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by (@zaragolden)

Future Bond Girl Willow Smith Covers Adele’s “Skyfall”


Few can sing with the ferocity of Adele, but that has yet to slow the masses from trying. Remember all those “Rolling In The Deep” covers? And only two weeks have passed since its release, and already her James Bond theme song “Skyfall” has gotten its first high-profile cover.

Just 11-years-old, Willow Smith will need Big Willy or Jada to accompany her to the PG-13 movie when it hits theater next month, but she didn’t let that stop her from channeling the 007-spirit for this one. Sitting out on a patio and looking cute with her head wrapped in a scarf, she plays the “Skyfall” melody on a keyboard and sings just the chorus, because “that’s all I know how to do,” she laughs. The future Bond girl sings it really really well, though — very soulful and sounding much older than her 11-years-old. Near the end you can hear her cell phone vibrate on the table, and then when she leans in to turn off the camera and you can see her braces — and only then are we reminded that she’s still just a kid.

Who will be next to cover “Skyfall”? Let the torrent of “Skyfall” covers begin!

Willow Smith Covers Adele’s ‘Skyfall’  [Rap-Up]

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Who Is Esperanza Spalding’s Idol?

What do fans not know about Esperanza Spalding? “You don’t know anything about me,” she said. Jokingly. Experiencing the 28-year-old jazz singing multi-instrumentalist live is a real treat of an explosion of sounds composed to make the perfect ensemble. Her set at Austin City Limits was one of the best of the weekend making this writer somewhat a believer in the beauty of jazz. Considering last year’s New York Times profile on the talented musician, she is still very mysterious. It’s hard to get a sense of who she is from chatting with her. But one does get that she’s candid, and certain of herself. Read more…

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Big K.R.I.T. On The State Of Southern Hip-Hop

If Big K.R.I.T. wasn’t so adamant about repping his hometown of Mississippi he may not be where he is today. Who was this young rapper from Mississippi who produced his own music? was the question posed two years ago when his mixtape K.R.I.T. Wuz Here surfaced. Where he was from was almost as big of a draw to him as his music. Sure, a southern rapper rapping about where you’re from isn’t uncommon. But the only other well-known rapper from Mississippi to “make it” was David Banner. Minutes before he took the stage at Austin’s ACL music festival he told us he believes the south has always been lyrical. Like us, he too was puzzled that anyone thinks otherwise. Read more…

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Metric Thinks Record Labels Should Know “The Musician Sometimes Knows Best”

Last year Emily Haines of the indie rock group Metric made a bold statement to Spin about the current model of record labels being antiquated and exploitative. As a result of that belief the “Youth Without Youth” singers released 2009’s Fantasies and this year’s Synthetica independently. Emily’s thoughts on the topic haven’t changed much, which is why she’s more than grateful for the way online distribution has changed the way music is disseminated. Read more…

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Questlove On Jay-Z’s Theory On Success, “No One’s Ever Satisfied”

The stellar live shows during Austin City Limits are over but luckily our interviews with the artists live on. Take for instance our chat with the loquacious Questlove of The Roots. Shortly after the band left thousands of fans in awe from the musical genius of their set, Questlove emerged from their trailer to talk everything from his top five favorite cities to Jay-Z‘s theory on success. Not only is Questlove’s intelligence instantly recognizable, he’s personable, and funny. When asked if the rain affected the group’s show he asked, jokingly, “Oh, you didn’t have a personal umbrella holder? I thought everybody had a personal umbrella holder.” Nope Quest. No Fonzworth Bentley for us regular folks. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Katy Perry’s Duet Of “Firework” With An Autistic Fan Will Tug All Your Heartstrings

Katy Perry is between singles but busy on the benefit circuit these days. In the past few weeks alone we’ve seen the star perform a competitive “Let’s Stay Together” cover and a very, very good “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” This latest performance tops all, though, as it is guarantee to pull and tug each and every one of your heartstrings. And afterwards, you will never want to hear “Firework” any other way.

Over the weekend, Comedy Central held a benefit called Night of Too Many Stars, in support of autism programs, schools, and services all over the country. Hosted by Jon Stewart, the evening included a charming Carly Rae Jepsen and Harvey Keitel “Call Me Maybe”-off and plenty of laughs. Then came this most heart swelling performance of Perry’s “Firework” by a prodigal young piano player named Jodi DiPiazza. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Someone Gave Nicki Minaj A Flamethrower In The Music Video For “The Boys”

Nicki Flamethrower

Nicki Minaj has made more than her share of bright and sexy videos, but this is by far the brightest and the sexiest of the bunch. The Colin Tilley-directed video for “The Boys,” a new cut from Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded — The Re-Up, just hit the web, and it’s splashed with predictably eye-popping colors and generous with the ever ogle-able Nicki and her “real pretty” pal Cassie. While Cassie looks great in a high-cut one piece, this video centered around Nicki going crazy on a barber shop. What happened, Nicki? Did they give you a bad haircut?

WHY would you give her a flamethrower?

by (@zaragolden)

Tuned In: Ellie Goulding Performed “Anything Could Happen” On Ellen And Conan Yesterday

Ellie Goulding had a particularly busy day yesterday, performing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in the morning and then again on Conan late last night, and she seemed to enjoy every bit of it. Goulding’s excellent Haylcon has officially entered the Top 10 on the Billboard charts and her back-to-back performances felt like a celebration of it. Haylcon is dance-y and dazzling, like the scene Goulding and her boyfriend, Skrillex, run in; and it’s also a meant to be a breakup album, and so it’s often dark and dramatic (think: Florence + The Machine‘s Ceremonials). “Anything Could Happen” is an exception to this — “But you know, then I wrote ‘Anything Could Happen’ because suddenly my life changed again, and I met someone new,” she says — and it’s fun to see how she gets swept up and away again each time she performs it. Read more…

by (@lindseyweber)

A Sneak Preview Of R. Kelly’s Return To “Trapped In The Closet” Reveals More Rufus, Little Man And A Missing Chuck

Trapped in the Closet Returns

Kells promised that “Trapped in the Closet” would go on forever, and he’s no liar. 20 new chapters, all featuring the same melodic hook we’ve grown to love, will be appearing on IFC the day after Thanksgiving. That’s right, Black Friday will finally live up to the hype. Put away your credit card(s) and grab yourself some pie, and cozy up to the ever-surprising, ever-amusing twists and turns of the insides of R. Kelly’s mind.

For Twan’s sake, check out the preview…

by (@zaragolden)

Congrats! Drake Graduated High School

Drake has achieved many accomplishments in his 25-years, but getting his high school degree — unless you count the one he earned at Degrassi High –was not among them. Drake left Toronto’s Forest Hill Collegiate Institute when he was just 15-years-old to take a role on Degrassi, and he never looked back from there. Back in August he announced that he was ready to hit the books and grind out his last credit, and so it seems he’s finally done it! Boy, it must feel good to have this crossed off the “To Do” list.

Drake shared on Twitter last night that he got a 97 percent on his final exam, which was enough to bring his class average up to 88 percent or a B+. “One of the greatest feelings in my entire life, ” he wrote. And so he may never know what Harvard gets him, but for now this will do. Mazel tov!