This Art Show Brings Your Favorite Song Lyrics To Life

Photo courtesy of Genius

A Genius idea

Music is a universal language because it resonates on a level deeper than its textual meaning. In fact, words aren't even necessary to elicit musical catharsis. This is probably why our interpretations of a song's lyrics often vary widely from listener to listener, making the same song mean something totally different to two separate people. It's that ambiguity that makes exploring a website like Genius, which offers lyrical breakdowns of just about every song ever written, so exciting. We get the chance to experience music the way someone else experiences it, and thus broaden our own experience, as well.

Beginning March 2 and running through the 5th, Genius and Dropbox will bring their lyrical game to the three-dimensional world with "Lyrics to Life" in Downtown Los Angeles. Expect to see Nicki Minaj and Biggie bars in the same space as The Weeknd's and Sia's lyrics. We caught up with Genius' marketing strategist Alexandra Blalock ahead of the show's opening to chat why now, the future of lyric consumption, and their hope to bring more lyrics to life in cities across the globe.

How long has this show been in progress? What was the seed that started it all?
Things really kicked into high gear late last fall, right after Thanksgiving. We were thrilled to join forces with Dropbox to make this idea a reality—it complemented their spirit of creative collaboration and ours of deep music knowledge seamlessly. The Genius brand is all about bringing people behind the lyrics they love and celebrating how they interpret music. Whether you’re the artist or a fan, your perspective matters. With "Lyrics to Life," we wanted to present lyrics in such a way that people would be able to physically experience and appreciate them.

Why exhibit now?
Genius closed out last summer with our first-ever music festival, IQ/BBQ, which really set the standard for our live events. We’ve been exploring ways to make the intangible tangible—as shown in the two music-inspired merch collections we dropped last year, Genius 1997 and 2017: The Year In Lyrics—and Lyrics to Life is a big next step in that direction. We’re excited to keep the momentum going.

How did you go about choosing the artists to be included?
The Genius team came up with our wish list of diverse visual artists and curators from all over the U.S. to bring aboard this project. We wanted to collaborate with people who worked at the intersection of art and music. This whole experience couldn’t work unless the visual artists shared a close connection to the music. We also wanted to work with visual artists who connected with different genres—hip-hop, indie rock, pop, and R&B.

One of the first people we approached was Mokibaby, whose installations for the music festival III Points were the exact sort of thing what we were looking for. From there, we brought on a couple of more Miami artists: Typoe, who I’ve always wanted to work with because of his massive impact on the Wynwood Arts District and Magnus Sodamin, who's a close friend of his and an amazing painter.

Next, we zeroed in on incredible L.A. artists who are really leading the charge in their respective movements. Peggy Noland and Devin Troy Strother were obvious picks. Genius was familiar with Aminé’s music, but, also, his immense creativity shown in an episode of our show FRAMEWORK, where he broke down the extremely off-the-wall music video he directed for his song “Spice Girl.” 

We had to show love to Brooklyn, where we’re based, so we invited this super-dope collective Nitemind, who do lighting design for artists like Kelela and Dawn Richard. And to keep it pleasantly weird, we invited Joshua Tree-based artist Marina Fini, whose conceptual work has been seen on musicians like Miley Cyrus.  

Aside from giving artists spatial boundaries to exhibit their work, we encouraged them to ideate around their lyrics and manifest whatever ideas came to mind. We’ve documented their entire creative process on Dropbox Paper as well as through a mini-documentary we’ll be releasing soon. 

And, it’s just the beginning for Lyrics to Life. We hope to take it to other cities very soon.

This exhibition, in a way, seeks to do what CD booklets did: present lyrics in a way that honors the song. Do you see this type of art becoming more of a thing?
The way people connect with, consume, and collect music is always changing. When I was younger, I remember using the CD insert to sing along to Hanson’s "MMMBop.” Now, partly because of the extinction of physical liner notes, listeners are eager for new ways to keep up with what artists are actually saying—ways that complement how they’re listening to the music. That’s why Genius’s integration with Spotify, Behind the Lyrics, is so successful. People are genuinely delighted to be fed a little bit of music knowledge on their morning commute or while they’re on the treadmill. It doesn’t distract from the listening experience, but rather, it adds to it.

That’s what we were aiming for with the design of Lyrics to Life, too. Art inspired by the meanings and moods behind some of the biggest songs of all time is a new way for fans to interact with and learn more about that music. The art is spurring new kinds of revelations.

Photo courtesy of Genius


Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube

Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale

Asset 7

These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video)

Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.