EXCLUSIVE: Cub Sport Falls In Love All Over Again In New ‘Party Pill’ Music Video

If you haven’t already heard the love story of Cub Sport’s Tim Nelson and Sam “Bolan” Netterfield, an exclusive first look at their brand new music video for “Party Pill” should drop some hints.

Tim and Sam, the band’s lead vocalist and keyboardist, respectively, barely go a frame together without embracing as the song’s lyrics narrate the couple’s journey from catching feels to a lifelong romance. The two got married in August 2018 after falling in love while writing Cub Sport’s 2017 album, BATS.

“Bolan and I first fell in love when we were 17 but I was super scared of what would happen if I came out and decided it’d be better for us to just be friends,” Tim said in a statement about the “Party Pill” music video. “This part of our story had been weighing on my heart for a long time and I’d held onto a lot of shame and embarrassment, but I realized last year that I needed to let go.”

Tim, Sam and the rest of the Cub Sport crew – lead guitarist and bassist Zoe Davis and drummer Dan Puusaari – channeled that experience into Cub Sport, the self-titled album the band is set to release on January 18. After teaming up with the Dolan Twins for their final music video of the BATS era, Cub Sport has already teased fans with songs “Sometimes” and “Summer Lover” off the new album.

“I finally turned the pain of those years into something beautiful and it feels like I’m setting myself free,” Tim said about how “Party Pill” captures the Cub Sport love story. “Love is stronger than fear. When you live in love, there’s a lightness that follows.”

Get an exclusive first look at Cub Sport’s “Party Pill” music video below!

Lady Gaga Apologizes For 2013 R. Kelly Collab, Pledges Support For His Accusers

Since it aired last week, Surviving R. Kelly — Dream Hampton’s probing Lifetime docuseries into the artist’s history of alleged abuse against women and girls — has given a megaphone to Kelly’s victims and may have even roused a Georgia D.A. to open a new investigation into their claims. Another key takeaway is the reaction of the music community itself, made up of many artists who continued to work with Kelly despite persistent rumors of abuse.

John Legend, on one hand, readily appeared in the series and denounced Kelly, tweeting, “I believe these women and don’t give a fuck about protecting a serial child rapist.” Hampton herself revealed that she’d asked artists like Lady Gaga, Erykah Badu, Jay-Z, and more to appear in the series, but they all declined.

Early Thursday morning (January 10), though, Gaga — who collaborated in Kelly in 2013 for the song “Do What U Want” — took to Twitter to clarify her stance: “I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously.”

Gaga called the allegations against Kelly “absolutely horrifying and indefensible” and after acknowledging that she, too, is the victim of sexual assault, she went in detail about the genesis of their joint song and video, which she said was created “at a dark time in my life.” “My intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life,” she wrote. The song’s single artwork and its unreleased video were both shot by Terry Richardson, who also has a long history of troubling sexual abuse allegations against him.

Gaga said she’s grown since then, in part because of therapy, and pledged to keep supporting “women, men, and people of all sexual identities, and of all races, who are victims of sexual assault.” The first step, for her, is removing “Do What U Want” from “iTunes and other streaming platforms.” She concluded her note with a vow to never work with Kelly again, and a message of love.

Elsewhere in the note, she writes, “Til it happens to you, you don’t know how it feels.” In 2015, she co-wrote and performed “Til It Happens To Youwith Diane Warren for The Hunting Ground, a documentary about rape on college campuses. Kesha later covered it.

Read Gaga’s entire note above.

Halsey And Juice WRLD Are A Match Made In Emo Heaven On ‘Without Me’ Remix

As if Halsey‘s week/month/year couldn’t get any bigger, she’s decided to celebrate her first solo No. 1 song, “Without Me,” with a new remix featuring Juice WRLD.

Really, it was only a matter of time before these two linked up on wax. A couple months back, Halsey covered the Chicago rapper’s breakout hit “Lucid Dreams,” seamlessly capturing his emo flow. Juice WRLD returns the favor this time, contributing an anguished verse to “Without Me” that perfectly matches the song’s somber groove and Halsey’s heartbroken lyrics. But hey, at least they have each other.

“I refuse to die / Not by your side / So I’ll take what I can, then I’ll hide / And save the lucid dreams for another time,” he wails, adding, “I still hate it when you’re not there / I know I should, I know I should, but no I don’t care.”

Halsey announced the gripping, updated version of “Without Me” on Twitter a day before its release, suggesting it was actually Juice’s idea to hop on the track. “Nothing quite like celebrating a #1 by having one of your favorite artists ask to jump on,” she tweeted, later adding, “When the events that inspired ‘Without Me’ went down, this artist helped me through it all.”

As we learned earlier this week, the original version of “Without Me” reached the top of Billboard‘s Hot 100 by dethroning Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” and leaving Halsey “speechless.” Ari, for her part, was ever the supportive friend, congratulating Halsey and vowing to do her part to have women rule the charts all year long. So far, so good.

H.E.R.’s Latest Performance Is A Stellar Reminder Why She Earned All Those Grammy Nods

When the 2019 Grammy nominations were announced last month, one of the biggest takeaways was that H.E.R. is here to stay. Only a couple years into her career, the breakout R&B star racked up a whopping five nominations, including Best New Artist and the prestigious Album of the Year for her self-titled debut. Now, with the awards show only a month away, H.E.R. is making the celebratory rounds, stopping by The Late Late Show on Tuesday night (January 8) for a performance that proves why all those nods are so very deserved.

Taking the stage with her trusty band, H.E.R. launched into “Carried Away,” a hypnotic standout from her 2018 EP I Used to Know Her: Part 2. She was flanked by two backing singers who supplied plenty of energy as the latter half of the performance shifted into a funked-out jam session. They also hyped H.E.R. up as she effortlessly bounced between instruments — the 21-year-old played no less than three of them, showing off her dexterity on the acoustic guitar, bass, and keyboard.

Prior to the performance, H.E.R. did a short interview with host James Corden, telling him all about the meaning behind her stage name.

“It stands for Having Everything Revealed,” she said. “It represented this time of becoming a young woman and going through heartbreak, and all these things that happen… I call it the evolution of woman.”

The name is also, she said, a way to ensure that the focus of her career is on her music and not her image.

“The best way for me to release my music was to be honest, and in order for me to do that, I felt like, let me not put my face on my music. Let me not put a name on my music, and just give my music the way that it is; its pure message,” she explained. “That’s all you can see: H.E.R.”

Zayn Is Only In His New Music For Like Two Seconds But It’s For A Great Reason

Shortly before the end of the year, Zayn dropped an immense 90-minute second LP called Icarus Falls, featuring 27 new showcases of the singer’s penchant for hazy, romantic, lite R&B cuts. On Wednesday (January 9), Zayn gave us more: a stunning visual for his Jeff Buckley-channeling “Satisfaction.”

In the clip, directed by Bouha Kazmi (who also helmed his debut single, “Pillowtalk“), a shorn Zayn himself takes a backseat to a compelling love story between two characters ultimately separated by violence. It’s heavy and beautiful.

The clip begins with English text on the screen that reads, “Until the flower of this love has blossomed / This heart won’t be at peace,” above the same writing in Urdu text. That concept returns at the end of the vid, too; it also harkens back to Zayn’s “Intermission: Flower” track from his 2016 debut album, Mind of Mine, which featured him singing the words in Urdu over a softly plucked acoustic guitar.

Zayn didn’t tour behind his first album, and he really hasn’t performed much since his days with One Direction. But it’s coming up on four years since he left the group, and with another solo album under his belt, it seems like the time is right for him to hit the stage on his own. At least, that’s what he’s saying he’s excited about.

Watch Zayn’s graceful, heartbreaking video for “Satisfaction” above.

Billie Eilish Is Lana Del Rey Meets Bon Iver On Roma-Inspired ‘When I Was Older’

Billie Eilish, 17-year-old downbeat sad-pop wunderkind, is primed to be one of 2019’s biggest breakout stars. Alfonso Cuarón, 57-year-old Oscar-winning director of Gravity, Children of Men, and the highly celebrated new Netflix film Roma, is already having a great year, having won two Golden Globes on Sunday night.

What do these two seemingly disparate culture creators have in common? Allow Eilish’s new song, “When I Was Older” (released on Tuesday) to answer that question.

The gloomy, blippy track somehow recalls both Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO TOUR Llif3” and Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song,” and it’s billed as “from music inspired by the movie Roma,” though it did not appear on that film’s soundtrack. It doesn’t have much to do with the plot either, from what I can tell.

But Eilish, bathing her voice in a digital tone, does sing about “watching movies back to back in black and white,” seemingly as she mentally exorcises someone from her system. I pictured someone distraught, immobile in a dark room, letting the crisp bright whites of Roma‘s beach and city scenes shine as the algorithm takes control. The opening and closing lines, too, are taken directly from the film.

Roma will likely continue its awards-season buzz next month at the Oscars. Eilish, meanwhile, was just announced as a 2019 Coachella performer. In the meantime, you can stream “When I Was Older” above (and watch Roma on Netflix).

Surviving R. Kelly, the Danger of Complicit Silence, and What Must Happen Next

By Ernest Owens

This past weekend, as millions watched and weighed in on executive producer Dream Hampton’s six-part docuseries on Lifetime, boldly titled Surviving R. Kelly, you could feel, across social conversations, there hung a collective sense of guilt. The three-night special covered the over 25-year history of sexual abuse allegations against the R&B superstar who has continuously denied claims and avoided justice, despite the still-increasing evidence and testimony of his crimes against black women. It featured countless activists, musicians, legal experts, licensed psychologists, and accusers who bravely shared their perspectives on Kelly’s ability to abuse his victims while the world around him was complicit. In its wake, the Fulton County District Attorney’s office in Georgia has launched an investigation into the allegations made against Kelly.

For three nights, the Lifetime series documented the rise and fall of R. Kelly’s career through candid interviews with nearly 50 people. We heard from women like Lizzette Martinez, who says she dated Kelly at age 17, eventually miscarried, and was paid $1,000 for her silence after allegedly contracting mononucleosis from him. Another survivor, Jerhonda Pace, alleged that she was recruited to join Kelly’s sex cult after first meeting him during his 2002 child pornography trial. Kelly’s accusers — which included his ex-wife, previous collaborators, and several fans who shared stories of their sexual relationships with Kelly, most while underage — were labeled survivors on-screen as they gave devastating accounts of the trauma they endured from a musician many of them initially described as a “genius.”

The docuseries also featured never-before-seen testimonies from the men in Kelly’s life — his brothers, collaborators, employees, and industry peers — who often enabled his obscene behavior. Bruce Kelly, R. Kelly’s older brother, attempted to defend his sibling’s alleged pedophilia as simply being “a preference,” and later expressed joy when he was acquitted on child pornograpy charges back in 2002. Kelly’s former assistant, Demetrius Smith, also admitted to having coordinated the forgery of the late R&B singer Aaliyah’s marriage license during her wedding to Kelly when she was only 14-years-old. We were told by Kelly’s producer Craig Williams that “everyone knew” of the singer’s penchant for propositioning underage girls in high schools.

Despite all of that documentation, R. Kelly continues to deny all allegations launched against him. Since the docuseries’ close, Kelly’s team has been adamantly discrediting his accusers and denying any of the revelations unmasked during those televised six hours. It should also be noted that Kelly threatened to sue Lifetime prior to the series airing and has plans to create a website called Surviving Lies to contest his accusers.

I don’t believe or support R. Kelly, and neither should anyone else.

Black women have been leading the rallying cry against Kelly, whose alleged actions are really just one manifestation of the general mistreatment of black women in culture. For decades, they have simultaneously been open about their lack of support. The growing chorus of men speaking in solidarity is slowly growing, but even more crucial to progress is the need for us as men to start holding ourselves accountable for the biases we personally hold. There must be a reckoning with the misogynoir that we allow to run rampant in our own lives. It’s time for more men to finally speak out against sexual abuse and violence. Where have we been? What were we doing? Why were we silent?

These were the questions I asked myself as I watched each episode. Though I personally stopped supporting R. Kelly years ago, I began to ponder why men weren’t as vocal during the rise of the #MuteRKelly movement, myself included. No other excuse could come to my mind other than the fact that I presumed it was just a women’s issue and I should simply fall back. As women’s voices have continued to be amplified during the #MeToo movement, I often struggled to figure out my role. I didn’t want to center myself as a man or take up too much space when other women could be given the spotlight. Unfortunately, as a result, I instead chose inaction rather than exploring proactive ways to get involved. But several Black women activists and voices on social media — individuals such as like Tarana Burke, Feminista Jones, Jamilah Lemieux, Leslie Mac, and countless others — have underlined an important point: Falling back is a disservice to Black women. Especially when CDC data reports that more than four in ten Black women experience physical violence from an intimate partner during their lifetimes.

To simply put the responsibility on Black women to fight against the misogyny they face alone — even though they also fight for civil rights for everyone else across the aisle — is selfish and unfair. Misogynoir, the term coined by Black queer feminist Moya Bailey, expresses how misogyny directed towards Black women is often more severe because the intersections of both their race and gender is being targeted. According to a 2018 crowdsourced study from Amnesty International, statistics show that Black women were 84 percent more likely than white women to be disproportionately targeted online with one in ten tweets mentioning Black women was “abusive or problematic,” compared to one in 15 for white women. What we are doing by turning to a blind eye towards the trauma Black women face is only furthering the problem afflicted. In this regard, silence becomes violence.

While the media often covers these issues impacting white women, Black women are usually given less attention. It took years before #MeToo founder Tarana Burke was finally acknowledged on a national level for her important work in raising awareness around sexual harassment and abuse. It’s time for all men to work towards resolving these disparities.

Contributing meaningfully to the cause will require men to make the sincere decisions to shut down toxic masculinity in public settings, call out and cut off misogynistic friends and family, report known abusers in your workplaces, support Black women who are telling their stories through film, music, and other media, and take R. Kelly off their playlists. It will call for us to financially contribute to nonprofits and institutions, such as Burke’s #MeToo movement, that are more equipped to help women survivors in ways that are outside of our scope. We must adapt to a lifestyle that works to end misogynoir in pop culture and society at large — which calls for us to divest from systems working to further such abuse. We must support Black women around us with full conviction and accountability.

Black women and girls are still surviving R. Kelly. Now it’s time for men to step up and support them.

It’s on all of us to stand up against sexual assault. Find out more at metoo.mtv.com.

Ernest Owens is an award-winning journalist and CEO of Ernest Media Empire, LLC. His work has been featured on CNN, BET, USA Today, NBC, NPR, and Philadelphia magazine.

Chester Bennington’s Voice Returns On Heavy Posthumous Collab ‘Cross Off’

In the time since Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington’s death in July 2017, his band has remained quiet. This has likely been in part out of respect to Bennington, but also out of necessity. “We have a lot of rebuilding to do, and questions to answer, so it’ll take time,” band co-leader Mike Shinoda said about a year ago.

Shinoda has continued making music, releasing an EP and an album both called Post Traumatic in 2018. Bennington’s voice, too, has endured, and not just on the band’s recordings; on Tuesday (January 8), a new song called “Cross Off” that he worked on with Lamb of God guitarist Mark Morton popped up ahead of Morton’s new album. It’s heavy, and on it, Bennington brings exactly what made him an utter maelstrom of a vocalist.

As Morton revealed to Zane Lowe, Bennington recorded his “Cross Off” vocals in April 2017 and co-wrote with track along with a team of collaborators. “We both really loved the song from its inception and everyone that worked on it put a lot of energy and emotion into it,” he said. “I feel like you can really hear that in the track, and absolutely in Chester’s performance.”

What long defined Bennington’s impact was his masterful ability to balance light and dark, withdrawn angst and red-lining rage, clean melodic moments and blustery raggedness — often all in the span of just a few minutes in a single song. On “Cross Off,” he naturally does both, leaning more heavily into his throaty depths to complement the song’s relentless percussion and crunching guitars.

It’s a far cry from the lighter, more sun-kissed electronic the band revealed on what ended up its final album with Bennington, One More Light. But its muscular energy just might transport you back to when you first heard him wail, on “Crawling,” maybe, or “Somewhere I Belong,” or even “Bleed It Out.”

Hear the powerful song above and watch Morton break it down in the interview clip below.

Janelle Monáe And Tessa Thompson Get ‘Screwed’ In Apocalyptic New Video

After making a fashion-forward appearance at Sunday’s Golden Globes, Janelle Monáe is back to make us dance with her first new video of 2019.

“Screwed” continues the narrative of Monáe’s previous Dirty Computer videos, co-starring her rumored real-life girlfriend Tessa Thompson. While Zoë Kravitz, who’s featured on the track, doesn’t appear in the vid (maybe she’s too busy with Big Little Lies promo?), it’s still a striking visual feast, packed with colorful looks and subtle political overtones. Oh, and drones!

The clip begins with Monáe, Thompson, and their crew waking up hungover on a rooftop. Things only get worse when they spot a security drone stalking them, but they find refuge in an underground club, where they dance their cares away. Some politically-charged images show up later, and ultimately, Thompson is captured by government agents and taken away in a hovercraft. It’s riveting stuff, so here’s hoping Monáe’s next video keeps this sexy sci-fi saga going.

The “Screwed” video follows an exciting few weeks for Monáe, whose excellent Dirty Computer was nominated for a pair of Grammys (Album of the Year and Best Music Video for “Pynk“). She also scored a spot on the star-studded Coachella lineup, so it looks like things aren’t slowing down for her anytime soon.

Ariana Grande Congratulates Halsey For Dethroning ‘Thank U, Next’: ‘To Girls On Top’

Watch out: 2019 is going to be all about women ruling the charts, if Halsey and Ariana Grande have anything to say about it.

On Monday (January 7), Billboard confirmed that Halsey’s “Without Me” has dethroned Ari’s “thank u, next” on the Hot 100. This marks the 24-year-old’s first solo No. 1 (she previously enjoyed a 12-week run at the top alongside The Chainsmokers with “Closer”), and she was understandably verklempt upon hearing the news.

“Wow. Very overwhelmed and confused and so very very very VERY happy,” Halsey gushed on Instagram. “This song came from a very lonely place, and brought me to one of the most loved and supported moments of my lifetime. … Right now my brain is a washing machine of emotion. On a very high cycle.”

Grande, for her part, sweetly reacted to the news by congratulating Halsey on her Instagram Story. “Fuck it up @iamhalsey,” she wrote. “To girls on top all 2019.” Halsey returned the love, sharing on her own Story, “Luv u bb. Dynamic women who are headstrong + compassionate all 2019.”

The two artists are definitely onto something with their “girls on top” mantra. Last week, Mariah Carey’s iconic “All I Want For Christmas Is You” soared to No. 3 on the Hot 100, trailing “Without Me” and “thank u, next.” That marked the first time women had occupied the entire Top 3 since 2014, and, given today’s news, the girl power isn’t letting up as we move into the second week of the new year.

Plus, with new music expected from both Ari and Halsey in 2019, they could very much keep this chart domination going. Fuck it up, ladies!