If you’re anything like us, we see an interesting headline during our daily scroll—pause to read it—but then keep scrolling without reading the actual story. So at the end of each week, we’re rounding up all the buzziest, news-worthy headlines you might have missed. Think of it like the “saved” feature on Instagram but for news instead of aesthetically pleasing photos. Jack Harlow drops his third studio album, Rihanna is the new Smurfette, and Labrinth releases Ends & Begins with features from Zendaya and Billie Eilish—this is what you missed.
Jack Harlow Drops Third Studio Album ‘Jackman.’
Steal-your-girl Jack Harlow drops his third studio album Jackman., and it is like a breath of fresh air. The album’s announcement came mere 5 days before its supposed arrival, and it is an instant bop. The 10-track record acts as a follow-up to his 2022 Come Home the Kids Miss You, and the title takes the artist’s given name. “Common Ground” opens the album with bounce and does a good job of painting a picture for the viewer in which the rapper invites the listener to his hometown Louisville, setting the stage for where the rest of the album takes place. In “They Don’t Love It” and “Ambitious.”, it’s safe to assume that the life of the once-small-town rapper got a lot bigger since leaping into budding superstar status in recent years. In “Denver,” he recites local references to the city, and in “Blame On Me,” he talks about his family and taking care of siblings as an older brother, focusing on his upbringing. In contrast, the song “Is That Ight?” is Jack Harlow’s realization of his fame, attaining a successful life, and wanting to live simply. The entire album grapples with Harlow’s reflections and learnings about his place in the world, not only in the entertainment industry but where he came from. Intertwining his blatant lyrics through skitting beats and melodic instrumentation, the album feels complete without excess embellishments and craves space for Harlow’s stories to be the stars of the show. This is in sync with the rollout of this album, which is clean, direct, and to the point.
Kendrick Lamar’s Tour Becomes the Highest Grossing Tour Ever by a Rapper
Last year’s grand cinematic experiential tour-de-force that was Kendrick Lamar’s ‘The Big Steppers’ Tour will go down in history. In the span of 3 short months, concertgoers flipped, up, down, and all around on the top-level production, innovative stage design, and sensual delivery of Lamar’s show. This week we learn that the Compton native breaks the record for the highest-grossing tour by a rapper as a headlining act in history having earned $110.9 million US across 73 shows. This puts Lamar ahead of Drake and Migos’‘Aubrey & The Three Migos’ Tour, Drake and Future‘s ‘Summer Sixteen’ Tour, Kanye West and JAY-Z‘s ‘Watch the Throne’ Tour, and Travis Scott‘s ‘Astroworld’ Tour. Described as “a form of 21st-century hip-hop opera,” the tour reflected the album’s key themes by incorporating minimalism and performance art. Aside from casually breaking world records, pgLang, the entertainment company co-founded by Lamar, is set to make its first full-length directorial debut as they work with South Park co-creator Trey Parker on an upcoming untitled film. Here’s to a Kendrick Lamar 2023.
Tame Impala & Thundercat Join Forces For New Song “No More Lies”
Tame Impala and Thundercat joined music forces to release a one-off single, “No More Lies,” with a hyper-literal cover of a running impala and cheetah side by side. An acid trip on a Safari, anyone? In addition to bringing us into an episode of Planet Earth, the duo delivers a sonic masterpiece that perfectly blends each of their unique styles of production, instrumentals, and singing—leaving no room for David Attenborough commentary, unfortunately. Exploring a doomed relationship and the process of taking responsibility for your own actions, the duo laces Thundercat’s jazz funk with Tame Impala’s awkward romanticism with vintage synths. “I’ve wanted to work with Kevin since the very first Tame Impala album,” Thundercat said in a statement. “I feel that I knew that us working together would be special. I’ve been excited about this song for a long time and hope to create more with Kevin in the future.” This single marks Thundercat’s first release since 2020, when he released his album, It Is What It Is. he is set to perform Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Strokes in the coming month. With his Australian tour around the corner, we could perhaps see the duo performing this song live.
Rihanna Is Smurfette In ‘The Smurf Movie’
Smurf better have her money. Rihanna showed up at CinemaCon 2023 this week to announce her new role in the forthcoming animated The Smurfs Movie, where she will lend her voice to bring Smurfette to life. “I got to play a part and just imagine. I got to just be myself,” Rihanna said of the experience, “I got to show up in my pajamas in my third trimester and play a little blue badass.” The singer recently announced her pregnancy with her second child with A$AP Rocky days after her legendary Super Bowl Halftime show. Her voice for the lone female lead will follow Demi Lovato, who did her voice in the 2017 Smurfs: The Lost Village, and Katy Perry, who voiced the character in 2011’s The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2. RiRi is also said to be a producer on the film and write original songs to accompany the story of the blue people. It looks like we can expect smurf-themed songs from Rihanna before her next album. The next step is perhaps expansion to blue hues in her Fenty foundation range.
Labrinth’s New Album ‘Ends & Begins’ Features Billie Eilish, Zendaya
Zendaya and Labrinth are truly the gift that keeps on giving. The duo initially joined forces on the original score of the megahit HBO series, Euphoria on the songs “I’m Tired” and “All For Us.” The songs were easily the top bgm of the year for many of us, and if they weren’t on your playlist, you’ve likely heard them anyway, like little easter eggs hidden throughout your social media. A year after this amazing collab, Labrinth returns with his third solo album, Ends & Begins, and he taps the multi-hyphenated actress once again on the tracks “The Feels” and “Everything.” The London native first teased about the project on stage at Coachella when he brought out Zendaya to perform alongside him. The crowd screamed and sang along to every lyric, knocking down hit after hit. Billie Eilish is another featured artist on the record, collaborator, and co-writer of “Never Felt So Alone” which Labrinth described as one of his favorite productions he has ever done. He said: “I wanna thank everyone that put their magic on it and of course with the utmost love and respect to one of the most forward thinking creatives and talents in music @billieeilish you make this record even more magical than it was for me in 1st place, much love.” Labrinth explores the cycle of life through ten tracks record. The immersive production, confessional lyrics, and soaring vocals soundtrack the process of life ending and beginning anew again. We’re taking this album as an insight into what’s to come in the new season of Euphoria and pray for its arrival in due time.