Summer’s on its way out, y’all, and despite the fact that it’s been an amazing one, the time has come to switch gears and start preparing for the colder months. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been secretly daydreaming of pumpkin spice lattes and outerwear weather for the last few weeks — afraid to tell your friends though, because they’ll accuse you of wishing summer away. But beyond the autumn staples we love to ingest and layer on, there are also some more important priorities to consider, like who will be keeping you warm during those nights when the crisp fall air zips into your open bedroom window. Burr. No Gucci Mane.
With that in mind, there are a few things you need to know now that it’s nearly Cuffin’ Season. Officially kicking off on September 22nd, the primary goal during Cuffin’ Season is to find yourself a consistent relationship or hookup partner to last you through the winter months when, let’s face it, you’re more than likely gonna be stuck indoors most nights. All the late-night partying and random flings that summertime afforded you will quickly become less appealing when words like “wind chill factor” once again start becoming part of our daily lexicon, so now’s the time to take a good look around and determine which potential love-interests are out there to settle down with before they get scooped up. You don’t want to find yourself bored, horny, and needing some companionship in the house all winter long, do you?
To bring you up to speed, we’re currently in Cuffin’ pre-season, mourning the impending loss of our most savage summer nights and kissing all that skin we’ve been feasting our eyes on goodbye. No more muscle Ts or spaghetti strap dresses; we’re all about that scarf and hoodie life now. Time is of the essence to lock-in a good candidate to cuff this year, and like the good folks at ToySldrs.com said when they unleashed this year’s Cuffin’ Season calendar, “You don’t wing excellence.”
We all know the moment. You know, when an epiphany comes floating into your consciousness and you realize it’s time to exit stage left of a relationship. The lights come on, and boom, your hand is forced and the decision is pretty much made for you.
In Andy Grammer’s new video for “Miss Me” (that you’ll find exclusively on VH1.com for 24-hours!), the singer-songwriter applies a strong visual to a universal event most humans know all too well: the break-up. Using just-lit green glow-sticks to signify the termination of romances depicted in the clip, Grammer illustrates that even after heartbreaking infidelity, arguements, and served divorce papers, there is light at the end of the tunnel. As each of the video’s characters navigate their respective splits with a partner, the neon green light of their independence glow-stick leads them to a rockin’ rooftop party where, in newly-single solidarity, others like them are celebrating the fact that their exes will most assuredly regret doing them wrong, and ultimately, miss them. Like Puffy would say: take that, take that.
Whether you’re one of her lambs or not, there’s no arguing the fact that Mariah Carey’s new single is motivational. Unveiled to the world this evening, the video for “Triumphant (Get ‘Em)” stars both of the song’s featured rappers, MMG ring-leader Rick Ross and his Philly protégé, Meek Mill. Given the opportunity to emerge a champ as the video’s protagonist and in real life, Meek plays the role of a boxer going twelve rounds in the ring against a hearty opponent, taunting him the entire time.
In the wake of his fifth studio album Chapter V dropping today (and already #1 at iTunes), Trey Songz has us feeling a little warm and fuzzy here at VH1! Making time to visit our offices this week, Trey not only performed on Big Morning Buzz Live and made the VH1 staff squeel in delight at the very sight of him, he also helped us take to Twitter and see if any of his followers needed some direct-to-fan nurturing. That’s right: the man whose neighbors know his name and allegedly invented sex spent some time ruminating on the love-troubles of five others, and even got a bit personal, divulging his thoughts on the future of his love life and when he might want to start a family.
Over the last few weeks, Executive Vice President of A&R at Atlantic Records Mike Caren has been making noise about a new Director position open in his department. While news of the Urban/Rhythmic-focused gig spread through re-tweets and industry word-of-mouth, it appears a different role in Atlantic’s A&R department was also up for grabs: Senior Vice President.
Late last night, Atlanta DJ Greg Street of V103 announced over the air that Jeezy was joining forces with Atlantic Records; not added to their artist roster, the Snow Man would instead be considered an addition to their staff, lending his expertise to Mike Caren’s A&R group by landing the role of Senior VP.
Every so often, an artist is able to transcend music’s set genres and penetrate the hearts and minds of many. Inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1994 and considered one of the most prolific singer/songwriters to grace our eardrums, Bob Marley is one of these unique examples. Whether you’re an avid fan of Marley’s message or just receptive to the smile-inducing tracks that come on during a night out with friends, you’re likely to have been seduced by his music at one point or another!
Hitting television airwaves for the first time on Saturday at 9p.m. ET/PT, VH1 Rock Doc Marley will premiere on VH1. Filled not only with rare photos and never-before-seen footage of the star, the acclaimed documentary film also features music spanning Marley’s entire career. With the photo gallery and Spotify playlist below, follow along as you watch tomorrow night: in the order that they appear in the film, soak up the images and robust soundtrack that includes everything from recognizable Marley classics like “One Love” and “Three Little Birds” to lesser-known cuts like “Simmer Down” from his earlier days with the original Wailers, Bunny and Peter Tosh. Lighting up a spliff in the privacy of your own home is totally optional!
Before opening in select theaters on 4/20, Marley was first unveiled in an intimate screening at SXSW back in March. Now, with unprecedented support from the music icon’s family and close associates, the documentary on reggae singer/songwriter Bob Marley makes its long-awaited on-air debut this Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET/PT on VH1. For the first time, Marley’s story —his lifestyle, career, political impact, influences, and tragic battle with cancer— will be televised in rich detail, and for music-lovers and fans of history, this film is an insightful must-see, proving to humanize a man who Rolling Stone places at #11 on their 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
The most recent addition to the Emmy award-winning VH1 Rock Doc arsenal, Marley opens in St. Ann, Jamaica where Robert “Bob” Nesta Marley was born. Fanatically drawn to music early on, Marley would soon team up with Neville “Bunny Wailer” Livingston and Peter Tosh to form their band, The Wailers, helping to usher-in upbeat-rhythm Reggae music as it evolved from Ska in the Jamaican music hub of Kingston. An array of archival photos help director Kevin Macdonald paint a picture of the legendary hit-maker’s humble youth; capturing the band’s creative process and Marley’s gradual ascent within the music industry, Marley also boasts rare-seen performance footage and insider interviews to shed light on the musician’s career spikes, spiritual vision and untimely death. As record producers, engineers, band-mates, and executives wax nostalgic on the dreadlock-donning international superstar, viewers are slowly immersed into Marley’s world; one where activism, the affections of women, and a competitive attitude all played a major role in the trajectory of his success.
Beside’s Kevin Hart’s hilarious set Saturday night, there were some pretty LOL-worthy instances at Essence Music Festival in New Orleans this past weekend, and even though it was impossible to be everywhere and see everything, we put together a short list of our Top 5 Most Entertaining Moments for you all to experience vicariously.
1. LisaRaye McCoy Makes A Ca$h Out Joke
If you haven’t heard Ca$h Out’s “Cashin’ Out,” you’re missing out. Luckily for us, LisaRaye is hipper than most and made a delightful joke to VH1 News’ Janell Snowden on Friday morning, that went something like this:
Janell: I wish I had all the men that you do, LisaRaye.
LisaRaye: Shoot, I do too. We all need to be “smokin’ on that Keisha.”
If you don’t watch Single Ladies, this may not seem funny, but I assure you, it was. LisaRaye plays a Keisha Green on the show, and in real life, can pun on the character by referencing one of the most ratchet tunes of the summer; adding to the growing list of reasons that she’s a true she-ro of mine.
After an already action-packed weekend of Superlounge performances, empowerment panels, and headline-grabbing mainstage sets, Essence Music Festival came to a close last night in New Orleans. Like many other festivals, Essence is notorious for headlining sets extending late into the early morning of the next day, but when the artists performing are esteemed members of music’s nobility, you stay put!
Kirk Franklin kicked off the festival’s third and final night, handing the mic off to VH1 star Fantasia before soulful crooner Anthony Hamilton and his phenomenal back-up vocalists transformed the Mercedes Benz Superdome into a refreshing gospel experience. The big-ticket performers – Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin and Queen of Funk Chaka Khan – would soon follow.
As the first woman inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Aretha Franklin has free reign to pretty much do whatever she wants on stage, and did just that. She’d open her mouth, and magic would pour out; graciously bestowing gifts like “(Your Love has Lifted me) Higher and Higher,” “Natural Woman,” “Think,” and “Something He Can Feel,” the 18-time Grammy winner who sang at President Obama’s inauguration was met with a respectful, hyper-attentive audience that contrasted the normal bustling-in-and-out-of-their-seats EMF crowd. Despite the fact that she would at times meander into telling stories and jokes, appropriating an audience-member’s fedora, complaining about the venue’s sound, and acknowledging friends of hers that were in the crowd by asking them to stand, Franklin’s lengthy 90-minute set was any music fan’s dream even that late in the evening.
While Franklin changed her wardrobe from an orange gown to a green and gold frock mid-performance, a presentation was held in her honor, giving Queen of Soul a key to the city of New Orleans by its mayor Mitch Landrieu, a state award by Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, and the Essence Power Award from Essence Communications President, Michelle Ebanks. Representing “entertainment, empowerment and elegance,” Franklin was clearly the ideal choice for this year’s awards, and once the Queen of Soul returned to the EMF stage, she performed crowd favorite “Chain of Fools,” sang from what she called “the book of Simon and Garfunkel,” performing a cover of “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and even found time to pay tribute to the late and legendary Whitney Houston. “She was beautiful, she was warm, she was real,” recounted Franklin of her beloved “Christian sister” as she took to the piano to execute a rendition of Houston’s heart-wrenching “I Will Always Love You.”
For the fifth time in as many years, Mary J. Blige graced the Essence Music Festival stage last night in New Orleans. Galvanizing her legion of ravenous fans during a set that followed main-stage performances from Tank, Mary Mary, Ledisi and comedian Kevin Hart, even the ushers were two-stepping unapologetically; in between performing a number of hits that spanned her entire twenty-year career, Blige also made time to unleash covers of Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody” and Charlie Wilson’s “Outstanding” for the Mercedes Benz Superdome crowd.
When the beat dropped for songs like “Real Love,” “Family Affair,” “Just Fine,” and “Not Gon’ Cry,” audience members took to their feet and assisted the sequin-clad star with lyrics and adlibs alike, creating an energetic exchange with their heroine that was, on more than one occasion, acknowledged by a grateful, “so pleased” Mary J. Blige. Read more…