Culture News

Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner Are Expecting a Baby

The Jonas Brother and the actress got married last year.

Just nine months after their kitschy Las Vegas wedding, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner are expecting a baby!

Us Weekly confirmed that the middle Jonas Brother and the Game of Thrones star are expecting their first child together. The pair wed last May during a surprise ceremony after the Billboard Music Awards, in which they exchanged Ring Pops in place of proper rings; a video of the wedding appeared on Diplo's Instagram. They held a more traditional ceremony a couple of months later in France.


Jonas has already proven to be an awesome uncle to his two nieces, while Turner's effervescent coolness is sure to translate well into motherhood. Unfortunately, pregnancy means she'll have to lay off the wine…

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CULTURE

BTS Should've Had More Time Onstage at the Grammys

The supergroup was treated like backup dancers during a performance of "Old Town Road."

BTS is one of the most influential pop music groups in the world right now.

The South Korean boy band has skyrocketed to the top of the charts and into the hearts of millions of fans, becoming one of the most beloved pop groups in recent memory. At this year's Grammy awards, they appeared as a feature in Lil Nas X's impressive rendition of "Old Town Road," but they were given a mere 20 seconds onstage to sing their part of "Seoul Town Road," one of the song's many remixes.

The performance was an impressive show of multicultural, multi-generational, and multi-genre unity. Visually, it was a triumph, if a bit hallucinatory.

BTS's appearance also made history, as it was the first time a South Korean band performed at the Grammys. True to form, the boys used the time the best they could.

Still, fans are calling the Grammys out for underusing the band's talents. BTS deserved more time, if not their own solo slot onstage, considering the amount of talent and influence they wield—and fans are already calling for the Grammys to remedy their mistake by giving BTS their own Grammys moment (and a lot of awards, hopefully) next year.

Watch clips of the performance below:

www.youtube.com

The Grammys have been heavily criticized for their poor diversity and representation. This ceremony marked an improvement from previous years—Gary Clark, Jr.'s fiery protest song was a flashpoint—but in order to keep changing and keeping up with the pulse of the music world, the Grammys needs to shift its focus from Eurocentric music and English-language art to a more global view.

CULTURE

The Sexiest Celebrity Halloween Costumes EVER

Sure, "Trick or Treat" and all that good stuff, but let's be honest, Halloween is all about the sexy costumes.

2019 has been a calamity of a year.

Trump thinks the constitution is "phony" and doesn't apply to him because of his wealth, the amazon is still very much engulfed in flames, and global warming is set to decimate humanity in less than a decade. It all seems quite dire, which is why Halloween is welcomed warmly this year. It's time to give 'em pumpkin to talk about that isn't impending doom. It's time to lift your "spirits," realize life is "gourd" and get done up in boo-tiful costumes to help distract from the actual spooky terror going on outside. To get you amped up, here are a few of the sexiest costumes ever!

Kim Kardashian West as Cat Woman

The Kardashian Klan has dawned a lot of gorgeous costumes over the years, but frankly Kim Kardashian's Cat Woman costume of 2012 takes the cake. Kanye as Batman is also additionally something we can't unsee, but for far different, not sexy reasons.

MUSIC

Halsey Paints Herself Back to Life in "Graveyard"

Halsey spends hours painting a self-portrait in her new video.

Halsey just dropped her newest song, "Graveyard," which is the third single release from her upcoming album Manic.

Yesterday, she began live-streaming a video of herself painting a self-portrait, which would later become the time-lapse video for the new song.

"Graveyard" is clearly about a destructive relationship, one consumed by the kind of conflict that Halsey is so good at depicting in her music. It's also an effortlessly streamlined pop song and would be just as appropriate for spin classes as emo kid self-pity sessions or night drives through an unknown city.

Though it seems to be about willingness to follow someone until the bitter end, by the time the painting is done it becomes clear that this has been about Halsey the whole time—about her ability to crash and burn and build herself up again through her art, which she has done time and time again throughout her career and life. Despite struggles with mental illness, suicide, and illness, Halsey always seems to come out on top.

This isn't the first time Halsey has shared her visual art with the world. In April, she performed her song "Eastside" on SNL while painting an upside-down portrait of herself onstage.

Halsey - Eastside (Live From Saturday Night Live) www.youtube.com

Back in January, she shared an incredible acrylic painting of the artist Yungblud (who she later began dating).

twitter.com

She's always been talented at curating aesthetics and has shared her drawings from time to time on Instagram.


The 24-year-old singer is, of course, best known for her musical output. She recently collaborated with BTS on "Boy With Luv," and her last single "Without Me" went number one on the charts for six weeks. She mentioned the song's success on her collaboration with Post Malone on Hollywood's Bleeding, saying, "I sold 15 million copies of a breakup note."

BTS (방탄소년단) '작은 것들을 위한 시 (Boy With Luv) feat. Halsey' Official MV www.youtube.com

She rose to fame with her album Badlands, becoming beloved among fans for her outspokenness about her history of abuse and mental illness, as well as for her unique sonic blend of alternative, emo, electronica, and pop influences.

She's definitely not the only one painting her own image—fans have been inspired to create portraits of her for a long time.

By @Punkthvtictwitter.com


By Маја Петровскаwildchan.artstation.com

Manic is out on January 17. In June, she told Rolling Stone that the album is the first she's ever written while manic—she suffers from bipolar disorder—and that it's a blend of "hip-hop, rock, country—f*cking everything." Knowing Halsey, she'll find a way to make it cohere into a work of art.

CULTURE

Where Does Lil Nas X Go From Here?

What kids connect to today is more relevant than easy-to-swallow pop.

Lil Nas X and Billy Ray team up to get the bag.

Columbia Records

Lil Nas X (of "Old Town Road" fame) is refreshingly wholesome and unique, reminding us chart-topping music doesn't need to pander.

Charting for the ninth week in a row, "Old Town Road Remix" ft. Billy Ray Cyrus has been the song of the summer since it hit the charts in January. Instead of releasing new music, Lil Nas X is growing his fan base by releasing new memes and trolling himself and his haters. Better yet, he's giving his followers a glimpse of his life. Having recently moved into his first apartment, 20-year-old Montero Lamar Hill is unveiling enough of himself to seem like he's accessible. Gen Z and Millennials might seem to be glued to their phones, but really they want to be in the know. With his internet and musical success, it's hard to imagine Hill outside of the box he intentionally placed himself into: on our devices, on Twitter.

But the rapper hiding behind his phone has more to say than a joke. Teen Vogue's recent profile of Hill finally offered readers insight to the mind behind the hit song and Twitter account. In the interview, Hill admitted he originally had trouble finding his sound, mainly searching for ways to make his first EP, Nasarati, go viral. Between trap beats, tongue-in-cheek, and trending titles, the intention was clever, but ineffective. The reason? The heart wasn't there, so his voice and personality couldn't shine.

The standout song from Nasarati is "Carry On," which now has over 900k streams on SoundCloud. The lyrics of the overproduced track unveil a perspective most would not expect from the goofy rapper. Bobby Caldwell's '80s track carries us into the song, as Hill raps about his complicated family dynamics: "My grandma died / I shed some tears / my mama lied / she left me here." Being the youngest of six children, finally moving into his own apartment after the success of "Old Town Road" was a big step for Hill. He lived with his father most of his life, then his grandmother. After she passed, he moved in with his sister, who had several of his other siblings living with her as well.

Shifting from a "Carry On" mentality, Hill took a big leap from self-reflection to autonomy. His "can't nobody tell me nothing" persona speaks of a kid who's ready for big things. While the over-saturated music market is filled with try-hards, Hill recognizes that the difference between his failures and success come from his intention to gain attention. Yet, his sudden success seems too easy to some, to the point that people question whether he's an industry plant: a theory he then memed.

Lil Nas X and other successful musicians who grew up with and weaponize social media pose a conundrum for industry staples. What kids connect to today is more relevant than easy-to-swallow pop. Mass consumption in the past meant radio-friendly music. But new artists are going against the grain, digging deeper than catchy and stepping up with role model beliefs, without the squeaky clean image. Not only are they stars who wear designers, they use their platforms for important issues, too. But who Gen Zers listen to now is only a snapshot of what's to come.

The music industry has been able to reinvent itself successfully for the Internet age. Artists embrace streaming nowadays, but that doesn't mean labels aren't attempting to milk each song's worth. For example, Nicki's twenty track Queen was tacked onto her blood curdling single, "FEFE" (ft. 6ix9ine), to increase streams and sway album sales. But Lil Nas X has reversed that narrative, messing with fans and his management by joking about only releasing new remixes of "Old Town Road." So he gets on stage and sings the same song over and over again to the crowd's delight, but how long can that last?

Hill is aware that the juice will, in fact, run out, trolling his haters that he's not actually a one trick pony. If his recent music video tells us anything, it's that he has a vision.

YouTube

The music video is both plot-driven and fun in ways we rarely get nowadays. Perhaps Hill's spotlight can last based on personality alone. Look at Doja Cat and Cardi B. Internet culture may blow up the music, but their talent keeps them around for a reason. While it's hard to predict where Hill's career will go, early fame tends to widen the net of inspiration and success for new artists. The work ethic involved in maintaining an online personality can come with random outbursts and deleted tweets, but Hill runs to the bank with it. Whether or not he'll be a meme-queen forever is up for debate, but his influences go beyond the bubble of country-trap.

When Billboard decided to remove "Old Town Road" from their country charts, a debate was sparked as to how we define genres and whether content (lyrics) alone can encapsulate the genre. Our culture is ever-shifting and ever-blending between different sound, stories, and ideas. Lil Nas X isn't exactly a pioneer, but his story is a conversation starter and reminder that the younger generations want to hear the unexpected. If Hill is as smart as he seems to be, he'll take his moment in the spotlight and turn it into a rich, genre-bending career.

MUSIC

BTS Isn't Paving the Way with Its BMA Nominations

If artists who sometimes contribute to their music is the low standard for groundbreaking K-pop, then sure, BTS is at the top.

Billboard

The BTS Army is rejoicing, as their boy kings are nominated for their first Billboard Music Award for Top Duo/Group.

While the K-pop band has taken home the award for Top Social Artist for the past two years (and they've just received their third nomination), 2019 marks the first time they've been recognized in a larger category. The boys will compete against more mainstream acts for the honor of best band, with fellow nominees including Maroon 5, Imagine Dragons, Panic at the Disco, and Dan + Shay.

Other artists highlighted this year are Cardi B (leading this year's honorees with 21 nominations in 18 categories), Drake (nominated for 17 awards, including Top Artist, Top Rap Album, and Top Rap Song for "In My Feelings"), and Post Malone (tying with Drake, including nominations for Top Artist and Top Rap Song for "Better Now").

But reactions from BTS fans dominated discussions of the Billboard Awards on social media. Twitter exploded with emoji-laden declarations of love, as well as deep dives into the history of the Top Duo/Group award to emphasize that "BTS PAVED THE WAY." As a trending topic, the band's success has K-pop fans hopeful that the genre will continue to integrate into American mainstream music.

While most K-pop bands are eerily robotic products of major music labels and have little to no artistic input in the music they perform, the seven members of BTS do have some writing and production credits to their names. If artists who actually contribute to their music is the low standard for groundbreaking K-pop bands, then yes, RM, Jin, Jimin, Suga, J-Hope, V, and Jungkook have paved the way in K-pop, but that doesn't legitimize its future as a mainstream genre.




Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher, and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.


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