Hard to believe, but it’s been two whole years since Katy Perry‘s video for “California Gurls” premiered. During that time, Perry has experienced a number of highs (see: her six #1 songs) and lows (see: her divorce from Russell Brand), so it only makes sense that her new music video for “Wide Awake” starts off where her whole Teenage Dream run began: The video shoot for “California Gurls.”
Our story begins at the end of the “California Gurls” video shoot with the director calling it a wrap, at which time Katy heads back to her dressing room to remove her pink cotton candy colored wig. As she briefly contemplates her own reflection in the mirror — we are to presume that this is one of the few moments in her life where she is truly alone, not flanked by PR flunkies/makeup artists/record label suits/various hangers-on, and therefore free to get a little introspective — she is whisked through the looking glass (so to speak) and transported into a magical realm that blends elements of Snow White, Zach Snyder‘s Sucker Punch, Jim Henson‘s Labyrinth and the Lord Of The Rings. You see, she’s on a quest to find true love, but as you can tell from an exceptionally dramatic crane shot, it’s not going to be easy.
Lil Wayne has finally broken his silence on pulling Nicki Minaj from the Summer Jam lineup just hours before she was scheduled to perform. And his succinct answer has us scratching our heads a bit. After Hot 97′s DJ Peter Rosenberg said Nicki’s “Starships” wasn’t real hip-hop, word got back to the YMCMB boss and he tweeted, “Young Money ain’t doing Summer Jam.” That tweet was the last we’ve heard from him on the incident. MTV caught up with Weezy and he addressed the debacle quite graciously. Unlike his “F*ck Pusha T and anybody that love em” tweet, there were no shots (not literally) fired or shade thrown. But his answer leaves us with more questions. Read more…
Despite Drake’s recent involvement (or not) in a physical altercation with Chris Brown and camp, the show goes on. On Saturday Drake’s Club Paradise tour stopped at Jones Beach in NY where he performed in front of a crowd of 15,000 yelling fans. Earlier this week he promised them a second chance at Summer Jam. Unfortunately redoing Summer Jam didn’t mean YMCMB artists Nicki Minaj or Lil Wayne would come out as special guests. But Drake snagged the hottest upcoming rappers in the game–2 Chainz, Waka Flocka Flame, Meek Mill and A$AP Rocky–to open his show. Cam’ron, Juelz Santana and Jim Jones of Dipset also reunited. “This is something that I gotta do for New York,” he said right before bringing out the “We Fly High” rapper who was later joined by his former Harlem group members. Even on stage Drake remained tight lipped about the now infamous Chris Brown brawl. But per PopDust.com, he was subliminally referencing the incident that we hope doesn’t spiral out of control. Read more…
It’s like the 90s R&B era all over again in Melanie Fiona’s “This Time,” and we’re loving it. For the traditional rhythm and bluesy record expressing how much better she’d be in the relationship if she had a do-over, she teamed up with Roc Nation rapper J. Cole for what feels like the nostalgic time when R&B and hip-hop collaborations saturated the airwaves. Not to compare Fiona to another artist as she’s rightfully owning her lane, but we couldn’t help but notice the Mary J. Blige “What’s the 411?” similarities. The baseball hat and oversized jacket? Totally a great nod to MJB. Read more…
Summer concert season is upon us, which means that a lot of people will be seeing shows by their favorite bands in unusual venues. Unfortunately, this sometimes means that stages are erected so quickly that there isn’t always a great deal of time to double- and triple-check to ensure that all safety regulations have been met. To wit, a massive section of the stage collapsed at Toronto’s Downsview Park Saturday afternoon ahead of Radiohead‘s sold-out show there, killing Radiohead’s drum tech, Scott Johnson, and injuring three other crew members. It’s not yet clear exactly what happened, but the Ontario Ministry of Labor will investigate the collapse to see that safety regulations and standards were followed and that staff were probably trained.
Radiohead drummer Philip Selway paid tribute to Johnson on the band’s website. “We have all been shattered by the loss of Scott Johnson, our friend and colleague,” he wrote. “He was a lovely man, always positive, supportive and funny; a highly skilled and valued member of our great road crew. We will miss him very much. Our thoughts and love are with Scott’s family and all those close to him.”
New dad Jay-Z hit the studio to record a dedication song to his new baby girl, Blue Ivy. Hearing the baby cry on the track made it all the more adorable. Over the years a number of daddy musicians have expressed heartfelt feelings about their kids on wax. Everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Eminem to most recently Nas. Here at VH1 we believe dads are worthy of appreciation every day of the year. However, this Sunday is the official day we celebrate the awesome dads in our lives. Hearing male artists gush over their children in a song makes our hearts melt. Enjoy the Spotify playlist of our all-time favorite songs by fathers dedicated to their children.
1. “Daughters”- Nas
Nas gets real about the difficulties of raising a teenage daughter in this soulful ode to his daughter Destiny who makes a cameo at the end of the video. Read more…
What’s a Twitter beef when you have the camps of two superstars like Chris Brown and Drake ready to go to battle for their boys? Wednesday night’s brawl in NYC that resulted in Brown’s chin gash, his security guard’s head cut, an innocent bystander hospitalized and a bunch of broken glass is turning out to be one huge messy headache. As details continue to unfold, Drake maintains his innocence claiming he was on his way out of the club when the fight broke loose. Meanwhile, TMZ reports Chris Brown is talking with New York Police Department detectives about the incident. Due to the physical evidence Brown has he very well may have a case against Drizzy Drake. Brown’s attorney, Mark Geragos, presented evidence to the NYPD Thursday night that Meek Mill and Drake were the aggressors. But Brown released Meek Mill of any wrongdoing with a tweet that has since been deleted from Brown’s timeline. According to TMZ, Brown spoke with detectives in an undisclosed location on Thursday. And now the snitching accusations have begun.
A quick search of “Chris Brown snitch” on Twitter yields a range of responses from “Chris Brown Is A Snitch: If I learned anything from The Wire it’s don’t be snitchin’” to “So not only is Chris Brown a woman beater, he’s a snitch too? Yo can we be done w this cat already?” Sigh freaking sigh. The “snitch” label is not surprising considering the “Stop Snitching” campaign that has been popularized by hip-hop. It’s street code ethics. But not really.
Although the media oftentimes inaccurately portrays the “stop snitching” mantra as a code in the black community that protects criminals, it’s a bit more complex. More than anything the anti-snitch notion hails from blacks long turbulent history and rightful mistrust of the police. It’s not that people simply want to protect criminals, it’s moreso that certain communities feel the police cannot protect them and aiding police may be their death sentence.
That begs the question: is Chris Brown a snitch? No, no and no again. Based on the facts—a bottle was thrown by someone in Drake’s entourage and Chris Brown was hit in the chin with said bottle— we can gather Brown was assaulted resulting in an injury. When normal, rationale people are assaulted they tend to call the police and file a police report. It’s really that simple. For those that believe he’s breaking some type of code, what would you have him do? Certainly people don’t believe two rich superstars should take matters in their own hands and perpetuate more violence, right? Right?
Azealia Banks can now add equestrian to her list of skills. Her three day Twitter hiatus resulted in a cowgirl horseback riding Banks in the Rankin directed video for “Liquorice.” Banks is solo as she wanders through the desert with her beautiful horse. Wild Wild West meets Harlem in the scenic backdrop of mountains, grass and woods. Banks owns her inner cowgirl with her pistol, rapping in all black next to her black horse. She plays up just the right amount of sexy yet playfulness to make the guys go gaga over her liquorice. Read more…
The screaming (and crying) fans who spent days camped out in Rockefeller Center were well rewarded this morning when Justin Bieber showed up on the Today Show stage to preform a new favorite, an old favorite, and a soon-to-be favorite. The audience loved it all.
Backed by a swarm of dancers and wearing a baseball tee, a hooded-vest (Bieber staple), and a nice looking pair of black and white high tops, Biebs hit the stage with his current single “Boyfriend.” Like he did at the BET Awards, it looks like he relied pretty heavily on the backing track for some of song’s the harder-to-hit notes. No bother, though, the Bielibing audience was thrilled enough to have their boyfriend there, and for a lucky few in the front row, within arm’s reach.
Have you ever discovered a song that you’re certain you’ve never heard before but, at the same, feels like something that you have loved as long as you can remember? 24-year-old British troubadour Michael Kiwanuka‘s debut album, Home Again, is chock full of gems like this, numbers that are best defined by the word “timeless.” His sound lies somewhere between the mellow soulfulness of Bill Withers and the plaintive, slightly melancholic sound of Nick Drake, and he turned up at Manhattan’s Highline Ballroom for a sold-out show last night, just days removed from a successful appearance at Bonnaroo.
As anyone who has ever attended a concert in the Big Apple will attest, New York City audiences can sometimes be rather standoffish and easily distracted, filled with people standing with their arms crossed and “impress me” expressions on their faces. However, from the very moment that the opening chords of “Always Waiting” played through the sound system last night, the Adele-approved Michael Kiwanuka — he opened for her on tour in the U.K. last year — held the audience’s rapt attention. His music never quite veers into a groove that one would describe as uptempo, but don’t misconstrue the lack of a high BPM for something that’s boring. His voice is the kind that envelops you in a warm embrace, and his skilled backing band often extended songs that hover between three and four minutes on wax into six to eight minute epics, replete with jazzy, jammy sonic flourishes. And to that the richness of his lyrical content, a great deal of which involves pleas directed simultaneously towards both himself and a higher power (“Lord, I need loving” on “Tell Me A Tale”, “Oh Lord, I’m getting ready to believe” on “I’m Getting Ready”), and you have yourself all the ingredients for a mesmerizing and memorable evening.
Michael Kiwanuka may indeed be a brand new artist, but if last night’s moving performance was any indication, his career has a strong chance at being as timeless as his sound.