Lana Del Rey's Top Six Hip-Hop Connections

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She's no longer an Internet phenomenon, but the moody singer Lana Del Rey has turned into something of an infatuation for rappers, who are more than eager to collaborate and canoodle with her. In honor of her headlining a series of shows at Irving Plaza this week, here's a short list of her notable hip-hop connections.


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Asshattery In 140 Characters Or Less: Which Musicians Are The Biggest Klouchebags?

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Which Gallagher brother is a bigger prat... on Twitter?
If you're on the Internet you might have heard of Klout, a pseudo-scientific way for measuring the slippery ideal of "online influence." Taking into consideration a variety of factors, it has (despite its often being utterly gameable and as a result off the mark) turned into a way for people online to judge not just each other, but themselves.

Today a variation on Klout, Klouchebag, launched to further fill in the picture drawn by Klout's algorithms. Dubbing itself "the standard for measuring asshattery online" and putting itself (or, well, its code) on the lookout for people engaging in jerky behavior in the 140-character wild, it judges users' Twitter feeds on four metrics—"Anger," "Retweet Abuse," "Social Apps," and "English Misuse"—and then figures out just how much of an annoying prat they are accordingly. (Your correspondent's score of 57 causes her to fall in the "bit of a douchebag" range.) This new, exciting measurement of the always-rampant scourge of online idiocy caused us to wonder: Which musicians with prominent social-media presences are, in actuality, the worst—or at least, worse than their chief rivals using a semi-scientific method? A couple of head-to-head matchups after the jump.

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A Musician's Guide to Twitter: Four Tips On Surviving The 140-Character Rapids

The "social" part of "social media" describes the relationship users can develop with each other through constant updates. Twitter epitomizes this principle, inviting users to post their quick chirp-like thoughts 24 hours a day, seven days a week and providing an overwhelming amount of time for both opportunities and letdowns.

There's no need to stalk a concert in order to see the unfiltered side of an artist—just go online and check out what they're putting out on social media. But like any other relationship, this one has its limits—rules to the game, just like Biggie's Ten Crack Commandments. Etiquette, if you will, to handling online stardom and the commentary that surrounds it. Here are four guidelines for those people looking to navigate the social-media waters:

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How Not To Write About Female Musicians: A Handy Guide

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Maybe it's all that misguided Year of the Woman chatter that dominated year-end roundups, or the slow, agonizing creep of Fashion Week, or the coming apocalypse, but hoo boy has there been a lot of terrible writing about female musicians in the past few weeks. The latest offender is the New York Times style magazine T's cover-worthy profile of Lana Del Rey, which manages to be offensive from its first sentence and somehow gets worse from there. (There are even photos by the terminally icky Terry Richardson.) This piece inspired me to put forth four questions that writers, whether they're male or female, whether they're people with Tumblrs or those important enough to score offices at the New York Times building, should ask themselves before hitting "send" on their next piece about a woman making music.

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Guess The Tweet: @LanaDelRey Or @Horse_Ebooks?

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Say what you will about Lana Del Rey—and boy, have you ever, Internet—even her most devoted fans would be hard-pressed to call her "profound." Amidst the embarrassing-for-everybody controversy over her Saturday Night Live performance, her lips, her name, her dad, her shelved first album and whether or not she actually likes video games (per an MTV interview: nope), the stone that is her Twitter feed has largely been left unturned. It's full of perky @ replies, album news and the sort of "meaningful," punctuation-challenged platitudes that you generally find on the Facebook walls of people who had kids right after high school.

But! Is Del Rey's zombie-eyed thought catalog so strange and robotic that you'd mistake it for a bizarrely compelling spambot designed to sell ebooks about horses? Is Lana our next inexplicably profound Internet muse? Is she smarter than the seemingly sentient @horse_ebooks, and more importantly, can you tell them apart? We're guessing no—but you're welcome to try. Below, you'll find tweets from both, presented verbatim. Don't cheat! If you can identify 1-5, you've probably never heard of Hipster Runoff and should congratulate yourself; 6-10, you're a reasonable, Internet-savvy adult; 11-15, have you even left your apartment this week? Call your mother, she's worried about you.

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100 & Single: Adele's Focus-Grouped Chart-Topper And The Demise Of The "Deep Cut"

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Remember the album cut—the track deep on a disc that fans knew best, that only cool radio stations would play? Like so many cherished things from before the iTunes era, it's essentially extinct.

My evidence for this bold and seemingly facile statement isn't the steady, well-chronicled disappearance of the album-oriented rock band. Rather, it's the latest Top 40 radio smash by Adele, who retakes the summit of the Billboard Hot 100 this week with the melodramatic belter "Set Fire to the Rain," her third straight U.S. No. 1 single.

Let's talk about that word, too: single. What the heck is that anymore, anyway? You've been able to buy "Set Fire" as a standalone track since last February. Is a "single" a song picked by record labels, or by you?

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"Shit Lana Del Rey Says" Sums Up 2012's First Three Weeks On The Internet Better Than Probably Anything Else


Somehow my dislike of the "Shit [Stereotype] Says" video trendlet and my weariness regarding the endless circularity of any and all discussions regarding the backlashy pop starlet Lana Del Rey (album out next Tuesday, everybody!) made this video—inspired by what its creators, the Chicago comedy duo Seth and Kellen, are terming a "desperate attempt to go viral"—hilarious. The ridiculousness is what really makes the whole thing work as far as a satire of just what people will laugh at on the Internet these days, although truth be told a lot of my personal enjoyment is due to the infinite meanings of the single phrase "you wanna touch my blog." Because, let's face it, isn't posting a "Shit [Caricatured Version Of Person I Actually Know In Real Life] Says" clip or a squib about a Lana Del Rey remix essentially the equivalent of asking one's potential audience that very same question? Meta, man.


It's All For You: A Few Thoughts On The Lana Del Rey Saturday Night Live Debacle

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You might have heard that the much-discussed singer Lana Del Rey had her U.S. television debut this past weekend on Saturday Night Live, and that the hive mind of public opinion declared that her performances, of "Video Games" and "Blue Jeans" did not go well. The satirical indie-chronicle Hipster Runoff's declaration that she "effing TANK[ED]" was echoed by even the most opinion-averse media outlets, with even the publicist-friendly Us wondering if she "bomb[ed]."

While the two performances were low-energy and marked by Del Rey attempting to rein in her voice and seeming not entirely sure of what to do with her corporeal self more than anything else, they didn't seem that much different than her first TV appearance when she performed "Games" on the UK television show Later With Jools Holland back in October. Still, even some who were on the Lana Del Train in the autumn seemed to be taken aback by Saturday's display, resulting in a Great Big Pile On Lana that seemed more intense and widespread than the ones that have occurred any other time her name was mentioned since "Video Games"'s YouTube debut. What happened?

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The 11 Most Infuriating Songs Of 2011, No. 2: Lana Del Rey, "Video Games"

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It's all come to this.
The Song: Lana Del Rey, "Video Games."
The Crimes: Irritated-alley-cat vocals; overwrought harps; fundamental misunderstanding of whether or not ironic critique of male-female mores can exist in the Hipster Runoff age; this poor girl's right thigh.

In 2011 the phrase "Lana Del Rey" wasn't just the name of an artist on Interscope's high-priority docket for 2012; those three words became a symbol for indie culture gone corporately curdled, for the confused feminism of the 21st century gone to pot, for the notion that while men could reinvent themselves as cool dudes with names like "Frank Ocean" women had to wear their major-label pasts and boring given names like "Lizzy Grant" like a permanently affixed scarlet L, for the hordes of anonymous commenters on the hunt for as much material for their hatefuck-masturbation fantasies as they could find. What got lost in this abstraction of signs and signifiers that the world is hurtling toward something completely unpleasant, though, was any concrete discussion of the actual music put out by the aforementioned artist. Which is probably a good thing for Del Rey and her people, since "Video Games" is about two harp-strokes, a battery of singing lessons, and a couple of pots of hot tea away from being Enya for the Twitter set.


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Underwhelmed And Overstimulated, Part The Sixth: Was 2011 The Best Year For Women In Music Ever?

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Sound of the City's year-end roundtable, with contributions from Tom Ewing, Eric Harvey, Maura Johnston, Nick Murray, and Katherine St. Asaph, continues. Follow along here.

Hi again everyone,

Sure, there was lots of great music put out by women this year—my Pazz and Jop top tens will be stuffed with them. But does that make 2011 a Year of the Woman by any stretch? I'd argue no, and I suspect the guy who I overheard on the subway the other day, who was complaining that while he liked Lady Gaga going to a concert of hers would make him feel like less of a man, would agree with me; those people horrified by "Super Bass"'s showing on the Pitchfork singles list might as well. If anything what bothered me about the Year of the Bro (yes, I'm calling it this now) was the way that gender roles became more circumscribed, the way that people who called bullshit on misogyny and homophobia (OK, I'm mostly talking about Tyler here) were mocked in ways that Nick rightly pointed out were absolutely conservative, and the end result was little more than a lot of empty laughter and "objective" music-blog reports that implied an overtightened sphincter on one side.

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