Daily Archives: July 17, 2017

Ed Sheeran to Guest Star on Music-Themed 'Simpsons' Episode

Fresh off Ed Sheeran‘s cameo on Game of Thrones, the singer will again appear on a Sunday night staple this fall when he lends his voice to a character on The Simpsons.

On the musical-themed episode “Haw-Haw Land,” a La La Land parody that’s due to premiere during the show’s record 29th season, Sheeran will voice a musician named Brendan who becomes Lisa Simpson’s love interest and Milhouse’s nemesis, Entertainment Weekly reports. Sheeran will also sing during the episode.

“This year continues to be equally surreal and amazing. Watch out for this one, me and Lisa have a whole thing going on,” Sheeran wrote on Instagram.

Sheeran is a longtime fan of the show; the singer even has a tattoo of Blinky, the series’ three-eyed fish. When producers found out about Sheeran’s Simpsons love, they approached him about the role.

“We had a perfect part for him,” executive producer Al Jean told EW of Sheeran. “So we said, ‘Oh, great, we’ll have him do this!’ And we recorded him over the phone from England.”

The Simpsons returns October 1st.

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R. Kelly 'Unequivocally Denies' Cult Allegations

R. Kelly has denied the “cult” allegations that surfaced Monday accusing the singer of controlling the lives of six women through manipulation and physical and verbal abuse.

“Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed by the recent revelations attributed to him,” Kelly’s lawyer Linda Mensch said in a statement. “Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such accusations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.”

On Monday, an explosive Buzzfeed News report detailed the accusations against Kelly by the families of two of the women the singer has allegedly “brainwashed” into sexual servitude, as well as corroborating statements by three women who were formerly in Kelly’s inner circle.

According to the accusations, Kelly is housing at least six women at his properties in Chicago and Atlanta, where the singer “dictates what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep and how they engage in sexual encounters.”

One woman who was once in Kelly’s entourage said, “You have to ask for food. You have to ask to go use the bathroom … [Kelly] is a master at mind control. … He is a puppet master.”

Kelly also allegedly videotapes his sexual encounters with the women – many of them young (though of legal age) singers who are lured to Kelly under the guise of professional relationship – which the singer then shows to his male friends. The singer also reportedly issues the women new cellphones and forbids them from contacting their families.

In the case of two of the families, the women themselves rebuffed multiple “welfare checks” by authorities. TMZ confirmed that the welfare checks did occur, and that the woman in one of the cases told police she was fine and that “she did not want to be bothered with her parents because her father was threatening people.”

In a statement to Buzzfeed News prior to the report’s publication, Mensch told the site, “We can only wonder why folks would persist in defaming a great artist who loves his fans, works 24/7, and takes care of all of the people in his life. He works hard to become the best person and artist he can be. It is interesting that stories and tales debunked many years ago turn up when his goal is to stop the violence; put down the guns; and embrace peace and love. I suppose that is the price of fame. Like all of us, Mr. Kelly deserves a personal life.”

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Hip-Hop Family Tree: Chicago

Chance the Rapper hails from Chicago, a city with a unique trajectory in hip-hop lore. For years, it lay hidden on the national map, but it was far from dormant. There was an active scene led by radio hosts like JP Chill, and hip-hop crews like Chi-Rock Nation. Meanwhile, house producers such as Fast Eddie and Tyree Cooper pioneered hip-house, a homegrown style with far-reaching influence.

By the early 1990s, the Windy City had produced a crop of rising stars. The lyrically deft Common Sense (later known as Common) released “I Used to Love H.E.R.,” a memorable ode to nostalgia and loss. Tung Twista helped pioneer the “choppa style” of rap, then joined forces with Do or Die and influential producer the Legendary Traxxster to make “Po Pimp,” a seductive vision of balling out of control. In 1997, J.U.I.C.E. and Rhymefest made headlines with a legendary freestyle battle at the Scribble Jam festival.

Common’s producer No I.D. became a mentor to Kanye West, a fledging producer who earned industry attention with his work on Chi-Town rapper Grav’s Down to Earth. West formed an early group, Go-Gettas, with friends GLC, Timmy G, and Arrowstar. Years later, GLC appeared on West’s debut The College Dropout, while Rhymefest contributed lyrics to his Grammy-winning spiritual epiphany “Jesus Walks,” and Twista added his signature chopper style to “Slow Jam.” West’s follow-up, Late Registration, introduced more talented locals like the street rapper Bump J, and the politically-minded Lupe Fiasco.

West’s overwhelming success inspired a new generation of Chicago rap, including the swaggy, bass-driven sounds of the Cool Kids and the neon-hazed electro-raps of Hollywood Holt. By the 2010s, the city teemed with viral talents. The Cool Kids’ Chuck Inglish appeared on Chance the Rapper’s auspicious 2012 debut 10 Day, as did Tree, Alex Wiley and Vic Mensa, the latter one of Chance’s partners in the sprawling hometown crew Save Money. Mensa then kicked off his solo career with “Down on My Luck,” a single that nodded gracefully to his city’s hip-house past.

On his 2014 mixtape, Acid Rap, Chance refined his themes of struggling with youthful impulses and seeking a greater purpose in life, while introducing hometown voices like Noname and Saba. Two years later, Chance codified himself as a leader of politically aware, gospel-inflected hip-hop with a standout verse on West’s “Ultralight Beam,” and his widely hailed mixtape Coloring Book

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A&E Taps Ruthie Collins for Home.Made Television Series

NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Fans of rising Country Music recording sensation Ruthie Collins might have been a little surprised to see one of their favorite singers in a new spot over the weekend – on A&E! The Curb Records recording artist co-hosts Home.Made, a…


Live at the Boulevard this Friday, 'Meet the Beetles' Takes Center Stage for a Free Show

RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Mo., July 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Ready, set, summer! There’s nothing like having fabulous entertainment all summer long, and that’s what you’ll find at The Boulevard shopping center.
Get ready to twist and shout at Beetles on the Boulevard, Friday, July 21st from…


Watch Coldplay Honor Immigrants With 'Miracles (Someone Special)' Video

Coldplay celebrate the fearless spirit of immigrants with their new lyric video for “Miracles (Someone Special),” featuring Big Sean.

Director Ben Mor, who previously helmed the band’s “Hymn for the Weekend” clip, pairs Chris Martin’s uplifting lyrics about historical heroes with vintage photos of U.S. immigrants from the 19th and 20th centuries.

“Miracles (Someone Special)” highlights Coldplay’s Kaleidoscope EP, which also features new songs “Hypnotised,” “All I Can Think About Is You,” the Brian Eno collaboration “Aliens” and a remix version of “Something Just Like This,” their collaborative hit with the Chainsmokers

The five-track release, which follows the band’s 2015 LP, A Head Full of Dreams, is out now digitally, with a physical release following on August 4th.

Coldplay’s ongoing world tour continues throughout November. A run of North American dates kicks off August 1st at New York City’s MetLife Stadium. 

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Wilco Announce Fall U.S. Tour

With Wilco still on the road for their summer tour, the restless Schmilco band has already scheduled a fall U.S. trek.

Jeff Tweedy and company’s 13-date jaunt begins September 22nd in Lincoln, Nebraska and journeys the middle third and southern parts of the U.S. before concluding October 9th in Asheville, North Carolina.

Tickets for the trek go on sale to the general public on July 21st. Check out the Wilco site for ticket information or to request a song at a specific gig.

In addition to the fall tour, Wilco has staged a series of festival gigs this summer, including their own Solid Sound Festival in June. The band will also perform at the Newport Folk Festival on July 29th. Tweedy also has a solo show scheduled for September 16th at Urbana, Illinois’ Ellnora Guitar Festival.

Wilco Tour Dates

September 22 – Lincoln, NE @ Pinewood Bowl
September 23 – Kansas City, MO @ The Midland
September 24 – Tulsa, OK @ Brady Theater
September 26 – Santa Fe, NM @ Santa Fe Opera
September 28 – El Paso, TX @ Abraham Chavez Theatre
September 29 – Marfa, TX @ Trans-Pecos Festival
October 1 – Austin, TX @ Bass Concert Hall
October 2 – San Antonio, TX @ Tobin Center
October 3 – Irving, TX @ Music Factory
October 5 – Memphis, TN @ Orpheum Theatre
October 7 – Birmingham, AL @ Alabama Theatre
October 8 – Atlanta, GA @ Fox Theatre
October 9 – Asheville, NC @ Thomas Wolfe Auditorium

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Watch Vic Mensa Rise From Fiery Plane Crash in 'Rage' Video

Vic Mensa survives a plane crash in the cinematic new video for “Rage,” a bonus track from his upcoming debut LP, The Autobiography.

The clip shows Mensa recounting his battles with mental health, addiction and legal drama as the plane he’s on spirals into the ocean and crashes. “Tired of chasing pills that I’m tired of taking,” he proclaims over booming drums and synth-strings. “Tired of court cases, tired of judges/ Tired of saying ‘Fuck it.'”

The MC loses consciousness underwater but awakens and swims to shore, rapping at night in front of flames. “These days I lose track of days,” he admits. “Been years since I felt this way/ Count on me to rage.”

The Autobiography, out July 28th, features a stacked guest lineup including including Pharrell, Weezer, Pusha T, the-Dream and Ty Dolla $ign.

Last February, Mensa was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon and received two years of probationTMZ reported Monday. The District Attorney dropped a second charge of carrying an unregistered loaded firearm. 

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Mayor Libby Schaaf, ARC Oakland Celebrate 2nd Annual ARC Youth Fest, Partners With City Of Oakland And Alameda County Sheriff's Office

OAKLAND, Calif., July 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — On July 29, the Second Annual ARC Youth Fest will be held outside City Hall in Downtown Oakland, the Bay Area’s only for-youth-by-youth event highlighting Visual, Performing, Culinary Arts and Fashion for aspiring and emerging artists….


Kevin Hart And HartBeat Productions Announce Usher And Dave Chappelle As Headliners During Fourth Annual Hartbeat Weekend, Sept. 1 – 3 At The Cosmopolitan Of Las Vegas

HARTBEAT logo (PRNewsfoto/HartBeat Productions)LAS VEGAS, July 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Kevin Hart and HartBeat Productions announce the return of HartBeat Weekend at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas with headliners Dave Chappelle and Usher. The fourth annual weekend event will span Sept. 1 – 3, 2017 and feature the best in music and…