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            Pop star singer Katy Perry has been found guilty of copying a song by a Christian rapper called Flame. Perry’s hit song Dark Horse was accused of being an imitation of Flame’s song Joyful Noise. The court ordered that Perry pay over $550,000 and that Capital Records, Perry’s record label, pay a larger sum of $1.2 million. Perry’s song Dark Horse spent four weeks at the # 1 position on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart early in 2014. Dark Horse was written by six song writers in total, all of whom were sued; Perry herself only wrote the lyrics to the song. The lyrics of the two songs are about very different topics. Joyful Noise is about the singer rejecting his older hedonistic attitudes in favor of spirituality and religion; in contrast, Dark Horse is about a hedonistic and addictive romantic relationship. Despite the gigantic philosophical differences between the two songs, the jurors decided that two riffs from Joyful Noise were stolen and put into Dark Horse. Perry’s attorney claimed that there is no evidence that the writers of Dark Horse had access to the song Joyful Noise. Katy Perry is making an appeal to a higher court in order to overturn what she believes is an unjust decision. Musicians have been influencing each other for as long as music has existed; and there’s nothing wrong with allowing other artists to influence your art as long as you are also making something original happen in your work. In recent years, lawsuits have been increasingly common about songs allegedly being too similar to other songs. Now the question is, how much similarity is acceptable from a legal perspective?
Rapper Jermaine Dupri of So So Def has beef with Lil Nas X, we’re just not exactly sure why. We know that recently Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” broke the record of 16 weeks straight on top of the Billboard chart that was held Mariah Carey’s “One Sweet Day.” The Lil Nas X song now has owned the top slot for 18 straight weeks. On Wednesday, Dupri took to Twitter with a blast, “No!! You can’t sit with us. Go sit over there and based on the stats and this chart @mariahcarey is the greatest songwriter in history.” We’re not sure if Dupri just got done watching Mean Girls, if he was having a bad day or if he just wanted to show some love to Carey who he has collaborated with several times – most notably on “Always Be My Baby” back in ‘95.  Meanwhile, in a show of graciousness, Mariah gave X a ton of props when he broke her record, so why is Dupri so salty?

MTV and Diddy are bringing back the hit show “Making the Band” next year. The premise of the show is to form a band from scratch via auditions, build group chemistry and then follow the progress of that group as their careers take off.  In its prior seasons the show provided a platform for groups such as O-Town, Day26, and Danity Kane.

The new season will become more global, a reflection of the more international music business that exists today.  Diddy and his team are currently scouring the globe for the best undiscovered talent for next season’s show. It remains to be seen if the focus will be on developing Pop / R&B / Hip Hop groups as in season’s past or if the broader search will result in broader genres. Changes to Making the Band represent just one of the many adjustments to current shows and new shows being added to the MTV lineup in the coming year.

If you have been following along with us this summer, you know that Lil Nas X, week after week, has had his name in the middle of something popular.  It has all been driven by his giant summer hit “Old Town Road,” which has been staring down at the competition for over four months.  Now with it’s 17th week atop the list, it surpasses Mariah Carey’s 1995 hit “One Sweet Day” for the longest time spent on the Billboard top 100 list. Pretty wild when you think about how quickly all this has transpired for the young country singing rapper.

Mariah handled the situation with class and respect. Holding the record for nearly 25 years, she put up an Instagram post that showed her with a torch passing it to Lil Nas X in front of a Billboard backdrop. The post’s opening line reads “Sending  love and congrats to @lilnasx on breaking one of the longest running records in music history!” Well said, very gracious. Summer 2019 belongs to Lil Nas X.  

Lil Nas X is being sued $25 million over Carry On, a song he released before Old Time Road. A company called The Music Force claims to own the copyright of a song titled “Carry On” by Bobby Caldwell. The company also says that Lil Nas X’s song Carry On hijacked parts of this Caldwell song from the 1980s.

Lil Nas is signed with Sony Music. The Music Force is suing Sony Music along with Lil Nas. The Music Force wants $10 million in damages to “remedy the confusion in the marketplace” and $15 million in punitive damages. Sony Music certainly has the financial power to put up a good fight in court.

Rapper A$AP Rocky has been detained in a Swedish jail since being accused of assault during a tussle he had in June with a Stockholm native. Surprisingly enough, President Trump has been attempting to come to the aid of the rapper, after discussions with his old pal Kanye West.

Trump spoke with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and said the prime minister assured him “Rocky would be treated fairly”. Trump in response said that “he (Rocky) was not a flight risk, and offered to personally vouch for his bail”. Unfortunately for A$AP … Sweden does not have a bail system like the U.S. does, so that will not help him get released any sooner.

There is video footage of the incident in which Rocky is being held for. He and his crew really let loose on a pair of natives, claiming self defense and a desire to protect women who were being harassed for their actions. He has been in jail since July 3rd awaiting trial. The video certainly leaves room for interpretation.

The bottom line is, Sweden is holding Rocky because of his wealth and resources and they do not want to risk not being able to fairly try the rapper if he flees the country. Trump, thanks to some motivation from Kanye West has been trying to resolve this quickly, but it doesn’t look like the Swedish government is going to budge on their formal process. Apparently PM Lofven told Trump that “In Sweden everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot and will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings.”

While Trump attempts to earn some “cred” with the African American community, it doesn’t look like this A$AP Rocky situation is any closer to being resolved nearly three weeks after his arrest.

Lil Nas X’s country/rap hit Old Town Road has been looking down at ALL the other songs on the Billboard Top 100 for almost four months now. When you think about how long that is to remain the most popular of the most popular, it’s truly remarkable. Adding to the legacy of the song, a new remix was released featuring rap artist Young Thug, and yodeling icon, young Mason Ramsey.

One must remember Mason Ramsey even his name is not household. He’s the yodeling kid … THE yodeling kid. Check him out on youtube if you need a refresher. Anyhow, he’s on there, and while he isn’t yodeling, he lays down a smooth verse as the last of the quartet to feature on the new remix. Don’t expect this to be the last time the young and talented Mason Ramsey features on a popular song, and EXPECT Old Town Road to continue to crush the charts after this release.

Young Thug’s verse is par for the course with a traditional Young Thug feature, and he goes on to sing the “Can’t nobody tell me nothing” hook at the end. The bigger news about Young Thug however was his comments on Lil Nas X’s decision to reveal his sexuality.

In an interview on Jumper, Young Thug said he thought X’s decision to come out during Gay Pride Month was a “G’s Move”. While ultimately it was all support and love, Thug said he felt X maybe shouldn’t have revealed his sexuality just yet. Paraphrasing the rappers comments, his point was essentially that people (especially in the rap community) are going to be now more worried about the fact that X is gay than the content and quality of his music.

Do you agree with Young Thug, and have you heard the newest Old Town Road Remix?

Check out the new remix here which features a very cool animated emoji video to go along with it. 

1. The “In My Feelings Challenge”

The Drake song, “In My Feelings” had everyone asking for Kiki’s love in the Summer of 2018.

2. The “Whip and Nae Nae”

In what turned out to be their biggest hit (only hit?) Silento’s “Whip and Nae Nae” came out of nowhere to top the charts.

3. The “Dougie”

Education was never a higher priority than when everyone was asking to “Teach Me How to Dougie”.

4. “Gangnam Style”

Who would’ve thought that the same person to bring Justin Beiber into the hearts and minds of music fans around the globe would also bring us one of the greatest viral dance hits of all time with Korean Pop Star PSY and his song “Gangnam Style”

5. Every Fortnite Dance Challenge

Whether its doing the Carlton, the Shoot, or the Scrubs Dance, the options were limitless when it came to performing your version of the Fortnite dance challenge.

6. Party Rock Anthem Shuffle

Not going to lie here, this song was so massive that it was hard to notice a viral dance built in. Instead we experienced everyone doing their own types of shuffle for this challenge.

7. The “My Boo/Running Man” Challenge

At night, I dream of you, but by day everyone was performing the newest version of the “Running Man” to Ghost Town DJ’s classic “My Boo”.

8. Dabbing

I’m not sure if theres ever been a crash and burn of a viral dance sensation like that of the Dab. Once it got into the hands of parents and those with multiple left feet, it was bound to die a horrible, painful death.

9. Flossing

This could have been included in the Fortnite Dance Challenges but it was by far the biggest dance move of 2018 and came from popular social influencer “The Backpack Kid” who even tried to sue Fortnite for the use of his dance.

10. The Harlem Shake

Much like the “Running Man” the Harlem Shake went through a rebrand as it went from a shoulder shaking routine to a salad bowl of dance moves from different people in the same container.

Did we miss any? Are there any honorable mentions you could think of?

The rebellious Nicki Minaj finds herself in the middle of a generational, political-social adjustment that is happening in Saudi Arabia, of all places.  She has cancelled a headlining appearance scheduled for July 18th at the Jeddah World Fest.  The festival is part the country’s attempt to find a balance between its strictly conservative, restrictive form of Islam and a pop culture that is quickly passing it by.

In a country where there is high unemployment and rising dissatisfaction among its younger generation, the idea of bringing in entertainment as a distraction seems like an easy fix.  But when the entertainment is a provocateur like Nicki Minaj, they may be getting more than they bargained for.  Her rough language and skin revealing costumes are seen as double trouble for the Kingdom.

Minaj said she cancelled because “she did not want to perform in a country where ‘women have no rights.’ Though she added her intention was not to “disrespect” the Saudi government. To the New York Times she said the withdraw was “to make clear my support for the rights of women, the L.G.B.T.Q. community and freedom of expression.”

The government responded through media outlets that the Kingdom had done the cancelling due to Ms Minaj’s assault on its “customs and values.” The announcement was followed by a twitter flood from both sides of the Saudi argument.  Ticketholders were sad and wanted their money refunded while conservatives saw it as good news and praised Allah.  The balancing act continues. 

            An incredible list of musical hot shots are going on tour across North America this summer! Many of these artists haven’t been on tour for a long time. Many notable artists are forming fascinating collaborations with each other to create epic summer tours in huge venues across the continent. Summer 2019 is looking like a season of music-magic across several different genres!

1. Jonas Brothers

The Jonas Brothers are back in action doing concerts after six years without performing together. This earth-shattering news is hitting home to millions of North American fans. The group’s North American tour begins August 7th in Miami and continues until mid-December.

2. Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande is continuing to stun the world through a North American tour which began in March 18th in Albany, New York. She will continue the tour until August 4th. Amazingly, she’s promoting two albums together in this incredible tour!

3. Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes is on tour! The stunning talent will begin the North American leg of his tour June 12th in Portland and continue across the US until early September.

4. Khalid

Khalid is hitting the road this summer in honor of his second album, Free Spirit. The North American leg of his tour begins June 20th in Glendale and continues until his last performance in Miami on August 17th.

5. The Backstreet Boys

The Backstreet Boys are celebrating an incredible 26 years together! Their North American tour begins July 12th in DC and continues until September 15th.

6. Michael Buble

Michael Buble begins his North American tour segment July 9th in Los Angeles, the tour continues until August 3rd. 

7. Pentatonix

Pentatonix has been on an amphitheater tour through the US since last May which continues into early September.

8. Flo Rida, TLC, and Nelly

Flo Rida, TLC, and Nelly are teaming up for an amphitheater tour which already began! The tour will continue until September 1st.

9. John Bellion

John Bellion is the man behind the incredible vocals in Zedd’s “Beautiful Now.” John is currently on a North American tour which will end mid-August.

10. Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez is currently on a tour which started on June 7th in Inglewood which will continue until July 27th where she will end it in Miami.

11. Train and Goo Goo Dolls

Train and Goo Goo Dolls are currently on a tour which will continue until August 17th.

12. PRETTYMUCH

PRETTYMUCH has a summer tour in North America starting July 11th in Irving and ending August 16th in Vancouver.

13. Queen and Adam Lambert

Queen and Adam Lambert are going on tour together this summer. The tour begins July 4th in Vancouver and ends August 23rd in Charlotte.

14. Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa will start his tour July 9th in Atlanta and end it in mid-August. The tour will feature awe inspiring opening acts such as French Montana and Playboi Carti.

15. Zac Brown Band

Zac Brown Band has a summer tour this year which ends in late October. This is truly a great chance to enjoy country on a summer night!

16. Kiss

Kiss will be playing in the US this year from August 6th until September 20th.

17. Blink 182 and Lil Wayne

Blink 182 and Lil Wayne are collaborating for an incredible summer tour across North America. The tour starts June 27th in Columbus and ends September 20th in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn!