Drake's "God's Plan" Debuts At #1 On Billboard Hot 100
Drake’s “God’s Plan” debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the week of February 3. The track was released alongside “Diplomatic Immunity” as the Scary Hours EP.
“God’s Plan” is the 29th song to debut at #1 in the Hot 100 chart’s history, according to Billboard. It replaced Camila Cabello’s “Havana,” which enjoyed a week in the first place slot.
Preliminary data shows “God’s Plan” may total a record-breaking 55 million U.S. streams. The track is also slated to sell over 110,000 downloads, landing at number one on the Digital Song Sales chart. Last week, “God’s Plan” broke the global record for first-day streams on Apple’s streaming service as well as the U.S. record for Spotify.
The other half of Scary Hours, “Diplomatic Immunity,” currently sits at #7 on the chart, making Drizzy just the second artist in the chart’s history to debut two songs in the Top 10 at once.
30th January 2018 14:38
WIRELESS ANNOUNCE HUGE 2018 LINE UP
Wireless have announced their hotly anticipated line up for their 2018 festival and as always it's looking like another landmark date for fans of UK music and beyond.
They've pulled no punches with the headliners this year, as J. Cole and Stormzy both get slots on the Friday and Saturday respectively, while DJ Khaled will be bringing through some famous friends for one hell of a closer on Sunday.
The likes of Giggs, J Hus, Mist, MoStack, Not3s and plenty others will all be showing up to represent for the UK too, while Cardi B, Migos, Lil Uzi Vert, French Montana and other superstars will be flying over from across the pond to shut down Finsbury Park.
Check the full line up announcement below
DJ Khaled and Friends
A Boogie Wit da Hoodie
Lil Uzi Vert
Ski Mask The Slump God
22nd January 2018 15:03
CARDI B AND 21 SAVAGE TOP FORBES’ 2018 HIP-HOP FUTURE MOGULS LIST
It’s no secret that Cardi B is making money moves, but she’s not the only artist who's poised to be a future rap mogul.
Cardi, 21 Savage, Post Malone, Vic Mensa, Tyler, the Creator, Dave East, Playboi Carti and producer WondaGurl are among the artists gracing Forbes’ 2018 Hip-Hop's Future Moguls list (formerly known as Hip-Hop Cash Princes). The list honors artists under the age 30 who are making major waves in the rap industry.
Clearly, Cardi had a productive 2017 thanks to her breakthrough hit "Bodak Yellow" and 21 Savage's Issa album solidified him a bonafide rap star. But so did Post Malone whose song "Rockstar," which also featured 21 Savage, became a No. 1 hit in a short time span. Another rapper Lil Pump, 17, also went from SoundCloud fame to mainstream success with his infectious song, "Gucci Gang."
Elsewhere, Tyler made the list for his successful launch of his streetwear line Golf Wang, his popular Converse sneaker collaboration and his annual festival, Camp Flog Gnaw. Also, WondaGurl, whose real name is Ebony Naomi Oshunrinde, is saluted for her production work with Big Sean, Lil Uzi Vert and Bryson Tiller in 2017.
10th January 2018 14:11
COACHELLA ANNOUNCES 2018 LINEUP, INCLUDING BEYONCÉ, EMINEM AND THE WEEKND
The coveted Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has announced its 2018 lineup, and unsurprisingly, it's pretty amazing. The Weeknd, Beyoncé and Eminem are slated to headline this year's desert soiree, with names like SZA, Haim, Portugal. The Man, Cardi B, Miguel and so many more making the trek to Indio, California this April.
The festival will run two weekends: April 13-15th and April 20-22. Passes go on sale Friday, January 5, at 12:00 PM PST at coachella.com. Check out the full, alphabetized lineup list below.
A Perfect Circle
Chic ft. Nile Rodgers
Chloe x Halle
Detroit Love (Carl Craig, Kyle Hall, Moodymann)
First Aid Kit
Greta Van Fleet
Los Ángeles Azules
Louis the Child
Mild High Club
Motor City Drum Ensemble
Nothing But Thieves
Portugal. The Man
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Tank and the Bangas
The Black Madonna
The War on Drugs
Tyler, the Creator
Westside Gunn + Conway
3rd January 2018 15:21
Jorja Smith Named BRITs Critics' Choice Award For 2018
After being shortlisted last week, Jorja Smith has been announced as the winner of one of the most prestigious BRIT Awards.
The rising star has won the Critics' Choice Award for 2018 - which recognises the "future stars of British recording talent" - following in the footsteps of Adele, Sam Smith and last year's winner Rag'n'Bone Man.
The 'On My Mind' has has an incredible 2017 between her own solo projects and two appearances on Drake's record-breaking mixtape More Life, and her new title signals even greater things are to come.
“I cannot believe it, it's been an unforgettable 2017 during which I've fulfilled so many of my dreams and this is such a special way to end the year," she said upon accepting the award.
She acknowledged fellow shortlist nominees Stefflon Don and Mabel, saying "To be part of an all female shortlist alongside Mabel and Stefflon Don, who've both had incredible 2017s, makes it even better!"
"There's lots more to come in 2018 from all of us and I will do my best to make it another memorable year!”
5th December 2017 12:38
FIND OUT WHO MADE THE BBC'S SOUND OF 2018 LONGLIST
The BBC have dropped their annual "Sound of..." list, predicting the newest musicians most likely to have big years next year.
Joining the list from our scene is Rated Awards Best Newcomer Not3s, who's had a crazy year this year and just made it into the top 40, as well as Rated Award nominee Yxng Bane. UK R&B singer IAMDDB made it on to the list too after her single "Shade" led to her making big waves this year.
Last year's winner Ray BLK was on the 2018 panel alongside previous nominee Stormzy. The list also features obscure artists alongside artists like Khalid who has already had a huge year, reaching No 4 on the US charts.
See the full list below.
Rex Orange County
27th November 2017 14:44
Meek Mill Sentenced to 2 to 4 Years In State Prison
Meek Mill is going back to prison. The Philadelphia rapper has been sentenced to a minimum of two years for violating his probation.
Mill (born Robert Rihmeek William) arrived at a Philadelphia court on Monday (Nov. 6), where Judge Genece E. Brinkley ruled that he'd violated multiple provisions of his probation from a 2008 drug and gun case.
Meek reportedly addressed the judge for around 40 minutes, explaining that his violations were "technical" mistakes and not intended as disrespect for the court.
“I’m human. I’m not perfect,” Mill told Judge Brinkley. “I’m asking for mercy. You gave me the ladder to do what I have to do to prevail in my struggle. I made it this far, I can’t really go back and start over.”
But Brinkley cited Mill's two arrests this year and he and his managers scheduling concerts that required travel despite the judge barring performances outside of Philadelphia or Montgomery County. The judge chided Mill for not performing his community service to her liking; she'd visited the rapper as he was supposed to be feeding the homeless at Broad Street Ministry in Philadelphia—but when she arrived, she saw him sorting clothes. “It was only when you realized that I came there to check on you that you decided to serve meals,” Brinkley said.
Last month, Mill pleaded guilty in Manhattan to reckless endangerment charges after he was arrested for doing stunts on a dirt bike on city streets and then posting video online. Mill wasn't given a ticket at the time; he was arrested after the video was seen. He was arrested back in March for fighting at a St. Louis airport—the charges were dropped after he agreed to perform community service for the Veterans Association in Philadelphia.
Meek Mill's attorney, Brian J. McMonagle, told the judge that authorities downgraded the charges, allowing the rapper to enter a pretrial diversion program with community service. And neither the city prosecutor nor Mill’s probation officer recommended jail time for the violations. But Brinkley seems to have decided to make an example of the rapper.
“I gave you break after break and you basically just thumbed your nose at this court,” Brinkley told Mill. The rapper removed several of his personal belongings and was escorted out of court following his sentencing.
Social media reacted with shock and disappointment following Meek Mill's sentencing.
15th November 2017 12:30
IS KANYE WEST STARTING A STREAMING SERVICE CALLED ‘YEEZY SOUND’?
It looks like Kanye West may be up to something big.
According to The Blast, Kanye filed trademark papers for something called “Yeezy Sound,” which looks like it could potentially be a streaming service. The papers, which were filed last week on Nov. 2, includes rights to the “streaming of music, audio, images, video, and other multimedia content, over the Internet.” Sounds like a steaming service platform of some sort, right?
Kanye is currently embroiled in a battle with JAY-Z's streaming platform, Tidal, where he's fighting for $3.5 million in unpaid advances and bonuses. Back in July 2016, Kanye went on Twitter to express his frustrations with streaming platforms across the board.
“The Tidal Apple Music beef is f—ing up the music game,” he wrote. Fellow Chicago rapper, Kid Cudi, chimed in, supporting West's assessment. “All this shit is wack. Bunch of rich guys on a power trip," he wrote on Twitter. "This shit aint about music. Never has.The rich just wanna get richer. Spare me,” he tweeted, adding, “the art is lost.”
While we wait to see exactly what Yeezy Sound actually is, if it is a streaming platform, it'll be interesting to see how Kanye sets it up, given his feelings about the business.
On the music front, he seems to be slowly getting back into the groove, although he's been working on the production end of things fairly consistently, according to Pusha T, who says Kanye produced three versions of his upcoming album, King Push. Kanye made a surprise appearance at Kid Cudi's show in Chicago a few days ago, his first performance since being hospitalized. Last week he also showed up on G.O.O.D. music artist, Cy-Hi Da Prynce's latest song, "Dat Side" from his upcoming debut album.
In the meantime, we'll have to see exactly what Kanye is up to with Yeezy Sound.
8th November 2017 13:53
Chris Brown’s ‘Heartbreak on a Full Moon’ Has Arrived
Chris Brown's much-anticipated new album, Heartbreak on a Full Moon, is now available.
The 45-track collection features a load of appearances, from Jhene Aiko to Yo Gotti, Lil Yachty, Dej Loaf, Usher and Gucci Mane among others. The singer has already released several singles from the stacked project, including "Tempo," "Only 4 Me," and "Confidence." He also dropped a spooky, dance-filled video for "High End" featuring Young Thug and Future.
About a week ago, while promoting the project, Chris said that he actually has 800 songs recorded on his phone, showcasing his work ethic, which he seems to feel has been tested as of late, if the IG message he wrote over the weekend is any indication.
"I direct, edit, vocal arrange, and make u hate me because IM THE FUCKING BEST! SO DO YOURSELF A FAVOR, ACTAULLY GET A WORK ETHIC AND GRIND BECAUSE IMA OUT-HUSTLE, RAP, AND SING BETTER THEN ALL YOU SCARED INDUSTRY ----S!" he wrote. "I been here before a lot y’all niggas even knew about real music! NOT NAY ONE OF ANY OF YALL CAN SEE ME AND YOU ACTUALLY TRULY KNOW IT!"
1st November 2017 14:27
Cardi B 'Moves' to No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100 With 'Bodak Yellow,'
Cardi B is the first female rapper to rule without any other billed acts since Lauryn Hill in 1998.
Cardi B becomes the first female rapper to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart without the assistance of any other credited artists in nearly 19 years, as her debut hit "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)" rises from No. 2 to No. 1 on the latest chart (dated Oct. 7).
"Bodak," released on The KSR Group/Atlantic Records, makes Cardi B (born Belcalis Almanzar, in the Bronx, New York) just the second female rapper to top the Hot 100 without any other billed artists, following Lauryn Hill's first solo Hot 100 entry (apart from the Fugees), "Doo Wop (That Thing)," for two weeks beginning with its Nov. 14, 1998, debut at No. 1.
Cardi B is only the fifth female rapper ever to lead the Hot 100 at all. After Hill, Lil' Kim ruled for five weeks in 2001 with Christina Aguilera, Mya and P!nk on "Lady Marmalade"; Shawnna reigned as featured on Ludacris' "Stand Up," which topped the Dec. 6, 2003, chart; and Iggy Azalea's introductory Hot 100 hit, "Fancy," featuring Charli XCX, led for seven weeks in 2014.
Cardi B is also the first female soloist to top the Hot 100 with a debut track unaccompanied by another artist since Meghan Trainor, whose "All About That Bass" led for eight weeks beginning Sept. 20, 2014.
26th September 2017 15:43
MIST TO MENTOR BIRMINGHAM RISING TALENT WITH LEVI’S® MUSIC PROJECT
Following the success of Levi’s® Music Project with Skepta last year, it’s currently making its way up north with MIST set to host workshops with Birmingham’s budding talent at the city’s leading community centre The Pump next month.
“Growing up in Birmingham has really been part of my journey and so contributing to a long term music facility here is my chance to put something back into this community,” MIST says of his involvement. “We’re going to show how music can really unite people regardless of who they are and what their background is. In this space everyone will be an equal. I hope to give people a better understanding of my process, and guide the young musicians based on how I work in the studio.”
Working in collaboration with Boiler Room, the project culminates in an intimate show that will see MIST performing alongside those he’s mentored through the project.
13th September 2017 11:50
JAY-Z Nabs 14th No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With ‘4:44′
As expected, JAY-Z’s 4:44 album premiered at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, reports Billboard.
According to Nielsen Music, the collection moved 262,000 equivalent album units last week. Of that sum, 174,000 copies were from traditional album sales. from the 174,000 units, 131,000 were from downloads and 43,000 were CD purchases.
4:44 was initially released on June 30 on Tidal, however, the streaming platform didn’t report data for the album to Nielsen Music for the week ending July 6. On July 7, the album was available on other streaming services (except for Spotify) and retailers.
However, Hov didn’t have the biggest debut week of 2017, at least according to Billboard. With his 262,000 copies, JAY secured the fourth-largest sales week of 2017, behind No. 1 debuts of Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. (603,000 units), Drake’s More Life (505,000) and Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide) (451,000).
4:44’s No. 1 placement extends JAY-Z’s record as the only solo artist with the most No. 1 albums in Billboard history. Among all musical acts, Hov is behind the Beatles who have 19 No. 1 albums in their career. JAY-Z’s run of No. 1 albums started in 1998 with Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life, which was also his first chart-topper.
We must also mention that The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has recognized JAY-Z’s 4:44 as certified platinum for selling 1 million copies. The veteran rhymer adopted the same album release strategy he used for 2013’s Magna Carta: Holy Grail by allowing Sprint to purchase a million copies and distribute them through Tidal.
Meanwhile, JAY-Z has partnered with Puma for his upcoming “4:44 Tour,” which launches in October.
17th July 2017 13:56
‘All Eyez On Me’ Squanders the Opportunity To Examine 2Pac’s Relationships With Women Read More: 'All Eyez On Me' Squanders the Opportunity To Examine 2Pac's Relationships With Women
All Eyez On Me, the biopic that chronicles the life and career of Tupac Shakur, has been receiving mixed reviews from critics and some prominent celebs since it hit theaters on June 16–what would have been the rapper’s 46th birthday. 2Pac means a lot to a lot of people–it’s understandable that a movie about his life would be the subject of intense scrutiny. The film’s flaws are evident virtually from the very beginning, with a prison interview as clumsy framing device and paper thin characterizations of the Black Panthers that influenced the young Shakur and educated him regarding revolutionary politics.
The critics have all sounded off on All Eyez On Me‘s failings–as has Jada Pinkett-Smith, a childhood friend of the rapper who is featured prominently in the film portrayed by actress Kat Graham. 2Pac fans know that Pinkett-Smith and Shakur were very close, and she took exception to some of the liberties the filmmakers took with their history.
“Forgive me… my relationship to Pac is too precious to me for the scenes in All Eyez On Me to stand as truth,” she tweeted the day before the movie hit theaters. “Pac never said goodbye to me before leaving for LA. He had to leave abruptly and it wasn’t to pursue his career,” she explained, and called out other inaccuracies in the story.
Jada’s criticisms come from a very personal place–this was a friendship that meant a lot to her. And, of course, biopics are never completely based in fact–things are often dramatized for the sake of storytelling. But Pinkett-Smith’s criticisms highlight what is arguably All Eyez On Me‘s greatest failing: it sanitizes and oversimplifies 2Pac’s complicated relationship with women in his life.
For all of Suge Knight’s infamy, Snoop Dogg’s popularity and the never-wavering loyalty of Naughty By Nature’s Treach, 2Pac’s most compelling relationships were with women. His mother Afeni Shakur looms large in his story; she was his intellectual and political foundation. A former Black Panther who notably represented herself in the notorious “Panther 21″ trial of 1971–when Shakur and the other Panther defendants were acquitted on May 12, 1971–she was undoubtedly the most important figure in his life.
“I got pregnant while I was out on bail. I never thought that I wasn’t going to spend the rest of my life in jail. I was never getting out and that’s why I wanted to have this baby. Because I wanted to leave something here. I was going to jail for three hundred and twelve years. That’s what I was facing. But my sister was out. If I thought I was getting out, I never would have had the baby. I probably would have gotten an abortion.”
2Pac and Afeni’s relationship was famously complex. Following the imprisonment of Mutulu Shakur, her husband and his stepfather, the young Tupac’s life was thrown into instability. The film depicts this period with no sense of emotion or gravity, breezing through 2Pac’s younger years with easy cliches and painting his Panther elders as caricatures who only spend one or two scenes on camera. The movie touches on Afeni’s later drug addiction and how it led to estrangement between she and her famous son. But there are precious few moments where the audience gets a firm understanding of what moved Afeni Shakur. Outside of dialogue riddled with empty pro-black slogans and the intense performance of Danai Gurira, the character is only there to appear ever so often and spout rhetoric. When Afeni descends into drug addiction, we don’t get to see how much it changed her and 2Pac. It’s only a footnote. We don’t really learn who Afeni was as a person when she arguably could’ve–and should’ve–been the second most significant character in this story.
The 2Pac and Jada friendship gets more or less a storybook treatment that relies on quasi-romantic hints to add drama to what has always described as a platonic relationship, and the historical embellishments only make their relationship less distinctive. She acts as 2Pac’s moral compass throughout the movie, but like Afeni–she’s so underdeveloped the friendship holds little weight–despite a commendable performance from Kat Graham. Similarly, 2Pac’s engagement to Kidada Jones, much less publicized and well-trod than his friendship with Jada or relationship with Afeni, is given short shrift. What seems like his most significant romantic relationship is never fleshed out, once again, easy cliches are used to explain how Shakur and Jones go from adversarial (he famously trashed her father Quincy Jones in a VIBE interview) to affectionate.
But the most troubling revisionism as it pertains to women in All Eyez On Me is the depiction of Tupac Shakur’s sexual abuse case. The filmmakers present the night in which 2Pac and his associates were accused of gang-raping Ayanna Jackson in a Manhattan suite as something that was instigated by cronies and affiliates that he barely knew–and something that he did not in any way take part in. It has been speculated that the case was an attempt to set up Pac following the shooting of two police officers in Atlanta. But Jackson testified and shared later that Shakur was there when things happened and invited his boys into the room. She was bruised and battered following the incident that the film depicts as a case involving a groupie who was a borderline stalker, obsessing over 2Pac who only became angry after he dismissed her advances.
It’s a shameful revision. Even if one believes this to be a case of “he said, she said,” there’s too much there to completely ignore what she said. In an effort to downplay and exonerate Shakur respectively, the film plays up the worst stereotypes about rape victims for the sake of preserving the image of a hip-hop hero.
One of the most well-worn cliches about Tupac Shakur is that he was “complex.” His complexities are what make him fascinating, but they don’t necessarily make him unique. Pac was relatable because we all saw some of ourselves in his inner conflict. But All Eyez On Me decides to present that conflict in the most watered-down, neutered way. And like Straight Outta Compton, it misses the opportunity to use an ugly incident from a popular rapper’s past to challenge our ideas about hero worship. 2Pac’s interactions with women are as much a part of who he was as his confrontational and/or militant leanings, hopefully someone someday will do those particular stories justice.
29th June 2017 17:05
Nas and Lauryn Hill announce North American tour with Hannibal Buress
Nas and Lauryn Hill have announced a short North American tour that will kick off this September in Chicago.
Reggae singer Chronixx will open 11 of the scheduled dates with comedian Hannibal Buress opening the remaining six dates. In a joint statement about the tour, Nas said: “This is history… Better late than never. Life is good!”
1st June 2017 12:21
BRYSON TILLER SUPRISE DROPS NEW ALBUM 'TRUE TO SELF'
A month earlier than anticipated, US crooner Bryson Tiller has unleashed his sophomore album True To Self online.
Just as he did on his debut LP TRAPSOUL, the Louisville native holds things down on his own, with a total of 19 new solo tracks on offer. Only one of the three tracks released earlier this month, "Somethin Tells Me", makes the final cut of the album.
1st June 2017 12:19
Beyonce and Bruno Mars Dominate 2017 BET Award Nominations
Beyoncé’s Lemonade dominated the 2016 BET Awards last year, and she’s set to do it again this year, with the very same project.
Last year, Bey won Video of the Year for “Formation” and this year, she’s up for the same award for “Sorry.” Solange is also nominated for the top award for “Cranes In the Sky” from her celebrated album, A Seat At the Table, Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” is also up for the award, as well as Migos’ No. 1 hit “Bad and Boujee” and Big Sean’s “Bounce Back.”
In total, Bey has seven nominations for the 2017 ceremony. She’s followed by Bruno Mars, who has five nominations, lead by his acclaimed album, 24K Magic. Solange follows Bruno with four nominations this year, and Chance the Rapper also has four nominations for his acclaimed album, Coloring Book, as does Migos for their Culture album.
The BET Awards will air Sunday, June 25.
16th May 2017 14:19
KENDRICK LAMAR REVEALS ALBUM FEATURES & TRACKLIST
After it was rumoured to drop last Friday, Kendrick Lamar has now finally revealed all the juicy details on his forthcoming new album.
It's called Damn. and consists of 14 brand new tracks including his current single "Humble". Guest features on the LP come from Rihanna and rock group U2, while Mike Will Made It, BADBADNOTGOOD and James Blake all handle production duties, amongst others.
Damn. will arrive on April 14th (this Friday) at midnight. Start getting gassed for King Kendrick Lamar to return
12th April 2017 11:20
DRAKE DROPS EPIC “MORE LIFE” PROJECT
Drake has come through with his long awaited “More Life”project.
The playlist of new tracks premiered last night on Drake’s OVO Apple radio show, bringing us 22 new tracks almost a year after Views came into our lives.
The project is a solid body of work to, in Drake’s words, “bridge the gap” between albums. Man just doesn’t want us to forget about him and we’re here for it.
Features showcase the best of UK talent, and further solidify Drake’s connection to London’s urban scene. Giggs appears on not one but two tracks and Skepta has his own interlude. F-cking sick.
20th March 2017 14:22
WHY STORMZY'S ALBUM IS SO IMPORTANT EVEN IF IT HADN'T GONE NUMBER 1
After relentless efforts not only from the grime and rap community but from the entire country, Stormzy’s debut album Gang Signs & Prayer has nabbed the top spot in the Official UK Album Chart this week.
Since dropping the record last Friday, Stormz embarked on a week of crazy promotion including numerous surprise gigs, a WhatsApp campaign, meet and greets with fans across the country and all the heavy hitters of the genre relentlessly plugging the drop on social media. Let’s not forget his shut down performance at the Brits last week too. Thankfully the campaign trail worked and the album won the iconic number one position, but here’s the thing: it wouldn’t have mattered even if it didn’t.
It’s undeniable that GSAP will go down as one of the defining albums of the genre. By mixing the road with his unwavering faith, Stormzy bared his soul and the country listened. In its first seven days, the record sold nearly 70,000 copies and eight of its tracks made it into the top 40 in the Official UK Singles Chart. “Big For Your Boots” is in the top ten. This is the kind of territory that our scene has never seen before and the fact that it’s come from an independent artist is historic.
He wanted his people to know that there is more to life than the road, even if they don’t know it. With a mix of powerfully emotional tracks like “100 Bags”, “Lay Me Bare” and “Blinded By Your Grace Part 2”, blended with more traditional grimy bangers like “Bad Boys” and “Return Of The Rucksack”, Stormzy has cemented his place as the voice of the new generation of grime.
With a track list and feature panel this strong, the album was already set to be a classic, but the sheer furor that Big Mike sent the country into over the last week has taken it to another level. Who could have such legit street cred that Crazy Titch is backing him from jail and is actually known as “Wicked Skengman”, yet can still appear on Sunday Brunch, GQ, LBC Radio and BBC News all in the space of seven days? The same man who just two weeks before was almost arrested in his own home after his neighbours disbelief that a black man could be living in a luxury flat in Chelsea, that’s who.
One week ago Stormzy was a semi-household name who was mainly known outside of the grime community as “that guy who did that “Shut Up” song and knows Pogba”. Now, he’s a certy pop star, with the likes of Kehlani, Adele and Ed Sheeran backing him.
Yes, it is incredible that the album hit that top spot. But really it was the incredible campaign trail that really made the last week special, proving that in the case of Gang Signs & Prayer, the journey was the destination.
8th March 2017 12:40
Happy Birthday, Bob Marley!
In the 31 years since his untimely death, Marley still remains the most-popular figure in Reggae music. Succumbing to cancer at age 36 in 1981, Marley had become a global ambassador for the music he helped make famous.
Marley’s passing shook the reggae and music community to its core; yet, his legacy remains intact through his timeless music catalog and talented children.
Marley was born in the village of Nine Mile in Saint Ann Parish in Jamaica (also the birthplace of Marcus Garvey). Marley’s father was a white Jamaican man of English descent and his mother was a native of Jamaica. Discovering music as a teenager, Marley befriended Neville “Bunny” Livingston (aka Bunny Wailer) who shared his dreams of becoming a musician. Through singer Joe Higgs, the pair met Peter McIntosh (aka Peter Tosh) who also had similar ambitions. Recording his first songs in 1962, Marley and his friends would eventually be renamed The Wailers, after being discovered by a local record producer.
Marrying Rita Anderson (now Marley) in 1966, Marley and his bride made a sojourn to the United States to live near his mother in Wilmington, De. Marley soon teamed up with American singer Johnny Nash (“I Can See Clearly Now”) and nabbed a deal with CBS Records. Marley and the Wailers went on tour with Nash before their label deal went sour and the band ended up stranded in London in 1972. From there, Marley contacted Island Records’ founder Chris Blackwell and was advanced funds to record the hit album “Catch A Fire.”
Shortly after the release of their major-label debut, Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh went their separate ways for still undisclosed reasons. Marley continued on recording under the Wailers name, employing his wife Rita on vocals and formed an entirely new backing band. Bob Marley and The Wailers released thirteen albums between 1965 and 1983, with the last, “Confrontation,” released posthumously.
Bob Marley converted to Rastafarianism in the 1960s, enraptured by both the Pan-African message of his hero Garvey and the story of Ethiopian regent and emperor Haile Selassie I, the latter revered as the messiah in Rastafarian culture. Marley’s music was first modeled after American pop and soul styles, becoming increasingly militant as he grew into his faith. His last studio outing with the Wailers, “Uprising,” is considered his most-religious work and spawned the hit song “Could You Be Loved.”
Marley had several children with various women. His oldest son, Ziggy, is an accomplished musician himself as the front man for his Melody Makers band with brothers Stephen and sisters Sharon and Cedella.
Marley’s youngest son, Damian “Junior Gong,” has enjoyed success as a “deejay” (dancehall rapper) and vocalist under the tutelage of older brother Stephen. Other members of the Marley clan have dabbled in music and have deep investments in their
father’s legacy and image.
Marley’s hypnotic voice and poignant lyrics still resonate within the hearts and minds of Reggae fans the world over. Marley has the distinction of being the most-universally loved Reggae artists of all times, with some fans saying their only exposure to Reggae music came by way of Bob Marley. While his children may have captured their father’s honeyed vocals and potency at times, there has never been an artist like Bob Marley since.
Happy Birthday to you, Bob Marley!
6th February 2017 14:26