Swizz Beatz to Receive ASCAP Voice of the Culture Award

Swizz Beatz is a voice of the future

The 42-year-old half Puerto Rican recording artist, music producer and entrepreneur will receive the ASCAP Voice of the Culture award alongside Timbaland and D-Nice to kick off the 2021 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards on June 22.

Swizz Beatz

Following the presentation, the music creators will take part in a 2021 ASCAP Experience conversation, “Voices of the Culture: How Swizz Beatz, Timbaland & D-Nice United the World Through Music,” at 12:00 pm ET/ 9:00 am PT.

The virtual conversation will explore how Timbaland and Swizz Beatz’s virtual music battle series Verzuz and D-Nice’s Club Quarantine became tools for uplift within the Black music community and touchstones of empowerment during the pandemic.

To join the conversation, participants can RSVP at www.ascapexperience.com/schedule. They can also submit a question for the three creators before June 10.

Verzuz has featured such epic matchups as Gladys Knight vs. Patti LaBelle, Erykah Badu vs. Jill Scott, Earth, Wind & Fire vs. The Isley Brothers, and Snoop Dogg vs. DMX.

Club Quarantine attracted a virtual community of millions to Instagram Live for sets of funk, disco, hip-hop and R&B.

In addition to launching these popular events, Swizz Beatz, Timbaland and D-Nice are accomplished music creators in their own right.

Grammy-winning songwriter-producer Swizz Beatz has been in the music and business worlds since he was 16. He began DJing and working at his uncle’s company, Ruff Ryders Entertainment, while still in high school. Within a short time, Swizz produced the company’s first hit, by DMX. More success followed as a producer and artist. As a producer, Swizz has worked with a diverse array of artists, including Jay-Z, Madonna, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Metallica.

The 2021 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards is a virtual celebration that takes place on social media from June 22-24. The event recognizes songwriters, composers and publishers behind the most performed R&B/hip-hop, rap and gospel songs of the past year. Friends and fans can join the online festivities as ASCAP shares photos, videos, acceptance speeches and more from some of its top songwriters and publishers, posted with the hashtag #ASCAPAwards to @ASCAPUrban on Instagram and @ASCAP on Twitter and Instagram.

The ASCAP Experience takes place twice a month on Wednesdays through the end of 2021. Songwriters, composers and music business professionals can join the ASCAP Experience community for access to conversations with songwriters and producers from across the musical spectrum, plus panels with top industry executives, song feedback, networking opportunities and more. The virtual sessions are free to attend and take place on a variety of platforms, including YouTube, Instagram and on the ASCAP Experience website.

Swizz Beatz to Face Off Against Timbaland in Verzuz Battle This Memorial Day Weekend

Swizz Beatz is preparing for a showdown…

This Memorial Day weekend, the 42-year-old half Puerto Rican recording artist, music producer and entrepreneur and his Verzuz co-creator Timbaland  will show off their producing skills as they face off in a battle once again for their hit web series.

Swizz Beatz

The pair first dueled onstage in 2018 at the Hot 97 Summer Jam in East Rutherford, N.J., as part of a producer clash battle — long before Verzuz premiered virtually in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a post shared on the official Verzuz Instagram on Tuesday (May 25), the showdown was announced. “Did y’all guess who the rematch was going to be!? @THEREALSWIZZZ vs @TIMBALAND THIS SUNDAY ‼️ LIVE from @LIVMIAMI  Celebrating Memorial Day Weekend with our new #VERZUZLive .”

Beatz, né Kasseem Dean, 42, commented the post, “Let’s go then .” Timbaland, born Timothy Mosley, 49, wrote, “Alrite [sic] now .”

With Timbaland’s extensive history of producing megahits for fan-favorites including JAY-Z, Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott, Kanye West, Aaliyah, Cher and Madonna, Beatz — who has produced for Eve, Diddy, Lil’ Wayne, The Weeknd, Drake, the late DMX, among many more — is in for a tough rematch.

Since its inception, Verzuz has featured friendly competitions between Monica and Brandy, Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, Alicia Keys and John Legend, and the late DMX, who faced off against Snoop Dogg in July. DMX, né Earl Simmons, died on April 9.

Tune in on Sunday (May 30) at 8 p.m. ET to catch the Verzuz battle between Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, streaming on Instagram Live via the VerzuzTV account or Triller. It will also air on TV via FITE.

https://twitter.com/verzuzonline/status/1397184322537345026

Kid Cudi to Make Musical Guest Debut on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”

Kid Cudi is ready for a Saturday night first…

The 37-year-old half-Mexican American singer/songwriter and actor, whose real name is Scott Mescudi, will make his debut as a musical guest on NBC’s Saturday Night Live next month.

Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi will appear on the April 10 episode, alongside the night’s host, Oscar-nominated Promising Young Woman actress Carey Mulligan.

Kid Cudi previously made his one-and-only musical cameo during Kanye West‘s star-studded run through “Ghost Town” from ye when West was the musical guest in 2018.

Kid Cudi’s last album, Man on the Moon III: The Chosen, landed the rapper his fifth top 10 album on the Billboard 200 in December. He tweeted the happy news and emphasized it was a “dream come true” on his Instagram Story.

Jhene Aiko Releases 15-Minute Medley of Her Hits on Instagram

Jhene Aiko is welcoming you into her home in a special way…

The 32-year-old part-Spanish & part-Dominican American R&B singer & songwriter, a three-time Grammy nominee this year for her critically acclaimed album Chilombo, has shared a 15-minute medley on Instagram, kicking off the new year with a vibe-filled performance complete with violet lighting, cups of tea, a fire in the fireplace and even Tibetan singing bowls — you can practically smell the incense.

Jhené Aiko

Aiko also hosted an immersive sound bath live performance featuring a variety of color and aroma therapy, sound healing, conscience breathing, and guided meditation.

Over the years she’s collaborated with Big Sean, Childish Gambino, Rae Sremmurd, Kehlani, John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Chris Brown, and Mila J.

Although she got her start as a teenager working with the pop group B2K, her proper career began in 2011 with the release of her first mixtape, Sailing Soul(s).

 

Later that year she signed with Kanye West/Jay-Z producer No I.D.’s ARTium label (via Def Jam), following with the Sail Out EP in 2013. Her major-label debut, Souled Out, garnered three Grammy noms, and she followed in 2017 with Trip.

The songs are from Chilombo and Souled Out.

Medley Track List:
“Triggered (freestyle)”
“Trigger Protection Mantra”
“W.A.Y.S.”
“Born Tired”
“Summer 2020”
“10K Hours”
“Magic Hour”

Kid Cudi Earns Third No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart with “Man on the Moon III: The Chosen” 

Kid Cudi has another smash on his hands…

The 36-year-old part-Mexican American rapper/singer has earned his third No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart as Man on the Moon III: The Chosen debuts at the top of the chart dated December 26.

Kid Cudi

The set, released through Republic Records on December 11, earned 144,000 equivalent album units in the week ending December 17, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

Prior to the Man on the Moon III landing, Kid Cudi previously reigned with the set’s previous installment, 2010’s Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager and 2013’s Indicud, both of which debuted in the top slot and reigned for one week.

Beyond the two leaders, Kid Cudi’s three other projects all reached the top five: 2009’s Man on the Moon: The End of Day (No. 5), 2014’s Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon (No. 2) and Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ (No. 5, 2017).

In addition, the act Kids See Ghosts, a duo comprising Kid Cudi and Kanye West, also claimed a No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums with their eponymous LP in 2018.

Man on the Moon III: The Chosen likewise debuts at No. 1 on the Top Rap Albums chart and at No. 2 on the all-genre Billboard 200, behind Taylor Swift’s Evermore.

As Man on the Moon III arrives, 18 of its tracks dot the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, led by the top 10 arrivals “Tequila Shots” (No. 7) and “She Knows This” (No. 9). The pair produce Kid Cudi’s third and fourth top 10s, following his 2009 breakthrough “Day and Night” (No. 5) and this year’s “The Scotts,” billed to The Scotts, Travis Scott, and Kid Cudi, which debuted at No. 1 in May and held for one week.

Here’s a full rundown of where all 18 Man on the Moon III cuts show on the ranking:

No. 7, “Tequila Shots”
No. 9, “She Knows This”
No. 12, “Show Out,” with Skepta and Pop Smoke
No. 16, “Another Day”
No. 21, “Mr. Solo Dolo III”
No. 22, “Dive”
No. 24, “Heaven on Earth”
No. 27, “Sad People”
No. 28, “Damaged”
No. 32, “Beautiful Trip”
No. 33, “The Void”
No. 35, “Rockstar Knights,” with Trippie Redd
No. 37, “Sept. 16”
No. 39, “Elsie’s Baby Boy (Flashback)”
No. 40, “Lovin’ Me,” featuring Phoebe Bridgers
No. 44, “The Pale Moonlight”
No. 47, “4 Da Kidz”
No. 50, “Lord I Know”

With 18 simultaneous placements, Kid Cudi becomes the fifth artist to post at least that many entries on the chart in a single week. His company includes Drake, who has claimed 10 separate weeks with 18-plus entries, Lil Uzi Vert and The Weeknd, each with two such weeks, and Lil Wayne and Pop Smoke, who have managed the feat once apiece.

HBO Releases Trailer for Kid Cudi’s New Series “We Are Who We Are”

Kid Cudi is who he is…

HBO has released the official trailer for new series We Are Who We Are,starring the 36-year-old half-Mexican American rapper/singer, whose real name is Scott Mescudi.

Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi

Directed by Luca Guadagnino, the series follows two teenagers living with their families on a U.S. military base in Italy in the coming-of-age story. The eight-part series will premiere on HBO sometime in September on an unconfirmed date.

The “Leader Of The Delinquents” rapper stars alongside Chloë SevignyJack Dylan GrazerAlice BragaJordan Kristine SeamónSpence Moore IIFaith AlabiBeatrice BarichellaFrancesca ScorseseCorey KnightVittoria BottinTom Mercier,Benjamin L. Taylor II and Sebastiano Pigazzi.

Blood Orange composed the mini-drama series’ score.

Kid Cudi made his HBO debut a decade ago when he portrayed Domingo Brown for two seasons on How To Make It In America from 2010-11. 

His return to television includes his own animated Netflix series Entergalactic that he’ll executive produce with Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and How to Make It in America creator Ian Edelman and record an accompanyingalbum. Kid Cudi’s also working on an animated TV series with his “Kids See Ghosts” other half Kanye West by the same name as the duo.

Kid Cudi Partnering with Kanye West for Animated Show Inspired by Their Collaborative LP “Kids See Ghosts”

Kid Cudi is getting animated…

The 36-year-old half-Mexican American rapper/singer, whose real name is Scott Mescudi, and Kanye West will each voice characters in an upcoming animated show inspired by their 2018 collaborative LP Kids See Ghosts.

Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi and West shared a two-minute preview of the Takashi Murakami-directed show, which follows the wild adventures of Kanye Bear and Kid Fox

The clip opens with the two hopping off a school bus and, by preview’s end, sees the pair riding a spaceship and fighting in an alien world. 

The frenetic clip is soundtracked by the duo’s Kids See Ghosts cut “4th Dimension.” 

While no release date was announced, the rappers said the show is “coming soon.”

Lele Pons Appears in YouTube’s 2018 YouTube Rewind Clip

Lele Pons is rewinding through the past year…

The 22-year-old Venezuelan internet personality, actress, singer, dancer and host of La Voz… México appears in YouTube’s “YouTube Rewind 2018: Everyone Controls Rewind.

Lele Pons

The clip, jam-packed with references to this year’s music, features many of YouTube’s popular creators and recaps the year’s content, trends and tunes.

The YouTube Rewind series first hit the internet in 2010..

The eight-minute-plus video opens with Will Smith (who made his YouTube channel debut earlier this year) against a mountainous landscape, announcing, “It’s rewind time.” He continues, “If I control rewind, I would want Fortnite and Marques Brownlee.” Snapping his fingers, a dreamlike YouTuber-filled compilation begins.

“Is this what you wanted?” asks Brownlee from a flying Fortnite-esque bus full of YouTubers ready to pick out their own favorite moments as Cardi B’s “I Like It” plays in the background.

The scene eventually swaps to one in which the content creators crowd around a campfire together. “Apparently we control rewind this year. Y’all, we can do whatever we want,” confirms Liza Koshy. “What do we do?”

K-pop!” pipe up the Merrell Twins and Casey Neistat as a dancing montage backed by BTS’ “Idol” plays in the background.

Marshmello soon makes a brief appearance (as does his collaboration with Bastille, “Happier“).

The next music moment comes when the animated TheOdd1sOut suggests they accept Drake’s “In My Feelings” Challenge, the moving-car dance craze inspired by the song earlier this year.

YouTubers including Pons, Anwar Jibawi and Rudy Mancuso later take on a catwalk wearing oversized blocky bodysuits meant to resemble the ones Kanye West and Lil Pump sported in the “I Love It” music video; Panic! at the Disco’s “High Hopes” backs them up.

The social-media-famous “Baby Shark” song by Pinkfong also gets a nod, accompanied by some colorfully costumed kid show characters.

This year’s video has, notably, at time of press, been disliked more than 2.2 million times — over twice as many times as it has been liked — with viewers pointing out that some of YouTube’s biggest stars, including PewDiePie (who boasts over 74 million subscribers), are absent. Despite this, the recap has already received 33 million views.

Arca Releases Video for New Single “Desafío”

Arca is ready for a new challenge…

The 26-year-old Venezuelan electronic DJ, record producer and mixing engineer has released the official video for “Desafío,” just days after releasing his self-titled album.

Arca

The track is the revelatory centerpiece of Arca’s new LP, his third solo project.

The bleak video shows Arca, whose real name is Alejandro Ghersi, bruised and bound in a leather getup, dragged through a dark forest by wicked men.

The “Desafío” clip was directed by Jesse Kanda.

Arca, has produced for Bjork, Kanye West, FKA Twigs and Frank Ocean, among others.

Hernandez to Serve as a Presenter at the MTV Video Music Awards

Laurie Hernandez is ready to make music… or at least a music-related announcement.

The 16-year-old Puerto Rican gymnast, a member of the gold-winning Final Five and a silver medalist on the balance beam at the 2016 Rio Games, is heading to the MTV Video Music Awards.

Laurie Hernandez

Hernandez and her teammates, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and Madison Kocian, will present awards at Sunday’s show in New York City.

Jimmy Fallon, Kim Kardashian, Alicia Keys and Puff Daddy will also present awards, while attendees at Madison Square Garden will include Kanye West, Bryson Tiller, 2 Chainz, DNCE, Desiigner and Troye Sivan.

Britney Spears, Rihanna, Future, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Nick Jonas and the Chainsmokers will perform during the live show.

Beyonce is the leading nominee with 11, followed by Adele with eight nominations.

Beyonce, Adele, West, Justin Bieber and Drake will compete for video of the year.