Why Taylor Swift's 'Welcome to New York' Is Bullshit

Categories: Taylor Swift

The first thing you notice about Taylor Swift's New York is that the East River has somehow been turned into a 16-mile-long flowing trench of frozen yogurt. Is it Pinkberry? Is it Red Mango? It's impossible to tell, but don't get close enough to find out, because if you fall in, there's no escaping. It's just frozen yogurt in your nose and your ears and your eyes until everything becomes a cloyingly sweet nothingness.

This is, or might as well be, the New York in Taylor Swift's single "Welcome to New York," a place where anything interesting or difficult is smoothed away into digital handclaps and Auto-Tune. The New York of "Welcome to New York" is what you would get if you populated it entirely with humans raised in the Times Square Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., then let them out into the world with only a penthouse apartment, an Amex black card, and leopard-print Prada luggage to guide them.

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A History of Rappers Who Tried (and Failed) to Bring New York Back

Photo by Phillip Toledano
A$AP Rocky
Sometimes New Yorkers can come off a little self-conscious. We've got the stars, the scenes, and the go-to dreams of practically every American teenager in the world. But when it comes to hip-hop, it seems we really have a difficult time dealing with waning omnipresence and the steadily increasing mainstream attention paid to those non-Most Important Place in the Universe locales. Atlanta, Miami, Memphis, even the resurgence of Los Angeles -- it terrifies us, which is why we've seen an endless string of anonymous New York MCs held up as that foregone arbiter destined to "Bring New York Back."

That's the slogan. "Bring New York Back." It always struck us as strange, because it's not like the city hasn't produced interesting rap music over the last 10 years; all the same, it harkens to an era when New York hip-hop was the only hip-hop that mattered. You know, that same era when groups like OutKast and Goodie Mob were getting buried.

So with that in mind, we're going to chronologically track the people who were supposed to bring New York back. Maybe we'll learn something about unrealistic expectations in an increasingly diverse world.

See also: The Top 20 NYC Rap Albums of All Time

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Comedy Duo the Lucas Brothers Pull Double Duty

Categories: Comedy

The Lucas Bros.
Twin NYC comedians Kenny and Keith Lucas are all about the slow burn. Their low-key, deadpan give and take has been featured on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Arrested Development, 22 Jump Street, and Comedy Central Web series The Super Late Morning Show ("The morning show for people who wake up at noon"), and their animated Fox series, Lucas Bros. Moving Co., in which the two voice Greenpoint-based van movers, returns for a second season this fall. Not content to work on one show at a time, October 28 sees the premiere of TruTV's Friends of the People. The pair sat down with us at this summer's Just for Laughs Montreal comedy festival to discuss the ensemble-sketch series.

See also: Hannibal Buress: 'Bombing Can Be Good'

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Ask Andrew W.K.: Am I Getting Too Old to Party?

Photo by Andrew Strasser
[Editor's note: Every Wednesday, New York City's own Andrew W.K. takes your life questions and sets you safely down the right path to a solution, a purpose, or -- no surprise here -- a party. Need his help? Just ask: AskAWK@villagevoice.com]

Dear Andrew,

It's my birthday and I feel depressed. I never used to be one of those people that hated telling people their age, but for the first time in my life, I feel like I'm getting old. How do I keep the party going even though I'm old?

Yours truly,
Aging Rager

See also: Ask Andrew W.K.: Should I Worry About Ebola?

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Hunters, Gringo Star, Splashh, and Many More at the Village Voice CMJ Showcase!

Categories: CMJ

Travis Rix
Hunters at Death By Audio
Calling all party people. Thursday and Friday we're throwing a couple of CMJ day shows at the Knitting Factory in Williamsburg for the truly committed. Our good friends (and former Voice cover kids) Hunters will be on the bill Thursday. They're joined by Gringo Star and a few bands that should be on your radar, like the will-def-blow-up-soon September Girls and the will-be-huge-eventually Flowers. Friday we've got a bill stacked with bands from across the pond. Splashh are your headliners that day, and they're joined by the Wytches, Pins, Paws (both PINS AND PAWS), and Beverly. So you should RSVP for both parties, and instructions on how to do that are after the jump. It is literally as easy as sending an email. So get to it, and see you there!

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Colin Quinn Is Performing Five Free Shows Next Week

Categories: Comedy

Colin Quinn performs all week for free at The Creek and the Cave
This week in Cheap Laughs, we have sweater kings, Daily Show zings, Puerto Rican Rattlesnakes, Jazz babycakes, and New York's spirit clown, Mr. Colin Quinn. Here's our rundown of the best in independently produced New York comedy this week.

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Ty Dolla $ign Has Mad Bowling Tips

Ty Dolla $ign by Jory Lee Cordy

[Editor's note: In "Tweets Is Watching," Phillip Mlynar asks artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline.]

On November 2, Ty Dolla $ign will be strutting onto the stage at Irving Plaza to air out his hits as part of the rap-styled warbler's In Too Deep tour. It's a spectacle the genial Ty promises will turn out to be "the best show people have ever seen in their life." Off the back of those lofty words, then, here's Ty$ running through timeline talk about his frequent cohort DJ Mustard, his love of J Dilla, and the all-important bowling/grilled-cheese nexus.

See also: Riff Raff: 'We Are Getting Special Cases That Glow in the Dark'

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A Complete Guide to Hip-Hop at CMJ 2014

Categories: CMJ

Joey Bada$$ Brings Pro Era to CMJ
It's the most wonderful time of the year as CMJ has once again descended over the good people of New York City. The College Music Journalism festival is bringing over 1,000 acts across all genres to the city, which makes planning a five-day foray into the fires of college radio a touch daunting. Those among you who are hip-hop heads (i.e., the coolest kids) are in luck: We've assembled a rundown of everything beats-and-rhymes happening at CMJ this year.

While you've probably heard about the Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era showcase on Thursday, or the free Tommy Boy showcase on Wednesday, one of the best parts about CMJ has always been the opportunity to see acts that are never really in New York. Hip-hop especially benefits this week, and this year is no exception, as artists from such exotic locations as Taiwan and Alabama will be showing what they can do with a mic. Here's a day-by-day breakdown of everything CMJ.

See also: The Top 20 NYC Rap Albums of All Time: The Complete List

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Reminder: Tonight Marnie Stern Will Tell Dirty Stories, and Marnie the Dog Will Be Adorable

Categories: Celebrations

Update! If you missed it, watch the full video below

We've talked to Marnie Stern and Marnie the Dog about the tour stories they're going to tell tonight at The Creek and Cave in Long Island City. [SPOILER ALERT] One of them contains the phrase "tore his penis."

It's going to be a fun, fun, fun night for the price of zero dollars. Marnie (Stern) will blow minds and Marnie (the Dog) will melt hearts (or maybe vice versa?) starting at 8 p.m., so hop on the 7 train or put on your most comfy walking shoes and come on out to Rumble Strip, which is what we're calling this because "Road Stories" was already taken. But people will both rumble and strip tonight, so it's fine. It's fine.

See you there! In the meantime, watch Marnie and Marnie interview Mac DeMarco together on a boat after the jump.

See also: Come Hear Marnie Stern and Marnie the Dog Tell Outrageous Tour Stories

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Meet Logic, the Punctual, Seinfeld-Loving Rapper Who Turned Down a Deal With Nas

Categories: Interviews

Hip-hop and Seinfeld nostalgia rarely intersect, but then Logic is not your typical rapper. The 24-year-old Gaithersburg, Maryland, native is in town on a promo blitz for his debut album, Under Pressure, and asks to meet me for breakfast at Tom's Restaurant, the Morningside Heights spot known as Monk's Diner to fans of Jerry, Elaine, and George. He's ridiculously punctual, unheard of in hip-hop, and really nice about my tardiness (even more unheard of). "You watch Seinfeld?" he asks, after ordering a tuna sandwich on white bread, toasted, with light lettuce and cheese. "Jerry Seinfeld is the type of dude who would break up with a girl because she eats her peas one at a time."

Born Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, Logic's regal name and pop-culture affinities seem more suburbia than his tormented, impoverished, and downright fucked-up upbringing. A light-complexioned, blue-eyed biracial child -- he absolutely hates when people incorrectly categorize him as a "white rapper" -- he grew up with a white mother who battled prostitution and addiction while his father, who is black, was addicted to drugs, even scoring crack from Logic's brothers. Terrifying violence was the norm, and Logic recounts seeing his mother and sisters sexually assaulted. His own best friend is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence for stabbing and disemboweling a man on the sidewalk, due to what he believes was a drug deal gone bad.

Somehow, Logic took this as a cautionary example and went the other way.

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