Category: Music

5 Music-Related Podcasts That Will Keep You Tuned In

Are you a music lover looking for your next audio fix? Look no further than these five music-related podcasts that offer insight, interviews, and in-depth analysis of your favorite artists and genres. From pop hits to indie rock, these podcasts will keep you tuned in to the latest music news and trends.

1. Switched On Pop

Hosts Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding bring a fresh perspective to pop music on their podcast, Switched On Pop. The show explores the theory and mechanics behind popular songs and why they resonate with audiences. Sloan and Harding break down songs layer by layer, revealing hidden harmonies, rhythms, and production techniques. Listeners will gain a deeper appreciation for popular music and the artists who create it.

One fascinating episode of Switched On Pop is “Episode 165: When Billboard Charts Fail.” The hosts investigate how Billboard’s chart methodology doesn’t always capture the most popular songs. They explain how streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music have disrupted the traditional music industry and how these changes play out on the charts.

2. Song Exploder

Song Exploder features artists breaking down their songs, piece by piece, in their own words. Host Hrishikesh Hirway guides the conversation, asking questions and prompting the artist to explain the meaning behind the lyrics or the inspiration for a particular musical phrase. This podcast offers a rare glimpse into the creative process of some of today’s most innovative musicians.

In an episode featuring The Cranberries’ “Dreams,” lead singer Dolores O’Riordan discussed her songwriting process and how the song’s unique chord progression was inspired by the classical music she listened to in her youth. With deep-dive discussions and candid interviews with artists, Song Exploder is a treat for music lovers.

3. Rolling Stone Music Now

For over five decades, Rolling Stone has been a trusted voice in music journalism. The magazine’s podcast, Rolling Stone Music Now, features interviews with musicians, producers, and industry insiders. Hosts Brian Hiatt and Brittany Spanos share their perspectives and opinions on the latest music news and trends. The podcast covers everything from classic rock to contemporary pop, with a focus on emerging artists and underground scenes.

In a standout 50th-anniversary episode, Rolling Stone Music Now featured a rare interview with Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen spoke about his career, his songwriting process, and his legacy as one of the greatest American rock musicians of all time.

4. Our Lives, Our Sounds

Our Lives, Our Sounds is a unique podcast that explores how music affects our lives and experiences. Hosted by rapper and poet Akala, the show features interviews with musicians from around the world who discuss their music and culture. Akala explores how music can be a tool for social change and understanding, and how it can transcend borders and boundaries.

In the episode “Bitter Lake,” Akala talks with Afghan musician and activist, Elaha Soroor. Soroor shares how she uses music to challenge gender norms and promote women’s rights in Afghanistan. Our Lives, Our Sounds offers a truly global perspective on the power of music.

5. Sound Opinions

Hosts Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis offer insightful and critical discussions on the latest music releases on Sound Opinions. The show is a blend of music reviews, interviews, and deep-dive explorations of music history and culture. Kot and DeRogatis have deep knowledge and passion for all things music, and their commentary is always entertaining and thought-provoking.

In episode #806, Sound Opinions pays tribute to the “King of the Surf Guitar,” Dick Dale. The hosts explore Dale’s impact on rock music and how he pioneered the guitar amp’s heavy use of reverb in the early 1960s. Sound Opinions covers a wide range of genres and styles with something for every music fan.

5 Music Videos That Changed The Industry

Music videos have always been a crucial part of the music industry. They have helped popularize songs, advertising the artists, and their music. Over time, music videos have evolved from simple performance footage to intricate productions that tell stories or showcase artistic vision. Many music videos have impacted the music industry. Here are five of the most influential music videos that changed the industry and continue to influence music videos to this day:

1. “Thriller” by Michael Jackson

“Thriller,” directed by John Landis and released in 1983, is the most iconic music video of its time. The 14-minute horror video began a new era by being a short film as well as a music video. It set new boundaries in terms of creativity and professionalism in videos. With a budget of $1 million, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video was very expensive for its time, and it raised the bar for future music videos.

The “Thriller” music video defined the expectations for music videos from that point forward. It established a new generation of music lovers worldwide and redefined the term “music video” from a framework of indulgent visuals instead of basic performance video footage. There was dancing, makeup, costumes, and special effects that set new standards of production for music videos. It is still a favorite and nearly impossible to forget, even after all these years.

2. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana

Released in 1991, Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” directed by Samuel Bayer was significant to the Grunge rock music era. The music video was shot in a high school gym for just $50,000, a minimal amount compared to “Thriller.” The video featured a performance that was pure and raw and not the flamboyant acts of the ’80s that people have become accustomed to.

The video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is widely regarded as one of the most iconic and influential music videos in history. The dirty and gritty imagery of the video matched perfectly with the sludgy, loud, and rebellious sounds of Nirvana’s music, paving the way for alternative rock in the mainstream.

3. “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” directed by Francis Lawrence and released in 2009, is a futuristic tech playground. The production was worth $480,000 and encompassed dancers dressed in bizarrely elaborate garments to a whole new level.  Lady Gaga refused to be restricted by perfectionistic thoughts, and this may be the reason for her having the most visually innovative videos.

“Bad Romance” is an excellent example of how creativity can dominate music videos. It pushed the limits of production by using intense choreography and highlighting Lady Gaga’s artistic vision. “Bad Romance” is a testament to Lady Gaga’s iconic status in the music industry and to the concept of music videos as a powerful marketing tool.

4. “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel

One of the most technologically advanced and groundbreaking music videos of all time is Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer.” Directed by Stephen R. Johnson and released in 1986, the music video was shot using stop-motion animation, mixing live footage with other techniques. The video production cost $250,000, making it very expensive, yet it won a record-breaking nine MTV Video Music Awards that year.

The use of stop-motion animation was new at that time. The animation technique made the music video unique and breathtaking with its creativity, visuals, and production, and it gave a whole new meaning to the concept of music videos.

5. “This Is America” by Childish Gambino

Donald Glover, also known by his stage name Childish Gambino, directed Hiro Murai’s “This Is America,” which surprised the music world. Released in 2018, the music video went viral instantly, and it tackled social and political issues. The video effectively showed the brutal reality of black people in America using shocking and thought-provoking imagery.

The music video was considered a defining moment in the music industry for being creatively radical and politically vocal. It helped redefine music videos as a tool for activism, amplified by its discussion of racial inequality and police brutality. The impact of “This Is America” can still be seen in music videos today.

5 Insightful Music Documentaries That Will Deepen Your Appreciation for Music

Music is a transcendent force that has the power to unite people across borders, languages, and cultures. For music lovers, the opportunity to explore and understand the stories behind their favorite artists or genres enhances their appreciation and enjoyment of the songs even more. The history and human stories behind these sounds are what attract people to music above all else.

Today we’ll look at five insightful music documentaries that offer a deeper understanding of musicians, their journeys, and the genre-defining moments that shaped the industry. These documentaries provide a comprehensive and authentic look into music for viewers to absorb and appreciate the artistry behind the music they love.

1. “Sunshine of Your Love” (2006)

Eric Clapton is one of the most influential guitarists in the history of music. This documentary chronicles the highs and lows of his life and career, with interviews and archived concert footage showcasing his music and the blues genre he’s helped define. With exclusive footage of his Live Aid performance and collaborations with George Harrison and other renowned musicians, this documentary showcases Clapton’s journey to fame.

Through this documentary, viewers can gain an understanding of how personal experiences influenced his music, specifically how the tragic loss of his son impacted his ballad “Tears in Heaven.” It is a fascinating watch for both Clapton fans and those with a general interest in the blues genre.

2. “Searching for Sugar Man” (2012)

South African music fans discovered a musician by the name of Rodriguez, who had mysteriously disappeared after producing two failed albums in the United States in the early 1970s. However, to the amazement of his fans, his music had widespread relevance and appeal in South Africa, despite failing to make a mark in the US.

This documentary follows two journalists on a journey to uncover the secrets behind the musician’s disappearance and discover what it is that sparked such a fan following in South Africa. With incredible revelations about Rodriguez’s life and the music industry itself, “Searching for Sugar Man” is a captivating watch for anyone who loves music and wants to understand its influence on people worldwide.

3. “The Defiant Ones” (2017)

Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine are two of the music industry’s most influential figures in the last few decades. They are largely responsible for shaping the music industry, and this four-part HBO docu-series chronicles their journey from their childhood through the present day.

Their journey includes the formation of the iconic label Death Row Records, the introduction, and success of Apple Music, and Dre’s experience building an empire in the world of Hip-Hop music. The series offers never-before-seen interviews with music legends and grants viewers access to the stories and personalities that helped shape the music industry as we know it today.

4. “What Happened, Miss Simone?” (2015)

Nina Simone, a prominent Black musician, and activist, found her voice amid political and social upheaval in the 1960s, which she expressed through her music. This documentary follows Simone’s life and career and features snippets of live performances underlining her power as a performer.

Through archival footage and interviews with family and friends, the documentary deepens viewers’ appreciation for Simone’s musical impact while exploring her troubled past, including a tumultuous marriage and diagnosis of bipolar disorder. “What Happened, Miss Simone?” reveals the emotional toll that success and fame had on Simone, offering a poignant portrayal of the realities of being a Black female musician in the 1960s.

5. “Amy” (2015)

“Amy” is a heartbreaking documentary about the life of Amy Winehouse, the immensely talented British singer-songwriter who died at the age of 27. The documentary: created with exclusive access to unheard tracks, home footage, and family interviews, reveals how quickly Winehouse’s unique sound attracted media attention and immense fame.

The documentary shows the deeply troubled and vulnerable person behind the public persona, exploring her struggles with drugs and alcohol and the emotional toll of fame. This emotional and intimate depiction of Winehouse is a powerful reminder of the importance of understanding the darker side of the music industry.

In conclusion, these five documentaries provide viewers with glimpses into the personal lives and stories of masterful musicians, from the impact of personal heartbreaks to the price of fame. These documentaries offer insight into the history and development of several music genres, with inspiring stories from music industry insiders. Through these insightful documentaries, viewers have the opportunity to explore and cultivate a deeper appreciation for music and the people behind it.

5 Essential Music Theory Concepts Every Beginner Musicians Should Learn

Music is an extremely creative and expressive art form; however, it also has a logical side, which is music theory. Music theory encompasses various concepts that musicians need to understand for their growth and development. For beginner musicians, learning about music theory concepts is essential as it provides a strong basis for their continued growth as musicians. Today, we’ll discuss the five essential music theory concepts every beginner musician should learn.

What is Music Theory?

Music theory is a system of rules and guidelines that describe how music works. It covers concepts such as harmony, melody, rhythm, and form, among others. All of these concepts are fundamental building blocks that help musicians create high-quality music.

In its simplest form, music theory is the grammar and vocabulary of music. It helps you understand and communicate musical ideas effectively.

Concept 1: Learning the Musical Alphabet

The first essential music theory concept for beginner musicians is learning the musical alphabet. The musical alphabet consists of the first seven letters of the English alphabet: A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. Each letter represents a note, which musicians use to form melodies and chords.

It is important that musicians learn the musical alphabet because it is the foundation of all other music theory concepts. Once you have a good understanding of the musical alphabet, you can easily navigate the musical landscape and effectively communicate with other musicians.

Concept 2: Understanding Basic Rhythm

Rhythm is the foundation of music. It is the pattern of sound and silence in music. Understanding basic rhythm is essential for beginner musicians as it helps them accurately play music and stay in time with other musicians.

To understand basic rhythm, musicians need to learn how to count beats. Beat refers to the regular pulse or steady rhythm that underlies most music. By learning how to count beats, musicians can play a piece of music correctly and stay in time with others.

Concept 3: Learning Basic Chords

A chord is a group of three or more notes played simultaneously. Chords are fundamental to music as they form the backbone of most pieces of music. Knowing how to play basic chords is essential for beginner musicians as it forms the basis of harmony and accompaniment.

There are different types of chords, including major, minor, diminished, and augmented, to name a few. By understanding how to play basic chords, musicians can create melodies that harmonize effectively with other musicians.

Concept 4: Understanding Key Signatures

Key signatures are symbols placed at the beginning of a piece of music that tells the musician which notes to use in the piece. Understanding key signatures is critical to playing music effectively as it indicates which notes to use in a melody or chord progression.

Key signatures can be challenging for beginner musicians to learn at first. However, with practice, they can become more comfortable with identifying and interpreting them to create music effectively.

Concept 5: Intervals

In music theory, an interval is the distance between two notes. Intervals are critical to understanding the relationship between notes in a piece of music. Musicians use intervals to create harmonies and melodies.

There are several types of intervals, including major, minor, perfect, augmented, and diminished. By understanding intervals, beginner musicians can create more complex melodies and harmonies that work well together.

5 Best Page-turners For Music Lovers

As a music lover, there’s nothing quite like getting lost in a good book that explores the history, personalities, and culture of the music industry. Whether you’re a fan of classic rock, jazz, or hip-hop, there’s a book out there for you. In this article, we’ll take a look at the 5 best page-turners for music lovers.

1. “Just Kids” by Patti Smith

Patti Smith’s memoir is a beautiful tribute to her friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe and their time together in New York City during the late 1960s and 1970s. It’s a must-read for anyone who loves punk rock, poetry, or art. The book is an intimate and detailed portrayal of their lives revolving around art and music, all while being immersed in the vibrant energy of New York City. Through this memoir, Smith delivers an honest and heartfelt tribute to Mapplethorpe and their time together that will warm the heart of any music lover.

2. “Chronicles, Volume One” by Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan’s memoir is a fascinating look into the mind of one of the most influential musicians of the past century. It’s a great read for anyone who wants to learn more about the history of folk and rock music, as well as the creative process behind some of Dylan’s most famous songs. In the book, Dylan delves into his creative process, exploring the roots of his music and revealing many little-known details about his life and experiences in music. This is a must-read for anyone desiring a deeper look at the life of the legendary musician.

3. “The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory” by John Seabrook

In “The Song Machine,” John Seabrook takes a deep dive into the world of pop music and the people behind the hits we all know and love. From Max Martin to Dr. Luke, Seabrook explores the techniques and strategies used to create chart-topping songs. The book provides valuable insight into the modern music industry and how digital technology has revolutionized how songs are made, produced, and marketed. Based on extensive research and interviews, this book provides entertaining and enlightening commentary on the pop music industry.

4. “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation” by Jeff Chang

Jeff Chang’s book “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” is a comprehensive look at the history and culture of hip hop. From its roots in the Bronx to its global influence today, he covers everything from music to fashion and politics. The book is a detailed and passionate exploration of the genre, including many voices often overlooked in other accounts of hip-hop. With interviews and historical documents sourced from a wide range of people involved in the growth of hip-hop, it’s an essential read for anyone interested in the history of this influential musical and cultural movement.

5. “Miles: The Autobiography” by Miles Davis

Finally, “Miles: The Autobiography” is a must-read for jazz fans. Miles Davis was one of the most innovative and influential musicians of the twentieth century, and this book provides a fascinating look at his life and career. In the book, Davis candidly recounts his experiences and emotions, offering a unique perspective on the jazz world during one of its most vibrant and transformative periods. This autobiography provides an inside look at the creative process and the behind-the-scenes life of a legendary musician, making it an essential read for any serious jazz aficionado.

Whether you’re looking to learn more about the music you love or just looking for a great read, these 5 books are sure to be page-turners for any music lover. Each book provides a different perspective on the culture and history of music, from punk rock to hip-hop to jazz. These books offer a great way to dive deeper into your favorite genres and gain new insights into the creative process behind some of the greatest music of our time.

Overall, this article provides valuable recommendations for music lovers who are seeking to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of the music they enjoy. With such diverse options for both the casual reader or music enthusiast, there’s no excuse not to dive into one of these excellent books and explore the history and culture of the music industry.

5 Annoyingly Catchy Pop Songs You’ll Have Stuck In Your Head After This Article

We’ve all been there. You hear a catchy pop song on the radio or on TV, and suddenly, it’s stuck in your head for days on end. You find yourself humming the melody while you do the dishes, singing the lyrics in the shower, and tapping your foot to the beat while you work. Love ’em or hate ’em, there’s no denying that catchy pop songs have a way of burrowing deep into our brains and sticking around. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at five of the most annoyingly catchy pop songs that you’ll have stuck in your head after reading this article.

Baby Shark

We can’t talk about catchy pop songs without mentioning “Baby Shark”. This children’s song has become a cultural phenomenon thanks to its repetitive melody and dance moves. The original “Baby Shark” video has over 8 billion views on YouTube, making it one of the most-watched videos on the platform. The song’s catchy hook, “doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo,” is a classic example of an “earworm,” a melody that gets stuck in your head and refuses to leave. What’s more, the song’s repetitive nature has been found to increase brain function in children. So while you may hate having “Baby Shark” stuck in your head, at least you can take solace in the fact that your brain is getting a good workout.


“Friday” by Rebecca Black may have been widely panned by critics, but there’s no denying its catchiness. The song went viral in 2011, thanks in part to its awkward lyrics and overly simple melody. Despite the backlash from some listeners and critics, the song’s simple structure and catchy chorus made it an instant classic in the world of pop music. Rebecca Black has since gone on to release more music, but “Friday” remains her most well-known song. Love it or hate it, “Friday” is a tune that’s hard to forget once it’s taken up residence in your brain.

Call Me Maybe

“Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen was the song of the summer in 2012, and for good reason. With its infectious chorus and memorable lyrics, the song became an instant classic. The song’s success was due in part to its use of repetition and hooks to create a melody that’s hard to forget. The chorus, which goes “Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me maybe” is a classic example of a pop song that burrows deep into your brain and refuses to let go.

Gangnam Style

“Gangnam Style” by South Korean musician Psy was a global sensation when it was released in 2012. The song’s unique blend of K-Pop, dance, and comedy made it an instant hit with audiences around the world. The song’s catchy melody and infectious dance moves made it a popular choice at parties and dance clubs, and its success spawned numerous parodies and imitations. In addition to its popularity, “Gangnam Style” had a lasting impact on the world of music, paving the way for the global success of K-Pop.

All About That Bass

“All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor was a hit in 2014. The song’s body-positive message and catchy melody made it an instant classic. The use of repetition and hooks in the chorus created a tune that was hard to forget, and the song’s message resonated with listeners around the world. Despite some controversy surrounding the song’s message, “All About That Bass” remains a favorite among pop music fans.

5 Surprising Facts About the History of Music

Music has been an essential part of human culture for thousands of years, and its evolution has been closely intertwined with the development of human society. From prehistoric times to the modern era, music has taken on many different forms and served many different purposes. Today, we will explore five surprising facts about the history of music that may change the way you think about this fascinating art form.

Music predates written language

It may come as a surprise to learn that music predates written language. Archaeological evidence suggests that music was a part of human culture as far back as the Paleolithic era, around 50,000 years ago. In those times, music was likely used as a form of communication, with early humans using vocalizations and primitive musical instruments to convey messages and emotions.

As human societies developed and became more complex, so too did music. Different cultures developed their own unique musical traditions, incorporating a wide range of instruments, rhythms, and melodies. Some of the earliest known musical instruments include bone flutes, drums made from animal skins, and stringed instruments made from animal gut.

Gregorian chants were an important part of medieval music

Moving forward in time to the medieval era, we come to the second surprising fact about the history of music: the importance of Gregorian chants. Gregorian chants are a type of monophonic, unaccompanied vocal music that was popular in medieval Europe. Named after Pope Gregory I, who is said to have organized and codified the chants, they were an integral part of Christian worship and were used in many religious ceremonies.

Gregorian chants are known for their simple, unadorned melodies and their use of Latin text. They were typically performed by male choirs and were an important precursor to the polyphonic music that would become popular in the Renaissance era.

The first recorded musical composition was written by a woman

Moving forward in time again, we come to the third surprising fact about the history of music: the first recorded musical composition was written by a woman. That woman was Hildegard von Bingen, a German nun who lived in the 12th century. Hildegard was a remarkable figure in many ways, as she was also a writer, philosopher, and mystic. But it is her music that has left a lasting legacy.

Hildegard’s music is characterized by its ethereal quality and its use of a style known as “monophonic chant.” Her compositions were typically performed by women’s choirs and were used in religious ceremonies. Hildegard’s most famous work is perhaps her “Symphonia armonie celestium revelationum,” a collection of 77 chants and antiphons that she composed over the course of many years.

The first commercially successful music recording was not a song

Jumping forward again to the 19th century, we come to the fourth surprising fact about the history of music: the first commercially successful music recording was not a song. In fact, it was a recording of a spoken word performance.

The recording in question was made in 1860 by a Frenchman named Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville. Scott de Martinville invented a device called the phonautograph, which could capture sound waves on paper. He used this device to record a reading of a French poem, which was later reproduced as a sound recording using a technique called “phonoautography.”

While the recording was not actually played back until many years later, it is considered the first known sound recording in history. Its commercial success may have been limited, but it paved the way for the development of modern sound recording technology.

The Beatles revolutionized the music industry in many ways

Finally, we come to the fifth and perhaps most well-known surprising fact about the history of music: The Beatles revolutionized the music industry in many ways. Hailing from Liverpool, England, The Beatles were a band that formed in the early 1960s and quickly rose to fame around the world.

What made The Beatles so unique was their ability to incorporate a wide range of musical styles into their songs, from rock and roll to folk to classical. They were also known for their innovative use of recording technology, including the use of new techniques like tape loops and backward recording.

The Beatles also had a significant impact on the culture of the time, with their music helping to define the counterculture of the 1960s. Their lyrics addressed social and political issues of the day, and their style influenced everything from fashion to hairstyles.

In addition to their musical and cultural contributions, The Beatles also helped to redefine the music industry itself. They were among the first bands to take control of their own music production, writing and producing many of their own songs. They also established new business models for the music industry, including the creation of their own record label.

5 Best Diss Tracks in Rap History

In most other genres, you don’t typically hear a song aimed at another artist as part of a feud that can sometimes turn violent. In hip-hop, though, there’s seemingly a new diss track released every day, especially in the YouTube/SoundCloud era of rap. Though most of these diss tracks have been between rappers you may have never heard of or end up being weak, there are some that have become legendary.

To truly establish yourself as one of the best names in rap history, you have to come out on top in a diss track back-and-forth. Let’s take a look at the five greatest diss tracks in rap history, all of which come from rappers who are routinely in the top five of all time for a lot of people.

“Killshot” by Eminem

Eminem is one of those rappers that you really don’t want to come after, and that dates back to his underground days in Detroit. Colson “Machine Gun Kelly” Baker knows that all too well, and his beef with Slim Shady goes back for years. After making a comment about his daughter Hailie, Eminem shunned MGK for years, and MGK’s response was to create a diss track with Tech N9ne called “No Reason”, which was followed up by “Rap Devil”.

Eminem had had enough and decided to release “Killshot” less than two weeks after “Rap Devil” was released. The track immediately went viral and almost everyone agreed that Eminem won the war. This included remarking on the exposure that MGK received because of their feud. “It’s your moment, this is it, as big as you’re gonna get, so enjoy it,” Eminem said. “Had to give you a career to destroy it.”

“Takeover” by Jay-Z

Jay-Z and Nas are two titans of the hip-hop genre, but there have been many instances of the two being at odds with each other. Jay-Z recorded “Takeover” as part of his 2001 album “The Blueprint”. Jay-Z wrote the song with Kanye West, with West also producing. “Takeover” not only takes aim at Nas, but also Mobb Deep rapper Prodigy, but it’s Nas that gets the most focus.

Jay-Z says that Nas only has a hit album every decade and that he hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of his debut album “Illmatic”. Jay-Z also says that Nas exaggerated his background to gain more street cred. “Takeover” ended up being a huge hit and was immediately considered an all-time Jay-Z classic while sparking one of the most-talked-about rap feuds.

“Ether” by Nas

Of course, Nas wasn’t going to listen to “Takeover” without forming a response of his own. Less than three months after “Takeover” was released, “Ether” was released as part of Nas’s “Stillmatic” album. “I was told a long time ago, ghosts and spirits don’t like the fumes from ether,” Nas said of the track’s name. “And I just wanted to affect him with my weapon and get to his soul.”

Just like Jay-Z did to him, Nas comes after Jay-Z’s background, saying that he runs and hides from his issues while asking for help. “What’s sad is I love you ’cause you’re my brother,” Nas said. “You traded your soul for riches.” Perhaps the worst diss was that he called out Jay-Z’s appearance and the only reason he was able to attract women like Beyonce or Foxy Brown was because of his money.

“No Vaseline” by Ice Cube

There’s no denying the impact that N.W.A. had on the hip-hop genre as the group kicked off the era of gangsta rap in the late 1980s and into the early 1990s. Ice Cube left the group because he felt that he wasn’t getting the proper cut for his work, and that includes producer Jerry Heller as one of the targets. With that, “No Vaseline” was released in 1991 from Ice Cube’s “Death Certificate” album.

Nobody was safe from Ice Cube’s ire, and it perhaps led to the full disbandment of N.W.A. Dr. Dre left shortly thereafter and embarked on a successful solo career, including his own diss track of former N.W.A. member Eazy-E.

“Hit ‘Em Up” by Tupac Shakur

The most notable hip-hop feud of all time has to be between the late rappers Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. The West Coast-East Coast battle had been intense by the mid 1990s, and Tupac had the best diss track from the era with the release of “Hit ‘Em Up”, a single that was released in June 1996.

Tupac has a different kind of fire under his feet when performing this song and really went in on Biggie from the very first line. The diss track was prompted by Biggie’s release of “Who Shot Ya?” and it felt more personal than almost any other rap song.

5 Songs That Changed Politics

Politics and music seem to go hand-in-hand, with music being the easiest medium of art to voice your opinions on politics while getting a massive amount of people to hear the message. Over the years, there have been plenty of politically charged songs with some of them having a lasting impression that would resonate for decades. Here are our picks for five songs that changed political discourse the most upon their release.

“Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

To this day, whenever we see someone that was able to avoid being drafted into the Vietnam War, we assume that they had rich connections. Even eventual President Donald Trump was subject to this criticism as he avoided the war due to bone spurs. That didn’t stop Trump from using it as a campaign song, much to the chagrin of Creedence Clearwater Revival, issuing a cease and desist order.

“Kids did not support the Vietnam War,” CCR lead singer John Fogerty said. “Also, there was a draft, which meant that many of the young men were going to be conscripted into the military. Perhaps against their will.” Fogerty added that “People like me who didn’t support the war and thought it was kind of a stupid foreign policy…but I was drafted, and at some point, you stop kicking and screaming and do your duty.”

“Born in the U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen

Another one of those songs that’s played by certain politicians who apparently never listened to the lyrics is “Born in the U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen. Released in 1984, “Born in the U.S.A.” is an upbeat rock-pop tune, but the lyrics tell a sad story. That story is of a Vietnam veteran who returns to America without purpose and is left unwanted by his government and family. It’s heartbreaking when you hear a more broken-down version of the song that has a patriotic feeling in its album form.

“When you think about all the young men and women that died in Vietnam, and how many died since they’ve been back – surviving the war and coming back and not surviving – you have to think that, at the time, the country took advantage of their selflessness,” Springsteen said. “There was a moment when they were just really generous with their lives.”

“Fight the Power” by Public Enemy

While the first two songs were wrapped up in a nice pop-y package, “Fight the Power” was an angry-sounding tune from front to back. Released as part of the soundtrack for Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing”, “Fight the Power” was an anthem against the abuse of said power that’s used by law enforcement and the government. In 1989, the song was released and made it to the top of the rap charts in the United States.

“There was a lot of civil and racial unrest in New York because certain areas where people lived were being taken care of and other areas were neglected,” Chuck D said. “And the areas that were neglected, for years, had no representation, enforcement, or education.”

“American Idiot” by Green Day

Green Day had made just a handful of political statements throughout their heyday in the 1990s, but in the mid-2000s, the band went full-on political with the release of their album “American Idiot”. The title track of the album was released in 2004 and became a massive statement against the state of American politics. George W. Bush was up for re-election, and “American Idiot” seemed like a lengthy letter to get him out of office.

“It was very important to me when I was writing the lyrics for this album that the things I’m singing about are personal,” lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong said. “So even the things that are political have to have a personal element to them.” 

“This is America” by Childish Gambino

In the late 2010s, America seemed to be more divided than it had been in decades, and the country needed a song to encapsulate the feelings that were happening. Under his stage name Childish Gambino, Donald Glover released the track “This is America” in May 2018 and it instantly drew attention. The song itself made plenty of statements, but the video is what really had people talking for months.

Glover remained fairly silent on the meaning of each scene from the video. “I just wanted to make a good song,” he said. “Like something that people could play on Fourth of Julys.” It wasn’t until five years later that Glover said the song “started as a joke.” He added that it started as a diss track toward Drake, but the beat was “kind of hard” and transformed into what we all heard in 2018.

The Business of Music: Understanding Contracts, Royalties & Licencing

The music industry is a complex industry that involves multiple players with different interests. It encompasses music production, promotion, distribution, and performance. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry that is growing every year. However, the music industry is also fraught with legal and business complexities that require a deep understanding to navigate successfully. Today, we will explore how contracts, royalties, and licensing are fundamental to the music industry and how understanding them will help aspiring musicians, songwriters, and producers achieve long-term success.

Understanding Music Contracts

A music contract is a legal agreement between a musician, songwriter, or producer and a record label company, publisher, or music producer. It’s essential to have a music contract to protect the rights of both parties and define their responsibilities. A typical music contract defines the terms of an artist’s relationship with a record label, publisher, or producer. In most cases, such agreements include the rights to use the artist’s music, performance, and services in exchange for compensation.

There are different types of music contracts. Here are some of the most common types:

  • Recording contracts – This type of contract is between an artist and a recording label company. They define the terms of recording and producing an artist’s music.
  • Publishing contracts – This type of agreement is between a songwriter or music producer and a publishing company. The agreement defines how the song will be used and marketed, and how the songwriter or producer will be paid.
  • Management contracts – This type of agreement is between an artist and a management company. The contract outlines the responsibilities of the artist’s manager, such as booking shows, negotiating contracts, and overseeing the artist’s career trajectory.

Key terms to look out for in a music contract include royalty rates, advances, recoupment clauses, and rights. It’s important to have a lawyer with expertise in music contracts review the agreement before any signing.

Music Royalties

Royalties are payments made to songwriters, music producers, and performers for the use of their copyrighted work. There are different types of royalties, including mechanical royalties, performance royalties, and synchronization royalties.

Mechanical royalties are paid to songwriters and publishers for the reproduction and distribution of their music. Performance royalties are paid to musicians, composers, and publishers for the public performance of their music. Synchronization royalties are paid to songwriters and music producers for the use of their music in TV shows, movies, and other media.

Royalties are calculated based on a percentage of revenue generated from the use of copyrighted music. However, calculating royalties can be complex, and it’s essential to have proper accounting systems and processes in place to ensure accurate calculations.

Music Licensing

Music licensing is the process of obtaining permission to use copyrighted music. Licensing is crucial for anyone using music in a commercial setting, such as media outlets, advertisers, and event planners. There are different types of music licenses, including mechanical licenses, synchronization licenses, and public performance licenses.

Mechanical licenses are obtained for the reproduction of copyrighted music in CDs, vinyl, and other physical formats. Synchronization licenses are obtained for using copyrighted music in video media, such as TV shows, movies, and advertisements. Public performance licenses are obtained for the public performance of copyrighted music, such as in a live performance venue.

The licensing process can be time-consuming and expensive. However, it’s necessary to obtain legal permission to use copyrighted music to avoid legal disputes and ensure fair compensation to the rights holders.

The Future of the Music Business

The music industry is constantly evolving, driven in large part by technology. New digital platforms are emerging, and traditional methods of music production and distribution are changing. The advent of streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music has disrupted the traditional music industry, leading to new opportunities and new business models.

In the future, technology is expected to continue driving the music industry forward. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are opening up new avenues for music production, while blockchain technology is being used to create new models for royalty payments and music copyright management.