The follow-up to Teenage Dream will arrive. Eventually. Sometime. Maybe. Sometime after The Complete Confection and The Baker's Dozen Confections and Hey, I Heard You Were Getting No. 1 Hits So I Bought You Some More Confections. Even Katy Perry called it "the record that never ends" in an interview with MTV.
That interview with MTV's a little more substantive than check-ins tend to be, a little more detailed than "yep, I've definitely got an album coming out, and I'm definitely going to have another album coming out, and I'm really excited." The bit about her bottling her emotions is something that makes perfect sense in retrospect, for instance. That said, there's one dodgy quote. This:
"I just think that it's time for me in some ways to show where I came from. I've always just been me and my guitar; and I'm not saying I'm going to make that record, but I do want to get back to my roots.
The thing is, "me and my guitar" isn't so much Katy Perry's roots as an idea of roots in general, like if you rooted around in the earth for a while until you scrabbled up some guitar strings instead of dinosaur bones or sudden bugs. We're a little compelled to fact-check her statement. Katy Perry's career, like most pop careers, has plenty of roots, most buried by now. Which one of these could she possibly mean?
(But first, a note to science majors out there: Below are metaphors. We know that trees' roots never, ever, ever go anywhere near the mantle and definitely not the core. But this is Katy Perry we're talking about. She does everything in cartoon proportions.)
KATY PERRY'S ROOTS, CRUST: That album she did with The Matrix, the production team behind Avril Lavigne and a few Lauren Christy and Dollshead albums seven people heard. Katy Perry doesn't like this album very much, judging by subtle-to-blatant quotes floating around. Nevertheless, it's a root. A kind of a messy, sprawling one, but still: a root.
KATY PERRY'S ROOTS, MANTLE: The Glen Ballard days. Glen Ballard was Alanis Morrisette's producer, and you can definitely hear a bit of Alanis' influence in Katy's vocal let's-call-them-quirks. But you can hear them even more on the album they did together. It was shelved, but as is standard even for shelved albums, a few tracks trickled out onto movie soundtracks (below) or into Kelly Clarkson comebacks ("I Do Not Hook Up.")
KATY PERRY'S ROOTS, CORE: Katy Hudson, Christian contemporary artist who doesn't shock her parents anew with every pinup theme. These aren't bad roots at all! For instance, the following song completely holds up. No, really:
The Canadian crooner returns with a buzzing new single
Canadian crooner Lil Truth just wants to get back to summer.
On their bouncy new single fittingly titled "The Summer," Lil Truth yearns for a time when summer meant coming together rather than staying apart. Premiering exclusively on Popdust, the track's melodic flow loosely toys with the harmonies of "Closer" by the Chainsmokers–another signature summer anthem that carries a good amount of nostalgic weight in 2020.
Truth brings slick melodies and the same dynamic energy to the catchy rework. "I made this song to reignite the feeling of energetic summer love amidst the coldness of the fall," the artist said of his new single. "It's about the hidden adoration I have for a girl that currently doesn't know how I feel about her."
How a cosmetics company representing African culture, vitality, and pride was "canceled" because of a known racist influencer.
As we're (finally) making more efforts to support Black-owned businesses, we should inevitably be wondering why there have been so few of them visible to mainstream consumers.
Within the astoundingly white-washed beauty industry, Black-owned brands account for a shamefully small fraction of the industry. This is especially egregious considering that, on average, Black women spend nine times more on beauty and hair care than white women. In 2017 Rihanna's Fenty Beauty released an inclusive range of 40 shades of foundation to wild acclaim, and the industry began to reckon with its lack of diversity.
Major brands like Dior, Rimmel, and CoverGirl have attempted to release more diverse shades, but their tactic of "diverse" advertising often commodifies and objectifies non-white skin tones. As writer Niellah Arboine critiques, "There is something really dehumanizing about calling [products] chocolate, caramel, mocha and coffee while all the lighter shades are porcelain or ivory."
Every year, Spotify listeners win out over devotees to other streaming platforms when they unveil their Spotify Wrapped playlists — a data driven analysis of what the year sounded like.
And while this year's personal Spotify Wrapped summaries are still loading, Spotify just released their data for their most streamed global music and podcasts of the year.
Announced the week following the Grammy nominations, Spotify Wrapped feels like vindication for artists who were snubbed by the awards committee, like The Weeknd and Halsey.
The summary also analyzed trends of when and how people were listening to content, noting increased popularity in nostalgia-themed playlists and work-from-home-themed playlists. Spotify users were understandably playing music from home more, which even caused an uptick in streaming music from gaming consoles. Listeners also tuned obsessively into wellness podcasts like never before.
After months of on and off again speculation, Rihanna and A$AP Rocky seem to be dating.
Obviously, this is good news if it's true. Can you imagine? For the coordinating outfits alone, I need it.
There have been a ton of icky white rappers over the years, but these take the cake.
On this day in 1990, Vanilla Ice's "Under Pressure" reboot "Ice, Ice Baby" debuted at No. 1 in the UK, kickstarting a Billboard run that would soon carry over to the states and invigorate a fleeting love for Vanilla Ice and his whole...vibe.
Of course, we all know how it ends. Vanilla Ice's credibility and career unraveled as quickly as it began. "Ice Ice Baby" took on a satirical identity larger than its creator, all while Robert Van Wrinkle refused to pay royalties (or even give a shout-out) to Freddie Mercury and David Bowie despite liberally sampling the track's true creators. Ice instead tried to cultivate a hollow rap identity, one where he was a hardened former-gang member from Miami and not a middle-class teen from a Texas suburb. The chorus of the song then came under fire by a black fraternity, who accused Vanilla Ice of ripping off their fraternal chant ("ice ice baby/ too cold, too cold.")