Jay Z vs. Drake Feud Boils Over to Lacrosse

Drake, Jay Z, beef, hip hop, karaoke, Karaoke Cloud

Drake and Jay Z performing during happier times (photo courtesy of postalmusicmag.com)

How are rappers Jay Z and Drake linked to art, fondue, and lacrosse? The answer isn’t apparent unless you’ve been keeping up with the jabs they’ve been throwing at each other. Despite previous collaborations on Jay Z’s “Off That” and Drake’s “Light Up” and “Pound Cake” the two have been in an ongoing feud. However this isn’t shocking. Hip hop has a fiercely competitive nature, not seen in any other genre of music. When you add in egos and reputations to defend, it’s easy for things to heat up between artists.

Unfortunately, there can be causalities in beef. It seems Jay has put another target on his back and made an enemy: Major League Lacrosse. We can easily assume he prefers basketball considering his former part ownership of the Brooklyn Nets, but this isn’t an issue of favorite sports. The tension stems from a verse in DJ Khaled’s “They Don’t Love You No More” where he says presumably about Drake, “Haters wanna ball let me tighten up my drawstring / Wrong sport boy, you know you’re soft as a lacrosse team.”

In hip hop lyrical capabilities shine with the use of metaphors, clever word play, and delivery. More often than not, this results as someone or something else being the butt of a joke. According to Billboard, professional lacrosse players were not amused:

“Lacrosse is often called the fastest sport on two feet. Players are on the field dodging and shooting balls at over 100 miles per hour… With that said we don’t think Jay Z knows what he’s talking about when he calls lacrosse ‘soft.’ I can guarantee you it is anything but a ‘soft’ sport… Mr. Carter would not last one minute on a lacrosse field during a match and he is more than welcome to come to any of our games and try.”


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Queen Bey Owns the Throne

Beyonce, Queen Bey, karaoke, Karaoke Cloud, KaraokeonVevo

Photo courtesy of passionevents.eu

All hail the Queen! Off the success of her self-titled album and the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, Beyoncé shows no signs of slowing down. She graces the cover of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,” labeled as a titan. In the issue Sheryl Sandberg writes, “Beyoncé doesn’t just sit at the table. She builds a better one.”

Bey shocked the world with the surprise release of her visual album in December. Beyoncé is female-centic; it contains messages of feminism, expresses vulnerability, and proudly embraces sexuality. The video for her single “Pretty Hurts” officially premiered on TIME.com a few days ago. Her passionate calls for self-empowerment through topics such as love, beauty, and motherhood place her as a prominent voice concerning women’s roles in society and pop culture.

In terms of business, she seems to be writing the playbook on innovations in the music industry. She holds the title for the fastest-selling album in iTunes history. It makes sense that others are considering employing her strategy. At one point it was believed that Mariah Carey may use a similar approach with the release of her upcoming album.

But not everyone is a part of the BeyHive. Bill O’Reilly has been highly critical of her new music. Known for always vocalizing his opinions, Bill scrutinized her single and video “Partition” and found it laughable when Russell Simmons referred to it as art. It’s no surprise that he disagreed with TIME placing her on their annual list. He recently ranted about the “negative influence” she may have on young girls especially in the African-American community, citing issues of teen pregnancy.

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Last Chance! Closing out National Karaoke Week

An empty mic is a blank canvas

An empty mic is a blank canvas

This is it! Today is your last chance to celebrate National Karaoke Week. It also happens to be friday. What a coincidence! So grab some friends, throw caution to the wind, and make tonight your night to rock the mic! Just please, for the love of everything that is holy, don’t yell “YOLO!” at any point during your performance.

New to the public karaoke scene? Not sure where to start? Well here are a few all-time karaoke favs to get you started.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar: Great song, high energy, daring life to do it’s worst… you can’t possibly go wrong choosing this classic to kickstart the night!

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell: What are you waiting for? Grab a partner and strike Motown gold with this feel-good duet. 

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice: “Alright stop, collaborate and listen…” If it’s your natural instinct to want to finish these lyrics then this is the song for you! A performance of this 90’s classic is sure to entertain.

Let It Go – Idina Menzel: Hey, why not? Everyone else is doing it. Join thousands and take on this year’s Academy Award winner for Best Original Song.

Dream On – Aerosmith: Long live Aerosmith! Give your best Steven Tyler impression and finish strong with this rock power ballad. 

I think you’re good to go! Remember, karaoke is about having a good time, so let loose and belt it out! Who cares about pitch anyways? And as always, Karaoke Cloud is here for all your karaoke wants and needs.

 

Katy Perry as the Master of Disguise

Katy Perry

Photo courtesy of vancitybuzz.com

From the costumes to the wigs Katy Perry is known for being versatile with her image, but I don’t think anyone has ever seen her quite like this. She introduces us to her “insane friends” in “World’s Worst Birthday Party Entertainers,” a teaser video for her next single “Birthday.”

She transforms into several laughable characters: Goldie The Dancer, Yosef Shulem The MC, Kriss The Clown, Ace The Animal Trainer, and Princess Mandee. Together they form the last individuals you would want to see at any birthday party. Creepy or hilarious? You be the judge.

“Birthday” is the fourth single from her album Prism. The video is set to premiere tomorrow (4/24) and she’s been hyping up the release in every way possible. Monday she described her video for the single as “the most insane one I’ve ever done” to her 52 million+ followers on Twitter. Earlier this month she posted a lyric video, which of course sticks with the birthday theme as it is centered around celebratory sweets.

Major props to the makeup and wardrobe teams responsible for making Katy Perry completely unrecognizable. She’s known for pushing the envelope and some are calling her stereotypical portrayal of Yosef offensive. (Could this be a repeat of the “Dark Horse” controversy?) One thing is clear- Katy’s no one-trick pony.

Males Dominate Music Fests

Summer festival, crowd

Photo courtesy of dahday.com

‘Tis the season for music festivals! All across the country artists and fans are gearing up for summer shows. There are numerous festivals to look forward to this year such as Bonnaroo, Summerfest, Hot 97’s Summer Jam, Lollapalooza, and The Governors Ball. Whether you are a fan of hip hop, edm, indie-rock, country, or folk, there is a festival for you. Coachella kicked off the fest mania this month and though considered one of the best there seems to be something missing- female acts.

Thousands of music lovers raided Indio, CA for the Coachella Music Valley and Arts Festival. Outkast, Muse, and Arcade Fire headlined the three-day, two-weekend festival. There have been numerous conversations about the lack of female representation at Coachella and other major festivals. According to Buzzfeed since its inception in 1999 only about 16% of the total bill are female-driven acts. Statistics go on to show that there has never been a year with more than a 25% lineup of female artists. Björk seems to have achieved the impossible when she headlined in 2002 and 2007. Besides Bjork only two groups, Portishead in 2009 and Arcade Fire, place females in the headlining slot in the history of Coachella. How can a musically diverse festival be so one-sided in terms of gender?

There were some memorable moments from women at Coachella this year. Beyoncé made a surprise cameo during Solange’s set. The crowd went wild as the two sisters danced together through smiles and big hair. Lana Del Rey debuted her new single “West Coast” during her set. The performance created a positive buzz and anticipation for the release of the studio version. In addition LordeBANKS, and Jhene Aiko all put on impressive shows displaying their promise and potential. But the question still remains: Will female acts remain underrepresented at Coachella?

If you won’t be able to attend your favorite artists set at a festival do the next best thing- put on a show of your own! Download the songs you love from Karaoke Cloud and get Sing-N-Jam, a karaoke mini-mixer that allows you to sing, play your guitar or keyboard, and record!

Pharrell Williams – Man of the Year

Pharrell, Pharrell Williams

Photo courtesy of thehollywoodshuffle.com

If you didn’t know who Pharrell Williams was a year ago I bet you do now. He’s the man behind the hat, your favorite artists’ favorite producer, and the voice behind the feel good songs you can’t seem to get out of your head. Pharrell’s been in the music industry for nearly two decades, but in the past year has taken the world by storm. And things only seem to be getting bigger and better for Skateboard P.

You can call him the renaissance man of music; he raps, sings, writes, and produces. Pharrell and Chad Hugo formed The Neptunes, a production duo responsible for hit songs from numerous hip hop, pop, and R&B artists such as Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Usher, and Kelis. The two also founded the record label Star Trak under Universal Music Group and linked up with Shay Haley to create the group N.E.R.D. It wasn’t until 2003 that Pharrell released his first solo track, “Frontin’.”

So how exactly has he dominated 2013 and 2014? Well, he produced and was featured on the anthem of the summer, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” He collaborated with Daft Punk on their single “Get Lucky” which won Record of the Year at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. Last but not least “Happy” (which has received the ultimate cover treatment) from Despicable Me 2 scored Pharrell an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.


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Past, Present, Future: The Women of Hip Hop

Female rappers, Lauryn Hill, Queen Latifah, Nicki Minaj

Photo courtesy of bet.com

It’s a man’s world. That could easily be the slogan for the male-dominated industry of hip hop. As an aspiring female rapper it takes skill, drive, and a certain ‘it’ factor to break through. Consistency, a solid fan base, and surviving the ups and downs of the business keeps you relevant.

In honor of women’s history month, Billboard featured a female MC each day during March. The end result is a list of the 31 greatest female hip hop artists of all time. From pioneers like MC Lyte and Queen Latifah, to women like Lil Kim and Trina who owned their sexuality, to groundbreaking artists like Missy Elliot, they all had an impact on the genre and culture. Through each generation women rappers have offered the female perspective. None have done it quite like Salt-N-Pepa, Lauryn Hill, and Nicki Minaj.

Salt-N-Pepa

Photo courtesy of arktimes.com

When you think of female rap in the 80’s Salt-N-Pepa should automatically come to mind. Hits like “Push It,” “Shoop,” and “Let’s Talk About Sex” solidified their position as the best-selling female rap group of all time. Their distinctive style, energetic vibe, and empowering female anthems made members Salt, Pepa, and Spinderella icons. They served as a voice for women of their time. They joined forces with R&B group En Vogue on “Whatta Man” for a smash hit collaboration that was true to their essence. They undoubtedly helped pave the way for future female MC’s.


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