The Rap Up: Week of February 13, 2012

Weee’re baaack! This week in music:
Iconic vocalist Whitney Houston passed away on Saturday, February 11th at the age of 48. CNN reported that the famed singer was found dead by her bodyguard in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Houston’s passing came as a complete shock to the world, and comes on the heels of the deaths of African-American music icons Etta James and Don Cornelius. Houston sold over 170 million albums and singles over the span of her career, and touched the lives of countless fans around the world. With her passing on the eve of the Grammy Awards, it was expected that the show would be altered in order to honor the fallen legend.
The 54th Annual Grammy Awards took place on Sunday, February 12 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The awards were hosted by LL Cool J, marking the show’s first official host in seven years. The show featured performances from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Chris Brown, and Jennifer Hudson. The biggest winners of the night included Adele (6)., Foo Fighters (5), and Kanye West (4). Tributes were given for fallen icons Whitney Houston and Etta James, both of whom had passed away within the last month.

News:
First pictures of Jay-Z & Beyonce’s daughter Blue Ivy hit the internet
Bonnaroo Festival releases its lineup for 2012
Nicki Minaj, Mary J. Blige set to perform for NBA All-Star Game
Cee-Lo announces the return of Goodie Mob; new solo effort
Common ends lyrical feud with Drake

Releases:
V-Day releases from Raheem DeVaughn, Usher, Damian Marley, Yelawolf, etc.
Nicki Minaj releases new single “Starships” from her forthcoming album
Former White Stripes front man Jack White drops video for his solo album’s lead single
Chris Brown releases self-directed video for new lead single “Turn The Music Up”
Childish Gambino gives CAMP’s second single, “Heartbeat”, the visual treatment

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The Rap Up: Week of January 23, 2012

We might be two days late, but not two dollars short. This week in music:
Madonna has been named as the headliner for the upcoming NFL Super Bowl on February 5th. The iconic pop star will perform at halftime when the surging New York Giants match up against the perennial powerhouse New England Patriots. Madonna has recruited a host of fellow musicians to perform alongside her, including Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., and Cee-Lo Green. Madonna also has several tricks up her sleeve, which have intentionally been kept under wraps. Those who like surprises should feel inclined to tune into what is sure to be one of the more exciting halftime shows in recent memory.
In other news, Rihanna has become the first female artist to reach two billion views on music video website VEVO. With numerous hit records such as “Man Down”, “Rude Boy”, and “What’s My Name”, the female pop sensation has experienced a huge amount of internet and digital success in addition to her success on the airways. Considering the fact that the music industry is moving into a more digital environment, Rihanna’s achievements are remarkable and should be applauded.
Finally, rap super group Slaughterhouse has announced a release date and title for their sophomore studio album. The LP, entitled Welcome to: Our House, will be released on May 15th. The album will be the group’s first since signing with Shady Records in early 2011, and it will be executively produced by label founder Eminem. In order to promote for the album, the skilled lyrical conglomerate will embark on a two month tour. The tour will begin in March and end in May prior to the release of the album. Now that they are being backed by Eminem and the Shady Records brand, it will be exciting to see what the group can do in a mainstream spotlight.

News:
D’Angelo performs for the first time in 12 years
Stones Throw Records reveals the Stones Throw Digital Discography
Kid Cudi releases track listing for upcoming WZRD album

Releases:
Bruce Springsteen releases “We Take Care Of Our Own”, single from Wrecking Ball
Up-and-coming songstress Elle Varner releases Conversational Lush mixtape
Rock duo Sleigh Bells drops a video for their new single “Comeback Kids”
NY emcee Saigon releases the third installment of his Warning Shots mixtape series
Mixtapes: Chip Tha Ripper, Young Buck, Emilio Rojas, Rockie Fresh, Lyriciss
Wichita rapper XV drops a video for “Batteries”, his Trae the Truth-assisted single
New artist Yuna releases the Pharrell-produced single from her forthcoming album