HOT: Tidal Waves “Hello”; Public Sneers Back
As the music industry continues to try and get a handle on (and more control over) the rise of music streaming services, Tidal, a new streaming outlet Jay Z and scores of high-profile musicians are publicly backing (and have monetary stakes in), has been introduced with a big marketing campaign (and Illuminati-esque commercials). Tidal will reportedly offer higher payouts to artists, higher quality and numerous exclusives. And its monthly subscription fee is twice that of its main competitors. Critiques have come fast and mostly furious, with fans, pundits and some fellow artists suggesting Tidal will mostly just enrich the superstar backers, questioning whether most music fans want or need “higher fidelity” in streaming and insisting that the higher price and exclusives will only drive more music fans to seek out free (and often illegal) alternatives like pirate sites and torrents. Tidal has people talking, but mostly (so far) just seems to be creating more confusion in the streaming marketplace.
WARM: Common Backlash
Recent Academy Award-winning composer and legendary rapper Common, known for the sharp social commentary of his lyrics, was recently announced as commencement speaker at New Jersey’s Kean University, but hours later the school revoked the invite after New Jersey State Police reportedly complained about a 15-year-old song the MC made about activistAssata Shakur, who was convicted of killing a New Jersey police officer in 1973 but escaped and fled to Cuba (the song mentions “fabricated cases” against her). In a statement, a police spokesperson mentioned the college “is subsidized with state taxpayer funds” and the college caved immediately. In 2011 , N.J. police joined a slew of conservative politicians (including Karl Rove, who called the MC “a thug") who complained about Common’s appearance at a White House poetry event, based on both the Shakur song and a misinterpretation of his poem, “A Letter to the Law.” (The White House did not revoke its invitation.)
COLD: Still Racist After All These Years
There’s a pretty good chance that most young people today only know Ted Nugent as a rightwing gun nut with hunting shows on some cable channel nobody watches and not the bona fide Rock star he once was. Just kidding — nobody under 30 knows who Ted Nugent is. But that doesn’t stop him from shooting his mouth off with inappropriate comments and desperate attempts to satiate his conservative fan base and anger liberals. After calling the president of the United States a “subhuman mongrel” last year (and initially apologizing, only to apparently take it back and say it was “too delicate” an epithet), The Nuge is back on his game, this time calling activist/TV show host Al Sharpton a “racist mongrel” (so human?) and declaring the only racism he sees is that which comes “out of the White House.” It’s all a warm-up to Nugent’s speech this week at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting, where he’ll no doubt further prove that he is the best “dumb conservative talking head” parody going now that Stephen Colbert’s show is off the air.