Well, it seems like reporting on Michael Jackson’s death and legacy has started to slow somewhat on the national/global news front, but death continues to dominate music industry news today. Apart from MJ’s passing and continued tributes and covers from various artists relating to same, today also brought news that VIBE magazine will be closing “immediately” (Daily Finance reported this earlier having hear from multiple sources, and the New York Times later confirmed the news). So it looks like for anyone who receives this final issue with The-Dream and Christina Milian on the cover, the mag is D.O.A. Seems like there have been too many R.I.P.s to throw around recently. Having been a VIBE subscriber, all I can say is too bad. Looks like ev2bk will have to step up its coverage of the rap game.
In other death related news from today, and getting back to this D.O.A. theme, today Rap Radar posted up a link to the new video from Jay-Z for his much anticipated/buzzworthy “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-tune)” single. In it, Jay spits a lot of pretty fierce rhymes and quotable lyrics and after I watched it, I was left thinking about how cool Jay-Z is, not really about the state of the “rap game” or anything like that. I mean, dude is playing high stakes poker in some Italian-mob-backroom game with Harvey Keitel? Rocking skinny ties? Nice. Plus, No I.D. (Kanye West mentor and longtime Jermaine Dupri collaborator/ghost producer) put together something special for this one; the live band sound is bananas.
I agree that the use of Autotune is too all-pervasive right now, and so I feel the sentiment, but at the same time, I love me some T-Pain, and also think R. Kelly is tight with it. So as a liberal Northeast player, I don’t like to see some big honcho trying to tell everyone what to do (…and thus Hova proclaimed: “Quit using Auto-tune”). Of course, I’m not too worried that this will be the ultimate death-knell for Auto-tune. As T-Pain recently put it on his Twitter page:
“Ladies and gents t-pain is officially the 2009 POP WRITER OF THE YEAR. I think I’m just gonna stop writing for a while iv provd my point
I’m just kiddin bout me not writing. The haters gotta have some to hate cuz if not they just gone stay on jay zs nuts.”
Anyway, check out the video and tell us what you think.
Jay-Z – D.O.A. (Death of Auto-tune):
P.S. On a “good news” side note, it looks like Al Franken will finally be seated as the newest Senator from Minnesota, following the state’s Supreme Court ruling this afternoon.
Editor’s Note: Former XXL editor Elliott Wilson started Rap Radar back in March and he is the husband of Danyel Smith, the editor and chief of Vibe.