Kanye's Least Convincing Role

Kanye West is the last old school rock star. Who else will go to the same crazy extremes? Who else measures the extremity of his actions by the number of TVs thrown out the window an act equates to? Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow got in the inevitable-therapy game when they named their child Apple, but Kim and Kanye chose North and Saint. Advantage Kanye, and there’s no other level at which Martin is in his league.  

Noname's Hall of Mirrors and Exploration of Self

Noname is masterfully ambiguous and undefinable, but on her new album, Room 25, listeners watch as she plays with the concept of defining herself anyway. She is born out of Chicago’s open mic scene and is an original blend of spoken word, hip-hop, and lullaby. Her sophomore album is a whimsical journey through her own self-exploration, one listeners feel like they are experiencing right alongside her.

Tank and the Bangas Are Right Band, Right Time

Tank and the Bangas have become one of the best stories in New Orleans music. Their growth as artists and performers has been steady, and success hasn’t come at the cost of their nerve. Instead of remaking “Walmart” again and again or—worse—simplifying their songs to make them more conventional, they’ve asked more of their audiences instead of less.

Janet Jackson Remembers Her Father at Essence

{Updated] Keeping the fans in the Superdome has been a challenge for the acts that close the Essence Festival, but Janet Jackson didn’t start to hemorrhage audience members until a lengthy mid-set DJ break. That ended with the band playing “Let’s Wait a While” as an instrumental, which fans took as a chance to sing or leave. Still, once she was back onstage and performing, the exodus slowed significantly.

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