Camila Cabello Says Her Upcoming Album Is ‘A Million Times better’ Than Her Last

Fans of Camila Cabello are desperate for more details about her upcoming album. Sure, her collaboration with Shawn Mendes on “Señorita” offered a taste of the sexy, sultry direction the singer might be going in, but Cabello’s lived a lot of life since the release of her 2018 self-titled debut. And thanks to her recent interview with Variety, it sounds like her personal transformation will be quite obvious on her next release.

“As a songwriter, I grew a lot,” Cabello told the outlet. “It’s a million times better than my first album.” And if you’re wondering why that might be, it probably has a little something to do with the former Fifth Harmony member’s decision to “say yes more” and not let her fears and anxieties get in the way of life-changing experiences. “I can be a little bit Miranda, but I’m trying to be Carrie in the sense that I love experiences,” she said, referencing Sex and the City. “I’m a romantic; I’m emotional. But I think through stuff a lot.” And while it would be easier for her to hide away inside her home, she seems thankful for the Camila who “takes the other Camila by the hand and just fucking drags her,” which is what’s been happening for the past couple years.

For Cabello, the two years since writing her debut album have been completely transformative, and that’s partially because she’s become more confident in herself and her songwriting ability. “Before, if I was unsure about something, I’d send it to everybody I knew,” she said. “And I’ve learned that when you’re unsure, that’s your time to really look inward and, as Oprah says, ‘get quiet.’ The answer is always waiting for you. But if it’s too loud in your head or you’re running around fucking flailing asking other people, you’re never gonna hear it.”

It also can’t hurt that she’s no longer writing songs about her “crushes from afar.” Instead, she’s been writing about actual real-life romances that she’s experienced firsthand — something she wasn’t fully able to do while writing the last one. “Falling in love is like an infinite amount of levels and layers and angles,” she said. “I fell in love and just opened up. Everything was written in present moment.”

And speaking of the “present moment,” fans would love to know more about what’s going on between Cabello and her “Señorita” collaborator — especially after the paparazzi photos that only continue to fuel rumors that they’re more than just friends. Unfortunately, she didn’t address any such rumors, but she did briefly mention working with Mendes, telling Variety, “I’ve known Shawn for such a long time, and it’s so much fun getting to work and do things with somebody who means a lot to you.” Here’s to hoping her new music will finally provide some answers.

Machine Gun Kelly And Yungblud Pay Homage To Mass Shooting Victims In Corden Performance

At the beginning of the universe, the Big Bang synthesized the building blocks of life from clouds of space dust that formed after a hyperdense singularity rapidly expanded and still does, to this day. Last night, a new universe was created with an explosive performance of “I Think I’m Okay” by Machine Gun Kelly and Yungblud on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Their energetic performance was wrapped up with a tribute to the recent mass shooting victims of El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH.

The stage of Corden might as well have been a forest because the feral energy of shirtless Machine Gun Kelly and the wolven Yungblud was unshackled, to say the least. Their performance of their hit collaboration was a blend of guitars that the two played along with the vicious energy of the supporting band. Machine Gun Kelly kicked over his microphone and the pair shared one, screaming into it with such intensity that if there were glass walls surrounding the stage, they would have shattered. As it ended, they flipped their guitars around to show “El Paso” on the back of Yungblud’s guitar and “Dayton” on the back of Machine Gun Kelly’s.

Machine Gun Kelly released his latest album Hotel Diablo last month. He will be heading out on tour in support of it in September with Young Thug, Killy, Polo G, and YBN Nahmir.

Watch Machine Gun Kelly and Yungblud’s explosive performance of “I Think I’m Okay” up above.

Don’t Underestimate The Importance Of Lil Nas X

By Rob LeDonne

Starting with its familiar banjo strums, now-iconic opening lines, sudden drop into trap, and baritone proclamation that, yes, he got those horses in the back, “Old Town Road” has now been stuck in America’s head long enough to break records. Lil Nas X‘s genre-bending opus has been the No. 1 song in the country for 18 weeks in a row (a chart milestone), and is so successful an anthem that it’s even given featured artist Billy Ray Cyrus an explosion of 2019 relevance. (Not even Nostradamus himself could have predicted that.) Keep in mind that the song’s impressiveness as an earworm isn’t just chart-related: “Old Town Road,” built from a Nine Inch Nails instrumental sample, also notably toes the line between country and rap, two disparate genres that, despite some successful one-offs in the past, often go together like kale and Krispy Kreme.

As if that weren’t enough of an anomaly, the song’s charismatic mastermind was only 19 when he bought the beat, wrote the lyrics, and released the track to virality. He also fancies calling himself a Black cowboy and happens to be attracted to, well, other boys. Yes, in our game of music Mad Libs about a commercially explosive country-rap song that samples a rock track from a Black, gay teen cowboy, it’s the gay adjective that stands out. It’s perhaps the smash’s most important and lasting quality, both to me personally and on a broader spectrum.

Overnight, gay teens — and Black ones in particular — suddenly have a role model in Lil Nas X, who announced his truth to the world during Pride weekend (becoming the first-ever artist to come out while having a No. 1 song, no less). And aside from your usual trove of internet haters (hi, haters!), he’s been met with a breezy reaction by mainstream culture, almost as if he said that, say, he favored In-N-Out burgers over Shake Shack. The artist himself even joked about it in a recent tweet that elicited over a million favorites: “Wow man last year i was sleeping on my sisters floor, had no money, struggling to get plays on my music, suffering from daily headaches, now i’m gay.”

When I was a pre-teen during the heyday of early 2000s idols like Eminem, Britney Spears, and NSYNC, hearing about the success of a song like “Old Town Road” would have been simply unfathomable (and not only because of the success of Billy Ray). Back in 2000 — a strange time that mostly consisted of praying that someone wouldn’t pick up the phone while you were surfing dial-up AOL — paramount to my shock would have been the idea of Lil Nas X himself. He was still a year away from even being born, but had he debuted then, he would have been an outlier in regard to mainstream music and pop culture’s virtues at the time.

Growing up slowly realizing my own truth about being gay, I have little-to-no memories of gay music culture (if you’d even call it that). Despite whispers about the sexuality of Ricky Martin, one of the era’s biggest chart-toppers, he didn’t publicly come out until 2010. Sure, there was also Elton John, but he certainly didn’t represent youth culture. Lest we forget about t.A.T.u and their ahead-of-their-time lesbian heartbreak anthem “All the Things She Said,” but the Russian duo behind it never became stateside celebrities or teen idols. There was also something about Lance Bass, but he literally announced he was going into space before coming out of the closet.

On the flip side, the popular artists who were talking about homosexuality were the ones downright disparaging it. In 2000, Eminem dropped one of the biggest (and Grammy-winning) rap albums of the year, The Marshall Mathers LP; that project includes “Criminal,” a track as openly homophobic as anything he’s ever recorded. Meanwhile, rap culture in general was full of such an extreme vitriol toward gay people that even Mike Pence would have approved, were he not (presumably) afraid of hip hop. While it may seem like 2000-era Eminem — who has since regretted using homophobic language — and 2019-era Lil Nas X not only live on entirely different planets but also in different universes, Eminem once had the same commercially successful platform that Lil Nas X currently enjoys. But the dichotomy between the 46-year-old rapper and this rising record breaker shows just how far culture has come in the past two decades: The oppressed are rising up and the oppressors slowly fading into the background, kind of like a gay version of the movie 300. (But let’s face it: The movie itself was already plenty homoerotic.)

While it was his absolute right to keep his sexuality to himself, Lil Nas X is instead providing a beacon of light for otherwise closeted teens seeking larger acceptance. Obviously, our culture today is more visibly awash with LGBTQ+ artists and anthems than it was in 1999, but it’s both Lil Nas X’s immense success and the reaction to his coming out that provides a clue about just how much progress the music industry in particular has made. Questions do still abound: Will we ever see him top the charts again or is he simply a flash in the (cultural) pan? Will his success influence an entire generation to be their true selves? Also, how long will Billy Ray Cyrus’s renewed cultural moment last? Regardless of the answers, it’s all a case for optimism moving forward. Get those horses out from the back and party, Lil Nas X. I tip my Gucci cowboy hat to you.

Lana Del Rey Was So Affected By Recent Mass Shootings, She Recorded A New Song

This past weekend, two mass shootings unfolded within 13 hours of each other: one at 10:39 a.m. at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas and another at 1:05 AM at Ned Peppers Bar in Dayton, Ohio. Lana Del Rey, who wrote on Instagram that the recent violence “really affected me on a cellular level,” has written a new song called “Looking for America” as a response to these mass shootings and the other 253 that have occurred this year. It’s not out yet, but the singer posted a video on Instagram on Monday night (August 5) showing her recording the song in the studio with producer Jack Antonoff.

In the two-minute clip, Lana and Antonoff sit opposite each other as she sings somberly about a country in need of improvements to its gun control. “I’m still looking for my own version of America / One without the gun, where the flag can freely fly,” she sings slowly. The accompanying caption explains her feelings behind the song. “Now I know I’m not a politician and I’m not trying to be so excuse me for having an opinion – but in light of all of the mass shootings and the back to back shootings in the last couple of days which really affected me on a cellular level I just wanted to post this video that our engineer Laura took 20 minutes ago,” she wrote. There’s no release date yet, but it would make sense for the song to drop very soon, given its timeliness.

Lana is preparing to release a new album, Norman Fucking Rockwell, also produced by Antonoff and set to come out on August 30. It features the previously released songs, “Mariners Apartment Complex,” “Venice Bitch,” “Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have — But I Have It,” and her cover of Sublime’s “Doin’ Time.” She’ll be heading out on tour in support of the LP in September.

Watch Lana record “Looking for America” up above.

Drake Dropped A Care Package On Toronto With Surprise Performances From Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion And More At OVO Fest 2019

Drake‘s OVO Festival was a firestorm of energy, as usual, when he performed his set on the second night of the event. The first night was for nostalgic purposes only when B2K, Ying Yang Twins, Mario, and more took the stage. The second was all about the realm of today. Drake brought out all the stops with surprise appearances from Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, and more. It was a legendary night for all involved.

There were so many guests that it’s hard to keep track of them. Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s performances were hot enough to melt the metal holding the platform together. Megan Thee Stallion gave a magnetic performance of “Big Ole Freak” and “Cash Shit” with DaBaby who also made a surprise appearance. When it was Cardi’s turn to take the stage, Drake gave a warm intro that left the crowd guessing who would be coming on stage. “It’s only right that I exit the stage and leave you in the company of grace and greatness. Enjoy,” he said as he walked off, moments before Cardi’s chants of “PRESS” in all caps blared through the speakers. When she took the stage, she flung her shoes off to get comfortable before leading the sonic charge through a few of her biggest hits.

In addition to Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B, Lil Baby, Rick Ross, YG, Tyga, Gucci Mane, Offset, and more took the fabled stage. Drake was clearly enjoying the epic night. His stage design featured a replica of the Toronto Raptors NBA Finals’ Championship trophy and he had fireworks exploding into the night sky. Drake himself belted out some of his most bombastic tunes, even throwing things back to the beginning of his career with a performance of his 2010 song, “Over.”

Watch Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, and more take the stage at OVO Fest up above.

Lana Del Rey’s Soft, Dreamy Voice Becomes A Ominous Nightmare Whisper In New Cover

Lana Del Rey loves a good cover. Her latest repurposing is Scottish singer Donovan’s 1966 song, “Season Of The Witch” for the upcoming horror movie Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. The full tune isn’t out just yet, but a snippet of it released with the new trailer for the film, giving listeners a preview of what it’ll sound like. From what has been presented to us so far, it sounds like a lot of ghoulish fun.

When you hear Lana’s voice, it’s like when your subconscious whispers into your head that you should wake up because you’re oversleeping. It’s soft and fuzzy, warm and sepia-like. That’s on display in “Season Of The Witch,” but the brief snippet that we hear turns her dreamy voice into a calm whisper during a nightmare as it shakes and flattens. It’s eerie tranquility that blows through the speaker, like mist on top of a graveyard in the middle of the night. The hairs on your neck will raise. To hear the full version of “Season Of The Witch,” make sure to see Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark when it comes out on August 9.

Lana recently covered Sublime’s “Doin Time” which will appear on her forthcoming album Norman Fucking Rockwell when it drops on August 30. This fall, she will be heading out on tour in support of the LP.

Watch the trailer for Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark up above and listen to Lana’s spooky cover.

Kash Doll And Big Sean Scorch Fresh Pavement At The Race Track In ‘Ready Set’

Kash Doll and Big Sean first connected on the steamy sex anthem “So Good” from Big Sean’s 2017 project Double Or Nothing, a collaboration with producer Metro Boomin. The chemistry was instantaneous and practically promised further team-ups in the future. The pair linked up again for “Ready Set,” a competitive and celebratory tune, that dropped in July. Now, they’ve released the mechanical video for the track that makes you rev up your engine as cars zoom by and a raceway gets littered in burnt rubber. They may not be NASCAR drivers but Kash Doll and Big Sean have a need for speed that can only be satiated by zipping around a giant circle made of pavement.

Big Sean is the person who sends the racers off to begin their journey in “Ready Set.” While a car zooms around him, he waves his arms as if releasing it while he raps. Kash Doll comes in later and is shown to be driving a car like a bat out of hell, her foot to the floor as the car zooms around the track. She’s racing a blue car which, grasping at straws here, could be seen as time itself. She’s trying to beat it and make it to the top before time gets the best of her. After winning, she sits in the stands with Big Sean and Dreezy, relaxing and having a moment to herself. With the levels of success that Kash Doll has been rapidly climbing in recent years, it’s safe to say that she is, indeed, beating time. She’s lapping it.

Kash Doll is preparing to release a new project. Prior to releasing “Ready Set,” she released a collaboration with Lil Wayne called “Kitten.”

Watch Kash Doll and Big Sean spread tire tracks over a raceway in “Ready Set” up above.

Ariana Grande Surprised Lollapalooza With The First Performance Of ‘Boyfriend’

Ariana Grande headlined at the Lollapalooza festival this past weekend and decided to mark a special first with its audience by performing her new single “Boyfriend” for the first time. She brought out her collaborators, Social House, for the special show. And somehow, although it just came out, the crowd seemingly knew every word.

“I don’t know if y’all know but, a couple of days ago…I dropped a new single,” Grande announced to the crowd ahead of the performance. The crowd began screaming at the top of its lungs. “That awkward moment when you get him to break up with his girlfriend and then he still doesn’t want a girlfriend,” she said laughing, describing the tune. Then, she called Social House to the stage where they danced in sync with the singer under vivid pink and blue lighting.

Grande enjoyed the special moment. She took to Twitter with a picture of her show from the stage, captioned with “thank u lolla. u have my heart.” She also looked back at her massive year and got misty-eyed in her tweets. “damn i really got to headline the two biggest festivals of the year. how tf did this happen. i feel so grateful & i thank u from the bottom of my heart. i dunno when i got here. but. thank u.”

Grande dropped “Boyfriend” on August 2 and it came with a video featuring her making out with Social House’s Mikey Foster. That, and heart-shaped lasers firing from her breasts. The visual for “Boyfriend” follows her claustrophobic video for “In My Head” which she released last month with Vogue. 

Watch Grande give Lollapalooza-goers the first performance of “Boyfriend” up above.

Lil Wayne Took Lollapalooza To The Old Town Road With His Unearthed Remix Verse

Lil Nas X‘s “Old Town Road” probably has more hidden remixes than weeks that it has spent at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (18 as of last count). Lil Wayne previously revealed to XXL that he had, in fact, also recorded an official remix but he wasn’t sure if it would be released. After the verse leaked last month, Lil Wayne visited the Old Town Road at Lollapalooza where he performed his remix in full.

Lil Wayne’s “Old Town Road” verse is not even a minute long, but it retains that signature Weezy swagger. “Oh, she got that wonky tonky/I met her on Farmer’s Only,” he raps, hilariously. The crowd at Lollapalooza was entranced by the unique performance. It was over as quickly as it began, culminating with Lil Nas X’s earworm chorus coming back into the speaker.

Last month, Lil Nas X promised jokingly that the “Seoul Town Road” version of “Old Town Road” with BTS member RM would be the final remix released. Lil Nas X himself recently shared another official remix of the tune with Young Thug, Mason Ramsey, and Billy Ray Cyrus. This new rendition came with a cartoon video that poked fun at the secrecy around Area 51.

Watch Lil Wayne’s performance of his “Old Town Road” remix verse up above.

Bop Shop: Songs From Carly Rae Jepsen, Chance The Rapper, Kaytranada, And More

Unrequited love is hard, especially when you know you’re the best match for someone, and they just won’t see it. Thankfully, “The King” by Conan Gray offers the perfect flex on being “just friends,” with an addictive chorus that starts out as pop ebullience before it builds to full triumph.

Conan is confident, if not slightly calculated, stating, “You like me, well obviously,” before boldly declaring he’s the king. Sometimes the ones we love just need a reminder, but the 20-year-old musician is careful not to lose his cool or doubt his self-worth in the process. “I’m the only one / That has made you fall in love / So just shut up,” he belts over a steady snapping rhythm and a dreamy pop beat. He refuses to be placed in a box, and you can feel the self-empowerment building as he cries out, “I’m supreme.”

Perhaps Conan’s right, and our heartbreak is less about missing out on someone else and more about their loss. At least that’s what I’ll keep telling myself as I listen to this bop on repeat. —Carson Mlnarik