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NEAR TRUTHS: CLASSIC STYLE AND CREATIVE CONSEQUENCES

CREATIVE CONSEQUENCES: Word has it that more than one superstar artist who was due to deliver an album this year—and was on the verge of actually releasing said album—has realized that the material is no longer appropriate for a pandemic-stricken, #BLM world in which social justice, change, racism, immigration and incipient authoritarianism so profoundly influence the narrative. Drake is on the way; when can we expect long-delayed superstar releases from the likes of Adele, Rihanna, Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran, among others? Will Beyoncé drop a new original set to tee up a 2021 tour, or is the climate still too iffy? Will Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Eminem and/or Donald Glover reframe the conversation with incendiary new releases? Will Cardi B (whose new single is generating much noise and controversy) finally deliver that sophomore album? Will the new BTS project, with its first big single entirely in English, be a game-changer in the K-Pop phenoms’ world-domination crusade?

CLASSIC STYLE: Is Harry Styles on his way to becoming the biggest artist in the world? The Columbia superstar was selling out global stadium and multi-arena engagements before he had his two giant back-to-back #1 Pop radio smashes, “Adore You” (511m+ global Spotify streams) and “Watermelon Sugar” (549m), both of which broke wide open this year. Hats off to Azoff the taller for being the right guy at the right time, and to Sony for its highly supportive approach. While other artists spend their days striving for Kardashian-level saturation on social media, Harry more closely resembles old-school British classic-rock acts, for whom a less-is-more mystique was essential to cred and longevity.

SALEH FORTH: Considerable buzz surrounds Anthony Saleh and his Emagen Entertainment company, with the new Future/Lil Uzi Vert project on the way. Saleh’s shop handles Future, Nas, Gunna and other highly consequential artists. The SoCal manager has emerged as one of the more tech-savvy players on the current field—and is high up on the list of the most-wanted execs. Sadly, he’d have to take a pay cut to go inside one of the Big Three, but with the touring market on ice for the indefinite future, does one of the majors now have an opportunity to close a deal with the young entrepreneur?

RICCHLY DESERVED: Streaming titan Roddy Ricch, having fired manager Moe Shalizi, is moving to Full Stop Management along with longtime co-manager Ervin “Bird” Gainer of BirdVision Entertainment, who originally signed him. Roddy’s crew now includes day-to-day manager Katie Spotts, management team members Shawn “Tubby” Holiday and Donovan “Don Bo” Samuels and attorney Hector Baldonado (who is extremely involved in all facets of his clients’ careers). Atlantic, always eager to renegotiate a breakout artist’s deal, is still the label. Roddy’s career U.S. ATD is 2.9m+, and he’s the #4 artist YTD with 1.5m U.S. His monster smash “The Box” has earned 930m+ steams worldwide on Spotify alone.

MAYBE, JUST MAYBE:
MOBILE PHONES,
IMMOBILE HUMANS
Lenny Beer needs to cut down on his screen time. (10/1a)
RAINMAKERS: MICHAEL RAPINO, NATION BUILDER
A tease for the upcoming edition, eh? (10/1a)
THE DEATH OF PRINT JOURNALISM: GRAMMY PREVIEW EDITION
Gimme an "H." Gimme another "H." (9/30a)
NEAR TRUTHS: PARANOIA STRIKES DEEP—INTO YOUR LIFE
IT WILL CREEP*
A high-revving column (10/1a)
YOUR TOP 20 IS
FULLY LOADED
Prediction: There will be 20 albums in the Top 20 this week. (10/1a)
GRAMMY TALK
We're full of it.
AFRICAN POP
Getting global with it.
IT'S PRETTY SMOKY
And this time it's not from our bong.
WHAT COMES AFTER TIKTOK?
Shorter videos! Weirder trends!
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