The Scoreboard is Uproxx Music’s bi-monthly look at who is putting points on the board and who is taking major Ls in the music world over the past couple weeks.
I hope your shelves were bolted to the wall and your valuables secured because the world recently experienced a significant seismic event and I just want to make sure everybody’s OK: Beyonce and Jay-Z finally released their long-rumored collaborative album. Kanye West and Kid Cudi also put out a joint effort that was a long time in the making, so all in all, it’s a good time to have friends in music. At the very least, it’s a better musical friend collaboration than you and your buddy drunkenly busting out Toto’s “Africa” at karaoke.
Meanwhile, Wyoming has had enough hip-hop, thanks, Kanye is feuding with his family (in a controlled setting on TV and it’s actually very pleasant), and there is at least one fox in Wyoming, and it might chase you. So yeah, everything’s Kanye, because that’s just the world now.
Win: Celebration of collaboration
It’s a divisive time in our country right now, and what’s going to fix that is celebrities making music together. Well, that’s probably not true, but they’re still doing it, and it’s still nice to see. Jay-Z and Beyonce talked about each other on each of their most recent solo records, and now they’re talking with each other on Everything Is Love, a collaboration the world has wanted for so long because Jay is one of the greats and Bey causes fandom-driven mania, the fervor of which should be the subject of scientific papers about human nature. Meanwhile, the years-long bromance between Kanye West and Kid Cudi continues, culminating in Kids See Ghosts, which is arguably the best of the recent Kanye projects. Everything’s just happier when we’re working together, whether its politics or albums we’ll forget about in a couple weeks as our constant thirst for more and more content continues.
Loss: No more parties in Wyoming
Hip-hop has long been cemented as a vital part of mainstream music, but Wyoming’s Diamond Cross Ranch isn’t having it. That’s where Kanye hosted his Ye listening party. It did not go well: There were a ton of delays, the nature of the event seemed to change every 30 minutes, it was 40 decibels over the town’s decibel ordinance, and the neighbors weren’t feeling it. So now, rappers are banned from the place.
Is this an unfair generalization to make because of one rap party gone awry, and is this ban misdirected? Perhaps! Actually, it should be less of a ban on hip-hop, and more of a ban on egomaniacs who exclusively do what they want when they want and wait until the literal last minute to finish anything like a burnt-out college senior busting out a bibliography page for his thesis at 4 AM.
Win: Famil-Ye Feud
Kanye’s appearance on Family Feud is a reminder that these sorts of things are taped months in advance. Would his demeanor have been as overwhelmingly joyful if the episode was taped a few weeks ago, when the world was beginning to turn on Kanye as he got controversially political, instead of back in February? Perhaps not, but regardless, it serves as a calm-before-the-storm time capsule that shows Kanye at his all-time happiest (at least as seen in public settings), and who doesn’t like happiness? The show also serves as probably the only time we’ll ever hear Kanye answer a question with a single word and not a stream of consciousness rant, so this was your one shot at seeing that. Too bad he was only asked about Steve Harvey’s kissing abilities, though.
Loss: I don’t fox with that
Just one more Kanye-related item: Foxes. Pusha T got chased by one in Wyoming, and it seems like he was sufficiently scared by the experience. Should he have been, though? It’s natural to be freaked out by something moving in the woods, especially if it’s coming towards you like Pusha claims it was, but it seems like foxes aren’t really prone to attacking humans, unless they’re rabid or put in a situation where they feel threatened. So chill, man.
Then again, my girlfriend got me to hold squirrels in the street a few weeks ago because she’s a lunatic and I love her for it, and I’m probably harboring diseases that have yet to manifest themselves because of our irresponsible behavior, so maybe I’m not the best person to analyze this situation.
Win: Drake The Actor
For someone who’s upset, it looks like Drake’s having a pretty good time in his “I’m Upset” video. He got the Degrassi: The Next Generation gang back together for a blowout of a high school reunion, and at least for me, it’s a reminder that acting Drake is ready for his acting comeback. He said as much around this time last year, and he bought the rights to the British drama Top Boy and could possibly give himself a role in the revival. Maybe this is Drake positioning himself as a sort of reverse Will Smith: While Smith went from rapping to acting and then back to rapping again, Drake would do acting to rapping to acting. If so, this should actually be a MAJOR loss, because if we’re strictly sticking to the Smith formula, Drake’s on-screen return is set to be as cringey as “Get Lit.”
Loss: Martin Shkreli might have Drake’s shelved Pusha T diss track
Win: Tariq the dinosaur geek
Just another reminder that even though he spends most of his time backing Jimmy Fallon, The Roots’ Black Thought is still one of the best rappers out there. He even gets to flex on The Tonight Show ever now and then, and he did so recently with his Jurassic Park rap. This kind of rap is something an aspiring viral rapper would work on for weeks in an attempt to latch onto a popular franchise (and not do it nearly this well), but Black Thought probably busted this out in a day or two. He’s one of the greats, don’t forget it.
Loss: Cardi B and Jerry J
All it takes for Cardi B to overshadow Jerry Seinfeld is a one-minute appearance on Between Two Ferns in which she enters, accepts a gift, and leaves. Sure, Zach Galifianakis’ dismissive attitude towards the comedy icon helped, but Cardi has always been and will continue to be a real scene-stealer. Her appearance also made for a great gag referencing Seinfeld’s Kesha incident: “That was the opposite of what happened with Kesha,” Seinfeld said after reaching in for a Cardi hug and being totally ignored. I guess in 2018, the man with the ’90s show about nothing means just that.
Win: The mother of rock
A rock mom is the best mom… unless your mom isn’t one. Then whatever kind of mom yours is is the best kind. That wasn’t a “your mom” joke, I just respect your mother and all mothers. Anyway, rock moms are pretty sweet, especially Dave Grohl’s: She wrote a book about raising her rambunctious boy, and now she’s partnering with her son (as well as Live Nation Productions and Endeavor Content) to turn it into a TV series. This should end up being a pretty excellent show for music fans: The Grohls have access to a bunch of historic and fascinating figures, and Dave has become an experienced, award-winning director over the past few years with Sound City and the Sonic Highways series. It looks like Dave needs to make another trip to Michael’s for set design crafts.
Speaking of parents…
Loss: Grow up and wait until they’re grown up
Uproxx’s own Steven Hyden recently wrote a piece about why parents shouldn’t bring their young kids to concerts, so check it out if you haven’t yet. In my ongoing effort to make sure Uproxx has complete and comprehensive coverage from multiple perspectives, I figured that I, a 26-year-old who is about as ready to raise a child the dead squirrel I found in my backyard a few days ago is, should weigh in. My take: Hyden’s right. Are there scenarios when it makes sense to bring a child to a show? Sure, but it seems to me that more often than not, parents drag their kids out because, as Hyden said, it’s an effort to earn cool parent cred, or because they want to go to a show and couldn’t get a sitter. Being a parent is surely a fulfilling and life-changing experience, but part of the life-changing-ness of it means that sometimes you just can’t go to a show.
Sorry, ma ‘n’ pa, but you gotta step up and be responsible like I did when I used a snow shovel to turn that dead squirrel into somebody else’s problem as I flung it over the fence and into the parking lot next door.