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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    Kim Kardashian took to her blog Wednesday to condemn the Wall Street Journal for running an ad denying the Armenian genocide

    Kardashian, whose late father was Armenian, has long been vocal about her heritage and genocide awareness. The star traveled to Armenia with her sisters and cousins on the last season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians to visit the genocide memorial in Yerevan, so the issue is near and dear to her heart.  

    The ad was paid for by genocide-denial group FactCheck Armenia and ran in the March 20 edition of the Journal:

    When fans brought it to Kardashian's attention, she took action and posted an open letter to the newspaper on her blog.

    The full post is hidden behind a paywall, but here are some highlights: 

    Money talks, and right now it's talking shit. ... My family and I are no strangers to BS in the press. We've learned to brush it off.

    Lies make good headlines, good headlines make great covers, great covers sell magazines. But when I heard about this full-page ad that ran in the Wall Street Journal denying the Armenian genocide, I couldn't just brush it off. ...

    Advocating the denial of a genocide by the country responsible for it — that's not publishing a 'provocative viewpoint,' that's spreading lies. It's totally morally irresponsible and, most of all, it's dangerous. ...

    We must talk about it until it is recognized by our government because when we deny our past, we endanger our future. When we allow ourselves to be silenced by money, by fear and by power, we teach our children that truth is irrelevant. 

    The reality star last wrote about the Armenian genocide in Time magazine, where she urged President Obama to "use the word genocide." 

    H/T People

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    Someone has it out for Laremy Tunsil.

    Moments before the start of this year’s NFL draft in Chicago, the Ole Miss offensive tackle’s Twitter account @KingTunsil78 posted a video of himself smoking weed with a bong through a gas mask.

    Twenty seconds into the video, Tunsil removes the mask, revealing that it is indeed him. Within the first half hour of the draft, the video and Tunsil’s Twitter account were deleted.

    The video could not have been posted at a worse time for Tunsil. Once speculated to be the No. 1 draft pick weeks ago, Tunsil was predicted to be within the top 10 picks tonight. However, after the video made rounds online, Tunsil’s prospects looked grim.

    The Ravens, possessing the sixth pick of the night, reportedly dropped Tunsil from their board completely, not even pushing him down to the second, third, or fourth round.

    Almost two hours into the draft, Tunsil reportedly reactivated his account in order to apologize for the video—though a different version of the apology is now posted.

    If only the social media misfortune ended there. After Tunsil was announced as the 13th pick to the Miami Dolphins, a Twitter correspondence allegedly between him and someone named “John Miller” was posted in two parts to Tunsil’s Instagram account. (His account has since been taken down.)

    In the correspondence, Tunsil allegedly asks Miller for money to apparently pay his mother's rent, which is strictly prohibited under NCAA rules. Miller replies in one instance, “See Barney next week.”

    According to Hugh Kellenberger, sports editor and columnist for the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Miller is the assistant athletic director for football operations and Barney Farrar is a staffer with Ole Miss.

    After his pick, Tunsil told NFL Network’s Deion Sanders that he found out about the video while waiting for the draft to start.

    “It happened years ago,” Tunsil told Sanders. “Somebody hacked my Twitter account."

    Tunsil also admitted to taking money from a coach—sort of.

    Now that Tunsil’s Twitter account is back up and running, hopefully he’ll be able to start a different kind of legacy with the NFL.

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    With The Huntsman: Winter’s War currently in theaters, the classic tale of Snow White is getting deconstructed yet again, and in that most modern of ways—a prequel. While the critics haven’t been particularly kind to Winter’s War (17 percent on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing), we can’t deny that we love the combination of adventure, romance, and sometimes even scares that a good fairy tale brings us. So, if Winter’s War isn't your cup of tea, here are several other postmodern fairy tales to keep you and yours entertained—without having to pay for tickets.

    1) Ladyhawke (1985)

    For spurning the affections of a powerful bishop, the beautiful Isabeau (Michelle Pfeiffer) and her true love Etienne were afflicted with a terrible curse. By day, Etienne (Rutger Hauer) is human and Isabeau is trapped in the form of a hawk; by night, she regains her form but he is transformed into a wolf. Even though they are physically always together, they are never together both in their human form. When a young thief named Mouse (Matthew Broderick) crosses paths with Etienne, he learns their tragic tale and tags along on an adventure as they strive to break the curse, gain their revenge, and finally reunite the two lovers as they once were. Ladyhawke is available for rent or purchase on Amazon Instant Video. (Fun fact: Kurt Russell was originally slated to play Etienne for director Richard Donner but pulled out during rehearsals.)

    2) The Princess Bride (1987)

    Swordfights, pirates, revenge, battles of wits, rodents of unusual size, and True Love: Director Rob Reiner and writer William Goldman’s adaptation of Goldman’s own novel (well, the “good parts,” anyway) truly has it all. Rarely has a princess been more lovely than Robin Wright’s Buttercup, nor a hero more dashing and mysterious than Cary Elwes’ Man in Black. The Princess Bride still holds up beautifully after all these years: The swashbuckling still thrills, the wit still delights, the dialogue begs quotation, and the cast is perfection itself. If we watch it a thousand times, we’ll never get tired of the swordfight atop the Cliffs of Insanity, or Inigo Montoya’s confrontation with the six-fingered man, or Wesley’s chilling “to the pain” speech. And how many movies can boast of including the greatest kiss since the invention of kissing? The Princess Bride is currently available on Netflix Instant.

    3) Hook(1991)

    The late Robin Williams has plenty of roles for which he was more celebrated, but there was just something magical about seeing him play a grown-up version of Peter Pan. I mean, who else could, right? In Steven Spielberg’s Hook, Williams is Peter Banning, a boring middle-aged lawyer who spends too much time focused on his career and not enough on his family. But after Peter's son and daughter vanish in the night, he's dragged away to Neverland and forced to confront a truth he’d forgotten: that he is actually Peter Pan, who, years ago, committed the ultimate Neverland sin and grew up. With his children in peril from his old enemy, Captain Hook, Peter must accept the mantle he abandoned so long ago, as well as own up to his failings as a father. Critics savaged Hook like a pack of privateers, but it’s a lot of fun if your inner child isn’t locked in a basement, and it’s worth it just for Williams’s joyous performance as Pan and Dustin Hoffman’s twitchy, paranoid, aged Hook. The flick is currently available streaming on Amazon Prime.

    4) Snow White: A Tale of Terror (1997)

    The Huntsman: Winter’s War is a prequel to the 2012 action/adventure flick Snow White and the Huntsman, which offered a dark retelling of the Brothers Grimm’s classic fairy tale. But at its very darkest, it wasn’t even a fraction as dark as this Showtime original movie, which starred Monica Keena as the fairest of them all, and which earned Sigourney Weaver an Emmy nomination for her performance as Snow White’s evil stepmother. And part of that is because the film actually kind of makes you root for Lady Claudia (Weaver) at first, serving up a Snow White (Monica Keena) who is a rude, spoiled, petulant child, rebuffing Claudia’s sincere attempts to bond with her new stepdaughter. By the time a grieving and emotionally traumatized Claudia goes full “evil queen,” you can’t blame her. But when she goes bad, oh boy does she go bad, earning the movie’s subtitle and delivering a compelling—and yes, even frightening—version of an often one-note villain. Snow White: A Tale of Terror is available for purchase or rent on Amazon Instant Video.

    5) Stardust (2007)

    A perfect double-feature pairing with The Princess Bride, this underrated fantasy adventure is based on Neil Gaiman’s 1999 novel of the same name. In it, a young man named Tristan (Daredevil’s Charlie Cox) vows to retrieve a falling star for the lovely but disinterested Victoria (Sienna Miller), and sets out on a quest across a magical land to find it. Once he does, however, he discovers that the fallen star has taken the form of a beautiful and strong-willed girl named Yvaine. Tristan is determined to fulfill his promise, chaining Yvaine to himself so he can drag her back to his village and win Victoria’s heart. Unfortunately, Yvaine is not thrilled with this plan, and to make matters worse, Tristan wasn’t the only one in search of the fallen star. Both a trio of witches and a quartet of princes are after her as well, for very different reasons… and none of them are overly inclined to share. Stardust is full of high adventure, derring-do, duplicitous princes, flirtatious banter, flying pirate ships, and (naturally) True Love. It’s currently available streaming on Netflix Instant.

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    Prince passed away last Thursday. A second line parade was held to honor the Purple One just four days later in the historic Treme neighborhood in New Orleans. 

    Despite the time crunch, the tribute seemed to come together seamlessly—and it all started with a Facebook event hastily posted just as Martha Alguera was processing the news.

    Alguera, who teaches and is finishing a degree in music business at Loyola University, was on campus when her student worker came rushing in. 

    "Everyone knows how much of a music head I am and fanatic of all things Prince. My heart dropped when she [told me]," Alguera tells the Daily Dot.

    "It brought me back to 2009, when I found out [Michael Jackson] died and I was also at work and went into the bathroom to cry. How could this be? What happened? Disbelief, shock, anger. I went to the bathroom and cried again." 

    The event planner behind Musicsynergy504 knew she had to something. 

    So did James Andrews, a prominent New Orleans trumpeter and the older brother of Trombone Shorty. He called her soon after and the two agreed that a second line would be the best way to honor the musician. "I then immediately set up the Facebook event page," Alguera says.

    Alguera and Andrews worked with Ooh Poo Pah Doo Bar owner Judy Hill to plan the logistics. Hill just happens to be Andrews' aunt and a prominent fixture in the local music scene, hailing from a quintessential New Orleans music family. Prince had touched the lives of all three immensely. 

    As RSVPs started pouring in on Facebook, so too did a surprising email from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The animal rights organization had caught wind that there was to be a white dove release following the parade and it wasn't happy about it. Represenatives from PETA contacted Alguera on Sunday. With just 24 hours to go until the second line, she was once again forced to act fast.

    "I didn't want any negative press and also Prince was a huge PETA supporter and vegan. We decided we didn't want to do anything that was in opposition of what he stood for," Alguera explains. "It was all good in the end."

    The changes in plans were spun into a positive way to deepen the tribute to Prince. Instead of lives doves, a purple balloon release was planned following the end of the parade. There was certainly plenty of action up above, as dancers took to porches, the tops of cars, and roofs while marching bands set the mood and revelers watched from below. 

    The second line was a resounding success for Andrews, Alguera, and Hill, who'd organized just one other high-profile second line for fallen Saints player Will Smith, who was tragically shot and killed in the Lower Garden District this month. With both second lines, the memory of those they sought to honor beautifully intersected with the spirit of the city, echoing its resilience.

    Alguera likened Monday's celebration to Prince's curated 2014 Essence Fest headlining set. This was to be the last performance that the iconic musician would deliver in the Crescent City and she was part of the lucky thousand in the Superdome that Independence Day to experience it. "The man was music," Alguera stresses. "When he sang 'Purple Rain,' I totally 'ugly cried.'

    "It was so beautiful, he was so beautiful, the crowd was amazing. I felt that exact way when the second line crowd all sang 'Purple Rain' in unison outside the bar. ... I was so proud of our city for showing up. We represented to the world that we aren't just a city wrapped up in violence. We really come together for our fallen musical heroes."

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    With the stakes at an all-time high in Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther is prepared to fight whoever it takes—even a fan favorite.

    Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Chadwick Boseman, T’Challa himself, brought a new clip to show fans. And while we don’t necessarily get to see the character’s more diplomatic side, we do discover that he’s more than capable of handling himself in a one-on-one fight with Bucky Barnes—perhaps too capable for Bucky fans.

    But how does training to fight as a superhero compare to preparing to sing like James Brown, whom Boseman played in a biopic? They may be completely different, but Boseman definitely knows which one took more energy.

    “You can be tired and be inside the suit,” he explained. “You can’t be tired when you’re singing a song.”

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    Superstar rapper Drake released his fourth solo album Views late Thursday via iTunes and Apple Music. The streaming and retail deal, exclusive for a limited window, was signaled in the evening with an interview on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 Radio.  

    The Toronto rapper straddles the line between chest-puffing raps and melodramatic R&B that's less about lovemaking and more about relationship quarrels. Views leans on downtempo slow jams about fighting with your significant other in a Cheesecake Factory and sending group DMs to your exes.

    It's a soft, sad, TMI-laden manifesto of heartbreak with a controlling, often-absurd protagonist. Cue the idol Internet madness that twists timelines whenever Drake releases new music.

    While most fans seem to enjoy the sad tunes across Twitter, Drake—engulfed in a creative war last year with rapper Meek Mill allegedly sparked by accusations of ghostwriting—certainly offers up some bricks here. As Noisey's Craig Jenkins noted:
    Originally dubbed Views from the 6, the record is loaded with headlining collaborators. Early Thursday, Drake posted a list of credits on Instagram.

    It's a well-coordinating marketing attack, to be sure. But unlike previous releases, met with instant acclaim, Views brought with it a hung jury.

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    Hulu is adapting yet another book for series: Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

    According to the Hollywood Reporter, Mad Men and Top of the Lake star Elisabeth Moss is set to play the role of Offred in the straight-to-series adaptation, with The 100's Bruce Miller writing the script and executive producing. Atwood will be a consulting producer. 

    Atwood's 1985 novel—made into a 1990 movie starring Natasha Richardson and Faye Dunaway—imagines a bleak future in the Republic of Gilead, where the Constitution has been suspended and totalitarian rule is now in place. The rights of women have been stripped away and, due to low birth rates, fertile women are kept as handmaids whose sole purpose is to be a vessel for a child. 

    The story is told from Offred's point of view, as she attempts to survive in a male-dominated, religious, fundamentalist society that has little regard for women's freedom or agency. If that sounds a little too close to modern-day reality, it's not lost on Atwood. In a statement, she said: "The Handmaid's Tale is more relevant now than when it was written, and I am sure the series will be watched with great interest." 

    The Handmaid's Tale follows Stephen King adaptation 11.22.63 and original series The Path, as Hulu beefs up its drama offerings. The show is set to debut in 2017. 

    H/T Hollywood Reporter 

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    Comcast is stepping into the digital, multi-channel network space through its $3.8 billion DreamWorks acquisition. But what does that mean for the fate of the DreamWorks-owned AwesomenessTV? 

    On Comcast's side, the acquisition gives it access to DreamWorks's successful animation division, which supports titles like the Kung Fu Panda series, How To Train Your Dragon series, and Shrek films. That also includes its Illumination Entertainment animation studio, which boasts the Despicable Me franchise. Overall, it's a play at rivaling Disney's dominance in the entertainment space.

    The purchase also puts Comcast on par with Disney in its investment into the digital shortform space. In 2015 Disney purchased Maker Studios, making inroads toward the budding multi-channel network arena and a network of creatives to incorporate into the already-existing Disney IP. 

    DreamWorks's 51 percent stake in AwesomenessTV will pass to NBCUniversal under the deal, and DreamWorks will separate interests in AwesomenessTV and the tech company Nova into a new group called DreamWorks New Media. Jeffery Katzenberg, the CEO of DreamWorks, will chair that division. 

    "Having spent the past two decades working together with our team to build DreamWorks Animation into one of the world’s most beloved brands, I am proud to say that NBCUniversal is the perfect home for our company; a home that will embrace the legacy of our storytelling and grow our businesses to their fullest potential," said Katzenberg in a statement. "As for my role, I am incredibly excited to continue exploring the potential of AwesomenessTV, NOVA and other new media opportunities, and can’t wait to get started." 

    The deal also connects Comcast with Verizon and Hearst, who each have deals for a 24.5 percent stake in place with AwesomenessTV. AwesomenssTV also owns Big Frame, the digital-focused talent management group that's home to stars like Tyler Oakley and Ingrid Nilsen. The NBCUniversal connection might further open distribution avenues for existing content, and could mean smoother transitions to traditional television formats. Deals are already in place connecting the companies, with NBC-owned Hulu acquiring the rights to AwesomenessTV's Freakish.  

    In essence, this move extends the available pipeline for digital talent to increase footprints, and for traditional media to reach digital talent to increase its legitimacy with the millennial demographic. NBCUniversal has previously made investments in BuzzFeed and Vox

    AwesomenessTV had no comment on the acquisition as of press time.

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    Although the concept of livestreaming has existed for years, the increased quality of video platforms, broadband delivery, and improved mobile technology has jumpstarted a new generation of mobile-first livestreaming solutions. 

    There are three heavy hitters in the livestream space—Periscope, YouNow and Facebook Live—each with distinct advantages for different types of users. We’ve assessed the pros and cons of each platform to help you make an informed choice about where to spend your time streaming, and for what purpose.


    Best if you’re hoping to become the next big digital influencer.

    If you’re looking for the next generation of digital star, look no further than YouNow. The livestreaming app founded in 2011 blew up at VidCon 2015, with many aspiring teen creators flocking to the site as a new entry point for digital stardom. Unlike YouTube where tipping options have been generally less lucrative than brand and advertising deals, YouNow has supported its creators with direct payment from its earliest days, with top creators able to accept direct tips and gifts from fans as they broadcast. Musicians have especially found support on the platform as a place to play live music daily.

    In addition to the potential fiscal gain, the platform also uses a helpful tag system to categorize broadcasts and help generate new viewers for a broadcaster. New viewers can easily hone in on broadcasters with shared interests as well as have a voice in curating the platform by demanding popular streams take center stage on specific hashtags. If you’re seek a space to potentially start a digital career without the added pressure of video editing on sites like YouTube, YouNow might be the home for you.


    Best if you want to react quickly to engage your followers—and potentially a global audience.

    Twitter’s entry to streaming is Periscope, which it purchased in January 2015 and launched a few months later. The service allows users to stream from their phones, pushes that stream to their connected Twitter feeds for maximum viewership, and lets viewers interact with the stream in real time. They can leave hearts and comments as the streamer interacts with the world around him or her. Users can broadcast in portrait or landscape mode, save their finished streams for later consumption, and block unwanted viewers. A sketching feature on streams is rumored to be in the works, mimicking a popular aspect of Snapchat

    Periscope was founded when creator Kayvon Beykpour realized he could turn to Twitter to read about international events like protests in real time, but he couldn’t watch them. That spirit of live reportingand live coverage is still alive within Periscope, in addition to more mundane uses of live chatting with fans or watching a puddle. If you’re looking for immediacy and potential global impact, Periscope might be your best choice for livestreaming platform.

    Facebook Live

    Best if you want to share your moments with friends, family, and that dude you met in one college class whom you never unfriended.

    The newest entry to the bunch just launched for all users in April. Facebook Live acts just like any other posting option on Facebook’s mobile app, where users can choose text, photo, live video. The video plays within a user’s Facebook stream or can be locked to specific Events or Groups on the Facebook platform. The video then stays on the selected page unless deleted, and it autoplays as a visitor scrolls over it. 

    So far Facebook Live isn’t a revenue-earner, and while big-name celebrities and digital brands have dipped their toes in the water, for everyday users it’s an add-on service to an existing social platform, not a new platform to adopt. You can keep track of daily livestreams on a global map provided by Facebook to track adoption of the service, but for now, with the head start celebs and brands got with the platform, it’s viewer-centric right now. There’s ample opportunity for someone to break out on Facebook Live and find interesting uses for the system, but for most users, thanks to the fact that Facebook is more a network for personal friends and family than a global platform, the system is the ideal place for sharing streams for specific communities, from fellow knitters to your high school classmates to all your aunts and uncles.

    Livestreaming is the next frontier of digital video, and knowing the right platform for a stream will be just as important as knowing what makes up a tweet versus an Instagram post. While you can clearly use all sorts of livestreaming apps (and even go topic specific, like foodie-focused Nom) to fill out your personal social media landscape, knowing who you’ll reach where is crucial to getting your livestreaming life off to the right start.

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    Snapchat has made a whole lot of gains when it comes to bringing music to the people. 

    The ephemeral social app has made it possible to add music to its 10-seconds-or-less videos. It's also acted as a way to premiere music. Artists like Madonna and Alesso have both taken advantaged of the app's widespread appeal and direct engagement with fans to bring music videos to the masses.

    It seemed as if the only component missing was someone actually shooting a music video directly on Snapchat. In that way, Ingrid Michaelson has filled the void. The singer-songwriter utilized innumerable humorous filters to stitch together footage for breakup anthem "Hell No"—a song just as catchy as the face-morphing 3D filters overlaid throughout the video.

    Featuring everything from the saccharine-sweet heart eyes to far more alarming rainbow vomit and pop art-tastic comic book filters, the video acts in tandem with the track's handclap-happy rhythm and electronic vibe. The single marks a pop pivot for Michaelson, whose previous hits include more acoustic fare.

    "Hell No" premiered on YouTube on Friday. In addition to stretching the creative limits of Snapchat, Michaelson appears to be giving a masters class in synergy. She's, of course, promoted the track on her various social media channels. She also received a key endorsement from YouTube thanks to a tweet sent by the company that afternoon.
    Written collaboratively by Michaelson, Barry Dean, and Luke Laird, the net result is an empowering breakup anthem. Michaelson described the inspiration on Twitter shortly following the release of "Hell No."

    As much as Michaelson has done to further the medium of Snapchat with "Hell No," there's only one thing missing for the singer-songwriter: her own custom filter.

    Needless to say, she's certainly making the most out of other high-profile releases being promoted on the app. What up, Drake?

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    Over the last year, Amy Schumer has taught us that fame is hard—and not in that "Lucky" by Britney Spears type of way. She's faced criticism over her film Trainwreck not being feminist enough, been accused of joke theft and was shockingly body-shamed by Glamour.

    Unfortunately, it appears that yet another distinction has been added to Schumer's list of travails. The comedian shared a photo on Instagram on Saturday depicting a fan who attempted to take a photo with her in Greenville, South Carolina. This starstruck encounter was apparently far from harmless, however.

    According to Schumer, the fan "scared the shit out of" her. She asked him repeatedly to stop taking photos and yet he wouldn't. His reasoning? "It's America and we paid for you,"—a rather puzzling reply to someone politely asks you to respect their privacy and personal space.

    "I will not take picture [sic] with people anymore and it's because of this dude in Greenville," Schumer continued in the caption, to which the Internet panicked and freaked out a little. Fellow Schumer fans responded supportively but also had questions. Who is this guy? And why should he be the one to ruin any random future encounters with Schumer?

    Three hours after posting the photo, those same fans were able to breathe a sigh of relief. Schumer took to Twitter to thank fans for their support and backtrack a bit from her original reaction.

    "I’ll still take pictures with nice people if I choose to if Its [sic] a good time for that," Schumer wrote in a note that she included with the tweet. “But I don’t owe you anything. So don’t take [offense] if I say no."


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    After almost two years on the campaign trail, Drake, the rapper with the most superdelegates, finally released his fourth studio album late Thursday night. It’s titled Views and it seems to be the most poorly received of the Canadian rapper’s career. 

    But even if you think Views is more of a brick than the airball he tossed up while cosplaying as a Kentucky basketball player, the album is assured to go platinum while claiming No. 1 on the Billboard chart its first week—Apple Music exclusive and all. And that’s largely because people are so invested in Drake being so damn Drake.

    Drake the performer is a sensitive, worldly man who takes everything personally. He's been mocked for being "soft" by blogs that write about little else. But he's also simultaneously a jealous lover happy to shame former flames in songs—and his stifling views toward women are on display here. 

    It’s almost ancillary whether the album is good or not because more than good music, Drake knows to give the public his cult of personality. He is a living, breathing meme. Just look at the hubbub stirred upon the unveiling of his album art

    Whether it’s giving out enough information in a verse about a Hooters employee that the Internet could track her down, or using a lint roller while sitting courtside at an NBA game and then selling lint rollers online, Drake continuously tops himself in just how Drake he can be.

    He delivered some extremely Drake lyrics in between tangling the “truss me daddi” patois employed on the record. These are the 20 most Drake, and as such the most important lines on Views.

    1) “All of my ‘let’s just be friends’ are friends I don’t have anymore”

    2) “How do you not check on me when things go wrong”

    3) “Momma hit my phone and said rap’s no good”

    4) “On some DMX shit, I group DM my exes”

    5) “LOLOL I’m glad you find this shit amusing”

    6) “You sent a ‘are you here’ text without an invite/That’s that shit that I don’t like”

    7) “There’s more to life than sleeping in and getting high with you”

    8) “Her [Insta]gram too popping to fuck her”

    9) “You treat me like I’m born yesterday you forgot my birthday”

    10) “Damn, I’m not unrealistic with none of my women”

    11) “Mixing vodka and emotions/Tapping into your emotions/Dry cry ‘cause I’m hopeless"

    12) “That pussy knows me better than I know myself”

    13) “Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah/six-point star Lion of the Judah”

    14) “Knowing I’d lie for you/Thinking I’d die for you/Jodeci ‘Cry for You’”

    15) “You go to CVS for Kotex in my Bugatti”

    16) “Got so many chains they call me Chaining Tatum”

    17) “I’m too good to you/I’m way too good to you”

    18) “Talk about you like you’ll never leave his side but I don’t buy it”

    19) “My exes made some of my favorite music/I dated women from my favorite movies”

    20) “Running out of pages in your passport/Hanging with some girls I’ve never seen before” 

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    Japan's Waggaki Band is playing for about 100 people in a Texas parking lot. It's late March at the band's third-ever American gig at the South by Southwest music conference. This is apparently what 60 million YouTube plays translate to in real life.

    The eight-piece outfit is appearing on the Smartpunk Showcase with turn-of-the-century alt-rock avengers like Unwritten Law and Fenix TX. It's a curious fit for a band composed of musicians trained on traditional Japanese instruments, like that distinct yet indescribable wooden flute you always hear in movies.

    This bamboo woodwind is called the shakuhachi, by the way—and it's being masterfully presented by Daisuke Kaminaga. His head shaven, dark kimono shimmering, Kaminaga is a craftsman of onstage elegance and efficiency. Colleague Kiyoshi Ibukuro is plucking the koto, a 16th century harp. Beni Ninagawa is stage left, on the tsugaru shamisen—essentially a three-stringed banjo. Standing behind this line of classicists, band member Kurona bangs on a set of wadaiko, Japanese drums.

    But for the elegant attire and brandishing of historical sonic weaponry, the collective crunches and rips in the wake of outfitted, theatrical American bands like Slipknot and regional contemporaries like BabyMetal. Earlier, they told another reporter that they were really into deceased bluesman Stevie Ray Vaughan. Dense jams like "Ikusa" boast soaring guitar solos that pop with a speedy, nu metal heart.

    Singer Yūko Suzuhana is the key. She sings with power and grace, waving a shimmering hand fan and donning red robes as she performs. At 5 years old, Suzuhana was roped into shigin, a craft of poetry believed to have originated in ancient China that is sung when performed. To Western audiences, these vocals are mystic, angelic, and ultimately familiar—probably why Suzuhana got bored and added speed metal into the mix.

    She also studied dance, which explains the fluid, post-David Lee Roth rock star posturing.

    "If it's a more muscular, samurai kind of poem, the sword is used; if it’s more intimate, I’m using the folding fans," Suzuhana tells the Daily Dot prior to the performance.

    She decides to take it easy on us and stick to the folding fans.

    Before their Texas debut, the Internet-famous J-pop band is making the press rounds onsite. They're huddled around a backstage couch while translator Kaz Hayashida fields questions.

    I ask how Suzuhana convinced a bunch of her misfit, metal-loving friends to walk off a proverbial plank and become an art project. When Mumford & Sons took cues from the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack and dressed like 1930s rural American southerners, revivalist folk music was commercially viable. Shakuhachi solos? Not so much.

    "All of the band members like something fun and new. When I said 'let's do it' it just kind of came together," Suzuhana says. "I knew from the beginning, when I was starting with the concept, that this would work. I believed it. Once I made it and uploaded it on social media and views skyrocketed—that moment—I knew it was working."

    The band's real breakout moment was the 2014 single "Senbonzakura," its video adorned with almost 40 million YouTube streams. Last year's "Hangeki no Yaiba" would become the theme song to the Attack On Titan animated spinoff series.

    Beyond the splashy videos, the band members say the tunes work because of a "fusion between old and new, between West and East" that defines not only their sound, but the anachronisms of modern Japan. As the Daily Beast reported, "Wagakki" literally means "ancient instruments" and these throwback stylings were enough to land a No. 1 album in their home country.

    "Our style is modern japan," caped, shirtless drummer Wasabi says with assured curtness.

    What does that mean, exactly? Bass player Asa gets sarcastic: "There is no ninja."

    For now, the band is stuck between home court dominance, viral success, and the task of conquering foreign lands. Their main weapon is YouTube, a cherished medium because they can "reach international fans by receiving a comment from all over the world."

    I ask about the perils of stardom. Is there anxiety? What's frustrating about this awkward stage between Web hits and—here in Austin—alien gawks from strangers? Kurona has a logical, if unintentionally mechanical answer: "The downside is that we are discovered via the keyword, so it's very keyword-sensitive and [we receive] a narrow audience compared to the mainstream."

    The game plan for the rest of 2016, though, is equally measured and procedural. More "visual pieces" (music videos) are on the way and they hope to be back for an American tour soon.

    They say that gig days begin at 6am. That, by 8am they are in full Waggaki Band regalia and are just starting rehearsals at 1pm. I'm fairly confident the dudes were joshing me about the way-early, comically disciplined early mornings, though.

    Sometimes it's admittedly awkward when, say, Wasabi walks into a coffeeshop shirtless in his cape. The costumes are part of the job and they seem intent on staying in full presentation mode whenever possible. They are meticulous professionals—plus he's used to darting away from such encounters.

    "In that awkward moment, I become a ninja."

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    With less than a month to go before the start of their 2016 world tour, Radiohead appears to be disappearing before our very eyes. The band appears to be systematically deleting its entire social media presence. Fans first noticed the vanishing act when the Radiohead website rapidly went blank on Sunday. The band's Twitter account soon followed suit.

    @Radiohead is now nothing more than a shockingly blank slate, with nothing tweeted and nothing showing up in terms of header or profile images. The band's Facebook page followed after, with Google+ being scrubbed next. It appears that this spring cleaning is starting to affect individual bandmates as well.

    Shortly after the purging of the band's social media presence, frontman Thom Yorke began following suit, systematically deleting his tweets. This screenshot was taken mid-deletion.

    Yorke's profile is similarly empty, though a false tweet count is stuck at seven despite the automatic message stating that "@thomyorke hasn't tweeted yet." As of this writing, no further related accounts have followed suit.

    Many believe that this "white out" has something to do with a mysterious flyer delivered to a handful of Radiohead fans in the U.K. on Saturday. The eerie message appears to hold opaque clues as to what the innovative group has in store for fans before hitting the stage on May 20 in Amsterdam.

    This nursery rhyme-esque message follows the establishment of Dan Chorus LLP and Dawnnchoruss Ltd at the beginning of the year—a company-creating tactic previously employed by Radiohead prior to new music releases.

    It's worth noting that the German folk holiday of Witches' Night happens to fall on either the last day of April or the first day of May. Sunday night might be the night that all becomes clear and a new LP emerges.

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    Vimeo is continuing its expansion with the acquisition of streaming video platform VHX

    Today, Vimeo announced the deal to absorb the startup, which assists creators in pricing and selling their content directly to viewers, and bring its pool of video creators to a larger audience. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. In its mission statement, VHX claims its "publishers have grossed over $9.6 million" to date. 

    Kerry Trainor, Vimeo's CEO, said in a statement, "Online video is expanding from a few, mainstream subscription services into a flourishing world of interest-based streaming channels, much like the evolution from broadcast to cable television." 

    Trainor continued: 

    Vimeo is home to the world’s leading video creators and the viewers who love them, and we’re excited to add VHX’s team and technology to our streaming marketplace. As the video universe continues to unbundle, Vimeo offers the ideal home for the next generation of premium video channels serving passionate global audiences.

    In a blog post, VHX co-founder and CEO Jamie Wilkinson said that while right now it's "business as usual," this acquisition will allow them "to improve VHX a lot faster: better streaming infrastructure, better apps, more marketing and business development firepower, and access to a huge, global audience." 

    That's beneficial for Vimeo, as it continues to elbow out more space in the digital marketplace by rolling out more original content—and attempting to compete with YouTube. This move will allow independent creators and media partners to offer a subscription-based video service priced however they like. Just $1 of that price goes back to Vimeo, which makes it a more appealing model than YouTube for creators. 

    Vimeo's audience currently sits at around 280 million, while YouTube now sees more than 1 billion users. 

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    A video posted by 50 Cent showing him taunt a young man who may suffer from mental illness could land him in court. The artist posted a video of himself making fun of an airport janitor who he assumed was under the influence of drugs.

    “The new generation is fucking crazy,” the rapper said in the video.

    The video shows the 40-year-old rapper (real name Curtis Jackson), mocking the worker who has been identified as Andrew Farrell at the at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. 50 Cent asks Farrell what drugs he took before work and tells his audience the guy is high.

    Jackson posted the video onto his Twitter and Instagram account Sunday. One of the worker’s friends recognized him and posted this message to 50 on his Instagram.

    Once word got out that the guy in the video suffered from “extreme social difficulties,” 50’s followers called the rapper a bully.

    Farrell commented back to supporters on his Instagram thanking them. He also said he's exploring legal action. 50’s camp has yet to release a statement or apology.

    H/T BroBible

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    Come August you can follow the 2016 Olympic Games live from Rio De Janeiro—on Snapchat.

    For the first time in modern Olympic history, coverage will be brought to viewers by more than just media giant NBC as the network has partnered with BuzzFeed to bring content via Snapchat.

    BuzzFeed will be responsible for curating live clips of events and behind-the-scenes footage from both fans and athletes for the Snapchat stories on behalf of NBC. Videos will be available through the app's Discover page. Through Discover, major publishers are able to produce content personalized to their brand outside of the traditional photos and Snapvids. The interactive content can be shared with friends within the app.

    The deal intends to reel in younger viewers and engage them with the platforms they're using most. According to a report by Business Insider, more than 60 percent of Americans between ages 13 and 34 use Snapchat. Through this partnership, NBC hopes to spread more content to millennials who might not watch or share Olympics coverage otherwise.

    Snapchat is the only other platform carrying exclusive Olympics footage. The stories will only be available in the U.S., although NBC is reportedly pursuing similar deals with Facebook and Twitter.

    The Games of the XXXI Olympiad begin Aug. 5 and will continue through Aug. 21.

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    At its previous Newfronts presentations, BuzzFeed wowed attendees with its knowledge of data science, social psychology, and the other empirical concepts that drive its approach to content. At its 2016 pitch, however, BuzzFeed offered potential brand partners something more: an actual programming slate. For the first time, the viral content producer offered up a selection of scripted and unscripted shows, with the first results of its Development Partners program coming to light.

    BuzzFeed launched Development Partners as a way to keep its best creative minds in-house while also allowing them to explore bigger, serialized projects. The Try Guys, for example, will expand their flagship brand with a show called The Try Kids, which will invite youngsters to attempt activities they’ve never experienced before. Quinta Brunson, known for her comedic work across BuzzFeed’s digital network, will lead a 12-episode sitcom called Broke. Finally, another one of BuzzFeed’s homegrown stars, Ashly Perez, will offer up a sequel to her You Do You webseries.

    The shows will exemplify BuzzFeed’s philosophy of inclusiveness. “We don’t have to feel alone,” said BuzzFeed Motion Pictures boss Ze Frank. In referring to his multicultural roster of creative partners, he said it’s “not the time to slow them down and force them into some lane.” Instead, he termed them “multi-hyphenates”: writer-actor-director-producers.

    The work these multi-hyphenates create will be served across a variety of platforms. BuzzFeed’s distribution network is now so wide that, according to CEO Jonah Peretti, only 23 percent of the company’s content is consumed on its own website and mobile apps. In particular, BuzzFeed now finds a large portion of its traffic on Facebook, where it continues to be excited about its future growth potential.

    One property that exemplifies the company’s charge onto Facebook is Tasty, the culinary GIF-making operation that gets thousands of shares in the hours after it launches a new post. As Frank puts it, Tasty has now become a huge force no matter where it is distributed. Or, to put it more simply: “Tasty represents a universe.”

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    Beyoncé is making latex look good again. And she's using it to beat out Kim Kardashian for the most searched dress on Google at Monday night's gala for the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    That's according to Google Trends, which reports that since the start of the event, Beyoncé topped Kardashian, Rihanna, Kendall Jenner, and Kylie Jenner.

    Not only that, but Beyoncé's staying power is impressive.

    Beyoncé  late last month released her latest album, Lemonade, and in it, she seemed to make reference to the alleged infidelities of her husband, Jay Z. Which is notable since, according to the Daily Mail, Beyoncé arrived at the gala alone and in a latex dress, which you can see in full detail here.

    Or if you prefer your Beyoncé blurry.

    Meanwhile, Kardashian—who dominated Beyoncé last year in Instagram followers—seemed to take Beyoncé's triumph in stride, licking the face of her husband to compensate for Beyoncé's search-engine mastery.

    But clearly, Beyoncé was the Google search winner of the night, and somehow, she made latex look better than even Lt. Frank Drebin could. Oh, and her hair looked pretty good, too.

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  • 05/03/16--06:00: What to expect at NewFronts
  • As the world of digital video converges in New York City for the annual NewFronts presentations this month, online entertainment itself is at a tipping point.

    NewFronts are born of upfronts, traditional televisions’ yearly affair to court media buyer favor. But splashy displays of programming aimed at convincing brands that their advertising dollars are best spent on CBS and not FOX have now become de rigueur for the digital set, where the competition for dollars comes from the same video-centric pool. Where a network can sell a set slate of Friday programming, the platforms and multi-channel networks involved in NewFronts can also sell buyers on a digital star to make ads for them, and content that can integrate with a paid sponsorship.

    With many new participants in 2016, the mix for this year’s NewFronts will combine MCNs and legacy media brands, platforms, and digital startups. Here's what to watch for during the madness.

    1) Media buyers still need a digital education

    “When a [media] buyer makes a decision to buy into the NBA or the NFL or NBC, they kind of know what they’re buying,” explains Reza Izad, CEO of Studio 71 (formerly Collective Digital Studio). “Even if they haven’t seen CSI in a while, they know what they’re buying. They know where it fits into the cultural fabric. Here, they know the numbers, they know the trend intellectually. I don’t know that they always understand the content formats or the content types.”

    Izad points out that his company does a lot of education around specific tropes and formats in the digital space, where media buyers might see huge numbers but not understand the content that’s generating those views.  

    Izad says a key is for brands to figure out how to reconcile their general media messages with what they present in the digital space.

    “If you look at how beauty... brands market themselves, it’s still very skinny and pretty girls who are famous and live lives no one else can,” he says. “If you go online it’s the exact opposite. It’s the awkward girl, it’s the girl with acne. It comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors and orientations. And they’re frankly driving more conversations than Vogue.”

    2) Original content is key

    The boom of digital content that’s come with the launch of platforms like YouTube Red and go90, or the new potential accolades like revamped Emmy categories, means creators are looking to digital as a home instead of just a stopping point on the way to TV. At NewFronts, presenters will showcase how brands are now a part of that story.

    We’re finding it much better to make [original content] independent of a brand, and figure out the best release schedule,” says Izad. “Brands are looking for established hits. Sometimes these newer formats can be a little more speculative. That doesn’t mean brands aren’t underwriting a bunch of stuff. Last year we produced six or seven Estée Lauder series. That was very much part of their content strategy.”

    Says Brett Bouttier, president of millennial-focused AwesomenessTV: “It’s an antiquated thing to think in terms of buckets. It’s video brand marketing, and if I’m a brand, what is my strategy and how much does TV play in that, how much does video play in that, how much does original content play in that? It’s all got to be a cohesive strategy.”

    For Awesomeness’s 12-to-24-year-old demographic, that strategy needs to include ads that speak to modern sensibilities.

    “Our audience specifically finds the 30-second spot to be really interruptive,” says Bouttier. “They tune it out, they skip it, at worst they get annoyed by it. But when we integrate brand messaging into the content, when it’s part of the story in a way, they understand that it’s ad supported and they’re OK with it.”

    Which helps explain why YouTube will soon to implement six-second ad units that are unskippable.

    “Shorter is better,” he says. “We are talking about a generation who embraced Vine in a big way. I think it will cause us all to be more creative.”

    3) Acquisitions play a role

    Ownership is a key part of NewFronts content. On Day 1 Vimeo announced a deal to purchase VHX, the startup that helps creators sell video content directly to their consumers. LIkewise Comcast recently announced its deal to purchase DreamWorks and with it a 51 percent stake in AwesomenessTV, something that may come up in its presentation. (Bouttier had no comment.)

    4) Live technology will pop in the summer

    Facebook made a play into the livestreaming space last month with the broad launch of Facebook Live, using traditional and digital celebs to boost its adoption. It’s not the only livestream platform—TwitchPeriscope, even YouTube—but the proliferation of the medium timed with the summer months could put livestreamed content on the forefront.

    Summer is interesting because it’s when younger viewers have a lot more discretionary time,” says Bouttier. “It’s always when our audience is at its peak. One of the things that drives viewership is digital influencers and this new brand of celebrity. These talent are so good at knowing their audience and speaking to them and relating to them, so when you take that one step further and introduce live video it’s amazing. These talent have been doing live tours, and you still have to get to a town to get to an event. So now if I can do that from a house or a studio and reach more people, that’s a really great experience.”

    Bouttier thinks livestreaming opens up a new market for those in locations who can’t experience events like YouTube tours.

    “That access is the holy grail for that audience,” he says.

    5) VR technology could be next

    One way to go even deeper than a traditional live experience is virtual reality, which platforms like YouTube are supporting along with their 360-degree video efforts.

    “There’s definitely a wave among advertisers in wanting to be experimental,” says Bouttier. “They want to be early in discovering new and different ways to reach an audience. They’re looking to us, because we’re coming to them and saying this works.”

    Explains Izad: “At scale, [VR is] just developing so I think that’s a trend to watch over time. … We have a bunch of content we’re making in that space.”

    The key difference for MCNs like AwesomenessTV or Studio 71, according to Bouttier, is that they aren’t platforms, so their reach can move fluidly across channels.

    “Our sell is different than Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat or YouTube even,” he says. “Our sell is not ‘hey, buy audience.’ It’s buy context, it’s buy attention, it’s buy engagement, against our audience. We’re able to do that across every platform.”

    6) Ads might reach globally, but their economy is still local

    YouTubers might have a reach that transcends geographic boundaries, but at NewFronts the game is still about the U.S., and advertising is still about localization.

    “Each market has it own peculiarities and it’s own relationship to broadcast,” says Izad, whose company is now owned by the German broadcast giant ProSieben. “We’re still video, and we’re still lumped into a video spend. We have to enter each market with a very specific sales approach that may be different than the way it is in the U.S.”

    Still, American-based MCNs can drive a global presence, sometimes without even trying.

    “[Natural Born Pranksters] is a good example of that,” Izad says of this year’s prank film starring YouTubers Roman Atwood, Dennis Roady, and Vitaly Zdorovetskiy. “We did very little marketing outside of the United States, but we were No. 2 in 25 markets around the world in the iTunes store on our week of release. That’s because of the global audience these stars drive.”

    7) Digital content is still waiting for its ‘Survivor moment’

    “In reality television, there was a moment where it was kind of a second-class citizen in TV, and then Survivor came along,” explained Izad. “We call it the ‘Survivor moment.’ The whole business turned, fast.”

    While Izad points to global digital phenomenons like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, he notes that while it was close to creating a storm, it wasn’t a narrative-based movement.

    “The minute that happens, I think this market explodes,” he says. “Not that it isn’t really robust, but the whole attitude towards it, the way brands interact with it, that cultural thing no one can deny: That will redefine the entire business for everybody.”

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