Music Lists

8 Forgotten R&B Groups

As the popularity of R&B faded, these groups were lost to history.

During the '90s and 2000s, R&B groups were among of the most popular and profitable acts in music.

Iconic groups like Boyz II Men, Jodeci, and TLC reshaped the landscape of Black music. Their powerful vocal arrangements, distinct personalities, and chart-topping singles not only earned them millions of fans across the globe but respect and recognition from their peers, as well.

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Kanye West

Kanye West is officially the richest Black man in the United States.

According to multiple media outlets, the 43-year-old rapper-producer is worth an estimated $6.6 billion, with over half coming from his clothing and sneaker line Yeezy. West's billionaire status became public back in April of 2020.

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MUSIC

Queer Punk Band 8 Inch Betsy Release Acerbic, Triumphant LP "The Mean Days"

"The Mean Days" finally received a digital release this week.

8 Inch Betsy

The band 8 Inch Betsy just released The Mean Days, an LP comprised of acerbic punk anthems and shadowed by grief.

The band's lead singer and primary songwriter, Meghan Galbraith, passed away in January 2015 after a prolonged illness. Mean Days, which was released shortly after her death andis finally being issued digitally, is Galbraith's last studio album. It's a deeply bittersweet tribute to an extraordinary and impactful life.

Exclaim.ca

Every interview and tribute conducted with people who knew Galbraith seems to be filled with adoration for her—not only for her talent, but for who she was and the way she made people around her feel.

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Music Features

Interview: Post Animal's "Forward Motion Godyssey" Powers Through the Storm

Bassist Dalton Allison talks to Popdust about the Chicago band's second album.

Marie Renaud

Just before recording their new album Forward Motion Godyssey, the members of Post Animal feared for their lives.

The Chicago psych rockers got caught in a snowstorm on their way to Big Sky, Montana, where they holed up for eight days to record in a mountainside ski lodge. "We just had a tour where we did a 360 spin on the highway out in Wyoming," bassist Dalton Allison tells me over the phone, adding that their time was cut short due to weather concerns. "It was getting scary. We'd just come to terms with how frail our tour van was."

Still, Post Animal braved the treacherous conditions and emerged with Forward Motion Godyssey, a sophomore album that feels fittingly triumphant (out now via Polyvinyl). Where the quintet's 2018 debut, When I Think of You in a Castle, bears the closeness of compact rock clubs, Godyssey sounds as vast as the mountain range it was recorded in, with a grandiose quality that could fill open-air stadiums. Much of that can actually be attributed to Allison, who co-produced the album this time around. "We felt a little more pressure to make a more professional, polished product," he explains.

Fresh off a U.K. tour with Cage the Elephant, Allison further discusses his love for production with Popdust, and he shares what influenced the creation of Forward Motion Godyssey.

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Popdust: I live in New York, but I hear so much about Chicago's underground scene and the bands it breeds. How did being based in Chicago affect the way you make music?

I think in a lot of ways, it's encouraged us to be more experimental than if we were somewhere else, just trying to sound like the biggest local band in our area. Here, the biggest band in our friend group was probably Twin Peaks while we were coming up, and we definitely didn't sound like them, but we kind of tried to apply their same energy to what we were doing. The shared vocals—I feel like that's kind of a Chicago thing, where there's no real frontman [in Post Animal or Twin Peaks]. It's just like, a group of average people joining together to create something bigger than themselves, hopefully better than anything they could do on their own.

Tell me about your experience of co-producing the album with Adam Thein.

I love producing. It's kind of the thing I love most about music. I love thinking of these cinematic ideas for the song. Like, "Oh, I want this to sound like it's being played from the top of a mountain," or "I want the vocals to sound like they're inside your head"—crazy stuff like that. That's the part that I love. I can make it sound crazy and then Adam can clean it up and make it so it doesn't sound unintelligible. But production is one of my favorite parts about music. It's what I appreciate a lot about Electric Light Orchestra and Black Sabbath, those kinds of bands, because someone in the band is also producing the record and no other record sounds like it. My main attraction to Tame Impala is the production. I think that Kevin Parker is an amazing, amazing producer, and I think it's so cool because nothing else sounds like that. A lot of pop records are all done by the same person and it just makes it not as special because you can hear two artists that sound super similar.

As a listener, I like to think about where the artist might've envisioned their music being played. It's funny that you mention being on top of a mountain—did you have a setting in mind when making the album?

Yeah. We recorded it at this house that was in between two mountains, basically, so as we were recording, we'd look out the window and see this huge mountain peak. Everything was grandiose because we're just envisioning this album being the soundtrack to this landscape. It's just a huge, wide area, and you can kind of feel the air—I don't really know how to describe it. Just thinking about the elements and the meeting of the earth and the sky. Not to get too trippy! But as far as a physical space, I feel like these songs are a little bigger. During our last record, we were playing a lot of small clubs and venues like that, so it was very classic rock with slapback delay, really quick and tight. But for this album, I think we were envisioning ourselves playing in bigger spaces. I think it's a record that would sound really good in an outdoor area. I was thinking less about the individual parts, and wanted to make it more spacious—a little bit ambient.

You name dropped Sabbath and ELO earlier, but were there any other artists you were listening to that inspired this album?

I try not to listen to other music at all, or at least not contemporary music. We get compared to other psych rock bands all the time, and I'm so scared that I'll hear something and subconsciously make songs too close to that. It kind of kills the originality of what we're doing. But, I was listening to this band called Flower Travellin' Band that has this cool, big production. A lot of Black Sabbath, a lot of '70s progressive bands like King Crimson...a lot of rock, but we also listen to a lot of pop music for melodies.

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You guys described "Schedule" as "a song so pop that it's not pop." What does that mean to you?

We were trying to be funny. But also, to be a pop band takes an incredible amount of talent. Not to say we aren't talented, but we don't really excel in having this pure talent kind of thing. We're a little weirder. So for a band like ours to go from psychedelic songs to a straight-up pop song, even when we try, it's still in a weird Toto kind of realm. It's almost a commentary on pop. The production on "Schedule" is less natural, too; the vocals have tuning on them and the drums are kind of quantized. We were just kind of fooling around and thought it would be fun to have that one song. It's hard for us to take ourselves seriously.

Lyrically, "Schedule" is the most straightforward song on the album. You guys like a lot of abstract metaphors.

I went through [a long-distance relationship]. Instead of being so metaphysical about everything, I wanted to try straight-up saying how I felt at a specific time. There are lines in that song where I can remember the time and the place that I felt that feeling. Since it was a pop song with the melodies, I think we wanted to put it with lyrics that were very heartfelt and realistic.

Is that easier for you?

Yeah, I find it easier to write something straightforward like "Schedule." And songs usually start out that way for me, but sometimes it's cooler if you have to kind of work for the meaning behind it. There are other songs on the album where I'm saying a lot of things that have double meanings on purpose to try making it more vague. Someone can figure out whatever it means to them. But on "Schedule," there's like a line that's like, "Now I'm back all alone in the van / I'm crying 'cause I know I'm doing all that I can." That's literally exactly what was happening. Writing the songs that way is easier, but from a perspective of being vulnerable, it's a lot harder. Yeah. But it's somewhat rewarding because I think it's for the best to let it out there. It feels much better to have said something about it than cover it in this like mysterious lyricism.

Another song that stuck out to me was "Fitness." Is the line "Run with me, fitness is all I know" meant to be taken literally?

I think Jake [Hirschland, guitarist/keyboardist] wrote that one. I'm pretty sure it's referring to how people use fitness to benefit their physical health, but also their mental health, too. Sometimes, it's the only thing that gets you through tough times.

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Post Animal rose to prominence in a kind of unconventional way. How do you reckon with that?

There was definitely a time where it would make me feel really guilty, and like I didn't deserve to be getting all the opportunities that we were getting. We kind of got some flak around the local scene in Chicago, feeling like we had a target on our backs. It was a weird feeling, but obviously at a certain point, you have to come to terms with the fact that you're given this opportunity and you can't waste it. You can't be worried about what other people think, because at the end of the day, if the music was terrible, you wouldn't have achieved anything. People aren't going to listen to a band just because they like a show on TV, especially if the guy's no longer in the band! [Guitarist Joe Keery left Post Animal to focus on his role in Netflix's Stranger Things.] It's extremely weird to watch a friend and roommate of yours become someone that people are obsessed with. It's all cool now, and I don't even really think about it, but I'm a very self-conscious person, so it took me a while to come to terms with it. I think this album was cathartic for all of us because we just like made music that we wanted to make instead of worrying about what people wanted to hear. We were prepared for people to not like it. Obviously now, I realize how extremely lucky we are for all that's happened to us. At this point, it's about making the most of the opportunity, and I try to use it in a way to do some good. The most rewarding thing is when a person you don't know says their music has helped them in some way.

What do you hope listeners take away from this album?

I think a main sentiment is taking time to be understanding and be purposeful in life. And hopefully people will realize that everyone goes through good times and everyone goes through bad times. The world is becoming such a crazy place. Everyone is on different sides of every issue, and it can be hard to keep your mind afloat. We just want people to take a deep breath and be able to think for themselves and know that they have the power to get themselves through any problem that they are facing.

CULTURE

John C. Reilly's Son Is a Hot E-Boy, and I'm Very Confused

Meet Leo Reilly, the 22-year-old model, musician, and TikToker who looks nothing like his dad.

For most of us raised among slapstick comedy of the 2000s, John C. Reilly is most often associated with his roles in films like Step Brothers or shows like Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

But the actor, whose resume includes Chicago, Boogie Nights, and What's Eating Gilbert Grape, also has a family to attend to when he's not caught up in on-screen antics. While that's nothing new to write home about, I'm incredibly shocked to discover that Reilly and his wife, fellow actor Alison Dickey, have an alarmingly attractive son. This son is Leo Reilly, a 22-year-old model, TikToker, and pop musician who records under the alias LoveLeo. Backed by a few hundred thousand followers, he's garnered attention lately surrounding his debut single, "BOYFREN." But above all, folks of the Internet are in disbelief that he's from the same gene pool as his funnyman dad.

I'm not saying John C. Reilly is ugly, per se—in fact, he was quite handsome in his youth! But the lack of apparent physical features shared between him and his dangly-earring-and-nail polish-wearing, E-boy son is astounding. It feels as though the two have been plucked from entirely different universes; Leo looks like the Gen Z Freddie Mercury, while I can't see a photo of his father without hearing "Did you touch my drum set?"

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But don't be fooled—the two seem tight. Leo shares his love for his pops pretty often on his Instagram, where his sense of humor is also evident. Back in 2008 during the Step Brothers press cycle, John shared that he'd be glad if his kids stuck around the house as adults: "Maybe there will come a time when I'll get tired of them, but I really depend on my kids for company," he told People. "I love every minute of being with them."

As expected, it appears Leo has a healthy sense of humor, too. His Instagram photos are often surreally Photoshopped, and the "BOYFREN" music video is comically quirky. Genetics, man! Crazy stuff!

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CULTURE

Is R. Kelly On the Run in NYC?

Previously, Kelly eluded justice through six-figure payoffs and threats, according to the Chicago Sun Times, so it's not hard to imagine that something similar could be at work.

Violent abuser R. Kelly may currently be on the loose.

The pop star was moved on Thursday from federal prison in Chicago to New York. He was supposed to touch down at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey on Friday morning, but his whereabouts are currently uncertain, according to his attorney, Douglas Anton. As of 11:00 PM Thursday, the Federal Bureau of Prisons website still listed him as being in the Chicago prison.

Kelly is scheduled to appear in court today, Friday, August 2nd, but his attorney has delivered a letter to judges Anne Donnelly and Steven Tiscione, telling them that he might have to delay the trial until he can find his client.

"I have spent the hours that followed his landing on the phone with the (Bureau of Prisons) at both New York MCC and Brooklyn MDC trying to locate my client, but no one would provide that information to me, even recognizing I am his attorney," Anton told Daily Mail.

Misinformation about the case is rampant, however, and other attorneys in Chicago have requested that Kelly be granted home incarceration. Previously, Kelly eluded justice through six-figure payoffs and threats, according to the Chicago Sun Times, so it's not hard to imagine that something similar could be at work. (It's not like our boys in blue are particularly famous for their moral codes).

Kelly has been accused of sexual assault against innumerable underage girls, and so the idea that he might be prowling the streets is disconcerting, to say the least. Is he pulling a Ted Bundy? Will this turn into a full-fledged manhunt? As of this publication, Kelly's whereabouts remain unclear.

At the site where the trial is supposed to take place, fans began lining up outside hours before. If Kelly is found, according to TMZ, he plans on pleading not guilty. If convicted, he could face up to 200 years behind bars.