Since Jay-Z’spress conference in Philadelphia last week we’ve been on pins and needles anticipating the announcement for the lineup of the Made in America festival he’s curating and headlining on September 1 and 2. Jigga man delivered on the goal he’d set for himself asking, “Is it going to push the culture forward?” With such a diverse selection of musical acts crossing multiple genres, we’d say the answer to Jay’s query is unequivocally, “Yes!”
Oh, can we talk about Jay sangging R&B singer D’Angelo (who hasn’t released an album in 12 years) for a minute? Over the weekend D’Angelo made headlines when a GQ profile hit the net with him looking rather scrumptious. The singer is working on an album, and whatever Jay did to get him to perform at Budweiser’s Made in America, we salute you, Jay. As diverse as the list of performers is, even more acts will be announced next week. Jay-Z can check off successful curator from his bucket list.
DJ Khaled has the most incredible musical superpowers because only someone superhuman can consistently get all of the hottest artists on one track. This go ’round he brought together Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross for the Colin Tilley directed “Take It To The Head.” Not to mention Drake, Busta Ryhymes and Baby (aka Birdman) make cameos. Next time there’s a hip-hop beef, we must call Khaled. He can get everyone toghether! Complete with crashing buses, graffiti and fire, the video is all about destruction. If the setting looks familiar perhaps it’s because you’ve been to Universal Studios in Orlando, FL. Per Stereogum.com, the set was in fact shot at the Earthquake ride at the popular amusement park. Now, if the rappers could’ve rapped their verses while on the ride, that would have been impressive. Read more…
We still have a hard time believing its been almost three years since the incomparable Michael Jackson passed away. To think it has been 25 years since the King of Pop’s seventh album Bad, makes us feel, let’s just say, wiser. Epic/Legacy Recordings and the Michael Jackson estate has partnered together to release the Bad 25 deluxe package on September 18 to honor its 25th anniversary. This is like having Christmas in September! Read more…
All Jill Scott has to do is start singing, “boom, boom, boom” and the audience immediately claps as they immerse themselves into the feel good melodies of “Le Boom Vent Suite.” From the balcony to the front row attendees sang along with Jill about wanting a guy that doesn’t want her back. Similar to “Quick” in that the words aren’t necessarily describing an ideal situation, but the music makes one want to groove. It’s a soulful jazz sound with Jill’s one of a kind voice. And check out the man in the balcony jamming as if he were in the living room of his home. That’s what “Le Boom Vent Suite” performed live does to the crowd.
Ever so often Jill Scott’s spoken word roots find their way into her songs or songwriting. That’s exactly the case for “Quick,” a song about a relationship ending too soon. We have an exclusive clip of her performance of “Quick” on tonight’s VH1 Storytellers: Jill Scott. Like its title, the song moves and ends quickly. But the fast pace doesn’t take away from the lyrical content. Due to its fast tempo we’re almost certain this is one of the happiest songs about an ending relationship. Read more…
Liz Phair is one of the most enigmatic musicians of our time. She became a near-overnight phenomenon and an indie rock goddess back in 1993 when she released Exile To Guyville, an LP which is universally acknowledged to be one of the best albums of the Nineties. She graduated to becoming a Buzz Bin and 120 Minutes staple with her two follow-up albums, Whip-Smart (1994) and Whitechocolatespaceegg (1998), before becoming the Most Hated Woman In Rock when she dropped the slick, unabashedly commercial self-titled Liz Phair LP in 2003. The album was not well-liked nor well-reviewed —we should take a moment to pause here, a moment in which we’ll go on record as being among the few that will go to our graves defending of the merits of this record— and turned Phair into a figure that is even more maligned than even Courtney Love in some circles.
Even Phair herself would likely admit that her career and reputation has never been the same since she worked with The Matrix, but we give her points for settling into a respectable groove as an elder stateswoman of indie rock, one who seems to have (mostly) gotten over her careerist desires and has once again embraced the experimental. She’s completely off-the-radar as far as major labels and radio are concerned, but her latest album, 2010′s Funstyle, was fairly well-received by her core constituency. Due to the fact that she wasn’t being bankrolled by a major label, she didn’t do much in the way of “traditional” promotion for that record (ie, shoot a music video); that is, until now. Nearly 23 months after Liz dropped Funstyle, she finally got around to shooting and releasing a video for “And He Slayed Her.” Read more…
To some Will Smith will always be the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. On a recent visit to the British talk show The Graham Norton Show, Smith said he’s best known for the character he played in the 1990-1996 hit sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Good thing his name in the show was the same as his real name, as he was warned by former co-host Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton), it was what people would call him for the rest of his life. “[In] every country in the world that is the thing I am most known for, no matter how big the movies get,” said Smith.
Smith was in Europe to promote his movie Men in Black III when the host asked him to rap the theme song to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air he happily obliged. Gary Barlow from the British boy band Take That played the keyboard as Will rapped the song with the audience who seemed to know every word (thanks to a teleprompter!). Tom Jones looked on while bopping his head as the two jammed out to one of the best 90s television theme songs. Enjoy!
We were impressed with Jordin Sparks heartfelt tribute to the late Whitney Houston at last night’s Billboard Music Awards. According to Radaronline.com, the last song Houston recorded was released today. Produced by R. Kelly, “Celebrate” is a happy upbeat duet Houston recorded with her Sparkle co-star Jordin Sparks who plays her daughter in the upcoming movie. If Whitney’s strong vocals in this song are any indication of the direction she was headed in prior to her untimely passing, it indeed proves what many have already said–Whitney Houston was ready to make a big comeback.
Houston opens the track sounding nearly as good as she did before her vocals became strained. “Everybody’s been so uptight. Everybody forgetting to live their life,” she sings. Sparks’ higher octave is a beautiful complement to Whitney’s lower gospel tone. “It’s time to celebrate, come on and celebrate,” the duo sing together. This song seems like a perfect embodiment of Whitney Houston–celebrating life and taking in the younger generation of singers with open arms.
This weekend we wrapped the 10th Season of That Metal Show with HellYeah (and former Pantera) drummer Vinnie Paul, Tommy Shaw, and James “JY” Young of Styx. We rocked out to legendary guitarist Steve Stevens, who stood in as our guest musician.
In past episodes of That Metal Show, the boys have argued, fought and made the tough calls on the TMS TOP 5 Front men, Guitarists, Bassists, and Drummers. But this week, our hosts paid respect to yet another league of hard rock and heavy metal musicians: the TMS TOP 5 Keyboardists. How do you choose from all of the talented musicians who man the keys? You have the triple-threat Geddy Lee (Rush), who plays bass, sings, and is the keyboardist for Rush. There’s UFO’s Paul Raymond, Derek Sherinian of Dream Theater and Black Country Communion, Michael Kenney of Iron Maiden, and Darren Wharton of Thin Lizzy, to name a few.
But when Jennifer flipped the board, Jon Lord and Don Airey of Deep Purple showed up in ALL THREE of the hosts’ lists, so it quickly became clear who would earn the top 2 spots. After much debate, the guys were able to narrow their picks down to the TMS Top 5 Keyboardists. Here’s who they came up with: Read more…
Now we all know Pink has never been one to bite her tongue about, well, anything. Unimpressed by Chris Brown’s lip-syncing Billboard Music Awards performance last night, Pink tweeted, “one day if i lipsync, i hope i do it as well as him….” GossipCop.com reports that her husband Carey Hart added his two cents, “Im pretty sure i saw my wife did [sic] that same performance, but she was 3 months pregnant and actually sang the song.” Ouch. The Harts are ruthless. Although neither Pink or hubby ever mentioned any names, it was pretty clear they were referring to Brown’s motor bike, sans live singing set.
For once in his life Brown took the high road tweeting an indirect response, “Must be too bright outside! I’m finding the “shade” and keeping cool! Love and blessings!” How mature of Chris! (No, we really mean it.) Chris wasn’t the only one lip-syncing last night and rumors spread like wildfire that Pink may have been referring to Katy Perry. This morning Pink cleared up the rumor by tweeting:
Two snaps for live singing. Brown’s performance was lackluster at best. It’s totally possible he wanted to focus on the dance performance and not worry about breath and vocal control. But if people insist on referring to Brown as the new MJ, other artists are going to call him out when he’s not living up to such a big honor. What do you think? Is lip-syncing ever ok? Watch Breezy’s performance below and you be the judge.