The most obvious influence is, of course, the Beatles, which Baxter says is hard to escape. “We’re all influenced by the sun and the moon and the Beatles and the Rolling Stones,” he says, pointing out that the first album he owned, at the age of 6, was Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. That comes through clearest of all on the album’s centerpiece track, “79 Shiny Revolvers,” which references “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” with its “bang-bang” voiceover, and even shares the skepticism of “Revolution” as he sings, “You really want to save the world, man, well I got news for you.” “I think it’s a perspective song,” he says. “It’s a stab at the idiots with the guns. I’m not against owning guns – I’m against poor decision making.” … [Read more...] about How Rayland Baxter Drew on Isolation, Beatles for New Album ‘Wide Awake’
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“A week after I sent him one tape, he called me back and said, ‘Yo, Biggie picked two of your beats. You gotta come to New York,'” Broady tells Rolling Stone from his Memphis home. “I went from Memphis to New York, getting off the plane, straight to the studio. I’m freakin’ starstruck [by Notorious B.I.G.] telling me I got some shit.” Following the phenomenal success of his debut Ready to Die, Notorious B.I.G. was considering one of Broady’s tracks — a piano-led beat anchored by a sample of Roberta Flack’s 1969 cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” — for a future album and paid him $3,000 for the instrumental. … [Read more...] about Flashback: The Notorious B.I.G. Rhymes as Lil’ Kim in ‘Queen Bitch’ Demo
The former Cleveland Browns left tackle has dropped 50 pounds since retiring from pro football in 2017 ... and was personally selected by The Rock to compete on the show, going up against other high level athletes. … [Read more...] about Browns Legend Joe Thomas Dominates on ‘Titan Games,’ The Rock Goes Wild!
The pandemic-inspired popularity of the Instagram Verzuz series is the music-biz story of the moment, with as many as 710,000 people concurrently “tuning in” to watch live battles between the likes of Jill Scott and Erykah Badu; problem is, none of those people are actually paying anything. As summed up by Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara to The Guardian: “My hesitation is that [livestreaming] is a form of labor we do for free that is generating money for Instagram and Facebook and Twitch. I know it’s not cool to be a sell-out and to say you need money, and you want your fans to pay for things, but I feel, as artists, we need to be comfortable being transparent about that.” … [Read more...] about Why the Future of Livestreaming Isn’t About Size or Popularity
We are hearing that Paramount’s Rocketman dynamited the older demos out of the house, with 40% of the audience over 45. Also, 55% of the crowd was over 30. The raunchy side of of Elton John’s glorious pop life played stronger on the coasts than the flyover states, as expected. That said, in the middle of the country, Rocketman worked in upscale metro areas like Austin and Detroit. Backing out the $2.3M previews out of Friday’s $9.2M (for an actual $6.9M), Rocketman surged 35% on Saturday with $9.3M, which is a promising sign to Paramount that the audience expanded for this movie. Paramount, rivals and finance sources are banking on a big multiple for this $41M budgeted rock star biopic. As we said all weekend, Rocketman was never to be compared to Bohemian Rhapsody, due to its significant amount of R-rated material, including gay content, not to mention the Freddie Mercury pic skewed younger with a PG-13 rating. … [Read more...] about ‘Godzilla’ Loses Teeth With $49M Opening, But Counter-Programming Excels For First Time This Summer With ‘Rocketman’ & ‘Ma’