Durant High School Journalism

Taylor Swift Feuds with Big Machine Label Group

Swift's struggle with Big Machine continues amidst the pandemic.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Swift's struggle with Big Machine continues amidst the pandemic.

Ten months after a very public social media feud, Taylor Swift is begging fans not to buy her new album- Live From Clear Channel Stripped 2008-a recording of her 2008 live radio performance.  Swift claims the album is being released by Big Machine Label Group without her consent and is “just another case of shameless greed in the time of Coronavirus.”

In the Instagram story, Swift claims entertainment executive Scott “Scooter” Braun is broke after buying Big Machine Records which gave him control of her previous masters- a collection of over 90 of her hits. 

“It looks to me like Scooter Braun and his financial backers, 23 Capital, Alex Soros and the Soros family, and the Carlyle Group have seen the latest balance sheets and realized that paying $300 million for my music wasn’t exactly a wise choice and they need money,” she said in the post.

The music mayhem began in June of 2019 when Braun and his group bought Big Machine Label Group from Scott Borchetta, who signed Swift at the start of her career when she was 15.  Braun already owned the music from Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and Kanye West (West and Tay-Tay have had an equally public singer’s spat for the last 11 years).  She has accused Braun of backing her social media “bullies,” such as Bieber and West, causing her hostility towards the sale. 

The record deal row continued into the winter when Swift was nominated for Artist of the Decade by the American Music Academy.  Her performance on the nationally televised awards program was set to include the songs she had written over the last ten years, such as Shake It Off and Love Story.  Braun, however, argued she could not do so, at least, not without permission from the Big Machine Label Group. 

After Swift used her fan base, dubbed “Swifties,” to beg Braun to let her perform her own music, Braun gave into the demands of the social media protest and allowed Swift to perform her hits at the awards show.

Braun said, after the concession, that he would not participate in the social media drama but posted his response on Instagram later that day.  In the lengthy Instagram post, Braun urged Swift to meet with him so he could talk to her personally.  He referenced death threats he and his family have received since their spat made headlines and said he never intended to make her feel “cornered or bullied.” 

Swift seemed to address the spat with Braun when she opened with her new single “The Man,” wearing a t-shirt with the titles of her albums now owned by Braun.  While she did not directly mention Braun, like Taylor’s refrains, the message was loud and clear- she and Braun were never ever getting back together.

The singers’ squabble prompted other celebrities to take sides, but the alliances were predictable.  Swift’s best friend Selena Gomez and other supporters, such as Halsey, publicly declared their allegiance to Miss Americana, while Braun’s clients, such as Kanye West, sided with the entertainment executive.

Since the sale to Braun, Swift, whose deal with Big Machine expired, has signed with Universal Music Group/Republic, who says she will own the rights to all her future masters recorded with them.  However, the April 2020 release of the radio performance proves the pop singer has no control over her original masters and will be forced to fight with Braun if she hopes to ever control them again.

About the Writer
Photo of Lilyann Belcher
Lilyann Belcher, Staff Writer

Lily Belcher is a sophomore at Durant High School and she is a Staff Writer for the PawPrint newspaper. She is also part of Durant’s Flag Football team,...

Award Season Begins with the 62nd Grammy Awards

With 15 Grammys, Alicia Keys took the stage to host the Grammys for thee second time, her first time being in 2019.

With 15 Grammys, Alicia Keys took the stage to host the Grammys for thee second time, her first time being in 2019.

Musical artists came together on January 26, 2020 for the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, at the Staples Center, to celebrate their achievements in the music industry. There were many highlights of the award show, but the one that stood out at the Grammys was the musical tributes to the late basketball star, Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter accident along with his daughter earlier that day.

To kick off the show, pop singer, Lizzo, dedicated her performance and the show to Kobe Bryant. Not only did Lizzo recognize Kobe Bryant in her performance, but so did Alicia Keys.

The host of the 62nd Grammy Awards, Alicia Keys, sang along beside Boyz II Men to sing “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,” to honor Kobe Bryant and his daughter. By doing this, the singers and the audience rooted the memory of Kobe Bryant into the awards ceremony that night. Even through this sad time, Alicia Keys was still able to set the stage for the show to start. 

The night was filled with jaw dropping performances from many artists such as Camila Cabello, Aerosmith, and Arianna Grande. Beyond these performances, artist collaboration created some amazing performances at the Grammys. For example, Lil Nas X performed his hit single “Old Town Road” with Mason Ramsey, Billy Ray Cyrus, and the K-pop boy band group, BTS.

This seems like an odd collaboration on paper, but in reality, they are all outstanding together on stage. Even singers from extremely different genres performed together to make outstanding songs for the show. For example, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani collaborated together to sing their new single, “Nobody But You,” at the Grammys.

Many artists decided to sing their most successful hits that have already debuted, but several other performers chose to bring brand new songs to the table. Singers like Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers introduced a variety of new singles at the Grammys.

While the Grammys were chock-full of fantastic performances, it would not be the Grammys without the actual awards themselves. There were many categories at the Grammys such as Best Music Video, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Best Pop Solo Performance, and so many more.

With all of these categories, there are mainly four that are not specific to one single genre: Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. This year all four of these categories had the same winner, Billie Eilish.

This successful singer is only 18 years old, and has already blown away her competition at her first Grammy Awards with winning all of these categories and more. Billie Eilish was not the only winner of the night though; there were lots of winners throughout the whole night including Lizzo, Dan + Shay, Willie Nelson, and so many more. 

The 62nd annual Grammy Awards were jam packed with awards, celebrities, and most importantly music. With the success of this year’s Grammy Awards, there is no doubt that next year will be even better than ever. 

About the Writer
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Mattie Powers, Staff Writer

Mattie Powers is a senior at Durant High School and a Staff Writer for the PawPrint newspaper. Not only is Mattie Powers involved in the PawPrint, but...

Selena Gomez ends musical hiatus with new album

The album has 13 songs, each song averaging about three minutes.

The album has 13 songs, each song averaging about three minutes.

On January 10, 2020, singer Selena Gomez released her new album Rare. Back in 2015, with her album Revival she expressed that she would take better care of herself and she has come back stronger and putting her words into action with her new album.

Gomez took some years on silent as she was going through a rough time, but has found a new version of herself in which she has more self love and expresses this energy in her new songs. Gomez released her saddest energy before dropping the full album.

On October 23, 2019, Gomez released her lead single, “Lose You to Love Me”, that expresses her emotions with heartbreak and pain and getting through hard times as a way of cleansing herself from a relationship that didn’t work out. It deals with the singer’s journey to wellness and about learning to stand up for yourself to reach happiness. The song references , Sorry, by Justin Bieber and ended up becoming Gomez’s first number-one single in the United States. She earned her first Billboard Hot 100 chart topper and a spot on Vulture’s list of best songs of the year.

The last few years have not been eay for Gomez. The singer fought a battle with lupus which led to intensive therapy, kidney transplant surgery, and cruel internet speculations regarding her weight. Not to mention her high-profile breakups. She spent some time in rehab to work through her depression and anxiety.

In the album she wants to “Dance Again”, throwing a party for her new and happier self and being ready to let love back into her life. In some of her songs “Kinda Crazy” and “Fun” the artist is allowing herself to a little bit of danger and trouble into her life because she wants to feel strong enough to handle it and see everything with a positive mind. Her voice is assertive and soft and she delivers her lyrics with strong messages she trys to covey to her audience.

Rare celebrates Gomez peace and independence that she found in herself. “You don’t do the same for me, that’s not fair”. She talks about how she knows that she is special and doesn’t need anyone to treat her as if she is not rare. Although her songs celebrate the new version of herself, they don’t really go into depth about the war she went through to get to where she is now.

In an interview with Zane Lowe and Apple music Gomez talks about her struggles to speak up for herself and some of the setbacks she went through that prevented her to keep working. She explains that she was hurting and trying to take out the toxic in her life.

She says that when she released her single, Lose You to Love me, she felt like that was a special moment for her emotionally. Gomez says how the people she surrounded herself with challenged her and motivated her to speak up.

“I just needed to let my old self go. I was purging multiple different things but it was specifically who I was then I would like to say that this is a fresh start and I started with this album but I’m going to continue to just do better.” 

The artist is continuing to heal and embracing the progress she is making. 

About the Writer
Photo of Adamari Jaimez
Adamari Jaimez, Staff Writer

Adamari Jaimez is a junior at Durant High School. She was a staffer for the Durant yearbook and then became a Staff Writer for the Pawprint newspaper to...

Big Hit’s new entertainment group is “TXT”

Big+Hit%E2%80%99s+new+entertainment+group+is+%22TXT%22

Big Hit Entertainment is a company that created the most successful, worldwide music group BTS. Big Hit announced a new boy band on January 10, called “TXT.” Big Hit shared an introductory film to the act.

TXT stands for “Tomorrow X Together”, but Big Hit tells Billboard to read it as “Tomorrow by Together,” as it is written in Korean. The first introduction film, titled “What do you do?”, introduces the first member, Yeonjun, in TXT. At the end of the video, it goes blank and shows a Morse code that fans quickly decoded to translate into “Dreaming.”

Shortly after the introductory film, terms like “Yeonjun,” “BigHit” and the hashtag #TOMORROW_X_TOGETHER began trending, worldwide on Twitter. TXT is Big Hit’s second group after six years since Billboard 200 chart-toppers BTS got their start in 2013. Big Hit has yet to announce TXT’s debut date or the amount of members in its lineup but that doesn’t stop billboard to reach out for further details.

Big Hit Entertainment states: “Tomorrow X Together is a bright and youthful boyband where each member is different from one another, shinning in their own way to create a synergy. Just as how their name suggests, the different members have all come together under one dream in hopes of building a new tomorrow.”

The company also described Yeonjun as a “19-year-old member with outstanding dancing skills.” Big Hit tells billboard that he is the eldest in the group. The company also tells billboard that the name signifies how the act has “all come together under one dream in hopes of building a new tomorrow.”

Since Yeonjun was revealed as the first member of TXT, Big Hit shared teaser videos and imagery for Soobin and Hueningkai over the past few weeks. Each member has been introduced with his own distinct setting and sonic backdrop with their short intro videos all titled “What do you do?” featuring bright rock and roll, EDM and pop. All members are teens.

According to Big Hit Entertainment, Soobin is 18 and the leader of the group, while Hueningkai is 16 years old. Big Hit has gained a lot of attention for weaving a creative storyline throughout BTS career, and already TXT is promising to feature a similarly intriguing narrative, one who dreams are likely to play a key factor.

Already there have been multiple references to dreams in the lead-up to the group’s launch, including Morse code at the end of each intro video spelling out “Dreaming.” It’s unknown whether the idea of dreams has to do with the group’s first single or album title, but it is a bit of a throwback; BTS debuted with the song “No More Dream” in June 2013.

It’s unknown when TXT’s first song will be released because Big Hit has only revealed some of the members and other tidbits, so it is unknown when they’ll put out their first release, but anticipation is high.

BTS closes out their U.S. tour with a record-breaking performance at New York’s Citi-Field

BTS closes out their U.S. tour with a record-breaking performance at New York’s Citi-Field

New York Times

BTS fans from across the country flocked to the Citi Field in New York City this past weekend to watch the wildly famous K-pop group’s final performance in the North American leg of their ‘Love Yourself’ tour.

Tickets for the show went on sale on Aug. 17 and were sold out in under 15 minutes. A groundbreaking 55,000 of BTS’ ARMY filled the famous stadium on the night of Oct. 6, making BTS the first Korean group to perform and sell out a U.S. stadium show.

Fans of the group were at the field preparing for the show all throughout this past week. According to Billboard, around 1,500 fans camped out in the Citi Field parking lot beginning as early as this previous Monday.

After the concert kicked off with the band performing their song ‘Idol’, the group spoke to the fans, expressing their gratitude for ARMY’s support and their excitement for getting to perform at Citi Field. RM, the leader of BTS, ended the brief greeting by asking fans to be mindful of each other during the concert for safety.

The band gave a revolutionary show, performing their newer songs from their ‘Love Yourself: Answer’ album as well as some of their older hits.

The ARMY expressed their enthusiasm for the band by singing along and waving their ARMY bombs, which are the official light sticks used by BTS fans at any concert or performance that BTS does.

The group spoke to the fans in English for the majority of the show, but Jimin and Suga spoke briefly in Korean at the end, sincerely thanking their fans.

The band was set to perform in London on Oct. 9, commencing the European leg of their world tour.

Weezer releases New Single “Can’t Knock The Hustle” for highly anticipated “The Black Album”

Weezer

Weezer

Back in late May, the quirky alternative rock band, Weezer, released a massive hit cover of Toto’s “Africa” after a campaign of fans who wanted to see their favorite rock band perform their favorite song. The campaign, led by Twitter user, “@weezerafrica,” reached it’s milestone success after Weezer finally released the hit song “Africa” following a cover of Toto’“Rosanna.”

Weezer’s frontman, Rivers Cuomo, discussed in many past interviews of a future project titled The Black Album. The Black Album was planned on being a successor to 2016’s hit The White Album, while contrasting itself from White’s beachy rock themes for a darker urban theme.

Cuomo stated, “The next album is going to feel like an urban environment, night-time and gritty and hopefully a lot more modern sounds, synthesized sounds, samples maybe. I like to break away from the distorted power-chord thing but it’s hard ‘cos it works so well.”

Due to 2017’s Pacific Daydream and “Africa” creating a delay for  The Black Album, many fans were left anxious for Weezer to unveil it’s new material centering it’s mysterious twelfth studio album.

This past Thursday, however, Weezer finally gave it’s fans a taste of what is to come for the upcoming LP. The single, “Can’t Stop The Hustle,” takes listeners into the dark and funky groove of Rivers Cuomo’s mind.

If you want to support Weezer and their upcoming The Black Album, download or stream the new single here.

Using the YouTube link below, you can watch the “Can’t Stop The Hustle” music video featuring Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz.

*Note that the following content present in each link may not be suitable for younger viewers and may require parental advisory. Source material includes explicit language and reference to other adult material.

“Hasta luego adios!”

What is K-pop?

The+K-pop+band%2C+BTS.

AllKPop

The K-pop band, BTS.

K-pop is a music genre that is abbreviated for Korean pop.

K-pop originally started in South Korea in the 1990s, but because of one K-pop group named “Seo Taiji & Boys” they made a revolutionary moment in the history of K-pop in 1992. Their experimentation with different styles and genres of music and integration of foreign musical elements helped reshape and modernized South Korea’s contemporary scene.

Even though “Seo Taiji & Boys” made a revolutionary moment in K-pop, the music still wasn’t recognized all around the world until recently. In 2016, BTS became famous in America and started to have more international fans all because of their song “Fire.” BTS first became a band in 2013, but they were not famous back then which shows how hard they worked to become famous and well-known in different countries other than Korea.

In America, you can find about four to five people in one boy or girl music group. In K-pop you can find up to eighteen members or more in one group. To become a K-pop idol, they had to audition in a company and the company graded them based on how well they dance, sing and rap. The company will choose people if they are really good at singing or dancing or rapping.

When a company chooses someone that is capable, they become a trainee and train for about six months or more. After they train and the company thinks they are ready, the company chooses the leader based on their personality, everyone in the group roles and how many people are in one group. The youngest member is always called the “Maknae.”

Being a K-pop idol is hard because their schedule is always packed and they don’t get to rest as much as we do. Sometimes they have to practice up to fifteen hours a day to make sure their performance is always perfect. K-pop idols cannot do certain things like for example choosing their clothing for when they perform, dating, and most of the time they have to be a certain weight as well.

Even though K-pop started in the 1990’s and got fully recognized in America in 2016 because of BTS, it’s hard to start off with nothing and to work your way up to become an idol to an audience that previously was unfamiliar with this kind of music.

Some upcoming events that involve K-pop music include: EXO performing as the opening performing act for the 2018 festival in Busan, South Korea, and BTS performing on the City Field in New York City in October.

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