Surface Magazine's DesignDialogues No. 6 With Hans Ulrich Obrist, Kanye West And Jacques Herzog
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Kanye West Revises 'Ye' Song To Reflect Views On Slavery

Many presumed Kanye West's statements on slavery would be explained on his 'Ye' album, but fans received the opposite until now.

Before Kanye West began to unleash a list of albums that he executive produced, the Chicago native blew spectators away with his commentary. Many presumed his controversial statements, specifically on slavery, would be explained on his Ye album, but fans received the opposite until now.

According to Billboard, West repurposed his views on slavery by changing a lyric on the album’s opener “I Thought About Killing You.” The “Jesus Walks” rapper states: “If I wasn’t shining so hard, wouldn’t be no shade/ Buckwheat-a** ni**a, it’s gon’ be otay/Sorry, but I chose not to be no slave.”

It’s been a month since West’s headlining remarks on slavery made onlookers wonder if he’s officially canceled. During a highly-publicized interview with TMZ, West said “When you hear about slavery for 400 years…that sounds like a choice.” He then took to Twitter to clear up his statements, writing: “My point is for us to have stayed in that position even though the numbers were on our side means that we were mentally enslaved.”

West recently dropped his joint project with Kid Cudi, Kids See Ghosts, and is preparing to load up Nas’ soon-to-be-titled album, which arrives Friday (June 15), six years after his last soundscape, Life Is Good.

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Alicia Keys photographed on Nov. 6 at Moonfire Ranch in Topanga, CA.
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Alicia Keys Speaks On Upcoming Album And Why The Grammys Still Matter

In a cover story for Billboard, Alicia Keys ignited excitement within her fans when she referenced her upcoming album. The project, titled A.L.I.C.I.A., served as "the best therapy I ever had," she said, alongside working on her spring 2020 memoir More Myself: A Journey.

"I ended up being able to see the moments that things shifted," she said. "When you're living it, you're not really reflecting on it." A.L.I.C.I.A. will be the New Yorker's seventh studio album, slated for release next year. Her previous soundscape, Here, was released in 2016, landing at the No. 2 spot on the Billboard 200 during its debut week.

In January, Keys will host the Grammys for the second time in a row, a moment she's eager for viewers to witness. Since the November announcement of 2020's nominees, artists who believed they were snubbed expressed their confusion while others stated they don't need a gramophone to validate their talent. For Keys, the long-running showcase still holds weight within the industry for a simple reason.

"You are awarded by your peers—people who have been through the same experience that you have. So to receive one is the ultimate validation from people that you admire," she said. "That’s the point, and the reason why it has to maintain that level of integrity. And it has to expand now because music is not what it was 10 years ago. It’s about making sure that it’s representing the music that’s happening at the rate that it’s happening, as well. If we’re not all growing and evolving, then pack it up, because what’s the point?"

The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards will take place on Jan. 26 in Los Angeles. Read Keys' full profile here.

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Jay-Z performs onstage at SOMETHING IN THE WATER - Day 2 on April 27, 2019 in Virginia Beach City.
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Jay-Z's Discography Makes Its Way To Spotify

It's been 23 years since Jay-Z released his debut studio album, Reasonable Doubt, and with over two decades and running in the music business, the mogul has made strategic moves that keep his name at the top of GOAT lists. While his highly-decorated discography can be found on his streaming service TIDAL, or your go-to listening device if you've downloaded his music, his albums are no longer exclusive to his property.

On Dec. 4, which is also the Roc Nation leader's 50th birthday, Spotify tweeted that Jay-Z's albums are available for consumers' streaming pleasure. The message wished the father-of-three a happy birthday and welcomed him back to the streaming giant.

Happy birthday, Hov 🎁 Welcome back to Spotify.https://t.co/exr5QGgwCK pic.twitter.com/t7l4H5zn6E

— Spotify (@Spotify) December 4, 2019

According to Entertainment Weekly, the "Moonlight" rapper's albums were non-existent on Spotify two years ago after he wiped the service clean of his work. His biographical library on Spotify includes In My Lifetime Vol. 1, the collector's edition of The Blueprint, his 2001 Unplugged session with MTV, and Watch the Throne.

In 2015, Jay-Z stepped into the music streaming wars by acquiring the Swedish company TIDAL. Since that acquisition, the billionaire has been able to provide exclusive access for subscribers, refined sound quality, and negotiate beneficial deals with artists that allows them to make a significant profit off of their music.

"People are not respecting the music, and devaluing what it really means," Jay-Z said to Billboard at the time of TIDAL's launch. "People really feel like music is free, but will pay $6 for water. You can drink water free out of the tap and it's good water. But they're okay paying for it. It's just the mindset right now."

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Jill Scott attends Tyler Perry Studios grand opening gala at Tyler Perry Studios on October 05, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Jill Scott To Tour 'Who Is Jill Scott? Words And Sounds Vol. 1' For 20th Anniversary

As the New Year approaches, Jill Scott is gearing up to perform one of her most poignant albums, Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1. Her debut soundscape will celebrate its 20th anniversary on July 18, 2020, but the Philly native will prepare fans for its birthday way ahead of schedule.

The "Gettin' in the Way" vocalist will embark on a U.S. tour beginning February 7 in Kansas City, Mo., and commence in Columbia, South Carolina, before returning to the road for a summer tour edition. In a statement issued to Billboard, Scott described the album as "sistah strong yet vulnerable and filled with love" due to its presentation of "honest stories and timing." Tickets hit the market on Dec. 6.

The "A Long Walk" singer continued to state that this tour will gift fans the opportunity to see her perform the album in its entirety. “I’m going to be true to the album setlist. I’ll do every song in the order of the album. My audience should bring their cd covers. Some may know the list by heart," Scott said. "I will create musical arrangements for the songs purposed with new energy but keep the integrity of the original songs they love. Expect theatre. Expect incredible musicianship. Expect love.” Upon its release, the album reigned at No. 2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

View the first set of tour dates below and purchase tickets here:

Feb. 7: Kansas City, MO - Arvest Bank Theatre at Midland Theatre Feb. 9: St. Louis, MO - Fox Theatre Feb. 12: Chicago, IL - The Chicago Theatre Feb. 14: Hanover, MD - Live! Casino & Hotel Feb. 15: Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata Hotel Feb. 20: New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall Feb. 21: Northfield, OH - MGM Northfield Park Feb. 23: Indianapolis, IN - Murat Theatre Feb. 25: Minneapolis, MN - The Fillmore Minneapolis Feb. 28: Elizabeth, IN - Caesars Event Center at Caesars Southern Indiana Feb. 29: Wetumpka, AL - Wind Creek Hotel & Casino March 3: Memphis, TN - Cannon Center For The Performing Arts March 5: Dallas, TX - The Music Hall at Fair Park March 7: Austin, TX - ACL Live at The Moody Theater March 8: Houston, TX - Revention Music Center March 11: Huntsville, AL - Von Braun Center March 13: Augusta, GA - William B. Bell Memorial Auditorium March 17: Clearwater, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall March 18: Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live March 20: Macon, GA - City Auditorium at Macon Centreplex March 21: Columbia, SC - Township Auditorium

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