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By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | February 5, 2013
For years, the Virgin Mobile FreeFest has been the biggest annual concert with the most consistently impressive lineup in Maryland. Sweetgreen's Sweetlife: A Music and Food Festival has been a recent challenger since it held its first concert four years ago. And with today's release of this year's lineup, the battle for best local festival just got closer. The Sweetlife Festival will return to Columbia's Merriweather Post Pavilion on May 11. The lineup was announced via the YouTube clip above.  On the main stage: Phoenix Passion Pit Kendrick Lamar The Yeah Yeah Yeahs Gary Clark Jr. Solange Lindsey Stirling On the Treehouse stage: Holy Ghost!
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case and The Baltimore Sun | March 25, 2014
King Los, the Los Angeles-via-Baltimore rapper, made headlines last week when he announced he and his label home, Sean “Diddy” Combs' Bad Boy Records, had separated. “It's like LeBron without a team,” Shade 45 host Sway Calloway said before introducing “one of the hottest in the game right now.” He added, “King Los is officially a free agent.” “Poundcake Freestyle,” a lyrical exercise from Los' new mixtape (“Zero Gravity II,” released today), proves diluted mic skills were not the problem:  I got that Edgar Allan Poe flow, Bars like a bear trap, Shakespeare's only rebuttal would be a head-scratch, I haven't been amateur ever, never Iambic pentameter, clever Better, nobody even seems this deep I got n - s stayin' awoke to put my dreams to sleep In the rap world, we treat the end of a partnership like a WWE rift: Was someone double-crossed?
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case | November 7, 2011
If Drake's brand of hyper-detailed rap-meets-loverboy-R&B turns you cold, it's time to step away from the Internet for the rest of the month. Late last night - hours after Drake hosted a two-hour radio stint on his hometown's Flow 93.5 and premiered his collaboration with the Weeknd, "Crew Love" - "Take Care" leaked, almost in its entirety. (We still don't have the closer "The Ride" or all of the bonus tracks.) But it's safe to start dissecting the record as a whole, or at least as a substantial preview to the retail version.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case and The Baltimore Sun | February 26, 2014
The first rap record to enthrall Zsuzsanna Ward was "Illmatic" by Nas. Better known as ZZ Ward, the genre-defying singer-songwriter grew up in Oregon, far from the dangerous New York surroundings Nas memorably depicted on his 1994 album. But as all great writing does, it resonated with her. "Even though I was growing up in a completely different place than he was, I still felt this connection to feeling like there was something bigger for you," Ward said on the phone from Los Angeles last week.
BUSINESS
January 28, 2013
Dick Van Dyke brought his characteristic charm to the SAG Awards this weekend, and Internet users dutifully searched for all sorts of details on him -- anything to distract us from the icy weather that caused school closings from here to Ann Arbor.  Another top distraction this weekend was this year's edition of the Royal Rumble , covered for The Baltimore Sun from Arizona by blogger Arda Orcal. Links to full details are below. || ONLINE TRENDS || School closings (Google search, Twitter)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | January 10, 2014
If "Bound 2" is your current love song with your boo or you consider Kanye West your one true valentine, here's good news: The Chicago rapper will headline Baltimore Arena on Feb. 14, Valentine's Day. West announced nine additional dates for his critically acclaimed "Yeezus" tour today. The second leg kicks off at University Park in Pennsylvania on Feb. 13 before arriving in Charm City the following night. For such a romantic day, it seems like a safe bet his fiancee, Kim Kardashian, will be in attendance, too. (Because you care.)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | November 5, 2013
DOWNLOAD: Abdu Ali, "Push + Slay" Sitting outside a Mid-Town Belvedere coffee shop on a warm October afternoon, Abdu Ali Eaton was dressed a lot like his music sounds. He wore beat-to-hell pink-and-yellow Adidas high-tops, black sweatpants that scrunch at the bottom and a vintage Cosby sweater that peaked through a buttoned-up oversize camouflage jacket. It's a messy, couldn't-care-less-what-anyone-thinks collage that defies categorization, yet somehow works in the 23-year-old's hands.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case and The Baltimore Sun | February 26, 2014
The first rap record to enthrall Zsuzsanna Ward was "Illmatic" by Nas. Better known as ZZ Ward, the genre-defying singer-songwriter grew up in Oregon, far from the dangerous New York surroundings Nas memorably depicted on his 1994 album. But as all great writing does, it resonated with her. "Even though I was growing up in a completely different place than he was, I still felt this connection to feeling like there was something bigger for you," Ward said on the phone from Los Angeles last week.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case and The Baltimore Sun | March 25, 2014
King Los, the Los Angeles-via-Baltimore rapper, made headlines last week when he announced he and his label home, Sean “Diddy” Combs' Bad Boy Records, had separated. “It's like LeBron without a team,” Shade 45 host Sway Calloway said before introducing “one of the hottest in the game right now.” He added, “King Los is officially a free agent.” “Poundcake Freestyle,” a lyrical exercise from Los' new mixtape (“Zero Gravity II,” released today), proves diluted mic skills were not the problem:  I got that Edgar Allan Poe flow, Bars like a bear trap, Shakespeare's only rebuttal would be a head-scratch, I haven't been amateur ever, never Iambic pentameter, clever Better, nobody even seems this deep I got n - s stayin' awoke to put my dreams to sleep In the rap world, we treat the end of a partnership like a WWE rift: Was someone double-crossed?
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case and The Baltimore Sun | February 15, 2014
Kanye West knows he is often painted as a brooding egotist, but during his Baltimore Arena concert Friday night, the 36-year-old rapper wanted fans to know he was happy. “Don't believe the pictures of me looking mad,” West told the crowd, adding he felt like he was in his living room speaking with friends.  The 15-minute rant was filled with hallmarks many have come to expect from the controversial artist: Cursing “the media,” denouncing “haters” and still, inexplicably, taking shots at “Saturday Night Live.” But, above all else, the speech - given after the night's cathartic, emotional centerpiece “Runaway” - felt more inclusive and aspirational than self-serving.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case and The Baltimore Sun | February 15, 2014
Kanye West knows he is often painted as a brooding egotist, but during his Baltimore Arena concert Friday night, the 36-year-old rapper wanted fans to know he was happy. “Don't believe the pictures of me looking mad,” West told the crowd, adding he felt like he was in his living room speaking with friends.  The 15-minute rant was filled with hallmarks many have come to expect from the controversial artist: Cursing “the media,” denouncing “haters” and still, inexplicably, taking shots at “Saturday Night Live.” But, above all else, the speech - given after the night's cathartic, emotional centerpiece “Runaway” - felt more inclusive and aspirational than self-serving.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | January 10, 2014
If "Bound 2" is your current love song with your boo or you consider Kanye West your one true valentine, here's good news: The Chicago rapper will headline Baltimore Arena on Feb. 14, Valentine's Day. West announced nine additional dates for his critically acclaimed "Yeezus" tour today. The second leg kicks off at University Park in Pennsylvania on Feb. 13 before arriving in Charm City the following night. For such a romantic day, it seems like a safe bet his fiancee, Kim Kardashian, will be in attendance, too. (Because you care.)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | November 5, 2013
DOWNLOAD: Abdu Ali, "Push + Slay" Sitting outside a Mid-Town Belvedere coffee shop on a warm October afternoon, Abdu Ali Eaton was dressed a lot like his music sounds. He wore beat-to-hell pink-and-yellow Adidas high-tops, black sweatpants that scrunch at the bottom and a vintage Cosby sweater that peaked through a buttoned-up oversize camouflage jacket. It's a messy, couldn't-care-less-what-anyone-thinks collage that defies categorization, yet somehow works in the 23-year-old's hands.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | February 5, 2013
For years, the Virgin Mobile FreeFest has been the biggest annual concert with the most consistently impressive lineup in Maryland. Sweetgreen's Sweetlife: A Music and Food Festival has been a recent challenger since it held its first concert four years ago. And with today's release of this year's lineup, the battle for best local festival just got closer. The Sweetlife Festival will return to Columbia's Merriweather Post Pavilion on May 11. The lineup was announced via the YouTube clip above.  On the main stage: Phoenix Passion Pit Kendrick Lamar The Yeah Yeah Yeahs Gary Clark Jr. Solange Lindsey Stirling On the Treehouse stage: Holy Ghost!
BUSINESS
January 28, 2013
Dick Van Dyke brought his characteristic charm to the SAG Awards this weekend, and Internet users dutifully searched for all sorts of details on him -- anything to distract us from the icy weather that caused school closings from here to Ann Arbor.  Another top distraction this weekend was this year's edition of the Royal Rumble , covered for The Baltimore Sun from Arizona by blogger Arda Orcal. Links to full details are below. || ONLINE TRENDS || School closings (Google search, Twitter)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case | November 7, 2011
If Drake's brand of hyper-detailed rap-meets-loverboy-R&B turns you cold, it's time to step away from the Internet for the rest of the month. Late last night - hours after Drake hosted a two-hour radio stint on his hometown's Flow 93.5 and premiered his collaboration with the Weeknd, "Crew Love" - "Take Care" leaked, almost in its entirety. (We still don't have the closer "The Ride" or all of the bonus tracks.) But it's safe to start dissecting the record as a whole, or at least as a substantial preview to the retail version.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case | July 5, 2011
While the Internet salivated over an album cover (an album that has produced one song that was both terrible and forgettable), the best rap album of 2011 — thus far — had been available for purchase two days before. Kendrick Lamar quietly dropped Section.80 on iTunes late Friday night, and to sleep on it would be mistake. The West Coast rapper has gained blog traction thanks to a dexterous flow, but it's how he uses it that really inspires. With each song, Lamar challenges himself to not only tell a story, but to also attack the beat in ways lesser rappers simply wouldn't consider.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | March 22, 2012
Rap radio's reigning king Drake will bring his "Club Paradise" tour to Verizon Center on May 25, it was announced today. J. Cole, Waka Flocka Flame, Meek Mill, French Montana and 2 Chainz will join the Young Money rapper. For many fans, a headlining Drake show is enough incentive to grab a ticket, especially coming off the critical and commercial success of his last album, "Take Care. " But this line-up includes some of hip-hop's most promising rappers, giving this edition of "Club Paradise" the potential to be one of the best concerts of the year.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case | July 5, 2011
While the Internet salivated over an album cover (an album that has produced one song that was both terrible and forgettable), the best rap album of 2011 — thus far — had been available for purchase two days before. Kendrick Lamar quietly dropped Section.80 on iTunes late Friday night, and to sleep on it would be mistake. The West Coast rapper has gained blog traction thanks to a dexterous flow, but it's how he uses it that really inspires. With each song, Lamar challenges himself to not only tell a story, but to also attack the beat in ways lesser rappers simply wouldn't consider.
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