Posts By Bené Viera

by

Big Sean Thinks “Mercy” Should Be The Song Of The Summer Because…It’s Music You Can Literally Do Everything To

If there’s one place to see fresh faced young talent it’s the annual Teen Choice Awards. Always filled with fun surprises and performances, this year the five cutest moments, which was pretty hard to narrow down, and the worst dressed celebs who get an A for effort, were some of the highlights. But on the red carpet is where the special magic happened when we chatted with Carly Rae Jepsen and Big Sean about their picks for VH1‘s Song of the Summer. Read more…

by

Will Rita Ora’s “Roc The Life” Prove She’s Not All Hype?

Rita Ora's new single "Roc The Life"

People hellbent on comparing Rita Ora to her Roc Nation label mate, Rihanna may have a stronger argument with Rita Ora’s third single “Roc The Life.” Here in the office it was noted that “Roc The Life” sounded similar to Rihanna’s “Breakin’ Dishes” from Good Girl Gone Bad. Rita Ora teamed up with hitmaker The Dream to co-write “Roc The Life,” which is a pop tune ode to living the good life. For those that may have no connection to the glamorous life, Ora threw in a more relatable note for those chasing a dream– making it one day. “Maybe one day I’ll live there/Beyond the stars I can see it/Now put your diamonds in the air/You can hate this all you want/But roc is everywhere,” she croons. Read more…

by

Iggy Azalea And T.I. Are Pageant Parents In The “Murda Bizness”

Obviously Iggy Azalea is not literally in the murder business as the title of her first single “Murda Bizness” featuring T.I. implies. The song is actually more about killing the competition through style and flossing more money than anything related to violence. To demonstrate annihilating one’s opponents, Iggy pokes fun at the cut-throat kiddy pageantry industry. The folks involved with the Toddlers & Tiaras show may not find this too funny. Oh, but it is. Read more…

by

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Nas Says ‘Hip-Hop Isn’t Homophobic Anymore,’ Support Of Frank Ocean Shouldn’t Be Surprising

Nasty Nas has been in the rap game nearly two decades, and with 10 studio albums his longevity is nearly unmatched amongst his hip-hop peers. To say he’s seen it all in the close to 20 years he’s been in the industry is an understatement. On the day of the release of Life Is Good we chatted with Nas about all things hip-hop. As someone who has worked with Frank Ocean on “No Such Thing as White Jesus,” meant for Nas’ current album but the recording session was lost, we asked him his feelings on hip-hop’s embrace of Ocean considering its homophobic past. And as a veteran of this rap thing, Nas wasn’t willing to hop on the “hip-hop is homophobic” ferris wheel. Read more…

by

A Tale Of Two Lovers Committing Suicide Is The Reason For Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness”

When thinking of summertime the last thing that comes to mind is sadness. But Lana Del Rey‘s got that “Summertime Sadness,” and she makes it sound like something worth aspiring to have. Almost. The beautiful scenery in the opening of “Summertime Sadness” looks like the old photographs you’d click through on a projector. Despite the beauty of nature surrounding her, she throws herself from the cliff, committing suicide. It’s ironic, yet intentional, that the beauty of nature–life–surrounds her as she’s falling from the cliff. Before the suicide there was love. Actress Jaime King, dolled in a red dress, plays LDR’s female lover. Directed by King’s husband, filmmaker Kyle Newman, and Spencer Susser, the video captures the human connection of love. Read more…

by

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Jordin Sparks On Whitney Houston Teaching Her Not To Be Ashamed Of Your Past

Jordin Sparks has come a long way from belting out Celine Dion‘s “Because You Love Me” in her audition for American Idol at 16. At 17, she won that very season. Five years later the big voiced singer has landed the role of a lifetime as Sparkle Williams in the 1976 remake of Sparkle and her duet with Whitney Houston,”Celebrate,” is the lead single from the upcoming film. And in her wildest dreams she never imagined working with the indelible Houston who plays her mother Emma. Although Whitney’s time may have been cut short from us here on earth, we talked to Jordin Sparks about the invaluable lessons she learned from the woman often referred to as The Voice. Read more…

by

Hip-Hop Accepts Frank Ocean; Now What?

What does Frank Ocean's acceptance mean for hip-hop?

On America’s Independence Day, Frank Ocean finally got free. He took to his personal Tumblr to clear up the chatter started by an UK journalist’s speculations that songs on his album referenced the pronoun “he” as it relates to love. He wrote a beautiful note, originally intended for the liner notes of his major label debut channel ORANGE, that candidly and masterfully told the story of his first love—a man—who was too afraid to love him back. The shockwaves from this announcement were immediate; thankfully, instead of enduring a tidal wave of negativity, an outpouring of support flooded onto social networks from fans and celebrities (such as Jay-Z, Beyonce, 50 Cent and Rita Ora) alike. His courageous admission was the first time a young, black male R&B singer had openly admitted to loving someone of the same sex.

Given the troubled history that hip-hop, and the community that creates it, has had with homophobia, many are asking whether or not Frank’s revelation points to the genre’s growing acceptance of homosexuality, bisexuality and, ultimately, individuality.

Well, in the decades before Frank Ocean became a rising star, hip-hop prided itself on hyper-masculinity, and proving one’s manhood, which unfortunately meant disassociating yourself from anything that could be perceived as “gay.” To wit, calling a rapper “gay” was the worst insult you could hurl their way. Even as the culture-at-large became more PC, this stance did not change much in the hip-hop community; petty catchphrases like “no homo” are still used to this day as to tell the world “Hey, I’m not gay. And saying no homo puts me in the clear.” Literally countless rappers have used offensive homophobic slurs in their lyrics, hence the attention being paid to Frank Ocean’s confession.

No one could’ve predicted the massive support Frank Ocean ended up receiving from the hip-hop community. As an R&B artist (not hip-hop artist as he is oftentimes conveniently labeled), his transparency had the potential to end his budding career. Ten years ago, it almost certainly would have. Luckily for Frank, people and the genre are headed in the direction of progression. But I wouldn’t jump the gun to proclaim it’s a new day that left behind the rotten stench of homophobia in rap.

Accepting Frank is one thing. It’s quite another to talk about how homosexuality is/was/will be addressed by rappers in the future. Supporting the channel ORANGE singer does not mean that the F word —the six letter one, not the four— will not be used in rap records. It also doesn’t mean that mindsets have completely changed. If artists publicly root for Frank, but covertly wouldn’t have a close gay friend because of fear of turning gay (as if there’s a such thing), or still say no homo, or still rap lyrics laced with derogatory remarks about gay people, then is the acceptance really a facade?

Hip-hop as a genre has changed; hip-hop as a culture has changed too. In an interview with MTV.com, Juicy magazine Editor-in-Chief Paula T. Renfroe said, “Hip-hop also has grown, society as a whole has grown and that’s the beauty of hip-hop, it reflects our culture and our society.” The fact that there is room for a male singer to sing about loving another man without backlash is an example of a huge stride both genres—R&B and hip-hop—have made.

Maybe Ocean’s bravery is huge step toward the right direction, or perhaps behind closed doors (which is likely) the hip-hop community’s feelings toward the LGBTQ community doesn’t mirror the hurtful ugly slurs. Whether hip-hop is forever changed by such a historic moment is unknown. But it is worth the question: Where do we go from here?

by

Brandy “Put(s) It Down” All Over The Stage

Brandy Performs Put It Down in D.C.

Ponder on this: Brandy was 15-years-old when her debut self-titled album Brandy dropped. At 33 the R&B songstress still has the powerful voice beautiful enough to put goosebumps on your arms. At 93.9 WKYS’s free concert held at the Howard Theatre in D.C., Brandy performed Put It Down in a royal blue romper. Brandy is back like she never left! Along with a couple backup dancers, B puts the ‘umph’ in every choreographed move hitting each gyration flawlessly. Similar to her BET Awards tribute to Whitney Houston, it’s obvious Brandy is here to win. The vocals? My god. Like every time Brandy opens her mouth (remember her singing Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” in her bathroom acapella?), even performing a song about putting it down between the sheets, she reminds you why she’s a true vocalist to the core. Read more…

by

P!nk Passes Lady Gaga And Katy Perry With 12 Top 10 Hot 100 Hits

Pink Passes Katy Perry and Lady Gaga With 12 Top 10 Hits

Yes, P!nk is known for her feisty personality as the person that says what everyone else is thinking. Take for instance her throwing shade on Twitter about Chris Brown‘s lip-syncing performance at the Billboard Awards, or the “Stupid Girls” song dedicated to, well, stupid girls. But it’s the hits she churns out consistently that she’s best known for. “Blow Me (One Last Kiss),” the first single from the forthcoming The Truth About Love, rose 49 positions making it the No. 9 song on the Billboard Hot 100 this week. And that No. 9 position gives her more top 10 hits than Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. Considering her 12 year career there’s no surprise there. Read more…

by

Ms. Melodie Of Boogie Down Productions Dead

Ms. Melodie of Boogie Down productions prounced dead

It’s with great sadness we report sources close to Urban Daily have confirmed the death of Ramona “Ms. Melodie” Parker of Boogie Down Productions. Ms. Melodie is the ex-wife to hip-hop pioneer KRS-One. The Brooklyn, NY native is survived by two sons.

“Hype According to Ms. Melodie” was her first single released in 1988. She is best known for her video to “Live on Stage.” In 1989 she released her first album Diva through Jive Records. One of the shining moments of her career was her performance in “Self Destruction.” And as one of the few female emcees during her time, she made a cameo on Queen Latifah‘s “Ladies First.” Read more…