Five Months After Launching in India, Spotify Barely Has Over 2 Million Local Users

Shifting the global music streaming race, Spotify recently rolled out its ‘Lite’ app in over 36 countries.

comes after a year of testing the 15 MB app in small countries, including Brazil.

So, what makes the ‘Lite’ app so unique?  Spotify allows users to save battery, storage, and data.  Users will first set a monthly mobile data cap.  Most developing and emerging countries have a very limited, capped data plan.

To save battery power, Lite also removes the popular Spotify Connect option.  This feature allows listeners to stream their favorite tracks on wireless audio devices.  Users also shouldn’t expect to stream music with ‘extreme quality’ audio.

The app also allows users to quickly clear their cache within Lite.  This frees up much-needed space on low-end smartphones.

Finally, the search function only provides links to albums and playlists.

The official launch of Lite in 36 countries comes immediately after BofA Merrill Lynch and data analytics firm SimilarWeb shared a surprising study.  Despite dominating the market in terms of overall users and subscriptions, YouTube Music and Spotify both emerged as the most listened to music apps in India.  That’s due to poor user experiences in competitors’ apps.

Breaking down the study, Indian users streamed their favorite works on YouTube Music for 10 minutes and 8 seconds each day.  Spotify came close behind with 10 minutes and 4 seconds.  Gaana – the current market leader – had the lowest average daily time with 5 minutes and 48 seconds.  Wynk Music followed with 6 minutes and 2 seconds.  Users spent 9 minutes and 23 seconds on JioSaavn.

Now, we know how Spotify aims to conquer the emerging market.

A Lite turnaround in India?

For months, Spotify has remained silent on its total subscription numbers following its launch in India.

During the annual Rise startup conference in Hong Kong, the company’s Global Head of Markets Cecilia Qvist revealed it may finally conquer the Indian music market.  Granted, after many, many years.

After reaching over a million users in India during the first week of its launch, Spotify now has over 2 million listeners.  It remains unclear whether the company tallied only subscriptions or if this figure includes trial accounts.  In fact, this number remains rather unimpressive, revealing Spotify has yet to find the success it hoped to have in the country.

Qvist also revealed people have readily installed Lite in India and around the world.

[Lite] has 90% of the same attributes as our core product but is installing much faster.

The company also hasn’t found the same success in every other emerging market.

Qvist admitted that despite now rolling out in 79 countries, Spotify still has a lot of work to do.

Just look at the penetration of mobile phones, for example, across the globe.  I think it’s almost five billion, right?  And we have 217 million users, so there is much, much more room to grow.

 


 

Kim Kardashian Advocates For Inmate Kevin Keith Who Was Sentenced To Death Row

Kim Kardashian West has made it her mission to fight for those who she believes are wrongly convicted, especially those sentenced to death row. As she’s studying to become a lawyer, Kardashian has partnered with attorneys Brittany K. Barnett and MiAngel Cody in their fight to see the release unfairly treated persons who deserve to have their cases re-examined. 

One such inmate is Kevin Keith, a man who back in early 1994 was taken into custody and charged with the murders two women and a four-year-old girl. According to those who support Keith, police didn’t question Keith before arresting him and there has been no physical evidence linking him to the crime. Keith has maintained his innocence and told investigators that he wasn’t responsible, but he was still convicted and sentenced to death.

On Tuesday, Kardashian shared a photo on Instagram showing her speaking with Keith. She captioned the image by writing, “Kevin Keith was convicted a triple homicide back in 1994 in Ohio and was sentenced to death. I heard about Kevin Keith’s case last year & the more I learn about it, the more I believe the world needs to hear what happened to him! He was on death row & came within days execution before the governor Ohio commuted his sentence to life w/o parole.”

“I had the pleasure meeting Kevin Keith through a video visit & was so impressed w/ the amazing programs he created in prison to help others inside better themselves!” she added. “So much evidence has been uncovered proving Kevin’s innocence. I hope justice is served soon & he is released.”

Those advocating for Keith’s release have launched the Justice Kevin Keith website that features multiple resources to find out just why Keith is innocent. New evidence was presented back in 2007, and based f that information, the governor at the time removed Keith from death row just weeks before he was scheduled to be executed. However, Keith wasn’t granted freedom and is currently serving a life sentence.

Drinking A Small Glass Of Juice Or Soda Linked To Increased Risk Of Cancer

It appears as though there’s more evidence proving that you should be cutting back on sugary drinks such as soda and juice. According to CNNa, a new study suggests that drinking even a small glass soda or juice can increase the chances premature death. Just the tiniest amount a third a can soda can increase the risk cancer by 18% and the risk breast cancer by 22%. The study observed 100K French adults which saw a relation between sugary drinks and increased risks cancer.

Drinking A Small Glass Of Juice Or Soda Linked To Increased Risk Of Cancer
David McNew/Getty s

“The results indicate statistically significant correlations between the consumption sugar-sweetened drinks and risk all cancers combined, and breast cancer,” nutrition researcher and emeritus, Ian Johnson, said. “Surprisingly perhaps, the increased risk cancer in heavier consumers sugary drinks was observed even among consumers pure fruit juice — this warrants more research,”

The lead author the study, Mathilde Touvier, said that sugar is the main driver that’s associated with an increase cancer risks.

“What we observed was that the main driver the association seems to be really the sugar contained in these sugary drinks,” she said. “High sugary drinks consumption is a risk factor for obesity and weight gain,” she added. “Obesity is in itself a risk factor for cancer.”

Titans’ Mike Vrabel Says He’d Cut His Penis Off To Win A Super Bowl

Athletes and coaches are always looking for competitive advantages and ways to defeat their opponents. Coaches will devise interesting schemes and tactics to propel their teams to victory while the players study tape and figure out the strengths and weaknesses who they’re about to play. For Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, he’d be willing to undergo even more drastic measures in order to secure his team a win.

Vrabel appeared on the “Bussin’ With the Boys” podcast with two his players, Taylor Lewan and Will Compton. Both players asked their head coach if he would ever consider cutting f his penis in order to win a Super Bowl. Vrabel already has three titles with the New England Patriots as a player, but would love to get his first ring as a coach. Surprisingly, Vrabel is more than willing to part ways with his genitals.

“Been married 20 years … yeah, probably,” Vrabel said before adding that his wife would probably help him cut it f. “She’d be like do you want me to do it? Do you want to do it now?” 

The Titans failed to make the playfs in Vrabel’s first year as head coach, although the team was able to secure a winning record 9-7. You can watch the full episode the podcast in the video above.

Apple Music Now Offers College Students a 6-Month Trial — But Only Until September

Apple Music is helping out students – and hoping to perk its subscription numbers along the way.

Having recently reached , the music streaming service has drastically expanded its discount plan.

As part of its Back-to-School special, the Cupertino company has also slashed the price of Macs, including MacBooks, iMacs, and iMac Pros, and iPads, including the iPad Pro.  In addition, with any of these purchases, users will receive Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones.

That’s not all.  According to a leaked memo obtained by Appleosophy, university students will receive 6 months of Apple Music for free instead of the usual 3 months.

The media outlet explains,

Apple also notes that new student plan customers will receive an email within the first 3 months with instructions on how to redeem an additional 3 months free.  After the free trial, the promotion converts to a paid subscription.

“To qualify for an Apple Music Student Membership, the student must be a student studying a bachelor degree, post-graduate degree, or equivalent Higher Education course at a University, College (US only) or Post-Secondary School (Canada only).”

Apple has since confirmed the report, writing on its website,

50 million songs.  6 months on us.

“Get a free 6-month subscription to Apple Music.  And a special student rate of $4.99/mo. after the trial ends.”

Eligible students can view the offer here.

The offer follows a big subscriber milestone — but one that still trails Spotify by a mile.  Speaking with French publication Numerama, Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, casually revealed that the music streaming service had crossed 60 million subscriptions.

Keep in mind last year CEO Tim Cook officially disclosed a total of 50 million paying subs in mid-May.  This means the platform has added 10 million new subscribers in roughly 13 months.  Both figures include paying and trial users.

After ten years, Spotify recently passed the 100 million subscriber mark.  Recently celebrating its fourth-year milestone, Apple Music now remains solidly behind its rival.  That figure will once again rise substantially, though it’s unclear how quickly Apple can close the gap (if ever).

Last week, Apple Music also confirmed the expansion of its summer concert tour series.

Dubbed Up Next Live, featured rising artists would perform a series of intimate performances.  Each musician would perform for fans at local Apple stores around the world.  These include Milan, San Francisco, Brooklyn, Paris, London, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.

Bad Bunny, Daniel Caesar, Khalid, Ashley McBryde, King Princess, Lewis Capaldi, and Jessie Reyez will each give a unique performance for music fans.

 


Featured image by Apple Music.

Wu-Tang Clan Hulu Series Star Shameik Moore Fails At Naming All Members

Los Angeles, CA – Hulu is preparing to unleash its Wu-Tang Clan docu-series Wu-Tang: An American Saga in September. Meanwhile, actor Shameik Moore is preparing for his role as Raekwon but is apparently so consumed with studying The Chef, he had trouble recalling all of the Wu members.

TMZ recently caught up with Moore at the Los Angeles International Airport where he was asked to name everyone in the legendary Hip Hop collective. While Moore admits he didn’t know any of their monikers at first, he says he at least knows the names of those he’s since met.

“RZA, Raekwon, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, GZA, ODB — shit, those might be the ones I know,” he says in the clip. “Oh, Ghostface. Power’s one of them? Or not? Nah. Yeah, those are the ones I know.”

His excuse was that he hadn’t been introduced to U-God, Masta Killa or Cappadonna yet.

To be fair, Moore is only 24 years old. When he was born in 1995, Wu-Tang had only released one album — their iconic 1993 debut, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). By the time he was old enough to appreciate Hip Hop culture, Wu-Tang was in the 8 Diagram era.

But like it was suggested in the video, Wu-Tang is a critical part of Hip Hop history, so Moore will likely study up after this quiz.

Wu-Tang: An American Saga is expected to premiere on September 8.

Hip Hop Album Sales: Chris Brown’s "Indigo" Debuts At No. 1

Hip Hop and R&B made some waves on this week’s Billboard 200. The top performer was Chris Brown’s double album Indigo, which hit No. 1 off the strength of more than 96,000 total album equivalent units sold.

Other notable debuts for the week included Mustard’s Perfect Ten (No. 8), J. Balvin and Bad Bunny’s OASIS (No. 9) and Daniel Caesar’s CASE STUDY 01 (No. 17). Also, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s highly anticipated Bandana album narrowly missed the Top 20 by entering at No. 21.

Elsewhere, Lil Nas X’s 7 EP maintained its position at No. 2 while Gucci Mane’s Delusions Of Grandeur plummeted from No. 7 to No. 36. And Chance The Rapper’s Acid Rap — a mixtape originally released in 2013 — made its way into the Top 5 after surfacing on DSPs.

Chris Brown’s Double LP Reaches No. 1

Chris Brown earned the third No. 1 album of his career with his latest release, Indigo. The controversial singer previously hit the top spot with F.A.M.E. in 2011 and Fortune in 2012.

Breezy’s double LP racked up 96,236 total album equivalent units in its first week on the chart. 16,762 of those copies came from pure album sales.

Chance The Rapper’s Acid Rap Becomes His Highest-Charting Project To Date

Nostalgia and increased accessibility — plus some anticipation for the upcoming Owbum LP — helped Chance The Rapper reach a new high mark in his career. After making his 10 Day and Acid Rap mixtapes available on major DSPs such as Spotify and Apple Music, the latter debuted at No. 5. The 2013 tape moved 39,542 total album equivalent units with 18,273 copies sold in terms of pure album sales.

Acid Rap is now the best-charting release of Chance’s career. It surpassed his previous peak set by Coloring Book, which reached No. 8 in 2016.

Chance’s 2012 tape 10 Day also showed up on the Billboard 200, landing at No. 73.

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s Bandana Cracks Top 25

Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s long-awaited Bandana LP fell short of a Top 20 debut, entering the Billboard 200 at No. 21 in its first week on the chart. However, the album outperformed its predecessor Pinata, which peaked at No. 39 in 2014.

MadGibbs’ latest collaboration sold a relatively modest 18,868 total album equivalent units, but it still became the best-selling album of either man’s career. And while the duo’s album may not have dominated the charts, the LP did receive a perfect rating from HipHopDX.

Read our review here.

Top 10 Billboard 200 Rap & R&B Albums For The Week Ending 07/04/2019

Note: The first number below is this week’s “total album equivalent units” count, an intersection of album sales, single sales, and streams implemented by Billboard’s new rating system. A pure album sales figure is available in bold in parenthesis and information about each album’s streaming count is available in brackets.

1. Chris Brown — Indigo — 96,236 (16,762) [97,953,193]
2. Lil Nas X — 7 — 61,784 (1,847) [74,759,191]
3. Chance The Rapper — Acid Rap — 39,542 (18,273) [26,199,674]
4. Khalid — Free Spirit — 38,003 (8,451) [37,781,137]
5. Lizzo — Cuz I Love You — 36,069 (5,018) [35,413,084]
6. Mustard — Perfect Ten — 35,984 (1,337) [45,083,591]
7. J Balvin & Bad Bunny — OASIS — 35,751 (5,166) [39,327,901]
8. DaBaby — Baby On Baby — 25,731 (298) [36,296,905]
9. Drake — Scorpion — 23,538 (790) [30,225,489]
10. Post Malone — Beerbongs & Bentleys — 23,526 (1,091) [30,191,627]

15 Music Documentaries & Concert Films Streaming Right Now

While the music documentary and/or concert film has been a staple the film genre for over 50 years, it’s only recently that the trend has been more freely produced, and as a result, rewarded. In the past seven years, four music documentaries have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Of those, three won: Searching for Sugar Man, 20 Feet From Stardom, & Amy.

Following the recent successes concert films, rock docs, and multi-part music docuseries on Netflix, HBO, Showtime, and others – expect to see more popping up on your go-to streaming platform and premium cable networks in the future. And need not forget the silver screen, as the summertime tends to see the release countless documentaries filling up indie and art house theaters.

For those looking to catch up on what they’ve missed over the past few years, below you’ll find recommendations for 15 music documentaries and concert films streaming right now. Happy binging!


Amy (Netflix)

Arguably the rawest music documentary featured on this list, Asif Kapadia’s 2015 film, Amy, follows the life and tragically early death British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse. Spanning the topics family, fame, media, and addiction – Amy does a brilliant job capturing the musical genius so few got the opportunity to witness first-hand. Thanks in part to a bevy home videos, the viewer is granted such personal access to the singer’s early life.

While most viewers already know Winehouse’s untimely demise prior to viewing, it’s this intimacy created by Kapadia that makes her inescapable premature death all the more devastating. At the 88th Academy Awards, Amy took home the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, and to this day stands as the highest-grossing British documentary all time. Currently streaming on Netflix, Amy is a highly enjoyable watch for both diehard fans and the most uninformed viewer alike. And man does her music never get old. Timeless… just like Amy.


HΘMΣCΘMING: A Film by Beyoncé (Netflix)

Following the massive successes her back-to-back HBO visual albums, 2013’s Beyoncé and 2016’s Lemonade, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter began work on what would become her next game-changing project. However, before she could unveil her newest creative endeavor, she would first have to give birth to twin babies. Due to the pregnancy, Beyoncé was forced to postpone her highly anticipated Coachella 2017 headlining performance to the following year. But damn, was the wait worth it.

For those who streamed the show Coachella’s YouTube page, we all knew the HBCU homecoming-themed performance was incredible – from its 100 dancers, full marching band, drumline, and Destiny’s Child reunion. But it wasn’t until the following year when Netflix released HΘMΣCΘMING: A Film by Beyoncé – that fans truly got to witness every angle one the greatest performances in music history. Edited alongside the behind-the-scenes how it all came together, HΘMΣCΘMING is a tour de force with the incomparable, strong black female on full display, as she steers the ship behind it all.


Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (Amazon)

Inspired by Mel Stuart’s 1973 documentary, Wattstax, 2005’s Dave Chappelle’s Block Party is almost more a time capsule than music documentary/concert film. Taking place over the summer 2004 and culminating with Dave’s now legendary block party concert in the Clinton Hill neighborhood Brooklyn, the film covers various Brooklyn landmarks, as well as rap and neo-soul artists, both new and old. The film was made after season two Chappelle’s Show aired, but before Dave announced he would be walking away from the series. Directed by Michel Gondry, following the success and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Eternal Sunshine the Spotless Mind – Chappelle and Gondry were two men at their creative peaks, excited to make a fun movie and put on a memorable concert.

In addition to Dave’s gut-busting comedy, the concert features performances from a young Kanye West, John Legend, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, and The Roots. Lauryn Hill was booked to perform solo, however, after her label wouldn’t clear her songs for the film, she opted instead to reunite The Fugees as the perfect headliner for arguably one the greatest concerts the last 50 years. If you have somehow never seen Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, it is currently streaming on Amazon and perfect for a hot summer day indoors. 


Elvis Presley: The Searcher (HBO)

While Elvis Presley isn’t the standard fare for HotNewHipHop, HBO’s three-and-a-half-hour documentary, Elvis Presley: The Searcher, really opens up the man still referred to as “the King” to a new, and for the most part, untapped demographic. The film spans the legend’s 42-year progression as both a musician, as well as the man very few got the chance to know. Ex-wife Priscilla Presley has stated that Elvis Presley: The Searcher “is the definitive Elvis] documentary. There’s no vanilla here. It is the real deal.” 

Describing the struggle in making a documentary on Elvis with a unique perspective, executive producer and friend Jerry Schilling said, “When there is an artist that has so much done on him, it’s very hard to come up with the fresh look.” Basically, Elvis Presley: The Searcher is the quintessential crash course on Elvis for millennials. Give it a watch if you’ve got the time.


Gaga: Five Foot Two (Netflix)

Inspired by both Amy Winehouse and Beyoncé – two artists already detailed on this list – Lady Gaga, born Stefani Germanotta, is a 5’2” force all to herself and the topic Chris Moukarbel’s 2017 Netflix documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two. Following Gaga throughout a pivotal year in her career, Moukarbel successfully captures the brilliant artist in an observational, cinéma vérité style which Vertov would be proud.

Spanning both the writing/producing and release her fifth album, Joanne, her Super Bowl 51 halftime performance, and ongoing battle with fibromyalgia, Gaga: Five Foot Two paints Germanotta in a true-to-life light where she comes across as both strong and vulnerable; simultaneously human, and superhuman. Clocking in at 100 minutes long, Gaga: Five Foot Two successfully strips back the fame monster facade for a raw and emotional artist willing to bare it all.


Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids (Netflix)

Documenting Justin Timberlake’s final performance the most successful tour his career – The 20/20 Experience World Tour – Academy Award winning director, Jonathan Demme (The Silence the Lambs) takes viewers on a fantastic ride, using 17 different cameras to capture the global pop star’s 134th performance. Filmed on January 2, 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids would tragically become the final film Jonathan Demme’s historic career; he passed away six months following the Netflix concert film’s release.

In addition to the death Demme, Prince also passed away while working on the film, prompting Timberlake to dedicate the film to his legacy, saying: “His influence is all over everyone’s music and there’s so much that I feel like I’ve maybe consciously and unconsciously borrowed from him that it felt right… It just feels right to dedicate the film to him.” RIP Prince, RIP Jonathan Demme, and rock on JT!


Leaving Neverland (HBO)

By far the most controversial film the year thus far, Dan Reed’s 4-hour HBO documentary, Leaving Neverland, has been a hot topic discussion throughout 2019. For some fans, they had turned their back on Michael Jackson long ago. For others, this was the final straw. The rawest and detailed account two different boys’ respective experiences with the King Pop. Director Dan Reed (Three Days Terror, Terror at the Mallhas described the documentary feature as a “study the psychology child abuse, told through two ordinary families… groomed for 20 years by a pedophile masquerading as a trusted friend.” The film’s well-paced storytelling only helps build to its shockingly, disturbing first-person accounts a global celebrity’s sexual abuse underage boys. 

Since the movie’s release, various radio stations have removed MJ’s music from playlists, FX ceased airing the Michael Jackson episode The Simpsons, and “Weird Al” Yankovic stopped playing his Jackson parodies on tour. Meanwhile, certain classic songs sound different, under a new light. The Jackson estate has denied the documentary’s accusations, but HBO has remained steadfast in the airing the two-part documentary.


Quincy (Netflix)

The story Quincy Jones is truly one the most legendary careers in the history entertainment. Owning such titles as trumpeter, conductor, composer, and arranger – Quincy Jones is known by most as a music producer turned film producer. As Netflix puts it, “he has shaped the pop culture landscape for 70 years, mentoring and cultivating the careers young talents, from Lesley Gore and Michael Jackson to Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith.”

Directed by his daughter, actress Rashida Jones (Angie Tribeca, Hot Girls Wanted), Quincy fers the behind-the-scenes access and questions answered that only a daughter can pull out her mythical father. While the documentary won the Grammy Award for Best Music Film this year, it didn’t receive a nomination for the Academy Award.


20 Feet From Stardom (Netflix)

Academy Award and Grammy-winning documentarian, Morgan Neville, was robbed a second Oscar win when his brilliant Mister Rogers documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, wasn’t even nominated for Best Documentary Feature at this past year’s awards ceremony. However, the film that brought him into the mainstream consciousness, 20 Feet From Stardom, remains an Academy favorite, appearing in documentary montages for years to come. 20 Feet From Stardom introduces viewers to the “unsung heroes behind the greatest songs our time” – the backup singers.

In a beautiful work art that finally puts names and faces to the voices we’ve been listening to for decades, 20 Feet From Stardom tells the stories world-famous backup singers Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Tata Vega, Judith Hill, Lisa Fischer, and Jo Lawry; as the performers they once backed up, like Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, and Sting take to the background for once in their illustrious careers. “When you’re a background singer it is a springboard, but it can easily become quicksand if that’s not what you want to do,” says Judith Hill in the film’s trailer. 20 Feet From Stardom is a must-watch doc that serves as both a music history lesson, as well as a guide for future singers.


What Happened, Miss Simone? (Netflix)

Although the iconic song, “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” was written about Nina Simone’s dear friend and author A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry, it was Nina’s voice that magically brought those mighty words to life. And much like her voice animated her words, the incredible, rare footage featured throughout Liz Garbus’ 2015 Netflix documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone? helps provide the images necessary in telling the powerful story Eunice Waymon, known by most as Nina Simone.

Regarded as the “High Priestess Soul” – Nina Simone was known for her music, civil rights activism, and temper (which was later diagnosed as bipolar disorder). However, Garbus’ documentary does a wonderful job revealing her life as a mother, friend, and expatriate. Titled from a Maya Angelou quote, what makes What Happened, Miss Simone? truly unique is its unreleased archival footage, in addition to exclusive interviews with her friends, colleagues, and daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly. The Oscar-nominated documentary (it lost to Amy) is streaming now on Netflix.


Whitney (Amazon)

2018 was full documentaries with a buzz, and as a result (similar to Quincy), Whitney didn’t draw the amount attention many had expected. While the Whitney Houston documentary featured nearly 70 interviews, including a majority her family, it ultimately drew much more critical attention than actual box fices sales.

Directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King Scotland, Marley), the two-hour documentary features over 1,500 tapes archival footage, including 2,000 stills, 250 masters, and rare performances. Throughout her nearly 30-year career, Whitney Houston was a musical force that Whitney helps capture through sharing her most intimate moments. Whether it’s her vocal gift, erratic behavior, or premature death – Whitney rides the wave that was Whitney Houston’s unparalleled career.


Rapture (Netflix)

Released as part Mass Appeal’s film & television division, Rapture is an 8-part Netflix docu-series with episodes devoted to Logic, Nas & Dave East, T.I., G-Eazy, 2 Chainz, Rapsody, Just Blaze, and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. Described by Netflix as a series that “dives into artists’ lives with their families and friends, to sitting front row in the studio and grinding on tour, to experiencing the ecstatic power moving the crowd” – Rapture displays hip-hop’s mainstream effect and influence on the culture the world.

While each episode features major rap artists sharing their unique life stories, Rapture parallels these distinctions with one another, proving that while the path may be different, the goal remains the same.


Shangri-La (Showtime)

Rick Rubin, the sage-like creative guru and legendary music producer holed away along the Malibu coastline, is the latest subject Academy Award and Grammy-winning documentarian, Morgan Neville (Won’t You Be My Neighbor, 20 Feet From Stardom). Set amongst Rubin’s iconic monastery-esque, Malibu music studio, Shangri-La Studios, Neville engages in creative conversations with the man, the myth, and the legend, in addition to the revolving door musical guests visiting Rubin’s Los Angeles beach town estate.

Throughout the 4-episode docu-series, expect to see some your favorite musicians including Ezra Koenig Vampire Weekend, Tyler the Creator, David Lynch, Mark Ronson, and the late Mac Miller. All four episodes Shangri-La begin streaming VOD and Showtime Anytime on July 12th.


The Defiant Ones (HBO)

The Defiant Ones is a 4-part HBO docu-series that follows the diverging life trajectories record producer Jimmy Iovine and rapper/producer Dr. Dre, and how their lives would inevitably meet. Beginning by establishing Jimmy’s east coast past engineering and producing for Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, and U2; while Dre is on the west coast blowing up with NWA – the two eventually meet in 1992 when Jimmy decides to put out The Chronic on Interscope Records. And from there, everything else is history. The Defiant Ones features interviews with the biggest names in music including Lady Gaga, Ice Cube, Trent Reznor, Kendrick Lamar, Bono, and Eminem. So whether you’re a fan classic rock, late ‘80s/’90s hip-hop, early 2000s rap, or the growing headphone market in tech – this docu-series will have something for you.


Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men (Showtime)

Celebrating the 25th anniversary one the most iconic groups in hip-hop history, Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men consists four hour-long episodes spanning the group’s origins and ascension to ‘90s rap royalty. Directed by Mass Appeal creative director, Sacha Jenkins – Of Mics and Men has been critically well-received, garnering praise as the definitive Wu-Tang documentary for its interviews with all nine living members (RZA, GZA, Inspectah Desk, Raekwon, U-God, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Masta Killa, and Cappadonna), in addition to rare behind-the-scenes and concert footage.

If you call yourself a fan the Wu, and you haven’t seen Sacha Jenkins’ four-hour docu-series yet, you’re slippin’. And for those already hungry for more televised Wu content, RZA is currently writing and producing for Hulu, a 10-episode dramatic telling the group’s ‘90s rise starring Dave East and Joey Bada$$ as Method Man & Inspectah Deck, respectively.

Study Shows That Cockroaches Are Becoming Immune To Chemicals

If you’re terrified cockroaches then we have some terrifying news coming from a new study that has sufficient evidence proving that the bugs are evolving to become immune to chemicals.

The common German cockroach (Blattella germanica L.) have grown a defense to chemicals that have previously killed them f. “We didn’t have a clue that something like that could happen this fast,” Micahel Scharf, one the study’s co-authors stated. “Cockroaches developing resistance to multiple classes insecticides at once will make controlling these pests almost impossible with chemicals alone.” 

Study Shows That Cockroaches Are Becoming Immune To Chemicals
Bradley Kanaris/Getty s

The study was conducted over the course three months when buildings across the United States used three different kinds chemicals that previously worked to eliminate the creatures but instead resulted in the bugs not being killed and in some cases growing in population. Cockroaches are extremely unsanitary as they produce “asthma-triggering allergens, vectoring pathogenic/antibiotic-resistant microbes” along with being creepy bugs that can grow to be quite big.

“Some these methods are more expensive than using only insecticides, but if those insecticides aren’t going to control or eliminate a population, you’re just throwing money away,” Scharf added.

69% of American Smart Speaker Owners Use Their Device Daily — And Music Remains the Top Request

NPR and Edison Research have released the Smart Audio Report for 2019, revealing how these devices are used in America.

Despite serious security and privacy risks, many Americans regard these devices as useful and part of their everyday routine.  But security and privacy risks are also the main reason cited by those who refuse to adopt smart speaker technology.

Most people learn about the devices through word of mouth, either from a family having a device or friends talking about their device.

The survey focused on 53 million smart speaker owners in the United States.

A quick breakdown of the data reveals that 69% of smart speaker owners use the device daily. Households that have small children are more likely to use the smart speaker every day.  But it looks like the thrill fades pretty quickly: smart speaker owners who have owned the device for at least two years use their devices far less frequently.  Long-time owners averaged seven uses per week, while new owners average 12 uses per week.

The smart audio report also looked at how these devices are evolving with screens. 66% of people who have a smart speaker with a screen say that the screen makes it easier to discover new content.  66% of respondents also believe the screen makes the device easier to use.

The number of smart speaker households in the U.S. has grown by 78% over the last year. 66.7 million households had at least one smart device in 2017, while 118.5 million homes had one in 2018.  Despite the increasing adoption, 69% of people admit they don’t know enough to use all of its features.

69% of American Smart Speaker Owners Use Their Device Daily — And Music Remains the Top Request

Music topped the charts for weekly smart speaker requests, with 77% of respondents using their devices to play music.

This isn’t the first study showing the extreme popularity of music on smart speakers.  But the pleasantly surprising stat is relatively new, and spawning efforts to capitalize and expand music-released, voice-activated requests.  That includes expansion into related areas like lyrics and recommendations, with Amazon, Google, and Apple obviously holding advantageous positions.

Another interesting look at the data shows the number of smart speakers per household is increasing. In December 2017, 62% of respondents said they only have one smart device. A year later, now only 48% of people say they have just a single device. That shows multi-device adoption among households is growing.

HNHH TIDAL Wave: Freddie Gibbs & Dreamville Dominate

At the end each week, we bless you with major updates to our Fire Emoji playlist but if you’re more interested in checking out a staff-curated list songs that we’ve personally been messing with to get us through the work week, TIDAL is the only place for that. For months, we’ve been collaborating with the streaming service to bring you a list over thirty the month’s hottest ferings, as chosen by our staff at HNHH. This past week, there were plenty new releases worth our time but, as you’ll notice in this week’s TIDAL Wave, one album completely dominated our personal airwaves.

Freddie Gibbs and Madlib finally released their collaborative project Bandana after hyping it up for months and it lived up to all our expectations. The body work is a fun ride throughout, featuring fire beats, fire bars, and, well… fire everything. This week’s playlist includes a selection our favorite new Gibbs joints, as well as both the Dreamville releases, cuts from Mustard’s LP and Daniel Caesar’s beautiful new tracks from CASE STUDY 01.

If you’re not yet a member TIDAL, you’ve got to try it out. With the best quality master recordings on the market, TIDAL is your favorite artist’s favorite streaming service. Musicians get paid the most (by far!) from TIDAL and if you’re into supporting art, it’s a must-download app. Sign up here and check out the latest edition TIDAL Wave below.


Alex Zidel (Editorial)

TM88 – Slayerr (feat. Lil Uzi Vert)
Mustard – On GOD (feat. A$AP Ferg, A$AP Rocky, YG & Tyga)
Daniel Caesar & Brandy – LOVE AGAIN
88-Keys – That’s Life (feat. Mac Miller & Sia)
YBN Cordae – Bad Idea (feat. Chance the Rapper)

Chantilly Post (Editorial)

Lil Nas X – C7osure (Like You)
Daniel Caesar – SUPERPOSITION
Ed Sheeran – Cross Me (feat. PnB Rock & Chance The Rapper)
Hodgy – No Brainer
Beenie Man – Go Fi Mi Money

Devin Ch (Editorial)

Freddie Gibbs, Madlib – Gat Damn
TTY – Buttercream
Olamide, WizKid & Id Cabasa – Totori
MIKE – Breathe, Good
Unknown T – Leave Dat Trap (feat. AJ Tracey)

Mitch Findlay (Editorial)

Dreamville – Costa Rica (feat. Bas, JID, Guapdad 4000, Reese LAFLARE, Jace, Mez, Smokepurpp, Buddy & Ski Mask the Slump God)
Dreamville – LamboTruck (feat. Cozz, Reason & Childish Major)
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Half Manne Half Cocaine
Rick Ross & Swizz Beatz – Big Tyme
Daniel Caesar & John Mayer – SUPERPOSITION

Aida C. (Editorial)

H.E.R & YBN Cordae – Racks
Chris Brown – Come Together (feat. H.E.R)
Daniel Caesar & Brandy – LOVE AGAIN
Daniel Caesar – COMPLEXITIES

Aron A. (Editorial)

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Freestyle Shit 
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Half Manne Half Cocaine
Mr. Eazi – Supernova
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Massage Seats
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Palmolive (feat. Pusha-T & Killer Mike)

Rose Lilah (Editorial)

Lil Baby – Out The Mud (feat. Future)
Big K.R.I.T. – Addiction (feat. Saweetie & Lil Wayne)
Kevin Gates – Push It
Mustard – Perfect Ten (feat. Nipsey Hussle)

Kim Kardashian Wins $2.7M Judgment In Dress Knockoff Lawsuit

Kim Kardashian is pulling in legal victory left, right and center. The reality star and mother four previously announced her plans to study law and even before she’s set to take the bar exam she’s helped 17 inmates get released from prison in 90 days. Her court wins sometimes benefit her as her recent case with Missguided USA, an online women’s clothing store, gave Kim $2.7 million. 

Kim Kardashian Wins $2.7M Judgment In Dress Knockf Lawsuit
Michael Loccisano/Wire /Getty s

According to TMZ, Kim won the case by forfeit since the clothing company never responded to the lawsuit, awarding Kim the judgment as well as $60K in attorney fees. Kim sued Misguided back in February after the company was stealing her dress designs and using her face to sell the products, leading many to believe Kim was in partnership with them. 

The company even went as far as to tag Kim on Instagram in dresses she had worn a couple days before, that they recreated for resale. “Missguided has repeatedly used Kardashian’s name and likeness without permission on its social media platforms to promote the sale its clothing,” the judge said in the ruling. 

The judge has also blocked Misguided from using Kim’s face and trademark so they can no longer prit f her fashion moves. 

Pharrell Promises 114 Graduating Harlem Seniors A Summer Internship

It’s always beautiful when entertainers and entrepreneurs create opportunities for others to thrive, especially the youth. Pharrell Williams’s philanthropic efforts are well-known, but now the multi-platinum recording artist has promised to give graduating Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy High School students a chance a lifetime.

There is a countless number aspiring entertainers and pressionals who are clamoring at the chance to work for Pharrell, and now 114 graduating seniors have been given the opportunity. Every student was reportedly accepted into college and during his commencement speech, Pharrell surprised them with an announcement.

“So let me be clear, every member the 2019 graduating class, is guaranteed an internship waiting for them, you, next summer,” Pharrell said in a video posted by the school. “The world is watching, Harlem, but this renaissance will be different. Believe it or not, with respect, it’s gonna actually be better. The reason why is because the new Harlem Renaissance has education at its core.”

He continued, “It’s one thing to be ‘woke,’ another to be awake, leaned in and engaged.” Check out a portion his speech below.

Kim Kardashian Changes "Kimono" Brand Name After Major Backlash

Throughout her career as an entrepreneur, Kim Kardashian West has made a habit out using her own name to promote her products. She launched the Kimoji app a few years ago, featuring emojis her entire family based on their reality show. She’s also trademarked several iterations her name for future business consideration. When it comes to her latest venture, fans were not content when the mogul decided to name her shapewear line “Kimono.” The starlet was accused appropriating Japanese culture and, to be quite frank, the punny name didn’t really even make sense for the brand. Well, it appears as though Kardashian has had a change heart because after receiving some major backlash, she’s ficially announced that the name her new line will change.

Kim Kardashian Changes "Kimono" Brand Name After Major Backlash
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty s

When she’s not in the White House or studying hard to become a lawyer, Kim Kardashian is usually thinking new ways to maximize her business potential. She came up with a new line shapewear, sharing the news with her fans in the ficial announcement for Kimono. The brand’s name didn’t exactly excite people though with many referring to the media maverick as a cultural appropriator. After taking the backlash into account, Kim decided that it would be best to just change the name her upcoming venture, breaking the news today.

“Being an entrepreneur and my own boss has been one the most rewarding challenges I’ve been blessed with in my life,” said Kardashian. “What’s made it possible for me after all these years has been the direct line communication with my fans and the public. I am always listening, learning and growing – I so appreciate the passion and varied perspectives that people bring to me. When I announced the name my shapewear line, I did so with the best intentions in mind. My brands and products are built with inclusivity and diversity at their core and after careful thought and consideration, I will be launching my Solutionwear brand under a new name. I will be in touch soon. Thank you for your understanding and support always.”

Big ups to Kim for actually listening to her fans and changing the name Kimono. Are you happy she took action?

Scott Borchetta Responds to Taylor Swift's Character Assassination

It’s been an event-filled weekend for Big Machine Label Group founder Scott Borchetta.

Leading into the weekend, Borchetta finalized the terms of a $300 million-plus sale of Big Machine Label Group to Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings (more on that deal ).  The deal was formally announced on the morning of June 30th, though Borchetta was soon whip-lashed by a scathing takedown from BMLG’s former marquee artist, Taylor Swift.

“This is my worst case scenario,” Swift wrote, slamming the acquisition deal.  Referring to Borchetta, she continued:  “This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept.

“And when that man says ‘Music has value’, he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it.”

(You can read Taylor’s lengthy takedown ).

Now, Borchetta has responded to Swift’s litany of accusations with some facts about the transaction — while seriously contradicting some of Taylor Swift’s claims.

Borchetta’s detailed response, which includes the negotiation terms above, was posted today (June 30th) on Big Machine website.

Here it is, in full:

So, It’s Time For Some Truth…

In regard to a post earlier today from Taylor, it’s time to set some things straight.

Taylor’s dad, Scott Swift, was a shareholder in Big Machine Records, LLC.  We first alerted all of the shareholders on Thursday, June 20th for an official shareholder’s call scheduled for Tuesday, June 25th.  On the 6/25 call the shareholders were made aware of the pending deal with Ithaca Holdings and had 3 days to go over all of the details of the proposed transaction.  We then had a final call on Friday, June 28th in which the transaction passed with a majority vote and 3 of the 5 shareholders voting ‘yes’ with 92% of the shareholder’s vote.

Out of courtesy, I personally texted Taylor at 9:06pm, Saturday, June 29th to inform her prior to the story breaking on the morning of Sunday, June 30th so she could hear it directly from me.

I guess it might somehow be possible that her dad Scott, 13 Management lawyer Jay Schaudies (who represented Scott Swift on the shareholder calls) or 13 Management executive and Big Machine LLC shareholder Frank Bell (who was on the shareholder calls) didn’t say anything to Taylor over the prior 5 days.  I guess it’s possible that she might not have seen my text.  But, I truly doubt that she “woke up to the news when everyone else did”.

I am attaching a few very important deal points in what was part of our official last offer to Taylor Swift to remain at Big Machine Records.  Her 13 Management team and attorney Don Passman went over this document in great detail and reported the terms to her in great detail.

Taylor and I then talked through the deal together.

As you will read, 100% of all Taylor Swift assets were to be transferred to her immediately upon signing the new agreement.  We were working together on a new type of deal for our new streaming world that was not necessarily tied to ‘albums’ but more of a length of time.

We are an independent record company.  We do not have tens of thousands of artists and recordings.  My offer to Taylor, for the size of our company, was extraordinary.  But it was also all I could offer as I am responsible for dozens of artists’ careers and over 120 executives and their families.

Taylor and I remained on very good terms when she told me she wanted to speak with other record companies and see what was out there for her.  I never got in her way and wished her well.

The morning that the new Taylor/UMG announcement was going to be made, she texted me shortly before letting me know that the announcement was coming in a few minutes.

As we both posted on our socials, we saluted each other and cheered each other on.

Taylor had every chance in the world to own not just her master recordings, but every video, photograph, everything associated to her career.  She chose to leave.

As to her comments about ‘being in tears or close to it’ anytime my new partner Scooter Braun’s name was brought up, I certainly never experienced that.  Was I aware of some prior issues between Taylor and Justin Bieber?  Yes.  But there were also times where Taylor knew that I was close to Scooter and that Scooter was a very good source of information for upcoming album releases, tours, etc, and I’d reach out to him for information on our behalf.  Scooter was never anything but positive about Taylor.  He called me directly about Manchester to see if Taylor would participate (she declined).

He called me directly to see if Taylor wanted to participate in the Parkland March (she declined).  Scooter has always been and will continue to be a supporter and honest custodian for Taylor and her music.

This is the text Taylor sent to me on Monday, November 19th at 8:57am:

Scott,

 I hope this finds you well. Since communication ran dry on our negotiations, I’ve done what I told you I would do and gone out exploring other options. Owning my masters was very important to me, but I’ve since realized that there are things that mean even more to me in the bigger picture. I had a choice whether to bet on my past or to bet on the future and I think knowing me, you can guess which one I chose. I also saw a rare opportunity to effect positive change for a lot of other artists with the leverage I have right now. I know you believe in the same things I do and I’d like to think you would be proud of what I’ve negotiated for in my deal. I wanted to tell you first that I’ll be signing with Lucian. I honestly truly cherish everything you and I have built together and I plan on saying so in my announcement of the new deal. What we accomplished together will be a lasting legacy and a case study on excellent partnerships, and may it continue. I still view you as a partner and friend and I hope you feel the same. Sending you a hug and my most sincere gratitude.

And SO much love,

Taylor

Here is the text I sent on the evening of June 29 at 9:05pm:

Dear Taylor,

Hope all is well and congratulations on the success of your first two singles from “Lover”! 

I can’t wait to hear the entire album…

I wanted to pass along to you the same courtesy that you passed along to me in regard to my future.

Tomorrow morning (Sunday, June 30th) at 10a central, the Wall Street Journal will announce that I am entering into a merger/acquisition with Scooter Braun and Ithaca Holdings.  This move will give us more pop culture super-power than ever before and I’m so excited about the future. 

I want you to know that I will continue to be the proud custodian of your previous works and will continue to keep you and your team abreast of all future plans for releases of you work.

Nothing but the best,

Scott

 

Scott Borchetta Responds to Taylor Swift's Character Assassination

And, that’s the truth…

Scott Borchetta