DaBaby boom: meet the controversial rapper taking over America

After a frenetic year, the Grammy-nominated star is the hottest rapper in the US. He talks about his quest to be the best and the forces that could bring him down Its impossible to know where to focus your attention. On the six members of Jabbawockeez, the dance troupe wriggling on stage like breakdancing stormtroopers? The wobbling pair of blowup kewpie dolls? Or maybe the man with DaBoy Baby carved in Carolina blue script on his chest? Then DaBabys track, Bop, explodes from the loudspeakers and a new sensory assault begins: backflipping dancers in black Billion Dollar Baby tracksuits; synchronised routines from people in Nasa flight outfits; a dancer with red booty shorts who bounces on her head, splits her …

Kanye West: Nebuchadnezzar review rapper’s first opera is a giant folly

With its ramshackle delivery, halting Bible readings and thunderous choir, Nebuchadnezzar is an outlandish, self-regarding spectacle Rock and pop artists tend to tread very carefully around the issue of classical music. Paul McCartney waited for 30 years of his career to pass by which time he was thoroughly established as one half of the most successful songwriting partnership in history before presenting his first oratorio to the world. Billy Joel and Elvis Costello similarly allowed 30 years to elapse before announcing that they had written classical pieces. Even Roger Waters, a man so untroubled by the concept of modesty he bills himself as a creative genius on the adverts for his gigs, spent 28 years working on his opera Ca …

Princess Nokia: Rock and roll is my soul

The shapeshifting rapper on being the new Joni Mitchell, body dysmorphia, and why she is wary of talking politics Destiny Frasqueri, the multi-hyphenate musician otherwise known as Sugar Honey Iced Tea (S.H.I.T.). Its as confrontational as you might expect: the first verse is a middle finger to her detractors I know you mad that Im famous / I know you mad that I made it while the second addresses the time in 2017 when she threw soup (butternut squash, FYI) on a racist man who was abusing black teenagers on the New York subway. I instantly got up, she says, cos if youre playing with children, and youre playing with black children, youre not about to get away with that. …

The jailed LA rapper whose songs were used to prosecute him

Drakeo the Ruler speaks to the Guardian about twice facing charges for a murder he didnt commit: Its not about justice The Los Angeles district attorney is prosecuting the rapper Drakeo the Ruler for a murder he didnt commit, arguing in court that his rap lyrics, videos and collaborations are evidence of a conspiracy. The case moving forward this week marks the third time Drakeo, whose legal name is Darrell Caldwell, is facing charges stemming from the 2016 murder of 24-year-old Davion Gregory. After Drakeo Drakeos case, saying its a critical free speech test and an egregious example of racist and aggressive policing of black men and their creative expression. Experts estimate there have been hundreds, if not thousands, of …

Did we make Nicki Minaj retire or is she pulling the biggest troll of 2019?

The musician has paved the way to fame for other female rappers but she has struggled to accept a changing industry wrote on Twitter. I know you guys are happy now. The early retirement seemingly comes out of nowhere. The rapper has been as prolific as ever appearing on popular tracks like Hot Girl Summer and BAPS this year and regularly hosting her Queen Radio show. There is the sneaking suspicion Minaj might be pulling the biggest troll of 2019. But theres an even worse fear: shes telling the truth. Minaj put a time limit on her musical career from the very start. As long as seven years from now Im taking my daughter to preschool, she rapped on her …

The Coachella experience: California heat and millennial cool

Childish Gambino leads the global pop survey for the lucky and wealthy patrons at the USs premier music festival At Glastonbury, you pray for the ground to dry out; at The 1975 perform with a glowing rectangle behind them a totemic image for this portrait-format generation and is gently, fondly satiric: frontman Matt Healy is clearly as beholden to ego as much as anyone here. Earlier on the main stage, Kacey Musgraves has a slot at golden hour, reflecting the title of her Janelle Mone later on, who proudly announces her queerness and tells us not to give a fuck about pissing off this administration. With the occasional gaps in her songwriting papered over with majestically heavy arrangements and Janet …