Music News

Music Biz Headlines: Drake's Beef with Kendrick Lamar and Rap's Greatest Diss Tracks

Our weekly compendium of headlines from across Canada and beyond also features stories on Cindy Lee, Taylor Swift, Hot Docs' troubles, Sean Diddy Combs' legal issues, streaming fraud and more.

Courtesy Photo

Musical Incubator at Theatre Aquarius Announces First Cohort of Productions

The National Centre for New Musicals will provide mentorship and consultation to the Canadian composers, lyricists, book writers and theatre artists behind five new musical works. The NCNM at Theatre Aquarius has announced the first cohort of five productions that have been selected. – Hamilton City Magazine

Kendrick Lamar Drops Scathing Drake Diss Track ‘Euphoria’

K. Dot's response includes a surprising reference to Toronto Chinese restaurant New Ho King. – Michael Saponara, Billboard

Drake Versus Everyone: What to know About the Sprawling Rap Beef That Won't End

The melee now involves Kanye West, Rick Ross, and pretty much every other rapper over the age of 35. And what’s that about a Drake nose job? – Richie Assaly, Toronto Star


Cindy Lee's 'Diamond Jubilee' Is Re-Writing the Rules of Breaking Through

Though it's not even on streaming services, the Calgary DIY artist's album has been blowing up in a refreshingly organic way. – Rosie Long Decter, Billboard Canada

Plenty to Admire at Local Music Production Showcase in the Exchange

Music industry professionals and artists crammed into a sweltering room in the Exchange District for the first-ever Good + Plenty Producer’s Showcase, featuring the city’s next generation of songwriters and producers. – Ben Waldman, Winnipeg Free Press

Do Taylor Swift’s Lyrics Stand Up as Poetry?

We invited three Toronto poets to weigh in on her new album. It’s a Tortured Poets Department listening party for actual poets. – Sarah Laing, Toronto Star

Beloved Maestro Sir Andrew Davis Had a Long-Standing Bond with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra

The British conductor was a proponent of Bach, Elgar and Tippett, yet one of his best remembered moments on stage with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra involved a light composition that while a classic, was hardly classical. The maestro was serenaded on his 75th birthday by the members of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail


Hot Docs Boss says ‘Future of the Organization is in Jeopardy’ as Festival Launches

Canada’s largest documentary film festival kicks off Thursday amid ongoing uncertainty over its finances, concerns over a mass staff exodus and a new president who says survival depends on reimagining it as a “leaner, meaner version.” – Alex Nino Gheciu, Canadian Press

Classical Music: Opera is Seriously Addictive. Carmen Especially

It’s just like the good old days: Vancouver Opera offers five, count em, five performances of George Bizet’s 1875 blockbuster Carmen. – David Gordon Duke, Vancouver Sun

As the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra Turns 50, Its Musicians Reflect on its Legacy

Toronto’s premiere training orchestra for youth will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a special concert Saturday at Roy Thomson Hall. – Joshua Chong, Toronto Star

Saying Goodbye to the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra's Gemma New

Her final two appearances as HPO music director are on May 1 and May 4. – Leonard Turnevicius, Hamilton Spectator

Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival Announces its 2024 Lineup

The highly anticipated Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival has just announced its full lineup in conjunction with International Jazz Day (April 30). Some highlights include a tribute to Duke Ellington with the 16-piece Fred Stride Jazz Orchestra; The Cool Blues Show, featuring Miss Emily, Tom Lavin & The Legendary Powder Blues Band and Rock Estrin & The Nightcats. – Vicki Duong, Georgia Straight



Primary Wave Music Acquires Neil Finn’s Publishing Catalog

Via work in Split Enz and Crowded House, Finn is widely regarded as one of the greatest contemporary songwriters in the game, and is a member of the ARIA Hall of Fame.– Lars Brandle Billboard

‘The Working Class Can't Afford It': The Shocking Truth About the Money Bands Make On Tour


As Taylor Swift tops $1bn in tour revenue, musicians playing smaller venues are facing pitiful fees and frequent losses. Should the state step in to save our live music scene? – Daniel Wray, The Guardian

Takedown Fails: Artists are Seeing Their Music Removed From DSPs for Streaming Fraud They Didn't Commit

On Feb. 9, the electronic artist Benn Jordan began receiving messages from fans asking him why he’d removed all of his music from streaming platforms. Not surprisingly, panic set in. Ari Herstand, Variety

Furious, Funny and Potentially Fatal: Hip-Hop’s 20 Greatest Diss Tracks – Ranked!

As Drake, Kendrick Lamar and more continue their high-profile beef, we run down the most inspired – and vicious – attacks in rap’s history. – Alexis Petridis, The Guardian

Can Rap Beef Exist When No One Agrees on What's Being Fought For?

J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Drake in a conflict without a cause. None of the participants seem to even be playing by the same rules, much less for the same prize. – Sheldon Pearce, National Public Radio

‘Reagan Gave Us Something to Rap About’: How Hip-Hop has Interacted With U.S. Politics

New documentary Hip-Hop and the White House looks back at how presidents have rejected or embraced those within the genre, from Reagan to Trump. – The Guardian

A2IM Joins Congressman Maxwell Frost to Introduce the Create Art Act to Support New and Emerging Artists

Frost’s legislation would create new federal grant programs to support local creatives and the industries and small business economies that the arts enable. – A2IM

Security Guard Shot Outside Weeknd Co-Manager’s L.A. Residence in Apparent Home Invasion

A security guard was shot several times outside the Los Angeles-area home of Weeknd co-manager and business partner Amir “Cash” Esmailian in an apparent home invasion. Esmailian has been a key member of the Weeknd's team, which is led by his longtime manager Wassim “Sal” Slaiby. – Jem Aswad, Variety


Stop Listening to Music, It Will Change Your Life

There were multiple reasons for stopping, so let’s cover them all. –Mil Hoornaert, Medium

Scooter Braun and the Twilight of the Music Manager

Colonel Tom Parker made Elvis an icon; Brian Epstein bled for the Beatles. But these days the all-powerful backstage hustler looks more and more like a relic of the past. Andrew O' Hagan / The New Yorker

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Files Motion to Dismiss Some Claims in a Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Lawyers for Sean “Diddy” Combs pushed back against a woman’s lawsuit that accused him of sexual assault, filing a motion on Friday to dismiss some claims that were not under law when the alleged incident occurred. – J. Landrum Jr., Associated Press

Ukrainian Duo Heads to the Eurovision Song Contest With a Message: We're Still Here

Even amid war, Ukraine finds time for the glittery, pop-filled Eurovision Song Contest. Ukraine’s entrants in the pan-continental music competition are the female duo of rapper Alyona Alyona and singer Jerry Heil. – Associated Press


The Criminal Justice Bill Protests, 30 Years on

"We went from naive, hippyish protesters to hardcore anarchists’: It’s three decades since the government’s attempt to ban raves radicalised an oddball coalition of dance fans, squatters and ‘new age’ travellers. – Dorian Lynskey, The Guardian



Music News

Kaytranada Announces a 'Timeless' New Record Featuring Childish Gambino, PinkPantheress

The Montreal producer's third solo LP will also include collaborations with Canadian artists Rochelle Jordan and Charlotte Day Wilson, and is set for a June 7 release.

One of Canada's most celebrated producers has a new full-length on the way, arriving just in time to kick off the summer.

Kaytranada's Timeless is set for a June 7 release, and will feature a host of acclaimed collaborators, including Childish Gambino — fresh off his Atavista release — U.K. bedroom pop star PinkPatheress, funk virtuoso Thundercat, R&B singer Ravyn Lenae and many more.

keep readingShow less