Rather than performing a song off his freshly released album 2014 Forest Hills Drive, J. Cole used the Late Show stage to perform a song called Be Free that he released in light of the recent deaths involving police brutality. Those who heard the first version of Be Free will notice a brand new unreleased verse at the 2:28 mark with some potent thoughts about Barack Obama’s presidency too. It’s a song for the gap in racial relations happening in this country right now.
Industry projections have J. Cole’s new album set to debut No. 1 on Billboard next week. Estimated to sell 320-350k copies opening week, it would be the biggest opening week for a rap album in 2014. It’s inspiring to see a hip hop artist with such a socially relevant voice making this kind of impact.
This is photo from a “Die In” protest for Eric Garner in NYC’s Grand Central Station. An example of what gives me hope.
When tragedy strikes and people of all races and backgrounds respond in thoughtful solidarity. We are all in this together. Fear and seperation is the illusion but the truth is we’re all in this together.
Photo credit: Brent Staples
In 2014, Quddus began contributing as a special guest correspondent for The Insider on CBS. These are the highlights from his time on the show so far. The video includes his moments with some of the biggest stars in entertainment like Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Brown, Academy Award winning director Peter Jackson and the legendary Stevie Wonder.
The US premiere of Mockingjay had the grandiose elements of an award show but when Jennifer Lawrence crashed this interview with Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth it was clear that despite the hype, the cast doesn’t take it too seriously.
Kendrick gets loose for this and even gets a cameo by the legendary Ron Isley.
Collaborations like this one between Ariana Grande and The Weeknd tend to be interesting. Usually when a pop artist does a song with an edgier artist, it either seems forced or it makes for the best of both worlds. This song worked out for the best and the accompanying video for it is equally hot. Ariana’s album My Everything is out now.
The only thing better than 11-year-old Maddie Ziegler’s performance in Chandelier is Jimmy Kimmel and his sidekick Guillermo in leotards trying to learn her dance from it.
This interview is like that scene in the Wizard of Oz when you get to see what’s behind it all. Rick Rubin is a musical wizard. One of the most genius music producers of all time. Rick shares so much of what makes him great with Zane Lowe in the backyard of his LA home and if you’re a music lover, this will be like heaven.
No matter how much great new music comes out, I still find myself going back to the classics so I want to honor that occasionally on this blog with #FlashbackFriday.
Starting off with Stevie Wonder and a song that features lines like “did you know that true love asks for nothing?” A song that I’m convinced should be played by doctors giving treatment for depression because its joy is so contagious. It’s especially awesome to experience it along with this visual of Stevie and his band performing it in the studio. The original session audio for this video was skipping so the audio you’ll here is re-synced from the version that ended up on the album Songs In The Key Of Life but it is still amazing to see that big smile of his to go with this inspiring song.