At only 20 years old, rap producer Lex Luger can write a hit rap song in under 20 minutes. We are intrigued — as is the world of hip hop, with superstars like Jay-Z and Kayne West already clamoring to embrace the wunderkind. With the hip hop world turning out a slew of younger-cooler-more-talented-than-thou musical genius sensations recently (guys like Frank Ocean and Drake who are not only excelling at their art but actively influencing older generations and veteran producers), it’s easy to attribute some of the mastery of these new players to youth. Perhaps only with his limited experience is Luger able to move his virtuosic hand so deftly to produce work so quickly — unhindered by the heavy weight of perfectionism that can often sterilize and homogenize creativity.
Luger, the focus of a New York Times Magazine piece over the weekend, found his start producing beats in Atlanta with rapper Waka Flocka Flame, which transpired into Waka’s radio hit “Hand In Da Paint,” and began gaining momentum after producing Rick Ross‘s track “Blowin’ Money Fast.” From the mainstream to the underground, Luger became, and still is, one of the most sought after rap producers of the moment and as such, it wasn’t long before he caught the attention of the ultimate champion of young talent, Kanye West. Assisting Kanye on production for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, laying out a drum track for “See Me Now” and having Beyoncé sing over his beats, Luger established himself as a dominant force in the rap world. Luger is now being touted as “defining,” seminal in the creation of hip hop’s current favored sounds — definitely a space to be watched.
Are you in love with Jose Gonzales? If you’re not, you have a cold, cold heart — the singer/songwriter is absolutely alluring, and his whimsical brand of music simply dreamy. The Swedish born Argentinian Gonzalez appeared with his band, Junip, last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, performing “In Every Direction” and “Always” (above). With Gonzales’ enthralling, soft vocal and the gentle brushing of guitar chords, Junip is like listening to the air whispering in the trees on some fantasy planet…
Breathe easy, folks. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that biggest selling artist of 2011, Adele, underwent successful vocal cord surgery in Boston yesterday. According to a jargon-laced statement from Massachusetts General Hospital, “Adele underwent vocal cord microsurgery by Dr. Steven Zeitels to stop recurrent vocal cord hemorrhage (bleeding) from a benign polyp. This condition is typically the result of unstable blood vessels in the vocal cord that can rupture … Dr. Zeitels expects Adele to make a full recovery from her laser microsurgery.” LASERS!
Radiohead Announces US Tour Dates For 2012
The Internet is abuzz today with hysteria over Radiohead‘s just announced 2012 US tour. Hot off the heels of the band’s spontaneous sell out show in New York in September, we’re predicting a savage tussle for tickets. [Spin]
Nicki Minaj Will Perform At Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Nicki Minaj to save the day! With Cee Lo Green pulling out of performing at the famous Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Nicki Minaj has stood to attention, and will now be performing alongside Maroon 5 and Kanye West. [Idolator]
On Friday night in Pittsburgh, Bruce Springsteen performed “Incident On 57th Street” from the 1973 album The Wild, The Innocent And The E Street Shuffle for the very first time as a solo performer. The performance was part of a show The Boss did with long time friend Joe Grushecky, and it not only wow-ed the tiny audience lucky enough to be in attendance, but it has us in awe as we replay the video again and again. And awe is an understatement — in all honesty, we’ve found ourselves getting a little bit teary-eyed listening to Springsteen’s raw, soulful acoustic rendition of one of his earliest hits.
Conrad Murray, the doctor who was Michael Jackson‘s personal physician at the time of his untimely death in June of 2009, was found guilty on manslaughter charges in a California courtroom just moments ago.
The trial of Conrad Murray began back on September 27th with a bombshell; on the first day of the trial, prosecutors unveiled a shocking audio tape of a totally-out-of-it Michael Jackson slurring his words, a recording that was captured just six weeks before Jackson’s untimely passing. This previously unheard recording went a long way towards establishing Murray in the eyes of the jury (not to mention the public-at-large) as an incompetent doctor at best, a murderer at worst.
Over the next six weeks, scads of medical experts testified for either the prosecution and Murray’s defense team, who painted Michael Jackson as a Propofol addict who ran roughshod over Murray’s well-seasoned treatment methods. The trial concluded last Friday, and the jury spent over nine hours deliberating the case before reaching their verdict earlier today.
Enjoying a night out on the town in Hollywood over the weekend, pop-star Avril Lavigne and boyfriend Brody Jenner were allegedly jumped by five random assailants outside of the Roosevelt Hotel and beaten up. Avril tweeted about the incident, saying “I don’t fight. I don’t believe in it. To clear things up I got attacked by 5 people last night out of nowhere. Not cool. My face is f—d.” She then went on to announce she had a “… Black eye, bloody nose, hair ripped out, scratches, bruises and cuts. So not ok to be abusive to others. Violence is NEVER the answer.”
This is the second pop star beatdown to occur over the last few months. As you’ll recall, friend of VH1 Gavin DeGraw was assaulted by a group of thugs after a late night in New York City. We’re not sure why hooligans have suddenly decided to concentrate their efforts on Top 40 mainstays, but we suggest that everyone who currently has a single in the iTunes Top 100 (or, for that matter, loose ties to the Kardashian clan) take extra security with them when you hit the club for the forseeable future.
VH1 Unplugged: Kelly Clarkson is set to make its online premiere exclusively on VH1.com at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, November 17. Her five-song performance, the final setlist of which is still under wraps, was totally phenomenal, and it was all we could do to keep ourselves composed when we sat down with her after the show for a few minutes.
One of the things we asked her about were her favorite VH1 Unplugged performances, and the two names that immediately came to Kelly Clarkson‘s mind were Mumford & Sons and Adele. Which one of these two artists does Kelly hope that “she’s never on the same awards show” with, and which one’s music does she describe as unusually sexy? There’s only one way to find out! (And that’s by clicking play on the video above, natch.)
From humble beginnings as part of the controversial collective Odd Future Wolfgang Kill Them All, Frank Ocean is splashing out on his own and is not only vastly popular, but increasingly influential. Indeed, the singer/songwriter has appeared on Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s much hyped Watch The Throne album (co-writing and singing on “Made In America” and “No Church In The Wild”), and has even written a tune for Beyoncé (“I Miss You” from her new album, 4). All this without even having released an official album.
The fledgling performer could be, in this light, easily mistaken for a veteran, especially when he returned to hometown New Orleans on Saturday night to play his first ever solo show. All accounts tell of an enthusiastic, even hysterical reception, with fans singing along to lyrics and cheering for the rising star even when he fumbled with technicalities on stage. In the above video of Ocean performing “Thinking About You,” you can hear the crowd expertly keeping up with Ocean’s vocal, as if his songs were well-worn, tirelessly played classics. Ocean also beautifully covered his song for Beyoncé, “I Miss You,” at the New Orleans show (below).