“Lil Uzi is coming! Lil Uzi is coming!” screamed the man on horseback, frantically exclaiming to the unsuspecting internet atmosphere. A few weeks ago, the rapper resurfaced, fresh from retirement with the nasally “Free Uzi” (it was a pitch higher than normal). It was a leak, according to Atlantic Records, and came with an accompanying music video. But a leak nonetheless. Lil Uzi has officially returned with not one, but two, vastly different tunes in “Sanguine Paradise,” and “That’s A Rack.” He’s finally back.
“Sanguine Paradise” is a return to the cartoonish trap sound that makes his music prime for bouncing one shoulder at a time and giving out evil grins. It’s a devilishly sweet treat with meaty bass that gives it a sinister edge. In comparison, “That’s A Rack” is darker, heftier, and shinier. It can be best described as melancholic as Uzi slows down his shaky flows and strips them of melody. Admittedly, it’s rare to hear Uzi flowing – like this at that – so it’s refreshing and an indicator that beneath the theatrics there’s a reason why his rap name is what it is.
These two official releases could be indicators that his long-delayed album, tentatively named Eternal Atake, could finally be on the road to release. Now that he’s reportedly inked a management deal with Roc Nation, it looks like the wheels are moving again.
Listen to the two new songs up above.
Just when you thought the world couldn’t possibly accommodate more “Shallow” covers, Lizzo has crashed the surface to remind us that, yep, we sure as hell can (and we sure as hell should).
The “Juice” singer brought her enormous charisma to the Oscar-winning A Star Is Born duet, busting out an acoustic version of it during a visit to SiriusXM on Tuesday (April 9). Just as Lady Gaga didn’t need Bradley Cooper to murder her Grammy performance of the song, Lizzo handily crushes it on her own, nailing that high note and belting the final chorus with the force of a freight train.
This isn’t the first time Lizzo’s wowed us with an unexpected cover choice — in February, she powered through an emotional version of Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson’s “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge. Between that and her “Shallow” rendition, the anticipation for Lizzo’s debut album is at a fever pitch. Titled Cuz I Love You, the LP arrives on April 19 and features the soulful title track, the retro and rambunctious “Juice,” and the Missy Elliott-featuring “Tempo.”
In the meantime, we’ll add Lizzo to the “Shallow” hall of fame, alongside Nick Jonas, Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson, Ally Brooke and Tori Kelly, Lea Michele and Darren Criss, and at least a few dozen others…
Tierra Whack‘s videos have often had a modicum of sanity tying down their absurd concepts to the Earth, but it looks like “Unemployed” finally pushes the burgeoning rapper into Edgar Allen Poe levels of absurdity. (Idea for later: Whack reenacts Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” for the video for “Only Child”). In her latest visual, Whack terrorizes potatoes, cooks potatoes, and feeds potatoes to… potatoes. I told you.
Here, Whack’s in the kitchen with a sharp knife, slicing and dicing russet potatoes with a mischievous grin on her face. Slice. A diced potato. Slice. Cut into four strips. Slice. Cut into steak fries. While she eviscerates these brown ovals, one of them watches her from a nearby pile with wide, horrified eyes. It knows that pretty soon, it will be cut into perfectly symmetrical pieces. Whack’s eyes hold a glint of murderous red. She’s ready to pounce. Slice.
When she’s done, she carries the potatoes – after they’ve been deep fried a golden brown – to a table where she feeds her patron: yet another potato, only this one’s large and grotesque. As the potato feasts, Whack’s hips widen. It’s an unsettling array of images that make little sense the more that you look at them. But Whack’s power comes in giving shape to the random and unconnected. She succeeds here.
“Unemployed” was the last track of #WhackHistoryMonth that wrapped up in March. The other tracks released from it were “Only Child, “CLONES,” “Gloria,” and “Wasteland.”
Check out this strangely artsy video up above.
What would you do if you woke up next to a person and had no idea who they were, aside from a vague memory of last night? That’s the question at the center of “Woke Up Late” by New Zealand quartet Drax Project and vocalist Hailee Steinfeld. It’s also the concept behind the accompanying music video with a slight twist; actress and YouTuber Liza Koshy is the mysterious person who likes to dance instead of explaining who she is. What ensues is an adorable look at two souls searching for answers and how to move on the next day that will bring a smile to your face.
The visual follows frontman Shaan Singh, who wakes up in a slightly panicked state. Who is he? What happened? Where is he? Shortly before he gets up, we’re introduced to Koshy, who’s clearly in a hurry. She grabs her stuff and jets out the door. Singh catches wind of her as she grooves down the street with greatly exaggerated movements betraying a free and whimsical soul who lives in the moment with a wide-faced smile. As he chases after her to learn who she is, his smile grows. He’s enchanted by her presence.
Steinfeld’s verse takes place from Koshy’s perspective and starts back to when she woke up. Koshy opens her eyes and smiles fondly at the sleeping Singh, her eyes caressing his beard stubble. We view her resulting dance and smile from the front this time as she glides down the street and onto a bus. When she gets to where she needs to be, she realizes that she doesn’t have the key to get in. That’s when Singh appears with a warm grin and hands her the key, leading to a lively dance and reflection of last night that both end with the path to a kiss.
“Woke Up Late” is hopefully a taste of what the band has in store. This version of the tune was released in January. Their last EP, Noon, came out last June. Check out the romantic video up above.
This fuzzy, jazzy ballad takes musical cues from Feist and Frank Sinatra, but its lyrical inspiration is all Finneas and Billie’s. “Neither of us do any drugs, and growing up, we just had a lot of friends who really enjoyed being inebriated and smoking a lot,” the producer explained. “We’d end up at these house parties where everyone was just smoking cigarettes. You’d sit there, and you’re sober and not smoking, and it’s a miserable experience.”
In her recent MTV Push interview, Billie said she wanted the distorted, bone-rattling bass to make listeners “feel miserable,” and Finneas achieved that by basically making the sonic equivalent of those smoky house parties.
“I wanted to use the bass to articulate the thickness of cigarette smoke,” he described. “And then I got kind of obsessed with SoundCloud rap for awhile, and a lot of that is sort of purposely distorted and clipped in the audio. I wanted to achieve that sound in a really specific way, so I processed Billie’s vocal through this compression sidechain off of the bass, and had the vocal get fried in the chorus.”
He added, “It was actually a big point of contention between us and our label ’cause they were alarmed by it. But Billie and I both thought that the weirder the chorus could be, the better. It’s kind of ironic, because her voice sounds so beautiful and the chords are really pretty. It’s like when you see a model and they’re wearing ugly clothing, and you’re like, ‘Well, OK. Nice ugly shirt, but your face is still your face.'”
Blessed be the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros going into Game of Thrones’ final season. A vicious battle is on the horizon, pitting the living against the dead. To coincide with this epic conclusion, Columbia Records and HBO have revealed that a new Game of Thrones album is on the way. Christened For the Throne (Music Inspired by the HBO Series Game of Thrones), the LP comes out on April 26, two episodes into the seven-part season.
For the Throne will include songs from Maren Morris, A$AP Rocky, Lil Peep, Joey Bada$$, Rosalía, Ty Dolla $ign, the Nationals, and more. It’s also set to feature the new song from the Weeknd, Travis Scott, and SZA that was previously teased. The official Game of Thrones Twitter account released a trailer that outlines a list of some of the artists included.
This isn’t the first time that the ancient world of Westeros has collided with contemporary music. In 2014, the first edition of the Catch the Throne mixtape series featuring Big Boi, Common, Wale, and more was released, following with the second edition the following year featuring Ty Dolla $ign, Snoop Dogg, Melanie Fiona, and more.
Take a look at the brief trailer up above.
Lil Nas X‘s career thus far has been a Western film of cowboys and steeds. It’s one of those bronco-buster romps where the spurs-wearing hero gets double-crossed, left for dead, then, ultimately, makes a triumphant return in a hail of revolver smoke and fresh cigarettes. Lil Nas X’s is smiling in the town saloon as cheers fill the air around him. Today (April 9), on his birthday, his viral country anthem, “Old Town Road,” has officially become the biggest song in America.
The rising country star announced the news that his song had topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart early Tuesday morning with a simple tweet: “hitting #1 on billboard on my birthday wow,” he wrote. Having the final seal of approval that you’re the creator of the biggest song in the country has to be one of the best birthday gifts that you can receive — especially given the fraught path the song traced on its way to the top.
Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” a tumbleweed-blowing, horse-rearing anthem, went viral on Tik-Tok before climbing Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart and peaking at No. 19 last month. But Billboard removed the young artist’s song from the chart because it didn’t “embrace enough elements of today’s country music.”
“Old Town Road” grew immensely thanks to streaming, virality, and a cosign from the legendary Billy Ray Cyrus, who welcomed Lil Nas X into country music’s community. Cyrus even hopped on the official remix to the song last week and gave it a yeehawthentic country presence. Now, Lil Nas X is in an even bigger spot than he was before being removed from the chart. If this was a film script, Quentin Tarantino would have penned it. Relive all the magic below.
The Internet‘s captivating guitarist Steve Lacy has released a sexy and magical new track, “N Side.” It’s smooth and awash in colors and is the kind of double-meaning tune that’s either excessively adorable or intentionally hilarious. Either way, it’s a welcome taste of what the musician has to offer ahead of what we hope to be his sophomore album coming out. The world is well due for some more fresh sounds from Lacy.
“N Side” sounds like when the last traces of pink disappear from the sky at dusk and the street lights come on in Los Angeles. It’s built around a simple percussive loop and a magical, haunting melody, rich with the kind of 90s, finger-snapping soul that makes you close your eyes and just sway to the music. Lacy’s nostalgic tune is a steamy ode to both love and sex as the chorus of “Is it inside?” gets stretched and warped into ecstasy. In this musical world, he’s an excited lover, ready to guide his partner into a promised land. But if that’s the case, the “Is it inside?” refrain becomes hilarious. He asks it repeatedly throughout the song’s runtime. He really can’t tell if he’s inside or not.
Or, there’s a chance that there’s a more romantic meaning to the three-word spiel. A skit that takes place in the middle of the song has Lacy asking a partner if they feel the same way about him as he does about them. “Is it inside?” in this context is a desperate plea at verification. Do the feelings really exist inside of his lover’s heart? Are they sure?
In either meaning, the song still succeeds – masterfully, too. It’s a milky blend of sturdy rhythmic genres, a tune that fits into the grand mythos of the Internet as well as stretches it appropriately, because growth and change are inevitable, necessary factors for making it to the next level. The Internet revealed, in February, that the camp had completed two new albums, following up on April 7 saying that one would come out this month and another would come out in May. While a sophomore LP from Lacy hasn’t been confirmed, it is worth noting that his last project, Steve Lacy’s Demo, came out in 2017. We’re pretty comfortable wagering that one of the two new albums comes courtesy of Lacy.
Lacy recently took a stroll through the Upper West Side of Manhattan with Vampire Weekend‘s Ezra Koenig in the video for “Sunflower,” directed by actor and director Jonah Hill. The video featured surprise cameo appearances from hip-hop legend Fab 5 Freddy and comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
Listen to the enchanting ‘N Side’ up above.
The revolution is here, and we have Foster the People to thank! On the heels of their crossover hit “Sit Next to Me,” the indie-pop stalwarts have released “Style,” a new single that’s part social commentary, part riotous anthem.
The accompanying video, released on Monday (April 8), was directed by frontman Mark Foster, who’s seen mobilizing a pack of free-thinking young people. “We’re born to die / So I’m going to fight for how I want to live / Spark up the riots / Guess I’m a criminal and a futurist,” Foster preaches to the masses, before they all dance around a glowing, golden orb. But when their oppressive forces, the suited-up “Paperheads,” crash their underground warehouse party, it’s every fighter for themselves.
Check out the video below, and catch it all day on MTV Live and mtvU, where it will air every hour on the hour beginning at 1 p.m. ET.
“Style” — which we recently included in our weekly Bop Shop round-up — follows Foster the People’s recent singles “Sit Next to Me” and “Worst Nites.” The L.A. natives haven’t announced a fourth album yet — which would be their first since 2017’s Sacred Hearts Club — but all signs point to more new music coming soon.
Billie Eilish was born in 2001, a notable fact no matter what year you were born. If you’re like the majority of music critics and those in the industry, Billie’s age is a reminder that yes, you’re getting old. But if you’re a fan (especially if you’ve been a fan), it’s notable because you, too, might’ve been born in 2001. Or 2002. Or even later.
Billie’s music transcends these notions anyway, something that’s helped propel her into the stratosphere in light of her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 — a feat it achieved this week.
Why so much talk of Billie’s age, anyway? Her No. 1 debut makes her the first artist born in the 2000s to reach the chart, an undeniable milestone still likely to be toppled as more and more young artists get their shot. This milestone accompanies a slew of others for Billie, as Billboard reports: It’s the second-biggest week for any album in 2019 (after Ariana Grande‘s Thank U, Next) as well as the third-biggest streaming week for a female artist in history (also after Thank U, Next and Cardi B‘s Invasion of Privacy).
At 17, Billie’s also the youngest woman to hit No. 1 on the chart since 2009, when Demi Lovato debuted with Here We Go Again at age 16. In an interview with Beats 1 Radio’s Zane Lowe on Monday (April 8), Billie revealed how she’s proud of her fan base — the same crew that helped her reach these accolades. “I think it’s just an army of really people, and open minded people,” she said. “I feel like if I said I’m proud of it, it almost sounds like I’m the only reason it exists. It’s not true. It’s them. These kids came over here.”
Fittingly, Billie’s also MTV’s PUSH artist for the month of April. Get to know her right here, and check out an exclusive performance of breakout album track “xanny” below.