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Drink Up: Snoop Dogg Drops COOLAID Ahead of Schedule

Turns out, July 1 is the kind of day on which only real nerds drop albums. Not long after Blood Orange dropped his July 1-scheduled Freetown Sound early, Snoop Dogg has unleashed COOLAID, also initially set for the 1st. The hefty 20-track album marks Snoop Dogg's 14th studio release. Some of the good people who feature on Snoop Dogg's latest effort include E-40, Too $hort, Suga Free, Wiz Khalifa, Swizz Beats, Jeremih and Trick Trick. The album is available early as an Apple Music exclusive, so take a listen here. In Snoop's own words, "Coolaid. Taste good."

Soon, You Can Call Paul Simon ‘Retired’

The game is over, over, over, for Paul Simon. No good times, no bad times, no times at all, just interviews with the New York Times. "Showbiz doesn’t hold any interest for me," the music legend tells the paper, explaining that he expects he'll soon give up performing for good after his European tour in the fall. "It's an act of courage to let go," he says. "I am going to see what happens if I let go. Then I’m going to see, who am I? Or am I just this person that was defined by what I did? And if that’s gone, if you have to make up yourself, who are you?" Meanwhile, Art Garfunkel has concerts scheduled through spring 2017 — he finally wins!

Maxwell Drops New Track ‘Hostage’ for the Sake of a Willing Audience

After a seven-year absence, Maxwell's reappearance in your bedroom continues with "Hostage." Released Tuesday, it's the latest track off of Maxwell's BLACKsummers'night, which is due to be released July 1. The new album is the second in Maxwell's promised BLACKsummers'night trilogy. So, you know the drill: Get in touch with that special someone, and see if they'll be your willing "Hostage." Oh, yeah, and give the new track a listen below.

China Has Reportedly Banned Lady Gaga’s Music After Her Meeting With the Dalai Lama Ignited a Bad Romance

Rah-rah, ah-ah-ah! Ro-mah, ro-mah-mah! Gaga, ooh-la-la — you're banned from China. After The Hollywood Reporter told tale of Chinese fans speculating that Lady Gaga was to be blacklisted from performing in China in the aftermath of her Facebook Live interview with the Dalai Lama on Sunday, The Guardian is now reporting that those fears have been realized. Per The Guardian, Gaga has reportedly been added to a "list of hostile foreign forces banned by China’s Communist party." Additionally, the propaganda wing of the party is said to have banned Gaga's catalogue from the mainland, according to Apple Daily, a pro-democracy Hong Kong–based publication. There were also allegedly demands given to party-controlled news outlets to condemn the meeting. 

  • Posted 6/28/16 at 6:25 PM
  • Music

Justin Timberlake, Vic Mensa, and the Pitfalls of Being an Ally to Marginalized Groups

Last weekend, the annual Pride celebrations and the BET Awards hit on the same summer Sunday evening, as they often do, and incidents arose out of each event that illuminated a need for keener, more informed social-justice advocacy from stars in and around hip-hop. One of the BET show’s highlights was activist and Grey’s Anatomy actor Jesse Williams’s Bet Humanitarian Award acceptance speech, in which he spoke sharply and passionately about the fight against systemic racial inequality. After the show, Justin Timberlake ended up under fire on Twitter after handling a sharp retort to his quick message of support for Williams’s speech with a cavalier snap. The same night, Chicago rapper Vic Mensa released a new song called “Free Love” to stand in support of LGBTQ rights and a family member who came out to him last year. Like Timberlake’s gaffe, Vic’s song is a stutter step toward enlightenment where a great stride was needed. Both artists are aware of inequalities they’ve escaped since birth, but each struggled to speak sensitively and articulately about the privileges of whiteness, maleness, and straightness when put on the spot.

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The Strokes’ First Music Video in Five Years Is a Deliciously Silly Art-Film Pastiche

It's been five years since the Strokes released a proper music video (the lyric video for the thrumming "Drag Queen" doesn't count), and the quintet decided to provide some major fan service by releasing one for "Threat of Joy," the smooth closer from their newest EP, Future Present Past. Between the sinister pig-masked gentlemen and the roller-disco rink — there's a lot of eccentric stuff going on here — it's honestly just nice to see these five guys back in a video and having a silly time. Seriously, how delightfully goofy are Julian's dance moves?

Suge Knight Is Suing Chris Brown, Says Lax Security Led to Shooting

Suge Knight is suing Chris Brown, saying Brown's lax security led to his August 2014 shooting inside the nightclub 1Oak, NBC reports. Knight was shot seven times while attending a party co-hosted by Brown and the singer Pia Mia, who are among the 30-plus defendants in the suit. (The others are mostly 1Oak owners and landlords.) In the lawsuit, the mogul calls Brown "a known gang associate with a history of violence" who has a "well-documented track record" of throwing events that lead to violence. Knight, who supported Brown throughout his domestic-violence scandal, also claims that the shooting left him with a blood clot that led to his collapse in a Las Vegas jail cell. The Death Row records co-founder is facing murder charges after driving his car over two men — killing one of them — on the set of Straight Outta Compton in January 2015.

That Song From the Game of Thrones Finale Is on Spotify, and It’s Straight Fire

Game of Thrones has often been compared to The Godfather, but the analogy was never more apt than in the opening montage of Sunday night's season-six finale, as director Miguel Sapochnik cross-cut between various characters preparing for Loras's trial, and Cersei Lannister waiting for ... something. Underneath it all was a menacing track from composer Ramin Djawadi, "Light of the Seven," in which a cello, a piano, and an organ all competed to see which of them could scare the shit out of you the most. The good news is the song is now on Spotify! The bad news is everything else.

Kanye West’s ‘Famous’ Video to Air on TV So You Can See for Yourself What All the Fuss Is About

Lena Dunham hates it! George W. Bush's camp thinks it does not accurately represent his physique! Finally, you'll get the opportunity to watch Kanye West's controversial "Famous" video without bothering with a Tidal subscription. According to the Fader, the video — which features naked wax figures of celebrities like Taylor Swift and Donald Trump, in a style inspired by Vincent Desiderio's Sleep — will make its basic-cable debut Monday night at 7 p.m. EST on E! (It will re-air at 11 p.m.) Finally, Kanye is joining the family business.

The Best Albums of 2016 (So Far)

This week, Vulture is looking back at the best entertainment releases so far in 2016. Today, music critic Craig Jenkins takes stock of what has been an especially strong six months for music.

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Rihanna’s ‘Sledgehammer’ Debuts on the Latest Star Trek Beyond Trailer, Because in Space, Everyone Can Hear You Croon

Don't ask us why, but it always seemed like Rihanna would be more of a Deep Space Nine gal than a fan of the Star Trek reboots (you just know she has opinions about wormholes), but either way, the pop star signed on to go where Diane Warren has gone before and perform a new single for Star Trek Beyond. Featured in a new trailer for the latest Trek film today, "Sledgehammer" was written by Sia and it pushes Rihanna into some of her more ambitious vocal work in recent memory. Sadly, Rihanna herself will not appear in Beyond, but she has signed on for a role in Luc Besson's Valerian, so fear not, the crazy space outfits are coming soon.

  • Posted 6/26/16 at 4:55 PM
  • Rihanna

Here to Make Sunday Suck a Little Less Is Rihanna, Teasing Her New Single ‘Sledgehammer’

Rihanna to the rescue, here to make your chronic case of Sunday afternoon ennui a little easier to bear. As RiRi teased earlier today on Instagram, tomorrow she'll drop her new single "Sledgehammer," which will appear on the Star Trek Beyond soundtrack. Fair warning, the Insta is about as teaser-y as teasers get. A handful of musical notes, some Star Trek clips, cover art ... and boom, we're out.

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A Second Hearing for Prince’s Estate Case Has Been Scheduled

Things are only just heating up for everyone involved in Prince's estate case. Following the news in April that the Purple One did not have a will — which was outlined in legal documents filed by his sister, Tyka Nelson, and later verified by a judge a second hearing has been scheduled in suburban Minnesota on Monday to further pursue the case. The courtroom hearing will not try to immediately determine the legal heir or heirs, but rather it'll focus on "the procedures for determining who stands to inherit part of Prince's estate."

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  • Posted 6/26/16 at 11:56 AM
  • Huh?

50 Cent Arrested for Using Profanity in the Caribbean; His Fine Will Be Significantly Greater Than 50 Cents

Is "P.I.M.P." putting a curse on 50 Cent? Someone give him a blinged-out amulet as soon as possible: A week after a producer sued Dr. Dre and 50 Cent over intentionally using the beat of his song "BAMBA" for the Get Rich Or Die Trying smash hit, the rapper was arrested following a concert on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts for repeatedly saying the word "motherfucking" while performing "P.I.M.P." Local police arrested and escorted him to the police station promptly at the concert's end, and he will be required to pay a fine and appear in court on Monday. (Profanity is reportedly classified as a misdemeanor in St. Kitts.) Back in 2003, DMX was also arrested in St. Kitts for a profanity-laden concert. Maybe hit up St. Johns next time, 50.

  • Posted 6/26/16 at 11:34 AM
  • Prince

Prince’s ‘Yellow Cloud’ Guitar Just Sold at Auction for $137,500

If you had your heart set on owning Prince's Yellow Cloud guitar, we hate to be the bearer of bad news — the iconic instrument was sold at Heritage Auctions in Beverly Hills, California this weekend to Indiana Colts owner (and music memorabilia collector) Jim Irsay to the nice tune of $137,500. Yellow Cloud made a place for itself in musical history, making appearances in many of Prince's videos from the late ’80s and early ’90s, including "Cream" and "Gett Off."

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Adele Had the ‘Best F*cking Moment’ of Her Whole Life Performing at Glastonbury

Believe it or not, Saturday night was the first time Adele who's essentially Britain's honorary second Queen at this point headlined Glastonbury throughout her decade-spanning career. (She previously appeared at the famed British music festival in 2007, before the release of her first album, 19.) She came, she saw, and you're damn right she conquered on Saturday night, pulling out a diverse and flawless 15-song set while simultaneously being the most delightful human being in the greater Somerset area. No official videos have been posted of the performance just yet, but until then, watch some musical and non-musical clips of her set below.

  • Posted 6/25/16 at 9:33 PM
  • Music

Chris Martin Says Rihanna’s Voice Is Like a ‘Beautifully Squeezed Tube of Toothpaste’

Meet Chris Martin, the low-key master of compliments. In a recent interview with the Guardian, Martin turned the spotlight on his "Princess of China" collaborator Rihanna, heaping some highly original praise upon the songstress.

“Rihanna has this thick tone, so it’s very hard to annoy anybody. It’s like a beautifully squeezed tube of toothpaste,” he said. "When you think of Rihanna’s voice, you think of this whole, rich thing, solid like a tree trunk.”

So when someone says your voice sounds like a tube of toothpaste and a tree trunk in the same sentence you're supposed to say ... thank you ... right?

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  • Posted 6/25/16 at 8:30 PM
  • Music

Jay Z Just Released a Documentary to Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Reasonable Doubt

June 25 marks the 20th anniversary of Jay Z's debut studio album Reasonable Doubt. To honor the occasion, Jay Z has released RD20, a 35-minute documentary commemorating the album that, as the rapper recently said on Twitter, "literally saved my life."

The documentary tracks the making of Reasonable Doubt, Hova's rise to stardom, and the legacy of the iconic album. Directed by Scheme Engine, the doc is broken up into segments named for the album's tracks ("Brooklyn's Finest," "Can't Knock The Hustle," "Politics As Usual" "Friend or Foe," "Dead Presidents II"). The film features interviews from members of the Reasonable Doubt production team (DJ Clark Kent, DJ Premier, Ski) as well as album cover photographer Jonathan Mannion, Reasonable Doubt guest artist Memphis Bleek, and Roc-a-Fella co-founder Kareem "Biggs" Burke. Lest you think the doc will be exclusively talking heads, the film also features footage of Jay Z performing tracks off the album in a studio and at Barclays Center.

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  • Posted 6/25/16 at 4:36 PM
  • Obits

Bernie Worrell, Parliament-Funkadelic Keyboardist, Dead at 72

Bernie Worrell was one of the great under-sung artists of the 20th century. He was a vital member of Parliament-Funkadelic, the George Clinton–led psych-funk-rock collective. They changed American music. Originally a 1960s doo-wop outfit, P-Funk imbued rock with African American–influenced beats and rhythms. They helped engender Afro-Futurism. Worrell, who died of lung cancer on Friday at the age of 72, didn’t get the credit (or rights) he deserved. His sinuous, shimmering, sultry moog bass lines and synth solos enmeshed with Clinton’s capricious wordplay. His artistry has lingered in the music landscape, as if steeped in eternal reverb. The synth work he did for P-Funk permeated West Coast rap, or G-Funk, in the ’90s (“Aqua Boogie” is a favorite of Dr. Dre’s). Talking Heads guitarist and keyboardist Jerry Harrison invited Worrell to join the New York band for The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads, and he appeared in Jonathan Demme’s sumptuous concert film Stop Making Sense. Worrell played with an incredibly eclectic group of artists and entertainers, including Keith Richards, Mos Def, David Letterman’s Paul Shaffer–led house band, and that mustachioed madman Les Claypool.

Swell Guy Billy Joel Performs With a Billy Joel Cover Band

Put yourself in the shoes of the hundreds of people who made a trip to the intimate Paramount in Huntington, New York, Friday night to see Billy Joel cover band Big Shot. You're grooving and stammering along to "Movin' Out" heart attack ackackackackack with a beer in hand, reveling in the ambiance with your fellow Joel enthusiasts. But all of a sudden, a bald man walks onto the stage and commandeers the piano. That's not an average bald man, you think, that's Billy fucking Joel. That's exactly what went down at the Paramount last night, where the singer-songwriter unexpectedly made an appearance and performed a three-song set along with the band. (Rolling Stone notes, though, that Big Shot isn't your average cover band: consisting of guitarist/singer Mike DelGuidice, guitarist Tommy Byrnes, and drummer Chuck Burgi, all three are steady members of Joel's touring unit, and currently serve as his backing band.)

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