At last, the third of Kelly Clarkson‘s three new songs from her forthcoming Greatest Hits–Chapter One, out November 19th, has leaked. First came the gripping “Catch My Breath,” then “No Rush,” a slow burning duet with country OG Vince Gill; and today “People Like Us,” a throbbing outsiders anthem, makes three. Clarkson’s catalog is not short this sort of inspiro-pop songs — “Stronger,” “Breakaway,” and we thought “Catch My Breath”was pretty inspiring, for three — but “People Like Us” finds Clarkson cuing her inner Lady Gaga and belting “Born This Way” levels of encouragement.
A switch of the hips is all it takes for Kelly Rowland to get things hot enough to melt ice. The new video for “Ice,” the first single off of Rowland’s Year of the Woman, which is due out next year, is a visual indeed. The warm-toned clip features the former Destiny’s Child girl grown and in but a sliver of an outfit (that may or may not have been leftover from the “Survivor” video), gyrating in pool of water and in an ice cooler. Her collaborator, Lil Wayne, shows up eventually, but only as a pair of blue bejeweled lips. And then of course there is an ice cube, but it’s not for long in the sweltering heat Rowland’s worked up.
Everyone except the 150 media people traveling with Rihanna on her #777tour are brewing with jealousy today. If you’re one of Rihanna’s 26 million Twitter followers, or read any entertainment site on the Internet, you’re aware of the promo Rihanna and her team put together for her 7th album, Unapologetic. VH1 has a front row seat to the 7 days, 7 cities, 7 shows extravaganza; and today Rihanna hopped on the plane to say hello to the press in a way that only Rihanna would. “Theres an emergency. Code 777. Everybody buckle up your seat belts! LETS GET DRUUUNK!” she said over the plane’s intercom. Read more…
Last night Big Boi previewed a handful of songs from Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors at a Def Jam hosted event Converse Rubber Tracks in Brooklyn, Def Jam hosted a preview for the album. The crowd milled as Big Boi’s Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty spun on loop, jumping to attention only once the evening’s host, DJ Cutmaster Swift, turned it over to Outkast classics — “ATLiens,” “Rosa Parks,” “B.O.B.” — to get the crowd hyped while we waited on the cause de celebre. Big Boi showed up just as “SpottieOttieDopalicious” wrapped, in a camo jacket and with a heavy looking medallion hung around his neck, and and ready to perform six or so of the 17 tracks that made the his album with him. All said and done, we left with the sense that Vicious Lies album will be every bit as funky and danceable as Sir Lucious, but that it also might harken back to his days as the rap happy half of Outkast. Read more…
The Game‘s Jesus piece has a Jesus piece. Seriously, folks. Not everyone is happy with the cover art for his upcoming fifth studio album Jesus Piece, but his peers seem incredibly comfortable with the project judging by the gaggle of rappers, singers and comedians he has courted for guest appearances. Well, no one can accuse Game of fear of being out shined on his own album. When Game (entourage in tow) stopped by the VH1 offices, we thought it’d be fun to find out if he could rattle off all the features off the top of his head. Get comfortable because this may take a minute. Read more…
“Brand New Me” is the tune Alicia Keys is singing lately, both literally and figuratively. Girl On Fire is the singer’s first album since becoming a wife and mother. And Complex featured Alicia’s ‘new self’ on the cover of its December/January issue. Those with foot fetishes are in for a treat. The 31-year-old singer may feel completely free, but don’t expect her to overshare her personal business. “The whole freaking world is looking at your s—. It’s scary,” she tells the magazine. “I didn’t want to say every single thing because you don’t want people to know that. There’s personal and there’s public, and I deserve the right to have a personal space.” Read more…
Ever on-trend, Madonna racked-up a mother-load of cool points last night when she invited one of the biggest pop sensations in the world — and certainly The Biggest, if we’re talking Internet sensations — to join her on stage at New York’s Madison Square Garden. “I have a little surprise for you,” she told the crowd, explaining that she’s tired after a year on tour and that she might need help with the next song. And with that, she invited Psy out to the stage for a little “Give It To Me”/”Gangnam Style” mash-up action. Madge told the crowd that she had flown the K-Pop superstar “all the way from Frankfurt, Germany,” that morning, and aren’t we all glad? Because there was a whole lot of giddy-up Gangnam style dancing, and then something we will never forget: Psy climbed through Madge’s legs, and with a big old smile on her face, she proceeded to pretended ride him like a pony. Forget the nip slips and protests the MDNA Tour has been wrought by, this is exactly the sort of fun the Queen of Pop should be having.
P!nk is one of those seriously underrated artists who consistently produces pop hits ranging from heart-wrenching to hilarious and rarely gets recognized as being fully in the realm of powerful pop star. Perhaps it’s because she rejects the idea that she is one herself, but perhaps it’s also because she so blatantly doesn’t fit within the box. Her songs are rich with context, be it blatant middle fingers to record label rules (“Don’t Let Me Get Me”) or a weaving tale of addiction and heartbreak (“Just Like A Pill”). All of that makes her the perfect VH1Storytellers artist. The stories happen to flow endlessly, and they unsurprisingly turns out to be completely unlike the cookie-cutter explanations you’ve heard before.
J. Cole took the two-year anniversary of his Friday Night Lights mixtape as an opportunity to share the first single from his sophomore set, Born Sinner, a pageant-free banger called “Miss America.” The self-produced, PSA styled single begins with a sample of John F. Kennedy’s famous “Ask Not ” speech (a Kanye West sample, this is not) but quickly gives way to a hard grinding, drum-driven beat over which Cole charges aggressively. Throughout, he thoughtfully weighing his wide-ranging frustrations regarding the rap game, the New York Jets’ defense and America at large: “F*** the man, Uncle Sam / I won’t sell your crack / I won’t fight your wars / I won’t wear your hat.”
Near the end, as the beat begins to burn off, he slows to wonder, “Am I about dollars or am I about change?” A prescient thought coming from a rapper who’s made an interesting story of his struggle to balance commercial success and his more reflective lyricism. Sure he can’t have both, he chooses the later this round, beginning the song by boasting that “Cole World is just the tip of the iceberg” and mumbling as the song trails off that, “They’ll never play this s*** on the radio.”
Born Sinner is out January 28th, guess we’ll just have to wait and see then.
Justin Bieber‘s Believe tour made a brief stop in Brooklyn last night, filling the seats of the newly-opened Barclays with teens and their chaperons–along with a slew of slightly older fans, the ones who noticeably sit down during the slow songs. You could say I was amongst that second crew, although I did plaster temporary tattoos that read “I <3 Justin Bieber” all over my face as to better camouflage myself in with the crowd. But there are things that divided us (beer, mostly) and as it turns out temporary tattoos are extremely difficult to get off of your face.
Believe is a masterpiece of lights and sound and spectacle, all focused on spreading the gospel of self-confidence and the rags-to-riches tale that is The Justin Bieber Story. Not to mention, the fact that Bieb is now a person in his late teens who has developed quite the impressive physique. On two occasions, while strapping himself into a harness, Bieb lifted up his shirt to reveal a bare stomach causing a flurry of deafening screams. Toward the end of the set, he donned a zipped open jacket that revealed what seemed to be a six to eight pack of abs.
When during Bieber’s rendition of “One Less Lonely Girl” he brought up an actual “lonely girl” to sit terrified in a chair made of stereo speakers while he danced around her, there was a spark missing. She sobbed while he expertly glossed through the song, occasionally mock stroking her tear-stained face. And while Bieb attracted quite crew of famous people (even Jay-Z was in the house!), I could sense the sadness. Sadness related to his recent break up with fellow teen sensation Selena Gomez? Maybe! There was something a little off about his 1, 2 step, a little too real in his audience call-outs asking, “Where are my single ladies tonight?” to an answer of thunderous (and by that I mean thunder LIKE YOU’VE NEVER HEARD) screams.