Social media is incredibly powerful. In Egypt, Facebook was used to help topple a totalitarian regime. Flickr has been an effective tool for UK police in tracking down and apprehending looters during the recent riots. And here in America, Twitter’s primary function has been used to bring the ruckus. Electronic producer Kaskade accidentally incited a small riot in downtown Los Angeles with a single tweet. And we all saw what happened when rapper The Game grappled directly with the LAPD over the Internets.
Rapper Machine Gun Kelly must’ve been taking notes from Kaskade when he pulled off a mini-riot of his own, this one a flash mob of the Ohio-based rapper’s fans. Kelly wanted to do something a little special to mark his return to his beloved Cleveland. Over the course of a day’s worth of tweets, Kelly instructed his fans not to do anything until they heard “Cleveland” and to prepare for the event by wearing their best “#powerRAGER” outfits. You can see the flash mob in it’s entirety below.
So another flash mob in the books, guys. For his trouble, Kelly gets cuffed, slapped with a $230 fine and a ton of free publicity. It also allowed a young man who looks like this to come off as somewhat threatening.
Another year, another batch of deserving, long-overdue and not-so-worthy nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This cycle, the biggest mystery doesn’t involve the ones they omitted but the legend they finally got around to recognizing. After 22 years of eligibility, Neil Diamond made the short list for the first time.
What took them so long?
Steely Dan, John Mellencamp and ZZ Top”great acts all and all short of legendary” already have secured their Hall of Fame spots, and the powers that be in Cleveland are just getting around to noticing the glaring absence of Diamond? I love the video for “Legs” as much as any child of the ’80s, but in what universe does the ZZ Top songbook hold up to that of the guy who wrote such classics as “I’m a Believer,” “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” and “Red Red Wine”?
As for his fellow first-time nominee Bon Jovi (Alice Cooper, Donovan and Dr. John also made their short list debuts), sure they had a lot of hits and continue to sell respectably, but have they influenced any kid with a guitar and a song in his (or her) heart since hair metal went out of fashion? Oh, and where are the nods for Electric Light Orchestra and Roxy Music, a band that helped define ’70s glam rock while paving the way for the New Romantic movement led by super ’80s groups like Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran?
Did the ELO and Roxy nods go to LL Cool J, a surprise nominee (to me) who is barely in his 40s? He started out with a big bang in the mid ’80s for sure, and he was rap’s first solo star, but the quality of his output went into steep decline after “Mama Said Knock You Out,” as he became more hitmaker than visionary. Now he seems to have set aside his creative pretensions in favor of a comfortable middle age on prime-time TV as the star of NCIS: Los Angeles. Though he deserves to be demerited for going from gangsta to hack, I’d let him in over Bon Jovi and Donovan, but only if Beastie Boys, nominated for the second time, get in too.
The late Laura Nyro is also a return nominee for inclusion into the (mostly) boys club, and I’d say it’s time to let her in when the Class of 2011 inductees are announced in December and feted at the ceremony next March 14th. Ditto the queen of disco Donna Summer, a second-time nominee. But where pray tell are the nominations for Linda Ronstadt, who helped define mainstream rock in the ’70s and has been eligible since 1994, and Dionne Warwick, a ’60s legend without whom the Burt Bacharach/Hal David songbook might be just another bunch of songs? (Maybe the latter’s psychic friends can look into it.) Dusty Springfield had to die to get in in 1999. Let’s hope the Hall of Fame doesn’t make the same mistake (twice) again.
Jeremy Helligar is a former staff writer for People, Teen People, Us Weekly and Entertainment Weekly, who now writes about celebrities and pop culture from his couch in Buenos Aires.
After a long and fierce competition last month, the winners are finally in for the June segment of the John Mayer “Side Stage Warfare” Competition. Some of the best acts from the Pop, Indie Pop, and Singer-Songwriter Male and Female Channels came together to duke it out for a chance at the spotlight.
The Top 20 finalists were assembled and narrowed down to just four winners, one act for each city. The final four will get the opportunity to perform live in front of an audience of thousands and show their hometown how much they can rock. In addition to a spot on the stage, winners will receive free tickets to that night’s show. You can check out the bands below:
Bronze Radio Return
As the West Coast winners tune up and prep their set lists for the massive crowds expected at their respective Lilith 2010 tour stops, another set of winners in the Lilith Local Talent Search Competition is ready to be revealed. With each announcement, the anticipation for this ground-breaking tour becomes greater and greater. There may be no hope for me, but at least now the artists in Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. can breathe a little easier!
|Winterbloom||Kate Tucker||Jetty Rae||For the Love of Sloane|
|New York||Philadelphia||Washington D.C.|
|Rosi Golan||Joy Ike||Corrin Campbell|
Accolades come in many shapes and sizes, but in the world of hip-hop, they don’t get much better than an endorsement by Chuck D. So all you rappers out there, pay attention to Jahi Music. According to Public Enemy’s iconic emcee, Jahi is what’s needed in hip-hop. And when you listen to his music, you’ll know why. The Cleveland-turned-Oakland rapper doesn’t squander his energy in flashy production “ he keeps it simple, allowing his message to become the variable. Soft, symphonic beats, padded scratches and muted jazz textures that nip at the fray set the stage for the real instrument ” Jahi’s voice. Call this my mellow flow, bask in my inner glow, he raps on The Realness. Form follows function; delivering Vibes that make you dance but wisdom you can use. And that wisdom includes anything from social commentary on our joyless 9-5 grind (Cycles of Life) to celebrations of faith (Thank God.) Maybe you’ll dance when the beat rears up, and that’s cool. But what Jahi really wants you to do is listen. So far, we’re all ears.