Music News: Chance the Rapper brings down the house on SNL

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Chance the Rapper delivers an opening monologue on SNL.
Chance the Rapper delivers an opening monologue on 'Saturday Night Live.' (NBC)

Eminem was the musical guest on this weekend's episode of Saturday Night Live, but another guest from the music world brought down the house with a series of hilarious sketches. Chance the Rapper hosted the episode, starring as memorable characters including a hockey-averse sports announcer, a porn pizza guy, and a Boyz II Men-style balladeer asking former president Barack Obama to please come back. (Rolling Stone, Pitchfork)

Russell Simmons accused of sexual misconduct

One of several women claiming they were harassed and assaulted by film director Brett Ratner says that Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons collaborated with Ratner on a sexual assault. A woman named Keri Claussen Khalighi says that in 1991, when she was a 17-year-old fashion model, Simmons tore her clothes off and tried to force her to have sex with him. Ratner, Khalighi says, was present and complicit in the assault. Simmons disputes Khalighi's account and claims everything that happened that night was "consensual." (Billboard)

Morrissey defends accused stars

Morrissey is no stranger to controversy, but usually it has to do with canceled shows or bad novels. Now, he's inserted himself into the storm of sexual assault allegations against prominent men including Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey. In an interview with a German news outlet, Morrissey implied that too much was being made of the allegations. As translated by Stereogum:

All at once everyone is guilty. Anyone who has ever said to someone else, "I like you," is suddenly being charged with sexual harassment. You have to put these things in the right relations. If I can not tell anyone that I like him, how should he ever know? Of course, there are extreme cases, rape is disgusting, every physical attack is repulsive. But we have to see it in relative terms. Otherwise, every person on this planet is guilty. We can not permanently decide from above what we are allowed to do and what we can not do. Because then we are all trapped. Some people are very awkward when it comes to romance anyway. They do not know what to do and then their behavior is aggressive.

Later, he implied that Weinstein's victims overstated the alleged assaults after the fact. Still, he added, "I hate sexual situations that are forced on someone."

Rev Run gets a comedy series on Netflix

Netflix has given the green light to a scripted comedy series starring rap legend Rev Run (Run-DMC) and his wife Justine Simmons. "Rev. Run, who starred in the MTV reality series Run's House from 2005 to 2009, will portray himself in the semi-fictionalized series about the rapper and his post-hip-hop life," reports Rolling Stone.

Nick Cave defends Israel show

Nick Cave has defended his decision to perform in Israel on Sunday and Monday, calling the Tel Aviv shows "a principled stand against anyone who tries to censor and silence musicians." At a press conference, Cave criticized Roger Waters and other artists who censure musicians performing in Israel, which they do on the basis of Israel's treatment of Palestinians in occupied territories. "It suddenly became very important to make a stand against those people who are trying to shut down musicians, to bully musicians, to censor musicians, and to silence musicians," said Cave. (Pitchfork)

Remembering Mel Tillis

Country star Mel Tillis has died of respiratory failure at age 85. Over the course of his career, Tillis landed over 70 hits in the country Top 40, peaking in the late 1970s. Songs he wrote also became hits for artists including Patsy Cline, Kenny Rogers, and Bobby Bare.

Tillis may be best-remembered, however, for turning his stuttering speech impediment into an asset by working it into comedic bits onstage. He embraced the nickname "Stutterin' Boy," painting it on his tour bus and airplane, and using it for the title of his autobiography.

"Stuttering brings out some very strange reactions," wrote Tillis in that book. "It makes some folks feel nervous and uncomfortable, while others laugh because they find it funny. A lot of people think I'm putting it on. But I don't worry about that because people who stutter know I stutter. And that's what counts." (New York Times)


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