Welcome to this week’s Notables, Boardroom’s overview of the buzziest bits circulating in the music industry.
We’re headed into the last few weeks of Summer and everyone is trying to get their last licks in.
Sure, Drake had to postpone the Young Money Reunion concert due to a positive COVID test, but Cash Money, Young Money, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, and Birdman managed to reunite at OVO Fest in Toronto on Aug. 6. As part of the festivities, Wayne teased his highly anticipated Tha Carter VI album.
Meanwhile, Kehlani made a massive mark, selling out New York City’s storied Radio City Music Hall two nights in a row.
On Monday, the late Nipsey Hussle received his Hollywood Walk of Fame star on what would have been his 37th birthday; the honor was accepted by his family and wife, actress Lauren London. Kenan Thompson, the award-winning comedian, actor, and Saturday Night Live star set to host the 74th Emmy Awards on Sept. 12, received a star as well.
Beyoncé dropped the “Break My Soul (The Queens Remix)” featuring the legendary Madonna (who celebrates a birthday Tuesday), while sister Solange was tapped to compose her first ballet score for the Fall Fashion Gala at New York City Ballet on Sept. 28.
Elsewhere, Bad Bunny‘s Un Verano Sin Ti (which continues to break crazy records) kept NBA YoungBoy’s latest album, The Last Slimeto, from debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, squeaking things out by a mere 400 units, 108,800 to 108,400.
Below, Boardroom’s Megan Armstrong and Nate Louis make sure you don’t miss anything else under the sun worth hitting your group chat(s) about, from Lady Gaga’s Joker 2 tease to Kendrick Lamar’s Cash App star turn.
Megan Thee Stallion Dishes on Future Verse
Hot Girl Meg is a hot commodity, so she knows good value when she sees it. The multi-Platinum-certified (and nearly Diamond) rapper released her highly anticipated sophomore album, Traumazine, on Aug. 12. The 18-track project houses “Pressurelicious” featuring Future. During her stop at Power 106 Los Angeles, Meg revealed she paid $250,000 for Future’s verse.
“I had the beat for ‘Pressurelicious,’ and I recorded the song, and I recorded it one way,” the Texas-born star said. “I’m like, ‘You know what? This would really sound hard if Future was on it.’ I feel like being a woman in the industry, reaching out to a man trying to get a feature is always gonna be a task. You never know what to expect.”
She explained that she had somebody figure out Future’s regular feature rate, and when she heard it was $250,000, she had someone withdraw the amount, and “I had my manager go drop it off to him in a backpack.”
Meg has a pristine track record with choosing the right featured artists, considering she got fellow Houstonian Beyoncé on the “Savage (Remix)” and won best rap song and best rap performance with it at the 2021 Grammys. — Megan Armstrong
Young Nudy Dropped… On a Monday?
East Atlanta’s own Young Nudy dropped off EA Monster last Monday, opting for a beginning of the week release rather than the usual Tuesday or Friday new music release schedule the majority of the industry has been following.
The 11-track mixtape followed up 2021’s DR. EV4L and Rich Shooter, which were both bolstered by star-studded features lists. But this time around, Nudy retreats inward.
Aside from the previously released “Duntsane,” with BabyDrill, there are zero features.
In a video retweeted by Nudy, he told Speedy Morman that the project is “just a little cool sh—t for the fans to f—ck around with for a minute. Then after that, I’ma have a little album…”
The tape arrives behind Nudy’s DR. EV4L vs. RICH SHOOTER Tour, which sold out dates in New York, Atlanta, Boston, and more. — Nate Louis
Destroy Lonely: A Generational Artist is Born
And it is generational, to say the least. The project, which has been teased for over two years, came as a surprise, under an incredible amount of hype already, thanks to Lonely’s brooding aesthetic adjacency to Carti and their cult-like fanbases.
Over 19 tracks and 50 minutes, the project is daring, but it pays off big time, as the most refined version of Lonely’s work yet.
From sampling Deftones and slenderbodies to its seamless transitions, beat selections, and references like Canadian dark electronic group Crystal Castles, the LP has only one feature from labelmate Ken Carson, and is a full-on display of Lonely’s unique, accelerating range.
Interestingly enough, the project is the first Opium-exclusive release for the label, as all other tapes have been filed under “Opium/Interscope Records.”
Lonely came on the radar after his 2019 single “Bane” went viral on Tik Tok last year. Since then, he has released just one full-length project, 2020’s </3, before signing to Opium in 2021.
Destroy Lonely is currently on the North American “The X-Man” tour with Carson. — NL
Boslen Soundtracks Madden NFL 23
Boslen played collegiate rugby at the University of Victoria before two torn ACLs rerouted him toward music, so it’s ironic (and a bit poetic) that the Vancouver-bred artist’s genre-busting track “LEVELS” is the soundtrack for the latest Madden NFL 23 trailer:
“LEVELS” initially dropped in February as a single off of Boslen’s June project GONZO. The braggadocious song’s super-charged soundscape aligns perfectly with the hype surrounding Madden NFL 23, which releases worldwide this Friday, Aug. 19, and features its late and legendary namesake on the cover. — MA
Ye, Lil Uzi Vert, Steve Lacy Head up YZY GAP Campaign
Several celebrities, models, artists, and style influencers have taken to Instagram to post selfies wearing the all-new, unreleased YZY GAP sunglasses, officially dubbed the “YR 3022 YZYGAP SHDZ.”
The futuristic pair, which were first revealed by Mr. West himself during his surprise appearance at Lil Durk’s 2022 Rolling Loud Miami set, are reflective sliver shades, taking on a one-piece visor shape, with a sculpted black foam nose bridge secured with a black bungee cord and blue detailing.
The campaign kicked off with an Instagram post from Kim Kardashian that featured their daughters, North and Chicago West.
Dressed head-to-toe in the YEEZY GAP ENGINEERED BY BALENCIAGA collection, others including Lil Uzi Vert, Steve Lacy, and recent Donda Sports signee Jaylen Brown also shared photos of themselves donning the sunglasses.
A picture of North West rocking the shades was posted on the official YEEZY account.
Other big names in the campaign include the Clermont Twins, Shayne Oliver, Chey Anderson, A$AP Bari, Burberry Erry, Lauren Pisciotta, Amelia Gray, Taz Taylor, Izzy Spears, Lisa Rinna, Kenna Hines, Mike The Ruler, Juliet Charlotte and Ye’s ex-girlfriend, Vinetria.
Steve Lacy also posted a photo revealing the trio of himself, Ye, and Uzi had gotten matching tattoos from LA-based artist Mez Afram.
It simply reads, “We here forever technically.” — NL
Lady Gaga’s Monster Week
Lady Gaga is one of the great triple threats of this generation, and Mother Monster is firing on all cylinders. First, on Aug. 4, Gaga confirmed she will star opposite Joaquin Phoenix in Joker 2 — not explicitly that she will play Harley Quinn, though we can dream — by posting a musical teaser on Instagram with the caption “Joker: Folie à Deux 10.04.24”:
According to an Aug. 11 report from Variety, Gaga scored $10 million for the role. More significant to the pop culture zeitgeist, though, is the snippet was set to “Cheek to Cheek.” Gaga famously covered the classic song with Tony Bennett, the titular cut of their 2014 Grammy-winning collaborative album. She honored her dear friend, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, by dedicating “Always Remember Us This Way” from the A Star Is Born soundtrack at the MetLife Stadium stop of her Chromatica Ball tour. — MA
Kendrick Lamar & Ray Dalio Have Some Investment Advice
In an all-new Cash App ad as part of the brand’s ongoing “That’s Money” campaign — written and directed by Dave Free in partnership with pgLang and project3 — the short clip finds comedian ExavierTV waxing poetic on a theoretical barbershop owner’s friend’s botched investment plans.
As a deadpanning Lamar clarifies, “He saved up his money to get a local barbershop. He then made a friendly business wager [with his friend] in hopes to secure more money for this business, but he eventually loses it all with one roll of the dice.”
Billionaire investor Ray Dalio interjects with a bit of his own advice before K.Dot takes the cake:
“Slow money wins the race.” — NL
- DJ Khaled linked with Drake and Lil Baby for “Staying Alive,” the lead single off his upcoming album, GOD DID. The track debuted at No. 5 on the latest Billboard Hot 100 chart, giving Drizzy his 30th top-five single — an all-time record.
- Per a Deadline exclusive, SZA will make her feature film debut alongside Eddie Wang in Tuna Melt, which is to be written and directed by the latter.
- Rage Against the Machine raised $1 million for charity during their Madison Square Garden residency, which featured Run the Jewels as its opening act.
- Adele is in love!
- Frank Ocean introduced a new piece into his luxury jewelry brand, Homer— a $25,000 ring, but specifically not the kind that goes on your finger (or your toe, for that matter).
- Happy birthday to Chief Keef— a true pioneer who is somehow still only 27 as of Aug. 15 despite having been in the rap game for over a decade.
- Rod Wave’s Beautiful Mind is projected to be next week’s No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with estimates between 120,000 and 140,000 units sold in its opening week, according to HTSDD.
- ‘young thug’ spider worldwide capsule collection