Gaming the system: How select artists dominate the music industry

On the fourth episode of her new Beats 1 radio show, “Queen Radio,” Nicki Minaj called out Travis Scott after his “ASTROWORLD” (2018) stole the top Billboard 200 spot from Minaj’s “Queen” (2018). Scott accomplished this by selling ticket-bundling album packages — a common practice in today’s music industry. The difference was that Scott bundled “ASTROWORLD” […]

BTS finds ‘Answer’ to questions of self-love in final album of ‘Love Yourself’ series

The international phenomenon that is Korean boy band BTS released the final album of its “Love Yourself” series, entitled “Love Yourself: Answer,” on Aug. 24 to critical acclaim. Marketed as a special repackaged album, “Answer” consists of two discs of music from the band’s previous two releases, “Love Yourself: Tear” (2018) and “Love Yourself: Her” (2017), as […]

Ariana Grande’s ‘Sweetener’: A sugar rush headache

At the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 20, the celebrity roster was notably missing some of pop’s biggest divas – Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Katy Perry et al. Alone stood Ariana Grande, performing her newest single “God is a woman” from her fourth album “Sweetener” (2018). It was a Last Supper-inspired performance, rife with gorgeous visuals […]

2018 summer music roundup

Summer 2018 was full of surprise releases, a standalone popstar, viral dance challenges and fantastic comebacks. In no particular order, this roundup highlights some of this summer’s best music. Honorable mentions include Ariana Grande’s “Sweetener”, Drake’s “Scorpion”, Travis Scott’s “ASTROWORLD” and, of course, the soundtrack for “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.” Florence + The Machine: “High […]

The singles bar: The stars are out edition

In addition to this spring’s excellent album releases, namely Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy” and Kacey Musgraves’ “Golden Hour,” the coming of warmer weather has also led to a bevy of excellent singles from some of music’s biggest stars. Here are some of the best and biggest hits that the coming months will have to offer: […]

Is This Thing On? Meet the new queen of rap

Sitting in the second spot on the Billboard Hot 100, Cardi B’s fiery single “Bodak Yellow” (2017) packs a punch. Leaving behind her days as an exotic dancer, Cardi celebrates her life now that she has made it big. As a teen, the Bronx native used stripping as a means of supporting her family, but has since earned fame […]

The singles bar: diss tracks and sophomore previews

Not unlike the random May-weather weekends that have been popping up to keep hope — and climate change anxiety — alive during the otherwise brutal Boston winter, some of pop and R&B’s favorites have been dropping singles left and right to keep us going until we’re blessed by actual album releases this spring and summer. […]

Is This Thing On? Dangerous women

New week, same question: what’s popular in the music world and why should we care? Second question: is it just me, or is it hot in here? 2016 has been a particularly steamy year in reference to the female music scene. I’m talkin’ Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Fifth Harmony...the list goes on. To set the […]