Early Monday morning (September 17), Kanye West‘s Twitter contained two very puzzling items: the word “YANDHI” (written on a Post-It note under Adam Driver’s name, suggesting the two would pair up for an upcoming Saturday Night Live episode), and an image of a bare MiniDisc without any context.
It wasn’t unlike when his 2013 album Yeezus dropped, complete with its artwork of a naked CD with a red sticker on it. Naturally, this caused people to begin speculating that Yeezus 2 was on its way. And then, the details came in — Kanye will indeed perform on SNL on September 29 (with Driver hosting), and that same day, he’ll also launch a project called YANDHI.
Kanye has also changed his social media avatars to a white screen, meaning he could be prepping the beginning of a new era. If YANDHI is indeed a full album, it would be Kanye’s third this year, after Ye, which debuted in June at Kanye’s star-studded Wyoming ranch blowout, and his Kid Cudi collaboaration, Kids See Ghosts. Two weeks ago, Kanye also dropped the new song “I Love It” with Lil Pump, complete with a music video that’s already been parodied for its ridiculousness.
But the news doesn’t stop there! Kanye also took the stage with Chance the Rapper on Monday night to confirm that yes, they are indeed making a joint album together — as they’ve been teasing for weeks now — and it’s called Good Ass Job (a title Kanye’s been teasing for years).
This is a lot to take in, so now’s might be a good time to throw on some music (maybe “Good Ass Intro” or “Ultralight Beam“) and mull it over for a while. And, you know, consider turning on notifications for Kanye’s and Chance’s tweets.
Two weeks after Noah Cyrus and Lil Xan very publicly and messily announced their breakup, we’ve gotten an unexpected reminder of their fleeting summer fling.
See, brief as their romance was, the 18-year-old singer and 22-year-old rapper managed to be quite the productive couple, recording and releasing the mellow, synth-heavy collab “Live or Die” in August. And on Monday (September 17), they unceremoniously leaked the track’s accompanying video, which immortalizes their doomed love in one very shadowy clip.
Cyrus co-directed the vid alongside Tony Corella, and it finds Xoah in happier times; cuddling and kissing by a fireplace as a spotlight illuminates their moves. Meanwhile, they pledge their loyalty to one another by promising, “When you lay by my side / I see the whole world through your eyes / Ride or die, you and I.” Sure, it’s pretty awkward to watch now, but just pretend you’re seeing it *without* the prior knowledge of knowing these two might’ve broken up over an X-rated Charlie Puth meme.
In happier news, Noah is gearing up for the release of her debut EP, Good Cry, which arrives on September 21. Xan, meanwhile, may or may not be quitting music altogether, so cherish “Live or Die” while you can.
Preparing to drop the first music video of her solo career, Lennon Stella set high expectations. With the instantly-catchy single “Bad,” FINALLY out now, the rising queen is delivering.
Pop music stans had reason to believe Lennon would impress. She appeared on Nashville for years with her sister, Maisy Stella, and dropped “Bad” as a demo in July after being signed to RECORDS & Columbia Records. With the song’s official release last night, Lennon already has fans vouching for her.
Along with the single drop, Lennon released the “Bad” music video, which reflects the song’s storyline of an unfaithful boyfriend. She wishes that he would’ve treated her “bad, bad, bad,” so that the breakup wouldn’t leave her “twice as sad.” But seeing how much Lennon thrives in the video, it’s clear that boyfriend is missing out.
Just an hour after the video went live, fans on YouTube cherished this moment Lennon gets huge.
Don’t be late to the Lennon Stella is Famous party. Watch the video for “Bad” and obsess over how much it bops below.
Decades of talent walked into the TRL studio in Times Square this morning, as Estelle and Mistah F.A.B. sat down with host Sway Calloway.
First up, Mistah F.A.B.–who Sway calls one of the best freestyle rappers right now–proved that exact title. In the first ever Flash Freestyle, Sway dropped words and phrases for Mistah F.A.B. to include in his impromptu bars, which he executed with perfection. Mistah F.A.B. wound up shouting out Serena Williams, Colin Kaepernick and incorporating some Bay Area slang.
After Flash Freestyle, Estelle came through ten years after dropping her major hit with Kanye West, “American Boy.” The singer is still going strong, just releasing her second independent album Lovers Rock, a name which points to the rocky relationship of her parents throughout her life. See how Estelle glows talking about the music she’s making now below. TRL airs on weekdays at 8:00am ET.
Since dropping his ninth album, Kamikaze, out of the blue last week, Eminem‘s been in the news a lot. Most of the headlines stem from the rapper’s ongoing beefs with everyone from Joe Budden to Machine Gun Kelly, but it appears Em is now turning the focus back on promoting his new project. After outrunning his critics in the eerie video for “Fall,” Em now finds himself stalked by copycats in the vid for the Joyner Lucas-featuring “Lucky You,” released on Thursday (September 13). (And no, they’re not the bleached Slim Shady clones from the 2000 VMAs… though that would’ve been pretty great.)
The inspiration behind the vid is pretty straightforward: Eminem inspired an entire generation of MCs, and he believes they shamelessly and deliberately copy his every move. The video takes that concept literally, as hordes of hooded, red-eyed men imitate him and Lucas as they rap on top of wrecked cars in a run-down town. Em and Lucas proceed to have some fun with it, making their imitators dab, hump the air, and hop on one foot while patting their heads. Lightheartedness aside, however, it’s clear Em is sending a message to the hip-hop world: they may be watching his every move, but he’s watching them, too.
Though Kamikaze has sparked countless debates about the return of Slim Shady, the album still sold enough to deliver the ninth No. 1 album of Eminem’s career. Maybe this was the revival fans were waiting for.
Dua Lipa, in addition to riding high on a wave of pop-song guest spots in 2018, is currently making her way around the world on The Self-Titled Tour. But her stop in Shanghai on Wednesday night (September 12) was marked by an incident directly affecting a group of her fans.
Social media footage from the show reveals venue security members removing certain fans from their seats; these same concertgoers were reportedly waving pro-gay rights flags before their ejection, The Fader points out.
From the stage, Lipa appeared to address the situation through tears. “I want to create a really safe environment for us all to have fun,” she said, according to fan-captured video. “I want us all to dance. I want us all to sing. I just want us all to have a really good time.”
After the show, she took to social media to address the incident directly in a lengthy statement, saying she was “horrified” at what she saw at the concert.
“I will stand by you all for your love and beliefs and I am proud and grateful that you felt safe enough to show your pride at my show,” Lipa wrote. “What you did takes a lot of bravery. I always want my music to bring strength, hope and unity. I was horrified by what happened and I send love to all my fans involved. I would love to come back for my fans when the time is right and hopefully see a room full of rainbows.”
Lipa has spoken out in support of LGBTQ rights in the past, telling the U.K.’s Gay Times in 2016, “I think artists should really use their power and presence on social media to just put it out there and show support. It’s important because different people look up to them, and they should use that voice to their advantage.”
While the music world continues to feel the aftershocks from the unexpected passing of Mac Miller — who died on September 7 at age 26 — memorials and tributes for the late rapper have been flowing in. The latest comes from Kendrick Lamar, who thoughtfully remembered his friend and collaborator in a video recorded for Complex’s Open Late With Peter Rosenberg on Wednesday night (September 12).
After calling Miller a “funny, funny, funny individual” and talking about how he had “the same type of sick, twisted sense of humor” as him, Lamar continued, “Great musician, great writer. Just always had a smile on his face, and that’s something that I commend. No matter what he was going through, he didn’t make you feel sorry for him. He was strong about it.”
Lamar, who collaborated with Miller on 2016’s “God Is Fair, Sexy Nasty,” further commended the Pittsburgh MC’s unbridled positive energy.
“He always kept a smile on his face because he wanted you to smile too, and that’s just something I always loved,” he said. “No matter whatever personal issues, he gave you that energy. It wasn’t no ‘misery loves company’ with him. He showed a smile and you gave that smile right back. It made you feel good. So forever we gonna remember the life and we gonna remember that smile. Celebrate. Mac Miller. Love!”
Lamar’s video comes just a day after thousands of Miller’s family, friends, and fans gathered at Pittsburgh’s Blue Slide Park to honor his life with a hometown vigil.
The Open Late episode also featured Miller tributes from Macklemore, Machine Gun Kelly, Ty Dolla $ign, and more. See the full episode here.
Last week, Lana Del Rey promised she’d have “two end of summer jams for ya” out soon. The first one has officially arrived via a dreamy video that dropped Wednesday (September 12) for a song called “Mariners Apartment Complex.”
In it, Lana’s voice gets to breathe over lush piano and string orchestration that sounds a little like Chris Isaak’s immortal “Wicked Game.” It’s melancholy as hell, but it sounds good, produced and co-written by pop maestro Jack Antonoff, who helmed both Taylor Swift‘s Reputation and Lorde‘s Melodrama in 2017.
The accompanying video — created with Lana’s sister, Chuck — is simple: a swirling shot of rocks in a rush of ocean interspersed with black-and-white film footage of Lana herself and some associates doing mundane things like hanging out by a fence and cradling a butterfly. But paired with the music, it’s like staying in and listening to a really good song on repeat during a thunderstorm.
The second of the aforementioned jams is apparently called “Venice Bitch,” set to drop on September 18 ahead of a new Lana album due out in 2019.
Until then, we’ve got a lot of romantic, woozy, rainy-day goodness dig into here. Watch the full video above.
Fifth Harmony alum Dinah Jane has kept fans eagerly awaiting her solo music–and during New York Fashion Week, she treated some lucky fans to a performance of her first single before it officially launches next week.
Taking the stage at Teen Vogue and Snapchat’s Body Party event, Dinah began solo showing off her vocals before being joined by dancers for some well-rehearsed choreo. Though there’s no full video of the event, fans wasted no time putting snippets together.
The event marked the first time Dinah has performed as a solo artist, following Fifth Harmony’s hiatus announcement earlier this year. Her debut track, “Bottled Up,” is set to drop on September 21 and features Ty Dolla $ign and Marc E. Bassy.
With Ty on board, fans thought a Dinah and Lauren Jauregui reunion could be imminent, since the rapper and Lauren have been dating since last year. Indeed, as Dinah gave the world a taste of her new music, Ty and Lauren were in the audience cheering the entire time. Later, Lauren posted two clips of Dinah’s performance on her Instagram story, supporting her “bby!” and singing along to a portion of “Bottled Up.” Dinah reposted the second story with a message for Lauren: “love you longtime mamas xxxxx.”
Ty captured a ton of the performance, including a selfie-style video of Lauren and him dancing in the audience.
Even on hiatus, the Fifth Harmony women are so supportive of each other. Laurinah (Lauren plus Dinah, duh) is strong, Harmonizers!
1974’s iconic Rumble in the Jungle boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman is one of the sport’s all-time bouts. Before the pair squared off for eight rounds (ending with Ali toppling Foreman), local spectators in the crowd chanted their support for Ali, the underdog, in their native Lingala, “Ali Bomaye!” — translation: “Ali, kill him!”
This rallying cry has since become a go-to mantra in hip-hop, including for The Game in 2012, and now for South Carolina up-and-comer Nick Grant — the MTV PUSH artist for the month of September.
As he told MTV recently, he first encountered the phrase while watching Will Smith‘s portrayal of the legendary boxer in 2001’s Ali. So he updated it with his own name for a song he called “Nicky Bomaye.”
“I just took that based on my position of the game and how I want to compete and contribute and always just want to be the best,” Grant told MTV. “Because that’s what hip-hop was based on from the start.”
He continued the boxing theme by calling DJ Khaled, whose trademark motivational maxims feature on the studio version of the track, the Mickey and/or Apollo Creed to his Rocky. “He’s encouraging me and talking me through it because in this time, I’m one of the guys that’s pushing that heavy and trying to put it back into the culture where people start to respect it again,” he said.
Watch Grant break down the meaning behind the song above. Then watch his full performance of “Nicky Boyame” below.