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. J. Cole’s Dreamville is executive producing the Creed III soundtrack, Jennifer Lopez announces This Is Me … Now, and Skepta & Travis Scott are set to headline the Mirror Mirror Festival honoring Virgil Abloh—this is what you missed.
Jennifer Lopez Announces ‘This Is Me … Now’ 20 Years After Ben Affleck-Inspired Album
It’s been a whole two decades since J.Lo dropped her legendary album This Is Me … Then—featuring hit tracks such as “The One” and “Dear Ben”—and in honor of the anniversary, she announced a follow-up album. Naturally, the name is This Is Me … Now and it’s set to drop next year—she also revealed the tracklist which is 13 songs long. This marks J.Lo’s ninth studio album and her return to writing and producing. Coming on the heels of her recent marriage to Ben Affleck, the album feels full circle considering its predecessor was dedicated to him. One of the songs in the teased tracklist includes “Dear Ben pt. II” and “Midnight Trip to Vegas”, referencing their first wedding ceremony in July. Lopez has called it a “musical experience”, and that the album will chronicle the “emotional, spiritual, and psychological journey” of hers that has been the last two decades. In her recent cover story with Vogue, she describes it as a “culmination of who I am as a person and an artist,” adding, “people think they know things about what happened to me along the way… but they really have no idea, and a lot of the time they get it so wrong. There’s a part of me that was hiding a side of myself from everyone. And I feel like I’m at a place in my life, finally, where I have something to say about it.” It sounds like J.Lo is taking control of her narrative, owning her personal growth of the last 20 years, and sharing it with her fans—with a life like hers, there ought to be some profound insights. The album release date has not been announced yet, but the tracks on the 2023 project are reported to be “plaintive, confessional songs, reflections on the trials of her past, upbeat jams celebrating love and sex.” I’ve shamelessly had “All I Have” on regular rotation most of my life and am eagerly anticipating this follow-up album.
J. Cole’s Dreamville Is Executive Producing The Soundtrack for ‘Creed III’
The ComplexCon(versations) panel took place at the Long Beach Convention Center’s Amazon Theatre, featuring Michael B. Jordan to promote the release of Creed III, set to hit theaters on March 3, 2023. Michael B. Jordan is both directing and starring in the film, alongside cast members Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Wood Harris, and Florian Munteanu. Toward the end of the discussion, Jordan said, “I’m probably gonna get in trouble,” before announcing that J. Cole’s Dreamville record label will be executive producing the soundtrack for the upcoming Creed III. Dreamville’s impressive roster of artists includes Bas, Ari Lennox, EarthGang, JID, Cozz, and more. Their 2019 Grammy-nominated compilation album Revenge of the Dreamers III was arguably one of the best albums that year across all genres. No further details on the soundtrack have been released, but it’s safe to say that expectations are high, among music and movie aficionados alike. This news has also become more commonplace, with the rise of hip-hop labels being in charge of entire soundtracks for blockbuster movies, especially following the iconic Black Panther soundtrack crafted by TDE in 2018—one of the best rap albums of that year, regardless of the movie’s massive success. We hope to see more of this, as it’s now been tried and true, and we can’t wait to hear Dreamville’s Creed III soundtrack.
Stormzy Releases ‘This Is What I Mean’ Album & Heartfelt Note for Fans
You’ve just got mail. It’s Stormzy’s latest studio album This is What I Mean or as he describes it, an “intimate love letter to music.” The soulful rapper returns with his third studio album accompanied by a note shared on his social media. He credits the inspiration for the note from Tyler, the Creator, who did the same during the release of his album Igor back in 2019. In the note, he discusses how he was hesitant to share in this way because, after years of doing interviews, he feels that he “overshares, which makes me feel naked at times. But I do it so that you guys can understand me a bit better and give the art that I make some context.” He talks about his process of making music and that he “never purposely try to defy genres.” Rather, he does what his heart tells him to: “if I rap for 7 minutes it’s because in my spirit, in that moment, I just really wanted to f***ing rap.” To say the rapper poured his heart and soul into this album is an understatement. He linked up with his artist friends, including Sampha, Jacob Collier, NAO, and his 0207 Def Jam label mate Debbie, to bring this album to life and gave us an introspective, genre-bending masterpiece. The album opens with “Fire + Water,” a 7-minute track that begins as a downbeat gospel and transitions into a poetic rap laced with strings and keyboard arrangements. The track ends in a mellow duet and introduces us to the title track. This is What I Mean is rugged and a dynamic blend of dubstep with menacing hymns. We see Stormzy in a mellow and reflective light as he whispers “I’m a sensitive soul,” in “Please” and becomes candid in “I Got My Smile Back” where he admits that “me and loneliness kick it from time to time.” Stormzy invites fans to listen to this album with an open heart and hopes that his listeners may ultimately draw inner strength from his experience.
Skepta and Travis Scott to Headline Mirror Mirror Festival Honoring Virgil Abloh
Virgil Abloh was a multi-hyphenate creative and talented artist who is now known for being one of the most influential designers of his generation. His accomplishments include being Louis Vuitton’s artistic director, founding his label Off-White, directing music videos, and even DJing. The first-ever Mirror Mirror Festival celebrates Virgil Abloh’s contributions to music and design, created by Virgil Abloh Securities, a creative company founded by the legend himself. Shannon Abhloh, Virgil’s wife, CEO, and managing director of Virgil Abloh Securities shared, “Virgil had the ability to bring everyone together to create magic. With his close collaborators, we wanted to bring everyone together to celebrate Virgil—his legacy, his passion, and his care for others. He believed his real work was championing others and we will continue his work supporting youth in the arts with the launch of the Virgil Abloh Foundation in 2023.” Tickets for the one-day festival taking place on December 3rd at the FPL Solar Amphitheatre at Bayfront Park in Miami went on sale this week, with net profits supporting the Virgil Abloh Foundation. Skepta and Travis Scott—making his slow return to festival stages—are booked to headline the event, and other performing artists include Yves Tumor, Pedro, Venus X, Bambii, Rampa, Acyde, and Benji B.
Lizzo and Lady Gaga’s Beautiful Gowns Appear in New Royal Fashion Exhibit
A special exhibit at Kensington Palace titled “Crown to Couture” highlighting the lasting influence of 18th-century royal fashion, will be open from April to October of 2023, at the State Apartments of Kensington Palace. This means it is part of the palace open to the public, the main building being the current London home of Prince William and Kate Middleton. “Crown to Couture” features over 200 objects and is currently being described as one of the largest exhibits to ever take place at Kensington Palace. Two of our favorite pop icons, Lizzo and Lady Gaga, will have their outfits on display. The exhibit will feature Lizzo’s contemporary 2022 “Gilded Glamour” Met Gala outfit by Thom Browne, to complement the array of historic dresses from the Georgian era. Lizzo’s two-piece ensemble consists of a black corset gown and a jacket—arguably a cape—with intricate gold details. As for Lady Gaga’s contribution, her 2020 MTV Video Music Awards look, which included an unignorable, voluminous green gown by Christopher John Rogers will be featured. Lady Gaga’s dress leans futuristic but reflects the size and scale of dresses worn in Kensington Palace in the 18th century. The two ensembles are well-deserving of ongoing praise and recognition and where else better than the “Crown to Couture” exhibit?