It’s a sad, sad day for the hip-hop community. A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg passed away this morning at the young age of 45. Of course, the music world is taking it pretty hard. In lighter news, though, we saw vinyl sales make more money that streaming services, Lollapalooza announced their lineup, Aesop Rock talked to a cartoon bear in therapy, Flying Lotus shared three unreleased tracks, and Kurt Vile made a cameo on Animals as a cuddly squirrel.
This morning, rapper Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor was pronounced dead at age 45. As part of hip-hop’s iconic group A Tribe Called Quest, his passing hit hard and likely won’t become easier to swallow with time. As “Buggin Out” blasts from car windows and The Low End Theory plays at every bar tonight, musicians are paying their respects. Questlove shared an anecdote on Instagram about how his interest in the genre stemmed from a copy of the aforementioned album he bought in college. Public Enemy’s Chuck D, Kendrick Lamar, El-P, Chris Rock, and more have all shared love and memories in the rapper’s honor. May he rest in peace. [Rolling Stone]
Streaming music may be the easy thing to do, but buying records is the trendy thing to do. According to the RIAA, the sale of vinyl albums in the U.S. brought in more money than the recording industry made from advertising on free streaming services. YouTube, Spotify, and more cashed in $385 million in 2015. That’s a 31% increase in sales. But records came in swinging hard. Vinyl LP and EP sales rose 32% in 2015, cashing in a whopping $416 million. That’s right, grandpa. Kids these days do listen to music—and it’s good music, too. [Pitchfork]
Lollapalooza Festival finally announced its lineup and it’s even cooler than fans may have guessed. Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are set to headline. J. Cole, Lana Del Rey, Future, Ellie Goulding, Disclosure, Major Lazer, Haim, M83, and more filter in right after those names. The whole thing goes down in Chicago’s Grant Park this summer from July 28 to July 31. Weekend passes already sold out, but you can try your luck for single day tickets in the meantime. Good luck! [Rolling Stone]
The Impossible Kid, Aesop Rock‘s newest album, comes out on April 29. To hype up its release, he’s been sharing a series of videos where he enjoys therapy sessions with a cartoon bear. They’re bizarre, relaxing, and helpful all at once. Though, for Aesop Rock, it sounds like his friends and family think he’s lost his mind. Ruh-roh. [Pitchfork]
Flying Lotus pushed his You’re Dead! material (and its 39-track deluxe edition) as much as he could. Now that it’s set aside, the electronic producer and musician is working on new material. Three previously unheard songs, seemingly from those same You’re Dead! sessions, have surfaced: “Haleys Line//thundercat,” “NO Feeer Thunnderrrcatt2010,” and “TDC – Alt Experiment.” It’s a heady spring full of, yes, Thundercat bass. Give the first a spin above. [Consequence of Sound]
HBO’s new animated series Animals is nailing their music choices. On the newest episode, they upped their music game by bringing the music to life — well, animated life. Guitar rocker Kurt Vile appeared on the show as a cuddly squirrel, complete with fluffy ears and adorable eyes. His long hair made it into the sketch, as did, of course, that dreamy guitar playing. Kick back, relax, and check it out above. [Consequence of Sound]
That’s it for today. See you back here on Friday for another Music Dispatch!
Image Credit: A Tribe Called Quest