The ’90s was a strange and wonderful time when lighters-up power ballads could contain lyrics like “Her placenta falls to the floor.” That kind of thing was almost mandatory, actually. Even the blandest bands were expected to be unrepentantly weird. Into that era strode Live, an ambitious bunch of art-bros from the alleged “Shit Towne” of York, Pennsylvania (per our own Tom Breihan, essentially a smaller version of legendarily bleak Youngstown, Ohio) who knew how to strike exactly the right combination of mystical oddity and milquetoast approachability. Live were unaffiliated with any significant scene or movement, but their REM-meets-Pearl Jam-meets-Counting Crows jangle-wail fit snugly into the landscape of mid-’90s alt-rock radio. Their sophomore release, Throwing Copper, was one of the most dominant rock records of the ’90s, a slow-building success story that spawned four hit singles, sold 8 million copies, and made it to #1 almost a year after its release. It is almost impossible to overstate how popular this album was in its day, which seems crazy now because Live didn’t make it into the canon of “important” ’90s music and has become somewhat of a punchline, but that’s the value in puzzling over history from time to time. Throwing Copper turns 20 years old tomorrow; its time has come.

The ’90s was a strange and wonderful time when lighters-up power ballads could contain lyrics like “Her placenta falls to the floor.” That kind of thing was almost mandatory, actually. Even the blandest bands were expected to be unrepentantly weird. Into that era strode Live, an ambitious bunch of art-bros from the alleged “Shit Towne” of York, Pennsylvania (per our own Tom Breihan, essentially a smaller version of legendarily bleak Youngstown, Ohio) who knew how to strike exactly the right combination of mystical oddity and milquetoast approachability. Live were unaffiliated with any significant scene or movement, but their REM-meets-Pearl Jam-meets-Counting Crows jangle-wail fit snugly into the landscape of mid-’90s alt-rock radio. Their sophomore release, Throwing Copper, was one of the most dominant rock records of the ’90s, a slow-building success story that spawned four hit singles, sold 8 million copies, and made it to #1 almost a year after its release. It is almost impossible to overstate how popular this album was in its day, which seems crazy now because Live didn’t make it into the canon of “important” ’90s music and has become somewhat of a punchline, but that’s the value in puzzling over history from time to time. Throwing Copper turns 20 years old tomorrow; its time has come.

The summer and fall of 2001 were tremendously exciting times to be a young rap nerd. Jay-Z and Nas were throwing lyrical haymakers at each other, scrambling for the upper hand, using every possible weapon at their disposal to wreck each other. Rap had had plenty of storied rivalries, of course, but we’d never heard two commercial, artistic titans going for blood like that, getting unrelentingly personal with every line. Nas talked about Jay’s “dick sucking lips” and “whiskers like a rat.” Jay made explicit reference to fucking Nas’s ex in Nas’s car. Only one thing was off-limits, and that one thing was Illmatic. That’s the one hot album in Jay’s “one hot album every ten year average” line from “The Takeover,” and you can even hear a bit of awe creep into his voice when he pronounces the album’s title. Talking about the Nas sample on his own “Dead Presidents,” Jay famously says, “You made it a hot line, I made it a hot song,” but at least he acknowledges that it was a hot line, you know? In fact, Illmatic sits there underneath everything Jay says on “The Takeover.” He couldn’t just say you’re garbage. He had to say look at all this enormous power and potential you had when you started; isn’t it too bad that you’re garbage now? Because what could Jay possibly say about Illmatic? It was, and is, untouchable — as perfect a piece of deep-in-its-own-head New York rap as we’re ever likely to hear. Some perspective here: Illmatic was only seven years old when Jay and Nas were having their back-and-forth. Seven years is nothing. Can you imagine someone coming at Kanye West’s head now but acknowledging, along the way, that at least Graduation was amazing? It would never happen. But Illmatic was canonized, justly, basically the instant it arrived. It’s an albatross for Nas, and for rap, and for everyone who likes thinking about rap. Because if an album like that was once possible, why can’t anyone make it now?
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Read more at Illmatic Turns 20

The summer and fall of 2001 were tremendously exciting times to be a young rap nerd. Jay-Z and Nas were throwing lyrical haymakers at each other, scrambling for the upper hand, using every possible weapon at their disposal to wreck each other. Rap had had plenty of storied rivalries, of course, but we’d never heard two commercial, artistic titans going for blood like that, getting unrelentingly personal with every line. Nas talked about Jay’s “dick sucking lips” and “whiskers like a rat.” Jay made explicit reference to fucking Nas’s ex in Nas’s car. Only one thing was off-limits, and that one thing was Illmatic. That’s the one hot album in Jay’s “one hot album every ten year average” line from “The Takeover,” and you can even hear a bit of awe creep into his voice when he pronounces the album’s title. Talking about the Nas sample on his own “Dead Presidents,” Jay famously says, “You made it a hot line, I made it a hot song,” but at least he acknowledges that it was a hot line, you know? In fact, Illmatic sits there underneath everything Jay says on “The Takeover.” He couldn’t just say you’re garbage. He had to say look at all this enormous power and potential you had when you started; isn’t it too bad that you’re garbage now? Because what could Jay possibly say about Illmatic? It was, and is, untouchable — as perfect a piece of deep-in-its-own-head New York rap as we’re ever likely to hear. Some perspective here: Illmatic was only seven years old when Jay and Nas were having their back-and-forth. Seven years is nothing. Can you imagine someone coming at Kanye West’s head now but acknowledging, along the way, that at least Graduation was amazing? It would never happen. But Illmatic was canonized, justly, basically the instant it arrived. It’s an albatross for Nas, and for rap, and for everyone who likes thinking about rap. Because if an album like that was once possible, why can’t anyone make it now?

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Read more at Illmatic Turns 20


At Saint Laurent, “I have a 50 percent discount worldwide,” Ms. Ferreira said. “It’s pretty expensive, though. On tour I have to use my business card for everything, like gas, but I also I buy my clothes on it.” Describing a trip to Saint Laurent, she said: “I go there and it gets rejected, and I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, this is embarrassing.’ I didn’t tell them my name until she was like, ‘You’re Sky, you’re in the ads.’ And I said, ‘This isn’t working right now, I’ll come back in an hour. I swear there’s money in there.’ ”
via NY Times

At Saint Laurent, “I have a 50 percent discount worldwide,” Ms. Ferreira said. “It’s pretty expensive, though. On tour I have to use my business card for everything, like gas, but I also I buy my clothes on it.” Describing a trip to Saint Laurent, she said: “I go there and it gets rejected, and I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, this is embarrassing.’ I didn’t tell them my name until she was like, ‘You’re Sky, you’re in the ads.’ And I said, ‘This isn’t working right now, I’ll come back in an hour. I swear there’s money in there.’ ”

via NY Times