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Dance Review: Above & Beyond 'Anjunabeats Vol. 10'

EDM’s long-overdiscussed sweeping surge through America has meant increasingly regular visits from UK trance trio Above & Beyond, often bringing with along a posse of their high-grade prodcuers from the Anjunabeats label; Mat Zo, Arty, Andrew Bayer and Norin & Rad among others. With a slew of dates set for WMC, plus a new residency at Wynn Las Vegas, the arrival of Above & Beyond’s Anjunabeats Vol. 10 also signaled a roar to the top of the iTunes Dance Charts; with it comes an eclectic beat that’s better geared for US audiences than ever before.

Dance music has a fascinating way of doubling back on itself. A few years back when Swedish House Mafia were overhauling their pop-step sound to prepare for world domination, they had the bright idea of plundering the uplifting melodies in the treasure chest of classic trance. If Anjunabeats Vol. 10 is any indication, things have come full circle again: trance is now taking inspiration from bigroom house. The 30 tracks here are all crammed with intricately produced house grooves, thundering electro basslines for some seriously heavy bottom end, while the melodies are as likely to convey a Daft Punk-esque sense of fun, as traditional trance euphoria.

The mix begins at a high tempo and stays there, but it’s a solid run of bangers. Sunny Lax’s Isla Margarita is about as perfect as a nu-trance tune can be, a divine example of the new and traditional elements coming together perfectly. Meanwhile, fresh faces Audien provide one of the compilation’s defining moments with Altara, a very housey effort indeed, though it still lets those trademark gorgeous Anjunabeats melodies shine through.

Above & Beyond's club mix of Alchemy with Zoe Johnston possibly ranks as one of the best vocal tracks the trio has worked on, and the trio also delivers a new instrumental in the form of Walter White that’s properly slamming, showing they're not afraid to let loose with a bit of sonic insanity. And the tunneling hook of Oliver Smith's Pressure chugs with maximum force.

The second disc boasts a raft of recognizable names like Arty, Andrew Bayer and Super8 & Tab, and there’s no shortage of heavy-impact tunes, spearheaded by Californians Norin & Rad who’ve calibrated their new torpedo Aldo for maximum impact. Genix is another extremely capable newcomer who shows Anjunabeats haven’t lost their knack for finding fresh talent. His collaboration with Lange, Immersion, is a real homerun; a joyful burst of melody that comes packaged with a heavy, techy grind. Bluestone also delivers one of the comp’s strongest tracks with Sinai; sporting a heavy buzzsaw of a bassline that’s chunky enough to nearly double as a guitar riff, while still manages a chorus with enough plenty of emotion.

Anjunabeats Vol. 10
is a release that’s bound to win Above & Beyond an even bigger legion of fans, though there’s also the potential it’ll disappoint the purists who’ve followed the label over the course of its history. However, it’s the evolution of the trance sound that delivers the impact here, with the records packing a heavier punch than anything across the Anjunabeats catalogue. Again, Above & Beyond show there’s creative life left in trance yet.

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Adele Separates From Husband Simon Konecki

Adele and her husband Simon Konecki have separated after seven years together. A rep for the “Hello” singer confirmed the split in a statement to the Associated Press Friday (April 19).

“Adele and her partner have separated,” the statement reads. “They are committed to raising their son together lovingly. As always they ask for privacy. There will be no further comment.”

Adele, 30, and Konecki, 45, share a 6-year-old son. The former couple reportedly began dating in 2012 and wed in 2016. Though she tends to keep quiet about her personal life, Adele confirmed her marriage to Konecki during a Grammys acceptance speech in 2017 thanking her husband, manager and son.

Since wrapping up her most recent world tour a few years ago, the British star has been mostly out of the spotlight. In 2017, Adele announced that she may never tour again after being on the road for more than a year.

Last month, she treated a lucky group of fans to an impromptu performance at a New York City gay bar. Days later, paparazzi spotted Adele walking into a New York City recording studio. Rumor has it that her long-awaited fourth studio album will drop sometime this year.

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Beyoncé performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California.
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Homecoming: The 5 Best Moments Of Beyoncé’s Documentary

Once Beyoncé became the first African-American woman to headline in its nearly 20-year history, we knew Coachella would never the same. To mark the superstar’s historic moment, the 2018 music and arts festival was appropriately dubbed #Beychella and fans went into a frenzy on social media as her illustrious performance was live-streamed by thousands. (Remember when fans recreated her choreographed number to O.T. Genasis’ “Everybody Mad”?)

With a legion of dancers, singers and musicians adorned with gorgeous costumes showcasing custom-made crests, the singer’s whirlwind performance honored black Greek letter organizations, Egyptian queen Nefertiti, and paid homage to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Aside from the essence of black musical subgenres like Houston’s chopped and screwed and Washington D.C.’s go-go music, the entertainer performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as “The Black National Anthem,” and implemented a dancehall number, sampling the legendary Jamaican DJ and singer, Sister Nancy, to show off the versatility of black culture.

One year after #Beychella’s historic set, the insightful concert film, Homecoming, began streaming on Netflix and unveiled the rigorous months of planning that went into the iconic event. The 2-hour 17-minute documentary highlights Beyoncé’s enviable work ethic and dedication to her craft, proving why this performance will be cemented in popular culture forever. Here are the best moments from Beyoncé’s Homecoming documentary.

The Intentional Blackness

“Instead of me bringing out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought our culture to Coachella.”

Throughout the documentary, Beyoncé made it known that everything and everyone included in the creative process leading up to the annual festival was deliberately chosen. “I personally selected each dancer, every light, the material on the steps, the height of the pyramid, the shape of the pyramid,” says Beyoncé. “Every tiny detail had an intention.” When speaking on black people as a collective the entertainer notes, “The swag is limitless.” Perhaps the most beautiful moments in Homecoming are the shots that focus on the uniqueness of black hair and its versatility. What’s appreciated above all is the singer’s commitment to celebrating the various facets of blackness and detailing why black culture needs to be celebrated on a global scale.

Beyoncé’s Love And Respect For HBCUs

#Beychella — which spanned two consecutive weekends of Coachella’s annual festival — was inspired by elements of HBCU homecomings, so it was no surprise when the singer revealed she always wanted to attend one. “I grew up in Houston, Texas visiting Prairie View. We rehearsed at TSU [Texas State University] for many years in Third Ward, and I always dreamed of going to an HBCU. My college was Destiny's Child. My college was traveling around the world and life was my teacher.” Brief vignettes in the film showcased marching bands, drumlines and the majorettes from notable HBCUs that comprise of the black homecoming experience. In the concert flick, one of the dancers affectionately states, “Homecoming for an HBCU is the Super Bowl. It is the Coachella.” However, beyond the outfits that sport a direct resemblance to Greek organizations, Beyoncé communicated an important message that remains a focal point in the film: “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”

The Familiar Faces

Despite being joined by hundreds of dancers, musicians and singers on-stage, the entertainer was joined by some familiar faces to share the monumental moment with her. While making a minor appearance in the documentary, her husband and rapper/mogul Jay-Z came out to perform “Deja Vu” with his wife. Next, fans were blessed by the best trio to ever do it as Kelly and Michelle joined the singer with renditions of their hit singles including “Say My Name,” “Soldier,” and more. On top of this star-studded list, Solange Knowles graced the “Beychella” stage and playfully danced with her older sister to the infectious “Get Me Bodied.”

Her Balance Of Being A Mother And A Star

Originally slated to headline the annual festival in 2017, the singer notes that she “got pregnant unexpectedly...and it ended up being twins.” Suffering from preeclampsia, high blood pressure, toxemia and undergoing an emergency C-section, the entertainer candidly details how difficult it was adjusting post-partum and how she had to reconnect with her body after experiencing a traumatizing delivery. “In the beginning, it was so many muscle spasms. Just, internally, my body was not connected. My body was not there.” Rehearsing for a total of 8 months, the singer sacrificed quality time with her children in order to nail the technical elements that came with the preparation for her Coachella set. “I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol … and I’m hungry.” Somehow, throughout all of this, she still had to be a mom. “My mind wanted to be with my children,” she says. Perhaps one of the most admirable moments in the film was witnessing Beyoncé’s dedication to her family but also to her craft.

The Wise Words From Black Visionaries

Homecoming opens with a quote from the late, Maya Angelou stating, “If you surrender to the air, you can ride it.” The film includes rich and prophetic quotes from the likes of Alice Walker, Nina Simone, Toni Morrison, and notable Black thinkers, reaffirming Beyoncé’s decision to highlight black culture. The quotes speak to her womanhood and the entertainer’s undeniable strength as a black woman.

Blue Ivy’s Cuteness

Last, but certainly not least, Blue Ivy‘s appearance in the concert film is nothing short of precious. One of the special moments in the documentary zeroes in on the 7-year-old singing to a group of people whilst Beyoncé sweetly feeds the lyrics into her ears. After finishing, Blue says: “I wanna do that again” with Beyoncé replying with “You wanna be like mommy, huh?” Seen throughout Homecoming rehearsing and mirroring Beyoncé’s moves, Blue just might follow in her mother’s footsteps as she gets older.

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Ja Rule Vows To “Stop Engaging” In Feud With 50 Cent

Ja Rule says he’s done “engaging in anymore back and forth” with 50 Cent. In a lengthy Instagram rant posted Friday (April 19), Ja blasted his longtime nemesis as a “parasite” and a “cancer to the culture.”

“THIS is why me and 50 will NEVER co exist,” he captioned a video of a Min. Louis Farrakhan speech. “He’s a parasite, a cancer to the culture and our [people]. He comes out with music takes shots at me Kanye etc. Comes out with liquor takes shots at Diddy, comes out with his show [Power], takes shots at Taraji [P. Henson].”

Ja added that Fif is “always downing his own [people],” and “always running his f**king [yuck] mouth until the smoke gets thick then you wanna make anonymous calls to the Feds and NYPD talking about you scared for your life... lmao smh.”

He continued, “Then when the minister [Farrakhan] called for both of us to sit with him for [hip-hop] unity you gave this man your a** to kiss… definition of a SUCKER.”

In closing, Ja announced that he is walking away from the beef. “I’m saying all this to say I will not be engaging in any more back and forth with this goofy a** n**ger Curtis Ratson!!! #BootlickingkneekissingCOON#cloutchasingclown you can have all the money in the world, can’t buy class.”

The 43-year-old Queens born rappers have been going at it for more than a decade.  Earlier in the week, Fif took to Instagram to make fun of Ja's newly reported tax debt. He has yet to respond to this latest roast but last year, Fif promised to continue feuding with Ja until one of them dies.

Read Ja’s full Instagram post below.

 

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THIS is why me and 50 will NEVER co exist he’s a parasite a cancer to the culture and our ppl... he comes out with music takes shots at me Kanye etc. comes out with liquor takes shots at Diddy comes out with his show takes shots at Taraji always downing his own ppl... always running his fucking yuk mouth until the smoke gets thick then you wanna make anonymous calls to the Feds and NYPD talking about you scared for your life... lmao smh then when the minister called for both of us to sit with him for hip hop unity you gave this man your ass to kiss complete definition of a SUCKER... I’m saying all this to say I will not be engaging in any more back and forth with this goofy ass nigger Curtis Ratson!!! #BootlickingkneekissingCOON #cloutchasingclown you can have all the money in the world can’t buy class... 🤷🏾‍♂️ #Iconn 12.XII.Twelve

A post shared by JaRule (@ruleyorkcity) on Apr 19, 2019 at 6:40am PDT

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