Usher’s smash hit “Climax”, produced by Diplo, shot all the way to #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart shortly after it was released. It was a burning slow jam with electronic flourishes, but with his second single from his upcoming album Looking For Myself, Usher’s looking to switch things up a bit. No stranger to making songs that appeal to your inner dancer, “Scream” reminds us a bit of his past hits like “OMG”, “Hey Daddy” and “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love.” In other words, his latest will surely be a club banger.
Sonically, it’s closely similar to “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” where Usher’s voice rides the uptempo beat. We can totally imagine people doing the Jersey fist pump when this comes on in the club. For a pop sounding dance track, it has all the essentials. And although his R&B ballads tickle our fancy a bit more than this, an Usher album isn’t complete without something to dance to in the mirror when you’re home alone. We can’t wait to hear the rest of the record.
Ice Cube and KRS-One are such different rappers that the only way to match up the two are literally comparing bar for bar. While Ice Cube’s catalog may ring more bells for most folks (because who doesn’t know “It Was a Good Day”), KRS-One’s “The Bridge Is Over” is a classic in its own right. Ultimately, whether KRS or Cube make it through to the next round of Bracket Madness to battle it out against either MC Lyte or Rakim for the best emcee of the Yo! MTV Raps era, is up to you. Before you decide, check out three verses from each that emcee that get get the people going…because it’s provocative! Read more…
Yesterday was the 10 year anniversary of the tragic passing of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and TLC fans spent the day both celebrating her life and mourning her loss. Capitalizing on the media attention, a spokesperson for Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas announced yesterday that TLC is currently making plans for a “massive reunion tour” of the United States later this year. Does this mean that Left Eye will be coming back, a la Tupac, in hologram form?
Well, not exactly. According to a report by TMZ, the surviving members of TLC plan to incorporate Left Eye into their concerts by “projecting her image on a big screen and working her vocals into the live performances.” Now, we love us some TLC —always have, always will— but this leaves us wondering:
This week, we welcome back Lemmy Kilmister (Motörhead) who will be joined by Jerry Dixon and Robert Mason (Warrant) as well as Michael Schenker, who will be returning as our guest musician. The guys from Warrant discuss the untimely loss of Jani Lane and the last time they saw him alive, and Lemmy weighs in on why hard drugs were never for him. A brand new episode of That Metal Show airs this Saturday at 11 p.m. ET/10 CT on VH1 Classic.
There are many things that we know the Black Keys don’t like: Spotify, Sean Parker, and Nickleback. Despite their general grumpiness these days, we have a feeling that Deb “Spoons” Perry will turn their frowns upside down.
You see, Mrs. Perry is an sexagenarian Australian lady who has a lifelong obsession with percussion (at least, that’s what we learned on her official website, Spoonsperry.com.au). Her love of making noise has led her to a place where she plays the spoons with the kind of reckless abandon that Chris Cornell had in mind when he wrote “Spoonman.” Her cover of choice, however, is not the Soundgarden classic, but rather “Lonely Boy” by the Black Keys. Thankfully, she took a break from feeding kangaroos —watch the video, we’re not exaggerating!— to break out her video camera and put her cover up on YouTube. Put some spoons on the barbie, mate*!
The results are in from the Round One match up of the best MCs of Yo! MTV Raps era. The king of battle rap KRS-One beat Chuck D by about 34%. Listen, that’s better than the landslide win Ice Cube had over Fresh Prince racking up 84% of the votes versus 14%. We still love the freshest prince of Bel-Air, and he could rap the theme song to “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” to us any day.
With only a six percent difference, it was a close call between LL Cool J and Rakim. Ultimately, one of the greatest emcees of all-time, Rakim, came out victorious. Queen Latifah lost to MC Lyte, which we think has everything to do with Lyte’s indelible first album that has been deemed a classic.
It’s getting down to the nitty gritty in round two with only four emcees left gunning for that #1 spot. East Coast word slayer KRS-One knuckles up on West Coast reformed gangster Ice Cube. Meanwhile, the street poetry spitting Rakim takes the raw female emcee MC Lyte.
What are you waiting for? Vote for the emcee you want to see advance to round three. Voting ends Friday, April 27 at 11 a.m. ET/PT.
The Wanted’s long-awaited U.S. debut finally dropped this week, and with its release came the return of the UK boy band to American soil. One of their first stops? VH1, of course, for an interview plus acoustic-style performances of rising Billboard Hot 100 single “Glad You Came” and latest release “Chasing The Sun” on our morning show Big Morning Buzz Live. We grabbed some bonus time with The Wanted, who were still hilarious and full of energy despite just flying in from London the night before and crooning all morning (do they make a special Red Bull in England?).
The guys opened up about everything from what music they’re listening to on those long, cross-continental flights —Siva Kaneswaran’s a Skrillex fan, Tom Parker has Coldplay on repeat, Nathan Sykes digs UK singer-songwriter Labrinth— to sexual advances from fans and secret guilty pleasures (Two words: Gossip Girl). The fab five even teased a forthcoming single off their US debut EP that features a bridge solo from Nathan who “sings the best vocal you’ve ever heard,” according to Jay McGuiness. Sold!
Ten years ago today, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was taken from the world far too soon in a tragic car accident in La Ceiba, Honduras. She lived a vibrant life in her short 30 years. Left Eye was the eclectic rapper in the influential trio TLC with members Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins. Selling over 50 million records worldwide, TLC is the second best selling American female girl group of all time. Outspoken and incredibly cool, the tattooed bad girl was captivating from the moment we laid eyes on her. She was among the new wave of female artists who determined for herself what identity she wanted in the industry. And we loved her for her unapologetic authenticity.
In 2002, Left Eye traveled to Honduras for a spiritual retreat away to take a break red carpets, media and her troubled relationship. Surrounded by close friends, Left Eye recorded the journey of what would be her last days. Lopes’ family granted VH1 her personal film archive, which was used to make the Last Days of Left Eye documentary in May 2007. For her musical contributions, accomplishments and fearlessness to be herself, we honor her. Gone too soon but never forgotten.
Is it really fair to put anyone against Rakim? If there is one consistent name that appears on lists of greatest MCs of all time, hands down, it’s Rakim. We think his contender LL Cool J is up for the challenge. LL may be acting more than rapping these days, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t still have bars. I shudder just thinking of “Second Round KO” directed at Canibus or “To Da Break of Dawn” aiming shots at Kool Moe Dee, Ice-T and MC Hammer. He’s sold 7.5 million albums with five top 40 hits on the Billboard charts. He’s known for popular tracks like “I Need Love” that show a glimpse of his softer side, and “Mama Said Knock You Out” that solidifies his toughness. Do not get it twisted. LL will wax you on wax. Get it?
Rakim is a legendary emcee. Lyrically, he’s so amazing you don’t feel comfortable calling him a rapper — only emcee will suffice. Not only was his debut album with friend Eric B deemed a classic, Paid in Full was considered the greatest hip-hop album of all time by MTV. There’s no sense in even naming the rappers he’s influenced because it’s pretty much everyone worth their rap credentials. Steve Huey of Allmusic.com said, “Rakim is near-universally acknowledged as one of the greatest MCs —perhaps the greatest— of all-time within the hip-hop community.” That said, whereas LL became a household name, Rakim never reached massive mainstream success. With Eric B., he released four albums, only completing three solo projects. He took a 10 year hiatus between his second (The Master) and third (The Seventh Seal) album. He only sold two million records in his over 20 year career. But what Rakim lacked in commercial success he makes up in talent.
This one’s going to be juicy. Vote to advance your favorite Yo! MTV Raps era emcee to the next round. Voting closes on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET. Read more…
This week on Behind the Music, we put the spotlight on the life and times of R&B superstar Brandy. In this special sneak peek of the show’s entire first act, we first meet Brandy while she’s on the set of “It All Belongs To Me,” her most recent collaboration with Monica. The video was shot just days after Brandy’s role model and close confidant, Whitney Houston, passed away, and the emotional turbulence that she was going through at the time is evident on her face. It’s a powerful moment, just one of many in this week’s episode.
Watch this week’s episode of Behind The Music on VH1 tomorrow night, Wednesday 4/25, at 9 p.m. ET/8 CT.