Tag Archives: Music


Hip-hop artists will have to add another topic to their traditional repertoire of money, women, and violence: Higher ed.

That’s right, B. Martin, winner of HOT 97’s Who’s Next competition, has released a surprisingly danceable “SUNY Anthem,” an homage to his alma mater, SUNY Albany (where he earned a 4.0, mind you), and the 63 other colleges in the system. And Hue cannot stop singing it.

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Martin has certainly read up on the message points. For example,

My momma is proud that I could hold it down / And picked a school that wouldn’t ruin her bank account.


The student association / Repping the population / Of students on the campus / Making sure they got a say in / Everything from groups and shows and who they sponsor / So let ’em know you want me at your next concert.

Note the subtle self-promotion at the end there. We’re on to you, B.

Um, why aren’t the cheerleaders trying harder to reach him? There isn’t a barricade or security guards, ladies.

Bummer that FIT wasn’t mentioned even once! You’d think he might have slipped in a nod to possibly the most prominent fashion-industry school on earth. He’s got scenes of cheerleaders trying to tickle him, kids measuring the circumference of a tree, and a runner nearly collapsing after a poorly attended race, but not a dress form in sight.

“After careful analysis, I have concluded that this is a tree.”

He managed to rhyme “New Paltz” with “sixty-four” and “Cortland” with “walk in,” but he couldn’t slip in FIT? FYI, it rhymes with “dream,” “team,” “free,” and “oh, gee.”

This runner looks tired.

Mr. Martin, might we recommend an additional stanza, just for fairness?

Lest I forget ’bout my kickin’ homies down at FIT / Where design and business students study 46 majors, not to mention PE / Led by Dr. Brown, the school has great renown / And I contracted one grad to make a wedding gown.

Otherwise, bravo.


Flash back to Lollapalooza 2007. Amy Winehouse delivered a legendary performance. M.I.A. brought down the house. And a little-known solo artist named Lady Gaga was performing underground dance music and shaking her booty. This was a year before Gaga’s megahit The Fame launched her celebrity.

Enter Monica Schweiger, Fashion Buying and Merchandising ’97, then a fashion editor at WWD. Schweiger was producing a spread on Lollapalooza style when she came across the performer.

“She was this crazy girl from Brooklyn who basically performed in her underwear,” Schweiger recalls. “She had a penchant for disco balls and sparkles.”

Schweiger pulled together a shoot that involved “a bunch of really sparkly underwear,” she says. “I put her in Dolce & Gabbana silky hot pants and sequined lingerie from Coco de Mer, all really bright and fun stuff. She had her own disco-ball bra that she made.”

Gaga made love to the camera. “She was totally fearless,” Schweiger remembers.

The article ran on WWD’s cover. “We were trying to portray innerwear as outerwear. And now pants are definitely not necessary for performers anymore.”

Who’s that girl? Oh, it’s Lady Gaga, pre-meat-dress.

That night, however, pants would have been useful. The cops hit Gaga with a citation for public indecency.


In July, Dr. Mary Davis started as dean of FIT’s School of Graduate Studies. She used to chair the music department at Case Western Reserve University—and she was the university liaison to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Hue is jealous.

Davis loves rock and roll, and she knows how to talk about it. Hue asked her to name her three favorite songs of all time. This is what she said.

1. “Aretha Franklin plays a role in American History—as a woman, in the civil rights movement, and, over the arc of her career, for the evolution of music. Think is an empowerment song. It’s got a great vibe. She always had an incredibly tight band, and she’s a total perfectionist in keeping everything solid and well controlled. The freedom you hear in her voice—what comes across as pure, raw power and spontaneity—there’s something way more complicated going on behind that.”

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“Without Aretha, we wouldn’t have Lady Gaga. Aretha pioneered wigs and crazy theatricality. Though Aretha never wore a meat dress—to my knowledge, at least.”

2. “Bring it On Home to Me by Sam Cooke is a soulful late-night song from 1962. It’s a pop song, but it’s also very sexy. The song marks the moment when pop music shifted over from an orchestral sound to the roots of rock and roll. You can hear the orchestra interacting with him—he’s got an incredible voice—and then you hear a sax section. The classical strings and the low-down, raunchy club music find a meeting place in the song.”

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“When I worked with the Rock Hall, we honored an important figure in rock and pop for a week every year. Sam Cooke was our American Music Master for 2005. I’ll never forget this: During the tribute concert, Morgan Freeman was singing Bring it On Home to Me in my ear during the performance.”

3. “Tom Petty is one of my favorite artists of all time. His lyrics are compelling narratives, all condensed into three minutes. He really understands the human condition. Like Aretha, he is a total perfectionist, and he has a driving band influenced by early ’70s rock and a little bit of punk. The juxtaposition of personal lyrics and kick-ass music comes through in a lot in his songs.”

“It’s hard for me to pick one song. I love Free Fallin’. It’s built out of three chords, over and over again. Out of nothing more than the most basic elements of music, he built a whole world.”

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