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Behind Brockhampton's Texas Triumph At Austin City Limits Festival

Brockhampton

Photo: Gary Miller/Getty Images

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Behind Brockhampton's Texas Triumph At Austin City Limits Festival

Go inside the boy band's prolific—and tumultuous—path to its big-time Texas homecoming

GRAMMYs/Oct 6, 2018 - 08:55 pm

Beneath the sweltering heat of the Texas sun, Zilker Park bristles with the tents, stages and sounds of the Austin City Limits Festival (ACL.) Every wristband and sign is a bright collage of colors and bold fonts, and every act comes onstage to the screams of fans so enamored by the music and culture of this festival that they are willing to brave the Texas sun. For fans and artists alike, ACL perfectly captures the feeling of Austin.

No act better encapsulates this mix of emotions, feelings and spirit than Brockhampton. The Internet generation's most prominent boy band has recently been rocked by controversy, album delays, album cancellations, and label signings, but they have come to the heart of the lone-star state triumphant on the heels of their No. 1 album, Iridescence.

Nine months ago, they were a different band. They were focusing more on rap lead by the cover boy of all three of the Saturation trilogy, Ameer Vann. Their sound was not mainstream by any stretch of the imagination, yet its roots were clearly in the emerging anti-pop rap of Tyler, the Creator and Odd Future. On Iridescence, Brockhampton has escaped all comparison to their predecessors. The sound is experimentally shifting from rap to electronic psychedelia, tapping into the same teen-angst that built such a loyal fan base.

Few other artists could claim a following so loyal—and at times impatient—as to complain about a nine-month wait between albums. The crowd made their thoughts clear: it was worth the wait.

Still prolific by most artists' standards, the gap grew to nine months as Brockhampton met challenges and controversy. Their frontman and cover boy, Ameer Vann, often touted as the most talented rapper of the group by leader Kevin Abstract, faced a wave of allegations beginning on Twitter of physical and emotional abuse. The band was quick to respond, kicking Vann out and disavowing his actions. Vann had been an integral piece of the boy band's image. They often stated that the quality of their music came from the quality of their friendship. So, fans were wary of the impact this would have on the mental-health and stability of the group. In many minds, this tour was Brockhampton’s response.

Taking the stage in all black, Dom Mclennon lead the group out to “New Orleans.” A technical difficulty stopped his mic from working for the beginning of the song, but didn't stop McLennon, who continued as if nothing happened. The show had begun, and Abstract proclaimed that Brockhampton is “The greatest boy band on earth” to the screams of the crowd.

When Kevin asked his fans to put their arms up “Like you’re on a rollercoaster,” the simile was followed by thermal point-of-view images from a rollercoaster displayed on stage. The level of intricacy and detail on the screen behind the band was almost as exciting as the artists’ wild dances across the stage. On screen were shadow-puppets, close-ups, and cartoonish font spelling “peanut butter.” Visuals switched between highly saturated thermal imaging and black-and-white to fit the mood of the music. Often members of the band would kneel while they were not performing. And, then suddenly the group would erupt in monsterish, bold dance moves feeding off the energy of the crowd and each other.

Some of the slickest twists were their performance of older songs. Instead of repeating the recorded renditions in a way that may clash with the new style of Iridescence, Brockhampton updated their classics to fit the tone of this new album and era. The greatest example was McLennon’s verse on “Bleach.” His call for moral action in an immobile society previously performed as pseudo-spoken word poetry turned to a soulful ballad.

“Boogie” was the finale of this lively ordeal. The light swoon of a violin introduced what is easily the group’s most rambunctious, least-classically inspired single, and still the violin somehow fit into the larger narrative the group weaved on stage. They may be wild, they may be crazy as the Lone Star State itself, they may even be eclectic but their music speaks volumes beautifully and directly to the internet generation.

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Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

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Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

Director Allen Hughes' four-part documentary takes home Best Music Film honors for its portrayal of the unlikely partnership that changed the music business

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 02:09 am

The team behind The Defiant Ones celebrated a big win for Best Music Film at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The crew awarded include director Allen Hughes and producers Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams.

In a year rife with quality music documentaries and series, the bar has been set high for this dynamic category. The Defiant Ones is a four-part HBO documentary telling the story of an unlikely duo taking the music business by storm seems better suited for fantastical pages of a comic book, but for engineer-turned-mogul Jimmy Iovine and super-producer Dr. Dre, it's all truth.The Defiant Ones recounts their histories, their tribulations and their wild success. These include first-hand accounts from those who were there in Iovine's early days, such as Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono, as well as those on board when Dre and Iovine joined forces, such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem.

The competition was stiff as the category was filled with compelling films such as One More Time With Feeling, Two Trains Runnin', Soundbreaking, and Long Strange Trip. 

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Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Photos: WireImage.com

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Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Also see James Fauntleroy, Reba McIntire, Latroit, and more after they stepped off the GRAMMY stage

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 05:39 am

What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.

Take a peak at Album Of The Year GRAMMY winner Bruno Mars, 60th GRAMMY Awards Host James Cordon, Cardi B minutes before her electrifying performance of "Finesse," and more!

Also see Best Pop Duo/Group Performance GRAMMY winners Portugal. The Man posing with their first career GRAMMY Award, Best Roots Gospel Album GRAMMY winner Reba McIntire right after she walked offstage, Best R&B Song GRAMMY winner James Fauntleroy, Best Remixed Recording GRAMMY winner Latroit, and many more, with these photos from backstage during the 60th GRAMMY Awards.

Getting The Latest Music News Just Got Easier. Introducing: GRAMMY Bot. Find it On KIK and Facebook Messenger 

Bruno Mars Wins Song Of The Year | 2018 GRAMMYs

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Bruno Mars Wins Song Of The Year | 2018 GRAMMYs

The Hawaiian native takes home Song Of The Year for "That's What I Like" at the 60th GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 08:11 am

Feeling the 24K Magic, Bruno Mars' successful progress through the categories he's been nominated in at the 60th GRAMMY Awards picked up another one at Song Of The Year for "That's What I Like."


Christopher Brody Brown and Philip Lawrence co-write with Mars under the name Shampoo Press & Curl. The other winning songwriters for Mars' hit tonight in this category are James Fauntleroy and production team "The Sterotypes" — Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus and  Jonathan Yip.

For additional "Finesse" on stage at the 60th GRAMMY Awards, Mars was joined by Cardi B for a reprise of their 148-million-views hit remix.

The Album Of The Year GRAMMY Award wrapped up the night and wrapped up Bruno Mars' complete rampage through his six nominated categories — now six wins.

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Mariah Carey Tells Fans Fire Music Is Coming With New Album 'Caution'

Mariah Carey

Photo: David Crotty/Getty Images

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Mariah Carey Tells Fans Fire Music Is Coming With New Album 'Caution'

The sultry R&B/pop superstar has announced she will release her 15th studio album next month – what will she bring us this time around?

GRAMMYs/Oct 17, 2018 - 05:39 am

Never one to do things quietly, the GRAMMY-winning R&B/pop diva with the angelic voice Mariah Carey came boldly onto the scene in 1990 with her GRAMMY-nominated debut self-titled album. At the 33rd GRAMMY Awards she took home her first two wins: Best New Artist and for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for "Vision Of Love," which she performed on the GRAMMY stage. The song was the album's first single and Carey's first No. 1 song. Since taking center stage at the beginning of the '90s the star hasn't looked back, releasing 13 studio albums and plenty of hits over the years. Four years after the release of her last album, she has announced that her next one is a month away. What will she serve up on her 15th LP?

The star recently shared on Twitter that her latest album is called Caution and will be released on Nov. 16, 2018. We first got a hint of a new album on Sept. 13 when she announced an album was in the works and released the lead single, "GTFO." The album's second single, "With You," followed on Oct. 4.

On "GTFO" she confidently asks a soon-to-be-ex lover "How 'bout you get the f*** out?" in breathy vocals over a slow, melodic beat by GRAMMY-winning producer Nineteen85. "With You" feels like a classic Carey R&B love song with her angelic vocals backed by snapping and a melodic slow jam groove produced by hip-hop beat maker DJ Mustard, who lets her voice shine on an uncharacteristically mellow track for him. These songs hint that her latest release will give us songs that not only showcase her incredible vocal range and versatility, but also give us both nostalgia-inducing tracks as well as radio-ready hits.

"GTFO" gives us a taste of some of the new flavor that she is bringing to her new album, singing the song's coy lyrics completely in more-understated breathy vocals without belting any big high notes, not even during the chorus. It's a catchy, playful breakup song, as she confidently sings "get the f*** out/how 'bout you take your tings and be on your merry way?/Fly off with the wind, bye bye baby/How 'bout you scusami, Mimi'll call you a valet."

The song was co-written and co-produced by Jeff Jefferies aka Nineteen85, who is half of OVO R&B duo dvsn and is responsible for producing some of Drake's biggest hits, including the GRAMMY-winning mega-hit "Hotline Bling." On the Drake's song "Emotionless" from his latest album, Scorpion, he samples Carey's lyrics from remixed classic hit "Emotions." Hopefully Jefferies has some catchy hits up his sleeve for Carey, and maybe even brings in some OVO artist surprises.

Carey has released some great collabs over the years, a majority with R&B and hip-hop artists, including Boyz II Men on heartfelt slow jam "One Sweet Day" from 1995's Daydream and Jay-Z on the upbeat classic belter "Heartbreaker" from 1999's Rainbow. We can only hope that the new album will offer some new, soon-to-be-classic hits with some of our other favorite artists.

Her most recent album, Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse, released in 2014, had more collab tracks than usual for her, which could perhaps point towards some hot features on Caution. The deluxe edition of the 2014 album had six songs with other artists, including rappers Nas, Fabolous, Wale and R. Kelly as well as R&B singers Miguel and Mary J. Blige. The  album's lead single, "Beautiful," has Miguel and Carey singing a soulful, feel-good duet, while "Dedicated" features a bounce-y, electronic-infused hip-hop beat with a verse from Nas. Seeing that she worked with big-time hip-hop producers on the new album's lead singles, we can only hope that they not only offered their production genus to more of the tracks, but perhaps brought some of their friends into the studio as well.

Fans only have to wait a month for the full dose of new music from Carey, but until then we will send our prayers to the music gods that the album will feature all of our dream collabs, perhaps some old and new friends, and offer up some new favorite songs, with some to slow dance to and others to belt out in the shower.

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