Bobby Shmurda Says an NYPD Cop Told Him 'I Don't Want My Kids Listening to Your Music'

Bobby Shmurda
This morning, Ebro over at Hot 97 called up Ackquille Pollard — a/k/a Bobby Shmurda — who was incarcerated in the wake of a drug trafficking sting in Times Square on December 17. Shmurda is currently awaiting trial, and the young rapper, along with several members of Brooklyn's GS9 crew, faces charges for weapons possession, conspiracy, reckless endangerment, and a number of other offenses. Shmurda, who was being held at Rikers following the arraignment and placed under protective custody, has since been moved to the Manhattan Detention Complex, or the Tombs, along with fellow GS9 crew member Chad Marshall, a/k/a Rowdy Rebel. Shmurda's been outspoken about the proceedings following his arrest: In multiple interviews with Billboard, he called them "bullshit" and clarified that, no, he wasn't stabbed in jail; he also told the New York Times that he thought his label, Epic Records, would come for him and support him in his time of need, "but they never came." He's been able to keep the press abreast of how things are going on the inside — or at least he was, as Shmurda was cut off in the middle of his latest interview with Hot 97.

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Perfect Pussy's Meredith Graves on Her New Label, Honor Press: 'No Snobs, No Phonies, No Shitheads'

Photo: Kimi Selfridge/Tan Camera
Meredith Graves on her new record label: "I want to wrangle a good squad of humans."
Meredith Graves is hurting from the jet-lag left over from her most recent tour through Australia with her band, Perfect Pussy, and she's still getting acclimated to her new home in Brooklyn. Plus, she's got quite enough on her plate, with band practice, songwriting, her own independent creative pursuits (photography, a forthcoming solo record, baking), and getting to know the shortcuts and subway stops of her new neighborhood. She's successful, driven, and very, very busy, but Graves just threw another beast into the whirling mix of her endeavors: She's just launched her own label, Honor Press, and she's not wasting any time getting its music out there.

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Exclusive Premiere: Viral Cover Kings Thirdstory Take On Taylor Swift's 'Style'

Courtesy of Thirdstory
Thirdstory joke about being the unofficial Taylor Swift cover band, but they say the goal for their music is to maintain soul and an authentic approach. The group, made up of Richard Saunders, Elliott Skinner, and Ben Lusher, was behind the now-viral cover of Sam Smith's "I'm Not the Only One," which they released back in December — and now they're seeing if they can cop Taylor Swift's "Style."

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Eight NYC Songs Christina Aguilera Should Sing at the NBA All-Star Game

Courtesy of
Christina Aguilera is set to open the 2015 NBA All-Star Game with a New York–themed performance alongside the Rockettes on February 15.
Like any other widely watched television event, the NBA All-Star Game has become far more than just an excuse for basketball's best to steal the Harlem Globetrotters' swag for one fine evening. No, it's now a massive pop-culture event in itself, one with celebrities in tow and performances from some of music's biggest names. Last year Pharrell opened up the festivities, and this go-round Christina Aguilera has been tapped to kick things off with a sure-to-be-over-the-top NYC-themed performance with backing help from the Rockettes. This sort of thing gets the city thinking about which songs the pop star and Voice judge (and Staten Island native) would choose for her big showing. Here are some New York City songs that could work their way into Christina's routine, from Sinatra to Stevie and even some Lovin' Spoonful. It's on you now, Xtina.

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Finding the Poetry in Hip-Hop

Categories: Essay, New Yorkers

Homeboy Sandman | Photo by Lauren Jaslow
By the time I began studying English and creative writing at NYU, I had already started to identify myself as a poet. I lived and breathed poetry; it was the only way I could compute and make sense of my surroundings. Simultaneously, I was also an EDM head, before electronic music had become so wildly and widely popular again, and before EDM was really a term. But I was sick of the scene and asked my roommate to give me some new music. "Here," she said, "Why don't you give this a listen." She handed me a copy of Homeboy Sandman's album Actual Factual Pterodactyl.

See also: Homeboy Sandman Assembles New York Avengers

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Jean Grae Presents An Instructional Album For Adults

Jean Grae in Life With Jeannie

Being an adult is very hard for very many people. Jean Grae knows this and has written a handy eleven-track musical commentary on it titled That's Not How You Do That: An Instructional Album For Adults. It opens with the scatted observation, "That's not how you do that/ How about you fuckin' grow up?" and also includes the righteous call to arms "A Handle Means PULL" and "Use Your Fucking Headphones." You should stop whatever fuckery you're indulging in at the moment and go and procure it now.

While you do that, here's Jean answering a bunch of questions based on the contents of her new album. (Warning: Includes talk of kale salad, L train subway stress, and waitstaff interactions.)

See also: Jean Grae Picks Christmas Sweaters For Talib Kweli, Sean Price and Pharoahe Monch

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Laura Stevenson Embraces Don Giovanni's Family Affair

This weekend, the Music Hall of Williamsburg will play host to a family reunion of sorts as Don Giovanni Records takes over the venue to showcase its artists. The Brooklyn-based label is unusual in that its roster is one big bear hug of a multi-faceted musical love fest, a collection of independent artists that check off a handful of genres as they challenge and re-work their definition of the word on every release they put out with Don Giovanni. Thy name of the game is "acceptance" in that regard, in that Don Giovanni banks on the personalities of the bands it supports, and encourages them to write and record their music as opposed to rejecting submissions and tailoring their artistic identities.

See also: Don Giovanni Keeps the Jersey-Punk Dream Alive

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New York City's Best Sound Guys Sound Off

Photo: Adam Macchia
In this week's music feature, we followed two of New York City's most revered sound guys--Kenny Lienhardt of the Bowery Ballroom and Rob Sutton of The Knitting Factory--and they were incredibly good sports when it came to showing us the ropes while dishing out some of the more infamous stories of their all-seeing and all-hearing careers. Over the course of a few beers and a clocked-in shift or two, tons of ground was covered and countless absurd anecdotes were shared: Fishing with Bon Iver, New York's vital need for hip-hop sound engineering, and that time a venue caught on fire in the middle of a sold-out Cake show were some of the tidbits dropped on the record, and though they couldn't make it into print, these are some details that further support the fact that these guys are the unsung heroes of New York music. (And now we all know how big sound guys are on details.)

See also: The Top 15 Things That Annoy the Crap Out of Your Local Sound Guy

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Masta Ace on Disposable Arts Getting the Deluxe Treatment

Categories: New Yorkers

Courtesy of Below System
Masta Ace
This week, Masta Ace's Disposable Arts, one of the most treasured rap albums of the 2000s, finally gets a long-awaited deluxe reissue treatment that brings us the out-of-print classic along with a documentary on its making featuring new interviews with all of the parties involved. One of rap's all time greatest comeback stories, the former Juice Crew member hadn't released an album in over a half-decade, but then, in October of 2001 dropped, a groundbreaking album that was part-memoir/ part-manifesto that, in the words of writer Andrew Noz, "sonned a whole generation of back-packers." To celebrate the occasion, we spoke to Masta Ace about the making of the album and how he feels about it today.

See also: Five NYC Rappers Who Deserve To Be In XXL's 2013 Freshman Class Issue

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Devendra Banhart: "I'm Not An Entertainer"

Ana Kras
Devendra Banhart really, really wants you to dance.

With "Golden Girls," the lead-off track on Mala, which dropped on Nonesuch Records this week, he implores the listener to do just that: Banhart hypnotically chants "Get on the dance floor" as the flames from a steady burn of strings and crashing cymbals lick at your heels. The song may last a grand total of a minute and a half, but the message carries over the course of the album as Banhart's trademark eccentricity pops through flamenco guitar strains, synth deluges, sultry ballads and minimalist love songs that stun with their lyrical impact and instrumental simplicity. Surprisingly, Banhart doesn't think that Mala's repertoire, despite this rhythmic call to arms, will have people up out of their chairs when he starts to tour behind it.

See also: Devendra Banhart and R. Kelly, 'Maturing'

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