The FBI vs. Wu-Tang Clan

James Comey's FBI once tried to build a federal RICO case against the Wu-Tang Clan. Read the wild story here.

Leaving Neverland

On Sunday, HBO will air the first of two parts of Leaving Neverland, a four hour documentary tracing Michael Jackson’s alleged pedophilia through the first-person accounts of two men. The allegations are not new, Jackson was acquitted in 2005 in a highly publicized trial, and it should be noted that his estate denies these allegations and is suing HBO for $100M. But, by all accounts, the documentary is harrowing, emotional, real, persuasive – it mandates viewers to bear witness. Those of us who watch on Sunday will be forced to ask, what do we do with the art? After viewing Leaving Neverland, Wesley Morris, who, like many of us, considers this art to be elemental to his experience, writes in the Times:

“Jackson provided us an early occasion to ask the question about the art without ever realizing it was being asked. We simply lived with it, with the possibility of his guilt, and the many compartments we make to contain everything he was: the conscientious enthusiasm for and the comedy of him, the tragedy he so obviously represents. Perhaps we can live it because it’s not unreasonable to wonder whether he was living with the contradictions himself.”

Barbeque Lay's R-R-R-REMIX *airhorn* *airhorn* *airhorn*

Ad jingles have been a mainstay of Americana since radio advertisers discovered their influence over consumers and culture in the 1930s. Over the years, their evolution and sophistication have tracked the broader trends in artist-brand partnerships. Take, for example, Frito-Lay. This jingle from the 1950s, The Frito Bandito, skips over the musician who wrote and performed it, while this somewhat clumsy and DEFINITELY problematic ad from the 1960s features Bert Lahr (of Cowardly Lion fame) but has little idea of how to properly use his talents. Fast forward to their most recent jingle, written and performed by Bebe Rexha, remixed in three genres to match different chip brands, and available exclusively via Lay’s website. Read her interview in Variety on how it all came together.

For Your Health, Mix It Up

We’ve highlighted the positive effects music can have on customers, particularly in retail, but what about employees? In some cases, music can serious negative side effects on workers. Starbucks employees who were subjected to the same Hamilton songs on repeat complained so frequently that labor organizers stepped in, calling it a serious workers rights issue. Regardless of your thoughts on Hamilton, it doesn’t take much imagination to grasp that any music played on repeat can eventually have serious negative effects on mental well-being. Repetitive music was used as a form of torture in Guantanamo ffs! If you’re in charge of the office playlist today, please, mix it up a little.




Cardi B & Bruno Mars
Please Me
Still Processing
Frank Gehry turns 90


See ya next week...