It's not that rare for even a healthily successful band to be mildly haunted by the specter of their first big joint. Franz Ferdinand, though, have forever been outrunning just the first 53 seconds of the first time you ever heard them — that perfectly yearning intro bit on "Take Me Out," before the track switches over to the band's more recognizable disco-punk, and never, ever, as much as you'd want it to, ever goes back. Next month, they're back with their fourth album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions, which will surely be another collection of underrated, deceptively seamless dance jams. And, still, we'll pine for those 53 seconds.
Hey, the BET Awards were last night! Were you too busy working through a DVR backlog chock-full of Cash Cab and House Hunters International to notice? Don't you worry for a minute: Blaze through a few of these choice cuts below, and you won't be embarrassed when everyone at the country club's squash courts later tonight can't stop talking about how cool R. Kelly's hat was.
Bowie's new video depicts, among other things, priests partying and a touch of stigmata; as you might have expected, the Catholic League was not amused. Writes the League's prez Bill Donohue, "The switch-hitting, bisexual, senior citizen from London has resurfaced, this time playing a Jesus-like character who hangs out in a nightclub dump frequented by priests, cardinals and half-naked women ... in short, the video reflects the artist — it is a mess." I might be reading this wrong, but is it at all possible — considering the strangely jovial and florid word choices above — that Bill Donohue is all aggy right now because his MP3 blog never took off?
Yesterday, with minimal advance warning ("NEW SHIT IN 5 MINUTES"), the first single from Rocky's upcoming major-label debut, LongLiveASAP, was sprung. And while not everyone was a fan, at least not right away — Tyler the Creator tweeted "So Funny When Someone Releases A new Song With The Same 4 People That We Expected To Be On It With The Same Shitty 'Trap' Beat Hahaha," and I don't think he meant those "ha"s genuinely — this thing's got major radio potential. Of course, there are some built-in encumbrances to that end: When you do hear it on the radio, it'll sound like everyone's taking an awkwardly long breath before saying "problem."
Keith "Chief Keef" Cozart is a 17-year-old Chicago rapper signed to Interscope Records and best known for his mixtape hit "I Don't Like" (a song that's been reappropriated as the final track on Kanye West and his G.O.O.D. Music crew's upcoming album, Cruel Summer). Joseph "Lil JoJo" Coleman was a fellow teen Chicago rapper that allegedly had some bad blood with Keef. On Tuesday, Coleman was shot and killed on the South Side of Chicago. Now, following a mocking tweet send out by Keef in response to the killing, Chicago police are looking into how the possible gang affiliations of Cozart and Coleman may have led to the slaying.
A question on the occasion of the 13th or 14th time I've listened to Chief Keef's "I Don't Like (Remix)" today: Is anybody better at co-optation through collaboration than Kanye West?
Chief Keef is a previously superunknown, dreadlocked 16-year-old rapper from Chicago's South Side. Earlier this year, he became a viral fascination after a video of a very, very excited young man in a wood-paneled rec room celebrating Keef's release from jail on weapons charges became a hit on Worldstarhiphop.com. Keef was big among local high school kids, but he seemed to have no connections whatsoever, even on the regional level; in a hip-hop moment where even upstart blog-rap types like A$AP Rocky seem to arrive pre-assimilated, with label/media/fashion cosigns in place, that appearance of total aesthetic purity goes a long way. So did the detail that Keef has managed to blow up despite still being under house arrest at his grandmother's home, which is also the kind of hook that gets the attention of editors at outlets not normally known for commissioning long-form profiles of newish rappers (call it the Earl Sweatshirt Exemption).
Maybe it’s because everyone in the music industry has spent their post-SXSW week intermittently napping, or maybe it’s because everyone in the music industry decided to hide all the cool shit from me — but this felt like a real down week for new music. Thank the heavens for Frank Ocean, then, who, to date, still doesn’t know how to take a track off. This one was supposedly slated for the official Nostalgia re-release, which is now not happening. Ah, why nawwwwt, Frank? “Hahaha. What I look like a year later re-releasing my last album? Not icey. Bitch I’m icey.” Also: “ONLY SAYING THAT FOR MY JOURNALIST/BLOGGER FRIENDS. i know my icey-ness is obvious.” Noted.