Pop music update

Ivan Villareal ’19

Late rappers XXXTENTACION and Lil Peep posthumously released a collaborative track titled, “Falling Down.” Because of tensions between the two rap stars before their deaths, controversy surrounded the release of their first collaboration.

Jahseh Onfroy, known by his stage name XXXTENTACION, has had a controversial past, consumed by allegations of violence against his girlfriend. These allegations deeply concerned Gustav Ahr (stage name Lil Peep), so much so that he publicly stated he would never record with the rapper.

They both passed away within six months of each other, having never built any kind of professional relationship. The song was released as a moving tribute for the fans of these modern rap pioneers, both taken too soon.

In other news, the frustratingly long wait for Lil Wayne’s The Carter V is finally over.

After five years of legal troubles concerning his label — Young Money — and personal conflict with his long-time mentor and label executive Birdman, the album was released under the sole supervision of Wayne himself, now the head of his own label. Lil Wayne is a timeless, iconic artist, revered as one of the greatest lyricists to grace the mic. As such, the buzz is at an all time high, and the rap community expected Wayne to deliver.

Even with this pressure, features from Nicki Minaj, Snoop Dogg, the aforementioned XXXTENTACION, and Kendrick Lamar — as well as a snippet of praise from former president Barack Obama — guarantee this album is a must-listen for any rap fan.

As another immensely popular and polarizing celebrity, Kanye West announced his new album, titled Yandhi, speculated to be the highly anticipated sequel to his 2013 minimalist, avant-garde masterpiece, Yeezus. The connection to Gandhi is not as narcissistic as one may expect; Kanye claims to be an escapee of “the sunken place” (a metaphor for the troubles of his bipolar depression) and has dedicated himself to spread positive energy and peace.

However, the album, scheduled for release this past Saturday following his live performance on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, is still unavailable, sparking outrage among fans and critics. This also only addresses the artistic side of his controversial persona, as Kanye has repeatedly incited political uproar in his support of Donald Trump and comments on slavery.

With major releases from two of the great artists, Lil Wayne and Kanye, and a surprise posthumous collaboration between two young pioneers, XXXTENTACION and Lil Peep, your playlists should have no shortage of fresh new music.