Category Archives: music

Kanye West says his “war’s not over” with Adidas and Gap

In two subsequent Instagram posts, Ye uploaded identical lists of Gap’s board of directors. The first is captioned “Magically No production companies have been willing to produce my YZYSZN9 fashion show in Paris on October 3rd,” seemingly an allegation that the board is blackballing him. The second is captioned “Funny that Bob Martin called me and said we are amicably ending our deal But I can’t do a fashion show but they can keep selling my product hmmmmm,” referring to a private conversation he claims to have had with the Gap CEO.

https://www.thefader.com/2022/09/19/kanye-west-adidas-gap-yeezy-restrictions

K-everything: the rise and rise of Korean culture

The global success of Psy’s rap could be traced back to the dramatic rises and falls in fortune that have characterised Korean history (the peninsula has been invaded and colonised many times, without ever encroaching on its neighbours). After the Korean war, South Korea was ranked among the poorest nations in the world. With a mixture of authoritarian repression and collective will, the “hermit kingdom” had by the late 1990s turned that around to look like a tech and manufacturing success story. That rise came to an abrupt end with an economic crash in 1997, when the Korean government was forced to ask the IMF for an emergency loan of $57bn. The day of that request is still known as the Day of National Humility. In order to pay off the debt there were many collective sacrifices (including a drive for gold that saw tens of thousands of ordinary Koreans donate wedding rings to the national cause).

https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/04/korea-culture-k-pop-music-film-tv-hallyu-v-and-a

Why Do We Love TikTok Audio Memes? Call It‘ Brainfeel.’

Welcome to the era of the audio meme, a time when replicable units of sound are a cultural currency as strong as — if not stronger than — images and text. Though TikTok didn’t invent the audio meme, its effortless interface may have perfected it, and the platform, which recently ended Google’s 15-year-long run as the most visited website in the world, would be nothing without sound.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/08/17/magazine/tiktok-sounds-memes.html

Capitol Records “Severs Ties” With AI Rapper FN Meka

On August 14, Capitol Records announced that it had signed FN Meka, a digital rapper and TikTok influencer described by the label as “the world’s first A.R. artist to sign with a major label.” A press release from FN Meka’s 2021 publicist described Meka as an “A.I. powered robot rapper.” Meka’s first single on the label was “Florida Water,” which featured Gunna and gaming streamer Clix. As of today, FN Meka is no longer on a major label; Capitol has announced that it has “severed ties” with the rapper, The New York Times’ Joe Coscarelli reports.

https://pitchfork.com/news/capitol-records-has-severed-ties-with-ai-rapper-fn-meka-issues-apology-after-facing-criticism-for-gross-steretypes/

This Man Married a Fictional Character. He’d Like You to Hear Him Out.

Mr. Kondo is one of thousands of people in Japan who have entered into unofficial marriages with fictional characters in recent decades, served by a vast industry aimed at satisfying the every whim of a fervent fan culture. Tens of thousands more around the globe have joined online groups where they discuss their commitment to characters from anime, manga and video games.

A Child of China’s Gilded Elite Strikes a Nerve Over Wealth and Privilege

There was a time not long ago when China’s newly rich — and their scions, known as fuerdai, or “second generation rich” — flaunted their wealth and status. In the go-go 1990s and 2000s, when the country opened up and let its economy blossom, the rest of society looked on in awe as these princelings posted videos of burning money or posing next to the family Lamborghini.

In today’s China, though, the mood seems to be shifting. The pandemic has left the wealthiest even better off, in China as elsewhere, widening an already yawning gap between the haves and have-nots. The list of China’s wealthiest families added $1.5 trillion to their personal wealth over 2020, according to the Hurun Report, which tracks them.

China’s increasingly powerful leader, Xi Jinping, has waged a campaign against corruption, jailing businessmen and officials who deviate from the Communist Party’s vision, which he has repeatedly urged everyone to embrace. Not even Jack Ma, China’s most famous and, until recently, richest entrepreneur, has been spared the government’s scorn. Read more (NY Times)