Remember when Rutgers University offered a class on the theology of Bruce Springsteen? That was pretty wild, right? Well now the university that brought you insight into the Boss is giving interested students the chance to dissect “American race, gender and sexual politics” through Beyoncé’s music and unfolding career.
“This isn’t a course about Beyoncé’s political engagement or how many times she performed during President Obama‘s inauguration weekend,” explains Kevin Allred, the Ph.D student who will be teaching the class. The course will take a look at music videos, lyrics, and the strategy behind Beyoncé’s portrayal of her music. “It’s important to shift students away from simply being consumers of media toward thinking more critically about what they’re engaging on a regular basis.” Allred said.
In what seems to be a new trend, the school will also offer a course for Jay-Z fanatics titled, “The Sociology of Hip-Hop: The Theodicy of Jay-Z.”
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Last night marked President Obama‘s second inauguration ceremony. Among the many celebrities and speeches of the day, we saw spectacular performances by Beyonce, fun., Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson and James Taylor.
Five-time Grammy winner James Taylor was the first to take the stage, with an acoustic rendition of “America The Beautiful.” Kelly Clarkson followed the inaugural address and performed “My Country Tis Of Thee,” while Beyonce closed the performances with “The Star Spangled Banner.”
As the ceremony ended and the Inaugural Ball commenced, Alicia Keys sang her hit “Girl On Fire,” with the simultaneously sweet and awkward title change, “Obama’s On Fire.” Jennifer Hudson provided the soundtrack for the President and First Lady’s dance, as they swayed to a cover of Al Green‘s “Let’s Stay Together” (which the president himself ad-libbed at an event last year). The band fun. then closed the evening with their hit, “We Are Young.” You can view fun.’s performance right here and the rest of the performances after the jump. (more…)
Lupe Fiasco has strongly voiced his political opinions regarding President Barack Obama in the past, but this past Sunday, during a concert set up by StartUp RockOn celebrating the President’s inauguration, he may have gone too far. After playing a wandering half-hour version of his anti-war track “Words I Never Said,” which included vocal statements about his lack of support for the President and violent drone strikes in the Middle East, Fiasco was escorted offstage. Hypervocal, the company that co-founded StartUp RockOn, offered a statement claiming that they are “staunch supporters of free speech, and free political speech. This was not about his opinions. Instead, after a bizarrely repetitive, jarring performance that left the crowd vocally dissatisfied, organizers decided to move on to the next act.” Of course, it seems unlikely that the voicing of Fiasco’s political views was not a factor in the organizer’s decision to remove him from the stage.
If you dig Lupe Fiasco, check our OurStage artist ADRIAN.
You can see footage of the “fiasco” below.
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Ladies and gentleman, we’d like to welcome oldtimer Bob Dylan to the internet. The master of folk has finally figured out how to work that confounded computing machine and has even managed to personally update his facebook status for the first time ever!
What special occasion could possibly compel the legendary geezer to dust off his monitor and update the ol’ ‘book? Why, the election of course! Before Obama’s win was confirmed, Dylan took to his profile with the following message:
“Here’s pretty close to what I said last night in Madison. I said from the stage that we had to play better than good tonight, that the president was here today and he’s a hard act to follow. Also, that we’re not fooled by the media and we think it’s going to be a landslide. That’s pretty much all of it.”
Huh, not bad I guess. Better than my first status update at least: “Hot Pockets r good but I always burn my mouth lol.” Looks like Dylan is finally becoming one of us. Let’s just hope we don’t lost him to rage face memes and pictures of cats (He strikes me as a FarmVille kinda guy)… It’s a slippery slope from here…
If you like Bob Dylan, then you might also like OurStage’s own Joncallmusic.
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While having musical talent is certainly not a prerequisite for being President of the United States, it definitely makes you way cooler, in our book. The White House has been absent of musical talent since Clinton was rocking out sax solos on the Arsenio Hall Show. But fret no more, music lovers: turns out our Commander In Chief has a set of pipes! Last week, President Obama surprised a Harlem audience by singing the hook to the famous Al Green tune Let’s Stay Together at a fundraiser at the Apollo Theater. Yesterday, he showcased some more of his talent by joining B.B. King, Mick Jagger and Buddy Guy for a few lines of his hometown anthem, Sweet Home Chicago.
Obama had hosted a night of performances dedicated to the blues, featuring musicians Jeff Beck, Troy Trombone Shorty Andrews, Gary Clark Jr., Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, and Booker T. Jones. President Obama was encouraged to sing by Buddy Guy, who told the President, You started something, you got to keep it up, referring to his Al Green impersonation. Obama joined the all-star cast, singing come on, baby don’t you wanna go, then having B.B. King chime in with same old place. Obama took the mic back and finished out the song with sweet home, Chicago before flashing the camera his signature smile and exiting the East Room to cheerful applause.
You can check out the full coverage of the event here.
- Blue Ivy’s not even a week old and she’s already making Billboard history.
- What could Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift possibly have in common?
- The land of the free…and the home of Kelly Clarkson.
- Hey, Kanye fans, stop bullying Amber Rose!
- What’s Madonna’s new album T.I.T.L.E.?
- Is President Obama a Little Monster?
- Who’s got the #1 spot this week? No surprises: Adele is still holding it down.
- Pete Wentz: Bassist-turned-hypeman?
Prince and Smashing Pumpkins go pro-bono
Claiming the internet is completely dead, Prince announced he will release his new album, 20TEN, for free in the Saturday edition of the U.K.’s Daily Mirror. Two things: Does this mean he hasn’t been getting the e-cards we’ve been sending him? Also: WTF Europe?!? No fair! Luckily we who live stateside have another song from Smashing Pumpkins to soothe our ruffled feathers. This week the band released Freak, the fifth free download from their 44-song project Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. Download it on the band’s website. Yeah, that’s right Prince, on the INTERNET.
Liz Phair + Rap + Bollywood = Exile in Blahville
While the rest of us were eating burgers and watermelon, Liz Phair was busy debuting her first album in 5 years. It’s called FUNSTYLE and it was released on Saturday, meaning she must have created the album art late Friday night. The first track is called Bollywood and consists of Phair rapping about being signed to a major label over tablas. Considering that she released a wildly unpopular pop record, Somebody’s Miracle in 2005, FUNSTYLE seems like a desperate attempt to reclaim her long-lost edginess. Avant-garde or just plain dumb ”you be the judge.
Justin Bieber not going to tour North Korea
This is pretty funny” apparently a spoof site called Faxo.com held a contest letting Bieber fans vote on where the teenage pop phenom should play. Mischievous imps got wind of it and gamed the site, voting North Korea into the Number 1 spot. Alas, our little Biebekins will not be headed over to the Communist nation for a concert. Sorry, Kim Jong-il. Maybe next tour.
George Michael crashes SUV into one-hour photo shop
George Michael was arrested and released after he drove his Range Rover into a one-hour photo store in London on Sunday. British police say the 47-year-old singer was clearly under the influence at the time. Maybe he should go back to performing under the name WHAM! Folks.
- Pharrell Williams talks about Despicable Me score
- Lady Gaga has more FB fans than Obama, less than MJ
- Alicia Keys takes a spill at Essence Music Festival
- Kelly Clarkson rocks America Celebrates July 4
- Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton celebrate 25 years of Dollywood
- Black Eyed Peas team up with James Cameron for 3D film of World Tour
- Janelle Monae, B.o.B. and Lupe Fiasco tap it out on Tightrope video
- Kanye West unveils album artwork for Power
- Queens of the Stone Age to release new album