5 Indie Artists That Need to Be on Your iPod

The days of major labels and radio stations reigning over our iPods are far behind us, and we can thank the indie scene for that. Over the past few years, there's been an influx of independent, phenomenal talents that have left us scratching our heads and wondering 'Where did they come from?'

We welcome new talent with open ears, and that's why VIBE has compiled five indie acts that your playlists shouldn't live without. --Jolie Sanchez

Listen: Jessie Ware "Running"

Timeless music isn't a thing of the past, and London crooner Jessie Ware is living proof. In her latest visuals for "Running," the songstress fixates us with her classic voice and melodic guitar strings. Keep me running, you keep me running she sings, with a grand velvet curtain as her backdrop. Can you say replay value?

Listen: Lana Del Rey "Without You [Kill Paris Remix]"

Let's forget for a second that all the indie lovers are after Lana's head, and soak in the greatness of this masterpiece. You might think, 'Another day, another remix,' but hit the play button before making any hasty presumptions. The careful crafting of Lana's vocals matched with the electro backdrop is a sonic paradise. The haunting nature of her words hitting all the right emotions.

Listen: Neon Indian "Fallout"

Here's a blast from the past to feast your ears on. Described on their band page as asacousmatic-pop-tape music, Neon Indian gives us an enthralling listen with the vintage sounds of "Fallout." The accompanying visuals (courtesy of Adult Swim) are a perfect fit, looking like they were ripped straight from a early 90's adult comic.

Listen: Fader Lima "Zombie"

There's something magical about this brooding song. Be it Fader Lima's emotionally charged vocals or her mystical attire, the video is so beautifully strange that you want to keep watching until you "get it."

Listen: Troy Ave Ft. Action Bronson, Mr. MFN eXquire, Maffew Ragazino & Avon Blocksdale "Home T.E.A.M."

The indie rap world has some fire thought we forgot didn't you? Brooklyn's own Troy Ave recruits four of his fellow New York rhymesayers to unite on this gritty cut. This sound was the breeding ground for hip-hop, how can you not love it? These five have great chemistry on the track, we wouldn't mind seeing an EP of sorts in the near future...

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Michael B. Jordan To Star In 'gen:LOCK' Anime Series

Michael B. Jordan will be lending his lady-loved voice to a new anime series,"gen:LOCK," for Rooster Teeth.

In the new series, Jordan will be playing Julian Chase. The show is described as "50 years in the future, where an oppressive authoritarian force threatens to conquer the world. So a daring team is recruited to pilot a new form of weaponized neuroscience that powers devastating mecha. However, this team must be willing to sacrifice everything to save the world," according to Shadow and Act.

“He is willing to lay his life on the line for the greater good. He had a lot of heroic qualities to him that made it easy for me to be like ‘cool, I want to voice this guy,’” Jordan told SyfyWire about his reason for picking the role.

Way too excited to show you guys the final trailer for #genLock all my real followers/fans know how much I’m an Anime fan and this show fulfilled one of my life-long dreams of voicing a character on an animated show. Jan 26th it’s going to get crazy on @roosterteeth

A post shared by Michael B. Jordan (@michaelbjordan) on Jan 17, 2019 at 9:38am PST

The first two episodes of gen:LOCK will premiere on Jan. 26 on Rooster Teeth, which is available on iOS, Andriod, Xbox One, and Apple TV. ('s memberships start at $4.99 a month.) Watch the trailer for the series up top.

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Kerry Washington To Star In And Produce 'American Son' Netflix Adaptation

Kerry Washington's Broadway banger, American Son, will be making its on-screen debut with Netflix.

Steven Pasquale (The Good Wife), Jeremy Jordan (Supergirl), Eugene Lee (A Soldier’s Play) and Washington will be reprising their groundbreaking roles from the thought-provoking Broadway production. Kenny Leon, who served as the play's original director, will be directing the picture and producing the film alongside the former Scandal actress.

The 41-year-old made the announcement on Monday night (Jan. 21) while appearing on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, where she gushed over her role as Kendra and the play's exploration into an interracial families search for their missing son in a Florida police station.

I love you @jimmyfallon 😍 thanks for letting me come on @FallonTonight and share this thrilling news about #AmericanSonPlay 😍😍😍😍

— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) January 22, 2019

Netflix’s Vice President of Original Content Cindy Holland said in a statement, “We are honored to work with Kerry Washington, [director] Kenny Leon, [writer] Christopher Demos-Brown and the entire cast to bring this story from the Broadway stage to our members around the world.”

The American Son production will come to a close this Sunday (Jan. 27) after a two month running at the Booth Theatre beginning in Nov. 2018. Watch Kerry Washington gush over American Son below.


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Gina Rodriguez Tearfully Addresses Anti-Black Allegations

Gina Rodriguez sparked controversy on social media in Nov. 2018, after she made questionable claims about the racial pay gap in the workplace. During a panel discussion on Neta Porter's "The Television Debate" with Gabrielle Union, Ellen Pompeo, and more, the actress falsely claimed that black women were paid more than Latina and Asian women. Nearly two months after the backlash, Rodriguez sat down with Sway in the Morning on Jan. 22, to explain her previous statements and debunk the notion that she is anti-black.

"I wasn’t speaking about my industry," she said of her previous comments about the racial pay gap. "I always find it difficult to  talk about equal pay as a woman who makes a substantial amount of money. As somebody who came from poverty to now the amount of money I get paid, it doesn’t feel right that I’m the one talking about it because i’m just so damn grateful…"

The Jane the Virgin actress stated that she was devastated by the tweets from the black community that claimed she was anti-black because she felt deeply connected to the racial group growing up. "What I was saying is that when we talk about equal pay we have to talk about intersectionality because we all must rise. And so, the backlash was devastating to say the least because the black community was the only community I looked towards," she continued. "Growing up, we didn’t have many Latino shows and the black community made me feel like I was seen. So to get ‘anti-black’ is saying that I’m anti-family. My father is dark-skinned. He’s Afro-latino. And my cousins are. And Puerto Ricans are African, Taino, and Spaniard blood…"

She also suggested that the backlash was fueled by click-bait. "I know my heart. I know what I meant. And I really wish we lived in a culture that wasn’t click-bait because I’ve never said anything controversial about anybody and far would I ever," she added. "The black community is my community. As Latinos, we have black Latinos. That is what we are. I think when I talk about Latino advocacy they think I mean people only my skin color. And little do they know that I’m very aware of what my culture is… It was a really really dark time for me."

Check out Rodriguez's full comments on the subject at the 12:34-mark in the video above.

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