It boggles my mind and, yet, it’s the primary example that it can be done with hard work, faithfulness, and, most importantly, the grace of God.
It boggles my mind because I first met Lecrae back in the early days of college when he performed a concert at Christ United Methodist in Memphis, TN where I was a youth group intern for the summer. He was also well-known by my friends who worked at Kanakuk Kamps over the summer. We all had hope for Lecrae because, while he was a Christian rapper performing in Christian environments, he was not like most of the other Christian rappers. He was not like most of the other Christian artists.
His work was at a higher level than most other Christian art, whether they be film, music, or television. It was at the next level.
But not in my wildest imagination did I ever dream of the day where Lecrae would sit in with The Roots on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and be introduced as having the #1 music album in America.
Not the #1 Christian rap album or #1 Christian album or #1 rap album.
Nope. Lecrae’s latest album, Anomaly, is the #1 album in America. Period. Full stop.
*The following reviews were gathered from Bruno Mars’ performance at the FedEx Forum on June 6, 2014. He’s currently traveling the United States for the second leg of his Moonshine Jungle Tour.*
Alex Beene: I never saw Michael Jackson live in concert. Sad, I know. Thanks to MJ’s weird obsession with staying off the road in later years and blowing millions in Vegas on junk that now occupies dusty space in the attic of Neverland Ranch, my knowledge of the former King of Pop’s performance power will forever be limited to clips from the past.
Alex Beene: Disney’s latest animated feature is one of their biggest hits ever. “Frozen” has made more than $1 billion worldwide, has merchandise selling out in stores nationwide and has kids lining – and parents paying – up to get in on the fun (the wait to see the “Frozen” princesses at Disney World runs an average of two hours!). Read more
Last summer’s hit song, Robin Thicke and Pharrell’s “Blurred Lines,” was awesome the first time I heard it. Catchy the next 20 times. But naturally, like most summer jams, it got really, really stale by the middle of June. Then there was the whole Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke VMA debacle that completely ruined it.
About a week ago, I heard “Love Never Felt So Good” off of Michael Jackson’s posthumous release Xscape. Then I heard the version of the song that featured Justin Timberlake. Immediately I knew this would be the 2014 summer mega-hit.
It’s catchy. It’s danceable. The video is great. It alludes to Jackson’s past videos and features JT doing some signature MJ moves. It’s pretty much the perfect song for the hot summer months. So look for it in the club, on the radio, on the streets, everywhere.
And in about two months, look for it to still be enjoyable. “Blurred Lines” became very easy to hate. “Love Never Felt So Good” will be a song the world is still enjoying years from now. The duet between the King of Pop and who I believe is his heir-apparent is a refreshing change of pace for the inevitable continuous airplay this summer.
If you haven’t heard it, check out the video below. I bet you’ll love it. And I bet you’ll still love it next summer.
Last year I shared my knee jerk reactions to the Beale Street Music Festival lineup announcement. Comments came along throughout the day lauding how great a job Memphis does getting decent acts to Tom Lee Park for the affordable event, and I felt like a jackass for putting down the Little Festival that Could.
The year before last, my last time to attend the BSMF, I wrote a short review and a long rant about how to make the festival better. I still stand by those thoughts. Read more
Kudos to Virginia Sen. Mark Warner for proving himself to be – like most of his D.C. colleagues – completely off-focus. Instead of making headlines for doing anything legislatively progressive, he saw top news billing for saying he would sign a petition to deport Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber.
And why has this petition been started? Multiple stories have surfaced in recent weeks of Bieber’s wild lifestyle. He got a DUI, which subsequently produced a memorable mugshot. Investigators have pulled drugs from his homes and planes. The paparazzi is following him on a 24/7 basis at this point, and not a day goes by that his photos aren’t splashed on media sites.
Let me insert a rare dose of logic into this mainstream entertainment disease: Justin Bieber is 19 years old. I’ll repeat that: he’s 19. To put into context for guys and girls of my generation how young he is, he was three months old when “The Lion King” released to theaters for the first time. Yeah.