Red Hot Chili Peppers Are Classic Rock Now

This weekend saw the launch the second annual Meadows Music Festival in Queens by Citi Field. Founders Entertainment, the production and promotion company also responsible for the city’s annual Randall’s Island summer bash Governors Ball, has approached the business adding to New York’s annual festival load very carefully. By nudging …

3 Doors Down Is the Perfect Band to Play Trump’s Inauguration

With major black and mainstream pop musicians effectively boycotting Donald Trump’s inauguration, event planners have been compelled to rely on artists with a large popular following who hail from culturally marginal genres. Classical crossover, a schlocky genre predicated on slavish devotion to a mirage European high culture, is well-represented by …

How a Hit Rap Song Happens Now

In this, the year hip-hop won the music business, one its defining hits was released more or less by mistake. Back in February, Lil Uzi Vert, a charismatic, septum-pierced 23-year-old rapper out Philadelphia who’d become internet famous with a frenetic outpouring digital singles, EPs, and mixtapes, was on his first …

Introducing The Intimate Bedroom Rock of Soccer Mommy

There’s a kind a cliché about the kids who go to college in New York City — that while their pals in Ann Arbor and South Bend are content to fumble through four years sloppily drunken coming–age-stuff, these eager young achievers have put themselves on an accelerated track. Their partying …

The Imperfect Innovation of Kanye West’s Graduation

Graduation, which turns ten today, probably isn’t the worst Kanye West LP, but even if it were, that would hardly be cause for shame. In keeping with its title, Kanye’s third album puts on a weird costume and participates in a ceremonious procession, but behind the ordered facade something disheveled …

Here’s Why Taylor Swift’s ‘…Ready for It?’ Might Sound Familiar

Unaffected (probably) by the lukewarm critical response to “Look What You Made Me Do,” the rollout for Taylor Swift’s new album, Reputation, continued apace over Labor Day weekend. The artist debuted “… Ready for It?” Saturday before a nationally televised college football game and then released the single properly overnight. …

The New Wave of Rap Violence Shouldn’t Be Ignored

There’s a song near the end rising South Florida rapper XXXTentacion’s just-released 17 called “Carry On,” where the 11-track mini-album — a ramshackle mix half-conceived folk musings and confessional depression raps — drops both its amateurish singer-songwriter contrivances and conventional hip-hop rhyme patterns in favor raw emotion: “Trapped in a …

How Jay-Z Helped Kendrick Lamar Get the Best of Drake

From left: Drake, Kendrick, Jay-Z. Last Friday saw the release the music video for “LOYALTY,” the languid yet driven single from Kendrick Lamar’s best-selling DAMN. As we’ve come to expect from Kendrick, everything has been meticulously arranged. Directed by Dave Meyers & The Little Homies, the “LOYALTY” video comprises a …

The Missy Elliott Renaissance Is Here

Missy Elliott is back. Photo: Harmony Gerber/FilmMagic For her first solo show in America in almost a decade, Missy Elliott arrived onstage in a vessel fit for a sci-fi pop empress. A large gray block with purple track lights was wheeled out by her dancers, background music swelled, mirror-lined doors …

The Excesses and Extremes of Guns N’ Roses

Axl Rose. Photo: Paul Kane/Getty s To hear rock fans tell the story, Guns N’ Roses was a club to the head hair metal, the knockout hit that served the whole late-’80s hard rock up on a platter for the gutsy, punk-minded Seattle kids to stage a coup for control …