Posts tagged with "Justin Lyons"

Spillage Village – Spilligion

Spillage Village will release its highly anticipated album “Spilligion” Friday, and they released a brand new song Monday titled “Hapi” to build excitement.

The song features the vocals of Mereba, Olu and Benji along with spoken word from Big Rube.

Clocking in at over six minutes, “Hapi” almost sounds like a sermon delivered by four different voices telling the stories of their lives, everything they’ve seen and everything they hope to see improve.

They also released the track list for the brand new album which comes with a few pleasant surprises in the form of features from Chance The Rapper, Ari Lennox, Buddy, Masego and Lucky Daye.

As “Hapi” might indicate, the song titles come from scripture and religious texts and are determined by the content and messages of the lyrics.

The official track list is as follows:

  1. Intro
  2. Baptize
  3. PsalmSing
  4. Ea’Alah (Family)
  5. Mecca
  6. Judas (feat. Chance The Rapper, Ari Lennox, Buddy and Masego)
  7. Oshun
  8. Cupid (feat. Lucky Daye)
  9. Shiva
  10. End of Daze
  11. Hapi (feat. Big Rube)
  12. Jupiter

To preorder “Spilligion,” you can click right here. To learn more about Spillage Village, you can click right here.

You can also follow Spillage Village on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Lewis Capaldi – Before You Go

Lewis Capaldi‘s hit song “Before You Go” finally hit No. 1 Monday on Mediabase‘s Top 40 and Billboard‘s Pop Songs and All Format Radio Songs charts.

Its 36-week climb to the top of Mediabase’s Top 40 and 37-week climb to the top of Billboard’s Pop Songs chart are the longest of both respective lists. The previous record was a 31-week climb up the Billboard Pop Chart set by “Eastside,” the 2018 hit from Benny Blanco, Halsey and Khalid.

Capaldi also joins Mariah Carey, Beyonce and Bruno Mars as the only artists to reach No. 1 with each of their first two entries, as “Someone You Loved” reached No. 1 in Dec. 2019.

“Before You Go” was first released Nov. 2019 on the extended version of Capaldi’s album “Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent.” Since then it has done nothing but grow and spread, even cracking a billion streams.

Capaldi said “Before You Go” is about his aunt who died of suicide, also calling it the most honest and personal song he has ever written.

“It’s about loss, regrets and the fear that we sometimes never understand what someone is going through despite our best want to be everything that person needs,” Capaldi said.

Capaldi picked up a GRAMMY nomination for his song “Someone You Loved” and performed “Before You Go” at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards where he was nominated for PUSH Best New Artist.

Instead of taking time to sit back and enjoy praise from outlets like Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Entertainment Weekly, the Glasgow-born singer-songwriter is now working on his second album.

“The Tax Collector”

by Justin Lyons

2020 sure has been an interesting year for movies. We’ve missed our fair share of big releases, but here we are in September with a new film from David Ayer, a director who has seemingly taken nothing but criticism over the past half decade. Maybe some of that has been warranted, maybe some of it hasn’t, but here he stands with a new movie available for rent.

Ayer is re-teaming with Shia LaBeouf, whom he directed in one of the best performances of his career in 2014’s “Fury.” LaBeouf is past the point of only being recognized for the “Transformers” series. He’s truly one of the most gifted actors working right now, and this nice, little roll he’s found himself on since exiting Michael Bay’s billion dollar franchise has solidified him as a top tier talent.

He’s coming off a fantastic 2019 with “Honey Boy” and “The Peanut Butter Falcon,” so it was no surprise seeing him marketed as a co-lead in “The Tax Collector.” It was, however, a shock to see him in a supporting role in the film itself, and that’s the movie’s biggest problem.

It might be better said that the movie’s biggest problem is that none of the characters, aside from LaBeouf’s character, called Creeper, are very interesting. Each and every one is built upon a foundation that we’re familiar with, including those in other David Ayer movies. Their principles and motivations never sincerely stand out.

David, the main character played by Bobby Soto, drives around Los Angeles collecting a percentage of gang profits for his boss, a man called Wizard. He does it to protect and provide for his non-gang-affiliated family, who are in fact good. When Wizard’s ex-rival returns to town, dead set on taking over Los Angeles, David’s allegiances and strength are put to the test.

Again, we’ve seen that before, so viewing it again, in a mostly predictable manner that doesn’t make “The Tax Collector” stand out among memories of other gang movies and stories, doesn’t let it resonate. It never pushes for that emotional connection to the characters or story that I was looking for. Possibly the most unfortunate part is that there’s evidence of potential here. There is potential in these characters and in this world that makes me think there’s a decent movie in here somewhere, but it needed more time to give the characters the life and development they deserved.

The story itself also feels disjointed in an effort to develop the relationships with characters, even though those relationships don’t benefit from the sacrificing of story. Most beats, particularly toward the end of the film, seem to just happen without express purpose. There is a guiding narrative pushing David against the rival gang leader, but most events in the story don’t have the build up that I had hoped for. Things just kind of occur without any rhyme or reason. We have a character whom we’re supposed to immediately latch onto and a character whom we’re supposed to immediately hate, and none of the story beats ever allow the characters to breathe and change.

Each scene is also played at the highest possible level. Subtlety isn’t always a synonym for high quality, but constant high octane sequences never helped David’s character. Despite being a lover of action sequences, I found myself more intrigued by David’s moments with his family. He shows the struggle of balancing his roles as a protector and as a “tax collector,” but it’s never enough to round out the character.

It feels like Ayer is going through the motions, which is disappointing from a director who has obvious talent. He didn’t fall into the screenplay for “Training Day,” and he surely didn’t accidentally direct “Fury” and “End of Watch” with the skill and charisma of those films. That filmmaking talent is in there, but in going back to a story reminiscent of his earlier work, it appears he is recycling his own techniques. Even the visual look of the movie, which Ayer typically excels with, feels bland. He does pull a couple of visual tricks from his repertoire in flashbacks and high-intensity action sequences, but the flashbacks feel played out, and one specific moment of slow motion was enough to pull me out of a movie that appeared to go for gritty reality.

There are positives to take away from “The Tax Collector.” Again, Shia LaBeouf is immensely talented, and that shows in this film. Every single time he’s on-screen, it’s tough to look away. He does take a supporting role in the movie, but he steals the show right out of Bobby Soto’s hands. Some of that is due to the writing as Creeper is a far more compellingly written character than David, but LaBeouf commits so hard to every single word, and he’s an absolute blast to watch.

The scenes in which David and Creeper drive around Los Angeles, spewing mostly throwaway dialogue, are easily the most fun in the film. Creeper is the muscle of the duo, but I enjoyed his humanity. I have to credit LaBeouf because when Creeper is thinking, it’s easy to watch the wheels in his brain spin. He has these survival instincts, and he’s skilled with weapons and intimidation tactics, but he’s not a robot. He diets, meditates and wants to be included in David’s personal life.

“The Tax Collector” isn’t memorably bad. It’s just not memorable at all, and that is the most frustrating thing about the film. There is potential in the story, the characters and the story world, but it’s so easy to think of scenes that should have been cut in favor of scenes that should have been added. There’s also so much inspiration behind Creeper, but he’s not the focus of the film, which I think would have made the movie much more engaging.

There comes a certain point in the film where nothing is left to care about, and the story revisits a relationship that doesn’t feel earned. Had it spent more time developing that relationship, I might have been invested in the final act, but one short sequence and one small show of good faith wasn’t enough to make me believe that some of these characters would show the support they’re asked to show. Nevertheless, I’m happy to discuss Shia LaBeouf in a positive way. Maybe with that tattoo on his chest forever he’d be better suited in a similar role as a lead performer.

“The Tax Collector” is streaming now on Amazon.

“What a Wonderful World” Music Video

For the first time ever, the Louis Armstrong classic, “What a Wonderful World,” is getting a music video.

The song, which was released in 1967, has become as iconic as Armstrong himself and is Verve‘s most streamed jazz song with more than a billion streams.

You can see the video by clicking right here. With every single frame created by hand by Springtime Jellyfish, it’s beautiful and meticulous enough to make you believe that the world truly can be wonderful, even with everything going on today.

Written by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele, it was meant to heal a nation in the middle race riots and anti-war protests. Does that sound at all familiar? Maybe this is the perfect time for the song’s video to be released.

Louis Armstrong is also the perfect voice for the song of multiple generations.

Bob Thiele said, “We wanted this immortal musician and performer to say, as only he could, the world really is great: full of the love and sharing people make possible for themselves and each other every day.”

Released by ABC Records, it wasn’t originally a hit. It topped charts overseas, but didn’t become a megahit in the United States when it was featured in “Good Morning Vietnam.” It cruised up the Billboard chart to No. 33 and became a mainstay in American pop culture. It was eventually inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame in 1999.

The video was released in honor of Armstrong’s birthday, premiering on Facebook and reaching over 5 million views.

It’s now available right here for anyone to see and be reminded of how wonderful the world truly is.

Jacob Banks – Stranger

Jacob Banks, a Nigerian-born singer based out of the U.K., released a brand new song Wednesday titled “Stranger.”

The song comes with a new music video depicting the emotions of growing apart from a loved one and putting the pieces back together once it’s over. Banks sings, “Stranger, once upon a time we were the chorus.” You can see the video by clicking right here.

Sillkey co-produced the song with Banks, and the two use R&B and progressive electronic synths to build to an eruption of strings and keys.

Banks also directed and starred in the music video himself. He places himself and the female co-lead close enough to touch, but something non-physical continues to prevent them from reaching each other.

Banks is fresh off a feature on Grace Carter‘s “Blame.” He also recently covered the Alicia Keys hit “Like You’ll Never See Me Again.”

He has only ascended since his 2018 album “Village,” which cracked VIBE’s list of the 30 best albums of 2018. It It featured critically acclaimed songs like “Slow Up” and “Nostalgia.”

Already having performed at Coachella, SXSW and Lollapalooza, Banks will look to continue his massive success.

To learn more about Banks, you can click right here. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Masego – Passport

Masego released a brand new song Wednesday from his upcoming experimental EP inspired by trapphouse jazz.

The new song is titled “Passport,” and it comes with a brand new music video that you can see by clicking right here.

Masego will use that trapphouse jazz inspiration to explore every step of a relationship, showing his evolution, both as a person and as an artist, while unable to perform for crowds.

His brand new EP will follow up his 2018 album “Lady Lady,” which propelled him into the spotlight. Listeners have streamed “Tadow,” the leading single from “Lady Lady,” over half a billion times, making it certified gold by the RIAA. It was also used in over 2 million TikTok videos.

Masego also gained traction after performing his song “Queen Tings” on the BET Awards Broadcast, which you can see by clicking right here.

To learn more about Masego, you can click right here. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Human (X) x Facebook

NEON16‘s HUMAN (X), the multimedia charity initiative supporting humanitarian efforts, has announced a partnership with Facebook for its Pa’ La Cultura Day initiative.

The Pa’ La Culture Day initiative gives fans a chance to see the “Pa’ La Cultura” music video which features David Guetta, Thalia, Sofia Reyes, Abraham Mateo, De La Ghetto, Manuel Turizo, Zion & Lennox, Lalo Ebratt and Maejor.

Fans will also be included in the festivities using Instagram effects, reels and Facebook Live.

HUMAN (X) was launched by Tommy Mottola, NEON16 and MITH Media in August with a goal of promoting humanitarian messages and generating revenue to be used for those in need.

Proceeds from this event will go to National Day Laborer Organizing Network‘s Immigrant Worker Rights Safety Net Fund to help immigrants affected by COVID-19. The Nation Day Laborer Organizing Network’s program called ART/WORKS will also receive a portion of the money to promote the voices of migrant artists.

Lex Borrero, the co-founder and CEO of NEON16, said, “We are thrilled to partner with Facebook and extend our purposeful initiative to its global audience. Human (X)  is rooted in elevating the myriad voices of those that are often unheard and we couldn’t think of a better audience to help us further amplify this cause.”

Mottola agreed, saying, “Music has always been a source of healing and bringing happiness and joy into people’s lives.. it also is a source of provocation and can motivate and inspire people to do great things and has been behind the most powerful movements in the world.”

To see the video for “Pa’ La Cultura,” you can click right here.

Rita Azar Illustrates a Basketball Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Jaylen Brown x George Floyd Bill

by Justin Lyons

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics wing, in a press conference Sunday said he would like to see the city of Boston pass the George Floyd bill.

Brown, who has been one of the more active players in social justice conversations throughout the NBA, was asked about the Celtics’ commitment to spend $25 million over the next ten years to fight social injustice.

He said it was a great step, and that change happens over a period of time, but he thinks there are things that can be catalysts for change right now.

“One thing I would like to see in Boston is the George Floyd bill enacted,” Brown said, adding that conversations need to be had about police and qualified immunity. “Some things just need to be held accountable, and hopefully Boston can be a place where a tone is set that can be transpired in other cities.”

Brown went on to say that he thinks Boston is moving in the right direction, but he would still like to see more companies and organizations be diversified as well as more opportunities for people of color.

“I’m proud to be a part of the Celtics organization. I’m proud to have an ownership group, or a leadership group, that’s willing to take these steps because they recognize that we need to live in a better, more forward progressing world.”

The George Floyd bill, or H.R.7120, aims to achieve a few goals.

First, it would lower the criminal intent standard to convict an officer of law enforcement. The standard currently requires that officers act willfully, while H.R.7120 would only necessitate that officers act knowingly or recklessly.

Second, it would limit qualified immunity, which grants officers immunity in lawsuits regarding violations of constitutional rights of civilians.

Third, it would allow the Department of Justice to issue authorizations to investigate departments demonstrating patterns of discriminatory practices.

It would also create a national registry of police misconduct, lay the bricks for prohibition of racial profiling and implement new standards for training regarding racial profiling and use of body cameras.

It passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 236-181, and it will move to the Senate.

Brown’s comments come just weeks after NBA players boycotted games on behalf of Jacob Blake, whom was shot seven times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and victims of police brutality everywhere.

A reporter asked Brown if he thought the boycott’s message was still effective even as players returned to the court.

“These issues have been here for a very, very long time, and they’re still going to be here regardless of if we protest or not or boycott or not. I think sports plays a huge role in society, and I’m very aware of that, so using our platform is something I’m always going to support,” Brown answered.

While he said the cure for racism might not come from the NBA, the players can always use their platform to let the world know that these issues are important.

Brown, who wears the word “Liberation” on the back of his jersey, scored 21 points and picked up eight rebounds to help the Celtics defeat the Toronto Raptors Friday by a score of 92-87. They advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals where they will meet up with the Miami Heat, who are playing on six days of rest after eliminating the Milwaukee Bucks in just five games.

The first game of the series begins Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. EST with the Celtics favored by a point and a half.

Twist Out Cancer

Twist Out Cancer will host its Brushes With Cancer program Sept. 25.

The program will be held in Warren, Michigan, at GM‘s Design Center and will kick off with a virtual art exhibition. Brushes With Cancer takes cancer survivors, battlers and caretakers and pairs them with artists who are able to depict the struggles, emotionally and physically, faced by those with cancer.

For the 2020 event, all 25 people affected by cancer and all 23 artists are employed by GM Design, and their story-inspired art will be on display virtually.

After the event, the art will remain on display until Oct. 30 and will then be auctioned off to the highest bidder with proceeds going right back to Twist Out Cancer to provide psychosocial support to those in a face-to-face fight with cancer.

Jenna Benn Shersher, the CEO of Twist Out Cancer, said 2019’s event was a smash success and that Twist Out Cancer was honored to be working with GM Design for the 2020 program.

“We have worked hand-in-hand with employees at GM Design during this unprecedented time to continue our program virtually, which is offering our Inspirations and Artists the same transformational experience our participants have come to expect over the past eight years,” Shersher said. “As Twist Out Cancer has grown, we continue to bring our impactful programming to new cities and new audiences around the world and are thrilled with the start of this new program.”

Virtual events will also be held in Austin Oct. 25 and in Chicago Nov. 14. Twist Out Cancer also encourages anyone to bring an event to their hometown by contacting Amelia Hanrahan at amelia@twistoutcancer.org.

To purchase tickets for the event on Sept. 25, you can click right here.

The Avalanches New Album

The Avalanches announced a release date Monday for their latest album titled “We Will Always Love You.”

The new album will release on Dec. 11 and explores the vibrational relationship between light, sound and spirit and examines the human voice.

The announcement is accompanied by two brand new songs from the group. The first is titled “Music Makes Me High” while the second is titled “Take Care In Your Dreaming” and features Denzel Curry, Tricky and Sampa The Great.

The Avalanches have had a busy year already, collaborating with Blood OrangeRivers Cuomo, Pink Siifu, Jamie xx, Neneh Cherry, CLYPSO, Sananda Maitreya and Vashti Bunyan. They also plan to announce more collaborations in the coming months.

“Take Care In Your Dreaming” is about dreams that go unrealized and the unexpected twists and turns of life. It played Monday on Zane Lowe‘s Apple Music show.

“Music Makes Me High” uses the unlikely pair techno-funk music and a gospel choir to immerse listeners completely into the upbeat track.

Though the two songs don’t come with music videos, they do come with “visualizers.” You can see the visualizer for “Take Care In Your Dreaming” by clicking right here the for “Music Makes Me High” by clicking right here.

You can also preorder the new album by clicking right here.