Minimum Gauge: Biggest Plot Twist in Atlanta on Super Bowl Sunday Was About 21 Savage, Not Football

Plus, Portishead's Geoff Barrow takes Lil Pump to task for unauthorized sample and sexism and Brian May and Amanda Palmer address dealing with toxic internet trolls

Feb 4, 2019 at 4:01 pm

click to enlarge 21 Savage - Photo: Ralph Arvesen (CC-by-2.0)
Photo: Ralph Arvesen (CC-by-2.0)
21 Savage
HOT: Savage ICE

In Atlanta, hours before this year’s boring Super Bowl game, there was a shocking pop-culture plot twist that had nothing to do with football, try-hard commercials or Maroon 5. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (aka ICE) arrested Hip Hop star 21 Savage, who, until then, had been considered an Atlanta native. ICE says the rapper is actually a U.K. national whose visa had expired and who now faces deportation. Besides the odd timing of announcing the musician’s arrest on Super Bowl Sunday in the city hosting the big game, an ICE spokesperson seemed to excitedly grandstand with their statement to a CNN reporter, in which they reportedly proclaimed, “His whole public persona is false.” 21 Savage's lawyer says the government is trying to intimidate him into leaving the country and that he has applied for an up-to-date visa.

WARM: Sampling Morality

In 2013, Portishead’s Geoff Barrow accused The Weeknd of stealing from his band’s “Machine Gun” for the song “Belong to the World” after initially being denied clearance for a sample. Barrow said he found it artistically disrespectful (The Weeknd denied stealing anything), which appears to be similar to the basis of his current anger over Lil Pump’s track “Racks On Racks.” Barrow says the single samples strings from the soundtrack he worked on for the 2018 movie Annihilation. Again, Barrow doesn’t seem to be looking for money or litigation his problem with the sample this time is that Lil Pump’s track is, according to Barrow, “a deeply fucking sexist song” and he and his collaborator didn’t want anyone to think they had anything to do with it.

COLD: Considering Trolls

Successful musicians aren’t immune to the toxicity of internet trolling. After seeming to defend film director Bryan Singer (who has been accused of sexual assault), Queen guitarist Brian May says the hateful comments he received caused him to curtail his social media use and to look differently at stories about internet bullies who’ve pushed kids “to the point of suicide.” Meanwhile, singer/songwriter Amanda Palmer appeared on the Conversations with People Who Hate Me podcast to confront a troll who surprise rethought a hateful comment she made about the artist after speaking with Palmer in person. Palmer called the experience “one of the hardest and best things I’ve done with my time for a while.”