NEWS ROUNDUP: Political Popstars, Return of the 2000s & More

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Pussy Riot

Political Popstars, Return of the 2000s & More

By Jasmine Williams

Pussy Riot Forever!

Days after members of Pussy Riot were arrested for staging a protest during the World Cup, the Russian firebrands were awarded a settlement relating to their 2012 jail sentences for performing a “punk prayer” at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. On Tuesday the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Russia has to pay around $57,000 in damages to Maria Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda “Nadya” Tolokonnikova for being unfairly imprisoned. Following the World Cup, Pussy Riot released a new music video called “Track About Good Cop.”


This week, another controversial female musician returns. M.I.A. has never been one to shy away from politics, forever finding a way to inject global news stories into earworm hooks. (“All I wanna do is bang, bang, bang, and get your money” has to be the most gangster satire on anti-immigrant sentiments, ever.)

Finally, fans of Maya Arulpragasam will be able to get an insider view into her life through an upcoming documentary. Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. will journey from her childhood among Tamil Tigers to her Super Bowl settlement. The film comes out this September.

That New New

It’s not just early aughts fashion that’s back, three of your favorite feely bands from the 2000s have dropped videos this week. Death Cab for Cutie and The Blow both released new clips that veer into art-student-film-project territory while Cat Power debuted the song “Wanderer,” featuring unlikely collaborator (and tour mate), Lana Del Rey.

Chance The Rapper announced his foray into media with a new track. “I Might Need Security” discloses his purchase of local news site, The Chicagoist.

Alt-rappers Brockhampton also entered new waters this week, the group dropped a music video for “1998 Truman,” their first release since the departure of ex-member, Ameer Vann, due to allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct.

End Notes

  • Pitchfork Music Festival is this weekend in Chicago. You can livestream many of the acts, including Lauryn Hill, Blood Orange, and Courtney Barnett on Pitchfork’s YouTube channel.


  • Fans who were worried about SZA can breathe a sigh of relief. After missing some dates on TDE’s Championship tour due to damaged vocal cords, the Drew Barrymore singer made a valiant comeback at Firefly Festival.


  • Jay-Z is disputing with Philadelphia mayor, Jim Kenney over the music festival that the rapper founded six years ago. Since its 2012 inception, Made in America Festival has been held in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art,  but this may be about to change. Without talking to festival organizers, Kenney told local news that the fest’s busy location was inconveniencing the city and would have to be moved in 2019. In response to the mayor, Jay-Z published a statement in the The Inquirer to voice his disapproval. Maybe op-eds are the new rap battle?


  • Mad Decent Block Party returns to New York after taking a one-year hiatus from the city. On September 24, TroyBoi, Walshy Fire, and more will play at the Brooklyn Mirage.