Failing Britney Spears

I think a lot about “Lucky.” Not just because the single from Britney Spears’s Oops!… I Did It Again is impossibly catchy; or because the singer’s vocal tics are absurdly fun to imitate; or because the production from Swedish pop maestros Max Martin and Rami Yacoub establishes a weird sort of robot simulacrum of the […]

In Adrian Younge’s Ambitious New Project, James Baldwin Meets Marvin Gaye

Adrian Younge, co-owner of the Jazz is Dead and Linear Labs record labels, as well as the Linear Labs analog studio, has been a producer for music greats ranging from Jay-Z to Kendrick Lamar to Wu-Tang Clan and a composer for television shows such as Marvel’s Luke Cage (with A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed […]

Johnny Pacheco, Salsa Trailblazer, Dead at 85

Johnny Pacheco, the influential salsa performer, songwriter, bandleader, and label head, died on February 15, according to NPR. He was 85. Born in the Dominican Republic, Pacheco immigrated to New York City with his family in the 1940s. He studied music in the city and eventually attended Juilliard for percussion, before playing percussion and flute […]

Nicki Minaj’s Father Reportedly Killed In Hit-and-Run Accident on Long Island

Robert Maraj, the 64-year-old father of Nicki Minaj, died Saturday after being struck in a hit-and-run incident in Mineola, New York Friday night. TMZ first reported the news, which has been confirmed by the Nassau County Police Department. Maraj, who lived in Mineola, was struck while walking around 6 p.m ET, and taken to the […]

Oof, What Are We to Do with Sia’s New Movie, Music?

An old-fashioned piece of shameless hokum, Sia’s Music might be hilarious if it weren’t so offensive. The trouble started late last year, when the singer-songwriter-turned-director’s feature debut was called out by many for casting Maddie Ziegler, the neurotypical dance prodigy and child star of several Sia videos, in the role of Music, a teenager with […]

Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ Remix Earned the Right to Be a Delightful Mess

“Friday” was hyperpop before hyperpop: born of the internet, edited into oblivion, bordering parody, and bubbling over with energy. Calling the song good or bad is almost reductive; at the very least, it’s far from the “worst song ever” label that led to years of bullying and anxiety for Black. More than all that, it’s […]

Well, Look Who’s ‘Sorry’ for Some Things

Justin Timberlake has (finally) formally apologized to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson, after the New York Times Framing Britney Spears documentary prompted a public reckoning with how the music industry uses and discards women (and brought thousands of angry viewers to Timberlake’s mentions). In a Notes-app statement posted to Instagram, Timberlake wrote, “I’ve seen the […]