Pop Jam: Iman’s “Wishing”

Somewhere between atmospheric electro pop jams and dancefloor bangers lies Iman‘s brand new single, “Wishing.” The London-based independent artist has been best known until now for writing and recording with Ed Sheeran and Rudimental, and was also called into writing sessions for Kanye West. But her smooth and sweet voice is quickly coming to the fore, as she gains international attention, and this new single demonstrates why. The clever and precise production is subtle enough to pull off the trick of creating a mellow vibe for a should-be dance pop hit.

Meanwhile, Iman is in the midst of a tour funded by a grant from PRS For Music Foundation. Here are the dates:

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Kanye West To Release 'Yeezus' Film In Theaters

kanye-west-i don't likeI have to admit, I haven’t been one of those swept away by the recent Yeezus phenomenon, though Kanye‘s most recent album did receive some pretty high praise, including two Grammy nominations (though according to Kanye, he definitely deserved even more nominations. Two just won’t do.)  But for those who felt Yeezus was snubbed by so few nominations, or who simply don’t want to see the album fade away, you won’t have to. Directed by Hype Williams (Belly), Kanye is bringing Yeezus to the silver screen. Unfortunately, the details are pretty scant right now, but you can check out a short trailer for the film here. Will you be seeing Yeezus when it hits theaters?

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Most Pirated Artists of 2013: Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Daft Punk

rihanna-2013I imagine that there’s a certain feeling of flattery in being named one of the most illegally downloaded artists of the year. Musicmetric, which analyzes data from Bit Torrent, has revealed that at over five million downloads each, Bruno Mars and Rihanna earned the top spots in this category, while Justin Timberlake, Daft Punk, and Flo Rida rounded out the top five. Also in the top 10 were Kanye West, Jay Z, Eminem, Drake, and Pitbull. 

Gregory Mead of Musicmetric reminds readers that the analytics “don’t condone piracy,” but rather help artists plan around where their fans are, in order to optimize tours ” similar to what Iron Maiden has started doing. Musicmetric also measures social media success, and found Taylor Swift to be the winner, with an added 29.5 million new followers in 2013, with Katy Perry close behind at an added 29.2 million new followers.

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Kanye West Sued Over "Bound 2" Sample

kanye-west-i don't likeKanye West has found himself tangled in a lawsuit for sampling a vocal track of soul singer Ricky Spicer (The Ponderosa Twins Plus One) in his track, “Bound 2.” Spicer filed a lawsuit against West this past Monday, along with Roc-a Fella Records, Universal Music Group, and Island Def Jam Music Group, with Spicer seeking “an injunction and damages for alleged violations of New York civil right of publicity law (section 51), unjust enrichment and common law copyright infringement.”

The lawsuit states that after recording “Bound” with The Ponderosa Twins at age 12, Spicer went on to perform with acts such as James Brown and Gladys Knight. “For all his accomplishments,”  the court papers state, “Mr. Spicer was not fairly compensated.” Check out the two tracks below and let us know what you think. (more…)

Kanye West Boots A Heckler From His Show (VIDEO)

kanye-westWhat a character Kanye West is. Sometimes he comes off totally bonkers, other times he appears to be an artist of a caliber so high that we can barely keep up with him. But the best is when both happen in one instance. Take his little impromptu speech at Harvard University last month, in which he veered from incoherent to highly-conceptual in the space of a single sentence. Now comes video of a November 8th performance in San Antonio, Texas, where Kanye has clearly had enough from some audience members who won’t stop imploring him to remove his Maison Martin Margiela-created mask – part of his stage costume.

He tells the fans that they can see his face “every motherfucking day on the Internet” before stating his chief problem: “I came here, I open up a mountain…and you tryin’ to tell me how to give you my art.”

You do not fuck with Kanye’s art.

He goes back to a freestyle explaining why he wears the mask, taking it all with a little humor, but then one woman continues to shout at him to take off the mask. He then signals to security to have the woman removed, to the delight of the crowd.

“Do I look like a motherfucking comedian? Don’t fucking heckle me. I’m Kanye motherfucking West.”

Kim Kardashian has nothing to do with this story, but now that I’ve mentioned her, way more people will read this. Hi, Kim fans!

@OurStage

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Why Miley Cyrus' 'Bangerz' Tour Might Be The Most Important Tour Of The New Year

When will the public finally take Miley Cyrus seriously? And no, I am not asking that facetiously. I will admit that she certainly doesn’t make it easy, especially considering her slew of press-baiting stunts over the last few months that sent every media outlet into a seemingly permanent salivary frenzy. Still, whether or not she is in control of her public image “ the ultimate point of contention anchoring a furious celebrity blog-off several months ago “ her (or her management’s) decision to bring Sky Ferreira and Icona Pop on her upcoming Bangerz tour is a totally brilliant move: one that crystallizes and enlarges the cultural impact of what each artist has, up until this point, been doing separately in order to make pop music a safer place for women to rightfully do whatever the hell they want.

The album cover for Ferreira’s new record Night Time, My Time features the melancholy singer staring somewhat crazily and vulnerably out at the audience, nude and framed by dripping shower tiles in Van-Gogh green. It’s more disturbing than it is sexy. But of course, that hasn’t stopped scores of critics from accusing her of employing nudity simply to boost album sales. The story, as she’s told it, is that Capitol, her record label, didn’t want her to be nude in the first place, and even suggested using other photos from past years for the album cover. But Ferreira was adamant. “It’s hard enough to be a woman making music at all,” she told Pitchfork. “But I’m not going to start covering myself up just to seem more credible”I’m going to embrace my sexuality because I have every right to.”

If there’s any statement that makes Cyrus’ recent salacious stunts more understandable in light of the challenges facing female pop artists, it’s that one. While the double standard of female sexuality is (hopefully) not news to anybody, it’s even more pronounced in pop music, where any display of female sexuality is commonly demonized as a PR stunt or a money grab: essentially anything that constitutes the opposite of “authentic” music, which is supposedly focused on pure form and creation. This is, of course, total bullshit. To solely attribute financial motives to a female artist’s decision to pose nude is to subscribe to the same type of thinking that circumscribes female nudity to the porn set or the bedroom. It is to place rules around where and when it is correct for women in pop to make certain choices about their bodies, and strips them (pun intended) of the ability to even have that choice in the first place.
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