Lyrics like, “sniffin vicodin in Paris never felt so euphoric, baby,” “get another bottle, maybe get another bag,” and “I heard that you’re addicted to them Xans now, girl,” shouldn’t make you bop your head and swing your hips, but if there’s one thing Blackbear conveys, it’s that the lyrics don’t make the song (although his can be quite witty and modern-day erotic), the music makes the song. He’s a rhythmic rapper who can actually hold a note over a ravishing electropop/hip-hop beat. The contrast between the sweetness in his voice and the brash lyrics makes him standout in his own genre; branching out from what other rappers are doing.
Yanking at the obvious cliches in our society, it’s easy to make fun of the people we’ve become in 2016. In the pop-esque “Wanderlust” Bear sings, “All her friends are verified, wow, man that’s so cool, wow, girl can we hang out? let’s take a thousand pictures…people sayin’ that we’re goals.” Social media and the California lifestyle are common themes in all of Blackbear’s music, but his disgust for our culture is also evident throughout this EP (listen to “sniffing vicodin in paris” – second verse.)
There are times when you worry about Blackbear, as he openly admits to being a drug user and wanting to die as he explicitly mentions on “Sometimes I Want 2 Die.” You almost feel guilty for liking his music for fear of encouraging such damaging behavior. But the charts don’t lie, Cashmere Noose shot up the iTunes Top Albums charts, even crowning it the #1 R&B album the day it was released. Fans have been stalking this set of tracks ever since the rapper released them on his Soundcloud back in the heat of August. It’s no surprise his fame is impressively rising due to his own team of devoted friends. He remains proudly unsigned as he mentioned on Twitter October 19th saying, “blackbear remains unsigned :)” The overwhelming success of Noose sent fans in a frenzy to buy the EP. Bear even tweeted out that if you can’t afford the new music or are struggling, to text him your email and he’ll gift it to you. He understands the importance of having a strong fan base which has kept him relevant in the music scene without needing to be backed by a label. That’s a true artist, all drugs aside.
“Something bout you, makes me feel like a dangerous woman,” are the words slithering out of Ariana Grande’s plump pink coated lips. Her third album titled Dangerous Woman branches away from her past musical endeavors as Ms. Grande is now a full grown woman, although she remains at a tiny 5′ 0″ tall with a net worth of $25 million.
Grande has been doing pop right since day one; catchy lyrics, a hop on the EDM wagon, pop synths for days, and flawless harmonies. Dangerous Woman is a lethal album, torching every other pop sound in the way. With the help of musical God Max Martin, who’s worked with almost every pop artist in the game (Maroon 5, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, etc), Grande’s album is destined for success.
Add guest artists like Lil Wayne, Future, Nicki Minaj, and Macy Gray, and the album becomes a show of who can Ariana NOT sound good with. She pushes her musical limits mixing more dance/hip-hop/r&b elements than we’ve heard from the singer before. She also keeps her vocal runs we so desperately crave i.e. “Dangerous Woman,” “Be Alright,” and “Greedy.”
Not only is the album a slice of musical heaven, but the advertising behind it was brilliant in every way. Ariana had originally planned on calling her album Moonlight, then decided to change the name to Dangerous Woman, highlighting the changes she’s gone through over the past year. After posting pictures and quotes of dangerous women in history to motivate, fans became more excited for the album. Her style shifted to more of an edgy vibe; something that suits her well. The cover artwork for Dangerous Woman is Grande in a black latex cat face mask, showing a sexier side of the singer.
It’s very easy to put Grande in a category with every other pop star, but we shouldn’t. Woman is proof of her own sound; romantic pop. Each song takes you on a gorgeous journey through love and relationships. She swoons over her crushes, pain, and longing for real love. “Thinking Bout You” takes on the theme of loss as Grande sings, “I don’t have you here with me, but at least I have the memory.” Her voice couldn’t be more impeccable if she tried. Everything about Dangerous Woman is an addicting force in the music world.
Ariana Grande: The reincarnated pop Queen our kingdom has been longing for.