When Warren G first topped charts in 1994 with his inescapable hit "Regulate," featuring fellow West Coast rapper Nate Dogg, hip hop was no place for gays. In recent years, that has started to change... slowly.
The new-wave acts of the early '80s represent everything that mainstream pop acts aren't so free to be today. Imagine One Direction hitting the stage dressed like Kajagoogoo. Would teenage girls still go wild? Would Taylor Swift have dated one of them?
First on the scene to sing praise to the jungle that nurtured her sound, Bridget Kelly has guaranteed she's not only ready to rock our nation, but surpass the expectations of music's most influential King.
When I thought hip hop was becoming a more accepting place with Frank Ocean coming out as bi-sexual, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis releasing 'Same Love' and both becoming commercially successful. 'Rap God' was just a gunshot taking us back in time making us realise that we've got a long way to go.
Frank Ocean returned to New Orleans Saturday, greeting the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival audience with an understated: "A lot has changed." T...
For one, the "coming out" dog and pony show that the media puts on now is getting tired. It should not be breaking news in 2013 for anyone to announce their sexuality. I understand how "momentous" and "unprecedented" all of this is, but I do find it exploitative and repetitive as well.
I sat down with Spencer Day to discuss The Mystery of You and jazz's slow stride to acceptance of gay artists.
While we are celebrating the just the survival of an R&B artist admitting he has had a desire for another man, what we are avoiding is the actual discussion of if we are ready for an actual openly gay black artist in our mainstream world.
Say what you will, but after the spectacle died down and the top honor of the night went to Mumford & Sons' album Babel, at least one thing is clear: We are in the midst of the New Sincerity. Being really into something is cool now, even if that something is, well, God.
Valentine's Day traditionally brings several pages in newspaper classified sections featuring tiny black hearts followed by romantic messages. Perhaps it's a blessing that print editions are dying -- there's something creepy about all those black hearts, as if they bear a curse.
Now it was Frank Ocean's turn to shine. His segment was coming up and I was genuinely looking forward to watching him sing live. Frank had already received a couple of Grammy Awardss earlier that night, so I was preparing myself to be wowed ... and then he was introduced.
The 55th Annual Grammy Awards took place Sunday evening at the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles. Staples is a massive stadium - it is where the Lakers, Clippers and Kings play. Countless concerts use the venue too (Beyonce in June, anyone?), but on Sunday, the Grammy's took over and it was an intimate affair. Cozy, actually. Frank Sinatra and big band music played softly over the speakers and guests milled around in everything from Oscar-like gowns to Vegas showgirl sparkles. After many an email over the course of February, I was able to secure a ticket inside the event to see what music's biggest and baddest night is all about and there are 10 things that you probably don't know about the Grammys.
Reviews have been pouring in for a almost a month now on A$AP Rocky's leaked debut, LONG.LIVE.A$AP. Here are some thoughts as we approach its official release.
Contemporary soul singers usually don't fare too much better than hip hop artists when it comes to creative freedom, but Michael Kiwanuka seems to have made the album he wanted to make, except that no one's really talking about it.
This year was rife with some great and relatively diverse popular music, and it's time we give some artistic cred not just to the capital-A Artistes who care not for the embrace of the masses but to the hit makers who have probably shaped the future of wedding receptions for decades to come.
While clearly drawing on the previous efforts of the genre's most famous sons (Marvin Gaye, Prince, etc.), a host of young artists have begun to open R & B up to a wide range of influences from rock, electronica and beyond.