Southern Lyricism. Equally playful, thought-provoking, and emotional, songs like “Doin Alright” and the RJD2-produced “Seasons” showcased the depth the group’s lyrical ability, particularly that Deacon The Villain. His work throughout is top tier, as he navigates Kno’s production with a well-rounded pen game. Between the Linguists themselves, and a standout feature from QN5 Head Huncho Tonedeff, Southernundergound is a brilliant fering from one the game’s quietly consistent groups. 

GUILTY SIMPSON – ODE TO THE GHETTO

Acquaint yourself with some Detroit gangsta rap courtesy Guilty Simpson, whose debut comes alive through united fire from Madlib, Mr. Porter, J. Dilla, Black Milk and more. Released in Spring 2008, Simpson’s Ode went largely under the radar, earning critical acclaim but failing to move any commercial mountains. Yet musically, the project stands as one Detroit’s most uniquely representative, capturing futuristic and bouncy soundscapes with hard-nosed G-shit bars. As a leading man, Guilty skews closer to antihero than his contemporaries, reflecting on his circumstances with an OG’s swagger. Whether he’s exuding threats on Mr. Porter’s opulent bounce “Robbery,” or floating over Madlib’s mischevious “Yikes,” Guilty Simpson’s debut is a celebration regionalism, bleeding Detroit in damn near every facet.

9 Underrated Albums You Should Check Out

PYMCA/Universal s Group/ Getty s

CAGE – MOVIES FOR THE BLIND

If Cage’s Movies For The Blind could be packaged to a curious fan, it might be fair to label it The Slim Shady LP’s deranged and deeply troubled cousin. There’s an uncomfortable horrorcore vibe pervading Cage’s debut album, one that manifests through callous vocals and haunting lo-fi production from DJ Mighty MI, RJD2, EL-P, and Necro. Themes and violence are pulled from the New York rapper’s toolkit, strung together with meticulous care and a unique, occasionally unsettling cadence. There’s something unforgiving about Cage’s imagery that makes his darker songs incredibly difficult to listen to, but not exactly in a bad way; it’s simply a testament to his vision, one realized with malevolent auteurship on Movies For The Blind. Case in point: the classic “Agent Orange,” which flips A Clockwork Orange for a little bit ultraviolence. 

DRAG-ON – OPPOSITE OF H2O

Anyone who remembers the Ruff Ryder’s meteoric rise will likely agree on one finer points: Drag-On can spit bars. For a moment, the DMX protege was touted as a promising up-and-comer, standing out on classics like “Down Bottom” and later, the Ruff Ryders “Street Team.” Yet when his debut album Opposite Of H20 hit shelves, Drag’s buzz failed to manifest into anything befitting his potential. Yet in hindsight, there’s much to enjoy on Drag’s debut, a nostalgically well-crafted batch New York early millennium bars. Production comes courtesy Swizz Beatz and P. Killer Trackz, with the latter imbuing Drag with some his signature jams. There’s something refreshing about an underground piece Ruff Ryder’s history, one that cements Drag-On’s hunger and skillset over a charming production style long declared deceased.

9 Underrated Albums You Should Check Out

Ray Tamarra/Getty s

WC – GHETTO HEISMAN

While west-coast legend WC might go overlooked by fans, it’s likely his peers would be quick to show him big love. The Westside Connection rapper set October 2002 ablaze by way “The Streets,” the national anthem for the self-declared “Ghetto Olympics.” Though the Nate Dogg & Snoop Dogg-assisted single made heavy waves, the albumfrom whence it came was an equally solid body work from Big Dub C. A true West Coast homage, Ghetto Heisman features production from Scott Storch, Battle Cat, Rick Rock, and Tony Pizarro, who conjure the perfect backdrop for Dub’s frenetic bars. Years healthy competition alongside Ice Cube and Mack Ten come to manifest time and again, be it the G-funk flex on “Bellin” or the devastating kidnapping saga, album closer “Somethin 2 Live 4.” 

RAS KASS – SOUL ON ICE

Every so ten, Ras Kass’ name will be tossed into a “best lyricists” discourse. This is, course, largely in part due to his debut album 1995’s Soul On Ice. With a notably low-budget and old-school feel, the album’s strengths become evident within the opening track “On Earth As It…”, as Ras absolutely obliterates the grimy instrumental. Lyrically, his rapid-fire flow and reference-heavy playbook coalesce into bars thought-provoking at one turn, slyly comic the next. The cult classic “Nature Of The Threat” found Ras penning a historical origin story though an Afrocentric lens, dropping gems that could only be annotated by Nas. It’s not surprising that Ras’ debut never quite cemented him a mainstream star, despite being one the West Coast’s most thorough and intellectual lyricists; Soul On Ice remains a dense and challenging experience, though the spoils are plentiful for those willing to take the plunge. 

9 Underrated Albums You Should Check Out

Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty s

Post Malone Earns 2 Top 10 Spots On Billboards Top Albums Of The Decade

There’s no denying Post Malone‘s impact this decade. From the release “White Iverson,” he became the biggest pop star in the world and making his imprint across several genres. His debut album, Stoney arrived in 2016 before dropping beerbongs & bentleys and this year’s Hollywood’s Bleedings. As we approach the end the decade, Billboard has released their top 200 albums the decade and Posty has earned himself two back to back spots. Stoney currently sits at #6 while beerbongs holds it down at number 5. 

Post Malone Earns 2 Top 10 Spots On Billboards Top Albums Of The Decade
Jerod Harris/Getty s

Post Malone’s manager, Dre London, celebrated the dub on social media earlier today. “Men Lie, Women lie… These stats don’t!! So f*ckin proud you @postmalone,” London wrote on Instagram along with a screenshot the top 10 which also includes Drake, and Kendrick Lamar. Ed Sheeran is the only other artist who has two spots in the top 10.

Adele’s 21, released in 2011, takes the number one spot while Taylor Swift‘s 1989 takes the #2 spot. #3 and #4 go to Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide) and the Frozen soundtrack, respectively. Drake’s Views holds it down at number 9 while Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. rounds out the top 10.

It shouldn’t be surprising that Post managed to take two spots up in the top 10. He’s become a streaming giant in his own right. Earlier this year, he joined the likes Drake, Ariana Grande, and more as one  Spotify’s most popular artists. 

Apple Music Releases "Dr. Dre’s 2001: The Making Of A Classic" Documentary

Dr. Dre‘s The Chronic 2001 is heralded as one the best hip-hop albums all time. The album came just as people began to think Dr. Dre was done. With the help Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Xzibit, and a handful other artists, Dre crafted and album that retains the same replay value in 2019 that it did in 1999. Check out our breakdown the classic album here. In a sit-down interview with Apple Music, Dre and Jimmy Iovine reflect on the process behind the creation 2001. 

Dre comments on the use heavy features, and including songs where he isn’t present rapping at all. “I’m trying to put myself in the studio with a bunch great artists, as far as the microphone work goes,” he stated. “I’m trying to just get on a song or two, here and there. My first album, The Chronic, and the 2001 album, I believe I might be on (only) like four or five songs.” Although Dre definitely raps on more than 4-5 songs on 2001, his point still holds true. “I didn’t want to appear on the album at all,” he continued. “To be honest, I just wanted to find artists and produce them. The D.O.C. talked me into getting on the mic.”

Check out the documentary below. 

Apple Music Releases ‘Dr. Dre’s 2001: The Making of a Classic’ Documentary

Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine have pulled back the curtain on the timeless album 2001. In a sit-down interview with Apple Music, the Beats co-founders reflect on the process behind its creation, including hits such as “Forget About Dre” and “Still D.R.E.”

Noting The Chronic – Dre’s iconic debut – was a concept album, Iovine poses the question, “What were you thinking when you made 2001?” Dre then delves into detail, saying the approach was similar in that he didn’t want to feature himself too strongly.

“I’m trying to put myself in the studio with a bunch of great artists, as far as the microphone work goes,” he says. “I’m trying to just get on a song or two, here and there. My first album, The Chronic, and the 2001 album, I believe I might be on (only) like four or five songs.”

He continues: “I didn’t want to appear on the album at all. To be honest, I just wanted to find artists and produce them. The D.O.C. talked me into getting on the mic.”

While 2001 was an exercise in starting over with a fresh group of artists for Dre – like he did with with The Chronic – he highlights how Iovine made the difference the second time round, specifically when picking the lead single.

Dre says they were already celebrating wrapping up the album, when Iovine stepped in saying, “You need one more song.” Iovine wasn’t satisfied with Dre’s idea to push “The Next Episode” as the first single, despite being a fan of it.

“It was a great song,” he said. “I just felt the album needed something coming out from a different way. He added that he felt, “that’s great, but we can do something better and different.” Dre gave another nod to Iovine’s touch for executive oversight, saying, “again, he was right about it.”

Dre also emphasizes the instrumental role of his protégé Eminem in making the album, describing him as “the missing link.”

“He was hungry. I was hungry,” he says. “And it was just like that, you know, spontaneous combustion. We just clicked, and that just brought everybody and everything together that was happening at that time.”

He continues, “Then we found out what we were doing, it really works. And that’s all we really needed. It’s like, OK, the Slim Shady LP, they really like that. Now that we know that it works, wait ’til they hear this.”

Listen to Dre’s 2001 on Apple Music here and watch the video above.

Dr. Dre Reflects on 20th Anniversary of ‘2001’

Twenty years ago, Dr. Dre changed the game with his landmark album 2001.

In honor of the anniversary, the rap mogul sat down with Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine to reminisce about the album’s creation and its legacy.

“That day in Jimmy’s house in his garage completely changed the course of my life forever,” the former N.W.A. kingpin told Apple Music.

The album arrived seven years after his blockbuster solo debut The Chronic and spawned classics like “Still D.R.E.,” “The Next Episode,” and “Forgot About Dre” featuring his protégé Eminem.

“That was Eminem’s idea. He wrote the song for me and Snoop originally,” said Dre. “He laid the reference vocals for Snoop and I liked the way it sound, so we just kept it that way.”

He revealed that he wanted “The Next Episode” to be the first single, but Jimmy didn’t agree. In the end, they went with “Still D.R.E.”

The 54-year-old tycoon also weighed in on the state of hip-hop today. “Right now, I have to like really, really search hard to find something that I really like as far as hip-hop goes,” said Dre. “But I think it’s just about the substance. Right now it feels like it’s a little more quantity over quality. Made a song last night, I need to put it out tomorrow. What are you gonna dedicate yourself to? The art or the money? It’s that simple.”

Added Jimmy, “Give yourself the time, whether it’s two months, three months, a year, to make something that’s gonna last forever.”

Billboard Lists Top 125 Artists Of All Time, Drake & Rihanna Crack Top 20

It’s been a big year for lists. It’s tricky to pinpoint the source this obsession with ranking artists and their work, but on a surface level, it’s all very entertaining. Something about lists entice you to click to see how your faves fared, and curse your screen when their standings don’t correspond to your faultless opinion.

For its 125th anniversary, Billboard decided to join in on the list craze because, after all, ranking things is a significant part what they do. While most the lists that have been circling the Internet recently have been based on people’s opinions – thereby giving rise to contentious debate – Billboard derived their list the ‘125 Top Artists All Time’ solely on stats. Artists were ranked according to their performances on Billboard‘s Hot 100 songs and Billboard 200 albums charts. 

Considering this method, it shouldn’t be too surprising that The Beatles reign supreme, followed by The Rolling Stones. The Beatles hold the record for most No. 1 hits in the 61-year history the Hot 100, with 20. The holder the second-most hits, with 18, is Mariah Carey, who also happens to be the highest ranked female on Billboard‘s list. When asked how it felt to hold this monumental title, Carey told Billboard, “Look, I’ve devoted my life to this career and writing songs. Obviously I have my own babies now. But these are my little song babies.”

Drake landed at #16 and Rihanna at #18. Since both their careers are likely nowhere close to over, they will probably continue to churn out hits and climb up the chart history’s most successful recording artists. 

Eminem To Commemorate ‘The Slim Shady LP’ With SSLP20 Merch Capsule

Eminem has announced his new “SSLP20” merch capsule to commemorate the 20th anniversary of The Slim Shady LP.

On Thursday (November 14), the project’s mastermind sent out a tweet alongside a video clip that includes Lego versions of Em and his longtime business partner Paul Rosenberg.

Just like the skit on the album, as “Guilty Conscience” plays in the background, Rosenberg calls up Slim Shady. Simply put, Rosenberg isn’t happy with some of the lyrics. But, in typical Eminem fashion, he disregards Rosenberg’s advice.

“There’s only so much I can explain,” the tweet reads. “#StillDontGiveAFuck #SSLP20 Drop 2 Coming 11/19 – Paul not included. Sign up for first access.”

According to Eminem’s official website, the bundles include vinyl, cassettes and other collectible items exclusive to the site. As he mentioned, a limited quantity will be available beginning on November 19.

The Slim Shady LP was released in 1999 and spawned singles such as “My Name Is,” “Just Don’t Give A Fuck” and the aforementioned “Guilty Conscience” featuring Dr. Dre.

It’s one of Em’s only albums to debut at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, selling roughly 283,000 copies in its first week.

Sign up for first access to the “SSLP20” merch bundles here.

Eminem Unleashes New "Slim Shady LP" Merch Capsule

With Eminem having reached megastar status long ago, it’s crazy to think back on a time when his reach was purely underground. Coming up with D12 and The Outsidaz, Em was no stranger to sleeping on couches and floors — at least, until his demo found itself in the hands Dr. Dre. Together, they began working on what would come to be The Slim Shady LP, Em’s debut studio album and an integral hip-hop classic. Now, with that project having reached the age twenty, Em has taken to IG to launch another merch capsule in celebration.

Unlike prior drops, this one steers away from clothing. Instead, we’ve got some dope Lego figurines depicting some Em’s iconic looks, a limited edition cassette, a vinyl print the “Expanded Edition,” a film-strip visual plaque, and more. Should you be interested in dropping the ducats, head over to the ficial Eminem store for more details. 

Should you be interested in revisiting Eminem’s Slim Shady LP, you can read some our analysis on the project right here. Many are quick to name it within Em’s Top 3 catalog, and it certainly left a hell an impression on the mainstream audiences. Do you still bump Em’s debut on occasion? And if not, have you any interest in listening to it?

Logic Connects With Sir Elton John: "What A Hell Of A Guy!"

The Rocket Man, the one and only Sir Elton John, has amassed several interesting ties to hip-hop music. Perhaps his most iconic foray into the genre came during a collaborative performance Eminem‘s “Stan,” yet that was far from a one-f. Elton’s presence was undeniably felt on Young Thug’s “High,” though not technically a true collaboration. In 2007, Elton closed out Timbaland‘s Shock Value with a spirited keyboard performance on “2 Man Show.” Now, he’s added another one to his resume, having linked up with none other than Bobby Tarantino himself, the young man Logic

Logic Connects With Sir Elton John: "What A Hell Of A Guy!"

Kevin Winter/Getty s

“Was so great hanging with @eltonjohn last night, still can’t believe he asked me to be on Bennie and the jets for his revamp album,” writes Logic, casually flexing his networking prowess. “The show was incredible his team is beyond kind and amazing!!!” There you have it, a new bromance born with a new collaboration on the horizon. Not quite what we expected from the Supermarket emcee, but how does one turn down a collabo with Elton?

Check out the picture below, and sound f – are you eager to hear what these two concoct in the lab?

Ebro Wants Nicki Minaj To Be Celebrated For Bringing Back Women In Rap

As the end the decade approaches, people are beginning to reflect on who have been the true winners since 2010. When a retrospective look is given, the longevity someone’s impact can be determined. If you think about the 2010’s, Nicki Minaj will likely come to mind. To quote Nicki on 2014’s “Want Some More”: 

“Who had Eminem on the first album?
Who had Kanye saying, ‘She a problem’?
Who the f*ck came in the game, made her own column?
Who made Lil Wayne give ’em five million?”

And the list goes on. Amidst all these accomplishments, Ebro believes it’s important that Nicki be shown proper respect for one in particular – bringing women in rap back. “As this decade closes can someone put together a real celebration for Nicki Minaj?,” the Hot 97 host tweeted. “She brought women in Rap back!! Lil Wayne gave her the bounce pass & she took f…now look!”. 

Nicki would be happy to see Ebro paying this homage, as she has expressed in the past that she feels the scope her influence is ten overlooked. Ebro would be a great person to arrange this celebration and we would love to participate. 

Do you agree with Ebro’s statement? Let us know in the comments. 

Eminem Addresses Leaked Rihanna Diss

Eminem is speaking out following a leaked track on which he disses Rihanna.

A seven-second snippet of the song, entitled “Things Get Worse,” hit the internet last week before eventually leaking in full over the weekend. It was originally recorded for Eminem’s 2009 album Relapse and a reworked version without the diss appeared on B.o.B.’s “Things Get Worse.”

The track finds Em rapping about Chris Brown’s assault of his then-girlfriend Rihanna. In the clip, the 47-year-old rapper says, “Of course I side with Chris Brown, I’d beat a bitch down too.”

Elsewhere on the track, Eminem raps about beating a worker “mercilessly” and leaving her “for dead,” putting Natasha Bedingfield in a washing machine, and murdering actress Dakota Fanning.

Following the decade-old leak, Eminem’s publicist Dennis Dennehy has addressed the track. “This is a leak of something that’s over 10 years old,” he said in a statement to The Guardian. “After Eminem recorded it, he scrapped it, and rewrote it. Obviously he and Rihanna have a great relationship.”

The song was recorded just months after Brown was charged with assaulting Rihanna. Eminem and Rihanna went on to release several collaborations including 2010’s “Love the Way You Lie” and “Love the Way You Lie (Part II),” as well as “The Monster” for 2013’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2.

At the time, Rihanna was surprised that Em wanted to collaborate with her given his past. “I was like, ‘What? Eminem wants to do a song with a pop artist? With me?’ ‘Cause, you know, he always raps and talks shit about pop artists and pop female artists,” she told MTV News in 2010. “So it was more of a shock to me than anything, and then that was the first thought. The second thought was, ‘Of course I’ll do a song with Eminem.’ That’s just something that doesn’t come around every day. And then thirdly, I heard the song, and I just loved it.”

The MLC Is Choking On a 'Once-In-a-Lifetime Opportunity'

Major streaming services appear to be growing increasingly frustrated with the as-yet-unformed Mechanical Licensing Collective, or MLC.

Just this morning, a top executive at one of the largest streaming platforms in the world — who wished to remain anonymous — shared this statement with Digital Music News.  It describes a disheartening situation around the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC), a group that was envisioned by the Music Modernization Act to fix the current mechanical royalty mess but seems determined to avoid fixing serious copyright problems.

Remember, the streaming services — or ‘DSPs’ in industry-speak — are being asked to pay $66.25 million just to get the MLC off the ground.  They’ve already , with a separate DSP source noting that the figure was ‘easily three times’ the company’s cost estimate.

Here’s the executive’s statement, unedited by DMN.

___________________________________________________________

The MLC Choked on Its Copyright Office Submission, But It’s Not Too Late for Superstardom

The passage of the Music Modernization Act (“MMA”) represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the music copyright owner community to rectify ownership data problems that have impeded royalty payments for U.S. streaming activity for over a decade, all on the dime (or shall we say eight-figure check) of the streaming services. Yet, according to public comments filed with the U.S. Copyright Office (“Office”) last week, the Mechanical Licensing Collective (“MLC”), the entity designated to administer the MMA’s license regime, seems determined to find obscure reasons to shy away from one of their core responsibilities: to collect ownership data from musical work copyright owners to build a central database of rights information.

While submissions from other parties (including copyright owner organizations) thoughtfully laid out the types of data the MLC should collect from copyright owners, the points in the creation/distribution chain in which ownership should be documented, and various means of incentivizing catalog submissions, the MLC stated that the Office should decline to define any specific obligations for copyright owners to submit their catalog data to the MLC.  Their reason?  Copyright owners are too diverse to be able to define practices that could apply to all of them.

The MLC gave the following example: “composers in remote countries who may communicate in rare languages and have limited or no access to the Internet” may not be able to comply with practices set out by the Office. Come again?

You’re probably scratching your head and wondering how rare languages in remote countries have anything to do with cleaning up publishing data for U.S. streaming activity. The short answer: nothing. The longer answer: the MLC is looking for any possible hook to relieve musical work copyright owners from what they may perceive to be a burdensome requirement to submit data to the MLC. Instead, the MLC suggests that publishing data should come primarily from streaming services and record labels. Unfortunately, that is a short-sighted strategy that will hurt musical work copyright owners by publicly setting the tone for a low level of engagement from that community in creating the MLC database. It is also contrary to a core principle of MMA: that musical work copyright owners take back the responsibility for fixing their own data while streaming services pay for these efforts.

The MLC is right to have a healthy fear of this task. It will require a herculean effort by various factions of the music industry to tackle. However, the MLC’s suggestion that information about who owns music should come from streaming services, instead of from the people who actually create and own it, is misguided and will worsen the already complex state affairs. While the MLC has not yet grasped the dangers of intermediaries touching ownership data, copyright owners on the sound recording side of the business seem to have gotten the message loud and clear. Consider the following quotes from other comments filed with the Office last week:

Recording Industry Association of America: Suggests the MLC receive “unaltered, verified Sound Recording Metadata sourced directly from a single, authoritative source, such as Sound Exchange” in order to “avoid the possibility that different [streaming services] submit disparate and possibly contradictory sound recording data to the MLC that would then need to be resolved somehow.”

Recording Academy: States that “[t]he sound recording copyright owner (usually a record label or artist) should be considered the preeminent source of information related to the sound recording” and cautions against relying on “third-party databases that may have flawed or incomplete information.”

Paul Jessop (previous CTO at IFPI and RIAA): States that “[i]t is the experience of many practitioners in this area that data degrades the further it gets from the source … thereby making matching harder” and notes that “[i]f the MLC is faced with multiple data sources … it will be faced with the task of reconciling them and re-creating a single authentic data record. This will be difficult, expensive and probably unreliable.”

The streaming services, who have grappled with reconciling publishing data for many years, seem to understand that this lesson applies equally to publishing data. In their filing with the Office through the Digital Licensee Coordinator (“DLC”) they draw attention to the fact that the statute intentionally limits the publishing data that should flow through streaming services to the MLC and note that “putting responsibility on the MLC to gather [publishing] ownership data directly from copyright owners will remove unnecessary intermediaries from data collection efforts, which will in turn increase the reliability of the data received by the MLC and prevent the MLC from having to unnecessarily reconcile multiple versions of the same data set.”

No one has said that fixing this large-scale, decades-old problem will be quick or easy. It will require investment in new tools and technology and changes in behavior across a large spectrum of industry participants. No one pretends to have all of the solutions now, or that the many cooks in the kitchen will always agree on what those solutions should be. But there is one thing that’s certain: this is no time to cower behind near-extinct languages and shoddy internet access. This is a time to send a clear message asking musical work copyright owners to rise to the occasion because, frankly, they may not see this opportunity again — one where they have massive funding, educational support from the Office and other organizations, and huge mindshare across the music industry to help make this database work.

As rapper Eminem wisely recounts in his classic song: “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime. You better lose yourself in the music, the metadata…” Ok, I may have added that last part about metadata, but like the tale set out in the song, the MLC’s submission to the Office is akin to mom’s spaghetti vomited onto Eminem’s sweater when he chokes at his first freestyle battle. I get it; this is scary stuff (with absolutely no sarcasm intended). But, as evidenced by the later ascent of the song’s protagonist, the MLC still has the opportunity to rise to the occasion and prove themselves to be an MMA superstar to the industry; not by having fully-baked solutions now, but by setting the proper tone and by stating their clear intent to educate, prepare, and support musical work copyright owners with the heavy lift ahead, instead of shying away from the task.

To be fair, the streaming services have yet to  take a public position on the equally importantly issue of funding the MLC. Within the next week, the services will have to file their case with the Copyright Royalty Board setting out what they believe they should pay to operate the collective, unless they come to a voluntary agreement with the MLC beforehand. It is fair that equal attention be paid to whether the streaming services approach their core MMA responsibility thoughtfully and with consideration for the difficult task at hand.

One final thought: if U.S. songwriters and publishers are wary of wading into the deep sea of their own catalog metadata, I’d venture to say that the eleven remaining humans who speak Liki on a remote island of Indonesia, and the two remaining humans who speak Chamicuro in Peru, would rather be left out of the fray as well. Although, I’m sure they appreciate that the MLC was willing to divert its mission in case they were unable to submit their catalog online (sarcasm intended this time).

Lou The Human Calls Out Interscope Records For Asking Him To Pee "On A Black Baby"

Many are aware the restraints that come with record labels. Any young and sparkly artist may think their dream is coming true if a label expresses interest in signing them but sometimes a label may have a hidden agenda for how they want to introduce any given act to the world. Sometimes, it can mean completely changing the artist’s original ways and the latter is what happened to Lou The Human and he’s recently spoken out.  

Lou The Human Calls Out Interscope Records For Asking Him To Pee "On A Black Baby"
Scott Dudelson/Getty s

In a series screenshots notes Lou penned on his iPhone, he began by explaining how he thought his dream came true with Interscope signed him when he just had two songs out. “I was sold a dream, told I’d be the biggest artist in the world, told to wait my turn, and I played along,” he wrote. 

Things quickly changed when Lou was asked to do things that “didn’t align” with his values. “They asked me to piss on a black baby in a music video in an attempt to go ‘viral’ … I started to feel like I wasn’t in charge myself or what ‘lou the human’ represented anymore. I didn’t complain though I just exercised my right to say ‘no’ more, which left me with the reputation ‘being difficult and dysfunctional,’” he added. 

After continuing to put his foot down and steer away from the “Eminem-style” cover art the label kept presenting him with, he noticed a change as managers no longer contacted him and “pr work, press and] simple things” were no longer available to him. “To be honest I have no fucking idea what a label does at this point. All I’ve gotten was ignored, maybe one photoshoot where my idea was slaughtered anyway lol, can barely get video budgets or another budget to start my album, I literally can’t even get anyone on the phone lol.”

Lou’s last project, Painkiller Paradise, was self-funded and he announced that he would be retiring his stage name and this project will be his last.  

Read Lou’s full statement below.

Bhad Bhabie Will Fight Woah Vicky In Boxing Ring Under One Condition

The last time Bhad Bhabie met up with Woah Vicky, she got the hands. After visiting her rumoured boyfriend Lil Gotit in an Atlanta studio, Victoria pulled up on the teenager and laid her out, pouncing the star and being crowned the winner their pathetic little catfight. After several records were broken by Logan Paul and KSI’s celebrity boxing bout this weekend, other stars are weighing their options to get to the bag. Could you imagine if the Chris Brown-Soulja Boy fight actually went down? Or maybe Kodak Black and Southside? Eminem and MGK? The possibilities are endless! It looks like the realest option we’ll be getting though is none other than Bhad Bhabie against her arch-nemesis, Woah Vicky.

Bhad Bhabie Will Fight Woah Vicky In Boxing Ring Under One Condition
Frazer Harrison/Getty s

Oh, brother… While there is no doubt that this fight would break records because the size Bhabie’s fanbase, we can’t imagine that many people actually want to watch these two duke it out another time. When they caught up in the studio, the result was horrendous. In an actual boxing ring, the fight may end up being worth a watch but still, we doubt this will seriously come about. 

After a fan suggested that Bhad Bhabie and Woah Vicky follow up on the success the Logan Paul and KSI fight, Bhabie laid down her requirements for accepting the duel. “1 million and I’ll fight that horse toothed hoe in the ring,” said the rapper. Clearly, there is still no love lost between them both.

Do you think this fight is worth a million dollar bag?