Go big or go home

Eminem, Cardi B tap star power at Coachella

Global Times - - Front Page -

Eminem and Cardi B may be at dif­fer­ent stages of their ca­reers, but the two rap­pers have one strat­egy in com­mon – when play­ing Coachella, go big.

Both Eminem, who play­fully ac­knowl­edged con­cerns about his con­tin­ued rel­e­vance, and the preg­nant Cardi B, whose first al­bum just opened at No.1 on the US chart, kept a dizzy­ing pace with a stream of sur­prise guests on the fi­nal day of the premier mu­sic fes­ti­val.

Clos­ing the three-day bash on Sun­day be­fore thou­sands of of­ten scant­ily clad revel­ers in the Cal­i­for­nia desert, Eminem of­fered a dis­con­cert­ing trip to “8 Mile” – a stage replica of his blighted home­town Detroit, cast in an even harsher light through spe­cial ef­fects of rain and then ar­son.

Eminem brought out 50 Cent, join­ing in the New York rap­per’s birth­day an­them “In Da Club,” be­fore the crowd erupted on sight of the elu­sive Dr. Dre, Eminem’s men­tor.

Dr. Dre, the gangsta rap­per turned Ap­ple ex­ec­u­tive worth close to $1 bil­lion, ap­peared in the Sil­i­con Val­ley chic look of a black turtle­neck. He united with Eminem for sev­eral clas­sic tracks, in­clud­ing late leg­end Tu­pac Shakur’s “Cal­i­for­nia Love.”

Coachella marks one of the first con­certs for Eminem, who is 45, since the re­lease last year of his al­bum Re­vival af­ter a four-year hia­tus. Eminem, by far the most suc­cess­ful white rap­per of all time, found a new po­lit­i­cal voice on the al­bum as he lashed US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, al­though Re­vival mostly re­ceived poor re­views on its mu­si­cal mer­its.

Eminem con­fronted the crit­i­cism as late-night co­me­dian Jimmy Kim­mel came to Coachella by video for a spe­cial edi­tion of his tele­vised seg­ment on celebri­ties read­ing “mean tweets.”

Faced with a tweet that said “No one’s (sic) has been pay­ing at­ten­tion to you since 2003,” Eminem faulted the Twit­ter user’s spell­ing but added, “I’m not mad at that. He’s kind of got a point.”

Preg­nant twerk­ing

Cardi B was one of the most avidly awaited per­form­ers at Coachella, not only be­cause she is ris­ing quickly in hip-hop but be­cause the 25-year-old – en­gaged to fel­low rap­per Off­set of Mi­gos – re­cently re­vealed that she is preg­nant.

De­spite her vis­i­ble baby bump, Cardi B briefly squat­ted to twerk to the beat, com­fort­ably get­ting back up to fin­ish her dance moves.

The Bronx na­tive has quickly found star­dom with un­sen­ti­men­tal rhymes about her rough life, in­clud­ing her stint earn­ing a liv­ing by strip­ping.

She saluted her for­mer pro­fes­sion in her tight, half-hour set as dancers stretched ac­ro­bat­i­cally on strip­pers’ poles. She also brought out her own celebrity guests in­clud­ing Chance the Rap­per.

Af­ter the hard edges of her break­through song “Bo­dak Yel­low,” Cardi B has shown greater mu­si­cal ver­sa­til­ity. Her de­but al­bum, In­va­sion of Pri­vacy, brought in en­er­getic, street fes­ti­val-style horns on the track “I Like It,” which she per­formed live at Coachella.

Cardi B has demon­strated strik­ing can­dor about the fi­nances of play­ing Coachella – ar­guably the most watched fes­ti­val in the world, es­pe­cially this year with Glas­ton­bury in Britain on a sched­uled break.

She told satel­lite ra­dio Sir­iusXM that she spent $300,000 of her own money to de­velop a wor­thy set for Coachella, where she will earn only $140,000.

That sum – pre­sum­ably reached be­fore Cardi B’s re­cent me­te­oric as­cent – also in­cludes a per­for­mance next week­end, when Coachella re­con­venes for a sec­ond edi­tion with an iden­ti­cal lineup.

Michelle Obama in trip-hop

Coachella prides it­self on both rec­og­niz­ing ris­ing artists and show­cas­ing splashy head­lin­ers, with pop su­per­star Bey­once on Satur­day putting on her first show in more than a year.

Among the per­form­ers on Sun­day, Ibeyi – twin French sis­ters of Afro-Cuban her­itage – took aim at Trump’s treat­ment of women with the fem­i­nist song “No Man Is Big Enough for My Arms.”

Set to a dom­i­nant bass line and trip-hop beat, the song sam­ples for­mer first lady Michelle Obama as she says, “The mea­sure of any so­ci­ety is how it treats its women and girls.”

Young Bri­tish rocker King Krule per­formed a set of his ex­plo­sive punkin-fused jazz at the show while French DJ Petit Bis­cuit packed a tent full of thou­sands of revel­ers with his gui­tar-in­fused yet min­i­mal­ist elec­tronic tracks.

In­die rocker Ja­panese Break­fast, the stage name of Michelle Zauner, paid trib­ute to late Cran­ber­ries front­woman Dolores O’Rior­dan with a one-notch-louder cover of “Dreams.”

Ja­panese Break­fast ded­i­cated the track to a sup­port­ive friend who flew to the show and who, at a younger age, “painted my hair pur­ple in the bath­room and hoped my mom wouldn’t no­tice.”

Photo: IC

Cardi B

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