The former president, Donald Trump, is leading the Republican nomination race for the 2024 presidential elections, followed by the Florida governor, Ron DeSantis. The next year, the country is once again expected to see a standoff between Trump and the incumbent president, Joe Biden, to win the most powerful position in the world. According to a new opinion poll, Trump’s position is not marginal but a ‘crushing’ lead over his opponents. But the polls only reflect a snapshot in time.
Meanwhile, Trump is still being slapped with new legal troubles each day. So far he has been indicted for a hush money payment to an adult actress using campaign funds and for hiding classified documents at his residence in Florida. Last week, he was indicted on four criminal counts for the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and for spreading election lies.
To think that Trump can still be eligible to run for president even after the mounting legal tangles is totally justifiable. But it is a complex legal matter with no straight answer. Never before has a politician with a possible conviction for a felony had such a high chance of actually winning the presidency. Despite everything, Trump still has a strong following — the ‘Make America Great Again’ base — which will support him no matter how many indictments he faces. According to The New York Times, the MAGA group accounts for nearly 37% of Republicans.
“Turns out it’s NOT the end of an era,” Taylor Swift posted on Instagram. The pop star has been sweeping the country with sold-out shows on her Eras tour and recently announced new dates for performances in the fall of 2024. Swift has not performed since 2018, but each of her shows was a three-hour spectacle with packed auditoriums.
While wrapping up her tour, Swift gave out bonuses to all her staff — dancers, technicians, truck drivers and others — amounting to over $5 million. She rewarded each trucker employed in the tour with a cheque of $100,000, adding a handwritten ‘thank you’ note inside the envelopes.
Swift has been re-recording her songs and releasing them with the tag, “Taylor’s Version”. Fans lost it when the Federal Bureau of Investigation, inspired by her songs, published an announcement on crime awareness, quoting the lyrics and modified song titles. Examples include “Terrorism (FBI’s Version)”, “Public Corruption (FBI’s Version)” and so on.
But Swift is not the only one hitting the roads. After the easing of Covid restrictions, live music concerts are back in demand. Bloomberg reports that Swift’s tour alone is set to earn over a billion dollars, while Harry Styles’ Love On Tour, which ended a couple of weeks ago, is the fourth-highest-grossing tour of all time. Beyonce also is currently on her Renaissance tour, after a five-year break.
While Barbie is away, Ken has been hosting Barbie’s dream house in Malibu which one can now rent on Airbnb. The beachfront mansion previously came to Airbnb in 2019 for Mattel’s celebration of the doll’s 60th anniversary. After the release of Greta Gerwig’s film, the life-size, pink-drenched mansion is back on the listing, featuring an outdoor disco dance floor.
The two blockbuster films — Barbie and Oppenheimer — released on July 21, giving rise to the internet phenomenon, ‘Barbenheimer’, that sparked memes about the starkly different vibes of the two films. AMC Theaters reported that 20,000 of its AMC Stubs members had purchased tickets for a double-feature. Even Tom Cruise, whose Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One opened a week earlier, said he planned to watch both films on the same day.
Summer releases are usually fuelled by Pixar animations or franchise films. While the box office has had strong sales so far, it is still not at the pre-pandemic levels.
The world’s first hip hop museum, Universal Hip Hop Museum, is set to open in 2024 in the Bronx, New York — the birthplace of the music genre. Meanwhile, curators have developed a series of travelling exhibitions at the Bronx Terminal Market that covers the evolution of hip hop.
Hip hop started in 1973 when DJ Kool Herc played at a house party in the Bronx using turntables and mixing songs. It sparked a cultural movement. Hip hop is a blend of rock, soul and jazz. It became the centre of American pop music in the 1990s with artists like Tupac and Dr Dre.
This August 11 marked 50 years of hip hop. Celebrations were planned all over the nation. Hennessy, the French cognac and whisky brand, collaborated with the Grammy Award-winning rap legend, Nas, to release a limited-edition Hennessy V.S. bottle.