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  • Posted 8/2/15 at 12:45 PM
  • Obit

Iconic British Singer and TV Star Cilla Black Dies at 72

At the top of her game in the UK, Cilla Black, who died today at the age of 72, was the highest-paid woman on television. During her 50-year career, Black, born Priscilla White, had 11 songs in the UK top 10, two consecutive number one hits (“Anyone Who Had a Heart” and “You’re My World,” both 1964) and 19 consecutive hits in the UK top 40. She was appointed to the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and honored with a special BAFTA last year for her lifelong dedication to the arts and entertainment.

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  • Posted 8/2/15 at 11:48 AM
  • Music

Dr. Dre Is Releasing His First New Album in 15 Years

Dr. Dre, the iconic hip-hop producer, has a new album coming out. Really. He’s been teasing an album called Detox, the follow-up to 2001 and his seminal The Chronic, for years. Now we finally have confirmation, via Billboard, that a separate new Dre album will come out this week. It’s called Compton: A Soundtrack, released in tandem with the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. Dre didn’t join the recent N.W.A. reunion, leading some to wonder what was up (he had introduced the film’s initial trailer back in February). Turns out he’s just been busy prepping the album. Dre said that the album, which drops on August 7, will be his “grand finale.”

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  • Posted 8/1/15 at 12:02 PM
  • Music

Snoop Dogg’s Tour of European Legal Trouble Continues

After being detained in Sweden for allegedly looking like he was high last weekend, Snoop Dogg has now had a run-in with Italian customs, according to the Associated Press. The rapper with an affinity for ganja was stopped by Italian authorities at the Lamezia Terme airport in Calabria Saturday after they found him carrying $422,000 in cash. The authorities then took half of his money under anti-money-laundering regulations, which require you to declare if you’re transporting more than $11,000 in cash across EU borders. They will reportedly keep that money until they determine how much of a fine to levy against him. This leaves Snoop with a little more than $200,000, which can buy you approximately 50,000 booklets of Zig Zag rolling papers or around 53 pounds of pot. If things continue in this fashion, Snoop will be hanging out with British authorities this Sunday.

  • Posted 8/1/15 at 11:47 AM
  • Beef

Nicki Minaj Allegedly Dumps Meek Mill, Poor Guy

Meek Mill is officially having a worse week than you. He irreparably ruined his cred following his ongoing beef with Drake, which resulted in a bevy of responses in heavy favor of Drake. Now the Daily Beast reports that Meek Mill has been dumped by Nicki Minaj, via tabloid site MediaTakeOut. Talk about getting kicked while you're down.

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Kendrick Lamar Gets Extra Theatrical in His New Video

Introducing Kendrick Lamar: future Broadway star.

  • Posted 7/31/15 at 9:58 AM
  • Singles

One Direction Releases First Song of the Post-Zayn Era

One Direction's first song sans Zayn, released just days after their erstwhile tenor signed a deal with RCA, is called "Drag Me Down." Is it a diss track? If only! Turns out it's just a pounding, dancey, love-song thing. It's alright, but you can't deny it's missing a certain smoky ... Zayniness. Come back!

Meek Mill’s Dis Track for Drake Is Finally Here

Although he made us wait for a response, Meek Mill did give us something (read: better late than never). The song is called "Wanna Know," and Meek is, in a word, inquisitive. He either really wanted to take advantage here of the there-are-no-dumb-questions mantra, or he really wanted to make a dis track that resembles a "Really?!?" segment from SNL. For example: "I just wanna know, if you ain't write that running through the six shit/ Tell us, who the fuck Quentin out here running through the six with?" Good question. "I just wanna know/ Was it Quentin Miller, was it Usher, was it Denzel where you got your flow?" Good question. "You know you fucked up, right?" Meh question. Essentially, Meek is underlining his argument that he believes Drake to be a fraud; he thinks Drake is an amalgam of the real rappers (and singers) who came before him, and he's trying to hit hard.

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Montage of Heck Has Added Another New Kurt Cobain Song

Fans of Kurt Cobain will have the chance to hear another as-till-now-unreleased demo if they go see Montage of Heck in theaters next week. Billboard reports that filmmaker Brett Morgen added the song (probably circa 1991) to the film's soundtrack without compromising anything from the iteration that debuted on HBO; the new track is supposed to have Cobain showing off his falsetto. Billboard had a chance to preview the song and said it reminded them a little bit of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, but with slightly darker lyrics ("Wonder how I breathe" and "I'm a bad man," for example). Makes sense. Morgen didn't share where the untitled song pops up in the theatrical cut because he doesn't want people to bootleg it — so, yep, you'll probably have to go to find out. The movie, which has been nominated for seven Emmys and already has a slew of other recently unearthed demos and song snippets, hits theaters August 7 (check here for locations).

  • Posted 7/30/15 at 5:10 PM
  • Covers

1,000 People Covered Foo Fighters’ ‘Learn to Fly,’ and It’s Pretty Cool, But Not As Cool As If They Had Played ‘Monkey Wrench’

To try to convince the Foo Fighters to play Cesena, ItalyFabio Zaffagnini brought 1,000 people together to cover "Learn to Fly." No word from Dave Grohl et al. on whether they were convinced. However, it's hard to understand the logic, as it appears Cesena already has the playing of Foo Fighters songs covered. They should have had 1,000 people make delicious bowls of cacio e pepe. We'd learn to fly for that. Yum!

All 74 Led Zeppelin Songs, Ranked From Worst to Best

It's difficult to remember now how precious the blues seemed to rockers in the 1960s. The blues were a serious matter, meant to be played a certain way. Rock bands always fooled around with doing the blues louder and with less finesse, of course, but beyond that, folks like Eric Clapton were the models, with their sincere embarkations into the music. They were done with brio, but with probity and respect, too.

With apologies to John Bonham, "Moby Dick" kicks us off. »

Music Gives Some People ‘Skin Orgasms’

That feeling you get from a particularly powerful piece of music has a few names, like chills or goose bumps, but Psyche Loui, a psychologist at Wesleyan University who studies the phenomenon, has a particularly descriptive way of phrasing it: "skin orgasms." In a recent piece for the BBC, science writer David Robson covers the potential psychological and physiological explanations for the physical thrill you sometimes get from music, and it is fascinating. 

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Watch Tyler, the Creator Dress Up As the Cat in the Hat and Rap in the Name of Dr. Seuss

Turns out that new Dr. Seuss book really inspired Jimmy Kimmel and Tyler, the Creator — a.k.a. Felicia the Cat. (Warning: SFW and lots of hugs — I know, right?)

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Love Affair With Rap: A Timeline

Yesterday, on Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow debuted a line of $1,695 hip-hop-themed clutches by Edie Parker. The collaboration, which consists of two acrylic bags with Biggie/Pac and Hov/Shady scrawled on them, raised more eyebrows than that time she suggested we all get our vaginas steamed.

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  • Posted 7/29/15 at 5:25 PM
  • Music

Zayn Is ‘Ready to Show You Who [He] Really [Is]’

It's happening: Zayn has announced that he's finally signed to a new record label, RCA Records, after parting ways with One Direction and Simon Cowell's Syco earlier this year. That's right, your boy has officially gone solo! And he shared the news with Directioners in a series of cheerful tweets, explaining that the reason he left 1D  was "for this moment to be given the opportunity to show you who I really am!" And who Zayn really is, it seems, is someone now also signed with Iggy Azalea's manager (as of this week) and reportedly also working with Frank Ocean's producer, Malay. (Sorry, Naughty Boy.) Guess it's time to start the countdown to his first solo album, presumably to be named From A to Zayn

  • Posted 7/29/15 at 2:49 PM
  • Music

Dr. Dre Will Maybe Release a New Album This Weekend (Sorry, It’s Probably Not Detox)

Next month, part of Dr. Dre's life story will get retold in the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton. And to celebrate, it seems, Dr. Dre might be ready to drop a surprise fans have been waiting for: Today Ice Cube announced on Philadelphia radio that Dre is finally set to release his first album in nearly 16 years. Unfortunately, it's not what you think. Instead of Detox, the album fans were promised more than a decade ago, this new project is supposedly one inspired by the biopic. But if that sounds like more of a soundtrack than a traditional album, it probably is: Earlier this month MTV reported that Dr. Dre had spearheaded the movie's soundtrack, and that it will feature both Eminem and Kendrick Lamar. "It’s really Dre and how he’s evolved and how he’s matured, as not only a person, but as an artist," teased the film's director, F. Gary Gray. "It's deep and it’s great." Whether or not that soundtrack and this new album are one and the same, apparently, we'll only have to wait a few more days to find out. Ice Cube says the whole thing drops on August 1. Our advice: Keep an eye on Apple Music this Saturday.

Janis Ian Shares Her Own Creepy Bill Cosby Story

In response to New York's interview with 35 women accusing Bill Cosby of sexual assault, folk singer Janis Ian has come forward with her own story of poor treatment at Cosby's hands. "I have a personal stake" in the story, Ian revealed on her Facebook page. "No, I was not sexually bothered by Bill Cosby. We met because he was curious about me." At the time Ian was 16 years old, promoting her controversial interracial love song "Society's Child." On the eve of her first TV performance on The Smothers Brothers Show, she fell asleep in her female chaperone's lap, a fact that Cosby apparently noticed. "A while later," Ian writes, "my manager called me into her office. 'What happened at the Smothers Brothers show?!' I had no idea what she was talking about, and said so. 'Well, no one else on TV is willing to have you on. Not out there, anyway.' Why? I wondered. And was told that Cosby, seeing me asleep in the chaperone’s lap, had made it his business to 'warn' other shows that I wasn’t 'suitable family entertainment,' was probably a lesbian, and shouldn’t be on television. Again, a reminder. I was 16."

Fortunately, Johnny Carson broke Cosby's attempted blacklist, but the message stuck. "What an odd thing, that a black man who slept with so very many white women chose to take my possible lesbianism away from our one meeting, rather than the message I tried to get across with 'Society’s Child.' How pathetic. How truly, truly pathetic."

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Drake Releases Another Meek Mill Dis Record — Once Again, Nicki Wins

Tuesday night, Nicki Minaj's Pinkprint Tour rolled into Toronto. And it looks like Toronto city councillor — and public Drake stan — Norm Kelly alerted the 6 God because, in the wee hours, Drake dropped yet another Meek Mill dis record. Appropriately titled "Back to Back Freestyle" (and using a cover photo from Joe Carter's World Series–winning home run against the Phillies in 1993, to really drive the point home), this time Drake turns his attention to Nicki:

You love her, then you gotta give the world to her
Is that a world tour or your girl's tour?
I know that you gotta be a thug for her
This ain't what she meant when she told you to open up more
Yeah, trigger fingers turn to Twitter fingers
You getting bodied by a singing nigga
I'm not the type of nigga that'll type to niggas
Shout out to all my boss bitches wifing niggas
Make sure you hit him with the prenup
Then tell that man to ease up

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  • Posted 7/28/15 at 4:05 PM

9 Best New Songs of the Week

Every week, members of the Vulture staff highlight the best new music of 2015. 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 2015 Playlist for a comprehensive guide to the year's best music.

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Little Mix Take Us to Mash-Up Heaven With Jason Derulo and Whitney Houston

Little Mix, the girl group that won the eighth season of the British X Factor, performed a mash-up of Jason Derulo's "Want You to Want Me" and Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" during their recent visit to BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge. Their cover is joyful and exuberant, and showcases their vocal skills in a way that their American singles haven't yet done. If you miss Glee or miss Zayn or are sad that there's no real Song of Summer this year, this will really hit the spot. Prepare to chair-dance.

The Weeknd Is So Hot Right Now, He Literally Gets Set on Fire in His ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ Video

Seemingly out of nowhere, the Weeknd has emerged this year as mixtape hero turned full-blown pop star. He currently has three songs on the Billboard Hot 100 ("Earned It," The Hills," and "Can't Feel My Face") — the latter two of which are sitting in the top 20. As we previously wrote in "Songs of the Week," "Face" is his most pop-minded song to date, which is of little surprise since it was produced and written with pop genius Max Martin. Now that the Weeknd finally released the video for the song on Apple Music, it could very well edge out OMI's "Cheerleader" for the No. 1 spot by the next chart cycle ("Face" is currently at No. 2).

When someone is this hot, there's only one thing to do: literally set them on fire in their music video. Enjoy the ambient heat.

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