Kanye West to Receive Michael Jackson Vanguard Award

Last year Queen Bey set the stage on fire with a medley of her self-titled album as she was honored with the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award. The year before Justin Timberlake performed a medley of his hits and even reunited with his NSync bandmates as he was honored. This year at the 2015 VMAs, Kanye West will be honored with the award.

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Tidal Launch

30-tidal-1.nocrop.w529.h373.2xThere’s a new music subscription for the public to access, but this time its backed by the stars. Jay-Z announced that he would be relaunching Tidal. Now there’s Spotify which is $9.99/month. Then there’s Beats Music  that’s $9.99/month and allows access for up to three devices. Now when I heard of Tidal I was thinking, great another music subscription. When I saw the price I knew that I wouldn’t want to sign up. $19.99 for a music subscription? What makes it so special? What am I getting in addition to the cheaper alternatives already available? 30-tidal-2.nocrop.w529.h373.2xThis star-studded announcement that included the likes of: Jay-Z & Beyonce (of course), Kanye West, Usher, J. Cole, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, and more. I paid this no mind until Beyoncé released a new single via the site titled,’Die For You .’ How appropriate as it is the 7th wedding anniversary of her and Jay-Z. Click HERE to listen to the track.

When going on to the site you reach a screen that states what Tidal is:

Introducing the first music streaming service that combines the best High Fidelity sound quality, High Definition music videos and expertly Curated Editorial.

Again, that doesn’t really define much of what I’d possibly be paying $19.99/month for. You could “listen now” or enter a voucher which I’m curious to know what that is. Now when going to start a free trial there are two options, Tidal Premium ($9.99/month) and Tidal HiFi ($19.99/month). From the looks of it the only difference between the two seems to be the quality of sound. When asked (in an interview with NYU) if Tidal was competing with Spotify, Jay-Z commented:

I know everyone thinks “new company, main business competitor is Spotify” but we’re really not here to compete with anyone. We’re actually here to improve the landscape. If just the presence of TIDAL causes other companies to have better pay structure, or to pay more attention to it moving forward, then we’ve been successful in one way. So we don’t really view them as competitors. As the tide rises, all the boats rise.”

When asked who’d be McDonald’s or ShakeShack he responded:

“We’re cool with, you know, they [other streaming services] can be McDonald’s, we’ll be Shake Shack. We don’t have to be number one, we just want to be very specific and very great at what we do. We want to do a very specific thing, we want people to come to TIDAL for a specific sound, a specific experience, and to know that there are going to be the greatest new artists in the world, the biggest artists, introducing the newest artists, collaborations and things you’ve never seen before. That’s what we’re going to do. After that, the world decides. The universe decides.”

As for my thoughts on this whole Tidal movement, I’m not sold on this. I see this as just another music subscription service except with a punch. The punch is that the artists are behind it and paying subscribers can have access to exclusives such as the one released by Beyoncé. Also available on the site right now are exclusives from. I’m interested in seeing where this goes. This does go hand in hand with that of the Grammy Creators Alliance which wants artists to get the respect they deserve. Whether people subscribe or not, artists have joined together for their music to be respected.

Grammy Performers

It’s three weeks until the grandest stage of them all in the world of music. The 57th Annual Grammy Awards airs on February 8th. CLICK HERE for the list of nominees. Here’s who’s slated to perform:

  • PicMonkey CollagePharrell
  • Sam Smith
  • Madonna
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Ariana Grande
  • Usher
  • AC/DC
  • Erich Church
  • Miranda Lambert

I’m interested in seeing what Madonna will perform. Whether it be something new or a medley. Same with Pharrell, he could take the same route. Then again he’ll probably perform ‘Happy.’ Beyonce and Jay-Z opened the show last year and I can’t wait to see who opens up this year (insert that Madonna medley; wishful thinking). Sam Smith will probably perform ‘Stay With Me’, maybe ‘I’m Not The Only One.’ Usher hasn’t had much of  a buzz with any new music so I’m curious as to what he’ll perform.

Stay tuned for Grammy updates and as always I’ll be doing a review of the performances. CLICK HERE for my review of last years show.

Single Review: Madonna x Nicki Minaj, ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’

1328541755_nikki-minaj-madonna-560I have been reading on various sites online that new Madonna music is coming and here is proof of that. Madonna is teaming up with Nicki Minaj for yet another track this time it’s titled, ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’. The two previously teamed up for “Give Me All Your Luvin” with M.I.A. when Madonna did halftime at Superbowl XLVI (2012).  I love the title  of the track first off because Madonna is that bitch.

Ok aside from Madonna being as great as she is when I first heard this track I was like eh. It sounded very kiddie. Her return reminds me of Gwen Stefani’s simply because I of course am expecting more. Then that beat drop and I could see this hitting the airwaves simply because of the EDM feel. With that beat dropping I expect some dope choreo in the video. Only time will tell for that.

I love Nicki’s flow on this one and it works because with a title like this you can only come on the track and talk shit. I love how versatile Nicki is whether people like her for her pop or hip hop. She’s good at what she does. The track overall is cool. Cool as in tolerable to listen to. I’m interested in hearing what else she’s going to bring to the table in 2015.

madonna-rebelheartThis track will be featured on Madonna’s upcoming album, Rebel Heart, expected to be released March 20, 2015. It is available for pre-order on iTunes and upon pre-order you will receive five other tracks in addition to this one: ‘Living for Love’, ‘Devil Pray’, ‘Ghosttown’, ‘Unapologetic Bitch’, and ‘Illuminati’. The album will consist of 19 tracks. None of the names for the other tracks are available except for one to be titled ‘Joan of Arc’. From the snippets available on iTunes, I love  ‘Living for Your Love’.

You do not need to pre-order the album to get any of the six tracks, they are also available for separate purchases.

CLICK HERE to pre-order & listen to the track below:

Mariah Carey Declared Queen of Pop

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Time magazine has compiled a new pop list titled, The Ultimate Ranking of Pop Stardom‘. The ranking was determined by numbers straight from the Billboard archives:

TIME went through every song that reached the top ten of the Billboard 100 back to 1960 to see which artists had both the biggest years and longest careers. We assigned points based on a song’s rank for each week it was in the top ten. Artists who collaborated on songs are both given credit for its success. Artists were chosen for this list based on all-time chart performance and contemporary significance.

Points are awarded by placement in the Top Ten, from ten points for a number-one hit to one point for a number-10 song. All artists listed by name on a track are given full points for its chart performance, but groups with members who later had solo careers are still counted as separate entities.

There are two rankings ‘By Hits’ and ‘By Debut’. ‘By Hits’ Mariah Carey trumps all. Since her debut on Billboard in 1990 her largest ranking came in 1995, Daydream, and then a decade later in 2005, The Emancipation of Mimi. Although she’s recently released an album, her charting stops in 2008. Ranking two through ten, in order: Rihanna, Usher, The Beatles, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Katy Perry, and Boyz II Men. No surprise that Rihannas most successful album to date is Good Girl Gone Bad and for Usher it’s ConfessionsThe Beatles most successful compilation was 1964s, A Hard Day’s Night and Madonna‘s was True BlueJanet Jackson‘s highest charting was The Velvet Rope and Whitney Houston‘s greatest was 1998’s (charted in ’99), My Love Is Your Love.  Michael Jackson‘s solo career charting began in 1971 and his greatest year was over a decade later in 1983 with the prolific success of Thriller. In at #9 is Katy Perry. In the five year span of her charted career her biggest success was Teenage Dream. Boyz II Men rounded off the top 10 and their highest selling album was II

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‘By Debut’ Bruno Mars ranks #1 with Doo-Wops & Hooligans trumping his other two projects. Ranking two through ten, in order: Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Maroon 5, Rihanna, T-Pain, Chris Brown, and Kanye West. Lady Gaga‘s greatest success was The Fame Monster and Taylor’s Swift‘s was RED. Miley Cyrus‘ greatest success thus far has been her latest album, Bangerz and Maroon 5‘s was Overexposed. T-Pain‘s biggest year was 2007 with success of collabs with Kanye West, Chris Brown, Baby Bash, Flo Rida, Plies, and his solo work EpiphanyChris Brown‘s greatest success was Exclusive and Kanye‘s was 2011 with success of ‘E.T.’ and ‘N***as in Paris’.

 

To see the full ranking, CLICK HERE.