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ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case | December 7, 2011
This surprise show, headlined by hip-hop's most popular potheads, sold out quickly, unsurprisingly. This year was Wiz's breakthrough year, scoring hits and Grammy nominations (two for "Black and Yellow," sorry Ravens fans) from his major-label debut, "Rolling Papers. " And, well, Snoop is Snoop, a veteran who has transformed from a great rapper to a consistently OK rapper. On record together, they both sound charismatic and at home bragging about their weed habits and the like. The duo's film, "Mac and Devin Go to High School," doesn't have a release date but the soundtrack does - next Tuesday.  The first single, "Young, Wild and Free," features a breezy hook from Bruno Mars and will likely make up thousands of Facebook statuses in the near future, if it hasn't reached that number already (an unofficial version leaked this past summer)
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NEWS
By Caroline Solomon and Jeffrey Archer Miller | April 25, 2014
In the midst of the misery of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the media fell in love with then-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's sign language interpreter, Lydia Callis, who captivated audiences with her expressive renderings of Mr. Bloomberg's humdrum press conferences. "A bright light during dark days: Bloomberg's sign language star," swooned National Public Radio. New York Magazine praised her as "a legitimate reason to smile" in difficult times. And Saturday Night Live, in a sign she had truly arrived, impersonated her during an opening skit.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Erik Maza and The Baltimore Sun | February 3, 2012
Maroon 5 and the rapper Wiz Khalifa will headline this year's Preakness Infield May 19 at Pimlico Race Track, the Maryland Jockey Club announced Friday morning. It's the fourth year the Infield has hosted marquee performers as part of the InfieldFEST, an alternative to the bring-your-own-beer mayhem of the past that combines music, bikini contests, volleyball games and other events. The selection of the five-piece band Maroon 5, known for its brand of highly polished commercial pop, is in line with the family-friendly acts that headlined last year - the R&B singer Bruno Mars, and the adult contemporary big shots, Train.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | February 25, 2013
Rappers Pitbull and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will headline this year's Preakess InfieldFest May 18 at Pimlico Race Course, organizers announced Monday morning. In recent years, Pitbull has become one of Top 40's most consistent acts, both in the U.S. and Latin America. "Back in Time," his single for "Men in Black 3," has sold two million copies, and he recently performed as part of New Year's Rockin' Eve. "Pitbull is young and energetic," said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas on Monday morning outside by Pimlico Race Course's finish line.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case | March 28, 2011
It’s Rolling Papers Week at Louder Now. Wiz Khalifa, hip-hop’s young pothead-in-charge, drops his highly anticipated major-label debut Tuesday. Every day this week, I’m going to analyze the tracks: what works, what doesn’t and what it means for a rap star clearly interested in crossing over to mainstream success. Shouts to Brandon Soderberg and Tom Breihan for the inspiration; their "Weeks" are great examples of close-reading rap. First up: “When I’m Gone” and “On My Level.” THE SKINNY: There’s some necessary context to add when discussing Rolling Papers . For years, Wiz Khalifa, 23, steadily built his Taylor Gang brand without a major label (a well-received project was titled Deal or No Deal )
ENTERTAINMENT
By Erik Maza and The Baltimore Sun | July 18, 2011
This week is a lot more low-key than last, but then again last week was pretty packed. It wasn't just because of Artscape. On Saturday alone, Cass McCombs gave a beautiful show at Golden West Cafe; Scottie B. killed at Metro Gallery, right after all the Artscape madness had ended; there was DYAO at Dionysus, and a tribute to Nina Hagen on the Charles St. bridge. Alas, there probably won't be anyone running around in "Blade Runner" costumes this week. What's happening: Wiz Khalifa and Gang Gang Dance are the best bets for the week; elsewhere there is Thank You, a beer dinner, and a couple of dance parties.
FEATURES
By Jill Rosen and The Baltimore Sun | May 3, 2012
Wiz Khalifa, one of the headline acts for this year's Preakness Infield party, was busted for pot in North Carolina Tuesday -- the second time in a week, just days before his Baltimore appearance. According to the Winston-Salem Journal, the rapper was arrested for marijuana possession after officers smelled the smoke pouring from his tour bus. On April 21, police in Nashville found pot in the hotel room of the rapper, whose real name is Cameron Jibril Thomaz. In Winston-Salem, police arrested nearly 20 people, including fans and members of Khalifa's entourage, the Journal reported.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case | April 8, 2011
Despite my recent output, this isn't a Wiz Khalifa blog. But hey, when you have the No. 2 album in the country, you're going to be the topic of discussion for a little while. Anyway, the video for "Taylor Gang," a favorite from the gritty freebie Cabin Fever mixtape (and the song Wiz performed first on his recent tour), debuted yesterday and all I can say is ... finally ! Observe Wiz in his most natural habitat, an everyday dorm house with bad lighting, women, Bombay gin, lighters and oh yeah, ridiculous amounts of marijuana.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case | March 31, 2011
It’s Rolling Papers Week at Louder Now. Wiz Khalifa, hip-hop’s young pothead-in-charge, dropped his highly anticipated major-label debut Tuesday. Every day this week, I’m going to analyze the tracks: what works, what doesn’t and what it means for a rap star clearly interested in crossing over to mainstream success. 9. “No Sleep” (Produced by Benny Blanco and Noel “Detail” Fischer) Who’s to blame for this monstrosity? Is it Benny Blanco, the 23-year-old Dr. Luke understudy who co-penned Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” and Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok”?
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case | March 29, 2011
It’s Rolling Papers Week at Louder Now. Wiz Khalifa, hip-hop’s young pothead-in-charge, drops his highly anticipated major-label debut Tuesday. Every day this week, I’m going to analyze the tracks: what works, what doesn’t and what it means for a rap star clearly interested in crossing over to mainstream success. 3. “Black and Yellow” (Produced by Stargate) What else is there to say about “Black and Yellow”? It’s the best pure rap single in years, and it rose to No. 1 in a beautiful way. It was an ode to his city without sounding like a showtune (Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind”)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | May 21, 2012
It's somewhat strange to write an introduction on a blog you've been contributing to for the past 10 months, yet here I am, doing the Internet equivalent to the awkward honk and wave.   But hey, better late than never, right?   The old Midnight Sun scribe, Erik Maza, has headed north to Women's Wear Daily and we raise our glass to him. Now, loyal Midnight Sun readers, you have me, a 25-year-old features reporter who lives in Canton and considers bar-hopping with friends a good night out.   A little more about me so my parents don't think I have a problem: I grew up in South Jersey, 30 minutes away from Atlantic City, in a tiny town called Hammonton (look for it in the first episode of “Boardwalk Empire”)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | May 19, 2012
"It looks like a big, sweaty, sexy mess of people out there," said Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine to the Preakness InfieldFEST crowd. His eyes did not deceive him. The Los Angeles pop-rock group proved to be an excellent choice for the InfieldFEST crowd, with its handsome TV-judge frontman (Levine is on NBC's "The Voice") and earworm pop. Throughout its 80-minute set, Maroon 5 kept reminding the large crowd how surprisingly deep its 10-year catalog runs. There were old favorites ("This Love" and "Sunday Morning")
ENTERTAINMENT
By Colin Campbell and The Baltimore Sun | May 19, 2012
This year marks the second Preakness for both Dave Bowser and his girlfriend, Angela Alexander -- and both expect this experience to be quite different from their first. Bowser, 28, of Harbor East, first came to Pimlico while in college at Penn State. He said he spent a good amount of time then in the more rowdy infield and decided he'd "hang out on this side today," gesturing toward the grandstands. "I decided since I'm a big adult, I'll actually dress up a little bit," he said, tugging on his lightly-colored plaid tie. Alexander, a 29-year-old Silver Spring resident, said her experience in college was similar to Bowser's, and that she too expected to spend less time in the infield this year.
FEATURES
By Jill Rosen and The Baltimore Sun | May 3, 2012
Wiz Khalifa, one of the headline acts for this year's Preakness Infield party, was busted for pot in North Carolina Tuesday -- the second time in a week, just days before his Baltimore appearance. According to the Winston-Salem Journal, the rapper was arrested for marijuana possession after officers smelled the smoke pouring from his tour bus. On April 21, police in Nashville found pot in the hotel room of the rapper, whose real name is Cameron Jibril Thomaz. In Winston-Salem, police arrested nearly 20 people, including fans and members of Khalifa's entourage, the Journal reported.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | March 29, 2012
Watch the video for "Loud" above. His raps have curse words and drug references in them. Kids, be careful! I've been duped by Mac Miller before. When he released "K.I.D.S.," the mixtape that first caught most rap blogs' attention, in August 2010, there was a sleazy charm to Mac's persona. He was the young slacker making no-cred-necessary rap songs about raging, sneakers and hooking up. It was superficial, but catchy and executed well-enough to find its way to the masses of high schoolers and college kids most interested in their Friday nights.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Erik Maza and The Baltimore Sun | February 14, 2012
A new marketing campaign unveiled Monday aims to replace the tweeting centaur Kegasus as mascot of the Preakness Infield. The campaign seems to be the latest component of the Infield marketing roll-out, but the Maryland Jockey Club is not taking credit for it. While the anonymous campaign could be the Jockey Club's ham-fisted attempt at going viral, stoking excitement for the campaign's eventual official unveiling, for now, club...
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case | June 6, 2011
The best part of a Song of the Summer candidate is just how low the stakes can be. French Montana, a B or C-list New York rapper whose best work can be found on free mixtapes, is an MC with a mush-mouth delivery and an unremarkable persona. Yet here he is, quietly releasing one of the best songs of the year — “Choppa Choppa Down (Remix)” — and watching it finally pick up the momentum it deserves. French can thank his more famous friends for the boost, as Rick Ross (whose Maybach Music Group could be French’s next home)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case | April 1, 2011
13. “Fly Solo” (Produced by E. Dan) The album’s most shallow, out-of-place party song has Wiz feebly attempting a Sublime-lite jam, which would seem ideal for a barbecue or frat party until you realize there’s hundreds of better shimmering, “feel good” tracks out there (including Sublime). “Fly Solo” immediately recalls Shwayze, the Malibu, Calif., bro-duo of Aaron “Shwayze” Smith and Cisco Adler that had their own MTV reality show, “Buzzin’.” Their schlocky, fun-in-the-sun songs were silly attempts at putting carefree beach life to tape, and E. Dan’s beat would sound at home on a Shwayze disc, with its prominent acoustic guitar and summery groove.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Erik Maza and The Baltimore Sun | February 3, 2012
Maroon 5 and the rapper Wiz Khalifa will headline this year's Preakness Infield May 19 at Pimlico Race Track, the Maryland Jockey Club announced Friday morning. It's the fourth year the Infield has hosted marquee performers as part of the InfieldFEST, an alternative to the bring-your-own-beer mayhem of the past that combines music, bikini contests, volleyball games and other events. The selection of the five-piece band Maroon 5, known for its brand of highly polished commercial pop, is in line with the family-friendly acts that headlined last year - the R&B singer Bruno Mars, and the adult contemporary big shots, Train.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | January 25, 2012
"Off the dome, man! We don't need phones. We don't need notepads," exclaims Los last week after ripping his Toca Tuesday freestyle live on Sirius XM's Shade 45. (Watch it in the above clip.) He had reason to be excited - the Baltimore rapper, who has been gaining traction nationally, could turn heads with performances like this. And yes, we can use the word "freestyle"* because Los is clearly going off the top of his head with these rhymes. Sure, some bars might be stored away, waiting for the right moment, but it's a true freestyle nonetheless, and it's another piece of evidence that Los might be the Great Baltimore Hope to make an impact outside of the 410. Another interesting moment from the clip: Los shouts out his long-time girlfriend and rising D.C. rapper Lola Monroe ("Shout out to my old lady / Ay, Lola, I see you / I do it and I hold it down")
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