Posts tagged with "lil nas x"

The Lockdown Session Cover art via Rogers and Cowan PMK for use by 360 Magazine

Elton John – The Lockdown Sessions

Elton John has announced the forthcoming release of The Lockdown Sessions. An album of collaborations recorded remotely over the last 18 months, The Lockdown Sessions, will be released on October 22nd via Interscope Records.

Available to pre-order HERE

In March 2020 Elton was forced to pause his record breaking Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour due to the unfolding COVID pandemic. As the world began to shut down, different projects presented themselves with artists Elton had enjoyed getting to know through his Apple Music show Rocket Hour. This was the beginning of one of Elton’s boldest and most interesting records to date that he has billed ‘The Lockdown Sessions’. This album saw Elton coming full circle and returning to his roots as a session musician. While it was no easy feat recording during a pandemic, a completely new way of working for Elton, he leaned into the challenge with some magnificent results.

Kicking off with current single “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)” with Dua Lipa, the album takes the listener on a heady journey through many different genres, all held together with expert finesse and understanding by one of the greatest champions of music of our time. Much more than a mere collaboration album, ‘The Lockdown Sessions’ is a dazzlingly diverse collection of 16 tracks with 10 brand new unreleased tracks that celebrates togetherness and sees Elton collaborating with an unparalleled range of artists only he could draw together. The enduring influence of his musical milestone with one of the most ambitious projects ever conceived. An unprecedented 20+ artists feature spanning an unbelievably vast range of genres, generations, cultures, continents and more, each contributing a unique style to the album that is sure to hold its place amongst one of pop and rock’s greatest songbooks. The Lockdown Sessions sees Elton collaborate with GRAMMY Award winning producer Andrew Watt on five of the tracks.

In Elton’s words: “The last thing I expected to do during lockdown was make an album. But, as the pandemic went on, one‐off projects kept cropping up. Some of the recording sessions had to be done remotely, via Zoom, which I’d obviously never done before. Some of the sessions were recorded under very stringent safety regulations: working with another artist, but separated by glass screens. But all the tracks I worked on were really interesting and diverse, stuff that was completely different to anything I’m known for, stuff that took me out of my comfort zone into completely new territory. And I realised there was something weirdly familiar about working like this. At the start of my career, in the late 60s, I worked as a session musician. Working with different artists during lockdown reminded me of that. I’d come full circle: I was a session musician again. And it was still a blast.”

An unparalleled career that has forever changed the cultural landscape, Elton John’s collaborations with Bernie Taupin and others continue to shape the cultural landscape, break records, top charts and win new fans across the generations. We’ve had the book, the film, the farewell tour, the fashion collections and the greatest hits. And now with The Lockdown Sessions available on digital formats, fans can enter Elton’s new world which is no doubt another fitting addition to his oeuvre.

Tracklist

  1. Elton John & Dua Lipa – Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)
  2. Elton John, Young Thug & Nicki Minaj – Always Love You
  3. Surfaces feat. Elton John – Learn To Fly              
  4. Elton John & Charlie Puth – After All  
  5. Rina Sawayama & Elton John – Chosen Family
  6. Gorillaz feat. Elton John & 6LACK – The Pink Phantom
  7. Elton John & Years & Years – It’s a sin (global reach mix)
  8. Miley Cyrus feat. WATT, Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Trujillo & Chad Smith – Nothing Else Matters
  9. Elton John & SG Lewis – Orbit                                 
  10.   Elton John & Brandi Carlile – Simple Things           
  11.   Jimmie Allen & Elton John – Beauty In The Bones            
  12.   Lil Nas X feat. Elton John – One Of Me
  13.   Elton John & Eddie Vedder – E-Ticket
  14.   Elton John & Stevie Wonder – Finish Line   
  15.   Elton John & Stevie Nicks – Stolen Car                   
  16.   Glen Campbell & Elton John – I’m Not Gonna Miss You

About Elton John

Elton’s career achievements to date are unsurpassed in their breadth and longevity. Elton is one of the top- selling solo artists of all time, with 1 diamond, 40 platinum or multi-platinum, and 23 gold albums, over 50 Top 40 hits, and he has sold more than 300 million records worldwide. He holds the record for the biggest-selling single of all time, “Candle in the Wind”, which sold over 33 million copies. Diamonds, the Ultimate Greatest Hits album, reached the Top 5 of the UK album charts on its release in November 2017, becoming Elton’s 40th UK Top 40 album in the process. This release celebrated 50 years of his songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin. August 2018 saw Elton named as the most successful male solo artist in Billboard Hot 100 chart history, having logged 67 entries, including nine No. 1s and 27 Top 10s. Elton announced the ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour at New York’s Gotham Hall in January 2018.

Encompassing 5 continents, and over 350 dates, this 3-year-long tour started in September 2018 and marks his retirement from touring after more than 50 years on the road. In 2019 it was named Billboard’s Top Rock Tour and Pollstar’s Major Tour Of The Year. To date, Elton has delivered more than 4,000 performances in more than 80 countries since launching his first tour in 1970. 2019 also saw the release of ‘Rocketman’ and global bestselling autobiography, ME. An epic fantasy musical motion picture of Elton’s life, Rocketman has been a commercial and critical hit, taking close to $200m at the box office. It has won an Oscar, two Golden Globe Awards and a Critics’ Choice Award and garnered BAFTA nominations. Its soundtrack was also nominated for a GRAMMY Award.

illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

DABABY, HOMOPHOBIA × CANCEL CULTURE

By: Andrew Shibuya

No one thought that the return to normalcy – or at least the path towards it – would be without hurdles. Indeed, the past six months have proven similarly difficult to the previous twelve, and the coming few seem to promise no respite. And so, in the now past and brief interlude in mask mandates and lockdowns in the United States, surely one would think that crowded events such as music festivals would be about celebrating reunion and unity.

Unfortunately, with the precedent of a certain performer at Rolling Loud, it is clear that unity was not the first thing on everyone’s mind. No one has made this more clear than rapper DaBaby. During his performance at the festival, the rapper is reported to have said several homophobic comments including, “If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that’ll make you die in two to three weeks, then put your cellphone lighter up,” as well as the peculiar, “Fellas, if you ain’t sucking d**k in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up.”

Of course, the Internet had something to say, and the deserved virtual tirade against DaBaby began. Twitter users in particular took up arms against DaBaby’s comments, lambasting the rapper for what they deemed to be some mixture of idiocy and ignorance.

And while fools’ remarks should hardly be considered worth coverage alone, the following onslaught and festivals’ responses are worth discussing. In the past week, numerous notable festivals have pulled DaBaby from their lineups, including Lollapalooza, New York’s Governors Ball, and Day N Vegas. The festivals all shared similar messages to their social media channels regarding the change, citing the need for and value of inclusion and diversity. The former’s message read: “Lollapalooza was founded on diversity, inclusivity, respect. And love. With that in mind, DaBaby will no longer be performing at Grant Park tonight.” Read our coverage of Lollapalooza and its implications with COVID HERE.

These festival changes seemed to have induced an apology from DaBaby, who, at first, was reluctant to apologize or recognize any wrongdoing. In response to the first wave of criticism, the rapper responded on his Instagram Story, stating, “What I do at a live show is for the audience at the live show. It’ll never translate correctly to somebody looking at a little five, six-second clip from their goddamn crib on their phone. Because, regardless of what y’all motherfuckers are talking about and how the internet twisted up my motherfucking words, me and all my fans at the show, the gay ones and the straight ones, we turned the fuck up.”

This was just the first response of many, with each becoming increasingly apologetic as more of his shows were cancelled. The most recent of his apologies, which many on Twitter have dubbed “DaApology,” reads: “I want to apologize to the LGBTQ+ community for the hurtful and triggering comments I made. Again, I apologize for my misinformed comments about HIV/AIDS and I knew education on this is important.” And while some fans online deemed his response to be acceptable, many did not see it as adequate.

Celebrities similarly took to Twitter and other social media platforms to offer their two cents on the situation. Many decried DaBaby’s words, such as his recent collaborator Dua Lipa, who claims to be incredibly taken aback by this side of DaBaby. Other big names in the music industry such as singer-songwriter Elton John and pop legend Madonna have similarly criticized the ignorance and inaccuracy of DaBaby’s comments on HIV and AIDS. Most recently, Miley Cyrus has shared on social media that she has reached out to DaBaby to “learn from each other” in the wake of this incident.

And still, some rappers and other industry names have come to DaBaby’s defense. Some, like rapper NLE Choppa, insist that this is just a slight hiccup in DaBaby’s career, with NLE Choppa recently tweeting, “Dababy Gone Come Out Bigger Than Ever While Y’all Tryna Down Play The Man.” Rapper T.I. similarly called for more equality and fair treatment for DaBaby, seeming to suggest the praise Lil Nas X has recently received. In an Instagram comment, T.I. wrote, “If Lil Nas X can kick his s**t in peace… so should DaBaby.”

DaBaby’s comments come after a recent onslaught of homophobic vitriol directed toward Nas X this past summer. Following the release of the rapper’s successful singles “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” and “Industry Baby” and brazen accompanying videos, many – both fans and other rappers – took to Twitter. And while many people did support Nas X as T.I. seems to allude to, the openly gay rapper received far from unanimous praise.

In addition to spurring an inundation of homophobic sentiment online from quotidian users, Nas X proved to be similarly divisive amongst other rappers in the hip hop industry. While some voiced their support and praised the rapper’s bravery and bold works, some were similarly quick to voice their disproval. Many condemned the rapper for what seemed to them to be brazen lewdness, though many Twitter users thinly veiled homophobia.

The discourse over “cancelling” is rather interesting in light of so much present discussion over the actual existence of cancel culture and its implications. Especially in the music industry, where the effects of “cancelling” someone seem to be diminished – Chris Brown still plays on the radio, Dr. Luke still produces number-one hits, and most recently “cancelled” country singer Morgan Wallen has seen his popularity grow tremendously despite this year’s earlier controversy. This is in contrast with the film industry, where, although far from free from offenders, certain players have been blackballed far more effectively and efficiently.

Surely, all those people could be an argument against the existence of cancel culture. The consequences to their actions seem to have faded as quickly as people’s memories of their wrongdoings. And so, as to the question of whether or not DaBaby has been “cancelled” is unclear. The action against him – at least at the level of cancelling his headlining performances and shows – has so far managed to induce at least a single apology from the rapper. And while what lies in store for DaBaby remains unclear, one certainty remains – the Internet has at least some power to affect change in the real world.

illustration by Alex Morgan for use by 360 Magazine

Lil Nas X Breaks Internet at the BET Awards

Lil Nas X took the BET Awards red carpet by storm. The Old Town Road rapper stepped into the runway in not one, but two gender-fluid looks at the awards show on Sunday evening, and fans are going crazy.

The 22-year-old rapper arrived in a full scale, blue and white toile-print skirt with a matching corset, suspenders and jacket by designer Andrea Grossi. The look was featured in the designer’s debut collection, where Grossi explored themes and prints around Catholicism – the same theme that Lil Nas X touched on his latest single MONTERO (Call me By Your Name). According to Vogue, the first look Lil Nas X donned featured graphics that reflect Grossi’s feelings on politics and religion. He later posted a picture of him in the outfit on Instagram with the caption “doll.”

The rapper re-appeared on the carpet in a full body floral and lace suit by Richard Quinn from his 2021 fall collection. The flared pants, crystal embellishments and baroque-style florals allowed Lil Nas X to really make an Elton John-esque appearance.

Later on, Lil Nas X further stunned him fans as he took the stage with a golden ancient Egyptian theme, perfectly matched with his dress and dancers and stage. The rapper paid tribute to Michael Jackson’s hit song Remember the Time when he performed MONTERO at the awards show. What really stole the show, though, was sharing a passionate kiss with one of his male dancers at the end of the performance. BET described this as “a boundary-breaking gesture particularly fitting during Pride Month, when the gay community is encouraged to show solidarity for the community and to advance LGBTQ rights.”

MONTERO has been platinum and hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April. Lil Nas X previously opened up about the release of the track to his fans, dedicating the song to his childhood self (birth name Montero Lamar Hill), “Dear 14-year-old Montero, I wrote a song with our name in it. It’s about a guy I met last summer. I know we promised to never come out publicly, I know we promised to never be ‘that’ type of gay person, I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist. You see this is very scary for me, people will be angry, they will say I’m pushing an agenda. But the truth is, I am. The agenda to make people stay the f— out of other people’s lives and stop dictating who they should be. Sending you love from the future.”

While not everyone is supportive of his actions, the rapper remains unbothered and unapologetic, taking time out of his day to clap back at haters on Twitter. Fans are taking it to social media platforms to praise and celebrate Lil Nas X, “On the last day of #pride 2021 @LilNasX got on the #BETAwards stage and kissed another guy. If you grew up Black and gay, you know how major this is.” Lil Nas X has been under scrutiny and criticism ever since coming out as gay on Twitter in 2019. One of the biggest controversials was when Lil Nas X tried to explain why he came out as gay, and then Kevin Hart interrupted him with a “so what?”

As Pride Month comes to an end, the pressure to highlight the importance of respecting someone’s decision in coming out (or not) is bigger than ever. In a viral Instagram post by feminist, “When someone comes out, it’s important to remind them that they’re loved, and that you don’t view them as a fundamentally different person because they’re queer. But it’s also important to acknowledge – and validate – the struggles they’ve endured while being in the closet, and the courage it took them to come out.” As Pride Month comes to an end, the pressure to highlight the importance of respecting someone’s decision in coming out (or not) is bigger than ever.

And Lil Nas X’s BET Awards kiss is without a doubt, a historical moment for the LGBT+ community.

Heather Skovlund Music illustration for 360 Magazine

Stunna Girl – 10 Times

Heating up summer to a boiling point, buzzing Sacramento, California rapper and #RunwayChallenge queen Stunna Girl reveals the music video for “10 Times” today. Watch it here. It stands out as the latest single from her 2021 mixtape, Stunna This Stunna That, out now. Get it here via Epic Records.

Once again, she delivers another striking visual. Donning a series of colorful looks and upping her fashion game (as always), she raps with a combination of undeniable charisma and formidable presence, lighting up the camera. Each line hits hard as she commands, “If you gonna talk to me, then talk dirty,” before reminding, “10 times out of 10, I’m that bitch…10 times out of 10, I look better than my pics.” Of course, a trio of judges rank her performance with “10’s” across the board! The video directed by Azzie Scott, is the perfect kick off to summer as it intercuts one captivating colorful vignette after another.

Right out of the gate, Stunna This Stunna That earned critical acclaim. HotNewHipHop raved, “It’s a 12-track project filled with bangers from top to bottom,” and she sat down with Hip Hop Wired for an extensive interview. LA Weekly predicted Stunna This Stunna That “should see Stunna Girl’s already blossoming profile go up another level in 2021.”

Get ready for more soon!

Her rapid-fire flows, head-turning bars, and endless attitude drive Stunna This Stunna That at high speed. On the project, “Ask About Me” couples an unshakable chant with punchy verses over throwback production. She lives up to the title of “Unfuckwittable” by tearing through a bass-y beat with no apologies. “No Real Bitches Left” affirms her outlier status, while the melodic conclusion “Where You Belong” illuminates her vocal range.

Check out the full track listing below.

She capped off a breakout 2020 with “Rotation.” Not only did it generate just shy of 1 million total streams and views, but it also received critical acclaim. FLAUNT Magazine raved, “Stunna Girl is the definition of a bad bitch who’s ready to take over the rap game single-handedly.”

She dropped a succession of bangers last year. “Runway” clocked 31 million Spotify streams and sparked the #RUNWAYCHALLENGE with nearly 4 million Tik Tok creates. “Like I Said Tho” and “Lil Boy Cash” increased her momentum, while “Rotation (Game Mix)” graced the Madden 2K21 Official Soundtrack.

Stay tuned for a lot more from Stunna Girl.

Track Listing:

 Still Smoke

Ask About Me

Fucking Up The Game

Ride

Unfuckwittable

10 Times

Can’t Choose

Catch Me At The Bank

Two Tone

Stunna This Stunna That

No Real Bitches Left

Where You Belong

About Stunna Girl:

Dripping with attitude and ready to inspire confidence, Stunna Girl is ready for her close-up. “I want you to get off the wall. Don’t just stand there to stand there!” The singer created a viral frenzy for her 2019 style anthem, “Runway.” After releasing a project independently and inking a deal with Epic Records, she is inevitably poised to be one of Hip-Hop’s most anticipated voices of the new decade. “I’m a threat!” she promises.

Born and raised in Northern California, music offered a refuge from a tragic home life. After dealing with a tough upbringing, which saw her having to balance family problems with her own, she knew that she could draw upon her life experiences as creative fuel. Stunna Girl came out of the other side with a newfound sense of confidence and focus, diving headfirst into fulfilling her long standing musical dream. In 2019, she became a major player in the local Sacramento music scene and made waves with her independent debut album, YKWTFGO. When the #RunwayChallenge organically exploded on TikTok, she inspired a viral movement facilitated by millions of videos by fans and influencers such as Nikita Dragun, and more. The song proved so gripping that by the end of the year, TikTok proclaimed her as the fourth top artist on the platform for the year, behind only Lil Nas X, Mariah Carey and Lizzo.

Her nimble raps, fearless rhymes, and unapologetic spirit went on to receive attention from TIME, BuzzFeed, The New Yorker, Teen Vogue and more with Pitchfork saying that there is “no question that women especially may find her confidence genuinely empowering.”

As she told Genius for their coveted Verified series, she free-styled “Runway” in 30 minutes with the intention of creating a motivational anthem. “When I was in the studio, that’s how I felt. Like, ‘Bitch, you look like you’re fresh off the runway. I really just wanted to keep making music that got people to move.” Now, with her major label debut EP on the way, she’s about to shine like never before in 2020.

X Amb photo by Nikolas Ray via Christine Wolff of Interscope Records for use by 360 MAGAZINE

X AMBASSADORS × MY OWN MONSTER

X AMBASSADORS RELEASE VIDEO FOR “MY OWN MONSTER”

Sam Nelson Harris Dances With His Shadow in Darkly Cinematic Video

Multi-platinum-selling rock band X Ambassadors share the video for their latest single My Own Monster” today, June 17, 2021. Directed by longtime collaborator Daniel Iglesias Jr., and made in collaboration with Mathematic — the Paris VFX house known for their work on Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” — the video for “My Own Monster” accentuates the song’s noir-pop element by placing Harris in a partially animated alternate universe.

In tribute to the scene from Anchors Aweigh in which Gene Kelly dances alongside Jerry Mouse from “Tom and Jerry,” the black-and-white visual finds Harris performing a choreographed routine with his own shadow, injecting a bit of classic-cartoon humor into the track’s chilling mystique. Harris worked with choreographer Genna Moroni training for a month before shooting the video.

Watch the video HERE.

“The idea for this video came to me in a dream a couple years ago and now it’s come to life,” says lead singer Sam Nelson Harris. “The video feels playful and dangerous and kind of unhinged all at once, which is how I felt while making this record and video.”

Released via KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records, “My Own Monster” is a moody psychodrama in the form of a groove-heavy pop song that examines themes of alienation, emotional risk and the desire to break free from pain. It was inspired by the pressure lead singer Sam Harris feels every day to keep things in his life together professionally, personally, mentally and emotionally. It is a song about someone who has an evil voice inside their head and embracing it rather than running from it.

“My Own Monster” is the first song to be released from the band’s highly awaited third album, The Beautiful Liar, due out later this year and marks the start of a compelling new lyrical direction for X Ambassadors. Earlier this week the band announced The Beautiful Liar Tour with dates in North America and Europe starting this fall. Tickets are on sale tomorrow, June 18th, at 10am local time at https://www.xambassadors.com/tour.

ABOUT X AMBASSADORS
X Ambassadors made their full-length debut with VHS, a 2015 release that saw the band transition from Ithaca alt-rockers and Brooklyn-indie-scene outsiders to Billboard stalwarts. Now certified platinum, VHS provided an intimate look at Sam Nelson Harris and his brother Casey Harris’s youth, delivering the genre-defying hits “Unsteady” and “Renegades” and leading to a three-year global touring odyssey as well as a string of high-profile festival performances. VHS was followed by X Ambassadors’ 2019 sophomore album ORION, which they supported with an extensive headline tour of the U.S.  A project inspired by ’60s and ’70s soul and R&B, the band’s Belong EP arrived in March 2020. Their hyper-creative multi-part project (Eg),  three-song effort released in early 2021, found the band collaborating with a series of similarly forward-thinking artists, including Earl St. Clair, Terrell Hines, and Jensen McRae.
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Fuse Media Pride image given by Megan Beccari for use by 360 MAGAZINE.

Fuse Media x Pride Month

Continuing the new season of its growing Future History franchise, Fuse Media is celebrating Pride Month throughout June by honoring the Future LGBTQ History makers who are currently using their voice to drive positive change and whose impact on the world will be talked about in the future.

The LGBTQ History Class of 2021 will be spotlighted through a short-form video series that premieres this week on the Fuse digital and social platforms, as well as its Fuse and FM (Fuse Music) linear channels.

The Future LGBTQ History Class of 2021 is:

  • Lil Nas X for breaking any expectation that he’s a one trick pony and using his elevated status to express himself on his own terms.
  • Carmen Maria Machado for continuing to break boundaries for queer authors and bringing new perspectives to sci-fi and horror fiction with the collection, “Her Body and Other Parties.”
  • Trans icon, role model and top model Isis King, one of television and fashion’s most visible transgender person. For many, seeing themselves represented on the screen and the catwalk is a welcome affirmation.
  • Composer, artist, cellist and singer, Kelsey Lu who shares their activism and emotions through their art and will make an impact for years to come.
Billy Ray Cyrus via Adkins Publicity

Billy Ray Cyrus Signed by UTA

Leading global talent, entertainment and sports company UTA has signed entertainment icon Billy Ray Cyrus for worldwide representation in all areas. Throughout his nearly three-decade career of Billboard chart success that put him in the same company as Carlos Santana and Louis Armstrong, Cyrus has achieved global success as a singer, songwriter, actor, producer and philanthropist.

Most recently, he celebrated the highest RIAA® 14x Diamond-certified song in recorded music history with Lil Nas X on the worldwide smash, “Old Town Road.”

When asked about his genre-bending approach to music, Cyrus recently shared, “My philosophy to making music is no limitations. No rules, no limits, no preconceived notions. Don’t try to think inside the box or outside the box, just think like there is no box.”

The critically and commercially acclaimed superstar has established himself as a household name across multiple areas of the entertainment landscape, including music, television, theater and more.

When one scopes out Cyrus’ trophy case, the awards are represented across all genres: GRAMMY® Awards, Billboard Music Awards, BET Hip Hop Awards, MTV VMA Moonmen, Country Music Association Awards, American Music Awards and Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Juno Awards, among many other accolades.

The Flatwoods, KY native exploded onto the music scene when his first album, Some Gave All, debuted on the all-genre Billboard album chart at No. 1 and stayed there for a record-breaking 17 weeks in 1992. The lead single, “Achy Breaky Heart,” became a phenomenon and went multi-platinum. After “Achy Breaky Heart,” Cyrus followed up with back-to-back hits “It Could’ve Been Me,” “She’s Not Crying Anymore,” “Wher’m I Gonna Live When I Get Home?” and “Some Gave All.” Cyrus knocked himself out of the top Billboard position with his second No. 1 album, It Won’t Be The Last, featuring smash hits “In the Heart of a Woman,” “Words By Heart” and “Somebody New.” His success continued with dozens more singles that redefined country music.

Lil Nas X illustration by Heather Skovlund for use by 360 Magazine

LIL NAS X CELEBRATES INDIVIDUALITY

By Hannah DiPilato

Notable musician Lil Nas X has brought his signature style and voice straight to the page in his new entertaining alphabet picture book. C Is for Country follows a young cowboy and his sidekick, Panini the pony, as they use the ABCs to seek out adventure in wide-open pastures, embrace family, and celebrate individuality, all during a single day. The book features bold, bright illustrations from award-winning artist Theodore Taylor III which are sure to keep kids engaged. 

C Is for Country goes out to every amazing kid out there who sang along to ‘Old Town Road’ on repeat and helped change my life forever,” said Lil Nas X. “I hope this book inspires them and makes learning the alphabet a thousand times more fun. I’m so happy with how it turned out, and I can’t wait for the world to see it,” he continued. 

Lil Nas X had a goal to promote individuality in his book so children everywhere are able to embrace who they are. The artist has never been one to shy away from his true self, releasing music that speaks to who he is and instantly creating hits. Soon after releasing the children’s book, it hit number eight across all kid’s books in the world Lil Nas X announced in a tweet

“A is for adventure. Every day is a brand-new start!,” an excerpt from the book on the website says. “B is for boots—whether they’re big or small, short or tall. And C is for country.”

Earlier in the year, Lil Nas X appeared on Sesame Street’s, The Not-Too-Late Show to sing Elmo’s Song with Elmo himself. The artist also made an appearance at Lander Elementry School in 2019 to perform for the children there. These appearances have certainly helped him create a younger fan base and an audience for his new picture book. His hit song, “Old Town Road” ended up being a smashing success with the younger crowds as well. Recently, Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” remix featuring Billy Ray Cyrus has officially become 14x platinum and is now the most certified song in music history.

Lil Nas X has been embracing his younger fan base he isn’t necessarily self-conscious about it. “I’m well aware that life and careers and everything goes in chapters,” the rapper said in NPR. “That’s the chapter I’m in right now and I’m OK with that.” C Is for Country was made for kids ages three to seven and is sure to help little ones learn the alphabet. 

Lil Nas X is not the first celebrity to check “write a children’s book” off of their bucket list. Madonna, a well-known star to all ages has written a number of books for kids. Her first book, The English Roses, became the biggest and fastest-selling children’s book by a first-time author. The book, which references Madonna’s personal experiences, features many moral life lessons and has been published in 42 languages. Madonna then went on to write eleven more books in this series which has now flourished into a book series that features 12 chapter books. Madonna lovers can even buy an audiobook version where Madonna reads all of the stories aloud. 

Madonna has also written a number of other children’s books aside from The English Roses series including, Yakov and the Seven Thieves and The Adventures of Abdi. In her stories, Madonna not only references her childhood experiences while teaching life lessons, but she also promotes gender equality and uses her Jewish background to do so. 

Another notable celebrity, Jamie Lee Curtis, has made her mark in the world of children’s books. She has written twelve bestselling children’s books including When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old’s Memoir of Her Youth, Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day and Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born. These books have been a great success in teaching kids important life lessons in a silly and entertaining way. 

Curtis said that her daughter was her first inspiration for writing children’s books. “My four-year-old said something funny to me one day,” explains Jamie Lee Curtis. “She walked into my office, all petulant and sweet, and announced that ‘when I was little I used to wear diapers, but now I use the potty.'” 

“The idea that she had thought about her life in the past,” Curtis continues, “when she was really just four, made me smile. I wrote on a piece of paper: ‘When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old’s Memoir of Her Youth.’ I then wrote a list of things that she used to not be able to do and now could. By the end, I realized I had written a book.”

Although Lil Nas X didn’t grasp his inspiration from any one person in particular, his youthful spirit and young fanbase have certainly set him up to be a successful writer for children. It’s clear the young cowboy in the book is inspired by Lil Nas X complete with a bedazzled, pink cowboy outfit. 

It’s not just actors and singers becoming authors, famous athletes such as LeBron James, Alex Morgan and Mia Hamm have also become authors. LeBron James’ book, I Promise, was recently published in August of 2020 and encourages children to strive for greatness. This book coincides with the I Promise School, a school powered by the LeBron James Family Foundation. This school helps students that are in danger of falling through the cracks to succeed. I Promise shares a common goal with this school in helping children strive to be the best they can be. 

No matter which celebrity is behind writing the pages of these books, they all have one thing in common, they hope to promote positivity and important life lessons to all children that read them. Lil Nas X is no different when it comes to C Is for Country. When celebrities use their platform to write children’s books, they are using their fame to promote life lessons to kids. This is especially useful for an artist like Lil Nas X who already has a relatively young fan base.

C is for Country is available now for purchase and can be bought in hardcover, Kindle or audiobook version. If you know a child that has been blasting “Old Town Road” on repeat, then this book is sure to be a success.

Lil Nas X Rips His Pants During SNL Performance

Lil Nas X ripped his pants during a steamy performance of “Montero” on Saturday Night Live last night. Dressed in tight, leather flame pants, Lil Nas flamboyantly trapezed across the stage with his fiery dance moves. During part of his performance, he approached the stage’s stripper pole and began gyrating his hips. After he slides down the pole, Lil Nas X can be seen grabbing his crotch and staring with bewilderment into the camera.

However, the performer quickly regained his confidence and boldly belted the rest of “Montero” with his hand positioned over his crotch. Nas was quick make light of the situation on social media, posting a meme on Tiktok of his outfit blunder. Lil Nas X also reposted his performance on his Instagram with the caption, “a sign of the times every time that I speak.” One thing is for sure– this red-hot performer sure knows how to put on an entertaining performance.

Lil Nas X illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 magazine

Calvyn Cass illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Calvyn Cass

Q & A with Calvyn Cass

Singer-songwriter, Calvyn Cass, has begun dominating the music song with lyrical tunes to the beat of self-love and acceptance.  The hit single, “Me, Myself, & I”, explores complicated relationships and self-acceptance winning over insecurities.

Here at 360 Magazine, we had the chance to have a Q&A with Calvyn. Read on to learn more about Calvyn Cass and his upcoming new music, WHITE FLAG.

Q- Could you tell us about the creative direction behind ME, Myself & I?

CC- ME, MYSELF & I was one of the first few songs; the third to be exact. It starts with the hook, but it definitely brought up old feelings. I started writing about feeling hurt by someone I loved, and it ended in being def reflection story. The video shows that with me performing to myself in all my different layers. It’s probably the fastest I ever wrote and recorded a song. From starting to put pen to paper with the first line to finishing recording the demo was probably an hour.

Q- What would you like fans to take away from ME, Myself & I along with the video?

CC-I think the main narrative is that is ok to embrace all feelings but not let them define you. You can look at yourself and be like, “it’s not all about you” and own the way you were but move on from it. On the flip side my new song coming out April 28th is WHITE FLAG and that’s about identifying navigating how to be there for others in the way they need you. It’s a song about someone I love having an internal battle that made them reactive to me. In that moment I felt that I could either be reactive myself in response or step back, realize this is not about me and just give love. Sometimes it’s hard to watch someone you love to behave in a destructive way, but you can’t force someone to see something they aren’t ready to see. You just gotta let them know you come in peace and that you’re there when they are ready to let you in.

Q- Who was your biggest musical inspiration in writing ME, Myself & I?

CC- I have to admit I struggled with this in the beginning. I have always had this immense pressure to associate myself with other artists in order to justify my music. When I wrote that record, I kept thinking of Beyoncé and her record from her first album. I have always been a Destiny’s Child fan and I loved her record, but I know it’s been done. More than trying to find inspiration I found myself avoiding doing what’s been done. She’s an icon and I think what got her there is doing her thing and owning it. I think I look to artists like Bey who have paved their own musical lane as career inspiration. I’m just gonna keep doing my thing. Some people will love it, but others won’t, and I’m cool with that now.

Q- Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

CC- So many artists for so many different reasons. I love Lil Nas X because he represents what I am hoping to achieve as an artist. I think we would make insane music together. Miley is a powerhouse and if I could be on a record with her, it would be a wet dream. Demi is having this journey unfold before us all. There are so many parts of that journey that are familiar in one way or another and the message is something I would be honored to be a part of. Olly Alexander who recently starred in “It’s A Sin” is seemingly embarking on the next chapter of his career embracing his identity more. If I could be apart of any of these artistic moments that I believe will help change and shape the world I would count myself lucky as hell.

Q- Did your move from South Africa to Canada influence your music at all?

CC- I see the cultural shift I experienced at a young age as a stage in my life that shaped me. It was probably my least favorite time of my life. I was this small, effeminate boy when I moved. In South Africa I struggled fitting in with the hyper masculine molding boys are expected to be. In Canada I saw it as a chance to start over without anyone knowing my past struggles. That didn’t go as planned because I was then the weird immigrant who spoke differently and had a very different perception of the world. In each circumstance I tried fitting in and when it didn’t work out, I had to step back and try figure out why. I didn’t when I was young, but I see it now. It complex to break down in a short interview but now every time I write and record, I tap into the cultural difference and similarities. I want to be able to speak to as many people and be as relatable as possible. Everyone is navigating this complicated journey called life. The best we can do is try being empathetic and honest.

Q- What advice could you offer others as far as embracing the true way they see themselves?

CC- It’s no one else’s job to make you comfortable in your own skin. You will definitely feel like a victim of persecution because that’s a part of life; others will always try cut you down, so they stand taller. Appeasing others by changing who you are to make them comfortable will only hinder you on your path. It’s terrifying to stand in your truth and face scrutiny because it might cut deeper but I promise you, it did the opposite for me. When I let go of trying to impress everyone else was the first time, I felt like I could truly breathe. I released the vizard and accepted myself to find the pressure put on me was put on me by myself. I set the insane standards for myself from what I thought the people around me would feel more comfortable with. Here I am in my adult life realizing that if I had honored myself, I would have avoided a lot of sadness.

Q- Who are your musical inspirations?

CC- I’m inspired less by artists and more by the songs themselves. I love finding out who wrote a song and who produced it. Of course, the voice on a record can give me chills and bring me to tears. The way that voice shines come from all these other peoples’ talents and contributions to the music. That’s what inspires me. Paying attention to how sounds were created, layered and pieced together.

Q- You are co-founder of BRUSH Salon – do you plan to continue to pursue your career as a master stylist alongside your music career?

CC- I am. When I was in high school, I fully intended to pursue music. The world was different then and I let the people around me tell me that a gay boy with feminine features would never succeed in music. I always loved playing with my sisters hair when we watched movies. She hated it but let me anyways because it meant she could choose the movie. So, I am now at the top and have achieved so many of my goals in hair. I love it but I’ve felt like this part of me has been stuck in limbo. I can’t ignore it anymore and I want to pursue music. The world allows people to be more than one thing and I’m going to ride that wave.

Q- Outside of music and styling, what are your passions?

CC- Depends on the season. I love being outside in spring and summer. I’m one those dog lovers that sees my boys as my children, so I dedicate a lot of time to them. I love cooking and find it therapeutic to cook for my family and friends. I love being active, but my ultimate reset is to just spend a winter day in bed with snack watching movies or maybe an entire series… haha

Q- Looking ahead, what plans do you have in store for the remainder of 2021?

CC- Lots of music. I want to bring new music as much as it possible. I want to perform when I’m allowed to and introduce my music to more and more people. I’d love to collaborate with other artists when we are restricted from doing so.

Lil Nas X 'Satan Sneaker' illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

NIKE vs MSCHF

Nike has filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit against MSCHF shoes that released a controversial customized version of its sneakers “Satan Shoes” with rapper Lil Nas X. In the lawsuit filed today, Nike accused MSCHF Product Studio, Inc. of trademark infringement over the designer’s 666 pairs of modified Nike sneakers made in collaboration with the “Old Town Road” singer. All 666 pairs sold out Monday.

Fara Sunderji is a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney in its New York office. Sunderji has extensive expertise in all stages of trademark, copyright, clearance, prosecution, maintenance, enforcement, and litigation. Of the lawsuit she says, 

“Nike’s swoosh is probably one of the most recognizable non-word trademarks in the world.  You see it and you automatically think of Nike as the source of the good on which it appears.  This is how trademarks are supposed to operate, as a source identified.  Nike’s case here is pretty simple to understand:  MSCHF is selling Nike Air Max 97’s that have been modified in a way in which Nike does not approve.  People see these “Satan Shoes” and think they come from Nike and some people don’t like that.  Nike, therefore, claims that the release of these “Santa Shoes” is harming its valuable brand,” Sunderji says. 

“MSCHF will likely argue that they are protected under a theory called the First Sale Doctrine, which allows third parties to resell trademarked goods that have already entered the marketplace.  But the doctrine is limited to the sale of genuine goods.  The doctrine is based on the premise that consumers are not being deceived because they are receiving what they have bargained for, the trademarked good. Under Second Circuit case law, goods are not genuine if they do not conform to the brand owner’s quality control standards, and it is easy to guess Nike’s take on this issue – Just don’t do it,” Sunderji says. 

According to NBC News, the lawsuit states “We don’t have any further details to share on pending legal matters,” Nike said. “However, we can tell you we do not have a relationship with Lil Nas X or MSCHF.”

Trademark attorney Josh Gerben of Gerben Perrott PLLC stated to CNN Business that “It’s a legal rationale that grants artists who purchase and repurpose individual copyrighted products the ability to express and profit off their own creativity.”. He also pointed out Nike shoe redesigners like MSCHF commonly sell their work on online marketplaces. “You’ve got all kinds of artists that go out there and they take a shoe, and they’ll do a whole bunch of custom art on the shoe and maybe resell it for $1,000-3,000,” Gerben said. “This is something Nike is well aware of and has done absolutely nothing to mess with because there’s a sneaker culture here.”

Lil Nas X isn’t named as a party in the lawsuit. Representatives for the musician did not respond to calls or emails requesting comment.

The backlash from social media is incredible with thousands of people expressing their opinions with the shoes and the representation they bring:

  •  South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem tweeted “Our kids are being told that this kind of product, is not only okay, it’s “exclusive.” But do you know what’s more exclusive? Their God-given eternal soul. We are in a fight for the soul of our nation. We need to fight hard. And we need to fight smart. We have to win.”.
  • NBA star Nick Young tweeted “My kids will never play Old Town Road again… I’m still debating about wearing Nike after this come Nike a drop of blood for real”.
  • On Instagram, celebrity musician Miley Cyrus shares a photo proudly wearing the controversial sneakers, captioning the post “Can you see Satan?”.

The controversial ‘Satan Shoes’ were strategically dropped after the release of Lil Nas X’s music video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”, which has already been viewed more than 54 million times.

Lil Nas X took to Twitter in his true fashion posting “I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the shit y’all preached would happen to me because I was gay. So I hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.”