Check out our First Take Spotify playlist to hear music from this month's featured artists Ben L'Oncle Soul, Lil Durk, and Mike Flowz feat. ANoyd, along with some of our other fav First Take tunes by Mark Ferg & The Culture, The Weeknd, T La Rock, Ariana Grande feat. Nicki Minaj, Curtis Mayfield, Marc Mysterio feat. J Rice and Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band.
Follow @ESPNMusic on Twitter for the latest!
We've kicked off the New Year with a Clemson CFP Championship and with the Super Bowl right around the corner, we've got just the playlist to keep the NYE celebrations going!
We're feeling cheery and bright this holiday season! With the College Football Playoff right around the corner, we're celebrating this festive season with new music throughout December! Hear music from DNCE, John Legend, Childish Gambino, Sofia Reyes, Metallica,and music from Disney's Moana featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jordan Fisher.
Danish Rock band, Volbeat, tapped into Brooklyn Boxer, Frank Galarza, to be the focus of their new "Seal The Deal" music video (above). Galarza's inspiring story of staying motivated to overcome hardships throughout his life made him a perfect fit for Volbeat's video.
As someone who grew up around boxing and is an avid fan of the sport, I’m thrilled with the video Martin and Magnus at Gaucho Film created for “Seal The Deal.” We’re also very proud to feature fighter Frank Galarza in the clip, he and his young co-star Elvin really brought the feel of the song to life. Expect big things coming from both of them in the future! - Volbeat
Volbeat's latest album, Seal The Deal & Let's Boogie, debuted at #1 in over 15 countries and the band has just finished up their North American tour with fellow-rockers, Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold.
November, a time to be thankful. And boy are we more thankful than ever for all the great music we have this month! A feast full of tunes in all flavors. Hear music from Ceci Bastida, Fyahbwoy, Kenny Chesney, The Weeknd, Metallica, and music from Disney's Moana featuring Alessia Cara, Dwayne Johnson, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jordan Fisher all month long.
We are less than one week away from the 2016 TCS NYC Marathon and ESPN Music has teamed up with urban pop-duo, Epoch Failure, to bring you their Turnt Up NYC Marathon Spotify playlist! "This playlist is a mix of some favorite "fire up!" tracks, both new and old. We included some "4th & inches, gotta plow through" adrenaline shots, along with some anthemic, motivational tracks" said singer Billy The Kidd. Rapper, Nickey Knoxx, added "We went with what we feel are some tried and true hype jams. We leaned on the familiarity of old school classics, while also mixing in some fresh picks. Hopefully it's the perfect balance to keep runners entertained, inspired and most importantly… on the move."
As the incredible athletes prepare for their 26.2mi race through New York City, Epoch Failure will be preparing to rock the streets and help motivate the runners. For the fourth year in a row, Epoch Failure will be performing on the stage located on 1st Ave between 95th & 96th Street in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
The two are no strangers to the NYC Marathon scene telling us, "We love playing this event. The energy from the runners is insane," said Knoxx. "They're running past with fire in their eyes, and then they're giving us thumbs up and fist pumps for the musical inspiration, while the crowd is cheering them on for their running. It's a dynamic gathering that's truly something beautiful and organic."
And although neither have ever run a marathon, they are indeed runners at heart. "No marathon for me; I am purely a sprinter." Billy continued, "The closest I've been to this type of grueling workout was probably two-a-days back in my high school football career. It takes massive dedication and preparation to complete this event. My hat goes off to all the runners who are out there! As a member of the military, Nickey Knoxx went on to say "running and fitness are a huge part of my lifestyle. I've done plenty of 12-mile ruck marches, with 35 pound packs strapped on me. Like a marathon, endurance and will power are definitely put to the test during these marches. Bottom line, everyone with the courage to take on those 26 miles in NYC is amazing. It's an honor to be part of their special day.
With their anthemic, driven beats, Epoch Failure has been featured multiple times on ESPN throughout NCAA and NFL programming. When the New Jersey natives dropped their latest single, "Let The Fire Glow", they knew it would be the perfect soundtrack to the marathon runner's journeys. Billy The Kidd telling ESPN Music, "It's a fight song for all those souls who are brave enough to blaze their own paths. It's a musical celebration in response to overcoming the challenges and obstacles that any pioneer must face. We hope it'll fire up the runners on race day!" Knoxx adding, "Whatever your "finish line," we hope it provides inspiration to cross it in a roaring blaze of glory."
For more info on Epoch Failure and their performance at the TCS NYC Marathon, follow @EpochFailure on Twitter.
It's not too late to grab your limited-edition T-shirt from Teespring featuring your favorite NFL teams and top musical artists like Eminem, Fall Out Boy, and Fergie. This collection was created last month when Teespring and the NFL launched their #MyTeamMyCity campaign. The apparel line was designed by more than 30 artists including Dierks Bentley, Lecrae, All Time Low, Florida Georgia Line, Wale, Jason Mraz, KISS, Linkin Park, Mac Miller, One Republic, and many more celebrating their favorite NFL teams.
“Musicians and NFL teams have some of the most passionate fans in the world, so we thought that this collaboration could be a win for fans,” said Stu Smith, Head of Music & Entertainment at Teespring. “We worked to bring together a wide range of artists spanning many genres – all of whom have a natural pairing with an NFL team. Whether the band hails from that city or it became their adopted home, this gives each music artist the opportunity to celebrate their favorite team in a new way.”
We had the chance to catch up with a few of the artists involved:
“As Chicago natives we rep our city and teams to the fullest. We’re grateful the NFL chose us to collaborate with them while also giving Chicago Bears fans the opportunity to help out one of our favorite local charities, Bear Necessities.” - Fall Out Boy
"Being an Atlanta resident means taking care of your city, wanting the best for your city, and the Falcons are a part of this city. I salute and support. " - Lecrae
"Having been Ravens fans for most of our lives, it's really exciting to collaborate on something like this. We've always had so much pride in our hometown city of Bmore, and the Ravens amplify and personify that pride for people here. As a band, we've always felt like we've had a strong bond with Baltimore because it's where our roots lie, so coming in and doing something with the home team means a lot to us as fans, but also as a part of the community at large. It’s also great to see a portion of the proceeds go to a Baltimore based charity that’s doing a lot of great work.” - Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low
Fans have ONE DAY LEFT before these T's are gone. To see the entire #MyTeamMyCity collection, visit: http://collabs.teespring.com/NFL/
Get up for Gameday with ESPN's College Football Spotify playlist!
It’s September and with fall music releases around the corner, we wanted to round up our favorite albums of 2016 so far.
From X Games to The Undefeated, talent from across ESPN sent us their 2016 music shortlists. While we’ve already seen a swell of Grammy-promised releases, a few stand out as ESPN favorites. Drake’s Views and Kendrick Lamar’s unmastered untitled stacked up the most mentions, with notable nods to Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book.
Marcellus Wiley (SportsNation host and former NFL player)
Kanye West - The Life of Pablo: “Rebounded beautifully from the ego extreme sounds of Yeezus. Pablo spiritually fused entertainment and education highlighting Kanye's brilliance once again.” [Spotify]
2 Chainz - COLLEGROVE ft. Lil Wayne: “I expected nothing less from 2 of the best rappers in the game. This is what happens when Jordan and Pippen lock in together. Their mutual respect and long-standing friendship came thru as music to our ears.” [iTunes]
Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J & TM88 - TGOD Mafia: Rude Awakening: “Sometimes you have to forget your higher angels. This is an album you put on in the gym and burn the most calories and set PR's when it's on. It doesn't take you deep, but it takes you there!” [iTunes]
Drake - Views: “When expectations are sky high, what are you to do? You raise your game to that level and enjoy the Views! Enough said…” [iTunes]
Schoolboy Q - Blank Face LP: “He laughs at the sophomore slump label with a uniqueness that's unmatched. Soulful, street wit that's a more thoughtful sound than we're used to hearing.” [iTunes]
Sarina Morales (SportsCenter:AM Anchor)
Drake - Views: "This album is great, not just because 'One Dance' is the most addictive song to listen to. It’s music matched with Drake’s lyrics are good for a nice car ride with the windows down. I can listen to the whole album beginning to end. Champagne Papi wins again." [iTunes]
Meghan Trainor - Thank You: "I’ve never cared for her music, so this is weird for me to put this… but this album is so catchy. I feel like she wore sunglasses the whole time she recorded this album or something because she’s got this cool vibe going. My favorite songs are ‘Me Two’ and ‘I love me’ — I mean who doesn’t want to rock to a song like that?" [iTunes]
Flume - Skin: "Flume is an acquired taste. Start slow with this album -- 'Never Be Like You' is catchy and then make your way to 'Say It'. Once you take those in, I really like 'Smoke & Retribution' and 'Like Water' and 'Free'. This is a “good vibes” album. I am a big fan of their music." [iTunes]
Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book: "'No Problem' and 'Blessings' are worth this entire album. This album has like a retro feel. It’s good. Nuff said." [Spotify]
The Lumineers - Cleopatra: "I love their songs. They are honest. They have a nice folksy feel. Any of these songs could be played at the end of a movie and would make you cry at the end. I like this album to listen to when I decompress from work or while I’m cooking dinner. Hard to pick a favorite on this album, but 'Gun Song' and 'Angela' are two of my faves." [iTunes]
Brandon Graham (X Games Host)
The 1975 - I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It: “Their sophomore effort has put them into another hemisphere. Easily my favorite album of the year thus far.” [iTunes]
Drake - Views: “No one in hip-hop has dropped more music than him in the last two years. Crazy that he just keeps getting better.” [iTunes]
Ro James - ELDORADO: “When your debut album is the best R&B album of the year you're doing it right.” [iTunes]
St. Lucia - Matter: “The best pop album of the year could've come out in 1985 and we wouldn't know the difference.” [iTunes]
Raleigh Ritchie - You're a Man Now, Boy: “Perfectly crafted debut album that equal parts hip-hop, electronic, and R&B.” [iTunes]
Sarah Spain (espnW columnist and SportsCenter Contributor)
Beyoncé - Lemonade: “Beyoncé's Lemonade takes my top three spots because it's the only album I've bought this year! Chalk it up to a busy six months planning my wedding, I guess. And I know an album about cheating and heartbreak is an odd choice for a blushing bride, but man is it a good one! I love that it can be at different times powerful and empowering, beautiful and rough, sad and angry, subtle and in-your-face.” [iTunes]
Drake - Views: “Not the hot fire we expected coming off the beef with Meek Mill but still full of bangers to party to.” [iTunes]
Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered: “Great surprise and who needs titles when the bars speak for themselves.” [iTunes]
Kanye - The Life of Pablo: “I missed the old Kanye but this new Kanye is cool as well.” [Spotify]
Beyoncé - Lemonade: “Brilliant Bey, as always.” [iTunes]
Jay Harris (SportsCenter:AM Anchor)
Anderson .Paak - Malibu: "It's smooth, it's a groove, it's mixes hip hop, R&B, and rock, and it's lyrically interesting. And I'm a sucker for real instruments and people who play." [iTunes]
Esperanza Spalding - Emily's D+Evolution: "She's a bass player. I'm a bass player. I dig her." [iTunes]
BJ The Chicago Kid - In My Mind: "The audio person on my show played "Turnin Me Up" going into break one morning, and I was hooked. It's soul music." [iTunes]
Beyoncé - Lemonade: "It's Beyoncé. What else do you want me to say?" [iTunes]
Will Reeve (SportsCenter Contributor)
Mumford & Sons - Johannesburg: “It’s not technically an album, but Mumford & Sons’ EP Johannesburg is fantastic. They’ve evolved to have an entirely new sound, but it suits them perfectly, and suits me perfectly when I feel like singing at the top of my lungs (in the car or the shower only, of course).” [iTunes]
The Knocks - 55: “I’ve gotten big into The Knocks this year. Their album 55 is unique and gets me going right away.” [iTunes]
Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered: “There’s nobody like (or as skilled as) Kendrick Lamar. untitled unmastered is another display of Kendrick’s continued and incomparable mastery of his craft and the issues that matter the most to him and society.” [iTunes]
St. Lucia - Matter: “Listen to ‘Dancing on Glass’ by St. Lucia—or anything else from Matter—and I guarantee your mood will improve immediately. They have such a fun, engaging sound, and great vocals all around.” [iTunes]
Chance the Rapper - Coloring Book: “Another one that’s not technically an album, but indisputably bangs, is Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book. He’s a guy to look out for in the future; unique flow, fresh perspective. Plus, the features on this mixtape are insane.” [Spotify]
For all the latest music heard on ESPN, check out ESPN Music on Spotify!
Tomorrow marks a big day for the Stecker family. Pop star Skylar Stecker and her father, former NFL running back Aaron Stecker, head to Lambeau Field where Skylar will perform the national anthem for the Wisconsin Badgers game. This is a special event for Aaron, as he started off his college career with the Badgers. Seeing his daughter take the field with her own passion brings his love for the game full circle. Aaron mentioned:
“I’m so proud to see where she’s come from and how’s she’s grown over these years and she just keeps getting better and better which is awesome to see.”
Skylar is no stranger to singing national anthems in major arenas, having performed for the New Orleans Saints, UCLA, and Green Bay Packers games in the past. Through the support of her father and family, she has launched an already incredible music career, most recently dropping her single “Let It Show” (video above) and a remake of the classic “Sweet Dreams” with JX Riders (below). Her collaboration with JX Riders has climbed all the way to the #1 spot on the Billboard Dance Chart. As far as looking to the future, Skylar says
“I want to continue to grow and inspire other people…I love doing music and it’s amazing to see other people I’ve touched with my music.”
We look forward to seeing what Skylar has in store in the coming months and hope to see her take the field for more College Football games on ABC/ESPN with her father cheering on. Watch Skylar perform the national anthem on ABC at the start of the Wisconsin v LSU game tomorrow at 2:30PM CT.
Follow @ESPNMusic on Twitter for the latest!