The 2 Live Crew‘s As Nasty As They Wanna Be was a cassette tape that everyone who grew up in the Eighties owned but kept carefully hidden from their parents’ prying eyes (and ears). While certainly not the first rap crew to brag about their sexual conquests, Luther Campbell and his posse of perpetually horny MCs made waves by pushing their sex rhymes deep into XXX rated territory. Their lewd and lascivious “pornocore” material ultimately caught the eye of Florida legislators and got them, as Luke would famously put it, “Banned In The U.S.A.”
Well, nearly 20 years after disbanding, Luther Campbell announced over the weekend —at the Sundance Film Festival, no less!!!— that 2 Live Crew would be getting back together for a reunion tour this fall. You may recall that the group got together for a one-off performance at VH1’s 2010 Hip Hop Honors show, but this time around, the group will be taking their show on the road. No details about the tour have been announced, but Uncle Luke promises that “We’re going to perform the songs and everybody’s going to be excited.” Um, hopefully not TOO excited, if you catch our drift…
You’d think that 80s power pop/rock, awesome hair band Bon Jovi and sensitive, indie, regular hair band Bon Iver would make strange bedfellows, but New York City’s Miracles Of Modern Science have put the two together in what we think is a very successful, very attractive little package. The band, taking on the alias “Bon Joviver,” sing Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love A Bad Name” in the wistful style of Bon Iver. The lyrics are a perfect fit for Bon Iver’s fantastical introspective falsetto, and with the addition of some whimsically bleak imagery that invokes the chill of winter, we’re hoping the two Bon’s might be inspired by Miracles Of Modern Science’s effort and give us the duet we’ve now decided we’ve always wanted.
Aside from the promise of “surprises,” Barbz were blessed with the “Stupid Hoe” video on Friday, and next month will get to see Nicki performing at the Super Bowl alongside the legendary Madonna. Time flies when you’re having fun, and it looks like Nicki has plenty up her sleeve to distract fans from the prolonged release.
Seemingly everywhere you turn your head these days, Steven Tyler is standing there. Leno on Friday night? Check. American Idol on Fox? Check. On the victory podium with AFC champions the New England Patriots? Check. Wait, what???
Yes, that’s right, the Aerosmith lead singer is buddy buddy with billionaire businessman and owner of the NFL’s New England Patriots franchise, Robert Kraft. He brought some good luck to his hometown team by singing the National Anthem at yesterday’s AFC Championship game, a performance that his Idol co-hort Randy Jackson would describe as “pitchy.” Depending on how many cups of CLAM CHOWDA you ingested yesterday afternoon, you’ll either love it or hate it.
Oh, and after the seventeen hours of football that was on yesterday (only a slight exaggeration), there was a new episode of American Idol on, too. We don’t know what’s going on with the water in San Diego, but Tyler didn’t score very high on our new Dude Is Acting Shady Meter (which now come complete with an ACTUAL meter, designed by our own Lauren Deiman). He didn’t so much as bat an eyelash with Jim Carrey‘s 24 year-old daughter, Jane, but he did turn on the charm a smidge for two of yesterday’s female contestants.
Paying tribute to the late Etta James live in concert at New York’s Radio City Music Hall this weekend, Kelly Clarkson gave a beautiful performance of “I’d Rather Go Blind.” It was a poignant enough moment in the face of James’ tragic passing, but also given that 10 years ago Kelly sang “At Last,” for her first ever appearance on American Idol, which she went on to win, the performance was a rather weighty one. While most of the videos we tracked down of the performance were rather shaky (see above, which was the least shaky but unfortunately from a distance), the poor visual was negligible in light of Kelly’s spine tingling vocal. Even on fan-filmed, amateur film, there’s no mistaking the distinct power of Kelly’s voice as she sings the words of the great Etta James.
American Idol judges Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson teamed up with Joe Perry on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno to give a super fun performance of Aerosmith‘s “Chip Away The Stone.” With a full band, the veterans we’re lively and animated, for what was a joy filled performance. The guys had great chemistry together on stage, and proved that age ain’t nothing but a number when it comes to rocking out.
President Obama Sings Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”
No matter what you think of President Obama‘s politics, you at least have to admit — dude is cool. Here he is singing Al Green‘s “Let’s Stay Together” at the Apollo Theatre in New York yesterday. [YouTube]
Swizz Beatz Is Apparently Not The CEO Of Megaupload
The latest update in the Megaupload FBI shutdown saga is that Swizz Beatz, who yesterday was named CEO of the beleaguered company, is actually not the CEO after all. He was just trying to be the CEO. Got it? [Media Beat]
“This is a huge loss. Etta James was one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I am so fortunate to have met such a queen. Her musical contributions will last a lifetime. Playing Etta James taught me so much about myself, and singing her music inspired me to be a stronger artist. When she effortlessly opened her mouth, you could hear her pain and triumph. Her deeply emotional way of delivering a song told her story with no filter. She was fearless, and had guts. She will be missed.”
The message was accompanied by Bey’s performance of “At Last” for Fashion Rocks 2008, in which her reverence for James is overt and sincere.
It’s true that money doesn’t grow on trees, but it does, apparently, grow on Katy Perry. In what is a fairly bleak landscape for recording artists, where record sales are declining and file share is abounding, it’s a rare commodity to be a musician who can produce the green stuff. Indeed, some artists, like the Black Keys, are now opting to absent their music from file sharing devices like Spotify in an attempt to fill the cash cow with as many sales as possible. But not Katy Perry — it’s all mo’ money for the unstoppable pop star.
NPR did some investigating on Katy Perry’s (who had five number one hit singles from the same record last year) earning capacity, and came up with some very big hypothetical numbers based on their research. Speaking to Katy’s label, Captial (part of EMI), NPR estimated that Teenage Dream cost around 4 million to make (with 2 million being Katy’s advance, which she would then pay back out of royalties). However, the cost seemed to be a relative scratch in comparison to the return on the album. Based on record sales in the US alone, NPR’s research estimates that Katy made around 8 million for her label. Yep, that’s excluding all overseas sales, and any other form of revenue not derived from sales.
Obviously, Katy Perry’s capacity to sell records isn’t a reflection on the record industry right now — nor would be the sales of artists like Adele, who sold 5.82 million copies of 21 in 2011, or Lady Gaga, who, according to Forbes made around $90 million dollars all up last year. With a small handful of musicians dominating in sales, what does this mean for the rest? And does it make decisions like the Black Keys to withhold music from sharing services somewhat more understandable? It seems like in the rat race that is becoming music sales, those at the top are many echelons above the rest — is this a disparity that will continue to grow as record sales decline, or will government crack downs on file sharing (like the recent closure of Megaupload) see a swelling in sales?
Following the tragic death of legendary artist Etta James today, the music world has expressed profound condolences, many coming in the form of heartfelt Tweets. You can see some of them below, a testament to Etta James’ pervasive influence, her inspirational impact on the music world, and the great loss that is felt by her passing.