Pop Smoke’s death continues to send ripples throughout the hip-hop community, with many still reeling over his stolen youth and promise. With further details pointing to a targeted attack, it’s likely that the circumstances surrounding his murder will only get clearer in time. While authorities work on piecing the narrative together, his label Republic Records have taken to social media to issue a statement on the artist’s passing.
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“We are devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss Pop Smoke],” reads the statement. “Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans, as we mourn this loss together.” Mere weeks ago, Smoke dropped f Meet The Woo 2, a project that would go on to become his final album. In its first week, Meet The Woo 2 performed admirably, selling 36,000 album-equivalent units and sliding comfortably into the fourth spot on the Billboard charts. As is ten the case, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Pop Smoke’s numbers rise following his murder — a bittersweet consequence to be sure.
New York, NY – The glory days of Hip Hop were alive and well at 10 Corso Como New York’s exclusive exhibit with Getty Images, Beat Positive, a visual survey of some of the most important photographs in Hip Hop between 1981 and 1993.
Getty Images curator Shawn Waldron dug through previously unseen archives and found scores of iconic gems from rap’s history, which were presented alongside the work of legendary Hip Hop photographers Janette Beckman and David Corio.
Last month, Beat Positive hosted “Hip Hop for the Eyes: A Discussion of the Culture’s Visual Influence,” a panel featuring Beckman, Hip Hop journalist and historian Bill Adler as well as graffiti artists Claudia “Claw Money” Gold and David “Chino” Villorente.
Beckman documented the burgeoning Hip Hop scene of the 1980s, shooting everyone from Public Enemy to LL Cool J. At the time, they weren’t aware of the importance of the images they were creating.
“[We were] documenting them as they are and presenting them to the world, and 30 years later, that’s how people see [them],” Beckman told HipHopDX.
In the years since she began her career, Beckman’s photographs have become a visual atlas of Hip Hop’s foundational years.
The panel was moderated by Adler, who has taken on many different roles within Hip Hop. Russell Simmons named Adler the Director of Publicity at Def Jam in the late 1980s, where he worked with artists such as the Beastie Boys, De La Soul and DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.
From his work at Def Jam, Adler went on to publish the book Tougher Than Leather: The Rise of Run-DMC, arguably the most comprehensive study of the Queens-bred group. He’s an undeniable expert on the visual influence Hop Hop culture extolls onto the greater pop culture.
By the early 2000s, Hip Hop had taken off and showed signs of becoming one of the most important cultural forces in the United States. Since then, Hip Hop culture has reached new heights andbegun to inform trends and society outside of the music. It’s an art form rooted in audio, but it drastically impacts the visual language of contemporary pop culture. That’s in part because of the genre’s close affiliation with fashion and graffiti, which are traditionally associated with Hip Hop during its seminal years.
Hip Hop now seems inseparable from fashion — Travis Scott, Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar all have multiple collaborations with athletic brands such as Nike and adidas. Sheck Wes, Playboi Carti and Kid Cudi have all walked in Louis Vuitton runway fashion shows, and the collections of designer brands have begun to resemble the street-style made famous by Hip Hop artists in the past few decades.
But fashion has always played a role in Hip Hop’s lifestyle.
“Run-DMC took their whole style from Jam Master Jay and Jay took his style from the street hustlers in Queens,” Adler stated during the panel. “For them to establish themselves that way in 1983 — it was really revolutionary. [It] came straight from the hood. Run-DMC’s endorsement deal with adidas in the late 1980s helped pave the way for contemporary artists to ink deals and create products with large businesses.”
The influx of big business into Hip Hop culture has threatened the purity and originality for which the genre was once lauded. Gold is a multi-hyphenate creator based out of New York City who became known within the industry for her graffiti and work as a stylist for multiple publications.
Later, Gold would create her own fashion label, Claw & Co, which is inspired by Hip Hop culture.
“We’re at risk of losing the culture,” Claw told HipHopDX. “Big business is all over it. People aren’t experimenting with style and originality the way they were.”
While endorsement deals proved to be lucrative for artists, they’ve commodified and appropriated Hip Hop culture often without pushing it forward or paying proper homage.
Whereas fashion and Hip Hop music have become more unified, graffiti, one of the original four elements of Hip Hop (alongside DJing, MCing and breaking) has steadily been left by the wayside.
“I found, as a graffiti artist, that Hip Hop did not support graffiti unless it needed a visual identity,” Gold continued. “As Hip Hop began to grow and law enforcement cracked down on graffiti, artists weren’t given credit for the foundational role graffiti played in the culture.”
Graffiti was left in the background.
Villorente agreed, “It probably wasn’t as lucrative for many people and graffiti is a subculture within a subculture — so, it’s a very niche movement.”
Thousands of New Yorkers have seen Villorente’s scrawled tag or the three-toed paws from Gold, and these artworks have served as the backdrop for Hip Hop’s visual landscape, but the artists never received their due credit.
“For the graffiti artists there was very little reward other than the admiration and respect of our peers, and occasionally seeing our work coming off in print,” he continued, as he pointed to a faded Villorente tag that reads “Chino” in the background of Beckman’s photograph of Stetsasonic from 1988.
Although graffiti was in some ways the “Bastard Step-Child” to Hip Hop, as Villorente calls it, it served as visual inspiration to the culture, mirroring the sensibilities portrayed in the music and fashion.
As the 2020s begin, and rap shows no sign of relinquishing its grip on pop culture, it’s clear how the history of visual elements such as fashion and graffiti has lent itself to the creation of the contemporary, multidisciplinary genre known today.
Without Gold and Villorente’s paintings and tags, which wrapped the streets of New York City, and Beckman and Adler’s commitment to documenting the culture, the genre wouldn’t be where it is today.
Ben Baller is arguably the best jeweler in hip-hop today. Over the past several months, the Korean-American craftsman has curated custom pieces for Tyler, The Creator, Tyga, Drake, and more. Now, the former DJ and record executive has produced one the most intricately detailed custom pendants and chains for none other than Kid Cudi in celebration the hip-hop musician’s 36th birthday yesterday (Jan. 30).
The one–one rose gold-based “Kiki” pendant inspired and designed by Takashi Murakami and Ben Baller himself features hundreds handset Pink Sapphire gems, rubies, and diamonds complete with a matching multicolor Murakami Skull Flower Link chain to complement the ornament. This particular piece is the first complete project the year for Ben Baller and required a year’s worth curation to fully execute.
Each Murakami flower on the chain is individually designed and has the ability to spin on its own axis. The back the chain features engraved graphics Kid Cudi’s logo, Takashi Murakami’s logos, as well as Ben Baller’s IF & Co. custom jewelry trademark.
Less than a year ago, Kid Cudi commissioned Ben Baller to craft him a custom BAPE pendant and chain that costed the “Mojo So Dope” rapper over a quarter-million dollars to complete. With Kid Cudi’s upcoming Enter Galatic LP and Nextflix series set to release sometime this year, Scott Mescudi’s 36th year alive has the potential to be his best one yet.
Check out more images and videos Kid Cudi’s Ben Baller x Takashi Murakami “Kiki” chain and pendant below.
As society continues to progress, the rise representation from all facets culture is now being encouraged to be put on display. Representation from race, religion, subcultures, and ual orientation have seen a massive spike in mainstream media and television. And now, Apple TV’s new docuseries, Visible: Out On Television, will examine the presence the LGBTQIA+ community in film and television.
The five-episode series will explore the history the queer community in media and television dating back nearly 50 years when the first openly gay sitcom character appeared on the 1971 show, All In The Family. Visible will also investigate the early taboos, homophobia, and early censorship the LGBTQ community was forced to endure throughout the rise influential television programming.
Visible will touch on everything from historical events like Stonewall and the AIDS epidemic to the rise queer influence with shows like Queer Eye and Pose. In recent history, we’ve seen popular personalities like Kid Cudi and Pete Davidson reach out to the stars Queer Eye for their expertise, and the hip-hop realm openly accept the gay community. And now, Visible will provide the masses an introspective look into the on-screen gay community.
Visible will also feature a line-up interviews from some the relevant entertainment icons in the queer community including Ellen DeGeneres, Rachel Maddow, Billy Porter, Indya Moore, Anderson Cooper, Lena Waithe, Asia Kate Dillon, and Oprah.
Check out the groundbreaking new trailer for Visible: Out On Television below and be on the lookout for the docuseries to hit the Apple TV+ streaming service on Feb. 14.
Some artists are very transparent about the recording processes for their albums, while others prefer to work in private until a finished product is presented. Updating fans on an album’s progress opens the door to them feeling entitled to have an opinion on whether it’s taking too long. SZA recently teased that we can expect new music from her this year, so if she doesn’t follow through on that promise, you can rest assured that she’ll receive an earful (or angry tweets, rather) from her followers. When artists are secretive about recording, the public can forget to pester them about the status their projects. No one ever knows what the hell Frank Ocean is up to, so it’s hard to have any expectations for when he’s going to drop some new new. He’ll do it when he does it and we’ll wait patiently in the meantime.
Sports betting website, Bovada, analysed the varying predictability levels the music industry’s most admired artists to determine the likelihood whether they will release albums in 2020. According to the betting odds listed below, you can be fairly optimistic about Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, Frank Ocean, and J. Cole dropping within the next twelve months. Survey says there will not be a sequel to Kids See Ghosts anytime soon.
Check out the numbers and see if you feel confident enough to place any bets.
Will Childish Gambino Release An Album In 2020? Winner Yes -300 No +200
Will J. Cole Release An Album In 2020? Winner Yes -700 No +400
Will Lil Wayne Release An Album In 2020? Winner: Yes -700 No +400
Will Adele Release An Album In 2020? Winner: Yes -400 No +250
Will Beyoncé Release An Album In 2020? Winner: No -220 Yes +155
Will Cardi B Release An Album In 2020? Winner: Yes -700 No +400
Will Drake Release An Album In 2020? Winner: Yes -350 No +225
Will Frank Ocean Release An Album In 2020? Winner: Yes -220 No +155
Will JAY-Z Release An Album In 2020? Winner: No -270 Yes +180
Will Kanye West And Kid Cudi Release A Collaboration Album In 2020? Winner: No -700 Yes +400
Will Kendrick Lamar Release An Album In 2020? Winner: Yes -240 No +165
Will Kid Cudi Release An Album In 2020? Winner: Yes -800 No +425
Will Lil Nas X Release An Album In 2020? Winner: No -220 Yes +155
Will Nicki Minaj Release An Album In 2020? Winner: Yes -140 No EVEN
Will Post Malone Release An Album In 2020? Winner: No -270 Yes +180
Will Pusha-T Release An Album In 2020? Winner: No -280 Yes +185
Will Rihanna Release An Album In 2020? Winner: Yes -400 No +250
Will SZA Release An Album In 2020? Winner: Yes -600 No +350
Will The Weeknd Release An Album In 2020? Winner: Yes -320 No +210
Will Travis Scott Release An Album In 2020? Winner: No -270 Yes +180
Selena Gomez’s highly-anticipated album RARE arrived on Friday featuring a collaboration with Kid Cudi.
Mr. Rager adds his mesmerizing melodies to “A Sweeter Place,” which closes out the 13-track album. “Is there a place where I can hide away?” asks Gomez before Cudder responds, “We will find our way, we’ll find the things we seek / Ooh we, you see I’m mesmerized / Place is just for me and I am cutting ties / Goodbye.”
During an interview with Spotify, Gomez opened up about the Cudi collaboration. “I’ll never forget my session with Scott—Kid Cudi—because obviously I’m a huge fan,” she said. “But he definitely took the song that I had and turned it into something unbelievable. It was nothing when I sent him the song.”
RARE, her first album in over four years, also features a collaboration with 6LACK, who appears on “Crowded Room.” “RARE represents a look into my journey of healing and growth,” said Gomez. “It’s by far the work I am most proud of to date.”
Cudi is now readying his own album Entergalactic for release this year, which was inspired by his upcoming adult animated music series for Netflix. “I’m trying my hardest to still introduce new sounds and push the envelope, sonically,” he told Complex.
After much anticipation, the official lineup for the 2020 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has been revealed. As previously reported, Frank Ocean, Travis Scott, and Rage Against the Machine will headline the three-day music festival in Indio, Calif. this April.
Travis, who last performed at the festival in 2017, will bring ASTROWORLD to the desert during his Saturday night set. Ocean, whose last Coachella was in 2012, will close out the festival on Sunday.
The star-studded bill also includes Megan Thee Stallion, Big Sean, 21 Savage, DaBaby, Summer Walker, Lil Nas X, City Girls, FKA twigs, BROCKHAMPTON, and Run the Jewels. Plus, fans can expect performances from Lil Uzi Vert, Roddy Ricch, Daniel Caesar, Ari Lennox, and Swae Lee, along with dozens of other artists.
Coachella 2020 will take place over two back-to-back weekends, April 10-12 and April 17-19, at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. Weekend 1 is already sold out. A pre-sale for Weekend 2 begins Monday, Jan. 6, at 12 p.m. PST.
Last year’s Coachella was headlined by Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, and Tame Impala, with additional performances from Juice WRLD, Janelle Monáe, Anderson .Paak, Kid Cudi, Solange, Khalid, and H.E.R.
Tidal has partnered with philanthropists Robert Nelsen and Mark Lampert to launch Tidal Unplugged. The program is a $1 million endowment program to highlight upcoming musicians across genres.
The program gives these artists access to studio time with LA producers, voice training, guitar and piano lessons, marketing, and video production. As part of Tidal Unplugged, each new artist will release three songs exclusively on Tidal.
Tidal plans grant roll outs in several major cities across America, but Detroit is the Tidal Unplugged pilot city. Five artists have been chosen as the inaugural recipients of the program.
This 25-year-old from Detroit was introduced to singing by attending church. “The spark of me wanting to do music really came from being inspired by Aaliyah,” she told Hour Detroit. Love released her first mixtape called Heavy Rotation on in 2015. Since then, she has performed live across Detroit to overcome her fear.
24-year-old Rochester native Oli Millerschin has been touring since age 19. She describes performing as a work out for her. “When I don’t do it, I feel very, very out of shape.” She got her start in the industry by cold-calling musicians to ask if she could open for them. Howie Day took her on, and things started falling into place for her in 2015 when she opened for him several times.
Guzman is the youngest musician to be awarded a Tidal Unplugged grant. She attended a songwriting workshop at age ten and wrote her first original song inspired by her perception of Detroit. She has since released two albums.
The 23-year-old rapper says he was influenced by and Kid Cudi. He started performing hip-hop and rap shows in 2015 while moving around Detroit. He sold out his first headline appearance at El Club in 2018.
The 30-year-old relocated to Nashville at 17 in hopes of becoming a solo performer. She was raised by her grandparents and grew up listening to Loretta Lyne and George Jones. She moved back to Michigan in 2017 and started picking up gigs singing back-up for male-fronted bands. In 2018 she began to pursue her dream of producing and performing original music.
Kid Cudi will star as himself in the highly anticipated Bill & Ted: Face The Music, hitting theatres August 21, 2020.
The official Bill & Ted Instagram account shared the film’s first-look photos on Thursday (December 19), which show Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter posted up in their time-traveling phonebooth, while Cudi hangs with the iconic duo’s daughters, who will band together to help create world-saving music.
“He gets mysteriously thrown around through various times because all time and space is coming unglued,” director Dean Parisot told Entertainment Weekly about Cudi’s role in the film.
Besides returning stars Reeves, Winter and William Sadler, Cudi will also join castmembers Samara Weaving, Bridgette Lundy-Paint, Anthony Carrigan and Saturday Night Live‘s Beck Bennett.
The latest Bill & Ted installment marks yet another role in Cudi’s expanding filmography. The Cleveland-bred rapper previously starred in HBO’s How to Make It In America and 2014’s Need For Speed. Earlier this year, he cameoed in Drunk Parents and began filming for the Montreal-set drug thriller, Dreamland, where he’ll star as an FDA investigator.
As for music, Cudi is currently working on his next LP, Entergalactic, which will be accompanied by a Netflix animated series.
Check out the first look photos from Bill & Ted: Face The Music below.
The first behind-the-scenes photos from Bill & Ted: Face The Music were shared today and Cudi could be spotted in one them. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter appear in the other shots, who will be reprising their roles as the title characters. Face The Music is the third installment in the Bill & Ted franchise, following Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991).
The plot the next movie involves Bill and Ted being “warned by a visitor from the future the need for them to create a song that will save all life on Earth and the entire universe.” They should probably consult Kid Cudi for tips on how to tackle that task. Check out how our “Best Kid Cudi Song” bracket unfolded.
Keanu Reeves has always been beloved, but these days have brought nothing short adoration upon him. Between John Wick, Cyberpunk 2077, the soon to be returning Matrix franchise, and his imminent reprise in the Bill And Ted series, Keanu has become somewhat a geek diety. And while many his younger disciples might not be familiar with the aforementioned time-hoppers, rest assured that Bill and Ted will soon become familiar to a new generation curious moviegoers.
Today marks the arrival some new footage from Bill & Ted Face the Music, the first sequel in the series since 1991. Entertainment Weekly has the images, which find both Reeves and returning star Alex Winters reprising their roles, seemingly as hapless and endearing as the first time around. As for the plot, writer Chris Matheson breaks down some the madness to EW: “They were told when they were teenagers that they were going to save reality, and they’ve been working on it the whole time. Now an emissary from the future comes and says, ‘You’ve got to do it right now. We’ve got literally 80 minutes or all reality will come to an end.’”
The film also stars Kid Cudi, apparently playing himself. “He plays Kid Cudi,” explains director Dean Parisot, speaking with EW. “He gets mysteriously thrown around through various times because all time and space is coming unglued.” A fitting role for Mr. Rager, who can also be seen in action right here. Are you excited to see this one hit theatres?
Earlier this week, Selena Gomez revealed the tracklist for her upcoming album, Rare, which is set to release on January 10th.
The singer announced the information on Twitter writing, “Can’t believe I’m revealing the art and title for my new album RARE, out January 10th. It’s the most honest music I’ve ever made and I can’t wait for you to hear my heart. 🖤 You can preorder RARE now ✨.” She also included a short video trailer.
Rare will be Gomez’s first album since 2015’s Revival. In the years since, she’s focused on her acting career, working on a number films such as The Fundamentals Caring, The Dead Don’t Die and more.
The tracklist includes two noteworthy features for hip-hop fans: Kid Cudi and 6lack are featured on “A Sweeter Place” and “Crowded Room” respectively. Gomez has collaborated with other rappers in the past, including A$AP Rocky, Gucci Mane, Cardi B and more.
Check out the full tracklist below and pre-order the album here.
1. “Rare” 2. “Dance Again” 3. “Look At Her Now” 4. “Lose You To Love Me” 5. “Ring” 6. “Vulnerable” 7. “People You Know” 8. “Let Me Get Me” 9. “Crowded Room” Feat. 6lack 10. “Kinda Crazy” 11. “Fun” 12. “Cut You Off” 13. “A Sweeter Place” Feat. Kid Cudi
Kid Cudi celebrated his 35th birthday at the top the year with an intimate dinner with none other than Pete Davidson, Kanye and Kim West as well as actor Timothée Chalamet. The celebration produced one image taken by Kim, that saw the men posted up at a table with a platter food and while it all seemed nonchalant to everyone involved, 23-year-old Timothee recently revealed to Jimmy Fallon that he was a bit start struck throughout the whole meal.
“We’re hanging out, and then it feels like there’s an earthquake in the restaurant,” he told Jimmy the beginning the night, when he thought Kim and Kanye wouldn’t show but they eventually did. “It was, like, epic. You turn around, and I was like, ‘Holy shit.’” Timothee questioned if he was a “fraud” and then went to the bathroom to text his friends to get some advice on how to handle the situation. “They were like, ‘Man, 16-year-old you would slap the shit out you. You go back to the table,”” he said.
Kim, who was the photographer the beloved image, previously explained how great the evening was. “It was just such a fun night,” she said. “Everyone just had such a good time. The vibe was so good and I didn’t wanna ruin it so I sat in the corner and just documented it for them. I was playing Word Connect on my phone and letting them have their, like, guy time.”
The people have voted and you came up with the sixteen songs going through to the next round. From this point, you will have twenty-four hours to choose what will land in the quarter-finals. There are still some stellar tracks available to vote for; however, a few classics have already been eliminated. Notably, “Cartoons & Cereal” was booted by “i” and “Humble” took a backseat to the “Backstreet Freestyle.” “DNA” also routed “Blacker the Berry,” which will surprise a number Dot’s fans.
Los Angeles native Kendrick Lamar has had an insane impact on the music industry. Anytime you forget about just how influential K-Dot has been in the last decade, just remember that the man won a freaking Pulitzer Prize. That doesn’t just happen to anybody… It’ll be difficult to vote for our favorite songs from the talented individual but there’s only one way to narrow out the field.
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The first round is now ficially open in our Kendrick Lamar track bracket, pitting some his top songs against each other and making our lives a living hell. How are we supposed to choose between “King Kunta” and “Element,” “Humble” and “Backstreet Freestyle,” or “Swimming Pools” and “Wesley’s Theory?” As we said, this won’t be easy…