Wow, what a performance! A privilege indeed. Whether you’ve taken the time to reflect or not, Beyoncé is one of the youngest women and people that have emerged from an era—pre-Internet—that we still have in the music business at her level. Her relevance and what she brings to the culture is outstanding. Additionally, Beyoncé’s ability to craft the way she does is impressive. She is one of the only people to borrow from the various world sounds, tastefully, to rap, sing, dance and entertain at a top-notch level.
I’ve been saying Beyoncé is a rap artist, too, for a very long time before your faves—on and off the record. I know we don’t like to credit what most entertainers do as children before their breakthroughs. However, she has “rapped”—or at least filed as a rapper—since she was on ‘Star Search’. Back then in 1993, she was twelve-years-old and in a group called, ‘Girls Tyme’ (later called: Destiny’s Child). There’s something to say about talent shows and the talent that comes through them. Not everyone leaves a winner, but they can go on to make a huge splash in the world, nonetheless. GRUNGECAKE sees itself similar to a ‘Star Search’, respectively.
Above all, hearing Fela Kuti’s ‘Zombie’ play during Beyoncé’s Coachella set was all I needed. I grew listening to both artists, watching Destiny’s Child and Beyoncé as a solo act—someone not much older than me. Knowing that she also worked with The-Dream on a Kuti-inspired album, let’s me know that she takes notes—from all musical pioneers, musical legends, and fellow musical icons. It’s refreshing to know, publicly, that she is limitless. Although I would have loved to hear an Afrobeats album by Beyoncé, she wasn’t ready to take the world over yet. Perhaps, she and her husband had to reveal what they shared with us first. Happily, in a post-Black Panther world, it may spark that fire in her again. Who knows?
Speaking of blending an array of sounds—urban/underground into a pop music format/display, Beyoncé is the queen at it. We, well I, will not also forget how much she always integrates Texas and Louisiana music into her sets and music, effortlessly. Making me appreciate Southern culture—from a woman’s perspective—as a Northerner more. All of it influences her, is her culture and she isn’t afraid to show us/be herself. Flaws and all or flawlessly: Femininity, sexuality, and Black culture were present last night.
Such poise, such a production. I have to thank Beyoncé very much for sharing her life stories (difficult ones and otherwise) with us all of these years—and being the first Black woman to headline Coachella—having her husband, sister, and the last version of Destiny’s Child with her speaks volumes. She shows us that there’s still a way to be mysterious and share and present your personal life when you’re ready—not tarnishing your legacy or public perception. Bravo!
Relive the magical night through our captivating photos of LÉON and Wrabel.
ising Swedish singer LÉON hit the stage at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles Monday night, days after dropping her brand new EP, “Surround Me” (Columbia Records). Fans lined the walls of the theatre to sway, sing, and cry along to LÉON’s set. Moments of laughter occurred between songs as LÉON attempted to lighten the mood by literally kicking her shoes off after the first song. She also joked about how depressing her lyrics could get at times.
Singer-songwriter Wrabel opened up the evening with a grand, emotive set of raw vocals and a piano. One of the most intimate moments happened during the performance of “The Village,” where he shared the story behind the ballad. After meeting two young trans-people who were comfortable with their identity—in a period of history still so hostile toward the LGBTQ community. He later joined LÉON on stage for a duet of her song “Think About You.” They wrote it together.
Check out some moments from the show in our gallery. Lastly, if you aren’t familiar with LÉON, give her new “Surround Me” extended play a spin below.
This month, we attended the Fool’s Gold Day Off in New York City at Coney Art Walls. Fool’s Gold photographer and GRUNGECAKE contributor Jeffrey Chambers captured the atmosphere, fans, and the amazing performances of the evening. Have a look at the images. Then, follow the young talented photographer on Instagram.
Fool’s Gold Day Off is an amalgamation of indie-run talent and major label breadwinners.
ver the weekend, we attend the annual New York event produced by Fool’s Gold in Coney Island, Brooklyn. During the day, the independent label’s function, a list of rising local acts (Remy Banks, Leaf, and more) performed as well as industry-favourites like Jay Electronica and PNB Rock. According to a blurb of text on the website, it is the label’s biggest New York City show to date to occur at Coney Art Walls, a venue that holds 5,000. The venue is art-focused highlighting local street artists in an outdoor setting.
If you aren’t familiar with Fool’s Gold Day Off, it is a travelling event that happens in other parts of the country and overseas. Within the thematic walls in the outdoor museum, thirty-five artists are currently on display. The outdoor museum is open daily between the hours of noon and 10 PM through September. It is art Joseph J. Sitt and Jeffrey Deitch’s curation. Yes, food and drinks are on-site.
GRUNGECAKE, along with major media news outlets, covered Billboard Hot 100 Music Fest this year. We were backstage with some of the world’s most celebrated artists. Get a glimpse of what our two-day experience entailed.
unday, DJ Khaled performed an abode of hit records with the countless famed musicians he collaborates. During his set, he brought out Bronx legendary rapper Fat Joe, who celebrated a birthday. DJ Khaled’s son and executive producer of the album, Asahd Khaled, shared the stage with his father. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to get near the photo pit at the time of his set, but my editorial team did. They captured intimate moments of Khaled’s wife holding their son, fixing her husband’s pants, Asahd in his dad’s arms, and more.
Have a look at the performance photos and see more coverage of the two day festival on the next page.
pronoun is aware of what’s going on in the world, and isn’t afraid to speak up.
Earlier today, pronoun came by the media tent at Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival for a portrait session with our editorial team! Newly premiered on Billboard’s website, the red-haired songstress shared the lead single from her debut EP titled, ‘just cuz you can’t.’
During her performance with the band, pronoun showed that she is socially responsible because she briefly talked about world affairs before singing her songs. You can tell it came from a sincere place. Refreshingly, she is aware of what’s going on in the world, and she isn’t afraid to speak up. Hearing the title track live is an experience on its own because of its deep vocal meaning and juxtaposition in sound.
According to an interview Billboard, the lead track is inspired by a relationship that ended. Surely, not being able to think straight is something we go through during a heartbreak of any kind. Your breakup seems to consume you. It is all that you can think about—even when you have spurts of other thoughts.
‘just cuz you can’t’ specifically walks through the trains of […] thought I had when a relationship I thought would never end, did, pronoun explained.
How many of you have been in a relationship that you thought wouldn’t end? When it happens, it tends to feel like a tidal wave that knocks you down, off of your course. Happily, most of the brokenhearted individuals are strong enough to bounce back and heal.
Check out the behind-the-scenes photos of our portrait time with pronoun on the next page.