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NEAR TRUTHS: DEALS WITH GOD, AND OTHER TRANSACTIONS

IT NEVER RAINS, BUT IT’S DRIZZY: Drake is back in the mix with a surprise drop, Seriously, Nevermind (OVO/Republic), and as usual he’s caused a frenzy. His prior set, last year’s Certified Lover Boy, earned a mind-blowing 230m streams on its first day and 715m its first week, bowing (at #1, naturally) with 613k; the set has racked up 2.7m ATD and 3.37b streams. Not that he’s been off the radar lately—he’s a feature on one of the year’s biggest blockbuster tracks, Future’s “WAIT FOR U,” which has 100m+ streams on Spotify alone. Drake is one of a small handful of acts who can turn the marketplace on its head with a single social post, and he appears to have done it again.

A NEW HOPE: BTS’ “hiatus” announcement may have caused a kerfuffle in the international press (and stock woes for parent company HYBE) as the members’ plans to put the band on hold were ostensibly lost in translation. But it’s hard to imagine that solo projects weren’t always a key element of the global strategy for the K-pop lads.

Is member J-Hope, now making his first solo foray with a Lollapalooza headlining spot, taking a page from the Justin Timberlake playbook, especially after seeing how Harry Styles’ post-One Direction career has gone supernova with the year’s biggest chart bow and 15 shows each at MSG and the Forum? If J-Hope is able to approximate Justin’s post-NSYNC career or Harry’s post-1D explosion, how might this transform the landscape of K-pop? And as the stans are no doubt asking, what are Jin, Suga, RM, Jungkook, Jimin and V planning?

THE CALM BEFORE THE STRUM: There’s considerable chatter surrounding the upcoming Marcus Mumford solo project as it appears Mumford & Sons are still a long way from recording or touring. Marcus’ album, studded with high-profile features, is done. Rumor has it that Capitol has prevailed in the contest for the Full Stop-repped Brit. Is his first solo tour already in the offing?

ACTION AT 7th & SANTA FE: Warner toppers Aaron Bay-Schuck and Tom Corson find themselves on a bit of a run as Joji and Kate Bush hit #1 and #2 at Spotify. It’s noteworthy that Joji and his 88rising imprint came to WMG via its acquisition of Doug Morris12Tone, while Bush is a classic tale of catalog reanimated by a unicorn Netflix sync. But a hit is a hit, and Warner unquestionably has built up some momentum. What else do they have up their sleeves?

LONG-RUNNING STORY: Bush, it’s worth mentioning, was part of the trove of great music, which also included Pink Floyd and Coldplay, obtained by WMG in the 2013 Parlophone deal, valued in the area of $750m, when UMG was required (per the EU) to sell off assets as a condition of its EMI acquisition. It was Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour who brought Bush into EMI in 1975. Bob Mercer inked her as a favor to the Floyd team. She was just 16 at the time.

SPEAKING OF CATALOG: Where is the next Kate Bush coming from? The stunning streak by 1985’s “Running Up That Hill” after the song and its artist were baked into the storyline of Stranger Things Season 4 has execs combing the archives for ’70s, ’80s or ’90s material that might turn into a streaming giant with the right exposure. The David Munns-repped Bush’s return to center stage in the marketplace follows the conspicuous examples of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” (revived by a TikTok vid) and Nirvana’s “Something in the Way” (which spiked on DSPs from a crucial sync in The Batman). The present ecosystem has opened up an entirely new, young audience to all this catalog, and as these examples indicate, the potential for new windfalls is sky-high.

THEY'RE NO
JUAN SOTO
KD and Kyrie got nothin' on these two ballers. (8/16a)
GRAMMY CHEW: WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT BRUNO
Giving Encanto its due. (8/16a)
HITS LIST, YUP
They're the cat's meow. (8/16a)
ON THE COVER:
MO OSTIN
The greatest (8/16a)
WE'RE SORRY TO BOTHER YOU, BUT WE JUST HAD TO TELL YOU
Oh, no, not again. (8/12a)
GRAMMY SEASON
New categories! New rules! New WTF!
THE BIG DEAL
It's the one you didn't see coming.
RAID AT MAR-A-LAGO
"Who took my passports?"
HITS' 36TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL
Allow us to apologize in advance.
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