Fresh off celebrating his 21st birthday with a surprise mix, Lil Yachty has scheduled a fall trek dubbed the Disrespect Tour.
The Lil Boat 2 rapper begins the jaunt on October 24th in Baltimore and heads westward, wrapping up the Disrespect Tour on November 28th in Santa Cruz, California. “Cash Me Outside” rapper Bhad Bhabie, who previously teamed with Lil Yachty on “Gucci Flip Flops,” will serve as the trek’s opening act.
Lil Yachty released his second LP Lil Boat 2 – the follow-up to his breakout 2017 mixtape – in March. On August 23rd, the rapper’s 21st birthday, he dropped his Birthday Mix 3.0, a compilation of tracks featuring Youngboy Never Broke Again, Chief Keef, Gunna and Trippie Redd. Lil Yachty also teamed with Donny Osmond on a bizarre Chef Boyardee ad.
Lil Yachty Tour Dates
October 24 – Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live
October 26 – Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa
October 27 – Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
October 28 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
October 30 – Providence, RI @ Fete Ballroom
October 31 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
November 2 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
November 3 – Columbus, OH @ Express Live
November 4 – Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall
November 5 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre
November 6 – Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
November 7 – Fort Wayne, IN @ The Clyde Theatre
November 10 – Memphis, TN @ Minglewood Hall
November 11 – Tuscaloosa, AL @ Druid City Music Hall
November 13 – Mobile, AL @ Soul Kitchen
November 15 – St. Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Live
November 17 – New Orleans, LA @ The Joy Theater
November 19 – St. Louis, MO @ The Truman
November 20 – Kansas City, MO @ Pop’s
November 23 – Boise, ID @ The Knitting Factory
November 24 – Spokane, WA @ The Knitting Factory
November 26 – Eugene, OR @ McDonald Theatre
November 28 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst
By DANIEL KREPS
Toots and the Maytals reflect on a fellow reggae innovator with their new track “A Song Call Marley.” The laid-back, horn-fueled track marks the 50th anniversary of their influential 1968 single “Do the Reggay,” often cited as the song that named the genre.
On “A Song Call Marley,” bandleader “Toots” Hibbert looks back at his early friendship with Wailers frontman Bob Marley. “We used to uplift each other with our words,” the songwriter said in a statement, echoing his lyrics on the cut. “I had known Bob for a long time, and we used to be very close.” He added, “He always loved my songs, and I’ve always loved his songs … his ideas … he’s a great guy.”
Hibbert wrote the lyrics and played bass and keyboard on the song, which the band debuted – along with their 1975 classic “Funky Kingston” – on The Tonight Show in July.
Toots and the Maytals launched a U.S. tour in late April. The trek wraps August 24th with a spot at the Lockn’ Festival in Arrington, Virginia, which will mark Hibbert’s first performance in the state since being struck in the head with a vodka bottle during a concert in Richmond.
The singer – who has 200 new tracks in the vaults – recently told Rolling Stone that he “suffered a lot” from physical and emotional damage after the incident, but he’s excited to return to the stage. “That’s where I want to be – that’s where I want my energy,” he said.
By RYAN REED
As Markus Schulz gears up for the release of his next album We Are The Light, he’s dropped another song from the album called “Upon My Shoulders,” with help from Sebu Simonian of Los Angeles-based indie pop duo Capital Cities.
Between the festival and extended mixes, fans can get a fantastic burst of trance and progressive elements, all with some instantly catchy, sing-along lyrics.
“I always wanted to write a song about what I see and feel when I am playing at festivals all around the world in front of thousands of people,” Schulz told Billboard. “The chorus from ‘Upon My Shoulders,’ includes, ‘carrying you upon my shoulders, so you can let go.’ (It) expresses exactly how people feel when they come to festivals, united from all over the world. They come to festivals to live in the moment. They hold up flags representing their country. They hold each other on their shoulders, sing along, dance and are full of positive energy. ‘Upon My Shoulders’ is about them, no matter where they are from, or what genre or nationality. We live united in a world we create for ourselves, and leave all the worries behind.”
Uplifting, beautiful, irresistible. Listen to “Upon My Shoulders” below!
By Matthew Meadow
The Queen of Soul riffed on Adele, Taylor and why she still loved her job in a freewheeling 2014 conversation
You were instructed to call her “Ms. Franklin.” In 2014, Aretha Franklin sat for her last extensive Rolling Stone interview to promote 2014’s Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, her first project in years with her former Arista Records boss Clive Davis. The timing of the interview was unfortunate: it happened during the same week as the release of David Ritz’s Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin. Ritz, Franklin’s former ghostwriter, wrote a follow-up book to her memoir sharing shocking details about Franklin’s tragic childhood and more. She was furious with the book. In the restaurant lounge of New York’s Ritz-Carlton, wearing a bright fur coat, hair spilling out of a winter cap, Franklin grimaced when I alluded to a quote from it, where her sister Carolyn talked about how Aretha channeled the Holy Spirit when she sang. “I don’t think Carolyn ever said anything like that,” Franklin said. “That doesn’t even sound like Carolyn. That’s not her voice.”
But over the next hour, Franklin grew relaxed, especially when talking about the present – her thoughts on future projects, current pop hitmakers, politics and more. The piece ran as a short profile in 2014, but there was much more to the conversation that was left out. Here are some highlights.
She had no time for normal journalistic practices. At the beginning of the interview, I placed my tape recorder on the table and asked Franklin if it was OK to record our interview. “No,” she said flatly. I added I was only taping so I could remember our conversation. “You can make notes,” she said. Conversation over.
She was still a perfectionist. Talking about her new album at the time, Clive Davis said he was still impressed with Franklin’s still-rigorous studio work ethic. “I have to sit with the song for a while before I record it,” she said. “And, that’s pretty much it. That, and respecting the writer’s melody. Once you establish that respect, you can pretty much sing whatever you want and express yourself.”
On why she sang Sam Cooke at her Columbia Records audition. “I auditioned in a small room for Mr. [John] Hammond. And I did some Sam Cooke songs. I did ‘You Send Me,’ something like that. I had a teenage crush on [Sam]. He gave me a suede jacket when my sister and I visited him in Los Angeles when I was a teenager. He knew I was a fan. He was very classy. I think the church gives you a natural class. And principles, and values.”
She was psyched to take the top spot on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. “That was right out of nowhere,” she said of the 2008 list. “Right out of nowhere. I went ‘What?’ ‘What?’ Like a double, triple take. Fabulous, fabulous, thank you, Rolling Stone. Unbelievable.”
One of her favorite gigs ever? February 16, 1968 show at Detroit’s Cobo Hall, which the mayor declared “Aretha Franklin Day.” “What a night!” Franklin said. “Dr. King was there, my dad was there. When we walked into the arena and then became visible to the audience, the crowd erupted. It was like the ceiling was coming down. It was so unbelievable.”
She didn’t think Dr. King’s dream had come true yet. “We’ve come a long way, but there is still a lot of discrimination,” she said. “There’s still a ways to go.”
She thought about backup careers. “I love what I do. [And] people appreciate the presentation, and they appreciate the time that I put into it. It’s worth all the time that you put into it. I still don’t think I would do anything else. [But] I could’ve been a prima ballerina. Or a nurse. Aretha Nightingale!”
She returned Beyonce’s love. Beyonce dedicated he and Jay-Z’s Detroit On the Run II concert to Franklin when it was announced Franklin was in hospice care. The love was mutual. ” We have a lot o respect for each other,” Franklin said. “I love the beat of ‘Bootylicious.’ And ‘I’m a Survivor” (Franklin covered Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” at the end of her career.) “Beyonce is a very hard working woman. Astrologically, for whatever it’s worth she’s a Virgo – like Michael Jackson, a hard worker. She’s very pleasant. She’s complimentary to other artists. And I think she just has a very positive message. I mean, I went to see her perform and I came out of there feeling uplifted. And Beyonce is very outspoken on feminist issues. So I think that’s good. That could be brought to the forefront more.”
“We deserve parity, and maybe even a little more,” Franklin said. “Especially if it’s physically taxing, women should get a little more money.”
That led to a broader discussion on pay disparity. “If women are going to do the same job, why not give equal pay? Because that job is harder for a woman than a man sometimes,” she said. “We deserve parity, and maybe even a little more. Especially if it’s physically taxing, we should get a little more money, if you have enough heart to take it on.”
She didn’t think full-album concerts were a good idea. Franklin was in the middle of raving about Stevie Wonder’s recent performance at a Robert De Niro tribute when the subject of Wonder’s 2014-2015 Songs in the Key of Life Tour came up. The tour had Wonder playing his 1976 album in its entirety. “I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Franklin said. “I wouldn’t do it. It may work for him [but] I think the people have a lot of favorites, and they want to hear a lot of favorites. I wouldn’t risk just doing one album for the night.”
She also wasn’t afraid to tell you her accomplishments. Asked how her 2005 Presidential Medal of Honor stacked up to her other accomplishments, Franklin replied: “Well, 20 Grammys is not bad. It’s on the same level as 20 Grammys. Hard to beat that, and the National Medal of the Arts. On one hand there are my humanitarian contributions on the other, and my civic contributions.”
On why her voice stayed with her while other divas lost theirs: “Well, maybe I’m just taking care of my voice. Maybe they don’t take care of their voice. I’ve heard people doing things that I thought were abusive to the voice. And I would never have done that.”
On Taylor Swift: “I love whoever is dressing her. Love her clothes. I went to her website and saw she wore Oscar de la Renta, and I know she gets some things from Oscar. I tried to order that gown. It never fit.”
On Adele: “I saw one of Adele’s promo pieces, and kids were on a bus singing ‘We could’ve had it all.’ They were just screaming it. But I was listening to the melody, I said ‘That’s a good melody, I like that melody.’ She’s a very, very fine, solid writer. I like her writing a lot. She has a lot to say. A lot of content. And, she’s a very good singer. She reminds me how Carole King used to be with Tapestry. Her things are so original.”
By PATRICK DOYLE
Like nearly every modern pop star, Ariana Grande has flitted from genre to genre over the course of her career, easily collapsing the distance between the steroidal EDM of “Break Free” and the relaxed reggae of “Side to Side,” the clipped Eighties pop of “Love Me Harder” and the storming house of “Into You,” the hip-hop soul of “The Way” and the retro-soul of “Dangerous Woman.”
But with her new album Sweetener, she set her sights on conquering trap, the Southern hip-hop variant defined by sludgy, savage basslines and jittery swarms of drum programming. Grande is just the latest Top 40 star to acknowledge this sound — see Selena Gomez’s “Fetish,” Taylor Swift’s “End Game,” Demi Lovato’s Tell Me You Love Me and Kelly Clarkson’s “Love So Soft” and “Whole Lotta Woman.” The mass embrace of the trap template demonstrates the remarkable extent to which a once-niche style now rules modern production.
Grande tipped her fans to her latest creative zigzag with Sweetener‘s second single, “God Is a woman.” The song opens with a feint: Unadorned guitar is Grande’s only accompaniment for the first few lines. But then the punishing beat kicks in, knee-buckling on the low end while the drums splat frantically in a higher register. Grande is known for her elastic voice, one of the most flexible and forceful in the Top 40 space. But she suppresses her vocal tricks here, instead sing-rapping in a rigid, repetitive style.
“God Is a Woman” is one of at least five songs on Sweetener that pulls from the same trap playbook. During the album’s title track, Grande cuts away the beat at several junctures to display swooping vocal runs. But the hook as is curt and hard-headed as the hi-hats: “Hit it, hit it, hit it/ Flip it, flip it, flip it.”
The primary producers on Sweetener are Max Martin, his fellow Swede Ilya Salmanzadeh and Pharrell Williams, names that shape pop music — it’s notable that Grande did not decamp to Atlanta to make her album with Metro Boomin or another modern trap architect. The dominant presence on the final third of Sweetener is Thomas “TB Hits” Brown, who has been working with Grande since her debut. On 2013’s Yours Truly, Brown helped craft the neo-doo-wop “Daydreamin;'” the next year, he worked on the string-laden piano ballad “My Everything.” But on Sweetener, he helps close the album with another chunk of trap-pop, co-producing a trio of booming, ironclad beats.
That trap’s structures have made their way to a figure like Martin, who has had more success in the Top 40 than anybody over the past few decades, is proof that those skittering drums and chest-shaking basslines are now simply the vocabulary of popular music writ large. “Everytime,” one of Martin’s productions, may be the most effective hybrid on the album. At first Grande delivers an unyielding staccato rap, but she abruptly returns to supple singing on the line-ending phrase “back to you;” the effect is like a boxer following a series of short jabs with an uppercut. As more and more pop singers are forced to reckon with trap, the fusion achieved on “Everytime” offers them a path forward.
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