What does rap sound like in 2017? A variety of answers from Boogie, Kemba and Kaiydo

What does rap sound like in 2017? Is it Kendrick Lamar’s visceral, big-picture poetry? Is it the machine-gunned triplet attack of Migos? Is it the synesthetic sound-play of Future and Young Thug? Is it the goody-two-shoes gospel of Chance the Rapper? While hip-hop heads continue this eternal debate, the next generation of rappers is figuring it out for itself. On Tuesday night, a handful of these new voices performed at the Rock & Roll Hotel, following in the wake of Kendrick and Chance with lyric-loaded jams perfect for both the poetry slam and the house party.

Read more in the Washington Post.

JoJo is back — and proves her teen success was not a fluke

“JoJo is only 26 years old, but her musical career was almost over before it really started. After scoring TV time as a preternaturally talented singer at 7 years old, she signed a record deal at 12 and had a No. 1 pop song by 13, seemingly ready to pick up the big-voiced teen pop baton from recently “Stripped” Christina Aguilera. And then, nothing: JoJo (born Joanna Levesque) spent nearly a decade locked in a battle with her record label that prevented her from releasing new music.”

Read more in the Washington Post.

Mat Men

“It’s Friday night in the middle of February, and the Annandale Volunteer Fire Department is electric. There’s the scent of fried food and the sound of butt rock in the air. A couple hundred people are seated around a deep blue wrestling ring, surrounded by wrestlers hawking merchandise off card tables. Promptly at 8 p.m., the rowdy crowd is treated to three hours of everything from a half-ton tag team to a pair of female Hot Topic devotees. The crowd eats it up, chanting, cheering, booing, and throwing streamers overhead. This is pro wrestling, in all its carnivalesque grandeur. This is NOVA Pro Wrestling.”

Read more in the Washington City Paper.

Float along with Alina Baraz’s moody, R&B-inspired vocals

Alina Baraz makes music that washes over you. Fittingly, her lyrics dip their toes into aquatic themes, as well. On her breakthrough single, “Fantasy,” she sings, “Listen to the waves, let them wash away your pain.”

Read more in the Washington Post.

How The Manikins Became The Biggest Band in Perth, Australia

“The history of rock music is littered with bands who didn’t make it. There are the ephemeral experiments that burned up like flash paper; influential acts remembered only by genre die-hards; and provincial projects that never left home. And then there are bands like The Manikins, a Perth punk outfit that existed for a handful of years in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, who fall into all three of those categories.”

Read more at Bandcamp.

How Kingdom turned “happy accidents” into ecstatic collaborations on Tears In The Club

Tears in the Club is – if anything – an evocative album title. Are those tears of joy, an outpouring of emotion in a safe space; a state of ecstasy, chemically assisted or not? Or are they tears of pain, when that safe space becomes violent and dangerous, or when those substances turn our body chemistry sour? That duality has long been key to Kingdom’s music, where pneumatic beats and metallic synths coalesce into icy soundscapes shattered by sultry R&B vocals. Depending on his mood, he’s been able to push his tracks either towards agony or ecstasy: hearing ‘Stalker Ha’ at the peak hour is a drastically darker experience than hearing the Kelela-assisted ‘Bank Head’.”

Read more at FACT Magazine.

Not much ‘dangerous’ about Ariana Grande’s live performance

“On her single “Into You,” Ariana Grande tells her paramour that she wants something “a little bit dangerous” and “a little bit scandalous,” perhaps with “a little less conversation.” On the recording, it’s another cutesy come-on in an album full of them. But on Monday night at Verizon Center, those lyrics doubled as shorthand for what the 23-year-old pop star delivered in concert.”

Read more in the Washington Post.