As we near the end of the month, ANNIE MUNROE catches up on the Biggest 5 Stories in Music this May. Here’s what you might have missed.
MAY 7 – CHILDISH GAMBINO
During a Saturday Night Live program earlier this month, Childish Gambino dropped a music video for his new single This Is America which has already reached 173 million views on YouTube in two weeks.
The politically charged music video has a chilling story line, incorporating symbolism from viral videos, the Bible and subtle history notations from American and African culture.
This is America is the first song released by Glover since his 2016 album Awaken, My Love.
MAY 10 – R. KELLY
With the addition of the Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy for Spotify Artists, R. Kelly has found himself slammed out of Spotify playlists in a bold step taken by the music platform. Spotify aims to promote values based on artistic expression, exploration and inspiration.
Apple Music and Pandora have followed suit, as more and more women detail their accounts of abuse at the hands of the US R&B singer. R. Kelly’s controversial behavior, for now at least, will see his music sitting on the sidelines.
In a statement to Billboard, Spotify said: “We are removing R. Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly. His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it. We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions – what we choose to program – to reflect our values.”
MAY 13 – THE SMITH STREET BAND
The Smith Street Band found themselves cancelling a show in Castlemaine, Victoria this month in response to growing concerns regarding crowd behaviour at their shows. Will Wagner released a statement on Facebook airing his frustrations.
“At the moment I feel like I never want to play a show again. We played an under 18 show yesterday that felt lovely and wholesome and special. Then after I found out someone groped someone in the crowd and was apprehended and arrested. Out of respect to the situation, I won’t go into that further.”
Wagner writes, ‘If you get a thousand people in a room some of those people are gonna be shit, that’s just an unfortunate fact of life. But when something like this happens I lay awake all night blaming myself and thinking of how I can do better and how I can help more.’
At this stage, the band have advised that they will be taking a break from headline shows with no further announcements made about the future of the band’s live performance.
If you or somebody you care for has experienced sexual assault, contact 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 to speak to a counsellor.
MAY 14 – THE VINES
In an exciting turn of events, Sydney rock band The Vines have released a statement on Facebook announcing that they will be joining Jet during the Sydney stint of Jet’s Get Reborn 15th Anniversary Tour.
The statement reads, ‘Craig, Patrick, Ryan & Hamish have been invited by their old friends Jet to join them for two shows in their home town of Sydney on May 30 & 31. They said YES.’
This will be the first time since 2004 that the original members of the band have played together. The original members include frontman Craig Nichols, bassist Patrick Matthews, guitarist Ryan Griffiths and drummer Hamish Rosser. The band will be performing songs from their first two albums Highly Evolved and Winning Days.
MAY 22 – KENDRICK LAMAR
During Alabama’s Hangout Festival this month, Kendrick Lamar invited a fan on stage to sing M.A.A.D City but was forced to stop the song almost immediately after the white fan failed to adjust the lyrics. Her use of the n-word repeatedly offended the artist and the boos from the crowd ensued.
Footage of the incident shows Lamar stopping the girl to ask her to ‘bleep one single word’ and she jokingly responds, ‘What’s up, bro? I’m used to singing this like I wrote it.’
Watch the footage here.
Lamar will be heading to Australia in support of his fourth album Damn later this year. We’ll be expecting him in Perth on 10 July, 2018.