How to spot a psychopath: Music taste can offer clues


Was your ex who was completely obsessed with Eminem actually a psychopath? Probably not. But a recent study from New York University comparing people’s musical preferences with their scores on a personality test show that the two traits may be more closely linked than you’re comfortable believing.

Psychopaths listen to a lot of the same music as the rest of us. According to this new study, Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” top the list for psychopaths’ favorite songs. On the other hand, those with the least psychopathic tendencies tended to like The Knack’s “My Sharona” and Sia’s “Titanium,” The Guardian reported. However, psychologist Pascal Wallisch, who led the research, tells Newsweek that it’s not so much the genre of music that matters to psychopaths but rather the specific song.

“There is no strong association between any particular genre,” says Wallisch. “It’s about the songs. It may be the simulation in the song. We don’t know.”

Wallisch and his team had 200 volunteers listen to 260 songs and then pick their favorites. The volunteers were mostly young people and fairly educated, but they represented many ethnic and economic groups. The team then compared these results with the volunteers’ results on the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale, a widely accepted test of psychopathy. The results showed a common trend, suggesting that an individual’s personality could influence his or her musical preference.

But before you write off a potential date just because the person didn’t switch the radio station when a ’90s hip-hop song came on, consider some caveats to the research. Wallisch stresses to Newsweek that the study is preliminary and unpublished. He plans to present it this fall at the Society for Neuroscience Meeting. In addition, the findings are based on the answers of only 200 individuals who may not correctly represent the average public. Wallisch explains that this study is only the first of many, and he plans to use this method on even more volunteers.

The ultimate aim of the research is to develop a way to accurately and easily identify psychopaths. According to Wallisch, such a method could be a matter of public safety because it could help prevent dangerous individuals from employment in jobs where they can cause harm, such as in the police force or other positions of power.

But Wallisch also acknowledges that such screening, done without the knowledge of an applicant, is controversial. “It’s complicated, and I’m very concerned about the ethical side of this.”

The study adds to a growing body of research suggesting psychopaths do share a number of traits that you would not immediately associate with this personality. For example, a study released earlier this year published in Personality and Individual Differences found that individuals with the “dark triad” of personality traits (narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism) are more likely to study business and economics in college. Those with the least of these personality traits are more likely to study psychology.

Wallisch plans to build on this study and says he has identified other songs even more closely linked to psychopathic personalities. He’s not ready to share these with the public yet for fear of compromising further research. For now, it may be best to take these results with a bit of skepticism and not let them disrupt your playlist choice too much.

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Saturday, October 21st, 2017 News Comments Off

Rag’n’Bone Man Talks Newfound Fame, Finding His Voice and Winning His First Brit Award

Rag'n'Bone Man

The hip-hop bluesman now can’t go more than a few minutes without being spotted by a fan on the street.

But since he has been named the 2017 Brit Awards Critics’ Choice winner and his track Human is being played everywhere, the hip-hop bluesman now can’t go more than a few minutes without being spotted.

“You can’t f***ing hide me,” laughs the 6ft 5in bearded, heavily tattooed singer.

“But I quite like it and most people are really nice to me, especially in Brighton. They are proud of me.

“But I didn’t experience the full scale of attention properly until I was in Germany.
But now the hip-hop bluesman can’t go a few minutes without being spotted

“That was crazy. I was No 1 there with Human for three months, which is amazing.

“In airports, all of the security were like, ‘Yo, it’s Rag’n’Bone Man’. I was like, ‘Wowwww!’”

I meet Rory Graham, 32 — who earned his nickname from his love of the Sixties sitcom Steptoe And Son — in a moment of calm before the storm.

He is smoking outside his manager’s office in Brighton while his girlfriend Beth is inside opening packages of merchandise including keyrings and necklaces emblazoned with the Rag’n’Bone Man logo.

Music was instilled in me from a young age

“It’s hard to get time to ourselves at the moment,” says Rory of his girlfriend of seven years.

“And we are trying to buy a house but it’s all good.

“I’ve got a week off coming up, though I’m booked into a studio to do some writing.

“I don’t want to lose this as it’s going so well.
Rory Graham has been named the 2017 Brit Awards Critics’ Choice winner

“Even though it’s really early, I need to figure out what I want to do next.”

Rory says it has taken a while to go from nothing to the biggest new star of 2017, as he wanted to make sure he was 100 per cent happy with his debut album, which is also called Human.

“I could have put the album out this time last year because I had the material,” he tells me.

“It’s been in the works for two or three years but I wanted to do it slow and steady. I was in no rush but now I’ve got the album coming out, I am happy.”
His debut album Human is out now

His debut album Human is out now

The album touches on blues, folk, soul and hip-hop — all of it delivered in Rory’s remarkably soulful voice.

There are songs about being a better person on Be The Man and Ego, which was inspired by him witnessing someone talking about themselves for three hours.

Music is cathartic for the right reasons

Rory says: “Love You Any Less is about an old girlfriend who was incredibly insecure and would never leave the house and I thought I could help with her flaws but I couldn’t.

“Beth says I’m not that sensitive in real life but music allows you to be a different person and be more honest about who you are. It is cathartic for the right reasons.
It touches on blues, folk, soul and hip-hop — all of it delivered in Rory’s remarkably soulful voice

“Music was instilled in me from a young age. My mum and dad were both into it and so I grew up loving grassroots music.

“It was like the soundtrack to my childhood but I didn’t really get excited about it or the prospect of making music until hip-hop.

“That really sparked my imagination in my late teens — stuff like Outkast, De La Soul and Pharoahe Monch. One of my mates used to make me mixtapes.

“Where I grew up there was only one CD shop and I didn’t really like school, so we’d register then bunk off and we would be round my mate’s house making drum-and-bass mixtapes.”
Graham’s love of hip-hop inspired his early lyric-writing as a teen

Even though he didn’t like school most of the time, Rory certainly did enjoy music. He says: “There was one teacher, Mr Tweed, who was inspiring and knew I was interested in making music. He took me to the music room and played guitar while I wrote some lyrics.

“He made me think I could write lyrics and I am not sure he knows what an influence he was on me but I’ve given him a little shout-out on my album.”

‘My  dad  told  me  to  sing and  give  it  some  welly

It was Graham’s love of hip-hop that inspired his early lyric-writing as a teen.

“They were mostly rap lyrics and not very good,” he laughs.

“But singing-wise I didn’t really do anything until I was 20. I sang a little bit by myself but I was always afraid to do it in public.
However, he only started to take his voice seriously when he was told by a fan he sounded like blues legend BB King

“It was only when I started going to jam nights with my dad that I found the confidence.

“I also started to play the harmonica along to the blues records and after that I started to sing more and more.”

As a member of Brighton hip-hop outfit Rum Committee, Rory got to support heroes including De La Soul.

He says: “De La Soul and Pharoahe Monch were so exciting to play with.

“I remember being in the flat beforehand and us all practising for hours to try and make sure we were really good — and then getting really drunk and not being as good.
Graham started going to jam nights with his dad and found the confidence to sing

“We also supported MF Doom and did a lot of festival slots so that was a good, fun couple of years. But then I was like, ‘Well, I’d better put something out for myself’. So I made (2012’s) ­Bluestown EP.”

Rory had only started to take his remarkable voice seriously when he was told by a fan that he sounded a bit like blues legend BB King.

I sang a little bit by myself but I was always afraid to do it in public

He says: “Being told my voice was really good gave me the confidence that I needed. My dad had told me to sing a song and ‘give it some welly’ and I learned to play the guitar well enough to write my own songs.

“I was still gigging with the Rum Committee but then I just wanted to do something by myself and I got an offer to support Joan Armatrading at The Dome.

“It was just one gig, but a massive venue, holding nearly 2,000 people.”

Monday, October 9th, 2017 News Comments Off

The Top 5 Richest Hip-Hop Artists in the World


Sean “Diddy” Combs remains the richest artist in the world of hip-hop, according to Forbes’ 2017 ranking of rap artists by their total fortune.

On the strength of his lucrative Cîroc Vodka partnership and other ventures, Diddy’s $820 million approximate net worth leads Tidal mogul Jay-Z by $10 million and Beats Electronics founder Dr. Dre by $80 million.

As Forbes notes, Jay-Z’s fortune grew 30% since last year, following a $200 million investment in Tidal from Sprint earlier this year. The streaming service, which Jay-Z purchased for $56 million in 2015, is now valued at $600 million.

In 2016’s ranking, Jay-Z was in third place with $610 million, trailing Dr. Dre by $100 million and Diddy by $140 million.

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 News Comments Off

Macklemore Explains Why Ryan Lewis Isn’t Producing “Gemini” Album


Ahead of next week’s release of his sophomore solo album Gemini, Macklemore stopped by Sway in the Morning to explain why his long-time producing partner Ryan Lewis is absent from the upcoming project.

The pair amicably parted ways earlier in the summer, having previously collaborated on a handful of projects, including 2012’s Grammy-winning album The Heist and last year’s follow-up, This Unruly Mess I’ve Made.

“It was a decision that we both came to,” he said. “I think with the last album and how intense it was at times – particularly making ‘White Privilege II,’ that was an intense, as it should have been, song to write … I think it was really heavy to make a nine-minute song about race. And again, it should be heavy. You can’t even scrape the surface on it.”

Although it was ultimately a mutual decision, Macklemore did reveal that it was Lewis who first proposed the idea of them going their separate ways following the release of their last album.

“I think with that and just other songs that we did, it was time to step back a little bit,” Macklemore continued. “And Ryan was the one that actually brought it up to me and I was like, ‘Yo, let’s do an EP.’ And he was like, ‘I feel like I would be the worst producer for you right now.’ I’ma give you guys the hundo version. I think that that was the best thing that he could have said because we needed that space. You need space to appreciate somebody. We’ve been working together nine years. We’re best friends. We worked together every single day; music videos, in the studio, all that stuff. I heard that and at first I was like, ‘Damn, music without Ryan’ and then I was like, ‘You know what? He’s right, we need a break.’ It was very much mutual. He was the person that put it out there first. And there’s no love lost. Ryan and I will make music together in the future.”

Saturday, September 16th, 2017 News Comments Off

Lil Wayne Hospitalized After Suffering Seizure


Rapper Lil Wayne has reportedly been hospitalized in Chicago after suffering an epileptic seizure. According to TMZ, Wayne (real name: Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.) was found unconscious in his Westin Hotel room on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 3). He was taken to Northwestern Hospital where he experienced another seizure.

The New Orleans rapper has long suffered from the neurological disorder and has been hospitalized several times in recent years, including a six-day stay in 2013, and following an incident on a cross-country flight in 2016.

Wayne, who is currently on tour with Rae Sremmurd, was scheduled to perform at Drai’s Nightclub in Las Vegas on Sept. 3. It is unclear as of yet whether Wayne will be discharged.

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017 News Comments Off




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