NARRATIVES

"ALL GENRES"

The last teenage popstar of the 90s… and absolutely the Millennium Teenage Queen

It’s quite common for us to dispute about who was the first worldwide star in a specific period. For example, the first top artist in the third millennium, or, in the next period, who will be the shining star of the 20s. But if I should say who was the last pop queen of the second millennium, the girl who, with her songs and videos, introduced us to the 2000s, well, there is no doubt. Britney Spears broke down full speed into the world of pop in late 1998 with her first song and video. Her success was so huge that her debut album, released at the end of 1999, topped the charts in many many countries, and her fantastic career definitely skyrocketed. Britney Spears was only 16, and she played the role of the attractive teenage girl, always balancing between being innocent and being attractive, a continuous teasing game of moves and gazes. She was not the first, of course; Lio and Elli Medeiros in France during the early 80, Madonna and her “Like a Virgin” look in the States, Sabrina Salerno with her “Boys” in Italy, Patsy Kensit of Eighth Wonder and Kylie Minogue were teenage icons of beauty and joy of life in the UK during the late 80’s. Many of them are still active, and few of them have been able to remain faithful to their character, and also to evolve during the years. Britney Spears did all of this. I can’t think of any Britney’s hit during all the years, that would not perfectly fit also in the early Britney character ad attitude. It’s a sort of, how to say, everlasting Britneyism!

Written by @EightiesAnd30 from 80and30 
Jul 22, 2019

Woo-aah's Destined To Save Pop.

Kim Petras has 26 years behind her back, that is, she was born in 1992. So when she was about 6 years old, she would listen for the first time to ''…Baby one more time'' by Britney Spears, and then her world would change forever. This is just a guess, whether it was Christina Aguilera and ''Genie in a bottle'', ''Wannabe'' of the Spice Girls, or simply paying attention to the latest public scandal of Paris Hilton. The point is that our protagonist developed a romantic and passionate relationship with the pop culture of the 2000’s. From her distant native Cologne (Germany), the young lady watched the American teen scene and began to collect pop idols like Gwen Stefani or Mariah Carey, while facing a difficult reality. Since she was very young, she felt like a girl, and thanks to the support of her parents she was one of the youngest people to undergo gender reassignment surgery. Petras anchored to this golden age of gum pink color, and decorated her folders with cuts of her favorite stars, to which she added powerful figures of the 80s like Madonna and Cindy Lauper; as well as maximum representatives of LGTBI music such as Boy George or Freddie Mercury. This overflowing river of influences made this young woman a nerd of the aesthetic and bubblegum pop sound, something that in itself seems the coolest. But far from having lived through that time, where Kim had undoubtedly stood out and turned into a mass idol, she had the great idea of ​​combining all this with modern life dominated by social networks. Turned into a cybernetic LGTBI queen, Kim Petras began to gain popularity on the internet thanks to her music, her graceful aesthetics and way of being. Determined to become a fav among the gay public, Kim combines all the characteristics that this audience adores: starting with her pop sound from the diva of 2000 era, going through the attitude of a coquettish and spoiled blonde, to which she is joined by an urban-sweet-boyish (and slightly anime) style in pastel colors and board skirts. In short, salvation (or reincarnation, depending on how you look at it, has always remained alive in the memory and admiration of many) of this subgenre of pop. Kim personifies the meme 'I'm gonna give the gays everything they want' (you know what I mean, right?). Being more than intelligent, Kim introduces herself to the world by releasing single after single since 2017 dedicating herself to a genre that is loved by many, but nothing exploited. With ''I Don’t want it at all'', she presented herself with force to the world: a young aspiring co-star The Simple Life, eager to hunt the coveted sugar daddy, sang a kind of ode to ''whimsy'', luxury consumerism and signatures and brands. With an ending that culminated with the appearance of Paris Hilton, Kim rose in a short time as a Scream Queen more, and was followed by thousands of fans who admired her nerve and flirt. It was with ''Heart to break'' when the German showed that not only had celebrity wood, but also as a singer and songwriter, offering one of the best songs of 2018, and the best of her career so far. From these, a string of singles were laced every so often. With these songs, Kim showed pop mastery, a sweet voice at the same time flexible and themes that mixed anxiety, problems, joy and desire (is not the world teen a drama? Well that), establishing herself as a quality artist. After a brilliant and cartoony EP, Turn Off the Light, Vol. 1, dedicated to the American Halloween, Kim presents her first album: Clarity.

Jul 22, 2019

Listen to Cher’s answer to the question "where do you go when the world does not appreciate your art?" in Not.Com.mercial

There is a popular saying that life is in phases and men are in sizes. Cher must have definitely seen all the phases that were in existence before she released the album. The pop diva has always had a love for trying new things no matter how bad they sounded. "Not.com.mercial" was one of the musical experiments by the artist. Although it was written, recorded and rejected by her record label in 1994, the songstress still kept the album for six years and in the year 2000 she finally released the album on the Internet only. The album portrayed a very different and probably unheard version of Cher, little wonder it meant a lot to her as she was bent on releasing it even after its rejection six years earlier, although she ended up releasing it only on the Internet. She didn’t want it to seem as though she was forcing anyone to listen to her track. The album was filled with really personal stories of the musician’s life plus she probably felt insulted by the fact that the label rejected the album when she recorded it initially. She claimed that she had no expectations but in truth she expected the album to fail hence, the name and she also hoped that the album succeeded. On her twenty-second album "Believe", the artist used auto tunes on her tracks and to be honest the adjustment was a bit much. It completely changed the voice of the pop diva. Although the label wanted to take out the auto tunes, she insisted that it was released without any alteration. The label eventually agreed with her and after its release, the sound the label criticized was celebrated worldwide. My point is it was the success that followed after her rebellion that persuaded her to rebel a second time. Sadly, her second rebelled album did not have as much success as her first. According to stats, the album was not a success but I really admire the guts of the star and the fact that this album meant so much to her was the reason I searched it out in the first place.

Jul 22, 2019

J. Cole Writes A Biography

J. Cole returns after a 2-year break since his 2014 Forest Hill Drive album with another and his second Solo, feature-less album. This time, he kept the track list to just 10 songs and touched topics ranging from racial discrimination, mass incarceration, love, fatherhood, depression, and Gang Violence that is common in the African American Community. A Dreamville source, according to genius confirmed that the storyline in the entire album was a true story and that James (not his real name), the name of the character in the album was a real person and that he changed in the name for the sake of privacy. J. Cole’s storytelling was also evident in this album and it was at its best in this album, as he told a story all the way from the situations surrounding the community and circumstances James was raised in, to selling crack, all the way to him falling in love to him becoming a father, then passing away. It turns out that the entire 4 Your Eyez Only was a memoir for his young daughter to remember him by. The drama before the release of the album was something else; J. Cole had earlier hinted at retirements on two occasions. The first being on DJ Khalid’s Major Key, released in July of 2016, he featured on a track titled “Jermaine’s Interlude”, he hinted at retirement with the lines “Niggas murkin' each other in murky water, Ias try and swim. How the fuck do I look when I brag to you 'bout some diamond? Said all that I could say now I play with thoughts of retirement”. The second time was at an October concert in 2016 where he announced that that particular performance would be his last for a while. That was discombobulating for a lot of fans as regards the status of his career, only for him release a pre-order on iTunes on December 9th, 2016. Like the 2014 Forest Hill Drive, the album didn’t enjoy any marketing; listening party, social media hype, interviews and the whole nine yards. The album had its first single, “Déjà vu”, released Thirty-one days after the release the album; yet, the album sold three hundred and sixty three thousand (363,000) copies on the first week, making it his fourth consecutive number-one album in the United States. As usual, J. Cole didn’t get a Grammy nomination, but got nominations from Billboard and BET. By January 2017, the album was certified Gold, and was certified Platinum by April. 4 Your Eyez Only remains the most controversial album of J. Cole so far and he didn’t bother to address any of the controversy and let people contemplate until it died out.

Written by @OBP from Omobaba Pension 
Jul 22, 2019

Mr Eazi Combined Various Influences To Score A Series Of Hits In “Lagos To London” Mixtape

There's a saying that goes "To whom much is given, much is expected". That saying is golden and true in most cases. But it becomes scary and terrifying when there's a lot of pressure to deliver, a lot of pressure to do better than you did the last time. At that point, you may be left with no choice than to think outside the box, to do the extraordinary. And when you succeed in doing that, then it will have been worth the whole effort. When Ngerian Banku Music singer, Mr Eazi, first came into limelight, he came with a kind of music with a different kind of vibe. While the majority of Africa was vibing to music made majorly with fast-paced or up-tempo beats, Mr Eazi was busy perfecting the Banku music style which is mostly characterized by mid-tempo beats and some form of Ghanaian synths. Before long, that pattern of music began to gain momentum among African millenials, and right now it has become a well established sound in Africa. Mr Eazi used that sound to create his first album "Life is Eazi, Vol. 1 - Accra To Lagos" mixtape, but after that it was as if that sound was waning. That sound which everyone has now accepted and are now vibing to, and which Mr Eazi is championing was finally beginning to wane and lose momentum. What would Mr Eazi do now? Heck! He was just starting his music career and couldn't afford to go down with his signature sound. He had to think outside the box and do the extraordinary. What would that be? Damn! It would be to take that sound to a new clime and repeat the process. And so Mr Eazi took his sound to London and named that body of work "Life is Eazi, Vol. 2 - Lagos To London" mixtape. How brilliant! So on Friday, 9th November, 2018, he gave all music lovers a gift by way of a new body of work. It was the release of his sophomore album. That mixtape boasts of features from Simi, Burna Boy, 2Baba, Diplo, Lady Donli, Distruction Boyz, Maleek Berry, Giggs, among others and it comes after his "Life is Eazi, Vol. 1 - Accra To Lagos" mixtape, released in February, 2017.

Written by @timuwakwe from NaviCorp 
Jul 17, 2019

The Musical Success Of The Cher (1987) Album Proved That Stats Do Not Really Mean Much As Long As You Have Loyal Fans And Friendly Radio Stations.

No matter how many changes and experiments the artist does on her music, she always returned to her first love “rock” and this album is one of such albums. "Cher" was the second self-titled album by the artist. The name of the first album was changed to Gypsies, tramps and thieves as a means of ensuring that it was successful commercially. After experimenting with a long series of disco and pop tracks, she finally produced a rock themed album and It was as though her fans and quite a number of radio stations had been anticipating her return. The album caused the artist to top the charts once more. As usual, the tracks on the album’s playlist were written by multiple artists. Whenever I think about the fact that the songs were not actually written by the songstress but yet she always made a perfect delivery it always blows my mind away. The playlist included a brand-new version of her song “Bang bang (My baby shot me down)” which made it clear that the artist was obviously not content with the makeup of the earlier version. It is a good thing the artist had producers work with her all through her career because of the things she accepted musically ended not performing well in the musical world. Despite the friendly reception the song enjoyed from her fans and radio stations, the song ended up not doing too well commercially. According to statistics, the album did not get to the top three of any chart but its tracks were just hanging in the balance between #11 and #47.

Jul 17, 2019

The Legend Came Out With A Not So Legendary Album, But It Still Bangs In Its Own Way

I love Michael Jackson because he is a legend. A freakin’ legend! But even legends should not get automatic passes for everything that they put out. All legends are susceptible to creative misses, or sometimes even being out of touch with the ‘times.’ To the best of my knowledge, Michael Jackson’s 2001 album Invincible was his last album that had all-original music. Of course, a more recent album like 2014’s XSCAPE does have re-done recordings (that were basically old unproduced songs that were remixed for the production), but he wasn’t alive when this was released, so it is a little bit of a different situation. With Invincible, the album is not unlistenable, yet suffers from not offering much more than it’s few singles, such as “You Rock My World”, “Cry”, and “Butterflies.” Yes, these singles, especially “You Rock My World” and “Butterflies”, are actually classics today. Whenever these songs come on, I can’t help but start rocking my shoulders, or when I am really feeling it, doing my best Michael Jackson impersonation. But many of the other songs I feel just either sound too similar to one another, or severely lack that ‘hit’ factor. Such a shame, because look at the timing: this album came out in 2001. Meaning, in the 10 years between this album and MJ’s death, he didn’t add anything that I know of to his catalogue. Yes – it is sort of frustrating. But thank god for his ‘eternal’ catalogue – always there for fans like me.

Written by @UgumaMonjok
Jul 17, 2019

Ariana Grande - a star that has been by my side since my childhood

Already as a little girl I admired the series, in which she appeared on a well-known television program, popular mainly among children and teenagers - Nickelodeon. Even then, I had the opportunity to admire Ariana Grande (initially) acting, for example in the well-known series "Victorious". As her huge fan I started following her also as I grew up and it lasts until now. I was in love with her every album. I love the music she creates and the message that often moves me. Following her journey for such a long time, I can express my opinion about what she creates. She has gone a huge way to become who she is now. I must admit that I look at her with admiration every day because of how much she has achieved over the years. Her latest album thank u, next, I consider to be one of the best, if not the best. The album contains great pop songs that are catchy. This is typical contemporary music that most people like listening to. Surely, the greatest hits were "thank u, next" (like the name of the album), "7 rings", "breathin" and "break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored.” They definitely made the biggest sensation. To this list I could also easily add the song "bloodline", which is also incredibly catchy and fantastic “fake smile" or "ghostin" are (in my point of view) songs with a larger message. There is, of course, also a list of songs that are of great importance to the artist, such as the already previously mentioned song "ghostin.” I must say that I am very happy that I have had such a great journey with her that I continue to lead. I am also very excited because for the first time in many years I have the pleasure to go on tour (“Sweetener World Tour"), which I am waiting for impatiently. I know that I will experience amazing moments there and I will be able to feel all those amazing emotions flowing straight from my heart for a moment. It must be an amazing feeling to have an opportunity to see your idol, who until now could only be seen on television or in social media.

Jul 12, 2019

Big Breakthrough

Sia Kate Isobelle Furler was born on 18 December 1975 in Adelaide, South Australia. Her father, Phil Colson, is a musician, and her mother, Loene Furler, is an art lecturer. Sia is the niece of actor-singer Kevin Colson. She said that as a child she imitated the performing style of Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Sting, whom she cites as early influences. She attended Adelaide High School. In the mid-1990s, Sia started a career as a singer in the local acid jazz band Crisp. She collaborated with the band and contributed vocals to their album Word and the Deal (1995) and EP Delirium (1997). In 1997 Crisp disbanded, and Sia released her debut studio album, OnlySee, on Flavoured Records, in Australia, on 23 December. The album sold about 1,200 copies. Unlike her later albums, OnlySee was marketed under her full name, Sia Furler. It was produced by Jesse Flavell. She moved to London, England, and provided lead vocals for the British duo Zero 7. In 2000, Sia released her second studio album, Healing Is Difficult, on the Columbia label the following year, and her third studio album, Colour the Small One, in 2004, but all of these struggled to connect with a mainstream audience. Sia relocated to New York City in 2005 and toured in the United States. Her fourth and fifth studio albums, Some People Have Real Problems and We Are Born, were released in 2008 and 2010, respectively. Each was certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association and attracted wider notice than her earlier albums. Uncomfortable with her growing fame, Sia took a hiatus from performing, during which she focused on songwriting for other artists, producing successful collaborations "Titanium" (with David Guetta), "Diamonds" (with Rihanna) and "Wild Ones" (with Flo Rida). In 2014, Sia finally broke through as a solo recording artist when her sixth studio album, 1000 Forms of Fear, debuted at No 1 in the U.S. Billboard 200 and generated the top-ten single "Chandelier" and a trilogy of music videos starring child dancer Maddie Ziegler. In an interview published by NME in February 2015, Furler revealed that the album as a contractual obligation: “Basically, I put this out to get out of my publishing deal. I was planning to be a pop song writer for other artists. But my publishing deal was as an artist, so I had to put one more album out. I didn’t want to get famous, so I kept all the songs I wanted and had fun making it.”

Jul 04, 2019

Eminem Dropped A Surprise Album, This Was Very Unexpected.

I don’t judge people on what they say or their opinions. I judge people based on the effect they have on others. When Eminem says anything, the world stops. He grew a beard and it made actual news – A lot of people say Eminem is the best rapper of alive. I don’t agree with those people, but they have a legitimate argument. Saying Eminem is the best rapper alive is understandable, but lazy. Rappers are weird because they don’t age like Athletes as much as they age like wrestlers. As long as the charisma is still there their character can still be believable. So with that said Eminem is like the Stone Cold Steve Austin of Rap, he was amazing at his peak but to call him the best wrestler today wouldn’t be fair to AJ Styles or Seth Rollins. If that analogy is too nerdy, Eminem is like The Simpsons of Rap, great at their peak, but calling it the best show on TV in 2019 is insane. This is why it’s so frustrating to have real conversations about Eminem because his legacy outshines his current state. Plus, I’m almost 80 percent sure Eminem fans aren’t rap fans because the things they love about him today aren’t what make rap good. “Oh he rhymes words really fast” “ok but what was the song about” “DID YOU SEE HOW MANY WORDS HE RHYMED” “but I don’t know what he’s talking abo-“ “HE CAN RHYME ANYTHING, HE RHYMED THE WORD ORANGE, HE’S KEEPING HIPHOP AL-” you get the picture. It’s tiring. So with that said let’s get into the surprise album Kamikaze

Jul 04, 2019

The Weeknd Aants You To Be Sad Faster Than You’ve Ever Been Sad

The Weeknd is like the Harriet Tubman of OVO. After helping create a new sound and my favorite Drake album “Take Care”, he realized that he was worth more than a potential owl tattoo and a pat on the back from Drake. Through his own cunning and sheer determination, he escaped the OVO sweatshop with the overseer known as Drake and lived to tell the tale. He tried to take PartyNextDoor and DVSN with him, but they didn’t know they were slaves to OVO. He ran off on Drake and built a career all his own with nothing besides cocaine and heartbreak. You can tell that I Love Makonnen thought he would make the same moves but unfortunately, he watched his biggest single become another one of Drake’s. The Weeknd climbed out of the prison like Bruce Wayne in Rises and immediately got to work. Abel is one of the few artists who can announce music and completely shift everyone's mood. He’s like a summer thunderstorm when you’re at Six Flags, all you can do is stop and wait for him to pass before you walk through a much damper world. The Weeknd really is just like a storm except instead of Thunder strikes you hear strange yodeling. The minute you start press play on a Weeknd song things just get Dark and stay there; he's like the Winter Solstice. He’s comparable to the Night King from Game Of Thrones if instead of killing the living to create skeleton monsters, he just made you want to do drugs and have unprotected sex with strangers who take their Instagram photos exclusively with the X-Pro II filter. It goes without saying that people LOVE The Weeknd the way they love their antidepressants. I never got into him because I was well adjusted and was going through a legendary dry spell, so I had no chance to have depressing sex. However, I’ve since caught up and lived a semi sad couple of years, so when I saw that he had a tape literally called “My Dear Melancholy” coming out, I was ready to prepare myself for the pain. I put on a faded black hoodie on over a slightly less faded black tee and a new dad hat (the saddest outfit) and pressed play.

Jul 04, 2019

A Short Lived Life But Long Lived Musical Journey

One of the most favorite singers especially of the youth, Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy being the real name of the musical sensation XXXtentacion, was born in Florida. The artist had started his journey in the music industry through Soundcloud which is a platform for all the people interested in spreading their love for music. Having a great and huge number of fanbase, the artist was able to rise above all the bounds in his past life and touched the hearts of millions of youth. One of the most unfortunate and sad part about the artist was his death when he was shot by a group of four people in a robbery which left his fans disheartened and in shock. The twenty years old artist had left the world, but his songs always lingered all around making his musical journey successful even after his death. Making his debut in the huge English musical industry was the song “LOOK AT ME” which was at first regarded popular in an average rate but secured a great appreciation later when this song was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. SKINS, the album released in the year 2018, was the third studio album by the artist. The rapper and the songwriter’s last album before death, SKINS has received a large popularity and love. The most popular track of the album was “BAD” which was his fifth posthumous single and his third posthumous single to go to platinum. The album’s first release was in the artist’s Instagram profile where he sang first line of the song. The music video became extremely popular with time when it reached over more than 30 million views. The late artist had taken out many anime- styled video clips along with the song and it got many votes and much love from the fans all over the world. The album was made in collaboration with American rapper Kanye West who later also released some snippets from X’s album that had also made many more fans. Taking from the song videos to just the tunes and the lyrics, the album was at the top of the US Billboard 200. It was unfortunate and ill-fated that after 3 months from the release of the album, the artist was shot dead.

Jul 04, 2019

Take The Crown By Robbie Williams, Everywhere And In None

I took Take The Crown as an example only because it seems to me that it is what most eloquently describes the career of an artist that baffles me. A record that is not from here, nor from there, that pretends to be everywhere and in none at the same time. In the beginning, as many in the UK and much of Europe know, Robbie Williams belonged to the most famous Boy Band of the time in the British Isles, Take That, and because of the outstanding attention that fans of the band put about Robbie, the idea inside his mind about leaving the band and starting a solo career began to germinate. You know, the artists' ego is huge as the Universe itself and the temptation to shine with their own light and not share credits or reflectors with the rest of the band members is very big. It is not the first, nor will it be the last. Throughout the history of the twentieth century and so far in the twenty-first we can make a long list of artists who have abandoned the original band members or, even, have caused enough problems within their groups to cause the break and thus get the goal of starting a solo career. The way in which Robbie behaved when recording his videos and in the live presentations attracted a lot of attention. Perhaps his unusual facial features and the energy he put into everything he did with the rest of the band, made him stand out from the others and that should also have captivated the executives of the record labels. The conditions to start a solo adventure were given after several very successful albums with Take That and, what had to happen, happened. Robbie Williams announced his departure from the band and one of his main goals was to go to the conquest of the great music consumer market: The United States. The artist moved to Los Angeles to be concentrated one hundred percent and have all possible contact with the industry and the public. At the time of announcing his retirement and releasing his first solo album, he had a great response in Europe (where he was already an idol) however, I believe that the American continent did not have so much enthusiasm. The signs, from the point of view of the business, were clear: we should be very careful in the next attempt and, if things in the United States were not given as intended, we should return to take care of the market that was already held captive and not cause a cooling of it, because the risk of going into oblivion very soon in a market that was not receiving attention, was very large. I think the obsession with the American market was what led to Robbie Williams' ship drifting, however many attempts he made, things never got better on this side of the Pacific Ocean.

Jul 04, 2019