Photo: Daniel Mendoza/Recording Academy
Yungblud Talks Turning His Tour Postponement Into An Online Rock & Roll Variety Show
The Brit rocker enlisted Machine Gun Kelly, Bella Thorne and Oliver Tree, hiring a full production staff to keep the music playing: "People in entertainment just wanna f**kin’ make people happy"
British rock hero Yungblud bounced into action when dates from his upcoming international tour were postponed due to the global coronavirus pandemic. In just 72 hours, he put together his own digital concert with a twist. The live audience-less "S**t's Weird Keep Calm and Carry On" is a late-night-TV-esqe live-streamed variety show, complete with guest appearances from rapper Machine Gun Kelly, actress/singer Bella Thorne and chef Oliver Tree, with plenty of extras like answering live questions from fans, playing a drinking game with his guests, a slapstick cooking segment, and more. Take a look:
"It was crazy!!! We literally played a stadium on the internet. It was them who blew the idea up so much. What started from an idea in my bedroom became a full production because of the fans. We're a family and it's them who allows me to do this s**t," Yungblud told the Recording Academy over email.
In a bold and extensive statement ahead of the event, Yungblud outlined why it was important to him to do something to honor his fans and keep the music from stopping.
"I woke up one morning after my shows were canceled and was like, 'You know what? F**k this.' I need to feel that connection and noise, that energy," Yungblud told Vulture. "There’s gonna be no literal noise from the audience, but there’s gonna be noise online. You’ll be able to comment on the livestream. I’m gonna be playing songs, gonna bring some of my friends out, do some skits, and do a late-night show — like a rock and roll version of f**kin’ Jimmy Kimmel. Try to give people a bit of positivity, laughter, and emotion."
What transpired was the rallying of production staff, special guests, and a way for everyone to keep going in some way in the face of touring coming to a halt.
"My team hasn’t slept because everything’s going crazy. When I had the idea for the livestream, they pulled it together so incredibly quick. There’s been rehearsals, a lighting rig, a full band, a camera crew, and audio. In a world that’s going wrong right now, we feel like we’re doing some good. It’s really inspiring everyone to work hard and tirelessly," he said. "At first I was gonna be like, “F**k it, I’m gonna stick some cameras up and do a rock and roll show.” But then my friends all started calling because they wanted to be involved. People in entertainment just wanna f**kin’ make people happy."
The show gave 20 production staff jobs when they would not have had one otherwise, and they rose to the occasion. "Everyone was so incredible to work with. we had to rethink the whole way we were doing our jobs because no one was allowed to really get near each other." Yungblud told us.
During the energetic live stream, Yungblud the frontman did his best to create a connection despite being in an empty sound stage. "Let me see your hands in the air in your bedroom," he said, encouraging fans to stand on top of their bed, kitchen table or couches at home and jump. With the occasional cartoonish piped-in crowd noise, drum rolls, rim-shots and coffee mugs appearing interstitially between high-energy, full-band rock performances, it made for the perfect late-night show parody meets rock and roll circus experience.
Musically, Yungblud delivered high-energy full band renditions of "Parents," "Anarchist," "I Love You, Will You Marry Me," "Original Me" and more, plus a touching acoustic version of "Casual Sabotage." MGK joined Yungblud, following an on-camera drinking game with Thorne, for "I Think I'm Okay" from Kelly's 2019 album, Hotel Diablo.
Fans responded to the chaos, comedy and rowdy rock show in kind, flooding the chat window with black heart emojis—a staple of Yungblud's—and praise for his energetic efforts to soothe their pain and connect from the California studio to wherever they were across the world. Ultimately, his message is one of love.
"The world is very, very weird now, so make sure you tell everyone you love that you love them," he said during the show.
"Even though I couldn’t hear them, I felt the noise!"
The 22-year-old artist closed the 60+ minute show with inspired performances of "Hope For The Underrated Youth" and "Machine Gun (F**k The N.R.A.)," making strong statements for what music can do and say, especially now.
"As artists, we have to shift and adapt to what’s going on in culture. You just have to make it work. I think that’s what true artists will do. It’s a time to not give up and think out of the box—out of bad situations and despair comes incredible art, no matter what form that may be," Yungblud said. "I’m excited to see what happens."
When we caught up with Yungblud in the aftermath of the show, still glowing from the experience, we asked what he thinks is next for artists trying to find a new way forward.
"I think right now is about out-of-the-box thinking about how we can connect with people without being in the same room as them. The world is in such a weird, weird, scary place. However, out of dark times comes great art. I just wanted to provide humor, hope and a little bit of light for people who feel uneasy," he said. "Even though I couldn’t hear them, I felt the noise!"
Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images
Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show
Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion
There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.
The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.
This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.
"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."
Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.
Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards
Dreamville, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, and YBN Cordae all earn nominations in the category
The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Rap Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Rap Album.
Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville
Dreamers III, the third installment in the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers compilation series, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved gold status this past July. In addition to a Best Rap Album nod, Dreamers III is also nominated for Best Rap Performance next year for album track “Down Bad,” featuring J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, and Young Nudy.
Championships – Meek Mill
In many ways, Championships represents a literal and metaphorical homecoming for Meek Mill. Released in November 2018, Championships is the Philadelphia rapper’s first artist album following a two-year prison sentence he served after violating his parole in 2017. Championships, naturally, sees Meek tackling social justice issues stemming from his prison experience, including criminal justice reform. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his second chart-topper following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money, and reached platinum status in June 2019. Meek Mill's 2020 Best Rap Album nod marks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination.
i am > i was – 21 Savage
Breakout rapper and four-time GRAMMY nominee 21 Savage dropped i am > i was, his second solo artist album, at the end of 2018. The guest-heavy album, which features contributions from Post Malone, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and many others, has since charted around the world, topped the Billboard 200 – a first for the artist – in the beginning of 2019, and achieved gold status in the U.S. As well, nine songs out of the album’s 15 original tracks landed on the Hot 100 chart, including multi-platinum lead single “A Lot,” which is also nominated for Best Rap Song next year. 21 Savage’s 2020 Best Rap Album nomination, which follows Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance nods for his 2017 Post Malone collaboration, "Rockstar,” marks his first solo recognition in the top rap category.
IGOR – Tyler, The Creator
The eccentric Tyler, The Creator kicked off a massive 2019 with his mid-year album, IGOR. Released this past May, IGOR, Tyler’s fifth solo artist album, is his most commercially successful project to date. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first time topping the coveted chart, while its lead single, "Earfquake,” peaked at No. 13, his highest entry on the Hot 100. Produced in full by Tyler and featuring guest spots from fellow rap and R&B stars Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, and Playboi Carti, among many others, IGOR follows the rapper’s 2017 album, Flower Boy, which received the Best Rap Album nod that same year.
The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae
Emerging rapper YBN Cordae, a member of the breakout YBN rap collective, released his debut album, The Lost Boy, to widespread critical acclaim this past July. The 15-track release is stacked with major collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights, including Anderson .Paak, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and others, plus production work from J. Cole and vocals from Quincy Jones. After peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, The Lost Boy now notches two 2020 GRAMMY nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for album track “Bad Idea,” featuring Chance the Rapper.
Photo: C Brandon/Redferns/Getty Images
Brittany Howard, Brandi Carlile, Leon Bridges, 2 Chainz & More Join Small Business Live Benefit Livestream
Proceeds from the event will be go toward loans to small businesses founded by people of color, with additional support to women-owned and immigrant-owned businesses, via Accion Opportunity Fund
This Saturday, June 20, artists including Brittany Howard, Brandi Carlile, Leon Bridges, 2 Chainz and more will come together for Small Business Live, a livestream fundraiser event for small businesses facing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Proceeds from the livestream will go to Accion Opportunity Fund to support small businesses founded by people of color, with additional support to women-owned and immigrant-owned businesses.
“Entrepreneurs of color are denied credit more often and charged higher rates for money they borrow to fund their businesses. We need to accelerate support to underserved businesses in order to reach our full potential,” Accion Opportunity Fund CEO Luz Urrutia said. “We have to decide what we want our Main Streets to look like when this is over, and we must act decisively to keep small businesses alive and ready to rebuild. This is a fun way to do something really important. Everyone’s support will make a huge difference to small business owners, their families and employees who have been devastated by this pandemic, the recession, and centuries of racism, xenophobia and oppression.”
Tune in for Small Business Live Saturday, June 20 from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. EDT on smallbiz.live. The site also provides a full schedule of programs and links to watch the livestream on all major digital platforms. To learn more about Accion Opportunity Fund, visit the organization's website.
Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Pusha T Announces Daytona Tour, Drops "If You Know You Know" Video
The rapper will hit the road across the U.S. in support of his recently released, Kanye West-produced album
Pusha T has officially announced dates for his 2018 Daytona Tour. The Former Clipse rapper will hit the road for a 22-date U.S. tour in support the Kanye West-produced album launching in Denver on July 21 and wrapping up in Oakland, Calif. on Oct. 13. In addition to the tour announcement, Pusha also dropped a video for the lead-off track from Daytona, "If You Know You Know," directed by Shomi Patwary.
Daytona was released on May 25 as the first project of Kanye West's "Wyoming Sessions." Four of the album's songs have cracked the Billboard Hot 100 including "Infrared," "If You Know You Know," "The Games We Play," and "What Would Meek Do" featuring West. The album also debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200.
A full list of dates for the 2018 Daytona Tour, along with ticket information, can be found via LiveNation's website.