My Chemical Romance Are Coming Together For A December Reunion Show

The last time that My Chemical Romance performed, Barack Obama was still in office. It was 2012, the year of that whole armageddon conspiracy that never came to fruition. The band formally called it quits the next year, and its legacy lived on through music. But that’s all set to change with the announcement that they’ve come together for a reunion show on December 20. For fans, that’s one hell of a Christmas gift.

The performance will take place at Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles. Tickets go on sale on November 1. You have plenty of time to prep for the performance, so that means reflecting on their discography and getting the words right. This is one show that you shouldn’t miss.

My Chemical Romance’s last album was 2010’s Danger Way. With a reunion tour in tow, there has to be new music coming, right? No one’s said anything, of course, but this is too huge of an opportunity to miss.

For now, all we can do is look at the simple but awesome poster that the band’s official Instagram account posted to build the excitement for the show. Take a look at the poster above and get ready for to see My Chemical Romance live on December 20.

‘This Is My Deep’: Anthony Ramos On His New Album And Figuring It All Out

Anthony Ramos uses his songs to open up about things he’s pushed way down. But that means every performance begins with a dare to share those truths with everyone else.

“In the booth, it’s just me and the mic, and I can let it out,” he tells MTV News on a recent afternoon. “Whatever comes out of that is what the world gets. And once it’s out, I have to sing these songs that were challenging for me to even write.”

It’s the middle of a whirlwind press tour, the kind of schedule that would run anyone down, but Ramos is ready to go deep. Maybe he’s used to it: He played dual roles in Broadway smash Hamilton from 2015 to 2016, and couldn’t have planned being part of a show so popular, people waited months and paid thousands of dollars to see it. That kind of popularity comes with some level of privacy invasion, but it also comes with future opportunities, in both movies and TV, as well as a record deal of his own.

On October 25, he released The Good & The Bad, a followup to his 2018 project, The Freedom EP. The new album starts with a track called “Dear Diary,” which serves as an open letter to Ramos’s parents, while the closing song highlights his mom’s voice in that tried and true format: the voicemail clip. In between, he reflects on everything, from the mistakes he’s made, to his mental health, to why no Michelin-starred restaurant will beat a dollar-slice pizza. So it’s only fitting that right from the moment he sits down on the couch that serves as the backdrop for our conversation, he gets real, really quickly.

That skill doesn’t necessarily come naturally. “These moments are hard for me to relive sometimes. Some of this stuff is stuff I never wanted to share with people, let alone the world,” he explains. “But this is a part of the fabric of who I am.” If faced with the choice between closing off and opening up, he’ll pick the latter now. He’s learned how keeping other people out ends up wearing you down.

“You make decision after decision to say yes, to lean in and dig deeper and go even further with yourself,” he adds.

Sitting with the reality of his own feelings was such a theme for Ramos’s creative process that he wrote a song dedicated to the struggle: “Figure It Out,” which he dropped a week ahead of the album’s release. It’s a candid look at the ways in which we distract ourselves rather than explore our own feelings, as if ignoring that nagging feeling is an appropriate substitute for working through the knots of a problem.

“I have issues with that, as an adult now,” Ramos admits. “That song is a reminder for me to check in with myself every now and then. I try to find a quiet place and have a conversation with myself like, ‘are you good?’”

The song has already struck a chord with listeners, who have been reaching out on social media to say the song resonated with them. “Grown men between the ages of 25 and 40 are like, ‘‘Figure It Out’ is the one!’” Ramos says with a laugh. “I feel like it’s hitting the way that I hoped, because it’s so true to me. I didn’t open up. I distracted myself all the time. It’s encouraging to see other men especially are feeling that song. And hopefully it’s opening people up to be more communicative, to being more open about how they feel, to have that check-in with themselves because it’s so important.”

“How many men you know will come up to you and be like, ‘Yeah, that hurt a little bit. It’ll be OK, but I’m not going to lie, that hurt’? It’s tough, right?” he points out. He wants to interrogate the false and damaging notion that men either can’t, or shouldn’t be open about their feelings with other people, and that doing so is weak.

“What is manly?” he adds. “I wish it was vulnerable, communicative, gracious. All the things opposite from what we’re thinking about right now.” He points to one of his songs, “Woman,” as the contrast: “It’s about the power of a woman’s love, which is so open and so strong. I think about the way my mom has loved me, and the women in my life… my fiancée, her mom, my friends. These women were just relentless in their love.”

But if we all need to do better by creating space for connection, that means we need to do better by voicing our feelings and emotions. For Ramos, that communication happens through music — he first chanced into musicals in high school, and everything suddenly clicked. The New Yorker then attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and things snowballed after Hamilton, from A Star Is Born to Netflix’s She’s Gotta Have It to next year’s big-screen adaptation of In the Heights, where he’ll star as Usnavi. All of that served as both a learning experience and as a writing intensive.

That theater and film background helped him craft The Good & The Bad, whose songs feature everything from a trumpet-heavy boogie (“Auntie’s Basement”) to a heart-wrenching ballad infused with lyrics in Spanish (“Woman”). He talks about intimacy in a long-term relationship on “Mind Over Matter,” because that’s what he knows — he and Hamilton cast mate Jasmine Cephas Jones got engaged last year — but he also interrogates situationships one track later: “Tell me how this ain’t a relationship,” he asks of a paramour who keeps stringing him along.

Being able to visualize the stories he was recording helped bring emotion to the project, but performing his own words feels markedly different from his acting roles. “Somebody else’s story can definitely be deep, but it ain’t my deep,” he says. “This is my deep. And they don’t get deeper than that.” He adds that whenever he performs his songs now, “I get really nervous because I’m about to share something that only I can share with people — until they get it, and then they can share it, too. But in the beginning, it’s just mine. It’s like continuing to tell people a secret.”

Ramos hopes people enjoy the album in the same way he loved John Legend’s Get Lifted, Ben Rector’s Brand New, and 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ as a kid. “I love storytellers, and people who take me on a journey,” he says. His musical influences range from Kirk Franklin to Julia Michaels to Khalid to John Mayer to Jay Z, and he still remembers the rituals he had with his favorite albums: “I used to shut off the lights in my aunt’s house and put Here I Stand by Usher on her stereo, play it top to bottom after school,” he says.

Ultimately, though, he wants people listening to feel safe enough to open up, too. “Sometimes we listen to music to escape, and I do want people to escape. But I also would love for them to be open to their feelings when they listen to this,” he says. “If you want to cry, then cry. If something made you laugh on the record, laugh. If you want to dance, get up and dance.”

“And it all starts internally, I feel,” he adds. “When we’re open and we create an environment where people feel like they can be vulnerable around us, and there’s open communication… I feel like that sets us up to win.”

King Princess Is ‘Bored Of Heteronormative Narrative’ — But Don’t Put Her Music Into A Box

It’s almost been a full week since Mikaela Straus, a.k.a. King Princess, released her debut album, Cheap Queen, and now, the singer has opened up to Rolling Stone all about the project — including who it’s for, what inspired it, and what genre she thinks it should be considered. Spoiler alert: She’s not sold on the term “queer pop.”

Although she identifies as a genderqueer lesbian, King Princess doesn’t necessarily want her music to be placed in the “queer pop” box. Instead, she would prefer her success be regarded as proof that artists in the LGBTQ+ community can rise to the top with songs about queer relationships. “I think I represent the ability to get here,” she said. “People are realizing that we’re bored of heteronormative narrative.”

(Erika Goldring/FilmMagic)

Still, the singer acknowledges that there are not “a lot of gay people” in her position. At least not yet. And while she’s happy to be creating music that makes the listening experience more inclusive for everyone, we can all agree that this type of representation is long overdue. “It’s changing,” she said. “But it’s only become profitable and trendy to be gay in the last couple of years. Now it’s time for people to be out and gay and make music.”

But make no mistake. Not wanting her music to be classified as “queer pop” doesn’t mean she wants to distance herself from the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, that’s who her Cheap Queen album is truly for. “It’s really for the gays,” she said. “It is for everybody, but I feel especially the gays will be like, ‘Damn, the emotions are there and I love that!'” Overall, she just wants her music to be held to the same standard as straight artists. “‘Queer pop’ is literally saying sexuality is a genre,” she said. “I don’t want to be grouped in with only gay people. That’s ridiculous. I want to battle everyone. If you’re going to compare me, compare me to straight people, too.”

Check out King Princess’s full Rolling Stone feature here.

Earl Sweatshirt’s Giving Us Even More Rap Songs With Feet Of Clay

If anyone can make the world sweat, it’s Earl Sweatshirt. Out of the blue, today (October 31), the rapper revealed that he’s dropping a project tonight called Feet of Clay at 9 p.m. PST and midnight EST. It’s only seven tracks long and contains three features, but with Earl, less is more. It’s going to be legendary.

Not much is known about Feet of Clay yet. In a statement, Earl says “FOC is a collection of observations and feelings recorded during the death throes of a crumbling empire.” Feet of Clay features Mach-Hommy and rising rapper Mavi, and there’s also a song produced by legendary beat maker Alchemist. Earl largely produces the rest of it. As usual, the song names probably have little to nothing to do with the content matter, but that’s what the world loves about Earl: the mystique.

Earl’s last album was 2018’s Some Rap Songs. Earlier this year, he released a short film, packed with symbols that utilized the album’s music to help shape a personal story.

Check out Earl’s announcement tweet up above.

21 Savage Turns Up The Scary And Turns Down The Safety In Haunting ‘Immortal’

Leave it to 21 Savage and his brutal brand of scythe-sharpening rap to give the world the perfect scary song this Halloween. Today (October 31), he’s released “Immortal” and it’s the perfect tune to haunt cornfields to. The world originally heard a snippet of it in the trailer for Mortal Kombat 11 that dropped last year. Now, it’s here to bring you some slow-building horror. You’re just imagining those footsteps coming up the stairs right now as you read this.

21 Savage sets the mood early in “Immortal” by claiming that he “feels like the Grim Reaper.” Then the shink of swords swiping off of each other rings in the air and 21 Savage gets to work over a creepy piano pattern and fast, tight bass drums. He raps about being immortal, like Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhes, and other slasher film villains who just can’t seem to stay dead. Rhymes about NC-17 rated violence give him a terrifying presence that would make Michael Myers spin his wheel of doom again to hopefully find a less scary target. We wouldn’t blame you for sleeping with the light on after listening to this.

21 Savage recently appeared on the remix to Normani‘s “Motivation.” Instead of a scary verse, the rapper opened up about how a new partner has him more in love than ever.

Listen to the extremely scary “Immortal” up above.

Taylor Swift Is Tired Of Slut-Shaming: ‘It Sends Me Into A Real Sad Place’

Yesterday (October 30), Beats 1 released more from Zane Lowe’s recent interview with Taylor Swift. In it, the singer spoke about the complicated relationship she had with her past records while making Lover, her upcoming role in Cats, and her friendship with Selena Gomez. Most importantly, though, Swift called out the music industry for slut-shaming and minimizing female artists — something she experienced first hand at the age of 23.

In her early twenties, Swift’s dating life was often the topic of conversation when her name was brought up in the media. Despite making and releasing quality music at the time, Swift was constantly being criticized for being a “serial dater” and for writing songs about her exes. “When I was 23 … people were just kind of reducing me to, like, kind of making slideshows of my dating life and putting people in there that I’d sat next to at a party once,” she said, noting that critics decided that her ability to pen lyrics was “like a trick rather than a skill and a craft.”

Criticizing a female musician over her dating history or her lyrics about past relationships isn’t just unfair — it’s proof of the misogyny that continues to exist today. “It’s a way to take a woman who’s doing her job and succeeding at doing her job and making things, and — in a way — it’s figuring out how to completely minimize that skill by taking something that everyone in their darkest, darkest moments loves to do, which is just to slut-shame,” Swift said. And having been through it herself, it deeply saddens her to see that it’s still an ongoing problem. “I can see a headline about a young artist, about a young female artist, about another breakup, and it sends me into a real sad place because I don’t want that to keep happening.”

Now, with songs like The Man and her increased interest in making sure creators are being compensated for her work, Swift isn’t afraid to call out a problem when she sees one. “I don’t think people understand how easy it is to infer that someone who’s a female artist or a female in our industry is somehow doing something wrong by wanting love, wanting money, wanting success,” she said. “Women are not allowed to want those things the way that men are allowed to want them, and so I think when I was the youngest, it was hard because I didn’t understand why nobody was saying that this was wrong.”

Having experienced this misogyny herself, Swift continues to encourage young, emerging talent to continue creating music, no matter what: “I’m like, ‘Do not let anything stop you from making art. Just make things. Do not get so caught up in this that it stops you from making art, [even] if you need to make art about this. But never stop making things.”

Lil Peep’s Long-Awaited Goth Angel Sinner Is Out Just In Time For Halloween

What’s a better way to kick-off Halloween than with some new music from Lil Peep‘s vault? For the spookiest day of the year, Lil Peep’s estate has released a new EP from the late rapper, Goth Angel Sinner. Originally announced in 2017, the project finally arrives steeped in swamp fog in twilight.

At only three tracks, Goth Angel Sinner is brief. But it’s heavy on the atmosphere, the mystique, and the rawness that has made Lil Peep a once-in-a-generation artist that will forever be remembered. “Moving On’ is soft, guitar-stroked rock led by Peep’s voice that imitates a crying phoenix destined to be reborn out of its dying ashes. He raps about his love for his styrofoam cup as if its someone that he’s cuddled up with watching a movie.

“Belgium” is similarly smooth and stripped; a pattern of rattling 808 drums bring some balance to screeching guitars in the song’s latter half. He vocalizes about being extremely shitty to a partner and it’s like he’s looking at the relationship from another perspective. Why is his partner still here? Why do they take this treatment? His to-the-point lyricism really makes the idea stick.

Then there’s “When I Lie,” the final tune that’s submerged in a river of rippling bass drums and grows harder and more concrete as the song goes on. Peep follows a woman who “cuts” him when he lies and wants to inflict pain on people who try to save her. He tells the story with a mad glint in his eye that you can hear in his voice, as if he’s reliving a couple of crazy situations. In the video for the song that also came out today, Peep sits at a table and looks like he’s ready to take a nap. The camera angles, colors, and Peep’s demeanor itself match the hazy intensity of the tune.

Check out Goth Angel Sinner up above.

Ava Max’s ‘Freaking Me Out’ Video Is A Spooky, Romantic Halloween Treat

It was practically destiny: On the spookiest day of the year, Ava Max has released the video for her recent single “Freaking Me Out.” And keeping in tune with the holiday spirit, the Edgar Daniel-directed clip is packed with gothic but glamorous imagery that seriously dials up the drama.

As Max sings about a new relationship that has her fully losing her senses, we see a literal retelling of the lyrics, which describe an “empty mansion just off the coast” and “rocking chairs moving on their own.” That’s combined with more conceptual shots of the “Sweet But Psycho” singer chained up in a dungeon; a metaphor for the “uneasy” kind of affection she’s feeling. But amid all the scary scenes — like that creepy AF drummer boy! — there are plenty of soft, romantic moments to remind us that this is, in fact, a love song (and that Max is an undisputed pro at serving looks on looks on looks).

Max’s “Freaking Me Out” video comes after she transformed into a superhero for the empowering, high-flying “Torn.” Both tracks are expected to appear on the 25-year-old’s as-yet-unannounced debut album, which she previously told MTV News is “very, very empowering.”

And in keeping with the spooky vibes of “Freaking Me Out,” the MTV Push artist recently told us all about a freaky ghost experience she had — watch the clip below for the full story.

Sudan Archives Is Too Unique To Fail

By Emma Madden

This interview begins in silence. Sudan Archives, with her hair styled into a Geisha-like updo, has just come from a music-video shoot and is now leading me through the meditation gardens of Los Angeles’s first Self-Realization Center. We bound past sweet-sour smelling flowers, a tiny waterfall, seats carved from stone. It’s 75 degrees, the temperature you’d expect heaven to be. “I used to come here and sit for hours,” the artist born Brittney Parks says, pointing to a patch of green shrouded by trees as we pass a sign that reads NO TALKING.

We settle ourselves onto a stretch of grass overlooking the classic L.A. vista of rolling hills speckled with mansions, when a worker, mirroring Sudan’s soothing, purposeful tone, coos in our direction, “Please, don’t sit on the grass.” Sudan floats us along silkily, gracefully; she’s been “obsessed with geishas lately.” The way they move, the way they look, the way they’re disciplined. “For their whole life, they just work towards becoming a geisha. Sometimes when I’m onstage, I feel like one. The audience aren’t even dancing. They’re watching and they’re mesmerized — probably because of the skill I’m giving them.”

Sudan has been playing music in public for the better part of five years. Performing solo — which often takes her audience by surprise — she’s steadily been making a name for herself as the Singing, Dancing Violinist. At a typical Sudan Archives show, you might find her pizzicatoing while whisking her body around the stage, chopping at the violin strings with her bow, as her body contorts to the sound.

Despite her magnetizing skill, calling Sudan a “violin virtuoso” at this stage might be slightly missing the mark. She prefers the term “electronic composer.” Either way, it’s undeniable that no one is making music quite like Sudan Archives. Her debut album Athena, which arrives via Stones Throw Records on November 1, evinces Sudan’s singular style as she blends trap, jazz, R&B, and punk with oral traditions from Sudan and Ghana.

The album charts Sudan’s journey from her strict, religious childhood home in Cincinnati — where she first learned to play violin in church — to her early adulthood in L.A., where she now thrives. “Watch me frolic through the fields, bitch,” she sings on “Confessions” with deserved gasconade. Athena also helps to rewrite Western music’s misrepresentation of the violin. “There’s this saying that if you were a slave, but you played fiddle, you were worth more,” Sudan tells me. “So it goes back to Black history with violin culture.” It’s a history that’s gone mostly overlooked in the U.S. “Researchers and record companies avoided Black fiddling because many viewed it not only as a relic of the past, but also a tradition identified with whites,” writes Jacqueline Codgell Djedje, a prominent ethnomusicologist whom Sudan admires.

Carved into stone with a fiddle in hand, Sudan on Athena‘s album cover alone gives a vision to the often neglected instrument. The violin, as championed by Miri Ben-Ari across Kanye West’s The College Dropout album and cuts by Twista and Alicia Keys, “was basically the sound of hip-hop” at the turn of the millennium, though Sudan says that even this recent history has almost gone unnoticed. Now, Sudan makes it impossible to miss.

From the moment she released her self-titled debut EP in 2017, she caught the attention of Pitchfork, the New York Times, and NPR, and was invited to play Coachella that same year. “That’s now how it’s supposed to work,” she says, “because what I’m doing is so unconventional and un-Western, I didn’t think it would fit in, especially not in a mainstream world.” Receiving so much premature attention has meant that she’s had to construct her own artistic persona, and all the trappings therein, in public.

While she felt weary of “the business side of things” at the start — the promotion, agencies; everything extraneous to the music — she’s since found her own way of enjoying it. “If I can make it like a game, I can make it fun. If I think about it too deeply, I’m like, ‘Oh I’m just a performer,’ and it starts to feel meaningless.” She’s thinking about the bigger picture, too: “I have a family name. The bigger I get, the wealthier my family will get — when I die and stuff. I wanna produce more mentally healthy people who are born into a world where money isn’t an issue.”

Ultimately, Sudan’s main priority is to inspire. “And the bigger it gets, the more people you inspire.”

While Sudan’s main source of inspiration comes from herself (“I promise I’m sincere, and I steer my own wheel,” she sings on “Confessions”), she attributes some impact to the unparalleled energy of Erykah Badu. “Somebody told me the other day that I was the next Erykah Badu and I was like, ‘Are you serious!‘ I don’t really worship people, but I love Erykah Badu ’cause she affected me when I was a little girl. Her body, how she looks, it kinda reminds me of myself. When you find someone who you can make a similarity with your vibe, and even how you look, it can really impact you a lot, ’cause you’re like, maybe I can do that.”

By naming her album Athena and emulating the goddess herself on the album cover, Sudan is hoping to give another spin on an Egyptian myth that’s more commonly presented in her Greek form. “I’ve never seen an Athena that looks like me,” she says. “There should be more Athenas that look different.” With the image, Sudan hopes to inspire young girls who, like herself, don’t click with modern media dominated by artists who are valued for their ability to cohere to a trend above their sound. “I see a lot of Black women doing alt and avant-garde and I’m like, ‘Oh wow, that’s amazing,’ but I definitely don’t listen to stuff like that. I like to listen to older stuff, like those R&B classics or just some weird, obscure traditional music that nobody knows about. I’ve always been like this. I don’t like brands, I don’t like trends, I don’t like just listening to people just ’cause they have a bunch of followers. I like to stumble upon beauty, not just watch what I’m getting fed. I’ve always felt like I’m unique and different, period. Not even musically.”

Anyone who finds Athena will be stumbling upon beauty, too. Within a small space of time Sudan, has gone from “a broke artist making donuts” to a highly revered, narrative-shifting master. “But what if this album comes out and everything just goes… bloop?” she asks. By her own trajectory, the very opposite should happen. To use her own words: Watch her frolic through the fields, bitch.

HAIM’s Chaotic ‘Now I’m In It’ Video Is Full Of Side-Eye And Strutting

The sisters HAIM are back with another new single, and this time, they’re sparking a conversation about mental health through their music.

“Now I’m In It” is a multi-layered gem of a track that finds Danielle in the thick of depression. “Damn, I’m in it / And I’ve been trying to find my way back for a minute,” she sings, as the song’s instrumental stunningly builds, falls, and shifts. The bridge is especially gorgeous, as a delicate piano underpins the sister’s harmonies before giving way to a lively drum beat just seconds later.

In the accompanying video, directed by frequent Haim collaborator Paul Thomas Anderson, Danielle is dead-eyed and dreary, going through the motions of everyday life. But when Este and Alana scoop her up (literally) and deliver her to a car wash, Danielle emerges from the fog of her depression with her sisters by her side. Cue a classic “HAIM strutting” shot as soon as that aforementioned drum beat hits. It’s a euphoric, must-see moment, and it’s made even better by a couple of cute cameos from the sisters’ real-life partners at the end. Check it out below.

On Tuesday (October 29), Danielle opened up about the song’s inspiration in a lengthy, emotional Instagram post. She wrote, “‘Now I’m In It’ is about going through it. A depression. Not leaving the house type of shit. For my sisters and I, there have been times in our lives where we have felt like we are stuck in a dark hole. This track speaks to that emotion.”

“The track is chaotic – like my mind when I’m spiraling. Fast-talking to myself – words jumbled up. Heartbeat racing. These times are hard to forget and even harder to work through. After being constantly on the go the past couple years, I didn’t wanna stop and deal with some shit. Also, every day my sisters and I feel so fucking lucky that we get to do this for a living!!! It seemed like stopping and dealing with these emotions would be letting everyone down. But every time I’ve been depressed- it takes me accepting that I need help, to start to get out of it.”

Este added in a statement, “Even when we’re writing about something dark or more serious, we like to tie it up in a bow so that there’s a bit of lightness to it. We want our music, and this song especially, to be the thing that helps you get through that rough time.”

“Now I’m In It” follows Haim’s July single, “Summer Girl,” and their recent collaboration with Charli XCX, “Warm.” Last month, they also appeared on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge to perform an unlikely mash-up of Lil Nas X and Nirvana (don’t knock it till you watch it). The band hasn’t formally announced a new album, but it seems as though the follow-up to 2017’s Something to Tell You is on the way.

In the meantime, please enjoy Haim’s delightful, Halloween-ready tribute to another beloved sibling pop act, Hanson: