Following Chris Brown’s shocking yet successful collaboration with ex-girlfriend Rihanna on “Birthday Cake,” Brown is working in overdrive to regain his popularity since that dreadful incident in 2009. With electrifying performances like last night’s appearance on Dancing with the Stars, he’s heading back to the top, passing go without collecting $200 (we know you loved Monopoly). The pop star performed “Turn Up the Music” from his upcoming fifth studio album Fortune. Like the high energy dance tune, Brown poured everything in pleasing the crowd with complex footwork, jumps and mini moonwalks. Read more…
Posts By Bené Viera
When G-Dep’s “Special Delivery” came on, no matter where you were, getting hype was the only logical thing to do. That was in ’01, and we haven’t heard much from the former Bad Boy Records rapper since. Trevell “G-Dep” Coleman was sentenced to 15 years in prison for a murder he committed 16 or 17 years ago (he couldn’t really recall when). Last year he turned himself in cold turkey saying he had to make it right with God, according to Global Grind. G-Dep told cops he shot a man three times in a robbery when he was 18 or 19. With his confession on the table, the jury convicted him as guilty.
In a strange turn of events, GQ editor Jim Nelson was on the jury that found G-Dep guilty. In his monthly “Letter from the Editor” for the June 2012 issue, Nelson recalls his feelings about being on the jury that sent a once well known rapper to prison. He writes:
Once the D.A. matched him to the crime, we the jurors wrestled with a mess of things, but couldn’t avoid the evidence. I sometimes wondered if I was fit to judge this man who was capable of acts of public violence and personal honor I couldn’t even imagine having to wrestle with. And I’d think: Hasn’t this man suffered enough? He’s done twenty years in his head already. That’s a slower, more infernal form of justice, the interior kind, isn’t it?
And yeah, tell that to the guy he killed.
We found him guilty, because he was, and no one’s excusing anything. (After the trial, he talked to MTV and, sounding like a man unburdened, thanked “everybody that was involved in the case.”) Still, it’s a heavy feeling: I helped put him away, and yet when I think of someone who did his duty, I think of Trevell Coleman.
Wow. Everything about this story is tough no matter how you slice it. We’re not sure it’s appropriate to give G-Dep props for turning himself in since he did murder someone. But the growth apparent by that decision is at least notable. Kudos to Nelson for his transparency. Unfortunately, no one really wins in the end.
[Photo: Getty Images and GQ.com]
Many of our favorite musicians were all about glitz and glam at last night’s annual Met Gala in New York City. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, hosted by Vogue, is a night celebrating the opening of the museum’s fashion exhibit. Celebrity, fashion, couture, oh my! Think of the Oscars mixed with NYC Fashion Week and you have the visual of the red carpet at the Met Gala.
Artists from Beyoncé to Mick Jagger to Lana Del Rey to Kanye West turned heads on the red carpet with their stunning attire. It’s totally cool to see your favorite musicians taking a break from their walk-around-the-streets-of-LA gear and see them dolled up in Valentino and Rachel Zoe and Givenchy. Beyoncé, in particular, was a show stopper for the night in her sheer Givenchy gown. Solange was absolutely stunning in an all yellow Rachel Roy dress. Justin Timberlake kept it classic with an all black tux. Take a peek at some of our favorite musicians that put the “S” in stunning.
[Photos: Getty Images]
Nicki Minaj was serious in her 2010 MTV special “My Time Now” when she said she wanted to be the first female rapper to build an empire. Let’s not forget Queen Latifah already did that, but we marvel in seeing Minaj turning her dream into reality. Her latest endeavor? Glad you asked. This larger than life star landed a global advertising campaign for Pepsi. Scoring big, Minaj isn’t just featured in the commercial — a remixed version of “Moment for Life,” from her debut album Pink Friday , is the spot’s soundtrack.
Everything about the Pepsi promo is fun, light, colorful and conceptual. Various memorable moments are captured and literally frozen in time. Viewer can follow a vibrant couple from the beach to a runway to a concert, and yes, watch them pop open a can of Pepsi at every stop they make. At the end, Minaj is frozen in place sporting her signature long pink wig and in an instant she becomes alive performing for a crowd of thousands, but only for a few seconds (if you happen to have 3-D glasses lying around, you can enjoy this spot in an extra dimension!). Over the course of the last few years, Minaj and all her alter egos accelerated from a mixtape unknown to worldwide rapper. Two chart topping albums, a custom made M.A.C. lipgloss line and a global Pepsi ad later, that mogul thing may not be too far in the wind.
Leave it to Kanye West to unexpectedly release a video to “Lost in the World” from his multi-platinum album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which was released in November of 2010. It’s not that we’d forgotten about the album, as it is an undeniable masterpiece. But lately we’ve been preoccupied with his new shocking (not really) relationship with Kim Kardashian, and the G.O.O.D. Music cuts “Mercy,” “I Don’t Like” and “Way Too Cold.” However, we’re totally okay with him revisiting his pre-Watch The Throne project, and on this video, he teamed up with with fashion filmmaker Ruth Hogben to create a black and white aesthetic experience, because calling it a music video would be an understatement.
Remember how we were ecstatically anticipating a new solo album from Andre 3000, or even another Outkast album? Well, there doesn’t seem to be any new albums on the horizon for Three Stacks, but IFTN.com reports the Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik rapper is set to star as the legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix in an upcoming biopic about the late musician.
According to reports, All Is By My Side will focus on Hendrix’s time in England from 1966 through 1967. It was during that time Hendrix was discovered in a New York night club by the girlfriend of Rolling Stones‘ guitarist Keith Richards. Hendrix then traveled to London, recorded his debut album Are You Experienced and, well, the rest is history. Read more…
Rihanna rocks to the beat of her own drum, and, well, everyone else must fall in line. According to TMZ, the Bajan beauty’s third appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend got off to a rocky start when she called in sick to dress rehearsal. The show’s producers were not happy about the no-show, including the head honcho Lorne Michaels. The singer claimed to be too sick to sing or dance in the final rehearsal (done before a live audience), but she was well enough to walk around between songs eating an apple. Hey, an apple a day keeps the doctor away! Her apple eating (the nerve of her!) didn’t sit well with producers, as they apparently can’t recall the last time someone skipped dress rehearsal. In other words, it’s taken very seriously, and missing it is a cardinal sin. Rihanna’s rep told TMZ, “Rihanna was sick and needed to save her voice for the live show.”
Beef is the new come up for newcomer Azealia Banks. Following the public spat she had with Iggy Azalea and T.I., she now has a bone to pick with Lil’ Kim. Over the weekend, Banks sent a series of tweets expressing her frustrations with Lil Kim for not getting back to her about the collaboration the two had planned for Banks’ upcoming debut album Broke With Expensive Taste. Initially she sent out a subliminal tweet leaving everyone wondering who she was referring to. Finally she named Lil’ Kim and wrote, “Okay so true tea is that Lil’ Kim got mad that I wrote a verse for her on a record I wanted her on,” Banks tweeted. “Everyone knows Lil’ Kim doesn’t write her own raps and I saw this as a faster more efficient way of getting the track done.She then had her assistant write me some long ass offensive email about how Lil Kim writes her own raps and doesn’t need anyone’s help. So….. My question was and is still… IS SHE DOING THE TRACK?”
The Harlem rapper’s fingers didn’t stop typing there. Directly replying to Lil’ Kim she said:
So far the Queen B has remained quiet probably somewhere rapping her own lyrics, “You wanna rumble with the Bee huh? Throw a hex on your whole family.” Her publicist, however, released a statement on her behalf to AllHipHop.com. The statement reiterates that there is no friction since Lil’ Kim and Banks have never met or spoken directly. And taking the high road CJ Carter ends the statement wishing Banks the best, “It seems that this is another sad attempt by someone trying to use my client for publicity. We wish her nothing but the best.”
The last rapper to successfully build a career based on beef was 50 Cent. And he had a handful of hot singles and a hit album before he did it. Banks’ talent is undeniable. We just want her to pump her brakes just a little bit. If this is how Banks comes at her “idol,” we’re scared, very scared, of what she’ll do to someone she doesn’t like. Yikes.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Long gone are the days everyone waited for an official statement from celebrities’ publicists. With social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, celebrities can use 140 characters to instantly send a message for anyone to see. Today, the death of Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys is a tremendous loss to music. With the impact MCA made in music, it was inevitable celebrities would tweet their condolences as they, too, mourn with the rest of the world. Celebrities who honored Yauch via Twitter ran the gamut of everyone from Jonah Hill to Q-Tip to Cypress Hill. Judging by his peers, MCA was a well respected musician, father, husband and human being. We’re happy these stars decided to share.
Earlier today, we passed along the unfortunate news of the death of Adam “MCA” Yauch, one of the co-founders of the Beastie Boys. MCA’s mastery rhyme pattern, gravelly voice and bad boy edge is what made him a legendary MC; even though he is gone, there’s no denying that he has left an indelible imprint in hip-hop forever. The Beastie Boys’ catalog of classic tracks are too numerous to list out, and and the same goes for MCA’s best verses. It was hard to choose, but we’ve narrowed down Adam Yauch’s most unforgettable rhymes into this Top 10 List of the Best Verses of MCA’s Career.
1. “Sure Shot” (Ill Communication, 1994)
“I Want To Say a Little Something That’s Long Overdue / The Disrespect To Women Has Got To Be Through / To All The Mothers And Sisters And the Wives And Friends / I Want To Offer My Love And Respect To The End.”
2. “Intergalatic” (Hello Nasty, 1998)
“If you try to knock me you’ll get mocked/I’ll stir fry you in my wok/Your knees’ll start shaking and your fingers pop / Like a pinch on the neck from Mr. Spock.”
3. “Pass the Mic” (Ill Communication, 1994)
“If you can feel what I’m feeling then it’s a Musical masterpiece/ But if you can ear what I’m dealing with then that’s cool at least/ What’s running through my mind comes through in my walk true/ Feelings are shown from the way that I talk/ And this is me, y’all/I M.C., y’all/ My name Is M.C.A. and I still do what I please and/ Now I’d Like to introduce I’ll pass the mic to D. for a fist full of truth.”