Posts By Bené Viera

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Cutest Kids Ever Kids Honor Adam “MCA” Yauch In “Sabotage” Tribute

We’re still bummed about the untimely death of Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys. Luckily we found this adorable video of three kids paying tribute to MCA through a reenactment of the group’s popular 1994 video to “Sabotage.” Posted on Vimeo by James Winter, he added the with brief description, “Worked on this with the wife, kids and our nephew over the past week to pay tribute to Adam “MCA” Yauch,” we’re assuming the parents were the masterminds behind this idea as the kids aren’t quite old enough to be die hard fans of the hip-hop group. Not only are the kids cute as a button in wigs and fake mustaches, they pull off the kiddie version of “Sabotage” like pros. Read more…

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Lady Gaga’s Indonesian Concert Canceled, Authorities Say She’ll Corrupt Youth

lady gaga's show in indonesia cancelled

Sold out shows don’t mean a hill of beans to the Indonesian police who will not grant Lady Gaga a permit for her June 3rd “Born This Way Ball” concert. We thought it was nearly impossible to dislike the world class superstar. Boy were we wrong. According to the AP, lawmakers and conservative hard-liners protested Gaga’s upcoming show because “her sexy clothes and dance moves will corrupt the youth.” Under pressure the national police spokesman, Boy Rafli Amar, denied the permit. What in the world did they do when Madonna was at her prime? Madonna’s unapologetic sex appeal makes Lady Gaga look like Taylor Swift.

The Indonesia performance would have been the biggest of Gaga’s Asian tour with 52,000 fans filling Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno stadium seats. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world with 240 million people. Local conservatives felt the explicit nature of Gaga’s show would compromise the nation’s moral fiber, according to the AP. If her music or performance can jeopardize 52,000 people’s moral fiber, they may have a bigger problem than Lady Gaga. As if putting a stop to the singer’s concert wasn’t heartbreaking enough, those who purchased tickets may or may not be refunded. When you’ve been banned from a country, you have officially made it.

Indonesia yanks Gaga gig, says she’ll corrupt kids [AP.org]

[Photo: Getty Images]

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Jay-Z Is Pro-Gay Marriage, Supports President Obama’s Decision

Jay Z Supports Gay Marriage

When Jay-Z rapped “MJ at Summer Jam, Obama on the text” on “On to the Next One,” he wasn’t really joking. He really does have it like that. Recently the rapper slash mogul told CNN’s Poppy Harlow he agreed with President Obama’s decision to affirm his belief that same-sex couples should be able to marry. When asked about homosexuals not being able to marry he said, “I’ve always thought [of] it as something that’s still holding the country back. What people do in their own homes is their business,” he added. “It’s no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination, plain and simple.”

In the thick of election season Obama announced his support of same-sex couples having the legal right to marry. His announcement has drawn criticism from both the right and left. As someone who heavily backed Obama in 2008, Hova made it clear he still has the president’s back. Although the criticism has been loud, Jay-Z said it’s not about gaining or losing votes, it’s the right thing to do. “It’s really not about votes, it’s about people,” he said. “Whether it cost him votes or not I think it’s the right thing to do, as a human being.” POW! Jay may have professed his support of the President and gay rights, but according to CNN.com he had nothing to say about Mitt Romney saying he didn’t want to “talk about the man.”

Yesterday Jay-Z announced the Budweiser Made In America festival he will be curating and headlining in Philadelphia. Hopefully, if all goes as planned, next week we will learn of the lineup he’s selected. Fatherhood looks mighty swell on Hov.


Jay-Z still has Obama’s back [CNN.com]

[Photo: Getty Images]

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ALBUM REVIEW: Go! Pop! Bang! Is Rye Rye’s Energetic Ode To Baltimore

Rye Rye Boom Boom Video

When other high schoolers were sneaking on the phone at the wee hours of the morning to talk to their crush, Rye Rye was touring with M.I.A. After DJ Blaqstarr discovered the young rapper at the age of 15, they collaborated on “Shake It To The Ground,” a youthful dance track that caught the attention of M.I.A. only months later. Now, 21, the Baltimore, MD rapper has released her debut album Go! Pop! Bang! that was four years in the making. To appreciate Rye Rye’s music one must understand the oftentimes disparate state of her hometown. Then one must consider the city’s definitive musical sound unique to that place and its natives. The arts was a way for the young funky teen to express herself outside of the confines of the housing projects she grew up in. As much as Rye Rye is a rapper, she’s a dancer. And the latter inspires the sound of Go! Pop! Bang! more than the expected hardened environment she grew up in.

Her first single, “Boom Boom” (video below), is a perfect indication of what to expect from the album. It’s about partying, boys and having a bloody good time. The whole point is not to take herself too seriously. Over the video game beat, Rye Rye raps in her semi-fast, edgy tone about wanting a guy in her room. Tracks like “DNA” featuring Porcelain Black, “New Thing,” “Dance” and “Hardcore Girls” are where her Baltimore club influence is most dominant — a mix of house, D.C. go-go and techno-electro. On “Crazy Bitch,” she teamed up with Akon in a more concept driven track where the beat is slightly slower than the usual uptempo beat. With the help of Akon she pokes fun at being considered the “crazy bitch” in the relationship. “Sunshine” and “Bang” both feature M.I.A. and have the bombastic drum beat M.I.A. tends to love on her own tracks. Both records offer that distinctive voice that only an M.I.A. feature can add. Her rhymes in “Bang” slow the listener down from the natural inclination to dance to actually listen to her rhymes. “Never Will Be Mine” featuring Robyn is one of the slower tracks on the record but still manages to keep the light fun mood of the rest of the album. Read more…

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R. Kelly’s “Feelin’ Single” Is A Proper Introduction To Summer

R. Kelly's "Feelin' Single"

Just when R&B seemed to be dying an unfortunate death, leave it to R. Kelly to resuscitate the genre in a blink of an eye. Soulful and gentle, “Feelin’ Single” incites the urge to dance coolly across the floor. Like “Step In the Name of Love,” “Feelin’ Single” has an infectious softness about it that makes one forget all their worries. His voice is flawless on every note executing perfect harmonies on the hook. Light, fun and disco infused, the self-proclaimed King of R&B does the classic sultry combination like no other.

The timing for the track is perfect as cuffing season (when people find a winter beau to stay warm) ends, and summer fast approaches. Warm weather breeds the yearning for the benefits of being single. Well, for some. Feeling played by his girl the Pied Piper has a solution to deal with her late night hours– “hit the club and take somebody home with me.” This is the second single from his upcoming album Write Me Back, a follow-up to 2010′s Love Letter. A master of evoking something, anything within the listener, this track channels a bit of what makes Stevie Wonder great. It makes you feel the music. “Feelin’ Single” never felt so good.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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Russell Simmons Wants People To “Get Off Rihanna’s D*ck,” Writes A Letter Defending Her

Russell Simmons Defends Rihanna In Blog Post

Rihanna has probably ran out of Fs to give about anyone having an opinion regarding her personal life. That didn’t keep hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons from coming to her defense on his website GlobalGrind.com. Our favorite bad girl has kept quiet thus far about the alleged shade Chris Brown threw her way in his freestyle over Kanye’s “Way Too Cold.” Shortly after 2Chainz’s “No Lie” featuring Drake dropped there was speculation on whether or not Drake was dissing the pop star when he rapped, “Then I f*cked her once and never f*cked again / She could have a Grammy, I still treat that ass like a nominee / Just need to know what that p*ssy like so one time, it’s fine with me.” Annoyed with the alleged attacks on Rihanna, on Mother’s Day Simmons tweeted, “Everyone needs to get off @rihanna’s d*ck…” with the link to a two paragraph post he wrote of the same title. In the letter Simmons calls out the double standard of rappers being able to sleep with a bunch of women without being called a h*, but a woman is scrutinized for her sexual liberation. Uncle Rush has a point, but this is all so…soap opera like. Read more…

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Jaden Smith Has Bars In “Give It To Em” Video

He’s Will Smith’s son, son! Of course Jaden Smith would be nice on the mic, but we didn’t imagine he’d have lyrical punchlines that put some of his peers twice his senior to shame. One can hear the adolescence in the pitch of his 13-year-old voice in the short video to “Give It To Em.” But what he lacks in baritone he makes up for in rhymes. When he raps, “Young, black with accessories, and I’m doing well never seen a penitentiary. ‘Cause they can’t sentence the greatest emcee they’ve ever seen. No I’m not but if you gon’ battle me you better be,” all of his youthfulness becomes a distant thought. Read more…

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Jay-Z To Curate And Headline Philadelphia’s “Made In America” Festival

No one but Jay-Z can host a press conference with the mayor of a major city standing next to Freeway and have people in the audience yelling, “Hova, Hova, Hova.” Today, the Brooklyn bred rapper, introduced by Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, announced in a press conference that he would not only headline Budweiser’s “Made In America” two day concert in Philadelphia, but that he’s also curating the event.

As the curator, Jay-Z will select all of the musical acts, which puts the power in his own hands for presenting the type of show he’d want to see if he was an attendee. As someone who has been in the music industry for over 15 years and collaborated with artists that reach all across the spectrum, the choices are limitless. On September 1 and September 2, the festival will take place in Fairmount Park and will include other musical acts that haven’t been announced. Tight lipped as usual, Jay would only say that 70% of the musical guests have been confirmed. According to the New York Times, the “concert will assemble an eclectic lineup of rock, hip-hop, R&B, Latin and dance musicians, according to a news release from its organizers.” Read more…

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Nicki Minaj Gives The “Old Nicki” Hip-Hop Vibe At Wango Tango

Nicki Minaj smiling at Wango Tango

When Nicki Minaj performs one never knows whether to expect Roman, Martha, just Nicki or all three. Usually all three make an appearance at some point, which makes for a thrilling and versatile set. Over the weekend Minaj performed at Wango Tango, the 15th annual all-day concert hosted by LA’s KIIS FM. A white long tutu clad Minaj performed “Did It On ‘Em,” “Beez In The Trap,” “Right By My Side,” “Roman’s Holiday” and a remix of Big Sean’s “Dance (A$$).” So far this year Minaj’s performances have been somewhat of a doozy. Remember the creepy exorcism at the GRAMMY awards? Well, for this performance Minaj channeled Roman, but also brought the element of hip-hop that we’d love to see more of. Read more…

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Happy Mother’s Day From VH1! (Spotify Playlist)

Happy Mother's Day From VH1

We here at VH1 are strong believers that mothers are worthy of appreciation 365 days a year. That said, this Sunday is the official day we honor those special women in our lives. Seeing as how music has always been expressive and a reflection of the artist’s own life, it only makes sense that everyone from Tupac to Taylor Swift have created songs expressing their love for the woman that brought them into the world. Those songs cover the entire spectrum, from light and fun to heartfelt and emotional. In honor of Mother’s Day, we’ve put together a Spotify playlist of our all-time favorite songs dedicated to moms. Since we don’t sing or rap, we’re leaving it to those that do to honor all the mamas. Happy Mother’s Day!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY FROM VH1

1. “Dear Mama”- Tupac
Tupac’s ode to his mother Afeni Shakur has to be one of the most touching and well known dedication songs in music.

2. “Mama’s Song” – Carrie Underwood
In this guitar heavy country song, Underwood reassures her mom that her husband to be is a great man, and marrying him doesn’t mean her mom is losing her.

3. “Hey Mama”- Kanye West
“It don’t got to be Mother’s Day or your birthday for me to call and say, ‘Hey, mama.’” When Kanye made this fun track for his mother, we never imagined it’d be the very song he’d perform in her honor after her death. Counting our lucky stars that she was able to hear it before she passed.

4. “The Best Day” – Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift probably has a lot of great days seeing as how she’s one of the biggest country singers and all. But spending quality time with her mom tops the list of best days she’s ever had.

5. “A Song For Mama” – Boyz II Men

When Boyz II Men’s “A Song For Mama” played on the popular late 90s movie Soul Food, eyes welled with tears. Soulful voices singing lyrics that helms mothers as Queens would make any mama proud. Read more…