Music Features

At 78, Willie Hightower sometimes struggles to remember details from his long career, but there are some occasions he recalls vividly: like the day his wife died (April 16th, 1995 — Easter Sunday), or the time he met Sam Cooke. The gospel phenom had traveled to Hightower’s Gadsden, Alabama, hometown with his gospel group, the […]

On a sleepy Monday morning at the horse stables in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park, Lil Nas X has got exactly one horse in the back. Nas — real name Montero Hill — is the 20-year-old rapper and internet savant behind the unlikeliest hit single of this (or any) year: the hip-hop-country crossover “Old Town Road.” […]

Okay, sure — an EDM remix of Van Halen’s synth-rock classic “Jump” sounds pretty horrendous in theory. Hear me out, though! Dutch trance god Armin van Buuren’s sleek, rave-ready revamp of the 1983 hit is an absolute winner. We can only hope it leads to more glowstick-ready remixes of classic rock monsters. “Jump” is all […]

In a video interview uploaded to YouTube in February, Joe Budden, a former major-label rapper who is enjoying a popular second career as a podcast star, tried to recruit 2 Chainz to lead a strike in hip-hop. “You don’t think we need a union?” Budden asked. “You should be our Derek Fisher” — the head […]

The other week, Sigrid went to a park. The rising Norwegian pop star had been touring for a while, and the cities were beginning to blur. “It’s a very intense profession,” she says. “You’re always on.” So, when her taxi passed a park on the way to another hotel, she asked the driver to stop. […]

Robert Christgau is one of the most influential rock critics of all time. He’s also an invaluable book critic, and now he’s releasing Book Reports: A Music Critic on His First Love, Which Was Reading, via Duke University Press, a collection of reviews covering everything from fiction to cultural theory to musicology. In this classic […]

Rising country star Lauren Alaina travelled to Los Angeles’ iconic Sound City Studios to record a cover of Cheap Trick’s classic hit, “Surrender.” Alaina and her band — comprised of a guitarist, bassist, banjoist and drummer — gave the song their own country flair with amped up acoustics. “We kind of stripped it back and […]

Last September, the Nigerian artist Davido was a guest on Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, one of rap radio’s most popular morning shows. “You got American people singing Nigerian music,” said DJ Envy, one of the co-hosts. But even as DJ Envy praised Davido songs like “Fall” and “If,” the notoriously skeptical co-host Charlamagne Tha […]

Jennifer Kaytin Robinson was sobbing in front of a row of rotisserie chickens. Standing dumbfounded in the aisle of a New York grocery store after her boyfriend dumped her, she heard Adele’s “Someone Like You” come over the sound system — and “I was trying to smile through it, but then I was smiling and […]

The Joy Division story has been told many times, yet it never stops seeming too bizarre to be true. Jon Savage, best known for his classic punk history, England’s Dreaming, was one of the band’s first chroniclers in the 1970s, but he tells the tale in a new way in his excellent new book This Searing […]

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