ROOT

by (@kat_george)

Pitbull Is At The Forefront Of A New Wave Of Celebrity Endorsement Deals

In his video for his summer smash “Give Me Everything,” Pitbull isn’t shy with his endorsements. In particular, Voli Vodka makes a number of appearances: at the beginning of the video, with Pitbull pouring himself a glass, unashamedly brandishing the label towards the camera, while a very sexy lady, equipped with a red dress and sly grin, reclines next to him, and later, when the drink appears in a party scene at a bar laden with the bottles (it appears to be the only drink available at this particular club) and more good looking ladies. Even the least marketing savvy viewers likely recognize that Pitbull was paid to endorse Voli Vodka, but what’s actually surprising is that Pitbull is not just a celebrity cashing a one-time check; he actually owns a stake of the company.

This weekend’s Los Angeles Times, the paper took a look at this growing trend. It’s not just Pitbull following in the footsteps of Entourage‘s Vinnie Chase, it’s also big names like Diddy (Ciroc vodka), Ludacris (Conjure cognac), Justin Timberlake (901 Tequila) becoming multi-hyphenate marketing magnets. Now, obviously, it’s beneficial to pair an influential celebrity and a brand together in order to promote a product and make sales. And with an increasing number of performers partnering with brands and even developing their own products, now the artist has even more to gain than a one-time payment for product placement. Music and product sales, it seems, are being increasingly intertwined, and the repercussions of this are not only becoming glaringly apparent, they’re painfully obvious in a “water is wet” sort of way. But haven’t we always seen the conflation of art and commerce? From the clothes artists wear to the very precise ways in which they are positioned to align with certain values is often engineered towards brand promotion — albeit more subtly than in Pitbull’s latest foray.

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by (@kat_george)

Nicki Minaj Turns Herself Into The Female Weezy In Birdman’s “Y.U. Mad” Video

In the first line of Birdman‘s new track “Y. U. Mad,” Nicki Minaj declares “I am the female Weezy,” and in the video she’s wearing waist length dreadlocks, a wife beater and army fatigues, doing a pretty accurate Lil Wayne impersonation. For the rest of her scenes though, Nicki does what Nicki does best in a bondage style onesie that leaves little to the imagination. Meanwhile, Weezy is dressed in a crazy fur hat as some futuristic love child of a rap influenced skater boy and a pill popping rave attendee, while Birdman drives around in a nifty car, is surrounded by piles of money and some bikini clad women giving the camera suspiciously sexy glances.

The track itself is a roof shaker, with a dirty, heavy bass and Nicki’s chorus “that’s why you’re mad, that’s why you’re why you’re mad mad,” is hopelessly catchy. We’re thinking Nicki makes the song, her abrasive, throaty raps just perfect for the apocalyptic, oppressive bass line. The decadent visuals and flashing lights just add to the drama of the beat, making the topic of the song, the reign of Birdman, Nicki and Wayne, although unexpected, completely convincing. Although we’re still not entirely sure why super famous/rich celebrities have to sing about being super famous/rich all the time, calling out their haters based on jealousy — surely being super famous/rich is enough to allay their insecurities? The “pop ya collar” concept, in short, is getting a little tired.

And it’s got us wondering, given that over the weekend Nicki and her boyfriend Safaree Samuels got into a much talked about Twitter argument with Cher, if Nicki isn’t really just giving the middle finger here. Although maybe Cher isn’t Nicki’s intended target, the tweet-fight certainly resonates with “Y. U. Mad,” so we’re increasingly inclined to ask Nicki that exact question. Why you mad, Nicki dear?

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by (@kat_george)

Miley Cyrus: Birthday Girl, Bob Marley Enthusiast, Supporting The 99 Per Cent

Miley Cyrus has released a video to a remix of her track “Liberty Walk” that consists entirely of mashed up footage of Occupy Wall Street and counterpart protests elsewhere. The video comes with a personal disclaimer from Miley, proclaiming, “This is dedicated to the thousands of people who are standing up for what they believe in.” While we’re not entirely sure what we think of wealthy celebrities expressing support for a movement that is essentially owned by the everyman (the cynic in us suspects that such support has a lot more to do with publicity than sincerity), there is something fairly earnest in the young Miley’s allegiance to Occupy Wall Street, even through her tweets. Even if the girl is largely disenfranchised from the 99%, she seems to have a genuine admiration for the hoards of protesters rebelling against the man to fight for their beliefs. And that’s something in and of itself.

But then we see footage from Miley’s 19th birthday party (below) and we can’t help but wonder if she’s not wearing her support for OWS as some kind of badge. As friend and fellow child-of-a-celebrity-come-pop-star Kelly Osbourne presents Miley with a Bob Marley cake, Miley smiles into the microphone and announces, “You know you’re a stoner when your friends make you a Bob Marley cake!” All the while, there appears to be a guest dressed as a giant panda in the background, and given that we already got to see footage of Miley smoking a bong at her last birthday party, the panda is a lot more intriguing than Miley’s confession, which is tame in comparison to her 18th blow out.

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by (@kat_george)

VH1′s Songs To Baste Your Turkey To

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! It’s time to tackle that tender turkey for your super thankful Thanksgiving meal, and we’re here to provide you with some extra sexy beats to get you through the entire process, all the way from the moment you take your first (but not last!) sip of your mimosa to the time when it’s time to say “grace” around the dinner table. So we made the following playlist, “VH1′s Songs To Baste Your Turkey To”, which can be found on Spotify. On your mark, get set … BASTE!

You’re in the kitchen, everything you need to make the perfect turkey laid out on the bench in front of you. You’re probably feeling some anxiety, or if you’re anything like us you’re having an existential crisis and are considering fleeing the scene. IT’S GOING TO BE OK. Before you start, make yourself a mimosa and relax.
Play: Adam Sandler’s “Turkey Song” — it’s pretty funny, and along with the mimosa should help take the edge off.

Now that you’ve calmed down, it’s time to preheat the oven and grab your Turkey. This part is a purgatory of doing tiny, banal preparatory tasks.
Play: The Offspring’s “Intermission” while you prepare to prepare, and relish the final moments of your sanity.

Here comes the gross part — stick your hand up your turkey’s butt and remove the neck and giblets. Yes, ew. You might want to finish that mimosa and make yourself a new one before you start.
Play: This is a call to arms (Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger”) so steel your resolve (Christina Aguilera’s “Fighter”) and de-giblet that turkey (Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust”). The delicate and squeamish need not apply, this is ultimate battle — The Battle Of The Turkey Innards.
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by (@kat_george)

Taylor Swift Performed With Selena Gomez And James Taylor Last Night (Proving All Our Awesome Predictions Wrong)

With the ghost of Biggie nowhere to be seen, Taylor Swift still managed to invite some incredibly impressive guests to join her on stage last night at her Madison Square Garden show. When Taylor welcomed BFF Selena Gomez to the stage to sing with her, we were half hoping the two would cover Nicki Minaj‘s “Super Bass” after their fan-girl display at the AMAs. Unfortunately, we had no such luck, but we were just as delighted with their adorable performance of “Who Says.” Taylor also performed with legendary singer/songwriter James Taylor (who she was named after). Describing the circumstances as “magical,” Taylor played “Fire And Rain” and “Fifteen” (video below) with her namesake, and proved that “magical” was somewhat of an understatement.

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by (@kat_george)

VH1′s Top 20 Video Countdown Premieres Kid Rock’s “Care” Featuring Angaleena Presley And T.I

VH1′s Top 20 Video Countdown is premiering Kid Rock‘s video for his new song, “Care,” featuring Angaleena Presley & T.I this weekend, and it’s just in time to get you into the spirit of giving this holiday season. The video is cast in black and white and features a moody looking Kid Rock perched in front of a brick wall, crooning and playing guitar. Footage of Kid Rock jamming is interspersed with images of the everyman, and the message is clear — there are people suffering. Kid Rock’s lyrics urge us to “care” about the less fortunate, with lines like, “I can’t change the world and make things fair, the least that I can do is care.” It’s an anthem for the holiday season to give the more fortunate some serious perspective, championing hope for empathy and humanity.

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by (@kat_george)

Tuned In: Nickelback Burn Jimmy Kimmel To The Ground (With Music, Not Fire)

We’ve had Nickelback fever since we previewed the band’s video for “When We Stand Together” last month. Nickelback’s performance last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live did nothing to abate our fever, either — with Chad Kroeger‘s raw vocal and a stage literally set alight by theatrical flame throwers, Nickelback burned the house to the ground. With their awesome performance of “Burn It To The Ground,” not because they actually set fire to anything (other than our hearts, figuratively speaking). Nickelback’s roaring, metal sound was decidedly harder than their post-grunge beginnings, and even from behind a screen we couldn’t help but do a sneaky head bang.

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by (@kat_george)

Last Lap: The Roots Let Their True Feelings For Michelle Bachmann Take Over On Fallon

The Roots Let Their True Feelings For Michelle Bachmann Take Over On Fallon
The Roots chose to play a bit of Fishbone‘s “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last night as Michelle Bachmann walked onto stage. Tell us how you really feel, guys! [Rolling Stone]

See Andre 3000 Freestyling In 1994
A teenage Andre 3000 does some awesome freestyling in this video from 1994 while Big Boi digs it. [Prefix]

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by (@kat_george)

5 Questions We Have About Drake’s Rider

Drake‘s concert rider made it onto the Internet today (you can see the full itemization after the jump) and we’ve got a few questions for the emotion (and now food and booze) laden Drizzy…

1. How could you possibly misspell “Doritos”?
Didn’t they teach you anything at Degrassi? Granted, you probably didn’t actually physically write the list yourself, so I guess we should modify the question: Why can’t your people spell Doritos? They are delicious and deserve your respect.

2. Where’s the love for your band?
Dude, you sure have ordered a lot of food for your dressing room and, um, not so much for your band’s dressing room. Are they all doing The 4-Hour Body diet or something?

3. What 3 kinds of cheeses would you prefer?
You’re not really making it easy — we mean, you’ve been fairly specific with everything else, and we’re scared someone’s going to get yelled at if they bring the wrong cheese. Do you favor smelly cheese? Hard cheeses? Would you prefer goat’s or sheep’s cheese? Why only 3? We’d sure like to know!

4. Who exactly is going to be drinking all that liquor?
If you drink all that booze by yourself before the show things are going to get ugly, trust us! We’re happy to see that you’re not mixing beer and liquor—NEVER SICKER!—but we hope that you’re not going to bogart those five bottles of liquor and two bottles of wine all by your lonesome. Then again, after listening to your album, we guess you do have quite a few sorrows to drink down…

5. Are the scented candles, Listerine spray and Chapstick for, you know… Kissy stuff?
You probably should have split these items up, they look mighty suspicious side-by-side on the rider. It looks like you’re planning to get up to no good with the ladies… Sexy no good, that is.

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by (@kat_george)

The Top Five Artists We’d Like To See Taylor Swift Perform With Tonight At Madison Square Garden

Taylor Swift has been blazing across the country on her Speak Now tour, and in her warm, earnest way, she’s been welcoming city-specific guests to share the stage with her while she pays unique tributes to all the towns she visits. And now, on the final leg of her tour, Taylor is in that town, New York City, and the opportunities for tributes and guests are almost endless. For her first New York show last night at Madison Square Garden, Taylor played “one of the greatest songs ever written,” The Goo Goo Dolls‘ “Iris,” with the band’s frontman Johnny Rzeznik. With one last show set to light up the Garden tonight, we’re speculating who of the New York set will join Taylor on stage. Will it be a Strokes affair? Mother Monster? Or a spectral visitor from the afterlife?

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Who did we miss? We want to hear your thoughts!

[Photos: Lauren Deiman/Getty Images]