A new Pop Smoke album is out July 16

A new Pop Smoke album is out July 16
The second posthumous release from the New York City rapper is coming this summer.

By Jordan Darville

June 23, 2021

Pop Smoke. Photo by Orli Arias

 

Summer 2021 will see the release of the second posthumous album from N.Y.C. drill rapper Pop Smoke. The as-yet-untitled 17-track project, announced on Wednesday with a trailer streaming below, will be released on July 16.

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Pop Smoke’s debut album Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon was released in July 2020, months after the rapper was shot and killed in Los Angeles at age 20. A deluxe edition of the album was released a few weeks later. Pop would appear in Eddie Huang’s basketball drama BOOGIE and contributed the new songs “AP”, “Fashion” featuring Polo G and “No Cap (Remix)” featuring M24 to the film’s soundtrack. Last week, the soundtrack for the The Fast & The Furious 9 was released, a project containing the song “Lane Switcha” from Pop Smoke, Skepta, A$AP Rocky, Juicy J, and Project Pat.

Tyler The Creator shares new teaser “BROWN SUGAR SALMON”

Tyler The Creator shares new teaser “BROWN SUGAR SALMON”
Watch an incredibly frustrating new ad for his album Call Me If You Get Lost.

By Jordan Darville

June 23, 2021

After a spell of relative inactivity, Tyler, The Creator returned at a furious pace this month. Prior to announcing his new album Call Me If You Get Lost (out June 25), Tyler shared a short video titled “SIDE STREET.” He’s since shared the songs “LUMBERJACK” and “WUSYANAME,” but today Tyler returns with another teaser titled “BROWN SUGAR SALMON.” The comedy sketch stars Tyler, who’s on a train journey and is trying to order some food from a very irritating waiter. Unlike “SIDE STREET,” the video doesn’t reveal any previously unheard song snippets. Watch it above.

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beabadoobee shares new EP, “Cologne” music video

beabadoobee shares new EP, “Cologne” music video
Our Extended Play is out now.

By Jordan Darville

June 23, 2021

beabadoobee, an artist making the ’90s alt-rock revival feel natural, is back with a new EP. The four-track Our Extended Play follows her 2020 project Fake It Flowers, one of The FADER’s favorite projects of the year. Dropping today along with the EP is the video for “Cologne,” which stars the artist herself as the leader of some youths who take down some stuffy white people. Only good vibes from beadoobee this Wednesday, in other words. Check out the video above, with beabadoobee’s North American tour dates below.

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Thumbnail photo by Callum Harrison

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Billie Eilish “appalled and embarrassed” after footage of her mouthing anti-Asian slur emerges

Billie Eilish “appalled and embarrassed” after footage of her mouthing anti-Asian slur emerges
Eilish says the footage, which was first circulated on TikTok last week, makes her “want to barf.”

By David Renshaw

June 22, 2021

Gareth Cattermole/Getty

Billie Eilish has posted a statement on social media after video footage of her mouthing a racist slur appeared on TikTok. The video, which Eilish accepts as real, dates back around 5-6 years and features footage of the pop star mouthing along to Tyler, The Creator song “Fish.” The song, featured on the Odd Future rapper’s 2011 album Goblin, includes the line “Slip it in her drink and in the blink, Of an eye I can make a white girl look ch*nk.” It is this line Eilish is seen lip-syncing to in the first part of the video.

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Eilish said the video made her “want to barf” and that she was sorry “that I ever mouthed along to that word” but denied the suggestion that she was imitating an Asian accent in the second part of the video edit, describing it instead as a “silly gibberish made up voice” she has used since she was a child. Read the statement in full, below.

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I love you guys, and many of you have been asking me to address this. And this is something that I WANT to address because I’m being labeled something that I am not.

There’s a video edit going around of me when I was 13 or 14 where I mouthed a word from a song that at the time I didn’t know was a derogatory term and used against members of the Asian community. I am appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to that word. This song was the only time I’d ever heard that word as it was never used around me by anyone in my family. Regardless of my ignorance and age at the time, nothing excuses the fact is that it was hurtful. And for that I am sorry.

The other video in that edited clip is me speaking in a silly gibberish made up voice… something I started doing as a kid and have done my whole life when talking to my pets, friends, and family. It is absolute gibberish and just me goofing around, and is in NO way an imitation of anyone or any language, accent or culture in the SLIGHTEST. Anyone who knows me has seen me goofing around with voices my whole life.

Regardless of how it was interpreted I did not mean for any of my actions to have caused hurt to others and it absolutely breaks my heart that it is being labeled now in a way that might cause pain to people hearing it. I not only believe in, but have always worked hard to use my platform to fight for inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity and equality.

We all need to continue having conversations, listening and learning. I hear you and I love you. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

On the road with Ethel Cain

On the road with Ethel Cain
The self-proclaimed “cult leader of the swamp” journeys across America in her new video for “God’s Country,” featuring Wicca Phase Springs Eternal.

By Salvatore Maicki

June 22, 2021

Ethel Cain

“This is not home, this is the office,” Hayden Anhedönia assures me, at a taco stand near Echo Park in Los Angeles. She glamorized the city’s cinematic appeal on “Michelle Pfeiffer,” which opens her newest EP as Ethel Cain: “everything’s easier way out West, wholly mad and half undressed.” Now that she’s out here all the time for business, she can see through the allure. “Everytime I come out here, it’s such an egregious display of segregation that it almost feels counterintuitive to climb the ladder and make a career for myself. I want to make money so I can buy my house and be comfortable, but I see these rich people [in the Hills] and I don’t want what they have. You’re taking $80 Ubers from place to pace, passing through places that look like skid row. It feels so off-kilter.”

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Anhedönia feels more at peace in the forgotten corners of America. She grew up studying pop music alongside the Bible from the vantage point of Perry, Florida, a small town of 7,000 in the panhandle. There, she developed the character of Ethel Cain, who she describes as being comprised of “hot and stuffy weather, white dresses, and hair pulled back into a bun.” To put it in plainest terms, Ethel Cain is “the cult leader of the swamp.” Her music culminates Cain’s theatricality and Anhedönia’s socioeconomic observations into roaring gothic pop that deftly maneuvers between syrupy and sharp-edged.

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She plans on returning down south to record her forthcoming debut album, but for the time being, she’s still living in the abandoned church in rural Indiana where she made the EP, Inbred. The decaying Midwest majesty directly inspired the EP’s centerpiece “God’s Country,” an eight-minute sprawler that languishes in broken American promises before rocketing into the horizon, Anhedönia’s vocals entwining with those of Wicca Phase Springs Eternal. Its equally-striking video, directed by her friend Edith Underground, documents her first cross-country road trip with the same weary hope that colors the song. In a country built around its interstate highway system, Ethel Cain is ferociously committed to the backroads, something the video tacitly encapsulates.

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Watch the premiere of “God’s Country,” and read our Q&A with Anhedönia, below.

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What made you decide to take a road trip and document it in this way?
Ethel Cain: I had to come out to LA, and I didn’t want to just fly out here. Plus I needed to shoot videos and I needed to save money, since I wasn’t trying to go too hard since it’s just the EP. My friend Edith Underground and I decided to drive to LA, and took her old VHS camera on the road. We left at the end of March, and got back in mid-April. I don’t know much about astrology, but I’m an Aries, so it was my season and I was feeling bold.

We started in Indiana, drove to Florida to pick up my sister, and then out to California and back to Indiana. It was my first road trip, and besides stopping at a few motels for showers, we slept in the bed of the truck almost every night. We avoided the interstate and took mostly backroads, with spare jugs of gasoline in case we ran out. My one goal was to wash my hair in a river, but it never happened — next time!

Are there any particular memories from the trip that stand out to you?
There’s a holy trifecta of moments. The day that we left LA, we drove to meet one of my friends Jack from SALEM. He took us to this huge abandoned dam in Ojai, where we had to crawl under fences and scale a big hill, crawl over some shit and go down some ladders to get there. I remember floating on my back in the water, feeling so alive. For a moment, the constant anxiety of the pandemic was gone. Like, this is what I used to do, getting in trouble and hopping fences.

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The second was standing at the salt flats in Utah and seeing everything in the distance, with the wind whipping around us. And the third was looking out over the prairie in Nebraska. I’ve always wanted to go there, it’s been part of my work since “A House in Nebraska.” I always talk about it. To stand there for the first time, in the heart of the country, it felt like “this is it.”

It’s really easy to fall into the trap of what America is, especially when you’re seeing it from just one vantage point. In this sense, road trips can offer a lot of perspective.
I think it really shows you why you need to be more open-minded because you can formulate an opinion on why someone is the way they are without any context clues: their upbringing, the environment. Everyone loves to act like everyone else on the planet should act the way we act, but we’re all in completely different situations. I don’t mean in politics — be a fucking leftist — but there’s cultural differences here. I fully feel like racism, homophobia, and transphobia are all rooted in classism. If you don’t know what it was like to grow up rough, you really don’t get it until you see it.

Ethel Cain

I’ve always admired how your work acknowledges class disparity, especially on a song like “God’s Country,” with lines about how our kids will grow up with half as much.
When I was writing the song I had mad climate anxiety. I was thinking about how our children won’t even know what they’re missing out on, or what they’ll need, or what they could have. This is god’s country?

I was working at a nail salon, and I lost my job the first week of the pandemic. They were like, “bye.” I wasn’t making much, but it was enough to pay my bills. I was in a shitty house paying $285 a month, and there was times when I didn’t eat because my money was going toward equipment. All my friends were starving and broke. I’m blessed that I got offered my deal when I did, because I was scraping and clawing to get there. I was at the end of my road and I needed a miracle. I got really lucky, and it was still really hard for me. Think of all the people that don’t. It feels irresponsible to not acknowledge class disparity and pretend it’s not real, because then you become a neoliberal elite: “I’m doing okay now, so nothing else matters.”

Especially in the music industry I think we’re reaching a point where we have to start speaking out about the money side of things. It feels irresponsible not to.
There’s this weird misconstrued notion that everybody in this industry is rich. A lot of people in the industry are mad exploited. It’s not the artists making the money, it’s the suits that you don’t see. They don’t have the Grammys, but they’re sitting comfortably. For me, I’m trying to make a couple quarters, buy a plot of land, and get out. With all that’s going on right now, it’s so tone deaf that there are still artists who sing about private jets.

One of the reasons I feel like I need to talk about it is that I constantly get compared to Lana [Del Rey]. I love her, and we both sing about America, but I’ve never seen the pearls and the curls. The red carpets out here are two feet away from homeless encampments. The glamour is gone, the shine has been buffed off. Some of my songs are written from personal experience, but let me put myself in somebody else’s shoes.

How did “God’s Country” come together?
Every other song on the EP came together in a weekend, but “God’s Country” took me six months to write. At least ten different versions of the song exist. I’d left Florida for the first time in my life and moved to Indiana, the sun was hot and the cornfields were full. My mind was massively ballooned up with things I’d never thought of. I went to Chicago the first weekend after moving and came back with a baggie of ketamine. My bedroom has all these stained glass windows, and it was hot and I had my screen door open and could hear the bugs. It was a warm feeling, and there was an old piano that they left in the church with this warbly eighties sound. I felt like I was walking down a hot and lonely road out in the middle of nowhere, where the sky was huge.

At first it was a love song, but that felt inappropriate with everything that was going on last summer. The song goes back and forth with what I want — you’ve tasted love and it tasted sweet, you’ve known what you’ve wanted, you’ve seen your dreams. But you have to let go of that facade of what you want for yourself because it isn’t going to happen. It’s hard to grapple with the realization that life isn’t going to be what you dreamt it was going to be.

How’s the record coming along?
Everybody will get why it took me four years when it’s done. The real shit is coming. The songs are written, I just need to get back down south to record them. The project deals with the subversion of Christianity, especially in the south. These women that say “God loves you” and preach the gospel, but they’re preaching their own gospel. “God’s Country” is the most indicative of what the record’s going to sound like.

When you eventually get to tour it, would you want to go beyond just the major American hubs?
I would love to do a farm tour. Have you seen Gaga’s “Perfect Illusion” video, where the stage is out in the middle of the desert? I want to set up stages in empty fields and have people stand around. I don’t care about playing stadiums, I’d rather be at dive bars. I want to be successful, but I don’t want it to get to an impersonal level.

J. Cole announces North American tour with 21 Savage and Morray

J. Cole announces North American tour with 21 Savage and Morray
He’ll perform in support of his new album The Off-Season starting this September.

By Jordan Darville

June 22, 2021

J. Cole. Photo by David Peters.

 

This fall, J. Cole will tour the United States behind his new album The Off-Season, and he’s bringing along 21 Savage and Morray for most of the shows. The 17-city tour begins in Miami on September 24 and ends on October 21 in Los Angeles. Tickets go on sale this Friday, June 25 10 AM local time over at Dreamville.com.

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The Off-Season, Cole’s sixth studio album, was released in May. The project bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with 282,000 equivalent album units, the largest debut for a rap project in 2021 so far.

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J. Cole The Off-Season tour dates

Fri Sep 24 – Miami, FL – FTX Arena*^
Sat Sep 25 – Orlando, FL – Amway Center*^
Mon Sep 27 – Atlanta, GA – State Farm Arena^
Tue Sep 28 – Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Coliseum Complex*^
Wed Sep 29 – Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center*^
Fri Oct 01 – Boston, MA – TD Garden*^
Sat Oct 02 – Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center*^
Mon Oct 04 – Washington DC – Capital One Arena*^
Tue Oct 05 – Detroit, MI – Little Caesars Arena*^
Thu Oct 07 – Chicago, IL – United Center*^
Sun Oct 10 – Houston, TX – Toyota Center*^
Mon Oct 11 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Arena*^
Thu Oct 14 – Denver, CO – Ball Arena*^
Sat Oct 16 – Las Vegas – MGM Grand Garden Arena*^
Sun Oct 17 – Phoenix, AZ – Phoenix Suns Arena*^
Wed Oct 20 – Oakland, CA – Oakland Arena*^
Thu Oct 21 – Los Angeles, CA – The Forum*^

* With 21 Savage ^ With Morray

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Listen to Blood Orange’s remix of “Same Old Story” by Sugababes

Listen to Blood Orange’s remix of “Same Old Story” by Sugababes
The new version appears on the upcoming 20th-anniversary edition of Sugababes’ One Touch.

By Jordan Darville

June 22, 2021

Sugababes are a British pop group that came into prominence across the pond with their 2001 debut album One Touch. The project will receive a big 20th-anniversary reissue with brand new remixes, including a new version of “Same Old Story” helmed by Dev Hynes a.k.a. Blood Orange. The deluxe is out on October 1, but you can hear Blood Orange’s remix above.

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Siobhán Donaghy, a member of Sugababes, praised Dev Hynes’ new version in a press statement seen by Pitchfork. “Dev’s music has become the soundtrack to my life in recent years. For me it was a no brainer to ask him to be involved in our anniversary project given the amazing experience of working with him previously with the girls and also knowing that he grew up with One Touch and understood the record. The brief was simple, pick whatever track you want and do whatever you like with it. For me he has delivered the perfect 2021 update to our sound and I’ve had it on repeat ever since.”

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Thumbnail photo by Nick Harwood

Brittany Howard enlists Childish Gambino, Syd, and more for Jaime Reimagined

Brittany Howard enlists Childish Gambino, Syd, and more for Jaime Reimagined
The upcoming remix album features new versions from BADBADNOTGOOD and Little Dragon, streaming now.

By Jordan Darville

June 22, 2021

Brittany Howard. Photo by Bobbi Rich

 

Brittany Howard‘s wonderful 2019 project Jaime is getting a full-length remix treatment. Out digitally on July 23 with a physical edition coming September 24, Jaime Reimagined will sport new versions of the Alabama Shakes’ frontwoman’s songs by artists like Childish Gambino, Syd, 9th Wonder, Common, Laura Mvula, and more. We’ve previously heard covers from EARTHGANG and Bon Iver, and Today you can hear a remix of “Tomorrow” by Toronto jazz trio BADBADNOTGOOD and “Presence,” redone by alt-pop mainstays Little Dragon.

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“Making Jaime was so much fun for me because I was able to explore so many different genres of music,” Howard said in a press statement. “There were no rules. This reimagination project has been no different. I have been honored to have so many incredible artists from all musical worlds interpret my songs in such interesting and different ways.”

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Later this year, Brittany Howard will embark on a tour alongside My Morning Jacket. Find dates and tickets here.

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Tyler, The Creator shares new song/video “WUSYANAME”

Tyler, The Creator shares new song/video “WUSYANAME”
His new album Call Me If You Get Lost is out this Friday.

By Jordan Darville

June 22, 2021

We’re a few days out from the release of Call Me If You Get Lost, the new album from Tyler, The Creator. The project’s rollout thus far has included video teasers, billboards, and a song called “LUMBERJACK,” and on Tuesday Tyler dropped a new song called “WUSYANAME,” along with a self-directed clip under his Wolf Haley moniker.

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The new tune is a departure for Tyler with its New Jack Swing-styled R&B, complete with backing vocals from Ty Dolla $ign (I’m 99% sure on that, anyway). Tyler stars in the video, pursuing the same girl from the “Side Street” teaser at a garden party by rapping about pouring syrup on eggs and flying her out to Cannes to watch independent movies. Check it out above.

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Report: Police investigating Chris Brown for battery

Report: Police investigating Chris Brown for battery
The alleged incident took place on Friday in Los Angeles.

By Jordan Darville

June 22, 2021

Chris Brown. Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images.

 

The Los Angeles Police Department has opened a battery investigation into Chris Brown, according to NBC News. The report claims that a woman accused the singer of striking her at a home in Los Angeles on Friday evening. The case will be referred to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, an LAPD spokesperson told NBC News.

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In 2009, Brown pled guilty to one count of felony domestic assault against his then-girlfriend Rihanna. Karrueche Tran, another romantic partner of Brown, obtained a five-year restraining order against the singer in 2017. The following year, a woman alleged that she had been sexually assaulted during a party at Brown’s home; the singer settled her civil lawsuit last year.

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The FADER has reached out to the Los Angeles Police Department for more information.

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Sherelle slows things down on “160 Down The A406”

Sherelle slows things down on “160 Down The A406”
Listen to the debut single from the London-based DJ and producer

By David Renshaw

June 21, 2021

Isaac Lamb

Sherelle, the U.K. artist best known as a DJ and co-founder of the Hooversound label, has dropped her debut single. “160 Down The A406” will feature on an EP of the same name, due on July 6, and can be streamed below.

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Speaking about the upcoming EP in a statement, Sherelle said: “160 Down The A406 is a product of wondering what the next stage of my life will be during 2020. The two tracks represent discovery and they mean a lot to me as I feel like I am always searching for the new and unknown. I wanted for my first introduction musically to be different. I feel like I rarely show a softer, emotive side to the world and these tracks are supposed to be warm and forgiving. Something which wasn’t the case in 2020 for me. Although I had gained a lot, I also lost all my income and was feeling super isolated.

Producing for me was a way of dealing with all the anxiety and sadness that I had felt. I also went through a lot of self-discovery of what I truly wanted out of life and asked myself if I was truly happy with things. The outcome of this are two reflective tracks which feel full and fuzzy. They are supposed to make you happy. Like anything I do… I just want people to be happy and dance.”

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Listen to MIKE’s new album Disco!

Listen to MIKE’s new album Disco!
The NYC rapper has also announced dates for a 2021 tour.

By David Renshaw

June 21, 2021

Akhira Montague

New York rapper MIKE has dropped new album Disco!. Scroll down to listen now. The album is MIKE’s follow-up to 2020’s weight of the world and is entirely self-produced with MIKE working under his DJ Blackpower alias.

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In addition to dropping his latest project, MIKE has also announced details of a world tour. Starting in October, the Small World Big Love tour includes 13 headline shows in North America plus a further raft of shows in Europe. MIKE is also set to play at Governors Ball Music Festival in New York City on September 25.

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MIKE will play:

10/14 – Washington, DC @ Songbyrd
10/15 – Richmond, VA @ The Camel
10/16 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle (Back Room)
10/17 – Atlanta, GA @ Aisle 5
10/19 – Nashville, TN @ The Blue Room at Third Man Records
10/21 – Chicago, IL @ Sleeping Village
10/22 – Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
10/23 – Detroit, MI @ Sanctuary
10/24 – Cleveland @ Mahall’s
10/26 – Buffalo, NY @ Rec Room
10/27 – Monkey House in Winooski, VT
10/28 – Winooski, VT @ Monkey House
10/29 – Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA

11/21 – Helsinki, Finland @ Kuudes Linja
11/22 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Obaren
11/24 – Göteborg, Sweden @ Oceanen
11/25 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Pumpehuset
11/26 – Berlin, Germany @ Burg Schnabel
11/27 – Zürich, Switzerland @ Exil
11/29 – Paris, France @ La Place
11/30 – Brussels, Belgium @ Botanique
12/3 – Manchester, UK @ YES
12/5 – Glasgow, UK @ CCA
12/6 – Leeds, UK @ Headrow House
12/7 – Bristol, UK @ Rough Trade
12/8 – London, UK @ Bussey Building

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How producer Knxwledge sets the mood on HBO’s PAUSE with Sam Jay

How producer Knxwledge sets the mood on HBO’s PAUSE with Sam Jay
“There’s a different feel about every 2 minutes with this show. I had to keep it groovy.”

By The FADER

June 21, 2021

Knxwledge. by Theo Jemison.

 

A beat tape mainstay since the late aughts, Knxwledge has built an almost cult-like fanbase not only wiith his own releases, but working with artists like Kendrick Lamar, Griselda’s Westside Gunn, and alongside Anderson. Paak as the producing half of NxWorries. The producer is known for dropping new music at an almost breakneck pace, mainly on Bandcamp, including last year’s 1988 and mixtapes like WT_PRT15 along with dozens of others. With over 100 projects under his belt, it’s almost surprising that his production—often sample-heavy, slow-grooving, mood-setting vibes—hasn’t found its way into the film and TV realm more often.

Today, his music finds anoher home on HBO’s latest comedy series PAUSE with Sam Jay, setting the tone for the laid-back show. The FADER caught up with producer Knxwledge to find out how he connected with comedian Sam Jay, and how his work fits into the dynamic of the show.

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The FADER: You’ve had music on TV shows like Insecure before, but how different was the experience of scoring from working on your own music?

I think Issa was just a fan of Nxwrries and picked that joint. [With PAUSE], this time was a lot different. Even though I wasn’t on set with them, I was able to get a feel for everything just lining up the episodes in my DAW and feeling things out. Shoutout Ableton Live. I definitely need to hit them up and let them know it’s a movie/show DAW now.

How was your approach to scoring the show different from how you approach creating an album or EP?

The process was very different. For this, I’m able to pull things from a large catalog of loops, tracks, and feels from over the years. Blessed to be able to have such a catalog.

Did Sam Jay give you any guidance about creating the score or did she kind of trust you to just bring what you already do into the fold?

Not at all! We respected each other for our work and then just got to it. It’s a blessing of an opportunity. I have to thank Sam, Zack, and HBO for that one. Y’all know where to look for the steady heat.

What kind of mood did you want to create with each episode?

Each episode has a different feeling. There’s a different feel about every 2 minutes with this show. So many great conversations, some of which don’t get discussed often. I had to keep it groovy.

PAUSE with Sam Jay airs on HBO Fridays at 9, and streams on HBO Max.

Helado Negro shares “Gemini and Leo,” announces new album

Helado Negro shares “Gemini and Leo,” announces new album
Far In, Rogerto Lange’s first album for 4AD, is out on October 22.

By Jordan Darville

June 21, 2021

Back in 2019, Rogerto Lange shared This Is How You Smile, his sixth project as Helado Negro. A confluence of influences as deeply listenable as it was ambitious, the album saw a new level of critical success for Lange’s moniker. This year, Helado Negro will release a new album titled Fall In, out on October 22 via 4AD. its first single is “Gemini and Leo,” a song in which Helado Negro doubles down on his pop instincts to create his very own kind of boogie-brimming disco. You can hear it above in the song’s official music video, a cute, Adventure Time-esque visual directed by Jacob Escobedo.

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Thumbnail photo by Nathan Bajar

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Lorde announces Solar Power release date, 2022 world tour

Lorde announces Solar Power release date, 2022 world tour
Her new album is out on August 20.

By Jordan Darville

June 21, 2021

Lorde. Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

 

Lorde has announced the release date of her upcoming album Solar Power as well as dates for her 2022 world tour. The project will be released on August 20, 2021, with the shows beginning in her home country of New Zealand and spanning across Australia, North America, the United Kingdom and Europe. Tickets go on general sale on June 25; get more information, including dates for ticket presales, at Lorde’s website.

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“The album is a celebration of the natural world,” Lorde said in a statement, “an attempt at immortalizing the deep, transcendent feelings I have when I’m outdoors. In times of heartache, grief, deep love, or confusion, I look to the natural world for answers. I’ve learned to breathe out, and tune in. This is what came through.”

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Solar Power will get a physical release as a brand new format called a “Music Box.” Billed as an “eco-conscious” alternative to CDs, the Music Box edition of Solar Power will come with “extra visual content, handwritten notes, exclusive photos, and a download car” with high-quality audio files and two exclusive songs.

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Find Lorde’s upcoming tour dates below:

Lorde 2022 tour dates

2/26 – Christchurch, NZ – Electric Avenue Festival
2/27 – Upper Moutere, NZ – Neudorf Vineyards
3/1 – Wellington, NZ – Days Bay
3/2 – Havelock North, NZ- Black Barn Vineyards
3/4 – New Plymouth, NZ – Bowl of Brooklands
3/5 – Auckland, NZ – Outerfields
3/10 – Brisbane, AU – Riverstage
3/12 – Melbourne, AU – SMMB
3/15 – Sydney, AU – Aware Super Theatre
3/19 – Perth, AU – Belvoir Amphitheater
4/3 – Nashville, TN – Opry House
4/5 – Detroit, MI – Masonic Temple Theatre
4/7 – Montreal, QC – Salle Willfrid Pelletier
4/8 – Toronto, ON – Meridian Hall
4/12 – Boston, MA- Boch Center – Wang Theatre
4/15 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
4/16 – Washington, DC – The Anthem
4/18 – New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall
4/20 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met
4/22 – Chicago, IL – The Chicago Theatre
4/25 – Minneapolis, MN – The Armory
4/27 – Denver, CO – Mission Ballroom
4/30 – Seattle, WA – WaMu Theatre
5/1 – Portland, OR – Theater of the Clouds
5/3 – San Francisco, CA – Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
5/5 – Los Angeles, CA – Shrine Auditorium
5/7 – Santa Barbara, CA -Santa Barbara Bowl
5/25 – Leeds, UK – O2 Academy
5/26 – Edinburgh, UK – Usher Hall
5/28 – Manchester, UK – O2 Victoria Warehouse
5/30 – Birmingham, UK – O2 Academy
6/1 – London, UK – Roundhouse
6/2 – London, UK – Roundhouse
6/7 – Paris, FR – Casino de Paris
6/8 – Amsterdam, NL – AFAS Live
6/10 – Barcelona, ES – Primavera Sound
6/13 – Zurich, CH – Halle 622
6/14 – Munich, DE – Zenith
6/16 – Rome, IT – Cavea – Auditorium Parco della Musica
6/17 Villafranca di Verona, IT – Castello di Villafranca
6/18 Sibenik, HR – Saint Mihovil Fortress
6/21 Cologne, DE – Open Air am Tanzbrunnen
6/23 Berlin, DE – Verti Music Hall

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Lil Baby announces 2021 tour with Lil Durk

Lil Baby announces 2021 tour with Lil Durk
The Back Outside Tour kicks off in September.

By Jordan Darville

June 21, 2021

Lil Baby and Lil Durk. Photo by Michael Thomas.

 

Fresh off the release of their new collaborative project The Voice of the Heroes, Lil Baby and Lil Durk are heading on tour. Durk will join Baby on a series of headling dates across North America, titled The Back Outside tour, beginning in September and running until October.

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Find all the dates below. Tickets go on general sale Friday, June 25 at 10 AM local time on Live Nation’s website, with a presale for Citibank cardholders taking place on Tuesday, June 22 at 10 AM local time.

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Lil Baby/Lil Durk tour dates

9/1 – Mansfield, MA – Xfinity Center
9/3 – Hartford, CT – XFINITY Theatre
9/10 – Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
9/11 – Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion
9/14 – New Orleans, LA – Smoothie King Center
9/15 – Dallas, TX – Dos Equis Pavilion
9/16 – Houston, TX – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
9/17 – Austin, TX – Germania Insurance Amphitheater
9/20 – Albuquerque, NM – Isleta Amphitheater
9/22 – Phoenix, AZ – Ak-Chin Pavilion
9/23 – Anaheim, CA – Honda Center
9/24 – Los Angeles, CA – STAPLES Center
9/25 – Oakland, CA – Oakland Arena
9/27 – Salt Lake City, UT – USANA Amphitheatre
9/28 – Denver, CO – Ball Arena
9/30 – Maryland Heights, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
10/4 – Cincinnati, OH – Heritage Bank Arena
10/6 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
10/7 – Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center
10/9 – Burgettstown, PA – The Pavilion at Star Lake
10/10 – Louisville, KY – KFC Yum! Center
10/14 – Tampa, FL – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
10/15 – West Palm Beach, FL – iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre

Don Toliver and Kali Uchis team up on “Drugs N Hella Melodies”

Don Toliver and Kali Uchis team up on “Drugs N Hella Melodies”
Don and Kali get wet n’ wild in their new visual.

By David Renshaw

June 18, 2021

Don Toliver has shared new song “Drugs N Hella Melodies,” a collaboration with Kali Uchis. The song comes with a video, see above, in which the duo take a bubble bath together before diving to the bottom of the ocean.

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Earlier this year Don Toliver dropped solo track “What You Need” before joining forces with Internet Money, Gunna, and Lil Uzi Vert on “His & Hers.” The latter track marked the second time Toliver has worked with producers Internet Money, following 2020 hit “Lemonade.”

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Uchis, meanwhile, recently released an acoustic EP accompaniment to her 2020 Spanish-language album Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios). That project features the single “Telepatía” plus collaborations with Rico Nasty and PARTYNEXTDOOR.

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Special Interest share “Street Pulse Beat” video, sign to Rough Trade

Special Interest share “Street Pulse Beat” video, sign to Rough Trade
A punk house comes under threat from gentrifiers in the New Orleans’ band’s action-packed new visual.

By David Renshaw

June 18, 2021

Special Interest’s “Street Pulse Beat” is the sort of song that grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go. Immediate and intoxicating (and one of The FADER’s songs of 2020) it works both as a richly layered introduction to the New Orleans punk band’s techno-punk sound and a cathartic moment of release for their more long-term followers. Today the band has announced its new home, Rough Trade Records, and shared a video for “Street Pulse Beat” that acts as a guide to the world the band has created.

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The video begins with a spoken word poem by frontperson Alli Logout before the action cuts to a shrine to a number of sadly deceased icons , including SOPHIE, MF Doom, and Selena. Located in a punk house, the decor is low-key but the sense of community is striking as the numerous members of the home share food and good times. Special Interest’s industrial edge and DIY spirit is reflected literally with scenes featuring power drills, electric saws, and the spark of metal on metal.

Things take a dramatic turn, however, when the inevitable occurs and the band’s idyllic existence comes under threat from the powers that be. This is presented in a very real sense, with people inside grabbing guns to defend themselves and a hasty exit is made. It’s a dramatic set-up and one that makes you want to follow the getaway car wherever it is going.

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Speaking about the video and the meaning behind it, director Logout (who co-founded Studio LaLaLa, a Black and trans-operated production studio) sent The FADER the following message:

What you see N this place is possibility. This possibility is grounded in rejection. The rejection of the recuperation of Black culture, the rejection of the homogenizing force of all institutions, the rejection of individualism and most importantly the rejection of peace. Here in this realm, The conspiracy lies in the halls and the sheets and in the stomach of a laugh you feel deep in your bones. We have found that grief never gets easier; it just is. We are holding it all. All at once.

What you see N this place is love. A love that is gentle and jarring sprouting from the tears that nourish the ground where one’s heart has been laid to rest. A love coming from a place where one never thought love would happen again. Somehow in that way only WE can, we find it over again here in this place. Sometimes it is messy and sometimes it is selfish and sometimes it is even horrid. But even so in this place we believe in a love that delves deeper into our fears and desires, remembering we are soft, beautiful and young as night. A love that bears witness to our wonder, our truths, and our capacity to change. We go forward, not alone but Together, with love.

What you see N this place is a metaphor, what you see N this place is a legacy, what you see N this place is our lives. We are not fated to wither in the margins we are pushed into. We will see the earth before the world ends. We are thriving, joyously, loud in both our triumph and our lamentation. We celebrate through this urgent form of cinema, turning away from what is seen towards what is felt. This conspiracy was made possible only through the collaboration of the artists seen on screen. No role was bigger nor smaller than the other; this conspiracy is collectively all of ours. It was shot in historic punk house, Nowe Miasto. Nowe was around for over a decade and housed many Black artists and accomplices until a fire marshal shut it down in 2014. We gutted it, cleaned it and built every set from scratch. We made this together, we talked it out, this need for rupture, our unfaltering desire to escape. So join us and bask in the mundanity of the day for we know all too well yesterday’s crisis is always just tomorrow’s carry…

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“Street Pulse Beat” appears on Special Interest’s The Pasion Of. The band tour in September:

9/12 Chicago @ Pitchfork Fest
9/13 Detroit @ Outer Limits
9/14 Cleveland @ Now That’s Class
9/15 Pittsburgh @ Spirit
9/16 Baltimore @ Metro Gallery
9/17 Philadelphia @ First Unitarian Church
9/18 Brooklyn @ Market Hotel

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Listen to new Isaiah Rashad song “Headshots (4r da locals)”

Listen to new Isaiah Rashad song “Headshots (4r da locals)”
Another track from The House Is Burning is here.

By David Renshaw

June 18, 2021

Spencer Sease

Isaiah Rashad has shared new song “Headshots (4r da locals).” The track is the latest cut from Rashad’s forthcoming album The House Is Burning, the TDE-signed rapper’s first since 2016 release The Sun’s Tirade. It follows “Lay Wit Ya” (featuring Duke Deuce), which dropped earlier this month. Rashad also recently shared “200/Warning,” though that won’t be on the album. Check out “Headshots (4r da locals)” below and read Isaiah Rashad’s FADER cover story here.

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Skepta, Pop Smoke, and A$AP Rocky team up on new song “Lane Switcha”

Skepta, Pop Smoke, and A$AP Rocky team up on new song “Lane Switcha”
The track also features Project Pat and Juicy J.

By Sajae Elder

June 18, 2021

Skepta, the late Pop Smoke, and A$AP Rocky have teamed up for “Lane Switch,” a track that appears on the F9 soundtrack. The track also features Juicy J and Project Pat, who both pay homage to their 2005 Three 6 Mafia single “Poppin My Collar” on the track.

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The F9 soundtrack, which is out now, also features Ty Dolla $ign, Jack Harlow, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Lil Baby, and more.

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The track is far from Pop Smoke’s first posthumous feature, as he has appeared on singles from Kid Cudi, Polo G, Fredo, and more since his death last February. His debut album Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon dropped last July. According to the rapper’s manager, an upcoming sophomore album is “95%” completed.

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Listen to “Lane Switcha” above.

Thumbnail image by Burak Cingi/Redferns, Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Images, and Michael Campanella/Redferns

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Vince Staples returns with new song, self-titled album

Vince Staples returns with new song, self-titled album
“LAW OF AVERAGES” leads Vince Staples, out next month.

By Shaad D'Souza

June 18, 2021

Vince Staples has returned with “LAW OF AVERAGES”, his first new solo music since 2019. The minimal, low-key track arrives alongside a video directed by Kid.Studio, and is taken from Vince Staples, Staples forthcoming self-titled follow-up to 2018’s FM!. The record will be out on July 9th on Blacksmith Recordings, and is supposedly the first of two records Staples has on the way, the second being titled Ramona Park Broke My Heart Watch the video for “LAW OF AVERAGES” above.

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Per Pitchfork, Staples shared a statement along with the announcement of Vince Staples:

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“It really gives much more information about me that wasn’t out there before. That’s why I went with that title. I feel like I’ve been trying to tell the same story. As you go on in life, your point of view changes. This is another take on myself that I might not have had before.”

Wesley Joseph and Jorja Smith take a drive like no other for the “Patience” music video

Wesley Joseph and Jorja Smith take a drive like no other for the “Patience” music video
Joseph’s debut album ULTRAMARINE is out tomorrow.

By Jordan Darville

June 17, 2021

Walsall rapper, director, and all-around multihyphenate Wesley Joseph will share his debut project ULTRAMARINE tomorrow after spending 2020 building a reputation for iridescent, effortlessly cool music. Today sees the release of “Patience,” a collaboration with Jorja Smith, who is a member of the OG Horse collective along with Joseph. Their creative chemistry is all over their collaboration, a song of deeply textured and futuristic soul music.

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Joseph gets equally ambitious for the track’s self-directed music video, streaming above. Co-starring Smith, the “Patience” video is a collage of emotional and often heartbreaking images based around a leisurely drive. “When coming up with the video,” Joseph said in an email, “I knew I wanted there to be a distinctive storyline that provides a metaphoric ‘crash’ of dramatic incidents from different perspectives in life that were all unrelated. I wanted to showcase raw emotions in a way that doesn’t make you too attached to one individual experience, but lets you appreciate it. Life is complex but can be simple at the same time and I wanted the video to reflect that.”

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Hubert Lenoir discusses the magic behind “Secret” and his new album

Hubert Lenoir discusses the magic behind “Secret” and his new album

In a new interview, the Québécois pop artist went behind-the-scenes of the music video for his new single and his upcoming album Musique Direct.

By Jordan Darville

June 17, 2021

Hubert Lenoir. Photo by Daniel Dugas.

 

Hubert Lenoir knows how to cut a figure. The 26-year-old pop musician, who emerged from Quebec City in 2018, captured interest in Canada and beyond its borders with his debut album Darlène, an excellent and sprawling rock epic duly shortlisted for the Polaris Prize. Appearing in public and onstage, Lenoir appeared as a rock star princeling in the classic sense, capable of articulating himself in unusual and often controversial ways: during an appearance on La Voix in 2018, he revealed a tattoo on his left buttock depicting an ejaculating fleur-de-lis, the icon found on Quebec’s flag. The same year he won three prizes at the ADISQ Gala (basically the Québécois Grammys) and celebrated during his acceptance by miming oral sex on one of the trophies. Media saturation led to intensified scrutiny, so he stepped back from the public view to regroup without apology or strong regrets.

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“I’ve already been working in self-isolation for the past two years now,” Lenoir says when I ask him over FaceTime if the pandemic changed how he worked on Musique Direct, his upcoming album. The new music resembles Darlène only in its ambition: whereas Lenoir introduced himself as a glam-rocker globetrotter on his debut album, Musique Direct is a pastiche of pop elements both contemporary and classic colliding with a pinball machine’s frenzy. The project germinated from years worth of iPhone recordings, clips of conversations, and random sounds that acted as citations of a sort for the record. “I feel [on] a lot of personal albums,” he says, “[the artists] portray themselves as victims. I feel that the interesting thing with this way of working [is that] you have the proof when you try to portray yourself.”

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His gambit has paid off: While Darlène’s narrative was based on Lenoir’s relationship with his romantic and creative partner Noémie Leclerc, the bold and dizzying structure gives Musique Direct a more immediately human and progressive feel. That vibe is captured in “Secret,” the project’s lead single. A wispy cut of lounge-pop that evolves into a gloriously funky form, “Secret” is “about the feeling of unshared love and being rejected when you know that it’s only because you’re different,” Lenoir says. To that end, Lenoir stars as an ostracized human-skunk high schooler in Noémie Leclerc’s music video for “Secret,” premiering today on The FADER. it’s what Degrassi would look like if the world were a bit more exciting, shot in 16mm film and with a joyous free-association spirit.

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Below, watch Hubert Lenoir’s “Secret” music video, followed by our interview on the song’s creation and the upcoming album.

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The FADER: How did your life after Darlène influence Musique Direct?

Hubert Lenoir: When I released Darlène, we were a little bit naive about life, and I feel like this record pushed me into the world in a good and much more violent way. This new record is [saying] it’s okay if you can be your true self, and you can go out into the world being like “this is me.” It’s also about the consequences that come from it, and how you try to cope from these consequences.

The way you say it, it sounds like the music could be quite downcast, but the album is really playful.

Yeah. Throughout the record, I tried to embody the mixed feelings that I was having at this moment, and that you get from this amount of excitement. A thing that I tried to portray throughout the record was that there’s two sides of my personality, the more vulnerable side and also the bravado that is a way to protect yourself from your more vulnerable side.

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I think the artists that I love are full of paradoxes. We’re complicated and that’s what makes humans interesting to me. So I always go with what I feel doing and I don’t try to be the most badass person ever. And I’m hopeful that at the end of the day, it’s just going to be a good portrayal of who I am.

I just do what I feel like I need to be doing at this moment. I know that people may say, “Oh, it feels calculated.” It always bugs me. And it’s a fear that I have, because it always bugs me when I see artists that are trying too hard to [be] provocative.

I think the artists that I love are full of paradoxes. We’re complicated and that’s what makes humans interesting to me.

That’s something that struck me about the new music: how natural it felt. It really is a left turn sonically from Darlène. But at the same time, you sounded very comfortable

Oh, well, thank you. The process of making this album was [inspired by] this movement in Quebec, which is called Cinéma Direct. There’s tons of theory of where it first began, but a lot of people can say that it was made by Quebec filmmakers, especially Pierre Perrault and Michel Brault. They would just go on the road and film these people in the countryside of the province of Quebec.

I was inspired by this and for maybe two or three years, I’ve been recording some things on my iPhone. Just conversations and anything that was coming to me. I didn’t chase these sounds, I didn’t really know why I was recording them but I was just doing it.

When I was beginning to make this record, I was having a hard time finding something that was symbolic and that resonated emotionally with me. The music that I was making was cool, but I didn’t really see the excitement. Then I thought back of this Quebec cinema, and then about my iPhone recordings. And I don’t want to make it this movie moment, but it was really this lightning bubble thing. I was like, “Yeah, this is my album.” This is it and went straight into it. And it worked.

Tell me about the process of writing “Secret.”

Well, the song is something that I had left out [from the album]. It came from this jam that we were doing at Mac DeMarco’s place. He was playing drums, Kirin J Callinan was on the guitar. It sounded very different from what we have now. And then when I was working on the record, there was this piece missing at the beginning. And I felt that there was a way of getting into the story that was missing.

And so, I wrote “Secret” about wanting to feel accepted. You’re just going there with all these intentions and then you just get rejected. You don’t necessarily hold grudges against the people that reject you because It’s not their fault. It’s just, like, insanely sad.

I feel like this song is something that I’ve been trying to write since I’ve started to write songs. I feel like I got it this time. This public rejection that I had from time to time — and I don’t want to call it bullying because it’s going to make me feel a victim, but it’s kind of bullying — it brought me back to high school traumas and the way I was suffering from bullying back then.

I just wanted to say hey in a way, to everybody out there, I’m sorry. It’s not going to be easy. And there’s not a lot you can do about it. But it is also a good way of saying you’re not alone, too. I was thinking about the high school person I was. Maybe the same person will hear the song and feel a little more comfortable or at least would just comfort them in their pain.

Those themes really fit with the visuals.

The idea came from Noémie, who’s directing. The lyrics are not too abstract, you get what it’s about right away. So I think she knew too. She came up with the idea of a skunk. Skunks are not trying to do anything wrong except just survive and do their thing in their skunk life. But people just despise them in such an awful way. And so I think it was portraying the feeling in a nice and cinematic way.

At some point, when we were shooting the high school scene, there was this gap in the mask between the nose so it was creating this condensation. I don’t like to whine, but the level of discomfort was insane. It was something crazy. It gets all sweaty but you cannot wipe it and it starts to get itchy, and oh my God. I’m sure you can feel the discomfort. When I realized that I needed to have it for six hours, I had this panic attack and I went to the bathroom and I puked. But there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for art.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity

Tyler, The Creator announces new album Call Me If You Get Lost

Tyler, The Creator announces new album Call Me If You Get Lost
The project drops on June 25.

By Jordan Darville

June 17, 2021

Tyler, The Creator. Photo by Luis ‘Panch’ Perez

 

After days of teasers and anticipation, Tyler, The Creator has announced a new album. Call Me If You Get Lost, the follow-up to Tyler’s Grammy-winning Igor, will be released next Friday, June 25 via Columbia. Check out the cover art below.

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Call Me If You Get Lost cover art

 

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Call Me If You Get Lost was first previewed earlier this week. Tyler shared a video titled “SIDE STREET” containing a snippet of new music as well as the album’s title, which also appeared on billboards in cities around the world. Just yesterday, Tyler dropped a brand new single and self-directed music video called “LUMBERJACK.

Pop Smoke’s new project is 95% done according to his manager

Pop Smoke’s new project is 95% done according to his manager
The late rapper’s sophomore album is reportedly almost completed.

By Sajae Elder

June 17, 2021

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by ricobeats (@ricobeats)

Pop Smoke‘s manager Rico Beats says the rapper’s next posthumous project is 95% completed, according to an Instagram post. Beats shared an image of himself, Victor Victor CEO Steven Victor, and Pop Smoke into an iconic image of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Phil Jackson with a caption that reads: “Pop Album 95% loading the f$&k up!!!!” Steven Victor also shared the post promising an announcement about the release.

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At press time, there are no further details or a release date for the upcoming Pop Smoke album. The rapper’s posthumous debut album Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon dropped back in 2020, featuring singles like “Mood Swings” and “What You Know Bout Love.”

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Pop Smoke was killed last February, during a home invasion in the Hollywood Hills. Four people were subsequently charged in connection with the rapper’s murder. Revisit The FADER’s memorial to the late rapper here.

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See the post above.

Thumbnail photo by Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Image.

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Eric Bellinger lets his light “Shine On The World” in his new visual

Eric Bellinger lets his light “Shine On The World” in his new visual
The record is set to appear on the singer’s forthcoming album, set to drop later this summer.

By The FADER

June 17, 2021

Singer-songwriter Eric Bellinger shared the innovative visuals for his latest single “Shine on the World” on Friday, serving as the first single from his forthcoming album dropping later this summer.

The inspirational record along with its dynamic video follows Bellinger’s life story from his church roots to his current place as one of R&B’s biggest songwriters. He makes his way through adoring fans and goes on to enjoy the fruits of his labor. In the end, he performs alongside a group of vocalists, empowering listeners to not be afraid to shine their light.

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The video feels like one of Bellinger’s most personal, the Loris Russier-directed visuals are also completely shoppable courtesy of TAP IN XR & .show, offering viewers a chance to purchase new merch from Eric throughout the music visual, including the Rich Before The Money Tee, Don’t Be Afraid Tee, and Soul Sistas Tee.

TAP IN XR founder Mayowa sat down with Bellinger to discuss his long-spanning career, and ow he defines success.

Mayowa: Eric, looking through your catalog, you have never released a record like “Shine On the World”. So why “Shine On The World” and why now?

I think my natural elevation needed to take place in real life in order for it to genuinely translate in the music. I’ve always worn my heart on my sleeve and spoke about whatever I may have been going through at the moment or even how I felt. I’m at a point now where I realize it’s up to me to Shine On The World. A conscious decision from self rather than an allowance from anyone else.

Photo by Akilah Townsend. Styled by Neon Complex.

 

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The opening scene of the visual feels like a short film. We see a boy walking into a church raising his hand to sing only to be rejected once he sings to the audience. Can you tell us why that scene was put in the visual and what it means to you?

That beginning scene is actually based on a true story. When I was younger that exact same thing happened to me. I grew up in a Church where singing anything outside of those four walls was frowned upon. It traumatized me for years causing me to question if I was at fault for simply wanting to use the gift God gave me. Luckily it didn’t get to me too bad & instead of letting the judgment keep me down, I used it as fuel and motivation to guide me to my own personal happiness and ultimately my success.

How will you know if “Shine On the World” has made the impact you wanted?

I already know it has and will continue to do so. We live in a world with quick results. As soon as a song is out the people will let you know how they feel. I always get people telling me the songs are great or they love the music but this time around the feedback has been a little bit different. People are telling me they hear God in the music. Lives are being touched and faith is being restored. That was the goal with Shine On The World. It’s truly inspiring to be an inspiration.

Photo by Akilah Townsend. Styled by Neon Complex.

 

There were a couple of lines in ‘Shine On The World’ that really stuck with me “Your beauty could paint a picture” and “Should have been a scripture about you in the bible”. Your music has always seemed geared towards the female audience and in this record more even focused on empowering them. How have women influenced you as a man and as an artist?

I think women have enabled me to do what I do. From singing about them to them, with them & for them… It’s created a lane for me that I didn’t know I was paving. By genuinely doing what I’ve always felt was right, I gained an organic following of not only women that needed to hear the songs, but also men that wanted to dedicate emotion and thoughts to their Queens.
There aren’t too many artists that make positive music for lovers. It’s tough growing up on old-school music while trying to release it in a new school time. But staying true and consistent to myself is what’s kept me around and that’s uplifting women any & every chance I get.

You recently did a performance with an all-female band. Can you tell us a bit about that experience and why you chose to go in that direction?

I’ve always been a fan of bands. I just respected the process so much I never wanted to really half do it. This time around, I feel like we’re on the verge of elevation. I knew in order to get different results we would need to approach things differently. And what better way to show appreciation to women than to have all females holding me down as representation for the foundation of my shows. Not just any ladies tho. Four of the most talented women I’ve ever met! S/O to the Angels.

The landscape of R&B music has changed since you first started your music career. What are some of the things you have noticed that are different since you started?

Being in the game for so long I’ve seen a lot of things & people come and go. At one point it was about the songs. Then it became about the best voice. Then it was the biggest clique. After that, the co-sign was a necessity. And as the times changed music has also been ever-evolving with the popular sound of the moment switching from ATL to NY to LA back to ATL regions. Then the features were the most important. Next was who was viral and what was trending.

Marketing strategies have jumped from radio to social media platforms and now streams have become the determining factor on who’s who in the culture. Dances and challenges have become the new wave in breaking new records. If you’re not tapped into all these things and paying close attention to when to slow down your melodies or speed up those cadences you’ll eventually get lost in the sauce.

Photo by Akilah Townsend. Styled by Neon Complex.

 

It looks like you’re in rollout mode. How has your approach and process of working on your upcoming album differ from the way you have worked on albums in the past?

A lot of my music is based on me finding love and falling in love with love. The ups and downs of it all. But this time around I’ve been in more of a self-reflective space. With the pandemic putting the world on hold placing us all in isolation, I was blessed with the gift of time. No shows, no sessions, no flights, no meetings… The only time to work on me. I got to a place where I mattered more than anything I was dedicating my time to.

I began to write about things I normally wouldn’t write and it caused me to challenge concepts a little deeper. Knowing what I wanted to say and didn’t want to say helped me get more specific and intentional with not only my sound but my look and the overall mission I wanted to send to the world.

What can fans expect from the upcoming album?

I think fans will love and appreciate this new Eric Bellinger. As I’ve grown so has my music. My experience has taught me how to be better. For each album, I examine the outcome from comments to reposts to tweets and even in-person word-of-mouth feedback. I’m finally comfortable enough to give the people what I feel they need rather than what I know they want.

Photo by Akilah Townsend. Styled by Neon Complex.

 

Outside of working on your own music are there any other artists you are writing or producing records for?

Definitely! I also believe it’s important to continue to do what you did to get here in order to stay here. Lately, I’ve been having a fun time going back and forth from writing on my own projects and being of assistance to some of the biggest artists in the world. From Diddy to Summer Walker, to Ty Dolla Sign, and Chris Brown to name a few.

You have won Grammys, written and been part of records that have gone gold. How do you let those accolades define you and how would you define the true meaning of success?

I never let those moments define me but I always used them as leverage. Consumers typically tend to gravitate towards familiarity. And since I never had the big cosign or major label backing I had to find a way to sneak into their hearts lol As my writing career took off it enabled the spotlight to shine on me as an artist. My pen opened the minds and ears of people that were strangers to me but already fans of my work.

Once word got out that I was behind some of the people’s favorite songs over the past decade it made it easier for them to trust my style and sound because it was something they were already accustomed to. I never tried to reinvent the wheel either, I just made it an obligation to continuously fine-tune & smooth it out for a much more enjoyable ride. Get used to me. It’s Eazy!

Stream “Shine on the World” here.

Interview by Mayowa (TAP IN XR)

Sample fancy wine and raw beats in The FADER’s Hanging Out with GOON DES GARCONS* and Na-Kel Smith

Sample fancy wine and raw beats in The FADER’s Hanging Out with GOON DES GARCONS* and Na-Kel Smith
In our latest episode, two rising rap stars give us a personal tour of Los Angeles.

By The FADER

June 17, 2021

The FADER may be New York-based, but we’re more than happy to head to Los Angeles anytime we can. It’s even better when we get shown around the city by artists like GOON DES GARCONS* and Na-Kel Smith, who know all the spots and how to have the best time at them. Our journey begins at Gilbert’s for tacos and a conversation between Na-Kel and GOON about making art without boundaries. Then it’s off to Echo Park with GOON for an unorthodox wine tasting (you’re still supposed to spit out the wine, right?) followed by a trip to Na-Kel’s home studio for some insight into his beat-making process. Watch the whole day go down above, and listen to Na-Kel and Goon’s collaborative single “BULLY” below.

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Tyler, The Creator shares video for new song “LUMBERJACK”

Tyler, The Creator shares video for new song “LUMBERJACK”
Could a new album be on the way?

By Jordan Darville

June 16, 2021

Tyler, The Creator strongly hinted at an imminent return on Monday with the release of “SIDE STREET,” a quick video teaser with new music. Today, he’s shared a brand new song called “LUMBERJACK” along with a self-directed music video. Check it out above.

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Tyler, The Creator’s last album Igor was released in 2019 and won the 2020 Grammy award for Best Rap Album. This year saw a verse from Tyler on the Brent Faiyaz song “Gravity” and “Tell Me How,” a jingle written for Coca-Cola.

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JAY-Z sues Reasonable Doubt photographer Jonathan Mannion for using his name and likeness

JAY-Z sues Reasonable Doubt photographer Jonathan Mannion for using his name and likeness
The suit alleges Mannion has made thousands of dollars from selling photos of the rapper.

By Sajae Elder

June 16, 2021

JAY-Z. By Brian Ach/Getty Images for Something in the Water.

 

JAY-Z has filed a lawsuit against photographer Jonathan Mannion and his company Jonathan Mannion Photography, LLC, for using the rapper’s name, image, and likeness without permission, according to Reuters. According to the suit, Mannion, the photographer behind iconic rap images including JAY-Z’s debut album Reasonable Doubt cover art, has been selling prints of the rapper for thousands of dollars, later demanding tens of millions of dollars when asked to no longer use the photos.

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“[Mannion] made an arrogant assumption that because he took those photographs, he can do with them as he pleases,” the rapper alleges in the suit. “It is ironic that a photographer would treat the image of a formerly-unknown Black teenager, now wildly successful, as a piece of property to be squeezed for every dollar it can produce.”

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JAY-Z now wants Mannion to stop selling the photos, and other merch where his image appears, and give him the profits he’s made with his likeness. An attorney for Mannion has responded to the suit by saying: “Mr. Mannion has created iconic images of Mr. Carter over the years, and is proud that these images have helped to define the artist that Jay-Z is today. Mr. Mannion has the utmost respect for Mr. Carter and his body of work, and expects that Mr. Carter would similarly respect the rights of artists and creators who have helped him achieve the heights to which he has ascended.”

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The FADER has reached out to representatives for JAY-Z and Jonathan Mannion for comment.

Wet share new song “On Your Side”

Wet share new song “On Your Side”
It’s the pop group’s first new song since 2018.

By Jordan Darville

June 16, 2021

Footage from underground raves from the ’90s might not be the first visual that comes into your head when listening to the dreamy R&B-tinged pop music of Wet, but the band are seeking to change that with the visuals for “On Your Side.” The song is Wet’s first since releasing Still Run in 2018 (the group covered The FADER in 2015 on the heels of their debut album Don’t You). Bliss doesn’t know genre, I suppose, and the alluring atmosphere “On Your Side” has that in spades.

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“‘On Your Side’ is about the feeling of embodying unconditional love as a special and fleeting experience,” Wet frontwoman Kelly Zutrau said in a press statement. “Even though it sounds contradictory, unconditional and fleeting, it’s about that duality. I often find myself in more ambivalent places in relationships and then when it happens it’s epic like planets and trees and rivers and then like that it’s gone again. I think I wanted to capture it as a way of holding onto that feeling. To me a lot of love songs are about capturing that quick moment before it’s gone, there’s a desperation to it.”

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Thumbnail photo by Chris Maggio