On Friday, December 8, Nicki Minaj went back to her roots by releasing the second installment of her no-skips debut album, Pink Friday, with Pink Friday 2. The 2010 debut included radio hits like "Super Bass", "Fly (feat. Rihanna)", and "Moment 4 Life", and went triple Platinum. So you can imagine the hype behind The Queen of Hip-Hop's fifth studio album is surging to an all-time high...

Keep ReadingShow less

Caitlyn Jenner at the Web Summit in Lisbon

By G Holland (Shutterstock)

Each week one of Popdust's disposable clones — grown in a vault deep beneath the Mojave desert — is exposed to the outside world through a relentless feed of news, pop culture, and social media.

The arduous process accelerates their dissolution back into an amorphous clone slurry. But before they go, they leave behind a document of what they've absorbed and what they've learned — a time capsule preserving a single moment in the slow-motion collapse of civilization. We call these End Times Updates...

End Times Update 5/7/21: Dogecoin, J.Cole, and Caitlyn Jennerwww.youtube.com

Transcript: [Clone]: Oh hi! Welcome to another End Times Update, presented by Popdust. I'll be your clone host for this week, Sir Shh! Ronin.

Unfortunately, as a defective clone, my actual appearance would be far too disturbing, which is why I'm being depicted by the alien from Contact, being depicted by Jodie Foster's father, being depicted by actor David Morse. Okay, maybe just one quick shot… Did you catch the little bit of brain popping out of my nose?

As always, we'll be sifting through the week's news, pop culture, and social media to pick out the latest indicators of global dissolution. So, if you find yourself overwhelmed at any point by, you know, the onrush of mankind's inevitable downfall, just pause the video…long enough to smash that like button! And don't forget to subscribe for more existential dread.

This week has been chock full of sinister omens and disturbing portents. But where better to start than with Ben Affleck?

[Ben Affleck]: We were awaiting your arrival.

TikTok star Nivine Jay shared a video message that the Gone Girl actor sent her after she unmatched him on celebrity dating app Raya -- believing that he was a catfish. While Jay claimed that she was embarrassed by her mistake, and didn't find Affleck's message creepy, other people, uh...watched the video.

[Music]

[Ben Affleck]: Nivine, why did you unmatch me? It's me.

[Clone]: People who found it creepy may also have been informed by Affleck's documented history of groping women.

In financial news, this week the joke cryptocurrency Dogecoin, surpassed a 50 cent per DOGE price, up more than 200 times from a year. This puts the total value of Dogecoin around 60 billion dollars.

Spurred on by memes and hype promoted by the likes of Elon Musk, there's no telling how high the currency's value might climb. Especially after the Tesla CEO -- AKA the Dogefather -- appears on Saturday Night Live this weekend.

In the world of music, this week rapper J. Cole announced his forthcoming album, The Off-Season, and on Friday shared the first track entitled "I n t e r l u d e".

[J. Cole]: I be comin' in peace, but **** me. Best beware of the others. This s*** deep, undercovers creep. This Southern heat make unbearable summers

J. Cole - i n t e r l u d e (Official Audio)www.youtube.com

[Clone]: The hosts for this year's Met Gala were also announced this week. Widely recognized as the fanciest, most fashionable party in New York, the event will be helmed by an all-star crew of up-and-coming talents, with Call Me By Your Name actor Timothée Chalamet, Tennis Champion Naomi Osaka, inauguration poet Amanda Gorman, and "Bad Guy" singer Billie Eilish.

In political news, this week has been especially eventful for California Republican candidate for governor Caitlyn Jenner. Perhaps the most famous trans woman in the world -- because Laverne Cox, the Wachowski sisters, and about a million other trans women are badly underrated -- Jenner was once an Olympic champion decathlete known as the greatest athlete on Earth.

So it's only natural that people would want to know her opinion on the controversy that has recently been drummed up about trans girls competing in sports.

[Caitlyn Jenner]: This is a question of fairness. That's why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls' sport in school. It just isn't fair, and we have to protect girls' sports in our schools.

[TMZ reporter]: But if someone transitions and now identifies as a girl, isn't it delegitimizing their identity to prevent them --

[Caitlyn Jenner]: Have a good day.

[Clone]: In 2015 Jenner received ESPN's Arthur Ashe Courage Award for coming out as a trans woman. But that's nothing compared to the courage of her latest stance, especially considering that Jenner herself has competed in women's golf tournaments, and also said this while receiving that award:

[Caitlyn Jenner]: I also want to acknowledge all the young trans athletes who are out there, given the chance to play sports as who they really are.

[Clone]: Whoops…

Another fun campaign trail highlight involved Jenner's appearance on Fox News' Hannity, where she made it clear why she's running for governor, championing the plight of California's beleaguered private plane owners, beset on all sides by the oppressive institutional power of, uh… homeless people.

[Caitlyn Jenner]: My friends are leaving California. Actually, we're -- my hangar, the guy across [unintelligible] airplane, he was packing up his hangar, I said, "Where are you going?" And he says, "I'm moving to Sedona, Arizona. I can't take it here anymore. I can't walk down the street and see the homeless."

[Clone]: Okay then…

Well, that does it for this week. If the world survives longer than I do, we'll send another clone with more updates. Until then, byyyyyyye...

Top Stories

J Cole Announces New Album "The Off-Season"

"The Off-Season" is coming on May 14th.

J Cole "The Off Season" Cover

J Cole has officially announced his next studio album: The Off-Season.

Keep ReadingShow less

Much like Outkast and Little Brother, J. Cole helped reshape the narrative surrounding the lack of lyricism from southern rappers.

The Fayetteville, North Carolina native raps with the technical brilliance of New York City rap titans like Nas and Jay-Z. His sincere take on the Black Experience makes him a leading voice in Hip-Hop.

Keep ReadingShow less

J Cole at Bonnaroo Music Festival, TN 2022

Photo by L Paul Mann (Shutterstock)

Lots of people are getting their feelings hurt lately.

Keep ReadingShow less
MUSIC

YBN Cordae's "The Lost Boy" Is an Instant Classic

The 2019 XXL Magazine Freshman Class honoree's debut album demonstrates why he deserves our respect.

If you've never heard of YBN Cordae before, that is bound to change in the days and years to come.

So long as he keeps making music with the same level of passion and skill that he demonstrated on his debut album, The Lost Boy, his name won't be forgotten. On every track of his record, the 21-year-old emcee approaches the mic with the confidence, command, and charisma of a veteran rapper. In fact, at times his flow is reminiscent of fellow North Carolina native (and collaborator on the album), J. Cole—an impressive feat given the fact that it took even Cole a couple of albums to truly find his voice, whereas Cordae seems to have already honed his prior to his first official release.

Of the 15 tracks on The Lost Boy, not a singe one of them is a throwaway. From the album's opener, "Wintertime"—a retrospective look at how Cordae overcame hardships like depression, addiction, and poverty—to the full-circle outro, "Lost & Found," where Cordae reflects briefly on how he was once lost but has since found himself. Cordae begins the album looking over his shoulder and ends it by living in the moment as he stands on the precipice of a very promising music career.

Other highlights along the way include the Anderson .Paak-assisted and J. Cole-produced, "RNP," which sees .Paak and Cordae exchange kid-n-play bars back and forth, conversing and pushing each other's rhymes further with each line. There's a certain alchemy between the two on this song that hasn't been heard since the heydays of Dr. Dre and Eminem, or Q-Tip and Phife Dawg on early Tribe records. It's as fun as it is enjoyable.

In fact, every one of the features on The Lost Boy is handled well. Cordae hasn't simply featured artists here for clout or merely for the sake of collaborating; every song that has a guest feels as if it truly called for the artist in question. Whether it's Pusha T going hard on the haunting "Nightmares Are Real," Ty Dolla $ign blending perfectly into the melodic, homecoming anthem, "Way Back Home," or Chance The Rapper lending some characteristic sunshine to the feel-good gospel chords of "Bad Idea," Cordae (and his collaborators) reminds listeners of the fact that a great artist works in service of the song before all else.

The Lost Boy is one of the most substantial debut albums to drop in quite some time. Front to back, this record is full of gems that are sure to stay in rotation for years to come. This is what an excellent rap album sounds like. And YBN Cordae is just getting started.

The Lost Boy