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First Spin: The Week’s Best New Dance Tracks From Jessie Ware, Chris Lorenzo With COBRAH & More



This week in dance music: The Chainsmokers announced that they’re launching themselves into space, traveling electronic festival Breakaway announced a California date happening this fall, Dimitri Vegas told us about his first starring role in a feature film, we celebrated the 32 year anniversary of Black Box’s 1990 hit “Everybody Everybody” hitting No. 1 on Dance Club Songs, BMG acquired the publishing catalog of French legend Jean-Michel Jarre, Swedish House Mafia announced a two-year residency with Wynn Las Vegas, Skrillex graced what appears to be the credit list for Beyoncé’s forthcoming LP Renaissance, Sofi Tukker’s “Summer In New York” hit the top 10 on Dance Mix/Show Airplay, Fred Again.. teased a forthcoming Swedish House Mafia collab, ODESZA dropped their new album, we went to Tomorrowland, and we broke down the top most played tracks of the Belgian mega-festival.

And guess what, there’s more! Let’s dig in.

Jessie Ware, “Free Yourself”

After delivering Billboard’s favorite dance album of 2020, What’s Your Pleasure?, club chanteuse Jessie Ware is back this week with a new single, “Free Yourself,” which she describes as the beginning of a “new era” for her.

Compared to WYP?, which offered sultry, sexy, breathy disco in shades of blush and burgundy, “Free Yourself” radiates color, bright and bold, to match Ware’s sky-rocketing chorus: “Free yourself/ Keep on moving up that mountain top.” The production — handled by the legend Stuart Price (Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Pet Shop Boys and many more) — adds an air of peaktime urgency with its stomping beat, wailing horns and bursts of stuttering percussion that give Ware’s words of encouragement the force of command: “Why don’t you please yourself/ If it feels so good then baby don’t you stop.”

From inquiring, “What’s your pleasure?,” Ware’s “Free Yourself” is permission to ask yourself, ‘What’s my pleasure?” and act accordingly. Last month, Ware performed “Free Yourself” for the first time at Glastonbury Festival, and will surely perform it again during a run of dates opening for Harry Styles this October.  “I’m so excited for people to have this song for the end of their summer; to dance, to feel no inhibitions & to feel joyful because that’s how I’ve been feeling recently being able to tour again and being able to sing again,” she says. “Enjoy yourself, Free Yourself!” — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ

Chris Lorenzo & COBRAH, “Mami”

Chris Lorenzo logged a (fairly) recent hit with his October 2021 edit of the The Mamas & The Papas’ classic “California Dreaming,” and another major smash with his edit of J Balvin and Skrillex’s “In Da Getto.” Now, Lorenzo appears to have another monster on his hands with his latest, “Mami.” A collaboration with Swedish songwriter/producer/vocalist COBRAH, the tech house heater is an homage to living like the bourgeoisie while “doing drugs in the penthouse suite,” a choice situation evoked by Lorenzo’s increasingly dizzy production and COBRAH’s pitched up delivery.

“Mami” is the first release on the U.K. producer’s new label, the appropriately titled Late Checkout. “I had been listening to COBRAH’s stuff for a while and knew that stylistically, her vocals over my beats could work really well,” he says. “We were in the studio for two days recording different ideas but I especially remember the moment COBRAH came up with the ‘Mami’ lyric. I knew right then and there what we created was going to be huge, even before the beat was finished.” — KATIE BAIN 

Manila Killa, Dusk

Fans of Manila Killa have always known the producer for his uplifting melodies, heartfelt toplines and future-pop atmospheres, but today, the 28-year-old musician presents a more complete picture of his influences and creative soul.

Dusk is my debut album, the apex of the sound I’ve been crafting over the years,” he says. “I spent a lot of time during quarantine reflecting on what I wanted out of creating a full length album. I reached a realization that I wanted it to be a project that touched on all aspects of my inspirations and influences through dance music. The subjects and emotions I touched on consisted of heartbreak, yearning and resolve; all things I considered throughout the creative process. I took a dance-music driven approach to the production, reaching back to my roots and channeling the feelings I got when I first started listening to dance music. This album is something I’ve worked towards my entire life and I hope that people can resonate with the ideas and energy I’ve put into it.”

His most honest work to date is also his most diverse, a sophisticated collection of tunes that’s as comfortable dropping frenetic drum’n’bass beats as it is hypnotic house epics. He even set the whole LP to a visualizer — because if you don’t listen to Dusk in full, you’re only getting part of the picture. – KAT BEIN

Moon Boots feat. Cherry Glazerr, “Come Back Around”

Summery dance meets indie cool on Moon Boots’ new single, “Come Back Around” featuring Cherry Glazerr’s Clementine Creevy. The first taste of the producer’s forthcoming third album, “Come Back Around” is house music molded for the year’s hottest months: a heavy yet jubilant rhythm marked by bouncing bass, aquatic synths and a sweltering ambience that will have you rushing to your nearest beach. Meanwhile, Creevy’s sweet-sounding vocals put a candy coating on her lusty desires with lyrics like, “Had a daydream that would make you blush/ You say what’s the rush/ I can make you rush.” “Come Back Around” is effervescent and just plain fun — just like its above music video, a summer romp through Coney Island. — K.R.

AN21 & HIISAK feat. Able Faces, “Alright”

The vibes are hypnotic and moody on the melodic house heater “Alright,” the latest from Swedish producer AN21 (in collaboration with rising Italian artist HIISAK and Scottish singer-songwriter duo Able Faces). The track marks the first single AN21 — the artist name for Antoine Gabriel Michel Haydamous Josefsson, the younger brother of Swedish House Mafia’s Steve Angello — since 2015. As Antoine tells Billboard, there’s a good reason behind the hiatus.

“I always had a chip on my shoulder of being Steve’s brother,” he says. “Had an instant success from the get go and got to tour nonstop. I had a sort of imposter syndrome for many years. But touring was incredibly fun, and I kept releasing music, but at some point making music took longer and longer, mainly because I felt that the quality of the music had to be as good as my brother’s.

“I spent a lot of time in L.A..” he continues, “and I clearly remember coming back for a second show after some time at Create in LA and realizing that for the second time there, I had no new music to play. It felt super disingenuous to my fans to ask them to buy tickets, so I decided to stop touring. I then moved back to Sweden to reinvent myself, started a family and got a daughter Melody. Then when I was ready to come back, Covid happened and then I had my son, Phoenix, but now when the world is hopefully restored. It’s time to show the fans what I have been working on for all these years.”

It’s time indeed, with AN21 performing at Tomorrowland this Sunday. Meanwhile, “Alright” is out now via Angello’s Size Records. — K. Bain

Biicla, “Mini Skrt”

Life isn’t black and white, but it is about dichotomies. Light and dark, introspective and expressive, moody and raw as heck; these are all concepts Russian artist Biicla explores on his sophomore album Yes Place, which is in itself a dichotomous response to his 2020 debut LP, No Place.

“For a few years, I have been thinking about where and how to move on. Constant trips alone, a new team, new friends and endless thoughts in my head, as well as my first performances in America,” he says. “All of this was like in the movies, and naturally it affected my music. The album No Place was about finding myself, and in 2022 I think I found myself. I just decided to create a light dance album for you that will touch you to the depths of your soul, because it is inspired by the new events and people I have met during this time. I share my fresh look at electronic music with you in this new album. Its full name was Yes! I think I found a place, but I decided to shorten it and leave it to just Yes Place as opposed to the last album, No Place.”

Today, we’re highlighting “Mini Skrt,” because it’s just super fun and a little weird, totally quirky and absolutely cool, but you should groove to the full album. It’s a real trip. – K. Bein

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Lindsay Lohan, Lil Yachty, Jake Paul Among Celebrities Hit With SEC Charges for Touting Crypto



Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul, Ne-Yo and rapper Lil Yachty are among the eight notable names who have been hit with Securities and Exchange Commission charges for violating securities laws in touting crypto currencies.

The SEC on Wednesday disclosed that charges were filed against eight celebrities in connection with the broader investigation of crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun and three of his companies: Tron Foundation Limited, BitTorrent Foundation Ltd., and Rainberry Inc., which marketed crypto asset securities under the brand names Tronix (TRX) and BitTorrent (BTT).

The eight boldface names were charged with “illegally touting TRX and/or BTT without disclosing that they were compensated for doing so and the amount of their compensation,” according to the SEC.

The list also includes rapper Soulja Boy, singers Austin Mahone and Akon and adult film star Kendra Lust. All but Mahone and Soulja Boy (aka DeAndre Cortez Way) have reached settlements with the SEC that involve “more than $400,000 in disgorgement, interest, and penalties to settle the charges, without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings,” per the SEC.

“This case demonstrates again the high risk investors face when crypto asset securities are offered and sold without proper disclosure,” said SEC chair Gary Gensler. “As alleged, Sun and his companies not only targeted U.S. investors in their unregistered offers and sales, generating millions in illegal proceeds at the expense of investors, but they also coordinated wash trading on an unregistered trading platform to create the misleading appearance of active trading in TRX. Sun further induced investors to purchase TRX and BTT by orchestrating a promotional campaign in which he and his celebrity promoters hid the fact that the celebrities were paid for their tweets.”

The SEC complaint, filed in New York’s Southern District federal court, accuses Sun of instructing the eight celebrities to not disclose that they were being paid to tout TRX and BTT assets on social media platforms.

A representative for Lohan said the actor was unaware of any disclosure obligations.

“Lindsay was contacted in March 2022 and was unaware of the disclosure requirement. She agreed to pay a fine to resolve the matter,” said spokeswoman Leslie Sloane.

Sun is accused of taking numerous steps to manipulate the market for those currencies through “wash trading,” which is explained by the SEC as a process that “involves the simultaneous or near-simultaneous purchase and sale of a security to make it appear actively traded without an actual change in beneficial ownership.” From April 2018 to February 2019, Sun engaged “allegedly directed his employees to engage in more than 600,000 wash trades of TRX between two crypto asset trading platform accounts he controlled,” according to the SEC. Sun also generated $31 million in proceeds through secondary market sales of illegal and unregistered sales of the token, per the SEC.

“While we’re neutral about the technologies at issue, we’re anything but neutral when it comes to investor protection,” said Gurbir S. Grewal, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “As alleged in the complaint, Sun and others used an age-old playbook to mislead and harm investors by first offering securities without complying with registration and disclosure requirements and then manipulating the market for those very securities. At the same time, Sun paid celebrities with millions of social media followers to tout the unregistered offerings, while specifically directing that they not disclose their compensation. This is the very conduct that the federal securities laws were designed to protect against regardless of the labels Sun and others used.”

(Pictured: Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul and Lil Yachty)

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Offset Previews New Song With Posthumous Takeoff Verse



Migos fans should be pleased to know that Offset has a new record with Icewear Vezzo and his late bandmate/cousin Takeoff potentially on the way.

Earlier this week, Set teased the trunk-rattling track on his Instagram Stories, which drew elation from fans on social media. The 56-second snippet finds Vezzo and Takeoff exchanging bars before Offset bursts through the song with fiery lines of his own.

The path to Set’s sophomore album has been arduous. Last August, he sued his former label Quality Control to reclaim ownership of his solo material. Then, in November, he lost his cousin Takeoff, who was shot and killed in Houston, further delaying the album. He was also involved in a fistful of skirmishes, including a verbal spat online with J. Prince and allegedly feuding with his Migos bandmate Quavo at this year’s Grammy Awards. 

Musically, Offset has released several one-off singles to keep fans intrigued. Last August, he released “5 4 3 2 1” before following up with “CODE” featuring MoneyBagg Yo. Offset’s 2019 debut album Father of 4 netted a top-five entry on the Billboard 200 with 89,000 album-equivalent units. The offering also spawned his triple-platinum single “Clout” featuring his wife, Cardi B.

On the posthumous side, this is the latest offering from Takeoff after fans first heard The Last Rocket MC on Metro Boomin’s Heroes and Villians standout “Feel the Fiyaaaah” featuring him and A$AP Rocky.

Listen to the snippet featuring Offset, Takeoff and Vezzo below. 

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Tekashi 6ix9ine Hospitalized After Attack at Florida Gym



Tekashi 6ix9ine was hospitalized after being ambushed by a group of attackers in the bathroom of a gym in South Florida on Tuesday, Variety has confirmed.

The 26-year-old rapper, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, sustained injuries to his face and bruises, according to his attorney, Lance Lazzaro.

Lazzaro said the rapper was attacked in and outside the LA Fitness gym sauna by three or four men who beat him up, though he tried fighting back. “He had cuts to his face and bruises,” Lazzaro said. The attorney said that the perpetrators fled after employees heard the disturbance.

Police in South Florida were called, and Hernandez was transported via ambulance to a local hospital, according to Lazzaro. As of now, it is unclear if the rapper remains hospitalized.

Lazzaro told TMZ he plans to ensure Hernandez gets some protection, since he was released from federal prison in April 2020. Hernandez was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison in 2019 on nine charges, including racketeering, drug trafficking and firearm offenses in relation to his involvement with the Nine Trey Bloods gang. Hernandez received a shortened prison sentence after he cooperated with federal officials to imprison his associates. He was released early due to COVID-19 concerns, after a judge called the rapper a “model prisoner.”

In a video leaked on Twitter, one of Hernandez’s assailants is heard saying, “Take a picture. I’m gonna be famous now.” Another video captured a bloodied Hernandez walking out of the gym.

According to several media reports, Hernandez was ejected from a Miami baseball stadium Friday for being intoxicated and disturbing fans.

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