Erykah Badu, Post Malone and Leon Bridges Find Themselves At The Center Of Controversy. Meanwhile, Maren Morris Has Started Crossing Over. Plus More News & Notes!
There’s a lot of news coming out of the Maren Morris camp the week following the Grammys, where the Arlington product covered Eric Clapton‘s “Tears In Heaven” alongside Eric Church and The Brothers Osborne. If you missed the performance, which was dedicated to the music fans who became victims at last year’s Las Vegas shooting and Manchester bombing, you can watch it below:
📹| @brothersosborne , @MarenMorris and @ericchurch payed tribute to those we lost in Manchester and in Vegas tonight at the #GRAMMYs!♡ pic.twitter.com/Lymnkz5YGs
— Ariana Grande News (@ariweeklynews) January 29, 2018
Before the performance, Morris, who previously released her song “Dear Hate” in response to the Vegas shooting, talked with Rolling Stone about gun control and pleaded for more open conversation and legislation on the matter. She also added the following: “We need to protect ourselves and our children, and I want the country music community to get brave and talk about it. I feel like the floodgates are starting to open, where people are comfortable talking about it. Unfortunately, it takes a tragedy like Vegas to start that conversation, but I’m hoping it impacts positive change from now on, so we never have to see this again.”
But Morris isn’t just challenging the conservative status quo of the country music genre this week. She’s also starting her long-anticipated crossover attempt and stepping out of the genre’s bounds by teaming up with EDM hero Zedd on a new track called “The Middle” that you can listen to below.
Other acts from the region might do well to get some media coaching from Morris.
Post Malone, for instance, can’t resist shoving his foot in his mouth at least once a month, it seems. And this past week was no different, as the Grapevine-sprung performer was lampooned for talking about the struggles of being a white rapper during an interview with GQ. When asked “Do you, Post Malone, ever feel anxious about working in a primarily black-identified genre of music?” the man born Austin Post responded with the following: “I definitely feel like there’s a struggle being a white rapper. But I don’t want to be a rapper. I just want to be a person that makes music. I make music that I like and I think that kicks ass, that I think the people who fuck with me as a person and as an artist will like.” Let’s just say that people who feel like Post Malone is a bit of a culture vulture weren’t too pleased with that.
People also weren’t too pleased with Erykah Badu this week, either, a controversial interview she gave to Vulture found Badu talking about “seeing the good in Hitler.” Here is the full quote Badu gave her interviewer after he followed up with her statement that she can see good things and bad things in most people by suggesting that most people aren’t good: “We’re not, and I’m okay with that. I’m also okay with anything I had to say about Louis Farrakhan. But I’m not an anti-Semitic person. I don’t even know what anti-Semitic was before I was called it. I’m a humanist. I see good in everybody. I saw something good in Hitler.” Specifically, she would later say, she thought Hitler showed promise as a painter. Of course, that wasn’t enough to calm the masses who saw the headlines and torched Badu for her statements throughout the week. To all that, she posted the following rebuttals:
Say what u must. Dialogue is cool . I invite it. But please do me a favor if you can , Black & Jewish Twitter, just don’t use the word “problematic ” any more. 😂Y’all using that too much . 🙄.. oh and read the article.
— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) January 24, 2018
People are in real pain. So I understand why my ‘good’ intent was misconstrued as ‘bad’. In trying to express a point, I used 1 of the worst examples possible, Not to support the cruel actions of an unwell, psychopathic Adolf Hitler, but to only exaggerate a show of compassion.
— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) January 25, 2018
Either U read the entire VULTURE interview & U understood the message of compassion CLEARLY.
OR U only read the selective, out of context Headlines, & were drawn in2 the whirlpool of collective emotional grief. I don’t want 2 force U 2understand the way I love. I’m hopeful tho.
— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) January 25, 2018
Controversial might be the wrong way to describe incarcerated Arlington rapper Tay-K — but, either way, the guy’s certainly polarizing. No matter, the buzz around his hit song “The Race” refuses to pass, and Lil Wayne remixed the platinum single with his own take on the beat when he dropped his Dedication 6: Reloaded mixtape over the weekend.
While some local hip-hop fans are still reeling about the level of fame Tay-K has received since his incarceration over the summer, it seems Leon Bridges hasn’t achieved a level of fame good enough for some Houston residents. It’s an odd turn of events, for sure, and Texas Monthly has a great write-up about the overwhelmingly negative reaction to Bridges being selected as the headline performer on Black Heritage Day at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, a position previously filled by the likes of Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, John Legend and more. While most of the criticisms were built around the basis of “Who is Leon Bridges?!?!?!” the debate has since grown into an intriguing conversation about race, music and culture.
All controversy aside, Demi Lovato is going above and beyond for her fans this year while she’s on tour. The Colleyville native will offer free therapy sessions and wellness workshops at each stop of her Tell Me You Love Me Tour, the singer announced on Good Morning America last week. Lovato will also be partnering up with a mental health/wellness charity in each city and encourage fans to donate to those entities via text message during each show.
Speaking of powerhouse North Texas women? Of all the performers who were nominated for Grammys this year, only Lisa Loeb left with any hardware, as she quietly won Best Children’s Album for her Feel What U Feel release. And while the Dallas Mavericks may not boast any All-Stars in the court, their DJ Poizon Ivy was selected as an NBA All-Star DJ for the Los Angeles festivities, which are set to take place February 16, 17 and 18. Also? Check out this clip of her playing Flexinfab’s “Aye Ok Alright” last week, just because it’s dope:
DAM i COULDA PLAYED FOR THA MAVS 😩😩💕🐥🦄🦄🦅🏃🏻♀🚬👅🍜🚬🕺🏻🤔🕺🏼🐇🐦💦👩🏼🎤👩🏼🎤🕺🏻🙄 #swag #swag #payverycloseattention #noididnottakethisvideo pic.twitter.com/4tzSrj8V7b
— ひ (@flexinfab) February 2, 2017
On the new music front, electronic producer Medasin just released his latest project, Irene. It’s a 21-minute mix of 10 previously unreleased tracks by the artist, and only his second original release in over two years. Listen to it below:
Then there’s Furies, the new album from Mind Spiders, which is now available for streaming here:
Madison King, meanwhile, premiered her new “Homewrecker” single a few weeks ago on KXT, but the song is now on Spotify and available for streaming, too:
Staying on the new-new front, Nite released a new video for its song, “I Long 4 U,” which you can watch below:
And then there’s TX Connect, who premiered a new track via Resident Advisor late last week, too.
Finally, to close out this week’s music column, the Dallas Observer announced last week that its music and culture editor Caroline North is leaving the publication. The paper says it is currently seeking someone to fill that role.
Cover photo of Post Malone by Kathy Tran. Got a tip for White Noise? Email us.