Local Current Blog

Music News: Chance the Rapper says free music should be Grammy eligible

via Chance the Rapper on Facebook

Can music that’s given away for free win a Grammy? The answer is no, and Chance the Rapper wants to change that. The hip-hop star is one of over 15,000 people who have endorsed a petition asking the Recording Academy to change the policy stipulating that music be made “available for sale” in order to achieve Grammy consideration. The issue is becoming increasingly relevant, with mixtapes and other free online releases serving as the building blocks of some of the hottest music artists’ careers. (Billboard)

Meanwhile, Chance was forced to miss a Monday night charity performance after being hospitalized for pneumonia. However, he confirms that his new mixtape is still coming out on Friday. (Pitchfork)

Desert Trip gets longer

As expected, the Desert Trip festival of classic rock giants is doubling down on its October schedule: Paul McCartneyBob Dylanthe Rolling Stonesthe WhoNeil Young, and Roger Waters will play a second weekend of shows at the Empire Polo Club. (NME)

Today’s Prince news

Nile Rodgers of Chic says he’s delivering a eulogy for Prince at a service in Los Angeles. No further details are currently known. (Sirius XM)

The Minnesota Legislature is fast-tracking a so-called “PRINCE Act” (the acronym stands for Personal Rights in Names Can Endure) that would allow the heirs of Prince — and other Minnesota artists — to stop unauthorized commercial exploitation of their names and likenesses after death. (MPR News, via The Current)

A Missouri man has come forward claiming to be Prince’s son. Carlin Q. Williams and his mother say that Williams was conceived in Kansas City in 1976. The court overseeing Prince’s probate proceedings has authorized DNA testing to assess such claims. (CBS News)

In Toronto, a 1,999-voice choir has honored Prince’s memory by singing “When Doves Cry.” (YourClassical)

Goodbye to Other Music

Other Music, one of New York City’s most iconic record retailers, is closing on June 25 after more than two decades in business. Sales have dropped by half since the store’s 2000 peak, while rent has doubled. (New York Times)

YACHT selling sex tape in self-defense

YACHT — Jona Bechtolt and Claire Evans, who have been professionally and personally linked for a decade — are selling their own sex tape for $5 per viewing, after the tape was leaked online against their wishes. “This video is out there now,” the pair wrote in a statement. “We can’t change that. But we can try to be ‘as YACHT as possible’ about it and take some kind of ownership over what has happened.” (PitchforkUpdate: It turns out the “leak” was a hoax — perpetuated by the band themselves. (Jezebel)

Beyoncé faces police protest

A hometown show by Beyoncé was the subject of a protest by Houston police officers who shone a blue light on the NRG Stadium, where the star was performing. Some law enforcement officers have taken offense at Beyoncé’s “Formation” video, in which she’s seen atop a sinking New Orleans police car. For her part, Beyoncé has said that “anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken.” (Billboard)

Conviction for past Brian Wilson collaborator

Multi-instrumentalist Scott Bennett, a longtime Brian Wilson collaborator, has been convicted of rape. The assault occurred shortly after Bennett performed with Wilson in Tulsa, Okla. in late 2014. Bennett performed and recorded with Wilson from 1998 until Bennett’s 2015 arraignment. (Rolling Stone)

Drake dominates

Drake continues to dominate the streaming era on the Billboard charts, landing 20 tracks on the Hot 100 simultaneously. That breaks the previous record of 17 set by Justin Bieber in December. Almost all of Drake’s chart performance was driven by streams on Apple Music, the only service where his entire new album Views is available for streaming. (Billboard)

In potentially even more exciting Drake news, he was also interviewed by Nardwuar the Human Serviette. (Billboard)