Mixed Notes: February 2021

Big Sean Joins Detroit Pistons as Creative Director of Innovation

Hip-Hop icon Big Sean has signed on to become the Creative Director of Innovation for the Detroit Pistons. In this role, Sean will provide counsel and strategic guidance for on- and off-the-court community initiatives. The Detroit native’s 2020 album, Detroit 2, was awarded the Key to the City in 2017 for the contributions of his organization, the Sean Anderson Foundation. “I grew up in the city, which naturally made me a fan of the Bad Boys,” says Sean. “I look forward to contributing to their legacy and dedication to the community through sports, art, and, of course, music.”


Ally Coalition Talent Show

Jack Antonoff’s annual Ally Coalition Talent Show concert was held virtually, featuring an all-star lineup, many giving intimate performances with covers and collaborations galore. Proceeds from ticket sales support The Ally Coalition’s mission to serve LGBTQ youth, with partners including BreakOUT!, New Alternatives and the Ruth Ellis Center. Jack and sister/co-founder Rachel Antonoff hosted from the Brooklyn Bowl before introducing guest artists: Bleachers, The Chicks, Brittany Howard, Lana Del Rey, Maggie Rogers, Sleater-Kinney, St. Vincent, Reggie Watts and an appearance by chef Rachael Ray. The event raised over $350k in total.


Eminem’s Murder Rap

Eminem’s latest studio album, Music to Be Murdered By, has shattered a 50-year-old record for biggest leap on the Billboard album charts. Boosted by the reissue of a deluxe version with 16 additional tracks, Music to be Murdered By jumped to No. 3 from No. 199. Originally released in January 2020, the album debuted at No. 1 and received gold certification from the RIAA. Prior to Eminem, the record for biggest chart leap was held by Bob Dylan for 1970’s Self Portrait.

Deftones Adopt-a-Dot Raises over $100k

The rock group Deftones completed their Adopt-a-Dot fundraiser and made a donation of $52,500 to UC Davis Children’s Hospital and $52,500 to Crew Nation—a global relief fund for live music crews impacted by COVID-19. Adopt-a-Dot coincided with the release of the band’s chart-topping Ohms, enabling fans to make a charitable donation represented by the 12,995 available dots comprising the album’s cover-art, designed by Creative Director Frank Maddocks.

Cha Wa at Mardi Gras

The Grammy-nominated New Orleans band, Cha Wa, aims to preserve and advance the musical traditions of the city’s Mardi Gras Indian groups. The traditions’ roots date back to the 19th century as a way to pay tribute to Native Americans for aiding black New Orleanians fleeing slavery. Cha Wa is led by Joseph Boudreaux Jr., whose father, Monk, is Big Chief of the Golden Eagles tribe, and brought Mardi Gras culture to the national stage in the ’70s. Cha Wa is set to release a new album, My People, April 2, via Single Lock Records.

Aly & AJ

Longtime Disney Channel starlets Aly & AJ have released a revamped, explicit version of their 2007 hit, “Potential Breakup Song.” The song gained an unexpected resurgence in 2020, made popular on TikTok. Sisters Aly and AJ Michalka used the traction to rerecord and rerelease with added angst in the lyrics to fit the dark year. Potential Breakup Song (Explicit)” topped the overall iTunes chart, trended at No. 2 on Twitter and had over 1.2M streams on Spotify in its first 40 hours. AJ plainly states, “We wanted to breakup up with 2020 and get our shit back.”

Jean Michel Jarre at VR Notre Dame

French composer and producer Jean-Michel Jarre’s livestream performance, “Welcome to the Other Side,” garnered over 75 million viewers worldwide. As a testament to technology and culture, old and new ways, Jarre performed live from Studio Gabriel in Paris, while a digital avatar version of Jarre was projected to be playing in the landmark Notre Dame Cathedral. Produced in partnership with virtual reality platform VRrOOm, the City of Paris and UNESCO, the 50 minute mixed-media performance required a team of 100 artists and technicians to recreate Notre Dame in just three months.