Posts By Bené Viera

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Nas Talks About The Use Of The N-Word On CNN

Nas on CNN Discussing Parenthood

It’s Nasty Nas season, folks. There’s an excitement surrounding his 10th studio album Life Is Good that hasn’t been this prevalent since he dropped “Stillmatic” in 2001. Recently he stopped by CNN’s Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien where he openly discussed fatherhood and why he made his latest single “Daughters.” In the interview he said being in the music business and having the relationship he does with his daughter’s mother, Carmen Bryant, he didn’t spend the time he needed to with his daughter. “It took me away from being that parent that was there all the time,” he said. Despite the self-reflection in thinking he could’ve done a better job as a father Nas says his daughter thinks he was a great dad. Awwww. Read more…

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Trey Songz And T.I. Only Came To The Club For “2 Reasons”

There’s only two reasons Trey Songz and T.I. are at the club–”the b*ches and the drinks.” And like any club scene there’s bottle popping, cupcakes and big booty women in heels in the Benny Boom directed video to Trey Songz’s second single “2 Reasons” from his forthcoming album Chapter V. Made for the club, “2 Reasons” is to Chapter V what “Bottoms Up” was to Passion, Pain & Pleasure . The difference between the two is that “Bottoms Up” automatically drew you in with its edgy R&B dance sound whereas “2 Reasons” is bit more popish, a lot less catchy. Both work for its intended purposes–to get people on their feet dancing. Read more…

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Azealia Banks Needs To Get Out Of Her Own Way

Azealia Banks Is Back On Twitter

Quitting Twitter only to return days later is the new publicity stunt for celebrities —no matter how big or small— looking to make blog headlines. Harlem-bred Azealia Banks is easily one of our favorite upcoming artists of any genre. Her dance sound, reminiscent of garage music, is refreshing, yet her raw lyrics are the epitome of “real” hip-hop. The fast eccentric flow on “212″ is unlike anything any other artist — male OR female — is currently doing in hip-hop. As odd as the sound seemed upon first listen, we have been hypnotized by the 21-year-old woman that rapped, “What you gone do when I appear? When I premiere?” Apparently we weren’t the only ones intrigued by what she had to offer. To date, over 19 million people on YouTube have watched the “212″ video, and that’s with her still being a somewhat underground artist.

Buzz has continued to grow around Banks’ music career, as many are hoping that she will eventually become the female rapper to give Nicki Minaj a healthy dose of competition. However, just as the excitement about her music began to burgeon, so has the controversy. Since Banks is not quite mainstream, there are few interviews or TV appearances that fans can turn to for perspective on her personality or who she is as an artist. Therefore, Twitter became the platform where she seemed the most comfortable expressing herself. Fans connected with her there, and onlookers were able to gauge the burning question, “Who is Azealia Banks?” Although her tweets would never be able to define all of who she is, it did reveal some disturbing traits that would turn out to become consistent patterns. Read more…

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Emeli Sande Is VH1′s June You Oughta Know Featured Artist

When 25-year-old British singer Emeli Sandé visited the VH1 offices a few months back, her performance left several employees in tears. Her live performance of “Clown” at Williamsburg Music Hall moved me to tears as well. Her poignant voice coupled with the mastery she possesses of writing beautiful songs is why she’s our June You Oughta Know artist. Her debut album, Our Version of Events, may be new to the U.S. audiences, but it has already topped the UK Album Charts at number one. Within the first two weeks of release in the UK the album sold 300,000 copies, and has already reached platinum status according to the British Phonographic Industry. Her official U.S. first single, “Next to Me,” is an ode to her boyfriend. Sandé wrote the song because she wanted a radio hit that uplifted good men, which she says there isn’t enough of. Read more…

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Waka Flocka Says Turn On Watch The Throne If You Want Great Lyrics, Triple F Life Is Club Music

Waka Flocka says don't look to his album for lyrics

Waka Flocka’s first album may be a nod to the late poetic Tupac, but Flocka, lyrically, is no Pac. And he knows it. His sophomore album Triple F Life: Friends, Fans, Family drops today, but the southern rapper, better known for club bangers than lyrical content, wants listeners to know if they’re expecting lyricism they will be disappointed. In an interview with Billboard.com the rapper said, “If you’re looking for lyrics, throw it out the window. Go throw on Watch the Throne.” We’re not sure if that’s a great marketing tactic, but at least he’s honest. That’s got to count for something. Read more…

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VH1 Storytellers: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals Sneak Peek: How “Never Go Back” Was Created

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals are embarking on some exciting projects, including assisting The Flaming Lips with breaking the Guinness World Record during the O Music Awards. In addition, this Friday VH1 Storytellers: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals premieres with a riveting musical set accompanied by the stories behind the songs. The first single “Never Go Back,” co-written by The Black Keys, is from The Lion the Beast the Beat album, which is in stores today. And in this sneak peek clip not only do we hear the vibrant vocals of Grace Potter, she also delves into the making of “Never Go Back.” Read more…

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“R.I.P.” To The Stage Rita Ora Killed At The Summertime Ball In London

As Jay-Z’s latest protege there are high expectations for 21-year-old Rita Ora. Ora’s success in the UK is just the beginning; and if the pattern of British singers successfully owning the UK charts and eventually taking the US airwaves by storm continues, Ora is headed for the top of the charts. In front of 80,000 fans with their hands in the air, Ora performed “R.I.P.” at the Capital FM Summertime Ball in London. In eccentric jeans and midriff top, on a scale of one to 10, Ora’s energy was at 20. And with 80,000 onlookers every bit of her energy was reciprocated. Read more…

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That Awkward Moment When Oprah Asks 50 Cent Why He Named His Dog Oprah


Oprah's Next Chapter | Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson... by Ashley_Miller_3

Mother Oprah has a way of asking just the right questions to get even the hardest gangster to open up about painting his grandmother’s toenails. On Orpah’s Next Chapter the queen of media interviewed 50 Cent, her former sworn enemy, in what turned out to show 50′s softer side, even more so than his gaggle of stuffed animals. Oprah talks to Fiddy (or we should say Curtis Jackson) about his childhood, his mother’s murder, the love of he has for his grandmother and if he’s ever been in love. The interview goes from serious to funny from serious back to funny. It gets all too real when Oprah asks about 50′s dog named Oprah. Read more…

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Justin Bieber And Drake Want You To Know They’re “Right Here”

Justin Bieber & Drake "Right Here"

There are few things that get us more giddy than a new Justin Bieber song or album on the horizon. Luckily for us it’s officially Bieber season with Believe dropping on Tuesday, June 19. So far we’ve zoned out to “Boyfriend,” “Die in Your Arms” and “All Around the World.” Today Idolator posted a leak of “Right Here” featuring Drake, which is only a snippet of the full song. Sounding like Chris Brown, Bieber is definitely on his grown man swag despite being barely legal. Drake raps about one thing he cares a lot about–love. As a team the duo deliver a hot song.

Usher’s influence on the 18-year-old pop star is apparent in both Bieber’s sound and lyrics. It’d only make sense that Usher’s protege pick up the very things that made Usher great and apply them to his own style. Bieber’s first album as an adult sounds like it’s laced with maturity and experience. The slow ballads touch on feelings and love while the more upbeat songs deal with partying and Biebs singing, “I can take you home.” His growth into adulthood not only means he’s legal (for all the cougars out there), but it also means the content of his music has expanded. And it’s Believable.

Listen To Justin Bieber And Drake’s ‘Right Here’ [Idolator.com]

[Photo: Getty Images]

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Lauryn Hill Was Too Busy Protecting Herself From “Greed, Corruption And Compromise” To Pay Taxes

Lauryn Hill Explains Why She Didn't File Her Taxes

Ms. Lauryn Hill is perfectly sane, maybe misunderstood, but sane nonetheless. Only a coherent person could write the dissertation statement she released on her Tumblr explaining why she didn’t pay her taxes in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Warning: you may need to consult your thesaurus to follow along. Ms. Hill calls out the music industry for its “pop culture cannibalism” and accuses the media of trying to distort her image by painting her as a lunatic. Despite her eloquence, we’re almost certain Uncle Sam cares absolutely nothing about the reason she didn’t pay. They just want to get paid. Read more…