Lady Gaga surpasses Cardi B as the best-selling female artist.

Following the release of the “A Star Is Born” soundtrack, Lady Gaga has surpassed fellow New Yorker Cardi B as the best selling female artist. Cardi B dropped her album “Invasion Of Privacy” to critical acclaim earlier on this year.

Lady Gaga proving she is a triple threat with her Oscar worthy acting perormance in “A Star Is Born” released the song shallow a few days ago, and it has already racked up 15,000,000 streams on Spotify alone!

Introducing Hannah Jane Lewis. Pops latest sugar rush.

The shiny new British pop singer, who is sweet like candy and ready to give you your sugar rush. Hannah represents all that is pop, taking inspiration from a range of artists, she is building her foundations ready to pounce on the charts. With a few catchy tracks under her belt, and some impressive streaming figures, we met up with Hannah at her Sundown Festival debut on the main stage, and sat down and had a little chat.

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Truffle – How was your set, did you enjoy performing on the main stage?

Hannah – Yes it was so much fun, and the weather was so great too. It was amazing to have so many people here supporting me!

Truffle – You said you were looking forward to meeting Shawn Mendez later, are you a big fan?

Hannah – I LOVE him so much, I feel I am more excited to meet him than perform myself, just kidding, I loved performing, but I love Shawn Mendez too.

 

Truffle – Your band were great, and there was such a beautiful energy

Hannah – Yes I have a great band, Matias plays the guitar and Chris plays the pads.

 

Truffle – Is performing your favourite part of being an artist?

Hannah – Yes I come from a musical theatre background so I just love being on stage and dancing, that feels like home to me. I grew up in Florida, and I moved to NY.

 

Truffle – Would you ever consider going into musical theatre?

Hannah – One day maybe in many many years. Its been a great foundation, and I don’t get nervous on stage

 

Truffle – What would you love to cover in the BBC live lounge?

Hannah – I would love to cover “Better Now” by Post Malone, I feel that would be cool. I would love to cover Spice Girls song too!

Truffle – Who is your go to artist to listen too?

Hannah – I love pure pop, and my stuff is super pop. So I am a huge fan off Katy Perry, I think teenage dream is the best song ever.

 

Truffle – What are your plans for the future of your money ?

Hanna-  as I am the beginning I just want to do as much as possible, reach more people and see where things take me, I am realising an EP at the end of this year. Then an album and a tour.

 

Truffle – Do you focus on your Spotify stats?

Hannah – I try not to, you have to focus on over things. But the first week a song comes out, artists have access to a little app from Spotify that gives you live updates. Shows when everyone is listening, and I know every artists is just looking at the stats. Spotify is great, and so important for new artists and my last single “Frozen Frames” just hit 1M streams, so I am very happy.

 

Truffle – What has been your fav performance of you career so far?

Hannah – I had the chance to support Rita Ora recently which was an amazing experience , I might be supporting more people, its in the works. I am hoping to have a headline show in London in the Autumn.

 

The 50 highest paid musicians of 2018 only include 7 females.

Each year, Billboard, like Forbes magazine, release a list of the highest earning musicians, rappers and pop stars. The list is a round up of the top 50, this year, less than 15% are female, highlighting the gender pay gap even reaches the lives of the rich and famous.

The women who appear on the list include Lady Gaga (appearing on the roster at #6 with $29.7 million USD), Céline Dion (#26 with $16.18m USD), Britney Spears (#30 with $14.1m USD), Faith Hill (#36 with $12.5m USD), Ariana Grande (#42 with $11.36m USD), Janet Jackson (#43 with $11.34m USD) and Taylor Swift (#48 with $9.3m USD). Sitting at the top spot on the list is U2, clocking in with a staggering $54.4m USD.

Its still refreshing to see females within the industry demand rightfully equal payments, just last month the band HAIM, made up of 3 sister’s, fired their manager on the spot, when they found out the their male counterparts performing at the same festival got payed x10.

 

 

Rihanna is dropping a reggae album and everyone is freaking out.

Yes you read correctly. Rolling Stones have confirmed that over 500 song submissions have been made from Jamaican producers and songwriters all bidding to make it onto Rihanna’s new album, fans of course are freaking out, as new music is overdue, and after all this is Rihanna, its going to be dope.

The album will be a blend of of Caribbean dancehall music and reggae, nightclubs around the world are going to have a field day, and excitement is in the air.

An anonymous source has told Truffle

“Every artist, every producer, every songwriter in Jamaica or of Jamaican descent has been working on [Rihanna’s album] and has little snippets of publishing or production credits on it.”

“Their whole thing was, ‘Yo, we’re gonna make this [album] real dancehall, [real] Caribbean. Rihanna is Bajan, so let’s make this a full project like that. To me, it hasn’t been going that way. They’re kind of mixing it up, putting in the pop. If the reggae artists and producers won’t get the chance on the pop album, at least let us survive on the dancehall album. They’re changing up the direction continuously.”

Artists around the world are scrambling for the left over tracks that didn’t make the cut, and industry professionals confirm that when Rihanna drops this album, the needle will turn and and Jamaican pop will dominate the charts!

We are pretty buzzed!

Cardi B smashes 1Billion streams on Apple Music.

Smashing stereotype, captivating audiences, and destroying glass ceilings in society and the music industry. Our gal, Cardi b has smashed 1 billion streams on Apple Music alone, setting her on course the be the highest streamed female rapper of all time. Back in April, Billboard shared that Cardi B’s debut album Invasion of Privacy “set a new Apple Music record for the most streamed album by a female artist in a single week.” The album was streamed over 100 million times worldwide. Invasion of privacy has been dubbed (by us) as one of the greatest debut rap albums of all time, it ticks every single box and caters to all audiences. With a plethora of features lined up for the next few months, we hope Cardi will focus her attention on new work, and let other artists feature on her songs in reverse. Do we really want a another Nicki Minaj set up, including a string of features, each sounding the same, each getting less exciting, and album dates pushed back.

 

 

Ariana shifts a gear, as she prepares to launch her career to the next level.

As the release of her new album “Sweetener” is quickly approaching, Grande has released a new track titled “God is a woman” adding a new layer to the Ariana brand, and she shifts her creative and visual presence in the industry into more mature and substantial arena.

After a turbulent few months for the star, loved and listened to by a mix of audiences around the world. There is a presence in the air that this album may began a new wave of artistry for the young and influential singer.

Listen to her latest track here now:

Beyoncé and Jay Z release long-awaited album, ‘Everything is Love’

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Beyoncé and Jay Z have released their first collaborative project Everything is Love under their marital name, The Carter’s. As the UK leg of the On The Run II tour draws to a close, Beyoncé and Jay announced the release and debuted the visual for the track Apeshit at the end of Saturday’s show in London, where Princess Eugenie was in attendance. In Beyoncé’s trademark fashion, the album dropped with no prior warning, an approach we first saw in 2013 when she announced the surprise visual album on Instagram. The album, at first only available on Tidal is now also available on Apple Music and Spotify. It features nine tracks as well as a bonus track Salud, which appears on Tidal separately from the album but under the same artwork.

The stunning visual for Apeshit is set in the illustrious Parisian museum, the Louvre. It features the couple and their dancers performing in front of prominent pieces such as Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ and ‘The Coronation of Napoleon’ by Jacques-Louis David. A spokesperson from the Louvre issued a statement about the couple’s use of the venue: “Beyoncé and Jay-Z visited the Louvre four times in the last ten years. During their last visit in May 2018, they explained their idea of filming. The deadlines were very tight but the Louvre was quickly convinced because the synopsis showed a real attachment to the museum and its beloved artworks.”

The Carter’s use of the Louvre feels very symbolic, positioning Hip Hop/RnB and a demonstration of Blackness and Black art inside of a building that has historically housed White European artistic expression. As with Lemonade, Everything is Love channels various forms of Black empowerment, from celebrating Blackness and showcasing Black artistic expression, to calling out systemic racism. 

On Nice, co-produced by Pharrell Williams, Jay Z addresses his court hearing from May of this year, which was ordered as part of an investigation into accounts of Iconix, the company that bought his Rocawear clothing brand in 2007:

Yeah, fuck your subpoenas and your misdemeanours / Was too busy touring out all your arenas / My passport is tatted, it look like it’s active / I play on these planes, y’all catch me in traffic / Y’all drag me in court for that shit, y’all backwards / After all these years of drug trafficking, huh / Time to remind me / I’m Black again, huh / All this talking back, I’m too arrogant, huh.

On Boss Beyoncé brags:

My great-great-grandchildren already rich, that’s a lot of brown children on your Forbes list.

This likely throws shade at the current state of wealth distribution, which sees Black people heavily underrepresented on Forbes’ Rich List.

Cotemporary cultural references include a row of Black men kneeling down in the Apeshit visual, which likely refers to Colin Kaepernick and other NFL player’s kneeling during the National Anthem in protest against police brutality towards minorities in the United States. 

Everything is Love reads as the final chapter in the Lemonade/4:44/Becky with the Good Hair/Solange in the elevator/infidelity story, as the two artists come together in a finale of togetherness, imperfection, reconciliation, love and overcoming.  

On Lovehappy Beyoncé sings:

You did some things to me / Boy, you do some things to me / But love is deeper than your pain and I believe you can change / Baby, the ups and downs are worth it / Long way to go, but we’ll work it / We’re flawed but we’re still perfect for each other.

On the same track she addresses Jay Z’s infidelity in a different tone:

B: Yeah, you fucked up the first stone, we had to get remarried
J: Yo, chill man
B: We keepin’ it real with these people, right? Lucky I ain’t kill you when I met that b- 

J: (Nah, aight, aight ) Y’all know how I met her, we broke up and got back together / To get her back, I had to sweat her / Y’all could make up with a bag, I had to change the weather / Move the whole family West, but it’s whatever.

Having previously hinted at her rap skills on songs such as Yoncé and DJ Khaled’s Top Off, Beyoncé gives her husband a run for his money on their joint venture, ‘rap-singing’ on many tracks from the new album including Apeshit, Lovehappy and 713. 713 samples the hook from Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre’s Still D.R.E, which was originally written by Jay Z. The song’s title refers to the area code of Beyoncé’s hometown of Houston, Texas.

The couple famously shy away from discussing details of their lives, choosing to address the rumours and speculation within their music and performances. In the controversial Charlamagne interview, Kanye West admitted his disappointment at Jay Z and Beyoncé failing to attend his wedding to Kim Kardashian in 2014, despite them having marital issues at the time. On the track Friends Jay Z appears to respond to Kanye’s comments, rapping:

I ain’t going to nobody for nothing when me and my wife beefing / I don’t care if the house on fire, I’m dying, nigga, I ain’t leaving / Ty Ty take care of my kids, after he done grieving / If ya’ll don’t understand that, we ain’t meant to be friends.

On Nice Beyoncé references her choice to keep Lemonade as a Tidal exclusive:

‘Cause my success can’t be quantified / If I gave two fucks, two fucks about streaming numbers / Would’ve put ‘Lemonade’ up on Spotify/ Fuck you.

Having recently achieved further career-affirming success with her ground breaking Coachella performance, the Queen B and husband Jay Z are set to make further waves this Summer, as the On The Run II tour makes it’s way through Europe and the United States. We are yet to see if the new album will be incorporated in the tour, but we’re sure Everything is Love will be soundtrack to everyone’s Summer 2018. 

Cardi B accepts BET award and calls out music industry sexism in Instagram post

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Cardi B won the 2018 BET award for Best Female Hip Hop Artist as well as the Coca Cola Viewer’s Choice award for her debut single Bodak Yellow, the song that she says changed her life and “made people give me a chance”. Bodak Yellow also made her the first female rapper to reach number one since Lauryn Hill in 1998 with the legendary Doo Wop (That Thing). Cardi posted her acceptance speech on Instagram as she was not in attendance at the BETs due to being, in her own words, ‘really, really close to her deadline’, more commonly known as a due date.

Her Instagram post features a heavily pregnant Cardi B chilling in her home with two cups of crushed ice, her latest pregnancy craving. In her endearing, no-frills manner she thanked the Bardi Gang with the following message:

“You know female rappers really get it the hardest when it comes to the music industry, we always getting blamed because of our raunchy lyrics and the way that we raunchy, our raunchy outfits and sh*t. You know, practically doing the same shit that the n*ggas do but you know get blamed the most for it. We constantly getting threatened by people like ‘Oh, you not gonna make it next year, you not gonna make it next year’, so we always gotta keep up, keep up and keep up, always putting female rappers against each other and you know, I’m just really grateful for winning the award because female rappers be going through some f*cking sh*t.”

Her speech calls out some of the many ways that misogyny infiltrates the music industry. It is widely acknowledged that female musicians will, in reflection of wider society, be criticised for overt sexuality within their music and performances long before male musicians ever will. Women are also heavily underrepresented in the music industry, so will of course need to work harder than the average male to maintain their music career.

Cardi also addresses the ever-present spectacle of female artists being pitted against each other in a competition that neither contestant asked to be a part of. Think of the alleged battle to be crowned ‘pop-princess’, which saw Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera constantly positioned as rivals. This narrative completely ignored the fact that the two had been friends and co-hosts on the 90s kids TV show, The Mickey Mouse Club and played on the underlying assumption that two females of similar ages and backgrounds cannot both enjoy successful pop careers without some form of rivalry or envy. At the very same time Westlife, Boyzone and the Backstreet Boys were free to co-exist in a harmonious monopoly of pop records, six-packs, dance routines and hair gel. And while these mandatory female rivalries are customary throughout the music industry, they are especially prominent within Hip Hop, where commentators rally around the notion that there can only be one successful female rapper at any given time.

It’s likely that Cardi B’s comments about ‘putting female against each other’ refer partially to the animosity that’s been constructed between herself and Nicki Minaj. This alleged beef has been continuously speculated since 2017, despite both artists repeatedly denying any ill feeling. It appears that this ever-present reach for the two artists to be in beef with each other may be root cause behind the recent tension involving Nicki’s verse on MotorSport. As acknowledged by Cardi B herself, drama is created because it’s entertaining, but it’s important for those who are pushing these narratives to take responsibility for the type of environment that they’re creating.

The 90s and early 00s was definitely something of a golden era for female rap, with an abundance of talented and successful women such as Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliott, Lisa ‘Left-eye’ Lopez, Foxy Brown, Kelis, Salt-N-Pepa, Lil Kim, Trina and Eve. As we moved through the 2000s, however, the number of prominent female rappers started to dwindle. It is suggested that as Hip Hop became more commercially viable in the 2000s and as record executives began deciding which artists to promote, it became more difficult for women to break through. Enter Nicki Minaj, the larger-than-life, self-proclaimed Black Barbie signed to Lil Wayne’s record label, Young Money, back in 2009. As Nicki’s career crosses the decade mark with spectacular success, critics observe that she has re-defined what it now means to be a female rapper. Because of her prominence, any female now entering the rap game is automatically pitted against her and portrayed as a threat to her success. Because of this we see a big difference in the way the male and female rappers are discussed. While the conversation around women tends to focus on ‘who is the best female rapper’, the conversation around male rappers will consider a multitude of relevant angles such as flow, influence, longevity and stage presence, which acknowledges of the space for variation between rappers and the value in that variation.

In less than two years Cardi B has gone from reality TV star, to breaking records and gracing the cover of the Rolling Stone with husband Offset, who she confirmed to have married in secret in a post on Twitter. She is firmly cementing her position in the music industry but her success story is not a threat to career of Nicki Minaj or any other female rapper – present or future. There is space for multiple women in rap and we welcome that variety and diversity. The last couple of years have seen a strong female empowerment movement, where people are standing up and speaking about the many ways that misogyny is affecting women’s lives. At a time when the conversation is centring around holding men accountable for their actions towards women, breaking the glass ceiling and generally lifting women up instead of berating their every action, this tired rhetoric of female rappers automatically disliking each other and needing to be the only female rapper in the game, is starting to feel a little dated.