Kendrick Lamar

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Alessia Cara covers Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood"

Alessia Cara covers Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood”

“Bad Blood” is one of my least favorite Taylor Swift songs. I’ve said it since 1989 was released and I still feel that way even though the song has become a single.

For me, its only saving grace is the appearance of Kendrick Lamar on the single version. Kendrick makes everything better.

Newcomer Alessia Cara took on the hit single for BBC Radio 1 and she stuck to the single version instead of the album version, meaning she mostly sung Kendrick Lamar’s verses and the hook. It’s not hard to rap along to King Kendrick’s verses, but Cara did it with ease. And all while adding her own style to it.

I’m not ashamed to say I like this cover better than Swift’s original version.

The 18-year-old’s flow and the way she sings the chorus are so awesome that the cover garnered attention from Swift.

And, thus, Taylor Swift made the day of yet another teenager.

Also, if you’re wondering, Cara’s original material is awesome, too. Her song “Here” is all about being socially awkward at a party and it’s something I’m sure a lot of introverts can relate to.

Top Dawg Ent.

Top Dawg Ent.

Kendrick Lamar’s “i” is sure to have a few people scratching their heads.

Where many of Lamar’s fans were probably hoping for complex fast-paced verses, the singer chose to deliver an encouraging message over a sample of the Isley Brother’s “That Lady” on the first offering from his good kid, m.A.A.d city follow up.

“I love myself,” Lamar repeats in the refrain over the famous electric guitar wail and acoustic guitar licks. “Everybody lacks confidence. How many times my potential was anonymous,” he reflects.

I saw Lamar a few weeks ago at ONE MusicFest in Atlanta and he closed out his set with a verse that had a very similar message so when I heard he was releasing a new single, I 100% expected it to be something in a similar vein.

Aside from that, there are a few reasons why this new release isn’t surprising:

1. If this is indeed Lamar’s forthcoming album’s lead single, the content isn’t surprising. “Swimming Pools (Drank)” had more radio appeal, but it still featured a strong social message.
2. The single artwork features a crip and blood standing next to each other, making hearts with their hands.
3. Prior to the song’s release, it was already rumored that it would feature an Isley Brothers’ sample. Also, Lamar said he recently bought their entire discography and hasn’t been listening to much rap, which would explain the song’s funky sound. Continue reading

iHeartRadio

iHeartRadio

We didn’t really need another awards show, but we got one.

It’s true, the best part of the iHeartRadio Music Awards was the intros for the award categories and the L.A. montage that played during 30 Seconds to Mars’ performance (can we get a full documentary on that, please?). Besides that the awards show went a lot like all of the others: Rihanna showed up LATE, donning an interesting new hairstyle; Luke Bryan sang the sang same song that he’s performed at all of the other awards shows over the last year; Pitbull performed something; There was a tribute (or tw0) of sorts.

Honestly, if you didn’t get to tune in you didn’t really miss much, but just in case you’re still curious, check out a few of the performances from the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Awards below. Continue reading

Alicia Keys in "It's On Again" video

Alicia Keys in “It’s On Again” video

Alicia Keys, Kendrick Lamar and Pharrell save the world through music in the music video for “It’s On Again.” The song serves as the lead single for The Amazing Spiderman 2 soundtrack.

As far as music videos for soundtrack singles goes, this one is pretty amazing. Keys looks stunning and the storyline meshes well with the dramatic footage from the movie.

The soundtrack will be released on April 22. Continue reading

Alicia Keys in "It's On Again" music video

Alicia Keys in “It’s On Again” music video

Alicia Keys, Pharrell and Kendrick Lamar appear to be involved in some exciting mission in the music video for “It’s On Again.” The song is the lead single for The Amazing Spiderman 2 soundtrack.

Pharrell doesn’t actually have a verse in the song, but he did produce it so his appearance in the video makes sense.

Watch the snippet below as we wait for the full video! Continue reading

Top Dawg Ent.

Top Dawg Ent.

Top Dawg Ent. promoted SZA’s new project Z by dropping a new version of the singer’s solid cut “Babylon,” this time featuring her labelmate Kendrick Lamar, just hours before her album was released.

The singer debuted a suicidal video for the superb song last month and Lamar’s verse fits in with the moody, trippy theme perfectly. “I’m dead to the world like I popped me a couple downers,” he raps in his signature cadence. You don’t have to be down or depressed to enjoy this song, though.

This new version is featured on the singer’s debut album Z, which is available now. Continue reading

Marvel Ent.

Marvel Ent.

Alicia Keys’s “It’s On Again” will serve as the lead single for The Amazing Spiderman 2 soundtrack.

The Pharrell Williams-produced track is as dramatic as you’d expect a song from a superhero movie to sound. A rapid-fire, aggressive verse from Kendrick Lamar starts things off before Keys comes in and sings about always moving forward over a piano and string section.

The song is available on iTunes starting today (April 1) and the soundtrack will be released on April 22. Continue reading

Billbaord

Billbaord

Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy snubs were undoubtedly disappointing, but they’re not stopping TDE from trying to conquer 2014. Schoolboy Q’s Oxymoron was released last week week and is slated to debut at no. 1. And that’s just the first of my many new albums from the crew.

Q and Lamar cover the latest issue of Billboard and TDE reveals plans to release several albums this year in the cover story. The label is eying a September release date for the follow up to Lamar’s critically acclaimed good kid, m.A.A.d. city and also plans to release albums from Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, SZA, Isaiah Rashad and Black Hippy (Lamar, Q, Rock and Ab-Soul).

The indie label is out to prove Lamar isn’t the only successful act in their arsenal and, if these new releases go as planned, I don’t think that will be too hard.

Kendrick Lamar performs during NBA All-Star weekend

Kendrick Lamar performs during NBA All-Star weekend

Kendrick Lamar served as the musical entertainment last night amid the NBA All-Star festivities. The rapper performed “m.A.A.d. city” and “B*tch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” during his set at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. He kept the performance chill, walking and dancing around the stage in a pair of Kanye West’s Air Yeezy II Red Octobers.

I think I’m growing tired of seeing Lamar perform these songs, because his Grammy and SNL performances with Imagine Dragons was much more entertaining than his other recent performances.

Hopefully we get some new material and more energetic performances soon! Continue reading

Kendrick Lamar in "Poetic Justice" video

Kendrick Lamar in “Poetic Justice” video

The Robin Thicke’s of the world aren’t the only ones that can write a song and make all the ladies swoon. Hip-Hop can get pretty sappy, too. In fact, rappers often make some pretty compelling love songs, although they usually feature some hilarious lines and a nod-worthy beat.

This Valentine’s Day when you’re cuddled up with your “bae” don’t just put on the typical crooners. Here are a few tracks from Drake, Outkast, Snoop Dogg and more that can be added to your playlist. Continue reading

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