A lot happened in music this week. Let’s try to figure out exactly what was going on.
B.o.B thinks the earth is flat. America’s favorite astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse-Tyson replied, explaining that no, the earth is in fact spherical. B.o.B responded in the only way a forgotten rapper could- with a diss track via Soundcloud. Then DeGrasse-Tyson’s rapper nephew rapped a response track. It’s only January. This is going to be a long year.
Rostam Batmanglij is leaving Vampire Weekend. Is this is beginning of the end for our beloved indie/Columbia-educated/afro-beat-influenced band? I want to say no, but most definitely yes. Maybe Goth Ezra will return. Still, Ezra announced via Instagram that yes, Vamp Weekend still exists and they’re working on LP4, tentatively named Mistubishi Macchiato. Ok same. Indie-rock twitter (yes, it is a thing) drew parallels between Zayn leaving 1D and Rostam leavin VW. Rostam tweeted a video of him singing “I had to Zayn on ’em!” which he unfortunately later deleted.
rostam is our zayn
— Charlotte Zoller (@cz77) January 26, 2016
In Kanye news: where do we even begin? Good Fridays have turned into Good Whenever We Finish This Track, and supposedly Kanye is working on a track with his fellow Chicago-bred rapper Chance the Rapper
SWISH is now WAVES which will probably most likely be something else before the highly-highly-highly-anticipated album drops on Feb.11. The record, whatever it’s called, will be released at Madison Square Garden during the Yeezy Season 3 fashion show, which will be streamed in movie theaters worldwide. Nice.
You think changing an album title and releasing a track list would be enough activity for an unusually dormant Kanye. On Wednesday afternoon we were all witnesses to the Greatest Internet Afternoon in History, as Kanye and Wiz Khalifa (remember him?) fought in the only way that 21st century rappers fight- via Twitter. Naturally, Buzzfeed did the hard-hitting reporting the story deserved, which you read more about here.
As if #Wizwearscoolpants wasn’t enough, Amber Rose got involved. If you don’t know how she fits into this storyline, here’s a brief summary: Kanye and Amber used to date. Then she was with Wiz. They had a child together. Kanye, despite having two kids, a wife and a very successful career, he can’t let Amber Rose go. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was essentially about her, but he also often slut shames her which is pretty problematic. Anyway, she won this entire tweet fight with the now iconic hashtag (This tweet will one day be in the Museum of American History, right down the hall from the First Lady inauguration dress exhibit) #Fingersinthebootyassbitch
— Amber Rose (@DaRealAmberRose) January 27, 2016
Ok that’s enough Kanye for now.
When you ask Jesse Lacy for new music from Brand New he gives you the official release of 2006’s leaked demos (emphasis on leaked, as in we’ve had these songs for nearly a decade). And also a summer tour! With Modest Mouse. They’ll crisscross the country, so most of their aging fan base can enjoy an uplifting summer concert.
On Wednesday, before Kanye took over the Internet’s collective (lack) of attention span, we had a brief moment of clarity and good news when Frankie Cosmos announced a new album called Next Thing, out on April 1. Plus, she released a single off the album called “Sinister.” It truly shows a leap forward in production and lyrics for the band, as Greta Kline pushes the boundaries of what “bedroom-pop” can be. Let’s take a music break.
But wait THERE’S MORE! Rihanna’s much awaited Anti is finally here. Her eight studio album was released on Wednesday night via Tidal, a week before it’s released to people who aren’t rap moguls. So far the reviews are saying it’s not bad, but not iconic. Riri does do a really strange “cover” of Tame Impala’s “New Person, Old Mistakes,” which really is barely a cover at all cause she just replaced Kevin Parker’s vocals with her own, keeping the entire arrangement the same.