Billie Eilish. (Wikimedia Commons)

Entertainment winners, losers of the week

After a brief hiatus, the entertainment staff is back with the winners and losers of the week.

March 31, 2019

With so much happening on social media, it’s hard to keep up. Here are the highs and lows of the week, selected by the Amherst Wire Entertainment staff.

Jonathan Kermah, editor

Winner: Hip-hop fans

Is the simulation broken? According to Complex, J. Cole will serve as executive producer on Young Thug’s forthcoming album. For some, that sentence might have simply read as “one rapper is executive producing another rapper’s album,” but for many hip-hop heads, this is the equivalent of a Marvel and DC comics crossover.

While it is perfectly acceptable to be a fan of both artists, if you went by what J.Cole fans and Young Thug fans say in Twitter threads and hip-hop forums, sometimes you would think the two artists were at war with each other. In the eyes of many die hard J.Cole fans, Thugger represents artists that “aren’t real hip-hop” because his music isn’t lyrical and he “mumbles.”  And in the eyes of many die hard Young Thug fans, Cole is seen as boring and overrated because his album went double platinum without any features (and his fans can’t go a day without mentioning it).

Much like last year when the two artists went on tour together, super fans will have to coexist and enjoy this project together. How will Cole influence Thug? How will Thug influence Cole? We’ll have to wait and see to find out how this experiment goes.

Loser: Cardi B

This week, Grammy award winning rapper Cardi B had her name all over the web for the wrong reasons. A 3-year-old video surfaced of the “Invasion of Privacy” rapper admitting to drugging and robbing men before she gained her fame. Cardi B has never pretended to be a role model, being open about her past as a stripper, but this is much more alarming. In response to the video surfacing, many men on Twitter took part in the hashtag #SurvivingCardiB.

While I for one have never been a fan of “if a man did this, he would be canceled” arguments, I understand the perspective that this Tweet is coming from. Slipping someone drugs and taking advantage of them is never okay, regardless of gender and socioeconomic status. Cardi B has since responded, but sadly that wasn’t the end of things.

Warning NSFW:

Another video resurfaced of Cardi talking about drugging men, but this time it came with a side of transphobia. Let this be a reminder to everyone, what you say on the internet, stays on the internet.

 

Trevor Wilson, assistant editor

Winner: Marvin Gaye fans

This week, the late Marvin Gaye had his missing album “You’re the Man” released across all digital platforms.

Wait a second, did you say Marvin Gaye? The D.C.-born music icon? The Prince of Soul?

Yup, that Marvin Gaye. Nearly 35 years following his passing, the follow-up to his acclaimed project “What’s Going On” has been released and features 17 tracks from the legend himself. The album shows off Gaye at his musical peak. While it’s not all that cohesive, the project features a plethora of ideas, concepts and experiments all directly from one of the great minds in music.

So, kick back, relax and sink in to some soul from a legendary American artist:

Loser: NAV

Well, it seems that one of hip-hop’s least intriguing artists continues his struggles to stand out from the crowd. In a recent interview with Pitchfork, the Toronto-bred songwriter dives into some of his issues, including fame.

NAV said, “I’m still not there, because when I walk out of f****** Delilah in L.A. and TMZ will be standing out there with cameras and not even take a picture of me, I get sick. I get in my f****** Lambo truck right in front of them. All my jewelry on and they don’t even take one picture.”

Ouch, sorry buddy. Seems like NAV is getting a little bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) and who could blame him? It must be really difficult to be a copy and paste type of artist and get no recognition for it. I’m sorry NAV, but hey, if it’s any consolation, your new album can’t be all that bad…can it? (Hint: It was.)

 

Julia Donohue, writer

Winner: Billie Eilish

Only 17 and she’s number one on iTunes! Billie Eilish released her debut album, “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” on Friday. This is her first album and, yet it took only 10 minutes to top the charts. She’s even ahead of Ariana Grande for global streams on Spotify.

Maybe it’s timing but it seems that Eilish is the next niche. She has potential to be one of the first major artists of her generation and her album speaks to that — The first track is about taking out her invisalign. “My strange addiction,” the ninth track on the album, even samples “The Office.”. Justin Bieber wants to collaborate with her, Troye Sivan is listening and Avril Lavigne followed her on Instagram. At least for the time being, Billie Eilish is what’s new in pop music.

A lot of pop stars curate an image to maintain likability, but Billie Eilish keeps things as out there as her legal name:

Loser: One Direction

Probably not a name you think you’d hear again, but former boy band One Direction is officially circling the drain.

On Friday night, Stevie Nicks was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for a unprecedented second time. She is the only woman to do so, and essentially the cream of the crop in terms of rock. In her introduction, Harry Styles, formerly of One Direction, adorned her with compliments going so far as to describe her as “everything you could ever want in a lady, a lover and a friend.”

After electric performances with Styles and Don Henley (Nicks’ former beau and founder of the Eagles), Nicks faced questions from reporters. In particular, she was asked about how she became a mentor to Styles.

“When he decided to make a solo record from NSYNC,” Nicks goes on for a minute while reporters laugh. She attempts to correct herself, “… NSYNC, sorry not NSYNC” and by that point several reporters yelled out the correction that Styles had been in One Direction, not NSYNC.

So sorry boys. If an icon like Stevie Nicks can’t remember you, you weren’t the Beatles or even the Eagles, you’re just about as forgettable as NSYNC.

 

Astghik Dion, writer

Winner: Kehlani, Javie and Adeya

This past weekend, R&B star Kehlani and her guitarist Javie Young-White welcomed their newborn into the world. She gave birth “at home standing up, unmedicated” and into the arms of Javie, surrounded by all the love and affection in the world.

Kehlani and Young-White are both very spiritual people, therefore they refuse to give a time and date for the birth of baby Adeya as they don’t want the rest of the world to know her zodiac sign. Sounds like someone’s a Gemini.

This baby is either going to be a crystal healer or become a musical legend by the age of three — given the fact that both of her parents harness more talent in their pinky fingers than most people do in their entire body. Either way, a new bundle of joy has been welcomed into the world of music and art. Congratulations to the lovely parents of baby Adeya.

Loser: Rolling Stones Fans

The Stones had to halt rolling on their North American tour this Saturday after our mothers’ heartthrob Mick Jagger needed treatment due to an undisclosed illness. Thankfully, the illness isn’t dire and the band will eventually rebook the 17 tour dates that were postponed.

However, this is absolutely the end of the world for Rolling Stones fans that have waited with anticipation for the “No Filter” tour, which began in September of 2017 and has a total of 45 shows. Jagger felt the weight of his disappointed fans and quickly took to twitter to apologize for the cancellation.

All in all, a big loss for the fathers and middle schoolers with their graphic tees from Hot Topic. May their king heal quickly.

 

Oliver Sampson, writer

Winner: Lil Uzi Vert

In January after not being able to release his newest album “Eternal Atake,” Philly rapper Lil Uzi Vert claimed that he was retiring from music due to issues with his record label Generation Now. This prompted a firestorm on social media and again brought into question the industry’s treatment of its artists.

Over the past week, things seemed to change as Uzi posted multiple Instagram stories showing him in a recording studio on his Instagram. In one of the stories, he thanked Roc Nation for getting him back to making music. It was confirmed that Roc Nation is now managing Uzi.

Just days after Uzi gave fans hope that his album was coming soon, he released a song and music video titled “Free Uzi.” #Freeuzi has been trending on twitter and now, all we can do is wait for the album. Regardless of when it comes, it’s still great to see Uzi in better spirits and back to making music.

Loser: Billboard and country music

Atlanta rapper Lil Nas X seemed to blow up overnight with the release of his viral song “Old Town Road.” The track is a country-trap fusion and prompted tons of memes and videos on social media, which only helped increase its popularity. With over 47 million plays currently on Spotify, the song is now at #32 on the Billboard charts.

At the time of its release, the song was categorized as a country song and charted on the country Billboard charts as well. This was until Billboard pulled it off the country charts stating that, “While ‘Old Town Road’ incorporates references to country and cowboy imagery, it does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version.” While it does have a few references to drugs and designer clothes, which isn’t traditional country music content, the track, in my opinion, belongs on the charts.

This lead to widespread anger, especially in the hip-hop community. Many see this as country music not being accepting of a young black rapper “infiltrating” their genre. On hot 97, this even prompted the hosts to question if certain songs should be taken off the hip-hop charts (this included tracks from Post Malone). Nevertheless, this whole ordeal has certainly helped Lil Nas X’s career and he’s now a household name. If you want to listen to any more of his music you can go to his SoundCloud here.

Email Jonathan at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter @JKermah98.

Email Trevor at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @TrevorWilsonOG.

Email Julia at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @toomanyjulias.

Email Astghik at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @as_tghik.

Email Oliver at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @_theycallmeo.

 

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