Sam Smith Is ‘Leaning On’ Sexuality to ‘Make Trash Music’

Azealia Banks has lashed out at Sam Smith and social media giants, Instagram and Twitter in a series of posts.

The musician, 31, accused Smith of leaning into their sexuality in order to make music and described them as “cringeworthy.”

Banks shared a screenshot of Smith’s recent music video for the song “I’m Not Here to Make Friends” which generated a lot of discussion about LGBTQ music and performers.

Smith, who identifies as gay and non-binary, is dressed in camp outfits throughout the video.

[LEFT] Sam Smith poses backstage at the hit musical “Some Like it Hot” on Broadway at The Shubert Theater on February 17, 2023 in New York City. [RIGHT] Azealia Banks performs during the Noise Pop Music & Arts festival at The Warfield on February 27, 2022 in San Francisco, California. Banks slammed Smith for leaning on they sexuality.
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During the video, Smith is surrounded by many gender-diverse performers in historically inspired, but risqué, outfits. Some complained about the sexual nature of the video, while others fat-shamed Smith for wearing figure-hugging outfits.

But Banks has some other opinions on Smith’s new music and posted them to her Instagram stories.

“What people need to understand … Especially these gay artists that think these forced displays of sexuality are revolutionary…. is that this type of s*** is so f***** post- Drag Race and cringeworthy,” she began, referring to the popular drag reality series, RuPaul’s Drag Race.

“No one makes ‘gay pizza’—people from all walks of life enjoy pizza. We don’t need so many stacked vocals on this hook. Humans can tell what’s dope and what’s trash and this is absolute garbage.”

Banks added: “What happened to the days when gay male artists were able to express themselves in unique and groundbreaking ways that were truly FABULOUS? What bag of desperate publishing company songwriters cattle call did this song come from?

“What is this bootleg Pussycat doll aesthetic? You all need to study Freddie Mercury, Boy George, Haddaway, Keven Aviance, Jake Shears, Luther Van Ross and the like.”

Banks added: “On another story, all and all we do not give a f*** if you are gay/bi/purple or green. We like good music. Point blank.”

She also went on to praise Scissor Sisters front man Jake Shears and described the group’s music as “legend.” In another story she praised Brandon Urie and told fans, “we are also going to stop sleeping on Adam Lambert.”

“You cannot lean on your sexuality as a crutch to make trash music. Honestly, Jake Shears is HIGHKEY THE MOTHER,” Banks wrote.

“The white gays just don’t know what to do with themselves anymore.”

Newsweek reached out to Smith and Banks’ representatives for comment.

Prior to her comments about Smith, the rapper had posted to her main Instagram page saying “everyone can suck it” in the captions.

She posted a lengthy note beside it saying how she wanted to sue Instagram and Twitter. Banks has had plenty of run ins with the social media platforms and has been suspended several times from both Twitter and Instagram.

“I feel like I should be able to retroactively sue Twitter and Instagram for canceling my accounts due to hate speech,” she started.

“I’m sorry [but] ‘hate speech’ is unquantifiable in a society where there is a multi-billion dollar industry surrounding the use of the N-word.”

She added: “Using the excuse that I’m allowed to say it because I’m of African descent is super duper racist, and I am having trouble understanding how a generation of white people so recently removed from a class of ancestors that would have had me hung from a tree for drinking out of the wrong water fountain feel as though they have any social, moral or legislative authority to determine what is and isn’t hate speech.”

The scond slide in the post questioned how people working at “tech platforms” allow “rampant use of the N-word” and graphic videos depicting violence against Black people “shared under the guise of it being ‘news’ then turn around and tell us that black_lives_matter?”

“How do these record industry executives justify not being inherently racist while they are happy to profit from the sales and exploitation of music/cinema and other conent that specifically perpetuate the degradation and abuse of African-descendant livelihood’s that they subsequently claim to be in protest of?” Banks contined.

She then turned her attention to the LGBTQ community, wondering how it has “received such protection from “digital ‘hate speech’,” compared to Black people who she said are “physically and psychologically terrorized on these platforms?”

“Wigh all due respect, I don’t want to hear another word out of any industry executives mouth about ‘hate speech’,” Banks wrote.

“I need all of my n***** money back before anyone has the right to condemn, humiliate or punish me for use of any word.”

Last year she thanked Elon Musk for purchasing Twitter and hoped she could return to the platform. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO purchased Twitter for $44 billion in October, 2022.

“The amount of money I lost by being banned from twitter and not having access to the fans/consumer base I worked SO HARD TO BUILD SERIOUSLY MADE EVERYTHING SO MUCH MORE DIFFICULT,” Banks wrote on Instagram in April last year, when Musk first announced his intentions to buy Twitter.

She then went on to slam Twitter’s founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey: “He knew it would effect [sic] my value as an artist because if I don’t have access to these channels to promote new music/new merch/concerts etc … He could effectively stop my bag which is miniscule as f*** compared to his.”

In 2016, she was suspended from Twitter for homophobic and racist slurs she wrote about former One Direction singer, Zayn Malik. She had lashed out at him because she believed he had copies one of her music videos for his song, “Like I Would.”

Then using the Twitter handle, @cheapyxo, Banks’ account was again deactivated after she tweeted her disdain for RuPaul’s Drag Race and its host, RuPaul Charles.

Fast forward to 2020 and Banks returned to Twitter under the account, @seaqueen2001, but was later shut down after posting a series of seemingly transphobic tweets.

Wulf Morpheus enlists Gnarly Marley, MARCO PLUS & Sedona for “Get a Load of Me” – Aipate

A native of Fayetteville, North Carolina, Wulf Morpheus is a talented hip hop producer who continues to improve his craft. For his latest offering “Get a Load of Me”, he teamed up with rappers Gnarly Marley and MARCO PLUS and singer Sedona, who delivers the background vocals.

“Get a Load of Me” is characterized by thoughtful and heavily lyrical verses. Still, it makes for an easy listen, thanks to the soulful melodies and Sedona’s smooth harmonies.

The song was independently released by the producer. Listen to it and follow Wulf Morpheus, Gnarly Marley, MARCO PLUS and Sedona on Instagram.

Music Video Breakdown: ‘Body Better’ Is Y2K Paradise | Arts

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When advertising the music video for her new single, “Body Better,” Maisie Peters promised on an Instagram post: “im politely and properly warning u now it is my best ever.” Following the success of her debut album “You Signed Up For This,”this claim was certainly a lot to live up to. What resulted is a 2000s-inspired music video of a graveyard picnic festooned with pastel colors. While “Body Better”’s music video is not quite subversive, it is a worthy and enjoyable accompaniment to an upbeat tune that belies its emotional lyrics.

Tonally, “Body Better” is a departure from Peters’s first album, which featured softer pop sounds, and shared more similarities to the singles that she released in 2022. “Body Better,” with its catchy upbeat tune, finds its lineage in the pop-punk feel of “Not Another Rockstar” and the song’s teenage angst is mirrored in “Blonde.”

Admittedly, “Body Better” lacks the lyricism present in some of Peters’s finest work, like the double entendres in “Psycho” or the playful storytelling in “I’m Trying (Not Friends).” The strong beat accompanying the song gives it the feeling of a pop punk tune, a symptom of the current resurgence in 2000s pop punk music reminiscent of Olivia Rodrigo’s “good 4 u” or Avril Lavigne’s “Love Sux.” Yet the single is undeniably catchy, and the buoyant rhythm presents a jarring juxtaposition to the vulnerability concealed beneath the defiant lyrics that Peters has penned.

Though the song would not sound out of place on Spotify’s “Happy Hits!” playlist, the lyrics of “Body Better” are achingly honest. Peters sings about watching her ex get together with another girl and the insecurities that this unfurls , asking, “Now I’m watching you moving on in the beat of drum / If I never gave you any reason to run / Then I can’t help thinking that she’s got a better body / Has she got a body better than mine?” These are perhaps not the most earth-shattering lyrics, but Peters is unguarded about her own self-doubt, creating a surprisingly sweet and tender song that echoes the honest vulnerability which made her first album so compelling.

For anyone hoping for a creepy graveyard setting, prepare to be disappointed: The music video, directed by Mia Barnes, crackles with Y2K energy and a candy pastel theme. The closest Peters comes to blood is smearing red colored cake on her white dress.

Underneath the soothing color scheme, however, there is an undercurrent of unhinged behavior. Amidst this pastel paradise, the video features Peters having a picnic with an ensemble of other girls, who, as the chorus builds, partake gleefully in the destruction of crochet dolls, stabbing and tearing them apart.

“Loving you was easy / That’s why it hurts now / The worst way to love somebody’s to watch them love somebody else and it work out,” Peters sings as they robotically stab crochet dolls while staring emotionlessly into the camera. In another scene, Peters stares directly again into the camera and sings through clenched teeth, “You took what you took, and left what you left / and I don’t know how I still can’t make it make any sense.” Her desperation to find closure following heartbreak is palpable through the screen and painfully relatable to anyone who has shared her experience.

Director Mia Barnes provides the music video with a strong sense of its aesthetic direction. The entire video has a shimmery, ethereal filter around it, bringing to mind “Clueless” and “Legally Blonde” — in other words, evoking exactly the mood that it set out to achieve. In a particularly powerful scene that closes out the music video, Peters, dressed in white, looks at a still, doll-like version of herself standing in the cemetery (think the twins from “The Shining”), and in reaching out to embrace her, simultaneously consoles and accepts herself despite the insecurities she feels.

The visuals certainly parallel the song’s message. Much like how Peters has disguised her heartwrenching lyrics with a cheery pop tune, the cottagecore aesthetic lightens and romanticizes the otherwise eerie graveyard.

Ultimately, “Body Better” is the perfect anti-Valentine’s Day song for anyone who felt particularly single last Tuesday, and a strong opening to Peters’s sophomore album, “The Good Witch,” which is set to be released on June 16.

Where Did You Go: North Norfolk country artist Ervin yearns for her return on Carolynn – Independent Music – New Music

Known throughout his local area for hosting the legendary open mic called Rock the Lobster, Ervin shows the value in working with producer Aeron Z Jones with a riveting display on Carolynn.

Ervin aka Ervin Munir is a North Norfolk-based indie country singer-songwriter and a member of the band Cutting the Mustard.

He writes heartfelt songs about life and social injustice with an eye for the ridiculous. His influences are Paul Simon, James Taylor and the Eagles and one of his early highlights has been performing “The Boxer” at a folk group hosted by Peggy Seeger.” ~ Ervin

Performed with a dynamic exuberance and an endearing romance, Ervin sings with the kind of quality which is rather rare in this overly-rushed world. Lathered in so much excellence, it’s hard not to like this outstanding effort.

Carolynn from North Norfolk-based indie country singer-songwriter Ervin is a rather sweet single about wishing for a return from the sweetest girl in the world. Sung with kind tenderness and comforting energy, this is a single to take us into a happier state of mind despite the distance between two loving hearts.

When love is real, anything is attainable.

Hear this excellent song on Spotify. See more on the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Moroccan Singer Saad Lamjarred’s Rape Trial Starts in Paris – Billboard

The trial of Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred, who is accused of aggravated rape and assault, started in Paris on Monday (Feb. 20).

The 37-year-old Lamjarred, who is famous on the Arab pop music scene, allegedly raped a French woman at a luxury hotel on the Champs-Elysees in October 2016 while he was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine.

He has denied the allegations. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. A verdict is expected on Friday.



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The woman, who was 20 years old at the time, said that she met Lamjarred at a Paris nightclub and accompanied him to his hotel, according to the document summarizing the conclusions of the investigation that was read out by the presiding magistrate at the court.

She said that he struck her several times as she was trying to push him back before he raped her, the document said. She managed to leave the room, and hotel staff reported seeing her crying and in distress.

The woman’s lawyer Jean-Marc Descoubes, told reporters Monday that the alleged victim remains strong, despite the trauma she sustained. “It was extremely violent… It was very traumatic for her. She’s still being treated, but she remains strong, decent and courageous,” said Descoubes.

On Monday, Lamjarred told the court that he rejects the allegations of rape and assault. He acknowledged he had “occasionally” used alcohol and drugs at the time, but has since stopped.

The court said Lamjarred respected the conditions of the judicial supervision he has been under since 2017. Lamjarred is not permitted to perform in France, but has been allowed to leave the country for shows abroad.

Lamjarred is one of the Arab world’s most popular artists. His music video “Lm3allem” has more than 1 billion views on his YouTube channel, where he has more than 14 million subscribers.

King Mohammed VI awarded him Morocco’s highest national honor in 2015.

Lamjarred has also been charged with the aggravated rape of another woman in August 2018 at a nightclub in Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera. A trial date hasn’t been set for that case.

Neek Bucks Drops ‘Blessed to the Max’ Album

It’s been a long journey for Neek Bucks, who’s making the most of his second chance at life. This, of course, is in regards to him being shot in the head in 2011 (only to realize fragments were still in his skull three years later). Now, after years of grinding, the Harlem rapper is ready to take the next step in his career with the release of his new album, Blessed to the Max.

Executive produced by Hitmaka, the album checks in at 14 tracks with features from 2 Chainz, Benny the Butcher, Raekwon, Tink, Wiz Khalifa, Vory, CeeLo Green, Ivory Scott, and Chrishan.

“I learned so much about myself recording this project. So many emotions,” Neek says. “Lost my pops. Lost Zah. People came in my life, people left. Hitmaka! Thank you for being patient with me. Thank you for thinking of me when you heard some dope sh*t I should rap on. Thank you for sharing your platform and believing in a young ni**a from the Eastside of Harlem.”

Press play and be sure add Blessed to the Max wherever you get music.

Neek Bucks Drops ‘Blessed to the Max’ Album was last modified: February 17th, 2023 by Shake

SB19 appears in docuseries ‘K-pop Generation’

‘Most of us have the same vision, we wanted to make a change in the industry,’ says Josh

MANILA, Philippines – P-pop powerhouse SB19 opened up about being influenced by the global K-pop phenomenon in their brief appearance in the K-pop Generation documentary series. 

The five-piece act was featured on the fourth episode titled “What The K?,” where they said that they would strive for P-pop to also reach such international acclaim.  

“SB stands for ‘Sound Break’, meaning breaking into the music scene here in the Philippines. And also to promote Filipino music and Filipino culture [on] the world stage,” member Stell said. 

Leader Pablo shared how their group was formed, revealing that the members chose to train under ShowBT Philippines, the local subsidiary of ShowBT Group, because it was a Korean company. 

“We know that Korean entertainment is very flourished. It’s very successful and they have their own system to train their talents,” he added, recalling how the group garnered attention when their single “Go Up” went viral in 2019.

“That’s the time when people started recognizing us. That’s also the time we named our fandom A’TIN. So we’re really, really thankful,” he said. 

Josh then emphasized that by drawing inspiration from the Korean training system and entertainment industry, they, as SB19, have developed a vision to “make a change” in the local industry. 

“That’s what we’re doing right now,” he said. “We’re very lucky and fortunate we were able to do it, slowly but surely.” 

K-pop Generation explores the impact of K-pop in the worldwide music industry, featuring interviews with artists, producers, critics, and fans about what goes on behind the scenes of the global phenomenon. 

SB19 is the lone Filipino act that got featured in the documentary series. K-pop artists such as SHINEE’s Minho, EXO’s Suho, MAMAMOO’s Hwasa, NCT’s Doyoung, and groups Stray Kids, TXT, and IVE were earlier confirmed to have taken part in the show. 

SB19 wrapped up their first international tour Where You At (WYAT) in December 2022, which included stops in Dubai, New York, Los Angeles, and Singapore. The group has hinted that they’re gearing up for a new album, but details have yet to be released. –

Hill Records Opens New Call for Music Submissions

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The U of A’s student-run record label, Hill Records, is now accepting submissions from musicians of all genres to be considered for acceptance into the Hill Records repertoire and inclusion on an upcoming compilation EP. The submission period will run now through Friday, March 10.

Interested artists can submit one unreleased recording of an original song for consideration by the Hill Records team. During the selection process, preference will be given to Arkansan artists and artists affiliated with the U of A. Submissions themselves will be evaluated based solely on musical quality and artistic merit.

Selected artists will be included on Hill Records’ third compilation EP and offered live performance opportunities to promote the project. They will also have the opportunity to work with students studying the music industry for promotional services and future releases.

Additionally, selected artists may elect to purchase further label services in the future from Hill Records, such as media promotion, booking services and personalized artist development campaigns.

Instructions for submission can be found at

Questions regarding submissions and Hill Records’ services should be directed to

max pretends And Milana Team Up For Chilling Pop Single, ‘HOME’

With an extensive background in musical theatre and knowledge of music for film, max pretends is breaking down barriers in the world of pop music. He showcases his innovative perspective on the genre in his new single, “HOME”, featuring Milana. Speaking on the track, max says, “this song was written about meaningless times of sex & debauchery which we thought was all that mattered as kids.

Both possessing hypnotic voices, max and Milana’s lyrics are layered beautifully over each other in “HOME”. These vocals complement the ethereal soundscapes that intertwine pop and EDM. Throughout the anthem, there are a ton of mind-bending synths, heavenly sequences of acoustic guitar, and other surprises that radiate a cinematic feel to listeners. In its entirety, “HOME” is a dramatic auditory adventure that overflows with passion from the pair of artists.

After listening to “HOME”, it is fitting that NYC and LA-based max and Miami-native Milana are located in some of the top music-centric hotspots. While max has collabed with a number of professional European EDM producers, he has recently shifted to releasing his own pop music. max has much more in store for his listeners as he brings his artistic vision to life.

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St Francis Hotel and Liam Bailey share collaborative album, Enfant Terrible – Aipate

Enfant Terrible is the just released collaborative album pairing Irish producer St Francis Hotel and Nottingham, UK-born soul singer-songwriter Liam Bailey. The sounds explored on this 12-track LP range from dub and soul to punk and indie.

Arriving with the album is the soulful lead single, “Recovery Time”. It’s a vulnerably rueful song that I’ve totally been obsessed with.

Enfant Terrible started as an EP which naturally grew into a full-length project. While creating it, Liam and St Francis were supported by Carl Benjamin (drums) and singers Emily Holligan and Simone Daley-Richards.

Listen to the whole album on Spotify. Remember to follow St Francis Hotel and Liam Bailey on Instagram.