Entries tagged with: Kanye West
Kanye West at Governors Ball 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
As previously mentioned, this year, MTV's Video Music Awards will be taking place in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center on August 25. It was just announced that Kanye West will appearing at this year's VMAs to perform "Black Skinhead" off his recently released Yeezus. Lady Gaga will be performing as well, debuting her new single, "Applause" off her upcoming ARTPOP album, due out November 11. Admission to the VMAs is free, but do you need tickets. You can currently get free Pit tickets, though the other ticket options are all TBA. There's a Ticketmaster page for the event too, but no on-sale date is listed at the moment.
Nominees for this year's VMAs include Kendrick Lamar, Drake, A$AP Rocky, J. Cole, Beyonce, Miguel, Janelle Monae, Erykah Badu, The Weeknd, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Lion, Mumford & Sons, Vampire Weekend, Alt-J, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Flying Lotus, and more. Full list below.
Also, watch the video for "Black Skinhead," which uses similar elements to the visual that accompanies Kanye's live performances of the song, below...
Tame Impala at Terminal 5 in February (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
We know these kinds of listicles get published all the time, and that everyone will always find ways to argue them, but this one is kind of interesting. Rolling Stone published their '50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now' list, where they asked a panel of writers, industry figures, and artists, "who rules the road in 2013?" It's got much of the stuff you'd think Rolling Stone would have on this kind of list (like insisting The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen are still better live than basically anyone else in 2013), but there's still some surprises, like the inclusion of Tame Impala amongst mainly rock/pop stars.
Check out the full list below...
by Andrew Sacher
Rapper/producer Travis Scott (who was an XXL Freshman this year) has been seeing his career elevated lately thanks to his production contributions on Kanye West's Yeezus and the work he did on Jay-Z's Yeezus-like "Crown" from his new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail. He's got his own free mixtape out, Owl Pharaoh (which dropped about a month before Yeezus), and while it's still not entirely convincing that that he's got it as a rapper, you can definitely hear some Yeezus blueprints taking shape on the mixtape. Kanye himself supposedly helped out a bit, and 'Ye collaborator Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) contributes his vocals to the track "Naked."
Travis Scott was in NYC back in May when his tour with Casey Veggies hit Brooklyn Bowl. The two rappers will continue touring together later this month in the West/Southwest, but before that, Travis returns to NYC for a 'Hot 97 Who's Next' show on Tuesday (7/16) at SOB's with Trips N Slim, Apollo The Great, and Coley Bernays. Peter Rosenberg and Shani Kulture will be hosting and DJ Juanyto is providing music. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
All dates are listed, along with a stream of Owl Pharaoh and some of his Kanye/Jay-Z collaborations, below...
by Andrew Sacher
We're still waiting til Tuesday (6/18) for one of the most anticipated albums of the year -- Kanye West's Yeezus -- to drop, but something tells us it may have surfaced on the internet a little early. Assuming what going around is the final version of the album, it's pretty consistent with Kanye's mini-rant at Governors Ball about not caring about the radio anymore; this is some of his most anti-commercial music yet. Rather than the lush string/horn arrangements he used on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, the melodic R&B-style beats of 808s and Heartbreaks or the borderline-electropop of Graduation, on Yeezus Kanye is all about dark, distorted synth maximalism. On "On Sight" those synths were reportedly worked on with Daft Punk, he's got a TNGHT track on "Blood on the Leaves," and that's Evian Christ on "I'm In It."
He's pretty dark, lyrically, too and dominates most of the vocals on the record. Ye's been known to get heavy on the guest spots, but they're pretty low-key here. Not that they're coming from low-key people of course. The full version of "New Slaves" features Frank Ocean crooning at the end, a track called "Hold My Liquor" transitions from a Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver) hook into a Chief Keef hook, and rumor has it that "God" appears on "I Am a God." I guess he really is talking back.
Kanye also brought in outside producer/Def Jam founder Rick Rubin (who just discussed the album at length) to help him out.
What may very well be the official tracklist for the album is below. Check that out and let us know your thoughts on Yeezus.
You may have noticed these MSG show posters popping up around NYC....
Let's face it. Kanye West would never let anyone bill him 5th on a poster, but regardless, even with the typos, this concert bill popping up around NYC that claims Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Pharrell Williams, Frank Ocean, Kanye West, Eminem, A$AP Rocky and Andre 3000 are playing Madison Square Garden on a "Thuesday" is sure to get more than a few people excited about a show that is not actually happening.
Who would do such a thing??? Well, the likely culprit is artist Andre Saraiva who allegedly pulled a similar stunt with Daft Punk, Phoenix, Air & more in Paris. A fake Beach Boys, Phoenix, Beastie Boys (really?), The Faint & Tame Impala poster has also been seen in LA.
Thanks Nick Masi for the photo!
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Yeezus / Bloc Party / fans chillin' in a kiddie pool
Governors Ball concluded on Sunday (6/9). We've already posted one set of pictures from that day, in addition to pictures of The xx, Deerhunter, and Portugal. The Man. We also posted videos, the setlist, and talked a bit about Kanye West's set. Now we've got pictures of Yeezus, in addition to Bloc Party, Beirut, Foals, Freddie Gibbs, and more in this post.
photo by Dana (distortion) Yavin, words by Andrew Sacher
Kanye West at Governors Ball - 6/9/13
Kanye West wrapped up this year's muddy, yet successful, Governors Ball on Randall's Island with an epic headlining set on the main stage (6/9). If you weren't close to the stage, it was hard to see him, but that didn't even matter because his elaborate light/visual show was a huge spectacle on his own. He had multiple layers of lights across the back end of the stage, and the screens were back and forth between showing ominous images and distorted shots of Kanye performing on stage. He didn't get as crazy as he has in the past with a rant, but he did go on a short one in the middle of "Clique" about how he doesn't care about radio or trying to sell a million records anymore, he just cares about music.
In addition to playing the hits, Kanye also played material off of his upcoming new album, Yeezus, including "Black Skinhead" and "New Slaves," which he did on SNL, and three others, one possibly named "On Site" and another possibly named "I Am A God." Check out videos of him playing all five new songs, along with his full Governors Ball setlist, below. More pictures (like the one above) coming soon.
Grizzly Bear in Austin in April (more by Tim Griffin)
The festival goes down on Randall's Island this weekend (6/7-9). We also just made a Spotify playlist of many of the artists we're excited to see this weekend. Listen to that below or on Spotify. Full Governors Ball schedule is also below...
Kanye West in Sweden in 2011 (more)
NYC festival Governors Ball is totally sold out of regular tickets, but if you weren't able to get yours and still want to go, there are still a few options. From now until Monday (5/27) at 11:59 PM, you can enter the Governors Ball Ticket Lottery. Entering the lottery gives you a chance to be selected to purchase either a 3-day pass or a single day ticket. More details on how the lottery works below.
Ticket lottery details and festival set times below...
Kanye on 'SNL'
Kanye West has had a busy weekend. On Thursday (5/16), he played a private show at Roseland for Adult Swim where he performed a few new songs. He also, as is his wont, let loose one of his stream-of-conscious rants, this time mostly about celebrity culture. You can watch video of that below.
One of the songs Kanye performed at Roseland was new track "New Slaves." A video for that song made its debut on Friday night (5/17), projected at, according to maps on Kanye's website, 66 locations around the world. Nine of them were in NYC, including two in Williamsburg: one being outside the Bedford Ave L stop, and the second on the Wythe Hotel, and there's video of the former below.
The song, which features a sample of 1969 single "Gyöngyhajú lány" by Hungarian rock band Omega and vocals from Frank Ocean, will feature on Kanye's follow-up to 2010's My Dark Twisted Fantasy which is, according to Pitchfork, titled Yeezus and has appearances from Daft Punk, Skrillex and more.
This activity was all centered around Kanye's appearance on Saturday Night Live's season finale hosted by Ben Afleck. (The teaser videos are below.) He performed "New Slaves" and debuted another new song, "Black Skinhead," and video of those, along with the other clips mentioned in this post, are below.
Kanye West @ Roseland Ballroom - 5/15/2013 (virgilabloh)
Kanye West @ Roseland Ballroom - 5/15/2013 (lacreated)
As mentioned, Kanye West played a private show for Adult Swim Wednesday night at Roseland Ballroom in NYC, ahead of his SNL appearance. New songs were played, in a Daft Punk-less tent pyramid thing. Watch a few videos below...
He may or may not be referring to the private "Upfront" show Kanye is playing for Adult Swim at Roseland. If it is the same show, then it is unclear why he used the term "Pop-Up". We'll find out soon!\
Kanye also plays SNL on Saturday and Governors Ball this summer.
Vampire Weekend on SNL - 5/11/13
Vampire Weekend are about to release their excellent new album, Modern Vampires of the City, this week (5/14) via XL (have you streamed it?), and ahead of that release they made their return to Saturday Night Live last night (5/11). They performed two of the new album's cuts, "Diane Young" and "Unbelievers." Kristen Wiig hosted. You can watch videos of both performances below. Next week (5/18) it's Kanye West.
SNL videos below...
Pusha T of Clipse has released a video for his new burner "Numbers on the Boards," from the forthcoming My Name Is My Name due in July. The track, produced by Don Cannon and Kanye West, features Mr Kardashian as well as Chief Keef for brief appearances in the video. Check that out below.
Deerhunter at Austin Psych Fest 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
Governors Ball is less than a month away, and the fest has now released the daily schedule. They've done a pretty good job with not too many giant conflicts -- though there's a few like Grizzly Bear vs Beirut, Bloc Party vs The xx, Erykah Badu vs Beach House, and Nas vs Guns N Roses. Check out the daily line-ups across their four stages below.
We're only a couple weeks out from Vampire Weekend's third album, Modern Vampires of the City, which hits retailers digital and physical on May 14. Look for the band, who just played Coachella, to preview tracks from the album at their sold-out show on Sunday (4/28) at Roseland Ballroom which is being broadcast live on the internet as part of the American Express Unstaged Performance series. The webcast, which is being directed by Steve Buscemi, starts at 9 PM EDT.
For those in NYC who would like to make the webcast experience a little more concert-like, Brooklyn Bowl, with help from the Tribeca Film Festival (which concludes on Sunday), will be showing it live on their many giant HD screens with "full concert sound." It's free entry.
Speaking of bowling, Vampire Weekend and Steve Buscemi, the band and Boardwalk Empire star are continuing to play out their friendship on the web with a second installment of the "documentary" about prepping for the Roseland show, which ends up at Brooklyn's Melody Lanes. There's also other episodes -- one with Grimes -- and you can watch them all below.
And last but not least, Vampire Weekend will appear on the May 11 episode of Saturday Night Live which is hosted by former castmember Kristen Wiig. So get ready for affable indie rock and the probable return of Gilly. Kanye West and Ben Afleck will apear on SNL's 38th Season Finale on May 18, and next weekend (May 4) it's Zach Galifianakis and Of Monsters and Men.
All upcoming Vampire Weekend tour dates (there are some new ones including Hollywood Bowl with Beirut, not NYC) are listed, along with the bowling video, below...
by Andrew Sacher
LA-imported NYC resident RL Grime dropped his impressive Grapes EP last year, which featured remixes from Salva, LOL Boys, and Shlohmo, but really began picking up speed a few months after its release when he teamed up with Salva for a remix of Kanye West's "Mercy" (which you can stream below). RL Grime and Salva teamed up again this year to give a similar treatment to "What A Shame" from Jamie Lidell's new self titled album. That remix came out in late March via Warp and you can stream it below as well.
RL Grime will be heading out on the "High Beams Tour" this May, which kicks off on the West Coast and includes a NYC show on May 9 at Le Poisson Rouge. Tickets for that show are on sale now. If you're wondering what seeing RL Grime live is like, check out the recording of his set at HARD Miami that was recently posted. It's a great, club-ready set full of bangers like his remixes of Chief Keef's "Sosa," and Rihanna's "Pour It Up," mixed in with pieces of Rustie, TNGHT, Baauer, and lots more. All dates on the "High Beams Tour" are listed below.
Meanwhile, collaborator Salva, who released the Odd Furniture EP earlier this year, has a bunch of upcoming dates scheduled including a NYC show as part of the Red Bull Music Academy NYC residency at Santos Party House on May 23 with a great lineup of Big Freedia, Drop the Lime, DJ Spinn & DJ Rashad, Afrika Baambata, and others. Tickets for that show are still available.
And speaking of Jamie Lidell, he plays Glasslands tonight (4/9).
All RL Grime and Salva dates are listed, along with the Jamie Lidell/Kanye remixes, below...
Governor's Ball 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
As mentioned, single day tickets to Governor's Ball went on sale today and with that, comes their day-by-day lineups, featuring headliners Kings of Leon (6/7), Guns N Roses (6/8) and Kanye West (6/9). Complete daily line-ups are below.
RZA screams "J'Accuse!!!" at Teichiku Ent. (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
RZA is taking a bold move of fighting back against a copyright infringement lawsuit, filing a lawsuit of his own against JVC Kenwood Holdings, which includes Teichiku Entertainment:
RZA (born Robert Diggs) is upset that the record label Island Def Jam has withheld more than $50,000 in royalties based on the claims that one of Teichiku's sound recordings was illicitly used on Kanye West's 2010 song, "Dark Fantasy," which RZA produced.Follow that? RZA seeks to "commence declaratory relief actions to squash some of these claims and, perhaps, recover our costs of defending" with the lawsuit, which is one of several in the works.
As a result, RZA is going to court to get a declaration that "Dark Fantasy" is not an infringement... According to the latest lawsuit, RZA was notified that "Dark Fantasy" contained an unauthorized sample from "Gincyo Watadori" performed by Meiko Kaji. The defendant demanded compensation.
What happened next, according to RZA's court papers, was that West's label Island Def Jam refused to pay royalties, claiming "that it is entitled to indemnification from plaintiff against defendant's copyright infringement claim."
So RZA is going to court against the accuser in an attempt to show the sampling allegation has no merit. -[Hollywood Reporter]
Yay! More lawsuits!
by Andrew Sacher
Hip hop production duo TNGHT (aka Hudson Mohawke and Lunice) is quickly becoming larger than the sum of its parts, and after playing Music Hall of Williamsburg in November (one of three international shows that month), TNGHT have announced their return to NYC, which will happen at the larger Webster Hall on April 17, in between their sets at this year's Coachellas. It's one of a few upcoming dates for TNGHT scheduled at the moment, including a just-announced slot at Barcelona's Sonar Festival. Tickets for the Webster Hall show go on sale Friday (2/15) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (2/13) at noon. All currently known TNGHT dates are listed below.
At TNGHT's last NYC show, Kanye West came out on stage with them as they dropped his track, "Cold." Following that appearance, and the fact that TNGHT member Hudson Mohawke contributed production to Kanye's Cruel Summer album, it's maybe not so surprising to learn that Hudson Mohawke has signed to Very GOOD Beats, the production component of Kanye's G.O.O.D. Music label (he will also keep his pre-existing contract with Warp). The other half of TNGHT, Lunice, also recently posted a mix (via Pigeons & Planes) that features TNGHT's remix of G.O.O.D. Music's "Clique." And, TNGHT have shared their new-ish track, "R U Ready," which Kanye was heard playing at a Victoria's Secret party during Fashion Week 2012. You can stream that track and Lunice's mix below. Why G.O.O.D. Music didn't just sign TNGHT instead of only Hudson Mohawke? Don't question Kanye West.
All streams and a list of all currently known dates below...
Frank Ocean performing at 2013 Grammys
The 2013 Grammys went down last night (2/10), and here's a quick recap of some of the winners and videos of performances.
The big ones: Gotye took home Record of the Year for "Somebody That I Used To Know" (beating The Black Keys, Kelly Clarkson, fun., Frank Ocean, and Taylor Swift), Mumford & Sons won Album of the Year (beating The Black Keys, fun., Frank Ocean, and Jack White), and fun. took Song of the Year and Best New Artist (totally robbing Miguel's "Adorn" and "Call Me Maybe," and Frank Ocean (!), respectively). Other wins included Skrillex for Best Dance Recording (sorry Al Walser), The Black Keys for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song and Best Rock Album, Gotye for Best Alternative Music Album (beating Fiona Apple, Bjork, M83, and Tom Waits), Usher's "Climax" for Best R&B Performance, Beyonce's "Love On Top" for Best Traditional R&B Performance, Miguel's "Adorn" for Best R&B Song, Frank Ocean for Best Urban Contemporary Album, Robert Glasper Experiment for Best R&B Album, Jay-Z and Kanye West's "Niggas In Paris" for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and their song, "No Church In The Wild" (feat. Frank Ocean and The-Dream) for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, Drake's Take Care for Best Rap Album, Dr. John's Dan Auerbach-produced Locked Down for Best Blues Album, Jimmy Cliff's Tim Armstrong-produced Rebirth for Best Reggae Album, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross' The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo score for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media, Bjork's Biophilia for Best Recording Package, The Beach Boys' long-awaited The Smile Sessions for Best Historical Album, Black Keys singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, and Mumford and Sons' "Big Easy Express" for Best Long Form Music Video. There were many other categories too and you can check out the full list of winners HERE.
And of course, during the Awards Ceremony a number of artists gave performances, which you can watch videos of below. You can see Miguel and Wiz Khalifa doing "Adorn," Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z doing "Suit and Tie" and then JT doing "Pusher Love Girl," The Black Keys, Dr. John, and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band doing "Lonely Boy," Jack White doing "Freedom At 21" with his all-guy band (he also played "Love Interruption" with his all-girl band but no video of that at the moment), Frank Ocean doing "Forrest Gump" with a thematically appropriate visual backdrop, a big tribute to Levon Helm with Elton John, Mavis Staples, members of Mumford and Sons, Alabama Shakes, and others, and finally, LL Cool J, Chuck D, Z-Trip, Tom Morello, and Travis Barker doing "Whaddup" with a small piece of Beastie Boys' "No Sleep Til Brooklyn."
by Andrew Sacher and Bill Pearis
Governors Ball 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
As mentioned, NYC music festival Governors Ball keeps growing and its returning this year for it's largest and most exciting festival yet on Randall's Island from June 7 - 9. Early bird 3-day passes go on sale today (1/25) at noon at $190, and once they sell out, they become $205 and then $220. According to the festival's website, single day tickets may or may not become available so if you'd like to go, they advise you purchase a 3-day pass.
The lineup has tons of great names this year and if you're going, we're sure you've got a bunch of stuff lined up to see already, and while you're making your wish list, here's our list of ten bands that we're excited to see at the festival, that you might not want to miss.
Kanye West is one of the headliners, and any chance to catch him in the NYC area is one to take advantage of. It's pretty amazing how far he's come and with seven albums under his belt (including Watch the Throne and Cruel Summer), he's got more than enough material for a hits-filled set, which he tends to do. And there's no telling what else he might do, like break out some snow monster masks or something.
A newer, but no less exciting rapper, Kendrick Lamar, will be there too. He turned the rap world on its head with last year's good kid, m.A.A.d. city, and us New Yorkers only got our chance to see him before its release. So now that we know all the words to his record, we pretty much can't wait to see him perform songs off of it at Governors Ball.
The term "supergroup" doesn't always mean the group is "super," just that the members are all known for other projects. But in the case of Divine Fits, featuring the songwriting talents of Spoon's Britt Daniel and Handsome Furs' Dan Boeckner, it was two great tastes that taste great together. And as a band, Divine Fits were pretty much amazing live right out of the gate, and their danceable vibe is festival-ready.
Deerhunter have been promising a new album for 2013 and while they haven't revealed any formal plans for it, we're hoping to hear some of the new material at Governors Ball. Plus, though we've seen side projects like Atlas Sound, Lotus Plaza, and Moon Diagrams in NYC recently, we haven't gotten an actual Deerhunter show since 2011.
UK art rockers Alt-J became infinitely bigger since first coming to the US last May, and they've got the kind of songs that would sound great on a big outdoor stage. The band have been on tour constantly and we've seen their onstage confidence grow leaps over the visits they've already had here. They should be primed and ready for big crowds by the summer.
Japandroids have already come to NYC a few times in the past year (and those liars said it'd be a while before they came back!) and anyone who has seen them knows every Japandroids show is destined to be a wild time. The band is always nuts on stage and so is the crowd, so it's the kind of thing that will be a killer time at an outdoor festival.
Another band, like Alt-J, that have also had a pretty significant and quick rise since first catching our attention, is Polica, who will be at this year's Governors Ball. Their mix of indie pop and R&B is endlessly catchy and the dueling drummers are a thrill to watch live. Whether you're already a fan or not, they'd be a great band to catch.
Unlike many of the bands on the Governors Ball line-up, it's been a couple years since Australia's Cut Copy have played North America and absence makes the heart grow fonder. CC seem to write their songs with giant crowds in mind and show no shame in working the crowd into a frenzy.
Most of the artists on this list are artists we've been fans of for a while, but festivals are also always good places to discover new artists, and one new group we're excited to see at Governors Ball is Vancouver's Bear Mountain. Last year, they released their debut album, XO, which combined club-ready dance tracks, arena sized atmospherics, and an indie pop sensibility in the songwriting. It's a pretty great mix and sounds like it will be totally fun live. You can stream the album in its entirety below.
Governors Ball, which started as a small NYC festival on Governors Island and moved to the larger Randall's Island last year, keeps getting bigger and bigger. This year's fest takes place June 7th, 8th & 9th, and tickets go on sale Friday. Check out the full lineup, in list, video and flyer format - one unannounced headliner included, below...
by Bill Pearis
The Village Voice's annual "Pazz n' Jop" critics poll is up and, as with anything like this with averaged votes, the winners are probably not that surprising. Frank Ocean's Channel Orange takes the top album slot (Kendrick Lamar is #2), and Carly Rae Jepsen's inescapable "Call Me Maybe" comes in at the top of the singles list. (Miguel, who is on the cover of the Voice this week, comes in at #2 with "Adorn.")You can also view individual ballots and read pithy quips about the year as a whole.
Kanye in mask (via Buzzfeed)
Kanye West did a three-night run in Atlantic City at Revel Ovation Hall from December 28-30. He performed completely alone on stage, without backup dancers, DJs, or a band, with widescreen projections of nature scenes behind him. The scenes changed a few times throughout the show, as did his outfits, which at certain points included two weirdly awesome masks -- one covered in diamonds and one covered in mock snow and/or feathers. For the set he stuck mainly to the hits, which at this point in his career results in a pretty long show, having touched on "Clique," "Mercy," "Power," "Jesus Walks," "Heartless," "Gold Digger," "Stronger," and many more.
At night 2, he gave a freestyle/rant during "Clique" about his criticism and about not receiving more major nominations in the 2013 Grammys. And on night 3, Kanye stopped in the middle of "Lost in the World" and asked, "Can we make some noise for my baby mama right quick?" implying that Kim Kardashian is pregnant. Neither Kanye or Kim have explicitly announced anything, but Kim's sister Kourtney later tweeted, "Been wanting to shout from the rooftops with joy and now I can! Another angel to welcome to our family. Overwhelmed with excitement!"
Kanye's friend/collaborator Jay-Z plays Barclays Center with Coldplay tonight for New Year's Eve. Maybe 'Ye will make an appearance? (though he probably has something better to do).
Videos of Kanye's "Clique" rant, his "baby mama" announcement, other songs from the show, the setlist from night 1, and another mask pic below...