From BTS to Lizzo, Here's Who's Performing at the Grammy Awards

Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, Lizzo, and more will take the Grammys stage.

BTS at the American Music Awards

Photo by Featureflash Photo Agency (Shutterstock)

This Sunday, January 26th, the 62nd annual Grammy Awards will commence.

Keep ReadingShow less

Justin Bieber

Photo from Shutterstock

"Stream Yummy by Justin Bieber," 21-year-old Compton emcee Roddy Ricch tweeted last week.

The tweet was in response to a brewing controversy surrounding Bieber's promotion of his new single, "Yummy." "I'm doing everything I can on my end," Bieber says with his mouth full of food in a now-deleted Instagram video. "Let's go, go stream it right now…" he says as he takes a massive bite. "I really want this number one spot. It'd be fire." The video, which is a misophone's worst nightmare, was seen by many as an unethical promotion. It was followed by a slideshow laying out the specifics of how to stream "Yummy" and get it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. "Don't mute it! Play it at a low volume. Let it play while you sleep," read one slide.

Roddy Ricch Destroys Justin Bieber's "Yummy" Billboard Dreams With "The Box" | HNHH

Five years ago, Bieber would have decimated the charts with a song like "Yummy." It's short, melodic, and has just enough of a Hip-Hop/R&B edge to stand out amongst mainstream songs. Some may even call it a "bop." But a lot has changed since Bieber owned the radio. As kids learn to survive within the unraveling socio-political fabric of the world, singing "girl you got that yummy" doesn't seem as relatable as screaming, "I WON'T EVER SELL MY SOOUULLL!" Crooning about marital coitus doesn't get kids as pumped up as the idea of putting a $100,000 bounty on George Zimmerman. As a result, a comparatively unknown rapper, Roddy Ricch, is topping the charts instead of Bieber.

Ricch's "The Box" is an absolutely magnetic rap song. Crammed with clever ad-libs, Young Thug-inspired trills, quips, and vocal flourishes. Featuring an infectious, internet-ready hook, the track thrived on Tik Tok and ultimately rose to number 1.

But no one expected "The Box" to go where it did, not even Roddy himself. "Start Wit Me," an equally charismatic track featuring Gunna, was promoted as Roddy's lead single back in December and has all the makings of a hit rap record. With the twiddling flutes, the quick rhymes about women and fame, and Gunna's infectious bars, it was formulated to be a hit. But in 2020, it's clear that young listeners are starved for authenticity. "The Box" is angry and driven, while "Start Wit Me" is bouncy and jubilant, in comparison "Yummy" is just plain corny. In addition, Ricch's album Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial was the first rap debut to top the Billboard 200 in over 15 years. "[Many people] get so wrapped up in this industry sh*t they forget what the point of making music was," Ricch told Complex back in December. "Make that sh*t for the [people] who are going through it. Make that sh*t for the [people] who really need to hear this sh*t."

If Justin Bieber wants to be on top in 2020, he's going to have to give the kids what they want: social awareness, authenticity, and a beat that stands out amongst the crowd. If he can't do that, perhaps Bieber's reign over the music world is finally at its end.


Female Rappers Lead the 2019 Freshman Class

XXL Magazine finally dropped their freshman cyphers, and Megan Thee Stallion, Rico Nasty, and Tierra Whack are carrying the 2019 freshman class on their backs.

XXL 2019 Freshman Class Revealed - Official Announcement

For a solid decade, Nicki Minaj was the only female rapper to maintain mainstream success.

When Cardi B came stomping onto the scene in her "bloody shoes," Barbz were fighting to keep Nicki's throne. Now, a few years later, female rappers are on the rise—proving there's plenty of room at the top.

XXL Magazine finally dropped their freshman cyphers, and Megan Thee Stallion, Rico Nasty, and Tierra Whack are carrying the 2019 freshman class on their backs. Unsurprisingly, none of the women were paired together. If they had been, the rest of the freshman class would have no real competition. Each rapper had their own particular style and flow that, as Tierra Whack phrased it, came "for necks."

Megan Thee Stallion is particularly having a bomb "hot girl summer," creating a movement after dropping one of the most stirring projects of 2019, Fever. The Houston rapper has been on the rise, grounding her lyricism in epic and mega-hit freestyles. Hot Girl Meg is legit.

DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion, YK Osiris and Lil Mosey's 2019 XXL Freshman

Meanwhile, Rico Nasty may fit into the category of a freshman rapper, but she has already released six mix tapes. At 21, she showed a different side of herself on the 2019 cypher. Deft, exhilarating, and biting, Rico Nasty enchanted viewers both familiar and unfamiliar with her work. She bodied the beat, spitting bar after bar.

Blueface, YBN Cordae and Rico Nasty's 2019 XXL Freshman

Featured on Beyoncé's The Gift, Tierra Whack brought her imagination to "MY POWER" with her controlled and bewitching delivery. The rapper, who Remy Ma cosigned, got real with fans, rapping, "I used to wanna be lighter, but I still shine being dark." Finally, a dark-skin female rapper is making a name for herself without conforming to the pop-rap precedent set by Nicki and Cardi— the rap game will hopefully never be the same.

Roddy Ricch, Comethazine and Tierra Whack's 2019 XXL Freshman