December 20, 2012 |
Fashion insiders smiled and hip-hop purists gritted their grills last week when Kanye West performed in a pleated, plaid leather Givenchy skirt and "meggings" during the Sandy relief concert. The controversial rapper may have paired the womenswear with a Pyrex Religion sweatshirt and white sneakers. But the rugged accessories didn't matter. The reaction was swift and definitive. High-fashion folks cheered at the Rick Owens-meets-Alexander Wang-meets Betsey Johnson look, especially the small segment of the industry championing self-expression through gender-bending.
December 3, 2012
Pop Alicia Keys Girl on Fire (RCA ***) Girl on Fire ? Grabby title, and the song of the same name hangs its hat on a big, belted-out hook that demands attention. It's a misleading sobriquet, though, for Alicia Keys' fifth album, a bounce-back from the mid-career rut of 2007's As I Am and 2009's The Element Of Freedom . Maybe marriage and motherhood have something to do with it - her son Egypt shows up acting cutesy at the end of "When It's All Over" - but Girl On Fire is marked more by confidently composed maturity than an effort to set the night ablaze.
November 9, 2012
ON SCREENS Patriot acting The hit-and-run subplot on "Homeland" looks a little less frivolous as Dana (Morgan Saylor) proves herself once again as a teller of uncomfortable truths. But is coming clean even an option for the daughter of a potential vice-presidential candidate, much less the daughter of a would-be terrorist who's being handled by the CIA? And, oh, yeah, Carrie (Claire Danes) and Brody (Damian Lewis) get hot and bothered. 10 p.m. Sunday, Showtime. Big-screen opera British composer Thomas Ades debuts with the Metropolitan Opera as conductor in his opera "The Tempest," and gets the "Live in HD" movie theater exposure as well.
September 3, 2012 |
Jay-Z fulfilled his vision of bringing an electric and eclectic music festival to the heart of the city on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Saturday, headlining the first day of what he called the "first annual Made in America festival. " Jay-Z's razor-sharp and supremely confident performance, in which he enlisted the assistance of his partner in rhyme, Kanye West, as well as President Obama (in a prerecorded video), capped a nine-hour day filled with top-shelf performances from a range of rappers and electronic music acts and a smattering of indie rockers, giving Made in America a running start in carving out a niche as a uniquely urban-electronic mega-event in the crowded music festival season.
September 1, 2012 |
And so, it is finally upon us. The inaugural Budweiser Made in America festival, headlined and "curated" - the most overused word in pop culture these days - by Jay-Z will take over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway this weekend. It'll be the first-ever paid event on the city's museum-lined grand boulevard where free fireworks and music celebrations are held annually. With the most respected rapper in the game and grunge survivors Pearl Jam divvying up headliner duties, plus significant electronic dance music (EDM)
August 31, 2012 |
NEW YORK - A hip-hop mogul who managed Sean "Diddy" Combs, 50 Cent and Mariah Carey was found dead in his New York City apartment Thursday in an apparent suicide, police said. Chris Lighty, 44, was discovered at his home in the Bronx with a gunshot wound to the head, and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. No note was recovered, but a 9 mm handgun was found at the scene and there was no sign of forced entry, said Paul Browne, chief spokesman for the New York Police Department.
August 31, 2012
Chris Lighty, 44, an influential manager of hip-hop stars like 50 Cent, LL Cool J, Missy Elliott, and Diddy, was found dead Thursday morning at his home in New York City, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police said that they were investigating the death as a suicide. A representative of his company, Primary Violator, did not immediately respond to requests for information. One of the most powerful figures in the hip-hop business, Mr. Lighty helped establish the genre as a major commercial force - complete with huge record deals and tie-ins with commercial brands - during its peak in the 1990s and early 2000s.
August 24, 2012 |
Live, Kitty Pryde is a walking paradox, a wound-up ball of nervous insecurity who can summon the bravado it takes to command those in her crowd to bow their heads in prayer to Justin Bieber. ("Dear Bieber, please stop singing about sex. ") Makes sense. She's a walking paradox in everyday life, too, a teenage, white-as-snow redheaded Claire's employee from Daytona Beach, Fla., who, depending on your view, is either hip hop's unlikely savior or the final nail in the coffin of the once-proud genre.
August 22, 2012 |
There's not going to be a giant fence surrounding the big Made in America music festival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway during Labor Day weekend. There will be two. And city officials say that will be sufficient to provide concertgoers with a safe, enjoyable experience and to keep out those who don't buy tickets for the Parkway's first-ever paid event. Twelve days before the first chord is to be struck, the City of Philadelphia on Monday released preliminary details about how the event will function and promised to release more throughout the week.
August 21, 2012 |
LOS ANGELES - Tip "T.I. " Harris has spent considerable time in recording studios and a prison cell. He's now occupying an entirely different kind of box: Your TV set. The Grammy-winning rapper is building an acting career by appearing alongside Kelsey Grammer in Boss, the Starz drama that kicked off its second season Friday. For those who have seen T.I. in the feature films American Gangster and Takers , it's no surprise that Harris, playing a former gangbanger trying to take new turf in City Hall politics, is good.