After having its 45th season derailed by the pandemic, Saturday Night Live returns to Studio 8H this weekend for its first in-person broadcast since March. The host will be SNL alum Chris Rock, there to promote his starring role in the new season of Fargo, which I am anticipating far more feverishly than the new SNL season to be frank. Rock will have the honor of introducing musical guest Megan Thee Stallion, arguably the hottest rapper in America right now. Megan is coming off a summer in which she scored her first two #1 hits by teaming with Beyoncé and Cardi B (as a fan of grand spectacle, I’m crossing my fingers for guest appearances from both) and survived multiple gunshot wounds in a high-profile altercation. She has become a huge deal, and deservedly so — exactly the kind of newly minted superstar who SNL, a cultural yearbook of sorts whether you like it or not, should be anointing with an invite to their stage.
So, who else should be in line for their debut appearance on the show this season? Here are 16 suggestions.
His momentum has been building for several years now, but with My Turn (a mainstay of the Billboard 200 album chart’s top 10 since February) and the Black Lives Matter-inspired standalone single “The Bigger Picture,” sing-songy Atlanta rapper Lil Baby ascended to folk hero status in 2020. One look at his streaming numbers should be enough to convince Lorne Michaels this guy is an SNL-grade superstar, even without witnessing the personal gravity Baby now exudes.
The only rapper with a legitimate claim to a more successful 2020 than Megan Thee Stallion and Lil Baby is Roddy Ricch, who — between his own “The Box” and DaBaby’s “Rockstar” — has spent 18 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this year. His Mustard collaboration “Ballin’” has also been a rap radio staple, and his December 2019 debut album Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial was the biggest smash of the pre-COVID era, returning to the top of the Billboard 200 in January around the time “The Box” was popping off.
BTS tend to be the first K-pop group to accomplish various feats of Western cultural saturation, and indeed, they became the scene’s first exports to perform on SNL last year. But with Blackpink mounting an intense promo campaign around this Friday’s The Album, including their own Netflix documentary, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the show book the galactically catchy girl group this fall — especially given the high likelihood that Selena Gomez would show up to perform their new collaborative single “Ice Cream.”
It’s easy to imagine this colorful, controversial rapper-singer being someone at SNL’s problematic fave, and I have to believe she’d pull some kind of stunt to ensure her performance was memorable. Since “Say So” was one of the biggest TikTok-boosted hits of the year, Doja may be ready to show feet at 30 Rock, but now that we’re well beyond that song’s moment, I could see her launching her next album cycle there.
SNL’s booking has skewed extremely mainstream in recent years, but historically the show has worked a few rising indie stars into its schedule. Bridgers is already beloved within the showbiz ranks, has forged connections with the comedy world via endeavors like her Matt Berninger duet from Between Two Ferns: The Movie, and seems organically popular in a way few of her peers can boast. She’d be a slam dunk.
Few urbano stars are as fun or as famous as our man Benito, who just last week took New York by storm with a virtual concert performed atop a bus driving through the city. He technically already appeared on SNL, acting opposite Kenan Thompson in a remote comedy sketch this past spring, but he deserves to be officially inaugurated into the lineage of musical guests.
Saturday Night Live has sometimes been a venue for performers with a lot of online buzz to break through to a mainstream audience. Both Lana Del Rey and Sam Smith played the show well before they became household names. I could see the nu-metal-loving pop star Rina Sawayama — who is more of a known quantity in her native Britain than here in the States — charting a similar trajectory.
My love for this college football quarterback turned rap-indebted country singer is well established. So are his bona fides as a consistent hit-maker and a deeply influential pioneer within his field. The endlessly clever “Hard To Forget” chased with the heartrending “2016” would be live television gold.
With the Diddy-assisted Twice As Tall, Nigerian star Burna Boy made a convincing foray into US mainstream stardom this summer. Still, despite percolating for a good solid decade now, the globally beloved Afrobeats community hasn’t been blessed with a platform like SNL yet.
Run The Jewels
It’s time. They may not be in heavy rotation or racking up insane streaming figures, but buddy-comedy progressive revolutionaries Killer Mike and El-P have long since ascended to that plane wherein everyone who’s familiar with them recognizes them as conquering heroes. They cut down on the dick jokes for RTJ4 too, so, yeah, the time is right. And if Lorne really needs convincing, Run The Jewels can roll deep with Pharrell and Zack De La Rocha in tow.
After all those Grammy wins and all that Obama love, it goes without saying that Brandi Carlile is an SNL-grade star. Fame aside, it also helps Carlile’s case that she’s among her generation’s most gifted singer-songwriters, capable of turning raw personal disclosures into profound generational statements.
Few artists can claim the combination of industry backing and grassroots fan support that Kehlani brings to the table. Not many of them have her voice, songwriting chops, or charisma either.
Lil Uzi Vert
You could have made a similar case circa “Bad And Boujee” or “XO TOUR Llif3,” but the feverish response to Uzi’s long-awaited Eternal Atake early this year is proof enough that rap’s weirdest rock star is overdue for his SNL moment.
Rosalía’s brilliant flamenco-infused future-pop dispatch El Mal Querer feels so long ago, and she’s become so much more famous since then — like, billions of YouTube views famous. Like, hanging out with Kylie Jenner famous. That last part makes me nervous, but it also suggests that Lorne can’t miss by booking Rosalía whenever her anticipated LP3 is ready to drop.
This masked queer outlaw country singer has already made the leap from Sub Pop to Columbia, duetted with Shania Twain, and been booked to open for Harry Styles at Madison Square Garden. An SNL appearance is only a matter of time.
I know, crazy right? Some way, somehow, Post Malone — easily one of the five biggest stars in music today, with an insane reach across cultures — hasn’t played SNL yet. Lorne needs this guy pulling double duty as host and musical guest like yesterday.
With 87,000 equivalent album units and 56,000 in sales, Taylor Swift’s Folklore has returned to #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart for a seventh nonconsecutive week. Per Billboard, Swift has now spent 47 weeks overall at #1, surpassing Whitney Houston’s previous record of 46. The last album to spend more weeks at #1 was Drake’s Views, which posted 13 nonconsecutive weeks atop the chart back in 2016.
After Pop Smoke and YoungBoy Never Broke Again comes a #4 debut for Alicia Keys’ Alicia, with 62,000 units and 51,000 in sales. It’s her eighth top-10 album. Juice WRLD is at #5, followed by a #6 debut for Moneybagg Yo and Blac Youngsta’s Code Red. The collaborative LP posted just over 40,000 units, mostly via streaming. Keith Urban’s The Speed Of Now, Part 1 enters at #7 with 40,000 units and 27,000 in sales, becoming his eighth top-10 release. Hamilton is at #8, Lil Baby is at #9, and Lil Tecca’s Virgo World posts a #10 debut with 34,000 units — again, mostly due to streaming.
After being bumped to #2 for a couple weeks, BTS have reclaimed the #1 spot on the Hot 100 with “Dynamite” for a third nonconsecutive frame. This again knocks Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” down to #2. Justin Bieber and Chance The Rapper’s “Holy” makes a #3 debut, becoming Bieber’s 20th top-10 hit and Chance’s third (his other two were also Bieber collabs). Drake and Lil Durk’s “Laugh Now, Cry Later” is in at #4, followed by 24kGoldn and Iann Dior’s “Mood” at a new #5 peak. The rest of the top 10: DaBaby and Roddy Ricch’s “Rockstar,” the Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” (ending its record-setting run of 28 weeks in the top 5), Harry Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar,” Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo’s “Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat)” (which should be trending up thanks to a new BTS remix), and Gabby Barrett’s “I Hope.”
Zayn – “Better”
Now that he’s a dad, it sounds like Zayn has figured out how to make his favored adult contemporary R&B really sizzle.
Jennifer Lopez & Maluma – “Pa Ti + Lonely”
Also smooth as hell: This.
Bastille – “Survivin’”
“What can I say? I’m survivin’” is an extremely savvy hook for a late 2020 pop song, especially when matched with moody chords and an easygoing boom-bap beat. Normally Bastille do not interest me, but anyone doing this good of a 1975 impression have my attention.
Ashton Irwin – “Skinny Skinny”
It ain’t no “Skinny Love,” that’s for damn sure.
Vin Diesel – “Feel Like I Do”
What’s more surprising: Vin Diesel releasing a generic tropical house single, or that single being listenable?
NEWS IN BRIEF
- Demi Lovato is no longer engaged, which her fiancé learned from the tabloids. [TMZ]
- Strengthening my belief that “WAP” will be performed at full strength this weekend: Chris Rock once tried to get a Cardi B her own Comedy Central series. [Vulture]
- Billie Eilish announced a documentary, The World’s A Little Blurry, out in February. [Instagram]
- Doja Cat revealed the existence of an Ariana Grande collab. [Twitter]
- DaBaby is being sued by a California man who says the rapper beat him up on camera last year because he took a photo of him. [TMZ]
- Avril Lavigne is playing a livestream benefit for Global Lyme Alliance on 10/24. [Rolling Stone]
- Post Malone leads the 2020 Billboard Music Awards nominations with 16. [BBMAs]
- It’s BTS Week on Fallon. [EW]
- In related news, BTS’ new album BE (Deluxe Edition) is out 11/20. [EW]
- For this year’s Time 100 “most influential people” series, Taylor Swift wrote about Phoebe Waller Bridge, Elton John wrote about the Weekend, BTS wrote about Halsey, Taraji P. Henson wrote about Megan Thee Stallion, and Camila Cabello wrote about J Balvin. [Time]
- Dan + Shay, Ashley McBryde, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Combs, Sam Hunt, and Thomas Rhett lead this year’s CMT Music Awards nominations with three each. [CMT]
- Selena Gomez broke down “Lose You To Love Me” on Song Exploder. [Song Exploder]
- Lizzo did a 73 Questions video with Vogue. [YouTube]
- Mandy Moore is pregnant with her first child. [Instagram]
- Justin Bieber and Chance The Rapper gave away $250k to people in need via Cash app on Thursday. [TMZ]
- Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty now makes underwear for men too. [GQ]
HOLD ON, WE’RE GOING HOME
How Las Vegas became the world’s casino capital
These days, it’s impossible to think of Las Vegas without the image of the lights on the strip and glamorous casinos coming to mind. But the Vegas we know of 2020 wasn’t always that way; and it took a long, long time to get its reputation for being the world’s casino capital. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and get to the root of how Las Vegas became the city that never sleeps.
A historical journey
It’s hard to believe these days, but the Las Vegas region was once an abundant marshland stock full of rich vegetation. That is, until the marsh receded, and the waters disappeared, transforming the landscape into a desert, with the trapped water underground sprouting life and forming an oasis.
It was during the 19th century that the explorer Antonio Armijo from Mexico foraged the way from New Mexico to California on the first commercial caravan. It was a member of the group, Rafael Rivera who rode west to find water and venture through the desert, setting his eyes upon Las Vegas Springs. Las Vegas was therefore named ‘the meadows’ after the grasses found growing there.
Years went on and both Mormon and Mexican settlers began to filter through. In 1890 it was decided by railroad developers that Las Vegas would serve as a spot along the San Pedro, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles railroad route as well as connecting to major cities along the Pacific Coast. From there on, Vegas boomed with stores, boarding houses and saloons popping up around the area. This was the beginning of the Las Vegas as we know it — with railroad workers and ranchers enjoying the gambling and drinking through illegal speakeasies and bootleg casinos operating despite the ban on gambling in Nevada in 1910.
In 1931 gambling once again became legal in the state, with new casinos and showgirl venues opening up along Fremont Street to entertain the thousands of workers who flocked the city during the construction of the Hoover Dam. The first hotel, El Rancho Vegas, opened up in 1941 along Highway 91. Its success inspired others to open up their own hotels along the highway which would one day become the strip. Tourists began to flock to the city over the next few decades to enjoy the casino scene and see incredible artists like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra perform.
The birth of the mega resort
It was in 1966 the businessman Howard Hughes purchased the Desert Inn hotel; this was followed by over a dozen more hotel purchases, pushing out the mobster-owned hotels that had previously dominated Las Vegas. The concept of the mega hotel came about in 1989 when Steve Wynn opened the Mirage as the first hotel resort in the city. By 1994, Las Vegas was the home of more than 86,000 hotel and motel rooms with 13 of the 20 largest mega resort hotels in the world. It was during this era that the Strip became populated with more hotels and casinos, with developments inspired by the iconic cities and countries of the globe including Egypt, Paris, New York and Rome.
Las Vegas in the 21st century
The Las Vegas of today is well and truly established as a home for entertainment and casinos — which remain the biggest source of income for the city. However, there’s no doubt that Vegas faces more competition than ever before from the virtual world, with more people than ever before opting to play at an online casino, rather than play in the old fashioned way, but Vegas will always have the advantage. For many, it’s a once in a lifetime trip that an online casino can’t replicate, but do the online equivalents help to increase interest in Vegas?
The bright lights of Vegas is attracting billions of dollars in investment as many try and get a slice of the revenue that the sector has to offer. During 2019 over 42.52 million people came to visit Las Vegas from all around the world. Domestically, it was shown to be the second most popular destination for U.S. traveller’s dream spots after New York.
These days, Las Vegas continues to thrive and be a source of entertainment for millions of visitors from around the world looking to experience what the city has to offer. With new generations becoming interested in casino games — and some incredible musical residencies continuing to be announced — Las Vegas surely will continue to be one best places to go for a unforgettable dream destination for many.
What can people find at some of the biggest land-based casinos in Canada? From Niagara Falls to Toronto, there is something for everyone at casinos in Canada, including table games, slots, roulette, blackjack, and other games. There are also many poker and blackjack tournaments held throughout the year and it is easy to find jackpots or slots with free spins at the casinos. Many casinos also have hotels, bars, and numerous restaurants which are perfect for players seeking some comfort. A relaxing casino experience for all ages can be found in many different places in Canada. Choose one from below.
Choosing a casino depends on your tastes and location within Canada. Do you want to experience the grandeur and splendour of nature while placing a bet? Then head to Niagara Falls. Do you want to see a show? Choose a casino with a show that will be perfect for you. If you are looking for pure relaxation, then check out some of the casinos with spas and world-class dining. Entertainment is also a large part of the casino experience in Canada. Musicians, bands, comedians, and other types of entertainment continue to be found at all of the biggest casinos.
Some Big Casinos Near Nature
Casino Niagara is located in one of the most beautiful places in Canada and the world. People from all around the globe come to experience the best of both worlds at Casino Niagara. Players have access to beauty and scenery while spending time at one of the biggest casinos in Canada. The casino has two floors with over 1200 slot machines, poker, and other table games. There are also many different restaurants and even a comedy club. The sports bar and casino was refurbished back in 2017, meaning that it has not lost any of its charm and shine.
ST Eugene Golf Resort: Casino of the Rockies is a golf and nature lovers’ paradise. The location could not be any more splendid. People can find the casino between the Rockies and Purcell Mountains. Furthermore, the casino has an interesting history after it was converted from an Indian Residential School. It was then opened in the early 2000s. St Eugene has table games, electronic roulette, baccarat, and blackjack. There is also a golf course, restaurant, bar, spa, and hotel that is highly rated in Canada. Overall games are limited so most people come for golfing and betting fun.
Caesars Windsor is famously located on the riverbank in Windsor, Ontario. Visitors from both Canada and the States frequent the casino and hotel. Players can see the Detroit and Michigan skyline from the area. There are two floors of slots, table games, and plenty of poker tables. Blackjack, baccarat, and roulette are also available at the casino. It has beautiful restaurants, a gym, bars, slots, and live sports. Check out the Titan 360™, a 10-foot tall slot machine with 5800 pounds of wins at the click of a button. It’s the largest slot machine in the world and great fun.
- Enjoy the size of Casino de Montreal and Hard Rock Casino
- Enjoy the big and beautiful Casino Niagara or ST Eugene Golf Resort
- Enjoy High Culture at Elements Casino Brantford
River Rock Casino Resort – In Transit
Are you passing through Vancouver Airport and have a long transit? Hire a cab and spend some time enjoying slot machines at River Rock Casino Resort. There are slots galore and the different themes make it an enjoyable visit for all. There is even a Dungeons and Dragons slot for gamers. A fourteen-table game room can be found at the casino and international poker tournaments are held regularly. Other features include a VIP area, spa, live music, 24-hour food and drink, as well as other entertainment. Richmond is also worth a quick visit, especially for some delicious seafood.
Casino de Montreal – The Big Gun
Casino de Montreal is 526,488 square feet of casino excitement. The casino has around 20 thousand visitors each day and is one of the biggest casinos on the globe. If you are still unconvinced about the size of the place, then imagine five floors of slots and table games. 3,000 machines and 111 table games make the casino seem even more mammoth. Casino de Montreal games can be played in a smoke-free environment and many players comment on the user-friendly games and helpful staff. Complimentary drinks and top-rated gourmet food is all part of the experience at Casino de Montreal.
Hard Rock Casino – Another Big One
Hard Rock Casino is another large casino located in Vancouver, British Columbia. The casino is over 80,000 square feet, making it a big one in Canada. Hard Rock has gaming tables, slots, baccarat and a poker room. The casino includes 70 casino tables and 1,000 slots. Private rooms and high roller areas are also available. However, the Hard Rock name is known for excellent food and this is what people love about this casino. Many players comment on the quality of the food here. It even has a 1,000 seat theatre, making it great for dining and a show.
Elements Casino Brantford – Enjoy High Culture
Elements Casino Brantford is a historical gem for culture in Ontario. It is a charity casino that was established last century. It includes the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts, which is a high society entertainment venue in Ontario. The centre is well known to performing arts enthusiasts in Ontario and Canada. Players come to see a show, enjoy some gourmet food and a game. The casino also has plenty of slots, table games, blackjack, baccarat, sic bo, three card poker, roulette, and other games. There is also a 14-table Texas Hold ‘Em poker room. Enjoy all the excitement.
River Cree Resort and Casino – Sports Lovers
River Cree Resort and Casino is a sport and gaming venue located in Edmonton that should not be overlooked. It has 39 tables of various money limits and over 1,000 slots. There are also a few different places to dine while enjoying a bet and other things to experience. There is a fitness centre, spa and a 200 room resort. However, the most interesting feature of this casino is the two hockey rinks, which are often used by the Edmonton Oilers for practice. It is possible to watch the team practice and go for a meal and some gaming fun.
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Top 8 Online Games That Kids Can Play Without Much Parental Supervision
The gaming industry has been quite widespread since its inception. With the advent of globalisation and technology, this industry is reaching new heights. Kids these days are more inclined to the internet than they are to books.
The internet has more information about everything than anywhere else and is very easily accessible. This further makes some parental control necessary. Most parents are worried about their kids playing violent video games that can further affect their mental health.
Nevertheless, you cannot stop a kid from finding ways to log in to the internet, nor can you keep them away from playing video games. You can always supervise them on their media consumption. But that also gets tiresome after a point. This is when it gets necessary for you to introduce them to games that are not only kid-friendly but are also of their liking.
If you are in a similar situation, looking for a way out, this article will surely help. Further mentioned are a few games that you can let your kid play while you concentrate on your work and well-being.
1. Gummy Drop
Finding games that you can let your kids play without supervision is quite a task. With games like Gummy Drop, you do not have to worry one bit. With beautiful graphics and interesting gameplay, it does not take long for your kid to get hooked to the game.
With new cities and interesting content being added almost every day, this 3 puzzle game is a good choice for your kids to play. It also connects to your Facebook account, letting you play with your other friends. It is also a nice way for your kids to improve their general knowledge and problem-solving skills.
If you were a fan of Pictionary when you were growing up, you should definitely introduce your kids to this game. While the rules of Pictionary remain the same, this game improves on the visual aspect. With all of their friends in the same server, your kid can easily get hooked to this game.
Easy and fun to play – once the server is set up, each player will get a word that they have to draw on the screen. The motive of the game is to help the other players guess your word. Each round chooses players at random. While it is advised that you use a tablet and a stylus to play this, you can always sketch with your finger.
3. Ludo Supreme
A classic in every sense of the word, online ludo needs no introduction. There are some new features that are added in the game version of this app. It lets you connect to your Paytm account and earn real money while playing the game.
Along with such amazing features, you can also play it for fun with your family or friends. It has other versions as well that come in different languages, especially in India, given the diverse nature of the country. You can download the LUDO for your android phones.
There is no doubt that Houseparty has been one of the most popular downloads this pandemic. This is a networking app that lets you add as many as seven friends and play different games face-to-face via video calls.
The novel approach of phone gaming made this a very widely chosen app. While playing games with your friends is always fun, this app lets you see and talk to them as well. Some of the most played games in this app include Heads Up!, Chips and Guac, Trivia and Quick Draw. With such amazing features and games, this is a worthwhile download for your kid.
Monopoly is a very interesting game, which you can get your kids. Along with being fun, it can be played by any age group and is always stimulating your brain. This board game is an all-time classic that is now available on mobile platforms.
The good thing about it being on the phone is that now your kids can play it with their friends as well, and all from the convenience of your home.
6. Rocket League
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to play soccer but with cars, this game is exactly that. You get to pick a car at the beginning of the game in an oversized field with an oversized ball. Then start the five-minute matches where you have to score goals against them.
To make it even more fun, this game allows the player to add up to three friends on the same server. It also has options where you can choose between casual play and ranked online play. Nevertheless, in both gameplays, you can earn new cosmetic looks for the car and get a chance to score more goals.
Another all-time classic, UNO has been a very celebrated game all these years. The original company of UNO came out with the online version that is available on both iOS and Android devices. Since they are the copyright holders, you already know, the gameplay cannot get any better than this.
Nevertheless, since it is a multiplayer game, you can play it both against your friends or strangers. It’s fun aesthetics, and new rules make it more interesting. It now has different modes of play and tournaments as well. You can also partner up and play 2v2 to win together. With servers available all around the world, you can connect to anyone you know.
8. Guess The Word
Very obvious from the name itself, this game is known to be one of the most popular downloads in this list. It not only helps your kids spend some unsupervised time with themselves but also ensures that they learn new things in the process.
The game contains different levels which get harder as your kid progresses, further making it more interesting and attractive. If you have some free time on your hands, you can also jump in and play with your kids.
So, these are the 8 games that kids of all ages can play without any tension. Above all, parents don’t have to panic or keep an eye on them all the time.