Fans Pick J Balvin’s ‘Azul’ Animated Video as This Week’s Favorite New Music ✍🏽

J Balvin photographed on Feb. 6, 2020 at MAPS Studio in Miami

The blue-hued animated video for J Balvin’s sensual reggaeton song “Azul” has topped this week’s new music poll.

In the poll, published Friday (June 12) on Billboard, music fans voted for the Colin Tilley-directed video, which tells the story of how Balvin is trying to move on from a woman he’s crushing on. The video brought in 24% of the vote.

“Azul” is from Balvin’s latest album, Colores, and follows other Tilley-directed videos for “Blanco,” “Morado,” “Rojo,” “Amarillo,” “Gris,” “Verde,” and “Rosado.”

“‘Azul’ is one of the most ridiculous ideas I’ve probably ever had,” Tilley previously told Billboard.

Coming in second place with 22% of the vote was Ungodly Hour, the new album from Beyonce proteges Chloe x Halle. 6ix9ine and Nicki Minaj’s recent “Trollz” collaboration came in third with nearly 19% of the vote.

See the final results of this week’s new music release poll below:

By Mitchell Peters/Billboard, June, 2020

Watch Tekashi 6ix9ine, Nicki Minaj’s Colorful New ‘Trollz’ Video! See Full Youtube Video!

In the colorful new video, the pair address haters head-on 

“A portion of the proceeds from #Trollz including merch items, will be going directly to The Bail Project,” Minaj says

Tekashi 6ix9ine and Nicki Minaj have teamed up for the new song and video for “Trollz.” The track follows 6ix9ine’s “Gooba,” which is the first song he unveiled a little more than a month after being released from prison early due to coronavirus concerns. The rapper is serving the remainder of his sentence under house arrest and is under federal supervision.

In the colorful new video, the pair address haters head-on in the lyrics. “I know you don’t like me, you wanna fight me/You don’t want no problems at your party? Don’t invite me,” 6ix9ine raps. “I don’t worry ’bout you niggas, please stop talking ’bout me/Always talkin’ bout me ’cause you looking for the clouty.”

“They get nervous when it’s Nicki on the roster,” Minaj raps. “Somebody ushered this nigga into a clinic/My flow’s still sick, I ain’t talkin’ a pandemic/I write my own lyrics, a lot of these bitches gimmicks/They study Nicki style, now all of them want to mimic.”

The pair are donating a portion of the proceeds from sales of the song as well as related merchandise to the Bail Project per Nicki Minaj’s Instagram post. “A portion of the proceeds from #Trollz including merch items, will be going directly to The Bail Project Inc. [@bailproject],” the rapper wrote. “The fund provides free bail assistance to low-income individuals who can’t afford to pay bail while awaiting their trial. We want to protect and support the thousands of brave people working on the front lines of social justice, using their voices to demand AN END to the targeting and killing of Black Americans by the police. #BlackLivesMatter“

6ix9ine’s “Gooba” debuted at Number Two on Rolling Stone‘s Top 100 Song’s Chart in late May. Meanwhile, Minaj scored her first Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 in May with her feature on the remix of Doja Cat’s “Say So.”

By ALTHEA LEGASPI/Rolling Stone, June, 2020

Watch full Youtube video here:

Prince Estate Drops ‘Baltimore’ Video in Honor of Prince’s Birthday and In Memory George Floyd 🙏🏽

PRINCE dropped the song, “Baltimore” in 2015 in response to the death of Freddie Gray

Estate also releases handwritten note from the musician: “Nothing more ugly in the whole wide world than intolerance [between] black, white, red, yellow, boy or girl. Intolerance”

In honor of what would have been Prince’s birthday Sunday — and protests around the country over the police killing of George Floyd —the Prince estate released a new lyric video for “Baltimore.”

Prince dropped the song in 2015 in response to the death of Baltimore’s Freddie Gray, who died in police custody in April of that same year, sparking widespread protests in the city. The song was recorded on April 30 at Paisley Park Studios, with Prince playing all the instruments. It’a bouncy track that belies its dark subject matter: “Does anybody hear us pray?/For Michael Brown or Freddie Gray/Peace is more than the absence of war.” It appeared on Prince’s final album, 2015’s Hit n Run Phase Two.

“With everything going on there this week, I had a lot I needed to get out,” Prince said at the time. He also played an event in Baltimore called Rally 4 Peace, which was streamed live via Jay-Z’s Tidal.

Gray, 25, died of a severe spinal cord injury while in custody, according to the New York Times. In 2017, the Justice Department announced that the six arresting police officers would face no federal charges in his death. Gray was arrested in April of 2015 and charged with illegal possession of a switchblade. He rode in a police van after the arrest — secured by a seatbelt — and was found unresponsive after the ride. He died the next week.

n addition to the video, the Prince estate also released a timely handwritten note from the musician’s archives, reading: “Nothing more ugly in the whole wide world than intolerance [between] black, white, red, yellow, boy or girl. Intolerance.”

The U.S. is entering another week of protests in the wake of Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police. All officers involved have been arrested and the City Council is now pledging to dismantle the city’s police department.

By BRENNA EHRLICH/Rolling Stone, June, 2020
Watch full video here:

BTS Donates 💲1 Million to Black Lives Matter!

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Efren Landaos/SOPA Images/Shutterstock (10565689k) (L-R) Jimin (Park Jimin), Jungkook (Jeon Jeongguk), Rap Monster (Kim Nanjoon), J-Hope (Jung Hoseok), V (Kim Taehyung), Jin (Kim Seokjin) and SUGA (Min Yoongi) of BTS (Bangtan Boys) band

“We are moved by the generosity of BTS and allies all over the world who stand in solidarity in the fight for Black lives.”

BTS and their management company Big Hit Entertainment donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter earlier this week, Variety reported Saturday.

While the K-pop superstars didn’t comment on the donation on social media, both Black Lives Matter and Big Hit confirmed the transfer.

Black Lives Matter managing director Kailee Scales told Variety, “Black people all over the world are in pain at this moment from the trauma of centuries of oppression. We are moved by the generosity of BTS and allies all over the world who stand in solidarity in the fight for Black lives.”

Earlier in the week, BTS tweeted in support of the George Floyd protests. “We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together. BlackLivesMatter,” the group stated.

The $1 million contribution comes after the K-pop fan armies mobilized to help drown out the #WhiteLivesMatter hashtag on social media.

“The idea of spamming these types of white supremacist hashtags came from the idea of spamming the Dallas Police Department app,” Twitter user “Lovely Doya,” a 17-year-old BTS and ONEUS fan from California, told Rolling Stone.

“We did it to protect the people at the protest because K-pop fans agree that they do not deserve to be arrested for gathering to fight for justice. Since this plan was successful, we realized it would work with other things like burying hateful white-supremacist tweets in their own hashtags.”

“Lovely Doya” added, “It’s important to show support because the BLM movement is about bringing justice to all the innocent lives lost at the hands of racist police officers. It is something that myself and countless other K-pop fans believe in, because many of us, including myself, are POC. At the end of the day, we are human before we are K-pop stars.”

On Sunday, BTS will take part in YouTube’s Class of 2020 compilation of graduation commencement speeches, with Barack and Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga also delivering speeches.

By DANIEL KREPS, Rolling Stone, June, 2020:

N.W.A, Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé Streams Increase As Well As Other Artists During Nationwide Protests

Protest Songs by Black Artists Have Skyrocketed

So have songs by Public Enemy, D’Angelo, Killer Mike, and Childish Gambino.

Following the murder of George Floyd, people have been protesting in all 50 states for the Black Lives Matter movement and against police brutality. Naturally, the process of fighting for justice lends itself to be soundtracked. So it should come as no surprise, then, that songs by N.W.A, Kendrick Lamar, and Beyoncé have all seen an increase in streams as a result.

N.W.A’s eternal classic “Fuck Tha Police” has become a modern political anthem once again, even being blasted over police scanners in Chicago by Anonymous over the weekend. According to Rolling Stone, that “Straight Outta Compton” cut has seen a whopping 272% increase in on-demand audio streams from May 27th through June 1st, as compared to its streaming numbers five days prior to Floyd’s death.

Protest songs by more contemporary black artists have skyrocketed on streaming platforms as well. Kendrick Lamar’s staple “Alright” went up 71%, a unifying single that FOX News once tried (and failed) to blame as being inflammatory. Beyoncé, who issued a statement regarding Floyd’s death, saw her track “Freedom” go up 70%. Others saw an even bigger jump, like Killer Mike’s “Don’t Die” spiking 542%, Childish Gambino’s breakout “This Is America” upped by 149%, D’Angelo and the Vanguard’s “The Charade” increasing by 122%, and Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” being streamed 89% more than usual.

Listeners have been returning to some of the most classic protest songs, too, according to these statistics. James Brown’s 1968 song “Say It Loud — I’m Black and I’m Proud” saw a huge 455% increase and Nina Simone’s 1967 number, “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” went up by 34%.

Artists have been chiming in about Floyd’s murder and Black Lives Matter protests nearly every day now. JAY-Z called Minnesota’s governor to demand justice for Floyd, Fiona Apple marched in Santa Monica, and Halsey got hit by a rubber bullet while protesting in Los Angeles. Terrace Martin, Kamasi Washington, and Denzel Curry wrote a new protest song called “PIG FEET”. Even Bruce Springsteen and David Lynch have been showing up online to voice their support. If there’s one thing to take away from this, it’s that Americans are fed up with the pervasive, systematic, and harmful racial injustice the country’s black communities face.

Watch Artists’ videos here:


Halsey denies ignoring ‘her black side’and she hits back!

HALSEY: “I look like a white girl, but I don’t feel like one

Halsey has hit back after being accused of failing to claim “her black side”.

The 25-year-old singer has been extremely active during the Black Lives Matter protests following the tragic death of George Floyd, who was killed after a white police officer knelt on his neck.

And while she’s been praised by the majority for her involvement in the protests, during which she offered medical help to those injured by the police, one person took to Twitter on Tuesday to accuse her of ignoring her own mixed-race heritage.

“Notice how @Halsey never claims her black side, but she ‘supports.’ Stop being ignorant. She’s never claimed her Black side. This is why I will NEVER support her. On her post she says ‘let black ppl speak,’ not ‘let our ppl speak.
‘ Nah, f**k her (sic),” the person wrote in a now-deleted tweet.

In response, Halsey, who has an African-American father, wrote: “Im white passing (mixed heritage but looks white). It’s not my place to say ‘we.’ it’s my place to help. I am in pain for my family, but nobody is gonna kill me based on my skin color. I’ve always been proud of who I am but it’d be an absolute disservice to say ‘we’ when I’m not susceptible to the same violence.”

Speaking previously to Playboy magazine about her race, Halsey said: “I look like a white girl, but I don’t feel like one. I’m a black woman. So it’s been weird navigating that. When I was growing up I didn’t know if I was
supposed to love TLC or Britney.

NewsDesk/Music-News; June, 2020

Top New Singles of the Week: Rosalia and Travis Scott, Juice WRLD, Juelz Santana, Tank and the Banga!


Listen to VARIETY’S top tracks here:

Welcome to Variety Music’s third-ever Fri 5, our collection of the best, most noteworthy or simply most remarkable new songs from the past week. It is not complete or definitive or a fight-to-the-death “best of,” but rather a bunch of songs that we find interesting — because a world without five interesting new songs every week would be a sad world indeed. (Read last week’s Fri 5 here, and the week before’s here

Of course, the blockbusters this week are Lady Gaga’s stellar return to form, “Chromatica,” and the Rosalia-Travis Scott tag team “TKN,” both of which we already reviewed — following are five we haven’t.

Juelz Santana “Justice for George” It’s impossible to ignore the horrors we see on our screens every day, and George Floyd’s completely unjustified death — okay, we’ll say it, murder — at the hands of Minneapolis police
officer Derek Chauvin has galvanized the country. Veteran rapper Juelz Santana earlier this week dropped a segment of a song that addresses the larger issue of police brutality against the black community, but was
posted on Instagram with a photo of Floyd.

“All they wanna do is prosecute us/ Shoot us when they ain’t gotta shoot us,” Santana raps. “They kill us, turn around, and then protect their own/ Meanwhile, we can’t even protect our own/ If we try, they lock us up and don’t wanna send us home/ Next time you see your kids they be already grown.” Hopefully it is the first of many songs to come that speak out against the mind-boggling number of injustices we see in Trump’s America.

Juice WRLD featuring Trippie Redd “Tell Me U Luv Me”
This track is the second to be released from a forthcoming posthumous album, apparently called “Outsiders,” assembled by the family of Juice WRLD, the Chicago rapper who died last year of an accidental overdose at just 21. (The first posthumous song, “Righteous,” dropped last month.) While little information accompanied the release of this collaboration with his friend Trippie Redd, the midtempo song comes with a video directed by Cole Bennett and a call for support to the Live Free 999 Fund, a charitable organization which aims to help young people struggling with their mental health. The fund was established by the rapper’s mother, Carmela Wallace, earlier this year.

Tank and the Bangas “For Andre” As if to contrast with these strife-filled times, New Orleans polyglot group Tank & the Bangas released a breezy song about long-low-laying Outkast member Andre 3000, who occasionally
drops brilliant verses on other artists’ songs but has been largely MIA for almost 15 years. So the group paid him tribute (even singing at one point, “I want to marry Andre”), just because. “We love André 3000. We love
Outkast. André has culturally shaped hip-hop in a very unique way from his clothing to his cadence,” they wrote in a statement accompanying the song. “Tank fell in love with him along with the rest of the world a long time
ago. For his birthday, we all thought an ode to him would be the perfect gift.”

Blimes and Gab “Shellys (It’s Chill)” One of the glories of working in music is the great, feel-good songs that come out of absolutely nowhere — and this track from Blimes and Gab is not only a great, feel-good song that came out of nowhere, it’s a perfect summer song. A tag team of Seattle MC Gifted Gab and San Francisco-bred Blimes Brixton (who describe themselves as “your badass aunties who secure the B.A.G.”), the pair had an earlier
single, “Feelin’ It,” featured on “Insecure” and their debut album, “Talk About It,” drops next month.

Tayla Parx “Dance Alone” Variety 2018 Hitmaker honoree Tayla Parx — who has crafted hits for Ariana Grande, Janelle Monae, Christina Aguilera and others — speaks for a lot of us with this mid-tempo ‘70s soul groove,
which has perhaps the defining chorus of 2020: “I don’t wanna dance alone…” Her second album, titled with equal acuity, “Coping Mechanism,” is out later this year.

By Jem Aswad, June, 2020 for Variety

Rosalia and Travis Scott Unleash Epic New Collab ‘TKN’


Watch Rosalia and Travis Billboard video, “TKN” here:

With a group of intrepid kids in tow, Rosalía and Travis Scott have dropped their highly-anticipated collaboration “TKN” and an accompanying music video that is full of life today (May 28).

The CANADA-directed video, shot in Pomona and North Hollywood, Calif. in February, starts with a baby sitting on the grass who is then picked up by Rosalía.

A group of kids then appears, and with Rosalía as their fierce leader, they take to the streets to start a dance revolution.

“Travis is an artist who I’ve admired a lot since the beginning of his career and I can’t imagine a better artist to collaborate with on this song,” Rosalía said in a statement. “I feel that now is the moment to release this song, after so many months of staying indoors, missing freedom or being with people we love. I hope ‘TKN’ gives you energy, makes you dance, and gives you strength if you’re going through difficult times. With all my love <3.”

“TKN” is Rosalía’s third release of the year, and it becomes her second collaboration with Scott. In 2019, the Spanish singer-songwriter jumped on a remix for “Highest in the Room” alongside Lil Baby.

Along with Rosalía’s powerful and dramatic vocals, the upbeat and energetic track features Scott singing some lines in Spanish.

Watch Rosalia and Travis in “TKN” video here:

May, 2020 by Griselda Flores for Billboard

Watsky Set the Guinness World Record for Longest Rap Marathon, Guess How Long He Lasted?! 🤪

San Francisco’s Watsky set the Rap Marathon Guinness World Record

Earlier this month, Watsky successfully set the Guinness World Record for longest rap marathon by an individual by spitting bars for 33 hours 33 minutes and 19 seconds straight.

He simulcast the live stream across his YouTube, Facebook and Twitch channels from May 6-7, showcasing an impressive stream of consciousness fueled by mega-size energy drinks and a Scrabble dictionary. The charity spectacle raised funds for his band and crew who were sidelined by coronavirus postponing his Placement tour, for his fans for “lost travel expenses” and ticket refunds, and for other struggling musicians during this time through the organization Sweet Relief.

Overall, the San Francisco-born MC (real name George Watsky) raised $147,000, which will be seeded by $10,000 out of Watsky’s own pocket to bring the total to $157,000.

“It’s official,” he exclaimed on his Instagram last week. Watsky beat out Good Bison frontman Pablo Alvarez, who previously held the record in 2017 with 25 hours 56 minutes and four seconds, according to Miami New Times.

May, 2020 by Heran Mamo for Billboard, article:

The Weeknd’s Epic ‘In Your Eyes’ Remix With Doja Cat Has Arrived: Listen 🎧

The Weeknd returns with a big one, “In Your Eyes” (Remix)” with Doja Cat!

After carving out several remixes for his After Hours album, The Weeknd returned early Thursday morning (May 21) with easily the biggest one of them all: an “In Your Eyes (Remix)” with Doja Cat.

Welcoming Doja to his funky playground, The Weeknd allows the multifaceted star to shine on the song’s second verse. After combing through the entrancing soundscape with her feathery croons, she switches into rap mode before allowing the XO star to regain momentum on the hook. “I can’t stop staring at you / It’s like I forgot that staring is rude / And that’s what five shots could turn me into / But you’ve done most things that
gentlemens do” she raps.

Doja is coming off her first Hot 100 No. 1 with “Say So” featuring Nicki Minaj. In a recent interview with Billboard, the Hot Pink star explained how the mega collaboration with Minaj emanated. “It was a conversation, kind of, for months,” she said. “And I was like, ‘I’d love to have her on a song. I know my fans would love to have her on a song. I always get tweets about it, so.’ It just happened. They did hit me with like, ‘Hey, guess who got on
your song?’ And I’m like, ‘Oh my God.’”

Fans looking for more starry collaborations with Doja should buckle up, as she and Ariana Grande also have a record on the way. “I’m obsessed with her. I love her,” Grande told Zane Lowe on his Apple Music show earlier this month.

“I was able to work with her earlier this year on this song that I want to save for whenever it’s time again, to drop,” Grande revealed. “I love her personality. I love what she brings to the table musically. She’s just such a
breath of fresh air. I think she’s brilliant and so talented. … We did this song together towards the end of last year and I love it so much. I remember when I first wrote it and sent it to her, she was in the shower and she was
like, ‘B—h, I love this. I’m in the shower.’ And I was like, ‘Shower. You can call me back.'”

Listen to The Weeknd’s “In Your Eyes (Remix)” here

May, 2020 by Carl Lamarre/Billboard