Features

The VMAs Need to Stop Relying on Their Stars So Much

In 2006, the MTV Video Music Awards were on the brink of absolute disaster. That year's ceremonies, hosted by an expired Jack Black, were brutally…
Andrew Unterberger / August 29, 2016

Despite Stacked Lineup, Afropunk Is Still ‘the Other Black’

You know when it’s Afropunk weekend in Brooklyn. The black women with brightly dyed hair, septum piercings, and round shades; the fellas in African-patterned garbs…
Brian Josephs / August 29, 2016

Lucy Dacus: Film-School Dropout Turned Alt-Folk Darling

Lucy Dacus used to want to be a film director. Growing up in Richmond, Virginia, the 21-year-old singer-songwriter watched Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window and Federico Fellini's…
Rachel Brodsky / August 26, 2016

‘Don’t Try to Be Someone Else’: On Voicemails and a Mother’s Love on Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’

The album skit is supposed to be over. What was once an essential hallmark of hip-hop and R&B LPs is now a disposable flourish; WAVs and MP3s…
Brian Josephs / August 24, 2016

Billy Ray Cyrus: There’s a Thin Line Between Elvis and Jesus

Billy Ray Cyrus is a man of faith. Yes, the religious kind; he is quick to reference a Bible passage in conversation (specifically, the one about Jesus…
Rachel Brodsky / August 23, 2016

Q&A: Philly Quartet Good Girl on Trying to Resurrect the R&B Group

When Philly girl group Good Girl took the stage at America’s Got Talent this year to perform their a cappella rendition of En Vogue's "Don’t…
Maya Lewis / August 23, 2016

Chastity Belt Aren’t Afraid to Get Sentimental on Their Next Album

Chastity Belt's first show was "a total joke" — at least that's how Julia Shapiro, lead singer and guitarist for the Seattle four-piece, tells it.
Kyle McGovern / August 23, 2016

20 Years, 20 Questions: Big Boi Reconnects With OutKast’s ‘ATLiens’

August 3, 1995: a day that will live in rap infamy. The Source was hosting its annual award show that night at the Paramount Theater…
Corbin Reiff / August 22, 2016

Gonjasufi Feels Your Pain

"This is going to hurt your ears a bit," Gonjasufi announces over the mic as he cues up a gnarled synth riff on his Roland…
Peter Holslin / August 22, 2016

PARTYNEXTDOOR Is Boring

PARTYNEXTDOOR's P3 somehow becoming one of the summer's most talked-about albums is a noteworthy achievement, especially when you consider how much the singer/producer had to live up to after…
Brian Josephs / August 19, 2016

A Conversation With James Ferraro, Critical Futurist

A day or so after I talked to James Ferraro, the 28-year-old "god of vaporwave," I found myself deep into my bank's automated phone system and…
Anna Gaca / August 18, 2016

‘The Night Of’ Star Riz Ahmed Leads a Double Life as Riz MC

Riz Ahmed might be having the busiest year of his life. Not only does the U.K.-born actor and musician have the lead role on HBO's critically celebrated…
Rachel Brodsky / August 17, 2016

Touché Amoré Rise Above With New Album ‘Stage Four’ and Julien Baker Duet ‘Skyscraper’

Touché Amoré’s music and their fanbase can be described in almost the exact same terms: fierce, blistering, intense, and, above all, hardcore. Since their incendiary…
Ian Cohen / August 16, 2016

Just Let Kanye West Headline the Super Bowl Halftime Show

The only thing that's known about the Pepsi Super Bowl LI Halftime Show is that it will take place in Houston and it won't feature Adele.
Brian Josephs / August 15, 2016

Eaux Claires Festival 2016: SPIN’s Best Live Photos

Eaux Claires, the festival curated by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and the National's Aaron Dessner, celebrated its second annual event in Vernon's hometown of Eau Claire,…
SPIN Staff / August 15, 2016

Eaux Claires 2016: Still Waters Run Deep

This past weekend marked the second annual edition of Eaux Claires, the festival Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon organizes in partnership with the National’s Aaron Dessner…
Anna Gaca / August 15, 2016

Q&A: Jay Som on Her Drunkenly Bandcamped Debut and ‘Mind-Blowing’ Tour With Mitski

"We love you, you little twerp," says Michelle Zauner, frontwoman to dream-pop outfit Japanese Breakfast. It's the last night of tour, and Zauner's onstage sending love…
Matt Malone / August 12, 2016

Q&A: Discussing the Ed Sheeran Lawsuit With ‘Let’s Get It On’ Heir Kathryn Griffin-Townsend

Earlier this week, news broke that the heirs of late soul songwriter Ed Townsend had officially taken legal action against British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran. The…
Andrew Unterberger / August 12, 2016

Kemba Battled Tumors and Poverty to Make an Exceptional Album

Kemba’s "Molotovs at Poseidon," a highlight from his 2013 LP, GNK, is a prime example of how much control the 25-year-old has over the spoken…
Brian Josephs / August 12, 2016

Let’s Take a Moment to Appreciate How Terrible This Green Day Album Cover Is

The world is about as ready as it's ever likely to be again for a new Green Day album. A Frank Ocean-length absence following their…
Andrew Unterberger / August 11, 2016
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