Saturday, November 28, 2015

Drake Responds To Adele’s “Hotline Bling” Remix Request

Drake made the comments at the third-annual “Drake Night."

Adele said earlier this month that she’d like to do an official remix to Drake’s “Hotline Bling.” 

The Canadian rapper-singer said he’s game.

“I’d do anything with Adele,” Drake said to the media in Toronto Wednesday (November 25), per etalk. "I’d literally go to Adele’s house right now and do laundry for her.”

Drake made the statement at the third-annual Toronto Raptors "Drake Night.” He is the NBA team’s global ambassador.

Drake also said that his dancing in the video for “Hotline Bling,” which Adele says she’s danced to, came naturally. 

"That was all impromptu,” he said. “I just took a chance on being myself, being confident, being comfortable. The fact the world is having fun with it is amazing.”

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rihanna Details Massive 'Anti' World Tour

Travis Scott joins singer for North American dates, while the Weeknd and Big Sean tagged for European shows

By Daniel Kreps November 23, 2015

Although Rihanna hasn't revealed the details surrounding her impending LP Anti, the singer has already plotted a long world tour in support of her new album. The Anti World Tour kicks off February 26th at San Diego, California's Viejas Arena and will spend three months circling North America before the first leg closes out May 7th at Oakland's Oracle Arena. The following month, Rihanna will embark on a two-month trek through Europe.

Rihanna (L) and artist Roy Nachum Rihanna Cover Artist on How He Crafted 'Anti' Imagery »
Travis Scott will serve as Rihanna's opening act throughout the North American leg, while the Weeknd and Big Sean will accompany her on the European tour. Anti World Tour tickets go on sale to American Express card members and Tidal subscribers on November 30th, with a general on-sale date for all shows scheduled for December 3rd.

Anti is the culmination of a long recording process for Rihanna; after releasing four albums in four years between 2009 and 2012, it's been three years since Unapologetic arrived in November 2012. Rihanna hasn't been completely dormant: In the past year, she's released three singles – "FourFiveSeconds," "Bitch Better Have My Money," and "American Oxygen" – but it's unclear whether those tracks will appear on the Kanye West-executive produced LP.

"To me it's never done until it's done. Until the final moment," Rihanna told NME in a September interview. "I have so many songs I love – and they're so different – that it's hard to actually put them all on the same album." The singer also revealed she had worked with Charli XCX on some songs that could potentially make the final tracklist. Recently, Rihanna revealed her Roy Nachum-creared album cover and the album title for her upcoming LP at a Los Angeles event.

Anti's impending arrival was trumpeted in mysterious Samsung ads during the American Music Awards; when the album does arrive, it will likely spend a period of exclusivity on both the Tidal streaming service and Samsung mobile devices before public consumption.

Rihanna Anti World Tour – U.S. Dates

February 26 - San Diego, CA @ Viejas Arena
February 28 - San Jose, CA @ SAP Center
March 1 - Phoenix, AZ @ Talking Stick Resort Arena
March 4 - Austin, TX @ Frank Erwin Center
March 5 - Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
March 6 - Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
March 8 - New Orleans, LA @ Smoothie King Center
March 9 - Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
March 12 - Jacksonville @ Jacksonville Arena
March 13 - Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena
March 15 - Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena
March 18 - Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
March 19 - Cincinnati, OH @ U.S. Bank Arena
March 20 - Charlotte, NC @ The Time Warner Cable Arena
March 22 - Washington, DC @ Verizon Center
March 23 - Buffalo, NY @ First Niagara Center
March 24 - Auburn Hills, MI @ Palace of Auburn Hills
March 26 - Hartford, CT @ XL Center
March 27 - Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
April 2 - Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center
April 3 - Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo
April 5 - Quebec City, QC @ Centre Videotron
April 6 - Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
April 9 - Baltimore, MD @ Royal Farms Arena
April 10 - Boston, MA @ TD Garden
April 13 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Center
April 15 - Chicago, IL @ United Center
April 18 - Winnipeg, MS @ MTS Centre
April 20 - Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place
April 21 - Calgary, AB @ Scotiabank Saddledome
April 23 - Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena
April 24 - Seattle, WA @ KeyArena
April 27 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Vivint Smart Home Arena
April 29 - Las Vegas, NV @ Mandalay Bay
May 3 - Los Angeles, CA @ Forum
May 7 - Oakland, CA @ Oracle Arena

Rihanna Anti World Tour – European Dates

June 11 - Amsterdam, Holland @ Amsterdam Arena
June 14 - Coventry, United Kingdom @ Ricoh Arena
June 16 - Cardiff, United Kingdom @ Cardiff Stadium
June 18 - Sunderland, United Kingdom @ Stadium Of Light
June 21 - Dublin, Ireland @ Aviva Stadium
June 24 - London, United Kingdom @ Wembley Stadium
June 27 - Glasgow, United Kingdom @ Hampden Park
June 29 - Manchester, United Kingdom @ Emirates Old Park
July 4 - Stockholm, Sweden @ Tele2 Arena
July 7 - Copenhagen, Denmark @ Refshale Island
July 9 - Hamburg, Germany @ Volkspark Stadion
July 13 - Milan, Italy @ San Siro
July 15 - Nice, France @ Allianz Stadium
July 17 - Frankfurt, Germany @ Commerzbank Arena
July 19 - Lyon, France @ Grande Stade
July 23 - Lille, France @ Stade Lille
July 26 - Prague, Czech Republic @ Synotip Arena
July 28 - Cologne, Germany @ Rhein Energie Stadion
July 30 - Paris, France @ Stade de France
August 2 - Berlin, Germany @ Olympiastadion
August 5 - Warsaw, Poland @ PGE Narodowy
August 7 - Munich, Germany @ Olympiastadion
August 10 - Vienna, Austria @ Ernst Happel Stadium
August 12 - Zurich, Switzerland @ Letzigrund Stadion

Monday, November 9, 2015

Does Charles Hamilton Keeps it realer than Drake ? The BlackBox Ep is his future


We would sit under the crescent moon and dim streetlights, our voices echoing down the neighborhood, entering windows belonging to real adults with real jobs and tormented by real life. The cheap brown liquor kept our souls warm, our ambition kept us sane, we were the dreamers with empty wallets that believed in the art we created and nothing more. Art would take us from the jobs we loathed into the visions we saw the few hours we slept. It was a special time, when the dreams outweighed desperation, when our confidence conquered logic, a time I’m reminded of when playing Charles Hamilton’s The Pink Lavalamp. He was just like us, an outcast with a bit of arrogance wanting nothing more than to create and be rewarded for pouring his soul into the craft. He put so much of himself into the music it was almost like hearing a pulse, the faintest heartbeat, a true representation of someone that had nothing else. The sample of Graham Central Station used in the introduction of the project told you everything you needed to know about him, that music was life.

Charles had a lot of mixtapes, most I liked, but no project resonated quite like The Pink Lavalamp. In one album he encompassed all the traits that made him unique. There was lyricism, storytelling, metaphors, similes, introspection, the kind of music you make with one hand in heaven and a foot in hell. No demons were hidden, no skeletons locked away, the honesty made him into a figure of transparency. Not a brand or persona but the man struggling with suicide, depression, addiction, women, money, family and life as an artist starving. The title was perfect, pink representing his favorite color, lava lamps only glow in the dark and his music was illuminated by the darkness of his reality. I believe it was the brutal honesty that people attached themselves to, rapping from the heart, fragments of a soul in the form of a song, the man behind the microphone felt like a friend and not a stranger. There’s something special about music made out of desperation, it’s like the most beautiful rose that blooms from the concrete. It’s far from perfect, thorns that will prick your fingers if held too tightly, but still a marvelous sight to behold.

A few weeks ago 40, the in-house producer for OVO, was tweeting about Drake during the ghostwriting debacle, how rap has never seen a rapper speak as openly and honestly about their life as Drake. I laughed at the thought of Drake as the apex of rapper honesty. There’s countless emcees worth being named, but Charles was one of the first that came to mind. In all his songs about former lovers, I don’t think Drake has anything poignant and poetic as “Come Back To You.” Drake speaks so much about family but has nothing with the amount of heart and passion as “I’ll Be Around.” Has he ever recorded a suicide note like “Latte”? I’ve always gravitated toward the personal, these are just a few songs that really made me into a fan of Charles. I sought his music when feeling overwhelmed by the world, someone else that was going through the storm of life but turning the emotions into art. Unfortunately, Charles’ issues were deeper than I could imagine. He was suffering, despite tragedies inspiring the masterpieces that created his cult following, issues that simply couldn’t be buried by success would swallow him before reaching the pinnacle of his potential. His rise and fall happened swiftly, from being a promising XXL Freshmen signed to Interscope to dropped and hated. The internet loves hard and hates harder, there’s no in-between.

Hollywood has made us suckers for a good comeback story, hip-hop has taught us to never underestimate the underdog, Charles Hamilton’s return embodies both. After some turbulent years he made his grand reappearance as an artist signed to Republic Records and even scored a single on the show and soundtrack for Empire that featured Rita Ora. The hard drugs were absent, his mental health greatly improved, he was officially back. My feelings toward his resurgence was mixed, I was happy for his health but wondered how the music would sound. The question was answered last week when I checked out his forthcoming project, The Black Box EP. This will be his first proper offering through his recent label deal.

The EP is a new sound for Charles, most noticeably apparent by the lack of vocal samples, a trademark of his former work. The six songs are polished but still has a Charles feel to them. He is direct as ever, unafraid to mention the punch in the face, J. Dilla, and a few other problematic situations that slowly lead to his downfall. There’s a song, “Man’s World,”  where he speaks on racism and being black in America that immediately stood out. “Down The Line” is another strong record that will definitely give Starchasers what they been missing. Overall, the EP sounds like an artist regaining his footing, which comes with a lot of trial and error. The hooks are bad, a majority of them fall flat, but despite the rough edges it was good to once again hear the rapper that made me download a bunch of mixtapes with a cartoon hedgehog return from his lower points.

There will always be someone that wants Jay to be the rapper on Reasonable Doubt, for Eminem to be the druggy madman on the Slim Shady LP, for Lil Wayne to return to his mixtape days. It’s an attachment to the familiar that craves the best of their work again and again. It doesn’t work that way though, for any of us. You’ll never be who you were yesterday, artists can never make an album like the one before. It goes against natural progression. There’s a part of me that wants Charles to be that artist who made The Pink Lavalamp, but that’s not who he is anymore. We aren’t the same kids that stood in the street lights howling at the moon. So for the old fans intrigued by the new Charles Hamilton, expect some change. And for new listeners first encountering him though Black Box, I highly recommend going back to The Pink Lavalamp. That time in Hamilton’s life is gone, but we can listen to it forever.