Lorde v. Kanye: Battle of the Boxes

Kanye West and Es Devlin
Photo courtesy of @esdevlin

Lorde Have Mercy

Kanye West is an easy target, and he’s the subject of some much-deserved criticism as of late. But don’t touch the man on the music front. Lorde recently took to Instagram to proclaim that Kanye and Kid Cudi (the Kids See Ghosts rap duo) lifted Lorde’s floating stage in the shape of a box, saying:

Continue reading “Lorde v. Kanye: Battle of the Boxes”

Kenan Thompson: Kanye West “Held the SNL Cast Hostage”

Kanye West performs on Saturday Night Live
Photo by Will Heath/NBC

In a finite period of time on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Kenan Thompson made some very astute points about Kanye West’s political rant on SNL, and they’re worth noting. For starters, absent the insanity of West’s actual argument, Thompson points out that he made the cast uncomfortable and essentially “held them hostage.” He gathered them around for his rant without revealing his intentions, which awkwardly puts them beside him without their prior consent. Furthermore, though “we are all entitled to our opinion,” according to Thompson, that is “not the time” to voice it. And if you’re going to voice it, at least let people know before you comission their presence. Watch below.

Tabloid Gossip — Your Weekly News Reel

Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson are out to lunch. E! Online

Kourney Kardashian had her very hot boyfriend on display for some PDA. People

Colton Haynes is having relationship drama. Too Fab

Jordin Sparks welcomed her first child. Ok Magazine

Ronnie Ortiz-Magro shared the first photos of his baby girl. MTV

John Cena let the best thing in his life slip away . . . but he’s posting inspo  anyway. Us Magazine

Jada and Will started dating before Will’s official divorce. theGrio

Nancy O’Dell is divorced? Back off, Trump! Radar Online

DJ Khalid is very bad in bed . .  . and he thinks that’s something to brag about. Page Six

Kanye West can’t stop stepping in it. NPR

The Kardashian machine just sandbagged Blac Chyna with savage press leaks. The Shade Room

Kevin Hart’s extortionist was a personal friend. TMZ

Paris Hilton has had a lot stolen from her. Dlisted

 

Did Taylor Swift Rip Off Spike Jonze?

It’s no surprise that Taylor Swift took a different, “aw shucks” approach to her new “Delicate” video given that her team drastically miscalculated the direction for ‘Reputation.’ Though the record amassed huge sales, it did not enter the same zeitgeist as her previous releases, and it might have even further damaged her many PR problems. Plus, the songs were not good. I hate to be so blunt, but those are the facts. A good song could have fought her way out of the paper bag she built for herself, but that’s simply not the case.

It’s been brought to my attention via the sleuthing social-media-sphere that Swift’s video overtly overlaps with a Kenzo perfume ad directed by Spike Jonze. I watched both, and there are clear similarities. Of more interest than the possible rip-off; however, is the revelation of what the “Delicate” video was supposed to be. Upon first viewing, it seemed like unintentionally poor dance moves and hard-to-view funny faces. It wasn’t over-the-top enough to emphasize it’s awkward-girl tone so it only served to make me uncomfortable. Had the production team taken it up to the same notch as the Kenzo video, perhaps I would not have been as confused. The other glaring error here is that the video does NOT represent the song’s actual meaning. This is a song about liking a boy in the first, delicate stages of the relationship when we fear we might mess it up or that our reputation could influence his feelings. It’s not about being the awkward outsider at a party.

Now for the larger question. Does it matter that Swift’s video is may be a rip-off? It didn’t seem to matter when Beyonce ripped off Bob Fosse’s choreography for “Single Ladies,” and it also didn’t seem to matter when Beyonce lifted the choreography of Italian singer Lorella Cuccarini’s live performance at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards while performing “Run the World (Girls).” But it matters for Taylor Swift. Why? Because Swift has no PR capital left to spare. Her nice-girl demeanor was destroyed when Kim Kardashian exposed her lies about the Kanye West feud, and it certainly didn’t help when she ran off with Tom Hiddleston on the heels of a messy breakup from Calvin Harris. Though men often get the pass women do not with these types of trysts, there was too much existing damage to salvage such a choice. Her record could have resurrected her image with contrition, but her team advised her to take the opposite, “Look What You Made Me Do” direction, which was a massive misstep. Watch both below and decide for yourself.

Everything We’ve Learned About Taylor Swift on ‘Reputation’

Taylor Swift had no choice but to reference the infamous Kimye Feud

Though team Kimye said they’re too busy raising their children to address Swift’s digs, it would be impossible for Swift to have taken the high road given the massive hit her brand took for that feud. Though we know “Look What You Made Me Do” is about Kanye given the “tilted stage,” “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” takes some more jabs.

It was so nice being friends again
There I was, giving you a second chance
But then you stabbed in the back while shaking my hand
And therein lies the issue
Friends don’t try to trick you
Get you on the phone and mind-twist you
And so I took an axe to a mended fence

It goes without saying that this verse is enraging. Let me get this straight, Taylor Swift gave Kanye West a second chance? Did Swift call actress Camilla Belle for lyric approval over a song that basically called her a whore in reference to her romance with Swift’s ex at the time, Joe Jonas (She’s an actress, whoa/She’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress, whoa)? Also, explain to me how she was mind-twisted? Oh right, because Kanye asked for permission to say he made her famous but neglected to declare he’d use the word “bitch.” Fine distinction, Taylor. Let’s not relive it.

Taylor Swift Thinks Calvin Harris is a Narcissist

On “I Did Something Bad,” Swift says “never trust a narcissist,” and “If a man talks shit, then I owe him nothing. I don’t regret it one bit, ’cause he had it coming.” As for why she’s so angry, it’s unclear, but it might have something to do with the song Harris wrote with Swift for which he later took sole credit. But it doesn’t stop there. There’s reference to flying “playboys” around the world, who “drop her name.” This is not a pretty picture, folks, but it’s also not surprising given their ugly breakup.To be fair, that might also be a Hiddleston dig given that the press leaks at the time said Swift questioned Hiddleston’s intentions. I’m also guessing the song title, “I Did Something Bad,” refers to the fact that her relationship with Tom Hiddleston overlapped with her Harris romance.

She Met Her Current Boyfriend While Still With Calvin Harris

Swift’s song, “Gorgeous,” makes it clear that she crushed on her current man from afar. In fact, she says that when they met she had an older boyfriend. The reason that’s likely Harris is because on another song, “Dress,” Swift says, “Nights back when you met me, your buzzcut and my bleached hair.” Swift had bleached hair at the Met Gala in 2016 and her new beau had a buzz cut around the same time for a movie role.

Swift’s Relationship With Tom Hiddleston Was “Cursed” From the Start

Swift suggests that Hiddleston was a rebound who broke her out of prison from her relationship with Harris, which she desperately wanted to leave. Hiddleston also somehow “poisoned the well” with one mysterious action referenced by the lyric “X marks the spot” and a “switch to the other side.”

She’s Happy, and She Wants to Keep Her Romance a Secret

“King of My Heart” calls her new boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, “the one she has been waiting for,” saying she’ll “never let [him] go.” This song also has another subtle jab at her exes, referencing the cars they drive while saying, “they never took me quite where you do.”

So is the album good? Yes. Taylor Swift is always good. She’s got a team of people who work extremely hard on making a great album, and the tone is always consistent. I slightly object to some of the hip hop elements, as it feels a little try-hard given that Swift is simply far too uncool for it. It’s also slightly over-produced, which is to be expected. The added elements often distract from the melody, and given that this record is less about heartbreak and more about reinvention, I found myself far less invested in the lyrics. When someone’s “reputation” is impacted by hard truths about their character, my listening experience is slightly dented. But as I said. It’s good. It’s always good.

Taylor Swift’s Releases “Look What You Made Me Do”

If you’re Taylor Swift, you’ve got a lot of explaining to do. For starters, she landed in a fight with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian after she bashed Kanye’s song lyrics during her Grammy speech, only to later have her very clear approval exposed via Kim’s snapchat. The act was itself illegal, given that Swift was allegedly recorded by Kanye without her permission and did not give consent for its release, but team Kimye is smart enough to know that any subsequent lawsuit would further damage the Swift brand, so they’re in the clear. Plus, a pissing match with rich people is pointless. Kimye is also tough to take down given that their image has so little to do with propriety. If you entered the public arena via a sex tape, it’s pretty challenging to soil your brand.

It’s clear that Taylor Swift’s song “Look What You Made Me Do” is a direct hit on the Kimye debacle and the lyrics are brilliantly and strategically crafted. She’s mad, she doesn’t like Kanye’s dumb “tilted stage” and has risen up “from the dead.” Also, if she got her karma, then everyone else will to.

A close friend in the music industry classified this song as a lazy double-down on the Kanye drama, which is personified by the Right Said Fred “I’m Too Sexy” hook. Those Right Said Fred songwriters were given credit on this track, presumably because of that whole Robin Thicke “Blurred Lines” judgment. So is my friend correct? The short answer is that I’m not sure. Swift has absolutely zero choice but to address this feud, and she can’t do it in a magazine interview, because each and every time she addresses controversy in magazine interviews she makes it ten times worse. Music is the only way, and re-invention is the key. We all know she has mastered the victim lane, so isn’t it better to flip things around and go for a more angry spin? That being said, the song has to be GOOD for this strategy to work, and Swift’s songs nearly always are. This song might be a little soulless and repetitive, but it does the trick. She’s either on the cusp of her next chapter or this is the beginning of the end. We shall see.

Tabloid Gossip: Your Week of News

Lamar Odom came clean about cheating on Khloe KardashianContact Music

Kim Kardashian wants another baby. E! Online

Mary J. Blige opened up about the end of her marriage. BET

Jared Pedalecki and his wife welcomed a daughter. Popsugar

David Arquette had another baby. Us Magazine

Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna are back together . . . again. Bossip

Scarlett Johansson’s divorce just got messy. Newser

Don’t call Candace Cameron Bure a homophobe. Wet Paint

Naya Rivera and David Spade are dating. Entertainment Tonight

Alec Baldwin discussed his drug abuse. Too Fab

ARod and JLO are twinning. Wonderwall

Lauren Conrad showcased her baby bump. MSNBC

Sturgill Simpson Takes On ‘Saturday Night Live’

Photo by Will Heath/NBC

When Sturgill Simpson’s album, ‘A Sailor’s Guide to Earth,’ was nominated for Album of the Year for the 59th Grammy Awards, he humbly proclaimed that he “would’ve liked to see Frank Ocean’s name where [his] is,” because he thought Ocean’s record, ‘Blonde,’ was “really groundbreaking.” Funny enough, Ocean did not submit his album for consideration, thereby removing him from contention. Ocean believes the “infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated,” and he might be right, but Simpson’s nomination represents a much bigger movement in the music industry, and here’s hoping it sends a message. First and foremost, he’s the only artist who wrote his entire album. Adele is a close second, with just one co-songwriter, but Beyonce’s much-praised ‘Lemonade’ has more songwriters than bagels at Yom Kippur. The same goes for Drake. And though I’m not a Bieber hater, I need not explain the alarming juxtaposition between the two artists, and It begs a bigger question about the what the Grammys truly represent. If Starry Night had been a collaborative effort between Vincent van Gough and his 25 cohorts, would we see it through the same lens?

Simpson has long been called a country music outlaw, refusing to cater to the confines of what has now become a homogenized songwriting factory in Nashville. There’s no more Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, or Willie Nelson, and Simpson is therefore considered to be the “savior” of a dying genre. Simpson himself might not see himself this way, and judging by his performance on Saturday Night Live, all he really sees is the music. His blues riff on “Call to Arms” lets his 11-piece band make a tiny stage with a small audience seem like an amphitheater. Watch both performances below.

10747C6C-90E6-4ED2-9002-6C084282EEF1

Tabloid Gossip: Christmas Came Early!

bella_thorne
Image Courtesy of Bella Thorne

Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott are financially squeezed. Wet Paint

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star Ellen Pompeo wants you to boycott A&E. BuddyTV

Charlie Puth, Bella Thorne, and Tyler Posey are in a love triangle. TMZ

Did Gigi Hadid reject Zayn Malik’s marriage proposal? Contact Music

Kanye West cancelled his European tour dates. WGO

Jennifer Lopez and Drake want you to think they’re dating. RTW

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively brought their kids out in public. Stuff

Margot Robbie secretly tied the knot. E! Online

Sienna Miller and her ex-fiance still live together. Belfast Telegraph

Khloe Kardashian’s NBA boyfriend Tristan Thompson just had a baby. Radar Online

Amy Schumer bought back her family farm. Yahoo!

Zooey Deschanel is pregnant with baby #2. MSN

Scott Baio was attacked by the wife of a chili pepper. Page Six

Is baby #3 on the way for Gisele Bundchen? Wonderwall

Miles Teller was in a car accident with an uber driver. THR

Zoe Kravitz is smoking hot. Pop Sugar

Tabloid Gossip: Let’s Talk Turkey

kylie-jenner-straddles-tyga-while-topless-in-racy-pic-in-honor-of-his-birthday-ftr

 

Another Bachelor baby was brought into the world. E! Online

Kanye West might spend Thanksgiving at the hospital. People

Sofia Vergara called Joe Manganiello the “love of [her] life.” Pop Sugar

Amy Schumer and her boyfriend celebrated one year together with a lot of love. USA Today

Kylie Jenner went topless with Tyga on Instagram. Fox News

Jessica Simpson has beautiful children. Wet Paint

Melania Trump and her son won’t be moving to the White House. NYP

Supernatural’s Mark Sheppard is married. Brides

Carrie Fisher had an affair with Harrison Ford. Movie Pilot

Jersey Shore’s Deena Cortese got engaged. Starcasm

Blac Chyna gave birth to another Kardashian spawn. Daily Mail

Rebecca Romijn isn’t happy Gigi Hadid’s “mommy” entered their feud. Bravo

Naya Rivera is divorcing Ryan Dorsey after two years of marriage. Too Fab

Alicia Silverstone got naked to protest wool. RTW

Actress Amber Tamblyn is expecting a baby girl with David Cross. Yahoo!

Is Kendall Jenner dating a Laker? Mirror

Adele has baby number two on the way. ELLE

Ashley Olsen has a new man. MSN

Larsa Pippen traded Scotty Pippen for Future (Did she check his stats first? No one trades Pippen). SOHH