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Review: Janelle Monáe's ‘Dance Apocalyptic’ Is Weird, Genre-Bending Fun

If there was ever a song that deserves to be blasted all over the radio landscape, become the soundtrack for endless summer cookouts and showcased on some ubiquitous television commercial spot, it’s Janelle Monáe’s latest single “Dance Apocalyptic.” The infectious rave-up is the follow-up to the quirky talent’s Erykah Badu-assisted funk manifesto “Q.U.E.E.N.” And the pop-rock leaning mash-up emphatically answers the somewhat tired question of whether or not Monáe is capable of reaching the masses. A late '50s rockabilly guitar and a cheeky chanting take on the strip-club poetics of Juicy J (Bands a make her dance? Nah…As Monáe puts it: “Bands to make her dance apocalyptic!”) Ignites the freak-out. “I really, really want to thank you for dancing ‘til the end,” she declares.

Yes, music heads will point to the fact that lyrically “Dance Apocalyptic” follows in the high heeled footsteps of mentor Prince’s gleeful doomsday 1982 celebration “1999,” a song that made it clear that not even the threat of nuclear annihilation could stop the damn party. The end of the world may be upon us all. And like the Purple One, Monáe wants to lead her nonconformist flock to ass-shaking glory in her own cutesy, spirit-raising way. If this is any indication of the unpredictable force’s upcoming album The Electric Lady, then we are bringing the chips.—Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29)

Listen to the dance track below.

Photo Credit: Getty

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Drake Debuts “Laugh Now Cry Later” Feat. Lil Durk

Champagne Papi hit fans with his second single in a matter of months.  “Laugh Now, Cry Later” arrived on Friday (Aug. 14) along with a cameo-heavy music video.

In the visual, Drake lives out his dream of being a professional athlete, complete with an oversized “draft day” suit (à la LeBron James in 2003). The 33-year-old rapper also shows off his range as both a dramatic actor (he sheds a tear, or two) and comedic actor.

Drizzy tapped director Dave Meyers for the music video, which features appearances from Kevin Durant, Marshawn Lynch, and Odell Beckham.

According to Drake's Instagram, “Laugh Now Cry Later” will appear on his forthcoming studio album, Certified Lover Boy.

 

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Laugh Now Cry Later off my next studio album CERTIFIED LOVER BOY 👌🏽 video link in bio

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Aug 13, 2020 at 9:02pm PDT

Drake’s last single, “Toosie Slide,” seemed tailored for the TikTok era and quickly shot to the top of the Billboard charts. “Laugh Now Cry Later” will likely make its way to the TikTok crowd, but the song offers a celebratory anthem perfect for the club, and other post-pandemic shenanigans.

Peep the music video below.

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NO I.D.’s Entire Music Catalog Acquired By Hipgnosis

Chicago super producer NO I.D.'s entire music catalog has been sold to Hipgnosis. The company acquired 100% of the Grammy winner’s global copyrights and publishing royalties, including writer’s income, Billboard reports.

Founded by music veteran and artist manager, Merck Mercuriadis, Hipgnosis is a British music IP investment and management company “established to offer investors a pure-play exposure to songs and associated musical intellectual property rights.”

“Not many have the best intentions for the artist and the creators,” No I.D. said in a statement. “Merck and the Hipgnosis team have shown that they are a safe home for the songs that score our lives.”

Born Earnest Dion Wilson, the Windy City native -- and longtime producer for Jay Z and Kanye West -- has worked with a long list of recording artists including Jhene Aiko, Common, Big Sean, Killer Mike, Drake, Young Jeezy, Vince Staples, Rihanna, Rick Ross, and more. His extensive catalog includes “Run This Town,” “I Used to Love HER,” and “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune).

“The words NO I.D. are a stamp of excellence on any album,” said Mercuriadis. “From Kanye West’s '808s & Heartbreak’, 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ and 'Yeezus’ to Jay-Z’s astonishing run from 'American Gangster’ through 'The Blueprint 3’, 'Magna Carta Holy Grail’ and '4:44’, Dion has been in the middle of everything that is great about Hip Hop for more than two decades. He is a special creator and everyone in the Hipgnosis Family is proud to have him standing next to us.”

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Watch Ciara Celebrate Black Excellence In “Rooted” Video

Ciara connects to her roots and celebrates Black excellence in the music video for “Rooted.” Released on Thursday (Aug. 13), the up-tempo track, featuring Ester Dean, plays as a love letter to Blackness and a reminder that “everything you need to survive and thrive is rooted in you.”

The music video was filmed just two days before Cici gave birth to son, Win Wilson, and is the latest release under her record label, Beauty Marks Entertainment. A portion of the song’s proceeds will go to support Grantmakers for Girls of Color, a philanthropic organization “dedicated to cultivating investments in support of girls of color (Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Pacific American) in the United States.”

The inspiring music video ends with a note of motivation from Ciara, “To all my Young Rosa’s and Young Luther’s keep marching. Don’t stop fighting for what you believe in. To all my Black Queens and Kings, continue to plant and spread seeds of love, hope and pride in your tribe. Everything you need to survive and thrive is rooted in you. Stay rooted.”

Watch the music video for  “Rooted” below.

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