Want to go to the Kanye West/Jay-Z concert at the SXSW festival tonight? If you are the owner of a Samsung smart phone then you are one of the lucky few who are even eligible for tickets (no, seriously). According to Mashable, passes to the first night of the Samsung SXSW concert series will only be available through the Galaxy’s new streaming radio app Milk Music. So, how does Jay-Z expect to get into the show? We assume Kim is also not planning on attending ... Discuss

Sorry college dropouts, you’ve missed your opportunity to pay a significant amount of money to partake in an actual university course dedicated to exploring the friendship of Kanye West and Jay-Z. The University of Missouri professor behind the “Jay-Z and Kanye West” class told Consequence of Sound:

I really do think that these guys are warming up to the level of major poets, and not many people think of it in those terms. Because it’s not just on a page, but it’s video art, too. So, we looked at how those complicated the questions, and how do books about poetry help us to understand rap with Jay and Kanye at the forefront … They’re very much like painters and novelists in the 20th century, moving beyond the confines of the art form’s boundaries.

Like all good university classes, the course will undoubtedly prepare you for all future career pursuits. This is exactly the kind of educational training future employers are looking for on a resume ... Discuss

The Grammy Awards themselves may be kind of a joke at this point, but at least the ceremony’s organizers seem to understand what fans want: An all-star concert. CBS has announced that Jay-Z (who’s Magna Carta Holy Grail received several nominations, despite the fact that even he conceded it was a mediocre album) and Beyonce will join an impressive list of artists set to perform during Sunday night’s broadcast. The husband and wife duo, who will be taking the stage together, are now part of the line-up that also includes Lorde, Imagine Dragons, Willie Nelson, Daft Punk, Kendrick Lamar and a handful of others, during what has essentially become a one night, primetime mini-music festival ... Discuss

Pop music queen Beyonce has surprised her fans (and pretty much the entire music industry) by releasing her fifth studio album, with no marketing run-up. In a press release, Mrs. Carter said that she was tired of the commercialized way her music had been debuted and promoted in the past.

I didn't want to release my music the way I've done it. I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There's so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn't want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it's ready and from me to my fans.

Instead of Pepsi commercials and online promos (or even the formal release of new radio singles), Beyonce announced the self-titled record via a Facebook post. In addition to a handful of collaborations (Frank Ocean, Jay-Z, Drake and more), each song on the new album also contains its own music video. Explaining the record’s visual emphasis, Beyonce said in the statement, “When I'm connected to something, I immediately see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or an emotion, a memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dreams or my fantasies. And they're all connected to the music" … Discuss

This year’s Grammy nomination ballot is a mix of familiar faces and some names new to the show, but it also manages to further demonstrate the award’s clueless criteria. Jay-Z led all artist, earning nine nominations. But, considering that even Jay-Z doesn’t think his latest album was all that great, it should tell you something about the questionable critical creditability of the Grammys. Breakout singer Lorde received four nods, including one for Song of the Year. Justin Timberlake, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kendrick Lamar and Pharrell each received seven nominations across multiple categories. Oddly though, Macklemore and Kendrick Lamar were recognized in the Best New Artist category, despite the fact that they have both been releasing music for years, and Kendrick Lamar’s latest album, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City came out back in 2012. But, hey, this is the Grammys, so it really only matters when they first heard of them. The “Alternative” (remember when people used to use that word to describe music?) category nominees include some pretty great albums from bands including The National, Vampire Weekend and Neko Case. You can go here to see a full list of nominees. The 56th Grammy Awards air nationwide Jan. 26 … Discuss


Kanye and Jay-Z roll the dice on their status as hip-hop royalty Read More