In a twitter blur, the world became aware of an approaching collaborative album between Future and Drake, two rappers who have been collectively running this year. Now, it’s important to note the considerable difference in each rapper’s dominance this year. Future has put in a decidedly inhuman season of being literally the best rapper today whose not named Jeffrey Williams. Seriously if you don’t know by now, you need to listen to the canon (56 Nights, DS2, Beast Mode, Monster). Drake has also been doing well in his own lane, releasing an album (IYRTITL), questionably silencing ghostwriter allegations, and a few songs and remixes here and there. I’m going to come clean though, I haven’t paid much attention to Drake of late, simply because Future and Young Thug exist. But, regardless, Drake, well he’s out here.

[Read more…]

Taylor Swift Covers Come Just In Time For Fall


Just kidding,  technically it’s not fall until Wednesday. It’s pretty darn close though.

So here’s the deal: in October of last year Taylor Swift released her most recent album, 1989. It was a runaway success, selling the greatest number of albums in its first week since The Eminem Show released in 2002 according to MTV. Swift has since gone on an incredibly successful tour which will be swinging by Nashville on the 25th. I’d remind all Taylor Swift fans to buy tickets, but let’s face it-at this point they’re over $200 and you probably should have picked them up months ago. However, I’m not here to write about Swift’s upcoming show. Instead, I want to talk about the recent 1989 cover craze.

[Read more…]

RTJ Let the Cat out of the Bag

Photo by Timothy Saccenti
Photo by Timothy Saccenti

Winners of WRVU’s 2014 Album of the Year Contest, rap duo Run the Jewels has been no stranger to critical acclaim since the release of Run the Jewels 2 last year. Killer Mike and El-P have not dropped any new material since then, but are set to release a remix album sometime in September. Meow the Jewels, the idiosyncratic remix of Run the Jewels 2 fans have been waiting months to listen to, will feature the duo rapping their lyrics over cat noises. Just this week, Run the Jewels gave a little sneak-peak into the album with “Oh My Darling Don’t Meow”, a play on “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry”.

[Read more…]

Tidal Opens for Business

“TIDAL for all.” That’s the slogan for Jay Z’s new high-fidelity music streaming service, Tidal. But with a $19.99 a month service fee, it probably isn’t for everyone, especially those already paying for Spotify or torrenting most of their music.

Tidal Launch Event NYC #TIDALforALL

So what’s the deal? Well first off, Tidal is geared towards supporting artists, something that many claim Spotify doesn’t do. Jay Z is not the only one whose face is slapped on this thing. Host company, Aspiro, has also convinced other huge music celebrities including Jack White, Deadmau5, and Nikki Minaj to endorse Tidal as stakeholders. On top of just audio playlists (streaming in FLAC format for those familiar), Tidal is also currently streaming music videos. The service is available in-browser (on their website) and also in app form, like iTunes or Spotify. Currently it is unclear whether or not Tidal will offer exclusive streaming for particular artists, the way iTunes has exclusivity over The Beatles, but it seems a definite possibility.

In regards to competing with companies like Spotify, in his interview with The Fader Jay Z says “…we’re really not here to compete with anyone, we’re actually here to improve the landscape. If just the presence of Tidal causes other companies to have better pay structure, or to pay more attention to it moving forward, then we’ve been successful in one way…We want to do a very specific thing, we want people to come to Tidal for a specific sound, a specific experience…After that, the world decides. The universe decides.”