Alright, you don’t have to be an old man to have been there to watch Fall Out Boy blow up but it is getting to that point. Fall Out Boy started as a pop punk/emo outfit from Chicago with their freshman release — “Take This To Your Grave”. Flash forward more than a decade and now the pop punkers have turned into pop rock Gods. Fall Out Boy is well known for blending styles into a clever, tight, and radio friendly sound and that isn’t going to change. On April 27th we saw Fall Out Boy release their most ambitious single yet: “Young and Menace”
If you haven’t gotten a chance to listen to the song you should go ahead. Alright, we waited. What did you think? Fall Out Boy has always changed their sound between albums but we aren’t sure that the change has ever been this dramatic. “Save Rock and Roll” and “American Beauty/American Psycho” were the first two albums released after Fall Out Boy’s hiatus. These records were anthemic, quirky, and decidedly dark for a pop group but it was all at least a little bit familiar. “Young and Menace” is the first single to be released from their next album: M A N I A and it is incredibly hard to nail down.
The song begins with traditional Fall Out Boy flair: muted verses filled with lyrical wordplay. Before you know it, however, there is a bass drop and then a screed chorus that has been pitch shifted to match the dreams of even the most fervent EDM fans. The chorus is literally impossible to sing but it is still catchy, loud, and passionate. All of this music is played over the top of a music video pulled straight from the film/book “Where the Wild Things Are”. Yeah, things got pretty weird.
No matter where you stand on Fall Out Boy or their brand, you have to admit that this is a huge shift for the group. With the single being dropped, the album being titled, and a tour being announced — the world is about to get a huge dosage of the Chicago-bred group. The biggest question, and one you’ll have to ask yourself, is this: can Fall Out Boy stir up a mania for their new record?
These days it can seem as though every musician is schooling their fans in the art of patience. Noted R&B singer Frank Ocean made his fans wait four years for the release of his highly-anticipated sophomore album Blonde. In the case of Frank Ocean release dates were announced, anticipated and then passed by without so much as a Soundcloud link being shared. In the case of the world’s biggest star Beyonce, neither a release date nor the inkling of an album were ever even hinted at during the wait for the star’s last two albums. Her fifth self-titled LP manifested as a link on iTunes that surfaced late in the night without any notice. Her most recent critically-acclaimed album Lemonade had none of the usual marketing that often precedes album releases. Her fans were only told of an HBO special that would air during the weekend and were treated to a trailer that did not contain any new information about the star’s project or whether it was even an album at all. Now another entertainer is making her fans play the waiting game and her name is SZA (prounounced sizz-zuh).
SZA is an R&B singer who got her start by sharing ambient moody soul on several extended plays (EPs) that she posted on the music sharing website Soundcloud. After winning fans over with her independent music she was signed to the independent label Top Dawg Entertainment. The label is also the home of rappers like Kendrick Lamar, School Boy Q and the rap collective (that Lamar and School Boy Q were once members of) Black Hippy. After releasing an EP titled Z through Top Dawg Entertainment in 2014, the singer’s fans have been anticipating the release of her first debut album. Hints were dropped that the artist’s debut album would be released in 2016, a year that saw many dynamic releases from female singers like Rihanna, Beyonce and Tinashe, but 2016 came and went without any new music from the artist.
While SZA’s debut album has yet to come out she did release a new song and music video during the last week of April. The song, Love Galore, is an upbeat record about a relationship that has gone sour. The music video, the first from her unreleased album, features the singer alongside rapper Travis Scott in a bedroom and in an idyllic scene where they are covered in butterflies. According to Pitchfork SZA’s debut album CTRL will reportedly be released this summer. RCA also recently announced that SZA was a new signee at their label. You can watch her music video here.
Kendrick Lamar has done it again. He has managed to surprise fans with a whole new album that is selling very well. He released the single “Humble” and he decided to bring forth the gritty sound of Compton back to this album. This sound has made this the hottest album of the year.
Kendrick Lamar’s receiving high marks on this album. People are getting a feel of what he is trying to bring back to hip hop. He has gotten back to his gritty narratives that are reminiscent of the debut album. It is obvious that Kendrick has a lot in the plans for 2017, and he is showing fans just how passionate he is about hip hop right now.
The album just dropped, and Kendrick is already going forth with a tour schedule. He has released this schedule that appears to be a hot summer tour that will take him throughout the United States in places like Atlanta, Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, and Houston.
This is going to be one of the hottest tours of the summer, and Kendrick Lamar appears to have a goal in mind. He appears to be coming for the spot that has been held by Drake in terms of record sales. Drake is the person that Kendrick bumped in terms of the number one spot on the Billboard charts. He is following behind Drake when it comes to first week sales for an album, but Kendrick still has the hottest album of 2017.
He has rooted himself in urban culture, but he also receives a lot of love from his fans outside of hip hop. Much of this has to do with the friendship and working relationship that has grown with Taylor Swift. She is one of his biggest fans, and this has given him the ability to branch out side of the hip hop community.
There is a lot of critical Acclaim for this new album that has also been very pleasing to his fans. Kendrick appears to be one of those artists that can transition from one area to the next without losing his fans. He is able to navigate from one area to another and take fans along for the ride with his interesting take on life.