Solange Knowles gives “significant donation” toward post-freeze housing relief efforts.

Houston-born artist Solange Knowles made a “significant donation” on Thursday to an abolitionist collective in order to support their post-freeze housing effort in Houston. “The Houston love is REAL,” wrote Mutual Aid Houston on Twitter.

Texas has been facing brutal weather conditions this past week like they’ve never seen before. More than 100 million Americans are being affected due to severe weather, many of them having to go without power or even clean water.

In Houston alone 20 deaths have been reported all of which are attributed to the storm.

Knowles is a Houston native who’s never been shy about disclosing her hometown. In 2019, she dedicated an entire album to Houston writing many songs about its culture and appropriately titling them after various parts of the community. “Sending so much love back home… and I’m committed to doing more” the singer tweeted in response to Mutual Aid Houston.

The small organization in question is relatively new, according to their website, Mutual Aid Houston was formed by locals in response to Covid-19 and police brutality following the death of George Floyd. 100 percent of donations are said to go directly toward their efforts as their team is unpaid.

Within the past week they’ve gained significant traction for their successful relief efforts in Houston and high-profile donations.

Their most recent GoFundMe dedicated specifically toward winter storm relief raised $228,849 in only two days. On Friday they redistributed $54,000 worth of donations directly to 545 Houstonians in need.

With that being said, they are still working on delivering donations “as fast as possible” however according to their Twitter posting itemized receipts has been a challenge. Nonetheless, they’ve promised to distribute all funds in a “timely manner.”

DEVELOPING: Rapper IDK posts cryptic messages about an “unfortunate” announcement

Rapper IDK Will Teach a Music Business Crash Course at Harvard - Rolling  Stone

Rapper IDK posted several vague stories to his Instagram page after wiping his account clean Tuesday evening.

The first was a photo of his zeroed out post number with the caption, “I’d like to speak with everyone please turn post notifications on. Sorry for this.” The next story came a few hours after the first, it was just a black screen with text that read, “Hey everyone. Unfortunately I have to make an announcement tomorrow that may not be ideal for everyone but I hope it will be understood.”

These messages obviously worried fans and caused many to inquire about the artists health. A third and final story from IDK confirmed he was fine. “I’m alive and well kids don’t worry,” he said.

That same morning IDK sent a text to his followers promising an official release of a snippet he posted a few weeks prior. Whether this is an attempt at building hype for his new single is unknown.

IDK is known for his unorthodox methods of promotion, creating secret private accounts for his fans to follow or even sending them a dollar for every typo he publicly makes. So something like this isn’t out of the ordinary.

Regardless of what the “unfortunate” news may be, all will be answered on Wednesday.

EDIT 2/25/21: The following day IDK posted a photo asking fans to check back every 24 hours for a new info on his upcoming album USEE4YOURSELF. He changed the name of his alternate account, where he posts exclusive information about his work, from isheareal.wtf to us4y.love. The same day IDK created an official discord server as per fan request.

IDK hasn’t revealed much concrete information about his upcoming work, but claims the album is done and could be released at any time. When asked about features all he could say was, “I cannot spoil the movie.” As far as the album goes fans will just have to wait and see.

Tyler, the Creator teams up with Coca-Cola for new advertisement

Coca-Cola released a new advertisement on Sunday featuring a soundtrack created by Grammy-award winning artist Tyler, the Creator. The California-based rapper tweeted the day of release, “I PROVIDED COCA-COLA WITH ALL THE SOUNDS FOR THIS =)” followed by a link to the ad.

The video itself features a variety of people drinking out of the classic Coca-Cola bottle as Tyler murmurs “sip, sip, sip, sip, sip” in the background. After taking their first drink each person in the commercial begins to dance uncontrollably no matter the occasion, whether it be in a store, at choir practice or even at the family dinner table.

Tyler shared a few more insights into the creation of the track tweeting, “drums are fucking hard the low end is shaking.” and, ““thats me playing the flute at the beginning.”

He ended the series of tweets with one final thanks to Coca-Cola ending the statement with, “commercials need sounds like this, thanksssss.”

This isn’t Tyler’s first time creating a soundtrack for such a big name like Coca-Cola, however. In 2018 he was credited as an additional composer for DreamWorks adaptation of The Grinch. Just a year prior, Tyler was also responsible for recreating Bill Nye’s iconic theme song for his original Netflix series Bill Nye Saves the World.

It would seem this commercial is just another step forward for this prolific artists growing musical catalog.

Grammy award winning French electronic duo Daft Punk breaks up

The endlessly influential French electronic duo known as Daft Punk have split up after a 28 year run. The news broke when an 8 minute clip from their 2006 film Electroma was released on their official channel Monday morning. Following the release of the video, titled “Epilogue,” their publicist Kathryn Frazier confirmed the news to several publications but declined to state an official reason for the split.

The clip in question features the two wearing their iconic robotic masks wandering through a desert. Eventually one of them stops in their tracks removing their leather jacket to reveal a switch on their back. The other hesitantly switches the button on, starting a detonator. After the switch, the first walks away and explodes. The other continues on into the desert while their 2013 track “Touch” plays in the background.

Daft Punk was formed in 1993 in Paris by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, who made music together when they were teenagers. Their name came from a negative review they received for a song they made under a different band. The review from Melody Maker described the sound as “a daft punky thrash” and from then on the name stuck. The two formed a new group under the name, and quickly became part of the French house movement during the late 90’s.

Their debut album “Homework” released in 1997 under Virgin Records and became an instant classic in the electronic music scene. This was thanks to their first two singles “Around the World” and “Da Funk” reaching widespread popularity. Both singles were not only critically acclaimed but a must listen for those interested in the dance scene during that period. Following the release of the album, they performed without masks, but for their sophomore record they tried a different approach. They created a fake story about both members being injured in an explosion and having to conceal their faces with masks. Following the release of their 2001 album Discovery, they never performed without them. From then on their recognizable robotic masks became their staple image.

Discovery brought with it a new batch of fresh synth-pop sounds and another collection of widely popular singles which broke the duo out onto the music scene even more. Their first single “One More Time” nearly topped the UK singles chart and the other two “Digital Love” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” saw similar success both in the UK and United States charts. The ladder of which would be sampled by Kanye West six years later and began a relationship between the artists that would lead to several successful collaborations.

After Discovery, came their 2005 record Human After All. Despite being met with mixed reception, many believe this record to be responsible for some of their most memorable live performances to date. The Alive 2006/2007 tour began with an appearance at the Coachella Festival in Indio, California followed by several more appearances at various dates in Europe and Japan. The live shows went over so well they released an entire album full of live versions of their tracks in 2007.

In the years following the release of Human After All, they would only re-emerge in 2010 to release a soundtrack for Disney’s sequel to the 1982 film “Tron.” However, in the years that followed, the eclectic duo would not only-reinvent themselves but the music industry as a whole.

Their fourth and final album “Random Access Memories” would become their most popular and applauded album yet. The success of their initial single “Get Lucky” which prominently featured vocals provided by Pharrell Williams would be their very first UK No.1 single and be the shove that propelled them into super-stardom. The album released just a few weeks after the single in May 2013 and displayed a completely new sound for Daft Punk. The album was recorded entirely with live instruments and used minimal digital equipment. The innovation of their sound would award the duo with five Grammys.

Daft Punk would pursue other projects after the release of Random Access Memories only returning to work on collaborations. The one most prominent with The Weeknd in 2016.

At their best, Daft Punk was one of the most influential acts of the last two decades, releasing some of the most popular dance songs ever conceived. In their wake they left a new wave of artists who’ve been inspired by their unique tone and image. Few can deny their importance in the music scene, millions around the world danced to their now classic tracks, and will likely continue years after their departure.

Ted Cruz responds to Cancun allegations

Image result for ted cruz

Senator Ted Cruz spoke to reporters Thursday evening after photos of him emerged of him at an Airport in Cancun, Mexico. Cruz, in his statement, admitted that leaving Texas while it encountered one of its most devastating crises “didn’t feel right.”

For the past five days, millions of Texans have had to go without power, clean water and even food in what is becoming one of the most brutal weather conditions the nation has ever had to face. Adding insult to injury was their Senator seemingly abandoning them during their time of need in order to take a vacation in Cancun.

Cruz has since returned from his shortened trip after an onslaught of criticism from his fellow constituents and Texans.

Initially Cruz told NBC that the trip had been for his daughters stating, “With school canceled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon.”

Once Cruz had arrived back from the airport he told reporters: “I started having second thoughts almost the moment I sat down on the plane, because on the one hand all of us who are parents have a responsibility to take care of our kids, take care of our family….but I also have a responsibility I take very seriously of fighting for the state of Texas…”

Since this incident the Texas Democratic Party have called on Cruz to resign. In an official statement made by the Texas Democratic Party chairman Gilberto Hinojosa he said, “Ted Cruz jetting off to Mexico while Texans remain dying in the cold isn’t surprising, but it is deeply disturbing and disappointing.”

“The Texas Democratic Party calls on Ted Cruz to resign or be expelled from office… We must restore ethics, competence, and a government that works for the people,” the group added.

Others did not wish to share their thoughts on the matter, like Gov. Greg Abbott who said, “I haven’t been following people’s vacation plans.”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner shared similar sentiments during a press conference on Thursday stating, “My job is to stay here until the situation is resolved so that’s it you know, I’m gonna let the senator speak for the senator.”

As this occurred many Twitter users were quick to point out Cruz had recently made a hypocritical Tweet just last December, where he criticizes Mayor of Austin Steve Adler for flying to Cabo, Mexico during lockdown.

Cruz made no attempt to defend his now ironic tweets saying, “I got no defense. A blizzard strikes Texas and our state shuts down. Not good. Stay safe!”

How to find new music 3

After some thought I decided now would be a good time to revisit an annual series I’ve kept up for this website since 2019. This is the segment where I show you three novel ways to discover new music. It no secret music is my favorite thing to write about on this page and my passion to share only grows more and more. So without any further delay here are three ways to discover new music.

  1. Related Artists

Here’s a simple tip that many of you have probably already employed but never noticed before. Within both Spotify, Apple Music and other popular streaming services, there’s usually a tab that shows artists related to those you already listen to. For instance, Joji’s related artists have to do with many of the people he’s collaborated with and the label he’s apart of. People like Rich Brian, August 08 and the Higher Brothers. However, this tool is also useful for finding more artists related to a specific genre. While listening to a few Daughters records I was flooded with a wave of new metal artists to check out in their related tab. Needless to say, I was very excited.

2. /mu/ Essentials

Say what you want about /mu/ and other music boards, but one thing I think very few can deny is their ability to categorize and list albums. Within their community lies an infamous image of 200 or so albums designed to help you become an “entry level /mu/tant.” Whatever that means. While I personally have not taken the deep dive into every record recommended by their admittedly overzealous community, I can confidently say I’ve listened to good chunk and that most are well worth the status of “essential.”

This list, while not perfect by any means, gives a very good look into some of the best most influential albums ever created. It doesn’t hit every mark and some genres are outright left out of the list entirely. However, everyone needs a good foundation and that’s exactly what this list accomplishes.

3. Visit a record store

I put this method last due to the fact it requires going outside, something I am well aware not all are privy to be doing during our global pandemic. Provided you are not showing any signs of sickness, practicing social distancing, and wearing a mask going to your local record shop can be a very fun activity. At any given store there are thousands of records to sift through from wide range of genres. Even if you don’t own a record player there is still an extensive catalog of music at your disposal. If any record catches your eye, you can simply just find them online first and listen to them there.

If you are fortunate enough to own a record player, then I wholeheartedly recommend picking up a random record and giving it a listen at home. Some record stores have a small bin filled with LP’s which could cost pennies to the dollar. Taking a chance on these can not only lead to unexpected discoveries, but expose you to new music you would have never listened to before. I picked up a George Benson’s 1983 record In Your Eyes for no reason other than it was two dollars. I was pleasantly surprised when I was met with one of the most beautiful soul albums I’ve ever heard. Needless to say, it was well worth the small purchase.

With the new year bringing promising changes to our way of life, I am more than certain we are going to receive some very good projects from our favorite artists this year. With that being said, I intend to cover as much of it as possible.

My top 25 albums of 2020

2020 is one of the worst years in history. With a pandemic looming over everyone’s head and most creative projects slowing down due to a lack of creativity, everything seems to be at a strict halt.

This, in turn, has also affected music this year as well. I listened to over 500 albums 63 of which came from this year and most of them were pretty bad. I tried and tried as hard as I could to snuff out as many worthwhile albums as possible but this year I found myself becoming more and more dejected with the current landscape.

So this year instead of the usual 50 I’m cutting it down to 25 albums. It’s likely next year I will rectify this but for now there’s really no use in talking about any more than this. I do have an official top 50 which I’ll link here, however, after 25 the quality significantly drops. That’s not to say they’re bad or not worth listening, but a majority of them left me dissatisfied despite being good experiences. Perhaps my passion for music has dwindled this year among other things, but that’s not stopping me from listening.

Without any more delay here are my personal picks for the best albums of 2020:

25. Àdá Irin – Navy Blue (Hip-Hop/Rap)

Àdá Irin | Navy Blue

Navy Blue is relatively new to the Hip-Hop scene having come up through connections to other rappers like MIKE and Earl Sweatshirt. This is especially noticeable in his rapping and production style having taking massive inspiration from those around him. While he isn’t the best among his friends he still managed to make a well crafted record with incredibly tight production and beautifully written bars. I expect him to only get better with age.

24. I Disagree – Poppy (Metal/Pop)

Poppy - I Disagree - Amazon.com Music

This year Poppy decided to retire her perfect girl persona to make her “rebellious” album of sorts. Poppy perfectly contrasts her signature soprano with classic metal riffs and crunchy ear-piercing synths. While not every track is perfect some standouts from this record certainly make it a must listen.

23. The Universal Want – Doves (Indie/Rock)

Doves - The Universal Want - Amazon.com Music

The album title really lives up to its name on this one. Doves fulfil such a ubiquitously recognized and cherished sound and make it just that much better. So many howling guitar riffs progress each track into each other. Getting to the end of it feels like you’ve finished one long ride you didn’t want to stop.

22. Magic Oneohtrix Point Never – Oneohtrix Point Never (Electronic)

Magic Oneohtrix Point Never | Oneohtrix Point Never

Each Oneohtrix record feels like a fever dream. Sometimes it can feel like you’re hearing synths lifted straight from Flume or Aphex Twin, other times its like you’re repeatedly pressing the play key on a random sound file you found in your computer. Regardless of how that may sound, I really do love this record. Electronic music has never been so progressive until now.

21. Shore – Fleet Foxes (Alternative/Folk)

Fleet Foxes Releasing 'Shore' LP 9/22, Timed With Autumnal Equinox

I think very few artists can create an atmosphere in the same way that Fleet Foxes do. This album is the soundtrack to a costal Sunday drive. Drawing on similar concepts from their previous record Fleet Foxes really understand how to make a great follow up record. I see absolutely no drop in quality or creativity from these guys whatsoever.

20. Whole Lotta Red – Playboi Carti (Hip-Hop/Rap)

Playboi Carti Releases New Album 'Whole Lotta Red': Listen

The enigmatic rappers follow-up to his acclaimed trap epic Die Lit is less than what the fans were expecting but nonetheless still enjoyable to this humble writer. While sometimes the record does dip into other styles there really isn’t a whole lot here that doesn’t sound like Carti. It’s not perfect by any means but a solid addition to a the growing rappers discography. Please do not let your vapid expectations ruin your experience for this record. Just appreciate it for what it is.

19. Weight of the World – MIKE (Hip-Hop/Rap)

MIKE - Weight of the World Lyrics and Tracklist | Genius

MIKE is the aforementioned rapper who’s previously worked with Earl Sweatshirt and Navy Blue. Within that rap zeitgeist I think MIKE is one of the best. His tenacity has only increased following his previous record tears of joy. I know for a fact MIKE will only continue to push the envelope further until a whole new wave of rappers emerge with this budding style. To be honest, I can’t wait.

18. SuperGood – Duckwrth (Pop/Rap)

DUCKWRTH - SuperGood | Album Review

SuperGood is a pretty big departure from previous sounds Duckwrth has been known to use in the past. Taking nods from artists like Justin Timberlake and Prince, his newest project is a good sign he’s still continuing to experiment with his style and trying to carve his own space in the increasingly saturated music industry.

17. Streams of Thought, Vol. 3: Cane And Abel – Black Thought (Hip-Hop/Rap)

Listen to Black Thought's New Album 'Streams of Thought Vol. 3' | Complex

Black Thought has already proved himself time and time again as one of the most talented rappers on the planet. From his work with the Roots to now there’s really nothing this man can’t write that doesn’t sound good. While his sound may not be the most popular for current times that isn’t stopping him from producing one of the best rap projects of 2020.

16. Future Nostalgia – Dua Lipa (Pop/Retro/Disco)

Dua Lipa's New Album Artwork Is a Retro-Modern Mash Up | Vogue

This year we saw a ton of 70’s style pop projects break out of the woodwork. Dua Lipa added another to the pile and while in most cases the style really added nothing to the overall project Future Nostalgia seems to be one of the few exceptions. Rather than attempting to innovate or put a new spin on the done-to-death sound Dua Lipa stood out by mastering it completely. Very few artists came close to commanding the sound in quite the way she does and it really shows.

15. What’s Your Pleasure? – Jessie Ware (Pop/Retro/Disco)

Jessie Ware - What's Your Pleasure? - Amazon.com Music

In the same vein as Dua Lipa, Jessie Ware also tried her hand at recreating the classic 70’s disco sound. What came out was absolute best version we received this year. Instead of remaining complacent with the status-quo Jessie Ware turns the entire genre on its head with her unique vocal performance and rhythms. By far some of the catchiest production I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to.

14. Circles – Mac Miller (Pop/Rap/Neo-Soul)

Album review: Circles by Mac Miller | The Reflector

For the first time in a very long time we’ve received a post-humorous project that truly feels authentic. Jon Brion who has proved himself in the past numerous times took the helm of the project after the unfortunate death of Mac Miller and what came out was absolutely brilliant. This record is the official sequel to Miller’s previous album Swimming and the two, while different, still manage to feel like a cohesive body of work.

13. Visions of Bodies Being Burned – clipping. (Horrorcore/Hip-Hop/Rap)

Visions of Bodies Being Burned | clipping.

Clipping’s newest addition to their horror anthology series managed to be the best rap album of the year. With some of the most inspired production and grim bars coming from Daveed Diggs this Halloween release did more than just frighten audiences. It floored them. While last year I was more than disappointed with their first release in the series, this record more makes up for it.

12. The Ascension – Sufjan Stevens (Art Pop)

The Ascension | Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens can never quite keep a consistent sound. Having previously dipped into IDM, folk, and even Christmas music the man doesn’t seem to have many limits to what he can make commercially successful. This record is obviously no different, this time going for a more pop oriented sound in a similar vein to Bon Iver. It’s everything you’d expect from a Sufjan album and more.

11. græ – Moses Sumney – (Art Pop/Ambient)

græ | Moses Sumney

Moses Sumney created one of the most tantalizing records of the year for me. There are so many style switches and abstract concepts delved into at times its hard to interpret it all at once. Every experiment on this album is done near perfectly and only gets better with more and more thought. While it isn’t necessarily an album you can replay over and over again it still delivers an experience that’s sure to stick with any listener.

10. Punisher – Phoebe Bridgers (Folk/Indie Rock)

Punisher | Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers is one of the rising stars of 2020. Having previously worked with artists like Fiona Apple and Connor Obrest of Bright Eyes this record is one of the most solidly produced to date. Bridgers takes from a variety of influences and effortlessly blends them into her folky sound. The style changes are never jarring and only heighten the creative fervor of the album that much further. I really love this one and I am incredibly happy Phoebe Bridgers has blown up to the level she is currently. Here’s hoping she wins that Grammy.

9. Set My Heart on Fire Immediately – Perfume Genius (Art Pop/Ambient)

Perfume Genius - Set My Heart on Fire Immediately Lyrics and Tracklist |  Genius

Set My Heart on Fire Immediately feels like a disturbingly personal piece we shouldn’t be allowed to hear. It’s so much to take in at once I even had a hard time listening to it in one sitting. While it does keep a rather consistent tone, the ambient atmospheres and poppy synths clash well against the singers melancholic delivery. Overall the record is simply just beautiful. With very few other records matching its quality.

8. Kiss My Super Bowl Ring – The Garden (Experimental/Punk/Rock)

Kiss My Super Bowl Ring | The Garden

The Garden continues to experiment their sound this time delving into more conceptual pieces rather than something made cohesively. They sample of amen break and shout into the microphone as loud as they possibly can. I don’t get what it is that makes this one so pertinent. Perhaps I simply just enjoy the weird left turns this album takes so often. One track can have you expecting something then it abruptly erupts into complete chaos. I think that’s really the only way you can properly describe this record. Chaos.

7. SAWAYAMA – Rina Sawayama (Pop)

Rina Sawayama - Sawayama - Amazon.com Music

This album pretty much dominated the pop genre this year. I see no point in denying that. Her raw talent oozes from every crevice. I think many are quick to write off albums as soon as they see the word pop attached to it but Sawayama proves that group wrong time and time again on this record. Nearly every track on this record has the chance of getting stuck in your head and her unprecedented singing ability invites the listener to casually sing along each time. However, it’s the kind of record you don’t mind getting trapped in your head. For each time is a pleasant reminder of its greatness.

6. Heaven to a Tortured Mind – Yves Tumor (Jazz/Soul/Art Rock/Pop)

Heaven To A Tortured Mind | Yves Tumor

This one really needs no introductions. Already having one of my top spots of the best year based on “Kerosene!” alone. The jazz infused sound mixed with Neo-Soul and psychedelia are a true delight to hear. Not many other records that released this year really sound like it and I think that’s one of my favorite things about it. I really hope Yves Tumor continues innovating on his sound and improving his formula further.

5. Tearless – Amnesia Scanner (Glitch/Pop/Electronic)

Tearless | Amnesia Scanner

While not very popular or well received I couldn’t really help but love Tearless. I think the 100 gecs sound is slowly creeping into the mainstream uptake and this record only proves that point further. However, unlike 100 gecs this album is actually pretty great. The use of glitch hop elements and base electronic synths really invite the listener into the creative process. It’s not perfectly polished or tightly mixed but rather charming and nicely bundled. Instead of turning their lack of resources into a psuedo-stylisic choice they instead run with it and make it part of the process.

4. WHAT WE DREW 우리가 그려왔던 – Yaeji (House/Electronic/Pop)

WHAT WE DREW 우리가 그려왔던 | Yaeji

Much like last years When I Get Home, Yaeji’s ode to Korea is an symbolic and personal ride throughout the various memories and feelings she attempts to recreate using various synths and shaky drum patterns. Yaeji’s high-pitched reverberating vocal performances are also very welcomed additions from the 100 gecs sound I previously mentioned.

3. Inner Song – Kelly Lee Owens (Electronic/Ambient)

Inner Song | Kelly Lee Owens

Beginning on a tribute to Radiohead, Kelly Lee Owens wears her influences on her sleeve in this short deary electronic record. It’s an album you can just put on and find yourself getting lost in. The melodies are designed to replay over and over in your head until you no longer find yourself where you were previously. You’re no longer listening to the album you’re feeling it. Paying full attention to each strike of the key. Occasionally I listen to this album just to get lost in it. It’s so easy to do so and never seems to get old.

2. Vergangenheitsbewältigung (Crater Speak) – Slauson Malone (Soul/Reggae/Hip-Hop)

Vergangenheitsbewältigung (Crater Speak) | Slauson Malone | Jasper Marsalis

I’m really not going to even bother attempting to retype the title of this album. This record is everything I wanted from Slauson Malone’s previous outing. Where his last project failed to properly communicate his ideas due to the mountain of pretentious production choices and half-baked vocal performances, this record pretty much cuts all of that while still maintaining its abstract themes and style. I really love how at times it feels claustrophobic and other times it feels so lively and open. I think that’s one duality this album uses to it advantage really well. I’m happy to finally appreciate a project by Slauson Malone and cannot wait to hear more.

1. Fetch the Bolt Cutters – Fiona Apple (Singer-Songwriter/Art Pop/Alternative)

Fiona Apple album review: Fetch the Bolt Cutters sounds like 2020 feels -  Vox

Without a doubt this is the absolute peak of 2020. Nothing else reaches the sheer scope and emotional attachment this record bares. It’s been seven years since Fiona Apple released her eclectic project The Idler Wheel… and yet she is still the definition of a singer/songwriter. Her work is timeless only getting better and better with age and repetition. Nothing on here is overdone, oversaturated, or overlooked. She still sings with all the heart she had when she first began.

The percussion focused production has only really been adequately demonstrated by Apple herself. Whether she’s banging on drums, pans or really anything that will create percussive sound it all melts perfectly into her concoction of themes hinging on her childhood trauma and anxiety ridden thoughts. It’s another personal record in a laundry list of others she created before it.

This is indeed a perfect record and the only one I can think of that deserves the number one spot for this year. The only negative thing I can think of to say is that this album means we’re going to have to wait a long time before Fiona Apple releases anything again.

Thank you for reading. I hope you found something new on this list and continue to listen to more and more music. I’ll see you in 2021.

The Weeknd slams the Grammy’s

The Weeknd Accuses Grammys of 'Corruption' Over Nomination Shutout - Variety

Not long after Grammy nominations were announced Tuesday morning the Weeknd took to Twitter to share his thoughts about the award ceremony.

In said tweet, the “Blinding Lights” singer said, “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…”

This tweet comes following the MTV Video Music Awards where The Weeknd not only performed but won several awards and nominations. Despite this being the case, The Weeknd was completely absent from the Grammy’s 2020 bill.

Many have found this strange, including the Weeknd himself. This year the Canada-born crooner released his first full length project in four years. The leading single that came before it “Blinding Lights” broke several records on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart. Not only was the single his seventh number one on the chart, which made him the artist with the most number ones on the chart’s history, it also stayed on the chart for record-shattering 36 weeks.

The Weeknd is not the only one today who had choice words to share about the Grammy’s. Nicki Minaj also took to Twitter reflecting on a previous time she felt snubbed by the Grammys after the release of her debut album Pink Friday.

It was also announced this month that The Weeknd is set to perform in the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime show next year. While some have speculated that this may have something to do with his Grammy snubs no official statement has been made confirming or denying this rumor.

Kanye West throws in the towel for 2020 election

Kanye West the Atlanta-born rapper turned presidential candidate took to Twitter last night as the ballots were being counted officially conceding in the election whilst proclaiming, “KANYE 2024.”

According to Deadline, West garnered over 60,000 votes in the 12 states where he appeared on the ballot.

Here’s an official state-by-state breakdown from the AP:

Arkansas: 4,040
Colorado: 6,254
Idaho: 3,631
Iowa: 3,202
Kentucky: 6,259
Louisiana: 4,894
Minnesota: 7,789
Mississippi: 3,277
Oklahoma: 5,590
Tennessee: 10,216
Utah: 4,344
Vermont: 1,265

West was a latecomer to the election announcing his bid in early July. In an interview with Forbes, West announced he would be running under an independent party known simply as “The Birthday Party” effectively renouncing his prior support of President Donald Trump.

His initial platform was primarily focused on his personal biblical ideals. In the same interview with Forbes, West denounced vaccines, abortion and the death penalty.

West would later officially reveal his platform on his official website kanye2020.country, which focused on religious freedom, equality and peace.

During this period, West made headlines due to his health, rhetoric and constant push to be recognized as a legitimate candidate. In the states where he was not on the written ballot, West encouraged his followers to “WRITE IN KANYE WEST.”

On election day, not only did West reaffirm he had never voted before but he also confirmed he would be voting for himself and himself only.

While Kanye certainly gained a lot of notoriety from his campaign as it turns out he was not the most popular third party candidate of this election. Jo Jorgensen who was running under the libertarian party according to the AP received 1,604,519 total votes as of today.

With that being said these numbers are very little compared to the 70 and 67 million voted held by Biden and Trump respectively. Only time will tell what these numbers will translate to in the real election.

eBay officially launches sneaker authentication program to stop fake products

Online marketplace, eBay, launches their newest authentication program today in order to end the vending of counterfeit sneakers.

The original program, “Authenticity Guarantee” was initially only available for watches over $2,000 in the U.S. However, not unlike their consignment competitors StockX and Goat they’ve extended their program to “new and pre-owned collectible sneakers sold on eBay for over $100 in the U.S.”

The sneaker marketplace has become one of the largest and most active online. According to eBay, there are over half a million sneaker listings on their site each day and every 1.5 seconds a sneaker is sold.

“Authentication has become an expectation for today’s consumers in categories of high passion and high value, and this program makes eBay the most attractive platform for enthusiasts in these categories.” says SVP and General Manager of eBay North America, Jordan Sweetnam.

Here’s how eBay’s new Authenticity Guarantee works: Once a sneakers purchase is made it is first shipped to an independent third-party authentication facility. There said sneaker is given a ” rigorous assessment” before being sent to the buyer via expedited shipping.

The program is also designed to work inversely. For the sellers who offer returns the returning sneakers will go through the verification process again to ensure the same item is given back to the seller.

Verified sneakers are said to come complete with its very own eBay tag signifying its authenticity, similar to StockX’s trademark green tag.

This is not the first time eBay has taken jabs at StockX. Back in April when StockX announced they would be adding a new 3 percent processing fee to all subsequent purchases eBay’s twitter immediately fired back in a tweet that read, “We wanted to take this moment to remind our sneaker community that eBay has ZERO fees for buyers and ZERO fees for sellers $100+. Just sayin’.”

The program for now will only be eligible for “most popular sneaker styles and brands” on the market. However, by early 2021 eBay plans to extend this program to all sneaker purchases over 100 dollars.