Another week, another music news roundup.
It’s officially the slump between Paddy’s and Fling. And you know what that means: hours spent hunkered down in a GSR or posted up at your favorite café, pretending that you haven’t completely let your work catch up to you and that the same thing won’t happen again in two weeks. Of course, you don’t have time to scour the news for the greatest and latest in the music biz—but we do. It's week four, so by now you know the drill.
1. There’s a Kendrick Lamar Biography in the Works
After the both critical acclaim and commercial success of Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. album and tour made it clear that Kung Fu Kenny is—and has been—the rapper to watch, the Compton emcee is finally getting his own biography. The book, titled The Butterfly Effect: How Kendrick Lamar Ignited the Soul of Black America, will be penned by Bandcamp senior editor and Pitchfork contributing author Marcus J. Moore. The Butterfly Effect, named after Lamar’s 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly, will dissect the rapper's “rise to rap superstardom” and how both Lamar and his music have changed the black American experience. Moore has been a longtime fan of Lamar and has tracked his career for years, describing Lamar as an iconic musician, and someone who truly appreciates the foundation of black art, using it as a vehicle to shed light on his community. "He’s never forgotten where he’s come from and I think that’s honorable.”
2. Controversial Coachella Co–Owner Attempts to Redeem Himself...
Philip Anschutz, co–owner of the Coachella music festival and owner of the AEG media conglomerate, just donated one million dollars to Elton John’s AIDS Foundation’s LGBT fund. The donation to John’s fund, which “tackles the stigma, discrimination and violence that prevents LGBT people in Sub–Saharan Africa from accessing the health and HIV services they need,” marks a complete 180 for Anschutz. Anschutz has long been a controversial figure in the festival sphere—let’s just say not even some of the shenanigans at Burning Man have been morally dissected as much as this guy’s. For years, Anschutz has come under fire for his donations to charities—such as Movieguide Awards, Center for Urban Renewal and Education, Young Life, Dare 2 Share Ministries, and The Navigators to name a few—that take extreme and conservative stances against LGBTQ rights and immigration. Yet, Anschutz has claimed that any notions of him being homophobic or anti–LGBTQ is “fake news,” and that he apparently was unaware of their bigoted actions.
3. Forget Coachella, the Queen’s 92nd Birthday is Where it is At
To ring in Her Majesty’s 92nd year, BBC is throwing the Queen a royal concert party complete with special appearances, celeb guests, and, of course, one hell of a lineup. Musicians performing at the bash include Shawn Mendez, Kylie Minogue, Craig David, Sir Tom Jones, Shaggy, Sting, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Anne–Marie. An odd assortment, yes, but the main act is far more interesting than the rest combined: Sting and Shaggy. While this pairing may seem rather random to the untrained eye, the duo actually have a joint album (the album is dropping on 4/20, so yeah, pun intended) coming out for release called 44/876. The Caribbean–inspired LP has been in the works ever since Sting surprised Shaggy in his LA studio this past summer and the rest, as they say, is history.
4. Pennsylvania Governor Supports #freeMeekMill
Ever since the Eagles adopted Meek Mill's music as the anthem of their Super Bowl winning season (Ed note: GO BIRDS), the effort to free Meek from prison has gone from a simple hashtag to a full blown judicial reform movement. Mill's legal team filed a petition last month requesting the rapper's release on bond, and last week the DA's office responded, saying that “there is a strong showing of likelihood of the Petitioner’s conviction being reversed (in whole or in part)." Now, Democratic PA Governor Tom Wolf has thrown his hat into the ring, tweeting in support of Mill's release and calling attention to what he called "a criminal justice system ... in need of repair."