Jay-Z

10 Must-See Coachella 2014 Moments You Can Watch Online

Just like that, the first weekend of Coachella 2014 has come and gone, and now all we have left are a few hipster jokes and the lingering sensation that there’s a feather headband out there biding its time until next year (or next weekend). The three-day music festival featured 169 performances by bands, solo artists, and DJs, but through the massive lineup of acts, there are a few moments that stand out. Don’t worry if you weren’t there — you can watch them online, sans dust and… Read More

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Wu-Tang Clan’s ‘Shaolin’ Museum Tour Could Change Music Culture

Yesterday, iconic rap collective Wu-Tang Clan announced, in Forbes of all places, that they’d be releasing only one copy of their new album, The Wu — Once Upon a Time in ShaolinThat one copy could fetch up to multiple millions of dollars, a price tag reflected as much by the LP’s container as by its rarity: it comes in an engraved silver-and-nickel box that took three months to carve. As Wu member RZA eloquently phrased it, “This is like somebody having the scepter of an Egyptian king.” Now, this might sound like Nipsey Hussle’s $100 mixtape strategy on steroids, or another example of hip hop as pop culture’s most financially aspirational artform. But it’s not, because the millions this double album will fetch are not nearly as interesting as what Wu-Tang Clan will do with Once Upon a Time in Shaolin before it heads to auction. … Read More

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Ranking the 2014 Grammy Performances from Best to Worst

And so, the Grammys again. Since half the awards are given out before the ceremony even takes place, the abiding sources of interest these days are a) the outfits and b) the performances. As far as 2014 goes, the relevant points of interest on the former point were Pharrell’s hat (which, inevitably, already has its own Twitter account) and Kacey Musgraves’ curious dress. And the performances… well, as ever, they ranged from the almost sublime to the utterly ridiculous. Here’s our rundown of each any every one, starting with the best and working through to the ones that sent you to the fridge for several more… Read More

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What We Learned From the Five-Part ‘Beyoncé’ Documentary

As a belated Christmas present to all of us, Beyoncé just released the final installment of her Beyoncé mini-documentary — a five-part series detailing the process of creating her album, from writing to recording to filming all 17 stunning videos. We’ve known for quite a while, or at least since the strange quasi-confessional that was Life Is But a Dream, that Beyoncé only reveals what she wants us to see, so it’s difficult not to take all of her meditations on “finding the beauty in imperfection” and how liberating it is to work without a plan with a medium-sized grain of salt. That said, it’s not every day you get to watch Pharrell give Beyoncé a pep talk or hear a blown-away Justin Timberlake tell her, “There’s something wrong with you,” after a particularly incredible moment in the studio. Read on for everything else we learned from the Beyoncé documentary. … Read More

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10 “Retired” Musicians Who Broke Their Word

Perhaps you heard the screams of your younger sister and cousins on Christmas Eve as they scrolled through Twitter on their smart phones in between rolling their eyes at whatever conversation your dad and your uncle were having that night. Clearly nothing was more important than the shocking announcement that Justin Bieber would be retiring from music at the tender age of 19. Did you make any attempts to console them, suggesting that maybe, like many other musicians before him, Bieber might be a little dramatic (he did, after all, follow that tweet with one saying, “I’M HERE FOREVER”)? Maybe you can assure them that Bieber, like a few of these famous music acts, might come back around again. … Read More

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Why ‘Beyoncé’ Makes Me Want to Die

Look, I’ll be honest: I can’t stand Beyoncé. There’s something about her that has always stirred a sort of visceral loathing in me, something I’ve tried hard to articulate over the years. It’s a combination of the narcissism, the materialism, the arrogance, the faux feminism, and the awful, awful songs. And the fact that it seems I am the literal only person who feels this way (well, just about), while everyone else is writing articles like this. Beyoncé is not an avatar of perfection; she is a cashed-up diva with a temperature-controlled personal archive and a penchant for making propaganda films (and trampling people in her way). BUT! I am a professional. And I listened to Beyoncé with an open mind. I tried. I really did. This is what happened. … Read More

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The 10 Most Overrated Albums of 2013

It’s end-of-year list-making time, and right on cue, the first bunch of Best-of-2013 lists are starting to appear on various blogs and in magazines. And, as ever, there’s a certain orthodoxy about them, a pattern whereby you see the same record appear on list after list, and find yourself scratching your head and saying, “But, wait, that album sucked!” Well, if it’s any consolation, it’s not just you. Here are ten records to which your correspondent has had the same reaction — albums that seem to have gotten universal love despite being at best flawed and at worst… Read More

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About ’90s Hip Hop

This weekend was the 20th anniversary of the Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, the latest in a roll call of significant ’90s hip hop anniversaries that have fallen this year. All the reminiscence has gotten us thinking about that era of hip hop in general, and poring over the history that’s been written (and unwritten) about one of the genre’s golden periods. Culled from our research, here are ten things that maybe you didn’t know about ’90s hip… Read More

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