Category Archives: performances

Judge Orders Juelz Santana to Be Accompanied on Tour By His Mother

According to reports, Juelz Santana had his bail conditions modified which will allow the Harlem MC to go on tour with his Dipset brethren for five of the stops on the 15-city tour.

The only catch is that his mother accompanies him on those five stops. Among the other conditions, Juelz is required to wear an ankle monitor and has to drive to the tour stops while. Juelz is also prohibited from traveling with the rest of the Dipset crew.

Juelz is expected to be back in court in the coming weeks to monitor his tour experience and potentially grant the Harlem MC with further touring dates.

Juelz pleaded not guilty to firearm possession charges stemming from an incident a the Newark Liberty International Airport back in March. If convicted, Juelz could face up to 20 years in prison for the felonious crime.

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Meek Mill Makes His Return to the Stage at Rolling Loud Festival

In November 2017, Meek Mill was sentenced to two-to-four years in prison after violating parole on petty criminal charges, and after months of protests, petitions, and multiple appeals by the MMG rapper’s legal team, Meek was released from prison last month.

And ever since his release, the Philadelphia-born and raised hip-hop artist has been on a media tour speaking about his experience in prison, how he’s grown as an individual, and how his story can spark prison and judicial reform so that unheard voices don’t become a cog in the prison industrial complex.

Now, Meek Mill has finally returned to the stage for the first time since his release as a surprise guest at this year’s Rolling Loud music festival in Miami, Florida. Meek was introduced by none other than DJ Khaled and was met with roars and gratitude from the crowd.

Meek then went on to perform hits like “On The Regular” and “Litty” alongside Tory Lanez, but also took time to address his wrongful sentencing stating the following, “They tried to take my freedom, they tried to crush my dreams… But now we in Miami going the f*** up.”

Meek has become an influential pillar and somewhat of a martyr in the culture due to his faults and the corruption of the justice system, and it looks like the universe has a bigger plan for the hip-hop artist. With that said, check out Meek on the stage for the first time after being locked up.

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Beyonce Brings Out JAY-Z and Destiny’s Child for Historic Coachella Headlining Set

After postponing 2017’s headlining Coachella slot due to her pregnancy with twins, Beyoncé made a historic return to the main stage to close out the second night (April 14) of the festival in Indio, Calif.

Prior to what would ultimately turn out to be a new career-defining peak, rumors swirled that the pop megastar would reunite Destiny’s Child and bring out 100 dancers to back her up. And just hours before performance began, she took to Facebook to shout out her fans, and let them know to get in formation during the hour intermission before the games began.

“I am so excited to see the BeyHive tonight at Coachella,” she wrote. “We have been working hard and have a special show planned for you so please be safe and stay hydrated. We need your energy! There will be an hour intermission before my performance, so mark your spot, charge your phones, grab your drinks. Can’t wait to see y’all at 11:05pm!”

The speculation and rumors were accurate: Not only did Beyoncé reach a new creative peak, but she did it all while making it look effortless. Throughout a ceaseless two-hour set, the pop icon took the swelling Coachella crowd back to the days of feverish high school pep rallies and college homecomings. On stage, a tiered set of bleachers scraped the sky as a brass band and dozens of dancers backed what was indisputably the weekend’s most stunning performance, with guest appearances from a reunited Destiny’s Child (for a series of their classics), as well as cameos from her husband JAY-Z and sister Solange.

Most importantly, though, Beyoncé made history, not just in her own career — turning her music and performance into high art — but at the festival, which is now in its 19th year. “Coachella, thanks for allowing me to be the first black woman to headline,” she said before bringing out Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. “Ain’t that ’bout a bitch?”

Even by Beyoncé’s standards, the show went above and beyond. It was impeccably choreographed, designed and directed, right down to the minute details — Bey tapping her fingers across her knees in time to the beat on “Partition,” the exact dance moves done for her rendition of “Baby Boy,” the little teases of hits from the past as songs segued from one to the next.

“This is a very important performance for me,” she told the crowd between “Sorry” and “Bow Down/I Been On.” “I’m happy to be back home on the stage tonight.”

But above all, Beyoncé did it without breaking a sweat, an almost superhuman feat. Whether she was soaring over the crowd during “Drunk in Love,” or hitting micro-choreographed dance moves with the best backup dancers available while growling, “Suck on my balls” during “Sorry,” she proved that she’s truly pushing her art form forward, in both creative scope and the breadth of music she’s recorded. It was invaluable context, even, to get glimpses of her roots throughout the performance, whether Bey was singing with JAY-Z for “Déjà Vu,” dancing with Solange for the extended version of “Get Me Bodied,” or traipsing through her Destiny’s Child days with Rowland and Williams as if the chemistry had never wavered.

Of course, when it comes to Beyoncé, nothing ever wavers. Not only did the Queen set a new standard for herself at Coachella, but she set a standard for the entire festival and its future marquee performers — not just as the first black woman to headline the fest, but as an artist whose creative prowess will continue to be nearly impossible to match.

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Tyrese Shoves Female Fan Who Ran Onstage to Suprise Him

Tyrese was caught off guard at his Valentine’s Love Jam set in Detroit when a fan rushed the stage and tried to give him a hug. The famed singer reacted by quickly shoving the woman, who was escorted off the stage by security.

Tyrese seemed apologetic but startled in the video, which you can check out in full up top.

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Cardi B Replaces Alexa in Amazon’s Super Bowl Ad

While she may have cashed another check from Mona Scott, Cardi B is also cashing checks from the world’s richest man and Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos.

The Bronx native has come up in a major way. So much, that she is starring in a Super Bowl ad alongside other A-list celebs whose voice overrides Amazon’s artificial intelligence device, Alexa. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until Sunday to see it.

Cardi’s portion of the one minute and thirty-second spot starts off with a young man asking Alexa about a planet right next door to Earth. “Alexa, how far is Mars?” he inquires. Cardi makes a sound similar to a Nextel chirp before replying, “How far is Mars? Well, how am I supposed to know? I’ve never been there! This guy wanna go to Mars! For what? There’s not even oxygen there!” Cardi laughs. The young man looks back at his Alexa device, confused. Later on, Alexa is prompted to play country music. Instead, Cardi chirps then belts, “I don’t dance now, I make money moves!”

Others who make appearances in the same commercial are Bezos himself, chef Gordon Ramsay, comedian Rebel Wilson, (who speaks over Keith Sweat’s “Nobody”) and Sir Anthony Hopkins.

XXL reports Missy Elliot and Busta Rhymes will also star in Super Bowl ads. They will all air on Sunday, February 4th during the game.

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Bruno Mars Sweeps Major Categories At 2018 Grammy Awards Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email

In a year when the nominees were more eclectic and adventurous, the safe bets prevailed at the 60th Grammy Awards.

All of the night’s most coveted awards went to Bruno Mars, for his funk-infused 24K Magic, which won Album of the Year, and the songs “24K Magic” and “That’s What I Like,” which won Record and Song of the year, respectively. Mars cleaned up in four other categories as well: Best R&B Performance, Best R&B Album, Best R&B Song and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, making him the year’s most decorated artist.

The night started out looking like it could go in a different direction. After new nomination review committees were implemented in June 2017 for the fields of rap, contemporary instrumental and new age to diversify the nominee pool, hip-hop vet Jay Z walked into the Garden with the most nominations of any artist. Although he was awarded the Industry Icon Award before the televised awards, he lost all eight Grammys for which he was nominated. In the hip-hop categories, all four of those losses came at the benefit of Kendrick Lamar, who started the evening as the second-most nominated artist. His poetic yet pop-appeasing fourth studio album, DAMN. (which was named NPR Music’s best album of 2017), won five awards but lost two of the night’s three biggest prizes to Mars.

“You guys are the reason I’m in the studio pulling my hair out,” Mars said to his competitors in the audience when accepting the award for Album of the Year. That speech capped a night when Mars managed a rare sweep of the major awards, a feat also accomplished last year, when Adele beat Beyoncé — Jay Z’s wife — in each of the major categories.

There were numerous nods to the East Coast location of New York City at this year’s ceremony. The 2018 awards marked the first time in 15 years that the Grammys have been held in New York, and there was plenty of star power packed into Madison Square Garden. But while the location may have been touted as historic, there were plenty of missed opportunities to make actual Grammy history.

If Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s smash hit “Despacito” had won Song or Record of the year, it would have marked the first time a Spanish-language track won in either category. It lost in every category in which it was nominated.

R&B sensation SZA was the most nominated woman of the night but lost all five awards for which she was nominated, including Best New Artist, which was won by Alessia Cara.

While the unspoken theme at last year’s Grammys was timidly political, the elephant in the room this year dissolved early in the night into the form of dainty white roses, as many on the Grammys red carpet — Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, Lana Del Rey and more — wore flowers with their Grammy ensembles to show solidarity and compassion for victims of sexual harassment and the #TimesUp movement.

Though the nod to the movement organized by record executives Meg Harkins and Karen Rait was visible during the pre-show, it barely got any acknowledgement during the first half of the telecast. Lady Gaga was the only performer of the night to work the words “Time’s up” into her set. But past the midway point, before announcing a performance by Kesha, Janelle Monae took the moment to wave the flag of sisterhood.

“We come in peace, but we means business,” Monae said defiantly. “And to those who would dare try to silence us, we say, ‘Time’s up.’ … Just as we have the power to shape culture we also have the power to undo the culture that does not serve us.”

Then, for her emotional rendition of “Praying,” Kesha was joined on stage by Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Bebe Rexha, Julia Michels, Andra Day and the Resistance Revival Chorus. The moment was genuine, angelic and exultant, blowing away virtually every other performance of the night.

But when it came time to actually award Kesha’s efforts, the Grammys did not give her a prize in either Best Pop Solo Performance or Best Pop Vocal Album, the two categories in which she was nominated. In the former category, included on the telecast, her fellow nominees included Kelly Clarkson, Lady Gaga and Pink — all women who have sung about sexual assault or worked with Dr. Luke, the songwriter and producer accused by Kesha of abuse — as well as Ed Sheeran. The award was won by Sheeran, for his hit “Shape of You.”

Alas, dangling the carrot of more courageous Grammy winners above the nose of music fans proved to be yet another party trick.

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Jay-Z Leads 2018 Grammy Nominations

The music industry is gearing up for the 60th Annual Grammy Awards in 2018, and Jay-Z is leading the latest wave of artists nominated for the award with eight nominations. Along with that, Kendrick Lamar was hit with seven nominations, while Bruno Mars was hit with six nominations.

Cards B’s “Bodak Yellow” received two nominations, with one in the Best Rap Song category, while the other is in the Best Rap Performance category.

Take a look at a portion of the nominee list below:

Album of the Year

“Awaken, My Love!” — Childish Gambino
“4:44” — Jay-Z
“Damn.” — Kendrick Lamar
“Melodrama” — Lorde
“24K Magic” — Bruno Mars

Record of the Year

“Redbone” — Childish Gambino
“Despacito” — Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber
“The Story of O.J.” — Jay-Z
“Humble.” — Kendrick Lamar
”24K Magic” — Bruno Mars

Song of the Year

“Despacito” — Ramón Ayala, Justin Bieber, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Erika Ender, Luis Fonsi & Marty James Garton, songwriters (Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber)
“4:44” — Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters (Jay-Z)
“Issues” — Benny Blanco, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Julia Michaels & Justin Drew Tranter, songwriters (Julia Michaels)
“1-800-273-8255” — Alessia Caracciolo, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, Arjun Ivatury & Khalid Robinson, songwriters (Logic Featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid)
“That’s What I Like” — Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars)


Best New Artist

Alessia Cara
Khalid
Lil Uzi Vert
Julia Michaels
SZA

Rap Performance

“Bounce Back” — Big Sean
“Bodak Yellow” — Cardi B
“4:44” — Jay-Z
“Humble.” — Kendrick Lamar
“Bad and Boujee” — Migos featuring Lil Uzi Vert

Rap Song

“Bodak Yellow” — Dieuson Octave, Klenord Raphael, Shaftizm, Jordan Thorpe, Washpoppin & J White, songwriters (Cardi B)
“Chase Me” — Judah Bauer, Brian Burton, Hector Delgado, Jaime Meline, Antwan Patton, Michael Render, Russell Simins & Jon Spencer, songwriters (Danger Mouse featuring Run the Jewels & Big Boi)
“Humble.” — K. Duckworth, Asheton Hogan & M. Williams II, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)
“Sassy” — E. Gabouer & M. Evans, songwriters (Rapsody)
“The Story of O.J.” — Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters (Jay-Z)

Rap Album

“4:44” — Jay-Z
“Damn.” — Kendrick Lamar
“Culture” — Migos
“Laila’s Wisdom” — Rapsody
“Flower Boy” — Tyler, the Creator