In an industry full of posers who are trying so hard to come off as original and unique, it’s rare to find a performer who truly is. Natalie Renée McIntyre — better known as Macy Gray — is one of such performers. From her sound to her presentation, you’d be hard-pressed to find another artist quite like her.

In September of 2001, Macy released “Sweet Baby” (featuring Erykah Badu) as the lead single from her sophomore set, The Id. The song is a rock-yet-R&B ode to struggle love, and its lyrics — written entirely by the singer — are sung so beautifully that you almost start to wish you had a troubled relationship of your own.

In the video, Henry Simmons plays Macy’s cheating man who she had been with since they were kids. Macy was sticking beside him for real, and Erykah Badu’s background vocals added that extra bit of romance.

And it was over Meghan Markle.

In his new memoir, Spare, Prince Harry revealed that his brother, Prince William, grabbed him by the collar, ripped his necklace, and pushed him to the floor during an argument about Princess Meghan. The physical altercation, which took place at Harry’s London home in 2019, started as a shouting match, where William is said to have described Meg as “difficult”, “rude” and “abrasive.”

Harry said he suffered visible injury to his back as a result of the altercation, which William is said to have apologized for immediately afterwards — and asked that he not tell Meghan about his ghetto ways.

Spare drops on January 10.

Today is Dallas Austin’s 52nd birthday, so how about one of the many classics he’s helped create? A selection from the TLC catalog felt a little obvious, so we’re gonna go with a song many people might not know he wrote: “Cool” by Gwen Stefani.

Released as the fourth single from Gwen’s debut solo album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby., “Cool” is a song about two former lovers who somehow remained cool despite their failed relationship. Given that it is performed by Gwen and she is credited as a songwriter, it is not unreasonable to assume that it is about her relationship with ex-boyfriend and No Doubt bandmate Tony Kanal. In fact, the version of the song we’ve come to know could very well be about their relationship as well. However, “Cool” existed before Gwen ever got involved with the song, and that original version is about Dallas Austin’s relationship with Chilli, who he dated for a decade and with whom he has a child. She left him for Usher in 2001, but they remained friends and he continued working with TLC. In fact, Dallas and Chilli were so cool that the group was initially supposed to record “Cool.”

Peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, “Cool” is not one of Gwen Stefani’s biggest hits, but real ones recognize it as the classic it is. It is simple in melody and lyrics, and yet somehow complex because it touches on an uncommon topic in popular music: Amicable breakups. In a world where most breakup songs are about crying oneself to sleep or exacting revenge, “Cool” is not just cool, it’s radical.

Tory Lanez has been found guilty on all charges in the case stemming from the July 2020 shooting of Megan Thee Stallion. The 30-year-old was charged with felony negligent discharge of a firearm, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, and carrying a loaded and unregistered firearm. He is facing up to 22 years in prison and is scheduled for a January 27 sentencing. He will also likely be deported once he serves his time.

Following the verdict, the Canadian was immediately cuffed and taken away in his powder pink pants and white turtleneck. His family members were said to have started causing a ruckus, with his father saying that “the system is wicked” and rambling about Roc Nation. A woman in the court room — and apparent Tory supporter — said, “Jay-Z is a bitch.” Now why Jay-Z in it?

In a statement released to Meghann Cuniff from Law & Crime, Megan’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, said, “The jury got it right. I am thankful there is justice for Meg.”

One of the biggest errors of music journalism was the creation of the narrative that Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were similar beyond the blonde dye in their hair and both being Sagittariuses born in the early ‘80s.

While you could argue that their music was the same kind of “pop” delivered differently, the fact of the matter is that Britney and Christina were never in the same league vocally.

To help make this point, I present “Come on over Baby (All I Want Is You),” the fourth single from Christina’s self-titled debut album and the third No. 1 from the project. Christina’s vocal prowess is on full display all over the album, but on this particular song, she is in her bag in a way that exemplifies why she simply wasn’t one of them.