Netflix Announces Beyoncé Special

Today, Netflix announced that they will be releasing a two-hour special of behind the scenes footage of Beyoncé’s iconic 2018 Coachella performance.

Beyoncé was the first Black woman to ever headline the popular, annual festival. Her performance paid homage to Black history, culture, art, and expression. And now, viewers will be able to have a peek at how Beyonce’s historical performance graduated from a concept to a movement.

Watch the trailer for Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé below.


Ariana Grande vs. Everybody – Ariana’s New Single ‘7 Rings’ Has Artists Crying Theft

This week, Ariana Grande dropped a new single titled 7 Rings. The song is very different from Ariana’s signature pop/r&b style. The song and video for 7 Rings draws from Trap musical styles and Ariana makes her rap debut. On the chorus she raps, “I want it, I got it. You like my hair? Gee, thanks! Just bought it.” On first listen, 7 Rings sounds like Ariana was taking notes from Beyonce on Apesh*t. But other artists such as Princess Nokia and Soulja Boy are calling foul.

Princess Nokia took to social media to point out the similarities between her song, Mine, and Ariana’s 7 Rings. Princess Nokia posted a video of herself as she plays both tracks and sarcastically asks, “Does that sound familiar to you? It sounds really familiar to me.” The chorus on both tracks are nearly identical. To add fuel to the fire, Princess Nokia insinuates that Ariana Grande is using cultural appropriation to get ahead. She asks, “Isn’t that the little song I wrote about Brown women and their hair? Hmm. Sounds about white (right).”

Others feel that Ariana may have stolen from an old 2 Chainz song, Spend It. Once again, the lyrics and melody for the song are eerily similar.

Even Soulja Boy aka Big Drako felt like he had been ripped off. Ariana, Princess Nokia, and 2 Chainz might have all been inspired by Soulja Boy’s flow on the 2010 single Pretty Boy Swag. Soulja Boy took to twitter and called Ariana a ‘thief’. He also tweeted, “Stop stealing my swag. Give me my credit. Period”.

Ariana Grande addressed the claims of cultural appropriation in the The Shade Room’s comment section. She wrote, “Thanks for opening the conversation and like… to everyone for talking to me about it. It’s never my intention to offend anybody.”

Despite the controversy, 7 Rings has become Spotify’s most streamed song in the first 24 hours with over 14 million streams.

3 Powerful Tips To Help You Stick To This Year’s Fitness Resolutions

Happy 2019! It’s that time of year again. You’ve entered a new year and made new fitness goals. While it’s great to create goals that’ll help you become the best version of yourself, many times we don’t carry it out past the first few months. According to researchers at the University of Scranton, only 50% of people are able to keep their resolutions past three months. So here are 3 great tips you can use to help you stick to your fitness resolutions.

1 Create S.M.A.R.T Goals For Yourself.

Set realistic goals for yourself using the S.M.A.R.T method. S.M.A.R.T stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. So instead of setting goals that are too lofty or ambiguous to attain such as “lose 50 pounds”, be more specific. Using the S.M.A.R.T method a goal could be, “lose 5 pounds in 2 weeks by doing cardio exercise so I can feel my best for my birthday”. The closer and attainable the goals are, the more likely you will be to achieve them. And once you knock those goals out, you can set new ones. Also, don’t aim for the impossible. If you know you really only have time to take a dance class twice a week, stick to that. Don’t overextend yourself because that may lead to negative thoughts and emotions when you aren’t able to follow through.

2. Find Ways To Hold Yourself Accountable.

You can find ways to be held accountable through yourself and others. How does your body and mind feel when you don’t make responsible choices? How does it feel when you do make the right choices? Honor yourself by continuing the habits that serve your body and letting go of the ones that don’t. Discipline is key. Another option is to have someone trustworthy and dependable do check ups on your progress. Someone who will encourage you to stay consistent and cheer you on.

3. Forgive Yourself. Every time.

While it’s okay to feel discouraged, don’t beat yourself down. If you happened to skip a gym day or eat a meal you weren’t supposed to, let it go. Self-loathing and self-hate are not helpful or healthful. And remember, your overall health is of utmost importance. According to Psychology Today, “researchers found that people who were successful at keeping their New Year’s resolutions slipped, or made mistakes. In fact, 71 percent of people who were successful in their resolutions slipped in the first month”. Each day, each second is filled with opportunity to start again. No one gets it right every single time. So just acknowledge it and carry on.

Boi-1da On Collabs with Drake, J Balvin, & More in 2019

Boi-1da stopped by The Cruz Show and talked about his Grammy nominations and artists he’ll be collaborating with in 2019. The Canadian has been nominated for the Producer of the Year award at this year’s Grammys. He’s up against heavyweights, Kanye West and Pharrell. However his work with Drake, Cardi B, and G-Eazy, might finally earn the 12-time nominated producer the coveted gilded record player.

Boi-1da was slightly hesitant about revealing what projects he was most excited about in 2019 because it’s “classified”. But he decided to spill a few beans and disclose that he has upcoming projects with Drake, J Balvin, Prince Royce, and Romeo Santos. He is also planning to put out a compilation album this year.

When asked about what advice he would give to someone trying to come up in the game as a producer, Boi-1da’s response was simple. “Get Fruity Loops. Keep pushing because it’s really a struggle. There’s a billion people trying to do this.”

Watch the full interview below.

The 5 Best Album Rollouts of 2018 & What to Expect For the Year Ahead

2018 was a great year for music especially in Hip Hop and R&B. Let’s walk through the best album rollouts of 2018 and what albums we can expect for the new year.

  1. Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Summer

The rollout of Kanye’s G.O.O.D Summer started off with the polarizing figure’s return to Twitter. It was then followed by infamous sound bites and the rapper seemingly aligning himself with the 45th President. Somewhere in between the chaos, Kanye revealed that he would be releasing 5 separate albums from G.O.O.D Music artists. Much anticipated albums from Nas, Teyana Taylor, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, and West himself lined up the series. Though the series was heavily critiqued and ditched out some tough disappointments (see: Nasir), each project produced strong first week numbers and debuted on Billboard’s Top 200 list.

Lesson Learned: Never underestimate the power of Twitter.

2. Cardi B- Invasion of Privacy

When Cardi B finished 2017 with number 1 single, Bodak Yellow, everyone was on the edge of the their seats waiting to see if she could match the single’s success. She started 2018 releasing a bedazzled vintage single cover and video to promote Bartier Cardi. The video featured husband Offset, reminiscent of Beyoncé’s Partition. After that, she released Be Careful, which showed her versatility as an artist. And her record Drip with Migos dropped the same week her album did. Cardi’s consistent head-nodding club singles were able to keep everyone’s attention until the album release. High profile appearances like the Alexa Super Bowl commercial didn’t hurt either. ‘Invasion of Privacy’ turned out to be one of the top 3 selling albums last year.

Lesson Learned: Great singles keeps everyone’s attention.

3. Drake- Scorpion

Drake’s release of ‘Scorpion’ was marked with a steady flow of viral singles that swept the nation. The 1-million dollar music video for God’s Plan currently has almost 1-billion views on Youtube. God’s Plan was followed by I’m Upset and Nice For What. A month before Drake’s album was to be released, he entered a rap beef with Pusha T as a response to the Kanye West produced track, Infrared. Surprisingly, Pusha T won. Drake was forced to back down after Pusha T exposed him for doing blackface and allegedly neglecting to take care of his baby. The rap beef boosted Pusha T’s streaming numbers and introduced him to a pop fan base. It also helped Drake stay relevant until ‘Scorpion’ was dropped in June. In My Feelings unexpectedly went viral after the album release and became the song of the summer.

Lesson Learned: Rap beefs are good publicity if you’re able to come out of it alive.

4. EVERYTHING IS LOVE- The Carters

When Beyoncé and Jay-Z announced their OTR II tour, everyone expected new music to drop. But it didn’t. The tour started and the duo did several shows without any new music giving fans the impression that OTR II was simply just that- on the run part 2. Many began to even speculate that it was a publicity stunt to recover Jay-Z’s image. But in true surprise by the originator herself, the duo’s first collab album dropped in June. The couple premiered the Apesh*t song and video during their London tour stop. The words ALBUM OUT NOW appeared on the screen at the conclusion of the video. The album exclusively streamed on Tidal for two days before hitting Spotify and Apple music. Apesh*t is nominated for Best Music Video for this year’s Grammy Awards.

Lesson Learned: Go on tour first, drop music later.

5. J. Cole- KOD

J. Cole’s album rollout was as simple as the rapper portrays himself to be these days. Without fuss. He gave fans same week notice via social media that his album would be dropping that Friday. He then proceeded to host first come, first serve listening parties. While this could have been a risky move for an artist that seemed to be in hiding and cocooning, Cole solidified his superstar status and capitalized on his fan base by rolling out KOD this way.

Lesson Learned: If you continue to cater to your core fan base, anything is possible.

Ultimately, what we’ve learned from album rollouts in 2018 is that there are no more rules to this. You can drop on Twitter, on tour, same day notice on Tuesday and still be successful. The more creative the better. It’s the authenticity that counts. When Kanye West snapped the album cover for ‘Ye’ on his way to the listening party, it was against all industry rules. But, it worked. And we can expect to see more of that pure, raw energy in music. Artists and their delivery no longer have to be cookie-cutter and by the book.

Moving forward in 2019, we can expect to see highly anticipated projects from a few veterans of the game.

  1. Rick Ross

In November, Rick Ross responded to Lebron James and confirmed that he was in the final stages of ‘Port of Miami 2’. However, don’t hold your breath. He made it clear to the NBA player that creating classics takes time.

2. Nas

In an interview with Angie Martinez, Nas confirmed that he has another album on the way. We’re assuming its the album he spoke of on 2016 DJ Khaled track, Nas Album Done.

3. Solange

Last October, Solange told the New York Times that her follow up to ‘A Seat At The Table’ would be dropping in the Fall. However, no such thing happened. It still keeps us on notice that a fully developed Solange album exists and is just waiting for a release date.

What albums are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below.

India.Arie Drops Fresh Music & Visuals

Soul singer India.Arie returns to the music scene with a video for her new song ‘That Magic’. The record is a love song and ode admiring the magic and beauty of Black men. In the video, Lyriq Bent, best known for his role on Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It Netflix series plays India’s lead love interest.

India.Arie sings, “He’s got that magic. The way he touches me is so spiritual. He’s so everything. He’s a miracle.”

India also showcases her own Black Girl Magic. The “I Am Not My Hair” songstress dons many hairstyles and looks throughout the video. She’s seen flaunting different textured afros, waist length micro-braids, a shaved head, and colorful head wraps. The song will be featured on her upcoming album, Worthy.

Check out the display of Black love and beauty below.