Kanye Premieres Controversial “New Slaves” Videos

Kanye’s swarming the world with his new music videos, premiering on a wall near you. His lyrics are racy, and the marketing plan is genius. If you’re in the NYC area tonight head out to one of these locations to see the next premieres:

1:15am – Louis Vuitton – E 57th St & 5th Ave

1:30am – Prada W 56th St & 5th Avenue

They throwing hate at me
Want me to stay at ease
Fuck you and your corporation
Y’all niggas can’t control me
I know that we the new slaves
I know that we the new slaves

Cinema Meets Music: Inside the Mind of Music Director, Woodkid

His real name is Yoann Lemoine, but he goes by the stage name Woodkid. He’s a music video director, graphic designer, and singer-songwriter who’s known for directing Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” Drake’s “Take Care,” and other mainstream videos. But he’s also becoming known for taking a different outlook on music, and life. Myspace recently sat down and talked with Woodkid as he walked through his visions behind Katy Perry and Drake’s video, as well as some others. Perhaps the most striking feature of this interview, was Woodkid’s response to the meaning behind his song/video “Run Boy Run”:

I was obsessed with the character you decide to play in life—[whether] based on anger, running way from something, revenge, very strong teenage excitement and invincibility feeling—you can feel [that] in my videos. There’s that teenage scream in my videos. I thought that was interesting because I could link it to a lot of things I love, like fashion. Putting a disguise on your body, cheating who are you are, [it’s] almost an armor around yourself. 

The video is dark, the song is dark, and yet it tells a story…it’s cinematic. Without even seeing the video, you can feel as if you should be watching a movie. The loud drums, the violins, and the overlapping elements of the song are all so intriguing. And somehow, one can’t help but hope that this boy escapes and reaches tomorrow…because we’ve all ran from something at some point another, haven’t we?

run boy run break out from society. 

Who’s the World’s Next Big Diva?

In light of the upcoming Billboard awards, we as fans have the opportunity to vote for our favorite upcoming “diva”: Andy Allo, Jhené Aiko, or Gin Wigmore. Wait..maybe we should just scrap this whole “Next Big Diva” title. Saying the word diva puts them up to being the next Beyoncé, and that’s just weird. Second, let’s acknowledge now that our votes don’t really count. Andy Allo should win on the basis of most different sound/style and if it wasn’t for Gin Wigmore, Jhené Aiko would win because of her relatively large backing (although I think she sounds too much like Cassie).

But let’s just acknowledge the winner now… congratulations Gin Wigmore. She’s an artist from New Zealand looking to make her mark in the US music industry. With a raspy voice, heavy eyeliner, and an all-around look that is very unique, she’s got the look of a pop star. I’m telling you she’s going to win, but if you really feel the need to vote, do so by May 13th and prove me wrong!     http://www.billboard.com/nextbigdiva

By the way, doesn’t it sound like they all come from a different decade? Or is it just me…


Andy Allo

Gin Wigmore

Jhené Aiko

Great New Music: Janelle Monáe – Q.U.E.E.N. feat. Erykah Badu

Hey folks, it looks like women-empowering songs are the theme of the week. Janelle Monáe is obviously well-known for her sleek style–tailored suits with the bow tie, bold lipsticks, and poofy up-dos. But with the upcoming release of her sophomore album, her first new single “Q.U.E.E.N.” is giving us so much more.

Monáe is already well-established in the industry, and as a site featuring so many upcoming artists, we have to wonder how she’s garnered so much interest. Monáe was “discovered” by Bad Boy through MySpace back in 2006, and it seems like the label made a great call. When talking about the decision he made, Daniel Mitchell, A&R at Bad Boy stated, “Yeah. I think the thing with Janelle Monáe is that she’s an artist that’s capable of creating her own movement, and she has her own vibe. I love her music. I think it’s different. Some of it I don’t understand, to be honest with you, and I think that’s the great part of it – I don’t need to understand it.”

So short answer: she was already established. Monáe had an image, and presented something different. Now, she’s releasing this song, not only making us all want to dance and have fun, but also calling on the world to stand up. The end of the video is phenomenal, as she cuts into the smoothness of the song with hard, fast-moving rap lyrics… “March to the streets ‘cuz I’m willing and I’m able/ Categorize me, I defy every label/ And while you’re selling dope, we’re gonna keep selling hope/ We rising up now, you gotta deal you gotta cope.”

Stay on the lookout for Monáe and her new album. It’s probably going to bring a lot of hype.

“Q.U.E.E.N. was inspired by private discussions between Erykah and me. It is meant to make you JAM. DANCE. FUNK OUT. and dialogue later…” – Janelle Monáe

Taylor Simone Releases New Song, “Boys Love Shawn Carter”

“Oh there goes Drake speaking for women again…”

Taking her own spin on Drake’s song “Girls Love Beyoncé,” Taylor Simone released a new single earlier today titled “Boys Love Shawn Carter.” The song is catchy, seemingly giving a voice to the women out there, who don’t really want or need Drake to speak for them.

Her lyrics seem to target Drake directly with lines like, “Say my name say my name, cause you kinda outta Practice…yea this ain’t no time for rapping…”

Is it time to start the gender conversation – where men in hip-hop define women through their lyrics, and women accept it by doing nothing? Well…maybe not yet, but Taylor Simone is definitely bringing up the question.

Anyway she needs no real introduction. You just need to know that this song is real. But don’t take my word for it. Have a listen below and decide for yourself:

Ray J Releases “I Hit It First” Video

Earlier today, Ray J officially released his music video for his controversial single “I Hit It First.” After Ray J adamantly claimed that the song was not about Kim K (yea right), the video not only includes a Kim K look-alike but shows Ray J watching Kim K on E Television in the last scene. So either Ray J really wants his money or he’s a bit of a stalker. Either way, if there’s anything we can take away from this, it’s 2 words: stupidity sells.

HiFadility Drops New Album: The Gateway

It’s past midnight, kids. I don’t know about you but nothing gets me through late night studies, wandering thoughts, and aimless web browsing more than music. And on this wonderful night, the universe is blessing us with some great new tracks: the sounds of emerging DJ/Producer HiFadility, referred to by Maya Gaul, CC ’13. Inspired by the likes of Miles Davis, Theolonius Monk, and Duke Ellington, HiFadility’s music seems to interplay between jazz, soul, hip-hop, and really nothing that exists quite yet–hence the excitement surrounding his new album. Titled “The Gateway,” it represents the portal a traveler passes through before a journey — this project is an introduction to the laid-back vibe and direction of the The Traveler.

So far, I like what I hear. Smooth jazz vibes, nice electric guitar solos (“L’Amore”), and some dope syncopated beats (“I am H.E.R.E.”). But don’t let me sway you too much just yet. Check out the link below and decide for yourself. HiFadility’s full project is slated to be released next month.

3 Reasons You MUST Vibe with Taylor Simone this Thursday

Promo 2This Thursday, April 11th, Taylor Simone will grace the stage at the Bitter End in downtown New York for her last concert of the semester. Now I already know what you’re thinking…downtown?! As Columbia students, we tend to limit our adventures to the area that our President conveniently labels as “Morningside Heights” aka places between 96th street and 125th…and that’s a stretch. If we do somehow manage to venture downtown, we make sure that we change out of our sweatpants into something we’ve been waiting to wear but haven’t found a good excuse to, then Instagram the entire adventure — from the subway, to the dinner, to the expensive table that we hope the guy next to us is paying for, and finally we change our Facebook profile pictures to something that sums up the “epic” night we had.

Well friends, it’s about time to put away the sweatpants and start Bachannal weekend off right. The talented, smooth, and soulful Taylor Simone is promising to give a show that will be one of the highlights of her career. She’s bound to be famous soon, so wouldn’t it be nice to take advantage now and see her before the prices skyrocket? And just in case you’re still wondering if it will be worth your while, here are 3 key reasons you should go and support:

1. She opened for Snoop Dogg during Bacchanal 2 years ago and killed it. She was only a FRESHMAN, already making her claim to fame.

2. She’s performing some new songs, and covers. Remember my post on covers? Yea, here come the fans.

3. It’s a Thursday night, and there’s nothing better to do (trust me). The concert is called VIBE for a reason. Vibe with Taylor, Vibe with your friends, and immerse yourself in the amazing atmosphere.

Disclaimer: this is open to EVERYONE (you know, the entire world…not just CU students).

Get ready for a great time, check out her tumblr page, and listen to her cover below of Swimming Pools by Kendrick Lamar:

BHM Fashion Meets Music

It’s always fun when different forms of art combine to create a production. Last weekend, during the Black History Month fashion show, fashion met music (or did music meet fashion?). The show, headed up by Columbia senior Jasmine Sudarkasa included a lot of artistic elements, from a dramatized pillow fight, to a rendition of the Harlem Shake, and a remake of “GIRLS” (video above). One of my favorite parts though, was what occurred in between the different designers: a jazz band called “Steven Fowler.” The band had a Robert Glasper feel to it, as they began with a basic melody/theme and expanded upon it in each instrument. Each member had his own solo, incorporating the normal jazz elements of syncopation and harmonic dissonance. I didn’t catch the solos on video, although I wish I had. In the end though, the horns blended together to create a smooth sound as the bass line in the guitar carried the band forward. Overall, it was a great show, and it’s always wonderful to discover new bands.

Top 5 Reasons You Should Listen to Morningsiders

MorningsidersIf you go to any of the random music gigs around campus, you already know about the band Morningsiders. And if you don’t, well that’s what Bars and Chords is here for. I first heard them at the Epic Showcase hosted by Sigma Lambda Beta a few weeks ago. Afterwards, my gut (Scandal plug) told me that I have been missing out on some awesome music. Hopefully, I’ll have the honor of interviewing them one day, but in the meantime, I think that telling the world about them will suffice. So here are the top 5 reasons you should be stalking the Morningsiders’ SoundCloud right now:

1. They don’t fit into a genre…”inspired folk-pop and blue-grass” mixed together, with coolness on the side. In other words, they’re DIFFERENT, which is good in the music world in case you didn’t know.

2. Their harmonies are a blend of perfection and serenity. You may even find yourself closing your eyes, transcending into a different realm of music (or something).

3. They made a video for Valentine’s Day.

4. You’re almost always guaranteed a trumpet, fiddle, or some kind of great solo.

5. We live in Morningside so, obviously, it’s our duty to support Morningsiders.

So…if you’re still not quite convinced, go ahead and check out their soundcloud or facebook, and see if you agree.