Tierra Whack Strips Away The Theatrics In Raw New Freestyle

Tierra Whack isn’t just a mastermind of pre-recorded music that can overwhelm you with intensely artistic visuals (see last year’s Whack World), she can also mesmerize in spur-of-the-moment doses. Look no further than her recent freestyle on Tim Westwood TV in which she strips the theatrics away to the bare bones for a visceral dose of her lyrical capabilities. You’ll need a fan to cool off after this one.

It’s clear from her stance before the freestyle even starts that it’s going to be a massacre. She stands with her head to the ground and a solemn look on her face in what looks like the greatest Final Fantasy final boss design in history. When she gets the OK from Westwood, she goes on a two-minute tirade of witty remarks and gut-twisting imagery that’ll make you smile, blush, and wince.”You love drama/I love taking trips to Benihana/Swag on Michelle Obama/Book a trip to Ghana,” she raps like Sonic The Hedgehog, lightning fast and clean. Her own smile threatens to break through on occasion but she’s determined to keep things going. And she succeeds as the microphone smokes like the road after the roar of fast tires.

Whack also sat down for a conversation with Westwood where the two talked about the origin of her rap name (which is her real name), losing weight, and much more. One of the most interesting tidbits is that she has a pet potato which she feeds french fries, something that may not seem that super far fetched if you’ve watched her recent video for “Unemployed.”

Whack has had an amazing year thus far. During the span of mid-February to mid-March, a period she referred to as #WhackHistoryMonth, she dropped five songs: “Only Child,” “Clones,” “Gloria,” “Wasteland,” and “Unemployed.” Now, the world waits with held breath for word of a new project. Hopefully, it’s soon.

Watch the freestyle and interview up above.

Lil Nas X Approves Of CupcakKe’s ‘Old Town Road’ Remix: ‘I Love Her’

Lil Uzi may have fled from his interview with Nardwuar the Human Serviette for the second time at Rolling Loud this year, but Lil Nas X held an interesting conversation with the eccentric interviewer. In the brief, entertaining discussion Lil Nas X revealed that he was a fan of CupcakKe‘s “Old Town Hoe,” a clever, x-rated remix of his viral hit, “Old Town Road.” Both Lil Nas X and Nardwuar’s unique brands of awkwardness were on display as they discussed everything from his father’s gospel EP to cowboys in Canada.

The interview was a brief one by Nardwuar’s standards; it lasted a little more than seven minutes. But their conversation was a fast one, jumping to different categories as Lil Nas X offered a smile and shining teeth to each of the Human Serviette’s questions. Nardwuar asked the budding country star about the other variations of his song that have come out, mentioning CupcakKe’s “Old Town Hoe” in particular. Lil Nas X broke into a wide grin and put his thumbs up in support. “CupcakKe is amazing, I love her,” he said, smiling.

CupcakKe released the video for “Old Town Hoe” earlier this week that encouraged viewers to eat their veggies in a very inappropriate way. With Lil Nas X’s seal of approval, it would make for a great storyline if she were to be featured on an official remix. But for now, all we can do is enjoy the differences between the two versions.

Take a look at the amusing conversation up above.

FKA twigs’s Heartbreak Takes the Stage at Stunning Magdalene Performance

In November 2018, FKA twigs invited us to “step back in time.” For the fourth edition of her Instagram-exclusive zine, AVANTgarden, the English artist “hopped in her time machine,” going all the way back to 2003 to track down a rare treasure: a duchesse-satin Dior coat by John Galliano, billowing with sumptuous ruffles. Like Galliano, whose ready-to-wear runway show featured a vivid display of “multicolor Asian-slash-eighteenth-century clothes,” twigs — with stylist Matthew Josephs — brought the coat to unexpected life in AVANTgarden, pairing it with thin, jewel-encrusted sunglasses, and minimalist, kabuki-inspired makeup. The look — just one example of the startling vision she’s exhibited throughout her career — was a reminder of her skill for blending past and present to access something entirely new.

And on May 12, at the Park Avenue Armory, as part of Red Bull Music Festival New York and her 10-stop Magdalene tour, FKA twigs pulled us back even further, reaching deeper into her wells of style, choreography, and sound to execute an ambitious, multi-pronged performance on par with her three-night, 2015 takeover, Congregata.

Noam Galai/Getty Images

Though twigs has yet to release a full-length album since 2014’s LP1, the April release of her latest single “Cellophane” hinted at the emergence of her long-awaited follow-up. At Magdalene, she debuted a handful of new songs presumably to be heard on a forthcoming project (and, bringing her to tears, likely inspired by her split with Robert Pattinson). But, in true form, she started the evening with, of all things, a brief round of tap-dancing, while dressed as a monochrome harlequin in pointed, half-oval shades.

In 2019, twigs has reminded us she’s not only talented at folding history’s disparate edges together; she’s capable of completely transforming the constituent parts, using unexpected combinations to devise rich worlds and fantasies: In the video for “Cellophane,” pearl earrings are punched into “gas station dad sunglasses” to suggest a neo-Venetian Columbina mask; on-stage at Magdalene, wielding what appeared to be a jian, she executed a skilled sword routine while her glitchy, ominous strain of electronic R&B thundered in the background.

Her visuals — each edition of AVANTgarden; M3LL155X’s quarter-hour-length video; “Cellophane,” directed by frequent Björk collaborator Andrew Thomas Huang — have blended mediums and broken open seams in time and space to disorient viewers. Culling references from Renaissance-era fashion to contemporary dance, Magdalene is similarly expansive, marrying twigs’s naturalistic and industrial influences in a strange vision of paradise — a line cooing about “the fruit inside of me,” for example, is countered by “Figure 8”’s grinding, digital scream. But always at the center of her myth is love: her stories of broken hearts, insatiable passion, and never-ending romance. During a breakup ballad about the strains of emotional unavailability, she openly wept — “I’m never gonna get up / I’m probably gonna think about you all the time” — and that the opening half of the show found twigs and her troupe of dancers up against banners bearing idyllic cloudscapes was no light touch: Paired with historical symbols of power, honor, wealth, and elegance, twigs elevated her love stories to a heavenly plane of significance.

Eventually, the clouds fell away to reveal a more traditional venue for twigs’s icy, experimental sound: two floors of scaffolding, a club-like facade for her dancers and band members. In the middle of the edifice, there was a pole. After a cameo by A$AP Rocky for a surprise performance of Testing’s “Fukk Sleep,” as well as a selection of new material, she performed a routine to LP1’s “Lights On” that, for anyone in the crowd who still had presence of mind, demanded you to lift your phone and dutifully record.

That the performance of the song — one her most well-known tracks — featured no live vocals underlined Magdalene’s statement of purpose: The visual elements of twigs’s work aren’t mere window dressing for her sound; they are arguably as crucial to understanding her as the music itself.

“The purest me is in the midst of the stage,” she tweeted after Magdalene’s Los Angeles debut.

And Magdalene — like Congregata — heralds new music rather than follows in its footsteps; it seems like no coincidence. Her performances aren’t footnotes or addendums; they’re beginnings of new chapters, introductions to her latest, bold endeavor, pure synthesis for an artist capable of astonishing us in more ways than one.

Kyle Is The Host Of A Chaotic Cartoon Comedy In First Trailer For New Series

Kyle is bringing the magic of Saturday morning cartoons that kids enjoy to adults with his new animated Fuse show, Sugar and Toys. In the first spectacularly nostalgic trailer, Kyle tackles any and everything in a comedic light, poking fun at rappers of the past and present to build a hilarious first look. If you’re a fan of the absurdity of Robot Chicken and the snarky wit of Family Guy, Kyle’s new show will be right up your alley.

The teaser trailer for Sugar and Toys looks and sounds like a cereal commercial, only instead of having jokes written for kids, it tackles all things rap in a variety of formats. There’s traditional cartoon animation, then there’s what looks like claymation. Kyle hosts the show and appears in both human and animated forms, and the crux of the show’s hilarious setups gets revealed; a Lego version of FX’s Atlanta? A hologram of Tupac getting hit by a car? Someone collecting rappers with the word ‘Lil’ in their moniker like they’re collector toys? This looks to be a unique treat.

Sugar and Toys will premiere on Fuse on June 9 at 11 PM EST. In addition to hip-hop, the show will have social commentary. It’s produced by Carl Jones and Brian Ash from The Boondocks and Black Dynamite so you know that it’ll be a rousing treat.

CupcakKe Encourages You To Eat Your Veggies In ‘Old Town Hoe’ Video

CupcakKe has released the video for her own unique spin on Lil Nas X’s viral hit, “Old Town Road.” The yeehawt-and-heavy visual for “Old Town Hoe” features enough corn on the cob and phallic lollipops to make your grandmother put her hands to her wide-open mouth and say “Oh my!” before excusing herself from the room. But, as usual, there’s a heart-warming element to the rapper’s raunchiness that wins you over. She’s having good fun.

CupcakKe’s private puns and x-rated plays on words are always chuckle-worthy, but, here, she’s really in her bag. She flips Billy Ray Cyrusremix refrain, “take my horse to the old town road” and “I got the horses in the back” in explicit ways that’ll make you cackle at the wittiness. The video is equally as over-the-top as the on-brand song. CupcaKKe and her amorous crew wear leather jackets and bandana-patterned shirts along with the Lil Nas X signature hats, that he’s (jokingly) being forced to wear, as they eat corn on the cob and lollipops. It’s a weird combination for their teeth, but that’s a story for another day.

CupcakKe has been adventurous with her artistry this year. In March, she was a hardcore rapper sending threats on “Bird Box.” In February, she cosplayed as a tired mermaid in the video for “Squidward’s Nose.”

Watch the video for “Old Town Hoe” up above.

Kanye West And Kim Kardashian’s Fourth Child Is Here And ‘He’s Perfect’

Imagine the smile on Kanye West‘s face right now. Not the one from that viral clip of him at the Met Gala. A ginormous, massive entity that’s swallowed his face and massive cheeks. Even bigger than the one that you’re thinking of at this moment. It probably matches the wide-eyed grin and tears streaming from Kim Kardashian‘s face since their surrogate mother has given birth to the couple’s fourth child.

Kim took to Twitter earlier today (May 10) to tell the world about her new son’s arrival. “He’s here and he’s perfect!” she tweeted. “He’s also Chicago’s twin lol I’m sure he will change a lot but now he looks just like her,” she wrote later. Page Six reports that the child was born on Thursday (May 9) and weighed six pounds and nine ounces.

The couple’s newest addition joins their children North, Saint, and Chicago West. Now that Kim has new motherly duties to attend to, she may be taking a step back from helping to free inmates who were convicted of non-violent drug offenses.

Bop Shop: Songs From Ari Lennox, Denzel Curry, Crumb, Alvvays, And More

What separates Ari Lennox from the bevy of modern female R&B singers is largely that her voice, which she’s previously described as “imperfect,” doesn’t sacrifice sharpness to produce soul. There’s raw, lusty power hiding within, which makes her odes to the different faces of romance feel more urban and realer than many of her peers. Her debut studio album, Shea Butter Baby, works because of its blue-faced soul, its tender embrace, and its rougher edge. And one of its highlights is album opener, “Chicago Boy.”

Confidence is sexy. Here, as the song begins, a long, confident trumpet recedes for a smooth, Don Cornelius level of soul to wash over. Lennox finds the source – a man in a CVS whose essence she downs like moonshine. Lust in her eyes, she sings with urgency, desperate to make plans with him. As the tension heats up, the trumpet returns. But it’s not actually an instrument: It’s her voice. It cuts through the soft soul and turns the plea into an urgent request. Under the night sky, “Chicago Boy” hangs like fresh a fresh evening haze, a reminder of vivid attraction and hungry lust. It’s steamy. It’s sexy. And it sounds genuine. —Trey Alston

Rihanna’s History-Making Fenty Fashion House Is Officially On The Way

Today (May 10), Rihanna rises. Not to new music, that’s for some other time. The singer’s fashion brand is heading to Paris! LVMH has officially announced that it’s teaming up with Rihanna for a Paris-based luxury house, aptly named Fenty. The good news is that this isn’t a flag in the ground, only for news about it to come years later. Fenty will be unveiled on May 22.

It’s been rumored for months that Rihanna and LVMH had something in the works. Today, the hype became official with the announcement. In a statement on the official LVMH site, the new Fenty House will be “centered on Rihanna, developed by her and takes shape with her vision in terms of ready to wear, shoes, and accessories, including commerciality and communication of the brand. In just a few weeks, the first pieces will be on display in just a few weeks in Paris.

Rihanna also released a statement, excited for the House to come. “Designing a line like this with LVMH is an incredibly special moment for us,” she said in a statement. “Mr. Arnault has given me a unique opportunity to develop a fashion house in the luxury sector, with no artistic limits. I couldn’t imagine a better partner both creatively and business-wise, and I’m ready for the world to see what we have built together.”

The first word of the collaboration came back in January when WWD reported that through multiple sources, the singer was readying a collaboration with LVMH. Now that her threads will be available in coming weeks, it looks like the road to new music could be opening up. Hopefully, it’s a surprise announcement, just like this one has been.

Logic’s New Album Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind Comes With A Surprise Feature

Logic‘s spooky new album Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind is finally here. After the near two-month wait, the fully-stocked LP arrives in full splendor, with a list of collaborators both unpredictable and larger-than-life. It’s a welcome fifth chapter for the rapper that continues to rise.

Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind is sixteen tracks of confessions, danger, and surprise appearances. It features the previously released “Homicide” with Eminem and comedian Chris D’Elia that is the song equivalent of a category 5 hurricane. Elsewhere on the LP, YBN Cordae, G-Eazy, Gucci Mane, and Wiz Khalifa all pound out verses. And, in a weird turn of events, Logic’s father, credited as “My Dad,” appears on its penultimate track.  All of this combines for an interesting new stone in Logic’s infinity gauntlet. Now that he has five, what will he produce with a snap?

The rollout for Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind began in March when Logic released a blood-soaked trailer to announce it. The LP is also somewhat reminiscent of his debut novel Supermarket that came out that same month (which enabled him to become the first rapper to top the New York Times’ Best Sellers List), which follows the journey of a grocery store employee named Flynn who deals with, as the book’s back cover reads, “sex, drugs, and murder on aisle 9.” Logic released an accompanying soundtrack for the novel as well.

Listen to the album up above.

Madonna and Swae Lee Are Breathless Lovers On ‘Crave’

The soft jazz music of a noir thriller clung to the cool nighttime air like an evening breeze. Car horns popped softly in the distance and the chatter of the after-nightclub crowds grew dimmer. A mysterious man in a pinstripe suit stood in a wide alleyway between two closed restaurants with a cigarette in his mouth, unlit, and his left leg in a triangle as he leaned against a wall. 

After a few moments, a woman with frosty blonde hair turned the corner and slowly walked towards him. She looked fierce, tired, and ready to call it a night. Her eyes were locked on the manilla folder in the man’s hand that he gently flicked when she got close. He sighed, told her that she was late with the air of a teacher’s nagging tone, and handed it to her. She opened it and looked at its contents, smiling. Inside was a picture of Swae Lee. “Your next mission, if you proceed to take it, is to make a song with this chap,” the man said. The man reached for a lighter from his breast pocket and prepared to explain the task’s parameters. When he looked back up, the woman was gone. The folder too.

A SHORT TIME LATER

Madonna has intertwined her voice with Swae Lee for a happy new record about innocent love called “Crave.” The pair are obsessed partners who realize the power of their attraction and aren’t afraid to test the waters. The track is set to appear on Madonna’s forthcoming espionage-themed album Madame X that’s set to drop on June 14. It’s nearly impossible to listen to this without a smile sneaking to the corners of your face. Listen to it, you owe yourself that much on this beautiful Friday morning.

It’s not quite pleading, per se, but “Crave” bounces along with a frantic tone, one of grasping for affection that’s just out of reach. The pair’s manufactured love for each other here is heavy and the lip-biting is steamy. Madonna sighs and sings breathlessly of her NEED for her partner. She’s far away from home and she misses the safe space of her partner – her head nuzzled on his shoulder. Swae Lee joins her for a breezy chorus about feelings that never fade and strong, dangerous love. “‘Cause you’re the one I crave/And my cravings get dangerous,” the pair sing together, their voices twisting themselves around each other until they lock in place. The goosebumps then fall down your shoulders.

“Crave” is the latest of the vast world that Madame X will explore. Last week, she released an empowering anthem about resilience, “I Rise,” featuring the voice of Stoneman Douglas shooting survivor Emma González. Last month, she released “Medellín,” a tropical anthem with Maluma.

Listen to the song up above.

“Good job, agent,” the man said, curling the cord of the pay phone around his fingers. “The payment that we discussed will be in the account shortly.” He hung up the phone and walked off into the hustle and bustle of a New York morning in Times Square. The woman with the frosty blonde hair put down the phone and nuzzled the fur on her cat’s head beside her. She reclined into the couch, smiling.