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Brandy’s Lawsuit Against Her Record Label Is Back On

According to BillboardBrandy has refiled her lawsuit against record label Chameleon Entertainment, which claims that the company has been blocking the release of her new music. The singer originally launched the suit in California in March, only to see it thrown out on a technicality; her contract mandated that all disputes be settled in New York or federal court. (The new lawsuit has been filed in New York.) The lawsuit claims that Chameleon has "effectively drained the lifeblood from Plaintiff's recording career" by refusing to fund or release Brandy's new music until she signs an "onerous" contract with Epic Records, which coincidentally employs Chameleon CEO Breyon Prescott. Brandy is seeking an official release from her Chameleon contract, as well as more than $250,000 in damages. In a statement to Billboard, Chameleon calls Brandy's accusations "fictitious." 

Gucci Mane Is Better Than He’s Been in Years on Everybody Looking

Gucci Mane is an Atlanta trap figurehead whose shiftless prolificacy and innovation are matched only by a propensity for trouble. Over the last decade, he balanced sleek major-label studio albums and memorable guest appearances alongside a fertile mixtape career with a deftness that, short of Lil Wayne, has seen few peers. His keen ear for emerging talent bolstered the careers of rappers from Waka Flocka and Young Thug to Nicki Minaj, and made heroes of Atlanta-based producers like Zaytoven and Mike WiLL Made It. Gucci’s career highs have always been undercut by life-threatening encounters and legal troubles, though, from a rap-related murder charge he miraculously beat in 2006 to a baffling string of 2013 assault and weapons-possession charges that culminated in a three-year stay at an Indiana state penitentiary.

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  • Posted 7/22/16 at 1:40 PM
  • Courts

‘American Pie’ Singer Don McLean Pleads Guilty to Domestic Abuse, Will Avoid Jail Time

"American Pie" singer Don McLean has pleaded guilty to domestic-violence assault, the Associated Press reports. McLean was arrested in January after an incident with his wife, Patrisha, in which she claims he "terrorized" her for four hours; he was charged with a misdemeanor and released on bail. According to his lawyer, McLean's plea deal includes a $3,000 fine and no jail time. Patrisha McLean filed for divorce in March, citing "adultery, cruel and abusive treatment, and irreconcilable differences."

Slap a Band-Aid on Your Bleeding Heart: Regina Spektor Is Back!

How long must we dream of a new Regina Spektor album until it lands from the moon? Just a couple more months now! Regina Spektor has announced her seventh album, Remember Us to Life – her first since 2012's What We Saw From the Cheap Seats – will arrive on September 30. And with it comes a new song to make you forget all about her divisive Orange Is the New Black theme (which, admit it, has grown on you). "Bleeding Heart" is classic Regina Spektor whimsy and a sonic roller coaster, hitting peaks of bubbly pop, cruising through a sudden burst of drum-heavy rock, until it eventually slows down for some effective piano balladry. According to a press release, this is Regina's first album of entirely new songs — her previous albums were assortments of old and new songs — written during and after she was pregnant with her first child in 2014, a life-changing event she says gave her renewed inspiration. Say it with us now: awwww!

  • Posted 7/22/16 at 9:27 AM

On His First Album, Producer Clams Casino Reinvents the Futurism of His Past

When the name Clams Casino began to circulate widely among music aficionados in the early 2010s, it seemed that the producer represented something more significant than the sum of the tracks he laid down for various underground rappers to plow over. Part of this uncanny sense could be ascribed to anonymity. Vaguely opulent moniker aside, Clams Casino existed as little more than a Myspace account and email address. No one in music knew the beatmaker personally. He was a digital wraith, and the less one knew, the more one could speculate. But there was something in his music as well. With their digitized and wraithlike ambient synths in the higher frequencies, anchored by melancholic and foreboding bass, the beats seemed loaded with the weight of meanings yet to be articulated.

Compared to the vast majority of rap production, Clams's instrumentals were uncommonly full and moving. Normally, producers would clear out the mid-range frequencies of instrumentals to make space for spoken verses to be added later; challenging rappers in a domain long conceded to them without issue, Clams crammed those frequencies with vocal samples, demanding, in effect, that the recording artist match or exceed their spirit. The vocal samples put to work by Clams were rarely simple reproductions, pruned from existing tracks but preserved in a recognizably intact state in their new setting: Clams had stressed, sliced, splintered, and otherwise modified his original samples until they sang in an unprecedented fashion. At their frequent best, Clams Casino tracks sounded entirely self-sufficient: They required no words to feel complete. Unlike most rap instrumentals, the presence of a human voice and human language often seemed to diminish their own.

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Justin Bieber, Major Lazer, and MØ Are Here to Hose You Off With Some ‘Cold Water’

Like a busted fire hydrant, Justin Bieber and Major Lazer are here to take all of that hot, hot summer pain away. The Diplo-fronted group collaborated with Bieber, as well as Danish singer MØ, on a new track, "Cold Water." Ed Sheeran and Benny Blanco penned the single, which dropped Thursday night. Lest you doubt the song-of-summer credentials of "Cold Water," Diplo's worked with both Bieber (on "Where Are Ü Now") and MØ (on "Lean On") to great success before. Of making "Cold Water," Diplo said: "I had been trying to link with Benny Blanco and Ed Sheeran for years to find the right song we could all work on together and the moment I heard this one, I knew that it was the one. The timing was perfect and when we approached Justin, he was also in love with the song we all had written." Satiate your thirst below.

My Chemical Romance Got Their Fans All Excited for Nothing

Now come one, come all to this tragic affair: My Chemical Romance are not, in fact, getting back together after all. Yesterday, the band sent fans running to their nearest Hot Topic after a cryptic tweet and new logo implied something big was coming to celebrate the tenth anniversary of The Black Parade, with a video teasing the date September 23, 2016. It's the first time MCR had tweeted in over a year, ending the deafening silence (except to still promote their merch, of course) since the band officially broke up in 2013. What could it mean? Naturally, fans jumped the gun and concluded it must be the quickest reunion since LCD Soundsystem's. Alas, we've all been bamboozled. In a new statement, MCR have thanked fans for their continued undying devotion, but clarified that they are not reuniting, touring, or doing much of anything, really. All the fuss was to announce that they're simply reissuing The Black Parade, reportedly with unreleased demos. Ugh, famous last words indeed.

Now One Direction’s Liam Payne Is Going Solo, Too

Adjust your compasses, there is now another direction to follow. Liam Payne, the only Directioner still on speaking terms with Zayn, has apparently also flown the One Direction coop. He's now your latest 1D lad with a solo record deal, announcing he's signed with Capitol Records. This after Zayn was the first to go last year, and Harry Styles reportedly bit the bullet last month. All along, 1D have maintained they're just on hiatus, but allow Liam's cryptic farewell to strike insurmountable dread in the hearts of directionless fans everywhere, and take comfort in knowing at least there's still Niall and Louis (for now).

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Hanging Out With Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato Sounds Fun

What do tour-mates Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato do when they are not acting jealous and cool for the summer, respectively? Allow Billboard's profile of the pair to paint this fantastic image: "These days the two enjoy cigars and espresso shots, nerd out over conspiracy theories, watch dumb comedies ... and call each other with any personal crisis." Wow, sounds like they've really put their Disney pasts behind — wait, what was that bit about conspiracies? Only a reminder that, like Ariana Grande before her, Demi Lovato believes in some weird shit. As the "Confident" singer explained to Seth Meyers back in 2014, aliens are currently living in the Earth's oceans as mermaids, a belief she picked up after watching the "extremely convincing" Animal Planet special Mermaids: The New Evidence. Lovato failed to convince Meyers, but judging from the verb "nerd out," it's possible that she's swayed Jonas, which means that there would now be two people in the world who believe that aliens are mermaids. Billboard also says the pair "don't really read: 'No books,' says Jonas." You don't say.

Macklemore and G-Eazy Eviscerate Donald Trump on YG’s ‘FDT’ Remix

Unconvinced Macklemore is determined to use all that white privilege that burdens him so for good? Turn your ears to his latest attempt at social justice: a diss track aimed at Donald Trump. YG has recruited hip-hop's white representatives, Macklemore and G-Eazy, for a sequel to his seething Trump indictment "FDT" — a song so brazy, the FBI intervened on the original. Turns out, Macklemore and G-Eazy are even more merciless. "If truth be told, Donald is a terrorist," G-Eazy raps, shortly before implying he'd have sex with Trump's daughter Ivanka. Not outraged yet? In swoops Macklemore, comparing Trump to an orange Starburst, blasting gun violence, and saying he'll party in the streets if Hillary Clinton wins. "Ain't gonna let you fuck up four years," he threatens.

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25 Years Later, Soundgarden-Pearl Jam Supergroup Temple of the Dog Are Reuniting for Their First Tour

Attention Seattle: The shortest grunge union of the early '90s is getting remarried! Temple of the Dog — the supergroup including members of Soundgarden (Chris Cornell) and Pearl Jam (Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Mike McCready), plus drummer Matt Cameron (who played for both) — are reuniting for the 25th anniversary of their debut album. And they're actually gonna tour it this time! Like most '90s relics, Temple of the Dog burned out quick; the band only ever put out the one self-titled album in 1991, but never toured. In memory of what could've been, Temple of the Dog would like to see if they've still got it. "We wanted to do the one thing we never got to do ... play shows and see what it feels like to be the band that we walked away from 25 years ago," Chris Cornell said in a statement. And if it doesn't work out, well, hey, it's only five shows. To sweeten the deal, they're reissuing their lone album on September 30 for all you nostalgics.

Third Eye Blind Trolled the Hell Out of the RNC, Remain Semi-Charming

In the great troll that is Donald Trump running for president, it's hard to know what to believe. Did Melania Trump plagiarize Michelle Obama and My Little Pony? Has Laura Benanti been Melania Trump this whole time? Have Third Eye Blind been sent from the '90s to infiltrate and destroy the GOP? Years ago, those semi-charmed Cali rockers swore off playing any shows associated with the RNC, as front man Stephan Jenkins opined in the Huffington Post, "This is not my mom’s Republican Party anymore." Fast forward four years and it's still not, but now Jenkins has the master plan to make the GOP great again: Troll the hell out of it.

On Tuesday night, Third Eye Blind headlined a charity event in Cleveland at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which you might say was ostensibly sponsored by the Republican National Convention, via the RIAA and AT&T, to entertain its attendees with "pro-American anthems." Well, nothing screams "Republican Party" like a pro-LGBTQ, pro-science rock show. Presenting Stephan Jenkins, American hero:

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21 Savage’s Savage Mode Is Violent Music, But It’s Oddly Comforting in Violent Times

Rap fandom is a peculiar pathology because it forces listeners to compartmentalize worlds of real and hypothetical violence, to revel in one while still finding the other jarring and unacceptable. This is not a distinction I gather the average American faces on a daily basis, barring fans of the bloodiest horror and action films, who retain the luxury of pawning all the guts and gore off as fiction. I thought about this over the weekend when I got my hands on Savage Mode, the new release from the Georgia hip-hop duo of 21 Savage and Metro Boomin, the former a rising rapper of unapologetic brutality, and his partner, a famed producer and associate of A-listers including Drake, Future, and Kanye West. I set about quoting the most devilish lines on my Twitter as I heard them — I often do this with new rap that interests me — but soon trailed off. It felt right but I briefly wondered how it could be wrongly received. The world reels from random, disorienting acts of gun violence, but here I am snickering at raps about gunshots and drug abuse. 

This music is built from the same casual hopelessness that shocks us cold whenever we awake to fresh news of mass murder or police brutality. But in it, there's is a sense that the power is ours. »

5 Best New Songs of the Week

Every week, Vulture highlights the best new music. If the song is worthy of your ears and attention, you will find it here. Read our picks below, share yours in the comments, and subscribe to the Vulture Playlist for a comprehensive guide to the year's best music.

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  • Posted 7/19/16 at 12:24 PM
  • Tours

Kesha Will Finally Get to Tour New Songs This Summer

Slowly but surely, Kesha is reclaiming control over her life, one show at a time. The singer, whose career has long been stalled amid an ongoing legal battle against producer Dr. Luke over allegations of abuse, has announced that she's going on tour this summer. Sharing the news on Instagram, she says she'll be performing "songs you've never heard me play before, and I may never play again" and only at "a couple" of shows. So far, details on the tour are scarce (tickets go on sale at 2 p.m. EST), but her army of fans have discovered, via Bandcamp, that the tour will be called "Kesha and the Creepies: The Fuck the World Tour," and will have dates in the U.S. from July 23 in Las Vegas through October 1 in Los Angeles, including previously announced stops on Diplo's Mad Decent Block Party. Kesha stepped back into the spotlight this year, performing at Coachella with Zedd, at the Billboard Music Awards (after fighting Dr. Luke's label to get there), and at Dylan Fest in Nashville. Now, she says she'll get to sing across the country "purely for the fucking love of rock and roll and my soul."

Calling All Dads: Wilco — Sorry, Schmilco — Already Have Their Next Album

The surprise album is so 2015. This time around, Wilco are dropping their tenth album the old-fashioned way: releasing one of its songs on the first anniversary of their last album, letting internet sleuths do some detective work, and giving you two months' notice to prepare for its arrival. Indeed, last week's "Locator" was an early tease of something larger, and that thing is Jeff Tweedy & Co.'s follow-up to last year's Star Wars, titled — what else? — Schmilco, out September 9. As if that announcement alone wasn't enough to send dads worldwide into a frenzy, it also comes with a new song. In the mood to revisit your repressed youth? Allow "If I Ever Was a Child" to be your therapy.

Miranda Lambert Goes Through Some Serious Soul-Searching on Stunning New Single

We're betting that in the next few months Miranda Lambert will release a follow-up album to her 2014 stunner, Platinum. It'll be her first since divorcing Blake Shelton, her husband of four years, and an opportunity to address the narrative that's hung over her head in the time since. Back in May, Shelton had his own chance with his latest LP, If I'm Honest, gunning for revenge on icy ballads like "Came Here to Forget." Shockingly, on her new song "Vice," Lambert isn't looking to erase the past; she's fighting not to repeat it. "Maybe I'm addicted to good-byes," she reflects on the slow-burning, rock-heavy ballad, laying all blame on herself for what she perceives as self-sabotage. And when the soul-searching leaves little resolution, she ends right back where she started: "Standing at the sink now, looking at the mirror / Don't know where I am or how I got here / Well the only thing that I know how to find is another vice." 

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Now That Taylor Swift Is Definitely Less Innocent Than She Pretends to Be, What’s Next?

Both innocence and fame are classically American obsessions, but they can make for strange, even contradictory bedfellows. Desiring to be famous is a clear sign of ambition; but ambition is opposed to humility, and humility is intrinsic to innocence. Becoming famous requires reflection, strategic insight, some measure of shrewdness regarding the more shadowy sectors of the human spirit; yet innocence, radiant with goodness and goodwill, casts no shadows and gives rise to no reflections. Innocence, then, is nothing more or less than the price of fame — not all of us can admit this, but at some level we all understand it. Not all Americans become famous. As with much else in this country, you can pay the price but never get the goods. But seeing as all Americans desire fame, then it's fairly certain, in any case, that none of us are innocent.

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  • Posted 7/18/16 at 2:49 PM
  • Feuds

Everything We’ve Learned From the Kim-Taylor-Kanye Feud

It's Christmas in July! On Sunday night, Kim Kardashian started the latest phase of what might be the greatest celebrity gossip story of our time, Snapchatting what she claimed was proof that Taylor Swift really had approved Kanye West's rap about her in "Famous," contrary to what the pop star had always claimed. Soon Swift fired back on the Notes app, and suddenly all of Hollywood was embroiled in a nasty civil war. Brother against brother, father against son, Calabasas resident against Calabasas resident. What did we learn?

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  • Posted 7/18/16 at 2:38 PM
  • Curses

Lil B Has an Even More Based Godly Explanation for Uncursing Kevin Durant Than You Dreamed

Technically, we won't know for certain if the curse against Kevin Durant has truly been lifted until next year. But as we await such a miracle, it's up to Lil B to assure us that his generous decree won't be denied. After announcing that the Based God had finally uncursed Kevin Durant following the NBA star's signing with Lil B's hometeam, the Golden State Warriors, Lil B is now explaining why the timing was right. Turns out, after watching Durant's hopes and dreams slip away from him year after year, the Based God's work was simply done. Lil B explains to the Undefeated:

"The curse had to be removed for the simple fact that Kevin Durant has shown his humility by coming to the Warriors. Me being Lil B, I really feel like The Based God did it because The Based God is humble and very empathetic. Just from what I’ve seen, Kevin Durant has shown that he wants change. I was always just protecting The Based God. The Based God said the curse is over, so the curse is officially over. As for a sorry, I don’t need one. I think Kevin Durant has shown where his heart is. And his heart is in the Bay Area."

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