I am starting this with all intents and purposes to keep it brief. Also, it is rare that I would ever write an analysis of a live performance, but here goes…
When I woke up this morning to last night’s noise and ad hoc social media posts featuring dodgy YouTube links to Gaga’s much anticipated (we’ll get to why it was much anticipated) performance on Fallon I watched it immediately and also immediately understood why she chose to perform ARTPOP and the significance behind it.
It is fair to say that that campaign for ARTPOP isn’t where it was projected to be at today. Things changed, videos didn’t come out, managers/management teams were fired, promo was pulled, artists were featured on remixes that were unplanned, organic decisions and the album/single cycle was set into a bit of a spin. The darkest thing to come from all of this is the way in which the media is treating Gaga. There are now countless “this is why she flopped” articles from credible publications, blogs and even national newspapers. Why the press deems it socially acceptable to literally bully an artist to the point of obliteration is beyond me. If this sounds like my very own “leave Britney alone moment” then so be it, but I am certainly not the only person that feels this way. I cannot escape my Facebook timeline including some vested hatred towards this woman. This woman who has tirelessly built her own career and deserves every inch of success due to sheer talent, skill and love for her art (note her image post on Little Monsters after the show). When talent deserves praise, society feels it is acceptable to knock her down. Why? Because she has thick skin and can take it? Because she’s a business woman? Because they find some mild semblance of amusement in the fact that she wears her creative heart on her sleeve?
The manner in which the global media scathes this woman is comparable to homophobia, racism and sexism. It is unfair and has to stop…but back to the performance.
After almost two months of hiding away, Gaga returned to perform the title track to her album. Of every song on ARTPOP, this one surely means the most lyrically. From a depth standpoint, it is a song about her art, the misunderstanding of her art and the simple essence of wanting to create in a way that her fans and the world can appreciate. This is why a live performance of this track was so poignant. Fallon wasn’t just a promo opportunity, it was a chance to make the world understand why Gaga exists as an artist, and in my opinion it came through.
The lyrics. “A hybrid can withstand these things / my heart can beat with bricks and strings / my ARTPOP can mean anything.” The vision. A clean slate, white Balenciaga outfit with no frill, no fancy, no shoes. The talent. Perfect vocals, piano skills that prove to the masses that she is not just a recording artist, but so much more. The set design and platform. Coming down to earth, a prophecy and vision.
She will stand up for her art and passion, no matter how much she is knocked down. That’s all. Re-watch it now with this perspective in mind. Peace.
This might make you cry. It’s the video for Natalia’s title track from the album Trouble. It was shot in London and is based (albeit loosely) on Kills’ childhood love (played by River Hawkins). I saw it about a month ago just after Kills shot it and it is just as impactful watching it the third time around. Editing and directorial touches by Emile Rafael cannot be fucked with. Also Kills with no make up? Flawless, obvs.
Drunk In Love remixes are appearing everywhere this weekend. The video teaser for the Kanye version (yes THIS one even has a video featuring Beyonce as a cow-girl – you’ll get that from the lyrics) can be viewed under the cut. BUT, the most incredible one to surface has to be by The Weeknd. It is obviously less a remix and more a cover, but HOLY SHIT. It’s excellent.
Natalia, Ellie Goulding, Sia. There is no denying that Angel Haze has phenomenal taste – and this goes for collaborators, fashion and pretty much anything she touches. The highly anticipated (I mean, look at Haze’s Twitter to see how hard her fans have been chasing for it) video for Battle Cry featuring Sia has now arrived. To quote Haze, she states it is “My video. My life.” The themes are gruelling, touching upon spiritual cleansing, child molestation and self harm. It’s beautifully pulled together (thanks to director Frank Borin with what appears to be the support of PUMA), it’s not patronising and not too hardcore – in spite of the Parental Advisory warning on YouTube. It even features what appears to be an ethereal Sia (herself). Experience it below.
The track itself was inspired by Sia’ Breathe Me (yes, grab a tissue now) and was co-written by Furler and Haze.
This is exactly the type of comeback that Nicki Minaj needed. Authentic, worthy, desaturated, no pink wigs, just the art, the vision, the credibility that we all in fell in love with her for. Here is the first taste of her new album – Lookin Ass Nigga taken from The Pink Print. The video is directed by Nabil. GIFs below c/o T. Kyle. Fashion credits are as follows: Dress – Mark Fast, Shoes – Versace, Jewellery – Roberto Cavalli and Jacket – Moschino, Belt – Balmain Paris, Boots – Louboutin, Gold Medallion – Versace and Haas Brothers, Bracelet – Celine, Rings – Roberto Cavalli and La Ruicci BodySuit by Luxe & Le’Bra with additional jewelry by M&J Savitt.