ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards Honors Jay Z, Lauryn Hill, Timbaland

Lauryn Hill scored an illustrious Golden Note Award at ASCAP’s 28th annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards last night in Los Angeles. While Timbaland and Jay Z tied for Songwriter of the Year, L-Boogie was the marquee attraction at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, putting on a five-song medley that included “Lost Ones” and “Ex-Factor.” “Being creative has to do with having space,” Hill said upon receiving her career-celebrating award. “I’ve always had family first and a support team to help me clear the road.”

Timbo had a moment as well, honoring the next generation of singer/songwriters like Jeremih and K. Michelle, as well as teasing new music from his “rock,” Missy Elliott, which he says is coming in July.

Read it at Billboard.

Misty Copeland Stars in Ballet Swan Lake’s Lead Role

Ballerina bae Misty Copeland continues to write her name in the history books in the most graceful of cursive script. On Wednesday, the Kansas City native debuted in the ballet favorite Swan Lake in the dual role of Odette/Odile, a part widely considered a gateway to becoming American Ballet Theater’s principal dancer, a prestigious and highly coveted post. If her stunning showing on opening night at New York City’s Metropolitan Opera House is any indication, Copeland, 32, will become the first Black dancer to achieve such a feat. Obviously, she’s already HBIC (Head Ballerina in Charge) in our book.

Read it at ABC News.

New Public Enemy Album Inspired By Kendrick Lamar and Run the Jewels

Legends need inspiration, too. And for Public Enemy, the iconic hip-hop group was affected by none other than Kendrick Lamar and Run the Jewels while recording their new album Man Plans, God Laughs (out July 13). Which makes sense considering RTJ’s musical aggression and K Dot’s intense pro-Blackness.

“I was inspired by Run the Jewels and Kendrick Lamar, but stayed far enough away from them to still be Public Enemy,” Chuck D told Maxim. “We’re making a comment about the 21st century in this technological-yet-still-political world. It will be able to tell its own story without me trying to talk to it.”

Of course P.E. had plenty of tangible source material, from merely tuning into the news anytime in the past 365. But years of making protest music has taught Chuck D that change requires more than just artistic rebellion. “Unfortunately the only thing that makes lasting change is law,” the 54-year-old MC said. “I’m always optimistic, but I’m never optimistic that it’s gonna happen on its own. You have to fight for change. Collectives are always better than individuals. Especially today, attention spans have the lifetime of a mosquito. So as much as people are connected, they’re also scattered all over the place with their opinions, their viewpoints, their realities, their illusions. It’s very important to strike it right on the nose when you talk about getting a point across.”

Read it at Maxim.



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