26 Essential Bops From Brooklyn Musician Warren Wolfe

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“I love that track 2 death,” Warren Wolfe says over text as he frantically sends through a last-minute addition to his playlist. The track, “LGBT” by Cupcakke, is an all-out banger that reflects the artist’s incredible taste and properly closes a roundup of Wolfe’s go-to songs. Across genres that span everything from ambient and grime to electronic and pop, Wolfe curated a collection of music to celebrate the release of his latest single, “Stranger,” a dance track about hook-up culture.

For his playlist, the Brooklyn-based singer gravitated towards female vocalists but, overall, selected songs that mix “sensitivity and chaos.” That means appearances from one of his biggest inspirations, Arca, as well as newer discoveries like Rina Sawayama, Lovozero, and serpentwithfeet. Keep your ear out for “Perfect Blue” by Orrin – a track that Wolfe helped produce this year – and certified ragers from Sugar Shane and K Rizz that he classifies as songs that would be on rotation if he hijacked the aux cord at a house party.

Photography by Kat Kuo.

 

Google Doodle Honors the Anniversary of Selena’s Debut Album

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“Bidi bidi bom bom.” If those four words aren’t sending you into a tailspin of singing Selena Quin’s most viral hit, we don’t trust you. While the song was released on the late Mexican-American singer’s fourth studio album, Amor Prohibido, in 1994, today is cause for a different celebration. On this day in 1989, Selena burst onto the scene with her iconic self-titled debut album.

To honor the queen, Google premiered the first-ever Selena Google Doodle, an animated cartoon of her singing “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” that took over two years to make. It was through the work of Perla Campos, Global Marketing Lead for Google Doodles, that the animation came to life thanks to her own personal connection to Selena. “There were always two women who taught me I could do anything and be anything I set my mind to: my mom and Selena,” she explained to Billboard. “Selena has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.”

Together, with Selena’s family, she worked tirelessly to create an animation that highlights Selena’s journey from child to adult before her untimely death at the age of 23. It’s a moving tribute to the singer, especially at a time when the rights of immigrants have come under attack. As Campos explained: “Selena was always about transcending boundaries, and for someone who has such a powerful story to be featured on the homepage of Google – a search engine that connects people the way she connected people – that is such a beautiful thing. Featuring an immigrant woman should not be political, it should be celebrated.”

 

‘Bodak Yellow’ is the Longest Running No. 1 Track By a Solo Female Rapper Ever

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Right when we think Cardi B cannot possibly keep making money moves, she proves that there’s no stopping her rise to the top. The Bronx-born rapper has skyrocketed on the strength of possibly the song of the year, “Bodak Yellow.” And after taking the No. 1 throne on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart a few weeks ago, she has put up her feet and gotten comfy – all while making history.

With three weeks at the top of the chart, “Bodak Yellow” is officially the longest running No. 1 by a solo woman rapper. Ever. It’s previously been notable as the first No. 1 solo single by a female rapper in 19 years. Despite fierce competition from New Taylor Swift (the old one is dead, if you hadn’t heard) and some petty comments from other female rappers, Cardi B seems unstoppable.

As she told OUT on the night the track dropped, “If you want to feel like shitting on bitches [or] shitting on anybody, you’re going to want to put that record on. You’re going to feel like you’re making money moves.” Given its astronomical success, we have a feeling there are a lot of people who feel like shitting on someone.

 

Lin-Manuel Miranda Raises Money for Puerto Rico With New Charity Single

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Pop quiz. What do Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan, Fat Joe, Camila Cabello, Luis Fonsi, Marc Anthony, Gina Rodriguez, Ruben Blades and Dessa have in common? Well, they’ve all teamed up for a new benefit single called “Almost Like Praying,” to benefit the people of Puerto Rico who are still fighting to recover from Hurricane Maria.

While Donald Trump is busy throwing paper towels like basketballs into crowds of people there and being an all around awful human being, Miranda set to work on a powerful song for the Puerto Rican people. Don’t feel bad about how much the song wants to make you dance, by the way – he wants you to dance. “I was very wary of writing a song that felt like homework,” Miranda told the New York Times. “I wanted to write a danceable tune that is just everywhere, and by being everywhere, is doing good.”

Within the nearly three and a half minute track there’s a line from the song “Maria” (from West Side Story), as well as a naming of all 78 towns and municipalities in Puerto Rico. Listen to the song and buy it because all proceeds from the track are going to the Hispanic Federation disaster relief fund, which has been providing hurricane relief aid to the Puerto Rican citizens.

 

Carly Rae Jepsen Releases New Video for ‘Cut to the Feeling’

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Carly Slay Jepsen can do no wrong. She’s released Emotion, a perfect pop album, and because that just wasn’t enough for our gay hearts, she released Emotion: Side B, which introduced us to the ultimate bodega anthem, “Store.” Since that pinnacle of pop excellence, she’s settled into her throne and taken it easy until, on May 26, she graced the world with “Cut to the Feeling.”

Now that we’ve had a full three months to listen to it a thousand times and drunkenly request it at clubs across the country, she’s dropped a long-awaited video for it. For the stripped-down visuals, Jepsen trades in narrative for a look into what it’s like to be her for the first half of the track as a countdown clock ticks anxiously towards zero in the corner. Carly Rae makes a perfect cup of coffee! She laughs! She tries on sunglasses! It’s all good fun, but as the clock strikes zero, the magic begins.

At the 1:40 mark, she walks slowly towards the stage and then a sequence happens that’s so Carly Slay that I audibly said “oh my god” to my laptop. A star! Mood lighting! Dancing! It’s incredible, but then again, we’d probably be wowed by her even if she was sitting at a table reading an ingredients list. Watch the video below and dance on the roof. Cut to the feeling. Oh, yeah.

 

PVRIS Debut Haunting, Victorian-Inspired Video for ‘Anyone Else’

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PVRIS is simmering. Led by activist and singer Lyndsey Gunn, the three-piece rock band are days away from the release of their second album, but today, they’ve gone back in time for a major Victorian moment in their new video for “Anyone Else.” Set in a moody house that would fit perfectly into any American Horror Story episode, the band’s muse Courtney Scarr (from their previous video for “What’s Wrong”) moves around the dilapidated rooms as she entangles herself with another, mysterious figure.

The taut, conflicting dancers are reflective of the two verses, which Gunn revealed were written a year about. “The first verse was written at the beginning of heartbreak—that feeling when you first leave someone yet you feel like a part of you will always belong to them,” she explained. “The second verse was written a year later. [It’s] a different mindset, mostly reflecting on the toxicity and possessiveness of that same love. It is ambiguous as to what the ending perspective is… who do I belong to in the end? Myself or my past lover?”

It’s a tumultuous, lyrical struggle that’s central to what Gunn is creating with the new album. The singer, whose gone viral this year for an open letter for Billboard about coming out to her mom and for a Nylon interview with Tegan Quin from Tegan & Sara, has built up the band’s queer street cred in a big way. PVRIS is set to debut their most personal album yet when All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell drops on August 25, which you can preorder here. Then, on their fall tour, they’ll donate a portion of every ticket sold for their upcoming fall tour will be donated to The Ally Coalition in support of LGBTQ equality.

 

Protégé Judith Hill Reveals Details About Prince’s Emergency Illinois Landing

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Judith Hill (via The Current)

Just six days before Prince died from an accidental opioid overdose, the musician’s protégé Judith Hill was aboard that infamous April 15 flight from Orlando, which ended in an emergency Illinois landing. She’s now detailed the fateful experience in an exclusive New York Times interview, recalling some of her final, painful memories with the late “Purple Rain” icon.

Sitting together on the plane, the two were sharing dinner before Prince suddenly fell unconscious. “His eyes fixed,” she told the NYT, before passing out completely. “I thought he was gone,” she admitted, revealing they didn’t have anything on the plane to help him back to consciousness. By the time they’d landed, however, Prince had woken up and received a shot of Narcan in an emergency ambulance. He was “very cooperative that whole night,” Hill said.

While under medical treatment in Moline, Illinois, Hill said it was the first time she’d ever seen Prince look vulnerable. He was reflecting on his unconscious experience in the hospital bed, saying he had to “fight for his life” in order to “get back into his body.” He remembered hearing distance demands urging him to “follow the voices,” calling the entire situation “the hardest thing he’d ever done.”

Hill, who was slated to be a back-up vocalist on Michael Jackson’s This is It tour and appeared on the 2013 season of The Voice, was Prince’s longtime friend and frequent collaborator. “There was a very intense relationship,” she told the NYT about her connection with Prince. “He told me that he loved me and that he would always be there for me.”

Read the full New York Times article, here.

Art Troupe WIFE Brings Spellbinding Performance To LA’s Hammer Museum

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Step inside the world of WIFE and witness a mystical phenomena. Born of three Los Angeles-based dancers, (Jasmine Albuquerque, Kristen Leahy, and Nina McNeely), she is known as A Trinity of Illusory Performance Makers.

WIFE creates an all senses engaged theatrical experience. If you have seen her live you know it’s a full body—and out of body—experience. Through projected body-mapping animations, sculpture, light, self-crafted music, costumes and choreography, WIFE makes the imaginary a reality. Although, when you’re in her performance presence it feels more like a fleeting moment of surreality—an electric alternate reality you want to stay suspended in.


 

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On Wednesday, June 22, WIFE (represented by Maavven) brings her latest creation, Enter The Cave, to Hammer Museum in LA. Loosely based on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, Enter the Cave is a story of transformation and transcendence told through illusion. The performance is meant to rearrange our notions of reality, space, and time.

The free performance begins in the Hammer Museum Courtyard at 7:30PM PST and can be live streamed, here.

BlackBook Premiere: Haux Performs ‘Caves’ in a 200-Year-Old Train Tunnel

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Simple and sparse, yet drenched in ethereal emotion, Woodson Black—performing under the moniker Haux—creates music that reflects his stunning film photography. The Berkshires-bred artist first quietly broke into music with his five-track project, The Bluest Sage EP, and followed that success with a lineup of singles: the vibey electro-folk “Homegrown,” the Othell-assisted “Caves” and, most recently, the calming melodic “Seaside.”

Ahead of his forthcoming debut All We’ve Known EP, due out July 8, the 24-year-old singer/songwriter/producer has revisited “Caves,” performing a stripped-down, acoustic rendition in the very space that inspired the song’s lyrics.

“I’ve always wondered where gut comes from—the gut that tells you when to run, when to hide, or when to just stand still,” Haux said. “After writing this song I realized that most of the time you’ll never know, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trust it. The 200-year-old train tunnel that inspired the lyrics and album art felt like a fitting backdrop for the adventure back into the caves.”

Watch the BlackBook premiere, below: