ROOT

by (@unclegrambo)

Will Maroon 5’s Overexposed Debut At #1? Adam Levine And James Valentine Weigh Their Chances Vs. Bieber And Linkin Park

Earlier today, Billboard revealed that teen icon Justin Bieber sold 374,000 copies of his new album, Believe, which makes it this year’s fastest selling album and the best debut since Drake moved 631,000 copies of Take Care back in November. When you consider the size of the Belieber Nation, though, this number feels a little light, which opens the doorway for a new act to debut at #1 next week.

The top contenders for next week’s crown are Maroon 5 and Linkin Park, both groups that have well-established fanbases and current hit on the charts (“Payphone” and “Burn It Down”, respectively). Industry bible HITS Daily Double has Linkin Park pegged to edge out Maroon 5 after one-day sales, but there’s still a long way to go in this race. When we caught up with Adam Levine and James Valentine on Monday, we asked them if reaching that milestone was one of their goals. (Watch their response in the video above.)

Read more…

by

Lady Gaga Sings About Death In Her Australia Debut Of “Princess Die”

Like the popular saying, “One monkey don’t stop no show,” one country’s ban of her concert doesn’t stop Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball tour. On the Australian stop of her world tour she debuted “Princess Die,” which she tells screaming fans may or may not be on her next album. Before launching the melancholy tune she wrote, she gives a caveat that it’s “a little bit sad and it’s no way reflective of the music on the rest of the album, but it’s about some of the most deep and personal thoughts I’ve ever had.” Read more…

by

Lana Del Rey And A$AP Rocky Are The New Age Love Story In “National Anthem”

She’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and briefly Marilyn Monroe. Lana Del Rey opens the Born to Die “National Anthem” video singing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President.” And who is Mr. President? A$AP Rocky smokes a cigar while toting a gold grill. In a bit of revisionist history LDR and Rocky are modern day Jackie O and JFK with two adorable kids. As Jackie Kennedy LDR reinvents the First Lady as one born in the generation of bling. Hence, “money is the anthem of success.” Read more…

by (@unclegrambo)

B.o.B And Taylor Swift Do It For The Underdogs In Their New Video For “Both Of Us”

If you were to take a quick glance at the Billboard Hot 100, you would have no idea that our country is still digging its way out from the biggest pile of economic rubble since the Great Depression. Now, that’s not to say that pop music needs to be anything other than escapist in nature, or that people should be turning to the radio when they feel the need to wallow in depression; after all, that’s what cable news is for! Rather, it’s more to note that most pop-leaning artists (and the labels that support them) have largely turned a blind eye to the recent woes of our country, certainly more so than, say, country-leaning artists have.

Enter B.o.B and Taylor Swift, who collaborated on the song “Both Of Us,” which is the third single of Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr.’s latest LP, Strange Clouds. On an album chock full of supsterstar cameos —shout-out to Morgan Freeman!— this particular pairing on this particular pairing is nothing less than inspired. The song revolves around regular day folk undergoing hardships, like not having enough food in the fridge, or having to make the difficult choice between having their cars repossessed or paying their rent on time, and B.o.B’s hard scrabble rhymes are perfectly accentuated by Taylor’s uplifting lilt on the hook. It’s not exactly what most would describe as a “summer jam,” but truth be told, the way it stands in such contrast to today’s fluffier material is exactly what makes it stand out.

Read more…

by

“My Whole Life, I Don’t Know What This Song Means”: The Musical Legacy Of Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron Music
After I heard that Nora Ephron, the author, director and screenwriter behind When Harry Met Sally (arguably the best movie ever), had died, I went into that brief mourning period that we all go through now that it’s 2012 and we mourn via blog memorials and Facebook statuses. I found clips from Sleepless in Seattle I hadn’t watched in years, and I listened to “Coming Around Again,” the song that provided the soundtrack to Heartburn, the film Ephron wrote in response to her divorce from Carl Bernstein.

Read more…

by

Nicki Minaj Rocks London With Pink Friday Tour

The boss may have yanked her from Hot 97 Summer Jam at the last minute, but that hasn’t kept Nicki Minaj from jet-setting to London for her Pink Friday tour. For the first of two performances at London’s Hammersmith Apollo Nicki enters the stage as dramatic as her personality. Draped in a black robe she launches into “Roman’s Revenge” as the voices of the crowd rapping along overpower her own. She also performed “Did It On Em,” “Beez in the Trap,” “Right By My Side” and “Moment 4 Life.” Every moment along the way Nicki’s Barbz rapped and sung every single word. And as an artist that has to be the best feeling in the world. Read more…

by (@unclegrambo)

Is Maroon 5’s New Song “Tickets” A Diss Track Aimed At Christina Aguilera? We Asked!

In the last year, we have seen an explosion of reality singing competitions on the television airwaves. American Idol has, of course, been the most popular show on American television since its premiere ten years ago in June of 2002, but in the last year and change, we’ve seen NBC (The Voice), ABC (Duets) and Fox (The X-Factor) all launch competitors to the veritable Idol institution, to the point where the market for these programs has become totally saturated. Most Americans would be hard pressed to name the most recent winners of any one of these programs, let alone all four, but there’s no denying that reality television has given an incredible career boost for Adam Levine and his bandmates in Maroon 5.

Today sees the release of Maroon 5’s fourth studio album, Overexposed. One of the tracks on the album, “Tickets,” has been generating some Internet buzz as conspiracy theorists have suggested that it’s a diss track directed at Levine’s co-star on The Voice, Christina Aguilera. Lines like “She’s got tickets to her own show/But nobody wants to go” and “You’re perfect on the outside, but nothing at the core” certainly could be interpreted as being very Aguilera-esque, so when we caught up with Adam Levine and guitarist James Valentine at New York City’s Crosby Street Hotel yesterday afternoon, we asked them point blank to shed some light on the story. (See our video above.)

Read more…

by

Justin Bieber Has No Problem Doing An Impromptu Cover Of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” While Being Silly

Bieber Does An Impromptu of "Call Me Maybe"

Carly Rae Jepsen is Justin Bieber’s favorite new artist, well at least it seems that way. In a recent interview with Fuse he was asked by a member of the audience, “What are some of your current favorite songs that you can’t get enough?” Instead of typical response of listing other artists he loves, Biebs busts out with an impromptu cover of Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.” Not only is he singing the song acapella, he dances around in his seat, which has to make the list (whenever someone creates it) of most funny covers. Bieber was right when he tweeted back in December that Jespen’s “Call Me Maybe” was “possibly the catchiest song I’ve ever heard.” It is so catchy that his cover inspired the entire audience to sing along. Got to love that Bieber. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Beyonce Wrote A Letter To Michael Jackson Thanking Him For His Influence

A letter writer consummate, Beyoncé has penned a sweet-as-ever note to the late King of Pop. “When I was just starting out, my first producer used to make me listen to Michael Jackson,” she wrote in the note posted to her Tumblr on the third anniversary of his death, citing a live recording of “Who’s Loving You” that she would listen to “for hours back to back.” She goes on to recall Jackson’s audible soul and unimpeachable swag, and to thank him for the influence he has had on her as a performer. No longer on earthly stages himself, Bey makes it clear that he lives on through her every performance.

“Michael taught me that sometimes you have to forget technique, forget what you have on. If you feel silly, you have to go from the gut and just let it go,” she writes. “Michael Jackson changed me, and helped me to become the artist that I am – thank you Michael.”

Our letter from the Queen B is coming soon, we just know it. Until then, read Beyoncé’s full tribute below:

Read more…

by

Tamia’s Back With A “Beautiful Surprise”

Tamia is truly one of the most underrated R&B artists out today. We’ve loved the five-octave range soul singer since her debut album in 1998. After a three year hiatus, Tamia is back with her first single, “Beautiful Surprise,” from the upcoming album of the same title. There’s not much going on in the video, not that there needs to be with a voice like Tamia’s. She’s sprawled across the floor solo for the majority of the time as the radiant sunlight beams on her glowing skin. “For you to wake up, holding me/Telling me you loving me/You got my heart on lock,” she belts out. Read more…