Snapchat Spectacles

In late 2016, Snapchat introduced new video-enabled glasses called Spectacles. The $130 sunglasses are designed to upload 10-second video clips to Snapchat via Bluetooth or WiFi. Though Snapchat’s newest product left many people mesmerized, it was recently reported that sales of Spectacles in Q2 declined by roughly one-third. While Snap Inc. sold around 61,000 units in Q1, numbers from their earnings report indicate that the camera company sold less than 42,000 in Q2. When Snapchat first began selling Spectacles, the product could only be acquired through vending machines in specific cities around the world. However, in early 2017, Snap Inc. began selling the glasses online via their website. The glum earnings report consequently resulted in several key investors dropping the stock. See the Spectacle demo below. (The demo was released by Snap Inc. prior to the official launch of the glasses).

Donald Glover, Atlanta: Season 2

On Tuesday, in an interview with BBC’s Clara Amfo, Donald Glover revealed updates on Atlanta’s second season, as well as the future of his alias, Childish Gambino. In the interview that aired on BBC Radio 1, Glover noted that although he has been wrapped up in his work with Star Wars, he has been simultaneously working on the second season of his hit series Atlanta. Glover then commented on the progress of the second season: “I'm not the type of person to rush anything… I feel like if you rush it, you'll start to get something you don't want and then you start to question why you even liked it. I'm not gonna make anything until it's ready. But to be completely honest, it's almost ready. I'm pretty happy with a lot of the things, and I think it's better than the first season." In regards to Glover’s alias, Clara Amfo went on to question the media mogul on the future of Childish Gambino. In response, Glover assured Amfo that he hasn’t retired Childish Gambino yet, and “you still have a lot more time of calling me [Childish Gambino] if you want.” All in all, Gambino fans are left with mixed messages, as he left the stage at NYC’s Governors Ball claiming, “I’ll see you for the last Gambino album.”

SoundCloud Saved

Ever since SoundCloud laid off nearly half of its staff in early July, the future of the streaming platform has been questioned by many. Chance the Rapper then took matters into his own hands and reported that SoundCloud was “here to stay” after he had a “very fruitful call” with co-founder Alex Ljung. Weeks came and passed, and SoundCloud remained on its feet. More recently, however, there have been developments regarding funding for the berlin-based streaming platform. On Friday, SoundCloud released a statement claiming that they had acquired a “significant investment” from two companies, allowing the music service to stay afloat. The two different companies that are allowing SoundCloud to continue its operations are The Raine Group and Temasek—an international bank and investment company. With the new investment plan in place, Alex Ljung has stepped down as CEO, and the former CEO of Vimeo—Kerry Trainor—will take his place. The statement released by SoundCloud leads by saying that the investment “will ensure a strong, independent future for SoundCloud, funding deeper development and marketing of its core tools used by millions of audio creators—musicians, DJs, producers, labels, managers and podcasters—that fuel SoundCloud’s one-of-a-kind, creator-driven listener experience.”

Rihanna x Diplo? Never?

This past week, various headlines claimed Rihanna called Diplo’s music “like a reggae song at an airport.” However, the headlines that flooded mainstream media didn’t cover the full story. In an interview with GQ Style, Diplo explained that he has wanted Rihanna on a Major Lazer track for a while now, but, unfortunately, “she's like the one artist that we can't ever get.” Diplo went on to describe his numerous attempts to collab with Rihanna:  

(Diplo for GQ Style): “I think before we're all done, she'll be on a song of ours. Hopefully. But if not, I don't really care. I played her “Lean On.” She was like, I don't do house music. I face-palmed so hard on that one. Another time I had a session with her, and Future was also invited. The Weeknd was there. Metro Boomin was there before anybody knew who he was. I was so contact high. Future played her, like, 700 songs. It was four in the morning. Finally, I was like, Yo, G, I'm leaving unless you let me play her a song. So I played her a song. And she was like, This sounds like a reggae song at an airport. [laughs] I was like, I'm gonna go kill myself.”

Rihanna later apologized to Diplo for her commentary via Instagram. See her Instagram post below.

#DutyFree 😂😂😂 My bad @diplo

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

VMA Performances

A couple weeks ago, we looked at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards nominations. More recently, however, MTV has revealed the first group of performers for the awards ceremony. Artists that will be performing include The Weeknd, Lorde, Miley Cyrus, Ed Sheeran, Fifth Harmony, and more. Just yesterday, MTV announced that Kendrick Lamar—this year's most-nominated artist—will be performing at the VMAs. Kendrick is nominated for a total of eight awards, with seven of them for “HUMBLE.” As Sunday, August 27th approaches, more performers will be announced.

by Sabrina Ghantous