Nineteen-year-old singer/songwriter Khalid is a star. By the time he’s old enough to drink legally, he will be a superstar. Although he isn’t quite yet a household name, Khalid Robinson (pronounced “kuh-leed”), already has a double-platinum debut single in “Location” and a gold-certified debut record, American Teen.
His sold-out show last night at the Fillmore Miami Beachcrackled with excited energy long before the teenager emerged from the darkness. Once he did, the room was ablaze with adoration. Even Khalid seemed taken aback by the reception. “There’s a lot of fucking people here,” he said incredulously at the start. The next big thing is here as far as Miami’s high school and college-age population are concerned.
Khalid performed the majority of American Teen, kicking off the show with “Let’s Go,” a track that implores the listener to do precisely what the title implies and abandon all worry, all past troubles, move on, and have fun. It set the tone for the remainder of the concert; not that the crowd needed much urging. They chanted his name as show time approached and sang every single lyric once he appeared with his two dancers, clad in American-flag-themed cheerleader outfits, complete with pompoms. It was a hysteria usually reserved for the Beatles or Justin Bieber. Shrieks erupted from different corners of the room for every other song. For the first quarter of the show it was unclear whether Khalid’s microphone was even on as the audience simply drowned him out with their own singing.
That being said, despite his youth and the titles of some of his songs, including two of his best, “8TEEN” or “Young, Dumb, & Broke,” his songs aren’t merely for one demographic. They are relatable regardless of whether they speak to a current state of mind or dredge up memories of being that kid many years ago. A lot of this has to do with Khalid’s background.
On the album’s title track, “American Teen,” he claims to be from the 915 — El Paso, Texas — but Khalid is from everywhere and nowhere all at once. His mother Linda is a retired sergeant first class in the U.S. Army and his father, sadly, passed away after being hit by a drunk driver when Khalid was age seven. As an army brat, he shuffled between stops in Georgia, Kentucky, six years in Germany, and settling in Texas for his senior year of high school.
This self-taught wunderkind began recording music on his own to combat the loneliness of being the new kid yet again. As eminently danceable as so much of his sparkling debut record can be, there’s a buffer of pain that each beat and rhythm must first filter through.
Khalid is at every turn a series of contradictions and ironies. For example, one of the standout tracks on American Teen, “Another Sad Love Song,” begins with the lines, “I’m not the best at showing my emotions / You cut me deep and you left me wide open.” Perhaps Khalid struggles with expressing himself in interpersonal situations, but on record and on stage, he’s an open book.
Even the title of the album, American Teen, challenges the notion of who or what an American is considering his nomadic upbringing. Furthermore, for all his tales of boozing and partying, Khalid is so far from the typical teen, that it’s apparent he had to grow up quickly a long time ago.
For all his talent and his potential — his ascent has been quick and he will reach the Weeknd levels sooner than later — Khalid has plenty of growing up to do. He’s still finding his feet as a performer. He had a few choreographed dance moves with his cheerleaders, but in general, he remains a bit goofy, a bit awkward when figuring out what to do with himself on stage. Nonetheless, it’s obvious he’s having a great time.
It also has to be said, the show was too short. In a blink, his set, clocking in at just under an hour, was done. The encore came and went with no sense of drama or anticipation. There’s the old show business adage of “leave them wanting more,” but the audience shouldn’t feel like something is missing.
In time, this will all be fixed. Khalid will evolve and surpass his already impressive achievements. One day, with a bigger budget, which will assuredly come, he will be able to afford a bigger band and a small army of backup singers instead of relying on pre-recorded backing tracks. It’ll be at the American Airlines Arena, and it’s a safe bet he’ll sell that out too.
Just like fun makeup styles to offset the season’s heat, your summer shades should be vibrant and whimsical —
take the ultra reflective hater-blockers pictured above from Le Specs x Adam Selman. Here are seven eyewear silhouettes that, paired with technicolored hues, are guaranteed to be the key in getting a dope fit off. Trust us: these brands have already gotten the wear of approval from several of our go-to sunglasses savants like Rihanna, Future, and Rae Sremmurd.
2. Thick and translucent
3. Sculptural cat-eye
Get some extra edge with these octagon-shaped babies, available at Shop Demure.
6. Literal *heart eyes*
Find this contemporary take on a retro favorite at TAKESH.
7. Hater blockers
-Thanks TheFader for the fashion update!
Lil B The BasedGod has announced his mixtape release of “Black Ken” and shared his first seven songs! You guys can take a listen to these tracks below on iTunes in the link. Lil B also has a feature with iLoveMakonnen collaboration “Global” plus “Wasup JoJo” and “Go Stupid, Go Dumb.” Seriously check out the dope art work above!
Lil B’s mixtape drop was announced via Twitter:
August 17 is the release date of the project! It was reportedly stated that “Black Ken” was suppose to be released April 2010, when tracks like “Thank You BasedGod” and “Call Me Black Ken” were released.
Click the link below to hear the preview of his tape.
NEW YORK CITY, NY – Longtime Eminem manager Paul Rosenberg helped propel their Shady Records imprint to Hip Hop hallowed territory and he’s poised to do the same with a legendary label that needs no introduction.
Variety has spilled the beans that Rosenberg, 47, will take Def Jam’s top position as CEO starting January 2018. Their current roster includes A-list Hip Hop hitmakers such as Kanye West, Big Sean, 2 Chainz and YG, as well as a plethora of pop & R&B talent including Justin Bieber, Jhené Aiko and Jeremih.
A source tells Variety, “[Rosenberg is] super smart and will steer the company in the right direction.”
The Detroit native will also continue to run Shady Records and his Goliath Artist Management company, which has a combined roster that boasts the newly signed Westside Gunn and Conway, Danny Brown, Action Bronson, Yelawolf and of course, Marshall Mathers.
Founded in 1983 by Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin, Def Jam would go on to be the premier Hip Hop label for years to come, ushering in acts such as LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, JAY-Z, Public Enemy Jeezy, Method Man & Redman, Rihanna and countless others in the prime years of their recording careers.
The news just adds an additional layer of icing to the potential cake Shady has baked up this week. Eminem recently signed on to produce an inevitable blockbuster film about battle rap opposite famed music director Joseph Kahn and Slim Shady’s greatest hits, 2004’s Curtain Call, was recently discovered to be the longest charting Billboard rap album.
Current Def Jam CEO Steve Bartels will continue to steer the ship until the Rosenberg change over.
Westside Gunn wasted no time congratulating his boss on Instagram.
-Thank You HipHopDx
Count Missy Elliott as a Ski Mask The Slump God fan. On Tuesday (Aug. 1), the rap legend retweeted a clip of the South Florida rapper’s new “Catch Me Outside” video and gave him props for doing justice to the song’s Timbaland-produced instrumental, which she herself used nearly 20 years ago.
“Oh he rode the heck out of this Fiyahthis my She’s a Bith beat! Me & @Timbaland did this beat in 1999 & it still Bang! big up,” wrote Missy on Twitter.
It makes sense that Missy would be feeling Ski Mask’s take on her old “Shes a Bitch” instrumental. For one, she and Ski used similarly animated flows on the insanely dope Timbo track. For two, you could almost see the track as a sort of homage to Missy. Either way, we’re pretty sure Missy Misdemeanor will be getting into more of Ski’s music if that was her introduction to the young rapper.
Missy’s cosign is just another sign Ski is an artist on the rise. About a month ago, the rap game newcomer dropped his You Will Regret project, a release filled with tracks showcasing the rapper’s dynamic ability.
Here’s to more Ski in the very near future. Check out Missy’s tweet below.
Lately have y’all been feeling unlucky? Do y’all ever feel like the world’s against ya? Yeah you ain’t the only one. Moneybagg Yo just dropped a single “Lately” featuring Yo Gotti & Fabolous. This track will appear on his forthcoming mixtape Federal 3x. Press play below.
Instagram Stories has blossomed from a Snapchat clone into an integral part of the world’s largest dedicated visual communication app in the first year since its launch. Half of the businesses on Instagram produced a story in the last month, and it’s boosted the app’s average usage to 32 minutes per day for those under 25, and 24 minutes per day for those 25 and up.
If Facebook’s goal was stop Snap in its tracks, it’s largely succeeded with Instagram Stories. Snapchat’s monthly active user growth rate has plummeted from 17.2% per quarter to just 5%, while Snap’s share price has fallen from its $17 IPO to $13. Instagram Stories now has 250 million daily users compared to Snapchat’s 166 million. Instagram’s usage per day beats the “more than 30 minutes per day” of usage Snapchat claims on average now, as well as the over 30 minutes per day for under 25s and 20 minutes per day for over 25s Snap cited in its IPO filing.
[Update: News of Instagram surpassing Snapchat’s daily usage has caused Snap’s share price to sink to an all-time low aroun $12.67]
It’s clear to see why users are flocking to Instagram. It has stolen some of Snap’s primary use cases and party tricks. Instagram’s most popular augmented reality filter is the same as the Snap one it copied: virtual puppy ears. Also in the top five Instagram face filters are bunny ears at #3 and Koala ears at #5, both inspired by the meme-worthy popularity of Snap’s dog face. Meanwhile, Instagram keeps iterating with new features and sticker packs, like the one below to celebrate Instagram Stories’ first birthday.
Instagram is actually getting more efficient at copying Snapchat. While it took almost 3 years to launch its own version of Stories, Instagram needed just 4 months to copy Snapchat’s create-your-own-stickers feature launched in April.
Instagram not only copied Snapchat’s Stories, but has turned its Instagram Direct feature into a full-fledged Snapchat ephemeral private messaging competitor. By allowing people to send quick visual messages that disappear, Instagram Direct has grown to 375 million monthly users. Snap’s influence has helped Instagram’s chat feature one of the most popular messaging apps in the world behind WhatsApp, Messenger, and WeChat. Now one in five Instagram Stories posted by a business receives a Direct Message reply, allowing Instagram to seduce advertisers who want private channels for communicating with customers.
Instagram writes that “Stories made Instagram a place for people to share all of their moments – the highlights and everything in between”. If CEO Kevin Systrom set out to make Instagram an app for displaying everything fun in your life, not just the perfectly polished meals and vacations, it’s succeeded. And for better or worse, Instagram Stories has emboldened Facebook to put Stories into all its apps. WhatsApp Status has boomed to 250 million daily users, while Facebook Stories and Messenger Day are seeing weaker traction since they’re respectively redundant or obtrusive.
The flood of apps where you can post them is creating ‘Stories fatigue’ in some users like me. If the audience is fractured across five different apps and I have to go through a ton of work to post to them all, I sometimes reconsider whether it’s worth disrupting life in the present in order to show off to my friends. So while Instagram and Facebook are further popularizing the Stories format Snap invented, they may also be commoditizing it. Either way, the Snap threat is being neutralized.
Unless Snap can pull off a big uptick in growth when it reports earnings later this quarter, it may see Wall Street sour on its future the same way it did with Twitter. But you can bet Instagram won’t let up the heat.
A year ago, it looked like Snapchat was destined to rule social media. Its full-screen sharing would be impossible to outdo. There was no way to give a more immersive window into friends’ lives. But Facebook and Instagram didn’t have to outdo Snapchat. They just needed to copy it and put it in a more convenient place in apps that people of all ages already use.
-Thanks TechCrunch for this update of social media!