Sorry for the small break (@finals week), but have no fear, New Media Monday is BACK and BETTER THAN EVER! We have a lot, a LOT to catch up on.
Because of our abbreviated break, this New Media Monday is going to be spanning a lot more than a week, and will most likely miss a few things, because as we all know a bunch of stuff has been happening in the media world.
Childish Gambino put the internet back together just to re-break it in a major way. During his SNL show, Childish Gambino preformed his new surprise single ‘This is America’.
This surprise single, performed on SNL, was accompanied by a surprise music video that released the same night.
The music video and live performance for ‘This is America’ followed similar themes, commenting on the mass media portrayal of Black people in American as entertainment, starting with images of mistral shows during the Jim Crow era, and moving to more modern dances like BlockBoy JB’s currently popular ‘Shoot’ dance.
Gambino went on Jimmy Fallon live the week after ‘This is America’ dropped, and stated that he hadn’t been on the internet since the Thursday before his SNL performance, nor had he really looked at many of the in-depth analysis pieces about his video. In another interview for his starring role in “Solo: A Star wars Story”, Gambino refused to explain the ending of the ‘This is America’ music video, stating that it was not his place, and that the video is for the people.
Speaking of ‘This is America’, SZA, who was featured at the end of Gambino’s music video, also featured Gambino in her new music video for ‘Garden (Say it Like Dat)’, which released last week.
SZA released this music video on May 13th, aka mothers day, and posted an Instagram homage to her mother, her “ace”, her “apex”, who is present at the end of the video.
The video was produced by Karena Evans, and filmed at various spots on the Hawaiian island of Maui. SZA is looking etherial as ever as she traverses caves, black sand beaches, mountain tops, and vibrantly colorful jungles, periodically stopping to cuddle her story time lover, Childish Gambino. The end of the video features SZA’s mother sitting on a throne in a stunning white dress, starkly contrasted against the scene’s vibrant tropical plants. SZA has been killing the music video game recently, posting videos for songs ‘Doves in the Wind’, and ‘Broken Clocks’ within the past month.
More recently, Nicki Minaj brought the house down with her performance of ‘Chun Li’ on the SNL season 43 finale.
Minaj opened her SNL performance by transporting the whole crowd to an Asian influenced dream world, including a temple set structure and large background screens playing Tokyo Drift-esque videos. Minaj began the song dressed in a long kimono style robe, which her backup dancers remove to reveal a skin tight latex ensemble that matched those of her two female backup dancers.
Minaj also performed ‘Poke it Out’ from Playboi Carti’s new album “Die Lit”. For this performance Playboi Carti started on stage surrounded by screens playing videos of himself and Minaj. Carti is then joined on stage by backup dancers, and eventually Minaj, in a blonde short wig, who raps her featured verse from the song. This guest performance was the perfect way to celebrate the season finale of SNL, and the city of New York, seeing as both of these rappers are from New York, and represent it well.
A$AP Rocky has been toying with fans emotions with the release of A$AP Forever, and accompanying video, which debuted the title of his highly anticipated upcoming album, “Testing”. Well, good news fans (aka me), A$AP’s cryptic social media posting, and a little decoding help from friend Tyler, The Creator, may be hinting that the album, or at least more music, will be released May 25th.
Rocky first posted an Instagram photo of what looks like album art with the caption “ALL DONE”. He then posted an Instagram photo of him holding up the numbers 5 and 2 on his fingers, captioning it “525”.
Friend of Rocky’s, and fellow rapper Tyler, The Creator commented and said “does this mean may 25th u cryptic bitch?”, in which Rocky replied “I HATE U”. A$AP Rocky has recently been featured in interviews with Genius, and Complex to speak about his new music, and impending album, so hopefully May 25th has a lot of surprises in store for us A$AP Rocky fans.
Cardi B is also lighting shit up with the release of her new music video for ‘Be Careful’.
The video, which was directed by Jora Frantzis, seems to closely follow the songs main sentiment “it’s not a threat it’s a warning, be careful with me”. The video has two segments, each featuring a different Cardi. The first is blonde Cardi, dressed in all white at her wedding, and the second is red haired Cardi, dressed in all black attending the funeral of the same man present in the wedding scene. “It’s not a threat it’s a warning”, the song states, and Cardi fans are wondering what this video, and the deleting of all her Instagram photos means in terms of her impending child, and marriage to partner Offset, who was recently caught cheating on Cardi. Is this new, red-hair, all black wearing Cardi here to stay? Is the funeral representative of the death of their relationship? Or is this all just an elaborate “warning” from Cardi.
Drake has also been teasing the upcoming release of his album “Scorpion”. The social media papi has been reposting pictures of other celebrities, DJ Khalid, Millie Bobby Brown, and many others, wearing personalized bomber jackets that say “Scorpion” and “June Twenty Eighteen” on the back. There is no news on the Album’s exact release date, but Drake has released dates for his upcoming tour with Atlanta rap trio Migos.
“13 Reasons Why” caused a large stir among mental health professionals, as well as mental health activists, by increasing the rates of suicide related google searches in the year that its first season aired on Netflix. Many health professionals are concerned that the shows suicide revenge narrative, and overly graphic suicide scene may cause more harm than good when it comes to raising awareness for mental health. Others, on the other hand, applaud the shows daring approach at starting a conversation about high-shool bullying and suicide. Season 2 starts off with a disclaimer from a few of the main actors of the series. The disclaimer states that “13 Reasons Why is a fictional series that tackles tough real world issues..[and] by shining a light on these difficult topics [they] hope [the] show can start a conversation, but if you are struggling with these issues yourself, this series may not be right for you”. This statement seems to address the aforementioned controversy over the impact of the shows first season. The disclaimer also offers multiple outlets for those individuals who are, or have been struggling with mental health related issues.
If you’re like me, then you may be wondering how a show revolving around the 13 reasons why the main protagonist committed suicide could possibly make a season 2, well, spoiler alert, Hannah is back but in ghost form, and the show is now weirdly shifting into a mystery-esque show. Not sure how we feel about this, but we definitely weren’t fans of season 1.
KYLE – Light of Mine
KYLE has finally released his debut album, “Light of Mine”. This album features hit track “iSpy”, which states “this shit be so cold when it drops its gon’ be a motherfucking snow day”.
Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base & Hotel
Arctic Monkeys dropped their first album since their self-deemed ‘band hiatus’ this past month. “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino” is sonically very different than the band’s previous work, and is essentially an album where the band imagined they were in a Hotel on the moon, featuring lots of reverb and echo.
Playboi Carti – Die Lit
Last week Playboi Carti released a surprise album. This album, “Die Lit”, is Carti’s second studio album, his first being his self titled album, and features artists like Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert, Nicki Minaj, and many more.
John Mayer – New Light
Last week John Mayer released new music for the first time since his last album “The Search for Everything” debuted in 2017. This new single ‘New Light’, takes his sound in a more pop, soft-rock direction, and fans are hoping this could possibly be the start of a new John Mayer album.
NAV – Reckless
Reckless is NAV’s third studio album, and released this past week. The album features diss-track-esque single ‘Freshman List’, which discusses his feeling towards being left off XXL’s Freshmen list.
Travis Scott – Watch
Travis Scott has been teasing his new album “Astroworld” for a few months now, and on May 3rd he released the single ‘Watch’, featuring Lil Uzi Vert and Kanye West. This track was also accompanied by a vertical music video, available on Spotify, taken at Scott’s amusement park themed birthday party, thrown by co-parent Kylie Jenner.
As if all this new music hasn’t been enough, summer 2018 is about to blow up with new releases. Here’s a list of all the artists who have teased new summer projects:
-Kanye West (Solo project, Project with Nas, Project with Kid Cudi)