Release Radar: Week of December 24

Release Radar Is A Weekly Roundup Of Artists Who Topped The Charts, Dropped New Music, Or Finally Released That Much Anticipated Album, Just In Case You Missed It.

Florida Georgia Line: “People Are Different,” Single

Although Florida Georgia Line crossed over onto the top pop songs charts in 2018 with their feature on Bebe Rexha’s song “Meant To Be,” they’re closing off 2019 with a classic country tune. “People Are Different” is FGL’s message for unity, acceptance and tolerance of all kinds of people. FGL’s latest release is a departure from the party anthem songs that catapulted the duo to fame. “People Are Different” has a lot of country twang layered over soft-rock drums and heavy guitar chords. The song carries a heavy message of embracing diversity, whether in a small country town or big city, but still manages to be a catchy and feel-good song you’d want to blast in your car with your windows rolled down (if only it wasn’t winter!) The song is the third single Florida Georgia Line has released off their upcoming album “Can’t Say I Ain’t Country,” releasing February 15, 2019.


Nipsey Hussle: Perfect Timing,” Single

Nipsey had quite the year. Attendee got the chance to see the rapper perform at Rolling Loud LA in December. His performance came only a few days after Nipsey Hussle was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Album for his debut album, “Victory Lap.” His latest song was leaked in early 2018, but fans are happy to have the completed version available to stream and download. In “Perfect Timing” the LA native lets the beat flow while rapping about the attention and accolades he got in 2018. Despite all his success, Nipsey Hussle acknowledges the mistakes he has made in his personal life that could have negatively impacted his career. “Perfect Timing” is the ideal end-of-year wrap-up for the rapper and we can’t wait to see what’s ahead for the first-ever Grammy nominee in 2019.


Maluma, Becky G, Anitta: Mala Mia (Remix),” Single

Maluma’s song “Mala Mia” already was a popular dance song before the remix version dropped. Now, with the addition of verses from two of Latin music’s biggest female names, “Mala Mia” is an upgraded, pro-feminist and pro-LGBTQA song that everyone can relate to and dance to. The original male-dominated song about living a carefree life with little regret gets boosted with the addition of Becky G and Anitta. The two Latin music stars’ verses share a similar sentiment — freedom and acceptance to do what they want, when they want. The “Mala Mia (Remix)” serves as the perfect closing-credits song for 2018.

Shawn Mendes: The Album (Remixes)”

Like the true millennial he is, Shawn Mendes took to Instagram to announce to his fans that an album featuring remixes of some of his favorite songs would soon be released. “The Album (Remixes)” is a three-song EP featuring Leon Bridges, Khalid, Jessie Reyez, and Kaytranada. The release of these remixed works come as a bookmark for the epic year for the singer. Mendes received his first ever Grammy nominations earlier this month for Best Pop Album and a nom for Song of the Year for “In My Blood.” The three songs featured in “The Album (Remixes)” are soothing pop-ballads that have new life with R&B mixing, more electronic feels and warm vocals from Bridges and Kaytranada. Jessie Reyez joins Khalid and Mendes for the remix of “Youth” and sings new lyrics that add a lovely third harmony to the original duo. This album definitely fought with the classic Christmas music for playing rights over the holidays.


Post Malone: “Wow.,” Single

Just in time for the holiday, Post Malone dropped his new single “Wow.” as well as an accompanying animated video for the song. In the “Wow.” video Post Malone appears, face tattoos and all, as an animated elf moving through space on a candy-cane rocket and dancing with other tattooed elves. “Wow.” carries the familiar, easy-to-bop-along-to Posty beat. The lyrics refer to his blast into superstardom and all the money and gossip that comes along with being a famous rapper. “Wow.” is Post’s first solo release since his sophomore album “Beerbongs and Bentleys” came out this past spring. Post never took a step back this year; he also released a song with Swae Lee for the “Spider-Man: Into The Spider Verse” movie a few months ago, and he headlined at Rolling Loud LA in December.


Sam Smith: “Fire on Fire,” Single

So many musical gifts under the Christmas tree this year. Sam Smith teamed up with Netflix and BBC to create a powerful and emotional ballad for the new adaptation of “Watership Down.” Though Smith has appeared on singles with Calvin Harris and Brandi Carlile, “Fire on Fire” is the English singer’s first release since 2017. “Watership Down,” released to Netflix on December 23, is an adaptation of the 1972 Richard Adams novel that follows a herd of rabbits on their quest of survival and adventure in southern England. Smith uses his powerful acoustics to bring to life fiery lyrics, which he co-wrote with Steve Mac. “Fire on Fire” is a timeless song to accompany a timeless story of all the trials and tribulations a fearless pack of rabbits endures to survive. See a preview of Watership Down with “Fire on Fire” playing in the background here. Warning: if you’re an animal lover, this video may bring on some tears.

ZAYN: “Icarus Falls,” Single

It has been nearly two years since the English singer Zayn dropped new music, but he is back with the release of his 27-track album, “Icarus Falls.” Ever since his departure from One Direction in 2015, Zayn’s music has been a knotted mash-up of R&B love songs with heavy drum beats, similar in tone to the pop music that engulfed the beginning of his career in the early 2000s. Zayn’s music has matured since his One Direction days — and he wants people to take note. His vocals are clearly on display throughout each track on “Icarus Falls.” The album seems to be a diary of the last couple years, come to life through song. He takes the listener through the inner workings of his mind, and his heart. Each song on the album shares a similar moodiness that’s heightened by drawn-out drum beats or a powerful piano loop. “Icarus Falls” proves that Zayn is in control of his sound and that he’s no longer a member of a boyband.


21 Savage: “i am > i was,” Album

Hailing from East Atlanta, 21 Savage has already built quite a career following his first studio album, “Issa Album,” and countless features on chart-topping rap and pop songs. A few days before Christmas, he released his sophomore studio album, “i am > i was,” and two of the album’s songs, “A Lot” and “Monster,” have already made their way onto the Global Top 50 chart on Spotify. The album has a guest list full of rap’s A-list superstars, which will surely help boost 21 Savage’s popularity. Features on “i am > i was” include Childish Gambino, Post Malone, Offset and J Cole. Each of these rappers have incredibly different sounds, transforming 21 Savage’s album from just another trap-rap album to one with sounds that swerve in and out of R&B melodies, trap music and old-school rap beats. “I am > i was” shows 21 Savage has evolved his style of music by developing dynamic flows and new ways of mastering his sound.


Release Radar: Week of December 10

Release Radar Is A Weekly Roundup Of Artists Who Topped The Charts, Dropped New Music, Or Finally Released That Much Anticipated Album, Just In Case You Missed It.

Ariana Grande: “Imagine,” Single 

Still on a career high from her hit song, “Thank U, Next,” Ariana is giving fans yet another anthem to keep on repeat. “Imagine” is a sultry ballad about the what-if’s and what could be’s in a relationship. In her new single, Ariana shows off her vocal range, even singing her “whistle” tone that shocked the world in her 2013 song, “The Way,” featuring Mac Miller. Right away, fans took to Twitter to discuss their theories about why “Imagine” was about Ariana’s ex and late rapper Mac Miller. While “Thank U, Next” celebrates old relationships and looks forward to new opportunities, “Imagine” takes a deep dive into the emotional toll of a breakup, which left Ariana dreaming about what life would be like back together.

Ric Wilson: “No Hands,” Single

Attendee has been following Chicago native Ric Wilson since his epic soul train dance at North Coast Festival, where we caught up with the rapper to talk new music and what inspires him to write. Wilson’s new single, “No Hands,” is a product of that deeply creative zone he described last time we talked. Keeping true to his disco sound and retro vibe, “No Hands” is a happy song with lively verses. Wilson takes it upon himself to relate to, and interact with, his audience. “No Hands” encourages his audience, who are more like his peers, to get up and get involved in something they love. The track ends with a sax solo — which is quickly becoming a staple in Wilson’s songs and performances. This past weekend at Rolling Loud, Ric danced with the crowd of hundreds as a saxophone player on stage put everyone in the mood to groove with Ric.

Miley Cyrus: “(Happy Xmas) War is Over,” Single

In a Christmas miracle, Miley Cyrus released a holiday tune. Cyrus teamed up with recent collaborator and friend, Mark Ronson, and Sean Ono Lennon to put their own spin on Lennon’s parents’ (John Lennon and Yoko Ono) iconic holiday classic released in 1971. Cyrus reinvigorates the classic song with her passionate vocals layered with Sean Ono Lennon’s subtle harmony singing “War is over/ If you want it.” Cyrus spends much of her time as an activist and philanthropist, making this song, with its message of peace and hope, the perfect fit. The group performed the song live on Saturday Night Live’s last show of 2018. Watch the debut performance here.

Kodak Black: “Dying To Live,” Album

Drake called Kodak Black’s newest album, “Dying To Live,” one of his “Favorites in the last 5 years.” If you haven’t yet taken a listen, that testimony should get you listening as soon as possible. Kodak Black has had a career-making year. The 21-year-old rapper frequented the top charts with his song, “ZEZE,” featuring Offset and Travis Scott. He has also been making rounds in the music festival world. Attendee got the chance to see Black at Tidal X Brooklyn and this previous weekend at Rolling Loud festival in Los Angeles. “Dying To Live” is Black’s second studio album and a very personal one — it’s the rapper’s first album since his release from prison in August. Black runs solo on a majority of the tracks on the 16-track album, which is rare for most rappers these days.

Bad Bunny: “Solo De Mi,” Single

From J Balvin to Cardi B, reggaeton and Latin music has been all over the top charts in 2018. Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny has had quite the year. His hit single, “MIA,” featuring Drake has been streamed over 250 million times on Spotify, and his song with Cardi B, “I Like It,” has been streamed over a whopping 658 million times. His latest release,“Solo De Mi,” is bound to be a staple on your playlist for a while. Bad Bunny also released a music video accompanied by a strong message for the song — domestic violence against women should be condemned. Bad Bunny took to social media to share his message that it is time to take action to stop gender violence against women. Watch the “Solo De Mi” music video here.

Release Radar: Week of December 3

Coldplay Creates A Live Concert Album From Buenos Aires, Vulfpeck Releases Their Eighth Studio Album and New Music From Gucci Mane and Benny Blanco

Release Radar is a weekly roundup of artists who topped the charts, dropped new music, or finally released that much anticipated album, just in case you missed it.

Vulfpeck: “Hill Climber,” Album

Funk group Vulfpeck released yet another happy-go-lucky studio album last week — bringing their album count up to eight studio albums. “Hill Climber” stays true to Vulfpeck’s origins. The quartet combines groovy instrumental rifts from saxophones, drums and bass with up-tempo lyrics from vocalist Theo Katzman. Vulfpeck has mastered the artistry of being able to paint a lively picture of bouncing colors and moving lines through music. The 10-track album is contagiously happy and Attendee caught the vibe when we saw the quartet perform live at North Coast Music Festival in August. Vulfpeck takes their charismatic stage presence directly to the recorded songs on their latest album. Turn the volume up on your best speakers and you’ll think you’re right there center stage watching the group jam live.  

Coldplay: “Live In Buenos Aires,” Album

Didn’t get a chance to catch Coldplay perform live on their A Head Full Of Dreams tour? Curb your FOMO with Coldplay’s “Live In Buenos Aires” album. “Live In Buenos Aires” is Coldplay’s 24-track live album, which was recorded on the last night of the group’s A Head Full Of Dreams tour in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The live album features all of Coldplay’s greatest hits, including “Yellow,” “Clocks” and “Viva La Vida.” Head Full Of Dreams was the third highest grossing tour of all time, according to Live Nation. For fans who can’t get enough of Coldplay, the band released the premium Butterfly package, which includes the “Live In Buenos Aires” album, “Live In Sao Paulo” concert film and “A Head Full Of Dreams” documentary film. The “A Head Full Of Dreams” documentary is currently streaming on Amazon Prime and the Butterfly package on Amazon here.

KYLE: “Hey Julie,” featuring Lil Yachty, Single

Both KYLE and Lil Yachty have a knack for releasing utterly infectious songs that get stuck in your head after one listen aka earworms. The last time these two rappers teamed up it was for the 2016 hit song “iSpy,” now the duo is back and more catchy than ever with the new song “Hey Julie.” KYLE and Lil Yachty have been nonstop the past two years. KYLE topped the charts this past year with his song “Playinwitme” featuring Kehlani, while Lil Yachty has been busy releasing three studio albums and appearing on multiple features with other rappers. In “Hey Julie,” KYLE and Lil Yachty play off one another to create a fun song with silly lyrics and addictive hooks that is sure to conquer the airwaves in no time.

Benny Blanco: “Friends Keep Secrets,” Album

Benny Blanco has been on Attendee’s radar for some time now. Blanco has been frequenting the Top 40 charts with his song “Eastside” featuring Halsey and Khalid and his song with fellow DJ and producer Calvin Harris, “I Found You.” “Friends Keep Secrets” features seven tracks but, lucky for fans, Blanco is putting his own spin on the piece. Always the creator and hard worker, Blanco plans on having “Friends Keep Secrets” become a constantly updated body of work. As he continues to write songs and work with artists, he will upload the songs to “Friends Keep Secrets.” Blanco has already had an incredibly successful career writing hit songs for Britney Spears, Maroon 5, Katy Perry and Ed Sheeran; but now, he’s ready to work for himself and step into the limelight.

Gucci Mane: “Evil Genius,” Album

Gucci released his highly anticipated thirteenth studio album last week titled “Evil Genius.” The 18-track album from Guwop features some of the most popular in the rap scene right now — Migos, Lil Yachty, Lil Pump and 21 Savage. Gucci Mane has been swiftly rising to superstardom ever since his release from prison in 2016. The trap rapper from Atlanta has turned his life around for the better and his music is following. Gucci surprised fans with a catchy song featuring Bruno Mars and Kodak Black titled “Wake Up In The Sky.” The track is one of the most commercial sounding songs ever to come from Gucci, which seem to have helped the rapper gain more fame than ever before. “Evil Genius” may be one of the best works to come from Guwop which has fans wondering; where is he going to go from here?

Holiday Gift Guide: Gamer Edition

Ten Epic Gifts To Give Your Gamer This Holiday Season

1. For The Gamer On Trend — Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 sent waves of excitement through the gaming world when it released in October. With its wild, wild west theme and intense stunning graphics, it’s no shock that the game is number one on the sales charts for the second month in a row. Get your gamer Red Dead 2 for Xbox or PlayStation below.

Buy Red Dead 2- PlayStationBuy Red Dead 2- Xbox

2. For The Gamer That Is Audio Obsessed — HyperX Cloud Flight Wireless Headset

HyperX is known for having high-quality wired headsets and other gaming products that a gamer can depend on and the Cloud Flight wireless gaming headset won’t disappoint. This wireless headset has a long-lasting battery life, a removable microphone and a comfortable, lightweight feel for those long hours playing.

Buy HyperX Cloud Flight Wireless Headset

3. For The Gamer That Needs An Upgrade — Xbox One Fortnite Bundle

2018 was the year of Fortnite. Everyone was, and still is, playing this game, including famous rappers and celebrities. Gift your gamer this Xbox One Fortnite bundle and help them get in on the action with a new gaming system. Note: this bundle also comes with 2,000 V-bucks — the in-game currency for Fortnite.

Buy Xbox One Fortnite Bundle

4. For The Gamer That Loves The Classics — PlayStation Classic Console

Help your gamer go back in time with the PlayStation Classic. This miniature version of the original PlayStation comes equipped with 20 of PlayStation’s most loved games pre-downloaded on the console. The Classic comes with two wired controllers and a virtual memory card to keep your place.

Buy PlayStation Classic

5. For The Gamer Whose Subscriptions Are Running Out — Xbox Live Gold Or PlayStation Plus Membership

Any gamer would be thrilled to receive a subscription to Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus. These subscriptions allow the gamer to play online multiplayer games with friends, get exclusive discounts and deals and download free or discounted games each month.

Buy Xbox Live Gold SubscriptionBuy PlayStation Plus Subscription

6. For The Gamer That Needs More Grip — Kontrol Freek Thumb Stick Addon Alpha 

This Kontrol Freek product is for all the gamers out there that complain about their thumbs slipping off the controller during an intense round of Fortnite Battle Royal. The Alpha attaches to the thumbsticks of the PS4 or Xbox controller and has a wider thumb surface and better grip with added, durable rubber.

Buy KontrolFreek Addon Alpha Thumb Stick

7. For The High-Tech Gamer — Alienware M15 Laptop

Not only does the new laptop from Alienware have the latest high-processing technology and long-lasting battery life, but it is also the thinnest and lightest gaming laptop on the market. Whether your gamer is moving from place to place around a college campus, or wants to move from a table and relax on a couch away from an outlet, the Alienware M15 can go wherever the gamer goes.

Buy Alienware M15 Laptop

8. For The Gamer That Needs A Durable Keyboard — HyperX Alloy Core Gaming Keyboard

This sleek, smooth and brilliant keyboard from HyperX features their signature multi-color light bar and three different brightness displays. The keyboard was built with durability and reliability in mind — it’s spill proof, and has quiet keys, quick-access buttons and a keyboard lock function.

Buy HyperX Alloy Core Keyboard

9. For The Stylish Streamer — Twitch Merchandise

The popular and favorite streaming service among gamers, Twitch, has curated their own merchandise boutique on Amazon. Give your gamer a comfortable T-shirt or a cozy hoodie so they can rep their Twitch pride.

Buy Offical Twitch SweatshirtBuy Official Twitch T-Shirt

10. For The Gamer On The Go — Moga Hero Power

Know a mobile gamer that can never stop playing? Help them get the most of their mobile gaming experience with the Moga Hero Power controller. Not only does this controller have a slim design with portability in mind, but it also charges the gamer’s phone!

Buy Moga Hero Power

Release Radar: Week of November 26

The Strumbellas Break New Music Silence With Upbeat New Song And Meek Mill Fights For Freedom In New Album

Release Radar is a weekly roundup of artists who topped the charts, dropped new music, or finally released that much anticipated album, just in case you missed it.

The Strumbellas: “Salvation,” Single

This six-piece collective has been working overtime since they wowed us at Chicago’s North Coast Festival last summer. The Strumbellas released a new single last week titled “Salvation.” This is the first new music release – and a tease for the group’s upcoming fourth studio album – since their last album release in 2016. The alternative folk group is back with a stylistic change – turning away from melancholy tunes and delivering a fun, pop vibe. “Salvation” stays true to The Strumbellas’ previous records with heavy instrumentals in the background that contribute to their small town cool-vibe music. This uptempo release is sure to go to the top of the charts just as The Strumbellas’ hit single “Spirits” did in 2016.

Meek Mill: “Championships,” Album

Fans knew this album was on the horizon and Meek had them counting down the minutes until Championships” dropped. Championships” has a stacked features list that made waves in the rap world instantly. The album includes a track with former rival Drake, officially marking the end to their notorious feud. And Jay-Z made headlines with his verse on the song “What’s Free” – Jay finally addresses rumors about his friendship with Kanye West. This album is Meek’s personal diary about his struggles with the law, the hardships in his upbringing and how he’s using his platform to fight back not just for himself but for everyone who is underrepresented. For Meek, and all the featured artists, Championships” became a passion project where rappers delivered powerful punchlines with strong messages.

The 1975: “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships,” Album

The British rock-pop group released its third studio album, “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships,” early last week. The album already has received rave reviews by critics, even mentioning Grammy nominations (unfortunately, the album isn’t eligible for a Grammy nom until the 2020 awards). “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships” is an album built on the feelings of discomfort about the changing times in the socio-political world. Lyrics referring to political issues, as well as viral stories and internet phenomena, are sprinkled throughout the album, creating the classic The 1975 sound of angst and emotion. The 1975 cuts that tension down by adding indie-pop beats and acoustic guitars which help the songs become empathetic, decadent displays of the highs and lows in one’s personal life. From moody and mellow, to hopeful and clear-eyed, this album has it all. 

DaniLeigh: “The Plan,” Album

DaniLeigh was catapulted into fame this summer when she went viral after taking on the dance craze and cultural phenomenon – Drake’s “In My Feelings” challenge. The singer-songwriter-dancer from Miami has been working her way up in the music scene for years. She has danced for major music icons and at the age of 18 she directed and co-starred in Prince’s “Breakfast Can Wait” video. DaniLeigh’s debut album, “The Plan,” touches on all aspects of DaniLeigh’s background; from trap and rap, to songs touching on her Dominican heritage and slow-moving R&B. The album includes a remix of one of DaniLeigh’s most notable songs, “Lil Bebe,” which Attendee got to see her perform live at Tidal X Brooklyn.

Honorable Mentions For Your Playlists:

Ariana Grande: “Thank U, Next,” Music Video 

Chance The Rapper: “The Man Who Has Everything,” “My Own Thing,” Singles

Trend Watch: Apparel Brands Embrace Esports

You And Your Favorite Esports Players Will Soon Be Decked Out in Nike And Champion Esports Apparel

As esports approaches the billion-dollar threshold with a global audience of nearly 350 million viewers, it’s no wonder companies across industries are doing what it takes to strike deals for a piece of the action. Companies want in on the esports craze–and apparel brands are at the top of the list fighting for a spot to become official sponsors or merchandisers of esport teams across the country and be on the leading edge of the latest fashion trend.

Traditional sports apparel brands like Nike and Champion are getting in line behind esports-focused apparel brands We Are Nations and esports organization 100 Thieves. Everyone from the top competitive gamers to their fans streaming the action at home will soon be decked out in the most stylish gamer garb.

Champion is the first traditional athletic apparel brand to venture into the unchartered waters of esports, and after only a few short months, the company announced it would be the official provider of apparel for Chicago’s Robert Morris University esports team, The Eagles. RMU is known in the esports industry for being pioneers in creating varsity level esports programs at universities nationwide.

Before the deal with RMU, Champion was a pioneer in its own right and signed a deal with Team Dignitas – an esports organization owned by the Philadelphia 76ers. Champion became the official provider of team jerseys, athletic wear and casual wear for Team Dignitas. Team Dignitas team members now bear the Champion logo on their jerseys in every match. And fans can get their hands on similar styles and other merchandise at the Team Dignitas online team store.

Nike, the sports apparel brand known for team uniforms and sponsoring the greatest traditional sports athletes, followed Champion’s lead. Nike officially sponsored Chinese League of Legends player Jian “Uzi” Zihao of the Royal Never Give Up esports team in October. Zihao is Nike’s first ever publicly sponsored and endorsed esports player. Along with the endorsement deal, Uzi also appears alongside LeBron James in the marketing campaign “Dribble &” for James’ documentary Shut Up And Dribble.

Players with endorsement deals from companies like Nike have a good track record of a career on and off the playing field. Having Uzi appear in a global campaign next to one of the most recognizable and successful athletes in the world further legitimizes esports. It gives the industry opportunity to compete for sponsorship deals on the same level as traditional sports.

Coming off the success of its first foray into esports, Nike also is currently negotiating an apparel sponsorship deal with Tencent and China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL). LPL is the first League of Legends competition to introduce a franchise-style system that is similar to a traditional sports league. LPL has 14 teams that compete within the organization. This multi-million dollar deal requires all LPL teams – including players, coaches, and managers – to wear branded Nike gear on game days.

Nike isn’t the only apparel company working to lock in deals as official merchandise sponsors. We Are Nations is an esports ecommerce company that designs, sells and distributes branded apparel such as official team jerseys. The esports apparel company has been the merchandise provider for G2 Esports, NASR Esports, Florida Mayhem, Made In Brazil, FACEIT and Misfits. Just announced in November, Riot Games teams up with We Are Nations for the 2019 North American League of Legends Championship Series. We Are Nations will be the official apparel sponsor for all ten teams in the league and sell merchandise online and offline.

The NA LCS and We Are Nations deals add competition to brands like 100 Thieves, which already supplies the League of Legends team with sponsored official jerseys and merchandise. 100 Thieves has been so successful in curating cool clothing for esports fans that even rapper Drake took note and invested in the company this fall. With each collection drop, the e-commerce website full of t-shirts and sweatshirts with street-style aesthetic sells out in seconds. It just goes to show esports athletes are quickly becoming “athlete-influencers” and street-style mavens, just like traditional sports athletes.

Traditional sports teams don the logos of the biggest sports apparel brands while traditional sports fans proudly wear the jerseys of their favorite teams and players. Brand logos are thrust in front of the eyes of millions of sports fans, which boosts the visibility and ultimately, the success of the brand. And with esports viewership quickly out-pacing viewership of traditional sports, including American football, brands are eager to get in on the action and continue to find ways to score with the booming esports fan-base.

Holiday Ticket Gift Guide

Looking for alternatives to lackluster gifts for family and friends? This holiday season, give the gift of an unforgettable live experience.

Here’s our take on the hottest concerts around. NYC, Miami, LA, Las Vegas, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, and Austin – we’ve got you covered. Click to buy your tickets at before your favorite shows sell out.

New York City

Mega Bash 2018: December 08

Pentatonix: Christmas Is Here! Tour: December 18

Billy Joel: December 19

Los Angeles

Childish Gambino: December 16

Elton John: January 22

Odesza: December 3


B96 Jingle Bash: December 8

John Legend: December 13

Las Vegas

Ariana Grande: December 29

Imagine Dragons: December 31

Kane Brown: December 15

Lady Gaga: December 28 (Residency)


Andrea Bocelli: December 15

The Revivalists: January 13

Dave Matthews Band: December 07


Willie Nelson: December 29

98 Degrees: At Christmas: December 02 (Houston)

Trans-Siberian Orchestra 2018: December 21 (Houston)


Power 96.1 Jingle Ball: December 14

The Roots- The Roots Holiday Run: December 31

Jorja Smith The Lost And Found Tour: December 9


Diana Ross: January 6

Snoop Dogg: December 20

Ozuna: December 23

Happy Holidays and Happy Gifting! May your live concert experience be merry and bright!

Release Radar: Week of November 19

Billie Eilish Gets In The Holiday Spirit With New Song And ASAP Rocky Samples Alternative Group Tame Impala For The Third Time

Release Radar is a weekly roundup of artists who topped the charts, dropped new music, or finally released that much anticipated album, just in case you missed it.

Jaden Smith: The Sunset Tapes: A Cool Sunset Story, Album

Jaden Smith made waves last year when he dropped his album SYRE. Smith has made a name for himself as a singer/rapper with his own personal flair that results in unusual lyrics with out-of-this-world spacey beats. The Sunset Tapes: A Cool Sunset Story is Jaden Smith’s latest release. The eleven-track album has no features. It’s all Smith. His effortless lyrical flows makes you keep the album on heavy rotation. In his newest album, Smith takes the listener through an electronic experience that ebbs and flows between the autotuned rap style of Travis Scott and the melodic R&B style of Drake.

Meek Mill: Oodles O’ Noodles Babies and Uptown Vibes, Single

The Philadelphia born and raised rapper has been busy releasing new music, performing at shows like Tidal X Brooklyn and fighting for criminal justice reform since his release from prison last April. Meek Mill released two new singles last week: Oodles o’ Noodles Babies and Uptown Vibes. His songs always reach out to his fans with his heavy lyrics depicting his hard upbringing surrounded by gun violence and poverty. Oodles o’ Noodles Babies throws it back to when Meek could only afford to eat Cup O’ Noodles. Uptown Vibes, featuring Fabolous and Puerto Rican rapper Anuel AA, is a latin trap infused track with its reggaeton beats, spanish verses and catchy lyrics. Meek’s album is set to drop at the end of this month and is going on tour starting early 2019. Watch the rapper perform Oodles o’ Noodles Babies on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon here.

Billie Eilish: Come Out And Play, Single

Happy Holidays, Eilish Lovers! Billie Eilish gave fans an early holiday gift with another single release. Come Out And Play is Eilish’s moody, soulful take on a holiday ballad. The queen of “sad-pop” puts her spin on a holiday song with lullaby-soft singing layered on top of acoustic guitar riffs. The song is featured in Apple’s Share Your Gifts holiday ad campaign. Sixteen-year-old Eilish is showing no signs of slowing down. She’s been on tour this fall across the United States and is set to hit Europe in the beginning of 2019. Come Out And Play is yet another single Eilish has released – fans are eagerly awaiting a full album that is rumored to release sometime next year.

A$AP Rocky: Sundress, Single

Rocky sampled alt-indie group Tame Impala and dropped a new single with an accompanying video, Sundress, last week. The single flirts with the groovy Tame Impala track and Rocky’s sing-song rap lyrics about an ex-girlfriend and a bad breakup. Rocky has always had an underpinning of psychedelic beats in his music; he has even sampled Tame Impala music in the past. The two sampled tracks were leaked online but were never fully released. Fans are wondering if this newest, third track could be a clue for a full Rocky x Tame Impala collaboration album in the future. Sundress is Rocky’s first single since the rapper released the album Testing in May. A$AP Rocky is set to start his North American tour in January. See the video for Sundress here.

Honorable Mentions For Your Playlists:

The 1975: Cover Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next

Watch it a short clip released by BBC Radio 1 here.

Colleges Give Esports Athletes The Chance To Compete

Tournaments, Training, and Even Scholarships– America's Best Esports Student-Athletes Join College Esports Programs

Professional gaming has been thrust into the spotlight thanks to megastars like Drake and Post Malone and professional sports leagues such as the NFL and NBA. Now, universities across the country are getting their heads in the game. Student-organized clubs and full-fledged varsity esports programs and gaming facilities are giving college-aged esports players new opportunities to embrace their skills, participate in tournaments to win prize money and even earn scholarships to attend university.

Robert Morris University Illinois in Chicago became the first in the country to launch varsity esports programming and offer scholarships to esports student athletes. Robert Morris announced the program in 2014 and was ahead of the curve in advocating for competitive gamers. The Robert Morris Eagles are required to train up to 20 hours weekly and compete year-round with other university esports teams.

Universities like Robert Morris with varsity esports teams treat their esports student-athletes like traditional sports student-athletes. Traditional sports student-athletes have trainers, doctors and coaches; esports student-athletes have the same. Training? Check. Scholarships? Check. Tournaments? Check. State of the art facilities? Check. The NCAA, the athletic association regulating student-athletes in traditional sports, has not yet officially recognized esports, but is exploring the possibility of adding esports to the collegiate sports divisions it oversees.

Even though the NCAA isn’t fully on board yet, esports student-athletes do have a watchdog organization looking out for them. The National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) was created in 2016 to help advance collegiate level esports programming. NACE provides positive tools and strategies for development, scholarship money, and assistance after graduation. In 2016, only seven institutions were a part of NACE. In just over two years, 100 institutions (and counting) have developed varsity esports programs and more than 90 percent of those schools are members of NACE, according to the NACE website.

The University of Irvine requires its esports athletes to try out in order to make the team and receive scholarships. Like the Robert Morris University Eagles, UCI Esports must train 15 to 20 hours each week. Typical training includes scrimmages with other teams, reviewing videos on YouTube, weekly physical fitness sessions and mental health check-ins with a team psychologist.

Not all collegiate esports team are as focused on athletics like UCI Esports and Robert Morris Eagles. University of South Carolina’s esports team is an offshoot of the game design program and not part of the university’s athletic department. But the Esports Union’s unique place within game design demonstrates the value of esports, which earned support from Red Bull and Logitech as sponsors that have come together to get the team up and running.

Whether it’s about athletics or the art of gaming, big money is being pumped into esports programs and facilities at universities across the country. Teams are competing in tournaments with prize money upwards of $50,000, which is allowed since esports is not yet part of the NCAA. Student-athletes can receive scholarships anywhere from $4,000 up to $60,000 from schools with esports programs.

When Harrisburg University launched its varsity level esports program in August 2018, more than 100 players worldwide tried out for the 16-member HU Storm, prompting the university to take a closer look at the potential for esports. Harrisburg responded to the interest by investing in its esports programming with a state-of-the-art gaming, practice and tournament facility. Featuring a 700-seat theater for tournaments, the Storm Practicing Facility is equipped with 30 HP-Omen computers, Respawn gaming chairs and a massive 17-screen video wall. The University of Akron also invested in the future of esports programming and built three gaming facilities, at the cost of over $750,000.

Some universities are already seeing the return on their big investments. And, in ground breaking university esports news, apparel brand Champion and Robert Morris University announced Champion as the official apparel sponsor of the Eagles in the 2019-2020 season. The news puts Robert Morris, once again, ahead of the curve. The Champion sponsorship deal helps solidify the fact that esports teams have the ability to expand beyond the niche gaming world to establish their place among the high-profile, high-earning traditional sports teams at American universities. Each university is aligning with esports in a different way, but there’s no doubt a passionate, committed esports community is growing, from club level to varsity level at universities in nearly all 50 states.

If you’d like to make some additions to your college application list, or support teams in your area, be sure to check out the list of North American institutions with varsity level esports programs that are part of NACE.   

Photos courtesy of: Robert Morris University Esports Team

Release Radar: Week of November 12

Mariah Carey Shows Us She's Not Just A Christmas Singer and Vulfpeck Gears Up For New Album And Drops Two Singles

‘Release Radar’ is a weekly roundup of artists who topped the charts, dropped new singles, or finally released that much anticipated album, just in case you missed it.

Vulfpeck: Darwin Derby, Single

Funk-rock group Vulfpeck has released two singles in two consecutive weeks. Lonely Town and Darwin Derby come as teasers for the new studio album Vulfpeck will be releasing on December, 7th. got the chance to see Vulfpeck light up the stage at Chicago’s North Coast Music Festival in August. The multi-talented members of Vulfpeck jive to their music as they bounce around from instrument to instrument. From saxophones and keyboards, to lead vocals and bass; the singer-songwriter-instrumentalists in this group know how to get a crowd grooving. Hill Climber, set to release on December, 7th, will be Vulfpeck’s eighth studio album.

Foster The People: Worst Nites, Single

Another group with funky instruments layered with lead vocals and pop-rock components, like Vulfpeck, is Foster The People. Releasing the single Worst Nites two weeks ago, Foster The People also released a video for the single last week. The song, and especially the video, features Foster’s classic catchy lyrics that encourage people to clown around and have a good time. Frontman and lead vocalist, Mark Foster, and his group aren’t slowing down with their music. Foster The People released a studio album just last year, and the release of Worst Nites is hinting at even more new music coming from the group in 2019.

Mariah Carey: Caution, Album

Mariah Carey reappears every year around this time to spread holiday cheer and conquer the charts with her never-gets-old rendition of All I Want For Christmas. This year, Carey released her fifteenth studio album titled Caution. The ten track album is Mariah’s first in four years. There aren’t any holiday songs on this album; Mariah reverts back to the soulful pop ballads that catapulted her to fame in the nineties. Carey worked with a range of producers, from Timbaland to Skrillex, who helped her album come to life and into 2018. The nineties are still alive for Mariah Carey, but the tracks on her new album feature less of Carey’s signature vocal range and more sultry singing over R&B beats.

Creed II: The Album

The hype around the movie Creed II starring Michael B Jordan has been gaining momentum over the last few months; especially since the star ascended upon ComplexCon to promote the film. Now, fans can get hyped for the movie before they see it by listening to Mike Will Made It’s Creed II soundtrack which was released. The tracklist is stacked with new verses and fresh melodies from heavy-hitters in the rap scene. Lil Wayne, Nas, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj, and A$AP Ferg and Rocky, Rick Ross, and SchoolBoy Q are just some of the names featured on the tracklist. This is the first time a movie soundtrack has been filled with never before heard collaborations that have the ability to transcend past the context of the movie and into playlists for any event from hitting the gym in the morning Creed-style to getting ready for a friday night out.

Honorable Mentions For Your Playlists:

Anderson .Paak: Oxnard, Album

In our Release Radar last week, we mentioned that Anderson .Paak had an album drop on the horizon. .Paak released his album, Oxnard, a few days ago and it definitely lives up to the hype.