One of the great things about Yo! MTV Raps was the versatility of talented artists that appeared as guests on the show. Everyone from Usher to MC Hammer to Eddie Murphy stopped by to talk to Ed Lover and Doctor Dre. Speaking of Murphy, no one is exempt from this funny man’s scathing sense of humor.
According to Dre, when he and Ed Lover interviewed a young burgeoning Murphy, it was 95 degrees that day, which would be fine, except the interview was outdoors. That day, Doctor Dre decided to wear a tight fitting, multicolored leather jacket despite the scorching heat. Not one to let an opportunity to tease the host pass, the master of stand up comedy made him feel silly for wearing such a thing on a brutally hot day.
Ashanti’s back! Resurfacing from her nearly four year hiatus–her last album Declaration dropped in 2008– the once crowned princess of R&B has something to prove. Along with gearing up for her fifth studio album Braveheart, Ashanti revealed a smoking hot new look at her live performance on Jimmy Kimmel in LA. Her long curly burgundy red and black tresses bounced freely as she performed “The Woman You Love,” the explosive single from her upcoming album to be released June 19. Her latest single is true to form– an amazing beat with lyrics that any woman whose been in love with no reciprocity can relate to. It doesn’t hurt that Busta Rhymes delivers an incomparable flow that only Busta could. In her performance she croons over the instruments, pleading to be the woman he loves. After making her case, she decides she’s fed up and sings, “You’re just no good.” Don’t mess with a woman scorned. With lyrics like that we wonder if the Braveheart title resembles her need to be brave to love again, or a warning to future boyfriends that he’ll need a brave heart to deal get with her. Ashanti looks great and sounds good. Girlfriend has even been working on her dance moves. Work, girl! Read more…
Tonight, legendary emcee Nas joins this season’s Behind the Music alumni of artists like Aaliyah, Nelly, T-Pain, Game and Akon. In the program, the Queens rapper —who entered the hip hop game back in 1994 with the classic Illmatic— opens up about life, love, loss and beef.
Speaking of the latter, Nas’ 2001 rivalry with Jay-Z was, without question, one of hip-hop’s all-time biggest beefs. In this exclusive clip, Nas talks about his reconciliation with one of the game’s biggest luminaries. After the diss records and the hype had dwindled, Nas remembers L.A. Reid asking if he’d be willing to talk to Jay. He went to the studio where Jay was, and like two true New Yorkers whose hearts beat hip-hop, the two dapped each other while laughing. When Nas signed to Def Jam in 2006, Jay-Z said, “You can’t sign an artist of Nas stature. You can only partner with him.”
Watch Behind the Music: Nas tonight at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. Read more…
Tupac’sresurrection in the form of a hologram at Coachella this past weekend has everyone talking. Except, that is, the man who birthed the idea.
Dr. Dre’s idea to resurrect Tupac with hologram technology was brought to fruition with the help of Digital Domain Media Group Inc., the Wall Street Journal reports. They’re the same media company that created the digital version of Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. However, there are still a few unanswered questions about the ramifications of technology like this: Who financially gains from the Coachella performance of Tupac? (TMZ reports that Dre made a contribution, blessed by Tupac’s mom Afeni Shakur, to The Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation for the rights to use his image). And how much money was dished out to make it all happen? (Reportedly, it could cost anywhere from $100,000-$400,000.) Dre isn’t saying, but maybe there’s a reason: Could it be that he doesn’t want to let the cat entirely out of the bag until after he performs at Coachella again this weekend as a means of trying to maintain the suspension of disbelief? Either way, we can’t wait to see what HoloPac performs this weekend. “California Love,” anyone?
If you didn’t already know, this is K’naan! We caught up with our You Oughta Know artist of the month at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC’s Greenwich Village earlier this month, where he performed a sultry set featuring his songs “Take a Minute” (which you can watch below), “Bulletproof Pride” and “Is Anybody Out There?” (which you can watch here). Hearing his passionate vocals over live acoustics was musical heaven, and seeing him perform in such an intimate setting really accentuated both the power and poetical flow of his lyrics.
Before, during and after his performance, K’naan proved to be a super friendly and very chill guy. Our ace photographer Colin Gray got to spend some extra time with him for the latest installment of our on-going Music Seen series. Enjoy!
Don’t expect Rita Ora to sing about heartbreak, because, well, she hasn’t had any. The 21 year-old superstar on the verge — who gossipmongers have currently datingDrake — swung by the VH1 offices here in Times Square last week to talk about a bunch of things; her new single, “How We Do,” the Rihanna comparisons, and her forthcoming album. “One thing I can say is I don’t have that many heartbreak tracks on this album because I haven’t been through a heartbreak,” she says in her adorable British accent.
What we can expect from her album, however, is a mixture of various genre influences including reggae, pop and jazz. Ora considers her album to be different, something everyone can listen to. “I have influences from my reggae side of like Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Vybz Kartel and Mavado. Then I have the ‘Hollaback’ Gwen Stefani kind of thing.” The buzz around the Roc Nation signed singer continues to increase, but we’ll have to wait until after the summer (hopefully September!) for the untitled debut album. And what does she have to say about what we’re all dying to know the title, “The title definitely has a few names,” she says excitedly, throwing out titles like Let’s Run Away, Fair Is Fair or the eponymous Rita Ora. “I write songs and can’t even put my mind on one god damn title.” Check out our video above to hear Ora talk more about her upcoming album, and check back here this week for more updates from her (including her new video for “How We Do,” which should drop in the next few days)!
Who doesn’t love flashbacks, particularly to hip hop’s golden era of the late 80s and early 90s? Television and music in that era were so badass, and the fashion? Well, that had it’s ups and down. However, there’s no arguing that this era was when hip hop expanded from a genre to a global culture, and throughout it all, Yo! MTV Raps was at the forefront of the movement documenting classic moments of hip hop culture.