Pop music critic at The Washington Post. Big on dark social. Email me at chris dot richards at washpost dot com.

The problem with Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy thirst

washingtonpost.com — "I want to win them all." That's what Kendrick Lamar told a reporter from Billboard magazine the other day, confirming that, yes, his Grammy thirst is totally for real. Lamar is up for 11 trophies at the 58th annual Grammy Awards on Monday night, and since those nominations were announced back in December, the most cerebral rapper of his generation has been going door-to-door, pleading his case to the media.
Feb 11, 2016

My argument: Kendrick's Grammy thirst validates the Grammys more than a Grammy validates him wapo.st/1QuKDXn pic.twitter.com/8D4YNUFf8c

Feb 11, 2016

RT @Chris__Richards: My argument: Kendrick's Grammy thirst validates the Grammys more than a Grammy validates him wapo.st/1QuKDXn pic.twitter.com/8D4YNUFf8c

Feb 11, 2016

RT @Chris__Richards: My argument: Kendrick's Grammy thirst validates the Grammys more than a Grammy validates him wapo.st/1QuKDXn pic.twitter.com/8D4YNUFf8c

Show 1 more tweet from Chris Richards

Jazz composer Darius Jones explains the birds and the bees in outer space

washingtonpost.com — Where do babies come from? On the fictitious planet of Or'gen, it's complicated: A quartet of female alien-humanoids must sing a ritual-text that enters each of its participants into a socio-spiritual pact - one that initiates a communal birthing process that can last seven years or longer.

The Night Beyonce Won the Super Bowl

movies.ndtv.com — Watching the Super Bowl used to be an act of leisure, which made the halftime show a break from a break. Now it isn't and it ain't. America has invested so much of itself in this brutal sport, which destroys the bodies and minds of its players, and the damage has become impossible to ignore, even though we're trying our best.

The night Beyoncé won the Super Bowl

washingtonpost.com — Watching the Super Bowl used to be an act of leisure, which made the halftime show a break from a break. Now it isn't and it ain't. America has invested so much of itself in this brutal sport, which destroys the bodies and minds of its players, and the damage has become impossible to ignore, even though we're trying our best.
Show 38 more tweets from Chris Richards, David Greenwald and others...

Maren Morris stands out on a stacked country bill at Fillmore Silver Spring

washingtonpost.com — Country music's newest "it" girl has interesting things to say about God, cars and self-loathing, but she still has dues to pay. Her name is Maren Morris, and when the 25-year-old performs at the Fillmore Silver Spring on Feb. 12, she'll be opening for a stacked bill featuring Kelsea Ballerini, Craig Morgan, Easton Corbin, Granger Smith and Maryland's own Brothers Osborne.
Feb 05, 2016

Future's "Fly Shit Only" sounds like AC/DC's "Hell's Bells" *Voila* I blurbed both in the WaPo Spring Arts Preview: wapo.st/1X8sx2B

What a viral cover of Adele’s “Hello” means for go-go

washingtonpost.com — During the tiny hours of Monday morning, Backyard Band was up onstage doing the cool alchemy that all go-go bands do: transmuting popular radio hits into ecstatic, percussive party music. They covered everything from the kaleidoscopic rap of Outkast to the stoned pop of Swedish singer Tove Lo, punctuating familiar melodies with conga slaps and timbale thwacks until the songs felt like different songs.
Feb 04, 2016

Here's what Backyard Band's viral go-go cover of Adele's "Hello" means for go-go. wapo.st/1mgcGSa pic.twitter.com/N1JcPdgzBb

Feb 04, 2016

RT @Chris__Richards: Here's what Backyard Band's viral go-go cover of Adele's "Hello" means for go-go. wapo.st/1mgcGSa pic.twitter.com/N1JcPdgzBb

Feb 04, 2016

"It’s a hit, but also a postcard." What a killer cover of @Adele's “Hello” means for go-go wpo.st/W-091 @Chris__Richards

Feb 04, 2016

RT @jfdulac: "It’s a hit, but also a postcard." What a killer cover of @Adele's “Hello” means for go-go wpo.st/W-091 @Chris__Richards

Feb 04, 2016

RT @Chris__Richards: Here's what Backyard Band's viral go-go cover of Adele's "Hello" means for go-go. wapo.st/1mgcGSa pic.twitter.com/N1JcPdgzBb

Show 7 more tweets from Mike Madden, David Malitz and others...

Unsung funk: Joi rides again

washingtonpost.com — The music industry can be exceedingly blunderous when trying to market music that's exceedingly imaginative, exceedingly freaky, exceedingly feminine, exceedingly black, and in the case of Joi, all of the above. This woman is one of the great shoulda-beens of our era - a neo-funk queen whose four forgotten albums are each considered lost treasure by those who have been lucky enough to hear them in the dark.
Feb 04, 2016

Joi is a neo-funk queen and one of the greatest shoulda-beens of our era. Don't sleep on her this weekend, D.C. wapo.st/1S2MuIP

When Garth Brooks sings, America still sings along

washingtonpost.com — Maybe a dozen rows back, someone is flapping a poster board with a brave, hand-Sharpied declaration. "I [heart] Chris Gaines." Sorry, lady. On this Friday night in the 21st century, Garth Brooks can only be Garth Brooks - which still means he gets to be plenty of people.
Jan 31, 2016

When Garth Brooks sings, America still sings along. wapo.st/1NKnUEP

Feb 01, 2016

Garth Brooks, no longer a man of aggressively geometric shirts, nor country's human center, but still other things: wapo.st/1NKnUEP

Feb 01, 2016

RT @Chris__Richards: Garth Brooks, no longer a man of aggressively geometric shirts, nor country's human center, but still other things: wapo.st/1NKnUEP

Feb 02, 2016

"Tough-looking boys mouth along, hiding puddly eyeballs beneath the brims of their camo hats." By @Chris__Richards wpo.st/LBS81

‘Keith Richards: A Life in Pictures’ review

washingtonpost.com — It really bugs me when people say that Keith Richards looks like a pirate. Don't these pseuds know that they're talking about one of the coolest-looking rock stars to press his boot prints into this uncool Earth? How can Keith Richards look like anything other than Keith Richards?

Is a Rihanna album without hits still a Rihanna album?

washingtonpost.com — There's a wrong way to interpret this new Rihanna album: "I don't hear any radio hits; therefore we must be in the presence of great art. " Not the case. But we should forgive those kinds of reflexive rationalizations.
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Feb 12, 2016

Why does Kendrick care about making Grammy history when he's already making *real* history? wapo.st/1QuKDXn pic.twitter.com/xdoSK7rUSb

Feb 12, 2016

I've been defending Kanye for years to a friend who just told me "You're the GOP and Kanye is Trump."

Feb 12, 2016

Rapping "I guess a blowjob is better than no job" over the most holy of music might be my breaking point this is exhausting

Feb 12, 2016

Mssr. @Charles_A_Aaron's "TLOP" recap had me at "Twitter, America's national dry-erase board of brain farts." rol.st/1o6mvDs

Feb 12, 2016

It's 2016 and a Jonas brother is trying to make the third Rapture album. What a world. bit.ly/1ZINrIb


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