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8 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.


You Can Thank Jack White for Maya and Marty’s Extremely Retro Theme Song

Continuing his trend of amusing television contributions, Jack White has struck gold once again he has written and produced a very retro instrumental theme song for Maya Rudolph and Martin Short's new variety show, Maya and Marty, which premieres this evening on NBC. There's an organ! There's a pedal steel guitar! White lent his talents on the drums, with Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age, the Dead Weather), Dominic Davis, Lillie Mae Rische, and Fats Kaplin also contributing to the tune. It's White's first foray into the wonderful world of theme songs, and the result is undeniably funky. Maybe he can do Match Game, too.

Troy Ave Says He’s the ‘Real Victim’ in Deadly Irving Plaza Shooting

On Monday, rapper Troy Ave (née Roland Collins) pled not guilty to multiple charges, including attempted murder, in connection with last week's deadly shooting at a T.I. concert at New York's Irving Plaza. Lawyers for the rapper, who appeared in court in a wheelchair after being shot in the leg during the altercation, claim he acted in self-defense. “He’s the real victim here,” his lawyers told the court. They say that Troy Ave and his bodyguard Ronald McPhatter, who was killed in the shooting, were shot at first in an incident not captured on the security footage that led to Troy Ave's arrest. According to Troy Ave's lawyers, the rapper did not shoot McPhatter or himself. "The person who was killed at this event, he died a hero. He was his bodyguard. He wasn't shot by Mr. Collins. He was a lifelong friend," the lawyer said in court. "This 11 seconds of video that the NYPD released, it doesn't say what happened before, it doesn't say what happened after. The scientific evidence will show he didn't shoot himself." At the hearing, Troy Ave was remanded without bail. If ballistics tests determine that the gun Troy Ave used was also responsible for McPhatter's death, the charges reportedly could be upgraded.

If You’ve Ever Wanted to See Bruce Springsteen and Bono Perform ‘Because the Night’ Together, Today’s Your Lucky Day

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band swung by Dublin this weekend, and guess which famous Dubliner showed up for a surprise appearance? Yup! Bono. Watch the gentlemen perform Patti Smith's classic "Because the Night," which Springsteen co-wrote with Smith back in the ’70s. Because the night and the spectators clearly demanded it.

Maybe Think Twice About Filming Adele at Her Concert, Because She Will Call You Out, and Things Will Get Awkward

Things Adele would like you to do at her concert: Scream, grovel, shimmy, harmonize. Things Adele would not like you to do at her concert: Record it. The singer-songwriter wasn't too pleased when she discovered a spectator at her Adele Live 2016 tour last night was filming the performance rather than fully enjoying it in the moment, and was quick to voice her aggravation. "Yeah, I want to tell that lady as well, can you stop filming me with a video camera because I'm really here in real life. You can enjoy it in real life, rather than through your camera," she said, stopping her set. "Can you take your tripod down? This isn't a DVD, this is a real show." This was all, of course, ironically captured on video. Listen to the queen! Devices away, plebeians!

Here’s What Kanye’s Yeezus Vinyl Would’ve Looked Like

Kanye West is a self-proclaimed proud minimalist, which was evident with the original release of his sixth album, Yeezus, back in 2013 the album's cover favored transparent packaging and a subtle kaleidoscopic color wheel, with the only conspicuous touch being a red geometric shape on the side. A vinyl was ultimately never released for Yeezus, but now a record label has come forward to state that they, in collaboration with Ye, were asked to tool around and "look into a vinyl spec" for the album at one point. The Glasgow-based label LuckyMe posted an image of the spec on their Instagram, which shares many aesthetic similarities with the original cover. Dare we say it's gorgeous? (No word yet if The Life of Pablo will be released on vinyl.)

That Time a Baked Sound Engineer Changed Eminem’s ‘Stan’ Forever

After re-reflecting on "Stan" last week — as one does from time to time? — Eminem shared a new studio anecdote about the virtuosic song with the Genius community. The behind-the-scenes gem involved a stoned sound engineer who inadvertently erased the rapper's winning rhymes during a second take. With respect to the Stan character's third verse specifically (the one in which the crazed fan is in the car), Em recalled: "I realize [the engineer's] in the wrong spot and I can’t hear any of my vocals so I start waving my arms and yelling in the mic to try to get his attention. He doesn’t notice so I run into the control room through a cloud of smoke and yell 'Yo, I wanted to keep those vocals' he just looked at me and said 'My bad man … you wanna hit this?'" Cue Mr. Mackey.


  • Posted 5/29/16 at 11:12 PM
  • Crimes

Report: Someone Robbed Kanye West’s Creative Studio, But Everything Is Going to Be Okay

In what might sound like a bit of "No More Parties in L.A." déjà vu, TMZ reports that Kanye West's Calabasas studio was burgled last week. The site writes that thieves ripped open a door there last Tuesday and stole roughly $20,000 worth of laptop and desktop gear. Authorities haven't named any suspects, but TMZ's sources believe it could be "someone with direct knowledge of what was in the space." Cosmo adds that the break-in happened while Kanye and Kim were in Europe, not long after a robbery at Scott Disick's L.A. mansion. Fortunately, no important info is said to have been compromised. Kanye has yet to comment.

Listen to a Soulful, Previously Unreleased Track From Chance the Rapper and Donnie Trumpet

A year ago, Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment released Surf, which featured Chance the Rapper frequently throughout the acclaimed album. To celebrate its one year anniversary, Trumpet released a track titled "The First Time" on Soundcloud the nearly 11-minute mix features unreleased material from the Surf sessions with Chance appearing at numerous points. "This is a collection of unused Surf pieces, an ode to the era," Trumpet wrote. "Thank you to everyone who's still listening and growing with the music." For even more Chance, listen to his newest album, the sublime Coloring Book.

Arcade Fire Do a Very On-Brand Surprise Performance Outside of the Louvre

Participating in the exhibition "JR at the Louvre" by noted French street artist JR earlier this week, Arcade Fire darlings Win Butler and Régine Chassagne took over the public garden Jardin des Tuileries by the Louvre to perform a short set of tunes. Joined by a merry band of live percussionists, the husband-and-wife duo spun tracks by David Bowie and Sinéad O'Connor which is great and all — but the real fun came when they performed a snippet of what appears to be a soulful new song, informally dubbed "I Gave You Power." It's a groovy one! That can be viewed above, which is complemented by a longer jam session below.


Courtney Barnett Rocks Out to the Grateful Dead’s ‘New Speedway Boogie’ on The Tonight Show

Courtney Barnett, one of the many indie rockers who participated in the massive Grateful Dead tribute Day of the Dead, swung by The Tonight Show last night to perform the Dead's "New Speedway Boogie." Day of the Dead, curated by the National, comprises 59 songs and features covers by War on Drugs, Angel Olsen, The Walkmen, Perfume Genius, and Sharon Van Ettan and benefits Red Hot, an HIV/AIDS nonprofit. Rock on.

Is It Too Late Now for Justin Bieber and Skrillex to Say Sorry for Allegedly Stealing Parts of ‘Sorry’? Skrillex Denies Wrongdoing

Justin Bieber's apology tour might have to extend itself to court, because he and Skrillex have been sued for allegedly stealing parts of "Sorry." TMZ reports that indie singer White Hinterland, whose real name is Casey Dienel, filed a lawsuit against Bieber and the song's producer, Skrillex, claiming copyright infringement due to "Sorry" allegedly sampling a vocal riff from her 2014 song "Ring the Bell" without her permission. In a Facebook post, she explains, "Like most artists that sample music, Bieber could have licensed my song for use in 'Sorry.' But he chose not to contact me. After the release of 'Sorry,' my lawyers sent Bieber a letter regarding the infringement, but Bieber’s team again chose to ignore me. I offered Bieber’s team an opportunity to have a private dialogue about the infringement, but they refused to even acknowledge my claim, despite the obviousness of the sample." Ultimately, she says she was "left with no other option" but to sue. In the lawsuit, she claims "Sorry" steals eight seconds of "Ring the Bell" (mostly from its opening) that are looped six times.


With Dangerous Woman, Ariana Grande Shows That Being a Work in Progress Is Serving Her Well

“I know what I came to do / And that ain't gonna change / So go ahead and talk your talk / Cause I won't take the bait / I’m over here doing what I like / I’m over here working day and night / And if my real ain't real enough / I’m sorry for you, bae.”

That's the opening line of “Focus,” the intended lead single — since abandoned — of Ariana Grande's recently released third album, Dangerous Woman. "Focus" was introduced to the world last October, back when Dangerous Woman had the working title Moonlight, by a curious silver-haired iteration of Grande. Though the song would debut (and peak) at No. 7 on the Hot 100, its rollout is hardly remembered as a success — it was calculated to a fault, too polished for a time when pop’s biggest stars, particularly its women, are letting their flaws bleed into the music. And it was treated accordingly: "Focus" was relegated to non-album-single status, and in the ensuing months Grande worked on making the changes necessary to evolve Moonlight into Dangerous Woman.

Just four years and three records into her career, Ariana Grande has recognized that her increasing star power comes with a few paradoxical requirements: She must live a life of direct sunlit attention, catering to an audience that has come to expect everything her brunette half-up-do represents, while at the same time finding ways to grow and tinker, both as a person and a musician. You get the sense that Grande spends those days and nights she sings about on “Focus” not just at work on an album, but on considering her position in the ever-shifting popscape — and while there have, predictably, been personal and musical missteps, her willingness to experiment is what yielded the growth showcased on the impressive Dangerous Woman and has enabled her to continually exceed expectations for a 22-year-old diva-in-training.

When Grande first debuted with Yours Truly, in 2013, she couldn’t escape Mariah Carey comparisons, compliments of her upper-whistle register, four-octave range, and overreliance on melismas to showcase what that voice can do. That album, though slightly unfocused in its blend of doo-wop, R&B, and teen pop, laid the groundwork for Grande to inevitably graduate from doe-eyed school girl to a semi-convincing Jessica Rabbit. On Dangerous Woman, she isn’t abandoning the tweenaged tattooed hearts of her first album; she’s just switched up their placement to somewhere more risqué.


Victoria Beckham’s Unreleased Hip-Hop Album Will Bring You Back to the Early ’00s Whether You Wanted It Or Not

Uh, don’t worry about making a playlist for your BBQ this weekend. Victoria Beckham’s unreleased  2003 album, Come Together, has reemerged like those coffins bobbing to the surface of that swimming pool at the end of Poltergeist, and it’s got all the sweet, sexy, pseudo hip-hop tunes you need. (Warning: Victoria Beckham’s unreleased hip-hop album is hip-hop in the way Leslie Carter’s 2001 single ”Like Wow!” is hip-hop.)  According to Huffington Post, Damon Dash produced the 2003 album, which features an appearance from Ol’ Dirty Bastard, but it was subsequently shelved for reasons that should become immediately clear. The result? Imagine an exhausted Jennifer Lopez recorded an album that for legal reasons could only be played at Claire’s. Every character Hillary Duff has ever played would have loved it, and so will you.

Neil Young Wouldn’t Let Donald Trump Keep on Rockin’ in His Free World Because of the ‘Misogyny and the Racism’

Despite Neil Young recently making it sound like he would've been chill with Donald Trump using "Rockin' in the Free World" at his rallies if he'd just asked, turns out, maybe not. Young stopped by Stephen Colbert's Late Show dressing room last night to clarify that there are couple key facts about Trump that make him unfit to keep on rockin' in his free world. You know, "'cause of the misogyny and the racism." No big deal. But say you're not a misogynist or a racist? Still, no dice. Reneging on his whole "everybody can use it for anything" stance, Young is also here to clarify that, at this point, everybody pretty much just means Bernie Sanders ... and probably Jimmy Fallon.

Watch Sad James Corden, David Schwimmer Get Owned After Late Late Show Mic-Drop Surprise

This is kind of like the Hathaslay bout, just slightly more predictable — or so you'd think. Almost every joke about Friends and The Late Late Show possible is made. But then, don't worry, a nice surprise comes to drop bombs related to retired fan bases, Adele wannabes, and inner thigh gaps. R.I.P., mic.

Red Hot Chili Peppers Release New Song, ‘The Getaway,’ So You Can Have a Love Hallucination, or Something

With The Getaway around the corner, Red Hot Chili Peppers on Thursday released their next album's title track. The song, which sometimes sounds like a group of snakes having a friendly debate, enjoys a deceptively upbeat start before taking a turn for the mellow. It comes three weeks after the band announced their 11th studio album, due out June 17. Collectively, the record notably marks the first project not produced by Rick Rubin in years; instead, Danger Mouse handled production, and Nigel Goodrich mixed. For a taste of what to expect, listen to "The Getaway" below:

You Will Have No Problems With the Great Cameos in Chance the Rapper’s ‘No Problem’ Music Video

Tied to Thursday's wider release of Coloring Book, Chance the Rapper unspooled the official visuals for "No Problem." Skim Nasty and Chance directed the vid, which features 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, and others ... dancing and celebrating. The random greatness also includes fun cameos from the likes of Young Thug, DJ Khaled, and King Louie. Oh, and Chance pointing at himself and dancing in front of mirrors — like there he go!

Report: New York Rapper Troy Ave Arrested in Deadly Concert Shooting; T.I. Shares Condolences [Updated]

Brooklyn rapper Troy Ave has been arrested in connection with a deadly Wednesday night shooting at T.I.'s concert at Irving Plaza, reports the New York Daily News. Ave has reportedly been charged with opening fire backstage, which resulted in the death of his bodyguard Ronald "Banga" McPhatter and left three injured, including Ave himself, who sustained a gunshot wound to the leg. Sources tell the Daily News that Ave has been charged with reckless endangerment, illegal-weapons possession, and criminal use of a firearm, but the NYPD is awaiting the results of ballistics tests before Ave can be charged with murder. “There is clear video, very graphic video. He walks right out, women all around, and starts shooting his gun,” the source says. The shooting is said to have stemmed from a dispute between Ave and rapper Maino, who had performed just prior to the shooting. Troy Ave was also set to perform. In a lengthy Instagram post on Thursday, Maino denied having any involvement in the shooting. The NYPD has released disturbing security footage of the shooting.


Gucci Mane Released From Prison Four Months Early

Guwop has been freed: After more than two years in federal prison, Gucci Mane was released on Thursday in Atlanta, TMZ reports. Following his release, which came four months early, Gucci will reportedly spend several months on house arrest, after which he'll be put on probation. The rapper and Spring Breakers star had been serving time for drugs and weapons charges, though he remained just as prolific behind bars as he did out running Atlanta hip-hop, releasing a dozen mixtapes and even announcing his autobiography. (Don't even bother questioning how.) His girlfriend, Keyshia Ka'oir, was the first to share the news on Snapchat, with video revealing a significantly more in-shape Gucci than the one who entered prison two years ago. Needless to say, this summer just got a helluva lot chillier. Brrr!


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