It has been a busy last few days filled with concerts, and I am not mad about it for one second.
Last night I attended the third night of the concert series that make up the BET Experience. The lineup below –
We missed Lil Yachty but got there just in time for Thugger. Staples Center wasn’t completely full yet so the crowd wasn’t as lit as I expected for Young Thug, but he played a handful of his old and new tracks, keeping the audience satisfied.
Time for Migos. I just saw them last Friday as one of the openers for Future, and once again they did not disappoint. I truly think they are the top hip-hop group in the country right now – from the success of their Culture album to being featured on numerous tracks and making appearances across the board – they’re everywhere. Talk about living your best life.
Can we also talk about how TakeOff needs to take off his pink windbreaker situation and give it to me? And I don’t even wear pink, but it’s everything. Photo cred: Staples Center Twitter
Next up was Rae Sremmurd. Now these two guys really had the crowd lit. From “No Flex Zone” to “Black Beatles” to “Swang” to “No Type” and more, Swae Lee and and Slim Jimmy elevated the energy inside the Staples Center.
Now I was pretty excited to see the next rapper – Gucci Mane. Last night was the second time I’ve seen him live – the first was at Rolling Loud in May. But to see him at Staples Center in a more controlled environment compared to a chaotic outdoor music festival was much more preferred. He performed “Both,” “Lemonade” (one of my favorites), and brought out Migos to perform “Slippery” in addition to a handful of other songs.
The last two acts were ScHoolboy Q and A$AP Rocky. Now I thought A$AP would be the headliner, but the two rappers actually started on stage together. I was all the way down for that.
TDE x A$AP… yes, please.
Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg took this approach Thursday night. They alternated stage time and performed together. This kept the energy going and held your attention as a fan. V smart.
Anyways, ScHoolboy performed “Man of the Year,” “Collard Greens,” “THat Part,” and “Studio” to name a few. A$AP Rocky aka BAE$AP Rocky performed “Electric Body” (with ScHoolboy), “Shabba,” “Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2,” and more.
But nothing, and I mean nothing, could have prepared me or the rest of Staples Center for the final song. ScHoolboy came back out with truly only a few minutes to spare until their ending time of 11:30PM. He took to the mic saying this next song was to those from Compton, Carson, Gardena, etc (Los Angeles cities for those yinzers reading this), and “Humble” started playing.
Everyone knew what this meant…
K I N G K E N D R I CK
For the three minutes Kendrick was on stage, the energy was at PEAK levels. I almost told my friend who was there with me that we should leave a little early to get ahead of the crowd, but I’m so glad we stayed until the end. The entire A$AP Mob and TDE family rushed the stage and everyone was living their best life.
You can watch snippets from the concert below!
Okay, time to go get some sun and then get ready for the 2 Chainz concert tonight!
UDPATE 10:01AM PST: Just watched the video, and it is nothing short of epic and uniquely trippy. I’d expect nothing less from Travi$ Scott! And I really like Kendrick’s placement in the video as well. Travi$ continues to kill the game.
It’s here! Travi$ Tweeted last week he would be dropping this video, and I’m glad he has blessed us with these visuals on a Monday. What a good start to the week. Watch here!
I’m about to watch for the first time myself. Too pumped for this. Let me know what you think!
Okay, I need to get way better about posting music videos on this thang. Well, and better about posting in general. Any ways.
I just world premiered this music video from my bed, and I love it. It’s nothing too complex – but just so cool. And if you check out my Snapchat (ergense), you will hear what I think of this video. Again, it all goes back to being cool and to me Rihanna is the Queen of Cool, 100%.
So watch the video below, and let me know what you think! Oh, and pay attention to the cube RiRi is dancing in. Let’s just say it looks a lot like that ‘Hotline Bling’ box Drake was busting a move in. Hmmm…
Regardless, I’m team Rihanna and team Calvin. Enjoy!
Oh, and HOW COULD I FORGET. It’s still June 16 on the West Coast, so since that’s the case I’d like to wish a happy birthday to the late Tupac. How can you resist such a face?
And Kendrick Lamar’s birthday is tomorrow. Two of the GREATS born a day apart? Incredible.
I feel like I haven’t posted anything in EONS. The last time was what, RiRi’s concert review? Unacceptable! But I’m back now and definitely off of a good note because…
THE PENS WON…
…and are advancing to the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs! Major #californyinz moment. What does this have to do with California? Well, I’m here, duh. Anyways. Super pumped we beat the Capitals!
Now back to the culture and hip-hop. What have I missed?
Most recently, we were gifted with the (weird) music video for Desiigner’s banger ‘Panda’ with a cameo from Mr. Kanye West himself. Watch the loopy video below and you’ll catch Kanye towards the end. Since it’s a TIDAL exclusive, I unfortunately cannot embed the video into this post, so you’ll just have to watch here on Rap-Up.
Can’t forget about Drizzy Drake!
His hit ‘One Dance’ TOPS (aka No.1) Billboard Hot 100. That’s major! This is his first as a lead artist. Props, props. What was a close one last time? ‘Hotline Bling’ came in at No. 2. Big moves for the boy.
Drake is set to appear on ‘The Tonight Show’ Thursday, SNL (serve as the host and musical guest) this Saturday, and then to return to ‘Ellen’ on May 18. *sets DVR* Watch the hilarious and creative promo vid for the Ellen show appearance below!
And I want to share this just because Kendrick is not only one of my favorites but his content more times than not gives off good vibes only. The 30-second spot was shot in a California mansion and features Kendrick sporting his Reebok Classics. Watch and listen to his words in the newest Reebok commercial below.
UPDATE: Well, that was quick! Just as I clicked ‘publish,’ Kendrick tweeted about 15 minutes ago that untitled unmastered is available on iTunes. YEEEE. Check it, yinz!
So in addition to that 2 Chainz x Lil Wayne project I just told yinz about, King Kendrick Lamar may be up to something also.
That something being a what looks like new album called untitled unmastered, and earlier this evening Spotify posted the album under Kendrick’s name. I just did a quick search on the streaming service though, and it’s not there. Hmmm… them boys up to something.
However, I was able to grab a pic of the listing from Rap-Up. Just so you have an idea of what I’m talking about.
But why does everyone think he’ll be dropping a project? Let’s look at the FACTS below:
TDE’s CEO promised Lebron James the collection of ‘Untitled’ songs will be released.
Top Dawg also outlined on Instagram earlier this week a list of of upcoming projects, this potentially being one of them.
Producer Cardo also posted on Instagram with the caption ‘you’ve been warned’ and tagged two other producers, which makes us believe all are part of the project.
Tidal, Jay Z’s streaming service, also tweeted an image of the album cover.
All I can say is if K.Dot graces us with a new ALBUM, not just one song, but an album, and 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne give us a new project, I won’t be sleeping much tonight. #blessed #worthit
To sum up the 58th Annual Grammy Awards in one word…. #boring. Seriously. I know this is supposed to be a family show and they need to cover all genres, but can the performances please be more upbeat? I don’t know who decides what is performed, but we know you artists can all sing (hence why you’re at the GRAMMYs), so I think you should all pick a dope, upbeat song and get that party started as opposed to serenading us and putting us to sleep. And no I didn’t attend this year. We were told they weren’t going to have a mosh pit, which they didn’t. Maybe next year!
Parts of the show also felt rushed, especially during the acceptance speeches. Prime example was when Bruno Mars won for ‘Uptown Funk.’ Mark Ronson began speaking, honestly not for long, gave the mic to Bruno and the dang ‘cue to hurry up’ music came on. Let the man speak – he just won record of the year! Even the in memorium section seemed to be super fast, which for that I’d prefer it to move a little faster but not like that fast.
Most memorable moments for me:
Kendrick’s performance. The heart, soul, passion, and most importantly the message behind his performance was explosive. Literally. The stage was on fire. He revived the GRAMMYs – brought them back to life. It was so powerful. Mad props to King Kendrick. Also, congrats to him on winning five awards, one being Best Rap Album. Very well-deserved.
Lady Gaga-David Bowie tribute. While I do know who David Bowie is and how influential his music was, I obviously don’t know that much about him. That being said, I thought Gaga did a wonderful job. You can really throw her into any scenario, and I feel like she’ll execute it just right. For those of you who watched this last season of American Horror Story… she did SO good and played her role as the Countess perfectly.
While I did enjoy the Lionel Richie tribute, I’m still scratching my head as to why Meghan Trainor was part of that. She can sing, but to me I think they could have replaced her with someone more aligned with Richie’s voice and genre. I feel like she didn’t even sing that long any ways.
The Weeknd’s performance. Do not get me wrong, I repeat, do not get me wrong, I absolutely love The Weeknd, but that was not my favorite performance of his. Honest even. Yinz need to watch videos of him performing before he turned into this superstar. THOSE were performances, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen him at least five times. So so good.
The finale. Pitbull, Robin Thicke, and Sofia Vergara, really? That was way too random for me. While they are each talented, yes even Pitbull, I wouldn’t say those three are the most relevant right now.
And Taylor Swift. I don’t even feel like wasting energy to type about her. But two things: 1) She was way too dramatic when Ed Sheeran won. 2) Her acceptance speech should not have focused primarily on Kanye West. Tay Tay, you just won ALBUM OF THE YEAR – TALK ABOUT THAT. You know I love me some Kanye, but most people don’t so by bringing his name into the conversation creates more haters and fuels his fire. If Kendrick would have won, I can guarantee his speech would have been strictly about his album, TDE team, and the fans. Alright, I’m done.
So yes, overall I thought the show was pretty boring, but congrats to all of the winners, which you can find here. To make up for the boredom, I hope to attend the BET Awards again, assuming they’ll be in LA this summer. I’ll keep yinz posted!
I promise the title above will make more sense once you’ve read this piece in its entirety.
KANYE | Well now that The Life of Pablo is finally available on Tidal, all is good in the world. JK. Ye has been going on multiple Twitter rants and is now claiming the album will forever be ONLY on Tidal and will never be available for sale. Well he did Tweet it’s on kanywest.com, but still. And I read that the version currently on Tidal isn’t even the finished one. Who knows. But aside from that nonsense, I REALLY LIKE TLOP. I don’t want to get into too much detail about my thoughts on it – want to save that for its own post – but let’s just say, for me, it’s up there with 808s and MBDTF. Each song makes me want to dance. And if you know me, then you know I like it.
Kanye premiered the album on Thursday at a SOLD OUT Madison Square Garden. He also debuted his Yeezy Season 3 fashion collection. I plugged in my headphones at work and live streamed the EXPERIENCE – yes I’m calling it an experience because it was – on my phone. From the first track he played (‘Ultralight Beam’) to the finale, it was one of the best things I’ve heard and seen, musically, in a while. Kanye was SO happy and proud, his family and fellow artists were there supporting him, Anna freaking Wintour was there supporting him, and one of his models even shed a tear while standing as still as a statue on that massive block. What other artist can you say has done that before? Not just selling out MSG for a listening party, but having live streamed the album for his fans to watch from all over the world. Pretty dope if you ask me. Screenshots below.
KENDRICK | Saturday morning, Parker and I ventured to the city of Compton to watch Mr. Kendrick Lamar receive the key to the city. MAJOR. Aja Brown, the Compton mayor, presented Kendrick with the highly-deserved honor. What does it mean to get the key to the city? I think it’s more symbolic than anything, but it is given to someone the city looks up to, to someone who is making a difference in their hometown, and is an inspiration for all, working to better their city. The crowd wasn’t too big for the ceremony. Real 92.3 was there to supply the music, teachers and city officials spoke before Kendrick, congratulating him, explaining the impact he has on Compton. One of my favorites was seeing Compton’s dance team perform to some of his songs and then into Lil Wayne’s ‘A Milli.’ That was sick.
Read this article and check out dope pictures from Complex’s very own Andres Tardio here.
KLUB KUCHE | On Sunday, two of my roommates, Megan and Rachel, ran in the LA Marathon. Instead of each running the full 26.2, they registered for a charity relay where they each ran 13 miles. Wally and I had to show our support and of course pump up the crowd. We ventured to Santa Monica around mile 22 to dance our pants off. Not actually off, but we did dance a lot. We then got some much needed foods at Wurstkuche in Venice and let’s just say it escalated pretty quickly. Watch the video below to see for yourself. But most importantly, I’m so proud of Meg and Ray Ray for running the marathon! And proud of everyone else too. I know I couldn’t (or even wouldn’t) want to run in a marathon, so props to all. Super inspiring!