Music news round up – 2 September 2014

Reggie Myers

Here are two music news stories you’re going to want to keep up with for the week of 1 September 2014.

Taylor Swift to join The Voice?

If any Taylor Swift fans needed more reasons to watch The Voice or a reason, then you’ve just found it. According to US Weekly, Taylor Swift has signed on to be an advisor for the hit show’s seventh season. With that, she will be joining the ranks of many well known musicians including Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys.

But we understand Taylor’s role is going to be a little different from the other judges. While the previously announced judges are slated to work with one specific team, Taylor will be advising singers from every team. I definitely think it will be interesting to see what Taylor will have to say when the new season premieres on NBC on 22 September 2014.

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Hip-hop hasn’t lost its political edge just yet

People have long been debating whether hip-hop is rooted in the political consciousness of black people and whether that consciousness in hip-hop has completely gone away. With the tragic situation in Ferguson, Missouri, critics finally got their answer.

Whether in tweet or in song, R&B singers and rappers – among other black celebrities – have been making their voices heard in the wake of the shooting of an unarmed black teenager and the violence from the police in the following weeks. Shortly after the incident occurred, rapper J. Cole released an emotional track entitled ‘Be Free‘, which was soon followed up by releases from Lauryn Hill and T.I.

Rappers such as David Banner and Talib Kweli have done interviews with news outlets discussing the matter, Common led a moment of silence at the MTV VMAs, Killer Mike penned an op-ed for Billboard, and at a recent concert, John Legend wore a t-shirt that read ‘Don’t Shoot’ while performing Marvin Gaye’s classic ‘What’s Going On?’

Most notable, however, has been The Game’s ‘Don’t Shoot‘. The song – which features an all-star lineup consisting of Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Diddy, Fabolous, Wale, DJ Khaled, Swizz Beatz, Yo Gotti, Curren$y, Problem, King Pharaoh, and TGT (Tyrese, Tank, and Ginuwine) – is a six-minute tribute to Michael Brown. As if this wasn’t enough, proceeds from the song will benefit the Michael Brown Memorial Fund. The fund will help the family as they seek justice for their lost loved one.

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As a black man in America and a lover of hip-hop, I will be the first to tell you that hip-hop as a genre has a list of problems that need to be addressed. It is still good, though, to see so many hip-hop artists who are often criticized for their lack of political content come together for a common cause.

I kept it short and sweet this week, but I would love to hear what you guys think about some of these tid-bits. Are you pleased or are you concerned? Sound off in the comments below.

About Reggie Myers

Reggie Myers is a writer and communications professional living in Philadelphia, Pa., where he graduated from Temple University. Music, television, film, books, video games, politics, and human sexuality are just a few of the many things that make him tick. When he's not working behind a computer screen, you can find him looking for new adventures, practicing photography, scheming ways to get to the front row of a concert, or scouring the corners of the internet for new music to put his friends on to. @reggieakil