music / Feature

Why it’s harder than ever for women to break the pop charts

Illustration Sharon Gong
Despite shock successes from Dua Lipa, Cardi B, and Camila Cabello, 2017 was a record low for women in the singles charts. We asked industry experts why.
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music / Feature

Why Kesha’s Fight Is Not Over

Illustration Sharon Gong
Industry legal experts and Kesha’s collaborators on what’s really going on with her comeback.
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music / Feature

Why Lorde Is A Great Dancer

The 20-year-old pop star’s freeform moves have drawn criticism and backhanded praise. But they should be celebrated.
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music / Feature

Why Concert Tickets Are Way Too Expensive, According To The People Who Really Know

Live pop music is becoming a luxury that many fans can’t afford. What’s pushing up the prices, and will it ever stop?
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music / Feature

How Bros Made The Charts All Sound The Same

From Calum Scott to The Chainsmokers, 2016’s hit songs have a hint of déjà vu. What does it mean for pop?
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music / Feature

How Rihanna Maintains Control

As her latest visuals "Needed Me" and "Work" prove, Rihanna has long stopped making music videos for the male gaze—or for any gaze other than her own.
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music / Feature

The Real Cost Of How We Talk About Rape

How Kesha’s lawsuit against Dr. Luke emphasizes the need for compassion when speaking about abuse in the public eye.
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music / Feature

How Sia’s Polarising Vocals Have Invaded The Pop Mainstream

On tracks she writes for others and her own top 40 hits, Australian artist Sia favors rough-hewn emotion over perfection.
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music / Feature

How Pop Songs Connect In A Hyper-Connected World

What it means when Adele's pre-internet "Hello" and Drake's post-internet "Hotline Bling" are two of the biggest songs battling it out in the Hot 100.
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music / Feature

Pop Needs Its Warrior Kesha

As long as Kesha remains unable to release music, as her legal battle with Dr Luke continues, pop is missing one of its most empowering voices.
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music / Feature

What It Means When Female Pop Stars Pick Up Guns

Lately, it seems like firearms and violence are not only all over our newsfeeds, but also huge videos from Rihanna, Lana Del Rey, Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift.
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music / Feature

We’ve Reached Peak Outrage—Now What?

Between Nicki, Taylor, Rihanna, and Drake, July 2015 saw outrage culture in pop explode. How can we have meaningful conversations that go beyond picking sides? In this new installment of Popping Off, Aimee Cliff weighs in.
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